Tag: Support

I’ll Have What I’m Having.

 

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) offers this definition of Recovery:

“Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual
achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.”

My personal journey through sobriety and long-term recovery has changed many times over the last eight or nine years.
It is interesting to look back and think about all of the different turns and paths that I have taken when it comes to my own journey.
My first few years were spent in Celebrate Recovery. Over time, I would begin to feel like my personal needs were changing. So naturally, I would begin to change what I was doing.
At some point things transitioned and I moved over to focusing mostly on the principles of Al-anon.
Presently, I only attend Al-anon occasionally- meaning when my stress or emotional levels are screaming for it.
I still love everything CR stands for, but I don’t go to Celebrate Recovery often. I don’t  benefit from doing step studies at this point. In the future, I would love to be called to lead a small group or start a new CR somewhere, and I am already pumped about the mental health additions being implemented into the program. If I am asked or am feeling pulled toward a particular thing, I will speak or share with groups, but I don’t go anymore on a regular basis.

My point is, this is my life; my recovery.
I go day to day living out my personal sober journey and adjust my sails as needed.
For me that means that I maintain with Jesus as my guide; He is my sustainer, and my source of strength;
I try to be mindful of things and make sure that I am always moving in a direction that resembles a forward motion.

and my Recovery doesn’t look like yours. 
Yours, should not look like mine.

In my opinion, when it comes to being in “Recovery” there are really only two
central requirements: 

1.) You have to cultivate humility.
This is true for all of us.
We can’t really move on if we don’t have a realistic view or opinion of ourselves.
We really need to know who we are, what our limitations are, what we need to work on, what our needs are and what works and what doesn’t in order work the rest of our recovery.
We can’t do these things if our grandiose view of ourselves causes us to come to the conclusion that we don’t feel like we have any room for change or need for improvement; this hinders us from admitting our wrongs, or our faults, and eventually we will just be right back where we started.
Stay humble.

 

2.) Remain willing.
– Willingness to learn.
In order to grow, we have to be open to learning. We can learn from mentors or really anyone with wisdom to share. Read things. Look things up. If you have questions, ask. Keep pushing new information in, and all of the old crap, that doesn’t work (evidenced by the pile of mess that became our lives) will be overwritten with new stuff.
-Willingness to accept.
We are willing to accept things that we can’t change. We accept what is. We learn to accept the consequences of our actions despite whether or not we like them or if it makes us feel warm and fuzzy. We learn to accept feelings; positive and negative. (That doesn’t mean it will be easy, or pretty, it just means that we accept what we are experiencing at the time.)
-Willingness to examine.
Listen. Our way might work, but there may be a better way. Or, a way that is better for us. We have to be willing to take some time to examine things; things we can work on, things that we are doing pretty good with and things that we might need to talk about .Examine it all, regularly, and honestly. Get to know who you are.
-Willingness to take care.
Taking care of ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally will go a long way toward our sobriety and our overall recovery. Rest, sleep, eat good things. Have some quiet time; force some time into your life to reflect or do whatever it is that you need to do to recharge. Do that.
-Willingness to communicate.
This one is tough, but can be the difference between the beginning of a breakdown or facing some hard things and continuing moving forward. It isn’t easy to voice what we are feeling, or needing, or interpreting, but we really need to learn to do this. Don’t keep things all bottled up, unanswered, unspoken, or just simmering somewhere. You will get better at it with implementation & practice.
-Willingness to interact.
Your support team. My support team was small, it still is and they weren’t the people I was expecting to make up what is now, the best support team eva. We have to learn how to let ourselves interact a little bit. Get back out into the world, so that we can learn how to function as an integrated part of society like the worthy and respectable human citizens that we are. We can do this.
Willingness will keep you moving in the right direction.

One more unsolicited opinion:

We have a common thread.
It is so cool to think that we have experienced the same types of feelings, and have been in eerily similar trenches where where the darkness feels the same.

We are all on the other side supporting each other.

We wait to encourage the next person who rises their head above that darkness; who are scared to death to peek out over the horizon.
We are there. when they dig their way out. 

Let us try to focus more on this commonality,
because it is much more important and powerful than any of the differences that we may have.

You’re a Great Mom.

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If I fall asleep during this post, I guess it won’t get published like I had hoped, because I wanted to share what is on my heart this morning. 

It is 9:05 a.m. and I can barely keep my eyes open.
By all mom standards, it is one of those days.
I am listening for my washer to stop, keeping one ear open for my flu sick tween, and have a loosely made tentative ‘plan’ for my Tuesday that includes making phone calls and other miscellaneous errands.

I am also so grateful to be almost 30 weeks along with our 3rd boy, but I don’t sleep anymore. We are at that point.
Last night, our oldest boy began throwing up at around 3 a.m.
………..Not that I had fallen into REM sleep by then, but it was feeling pretty great to lay down in between trips to the bathroom.

The struggle is real to get my off-centered, gravity-challenged behind out of bed, due to SPD (which is always worse at night)
…..but when I heard the pitiful sounds of someone small in my house getting sick, instinct told me that is exactly where I needed to be.
We have been up and down a half-dozen times since the first round at 3 o’clock, and by 7 it was time to get our 2nd boy fed, dressed and happily on the bus to Kindergarten.

Needless to say, this Tuesday is not unlike many of your very own Tuesday mornings. 
I have a news feed full of tired mommy friends who are also dealing with sleepless nights for one reason or another due to sicknesses, illnesses, diseases, and other random sleep-stealing culprits.

I don’t do this mommy thing any better than any one of my friends.

Some of them work outside of the home, some own their own home-based businesses, some work from home, others don’t work according to the typically accepted definition of ‘working’ – but I think we all do our own thing, with our own children, within the confines of our own family dynamics and we do our best. 

Admittedly, I enjoy reading an occasional witty, crude humored blog post from one of the ever so popular mommy bloggers who so eloquently use their sarcasm and what they call ‘realism’  (which to me translates to negativity most of the time)
to describe many of the scenarios that I described above to help other moms not feel like they have to paint pictures of mommyhood with “butterflies and roses” all of the time,
and encourage women to opt to be more ‘real’ about the ups and downs of being a mom…..

Well,  I am all for ‘real’ okay. 
But I am also for staying positive and grateful, and nice. 

We can’t cultivate a healthy type of thinking or mindset by saturating our news feed with cynical but popular (and funny) mommy blog posts all of the time
…………..or by joining Facebook groups of that are swarming with adultsize, judgmental mean girls.

Here’s what I am feeling like I see way too much of: 
**Moms maliciously critiquing other moms for the most ridiculous (none of their business) things.
(Such as: cloth diapering vs. disposable, daycare vs. other, breastfed vs. bottle fed, binky or no binky, co-sleeping or not, attachment parenting or something else, working outside of the home or staying at home, natural birth vs anything else, adoption vs. fostering………etc. etc. etc.)
**Viral blog posts about motherhood that are funny, but always so negative.

That type of mind-set is certainly not what fuels me, doesn’t help me push through a hard day and is not ‘realistic’ to me.

I am not saying that sheets that have been pottied on or bathroom floors that have remnants of 3 am puke on them are in any way, beautiful.

Or that gaining knowledge, info, advice or wisdom from other (nice) mommies is a crappy thing.

Here’s what I think is ‘real’.
We are moms. Quit complaining. It isn’t always pretty. Things don’t always go as planned, We don’t always look pretty and we don’t need to.
Not all days are what many would consider ‘fun’ but that isn’t what it’s all about in the end anyway.

It is about creating a life with these people who look to you for that love – that love that they somehow know you have to offer unconditionally.

It is an important part of who they have become, and who they will blossom into as young adults. So, in all seriousness everything that we do, whether we are feeling recognized or appreciated at the time, matters a whole helluva lot.

Motherhood is always changing— but what never changes….is that we, women,  were created especially for this mommy role; and that is beautiful all of the time. 

We have the ability to keep pushing on despite unforeseen circumstances, being completely exhausted, being in pain, running on fumes with two-day old greasy hair and no recent sleep that qualifies or that falls into the category of anything considered decent. 

We are capable of so much and have so much love to pour out with no questions asked.

While we should definitely maintain our sense of humor about the less ‘beautiful’ side to the ‘joys’ of motherhood, rolling with the punches…

it is SO important to keep a healthy and positive perspective.
It IS a beautiful thing to be gifted the responsibilities that we have taken on in the form of being a mother, and a wife.

To my mommy friends out there please remember that what you are doing is so important.
We don’t always have to have everything together, everything clean, everything washed, ironed, organized, folded or put in its place…and not all mommy opinions spewed to us by other mom’s are one’s that we are obligated to share in, or one’s that we should take to heart. 

We just need to remember how important we are to our individual family unit.

Keep in mind that I am not writing to shove my views or ‘advice’ down your throat or to make you feel guilty if you don’t smile while you steam mop your kitchen.

I am not some mythical domestic mommy goddess….

I just wanted to remind all of my mommy friends how awesome,  important and capable they are.

So when you look into the mirror, don’t define the kind of mommy that you see by any other standard than what God sets and the one that you were made for. YOUR own family.

 

Hey Encourager’s!

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While there may be human paperwork filer’s out there,
there are also so many accepting, loving and kind people out there too.

(I have a feeling there are more than we know,
but they, for some unfortunate reason, aren’t as vocal.)

However, the numbers are growing- there are people who are just as fed up as I am with stigma, hate and people bashing.

I will not be categorized for loving Jesus, and I cannot tolerate hate, and I don’t condone fighting hate, with more hate.

There are so many big hearts out there-
who are willing to reach out to others- and serve others.

So many supporters, advocates, brave souls and enthusiastic people who are so pumped to break barriers……

Keep fighting, keep speaking up, keep encouraging and supporting others!!!

For every person that feels the need to bring someone else down or marginalize them for whatever self-proclaimed reason—-

there are even more of us out there who are ready to say………….No more.
That’s not working!

I know who ultimately wins in the end, and I am confident in the Hope that I have. 

In the meantime, I also believe that
Hope always drowns out fear, and Love always trumps hate——–always.

 

The Husband Series: A Boring Future.

 

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At this point guys- we have gone from dating, to him realizing that I had a serious problem, us having massive fights and emotionally driven issues that led to my eventual decision to try to get sober and learn about Recovery.

At the point where I began going to meetings- I was figuring out who I was and why I used so much and how incredible life could be sober.

I also felt like this photo! Yes it’s funny, but as I changed I really went through a time where
I didn’t feel like myself anymore

– and among many other things–

I worried that my Zach would not
like the ‘new’ me.

Passionate Work.

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Not everyone gets to this place, or has the opportunity.
Often, the people who I meet who have, have stumbled upon this gift as a result of going through some really tough things through some self-revelation.
But they come out the other side, and they just know.

It is an incredible thing and it is a rare thing.
You experience that ‘ah-ha’ moment.
You just know.
Maybe it came in a progressive or subtle way,
or maybe it  hit you like a ton of bricks in the face,
but you know.
You can feel it tugging your heart and tingling in your bones!
It gets your blood pumping.
You feel driven and focused.
And you are grateful.

You have identified what you are truly passionate about.
Now what?

Simply put:
You figure out a way to get yourself out there.
You take risks. Lots of risky vulnerable risks.
You figure out a way to make sure that your passion overflows in all of the right places.
You saturate yourself with as much knowledge as you can squish into your brain.
You acquire as many tools as possible.
You share what you know with other people.

Discovering your passion and using it for something is not synonymous with ease.
Even when you are in route on a road that you know you are suppose to be on,
one that you are desperately passionate about, it doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing.
There will be road blocks, detours, and disappointments along the way.
Working passionately is not all whimsical and dreamy.
Some days are really, really, difficult.

What can help us to stay dedicated to our passion, or our cause?
How do you keep your eye on the truth?
What is it that will keep you going; ignoring all of the doubt, whose main job is to hold you back?
What can help keep us enthusiastic about all of the possibilities and the future?

1. Remind yourself why you started. (How do you keep your eye on the truth?)
When I feel that nasty feeling that tries to pull me down, or slow me down, I just remind myself of why I started.
I ask God to help me stay focused and confident. I remind myself of my ‘why’.
My original goal is to reach out to people who might need some encouraging words; I care about the hearts of those who are broken. I remind myself of this when I start feeling like I am beginning to doubt what I am doing.
The truth is, I started to help people who really want to give up. I want them to keep going.

2. Pay attention to the signs. (What is it that will keep you going?)
A few things keep me going. God never fails to provide me with much needed confirmation at the right times.
These tiny confirmations have come in many different forms.
Some days it is a nice or encouraging compliment from a friend.
It could be an email from a stranger or a comment from an acquaintance, and some days it is as simple as a feeling.
I also make sure to take care of myself. If I am not healthy or focused, it is so easy to begin to feel defeated.

3. When you don’t see signs, keep going anyway. (How can we stay enthusiastic?)
I really have to keep probing and creating goals for the future. There are so many ways to help others and so many people who need encouragement. I cannot hinge my ambition on consistent, well-timed confirmations. Yes, they’re nice but that shouldn’t be why I keep moving and working. I don’t work for recognition.
As long as I know that I am moving in alignment with where I feel God leading me, I might not always get pats on the back. I don’t get a count of how many people that I might have offered hope to. I don’t get to check the stats on how many hearts may have absorbed something that I have done,
and that has to be okay. 
I think that is the reality of life.
It is the truth about having a passion or a calling.
Isn’t that what passion is?

You continue to work hard, and to remain passionate, and faithful,
even when you don’t get the opportunity to see results or effects that you might have had on someone.

In my case, it is all about giving back.
It is about using and exhausting my abilities to help others
and continuing to praise the Lord for the opportunity.

What are you passionate about?

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