My Truth

Stability…

At work today I was listening to YouTube (as usual) and a TD Jakes clip played…

You didn’t get to pick what shaped your world. But you do get to pick what stabilizes it’

This to me is so timely and powerful. I have been looking for stability in my life for a long time. I’ve felt like I was white knuckling life got the last 20 plus years. All day. Everyday. Trying to control everything.

And what brought me the stability that I’ve been looking for? A little 12 Step Christ centered program called Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve found a new stride. My new normal. It’s a pretty happy place. Not without challenges. Not without struggles. Not without upset. That’s just called life. And because of that I’ve learned 12 stepping, living the 12 steps daily and by God’s Grace, I can cope in a new way.

Finding stability when life is always changing. Finding stability when the unexpected happens. Finding stability in an uncertain world.

No longer do I need to live in secret, silence or shame. No longer do I worry about what someone may think of my situation or of me. As a mother, sister or friend.

This stability that I thought was so far out of reach, wasn’t. And as I continue to let go of control and trust God and His plan for

my life, the more stable I have become.

And the more stable I become, the more I need to be stable.

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

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pic used in this post.

My Truth

Awareness, Seeing Things In A New Way

The thing about continuing to work a recovery program is that you (or me in this case) get the opportunity to continue to have a deeper understanding of myself. A new level of awareness. Healing even deeper.

This is the most stressful time at work and between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been a very difficult time of year for me personally and emotionally for YEARS. So in the middle of chaos and heart ache, I decided to do this work.

Crazy right!

Well, it has forced me to make time for myself. It’s made me practice some self care when I’m exhausted after a long day at work. To set aside time to read. Process what I’ve learned. Write about it. And have a weekly meetings about it.

I’m doing some work on grieving. I’m reading a really good book that has pointed out some things that has gotten me looking a things in a different way. About things I had not thought about in a long time but now thinking about them in a different way.

We are just at the thick of it. It’s just like that part in working the 12 steps….step 4 and 5. During that part, many people walk away because it’s hard. Its scary because you are afraid of being judged or embarrassed or feel shame around what you did or didn’t do. It’s pulling the curtain back and being vulnerable.

To be open enough to say those things out loud that no one talks about. Those things that may cause fear or judgement or shame and saying it anyway. And you know what happened when I did my step 4 and 5 with my sponsor…..ready, because when you haven’t done it yet, you don’t know. But this is what happened……my sponsor, loved me anyway. And every time I give my testimony, my recovery community, loves me anyway.

Crazy right!

So I am not afraid of hard work. I am doing the work. And I’m doing it, because I know what happens when the hard work is completed.

Which reminds me of Psalms 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.

So that painting….do you see a line of tress with the sun setting? Or do you see a guitar? Do you see both?

Don’t be afraid of working a program. Dig deep and see things in a different way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, I don’t work a perfect program. I make mistakes, I sin. I disappoint others and I disappoint myself. But God doesn’t need me to be perfect or to work a perfect program. Everyday making the decision to walk in the right direction. It’s called progress. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what matters.

It works if you work it and you are so worth it!!!

My journey to serenity 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

What someone else thinks of me, is none of my business….

I heard this saying very early in my recovery walk. What someone else thinks of me, is none of my business. Clearly it stuck with me. And bubbled back up to the surface recently.

In the beginning, this saying was comforting because I felt judged. I felt like people looked at me and said I can’t believe what she put her family through. But that wasn’t really true in most cases.

Most of the time it was me, making it up. Knowing all I’ve done and the shame it burdened me with. I felt that shame and figured people could see it. Like it was written across my forehead.

But it wasn’t, it was written across the slate of my soul.

But what I found in recovery rooms was grace not judgment. And what I found each time a shared a little bit more of myself was genuine care not disgust. And what I discovered with my sponsor was after knowing all I shared with her, she loved me anyway.

Now I won’t lie, there was that other end of most….which is just a few. They were judgmental. They knew parts of the story and said I was a terrible person. And one even wrote me a letter which included, wouldn’t your parents be disappointed. That right there is guilt and shame. And no one is going guilt and shame me into being someone who I am not. This type of reaction is unwanted, unnecessary, unkind and unhealthy.

I’ve been reminded this week that what someone else thinks of me is none of my business. And all I need to do is keep my focus on God and my deeper understanding of codependency and continue to grow into the person God made me to be.

I am exactly where I was meant to be. Today, in this moment. Mistakes and all. Flaws and all.

So here’s a little something about me. I march to my own drum, always have. Don’t mind marching alone but prefer with a drum line! I think snap chat is fun and silly. And you never know what color my hair might be next time I see you. So here is a few of my favorite snap chat pics

Because Of the work Ive done and continue to do, in the 12 steps God has been rewriting what’s on my soul.,

I’m just going to keep being me.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Guilt and Shame…

Something happened last month that still surprises me when I think about it because I reacted to it differently than I ever had before. It was in that moment that I realized that I can recover from codependency behaviors and break this cycle that I have lived most of my life.

In the past, this person knew all the right buttons to push and knew exactly what to say to bring me to my knees and ‘win’ a disagreement. This person thrives on disagreements and tends to like to use big words to show me he is smarter than I am.

I have little contact with this person anymore but we do need to communicate at times.

We had a meeting scheduled and the night before the meeting, I was hammered with text messages about several things out of my control and frankly out of his control too. These messages included bringing up old situations which had long resolved themselves but not in the way he wanted. As well as why didn’t I notice this or why wasn’t I paying attention to that. And then THE ONE CARD that has always worked in the past was thrown at me.

And my reply….. You will not guilt and shame me into an argument with you.

And the messages stopped.

The meeting happened but before the meeting the same questions were asked and I said, this is not the time or place. If you’d like to meet for coffee, I’ll be happy to talk about it.

And after the meeting, it started again. And I said again….You will not guilt and shame me into an argument with you. I’m not trying to guilt or shame you he said….really I said and gave him examples of all the things he said or asked my those two days by text or in person. Those aren’t trying to guilt or shame me?

Tools I have learned because of recovery and not only learned but have put into practice are amazing.

The tit for tat and keeping score that worked for so long to get me to say or do what he wanted, no longer works. And taking a new approach from listening and love and support, works so much better for everyone involved.

One of my hangups is not being heard. Especially with this person. He has run me over time and time again because that is how we related to each other. But when I listened for what’s really going on and pointed it out. It has changed everything for me.

Arguing with someone not in recovery is hard because their version of the truth is clouded by their addiction. And it’s not just drugs or alcohol. It could be gambling or having to be right or perfect. It could even be Anger. Whatever it is, I don’t have to continue to react the way I always had. I can tell my truth and end the argument and pray that one day he will be get past his habits and hangups too.

I never learned a healthy way to disagree. Until I worked my 12 step program. I never knew how to be heard. Until I worked my 12 step program. I didn’t know a better way……until now.

12 step has changed my life for the good. And working a Christian based 12 step reminds me that all things work together for my greater good.

My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth

You know you are codependent when….

You know you are codependent when….

  • You fix other people’s problems without being asked
  • Saying no, has 10 reasons attached to it and in the end, you say yes
  • You have 4 solutions for someone else’s problems before they are finished telling you what’s wrong
  • When you are more involved in someone else’s life than they are
  • You recognize unhealthy behavior but give them a pass because they need you
  • You put their needs above your own
  • You are not addicted to a substance but rather addicted to a person who is addicted to a substance
  • You feel more responsible for others then they do
  • You have a hard time making decisions and rely on others to make decisions for you
  • You feel guilty in doing any kind of self care
  • You feel guilty for others bad behavior
  • You say I’m sorry, when you don’t need to
  • When your life flashes in front of your eyes, you realize it’s everyone else’s

As someone who struggles with codependency, I have done everyone one of the above. And I did all those things from a loving place. It was how i thought I was supposed to love someone. But it got completely out of control.

In all of my prior relationships, I felt and acted the same way but maybe in more of a watered down version. My relationship with xxxxxxxxx was the perfect storm because his addiction got so out of control so quicky.

I am grateful for my understanding now of not only my struggle but also understanding addiction and addicts. And while I have a greater level of empathy for anyone who struggles I will never allow myself to get into another similar relationship.

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