Saturday, January 31, 2009

Prayers for Amias

Just a quick note on this busy Saturday afternoon. This is a request for prayers for Amias's daughter Mary Elizabeth. You can check out the link next to my blog it is called "The Prayer Hubs". Mary Elizabeth is fighting cancer. Like I said you can check out the link. I just wanted to post that I really have a lot of empathy for this family as cancer runs in mine as well. mom died of lung cancer, her sister of breast cancer, yes in this day and age women still do die of breast cancer. I also have lost a number of friends to cancer and I have a number of friend fighting this disease.
So while I do not know Mary Elizabeth personally or her beautiful family, I know what they are going through and I will be putting a prayer in my "God Box" as well as a request to my fellow bloggers to pray for Amias and her daughter. The power of prayer os mighty strong and i have seen it work miracles. Thanks for reading, today's thought; "We are all angels with only one wing. We can only fly while embracing each other."--Luciano De Crescenzo

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today, Just Rambling

Life isn't always beautiful. I can attest to that. I haven't been to the gym all week, I missed meetings I was supposed to go to. My sponsor has not called me back and I have left a couple of messages asking her to. I have not had a full nights sleep all week and I am dragging butt today. My am I tired, I am grateful though it is a good tired. My oldest will be going to see the child psychologist or what ever it is called this afternoon. I am so overwhelmed with the amount of doctors appointments I called a friend in recovery to talk about it since I could not get a hold of my sponsor.
I have fresh roasted coffee from Uganda. Coffee is good, I love my coffee. My boyfriend is a home roaster and we just had some wonderful Guatemalan coffee. He says friends don't let friends drink Folgers. Coffee helps so much, especially when you are blessed with really good coffee, and I must say I am truly blessed. As weary as I feel I am not complaining, it is just the way I get it all out of my head to get my life in perspective. My oldest let me hold her last night to comfort her. I think she might just be coming around, a little. I have hope that maybe some anti- anxiety medication in place of everything else she has been taking might actually help. my fear is that I will not ask the right questions or that maybe I will cave into what the doctor thinks is 'best'. I really want to try a very mild medication something to just calm her down enough so she can apply new coping skills. If that doesn't work then I would be willing to try something else. So I am a little anxious, especially since she is still in extreme pain from the costochondritis and I can't make the pain go away. A lot of the pain though is from all this anxiety, so all we can do is wait and see how it goes today.
My dear friend, Darra from "Life as I know it" is in a lot of pain today as well. She is dealing with her little girls birthday today. Her little girl died so very, very young you can read her story if you click on the link. Please keep her in your prayers she is going to be having a rough week.
So I know I am blessed, I have never had do say goodbye to my babies. I am blessed with being able to be honest and just get this out of my head. I do still need a meeting though and I will go tonight. I might even get to the gym this afternoon. My honey told me to take a nap with the kids today, I might just try that too. So even though I am weary, all is not lost. I have hope, and if nothing else I get to read how everybody else is doing in my blogging community and I wish you all a great day too. I really love the poetry and witty writing that everyone does.
One thing I haven't talked about is my little brother, and I know he has been a pressing issue as well. I know I am powerless but I still worry so I think maybe I will share a little about him in tonight's blog, just to get it all out.
I have such a beautiful life and sometimes it makes me feel guilty because I watch those around me struggle and go through hardships and it gives me gratitude and guilt at the same time. You know like I don't deserve all this good stuff. and I should not complain because I am so lucky in life. So I am really not complaining I am really just putting it into perspective, because I do have it good today and I am very grateful for that. Thanks for listening, today's thought;"It's not the load that brings you down. It's the way you carry it"--Barbara Johnson

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday's Gratitude List

Gratitude List

1. I am grateful for the sounds of my 2 little girls giggling in the morning to wake me up.
2. For my new found sense of responsibility to my family and the stability and structure I have learned to create in the household.
3. I am grateful for the 12 Steps of NA.
4. I am grateful for the warm sun coming through the blinds right now as I type.
5. For Tyra and Jen for giving me the idea of the Wednesday Gratitude List.
6. I am grateful for today, and being able to sit in this moment and enjoy life.
7. I am grateful for my relationship with Wes, who so graciously took in my family and provided a place for my mother when she needed it most.
8. For my home, I complain about it being small, but it is not in danger of being lost to the bank and I am grateful for that sense of security.
9. I am grateful for my sponsor, who goes through the steps with me. I would not even have a gratitude list without working the steps.
10. That naptime is over and I can play with my beautiful girls.
todays thought; "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." --Erin Majors
What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Life's a Blessing

Oh what a wonderful day we are having here in the Wichita Metro Area. We have about an inch of ice covering everything and there is a light snowfall coming down. And I am grateful to be here all warm in my cozy little house. With my sick teenage daughter. Who is crying because her chest hurts. Poor little thing, I am waiting to hear from the doc what to do. We spent Sunday evening in the emergency room because her chest hurt so bad and I just didn't know what to give her, I mean the doc has prescribed 4 different meds one of which has a barbituate in it. With Wes and I in recovery we want to make sure Adrianna isn't being pumped full of dope. Her Primary Care Physician (PCP) gave her two allergy medications to take together last week because she thought that the chest pain was related to the allergies, but the ER doc said it was something else and gave her different meds on Sunday night. I called the PCP yesterday morning to find out about the safety of giving her these new anti- inflammatory and pain meds and to see if A needs to take the extra allergy medicine and she never called me back. So I called again this morning, not right away thinking she must have decided to call us back first thing today so now I am waiting again. My poor baby had me up last night because the chest pain medicine that the ER doc prescribed doesn't work well and her chest is still in pain now my little honors student is missing day 2 of school while we try to figure out what is going on with her. On top of that she sounds like Marlon Brando in the Godfather because the new allergy med she was taking gave her a fiery throat. After "googling" the med online we found that one of the allergic reactions to the meds is an itchy scratching throat so we stopped taking that on Sunday before we went into the ER but now she has no voice.
This is my baby who is still having trouble dealing with the death of my Mom. She has been in counseling for about 9 months now and she has been given medication for stress headaches. One thing I read about the "diagnonsense" the ER doc gave her is that "costochondritis" is caused during times of extreme stress. This is going on when she isn't sleeping at night, she skips out on breakfast, refuses to take a lunch to school and is tripping out over HUD inspection which takes place tomorrow. HUD has to do with JROTC which she is heavily involved with. Her plans are to go to either West Point or the Air Force Academy, provided her eyesight doesn't keep her out else she plans to attend KU and study Forensic Anthropology. This kid is smart y'all, I ain't even joking. She is taking 10th grade math and she is a freshman. She is on the honor roll and is taking Honors English, Honors World history, Biology, Geometry, and I don't know what else but she only had 2 "B's" and the rest "A's" on her report card. She will be a sophomore before the year is out because she is ahead in credits. So for her junior year she is going to enroll part time at WSU as a guest student and get some college credit before she graduates. I recommended taking a legal aide course. It is two semesters and she can go to KU while working as a legal assistant instead of the lucrative field of waitressing. Then she would get work experience while going to college. I mean she is a smart kid guys and yes I am bragging, but who wouldn't!?!
The problem is she is so stressed out she is physically hurting herself. The stress isn't from school, she skates through that the stress I think is from me. You know she is my "using survivor child". And while mommy was out gallivanting around she developed skills to survive the emotions of mommy disappearing. You know the survival skills we all use in times of crisis. The problem though is that she hasn't stopped using those skills. And it is time to stop. And she doesn't know how.She is full of anger and resentment and grief and teenage angst. And it is making her completely sick. So now we may turn to an anti anxiety medication to try to help but I need to speak my concerns with the doctor and see how to proceed.
So while we wait inside this nice cozy house i will watch a scary movie with her during nap time. You guys enjoy your day now, I know I am going to enjoy spending time with my little Einstein.
Todays thought; Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.- Orison Swett Marden

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lemons and lemonade Awards

First I would like to thank Fireman John, Tyra and Cliff over at gone bananas for giving me this wonderful Gratitude award. I have spent countless hours going over directions on how to create a link in my actual blog, and this morning trying to put the lemonade stand in my blog. I have Surrendered! Hence a little creation of my own the picture above. I do want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, this blogging experience has been so rewarding and I feel a great sense of responsibility and gratitude to everyone who comments and reads my thoughts.
I really tried to figure out the whole link thing, I think it will require the assistance of my "uber geek" boyfriend to figure it all out. I couldn't even put the picture on my page, I tried to download it to my computer and that worked just fine but when I tried to upload it on to my page there was an error. So I made my own little gratitude award, or "Surrender Award". I haven't been able to read up and see how everyone is doing all weekend but the first person I did read up on was Lou at "Subdural Flow" and I believe that this is definitely a very fitting award for her. I am so amazed at the level of honesty and love that she puts into her blog and I wish her all the best. My second pick will be Laura from "Enabling Love" for her powerful words of honesty. It takes a great deal of courage to sit down and be honest to be able to let go and live life. I feel that is what I read when I am at her blog. The next award will go to Syd from "I'm just F.I.N.E....". Syd is an inspiration to anyone who is trying to learn to live with an addict/alcoholic. His level of surrender that he writes about through the program he works gives insight to anyone who reads his blog. If you don't believe me, just look at his list of followers. The next "Surrender Award" goes to J-online, she has one of my favorite blogs. It is so simple and honest it is like I get to be a part of her world for a few minutes a day and share in her triumphs and tribulations as she takes her journey into recovery. It is a blessing to see the surrender that she is giving by reaching out of the isolation of her disease to the connection of a recovery based fellowship that teaches us how to deal with all of life's curve balls and shows us how to love the little things in life again, thank you J for your work. Next is Woody Jr. over at "Sobriety". Woody has just recently celebrated 30 days and the level of honesty he shares in his blog is so captivating. It is truly a gift to be able to see him surrender a little more everyday in his writing and I am glad I found his blog. Tyra from "Finding Happiness" just the name of her blog suggests surrender. I feel truly blessed that she allows us to follow her in her journey towards happiness and I love watching her surrender each time I read her writing. I would also like to give one to Prince Naki of "Thoughts and Opinions" his incredible way of capturing life through his words and pictures is such a treat. Thank you Prince Naki for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us. I also think cw2smom from "Wearing my heart on my Sleeve" for letting us share the love in her life and allowing us a glimpse of what it is like to let go of a son, seeing him off to Afghanistan, and her surrender each day with teenagers and life on life's terms, I really enjoy reading her blogs. Of course my list wouldn't be complete without Fireman John from "Stop, Drop and Recover". What would my day be like without the privilege of reading how he uses his subtle humor and blog site itself to capture the insanity of Alcoholism/Addiction. It is truly a joy to read and I highly recommend you check him out. Last but not least I give this "Surrender Award" to Darra over at "Life as I Know it". She is one of my dearest friends and I love watching her spirituality grow in recovery. Her lessons in life teach her the meaning of surrender and give her a sense of serenity each and every day.
Sense I haven't figured out how to link directly in my blog please feel free to click on the link to the right of my blog to visit any of the sites I mentioned above. And for those of you who have been awarded you don't have to pass it along, but if you want to feel free to do so. I chose ten of my favorite blogs but you can pick as many as you wish. Thanks for reading. Todays thought: "You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise."--Zig Ziglar

Friday, January 23, 2009

the rules of the game are simple. you are assigned a random letter and you should then post 10 things that you love that begin with that letter. if you read this and want to play, leave a comment that says so, and I'll assign you a random letter. and on and on it goes.
Steveroni assigned me the letter "I" and it has taken me a few days to figure out ten things I love that start with the letter "I".
1. Inspire: This was by far the easiest one. I love to be inspired, to be outstanding or brilliant in a way.
2. Ironic: The thought that random acts of life can collide together humorously. It is funny when that happens in life.
3. Intelligent: The dictionary describes this as revealing or reflecting good judgment or sound thought. I like that I am becoming more intelligent in recovery.
4. Insight: I see this in myself more and more everyday, the definition I found is the act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively.
5. Integrity: I have searched my soul for this asset my whole life and I am grateful to say that today this is one of my favorite words because I do have integrity by definition it is the quality or state of being complete or undivided, through recovery I am complete in myself.
6. Illuminate: This is such a beautiful word and just reading it makes me think of spiritual thoughts as in the definition intellectually or spiritually enlightened as through the steps we become.
7. Instance: This is a moment I love this word because the moment is now.
8. Ideal: I love this word because it is a nice way of saying perfectionist and while I know i will never be perfect I can still live with my Ideals.
9. Illustrate: To make clear is the definition of this word and I love the idea of recovery illustrating what a beautiful place my world is today.
10. Isotopes: Not only do I love saying this word, it is fun to say out loud, but the meaning is any of two or more species of atoms of a chemical element with the same atomic number and nearly identical chemical behavior but with differing atomic mass and different atomic properties. My daughter told me this, she is going to be a forensic archeologist, and that definition describes addicts perfectly. We come together for a common purpose from different backgrounds but from the same place of loneliness and despair. We behave the same but we are all different our diversity unites us.
So I had to use a dictionary and find the time to put this all together and thanks again Steveroni this was a lot of fun. I will get the "Lemonade Awards out soon, but right now we are going to have breakfast and I am going to go to the gym and give the lap pool another go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feelin' the Burn Baby!!

It's official, I am a sloth!! I am so out of shape I can't stand myself. I just got back from the Y and only did 2 laps in the pool and my back is killing me, and I feel like I am going to throw up!! To give you some perspective, it takes 70 laps to finish 1 mile and I ran out of steam with 2!! I even had cramps in my side. I have a slight head ache and I have water in my ears. Needless to say this does nothing for my self esteem. I should have just done my 20 minutes on the elliptical.
So what is my lesson in this venture, I don't know, but I do know that I am out of shape, unless you compare me to a pear!! So I really need to quit waffling with the gym I go then I stop. I make excuses not to go then I go for a week. What am I to do with myself. This water in my ears is really annoying, could that cause infection. I haven't swam in years (thank you captain Obvious) and it is very humbling. No let me say how I really feel, I was humiliated with myself. Here is the funny part, my arms aren't tired and neither are my legs, it is everything in between that hurts, I don't even know if I can eat dinner. I don't even swim in a straight line the life guard blew her whistle at me. OK I am really tired of being overweight. I am tired of needing really big clothes. I know that I need to work out for my health but I really want to lose weight. I refuse to take diet pills and my biggest problem is my appetite. It is like I eat to stuff my I don't know what but I am stuffing something and I don't feel good not having energy. I think I need to try swimming more but the only reason I even got in the pool was because my daughter was there. I have a fear of going out in my swim dress by myself.
I am so frustrated with myself and I needed to share that. Also I need to share that I have less time to blog because of thing one and thing two, note the cute picture at the top, they need constant attention and I need to be more productive at home since this blog doesn't bring in any income and we need to tighten our belts like everyone else and I feel like a big bill instead of a help. I really need a meeting but tonight I need to take my daughter to counseling and then the night will be over. I will listen to a meeting when I get home. There is an internet radio station called euphoria recovery and it plays NA speaker tapes 24 hours a day, so I will tune in to that and catch up on the comments of what the rest of my blogger buddies are up to. Maybe I will tell you about my wayward brother and the wonderful letter I got from him this week. For todays thought:"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."-Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A good Day

Wow what a weekend, I am so excited about Tuesday!!! I have finally received a letter from my wayward little brother, it didn't say what I wanted to hear, but I can always talk to my sponsor about that, we are going to take the kids to the zoo today!! I can't wait to get some pictures of my girls feeding the animals. It is so nice outside you would think it was spring time.
I am extremely sleepy right now and I am fighting it like mad but I think I just need to take a little nap.
The Merchandise chair for our convention resigned today and I told the committee that I would step up at the convention to help, one of the duties of the merchandise chair is to sell merchandise at the convention, technically I am not even on the committee but I have been doing all of the arts& graphics plus ordering the merchandise, I love our regional convention and I love to be a part of helping to put it on, you know me the little service junkie. Next week we have our area's annual Celebration of Recovery going all day starting at noon with workshops on NAWS discussion topics, this years workshops are called "Our freedom, Our Responsibility", and "Building Communication", which I have personally felt for a long time that our area is in serious need of and I just learned that our Regional Delegate will not be attending due to a family illness, his son is Colby, the one who needs surgery, but all is well the alternate will still be there.
So we went to the zoo today and it was so wonderful, the zoo in Hutchinson does not have an entry fee like the one in Wichita and you can take food in there so we were all set for a wonderful picnic with 60 degree unusual weather and it was so much fun. I really enjoy spending time with my family and my girls are so very cute. I have a lot of gratitude today and that is just where I am at for todays thought; "We are all angels with only one wing. We can only fly while embracing
each other."
--Luciano De Crescenzo

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inspired by Honesty

I want to share something with you and I need to do it before I lose my muse's. My first inspiration came from Woody, he has a blog called "Sobriety" it is in my read list right,.. there.. you can click on it and check him out. Woody has 24 days clean today, congratulations Woody you are a miracle!! He shared a very honest 1st step on his blog and I love honesty, it is so easy to look past it at others and turn around so you don't have to look at yourself. For my journey it took me a while to get through my first 3 steps and when I did I held on to them until I could learn to practice them in my daily life. They are my foundation to my recovery and I work them still everyday, so hold on to that Woody and keep doing what your doing. My next muse is from Lou who has an addict that she loves dearly and who I pray finds recovery, I really get humility in my life when I hear how we as addicts affect those we love and I am grateful today that my addict is not active. Thanks for the Joan Baez song Lou, I love Bob Dylan and I never heard her sing his song before, it was beautiful.
I recently finished my 6th step in which it reads "We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character"- It has taken me 36 years to understand what my character defects are and that I have a choice today not to act on them. In the step working guide it has a series of questions that you bundle together for each defect and the first question says to list the defect and give a brief definition of it, then it goes on from there with questions like how do I act on it, how does it affect others and what feelings do I associate with it. My sponsor tells me that I am very concise in my writing and she appreciates my candor because it shows a willingness to change. The character defect I hate the most is my anger, and I will share what I wrote down with my in my sixth step, this is about honesty and humility so keep in mind it isn't pretty;
Anger- to be mad, this is a very strong emotion full of negative energy that is very draining physically, emotionally and spiritually. When I am angry I yell, cuss, cry, break things, stomp, say hateful things, scream, hit my family, hit myself, pound my fists on hard objects, if I am driving it is dangerous because there are times I get in such a rage I can't see straight. I will rev the engine hard and race because I just slammed the pedal down and then I slam on the brakes. This is my ugliest character defect, when I act out on this defect is when I am the most dangerous. This is the one that makes me want to kill myself. I absolutely HATE this character defect and I HATE myself when I get in this defect. I scare my children when I am enraged, I get so violent I fear one day I might hurt them physically. Nobody wants me around when I am angry. I have been real good about not getting angry but the past couple of weeks have been really difficult for me. Because I am yelling more and more at my children. It is like I am turning into this ugly monster and I feel it like quicksand, the more I try not to get angry the more angry I become. It is having a very negative effect on my family and my spirituality. I feel more and more like a failure because I lose my temper. It's like a fight inside between me and my addict, and sometimes I feel my addict is winning. So, I associate every negative feeling with this defect. Name a negative emotion and I associate it with anger. They all apply, they all lead to the defect. I don't want to write them down right now because it will put me in a negative space. When I act on this defect of course I am using it to suppress some feelings like, sadness, frustration, disappointment, fear, the list goes on but mostly, today, what it is really suppressing is all the good and love in my life. That is why my addict likes it so much and why I hate it so much. Because never before in my entire life have I ever been aware of all the blessings in my life. I say "aware" because I had the blessings and love my whole life, I just chose or could not see them, and I have a choice today to see them and when I do I am happy inside because of what I see through this program. And when I am acting out on anger I don't see those blessings, and when that anger turns to black rage, everything that is good in my life goes out the window. My life would be almost perfect without this character defect. If I could choose only one character defect to remove this one would be it. The spiritual principles that I need to apply to this defect are prayer, meditation, love, honesty, more regular meeting attendance and humility.
That was just for my anger, I listed many others and I used up a lot of paper. I remember when I was first in the program and I looked at all the "oldtimers" who had smiles on their faces and before the program when I saw the earthlings (non-addicts) who didn't need anything outside themselves to be content I often wondered what was their secret. For me my secret is step work. It is funny when a newcomer hears me share about how I used to get angry, they say that they would never picture me as someone who screams or yells or gets mad, and that makes me feel good inside, I know that I am working a good program. I love that I am a good mother today who doesn't abuse her children it is like I have stopped the cycle of violence that has haunted my family for so long.
Like I said I was inspired by what I read in the blogging community today, from Woody's heartfelt honesty to Syd's deep thoughts, it is a great thing I think that you stuck it out, I wonder sometimes how Wes puts up with my roller coaster journey, we started dating when I had a year clean and he had 15, he is an addict but he is beyond all the newcomer revelations and he has infinite patience in letting me have my journey. I know it is hard to be a parent of an addict and I hope that if my babies end up down that road that I will be able to handle life on life's terms through that. I really just wanted to share that this is how it works, by being honest and looking at reality for what it is and not what I have twisted it up in my head to be, and for all you in recovery I just wanted to share that you have to get honest if you want this to work. That is why we say this is not a program for those who need it, it's for those who want it. Because if you don't want it your not going to do what it takes to get it, and I shared about the anger defect because I meant what I said about being rid of it, I think I am doing the right thing about sharing that one.
I'm going to go dance with my 2 year old now, she loves to dance -Todays thought; - "Integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people" -Spencer Johnson

Eating Habits

We had a real treat last night for dinner, BEEF!! Yes we ate beef!! I haven't bought any in over a year, with all the recalls and the issue that happened about the downed cows in California I stopped buying it all together. We buy ground turkey and we buy chicken and pork loin. We are really trying to keep a budget and with the price of steaks at a decent local butcher shop we just don't get to. Last night however a freind had told us of a local butcher who had Belgian Blue beef. This is leaner than chicken and is better for you than fish!! I know I had to google and look it up myself, it sounded to good to be true, grain fed no hormones or antibiotics and about $4.00 a pound.
So we had some brought over and we actually fired up the grill in 10 degree weather and had some burgers and steak. I felt absolutely naughty!! I even had a potato!! I may sound silly but after watching both my parents die from unhealthy eating habits, well mom did actually die from the lung cancer, but she also had diabetes, she was in end stage renal failure, high blood pressure, copd, chf, you name it she probably suffered from it and a lot of it was due to poor eating habits and I saw my future. My father was diabetic and supposed to take 86 units of insulin a day, he dropped dead right in front of me. Poof just like that and I know we gave him insulin and he would go downstairs and say "I got my insulin!" you know we were down stairs cleaning after he died and I can't tell you how many syringes still full of insulin we had found stuffed under the couch. He had stashed them thinking he didn't need them!! Well so here we are with out Mom or Dad and I am extremely careful about what we put into our bodies on a daily basis. This is something that I really have no one to share with about because people think I am crazy for reading every label and not buying the cheap stuff that's loaded down with chemicals!! My sponsor was over one day and she knows we don't buy anything with "high fructose corn syrup" in it or any partially hydrogenated none of that, and I like to get the Invisible Kool- Aid it only comes in one flavor and I have to go to Satan (aka-Walmart) to buy it and we also keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge, any way my sponsor was getting my girls some thing to drink and I told her the small pitcher is the kool aid, and she looked at me funny and said, "Are you sure?" and I said yea it's invisible. and she goes "wink, wink, nudge, nudge Oh, I get it, sure its invisible kool aid." I was like "Cat I don't lie to my children!!" I had to make her taste it to believe me, she thought I was giving them water and telling them it was kool aid!!
Anyway we are thinking about splitting a cow with a freind and that would give us some beef in our freezer for a long while. Really if you get a chance look up Belgian Blue Beef and see if you can find a local rancher in your area, I highly recommend it if you eat meat and go to great lengths to make sure you and your family have healthy eating habits you will be pleasantly surprised, and if you are not and you usually go and buy beef from a commercial dealer like IBP (aka-Walmart, Kroger stores most of your major chairs use the same commercial ranch to get their meat from) and are used to paying out the A** for it check it out too it is still Beef and it is much better for you and cheaper.
Oh and I wanted to mention my dearest freind Darra has recently started blogging, really recent and she is also in recovery, her link is on my sight he blog is called "Life as I know it" stop by and say hi, she is a real neat lady I am sure you will enjoy her as much as I do. I still don't know how to put a link into my blog but it is on the side of my blog, I will learn eventually.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Loving Memory

This is for Mom, today marks the one year anniversary of her passing. The following is a passage from my grandmothers book that I had read at my mothers funeral. The poem was used as well. I found both very fitting to be read at the services.

Sandra M. Estrada
January 11, 1945- January 15, 2008

Written by Jewell Bender;
It is right that we grieve for a time. The important thing is to realize that we are grieving for ourselves, for our sense of loss. We must never grieve for the deceased, because for him it is like a graduation from the material school to the college of spirituality. As long as we ourselves retain the breathe of life, our loved one is immortalized in the realm of our memories.
One of our Northwest Indian Chiefs is said to have written the following poem;

"Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quite birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there. I do not sleep

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Interview

Shadow sent me some questions for an interview a few days back. This has been a crazy week for me so here are my answers. Thanks Shadow for the questions they really made me think

1. What one magical power would you have and why?

I had to think about this one and I decided if I had a choice it would be "time travel", but only once and I would go back and ask my father if he loved me. He never told me that he did and that is one thing I would like to know. I wouldn't want unlimited time travel because temptation would make me change some things I did in the past and that would ultimately change who I am becoming today.

2. Which one thing in your life can you do without but would prefer not to?

This one makes me think. I would say Wes. I love him very much and the little co-dependent in me wants him to be hear long after I am gone, but I can live without him. I am fully capable of living in my own truth today and I do not need a man to do that. It would really, really suck and I do not want to think about it, but I know I would be OK.

3. What's on the top of your bucket list?

If I was told I was dying in a short amount of time there would be several things on my "Bucket List". I think the first thing though, would be hang gliding. As a child I always wished I was a little bird and wondered what it would be like to fly. Of course world travel would be on there because I would want to be everywhere there are so many places I would like to see before I die, but to experience flying like a bird, I always imagined that is what hang gliding is like.

4. What's your most annoying habit according to the people who live with you?

This one took the longest to answer because Wes said he wouldn't tell me. I had to promise not to get mad and to call my sponsor if the answer hurt my feelings. My daughter says when I get mad I stomp my feet when I walk. Also when I ask her a question and she doesn't answer me the way I want her to I give a big sigh. Wes says when we are talking he will be in the middle of a sentence and I interrupt him. I thought he was going to say something real bad but that is something that I do try to not do to him, so I didn't get upset, but I did sigh when he wouldn't tell me his answer.

5. You are taken on a shopping spree with someone else's purse. What would be the first thing you buy, price not being an issue?

The part about someone else's purse bothers me, but if I were given a chance to go on a shopping spree the first thing I would do is go get my hair done. I haven't been in a year and it costs about $150.00 to do what I like done when I get my hair done because of the length and thickness that that would be the first thing I got. It is so much more fun to shop when you feel good. And getting my hair done really makes me feel good.

The Rules
  • leave me a comment saying: interview me
  • comments with e-mail addresses will not be published to preserve privacy
  • i will e-mail you five questions. i get to pick the questions
  • you can then answer the questions on your blog
  • you should also post these rules along with an offer to interview anyone else who e-mails you wanting to be interviewed
  • anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog
  • it would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hi Mom,

You died on a Tuesday, I think about you every day. Today is your birthday, you would have been 63. I am very grateful that you were my mother. I can't say you always made the right choices, or you would not be human, but I can say that you always thought about us before you. I try not to dwell on the past and the mistakes I made, I know you forgave me a long time ago. I am so grateful for your forgiving ways, I don't know where I would be if I didn't have you to help me during my darkest hours.
You died on a Tuesday and I was afraid, I did not know where you were going, I just knew you were gone. I held your hand as you took your last breathe and I was afraid that you would not come back. I felt like a little kid who wanted to go bye bye with Mommy and this time I could not go. Do you remember the color of the sky the day you took your last breath? It was a beautiful day for a walk it looked a lot like today. I looked up in the sky and there were a group of clouds going by and they looked just like a flock of angels. Was it you going by, checking in on us? I like to think so, but I don't know. I do feel that you are at peace now and are in no pain. I wanted to cook you a special meal today but you are not here so I just wanted to say Happy Birthday Mom where ever you are I am thinking about you right now. I remember on your 40th birthday you were very surprised to come home to a black banner across the front door of the house saying "Over the Hill" but you were more surprised about the family I invited over and that I had made your favorite Turkey dinner. Only I was 13 and never cooked a turkey by myself. Dad told me to start it around noon since you would be home at 6:pm. I remember how you said it was really good but to me it was turkey jerky. I remember you asking me if I cooked the gizzards for gravy and my response was "What gizzards?" later we found them with all the other parts still in the bird. You got the biggest kick out of that and I am grateful that I had you as a mother.
You died on a Tuesday, and we had nothing left to say. You had stopped talking 2 days before but I had already told you I loved you. I already thanked you for saving my life and leading me to the doors of Narcotics Anonymous. We talked about the bad things I had done and you told me you were proud of me for quitting drugs. You never tried to guilt me about the actions of my past and for that I am grateful. I was scared to take you to the nursing home, but you couldn't remember what was going on anymore. I kept you close to my heart and you are not forgotten. My children will grow up knowing the price you paid so they could have a good mother. You left us so soon and this hurts so much, that while my little babies will not remember your touch I am grateful they will not know me when I was using. Thank you for your patience, thank you for your love but most of all Mom, thank you for giving me a life today that is more than I ever thought I would deserve. I hope I make you proud with my decisions and how I live today. I hope that when you read this you know I thought about you all day.
Do you remember your birthday last year it was on a Friday? We were there but you could not get out of bed. You wouldn't talk to anyone, but you asked for me. I held your hand and whispered "Happy Birthday" you smiled with your eyes closed and whispered "Happy Birthday to you too". You called for me on Sunday and the nurses said you were upset, you didn't know where you were and I came to calm you down. I sat there all day Sunday and held your hand with you, I rocked you in my arms and told you how sorry I was that I couldn't take care of you any more. You said me too, and that you wanted me to know you were doing this for me and Wes, so we could go on with our lives. I knew what you meant and I just held you tight. You never spoke again, you said all there was to say and you surrendered. I brought our Adrianna to see you on Monday, but you couldn't speak any more, so she just sat there doing homework and reading her poems to you.
I will always remember that you died on a Tuesday, it was unusually warm for January, it was a beautiful day for a walk. Happy Birthday Mom, I miss you so much I hope you are happy where ever you are.:

Living may be likened to a garden. If we plant love through kindness, love flows back to us. If we plant hate, enmity and malice flow back to us. At the close of the gardening season comes winter, we humans call it death, but death is only a transition; a transformation from a material body with material emotions and viewpoints to a more subtle form, the enteric or spiritual form. Those of us busy with living frequently do not choose to face facts that “there is a time to die”. We are forced to do so when a dear friend or close relative dies.- Dealing with Life and Death, by Jewell Janet Backlund, or my grandma

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tolerance under Pressure

Well we had a short visit at the hospital, my Haley had a rough time with getting blood work done. She has been every 3 months since birth to get lab work done but this is the first time she really knew what was going on, and she didn't want any part of it!! So after that I told her she could have a lollipop, those are her faves and she never gets them because sugar is bad for my baby. But Mommy had to go see her freind across the street first. So the visit was short but I found out more about Colby and the extent of his impending surgery. They are talking about going in and moving the lungs out of the way and all kinds of heavy stuff like that. This is why they need a team of surgeons to work on him and this needs to happen in the next couple of days. So lot's of prayers for Colby, Deb and Tim(Tim and Deb are his parents). Colby is Debs only son and he also has a 4 year old son. This is a very close knit family and all the prayers do help.
In other news this evening I made a big decision. This decision involves this very blog. I know you all have to know how much I cherish your thoughts and support, however I was going through my email and found a comment that I decided to reject. I did not come to this decision lightly, I know that having comments and word of mouth helps get the blog going, but you know the saying "Not all money is good money"? This is not good money. My program of Narcotics Anonymous teaches me to live life on life's terms and not Suzie's terms. It also says when I need to say something to be honest and tactful so please bear with me I am new with the tact. I know that there's nothing like a good controversy to attract attention. But I do not wish to have chaos and mayhem in my life today! I check out the fellow bloggers that leave comments on my blog and this comment this evening was disturbing in two ways, one OK how do I put this gently, well there's nothing gentle about it it came from an anti AA Jesus freak! I checked out the blog and it was just what I described and I have no desire to publish a comment from such a blogger. Sorry I just don't have the same beliefs as you so please understand. Gossip is the devils favorite character defect and I am not about to even go there and tell people about your blog because for the most part the bloggers in the community that read my blog kind of feel the same way that I do about our 12 Step programs and we do choose to come to our own understanding of our HP and we are happy with the lives we have been given and there is no need to go down to your blog and get angry at you. With that being said I will put a prayer in my "GOD" box for you, oh and by the way my god box is my mom's old Nicorette box that she used to try to quit smoking, there's no crucifix or holy scripture on it or a bleeding face of Christ, it is a simple symbol that has a special place for me. And with this, has anyone else ever gotten a crazy comment or a comment from someone who you were uncomfortable publishing? Today I leave you with this prayer that helps me when dealing with difficult people; "God put your arms around my shoulders, and your hands over my mouth!"-Anonymous

This Adventure called Life

I just cannot express my gratitude to everyone out there who has left me well wishes. Thank you J for blogging about my birthday, it was very awesome. My cup runneth over. So we went to one of my favorite restaurants, Saigon in Wichita Thai food very yummy, and I ordered my usual no. 49 it was fabulous. Then we went to the meeting and I picked up my key tag. This morning I spent up at the hospital, my friends son underwent surgery and there were some new complications so he will be in the ICU unit tonight and they may transport him to KC for a more complex surgery. I mentioned him before he is the miracle that survived being squished by a big piece of machinery, well he has been having trouble breathing and I think the doctors until recently just thought it might be his lungs again, well his tracheae became surrounded with scar tissue and they were going to rebuild it so that he could breathe. That part went well and they saw the lungs and they are fine. However, his esophagus has almost completely closed up and he will need that rebuilt and on top of that he has developed a fistula I think in his esophagus so they will need to remove that so the surgeon said that this would be a 6 hour surgery and take a lot of surgeons working on him at the same time. Until he gets the surgery done he will need a feeding tube because eating just compounds the situation. So I will be heading back up to the hospital shortly. Adrianna is due home any minute and I need to take my Haley, little miss diva pictured in the last blog, to get her monthly blood draw, and we are back to business as usual for today. I have been real busy so I have not had time to think about mom though she is on my mind a lot. I was reading a blog called Enabling Love and it was really nice to see some insight from a mothers point of view. It is a very good read and I know that a lot of readers already follow it, if you are an addict it is good to get a perspective from the other side. My daughter is home now so I have to go and be with my friend. I will probably post again this evening, it is so overwhelming to watch a friend whose child is hurt. It is very humbling to be powerless and want to help. So today my thought is as follows; And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. -Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reflecting on This Year

I know I have read some new years blogs on January 1st in reflecting on the year, but my new year starts tomorrow. I have four years today. I am sitting here and I just finished my 6th step and I am feeling pretty good right now. It is hard to imagine where the last four years has gone but I am glad that they are in the past, because where I am today is so much better then where I was then. This year was very difficult for me, last year was worse, last year I spent taking care of my mother who had End Stage Renal Failure and Lung Cancer. I watched her deteriorate to nothingness and had struggled with getting any help in taking care of her. I bathed and fed and taxied her everywhere, I am grateful that I have this fellowship because I was able to do so in a loving way. She was able to keep her dignity and I didn't have to be angry at her while I took care of her. I had a 1 and 2 year old to care for as well and boy did it get hectic. I feel like I spent an entire year going to meetings and crying out my frustrations. But I didn't act out on them to my mother or my family. I am very proud of that accomplishment. I was with my mother on my 3rd birthday and she told me she was very proud of me. I believe her. I know she had periods of dementia but I am pretty sure she was lucid then. I watched my mother die on January 15th. I will blog more about that then, it will be the right time then. This is the first year I have spent without her and I miss her very much.
I fulfilled several service commitments for my fellowship and took on a couple more. I learned how to work a digital camera and I have over 12,000 pictures to boot. I also learned the basics of photoshop and have wonderful artwork I have uploaded a picture of my Haley that I retouched in photoshop, just to show you a sample of my work. I have had extensive dental work done and I stayed away from prescription pain pills during that , I also had knee surgery and stayed away from Percocets as well I read my 5th step to my sponsor and I just finished my 6th. I have listened to Suze Orman and have paid down my bad debt and I almost have my credit cleaned up. I am getting ready to take a key boarding class and even though the college we went to last night did not offer what I was looking for I did not get discouraged and I am ready to go to another school to see what they have to offer. I created the artwork for this years annual convention and I am very excited to see the 6x8 foot banner with my design on it. I got involved with my local community and went out and caucused in the snow for 4 hours. It was so much fun, I am an Obama girl and I even did some real campaigning this year. It was a real experience to get involved in the political process. I learned how to blog this last year. That is one of the most amazing experiences, outside of recovery, because it is such a wonderful feeling to be a part of this community. Thanks so much Cliff at WIXY's Gone Banana's for mentioning me in your blog, I felt so special I started to cry. It is such a great feeling not to be alone anymore. I feel very happy today and very positive where my life is going. It isn't always easy but I have faith today and today I know the bad stuff passes.
I know I have had bad things happen to me and without the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous and the involvement I have put into it I would have not been able to see the good in those experiences today. I would be a very angry and selfish person were it not for the step work I am doing and the willingness I have to be a better person today. My thought today is this: "Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with
what happens to him."
--Aldous Huxley -Thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement and just for being here today. Q.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Journey Continues

Wow I am getting the jitters. Tomorrow will be my 4 year clean date and I can hardly believe it. Today I have made phone calls to take a college class. My student loans are still in deferment and will be for one more year. That will give me time to pay off my bad debt which is only about 700 dollars. I can't believe I am paying off my bad debt. It is amazing how much I am doing today. I talked with Wes about going back to school for Graphic Design (wow me in graphic design classes!!) and I told him my fears about taking a full college course, you know the fears from our past lives that like to come out and haunt us from time to time.
When I was 16 I got my high school diploma early and my dream was to do special effects make- up and work in Hollywood movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, remember how scary those special effects were? I took a make up class with an old gentleman who was one of the founding makers of Max Factor, I went to Beauty college and my Father told me to take the entire cosmetology course so I would have something to fall back on. Sounds great right, not I took the 1600 hour course and when I went to the state board exams I failed them, not once , no not twice but 6 times. Yes 6 times I failed the test. I finally decided it wasn't for me and dove into the lucrative business of waitressing and bartending. You know that one it is one step above stripping where you don't take your clothes off but you do get your ass grabbed by drunks for money, provided you wear a tight enough top so you have cleavage the size of route 66 hanging out. But I digress, really I have anxiety about following through on college, and doing something that I am not ready to do. The full college course requires math. I am not good at math, I am still in remedial math!! But the vo-tech courses are just the graphic design classes with out any pre- requisit classes to have to pass first.
Today however is a new day, I talked to a woman at the community college and she says I can take a computer class (there are no real typing classes anymore, those are for high school students) or a one day key board class. Now the computer class is one whole semester and it would give me 3 credit hours and the class costs $74.00 per credit hour. So for 200 bucks I can get 3 credit hours learn how to work in computers better and acclimate my self into school again. life is such an adventure today and i am trying to live it to the fullest. did you notice the new piece of my blog? I finally figured out how to put my fellow blogger links on to my blog!! Woohoo, I have been following your blogs I just didn't know how to put them up on my post. I learn something new every day!! Now if I can just get my 2 and 3 year old girls to take a nap today, I can get a shower!! I still have hope, and the day is young for my thought;"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world. as in being able to remake ourselves."---Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


You know I get little signs from my HP on a daily basis, today I listened to them. I read about a using dream and the funny thing is I had one last night. Then I read about moving small stones will move a mountain, don't quote me I know I am paraphrasing, but that quote made me get off my butt and go to the gym. I need to remember to go on a regular basis, it helps me to stay healthy. I spent some time today with a freind and we went to lunch together. That was a nice change of pace.
I am wondering if I should call any more of my friends to go to dinner Thursday night. I know I would like people to come I just hoped it would be on their own accord. I suppose though if I don't let people know to come then they won't know I would like to have them there. I am going to go to a meeting afterwords and collect my keytag for "multiples". Then Friday morning my girlfriend is coming over to watch my babies so I can go sit with a friend who is going through a rough time with her son, he is having surgery.
A few months ago there was a terrible accident at the meat factory where her son works. By all means he should be dead, he had a 10 ton piece of equipment drop on him. The machine slammed down on him so hard his eye popped out. When his co- workers got the thing lifted off him they had to let him drop to the floor. He was standing up and then dropped to the floor. His lungs were pulverized. I am sharing this because I am grateful to say that there was a true miracle that day. He had absolutely no brakes on his spine. Every rib was broken front and back in two places and his clavicle was intact. it was like an angel hugged him and saved him from being crushed. There is no other explanation and I am grateful that I know there is an HP today.
Today I listened to the signs of my HP and followed His will. Today was a good day and all that needed to happen for me to have a good day was for me to let go of my self will and turn it over. I am in a great space today and I hope to be able to hold on to this feeling. It will definitely help me get through my birthday jitters. Todays meditation; "The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one doubt or disbelief." -Eileen Caddy

Monday, January 5, 2009

Service as Usual

Getting back into the swing of things here feels pretty good, also a little overwhelming. I have regional minutes that need to be mailed, I also have about 1000 issues of the newsletter to mail out to 3 different areas. The 26th Annual MARCNA is coming together and I am still doing the artwork and now ordering all the merchandise as well. I have never ordered merchandise from vendors the stuff we order is coffee mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, commuter mugs, pens and this year magnetic phone books for the registration bags. Well it is one thing to order this merchandise and look for deals, we are a non profit organization and all the money used is from donations, but to be in charge of the artwork and getting it on the merchandise is a whole different story. Let me tell you it is so hard when you are dealing with merchants who are unfamiliar with the software you use. And being on a time constraint I didn't know where else to look for a vendor. Luckily the place I found, well actually I was referred by the place where I got the shirt catalog from, they have done our convention before. So the girl that works in the office there is really great. The problem is I am not technically on the committee, I can't make the meetings. Except once every three months when they are at the region because I am always at the regional meetings and I told them this at the beginning of the committee year. I could not promise to be on the committee due to time constraints this year. Anyway, I recently learned how to work in photoshop. I have been blessed with the CS3 Master suite and I have been doing a lot of artwork and one thing you do to put together a portfolio is to volunteer your work for free so that is what I am doing, and I submitted 2 different peices of artwork to the convention committee. The problem is I let my ego get in the way and the committee members started asking if they could see something different, then something else different by the time I was done I have submitted over 30 different peices of artwork and I finally said I am done, I am not compromising my artwork any more. I was so eager to have them want my work that I was willing to bend with the wind. Well because nobody uses photoshop and I don't have corel draw I have ended up at the vendors on New Years Eve working with this girl for 2 hours trying to come up with what the committee wanted. That isn't even the best part, when I went to the vendor I didn't even know what mugs to order because I missed the convention committee meeting and they tried to make a decision without a catalog!!! They had no idea what they were ordering and they had no idea what artwork we ( the vendor and I) were working on in corel draw and they wanted something different!! I love being a part of this committee and I do not regret doing this work I have learned so much, I have made professional contacts in the graphic design industry and I am building my protfolio for free!! I will be signing up for a typing class this semester. I still hen peck!! Never took a class, pretty cool huh. If you are reading this and you are in a fellowship like I am and you think something is missing from your program try some service work. Do you know how much need there is for members to get involved!! What are you waiting for do you think your local meeting schedules are going to print themselves!! Do you think the next dance is going to put itself on!! All the events that happen in our fellowships happen by volunteers who give freely of their time and you know what I have learned so many life skills and relationship skills and I just can't say enough about service. I love it it keeps me out of my own head and focusing on the solution until I decide to actually work on me it is a healthy distraction that keeps me grounded and humble enough to ask for help. If I make a mistake I am forgiven and I learn from it. Now I better do some "steppin" for my daily thought; Never mind if you fall far short of the thing you want to do,—encourage your effort. If no one else will say it to you, say it to yourself. "Not so bad." It will make the next effort easier and better.- Josephine Demott Robinson

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Journey Continues

Wow, what a crazy roller coaster this adventure called life is today.
Tomorrow I get to go meet Wes's mother. We have been together for 3 years now, we have a 2 year old daughter and I finally get to meet the living relatives!!! He has taken me to meet his father, well to see his fathers headstone. We saw his Grandparents headstones, his uncles even his step fathers headstone. We have had Christmas's and Birthdays and life all without his family. Never even a phone call to his mother, 2 brothers and sister. Why you ask have we not met, I don't really know. They just don't seem to be a close family. I am so afraid that I am going to do something wrong that his mother won't like but I know it will be OK. Part of it is that I miss my own mother so much that I am hoping to be able to borrow his. I hope to have a more growing family since this last year mine has shrunk so much. So I am excited too. And I am feeling a little squirrely since my clean date is coming up on Elvis's Birthday. I will have four years on the 8th of this month and wow. Wow is all I can say.
I think also that I am suffering from post Christmas Blues. We had such a great time at Christmas, the excitement and anticipation of Christmas was so magical and everything went so nicely and it could have been bad but I was able to enjoy it so much because of being clean and working a program and now it's over.
I forgot to call my Uncle today, I was told that he has cancer and I have been a little busy but I did manage to get the word out to everyone in the family via email. As you can see I am all over the place and can't seem to quiet my thinking. I went to a meeting tonight and my daughter went with me and I shared. I shared about Captain Stupid and how much pain the letter put me in. I cried and I shared very honestly in front of her and she ran out of the room crying. So I am a little shook up about that but the last time she went to her counselor she was given an assignment to write a letter to her biological father about how she felt about the stupid letter that completely excluded her. Well she had just told me that she had nothing to write to him about, now though, her letter is two pages long. So maybe a little dose of honesty will help. Not that it doesn't hurt mind you but sometimes that is just how things are, life hurts and we hurt and we work through our pains however possible, clean. Then we can move on with our lives.
I did not mean to hurt her with what I had to say but when I share it is very candid and honest. And when you are in a meeting that is how you work through things. And I do feel better and I do feel squirrely and I know I can pray about it and it will be OK. I hate my Stupid Ex Boyfriend and I hate Cancer!!! I hope my sponsor is having a safe trip and I hope tomorrow goes well. I hope my daughter works out her feelings and I hope. I hope today and that is my miracle, because life does not beat me down today. I hope today;"All the darkness in the world can not extinguish the light of a single candle." --Francis of Assisi