The Shame Game

“Y’all, the holidays are rapidly approaching. Are you ready for this…there are 9 more Saturdays until Christmas. We are being plunged into that time of year when patience is low, demands are high and sleep doesn’t fit on our to-do list.

There’s a reason why multiple case studies show that addiction is the highest during the holiday season. It’s the most difficult time to stay sober. I think in part because we’re surrounded by people who trigger all kinds of emotions. It’s also a time when everything around us says we should be feeling a certain way. For those of us who have always bucked up against conformity, we don’t like for people or things to tell us how to feel.

Yesterday, October 19th, by the grace of God, I reached my 12th year of sobriety. I am now a productive member of society (most days). The road was long and filled with twists, turns and dead ends. There were a lot of tears and pleading with my Higher Power. There was uncertainty among the rubble of my indiscretion. There were times when I felt hopeless.

And then something changed. Have you noticed how everything starts with a decision?”

Join me to read the rest of this post at The Shame Game continued…
Love filled Hands

It’s not you, it’s me

Hello Wonderful Readers!

I truly miss you! I have been so disconnected from this community and it is obvious in my life. I need to write! It is a reset for my brain. It brings all the chaos into alignment.

So much is going on that I want to tell you about. So much so that I had to check in to say that I’m going to do better. I’m going to be intentional about documenting with words, the way I’m documenting with pictures.

sunriseAs for many, October is a big month for me. The first signs of fall begin appearing.

Dawn takes on a whole new light (literally) it’s captivating the way the sun sneaks up and begins illuminating the sky.

Sunsets are breathtaking. The kind of beauty that has no equal. Sunset

The most important things in my life this October are the fact that my man and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage. TEN. What?!

The fact that he has not only tolerated me but championed my dreams is beyond my ability to understand. I am so grateful. Wedding Day
For those of you reading this and thinking (Nice…another story of true love and a perfect marriage. I think I’m gonna barf.) Please do not be fooled. We have been through darkness so thick, we weren’t sure we would ever see the light of day. I can be totally stoked that Chris and I made it this far because the challenges we have overcome are proof that there is a God as nothing else could have accompanied us and navigated the road of unknowns.

Oh, a few quick details about the pictures…

  • We had just said, “I do” and “I do too” on a gondola in Las Vegas’, Venetian Hotel.
  • We were married by a minister we had never met and have not seen since.
  • I wasn’t wearing white.
  • There was no church.
  • Chris won a large sum of money at the roulette table he passed while walking to our ceremony.
  • We lived like rock stars for a week.
  • I was 2 weeks shy of completing my first year free from the addiction of all mind altering substances. (My drug of choice was whatever was available at the time. Do you have any idea how many mind altering substances are available at any given time in Vegas?)
  • I have not been back to Vegas since we married. Not because I don’t want to, I just haven’t had reason to.
  • There are people who still haven’t spoken to us after our decision to “elope to sin city” (sometimes people have to weed themselves out of our lives before we discover that we’re better for it)

Another date that is just as important to me is my sobriety date, which will represent 11 years this month. A girl like me…sober…for 11 years?! Yet another tangible example of a Higher Power working and moving. He has used my story so much in the last year. It’s crazy awesome and frightening and beautiful. (That will have to be its own post)

Big things are happening in my life and the life of my family. Bigger things than I ever could have conjured up for myself. Bigger than I have ever known and yet incredibly simple. I didn’t say easy. I said simple. In other words, not complicated. Not diluted by self-doubt and ridicule from skeptics. Things that have nothing to do with money or fame or worldly success.

Spiritually I am going deeper, wider, and more fully committed than I even knew possible. I am no longer sticking my toe out, cringing while bracing for the worst. I am leaping off cliffs that at one time paralyzed me. I am discovering true, unpolluted, without hesitation, faith.

I want to tell you all about it as it unfolds, but I must be patient and wait for the words. I must enjoy every morsel without thought of the next.

It comes to me in the most peculiar of places. I write on whatever is available to me, knowing that if I don’t capture it in that very moment, I will never remember it quite the same way.

I so want this kind of freedom for you, my friends. But I cannot give it to you. It is something that must be sought out through complete surrender, asked for and accepted. (Often times we think the difficulty is in the asking, when really it is our inability to accept when goodness is being offered)

The days ahead are exciting ones. I look forward to our journey together.

Until then, may bountiful blessings and all that is light be yours.


Everything I thought I knew I no longer know

I heard something today that broke my heart
Shook me to my core
Turned my world upside down
Made me question everything I have ever known
Evoked feelings of anger, sadness, remorse, disgust, angst

I wanted to go into the bathroom stall and puke my guts up until I felt better
Until my insides were numb
Until I made this raw, scraping feeling in the pit of my stomach go away

I knew that kind of relief is temporary and soon fleeting
I also knew that
I didn’t want to feel the way that I felt

For those of us who have been through a season of escapism
and come out on the other side
We are fully aware that the only way to remain mentally, emotionally and spiritually sound is to sit in our feelings
No matter how difficult
No matter how long it takes
Acceptance is key

I find at times that remaining physically sober is much easier than
maintaining and nurturing spiritual, mental and emotional sobriety
These are the places where the atrocities begin
sometimes long before the action ever happens

If I do not face, sort and squash things where they originate
the outcome is always one of tragedy, personal or otherwise

Thankfully, I have an incredible network of individuals who know me
The real me
The person who is broken time and time again
Flawed and scarred

Those amazing souls
Living and passed
Some whose voice I hear audibly
Others I must feel with my heart and recall in my memory

A girl like me, has to surround herself with truth
Light that dispels the darkness
Wisdom of others who have gone before me

One of my favorite speakers is Jud WIlhite
I will frequently go to iTunes and listen to past talks of his
Today was no different
I needed to be quiet and listen

There was one thing he said in this session that struck me as deeply as the painful news I had heard just hours before, only it brought hope instead of harm
It was his response to a friend who had walked through a season of darkness and at the time engaged in a lot of self-injury
Now on the other side of it, she asked him how she would one day explain the scars to her daughter.

His response was this, “All you need to do is look her in the eye and say, these scars mean one thing these scars mean that your mommy survived by the grace of God and he’s done a work of healing in my life.”

So today, right now, in this moment
I choose recovery
I choose life
I choose truth
I choose hope
I choose love
I choose grace

How could I not?!
After all, that is what has been shown to me
Over and over and over and over again

“Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians 5:1-2

If you would like to hear the message that I listened to today from Jud Wilhite click here