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

 

Drunk on Anxiety

Sobriety…rainbows, pink clouds, flowers, and unicorns…oh for the…yeah none of that, at least not all the time.  I don’t want you to get down on recovery or think it’s all bad.  It’s just not all good…because, life. I thought walking into treatment that my life would forever change to heck yes with a side of awesomesauce…yeah no,  it turned into dealing with life with eyes wide open! (Insert vomit emoji here.)

I remember that crazy day I walked out of treatment with all intentions of NEVER coming back because I had the cure and I was going to be AA’s number 1 poster child volunteer extraordinaire! I mostly laugh when I look back at that day but sometimes I get real  and cry.  I cry because I wish someone would have been kind enough to tell me…life is gonna hit hard followed with multiple what the…just happened?  Most people seem to have the “pink cloud” syndrome and good feelings…not me, I fell right off that cloud and splatted onto the ground coming out of treatment.

I got to my first meeting and got my sponsor(tough as nails 30,000 years of sobriety) who I thought would work.  I met her every week and did the “thing”.  Life started happening..finances, deaths, job loss, friends walking away….what the, I’m sober and things are falling apart.  I remember telling my sponsor I liked it better when I couldn’t see what was happening because then I couldn’t see the destruction my life had done. I liked being numb to the emotion that went a long with all this anxiety life was throwing me.

I got to work one day and got a message from my sponsor saying, stop being drunk on anxiety you are using this to rationalize and justify why you should use again.  Woman up, find a meeting tonight, get humble and call 30 drunks this week.  Holy molly batman the AA dinosaur knocked me back a few steps. I called her a dinosaur not because she was so old it was because she had been around the program for so long she might as well have written the Big Book or been there to edit the first edition!

After about two months of my sponsor working with me through this hard rough patch or just rough everything she finally asked me what I was putting my trust in.  I thought…what does that have to do with anything? She made me figure that out on my own.  I’m hear to tell you after 6 months of ugh, what a dumb question….I learned, I put my trust in God, His will…not mine!  I leaned on Him for everything I had going on in my life and I felt a feeling of contentment come over me that no matter what happened in this life I was going to be okay.  The friends, family and program have been the other parts of the program that have also kept me sane and on the right path and for that I will be forever grateful!  I will never forget my first sponsor she may have been tough and was old fashioned but I shut up and I listened and things started to happen…crazy how that works. If you do the work the promises happen!!

This program is not easy and no one said it was going to be but I know I get caught up in the assumptions and expectations of life and it can consume me.  Let the program do what the program does best…giving hope, answers, and millions of others to hold your hand when we fall!

Sincerely ~ Your Crazy Once Lost Friend

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!

Parenting Hard

I knew parenting wasn’t going to be the easiest thing I have done but I thought hey…I’ve been through the ringer with drugs and alcohol how hard can it be?

Before I get any further one thing I must make clear, I am not an expert in parenting and cannot even begin to give advice but can only speak to my experience. I started my parenting journey over 8 years ago and what a ride it has been with three kids in tow.  This journey has been by far one of my most satisfying, gratifying and comical but not without its ups and downs. It’s funny how when I look back I don’t really remember the bad times only the good but with my using days I remember only the bad and deaths door.  For me when I do the comparison from my using days to kids I think to myself if there were good times during those days I would remember them and I don’t.  I remind myself when I think a glass of wine would be a great substitute for my anxiety of life with crazy schedules I know there were no good times (using)…the good times are with my kids even if I am stressed out and want to scream in my pillow.

I won’t lie, there have been days that I have felt sucked dry…dead inside because the kids have taken all my “go get em’” for that day.  I can barely get out of bed and I just don’t have anything left for anyone.  Alas I pour my cup of coffee and put my happy face on and keep going for my family because they need me.  As a mom we are on call 24/7 and the go to for everything in the home and outside.  The anxiety and the demand can get to you when the demand becomes the mundane of your everyday life.

This is where I get to tell you how blessed and grateful I am for a recovery program, my treatment centers and meetings taught me something…STOP, take care of yourself because if you aren’t taking care of yourself you aren’t able to take care of anyone else. Just like in an airplane when the oxygen masks come down they tell you to apply yours first before you do your children or anyone else, for good reason.  The reason is so simple but so hard to do when you are busy taking care of others all the time, if I am emotionally sound and healthy I am the best version of me to take care of others.

When I first stepped into the recovery world I wasn’t sure how things were going to end up but God blessed me with the will to keep going and I am so grateful I continue this journey every day.  My meetings, sponsor and friends in recovery have taught me to be raw and vulnerable with what is going on inside my head. I am able to talk about when I have a bad day and not have any shame in that!  I am not God, I can pretend to even stand on that platform but I feel like sometimes as mom’s we are asked to play that role and keep up the facade that everything is just fine!!  My sponsor once told me “fine” is just another term for Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional, I know if that is how I’m describing myself I need to talk to someone.

Recovery has helped me with my parenting and I see that more and more as I watch my friends struggle quietly with emotional rock bottoms and they don’t know how to use the tools that were given to me in recovery. I have had multiple moms say they wish they had a recovery program to go to so they could go vent for free in a room of others who get it.  I laugh because once it was to get me from one day to the next free from drugs and alcohol and now it gets me through day to day life as a parent.  While my meetings aren’t exactly what they were at first, I repurposed them to help whatever is trying to get me down at this phase in my life…isn’t that what is trending, take what it is old and repurpose it, remake what is old and make it new!! I get to be made new every time I go to a meeting or talk with others in recovery, my heart is full of gratitude. Recovery was a blessing and continues to prove that it will be for the rest of my life!

Written by:

A Grateful Heart – Volunteer Blogger for Myrecovery

About me: I just want to spread hope to other mom’s out there trying to make it in this world who may be dealing with drugs or alcohol…it works it really does, I’m living proof!  Keep coming back!

Be Still

Do you remember the day you walked into treatment, first AA meeting, first meeting with your sponsor or just the first time the word “recovery” was said? I remember my first walk into treatment and the way I felt as if it was yesterday, it has almost been 8 years now.

I didn’t know what “still” meant…my life was all about next fix, next time, where am I going, how will I get what I want, how much do I need to get to make it to the next day or even next hour…my brain was the Gravitron ride at the fair that everyone puked on, round and round at high speeds. I could not find calm in the chaos!

My life was a hurricane full speed ahead to the next fix…what a sad way to live.  I see this now but 8 years ago I could have told you that was normal! NORMAL! That was “still” for me…I didn’t know what being still meant. My brain was constantly scrambled with fear, shame, guilt and sadness.  I was just sad and lost.

I sat in the intake office in treatment and the nurse asked me to be “still” so she could take my blood pressure, you want me to be still?  My brain was mush and I couldn’t even think of what that meant…be still?? I did my best impression of “still” and my legs were still jumping up and down.  That was the moment she called in the doctor, the doctor took one look at me and got down on her knees and looked at me in the eye.  Her words have still stuck with me…you are loved her no matter what happened out there, I’m going to hold your hand and I want you to feel the warmth and care.  I melted when she grabbed my hand, human touch, who knew!  Her eyes, her voice and touch were all it took for me to be still.  I remember taking in a deep breath and just letting it all go.  I cried for a long time after that but it had been a long time since I had felt anything and the human touch from one person stilled my soul.

I can be still now that I am in recovery and what a gift that has been.  I get to enjoy moments that I would have missed if I was still using. I realized being still and being in the moment, for me, is the most incredible part of the journey.  If you are out there using and wondering if it’s all worth it…it is so worth it!  It’s the small things that I missed when I was using because I was so numb.  Now I get to feel it all and experience it all.  I have a sign that sits next to my bed that says “Be Still My Soul” as it reminds me that I finally get to appreciate the gift of being still.

Written by: I’m Still Standing

Alcoholism in the US Is So Much Worse Than We Thought

Alcoholism in the US Is So Much Worse Than We Thought

A recent study has brought to light some seriously concerning data
One in eight Americans is an alcoholic. One in eight.

Under the radar, Americans have been drinking way more, sliding silently further down a slippery slope of alcohol addiction. Some are even calling it an epidemic — shocking, since few Americans were even aware that the condition was on the rise.

Two surveys, conducted 11 years apart, found that dangerous alcohol consumption is increasing in prevalence across all demographics in the United States. The second survey was conducted from 2012 to 2013, and according to a report in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal, the results showed that problematic use of alcohol rose sharply in the 11-year interim.

Populations with the most risk include women, older people, and ethnic minorities. The surveys included Americans of diverse backgrounds to ensure a representative sample, revealing the disparities between ethnic groups.

High-risk drinking, which is characterized by drinking that has the potential to severely impact the health of the drinker, increased by nearly 30 percent. And even more terrifyingly, the prevalence of alcoholism skyrocketed by nearly 50 percent.

We know this seems dramatic. But the proof is in the pudding:12.7 percent of the entire population interviewed — from a large, representative sample of 36,000 people — had been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. That means that one in eight people interviewed were medically confirmed alcoholics.

This number did not include those who may have been suffering from alcoholism but either did not report or had not been diagnosed.

This is one of the more dramatic health crises that has afflicted the U.S. in quite some time. Alcoholism is nothing to laugh over and nothing to brush off. The condition is severe and affects the mental, physical, and emotional health of those afflicted. Alcoholism in the long term can cause irreversible liver damage, brain trauma, and even cancer.

So why hasn’t the spotlight been on alcoholism? Read more…

3 nurses revived with Narcan after opioid patient treated at Ohio hospital

3 nurses revived with Narcan after opioid patient treated at Ohio hospital

MASSILLON, Ohio– Three nurses at an Ohio hospital who helped treat an overdose patient were overcome by secondary exposure and had to be treated with an emergency drug.Massillon police said they believe the substance the nurses were exposed to was fentanyl.

“They were cleaning up the room and started to feel sick. And then that left them waking up in a hospital bed,” Detective Shaun Dadisman said.

Investigators said the nurses had to be treated with Narcan, the drug used to revive those who overdose on heroin or Fentanyl.

“It shuts down your breathing. It shuts down your system so you get to the point where you’re not breathing on your own. And you need that boost and that Narcan is what takes that away so it helps you to recover quickly,” Dadisman said.

The problems with fentanyl and other opioids have become so profound that law enforcement and medical personnel are now forced to come up with new policies and protocols to handle these cases.

“I was actually stuck by a needle from an individual on a heroin overdose, so I had to run through all of the testing myself,” Dadisman said.

He said the grip opioids now have on a growing segment of society has created a huge risk for those whose job it is to save lives.

“I think there will be continued changes – gloves, masks. And the problem with our first responders, police officers and our nurses and stuff, is you don’t know immediately what you’re dealing with,” Dadisman said. “After the fact, you may know, but it may be too late.” Read more…