Tag Archives: sobriety

My Heart Is Full

A few months ago I was contacted via Facebook on my Clean Life.Clean Home. page by a counselor at an alternative high school about twenty minutes from my house, asking me if I could come to her school and speak to the kids. She had Googled recovery and her zip code and I popped up her search. WOW!!

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When I read her message I totally freaked out. I thought to myself “ME?!?! She wants ME to speak to high school kids?!?! Absolutely not!” So I copied the message and sent it to my mom, who was super excited for me and said that I absolutely would go talk to them because I have a story to tell and even if one person in the room got something out of it then it would be worth it. After my anxiety calmed down I decided my mom was right, I messaged the counselor back and said I would do it.

Today that day came. I felt the nervousness and anxiety creeping up on me last night. I read over my notes from my conversation with Shane Watson from Not My Kid, he speaks to kids all the time and was kind enough to give me some pointers, I played it over in my head everything I would say. I stopped by an 8am meeting that is literally one minute away from the school, to see if any of my friends were there to give some words of encouragement. NOBODY was there! At least no one that I knew, so I left and sat outside the school for about twenty minutes checking the place out. I  had thoughts of backing out last minute. But then I figured I have already been through hell and back with my addiction, I CAN do this!

I spoke at the Ready To Shine event in March so why was this such a big deal?

It was pretty cool meeting the counselor for the first time. We had texted so much that it felt like we had already known each other for a while. I told her I talk to her more than I talk to my fiends that I’ve actually hung out with lol. Crazy how that works. She told me to relax, this is not a big deal, these kids are awesome. You’ll see, she said. She was right. 

I got up there and told my story nothing like I had planned, it felt like my voice was shaking the whole time, I held back tears which is not easy for me when talking about my kids, and I know I left some things out. Surprisingly though, I’m not over analyzing everything that I said.  Mainly because I can’t remember everything that was said which happens when I’m super nervous but also because before I went in I asked spirit  for the right words to come through me, the words that needed to be heard at that moment.

What was said was what needed to be heard. 

At the end of the talk I asked if any of them had questions, one person asked a question and it was a teacher. Then the counselor asked if there were any questions and no body asked one single question. I smiled but in my mind I was like “I totally sucked!!”

While thanking my friend for inviting me to speak, one of the girls came up to me and hugged me, she told me she was proud of me. Wow.  Another one told me of being in the same mental health hospital my son has been in. There were multiple high school kids waiting to talk to me after the other kids had already left. I couldn’t believe it! It makes me cry thinking about it. They were so sweet, so kind, so young. So much life ahead of them. I can’t believe some of the things I heard. It makes my heart hurt for them. It also makes me grateful that my kids don’t have to see me intoxicated ever again. It makes me so grateful that I am here today to tell my story.

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Then it dawned on me, I know why this is such a big deal! I see myself in them. I see the ME in high school that was trying so hard to fit in, feeling unsure of myself, misunderstood, craving acceptance, uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel for them. I want to hug them all and tell them that it does get better, that they don’t have to go down the same miserable hard path I chose. I wish I had had someone in high school get up in front of everyone and tell their ugly messy truth, someone to say Me Too,  maybe I would have chosen another path? Maybe. Maybe not.  I don’t know.

What I do know is when I left the school today I felt a high no drug or drink could ever compare to. Hearing their stories and connecting with them meant more to me than I could ever possibly explain. Their smiles, their hugs, their bravery. It took so much courage to come up and talk to a complete stranger about what’s going on in their lives. I know I would never have done that at that age. I’m so proud of them and will never forget this day for as long as I live.

Going to bed with a grateful heart tonight. It’s true when people say “Sobriety delivers everything alcohol/drugs promised”.

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37 Years Old

IMG_1534I turned 37 years old yesterday, January 29th 2017. It was also 621 days sober for me. Longest I have ever gone without a sip of alcohol.  It’s really is crazy to think how different life is these days. Had it been four or five years ago I would have been at the bar, kids at the sitter and I would have drank til I blacked out.  Of course the next morning I would have to piece together the night before and nursed my hangover, which more than likely included more alcohol. So grateful I don’t live that way anymore.

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Instead I woke up and went to work. My boyfriend and my kids surprised me at work with flowers, cards, a balloon and a cupcake. I waited on friends who tipped me well and to top it off my boss and my coworkers got me a $50 gift certificate to my favorite yoga shop. I finished off the day with a nice dinner at a yummy steak house.

Life is good today. I have so much to be grateful for. I’ve come a long way from where I used to be. Heck, life this time last year was completely different. On my 36th birthday I was only allowed one hour with my kids in a counselors office for a therapeutic visit. One hour!! Talk about coming a long way!

Life is FAR from perfect though. My relationship has it’s ups and downs (mainly because I can be a huge pain in the ass), my son has his own issues, life is crazy busy I barely have time to breathe at times, but overall I’m a lucky girl. None of this life would be possible if it wasn’t for recovery. If I didn’t wake up everyday and choose my kids, choose sobriety, choose LIFE, I wouldn’t have any of it. I have to make the conscious decision to keep going, even on the hard days. Because even on the hard days, recovery is always worth it.

IMG_1546Looking forward to many more sober birthdays!!

Tomorrow Is A New Day

 

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I’ve been on the verge of tears the whole day. My mind is crazy wondering what I could have done differently. I try to remember this isn’t my fault. Or is it? All I know is I wish I knew how to help my son.

I walked through a cemetery yesterday morning with my son looking at children’s graves wondering aloud what happened to those kids. Young boys. A  little girl. I told my son I bet their mom misses them. He didn’t seem impressed.

His cries echoed through the halls as I signed him into the hospital. How could we be there again? Why is this happening again?!?! Why? 

I went to a yoga class this afternoon to quiet my mind. At the beginning of the class the teacher says to set an intention, or dedicate our practice to a person. I’ve never had an instructor suggest dedicating a class to a person, but I knew it was meant to be for my son. I held back tears throughout the class. I let them flow when the lights went down at the end. My son is on his own path and I will always be by his side, but I have to remember to be ok even when he’s not. Easier said than done.

My dear friend who lost her son to suicide a little over year ago showed up on my door with a card and flowers. She’s one of the strongest women I know, if not the strongest. I think of her when times get rough with my son. My phone has been going off all day with kind words from friends. Thank God I’m never alone.

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

Guest Post: Rose Lockinger – Why I’m Uncomfortable With Being Comfortable In My Own Skin

 

Changing the meaning of word. Uncomfortable into Comfortable.

 

For so many years I hated myself. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I felt and I hated the way I acted. It was almost as if I had some innate hate machine inside of me, never allowing me to be comfortable and driving me towards self-destruction. I was filled with resentment and anger towards many people in my life.  I wish I could say now that I am sober I no longer struggle with resentments.  Unfortunately this is not the case, however what I can say is that I now have a way to deal with them

If you look at it, no person who actually loves themselves drank or used drugs the way that I did. The two things could not coexist with each other and so my self-hatred fueled my alcoholism and in return my alcoholism fueled my self-hatred.

This changed though when I got sober and I began the long process of self discovery and acceptance that has lead me to where I am today. I no longer abuse drugs or alcohol in order to deal with reality and I no longer feel the need to run from myself because I feel like I am a terrible human being.

That being said though, I still find the idea of being comfortable in my own skin uncomfortable. That may sound confusing, but it isn’t really. I basically just mean that I am not always comfortable with the idea of being okay with myself. I still sometimes today find that when I am feeling good about myself or when I look in the mirror and like what I see, I am afraid that I am being arrogant and so I attempt to cut myself down to size in order to not become overly egoistic.

I am not really sure where this came from. The best explanation that I can come up with is that I have some how managed to pervert a thought from recovery to an extreme. See humility is something that we are taught to strive for. We are taught in Alcoholics Anonymous to not get too full of ourselves because if we do we run the risk of relapsing and so I find that I am always on the lookout for my ego and its shifty lies.

This however has resulted in my inability to be totally comfortable with myself. For instance I know that I am a good person at this point in my life. I know that I care about others and genuinely want to see people succeed, but I cannot fully accept the fact that I am a good person. This may have something to do with the fact that I still carry guilt from my active addiction, but I believe that it more so has to do with my fear that if I really accept the positive things about myself, I will be unable to control my ego and then I will fall back into the pitfalls of addiction.

I can understand how this may sound like over thinking and you may be correct, but I also believe that it is something that a lot of people in recovery suffer from, an ability to truly accept themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. You hear it at a lot of meetings, just said in different ways. People will say things like I am not okay when everything in my life is going well, or I don’t know what to do when I get praise from people. Most of the time this is chalked up to operating under calamitous conditions for so many years, but I have begun to think that it is because a lot of us are just afraid to be alright.

We sort of feel like we have to continuously remind ourselves of how awful we were in our active addiction because we feel like we still need to pay penance, and while this may be true to a certain extent, it really does nothing but hurt us in the long run.

I was thinking about this the other night when I was having trouble sleeping. My mind instantly went to the fact that I must be having trouble sleeping because of something that I did. Almost as if God was punishing me for some unknown sin that I had done throughout the day. This is not the first time that I have had a thought like this before, but this time I realized how false it was. I realized that God just wants me to be happy. He would want me to sleep, and that more than likely my insomnia was caused by me and only me. After this I fell quickly to sleep and didn’t wake up till the morning.

The longer that I have stayed sober the more I have realized that I am the problem. I am my own worst enemy and my sobriety is really a battle against myself. One way that my alcoholism attacks me is that it tries to keep me from truly loving and accepting myself. When I get too comfortable it tells me I should feel guilty about this and that I am not really as good as I think I am.

The reality is that I should be comfortable in my own skin. I do my best on a daily basis to be a good human being and what’s more, I like who I am today. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to voice my mind and stand up for who am I and as long as I trust in God and keep doing the things I need to do for my program, I shouldn’t have to worry that accepting myself will lead to an overinflated ego and a drink.

I think it’ll be interesting to see where these trains of thought go over the next year and I am excited to become more and more comfortable in my own skin. I hope by this time next year I will be writing how I have come to accept and love myself and I hope that the same comes true for you.

 

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Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

 

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

Merry-Go-Round

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Have you ever been in a relationship that feels like a merry-go-round? You’re on this ride that feels like it will never end, you keep spinning and spinning and you never go anywhere. At times it’s all shiny and pretty and so much fun! Other times you feel dizzy and sick, and you want to just STOP already. Just when it feels like you’ve got both feet back on steady ground, you’re pulled back on and you’re off the races again. Just spinning and spinning and spinning. You think to yourself HOW.  How am I still going round and round with this person that is so obviously toxic for me?

I’m on steady ground now. I hope to stay here. I am done going round and round with a person that I’ve been riding the merry-go-round with for way too long. 

I’m coming up on 16 months sober from a long time struggle with alcohol. Not only am I in recovery from the booze but I am also a recovering people pleaser. I like to please people. I like people to like me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to say no without dwelling on it for days, wondering if “they” will still like me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to stand up for myself without my legs shaking and my stomach turning, wondering if I might die from disappointing someone. My need for others approval has kept me from truly growing up, from truly becoming the woman that I was meant to be.

I’ve had sex for “his” approval. I’ve had sex for money. I’ve had sex for alcohol. I’ve had sex for drugs.  I’ve had sex to feel loved.  I’ve had sex for a material things. I’ve had sex because I felt it was expected of me. I’ve had sex I regretted.  I’ve had sex because I felt obligated. I’ve had sex that I don’t remember saying yes to. I’ve had sex because I wanted “him” to be happy. I’ve had sex because I didn’t know I could say no.

Too. Many. Damn. Times. I’ve had sex because I thought the other persons happiness was more important than mine. Too many damn times I said yes when I REALLY really wanted to say no. Too. Many. Times. It hurts to think about it.

This merry-go-round of a friendship slash relationship slash toxic friends with benefits slash whatever the f^*k you want to call it has lasted for so long, mainly because every time I try to end it, I’m guilted right back into it. I’m reminded over and over of all the things he’s done for me and how I basically owe him my life, my body, my self respect. His “no strings attached” are in actuality invisible strings that keep the old me and the new me still hanging on by a thread. They keep me from fully moving into the new me and my new life. Yes, all of the material things are awesome. Yes, they do make me feel happy, but it’s always temporary. All the things he does for me and my kids “out of the kindness of his heart” he makes mental note of so he can throw it in my face every time I try to move on. And I’m tired.  I’m dizzy.

I look back at my years of drinking and the relationships I participated in. Toxic relationship after toxic relationship. Same type of relationship just different faces. All based on what I could get out of it, what was in it for me. How much money and stuff could that person give me. Me. Me. Me. I wanted all you had and then some, and I was willing to give up my self esteem and self respect just as long as I got the “stuff” whatever the stuff happened to be. Money, cars, shopping sprees, trips, alcohol, cocaine. Anything that would fill the void, anything that would distract me from what was really going on. What was really going on was my job was sex. It wasn’t fun or pleasurable, so lots of alcohol had to be put into me before I could be comfortable in my own skin, before I could make “him” happy. The “him” of the moment depended on who was giving the most stuff to fill the void in my heart. Merry-go-round after merry-go-round, get off one and hop right on another. Same story different person.

I went to church last night where I had the privilege of hearing a man  very close to my family preach. He was my kids foster dad for a year while I put myself back together after a horrific one day relapse that ended in my children being taken out of my home. They are no longer the foster family, they are just family now. His words spoke to me in so many ways but one thing stood out. He spoke of a broken woman who was living with a man and exchanging sex for rent, then she meets Jesus. Jesus did not judge but instead he offers her something better. He offers her a new way of life. Eternal life. I relate to this woman. 

I am not a religious person. There are so many things that I can’t wrap my head around when it comes to God and Jesus and the bible. I’v been looked down on by people that call themselves christians. I have been judged because I had kids out of wedlock. I do NOT understand that way of thinking. But like his experience that he preached about last night, I’ve tried reaching for the next drug, the next drink, the next relationship and the next material thing but it never fills the void.

I have always loved being taken care of and I have always loved for people to do things for me. I’ve always needed a knight in shining armor to come save me from my self destructive ways. I have always needed someone to be there when I fell, which was actually quite often. I always needed an enabler. Or at least I thought I needed all of that. But what I was actually doing to myself was prolonging the “becoming an adult and taking care of my own mess” part of life. Instead I became a selfish and entitled brat that wanted everything handed to me, and it was all handed to me, but it came with a price. It came with strings. It came with fear of doing things on my own. It came with the fear of letting my walls down and letting true love in. It came with the fear of failure and it came with self doubt. It came with the feeling of being owned by “him” with all the money.

So today I am choosing to let it all go. Let go of the fear, the worry, the doubt, the stress, and just see what happens. I’m choosing to have faith in the unknown. I’m willing to open my heart to the possibilities. I’m willing to let go of what is not serving my higher self. I’m willing to consider Jesus. I’m willing to consider. 

Maybe, just maybe, I can have a life beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe I can also feel the peace that the preacher talked last night about having.  Maybe I can have the same type of beautiful relationship that he has with his wife. Maybe just considering I can have all of this is the first step to receiving it.

Maybe it’s already here……

 

 

 

My Life Is Unmanageable?

Photo credit quotes gram.com
Photo credit quotes gram.com

I got sober the first time February 10th, 2014. I was miserable. I hated myself. I wanted my kids back. I wanted to stop feeling so out of control. I wanted things go back to the way they were before my kids were removed from my home. I was restless, irritable, and discontent. And I was out of ideas.  I look back and see how crazy my life was before that day. Complete insanity. Complete chaos. But I couldn’t see it back then. I had lived in the chaos for so long, it was normal, it was comfortable. I like comfortable. 

I was hungover and in a fog when a lady came up to say hi to me after a meeting one night. Turns out I already knew her, I had waited on her and her family multiple times at my job, but I didn’t recognize her, the fog was too heavy and I was lost in my pity party. She was so kind and understanding. Little did I know that this lady would change my life.

A few nights later I sat at a bar alone in my sorrow trying to drink away the loneliness, texting her. I asked her what was wrong with me, I asked why am I sitting here doing this while my kids are there. Why can’t I stop?!?! She said you’re alcoholic, but you can stop and it will all be ok. I finally found someone I could hear. She would say things to me that people had been trying to say to me for years but I couldn’t hear them. But I could HEAR her.

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Tomgrimshaw.com

I asker her to be my sponsor. And the work began. I was ready to work the steps. I was ready to get my kids back. I was ready to stop feeling like shit. She seemed to have the answers and I was ready to learn. I was ready to take the first step.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. 

My first assignment was to write down ten ways my life was unmanageable and ten ways I was powerless over alcohol. I was stumped. My life is unmanageable? How? I didn’t understand the assignment.

I had a car. I had a job. I had a house. Yes, my kids were in dhs custody but that wasn’t my fault. I didn’t make the pot brownie that my son ate. I tested negative for all drugs, it wasn’t my brownie, none of this was my fault. How is my life unmanageable?!?!

I had lived in the chaos for so long, I oblivious to the fact that the chaos that I was so used to was not normal. In fact it was insanity.

Yes I had a car. But, my drivers license was suspended. I had been driving with my kids in the car with a suspended license. Imagine my face when my sponsor says to me that I was breaking the law and that I would not be driving until I had a valid license. She had to explain to me that the rules DO apply to me and that if I was going to start living right then I would stop breaking laws. What!?!?!? The rules apply to me?  “I’m a really careful driver” I said. I tried to explain to her just who she was dealing with and that I don’t take buses and I won’t ride a bike. She would hear none of it.  And wouldn’t ya know, I parked my car and didn’t drive until I had a valid drivers license.

Yes I had a job. But I didn’t work often. I was too busy to work. I needed to party and I needed to nurse hangovers. When I did actually make it to work I was taking a cab. Why? Because I was still drunk from the night before and couldn’t start my car. I have an interlock on my car that prevents me from starting my car if I have any alcohol in my system. So many nights I called the cab company the night before and told them when to be at my house, I would roll out of bed and into the cab. Some days I would have the driver go through Mcdonald’s drive through to get my breakfast, hoping to soak up some of the alcohol. Most days I got my shift covered and planned my day around drinking at the bar, including paying someone to pick up my kids from daycare because I’d be too intoxicated to drive.

Yes I had a house. But, I couldn’t pay my bills on my own. Since I didn’t go to work often, I needed help paying rent. I wouldn’t open bills because it was too stressful and  too overwhelming to think about all of my adult responsibilities. I couldn’t look at my bills without a glass of wine in hand.  I would pass the bill off to whoever was willing to pay it for me. I was willing to give up some of my self respect as long as they were willing to take care of my responsibilities for me. As long as I could still drink like I wanted to I was willing to give up my self esteem. I knew I could drink away the guilt and shame anyway, at least temporarily.

WOW my life really WAS unmanageable. What an eye opener it was to have it all laid out there for me. When I really stopped to look at how  I was living, I was shocked. I was living a totally insane life but had no idea that there was anything wrong with it. I managed to call a cab when I knew I’d still be drunk in the morning. I managed to  get my shifts covered when I would be out partying too late, didn’t matter if I worked anyways because I always managed to find someone to pay my bills for me. INSANITY!!!!! 

That first year sober it was like my sponsor had to spoon feed me. I was a baby. I had to call her when I had a free afternoon to ask her what to do with myself. If I wasn’t at the bar by noon with a man by my side paying for my drinks, what did I do?  I needed step by step directions on how to go through my day without drinking. One day at a time I was able to stay sober and get my kids back. My eyes were open to a whole new way of life. I saw that life is possible without alcohol and that it isn’t boring at all.

Unfortunately though I didn’t stay sober long after I turned a year, but I did learn  that I will never be cured from my disease. I learned that I will never have it all figured out and if I ever think I do have it figured out then I’m in trouble. I learned that feelings pass and adding alcohol to any situation only causes me and my loved ones heartache and pain.

Today I am able to recognize when I am resorting back to old ways such as procrastinating or allowing things outside of myself to dictate how I feel and live my life.  Although life is difficult sometimes, I am able to focus on the day with a clear mind. Yes I have my pity parties but I don’t stay there long. I know that I am capable of making decisions on my own without the need to please others. Today I don’t have to live with the guilt and shame of the past. I can live my life one day at a time, and that everything really is ok.

Chaos isn’t comfortable anymore! 

My life is so fulfilling today and although I do not have a sponsor or work the steps today, I will be forever grateful for the woman that showed up at the exact moment I needed her. I am grateful for all the things she taught me and the way she showed up for me in my time of need.

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No Filter

imageI took this picture early in morning this past weekend on a walk. I have no makeup on and I’m sweaty. I decided to post it on social media with no filter added. I have no clue what made me do that. It’s a big deal for me to post a picture of me with no makeup on. I despise my blonde eyes lashes. One of my friends that I’ve known forever even mentioned that she doesn’t remember ever seeing me without mascara. And we’ve known each other at least twenty years!!!

The fact that I’m willing to leave my house these days without makeup is a huge deal  I spent years piling on the makeup, and I still love to doll myself up sometimes, but not to the extent that I would go to in the past. I NEVER would have let myself leave the house without mascara! In fact I spent so many nights downing wine that I didn’t bother to remove my makeup. Mornings were such a blur, I’d throw on more mascara over the night befores and head out for the day. The more makeup I had on the better.

I ran into a guy a few months ago that lives in my town, he’s a driver and had driven me around a few times when I was bar hopping. He didn’t recognize me, I reminded him of the times he drove me around to different bars. He just stared at me for a moment and then said “You look different, you don’t have so much makeup on. Looks good” It got me thinking.

I remember when my children were removed from my home for the first time back in December of 2013, it was a Friday night. I was hysterical, I felt lost, I was physically sick and mentally destroyed. But, I had to work early the next morning. After crying myself to sleep, I woke up and wore the cutest shirt I could find and piled on the makeup, I put my best fake smile on and went to work. You would have never known CPS had taken my kids the night before. I covered up the hurt and the pain with layers of makeup and a pretty little smile. The worse I felt about myself the more dolled up I had to be. I couldn’t let anyone see the REAL me. What would say if they knew how disgusting I really was under all the makeup and cute clothes? I couldn’t let myself be found out, I needed to hide. I hated myself.

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I lived like that for years. The more I drank, the more bad decisions I made, the more I had to drink to forget those bad decisions, the more I had to pretend it was all perfect. And the cycle continues over and over again. Until there isn’t enough makeup to cover up the hate and disgust I felt for myself, until finally I let go of the need to be perfect, until I finally decided to own my truth. Until I finally let my truth be known. Today I don’t have to hide under anything. I can just be me. Perfectly imperfect ME. I still LOVE my mascara don’t get me wrong lol, but I don’t wear it to hide last nights mistakes anymore.

Today I can look at myself in the mirror and love who I see looking back at me. I don’t have to hide who I am under loads of mascara so people will only focus on the outside, I’m ok with them seeing who I truly am today, inside and out. It’s been a long bumpy road to this place of self love and self acceptance, and there is still a long way to go. But one day at a time I love myself just a little bit more. One day at a time I choose to own my truth and one day at a time I do the next right thing. Just for today, I love and accept myself fully and completely.

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Let Me Reintroduce Myself

IMG_4836A few weeks ago I posted a blog called Happy July 5th, I was irritable and grumpy. When I look back at that post I realize there is more than what meets the eye. There was something else going on behind the scenes that was causing me to be pissed off at everything and everyone. A conversation between me and a “friend” that occurred on July 3rd was causing me so much of my anger and resentment. I say friend with quotations because he is no longer my friend. Sometimes I wonder if he ever was, maybe our friendship ended when I got sober the first time. Sometimes I feel like alcohol was the only thing that kept our relationship going for so long. This story is not easy to tell, but it’s on my mind and on my heart. I’m going to let myself be extremely vulnerable and uncomfortable for a bit.

Who Is He?

He is a friend I met when my daughter was about four months old. He has been there for me through so much, the good times, the really good times, and the absolute horrible times. I feel like we were really good friends at one point. Best friends. Not only that but my kids adore him and he loves my kids. And, I could always count on him to be there when I wanted to drink. I knew he’d always drive me around to whatever bar I felt like going to at the moment and we could talk for hours about anything while downing beers. He has told me many times that he loved watching me work the room while he sat back and chilled. We had some really good times, most I honestly don’t remember. I knew that if he was with me nothing bad could happen, he’d be there to keep watch. My bodyguard if you will.

But, he’s never had the consequences I have had from drinking. He’s seen what happens when I drink but, he’s never actually experienced them himself. No jail or judges involved when he drinks. So he really didn’t and still doesn’t “get it” when getting sober finally had to happen for me.

What Happened

I won’t go into all the details of the story, but I will say it goes back to over a year ago,  but the final conversation we had on July 3rd was the final straw  where I finally said enough is enough. In February of 2015 I celebrated a year sober, little over a month after I was restless and irritable and I needed a drink. He was there in a heartbeat when I said I was ready for a beer. Of course it’s never one and I felt horrible the next day. My life continued to spiral after that night and once again a few months later I was ready to drink and once again he was there in a heartbeat. No questions asked. I continued the drinking on through the next day up until my children were removed for the second time in two years. That was May 18th,2015.

Fast forward to February of 2016, when he offered to loan me money that I owed to a friend for bailing me out when my legal consequences caught up to me. He gave me the money with assurance that I could start paying him back slowly once my kids were back home. He just wanted me to focus on getting my kids back without the worry of having to pay my back my other friend who needed the money asap. He also made it known that he wanted to date me, I declined. A few weeks later he pouted around my house because he was “sexually frustrated”. And not long after my kids came home full time and I began slowly paying him back, he came up with the idea of me paying him back with other things besides money. There was a little voice that told me something wasn’t right but I ignored it.

Then came the conversation on July 3rd when I asked if he could help me out with my kids the following Friday, I had to work and my son had camp. He was willing to help but once again brought up the “things” I could do to pay him back that doesn’t involve money.  I wasn’t born yesterday and knew exactly where the conversation was leading.

What I Did

I finally said I’ll give you what you want. I asked if he would leave me alone about all of it once he got what he wanted and he said yes. There are a few more disgusting details of the conversation that I will leave out but it’s nothing a “friend” would ever ask of me ESPECIALLY knowing damn well that I didn’t want to do it. He didn’t care what I wanted or didn’t want, he had already tried the nice guy route and that didn’t work. The pouting didn’t work, so he was to the point of coercing me or black mailing me. Whatever you want to call it, it disgusting and I finally said yes. I finally gave in.

I told my life coach and my sister about what the plan was and how I felt so horrible about my decision but because of my past I knew that I could “check out” when the time came. I was angry. I was bitter. I was resentful. I was sad. Luckily they reminded me that my body is mine and I’m allowed to say no and that no friend would ever expect me to do something I clearly do NOT want to do. I’m not the girl I used to be, but I almost let myself be treated the way I allowed men to treat me in my past. I know that had I gone through with it, I would have eventually drank. I can’t make decisions like that now and expect to stay sober for long. I would have to drink those decisions and the guilt away.

So I told him NO. I told him our friendship is over, I’m not the drunken slut that I may have been in the past. The old Melissa is gone and she isn’t coming back. EVER!!

His Response 

That’s cool. I just know how you are.

NO!

You know who I was. Let me reintroduce myself.

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Who I Am Now

I am finally growing up and figuring out that my happiness and well being doesn’t have to take the back burner so that someone else can get what they want from me. I am finally learning that I can say no and it’s all ok. I am a woman finally coming into the knowing that I am so much more than my body or my looks and that I have more to offer than sex. I am a strong sober mommy that can take care of shit on my own but that it doesn’t make me weak to ask for help. I am capable of so much more than I have given myself credit for in the past. I am finally learning that someone else’s happiness isn’t more important than mine. I am ME! And I like the new me way too much to let someone come along and try to tear me down to make themselves comfortable.

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Relapse Dream

tears-934725_1280Me and the kids pulled into our garage this afternoon after a long day, I was thinking  about how irritating it was going to be to have to get back out after I’ve gotten myself comfortable on the couch. I tell the kids they have to go with me while I “pee in a cup” lol. As part of the program I’m in I have to call and see if my name is called, if it is called I have  to do a UA (urinary analysis) and my kids despise going with me even though it literally takes ten minutes. “It’s boring mom!” I reply “Seriously guys, like it’s so exciting for mommy to pee in a cup in front of a total stranger all while hearing about how “boring” it is??”

OMG!

Anyway, as we were discussing all the “boring” stuff we were going to have to do I had a flashback to the dream I had last night. I dreamt that I had snorted some coke and was freaking out because I needed to know how long it would be in my system. I was conspiring as to how I would do this cocaine and still pass my UA. All that anxiety came rushing back and a feeling of disgust hit me like a ton of bricks. I remembered feeling so disappointed in the fact that I had ruined my sobriety all for a brief sense of relief.

Thank  goodness it was only a dream. Strange it was a dream about cocaine and not alcohol, alcohol was always my drug of choice. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve had many sleepless nights chasing the high with “just one more line”.  I was always a black out drinker, so the cocaine would help me stay coherent. It did it’s job, most of the time. But, I didn’t sleep and the hangover was ten times worse than it would have been had I just stuck with the alcohol. Glad those days are over!!

I haven’t had a drunk/high dream in a long time. It’s not unusual to have these sort of dreams when in recovery but I can’t help wondering what brought this on. Then it occurred to me that a lot has happened the last few days that could possibly have something to do with the dream.

Yesterday evening I had my son and his friend with me, his friend used to be his foster brother but now they are just brothers. I am grateful my son has such a good relationship with him. It was just us three last night, we had just left a local burger joint on campus corner and were headed to a concert in park held on Sunday’s during the summer. I see a guy walking down the street, obviously intoxicated stumbling into the fence along the sidewalk. I immediately recognized him, shocked I pull into a small driveway close to where he was about to pass. I get out of the car, let my son out and reintroduce him to one of the two men my son calls dad. I’ve spoken about him before and about how my son longs for a relationship with him in my Father’s Day blog  There we are standing on the sidewalk having small chat with the man my son has cried for too many times to count.  I can see my son is stunned and ecstatic to finally be hugging him after so long.

It’s been over three years since they have seen each other.  It was almost like no time had passed at all. As we drove off and he stumbled on down the sidewalk, I pointed out to my son that this man was drunk and has an addiction. I said he is sick, but I could see my sons eyes lit up from excitement. I couldn’t help but feel some joy seeing my son so happy.

He lives literally two minutes from us and this is the first time I have seen him in years. This happened FOUR days after my sons biological father was released from prison and tried contacting us. FOUR DAYS!! I have been court ordered to have no contact with him so I immediately tell my caseworker of the release and pass on the voicemail from him. Friday night my caseworker calls to let me know what he had to say about the situation, basically he is refusing to do anything to see his kids, he refuses to come court, he refuses to do anything that involves work on his part. Sad but not surprising.

I can’t help but wonder what is happening right now. No communication with either of these men in a long time and they are suddenly in the picture again within four days of each other. I have been known to analyze things til I’m blue in the face but this is strange to me. I don’t know what else to call it but strange! Crazy! Odd! Unusual! Is the universe is messing with me?!?!

My son doesn’t know his father is out of prison and I’m not telling him at the moment, if at all. All numbers have been blocked and it’s sad it has to be that way but it is what it is. I’m still on the fence about the man we saw last night, he’s wanting a relationship with my son and it’s difficult to say no to that. My son has missed this guy for a long time and now he’s here, but is it what’s best for my son? I have absolutely no desire to have any kind of relationship with either of these men and yet there they are showing up within days of each other. I have a lot to discuss with our counselors and my recovery coach.

My mind is all over the place. Maybe the reason for my dream?