An unbearable moment 3/5

I was listening to Steve Harvey speak about stress. He stated that “stress is my preparation” and I couldn’t agree more.

It brought me back to a moment in time where I thought I could not handle.

This moment was when I was in rehab over 12 years ago and my son came to visit me.

My son was about 7 years old at the time and I had not seen him for at least 2 weeks – it was the most time we had ever been apart.

It was a Sunday – visiting day. He came into the dining hall and we hugged. He was very happy to see that my face was healing. I previously had two black eyes and one eye was blood filled.

I was starting to look human again.

I knelt in front of my son and I was looking in his eyes and he said “Mom, I’m tired and I just want to go home” he had been staying with different family members.

And I looked at him with tears and said “I know bud…me too.”

When he left the facility I watched him through a window; he was walking out into the parking lot getting into the car with my x husband.

That moment was excruciating….I wanted to run after him sooooo badly I cannot even describe it. I was sober and I wanted to LEAVE and go get my son.

I sobbed and cried and my room mate saved my life that day. She also had children.

She told me and I miraculously heard it: “Danielle – do this NOW so you never have to do it again.”

I stayed and completed rehab.

Amazing grace.

“Gather up” – a poem

*** This is a poem written by Athey Thompson. It instantly reminded me of recovery and our meetings. I picture god gathering us all up and putting us in a room together.

I shall
Gather up
All the lost souls
That wander this earth
All the ones that are alone
All the ones that are broken
All the ones that never really fitted in
I shall gather them all up
And together we shall find our home

Anxiety 3/3

I was at a recovery meeting last night and the topic was anxiety.

I started to remember when…

I realized the very first reason that I started using alcohol regularly was to reduce anxiety. It would help me sleep.

I also realized that when I drank I became more relaxed and at ease.

It was like I didn’t even know that I was uncomfortable in my own skin until I took that drink and realized “Wow – this feels much better.”

And then the chase was on – running from anxiety and fear – chasing the substance that would bring me the relief.

Today I have learned how to deal with myself even when I am uncomfortable – without taking a substance.

Anytime I am anxious I know today it’s because my thoughts are on a future event that has not happened yet.

When I bring it back to the present moment…I check in with god and then myself…that relief comes.

I ask myself if I am in any danger in that very moment. Usually the answer is no. Then I will actually look at my feet – notice that they are safely planted somewhere. This grounds me…brings me back to the now.

And I acknowledge god – the one who has carried me this far…and will continue to do so.

Life is good 3/2

The Hawaiian shirt wearing chef making tacos is my son Tyler. The kitten is Eve who we adopted from a shelter after our cat Pickles passed away last summer.

I was on the couch last night after work…and I looked over and I saw my life.

This is a typical evening for me. And it is just amazing.

I am a person who 13 years ago could not get off the couch to get my son off the bus…due to my addiction.

Today – I’m on the couch appreciating every moment of what I have.

Thank you God

****And I cannot forget our cat Snoopy – Eve’s older brother. She adores him.

WE heal 3/1

Physical healings seem a bit more basic – the mind can be involved – but the body instinctively knows what to do if you let it.

Emotional healing for me is a whole different ball game. When my “feelings” get hurt my instinct is to run away from it. No need to stick around for more.

However, I have learned in recovery that healing my mind and heart is just as important as healing the physical.

I am currently in the process of writing what is called a 4th step. I have done it before but each time it is new as I am continuously new.

I sit and I write about the things that I have hurt still lingering around in my heart and mind.

I wrote yesterday about my dad. Even with my dad I have run away and shut the door. I leave it open just a crack…

The beautiful thing about this process is I am asked to write my part in the hurt or resentment. And then I get to become aware of my patterns.

My pattern : “I shoot first and ask questions later or maybe not at all.”

My self centered behavior does not want to know why someone might have behaved in a certain way that hurt me. My self centeredness will assume and think the worst.

Bottom line – my dad – has reasons beyond reasons that I may never know, understand or figure out as to why our relationship is not what I would want.

Thing is though…I have never really asked him either.

The blue cough drop 2/28

Last week was a busy and draining week with the boys I nanny for. It was longer hours and lots of running around.

It’s also challenging because the boys are two young rambunctious and super active beings who I need to keep “safe” first.

They love to beat each other up, wrestle, push each others buttons…set each other up for torment basically.

But they are full of life and I laugh more than ever with these two.

On one of these days I was admittedly in my head a bit…and I was wanting the time to possibly pass a little bit quicker.

I reached into my jacket pocket and I pulled out a blue cough drop. I typically have the red kind so the blue stood out.

I remembered that my friend in recovery Bootsie had handed me a blue cough drop in a meeting about a week back and this was from him.

On the wrapper of the cough drop there was a message – it said:

“You’ve survived tougher.”

This is my higher power working in my life. I laughed and I knew the truth of that statement and I got grateful straight away.

Gods grace and divine timing yet again.

I’m gonna die 2/27

This is not new news. I will die. This physical apparatus will be no more some day. The ending is none of my business. Neither was the beginning really.

But the middle…the journey, the story the creation of me finding my way – I believe I have some say in.

How I will live today…in this very day – is everything.

I have been given a second chance to live this life in this body.

I abused this body and all that surrounded it for many years. And then it stopped. The love of gods grace allowed me to see the pain in my sons eyes…and I was given the will to say that’s enough at the age of 35.

Since then…the almost 13 years of navigating this life sober and connecting to a higher energy daily…is such grace. I did not know life could be so good.

Call it chapter 2.

I learn everyday that it’s all about the love of self.

I understand today that chapter 1 – was very necessary to live in chapter 2.

The fire of desire 2/26

As an addict there is a behavior that I have in which a desire can turn into an obsession.

Simply meaning if I “want” something and I can’t have it right away I can easily obsess over it until I get it.

It started with drugs and alcohol but now that I am in recovery I can recognize this behavior in other areas of my life.

I heard a wonderful explanation of this from a Guru named Mooji. It brought instant peace and relief to me on this topic.

He says that the thing you desire is not really what you are seeking.

Lets say I wanted a new car – this one specific car and I became obsessed with it. I could not stop thinking about it…it took over my mind.

So then I finally get the car…and I feel so happy. I breathe the sigh of relief – I got the thing…the material object.

But Mooji explains it is not the thing (the car) that brought the relief.

The relief is from the freedom of the desire. I am now free from the obsession – the mind molesting thoughts about the thing. I am free.

So…it’s never about the thing…no matter what. It is always about the peace of mind that we are seeking. The relief from the mind.

This understanding has been very helpful when I catch myself obsessing over something.

A true victory 2/25

Today I woke up tired. My body has been running around with my two young charges all week. George is 7yrs old, Clay is 5 and I am 48.

It has been school break and we have not stopped. The boys both play hockey so there have been games, tournaments and then us playing floor hockey in the garage.

I finally beat George in a game 5 to 4. What is amazing about this is that George took it like a champ!

In the past he would have come up with any and every excuse as to why my winning goal did not count. But this time he didn’t.

To be honest I was shocked that my shot went in! The game was tied at 4-4 and I had every intention of letting him win…for the sake of peace on earth.

But my shot got past Clay and George was ok with that.

I was so happy for him that he was ok…and that he was not beating himself up for not winning.

My victory was not the game. The victory was seeing the growth in George.

****side note – later that day it was discovered George had stolen 8 dollars from Clays room…ha! One lesson at a time I guess 🙂

Cadence 2/24

As I was returning from my morning walk the other day…I saw two men with hard hats on leaving the Blueberry Muffinour local coffee shop.

They were walking back to the job site – there is a lot of building happening in my neighborhood these days.

What I noticed was once they were walking a few paces…their steps were the same. The right legs moved the same distance and then the left. They were walking in harmony.

It looked very neat because of the song I was listening to and the music just fit the cadence of their steps perfectly.

Then I started to wonder…did one of them have to slow down to be in sync with the other? Or did one have to speed up?

How much do we slow down or speed up to be in alignment with others?

Or are their ones that walk the same as we do naturally?

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