A perfect day 10/2

Today I woke up happy.

A few months ago I had been waking up with my fists clenched. So today I really noticed the difference. I woke up comfortable and happy.

I had the best day planned! It was going to rain all day and I was going to do nothing but put up my new shower curtain. (I needed the new shower curtain because our new kitten Eve has destroyed the other one.)

Ahhhh a day of nothing!

Until a text comes through. Those damn phones have got to go!

The text was from a loving soul in recovery named Shari. She does tons of service work for the zoom meeting that I attend frequently. She asked if I would be the guest speaker at 5pm.

Well well. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere and that I would be home all day and night..but I still asked her if I could get back to her in a few hours.

Why did I do that?

I ended up texting her back within 10 minutes and told on myself! Ha ha! I told her my ass was going nowhere all day and I would be honored to share at the meeting.

It is 3pm right now and I will speak in 2 hours in front of close to 200 people on zoom. The fact that anybody would ask me to share my story is still humbling.

But the most important thing that I have to remember is that this is not about ME. This is about the person who might be listening who hears something that helps them to stay clean for another minute.

This is about the person who has clean time but might be ready to use today. It is for the person who doesn’t believe it can work for them.

This is about me sharing how I can stay clean with god…and not with my own self will.

This is about something greater than me…asking me to share…something greater than me.

A recovery prayer 10/1

“God take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.”

I remember hearing this prayer said many times at recovery meetings. But one fine day it hit me in a whole new light.

I believe that is why they say “keep coming” or “more will be revealed.” My perception and understanding of things is constantly changing and becoming more clear.

The part of this prayer that really hit me…was “show me how to live.”

I was hit with the beauty and the humility that “I” the great “I am” doesn’t even know how to live properly without a higher energy force, a source of spirit…without god in my life.

When I get in concert with or harmony with this energy…then I am living the way I was intended.

I have lived with the obsession and compulsion of relying on drugs and booze to make me feel better…which was literally a “dead” end.

And I have lived life in recovery ; learning the ways to rely on a higher power to feel better.

This way is much nicer.

Permission to cry 9/30

When I am writing a lot of times tears come. Words come too…sometimes foggy with tears.

I remember the first time someone gave me permission to cry.

It was 12 years ago, I was 35 years old and I was in rehab. I was starting to feel.

One of the staff members noticed me just fighting back my tears.

She gently came over to me and walked me over to my room. She told me to go and have a moment to cry it out.

I resisted at first of course with ” I am fine.” But then I did it.

I kneeled by my bed and put my head in my hands and cried for the first time as an adult. I mean REALLY cried.

There is a beautiful energy that produces tears. It can be tears of pain or joy. It is an energy moving through me.

It moves through and shines up my soul nice and pretty….kind of like shining up a car.

Next time I feel I need an excuse to cry I’ll just say “I’m cleaning my car.”

As a child 9/29

Growing up I had two older brothers; Roy and Jason. This one is hard for me to write about.

Roy was always a bit kinder to me than Jason was. He was the oldest and he also had a different dad so he would be away a lot of the time.

Jason and I are only about 18 months apart in age and to him I was the annoying little sister…and he just wanted me to go away.

I remember following them around and wanting to be just like them. I was in awe of all of their friends and the fun they had playing sports, video games, riding dirt bikes…they just looked like they were part of a world that I was not.

Jason was mean. He really was. Not always…but mostly.

I was not going to share that but…hey…he was mean. He would embarrass me in front of his friends and send me home crying constantly.

I was so young and even at that age I felt I did not want to be myself.

How could someone I adore be so unkind? I wonder what his motives were. Maybe it made him feel better, maybe he was just so tired of me that he wanted his own time with his friends.

I have to say his actions made me a more driven person.

I wanted to do anything and everything to impress him and his friends. So I learned to throw a football properly and I could even kick one farther than him. I learned to ride a dirt bike…and many more things.

I did these things to impress another. To achieve love and adoration from another.

Thing is I know today…I cannot win someone’s love. I cannot impress someone enough that will make them treat me kindly.

The way someone treats me today is not even about me. I wish I knew that then.

Check yourself Danielle 9/28

The other day I found myself reverting back to some old behaviors.

When I say old behavior I relate them to the way my disease – the disease of addiction – can and will tempt or talk me into some type of destructive thoughts or even actions.

There are a variety of ways my mind manipulates me into walking into a neighborhood where I personally do not belong.

Now you would think that my disease would just tell me to pick up a drink or drug.

But it doesn’t.

It tells me to pick up an old toxic relationship, pick up some new insecurity about my body or the way others view me. It tells me to pick up some financial insecurity, some parental failure thoughts or some “nobody gives a shit” thoughts too.

My mind becomes sick all over again.

The disease sets up the mind…without even a thought of a drink or drug….but that is what will follow if I do not correct it.

Thank god for god as my friend Chooch says.

God is in my gut. When I am off and I start wandering down a path that is not meant for me…I can feel it.

When I am thinking or acting in a way that does not serve my soul -I feel it strongly in my gut.

This feeling stays until I can find my way back home to gods grace.

This is a beautiful thing. Learning to listen to the grace of god – nothing is better than that for me.

Free from what? 9/27

I know when I feel MOST free and it’s usually in nature. I see lots of space and I understand the abundance that this planet provides. The trees, the birds, chipmunks, deer…rivers, plants…etc.

I think for me my desire is to be free from need and worry.

I will always need food and shelter and I understand that. But when I get around other people I think I become sort of influenced regarding the quest for MORE.

I know that the quest for MORE kept me in active addiction for many years. I could never just have one of anything…I HAD TO HAVE MORE.

I am not saying that nice things are not nice. They are very nice. I personally live very nice and very comfortably.

However, when I leave all of my “stuff” behind and I am alone in the woods or on a strip of beach where there is nobody but me, god and my backpack…I feel most free.

I am in LOVE 9/26

As I seek more and more to understand the concept of unconditional love…I have been provided with an incredible teacher.

After the heart breaking passing of our cat Pickles, my son found this little girl named Eve online. She was rescued from Miami Florida and sent to us.

I said to my friend Kay yesterday that this must be like what grandparents feel for their grand kids. They can do no wrong!

Eve has had toilet paper parties all over the house, she has completely ruined my shower curtain just hanging on it, she knocks pictures down, hangs on the blinds, creates crazy amounts of noise in the night…runs across my face while I am trying to sleep, won’t let me fold one blanket properly as she has to jump on it and hang her claws into everything….but I JUST ADORE HER.

My son sent this picture to me while I was out. She was waiting patiently for me to come home.

Love has no limits as I am learning. I never thought I would love another like I loved Pickles. But there is room for both and more.

Love is not limited or limiting.

When Pickles passed I had been waiting to see a rainbow. I had not seen one. My son Tyler had seen two…even Clay the 4 year old I nanny for saw one.

Mine came last week….and damn it was magnificent.

Hiiii Pickles!!!

Captain Chooch 9/25

On Friday 9/23 I was blessed to see one of my dearest friends Roberta receive her medallion for 3 years of sobriety!

We call each other Chooch. We do this knowing that it means “donkey” or “meathead” in Italian. We are very able to laugh at ourselves and I think it is one of the reasons why our friendship is so strong.

Roberta is a fighter. She has fought through the tears, the guilt, the bad feelings the confusion. She has fought through the moments of utter torture where our addict mind tells us that we are worthless and no good.

She has reveled and enjoyed the beauty that being clean provides us to see. She has found god. I have seen her walk through births and deaths with grace and love.

Her son Michael presented her with her medallion. He spoke of the courage and bravery that his mom had and how she has gone first on this journey of recovery. He explained how their family was a very athletic one and how the two boys always played football and the dad was usually a coach of some sort.

Roberta’s son Michael will receive HIS 1 year medallion in about 3 weeks.

This is the magic

Rather than sitting in the stands at one of her sons games or at a game that her husband might be coaching….she is now the one who is leading the team.

She is leading her family into the world of recovery. She is guiding them into the kindness, love, grace, forgiveness and beauty that recovery provides.

She is now the captain.

Keep going Captain Chooch! It only gets better!!

After I acted Selfishly 9/24

On my way home after I acted selfishly 9/23 I was supposed to meet my friend Bootsie at a recovery meeting. It had been a tentative plan since the weekend and now I really needed one.

All I wanted to do was sit my sorry ass in a meeting and listen.

“We plan … god laughs.”

I text Bootsie; I ask him if we are still meeting at the recovery center at 7pm. He says “no we are going to the local detox to share.” Meaning we would sit on a stage in front of lots of people and speak.

Now everything in me did NOT WANT to do this. BUT…I have a trust in my higher power (after many many times of trusting it) to just go and do what is being put in front of me…especially in these types of situations.

Of course my brain starts to twist and turn, plot and scheme in every way trying to get out of it. I ask him “how many people are going?” Thinking if it were a lot then I am heading towards my couch. He says “2”.

What’s funny is..he lied! When I got to the detox there were 5 of us.

Point is this…after having a tough day learning out there…god brought me back. He brought me back to see where I was 12 years ago.

He presented me with the opportunity to appreciate where I am today and help others who are not so fortunate.

I felt safe and unbelievably loved.

I acted selfishly 9/23

The parents of the boys that I nanny for asked if I could bring them to get haircuts. My mom cuts their hair. She was once a hair dresser and has a little shop in her home. She is known as “Haircut Nana”.

It is usually a good time. The boys love her and she gives them ice cream cake and attention.

Well it was time to go to “Haircut Nana’s” and George did NOT want to go. He was in a mood. He decided to come knowing if he stayed home he would be bored and Clay would have all the fun.

We arrived at my moms and it was dark inside her home. It felt off. The boys went in first and then my mom met me at the door. She told me one of her friends had passed away the day before. A close friend.

I should have left with the boys. But instead I acted selfishly and wanted my mom to pull it together and cut their hair anyways.

As you can imagine…it turned disastrous pretty quick. Clay’s haircut went fine but then when George got in the chair she nicked his ear with the scissors. No blood but it was enough to send George off in a tizzy and my mom just felt horrible!

I felt horrible!! George and my mom – we were all a mess.

Clay was not. He sat kindly and was my rock of love.

There are so many better ways I could have handled this situation. But I was in to much of a rush thinking about what “I” wanted to “get done” for the boys and their parents. My driving force was not love at that moment..it was self centered fear.

I apologized to my mom.

This was a lesson for me to slow the “f***k” down. The most loving action will be the most understanding one. If I am moving to fast on self will I cannot understand anything or anyone.

Maybe we all could have just had a piece of ice cream cake and helped her feel better. No haircuts necessary.

Today is a new day and I am taking this lesson with me.

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