Duality- Hope and Dread

I’m still struggling with our cat, Milo, who has been lost for two weeks now.

In my last post, I referred to a story about a boy, lost in the mountains who was never seen alive again. The night he was lost, it poured and flooded, and I simply can’t imagine what his family was going through.

I bring this up, because I related it to how I felt about my cat, lost while it’s severely storming outside. I realized after the fact, that me comparing my lost cat to a lost child could be very insensitive. That wasn’t my intention, at all. While my pets are most certainly, my “furbabies,” my point was more like, geez if losing a pet feels this desperate and sad, how could you not die of a broken heart after losing a child? I simply could not imagine, for one second, and very grateful that I haven’t lived it.

Yesterday was Monday, and it was back to work after spring break. The whole day was just off. The rain continued, and in the morning, before work, I learned that we don’t have Good Friday off this week- I was banking on a four day week- boo! Work was okay, but I didn’t sleep well- only a couple of hours- so I wasn’t at all peppy like usual. Also I had an online meeting in the morning, and the parent’s smoke detector battery alarm was chirping for the entire hour. I left the meeting with a nagging headache, and it lasted the day.

By the time I got home, I just wanted to surrender, lol. Everytime during the weekend, or yesterday, that I let my mind wander to Milo, I would begin to cry. I knew that I really just needed a good cry session, but didn’t want to get my contacts messed up and my face all swollen. But I desperately needed to get out my angst.

I decided to meditate. I missed my morning session, and wanted to see if I could pick up any signs or messages about Milo. I set my intentions and then my timer.

I went to Crystal Cave, via the river in a kayak to the portage. There were animals in the river with me, and I began to cry.

My mom was at the cave. The messages I received from her weren’t spoken words, more like thoughts.

What the heck? Why?

Her message in a nutshell: This is what you’ve been training for. You knew that something hard is going to come along, and you wondered how you’d handle it with your spiritual growth (my sister and I do often talk about this). You know this is life, it’s full of ups and downs and try to focus on the big picture.

Tears ran down my cheeks the entire time.

I came to a realization during this time. I had been wanting to find Milo alive, or not at all. I couldn’t bear the thought of finding out that he’s gone, forever. I had thought about this many times since he left. I decided that I truly didn’t want to know if he dies or died. I want him home alive, or would rather spend the rest of time wondering what happened to him. I needed to hold onto that hope.

Well, I knew in my heart, that that’s not really healthy. I had a good talk with my mom and the Universe and declared that I need closure, and that I’m ready. Ready to find out the truth, and accept it. It felt good to let the resistance I had go. This felt significant- and I truly expected to find him immediately after- either dead or alive.

“Let’s go to the meadow. Please show me something happy. Something that will make me happy.” I begged my mom.

The cave is dark, but there’s a hallway with a door. And outside the door is the most magnificent meadow filled with colorful flowers.

We went to the meadow and I looked around. I noticed animals, everywhere. It was as if all the flowers turned to animals. I didn’t notice if they were dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. I guess I just saw animal souls, maybe. But it did make me happy, but it also made the tears run down faster.

I finished up and was just thinking when I heard hubby come up from downstairs. I wiped my face and wondered if he’d notice.

“You look tired.” He said, after bending down to kiss me as I sat on the couch (I love that he does this. If he forgets, when he realizes later in the evening- he says, “I didn’t get to kiss you today.”).

“I just meditated and cried the whole time.” I answered.

“I’m sorry.” he responded.

“It’s okay. It was good.” and then, wondering how crazy he thinks I am, followed up with “I talked to your grandma last week..” (she’s been dead since 2002). He didn’t seem to think much of it.

Then I stood up and hugged him and then just cried. It was inevitable. I was, and am so incredibly grateful to have a partner who loves and accepts me with all my quirks- and loves me with open arms (literally).

All of it felt profound, and I went to bed feeling lighter.

I’m still sad about Milo, that will never change. But I’ll try to focus on the good things, and will try to remain hopeful.

Milo come home to us!! We need you home 😿

Bad Caturday

It’s days like today that are the worst, along with last night.

I came across a story a few months ago, about a young child lost in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. My memory is awful- so some of this might be incorrect information, so I apologize if that’s the case.

He was with his family and wandered off a little too far. His dad frantically searched, and more people joined in, but the child was never found. The night he went missing, it poured and there was flooding in the area. I thought that was so sad, and couldn’t imagine having a child lost and alone out in weather like that, let alone lost at all.

Last night it poured, huge raindrops illuminated in super bright lightning strikes, followed by the loudest of thunder.

I couldn’t stop wondering about Milo- hoping he had shelter. There was so much rain, I worried about him keeping dry. And the thunder.. since Milo had been found and brought back home when he went missing before, he seems to really hate loud noises. I don’t think he was like that before he got lost in 2014. He must’ve been absolutely terrified of the thunder last night- and again today. I hope that he found a person to take him in.

His CT scan appointment is on Wednesday, four days from now. I called the clinic on Friday to cancel. I wanted to give them enough time to fill the spot, with hopefully someone on the cancellation list, like we once were. When I explained why I was cancelling, she asked if I was sure I didn’t want to wait to see if he came home. I told her that it would be great to have the weekend, and that I’d call on Monday.

I hated to make that call, and was so grateful that we get a few more days of hope. That’s a little good news at least.

If you’re reading this, please send prayers, positive thoughts and vibes, visualizations, etc my way! There is definitely power in prayer (or thoughts) !

Milo come home!

Come home Milo!

Spring Break 2023: Mixed Bag

The good has been, really good.

The bad has been, really bad.

This break has been a bit of everything…

It’s Friday, so I should stop talking like it’s over, because we still have nearly three full days left!

This break has been about the perfect mix of relaxation, play and productivity.

On Monday, I cleaned out all my top cupboards in the kitchen. The bottoms were already pretty organized, so it feels good to have a fully organized kitchen (with extra shelf space with all my purging).

Monday was my oldest’s 20th birthday. I had lots of time to clean because he spent the day with friends.

Do you like how they all dressed up for his birthday? You’ll never guess where they went to dressed like that.. I’ll give you a hint, they had to drive an hour and go out of state to get there!

Why in the world do we not have a single Waffle House in Michigan?

My kiddo’s favorite YouTube er, retweeted this pic and mentioned them on his show, The Breakfast Stream, so my boys were ecstatic 🤩 It’s all good, clean fun! 🙌🏻🎉

On Tuesday, I worked out hard and was sort of lazy the rest of the day. I can’t remember what I did to be productive, but think I did all the laundry.

On Wednesday, I went to my grandma’s house to visit her. I hadn’t seen her since the summer of 2021 at my son’s graduation party. I’ve been meaning to visit her since last summer, so I was so glad to have the time to see her. My dad, stepmom, uncle David and sister and her kids were there too. My dad ordered pizza and I had stopped at Kroger to get my grandma a small gift. While there I got a bowl of fruit and bag of milk chocolate to share. It was all yummy and all got eaten.

I brought the boys with me and on the way home we stopped at a game store (for my oldest- we were in a new town so he wanted to check it out), and then the dollar tree and a donut shop. The donut shop was 30 minutes from closing so we literally bought the last 12 donuts, so we didn’t get a choice in flavors- but they were SO good!

On Thursday I had a lunch and pedicure date with Peter’s mom, Andrea. We have become good friends over the past couple of years, and we haven’t hung out since the start of the school year. We’ve always enjoyed talking about teaching and school, but it’s different now that we’re teaching in the same district. That was extra fun, talking about happenings, gossip and people we both know or work with from the district. She was supposed to get married this summer, but told me she broke it off. He doesn’t have kids and he is a little too outspoken and opinionated for her taste (in regards to parenting). I was sad to hear this. I’ve never met him, but was so excited for her! I know though, that if it’s not right then it truly is for the best. I want her to find the most perfect guy- she deserves it out of anyone I know.

Now it’s Friday. I had high hopes for today. I wanted to visit Rumi’s bakery this morning, because they have gluten and dairy free donuts and I’ve wanted to try them forever.

I woke up at 4:30, which was fine because I felt awake, having slept a lot yesterday. I thought, cool I’ll get an early start. I did some Reiki during wall sits, and then meditated. Then I got incredibly sick feeling while trying to drink my coffee. I ended up having to turn off everything, I was so chilled and just slept on the couch till 8:00 am. I still don’t feel great and have a minor but nagging headache.

My little sister visited my big sister last night because she’s in Florida for the week. There was definitely drinking and my first thought this morning is that I have my little sister’s hangover! I know it seems far fetched, especially since she’s 1000s of miles away, and I haven’t drank in years, but we are super connected. Very often, we’ll discover that we had the same conversation with a family member the night before, or she think of calling me, and I’ll call her that same instant– it’s definitely weird but has been happening for a while now. I think we’ve had each other’s physical ailments before also.

The headache, the sick stomach from coffee, and then in general, awful chills…. it’s very reminiscent of how I felt after a night of drinking- so yeah, I’m a little hungover today 😭😭😭

While it feels like it’s ending, I keep reminding myself that we still have three days left! This weekend is kind of exciting too, because it’s Wrestlemania. The kids are having a few friends over, and while I don’t care so much for Wrestlemania (I will probably watch a little- it reminds me of when my kids were super young and it was always on on Monday and Friday nights- and that makes me feel warm and happy), I am super excited for all of the delicious snacks we’ll surely have.

So while all this sounds fun and great, it’s still been a sad week. Milo.

He’s gone. It’s cold, and pouring rain today. It’s simply awful to have someone you love just “out there,” missing. How do people go on after losing people, people who go missing and who are never found again? How can you ever stop looking? I guess you won’t.

I think after four months I stopped looking for him. But he came back. Will he come back this time? Will it be in one month? Five months? A year this time? More?

It makes me incredibly sad to think about. While he’s been sick, he hasn’t liked to be outside when it’s below freezing. The night he left it was mild, but we’ve had cold days since. To think of him out there, miserable in the cold makes me cry.

Some people have told me that maybe he left to go die. “They don’t want to hurt us,” they’d tell me. Maybe he left to go die.

Those aren’t exactly words of comfort, but do make me wonder.

The very worst part, is that we were so close to maybe finding answers- to maybe helping him get over this nasal problem and back to his normal mischievous self. Now I have to cancel his appointment, today. It’s not until next week, but I want to make sure that they have enough time to fill that slot. I hope someone on the waiting list gets to get in and save their pet. It’s the only silver lining to this dreadful situation.

So that’s Spring Break 2023 in a nutshell!

From Mud to Lotus: Celebrating Four Years

Today I celebrate four years of being alcohol free! While it’s been four years, the desire to quit actually started about seven years ago. Here is a recap:

May 2016

I am going to write about my recovery on here.  I’m going to tell my story first.  I am not strong enough to share this with anyone that I personally know.  Not my husband, not my best friend, not my sisters.  I can’t say the words out loud.

I can’t admit that I drink every single night (except on rare occasions).  I can’t tell anyone that I don’t remember going to bed most nights.  I wake up, with a paranoia that I’ve forgotten to take out my contacts– or left a cat outside. Waking up to go to work is the worst.  Many times I have a pounding headache and puffy eyes.  On the worst of mornings, I feel slightly intoxicated still on the ride there.

There is an underlying guilt everyday and a promise that I won’t drink tonight. On the rare occasion that I don’t drink– the lack of guilt the next day is a great feeling.

June 2016

I am starting to get nervous.  A couple of weeks ago, I was pretty hyped up, excited.  Now that the clock is ticking, I don’t know if I can follow through.  How can I?  I’m so used to old habits and the way things are, how can I change?  I keep hoping that if I want it bad enough, then I can be successful.. right?

I haven’t cut down on drinking.  I am trying to savor each drinking day!  I really don’t know if I can stop.  I haven’t made an outpatient appointment yet.  I suppose I should get off this blog and make a decision as to where I am going and see about getting an appointment.

This is scary.  I don’t want to spend the summer 2016 strung out, I really don’t!  I want to feel good, energetic, happy and healthy.  I want to exercise daily and detox my body.  I just don’t know if I can do it!

July 2016

I am depressed, clinically.  I should make an appointment with a therapist and talk about getting on some medication.

I haven’t stopped drinking this week. I wonder how much that is playing into my depression. I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to try to not drink tonight and see if I wake up a little happier and more motivated to get through my day.

The thing that bothers me the most is that I have no idea and why and no reason at all to be depressed. I have an adoring husband who I think is one of the smartest men on earth, who loves his family more than life itself and has a pure & honest soul. Case in point.. Milo has been sick this week. Two nights ago, I was spoon feeding him canned food on OUR bed and even on HIS side. He was laying right there with me, just happy like I was that Milo was eating. I was so grateful during that moment that I was married to him. I know some men would not be too happy about a wife spoon feeding a cat on their side of the bed! I have two sons who are genuinly good hearted boys, who listen well (for the most part) and give me way more pleasure than stress. I have choices, many many choices and I know that Anthony will support anything I try to do. I love my house.. I have the perfect forever home and the pool that I’ve always wanted. So WHY?

Is it that I want to stop drinking but I can’t? I make the choice everynight to get that glass of wine.. or whatever it is I’m drinking. I wake up with a general ill feeling, lack of energy, etc. I maintained a hard workout program before while continuing to drink, but why can’t I start working out now?

It is kind of hard to get the energy to workout when you barely have the energy to get off the couch and take a shower.

I’m making a goal. Right here and now: To NOT drink tonight and to (at some point today) start working on Kenneth’s drink analysis worksheets. I will blog tomorrow and record my mood. I have to be in Livonia by 9 with both boys, but would LOVE to have the energy for a morning workout before having to leave. NOT sure that will happen, but who knows.

Update from August 2016-February 2017-

I continued to drink regularly, drinking just about every night. Stringing two sober consecutive nights together was rare, and three was impossible. In January 2017 I discovered a podcast called The Recovery Elevator. By then, quitting was still heavily on my mind but I didn’t have the tools to be successful.

February 2017-

With the discovery of an excellent podcast called Recovery Elevator, I am finally making progress.  I listened regularly to back episodes for a good 2-3 weeks before making the decision to quit.

I learned so much from the podcasts and am still learning.

One of the most valuable things I learned is to take one day at a time. Up until now, thinking about quitting would cause me great anxiety. I would think about my upcoming birthday, or long summer days and be just so completely overwhelmed with the thought of abstaining. I learned to take it one day, or moment, at a time. I don’t have to think about tomorrow, or next week, or my 40th birthday on the biggest party day of the year next month. All I need to think and focus on is today. If I can abstain today, then I am A-Ok!

Another thing I learned is that my addiction has an inner voice and it sounds like me talking.  She says things like, “I’ll just have one.”  “I can handle it tonight, and stop tomorrow.” and other horrible lies.  I still need to learn to recognize her and separate her voice from mine.  I call my inner demon voice “Betsy”.

Something else that I learned is that this is a work in progress, and will always be a work in progress. Meetings, learning, writing, etc. I haven’t gone to a meeting yet, but there is a local one in 2 days and I plan on attending. I also have a therapist lined up. I have issues in my head, and will have more issues from recovering that I will need to deal with. I’m happy to report that I found one that came highly recommended. If I go to her and am not happy with her, then I will find another one.

This is only my 2nd night sober.  I think they say the first 72 hours is the worst. Yesterday and last night was ok, but today was much harder.  It was Sunday.  I always drink on Sundays, sometimes starting as early as dinnertime.   I am currently almost ready for bed and drinking sleepy time tea.  Totally looking forward to waking up sober.

I am so thankful for finding that podcast, it sure helped steer me in the right directions.  I can see by reading earlier posts that I was blind last summer to what I really needed to do.  I am looking forward to living a colorful life and being stronger for beating this!

Aug- 2017

One step forward, two steps back. That’s how I feel on this funky Friday morning.

Drank again yesterday, although I didn’t start last night.  I started yester- day– yes during the day.

Two nights ago drinking wine was pleasant. It felt good up until I went to bed (which I don’t remember). Yesterday the first couple glasses were good, but then I had some dinner (not much, 1/2 a veggie burger and a few vegetables). After dinner the wine tasted nasty. But, I kept drinking anyway..

By bedtime my belly hurt, my buzz was gone and I felt physically and mentally defeated. Out of all the hours spent drinking yesterday, about 10% of the time was actually pleasant, the rest was unpleasant.

I’m GLAD and thankful.  It scares me when drinking gives me so much joy that on the following day I drink again– and start earlier.

I am going to stop.  I know in my heart that one day I will be 100% alcohol free.

Today is day 1.  I will work on strengthening my toolbox. What does this look like?  For me, it will be re-starting the 30 Day Sobriety Solution– with daily activities and exercises. I started this before and it really is a great program to work through.

I may or may not attend real life or online meetings. This I’m on the fence about. I started going to AA meetings this summer and I don’t believe they’ve been effective for me. I may try to find an evening meeting that I can keep up with when school starts back up. I may try something other than AA– it’s just hard because my choices and days/times are limited. One thing is certain, I cannot do this alone. I will continue to connect with people online through Cafe RE and Club Soda.

I will continue writing out this journey.  Yes, it feels like a lie, my title “My Journey Through Sobriety..” I haven’t been very sober the past couple of days.  It certainly is a long and treacherous voyage–although no one said that it would be easy!   Pack your bags, you’re coming with ❤

Dec 2017

End of day 2. Not a totally great day but better than yesterday. Quite a bit of frustration this evening with my kiddos, their homework, the animals, getting stuff done for tomorrow, etc.

BUT.. the work day was much better to get through without a hangover.

I DID have the urge to drink tonight while helping my unfocused son with math. Huge urge. Almost texted hubby to stop for something on his way home. Didn’t help that I had a root canal 5 days ago and my tooth is still bugging me tonight.

I followed the drink and didn’t like where it lead me. I visualized getting hammered to the point of closing up and not being able to verbalize my thoughts. I thought of going to bed without remembering if I moved the elf on the shelf or if I fed the dog. I imagined waking up with a throbbing headache and going through the whole day feeling awful– like I did yesterday on my last Day 1.

I have to stay grateful and maintain the mindset that I’m on this journey for a reason.  It’s not easy, but if it was then everyone would beat their addiction.  It is hard, but I have already gotten so much out of this process.  I am grateful for another Day 2 and hopeful that I will beat this ❤ 

End of Summer 2018-

The summer of ’18 was one of my favorites yet.  Normally over the summer there are many times that I am bored, lonely and get depressed.  Depressed– as in– barely having enough energy for a shower and being in a general funk for days.  I’m happy to say that I didn’t go through that this summer.  The reason, I’m pretty sure, is both external and internal.

I’ve made a ton of growth internally over the past several months and years.  By internally, I guess I mean mentally and spiritually.  I used to think that everyone was mad at me or didn’t like me– and I don’t know why I spent so much energy worrying about all of that.  I’m not sure when or how this changed, probably due to the self help books that I read, but I no longer worry about other people.  I’m sure this has helped me to not feel depressed and has helped me at times when I’m alone not feel so lonely.

Externally, the summer was bustling and busy, with little time to be feeling down.  Cousins and the kids’ friends were over constantly, and a lot of time was spent with family and friends in both July and August.

Here are some summer highlights:

  • I learned how to use the weedwacker
  • I got all my teeth problems fixed and have an appointment set up for an orthodontist consultation (I’ve been putting this all off for YEARS)
  • I rode 154 miles on my bike during the month of June (my goal was 150)
  • Paid off my smaller private student loan and faced my large federal loan after a decade of avoiding it
  • Learned how to make falafel
  • Read, read, read!  Read some great books for fun and also some spiritual books– my favorite being The Four Agreements.
  • Started meditating daily
  • Started the summer with a strong streak of sobriety– recent relapse has taught me some good life lessons (story for another day)
  • Started seriously working the steps
  • Had some spiritual realizations which have provided me with internal calmness and clarity– I am ecstatic to be able to pick up on signs and messages
  • Got iron infusions and am no longer anemic
  • Planted a garden which has provided me with some delicious fresh peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and squash

Yes, this summer has been a great one!  Today is going to be another fantastic day.  I have a lunch date with a good friend from work and then I’m getting my hair done.  I still need to get some new work clothes, get my nails done, go school clothes shopping with my youngest and schedule an appointment to get new contact lens– all in good time.

April 4, 2019-

It’s Thursday and Spring Break is cruising right along, a little too fast for my liking. It hasn’t been a super productful week, but I’m still sober so I’ve felt grateful every day.

I had a significant conversation with my 16 year old the other day. He was also shocked that I think I have a problem. Does he think that falling over drunk (it doesn’t happen often, but has happened especially like when we’re up north with other drinking family members) and not remembering conversations is normal? At any rate, I hope that I planted a seed that says you don’t have to be homeless and living under a bridge to have a problem. I also hope that I opened up paths that will allow him to feel comfortable talking to me about drinking and addiction. I warned him that addiction is genetic and he would need to be careful. I honed in on the fact that one day you’re in college drinking like everyone else and the next day you’re a 40 year old parent who still drinks and maybe can’t stop, and how awful of a place that is to be.

I’m kind of happy that I had that AWFUL day last week. It propelled me into wanting to stay sober. This week could have been very different had I been drinking. I am so grateful for day 8 today and still don’t have a desire to drink (I mean, I have longed for it occasionally at certain points, but shut the AV down quickly. I NEVER want to feel like I did last Thursday, EVER).

God Bless ❤ ❤ ❤

March 28. 2020

Last year this day was rotten.  It was my last Day 1.  I won’t bore you with the details again, but it was pretty awful.

I had big plans for this day!  For one thing, the title of this blog was going to be “The End.”  I had planned on ending this blog, as it has just been dragging on and on for years.

I also planned on being alone today, for the whole day.  My boys had a Boy Scout trip and were going to be gone for the whole weekend.

I planned on being on Day 30 in the Lotus and the Lily book, and doing my Soul Day today.  I was going to be grand!  I was going to wake up and fast and spend time outdoors with my dog and do my mandala while setting some awesome intentions!  Then as the evening approaches I was going to get some delicious food and eat and watch some chick flick or stupid movie.

If you would have talked to me about relapsing a few weeks ago, on my 1-year anniversary, I would have hushed you quickly.  I wouldn’t have even humored it, not for a minute.  Why on earth would I do that?  After all I was having the time of my life without alcohol!

That was before this Coronavirus and before lock downs and the school closures.  That was before the stress of not knowing if I’ll have a job to get back to– or if Sylvia Brown’s prediction of all learning going online was going to come true.  That was a lifetime ago.

Laura McKowen posted about how this new world is a whole lot like being in early sobriety.  Man oh man is that true!  I don’t even remember when Betsy (my alcoholic voice) first started piping up (she actually shut up for awhile there) but of course, with the excuse of my one year plus this pandemic she actually had me convinced to drink today.

Am I going to?  I don’t think so.  I’m not drinking at this moment, nor do I want to.  Tonight?  I don’t think so, but who knows.

This was an important lesson to learn. It doesn’t matter if you have an hour alcohol free or, or a day, or a year. It truly doesn’t, we are all one sip away from a drink. A few short weeks ago I was feeling on top of the world, especially with the approaching 1 year date coming. I thought after today I would be able to better myself even further.

But instead I have spent the past week pretty much planning for a relapse after today. So what did I learn in a year’s time? Nothing??? It would appear so! I guess what I’m saying is that we are all one sip away. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 years, or 10 minutes, and we can all choose to be sober for today- or for this moment. We all need to find a program that works for us- and to work it, especially during the tough times ❤

March 28, 2023-

It’s been four years since I’ve taken a drink of alcohol. My life now is unrecognizable from the way it was before. It’s as though, the daily drinking poisoned every single organ, tissue and cell in my body- and the toxins constantly seeped out through me physically, mentally and emotionally, tainting everything in my life. I was a toxic person, ingesting and holding onto the worst of poisons.

When I first started listening to the recovery elevator, Paul Churchill said something confusing, but intriguing to me. He talked about quitting alcohol and how you first heal physically, then emotionally and then spiritually. This didn’t make a lot of sense to me back then. I understood the physically healing- but I didn’t have a horrible childhood with trauma, so my emotional state was fine- and I had no issue with the church- so the spiritual healing would not be necessary for me. I would need to heal physically, no doubt about that, but I didn’t know how impaired my emotional and spiritual state actually was, and it was.

My growth in all of those areas from 2016 up until now is my favorite part of my blog. I don’t care if anyone else ever reads it again, I can go back and see a very damaged and ill person- one who is full of fear, anger and resentments. It’s so evident, and so evident that I was blind to it all back then. In fact, when a sponsor talked to me about step 4, I declared- “Oh, I don’t need to do that. I’m cool with everyone!”

By the way, I was so not cool with everyone back then. But that’s what I told myself. I told myself lots of lies back then- it was my ego in the front seat shushing my poor little soul.

As the years go by, you see that broken person start to grow, and grow and make mistakes, lots of mistakes. Lots of day 1’s. Periods of stopping, being completely happy, and then self-sabotaging when I don’t even understand the why. Until finally, she has enough. Enough of the crappy crap!

If there is anything to gain from reading my blog, I hope it’s this:

I hope that someone who wants help, but doesn’t know how, and thinks they’re all alone, and unhelpable (like I thought I was..) will realize that they are not alone and far more powerful than they could imagine- and that life is so much more wonderful than our addictions want us to think.

In the beginning, it’s hard to trust sobriety. It’s far too easy to believe the manipulative lies told by our evil alcoholic voices- voices disguised as our own. Just trust.

Look at my story.

I’m no different than any other Joe who has completely lost themselves, in the mud of life. We all have a choice to wallow in the mess- or we can use our despair to propel us up to greatness ❤

Maybe we are all lotuses, waiting for the opportunity to rise up from the mud 🪷

My Mama 💖💞

Who was your most influential teacher? Why?

I’m no longer going to feel guilty for saying that her death was both the best & worst thing to happen in my life (so far 🙏🏻).

She was always my greatest teacher.

She taught me grace when our lives seemed to be crashing down.

She taught me compassion and perseverance, and to never give up no matter what.

I know, that she had no idea how great she was, and the positive influence she had on so many people.

I personally believe that modeling is the most effective parenting strategy, and she did it without even knowing the positive traits she was instilling in us. She had no idea how big that was, this I know for sure.

But it was her death, that had the biggest impact, by far, of course.

I cried, and screamed and asked God why.

I hated life for awhile, and people who still had their mamas.

I gave alcohol all my love, and shunned my family. The former allowed me to escape my misery- if only for an evening.

It was exhausting.

I was so sick & tired of being sick & tired.

So I began to heal. And heal some more, and more.

In my recovery, I’m still learning from her.

If I could go back, I’d rather have her here, and continue life like a selfish and entitled a-hole, but that’s impossible.

So, you see, the tragic sudden passing of my mom started a chain of events that would change my life in unfathomable ways.

I have never felt this kind of peace ❤️

Peaceful Mornings

It’s Friday morning, 4 o’clock hour, and I’m sleepless once again.

I woke up to go to the bathroom and ran into my oldest in the hallway- this was around 3:30am.

He said he heard a distinct Milo meow outside his bedroom window around 2:30, and had been calling for him since. We had set out clothes and used kitty litter around the yard yesterday- and we were feeling hopeful that maybe he’d find his way home in the calm of the night.

I couldn’t sleep after that, and walked the yard with a flashlight- with no luck.

On the bright side, I’m not feeling too bummed about being up so early again. I had a great morning yesterday! After I wrote in here, I had the best workout I’ve had in over 6 months, and that was me not wanting to work out at all. I was so glad I got on the bike- it felt good to ride 7 miles before work. Riding my bike one mile to work will be a piece of cake 🙂

I also had time to meditate- although it wasn’t a great session. I’ve been meditating daily for several months now, but haven’t had very good sessions where I feel in a trance. I’m either completely conscious- or I tend to fall asleep. Last weekend, after my friend visited- I meditated in the afternoon/evening. I was very tired from staying up so late, but I was also holding my coffee cup (it was an impromptu meditation session) – which I think prevented me from falling asleep and helped me achieve more of a trance state.

For the first time in awhile, it was a good session. I went to Crystal Cave, and my mom and Anthony’s grandma (who passed while on a cruise in 2002) were there. They were getting on my case about not visiting our parents more (his and my dad/stepmom). Then Anthony’s young cousin showed up. I asked him if he had a message and he said to tell his sister that he is taking care of all her passed pets (she loves her pets!).

It made me think that maybe I should meditate later in the day instead of first thing. Yesterday I did both, but my afternoon session wasn’t great.

I had a pretty good day at work. The kids were extra wound up, and I was kind of cranky, but I ended up emailing my principal with my schedule and the issues I am having. I told her I planned to reach out to my boss- but didn’t want to blindside her. It’s a start and it feels good.

Today is not only Friday, but it’s the Friday before Spring break! AND.. and Parkview it happens to be pajama day, which I intend to take full advantage of! I’m even bringing my slippers. I don’t always participate in pj day, but today it’s happening.

On a side note, I was thinking about the upcoming summer and wondering if I’ll be productive or not. I began to think of the summer of 2020 and how magically awesome it was. I heard a song, which reminded me- that’s what got me thinking. It was amazing, but why weren’t the summers after, and how do I make this coming summer more like 2020?

In 2021, I was preparing for my son and nephews graduation party. I did a ton of work, especially outside. It was great to feel productive and get things done outside, but I think that took most of my summer. The party was at the end of July and by August, I’m already in back-to-school mode- so when that party was over, so was my summer it seemed.

In 2022, I slept. My hands were so sore, I think I weeded around the pond once. I spent the summer trying to heal with diet changes, and just got worse and worse. By the time school started, I could hardly get up off the ground. My legs were stiff, swollen, and horribly painful.

Last week I almost cried at an IEP meeting, and nearly made the mom cry. It was for that little boy who I get off the bus everyday- the one who struggles walking. The team began talking about how amazing and inspiring this child is.

I told mom how sick and immobile I was in the fall- and how her little boy changed my entire outlook. And that was no exaggeration.

But my thoughts about summer is that right now 2023 is a blank slate. How do I want it to look? What a great prospect! I thought hard about this yesterday. I definitely want to write- as much as I can- and then just household chores will keep me busy- especially outside. We bought the acre lot next door a few months ago, so I’m excited to figure out what we’ll do with it and clean it up.

I feel like I could be totally content staying home all summer long and doing nothing but writing, swimming/bike riding/other leisure activities and fixing up/maintaining the house. It sounds absolutely perfect, actually.

When I first got sober, it was the summertime, and I would sometimes think of my home as a sober retreat. It included all the good stuff- spiritual work, recovery work, grounding while gardening outside, meditating in the garden, wholesome food, etc. My wish for 2023 reminds me of a sober retreat. I can’t think of a better way to spend summer vacation. Pretty hilarious for a girl who lived for drinking all summer- and the thought of a sober summer would scare me away from sobriety- until I learned and experienced the truth (that alcohol is a big, fat liar).

This was supposed to be a quick update- but I keep getting off track. It’s after 5:00 now, and I’m deciding if I want to work out or not. I think not. I think I’ll make some pancakes- or something else hardy to eat because I’m feeling famished.

Thanks for listening to my rambles!

Have a great Friday everyone- happy weekend!

Mama Drama – Unpacking her Emotional Baggage

It’s around the four o’clock hour on a Thursday morning and I can’t sleep. I’ve been up since around 3:30, and have lots on my mind.

Shortly after 4:00, I stopped fighting it and got up and made coffee. It’s nice to be up this early, actually. I love the dark quiet house, and especially love that I have some extra time now this morning. I’m hoping that by blogging and working out, I will get out some of the “ick” inside me.

I don’t have a lot of things. But, as you know, my cat Milo has been sick with a nasal problem and we’ve been anxiously waiting for his cat scan appointment on April 5th. His original appointment was April 5th, but he was on a cancellation list. They called in early February and asked if we wanted to come on March 21st instead. Heck yeah! I told them. Then they called the next day and asked if we could come on February 15th- I was so excited! He’d finally get seen and we wouldn’t have to wait for April!

Well, the shooting at MSU (where his cat scan was scheduled) was on February 13th and they closed the entire campus for a couple of days. Our appointment got bumped back to April.

The night before last, he was super obnoxious around 3:00am. The weather is getting nicer and he wanted out, so he was scratching and meowing at our bedroom door. My oldest let him outside after that, and sadly he hasn’t been seen since!

The last time this happened, he was gone for four months before we found him in a gated community a few miles away. So I’m really worried. Plus, the way his nose is problematic, wherever he is he probably can’t smell his way home.

Please send all the prayers and positive vibes. We’ve been through so much with this boy, he can’t just disappear forever.

Next, I’ve been thinking about my paranoia about getting fired/let go/laid off/whatever you want to call it. I think it might be a problem. I think this because it’s causing me to do certain actions, like not reach out to my boss for extra help like my coworkers are urging me to do. I can handle it, I’d tell them. But the thing is, it’s not what’s best for my students. So this is a problem.

I remembered something profound yesterday.

When my sisters and I were cleaning out my mom’s house after she died, we read through some of her journals.

When she was I don’t know, around 40ish she and my dad divorced. She had cleaned houses for people but never really had a “real” job. She ended up getting a job at a local factory. She got well established there, moved her way up and stayed there until her death. We never really thought much of it, we knew she’d do well with whatever she did.

Before she started working at that factory, she wrote words that shocked us. What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail at this? I don’t remember her exact words, I just remember the shock and awe we felt not being able to fathom how our mom could even worry about that. It was so silly and crazy to us!

Yet, as I sit here and type this, it doesn’t seem so crazy after all.

So, whatever this is that I’ve got about work, I got it from my mom. Maybe her trauma, maybe mine from words and situations I was exposed to as a youngster- or maybe a combination of both. I think I need a mantra or something.

This is for me and my mom:

You are good enough

You are a valuable contributor to your place of employment

You are competent and confident

You are loved!

I’ll just say this over and over and hope that these feelings of inadequacy go away!

Lastly, and this one is a positive one, I’m not sure if it’s just me, but there seems to be a surplus of murdering narcissists who think they are above the law who are now in jail or will be on trial.

Bryan Kohberger, the criminal justice student conceded as hell. Alex Murdough, a liar, killer and thief. His family owns South Carolina, so he thought he’d get off, but now they’re digging up multiple bodies to link deaths to him. What a creep! And this week it’s James Craig, a Colorado dentist who poisoned his wife and flew in his mistress while his wife was dying in the hospital. Apparently he told his employees not to talk to the police. He had ordered a lethal drug, but had no record of what procedure it was for. Another Narc who thinks they are above the law.

I don’t know if it’s just me noticing these things, but it makes me feel happy to see them get caught after killing people. That’s a crime no one should get away with.

And lastly, for real, my soberversary is in 5 days!! Four years, holy cow!! Never ever could I have imagined this.

But wait, back in 2017 I started reading The Sobriety Solution. On one of the first days, there was an exercise to visualize myself in 10, or 20 years if I keep on the path I was on. It then had me visualize what I want my life to look like.

The second vision I had was just about identical to my life right now. That makes me feel so incredibly happy ❤

46 years and 1453 days

It’s a cold but sunny and bright Sunday morning- and I’m feeling relaxed. I’ve been up for a couple of hours and have already gotten the grocery shopping done (thank you online grocery service <3) and talked to my sister for awhile- which is basically my therapy.

Friday was St. Patrick’s Day and my 46th birthday.

This birthday was heavier than most, much harder mentally than I expected.

It made me feel sort of ashamed because I’ve spent the past year tooting how little age matters. After all, people in their 60’s and 70’s routinely kick my A$$ on the Peloton leaderboard, so naturally I couldn’t wait to get a little older so I can get stronger and faster. I would scoff at people crying about their age.

But there’s something about 46… it’s oftly close to 50.. but I spent the past decade shouting that 50 is the new 30 so why do I care??

Despite these icky feelings, it was a fantastic day. I made word games with little shamrocks for the kids at school on Friday. It was festive and fun. When I got home, all three of my boys were in the kitchen with some gifts for me. They were small gifts, but they were all my favorite things. They even wrapped up a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli 🤣🤣

We went out for an early dinner and then one of my best friends came down from up north to stay the night.

Friday night was fun, we stayed up till 2am catching up and playing Euchre. On Saturday, we had a relaxing morning and then went shopping at our favorite discount stores. It was a fun couple of days!

Now it’s Sunday, and I’m ready to soak up this entire relaxing day before thinking about work tomorrow. But, I’m ecstatic that we have a week off after next week for spring break.

On another note, I can’t even believe it’s spring break! Didn’t I just start teaching at a new school like yesterday??

Spring is on Tuesday, and riding my bike to work is a closer and closer reality! This was not even close to being an option in the fall, when I was so immobile, but thankfully I’m doing so much better. I can’t even remember the last time I took motrin or tylenol 🎉✨

Speaking of work, it’s been on my mind a lot. I am very fearful of getting let go, or laid off after this school year. I don’t know why, honestly. If anything, the way it looks with the needs of our students, they are going to have to add some positions for next year, certainly not take some away. Additionally, they can hardly find applicants for the same position posted now, so why would they let me go? All I can figure is that it’s that deep rooted belief that I’m not good enough.

On a superficial level, I do feel successful at work. Especially lately, it feels like when people come into my room and I have 18 things going on, but each child is focused and working on something, they are impressed and have said so. So it’s a shame that I can’t be proud and confident, but I guess it keeps me humble, so that’s good.

I think I’ve fallen in love with my new school, the students are special and I have a handful of coworkers that I connect with and have so much admiration and respect for. I want nothing more than to just stay at this school- this school that’s just a mile down the street, for the rest of my career- so I think that longing gives me that fear of losing it. Plus, it wouldn’t be completely unlikely for them to move me to another school within the district. That would be okay, but really I just want to stay at Parkview, lol!

I had a great experience/thought a couple of weeks ago when there was a snowstorm. It was night time and I was eagerly checking my phone to see if school was cancelled. I was obsessed with the checking school closings, which made me wonder why. I had noticed on previous snowdays, that being home all day didn’t necessarily equate to a great day. In fact, it sort of made me crabby.

So why did I care if we had school or not? My mood seemed better when I was working anyhow.

I think it was the “not knowing” that was making me anxious. When I thought about getting a snowday, I thought about not going to work the next day and I felt a twinge of sadness.

The world is my playground. My work is my playground.

I thought about all of “school” things I wouldn’t be doing at home, and felt that little sadness again. At that moment, my work truly did seem like my playground.

I can’t tell you how wonderful that feeling was!

In fact, I’m feeling more and more like that about the world in general. It’s not just about having fun either, it’s a feeling of belonging as well, and it’s better than any drug out there.

I’m Still Alive

It’s a Friday and a snow day, and I’ve been crying much of the day.

I got sucked into the Murdaugh story & was drawn to the young woman killed, but don’t worry-that’s not why I’m crying.

Her grieving boyfriend shares my hubby’s name & they remind me a lot of each other. Plus I’ve been on a dark boat at night in bad conditions & thought we were going to die for a bit- my friend did an awesome job getting his boat to safety thank God- but I think it resonated big time.

Since watching it, I’ve been SO clingy to my Anthony. His love language is touch (I usually don’t always love hugs & stuff-only sparingly) so he’s loving my clinginess at least 😍

But I’ve wondered this week why I get so wrapped up with others’ grief myself. Kathy and Jack. Anthony and Mallory. It becomes an obsession- but not a productive one.

When I took the Reiki class, I told my teacher that I wanted to heal myself- of all my physical ailments. She then talked to me about trauma and emotions and said that we can even carry ancestral trauma with us. This seemed far removed and not plausible, although I did believe it could be true.

I realized something really profound yesterday. My uncle died when I was like around 2. It might have had no effect on me consciously, but I have to acknowledge that for awhile – I was raised with people grieving deeply. I’ve often heard that my grandpa was never the same after his son’s death- and I know it hit everyone hard- I just assumed I had escaped the sadness because I don’t remember him at all (I was obsessed with him as a baby whenever my grandparents watched me- at least I’m told).

This side of the family doesn’t grieve well- I mean some are still so bitter & in a bad place because of my mom’s sudden death in 2014-so I’m sure it was similar back then.

I wonder if this is why I’m so sensitive/drawn to deaths. I didn’t lose anyone in my life significant until I was an adult, but do remember a conversation with my mom at age 5 where she told me everyone dies & then I was inconsolable.

Being around such sorrow at a young age, sorrow that probably lasted several years, realistically, had to have affected me somewhat.

This morning, I thought about that again.

I meditated, and think it’s worthwhile to mention that I cried throughout the session- for various reasons. I cried for the sorrow I felt for all of the dead people and their families and I also cried for the gratefulness I feel when I think about my life and marriage (I was worried about becoming a widow for years, still am at times).

I went to the cave I go to when I want to see loved ones who have passed.

My mom was there, and so was my uncle Bob.

My uncle looked young, like the age he was when he died- around 22. He had dark hair and dark eyebrows and big eyes that resemble my living uncles’ eyes.

But then he looked old. His hair and eyebrows were white- like my uncle Joe, his lookalike brother.

While we all stood there, the realization of lost time hit me hard, and I began to cry harder.

When I think about the deaths that plague my mind, I always get so sad for the dead person who never gets to meet future family members or make memories. And I also get sad for the family- knowing at every milestone their brother- or son- or whoever are missing out- on all these moments and time.

I never thought that was me but it is. I missed out on knowing my uncle. He had a girlfriend, who (I’ve heard) loved him very much. Would they be married? Have kids? What would those cousins be like?

And he never got to know me, or my sisters. All our life, growing up, was my mom thinking of her brother missing out on our birthday parties and milestones, and hers too? He’s missed so much. And I’ve blown it off my whole life, thinking that I escaped the sorrow.

It’s Friday, and a snow day, and I’ve been crying most of the day. Grieving an uncle I never really knew.

I think I’ve been carrying my mom’s grief.

Thank you tears for finally releasing it ❤