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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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

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.

☺❤✌🏿

 

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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✌🏿&❤

 

 

Happy Heart Day to Me

It’s nearly Valentines Day & I’ve already eaten too much chocolate…trade one addiction for another??….;)
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In the spirit of the “holiday” I thought I would reflect on love & recovery.
Its would be soooooo easy for me to sulk, mope around, have a pity party, be depressed, all because I am not currently in a romantic relationship.  Trust me,  I have been there for the “party of one”, but I have decided to look at this holiday from another viewpoint. 
I am without a doubt a new & improved Katie.  I am still learning more about who I am, and what those who love me have always seen and known, but I was to sick to notice.  I am truly happy with the life I am leading now.  I would not change one part of my past, not even the heart wrenching, painful parts.  That crap has shaped me into the sober gal I am today:) If it had not been for a lot of garbage, I would not be writing this post, or even have a blog. If it wasn’t for hitting rock bottom I wouldn’t know the true meaning of serenity.  
Recovery has taught and continues to teach me what real love is.  Today real love is the sense of peace I feel about the plan my higher power (God) has for me. This doesn’t mean I’m just sitting back and waiting.  Instead, I do the work, but ultimately know that God has my back, he is driving the bus not I.;) Real love is knowing that my kids have a mommy who is present for them and loves them more than words. Real love is being able to look my family, friends, & sober sisters’  in the eye, knowing that I have nothing to hide, that I am 100% honest.   Real love is looking at myself in the mirror & realizing that the gal looking back isn’t half bad.
So on this Valentine’s day, whether or not you have an official valentine, remember to love yourself first and for most, because how can you possibly love someone else if you don’t love yourself ?
Chances are you aren’t to shabby either!!:)
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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.

 

A Gratitude List

A part of my program is a gratitude list, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Big or small, short or long, silly or serious; all  comprise my gratitude list.  Today is Thanksgiving & I have so much to be grateful for!

1. My Sobriety, first & foremost, without it, I have nothing!

2. M&M, my kids, the loves of my life! I found this note from my daughter the other day, she surprised me with it.  It wasn’t that long ago she was angry & scared of me…

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3. My family; especially my mom, who has supported, loved, “bailed out”, & has not given up on after many disappointments.  I love you mom😊

4. My sisters & their hubby’s who are always their for my kids & I , always….

5. My awesome friends, (you know who you are), I can count on you always & you all make me laugh &keep me on my toes.

6. My job, its more than a job, its a career I truly love!

7. AA, without the program & those I have met thru the program, I would not be successful in recovery.

8. This blog, & all those who read it, follow it, & those that I follow.  This experience has been way more than I ever imagined, & has been a humbling experience.

9. My health & my kids health.

10. The roof over my head, food on my table, heat, electricity, & water.

11. Books. This gal has to be reading something!

12. Music, especially Pandora.

13. Mitchell’s  Ice cream (need I say more).

14. My sock monkey blanket (yes, I have a security blanket).

15. Honesty, openness, & willingness, 3 traits that were often lacking before sobriety.

What a difference a year makes!

Happy Thanksgiving !  Be grateful, today & every day after!!!

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 Miss Hannigan, 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!

A fairy tale of a different sort

Once upon a time there was a girl who fell in love with a boy when she least expected it.  He swept her off her feet, showed her what real love and intimacy was. Unfortunately this girl was being chased by a powerful demon who had ahold of the girl and pounced at her weakest moment.  The boy didn’t give up on the girl, often putting himself in danger.  The girl took advantage of that.  The boy saved the girl’s life, but said goodbye as he could not stand by and watch the girl under the spell of the demon or put his own life in jeopardy. Fortunately the girl was able to slay the demon and now has the tools to keep other demons away. The girl worked hard to change her life, it was painful and difficult, but well worth the struggle for now her life is filled with happiness and peace.

The boy came back into the girl’s life, she made the choice to open her heart.  The boy had reservations and was a bit leery and rightfully so. The girl wanted the boy to see how far she had come and wanted the fairy tale ending.  The girl tried her best to stay in the moment, but sometimes she would push just a little too hard and the boy would pull back.

The girl is at a crossroads; she had hoped and prayed that the boy would be a part of her life, in some way, but that’s not how this story is going to end.  The girl is a bit brokenhearted and upset with herself for making the choice to open her heart again.  But this story won’t have a sad ending.  You see, the girl can stand on her own two feet, living fully, eager for whatever the next chapter holds.  It’s just time to put this one on the shelf, but the girl will always be grateful to the boy, who will probably always have a piece of her heart