Surviving is not Thriving, My Story.

My Story to Recovery

The background (ages 5-13)

I was born into this world from a people with a history of addictions. My parents came from some pretty messed up backgrounds. My father is a man that was an alcoholic and drug addict. He made his living as a mechanic. His father was an alcoholic native American Indian who left his mother when he was born. His mother I have never known but I heard she had a lot of mental issues. My mother was a very co-dependent woman who took beatings almost daily after my father was long gone in mind altering substances. She was 1 out of 9 among her siblings. 4 out of the 9 became addicts. Few have recovered. 3 are suffering with either disabilities or mental disorders. Her father was also an alcoholic and my mother spent some time in a group home where she was molested during childhood. No one believed her. Her mother was not very loving but an Irish woman who was a perfectionist and work hard to raise her 9 children. (I remember one day when my sister had fallen off a garage roof and I brought her back to her house bleeding. My grandmother promptly yelled at me to take my sister out of her house because she was bleeding all over her clean floor.) They say brokenness is passed on from generation to generation. I’ve also heard hurt people hurt people.

My earliest memories during childhood were straight chaos and constant survival. When I was able to walk and was just starting to comprehend the world I remember nights of hearing screams and fighting. This happened almost daily and I could remember falling asleep to them. My sister was about a year younger than me with a learning disability. She used to wake up crying so I would take our blankets and make a bed under our bed and rock her to sleep telling her everything would be okay until we both eventually passed out. This particular night I started to do my same routine. I got settled underneath the blankets and my sister fell quickly asleep as I gave her a bottle. I was laying there (4 ½ years old) I knew something was wrong I could feel it. There was silence and it scared me to the core of my little body. I got up and crawled from under the bed and made my way out into the hallway. I still heard not a sound so I headed toward the light I seen on in the kitchen to the little apartment we lived in. I turned the corner and seen a beat-up woman sitting in the chair with her hair pulled back and a knife up to her throat and I screamed “Mommy!” The man looked up put his knife down and ran over to pick me up. I was sobbing realizing that these were my parents and I didn’t understand what was going on.

The day after the horrifying seen my life yet again shifting into another phase of horrifying events to come. I found myself in my car seat driving down these back roads. All I seen was trees and mountains. I wasn’t use to that coming from the city where I seen was drunk people, homeless people, abandon buildings, and needles on the ground in most places we walked. My mother was in the passenger seat and there was a man I was slightly familiar with in the driver’s seat. I liked him he was nice and It was nice to see my mother laughing.  I don’t know what it was but it was different and it felt safe. We stopped at a motel and headed out in the morning to a house where about 3 or 4 families resided. I was told this was my uncles and his wife’s house and we would be staying her for awhile until my mother could find a job. My uncle’s wife was about 300 lbs and man was she mean. I didn’t like her too much and she smelled. I was very sad. I wasn’t happy and I was lost. At least there were some kids to play with. They were very nice and so was there mom. I really liked their mom a lot. In the back of my head the words from my dad that night promising to take me to the park the next day lingered for years. We stayed there for quite awhile all us kids would be at home with these two 300 lb ladies. One was very nice and her husband made the best Spanish food. My uncles wife was not so nice and we were made to do her chores and cook for her. Every once in awhile I wad called into her room (that smelled badly) and I got into trouble for something. I was beat with this wooden stick for about 3 minutes straight. I cried for about 20-30 minutes and then was sent on my way. I felt like I was always being targeted and could never do anything right no matter how hard I tried.

My mom and “step dad” finally got their own apartment. We moved in and my sister and I got these great bunk beds. I got the top bunk because I was older. The room was very small but it was nice and we were right down the street from my new school. I could have dealt without the constant lice in my head but I loved my teachers and my friends. Then it started. The alcohol came back. The screams came back. The fighting and being up all night. I’m not sure I have ever really slept a full night’s sleep since I was born. Then something weird happened. My step dad started crawling in my bed a night. Then it wasn’t long before it became regular routine. At first, I didn’t know what was going on then it made me extremely uncomfortable. The abuse went on for years after. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin I started to get out of the situation by going back to my uncle’s wife as much as I could. It was better there to be beaten with my clothes on to have felt the way I felt when I was trying to sleep.

That was the start of my life. Then as time passed and bad things kept happening and I tried to keep running I just found myself in more and more situations that I begin to dread what was going to happen the next day and the next day. The world moved around me and I felt like I could never stand. We kept moving and the drama came with us. The abuse lasted until I was 13 but the craziness continued years and years after. I had no hope. I fought for strength every morning. I was lost and alone. I was confused and very angry. I was so angry I started fighting back for my survival.

 

The start of it all (ages 14-16)

I first picked up a drink when I was 14 years old. I didn’t like the taste of it at first. It was Budweiser my step fathers drink of choice. He always has a lot of it. I figured since it made him feel better it might make me feel better. I felt sick. I continued to steal a can or two every now and then. My tolerance level kept rising. I started to hang out with people older than me. My foster sister was a couple years older than me and she hung out with older guys already. It wasn’t before I knew it that I started smoking cigarettes. Then after that I begin to try weed. I only smoked weed when I was drinking and someone had it available. I never tried any drugs because ironically, I was scared of the outcome. I didn’t particularly like the weed either but for some reason when I was drinking I didn’t care and I just did it. I use to make it to all the parties during this age also. This is when everything really started flowing. My step dad finally stopped abusing me and I started fighting back. When him and my mom got into arguments and they fought I would physically fight back. I was angry and I lived with a rage. I got into as many fights as I could and made sure no matter what I would win. I got jumped a couple times. I fought people to the point of them really getting hurt most times the people around had to pull me off before I really did some damage. I was popular though. I lived life with out a care and you couldn’t mess with me. One night I was at a store with my 5-year-old little foster sister. I was robbed at gun point. I stayed up for nights at a time scared to death. I literally in my mind thought I was going crazy. My mom ended up admitting me to the hospital. I sat in a room where they stripped me naked and made me wear white clothes. Once I got out of there I wanted to kill myself. Life continued even after I tried to take some pills and end it.

I started selling drugs and getting involved in gangs around the age of 16. I never joined but I was always hanging out and did work for them. I didn’t want to make a commitment or be tied down by anything. I got arrested and skipped town for a week or so while I had a warrant out for my arrest. I met my sons father during this time. He was a Latin King. We got together and his mom kicked him out of his house. He got a room so I left home to move in with him. He cheated we got into fights. He decided that his best bet to get out of south side Bethlehem was to join the marines. I decided the same thing so I joined the national guard. When you join the National guard with parent’s permission you can enlist right away but only in this branch. You can sign a contract during meps admission before basic training. So, I began to train with them while in high school. I then got pregnant. My sons father was about to go off to basic training and we both felt like we were too young at this point to have a baby so we got an abortion. I was devastated. He bought me a ferret and I honestly took that thing around with me like a baby. It died of heat exhaustion the day he went to basic training. My love was gone, life was ripped out of me, and my replacement baby had died also. I was a mess. My mom and step dad decided they were going to jersey for the weekend and I refused to go with. I ended up throwing a party at my house the weekend they were gone. I got totally annihilated. Apparently, I did a hell of a lot of stupid stuff that night and slept with almost 3 guys in the same night. My friends had to put me in the shower. They thought I was going to die. I wanted to die. I wanted life to be all over and I wanted to be nonexistent in the world. I didn’t know what to do the morning after. I woke up and I cried for almost three days straight. I promised Jimmy that I would do good things while he was gone. I had so many grudges against him for finding out he was cheating on me while I was pregnant. I justified for months. My emotions and my heart were all over the place. I couldn’t take it I literally felt like I was going insane. I ended up writing him and sent him the letters while he was at basic training. Well, that didn’t go well either. Then I felt like the best thing I could do was leave so I made arrangements to head out to basic training right away and just get my GED through them after I had finished. So, I packed up and away I went. After a couple days there I felt like I was going to die. Right before they put you on a plane and fly you out they do a physical and start to give you shots to prepare for your training. I tested positive for pregnancy still. I was crushed. Needless to say, the ride home with my sergeant was a very long one from Harrisburg. I had to come home to face a heck of a lot of stuff and explain to my mother a trip to jersey without her consent to get an abortion because that’s the closest place it was legal. I also had her and my sergeant explaining to me how I could have died because I wasn’t taking my antibiotics. I tried a second trip to basic training while having another long ride back yet again because I didn’t turn in paperwork in time and my unit received discharge papers. I made it half way there twice but unfortunately that’s where my rode with the army ended. The rest of age 16 was drinking, sleeping around, selling drugs, and fighting. The end of my high school days half of the people called me white Tyson and half of them were hiding behind bushes to jump me.

The Changes

When jimmy returned from basic training he said he was going to be willing to work things out and that he still wanted to get married. The first weekend he was home he rented a hotel room at hotel Bethlehem. That’s the night I thought we had made up. He was home a little while we spent sometime together and he had to go to AIT school. It’s a more laid back basic training pretty much. You go and its training for your MOS (your military job). We decided after he left that I would come visit him while he was in California. I bought a plane ticket and flew out there alone. When I got to the airport I was extremely exhausted. I called him for an hour straight to tell him I made it and where is he picking me up. There was no answer. He finally texts me and said he wasn’t going to make it to pick me up. He said that he wasn’t aloud to leave base to come get me and he probably wouldn’t be able to spend time with me while I was there. I cried for hours at the airport before he called me back and told me that I should stay at the USO (they have them at every airport for the soldiers that are waiting for open flights). They have food and beds. Good thing my military ID hadn’t expired yet. I slept at the USO but was determined to make it to him. So, I hitch hiked with some guy for two hours. I figured I could trust him since he said he was a marine. I called jimmy and told him I was on my way and somehow, we spent a couple days together riding around Cali. I believe that this might have been when I got pregnant with my son.

I called Jimmy and told him I was pregnant. He hung up the phone after saying that I was crazy and that the baby wasn’t his. I knew it was, I wasn’t sleeping around at that point. He gave in after I broke into his email, his voicemail, and his facebook. He came to see me and talked and asked me to reassure him that he was the father. He said I should just back off and give him space. I continued to look at his stuff for three months. I heard a voicemail of another girl telling him that she loved him and could wait to see him. I had an ultrasound appointment and decided to go to music fest after. I ran into him and the girl holding hands. I had the pictures on me. I screamed and yelled and made a fool of myself at music fest. This crazy woman (not really close to a woman at this point in life) saying she’s going to do all kinds of mess of things while waving around ultrasound pictures. It was fantastic. Just to make it clear. I didn’t get anywhere and it never solved anything. We talked maybe on an off until my son was born. I lost contact completely a month or so before my son was born. He was shipped to Afghanistan. I gave birth to my son. I fell into postpartum depression pretty bad. I literally wanted to kill myself. Good thing I lived with my mom. I don’t know what would have happened. She woke up in the middle of the night to find me on the bathroom floor crying my eyes out saying how much I couldn’t take it. I didn’t tell her I wanted to die but she went into the room because my son had been crying for a half hour. She said that I needed to go straight to sleep and that she would take care of him the rest of the night. I went in my room thinking that I could possibly kill myself and that my mom could just take care of my son. I cut myself and then fell asleep. When I woke up I knew I needed some kind of help. I made a couple of phone calls and then shortly after I found the church.

I didn’t hear from Jimmy again until he came to see his soon when he was 4-5 months old in the middle of the night. Then he stayed the night at my apartment. After he left and pretty much got what he wanted I didn’t hear from him again for a while. I was broken again. I just had gotten my apartment and found a higher power and then slept with him again and felt like I went back one million steps. I was reassured by a couple women and started going back to church and completely gave myself over because I knew I was out of control. I was doing well. I started back in school and I was working full time. I was doing what I had to do. For some good couple years, I didn’t drink or do drugs. I had a purpose and wanted to get my life together. There was a feeling of loneliness that I had a hard time shaking. I started dating this guy who was so emotionally unstable and out of control. It took a while to get away from him.  I still slept around a little with a couple of guys I knew from the past here and there before I gave that up all together. Then someone gave my now husband my number and he text me. We went out on a date and it became like four dates in one. We definitely wanted to see each other again. We started dating awhile and he met my pastor and they had meetings together. I fell in love with him. Shortly after we started dating I found out that Jimmy had gotten married. I felt like my prayers we being answered and I was to move on and God had put this man in my path for a reason. We started the path to marriage. We argued a lot before we got married and we were even going to pre-marital counseling. I felt like I should cancel the wedding and I held a grudge over the way I felt for awhile after that. In my head I believed I made a horrible mistake and I wasn’t meant to marry him. Before we got married was my 21st birthday and we both got really drunk at a bowling alley and my mom drove us home. We never slept together but I woke up in my room naked. He said I wanted to but he didn’t want to take advantage of me and I respected that. We also got drunk quite a few times on our honeymoon.

The not so happily ever after

The first year of marriage was hell. Things came out in me I didn’t know or expect. I turned physically abusive. I didn’t drink much but I was pretty darn miserable. I immediately cried out for relief divorce. I wanted to run. We did intensive counseling for a while with my pastor but it wasn’t helping. He was mentally abusive. He said I was cheating all the time and used my past against me number of times. I don’t blame him though because all I did was run. That’s what I knew. Neither of us took responsibility for our actions or wrongs and we both had our own rules to life. We had a lot of great times but we struggled a lot. Then shortly after we got pregnant and then we found a house. Then the drinking came back slowly. He would text me sometimes to pick up 40’s at the store on my way home from work. It was nice at first because it put us both at ease. We would get alone and relax. As the years went by the drinking started going on a roller coaster. Before I knew it he was going out with friends. I was going out with friends. We went out together. We started buying alcohol for parties. We started throwing parties just to be able to have alcohol. We made the excuses that every holiday was a good time to drink. We stopped counseling for a while. I started to get bored in life and I wanted and needed a change. So I decided I was going back to school because I didn’t want to do a back breaking job and for goodness sake I forgot I was on a mission in life to be better than my family. I was determined to graduate. He said the money wasn’t there. So, I protested and put in full time at work and said I will do it on my own then I don’t need anyone. The money was great because it was double what I was making. I started getting the urge to be able to spend more money also. I went to the bars more often with my friends. I drank wine just to write my phyc and sociology papers. I was doing great I was getting Straight A’s. I got obsessed because my gpa was going up every semester because of how great I was doing. I don’t know I was surprising myself that I even had the potential. Inside I was going crazy. I had this overwhelming drive inside of me that was really just pride building up. I felt like an adult. I was making moves in life and it was great. My marriage was standing on the ledge and I was exhausting myself with life but I didn’t care. I had one focus, survive. One determination be better and overcome where you came from. I wanted to beat the statistics I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to have everything together. I was on a mission like a solider in battle.  I was going to win the war but on my own. I didn’t need anyone. I was all I had and ever had. I thought so much of what I was doing was normal and right and that I wasn’t wrong in anything.

The falling apart

Something happened. There was another shift in the universe. I talked on the phone to my sons family and they expressed some concern about my son and my husband. The concern was that he was being abusive. I got my clothes together I packed and I left. Something in my head snapped. The triggers from the past came up and I wasn’t going to have anyone hit my kids. My poor husband I left him completely in the dark and ran. Like I’ve always done. I ran with minimum explanation and so much anger. A few days after I left I got a phone call from CPS. This only confirmed for me that everything was true! That was the finial bomb in my head. It was pretty much over for me. I needed to keep my kids safe and if he didn’t want to be in our lives well all well because I had me and I was my kids mother so all they needed was me! I could do this I would figure it out! I was going to survive. It was he was going to shape up or I was going to do what I had to. He was so confused now that I looked back and I didn’t even realize that when I wasn’t around he was drowning and doing the best he could. Life was so misconstrued and things were so chaotic. I again turned to the bottle once again. I used it to cope with all the chaos in my life. I slowly started to not care about anything. It was what it was and I based every choice every decision off my feelings. It was sad because most of what my feelings told me was that I just didn’t care. Then during this whole battle, I still went out with friends and still tried to juggle all aspects of my life. I wanted the happy family but was taking no steps to make that possible because I wasn’t content and I was very confused. I wasn’t happy and I felt like my world was blowing up into pieces. I got a message on facebook from a guy I used to date in the army. He was always in and out of my life because of deployments. I hadn’t talked to him my whole marriage. I didn’t hear anything from anyone and now people were starting to come around. People who were bad for me started attracting to me. It was like a flock. I however, didn’t see that they were going to be bad for me. I just felt like I had people who were interested in who I was. At first nothing was sexual and nothing was in plan of leaving my husband. Although, the way things were going I lost all hope. I lost all hope that anything could be at all. I responded to text messages. One night while I was at work I got a message asking me to come over and have a beer and catch up. Sounded like a good idea to me. I had every intention on just hanging out with an old friend. Sure, we use to sleep together but that was years ago. I was married now just in a crappy situation. What could it hurt? I went and things went very far. It was like an evil entered into me that night and it drove me even crazier than what I had already been. That was the start of my endeavor of my promiscuous life style of affairs. My husband finally came home and things started settling down a bit. We still drank together a lot. And it just kept increasing in numbers and frequency.  He would complain that I was drinking too much but I protested till my throat was sore. In my mind no one was going to control me and I was going to do what I wanted. I started hating myself. Little by little everyday it was harder for me to look in the mirror. I didn’t understand how my life got to be this way. I couldn’t understand the choices I had made. I was more and more lost every day. The whole 6 lives I was living began to spiral out of control. I could no longer successfully control any area. I still fought though. I was honestly fighting myself. I was fighting for my sanity where I wasn’t sane at all. I was truly crazy and needed help I just didn’t want to admit my weakness. The voice in the back of my head kept screaming “Survival!”

The road to no where

2017 started off with death after death. My uncle fell down the steps and ended up in the emergency room. I went to the hospital and my Mom left and said she would be back. The doctors approached me and told me there was nothing else they could do. CPR was pointless. They opened the curtain while he was on the machine. It would bring him back and then he would die again in less than a minute. It was horrific to watch. I felt like it was my decision to pull the plug even though the doctors said it was a medical one. I left the hospital feeling defeated. The funeral consisted of having to face my life long abuser. I thought in my mind that I did well. I went home with anger in my heart knowing I was the way I am because of all the trauma he put me through. I didn’t talk to anyone I held it inside. I couldn’t sleep my life was falling apart but I was damn sure going to survive. The next news I got was that a friend of ours had committed suicide. He just started on Prozac and put a gun to his mouth in the woods. That was funeral two. I played with his kids and the pain just hurt. I drank the whole funeral. I’m glad I wasn’t driving that night. The pain was real. The doctors tried to put me on antidepressants for awhile but after that I was very opposed to help. Any help from anyone not just medicine. I felt guilty because I knew I was feeling the same way he was. I knew if I had the guts I would do the exact same thing for sure. But, the kids. Their sweet faces and poor spirts unable to comprehend that their dad wasn’t coming home. I had been waking up with a hang over when I got the next phone call. This broke me pretty bad. I called my mom back after receiving like 20 text messages call me please. Please call me. I already felt like crap after drowning yet again the night before. My foster sister had been murdered. She was 19. She was me in a younger version. She went through a lot of the same stuff. Similar stories. I took care of her as a baby. I gave her baths. I did her hair. I took her to the parks. I was there for her and then I disappeared in my pursuit of getting out. Making a better life for myself. I forgot where I came from and when I got out of that lifestyle (well at least I thought I dId) I didn’t offer a hand back. I was overwhelmed with guilt and shame. I tried to give back as much as I could. I helped with the funeral. I planned the whole thing an organized payment. I went to the funeral home and helped do her hair as she laid there breathless. I felt like life was way to short. I felt what the heck am I doing with my life. Where did I go wrong, how can I change things what can I do. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!!! I drowned. I drowned a lot. I drank to feel better. I drank to feel better after drinking and feeling crappy. My family was concerned. My friends were concerned. I hid bottles. I drank and had bottles in my car. I started drinking during the day. Then another phone called. My nephew’s dad overdoes. I drank more. I drank and I drank. I fought. I knew I was in trouble. I laughed that I was an alcoholic. I could handle it though. I was building up a tolerance but I was happy because that meant I could drink more. Life was spinning around in my head. Then, one night I was caught in my affairs. Welp, I drank. Then my husband started calling lawyers. I was all over the place. It kicked in that I was going to lose everything. That not what I wanted I truly did love my husband. What have I done?  What have I become. I moved out and stayed with a friend in her two-bedroom apartment. I cried and drank 90 percent of my life away. Then others around me warned me not to go to nursing school. I went one week before I knew I had to withdraw. All my dreams were falling and burning down around me. Inside I was screaming so loud. Inside the pain hurt so deeply. It would be better if I wasn’t here at all. All my problems would go away of I could just get away. I tried to fight for what I had. I needed to get everything back. I didn’t want it all to be lost. Nothing was in my control. I had to feed the hurt inside me. I had to feed the guilt, the pain, the exhaustion, the confusion, and the brokenness. I had to keep feeding it. I began to be obsessed with drinking. It’s the only time I felt like alive. I was dead otherwise. I was extremely dead.

The end of it all

My husband graciously gave me another shot. He said that he would try to work it out. Now there are two people very confused living in the same house with a huge elephant in the room. The only way I could make the elephant smaller was to drink and keep drinking. I began to get really drunk episodes and get extremely violent. I would break things and my kids started to hate me. I got to the point again were I just wanted to die. I was slowly getting stuff back but, in my head, it was just too good to be true. What good did I deserve and everyone was already out to get me. I was waiting for the bomb to go off. I was waiting to wake up alone on the side of the street with none. I didn’t deserve anything anyway. Who am I? That was the big question. I completely lost all of who I was. I never even really knew who I was anyway. I thought and begged and pleaded for my life to just end. I even had some messed-up thoughts that if only the doctor would diagnose me with cancer. Then I would die a slow and painful death. I would take that right now over anything. Maybe I got watch people appreciate me a little more before I went. I lost everything. One morning after planning it for about a week I bought alcohol and was going to clean my whole house from top to bottom. I was going to get that basement done. I was ideally going to be super women and the alcohol was going to help. My husband came home knew I was drunk but by that time I didn’t care. DENY DENY DENY. Then got mad that he was mad??? I was insane!! I drank more he came home. I had gotten more. All of a sudden of course im drunk now. You made me do it. So just let it be now. I wasn’t action right I didn’t even know what I was doing. I got gotten charges for hitting him before while I was drunk so I decided to leave the house. I found a nice line of trees went into them and laid down. This is where I’m going to sleep. I was determined. That didn’t last long I was freezing. I came home and all the door were locked. I went into a frenzy. Everyone was gone. My nightmare was coming true! I went into our shed and I screamed YOU TOOK EVERYTHING. At the time I was talking to my husband. Later I realized that my addiction was slowly taking everything. I broke into my bathroom window. There was blood everywhere. I stole money from my daughter’s piggy bank because I couldn’t find my card. I drove to get more. I came home and started talking to people on facebook. I’m pretty sure I might have been saying bye but I don’t remember. I tried cutting myself. Somewhere in my arm was an artery somewhere. I was sick of surviving. I was done. I just couldn’t find it. Some how and old supervisor of mine was at my door. We sat down we talked for a while. She gave me lots of water and I fell asleep. I woke up and thought I should have been dead. I wasn’t and I had no choice but to start listening to other people because I had failed miserably. I surrendered!!! The white flag was up. I checked myself into rehab and they came to pick me up to take me to detox that night. I spent the next month in a half in a facility. It changed my life.

 

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Thanksgiving! 

 The holidays are a great feeling. It’s something that leaves an in print in your memories. Each holiday has a beautiful meaning. Thanksgiving is a fun day to celebrate gratitude. Gratitude is an important thing and affects the way you live. I know we should be thankful everyday. We should be constantly reminding ourselves of the good things we have and be content in our lives. Gratitude is apart of our geniune joy in life. I spend too much of my time complaining and not enough time just being content. I struggle a lot letting my Feelings get in the way of the truth that should cover my every being. I am the biggest interference of joy and satisfaction in my life. God has been doing great things in my heart recently and I am growing in a huge way. I am learning that life is way to short to keep taking steps back. I am learning about contentment and I am finding my joy. I use to think about the very few things I could be greatful for on Thanksgiving. The normal answers like, I am thankful for my family, my friends, my job, and my house. These are important but they don’t mean anything if your not content. It’s been a really long journey for me in my life but I am coming through a lot of hardships. I am leaning that it’s ok to be me. It’s perfectly fine to claim who I am. Contentment has been a big lesson. See when God moves in your heart sometimes it hurts first and then it starts to make sense. My story matters to him. My life matters and it is beautiful. So on this Thanksgiving I am truly thankful for the love, mercy, and Grace that I have received in the hardest darkest parts of my life. I am also greatful for the trials I have had to endure because it made me who I am. It destroyed me but also taught me and rebuilt me. My contentment comes from a new understanding of being thankful. 

Rain, rain go away

Early recovery is hard! I have been busy up to my eyeballs in things I need to do, people to keep in contact with and appointments. I have to schedule my aa meetings or I simply won’t get to them. I have to keep documents on my life like the irs is always after me. I am exhausted. Problems don’t go away and it’s emotionally exhausting. However, it’s been the greatest I have ever been in my life. And the storm eventually subsided with some of my relationship issues. If I’m patient and have faith it really does work out. I have to understand that some of my issues stem from my own actions. Consequences are brutal sometimes. The positive thing I keep reminding myself is that if I stick to making the next right choices today becomes my past and I won’t have to deal with the consequences of today because I’m doing what I need to be doing. What a blessing. Everyday is a new day and a new opportunity to learn and grow. The rain outside this next couple weeks might not stop. But the storm in my life won’t be as wicked with time. Change is possible and I want it bad enough. Everyone makes mistakes. They honestly don’t go without Justice no matter how much we think we get away with it at the time. Fortunately, when we love ourselves enough to take responsibility for it and deal with it, there’s respect in that. Some days my emotions aren’t so much in check as others but my purpose is different. I have goals and I’m no longer bring lazy to chase after them. I’ve learned how to appreciate the little things. Life is worth it. I’m living out my second chance!

The freedom of 90 days!

 

Celebrating 90 days!

 

On mother’s day, by the grace of God, I celebrated 90 days sober! I actually get to be a decent mother this year was the first thought that came through my mind. Its amazing just to look back and see where I was three months ago. Well, its slightly horrifying to know that person was even me. The amazing part is seeing who I am becoming. I have such a warmth in my heart knowing that my spirit feels so free. I am looking onto a brighter future and the growth i have before me. I am so excited to think about so many opportunities I am going to have no that I’ve put the bottle down. I’m still working on putting the bat down but as I heard tonight, “On demon at a time.” I am still jumping into this program feet first and it has been a great experience thus far. I’ve had some bad ones but it would only be an excuse if i let that get in the way.

I am changing so much as a person I am surprising myself. I’m learning about the person I can be. I’m seeing my true personality in sobriety that I never knew I had. I’m jumping for joy even realizing my name. Amanda. Yeah! That’s me, this is her. I’m proud of being able to live in such joy in positive most of the time. I look around me and realize that life hasn’t changed one bit. The problems are still there. I just don’t have the glasses on anymore so I can see it in a different light. Life didn’t get anymore easier, in fact I think It became a lot busier and more stressful. However, its not more that I can handle when i’m not leaning on my own understanding. The weight of it has been lifted. I can see the stars a little brighter and I’m a bit more grateful when I wake up in the morning. That has changed everything. It works, it really does. My prayer life has grown in ways I feel connected more than I ever have. I feel wanted. I have a purpose. One day at a time!

Feelings and living

  1. Name an emotion you wish you can no longer feel and why.

Fear! There are probably a couple of emotions that I could name that I wish I could no longer feel. In all honesty, I think the roots to all my negative feelings relate to fear. I get anxious because of my fear for tomorrow. I get worried for fear of all kinds of what if outcomes. I have a great fear of failure and I think it ripples out to every aspect of my life. This really sparks up my obsession for control. I fear what might happen every moment to the next. Since my past was so negative growing up I always fear the worst possible outcomes. I start to make up scenarios in my head that aren’t true because the fear takes over and forces me into my primal brain. There is no logical thinking there. There is only reacting. Fear has me living in this survival mode. Fear causes me to think I need to be in the drivers seat in my own life because if not I will loose and loosing is not an option. Its kill or be killed.

 

2. What do you think you are missing that prevents you from living life to the fullest?

I am the one who prevents myself from living. I allow my survival walls to stand in the way of allowing myself to be happy. I play back and fourth in my head the thoughts that tell me “I am undeserving of being successful and happy.” I constantly self-sabotage any chance of fully living because of my fear of failure. I need to let go of trying to play God. I need to learn that in my weakness and surrendering I can be strong. I am the only one that stands in the way of my own happiness. It depends on whats going on in the inside of me not whats on the outside. I am not defined by my circumstances. mistakes, past, success, failure, wins or losses. I am defined by God and the spirit that lives inside of me.

Weakness and happiness thoughts

Frailty is something the human race tries to avoid. The reality is that we are so easily broken. We choose not to admit how helpless we are for fear of taking a hit to our ego. I am frail both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Physically I am not invincible. At any time out side circumstances can swoop me up and destroy me. You never know what tomorrow brings. Emotionally I am fragile because I can’t control the feelings that come with life. I am beginning to understand them but they are inevitable. Spiritually I am fragile because there is a battle between my flesh and spirit. I am fragile and that’s okay, I surrender. There is something wrong with all of us. Accepting weakness is not accepting defeat. When we are able to accept our weakness there is strength in that. There is growth in realizing reality. We are a world full of broken and fragile people. We tend to forget that when we see our neighbors. Reach out a hand, we are all the same. We need each other to do this life together.

Happiness, like love is a choice. It’s choosing to find gratitude in every circumstance and situation. True happiness and joy calls for a particular perspective on life. That perspective being that the world is bigger than you. A perspective of God’s will and not your own. Looking at life asking why am I here and what can I give rather than a sense of being owed something. We find true happiness when we find acceptance in things that are out of our control. We choose to embrace rather than fight. We chose to love rather than hate. Happiness is a gift, choose to hold onto it.

Addiction to me

Dear Amanda,

In your weakest moments I found my greatest glory. In your times of trials and tribulations I acted like your closest friend. I whispered lies of comfort in your ears. I promised you a new hope and freedom. I took away a piece of you every time, tricking you into your own destruction. I made you think you could count on me and that I would defend you at all cost. I was really in the corner planning on what I could take next. Every time you cried, I jumped for joy at your misery. I was there that night you screamed that you were loosing everything. Instead of taking part in that responsibility that I played, I acted like I didn’t even know you. I made you think that you were crazy. The funny thing is you can’t stop me. You continue to love me unconditionally but I give you nothing back but guilt and despair. I humiliate you until you cry out that life is hopeless and you begin to dig your own grave. Everyone around you doesn’t understand how your life got so broken. They look at you and think, “it’s a shame, what a waste.” Just when you think it might end, don’t you worry I’m not done yet. As long as you have something I’ll be waiting to rob you like a thief in the night. As long as your still standing we will forever be the fake friends we were destined to be.

Sincerely,

The bottle

Letter To My Addiction

Dear Bottle of bliss,

I miss the way you comfort me. The way you make everything make sense. The feelings when your around don’t exist. They literally don’t exist. I feel nothing after the first couple sips and before I know it i slip into your bliss. That sound you make when you open up sends a signal to my brain that I just can’t resist. It’s funny how after the goes down numbers two and three easily wiggle their way into my grasp. Slowly after that the world begins to disappear. I fall into a state of emptiness.  A place of pure nothingness. I like being here living without a care in the world or time to tell. However, there is something that goes wrong each and every time that I need to get off my chest. I need to be brutally honest with you we are not a good fit. Although we get along so well, I apologize if this might be hard to hear. I realized that this is not a two way relationship. The morning after we get together I feel horribly sick. I left myself and have no memory of the things I could have did. Every time the morning shine wakes me from my sleep, I open my eyes and thank God I didn’t die. I try to get up and my head feels like it’s trying to push through my skull. I need water but it’s hard to even get out of bed. It’s a necessity that you took from me and drained me to the bone. I’m tired of you sucking the life out of me. I don’t want to do this anymore. When I finally make it standing is when the puke forces it’s way to the surface. I fall on my knees and for several minutes over a garbage can. Do you see what you do to me? I don’t know if my feelings for you can ever be the same. I make it to the kitchen and thankfully fill my body with water. Another thought comes and I wonder if you even care about me at all? My feelings start flooding in now that I’m not with you. The pain overwhelms me and I have no choice but to cry. Nothing hurts me more than just wishing I could die. I stumble into the bathroom and I’m caught off guard by the glass. Something went wrong, very…very wrong. I shake my head as the memories slowly fade in and out. I notice the bloody wall and I look at my scars. I turned into a monster last night and now I’m left with all of this. My family is gone and my phone is missing. I have nothing left to give. My life is slowly falling apart and I no longer want to exist. I wish so bad all of this was a bad dream. I want to take back all we did together! I want to change it, and make it new. I start telling myself that this is the last time for us. I’m done with you, no more! I make the promises and tell myself how hard I’m going to try to keep them. I can’t be with you anymore it’s just not going to work. I try to keep my mind off you. The more I think, I start to plan on how I can still get to you. The thought of drowning in you and not thinking seems like the easier way to live. I don’t understand why you have this hold on me. I don’t like to be controlled. That’s it it’s settled we need to separate. If not I’m going to loose everything. I can’t bring myself to chose you anymore. It’s you or all the rest. Your bringing me down and it’s only going to get worse. I don’t want to be on this course. I’m past my limit on this roller coaster ride. Its not fun anymore! I hope your really paying attention. I hope you hear me! Your killing me inside. I love you! Wait, I meant to say I hate you! See you later, ugh I meant never again. This indecisiveness just wont leave my head!

I have to go now,

xoxo F-you

Amanda

Don’t Judge Me By the Chapter You walked in on!

Chapter one

Born to an addict and an enabling women. Born into a life that was not chosen. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter Two

Staying up all night crying at the screams. Filled with fear and uncertainty. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter Three

Walked in on in attempted murder. Dependent on these people with chaos in their eyes, lies in their heart. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter four

Ripped from my home and taken on a ride. You thought the wheels were turning to a brighter future. The instability was hurtful. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter Five

The road wasn’t as bright as you thought it would be mom. Now the tables have turned again. Beatings and misery run through your head. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter Six

The nights continue with untold secrets. My bed is not safe. I’m five years old and I’m introduced to a new world. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter seven

I don’t feel like I’m a person. I don’t want to live. I told you my story and you just hid.I’m screaming so loud but no one hears me. Life isn’t normal it’s not meant for me to live. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter eight

Fuck it, I’m done. No more do I care. I’ll do what I want. I’m keeping it real. I don’t know how to love nor do I care. It’s me against the world. Stop me, I dare! Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter nine

I don’t remember my day but I know my night wasn’t fair. The pain of the barrel, the tightness of your hand in my hair. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter ten

The night is silent not a sound in my ear. He tells me to be quiet so no one can hear. I want to cry but I’m not aloud. I turn my head and try not to make a sound. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter evelen

I finally found love. I think I might just be okay. I sacrifice everything. I sacrifice everyday. Then he tells me the baby can’t stay. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter tweleve

I fly out to Cali because you said it would be nice to see me. It’s not fun to sit at the airport alone at 16, you see. I put my heart on the line but you had hurt on your mind. DO you know what you did to me?

Chapter thirteen

A vision of hope to come. My soul finds peace. I see life a little different but it only temporarily tames the beast. A child in my hands but a single mom I am. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter fourteen

Commitment comes fast and rolls in with a new plan. The relationships hard and I can barely stand. Codependent and mentally drained, I slip back into old patterns, more patterns of pain. Do you know what you did to me?

Chapter fifteen

Now I’m breaking windows and scaring my kids. I woke up sick and can’t believe what I did. Now I have a choice rehab or my life. I don’t know what to do so I decide to roll the dice. Do you know what, I DID THIS TO ME.

Let’s  take a look Amanda at the actions you chose. You spent a lot of time crying that nobody knows. You fight for control over all that you lost. You forget what he did for you up on that cross! You forgot what you learned, the words that were spoken. Your beautiful, your loved, and worth it even broken. It’s time to step up and live the life you were given. Surrender, relax, and take pride. You are forgiven. Take a stand you only get one of these lives. Just don’t forget, be humbled, surrender, love, and believe. You have the rest of your journey, live it on your knees.

 

 

 

 

What higher power looks like…

Growing up I didn’t have much of a higher power. I went to church with family occasionally on holidays but not much more than that. I remember being apart of a church van program for a little bit for a while in my preteen years. They use to come to pick me up on Sunday mornings in a van. However, all of it started fading out completely while the alcohol and drugs became more appealing during my teenage years. I knew there was something bigger than me in life but I always though of it more as success. If I could only make it. I needed to do better and be better. I was cool when I went to parties I wanted people to like me. I wanted to go to college, I wanted good grades, I wanted the big house and white fence. If only I had more things life would be better. I was tired of not having milk for cereal on day I so wanted a bowl. I was tired of not being able to do or go anywhere because of no money to do so. I started a program and began to work at age 15. I began to be the person who always had money. So, I got more friends because I was able to buy them things when we went out and I gave a lot of it away. The more I gave away the more I knew I had to work to get back. I worked at a job I loved. It was at a art gallery. I spent a lot of time paining and putting up art work. I felt above my other friends because they didn’t have jobs and when they did get them it was at a mc Donald’s. I promised myself that I would never work at a mc Donald’s for as long as I lived. I wouldn’t be one of them people. I prayed for to a higher power during this time like a genie. There were so many questions and doubts in my mind. Especially, at this age of life where I started being able to comprehend a little more of what life was. Why and where are you god? Why are we poor? Why wont you give me the life I wanted? Why was my step dad a drunk and why did my mom lack education? If your there, you know give me a sign. All I wanted was a sign that he was there. I guess I started to see him as every other man in my life. He would come in when he wanted to and would leave when he chooses. He said he loved me but only when it was convenient for him. Then it started to really get to me. Why is there a higher power and why should I listen? I mean come on I didn’t need anyone telling me how to live my life. Religious people think they know everything. All they do is judge and I don’t know who they think they are. Why shouldn’t I be able to have sex before marriage and gosh smoking is fun! I didn’t want him to take away the fun stuff in my life so I started to ignore him. No one ever spoke of him anyway and it didn’t seem to be very important to the people around me either. If no one spoke of him is he even there? Always in the back of my mind was there something constantly nudging me. Something that saved me from a lot of bad choices and lost roads. I don’t know how to explaining but it’s always been with me. I just choose not to give in.

 

When I was 18 and had my son. I wanted to commit suicide. There was nothing left for me but a crying baby that I wanted to take care of with someone else but he had left me too. I just figured there would be someone else along the road that would probably take care of my son better than I ever could. I don’t know what happened that night but something was speaking to me. I got on my computer and I search the internet for something greater than me. I wanted to take a look at this God thing again because I didn’t quite understand it. I search all different religions and they all lead me to one conclusion. What ever it was I needed it. I choose to start looking into this Jesus character. He seemed like he had it all pretty figured out. He had a lot of confidence and he was really a nice person. The kind of person you want on your side of the game. I made a phone call and I got a random persons number and later on that week I decided to take my 3 month old son and visit this random house. The first visit there was great. They had everything I wanted. I figured if I did what they did I would surely make it. It definitely worked out for awhile and I achieved a couple years of sobriety. I believed with doubt. Some of the things seemed unusual for me. I didn’t get a lot of it and I didn’t practice much of a prayer life. I got married and everything started falling apart. I started to take back the little power that I had given over to this higher power because my way should have worked out a little better than what he was doing with it. I started to slowly forget all the things he had done for me in my life. It just didn’t weigh out because I wasn’t happy following the rule book nor the authorities. No one knew what was best for me but me. I went straight back into this survival mode. Kill or be killed. The tough survive. I wasn’t grateful for anything. I completely was a negative person in denial.  I still believed in god but I didn’t have a personal relationship with him all I had were things that sounded nice. They were good things but why should I have to work for them. I didn’t want to surrender. I didn’t want to let me ego down. I didn’t want to be wrong. I didn’t want to fully accept what a broken person I was. I didn’t want to accept I wasn’t in anyway perfect. I thought I had did this in the beginning when I accepted Jesus as my savior but I didn’t surrender.

One day at rehab, I was walking this huge horse down a pathway. Now I felt proud of what I was accomplishing at the time. I was doing it. I had it! This horse starts dragging me down the hill and theres no way of convincing this horse to stop or slow down or even do anything that something way smaller told it to do. The therapist watched me as I used all my might to not get stepped on and gain control of the situation. I hung on as long as I could, waiting for someone to jump in and just take over. Well no one did. I didn’t know what to do to be honest. It flashed in my head of my life and my journey thus far. I was shattered. I can’t do it I told myself. I asked the councilor as I was extremely exhausted WHAT DO I DO!!!! She said I don’t know what do you do? I said well if I don’t get some help this horse it going to drag me and Ill have no way to stop it so I need help! She said asking for help isn’t an easy thing for you is it. I said I need help! At that point I surrendered to the fact that I needed help and I couldn’t do it on my own. Someone stepped in and started teaching me how I could control the horse. We walked down the path again, the horse and I and I walked proud of what I had just learned. I was able to control the horse and felt more confident and happier than being dragged and exhausted. This was a huge concept for me to learn and one I struggled with for most of my life. The lesson I learned from that experience was one which god was trying to teach me through the bible. He gives us an example of how we so desperately need relationships and why. One of my favorite poems that I carried with me through most of my life was the foot prints in the sand. I never could really comprehend the carrying aspect of the poem. The whole thing sounded amazing but I still felt alone in my journey. After this experience it was like layers of film were being removed from my eye. I could begin to understand all the concepts and life lessons I had over the years. Floods of hope began to pour into my heart. I just needed to surrender and let help in. I had to give him everything. I knew from that day God couldn’t just be this idea in my head. God wasn’t just a man in the sky demanding that I follow him or die. He wanted a relationship with me. He actually cared about the small stuff. He actually cared about my other relationships and even when it doesn’t seem like he’s there he is. He works in everything for your good. Including other people who have had more experiences than me and people who were willing to guide me. I was missing a big part of my life. I was missing the importance of relationships because of living in the loneliness for so long. I was missing the surrender part. I was missing the fact that life was bigger than me. I was also missing the main key..love. Material things don’t matter, getting high doesn’t matter, and success isn’t measured from what you have on the outside. It is measured by how much you store up on the inside. I found happiness in relationships, I found happiness in things greater than myself. I found trust in something greater than myself. I found god on the inside of me. For the longest time I was convinced he was only external before I realized there is a reason that he wants in. The changes don’t happen in the circumstances, the changes happen only on the inside. So, I allowed him to take the drivers seat and I began to start feeling whole. I would like to say that that was the end of the lesson. Nope! There was another piece that I was missing. Another therapy course with the horses. I found myself once again trying to get this stubborn horse through and obstacle. Well, she wasn’t having it. She fought and fought me. It took me almost a half hour before I remembered. Hey, what worked before? O, I think I might need some help. Again, I wondered how I found myself in a place of survival. In a place where I could do things on my own. Then god said to me, how easily you forget. I knew from there on out that this was a daily battle and if I let my guard down how easily I become astray. I realized that this life is a daily battle. I have to do this every day. I have to surrender and depend on God every day. I need to be in constant prayer with him and communication. How else did I think it was going to work? Relationships and life take work. Its constantly making that one right choice after another. I got to the point where I knew, God and only god would do for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I knew it was going to be a constant battle of which wolf was going to win that day. The one who lives is the one that you feed. This was a concept I learned from the same friend who jumped in and helped me with the horses. I teach this to my kids to explain the power of surrendering to god and fighting the flesh of men. I learned to stop fighting and just trust that if I asked god for the right things he would bless me. God to me is my sustainer, creator, provider, and my happiness. Without him I couldn’t breath on my own. All he asks of me is to choose to do it his way. I had nothing left my way wasn’t working. I gave it a shot and it saved my life. His promises are true and his mercies are new each and every morning. I’ve learned to take things “just for today.” I’ve learned that we need each other in the world. I’ve also learned that to change the world the battle begins on the inside first. When you change what your doing, you take a different prospective on the world. From Mathew west,

“I woke up this morning

Saw a world full of trouble now, thought

How’d we ever get so far down, and

How’s it ever gonna turn around

So I turned my eyes to Heaven

I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”

Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of

People living in poverty

Children sold into slavery

The thought disgusted me

So, I shook my fist at Heaven

Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”

He said, “I did, yeah, I created you”

In conclusion, my higher power is how I make it through life. My higher power is what gives me purpose. It’s the reason I was created. I am a sinner and I constantly don’t meet up to any standard of perfection. I’m here on this earth to learn the lessons he wants me to learn. Build loving relationships with him as my center piece. It’s for me to share experiences, learn from experiences, and do the work on the inside of what only life can teach me. God is there to help that happen and for us to lean on him, but we also have the choice. I choose light. I choose love. I don’t do it in perfection, but I do it in growth. He wants good things for me. Happiness is a choice. Living out your purpose is a choice. Let god do for you what you can’t do for yourself. You are only responsible for the choices you make in your life. And the world around you aren’t responsible for yours. It might not be your fault that you grew up in rough times or had alcoholic parents, or was abused, or didn’t have everything you needed but you are responsible for how you react and what to do with life now. It’s never too late for change. You are not a lost cause. You can choose to be better, that is your responsibility. I learned the more I take responsibility for my relationship with my higher power, the more I learned and grow. He takes care of me when I let him. It’s mind blowing and God isn’t able to be fully comprehended but all you need is faith. Take a leap! I actually live life now. I actually love life now.

 

 

 

Purposefully, gracefully, shattered and crushed

I am a little rough around the edges and I can’t say that my head is exactly screwed on very tight. I might seem a little crazy and out of the ordinary at times. However, there are times where I am completely normal, serious, and strictly by the book. It comes and goes in phases. I strive to search for truth and other times I could care less about tomorrow. I bounce back and forth between this free-spirited person and the perfectionist. I can’t seem to get a hold of which one I want or can be. I am wild and conservative. This makes no relative sense, but I don’t think I ever have. Let’s continue.

This might not be a happy story from the beginning but, there is a beautiful constant continuation of this journey.  It depends on how you see it. I have learned life is all about perspective. Perspective defines our life. Attitude and understanding is how we should live it.  How you see is how the world matters. How you act and what you know makes life, the way it is for you. Perspective, attitude, and understanding changes the future.

Let me explain that I am not looking for readers. I am writing because I like to. I don’t care if its ever read although I plan to share it. I only plan to do that because of testimony purposes. At first it was meant to be mere journal of thoughts, but god has made it a little more than what I had expected. I only planned it to be words, to help my walk-in life. I realize now that your walk-in life influences many others. The main point is that connections, matter, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what they are, or who they are connected to. In the end it’s for god’s glory.

Once upon a time….

There was a girl. She was afraid and discouraged. This was Contrary to the word of God. She didn’t understand God. She was a true broken, a mentally misled gentile. She had no hope for the future and watched many actions that proved to her that life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. She seen only what she could in the four small corners of her life. Sadly, she reached for all she could and obtained all she had be given but it amounted to nothing. She was born January 14th, 1991. This is by far an exceptionally small date because she was an exceptionally small person in our atmosphere. She was another statistic left to go through life terribly damaged. In all reality she is one out of every four people you know who delivered a baby girl. Statistics fail to explain stories. Statistics are incapable to go beyond the number because than it would cease to be a statistic (Just a number). This is something to highly think about. What do the worlds numbers mean to you? My name is 1:4. Amanda is my birth name, my paper given name, but I am One out of four.

I am one out of four. My name rarely matters. It is because I normally slip deep into the darkness because of lack of hope. Normally my kind never have access to telling what we go through. We normally get lost in the crowed and labeled as worthless. Most times it isn’t our fault but we are fully blamed for our trials and dysfunctions. We grow up abnormal, abused in a “loving way”. We were tricked into thinking we were important as we were hurt and damaged.  Our minds were taught so untruthfully to trust so many lies. The hurt and damage we endured, we believe as normal. The disgusting lies we believe were love is really only our dependence on these sick people to survive and grow up. As our lives pass us by, we 1:4, lose who we were meant to be. We become distorted and confused. We struggle emotionally, mentally, and physically. When you are a 1:4, you are different forever.