Take Inventory of Your Year in Recovery

Take Inventory of Your Year in Recovery

This is the perfect week to reflect on your past recovery and look forward to the year ahead.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time of transition. We’ve left most of the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind, but have not quite started the new year and the new routines it will bring. This makes it a perfect time to reflect on your past year in recovery, and make goals for how to sustain and enhance your recovery in the year ahead. Read more @thefix

What 8 Days of Silent Meditation in Sri Lanka Taught Me About Myself

What 8 Days of Silent Meditation in Sri Lanka Taught Me About Myself

I wanted to get something out of this week of mindfulness meditation. I wanted to live mindfully, feel spiritually connected, to be less of a disconnected, frenzied entrepreneur run by self-will and ego.

When we arrived at the meditation center in the middle of the Sri Lankan jungle during a downpour, we were greeted by leeches. The first victim, a tall German girl, started screaming and flailing when she noticed the mini monster stuck to her hand. Truth be told, I would have reacted the same way had I been the first victim, but she got it out of the way so I could steel myself.

“Oh, you will definitely get zem,” the white-haired German meditation instructor informed us in his grandfatherly accent. “You just pluck zem up and put zem back into zee nature.” He demonstrated this, gently removing the leech and lovingly transferring it to a leafy plant, more compassionate towards the creature and more amused by its human victim. Read more @thefix

Learning to Have Fun in Sobriety

Learning to Have Fun in Sobriety

After a while many people in recovery actually discover that the fun they thought they were having was really just an attempt to run away from their feelings of guilt, inadequacy and shame.

People who have substance use disorders often have a million excuses for not wanting to get clean. They may worry about disappearing friendships once they get sober, fear other people’s judgement, or they may not be able to face the truth about their addiction—just to name a few. Another top reason for why they don’t want to give up drinking and drugging, even if it’s making their life completely unmanageable? They’re worried they’ll never have fun again. Because the idea of being sober seems boring, mundane and somehow even more unbearable than the pain of continuing to self-destruct with substance abuse. Read more @ thefix

The “Crazy Years”

The “Crazy Years”

I thought my crazy years were when I was trying hard to get sober and keeping on the straight and narrow.  Well, I wish…my crazy years actually ended up being the years I was raising my teenage daughter that thought she knew more than I!  These years were so hard as my daughter knew I was in recovery and she did watch me when I was not so sober and used that to her advantage.  She was always able to throw the guilt and shame card on the table and get away with what she wanted to because I felt so awful.  She was able to get away with it until she arrived into her last year of high school and I had enough of being what I like to call “child bullied”.

I had been doing living amends for the better part of 8 years and I wasn’t about to let my child keep throwing things in my face when I was showing up, going the extra mile, providing, and giving her anything she needed! I felt like I had finally reached a point in my life where if I didn’t put my foot down and say enough is enough that I would start to believe everything she was telling me.  With the direction of my sponsor and everything I learned in the program of AA I had a sit down chat with her about all the things that had gone down in the last 4 years…and if any of you know what it is like to talk to a teenager about things that are serious it is NOT easy.  She took everything as I had anticipated, she went to live with her father….because hey, the grass is always greener.  RIGHT!!! She lived there for a year and then begged to come back after hours of apologizing.  I knew this would happen but I needed her to see the work I was doing and how I was actually being her parent not her best friend.

I don’t know what I would have done without the program of recovery, having to deal with this took so much patience and courage.  This program gave me a sounding board to talk raw about what I was going through as a parent and the emotions I was dealing with.  Most of the moms around me(normies) all said, oh I just drink a glass of wine and check out…well, that’s great, I can’t do that! I have to deal with the emotions and learn how to process them without liquor to help.  I can’t say there weren’t times that I wasn’t tempted to run down and grab some because man it would have been nice to check out.  That was the problem though…I would check out with no end in sight.  I worked so hard on the 12 steps during my daughters high school years to keep me sane.  At the end of the high school years I had moms come up to me and ask me how I did it.  I said AA, while they all gave me an odd look at first some called me years later because they then needed help themselves and I was there to do a step 12 with them!  If I had not been open and honest with these moms some may be still out there living in their closets with a bottle of wine clutched in their hands praying for the emotional pain to stop!

The teen years were hard in recovery but staying close to the program and being able to share this program with others had really helped me get through those years.  Stay strong, be open, be raw, and stay strong…nothing is worth that drink!

Written By: mom00soul

Healing

Healing

What year was hard for you in recovery?  I remember sitting in a meeting and a couple ladies next to me were talking about their 6th year and how hard that year was to get through.  I, of course was on my first year at the time not even thinking about “what year would be hard” I thought where I was could not get any harder.  Well, I was wrong…my hardest year was my 7th year in sobriety.  I struggled to keep balance and a lot of things happened to me that year.  I didn’t relapse which in and of itself was an absolute MIRACLE but as far as emotionally, I took a few hundred steps backwards.

I have heard so many people say if you emotionally relapse it is worse than an actually relapse, why…I have no clue.  Looking back now a year and a half later, I am better for it, so I consider it a huge step forward.  I truly believe that there is nothing wrong with being knocked down a few steps, it gives some amazing room for growth.  Growth can be super painful (painstaking, some may say) but can also make you a much stronger person in the end.

No matter how many meetings I went to, big book groups I joined, steps I went through, meetings with my sponsor or sponsees I had… there was no preparing me for a loss that I was going to experience in my life.   We all go through losses in life and the getting back up after them is a hard and slow process.  I know I smiled when I didn’t want to, I cried when I didn’t want to, got angry when I should not have, said things I should not have said, and maybe even didn’t say things when I should have.   It was a year of opposites for me.  I have never prayed so much in my entire life for the pain to just take a backseat and let me be.

So here you sit reading this wondering okay…well, what did you do about it?  I kind of laugh as I write this, I know full well what I did…I did NOTHING, nothing, you read that right, NOTHING. I can’t say I am proud of that, or that it is what anyone should do, this is just my story and my experience with grief.  I wish I had profound words to say about all the tools, the steps and crazy awesome words of wisdom to instill upon you…nope!  Now you may be thinking…okay this is so dumb, and maybe you are even going through a huge loss right now, it could be a job, family member or friend.

Here is what I CAN tell you, it will be okay.

This IS what I did, I let myself feel all those emotions, said all the wrong things, did all the wrong things…because I was in pain.  I did stay open and raw to those around me letting them know what I felt and said the things that were swimming around in my head.   Never underestimate the power of prayer, a hug, good chats over coffee/tea or whatever it is that you drink now.  Feeling hurts but I did not drink, I did not do drugs, I did not decide that life was too hard to handle so checking out was my option…no, I did nothing I let myself feel and I stumbled through the pain.  I really don’t have much advice but I do know what helped me was the act of doing nothing and letting my body go through what it needed to go through.  If you are going through a loss in life, I am so truly sorry, it hurts, it sucks (not gonna sugar coat it) and you will want to find a way to get rid of the pain…my plea, don’t.  We were given the amazing ability to heal, you do heal… don’t stop until you get to that miracle.

Written by: Heart2heal14

 

Back to School

Back to School

It’s that time of year again where our kids go back to school and as parents we breathe a sigh of relief.  As a stay at home mom there is something so amazing about kids going back to school!! I kept my children fed, took them places, saw fun things, played 5 million board games and tried my best to keep them away from the “crack cocaine” A.K.A. electronic devices.  I get so excited for my kids to go back to school because I’m pretty much toast by September when it comes to being the entertainer and the one man show.

This year after dropping my kiddos off to school I got home poured my cup of coffee and sat in my living room. I took a deep breath and thought phew…got through this summer now I get to take some time for myself.  Although I felt odd and could not pin point what the heck was the ache in my heart/soul.  Was it change…was it empty home…was it too quiet…was it the tedium of life?? Or…was it I had not done self-care all summer and now I was finally feeling its heavy weight on my soul.

I am often wrapped up in what my kids are doing from day to day that I can’t even sit and think about myself or what I may need.  I had one amazing long cry all morning with my pot of coffee.  As a parent I realize when I took the plunge of having kids I knew I was going to be putting them first, I knew that I was going to have to learn to be selfless but in the mix I think I forgot that without taking care of myself I can’t take care of others.   Somehow I managed to float through this summer without any focus on what my soul may have needed but the first day I felt all that emotion and daily work on self that I had missed.

After a good couple hours of crying and trying to figure out why I was so emotionally drained I called my sponsor and a good friend I have in recovery.  We talked about self-care and the importance of taking care of “you”. As a mom I instinctively want to always being doing things for my children but I forgot balance.

As a second week starts of school I look ahead to balance for me and my children…balance for my soul and my schedule to make sure I am getting my needs met so I can be a better mother.  I hope all the parents out there are having a great start to this new school year…remember balance and take care of yourself so you can be available to your children physically and emotionally!

 

Blogger for Myrecovery: FreeSpirit

My First Love

My First Love

I remember…my first love, it was a late night of fun with friends and we had just got to a party.  I felt light, at peace, a relaxation I had never felt before and a tingle that went from the tip of my toes to the top of my head…it was the first time I drank liquor.  The high I got from the liquor made me think…wow, I could do this forever. My 12 year old mind could not even begin to fathom what a life filled with this new found love would do…it was going to build mountains that I would have to climb up, oceans so deep I would feel like I was drowning, I would want to hide but would have no place to go and eventually bring me to my knees out of desperation.  At 12 I only wanted to stay with the cool crowd, experience what others were doing and once I started, I felt as if I could not stop.

At the ripe age of 12 I was sneaking out at night to hang out with friends whose parents didn’t give a crap what they did because well, they were cool with other kids so why not give them liquor and cigarettes?  I was only 12…now, I have children of my own and I look at them and think please do not go down my same path! As a child I thought the feeling I got from liquor was true love, it helped me do things I wouldn’t normally do and I felt invincible.

Looking back, I see I was in love with the feeling liquor gave me. Liquor was my first love but with any first love there is a breakup.  The breakup was so painful and as I came out of the fog of drying out…I saw the destruction that first love did.  When I was drinking I did not see the friends that didn’t call anymore, the sports teams that I didn’t try out for, bad grades, broken trust between siblings and parents. My first love slowly destroyed my childhood, at first, I did it because of the “fun” I was having and then then I did it to numb the pain from the things that were happening when I drank.  The cycle of alcoholism became so crazy at my young age my parents moved me. I guess they never read that the geographical change never works, nothing changes if nothing changes…I wasn’t changed only the area in which I lived did.  I did dry out enough for high school because I found my second love which was a sport.  I stayed clean just so I could play a sport I loved so much.  I would stay clean all the way up until I got to college earning a scholarship to play sports.  As college went on my past, my first love crept back into my life and I thought I could handle it.  This would lead to many more issues throughout college and eventually end college sports for me. That first love came back and I buckled…went hook, line and sinker into the hole again.  So many more things would happen until I would finally fight my way back to this life.  I don’t wish to change my path or shut the door on it but to show that even someone fighting from age 12 to 28 to make it back can do it.

I eventually found my way into the rooms of AA and found what I call “my people” and by that I mean those who understand how I tick and what makes me want to drink. I have a sponsor, meetings and a recovery program that I will work daily for the rest of my life.  I still have bad days but I always know what I can do now to fight those days and keep them at bay.  My first love almost killed me but I found another love that was more powerful, meaningful, loving and worth living for… a God who loves and cares for me, my husband, children and family. My brain may always want that “first love” but my heart will always want the new things I found in life to love!

Written by MyRecovery  Blogger: @Peace

 

Live Learn Love

Live Learn Love

I was given the best life as a child…seriously, what most kids dream of.  I was in a place where I was always safe and loved beyond belief.  My personality considered it a challenge to mess things up as much as possible!  I wish I could report happy endings, rainbows and unicorns but I can’t.  I did everything in my power to mess things up…or my disease did?  I still to this day couldn’t tell you the difference between my crazy brain and the disease working throughout my life.   I did certain things because I was hijacked by my crazy disease but others have been a learning experience in my life in recovery.

I woke up in a ditch laying on top of someone who had also been thrown out of the back of a pickup truck…my brain was fuzzy and I couldn’t figure out where I was or what I was doing in a ditch.  I finally got all my faculties in line and realized I was thrown out of the back of a truck that we were riding in.  The person who was driving was drunk and driving down a mountain road that had just been paved with fresh new gravel.  Drunk driving is never a good idea (or legal) but on a back mountain road with fresh new gravel is a recipe for disaster.  Five people got thrown out of the back of that truck that night, it was pitch black out and we were in the middle of the mountains with no help!  There were two people in the truck but at first glance I did not see the truck…that was because it had gone off the cliff on the opposite side we got thrown off of.  I woke up to everyone unconscious.  I shook the person next to me to wake them up.  The person next to me woke up and we started taking a quick inventory of injuries and people.  I realized one of us needed to run back for help, I was the least injured so I offered to go get help.  I was in soccer so running a few miles wasn’t really a big deal but running in the dark in the mountains was a whole new level of scary and crazy!  There are things like Mountain Lions and Bears but I knew I was the only one to get help so away I went….about two miles into my run I saw a car headed toward me.  I was running back towards where we all were at a huge bone fire and these people were at the bone fire so I got them to turn around and take me back.  I got back and got the help that we needed.  I ended up with a very deep scratch on my arm and I didn’t realize it until I got home.  I had to sew it together with my dad’s fishing line because I didn’t want them to know what happened. This would be the start to the long lonely path of deceit and bad decisions.  This would be how I lived my life for the next 8 years…on the edge and so close to death.  I never saw it that way of course because I was stuck in the drug addict delusion that I was invincible and I would never die from the disease of addiction.

I got into treatment 8 years later with a lengthy rap sheet of insanity.  The doctor said I should be dead but here I sit wanting to be happy, joyous and free.  I could go into all the stories but I’ll save them for another time.  What I’m hoping you will hear is you can be far down that path of “there’s no way back” and get back.  I’m living proof…I have been sober and clean for 8 years and it has been such an amazing ride.  I’m not going to say it’s been easy because that would be a lie, it was a lot of work!

I did go back to the spot where I got thrown from the truck…it is a miracle that I didn’t die…God was watching over me. I lived a very dangerous life but I also learned a lot.  I learned 587 reasons not to get drunk, 876 ways that drugs can make you try to kill yourself, 1 million reasons why driving and using is not okay…and my favorite 1 billion reasons why being sober is so much better than the other side.  I have learned that love can heal so many wounds and build blown up bridges! I found people in this program that loved me back to me.  I found me that had been missing for so many years, I was inside I had just drank me away and drugged myself into a dark hole.  Once I started going to meetings, listening to others, got a sponsor, and started working the steps I saw the path before me was going to be hard but it was going to be so worth it.  I learned that I had made a lot of bad choices but I could make good ones to bring me back to where I would be happy, joyous, and free!  I pick love… to love my God, love myself, love my family, and to love the choice I have every day waking up with a smile on my face.  I lived, lived hard…I learned, I learned hard…I love and I love hard!  Love hard and work hard in this program of recovery its rewards are miraculous!

Emotional Relapse

I have had many times where I have felt that while I’m putting my foot forward and doing the next right thing my heart isn’t in it.  I have been sponsoring women for the last 7 years, going to meetings, calling my sponsor and doing things the program tells us to do but for some reason my heart felt bankrupt and distant.

My mother recently passed away and it was by the hardest moment in my recovery feeling like I had no control over emotion or control over life.  I felt like I was on an emotional roller-coaster.  I would compare it to the first year in recovery.  The first year in recovery I was trying to find myself, learning how to handle emotions…basically learning to “human” again.  I was very unsure about everything I did I just kept doing the next right thing and put one foot in front of the other.  When my mom passed I was gently reminded that I am not in control no matter how smooth life seems to be going, it’s not my will that will be done in this life.

It has been a little over 6 months since I lost my mom and I have felt like these first 6 months have been very similar to the first 6 months in recovery.  I’m trying to find my new normal without someone who was a rock in my life.  I feel like I have emotionally relapsed since my mom has been gone,  I went back to a lot of self- defeating behaviors telling myself I’m not good enough, I’m not a good mom, not a good at what I do…very negative emotional drive.  The pain and suffering of my mom’s passing is pushing me towards an emotional relapse.

After speaking with my sponsor she told me the more I sit and dwell on the bad and negative the next step will be the bottle or drugs because the emotional negativity will be too much for me to handle and I will want an out. I knew she was right, I have started to change my thinking of negative dwelling on the pain to gratitude and what blessings I have been given.  I open a devotional book every day, I dive into things that I love to do, I write or journal about my emotions, I have written my mom letters and enjoying life’s simple pleasures again.  I have opened myself up to be raw and real with my emotions and talking to people about them when I need to.

I realized that I was in recovery for a long time and had forgotten to go back to the basics when a life changing event happens.  While I may have emotionally relapsed I pulled myself out and started back at the beginning one step at a time and one grateful moment at a time.  Emotional relapse happened to me because I had a major life changing event but having the program of recovery has helped pull me back up on my feet.  If you have lost someone or you have someone who is close to passing don’t forget to reach out and start back at the basics to help get you through, we are all in this together.

Heroin supplier found responsible for slaying, given 37 years in prison

Heroin supplier found responsible for slaying, given 37 years in prison

David Price on his custom built bike.

A heroin supplier who prosecutors say wielded violence to protect his drug empire and flaunted his riches with a lavish lifestyle was sentenced to 37 years in prison Thursday by a federal judge who found him responsible for the slaying of an informant.

After two days of evidence and arguments, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber held David Price responsible for shooting a longtime friend in front of the man’s 3-year-old daughter for cooperating with the feds.

Price had been convicted more than three years ago on 13 counts of money laundering, conspiracy and weapons counts.

In seeking life in prison, prosecutors had argued that Price should be held responsible for killing longtime friend Gregory Holden after Holden helped out authorities — an allegation Price was not charged with or convicted on.

On Thursday, Leinenweber concluded that Price was indeed responsible by a preponderance of the evidence — a lower standard of proof than the beyond a reasonable doubt that a jury must find to convict.

But given that Price was not convicted of the murder, the judge rejected life in prison, saying he thought that was “a little too much.”

Leinenweber said he chose 37 years in prison so Price, 38, wouldn’t be freed from prison until he was an older man.

After the hearing, Price’s attorney, Beau Brindley, said he would appeal the conviction and sentence. He said there was “not sufficient evidence” to find Price responsible of “a murder of any kind.”

Price’s father, who testified against his son but had questioned prosecutors’ attempt to portray him as a murderer, declined to comment.

“He ain’t no kingpin,” his father told the Tribune on Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors said Price’s body tells the story of his life — from the tattoo covering his face that says “Neighborhood Bully” to the pictures of his children tattooed on his back just above the tat showing him with guns blazing in each hand, plus the words “God Forgives, I Don’t.”

He lived by those words, prosecutors allege, shooting Holden, ordering hits on other “rats” and even threatening to kill his own father when he refused to continue to launder drug money.

Price, nicknamed “Shorty” and “Hot Sauce,” acted ruthlessly to protect a lucrative drug empire that supplied heroin to open-air drug markets on Chicago’s West Side for seven years, prosecutors said.

The profits enabled Price to live lavishly, buying luxury homes, including a downtown high-rise apartment; driving a Corvette and a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle; and owning a $35,000 watch encrusted with more than 1,000 diamonds, according to prosecutors. Price even named his son after Louis Vuitton, his favorite luxury clothing brand, authorities said. Read More…