personal, recovery

12.10.17 | Day 460 | Musings + Reflections

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Let’s talk about art. Art, much like the meaning of life (among other things), is subjective; whatever our minds yield and what we then choose to make of it.

There’s a saying that goes something like “you’re allowed to be both a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time,” and as cliché as it is, it is abso-fucking-lutely true.

If there’s one thing that is just as true, it is that it is possible to create something magnificent out of something once considered completely destroyed. And if this new-ish life of sobriety + in recovery has taught me anything, it is that from the debris left behind by our destruction, that we can unearth our true self, breathe new life into it, and ultimately create this beautiful, ever-evolving version of self that we once thought impossible when we only knew ourself to be little more than our addiction and/or internal suffering.

And alas, art is formed. Our truths are to be used as our canvases, and our stories and strengths are our mediums which we build upon. (Omg this sounds much more corny when I read it aloud, but no fucks are given bc I’m pouring my heart into this and have been writing these words in my head all day.)

Anyway, all this shit has been thoroughly thought through, full-circle, and the carefully selected quotes I journaled for my literary mood board have served me immensely over the last several days. I chose to read Rowe’s words from a recovering alcoholic point-of-view, and it stoked the flames within me that previously felt like they were uncomfortably quieting down. Earlier this week I began entering into a mild depressive spell, and began feeling more full of malaise than anything. It sucked. I found myself inaudibly moping and what was even worse was the noticeable fact I was slipping into a genuine indifference about the hazy, nebulous fog making its way into my brain.

So today I did some things, and put in some work, read + wrote some words, and… my mind, body, and soul started screaming “happy, happy, joy, joy” a la Ren & Stimpy, and fuck me sideways Susan, I sit behind this keyboard a happy woman yet again. (See previous IG post for my dumb face plastered with a big, stupid smile. Bc fuck yeah sobriety + all them authentic feels that come along with a clear mind!!!)

And as I sit here on my happy little clouds (the theme for this post is art, and if you don’t understand “happy little clouds” without having to use Dr. Google, then we need to have a serious talk), it’s because the creative wheels in my mind are turning, and the optimistic realist in me is planning out attainable goals — which are centered around creating: writing, learning, helping, and teaching — and I can feel myself starting to really uproot from out of this stagnation I’ve been subtly yet noticeably sinking into.

If you know me and/or been following my journey at all, you can see I have a very full plate, so maybe you’re wondering how/why I could possibly feel stagnant (play along even if you have no clue where I’m going with this — but hey, if you’ve read this far.. THANK YOU 🖤)… it’s because despite having a loaded calendar, I am aware I’m not evolving in a way that feels fulfilling to me. I’ve noticed behavioral patterns creeping back in, that while I do not fear a relapse, I know the warning signs for more situationally triggered depression, and I’m not having any of that shit. No, thank you. I’ve had my ebbs and flows with depression spells triggered by hormones and exhaustion, but now that I’ve settled more into my life of sobriety, I recognize these behavioral shifts as something I am responsible for + need to take control over, ASAP.

With baby steps towards transformation, and a “progress, not perfection” mindset I’m re-evaluating traits that need to be mindfully explored and worked on as a woman, mother, and wife… Finding ways to make it a priority to learn, discover, and write more (i.e. transition more lengthy posts –like this one– from IG onto a more suitable platform, like this here currently content deprived blog)… which allows for more consideration in the form of research + mental stimulation, as well as more proper proofreading… My biggest end goal is to eventually be able to become a professional counselor or therapist specializing in substance abuse (something along those lines), and use my story + voice as a means of helping others reclaim their lives and possess the ability to rewrite their stories.

However, I cannot accomplish any of these things unless I keep my sobriety first, continue to do the next right thing, and always make sure to live life one day at a time.

P.S. – Shoutout to Hip SobrietyLaura McKowen for being the bodacious trailblazers they are, and helping carve the way for all of us speaking up + unapologetically recovering out loud in a society that very much needs leaders like these ladies, to shine a light on the underbelly of our booze-soaked culture and exposing stats and truths for what they really are.

P.P.S. – And another huge shoutout to @SoberSavasana on her acceptance to Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Graduate School of Addiction Studies!!!

 

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.

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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

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

jam of the day: save myself by ed sheeran

i got nothing.
this song resonates so much with my past, the present, and things to remember in the future.

no, i’m not drinking or taking pills… but i’ve done things in the past… and, well, i almost broke down completely after i finally listened to the song all the way through.

i love ed sheeran, but i couldn’t bring myself to listen to this song.
until now.

xo

I gave all my oxygen to people that could breath
I gave away my money and now we don’t even speak
I drove miles and miles but would you do the same for me
Oh honestly?

Offered up my shoulder just for you to cry upon
Gave you constant shelter and a bed to keep you warm
They gave me the heartache and in return I gave a song
It goes on and on and on

Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
I drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

I gave you all my energy and I took away your pain
Cause human beings are destined to radiate or drain
What line do we stand upon cause from here it looks the same?
And only scars remain

Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
I drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

But if I don’t then I’ll go back to where I’m rescuing a stranger
Just because they needed saving, just like that
Oh I’m here again, between the devil and the danger
But I guess it’s just my nature
My dad was wrong, cause I’m not like my mum
Cause she’d just smile and I’m complaining in a song, but it helps
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
Or drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself
And before I blame someone else, I’ve got to save myself
And before I love someone else, I’ve got to love myself