My Truth, Sober Living

Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past….but I’ve Been Redeemed You Set Me FREE

Today started off as a typical day. 2 Sons at work and my youngest and I were home. I made a list of things to do including some outdoor stuff that I wanted to be finished sooner rather than later because of the heat. 

I live in a townhouse and have a pretty small yard. Really too big for a push mower so I have a small electric mower. I got the mover out of shed and headed out the back gate to walk around to the front yard. 

When I opened the gate, in the grass just outside the gate was a plastic beer bottle. It was a 40 oz and was the brand my ex would drink. 

For a split second, I was frozen in my tracks at the thought that it was his. As quick as that feeling came, it went. It was just trash. It held no power. It held no feelings. It does not define me or a time in my life. It’s not mine. 

My day continued to be a typical day. 

How far I have come in my recovery in the last 110 days. It makes me smile to know that ghosts from my past, hold no power. That only with the grace of God and me working my program was I able to not be rattled by seeing that garbage in the grass. 

After I cut the grass, I did some trimming and went in the front door for water and to take a break. A bit later I had to run get my son from work. I took the mower back around to the back shed. I don’t even remember seeing the beer bottle that time. 

As soon as I got in the car to get my son, this song played.

  
BIG DADDY WEAVE LYRICS
“Redeemed”
Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone

Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free

So I’ll shake off these heavy chains

Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free

So I’ll shake off these heavy chains

Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be

Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be

Jesus, I’m not who I used to be

‘Cause I am redeemed

Thank God, redeemed

This new life and way of thinking with recovery is so amazing. I am so grateful for the Celebrate Recovery program and those to attend and support each other. I am so grateful for my sponsor who is helping to guide me while I work the steps, and I am so very grateful that I am willing to live life differently, with God first and trusting His plan. 

My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth

I choose FAITH

Did some more work on step 4 last night. 

 It’s summer here for sure…..highs of 91 today….and my AC is broken. Oh well, can’t do anything about it right now. 

I took this picture mid morning from my backyard and was reminded that Regret looks behind, Worry looks around BUT FAITH LOOKS UP. 

 
My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth, What Does The Bible Say???

running on empty…

I feel like I’ve been running on empty for a very long time and especially lately. for different reasons but empty all the same. 

Sparks of recharging but short lived. 

I have felt overwhelmed about all parts of my life for a long time. Trying to keep all the parts moving within reason. 

I am planning on making some time this weekend and get a plan together for a few things that need to be taken care of. 

  

Plan your work, work your plan.   

I have often thought about time and energy spent on different parts of life as tanks. My relationship with God tank, my relationships with my kids tank, my personal development tank, my friends tank, my enjoyment at work tank, my financial tank as examples. I draw tanks and label them. On a scale of 1 empty to 10 super happy where do I feel I am in these different places. 

How I choose to spend my time and energy is my decision. Sometimes some things need to take a backseat and less of my attention. 

Spending time and energy on my recovery from codependency and really healing from prior bad relationships takes time, energy and willingness. I’m so there but it’s exhausting. 

Hoping this 3 day weekend will allow me to recharge, reevaluate and recover a little bit more. 

John 16:13 
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Proverbs 21:5 
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

James 1:5 
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Painting…

I have been blogging for 60 something days now about the story of my codependency and recovery from a dysfunctional relationship with an alcoholic. 

In my blogging, I have been able to use my paintings and added text using an app called Font Candy. It’s been a very cool experience for me to be able to use my artwork in this way. Who knew that these two outlets would work together so well. 

It’s official, I’m out of artwork to use. So I better get busy. 

I am hoping to paint some more things soon but I figured I’d share some life lessons I am reminded of while painting.  

1. If you know you want to be or do X. Find People being or doing X and do that……I have to share this quick story. A few years ago I was at the grocery store and looked at the items on the belt of the person in front of me. ‘Huh, so that’s what skinny people eat’ I thought and chuckled to myself for thinking that and an idea was born. I asked a group of ladies to go to dinner with me. They all were inspiring to me in their own way. A week before dinner, I asked them for their to go happy inspiring song. At dinner I presented each friend with a CD of the 12 songs that lift us up. I figured that if you want to be happy, find out what happy people listen to and listen to that! So if you want to paint, find  paintings that make you happy or inspired or interested in and do that. You want to —– find people doing it and talk to them and do that. 

2. Get inspired. I am fairly new at painting so I search the Internet, Pinterest and You tube for inspiration. My final artwork often looks nothing like the original. But it’s got my spin. Be inspired, add your spin. It’s mine and I love it. 

3. If you know me, you know I love pink. My room as a kid was pink, my prom dress was pink, the tire cover on my Army Green Jeep is pink, my hair had been pink, my sons have pink dress shirts and pink ties just for me. My Keurig is pink. I guess it’s a good thing that I have sons. I can’t have too much pink in my life. So know what you love and what makes you happy and have that around you.  I have many shades of pink paint because I know I’m going to use it.

 4. Make time. People make time for what they want to do. It’s true for anything. If I want to go to the gym, I’ll make time to do it. If I don’t, I’ll make an excuse. It’s how people work. HOWEVER, If you are finding you don’t have time for something you want, I would recommend you put it on your calendar to force youself to make time or ask for help. Can you do this so I can now do that. You’ll figured out a other time to fold laundry, trust me.

5. Don’t rush. When you rush, you make mistakes. And some mistakes can be really hard to fix. Slow down, enjoy where you are. 

  

6. Don’t take short cuts. Shorts cuts sometimes seems like a good idea, but in the end cause unforeseen problems. I painted something for a coworker and I took out my hairdryer to dry the canvas, which caused the paint to crack when it fully dried by the next day. Everytime I see it, it makes me shake my head and think I should have been more patient. 

7. When you make a mistake. STOP. Take a break. In painting, you have to let it dry completely, then you can often paint over it and no one will know. But not waiting, it will be a big freaking mess and only get worse. 

8. If it’s didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Get a new canvas and start over. You can always paint the 1st one over in white, let it dry and start all over. You can always start over from this moment. We all fuck up. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s cool. Start from this second and do the next right thing. 

9. Clean up your mess and make a list of what you need so you are ready for next time. I have had to throw out bushes because I didn’t clean up or  went to start painting only to find out that I’m out of white or black (or pink…..never) paint. Finishing well and setting yourself up for next time is part of the process. 

10. Take time to feel proud of your accomplishment and share it with someone else. Remember #1, someone will see you being awesomely you, and ask you what you are doing. Embrace that! Be that. 

BONUS #11. Be authentically you. No one is more qualified to be you than you are. Don’t be afraid to be authentic. I can tell from my paintings that I’ve painted over or blog posts that I deleted when I was doing it for someone else and not being me. You’ll know. And once you are authentic, everyone else will too. 

You know her, Mar, she may struggle with codependency but she is pretty awesome, just saying. =0) 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth, What Does The Bible Say???

Finding Hope in Healing…

I looked up the definition of HOPE. Hope is to trust in…..wait for……look for…..or desire for …..something or someone ……..beneficial in the future.

There was a time not long ago that I had hope in  my own ability to get a situation were I wanted it. The more I tried, the further from hope I got. 

If you are new to my blog, first welcome and thank you for reading and second what you should know is I struggle with codependency. I was in a relationship with an alcoholic. 

We struggled for months and months with our addictions and our lives were completely out of control. With his encouragement, I kept waiting for him to hit his bottom and at each thing that turned out not to be his bottom, I was pulled further into a life that was not my own. 

It ended in the worst of ways. He went to jail and I went to the courthouse and got a protective order. Heartbroken and confused about how this all happened. 

  
I started attending a 12 step program about 6 months ago. I really felt hopeless when I first started. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I was so broken inside. 

With the grace of God, I kept attending meetings, tried different nights, started talking to people and found out about the program I now attend and just adore. 

I know that God goes before me and put people in my life to help me with my understanding of codependency and recovery. 

God had restored my hope and my hope rests in him. 

What does the Bible say about hope?

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you. declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. 

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Time heals all wounds…not so much

There’s that expression, time heals all wounds. My ex husband just said it to me yesterday when we were talking about his relationship with our children. 

I don’t think time is what heals wounds. In fact I think it’s the opposite. Time makes the hurt deeper. Time creates additional resentment. Time brings distance from events and causes details of memories to be blurry.

   

So what heals wounds? Talking about it in a healthy way, heals wounds. 

While I start to work on Step 4, getting ‘stuff’ up and out and letting go is what heals wounds. 

I’m just at the beginning of Step 4 and while its overwhelming in some ways, in many other ways I want all this stuff I’ve carried my entire life up and out and finally healed. 

I am shining light on these dark places. The dark secret places in my heart that has caused me to not be honest with myself. Has caused me make unhealthy decisions.

Today is 100 days since I said out loud that I am powerless over being codependent and compulsive behaviors, that my life was unmanageable. That only God can restore me to sanity. And I’m turning my life and will over to the loving care of God. 

My name is Mar. I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. Time does not heal all wounds, dealing with it in a healthy way does. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

 YOUR FAULT VS YOUR PART

I went to my Celebrate Recovery meeting last night. Over the past almost 100 days the people who attend have become such an amazing source of support, love, understanding and wisdom. There is so much to be said about being around people that are where you are headed. 

I learn so much in every meeting. I learn so much before and after the meeting during time of fellowship. 

I had a conversation with 2 others about codependency and then we talked about sometimes when you are talking to someone not in recovery about what’s going on in our life they want to help fix it. And sometimes you just want to have someone listen and not help. Just listen. 

I said that’s the best part about coming to a meeting and sharing. During the sharing time, it’s an opportunity for someone to share about whatever is going on in their life. Good, struggle, a praise or a concern. No one can interrupt you. No one can ‘help’ you fix it. No one can say what you are feeling is stupid. And sometimes all someone needs is to say out loud what they are feeling. Sometimes giving a feeling a voice is all you need. Sometimes all you need it to think something out loud and work it out yourself. 

During the core meeting the teaching was about taking your inventory and the parts of doing an fearless inventory. One section is ‘my part’. So during the conversation after the meeting, we talked about the difference between Your Fault and Your Part. Fault is an acknowledgement of guilt. 

  

While Your Part is how your actions contributed to it. Being in an addict/codependent relationship, it’s a dance of action and reaction between the two people. 

I was happy to hear and understand this distinction because it gives me permission to stop feeling so guilty and shameful about last year. Yes I played a part, my reactions were clearly unhealthy and codependent, but it was not my fault. 

My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect…

I haven’t written in a few days. I’ve been super busy, was pushed outside my comfort zone and was overtired. The last few days may also have even been a test…to see how I’d react to disappointments and feeling uncomfortable in a fairly safe place. 

I had a work event. It was local and I was asked to attend and be at our table. The company I work for was a lead sponsor so the owner was pulled away several times to do this introduction or announce that or whatever. I’m good friends with an attendee who came in from out of town so I crashed in her room for the weekend. 

5 Things I Reminded Myself Of This Past Weekend That Took Me Outside My Comfort Zone.

#1. I am super shy until you know me and then I’m super comfortable. The conference started with breakfast. I had a list of people that I was supposed to connect with over the 3 days. I only knew 20 people of the 250 in the room. So I got to play a role. I got to be rep from vendor X, who knows her shit because I do. They didn’t know that I’m shy. That I was in an abusive relationship, that I struggle with codependency. When I felt myself sliding back into wanting to be in the background, I took a deep breath, I sat up straight or moved from where I was and talked to the next person. 

#2. This one is close to but different than #1. The first one was about how I felt. This one is how I presented myself. Tim Gunn once said ‘you can’t control how you are percieved but you can control how you are presented.’ I was dressed professionally but not overdressed for the crowd.  I’ve been told that I can ‘rock a headband’ even with short hair so I picked my favorite one. I felt good about how I was presenting myself. 

#3. I was asked to go back to the office for several hours during the day sessions on Friday to help with something there.   At first I was disappointed because I wanted to be at the event and there was a session or two I wanted to attend for personal development. Being willing to roll with it and being flexible, it showed the managers that I willing to do what I need to do to support the business. And I know they appreciated it. 

#4. The only session I got to sit in was the opening session. The speaker was really funny and encouraged interaction. He talked about the stories we tell ourselves. Stories to fill in the blanks rather than asking questions to find out the truth. I’ve known this for a long time when it comes to children. That children will full in the blanks to their own detriment. If only I’d finished my homework, mom and dad wouldn’t be mad at each other. So please please please ask questions. Be brave enough to be true to yourself and when your are making assumptions, ask questions and get answers to the blanks. 

#5. When someone makes you uncomfortable it’s totally the right thing to do for you to politely excuse yourself and circle back around later. I don’t think I need to expand too much on this one. Except to say that I feel really good that I protected myself and my feelings by walking away during a situation because it was not the right time or place or crowd. But I did circle back around and talked to the person about what happened and why I removed  myself from the situation. 

  

WOW, that’s some awesome stuff to practice over the last few days. I don’t know if 4 months ago I would have reacted the same way in conflict or outside my comfort zone. I would have shut down. 

Back in high school I was the basketball manager and the coach would say ‘it’s not practice makes perfect it’s perfect practice makes perfect’. So this weekend was my little attempt to practice. You can’t get to perfect practice until you start to practice at all. 

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.  Push yourself in small safe places to practice new found or developing skills. Little steps right now feel amazing and more like giant steps. 

My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth

Will my heart ever be the same???

Will my heart ever be the same??? 

I have forever been changed from the unhealthy relationships I’ve been in.

I have forever been changed by the love and support God has shown to me.

But what has changed between the last unhealthy relationship and now…..I have changed. 

I have had enough and I am willing to try to live life differently. 90 days ago, I said out loud that I am powerless over being codependent. 

 

 90 days of truly believing that only God can restore me to sanity. 90 days of turning my life and will over to the care of God. 

91 days ago, there was some small part of me that was wanting to talk to and somehow figure out a way to repair my relationship with my ex boyfriend, who hurt me in so many ways. 91 days ago I was still hiding the truth from myself and everyone who loves me about that happened last year and the pain I was in. 

91 days ago, I had to make it stop. My life and mind was so out of control trying to control everything but controlling nothing.  Wanting it to end but clinging to what I thought was. 

90 days ago I said YES to me. 90 days ago I said YES to digging deep on how I got to that place and how I never want to be there again. 

90 beautiful days of distance between where I was and where I’m heading. 90 days closer to finding the real authentic Mar and who I am meant to be.  

Will my heart ever be the same…..no, it won’t. That heart only understood disfunction, control, codependency and unhealthy boundaries. And I’m not there anymore. 

My journey to serenity continues….

I created the artwork used in this post. If you are wondering I painted the background black, hot glued crayons in the shape of a heart and used a hair dryer to melt the crayons. It’s really messy so do it outside with cardboard all around =] 

My Truth

Finding my new normal

Finding my new normal feels a little strange in some ways. It’s a little lonely too. 

I’m running the kids around like usual. Working as usual. 

I’m working my program….almost 90 days! Tomorrow is 90 days!!!

This is my new normal.

I wish I had more time with friends. Everyone is so busy with work and their life. It’s hard to find time. 

I wish I had time to paint. Not sure why I don’t…..well actually I do. I’m busy almost every night so weekends are full of house work and trying to recharge from the work week. 

I need something to look forward to. 

I am going to take my own advice and enjoy where I am, be present where I am. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

The Other Serenity Prayer

i needed this today…..maybe you do as well. 

The Other Serenity Prayer

By Eleanor Brownn 

God, grant me the serenity to stop
beating myself for not doing
things perfectly, the courage to 
forgive myself because I’m 
working on doing better and the 
wisdom to know that you already 
love me just the way I am.  

When you are tired it’s easy to be your own punching bag. I’ve been running on empty for so long I don’t think I know much else. 

Heading to bed. Early for me, it’s before 11. 

Night. Be kind. Especially to yourself. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Why is asking for help so hard???

I wrote this post the other day but when I posted it, it posted my first draft and I had made a ton of edits. Don’t know what happened and so I deleted it and am going to try again. I actually like this one better than the first, don’t you love how things work out. 

*****************************

Like everyone, I have several roles in life. 

I am a daughter. Sadly my parents have passed away. They struggled with alcohol. 

I am a sister. I’m the youngest and the distance of my siblings, it made me more like an only child. I spent lots of time with my parents and their friends. I’m close to 2 of my 5 siblings. 

I am a single Mom. My amazing boys are the love of my life. We spend tons of time supporting each other from theatre to marching band to scouts. My fine young men make me so proud. 

I am an employee. I have a good job. I enjoy it. Some days I love it. There have been fewer love it days lately. I know I’ll love it again….or get a different job which ever comes first. 

Managing my life and the schedule of 3 busy boys with school, hobbies and jobs. Plus I go to Celebrate Recovery and Bible study is hard.

I rearly ask for help. I’ve run myself ragged dashing here and dropping off one person to run here to drop off the next do it again in reverse order. 

I’ve been single parenting it for 6 years and last fall was the first time I asked for help people moving. My son was in cast in a play and I couldn’t get him to rehearsal and me to Bible study on time. I really wanted to do both so I asked my brother to help and he was happy to do so. 

My plate is full and sometimes it’s overflowing. I feel like I fly without a safely net. Security is all I’ve ever wanted and nothing I’ve ever had.

Last week my car broke down. I called my go to car guy (everyone needs one of these) who is working on fixing it for me. And another friend offered to let me borrower a spare car until my car was fixed so that I can continue to people move. 

The ultimate act of asking for help is the day I walked into a Celebrate Recovery meeting. I was going to Al Anon for nearly 2 months but I really wasn’t ready and I was missing something. 

I walked into that meeting knowing no one. Not knowing anyone who had ever gone to CR.  Held at a Church I’ve never been to.  

But what I quickly found was that I felt at home. Welcomed. Loved. 

In my second meeting, I took a 24 hour token. I was ready. Ready to ask for help. Help from God. Help from others who have been there. I stood up and declared that I struggled with codependency and was the daughter of alcholics and that I couldn’t do this on my own and that I was worth it. 

Why is asking for help so hard? 
Does it mean I failed?
Does it mean I’m not capable?
Does it mean I’m not able to manage? 
Does it mean I’m not enough? 

No it’s doesn’t mean any of those things. We are made to help each other. God wants us to help each other. God does not want us to struggle. 

There is power is asking for help not shame. There is strength is accepting help not weakness.  And there is the ultimate self care and self love knowing that asking for help also gives to the person helping you and fills a need in them as well. 

Helping someone else feels amazing. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I’m getting better at it. 

My journey to serenity continues…

I painted the picture in this post and used Font Candy to add the text.