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.

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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…

 

My Truth

Different, Better, More

It’s been so long since I’ve written. I’ve missed it so much.

I’ve spent the last few months continuing to grow by applying the tools that I’ve learned. And here recently, I’ve been learning new things by reading a book about grief.

Grief is not just experienced during time when a person dies but people experience grief during times of high emotions like being let go from a job, loss of a pet, moving, divorce, graduation, financial issues, empty nesting, retirement or even health issues to name a few.

I’m about half way done with this book and I have made some new connections that is helping understand myself on a different deeper level.

So I can’t wait to share more as times goes on.

I’m not a big believer in New Years resolutions mainly because I have not been successful in past years. At first it’s motivating it soon fades.

But I am a believer in words and how powerful they are for me. So rather than say, I’m going to join a gym and workout everyday, I’d rather say my focus is on self care this year and see how that plays out.

I found that for 2015 I wrote ‘living life with drive and purpose, faith and integrity, grace and joy, consistency and always with kindness.’ This was a hard year and I’m not sure how successful I was in all those words that year but then I got to start over.

And for 2016 my recovery journey started and I started the year off with ‘Trust His Plan’

I used words from my High School crest for 2017, ‘Grow in grace and wisdom’

For 2018 I wrote simply ‘I Love’. Which covered rediscovering and enjoying things I love and being open to finding new loves, like axe throwing! I went Axe Throwing a few weeks ago and loved it. It was so much fun.

So for 2019 my words are…..drum roll…

  • Different
  • Better
  • More

This is about doing even more that I love. Being around people I love. And stepping into new things coming my way with confidence.

I look forward to writing more this coming year and sharing new skills and dreams.

My journey to serenity continues…

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