Day 1,396 – Storytime

Dear Sobriety,

Please enjoy the Recovery Awareness texts from the last three days:

9/9/21

This. Is. Me. And I’m getting close to my four year mark.
I’ve prob cried more in the last four years than I have in my entire life prior and I’m a-ok with that. It means I’m experiencing life again!! I’m an active participant in my own life for pretty much the first time ever!
Happy tears, sad tears, angry tears… doesn’t matter. They’re all highly acceptable to me because it means I’m not numbing and hiding myself anymore. I’m present. In this moment. Right now. I am alive and I am grateful!!

9/11/21

ODAAT. One Day At A Time. This is a slogan I apply to everything now; however, this was probably the biggest thing that helped keep me sober through the beginning. Sometimes you just have to use psych tricks to screw with your mind to make things work. If I said to myself “I won’t ever drink again”, I would fail. Believe me, I’ve tested this theory on multiple occasions. Jim can attest to that. But if I tell myself I just can’t drink today, then I feel my chances of success immediately improving.

I still remember when Jim and I were living together and he went on travel and I actually stayed sober the first time. This was a HUGE first for me. I really think this was one of the major catalysts that has led me to adding a few ODAAT in a row. Me taking this step all by myself with no witnesses around to see me helped me instill that little bit of confidence I needed to push through for just one more day.

Life happens. I don’t have a choice in that. But I do have a choice in how I respond to it.

9/12/21

A few of my recovery coins I’ve collected over the years. You’ll see two 1 months and 3 two months. I could beat myself up about all the times I failed at this whole not drinking thing, but what would that do aside from create a never ending loop of depression?

After one relapse, I called my parents (were super close), and my mom told me to remember what Alfred told Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight. (We’re also huge into movies). Me, being me, and in the deep dark well of despair where I spent all of my 20s and the beginning of my 30s, couldn’t think of anything, so she did her best Alfred impersonation and said, “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”

If you want something bad enough, never give up, no matter how many times you fail. Learn from your mistakes and keep blooming into that beautiful person you are.

As a bonus for today, my brother (also in recovery) went over to mom and dads one time after a relapse and was going on about how he was a terrible person and he’s never going to get his life together and he’s just going to be an alcoholic waste of space and mom said……………
At least you’re not a pedophile. Lolololololol!!! That got a smile out of him and he’ll be five years sober at the end of the month. 🥰🤣🥰🤣

Day 1,006: Lost and Found

Dear Sobriety,

Last night I couldn’t find a comfortable position in bed, so I got up, popped on Call the Midwife on Netflix and dozed on the couch and I didn’t let my anxiety get the best of me. I got comfy and just enjoyed the cool breeze of the night. Took a couple of smoke breaks, read quite a bit of Cold Black Earth during those and just was. Thankfully I’m working virtually right now, so bags under my eyes don’t really bother me the way that they usually would.

I did think of something good that I wrote down so I could remember it:

The good thing about feeling lost is that you may be found at any moment.

So yeah. That kinda helped ease my mind last night. Instead of worrying if I’m taking the right or wrong turn or if I’m not making enough effort in regards to my faith, I just was. I just let it go. And I think that’s when I found myself again. That feeling of peace that I’ve been missing out on for a while came back. And it came back hard.

And now for something completely different…

I’m so grateful that I decided to take a chance at a new company. Today was absolutely crazy and wonderful at the same time. For some reason, I thrive in chaos. Throw a bunch of random things at me, ask me to organize, schedule, and/or create something productive and pretty from them and I just get into my zone.

I am 110% a professional Administrative Assistant and I am proud of that. The career field may not be as lucrative or prestigious as others, but I’ve always found it to be where I do my best work. Being that go to person for the most random things is where I find my joy at work. After nearly two months at the new company, I’m beginning to carve out my place within my team and I am loving the new challenges. Today was just such a super productive day and I really think it’s because I just let that crap go (for now) that has been weighing me down.

My mind is finally able to slow down a bit to actually live instead of figure out how to survive. I have no doubt that the worries I had will come back sometime and probably even have new ones added to the list, but for right now, the sun in shining, I’ve got my good feels Call the Midwife back on and I’ve got my book at the ready to dive into and enjoy.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m truly looking forward to spending lunch with people I love. Watch out 38… here I come!

And now for something else completely different…

Two years ago yesterday I adopted my house panther, Evie. FB memories reminded me that I lost little Evie in my two bedroom apartment two years ago today. After a solid 30 minutes of frantic searching – including dipping my arms shoulder deep into a full washer hoping to not find black fur TWICE – all I had to do was to turn on the light and she was right there the whole time.

Lights Off
Lights On

Day 1,005: Finding My Way

Dear Sobriety,

I just want to let you know that the Pandora station I’m listening to while writing this is my Sir Psycho Sexy station. If you’ve never heard it, it’s my FAVORITE Red Hot Chili Peppers song E V E R. Wow! Released in 1991! Woooo! Throwback awesome! I had this album on cassette.

Anyway, here I find myself back at the keyboard once again. Trying to find my path through this whole world of Wiccaness. There is so much information and the fact that there really is no wrong way of doing it is great and overwhelming at the same time. I haven’t found a way to practice religiously (did that on purpose) yet or really even found my niche in this yet, so more and more reading here I come.

You know how you get on these random kicks where you finally feel like you’ve discovered a part of yourself that was missing and then you never follow through with it? Cause that’s about where I am with it. Sure I have a fantastic app for guided meditation which seems to be a noticeable trend within Wicca. How many times have I used it since I started walking down this path? Ummm… like three. I think. I know the more you practice, the better you get and all, but my motivation is terrible right now. As per the usual actually.

Maybe this anxiety and feeling of weirdness is because my belly button birthday is Wednesday. Does anyone else get a crazy sense of foreboding around their birthday? And normally I would’ve posted on August 1 something on FB about celebrating my birthday every day of the month, but I actually haven’t said a peep about it so far. That’s highly unusual of me. I don’t know if it’s COVID-19 quarantine that’s kinda making me feel like I have been slowly backing myself into a dark corner or what. But I just kinda don’t want to be noticed right now.

I think the thought of Wicca gave me that glimmer of hope that I’ve been looking for recently and I am letting the spark die. Action, Monica! ACTION CREATES CHANGE! All the while I type that quarantine Monica is rolling her eyes going, but I love my stretchy pants!! They don’t judge me.

Maybe blogging more is my cry for help? Not that I’m in fear of harming myself or anything, but it’s just my way of reaching out to others because the loneliness is creep, creeping in on me. There has definitely been a trend of loneliness lately, but I really think that’s to be expected in this new normal that’s being created for us. I haven’t even gone to the library since March which is super odd for me. Like what little feeling of community I had is gone.

Maybe since my job isn’t demanding of the O/T now, I should actually look into a hobby outside of the house? But then there are new people to meet and that’s not so easy for me either. My teenage awkwardness comes out in droves. Also, fear of the corona kinda kills all these ideas. Also, I’m not so great at following through with things.

Finding my path is not easy. But I’m sure soon I’ll be able to see through the debris on the ground, scrape the leaves away and see that it was there waiting for me to start taking the first step forward.

One. Step. At. A. Time. Don’t try to sprint through a marathon, Monica. Just slow down and keep digging through the info until I discover that the spark that got me interested is still glowing. Grab some kindling and blow.

What I’m going to do right now is fix a pot of tea and be grateful that I have my windows open.

Day 1,003: Utilizing the Universe

Dear Sobriety,

Think it. Write it. Say it. Do it. I truly believe there’s power to thoughts. But you can’t just think that you’re going to win the lottery. I mean, it’s not possible unless you put action behind it. You have to go buy a ticket, ya know? Journaling has been very therapeutic lately. I’m still getting any negative out, but it seems like there’s less and less. And once it goes on the paper, it is out of my head which is making room for more positive thought processes which I then proceed to write down. But the positive doesn’t get removed. I feel like it’s being reinforced. Like I’m breathing life into it.

I said the other day when I was talking to my parents and I started saying a few things out loud that I felt like those thoughts were real now and I started getting emotional about them. That’s what I’m doing with my writing. I’m not just writing to get the yuck out. I’m writing to bring the good in. This is the beginning of the effort to give the universe more room to fill me with peace, love and light. And when you fill in the dark spaces with all that goodness, I feel I have more to give back to the universe. Thus starting a beautiful circle of life.

With as many therapists as I’ve had throughout my adulthood and with as many journaling exercises and workbooks I’ve bought, you’d think I would have discovered this before now. I don’t think I really understood that even though I’ve purchased all the tools to help me, I didn’t put the effort in to use them until just a few days ago. I guess this counts as another sober first for me.

Today I wrote about how it feels to be at peace with myself. It’s funny because the more I wrote, it was almost as if I could feel this veil of harmony and light drifting down on me. Even though the words I was writing is more of hopes and dreams of how I want to feel in the future, I write them in the present tense and I can feel the future becoming the present. Does that make sense at all??? Maybe I should say that I can see my hopes becoming a reality.

It’s like Jeopardy. I’m starting with the answers instead of asking questions. Questions leave me confused and always create more.

One thing I used to do when I couldn’t sleep when I was little was to tell myself a story in my head. This is kinda what I’m doing with my journal. I’m creating my own story full of sunshine, hope, contentment, kitties, love and peace. Somewhere that I can go to on those days when I’m not feeling so great. Those days are gonna come. I have no doubt about that, but I’m creating my own oasis so that when they do come, I have created so much gratitude that the feelings won’t be as heavy or last as long. This is me putting action behind getting through days of depression. And writing it helps me see my action. It helps me picture my hopes. It helps me continue putting one foot in front of the other instead of stalling or, heaven forbid, moving backwards.

Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle. And don’t be pissed when the miracle is just that you didn’t quit. That’s still pretty f**king awesome.

Day 1,001: Damn Right I Used the Comma

Dear Sobriety,

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would be sitting on my porch on this slightly humid Thirsty Thursday in August mere days from my birthday not just sober, but sober long enough to use a comma in the number! Never. Never. Never. However, as I’m reading this back, I noticed how many times I used the word “never” and it seems like when I use that, I always end up doing it. Which in this case is a positive. Now after my first divorce, I also said I would never get married again… well… I got married five months later… hmmm… So that’s a learning lesson for you! Never say never cause you never know what is going to happen.

This still boggles my mind. Especially since it’s around my birthday. When I turned 21, I took a WEEK vacation to get sloppy and stay sloppy. (Sending belated apologies to my family and friends for being a complete a$$ during that entire time… well… let’s be honest. I was pretty much an a$$ during the majority of my drunken escapades, but those are stories for another day.)

So yeah. I’m part of the comma club now. It’s pretty freaking excited, if you can’t tell. Writing four digits on my white board calendar was odd and amazing at the same time.

Other good news in my life is my new job. I’m out of aviation and into communications. The hardest part is dumping the twenty years of acronyms out of my head in order to replace them with new and completely different ones. The work group I have is freaking amazing. Lots of new, entertaining personalities to work with and I am truly enjoying it. I do miss my previous coworkers, but I do not miss the stress. I wish them all the best, but am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me.

In other news, I’m back to feeling a bit scatterbrained during my off time. So far this year I’ve read 29 books and in the last two weeks, I’ve started and stopped probably just as many. Just overwhelmed with thoughts in my head. Probably should meditate and journal some more to try and get my head space right, but sometimes… sometimes you just want to be lazy. Of course, 99% off my nonwork time is laziness now. The other 1% is cleaning up cat poop and puke. So they do their best to keep me busy.

My motivation is waning. I lost my “why”, I think. While I enjoy working virtually due to the craziness of the new normal, I miss the distraction of BSing with coworkers. There’s no real escape for me right now. Work, eat, feed / clean up cats, sleep, play stupid a$$ games on my phone is pretty much taking up my entire existence since I haven’t been able to read, so I feel like I’m not being very productive with my life right at this moment. I watch the couples and families walking past me while I’m on my balcony and it just reminds me of what I don’t have. I just have to remind myself that it’s just me and the kitties for some ultimate reason that I haven’t been given the answer to yet. But sometimes ya just wanna scream, ya know? Why me? That’s when I have to go back through and reread the beginning of this blog and remind myself that, “hey, girl. everyone gets lulls, but at least you haven’t caved to drinking and sleeping with random people like drunk Monica always did when she was feeling lonely.”

Sobriety anniversaries unfortunately always make me think of one person and that one person isn’t in my life any more because he chose to kick me out of his and I chose to put myself first in my life. I almost certainly know that I wouldn’t be sober today had I not made the decision to start respecting myself for once, but loneliness is loneliness. I’m just rambling at this point.

Let’s look up positive quotes… And take a deep breath and let today go and hope for better feelings tomorrow.

Spite is a good motivator

Day 992 – Eeeek! It’s August!

Dear Sobriety,

I’ve been watching days count up for a hot minute now, but I still have yet to see four digits. Heaven willing, I can make another eight days. EIGHT DAYS!!! Only eight days until the cherry popping 1k! Whoa! What a ride!

I’ve been absolutely exhausted these last 2.5 days and am so grateful to have the opportunity to work from home with my new job because at least I can keep myself comfy here and not have to worry about people staring at me when I sneeze five or six times in a row. I’m sure it’s just allergies, but it’s super kicking my butt right now.

Celebrated my first Wiccan holiday on Saturday, Lammas. It’s the celebration of the first harvest in the Wheel of the Year. Pretty cool stuff. I actually made bread from scratch and decorated my “alter” aka G’ma’s 100+ year old dresser which is standing in place as such currently. Other than lighting some candles and incense and mediating on my Calm app about gratitude, I didn’t really do much. But from what I’ve seen, this is the new normal. I did set out jars to make “moon water” since today was the full moon. I’ll see how that goes, but since I haven’t been feeling physically the greatest, I “charged” it with intentions on assisting me to get healthy (physically/mentally/emotionally). I mean, everyone can always use some good juju in that arena. Am I right??

G’mas Dresser

“The New Normal”. What a weird term, but something that each of us probably has sitting in the back of our heads. Honestly, there haven’t been an outrageous number of COVID-19 cases in my local area, but getting used to wearing a mask when you are a glasses wearer… that’s interesting. While you’re trying not to breathe so you won’t fog up your glasses so you can see… that’s frustrating to say the least. But whatevs. I’m not in control of the world and have been digging the time at home with me and the cats and not having to worry about getting out and about with the rest of the world. I am curious how people with kids are taking this with the 2020 – 2021 school year coming up shortly. I’ve seen varied opinions on distance learning vs. online learning and I honestly don’t know which way I would lean. I definitely feel for the parents and guardians out there having to weigh these heavy choices.

The struggle is real. PS, I don’t regret starting to cut my own hair!!

Oh hey! But it’s August now and that means it’s my birthday month! So time to spread some terrible memes on my FB page. Sorry friends! But that’s what I do. I take pics of my cats and post terrible memes on my FB and I love it! At least it’s not the sham that I used to put on there when I was with a partner. However, speaking of that, I have to say that I am absolutely missing having someone in my life currently. I have good days and bad days, but have been seeing more of the negative popping up lately. Assuming it’s going along with not feeling well and having to do everything for myself and my kitty cats at home still. The floor ain’t going to vacuum itself, ya know? Especially with two kitties running around shedding constantly.

Ok, I’m going to try and add a something each time I write and call me out if I forget, at least three things I’m grateful for right now:

  1. Super grateful to be working from home during this craziness.
  2. Grateful for the cooler weather (it’s in the 70s today!).
  3. Grateful for clean water to drink and and endless supply of food options to choose from.

PS. I have been continuing to use my gratitude jar. I’m now having to stuff papers down to get them to stay!

Gratitude Jar

Day 982 – Witchy Woman

Dear Sobriety,

I feel compelled to write about what is happening right now, so I’m going to harness that energy and see if I can actually make some sense of it. So many positive changes have been happening in my life the last few months and I feel like sharing the two biggest with you all!

  1. I have a new job! So excited! I’ve been working there for about a month now and it is amazing. My new coworkers are incredible. Huge bonus is that I’m 100% virtual right now due to COVID-19. While I was sad to walk away from my previous teammates, I truly felt there were too many coincidences involved in the new one to not pursue it.
  2. I’m beginning to walk down the Wiccan path and am absolutely stoked about it. With my shares about how big a part essential oils, meditation, oracle cards and crystals play into my spiritual life, I’m honestly surprised I didn’t notice earlier that I was already starting down the passage.

So yeah… here I am in July with a new job and new spiritual journey and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been reading the Wicca Starter Kit by Lisa Chamberlain to give me more of an idea about Wicca as a whole and how to get started on my own journey and I don’t think there is any better way for me to begin. It’s actually three books in one which is a bonus and it’s available for free via Kindle Unlimited and here’s something else serendipitous:

There have been so many mini events happening in my life around me all pointing in the same direction. It wasn’t until I started reading this book that I realized what exactly everything was guiding me towards. I wouldn’t even have a Kindle Unlimited subscription if it wasn’t for the fact that I purchased an Amazon Fire tablet and it came with a free three month subscription. Is it not also a coincidence that I purchased a candle making kit a few months ago? So figuring this out has me super pumped to jump in as a solitary practitioner to begin.

I grew up Catholic and don’t regret that part of my life at all. There are still things that I enjoy about Catholicism and really, most of it is the rituals. So I’m absolutely excited to get my Book of Shadows (aka spiritual journal) and start my own customs. Here’s a link to the Etsy store where I purchased it from and what it looks like below!

My Book of Shadows

I think one of the things I like best about Wicca is that you are encouraged to research, practice and find what rituals, deities, etc work best for you! There are no wrong answers. So yeah… that’s me today.

Is anyone else out there Wiccan? If so, what are some good resources for the beginner witch? Any words of wisdom or suggestions on how to start my practice?

Blessed be!

Day 912 – THIRTY MONTHS

Dear Sobriety,

Just want to spread a little cheer this morning. The only reason I’m able to laugh at myself is because I’m sober today. Lemme know if you need the number to my therapist for my “I woke up this way” pic. 💖💖💖

Happy Caturday, y’all!!

Day 903 – Freedom of Letting Go

Dear Sobriety,

Leslie S. shared this story in a Zoom meeting – let me start by apologizing for butchering this. If you’d like to hear her tell it, listen over here #110 – PS, the rest of her share is incredible too. She goes in depth into fear.

A man was walking along a cliff ledge and slipped and started falling. He grabbed onto a branch sticking out from the side of the rock. While he was hanging on for his life, he started praying to God. He told God, ‘If you save me now, I’ll stop everything bad that I’ve ever done. I’ll stop running around, drinking, gambling, doing drugs and I’ll start living every day doing whatever you want me to do.’  Amazingly, God actually responded and said, ‘You don’t have to worry about doing all of that… just let go.’ The man hanging looked up and said, ‘Ummmm… is there anyone else up there I can talk to?!’

Moral of the story: God, Higher Power, Mother Nature, The Great Universe, whatever you want to call he/she/it, is always ready to catch you, but you have to let go first.

No matter what situation I’ve ever found myself in, there has always been a way out. Sometimes I don’t see it right away because I’m still trying to do things my way, but once I let go of control and let life start flowing and start living a life of gratitude instead of resentment, the door I wasn’t able to “see” suddenly “appears”.

I heard another good one the other day: what’s the name God most commonly goes by? Go ahead… guess. I’ll wait…

Something

“Something” made me turn that day. “Something” made me give you a call. Pretty interesting tidbit, huh?  I think it was Debbie D. who mentioned this one that will stick with me.  To hear her tell it, listen to #105 here.