Even though

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Even though it feels like there is a storm raging around me, there isn’t. It’s just my perception. It’s temporary. I can and do make choices to lean on God. Creating healthy habits and making them real HABITS – something that I fall back on regularly – like prayer, honoring my commitment to read a chapter a day in the books I’m currently reading (which, at the present time are “Courage” by Debbie Ford, and “Addictive Thinking and the Addictive Personality”), like fueling my body with healthy things (I had healthy Cocoa Crispies for dinner last night, followed by a couple of Blue Bell Fudge Bars for dessert.), and putting one foot in the front of the other, despite dumb choices (see dinner menu from last night:)…all these things help me gain a healthier perspective of my life, a real perspective of my life. One that says, “Knowing isn’t being,” and knowing that I am faithfully trying to BE. This is a ramble. That’s okay. I just was feeling overwhelmed & realized that my trusty blog always helps me sort things out & get centered again. Inhale. Exhale. Think of the candles I’m going to make later today. Think of the moment. Great moment – yesterday – I was wrapping up my time with my wonderful counselor, Jo, and my phone rang. It was my son! We don’t get to talk much. At all. Twice a week, for 10 minutes at a time. I’ll take it! Anywho. I called him back when I got in the car. We were talking about our respective weeks & chatting about the activities we wanted to do when I go visit him in a couple of weeks. At the end, he asked me, casually, “So…have you had a drink?” I melted. I was so proud to be able to say, “NO!!! Baby, those days are OVER! You inspired me and I haven’t turned back.” It felt so good to be able to say that to my son. I’m so proud of him and the work he is doing on himself. Addiction is genetic, I’m convinced of that. But we don’t have to marinate in it, do we? It’s curable, with work. I love my sober life and I can tell that my son loves his, too. I’m so excited to go see him! We are planning all kinds of good things! I feel better already… :) Peace, y’all.

stuffing it :(

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This may not be pretty for a variety of reasons. I’m typing on my fairly new bluetooth keyboard. finicky thing, it is. trying to get my ipad to connect took a solid ten minutes and gave me a headache right over my left eye. so, fumble fingers it is. and it may not be pretty because of a pretty crappy aha moment i had during my run the other day…i’ve been avoiding my blog. why? i love to write. my outlet. helps me keep the coconut empty. helps me make sense of things. i’m avoiding it because i stuff my feelings! in my life, i have adapted to my surroundings by keeping my mouth shut…as in, don’t rock the boat, don’t risk hurting someone’s feelings, don’t risk hurting. period. just suck it up.

but.

my life began changing on may 6. funny the way things work, yes? when i found out i was pregnant with my son, 22 years ago, my life changed. i knew at that moment that i was meant to be a mother. it was the best feeling ever. that doesn’t mean it was easy. it was far from that. it has gotten increasingly difficult for periods of time over the years. it’s still hard to figure out what is airing dirty laundry & what is just being honest. i’m working on that. for now, though, it’s as if the scales have fallen away from my eyes. it wasn’t a quick miracle, but it was lead by God and through lots of intense prayer. which i do every day. i don’t, especially now, want to make a move that my Father in Heaven doesn’t want me to make, so i definitely spend a lot of time checking in with Him.

so, after all the work that i continue to do on myself since May 6, i still work very hard on my codependency issues…i see a therapist who helps me tremendously. she has helped me see that i am actually fine.

one of the best Robin Williams quotes i have seen, and truly one of the best quotes ever, is something like…”I used to think one of the worst feelings in the world was to be alone, but it’s not…it’s being around people who make you feel alone.” ouch. sad. true.

so, this journey i am on has been amazing and it’s far from over. i am loving my online school and i look forward to using my health-coach certification to help others. i realize that my wants, needs, and feelings are every bit as important as anyone else’s. i’m not a terrible communicator. i’m not that bad.

part of the Four Agreements is that we punish ourselves. we join with others who punish us as much as we think we deserve to be punished, and not one scintilla more. a scant bit more & we leave. so the fine line is we find someone who will punish us according to our own standards. i hope i didn’t lose anyone with that. the book is amazing and life changing. at first, i saw it as a bit of a threat to what i have been comfortable with. but now, i don’t see it that way. now, i see it as recognizing this, breaking the agreements, and cleaning out all the internal garbage that we have accummulated since childhood. dump it. just get rid of it. not as easy as it sounds, but the book goes into great detail. what i see happening is akin to soul-cleansing. and once that happens, our spirit and the Holy Spirit can flow freely through us…it’s not for us to hang onto the bad stuff that we (I) thought i needed to in order to martyr myself in this life. who is served by that? how do i bring anyone closer to anything good if i am not good to myself, the way God intended? i am a much better instrument to God if my spirit runs clean – unclogged and free. and you know what? it works! i see little signs of my own work coming back to me in unexpected ways. for example, the other day in Hobby Lobby, this lady was in line behind me & she dropped a receipt. i could see she was a little frazzled and in a bit of a hurry. i stooped down to get her receipt for her & as i held it for her in my hand, she quickly looked up with an exasperated ‘thanks’ & looked at me again & just kind of paused & smiled. it was so great! she seemed calmer right away & even struck up small talk with me, which of course i engaged in. i find myself seeing people more as people that God created, regardless…of anything. No matter how people act, no matter what they look like at the moment, they each have a battle and they were each created by God Himself. i have no right or desire to judge. i simply want to let my light shine and be a speck of kindness in someone’s day, whether it’s through a smile, a kind word, or an understanding look. and do you know what else? i quickly ask God to bless that person and lead them to goodness in all that they do. it’s not hard to do and i get such joy from it.

so i’m not stuffing it anymore. life is good. life is trying. personally, things are crazy right now. i’m trying to do my best to keep my eyes on God and work through what is laid out before me. i’m fighting for what is right. my son is now in california and i’m going to see him next month.by.my.self. whhhhhatttt? i can’t wait to reconnect with him. he is doing amazing work on himself. i surely do miss him. the top of our list of things we must do – Griffith Observatory and hiking. just being together with free, open communication is thrilling to me.

i am now over 14 weeks sober!! wootwoot!!!! i decided to quit drinking when my son left louisiana. i didn’t think i really had a problem. i deep down knew if i didn’t take that chance to quit – that another important chance/reason might not come along again…the gene for alcoholism is real. my mother had it; my grandfather had it. drugs and alcohol have run rampant through my family. not anymore. i understand the disease much better now. i know some people can have one drink, one glass of wine & be fine. i wasn’t one of those people. i wanted more. it’s a slippery slope & i’m glad i’m off.

life is a beautiful gift from God. i will not squander it. i will not take it for granted. life has it’s ugly side. i’m not going to deny that anymore. i don’t like stuffing my feelings. i’m just gonna keep it real, y’all.

i was at Mass this morning, for the Assumption of Mary…i couldn’t keep my tears in during the Homily as i listened to the priest & thought about Mary and the sacrifices she made…what her life was like after her Son went to Heaven…and then what it must have been like for her to go to Heaven all those years later…wow.

alright, so that’s the way it is right now!

it’s also Friday after the first week of school! no alarms tomorrow!!! 6 mile run on deck.

Peace, y’all :)))

keeping it real

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i think i have a blog post with that title…anywho.

where do i start? from the here & now & work backwards. lemme just say, we had a long, wonderful day today, even though i am in my workout clothes & haven’t had my workout. even though my smoothie sits on the counter half made. we managed spacers for 8th grader, school supplies galore for 8th and 9th grader, a long-promised reading chair & lamp, thankyoutarget…

so here i sit now on the couch, covered by my favorite blanket, my brand new ipad covered in a sweet red leather cover & bluetoothed keyboard – it was a perk from signing up for my new health coaching school.

went to utah to visit my son. AAAHH.MAAAZZ.ING… my son. i don’t know if i have ever seen him so content and truly happy. that beautiful spirit i always wrote about truly shines through. i’m happy for him that he has discovered his true self.

for me…the work continues. codependency is ugly, y’all. and for someone like me, who has marinated in it for a lifetime, well, it’s just hard. having to re-visit hard issues is never easy. and there is no blame to assess; it’s about recognizing and understanding, not looking for fault to say, ‘this is why i am this way.’

my counselor asked me to – okay, strongly urged me – to complete the book prescribed – “Facing Codependency”. sigh. i was doing fine with it and then when i got a little over halfway through it, i kind of internally freaked out – like, it was just too difficult to poke and probe, whilst doing all the other assignments i’d been given. it was easy to put down & take a break. heck, how bout a permanent break from miss pia mellody??? heehee. no, i’m committed to being a well, happy, sober, mother, example, wife, etc., to my family.

i still listen to the “Four Agreements” – having that book playing in my ear is like carrying the best therapist with me.

i’m not sure where my path will lead, but it better be someplace good after all this work!!!! :))))

my prayer life is still strong as ever, even more so after the atrocities being inflicted upon fellow Christians on the other side of the world.

there is so much more i want to say, but in the interest of honoring the privacy of all those involved, i have to leave it like this…sigh. i will say this: humanity never ceases to amaze me, what we are able to do with one, precious life granted and planned by God Himself…He is so good.

One Picture

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It is subtle.

Only a mother would notice

The calm intensity reflected in his eyes.

Self-acceptance exudes from the photograph.

I looked with the same wonder

As I first looked at that face all those years ago…

Pure, sweet.

Pure and sweet, even now,

But even now, it is clear

He crossed the bridge

Between boyhood and manhood.

Only he knows the steps

He had to take to get there.

I’ll never know.

But I know this:

He visited Hell.

He had to,

Out of self-preservation,

Out of self-restoration.

Only a trip to Hell

With bootstraps to make his exodus

Could produce the man I saw today.

He took my breath away.

The content look in his face

Is what I have prayed for.

Wisdom and love and self-love

Filled his beautiful blue eyes.

This mother thanks her Father,

Knowing

All things are possible

Through His Son,

Jesus.

Why did I pay $70.00 for the “Anatomy of Peace”?

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I’ve mentioned it before – Anatomy of Peace – the book recommended by our interventionist and by a counselor in Utah. I ordered and received it in early May. I started reading it. It was deep. Like, too deep for me to concentrate on and get what I knew I needed from it. So, I bought the $20 audiobook on ITunes. That was great. It helped a lot. I fell asleep listening to it. I woke up with nightmares. On two separate nights. sigh. Well, whaddyagonnado? Still, I loved it and knew it was for me. Oh, I tried in my codependent way to wave the book around and tout it’s unbelievable ability to change people. (Insert before period, “who were WILLING to change.”:) Anywho. So, also being ADD, I continually tried getting through the book, however I could: reading, listening, reading AND listening like I did as a child – following along…don’t judge. Then I misplaced the dang book. I felt lost. And afraid. LOL. Not afraid, that just seemed funny. But I did feel lost without out, because I wanted to finish it. I am a visual learner and I needed that book in my hand. I pondered. Okay, I’ll spend the $15.00 (shipping included) again and get the book again. I finished the book! With a mighty powerful crying jag on a Saturday morning that prompted my husband to hold my hand and look at me like I had two heads, yet with an air of sympathy. Sigh. You know the look, right? The book is transforming. Being in touch with ADD, I knew there were places in the book I missed, so I continued to listen to it on my Iphone while I ran, skipping backwards & forwards to the different chapters that I felt I needed to hear/re-hear. My Iphone bugged out. Best Buy gave me a new one. I went out for a run. Queuing up “Anatomy”…and it’s not there. Wait, what? It was gone. It was in ITuenes cyberspace. DRAG. Well, I reasoned with myself, I’m good, right? I read it and listened to it. Come on Red Hot Chili Peppers, we are going for a run! That lasted several days. Like, a week. And last night, I attempted to sort through cyberspace to find my beloved book and I couldn’t find it. Nor could I find the justification to spend yet another $20 on the Itunes audiobook. I went to sleep. I think there was a minuscule amount of steam coming from my ears. :) Okay, God, I said, if I wake up in the morning and I feel like You want me to order this book again, I’m just gonna do it. No questions asked. You know my heart, right? I woke up. Thinking.about.The.Anatomy.of.Peace. $20. Again. The best money I have ever spent on a book. I just ran 5.21 miles listening to my beloved book, feeling my insides soothed & smoothed by the words spoken, assuring myself that I am a creation of God and all is good with that. Knowing that what we can control is ourselves. Knowing that we are in control of our own happiness. Knowing we can’t make people read, think, pray, eat, do, anything. But we can work on ourselves. And that’s what God wants, I think, is to see us make the most of the lives He has given us. When we take care of our own selves – our mind, spirits, and bodies, the sky is the limit for us to do His work. That’s what I wanna do. His work. His will.

I feel much better now. Thank you. :)

…And I’m learning some more :)))

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Morning. My sweet 9th grader is at camp on her first day as an Assistant Counselor. She was so excited. She has a beautiful heart. She and my 8th grader recently had a lemonade stand for 3 days. They took their money and a list from our local animal shelter & bought everything they could and we brought it over to Angel Paws in New Iberia. They were so proud to be able to help and do their part. They amaze me. It was all their idea & they just ran with it. The shelter was so hospitable and thankful. We stayed for a good while and we all played with the cats & dogs. It was extremely difficult to leave empty-handed. I know for sure that I will always have a rescued pet. Or two. Or three… :)))

This journey, y’all. wow. I place my relationship with God above all else. I know His guiding hand is right there on my shoulder. I yield to Him everyday, and especially now, because this is unchartered territory for me. I am really getting a lot out of therapy – when things fell apart in early May, someone involved in our situation told me I needed to see a therapist for myself. I took the advice of all the professionals – they had walked the walk & I was more than happy to hear, accept and follow the advice they gave. I remember telling my therapist, “I was told I needed to come see you, so here I am and I’m not sure what to say.” :))) Well, that gave way to some great conversations that have prompted me to look at my life differently. And can I tell you the times, they are a’changin??? Lord.

So, alcohol. GONE. I’m so happy about that. May 5 was the last day for me. It was difficult at times, and still is, even sometimes. But everytime I say no and I am proud of my choice. I would never think I would be tested by someone close to me who knew the path I had chosen. Hubs has tried twice to get me to “taste it and tell me if you think it’s good.” Um, no. The first time was at our anniversary dinner & I was pretty surprised that he asked me to partake in what used to be one of my favorite after-dinner drinks, Frangelico straight up chilled. Then, in New Orleans over the weekend, he wanted me to taste his bloody Mary. I just said no. Go Nancy Reagan. I am still surprised that those who we least expect, those seemingly closest to us, can challenge us to go against what we have set in stone. I still believe that in relationships, we should build one another UP, and encourage one another to succeed. It’s a bit of a dagger. But it didn’t hit any arteries :)

I still want to buy the book, “Dry”. The author-dude gets out of rehab for alcohol & pretty much doesn’t know what to do with himself. So he starts writing everything that transpires. I love the idea of seeing the world through a newly sober person’s eyes.

I adore health & fitness. I have been skulking around the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, an online program based in NYC, for about 6 months. I heard about it during a podcast and I was intrigued. Everything about it spoke to me. It’s a 12-month program and at the end, if I pass everything, I can take a certification test to be a certified health coach! That is so me. And the curriculum studies food, diets, feelings, spirituality, all related to our entire world and most importantly, how we relate to food. So me. I wouldn’t commit, though. I thought I was waiting for the right time, but in actuality, I was not fulfilling my own dream because I didn’t think it was important enough. So, guess what? It IS important enough! I signed up! I start on July 14 and I have already started my Fundamentals part of it. I love it. It is so me. Last night, I was up till 12:30 just going through the Fundamentals section – there are videos & Power Points & so much good stuff. I am proud of myself for taking the leap! Last Thursday, I attended yet another webinar that IIN put on. I gave myself an ultimatum – if I wake up Friday morning & still feel strongly about this school, I’m calling and enrolling. I prayed, of course, for God’s will. I asked Him to please let me know if I should pursue this or move on. Well, Friday morning rolled around & my feet hit the floor like always, bright & early and guess what? I knew. He put His confirmation in my heart and I knew that was the day I could start pursuing MY dream…MY dream that I want to help others with. I’m so excited.

And this is just the beginning. There are so many new changes to come, I just know it. I feel it. It’s impossible to stay stagnant while opening our hearts to the life God has placed before us.

I’m still doing my Les Mills Pump workouts. I’m still doing my heart rate training. I am loving the run. My 9th grader has had summer workouts at her school in Grand Coteau and I’ve used that time to run & walk & stay on track with my HR training.

Life is good.

Alright, I gotta get some work done around this house!

I hope & pray the peace of Our Lord Jesus is with each of you!