Tag Archives: sober mom

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Big News!!!!

It’s 4am, I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about a phone call I received yesterday. It was a call from a lady that oversees all the special needs services for the schools in our county. She was calling to discuss my son and where he would be going to school this year. She mentioned that he had done very well when he returned to school after being at an alternative school for six months and asked if I thought he would fine going to the school that his sister goes to, the school right around the corner from our house.

Holy crap! I couldn’t believe it. This is it, here is the chance for my son to be back in the same school as his sister. I told her that I had faith in my son and that I thought it was time for him to be given this chance. We agreed that this would be good for him. So what does that mean exactly?

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If you’ve followed my story at all or if you know me personally, you know that it has been an uphill battle with my son and his behavior at school and at home. Our relationship has had some major obstacles, for many reasons. My son has been affected the most by my addiction. He’s been through hell and back right along side me as I struggled with alcohol, struggled to get sober, and with my relapse. He’s been in foster care twice. He’s seen me get arrested, he’s seen me put into the back of an ambulance, he was taken away from his home in the back of a cop car not to return home for a year. He’s been though a lot! He let everyone know he was suffering with his behavior. He was (and sometimes still is) always in fight or flight mode.

 

Fight-or-flight response: (Also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.

 

Before I relapsed in May of 2015 my sons behavior was in my opinion the worst it has ever been. I was being called out of work multiple times a week. He attacked the babysitter pulling a knife out, he attacked his sister, he threatened to kill himself and me. At one point I told my then sponsor that if he was awake I wouldn’t go to sleep because I wasn’t 100% sure I’d wake up. I believed he’d stab me in my sleep.  He would run from the teachers, he’d get up in the middle of class and just run through the school. They would have to block the doors so he wouldn’t run out into traffic. It was intense! I was struggling to balance all of it and my sobriety. I was drowning.

Luckily, before my relapse, I was able to get him into a different school that had a program and teachers that handle that type of behavior on a daily basis. That program turned out to be heaven sent. The teachers there have been amazing and will hopefully continue to be apart of my sons life.

My kids have now been home fourteen months almost fifteen after being gone for a year in a foster home. The past year has been full of its ups and downs no doubt. There have been inpatient stays, six months at an alternative school that is one step down from inpatient, and part time living arrangements with the previous foster parents. Some days he hates my guts, some days he wants to sit in my lap and love on me. There are days where he tells he wants to run away and live somewhere else, sometimes I’m able to put myself in and imaginary bubble and let it pass, somedays I tell him to pack his stuff and go. (I’m not perfect, what can I say?) Amends always follows.

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A few months ago I asked my son if he trusts me now. He said yes, he finally does. That’s a big deal. I keep showing up. I keep telling him I love him. I keep showing him that I am here regardless of what he says to me. I let him know that he can’t guilt me into doing things for him. Bringing up the fact that he was taken away twice no longer works on me, I don’t parent out of guilt anymore. Took a while to get to that place, let me tell ya. But, it does him no good if I am still beating myself up for the past. Does me no good either.

My son is SO much like me its scary sometimes. He pushes boundaries like no other! Nobody can push my buttons like he can. I think he enjoys it sometimes. Pisses me off and makes me laugh all at the same time. I’m shocked at the his defiance and stubbornness, it’s like me in a little boy body. I have to go to my room and shut the door sometimes because I want to laugh at how ridiculously rebellious he is. I have my hands full with this one. I continuously remind him that rules do apply to him, that he’s not an exception to the rules. Surprisingly enough, I just learned that myself in the last few years. Rules do apply to me too! Who knew!?!?! Now I have to teach that lesson to my kid. Well played karma!

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Next chapter!

We’re both kinda spazzing out about this next chapter. Will there be ups and downs? Absolutely! Can we do this? Hell yeah we can! Is it scary as hell for both of us? Bet your ass it is! But we’ve made it through hell and high water these past few years, I think we can do this. There will still be support for him at his new school, he’s not being thrown to the wolves but he’s also not gonna be coddled anymore. He can do this, I have faith.

Fourth grade here we come! 

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To be continued…………

 

 

 

 

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When In A Funk

Yoga. Running. Writing. Connection. Podcasts. Reading. 

Those are some of the things that make me feel good, make my recovery flourish. So why is it that when I get into a funk, like I have been the last couple weeks, do I find that is the most difficult to get up and do these things? I KNOW what makes me happy and makes me feel content. Yet, I choose to do the opposite.

Sleep. Watch TV nonstop. Isolate. Dwell on the negative. Compare.

It’s times like this that it seems everyone on social media is having the time of their lives. “They” are all having a blast and living out their dreams right there in front of me. Or so it seems. So I flip them all off and it makes me feel better. Somewhat.

Comparison is a joy killer!!!

I’m not quite sure why I’ve been in this funk, I do know that it will pass. Eventually. I spoke with someone today about sobriety and how we used alcohol to fill the void. I explained to them that alcohol was the solution, a really shitty solution, but still a solution. It temporarily removed the frustration and discomfort of feeling life on life terms. So, when we get sober and the void is there, we aren’t exactly sure what to do. We no longer want the consequences that go along with our drinking, but there we are, having to feel all the feelings and shit. So many feelings, so many emotions, coming at us all at once. It’s overwhelming. Even at 776 days sober, the feelings are overwhelming. Especially when I’m choosing not to do the things that fill the void. Especially when I’m choosing to sit in the negative and refusing to see the bigger picture.

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Actually, if I’m 100% honest with myself, I do know what’s wrong with me. 

There are people, places, and things that are not the way I want them at this very moment. Yes, I admit it. I’m a control freak. I hate when things don’t go my way. I can NOT stand when someone is not doing what I want them to do. I can go days and even months without being bothered by people, places, and things. Not today though! Not the last week! Nope. Instead I am dwelling on the things that aren’t the way I want them. I am laying in bed crying over the people that aren’t the way I want them to be. I am restless, irritable, and discontent.

Does anyone else relate to this nonsense ^^^

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It’s sort of like me and my drinking. I wasn’t going to stop until the pain of changing was less than the pain of staying the same. I can take a lot of pain I’ve come to find. Also, it didn’t matter how many people wanted me to change, I was NOT going to change until I was ready. I had to hurt enough to want to do something different.

Thy will, not mine, be done!

A few days ago I sat in a meeting that I did not want to be at, with people I didn’t want to be around, talking about things I didn’t want to talk about. Nothing against them or any of that. It’s just that it was taking time away from thinking about myself and how things aren’t the way I want them. (Thinking about myself takes up a lot of time, ya know). Anyway, when it came time for me to read, what do ya know, the paragraph discussed prayer and “Thy will, not mine, be done.”  I always get the signs that I need when I need them. Doesn’t mean that I will listen or pay attention, but I am always getting messages.

Just for today. One day at a time.  

Luckily alcohol is no longer my solution, it’s doesn’t even cross my mind when I’m feeling low. Unfortunately though, I still have to let myself feel shitty enough to want to do something different.

Today I am choosing to do the opposite of what I want to do and what I am feeling. Writing this blog is the complete opposite action of what I want to do. I want to lay in bed and sulk. Instead I’m getting this shit off my chest and out of my brain. This morning I wanted to lay in bed, watch shitty TV, and sulk some more, but I went on a two mile jog. This afternoon I wanted to eat my feelings, chocolate cake sounded like it would do the trick, instead I chose a salad. Today I am choosing to accept that I am human doing the best that I can and so is everyone else.

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Tomorrow I might sulk all day, eat my feelings, flip everyone off on social media, and yell at someone for not doing what I want them to do, but for today I am choosing to be peaceful and mindful of others peoples feelings. I’m guessing that’s why they say ONE DAY AT A TIME?

This sobriety shit ain’t for the faint of heart!

Nobody said it would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it!!

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“Trying to be all zen and shit” selfie

 

 

Is Your Child Struggling?

It’s 3am and I am having a difficult time sleeping, I can’t stop thinking about the conversations I had with some friends tonight and over the last month. I’ve had four different people reach out to me wanting to know what to do for their child or to let me know that their child is struggling  just like son has struggled in the past. I have been open about my struggles with alcohol but I have recently spoken out about living with a child that deals with anger issues along with what I believe is severe anxiety. These boys are angry, they are suicidal, they are violent, they are depressed and anxious, they are cutting themselves. And these boys are not even in high school yet. It’s a scary thing to hear your own child say he wants to kill himself. Or as my son has said in the past “I want to run in the street and not look both ways.”

I remember before my kids were taken away in May of 2015, it had gotten to the point one night I told my then sponsor “If my son is awake then I won’t go to sleep” I was literally afraid of what my son would do to me if I was asleep and he was in one of his angry fits. I had pictures in my mind of him stabbing me in my sleep. He was 7. By May of 2015 my son was not allowed to be at the school past 1030am because his fits at seemed to escalate by mid morning and the school he attended wasn’t equipped to deal with his behavior. I was exhausted trying to hold down a job and be at the school every time they called to tell me to come get my kid. I walked around on eggshells trying not to upset him, anything I could do to prevent a fit. Anything would set him off though, it was like a ticking time bomb. I had to take everything out of his room, not to punish him but so that he couldn’t hurt himself with it, sharp items HAD to be taken out. It was insanity. I was doing it alone and I was about to break.

I was tired. I was exhausted:mentally, physically, and emotionally. I hit a wall and I relapsed. My kids were taken to live with a foster family while I put my life and myself back together. My kids came back home full time in May of 2016 and I thought that things were going to be great this time, that we had worked out our issues and that this time would be different. I had worked hard to build up my self esteem so that if there were any issues I’d be able to handle it. Five months later I was having a breakdown outside a mental hospital on the phone with my caseworker wondering how the hell we got here again. “I am only one person” I remember saying while hysterically crying to her as my son sat in my car refusing to get out, strapping himself to the seat yelling to me how much he hated me and wanted me to die. You can only hear “I hate you” and “I want to kill you” so many times before you breakdown. All my hard work on self esteem destroyed by an 8 year old.

I can’t help but wonder what is going on with our children that causes them to act out in such hurtful ways, is it the schools and the way we expect all kids to fit into a one size fits all box? I believe it has something to do with it. In this article Schools Putting Too Much Pressure On Kids, Kay Mcspadden says “Sadly, the rewrite of NCLB rushing through Congress reaffirms that commitment to testing. Despite the harm to our children, as long as the education reformers – and the testing industry – have a heavy hand in influencing public policy, time for play will be all too rare.”

What I do know is if you live with a child that is struggling I promise you aren’t the only parent going through it. I felt so alone before, I felt like I was the only one that had a child that behaved this way. I am grateful I know different now. A few things you can do if you’re child is displaying some of the behavior I am speaking about:

  • Ask For Help

    This is huge! Asking for help in this situation could mean the difference between sanity and a mental breakdown. Trust me I’ve been there! You don’t have to lose your damn mind before people finally see that you need help and are struggling, you can ask for it before shit hits the fan. If you ask someone for help and the answer is no, it doesn’t mean that the answer is ALWAYS no, keep asking! I tend to forget that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about so I don’t need take everything so personal. One NO doesn’t mean always a NO. That make sense?

 

  • Take Care Of Yourself First

    Have you heard the saying, when the plane is going down you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, otherwise there is no way you can help anyone else? Especially if you are in recovery and dealing with child that has special needs, you HAVE to take care of yourself and your sobriety first before you are any good to your child. If I’m not careful I will push everything to the side to focus on my son and his needs, even my other child. I will put everything on hold just to make sure he is fine and his needs are met. Not a good idea!! I have to put myself in check sometimes when I feel the tunnel vision creeping up.

 

  • Search For A Meeting

    There is a meeting for everything these days, it’s a good way to get out of your head and build your support system. Find support in your area on the National Parent Helpline and Mental Health America. I have attended multiple meetings for parents that have loved ones that suffer mental illness and I’ve made some friends that I can contact when I need help, I know they “get it” when I tell them what’s going on. It helps.

 

  • Have A Support System

    You need to have at least four people you can call on when trouble hits. These people need to know what’s going on and I recommend they be close by. Obviously the more people in your support group the better but have a few that are close by and can be there quickly if an emergency arises. I have at least three to four people in my neighborhood that could be at my in minutes if I need them. I am blessed to have people that have seen what happens when things get crazy and are willing to be there if and when I need help. Like I said asking for help isn’t easy but worth it. Attending local meetings with people that understand is a great way to build that support system. Situations get real ugly real quick (at least in my house) and having people close by could be a life saver.

 

  • Call Local Mental Hospitals

    I know the thought of having your child go inpatient is scary but it could be what saves their life. Know where your local hospitals are and have their numbers saved in your phone. When it’s your child’s life that is on the line you can never be too safe. If your child says he wants to kill himself ,BELIEVE THEM! Maybe it’s out of anger and frustration. Maybe they mean it. Do you really want to take that chance? Let the hospital know exactly what’s going on, if they know the whole truth then your child can get the help they need.

 

  • Guilt And Shame Won’t Help Your Child

    Maybe  your child has been through a lot with your addiction, but beating yourself up for the past does no good for you or your child. Forgive yourself and move forward. Easier said than done I totally get it. But in order for the family to heal, guilt and shame can not be control.

I understand the pain a parent is feeling when they reach out and tell me their child is hurting themselves. It’s a pain I would never wish on anyone. Knowing you’re not alone is a big deal. I wish I had known before I hit bottom that there were other parents out there dealing with the same thing I was, maybe speaking out will help another parent from hitting rock bottom. If you’re child is struggling and you need someone to talk to I am here for you. I understand. I get it.

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Me and my daughter hugging on my son after his basketball team lost their last game.

 

Paying It Forward

Every month I go to court for the program that I am in called community sentencing. It’s basically like drug court but I only have to go to court once a month instead of once a week. It’s a pretty simple program as long as you do what you follow the rules. Don’t drink or do drugs, pass your UA’s, don’t miss any of your therapy appointments, show up to court and office visits. Simple, yet so many people have a difficult time with it and end up back in jail. I’ve been in the program a year now and have had no sanctions. Less than a year to go!

Today I had court. 575 days sober, the judge always asks when we go to the podium how many days we have sober so I have to check my sober app before I go in. I don’t keep track of the days anymore. I don’t count the days, I make the days count. Cheesy but true! Anyway the judge called me up to the podium and says “So I hear you’re famous! I saw you were in the paper!” I just laughed and he told me to talk about my nonprofit Clean Life.Clean Home. I told the judge and everyone in the court room all about my nonprofit I started back in May of 2016. Talked about how I clean for moms and dads in recovery as a way to give back and to shed some light on the other side of addiction people rarely see, RECOVERY.

My probation officer and the judge gave me a gift card to Walmart for all my hard work. It was a proud moment for me. Just a year ago I stood in front of the same judge while he explained to me that I had run out of chances and that if I screwed up again I would without a doubt spend some time in prison. Years! And there I was today being congratulated and rewarded. What a great moment! I am proud of myself!

I had no idea what starting this nonprofit would be like and I’m still kind of going with the flow. I’m super excited to see what 2017 has in store. It’s a really good feeling to be giving back to other parents in recovery. It’s just a good feeling overall to be doing something nice for someone else. Plus I am meeting some super amazing women that are kicking addictions ass! I don’t know if I would have met these women had it not been for sharing my story out loud and starting CLCH. Grateful for all these new friendships.

Sobriety delivers all the things alcohol promised. Happiness, inner peace, self respect. All the things I searched for many years in the bottom of a bottle. Life is good today. Happy.

This is Lori, she’s the sober mommy I cleaned for this morning. I absolutely love her! Here’s her story shared on the website and on Facebook

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“This is Lori. She is the next person in recovery to receive a clean home. I had the privilege of sitting down with her this evening to hear her testimony of redemption. Her story breaks my heart and inspires me at the same time. After a long horrific addiction to meth she is now five years clean. In the middle of her addiction she became pregnant by the man she is newly married to, but at that time she had only just met him and was still heavily addicted to meth. She decided to give her baby up for adoption. She cries as she tells me about her daughter who she has only seen five times but never sober. Lori says “I broke my heart so I didn’t have to break hers”. She knew she wasn’t ready to give up the drugs and didn’t want to expose her daughter to that kind of life so she gave her baby up to a very loving and forgiving couple who still lets Lori have contact, even though Lori has decided to let them live their lives and let God decide when the time is right for her to see her daughter. Lori is now an active member in NA and sponsors 4 women. Her and her husband just got married October 30th. She works with the homeless, helping them get benefits and she is working to fight stigma on #mentalillness Her husband owns his own business and has been sober for over five years too. Jail, prostitution, meth, abusive ex husband, giving up her daughter.. but an unwavering faith in God has brought her to where she is now. Sober, happy, and full of hope. Lori is a beautiful soul and I’m so grateful to have met her. She is a true example of what recovery can be if you just give it a chance. Doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone down, #recoveryispossible

Learning To Stay


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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been six months since I wrote my one year piece about what I had learned my first year sober, the second time around. It feels like yesterday and at the same time it feels like many years ago. So much has happened since then and it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns. What I had pictured in my head of what life would be like once my kids came home full time is completely different than what life has been like. Truth is it’s been hard. It’s been crazy. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s been good and it’s been fun. But it’s been HARD.

Recovery is a journey not a destination, something I learned on this road I’m on. I will never know it all about recovery, motherhood, relationships, or life in general. If I ever think I have it all figured out then that’s when I’m truly in trouble. I had the privilege of spending a day in Austin, Texas this past weekend and was able to attend a yoga class lead by one of my favorite people Laura Mckowen Something she said in class struck me. She said this is when you learn to stay, even when the pose is hurting or it’s uncomfortable, you stay. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t like to be uncomfortable. I don’t want to stay when it’s so easy to leave. I have a fight-or-flight response. It hurts, I anger or I run. It’s uncomfortable, I anger or I run.

I have worn out the highway between Oklahoma and Texas trying to run from being uncomfortable. I even moved to Chicago once to get away. There was alway an excuse for my leaving but truth is, I was running. Unfortunately everywhere I go, there I am. What has occurred to me since taking that yoga class is this part of my journey is about learning to stay. Learning to let myself be loved and to love without the need to run when it gets too hard. Learning to accept support from those around me without feeling like I’m somehow weak or failing. Learning to be kind but firm when I say what I need without the need to lash out in anger because they can’t read my mind.

When the conversation is uncomfortable. Stay.

When I am hurt and want to hide. Stay.

When I’m afraid the relationship will end anyway, might as well run. Stay. 

When I am scared to speak up for what I need so I decide it’s better to leave. Stay.

When I feel judged. Stay. 

When life gets too hard and giving up sounds best. Stay.

When I’m afraid I’ll get hurt and want to guard my heart. Stay.

When every ounce of my body says get up and run. Stay.

Feel the guilt. Feel the pain. Feel the uncomfortable.  Feel the sadness. Feel the shame. FEEL it all!!! Sit with it. Listen to it. Learn from it. Stay. The lesson is learned when I stay. The feelings will not kill me. Feelings will pass. Whether it is happy or sad, they will not last. The hard part is learning to stay with myself and feel it all. I drowned my feelings in alcohol for so long I never really learned to let myself feel. Even the really good times were drenched in alcohol. I always wanted to be somewhere else with someone else feeling anything other than what I was feeling at the time. I never learned to stop running and just sit with the uncomfortableness of life. Life on life’s terms, so simple yet so foreign to me.

When I started this journey eightteen months ago, the pain was so unbearable I wanted to quit, I wanted to give up. I wasn’t sure I would get out alive, my mom reminded me I could do it and I would do it, one day at a time. So I did. I was so busy doing life one day at a time, working to get my kids back, working to get my shit together. Then I got my kids back and it was amazing and then it was really hard and so I was working hard to help my son and I’m always busy busy busy. Now I think it’s time to relearn how to just stay and feel it all. Let the last eighteen months really sink in. Stay with myself. Say what I need. No apologies. Let myself be completely present for all of this beautiful life I’ve been given a second chance at.

On November 19th, 2016 I’ll celebrate 18 months sober. Today though, I celebrate hard work, never giving up, friends who are now family, new love, second chances, and a life that is so much more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

 

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Divine Intervention

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Divine Intervention- Direct and obvious intervention by a god in the affairs of human.

When something remarkable occurs in ones life. Divine intervention is mainly related to a miracle that would occur when you didn’t expect it. To look into this matter theoretically it involves God coming to dawn from the heavens and maybe stopping something bad that was just going to happen to you.                                 

www.yourdictionary.com

The picture above is me when I was 24 years old. I was in Grapevine, Texas and had just been arrested for my second DUI. My eyes are bloodshot and I’ve been crying. I seem sad and hopeless. And I was sad and hopeless, I just didn’t know it at the time. There was so much more going on that night that I would not understand until many years later. I like to think of that night as a divine intervention. My angels were looking out for me that night, along with many many other nights, but for today I’ll share two times that I am grateful things didn’t work out the way I had planned. Not many people know what I was doing that night, so here is the story behind the picture.

I think it was a Sunday, that was one of my favorite days to drink. I don’t remember how the day started out but if it was like any other day during that year, then I woke up still drunk from the night before. I have never been able to sleep in after a night of drinking and drinking was always the first thing on my mind when I woke up. What I do remember is sitting at a bar on Greenville in Dallas. It was one of those seafood shacks, lots of beer and lots of yummy seafood. I loved taking the Dart train all through Dallas while stopping to drink a few beers and downing a few shots before moving on to the next stop. That day though, like many other days, I was driving. My boyfriend was with me, I’ll call him ‘N’. He drank the way I did. I Always dated men that drank the way I did, too much and to often. I remember sitting at the bar, hanging with the regulars, downing beers and shots and having a blast. Somehow our conversation lead to marriage, we decided that we were going to Vegas that night and tying the knot.

We left the seafood shack intoxicated and announcing to the bar that we were leaving to get married, we toasted with the regulars and drove to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. There were no more flights out to Vegas by the time we got there, but there was a flight leaving super early in the morning. The plan was to drink some more that night, stay in a hotel by the airport and head out to Vegas early in the morning, and be married by noon. Crazy!!!! We rented a hotel room, drove to a restaurant that was across the highway from our hotel and downed some more drinks in the bar. How long we were there I have no idea, and why we decided to leave when we did I’ll never know. There was still a lot of people there when we left so it couldn’t have been last call, I don’t know, but we decided to leave. My car was parked facing the highway, I literally could see the hotel we were staying at.

This part I remember like it was yesterday. As I’m unlocking my car door, I look to my right, and make eye contact with a police officer. He was driving by slowly the exact moment I was about to get into my car. It was like time stood still as we looked into each others eyes. I knew in that moment that I was about to be arrested. I got in the car anyway. A few minutes later I was being put into the back of a cop car while ‘N’ was driven to the hotel.

I was pissed! I was defiant. I would not cooperate with the officer when we got to the jail. They had me read along with them as they read my rights out loud but I wasn’t having it. As soon as they would start reading I would put the paper to my side and glare at them. They were getting angrier and angrier every time I put the paper down and made them stop reading. I finally let them finish reading my rights and take my mugshot, the one you see above. I spent the night in a little jail cell, angry that my plans to wed were ruined. N spent the night in the hotel and picked me up in the morning, afterwards we would get my car out of the impound and go drink some more.

I have no idea what would have happened had we made it to Vegas, more than likely  it would have been way worse than what I went through that night. 

It would be 10 years later something like that would happen once again. I was 34, newly sober, had two kids with ‘N’ and on a pink cloud. Turns out ‘N’ was sober too. Our relationship after that night in 2004 turned toxic, at least more toxic than it already was. Lots of alcohol and lots of fights. After he threw my stuff off his third story balcony and then attempted to throw me off the balcony, I left Texas for good. Turns out I was pregnant with our son, a few years later after a lapse in judgment, would end up pregnant again. So when I found out he was sober too, I thought “Wow, this is it. We can finally have our family together without the alcohol”. 

Very VERY few people know this story, because who likes to admit failure? Or stupidity in this case. It was a Saturday night in 2014, my kids were living with their grandparents because they had been taken away in December of 2013 due to my son eating a pot brownie I had left laying on the counter while waiting for their owners to come get them.

Anyhoo, I had the wonderful idea that I would buy a plane ticket and fly to the Dallas/Ft Worth airport and spend the night at a hotel with ‘N’ so we can rekindle what the F^*K we thought we had and then take the train back the next morning. I called a cab and took it to the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. I called a cab because my windshield wipers didn’t work and it was raining. OH and my drivers license was suspended and my then sponsor said I was NOT an exception to the rules and needed to start obeying the laws. So I cabbed it to the airport. My friend who I confided in on the way to the airport asked me if that was a good idea and asked if I had ran the idea by my sponsor. My answer was the same as it had always been “Act now, deal with consequences later. Plus my sponsor would see how amazing it all turned out and be glad I went.”

I get to the airport and my flight has been delayed, I assure ‘N’ that all is well, a little rain wasn’t going to keep us away from each other. He sent me pictures of the beautiful sunset in Dallas and I was sure it was going to be the best night ever. Until my flight was canceled. I called my coworker and she picked me up from the airport. I said well SHIT, take me to the damn meeting. I walked in and sat next to my sponsor. I say to her “I did something that you’re not gonna be happy about, I don’t want to tell you but I’m going to tell you anyway.” Let’s just say she was wasn’t jumping for joy lol. I text ‘N’ and said well looks like I was meant to be at the meeting cutting cake for the people celebrating a birthday. He said he was watching sports and that is obviously where he was meant to be. Our relationship would turn sour after that. Mainly because I “got it”. I knew in my heart that there was a reason these things weren’t working out. I need to stay as far away from him as possible.  There will always be a special place in my heart for him, he’s my kids dad, but he’s toxic. He always has been toxic, just took me a really LONG time to finally really see it.

 Now I don’t know if you believe in miracles or angels or anything of that nature, but after everything I’ve been through I KNOW someone is watching over me and thank goodness for that. Thank goodness for all the times things didn’t work out the way Melissa had planned. 

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Everyday I’m Just A Little Bit Better Than Before

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Today is one week since I stood in front of a mental health judge to discuss my son being in a mental hospital. I have never met this judge, nor has she ever met my son. She asked me why I thought I had had such a problem getting and staying sober, I was caught off guard, I hesitated before answering with “I don’t know.” She asked a few other questions about my past and then proceeded to tell me: I’m not looking at the bigger picture, I’m not well, how everything that I’m doing is not enough, and basically my son is not well because all I’ve done is remove the alcohol and not dealt with the underlying cause of my addiction. Seriously? She just met me.

If only I could explain to her for as long as I can remember I have felt uncomfortable in my own skin, even the thought of going to the grocery store sober would make my skin crawl and only alcohol made the discomfort disappear. I wish I could somehow make her understand how the voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough and never will be were so loud, so unbearably loud, alcohol was the only thing that could give me some peace and quiet. And that I would chase that quiet, no matter how temporary, to the ends of the earth regardless of the consequences. If I could explain to her that the consequences thrown at me never hurt me enough to stop until I saw how bad it hurt my children, maybe she would see that I am serious about my recovery and I am serious about doing what’s best for my son. If only I could make her see that I wake up everyday and tell the voices they are wrong, I look my dis-ease in the face and say I will win. I wake up everyday and choose recovery because I know I’m worth it and so are my kids. I could have explained  when I got sober in May of 2015 God removed the voice that says “you can have just one drink, this time will really be different” and replaced it with “share your story to help others” and that every time I share my story, a piece of me heals.

I get it though, she’s jaded. She’s seen her fair share of parents that could care less about their kids. She’s seen too many moms that will not or can not take responsibility for their own actions. She’s watched people come in and out of her courtroom struggling with mental illness and addiction refusing to seek the help they desperately need. She doesn’t really see ME, in her eyes she sees an alcoholic mother whose actions have caused her son to be put into a mental hospital. She sees a lost cause. At least that’s what it felt like. It wouldn’t matter anyway. She already had decided who I was, what my problem is and why my son is struggling. Nothing I could say would make her see me any differently. Although, I can not take back the past as much as I would love to but I’m also not my past mistakes. I am not this sick person that she has made me out to be in her head.

I asked God to help me nod and just walk away with my tail between my legs. My prayer went unanswered and I “No, I wasn’t looking at the big picture before which is why I relapsed, I See the big picture now, that’s why I ask for help from the foster parents, my caseworker, my friends, I am not trying to do this alone like the last time this happened.” She wasn’t impressed.

It takes a lot for me to get up there and say maybe I’m not what my son needs right now, maybe he needs help that I am not able to fully provide at the moment but maybe the foster family can. Maybe we can all do this together as one big family unit. It takes a lot of courage to push my pride to the side and say I can’t do this alone, I need help.  If that’s not looking at the bigger picture then I don’t know what is!  

My friend and sister in sobriety, Holly Whitaker creator of Hip Sobriety, posted something on her Facebook that I keep going back to because this is how I felt when I was being attacked by the judge. At least it felt like I was being attacked. No, it wasn’t coming from another woman in recovery but it felt the same regardless. Doesn’t matter how comfortable in my own skin I am now, that shit hurt.

“This morning I had that weird thing happen, where someone I didn’t really know projected their recovery all over me. And let me just tell you that it doesn’t matter how strong I am in my own skin and path, it never fails to shake me when someone has the audacity to tell me how my process should be going, what I should and shouldn’t feel, or make assumptions about me and my health, mental well-being, and self-love based on 3 sentences. 
Nothing feels more destructive and unsafe than being judged for how we heal, or where we are in our process.
Nietzsche said “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” 
Remember that. Just because something is true for you, worked for you, doesn’t mean it’s true for another human being. And conversely, if anyone ever tries to tell you that your way is wrong or invalidate what is true for you, remember it’s just their shit.
If we are ever going to make progress in this space, it has to start with us, and it has to taste like tolerance for all ways. Supporting someone never looks like thinking we know better about how a human should live her life than that human herself.”
-Holly Whitaker

My relationship with alcohol was a toxic relationship. An abusive relationship is what I compare it to, although I’ve never been beaten and bruised by a boyfriend, I imagine the hopeless feeling I felt is somewhat like that of a woman being hit by a man she loves. I would want so badly to stop, but when I tried, there it was reminding me of all the good times we had together and how it would go back to that if only I would give it one more chance. And it would be good for a little while, but then there I would be, broken and in despair wondering how I got there once again. It’s a sick viscous cycle that I’m grateful to have gotten out alive. Many do not get out alive. If it’s not the damage alcohol does to your body that kills, it’s one of the many horrific accidents that alcohol causes that takes us down. Worse than that is the stigma around addiction that causes many people struggling to stay in the shadows and not seek the help they need. I sometimes consider myself lucky that I’ve been in as much trouble as I have, if not for the law breathing dow my neck over the years I don’t know if I’d be sober today. What about the ones that don’t have the legal issues like I do but still need help? God has called me to be a voice for them, to help fight the stigma, to stand up say F*^K YOU, I’m no less than you just because I can’t tolerate alcohol the “normal” way. What the f*^k is normal anyway? Society says drinking is good but saying you have a problem is bad, you must be able to ingest this drug that causes more deaths than any all other legal and prescription drugs combined otherwise something is wrong with YOU.

This sad story is another reason we have to stand up to the stigma, maybe this teacher would be alive today.

“70% of us drink. Which means, 70% of us gamble to see whether we’ll be one of 30% of drinkers that abuse it, or one of the 10% that die from it. 3 out of 10 drinkers abuse, 1 out of 10 die. It’s not just some rando woman who couldn’t keep her shit together. This is the picture of us. This is our story. Some of us get out alive. Many do not.”  -Holly Whitaker

Thankfully I know me and I know my recovery well enough to know that regardless of what that judge may think of me, I know that I’m doing one hell of a job taking care of what needs to be done for me and my kids. Her words could have easily sent me in a downward spiral, but what she actually gave me was a gift. The gift of motivation and determination. I’m already determined everyday to kick my addictions ass but I’m also hard headed and stubborn so when she spews her judgements at me without actually knowing me or my story, it only motivates me more to be better and do better.  Everyday I am just a little bit better than yesterday. Grateful for everyday I wake up sober.

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One Day At A Time


If you’re one of the millions of people on Facebook, then I’m sure you’ve received the daily “memories” notifications. I know I have, I get to see where I was and what was going on in my life on that particular day several years ago. Most days I think to myself “awwww that is so sweet” but some days I want to tell Facebook to go F^*k itself. Honestly though, I need to see some of the memories, I like being reminded of how far I’ve come. My life was a mess for a long time and I get to see all of it, thanks to good ole Facebook!

I read a post by someone that I truly admire in the recovery community and as a writer and just as a woman in general, she’s a badass. Her name is Laura Mckowen I love her. Her post discussed jealousy and she posted pictures that make it look like her life is amazing but told the story behind the picture. My first thought was yeah right, Laura jealous?!?! No way! Her life is amazing! How could she ever be jealous of anyone? 

But, then l looked at the pictures and read the stories behind them and thought WOW. That’s what I used to do, actually I’m guilty of that now too. I used to try to make my life seem SO amazing and make it seem that I had no cares in the world. I don’t know if I was fooling anyone in reality, but it helped me to feel somewhat a normal human being when I got a “like” on a picture that really had a whole other story behind it. I mean come on, who wants to put out there that life sucks and it’s difficult and it’s a struggle to get out of bed somedays? I catch myself getting so jealous of people on the internet  and their “amazing” lives, that I forget that there is a story behind the picture.

I got a notification this morning from Facebook telling me that I had memories that I needed to look at. There were some funny things that I had posted in the previous years but then some pictures came up that look like everything in my life was going beautifully. But, it wasn’t. Life was a mess. So I decided to copy my friend Laura and do a pictured/not pictured post also.

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Pictured: September 8, 2013, three years ago today,me looking all happy with a beautiful horse. Life is grand and all is well in world.

Not Pictured: I was super hungover. I had worked that day and rushed home to get some beers in me before me and my kids did a photo shoot out on a farm. I needed someone to take us to the photoshoot because I couldn’t start my car, my interlock prevents me from starting my car if I have been drinking, my biggest enabler took us to the photoshoot and had a cooler in the car for me with more beers. I couldn’t wait for the photoshoot to be over so we could get to the restaurant so I could down some wine before going home and finishing off some more beers and putting the kids to bed.

Three months later dhs would come to my home and remove my kids and put them into dhs custody.

The photographer sent me a CD with all the pictures from the shoot on it, I never printed them. I couldn’t. I felt disgusted with myself. All I could see was a drunk mom who was so uncomfortable in her own skin she had to drink before a photoshoot with her kids. I couldn’t even stand to be sober for a few hours to take photos with my kids. It makes me sad to look back at that day, but also makes me grateful that I don’t have to live that way anymore.

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Pictured: September 6, 2016, me looking all happy spreading HOPE and wearing my “I Am Enough” shirt I so kindly received in the mail from my friends at pluspproductions I talk about having my kids home again and how we are all growing everyday.

Not Pictured: My son was throwing one of his tantrums, he straight up refused to do anything that was asked of him. He destroyed his room, after he said really hurtful words and packed his bags like he was going to move back to the family he lived with for a year.  I got sucked into his tornado. He drained every ounce of energy I had in me. It was a long night and an exhausting morning. I cried all day the next day. I had to dish out some extreme consequences that hurt me to do. I’m a lover, I want to love him up all the time and hope that it works itself out but he doesn’t work that way. His consequences gotta hurt, they gotta punch him right in the gut (not literally) before  he’ll GET IT! Just like his momma!! Always learning the hard way!

Thank God I have a support team that walked me through it, but damn it I was determined to make it look like I was good and life was grand. When I was in my funk yesterday I had to keep off social media as much as possible, I was dishing out F*^k you’s left and right! I had to stop myself and remember that being jealous of what people post on Facebook is not healthy, plus who knows what the story is behind the picture.

Pictured: Today!! September 8, 2016, I have not cried at all today. I have not felt jealous of anyone today, not even once. I have only a little mascara on, I’m sweaty from a walk, I listened to Glennon Doyle Melton on the HOME podcast.  I had an amazing morning with my kids. It’s a good day.

One day at a time.