Relapse 4-11-19

March 4th for the past 17 years has been my sobriety anniversary. Every year I celebrate another year of sobriety. This year I didn’t have that opportunity.

Many of you look up to me for being strong. I often hear I’m an inspiration. I’m extremely embarrassed but today I have to be honest with myself and all of you.

Up until last July I have faced my challenges. Often times white knuckling life and often times on my knees praying for god to grant me the strength to get through another day. Last July I had my breaking point. I gave up on myself, god and life in general. I don’t feel the need to share the personal details of what happened but I will say for me it was the last straw. I picked up a bottle. In the beginning my drinking was occasional but by December my drinking had become my only way of coping with the many challenges that life continues to throw my way. What can I say? I relapsed.

Last fall, I somehow managed to get myself in therapy as well as seeing a psychiatrist. It’s no secret. I am battling chronic PTSD. I also succumbed to agreeing to anti depressants. Still I kept drinking. I wasn’t going out or anything like that. In fact, I have to find the humor in the fact that I spent my evenings like a hermit isolated in my room, watching Hallmark, CNN and even Dr Pimple Popper while drinking a glass, or shall I say, a bottle of wine. I am so embarrassed.

Through the grace of God I recognized my downfall. I picked myself up and got my ass to AA. I was not only honest with myself, but honest with the people I love. I didn’t sugar coat it. I owned it. I have owned it ever since.

Today I’m 30 days sober. It sucks to start all over again after 16 1/2 years but I’m sharing because like anyone in sobriety I’m only human. I’m also sharing because I want everyone including myself to recognize relapse happens. The important thing is to recognize it, own it and start doing the work. I am attending AA four nights per week, celebrate recovery one night per week, I see a therapist and a psychiatrist. I also have a life coach.

I owe myself an apology for letting myself down but more importantly I owe the people I love an apology for letting them down too.

Sobriety is hard work. Especially when life throws you a curve ball. Or in my case one curveball after the next. However sobriety is possible if you want it. I want it! I’ll do anything to stay this way including being honest. I’m not always perfect. But who is? One thing about me that those who know me is if I did it, I’ll admit it. Relapse….I did it and I admit it. I recognize it and I’m doing something about it. Thirty days may not seem like a lot after 16 1/2 years but I did it once and I’ll do it again. Thirty days is only the beginning.

With that said I hope that my honesty helps someone struggling today.

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Being A Silver Girl 9-26-18

This past May I posted this song on my blog. Not for any reason other than I think the song is beautiful. I love the lyrics. As I listened to the lyrics this morning while I was at the gym, I began to ponder the lyrics. Like many women, Silver Girl is a woman caught up in a high tech world. While some of us can not relate to the high tech world, I think as women we can all relate to the fact that we are all caught up in an “all man’s world”.

Like Silver Girl, some of us have the Midas Touch. Some of us are Lady Luck. Some of us are Golden Girls. Some of us are girlie girls. Some of us have a million bucks and some of us look like we have a million bucks. At times, many of us are actresses putting on a performance as we face challenges every day. I can certainly relate to being an actress. Often times people think they know everything about me but they don’t. I don’t think anyone truly knows what’s in my soul. They don’t know my fears, my insecurities, my pain or even my joy. All I know, I’m just me. Right or indifferent….I am who I am. I’m just me.

As women we are all different but one thing for sure, like Silver Girl, often times we look back at the hard times and recognize how far we’ve come. It’s mind blowing. Personally as I look back at all the trials and challenges I’ve faced it is very mind blowing for me. I don’t always want to remember but I do. One thing I know, despite everything I’ve been through, I’m still here. I’m still standing. I have some regrets but I keep getting up.

Like Silver Girl, I feel alone sometimes. I am confident I’m not the only woman in the world to feel lonely. I’m insane beyond my years from all my experiences and like Silver Girl despite it all, I will forever be an adventurer. I’m sure many women reading today can relate.

I’d like to imagine myself dressed in all silver. Successful, strong and wealthy. I don’t know Silver Girl but somehow I feel like her when I listen to this song.

Today I dedicate this song to all the Silver Girls out there. We stand strong. We stand together and we stand in all Silver as Silver Girls. Women with a force to be reckoned with. Women in an all mans world surviving and winning every day.

The Iwa 5-27-18

There’s a Hawaiian bird called the Iwa. (Pronounced “Eva”) This bird is a very meaningful bird in the Polynesian culture. The Iwa is at times referred to as the “Storm Bird”. The Iwa is 43 inches long. It soars and glides gracefully with a wing span of seven feet. They often travel great distances but rarely soar further than 50 miles from land. This bird has the resilience to withstand storms, even flying for hours and days in its search for food. They are able to travel great distances. They fly offshore even though their feathers are not waterproof. They swoop down in the ocean and snatch their prey using their hook like beaks.

Polynesian fisherman look to these birds while fishing. If the Iwa is flying above them, they know they are in a good fishing area. They also look for the Iwa to find their way back home when they are out at sea.

Often times, like the Iwa, we find ourselves soaring through our own storm. Some of us have the resilience to keep flying and never give up. Others simply throw in the towel and give up. I’m not one of those people. I never give up, even on the days I want to.

There’s a passage in Matthew 6-26. It says:

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they.”

The Iwa doesn’t have waterproof feathers, yet they don’t worry. God always provides. They soar and will fly for days looking for food. If the Iwa doesn’t worry why should we? If God provides for the Iwa, he will certainly provide for you and me.

If you are facing any challenge today, remember the Iwa. Keep flying and never give up.

Today I will soar through all of my trials like the Iwa believing that no matter what, god will always provide.

Gremlins 4-10-18

The Daily Flame

Did you notice how The Gremlin of fear just attacked you? Yeah, me too. Whenever that happens, my flame initially dims and I have to draw my strength from deep within to make sure The Gremlin doesn’t extinguish me.

The Gremlin is vicious, sneaky, manipulative, and determined to make you feel small.

But never fear. That Gremlin ain’t got nothin’ on me. It ain’t got nothing on you.

Here’s the secret you can’t tell The Gremlin. Come in close, where you can hear. When The Gremlin shows up, whispering evil nothings in your ear, that’s a reminder to pour on the lighter fluid so we can blaze like the star we’re capable of being.

So don’t be afraid. The other side of fear is faith, and unless you have both, you’ll never notice how radiant You can be.

Patience 1-5-18

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something.

Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.

By Henri Nouwen

Shaking The Tree 11-2-17

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have had some medical challenges these past couple of months however, I thought I’d post today in the hopes of inspiring women today. 

I was in my car yesterday and as I was listening to Sirius radio, Peter Gabriel came on. He was belting out “In Your Eyes”. For a brief moment I found myself reflecting on my youth when I was young, free and everything was good. As a young adult, I recalled listening to music by Peter Gabriel. I loved his songs then as much as I do today.  It was a very nostalgic moment for me. 

One of my favorite songs is “Shaking The Tree”. The song exudes influences from Africa which I love. In fact, Peter wrote the song with Youusou N’Dour, an African musician Gabriel admired. The song was Peter Gabriel’s way of taking a stance against the many problems in the world. This song was his way of supporting the women’s movement in Africa where traditionally men allowed women very few rights. It’s an awesome song and very empowering to all women throughout the world. 

I read a post the other day about courage. I was very moved by the words and I was inspired to be courageous and press on and do the things I was scared to do.  I’m sharing  in the hopes it will be the inspiration anyone reading might need today. 

“Today is COURAGE DAY!!! What have you been scared to do, even though you know you want and need to do it?  Today is the day!! It’s time!!! You know you’re ready. Now JUST DO IT!!”

After I listened to Peter Gabriel on the radio I remembered my favorite tune. I not only listened to it on my YouTube playlist, I shared it on Facebook. Today I’m sharing on my blog and dedicating it to all women who are facing challenges today. My hope is you will be inspired to have the courage to take back your life and be the strong woman god intended you to be. 

Maybe some of you are in an abusive relationship, maybe you’ve recently gone through a break up. Maybe some of you are at a workplace where sexual harassment is king or maybe someone reading today is facing a medical challenge that has brought you to your knees. Whatever your challenge is, I’d like to encourage you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start “Shaking that tree!”  Shake two trees if you have to!! Do not allow anything or anyone to take a way that power that lives inside of you. Maybe it’s hiding somewhere deep inside but believe me, if you shake that tree hard enough you’ll not only find that courage but you’ll also find that strong, independent woman that lives inside of you. Break away from the fear that holds you back and just do it! Have the courage to do whatever it is you’ve been afraid to do and have the courage to just be you!!! 

I stand with all women today!  Remember, we are women. Hear us roar!! This is your day!! Its your life!! It’s a woman’s day!!  Take back your life!!!

 https://youtu.be/3_Q79lls1f0