Tag Archives: recovery

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 too. 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. Feeling of not being good enough. 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…

Fruit of the Spirit

Have you ever had something nudging at you? Not knowing what it’s about but a phrase that keeps showing up. Making you want to ask what does this mean? I want to learn more and more. 

So this has happened to me recently with the Fruit of the Spirit. It’s been in a meditation, a pod cast, during a step study meeting and on and on and on. 

So first I looked it up. Wikipedia says ‘The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a Christian according to Paul the Apostle in his Letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’

I did some more reading and looked for a podcast to listen to and you tube videos to watch.  So all of my time I have trying to figure out what God wants me to learn. I just ordered a study guide on Galatians. 

First thing I noticed is it says fruit not fruits. To me this means that it’s one package deal. All 9 words are equal, part of each other, work together. I should strive to be all of those things every minute of every day in all my encounters. So that when people look at me, they see those words first written on my soul. Who wouldn’t want to be these 9 words. It’s amazing. I know people that when I think of them those are the words that come to mind  and have even said to them, I want to be you when I grow up. 

The next thing is it’s the fruit of the spirit not the seed. Otherwise Paul would have said seed of the spirit. The hard work is done. The seed was planted, and the soil was perfect, there was the perfect amount of water and the right nutrients to feed the seed. But there may have been hard seasons where the seed was not in the perfect environment but the seed is resilient and continued on its path. Resting when it needed to, taking from one place to make up for another. Trying to keep itself balanced and become what it was intended to be. The fruit is a result of the years of hard work from the seed. 

The fruit is….love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

I’m going to end here and have a part 2 to this post. I’m working on where I am on living my life in the fruit of the spirit and where I need to focus more. So stay tuned while I work this out! 

My journey continues

This girls journey to serenity…

Ps I painted the picture used in this post. 

Ripples From Yesterday

May 5. 2015 2:12 am was the exact moment my heart broke. The man I loved began drinking and this took me on a codependent journey that I had no idea what all was about to happen. 

This is the post I posted on Facebook at 2:12am

‘Ripples in water……did it start from a single tear rolling down someone’s face? Did it start from a kind word that changed someone’s day? Did it start from a single act of service for someone else? 

No matter how it started…..know the effects are long lasting. Rippling the waters for moments to hours to days to time beyond what you can imagine. 

Be kind. Be supportive. Be understanding. Be forgiving. You never know who you may touch with one single tear, word or small act.’

I read this today and see myself sitting on the sofa sobbing, not understanding and not ready to face the truth. 

I feel myself sitting next to myself saying….you are going to be ok, better than ok in fact. The next few months you will not be yourself and you are going to make mistakes but know that this is going to take you to understanding and you will be ready to face the truth. 

Ripples that started 2 years ago, pushed me to THIS place. Now being 450 days in recovery from codependency and having the understanding of how I got there.  

And ripples from today being a healthier person and LIVING life will push me to even better places. I attend my home group meeting every week and I am working a step study, I am starting another study. I am spending time with like minded people in recovery. 

My journey continues…

This girls journey to serenity. 

Recurring themes…

I keep running into these words: Resilience and Living Authentically. 

Resilience is defind as the ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

And Living Authentically is defined as acting in ways that are congruent with our values, preferences, and abilities being true to the core self in one’s daily life. 

Before working a recovery program I thought I was living both of those but now I have a completely different point of view. 

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means that you are reflective. Understanding what is your part and what is not. 

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means you are not judgemental. When being reflective you understand that people make mistakes and the greatest lessons are from the darkest nights and understand that others make mistakes too. And bounce back when you are hurt or disappointed. 

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means you live in the present. You no longer dwell on the past or what if’s or if only’s. You are trusting God and enjoying one moment at a time.

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means you have identified your character defects and are entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character and humbly ask him to remove our shortcomings. 

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means that you listen. You understand that there are times when someone just wants to be heard and knowing this you learn how to be a good listener. 

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means you are consistent. Living the steps, having a sponsor keeps you on track and consistent. 

Working a recovery program, being resilient and living authenticity means others notice and ask you about how you life your life this way. Because by living this way, you give others hope. 

I am humble and grateful for my program. 

My journey to serenity continues….

At The End Of Me…

Life is different since I started living life with the 12 steps and working a program. The first 3 steps are admitting that I am powerless over my compulsive behaviors and my life is unmanageable, that I believe that a power greater than myself (Jesus Christ) can restore me to sanity and I have made the decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God. 
At the end of me…..I found you there. 

Clearly my plan and way of coping with life wasn’t working and I was spinning further and further into chaos and further and further away from God.

And then I hit my bottom….at the end of me….I found you there. 

God has sent the most amazing faith filled women to join me on the journey. For me to witness their walk with God and watch them walk the walk and talk the talk. They are amazing role models. 

At the end of me…..I found you there. 

We are not made to walk a recovery journey alone. Friendships born from recovery, sponsor and accountability partners. We walk together. There is safety in safe numbers. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

And one of my favorite passages. 

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

My journey to serenity continues and I am grateful for at the end of me…..I found you there. 

Staying in gratitude…

Today I am thankful for…

  • Waking up with love in my heart
  • Walking with others in recovery
  • Children who love and are so kind to Each other and others 
  • Dogs who love unconditionally 
  • A roof over my head 
  • A warm place to sleep
  • Food in my cabinet 
  • Coffee and quiet mornings
  • Naps when you need one on a chilly afternoon 

Everyday I have gratitude for these thing and much more. 

Coming from a place of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. Staying focused on all the positive wonderful things and people that are in my life. Big things and many many many little things that bring me joy. 

This keeps my eyes focused on God and reminds me that He is in control. That while sometimes I wish I could control the world around me, it’s not my place or job. Just as the serenity prayer states, to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Wisdom, grace, love….all freely giving to those who ask Him for it. 

The enemy does not like gratitude. Because that brings us closer to God. The enemy remains under my feet which is where it belongs. 

My journey to serenity continues….