Recovery is Black and White.

Recovery is Black and White.

I wanted to blog about the black and the white parts of recovery. That’s what I call it, I’m not sure if there is a real term for it. I’m sure I can’t speak for everyone, but I am pretty certain most people who have started the journey of recovery have experienced what I have at some point. Maybe not though.

The white parts of recovery are waking up with a clear head, having the whole day ahead of you to be productive and work on personal and spiritual growth, to wake up without feeling sick, to feel wonderful feelings that aren’t muted by alcohol or drugs, to spend time in the presence of family and friends and know what is going on, to always make fairly sound life choices, and so on and so forth. These are the gifts that recovery gives us. It sounds great doesn’t it? Like once us addicts have a piece of that recovery pie we will never want to go back. It’s not that simple though. Even if your grandma makes the best pie in the world, you might still eat a hostess pie from 7-11.

That is what the black part of recovery is like. The bad parts of addiction slip from our memory and we begin to be seduced by the false memories of good times. The laughter, the camaraderie of drinking at your favorite hole in the wall bar with your favorite people and the warmth the first sip of alcohol fills your body with. All of a sudden you don’t care if its grandma’s pie or expired 7-11 Hostess Pie…in your sick mind they both look appealing. You forget about waking up sick, hurting people you love, making detrimental life choices, and feeling despair instead of happiness. How can we forget how far down the scale we have gone? Because we deal with alcohol, cunning and baffling.

No, recovery isn’t black and white in the way that we know the term….I call it black and white because there is a light to it and a dark side to it. Alcohol will always exist and always be there waiting to seduce me back into a life that was unmanageable. How can we forget the gifts that recovery has brought us and relapse? How can I sit here and crave a drink after all the hard work I have put in to stay sober and stay in the white. When you start to slip into the grey area between white and black, that is when relapse happens. The thing is that life and recovery has a lot of shades of grey. In one day alone I think I go from white to black to grey 50 times per hour. The purpose is to just make it through 24 hours at a time without slipping. Sometimes that means one minute at a time instead of one day at a time.

The more days we accumulate the easier it gets. I know because I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I have been MRS. Alcoholics Anonymous hitting more than one meeting a day, reading my big book and attracting others to the program. I have also been the ex girlfriend of AA. I sneered at the program and blamed all of my problems on it.  I have even thrown my big book at the wall in rage.

This all over analyzing though. The only truths I 100% know are as follows:

  • My life in active addiction is unmanageable
  • I cannot recover on my own
  • The program works if you work it- if its not delivering, I’m not working hard enough

There is no purpose to this blog other than to maybe give some insight to the internal battles we feel on a daily basis. We KNOW we can’t use or drink but that doesn’t mean we don’t desire to. We KNOW how deadly this disease is and we still sometimes choose to cave in. That is the sickness of it all. No one wakes up and decides to become an addict and if you are the type of person that thinks life in this hell is a personal choice you are dead wrong. Yes I can choose not to drink, but NO, I cannot choose to remove the disease. All I can do is choose to use the tools I have been given to make sure I don’t succumb to the diseases effects.

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She Put that Bottle to Her Head and Pulled the Trigger.

She Put that Bottle to Her Head and Pulled the Trigger.

The rumors flew, but nobody knew how much she blamed herself

For years and years she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath

She finally drank her pain away a little at a time

But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind

Until the night

She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger

And finally drank away his memory

Life is short but this time it was bigger

Than the strength she had to get up off her knees

We found her with her face down in the pillow

Clinging to his picture for dear life

We laid her next to him beneath the willow

While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby

-This song came on shuffle today and as I was listening it to I had tears streaming down my face. How many times did I try to drink my pain away? Too many. How many times could I have succumbed to dying from this disease? As I’m working on my 4th step this hits even closer to home. I am sitting through some heavy baggage that’s long overdue for processing but I thank God I found the strength to get up off my knees. No matter how many times I have failed I keep getting up.

Space.

Space.

Happy Monday!

I am completely swamped at work but I needed to get a blog in because it’s been awhile since I posted. I have been journaling a lot and working on my 4th step (again) and it is quite time consuming.

The full moon, super moon, lunar eclipse had also taken its toll on me mentally. I am normally not a person that is quick to anger or feel irritable. If I do get angry it goes as quickly as it comes but I found myself feeling very resentful and angry.

I am trying to be more mindful of who I hold space for and set up boundaries. It’s one of the most challenging things I have done because I have always seen the bets in people and allowed so much more than I should. I am learning through working with my sponsor that you can love, respect, and care for people but if you aren’t in a healthy place or they are causing resentments you need to step back. It’s not because you don’t care or that you want to entirely remove people from your life…it’s just where you are at. There are a few friends and family members I have had to “step back” from. My sponsor assures me I don’t need to explain myself and that I just need to focus on myself but that’s hard.

I hope that by the time I am in a better place I can work on rebuilding these relationships. I’m not going to worry about that until I get to my 9th step though so I have awhile to sort through all my feelings.

In other news I have lost 10 pounds through lazy keto and I have started working out. I feel a lot better physically when I am eating right and getting some movement in. I am completely a work in progress right now mentally and physically and am excited to see where this new way of living leads me.

My real estate career has taken off quicker than I anticipated! I am learning so much and feel great things are on the horizons for me. I did a lot of manifesting for success during the full moon.

Today I have 14 days sober and where I feel physically great, I am kind of all over the place emotionally. Which is to be expected.

Sorry this isn’t some profound writing. I promise I will put something out sooner than later!

When You Run Out of Excuses You Run to the Bottle.

When You Run Out of Excuses You Run to the Bottle.

Good morning! It feels like so long since I have blogged, but life has been as lifey as ever and therefore I didn’t have much energy or focus that the blog deserves.

I have always tried to be as candid and honest on the witty witch as possible. I have opened up the seams of my wounds and let you all in and its been such a healing tool for me. When I start to shy away from the people that love me and writing about my pain I am getting to a place where I am trying to stitch myself back up on my own…in recovery we call this isolation. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Since October there has been some issues I have been dealing with in my personal life that have made life exceedingly challenging but I was ready and willing to face them head on.  It seemed that life kept throwing me curve balls no matter how hard I was trying to stay spiritually fit and grow. Sometimes the promises of the program would come true in bursts, and other times it felt like nothing good was happening in my life or would be anytime soon.

I don’t know when it happened but I slowly started to take half measures. I was so wiped out emotionally that I began lacking the energy and focus not only on things like the blog but also my meetings. The very things that keep my centered and healthy I began to resent. Why? Because they require work and I was feeling drained and unable to work. Not really caring if I stayed committed to recovery and spiritual growth. I began doing the bare minimum for the things that heal me and that is DANGEROUS.

I have done this song and dance time and time again and I think every time I have learned my lesson but the problem is we forget. We forget what it’s like to slowly slip back into the darkness and let the sickness envelope us. We stop remembering how good it feels to love ourselves and why we started this journey into recovery in the first place. We lose the will to keep fighting if we don’t work at it every single day and eventually we use. Whether your drug of choice is alcohol, heroin, pills, whatever it is….addiction is a SPIRITUAL problem. The broken parts of us send little messages to our brains that we call cravings and by then we have been on the road to relapse far before we ever pick up again.

My brother was on life support for a week because of an overdose and I felt quite afraid and alone. Two things most addicts fear the most. I kept fearing I would get a phone call that my brother had died. I absolutely “knew” I couldn’t handle that call. I forgot that I don’t get to call the shots and I am living life on life’s terms. I tried desperately to control things that I couldn’t and when I saw no results I chose to drink.

The thing is when you have been in the program you can no longer use the excuse that you don’t know better or you didn’t have support. I had both support and knowledge. I just didn’t care. I was ready to throw it all out the window and quit AA because it seemed like an easier option to just be a drunk. But I know better. Because now that I have seen both sides of the equation I know without a doubt the recovery side is so much better. There is so much hope, love, and light on that side…why do we choose even for a moment to go back to the dark? I don’t know. What I do know is I am accountable and responsible for my own choices. I think the fact that I can even sit and reflect on it without self loathing and can see it for face value shows the improvement in myself. I’m not perfect, none of us are. But we believe in progress over perfection. In the game of recovery any progress is a start.

It’s hard to admit I have let myself and probably my friends in recovery (and out of recovery) down but the point is that I am back up and at it. I don’t feel that fierce ambition I have before and maybe that is a good thing…I feel defeated. Unmanageable. That is how they say you have to come into the doors of AA…broken.

The game plan going forward this time is to keep it simple. Seriously simple. One day at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time. Meetings. Self care. When I feel too tired to go to a meeting that is when I need to go the most. Avoiding triggers. REACHING OUT. Helping other alcoholics recover.

Thank you for always understanding and being gracious with my heart and that fact that I open it to you.

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One Year Later: Confessions of a Trump Voter.

One Year Later: Confessions of a Trump Voter.

This year one of my goals is to be so very genuine without apologies and true to myself that I no longer care what people think of me. I have opened up a lot about my recovery and the growth that has taken place with it as well as my views on paganism. I have however cheated myself by blocking certain people from seeing those posts. That isn’t really me being true to myself without apologies now is it? I want to take this a step further and speak about my political beliefs and the transitions I am going through. First I want to say that I am a believer in peaceful discussion, tolerance, and respectfully listen to LISTEN NOT TO RESPOND. If at any point you read this blog and find yourself wanting to respond to oppose you are more than entitled to do so. Please remember though that this is my journey and my opinion and it’s ok that it might not match yours. Really. We will get through it without having to insult each other or trying to change each others minds.

On my 18th birthday I registered to vote. I was not your normal teenager I guess. I was an editor of my school newspaper and the News Tribune featured an article I had written about The No Child Left Behind Act and how George W. Bush was corrupting our youth or some such thing. I never wanted to argue to just argue when it came to politics (everything else yes), I wanted my voice to actually be heard so I sent in voter registration and bought a pack of cigarettes the day I was able to. I felt like I knew so much about life and politics because I was in advance placement government and began smoking, so clearly I was mature for my age. Although I didn’t inhale when I smoked and I really was only text book smart about politics having not lived enough life to know the difference. I voted for Obama the first time around and got very drunk with euphoria and Carlos Rossi when he won (I was 21 by then). I had just started working for a blue collar, small, family owned business that was run by very conservative folk. That wasn’t what ultimately turned me conservative though. At my job I worked as a property manager and leasing agent. I worked closely with the section 8 program and watched woman after woman come in abusing the system. Their boyfriends lived there for free and they paid no rent. They sold drugs and drove Cadillac’s and didn’t even pay for their utilities. It didn’t seem fair to me. I was working paycheck to paycheck and living with my boyfriend at the time (he would later become my husband). He had impacted wisdom teeth and needed them removed ASAP but didn’t have any medical insurance at his minimum wage job. We applied for state insurance and were denied because “we made too much money.” Rage. Confusion. Bitterness. My personal struggle and battle thrust me into a place of comparison. How could those women get everything free while we worked 40-60 hour weeks to barely live? And like that, I became a republican.

The next few years I blindly listened to debates and when I saw Mitt Romney in the streets of New York I had a big old republican orgasm right then and there. I let bias run my life. If the word democrat was attached to it, it was something to be sneered at. Democrats were a bunch of weak, pansy asses running our country into the ground. Meanwhile I was hanging out with all military wives, my boyfriend was deployed, I was practicing shooting guns, and I was turning into a racist by design without realizing it. I did a boudoir photo shoot wrapped in an American flag before going to a country concert to lift my glass of wine and my middle finger to anyone who didn’t believe you deserved a boot in your ass if you believed different than me.  Anyone on welfare was lazy. Anyone who wanted to take my guns away was a little bitch. It was the republican way or no way. That was just the path of life I was walking down. I had room to be more caring and open minded but it was just my reality then.

Then came the Trump/Hillary election. I voted for Trump not once, but twice. I sat up with two bottles of wine on election night and jumped for sloppy joy that Hillary didn’t win the election and America was about to be great again. The day Trump was inaugurated into office my boyfriend of a year and a few months broke up with me and moved out of our house. It put things into perspective for me. I no longer cared what was going on in the white house because my own house had just been flipped upside down. Thus began my path to  my spiritual awakening and sobriety.

I will skip all the gory details of relapse, active addiction and the shit show my life was….I will get to the part where I found some semblance of peace and order within myself. The more I grew on spiritual lines, the softer I became. It woke the empath in me. To my horror, I started listening to snowflakes crying and FEELING FOR THEM. Thinking to myself “bleeding hearts of the world unite, what is wrong with me!?” I started to see two sides to every story and try as I might I could not turn that biased bitch inside me back on. You know why? Recovery and spiritual awakenings rid us of self seeking behaviors. We begin to integrate with our fellow humans and respect them. We begin to see the nature of our wrongs and make living amends to them even when we do not know we are doing it.

So here I am a year later. You don’t find me twirling around my living room, intoxicated, chanting Make America Great Again and making callous jokes about people who think different than me. You won’t find me laughing or poking at people who don’t see things the way I do. I don’t care if you’re a republican or a democrat. I don’t care if you have a gun. I don’t care if you have 50 guns. I don’t care if you had an abortion. I don’t care if you believe in pro-life. I truly do not give a single SHIT if you think different than me. I stand somewhere in the middle. A place that has been long forgotten in politics. I believe in being fiscally conservative but helping those in a time of need. I believe in immigration but with policy in place and upheld. I believe in working hard for what you want and not taking a handout for every single thing. I believe in your right to protect your family with arms but to earn that right and privilege with more than your American status. I believe in humility, dignity, and respect. Something that Donald Trump has NOT exuded.

I write this blog on Martin Luther King Jr. day because our world and our nation is so far removed from his message. We are in a place of practicing intolerance, hate, racism, speaking without thinking, and fighting without cause. We need to see a change that is bigger than our nation, but a worldwide level. Take the blinders off, open your heart, and listen to your neighbors. Listening is not a binding contract. Don’t worry, you won’t become a “snowflake” if you listen with an open heart to what someone feels and if you take another person’s opinion to heart, you need to reflect on your own sense of security within yourself.

We all come from different walks of life which mold us into the people we become and aid in our beliefs and that is the beauty of diversity. I will not shun you for where you came. I am sorry for the intolerance I have projected into the universe and promise to make living amends by always trying to be humble and kind regardless of your political beliefs or religion.

Go forward from here with love and light. Namaste.

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Bloom, Baby, Bloom.

Bloom, Baby, Bloom.

Happy New Year and Happy one year anniversary to the witty witch!

One year ago this  month I started this blog. I cannot believe how fast it has gone…in the blink of a teary eye it went by. I speak so candidly on the happenings in my world that there isn’t room to write a reflecting piece as I write so frequently on what is happening in my life. As always though the urge to write was there, so here I am.

2017, what a year. So many blessings, so much good, and so many lows. There are a few precious lessons I learned that a value cannot be placed on. These lessons are only learned through living life. Sometimes they seem harsh and overbearing but they are necessary. How can we grow if we are stuck in safe little boxes? How can we see the light if we never see the dark? How can we know high if we didn’t scrape bottom?

The first lesson I learned is letting go. As a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder letting go used to be impossible. My mind was a pitbull. It would clamp its jaws on a thought and shake it until it was no longer recognizable. So many thoughts became “truths” to me that I spent less and less time in the present and the real truth and stuck in some warped sense of reality. I learned that although I believe our thoughts can become things…they aren’t YET. When a thought drifts into your head, that’s all it is yet. A thought. Not a reality. Worrying has never accomplished anything except manifest poor results and form frown lines. I haven’t mastered it yet but I have started to learn the beauty in letting it go. Learning to sit side by side an uncomfortable thought with acceptance in my heart and and peace in my mind. This was something I never would have began practicing if it weren’t for sobriety. This doesn’t work when you are a bottle of wine in drowning in all your thoughts and worry. Some refer to this as mindfulness and there are entire books and workshops on how to become the master of it.

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The second lesson I learned is comparison will kill you. Maybe not physically but it will mentally destroy you. I have mastered few things in my 30 years of life, but comparison I practically have a PhD in. Comparing my outer appearance, my grades, my progress in recovery, my house to the neighbors, my growth spiritually to everyone else, my weight loss or gain, my clothes, my makeup, my sense of humor, EVERYTHING. I could never just peacefully own and accept something as my own. Just like with drinking though I soon got very sick of my own bullshit. 30 years is an exhaustive amount of time to be stuck in a cycle of self loathing and comparing yourself to others. I still catch myself doing it but the real lesson here was knowing how very detrimental it is to my peace. Nobody is living the life I am. How can I possibly begin to compare my journey to someone else when we are never on the same page as another person? We might have similar journeys and cross paths from time to time, but this journey is truly one you are taking alone. Even if you are married, have kids, etc…you are the one who has to walk through this life and with that comes a certain responsibility to yourself.

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The third is the hardest for me yet and I have barely got a tiny grasp on it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you or your actions as long as you can stand by your choices with a clear conscience and open heart. I have never NOT worried what someone was thinking about me. It was bad enough I sat and worried myself sick with my own thoughts and comparison I was also concerned with what everyone else would think and feel about me if I did or acted a certain way. I am a people pleasing doormat. I have allowed people to say and do hurtful things to me because I think they have some right or privilege to do so and that is wrong. When I make life choices I tend to explain myself in great detail or give my reasons why I did what I did. Why? I follow my heart and intuition and that should be enough. Again, this is MY journey…why do I feel the need to get a stamp of approval from everyone else and then wither and die inside when they don’t agree with me or understand me? It is in my nature and ingrained in my very being but I am working hard to release it little by little. You think my choice to join AA versus a faith based recovery program is stupid? Too bad. You think I should do a high carb way of eating instead of high fat? Oh well. You think paganism is equal to Satan worship? Bless your heart. You think my boyfriend is trash because you don’t personally like him? Guess it’s a good thing he is my boyfriend and not yours then. You think I’m a snowflake because I care about human rights? Good, I would rather be a shimmery snowflake than a rigid asshole with a boner for Trump. Something that is true for all aspects of our lives is what works for some doesn’t work for others. Being an empath its hard to feel such strong emotions coming off people and NOT take it personally but I really am working on it and I hope if you know me personally you RESPECT that. Love me for the content of my character, my sense of humor, my good grace and even my flaws…

I know going forward and very shortly there will be some struggles I will have to face. I don’t know yet how big or serious they will be but I know they are coming. I am fearful what it means for my sobriety. I am fearful for what it means for my life. I do know though that no matter what comes going forward I have a lot of good in this world. I have a lot of people on my side and a lot of love. I am a firm believer that love can get you through some of the worst situations and when love is lacking there is always books and bubble baths.

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So all of that being said I know that all things are temporary. Happiness, pain, strife, stress, and joy. I hope that whatever temporary spot you are personally in right now is serving you warmth, joy and love. I hope for myself that this year continues to be a year of growth and blooming. Namaste.

Social Media, The Ultimate Mean Girl.

Social Media, The Ultimate Mean Girl.

Good morning! I hope this blog finds you well rested and loved after Christmas. I wish I could say that I am in top shape but I have definitely been better. I have a nasty cold complete with chest coughs, blocked nasal passages and a fever. The cherry on top was losing my voice. I sound like Patti Mayonnaise. But, I didn’t get on here to complain about that! All in all I had a quiet Christmas spent with people I love and that’s all I can ask for.

Something has been weighing on my mind though. The holidays are of course about seeing family and catching up with each other, near and far. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so many other public forums it feels like we already know what is going on in a person’s life. We get to watch children grow from afar, feel a person’s pain during loss, and so much more. But do you ever really know what is going on in a person’s life unless they personally come to you and tell you? Some of the brightest, smiling, faces online are struggling behind comprehension. Being able to share with friends and family online is a treasure. It’s a privilege to be chosen to apart of a person’s life online. That doesn’t give anyone the right to start questioning you or judging you or thinking they know your whole life story. We live in this world where we feel entitled to an endless source of personal information about one another. When I went through my last break up I actually deactivated my Facebook for 6 or more months because I couldn’t handle the people questioning me “what happened?” “You seemed so happy” “Are you single now?” It was so horrible I actually never reactivated that Facebook. Too many memories and far too many “friends” on that list. So I created a new one where I honestly am very selective about who gets to be on there.

My life is pretty much an open book. You can’t be a blogger and not have a certain degree of honesty about your life. My writing is my therapy. It’s hard for me to open up sometimes. You might not know it, but hitting that “publish” button sometimes takes my breath away. Is someone going to judge me? Is my writing good enough? Am I being TOO candid? But I still do it, because I am growing through every post.

The moral of this story is that  when someone trusts you enough to give you a front seat to the show of their life you should respect that. If someone wanted you to know every personal detail of what is going on beyond the photographs, they would tell you. You are NOT entitled to knowing everything about someone just because they have given you the chance to share fragments of their life.

I love social media for keeping me connected to the people I care about but I worry that we are becoming so detached from the reality that there is a person behind the screen. It’s easy to question, threaten, intimidate, or have an opinion about a person when you aren’t facing them directly. It’s also just as easy to love, compliment, and spread cheer. It seems lately though that social media has turned into a breeding ground for bullies. Technology has us jaded and I for one am going to make it a goal to unplug more often. When I go to the yoga studio and turn my phone off for an hour and a half and spend time doing nothing but nurturing myself and being present, I feel so much better. It’s like all the fuzz in my brain is gone. There is clarity that comes from being mindful and focused.

When you spend all your time staring at your newsfeed you are soaking up all those people’s energies. If they are in a bad mood and complaining, you are inviting that into your space by reading it. I am not some granola hippie (well…to some extent I am)…I am not crying out for total social media abstinence. I am just bringing attention to the fact that there is more to life than what meets the eye online.

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