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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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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.

☺❤✌🏿

 

2Years 730 days.

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I’m 2 years old today, sober years that is.  In many ways I am like a toddler…. Stubborn, inquisitive, fun-loving & snuggly one minute.   Fiesty, irrational, & just a plain pain in the ass the next  minute.  Admitting this is the first step;).

So what has made year 2 different from year 1…

Faith, not fear.   Confidence & humility, not self pity or arrogance.  Selflessness, not selfishness.  Inner peace  & mindfulness, instead of restlessness.

Gee, sounds like I stole this ‘stuff’ right out of some self help book.  Truth be told I have read a lot about these topics over the last 2 years,  but I truely feel & believe that I have attained these attributes or characteristics over the last year or so.  Trust me, I still have lots of work to do!  They are not always present nor are they always on the forefront of my mind.  Just like a toddler, I am sane & learning one minute, unhinged & on the brink of insanity the next. (Have you all figured out I am dealing with an actual toddler at home?;).   Fortunately, I am able to reel in my emotions & think rationaly (99.9% of the time), unlike a toddler.

Year 2 in recovery  has led me on a path to deeper self discovery.  While year 1 was all about the why’s & the how’s of my addiction, to not obsessing about wanting a drink one day at a time, to working 24-7 on the 12steps.  To this past year really learning about the true me.  Who Katie really is…..what exactly makes me tick, & trying my darnedest to live in the 12 steps.

To be honest, all this self discovery and exploration hasn’t been half bad.  I have learned that I am definitely more of an introvert than I originally  thought.  I enjoy being alone at times. I am a great nurse, kick ass mom & a descent writer.  I am a morning person (who would of thought that after many many  horrible hangover mornings).  I usually root for the underdog & try to look at situations from both sides (which drives my friends crazy;).  I am still ultra sensitive (this can be both positive and negative).   Honesty is definitely always  the best policy.  I would like to be in a long term loving relationship, but I am also OK being a  single independent gal, (wants vs. needs).   I am  not as handy as I think I am, (I have learned this the hard way, on more than one occasion;).  My past is just that, my past. It doesn’t define me, I am not ashamed of it, & those around me can bring it up, but its not me today.  I have let that shit go, I cannot help it if they can’t, (Bless them, change me).   I do not  miss drinking.  The obsession is gone.  Thank God!  But I am not naive to  think that my addiction is not waiting to pounce, always lurking, waiting for me to falter.  That’s why I try to live in the 12 steps.

Year 2 has been a pretty good year. Lots of happy memories & some not so happy memories, but such is life.  I  do think its cool that my sober birthday coinsides with the new year.  Twice as much to celebrate & look forward to in the coming year.

So what will year 3 in sobriety & 2016 bring…. My 40th Birthday….eek!….Actually, I am ready, bring it on, I am only just beginning to live the life I am meant to live.  Sobriety will be the reason I will be able to celebrate this milestone.

So as I say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016, I say Thank you to all those who have supported me when I didn’t believe in myself & gave me a kick in the ass when needed.  I hope you will continue to do so in the future if warrented;).  My future looks bright & the best is still to come.

❤&✌🏿

Lyrics from the musical Wicked.

Defying Gravity

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Turning Sorrow into Joy

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It’s extremely difficult to imagine how to feel any joy when you are in the midst of deep sorrow and pain.  Those reading this post may think I’m insane to even think it’s possible, and that’s ok, I get that.  I am speaking about myself and my experiences and what I have witnessed, including the last month.  Losing a child is unfathomable to me, I am entirely  grateful each and every day for m&m.  I reflect on how selfish I was when I was in the throes of my drinking, I took them for granted.  It is very difficult for me to think about that period in my life…. especially when I have witnessed the pain and anguish my friends are experiencing for the loss of their child.  Why them?  Why their baby?  As these parents grieve and try to understand why this tragedy occurred,  my  sister and brother In law baptized their beautiful baby boy whom they welcomed into their family in July.  They traveled  half way around the world to adopt their son.  Years of grief and yearning for a child of their own is now a time of joy and celebration.

The heartache they endured may help their friends as they grieve for the child they lost.  And just maybe, a glimmer of hope and happiness will rise again.

Grief and sorrow knows no time, but it does ease up.  It teaches us something about ourselves.  It may not make any sense at first, or maybe never, in some instances,  but joy will return to your life, PROMISE.

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The sorrow I have experienced and the grieving I have fought my way through, has eventually led to many joyous occasions, both big and small.  I believe the sadness I have experienced in my life, thus far, tells a story, and if it wasn’t for those experiences, I would not be who I am today, and I like who I am today😊.

So, for anyone experiencing sorrow and feels like the sadness and grief wont ever let up, don’t give up, don’t give in.  Have hope that one day that sorrow will turn into joy.

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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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Dream a little Dream

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It was only a dream… it was only a dream… Thank God it was only a dream…

The mantra I repeated this morning as I tried to slow down my breathing, as I was on a verge of a panic attack, and the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach vanished.  I told myself, I was ok, it was only a drinking dream….. an absolute nightmare, but a dream nonetheless.

In this dream I was drinking secretly, or so I thought.  There wasn’t any tragic event or celebration that spurred my drinking.  I just did it because I could, because I thought I could handle it.  In my dream I kept telling myself that no one had to know, that I could keep up the façade for a long as I wanted too, convinced that I could control my drinking at anytime.  In my dream I continued to live a sober lifestyle, as if I wasn’t the biggest liar and hypocrite around.  In my dream feelings of dread, despair, loneliness, and fear felt almost real, hence the physiological effects when I awoke.  In my dream I thought I was hiding my secret from my family and friends, but I thought wrong.  Even when confronted in my dream I continued to lie… and then I woke up…

So I asked myself, what the hell brought this on?   I haven’t changed anything in my recovery.  I know that I am not immune to the temptress that is my addiction.  Is it my subconscious?  Then it hit me, I have been doing lots of reflecting on my past, more specifically my journey in recovery.  The how’s and the whys.  I am preparing to give my first lead in a few days.  Sorting through what to say and what not to say stirs up a lot of stuff.  I am honored (& a tad nervous) to share my story with women who are where I was 15 months ago.  I hope that some small piece of what I have to say, sticks with or touches just one of these women.  I pray that I can share with them a sense of hope.

Drinking dreams are a nightmarish reality for me.  A  dream yes, but was once my reality.  I must  respect that, acknowledge it, and be ever grateful for another sober day😊

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