Tag Archives: alcoholism

Falling Down

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Falling Down

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

Ok let’s just get this out of the way right now. I fell off the wagon. Don’t ask me to explain how or why it happened, because I honestly don’t know. Am I blaming some one or some thing, hell no! I did this all alone. However, the cool thing is I have my program and all my friends rallied around me to brush off the dust and apply ointment to the skid marks. I am still loved. It’s great to be an alcoholic because I have a village of Indians that stopped to see what fell off the wagon and rallied together to see what they could do with it….Yes, I can laugh because I may have fallen but I am not down for the count. I am loved and for today I am happy and sober.

Bye Bye Bad Friendships!

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Bye Bye Bad Friendships!

Friends are like roses…you have to look out for the pricks!~ Anonymous. 

Even before I finally became sober I was slowly eliminating “bad” friends out of my life. It was a long process, sometimes they just didn’t want to let go, but in order for me to maintain my sobriety I had to let them go. The first ones to go were the ones that enabled my drinking the most with their own drinking habits, these were actually the easiest. The ones that were closest to me were the hardest to let go of because they are the ones that hurt me the worse. One “friend”, the one I thought that loved me most betrayed me in such a way that I will never be able to forgive them. This person had gotten sober and found “god” but they didn’t eliminate some of their worse traits and I inadvertently found out that this person was never really a true friend in the first place because they went after something very close to my heart and tried to take it for their own when I was going through a very rough patch in my life. This same person has been trying to get back into my life, but what they don’t realize is that once they betrayed me in that way there is no hope whatever that they will ever get back into my life ever again.

Then there is this “friend” that had helped me out through a very rough patch in my life. I thought that they were being a “friend”. It wasn’t until after I was quite a ways into my sobriety that it came to me that they weren’t really a friend at all. This person had kept enabling me in my drinking, even though I had been telling them for months that I wanted to quit, that I needed to quit, that my life depended on my quitting. I finally realized how caustic this person really was and is. I finally told them to stay away from me, not to call me, and I explained to them that every time I saw them it took me right back to that bad place I was in just a few short months ago and I needed them to stay away from me because the memories were far too painful. I told this person that if I saw them I would turn and walk the other way because just simply by their presence it reminded me of the pit of hell I was in and it was hurtful to my sobriety. 

Fortunately now I have a whole new group of friends that are loving and sober and working on the same goals that I am. They are supportive and have been with me since the first day I met them on our paths to sobriety. With friends like that who needs the trash of old enabling friendships sticking around with its stench and flies buzzing incessantly around.

 

Happy Birthday 2 Me!

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Happy Birthday 2 Me!

Yeah, I know I drink a lot, I know I do because I’m a writer and that’s what I do, I drink. I’m not like those people out there, I can control myself! I can, if – that – if I wanted to, I could, if I wanted. I can! I can!~Gwen Cummings, “28 Days

I had almost, not quite, but almost forgotten that it was my 60 days. 2 months, sobriety birthday yresterday. I almost forgot because I have been too busy being sober. I know that may sound crazy, but it’s really not. What is crazy is the amount of years, months, days, minutes and seconds I wasted of my life drinking into a dark hole. I can’t believe how busy my life has become since I put the bottle away for good. My music has taken a precedence in my life, I’m accomplishing more than I ever could have believed was possible. One night of my life a week is dedicated to “sober” night. It’s an open jam that I host on Tuesday nights at a coffee house and we get a huge turn out from my friends in AA and it gets bigger and better every week. We are getting more bookings than ever and now, by the grace of my sobriety we are booked to play at “John Doe’s” for a two hour acoustic gig in mid September. After that we have the Indian Creek Festival. I also have the distinct honor of representing my family and our Welsh heritage at the Scottish festival, where all the Celtic nations are represented. My grandparents would be so incredibly proud. I owe all of this to my persistence in remaining sober, the love and support of my beautiful husband and my wonderful family. Thank goodness I am a stubborn person. The very quality that makes me an obstinate person is also the same quality that saved my life. For that I am grateful! 

 

 

Tis the Day!

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Tis the Day!

“Knowing you will be with me in all my tomorrows, makes my today so wonderful.”

Today is the day! It is our 8 year wedding anniversary and all the preparations are made. I spent the day yesterday slicing and dicing, cooking and cleaning. I so want everything to be perfect, just for today. We are having a sausage dog roast at the park near our house and spending it with the people near and dear to us, many of whom we just met in the recent months of our journey to sobriety. I love these people because of the unconditional love and joy they share in their own sobriety that helps me and mine stay sober day by day. That, in and of itself, makes today a very special day. Among other things Michael has achieved 15 months of sobriety and Thursday I will have achieved 2 months of sobriety! So, there is a lot to be celebrated and enjoyed! Yesterday Michael brought me roses of my favorite color for roses, yellow. He always manages to find these roses that are unique, they have reddish pink tips and are so beautiful and smell simply delicious. What a wonderful day this is going to be, what a gift to be sober and with the person I love most in this world!

It’s Not Fair!

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It’s Not Fair!

Sarah: That’s not fair! 
Jareth: You say that so often, I wonder what your basis for comparison is? ~ From The Labyrinth

I am going to whine so beware….LOL! Now that I have quit consuming my calories in mind bending beverages I am putting on weight. I have started riding bike, 7.5 miles a day everyday, to keep my weight and shape, but it’s not fair! I don’t eat anything out of the ordinary or glutton myself, but my families gene pool sux! My mother weighs in at 275 lbs and my grandmother weighed very close to that when she passed. I have always watched my weight and been super sensitive about my appearance. It’s good that I have put on weight, in November I was very sick and shot down to 125 lbs, but hell’s bells do I have to starve myself to keep from weighing over 150 lbs. My good weight is 140, that’s when I look the best. I stand 5’9″ and that is the perfect weight for my bone structure. However, the only way I get to maintain that is if I eat like a freakin’ bird.Well, I have been on the bike riding routine for less than a week, so I’ll just keep on keeping on, but dam, I still say it’s not fair. Ok I am over it now!

A Different Person

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A Different Person

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis

Everyone says I have changed so much in the last month and a half. Mike says I am a ray of sunshine. The funny thing is I know that I have changed inside, deep down inside. I am still crossing the monkey bars and learning how to cross while holding onto a banana and not fall. I am like a child learning all about myself for the first time, the exception being that I am an adult with a vast array of experiences, and some not very positive at all. The fact of the matter is that I am still grumpy, and at times, downright cranky. That’s just part of who I am. The banana I hold onto is the goal that once I cross the monkey bars I can eat my prize, that golden, yellow, delicious banana with its rich fruit wrapped so tenderly in a protective peal. I find that I am tired a lot more than I used to be and I don’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. There are days I just feel down and depressed, there are days that I just don’t give a shit. The fact is is that I am human and I still feel things, just differently because now there is no numbing, mind bending substance to take it away. I have to face my emotions head on and that isn’t easy after such a long and devoted career of inebriating myself from feeling anything. In this new life full of changes and becoming a different person the knives are very real, the pain they inflict deep and I don’t have the Novocaine to stop it like I used to. Yes, I have been given a whole new set of tools to deal with my hurts and ills, but they are still there and more real than ever, and that is hard! In the beginning of sobriety we are more than happy to grasp the banana knowing that one day we will be able to partake of it’s wonderful fruit, but no one tells you you have to swing across these precarious monkey bars of emotions and feelings to the other side before you can really enjoy the fruit, and if you drop the banana you get to start all over again. The thing that no one tells you about is the flood of emotions that may seem like they are going to overtake you. This flood of emotions happens because we no longer have a mind altering substance to blind us to the tidal wave that is rushing our direction.  

Body and Mind

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Body and Mind

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr 

Ok, so here’s the deal. Now that I have changed my mind’s perspective it is time to go after the body. Since I am no longer drinking my calories and I am eating normally instead of going days without eating, choosing to drink instead, I am starting to put on some weight. So, now that I have the mind in line it’s time to start taking care of the positive effects of what is happening to my body. My family has this terrible problem with obesity and my body image has always been of huge concern to me. My mother is pushing 275#’s and my grandmother weighed just about that when she passed. Excuse my vanity Buddha, but I like looking good and I don’t like little pockets of fat sticking out all over my body. I made a command decision yesterday that I would take a 1-2 hour bike ride every morning. So this is it…day 1 of the beginning of a new path for me…the path of caring for the positive effects happening to my mind as well as my body. Wish me luck!

My Serenity…

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My Serenity…

The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it. Reinhold Niebuhr

 This is my drawing of my place of serenity. On Sunday when I met with my sponge (sponsor) Jules for the first time this is where I went when I was having such a hard day the night before. Saturday was filled with triggers and hurt and I needed a place to go to work through my thoughts and get back in balance with nature and myself. Meeting with Jules was such a blessing, everything just melted away from me. I call her a sponge because I am her spongee and I plan on sucking everything I can out of her, and she is full of all kinds of great wisdom for sobriety. I have so much to be grateful for and in the last month I have begun to see the things and people that were there before me, just waiting for me to open up my eyes and see. They were always there with open arms, all I had to do was be willing to walk into the embrace. It’s amazing how alcohol clouds your vision, blurs your mind and makes you numb. In the beginning isn’t that what all alcoholics seek, blindness and a numbing and dulling of the senses? We don’t want to see, we don’t want to feel. You just don’t realize until you quit, and I mean really quit, how much you have missed. 

 

 

 

Cupcakes & Coffee!

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Cupcakes & Coffee!

“Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but cupcakes make it worthwhile.” ~ unknown author

That’s right! I got up this morning and I had my usual, coffee. Buuuuuuut, for breakfast I had cupcakes. Yes, you heard me right, cupcakes. They were my treat for myself for achieving my 30 days sobriety. I didn’t eat them last night because after our jam session/gig I was wiped out. Mind you I am not a big fan of sweets, but I do firmly believe that when we achieve a goal or reach a milestone we need to reward ourselves because chances are there are more steps to go to reach the next milestone. I know for me there are many milestones ahead of me and the journey is exciting. I want it to be filled with rewards because when I was growing up I was lucky if I got a blink of the eye out of my parents. I will reward myself today for having achieved what may have seemed like an insurmountable goal in the beginning!

Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

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Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway

Today is my birthday! Not in a literal sense of the day I was brought into this world. It is my 30 day birthday of the day I woke up and decided to get sober and embrace the idea of sobriety once and for all. Sure, I have had attempts at sobriety over the last 10 years, but this is the first time I have embraced being sober and have had every intention of staying that way! If you have followed my blog you would know that since I started blogging on December 31, 2011 I have been up and down in my sobriety. What has changed for me now is that I have found a support group, a sponge (sponsor), I have included my family in my sobriety, I have a therapist, I am working the program and my attitude has changed. Am I excited about having my 30 days? Hell yes! Even one day is hard, not to mention 30! 31 days ago I was in hell. I had fought my battle with the bottle over and over again until I was so exhausted from the fighting I was ready to give up once and for all, literally. I told Michael all I needed was a bullet and a shovel. Yes, I was in that black of a place. Today I am so grateful to my friends, family and the people who have given me their support and love. Today I am sober. Today I am happy. Today I am FREE! 

Here’s a list of things I have accomplished in my sobriety over the last 30 days:

  • Learned over 20 new songs on guitar and vocals
  • Played 4 new gigs
  • Completed some new drawings
  • Started a dream collage
  • Made a plethora of new friends
  • Found out that I can love myself
  • Found out that I am stronger than I thought I was
  • Started forgiving myself and others

I’m sure there are many that I am not thinking of but the point is that I am moving forward in my life instead of standing in a puddle of stagnant water that was sucking me down into a hole I may not have been able to climb out of. Thank you to all who have helped me on my path and thank you to those of you who may not be aware that you did…..Peace, always….Jaz

I Just Have to Get This Off My Chest

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I Just Have to Get This Off My Chest

Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting. Emmet Fox

I really have to get this off my chest because it has been bothering me. However, I need to do this in the most Buddhist fashion I can and that isn’t going to be easy because frankly I am really irked at this person. I have been going to meetings recently to help me maintain my sobriety. There are great, loving people there and as of yet I have not met anyone negative, that is until Saturday. The meeting was a good one and one person even received his award for 14 years of sobriety. We closed the meeting and without my knowing it this person who had received the award made a point of saying to me, “I remember you when you were living on Chicago Street, you were trying to get sober then, too.” Now I have to point out here that I haven’t lived on Chicago street for over 8 years, so it just goes to show how long my battle has been. This person who pointed this out to me isn’t a regular at our meetings, in fact I have never seen him there before. I think he simply showed up at our meeting because it was his day to receive his award and there were no other meetings on that day.  I didn’t recognize him and put it together who he was until after we had already left. He was the head of a group I used to attend about 9 years ago and I haven’t seen him again until Saturday. The fact is I didn’t like him then, and I surely don’t like him now, Buddha forgive me, but I abhor him and his critical, judgmental self. What right has he to judge me! I am so incredibly happy for him that he has managed to maintain 14 years of sobriety, Good for him. We can’t all be like him, in recovery, self-righteous and supercilious. Some of us have to fall and scrape our knees many many times before we get it. Was it really necessary for Mr. High-and-Mighty, Mr. I am so much better than you, Mr. Look at my award, to point out another person’s failure who is struggling with their sobriety. In a way I hope I never see the MF again, but at the same time I feel the strong need to point out to him that what he did was incredibly negative, incredibly out of line and incredibly the opposite of what we try to learn in our meeting about love and support. So, on that note, now that I have gotten that off my chest….Peace be with him, bastard that he is!

Freedom

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Freedom

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” ~Ghandi

For me this July 4th my celebration of freedom isn’t solely about my countries independence from an oppressor and liberation from a country that my ancestors fought so valiantly to escape. My celebration this July 4th is a celebration of my sobriety and freedom from a wicked evil oppressor far more vicious and damning. Many of my friends will be out partying tonight, many of my friends will be enjoying their 4th in a much different way than I intend upon enjoying my 4th. Thank Buddha that for the first time in many years I may actually remember what the fireworks looked like, I may recall the sound of rockets exploding in the sky. It’s going to be a fabulous 4th!

Love and Support

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Love and Support

Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 12, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
We all know that spiders are talented little creatures. Spiders’ silk is as strong as steel, and their precisely geometric webs are engineering marvels. But even though they have admirable qualities I admire, I don’t expect to have an intimate connection with a spider any time soon. A similar situation is at work in the human realm. I know certain people who are amazing creators and leaders but don’t have the personal integrity or relationship skills that would make them trustworthy enough to seek out as close allies. Their beauty is best appreciated from afar. Consider the possibility that the ideas I’m articulating here would be good for you to meditate on right now, Aquarius. 
All of creation loves you very much. Even now, people you know and people you don’t know are collaborating to make sure you have all you need to make your next smart move. But are you willing to start loving life back with an equal intensity? The adoration it offers you has not exactly been unrequited, but there is room for you to be more demonstrative.

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT 
Whatever you choose to focus your attention on, you will get more of it. If you often think of everything you lack and how sad you are that you don’t have it, you will tend to receive prolific evidence of how true that is. As you obsess on all the ways your life is different from what you wish it would be, you will become an expert in rousing feelings of frustration and you will attract experiences that assist you in rousing frustration.

If, on the other hand, you dwell on the good things you have already had the privilege to experience, you will expand your appreciation for their blessings, which in turn will amplify their beneficent impact on your life. You will also magnetize yourself to receive further good things, making it more likely that they will be attracted into your sphere. At the very least, you will get in the habit of enjoying yourself no matter what the outward circumstances are. 

Wow! Rob went on and on today in my horoscope! He just reminded me of how supportive my family and friends have been in my choice of sobriety. They have given me all the love and support that I could possibly ask for and it is helping me make smarter and better decisions, thank Buddha for my friends and family! I honestly don’t believe I could be this strong without them and I love them so much more for it. If you or someone you know is struggling with this same problem please remember that your support and love can make all the difference to them and whether they chose to live or throw their life away fruitlessly. 

Peacock Presence

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Peacock Presence

For some reason I keep running into peacocks. It seems that every time I turn around some image of a peacock is crossing my path. It started a few days ago when I won a peacock necklace. Then when I went shopping at The World Market I ran into a peacock ring that I just had to have. Later that same night I went shopping for a journal for my daughter and guess what? You guessed it, I found her a journal that had peacock feathers imprinted on it. These are just a few of the instances, everywhere I go I keep seeing peacocks, peacock feathers and representations of peacocks. I think Buddha is trying to tell me something, and I think it is something very positive in relation to my sobriety. I’m still trying to understand the significance and since it seems to be a recurring theme in my life I’m quite certain there is an underlying positive message. Not so very long ago I kept running into crows, not just a couple, not even just a few, but whole murders of crows, and at that time I was in a very dark place. I never take messages from nature for granted and I firmly believe that the peacock message is meant for me to gain some better understanding of the nature of my new found state in my path to nirvana. 

From “The wheel of Sharp Weapons”, written by Dharmaraksita

In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks,

Through medicine gardens of beauty lie near.

The masses of peacocks do not find gardens pleasant,

But thrive on the essence of poisonous plants,

In similar fashion the brave bodhisattvas

Remain in the jungle of worlds concern.

No matter how joyful this world pleasure garden,

These brave ones are never attracted to pleasures,

But thrive in the jungle of suffering and pain.


 The Symbolism of peacocks in Buddhism

 In buddhism they symbolize wisdom.

Peacocks are said to have the ability of eating poisonous plants without being affected by them. Because of that, they are synonimous with the great bodhisattvas. A bodhisattva is able to take delusions as the path toward liberation and transform the poisonous mind of ignorance, desire and hatred [moha, raga, dvesa] into the thought of enlightenment or bodhicitta, which opens colourfully like the peacocks’ tail. 

The mind of the sentient beings in this world is like a thick forest of desire and hatred. The pleasures and material possessions are like a beautiful medicinal garden. The brave-minded bodhisattvas, because of having realised the shortcomings of samsara, are not atracted to samsaric pleasures, just as the peacocks are not attracted to medicinal plants. The bodhisattvas, having the attitude of wishing only to work for sentient beings and not desiring any happiness for themselves, can utilise the poisonous thoughts of ignorance, desire, hatred and so forth in order to accomplish the works for sentient beings.

By eating poison, the peacocks’ body becomes healthy and beautiful. He is adorned with five feathers on the head, which symbolize the five paths of the boddhisattva and the attainment of the five Buddha families. They have beautiful colours, like blue, red, green and please other beings just by being seen. Similarly, any body who sees a bodhisattva receives great happiness in his mind. The peacock’s eating habits of eating poisonous plants do not cause harm to other beings. Similarly the bodhisattvas don’t give the slightest harm to any other sentient beings. By eating poison the colours of his feathers become bright and his body healthy. Similarly, by taking all problems and suffering upon themselves, the bodhisattvas quickly purify the mental blocks and develop their mind quickly, attaining higher and higher realization. Particularly peacocks symbolize the transmutting of desire into the path of liberation. Therefore, they are the vehicle of Buddha amitabha, who represents desire and attachment transmuted into the Wisdom of Discriminating Awareness.

Badass

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Badass

Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 5, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
On Reddit.com, Kaushalp88 asked the question, “What is the most badass thing that you have ever done, but that other people weren’t impressed by?” Here’s his own story: “I was at an ice-cream shop. At the exit, there was a small raised step I didn’t see. I tripped over it with my ice cream cone in my right hand. The ice cream ball sprung out of the cone. I instinctively lurched my left hand forward and grabbed it, but at the same time I was already falling toward the pavement. I tucked my head into my chest and made a perfect somersault, rising to my feet and plopping the ice cream back in the cone.” I suspect you will soon have comparable experiences, Aquarius — unusual triumphs and unexpected accomplishments. But you may have to be content with provoking awe in no one else beside yourself. 

For me, staying sober is one of the most badass things I have ever done. I can’t even begin to express how freakin cool it is to be present in my life. I’m experiencing things on such a different level and the clarity is so amazing. The trick that the guy did in my astrology this week with the ice cream cone was nothing compared to the feat I am accomplishing with each new day of sobriety and peace in my life. WOW, what a feeling! I don’t mean to keep bringing up my sobriety in my blogs, but after all my blog is all about me and I’m here to tell you that in my happiness I am feeling very much like the center of a well balanced and peaceful universe. 

My Astrologer is Messing with Me!

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My Astrologer is Messing with Me!

Aquarius Horoscope for week of March 29, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
Last December a woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma made creative use of a Wal-Mart. She gathered various ingredients from around the shelves, including lighter fluid, lithium, and drain cleaner, and set up a meth lab right there in the back of the store. She’s your role model for the coming week, Aquarius. APRIL FOOL! I lied, kind of. The woman I mentioned got arrested for illegal activity, which I don’t advise you to do. But I do hope you will ascend to her levels of ingenuity and audacity as you gather all the resources you need for a novel experiment. 

I guess Rob, the writer of Free Will Astrology, has decided to play an April Fool’s on my sobriety this week.  All I could do when I read this was laugh. It’s so funny how he gets the nail on the head so frequently and this week he hit my sobriety nail on the head. 

Empty (Cease to Exist) by Jaz

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Empty (Cease to Exist) by Jaz

Scientists announced that they have located the gene for alcoholism. Scientists say they found it at a party, talking way too loudly.

CONAN O’BRIEN

Yesterday, while watching the movie “Helen” starring Ashley Judd I wrote the lyrics to a song. The movie deals with deep depression and suicide, not alcoholism,  but it helped me get my thoughts down on paper about how I have felt dealing with my alcoholism. I am sober now but I know that I will always be an alcoholic. It has been most difficult for me to express why I have drank in the past and to such great extents. This is my first true expression of the depths of my lost soul to alcohol.

Empty (Cease to Exist) by Jaz

I’m poison fruit

If  you only knew how far I’ve fallen

Maybe you’d understand

The depths of despair in my wall and

I feel so alone

Even in the most crowded of places

Storms in my heart

But I just can’t see all the faces

 

Between pain and nothing

There is only this

An empty space in my heart

And I cease to exist

 

Drinking all night

Trying to erase all the pieces

Drinking all day

Never want to remember who I was

Oh, I feel shattered

Scattered into a thousand raindrops

Falling so far

I always wonder will it ever stop

 

Wanting to fade

At the bottom of amber is this

All empty space in my mind

And I cease to exist

 

Controlling Anger

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Controlling Anger

*Note from Jaz* Of course not all of the subjects I touch on are going to be happy, life simply doesn’t work that way. This blog is intended to show all facets of my path with Buddha,good and bad. 
Last night I had a moment of pure white hot anger. My daughter lives with her Father and Step-Mother about 300 miles away so we communicate via Facebook and Yearbook. Her step-mother has a severe drinking problem and some deep seeded emotional issues. Last night while going through her Facebook I saw that Kira (my daughter) had posted a bunch of very upsetting posts about her rage toward her step-mother for her drinking, her emotional abuse and more. I was more than a little upset. It took me a bit to calm down but when I finally did I realized that it is not in my control to fix this problem. I realized that the problem lies within Mitzi (step-mom)and it is up to Kira to deal with it. I also realized that I have complete faith in my daughter to be able to handle things in a compassionate manner. I know my Kira and she will find a way to forgive Mitzi and I know she is aware  deep down inside that it isn’t her fault and she has no control over Mitzi’s actions.