Going Forward

I admit my last post was a bit depressing and melodramatic (which I excelled at by the way when I was drinking). I partially blame that on the post-surgery exhaustion I was experiencing, but in all truth, I was/am at a crossroads with this blog.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve been obsessing over it (okay, maybe a little), but I’ve definitely been thinking and praying for guidance. I guess it comes down to this: my life is not very exciting (which I’m okay with) and, honestly, I get tired of talking about me all the time. Sure, there are things that continue to come up in my sobriety, but I feel like I’ve been putting myself in this little box – and now I’m outgrowing that box (which I think is a good thing).

So…long story short, I have some ideas of where I’d like to go. I’m not going to stop this blog because, in many ways, it’s become a part of me – like another appendage (kind of). No, as a matter of fact, I’m going to dive deeper. Not only do I want to share my story; I want to share others’ stories. And, not just those in recovery, but those who have been molded and shaped by their lived experiences.

We all have a story and I’m fascinated to learn how others have coped and overcame life’s unexpected circumstances. I’m still working on how all this is going to look, but I’m excited. And, in an effort to better promote my vision, I’ve created a Facebook page for my blog. Yes, I’ve taken the plunge, so if you’re interested in “liking” my page and following along you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/lifecorked. It’s a work in progress, like the rest of me.

Thanks for your support as I continue to map all this out! Grateful to be on this crazy ride together!

Oh, and by the way, on a totally different topic, it still baffles me that my most viewed post on a typical day is my healthy chicken enchilada recipe. And, then the second most viewed post is my “about” page because I’m sure people are thinking, “Why the heck is a recovering alcoholic writing about chicken enchiladas?” Well, leave it up to me to mix the two together! No one alcoholic is alike, right?!

 

I Need a Break

Stop

I’m an addict. I have an addict’s mind and I approach life with an addict’s mindset. If something brings be pleasure (or assumed pleasure), I want more of it. And, the more I get, the more I think I need.

My life has been consumed with different types of addictions. Praise from others, exercise, food at times, men and above all, alcohol. My addict mind becomes obsessed with my “drug” of choice to the point where it begins to consume my life. It’s very subtle how it sneaks up on me. Slowly, unknowingly I find myself struggling with the “need” to satisfy my cravings and the logical part of my mind that says, “It’s not good for you, it’s not important.”

Lately, I’ve found myself feeling uneasy, agitated, unsettled and disconnected. I knew something was wrong, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. And, then in a moment of clarity I realized what it was. I’ve been feeling totally and undeniably addicted to social media. I’ve been comparing my insides to everyone else’s outsides and that is dangerous ground for a recovering alcoholic like myself. I begin comparing who I am with how everyone else portrays themselves to be. I start feeling depressed, inadequate, incomplete and before long I begin to feel desperate. I feel desperate to “fix” how I’m feeling and that’s a scary feeling for me.

I think many of us go through phases where we realize we’re spending a little too much time online and make it a point to scale back – I know I have. But, this time it’s different. I’ve found myself caring more about what others think about me and what I post. Did they “like” it? How many people “liked” it” Why didn’t that person “like” it? Or, I fall into the trap of “needing” to share EVERYTHING in my life. Social media has created this “look at me” mentality that becomes all-consuming. Look what I can do? Look what I can make? Look how cute I am? Look how creative I am? Look how funny I am? LOOK AT ME! Really, it’s a disgusting habit that we’ve allowed ourselves to fall into. And, I take full responsibility for taking part in it.

In sobriety, we learn that being humble is a key part of our recovery. For me, social media attempts to take every ounce of humbleness away from me. Instead, it encourages me to act boastful and prideful. In essence, it takes me further and further away from my relationship with God where I find peace, clarity and humbleness.

I feel relief knowing what the problem is. And, now I need to take the steps to “get right” with myself and God again. I need to refocus my energy and my intentions. In the past, I’ve deleted my accounts, but not this time. Social media will always be there – it’s how I choose to approach it which is the key for me. I’ve deleted certain apps from my phone, which is a start. I’m coming “clean” with all of you, which is another step in the right direction. But, really, the most important step for me is focusing inward instead of outward. I’m okay with me. I’m okay with the person I am today. I’m not perfect. I’ll never be as skinny as I think I should be, or as creative as others. I’ll never be happy with my hair despite how I cut it or what color I dye it. I will ALWAYS have flaws. But, that’s not the point. The point is, I’m okay with me. And, most important, I know God is okay with me too.

My American Heart

red heart photo: red heart red-heart.png

Like so many of you, I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s going on in our country right now. I’m sad, I’m angry and at times I feel very helpless and hopeless. I worry about what kind of ramifications all of our current problems will have on my children as they grow up and reach adulthood. I see a divide that continues to grow larger and larger between our political parties and those who were elected by and for the people. I see families and friendships being torn a part by opposing political views; each pointing their finger at the other. I see hatred being spewed across social media and people “defriending” each other on Facebook because of what one person supports and what the other doesn’t.

What I fail to see is the common American heart that exists in all of us and the common love we have for our country. The very fact that I can sit here and write this is an AMAZING freedom – one that is denied to many in other parts of the world. The fact that I can sit in my RCIA class at our church on Thursday evenings and talk about God, Jesus and Catholicism would be cause for death in many countries. As a woman, I can wear what I want to wear, say what I want to say and go where I want to go, which is simply unheard of in other countries.

My point isn’t to remind you of all the privileges and freedoms we have as Americans, my point is to ask “What happened? And, how did we get here?” How did we become so divided and so angry at each other? When did the “American Dream” become a bad thing? When did patriotism become something to be ashamed of? Do I agree with everything that happens in this country? No. Is life always fair? No. But,  I do believe that no matter where you are born in this country, who you are born to, what kind of conditions you are born into, everyone and I mean EVERYONE has the freedom and opportunity to achieve a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in their lives.

I can’t help but make the comparison to my program of recovery. When we walk into the rooms of a recovery meeting, we see people of all colors, races and backgrounds. Some were born with a lot, some were born with nothing. Some have supportive families and friends, some have no one. But, we are all there for the same purpose and we are all freely given the same tools to help us recover and achieve sobriety. Some rush out of gate, determined and destined to achieve sobriety on the first try; some take it slower and steadily do the work, eventually achieving their goal; others try and fail over and over again until they finally “get” it; and then, sadly, there are those who never make it despite all the tools and support they are given.

What our leaders (if you can even call them that) fail to remember, is that most of us in our little towns and big cities are just trying to do our best to achieve that “American Dream.” From a small age, we’ve tried to do everything the “right” way. We’ve gone to school, got a job, worked hard, supported our family, loved our children – yet, we are left wondering “Does any of it really matter?”

Yes, it matters! Because, despite the hopelessness I sometimes feel, I am teaching my children that, while not perfect, they live in a beautiful and strong country that will provide them with all the necessary tools to thrive and be successful, caring and empathetic human beings.

Nothing and no one can take that hope away from me.

The Better Mom

I Relapsed On Facebook

Friends

It’s true…I relapsed on Facebook.

I had every good intention of stepping back, taking a break and simplifying my life. But, I only lasted a week.

The truth is, I missed my friends and family. Okay, so I don’t “see” them or “talk” to them on a regular basis, but I still feel connected to them and Facebook makes that possible.

I guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. My husband always jokes that I was born in the wrong decade – or century. I have a special love for the traditional and romantic. I long for the days of Little Women or Anne of Green Gables. A simplistic way of life where friends and family gather for tea or coffee, write love letters to each other and frolic through green fields (okay, maybe not frolic, but you get the picture). I know, life was not simple during those times. They still had their issues and life was anything but perfect – but I can still dream, right?

In this day and age, I find myself feeling suffocated with the information overload. Smart phones, texts, messaging, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I participate to a certain extent, yet I still find myself baffled by the need to be in touch 24/7. Where is the mystery? The joy and anticipation of seeing someone you haven’t seen in years? The excitement in the unknown?

I guess it’s the romantic in me that longs for “the way things used to be.” Did I just say that? Oh no, a sure sign that I’m getting old!

So, here I am; blogging about Facebook. Ironic, yes. Despite my confliction, I don’t want to be one of “those” people who stands still while the world passes them by. No, never!

With that, I will embrace the here and now, and when I’m feeling the need for a more simplistic time and place I will download one of the classics onto my Kindle – ha!