Do I tell? 9/12

When do I tell someone I am in recovery? Well sometimes never. Sometimes it has been straight away…it all depends.

I was recently asked to go on a date. It is with a very nice gentleman and he knows I do not drink or do drugs. BUT…I have not opened up about my recovery or about this blog.

I am actually pretty comfortable with the person and the whole situation. It feels quite natural and nice.

This is where I learn to trust. When and if the time is right I will open up.

The parents of boys I nanny for still do not know and I probably will not share this part of my life with them.

I am not ashamed of it…I just know that not everyone needs or wants to know. It is a sensitive subject for many. Most people have been effected by addiction in one way or another.

I usually share about my own personal recovery with others who are in recovery and/or if someone asks due to their own struggles.

Today I will allow my higher power, the energy that is smarter than me…to guide me with this day by day decision.

Tears over Chex Mix

Yesterday Clay (the 4 year old I care for) and myself were sitting down to have our lunch. We had a great morning. We checked the crab trap and then hit a nearby beach with a playground.

Clay was sitting on a little bridge with his lunch box and I was sitting a few feet away on a picnic table with mine.

He opened his lunch and he saw I packed him some Chex mix (his favorite). I saw him walking towards me with the bag and I thought he was going to ask me to open it.

However, he was sad and I could feel it. He looked up at me and said “Can you please save these for my dad?” and then he walked away fighting his tears.

I went over and sat near him and told him how kind it was that he was thinking of his dad and I would be sure to put a special note on the Chex mix for him letting him know.

Then…tears started bubbling up inside of me. I told Clay I missed my dad too.

It was the first time I said that out loud and I really felt it. I felt the love I have for my father, just like a child.

Everything is a lesson…even Chex mix.

Life’s Squeeze 9/10

It feels as if life is constantly putting some type of squeeze on me that forces change.

I woke up this morning with a realization that it is possibly god…the universe and its energy in a constant state of forward motion leading me to it.

Putting the “squeeze” on me to become more….. by relying on it’s energy more and more.

These days the minute I use my own self will for something I can feel it and it needs to be remedied, corrected or set right.

I remember learning about a certain lobster that sheds its whole shell and is left with a soft vulnerable shell afterwards. The new shell eventually becomes hardened but it will then grow out of that one too.

Rather than me trying to fit in the old life, gods energy sheds it for me and leaves me wide open to the new.

Once again I realize I am in the arms of grace.

The need for attention 9/9

Such a funny thing. When I was early in my recovery I believe I was seeking attention from others, especially the opposite sex. (sometimes I can still fall into that trap)

The drugs and booze were gone so my ego was desperately seeking to fill itself with something else.

Even though I understand it now, I do remember how lonely and empty I could feel at any given moment. If someone didn’t text me, call me, send me flowers…make a huge deal about my existence…I felt horrible.

Today when I stay in my recovery and I focus on the reasons behind that self centered behavior…then I have a chance to change it and experience freedom.

However, If I am busy looking at others and wondering why they are behaving in a manner that does not please me…I am stuck. And I suffer.

The power and freedom are all within myself. I seek god for the willingness to change and I seek the power of recovery for the courage to do so.

Thank you god

Everything has it’s place 9/8

I used to say this phrase in regards to my home. “Everything has it’s place.”

If something was out of order I would immediately notice and not rest until it was back in it’s proper place.

Now this phrase means something a bit different to me.

I am referring to everything…all of it. From the smallest ant to the biggest skyscraper. Nothing is going wrong here.

From traffic jams to wide open spaces of beauty.

I feel funny saying that it is a form of acceptance…just accepting what is. I feel funny because who am I to say what should and should not exist?

I am understanding that I am not god…I did not create this magnificent planet, the people in it or the stars in the universe.

I am one person that can be ok in all of it. I can appreciate it when I focus where it feels good.

I am a small but significant piece to this grand puzzle.

And as my dad loves to say “There is an ass for every seat.”

The thing 9/7

I was sitting with my friend Bootsie the other day. He is someone who has helped me tremendously in my recovery. He has over 30 years clean and is still as silly as a new comer some days.

Anyways, he asked me a question regarding the thing that I liked the most about recovery meetings. He said some people like to speak, some people like to help set up…what is your thing?

I answered that I liked to observe. I like to see all of the little kindnesses that are happening amongst the strangers.

I liked to see and witness the spiritual and unconditional love that is happening in the room.

The malnourished heroin addict helping the 80 year old alcoholic with her coat.

Someone handing another a tissue as they are in tears. No questions are asked…just the acknowledgement that they are being seen and cared for is enough.

Someone grabbing a chair and making room for the new person. A smile and a wave across the room to greet someone.

Phone numbers are being exchanged and rides are being given. Water bottles are filled for the homeless…coffee is ready for those who can hold a cup.

Tiny little acts of beauty are happening all around us at meetings.

That’s the thing for me.

What “stuck” to keep me sober 9/6

My good friend Dwight asked me this question in regards to the last detox and rehab that I went to. He wanted to know “what stuck”.

It is no secret many addicts/alcoholics cannot or will not stop using. I attended the same detox and rehab with many people who are still using today…and some have actually died.

I had the same opportunities, same rooms, food, friends, classes….but why am I sober and they are not?

It’s grace. It’s the unexplainable. It’s the unseen but we know is there.

I was a stumbling drunken high mess on my front lawn one day trying to get my son off of the bus and he was wiping his tears away from his cheeks saying “I got it” ….”I’m ok”.

That moment took me to a place in my heart that had never been touched or available before. I went to detox. I was heavily medicated and remember almost nothing except agreeing to go to rehab.

The rehab is where I can remember I started to heal.

One day while sitting in one of those groups I read an article and it stated: “Hi my name is Clark I am an alcoholic and I have a disease that has a spiritual solution.” ( I still have the article)

Bammmm it hit me. This was about god or a higher energy..not about me. I was not a horrible person I was a sick person.

I felt cornered by a higher power….if I did not connect with it then I would use and die. I would continue to do the same shit I had been doing and send the pain right back to my son once again.

The remarkable thing was though…I knew deep down that I was already connected to that spiritual power. All I had to do was acknowledge it.

That stuck.

Walk the Walk 9/5

I read a powerful statement in a piece of recovery literature this weekend.

It said: “We don’t think our way into a new way of living, we live our way into a new way of thinking.”

I have learned addiction is a 3 fold disease…the physical, mental and spiritual. For me the physical was the easiest to remedy. The spirit was always with me. So the mental part…. the MIND… is and will forever be the one that I need to constantly be aware of.

The mental part of the disease is sneaky, manipulative, unkind, and wants me dead. It will tell me it’s ok to just have one, it will start to attack others in recovery so that I feel superior and then I lose solid people in my life.

The mind is patient and relentless.

Knowing all of this…the statement of living my way into a new way thinking has been very imperative.

When I got clean 12 years ago…I had to change 1 thing….everything.

This meant surrounding myself with people who had previously used drugs and alcohol and were able to stop. Not just stop….but stayed stopped.

I had to walk the walk that the people who were in recovery did. God put some amazing recovering souls on my path for kind and loving guidance.

I am so grateful to have followed those foot steps into my own beautiful recovery.

Addicts & Institutions 9/4

Today there are many options in the United States for the alcoholic and addict to “go get well.” My experience is this:

I personally went to 2 detoxes and one 28 day rehab.

The first detox I went to was very similar to a prison. I don’t remember much other than we wore orange jump suits and it was very dirty. The woman were very rough and I almost got killed for using someone’s pen.

The second detox was a few years later and I remember nothing except a nice lady letting me know I needed further treatment.

In both detox’s I was heavily medicated. This was to prevent an alcoholic seizure. I could not learn anything…I was just safely getting the substances out of my system without dying.

The rehab was where I started to clear up and I was able to understand the mess that I was actually in.

It took about 2 weeks to feel sort of normal. I was being fed regularly, showering, taking wellness classes, being driven to meetings and even a gym.

I was separated from my son which was devastating but necessary. I was away from all of my nonsensical friends and distractions. People that I drank with and got drugs from I was no longer in contact with.

I also learned NOT to contact these people when I came out of the rehab. (this and many other things saved my life)

To safely detox and then land in a 28 day treatment facility was my path. To be separated and plucked from my intoxicated way of life actually gave me a chance to survive in the outside world.

This was not easy but god and it’s grace have been with me every step of the way.

Hiking, fishing & crabbing 9/3

I nanny for two brothers George who is 6 and Clayton who is 4. George went off to 1st grade this week which leaves Clay and I on our own for most of the day.

I have to say it has been one of the nicest feeling weeks that I have had all summer. The obvious reason is there is no constant fighting and challenging.

Clay loves hiking, fishing and crabbing. George not so much.

So Clay and I were able to do these things. We hiked along the North river, made many stops along the way to find crabs and throw large rocks in the water off of the boat house dock.

We found a pond that we never knew existed. It was right off one of the trails and it was FILLED with turtles, dragon flies and freshwater fish.

While doing these things with Clay, I found pure contentment. I felt in my element.

That feeling that I would not want to be doing anything else at this time. I was breathing the air, discovering tons of beautiful things and being in it and of it.

It felt clean and pure.

Simple and true.

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