My Truth

I Am From – Parts one and two

Part One

I am from pink plaid flowered wall paper and a canopy bed

from tigger and a little pink blanket with satin edges

From sucking my thumb, quiet and shy

I am from cedar trees and mint

Who’s fragrances permeate my soul

And place where when Church bells meant dinner was ready

I am the youngest and forever the baby

And I lonely

Lonely in a houseful of people

No one noticed

No one sees

I am a struggling student

Letters, sounds, I see them but I don’t understand how to link them

Years of tutors and summer school

Nothing makes sense

Nothing is helping

Nothing is helping Because they don’t know

They don’t know that I think it’s my fault

That I am afraid

I’m distracted and confused

I am from alcohol

From a place of forgotten conversations, but I was not the one who forgot

That place where I disappear

That no one notices

That what feels like no one cares

I am older now, I want to tell

But I can’t, I’m too afraid

Now too much time as passed

It doesn’t matter anymore

The damage is already done

My slate is forever changed

Part Two

I am from self reliance but

Hate to make decisions

It’s easier for me to allow others to decide for me

I am from broken promises

From saying one thing and doing another

I am from a place where my partner in life sees an obstacle as a stop sign

And I want to climb over it

Or dig under it

Or figure out a way around it

A place that if we can’t do those things

That we will take the hit together but

Right before the hit, I am alone

I am from a place where everything is funny if you have a few drinks, well funny to him anyway

From a place of forgotten conversations, but I was not the one who forgot

That putting others down makes him feel bigger

From a place that my fears or dreams were not heard, acknowledged or addressed

From a place that silence meant everything was ok

That at some point, I gave up

And he didn’t notice

So when I left, he had no idea why

Alone

Unlovable

A shell

The enemy knew I so desperately wanted to be heard.

To be from a place of love

To be from a place where I mattered, where I was enough

And he came along

He quickly gave me those things that I was thirsty for

I then was from a place of denial

That things that should have been stop signs, I justified

I overlooked

I lied to myself and everyone else

Others saw what I was blind to because that being from that place of love and acceptance meant more to me

That place was short lived and I was shattered

I am now from a place of covering him

From putting myself in harms way

I am from fear of someone finding out

From alcohol

From a place of forgotten conversations, but I was not the one who forgot

I am from a place of his lies

His disfunction

A place of waiting for him to hit bottom

I am from a place of letting everyone down

And wanting to end it all

I am from these places but I’m in those places anymore

My journey continues…

Writing Part 3

My Truth

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

If nothing changes, nothing changes. BUT if something changes and you stick with it….EVERYTHING changes!

I know first hand how that works. In many parts of my life.

If I continued to relate to someone with codependency, that relationship will stay dysfunctional.

If I continued to not have boundaries with someone, I will continue to be run over and feel unheard.

If I continued to be in denial about my health, I would continue to on the path to put myself of a health risk.

I recently read ….Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. By Tony Robbins. It’s so true.

Change can be scary. What’s going to happen to me when I get healthy….less dependent….more assertive….speak the truth in love…..forgive them…..take off my mask….forgive myself…..will people like me….will I even like me?

Well let me say when I stepped out of denial with my health because my pain of staying the same was greater than my pain of change. And I made real changes. And stuck to them for the last 5 months, EVERYTHING had changed. I have now lost 47 pounds. My blood sugar and pressure are back in normal ranges. I have more energy. I am no longer in physical pain daily. I am happier. I am more confident.

As far as if others will like me…..I don’t care. It no longer matters to me if others like me or not. I don’t need to know. It’s actually none of my business. The right people will not only like me, they will love me.

And to answer the do I like me question….I love who I am becoming. I finally feel like I am becoming who I was always meant to be. I love serving others in a ministry that walks along side others who are in pain from life. And they have reached that tipping point of staying the same is more painful than pain of change.

Together we work the 12 steps. They are designed to take actions to achieve the goals of recovery – reconciliation with God, with yourself, with others and then serving and giving back….that’s how it works.

And then together we learn the Celebrate Recovery principals to develop new attitudes – attitudes of humility, vulnerability, honesty and gratitude….that’s why it works.

I love being perfectly imperfect. I make mistakes. And then I can correct them. It’s not a success only Journey. And when I fail, I can get back up. Failing just means I’m trying and not standing still.

If nothing changes, nothing changes but if something changes and you stick with it, everything changes!

My journey to serenity continues…

Ps parts of this post is inspired by a Celebrate Recovery lesson. You will find the most amazing people there. To find a meeting near you, go the Celebrate Recovery website.

My Truth

COURAGE to change the things I CAN

I love the Serenity Prayer. So much wisdom and simple truth. I’ve written about this powerful prayer before but I wanted to focus on one part…courage to change the things I can.

Change takes courage. We sometimes get stuck in the familiar. While something is not ideal, it’s comfortable in some ways. Sometimes it’s the ‘devil that we know’. We don’t change because of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the what if’s. Fear of uncertainty. Fear to fail. Fear to succeed. Fear of judgement. Fear of disappointing others. The list goes on and on.

Fear is healthy. Its purpose is to give you pause. It’s a gut check. Is this safe to move forward? But when fear keeps you stuck, it becomes unhealthy.

Change takes courage.

There has been many times in my life I have been afraid to make to change. Stuck in places of my life that I was not happy about. But I have made changes and it’s better than I can imagine. And there’s even been a some times that the change wasn’t great and became a stepping stone to the next change. I guess it’s not always a one step process. I guess most things actually aren’t a one step process. After all life is not a success only Journey.

So there’s something not working in my life that I can change and now I have a choice to make. I need to make a change.

Courage to change the things I can.

Decisions on making a change does not have to be done alone.

  • Pray, ask for wisdom, courage and God’s will
  • Seek wise counsel
  • Talk to a professional
  • Ask for support from healthy and trusted friends and family

I am not alone even when there are times I feel like I am. I’m working on those 4 bullet points. Trying to find the courage to change the things I can.

My journey continues…

My Truth

Worry Does Not Change Outcome…

I took this picture outside my office window after a late afternoon storm. I love how the light changes from one area to another. Some darker than others and some with such bright light as sun peeks out from behind the clouds.

Rainbows represent God’s promise. His promise to be with us when we are afraid during a storm and that storms end.

I seem to have been overcome by worry here lately. Which reminded me that I struggle with codependency and that codependency is about control.

Trying to:

  • Control a situation.
  • Control what others know and think about a situation.
  • Control the outcome of a situation.
  • Control my pain.
  • Control others pain.
  • Control being out of control.
  • Control of owning all of situation, when it’s not all mine.
  • Control wanting to make amends when I’m I don’t even know what I’m sorry for doing or not doing.

It wasn’t until yesterday when a friend was facing a health crisis, that I said things to her that I needed to hear for myself.

I sent to her, remember:

  • God is in control.
  • God goes before and with you.
  • God knows the outcome.
  • Breathe.
  • You are so loved.
  • Worry does not change outcome.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God. I strengthen you – yes, I help you – yes I uphold you with my saving right hand.

So here I am at 2 am, ready to lift this situation I have found myself in with someone I love very much. God is in control, God is making a way, Thy will not my will, I just need to breathe and remember that I am loved even with this current struggle. And worry does not change outcome…..if I’m worried about or not, what’s going to happen is going to happen without my intervention.

I’ll have to look up the verse but someplace in the Bible it says….in my weakness, He is strong.

After all, am I really that powerful…..no no I’m not but He is.

My journey continues…

My Truth

Personal Boundaries…

According to Wikipedia ‘personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.’

Codependency and lack of boundaries are in my experience good friends.

I may have had some boundaries in the past but allowed others to catapult over them and did nothing about it. Or I would move the boundary because I was not able, often because of fear, to even have consequences and then have to stick to them.

But I have learned how boundaries keeps me safe and ‘in my lane’.

3 years go, I had to learn how to set strong boundaries while I was afraid.

The man I was dating was on an out of control drinking binge. He was living down the street in a house of other active addicts. No water. No power. The owner of the house was in jail. While I was trying to save the man I loved, I put myself in danger. I witnessed terrible things and I was afraid.

When I reached my tolerance level (finally), I asked him to leave me alone in person, by phone and by text. I yelled, I screamed. And then unknowingly, I set my first boundary by stopping my behavior. I didn’t go to the house, I didn’t answer his calls and I didn’t text him back. It was hard but necessary.

And then it escalated.

I received 100’s and 100’s of text messages from 3 phones he had access to. At all hours of the day and night. I called the police and asked for help. Sadly there was nothing they could do…..yet. And the yet is what scared me the most. I called my best friend and told her that this is what lifetime movies are made of and I was afraid.

He came to my house at 5 am drunk and pounded on my front door. I called the police and got paperwork for trespassing for next time he comes. Next time, great.

More texts and calls. And I didn’t answer any of them. But it was still escalating.

He entered my home while I was a work. My son was home and called me. I called the police and drove home. I arrived just minutes after the police did. Apparently he had fallen on the walk to my house and had blood all over his face and hands. (And my fence and back door) I went and was issued an emergency protective order. But they couldn’t find him.

So now I had to wait for the PO to be served to him. And he would leave me alone and this would all stop.

More texts and calls and then they stopped. He then texted me and I had him violated and he went to jail. Then he called me from jail. 32 times. Another violation. He spent 31 days in jail and I was issued a 2 year protective order. Then he stood by my mail box and street corner for weeks after. But that didn’t violate my order. It was terrifying. I remember thinking about how this makes women go crazy and I would end up hurting him from the mental games and end up in jail. Thankfully that didn’t happen and he finally went away.

All this to say, this was the start of me giving myself permission to put down the fear, shame and feeling responsible .and understand the importance of creating personal boundaries.

So let’s talk about boundaries for a minute.

We need boundaries in all aspects of our life. Family. Work. Hobbies. Money. Time. I have found that having them actually makes my life easier. Allowing me to say no to some things that are not healthy for me in turn it allows me to say yes to more things that fill me up.

Once I found support with my 12 step group and a counselor, I gained some self awareness of what I am willing to and not willing to put up with in my life. Looking at situations in my life and identify area’s that cause hurt or upset or even where I’m spending time that is not for my greater good. And how to better contain those things.

This is what some of my boundaries look like:

  • separating myself from a friend or group of friends
  • not commenting on a social media on a sensitive topic
  • choosing to end and walk away from an argument gracefully
  • telling someone that I will not discuss something with them
  • telling someone that I will not tolerate behaviors and if they choose to continue, I will ______
  • being careful what and who I share information or feelings with
  • being careful who I spend time with
  • spending time doing healthy activities

Having boundaries I gained value and do not compromise my opinions. I have started to be able to make and reach personal goals which has been difficult to even create a goal in the past. I have learned how to say no and to accept no from others. I have become a better communicator. And I know to get advise from healthy friends.

You can share with someone a boundary, but you don’t always have to. Simply changing your behavior to match the boundary is enough.

Starting small and giving yourself grace is super important. It all takes time to learn how to do this after a life time of not. You build on success. It takes support, courage and practice.

My journey continues…

My Truth

ever felt like you are in a personal prison???

Ever felt like you are in a personal prison? I have. Ever heard that expression that you are a slave to your addiction? 

Did you know it’s even in the Bible? 2 Peter 2:19

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

The addict is all consumed and control by the next fix. It’s all about the next hit and who that impacts and what is going on around them is completely irrelevant. 

And the codependent is all consumed with the addict and trying to control what is going on. We each were in our own personal prison. 

Being with a binge drinking alcoholic, I have witnessed this craziness of control that alcohol had over people in my life. That it makes no sense looking in that he would go buy the $3 small bottle of whatever and then have to go get more later. Why not buy a bigger bottle? Because he couldn’t. He thought that this time he would the last one and only need this much. It turned out, it was not enough and he was right back at the store getting more.  

And then my crazy behavior trying to make it easier for him. Looking in that it makes no sense that I would pay to turn the lights back on or buying bottled water when the water was cut off. 

This prison we were both in. 

Once we hit our true bottom, and we are ready. And here’s the thing that no one tells you or you are just unable to see until you are in your bottom and you know your life is out of control and you know you are a mess and can’t do this alone……

The prison you were in. 

The door you have been staring at for so long. 

Feeling trapped. 

Feeling like you have no choice. 

Feeling like this is how my life is going to be and as good as it gets.  

The door has been unlocked the entire time and you are free to leave! 


My journey to serenity continues

My Truth

I will love you, until you love yourself again.

Dear Wanting Soul…

This letter is for you. You who love an addict (no matter what they are addicted to) and your life is out of control and you are wondering how this became your life. 

You who are wanting things to change. You desperately are wanting things to change. You don’t know how. You don’t even know where to start because everything is a freaking mess. You hate living like this. You are tired. And you are wanting but you don’t even know what you want. You just know it’s not this. 

I see you. 
I know your pain. 
I was you. 

Before I started attending a recovery program, I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t breathe. Trapped in a situation that I didn’t cause or even understand and I can’t fix it. 

I felt defeated, run over and used and sad that this is what my life had become. I was embarrassed and ashamed. How did this happen? 

Walking into a meeting when you feel so undeserving is so hard. But there is this wanting that pushes you to do it anyway.  That Wanting has been nudging you for a while now. Maybe you are like me and have gone to a few meetings but you have one foot in and one foot out of the program. Curious. But not fitting in, not buying in because you really are just not ready to be ready to change. 

Let that wanting win. Listen to that little voice inside you and wants to change. Keep listening. Keep going. Keep putting one foot in until you are ready to go in with both feet. 

Go to a meeting. Because you will find someone like me. Who was once just like you. 

And I don’t remember if my sponsor actually said this but it’s sounds like her and like something she would say ……I will love you, until you love yourself again.


I could breathe again. 
The healing began the minute I walked into my first Celebrate Recovery meeting. Because I was ready and desperately wanted a change. 

I thought I was there for someone else but I was there for me. God knew. He goes before me. He knew I would be there that night and He made sure the right people were there for me. He knew all I needed and what my soul wanted was for someone to love me until I could love myself again. 

So Wanting Soul, I know you are afraid. I was too. I know you want to change but you are afraid of that too, I was. But go anyway. Listen to that nudging. Take a chance on yourself and do it for you because you are worth it. 

I’ll see you there. XXOO

My journey to serenity continues…

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

My Truth

That space between…

I don’t know what to call it, I’m sure it has a name. But that space between when something happens and your reaction to it. 

In a split second, the committee in my head hold an emergency meeting, deciding who is heading up the reaction. Is Anger in charge? How about Fear, is she in charge of this situation? Fear wants me to be safe so will isolate. How about Happy or Joy? 


During that space between between there is a lot going on. 

If you had asked me 18 months ago how would you react to ———. And if you asked me today how would you react to the same ———-. I’d like to think that my reaction would be different.

In fact, I more than I’d like to think and here is why…..

Before recovery, I was reactive. Often with tears because every was overwhelming. Or I would have tried to figure out how to fix it without upsetting anyone. Very often putting my needs last. And sometimes just walking away and isolating. 

Now, almost 18 months of WORKING a program, my reactions to similar situations are different. I’m much more neutral. Skills I’ve learned like boundaries or expressing my actual feeling in a healthy way. 

I can now say no, and it’s a complete sentence. I don’t have to justify or explain it. It’s just no…..what the hell, that’s a real thing! Who knew! LOL

Those emergency committee meetings in my head, they still happen and sometimes Angry and Fear want to be in control but now it’s different. I now have a team of recovery friends I can reach out to and ask for help. Get a reality check. Or just get support. 

That space between, I like that space. There’s a lot of good stuff that happens in that space between. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

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. 

My Truth

Because of His Grace and for His glory! 

Can you tell the difference between these two pictures???   
The picture on the left was taken on 7.18.15. That girl had just made the most codependent decision that she could make. And as a result, her kids moved out of the house. You can see what was left a blackened eye. That girl is broken. That girl is afraid. That girl is empty. That girl is desperate for what she thought she had. That girl was thinking about ending it all. That girl could not believe what is happening to her life because of a relationship with someone she cared so much about. That girl was in the middle of chaos and had not hit bottom yet. She wants nothing more than to run away from what’s going on but also is trying to keep it all together. 

The picture on the right was taken on 8.2.16. That girl is working a recovery program. That girl is healing parts of her heart that have been in the dark for so long that she didn’t even realize she still hurt. That girl knows God is in control and worry does not change outcome. That girl knows to accept the things you can not change. That girl knows to change the things that you can. And That girl prays for the wisdom to know the difference. That girl is being real and genuine. That girl has grown in leaps and bounds. That girl is really awesome and she is going to do great things by sharing her recovery story! 

That girl is me. And today I feel like a completely different person than I was a year ago and it’s all because of His grace and for His glory that share my story of what God has done for me. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Meeting Takeaways…

Hi my name is Mar and I struggle with codependency. 

I never noticed that other people said ‘I struggle with’ and not that ‘I am’. What an awesome mind shift. My codependency does not define me. 

I am working on the parts of me that are broken. Those parts that made me think that codependency meant you love someone.  The parts of me that makes me want to control things that I can’t. 

I am Mar and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. 

If you have not followed my blog for long you may not know that I attend Celebrate Recovery (CR). It’s a Christ Centered 12 step program. It’s for anyone who struggles with hurts, hang-ups or habits. What we struggle with may be different, what got us to walk into the meeting may be different BUT how you heal and recover is exactly the same. 

The start of the meeting is with the worship band. They sang a song I never heard before. 

Break Through by Don Moen

Break through all my doubts
Break through
Break through all my fears
Break through
That I may worship You
Break through

Break through all my pain
Break through all my guilt and my shame
Break through like only You can do

You are brighter than my darkest night
Stronger than my toughest fight
Just one touch from You my King my Friend
And I’ll never be the same again
O break through all my pain

Break through all my guilt and my shame
Break through like only You can do
O break through like only You can do
O break through like only You can do

  

Only with God can I recovery from my doubts, fears, pain, guilt and shame. 

I am not my doubts.
I am not my fears.
I am not my pain.
I am not my guilt.
I am not my shame. 

I am stronger than yesterday. 
I am perfectly imperfect.
I am joy.
I am love.
I am light.

I am forever changed. 

I am Mar and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. 

My journey to serenity continues…

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

My Truth

Let your FAITH be BIGGER than your FEAR…

Today I celebrated 60 days. I have learned so much about myself in such a short time. Blogging has helped me so much. I really has no idea that I could do this. 

I did a video challenge on Facebook last month. The rules were simple you had to be genuine and do it in one take. It’s was so scary at first. But I grew to enjoy it and in that excercise I found my voice. 

I never journaled before. Never had a diary. Because I was afraid someone would read it.  This has given me time for me. Time to  think things out. Time to read the Bible to find encouragement as part of what was on my mind. All good amazing stuff. Funny now I love when someone reads it, likes it or leaves a comment. 

I’ve tried to start writing with an agenda in mind of what I wanted to say but then I struggled to write something. When I just let go, I can’t type the words fast enough. It just flows out of me and I make very few edits. (Sorry for the misspellings from time to time)

  My day started off happy to hit 60 days and looking forward to more and more and more. 

When I sat down to write tonight, I looked through things I’ve painted. I kept going back to this one. And this phrase came to mind. 

I wear rings that say  FEAR NOT and ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’

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.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God has strengthened me. God has carried me when I didn’t think I had it in me to stand. 

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Looking back all of my relationships have had some element of fear or lack of security. Hmmmm interesting. 

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

One day at a time. I ask everyday. I still struggle with parts of my life but in time, these parts of me will start to heal as well. 

My journey to serenity continues….

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

My Truth, Sober Living, What Does The Bible Say???

Seasons…

I love when periods of time of life are described as seasons. 

I’ve been thinking about what season my life is in. I am recovering from an abuse relationship. I am understanding how my codependent nature contributed to that relationship and how it kept me stuck. I am mourning what could have been. I am learning to forgive, trust and love myself again. I am seeking a relationship with God. I am in a season of growth. I am in a season of time to build up. I am in a season of speaking and share my story. 

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

What does the bible say about seasons?Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 

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

No matter the season, be present where you are. 

Know that God uses us to shine light on each other’s darkness. Knowingly or unknowingly, He is using my story and your story for others. The bible is full of storys about what season someone was in and those stories help us today. There was fear and shame and joy and promise.

  
I have had some sad seasons. Loss of my parents, loss of a 18 year marriage. Loss of material things. Loss of self. Loss of a what I thought could be. Having been in these seasons, they have made me the person I am today. Still growing, still rebuilding, still flawed but also loving and caring and enough just the way that I am. 

Don’t wish a season away. Be present. 

My journey to serenity continues…
PS I painted the picture used in this post