When the Going Gets Tough, Hide and Hope for the Best

The last week or so has demonstrated more lows than highs. They say when it rains, it pours. I don’t know that I agree with that, but bad news always comes in waves.

For many military members and veterans, certain anniversary dates carry more weight and are harder than others. September 11 is one of mine. I was active duty at the time and participating in the exercise that was taking place that day. The exercise was to test U.S. Air Force response times to airborne threats. Ironically, for many of us, that day was seen as a failure of what we were practicing for.

That anniversary was followed by a pair of vehicle registration renewal inspections that should have been routine, but saw my vehicle out of commission for the better part of a week and a surprise $2k repair bill.

In the midst of all that, I did manage to meet a submission deadline for an art piece that I’m still waiting to hear back from. More information on that will be coming when I know more.

I also completed a pair of art projects for step-grandkids. Since those are sort of surprise Christmas presents for them, those will be revealed around Christmas to keep the surprise intact for them.

I’ve got a couple of reviews I’ll be posting this coming week. One for a book and one for a movie, both of which will definitely carry high recommendations from me.

Oh, and by the way, I know the science behind full moons, Friday the 13th, and depression says there’s no connections there. But that was absolutely a strange weekend for me.

Bad Days and Not So Bad Days

When I rebooted this blog, I made a promise to myself and the readers that I would never sugar coat things here. I don’t see how my experiences can help others if I falsely portray things as always okay and never experiencing bad days.

The past week and a half has been filled with bad days and not so bad days. A couple of days ago, irritability, agitation, and anxiety kept me awake until about 3am. Then, I followed that by sleeping in until noon the next day.

At first, I thought maybe I’d overcommitted myself. That may still be true. I’m not convinced that’s not part of the problem. I have several art projects running with deadlines coming within weeks, I’ve got writing projects in various stages of completion, I’m struggling to write absurd humor in a period where absurd humor seems to be the new normal of the real world.

I struggle with the issue of art, writing, and resources. I’m in one of the most productive periods of my life. However, I find us just making ends meet. Part of me thinks a new job search is order. Part of me worries that a new job search and a new job would reduce my creative productivity.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to spend some time in Azeroth, while I mentally work though some world building for my own writing.

Good Days, Bad Days

As anyone who’s ever fought with depression and anxiety knows. we have good days and bad days. Fortunately, the last couple of weeks were mostly on the good side and definitely on the busy side. In addition to working around prep work for the Fleur de lis exhibition, I’ve been lining up the next few rounds of projects. I’m just hoping I don’t over-commit myself as I’m usually prone to do and then end up regretting my project schedule on the bad days that will come along.

In the time between my Fleur de lis prep-work and now, Blizzard released the 8.2 Rise of Azshara patch World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. I’ve been actively watching the Women’s World Cup tournament and cheering on the American team. And, of course, in the U.S. we’ve also celebrated Independence Day this week. So, non-work hours have been and continue to be busy.

In art projects, I’m already doing pre-work and design work on projects for the next three Soulard Art Gallery exhibitions as well as a couple of personal projects. I also do church sanctuary and altar decorations and started working through the next few months projects for that.

In writing projects, I’ve signed up for and will be attending a Veterans Creative Writing Group through the St Louis Va Medical Center. This is a once a week session with writing based on a prompt and then reading and responding to each other’s pieces. I’m also working on a couple of other writing projects, some of which will be appearing here soon.

Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.

Father Martin

Over at Sober Coaches 4 Living‘s blog they’ve got several videos of Father Martin.

I’m not Catholic, but as a long-time 12 stepper, I’ve seen Father Martin’s incredible videos before. This is a real treat and my thanks to the bloggers there for sharing these.

If you’re not familiar with Father Martin, or don’t know where to start, at the very least I recommend this video:

12 Steps of AA with Father Martin.

The Hardest Part of the Twelve Steps

The 12 Steps is a reoccurring theme here for multiple reasons. But first among them is I believe in them and I live by them.

The hardest part of the 12 Steps is Steps 8 and 9:

  • 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Of course, with these two steps the difficulty begins the first time through the steps. Part of the difficulty is not so much Step 8, it’s easy to make the list of people you’ve wronged. Step 9 is difficult in and of itself. You have to swallow your pride and apologize for things you’ve done that hurt others.

Step 9 is further complicated by a couple of caveats in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: 1.) “There will be other cases where action ought to be deferred, and still others in which by the very nature of the situation we shall never be able to make direct personal contact at all.” and 2.) “While we may be quite willing to reveal the very worst, we must be sure to remember that we cannot buy our own peace of mind at the expense of others.”

I mention this because part of the responsibility of a 12 stepper is a constant inventory and review. For me, it seems like every time I review through these two steps, someone who was on a previous Step 8 list and was unavailable for Step 9 contact suddenly becomes available for Step 9 contact.

And, once again, this happened recently.

Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.