Reflection on the early years

If you follow me, you know I’ve been sharing my recovery journey. The good and the bad. I do so in order to keep myself accountable. I also do so in the hopes that I may reach just one person who suffers from any type of addiction, mental illness or one who struggles to face life, who feels useless or worthless, or just plain overwhelmed.

Just one…

Recovery in any form is a daily process. Some days this process comes very easy, others not so much, but I’m finding the more solid my foundation, the easier walking this path of recovery really is.

For myself, my solid foundation is rooted in God’s love for me, but I didn’t find this until later in life. I wasn’t raised in the church. What exposure I did have was warped and didn’t set the examples like it should’ve. This is no fault of anyone’s really, it was just the way I saw things. Sure, I had parents and other family members who did their best with raising me right. (I didn’t make it easy on them). I was taught the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. I normally fell somewhere in between the two spectrums with my thinking and behavior.

I was a loner in a lot of ways, but always a dreamer of big things. I became bored easily in most cases, but in my own mind I was never bored. I could spin a mean tall-tale and did so frequently. Due to this and my size (I was the classic chubby kid once I hit school years), I was a victim of bullying. I wore handmade clothes a lot (God rest my great-grandmother’s soul) and developed ahead of my classmates, which didn’t help matters much in that being bullied area.

When I look back at those years in particular, I realize God was working in me even then. He was building my character and making me strong on the inside for the future. I never would’ve seen this realization if my addiction, illnesses and choices hadn’t brought me to a place of complete brokenness later in life.

As you continue to follow me and my story I hope you will see this awesome power and love God has given me as my years have passed. He continues to give me this love daily. Until the next part is posted know prayers are being said for all those sick and suffering.

Blessings to All

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Light from Heaven

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Today’s message at Hope River Church of God was so powerful to me. The beauty of our church site, should you want to check it out, is the sermons are available online.

Many of you who’ve been following me on my recovery journey know by my previous posts for the last few months that God has been working in great ways in my life. I give Him all the credit for my sobriety today.

I don’t know if I would’ve seen the damage I was doing, not only to myself but my family and friends, if it weren’t for His divine intervention.

That is what I call being pulled over while drinking and driving. I was blinded by Satan’s lies the first time. The second DUI I got was right after the first.

I signed into rehab the next day.

I boo-hoo’d to Jim and my mom over the phone in the days to follow. I thought it was the most terrible place the first few days of drying out and even though I voluntarily admitted myself I wondered if I really should’ve been there.

My shakes lessened and my head began to clear as time passed. I prayed I would get what I needed out of the time I had to be there, but I looked at it as a job in a way. I figured if it did nothing for me but to look good for the courts, I’d be content.

I was required to attend AA and NA meetings. I listened to war stories from other patients. I began to look at things in a different light. I didn’t see this as God’s light at the time, for I was still trying to run my own show so to say.

Twenty-one days later, I got in the car with Jim and came home. I’d learned much but still wasn’t sure how things would pan out. Sure I’d been sober for that time there, I had tools now that I didn’t have before, but this total giving control to God… that was just a bit much for me to grasp. I’d been giving Him things daily, sometimes minor things and sometimes major things but at that point I was still trying to run my own show.

I went back to work and was just cruising along. I thought I had everything in order, but the need to control things was ever present. I still prayed and gave little things to God, but I wasn’t changing my way of thinking. I was what people refer to as a dry drunk, control freak. I figured I’d been to meetings, I could control myself now in the drinking aspect. This attitude led not only to a relapse but to a rollercoaster ride through the hell of my own mind. As my court date loomed closer, my mind continued on a downward spiral. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel, God’s or otherwise.

I started drinking again, not like it had been, but I was drinking just the same. Spiritually I’d tried to convince God that I knew myself better than He did and I wasn’t really hurting anyone but myself. I can laugh at that stupidity now. Physically I was sick everyday, whether I drank or not. I’d come to think my life was not faceable. I contemplated suicide, my drinking continued.

I was pissed at myself, up to that point I’d managed forty-one days sober prior to that relapse. In a buzzed state, I poured out all my emotion and hurt to God. I yelled, my body shook and I sobbed until I’d run my tears dry. I knew I still had to go home. I dreaded facing everyone. I was a hot mess. I knew I needed help… professional help. Mentally, I was ruined at this point. That night, January 3, 2018, I went to the ER, that’s how you do it to be committed to the mental ward at DPH.

I spent a week in that locked unit. In that week I learned different things about myself, things I really didn’t want to face. Resentments I’d never let go of. I worked on changing my attitude and working through my baggage. The doctor’s worked on stabilizing my mental state by removing a medicine that was causing a bad interaction with my others. I actually convinced myself that medicine mix-up was why I drank. I was doing better or so I thought. I wasn’t contemplating suicide any longer. I didn’t really have the desire to drink either. Again I found myself in the car with Jim coming home.

The messages at church started hitting home on many levels again and I started to see little things changing. Court still loomed in my future. I knew my jail sentencing was coming. Satan again started… he needled my mind. Little whispers at first, then louder more intense talking, until he was screaming in my head. About this time I had the notion that voicing resentments to people would be a good idea. Why I had chosen this time when Satan’s pull was so strong was beyond me but it sure wasn’t a God thing. I let go of years of baggage in a single day, I seriously recommend you do not do it this way. Emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, I was exhausted. I again turned to the/ old friend I had in the bottle.

Let me note at this point that God created us with free will for a reason. His humor amazes me at times. As I sat in my car, pouring yet another drink into my body I began coughing. My stomach started to spasm and next thing I know I leaning out my car door heaving my guts out. All four drinks worth. My chest was so tight I thought I was having a heart attack and my nose was on fire from the vodka that had exited my body via that route. Tears streamed down my cheeks, leaving a wake of ruined make-up in their path.

This relapse and bout of horrid heaving would prove to be the another intervention. One that actually set my heart and mind in tune. As I lay in bed that night, January 24th, I prayed like never before. I asked again for forgiveness, guidance and strength; this time I honestly believed I would get it. My body tingled and just then a train whistle blew in the distance. There in the deepest of night a light shined, lighting the train tracks before the engine. As it grew closer the light shined brighter. I took it as a sign of coming greatness. I found an inner peace that night about my upcoming court date. I was reciting the Serenity Prayer as I drifted off to sleep.

This is kinda how God’s light has been with me since, it a continuous greatness that shines into the darknesses of me. This is far from ironic that I feel this way since today’s sermon was put into those almost exact terms. My reaffirming light coming from heaven, through Pastor Dean.

Let’s forward along. February 9th, 2018… Court Day.

I woke tired, as I’d slept poorly due to nagging pain in my shoulders.

I had what I would refer to as calm nerves with a side of butterflies, but
I went into my morning prayers as humbled as I could be. I felt there was really no other way to approach the day, the Judge or the sentence he would pass. I had no control what-so-ever. I had to give the whole situation over to God to handle.

For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was honestly okay with that fact. If that wasn’t God’s light shining on me, I don’t know what was. This guiding light God gives continued while I was in jail…but that’s for another day…. To be continued…

Blessings TO All

As the days move along

Psalms 73:26

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.

This Scripture kinda hits home today with me. While I woke semi refreshed, today is a body aches kinda day. This is not discouraging however, after all it is what it is living with fibromyalgia, I deal.

The kids like to associate these aches with “old age” … I laugh at this now…

Yes we get older, yes our bodies begin to wear down and don’t function quite like they used to, but what is age??  To me it’s now a number and a forever growing experience. The last 42 years of living have brought me to where I am today. My children are all adults now and while that makes me seem old per say, I am young at heart. When I was deep into my addiction that wasn’t the case at all. I isolated myself from family, friends and activities that kept my heart young. My appearance suffered, my health dwindled and my whole attitude on life just sucked.  Since I’ve been sober, God has strengthened my heart to come to this new and improved attitude of age being only a number. He has brought me from a place of despair and self destruction. Comfort and strength have come through His love and understanding. This is something that He continues to do daily.

As days pass I can be grateful for my age, grateful for my aches, that let me know I’m alive and grateful for His strength that carries me today and the next.

 

Blessings To All

 

Celebrating in His Mercy

Yesterday marked 90 days sober. 72 of those 90 were spent on the inside. Even with that, those days aren’t less real. Truth be told, it makes them even more meaningful.

As I get the house back in some kind of order with cleaning out the clutter of the past I’m reminded of Titus 3:3-5

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and become slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

But…

When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and a new life through His Holy Spirit.

This is such an amazing gift we are given as believers.

Maybe of you’ve known the power of this gift personally, but perhaps you are one who wants to know the power of His mercy.

Nothing you’ve done can keep this gift from you.  The step is easy to obtain this.

ASK!!!

I do have a word of caution to offer however… Don’t do it half-heartedly. Be ready with humility and step out of the comfort of the familiar. Know that until you can sincerely believe that He has forgiven you and His mercy is willingly given, you may find yourself hesitating. Try not to do this. Understand that His forgiveness is total, your own might take longer to achieve, but His is instant and He doesn’t remember the past. He will not throw it into your face. His mercy can help you stop dwelling there as well. Trust me on this, you won’t be disappointed if you ASK.

You will watch miracles happen. They may come slowly, try not to be discouraged, but know that they will come if you wait. They may be little things or they may be major things.  I’m living proof that they happen daily in some way, shape or form. My sobriety is a daily miracle that only God could provide me with. My family and friends that have stuck by me and never gave up on me, My ability to rise in the morning, the sound of the birds singing praises for the morning, sunrises and sunsets… the list can go on and on.

I’ve found by asking, stepping and waiting, I can now take much more pleasure in the little things each day brings. Those things that I’ve taken for granted or the freedoms I’ve abused are always prevalent as each day begins. I’m grateful for the mercies I’ve been given on all levels.  You can find this peace and joy too in the mercy of God.

I will continue to adjust as my days unfold and never forget the events that have brought me to this point in my life’s story.

Today I am thanking God for not only my sobriety but for His never-ending love and His never-ending mercy on me. I look forward to learning and growing each day as the miracles continue to unfold. Today I celebrate…

Blessings To All

 

A Joyous Goodbye

Cunning, baffling, powerful…it’s what you’ve always been.

You tempted me with your evil lies and artificial highs.

You numbed me from the inside out.

Your hold on me started simple, a temporary fix. Your lies continued to grow making emotion, pain and sorrow go.

I fell into your twisted embrace and worshiped the feeling you gave.

Lies and broken promises, but your grip grew so strong that I no longer had control over right or wrong.

You made me feel invincible, without a care in the world. I hurt the ones I loved as a result of you.

Reality was shattered, blackouts a common thing. Darkness surrounded me.

Deeper your pull became, you were a trusted friend. Your control was so great over me that I lost who I was…who I could be

I fell deeper into despair and was determined I had met my father’s fate. The reflection that stared back at me was only filled with hate.

The fun had stopped as the need for you grew. I sought you out daily but your voice was a lie. I tried to control you and lied to myself, you made me a monster both inside and out.

Cunning, baffling, powerful…I had no control. You ruined trust, broke up my team and took me down a path of darkness and despair.

Suicidal thoughts…you’d taken me to that place. You made me weak, my life I couldn’t face.

My love for you grew into hate, your control over me was too much to take.

Bars of metal became a feature in my life for days on end. This was my punishment for trusting you as my friend.

Your control over me weakened as time passed by. The desire is now long gone and I do not question why.

God did that for me, He is forever strong.

You’ll never be that strong again, that constant nagging voice. When the temptation does come as I know it may, I will tell you Satan’s drink to go far away.

You’ve lost your grip on me; never again will I say alcohol you are my friend because you are my worst enemy.

Cunning, baffling, powerful you will always be, but damned to you drink you no longer have power over me.

Good riddance to you, you terrible foe. I don’t need you. I don’t want you. You had no choice but to go.

I can honestly say with a humble heart I am a grateful recovering alcoholic and I have a full life ahead without you clouding my way.

So this is goodbye in the simplest form.

The hell with you destroyer of dreams.

There is no cure for this terrible disease but Satan’s drink you have no more control over me.

Through God’s loving grace I can face today for only He could take your sickening and tempting voice away.

I bid you farewell today and the next.

One day at a time, One step at a time and one prayer at a time is all the I need.

Thank God for my sobriety today and a joyful goodbye to you.

 

Little Victories

Psalms 62:1-2

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

 

Many of you have heard me say repeatedly that patience is not my strong suit, actually for as long as I can remember it’s been a huge flaw.

I’ve always been one of those people who want what I want and want it now. This is a character defect God and I work on daily. Each day I lean on Him I find simple victories in this area. (as well as many others)

As a person who suffers from bipolar disorder doing so quietly is sometimes a challenge. My body may be quiet but my mind is somewhat a different story. With the help of daily medicine and God’s grace I’m finding quieting my mind isn’t quite the challenge it once was. Again the victories in this area wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t His doing. His strength is never-ending.

This brings great comfort for I know within my weakness I can always find strength through Him. You can too if your ask then quietly wait.

As God and I rebuild my house (myself) I find His rockbed has made my foundation stronger than ever. The walls are fortified with His love and understanding and each tool I’ve acquired makes the building process more unique.

As I reflect on family, friends and acquaintances that have come into my life I am reminded of the victories He has brought along with them. Some are subtle, others earth moving but all are mine to cherish.

As days continue to move forward and the challenges of facing life on life’s terms unfolds I know if I ask and wait quietly, God will answer. The next victory is only a prayer away.

 

Blessings To All

 

 

Daily Reflections of a Changing woman

This was written 4-15-2018, It was pointless to mail it home for posting when I knew I would be home today.

 

It is a wise woman who recognizes and admits her faults, but it is a strong woman who asks God to help remove them.

 

As I continue on this daily recovery journey I find that giving up my character defects has and will be a never-ending process. These defects have been a part of me for as long as I remember. They have made me who I am..the good and the bad.

When I first started working my steps and made an honest inventory of these defects I found many of them to be a double edged sword, but all of them served a purpose… again for good or bad.

It is those bad parts I work on today and will continue to everyday. Those are what God is diligently removing or should I say changing to more good defects if that makes sense.

I am learning to respond rather than react. This is by far probably one of the hardest things to put into practice. I pray God will help me continue to do this when I get out of here and into a more normal routine at home.

As I count down the days, with less than a week to go, I find these last few days drag. I’ve tried to bury myself into books and journaling so time goes by unnoticed but some days that is much easier said than done.

Reality is, while all things are but a season all things lead back to my reactions or rather responses to those seasons. Nobody but myself can change that. It will always be that way.

As I continue to grow and the story of my life continues to be written I find I am willing to face these seasons head on for I am never alone.

Some say it is better not to form attachments in places like this, but if you know me you also know I just can’t help myself. That would be like walking into a meeting and not saying hello… It just isn’t happening.

My time here has been a humbling and eye-opening experience to say the least and you never know what lessons you may learn, even in the least expected places.

As I continue to work on my defects, with God’s guidance, I continue to grow more into the woman I was meant to be.

Today I am grateful for my sobriety, my events and my never-ending journey. God continues to give me strength to do this one day at a time, one step at a time and one prayer at a time.

 

Blessings To All