I’m in one of those ballad moods. I’ve gone from Ella Fitzgerald to a couple of slow Dixie Chicks tunes to Chicago’s more dreary selections.

Dreary is such a good word.

But, I’m not deep down depressed. I’m tired. I’m quiet. I’m slow. Like a good ballad.

we’ve come too far to leave it all behind…

Good Al-anon meeting Monday. It got me thinking a lot about negativity, gossip, my general pessimism. When I look back on my growing up, I remember very little unconditional positive stuff coming at me. Especially after my maternal grandmother died (a trauma I’m still feeling). I think this overall negative mindset has carried on into my adult life. I wonder if I don’t believe, in some warped place, that gossip, bitchiness, and overall negativity are the normal and only ways to relate with and react to someone?

This is not to say that I am negative and mean to the people with whom I relate on a daily basis – quite the opposite, I assure you.

But there’s so much more going on beneath the surface.

I’m beginning to see the value of another AA slogan: trace it, face it, and erase it.

Now it’s Thursday morning (the above having been written Wednesday), and I’m in a belting mood. On the way to the train station, in the ten minutes I get each morning in my car, I belted Whitney Houston, and a funky shrieker (“I Don’t Wanna Be Alone”) from the School Daze soundtrack. Both of these numbers are part of a mix tape I made in eighth grade (!) that I’m lucky enough to still own.

So, I’m feeling belt-y. Probably in part because I’ve been seriously researching area vocal instruction, and just the hope of singing regularly – outside my car – has me flying high.

I also heard a fabulous profile of Sam Cooke on NPR this morning, which reminded me that a smooth voice and lyrics from the soul can live forever. I worry sometimes about my legacy. I want to create one.

The roller coaster of alcoholism continues its ups and downs with our family. Today may be a turning point; it may not. All we can do is support, wait, detatch, live our lives.

somehow I saw you as a weakness
I thought I had to be strong
oh but I was young, I was scared
I was wrong

4 thoughts on “Otherwise

  1. Confess, you were belting Come On Eileen, too weren’t you? I’m telling you, the No Doubt version rocks. Gwen does it justice.
    Interesting observations/insights about negativity up there – I honestly can’t relate to tthe childhood part of that, since I had just so much positive, unconditional reinforcement as a kid. Wish I could spill of mine over on you. >splash!<
    I’ve been feeling belt-y lately, too. Sing with me!


  2. I feel belt-y when I listen to Neko Case, especially her later stuff.

    It sounds like you are making some good progress with Al-Anon. I am proud of you for taking responsibility as usual. *hug*


  3. It’s been a really long time since my last Al-anon meeting. I learned so much about codependence, enablement and “tough love.” Good stuff if you have a good group. You’ll have to fill me in on the meetings and what they do…it will be interesting to hear what another group does.

    Take care!


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