I share my story because…

Someone asked me today, why do you share your story? Why do you blog? Why are you willing to share your story at a meeting? 

Well there are 3 parts to this answer…

#1. Sharing my story of love and recovery is for me aka the story teller. Because….

  • There is power is writing my story.
  • There is power in hearing myself say it out loud.
  • It keeps our story real and reminds me of how far i have come. 
  • It strengthens my commitment to my recovery. 
  • It helped me find my voice. 
  • It’s the ultimate form of self love or self care.
  • It’s one of the steps. Step 12 Having had a spiritual experience as a result of these steps, we try to carry this messsge to others and practice these principles in all of our affairs.
  • It’s a form of service to others. 

#2. Sharing my story of love and recovery is for others. Because…

  • I shine my light not for me but for someone else’s darkness. 
  • It shows others that they are not alone. 
  • It encourages others in their journey. 
  • It gives others hope in recovery. 
  • You create amazing friendships from those in recovery. 
  • Allows others with similar stories to have someone who can relate to and go to for support. 
  • We sharpen each other 
  • You can share tools and experience.

#3. Sharing my story of love and recovery is to glorify God. Because….

  • It is only by His grace, love and forgiveness that I am in this place today and I need to tell others what He has done for me. 

This girls journey to serenity continues…

my life is telling a story…

My life is telling a story. The story is based on every decision I’ve made. Good decisions and bad ones too. 

My story tells the story about a girl who learned to cope with life by being codependent. This served her well for a while until it didn’t. As she lost herself trying to fix someone else and trying to fix the person before him and the one before him too. 

She was about to give up when she found her life to be wreck. Like a 100 car train wreck. Parts smashed and broken beyond repair. Off the track as far as the eye can see in all directions. Everything is just a mess. 

But then she made a different decision. She found a Christian based recovery group and she was reminded that God is in control and she didn’t have to try to control everything around her. 


Because of wanting and being willing to understand and let go, she no longer had to feel responsible for so many things that were out of her control in the first place. And she started to heal the parts of her heart that had hurt for so long that those parts were numb to the pain. 

She made new decisions everyday. Everyday committing to let God guide her footsteps. 

Today her life is telling a different story. This girl is seeking and listening and finding her way to the living the life my soul intended. 

 I have no idea why but this quote from Henry David Thoreau came to mind tonight. But it did so have to go with it. ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”? 

There is no more quiet desperation for me and I am singing loud and proud of this amazing story of grace and love that God is giving to me. 

Me…..this girl…..derailed and broken beyond repair…..or so I thought. Praise God for his love and kindness that is waiting for all of us. 

Continue on this journey with me, the best is yet to be. 

This girls journey to serenity continues. 
I took the picture used in this post while writing at my favorite local coffee shop. 

Living the Serenity Prayer

Tonight it accurred to me that working a program and studying the steps is living the serenity prayer. 

Here is what I mean…..

I am in that place of understanding that It served me best to accept the things that I cannnot change and to give those things to God. As someone who struggles with codependency, this is hard. My default is to want to fix it. I would feel a responsibility to help even when it was never my place to do so. So accepting things for what they are, is amazing. 

Courage to change the things I can. This takes action to change things I can. I may not like how someone interacted with me but I am in charge of how I react. I may not like how someone else does something, but it’s ok they do it differently than I do. This new thought process is powerful. 

And the wisdom to know the difference. Knowing the difference between what I cannot change and what I can takes prayer and willingness to pause. Hit the pause button. Talk to trusted healthy recovery friends. And to pray about it. Asking for wisdom. That’s huge! 

Living one day at a time. Addictive behaviors be it codependency or drugs or alcohol or enter in the vice of your choice here starts as a way to cope with something else. Maybe to avoid feelings or to avoid conflict. Maybe to escape what is really going on. Whatever it is, it becomes part of who you are and how you cope. So then with recovery, we learn a new way of coping. We replace these old behaviors with new healthy ones. This takes efforts, patience and practice to make a new heathy choice. And it’s done one decision at a time, one day at a time. 

Enjoying one moment at a time is being present. Enjoying good times and staying present in hard times too. In those hard moments, that is where you find recovery and start to use your new found tools and way of coping. It’s so easy to shut down or go to your vice. But when you don’t and you make the next right choice that is enjoying one moment at a time. 

Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Remember what I just said….being present in hard times too. The darkest nights makes the brightest stars. And hard days lead to better ones and sometimes you just have to hold on until a better day comes. The only way I keep growing into the person God wants me to be is to face hardships and lean into Him to get past them. 

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. This sentence always makes me think. You don’t think for a second that when Jesus was here on earth that he didn’t want to change it? He sure could have but he didn’t. He loved the sinner and used their stories to give hope to others. He used ordinary people to show others extraordinary love, courage, strength, grace and hope. 

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to Your Will. This is about trusting God. He gave us free will, because He wants us to want to have a relationship with Him. Letting go and trusting Him. His will not mine. God has this amazing gift of already knowing the end of the story. Every right choice and every wrong one too. Every time I’ve turned my back on him, His plan was to bring me back and He sent people to meet me where I was and walk along side me. His will in His timing. 

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life.  Reasonably means in a fair and sensible way. There are days I feel happy and there are days I feel very happy. And there are days that I am not happy at all but I think this word is used because of the next sentence. 

And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.  Supremely means well or excellently. Forever in the next it’s a happy that I can’t even imagine. It’s a joy and peace that had no earthly words. The difference between fair and sensible vs well and excellently is miles and miles apart. 

This is just my take on this powerful prayer. I say it out loud every morning in the car on the way to work. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 
Courage to change the things I can; 
And wisdom to know the difference. 

Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world 
As it is, not as I would have it; 

Trusting that He will make all things right 
If I surrender to His Will; 
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life 
And supremely happy with Him 
Forever in the next. 
Amen.

My journey to serenity continues….

500 Days of looking up!!! 

500 days of focusing on my needs. My program. My journey.

500 days of not looking back. 


500 days of understanding how my life was overtaken by chaos and having a plan in place to never allow that nonsense and foolishness to rule my world again. 

500 days of saying no to what no longer serves me but yes to things that do. 

500 days of trusting that I’m heading in the right direction. One step at a time. 

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

500 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. Instead those moments gave me rest to keep going. 

I am 500 days away from the addict/ codependent dance that I knew so well. 

I am 500 days closer to the person God wants me to be. 

I am 500 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 just 500 days if you just let go and let God. 

500 days of looking up and thinking…I trust You. You hold the answers. I will praise You for all you have done in my life. 

My journey continues….one day at a time. 

I took this picture from my back yard and use font candy to add the text. 

12 Things I’ve Learned 12 Stepping 

I didn’t know anything about 12 step programs before 2015. Maybe a few jokes here and there. Maybe how it was depicted on a sitcom. 

I was a Seinfeld fan and there was an episode about Step 9. And how George was looking for an apology from someone who was in AA. So my concept of 12 step programs was from a sarcastic place and that all anyone talked about who was in a program was the program. 

Now look at me 16 months of working a 12 step program. And yeah I do talk about the program a lot. 

The thing is, my life has changed and I am continuing to grow closer to my Higher Power, HP or who I believe is Jesus Christ. I am continuing to understand and let go. I am continuing to be that much closer to my authentic self and who God wants me to be. 

So in no particular order, 12 things I have learned from my 12 step program.

1. Working a program is just that, work. You can’t just show up to meetings and do nothing else and things get better. So I….Got a sponsor. I have surround myself with  a sober community. I read recovery materials. Celebrate Recovery has a step study which are workbooks that ask some hard questions on each step that you answer and share with a small group, so I joined that group. I read the Bible. Putting all these things into action is working a program. Doing all of those things, you can’t help but change. 

2. What you struggle with does not define you. The 12 step program I attend is for anyone with  hurts, hang ups or habits that separates us from God and that you want to change. I love that when we introduce ourselves we say ‘I struggle with’ not I am. Mistakes of my past doesn’t mean that is who I am. 

3. Forgiveness is not for the other person but for yourself. I will never contact my ex boyfriend again but I have forgiven him. The freedom of owning my part and understanding his and forgiving him is life changing. I no longer carry the guilt and shame of my actions. 

4. Forgiving myself has been the hardest thing.  My actions hurt other people, I knew it and then I isolated, shut down and hind because of my shame and guilt. Forgiving myself took me the longest to do but then a friend in program reminded me that God had already forgiven me and I should too. 

5. Worry does not change ourcome. If fact worry is a form of not trusting God. God is in control and already knows what is going to happen and knows the mistakes I will make in the future. He has a plan in place to help me through these times. So worry only takes energy from the now and prevents you from being present. 

6. Understanding codependency. I learned to cope with life by being codependent. When I thought I was helping, it actually caused damage. I made excuses, lied to cover up for and took care of things that were not my responsibility. And it turned out that I prevented the other person from growing from the experience of managing his own problems. 

7. I’ve learned about setting boundaries. Boundaries not only keeps me in a safe space, it also allows me to communicate in a healthy way what I need and what I am willing to do. I don’t always have to tell others my boundaries, me knowing in some cases is enough. This has not only helped me with my relationships but also with work. 
8. It’s hard to complain when you are grateful. Gratitude reminds me of the things in your life. Often addictive behaviors starts from lacking something and it’s a way to escape. It’s so hard to bitch about life when you start to become aware of all the little things to be grateful for everyday. I am grateful for all the little things, the good things and the trials too. 

9. Feelings are hard and that’s ok. No one likes to feel unappreciated or hurt or singled out or not heard. Addictive behaviors are often to avoid those feelings. Feelings of not being enough. Feelings of being disappointed or disappointing someone else. But there are also feelings of love and acceptance and joy that by avoiding those negative feelings you also miss out on the good ones too. So sometimes you have to sit and feel those feelings that you don’t want to and then move on. 

10. You are exactly where God wants you to be. In number five, I said that God has a plan in place for my future mistakes but He also has a plan for the good times too. I am in the right place…..right now. Maybe there is a lesson that has yet to be learned. Maybe there is someone else that you will cross paths with for you but what if it was actually for them. Isn’t that a cool thought. Don’t worry about where you are right now, just be there and enjoy every second. And before you know it, you will be in another place with new challenges and new good times and then that is where you are supposed to be. 

11. Being in program taught me how to listen. Being in dysfunctional relationships, I often felt that I was not heard. During the share time, each person is given 5 minutes to share whatever they want. No one can interrupt them. No one can ask questions. No one tell you how to fix it. No one can tell you that you are wrong. It’s only 5 minutes but it’s the only 5 minutes that are like that in my week. I’ve learned to listen. And I don’t judge or think less of them because I know they don’t think less of me. It’s how this works. During the week I may check in with them or next time I see them, we’ll talk about how whatever went or ended up. 

12. Recovery doesn’t end, it’s a lifestyle. I hate to be the one to tell you, but working a program is not a one and done thing. You have to work and embrace the steps everyday, every single day. And when you do, you change, you become aware. You feel things that you don’t want to but you cope with it in a new way. You learn to recognize and own your part and you set better boundaries for next time. And you share your experience, strength and hope with others. And why do we do that? We share our story for His glory and to show others what God has done in our lives.
I want to add a 13th thing I’ve learned because people joke about the 13th step. The 13th step is that someone in program hits one newer member of the group. 

But this is my experience of other people in the group…..

13.  Sponsors, accountability partners and friendships born from recovery are amazing. People in the program are full of wisdom and grace. And this combination is incredible. They have worked the program. Your sponsor will push you in a loving way. You accountability partner will ask you questions that will make you think and maybe give you reason to pause. And the fellowship you share with other members of the group is like no other friendships you can ever have. I have learned how to give grace because others have given grace to me. 

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

My journey to serenity continues…