Most of us aren’t likely to betray anyone to a death squad. But as we meditate on the events of the Passion, we might reﬂect on the times we’ve betrayed a trust, the times we’ve talked about someone behind their back, the times we’ve stayed silent when a friend has been ridiculed. Resolve to keep silent when tempted to gossip and to speak out when others are gossiping. That sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? It is. Pray for the grace to meet it.
—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek
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.
A friend from Brazil shared this with me a few years ago. She said in Brazil there’s a sayin’ about men. There are 3 types of men. The good time men. The bed time men and the all the time men.
The good time man is the man who is with you through the good times. And I mean the good times only.
The bed time man is just that. A bed time guy. Only there for one reason and one reason only. My friend would say the bed time men can be found at every street corner.
Then there’s the all of the time man. He’s the guy who’s there with you in the good times, the bad times, the down times and the up times.
My friend would say in Brazil women have these three choices. They can choose the man who’s only there in the good times. Bales on you in the bad. They can choose the man who’s only there in the bed times. Of course you can find a bed time guy on every street corner. The safe bet is to chose the all the time man. He’s the guy who will be there for you in sickness and in health. He will be by your side in the good times and the bad times. He will love you unconditionally forever and always. My friend would say “I don’t know about you but I choose the all the time man”.
I think about my friend sometimes and find myself grateful for her Brazilian words of wisdom. I have a friend experiencing some stuff in her life. As I listened to her story my Brazilian friends words of wisdom came to my mind. My dad used to say “men are like greyhound busses. There’s always another one at the next stop”. I’ve always loved my dads analogy but somehow my friends words of wisdom make more sense.
No one is coming to save you. Drop the damsel in distress act and pick up your goddamned sword. You know what you need. Get up and make it happen.
I’ve always loved this song. Even when I was a young girl this song would hold a special meaning. It never failed, it came on in the Knick of time to offer me the comfort I needed at that time. It reminded me then and still reminds me today to….Let It Be. I’m posting in the hopes that if anyone is struggling that this song will come as a reminder that whatever you’re going through….Let It Be. Everything is going to be ok. Many if you may not know the true meaning of this song, but here it is.
Paul McCartney wrote this song. It was inspired by his mother, Mary, who died when he was 14. Many people thought “Mother Mary” was a biblical reference when they heard it.
According to McCartney, this is a very positive song, owing to its inspiration. One night when he was paranoid and anxious, he had a dream where he saw his mother, who had been dead for ten years or so – she came to him in his time of trouble, speaking words of wisdom that brought him much peace when he needed it. It was this sweet dream that got him to begin writing the song.
He told the story to James Corden when he appeared on his Carpool Karaoke segment. “She was reassuring me, saying, ‘It’s going to be OK, just let it be.’ I felt so great. She gave me the positive words. I woke up and thought, ‘What was that? She said ‘Let It Be.’ That’s good.’ So I wrote the song ‘Let It Be’ out of positivity.”
I’ve put $3 worth of gas in my tank before and I’ve put $40 in my tank. I’ve had $5 to feed myself and I’ve had $500 to go out to eat. I’ve asked for rides and given rides. I’ve had a house full of food and I’ve been without food. I’ve given people clothes. I’ve been given clothes. I’ve been in stores cashing out with no worries and I’ve also had to add it up and put it back. I’ve paid my rent in full and I’ve had to pay it late too. I’ve given money and I too have had to ask for it. We all have highs and lows in life, some certainly more than others, but we’re all just trying to make it. No one is better than anyone else, and I pity those who think that they are. No matter how big your house is, how new your car is, or how much money sits in your bank account – we all bleed red and will all die someday. Death has no discrimination neither should your life. Be kind to others. And know not everyone has the same heart as you… The people who pretend they love you so much will leave you standing in all the storms just so they can shine…
I Challenge you to copy & paste this! Most people won’t because they’re the person I’m talking about…. But if you are Genuine, Post A Picture of yourself.
Enjoy life! You only get one. ❤️
A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. (Mark 12:42)
Your copper Penny is enough. Your one vote. Your one prayer. Your one little good deed. Any gift given with love is filled with God and so with infinite power.
In faith, give the copper Penny. Trust each one. And give many.
Imagine a life full of such miracles – SGH