My AIP Life on the Couch

It’s been an odd week.

On Sunday, I picked my youngest up from an overnight birthday party at noon. The mom, a good friend of mine, warned me that he might need a nap that day.

On the way home he told me his whole body was sore from playing Ghosts in the Graveyard. I am truly sorry if you don’t know what this is, it’s a staple of my entire childhood and I feel immense joy whenever kids these days get to enjoy it.

He crashed right when we got home and didn’t wake up until 7pm that night when we got him up to eat. He had the body aches/chills/etc and it was apparent that this was more than just exhaustion.

He stayed home on Monday, while I got ready and drove to work.

It was a weird morning. I had to cover another teacher’s class for a few minutes because her son was sick and she had to wait for her mom to come and babysit. She got there earlier than planned and I was able to see my first group for almost the entire time.

The next session was fine, but I got suddenly sick during the following group. I hung around for a bit- thinking it would pass– but it did not. I left and all I could think of driving home was how badly I wanted to go to sleep. And I did. And now it’s Wednesday, and I’m still on the couch achy and exhausted.

The weird thing is that since I got diagnosed with RA, I rarely get sick or catch bugs that are going around. Even working in a school, where it’s so common to get sick every fall with every new germ- that was never me.

Maybe my immune system was too busy being in overdrive? Maybe as my gut heals, my immune system will level out a bit and while it sucks to get sick, maybe just maybe this could be a good sign?

I’m feeling lots of hope with this. Feeling anything but hope cannot be an option. I have to keep my mental thoughts high- or else I know this won’t work for me.

So, yay!!! It’s working!!! Now if I could just get off this couch 😉

Day 1131 & My AIP Life

This coming week will be week 4 of being on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet.

On one hand, I can’t believe that I haven’t had caffeine & sugar, and gluten & dairy for this long. On the other hand, I can’t believe I’m not really feeling any different 😬 I would have thought that I’d feel amazing by now.

I keep telling myself that my gut’s been leaky since at least 2013/2014 & that it’s just going to take time to heal.

On the flip side, I’m eating some super delicious foods. I think my tastebuds have changed and I highly enjoy the most simple things like chicken soup.

Eating meat has been fine. I’d still rather have beans. But health comes first.

I think my favorite thing in the world is fresh spinach leaves. I eat them with everything & in smoothies. I love to steam the leaves with cauliflower rice & coconut amino/ginger seasoning. But really, they’re good with everything, and delicious hot or cold.

My workouts these past few weeks have been few & far between. I’m spending a ton more time in the kitchen preparing meals. Also, since I love sweets, I usually spend hours on the weekend making AIP approved goodies. I know that if I don’t have them on hand, I’ll end up cheating, so it’s mandatory.

I’m not hating my time in the kitchen. It feels good to cook & eat fresh & I’m loving all the produce on display.

It’s easy to see now, how my struggle and subsequent abstinence of alcohol has helped me with this diet (Geez I hate that word, protocol, instead maybe?). The alcohol journey has taught me to be more receptive and respectful to my body when examining how things make me feel. No more dragging myself through horse shit- that ship has sailed.

So it helps to be honest with myself and that’s a big part of what I’ve learned.

So thank you, alcohol journey. You truly are the gift that keeps giving.

Death will be the Life of Me

Death is a trigger for me, and I’m not really sure why.

I only say this because of how impacted I’ve been, my entire life, by deaths of even people I don’t know.

I don’t know why death is such a huge thing for me. I had a safe childhood and didn’t lose anyone close to me until I was an adult.

The only significant event happened when I was about 5. My mom’s brother Bob died of cancer at age 21, back when I was a toddler. My mom had a picture of him in his casket. When we came across it, the subject of death came up. She told me that everyone dies at some point.

This was so upsetting to me, that it’s still a strong memory from my childhood.

I had a friend, Jonathon P, pass away at the end of our 8th grade year. He was more of an acquaintance to me, but we were in the same friend group. While his passing was a shock, it was due to a chronic illness, something I had no clue about beforehand. I remember being sad & confused, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The next death affected me for many years. A good friend of my sister’s lost her husband in a car accident. He was a teacher and going to meet with his principal on Martin Luther King Day, when the rest of the school was closed. His car hit black ice and slammed into a tow truck, dying instantly. He left behind a wife, young son and a six month old baby girl.

How could this happen? I looked up to this couple so much, they both had it all, and having just gotten married, I aspired to be like them.

At the time, my husband was driving almost an hour to and from work. We often talked on his drive home, and I always had a fear in the back of my mind- he could crash while we were talking. I can’t say this fear had a huge impact, but it was there.

I’m happy to report that this friend ended up finding another partner a few years later, had a third child and has a very happy life right now and has had for a long time because this happened about 20 years ago.

One thing I’m realizing, is that death has been an issue with a big impact even long before 2014- MY year of loss and deaths.

But why?

Why do certain deaths affect me so much more than others?

What makes one death so much more awful and heavy than the others?

Why do some news stories, like that poor teen who died on the ride in Orlando recently, make me cry like I saw it myself, or like I know the family?

And all the others, like Jack & Kathy, who I wrote about, and thought about for months.

I think this “death fear” inside me is prohibiting my body’s healing.

When I went to my 1st Reiki class in October, I declared that my body was going to heal itself! I proclaimed it to all, and talked to the teacher about purging trauma- even trauma from a past life. And in doing this exact thing, I became obsessed with the Kathy and Jack murder, right in the midst of doing wall sits on my lunch (wall sits help purge trauma, my teacher said..).

Since then, death keeps coming up and up.

I think that I really need to work on this… I need to change my perspective. Death isn’t final, I know that, but that’s not what bugs me.

People losing people bothers me. Yeah, death isn’t final, but if I ever lose a kid and you say that to me, you can expect to get punched in the face.

Death is final, and it’s sad. The books that I study say otherwise. It’s just an illusion, it’s not even real- they say.

Okay, I want to be more awakened, but seriously. If I lost an immediate family member, no amount of knowledge or beliefs is going to make me not miss them any less, or be less angry or sad over circumstances.

So how do I keep death out of my living life? I mean, all year long now I’ve been affected by the deaths of people I don’t even know.

So why does this matter? I’m trying to heal my inflammation and have the belief that illness is a manifestation of suppressed feelings and emotions. I’ve been on the autoimmune protocol diet for a few weeks, with little relief to my inflammation. Physical therapy, nor my weekly injection seem to bring much relief, if any.

All this death stuff came out after I declared my intention of helping my body heal itself. I have to believe that it’s somehow connected.

Writing this out has helped a bit. Now it’s time to ponder. Any words of advice is appreciated ❤️

Physical Pain, Mental Pain, is it all the Same?

It’s a sunny but chilly Saturday morning, here in the northern state of Michigan. There was a dusting of snow on the deck when I woke up, yuck. It’s April and we are all ready for the weather to break.

For my 45th birthday a few weeks ago, my family got me tickets to something called Bovine Therapy. They’re all coming too and we will have an hour to snuggle with cows! I’m really excited for this, but do wish it was going to be a little warmer today, the high is only 40.

My recent posts have been a lot about the AIP diet I’m on, or trying to be on. I figured I’d update and want to write about a big “A-Ha” moment I had yesterday.

The entire week was an AIP success, in my eyes at least. For the past several days, I’ve steered clear of gluten, caffeine, sugar, nuts, beans and legumes, rice, seeds, nightshades and a few other things. Caffeine and sugar are the big ones for me to give up- I have an addiction.

The first time I cheated was yesterday. It started with lunch. I had Panera and had peppers in my soup and parmesan cheese in my salad. Last night I had a Larabar (all natural ingredients but has cocoa and nuts), an oatmeal cream pie and 3 little Easter chocolate eggs.

My pain had been noticeably decreased the past few days, so I wondered if I would wake up today in more pain, but my hand is still about the same. I didn’t take pain meds upon awakening, that’s good for me. While I’m happy this “binge” didn’t seem to affect me, I’m eager to get back on track today. Additionally, I have been picking up ingredients here and there all week so I plan to make some yummy meals and sweet treats this weekend.

Nothing feels as good as eating an AIP compliant meal or dessert that I find absolutely delicious. I haven’t found a ton, yet, but feel like I’m adapting recipes to fit my liking and this is becoming easier the more I learn and practice. I was stoked to make a chicken and cauliflower rice dish with coconut aminos and ginger seasoning that tasted just like a yummy Asian dish. I had never cooked with spices like that before and was over the moon excited. I eyeballed the spices and when I made it again a few days later, I put WAY too much ginger. It was strong and not great, but you live and learn, right?

Ok, so back to my epiphany.

First, I feel that it’s important to say that for awhile now, I have a belief that the illnesses/sicknesses we have in our body is a direct result of suppressed emotions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my inflamed hand and scratched my head until it was raw because I can’t figure out what I’m holding onto.

As I cut out sugar this week, I felt like I was looking at it like I look at alcohol. No, I shouldn’t have it- it will come with loads of consequences that aren’t really worth the two second taste of it. So CAN I eat it? Yes! Is it worth the consequences? No. This helped me especially when I came across unexpected goodies at work or home.

So, yesterday morning my sister and I were talking on the phone and decided to draw a card from our spiritual deck to give me a message for the day.

The card was called, “Let Go” and talked about letting go of addictions. I told her, “Hey that’s perfect! This means I’m right on track, I AM letting go!” Then I told her about how my thinking had seemed to change and I was able to think about sugar like alcohol.

Then she said something that I have never considered that absolutely blew me away.

“Isn’t it funny, how the very first coping skill, the first addiction, food, is now the thing that you are almost being forced to overcome now?”

My jaw dropped. Food has always been an issue with me, always. I found life hacks to get around this imprisonment, most notably having irreversible bariatric surgery ten years ago.

Immediately after the surgery, I felt a freedom I had never felt before. I no longer had to think about dieting or what I was going to eat- I simply couldn’t eat the things that were killing me, and it was an awesome feeling!

What I didn’t acknowledge is that transfer addiction is real, and I already loved my alcohol a great deal. With the stomach surgery, the alcohol effect is much more severe and it’s common for us to become alcoholics. And I did.

You know the rest.

Geez, everything truly is connected I’m realizing more and more. I think that as I purge caffeine, sugar, etc, I’ll be able to work through any emotional stuff that comes up.

I don’t know why this was so mind blowing to me, typing it out makes it seem really obvious, but it wasn’t. Not to me, anyways.

I mean, I’m working on my diet 100% because of my inflammation and the hope of decreasing and getting off the medication I’m on for RA. I hadn’t considered the mental and emotional effects.

I’m still trying to digest this and figure out what it means. I guess I really need to pay attention to what triggers me to cheat and go from there.

This truly makes me more confident that complete healing is quite attainable if I keep at it.

Namaste ❤

Little Triggers

Several weeks ago, I was reading Gabby Bernstein’s new book, Happy Days. Early in the book, she talks a lot about triggers. I pondered the subject for a while and thought of my triggers. Family parties and family drama was a big one, or used to be. Now I know how to take care of my mental health and can handle these times with little to not stress or lingering emotions– usually. There were some other triggers I thought of as well, but they all seemed to be a thing of the past. Yep! I joyfully exclaimed to myself. I really don’t have any triggers.

Boy, was I wrong.

The following week, I was at a Happy Hour get together with friends. They were drinking but it wasn’t the alcohol that triggered me. A random topic came up that made me feel an incredible amount of shame. It had to do with a family situation, that was related to the topic, but I didn’t share it with my friends. I just sat there feeling shameful for something that wasn’t really even mine.

The next week I talked about it with my BFF from the group, one who is also reading Gabby’s book. I told her that I really don’t know why it made me feel so shameful. “Because it shows that you’re not perfect?” She asked. I thought about it and agreed, that must be it.

It still bothered me after the conversation and I tried so hard to understand my feelings. The conclusion I came to is that actually, People thinking that I’m perfect is my trigger. It’s always bothered me when people say things out of jealousy or envy, especially if I feel it’s not true. So in the Happy Hour situation, I felt like I was hiding something, even though it wouldn’t have even been appropriate to share my story at the time. It felt like a lie– but just would have been so weird and awkward had I said something.

So that consumed a few weeks. Now death is on my mind again.

There is a horrific story from Florida. A 14 year old fell off a ride and died.

This story affected my mind and emotions HUGELY since it happened. At first I thought it was because I have a child around the same age. When I saw a picture of the young man who passed, my emotions became even stronger. I realized later it was probably because my kiddo has a close friend who resembles him.

While off work this week, this story has been in the back of my mind, just like the murder of Kathy Radtke and Jack Keyes. I’m crying for him, and hope he felt no pain. Also crying for his parents, his father found out on social media and the friends who he was with– who will surely be scarred forever- along with the workers at the park.

This time I didn’t give it my energy. Anytime the sad thoughts consumed me, I blessed them and sent them away. I meditated on it and sent blessings to the family. Although part of me wanted to look up the details- I didn’t, and didn’t think I could handle it.

Yesterday a young woman lost her life in a car accident not far from my house. All from a driver not paying attention. The other occupants of her car were fine. But the woman, 28, perished in an instant. Here one second, gone the next.

So I started thinking about the young man again and actually looked at his mom’s and coach’s facebook pages. Some of it made me feel better, and some of it made me feel worse.

I realized that a quirk of mine is to look up Facebook pages of dead people or their relatives to see the awful posts. I don’t know why I do it, death has been a messy topic since my mom told me everyone dies when I was five. I then had a meltdown, and we never spoke about it again. It might explain why she always let me have pets, and always claimed that it helps us learn about death.

The feelings of sadness consumed me yesterday and I couldn’t get the young man and his family out of my head.

I couldn’t sleep and while my mind was running, I remembered the poor little boy who got eaten by an alligator at Disneyland back in 2016. I realized that people dying on vacation, especially children, is a trigger of mine. I simply can’t even imagine coming home without one of my family members- especially a child. But it happens. And life goes on.

Then I remembered something. Early in our marriage, back in 2002, hubby’s (healthy) grandma died of the flu while on a cruise.

This was the first relatable death in my life. This was the first time I saw someone who I had conversed with and had a relationship with in a casket. I remember that it was so hard for me to go in there the first time at her wake and being so upset. Honestly, I hadn’t been in the family very long at this point and wasn’t super close to her, but it was still so hard regardless. Incidentally, she’s buried at the same cemetery as Kathy Radtke.

So I guess these triggers are causing my empathic mind to go crazy. I’ve tried everything this week; meditation, chord plucking, releasing, grounding, etc. It’s still on my mind and I think it’s more hormones than anything at this point, so time should help.

The good part of it is that my sadness did NOT want to be alone yesterday, like it sometimes does. I used my sadness to spend extra time with my kiddos and thanked the deceased for the increased awareness of how precious our time here really is.

Tomorrow I go back to work. Sometimes students come back from a not-so-ideal break at home. I’m usually not one of them, but tomorrow I will be.

Not sure if I mentioned this recently, but the sewer/water project we have going on has been a total nightmare trying to get them to finish. The company is going under and they are getting aggressive with hubby trying to collect the last bit of money. We will pay them when it’s finished, but they supposedly put a lien on our house. They have been just an awful company to deal with (see pics – this is just one of the problems- so much incompetence).

I think we have it figured out now and have others who agreed to finish up the few things that need to be done. But, by the time it’s all done, the original company may sue us, but I’m pretty sure we’ll win (we’ve covered our butts and hubby has kept immaculate records on all conversations, etc). This project started in October and was supposed to take 2-3 weeks!

So all week home, I listened to hubby on the phone with various people and lawyers. All week workers were coming and going with various estimates. It was a tad stressful and I’ll be able to relate to some of the kids tomorrow. We’re part of the “school is an escape” club.

I have to stop now, my hand is bad today and it hurts to type this. AIP went okay, but I just practiced so I didn’t cut out things 100% yet. The good news is that my family likes my dinners MUCH better AIP style! (They’re used to me making quinoa, tofu, all those disgusting things, LOL).

I was going to start tomorrow but might put it off. I want to be well planned with meals and ingredients but not sure that’s going to happen today.

So until I try this, I have no right complaining about my hand. It’s time to put down the donuts!

Namaste ❤ and if anyone has any advice for me when I have overwhelming empathic thoughts- please spam me with them 🙂

My AIP Life

If you don’t know what AIP is, consider yourself lucky 🍀

Autoimmune Protocol is what it stands for and I talked a lot about it in my last post.

I haven’t been fully on it yet. I’m waiting for all my supplements to get here, so just kind of practicing until then 🤷🏼‍♀️

I ate meat for the first time in 3 years. I was kind of anxious about it all day (had to put the whole chicken in the crockpot. Pulled out bags of organs and actually considered saving to cook and eat, organ meats are highly recommended when healing the gut😵‍💫😬), but it wasn’t that bad. I had leftovers the next day and actually enjoyed it.

I’m going to eat leftover chicken & avocado on an AIP approved pita. I started thinking about my meals and taking pics and sharing them.

So I guess now it’s time to make a YouTube channel?

It’ll be all about my AIP life and by 2023, I’ll be sharing my successes with my RA and PsA inflammation and cheering on those affected by autoimmune crap.

I’ll tell them how it took me nearly 10 years to accept and embrace the AIP lifestyle.

I’ll tell them how I could quit drinking alcohol, after decades of abuse, but couldn’t bare the thought of quitting caffeine or sugar.

I’ll show them how easy it is to make delicious AIP approved meals and snacks.

I’ll show them my workouts stats, that appeared to BOOM after starting the AIP.

I’ll share how much more healthy my family is now that our meals are less processed, and more balanced.

I’ll share how well my body likes AIP and how years of loose skin finally settled and is now tightly formed around robust muscles- all without surgery, of course.

I’ll share how clear headed I am and how my memory went from dull to wonderful.

As I write this, I’m realizing that the AIP life might be alright.

It’s easy for my stupid ego, or Betsy, to get loud when my doubts pop up.

Fortunately, the past ten years have prepared me exponentially for this. I am so ready for my body to heal.

Namaste ♥️

This was lunch after I posted this. Hubby had some and said, YUMMMMMMY!!!! ⬇️

Betsy, Shut Up!

Ahhhhhhhh! Today is the first day of spring break! It’s about 6:30am on Saturday morning and I’m eagerly waiting for next week.

Tomorrow is my oldest’s birthday, he’ll be 19.

Monday is my three year sober anniversary. Three years ago, on my kiddo’s birthday, was the last time I’ve had a sip of alcohol. I haven’t been thinking about it too much, to be honest.

About a month ago, I had a hair analysis done to check my body for toxins and nutrients. I’m trying to figure out how to help this flair in my hand/wrist. It’s been two years! I remember, it first got bad at the start of the pandemic in spring of 2020. I went over the results with the nutritionist, who told me from the beginning that they really don’t do full elimination diets anymore. I was pumped. The first thing I said to her before committing to the test is, “I really have no interest in doing an elimination diet.” I had been there, and it never worked out. I was never consistent or without cheats, and never was successful with it. All it caused was stress and anxiety.

Her recommendations did not make me happy. She wants me to do a detox diet for 14 days and then the autoimmune protocol diet for 30 days.

I’m slowly coming to terms with this. It’s truly what I need to do, if I’m serious about helping myself. The 14 day detox diet is rough. Zero sugar. Not even fruit. Something about “starving the cells.” I believe in it.

So… i’m trying to prepare this weekend. There’s no better time, and it’s not even taking up summer break.

I’ve always wanted to go to a wellness retreat or a rehab facility that encompasses the “whole” person when getting healthy. Meetings, journaling, mediation, yoga, healthy meals, loads of sleep, and self-care up the wazoo! I’m going to try to simulate this experience at my house next week. I want to do all those things and will actually have the time.

The worst part thinking about all this is coming to terms with the fact that I’m going to start eating meat again. It was a heavy decision, and has been slightly haunting me, but I think it’s the only way I’ll be able to do this diet. I know of vegans who do the autoimmune diet, but it’s so incredibly overwhelming to me with all the restrictions, I don’t feel that I can get adequate nutrition with the current knowledge I have on it. I’ll need to cut out beans, legumes, soy, and a lot of vegetarian staples of mine. I hope I don’t start having nightmares about eating my pets.

I feel a little full circle-ish. When I was 37, after I was diagnosed with RA, I first learned and tried an elimination diet. This was the first time in my life that I was forced to look at my alcohol consumption. Heck, now that I think about it, this could have opened the door to my sober curiosity. I wasn’t successful with the diet, or quitting alcohol back then, but it certainly stands out as my first attempt.

This was a couple months before my mom died, and a couple years before I would look at myself as having a drinking problem.

Now it’s been eight years and I’ve successfully quit alcohol. So why on earth does this stupid temporary diet scare me so much? It’s so frustrating!

I feel caught up in the cycle. Betsy has been running my mind since the conversation with the nutritionist, trying to talk me out of it.

I know this is what I need to do. I don’t know why I have so much anxiety about it. I think I’m afraid to fail. Especially after spending a lot of money on the test and now on supplements she’s recommending to heal my gut. If I truly want to get better and maybe even get off my RA meds, I have to give this a shot! I have to change my thinking. This is what Betsy has been saying:

You aren’t going to be able to eat anything.

This is going to be so hard and you’re going to feel like shit.

This won’t help your pain.

You won’t have any energy for your workouts.

You tried this before, what makes you think you can do it now?

You get the point, man she is mean!!

I’ve been trying to put a positive spin on it:

I’m looking forward to pampering myself.

I’m so lucky that I have the whole week off and can focus on starting strong.

I’m looking forward to taking a break of my tough workouts and enjoying some leisurely walks and gentle yoga.

I’m going to feel so much better!

I’m excited for a week of self-care.

If I can quit drinking alcohol, then I can do anything.

There are lots of foods that I can still eat.

It’s not nearly as hard as my brain wants me to believe.

Some things never change, eh? I sort of feel propelled back to 2014. I mean, I know I’ve grown a ton since then, but somehow have reverted to my old self. I think it’s because I’m scared. I have a lot of fears of failing this again.

I’m worthy of eating totally clean.

And best of all, I’m two days away from my three year date! Although I won’t be celebrating with cake, I’ll be celebrating my growth, knowledge and continuously improving health with healthy habits.

I think Monday deserves a little shopping trip! Maybe a fresh spring outfit, and/or make-up and maybe even a mani and/or pedi. IDK what Monday will entail, it’ll depend on my mood and energy that day, but I’ll try to find a way to treat myself. I think that’s so important.

In the meantime, if anyone has any AIP ideas or recipes, please spam me with them! I have books on it but they’re about 10 years old and I’m hoping for some updated recipes.

Namaste ❤

Day #1095

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Day 1077

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Q- Newbie here. How do you “let it all go”!?
I’ve had some deeply hurtful and frustrating events w supposed friends and family happen in the last few yrs. I thought I let it go but it comes back as more hurt, frustration and resentment. I can’t confront the people for the hurt they continue to cause. For the sake of my peace and that of my loving wonderful husband and kids how do I let this crap go and keep it gone!
Is there a ritual or spell that may help me let it go for good?
I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t feel desperate and I don’t want to be lashing out at others in hurt.
Thank you!!

A- Not sure about a spell, but if you can learn to realize that EVERYTHING people do, are 1000% about themselves- have nothing to do with you- even when it seems like it has EVERYTHING to do with you, then you’ll be free from the stress it causes. Dealing with certain people SUCKS, but it is easier when you can separate yourself and not take things personally. Also, try to remember that the most difficult people in your life are here to teach you some important life lessons. That mentality also helps when dealing with the insane 💙

Unblocked and Writing Again

Day #1067

Last week I found my writing pen! I’ve been blocked for several months and haven’t had any good writing sessions since school started. I’ve tried to write, but it hasn’t felt right and no matter what I did book #3 has been plagued with plot holes and changes. This has been much different than books 1 & 2 where my ideas flowed freely.

I started writing my story, Nova, in 2015, but it was a slow go and I can count the number of times I actually sat down and wrote on one hand. I had a short story published in spring of 2020 (in a book of short stories) and that gave me the motivation and drive I needed to get back to my story. And I did.

The summer of 2020 was empty, sad and magical. I remember one scorching day in July. I was out feeling the water in our pool. The kids were all inside on video games, where they’d been the entire summer, it seemed. Normally, our summer would be filled with scout trips, camping and other activities- but everything was cancelled and we were home for months. I felt so, incredibly sad out there alone on that hot day. I listened to the neighborhood and noted the empty silence. Normally, in July, our street was filled with the sounds of kids– or summer. I think I finally heard a lawn mower in the distance, and that helped me feel more normal, but I’ll never forget that moment and the emptiness that accompanied it.

The entire summer was spent home, and I wrote my story nearly every single day, sometimes up to 8-10 hours. My intuition helped me greatly and continues to help me create this enormous project. I learned to majorly trust my gut, which says this will not be one novel– but a trilogy.

At first it was overwhelming, three novels? I’ve never even written one. But I knew the story, like the back of my hand, and how I wanted to tell it. The first book takes place chronologically after the second one. I don’t know why it has to be told like this, I just know it does, and everytime doubt crosses my mind, I choose to trust.

I finished the bare bones of books 1 and 2 in summer of 2020. It was pure magic. Hours would fly by while I wrote and many times the things that the main characters were going through, would happen to me in real life. It was odd, but kind of awesome. Although, as I write book 3 and writing the biggest climax of the book, I’m worried that some of it will happen. Maybe that’s why I’m blocked- who knows.

Back to my writing pen, which I picked up sometime last week. My third book, Supernova, is finally flowing again! I had two different plots written out and couldn’t decide. A third story line came out of nowhere and I think I’ll be able to use it and have decided which plot to connect it to. I liked both of them, and couldn’t choose, but it looks like only one will work with this new story line, so hopefully I can keep moving this forward.

I used to be determined to get this trilogy published, no matter what, because (as I would always say), I didn’t want my music to die inside me (a Wayne Dyer quote). I feel differently two years later. I’d love to finish this project, but there’s no deadline. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life working on the bare bones of this story, but who cares? It makes me happy to write it, so I’m just gonna keep writing and hoping that I can continue to access the amazing ideas that my soul comes up with ❤

February is my Comfort Food

Despite a boat load of snow and a blast of arctic air, today is a pretty great day. First of all, it’s Friday and it’s a snow day for all of us (except hubby- who is bummed- but that’s the small price to pay for working from home so I don’t feel bad for him- AND he doesn’t have to drive). Secondly, next week is mid-winter break. Now, this sounds way better than it actually is. For me, mid-winter break is having Monday off. For my kids, it’s having Monday and Tuesday off. Some districts around us have all next week off. I wish we did too, but it all evens out in the end. I’m happily gobbling up my four day weekend!

While February has been a source of comfort these past few years, I’m thinking about my mid-winter break a few years ago. I was in the drinking cycle, and it was a Monday or Tuesday. The kids and I were off, hubby was at work (before Covid he had to drive in). I was cleaning up and feeling bored, so I decided to finish the box of wine I had in the garage. There was only enough for a glass or two, so I thought I would just have that then stop. But I didn’t. There were more like 3 or 4 glasses left, and after it was all gone, I wanted more. I drove to CVS buzzed and bought more. I wondered if the cashier could tell I was lit and felt weird and/or bad buying it. I’m kind of surprised I remember that part.

I came home and you can guess the rest. It was probably like 2:00 or 3:00, and I was passed out in my bed by 6pm. I don’t think I had dinner or anything, but woke back up around 9:00 and felt bummed that I missed/wasted the day. I also felt bad for being passed out drunk when hubby got home, but played it off like it was no big deal. It was a huge deal, for me anyways.

I still think of that day whenever I think of “day drinking.” Fortunately, it’s a horrible memory for me and just those words bring me right back to the loneliness and misery of being in active addiction.

So why is February like comfort food? The very first time I quit drinking was on February 11th. The second time I quit was also in February (I think). The third time was in March, but it’s the same time of year so this late winter/early spring is clumped together in a positive spin.

The wet, frigid air is my hope and newfound happiness. Sort of weird, I know.

The wet, slushy streets remind me of walking off those intense cravings in early sobriety. It was cold, but I felt so alive, such a different feeling than the usual.. numbness.

I remember how it felt good, to feel good.

The rare but mild and sunny days remind me of the treasure that’s waiting in the wings- the lazy and glorious days of summer. The thought of summer without alcohol is as golden as a surprise Friday snow day. This is so strange but real.

To me, February is shedding my skin and making space for the new and wonderful.