Category Archives: Blog

WHY DO WE JUDGE OTHERS?

It is so easy to look at someone and place a judgment isn’t it?  We truly never know what others have or are going through.  When others have judged you based on gossip and the opinions of another person without speaking to you directly, that is a character defect on their part.  It is true what they say, “If someone is trashing another person to you, I guarantee they are talking the same about you when you aren’t around”.   I have learned that there is a BIG difference in talking shit about a person and talking about a shitty person!  We all talk about people but it isn’t always done with ill intent.  We talk about family, friends, even strangers.  Talking about real things that have happened is not the same thing as gossip, (at least not to me) to me gossip is taking pieces of the truth and twisting it into some bullshit story or sharing something about someone that is personal that they shared with you and you start to tell anyone who will listen.  You know how it goes, you tell one person something like “I went to the doctor and found out I am pre-diabetic”.  After sharing it with a room full of different people it comes back as “Oh my God she is dying she doesn’t have long to live”.  Weird example, but I mean you can see the drama put into it and the spin people add to it.

Me myself, I have been falsely accused of things.  The problem I have is not one single person has ever taken the time to reach out to me or my husband and asked us questions or questioned whatever they have heard.  Both my husband and I have just been convicted of whatever this made up crap is and that is the way it is.  Then more people jump on this band wagon and project even more lies and before you know it everyone dislikes you and it’s literally all based on what……..nothing but LIES and preconceived notions & prejudgment about things they know nothing about!  Let me tell you what that does to someone.  It causes a lot of heartache and pain.  It causes a sadness because you wanted so much to be part of a bigger family or friendship and you don’t have a chance, you never did because people have caused defamation of character and the people close to them they just believe what they hear and destroy any chance of a relationship. 

In that toxic situation you choose you, the healthiest thing you can do is walk away from it because you can’t change it.  Sometimes there is so much damage that it is unrepairable.  You can forgive for yourself and let it go so it doesn’t consume you.  As my Dad used to say “Fuck people if they don’t want to be part of your life, their loss”  Amen Poppa so true!  It’s like you have no chance to make an impression because without even speaking a word to you someone thinks they know what you are all about.  Then there are people that play the poor me game so well.  Yet they are so completely devious you have no idea until you do something to set them off and then you see the other face they were hiding and how hypocritical they really are.  I have known both sides of a situation and have seen this in action for myself.  It really is very sad the damage it causes to so many.  Some go so far as to take their own lives because this is a type of bullying and they can’t take the pain of it and there is no way out to prove yourself.  Shame on those of you that cause that type of harm to another soul.

If I tell you something about someone or a situation it is because I have seen it for myself and I may be trying to protect someone.  I don’t just talk about people to others, I keep that to myself and my husband.  I have no reason to lie and make up things about another person.  It does nothing for me.  When I go to bed at night I want to do it with a clear conscience knowing I wasn’t out robbing or lying to people or spreading damaging rumors about another person.  I live my life with honesty, & integrity.  I have empathy & compassion for others.  If I see or hear for myself how someone is dishonest and intentionally cruel.  If I see people living selfishly and self-entitled.  If you cause me, my family, or friends harm in anyway I am done!  I have no time for that type of destruction in my life nor do I want any part of it. 

Some believe that their job title, the house they live in, the car they drive, or the family they come from Entitles them to a certain privilege.  Not in my book.  You may be very wealthy and powerful and have the most lavish things life has to offer but underneath it all you are still a human being like everyone else.  We talk about people everyday but it isn’t met with ill intent.  We talk to friends about other friends and family about things that have happened or how we feel about something.  That is totally different.  What I am talking about is when you dislike someone and say terrible things about them so others will dislike them too, you are intentionally causing harm to another human being.  When someone is trying to share something with you and you don’t hear them or project your own thoughts or feelings into it you are discounting another human being.  When you share idle gossip heard from another person and not directly knowing or seeing for yourself, you are harming another human being!  Just STOP IT!

I could go on and on about the different situations and examples but here is what I believe.  Keep your side of the road clean.  If you don’t see it or hear it for yourself it’s just gossip.  Even if you see or hear something for yourself not everyone wants the personal parts of their life spread around like wildfire for others to judge.  Bottom line is if you aren’t willing to talk to someone yourself and make your own judgment call to find out what the truth really may be then keep your mouth shut and mind your own business!  None of us are perfect but I keep to myself for a reason.  Although my husband and I have been the subject to a lot of ill intended gossip that has hurt us and our relationships with several people it will never break us.  We are too strong and have no time for that type of petty bullshit.  We don’t take people at their word about another person, we check it out ourselves and form our own opinions and conclusions. 

If more people did this there would be less drama in this world.  Friendships and family relationships wouldn’t be harmed the way they have been, but to me it just weeds out the ones I want nothing to do with because I don’t want that in my life.  I try to help others, I help animals, I speak honestly and sometimes too brutally, but I don’t lie, steal, cheat, I have no reason too.  I am who I am, like me, love me, hate me, your choice, but being a good person trying to make a difference in the world.  Cherishing my family and friends that are real, honest, supportive, those are the people I want in my life.  Whether there is 1 or 100 I will take it over a million phony fake evil people any day!   Remember what you judge may one day be the situation you find yourself in!  Be kind and be the change you wish to see in this world!

Wishing you peace & Serenity………Harmony

 

 

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Infidelity, Alcoholism, Recovery, understanding what happens!

Sometimes we go through things in our life and we feel as though we are the only one who must feel the way we do.  I like to research and read articles and blogs that others have written about whatever topic I want to know more about.  Something I have heard a lot about recently and have read about are the lingering affects of infidelity.  To throw a curve ball in there, let’s talk about alcoholism and infidelity.  Is it different than someone without an addiction problem?  I cannot answer that because I really don’t have an answer.  I am the wife of a recovering alcoholic and have dealt with infidelity so I can talk about what happens years later.

From everything I have read, I have normal reactions like others do.  At times you can feel crazy and be really hard on yourself.  I have come to understand that no matter what I am feeling, the emotions are real for me for whatever reason and it is up to me to explore why, because when I do that I get to grow and learn about what is really going on.  Sometimes all these years later there are things that trigger me about the infidelity and I find when I ignore it the emotions intensify.  It doesn’t happen very often but when it does it can be strong and I have to talk about it.  Other wise it eats away at my soul.  That isn’t always accepted openly by my husband which makes this part so much harder to heal from.  I understand completely that it isn’t something that the person who betrayed wants to talk about because it is also something that they have worked through and healed from.  However, I do believe it is different because here is the tough part to write about, this is what it does to someone, or a least what it did to me and how I felt when I found out………..

I heard the term once used “emotional murder” and that is really a good way to describe an infidelity because isn’t that what has happened?  Many people have no idea that anything is wrong in their relationships.  They go along believing that everything is fine or they question the other spouse because they may instinctually feel something isn’t right only to be told “everything is fine” or they are crazy!  That happened with me.  Then one day they are hit with this painful reality that they never saw coming and the worst part is they have no idea why it has happened.  In the beginning it knocks the life out of you, it brought me to my knees gasping for air because you are crying so deeply from a place you never knew existed. You never wanted it to be real so you go into denial.  I read in an article that it is just like loosing someone you love, it is that painful.  I know you go through your racing mind thinking so many questions you need answered but don’t want answered.  You go through so many emotions, your numb, angry, sad, depressed, suicidal, you loose weight, you scream, cry, it is hard to function and form thoughts, it takes all you have to get out of bed every day.

I didn’t know then what it felt like to loose someone but I have since lost someone very close to me who I love so much and I can tell you it absolutely is that painful.  Really if you look at it, didn’t a part of you die in that moment when you found out about your spouses infidelity?  You need details and it makes you physically sick but it is all normal and part of the healing.  You may have nightmares about it and just have these images running through your mind.  It will take everything you have at first to keep your feet on the ground.  I am telling you all this as dark as it sounds because I want you to know everything you feel, whether you are a man or a woman is absolutely NORMAL and it is how you heal.  No matter what you decide to do, to work things out with your spouse or leave you will SLOWLY begin to feel better.  For me it was like someone ripped out my heart, stabbed me a number of times stuck it back in my body burnt these images in my mind and left me to think about it day in and day out.  I did think about taking a handful of pills because it was so painful, it felt too painful to bare.  I didn’t want to really die though, I didn’t want to stop living, I wanted the pain to stop and I needed to know why my husband didn’t love me enough to not do this to me.  I needed to know the question that constantly went through my mind.  “Why wasn’t I enough”?  I stood by him through years and years of drinking and abusive behaviors only to be slapped in the face with this when he got sober………..my thoughts were “What the Fuck”, how could this happen in sobriety?

I can tell you this, when someone decides to get sober it isn’t about just putting down the bottle, pill, powder, syringe, whatever the drug of choice is, it is about cleaning out your emotional house from the inside out.  All you have to change is everything.  When someone you love and are spending your life with goes outside your marriage with another person on a physical or emotional level you have destroyed your wedding vows.  You have killed the life you shared.  For those that have been unfaithful if you still don’t get what happens to another person let me be clear, part of us has died!  We can and do recover but I am here to share some of the things I have learned over the past 5 years that have been helpful and what is damaging.

You must be 100% completely open to questions, talks, keeping electronics open as to not hide anything from your spouse. If you are rebuilding your marriage, it must be this way for the rest of your life!  Not just in the now.  I really want to drive this point to those who have betrayed their spouses……….we do NOT bring anything up to shame you, punish you, hurt you, embarrass you.  We are simply trying to reach out to you when we are triggered and something has set us off and the best way for you to deal with this is openness, compassion, empathy, and love.  Know that this is most uncomfortable and painful for us and if we could never ever think about it again we would do it, but we don’t control our emotions or what triggers us.  What we look for even years later in those moments is reassurance, safety, kindness, but most of all an understanding from our perspective, for our emotions.

We all have an imagination, put yourself in your spouses shoes look at the pain in their eyes in that moment and feel what they feel.  Love them through it.  No matter how hard it is for you take yourself out of it and know these are the consequences from your actions.  Put your spouse before yourself.  Don’t be nasty or cruel, they aren’t trying to hurt you by sharing something so upsetting they are looking for assurance and to hear from you that it isn’t the way we feel, that we are Ok, that these feelings are normal from time to time and that you are there for us.  You really have no right to get angry or be mean in anyway because you are suppose to protect your spouse.  No one is crucifying you, we need to continue to heal and in that moment we are reaching for you, looking to you to be there for us because we need that assurance.  Sometimes it can feel as those it is happening again and it brings up all those feelings.  I can tell you this with absolute certainty.

When you handle these moments with love and understanding from another’s perspective you create a deeper bond and a deeper trust that we have in you knowing and reiterating that what we have known all along, we really are safe, we can trust you, we just had a moment where the devil plays with your mind.  These feelings do pass, but it passes much easier with love rather than hate.  The same goes the other way too though.  IF you are cruel, call names, are not open, think of only yourself and don’t comfort your spouse and find some understanding in how they are feeling then shame on you!  You help create that pain to linger and you have showed us that we can’t trust you to care for us.  If you are in recovery then you absolutely know better!  There are so many tools for you to use to be that person that you need to be for your spouse in that hard moment for them.  Don’t let them go through it alone!  When you do that all you show is that you can’t be trusted and you really aren’t there for your spouse.  Making amends is part of recovery as well as the words “Don’t cause harm to another person” should be remembered more times than not.

I don’t know if being a recovering alcoholic/addict even matters as far as behavior goes.  Like if someone with an addiction acts differently than someone who doesn’t, but that is neither here nor there to me.  What I do know though is if you are in recovery and you are behaving in the same ways you were when you were drinking or using then you are clearly not embracing your recovery program and you aren’t working it in the way you are suppose too and you know that.  That isn’t a judgment it is a fact!  I can tell you that I see when my husband isn’t living in recovery because of his behaviors in the way he reacts to certain things.  If you go back to a time when you were able to talk openly and be that person that you spouse needs and you were working your recovery faithfully then you will be able to see where you are falling short IF you are honest with yourself.  I know people can feel it too.  The way YOU behave is NOT someone else’s fault.  We are all responsible for ourselves and how we CHOOSE to react to things happening around us.  Here is an analogy……..If you claim to be an actively religious person serving God and others and I see you driving like a maniac and flipping people off, well your kind of missing the point there.  See where I am going with this?  There are people that can be in recovery and actively go to meetings but are not actively practicing living a recovered life.  You can’t expect your life to be different if you are behaving in the same ways no matter how much sobriety you have.

I love my husband dearly.  He is the most important person in my life.  I have been committed and devoted to our relationship from day one 17 1/2 years ago.  That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes or say things that may be hurtful.   The difference is I don’t set out to intentionally say things or do things that I know will cause pain.  When you do things purposefully that cause pain for another person that is called being malicious, you are conscience of what you are doing yet continue to do it anyway.  The way to change things around is to think of your self LESS, that is called humility.  It is OK to put another’s feelings above your own especially when you know they are hurting a great deal and you have had a part in it.  You can heal and rebuild your marriage after infidelity.  It takes a lot of time and patience and commitment of openness between you both.  Know that it is also normal to have triggers years later and you will react emotionally to them and that is OK, continue to be open with one another, because if that stops you cause more damage.

We are human, it is a deep wound that we have forgiven but it still flares up sometimes, that is all normal.  It is easy for people to walk away from things but it takes strong people who are dedicated to making it better to stay.  The grass is only green where you care for it and there are different stages of your marriage.  Talk about everything openly and be able to receive whatever the other person talks about, sex, money, family, Etc.  The only way we grow together is respecting we are different and what one has no emotions too the other may feel deeply about.  Embrace your differences and try to understand, at least make an effort to want to understand.  This person is the person you want to spend forever with, why hurt them?  Why criticize them?  Cherish them, love them, love all they bring to your life.  Be the person you want your spouse to be for you.  Fall in love often, surprise them, do nice things for one another.  It isn’t about keeping score.  If one person initiates love making all that should matter is the intimacy itself.  I understand the need to feel wanted but we all go through different stages in life of low and high libidos and changes of life.  Open communication helps you feel closer.  A husband and wife should be able to talk about anything and everything hard and easy.

It is always a good time to do the right thing.  It is best to always be honest.  When you are kind and compassionate especially to our loved ones it gives us an opportunity to form a deeper bond with them and regain trust we have lost in behaving badly.  There is never a time or an excuse for being cruel to another human being and if you are behaving that way to your own spouse that is definitely not something to be proud of and you need to make right, right now!  I have learned that at anytime when we least expect it we can loose those we love.  To never have an opportunity to make things right or say those words you wanted to but didn’t thinking you’ll have another chance, don’t wait you may not get that chance.  If we can all remember to stop before we speak.  Think about what we are about to say before we say them.  If you look in the mirror and say “you fucking asshole, you are so fucked up” and you actually see yourself talking that way to yourself think about how that makes someone you love feel.  None of us are perfect but we can all do better, we can all be better.  We must be more open, and compassionate because this life we live and those who love us are a gift, but God will need them back one day remember that and live life being kind and loving!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity,  Harmony

 

How Do Other People See You When You Have An Addiction Problem But You Are In Complete Denial About It?

This is an interesting topic because I know my husband was in denial and would blame everyone else me, his family, a stranger, the dog across the street….(LOL) You get what I’m saying!  However, at other times he would sit down with me when he would hit what I thought was his bottom, (but it was just a bad drinking day).  He would admit to me that he is an alcoholic and say he needs to stop or that he needs help.  However, that is short lived because when he felt good enough again he was right back to drinking, right back to the denial of “I don’t have a problem, you’re the problem just let me drink”.  You cannot reason with addiction because their is no truth in it.  It is living in an altered reality of what the drugs and alcohol create for you.  When you see the world through beer goggles it isn’t the way we see it.

Sadly I believe this is how we loose so many people.  To me addiction is like the devil whispering in your ear telling you how sweet this is, and no matter what loved ones say it doesn’t usually penetrate that evil because the addiction has consumed not only their body but also their mind, heart and soul.  My husband has been sober for almost 5 years now and we have heard of many people passing.  We have been to many celebrations of life and it never gets easier to see the broken families, the heartache and pain of not understanding, Why?    There is NOTHING good that comes from addiction as far as I am concerned.  It takes a person who was once kind, innocent, and loving and turns them into a self destructive monster who ruins many lives.  I have been part of that collateral damage and let me tell you, it’s no picnic it is devastating!

When my husband was drinking and we would go out, he would consume mass amounts of alcohol and make a total ass out of himself and I was just along for the humiliating ride.  I have had people ask me if he has a drinking problem and in the beginning I would make excuses not understanding exactly what I had gotten myself into saying “Oh it’s the weekend he’s just having fun”.  When he would become rude or fall all over or embarrass me people would look at me with disgust at times, but mostly I got pity looks like they felt sorry for me.  They would just shake their heads and walk away, it was super fun (I say totally sarcastically).  There wasn’t an event we didn’t go to where I wouldn’t cringe at the thought of because he would start drinking at home or he would fill up a back pack and then when that ran out buy more alcohol where ever we were.  It is a very expensive bad, bad habit.

One time a good friend of ours went with us to see KIZZ in concert.  She and my husband are both alcoholics.  They came up with this plan to sneak in their booze because drinks at those events are so expensive so they would buy one and fill their cups with the Rum and coke they put in a giant Ziploc bag that my husband hid in his pants……..Yes folks alcohol smuggled in your pants is where this disease can take you and they have absolutely no shame, and she just had surgery 7 days earlier so I had to wheel her in a wheelchair.  They were hammered by the end of the night, it sucked! 

I can tell you after years and years of disappointment and heartache for not only myself but for our kids, our family, even for my husband I saw him as a disappointment.  This is what I would see.  My husband, the man who was in love with me, and paid so much attention to me and made me feel so special sharing life with me was gone.  He was a shell of his former self.  As the years went by and the alcohol starts to take a toll it doesn’t come without health concerns.  He was unreliable, lazy, cruel, selfish, (SO SELFISH), judgmental, verbally abusive, not accountable or responsible for ANYTHING, egotistical, careless, wreck less, he abandoned our family, he was a liar, a cheater, and a thief, and I could go on. 

You basically become addictions puppet and what it tells you to do you do!  Recovery is the only way to change these things.  You simply cannot put down the bottle, needle, pills, powder, you have to clean yourself emotionally from the inside out if you even want a shot at changing your life.  Without addiction controlling your life, the world has endless possibilities for you!  My husband went from being a total monster to a decent person in society who is now reliable, caring, works hard, kind, responsible, ETC,  my husband may always be an alcoholic but today and for the past 1,700 and some odd days he is a recovering alcoholic and he has chosen to live a new life outside of the bottle.  He has his family back, our marriage has been renewed, he has mended many family relationships with our children and others.  His addiction is no longer an addiction that controls him, but the desire to thrive in life as a whole person, not just one that lives drunk in the shell of a body and merely exists.  He is a part of life and gets to remember things and enjoy things.  Life isn’t perfect but he tackles every thing life throws our way sober, without addiction as a tool.  Really, all the alcohol was doing was telling him a lie, it was killing him!  Now he can see that being on the other side and he has no desire to go back.  I am so proud of him everyday that he found the strength within himself and others to beat his disease.  Everyday he knows it is right there wanting to pounce on him and take him back but my husband’s will is much stronger than to allow it to ever ruin his life again. 

Today we are all grateful for his recovery, we live everyday trying to give back and be better than we were the day before.  He knows he has to stay on top of his recovery to be the best version of himself and to continue to be the man he wants to be, because he knows he never wants to be the person he used to be ever again.  As his wife, his recovery has been such a blessing because we were given the opportunity to rebuild our life together and today we are solid and unbreakable.  I know alcohol will never be a part of our lives again, but the memory is always there to remind us of what can happen!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity………….Hamrony

 

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR SOCIAL STATUS IF YOU DONT DRINK?

I saw this photo quote online and thought it would be a good topic to discuss.  I have heard people say things about how they feel like they “have to” drink to fit in.  My husband is a drummer so when he is playing in a band it brings us into the bars because that is where the local bands play, or if there is an event happening in town.  I got to thinking though that I have heard people of all ages talk about this and how they feel they have to drink to fit in.  To me I think that is just absurd and I feel that more people need to stand for what they believe in and not feel so pressured to do anything just to be accepted by people who are probably not true friends in the first place.

I take alcoholism very seriously because I live that life.  I am the wife of an alcoholic and the last thing I want is for my Daughter, Step-Children, or friends  to walk that same path.  When I hear my daughter tell me about her and her friends going out and drinking I have to admit that I sometimes kind of stop breathing for a moment because I have concerns about her ending up with a drinking problem.  I can hear her right now saying “Oh my God Mom, I don’t have a problem I don’t drink all the time, I rarely get drunk”!   And she is right, she doesn’t have a problem, I tend to over react at times, BUT because her Dad is a recovering alcoholic and she grew up in an alcoholic home and her biological Dad is an addict I can’t help but feel that overprotective Mom inside just praying that she doesn’t get caught up in any addiction.  My daughter is an independent young woman with a great job, and a good heart.  She is good to her family and friends.  She thinks before she makes choices and weighs what the consequences will be and that is simply by learning from past mistakes and lessons life has taught her.  I am a very proud Momma, she is an amazing beautiful person, a great role model for her nieces!

My husband and I have had people (men and women) ask us HOW we don’t drink in a bar. My husband tells them he is a recovering alcoholic and breaks out in hand cuffs when he drinks HAHAHA (a little dark humor there).  They will ask me why I don’t drink and my response is…… simply out of respect for my husband, and I don’t need to drink.  Some people are just amazed and just don’t understand how it is possible and believe we have such will power, (these are usually the people who have a drinking problem).  They say how envious they are because they wish they could do it.   Yet others judge us, and will give us these weird looks.  It is OK judge away, I know that they are miserable and addiction is in control of their lives so they can’t see past themselves and believe that somehow we are missing out on a “fun” life.  That would be where they are wrong, FUN didn’t start for us until recovery came into our lives.  Now it is all real and honest and we remember things we did and my husband doesn’t have to wake up in the morning wondering what he did the night before to hurt everyone and wake up with regret.

My concern though are the ones that do it to fit into a social standard.  The ones that do it even though they don’t like it and then they begin to crave it.  The ones that believe that if they drink or do drugs like their so called “friends” they will be liked.  The ones that do it for a guy or a girl.  I hear younger people being allowed to have a drink or two at a BBQ or a dinner event.  I do not agree with this.  I believe that this type of behavior that parents allow when they have teenagers just creates a pathway to some form of addiction and bad choices.  Maybe it is judgmental but I do not think it is OK to allow your underage kids to drink, they are not your friend they are your children, you are their parents and role models.  If you make bad choices like drinking and driving what do you think they will do?  Have a drink with your kids when they are grown adults and are of legal age.  I feel like we have enough troubled children in this world due to a lack of parenting with boundaries, structure and consequences. This of course is just my opinion I am not a doctor but I am a Mother, Stepmother, Wife, Daughter, Etc. so my feelings about this I will tell you I am biting my tongue right now to say more about it, but think before you act and do what is right long term for your children and family.

In our family there is a lot of addiction and it rips families apart.  It kills people, it causes terrible health issues, it destroys relationships, it is truly a devastating disease that you can actually do something about!  Get your ass to recovery, check into rehab don’t leave because it is tough because you know the saying “no pain no gain”.  It will be harder emotionally than anything but I can promise you this, your whole life will change in ways you never imagined were possible.  Nobody is blowing smoke up your ass it’s real, miracles do happen.  I mean it isn’t all unicorns and rainbow’s everyday but you will have those days too.  There isn’t just one way to recover but you must do it right.  Being dry isn’t the same as recovering!  Do the work and watch your life unfold before your eyes. Life isn’t going to give you everything you want, your marriage may be too damaged to save, you may have lost your job and everything you had, some of your relationships with family will be destroyed and you may never get that back, but you might, it may not be today or tomorrow but months and even years from now people do come back.  Have faith in yourself, when you are right and healthy you attract that back into your life.  If the best thing that happens is those people accept your amends and forgive you, then that in itself is progress. 

Sometimes we have to loose everything in order to appreciate just one thing!  Sometimes you have to start from the ground up all over again to live a life that is worth living.  Living drunk and strung out is not a life,  you are merely existing, it is not a way to live.  Stealing from families and innocent people, hurting others to get your next drink or your next high is not OK.  You may believe that the only person you are hurting is yourself but let me tell you that as the wife of an alcoholic and a mother to the children involved, you hurt your loved ones way more than you are hurting yourself and that is part of addiction, you can’t see past your own nose.  Trust me when I say to you no matter what age you are……..Be true to yourself, don’t drink or do drugs just to fit in because if that’s what you have to do to fit in then THOSE ARE NOT YOUR PEOPLE!  Your people are the ones that do not judge or criticize you but want to help you reach your God given potential to be all you can in this world.  We all have a gift, a divine purpose, find it, embrace it.  Get to know who you are without medicating and running from your issues nothing will stop that pain until you deal with it and allow yourself to heal.  Drugs and alcohol do not allow you to heal.  Recovery is work, hard work and it is something you have to choose to do every day for the rest of your life but it will be the most satisfying intense work you have ever done and the payment will be living an honest life that you can be proud of full of good honest people!!  Have a safe Memorial Day, make good choices!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity, Harmony

 

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE???

Someone recently asked me what advice I could give to others in the same situation or thinking of getting into this type of situation.  I can only speak as the wife of an alcoholic and I can only share from my own experiences.  I have come to find that there are commonalities in every person who has an addiction problem no matter what the substance is.   Which outside of alcohol and drugs can also be food, shopping, gambling, and so many other things.  I can’t tell someone whether they should stay or go.  We all think and feel differently.  I can share some things that I learned along the way…………as the photo quote above states “I still loved him through it all”.  Not everyone will make it out together!

Alcoholics can have all or some of these behaviors, manipulation, lie, play the victim, blame, twist words, be emotionally and or physically abusive, leave for days at a time, loose a lot of money, infidelity, SELFISHNESS like I have never seen, broken promises, secrets, steal, and there are so many more; but you get the point.  It is so hard to separate the “alcoholism” from the person.  Addiction is just pure evil!  People try to escape their pain by numbing it and pretending it doesn’t exist but it follows you wherever you go, and until you confront and resolve it in some way there isn’t a drink or drug in the world that will make it go away!  Alcoholism isn’t a choice, it is a sickness of the mind!  It isn’t an easy life loving an alcoholic.  I can tell you that no amount of begging, yelling, or crying will change the alcoholic.  Until they are ready to seek help for themselves and admit they have a problem there isn’t anyone or anything that can get them to stop drinking.  It is a very heartbreaking life to watch someone you love slowly kill themselves and destroy their innocent families.

So many nights you spend alone.  You become their caretaker, you are responsible for everything.  You are a two parent home yet only one of you actively participates in raising the children.  You keep secrets from other people about your life.  You make excuses for your alcoholic.  You lie for your alcoholic.  You live in shame due to their addictions.  Somehow with as often as they blame you for everything and even though you know it isn’t your fault, you start to believe that somehow it really is YOUR FAULT!  The whole family gets into this dysfunctional cycle and soon it’s like you are on a hamster wheel and the cycle repeats continuously with no way out and the entire family becomes so sick from one persons addiction.  I believe the spouses and families of alcoholics suffer so much worse than the alcoholic does, in different ways.  The spouses try to take the blunt of everything, they hide and protect the children and the rest of the family from their alcoholics behaviors.  The spouse allows the alcoholic to beat them up with their emotional abuse to save the children.  You try and make life “normal” for your family.  You become an enabler and you don’t even realize that is what you are doing, sometimes they even get the children to enable their behaviors too. The family becomes just as sick as they are!

You find yourself slipping away into what feels like a black lonely hole of HELL!  You feel your soul being crushed from the inside out.  You feel your heart breaking everyday because no matter what you try your alcoholic doesn’t see things the way you do, they don’t have the ability to see things the way they really are.  They see things through the eyes of the alcohol bottle, through a false sense of reality, to escape what is really happening due to their alcoholism.  Which is why when you try and paint them a picture of what it is like from your perspective they will blame you, they will tell you that you cause your own pain.  They will crush your sprit, they will emotionally cripple you and use that as an excuse to drink!  They will twist your words to suit them because an alcoholic will not take responsibility or accountability for anything bad, it will always be someone else’s fault…..and it is usually the one closest to them…….their spouse!

I know by now you are saying “why in the hell did she stay with such a monster”?  Because the truth is he isn’t a monster the “ISM” is.  The addiction takes over their body and mind, they become a shell of the person they used to be before the disease set in.  There is a person connected to the alcoholism, they are in a great deal of pain that they felt nothing in life could help cure until they got lost in the bottom of a bottle.  One drink felt good enough to make him relax so three could really help numb the pain and before you know it those few drinks turned into bottles of the harder stuff.  Sometimes they blackout and that is much better than dealing with what drove them to drink in the first place and the cycle quickly gets out of control because when they feel the pain they drink to stop it and before long they are drinking everyday throughout the day because their tolerance is building and one drink just isn’t enough anymore.  It is too painful to face reality so they become a victim to their own circumstance as does the family.  

 Know you can’t ever control an alcoholics behavior and until THEY hit their own personal bottom and THEY realize for themselves that THEY want to change and THEY want to live a different life and THEY choose to get into recovery nothing will change, it will get worse!  In your life together when they are actively drinking you will see them have moments of clarity and they will see themselves for a moment through your eyes and they will be apologetic for all the pain they caused you and the family and they will promise to stop and do better.  And they are better for a while, but it is always short lived because the hold the addiction has on them is far greater than their strength at this point.  Suddenly you have all the HOPE in the world.  You believe them and just know that THIS TIME it will be different, until it’s not.  I believe in those moments they are fighting the disease within themselves to get out of the prison they live in, in their own mind and that is how the alcoholism keeps them coming back.

One blog post just isn’t enough to share everything about this topic but I can tell you that it is not an easy life.  It has been my journey and I chose to stand by my husband through it all.  There were years of hell and serious heartache, a lot of damage.  Although he is now in recovery going on 5 years in October he has to stay on top of his recovery.  My husband will always be an alcoholic, but now he is a recovering one, but the disease is always within him waiting to come out and take over again.  As long as he stays present in his mind and uses the tools and the program to keep his life on the right track he will be OK, we will be OK.  We have rebuilt our marriage and we have to work on it everyday.  Life still goes on and bad shit happens all the time.   People we love die, you get behind on bills, loose jobs, family gets sick, the list can go on but I have learned that if you are not able to be grateful for what you have in your life at every moment then you are not eligible for anything more until you are!  Here is an example…….if you live in an older home and the area is less than ideal and your roof leaks but you don’t have the money to fix it just yet and all you can say is “I hate it here, I hate my house, I wish I had a nicer house” well you are missing a great life lesson my friends!  It’s called GRATITUDE!!

You see I learned a long time ago that you have to give more than you get.  You have to pay attention to your loved ones when they are hurting.  You have to find the positive in even the worst of situations (because I promise you it’s there).  If you are always being negative then that is what will come back to you.  We all do the best we can and other times we fall short of being the best version of ourselves.  If you choose to stand by your alcoholic just know it isn’t an easy journey and it’s a lifelong one at that, BUT sometimes even in the darkest moments if you close your eyes and listen with your heart and soul the answer will come to you.  Life isn’t always easy sometimes it straight up sucks, sometimes it is so painful you feel like you just can’t go on.  In those moments hang on tight don’t let go, don’t give up, there is always a better way, reach out for help!  There is always someone out there that needs you, that needs to hear your story, your voice.  Not everyone can and will be saved, lives are lost everyday to addiction, it is truly heartbreaking.  You may be the person who helps save another person, even a stranger.  You may never even know the affect you have on someone and how your presence in this world changed their life, but they will know.  You never know who is listening and why.

Know this…….no matter how long we are here on this earth we all have a divine purpose. I believe we all make a difference to someone.  Life is a gift, and for those that are struggling with addictions, my hope for you is that you find help.  That you change your life to become the best YOU that YOU were meant to be!   We can’t make someone with an addiction problem get help but we can be there when they reach out for help.  For those of you that chose to leave your alcoholic please know this……. you have nothing to feel guilty about.  You did nothing wrong, sometimes you have to save yourself because an alcoholic will take you down with them.  Please don’t take my words wrong.  I am not bashing alcoholics I am the wife of one, I am simply being honest about it, and my husband would tell you the same thing.  He supports everything I write because it is all true.  I am not going to paint a pretty picture when it can be an ugly one.  I am the friend that tells you that your outfit looks awful.  Sugar coating a lie doesn’t make it easier for someone because those lies eventually all come out at some point.  As hard as the truth may be to hear at times I would rather know than not know. 

Although recovery is a lifelong process for both the alcoholic, spouse, and family it is possible to rebuild.  It is possible to start fresh and heal.  I get to see and hear miracles everyday in meetings.  Not everything is rainbows and unicorns!  We are all human we struggle at times, an alcoholic can fall back into old behaviors without picking up a drink.  People sharing their stories and their everyday problems with others helps to create healing for all.  It helps us to stay in reality and not get caught up in all the bullshit life can throw at you.  Relapses can be part of an alcoholics story but they have recovered from it time and time again.  Not everyone gets it their first time around but wanting it to be different and to keep showing up to try is what makes all the difference in the world. Never loose HOPE and hold onto believing that one minute, one hour, one day clean, sober and most importantly in recovery is better than a lifetime using!!

Wishing you Peace and Serenity……….Harmony

My Unspoken Eulogy……A Tribute To My Dad!

My Father passed away on January 27, 2017 I have been struggling to write ever since that terrible day.  As a matter of fact this is probably attempt number 2,484 but the words just don’t seem to be right.  I am just going to try and write what I know best…..to speak honestly and from the heart.  Mostly it will be full of photos and a little talking in between.  That day has changed my life, our family will never be the same.

We had so many gatherings over the years for holidays, birthdays, and game nights.  And even though my Dad spent the last 3 years and 2 months of his life in a long term care facility and hospitals that didn’t stop us.  Here are some of those moments through the years.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When family came to town they would go visit with my Dad because he often wasn’t feeling well enough to leave, but other times we got him out of there and had a good time and always made great memories that I will forever cherish.                                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dad loves animals, so we brought in pets to visit him to make him smile.  His favorite visitor was “Charlie”, my daughters daschund that she rescued as an old guy form the shelter.  These are a few of his furry guests………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dad is the greatest man I will ever know.  There is no amount of time that will take away my heartache from losing my father.  I am blessed to be close to my family.  I have learned that there will be family that we love but simply aren’t a part of their lives and that’s OK because other people we will be close too and they are a part of our everyday lives like my Dad was for me and my family.  If you were a friend you became family, that is how it was with my Dad.  However, in that same breathe if you hurt his family or screw us over he was done with you.  My Dad is a loud, cranky, old fashioned Italian man who was set in his ways.  He was more pessimistic than optimistic and could be argumentative (we would buttheads often)  But, he would be the first one to give you the shirt off his back, give you his last dollar if it would help you.  He is loving, kind, and funny, and the best story teller around.  Although, his stories weren’t always appropriate.  My Dad had kind of a sick sense of humor, but that is one of his charming qualities.  By far he’s always been the biggest flirt & loved the ladies!  He also had this amazing child like laugh that when you heard it you couldn’t help but laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays were always his favorite time of year and mine too.  We always had so much fun getting together, and we all almost always spent way too much money and bought way too many gifts but I guess that’s just what happens when you love someone.  Not that money buys anything because it actually means nothing.  But my Dad loved to buy quirky gifts that made no sense but he would think it was something we needed.  He would crack himself up as we would open our presents and we would always  say “oh Gosh another one of those gifts”!   The best Christmas we had though was last year in “2016” we all agreed to spend very little and it was such a nice low key day, but it is the last time I will ever see my Dad at Christmas or any day for that matter.  Writing that thought alone broke me down into tears.  So I will share a few holiday photos…….


 

 

 


 

 

We all learned so much from my Dad.  He is a deeply loved and cherished man who none of us will be the same without.  My Dad always supported me and when he didn’t approve he would tell me.  He was like that with us kids, grandkids, my husband, frankly anyone!  My Dad was blunt and upfront with you, which is why I am the same way.  But, you could never accuse my Dad of being a liar that is for sure, if anything he was brutally honest.  Some of our past fun times with him that I will never forget. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are a few photos of him with his grand children and great grandchildren.  He got to spend a lot of time with my two youngest girls, they would stay the night with him and take them to the park and lunch, Etc.  He was always at our house every weekend and stayed during holidays.  He got to watch them grow up.  He also got to spend a lot of time with the oldest Great grand daughter when she was younger.  These are two of my most favorite photos of my Dad with the Girls.  The first one was when they were about 7 years old and the second one I recreated last year when they were 22 years old.  Priceless for me and I think for them too.  Sometimes you don’t realize how much of a difference someone made in your life until they are gone. 

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One of the things my Dad wanted to see most was his Grand Daughter graduate from high school then college.  He was able to see both and I know that meant the world to him.  It was important to him because he always said “she is a smart girl she will go far in life and I may not be here to see it all but I know she will be able to do anything she wants to do and take care of herself”  he wanted to know that she would have a degree and a good job so she wouldn’t struggle in life.  My Dad was always a hard working man and taught the ethics and value of a job to my Daughter and she grew up and became that type of woman.  He has always been so proud of her, she was always “his little baby”!    My Dad and beautiful Daughter during graduation.   They had such a close relationship.  This is the only Grandfather she’s ever known and had in her life, and let me tell you that nobody could have done a better job than he did, he loves her more than anything and always looked out for her.  I am positive that he watches over her now and is her angel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dad was so proud of my Husband when he got sober.  He was so proud of the book I wrote.  My memoir of being married to an alcoholic and the affects on a marriage and a family.   He was so happy that we were able to save our marriage and that we are happier than we have ever been.  He’s my husbands best friend, he is the father my husband never had.  My husband would have never been able to be here for my Dad when he needed him the most if he wasn’t sober.  My husband having 4 1/2 years of sobriety he was able to be here for our family during this deeply sad time and he no longer numbs himself,  he feels the loss of this great man whom we all miss.  My Dad would help him when he was adding a room onto our house and during one of those days my husband asked my Dad for his blessing for my hand in marriage.  My Dad’s response was “I wish I was a bird on that day because then I could fly above and see the expression on her face”.  My Dad, the greatest person in the world!!!!   


 

 

 

 

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I know this blog probably isn’t what I really wanted it to be but you’ll have to excuse me if my mind is still scrambled.  I have learned over the past two months that loosing someone you are close to and love dearly hurts more than anything in the world.  Nothing could ever possibly prepare ones emotions for such a life changing event.  I can see how people grieve for the rest of their lives, that is how it will be for me.  Life goes on yes, but there will always be valleys and peaks where it takes you down to your knees and the intense crying and tears will continue to fall.  It is like trying to find your place after a brick from your foundation has been permanently removed and can never be replaced.  My Dad has always been my safe place.  You see I have been with my Dad all my life, for 47 years that man has been everything to me.  He is the one man who has never betrayed me, he always kept me safe, and would do anything in this world for me.  Some photos of my Dad and our family life together…………

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I could share photos all day long of my Dad, so I will close with this…….Take a lot of pictures in your lifetime, those memories become priceless when you can look back on them and reminisce.  I took care of my Dad for many years.  I was his voice, his advocate.  I always fought for my Dad.  He told me how much he appreciated all I do for him.  I was always with him when he had surgeries, procedures, doctor appointments, and had hospital stays.  I fed him when he was too weak, I always remained positive with him encouraging him to do all he can to help himself and do his best.  I was not expecting to loose my Dad when I did he became very ill very fast and his body couldn’t handle it anymore.  There are always unanswered questions and things you wish you would have said or done.  I know my Dad knows how much I love him and how much I miss him and think about him every single day.   It hurts every day too.  Never tell someone who is grieving no matter how much time goes by to “get over it and move on” there are some things in life so deeply painful that it never really goes away.  We learn how to live with it and we know how life works.   Nobody grieves the same and no day is ever the same.  Sometimes people look strong but they are crying behind that smile, but everyone needs a safe place to break down knowing someone is there to catch them when they fall and help them when they need to get up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dad is my Hero, my best friend, the greatest human being I will ever know.  I know that my brother, my daughter and myself will continue to make him proud of who we are and we will carry with us all he taught us in life.  I long to hear his voice, hear his laugh, see him smile, hug him and have him kiss my cheek just one more time.  My Dad was there when we all took our first breaths in this world, and we were all by his side when he took his last……..I will forever miss my Dad I think of him every single day.  Until we meet again “Poppa” I love you with all my heart, for you are my angel in Heaven.  Some photos of Dad and I.

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This is the last photo I was able to take with my Dad holding his hand at the hospital.  Love those who love you and be thoughtful of the words you leave with someone because you truly never know when they will be your last.  As Tim McGraw’s song says “Always be humble & kind”


 

 

 

 

 

I Love You Always,  Your Daughter…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

What Happens To A Family After A Loved One Get’s Into Recovery?

c5ec80dba6ee0a5cfb223e18878dfd021 The photo quote to the left speaks volumes.  When an alcoholic/addict are using THEY come first and everything else comes after that.  We heard this topic for the first time in a meeting last weekend about “the family after”.  I thought what a great topic to write about.  I know it is what I talk a lot about but you don’t hear about it being a main topic in an AA meeting.  Hopefully the answer for you is a lot of healing for your families………and watching miracles happen in your own life.  So much happens once they get into recovery, and for us it wasn’t a great start.

Some people when they first get into recovery can become dry and that isn’t the best way to live a life of recovery.  Some people believe if they put down the substance of choice then that is sobriety, and while that is a good first step if that is all you do then you are dry and before long it will be worse than when you were using.  Stopping isn’t recovery.  Recovery is all about digging deep, getting to the root of the pain and confronting the demons you have been trying to run from and numb all these years. 

What happened to our family after recovery began was a lot more pain for the first 10 months and then the change began.  I have seen first hand the grave difference between being dry and true sobriety.  A lot of communication began, a lot of change in behaviors, a lot of healing.  My husband has been accused by people of “not being an alcoholic”.  Some people have even said that in my book I portrayed him as a monster!  My husbands response was…… “I have to be real honest with myself and others, I have to hold myself accountable for the pain and damage I caused to myself and my family”.   He said “I AM AN ALCOHOLIC, I WAS A DESTRUCTIVE MONSTER TO MY FAMILY AND DID UNSPEAKABLE THINGS THAT CAUSED ALL OF THEM, ESPECIALLY MY WIFE, DEEP PAIN”!  That is my husband taking responsibility for his alcoholism and owning it!

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I believe not only is it a lifetime of self discovery and recovery for the alcoholic but also for the loved ones affected by it.  Sometimes it takes years before the damage done by an alcoholic shows itself. Recently, our oldest Granddaughter shared with us that we haven’t been around very much for her.  I do blame my husbands alcoholism for that.  Not that we aren’t accountable for our actions because we are, we own that.  It broke my heart to know that while I was so busy trying to protect our kids at home from this evil addiction it was also leaking out and affected the next generation.  Until we were confronted with this pain we never realized that it had such a painful effect.  Now we have a better understanding and we know what we need to do to help heal and make it better.  We are blessed to have the opportunity to heal things with our kids and family that have been hurt by it.  So we can build a closer relationship with our Grand children too.

Everyone including myself is collateral damage by his alcoholism.  It is a terribly debilitating disease that takes lives every single day.  The only way to come out of it alive is by getting into recovery.  No matter how many years people haven’t spoken to you or tell you they want nothing to do with you because of the way you acted while you were drinking be patient, miracles happen everyday.  We have heard people in meetings talk about their children who wanted and had nothing to do with them for so many years (one guys son it took 18 years) but in the end when you show you have changed.  When people see the example you are setting they will come around.  Others though sadly will not.  Not every marriage can be rebuilt.  Not every family member will be a part of your life.  You will loose many people that you thought were “friends”.  Life works itself out and I can tell you that my husband has removed toxic people from our lives, in spite of my persistent suggestions of trying to make contact and work things out……..he wants nothing to do with certain people and that is his choice.  I support my husband and I understand the reasons why. 

Today the only people we surround ourselves with are kind supportive people who want to be in our lives.  We have so many different types of people in our lives.  Today we are closer than we have ever been.  Even our bad days, are still great days.  We have been together almost 17 years.  We have learned so much on our journey so far.  We have so much more to learn and grow from.  We appreciate the simple things in our life like our chickens and ducks.  We would never have been able to enjoy that before.  We have learned how to communicate and express our feelings with one another.  We talk about our problems instead of screaming or walking out.  We aren’t perfect we don’t always do things right or to the best of our ability, but it is different now in the sense that we don’t hurt each other.

12373375_10205683961314321_5452186814230665007_n1  We live our lives to be the best version of ourselves that we can.  We spend most of our time together because we spent so much of it being apart.  We absolutely love our crazy life that can get chaotic at times with the animals but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We have the most amazing life because we got through it together.  Our support system of people is incredible!We have learned how to be grateful for all we do have.  We know that everyday we need to show our love and respect for one another.  We are best friends, we protect each other and we aren’t afraid to call each other out on our bullshit (mostly I do with him) 🙂 life today is the best it has ever been, we wouldn’t change a thing because we know this life and our time together is a precious gift.  Today and everyday we get to rebuild our family and strengthen the relationships we have with our loved ones.  Life is beautiful. 

My hope is that if one person still struggling reads this and realizes that there is a beautiful light at the end of the darkness you have been living in, all you have to do is reach out your hand and do the work, know that you too will be a miracle and your life will begin to transform before your eyes, you just have to believe it to see it and never ever give up HOPE!!

As always, wishing you Peace & Serenity……..Harmony