Thanksgiving and the holidays are quickly approaching and its at this point in time that I start thinking about my sobriety anniversary as well.  I like to reflect on my journey….keeps me humble.

I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I was meant to experience all that I have over the last few years.  The heartache, the jealousy, the shame (lots of it), the loss, the anger (lots of that), and the fear….all of it….and I wouldn’t change a damn thing…not one single thing…

Its hard to put into words why and how I exactly feel this way…I just do…. My recovery has been life changing, life altering really.  I didn’t just stop drinking,  I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I stopped the self loathing, I stopped being afraid of what everyone else thought, I stopped disrespecting myself and everyone who cared about me when I didn’t.  If I’m being honest,  the not drinking was the easy part.  All the other stuff, not so much. It requires attention and work each and every day.  Everyday I make a conscious decision to be grateful, to be kind, to be present, to be mindful.  I don’t always succeed at everything everyday,  I’m not perfect;), but I try.

When I first got sober, not drinking was the most important and biggest challenge.  Today, I am grateful I don’t have the urges or cravings to pick up a drink, but I am aware that those feeling could creep back at any moment.  Today my biggest challenge is being the best I can be.  That means, being grateful for something even if its the crappiest day ever.  It means being kind to those who don’t exhibit kindness back, or whom I may not agree with….for I do not know what battles they are up against.  It means being a positive, loving example to my kids, my friends, my family, and my co workers; at a time when society is not so positive and loving.  It means being honest with myself, and those I care about.  

And if I’m being honest, its not always easy living life this way.   

Some days are just plain shitty.  Some days I want to throw the covers over my head and not speak to anyone.  Sometimes I just want to throw a temper tantrum like my son…..I don’t….but I want too…. On days like these, I step back and think how far I have come….it wasn’t that long ago I was drinking every day to numb everything…  That my daughter was going to bed by herself because her mom was passed out… That I was unloveable and alone because I couldn’t love myself…and my kids would be better off if I was dead…. Lowest of the low….despair….

Fast forward to today…..

My kids are my world….and they teach me about true unconditional love everyday.  I have a new renewed passion for eating well and exercising.  My job is taking me to new heights and I am so grateful to be in a career that I truly love. I’m in a healthy relationship that is loving and honest.   Fear doesn’t control me, its just a feeling that I acknowledge & move past.   I live in the present. I love me.

So yes, I am grateful for going through hell.  And yes I was born for this wild wacky journey….I wouldnt want it any other way.

:)✌❤ 

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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:)

☺❤✌

A Fresh Start & Still Learning

Wow!  A lot of what is stated in this quote has happened, is happening!   This year I’ve embarked on new adventures.  Fitness & health being the biggest & quite honestly the scariest.  I don’t know why either.  I have no problem being honest about my sobriety & recovery, but when it comes to weight loss & exercise I clam up?!  I’m still working on the why’s of that one!??  I started the year off with my heart broken (or so I thought).  In retrospect, it was my expectations that caused the heartache.  I have learned to go with flow & let affairs of the heart happen naturally, & guess what?! I am capable of doing that & I am quite content☺.  M&M & I moved recently.  It wasn’t a big move in terms of distance, but one that mentally & emotionally means a lot.  We moved away & said goodbye to a place where a lot of shit went down.  Fortunately little M is to young to recall, but his sister certainly does.  It was definitely time to close the door on that chapter (not forget), of our lives.  To be honest, a huge sigh of relief.  The three of us are in a brand new place where we can make our own memories. That makes me happy☺.

Then I think about me.   I like to say I’ve come a long way since starting this blog nearly 2 years ago!! WOW!!. I’ve been re-reading my first posts.  It was  definitely progress, not perfection☺.  I was so freshly sober, so happy riding the infamous pink cloud, so spouting off anything and everything AA.  And you know what?,  that was OK.  I was  at a point where I was still struggling with the day to day recovery stuff.  I wasn’t yet completely comfortable with my new normal.  I still didn’t know what this ‘new’ Katie was all about.  I still had a lot of resentments to let go off.
All that being said, I’m still not where I  want to be today. I am striving each and everyday to be better. Not perfect, not searching for more of anything,  just better than I was the day before. Just plain grateful, its that simple.  

I think the biggest thing I have learned since starting this blog, is how important it is to be mindful.  Everyday, & yes everyday I take 5 minutes to just be…. I clear my head, I pray, I say thank you, I think, I reflect, I journal, I breathe…anything where I focus on the inner me.  Without these 5 minutes, the negative, nasty, scared Katie may rear her ugly head…& nobody, especially me wants that!

So I decided to attach my very 1st blog post. Once again its a great reminder of how far I have come, and how there is absolutely nothing I want more in this world than continue on this road of life; sober, healthy, happy road, & whatever surprises that are in store for me.

☺❤✌

October 2014  

Letting Go

No this isn’t about the now infamous Disney song, I promise not to break out the lyrics.  How often do we say to family, friends, or significant others “Just let it go”.  How many times is it spoken to us or more importantly do we say it to ourselves?  The words just roll off the tongue like they are no big deal, a shrug of the shoulders, say it, do it, wipe the slate clean, and move on.  If it was only that simple.  If it was, broken hearts, broken relationships, missed opportunities, feelings of hurt, guilt, and shame, and the should of’s, could of’s, would of, would not monopolize so much of our time, our minds, and our hearts.

Speaking from personal experience, letting go has been both a positive and negative experience.  Over the last 10 months I have learned to let go of a lot of garbage, toxic stuff I was carrying around.  That’s the thing about getting sober, it forces you to examine just about every aspect of one’s life.  The good the bad the ugly.  I spent so many years feeling inadequate, unhappy, and generally sad.  I carried so many feelings of shame over my behavior, especially when I would drink.  Learning why I felt this way, why I drank, and letting it go has been freeing, life changing.  That’s not to say that I don’t struggle with feelings of inadequacy or sadness, the difference is that I know how to deal with those feelings, and I do it without picking up a drink or other unhealthy behaviors.

But not all situations and circumstances are easy to let go of, broken relationships, wondering what if I had only done this, or what if I try this, creep into my head.  My mind is taken over by self-righteous thoughts of, well why the hell not me!  I pray and try bargaining with my higher power (I call God), please give me another chance.

The funny thing is, that I know that God has a plan in place, he has since day one, I need to let go of control.  10 months ago I started this journey, it most definitely has not been easy, everyday I must make a conscious effort to let it go, the past that is, life is so much simpler and I am so much better off living in the now.  Does that mean I completely forget the past?  No, of course not, I have respect for it, but I need to move forward and not dwell on the should of, could of, would of.  Everyday I need to remind myself to let it go, whatever it may be.  I know I will be ok:)

Sparkle on

Happiness, contentment, being comfortable in my own skin. 3 attributes that I can confidently say I now hold close to my heart and strive to exhibit each and everyday.  Why? Because I have come so far from the scared, lonely, unlovable (in my mind), desperate girl I once was.  I now know that fear is just a feeling, it can’t control me.  I love the woman I have become and know that I don’t need to or want to compromise my beliefs, integrity, or values for any one or anything.  I feel so much hope and am excited for what my future holds.

Does this sound like a whole lot of rainbows and unicorns and pink fluffy cloud crap?   Perhaps, but gosh darn it,  I feel so damn good:)

Life is just plain fabulous right now, and for once in my life I am not constantly waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’ so to speak, or waiting for the bad stuff to occur,  because I can’t possibly be on the happy train for too long.  I finally figured out that I cannot control a darn thing.  I am merely along for the ride.  That being said, I can choose how I feel and how I want things to affect me. Today, I choose to just be.

A large part of my contentment can be attributed to my renewed interest in fitness. Over the last several months I have embarked on a journey that has led me to a healthier way of eating and enjoying exercise like I used to.  I now have a fabulous group of women in my life who push me, support me, and hold me accountable for my actions with regards to health and fitness.  I have come to believe that it’s not a coincidence that they entered my life when they did….my 2 year sobriety mark.  I am slowly but steadily getting back into the shape I was years ago.  It’s so much more than shedding the pounds. Mentally and emotionally I am stronger. 

I think the biggest change that I have noticed most recently,  is the sparkle in my eye, which to be honest, I never noticed before.  I wonder if it actually ever existed?  I was so miserable for so many years, I do not think sparkle was even an option.  How sad is that?? What makes me proud is that others are noticing it too.  Some want to know my ‘secret’.  No secret….I had to endure a lot of shit(wouldn’t change it), and worked my butt off to change my behavior, in fact I’m still a work in progress and always will be.  But thats OK, I’m happy with that.
So the sparkle it’s legit.  My ‘new way’ of living has a whole lot to do with that….more importantly my sobriety and recovery has everything to do with that!

Grateful for my sparkle.☺❤✌

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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Changes in Attitude

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Ain’t that the truth?!  I try, I really, really do try, to make a conscious effort to have an optimistically positive attitude.  But man,  there are times, days, situations, or events, where my attitude is, shall I say, negative, crappy,  maybe even a bit pessimistic?.
This past week is the perfect example of how a change in my attitude changed my entire perspective.

My week started with the sun shining,  I was feeling happy, grateful, and ready to tackle the week ahead!  (I know, way to happy for a Monday:).  Content, I was feeling content.  By Monday evening after a series of unfortunate events, my attitude had done a complete 180 degree turn.  I was experiencing a poor me attitude.  Mind you these ‘unfortunate events’ were not life threatening nor earth shattering.  Just slight detours in day to day living, vinets so to speak.  And if I am being 100% honest (which is the main objective of this blog), I was responsible for the biggest ‘hiccups’ that caused the distress.  But it was sooooo much easier to blame something or someone else.  It was  soooooo much simplier to say ‘but poor me, no body has it as bad as I and no body can possibly understand what I am going through’.   At the time it felt so much easier to sit in my own ‘muck’ and complain and wallow in self pity and doubt, than to say ‘ you know what, yes this sucks right now, but it doesn’t have to be this way.   What can I do to change it?

I took a moment to step back, and reflect at all I have and how much I have to be grateful for.  I was reminded how there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for! Most of the  week I spent wallowing in self pity and wasn’t feeling the least bit grateful, which resulted in a shitty attitude.  I did get over myself, but not until I had cried it out….more than once;).   I made a plan, executed that plan, and guess what?,  everything came out ok :). I even learned a lesson or two.  But the best part is that I stayed sober, my recovery fully intact.  Picking up a drink after my bad day(s) didn’t even cross my mind…now that is a miracle, that is a change in attitude!

Today I was able chuckle at myself while sharing my escapades at an aa meeting.   I don’t think, no I know,  I wouldn’t be able to laugh at myself, let alone share my misteps with others a few years ago.  I was to sick, way to wrapped up in selfishness and self pity, and topped off with a poor attitude.  I don’t expect myself to be happy go lucky Katie all the time, that’s ridiculous! Not too mention completely delusional.  What is acceptable is to have an attitude of gratitude every day, those days will carry me through the bad ones.  Because in the end, life is too short for a bad attitude. ❤✌:)

Attitude By Charles Swidoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company…a church…a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.

 

 

A Gratitude List & a Kick in the Pants

Today is Easter! The most important Christian Holiday of the year, so much more important than chocolate and bunnies. A day that celebrates the resurrection, new life, and new beginnings.
The sun is shining and it’s actually warm out. I have my kids this weekend and we’ve been busy with all kinds of fun activities. So why is it that instead of enjoying this day and all my blessings, I’m feeling grumpy and ungrateful? Why don’t I care or want to celebrate hope, new beginnings, and spring? I honestly have no good reason…I guess you could say a pity party for one…
I need a kick in the butt! I have so much to be grateful for!!! It wasn’t to long ago that I was getting my new life, my new beginnings…I need to reflect on that.
So without further ado, my springtime gratitude list!

1. My sobriety and recovery. Without it I have nothing! I was reminded of this fact at a meeting recently…it can be taken away I’m a flash. I must protect it always!

2. M&M. The absolute loves of my life, my pride and joy, who love me unconditionally and accept me as I am. I don’t know 2 greater kiddos:)

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3. New relationships. I have recently met some pretty amazing individuals, whom have made me think harder, laugh more, and feel stuff for real:)

4. My job. It is filled with so much teamwork, admiration, laughter, and tears. I can honestly say I have the best job ever! New opportunities lie ahead for me as well. I could not say that a few years ago.

5. Family:) So much exciting stuff going on! I am fortunate to be witness to the excitement and I have been the one my sisters have been leaning on and looking to for advice and support…that was most definitely not the case in the past.

6. Faith. My faith is at an all time high. I believe without a doubt God has a kick ass plan for me, and I just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s all about those God winks…his way of telling me ‘hey, Kate, I’m here, and I got your back’:)

7. Mindfulness. Not always easy, but essential and I feel that at this present point in time I actually feel at peace. That doesn’t mean that everything is perfect in my life (it never will be), but at this exact moment I am calm, I am at peace, and I am content.

8. Dry Shampoo. Ok it’s time for a silly one, but seriously, how did I not know this product existed before?? Goodbye washing daily and hello voluminous hair!:)

9. Netflix. Another silly one, but I definitely have a relationship with Netflix and I will admit it wholeheartedly! Netflix doesn’t disappoint! I can switch up genres fast forwarded, rewind, pause, or sit for hours uninterrupted.

10. Love Myself: I have been working my ass off to get back into some sort of shape and have totally revamped my nutrition. I really like the gal I a!m becoming. I love the inner of Katie, that obviously has been my focus the last 2.5 years and continues to be each and everyday. My physical appearance has taken a beating but is making a comeback. I gonna be better than ever:)

Hmm…I think I feel better already!
Amazing what a little gratitude does for the soul! ☺❤👍

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But Why

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I have been doing some serious soul searching lately & asking myself a lot of questions, & patiently (maybe not so much), waiting for answers….or maybe they are right in front of me, & I just can’t or won’t see them.

I find myself asking a lot of why’s….
Why do I insist on making situations harder for myself?
Why do I have to be such a sensitive sap?
Why does my heart have to be the one broken all the time?
Why do I have to be an alcoholic?
Why can’t I run like I used too?
Why can’t losing weight being as simple as gaining it?
Why do I only get to be a parent 50% of the time?
Why can’t cancer just go away? (I’d find another nursing speciality).
Why can’t Adele write chippier (is that even a word??!) music? (I’m kinda obsessed with her latest album).
Why can’t I get my kids to brush their teeth on a regular basis?

OK, so a few of these are silly, but so am I at times.

You see, I have been in a funk with a capital F.
I’m so very good at putting on a happy face;(please refer to a few lines above), when in reality, I’m sad.  Depressed. No. A Funk yes.  The difference…..I know it’s not gonna last forever. I still want to be a productive worker bee in society. I still enjoy stuff & in fact,venturing into some new activies…  Stay tuned☺.

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I guess I’m having a hard time letting myself be sad.  For some reason I feel like I have to be happy, go lucky, Katie ALL THE TIME.  I have to be loving sobriety & basking in a recovery glow 24-7. (Crap that is a lot of pressure!).  Truth is, I don’t want to be this all the time. Sober, ABSOLUTELY! There is no doubt in my mind of any other way for me to live.  That being said, is it always easy?  No.   I guess I feel like I’m expected to happy, joyous, & free all the time.  News flash…I don’t feel so happy, joyous, or free all the time.  I feel sad, I feel lonely, I feel exhausted, I feel frustrated. Recovery is hard, it’s a full time job.  Its also the most rewarding ( tied with being a momma).  As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I am only to blame for feeling like I have to be perfect & happy all the time.  It’s my own expectations of how I think I should be & how I think situations & environments around me should be. Damn expectations get me all the time!!!

Light bulb moment!!!
Maybe I should step back & look at how far I have come over the last couple of years.  Maybe I should dig a little deeper and say well why not me?  Maybe I need to stop beating myself up over decisions & situations that I have absolutely no control over, & that the only thing I can control is how I react.  Maybe I already know the answers to many of my whys.  Maybe its OK to feel blah….but instead of dwelling in the muck I need to make a gratitude list and be grateful!
Maybe I should take a deep breath, be mindful, & trust in God that I’m OK enough & that I’m gonna be OK.

Oh and maybe I should switch from Adele to something with a little more pep.☺

✌&❤

 

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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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✌🏿&❤