Always a great reminder, especially in recovery: you can still wish a loved one the best and take care of yourself.
I want to encourage the breaking of silence, the smashing of stigmas, and foster building blocks of understanding. #MHA
Source: Breaking Silence
So happy to share this on the blog today! Truth: it has been far easier for me to find support for alcoholism than treatment-resistant major depressive disorder and anxiety. There is still so much fear, ignorance, judgment and stigma around depression. I am thankful to those courageous enough to break the silence and go deeper than just “I’m fine.”
My husband snapped this photo last night and emailed me with the title, “Evening Huddle.” It is a helluva happy huddle! A year ago, I was way off course and quickly sinking to the bottom of my addiction to alcohol. My cousin sent me a great article recently that describes addiction as “the opposite of connection.” Bingo! Total disconnect – by selfish choice – then by habit – finally without any sort of logic or consent at all. Just dead.
God and my family have brought me back to life. In just 8 months, I have been fortunate to have regained my sobriety and focus. And look at my reward! A puppy, handsome teenaged son (and daughter, who just celebrated her 17th birthday and is overjoyed with her new ukulele), purring cat, large cup o’ Joe, Netflix and hubby all in one room filled with happiness, a roaring fire and quilts made with love by my Mom.
I don’t know why I steered so far off course in the first place. It is so scary. I am one of the lucky ones to have been brought back to a conscious, intentional life. Yes, I feel pain instead of numbness at times. AND JOY!!!! Today, I am just grateful for my happy chaos – I am working with kindergarteners in an underprivileged community. I have a beautiful family, a Mom I can still call on the telephone as often as I want, an amazing AA Sponsor, a life partner of almost 20 years, and many supportive friends. Whether our family can afford to take a vacation this year or not: WE ARE RICH.
I read a lot about addiction and recovery now. If you are looking for inspiration, motivation, or just curious about people’s stories, I encourage you to check out 2 of my favorites:
You can be as public or private about your struggles as you like. I have deliberately talked about mine because it helps my healing and accountability. More poignantly, talking about it helps me live in the present and experience the joy to the fullest.
Go hug your mess!
It was summertime 1973 and the house had a different rhythm – a teenaged rhythm. 3 teenaged sisters and a brother were home from boarding school and there was no rest for the curious. I woke up early to the sound of Malin and Laurie’s swim lesson in the backyard pool. Mom was making French Toast and the seductive aroma jolted me out of bed.
Down the hall, I heard James Taylor’s “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon.” Jeff was awake and getting ready for another hot day in the fields with Mr. E.P. Dad was on the ranch in Texas. Running downstairs for breakfast in my favorite Speedo racerback swimsuit, I slid my fingers across the red velvet stripes on the wallpaper the whole way. “I will feast on a rolled up slice of French Toast with powdered sugar,” I planned, “then to the pool for a quick swim until I hear the motor of the the ice cream maker churning fresh peach ice cream.”
There was nothing better than drying my pruney, water-drenched self atop the air conditioning unit near the ice cream maker in the summer. My body pressed against the coils with hot air spewing – and leaving a checkerboard imprint on my legs.
Occasionally, the lure of wild honeysuckle draping across the backyard fence would lure me from my drying time atop the air conditioner and I would quickly hop off long enough to snap a blossom and gently pull the stem just enough to make the natural honey ooze. Then immediately back to my post beside the ice cream maker: nothing would deter me from my mission of pulling the paddle with freshly churned peach ice cream out of the magical drum surrounded by ice and salt.
“How DO you do this,” I asked Mom each time. She was certainly busy but managed to make each day perfect. I think summer was her favorite time, too.
That summer, I rode my bike after supper with Laurie, my 15-year-old-sister. She was my favorite playmate – she did my hair and makeup, taught me exercise moves, played The Beatles’ red album for me while I fell asleep at night, made homemade pretzels with me and told me where babies came from that summer!
Summer was a time of electric energy, days filled with warmth and nonstop activity until I collapsed, water-logged and brain spinning with images mysterious teenage music (there was an earlier summer my brother had a cool garage band), posters, phrases, friends, clothes, hair and skincare products and LOVE. At night, I would maneuver a way to climb in the back of the station wagon to “Circle Town,” listening to “Honky Tonk Women” on the local radio and sipping on a Cherry Coke from Big John’s.
When August came and my teenaged playmates packed up to return to school, I was so sad and “Alone Again, Naturally.” Then the letter writing began – daily trips to our hometown Post Office to check out Post Office Box 156 and look for teenaged news and treasures became my occupation. What a life I had as the youngest of 7 – each season’s memory dotted with loving memories of what “they” were up to and how much I had to look forward to.