A Recipe for a Family that Will Break Your Heart.

A Recipe for a Family that Will Break Your Heart.

Before I delve into the topic today I want to apologize in advanced. I am feeling very open, raw, and ready. I write this with no courage in my heart, although many would argue it takes courage of a sort to put these things to paper. I write this because as a recovering alcoholic I do not have the luxury of carrying around anger, resentments and pain. To keep it inside me is one step closer to a relapse and the only reprieve I have on a daily basis is dependent on the condition of my heart, soul, and spirituality.

I write this with tears in my eyes and I have no idea why. With 39 days of sobriety tears are just a thing. Pain with no known root, tidal waves of happiness, sinking guilt in the pit of your stomach, joy with no limit, tears with no reason, fears with no solution. This is what I feel. I have confused my mind and body so long by suppressing feelings and thoughts with alcohol or destruction that it is a muddled mess to try and sort through. Do not read this and be mistaken. Sobriety is the best gift I have ever given myself. These feelings are human and critical to the recovery process. It’s not hard to comprehend them and get through with the help of the 12 steps.

With unbridled honesty I am going to address the topic of family.

It is nature’s way for humans and animals alike to be drawn to their kin. We have an innate need to be nurtured by our mothers, protected by our fathers, supported by our siblings, and so on and so forth. In a perfect world, this chain of command is followed as the universe so intended. In 30 years of life I can tell you that we do not live in a perfect world… in fact we live in a world that is far from it.

Every family has its problems, addictions, and dysfunctions. My family is no different. We are the perfect storm of alcoholism, addiction and mental illness. To replicate the makeup of my family you will simply need the following ingredients:

  • A dash of self will run riot
  • a handful of suicidal tendencies
  • a splash of mental illness
  • substance to abuse of your choice

I should put in a disclaimer here in case any family member happens upon this blog. Just like all families have their dysfunctions, all families have their saints. This is not written to offend, this is written to enlighten. If you read this and feel offended in some way I implore that you step back and look in the mirror and reflect on what you can do differently so that this need not apply to you. 

In my family the pickins aren’t slim for varying degrees of fucked up. I wanted to find an “easier” “softer” way to put this but there is just no energy left to beat around the bush.

EVERY ADDICT DESERVES TO BE LOVED AND HELPED. EVERY CHILD DESERVES THE SAME AMOUNT OF CARE. IF YOU BROUGHT THEM INTO THIS WORLD IT IS YOUR DUTY TO PARENT THEM, LOVE THEM, AND HELP THEM.

Praise our success equally. Love us through our hard times. Don’t compare my addiction to  his. Stop shushing us when we cry. Stop telling us to get it together. SHOW us how to get it together. Love us until we love ourselves again. Love me when I am overweight because I have starved myself seeking affection. Drown my pain in your love because I can’t drown it in alcohol anymore. Stop slamming doors on unresolved traumas. Stop brushing off what needs to be spoken about. Drop the facade that you don’t hurt.

 

Stop hurting your family with indifference and coldness. Light their world with a fire born from your belief in their abilities and rejoice in their recovery equally.

But I write all of this in vain, because I have prayed for it for years and it stays the same.

How can we grow when we refuse to change?

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New Moons and Little Things.

New Moons and Little Things.

We have survived another mercury retrograde and it ended on the night of the new moon. *Collective sigh*. It’s like the universe is taking a big deep breath. Maybe it’s because I know the implications of retrograde but I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulder now that it’s gone. I also tried something entirely new for the new moon last night and I wanted to share it.

My usual routine during new moons or full moons is to change my altar. I place three tarot cards that represent what I am trying to manifest as well as three candles in a variety of colors to help aid in that manifestation. Truth be told I have been so busy and distracted by work and life that when I am done with that, that is about as far as it goes. Needless to say my manifestations have not completely come to fruition. Because I am working so diligently on acceptance of my higher power and the universe’s will for me, I decided to pull my three cards for the altar at random. I lit calming lavender incense, breathed in some throat chakra opening oils, and cleansed the space. I then used my intuition to pull the three cards at random while asking the universe to guide me. Asking what do I need to focus on during this moon cycle. The three cards I pulled are:

The four of Swords: This card indicates that a period of rest and relaxation is needed after much hard work. Coincidentally enough, I had booked a spontaneous trip to San Francisco the day before and was having buyers remorse. This to me indicated the universe was giving me the green light that I had made the right choice.

The seven of Pentacles and the Nine of Pentacles: both of these cards represent abundance, wealth, and material growth.

What I am taking from this is that I have been on the right track this whole time. Maybe I need to trust my intuition more. Maybe I need to make it a priority to put a little more effort into my manifesting, because the universe is clearly on my side.

In other news, today I have 38 continued days of sobriety. I have saved $570.00 on alcohol. I have begun writing again. I have been painting again. I have some deep, heavy, pieces that I am going to start working on for the blog. I have slipped into a chaotic, yet productive routine. My days consist of constant work whether its real estate or my “stable income” job. I can often be found sitting in my AA meetings answering emails and phone calls right up to the last moment or on breaks. I show a lot of properties after work and get home late and draw up offers. I take the last few moments of the day to read. I am tired a lot and go to bed early but I am sleeping through the night. Something that has been a foreign concept for me much of my adult life. I have a sense of serenity and acceptance about me. When things go awry I can accept them without much difficulty. I don’t always like the outcome but I no longer fight the will of the universe and my higher power. It is such a relief to feel the burdens of the world around me off my shoulders.

When I first joined the rooms off AA I knew I wanted what they had. They smiled and rejoiced in things that I couldn’t understand. I thought “what a shame” these people “would have to go to meetings” all the time…what an absolute waste of time and a life. Last weekend I was at an AA convention though and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The meetings breathe hope and fiery passion for life back into me. Today I rejoice in small things too. I was dancing in my kitchen while mopping bright and early simply because I was alive and I can. I had no hangover, no bleary eyes to squint through, no mess to fix…I was just a happy girl with a whole day ahead of me to be a functioning human and that was enough reason to dance.

I hope this new moon and lighter cosmic energy gives you some fire to do what you love too. Until next time.

 

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31 days.

31 days.

Happy Monday followers and readers! I haven’t written since March 15th. There have been times I wanted to open the site and start writing but I knew my focus was elsewhere and that it was exactly where it needed to be. I will slowly begin adding blogging back into my routine but for now I am loving my focus being on building my career and my sober network. Writing is, and will, always be a part of me but for now, the best parts are being saved for private journals.

Today I celebrate 31 days of Sobriety. I began THIS journey on March 9th 2018. Comparison is the thief of joy so I won’t do the thing I do where I say how and why its different this time because I can’t put into words what my heart feels.

What I can do is tell you that I acceptance in my heart even if I don’t always like it. I have a growing relationship with my higher power. We are still learning to walk in stride and how lucky am I to have such a patient, loving, and fierce God?

The 12 steps is a simple program that opens a lot of complex feelings and thoughts but we are blessed to have sponsors and friends to help guide us through and keep us in our lane.

I have a pretty good idea what I want from recovery and what I want from life and I know an undeniable truth that it doesn’t matter what I want. What is going to happen is going to happen because it is my higher power’s will. When we cease fighting things fall into place so here in black and white is an admission of complete surrender. I can’t promise to always like what outcomes there are but I can promise I will do my best to accept it with grace and humility.

Also an admission that you will likely never get out of me again: I have no fucking clue what I am doing but I am doing the best I know how to do.

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Now on the topic of what I am doing….I can fill you in on the happenings in my life the past 31 days.

I completed step 1 with my sponsor. I continued to grow my business and learn some tough, valuable lessons in the process. I took my best friend whale watching for her “bachelorette party”. Her actual bachelorette party is in Lake Chelan for wine tasting, it sounds exquisite for her and I am so excited her friends have planned something so lovely for her, but what is lovely for non alcoholics is usually jail or hospital time waiting to happen for an alcoholic in these situations LOL! It was pretty tough being surrounded by alcohol and away from home but we stood our ground and had a fantastic time! We got to see a whole pod of Orcas, bald eagles, Harbour Seals, Stellar Sea Lions, birds, and beautiful Washington/Canada back drops.

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This past weekend I went to the 36th annual North Coast Round up in Seaside, Oregon. It was a ton of fun with heavy doses of experience, strength and hope. Yesterday was the last day there and we ended the day with a sobriety countdown. I had my 30 days yesterday and it was thrilling to stand among my peers and be proud of those 30 days. The combined amount of Sobriety in that room was 17,000 years. THAT IS A LOT OF FREAKIN’ SOBRIETY!

I will end on this note for now….if I can get sober during mercury retrograde, I can probably accomplish anything when I use the tools I have been graciously and freely given!

 

Yes I’ve Been Black, But When I Come Back You’ll know.

Yes I’ve Been Black, But When I Come Back You’ll know.

Greetings followers, readers, and fellow bloggers!

Many of you know my struggle with alcoholism and the roller coaster ride I have been on. My highs have been high and my lows got lower last week. I am currently 6 days clean and sober but have a lot of work to do. My last time out brought me to my knees literally…and the emergency room. When they say that addiction is a fatal and progressive disease, they mean it.

I am OK now and working to stay on track. I have a new sponsor and a lot more support this time around.

I am fighting for my life right now, so with that I need to focus 100% on my recovery. I am going to be taking a hiatus from blogging. I hope that upon my return I am instilled with wisdom, recovery, and spiritual growth.

In the mean time, please take a moment to check out the new podcast “The Way We Behave” – Podcast I did an interview last month on recovery and relapse. It will be airing later today.

The thing about recovery is its HARD. We have shining moments and we have broken moments.  Just because a person relapses does not mean they haven’t walked on the road of recovery. It doesn’t mean all their growth is gone. It means they stumbled. The moment that matters is when they get back up.

I love sharing my experience, strength, and hope. I love the witty witch blog. But I need to be sure I can share the message, not the mess. I want to do things right this time. I will miss you all, even if its just a short break. When I come back you will definitely know. The comeback is always stronger than the setback.

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Coffee Keeps Me Sober.

Coffee Keeps Me Sober.

Today I want to talk more about recovery. Specifically, service work in recovery.

There are 4 factors that contribute to continued sobriety. When I listen to them, I stay sober. When I let self will run amok, I drink. It’s that simple. We need newcomers, old timers, sponsors, and service work.

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When I first joined AA and was told I should get into service work I was confused. What the f*ck is service work? So you’re telling me I have to go to a meeting almost everyday, donate a dollar or so at each meeting, and now you want me to work? But, having agreed upon entering AA that I was willing to listen and do what those before me have done I signed up for my first job. Making coffee at my home group. It sounded simple enough.

What I expected: do my time setting up for the meeting and at the end of my term call it a day. I’ve done my deed!

What I got: the gift of giving. AA has FREELY given me serenity, friendships, fellowship like I have never known, support, love and sobriety. I love setting up the coffee and tea station and being the first in the room when my friends start coming in with their big books, babies, and hugs. I love setting out our tattered “Daily Reflection” for the group to read together. I love being there at the end of the meeting piling up chairs and pushing tables back and talking about life with these women. I love going to the store and picking up the Sweet and Spicy Tea I know my friend in the program loves, or the hot chocolate the non-coffee drinkers like to sip on.

How has it benefited my sobriety? It keeps me accountable. I was trusted to hold the key to the church to be there each week to set up our meeting. It’s such a small thing I can do to give back and it truly helps keep me focused, just for that day anyways.

There are a lot of times I don’t want to go to a meeting because I am tired from working two jobs…but on my service work day I am “forced” to go in and I love every minute of it when I get there. Not once, has there been a meeting I attended where I didn’t hear something I needed to keep me sober that day.

Now I am taking it a step further, I have signed up to be the greeter at my Saturday morning meeting in addition to my coffee job and I am making a casserole for a speaker meeting/potluck I am attending. What is better in life than sharing food, coffee, and stories of our experience, strength and hope?

I will always hold a service position now because I am HONORED and GRATEFUL to give back to a program that saves lives everyday. Thanks AA.

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Beautiful People with Beautiful Problems

Beautiful People with Beautiful Problems

Alone I sat in my empty room

My head a prison, my heart a tomb.

The love felt little and the pain immense

nothing in the world seemed to make sense.

For years I poisoned my body and mind

rock bottom I hit, and I knew it was time.

I walked in a room full of sparkling eyes and steady hands

If they can do it surely I can.

They handed me a book and offered a hug

these rooms, I found, were more than free coffee…they were full of love.

“If you want what we have just follow our lead”

I knew these people had not what I want…. but what I need.

To strangers I cried, I broke and I grew

This feeling of belonging was something I never knew.

Now they’re my family and I owe them my life

How can I repay them and continue to do right?

“Its simple” they said as we all held hands

Just carry the message wherever I land.

 

My heart has been full to bursting lately. I have finally taken myself out of my protective bubble and stepped out of my comfort zone to truly connect with women in the program. Before I showed up to meetings and instantly left. Before the meeting started I sat and stared at my phone. I thought I could have AA in one corner of my life and my other life would still exist. Wrong. I have found friends from my old life slipping away and sober people infiltrating my life…and that is my higher power putting my people in my life.

This poem is short and to the point. It is the smallest of summaries I can give on what the program has given to me already. I have never maintained perfection in sobriety, I have never thought I have it all figured it out because I don’t. I need those who did the time before me to guide me. When I put ego aside I can learn from these warrior women who have achieved sobriety through this simple program (that when left to my own devices is a difficult program.)

I am learning that my worst day in sobriety is still a million times better than a good day drunk and all my problems are sprinkled with blessings from my higher power. I am surrounded by beautiful people with beautiful problems.

Thank you beautiful women (and men) for my sobriety.

 

 

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Great Suffering and Great Love.

Great Suffering and Great Love.

Happy Valentines Day! I know this holiday can stir a lot of emotions, both good and bad for a lot of people. I used to loathe this holiday when I would be coming fresh off a breakup, which always seemed to be my luck. Walking into the grocery store to be assaulted visually by pink, helium filled, heart balloons and teddy bears I wouldn’t be getting was like the nail in the coffin. Even a year ago today I wrote a blog that was eloquent and sincere, but was masked by the facade of strength. Pretending those pink heart balloons weren’t breaking my heart and making me ache deeply….even though they were. A year ago today I was suffering from extreme depression, heartache, and in the throes of my addiction. Wanting so badly to stop drinking but not knowing how I could possibly not go home and drink and watch Sex and the City when my heart was lying somewhere in my stomach and getting out of bed seemed impossible.

A year ago today I was one month single and although I was doing everything in my power to overcome it except the most important thing- abstaining from alcohol- I was in misery. I prayed, I meditated, I listened to self help books, I joined yoga, and I blogged my heart out. I had no idea that the pit in my stomach and heart would never fill because I was bankrupt spiritually and emotionally. I was doing SOME things right, but I wasn’t addressing my addiction. Then to throw me off track even further I met a boy. Well, more like a boy added me on Instagram and I took it upon myself to throw myself at him to an extent. Typical alcoholic and co-dependent behavior, filling one void with something else.

I have no regrets that I started the relationship when I did because the lessons I have learned from it are gifts from my higher power. Sometimes the gifts come cleverly disguised as catastrophes and many parts of my life were just that. I very much love my boyfriend and the time we are taking to focus on our own well being and sobriety.

I find myself reflecting and asking myself how have I grown, even if just a little bit in the past year? I am on a path to freedom and spiritual awakening through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have hit bottom and relapsed over and over again, but the message is clear, I cannot, nor will I ever be able to drink like a normal person can. My happiness is contingent on my spiritual well being. If I am sinking I better fix it fast, because alcohol is always there waiting to seduce me, no matter how much sober time I accumulate. I have found that with alcohol I am insane and with sobriety I have peace. I have found out how to communicate with others respectfully, put boundaries in place, stand up for myself, and pray for people who hurt me instead of taking it personally. All of this is stripped from me when I drink. I am learning how to be ok alone, how to fill my time with meaningful activities that don’t require validation from others. I am learning how to be genuine and true to the person I am.

The most important lesson I have learned though, and how fitting to write on it today, is that I cannot love someone right until I learned to love myself enough to get sober. I can’t stay sober for my boyfriend, my family, my friends, my sponsor, or any other reason. I have to stay sober because I love myself enough to do so. A year ago no one would have come to me-the queen of isolation and resentment- for advice. Today, I have women from all walks of life that message me to ask about AA, anxiety, and overcoming obstacles. Today when women come to me I do not answer with my ego, I pray and ask my higher power how I can guide them where they need to go to find their own healing. Selflessness for the  most part has disappeared, but only if I continue to work on my own healing. If there is contention in my life I say the serenity prayer instead of feeling sorry for myself, and if self pity finds its way into my heart I reach out to people to talk through it. I am only alone if I choose to isolate myself. The family I have made in AA will always be there should I reach out my hand to them.

This past year has been a journey that I needed every minute of. The extreme highs and the lowest lows. I have so much learning and growth to do but the door has opened and the key of willingness stays in my hand.

I have so much love and gratitude in my heart that I feel even through pain. I hope that if you loathe Valentines Day you look at it from a different perspective. The world lacks a lot of things, love and random acts of kindness included. Spread your love and light to others and it will come back to you. But most importantly, find great, big love for yourself.

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