A Wink & A Smile

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I am all about the God winks these days.  It’s kinda funny because 2-3 weeks ago I had no idea what a God wink was, never heard of ‘it’ before.  I was browsing the self help section at Barnes & Noble ( I always end up there☺), & I came a cross the the book When God Winks at You, by Squire Rushnell.  It sounded interesting, it was small, only 200-some pages, & something I could easily get through quickly.  I purchased it, & started reading it almost immediately. It was shortly there after that I suddenly experienced my own God Winks.

An individual enters my life at a time I am questioning so much, coincidences & experiences that mirror my own.

An opportunity to help women, who are struggling with addiction & sobriety through sharing my story.

A heart to heart with my nine year old daughter whose compassion, empathy, & kindness, amazes me to no end.

For the longest time I was searching for the ‘a-ha’ moment, as if a bolt of lightening was going to bop me on the head!  At times I was way to busy, preoccupied, or not willing to listen to my inner self, (always trying to control!). I was not mindful of what God has in store for me.  All I needed to do was stop & listen.  No worrying  necessary.  Searching not required.
Just a little faith, that’s all I need.
☺❤✌🏿

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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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This last week has been difficult.  I’m experiencing sadness that has quite honestly, caught me off guard.  A life cut way too short, by cancer.  A family grieving for their mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend to many. (will refer to her as M)

As an oncology nurse, death unfortunately, can be a common occurrence.  It is never easy to lose a patient, no matter how long they are under my care, but with M it has been extremely difficult.  Why?  She wasn’t a patient of mine, but had come to me with questions about all that was going on with her.  We had known each other since childhood.  Although not close presently, there was a mutual respect and admiration for each other.

When I received the news of her passing, I felt like I was punched in the gut.  Honestly, I was in shock. I was overcome with grief.  I was sad, crying, mad, asking why, and praying. What I was not doing, was reaching for a drink. I didn’t temporarily numb my feelings, thinking it would make them disappear.  I didn’t crave or have any urge to go buy a couple bottles of wine, while trying to convince mysef that it would only be this one time.(yeah, right)

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Instead I called my sponsor, I read the big book, I went to the wake and funeral and let myself FEEL my FEELINGS.

It isn’t easy to feel these overwhelming feelings, but it definitely beats the alternative…

Losing someone sucks, their is no other way to say it, it just plain sucks!  How you cope and grieve is an individual ‘thing’.  I am not here to judge.  For me, as a grateful alcoholic, I know that not feeling my feelings will lead to fear and resentments which will lead to triggers, which eventually could lead to relapse.  And that scares the shit out of me.

Once again my handy dandy recovery tool belt saves the day!

I also rely on hope and faith.  The hope that my sadness will lessen over time, and that my faith in God and in myself will enable me to continue to do the next right thing.  I also have tremendous hope and faith that M’s family will eventually find peace and that their grief turns to hope.

Rest in Peace M.

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What a difference a year makes!!

You could never know what its like

Your blood like winter freezes just like ice

And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you

You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use.

And did you think this fool could never win

Well look at me, I’m coming back again

I got a taste of love in a simple way

And if you need to know while I’m still standing you fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

I’m still standing after all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing…

Elton John

                                                                                   

I’m here, I have arrived.  1 year, 365 days, 8,760 hours.  Although to get technical today marks my last drunk, tomorrow marks my 1st sober day.   I get confused as to which day is the official anniversary, so I plan on honoring both😊.  There would be no sober date without the last drunk date.

Holy cow!  A lot has happened over the last year!  The biggest, waking up in a hospital, ashamed, sad, and scared; but utterly relieved that I didn’t have to lie or hide or feel like crap anymore…I had Surrendered, and Admitted that I was completely Powerless over alcohol.  I was so ready to feel better and move on.  Little did I know how difficult that would be. Through  heartache, resentments, anger, dishonesty, selfishness, and depression (just to name  few),  I have persevered and found my true self, a scared, lonely, unhappy little girl, to no fault but her own.  I discovered the reasons for my addiction, more importantly, why I fed the disease.

Glenda from the Wizard of Oz said it best; “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” (I know I’ve used this quote in a previous post;)

That power includes genuinely liking me, for who I am, I am exactly who, where, and what I should be, (this is still a work in progress, darn control issues;).   My faith and spirituality has changed and grown immensely.  My kids have their mom who is present every day and love them more than words.  I have a job that I am truly passionate about, and my coworkers and patients can depend upon on me.  And my family and friends’ know the real and healthy Katie.

I am entirely grateful to those who have saved my life (some remain anonymous, but I know who you are and carry you close to my heart).  Without the program of AA, my ‘sober sisters’, sponsor, the Cleveland Clinic alcohol and drug recovery program, and most importantly my higher power(God), I would be broken, or in jail, or dead.  By the grace of God I’m still here, standing, excited for the future, but living in the moment, one day at a time.