I need a problem 10/7

After writing that title my mind starts firing off all sorts of funny lines. The first one was “Yeah you need a problem like you need a hole in your head.”

And then following that brilliant and sarcastic thought was “Danielle you are the problem.” Gotta love the mind!

What I am actually trying to write about is something that I learned and “realized” the other day.

If I am never presented with a problem…then I will never have the desire to seek a solution and therefore I will never evolve.

Tony Robins states “If you want to take the island you gotta burn all the fucking boats.”

A MAJOR problem in my life – addiction and my powerlessness over the disease.

The MAJOR solution -a higher power, the energy that is the source of all things and my connection to it.

Those of us who do not find the solution…live in hell on earth, go to jail or die.

I love the solution to my biggest problem. I am learning to use it for all of my problems.

Comforting Quotes 10/6

Being an addict in recovery means that I NEED to soothe my mind. The mental part of my disease can be very unkind and down right torturous at times.

However I have found that my mind is no match for my soul. So when I find things that ring true to my soul, my mind takes a back seat and is a bit more quiet.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Old idea- Nobody’s Perfect 10/5

New idea – Everybody is perfect.

Recently I have been becoming more and more free of judgements and critizing others.

I thought at first this would make me a better person in a “social” sense. Like I would stop saying the bad things I was thinking about the others and I would just be a more appropriate person.

A gold star – a pat on the head – “a good girl” for doing what is right.

However, what I have found is something far greater than anyone else’s opinion of my behavior socially.

I have found and I am continuing to find the joy in everything and everyone. This brings my spirit and whole being to a place of joy.

There is freedom in non judgement for myself. It lessens fear and I get to enjoy this life AND ALL that is has to offer in appreciation rather than degradation.

My recovery, is a recovery of my true spirit that resides within. It keeps unfolding and becoming more as long as I don’t pick up the first drink or drug.

“The coffee guy don’t get high” 10/4

When I was new to recovery meetings, people suggested that I get a job in the group. These jobs can consist of greeting people at the door as they walk in, selling raffle tickets, handling money, reading things from the podium, handing out chips/key tags,making coffee…and many other small tasks.

These are called service positions and it helps give the new comer a sense of purpose and belonging. Something that many of us had not felt in years.

When I was new I was frightened and very shy. My eyes were covered by my baseball hat and I would rather look at the floor than at anyone else.

So of course I was asked to sell raffle tickets which was a nightmare for me. That meant I had to get up out of my chair and walk around and talk to people.

I was given the position for a month and at first I despised it. But then….I started to meet the others, I started to learn who would always buy the tickets and I would go to them first. People started learning my name and saying hi to me.

I felt such a sense of connection from that job.

UNTIL….an older woman named Fran stopped me one day and said “You need to stop talking so much dear and sell more tickets.”

I was devastated. I cried to my sponsor at the time and she said that Fran was out of line.

Today I laugh at this and I am happy to have grown a bit emotionally.

But it makes me think of just how sensitive some who are new in recovery are….and to ENCOURAGE them and not DISCOURAGE them.

Fran has long since passed and I have learned from that experience. As Maya Angelou once stated “When you know better – you do better.”

Making an amends to myself

Dear Danielle,

I am so sorry for trying to silence you with drugs and alcohol.

I am sorry that I did not listen to you when you were in pain.

I apologize for ever believing that you were not smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough….worthy enough for all the good this life has to offer.

I am sorry for letting other people take advantage of you.

I am sorry that I physically abused you and let others do the same.

I am sorry that I ever allowed us to feel stuck and worthless.

I am truly sorry for not listening to you….you whispered and sometimes screamed.

I am sorry for putting you into situations that you did not deserve, for endangering your life and your sons.

I am sorry for being so hard on you.

I am sorry for ever telling you that your dreams won’t come true.

I am making this amends to restore you to the whole person that god intended for you to be. I hope you will forgive me and be free of it all.



My son-my teacher 10/2

I am blessed to have an 18 year old person in my life who I get to call my son.

I had many preconceived notions before he was born of exactly how I think he should be and would be. We were going to play sports together and I would coach him to become the perfect athlete in the sport of “his” choice.

What god gave me instead was a huge bond with a person that would change my life…and on some level…save my life.

It was my sons pain and the grace of god to allow me to see it….that prompted me to go get help for my substance abuse.

My son Tyler, has stood his ground over the years going up against society, teachers, parents, and his piers to becoming EXACTLY WHO HE WANTS TO BE – and not what anyone else (including me) wants him to be.

He was diagnosed with Autism an identity he refuses to take on. Not because he is ashamed…but because he is not that label.

He has fought for his freedom to be himself….and for that he has taught me to do the same.

I’m Happy 10/1

What a statement! Today, right now, in this moment I am happy.

Nothing is wrong. I think that is the key – I am accepting everyone and everything -ESPECIALLY myself for exactly where I am and where everyone else is too.

I am letting everyone off the hook, nobody has to be any different today than what they are. (how kind of me -ha ha)

This makes me laugh..because it’s an illusion for me to think that I have control over how anybody behaves.

When I was in active addiction I was never truly happy. It was a sick game. Before I could finish the first drink I was already thinking of the next one.

That is the disease of addiction and it can and does creep in. However….right now -my disease must be asleep because this moment is perfect.

From Relying on drugs to Relying on God 9/30

When I think back of my days in active addiction and of just how much I relied on a drink or a drug to dictate the way I was going to feel, it’s astounding.

I relied on the liquor store man, the pill lady, the physicians prescription, the people I associated myself with…the certain hole in the wall restaurants I would take my child to…..I relied on it all to make ME feel better.

Then stripped of all of those people, places and things…I came into recovery and it was suggested to start relying on something that I cannot see…a higher power.

To rely on god for me today means to try and feel and connect with that source of energy that is everything. It creates everything is in everything and is just indescribable peace, contentment and harmony.

It’s freedom from desire…because everything I seek I already have.

It blows my mind that I, who was once so reliant upon getting high…need none of that today.

Recovery for me is a true process of learning to rely on a higher power and continuously awakening to the miracles on my path.

Other peoples shoes 9/29

I wanted to share a simple tool that helps me to relieve anger, stress and frustration in my life. When I find myself upset by something that another person has done or said I try to put myself in their shoes.

I know it’s an age old saying. But I find this really works.

The disease of addiction lives, breathes and thrives in “self centered fear”. A useful way to try to combat the disease is to get out of self and to squash the fear.

For example: if someone lies to me, and my feelings become hurt…after I have a good cry or tantrum I will try to release the hurt using this tool.

I will say to myself “Danielle – have you ever lied before…and then why?” Obviously …yes and usually due to self centered fear.

It’s a tough pill to swallow but it brings me closer to forgiveness and then closer to feeling better.

I also have to say “Danielle if you make a mistake against another….how would you want them to treat you?” And I obviously would want to be treated with kindness, compassion and understanding.

The spiritual principles of recovery always bring me back to peace and freedom. It might not happen right away…but when I point my heart in that direction and start moving …then I am bound to get there.

A “Step Ahead” 9/28

This story really touched my heart. The mother was a “step ahead” with her kindness.

Sometimes I feel like my life is moving so fast that I am trying to be a “step ahead” with finances, house cleaning, groceries….all for me and MY family.

But what if I could be forward thinking in my gestures of kindness. If I could “SLOW DOWN AND GET KIND.”

If my focus can shift to “how can I serve” as opposed to “what do I need” then my whole being will feel better.

When someone is feeling uncomfortable in recovery and I see it….I can reach out and listen. When I know a fellow addict might not have enough money for a cup of coffee…I can kindly bring them one.

Recovery has taught me that self forgetting leads to freedom. Freedom from suffering on this earth. My spirit wants to give and be open to love. My spirit knows that giving and self forgetting brings joy. And I just LOVE joy!

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