Release and Surrender

I can feel the release in my body when surrender comes.

It’s like I don’t even know how much has actually built up until the point that I finally let go.

I release my reality to God, to the universe.

Tears normally come and I say “God please help me. Help to know and follow your will for me. Whatever that may be or whatever that looks like, give me the strength and courage to follow you in times where I feel powerless, lost and tired of trying to do it on my own.”

My shoulders drop and I plead with complete and utter humility.

When the surrender comes, then there can be recovery, in any area of my life.

Room is made for a new power to flow in, the power of God I allow to channel through me.

In those moments, I know what miracles feel like.

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Teaching Angels To Fly

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In the world of recovery, as with my job and with my personal life in the program, people often come and go into my life.

I take women under my wing.

I like to say that I teach angels how to fly.

I help them put on the training wheels and give them a little push.

Some touch my heart more than others.

Instead of focusing on the painful goodbyes, I focus on the beauty and light they shed in my life during the brief time I had them with me.

They each bring something unique with them and leave me with sacred memories.

One in particular is out there suffering right now and I cannot help her because the only help she needs can come from her connection with her creator.

A few days ago we were laughing and having fun being silly and then next thing I know she is lost to this disease and gone.

Every time I have the memory of the last time I saw her face flash before me in my mind, so broken and so lost, I pray for her and hope that someday she follows the light to guide her home.

I love you Liz.

Why Do Some Get And Stay Sober?

No two human experiences are ever the same. There can similarities but really everyone has their own journey maybe only understood by the one having it.

As far as drug addicts and alcoholics, the mystery is how some people get sober young, some old or some never.

Some people get sober and stay sober for their entire life and some get sober and relapse, get sober and relapse.

I can’t even fully answer the question of my own journey. I often wonder what it was about me that just couldn’t get it and keep it.

Even though it has been my path I don’t regret any of it.

I try not to spend too much time “figuring it out”.

Trying to “figure it out” never helped me before.

Staying present is my biggest tool for peace in my life.

What matters to me most now is what I’ve done this far to have a new and different experience with the 12 steps and with life.

I see more now than ever before.

I am more conscious than ever before.

I have more courage, faith, belief, trust, awareness, calm, peace, joy, freedom and hope than ever before.

That is what is important to me today.

Falling to Pieces: Heartbreak

Last night I cried.

A lot.

I cried harder and more than I think I have in nine months.

Just the right elements lined up for the perfect storm.

I was just coming out of being really sick.

I’m overtired.

I’m over worked.

I’m trying to get over a breakup.

I’m emotional.

And for eight months I had been going to this AA women’s meeting, basically ever since I got sober.

For eight months I have been watching newcomer women, including all girls who’ve ever gone through my sober living, attend this meeting and feel alienated, judged, crossly spoke to and not felt welcomed, all at the hands of a specific group of women with years of sober time.

Girl after girl has shared with me over an eight month period that they have just felt just plain uncomfortable in that room.

The group of women who have been constants at this meeting over the years, have been breaking tradition by governing the meeting and the women who attend it, just for starters.

Last week, after the secretary harshly ordered everyone to “Stay off your phones” and directed it specifically at one of the new girls in my sober living, we all tried to get into solution about what we could bring to the meeting, instead of just walking away from it altogether.

It was important to me not to give up on it, since this is a meeting place where people from all over the world come to when in town and newcomers come to get sober.

This new girl, who gets anxious sitting for an hour and had been on her phone the previous week, was scared to death to go back into that meeting all together.

It was disappointing to watch her get judged and reprimanded in a non-loving way.

One of the girls had the suggestion to nominate me for secretary, with the intention of bringing some fresh speakers and solution based energy to the meeting. Although it was a commitment I wasn’t thrilled about taking for reasons I will discuss, I said I would do it, for them.

The reason I was less than thrilled to take the commitment as co-secretary of this meeting is because this group of people with time that I speak of, consists of of close friends of this this person I had been seeing and was in love with.

The relationship had just ended three weeks ago.

Throughout our time together, we had been on again, off again. We had struggled to find common ground. Unfortunately, what hurt it the most was the miscommunication. We both did our fair share of behavior we weren’t proud of.

I know I did.

However because the details of our relationship had been discussed at the meeting after the meeting, which was mainly with this specific group of women who hardly knew me other than what they heard about me, their opinion of me changed.

It made it hard for me to attend this meeting.

I want to make clear that I don’t in any way blame this person I was with for anything that happened last night as a result of what these women had heard about me, though initially out of anger, I did.

This person did not do anything wrong and was also powerless over the outcome. I could tell they were extremely uncomfortable with what went on and I feel for this person too.

We both got caught in the middle and that breaks my heart.

I wish I could tell them that.

So the girls and I attended our first business meeting, last night, at this meeting.

What set the tone was the fact that when the business meeting was announced by the secretary, she omitted that they would be voting in a new co-secretary, purposely.

They clearly already had someone in mind that they wanted to make sure got voted in, the current co-secretary’s sponsor.

All of the girls from my sober living sat on one side of the table while on the other was this group of women. The way we were treated by these women can only be described as extremely unwelcoming.

They were far from excited to have fresh new people take interest in the meeting or AA for that matter and we were treated as such.

It’s not about the fact I didn’t get the commitment, at all.

I didn’t really want it.

It’s how it all went down. How they were treated. How it flew in the face of everything AA is supposed to be.

And I felt powerless.

It was about bringing hope to something they wanted to change for the better and for the first time in their lives, sober, took part in an effort towards change.

The looks on their faces when I walked back in after the so called “vote” said it all. They hadn’t been allowed to speak, had been cut off, shut down and not treated as an equal part of the whole. Though others were allowed to speak out of turn and question, they were not.

After sitting through this meeting, where the secretary glared at them and when they didn’t accept other available commitments spouted, “Are ANY of you here for a commitment?”, I felt the burn of anger well up inside me.

Long story short, I got pissed, said how I really felt to those women about what they were doing and stormed out of the business meeting.

What bothers me the most is that whatever information these women were operating off of about me, came from the person I loved. Ironically, before we broke it off, they had been the first one to suggest that I run for secretary.

Their best friend, who knows everything about me, knows how hard it has been for me to build a life away from the city where my children live, knows I have a full time job here and have no plans of moving back to where I was from, called me out before the vote questioning whether I would stay for the duration of the commitment. She also questioned my length of sobriety, though the current secretary had the same amount of time when she was voted in.

It was intentional and hurtful.

I had once been so close with those two.

One of the girls asked me last night, as I sobbed on the front steps, “Did you ever even cry over your breakup with this person?”.

The answer was no.

The floodgates opened last night to everything I had been holding onto, not just that.

So after stomping my feet, crying and letting it out last night, today I begin looking at my part.

I don’t want to get lost in the story of it all. I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to blame.

I want the solution to this.

I want to be free.

The Story of Goodbye Letters

Today I decided to scroll through and delete notes from my notepad on my iPhone. I wanted to create more space as I tend to use this feature for everything under the sun. I write things to remember, addresses, books and documentaries I want to read and watch eventually, test run emails to send, write out blog posts and many other things.

When I went back to the earliest of notes, which were written before I got clean and sober this time, I found some things I would’ve liked to forget.

Actually, I HAD forgotten but this journey through my notepad was a jarring reminder of the life I had led, the things I had done and said and the space I was in mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Among the documentation of dates and events for my child custody lawyer, the pleading email drafts to my children’s father, the accusatory text drafts to his on again/off again girlfriend and the delusional words of a lost little girl with no hope, I found a draft of a suicide letter I had wrote to my then 14 year old son.

In the last few weeks before my intervention, I had reached the point of making it my mission to leave this earth. There was nothing in me that believed there was any hope of a way out. My fate was to die at an early age with a tragic ending to a tragic story.

I had given up. I had tried in multiple ways to end my life but something or someone always intervened.

While in my car on one of my three day disappearing acts, I decided I better write a goodbye letter to my boys. I guess I decided to intend that these letters get to them on their eighteenth birthdays.

In these letters I explain to my boys that I just didn’t know how to live anymore, that I loved them with all my heart and I would be watching over them in spirit always. I was deeply saddened for leaving them but there was no other way.

I knew I had left them in my car where they would be easily found. I don’t know what ever happened to those letters.

What I hadn’t remembered was that I wrote them first on my iPhone notepad, which is where for the first time sober, I got to read them today.

It was like reading an excerpt of a book written about a fictional character or taking a peek into the life of someone else. I felt sadness for this girl.

She was so scared, alone and hopeless that she felt the best she could do is take her own life and leave behind her two beautiful sons because she felt they would have a better life without her.

She felt she had nothing left to offer the world or anyone in it.

It’s been over seven months now and how she, or I, have changed can only be described as a miracle.

Today my life is full of purpose and joy.

I have a full life of family, friends, loved ones and a fellowship that has risen up around me through simply being kind, loving and of service to others. Most of my days are happy, joyous and free. I strive to live life as fully as I can with new experiences every day. I am always learning new things about myself and others which bring me closer to who God intends me to be.

This miracle has happened only through working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which brought me to know my creator.