This boy saved my life 10/17

It is May of 2010, I am beat up beyond belief and I am in rehab.

My son Tyler, who was 7 at the time just came for a visit. He says to me with tears in his eyes “Mom I am tired and I just want you to come home.”

I lean over, hug him and silently cry and say “I know bud, me too.”

He leaves, I watch him walk away through the window. I go back to my room and start balling. My heart never ached so bad and all I want to do is run after him and GO HOME!

My rehab room mate at the time looked at me square in the face and said “Danielle, do this now…so you NEVER have to do it again.”

Today is Tyler’s 19th birthday and we are more connected than I could have ever dreamed.

I have not been a perfect mom but I have been present and substance free since May of 2010. To me and to him it’s a miracle.

God knew that my path had to be through the love of this boy.

Tyler is an incredible being. He is kind, funny, loving, a dreamer and he never holds a grudge. He would help anyone in need. He helped me value my own life.

Happy Birthday Ty – Thank you!!!!

Everyone knew but me 10/16

I am often reminded of my past life in active addiction. I don’t get stuck there, but I certainly remember when…

Today I was thinking about how everyone knew I had issues with drugs/booze except for me.

My husband at the time, my “friends”, my family, my sons school teachers, my neighbors….everyone knew but me.

This fascinates me because my mind was so sick, that even if you said it to my face “Danielle your an addict and you need help.” I would not have believed you.

I would have thought you were the messed up one. My pills and booze were keeping me together.

The miracle occurred for me when the LOVE for my boy was greater than this disease. The Grace of God was in my heart and allowed me to say – that’s enough.

It is a miracle for any one of us to even realize that we are sick.

And then – to find god in one another and in this world that was once so unacceptable.….Beautiful.

A difficult conversation 10/14

My son Tyler is soon to be 19. We connect daily, usually at the end of the day he and our two cats Pickles and Snoopy gather on my bed and we chat.

Yesterday he expressed he is having trouble sleeping and we talked of his anxiety.

I asked how bad it was and he said it is getting pretty bad. On a scale of 1-10 daily he said it’s about a 7 or 8.

Tyler never complains.

We spoke about possible solutions and medication was in there. We both talked about using marijuana.

Tyler has never had a drug and he does not drink. But Tyler is not an addict, I am.

This is the part of MY recovery where I have to remember that other people can use chemical substances appropriately…..but I cannot.

Even when it comes to my own son, I have to realize we are different people. If something like a gummy pot candy can help him…I am not at liberty to try and control or prevent it.

I do not want my son to suffer anymore just because his mom is an addict.

This is not easy but I know in my heart it will be ok.

Religious Guilt and Recovery 10/13

I grew up in a VERY Catholic family. I went to Catholic school with the nuns and priests.

At one point my mom and dad were both Eucharistic Ministers, both of my older brothers were altar boys and I at the young age of 10, was a lector.

What I gathered in that upbringing was that god was a judge. He would let me through the gates to heaven only if I behaved a certain way.

If I misbehaved “enough” I was going to hell.

I was taught to live in fear on so many levels. Can’t make a mistake or I am going to hell and I will be shaking hands with Beelzebub himself.

Coming into recovery I became free. The others were practicing spiritual principles and not religious rules. I could eat meat on a Friday during lent and nobody cared!

I was free to develop my own understanding of God – it is a beautiful thing.

It has taken time…years to undo all of the previous mental conditioning.

But today…..

GOD to me is pure energy that is the source of life. It is in everyone and everything.

It does not judge or discriminate. It creates and continues to create. It is inside of my “shell” my human body and is the eternal part of me.

I find these beliefs (right or not) right for me…they are far more pleasant than what I was taught.

“I don’t mind” 10/12

Yesterday my disease presented me with a wave of fear. I caught it early, spoke to a couple of close people about it and then I accepted it. AND THEN IT WAS GONE!

The fear dissipated almost as fast as it came in.

This is incredible for me because sometimes I ride that ride for days….”Not today Satan.” lol

So, the tools were first the awareness that the dark entity was knocking on the door. I did open the door and let it in….however I did not invite it to stay for coffee.

I then exposed it – I told on it to a couple of trusted people. We shined the light on it with laughter and LOVE.

Then I was still left with it but I used a phrase of acceptance that I have learned which is “I don’t mind.”

The phrase “I don’t mind” allows for anything and everything to take it’s course without resistance. Therefore, allowing the unwanted to leave without me engaging in a super fight with it.

I am so grateful for my recovery and that I do not have to pick up a substance over these uncomfortable emotions.

I am super grateful to the friends that help me shine a light on my craziness as well!

A 3rd Cup of Coffee!?! 10/11

This makes me laugh.

Typically on Monday through Friday I have 2 cups of coffee in the morning before I head off to work.

But then…on a Saturday or Sunday I think about a 3rd cup and sometimes I indulge.

This is quite comical for me to think about.

My former self…the one who was in active addiction drove intoxicated regularly, went to awfully shady places to deal with horribly dangerous people just to get a substance. I would ingest things that I had no idea how it was going to turn out…I was just hopeful to get high.

Today – WOW – I am a wild woman for considering that 3rd cup!

Simple life…thank you god!

Joyous Survival 10/10

When I was actively using in my addiction, I was seeking comfort and joy in the chemical substance. The “relief” would come…but it was temporary and conditional.

I gave my power to feel good to the drug. I was still a seeker of joy – but I was going the wrong way.

Coming into recovery and shedding some layers of old ideas, negative beliefs and self destructive behaviors…..I have been able to truly find joy in the most natural sense.

I am learning to focus on where “I feel” good.

It is not always easy as the world can be very loud and demanding regarding what makes “them” feel good.

However I have to bring it back to me…and my source of joy.

Stockholm Syndrome and Addiction 10/9

Stockholm syndrome is defined as : a psychological/emotional condition where hostages form a bond with their captures and thereby refuse to testify against them.

When I first learned about Stockholm syndrome it completely reminded me of being held captive in the throws of the disease of addiction.

When I was an active addict I had no choice but to use and to think about what I was going to use and where and when I was going to get it.

I would not tell on my disease for anything!! I hid it. I lied for it. I protected it…just like the hostages, I formed a bond with my capture…and would not let anyone or anything near it.

I was so sick that I had no idea that I was sick. My disease – my capture told me I looked great and had me thinking my behavior was completely normal.

The things my disease – my capture told me were beyond manipulative. It groomed me for years and years…one day after another it kept telling me I could use and I was not hurting anybody at all.

In the end it told me “it” was all that I had and nothing else mattered. It told me that I would die without it….that I could not survive one minute on my own.

It had me by the throat and I thanked it.

The only thing I know that is more powerful than that…is god.

Thank you god for pulling me out of that living hell and back to this beautiful earth.

Off center and ready to snap 10/8

This is a picture of the sunrise this morning, it was so beautiful that I cried.

It is now about 12 hours later and I am off and ready to snap.

How can that be??…I literally connected to this higher power -breathed beautiful air, listened to incredible music on my headphones, received chills of connection all over my body- cried tears of joy at the beauty I cannot even explain.

And now…my energy is depleted and I have nothing to give anyone.

What do I do?

I make a cup of coffee, get on a recovery zoom meeting and I listen. My head shuts up and I listen.

I listen to the others. Some who are eating out of dumpsters to survive. Some who have lost children to this terrible disease. I listen to the new person full of hope. I listen to the struggling addict who has clean time but has lost their zest for life. I listen to the ones who get to the other side of pain without picking up.

The sun will rise again tomorrow and god will be there and hopefully I will too.

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