Skeletons 3.1 – My Recovery Reborn

Reborn (present): “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” The Promises of AA (BB, pg 83-84)

In Skeletons 1.3, I mentioned giving a speech at my high school graduation and this is what I said about it:

“I spewed a bunch of nonsense. I knew exactly what they wanted to hear and I gave it to them. Knocked that fucker out of the park. “

For my birthday this year, my in-laws had a mini “viewing party” for my husband, kids and I.  Upon plopping on the couch, tv still off, I somehow knew what it was we were about to watch: excerpts from our high school graduation video. And I was right! Upon watching myself at 18 years old, I was hit with 2 realizations:

  1. My speech was NOT as good as I had remembered and
  2. My anxiety was grossly apparent and that further proves why sharing in meetings has always been a challenge for me.

Wanna see what I’m talking about? Of course you do. Here you go:

“…and as we celebrate tonight, we must remember to glorify him in everything we do.”

Lip service, that’s what that was.  I knew what they wanted to hear but my delivery was cringe worthy; not only that but I did the exact opposite of glorifying God in everything that I did that night.*

Let me remind you that I was giving this speech as STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT. Not the president of my class. The president of the ASSOCIATED STUDENT BODY, people!

Let me also remind you that I became ASB President by default, I was not voted in.  I was voted into the ASB as the secretary, NOT ASB President. But then something crazy happened that led to some “impeachments” and yours truly automatically took the seat**; if you recall, I was not party to the scandal I mentioned in Skeletons 1.3. because my friends were worried I would ruin it for everyone. Fair enough.

Fast forward 15 years later to March, 2013.

I was up in front of a room full of women accepting my 1 year token.  I have no idea what I said except for this big fat lie:

“The promises really have come true for me.”

I didn’t even know what the promises really meant, I had no idea what I was saying, and I stumbled over every single word I thought they wanted to hear.  And that’s how it went every single time I accepted a token thereafter, up until year #5, the last token I “took” (as we say in the rooms.)

Fast forward 2 years later and I’m not like that today.

Today, I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

Today, I do what I say I’m going to do…for the most part…and when I don’t, the only person I am letting down is myself.

Today, I still get super nervous sharing but I’m a little bit calmer and self-confident.

Today, I care more about how my share will impact the newcomer and not what others are going to think about me.

Today, I do know a new freedom and a new happiness.

That’s what faith does.

That’s what trust does.

That’s what love does.

Thank you, S3 – you know WTF you are.

And thank you, HP! To God be all the glory.

#morewillberevealed

A Rebel is Reveling in the Change (of her Closet)

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The “She Shed”…

Have you watched the show “Tidying Up” on Netflix yet? It’s a reality show with tidying expert, Marie Kondo, helping families and couples “purge” their homes of any and all things that do not bring them joy. When all is said and done, her clients have developed new habits in maintaining tidy, functioning living spaces AND have reignited joy, happiness and harmony in their homes.

For me, finding this show was a game-changer.  Because, see, I am more or less a fucking slob.

That’s right. I am.

That’s not self-deprecating language either, it’s the truth. I’m not even going to try to blame “part-time working motherhood” because the fact of the matter is, I’ve been this way my entire life.  I have always played “catch up” with the messes I have created for myself to clean up.

The worse my house gets, the more daunting the task of tidying becomes.  I find myself paralyzed, not knowing where to begin; cursing myself for even allowing it to get so bad. Beating myself up for not “maintaining” like I said I would do.

When that negative self-talk takes my mind hostage, I accomplish nothing and the house gets worse. It reaches a point where I cannot take another day living in such chaos, so what do I do? I attack and I attack HARD. I’ll spend the entire day putting my house “back together” and feel a massive weight lifted.

Until it goes to shit again and I’m back to where I started.

Disaster → Fix → Relax → Repeat.

Since obtaining valuable tips and tools from the show, my home has become more manageable. However, with young kids in the house, I gotta stay on top of it. I MUST implement daily tasks to keep my home from “falling apart.”

And THAT my friends, is the story of my life when it comes to treating my alcoholism. While I haven’t drank in (ALMOST) 7 years, I’m still an alcoholic. I always will be.

I no longer have a drinking problem but I will always have a thinking problem and thinking problem can make or break my day. Every.Single.Day.

Just like my home, if I get complacent on my spiritual program of action, things go down for me real quick.  I don’t drink but I engage in other thinking and behavioral problems that make life…well…unmanageable.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that this blog was conceived in my closet and that my closet represents my life as a dry drunk and alcoholic in recovery. I have spent the past year and 3 months transforming both : purging, organizing, and holding onto things that I am not ready to let go of yet – in my closet and in my recovery.

In Skeletons Part 1, I talk about what my drinking and recovery was like before deciding to take my life back.

In Skeletons Part 2, I talk about what happened to land me in the rooms of AA and my desire for change in recovery.

I was 4 months shy of 6 years without a drink when this blog was born and a LOT has gone down – leaps of faith, secrets revealed, therapy and lots of “getting honest with myself.”  And here we are now in Skeletons Part 3: What (by God’s Grace) it’s Like Now.

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…AKA…

And let me tell you…

…I LOVE the changes so far.

But there is still work to be done. There will always be work to be done.

Recovery is a lifelong journey that I am so grateful to have finally embraced: striving to be a better human being than I was the day before.

One.

Day.

At.

A.

Time.

#morewillberevealed

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 My “Cloffice”

 

 

My Rebirth

Rebirth (past and present:) “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” (BB, pg.59)


Did you read the Daily Reflections today. If you didn’t, click here. (Reminder, I also have the link in the sidebar.)

WOW, what a God shot!

A year ago, I set out to be “reborn” from the inside out. I wanted to start fresh and live authentically. I ceased coloring my hair after doing so for 20 years. The longer it grew out, the shorter I cut it. I’ve never been huge on make-up but I stopped wearing it all together unless situations called for it. My face went “naked” as often as possible.

I was still purging my closet and set out to purge more throughout the house. One room, closet, and cupboard at a time. I started purging my email inbox and decided it was far too overwhelming and opened a new email account…2 actually because, well, you know, one is never enough. Haha.

Seriously tho, I thought it would help me get organized. It didn’t. But it did help make things more manageable.

The purging process has been just that, a process. It’s not getting done perfectly but I make progress every time I put in the effort. The same can be said for my recovery.

Progress, not perfection. That’s a not a new year motto, that’s a LIFE motto. And I didn’t make that up either, I got that from AA too!

I set out to “rebirth my recovery” and live authentically in the rooms of AA, which meant I also purged my brain, right here on this blog. If this is the first time you are visiting, welcome. I’ve shared a lot about my drinking and recovery in the past but not so much in the present or future. You can get an idea of what it has looked like and what happened in the past by clicking on My Story, which can also be found in the main menu.

If you CBB, ZFG. This is the perfect time to start following because it’s time to leave the past behind once and for all and live in the present and look forward to the future with Part 3: What (by God’s Grace) it is Like Now.

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#morewillberevealed

P.S. Reminder: I’m on IG as @pixiedustorm & @myrecoveryrevealed. If you don’t already, go follow me there too by clicking the link at the top of my page. I’ll be posting on both of those pages more frequently AS WELL!

 

My Reassurance

I had some major deja vu yesterday morning.

I woke up at 4:30 AM…again…as I have been every day for the past I don’t know how many weeks, for a while now.

I’m not complaining though, I love it! It is my absolute favorite time of the day. There is a woman I’ve watched in AA for years now…well…not so much recently but I still read her thought provoking texts every single morning. She always shares how mornings are her favorite part of her day. Of all the things she has said that I had rolled my eyes at, that was never one of them. I have always loved mornings too…well…when I wasn’t hungover.

Or a mom to two girls.

Their cries, fights, screams, whines and incessant demands have helped me see the value in silence, which has made me love the mornings even more. The sound of silence, oh how I savor thee.

So it’s 4:30 and I’m awake. I settle in to do my morning “spiritual fitness” routine which goes a little something like this:

1. Read devotional of the day from “New Morning Mercies” by Paul David Tripp. 

2. Read Bible verse noted at bottom of devotional.

3. Read daily reflections from the AA Spiritual Toolkit App.

4. Read daily meditation from “A Woman’s Spirit” by Karen Casey.

5. Pray

As I sat in reflection, I turned to H and mentioned just how much I loved getting up so early and then hit the deja vu: that exact moment felt strangely familiar and yet different at the same time. Wasn’t it about a year ago that I was doing the same exact thing?

I had to go look at my IG feed and by golly, it was! 1 year and 4 days ago to be exact, I was getting up around 4:30-5 every morning, on my own, no alarm clock and spending time with God with a fire blazing in the fireplace. I didn’t understand why then but I sure AF do now.

1 year ago, I was begging God to take over because, while I was still without a sip of alcohol in, at the time, almost 6 years, I was miserable on so many levels.

Confused.

Distraught.

Remorseful.

Scared.

Sad.

Tired.

Lost.

I prayed for a miracle.

I remember feeling the presence of God with me one morning as I was praying in the fetal position, face down in my hands on the carpet. I had this vision of him wrapping his arms around me and say “it’s going to be okay, my child. You are going to be okay.  Just keep doing everything you are doing. Don’t stop. You are going to be alright.”

It wasn’t long after that I wrote a blog post after a 5 week hiatus of NO writing.  It was only my 5th post published on New Year’s Eve and I was in a lot of fear.

Since then, the entire year of 2018 has been nothing short of mini miracles, one after another.  And this entire time, as I have grown in my faith and recovery, I still will hear in my head, “it’s all a lie. God does not exist. How can there really be a God who can do such miraculous things?”

It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around, it really is, but my faith is strong enough today to realize where that voice is coming from and what I have to do to make it go away: rebuke, read and reflect.

You guys, the last paragraph of my devotional started with the following sentence:

“So don’t let any evil enemy whisper lies into your ears.”

THEN the accompanying Bible reference was a story in 2 Kings and once again, God revealed himself to me like he always does; reassuring me that indeed He’s STILL here with me, He IS real and He IS at work in my life in miraculous ways.

And theeeennnnn the daily reflections (DR), OH. MY. GOSH. Look. Just look.

(FYI, if you can’t read the text but want to, the link to the DR is in the sidebar.)

If you only knew what the year 2018 has looked like for me, your mind would be blown just as much as mine is by this DR. It’s really quite amazing and hard to put into words but I’m going to try as this blog unfolds.

I have so much I want to share and I know it’s been a while.  Let me reassure YOU that I’m still here and I still haven’t picked up a drink.

I want to also reassure you..well..no, I guess this will be the first time I’m saying it: I really don’t care to talk about my marijuana usage any longer…for now anyway.  Is it still part of my life? Yes. Does it rule my life or my recovery for that matter? No. Will I mention it again? Probably. Why? Because it’s still a PART of the story. That’s why.

I’m still in the “what happened” portion of my story and I’m not done yet; there is still more to share. Before I get into “what it’s like now,” I invite you to visit Skeletons Part 2.12 for a little review.

Then I may or may not go into more details about the list of 12 things that happened in 2018 before I jump into 2019 and tell you more cool shit that happened when I accepted my alcoholism, surrendered my will over to the care of God as I understand Him and got honest in the rooms of AA.

Who knows, maybe my story will help you in your recovery too.

That IS how it works, after all.

#morewillberevealed

P.S. The 5th post I mentioned above is also worth a read because I talk about our Elf, Gidget, and how we do “Elf on the Shelf” in OUR house. You can find it by visiting the My Story page, titled Disclaimer. This is year number 3 and we are having so much fun with it; so much so that I decided to give Gidget her own page to showcase the shenanigans she’s gotten into and the notes she and A1 have been leaving for each other.

So much growth this past year…so much growth!

My Recovery Retort – Part 1

Retort (present): God grant me the serenity…

…to accept the things I cannot change 

I CANNOT change my past, nor can I convince anyone else to let theirs go.

I CANNOT change that I am an alcoholic, nor can I convince anyone else that they are too.

I CANNOT change AA, nor can I convince its members to accept my choice to use MJ.

I CANNOT change their opinions on MJ in recovery, nor can I convince them that they shouldn’t judge me for mine.

I CANNOT change God’s will for my life, nor can I convince anyone else to live in His will and not their own.

…the courage the change the things I can…

I CAN change my present and help others do the same.

I CAN change how I view my alcoholism and how it can help others.

I CAN change my attitude towards AA and show others how it can work for them.

I CAN change my opinion of AA’s members and accept that they DO (and will continue to) judge me.

I CAN change the course of my life by relying on a Higher Power greater than myself and help others do the same.

& the wisdom to know the difference.

#morewillberevealed

Skeletons Part 2.12 – My Recovery Relaxed

Relaxed (past) – “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.” – phrase used in AA.

I distinctly remember the first time I decided I wasn’t going to go to meetings for a while and didn’t know if I was going to come back after I gave birth..  I was VERY pregnant, sitting in a meeting with my legs spread wide open and a human being beating the shit out of my insides. I was done. I was done being pregnant and I was done with AA.

My meeting attendance in early recovery was relatively consistent due to the fact that I needed signatures. After A2 was born, I went on my terms. I was now 3+ years without a drink and back to my recreational usage of MJ. I still harbored the same resentments towards AA and remained one foot in, one foot out. I simply wasn’t ready to work on myself because I didn’t think I had to.

I was self-will run riot and unwilling to accept what I couldn’t change (people, places and things) or have the courage to change what I could (myself!) and God wasn’t having it. My relaxed recovery was about to get an overhaul and I had no idea it was going to look how it does today.

But God did and stuff had to happen first.

In August of 2017, I hit a wall that brought me to my knees, only this time, I wasn’t drinking. In the months that followed, I was living in a perpetual emotional hangover that gave me the desperation I needed to hand my will back over to God.

You wanna know what happened, don’t you? I know, I know, I would too. Fine, I’ll tell give you the condensed, vague version in the form of…that’s right…a list:

  1. Certain aspects of my existence had become unmanageable.
  2. I started to pray and meditate like my life depended on it…because it did.
  3. I saw the need for change and decided it was officially time I defect from AA, announced it in a private recovery group on social media, and sought professional help for my outside issues that had nothing to do with drinking.
  4. Considered drinking AT my issues a couple of times and went to a meeting right away instead.
  5. One of those times was when I decided to tell a bunch of strangers my BBS and walked away with a glimmer of hope for my place in AA.
  6. Confessed to women I DID know in a house meeting and walked away with even more hope; enough to compel me to seek out a temporary sponsor while I “figured it out.” The woman I asked said yes under conditions I wasn’t willing to adhere to.
  7. Attended meetings off and on, getting more and more annoyed at the “all or nothing” mentality, suggesting that people in recovery are not really sober if they are using marijuana – medicinally or recreationally – and that they would need to start their date over if/when they decided to quit.
  8. Started this blog and was doing recovery without a sponsor or meetings, using all the tools I had learned in AA the past 6 years (as of March 30th, 2018) and was still in therapy.
  9. Found a private FB community and support group for people who also use cannabis in recovery – recreationally and as a harm reduction tool.
  10. Things happened that would not allow me to close the door on AA for good. For example, I found out that the maid of honor I talk about in Skeletons 1.9 had been reading my blog and that she’s ALSO in the program. Are you kidding me!? She instantaneously became Birdie #6. B6, you know WTF you are.
  11. Was met with nothing but support when I told her about my BBS. That same day, B3 strongly encouraged me (again) to stop judging myself and come back to the rooms.
  12. 2 days later, after a long sabbatical from meetings, I got honest in my former home group and claimed my seat; offering to be of service in any way that I could and that I was praying for a sponsor.  

Can you guess what happened next?

I’ll give you a hint…

..a miracle.

#morewillberevealed

P.S. Oh, yeah, I should probably mention what else happened these past 12 months: I smoked, vaped and ate cannabis products the entire time. I also cried…a lot!

Skeletons 2.10 – My Recovery Revealed

Revealed (past): It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. (BB, pg. 85)

I remember the first time I learned that smoking pot was a no no in the rooms of AA. I was sitting in a meeting watching a woman take a 1 year token after “smoking a little weed” when she had 11 years of sobriety. I distinctly remember a part of her share when she received the coin and it went SOMETHING like this:

“I really don’t want to be taking this token but my sponsor is making me.”

I thought it was ridiculous that a woman with long term sobriety would be “told” she had to start over.  I still do and that’s why I kept my “marijuana maintenance” a secret for so long.

Revealing my chosen recovery path here isn’t the first time I have “outed myself.”  I came clean to 3 friends a few years ago and their response was this:

“So? The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.”

I couldn’t believe my ears and was really happy they were so accepting.  It was a game changer for me and I started going back to meetings. But not regularly. Even though no one else in the program knew, I still felt like an outcast and “not worthy” to be an active member of AA. Down deep, I really did want to be “a part of” but I was convinced I wouldn’t be accepted if I fully “got honest.” I felt like a fraud and it was killing me inside. I could NOT let go of the idea that I didn’t belong because I WAS doing it “my way” and if they knew, they’d shun me. Why?

MY ego.

MY pride.

MY will.

I was IN self and entering the danger zone, distancing myself further and further from the program.

I’ve heard countless times that people who smoke weed in recovery end up leaving AA altogether and eventually turn to the drink when life gets really hard. And guess what…

…it did. I left AA and then shit got real. And guess what…

…the thought to drink DID occur to me a handful of times. But did I?

#morewillberevealed