Posted in Addiction, anxiety, faith, Goals, Holidays, inner peace, Life, manifestation, Mental Health, mindfulness, People, recovery

With a Grateful Heart

a grateful heart
courtesy of Pinterest and littleleaves.com

I woke up way too early, as usual…but I am not going to get all worked up over it. This is just who I am, and I have accepted it. I’m an early riser who has become a super early riser over the past few months. I think partially it developed as a way to save a few precious hours of peace for myself, while my older daughter and her boyfriend were staying here. This time is so important to me. I’d do just about anything to preserve it, including waking up in what is basically the middle of the night.

I did, however, get to usher in the New Year last night! I set an alarm for 11:55, and Cam and I got up long enough to do the count down, scream “Happy New Year!” once, hug each other, then scramble back to the warmth of the bed. Last night was her last official night sleeping with me. We are both more than ready to go our separate sleeping ways, but with the extra people here the past few months, we didn’t really have a choice. So tonight, I can sleep diagonally, the way I do when she is at her dad’s house. She’s a tall child, and such a bed hog, and I feel guilty for saying this, but I sleep SO much better when she is staying overnight with her father. So, bittersweet though it may be, we are both excited about this milestone. Obviously, she’s way too old to still be sleeping with her mother, and she used to sleep on her own at our old house…not sure what happened. I don’t regret it, though. They are only little for such a short time.

Anyway, I woke up this morning feeling such gratitude for my life. I have such a good feeling about the year ahead. I was thinking about the horrible panic attack and subsequent anxiety I suffered through less than two weeks ago, and I wonder if it was just a giant purge of built up negative energy- shit I needed to get rid of? Because since it faded away, I have been steadily more centered, happy, and anxiety free. Seems like more than coincidence to me- to get to begin a new year wiped clean of the dark feelings that had been plaguing me? Well, whatever it is, I’ll take it. Gladly.

You know…my house is still a mess. I meant to take down my tree last night, and never got around to it. There are dishes in the sink, and…well, it’s pretty much like it always is around here. But for once, none of it is bothering me. Because I have a plan, and I intend to stick to it. Little by little, this house will transform, and be the way I want it to be. By the time I go to bed tonight, those dishes will be gone, the counters wiped clean, the tree gone, ornaments put away. It still won’t be perfect- I doubt it will ever be perfect. But eventually, it will be the way I want it to be. I feel quite sure of that.

The thing is, I have started this year with peace in my heart. I don’t know that I’ve often felt peace like this. It feels solid to me, as if it is not dependent on outside circumstances, but more like it stems from within me. It’s the kind of peace that comes when you have finally started to trust yourself, to know that most likely, you are going to be okay. I’ve survived a lot- I’ve survived MYSELF, which was no simple feat. This is my fourth consecutive New Years clean, and I’ve grown stronger every year. And I am so grateful for that- for the peace, and for surviving myself, and surviving the dark parts of my own mind. I’m so grateful for making it out of that last, awful, dark place, and for the wonderful new spot it wound up leaving me.

I’m starting this shiny, fresh new year with a grateful heart. And I don’t think there is a better place to begin than that.

May your year be blessed, happy, full of hope and laughter. Happy New Year!

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Posted in Addiction, adventure, anxiety, Blogging, Life, Musings, People, random, recovery

Lost: Sense of Adventure

scaredy cat

I really don’t have time to be writing this, this morning, but I have something I want to say so I am doing it anyway. I used to be the most fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person you would ever meet. I cared nothing whatsoever for social conventions, I never stopped to really wonder what other people thought of me, and I did whatever I wanted, pretty much as I wanted to do it. I never let my lack of money or worries about my shitty car stop me from going on long trips out of town. I wasn’t afraid of falling in love, or concerned with taking things slow and seeing if maybe this guy (or that guy, or the next guy) was good for me- just the spark was enough for me, and I was all over it. I went through (crappy) jobs like most people go through underwear, I was broke all the time, and I wrote overly emotional poetry with absolutely no shame whatsoever. I would also corner you and make you listen to me read it out loud, without a qualm.

Now, I realize that most of this behavior was drug fueled, and I was also young, and that, after a time, it crossed a line into dysfunction and sadness. I don’t miss that part. But goddammit, sometimes I wish I had retained a tiny bit of it. I am quite possibly the most tightly wound I have ever been in my life these days, and the irony of it all does not escape me- I am finally at a point where I could take my nice car, which is under warranty, on a road trip during my paid vacation which is coming up, and guess what? I am totally afraid to do it. I thought maybe my daughter and I could take a drive up to Oregon, where I have never been, and stay a night or two in a hotel, and do some exploring. But all I can think about is “I’ve never been there, though. I don’t know where anything is, and what if something goes wrong?” I mean, can you believe what a massive wimp I am being?

I have some other stuff going on- someone called the city on me, and code enforcement has to come out, with my landlady, to make sure I am not doing anything illegal here (which I am not), and I have been downright obsessed with the outcome of this situation for days on end. I am terrified that I am going to be made to move, I have blown it out of all proportion, up to and including looking online for new houses and crying when I look at my dog who I am sure I will have to re-home. Oh, for Christ’s sake! Who even am I? I have survived conditions and situations in my life that would make most people run home to their mothers, and I am having a heart attack over something that isn’t even an issue? Even if I did have to move, which I highly doubt I will, I will simply figure it out. But why do I let myself freak out like this in the meantime? What good does it do? I have never yet failed so completely in this lifetime that I was not able to recover, and that was under the worst of circumstances. I am already so far ahead of where I once was, I don’t know why I would even spend a moment worrying about anything.

Do you know what these two things have in common, the fear of driving out of town with my kid, and the fear of the impending code enforcement visit? I have lost my sense of adventure. This girl, who once loaded everything she owned into her car, and moved to another city, in another state, with her seven year old daughter, where she knew no one- not a single solitary soul- has become kind of a chicken. I’m afraid of my landlord. I’m afraid of getting “in trouble”. I’m afraid of messing up. Weren’t we just talking about this a few posts ago? Maybe this isn’t as simple as just making up my mind to stop being afraid…because I think what is really going on here is that I don’t have a lot of faith in myself. I’m afraid that now, when I finally have it all together, that other shoe is going to drop and all hell will break loose.

The thing is, there is no reason for me to believe this. I have tons of proof that I am doing everything the way I am supposed to, and zero proof that I am a failure, or irresponsible, or cannot be trusted. So, my question for you this morning is, how do I connect the dots? How in the world do I internalize those facts, how do I start believing in myself? Because this is really getting old. I want to find the strength to be confident in myself- if I could do it while I was a drug-addled maniac, why is it so hard to do it now?

Sorry if this was kind of all over the place- I am really on a time crunch, but I’m hoping someone will have some words of advice for me. Because seriously, I have had it.

Posted in Addiction, anxiety, Life, Musings, People, recovery, relationships, twelve step

Learning to Like Myself

liking yourself

Oh my God, this is so weird. I had to…strike that; I got toΒ buy a new computer yesterday. I had a little incident with my laptop (Best Buy broke it when I brought it in for help with my mouse, and now they are charging me to fix it…I know, I know, don’t even get me started) and I can’t really go without a computer, being as how I work from home. I was going to have to buy a desktop soon anyway, I just wasn’t counting on it being this soon. Either way, here I am, trying to adjust to this enormous screen, and to writing from a different room in my house. Small things, but jarring, just the same.

The thing is, yesterday, when I figured out a way to purchase this (very freaking expensive) computer on my own, when I brought it home and set it up all by myself, I felt like a WOMAN. I mean, yeah, I am 42 years old, so you might assume that I felt this way all of the time…well, you would be wrong. Most of the time, I am still pretty much fumbling my way through life, a teenager stuck in a really unfortunate body. You have to remember, I literally partied my way from 13 to basically 40, with some pauses throughout. I am still figuring stuff out. Yes, I do manage to hold it together pretty well, and yes, I probably don’t give myself enough credit for the things I have accomplished, but…well, it’s hard for me to trust that this isn’t all some fluke, to be honest. That I haven’t just gotten lucky a bunch of times in a row and that’s why things are generally okay.

So when I managed to pull this off yesterday, saving myself from a really difficult week of having to figure out where I could work and when, I felt pretty together. I smugly patted myself on the back and thought “You can do ANYTHING, Court. You are the best.” (I didn’t really do this, but you get the idea.) I went off to my meeting last night feeling tired, but capable and confident.

And then…a person showed up at my meeting last night who knows me only from my active addiction. This person, having lived in close proximity to me, knows intimately how insane I was when I was using. There is no way for me to change that first, ongoing impression that I made. And it makes me feel bad. Really, really bad. I have this crazy urge to prove how much better I am, how different I am, how good I have become. This is really nuts because I don’t really have any type of relationship with this person. I don’t see them on a regular basis, I don’t interact with them on a personal level. What in the world is this about? Even now, while I am writing this, my body feels so uncomfortable.

You know what it is really about? It’s about me needing outside approval. It’s about me needing everyone who comes in contact with me to like me, whether it’s the dudes who work at Best Buy who broke my laptop, or a person who had the misfortune to witness me at my worst. And the reason I need them to like me is because I still haven’t really mastered liking myself- I’m still looking for acceptance from others to feel validated. That really needs to change. Not only can I not control what other people think about me, I have no idea what they think about me- I’m just assuming the worst, and running with it. Most importantly of all, though, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what my old neighbor thinks of me, or what most people think of me, really. It matters how I think of myself. That’s what I really need to work on.

So what is the truth, then? The truth is, I am becoming someone I can trust. That trust was broken pretty badly, and just like any relationship, when the trust is gone, it takes time to build it back. I am working my way there, bit by bit. The truth is, it is vital that I learn to like myself, exactly as I am, because all of my other relationships depend on me liking who I am. And I should like myself, I am a good person. I try every day to be a good person. Another truth is, not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay. That’s just life. I don’t need to preemptively defend myself, or prove myself. I just need to keep doing what I am doing, and know that is enough.

Also, I really need to talk to those guys at Best Buy. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Wish me luck.

Posted in beauty, family, friendship, Goals, humor, Learning, Life, Musings, People, Weight Loss

Waking Up Fat and Lazy

thin-vs-fat-e1327338522986

I would like to preface what I am about to write with this other fun fact that just occurred to me as I was dragging my laptop from my bedroom desk out to the kitchen table, since I cannot write with Wonder Pets screeching in the background, and Camryn woke up at four this morning because I gave her her allergy medicine a little bit early by “accident” (in other words, I was really tired and wanted to go to bed, and she had to take it, anyway) last night. Don’t judge me. Anyway, what I realized was, the only reason I can write about half the crap I write about and then willingly post links to it on my Facebook is because I write so early in the morning, I know that none of you people are awake yet. Which makes no sense at all, because you can totally read it when you DO wake up, but by then, for me, it’s already over. This may not be at all logical, but at least it gives you an idea of the kind of person you are dealing with, here.

So, what I wanted to write about was…and I don’t know if this has ever happened to you…but I woke up fat this morning. Okay, first of all, I realize that if I woke up fat, chances are, I went to bed fat last night, right? But I am telling you right now, I went to bed chubby, at best, last night. Somewhere between midnight and four a.m., my metabolism called it quits, and that last slice of Little Caesar’s pretzel crust pizza proved to be one too many. It was the pizza that broke the camel’s back with it’s fat ass. Second of all, for God’s sake, please do not get all up in arms, my lovely lady friends, and tell me how not fat I am. For one thing, you cannot judge me by my pictures on Facebook- do you really think I am going to share the ones that make me look like Jabba the Hut? You all know that we are masters of the selfie, and quite adept at finding the angle that most flatters. For another thing, I am not trying to say that I am obese. I am fat by my standards for me, and that is that. I am not looking for anyone to shore up my flagging self confidence, here, I am fine. I am just really, really, round right now.

Compounding my fattitude is this- I am incredibly lazy, and seem to be growing more so by the day. I mean, this has always been a well hidden feature of my personality, masked by the rapid quality of my speech and my tendency towards animated gestures…but trust me, you can be an energetic communicator and still be lazy as F**K. If you don’t believe me, you can totally ask my mom, who got to see me in (in)action for a little less than half of my life so far. Of course, I also covered up this laziness by my rather prolific use of methamphetamine for all that time…I think I even forgot how lazy I was, what with all the activity, albeit, most of it fruitless, but still. Meth users are nothing if not BUSY, am I right? So embarrassing…anyway, ones true colors always come back to bite them in the ass, only, in my case, they can’t muster up the energy, so…I guess self-deprecating humor will have to serve as my catalyst.

Further complicating the issue is my desire for instant gratification- I mean, it has taken me quite some time to get to my current weight (which I am not going to tell you, and I prefer you not guess) so it stands to reason that it will take time and work, and some sort of ability to be consistent, to get to where I want to be. Which is why I am feeling sort of doomed. I can’t even keep up on my laundry- how the hell can I be expected to follow a diet? I guess it all comes down to what I want more, doesn’t it? Pizza, or a waistline? Lucky Charms with half and half, or less chin-neck? Another day of marathon episodes of Ghost Adventure’s, or a trip to the gym? Oh, these sound like obvious answers, I know, but lets be real, here…how many times have you been all- “I’m going to the gym today!” and MEANT it, then flopped down on the couch “for a second”, and the next thing you know, it’s dark out, and you’re not only too lazy to have made dinner, you are too lazy to throw away the cardboard pizza boxes that were delivered to your door? Fuck, maybe that’s just me, and I have even larger (unintentional pun, there) problems than I thought.

I will tell you two more, no, three more things here, before I am done for the day. 1) On a serious note, I realize that no one can do this for me, and I wouldn’t be writing about it in depth if I hadn’t decided, just this morning, that it is time to formulate a plan, for reals, and start doing something OTHER than making plans, and then excuses, and then feeling all shitty about myself. Β 2) Because I am competitive in general, but especially, for some reason, with my sister in law, Andrea, whom I love more than anything (and yes, this is totally possible), and she is, like, KICKING ASS, in EVERY area of her life, but currently has turned her laser sharp kick-ass skills to her fitness and weight loss routine, I have decided to use her for an impetus to get off my couch. I have no doubt that it will work, because I am sick like that. She really is RAD though, by the way. And finally, 3) none of this can start though, until tomorrow. Why? Because I just bought a deep fryer, and all of my loved ones are coming over to eat deep fried fish tacos tonight, and I am not skimping. I may, however, go on a walk or something today, just as a gesture of good will towards my future thin self.

As much as all of this has been written in a playful manner, I am serious as heck. Oh, you’ll see. Watch out, Andrea. I’m coming for ya. πŸ™‚