Thank you bunches

I feel the need to write a gratitude list for a few reasons. 1. I haven’t done it in a long while & it’s an important part of my recovery program.  2. With all the hate, lack of compassion, arrogance, & nonsense in our world today,  it is, at times, difficult to be mindful let alone grateful.  3. I have ALOT to be grateful for.  So, without further ado, my gratitude list.

1. My sobriety & continued growth in my recovery…. Enough said:)

2. M&M… These 2 continue to keep me on my toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

3. My family: My momma & sisters.  I can’t tell them how grateful I am that they didn’t give up on me when I was in the throes of my alcoholism.  These days I  honored to be a big sister, daughter, and aunt.

4.  My bestie Kerry.  There really are no words, you know me, & get me.  Through thick & thin you have stuck by my side, especially when I ‘thought’ I was all alone.

5.  A few of my friends in recovery including my sponsor,  who, have been by my side since the beginning….& who I can count on always. (I’m talking about you Melanie & Reggie:).

6.  My BB family, especially Leah, Lauren, Kim, & Whitney.   I know I have said it before, but I’m gonna say it again; there is a reason you all came into my life when you did.  My new venture is only just beginning.

7.  My new found passion for  healthy eating & fitness.  If you told me 3 years ago I would be eating zoodles instead of noodles, kale, & working out 4-5 times a week, I wouldn’t of believed it.  But truth be told,  I love my new healthy lifestyle. Its not always easy, but its so worth it.

8.  Fall:  My FAVORITE season:).

9. Manicures: got one today, haven’t had one in a long time….its nice to get pampered:).

10.  My boyfriend.  Its still pretty new, but its so refreshing to be with someone whom I can be my complete self & feel completely content.  Thank you for being you:)

11.  Books.  I’m in the middle of reading 2. My favorite pasttime for sure:).

12. Snickers ice cream…its delicious, its my new favorite..seriously  the best!!!…you know who you, who introduced me to it & has created a monster;).

13. My work family(last but not least).  You gals are the absolute best!! I love coming to work, not just because what we do is so rewarding, but because I look forward to the daily shenanigans:)

☺❤✌

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What’s a Holiday without a Holliday Celebration?

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What a weekend! I’m exhausted, but so damn happy, content, & grateful. I’m not being corny here either;). This weekend was not only a 3 day’er , it was the wedding of one of my cousins. I have a large extended family on my mom’s side which includes approx 26 cousins & spouses, significant others. These days getting together is rare, as everyone has busy lives & we live all over the country. Fortunately for this event, just about everyone came to Cleveland for the festivities. It was one giant party for 3 days…. I went into the weekend prepared to have my guard up, as I knew their would be a lot of drinking. It wasn’t that I was so concerned that I would be tempted, those cravings are long gone. I was worried I wouldn’t have fun, wouldn’t feel included, and would become irritated & annoyed with everyone else.
That’s a whole lot of should of and could of’s….a lot of self-serving thoughts…seriously, isn’t this all about me??;)…Man, as the words come stumbling out, I’m rather embarrassed by my presumptuous ideas. Alcoholic(selfish) thinking never completely goes away. And that’s OK, I’m definitely not perfect;). What is important is that I recognize it before it takes over my psyche.:)

So, I will say this….I am overcome with gratitude towards my wonderful, fun-loving, goofy, caring, & loving family. We are a motley crew, but, the outpouring of love and kind words bestowed on me through out the weekend was very humbling. I down play all my rough times. To me, I do what I have to do because my other choice(s) are devastating.
I am so very blessed to have these wonderful, unique, quirky, individuals in my life. Each one has a special place in my heart. Even though I am exhausted beyond belief(I think we all are;), I wouldn’t change a thing.
:)❤✌
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Oh yes, those pesky expectations causing havoc in my head.  It is MY expectations that cause the unrest.  This unrest causes me to become my own worst enemy. Self doubt & negativity take over.  The ‘I can’t, I wont, & I shouldn’t’ take center stage.

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When this happens I run the risk of feeling resentful,  & that my friends is a slippery slope for an alcoholic like me.

So, as of late when I become disappointed in myself because I didn’t accomplish a goal as I expected myself to.  Or an individual in my life doesn’t respond or behave in a way that I think they should, my first thought (& second) is always to beat myself up mentally & emotionally. 

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Why? All this does is set me up for resentments & self doubt.  My expectations are just that, MINE.  I want what I want when I want it no matter what.  I also expect others to think the same.  So when reality sets in, & things  dont go exactly as I expected,  the anger, sadness, & pity party begins.  So in essence this is a whole bunch of self centered behavior.  I’m not saying not to have goals, aspirations, & self confidence.  God knows I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t believe in my self, if I didn’t have hope.

Hope that is what its all about.  Hope that the hard work & dedication will pay off.  The hope that they will like me as I am, & if not oh well.  The hope that I can live the best life I was meant to live. The hope that I will continue to believe in myself & in others. 

Funny….as I write, my perspective changes….. I started this post with a different mindset.   But you know what, its exactly what I needed at this exact time.  Just goes to show that there is something, or someone bigger than me who knows exactly what I need.
❤✌

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Feeling Feelings….F@&#!!

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What a week!!!!

Happy, sad, confused, sick, frustrated, hurt, sick, worried, angry, sick, concerned, heartbroken, sick, embarrassed, jealous, sick, content…..

OK so obviously I’m sick, I don’t ‘do’sick well, & now I’m stuck on the couch really sick😟.  But in between denial of being sick, I experienced a roller coaster of emotions, & honestly, I don’t think in the last 2 years (since getting sober) have I actually felt so much raw emotion, like REALLY felt it.

I had to let go of someone I wasn’t ready to let go of,  but I know it was the right thing to do.  Wish like hell circumstances were different, but they  are not, & I can’t wave a magic wand & change them (there was a time when I thought I could!) .  It hurts, I’m sad, but I know I will be OK…(see progress not perfection)….

Divorce sucks!!! M&M are having a rough time right now. Maybe its post holiday ‘blah’s’, changes in schedules, colds, the moon…all of the above?  But they are sad which results in a sad, worried, angry, frustrated momma. Of course, all directed at one particular person, whom will remain nameless, but we all know whom I’m talking about.  Thinking in this way is not fair, its not all his fault.  Its the nature of divorce.  No matter how hard we try, & no matter how amicable we are; bottom line , our divorce affects M&M each & every day. Its hard work each & every day to make ‘divorce work’….hmmm. Some days are better than others.

Burnout.  I love my job (I think I’ve made that abundantly clear), but even the best of the best can’t prevent the wave of uneasiness I felt this week.  From feeling exhausted, inadequate, & questioning my critical thinking skills, my emotions were all over place. Ironically my workplace is typically the one place I feel 100% content, comfortable, & confident.  Hot mess is a good way to describe me at work this week. Self doubt filled me.  Not a good way to feel.

But I did feel it, I’ve been feeling  all these emotions ALL week.  I have been ALLOWING myself to feel the good the bad & the ugly.  It’s been very cathartic.  Honestly!! I haven’t felt such a wave of emotions in so long.  Drinking numbed everything….and when I wasn’t drinking or drunk, I felt like shit regardless of what was going on in my life.  What a horribly sad way to be.  Even as I write this, I’m cringing recalling what my alcoholism did to emotional health.

Even though this week has not been easy,  I can honestly say that at this moment I am content & feeling OK☺.

Everything is going as it should be…A small piece of my heart will always be with someone whom I have many memories,& I’m OK.  My kids are awesome, & will be better than OK. And because of my awesome team, work will get better.

Once again, I realize that I have so much to be grateful for & that my God has a wicked sense of humor & I’m OK with that, all of that.☺

What a ride this life is…

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✌🏿&❤

 

 

The other F word

screenshot_2015-12-12-18-14-29.pngFear, a nasty, ugly word that can paralyze & reek havok on any one or anything at any given time.  It knows no boundaries, it does not discriminate, it is not sympathetic or empathetic for that matter.  At times, when fear takes hold it may seem like you have absolutely no control (at least it does for me).  What am I so damn afraid of????  The unknown? The future? M&M’s well being? The well being of family & friends? Falling in love? Loneliness? Me?…

Honestly, all of the above & then some.

I have been thinking a lot  about fear & what ‘it’ is exactly & why ‘it’ is so crippling at times, & how it has affected my life, thus far.  A fellow blogger & recovery buddy Paul, recently discussed this on his podcast (please check out at BuzzKill Pod, the sound of change, on the SRN network, which can be found on sound cloud ).

He mentioned that as an active alcoholic, his drinking was driven by fear, fear of his true self mostly.  I had never thought about it in that way….and he is absolutely right. I drank not because I enjoyed it, I drank because I was scared to face reality, my life, soberly.  I was scared of what everyone thought or didn’t think of me.  I ‘thought’ that by drinking no one would find out that I was actually a terrified, little girl, who felt like she never fit in nor was ever good enough for her family, friends, or significant other.  My drinking covered all my fears… Until it didn’t anymore.

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Fear is just an excuse.  This is of course my own personal opinion. But after all the shit I have encountered the last few years, I am still here:).  Fear didn’t keep me from getting(although it tried its darnedest), & staying sober. Fear did not stop me from fighting for what’s  best for M&M.  Fear does not make me feel lonely or lost.  Fear does not stop me from trying new things, meeting new people, or standing up for what I believe in, even if others disagree with me.

It is very true that fear crippled me for years.  Today I am not afraid of the future, (besides I have no control over it).  I am not afraid to be alone, (there is a difference between alone & lonely.  I am, most definitely not lonely).  I am not afraid of me, in fact I really kinda like me these days. Yeah, I’m struggling to lose some weight, & I’m trying to get back into some sort of  shape, & money is tight, & I worry that my 3.5 year old son will never be potty trained… And lets not forget the  moments (sometimes long long moments) of self doubt & worry.  The difference today is, I have faith (another F word).

Faith conquers fear, each & every time.  I’m a testament to that.  Had I cowered in all the fear & self hatred, I would most definitely  not be here today.  M&M would not have their mommy. My family would not have their daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, or friend. I would not have the choice to live a happy, fulfilling sober life. That is terrifying!

I chose to overcome fear and have a little (ok a lot of faith).  I thank God for that each & every day.

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A few words of advice

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Happy Thanksgiving friends! So I wanted to repost this piece from a year ago.  I still believe in the sentiment,  but another year in sobriety &  I am a tad more confident in myself & more self aware.   If anyone questions why I don’t drink I simply say I’m a recovering alcoholic and leave it at that….usually I get uncomfortable silence(not on my part) or a ‘wow, congratulations’….  

I guess what I am trying to get across is that it’s all about respect.  Something our society desperately needs these days.  I, myself am very comfortable talking about recovery and sobriety, but not everyone is like me, thank goodness:).  Just be respectful….that goes for me too… A grateful alcoholic….

Posted 11/2015:

Let me begin this post by saying that I am blessed and so very grateful for my friends and family who have supported and believed in me always, even during the dark times when I did not believe in myself.
My thoughts for writing this is because the holiday season kicks off later this week, which means lots of reuniting with friends and family, eating, and drinking.  For those of us in recovery, we want to participate in activities with our friends and family and not feel ostracized.  More on that in a moment.

So, I have been giving this topic some serious thought the last couple of weeks and comprised a short list of helpful hints for surviving the holidays for those in recovery and their loved ones.

1.  “So are you still doing the not drinking thing?”.  Asking this seemingly harmless question evokes some serious frustration.   I have been asked this on more than one occasion.  I just chuckle and usually reply with some sort of smart ass reply (passive aggressive, I know).  It wasn’t a fad nor did I give up drinking for lent. It’s my way of living :D.

2.   “You know, its all about will power”. Ummmm….no its not.  If this was the case,  thousands of addicts would be in recovery and not dying or living in despair.  I cannot speak for all recovering addicts, but I did not wake up one morning and say …hmmm, seems like a good day to be an alcoholic and destroy my life…
It’s a chronic disease! Just like diabetes and heart disease.   I am an alcoholic and I always will be. There is no cure.  I work everyday to stay sober.

3.  “No seriously, though how are you really??”.  (Asked repeatedly).  I understand and appreciate peoples’ concern , especially if I don’t see them often.  I know for many loved ones of addicts, the ‘wool was pulled over their eyes’ for years.  It may be difficult for them to know what to believe.  Asking once is fine, just leave it at that.

4.  Acting awkwardly or not knowing what to say .  I can only speak for myself, but be your self!  I am me, a better version of myself, but me.  That means I still love to have fun, laugh, be sarcastic, and inappropriate (at times;).  I enjoy social gatherings whether it be at someone’s home or venue.  I know when I have to excuse myself and hit the road.  I am comfortable being around those drinking.  I always have my club soda or diet coke in hand.  Reality is, drinking is a big part of social events, especially during the holidays.  I’m OK with that, if I’m not, then I will excuse myself.

5.  Respect the space.   Often, once a fun holiday party gets going, noise levels gets higher, everyone loves everyone else,  personal space is non existent. I get it, I did it for years.  That being said,  if I leave early, or sit quietly in another room, please give me my space and don’t be offended. We’ve all been the ‘sober one’, the frivolity can be a little over whelming at times.

6.  I want to be at events and I want to have fun, treat me like any other guest.

My tips are meant as a guideline.  I have experienced them all.   While I do understand the why and that ‘they mean well’, a little sensitivity and awareness makes a difference.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I am grateful for so much and truly humbled by all that I have experienced this year.

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