Today is the Best Day

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Today is THE best day of the year!!!  I have been sober for 3 years, or 1,095 days to be exact.  January 2, 2013 I woke up in the detox unit of Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland .  Gleaming white walls, plastic covered mattress with sheets that felt like cardboard, a pounding headache, a snow storm brewing outside, all alone, and yet I distinctly remember feeling complete relief.  My game was up, everyone knew the truth, I didn’t have to lie to cover the lie that I lied about to my loved ones.  I had arrived, I had accepted that I was an alcoholic.  I surrendered my whole self to God and was ready to accept the help I so desperately needed and desired.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I don’t want to dwell on the past too much, for it just that, the past.  But it is important to me to reflect on where I came from.  It keeps me humble.  It also stirs something up inside of me that makes me feel uncomfortable and almost ill.  I think that something is the realization that I was horribly sick, a raging alcoholic, a sad, desperate, lonely, miserable woman, whom was dying inside.  Even as I type this, I pause, that feeling growing in the pit of my stomach.  I guess it’s a good feeling in that I know that I NEVER want to go back to that nightmare….like I said, it keeps me humble.

So fast forward to today….WOW!  I am in a place that I never imagined I would be 3 years ago.  I honestly LOVE my life, so much so I’m gonna say it again….I LOVE MY LIFE!  I have an intimate circle of family and friends.  I have the most rewarding career. My kids are THE best (I am biased), and I get along with their dad (my ex husband) better now than I have in years.  I am reaching fitness goals slowly but surely.  I embarked on a journey, a lifestyle change of clean eating.  I am in a healthy loving relationship with an amazing man, who is in recovery as well.  Getting sober and staying sober have made all this possible.  Without AA, without my sponsor Melanie, who has stood by my side since day 1….and then day 1 again… without God and the 12 steps, there is absolutely no way I would be here today…Day 1095….and God willing day 1096.

So what do I hope for in 2017?   To live in the moment and enjoy the little things each and everyday as they come.  I decided a while back that I was constantly waiting  for the next “big thing” or “waiting for other shoe to drop” or  speeding through stuff to get to the end result or the next item on my list.  Well guess what?  Life is too short…..its getting shorter…I realized that I was missing a lot….all kinds of special moments, a smile, a tender touch, a conversation….and so much more.  And for what?? Think about it for a minute….what is so darn important that you can’t pause for a moment and take in the silence? Hug your kid or loved one?  Listen to a friend for a few extra moments, let go of the petty stuff and live in the now!

How grateful am I that I can sit and type this as a sober woman?  I know too many who are still sick and ravaged by this horrible disease.  I thank God each and everyday for another day sober and for those who have stuck by me on the journey….My momma who is the heart and soul of our family, and who has been to hell and back with me.  I love you.  My 2 sisters, whom haven’t always understood “it” (and that’s ok),  but have always listened, empathized, and have forgiven their big sis for her selfishness.  M&M, the loves of my life, whom love their mommy unconditionally, whom have endured more than any young children should have too. I love you to the moon and back.  My bestie Kerry; through it all we have stuck by each other…in good times and in bad, sickness and in health:).  My partner in crime, Reggie….who knew those puzzles would play a role in our friendship and recovery.  My work family…..you never threw me to the curb, you don’t judge me and you are the most hilarious and ‘sick’ group of individuals that I am priveledged to work with on a daily basis.  My fellow blogging friends; especially Paul, you inspire me and keep me motivated on the writing and running track!  Last but definitely not least, Todd….I cant find the words…(shocking I know!) you came into my life when I least expected it.  You have my heart.

2017 is going to be the year of new adventures.  It goes along with my theme of living in the moment.  I have decided to run the Cleveland half marathon in may (already registered), a come back of sorts.  I am going to do more writing and lots of it.  Finally, I want to do more advocacy work in addiction.  Much of society still considers addiction a lifestyle choice, a bad habit of sorts.  Education is desperately needed.  This is a disease and I am the face of this disease.  I hope to make a difference.  I hope to help even one individual.

Well that about wraps up my anniversary post.  My heart overflows with gratitude.  I am excited to see what awaits in 2017….but will take each moment as they come and enjoy it!!

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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:)

☺❤✌

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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Pinky Swear with a Whole lot of Gratitude

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My heart is overfilled with love & grace for the 2 most important individuals in my life, M&M.  They are my everything, my world.  I am blessed that they call me mommy.  I have been reflecting on that tonight, mothers day eve.

It was just a few years ago that I nearly lost my kids to my addiction.  It tears me up to recall my behavior towards them.  2 innocent children who could not rely on their own mother to care for them.  I  am not going to dwell on this, instead the fact that they never gave up on me.  They forgave me, they too, show unconditional love towards me.  No drama, unselfish, honest, love.  I do the same in return.  The best gift I can give this mothers day is my presence in their life each & every day, with the promise to myself, as well as to them, to stay present in my recovery.

I have attached a post from November 2014. It’s pretty raw, & speaks to how addiction effects everyone in the family, especially children. 

I am blessed & grateful for all that has happened in my life, that has brought me to this day…Happy Mothers Day❤❤

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Pinky Swear

I am blessed with 2 awesome kids, a boy who is 2 and a girl who is 8.  I often refer to them as M&M (as I will when I write).  They truly are the loves of my life! They are hilarious, kind, loving, smart, inquisitive, and creative (of course I’m not biased;)).

Fortunately their dad and I want what is best for them and we both love them unconditionally, even if the two of us are not married anymore.  I am truly grateful and humbled that they call me mommy.

My drinking “took off” after M was born in 2006.  I recently came across journal entries where I wrote that I was concerned with my drinking and that I was going to change my ways for the sake of my family.  Wow!  Well, that never happened and the drinking escalated. Every family event, holiday, and impromptu gathering required alcohol, wine to be specific.  I recall several of my daughter’s birthday parties being wasted, and sadly and selfishly I don’t recall much else.  In the evenings, when I should have been playing with my daughter I was drinking.  When she asked me to read a story I told her to wait, because I was “busy”.  I missed many nights tucking her in….

When M was 6, her brother was born.  Her little brother idolizes his big sister, who acted as a little momma while their real mommy was drinking.  Late afternoon it was time to uncork the bottle, a few hours and a couple of bottles later, M was a better mommy.  In the spring of 2013 I entered rehab voluntarily.  I “left” my kids, the loves of my life for 18 days… they didn’t understand why their mommy left …. nor was it fair that they even had too.  It was the hardest 18 days, being away from them.  Upon my return, I was told that M compared me to MissHannigan, Carol Burnett’s character in Annie….. whoa !!

Here I thought M didn’t know about my drinking, I didn’t think it was affecting her…… seriously??!

When I relapsed in January, M&M witnessed my behavior.  I believe in my heart of hearts that God wanted me to witness what my actions had done to them, because I should of been in a blackout, but the sheer look of terror on M&M’s face is ingrained in my brain.

It took a few days for M to talk to and feel comfortable around me, and rightfully so.  When she was ready, we talked (at a 7 yr old level) and I apologized.  She had me pinky swear that I would never drink again.  That was 10 months ago…..I pray every day that I keep that promise and I am grateful each night that I kept the promise, to her and myself.

M didn’t deserve to be forced into adult situations, she doesn’t deserved to have a mom who is an alcoholic.  Neither does little M, but by the grace of God, he wont remember his mommy as a drunk, but his sister will.  Fortunately, I have been, and will continue to be open and honest with both kiddos.  I won’t keep this a hush-hush topic.  I welcome the honest conversations as they come, age appropriate of course.

Today, I live in the present and am present for M&M.  I think this is the best way to keep the pinky swear I made  over 10 months ago.  I continue to work on forgiving myself for being absent in M&M’s lives.  I know I must keep the past in the past, but those feelings of guilt and shame creep up time to time.  Fortunately I have the tools and support to process those feelings.  More importantly, I  have the unconditional love of  M&M. I am one lucky mommy!

Tagged alcoholicalcoholismbehaviorsdrunk,gratefulgratitudehonesthumblelovemommy,recoveryrelationships

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.

 

 

Just a Glimmer

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Easier said than done, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s much easier to have that hope, even if it’s just a glimmer than to give up, be angry all the time, or let my expectations take over.  Because you know what?…. I have no control over the events that occur around me and to me.  I hate the saying ‘everything happens for a reason’.  In times of great grief and despair that isn’t what I want to hear.  Instead I prefer in God’s time, (higher power, goddess, whatever  you prefer), ‘he’ knows EXACTLY what he is doing and it will eventually all make sense.  It sure as hell doesn’t right now, but in time it will. That’s when faith and grace come into play.

As of late, I have had thoughts of wtf God, and wondered if my guardian angel has been on an extended vacation.  Feelings of loss, grief, anger, and sadness have incapacitated my family, a number of friends, and myself over the last few weeks. It hasn’t been easy to hold on to that  sliver of hope let alone faith.

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But you know what?..  It is possible.  I know I may sound like an annoying cheerleader, floating around on my pink cloud of cheeriness.  But my recovery has taught me that yes, indeed, there is ALWAYS a glimmer of hope, my faith tells me that, and I am full of gratitude for what I have and where I came from.  Because it wasn’t all that long ago that I had given up all hope of ever being happy or healthy, or worthy of love. I lived in constant despair. Faith…. What the hell was that?  In my eyes, God had abandoned me, everyone had abandoned me, and no one could possibly understand where I was coming from or what I was feeling.  Talk about rock bottom.

But because of that rock bottom, I am full of gratitude today.  Life is definitely not full of sunshine and rainbows.  It can be a struggle.  It can be, and is full of love and loss.  It leave a lot of unanswered questions.  But no matter how difficult my life becomes, I know in my heart that God has my back, and I have faith that it will all be ok. It may not be easy, but it will be ok.  I will be ok. My loved ones will be ok. And for that I am entirely grateful.

☺❤✌🏿

 

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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