Women’s Groups & Crystals for Addiction

Women’s Groups & Crystals for Addiction

Another day down. Another beautiful morning!

My days feel quite chaotic between work, real estate school and now meetings but it’s a good kind of chaos. Last night I had my first women’s group meeting and I think I may have found my “home group” and hopefully where I will find my sponsor! They were such candid, open, friendly and lovely souls. Forget handshakes…they each hugged me and welcomed me to the family. It is amazing the power unity can have over you. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel like I just wanted to belong…I felt like I did. We all have different stories but we are all walking the same path together. I’ve never met a friend or stranger who said “I’m the one who works nights, so if you need to talk, I’m the one to call at 3 AM…I put a star by my name”. Another girl took a selfie and put her number in my phone then texted herself “to make sure to bug you about coming back.” These people truly want you to succeed. I just feel so blessed and humbled today.

All that being said, I am now working on step 2 since I can only beat step one to death so many times a day. I get it…I am powerless over my disease and my life. Now its time to take the plunge to step two: ““Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I consider myself a very spiritual person. I am still trying to wrap my head around the use of the word God in the literature. I have gotten into this before on this blog…I believe in God as an entity and the Goddesses so I have to remember when it says “God” to just refer to my higher power. This step is more challenging the first step because it requires SURRENDER. Surrender is difficult for those (especially addicts) with abandonment and trust issues. Asking one to surrender is asking a lot. From what I gather from the meetings though, this comes easier. The more you attend the more your walls break down. I am going to give it a little push so I started doing some research on healing with crystals (and of course doing reiki on myself). Here is what I have found on the chakras and crystals for addiction…

CRYSTALS 

Amethyst is the mother of all healing crystals for addiction according to all the sites I have visited. Here is a direct quote from the Harbor Village Florida recovery site:

Amethyst: Amethyst in Greek actually translates into “not drunk.” As such amethyst is touted among crystal healers as the ultimate go-to for addiction to any substance, really. But the purple wonder is a favorite among recovering alcoholics too. In crystal healing amethyst helps bring its users closer to their own spirituality, bestow wisdom, and help wash away negativity with divine wisdom. Meditating with this stone is alleged to cleanse and recharge the body, mind, and spirit.

SOURCE: Harbor Village

Amethyst is one of my favorite stones. With the right intention you can do so many things. You can open your third eye, heal yourself physically and apparently help with alcoholism!

Another great stone is Citrine. Citrine can help balance your Solar Plexus Chakra which is in charge of your will power. Citrine also banishes negativity and leaves the user feeling light and warm.

There are other specific stones for specific addictions but since I am an alcoholic, my research has centered on alcoholism.

CHAKRAS 

Each Chakra plays an active role in addiction and recovery. Here are how our chakras can effect us during active addiction and recovery:

CROWN– The crown is located on top of the head and rules our thoughts and consciousness. It also controls our spirituality and nervous system. If the crown is out of balance it makes sense that these things will be suffering…over thinking, lack of spiritual connections, and overwhelming thoughts are an effect of an unbalanced crown.

THIRD EYE- Our third eye does more than look into the future or control our psychic abilities. It also controls our ability to look within ourselves for answers we know to be true. If the third eye is clouded  you may feel like you don’t know up from down or where to start on your journey to recovery. Ironically, the stone that can balance your Third Eye is the Amethyst, so this is an important Chakra to pay attention to when in recovery. The third eye also regulates sleep…something most addicts struggle with. 

THROAT- The throat Chakra controls not only how we communicate but can also dictate our compulsiveness. Many addicts, if not all, have a careless compulsiveness. Therefore making sure the throat is aligned will help ease temptation to relapse. 

HEART- The heart dictates our emotions. Many addicts bury their emotions or conversely, display them in an erratic manner. The heart also controls sugar cravings, which are amplified in recovery. When one balances the heart Chakra they should feel more emotionally stable and strong.  

SOLAR PLEXUS- The solar plexus is one of the key Chakras to helping with recovery. As I mentioned before, it controls our will power, our digestion, our fears and our anxieties. A huge part of recovery is having the willpower to say NO. If your solar plexus is a mess, you will struggle with having the power to say no day after day. 

SACRAL- The Sacral Charka centers around pleasures. Addicts love to feel pleasure wether it be from a high, a buzz, sex, etc. The Sacral is more geared towards sexual pleasure however. Sometimes when addicts are clean they find a higher sex drive is present. This should be monitored so one addiction doesn’t crossover to sex addiction. Balancing of this will keep a steady and healthy sex drive. Some may become depressed on the opposite hand though and have no sex drive. If you balance this Chakra you should have a balanced sex drive and healthy sex life. 

ROOT- Our root is our center. Like the crown it is one of the cardinal Chakras for well being. The root keeps us grounded and is our center of survival. When the root is strong and balanced our sense of survival kicks in therefore pushing us forward through recovery while keeping us grounded. 

You do not have to be a certified Reiki healer to balance your own Chakras. There are a lot of sites on Etsy where you can get a beginner Chakra set and simply meditate with them, get to know them, and heal with them. Additionally, you don’t even need to be an addict or have anything remarkably wrong with you to balance your Chakras. Its a good practice for anyone from any walk of life. It helps relax your mind, body, and spirit. We can ALL use some TLC for ourselves.

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Life in Technicolor

Life in Technicolor

Happiest of Wednesdays loves! Each day that goes by on this journey presents challenges and eye opening experiences. Today I want to continue to document my journey on the path of recovery.

Yesterday I was VERY afraid of relapse. We went to a baseball game, which was normally an excuse for us to spend an obscene amount of money on wine and beer and sloppily root for our team. I wondered how I would have fun if I couldn’t go to my wine shop in the corner of the stadium. When we stopped to get gas I had an overwhelming craving for sugar. I NEVER eat sugar. I am a salty snacks girl and always have been. I got some skittles and Reeses not only to curb the sugar craving but to give my mouth something to do since I used to drink “road sodas” on the way to the games. On the road I hopped on my pocket rehab app and started chatting with people and came across a forum someone had posted saying that eating sugar when you crave alcohol helps keep you away from it. I looked at my S/O and told him what I had read and said “I am a natural at recovery” LOL. You gotta find the humor sometimes. Eating candy with 56 grams of carbs is 100% not Keto, but this is my first week sober and I am picking and choosing my battles. I’ll take skittles over a relapse. We get to the the game and go to find my friend who is already in our seat. We are passing beer stand after beer stand that we used to stop at on the way. We used to get to the stadium an hour early to make sure we had time to get drinks before opening pitch. There are people all around passing with Rainier, wine, mikes, angry orchard….you name it, it was being thrown in our face. We hightailed it to our seats and with a collective sigh were in the clear. This is when things turned around.

I realized in looking around how vibrant, colorful, and SHARP everything is. I noticed the clouds tinged with pink, the green grass of the field, the girl in front of me snap chatting someone named “Alex W” flirty winky faces, and the old couple in front me holding hands and using binoculars to see better. When the old woman couldn’t get her hood on all the way, her husband lovingly helped smooth it out and put it in place for her. I noticed the scent of garlic fries, the father and daughter sitting together trying to start the wave…and then there was the depth of conversation with my girlfriend. We didn’t talk about anything too serious or thought provoking, but I REMEMBER it all and ENJOYED it. When Motter hit a home run I didn’t blearily look up to see what the commotion was about and who had done what. I saw it in real time and technicolor. There were so many beautiful little details about the universe going on all around me that made my heart warm. Things I never would have noticed on my quest for my next drink.

We enjoyed slices of greasy pizza (which is always my tradition), but I ate it slowly and enjoyed every bite as opposed to drunkenly stuffing half the slice in my mouth. I sipped watery Diet Pepsi and that was ok with me.

We left during the 7th inning which is also our standard on work nights. Normally we have trouble finding the car, have to go to the bathroom 500 times and then pass out when we get  home. This night I was running and jumping in the parking garage trying to slap the over hangs on the ceiling which were very low, and much to my S/O’s amusement, I am still too short to touch. It was goofy, good-natured fun. When we got home we got in bed and talked about our plans for our separate meetings for the week and I won’t get into other details about the rest of the night but I will say…it seems that EVERYTHING is even more amazing sober 😉

Although we went to bed late for our standard I am refreshed and proud. I am glad I knocked another thing off the list of things I used to do drunk that ended up being fun sober. Its starting to be less daunting and more exciting!

In other exciting sober news….My mom is a complete nut to some degree and drives around in a van with others from Union Gospel and tries to convince people on the streets that are using to get in and go to treatment. A lot of the time they are unsuccessful, but yesterday she convinced one young man to get in and go to treatment. I ask that my readers pray, put out good vibes, speak to your Goddess, whatever you do….Ask that this young man stays in the treatment and has a chance at life. She also ran into a young woman shivering in shorts and a tee shirt who wasn’t ready for treatment, but she gave her the coat off her back. Our family may be broken and riddled with addiction, but we are taking the most babiest of baby steps to conquer it. One soul at a time.

 

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My Solar Plexus Aint Right.

My Solar Plexus Aint Right.

Happy Monday beautiful people! I have been busy busy busy this weekend!

On Friday I walked in my commencement ceremony. It was fun and exciting and a little bit sad. I will miss my school and the friends I made…the clubs I joined…but I am excited to have that checked off my bucket list. Originally I intended to immediately transfer to UW Tacoma or WSU online to get my BA in business but I am kind of worn out on the business front. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the program and saw that I had not only earned my AA in Business but also 4 additional certificates. I was anticipating 2 certificates but I received one in customer service, management, entrepreneurship, and sales. My focus now is going to be passing the state exam for my broker’s license. I love real estate and with my history working at title companies, the builder’s office for the past ten years, and leasing I think I will be quite successful if I put myself out there. I am going to take the practice exam for the first 60 hours this week and then chug along to the last 30 and second portion.

This weekend was a challenge on the sobriety front. I have learned the importance of going to meetings because if you miss one you might fuck up. Which I did. I will admit it. No one tells you going into this how shitty you will feel. The agitation, the depression, the “lost” feeling. I tried to keep myself busy with healthy activities. I deep cleaned the house, went kayaking, scavenged my parents private beach for seashells, cooked, everything you can think of. I am trying not to beat myself up for it, rather use it as a learning experience. Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. Especially on the weekends. I have been networking with other women I know in the program and made plans to go to some meetings with them but I really need to find my place in all this. I REALLY need to find a sponsor that I can connect with and rely on. Doing this alone is way too hard. Especially when its two people trying to stay clean together. We can either build each other up or convince each other to slip up.

I have a new found respect for people who have come out on the other side and a new found understanding of people who can’t get it together. This is by far the hardest battle I have ever faced. It’s like running up hill with a fat guy on your back and the fat guy is all the shit you’ve done wrong and all the mistakes you’ve made. It’s so much easier to drop his ass and go back down the hill. But I don’t want to stop running. I want to run until I have the strength to make it to the top and never look back. I want sobriety so bad. So if I want it so bad why is it so hard? As I have watched my brother’s addiction to heroin spiral out of control for the past 5 years I would get furious at him. Why can’t he just get it together? Why can’t he stop? Why is he at his 20th rehab right now…hasn’t anything sunk in? & now I get it. We do not choose this life. We do not choose to have this disease. People who don’t have compassion for addicts must never have felt powerless and alone in their life. If they did they would understand the challenges we face everyday. Every day we have to make the choice to keep going or falling back and that is a big decision and a hard one when your brain and body want so badly to succumb to the addiction.

I am going to channel all my energy on obsessing over recovery. Weaker souls than mine have made it out of this. I have never backed down from a challenge and have succeeded at everything I have put my heart and mind to…this should be no different. I need a new moon like yesterday to do some moon magick for willpower. I definitely need to reiki the shit out of my solar plexus chakra. Ah, this is inspiring me to do a piece on the chakras and addiction. I will do some research today and probably put something together later.

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Stepping Stones.

Stepping Stones.

So although I am new (again) to the sobriety thing I can already see small but positive changes in my life. It’s these little stepping stones that will guide me to the big victories.

For example: I have been talking to a lovely girl I met through my S/O’s NA group. I invited her to a meeting in Seattle this weekend, not really expecting her to say yes because that is the norm for people I had been surrounding myself with. Flakiness, backing out, etc. But she instantly said yes! Sober people are so down to support you and help keep you lifted up without skipping a beat. Then today. I did my Starbucks routine: Grande cold brew with cream and 2 stevias and a trenta ice water. For the first time in a long time I picked up the coffee first and sipped it. Before, I would literally drink a whole trenta ice water before I got to work because I was so dehydrated and couldn’t stomach coffee until I drank water. I wasn’t even consciously choosing the coffee over the water this morning but when I put it down I realized what had happened. To some this is such a minuscule thing to even notice but to me it was a mark of waking up refreshed and NOT dying of thirst and nausea. It is also a mark of being entirely present in the moment. There were days where I don’t even barely remember driving to work because I was so exhausted and felt so shitty. Today I went into work an hour early and drank my coffee first. Small, but real victories.

Today is my graduation ceremony and it feels odd but liberating to not be celebrating with a fifth of vodka. It also feels weird to be having company tomorrow and not serve alcohol. I jokingly asked my friend “what do you do at a party if you don’t drink? Communicate like normal humans? Unclear.” Although I was joking, I’m not….lol. What DO you do?? I have to re-learn how to socialize without drinking. That concept might come easy to others but my whole adult life alcohol has always been the life of the party. I guess we will just have to see what tomorrow brings. Since I am supposed to be taking it one day at a time I will put tomorrow on the shelf and embrace whatever comes then.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if anyone on here is graduating also, CONGRATS!

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Heroin & Housing

Heroin & Housing

I have written at length about addiction, specifically Heroin. Yesterday in Real Estate school I was on the section that covers Fair Housing laws and Civil Rights Acts. My mind is completely BLOWN by what I was reading. It’s great that people can be protected by laws if they are gay, straight, black, Asian, white, disabled, married, single, or from another country. Even alcoholism is viewed as a disability. BUT, if you are a known drug addict, you can be denied housing rights. On the end of chapter test it asked “what would disqualify you from having the right to file suit regarding fair housing?”

a. Alcoholism

b. Heroin use

c. Mental illness

d. Race

I understand the stigma that comes along with Heroin. Trust me. Heroin is the ugly skeleton that used to hide in my family’s closet. The elephant in the room at Christmas parties. The skeletal shell of a person that was once my vibrant little brother. It BREAKS MY HEART knowing that this disease can prevent people legally from obtaining HUMAN CREATURE COMFORTS like housing. There has been very few amendments since the original Civil Rights Act of 1866. In fact it was not amended until 1964 and again in 1968. The Fair Housing Act came out after and both are meant to protect HUMAN RIGHTS.  If you are or were a drug addict you are STILL A HUMAN. My blood boils. Something has to change. Addiction is addiction. IT IS A DISEASE. Are we going to wait another 200 years to acknowledge that addiction to Opiates is sweeping the nation???

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The World Will Break Your Heart

The World Will Break Your Heart

Please forgive the potential sloppiness of this post. I am not thinking or feeling clearly at all and I just had to write to get it out of me. Although I am slammed at work prepping for litigation I just cannot focus another second without getting all of this off my chest.

I wrote previously about how I had to bring my brother back to rehab alone after he relapsed. It was scary and painful and all too familiar. By the grace of God we found a flight the next day and sent him to California again. He has been there about 60 days for a 90 day program. Yesterday I saw  snap chats from him in Palm Springs…he is telling our friends and family he is on a road trip. YOU DON’T GET TO TAKE ROAD TRIPS WHEN YOU’RE IN A PROGRAM. He also claims he is going to sober living, but who even knows? Sober living has never once kept him clean…literally only phase one of treatment has kept him in line. I cannot stop crying thinking of that night when I picked him up and he was so sick. I can’t stop thinking of him breathing through a tube. I can’t stop thinking about the time he CRUELLY sent me a snap chat of his friends passed out with needles in the back of a car. How much more can this family take? He isn’t on a fucking road trip he is on a one way road to death and destruction. Am I used to him relapsing? YES. But it never gets easier, and I have a horrible feeling. Now he may not have relapsed…but he is out against medical advice in the streets.

In the past month I have had to cut out friendships that were important to me for my own sanity….just because I care for people doesn’t mean I will tolerate abuse. That also doesn’t make it easy to say goodbye. I found out other things today not related to my brother that I don’t want to get into but they are just adding to the weight on my shoulders.

I sat on the bathroom floor at work today and sobbed and sobbed. Then I had to drive to Seattle because my manfriend needed something. I DO NOT drive in the City. It was horrific as to be expected and I got lost per standard. I will say though that in that moment of sadness and panic seeing his lopsided grin and getting a brief kiss did alleviate some of my anxiety and sadness.

I am going to get a good workout in tonight and try to release this negative energy from the day. I have a full weekend of seeing my God Son for his 5th birthday (another tear sheds…where did the time go???) I was the birthing partner for my best friend and helped deliver him. One of the most magical moments of my life. I love that little boy with my whole heart! I also hope to get a hike in because this witty witch needs a nature fix.

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Hello Darkness My Old Friend.

Hello Darkness My Old Friend.

Many of you may know I have struggled with anxiety my whole life, or at least you know that in my adult life I have suffered from it. Lately (again….4 planets in retrograde) I have felt an overwhelming sense of dread. Rarely has depression trailed my anxiety but lately I have been wrestling with both. I have become well acquainted with anxiety and embraced that it’s a life long partner that will sometimes raise hell. But depression…I have less experience. Despite all the traumas I have endured I have always been able to keep the darkness out of my personality or thoughts. So I thought, what better way to overcome it then wade through the muddy waters and figure out what is going on beyond the obvious. To do this I like to go over my personal history of overcoming anxiety so I can remind myself that I have done it before.

I had my first panic attack that I can remember when I was 6 years old. I was at my mom’s house laying on the bed trying to sleep and felt like I couldn’t breathe. I quite literally believed that was the end and I was dying. My dad is an RN and I made him drive to come get me. What became apparent to the adults in my life would not sink in until I was 14 and got put on my first round of anti-depressants. Imagine struggling with an anxiety disorder when you aren’t even mentally mature enough to process things like adrenaline rushes, extreme fear, and physical discomfort. At 6 years old you should only know pain when you fall off a bike and skin your knee. You shouldn’t experience hyperventilation, insomnia, and stomach aches from anxiety.

From 14 on I have been on and off anxiety medications. You name it, I’ve been on it. Effexor makes me stop eating, Paxil makes me angry with mood swings, Zoloft, Prozac,Trazadone to sleep, Ativan to calm down, Buspar, Lexapro, Cymbalta makes me have nightmares and puke, and finally Celexa. Whenever I am having a “bout” as I call it…I always go back to Celexa. SSRI’s are not pleasant drugs to get on or off. The side effects getting on are such that this last “bout” I struggled a whole year  before I bit the bullet and went back to the doctor. It took having full on night terrors (sleep walking, screaming in my sleep, gasping for air) to get me in.  The doctor eased me into it really well and within weeks I was sleeping and the night terrors had stopped. I HIGHLY dislike any sort of drugs. I don’t even take ibuprofen for headaches, but my body was responding so terribly to the anxiety that I had no choice, and for that I feel angry at myself sometimes.

I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when I was about 23. In my many hours of research I have learned that OCD is such an extreme anxiety disorder that many practicing psychiatrists and psychologists consider it not even on the anxiety disorder spectrum, but an entire disease on its own, with anxiety as a side effect. I have also read many times that in order to live a functioning and normal life I might have to stay on medication my whole life. I used to feel fearful or angry over that. I have gotten in many fights with my brain and my inner voice over this. But then I accepted it. OCD is not me but it’s a small part of me.

I started cognitive behavior therapy along with my medicine and things were going smashingly! I graduated college, bought my first little house, and enrolled in real estate school! I even survived a break up I thought would destroy me and came out stronger than ever. So why this “bout”? Why now. Here is where the processing comes in. As I have written this I have been processing why I feel this way and the fucked up answer is because I am happy.

I do not like to wear my tragedies on my sleeve. I don’t like to seem like a victim but it would be foolish to deny that I have endured more than some do in a lifetime. This past year alone my cousin took a gun to his head and shot himself. My brother relapsed on heroin and I had to go pick him up and bring him to a sober living house to get suboxone. His eyes were sunk into his head, he smelled like chemicals and was sick. I was sick. I couldn’t stomach looking at him like that. Hugging him goodbye as he booked a flight for his 16th rehab.. it brought me back to the Easter morning i sat by his bed holding his hand as he was in a medically induced coma breathing through a ventilator. He didn’t overdose but his heroin bender and had prevented him from taking his insulin and he went into ketoacidosis and nearly died. His “friends” dumped him in a puddle on the side of the road that day and left him for dead. That was 4 years ago and we are still fighting this addiction.

And then there was the break up. It came out of nowhere, with no warning. There were no fights, there was no love lost, it just died a natural death. Like a shooting star that burned so bright for too long and lost its energy and fizzed out.  I am no stranger to abandonment but it doesn’t make it any more easy to deal with. I KNOW HOW TO LIVE IN SOLITUDE AND SADNESS.  I know what to expect….but when you are happy….what if something comes and takes that away? What if my brother comes home and this time he doesn’t survive his relapse? I already buried a brother. I can’t do it again. What if I find myself in the same place I was earlier this year, watching someone I care about open the door on a random Friday afternoon and never come back? The killer here is WHAT IF. What if is the killer of hopes, dreams, and happiness and WHAT IF is OCD’s best friend. This is the cause for anxiety. This is why I feel depressed. Because I am happy and don’t want it robbed from me. But in effect I am robbing myself of it anyways. & that my friends is what living with anxiety does to you.

Thank you for sticking with me to the end of this very long, personal, and painful post. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am so glad I am capable of sifting through the shit show that is my brain now to come to a conclusion and set myself straight. 85f9f84559c2ccfe771faf20ff39f6e8