What I’ve learned This Year

2016 has been just an amazing year of understanding, digging deep and letting go. 

The start of 2016,  I felt so broken. I felt lost and  alone. I felt that no one understood why I got myself into the mess that was 2015 and why I stayed so long. No one understood including me. I was afraid. Afraid of where I was, afraid of where I was going. I was frozen, afraid to look forward or back. 

I had stated to go to Al-Anon but was struggling to be completely be onboard with the program. I met with a women from my Church who shared her story at 2 events I attended and I knew she would help point me in the right direction. She told me to find a Celebrate Recovery and that program has a way of drilling down and they will help guide me on my journey. And I am so grateful that I listened. 

And now just days before the end of 2016….I feel like a completely different person. 

This is some things I’ve learned in 2016. 

  
I have learned to be STRONG, when all I wanted to do is cry. Crying is my default reaction when I feel overwhelmed. 

I have learned to be CALM, after my life was taken over chaos. 

I have learned to TALK about hard things. With my sponser, with my recovery family, with myself and with God.

I have learned to REST, when I need time to digest what I’m working on. It’s not a race. 

I have learned to BE POSITIVE when my mind is wanting to see only the negative. 

I have learned to SEE the joy that happens after a trial. 

I have learned to be HONEST with my sponsor, my recovery family, myself and with God. 

I have learned what HUMBLE means and what it feels like after I did my first teaching. 

I have learned to be GRATEFUL for all the things that I have and not focus on what I don’t have. 

I have learned to COPE with feelings. To allow myself to feel and move past those feelings. For so long I felt nothing.

I have learned to TRUST. Trust Gods plan for me and trust my recovery community with sharing my life with them. Trust myself to make healthy decisions.

I have learned to LISTEN because sometimes someone just wants to be heard and they don’t someone to fix something they just need someone to listen. 

I have learned to FORGIVE. And most of all forgive myself. After all God forgives me so who am I not to do the same. 

I have learned to have HOPE. Hope in recovey, hope in change. Hope for the future. 

I have learned to CELEBRATE small victories like boundries or reacting to a similar situation in a healthy way.

I have learned how to feel HAPPY again. 

I have learned how to FILL my own tank by doing things I love and I don’t have to rely on others to fill me up. 

I have learned about the FREEDOM that working the steps and the Celebrate Recovery program holds when you work it because I am worth it. 

What an amazing year of grace and love!!! 

My journey to serenity continues…

I painted to pic used in this post. 

had I not been there, I wouldn’t be here just a short year later. 

When I started the Step Study with a small group of women from Celebrate Recovery, one of the leaders opened with a daily meditation from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It was so perfect for that night. The reading was about denial and it ended with ‘God, help me feel safe and secure enough today to accept what I need to accept’.

I try to remember to read each day from this book but I don’t always remember. Today’s reading is called Growth. It talks about when we are little we grow out of cloths or toys and as adults ‘we wonder why someone or something that was so special and important to us last year doesn’t fit the same way in our lives today’ I have started to wonder that very thing the further I get away from the choas. 

It ends with ‘Today, I will let last years toys be what they were: last years toys. I will remember them with fondness for the part they played in my life. Then, I will put them away and make room for the new’ 

I’ve shared here before and I shared last week at my Step Group that I am grateful for 2015 as the experiences as awful as they were, got to this place today. That had I not been there, I wouldn’t be here just a short year later. 

2016 has been a year of growth and understanding. A year of connecting the dots and letting go.  Year of healing my broken heart. 

  

Not long ago I was reminded of kintsugi. According to Wikipedia….’Kintsugi (‘golden joinery’), also known as Kintsukuroi (‘golden repair’),[1] is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique.[2][3][4] As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.’

The broken parts of me are being healed everyday because of Gods love for me and my understanding of the 12 steps and letting go. It’s part of my story, my history. 

What I love most about being in a 12 step program is that I am learning to live an authentic life. And want more of that around me. 

One Final Gift

One Final Gift. This is a story of true love and one final gift.

It was this time 14 years ago. A kind hearted, generous, strong and faith filled man suffered a stroke.
You may not know this but it sometimes takes a few days for the body to settle down after a stroke and you will know your starting point.
This strong mans body deteriorated over a couple of days.
When the dust settled, this man who was smart, loving and a wonderful provider for his family was unable to move his right side or speak. But this is his starting point and a plan was being put together for his recovery.
He could not talk or read but he could understand what was said to him and he could answer yes and no questions.
As he lay recovering in the hospital, he was visited by the people who mattered most to him. One of his favorite people in this world is his sister. She is also kind hearted, generous and faith filled. She spent countless hours talking and praying with him.

One day it was clear that he wanted to tell her something. After a series of questions, she was able to figure out that he wanted someone to know about a gift he had gotten for his wife and hidden it was under the guest room bed.

Sadly, just 10 short days after this journey started, it ended. He passed away with his family around him on the evening of December 23rd 2002.
Now on the way home, the sister is thinking about the gift that is hidden but did not know what it was or when is the right time to tell her.
Shortly after getting home the sister tells the wife about the gift. The wife opens the gift in tears. It’s a beautiful 3 diamond necklace. One diamond large than the next. Which represents the past, the present and the future.
  
I can only imagine that when this necklace was purchased, THIS was not the future he imagined with his wife.
What an amazing thing he did by telling someone about it when he had no words to speak. Otherwise, who knows how long it would have remained hidden. She had one final gift from him.
How do I know this story you may be wondering. Is it something I read online or just made up?

I know this story because it’s the story of my parents and my aunt. And It’s the story of true love and one final gift.

No one knows what the future may hold and how our story will unfold. All to often we end up in a very different place than we thought we were going.
Remember that communication is always important even when you have no words. My lesson learned from my Dad during this time is to keep asking questions. Even yes and no ones.
I love and miss you Mom and Dad! I am blessed to have been a witness to your love story. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you both. Thank you loving each other and for loving me…..even from heaven.

Much Love

Your loving daughter- always. 

My journey to serenity continues…

If I Had a Super Power…

For a long time I have asked myself ‘if I had a super power, what would it be?’ 

My answer has been the same for as long as I’ve asked. If I had a super power I would want to freeze time. To stay longer in a place and time. To enjoy the moment. To be able to do things that I just don’t have time for now. 

 
Then yesterday while listening to a podcast a Pastor said that we live life forward but understand it in reverse. 

So that got me thinking the last few days. How I have used time, wished it away (fast forward) or reflecting on the past (rewind), wished I could rewind just 30 seconds to say something differently or turn left and not right.  But I am getting a head of my myself, let me think out each one….

  
PAUSE – I’d love to have a pause button. To stay a little longer in a happy place. To enjoy my sons concert, or play or scout event for just a little longer. To paint for a little longer. To be at a meeting and enjoy the music for little longer. To be in an embrace for that much longer. To fellowship for that much longer. 

REWIND – I have looked at times in my past and replayed it. It’s like watching a movie. I want to yell Mar, turn left and not right, don’t chase him, it wasn’t your fault, let him find his bottom. Rewinding gives us the benefit of knowing the outcome. Knowing how that chapter ends and then seeing how it started and why I ended up where I did. 

FAST FORWARD – I hate to wish days away, but there have been times when I couldn’t wait until the end of day or week. I’ve wanted to hurry up and get to something so that it was over. Because the anticipation of how its going to end is almost too much. 

  
REWIND 30 SECONDS – Ever said something you regretted? Ever made a decision and within seconds wish you hadn’t? Ever turned right but you know you should have turned left? I can answer yes to all of those things. Wouldn’t it be amazing to suck those words back in from the word bubble above my head and say it differently? 

PLAY – is living in the moment, rolling with what life brings your way. Living with recovery means living in the truth. Remembering that God is in control. Living in recovery is owning my part and saying I’m sorry if I’ve said or did something unkind. Living in recovery means hope and trust. Living in recovery means openness. Living in recovery means the truth of with God I have the power to change and I should expect to change. Living in recovery means sanity over chaos. Living in recovery means living in action. Living in recovery means letting go and understanding. I like living in recovery. 

So I guess I’ve convinced myself that I don’t need the power power of freezing time because life with recovery is so much better living in pause. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Remodeling my heart…

A little back story…

In Mid 2015, I was in a relationship with a dry alcoholic. With court pending and jail time likely and his work hours being cut, my dry alcoholic became a raging binging alcoholic. I kicked him out of my house to keep my kids safe but then I chased after him and tried to get back to what I thought we had. 

So the day I kicked him out, he found a house to stay in just a few blocks away. I’m going to refer to that house as 142 Any St. 

142 Any St looked like any other house on the street for the most part. A little worn down. A little neglected if you looked. 

Because I desperately wanted to save what I thought we had, I spent time there. Trying to save my ex from himself. 

The energy inside the house was chaos. The first time I walked up the side walk i actually felt afraid of what was going on inside. The people that lived there were all addicts. 

Quickly, I understood how the house worked and I had a role to play in the house too. Functioning Disfunction of sorts but mostly Disfunction. 

The police were there pretty often. On one occasion, I asked if I could leave and the officer interviewed my outside next to my car to find out what happened that night as I was the only sober one there. He asked me why I was there. And I told him that for some stupid reason. I love the guy passed out upstairs. 

A couple of toxic people moved out….well the truth is, they went to  jail. But then they were gone, the energy changed. And the 3 left in the house worked together to clean up the inside and a little on the outside. But they were hostages in their addictions. 

One of the last times I was in the house was the day after one of people living there fell down the stairs and died.  I was there the night before because she had called me and asked for my help. I went over and helped her. And a few hours later she was gone. 

The two people left were my ex and the husband of the women who passed away. The house was bank owned and was sold so within a month or so everyone was out of the house. My ex was in jail, I had a protective order against him and I’m not sure what happened to the husband of the women who passed. 

So now let’s fast forward to today. 

I don’t like to drive that way and pass this house because of everything that happened there. But the other day, I drove that way for some reason. I knew the house had been remodeled. Inside and out. It was bright and looked happy…..if a house could look happy. There was new yard art and it looked like little ones may live there too. The energy in that house has shifted but draining chaos to happy young family chaos. 

 
So this got me thinking the last few days. Back in 2015, just like 142 Any St,  I too looked like everyone else for the most part, but was worn down and neglected and my energy my chaos. 

And now, being part of Celebrate Recovery and really working the 12 steps. Being willing and vulnerable and pushing past the hard stuff, I have remodeled my heart. 

Like that house I am different inside and out. And I’m sure hoping that I look happy and feel my positive chaos become I feel that way. 

Stay on this ride with me, the best is yet to be. 

My journey to serenity continues…

PS the picture in this post is not the house I just wanted to have an illustration to go along with this post =] 

300 days…

300 days or almost 10 months….I can’t believe it’s been that long. 

  

300 days of focusing on my needs over his. 

300 days of understanding my part in the chaos that once ruled my life. 

300 days of saying no to something but yes to something else. 

300 days of trusting I’m heading in the right direction. 

300 days of listening to my life tell an amazing story of understanding and letting go. 

300 days of steps forward and a few back, and sometimes standing still while feelings pass over me. But those steps back and standing still moments did not derail me, they did not stop my forward momentum. 

I am 300 days away from him and his merry-go-round.

I am 300 days away from the addict/ codependent dance that I knew so well. 

I am 300 days closer to the person God wants me to be. 

I am 300 days closer to the life that I got off track from.

I still have work to do for sure but it’s amazing what can happen in 300 days if you just let go and let God. 

Cheers!