daily entry, personal, recovery

day 318 – so, i had an awakening…

anaisnin_ownworld

So, here’s a #FlashbackFriday to this past #TransformationTuesday: The Spiritual Edition (if you’d like to see the holy shit visual/selfie version, take a looksie at my IG. Linked on the right side of your screen .)

So, my insomnia has decided to resurface, and with that comes an open gate / onset slew of events: severe flashbacks, intense feelings of regret, shame, and guilt, a tsunami of emotions, internal exploration, brief and simultaneous exchanges of incredibly short episodes of mild mania and depression, an increased desire to write and an increased desire to reel it all back. My insomnia enjoys being the life of the party, because when this bitch shows up, it thrives on throwing everything but the kitchen sink at me just to see what my reaction will be.

I gotta break it to ya, insomnia, I got some tricks up my sleeve this go-round, and you’re not going to bring me down because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. (this time.)

Anyway, as I tossed and turned until the wee hours of the morning, I had a most beautiful breakthrough that ultimately resulted in a profound epiphany, and I felt alive. And terribly awake. Da fuq cares if it was almost 1:30 in the morning? This bitch had a motherfuckin’ epiphany. And it was glorious. And painful. And conflicting. And I debated 18 billion different times on whether I wanted to go furiously write down everything racing through my mind or not, and finally my brain flatlined (or my sleep-aid kicked in, idk) and I finally fell asleep.

This morning felt different. I felt different. I felt invigorated. I felt happy. I felt proud. I felt good. I felt peaceful. You see, last night as I darted in and out of flashbacks and in-depth reflections, I was sidelined with a pure moment of clarity – and all of a sudden, SO MANY THINGS made SO MUCH SENSE.

I spent so much of my time during active addiction trying to paint myself and my life to be this tragic and romantic tale, an undiscovered muse sucked into a domesticated life, where things were periodically bleak, and despite having a lover a kid and friends (and stability), I thrived on keeping my soul in a tormented state and found myself continuing to try and try and try to be all these things I simply wasn’t. I lived and breathed and longed to be a manic pixie dream girl, and I tried to like all the “right” things, I tried to steer clear of mainstream and monotony, and I flailed and pouted and sought so many (wrong) things in so all the (wrong) ways as best as I could, for as long as I could.

And last night, I sat there retracing all my steps and then it ALL hit me HARD. I spent so much time seeking approval and attention from so many people, despite me keeping myself in denial that I was doing such because I didn’t want to admit I was wasting an endless amount of time and energy — all to just keep myself in this stupid hamster wheel and too scared to jump off. Because I just wanted someone and something (“someone” meaning seeking validation, acceptance and attention from others, and “something” being alcohol used as fuel to keep this negative flame and my candle burning at both ends)… and as I sat there scavenging in my own mind + scrolling through quotes on self-care… IT happened. That epiphany and clarity of realizing: I NEVER NEEDED ANYBODY ELSE TO SAVE ME EXCEPT FOR MYSELF. If I couldn’t ever love myself, how and why in the fuck was I thinking anything or anyone else would do it for me?

I’ve spent so long being this sadomasochist with myself and tried so hard to repel and push and pull at everything, kicking and screaming, and longing and it was all because I never loved or accepted myself. And I never loved or accepted (fully) that all these other “things” I was searching for – besides the whole self-love thing – it had all been there the ENTIRE time. Waiting. Patiently. For me to come around, and thank God I had a chance to wake up before everything I ever needed disappeared out of my life – and then it all sunk in that I could let go of all my old ideas and beliefs… just let it all go because I became painfully aware that I had to stop building up these fantasies and longing to be this special “thing” in the eyes of others… and that I have to be my own superhero, my own muse, my own princess in shining armor, or however the fuck you want to look at this… I let myself down for so long and tried to find it everywhere else but inside of me.

And this whole “a-ha” thing had me SO shook to my bones, that I felt electric this morning as I crawled out from under my sheets and I’ve been walking on sunshine ever since. If I only maintain this feeling for today, I’m okay with that, because I have learned something new. Something profound. On my own, but with the help of others (unbeknownst to them, more or less), and for all of this – I am grateful. I am aware – and all of these wonderful thoughts and growing pains have all been made completely possible because I’m learning to slowly but surely let go of everything I let weigh me down for so many years. And it is love and it is light and it is everything.

And you are everything, and I hope that you know that. And if you don’t know or see that right now, give it time and let it grow and you will reap the benefits. And every waking second until you find and love yourself, I hope you know that you are worth it. And you are enough. You are so enough.

I love you all. xo

daily entry, misc, personal, recovery

Day 307 – Hope Dealer #563

Kristin_HopeDealer563

“Greetings from  DFWTX—

First off, I just want to say THANK YOU for everything this movement stands for and for offering me the chance to be a hope dealer!

Second of all, I want to say that I’m writing this line after I wrote my story, and I didn’t mean to write a novel. It’s just incredibly difficult for me to try and simplify something so complex like living life with both a mental illness and substance abuse problem. I hope you’ll understand.

Now, I’m not going to lie… I was slightly selfish and held onto the chip for a while before feeling comfortable enough to send you my story. You see, I experienced a brief spell of exhaustion and a tinge of hopelessness during chip #563’s stay with me, and I wanted to be sure I was in the best state of mind and able to fully be the best version of myself, before contacting you + realizing there is somebody out there who could benefit from a token of hope more than I. That’s the whole point of this, right? To give hope away and deal it to those who need it more than ourselves? I’m now prepared the keep the hope I’ve regained, and am ready to pass the hope on.

Anyway, let me pull out my “crystal ball of doom,” so that I can give you a good understanding of what lies in my past + life in active addiction.

I didn’t start out drinking at an early age, really. I started out as a “normal” drinker, didn’t really touch or have any interest in alcohol until my senior prom in high school, and even still wasn’t sure why people were so smitten with essentially losing control of their inhibitions. After graduating high school, I would have wine coolers and other various fruity malt liquor beverages on an occasion, but nothing crazy or untypical for an adolescent, really. My behaviors and alcohol consumption were pretty “typical” from the ages of 17-20, as I was considered by others and viewed myself as a studious person, who was passionate about art and music, and enjoyed being as present as possible and couldn’t be bothered with the idea of getting buzzed. Now, between the ages of 17-20 I was becoming more aware that I wasn’t quite feeling happy (or what I imagined being happy should feel like), like people I knew. I was diagnosed with depression, which turned into later being diagnosed as bipolar, riddled with some anxious tendencies. I saw doctors and took my medication like I was supposed to, until one day I decided I’d had enough and took matters into my own hands, and eventually took myself off my medications and turned to other means of “feeling good” instead.

We’ll cut to what should’ve been deemed as a serious wake up call; well, more like two separate incidents that should’ve gotten my attention but didn’t. Mind you these happenings took place between the ages of 20-22; something that might be viewed as me acting in devious behaviors as a subconscious way of making up for the 18+ years I spent under a strictly run household…and more or less as a subsequent to me also playing doctor. Not long after my 21st birthday, like a few months after I turned 21, a doctor heavily advised I become abstinent from alcohol consumption for a lengthy duration of time due to how much gastrointestinal damage I was wreaking on myself. So, I went along with it and as soon as I was “allowed” to drink again…it was fairly obvious I was doing my best to make up for lost time. We’ll fast forward another 6 months or so, to the night of May 11, 2007. I went to see Bright Eyes play a gig with some friends, and the last thing I remember was trading my Xanax for drinks from the bartenders, and continuously popping them myself in between cocktails.

The next morning I found myself in the ER, with absolutely no recollection of what happened past the point of trading and popping pills. But, being the good little barely 22 years old girl I was, I decided (well, not decided, more like just got too caught up in chasing the next buzz) that I stopped taking my oral contraceptive somewhere along the way, and found myself pregnant come late summer of 2007. The last 3 1/2 years leading up to that point had been “fun and games” and I didn’t really see or care what was happening to me. So, I found myself having to drop out of college in order to pursue a life as a young mom.

April 2008 I gave birth to my first child, then I returned to college and graduated with my B.A. in 2011, and so forth. I was doing good and things were looking up, only they weren’t as happy-go-lucky as I made it to be. From about 2010 or so until I became pregnant again in 2015, I drank pretty much every night. At first it was still “normal” (what I thought was normal, but what turns out to be textbook binge drinking by definition), but hey — I was still maintaining control and my inhibitions most of the nights, so it was okay, right? Only it wasn’t, and I can’t even recollect how many nights I can’t recollect. I began checking out, began filling my head and my heart with endless pity parties, even further trying to make up for lost time and convincing myself that getting buzzed was a decent way to compensate myself for the amount of hard work I was doing. It’s not something I look back at fondly.

Now we’ll spin ’round the tornado that became my final and absolute “wake-the-f***k-up call” / the event that has changed me as a whole for the better, the battle I finally lost but gave way to the war I eventually won (and will continue to battle every day for the rest of my life), as I finally threw up white flag against my raging, high-functioning alcoholic way of life. Leading up to the day that provided me with my “awakening” I had already tested too many waters, was lying to those who loved and cared for me the most, I was becoming sloppy and crafty with trying to conceal all that I was doing, and I was just basically killing everything inside of me, physically and mentally. But for some reason, I just kept chasing that imaginary feeling I had never and would never be able to capture.

September 6, 2016 is the day I simultaneously died and was reborn — and I haven’t been the same since. While I still prefer to keep these details as withheld and private as possible (I’ve only told less than 10 people in real life what actually happened, and I’ve shared some within a private sober commUNITY), I can safely say I no longer have to keep up the tiring, ruthless way of living that was that of having an active addiction + love affair with alcohol. I’d hurt and lost enough people over the years, because I fancied courting Mr. Al Cohol instead, and the time had come to fully stop hurting the person I was cutting down the most, myself.

Since September 6, 2016 I’ve experienced more spiritual growing pains than I had in the 31 years leading up to that day (roughly 10 1/2 of those years involving a continual reprieve I believed only alcohol could provide), and I have handled more stressful situations than I have ever faced — and not only did I live through them, but I’ve learned from them and have found an inner strength in myself I never knew was possible. I’ve successfully completed an intensive outpatient program with a substance abuse counselor, I am incredibly active within various online sober commUNITY families, and I aspire to become a substance abuse counselor of some kind once my own children aren’t so dependent on me. My number one job in life is that of being a mother, and everything else comes second until my kids don’t need me as much. Outside of being a mom, my other number one focus in life is that of my sobriety and life in recovery, and until I can become educated and professionally certified to become a counselor or therapist, I will continue to be as active as possible within my newfound family, those who have also converted to a sober way of life.

Recovery is most certainly not a cure-all for life’s problems, and I still have depression, but I’m now coping with these things as opposed to viewing myself as a victim or sufferer of these illnesses. I’ll always be an alcoholic, but I don’t have to live a life full of fear because of it, I simply just don’t partake in its consumption anymore and I don’t feel sorry for myself because I “can’t drink.” I choose to live now, not exist, and I’ll be damned if I don’t make myself find the magic in the mundane on a daily basis — because it’s the little things that add up to the big picture, and that’s all life is — one, big picture. It’s a f**king masterpiece, and I am so insanely grateful I get to be present for every millisecond I get to spend on this earth.

It gets better, friends, and I’m living proof.
So, now it’s time for me to pay my hope forward, and deal it to somebody who needs it more than I do.

Sending strength, support and love.
-Kristin”

The above letter was the one I wrote to the lovely folks who started the Hope Dealer project, Plus P Productions. You can find out more by visiting them here.
personal, recovery

it’s just a spark.

9

How many months I’ve been sober.

This has been, without a doubt, the most exquisite and excruciating but ultimately liberating adventure I’ve ever endured. The growing pains this evolution has provided is only parallel to the intense insanity that is motherhood, except on this ride — I’m finally nurturing myself.

Over the last nine months I’ve ripped so many skeletons out of my closet, I’ve gently but forcefully excavated a lot of my inner demons, and I finally pulled back the rug I’ve swept all my grotesque complexities and turmoil under; all the things that tormented me inside, that I chose to simultaneously fuel and suppress with alcohol, I’ve slowly but surely been facing them all. And you know what? It not only feels good… it feels even better… because it’s finally all feeling real.

I’ve ceased cheapening and/or forging emotions and experiences, both the good and the bad. It’s been far from natty and I’m ten million percent okay with that. Some days it’s been hard, some days it’s been easy; regardless, it’s been constructive and invaluable, day in and day out.

I’ve been learning to really tune into my inner intuition and have been making progress by: no longer suffering in silence and instead choosing to cope and communicate, learning to become more assertive without being entirely aggressive, when I feel myself becoming desolate I put forth my best efforts to find magic in the mundane, and pushed myself in other areas of discomfort and unfamiliarity, in order to flourish absolutely. Ultimately, I’m learning to transition into becoming as unapologetically myself as possible. I’ve got so much to say and I’m done hiding in the shadows; I’m ready to shake up the world and hopefully change some lives.

Along with this thorough admission of shortcomings and triumphs, I issued an apology to all of my friends. Well, the few friends I have left. I lost most of my friends over the years because I chose to have a “better” friendship with alcohol.

Almost every single one of my friends has seen me three sheets to the wind at one point. Or at ten points, depending on who they are. While this isn’t as personal or intimate as I’d like this apology to be, it’ll have to do until I’m able to see them in person and tell them straight to their face. Too many times have they all seen me trying to self-medicate and compensate myself for making it through another 24 hours of my life. Because nothing says “feel better” or “you deserve this” or “you’ve worked so hard today” or “I love you” like watering down your thoughts and drowning your feelings, right? Everyone I know, and myself, deserves better than what I’ve given them in the past. While I can’t change what I’ve done, what I’ve said, what I can remember and what only comes back to me in shattered recollections, I can wholeheartedly tell them that I’ve killed who I once was and I only pull out her image when I need a reminder of how far I’ve come.

During the last nine months I’ve been able to not only unlearn how to destroy, I’ve been remembering how to create, I’ve been able to fully immerse myself in experiences and emotions, I’ve learned more things about myself in the last 9 months than I’ve been able to accomplish over the last 10 years. And this party is just getting started.

Most importantly, I’ve been able to become the best mother, wife, daughter, and the best version of myself I can be. My potential in life knows no bounds, and I look forward to the future instead of hanging on to the past. My past is ugly, it’s messy, it’s shameful — but it’s made me who I am today, and for that I am grateful.

Once my kids are less dependent on me, I plan on going back to school to study and become a substance abuse counselor, and use my voice, my love, and my soul to help make this world a better place. I want to show, inspire, encourage and empower others to know that if they are being swallowed whole by their addiction(s), that there is hope. I want to show them that recovery and happiness are possible. I should know, because I’m living proof.

I love you all. xo

daily entry, jam of the day, misc, personal, recovery

hey! guess what?

i’m not dead, or fallen off the wagon, or anything like that.
(today is day 254 for my life in sobriety and recovery.)

i CANNOT wait to have alone time to fully pour my heart and soul into some entries once i get to my destination for my upcoming business trip.

i’ve found it best and easiest to fully immerse myself in writing and letting my thoughts and feelings flow when i’m 100% by myself.

however, i’m taking a quick break from entering in my 23,984,732,908,473,294,872 work orders, because i’m trying to salvage what bit of sanity i have at this millisecond — mmm, probably doesn’t help my toddler son is teething and/or growing and has established an absolutely unpredictable sleep pattern over the last seven days — because i have to gush and share a three part “jam of the day.”

y’all i love pop-punk. and while this band is now identifying as “genre-neutral” i love them just the same… if not, more than ever.

the older i get, the more i understand and appreciate how musical artists grow and evolve. over the last 14 years, i’ve gone from a wee, angsty “i can’t believe XYZ band made such a shitty album as their follow-up from a ‘perfect’ album” person, to a reflective soul who now thinks “wow, this is so cool being able to grow up alongside these artists and feel the emotion and understand the meanings, metaphors and themes behind certain songs and really identify with these people as humans.

i guess that’s part of maturity, right?

anyways, paramore has put out a nearly perfect new album, “after laughter.”
i shit you not, i’ve already listened to the album at least fifteen times since they dropped it this past friday, may 12.

so, i’m doing a MAJOR “jam of the day” by going hard with not one, not two — but THREE songs. i’m doing this, because i HIGHLY encourage you to listen to all three, in order, so you can ride this beautiful, turbulent roller coaster along with me. gaaaahhh — I FUCKING LOVE THE FEELS — ALL OF THEM.
xo

without further ado:

song 1/3 – “idle worship”

“Standing here like I’m supposed to say something
Don’t hold your breath, I never said I’d save you, honey
And I don’t want your money
If I was you I’d run from me or rip me open
You’ll see you’re not the only one who’s hopeless
Be sure to put your faith in something more
I’m just a girl and you’re not as alone as you feel
We all got problems, don’t we?
We all need heroes, don’t we?
But rest assured there’s not a single person here who’s worthy

Don’t let me let you down

Hey, baby I’m not your superhuman
And if that’s what you want
I hate to let you down
I got your hopes up
Now I got you hoping
But I’m gonna be the one that let you down

Oh, it’s such a long and awful lonely fall
Down from this pedestal that you keep putting me on
What if I fall on my face?
What if I make a mistake?
If it’s okay a little grace would be appreciated
Remember how we used to like ourselves?
What little light that’s left, we need to keep it sacred
I know that you’re afraid to let all the dark escape ya
But we could let the light illuminate these hopeless places

Just let me let you down

Hey, baby I’m not your superhuman
And if that’s what you want
I hate to let you down
I got your hopes up
Now I got you hoping
But I’m gonna be the one that let you down

Oh, no, I ain’t your hero
You’re wasting all your faith on me
Oh, no, I know where this goes
Think it’s safe to say your savior doesn’t look a thing like me

Don’t let me let you down

Hey, baby I’m not your superhuman
And if that’s what you want
I hate to let you down
I got your hopes up
Now I got you hoping
But I’m gonna be the one that let you down”

song 2/3 – “no friend”

“Another brick-red room
Another black-top town
Another misspelled band burning their own houses down
Another pine-box tune to fill the cemetery day another stay
A touch of orange over purgatory gray
Another thorny field to scatter fruitless seed
Another song that runs too long
God knows no one needs more misguided ghosts
More transparent hands to drop a nickel in our basket
And we’ll do our riot! dance beneath another burning sky
Behind our painted lips in scares of catatonic smile-covered ankle-bitten ships
So throw your pedestal of stone in the forgetful sea as protection from the paper-thin perfection you project on me
When this repetition ends behind the window shades,
A semi-conscious sorrow sleeping in the bed I’ve made
That most unrestful bed, that most original of sins
And you’ll say that’s what I get when I let ambition win again
I’d hate to let you down
So I’ll let the waters rise and drown my dull reflection
In the naïve expectation in your eyes back in a cast bit-part
Back when I felt most free
I had a butcher’s heart and no one thought they knew me
So before the regiment resumes
Before the dreaded sun appears
My driver’s waiting so let’s make one point crystal clear:
You see a flood-lit form, I see a shirt design
I’m no savior of yours and you’re no friend of mine”

song 3/3 – “tell me how”

“I can’t call you a stranger
But I can’t call you
I know you think that I erased you
You may hate me but I can’t hate you
And I won’t replace you

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

Think I’m tired of getting over it
And just starting something new again
I’m getting sick of the beginnings
And always coming to your defenses

Guess it’s good to get it off my chest
Guess I can’t believe I haven’t yet
You know I got my own convictions
And they’re stronger than any addiction
But no one’s winning

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

Keep me up with your silence
Take me down with your quiet
Of all the weapons you fight with
Your silence is the most violent

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

You don’t have to tell me
If you ever think of me
I know you see me dancing wildly in the fog
Of your memory
You don’t have to tell me
I can still believe…”

daily entry, misc, personal, recovery

“A” is for…

admiration.
affirmation.
apology.
anxiety.
awareness.

as a recap for the word bank above: you might be asking… um, wtf do all these words have to do with one another, aside from the obvious?
the answer is alcohol, duh!

i previously wrote about admiration so today, i’m going to cover affirmation, what it has to do with alcohol and how the two, intertwined, impacted my life during and after my addiction.

AccurateObservation_GeorgeBernardShaw

for me, affirmation is dissected into a few subcategories:
-acceptance
-adoration
-approval
-authenticity

since 2004, and the rise of social media, i’ve seemingly thrown any sense of self to the wind — i’ve wanted nothing more than to receive affirmation in the form of acceptance and approval from others, in hopes of gaining adoration along the way… but at the cost of having any individual authenticity to fall back on.

for the past 13 years almost, i fell in lust with everything social media brought to the table (and it didn’t help that i had a decent infatuation with andy warhol, the factory, edie sedgwick, the idea of celebrity, that whole scene…) and as cliche as it is nowadays, in 2004 it was a fresh and seductive thing, social media was… because you could be whoever you wanted to be, reinvent yourself over and over, in hopes of attracting other people to adore, accept, admire, and approve of whatever image you were presenting to the world.

imagine a perfect storm of all these things, add an immature + intoxicated state of mind and a severely altered perception of self into the mix… it’s safe to say, this did not go or end well.

social media took my age demographic by storm, and i can’t even fathom how many times i updated, refreshed, stripped, reworked and tweaked the online persona i projected out into the internet.

up until late last year, i was still very much that same girl, only more savvy about how i presented (“curated”) what i projected, but it all caught up to me…just like everything else toxic in my life did.

so, i’m left here still trying to pick up the pieces… put them back in a more logical manner, one that will allow me to flourish, find myself and hopefully some peace of mind. time will forever be our greatest friend and enemy.

i’ll give you a tl;dr timeline of chain of events that more or less got me to who/where i am now:
2003 : Graduated high school in the spring, started college in the fall
2004 : Rise of MySpace
2006 : Turned of legal drinking age
– Somewhere between ’06-’07 was hospitalized for consuming too many xanax and alcoholic beverages
2007 : Became pregnant with my first child, (the best “accident” to happen to me, a that point in time) temporarily dropped out of college
2008 : Gave birth to my first child
2010 : Went back to college to finish my degree
2011 : Graduated college, began working my first “career-building / foot-in-the door” job
2012-2014 : Made the terrible decision to jump back into social media platforms, coupled with longing to be accepted by people my own age, where I continued to tweak the persona I put out into the world, really got me nowhere. don’t forget to throw in the pathological alcoholism, and how/what that did to me mentally.
2015 : Became pregnant with and gave birth to my second child – this time it was planned
2016 : Everything was a snowball, chaotic blur of events that came to a complete halt on September 6, 2016 — the day I simultaneously died and became reborn
2017 : Currently 219 days sober, successfully completed an substance abuse/addiction recovery program // am now being completely honest and transparent with anything I put out into the interwebz, aspire to become a licensed substance abuse counselor when time presents itself. i need to have more sobriety and life in recovery under my belt, raise my children the best i can and know how to do, continue working on myself in a healthy, timely manner by figuring things out I never allowed myself to do… I need to do all these things, before I can fully help others.

i mean, there’s way more to this story, but i’m really working on tightening up my entries. i’ll save these facets for another rainy day.

xo