A Built in Forgetter 5/20

When I first came into recovery and I heard it shared that we as alcoholics/addicts have a “built in forgetter” I was very confused.

Fresh out of rehab and attending meetings the bruises on my face were healing but my insides were extremely uncomfortable. I thought it ridiculous that I would EVER FORGET the pain and angst I caused myself and my poor son.

Well, at about 6 months clean I was driving to my sponsors house and I saw on the side of the road a half (empty/full) bottle of wine. My brain told me to pull over get it and drink it.

I kept driving but I actually entertained the thought.

In that moment…I forgot. I forgot where that drink or any other substance would lead me to.

Funny thing is that I had money in my pocket. I could have pulled into any bar or liquor store and bought something that was clean and pretty. But that is not how this disease works.

This disease wants me on the side of the road drinking out of a filthy bottle.

This is another reason why I stay close to others in recovery.

We share with each other to help one another survive.

It’s like we are all living in a mine field and if I find one I will tell you all about it in the hopes you don’t step on the same one.

But if you do happen to step on the same bomb then we can find a way to heal together. And then WE share with the others about the bomb that We stepped on and how We survived it.

It’s sharing our experience and strength with the hope that we all can connect to god and heal.

A family disease 5/19

Last Saturday evening I was at a recovery meeting to see my friend Bootsie celebrate his 31 years of clean time.

There was also another gentlemen named Mike and he was celebrating 11 years. They both shared a bit of their personal story. Bootsie has just started sponsoring this man. Helping him help himself.

What I heard and saw that night is exactly why I go to meetings.

Mike shared that he once had 11 years clean but went back out and used again. He shared that there was great loss during that time. He experienced the death of one of his sons and the death of a significant other.

During Mikes share he explained how his life today is so blessed. He also said with tears in his eyes that he doesn’t deserve it.

When you are celebrating a yearly milestone people will speak on your behalf at the end of the meeting.

This mans other son (presently also in recovery) and his 6 year old grandson were there to share in the celebration of this life.

With unbelievable power, grace and gratitude Mikes son shared the truth of the pain of their family and now also the joy.

I saw a family of fighters. I saw generations that are receiving this amazing gift.

Mikes son, with tears in his eyes thanked Bootsie for helping his dad to find his smile again.

He also looked his dad straight in his eyes and said with love “you so deserve this.”

God’s grace was everywhere in that room.

The power of a Smile 5/18

As of late I am noticing things that I have never even realized.

I think it was Wayne Dyer who said to try and meet each new day and every person as just that…new. No preconceived notions or judgements. Just fresh and new.

A clean slate every day. This is a great concept but definitely a bit tricky when this fast paced life starts coming at me.

This morning I noticed…really noticed that I am smiling a lot. I smile at everyone. I think formerly my eyes would shift to the ground and if the other was brave enough to smile, wave or say good morning…then I would respond.

Today I noticed I am completely smiling and connecting with the others. I was passing one woman on the trail and she was not smiling. I did not even realize that she was not smiling until after I smiled and said good morning and then her whole face lit up!

It’s contagious! I will be brave and smile and say hello first always from this point on.

It’s just good energy.

A moment of love 5/17

My mom grew up in a very strict Catholic household. Her name is Sheila.

Her history is a bit of a mystery to me and as I write this I am becoming more aware of that fact. Maybe I have never sat with her and asked her these unanswered questions that I have.

I know her dad died when she was young in a car accident. My grandmother Betty was actually in the car as well and survived. Nobody ever spoke of this.

My mom is a very proper and reserved woman. She did not show lots of emotion when we were growing up. She was not very affectionate. I can understand a bit why. Back then to talk and share emotion was considered a weakness.

Well, when I received news that my cat Pickles had cancer…. much to my surprise all I wanted was my mom. Tears and tears and more tears came and I just wanted my mom.

When I saw my mom last week on Mothers Day I told her of the news of Pickles. The compassion and love in her eyes just shot right threw me.

I cried and I told her “All I wanted was my mom.” Her eyes welled up and she simply said “your the best!” She then hugged me with such a pure motherly love filled hug that I will never forget.

My friend Roberta said “Sheila’s arms became angels wings and she just embraced you with them.” and then she said “Go Sheila!!”

One week Away 5/16

In one week from today; Monday May 23rd 2022 (if I don’t pick up a drink/drug) I will have 12 years of sobriety.

In recovery I do try to keep things in the day and not get to far ahead of myself.

However, this is not about that. This week is also the last week that I ever used drugs and alcohol…12 years ago.

This week contains the moments before I surrendered. This week contains the final days that I was in the darkest place of my life.

It is a wonderous place for me to look. How dark and hopeless I felt. I knew nothing of the amazing path that lie ahead for me.

I was a physically, mentally and spiritually beat up woman.

I did not know how to be a daughter, a friend, a mom or even a functioning human being.

Amazing grace literally pulled me out of a dark, deceitful, fearful life into one of love and harmony.

I am still amazed.

Coach Clay 5/15

Clayton in action!

The two boys I nanny for are super athletic and very competitive. This is perfect for me because I love to play and can turn nearly anything into a game. I can make a super ball (tiny bouncy ball) into the most exciting event at the playground.

Clay (4) just mastered the monkey bars this year. He struggled last summer but as of late he can do them forwards, backwards and even sideways!!

When he would practice I would be right there cheering him on and most days I would just hang on a bar because it felt good on my back. A few weeks ago as my back started to feel better I challenged myself to be able to complete the monkey bars by the end of the summer.

I told Clay he would be my coach because he is now a master at them. So every day we were at the park he would say “ok Danielle now your turn.” I remember the first day that I made it to the second rung. There are 8 total.

Last week I was thrilled because I made it to the 4th bar. Then today I tried and I thought I could make it to the 5th. I got to the 5th and Clay was yelling “go to 6!!” I made it to the 6th and my momentum took me all the way to the end!!

The most amazing screech of joy came from my buddy Clay!

“Danielle you did it!!”

I was so happy! My hands all calloused, I felt strong.

Then Clay says “Ok now backwards!

They just keep moving on to the next thing don’t they. It’s life at it’s finest it just keeps moving.

Catch a Mood 5/14

“YOU CAN CATCH A MOOD AND CREATE THE WORLD THAT IS IN HARMONY WITH THE MOOD.” -NEVILLE GODDARD

I have been listening to lectures by a man named Neville Goddard. When he spoke of “catching a mood” a flood of energy happened for me. Understanding and Clarity – two of my favorite friends paid me a visit.

I realized just how important my mood is. And more importantly WHO is in charge of this mood.

This for me goes a bit beyond positive thinking, although that is a benefit or biproduct of it.

I get to choose where my focus is and I need to realize how my focus affects my mood. I can choose to focus on the illness of my cat Pickles or I can be in a state of grace and contentment because he is still with us. (we have also renamed him Pickles The Wonder Cat because he is so strong)

Who do I want to be today? Do I want to cultivate the silly, the serious, the productive, the loving, the helpful, the compassionate? Am I open to all of it?

Catching the mood for me means becoming the feeling and allowing the universe and all who are in that mood to enter into my experience and play with me.

What ever I am seeking is also seeking me.

It stopped working 5/13

I have heard many recovering addicts report that the drug of their choice just stopped working. The high was no longer a high. The “fix” was no longer a fix for anything.

I too experienced a period where I could not get drunk enough or high enough to erase or ignore or bury the pain. The stuff just stopped working.

I would still chase the high and purchase the pills and booze with some sort of hope of relief. This is how sick the disease of addiction can become.

In my life today I have to find other sources for relief. Writing and telling the truth has become one way that has been such a pleasant surprise.

The act of chasing things has subsided tremendously as well. I am learning to allow. To acknowledge where I am, adapt to it and then allow life to just come on through.

There are surprises and beauty around every corner. Fear is becoming less and love is becoming more.

Damn this sober life thing is pretty great!

A noble deed 5/12

Yesterday I was at the playground with my charges Clayton 4yrs and George 6yrs. It was a beautifully sunny day and there were lots of children and lots of action.

I love when it’s busy like that. I get to encounter so many different kids of all ages. Many of them are just drawn to me and the boys because we are usually having the most fun!

Well we got a game going and had a small crew. There was one boy named Jack..he was maybe 3yrs old. He was getting very upset and frustrated with all of the other kids. He was crying an awful lot and was not having much fun.

I asked one of the other parents who was responsible for Jack and the parent told me Jacks grandmother was but she was sitting in her car.

I am not going to get into how this little one should not be running around this enormous playground unsupervised.

So I asked Jack to show me where his grandmother was so he did. We stood at the fence and I waved to her with Jack. She stepped out of her vehicle saw Jack upset but did not come for him.

She stayed outside of the gate and instructed him to just play a little longer.

To me the boy appears to be uncared for. He was little and could have been thirsty, hungry and definitely tired. I saw him pick gum up off the ground and eat it.

Jack follows me back to the boys and we play for a few minutes more and then I realize our time is past up and we have to go.

Jack is crying again and I feel helpless.

AND THEN GEORGE – grabs Jack’s hand and says with power and conviction “He’s coming with us.”

My heart could not even argue or dispute George. He was right. We could not just leave Jack crying by himself on the playground.

We all walked together outside the gate of the playground and I waved to Jacks grandmother and George walked Jack over to her.

I have never been more proud of my boy George. I didn’t even realize he was aware of the situation as much as he really was.

“I wanted to fit in” 5/11

Monday morning I got to hear a beautiful recovering soul named Michael share his experience, strength and hope at a recovery meeting.

Michael came into recovery about 7 months ago. He arrived confused, broken and lost…..but ready.

What blew me away was that he already recognizes that the drugs and booze were but symptoms of a greater issue. The drugs are not the issue…what led to him picking up was to be discovered.

This insight and clarity are the miracle. Michael wanted to find the root of his problem…he was seeking the knowledge of how and why it started in the first place.

He recalled having all the confidence in the world when he was younger. He said when he was in 4th and 5th grade he did not care what anyone else thought about him. He knew who he was and what he wanted to be.

But then he said…somewhere along the way what the others thought of him began to matter. He expressed the need for fitting in. He said he just wanted fit in. So rather than standing in his own truth, he followed what others were doing.

I believe that this is the same thread you will find in most of us in recovery. We lost ourselves through what the others told us to do, be or think. We are such freedom seeking beings that we could not handle not being our true selves….

So we used drugs and alcohol to cover up the constant fight within.

Those of us in recovery, like Michael who recognize this have been given one of the most precious gifts.

Freedom to become our true selves.

Thank you for sharing your truth Michael. As you know this is not an easy road..but it is well worth it.

Keep going my friend.

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