Oh, the Places You’ll Go…

This Dr. Seuss book is one of my favorite books of all time. I have given it as a graduation gift to kindergarten, 8th grade, high school, college and even law school. But none have been as profound as when I have given this book to someone who is starting their journey in recovery.

“You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” Change your playground. How many times do we hear that?

“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” One day at a time. That’s all we can handle.

“I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against YOU.” When we allow ourselves to spend time in our own head, the disease of addiction WILL play horrible, scary games with us.

“On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far, and face up to your problems, whatever they are.” No matter how far we need to go to get our but in a chair at a meeting, we do it. Meeting makers make it! That’s a fact.

“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 3/4 percent guaranteed.)” By doing “the next right thing” on a “one day at a time” basis, you WILL succeed.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Mental Illness, addiction, whatever ailment it may be. This book is so simple, truthful and uplifting. I read it often. It helps keep me grounded. Try it, you might like it.




I love that ahhhh feeling. You know the one. Release. So bottled up you feel like you’re gonna’ explode and then…ahhhh.

I met with my med. doc and my head doc today. Med doc and I have been together since 2004. 10 years. WOW! For being a Duke fan, he is amazeballz when it comes to psych meds. Of course we have our differences with the whole Duke/UNC thing, but I forgive him. He says that the HRT (hormone replacement therapy) should help get me back on track and pull me out of this depression. No med changes right now. He thinks HRT will enhance my cocktail once it gets going in my system. Glad to hear it because I don’t like feeling like I am moving mountains just getting out of bed in the morning. It was fun informing him that there is a published book titled “Duke Sucks” and that I am the proud owner of a copy.

My head doc, who I call H-bomb, met with me for an hour. It was exhausting. Talk about release. I haven’t seen him since December of last year. I was able to talk through a BUTT LOAD of stuff. That ahhhh feeling of release that booze used to give me I received by puking out all the crap I had bottled up inside. Crap I didn’t even know I had been bottling up. I go to a lot of AA meetings and thought I had my cards on the table. Yeah, not so much. So, H-bomb got an earful. And I got my money’s worth.

I am so blessed to have these two as part of my support system. They have been by my side through some ugly times. I am going to start seeing H-bomb on a biweekly basis for awhile until things level out. With hubby on the road again, it will be good to have this outlet. There’s only so much one should put out on the table at AA meetings. And I feel a responsibility to my med doc, even if he is a Duke fan, to keep myself in check. He’s got a lot of time invested in me. And he helps give me that Ahhhh feeling.



Sound mind and body.

Yes, I am of sound mind and body. As in, my mind and body make TONS of sounds!

Currently, my skull is vibrating from all the noise my mind is making. The demons (addiction, mental illness) know that I have appointments with my head doc and my med doc tomorrow. I have been forcing myself to get to near daily AA meetings, which is pissing one demon off in particular. With my morning prayer and meditation, the demons all scream in pain. It’s not long before they dress their wounds and come back fighting. They talk, they scheme, they scream. But the awesome thing is that this morning, I surrendered. I’m not fighting back. My Higher Power has this. God has my six. If I was fighting, my ass would have been toast before I got out of bed. This trip to depression street has really taken it’s toll on me. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. But it won’t win.

I mentioned physically. OMG! I have gained over 25 pounds in 2 months. I promise I am not the vain type, but on a 5 foot, zero inch frame, 25 pounds is A LOT, especially when I was over weight to begin with. So, yes, my body IS making tons of sounds. Snap, crackle, pop. I sound like a bowl of Rice Krispy’s when I move. I keep telling myself this is just a bump in the road, but those damn demons try to make me feel like I am the bump in the road. In reality, I know that as I emerge from this depression and get the green light to exercise from the doc after surgery, I will slowly shed these extra pounds. It’s just not that easy to fathom when I’m standing in front of the mirror naked after a shower.

It’s nice to know that I AM of “sound mind and body”. Hey, it’s MY fantasy, so I make the rules!



Weak then Strong?

So, let me get this straight…when I am weak then I am strong?! Say WHAT?

There is this really cool author named Paul who lived about 2000 years ago that wrote about this. I am paraphrasing here, but the gist of it was that Paul got boastful and basically egotistical about some stuff then got a thorn in his side. This thorn hurt like H-E-double hockey sticks. He pleaded with God to remove the thorn but God ignored him. Finally, God answered Paul with, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul later says that he will go on boasting about God’s grace because when he is weak he is strong. Hmmmmm….

Today I had the proverbial thorn in my side. I am still fighting physical pain and a pretty deep depression after having a total hysterectomy two months ago. Hubby was still on the road and wouldn’t be back ’til late afternoon. I woke up at 7:30 this morning and every ounce of my being screamed, “GO BACK TO SLEEP!”. I just started taking hormone replacement therapy yesterday in hopes of getting this depression under control and it was literally all I could do to walk down the stairs. I felt beat up. I felt weak. I felt pain. Made a cup of coffee in the Keurig. Sat on the couch…big mistake. My mind and body were ganging up on me. “JUST CURL UP AND REST FOR A MINUTE!”, I heard a voice say, just as my legs eased onto the couch and my head laid down perfectly on the arm rest. Sooooo comfy. NO, NO, NO. If I give in, it will be another wasted day. I will sit, lay and sleep the day away and hubby comes home to a mess. A messy wife, messy house. ICK! But yet, I feel so weak. I am in a full on battle now. Physical pain, weakness, feeling as if I just ran a marathon, yet all I have done is walk down the stairs to the kitchen and then to the couch. I start spiraling, getting down on myself with my military mentality. “Come on…Adapt, improvise, overcome!” Nothing. “Put your big girl panties on and get over yourself.” Worse. Then something inside me says, “Grace and mercy.”

My Higher Power is one really awesome dude. Just when I was about to throw in the towel this morning, I hear “Grace and mercy”. Ahhhh, there you are. And I wasn’t even pleading with Him to take out the painful thorn in my side. I didn’t have enough sense to think of THAT. I was too busy trying to be Super Woman and fix things myself. God came along and tapped me on the head as I was getting cocky and didn’t even know it. Yes, that’s right folks. I use my Higher Power in my mental illness just as well as my addiction. Next thing I know, I am showered and dressed and on my way to a meeting of sorts. I went to church this morning. It was great. God’s grace IS sufficient for me. And His power IS made perfect is weakness. As long as I get out of the way and let Him do what He does, I’m going to get through this depression. It WILL NOT drive me to drink again. But I gotta’ remember my weaknesses and where and WHO to seek strength from.



Surrender to Win?

Hey y’all. I found this little gem in the depths of my old blog and thought I would kick off the new one with it because surrendering is something I have to do to have any type of serenity. With a dual diagnoses of addiction and mental illness it is easy for me to slip out of surrender mode and into FIGHT mode. When that happens, I get tired. When I get tired, I get sloppy. When I get sloppy, I lose the fight. Never fails. So you see, surrender is something I HAVE to do, every day, many times a day, to keep on track. Work in progress….

Hmmm…. surrender can be a very complex and heavy subject…. if “I” let it be. It’s quite a paradox in my sobriety, because I now know that I must “surrender to win” .

Now, coming from a military family, having served in the military and being close to a FANATIC about U.S. History…. “surrendering to win” makes no sense, goes against the grain of every successful battle plan and is the most asinine, ignoramus strategy that a military mind could ever conceive!! BUT….. when it was explained to me (over, and over, and over AND over again) in the realm of recovery, God intervened and helped soften that extremely HARD melon of mine so the concept could start sinking in. Here’s the jist of it…..

I had to give up on self-will and let my Higher Power (God) start calling the shots. Selfishness, self-centeredness and self-will were the taproots of my destructive behavior. I had been convinced that I was in control and the things I was controlling were “okay” and by the time I realized things were NOT “okay”, devastation was upon me. I had to surrender my will AND my life over to the care of God… EVERYTHING…not just the things I thought were out of control…. EVERY aspect of my life had to be surrendered. I mean, if you surrender as a prisoner of war, you don’t get to put conditions on it, do you? You don’t get to say… “OK, I surrender…. but only from 9-5, normal duty hours, then I’d like to go back to base camp, where I can kick it with my buddies. Then I promise to report back here and be your prisoner tomorrow at 0900 hrs.” No!! That’s not how it works. And, I was a prisoner of war, so to speak. That vodka bottle had me in its grips and I had no escape route. No way out. I was on lock down 24/7 and it was torture. (please do not take this as disrespect to our troops, as I in NO WAY put myself in the same category with them) And the simple fact was, EVERY aspect of my life WAS out of control. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health were bankrupt…. TOTALLY bankrupt. ALL of my relationships were in the pooper. Friendships…gone. Family…fed up. Intimate relationship…non-existant. Yes, life was OUT OF CONTROL!!

So, surrender was my only option. My last option. And now I understand that surrender, in this sense, implies enlightenment, not defeat. I could only surrender through courage, because my fear would never allow me to surrender. Once I turned my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understood Him , amazing things began to happen in my life. This cause-and-effect relationship between surrender and victory over life’s demons and challenges is what keeps me working the AA program and holding on to the promises that more will be revealed. (this paragraph was paraphrased a bit from the book “Undrunk” by A.J. Adams)

Today, I surrender every morning. I am constantly “surrendering” . It’s a very freeing feeling to surrender my troubles and let God’s will guide me to the solutions. And soooo…. what was once a complex and heavy subject for me, is now very simple and light!! And for this, I am so very grateful!! If God is your co-pilot, your sitting in the wrong seat!! (sorry, just had to throw that in there) :0)

And there you have it. Surrender, AND WIN!

What a life.


Howdy to Your Face!

Well, here I am. Back in the blogger seat again. For those of you that gently (or not so gently) nudged and encouraged me to start writing again, I thank you…I think. For those of you that are just popping in to see what all the hub bub is about…hang on to your hats because it’s going to be a wild ride.

Quick “About Me” (skip down if y’all know this stuff):  I am from the coast of North Carolina. Come from a military family and was an Air Traffic Controller in the Air Force. I have 3 beautiful daughters and am married to a wonderful man who often reminds me that I am a gift from God. I suffer from a number of mental illnesses and am a recovering alcoholic.

This blog is going to be a chronicle of my everyday life, dealing with mental illness, recovery from alcohol, being the parent of a 20 year old, a 16 year old or a 10 year old, or all 3, or a plethora of other things. Feel free to stop by anytime you want. Word of caution: During the month of March there will be constant talk of how awesome the UNC Tar Heels are and how awful the Duke Blue Devils are, regardless of how both teams are performing in the March Madness basketball tournament.

I have an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude as I sit here tonight:

  1. I was able to attend my favorite AA meeting with my “village” this morning.
  2. I went to lunch and there was great fellowship after the AA meeting. I felt that I was “a part of”.
  3. Spoke with one of my old sponsor and she gave me some great advice and a number of different things.

This recovery life can be a bumpy road, for sure. But when all is said and done, when I do the next right thing, it most certainly gets a lot easier.

Glad to have you aboard. Y’all come back now, ya’ hear?!