Tag Archives: recovery

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

 

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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

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

 

MY “2016” YEAR IN REVIEW!!!

merry-christmas-happy-new-year-20171 Here we are at the end of another year! It really is true, the older you get the faster time goes by.  I believe it is good for everyone to reflect upon their own lives because sometimes in the moment you can’t see things for what they really are, but when you look back sometimes you see things differently.  I don’t make resolutions anymore I believe all year through when you need to make changes that is when you should set goals. Otherwise there’s too much pressure and when we don’t complete them we feel worse.  I heard on the news yesterday that only 28% of people still do resolutions.  You do what is best for you!  Every year seems to be so busy for us, here are some of our high’s and low’s…………

Two of our rescue dogs began having some health issues this year.  One of them started having Grand Mal Seizures (vet thinks maybe epilepsy) but we don’t know for sure.  The other one just a month ago was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease and he was born with a birth defect in his front leg called “ELECTODACTYLY” nick named (Lobster Claw) because his paw looks like one. 15326444_10208312593908493_744804841266261232_n115036643_10208066796163703_6915914277773987160_n1-3 Both of our boys are young and otherwise healthy dogs.  They have so much energy.  They love to run around, chase balls, play tug of war, and at the end of the day sleep on the bed with Mom & Dad.  They are the best of friends, it is adorable!  They both require daily medication and once a month one needs an injection.  It breaks my heart to watch him having a seizure, but I am glad that I have been here when it’s happened so I can comfort him.  We got this though, I know the boys will be OK. 🙂  Addison’s can be dangerous, so we watch him closely because they can have what is called an “Addison’s Crisis” which is what happened a month and a half ago when we found out what was wrong with him.

I have mentioned before that besides writing my other passion is animals.  We have cared for over 100 homeless Feral cats on our street for over 13 years now.  I happen to have a lot of extra canned cat food recently (I can’t use it very much it attracts too many predators like coyotes) I mainly use dry food for them.  Also in the donation were a few bags of dry dog food.  I put a message out on FaceBook for anyone in need of food for their pets. Below are a few of the photos from my husband and I distributing that food.  We were able to help about 10 families feed their pets.  This time of year especially is my most favorite time but when you give anytime of year you get so much more in return!

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This summer we also took in and are fostering a neighbors Chihuahuas.  They would be the best pets for someone BUT their worst flaw……They pee on everything.  UGH! So frustrating, but they haven’t known anything else for 6 years so it isn’t their fault.  We have tried breaking them of the habit but no luck.  We hold onto the hope that one day some amazing person will adopt them and work with their issues and love them unconditionally! (Fingers Crossed) The man is slightly disabled but the bigger battle was fighting alcoholism, he became very sick from it.  He and the dogs were living in filth.  The dogs never went outside and were living in their own feces and urine.tims

While he was in the hospital/rehab my husband and I cleaned up his house and his sister gave us a budget to get him some new things so when he was ready to come home it would be clean & livable again. Interestingly enough she lives in Washington and we never met her until months later but through all of this we have a friend for life!  What a beautiful soul she is for all she did to help her brother.  We finally got to meet her for a quick lunch.  She was so grateful for the friends we have been to her brother and how we have helped him not only transform his home but for my husband to help sponsor him and help him on his journey into sobriety.  He has 6 months clean now and we are all very proud of the lifestyle changes he has made.  He never thought it was possible since he needed to drink every single day as you can see in the photo below.  Miracles happen everyday in recovery.img_811113879295_10207305800939298_5536569181499535808_n1

We felt pretty good about helping someone in need.  We knew in fostering the dogs that they might not find a home because of their bad habits, so we built a kenneled area outside next to the chickens and found them a nice insulated dog house.  During the cold winter months though we have a kennel in the house for them.  They seem so happy.  They got to feel sunshine on their little bodies for the first time, they felt fresh air blowing on their faces.  They get to talk to the chickens and run around on dirt and feel grass on their paws.  Something they have never had before.  We knew we were doing right by them. These are the “Chi’s” sporting their winter sweaters! 🙂 14610971_10207959081270898_337457973864164160_n1

My dad had a very rough year.  He had five surgeries, he was very sick a lot of this year.  November he has been living in long term care for 3 years now and he also hasn’t walked in 3 years either.  We don’t believe he will ever be able to walk again, but we remain hopeful.  It is very heart breaking for me to see him live in a hospital setting.  14725736_10207859379378413_6357739666080334962_n2

While I am grateful there are places like this to take care of people like my father I am also saddened and disgusted by the fact that to live with some independence in an assisted living facility for someone like my father to have his own little room would cost between $6,000-$8,000 per month and of course there are more expensive places.  Medicaid and Medicare don’t cover assisted living in case you didn’t know that fun fact.  So unless you have a lot of money saved from a 401-K or someone who has the ability to care for you then this is it.   I love my Dad dearly, I have so much empathy and wish I could do so much more for him…..Maybe someday when I hit the lottery (Wink, Wink) or they turn our book into a movie then I can buy him that independence he needs so bad.  We just celebrated his 76th birthday! 🙂

My book won another Finalist award!  It is so exciting to enter these contests and wait to hear what happens.  I have another seal for my book which is really an honor for me.  I am just an average everyday woman who took a chance, and although it sells very little here and there all that matters is that I did it for me and my husband, and also hoping in sharing our own story that it may help others along the way too. 15170753_10208157361947791_6714566461664445748_n1

We also added a few more chickens to our little flock and then one of our older girls decided she needed to have babies.  Although we discouraged it and tried to stop it she kept going broody so we finally said “let her have a few babies, OH it was so exciting for us to countdown to hatching day, so adorable to watch.  We only let her have three and of course one of those is a Rooster!  We have one of those already and he’s kind of a jerk!  Ya he still scares me…….just a little 🙂

13529241_10207031685446582_8579442950087798395_n214601066_10207982228489564_8331658687392700990_n113315558_10206850614519922_2781466732497271036_n1Well the other Rooster is his son but so far he has a good temperament he hasn’t tried to attack me like his daddy but I keep an eye on him!  We also found a two day old chick with an almost severed leg in our ducks area, so I took her to the vet they made her a splint and I nursed her back to health and saved her.  We named her “Chicken Noodle” other than a few curled toes she recovered completely!  Then we had a neighbors chicken who kept flying into our yard no matter how much we put her back.  We decided to just let her stay.  Then there was a chicken just a few days ago on our street, a few of the feral cats were watching her.  I caught her so she’s also here with us now. 🙂

Our Daughter graduated from College this year.  Although my Dad was not very well during that time it is one thing he had prayed he would be here to see so it was a very special and emotional day for all of us.  Her Uncle came into town to see her and her Dad and I helped fly her other sister into town as a surprise. img_2869

Some of her closer friends celebrated with us and one just had a baby a few weeks earlier.  This was the greatest thing that happened this year for our family!img_2797img_2737  img_8443Such a proud Mom moment!  She is an amazing young woman and I’m enjoying watching her journey unfold!

img_2813 img_2909img_2795 img_2915Every year it seems I learn how to continue to be the most giving loving person I can.  How to help others.  How to be compassionate and empathetic to others.  The lessons life continues to put in my path are blessings to live my best life.  It has removed people from my life by showing me who they really are.  Life has taught me it really is better to have just a few close people that you can trust in your life.  Let’s be honest, I have a lot of people that say “I am here for you” then when you need them to talk or meet or whatever the case may be they just don’t have the time for you.  True friendship and love is about time not existing…….meaning 2:00 AM is the same as noon when you have a person in need of your help.  At least that is how I see it. 

15554667_1763164234006083_1518869815_n1 img_0999Other highlights are we celebrated our 3rd Grand babies 1st Birthday!  I helped my Aunt raise enough money so her beloved dog could have surgery to save her life.  My husband found a Siamese mix kitten in our yard this summer in some weeds and she was very sick, she almost died, we think she had heat stroke.  She survived and her adopter fell through so she made her home here with us (Of course)! We named her Mystique. 13495058_10206968928317693_795035537876207467_n1

I started getting more into writing my 2nd book that I have put off for too long because I have taken the personal attacks on me to heart and I let it prevent me from moving forward with my writing, but not anymore like it or not I am moving at a fast pace and nobody will stop me!

My husband & I celebrated his 4th year of sobriety!  It is so amazing to watch someone who couldn’t drink enough be able to not pick up a drink for 4 years and to have no desire too!  Sobriety doesn’t mean a perfect life because life still happens.  We still have our own problems sometimes.  It is hard for him to not fall back into acting the way he use too when confronted with something that makes him angry.  However as he said, he knows that he has the tools to react differently but sometimes he feels stuck.  So when you remember where you were, the person you use to be and who you never want to be again it lights a fire under your ass to change your thinking and dig into that recovery tool bag.  After all,  you didn’t come this far to go backwards.4-yr-1

As long as you are moving forward and not backwards then mistakes or not you are making great progress.  It isn’t easy for anyone to change alcoholism or not but I know that if you have your mind set and focused on being the best version of yourself and you continue to live a life making amends and being kind then you are in a better place than you once were.  My husband and I continue to go to AA meetings every weekend because it is so important to his recovery.  The friendships and people that have become a part of our lives and have made us part of theirs has been a true blessing.  To walk in and have people greet you with a warm hug because they are genuinely happy you are there is so touching.  We always hear something in meetings that we relate too and that make us think or touch us.  We can feel it when we have to miss our favorite meeting.

I have watched a close friends life completely change in an instant.  I have watched almost daily on the news someone being shot.  I am so disgusted at what has happened to our society.  Road rage because someone is driving to slow so you pull out a gun and shoot and kill an innocent 3 year old child.  Really….. is it worth it that not only did you take a child’s life and destroyed a family but you also destroyed your own family because you couldn’t control your anger and now you spend the rest of your life in prison or are put to death all because people lack patience.  Trump is our next president…..I did not expect that but I embrace change.  I am one of those Americans that are remaining supportive and hopeful because no amount of violent protesting or burning of the American flag will change that.  To me it just makes you look like a big Asshole!

It has been a bit of a crazy year.  I continue to do the best I can for myself and my family.  I talk to my daughter almost daily.  My youngest stepdaughter and son-n-law got orders to move to Belgium for 3 years, they just left last month in November.  No matter how old your children may be you always worry and want the very best life has to offer for them.  We hope they have it easier than we may have had it.  The Millennial’s have there own challenges though, but I am hoping this generation straightens up and starts getting more serious about life.  I have noticed that the younger kids today are being brought up in such a different way than we were.  I feel like there are a lot of self-entitled spoiled brats feeling like life owes them everything.  They are lazier and slower to grow up and mature.  It may just be me, but from what I have seen with our children’s generation and even our grandchildren’s generation that is my take on it!  It’s really OK if they work for things and if they have consequences and are not allowed to run around stores screaming.  I mean some people really need to take control.  It doesn’t help your children to be that way, it really doesn’t.  I have witnessed for myself that as adults it creates a sense of loss for them because they don’t really know how to be adults and it’s very sad.

8a67f16822a74c9f838896571c0acaf71New opportunities may be possible in this New Year for us we have to wait and see where the cards fall.  I know that no matter what happens it is the way it is suppose to be.  I may not always understand it or agree with it but all I can do is learn from it.  In this New Year work on yourselves be the very best you can be.  Be more patient, listen to hear not to respond.  Don’t take anything for granted because everything is a gift and can be taken away at a moments notice.  Always give more than you get.  Help others when you can.  I always try to encourage people to help animals in need.  Get involved instead of turning away in any situation that may be harmful to someone else.  Every night when you go to bed ask yourself this question………have I done the best I could today?  Did I hurt anyone?  Be quick to right your wrongs and continue to do the best you can.  Give yourself a break, don’t judge yourself by your body image, the money you make, the home you live in, or the car you drive.  If you haven’t found recovery yet but are sick and tired of being sick and tired then it is my hopes that you get into recovery, I promise it is life changing and in the best ways possible!  You know what they say……….When one door closes another opens, it is up to you whether you step through it or close it.  There is just so much more to say but I would like to close with this……..  As an unknown author trying to make her place in the world by sharing our personal memoir of our battle with my husbands alcoholism and the devastating effects it has had on our family, I appreciate each and every one of you that take the time to Like my author page, follow me on all social media, and buy my book.  Those that follow or take the time to read my blogs.  It is a daily struggle when your name isn’t Ellen DeGeneres Or Oprah but it is what we love to do, write and share and hope to make a living or a difference.  So, from the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to all of you and as my husband and I continue on our own journey we hope you will come along with us.  We couldn’t have come this far without your support!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year my friends!  Be safe, stay sober!  See ya in “2017”  Wishing you Peace & Serenity………….Harmony15622756_10208404080275595_1863052595413846279_n1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Struggles In Sobriety……..From My Perspective!

0b8733a114b13a3894b4cae14d7799191I have heard people say things like “just stop drinking you will be fine.”  That statement really couldn’t be further from the truth.  I thought the same thing about my husband’s drinking.  I would say “if you didn’t drink things would be so different.”  They were different but NOT in a good way (at first). You see if someone is just putting down their substance of choice and not getting into emotional recovery then the only thing you do is remove your numbing agent but you still carry that deep seeded pain and anxiety of what you are running from in the first place.  Or whatever haunts you will follow you until you face it.

Don’t get me wrong a desire to stop drinking and admitting your life has become unmanageable is your first step, BUT what I learned very quickly is sobriety is about the journey through self discovery in recovery.  Once you surrender (completely…..Mind, Body, Soul) that is when you will feel the change begin.  My husband has just reached his 4 years of sobriety,  which is an amazing accomplishment in itself.  We are all so very proud of him and he is proud of himself.  We also know that sobriety doesn’t mean you won’t have troubles in your life because life still happens but learning how to cope with these issues on a whole different level is a big part of recovery.

Recently my husband has had some struggles with old alcoholic behaviors.  He found himself behaving in some of the same ways that he use to when he drank.  He was becoming short with his comments and not very nice at times.  He said he could see what he was doing but wasn’t quit sure how he could change it, but he knows what he needs to do for himself.  Sometimes that old enemy “alcoholism” is sitting right over your shoulder trying to convince you to have that “one drink”.  I know my husband and that way of thinking is NOT a good path to go down.  He went to a meeting the next morning and said that more meetings would be helpful.  He has the tools and he knows what he needs to do to change his thought process.  However, if you don’t put the effort into action then things will inevitably get much worse.  More meetings, reading his big book, reaching out to the other guys in the program as well as his sponsor are all things you learn to do because you don’t have to struggle alone.  In these meetings we go to no matter how much time someone has you will still hear the struggles they have in their sobriety.  One man this weekend that spoke has 31 years of sobriety.  He said “when I start acting up my wife will put me in my place.”  It’s not in a mean way it is more of a nudge to say your falling off your path.  Sometimes we need that though, we don’t always see our own faults until we hear that we are hurting someone else.

6a7fd6943efed594aa057b91c00cb2de1For anyone who is working on change no matter if you have an addiction problem or not change can be so hard, but it can also be easy when you are tired of behaving in the same ways that create a negative energy that hurt the ones we love and ourselves.  The only way I feel we get better is to hold ourselves accountable for our own behaviors.  The best example I can give you is if you are saying or doing something to another person and it is creating pain for them then you are clearly on the wrong path.  The worst pattern someone gets into is when they blame another person by not taking responsibility.  That doesn’t mean you have to follow down that same path.  Sometimes saying nothing at all is your best defense.

When I speak of “old alcoholic behaviors” what that means is handling a situation in ways that you use too.  An example I could give you would be something like my husband would leave our house without saying goodbye or telling me he was going, I would just find him gone.  It would be to become verbally abusive.  It could be to sit in your “self-entitlement” and refuse to see you have strayed way off your path of recovery.  Blaming others for your bad behaviors, ETC.  It isn’t about picking up a drink it is about your insides getting out of control and allowing the devil to take over again.  Alcoholic behaviors can happen in your ways of thinking without your lips even touching a drop of alcohol!  Sometimes I hear people share in a meeting that they have lost someone they love, even their spouses.  They say when life gives them every reason to drink and they don’t, that is when they know they are keeping their life on the right path and using the tools they have learned to remain not only sober but in the state of recovery.  Honestly, the best thing anyone of us could do is to clean out our emotional house and face those demons and stop allowing them to control our way of being.

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We all have things that haunt us, hurt us, changed us, make us angry.  In the end though when you learn how to tackle each of these hurts one by one you will begin to feel such a sense of relief in the way you feel everyday.  You will be so happy that you didn’t pick up your drug of choice to get through it because to me the only reason we pick up those habits and medicate ourselves in the first place is because we don’t want to face other things.  We use the drug of choice as a shield to “protect” us, but the truth of the matter is it causes you and others so much more harm because alcohol/drugs give you a false sense of reality.  It will tell you what you want to hear so you keep coming back falling deeper into your addictions.  The only thing that sets you free is surrendering, complete honesty, accountability, making amends, and live those amends everyday.  Even the worst situation can’t become worse without fuel……..if you stop fueling it and find a way to extinguish it instead and learn the lesson from it then you are on your way to a much more positive place.  After all, we all want a life worth living.  Now is your chance to take those demons down and live your life in ways you only dreamed of but never thought possible.  You got this, with every little step your life will continue to get better and pretty soon even your worse days sober will be better than your best being loaded!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity…………Harmony

 

JUST A BUNCH OF BABBLING #2!!!!

img_6748I have had many requests for another “Just a bunch of babbling blog” so here we go……. Once again there is no topic I just Babble 🙂 I have to say that the one thing I am least educated on and dislike is Politics.  I must say, this election no matter who your voting for, is this really the best we could do is these two?  Oh good lord, it’s like watching two five year olds on the playground fighting, he said, she said.  I can’t wait for it to be over.  I have seen so many nasty comments online to one another.  I have heard and seen people “unfriend” one another because of their political beliefs.  So once again just like racism you are judging someone because of what they believe in.  I don’t think people know how to have a difference in opinions and beliefs without getting all pissed off about it!  People, being different is OK, you can actually respect someone if you are republican and they are democrat.  All right, enough about that topic.

Fall is definitely in the air around here!  I love this time of year.  The colder weather, the holidays are my absolute favorite.  Along with that comes a little bit of sadness for me. My Dad lives in long term care because he has MS and has had some serious health issues the past 3 years so that is the best place for him to be cared for at this time.  He is with us often for the holidays but he misses some too because he becomes too sick. 😦  His memory and thoughts are starting to become jumbled and he loses focus easily.  He hasn’t walked in 3 years after a terrible fall that almost took his life and the chances of him walking again are not very good.  14725736_10207859379378413_6357739666080334962_n1Some days when he struggles to hold his fork and feed himself I feed him.  It is In those moments when I look at him and I feel so much empathy and realize getting older is much like becoming a child again, there simply are things you can no longer do on your own.  My husband and I went to visit him this weekend, he said he wasn’t feeling very good.  So I took out my phone and leaned in to take a picture with him and he looked at the camera and he said “oh that is a nice picture” then he said “look at me I look good!”  He’s always got his confidence in check 🙂  I love it!

For the first time two years ago my husband and I dressed up in Halloween costumes.  We had so much fun, we even won a costume contest at an AA party that was going on, this was so exciting for me!  In the past when my husband was drinking he was either at a bar getting drunk or home getting drunk, but he certainly was never interested in dressing up with me.  Another blessing of recovery………he continues to be present everyday and I don’t have to worry about him drinking or what mess I will have to clean up later.  We get to enjoy having fun together, sober!  We just decided what our costumes will be this year,(SHHHHH it’s a secret, I can’t share that with you just yet) BUT I will share our last photo with you all, we were “Grim Reaper & Tortured Soul.”  I didn’t realize how much fun it is as an adult to dress up, I haven’t dressed up in years.  10659193_10203204572811158_7331229131609537701_n1These are the fun moments in life.  I tell my kids and friends, take lots of photos throughout your days, you never know when looking back on a memory will bring such joy to your heart.  I am the girl who has thousands of photos, and photo albums, and albums online.  What can I say I love to take photos, I love memories they really warm my heart! 

I feel like so much has changed in my life these past few years.  I have noticed a change within myself as well.  I am more calm than I use to be, I mean it didn’t take much to set me off before (it’s the Italian attitude in me.)  Don’t get me wrong I can still get pissed off and raise my voice but I am finding that the feeling I feel most is sadness.  When things happen instead of anger I am deeply upset (I suppose that could be the menopausal women inside too) HAHAHA, hey, you have to laugh at yourself sometimes, but seriously she is super emotional!  The biggest changes have been with family ,and not in a positive way.  I responded to none of it.  My husband said his peace and walked away from it.  I kept talking to my husband about it and I was kind of pushing him a little to continue to reach out and talk to them but his response was “I don’t want those people in our life, if they can’t be respectful of me and my wife then I want nothing to do with them” so I followed his lead for the first time and let it go.  Knowing he is right, sometimes people just don’t want to hear you and they only believe what they want to believe. 

A few weeks ago while having a family/game night I received an e-mail that our book has received another award!  I enter the book into contests because you have to continue taking chances.  Our book is a Finalist winner in The Book Excellence Awards.  This is the second Finalist award we have won for our book, it has been out for two years now.  Our message is what is most important, keeping the discussion of alcoholism open so those still suffering feel like they are not alone.  This is a lifelong disease and one we all as a family will heal from for the rest of our lives, (yes it can be that destructive.)  To be able to call myself “an award winning author” is freaking awesome you guys!  If I was a Kardashian or Ellen we would be selling millions of copies and we would make the NY Times best seller list.  Although I have said it before, that would be another dream come true but the reality is, “it is what it is!”  I am an average everyday woman who wrote a memoir about my life as the wife of an alcoholic.  My hope is that it helps others, period, that is my goal. 

We have expanded our chicken flock slightly and our Rooster still scares me a little.  Sitting outside on our swing watching the ducks and chickens is such a peaceful feeling.  They are also comical to watch sometimes.  14199766_10207536047175310_655796656316940909_n1 14572758_10207744413904348_2345146785985644179_n1We have a few younger ones now that are super friendly.  They like to jump up on my lap when I’m on the swing.  I have these rain goulashes that I put on to clean out the chicken run/coop I call them my “chicken shit boots.” 🙂  Our chickens are so spoiled!  I read about them and then I act on the info I read.  So I make them oatmeal mixed with pumpkin, applesauce and Greek yogurt.  They get Kale most days of the week.  In the summer they get watermelon and cantaloupe.   They love spaghetti squash.  I want our animals to be as healthy as possible.  Someday my ultimate dream of dreams is to have a GINORMOUS animal sanctuary for all kinds of rescue animals to live out their lives in a loving serene place.  Now if I could just get #EllenDeGeneres to read my e-mails and help make my dreams come true for all animals then it’s a win, win for all!  You know what I saw in the freezer section at the grocery store last week Deep Fried Twinkies……WHY?  Sorry to those who like them but to me it’s just a Twinkie gone very wrong.  It’s like a sponge taking an oil bath, Uh no thank you. I love clogs, they are the most comfortable shoe but yet the ugliest shoe.  I told my daughter that I go for comfort now, she tells me I’m old, HAHAHA gotta love her.

If I was stranded on an island if I had cheese and my Chai Tea I would be a happy girl, oh but I have to have something crunchy too.  I don’t know what it is about the crunch of things but I really like it.  My husband and I are so opposite it makes us laugh.  When I like something he doesn’t and vice versa all the way down to our taste in music.  I am really a country girl at heart and my hubby, well he’s all rock n roll!  Together though we compromise, that is what a marriage is all about, giving.  Sometimes we end up at an Ozzy concert for him and the next we are rocking it out with Florida Georgia Line for me.  We balance one another really well.  See, there is no topic what so ever for this blog except for Blabbing!  I will say this though, I can’t wait for the election to be over for several reasons but two of the biggest are #1 every friggin TV ad is about the election, I mean who cares if Donald Trump ripped off his mattress tag, (just kidding bad joke I know) and #2 I want the damn election phone calls to stop, they start as early as 7:00 A.M. and go as late as after 9:00 P.M. it is ridiculous.  On a serious note, I would like to encourage all of you to start everyday with a gratitude list.  We can be quick to forget all the blessings in our lives when the storm clouds seem to keep rolling in, but I can promise you there is a rainbow hidden behind those clouds and if you look deep enough soon you will see the sunshine even through those storm clouds of life!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity………Harmony

TODAY WE CELEBRATE MY HUSBANDS 4TH YEAR OF SOBRIETY!!!

4-yr-1 Today is October 6, 2016 and the 4th year my husband has been sober!  That alone is a miracle In itself.  My husband has been drinking and using since he was a very young teenager.  I am so proud of him for maintaining his sobriety.  Every year I find a special coin to represent that year because it truly is an amazing accomplishment!  The coin to the left is this years gift.  Sixteen & a half years ago I never expected my husbands drinking would affect our lives in the ways that it did.  Four years ago when my husband called me from jail at 2:00 A.M. to tell me he got arrested for a DUI I was thanking God for answering my prayers but completely scared at the same time feeling like our lives were headed for a huge change.  Not knowing if our marriage would make it, if he would have to spend time in jail,  if he lost his job we would lose our home and everything else.  It was a very unstable time.

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I think the worst part of my husbands alcoholism is how it affected our kids, our marriage, & me.  What I mean by that is he always hid behind his disease and used it as an excuse.  He played a “victim” role very well.  Recovery takes the desire to want to stop drinking and to change your life.  It means you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and you finally take that step to do something about it!  I cried, yelled, begged, my husband for years to get help for his drinking but he never saw it as a problem. To him someone else was always the problem.  That is a classic alcoholic behavior…….it is always someone else’s fault.  Believe me over the years he has blamed every family member or stranger for the problems he has caused. 

While I am not a professional in the field of alcoholism I feel like my daily experience living with an alcoholic allows me the ability to give you a pretty good account on what it is truly like from a personal perspective not a professional one.  To me sometimes that speaks more to the heart than anything else because you talk about things that really happened.  What I can say is it is NOT an easy journey to be the spouse of an alcoholic.  I have learned that no matter how much sobriety someone has there is always the possibility of relapse.  I have learned that no matter how much sobriety one has sometimes they can behave in old comfortable “alcoholic ways”  rather than the new “recovery ways”. 

14225521_10207575434159960_5021262811259626430_n1If any of you saw the Elizabeth Vargas interview about her struggle with alcoholism they asked for other people who struggle with alcoholism to send in their photos for a collage to be shown during her interview.  My husband is the man in blue to the left holding up his 2 year coin.  The most amazing thing I see in this photo is all these people from all walks of life struggle with alcoholism and are putting their faces to the disease.  My husband is one of those people that is not ashamed to tell someone he is an alcoholic.  My husband feels if he can help someone by sharing his story then he also helps his own recovery.  Helping others is a big part of recovery.  Not everyone understands what alcoholism means.  Some think that you simply put down the bottle.  Some people still go against my husband and even though he says “I am an alcoholic” they insist he is not an alcoholic.  I am not sure how someone else can tell you that you don’t have a problem but believe me it happens.  I know alcoholism is still not talked about enough openly.  People and families still hide it in fear of what others will think. 

I have to tell you the biggest difference in our lives now is that my husband is able to be present in our lives.  Not just physically be somewhere but he is mentally and emotionally available.  My husband and I have an amazing life together!  We love our life and we choose to spend our time together doing what makes us happy.  My husband and I have learned that not everyone is supportive of us and not everyone understands our journey nor do they want too.  My husband is a recovering alcoholic and I am the spouse of a recovering alcoholic.  The biggest misconception is that alcoholism only affects the person drinking but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Alcoholism is devastating and so painful for the families of alcoholics.  People have a hard time understanding that.

My husband has a great job now that he enjoys and he is finally appreciated for the work he does.  We have a great amount of gratitude for those that have loved us and supported us, encouraged us, and have given us both their friendship.  The biggest change in my husband is that he is humble.  I look at my husband now and I admire him for his accomplishment to remain sober.  We have gone thru some very tough times in his sobriety and before he would have drank over it.  Now he has no desire and he chooses not to live his life that way anymore.  He doesn’t want to live in a bar being oblivious to life around him.  He missed so much of our family life that now we get to spend a lot of time with family and friends having fun laughing and building back those relationships.  This life wouldn’t have been possible if he was still drinking.

What I have learned the most is that the terrible person my husband was isn’t who he is it is what the addiction does to someone.  It is this dark energy that lives inside the person and literally sucks the life out of them.  Like a poltergeist (I know a bit extreme) but really addiction has no angelic qualities what so ever it’s all evil.  It trickles down to the whole family and everyone is infected.  You spiral out of control and it feels impossible that your life will be anything more than it is when you are drinking but my husband and so many like him are living proof that miracles happen every day. 

There is so much life to live.  I can promise you that if you get help you will be blessed with a whole new life you never imagined possible.  When you live a wholesome, honest life with values, morals, integrity, character, compassion, love, kindness, you will see things you have never seen before.  You will feel things you have never felt before.  You will finally feel all the bad too but the beauty of that is you get to heal, you get to forgive, you get to make amends, you get to be the best version of yourself when you choose to lose the addiction that keeps you wrapped up in chains and imprisoned in your mind and body!  Truth be told happy people with no problems don’t usually have addition issues it’s those that are running from things they don’t want to face and drowning it with the bottom of the bottle.  The answer is not in the bottle and it never will be.

My friends free yourselves from the addiction that holds you back from the most amazing life that awaits you!  You are never alone there are millions who understand and have been where you are just reach out your hand; there will always be someone to help guide you and the rest is up to you.  My husband is in his 50’s so let me tell you that you are never too old or too young to get into recovery.  As for my husband he is an amazing human being.  I would take our worst day with him sober than his best day drunk!!  He is a good role model for others, he has helped people and he continues to work on his own recovery and stay on the path that he believes is best for him.  AA meetings are an important part of our life there is so much inspiration in those rooms, so much positivity so much support.  However, you also have to bring that attitude with you no matter where you go, no matter what hard life situations come up remember all you have learned and put it to work in your everyday life!

My husband, I am so proud of your 4 years of continued Sobriety, CONGRATULATIONS!!!   And Congratulations to us too!  Many people had said to me the first few years of his sobriety that it is as much my celebration as it is his.  Ever since I thought that is true because I am a big part of his sobriety.  So I view it as a beautiful day for US!  It is a BIG milestone and one that amazes me each an everyday.  Your mind is clear, your soul is no longer dark, you have a positive energy, you have love in your heart, you have a smile on your face and everyday when you walk thru that door I see how happy you are to be home and how grateful you are that you no longer have to run!  You have learned the importance of making amends, being a man of integrity, living an honest life, being grateful & appreciative for all the little things!  With all that I am and all that I have I Love you deeply and unconditionally, Always!!

Wishing you all Peace, Recovery, & Serenity………….Harmony