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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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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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!

Happy Anniversary

10 months, 305 days, over 7,000 hours….. sober…. big deal? kind of… I didn’t make it this far the first time around.  To many it may not seem that 10 months sober is a reason to celebrate or even worth mentioning.  But to me it represents the hardest work I have ever done, which at times has been incredibly painful.  I have learned more about the real me in 10 months than I had in my previous 38 years.  Everyday I wake I am grateful for another day of sobriety.  I pray that if it is Gods will that I will stay sober another day. I  am given the opportunity to make the right choices, be present to those I love and encounter, be honest, be patient, and admit when I am wrong.  Is this difficult at times? Yes, I’m sober, not perfect😉.  But going back to the dark, lonely, and sad world of addiction is just a place I absolutely do not want to re-visit, ever!

10 months ago, I awoke in a locked unit, a detox unit.  Terrified, yes, more importantly, an overwhelming sense of relief. I was done, finished, exhausted.  I had surrendered. While hospitalized, I wrote a letter to my addiction, a goodbye of sorts.  I  recently came across it and would like to share it.

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I suppose you could say we started out innocently enough.  Warm and inviting, “giving me” a sense of self-confidence (or so I thought), to a gal who was desperate for even a glimmer or shred of confidence.  When we were together I became funny and flirty, engaging, and confident.  I was led to believe that I belonged in any situation, and was liked by everyone.

Over a few years, your ugliness and true intentions began to appear, but I was not ready to give you up or break away.  I was not willing to notice our abusive relationship.  My reputation as “Fun Katie” or “Life of the party” became not so much fun anymore.  Broken promises of only one drink, or being the designated driver, was occurring more often than not.  I was becoming obsessed with you-even when I “thought” I didn’t want you.  You became all-encompassing in my day-to-day life!  I could rationalize why you were so important to me, more so than my loved ones.  How sick is that?  I said NO MORE!

But you are a temptress, just like an abusive relationship.  I kept coming back, thinking this time it will be different.  I thought; I can stop drinking anytime!, only one drink!, I haven’t had a drink in 2 weeks, so its ok to drink tonight, or work is so stressful, it’s the only way I can unwind!  So many lies, so many excuses, so much manipulation, and so much un- manageability.  I was broken and defeated, your grasp on me was slowly killing me.

We did break up for a brief period, and life was ok.  I was putting the pieces of my life puzzle back together.  Unfortunately I became too vulnerable, and you seduced me.  How did this happen again?  Those around me couldn’t grasp how I could take you back.  Why wasn’t I strong enough to just stop and walk away?

I am truly blessed with loved ones who got me the help I so desperately needed and desired.  The relief (overwhelming), that I finally surrendered and admitted that I was powerless over you (alcohol), felt like I was finally able to breathe after nearly drowning.

You are but a symptom of this horrible disease called alcoholism.  I am completely powerless to you, but I know what I must do in order to keep me well and sober.  Just as chemotherapy is the medication used to treat cancer; meetings, the 12 steps, my sponsor, being honest, humble, and patient are my medication.  Everyday is a battle, But I simply need to follow my treatment plan on a daily basis.

I am slowly realizing that I don’t hate you, what good would that do for me and my recovery?  I need to learn to respect you, (keep you enemies close).  You can be awakened at anytime and our destructive relationship could be rekindled.  It is Completely up to me to use the tools I have been given and learning to use every day.  By the grace of God, I have been given another chance, and to that, I am eternally grateful.  I cannot and will not underestimate your power, but  most definitely will not give you anymore power.  I have too much to live for!

Signed

A grateful alcoholic.

10 months ago I was defeated and scared, today I am full gratitude.  I think that’s a reason to celebrate.

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