Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happy Birthday to my blog!

 So, one year ago Monday, I decided to come out of hiding and share my story.  I decided that I cared more about carrying the message than I did about what others thought of me.  I decided to finally do what I have always dreamed of doing....of using my past to help others and to glorify my Higher Power, God! 

 So, what has happened in a year?  A whole lot!  First of all, y'all have shared my story so much!! Thanks to you, my story has been read over 116,000 times in twenty-two countries!!  I write the stuff, push publish, and you all do the rest.  Thank you for reading and for passing it on.  Muah!!

 So much has changed in the last year.  I feel like I have finally started to really enjoy life again, and to {almost} feel normal.  I have kind of just fallen back into a routine with my little family, and things that used to overwhelm me are much more bearable.  Now, don't get me wrong....I still hate to cook, I have piles of dirty clothing in my laundry room, and some days I just have to give myself a little time to cry. Oh, and I still have one Christmas tree up. But, on the average, I'm finally a functioning adult(ish) person!  

 Since last year, I have grown so much in my recovery.  I have dug into places I had never gone before (with my amazing counselor and friend, Renee), and I have come to a place where I feel good. I know that I'm still powerless over my disease, but I feel good.  
 Over the past year, I have continued to make some wonderful new friends and reconnected with some old ones. I have found accountability and encouragement from some amazing women. I have stayed close to and continued to love and laugh with my tribe (Cat, Ash D. Ashlea, Lee, and Lou!) I have begun to earn trust back from the people I love. I took a volunteer position at my church (Life Point Church in Portsmouth, Ohio!) and it has given me such a sense of purpose and a drive to get out of bed and do something! I helped lead a recovery-based small group. I participated in community outreach events. I have begun focusing on my health again and I am trying to get my physical health in line with my mental health.  Never in my life have I thought I was more mentally healthy than physically healthy; and I've never really been that physically healthy, so that's saying a lot!  Ha! I am eating healthy and exercising five mornings a week (unless I oversleep!).   

 Over the past year, I'm pretty sure that I've had more good days than bad.  I've learned that I can never stop recovering. It's not a "one and done" thing.  It only gets stronger when I do things to strengthen it.  I have learned that anyone can relapse, and I have been heartbroken over a few that have.  I have learned that anyone can overdose, and I have been heartbroken over a few that have. I have learned that it is actually much easier to be honest than it is to lie.  It's much easier to stand up than it is to hide.

 Over the past year, I have gone to parent-teacher conferences, Christmas programs, doctor's appointments, vacations, and a bazillion other events with my family.  I have tucked children into bed, braided hair, organized a talent show routine, had a major neck surgery, made frozen pizzas for dinner (my specialty!), read books to my little ones, dropped kids off at school, picked kids up from school, dropped kids off at practice, picked kids up at practice, sat in the bleachers to watch my son play ball, helped with school projects, gone on dates with my husband, planned birthday parties, shopped for Christmas gifts, etc. I have reconnected with my brother, his wife, and their sons and daughter.  I have spent more time with my sister.  Basically, I have lived life.  And, even more importantly, I have LOVED life.

  I have learned that so much can change in a year.  I'm so thankful that I started this journey of sharing my story one year ago.  I'm so thankful that it's not still on my Bucket List.  I'm so thankful that the community, both near and far, have embraced and encouraged me.  

 So, what I want to tell you is this. Don't sit around and wait. Don't wait for things to happen to you....make them happen. The dreams that you have aren't dumb. They are your dreams and you can achieve them. There is nothing that you have done that can trump your purpose in life. So you've screwed up. Use it. Make it worth something! People aren't as harsh and judgmental as you think. Oh sure, there are some out there, but the majority of the feedback I've gotten has been so positive! I have been encouraged and supported in a way that I never dreamed possible. The things that I thought others would think were just lies I was telling myself. So do it. I don't care what it it. Learn how to sew. Get clean. Learn to play the guitar. Share your story. Audition for a role in a play. Go to another country. Start a business. Get a nose ring (my husband will kill me for that one!), Reconnect with that estranged relative. Get your GED. Enroll in college. Take a new job. Become a foster parent. Run a marathon. Write a book. Get healthy, Just do it. Do that thing. That thing you just thought of when I said that? That thing. Do it. 

Before another year passes by.
Before it's too late.
Do it.  
You won't regret it. 

I know I sure don't. 

1 comment:

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