A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

Christmas Hangover

When I refer to “Christmas Hangover”, I’m not talking about alcohol or any mind altering substances.  I’m talking about the emotional buildup of hanging out for the obligatory socializing with people I may not normally see or talk to any other time of the year.  It is awkward for me and a painful reminder of childhood circumstances and the damage I’ve caused with addiction and side effects of PTSD.

I do my best to attend and really work on keeping my perspective on the side of feeding the “good” within me.  I can make a heaven out of hell – or – a hell out of heaven.  I did pretty well until I sat down for dinner for day two of festivities and the absence of my father just set in… all at once like someone sat a huge cement block on my chest.  I feel like I did well overall, but I had reached my maximum output.  I could no longer keep the mask on of holiday festivities and the real me starting shining through.  I don’t like to come across as a drama queen.  It’s kind of been my forte over the years and I’ve come to terms with the need for a higher level of emotional maturity.  I succeed most of the time, but man oh man, I could feel a break down bubbling up.  It’s not that I don’t love my family, but I don’t have the relationship with the them that I wish I did.  So… being there, feeling the obligatory invite, and seeing them interact and all that… it just saddens me in a way that I don’t think they could understand without personally experiencing.  I feel like they are doing my stepmother a favor by having me there.

I’m fighting some severe codependency issues.  I was in denial and only recently identified that it’s a severe issue in my life.  Putting myself in the center of my own universe and accepting responsibility for my own happiness is extremely scary and foreign to me.  But I know that it’s intensely affecting my quality of life.

So the day after Christmas is always wonderful for me… it’s the furthest I can get from having to Christmas again.  Today let the celebration commence.  Also, the days are getting longer, as well, so that in itself is another reason to celebrate.

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Gratitude – 12/17/16

  • Coffee
  • Warmth
  • Roof over my head
  • Sleep
  • No night terrors
  • Patricia
  • Knowledge
  • Clean Clothes
  • Awesome Dad
  • Grandma, Grandpa, Samantha, Mom
  • Health
  • Meeting with Jaime on Tuesday
  • Love
  • Interview
  • New Year Starting Soon
  • Start of Day 4
  • Snow Storm…. yah yah yah

“I’m either working on recovery or working on a relapse.”  This is me… working on recovery.

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Hard to Fathom

I’m still in recovery.  I’ve come to terms that it’s highly likely that I will need to see a therapist and/or still attend meetings for the remainder of my life.

What’s different at this point is… I have forgiven all who have harmed me.  And by doing so, it’s allowed me to move on from my past.  The anger, sadness and resentment were all poisons to my soul and not allowing me to be present in the moment.

I’ve finally found a place in recovery that I can call home.  It’s been a struggle because when I moved back home, the options were rather limited.  And after having the The Healing Center for two years while living in Milwaukee, I was disappointed with what little was available to me.  For me, tough love doesn’t work.  I experienced tough love for many years of my life, particularly my childhood, that it actually drives me to want to use.   I need a more compassionate environment to thrive.

For years, I denounced the idea of NA.  I thought that their approach to God indicated that I’d be sitting in a room with a bunch of people trying to convert me.  That is so far from the truth, it’s ridiculous.  Within the NA circles, God is very personal and the members respect that.  I can only speak on my experiences with the program in the little time I have been participating, but I’m ecstatic.  I need a spiritual awakening.  And to be able to do that on my terms, with people who have been in my shoes and have that guidance is nothing short of a pure recovery decadence.

In addition to going to face-to-face meetings, I have found a wonderful online community.  The people in there are wonderful.  It’s a great alternative to face-to-face meetings although we haven’t figured out how to hug through the internet… lol.  I really do miss the hugs!

I’m on Step One.  I have 15 days clean.  I am feeling excited, scared, thankful, grateful, overwhelmed and relaxed.  Quite the mixture of emotions, but I’m hanging in there.  Just for today.

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Healthy Relationships

Today is my first day of my group at the Sexual Assault Center here in my hometown.  It’s my first chance to continue my healing journey since moving home from Milwaukee.  The theme of the group is based on healthy relationships.  I definitely can use that!

Next week, I get my toes wet with Life Skills classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It’s the intro to the year long program I signed up for.  It’s strictly for women and that’s good.  Most treatment centers and programs were concerned about my sex work and my sex trafficking issues causing triggers for male members.  My hometown has always been kind of a conservative, blue collar type of town, so I guess I’m not shocked by their referrals, but it kind of worries me given the fact that most of the counselors, psychologists and etc., don’t have much experience in this due to the fact that there isn’t much going on in this town in regards to that.  Caught me off guard at first to be thought of as being a trigger for other members, but sex has always been kind of taboo in this sleepy town of mine.  It’s part of the problem, to a certain degree.  Sometimes I feel like it’s silencing a huge problem that’s going on.  Sleepy town or not, these things happen everywhere.

Three positive things today:

1.  Had a candid talk with Dad on the phone

2.  Met with my one-on-one and she lit a fire under my butt.  Kind of scared me a bit.  Sometimes that’s a good thing.

3.  I applied for 2 jobs and have my resume all done.  4 different styles.  5 of each and on good paper, too.

4.  I have my first group at the new healing place and it’s less than an hour!!!

5.  I listed four positive things, instead of three 🙂  Five if you count this one!

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Riding the Waves

Let me start off with saying that I am truly blessed.  I am so very thankful with where I am in life.  There once was a time when this all seemed to be a fantasy… the family, the friends, the growing stability, the love, the wisdom… the coping skills 😉  But it’s all real now.  I still think about what a miracle occurred in my life.  Definitely some sort of divine intervention.

The relationship I spoke about very briefly in my prior post ended up fizzling.  I had an idea that it was over before it started, but that’s a whole other story for another day.

What’s irking me is Christmas.  Christmas is so flippin’ commercialized these days that it’s caused people to go into frenzies for days, weeks and months on end… they are stressed out, running around crazy, overpreparing, overspending, overindulging… just too much of everything, and not enough of what it’s really supposed to be about.

I want it to end.  And then, to top it off, mother nature decided that now would be a good time to visit.  I’m already irritated enough.  I do believe my coping skills are getting a work out, but I’m thankful that I have them.

Bah Humbug.  Oh, and Happy Holidays 😉

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Freedom of Choice – Victim vs. Survivor

“Being a friend to yourself means believing and treating yourself in ways that are consistent with your belief that although we are victimized in life, being the victim is a free choice. We are free to choose.”

Sana Johnson-Quijada MD

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Respecting the Process

It’s been a while since I blogged.  So many wonderful things have happened.
For one, I am now employed FT and kicking major booty in the performance department.
I actually have health benefits… WHOA!
I have met some wonderful new people at work that I am starting to consider friends.
I am super flippin’ thankful!
Now with all that being said, it doesn’t mean that it’s all peaches and cream.  I’m still struggling.  I’m still fighting a daily battle to love myself unconditionally.  There are times that life is not what I want, but yet what I sadly choose.  I don’t beat myself up for choices that are not good for me, but I do realize that they are indicators.  Red flags that something must be put in check, because I know what a slippery slope things can be.
I am learning to respect the process, though.  I understand, fully, that my transformation into who I was and where I want to be is going to take time.  As they say, Rome wasn’t built overnight…

All in all, though, I’m still surviving and at times… even thriving.

Keep on keeping on and don’t lose patience or understanding of the journey.  It’s not quick and easy.  It’s hard as hell.  But I respect the process and I acknowledge that I am taking steps in the right direction.  Even though I may stumble, it’s that I get the hell back up that matters.
“Illegitimi non carborundum.”

((Don’t let the bastards grind you down.))

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“…gifts from suffering…”

While in treatment at The Healing Center, I found that I heard this phrase a lot: “…gifts from suffering…”

That’s pretty deep to me.

A lot of times I can spend time dwelling on all of the losses and all of the pain and just basically stay focused on my trauma in the past.  But when I think about what my gifts are from suffering, I feel “the journey”.

Although there have been and will be times that seem dismal and overwhelming… the tides of life keep it moving.  It truly is a journey.

My gift from suffering is the ability to tune into another person’s emotions on a very empathic level.  I feel their pain.  I feel their joy.  While it’s a bit much sometimes, it is a gift.  I feel as though I can relate to people and show a level of compassion that people who have never experienced trauma could.  I feel comfort in seeking those people out, because they understand, I understand.  It’s a connection that a lot of people in life will never experience.  I feel like I am alive, alert… aware that life is precious but can be gone in the blink of an eye.  And just because we are breathing most certainly does not mean we are alive.

Blessed with gifts from suffering.

I ask you, my friend, can you identify a gift from your suffering?

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I Will Not Give Up

I’ve been sitting here racking my brains trying to utilize tools that I have been given to live a healthy and fruitful life… but I am still kind of floundering with “mom issues”.  I can’t make sense of it in a way that doesn’t deeply pain me.  I am still having a hard time dealing with accepting it for what it was.  I don’t know how to deal with this on my own so I did make an appointment with a therapist.  Just another hoop to jump along my path to recovery and wholeness.  I have faith in the process and I will not give up on myself.

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No Rhyme, No Reason

I am extremely thankful for today.  I am enjoying the solitude and the silence.  An occasional sound of the keys clicking, but for the most part, it’s like a comforting melody to my soul.  In the moment… I feel blessed, grateful, relaxed, contemplative, hopeful, strong and beautiful.

I know my own heart.  I know my own intentions.  I’m truly beginning to become my own friend.  I no longer despise the woman I see in the mirror.  It’s like I’m waking up from a nightmare to find out it was all real.

I survived.

Wow.

That alone, is an amazing statement considering what I have been through.

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