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LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.

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Going Forward (with clarity)   Sobriety/Recovery Journals

Started 2/16/14 by Elsie (Elsiek); 35802 views.
Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

11/19/18

Hi Mary and everyone!

Been a while since I visited- yes, the new layout looks good! Felt a bit rubbish for a while but I'm just digging into my new routine. We are set to get planning to build in our garden- we have a third of an acre and we really can't manage it, although that rather begs the question of whether I/we can actually manage a building project. It is exciting though. I've been looking through the web pages of Extinction Rebellion, which blocked five bridges over the Thames on Saturday and consequently got a lot of exposure. The information on the site is, sadly, all too credible-that we are unlikely to restrict global warming to 1.5 c  and the catastrophic effects of a 2 c rise which is still a conservative estimate of where we are headed. I do fear for our children. But it has given me extra resolve to build our house to be as energy efficient as possible, with well planned solar panels and as many aspects of the passifhouse that we can muster. We do tend to have doors open for the dog, and I'm a big fan of fresh air, so we won't manage it completely. I have already resolved that I will use all the furniture we already have- and work the decor around it, which is a bit of a challenge aesthetically when moving from a centuries old thatch to a new build- but it creates a brief and a discipline. I'll be honest, I'm not quite up to lying down on Vauxhall Bridge in protest at the lack of government action, but if I can turn up in twinset and pearls with a folding chair and a box of flapjacks I might lend my support in future. The twinset and pearls being a fiction of course, but visiting the Facebook page made me wonder if dreadlocks and nose piercings are essential for supporters. I make light but actually I'm very very worried at our collective climate change denial. Our own gestures seem so small. And here Brexit seems to occupy every waking moment. I suspect it will ultimately feel like a pointless distraction from the bigger issues. And Macron is in my view right- we need a strong united Europe more than ever with Trump and Putin to contend with.

Hope all is well with you, and I sincerely hope your summer is not as dry and hot as your last one. 

E xx

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

11/19/18

Hallo, you! I'm dying to hear more and look at plans and pics, etc. There is such collective denial in the face of so many eco-crises and 'inexplicable' weather fluctuations that we all need to think about living differently. And joining protest marches.

We had rain at the end of winter, an unseasonal heatwave and then colder weather, no idea what's in store, worrying about wildfires in January. Planting herbs though and wild berry/nectar bushes for birds.

Good to see you here!

xMary

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

Dec-26

Hi Mary

I hope you are having a restful festive period. I have had a tricky run up to it in the last week- a rather dodgy end of term meeting with the school headteacher, the gist of which is that I'm crap at discipline, too down with the kids, and something of a disruptive force as far as the teaching staff are concerned.  I have felt more and more like my face didn't fit as the term went on. I had a rather better meeting with the class teacher I work with, in so far as it was a proper discussion rather than just me and the headteacher jointly decimating my character, which was more or less what it felt like in the first meeting. Upshot, trying to decide whether to hand in my notice now or try to tone myself down for another term and then go. Its not a great thing to be pondering over Christmas.  It is however a fortuitous if painful turn of events with regard to my therapy- how I have reacted to it all has been very typical of my lifelong pattern. Do I run and hide? Do I front it out? Ideally I want to make some adjustments but as I said to the teacher, I'm not going to be able to sort a personality transplant out any time soon. Hard to fully explain but I feel it is actually an important learning experience. 

anyway, wishing you a very happy new year. 

We got planning permission by the way, so I might not be suited for a long term return to the classroom (I never was) but I do have a house build to oversee. EEk. Scary but exciting. 

Love

Louise xx

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

Dec-28

Hi L

Sorry to be so slow in replying but I got a bad Pink Eye (conjunctivitis) infection before Xmas and then sinusitis and a chest infection, not nice in the heat. I have a fridge filled with cheeses and  a freezer with duck breasts and salted caramel ice cream and gammon. No appetite at all. My partner also fluey and subdued, chicken soup, weak tea and toast. Staggering heat and then rain at last. The Cape beautiful as ever.

Ugh, that school sounds hideous. You know, I can't work out what their problem is except that you don't do things as they do. Why don't they get a personality transplant en masse?

L, what do YOU feel you would want to change about your style of interacting and teaching? Years ago I worked as a junior editor in educational publishing and rebelled, hated it, was unpopular and criticised for 'not fitting in'. One evening I met up with two very successful older friends who worked in publishing and they both said, on hearing where I worked, 'That place is moribund and dysfunctional, get out.' My feeling is that this might be more about them than you.

Having said that, I'm not sure you should leave until something within you if not them has been resolved. Is there too much identifying with the teen learners? Defiance of authority, old adolescent feelings coming up inside you? What I don't understand is why your 'personality' is the focus rather than the quality of your work, unless they feel your attitude is undermining the staff. What does disruptive mean? That you laugh too much? I can see that this would be really helpful as material for therapy but I'm not sure it is a learning process in itself.

How is the work, the response in the classroom, the marking or researching beforehand, the experience of teaching and assisting a teacher? That would be of interest to me because that is what I'd expect you to enjoy. When I was tutoring I loathed the marking and exam invigilating etc, but found the conversations in seminars to be really stimulating. I spent so much time thinking about pedagogy and all of us learning together, developing listening and writing skills, finding ways to respond creatively to assignments, empowering students who needed more time and attention, the question of how we get to enjoy and appreciate difficulty as complexity. I read Paulo Freire on revolutionary pedagogy. How can we encourage students to take risks in their work? If students respond more strongly to visual literacy or music, how do we bring those elements (art, videos, music) into science or composition classes?

And a major goal of learning for me is about freedom, that the student should feel confident and free to experiment. For that to happen, the teacher needs to be laidback, empathetic and open to the experimentation.

I'm really not sure the critical feedback at this school is about you.

More when I rise from my sickbed.

Love

xxMary

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

Dec-29

Hi Mary, and sorry to hear you have been so poorly. I hope you are on the mend now. 

Yes, I identify too much with the kids (they are 10-11, still quite enthusiastic and sweet.) I also have to rein myself in when something is being taught to the whole class- I get enthusiastic and want to add things to what the teacher has presented and it is very plain that is not acceptable to the teacher. So I have stopped doing it. When a child is disciplined, it is my reflex to side with the child! I'm sure this is something from childhood. I myself never needed disciplining- I naturally wanted to please, and always enjoyed learning. I was however sometimes actually disciplined for being too keen, too enthusiastic, allegedly hogging class time and preventing other kids from contributing. This last point is a teacher's issue of course, not a child's.  But I recall several occasions on which I was very unjustly put down by teachers. It even happened a couple of times at university. As a teacher myself I never ever made able and keen students responsible for other students' lack of contribution. I was rather fond of group work and feedback as a way of spreading contribution. Anyway, I sound like I'm bigging myself up and I really had big weaknesses as a teacher due to my reluctance to get nasty.  I remember being told I was too easy on kids missing lessons and I needed to get harder. The first victim to my efforts was a sixth former who missed a class as her dog was having puppies. I told her it wasn't important enough to miss a lesson. She replied that it was 'important to her.' Good girl- she was absolutely right. I have never forgotten that and it always struck me that 'better discipline' could very easily lead to 'no empathy.'  I don't want to be the person who walks over kids' sensitivities in order to run a quiet class. 

Sometimes it worked the other way.  I trusted and listened to students, and expected the same in return. Just after my dad died suddenly, I saw a student working on the market. I stopped for a chat and told her I would be away for the first few days of term due to dad dying.  the girl was 17, in my tutor group. When I returned to college my head of division reported that said girl had missed college having 'returned late from a family holiday.' I had seen her two days before the start of term. I really struggled with this breach of trust. she knew she could go under the radar as I wasn't there. A couple of years later she wanted a reference to apply for midwifery, and I couldn't write it, I was still so outraged! That wasn't good or right of me. But what I think is probably fair is that I used to really struggle to separate my emotional life from my job- I couldn't always leave it at the door, and you do need to. In this latest job, I have actually been struggling with a period of depression, and I have managed to leave that at the door, but maybe I have overcompensated by being very buoyant and jolly.  I do remember that my Education tutor many years ago described my classroom style as ' a bouncing beach ball'.  But I can unfortunately often feel like a squeaky ball that has lost its squeak.  Maybe it is the flat squeakless ball that leads me to occasionally masquerade as the bouncing beach ball in an attempt to keep going. 

I still don't know what to do.  I'm not in it for the long term anyway, but I do have a loyalty to the children.  Not the school, not the teachers, just the kids. My husband pointed out the other day that I'm easy to blame, because I don't fight back.  I take it. 

I have a wedding today and need to get ready now. Thanks for the message. I think I'm just a bad fit. I should never have been a teacher. I made a bad career choice because of my lack of confidence to try something different, something grown up. I was never grown up enough to teach, and I'm still not. In some ways I don't want to think about this- it is food for my negative side, my internal gremlin. My therapist says I have been running from this vulnerability all my life. Maybe, but for good reason.  It is overwhelming. 

More later. 

Hugs, L xx

steverino63

From: steverino63

Dec-30

Hope you are rising from that sickbed. Pinkeye ain't a lot of fun. 

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

Dec-31

Thanks, Steve, am now battling a chest infection in the summer heat. Not a great start to 2019, but hoping the antibiotics kick in soon.

Happy New Year to you!

xMary

steverino63

From: steverino63

Dec-31

You continue to remain resilient through many events in life, Mary .... and a beacon to all on that.

Steve

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

Jan-1

Thanks, Steve -- I find many encouraging beacons and examples of resilience all around us in LifeRing. Good friendships over many years.

Happy sober New Year -- let's hope 2019 is kinder to us than 2018 has been!

xMary

steverino63

From: steverino63

Jan-1

Thanks, Mary. With Ning by the boards, I expect to start dropping in here more. 

Work continues to be frustrating. A month or so ago, I noticed our managing editor, who has lectured me before for not always being the best copy editor, mistook "ring" and "wring" (she meant the latter) in her weekly column. No way that can be a typo. And, you want me to care more, when you do that?

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