Tag Archives: women in recovery


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?


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.


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!


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! 



To be continued…………





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!!


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.


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”.



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


“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

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.



Everyday I’m Just A Little Bit Better Than Before


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.