Find Yourself Again.

Find Yourself Again.

Happy September! Once again life has steered me away from writing as much as I would like (on here in any case, there has been plenty of journaling). I have much to talk about and hope I can maintain your focus while I update my life happenings.

First, and always foremost, my recovery. I had 160 days of sobriety and I relapsed. It was short but there was enough emotional wreckage to remind myself why we don’t go back out. I often feel such a feeling of “yuck” when I have to admit my “defeat” if I relapse. It feels like I am letting everyone down. But a part of recovery is being honest, and sometimes relapse. I learned what I need to do to fine tune my recovery process and I took action.

I have ultimately come to terms with the fact that I am severely co-dependent. I have touched on this in the past and in no way have I denied that I am co-dependent, however I was doing nothing to recover that part of my disease. Some of you may not be familiar with the term or what it actually means to be co-dependent. It’s a lot more than being clingy or needing to be in a relationship like I used to think. It’s always trying to fix and control things around you and outside of your control. It’s attaching to the point of injury. I have picked up several great books by Melody Beattie, the pioneer of co-dependency and intend to begin an Al-anon program. I am learning to detach with love. Part of my recovery in co-dependency and alcoholism has led me to an exciting new adventure! I began doing Y12SR which is a 12 step step yoga program. Every Sunday I take my mat to my yoga studio and attend a 12 step meeting that is followed by yoga centered on healing and balancing. It was announced there is a Yoga/Recovery retreat taking place in April 2019 in BALI INDONESIA! I have decided that I am going to go. It is way outside of my comfort zone but it is speaking on a cellular level to me. The universe is literally pushing me to this. There will be hiking, massages, yoga practices throughout the day and meetings. The whole focus is recovery and yoga. In signing up for this it has also inspired me to step up my yoga game, so my goal is to attend 1-2 yoga sessions a week with some practice at home. I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity!

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I have also been focusing on cleaning all aspects of my life. I have been eating well and losing weight. I have been swapping out my beauty products to all organic and clean items. I have been wearing essential oils instead of perfume. I have been essentially wiping the slate clean.

People in my life are less than thrilled about me putting in strong boundaries. Who is this girl who is saying “NO” instead of “yes” !? Who is this person choosing recovery over all else? Who is this person detaching with grace? What would Melody Beattie say? It’s not my business what they think. Tough shit if you don’t like it. I don’t like spiraling out and feeling crazy.

When you get sober you have to heal so many layers of yourself. The 12 steps help but they opened the door to so many other realizations. They shone a light on different parts of myself that I need to take care of as well.

I am currently working 3 jobs as well as fighting a life threatening disease. If you don’t see a blog from me for awhile just know I am out here, doing big things for myself.

I hope that in my absence you are all finding the love, light, and joy your heart desires.

NAMASTE.

 

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Your Mountain is Waiting

Your Mountain is Waiting

Greetings followers! I haven’t had a moment to write in many moons. In the past if I wasn’t writing it was because I was probably up to no good, but I can gladly say this is not the case. I have been busy chasing my dreams, tackling recovery, and living my best life! I have such a grateful heart I needed to write on it. I WISH someone would have put these words on paper for me to read when I felt afraid and unsure. Today I am going to tell you why you should not toe the line of your comfort zone, rather, you should jump straight into the abyss of the unknown.

So much of this story is based around fear. We stay in loveless marriages, dead end jobs, crummy apartments, and so on and so forth because we fear. We fear change. We fear loss. We fear new. We fear things we can’t even put a finger on…we just know when you mention change we become paralyzed. Not all of us…but many.

For 11 years I have gratefully worked in the family business as a bookkeeper, property manager and office manager. I learned an immeasurable amount of valuable lessons in this industry, was mentored, and always had my bills paid. I was already at the top though. There wasn’t anywhere else to go from where I stood. I never would see promotion. I would never climb a ladder of success. I would be working but always felt like it would be similar to running in circles. I went back to college 2 years ago to achieve a goal; become a college graduate. I received my associates degree in business with a focus on social media marketing. After I graduated I immediately enrolled in real estate school. I then received my license in September 2017. I learned, got listings, made friends, and jumped into it. I was still working mostly at my family business. Afraid to take a day off to fully pursue real estate because that meant a smaller paycheck. I slowly began to accept the fact I could not chase my real dream of being a successful realtor by sitting at a desk. I began working more and more on my real estate business. I got sober in this time as well, and began constantly praying for guidance from my higher power. I often felt like quitting. The blow to my bank account seemed like a hefty price to pay to chase my dream. We are taught in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous “don’t leave before the miracle happens.” I clung to that. It became my mantra. Then opportunity knocked on my door.

To make a long story short I was offered a salaried job that would help me GROW my real estate business while still supporting a steady income. I still work at my family business but it’s on my own terms. I have learned to balance essentially 3 jobs but I am in love with what I am doing. I am working my business. I am helping grow my dear friend’s business. I am the social media manager of our team and get to work from home.

As I sit out on my deck and do the job I love with the view of Puget Sound laid out before me I can’t help but feel like all the struggle and fear was worth it. I had to make a choice when opportunity came knocking. I could have stayed in my comfort zone with the people I had grown to know and rely on, or I could close my eyes and leap and rely on myself. My heart knew what the right decision was and my higher power delivered it to me.

I had always read books like “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed…where the girl plunges into her dream with no second thoughts and no glances back. I always admired their moxie. But surely, responsible, meek and mild me could never obtain that. I felt destined to sit behind the desk of my job I had done for 11 years and observe these gals from afar with longing in my heart. So many of my dreams fell by the wayside because of fear. I never got that apartment in Brooklyn. I never ended up on Broadway headlining a show. I didn’t go to Europe and backpack across the country and visit mountainsides and concentration camps. But as I sit here basking in the glow of the love and gratitude I feel for what I am doing now, I feel ok with that. New York will always be there for me. I can always sit front row at a Broadway show. I can go to Europe once I have succeeded in my business. The options for my life are limitless and I know a great majority of that is because of my recovery.

You were waiting for it weren’t you? When is she going to tie in her sobriety? Without my sobriety and spiritual growth I have nothing. I have no joy. I have no hope. I have no money. I have no goals. The 9th step promises are coming true in my life just like they promised when I walked in the door of AA. If you aren’t familiar they are this:

  1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
    before we are half way through.
    2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
    3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
    4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
    5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
    can benefit others.
    6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
    7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
    8. Self-seeking will slip away.
    9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
    10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
    11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
    12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
    ourselves
    Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us –
    sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

So I implore of you to make a list of the things you want but are afraid to go after. Maybe it’s as big as moving across country or as small as dying your hair pink. Write everything down and before you have a moment to second guess yourself do something on your list. The self confidence that comes from tackling life is unparalleled. It still feels foreign to me to sit at home and not feel afraid of how the mortgage will get paid. I have to stop the fear from creeping back in. If you lay your wishes and faith at your higher powers feet you do not get to pick it back up and over analyze it. That is a show of lack of trust that this universe will not take care of you. I promise you, it will. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Go for it.

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The Weaker Sex

The Weaker Sex

Today as I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, I saw this picture followed by this post:

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For the woman whose husband makes an “extra stop” after work every evening.

For the woman who is mourning the loss of a pregnancy nobody knew about.

For the woman who leads from the front even though she’s lost inside.

For the woman who was fired for her fourth late because she’s been awake for a straight week with a sick child.

For the single mum who doesn’t know how the utilities will stay on this month.

For the woman who has gone through 2 IVF’s and tried for five years without success but still shows up to every baby shower for her friends.

For the woman who still hasn’t forgiven herself for the abortion she had 20 years ago.

For the woman who has a line of judging eyes at her and her children as she counts out coins and puts something back at the supermarket.

For the woman that opens the door to the news of her husband being killed overseas three weeks before he was to return home.

For the woman that lives with anxiety because nobody understands what she could possibly be stressed about.

For the woman that gives to her family all day- everyday and just.needs.a.break.

For the woman that smiles at strangers all day in public- but weeps silently every night.

For the woman who has wanted to end it all but found strength to carry on.

For the woman that heard the rumor about herself today.

For the woman sleeping next to a stranger every night.

For the woman whose genetics will never allow her to look like the ones in magazines.

For the woman that endures one broken relationship after another because there was no father around to teach her what love looks like.

For the woman raising a fatherless daughter and praying that history doesn’t repeat itself.

For the woman who loves with all her heart who’s desperate to be loved.

For every single woman that cries in the shower so nobody else can see. Because if you aren’t strong-nobody is.

Just because the water washes your tears doesn’t mean you don’t cry. Just because you cry doesn’t mean you’re not strong enough to handle it.

I am you. I see you. I am with you, I cry with you. I love you.

Author: Brittany Latham

#womenempoweringwomen

 

It instantly triggered the fuel to write. Ms. Brittany Latham wrote it out perfectly, but I want to expound on it. Women are known as the weaker sex historically. In books, movies, and songs we are painted as damsels in distress that need our knight to save us, carrying us over the threshold of broken femininity into the land of masculine protection. Perhaps my experience in life has rendered me bitter at this perception. I have felt broken and weak many times but never defenseless. When push came to shove I always found a way to provide for myself if needed. I have been the woman counting out coins to buy dinner or fill my tank until my paycheck hit the account. I have watched my friends that are single mothers go without to give their child everything they can. I have watched my best friend give birth. I have watched my friends go from poverty to riches through their own cunning, desire, and persistence. I have watched so many women carry the world on their shoulders. If only people truly understood the burden women carry. We are nurturers by nature. It is not in our design to run, break, or give up. Not to say that we don’t have our moments, but bear in mind when speaking to a tired mother how much she might have on her mind. Think about that when communicating with a frazzled business woman who is over working and underpaid. Sometimes all we want is someone to lift the load for a moment, so we can stretch our arms up, take a deep breath, and commence being the bad ass you know and love.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now; A Letter To Myself.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now; A Letter To Myself.

Hello Gorgeous,

You are 30 years old right now in a physical sense but feel about 80. Since you were young people have always told you that you are an old soul. Getting ready for Junior High listening to Elvis Presley’s Greatest Hits may have had something to do with it. Or it may have been that you liked to come home and read books by the fire and go to bed at 9:00 PM. Whatever the case may be, you have always been wise beyond your years but you have not always listened to yourself. This is because you haven’t always believed in your ability to be smart, brave, courageous, and right. I am here to tell you the things you needed to hear when you were young. I am here to give you permission to forgive yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself.

When you are 5 years old having your first panic attack and it feels dark, lonely, and scary I want you to know that you are ok even if it doesn’t feel like it. You are going to experience a lot of panic episodes and it will be hard, but a day is going to come where you learn about your disorder and learn to walk through life with it. I know you feel so much fear but it’s going to pass.

When you are a teenage girl your self worth is going to start to be questioned in that pretty little head of yours. You are going to start searching for that worth through attention and boys. This will be the start of your struggles with co-dependency. You are going to also become aware of your imperfections. Not from looking in the mirror but because it was pointed out to you. You’re going to start learning about dieting when you weigh 95 pounds. You are going to start wearing padded bras because you have learned that your worth is measured by your cup size, not that beautiful brain sitting between your ears. I am proud of you for never dumbing yourself down though. You have always accepted and treasured your intelligence. And guess what? When you hit your 20’s you’re going to grow into a D cup bra, so settle down with the padding. The real people worth keeping around are attracted to the sparkle in your eyes when you talk about what you love and accept you just the way you are.

As you grow you are going to keep chasing everything. You are restless, antsy, discontent. You have no idea that you are an alcoholic and an addict yet but you will come to learn that too. When you take that first shot of Vodka and feel the world’s problems and your pain slipping away, you have no idea that you are building an immunity to a substance you are allergic to. You will keep chasing that bottle until it threatens to destroy you, but we are going to get you through it.

You are going to be married and divorced, you are going to be abandoned by people you love and trusted, and you are going to feel pain beyond your wildest dreams. You are going to experience loss so great with the death of your brother it will break your heart ten times over. It wasn’t your fault. You are also going to graduate college on the dean’s list, become a real estate broker, buy a house, get sober, make friends, and learn to have peace in your heart. You are going to travel and make wonderful memories. You are going to learn to love yourself one tiny piece at a time.

SO, Babygirl, as you go forward please remember to follow your intuition. You are perfect the way you are. You will feel pain but you will feel peace. You will always be a work in progress. At the end of your life I hope you look back and say “I did the damn thing.” Chase your dreams. Stay on the right path. Quiet those demons by loving yourself so loudly they cannot compete.


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Whine Tasting.

Whine Tasting.

Greetings,

This weekend was a weekend I have been thinking about, planning, and dreaming of since I was a young girl. It was my best friend’s bachelorette party. It was everything that we said it would be. Sunny, full of laughter, and wine tasting. Or so I heard. I chose not to go. It is in these defining moments that we realize so many things. We realize that we are different. We realize we are going to miss out on monumental milestones sometimes. We realize that feeling left out is a small price to pay to stay sober. We realize that acknowledging that in itself is growth. I know myself enough to know that going to a sunny vineyard with a group of lovely women I would want to feel that warmth that wine used to bring me and the sense of camaraderie that comes with it. But I know that isn’t how the story ends for me. It always ends in taking it too far. What some would say is just a weekend of fun would in reality be the unraveling of my spiritual growth and 100 days of sobriety. I wish I could say that I am floating around my pink cloud wrapped in warmth and fuzzy feelings about my decision but I’m not. I choose to stay 100% honest and candid about my recovery. I am SO beyond happy that my beautiful bride to be and best friend had a beautiful weekend. I do NOT feel self pity or that I wish the girls could have altered the plans to tailor to my “special needs” (LOL). I suppose anyone would feel a little sad in these moments.

It’s bittersweet that I have gotten to the point to stay true to my recovery, but also sad that I now understand I will be sitting out several dances in life. Where the rest of the bridal party get’s to fully enjoy these moments I have to encourage from afar. On the day of the wedding they will have nothing on their minds but supporting their friend, doing their makeup and hair, and enjoying the moment. I will have to be vigilant in my fight against my disease, planning an emergency “exit strategy” if the triggers become too much, facing another sober milestone- a WEDDING in SOBRIETY, and of course, enjoying this wondrous occasion.

I am not trying to paint the picture that I am ungrateful. I am not trying to ask for praise or sympathy. I am simply nodding my head to a truth I have learned to accept. Acceptance and honesty is such a huge part of my journey. When the truth started to sink in that I am a real life alcoholic and I should do everything in my power to abstain from alcohol and drugs to live the best possible life I can, I called my sponsor in shock. I told her I accepted this truth now, and I thought it would be a lot easier of a pill to swallow. She told me acceptance isn’t always easy. We won’t always like the things we have to accept. The point is that we are accepting them.

So I guess that is where I stand right now. I don’t have to like what I accept but I accept it. Because of my willingness to accept and stay strong I am now 100 days sober. This is the first time in my journey I have hit triple digits.

With humor, grace, and guidance I have been able to successfully abstain from all mind altering substances and I intend to continue to do so.

And you know what…maybe I didn’t get to go wine tasting with my friends. Maybe I won’t get a champagne toast at my wedding.  Maybe I will never go wine tasting again in the Hamptons or sip vodka sodas on a flight. All these things I envisioned doing might not get to take place now because of recovery but a lot of things didn’t come to fruition like I thought they would in this lifetime. I am not a lawyer. I didn’t have 3 kids by 25. I’m a 30 year old divorcee with cats. I didn’t lose 5 pounds last month. Who fucking cares. You know what I do have? Serenity, grace, humility, bonds of friendship stronger than ever, a career, a goal, and a life worth living.

 

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Climb Your Mountain & Heal.

Climb Your Mountain & Heal.

Happy Sunday!

I am happy to say that I have picked up the pen again and now, the laptop. I was so worried that my drive to write had been quashed entirely. I fancied myself a regular Hemingway, only capable of writing with some wine in me.

I have no clear purpose for this blog entry today. I am just going to let my fingers dance across the keyboard as directed by my thoughts.

My first thoughts are how insane and emotional my dreams have become. Last night I had a “using dream” except it wasn’t me who was using. It was my brother and boyfriend who are both in recovery. I was heartbroken. Shattered. Seeing the glazed look in their eyes, the mean spirit, the brokenness returning. I felt helpless. But I also felt 100% sure I didn’t want that. I felt no desire to drink in my dream. I don’t think our dreams are meaningless and without a message. I think this dream is pointing me in the direction of Al-anon. I have been meaning to go for quite some time now. Although my loved ones are still clean and sober, that feeling of no control and helplessness scared me enough to know that I still allow other’s actions to control part of my emotions.

I have also had this overwhelming sense of calm and gratefulness. I spoke about it a bit in the last blog. I came to AA a year ago this month. With 93 days sober you can do the math on how long it took for the message to stick. I never believed before that recovery could really be mine. I had no faith in my strength, no strength to pick myself up and I truly believed I was one of those hopeless cases the big book talks about. What I did know however is that I had found my people. I relate to the members of Alcoholics Anonymous because I am an alcoholic. I listened to their stories and they were mine as well. They held my hand and kept chanting “keep coming back, it works if you work it, and we are all worth it.” I stopped listening for many months at “keep coming back.” If I did ANYTHING right, it was that I kept coming back. I may have come in with a hangover. I may have went to a meeting with a bottle of wine in my trunk, but I kept stumbling in. When I was finally completely ready to give myself over to them, they picked me up and loved me. They had faith in me when I had none. I completed my first three steps with my new sponsor and I felt the click. This time it was CLICKING.

I don’t want to dismiss my recovery efforts before the click came. I had walked the road of recovery but I was still not entirely ready and willing. I knew I WANTED what they had, but I still had a few more dances with the devil.

Today I do not shun any parts of the program. I don’t pick and choose the parts I want. I use the tools I have been freely given. I pick up the phone to call my sponsor. I happily attend meetings and actively listen. I share my problems and solutions as they relate to alcohol and try to spread the message, not the mess. The best compliment I have received as of late was from my sponsor. She told me “you are going to be a great sponsor.” To me that is a huge honor. The girl who sat in the back of AA, not sure this recovery life could be mine, was told I would one day be a great guide to help other women.

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Coming up to my 5th step I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that in every resentment there lies a little blame in me. Nothing gives you back power and control more than owning up to your faults in a matter. I know that sounds so backwards but when it comes down to it, we are all only in control of our own actions. When I see my wrong, I can take control by cleaning up my part of it. That is FREEDOM.

I am also learning the power of the word “No.” I can create boundaries and increase my peace by not spreading myself so thin. I have learned to say no without an explanation. I listen intuitively to my body and spirit.

I will forever be a work in progress and I have scarcely scratched the surface. I have accepted though that like so many things, we must uncover the wound to allow it to heal. I have begun the process of ripping off the dressings that have covered my soul to allow the wounds to breathe and heal. I know the discomfort is temporary. I know that when a new wound forms I have my fellows to pick me up and a plan of action to heal. I can’t for the life of me determine why this recovery thing seemed so scary and daunting. It is freeing.

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& On Her 88th Day Sober, She Made Amends.

& On Her 88th Day Sober, She Made Amends.

Good morning and happy June! I have been itching to write for DAYS and for the first time in my life truly understand the meaning of working to the bone. I have had so many beautiful thoughts drift in and out of this head and now they are gone somewhere in the universe and not on paper, but that’s ok.

First and foremost, a little update on the recovery roller coaster. I am 89 days sober. I have NEVER made it to 90 days sober since my drinking career began. I know now that the celebration for recovery milestones does not only cover abstinence from the drug of choice, but the spiritual growth and serenity. Yesterday I had a moment where I got to come full circle.

My younger sister had two bottom wisdom teeth removed. She was not put under and was in extreme pain from the surgery. The dentist’s office knows our family well and our history of addiction and  took it upon themselves to not prescribe her opiate pain killers. She asked with a mouth full of gauze for medicine to help with the pain and they still did not write a prescription. They gave her some Ibuprofen and sent her on her way. For those of you not aware, my brother is a heroin addict in recovery and we have obviously had some traumatic experiences with that. My sister was crying and in agony for hours so I took her to the emergency room. This is a smaller medical facility and we were in and out and well taken care of. This happened to be the hospital my sister took me to 88 days ago. The staff had to call security on me, I mistreated the staff horribly, I have barely any recollection of this and ended up leaving that night. It’s been in my head since my recovery took off that I wanted to go back and apologize to these nurses whose job I made incredibly difficult. In this roundabout way I got to make amends. I got to tell them I am almost 90 days sober with that evening being my last drunk. They were so lovely to me and it was honestly such a humbling and beautiful moment.

Prior to this event on Sunday, June 3rd, my brother and I went to a concert together. This event that might seem small to some, was monumental for us. For the first time we were both completely drug and alcohol free. We weren’t arguing, we weren’t sick. We were just a brother and sister enjoying a concert together. Laughing, joking, and talking about life.

In my personal life there has been a lot of stress and problems that are a direct result of drinking. The aftermath has followed me into my recovery. I am tested and challenged mentally and physically everyday to stay sober, just like everyone else in recovery. I know that to drink is to unravel all the progress I have made on a spiritual level. Despite all the challenges and the fear of the unknown to come I have to cling to my faith. The big book talks about having faith under all conditions. I have to believe that whatever happens I will be taken care of by my higher power and my family in recovery. To have peace of mind and serenity during chaos is something I never dreamt I could have, but I do. Not everyday is a walk in the park and even though the gifts of recovery are raining on me, it does not entirely remove the desire to numb out the stress and pain. I have to remain vigilant against this disease because it is always hiding around the corner, ready to seduce me.

I want to end this blog with an outpouring of gratitude. If it weren’t for this program of recovery I would not know peace. I would not be able to see the light in the midst of darkness. I could never begin to count the blessings my life has been littered with. I could never see the growth and change in myself; rather I would only be counting my flaws. I wouldn’t know how to own my mistakes and correct them.  I am overflowing with gratitude in a situation that would normally be a breeding ground for hate, resentment, excuses to use, and bitterness. All of this is freely given to me and all they ask in return is that I spread the message to those that still suffer.

Thank you AA. Thank you universe. Thank you for not giving up on me when I wanted to give up on me.

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