Making Mountains Out of Molehills

Here is just another example of how sobriety works in my life. On Friday nights, after we return from a meeting, my roommate and I turn on A & E’s, Live PD. My roommate really got on my nerves last night. This morning the 24 Hours a Day – Little Black Book resonated with me on all levels.

Personally, I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with the show, Live PD. Perhaps it reminds me of the insanity of my own alcoholism; giving people piles of shit (lies) believing I’ll get away with it. Yet knowing in the end I’ll get caught in my own web of lies at some point. I thought I was acting normally. It’s just so obvious these people are doing something wrong.

Back to my point . . .

My roommate doesn’t do just one thing – ever. Typically he’s on his computer playing a game AND playing a game on his phone. All the while he jabs me with this remark and that remark. Last night, he was playing a game on his computer and another on his phone. Also talking over the TV on Discord (a gamer’s voice chat program) and throwing little jabs at me – which he admits he purposely does to annoy me. It’s an emotional roller coaster for me. Do I practice tolerance and patience? Or do I just turn around and stab him with the nearest object I can get my hands on? Instead, at around 11pm, I had enough. Not saying a word, I just walked outside, walked to the corner to smoke a cigarette and played PokémonGO.

Thought for the Day

When you allow yourself to be upset over one thing, you succeed only in opening the door from the coming of hundreds of other upsetting things. Am I allowing myself to be upset over little things?

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book for Saturday, June 22

I know what I need to do, yet I don’t want to do it. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with any codependent behaviors, as it’s mostly fear based thoughts. Thus, the morning readings come in to play:

Meditation for the Day

I would do well not to think of the Red Sea of difficulties that lies ahead. I am sure that when I come to that Red Sea, the waters will part and I will be given all the power I need to face and overcome many difficulties and meet what is in store for me with courage. I believe that I will pass through that Red Sea to the promised land, the land of the spirit where many souls meet in perfect comradeship. I believe that when that time comes, I will be freed of all the dross of material things and find peace.

24 Hours a Day – The Little Black Book for Saturday, June 22

We all have character defects we need to work on. For me, it’s taking things personally and getting angry over it. Through my own experience, people tend to criticize others when in actuality they are looking at themselves. Honestly, I do it all the time. But I’m learning to stop judging the other person, instead look at why this person annoys me so much. Is it something I need to change in my own life? Or is it simply something I need to “Let Go, Let God”? Sometimes I just take like to damn seriously.

When I get in these situations, I always think of this –
which puts a smile on my face:

Today, with this beautiful weekend upon me,
I will not let fear ruin the enjoyment of life!
Thank you, Yoda, for your wise words!

Tired Mentally, Physically, Spiritually

The last week has been mentally, physically and spiritually draining. It’s not my home life, it all has to do with my job. I attempt my best to report to work with a clear mind and positive thoughts. No matter how hard I try to keep my head clear halfway through my shift I become angry, annoyed and frustrated. There are some things I just can’t ignore. At the end of the day, I feel like I’m the only one that cares.

 

I can’t count on my fingers how many times this week I’ve said, “I’m just going to walk away after this shift is over.” Seriously, I’ve thought about handing in my badge, not caring about my license as a CNA and just giving up. Unfortunately, anywhere else I go for employment, the same thing is going to rear its ugly head. So, I know it’s not the solution.

In addition, there would be a significant pay cut. But my own employer has just sent a notice out stating our pay rates are about to change, “Your supervisor will inform you of the changes beginning October 1st.” Another person implied we would be getting raises to accommodate the loss of differential pay. So, for now, we’re left in the dark.

As much as management applauds the work that I do, I take their words with a grain of salt. I do what I do because I’m required to do so by the State of New York. But the expectations of the other employees is not the same. People do whatever they wish to do without any consequences because they know management won’t do anything about it. They can come in late, leave halfway through a double shift, call off or even do a no call no show.  When they report back to work they still have their job. One employee who complained recently was told, “Right now we have other priorities to take care of…” For me, such a statement implies management does not care about the employees.

I’m back in this revolving wheel of work, eat, sleep then do the same thing the next day. I’m too tired physically, mentally and spiritually to do anything else. My days off consist of moping around the house like a chicken with no head because I can’t concentrate on one thing.

I’ve been at my job a whole year, as of today. I’m not sure if I can survive yet another. Perhaps it’s time I look at other alternatives.

Into Action

There is a reason Chapter 6, Into Action (AA Big Book, 4th Edition), cries out to me today. In the last couple of days, I’ve been “out of sorts”. Work, yet again, has frustrated me to no end. Unknowingly, this frustration seeped back into my personal life. I’ve reverted back to my lazy, selfish Self, full time. Something needs to change. “The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it” (p. 83). So another phrase now rings in my ears, “Don’t think, just do it!”

I work up with my cat’s annoying yowling and crying. Sometimes I can ignore it but today wasn’t one of those days. So I got up after 5 hours of sleep, feed her and started my day. I’m not annoyed at her; it’s not her fault, she just wants to be fed. It’s all about me.

As I’m in the kitchen I am disgusted with myself. Dirty dishes in the sink, a dirty kitty litter pan, small spills on the counters, these small things are starting to really annoy me. I went back to the bedroom to journal my recovery post for the morning. I visited the bathroom to be yet annoyed again at the pile of clothes sitting on the dryer. I stomped out of the house to the front porch to smoke a cigarette.

When I’m sitting on the front porch it can turn into a short meditation session for me. I relax when the first rays of sunlight stream over the mountain behind me. As the fresh, unadulterated air seeps into my lungs (despite the cigarette hanging out of my mouth), I am refreshed. I let my frustrations and worries seep back into the Earth.

Before I stepped back into the house, I made a plan. Despite my initial plan to head to an AA meeting, I am here. I have a load of laundry in both washer and dryer. The kitchen is next. Afterward, there are other things I should have done the other day. They are getting done NOW.

Spiritually, I have been out of touch. Rushing to satisfy my selfishness, I have ignored important things in my life. This needs to stop. I need to connect with my Higher Power to help squash (or at least put in check) those defects of character. Today I’m setting time aside to be alone with my Higher Power. It’s been far too long.

 

Letting Go

I’m proud of myself, yet there is much I am still learning about the principle “Letting Go” specifically in the workplace. Workplace stress affects us all in different ways. Some people have the ability to handle it. While others, like myself, have difficult times. In recent days, I’m taking new measures (or steps) to not let work relationships bother me.

Many times in this blog I have written about my frustrations at work. Working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) I’m responsible for the lives of those I care for, all the while dealing with different personalities of my co-workers, and attempting to manage my own life in sobriety. At times this can be a monumental task.

For instance, we have 30 residents on a floor. We are divided into three teams to handle the workload. With a particular group of individuals, we work as a team to accomplish our tasks. We set a plan in motion at the beginning of our shift of how things should flow to ensure we are successful in our responsibilities. But at the end of the night, I’m frustrated because a majority of the work is done by one individual. My fear is I will be accused of not doing my own workload.

But at the end of the night, I’m frustrated because a majority of the work is done by one individual. My fear is I will be accused of not doing my own workload. I have talked to this individual to “slow down” allowing the other two of us to “pull our own weight”. Yet, I feel my concerns fall on deaf ears. What bothers me the most is when this individual turns around to complain she is doing all the work.

In addition, this individual takes it upon herself to work with an active injury. Knowing this, I’ve suggested the individual takes measures to ensure their own welfare. Again, my concerns and suggestions fall on deaf ears. Yet, the individual will begin to loudly complain, “I just can’t do this anymore . . .” It gets annoying after a while.

What does this have to do with me? Absolutely nothing – that is the point. This individual is responsible for their own choices. No matter how annoying or frustrated I get, this individual is causing her own chaos. I have to remind myself of the simple principle of “Letting it Go”.

My fear of being accused of not doing my own workload will subside. It is my understanding this individual has already taken measures to change responsibilities in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’m trying the best of my ability not to let my frustrations and annoyance get the better of me. That in itself is the challenge I face.

 

 

 

 

 

Rambling About Honesty

Since my sobriety I have learned there are times to be honest while there are also times to keep the mouth shut.  But there is also a time when the frustration, anger and other emotions get so bottled up, they tend to spout out.  These times are scary for me because I’m unsure of the consequences of my decisions.  This is a part of me I work on daily – sometimes I’m good at it, others I’m not.

As you may know I am a CNA.  It’s a rough job.  There are staffing issues, personality issues, company policy issues and most of us are just fed up.  No matter where I go, these type of issues are common everywhere.  However, “the company” hired a Supervisor, so I’ve tested the waters.

There is an employee that I work with, young in age and young in experience (like myself) who just pissed me off.  She might as well have gone home because I felt like I was the only one on the floor.  Her laziness and the need to be on her phone every minute is just unprofessional.

I patiently waited for the Sup to talk to her privately.  Our discussion started with the employee rolling to bigger issues at the end.  She insisted that I stay, “Stay and I will be your voice.”  But I’m skeptical because of my last job experience.  I’ve heard that before, backs tabbed, then was unemployed.  So now I wait.

It’s a cruel world. I have a duty to report certain things. But at the same time people can easily turn it around perhaps jeopardizing my own license.  Management attempted to do that already.  I don’t want to get in those situations again.

Unfortunately, while there is an alternative to seek other employment it’s just not that easy.  The standard of living is much higher in the County I work, therefore if I choose to work closer to home I would take a HUGE pay cut.  I also know facilities around here already have very bad reputations.  Yes, my drive would be cut by three hours a day.

But as I was reminded, “Why are you here?”  Honestly, its not the pay.  Don’t get me wrong, the pay is wonderful.  It’s the residents I have known for the last four months.  I enjoy them and they enjoy me.  I provide them what they want and haven’t received in a long time.  So it’s just not the Sup that is asking I stay, it’s also the residents that I take care of almost on a daily basis.

It’s a sticky situation.  It grinds at me every day.  Even on my days off like today.  People tell me, “You need to leave.  If you don’t bad things are going to happen.  You’re not happy.  You need to find somewhere there is a balance.  You have enough on your plate (sobriety).”  Yet, with only four months of experience, a brand new license (Nov 2016), I can’t expect much if I choose to leave.

This type of situation is going to follow me anywhere.  I just have to practice patience, self-control and be selfish (only worrying about me, not the others around me).  But many times doing such is easier said than done!

Have Some Cheese with the Whine

Caution:  Rant forthcoming . . .

If you don’t like people that whine – DO NOT read this post.  On the other hand, if you’re a recovering addict, or would like to have a glimpse into my mind, by all means pull up a chair for a LONG READ.  This is ME talking to MYSELF but posted for those that are interested.

I’m bitch, crabby, frustrated, angry and down-right pissed off at the world.  But a DRINK(s) is not going to solve my problems.  I will do my best with the tools of life that I’ve been given.  Hopefully, if you do read this in its entirety, an example of how a recovering addict deals with life.

My previous career, working in the chemical dependency field as a Program Aide in a medically supervised detox center, abruptly came to end in March 2016.  But I saw it coming and didn’t do anything about it.  I was simply burned out and didn’t give a rat’s ass (I let my mouth run amuck), so I was terminated.

It turned out to be the best decision (for both parties), just the wrong way of doing it.

In September, after the recommendation of fellow nurses that I worked with, I was accepted into a Certified Nursing Assistant’s training program.  At the beginning of November 2016, I passed the New York State exam and received my license.  I promised myself no matter what happened I would not repeat the past.  Oh, I try – every day.

Knowing I’m the lowest one on the totem pole I’ve accepted a few things.  There is a terrible staffing problem on my shift (almost, if not all, the 3 – 11pm staff was quit or been terminated). From what I’ve learned, this is the norm.  I worked Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day 2016.  Accepted, I’m new.  The gossip among employees is just extreme as I’ve seen in other employers.  I expected to get treated like crap by fellow co-workers.  Yup, that happens.  Management, umm…, let’s just not go there.  Along with a whole list of other things.

Scheduling is madness.  The last two weeks I’ve worked six days out of seven, each week.  New Years, I volunteered – my bad.  A old habit of feeling guilty for fellow employees.  This week, I wasn’t even asked, just scheduled.  I haven’t had a full weekend to myself since the Stone Age. Lastly, I won’t be able to take a vacation until after a full year of employment.

Lately, my mouth keeps opening instead of staying shut.  But like many, “I just don’t care.”  Honestly, (sorry for the cliché – “I would if I could, but I can’t . . .) leaving should be on my agenda but I’m just four months in a new career with a new employer.  I enjoy my job and the residents.  I am NOT going to let management, fellow employees or certain circumstances ruin it for me.

But I’m also not going to be quiet about it.  I can’t and I won’t.  There is no point to bring up issues to the “higher ups” because, honestly, they don’t care.  Been there, done that, nothing’s been done.  It reminds me of this saying, “doing something different, yet expecting the same results” – the definition of INSANITY.

So, it’s a very difficult time for me.  No, I’m not going to drink.  What is that going to solve?  These issues are going to be there in the morning, the day after, many more moons after that.  I remind myself of various slogans, “Let it Go”, “One Day at a Time”, the Serenity Prayer – 1000 times a day, “Let Go, Let God (or in my case, my Higher Power), as well as a host of others.  But those aren’t the answer.  Then the light bulb goes on . . .

You need a f**king meeting!!  Honestly, I haven’t been to one in a couple of months.  I know – I’m calling the kettle black.  I preach all this sobriety knowledge and don’t follow my own advice.  But here I’m going to throw EXCUSES.  There are not many people that have long term sobriety in this community.  Since working in the recovery community I know a lot of people, so meetings tend to be a waste of time.  Another EXCUSE – the weather sucks.  It’s sleet/rainy, the roads are slick, so I can’t travel out of time. I’ll figure something out even if its local.  I need a meeting.

OK, I’m done.  I guess I needed to get that out.  Feel much better . . .

Now to find something to do (i.e. read a book, clean up clutter, etc.) to get my mind off this crap and get me in a good mood.  Perhaps take a nap, then go to a meeting later tonight.  I don’t know.  I’m being a lazy SOB because I deserve to be today.

A Mouse In a Running Wheel

In the past, I’ve been complimented on my tolerance of other’s behavior. Lately, I find that I have less tolerance each day. The behaviors of everyone, including myself. It has been months since I searched the Big Book or the 12 & 12 for some advice.

Some days it is so hard to just bite my tongue. It feels like the fuse is lit to an atomic bomb. It starts with one, then another until I’m boiling with frustration and anger. Through my own personal experiences I learned to do something quickly. However, some days are better than others.

Here are a few passages that put things in perspective while also giving me a solution. The Big Book reminds Us, “We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look at them as sick people (70) . . . Love and tolerance of others is our code (84)”. The 12 & 12, reminds Us, “Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellow actually means” (92).

For example, before I even leave town just driving to work gets me unsettled. Pedestrian traffic is typically non-existent. But I always find that ONE pedestrian who just pisses me off. They want to use the cross walk at the wrong time; they think it’s clear to cross, my side turns green, yet I wait for them to cross while people are honking their horns in frustration. Other times they cross the street instead of walking to the corner stopping the flow of traffic like it’s New York City. But these feelings are reduced when I drive through the countryside on my way to work.

We all work in environments where some people just get on our nerves. My tolerance of my fellow co-workers is another issue. Every day, I start work with a clean slate. Yet it only takes a few minutes before I’m back where I was yesterday. No matter how hard I try to leave it at the door when I leave work each night, it’s just not easy. Unfortunately, talking to anyone is a waste of my time. A change of job was suggested, however no matter where I go in the medical field or another profession, this type of environment is not going to change.

This is what exhausts me each day. I see how it wears me down during the day. My forgetfulness of what needs to be done at work rises because my frustration/anger side tracks me. I feel guilty because I broke yet another promise made earlier in the day. There really is no way out. It’s like being a mouse in a running wheel for the entirety of my day.

Same shit. Different day.