Sober Living

Recovery is like…

an onion.

There’s layers of hurts, habits and hang-ups to work out and once you heal and pull away one layer there is something new revealed.

But I think this is an incomplete picture of what my (and I’m sure many others) recovery looks like.

Yesterday I went to Sunflower Farm with a group of recovery friends. Sunflowers at sunset. It was delightful. I’ve been there several times but no one else had and to watch them enjoy the farm, filled my heart.

I was looking at my pictures and found a different and I think a better way to describe my recovery other than an onion.

Recovery is like a sunflower.

Have you ever seen a sunflower bloom? Well, I took these pics and will explain my recovery journey.

Starting off, I felt closed in. Lonely and not focusing on anything else but my own pain.

I started opening up. Trusting the people in recovery with my hurts. Being willing to be open. To heal what hurt and change my behaviors.

And as I worked the 12 Steps and the 8 Principles of Celebrate Recovery to the best of my ability, I opened up more and more. Revealing who I am. My true self.

Seeing for myself, who I was becoming. Understanding the gifts that God gave me and putting these gifts into practice.

Seeing those around me, for who they are, who they are becoming and watching with delight, watching them bloom.

But here’s the thing about recovery. Well mine anyway. I’m not done yet. i don’t think I will ever be done. I may have healed what initially got me into recovery, blooming, using my gifts and I’m walking along side others but life happens.

I will get stung. I will get hurt. But I also know that first I have healed before and second, I have a recovery community, a forever family to stand with me. I am never alone. And I am loved.

And look what a gorgeous pattern in the center of sunflower. God is amazing. Just like he knows every hair on my head, He made these beautiful flowers with nothing overlooked. No detail too small.

FINDING FREEDOM IN RECOVERY

I have found freedom from my past hurts and decisions. And I will continue to work my program to the best of my ability so that I can continue to bloom.

My journey continues…

My Truth

Pain Is Pain…

Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a Christ centered 12 Step program for ANY hurt, habit or hang-up.

It’s unique in the fact that it’s not issue specific. I actually love the fact that the program is set up this way.

Because we may have each learned a different way of coping with life, substance or behavior. We all heal the same way. When we take the substance or behavior away, we can see and feel the pain underneath. We can all learn from each other’s pain.

You see, pain is pain. No matter where the hurt originated.

At CR we learn to work through our pain. We get tired of running from it, ignoring it, pretending not to be in pain. And we realize that what we’ve been doing is just not working because the pain is still there and it still hurts. We work the 12 steps and learn to lean on God and not ourselves. (To follow are the 12 Steps but shortened)

We admit we are powerless.

We come to believe God can restore us to sanity.

We make a decision to turn our lives and will over to God.

We make a searching inventory of ourselves.

We admit our wrongs to God, ourselves and someone else.

We become ready to have God to remove our defects of character.

We ask Him to remove all our shortcomings.

We make a list and are willing to make amends.

We make amends.

We continue to evaluate.

We seek God.

We can’t stop talking about what God has done in our lives.

And it’s after we admit, come to believe, decide, search, confess, ready, ask, become willing, make amends, continue, seek….only then we are able to share with others what God has done. And our pain is healed.

And here’s the thing, NO ONE, says my pain is greater than yours. Or my pain is not enough. Pain is pain. And we rally around each other until.

Whatever until looks like.

Did you ever notice the 12 Steps starts with We and not I? That’s because we are not made to do this alone.

Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that, Iron sharpens iron. This is our sponsor, our accountability partners, our recovery community. They know pain.

Being in community gives us the opportunity to be around people at different stages of recovery and walk alongside each other. What an amazingly beautiful gift.

Bob Dylan is credited with saying ‘Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.’

My journey continues…

My Truth

Perfectly Imperfect

6 years ago on Facebook, I posted one simple word. ‘Broken’. When I read it, I was immediately pulled back to that time. Where I was. How I felt. And what was about to happened. I was broken.

I had plan. I wrote THE letter. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.

I was suicidal and afraid to tell anyone cause I didn’t want my kids to be taken away from me while I was thinking of taking myself away from them.

But I stopped.

I sat in those feelings today for just a little while. So sad for who I was at that time. I wanted to hug her and say, ‘it’s going to be ok. Better than ok in-fact. It may not feel that way right now but I promise you God has a plan.’

Thank you Jesus that I stopped. I had already been seeking God. And trying to figure out what happened to my life.

Well it took me 6 more months to find myself again and get spiritually, mentally and emotionally strong enough to say enough is enough. Enough of the madness. Enough of the lies. The lies I was told and lies I told others to cover up how broken and lost I left. Enough of the living in fear of where I was and where I was going. Enough of being in denial. Enough of trying to save someone from themselves and their addiction.

Feb 2016 I went to my first Celebrate Recovery (CR) and I have never looked back.

From working the 12 Steps and 8 Principles of CR, I have learned so much about myself and how I learned to cope with life with codependency and why. I have gained awareness of my behaviors and now have new ways of coping.

I have learned so many amazing Bible verses and now actually read the Bible. And I apply them all the time.

For example, there are days that need to put on the Armor of God and well maybe I should be putting on these 7 pieces of armor everyday. Ephesians 6: 13-17 “Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

And I strive to live up to The Fruits of the Spirit. These are the 9 attributes of someone who is living in accord with the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

When my mind wonders and I’m feeling down, I am reminded of what to think about in Philippians 4:8-9 “In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.”

I’m grateful for being in this place today and the direction I am going. I am grateful that I stopped 6 years ago. And I am grateful for the last 6 years and every step along the way.

I am grateful for being perfectly imperfect but working every single day to become who God always knew I was.

Perfectly Imperfect in every wonderful way!

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Self Care

Ever thought about what they say in the safety message when you take a trip on an airplane. And how it applies to life outside that flight? I have.

They say something like, ‘In the unlikely event we lose oxygen. Oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat. Place the mask over your mouth and nose. Make sure that your own mask is on first before helping others.’

Why do they say this? Because when we must take care of ourselves first before we are able to take care of others.

Imagine in the plane, if the person next to you was struggling and then you helped them, now you are suddenly struggling. And the both of you panic and can’t figure it out. It can happen so quickly.

Self-care starts and ends with God and His will for our lives.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

I love that, ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ And of course ‘His good, pleasing and perfect will.’

Truly trusting God and His will for my life is transforming. I’ve seen it first hand in others and I’ve lived it.

Self care does not come easy to me. For a long time, I ran until I was empty having nothing left for myself. Self care sounded selfish. I wasn’t getting my my needs met so I’d fill up all of my time with taking care of others. In all parts of life.

But now I have a new perspective. I need to put my own oxygen mask on. I need to fill myself up with healthy habits. We can’t pour from an empty cup.

Can’t pour from an empty cup!

Attending meetings is part of my weekly self-care routine. I’m a better me and am able to serve my family, friends, Church, Celebrate Recovery and work. Prayer and journaling daily are also part of my routines. I guess it’s living Steps 10-12 or Celebrate Recovery Principles 8 and 9.

Ready to take some action steps and make self care a priority? Tell me about it!

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

From a place of love…

As someone who struggles with codependency, I heard an amazing yet sad reminder over the weekend.

I went to a Church service where a guest Pastor spoke about his addiction and recovery through Jesus Christ. Part of his bottom was when his Dad unexpectedly passed away. And the next time he relapsed, his Dad was not there to help pick him back up.

Later in the day, at the Q and A session, he shared that if his Dad was still alive, he likely wouldn’t be.

That was such a difficult reminder to hear but an important one.

That hard truth of when a codependent or enabler ends up causing harm when we were just coming from a place of what we thought was love. That place where we want to soften their fall but we just end up prolonging their bottom and pain.

I know for myself, I wanted to soften the fall of a now ex boyfriend. I would be screaming inside….where is your bottom. As I picked him up from jail or from someplace else he shouldn’t have been. He needed to feel his own consequences from behavior he was choosing. And my softer version while well meaning, was not helping him.

I kept giving him chances and covering for him as I thought, this would be the time that he would get sober and if I didn’t, I would miss it. I would miss being there with him, living a sober life together. if I just loved him enough, he would stop drinking. Or thinking, if he really loved me he would stop.

But that’s not how that story ended.

That story ended with me reaching my bottom before he did. I had to untangle myself from this crazy train of addict and enabler. Which included a protective order because I was afraid.

Then I found Jesus Christ through this little program called Celebrate Recovery.

That story ends with me not only learning that Jesus wanted to be in relationship with me the entire time and I just needed to turn towards Him. But also that God loves me so much that He sent his beloved son, Jesus here to live a perfect life and die for my not even done yet, sins. To pay the price for me. To take on all my burdens. All of my hurts, habits and hangups and replace those things with freedom, joy and love.

I also have learned to love myself and have learned how to have real meaningful relationships with others. To fellowship with like minded people who love Jesus and each other right where we are.

My journey continues….

My Truth

What Alcoholic Behaviors Looks Like

If you have read any of my other posts, you know that alcoholism is not my issue. But I have been around it my entire life.

This post is from my point of view. The person loving the person who struggles with alcoholism and what their behaviors look like.

One thing I didn’t realize is it’s not the same for everyone. Which seems funny to say because it just isn’t. But I really didn’t realize how different the behaviors could be until I experienced it with different people in my life.

Growing up in the home of an alcoholic, I witnessed a high functioning alcoholic. One who was successful professionally. Maintained a home and provided for the family. And most people would have never known looking in from the outside.

My mom died from cirrhosis. It was the most terrible thing I have ever witnessed. Fluid backed up and had to be drained. Her skin cracked on her legs and fluid dripped out. It was terrible. She was shutting down from the inside out.

The man I married, drank nightly just like I experienced growing up. But he also used his words carelessly and was mean and thoughtless after drinking. There were times he was embarrassing to be around while he thought he was the funniest person in the room.

A turning point for me when I realized that this was a bigger problem, was when he was drinking at inappropriate times. Using a big gulp cup to cover that he was drinking something much harder than a soda. And telling the kids that it was ‘daddy’s drink’. Or having a flask at the pumpkin patch became normal for him.

A few years after my divorce, I got into a relationship with an alcoholic. He was a white knuckling alcoholic. Sober by forcing it but that didn’t last long.

He was a binge drinker. Black out drunk daily. Unable to keep a job. Hiding alcohol. Planning his next trip to the liquor store. Buying a small bottle cause ‘it’s the last one, I promise’. But then going back a few hours later for the next last one. Withdrawing. Needing to drink to stop the withdrawal. Hospitalized. Arrested. I became afraid of his unpredictable behaviors and was issued a protective order.

And my friend. Lying about where she was. Or how much she had to drink. Kinda wanting to stop but was just not ready to give it up.

As you see there is a wide range of behaviors and what alcoholism looks like in each person I have known who struggles with alcoholism.

The basic definition of Alcoholism is the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol.

What all these people have in common is they each used alcohol to cope with life. That alcohol numbs feelings. And covers up deep hurts of the past.

Alcoholism stole my mom away from me.

Alcohol changed who people I loved were.

Alcohol lied to the people in my life that with alcohol, life is better.

But

I have also seen what it looks like to break the chains of alcoholism. And they are the most amazing people I know.

Lyrics from Chain Breaker by Zach Williams

I know that all of us do the best we can with what we know at the time. And when we know a different way, we do better. I have seen it, I have lived it with my own struggles of depression, codependency and body image.

There’s a better life.

If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker. If you feel lost, He’s a way maker. If you need freedom or saving. He’s a prison shaking savior. If you got chains. He’s a chain breaker.

So who is He? He is Jesus Christ. And He wants to be in relationship with us. Not only that but He wants us to live our best life. To heal the pain of the past and live and love in today.

It takes a lot of work and action to break the chains of any past hurt. But I know personally and witness everyday that all things are possible with Jesus.

I do have to acknowledge that not everyone breaks the chains. My mom, she found freedom in heaven. At least that is what I believe. I wish that was different but it wasn’t what happened.

I find comfort in knowing she is free now. Rereading those song lyrics….He’s a pain taker….she’s no longer in pain. He took the pain away in a different way than I’ve thought about before.

Thank you for letting me share.

My journey continues…

PS I drew the picture in this post

My Truth

It’s NOT just a meeting once a week…

Yesterday I spent a few hours with friends from Celebrate Recovery. We had a picnic at a flower farm.

What a beautiful, special, blessed day it was.

Many of us posted pics and thoughts about how nice this time together was especially since we had not been together in person since mid-March.

Recovery friends are referred to as Forever Family. Reflecting on yesterday, forever family is the perfect way to describe way to identify these people to me.

I created an photo album online titled ‘This is CR’ The description says. Celebrate Recovery has changed my life and has taught me how to walk along side others with love. It’s not just a meeting once a week, it’s how I do life and how I do life with others.

I💜CR

I didn’t realize how much I really missed being with my CR family in person for the last few months until seeing so many of them yesterday.

Looking back, some of my favorite days were ones with my Forever Family. Painting, a birthday party, axe throwing and a picnic at a flower farm to name a few.

It’s not just a meeting once a week. It’s real relationships. People who you want to spend time with. People you admire. People who know your junk and love you anyway. People I know their junk and don’t judge but love them for who they are today.

It’s not just a meeting once a week. It’s a way of living life with others in a healthy way.

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

My journey to serenity continues…

Ps the pics in the post are my pics from the different CR forever family gatherings

My Truth

I was drowning in his addiction

I was drowning in his addiction. It was all consuming. It impacted every part of my life. I didn’t know how to stop the merry-go-round of addict and enabler.

I knew it wasn’t right but I kept going back. Kept waiting for him to hit his bottom. I knew I was hurting myself but I ignoring that part and only focused on him. Seeing myself from the outside, screaming don’t go see him….cut him off….walk away. But I couldn’t hear it.

I would have those thoughts and then think, this is the time. This is when he hits his bottom and we would bounce up from there. That I would walk away and this time he would get sober and stay sober. I’d think back to the good days and want those days back. That if I walked away, I’d miss it and not being part of it.

There’s not only the fact that I prevented him from growing and learning from his actions and the consequences from those actions. But I was also putting myself in harms way. My poor decisions were impacting the world around me and I couldn’t stop it.

Until.

Until I hit my bottom. I walked away and have never looked back. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Kept making the next right choice for me. I was craving more for me and for my life.

As I worked through this I had to ask myself some hard questions. How did THIS become my life. How WAS it ok with me to not only put myself in this relationship but why did it stay ok? That this is a good as it gets and what I deserved? Was I so lonely that THAT life became ok? Why did I NEED to be needed and being needed meant love. Why did that feel like love? HOW and WHY did my worth become based on fixing someone else. So many hard questions that key to the answers were threaded back in my entire life.

I was drowning in his addiction.

But I’m not drowning anymore. I have bounced up from my bottom. I have found myself. I found it wasn’t ok. I found that that was far from as good as it gets. I found I deserved so much more. I found that it wasn’t that I was lonely, it was that was the path I was on. If it wasn’t him it would have the next guy who was an alcoholic.

I found I don’t need to be needed. I found that love doesn’t have to look like that. I found that my value is not in fixing someone else but in who I am and who I am to God. I found that had I not been there, I wouldn’t be here. I would take my worst day now over my best day there.

And being here, I am finally living into who I was always meant to be. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I serve in ways that use my God given gifts and talents. I walk along side others with healthy boundaries. I ‘do life’ with an awesome support system. And I am grateful.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

My New Normal

I think I’ve stumbled on my new normal. Lots going on and some changes too but I’m finding that I’m using tools I’ve learned and been applying to my life.

My day starts and ends in prayer. Been doing that faithfully since the start of the year. Every morning I call a friend and we pray together. I’ve never done that before. It’s pretty cool. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.

I’ve ended the day in prayer off and on for a while but now doing this constantly. Gratitude for the day and whatever specifically happened that day and doing a daily inventory occupy that time.

My new normal is full of tools that I’ve been developing for the last 4 years. They are starting to be a natural response and easier to tell someone what I need or to set a boundary.

I have an awesome support system in place. I turn to them when I need to process or support. Just to check in or just to say hello.

I am choosing to let go of a few things in my life that keep me busy and while it fills my tank there are parts that I don’t enjoy and it drains me. I did a lesson at CR a week or so ago on powerlessness. In the lesson, it says when our pain is greater than our fear, that we when we make a change. And while there is not pain in this situation, it takes my energy. So as I figured out that the drain on my life was at a faster rate then what it filled. It was time to make a change.

This is already making room for me to say yes to other things that fill me up. And be around more people with similar interests and that want to do stuff together.

I’m just going to enjoy this new normal and see what God has planned for me in this next chapter.

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

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Grateful

I recently did a questionnaire that puts in order 24 character strengths. I went into the questionnaire not knowing the names of the strengths.

I was not surprised by my top 5. They are: gratitude, appreciation of beauty and excellence, kindness and generosity, capacity to love and be loved and spiritually, sense of purpose and faith.

We often think and talk about our character defects and not character strengths. So doing this work gives me some great incite into who I am and how I am showing up in the world. The other cool thing is the other strengths can be worked on and improved and moved up the list.

Something I can only contribute to recovery, is having an attitude of gratitude. There have been times in my life that I have felt unworthy. Ungrateful. And not seeing the gifts there are from trials, hard days and even conflict. Over the last couple of years, I have developed a very strong sense of gratitude. So I was not surprised that this is my top strength.

According to The Positivity Project gratitude’s parent virtue is transcendence and this strength allow people to rise above their troubles and find meaning in the larger universe. Gratitude is sometimes resisted due to not wanting to experience a sense of indebtedness. However, gratitude is less about feeling indebted and more about being aware of the consideration, kindness and generosity of others.

I am approaching my 4 year of working a recovery program, Celebrate Recovery (CR) I’m giving my testimony at two different CR’s in the next few weeks. Tonight I am reflective of who I was walking in the doors of CR for the first time and who I am today AND JUST HOW FAR I HAVE COME.

And I find myself just so grateful.

Grateful for where I was. Grateful for those who came along side me. I am grateful for those who stuck with me and for those who walked away. I am grateful for the work I’ve done to find myself. I am grateful for friendships that are not like any other I have ever had. I am grateful for making my recovery a priority for the last 4 years.

I am grateful that I can admit that I am powerless. I do not have it all together. I do not have to try and control all of it. I am not responsible for all of it. I am not that powerful and it’s not my job.

I am grateful that my higher power loves me. That I matter to Him and that He wants to have a relationship with me. That He works all things together for my greater good.

I am grateful that I make the decision everyday to turn my life and my will over to the care of God.

I am grateful for fearless inventories. And identify my part and see character defects because I will grow from this information.

I am grateful for being able to admit to God, to myself and to someone I trust, my wrong doings.

I am grateful that I am a work in progress and am ready to have God remove my defects of character.

I am grateful that I can humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings.

I am grateful for identifying those that I have harmed and become willing to make amends with them.

I am grateful for making direct amends when ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.

I am grateful for continuing to take personal inventory and promptly admit when I am wrong.

I am grateful for prayer and meditation. Praying for knowledge of His will for my life and the power to carry that out.

And I am grateful for getting to carry this message to others and practicing these principles in all of my affairs.

I am grateful for the 12 steps and learning how to apply them to me and my pain and hurts.

I am perfectly imperfect and grateful.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Misfit Toys Welcome Here

I always loved the stop motion animation of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. I could relate to the misfit toys.

Poor Rudolph was different with his red nose and tried to hide it. And Hermey the Elf who just wanted to be a dentist because he was passionate about that over making toys. Off they go because they didn’t fit in. They couldn’t just be themselves. And trying to be something else just didn’t work our either.

And then they run into other misfits. Which I want to pause the story for a moment and define misfit. According to the Oxford dictionary, misfit is a noun meaning a person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortable conspicuous way. Synonyms include outsider, weirdo, oddball and exception.

Ok now that we know who misfits are let’s go back to the story.

Charlie tells them that the lion collects unloved toys and brings them to the island.

Here are a few of the Misfit Toys:

  • King Moonracer – the winged lion
  • Charlie in the box
  • Spotted Elephant
  • Train with square wheels
  • Water gun that shoots jelly
  • A bird that swims
  • A cowboy that rides an ostrich
  • Boat that can’t stay afloat
  • A plane that can’t fly
  • A doll named Sue

So these toys may be different, they may not be who others think they should be, they may think differently or even work differently. Maybe they don’t fit in to the norms.

This got me thinking about recovery and recovery groups. It’s made up of a bunch of people who maybe didn’t fit in. Maybe didn’t live up to what or who others thought they should. Maybe they think differently. Maybe felt unloveable.

You know who I have found in my 12 step group? These misfits? Outsiders? Weirdos? Oddballs? And the exceptions? They are strong and brave and caring and loving and are great listeners and are thoughtful and hardworking and are honest and are humble and non judgmental and are grateful and kind and offer hope. They are inclusive. And they are exceptional.

These misfits that others might have overlooked and dismissed and sometimes even written off. These misfits are my friends and they would stand in line to protect me. They would stop what they are doing and fold my hands and pray with me. They make time to listen and study together.

That misfit attitude that set them apart is an attitude of gratitude. The attitude that all things are working together for my greater good. That attitude of knowing that God does not waste pain. Misfit behavior that we welcome the new comer and walk along side.

So as far as I am concerned, misfits are amazing and they are all welcome here!

My journey continues…

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

Being on the other side…

My Facebook status 9.29.2015

Witnessing someone self-destruct is one of the worst things in life.
#AllICanDoIsPray
#FeelingSad

My Facebook status 9.29.2016

A year ago today I posted about how awful it is to see someone self destruct and be completely helpless.
I’m sure it was equally hard for my friends to see me during that time.
So glad I’m in this place now and not there anymore.
But I can also say that I am grateful for that awful time because I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have some AMAZING people in my life. No need to name names, if you read this….you are one of them.

Being on the other side of this situation, I’d like to share my thoughts today 9.28.19.

Looking Back…9.29.2015

4 years ago, I was a mess. A hot broken mess. The man I ‘loved’ was completely out of control and deep in his alcohol addiction. You know the term functional alcoholic well this was the total opposite. He was not able to function at all. Drinking from the second he woke up until he passed again. All day and night. For MONTHS. And I was putting myself smack in the middle of his chaos and making it my own. I was drowning in his addiction.

img_8015

Here’s the ugly truth about that day….he was living in an abandoned house blocks from my house with 3 than, 2 than 1 one other homeless alcoholics. No power. No water. Buckets and pots and tubs in the backyard, collecting rain water to flush the toilet. Roaches and other bugs everywhere. I never bought him alcohol, not once but I enabled him in so many other ways. This was just another day.

He called me and sent me text messages all hours of the day and night. Starting out with I love you, please don’t leave me. I’m going to stop today. And as the day went on, it ended with leave me alone, fuck you. Rinse and Repeat. Day after day after day. Pulling me in, pushing me away. This dance. This terrible harmful dance.

I could not do this anymore. I’m about to hit my bottom. I was slowly going ghost. Slowly trying to disengage. But still wanting to be there. And as I was pulling away, the situation was escalating.  I was terrified. Terrified of him. Terrified on being alone. Terrified that this would be the time he got sober and I walked away. I was watching him self destruct and I was powerless. I was failing. Failing him. Failing myself. This is snap shot of a day in the life of codependent loving an out of control alcoholic. And this was my crazy thought process.

Fast Forward 1 year later…9.29.2016

After a little more to this dysfunction central ‘relationship’ which included a protective order, it being violated, court and jail time (for him). Silence. Then I was lonely and missed the good things and I reached out when I shouldn’t have. The dance was restarting.  And then I walked into a Celebrate Recovery meeting and everything changed for my greater good.

I then found a Christ Centered recovery group. Got a sponsor. Faithfully going to meetings. Working the steps. Healing had started. Connections were made as how I became codependent. It was a way of coping. Not coping well or in a healthy way but coping all the same. Things were making sense as my head cleared.

I already had figured out that had I not been that mess I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to heal so many things. And likely I would have looked for the next guy to fix. The next dysfunction.

Had I not been there I wouldn’t be here. And here had just begun.

Fast forward 3 more years…today 9.29.2019

It’s now 4 years later since that time of total chaos. I think back and do not recognize who I was and wonder how I thought it was ok to put myself in that position. I drive by that house everyday and most days I don’t think much about it but every now and then I remember those days with much sadness. If I could only go back and take myself by the hand and say trust me. But I wouldn’t have listened.

Today I am an active member of Celebrate Recovery. I am part of the leadership team. I am available to listen to others and their story, their journey. I still have a sponsor. And I am a sponsor. I am in a step study, my second one. I am surrounded by amazing people who are my biggest cheer leaders. I continue to learn how to have healthy relationships. I now understand that boundaries not only keep me safe but keep unsafe people out of my day to day to life.

I am so grateful for the chaos of 2015. My life is much more complete.  The fact that I now have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That I lean on God’s word. That I trust His plan. That I ask for wisdom and strength.  And that I am doing life with others in recovery has been the greatest gift to come from this time.

Not perfect, but living in grace and truth.

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

My journey continues…