Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cool Shit from a Friend

My friend Gregz sent me an email not too long ago. I printed it out and kept it in my wallet to promptly forget all about it.

This morning it fell out onto my lap. Hmmmm...

(Italics are the bloggers input, hee hee)

Realize it’s possible, instead of telling yourself why you can’t.
Become aware of your self-talk.
Would you talk to someone else the way you talk to yourself?
Squash negative thoughts like a bug.
Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have.
Love what you have already.
Be grateful for your life and the people that have been placed there.
Embrace your gifts.
(yes…YOU have gifts!)
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Instead, be inspired by them.
Accept criticism with grace.
It’s an opportunity to grow.
But ignore the naysayers (aka the Assholes)
See “bad” things as a blessing in disguise. (I know, that's a toughie)
See failure as a stepping stone to success. (Another tough one)
Surround yourself by those who are positive.
Forget the ones that you don’t “fit in” with.
Complain less; smile more.

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” ~ Herm Albright (love this guy!)

My Asset List (Revisited)

In recovery, we come to find that some of us are sicker than others. I suffer from a debilitating lack of self esteem. So my awesome friend has strongly suggested that I create an "Asset List" with all my attributes/good qualities/assets listed out. She then told me to place that list on my mirror to read to myself every morning. If that isn't corny, I don't know what is but I am willing to do what it takes to become the girl GAAWD wants me to be.

I cheated a little by using some things others have said about me.

Thank you Jenniflower for the nudge ~

Soooo, here it goes:

I have beautiful blue eyes
I have a kind heart
I have a great sense of humor and a big, creative imagination
I am a caring, wonderful, sober mom
A considerate and caring daughter
I do a lot for kids with cancer
I am so inspirational ~Thank you Toby~
I am a good friend
I am a person who gives her time to help others so unselfishly
I would change the whole world if it would only let me
I have great compassion for others
I am friendly, thoughtful, and supportive
I love animals
I love to recycle
Somedays I'm just too adorable! (it had to be said!)
I have raised a shitload of $$ for children's cancer support programs
I love my family
I have people that love me, that REALLY love me today
My 5-year old daughter thinks I'm her Angel
I am a good listener, when I'm not interrupting
I help others with their problems
I am nice and kind to others
I am attentive and loving to my daughter
I am witty and funny (woot! woot!)
People are grateful that God let them meet me (whoa...)
I am pretty, charming and skinny (double whoa!) You crack me up MaggieBoo!
I have a huge heart
When I smile, my eyes light up with life and happiness
I'm goofy (a personal favorite)
I have a nice butt (Awww Greg, you shouldn't have)
I have a certain glow about me
I am a beautiful person, inside and out
I love my friends with all that I have
I have had a best friend for over 15 years and she LVOES me more than I could ever love myself. Thank you Robin
I am an awesome mom
I know the meaning of unconditional love (I owe this one to my parents)

I know how to admit when I am wrong and to apologize when it hurts ~Robin, your kindess and enduring friendship is timeless. Thank you for loving me all these years, even during the ugly ones.
I love helping others
I cry for others when they are unable to cry for themselves
I know what it means to be a true friend and to have true friends
I am (willingly) learning from my mistakes
I am a good example for my daughter
I know that it is never too late to have/make a fresh start
I am spontaneous (and I like mud)
I like to make a difference
I am a kind and giving person who cares for my little girl
I suit up, show up and grow
Amanda Jean thinks I'm a great mom
I am thoughtful, gracious, a good friend, supportive and a great workout partner

Stacey says "I am so glad to have u as a sis, INSPIRATIONAL!!! U r one of a kind!

I am a Wonderful, Beautiful Woman with a Heart of Gold and a fantastic mother.

Jells said "I am an awesome and amazing person. Though she hasn't met me face to face, I am one of the few among Twitter that she finds to be inspirational and that she considers a real friend. She thanked me for being "me" and that I tweeted into her life."

I am infectious when I am as happy as I have been ;0)
I'm a keeper (I love u Flower)

Kimberlee Bourdon>> I like your bravery & your constant drive to do good. You have talent and you use it for good instead of evil. You're always there with a helping hand, a positive attitude, a plan, and a smile. I like that the most about you. I so want to be you when I grow up! ♥

Jenniflower added>>> "...you write and express yourself beautifully you know - another thing to put on that asset list of yours. I LOVE YOU!"

Robi added>>> "...along with your photography...also an asset...oooh, and your choice of wonderful friends!"

Rachel said I have a huge, huge heart.
I am NOT middle aged afterall :)

These next few comments come from my two favorite people and are really, really hard to accept but here they are:

Jenniflower once said (at a meeting!) that I inspire her to want to be a better person.

My Bestie in NC, Robi, said she wants to be more like me.
I am sooo amazing!
I bring more into the lives of others than I could ever imagine.
I inspire others
I make my bestie proud (after all that I've done to her and her family)
Robi's admiration of me grows everyday.

(first posting 4-6-2010)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Manic Monday

Lack of Humility

I have always struggled with the concept of humility. Once, someone I was working for told me I needed more humility in my life...I had to look the word up in the dictionary.

At 2 years sobriety, I have found myself still "trying to get" humility in my life. I have successfully stayed sober since March 31, 2008 without it. It's catching up to me.

In my recovery, humility is one of the essential ingredients in building a long-lasting, firm foundation. There are times when I wake up to the fact that my recovery is more build on shifting sand than anything concrete.

Situations in my life today have paralyzed me. So much so, that I'm depressed again. It's been awhile since I've been this down for this length of time. It's not comfortable, not at all. It once was a normal method of survival for me, now it's a nuisance.

My sobriety hangs in the balance. If I don't talk about this, get this out, turn it over, I'll be living on borrowed time. That sounds so melodramatic but without sobriety, it's not living I will be doing, it would be existing and it wouldn't be pretty.

I need to get back to gratitude. Find my God again. Get back to basics. Admit I am not equipped to make decisions on my own yet. Damn, you would think I was a pre-teen writing this stuff but I'm a middle aged, single mother that is waaaaay behind on growing up.

I need God to take this from me. Take the fear and pain associated with the job away. Take the searching for a new home for my family away. Take having to find a place to take my beloved Roxi away. Take it all God. I can't handle it. My life is unmanageable.

Take everything away but leave my sobriety. Help me today make it through this next 24 hours sober. I cannot focus on anything more. I have stumbled and need help getting up. Or maybe I should just stay here, on my knees and seek.

If I don't find a way to humble myself and turn it over, I will keep holding on to everything with clenched fists only to find that I will lose it all. Then I will be left truly empty.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

For The Little Things You Do (Roxi's post)

I post this with a very heavy heart. I'd like to introduce you to my four-legged doggy daughter Roxi. She's been with us since 2007, when I found her in a Murphy, NC shelter, shaking like a leaf. She was 4 months old.

We've been in Vegas for 3 years now and my circumstances have not changed as I had hoped. I love my sobriety and am accepting my new life here but it's taking it's toll on Roxi.

She's kenneled sometimes for over 8 hours a day. She lives in a two-bedroom apartment with no room to run. She has two cats for friends but they can't stand her. Cats, geesh.

She's the most loving dog I've met, always wanting to give a kiss or three before I take off my work shoes. Every year I go through this and it's time to see if it can happen for Roxi.

I'm looking into relinguishing Roxi to another home.
A home where she can run, play, dig, chase, be free. A home out in the country, where she can run on grass, not cement. A home who's mom and dad love the outdoors and can enjoy their hikes with Roxi. Maybe a home with other doggy siblings to hang with. A home that I cannot provide for her.

Please read about Roxi and share with your friends. Maybe, just maybe I can find her the home she really needs.

I love that you were the only one shaking nervously in the farthest corner of the kennel, trying to hide from the world while your brothers and sisters were jumping all over me yelping "Pick me, pick ME!"

I love that when I said "That one, in the corner..." you gave the kennel manager a run for his dirty money.

When I held you for the first time, you stopped shaking.

When we went home that very same day, we both looked at each other as if to say "Oh shit, what do we do now?" And then you squatted and proceeded to do just that all over the front porch.

Your "bent" right ear that droops forward.

How you used to "escape" from your teether and run to the neighbor's garden to dig up their veggies.

Even when you found your sneaky way into my garden, I knew I couldn't stay mad long.

I loved watching you dig for worms in the stream that ran through our front yard.

How you'd bark to high heaven at the lawn mower.

When we moved, you never let up on that "How could you be doing this?" look.

When you would go hungry so I could feed my habit, you never left my side.

You put up with hours in your kennel while I went to work, trying to forget the feel of cool grass on your back and mud in between your paws.

In my darkest hour, you loved me when I couldn't love you back.

Your forgiving, unconditional heart.

You jump up and have to, HAVE TO get in a "kiss" on my chin each and every time I come home.

When I'm having private time on the potty, it doesn't bother you one bit to barge right in.

How you get excited every morning to take our walks to the football fields.

The way you hunt for lizards.

How you scramble over the red rocks on our hikes.

How you nozzle my hand when it's not doing anything on my lap when it could be rubbing behind your ears.

When you act all tough around the smaller doggies and about pee yourself when the big ones arrive at the doggie park.

You're never far.

How you bark at the bad people.

When you run, full speed - you take my breath away.

Your insatiable desire to be loved.

Putting up with my "health food experiments".

Your smile.

How you love processed cheese.

Oh, and did I mention your forgiving, unconditional heart? Ok, good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

5 Simple Ways To Spread Positivity

Clipped this right off an link sent to me from a friend that knows I love lemons, both adding them to my water and being one on occasion.

5 Simple Ways To Spread Positivity by Seth Simonds
My mother often said, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. My father would quickly add, “then sell the lemonade at a fair price for a profit”. It sounded like a good way to live until I grew older and realized how many lemons there really are in the world.

Advancing technology has made it easier than ever to find life’s lemons. Newspapers, radio, TV, the internet, and close-to-real-time services like Twitter allow us to fill every waking moment with lemons.

So why is it that we often insist on spending the conversations we have with those around us on negative things? Why do we choose sour remarks and biting tones when we could stir in some positive remarks and make some smiles? Don’t we all have enough lemons to make our daily lemonade without seeking them out?

5 Simple Ways To Spread Positivity:
Practice Pleasantries – A non-grouchy “good morning” to coworkers or adding “I really appreciate it” to required “thank you’s” are good steps away from negativity.
Share Some Positivity – Find a good story each day and share it with at least three people. As you become known for being a source of good conversations and uplifting news, don’t be surprised if people flock to you!
Save the Lemon for Later – When something is bothering you, don’t obsess and let your concern spill over into your conversations. Instead, take a moment to write down your next move to improve and put it in a safe place. Come back to your “lemon” when you are able to commit your entire focus on promoting a solution.
Slow Down Your Response Time - In our jiffy pop society, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to respond immediately. There’s a reason “promptly” and “instantly” are defined separately in the dictionary. One implies the care while the other is only about speed. Making an effort to produce thoughtful responses even if it means simply breathing fully before speaking, will work wonders for the quality of your conversations. Eliminating the lemons will also help avoid tension caused by a thoughtless response.
Learn to Laugh With Others - A joke or situation doesn’t have to be enormously funny in order for you to take joy in it. Instead of shrugging off the next joke your friend tells or trying to top a story, laugh. You may soon find that your sense of humor has expanded to find a smile in things you would have frowned at previously.

Being aware of the lemon in your mouth is a constant project. It’s easy to slip into negative conversations. When you begin to taste the bitter citrus, you’ll know it’s time for some positivity!

I'm an editor here at Stepcase Lifehack
I know the value of long walks, good books, joyful repartee, and a well-made martini. Say hello in the comments here, find me on my blog (www.sethsimonds.com) or hit me up for a follow on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sethsimonds).

This Too Shall Pass…But When?

The dark cloud arrived some time ago and it is content staying right where it is. Today it got worse…I got jealous, not envious, but downright jealous of a friends good fortune. Then it hit me, how could I be a true friend if I was jealous? Real love is not jealous.

Bring on the rain. If I knew my mother would never read this, I’d say bring on the fucking rain. Being pissy and edgy gets on my nerves, thus leading to more pissiness and edginess. Endless cycle. Dog chasing its tail.

I know better than to stay in this place of self-pity and loathing. It’s not the falling down that makes us fail, it’s the staying there. Well, I’m here and apparently unpacking and getting comfy in my sick little world.

It’s my choice. It’s always been my choice to stay here or get over it. Before recovery, I was ignorant to that fact. Today, I have no excuse. If I choose to be here, then hey, right on…just don’t bring another down with me. The friends I have today know better too. It’s lonely feeling sorry for oneself.

Why am I so scared of giving myself a chance at a better life? Why do I see others moving forward, succeeding and wish it were me while I’m just sitting around doing not one damn thing? Do I even know how to be a friend?

F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real. Face Everything and Recover. Fuck Everything and Run.

I can’t believe the thoughts of actually pulling all this down on my head have lingered this long. Can you imagine how it could be if I took that first drink?

Back to basics. Slow down. PAUSE.

So...I’m not perfect after all. Sobriety isn’t just a glorious walk in the park. It’s pretty awesome when I want to see it that way and it’s led me to some great blessings. What’s my problem?

Oh yea…I’m spiritually sick in many ways. I’m not recovered, not by a long shot.

Do the next right thing. One step at a time. Don’t drink, no matter what. Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the Serenity…to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can.
Wisdom to know the difference.

Amends. Humility. Silence. Prayer. Fellowship. Solution.

This Too Shall Pass…But When?

fade to black..........

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Livia's First Day Home

Amanda and I texted for a while last night. Too funny how Livia is already establishing dominance over the family beagle...and the husband. Here's some clips from our conversation. (The video has been updated with some requested changes; check it out!)

Eva fell asleep on the way to meeting Livia. Notice the new leash, collar and cash!

6-24-10 6:30pm "I am home with Livia and other tired, hot kids...will take tones of pics later when my kids are normal. Found out Livia has prey drive...and wants to eat my other dog...lol."

"10 pound dog is giving Livia a run for her money. LMAO."

"Livia is a dominate female bitch...Perfect dog...lol."

"Hubby said Livia stinks because she put her nose on the table once over chicken and didn't sit when he said to. She knows German commands (but I didn't tell him that)."

"Interesting part is Livia has gone through the additional training where they can attack and jump 6ft walls! But Eva can put her hand in Livia's mouth and Livia kisses her."

"I took Livia to the store before we came home. They said she has ball drive. I let her pick out her toys. She picked out a tennis ball which was destroyed in three minutes."

Another post coming soon when Amanda gets a chance to send those pics!

Enjoy your day everyone!!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Miracle?...No Problem ~ Livia is Coming Home!

If you don't believe in miracles by now, too bad because you've just witnessed one.

It all started when last week, my Twitter friend Scott Sullivan from WI contacted me with a request. I think it was Thursday. He expressed a simple plea to pray for and possibly donate to help a little girl from Kaukauna, WI that needed to raise money for another guide dog. Her "Tessa" had died three weeks ago.

I contacted Amanda, Eva's mom. We went over some ideas and proceeded immediately in getting the word out on Twitter, Facebook, texting, email and calls.

We started out with nothing but crossed fingers and hope. We had to raise $5,000 in less than one month or they would send Livia, the German Shepherd waiting for Eva, to another family.

Amanda never, EVER gave up hope. I wasn't so sure. With her confidence, passion and desire to make this happen for her youngest daughter, today Team Eva reached their goal.

The Team Eva Cause on Facebook didn't exist last week. Now, Team Eva has 77 members. Amanda's Twitter account (@TeamEva) didn't exist last week. Now it has 94 followers. I didn't even know Amanda and Eva existed last week, much less anything about the drama behind getting a service dog. Now I have a lifelong friend and a place to stay if I ever find myself in NW Wisconsin.

Some people participated in helping spread the word, some did The High $5.00 Campaign, some sent in a little more, some bloggers posted Eva's story on Twitter and their personal blogs, and some completely blew our minds. Just yesterday Amanda received a text saying that someone had enough cash to get Team Eva to the $4,500 mark. At the time, Team Eva was at $415.00.

Ok, so there was a little nudity involved but nothing that warranted an R rating.

The rest is history. In less than one week Team Eva did what I didn't think could happen. I'm glad the God that watches out for little Eva is a lot more powerful and amazing than the God I believe in. Well, used to believe in...

To all those that contributed in any way, any way at all, we love you and cannot find the words to say Thank You. What you've done is so much bigger than those two little words.

Overflowing gratitude is in our hearts and will always be the miracle that wasn't supposed to happen.

Livia comes home to Eva tomorrow.


Click below to be taken to PayPal's 'Send Money' link:

Use the following email address to start the Donation process:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Miracle in the Making


Amanda Tiede (Eva's mom) contacted me and said "update the blogsite" and went on to tell me she has been given an enormous donation today from an old friend.

Team Eva now sits at $4,600 towards their goal of $5,000!!!

It's a miracle in the making. We are in the home stretch to bringing home Livia for little Eva.

We're almost there!!

High $5.00 Campaign for Team Eva

Team Eva has gathered $415.00 in just two days towards their $5,000 goal by July 15th. So much is happening in such a short time, both good and bad. Donations and love = good; time frame to do this in = bad.

Here's something FUN that EVERYONE can do. The High $5.00 Campaign is just what it sounds like.

We're challenging everyone to donate $5.00 to Team Eva this week to keep the momentum going. We want to see this happen though it's a HUGE task. $5,000 in less than a month is going to be nothing short of a miracle.

However, Amanda Tiede keeps her hopes on FIRE and that inspires me to keep plugging away at trying to help them.

So join us in The High $5.00 Campaign today. Just do it...your morning latte money has never done something THIS good before!


Click below to be taken to PayPal's 'Send Money' link:

Use the following email address to start the Donation process:

Thank you for giving Team Eva a High $5.00!!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Team Eva - Less Than One Month for a Miracle?

Message from Eva's Mom, Amanda, after reading "Time Is Now The Enemy", a post earlier this week from my best friend back in NC:

This made me cry.... thank you very much. Today when Eva took a nap I just watched her breathe...she was so pale, but she was breathing...I didn't want to look away even though I have been so tired...in and out, in and out... it usually is a given, but with her it just isn't.

Team Eva has been told we have less than a month to pay for Livia to come home to Eva. Livia is the German Shepherd that was brought down from Canada for Eva. If Team Eva cannot do this, Livia, will move on the the next family in need on the list.

In one way, that's a great thing for the next family. In another way, it's absolutely heartbreaking for The Tiede Family. They would lose out on a crucial need for their 2-year old just because there wasn't enough money.

This happens all the time, everyday. It's part of life. But for me, it's personal.

I've joined forces with Team Eva and will do everything I can to see who is willing to help. I know miracles happen. I know good people are out there. I have been blessed with an abundance of them.

If you've seen the video above and want to make a difference in the life of a little girl, to pay it forward (you know your turn is due), please contact Team Eva about how to help.

@TeamEva on Twitter
Team Eva ~ Bringing Eva's Service Dog Home on Facebook
Email Amanda Tiede at servicedog4eva@gmail.com

Thank you,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Time Is Now The Enemy

The following post is from my best friend back in North Carolina. I miss her most days but when I see how she so easily and passionately stands beside me on my causes, my missing her takes on a whole new level, one that I didn't realize existed.

This post comes on the heals of some sad news about Eva's situation. The Tiede Family have just been told that Livia, the German Shepard that was brought from Canada for Eva, will not be "reserved" indefinitely. Livia will move on to the next family in need, if the appropriate funds are not raised, in one month's time.

"I am so fortunate to have have 2 beautiful, healthy daughters and healthy spit-fire of a stepson. I cannot begin to wrap my brain around the fear that a parent has when they have a child that suffers from a chronic or terminal illness.

Hold your breath for as long as you can...when you feel the pain and the pressure ...and the near panic of having to take your next breathe, think of little Eva. At any given moment she can stop breathing. A specially trained service dog is ready and waiting to be with Eva and her family, all they need is the funding. A service dog is not cheap...quality never is. If you can give a hundred dollars that would rock their world...but so would a hundred pennies from your piggy bank. Every penny gets Eva and her family one step closer to some sense of security.

If this was your child, wouldn't you hope that your loved ones would reach out and help...and the loved ones of those loved ones...and so on? There is so much sadness, anger and skeptisism in the world today. There are crimes that are unimaginable and seldom do you see good news at 6 and 11; but I am an eternal optimist and I belive that there is more good than bad in this world. I believe that the kindness of strangers will help Eva get her service dog and I beleive that what goes around comes around. Paying people back is great, but paying forward is even better.

Help if you can...even if that simply means asking others for help. Together, this will be done...and my guess is, it will happen faster than we would have ever imagined."

~ Robin R. Huckaby

If you would like to donate right away to The Tiede Family, use this email>>> servicedog4eva@gmail.com on the PayPal link below...


Friday, June 18, 2010

'Something Within' Transforms for a Good Cause

Those of you I am closest to know by now that my heart has little Eva Tiede written all over it. I am transforming my 'Something Within' blogsite into a temporary fundraising platform for The Tiede Family.

I will still have posts from friends when they send them in amd I will still have my rants. But mostly, it will be about Eva and her progress on getting her Livia home to her.

And in no time at all, WE will all be able to celebrate little Eva welcoming home her new service dog.

If you have Facebook, join Team Eva to stay most current with how Eva is doing.

If you have Twitter, follow us here>>> @TeamEva

If you would like to donate right away to The Tiede Family, use this email>>> servicedog4eva@gmail.com on this PayPal link (no need to create a PayPal account; super easy, secure and quick)>>>


Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2-Year Old Eva Tiede Needs Help Bringing Service Dog Home


Eva Tiede is a 2 year old little girl from Kaukauna, WI in desperate need of a service dog. Eva has a disorder that causes her to stop breathing at any time, without warning.

Eva had a wonderful dog, Tessa, trained to alert her parents when Eva stopped breathing, and saved her life on more than one occasion.

Sadly, Tessa had a tumor the size of a soccer ball and had to be put to sleep three weeks ago.

The waiting list is usually 2-3 years long to get another dog. Miraculously, a dog was found for Eva in Canada. "Livia" has been flown into WI and is ready for her. The family will meet Livia next week.

Eva's family is in desperate need of help to raise the money needed to pay for the service dog Eva needs to save her precious little life. THE MONEY IS DUE BY MID JULY OR ELSE LIVIA GOES TO THE NEXT FAMILY ON THE WAITING LIST.

$3,600 has been saved by Eva's family. $5,000 is still needed to bring Livia home to Eva. Please find it in your heart to help out.

Thank you for your kindness.

~Amanda Tiede (Eva's mom)

Click below to be taken to PayPal's 'Send Money' link:

Donations can be made through PayPal by using the following email address:

The Reminder

This morning, Roxi and I set out for her morning jaunt in the park behind our apartments. With my books in hand, we closed the garage door and started walking the 100 yards or so down the center drive to the park gate.

I could hear a car rapidly approaching from behind us. I called Roxi to come so she wouldn't chase after it once it passed. It's a 10 mile an hour zone but this driver paid no mind. They blew past me and almost hit Roxi, almost. I was a bit shocked at the "balls" this person had to get that close to us. I shook my head and just laughed at the amazing assholes that surround me.

Then the car stopped, turned around and came back. It slowly, slowly passed us this time and I could see it was driven by a pretty girl with a punky short hair cut and black mascara running down her cheeks. Her eyeliner overwhelmed her eyes and she just looked dazed. At this point I realized she probably never saw my dog and I.

Needless to say, my attention stayed on her. She stopped midway down the drive and got out of her car. She could barely stand. She stumbled and leaned on her hood for balance. She held her hands out to steady herself. She then made it to her door and disappeared, with the car still running, headlights still on.

I watched as the garage door slowly made it's way up. The young girl shuffled out of her garage and now fell as she tried to get back into the driver's seat. At this point, I was making my way back to her. She glanced my way after getting in and closing her car door. Though she was far away, I could see that there was no focus, no clarity in her eyes. As if we weren't even there.

She pulled into her garage and the door closed. She made it. She made it home, safe. Now she could get to bed and sleep it off.

I was digusted. I was sickened by the lack of control, the way she looked, how she could have caused an accident, hurt someone, killed someone innocently walking to work, walking their dog, dropping off their kids at the bus stop.

Then it came to me...that was me not much more than 2 years ago. It could be me again if I waiver from my recovery.

My heart broke for all the people I unknowingly hurt. For all the fear I caused others. For this young woman who was living the life I'm so desperately trying to keep away from.

The reminder...something I needed to see. Something that won't pass from my memory anytime soon.

May you all be safe out there in this scary world. Protect the ones you love as best you can. Maybe a leash for your pup wouldn't hurt either.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Time To Let Go

I'm in the process of losing my job. There, I said it. Now it's time to move into acceptance.

This post goes out the my friend Jenniflower that has helped me through this tremendous pain. I love you so much.

I've been a receptionist for 2 1/2 years at a HVAC company. It's a job that came when I needed one the most. I most certainly never was a career goal or a place that I belonged.

I knew the day they asked me to come aboard permanently (I came in as a temp) only if I kept my tattoo covered with turtle necks and collars each day because "if the President saw it, he would lose it", that I wasn't really a great match. I think they were just grateful to find a receptionist that had skills and was willing to work hard, not to mention one with a college degree that was desperate enough to take the position. That was December 2007.

I was surrounded by people that talked ceaselessly about their personal lives. They were tight, this group. Too tight. They worried about the dust buildup on their BMW's, got mani/pedi's on a weekly basis, and would never, ever dream of taking their clothes straight from the dryer instead of ironing them. I was in waaay over my head.

I tried so hard from the start to "fit in" and to be liked. I came in with no sobriety in my life, At 3 months employment, I put the bottle down but then realized I had absolutely no crutch to lean on. I was a raw bundle of nerves; a scared, insecure woman with the knowledge that I had to shape up or ship out. That was March 2008.

My days were filled with answering phone calls, filing folders, ordering office supplies and most importantly, being someone I wasn't so I could hold on to this position and please everyone. I wasn't being true to myself when that Something Within started whispering "This is not where you belong."

Trips home were met with more tears than I care to admit. I had to be honest that I just wasn't like these people and to find some kind of peace in that. I had to start growing up and learn to be grateful I even had a job. I had to play the game. I also had to start looking elsewhere for a better fit. But I never did. I was comfortable in this misery, thinking it was what I deserved and that this job was going to teach me all the things that I couldn't teach myself. That Something Within was getting louder. That was October 2008.

Now it's June 2010. I've made it this far. I haven't quit. I've grown tremendously in my sobriety. I have friends that love me. I am working on myself, learning to love myself too. I don't cry so much anymore, until last week. I think I've cried every week day since. Not good.

Yesterday I had to sit down with my direct supervisors and listen to lies about my performance on the job; about how they wanted to help make me a better person. I was told that "when something is going wrong in your life, to come in and tell someone rather than keeping quiet and making it an uncomfortable work environment for everyone else." I was told that I "should be grateful to work in such an extended family as theirs." Really?

I was told customers and vendors have been complaining about "the receptionist" for months. Months?! If that were the case, why have they waited this long to mention it and why won't they give me specifics on what it is these people have been complaining about? I knew by now it was best not to ask such a question, to nod in mindless agreement and to keep my mouth shut.

As for the employees, they definitely weren't happy because the calls were being transferred too quickly, the Splenda was out of stock for two days and I didn't come by their cubicles each morning with a great big "Helloooo!!".

I wasn't like them. I was different. I didn't need to share my personal life with anyone in there. I had changed from that insecure, scared woman into someone that was ok with who I was. I was no longer broken and I certainly didn't need fixing. I did my job and did it well, period.

I had to sign a "wrongful behavior" warning chaulk full of crap, take a cut in pay and be told that if one more complaint from inner office came down the line that they would relieve me of my duties, immediately. I knew that I was screwed. At this point, that Something Within was all but yelling at me.

My part? Yea, I played a major part in all of this. I stayed far too long in a place where I had no business being. I was lying to myself, to my employers and to God. Major no-no.

What I couldn't see in all of this was that Something bigger is happening here. I've been working hard to make something that was so far off of what was good for me, actually work.

Now it's gone too far and that God of mine has had enough. If this is how It's going to get my attention, then I have to look or else I will miss the bus. The bus to a better life, for myself and my daughter.

"Don't let a place that's holding you back anyway be the one thing that breaks you," Jenniflower told me last night after I called her, again, in tears, again.

Click. Bingo. Yahtzee. Houston, we have contact. The lightbulb (energy saving, of course) has just been flipped into the ON position. TUGAAWD.

There's Something going on here. Something bigger than me. It's time I give into It, to "man up" and to let go. Let go of what's not working and find the faith and courage to seek what will.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Practice What You Preach ~ Trish's Post

I met Trish on Twitter. My greatest jewels have come from that social network. She caught my eye when I saw her posts about raising awareness and money for St. Baldrick's and that she was going to shave her head for Children's Cancer. I fell in love and the rest is history. I am pleased to introduce you to my Trish.

Practice What You Preach
By: Trish Christie

I was given an open invitation to write. To a “non-writer”, that’s terrifying!

I’m more of an editor, not a writer.

Hmmm… that sentence says a lot about me. A lot that I’m not sure I like. I critique and analyze what other people do, but am I writing the life story I want to live? No. How can I go about changing that? I certainly do not want my daughter to grow up with my negative attitude. I want her to help others, not compare herself to anyone, and write her own story. Oh sure, I have my moments when I help others. I’m not a total bitch all the time, but I have a LONG way to go before I have an attitude I can be proud of.

First off- I can practice what I preach. From eating healthier, to flossing my teeth, to being nice, to not comparing myself to others- good gravy! The list could go on forever! I need to never again utter the words “do as I say, not as I do”. That’s setting a terrible example! I am embarrassed to say that I have said these words TO MY THREE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!!! While I know I’m not a terrible mother, I do feel extremely guilty about not being the best role model I possibly can be for my child. Things to change: my diet, my attitude towards others, and my self- image.

Diet: I eat junk food. I eat it in front of my daughter while I make her eat slightly more healthy items. I drink a ton of soda. I make my daughter drink only milk or water. Wow, just looking at those words on the computer screen make me feel about the size of Jiminy Cricket. Terrible! Hypocrisy is a pet peeve of mine and yet I excel at it (ironic, huh?). Things will be changing. I need to take care of myself the same way I take care of my baby. I am worthy.

Attitude: There is this girl at work… (isn’t there always at least one person at work who just drives you totally bonkers?) and as far as I’m concerned, she can do nothing right. True, she’s not an easy person to get along with, but I don’t even try anymore. Maybe treating her the way I want to be treated is the answer to my dilemma. Could it really be as simple as the golden rule “do onto others as you would have them do unto you”? My guess is no, but it’s worth a shot, right? Obviously what I’m doing now isn’t helping and it’s making work miserable.

Self-image: When I look in the mirror, I am disgusted. I am overweight, have crazy coarse gray hair, saggy boobs, pimples on my face, spider veins on my legs, and hairy legs. Yes, it’s true- those things are there. My mirror doesn’t totally lie. BUT- there are good things too that get overlooked. Things such as freckles, clean teeth, a nice butt, tattoos that have meanings, beautiful big blue eyes, and enough hair to keep my head warm. I don’t want to look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but I do need to look at it with a clear head. Take the good with the bad. If my daughter looked in the mirror and thought of herself the way I think of myself, I would cry.

I have my work cut out for me. I know I can do it though. I deserve to be the best possible me and my daughter deserves to have a mother of whom she can be proud.

So- ask yourself:

How can I live out my life story to the fullest?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Even Perfect Days Can End In Rain

I have the following quote framed and next to my morning reading place. Tonight, I'm taking it to the bedroom and putting it on the nightstand where I can see it first thing in the morning, before I pray and before I head back to the office.

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. BE KIND ANYWAY
If you are honest, people may cheat you. BE HONEST ANYWAY
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. DO GOOD ANYWAY
Give the world the best you have though it may never be enough.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and GOD.
~Mother Teresa

I could go on to post about the details and specifics of today. But, none of that matters.

What matters is that others truly love me and are there for me. I am perfectly fine being the me I am today. I am in recovery and headed down the right path, for me. I can't please everyone. If I know in my heart of heart's that I am doing my absolute best, that's good enough. If it's not good enough for others, that's their deal. What others think of me or possibly say about me is none of my business. I can take a "bad" situation and learn from it, making it a growth experience that will lead me to better places, physically and spiritually. I am not alone.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gratitude on a Wednesday Night

Toasted blueberry bread smothered with peanut butter and a tall glass of cold milk

The sound of my daughter’s voice reading “Pinkalicious” to herself

My Twitter friends in the morning.

That I don’t have to hurt others today in order to “feel better” about myself

When someone calls me for help, I can be there for them

Feeling comfortable in my own skin, today

Kick-ass hair conditioner

Recognizing the importance of being consistent with my commitments to others

A different computer desktop picture for each day (thank you Valley of Fire)

Three-day weekends
Four-day work weeks

Next Thursday

Not quitting my job because I don't live up to another person's standards.

My sober friends, especially when I'm at the office.

Taking 1/2 the day off to reach out for help, take care of myself, relax, being my process of learning and healing.

Doing my daughter's end-of-the-school-year poster for her teachers.


My blog

The End