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Have A “Romy and Michele” Day!

31 Jan


We all have encounters with people we work with that just floor us… and not in a good way. I’m lucky that I’ve only had this happen a handful of times and I’ve come to realize that resentments will kill me… literally. My ‘cure’ is to just stop the resentment before it spins out of control… and stopping it doesn’t always  mean that I need to confront that person or ever talk to them again.

Sometimes it’s best to just say fuck it, fuck her/him/them, I’m good.. what’s next on my plate for my life… and move on. Romy was a tad more eloquent when she said:

“What the hell is your problem, Christie? Why the hell are you always such a nasty bitch? I mean, okay, so Michele and I did make up some stupid lie! We only did it because we wanted you to treat us like human beings. But you know what I realized? I don’t care if you like us, ’cause we don’t like you. You’re a bad person with an ugly heart, and we don’t give a flying fuck what you think!”

If there’s one thing I learned in my 5 sober years, it’s that the only thing I can change is myself. I also learned that co-dependence is a bitch and emotional abuse is never okay. We truly reap what we sow and our true mindset, our true intention and who we really are.. deep down… can’t be hidden from the powers that be.. our authentic self is known by the universe and what we experience is because of who we really are… not the mask we show the public.

You can’t live life with an ugly greedy heart behind the mask of a generous guru and expect life to not kick the shit out of you in the end. Trust me, the scales will not balance in your favor.


Suck It Up Buttercup!

6 Jan
Not everything that happens in your life is about you. Every joy you feel, love, laughter, happiness and bliss… Each heartache, tear, pain and horror that you witness is not about you. Those experiences, every single one of them, happen so that someday, maybe tomorrow or 20 years from now or even after you’ve left this earthly existence, someone somewhere will hear part of your story and it will… have an impact on them that is so great, so moving and so profound that it changes their life forever.
Consider that idea the next time your ego lies to you. Consider that idea the next time you scream out ‘why me?’ Or ‘life isn’t fair.’
Because in the end, your body becomes dust and we all are living on borrowed time.
Spend it wisely.

Big Girl Panties

5 Jan
The devil you know vs the devil you don’t. Life doesn’t reward us simply because we are living day to day as responsible, hard working individuals. There’s no gold star for playing by the rules. We all have to pay the piper for the sins of …our past. There is no free ride and the world owes us nothing. Suck it up, life isn’t fair and it ain’t pretty but if you can look at yourself in the mirror each morning and not be ashamed of the eyes staring back at you, then life really is pretty damn good. Our reward for doing the right thing may be the fact that we are still alive. Be grateful, stop bitching and remember, God doesn’t owe us shit, but we owe Him everything.

Viva Las Vegas

19 Oct


Today was a good day… the work week ended as per usual…. Me feeling like I did an okay job for the majority of the week and with an end in sight (January 2014), each week gets easier. Emotional detachment does have its benefits. However… it also has its detriments. A few weeks ago my Doctor decided to scale my bipolar meds way back… and when I say way back… basically to almost nothing.

Goodbye Prozac, Goodbye Wellbutrin and Goodbye to ¾ of my dose of Depakote.

Needless to say, the past few weeks have been an adventure. Some elements I’ve handled well, other elements not so much. I’ve managed to do okay but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been difficult. I forgot what it was like to have a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and joy and rage and just an uncontrollable feeling of unrest that goes from being in my mind to externally not being able to slow down. My bipolar runs from hot to scalding so there is no ‘down’. I use to love this – love the sleeplessness nights and the raw feeling of every emotion that my mind, heart and soul experience in the course of a day. Now.. well now this just fucking sucks. The chaos that was always my drug of choice has become as uncomfortable to me now as the rush of dopamine was my euphoric elixir years ago.

Scattered thoughts, sleepless nights and the amount of self-control and energy it takes to not just go with the flow are exhausting. Exhausted Insomnia… talk about a fucked up state.

I know I have all of the tools to keep myself straight… but that doesn’t mean that temptation has been removed from my life. Tonight I almost let my guard down… tonight I almost gave in to the trickster… not to drink but to revert to behaviors that makes my bipolar do a happy dance. Some would say that I was being ‘tested’ but I am not Job. I did however, have a glimpse of divine intervention.

It All Started With Ben Affleck

Kicked back in the most amazing movie theater seats I’ve ever seen, my sister and I enjoyed utter relaxation after a long week for us both. We went to see Runner Runner. Not a great movie, not a terrible movie but Ben was trying to relive some Boiler Room moments and his monologues didn’t have quite the same punch. All in all a great way to enjoy a Friday night, my last night in Sin City. Amidst my relaxed and calm state, I forgot about HALT. Hungry, Angry, Lonely , Tired… 4 things that occur in all of lives, usually without consequence. For those of us that are the alcoholic variety – HALT can put a serious cement wall waiting for you to collide right in front of your face.

As we headed home, my sister gets an invite to head out… some anniversary party at a club. She asks me if I want to go and before really thinking about it, I ask for 25 minutes to get ready. While in the midst of figuring out what dress will match my rather loud orange spiked heels… I had a pause. Ever have one of those? That brief moment where for one split second, you are almost standing outside of yourself.

In this brief moment, I realized that the heels I brought didn’t match any of the dresses I brought. Go figure, I thought orange spiked heels would go with everything! The dress I chose made the ensemble close enough to pass but not close enough to go together. Divine Irony. That’s what I like to call it. Truly God doing for me what I could not do for myself. It wasn’t that the combination of the dress and heels would have made the doorman go ‘what the fuck you cannot enter the club in that monstrosity’ but the pause as I looked at the outfit was what made me think. Fuck. This isn’t me anymore. I don’t get ready to go out at 11:45pm on a Friday night. I don’t hang at the club till 3am making small talk with people I could care less about. Who am I going to meet or what conversation am I going to have that would greatly impact my life at a club in Vegas on a Friday night? Don’t worry… I’ll wait while you come up with an answer.

The truth is… I have no business in a club in Vegas on a Friday night. None.

The Big Book tells me that there are times in my life when I will have to be around alcohol. The key word is ‘have to’, but the Big Book also tells me that if I am not vigilant – I’ll create any reason to ‘have’ to be around booze. So how did the evening end? I told my baby sister that she looks gorgeous (which she does) I tell her to have fun, to be safe and to call or text if she needs me for anything. Then I packed up the dress and the heels that didn’t quite go… I put on some raggedy yoga pants and a t-shirt – pulled my hair up into a ponytail and took off my makeup. I took my Big Book out of my purse… read a few highlighted passages… I sat down and thanked God for doing for me what I could not do for myself… and I am about to kick back and watch American Horror Story Season Two Episode Two and chill with Sammy the Cat.

The bottom line.. I’m blessed… blessed to have those around me who understand, blessed for the pause, blessed for having a Higher Power and blessed for Mom’s Amazon account. You see it’s the little things… there’s no cure… there’s nothing larger than a daily reprieve. The minutes become hours.. the hours become days and the days become years… but every milestone in sobriety starts one minute at a time.

I said for the longest time that I didn’t have another run in me. That’s a lie. I do have another run in me… what I don’t have in me is another recovery.

My recovery is not dependent on people; it is dependent on my relationship with God.

Why The Anonymity & Recovery Debate Sucks

11 Aug


Are You In Or Are You Out?

Gotta love the anonymity debate. For years, many addicts and recovering addicts relied heavily on the anonymous nature of traditional 12-step programs. With the increase of technology empowering those addicted and in recovery to have a “voice”, the curtain of anonymity is being dropped. The issue being raised questions if anonymity is still safe due to the increase in recovering addicts coming out of the addiction closet. Fear is also rising regarding the protection of the anonymity of those that choose to remain anonymous. In my opinion, I’ really fucking tired of hearing about this debate.


While the controversy over remaining anonymous runs rampant, I figured I would add a few points to hopefully clarify the situation. Simply put, I don’t see a problem. I highly doubt that individuals who opt to be public about their recovery or struggles with addiction are going to start a campaign to “out” the entire community. Also, I don’t think that by openly declaring your addiction status threatens the anonymity of those that opt to no be as open. Individuals that wish to remain anonymous can do so and those that opt to declare their addiction or recovery to the world at large should be free to do so as well. I fall (obviously) into the category of people who decided to shed their anonymity. Why did I do this?

I made the personal choice to become public about my struggles with alcohol and drugs and subsequent day-to-day success of remaining sober and thriving in recovery. I did so because I am lucky enough to deal with the stigma on my terms. I am not in a position to lose employment and I am willing to deal with personal backlash because of my public admission of addiction. I am extremely lucky that I have not had to bear a stigma cross for this blog, my activity on twitter or recovery status updates on Facebook.

Make A Choice

If you want to come out of the addiction closet then do it if you want to remain protected by anonymity then do that. But for the love of God don’t just sit on the fence. I take issue with individuals who wish to use addiction and recovery only when it suits them and then run and hide behind the curtain of assumed anonymity when they encounter people, places and things that don’t give them a gold star for being sober or give them an award for living past their addiction hell. Therefore, one must put on their adult panties and make a decision that they can live with. Just keep your side of the street clean.

In the end, it comes down to choice, that nasty responsibility of free will. Simply make your decision based on your comfort level. I don’t see people walking around with signs demanding that you out yourself as an addict or an addict in recovery. Nor do I see signs being waved that all addicts and recovering addicts must remain anonymous in order to keep the collective whole safe. The stigma of addiction will not end until society becomes comfortable with the word “addict”.

Hope Remains

Addiction is a very lonely disease. For me, being ‘out’ has lifted the shame that is associated with being a drunk in recovery. I made bad choices. I hurt a lot of people and now… now I make living amends and I take each 24 that I am given in stride.

Whichever choice you make, embrace it, be responsible for it and take ownership. You are not being forced to choose to be public or private. Be true to yourself and the decision to be anonymous or out of the addiction closet will be the right one… for you.

A Love Letter From A Recovering Alcoholic

8 May


Dear Future Love Of My Life,

Even though we haven’t met yet, I have to take a moment to offer a word of caution, before attempting to have a relationship. Trust me, you will thank me in the end.

See there’s a slight problem thinking that you can have a fairy tale when you will never be able to put anything or anyone above your sobriety. To knowingly be selfish – because that’s what saves my life is a double edged sword because it will also keep me from loving you with my all. I know that you want to be first. You want my heart and my love… but you have to realize…  if I give you all of ‘me’ then I will lose the one thing that I value above all – my recovery.


So many resentments will build and eventually those resentments will explode in a Mt. Vesuvius fashion – destroying everything in its path – including me, including you and every single thing that we value and love in this world.

Dear Future Love Of My Life,

I’m sorry but we will never be Middle America. We will never have a relationship that resembles any sense of normalcy. There will be no 50/50 or even any shade of compromise or understanding that doesn’t have me putting myself first. Selfish and self-seeking, that’s how I was when I drank. All ego. All hubris. All bravado. The same degree of being selfish that kept me locked in a warped world where my false perception created a disillusioned reality is the same degree of selfishness that I have to have every single day in order to stay alive.

I must turn my will over to the God of my understanding, to admit that I am powerless and to have my first and last thought of each day be gratitude for another 24. And while you may be an observer, perhaps at times an active participant – the world of my sobriety will always be foreign to you. And it will always come first.


Because it comes first I am able to do something that I never thought was possible.

Feel emotions for you that are true, that are not in a fog or haze and that are pure. Sober means when I say I love you – I do. But I can only love you with part of my heart – not all of it. There will always be a small part of my heart where only the God of my understanding resides. Where I have conversations with Him that I will never have with another human being.

That’s my salvation. That’s my serenity. That is my true love.

Without Him – there would be nothing in me to give to you. So please accept what I have to give, because it truly is all I can safely give to you.

Rising From The Ashes

23 Mar


“Woman Injured In Blaze”

The journey beyond a small town newspaper headline.

March 23, 2007 started off like every other day had for as long as I cared to remember, with one exception. Two days prior Friday the 23rd, I knew that I had to stop drinking. Let me clarify… not to stop drinking completely but to control my drinking enough so that I wouldn’t be sick and shaking in the morning. I needed to control my drinking enough that I could get through the entire day without the feeling of my skin turning inside out.. I knew that my body had officially become reliant on an 80 proof half gallon of cheap ass vodka.

I was tired… but not defeated

In my infinite wisdom, and in my fractured and out of focus state of mind, I knew if I could get through 3-5 days without the booze, I’d be home free. I had no intention of quitting completely… I just wanted to get control of my drinking back. This is the mindset of an alcoholic. I honestly believed that I had some semblance of control and power.

Hubris. Ego. Vanity.

That trio managed to throw my ass hard into countless walls… but instead of throwing me headfirst into a cement wall… the power’s that be decided that on this day… they would burn the only world I knew to the ground.

The morning of March 23, 2007 may have began in a routine fashion, but the day progressed in a manner unlike any other.

The exact details of that Friday early afternoon are … foggy… to say the very least. They say I got myself out of the burning house. They say I had to be restrained from trying to run back into house because I thought my father was inside. They say after multiple official investigations that the cause, the source and even the starting location of the fire remain unknown. They say… They say… They say. All of the factual details of that day were told to me through the memories of other people. Some family, some friends and some complete strangers.

Six years later, I still don’t have concrete crystal clear memories. Six years later I carry the scars of this day on 20% of my body. Six years later I’m sober.  Six years later, I’ve  evolved past living to being alive.

Today I honor March 23 2007, in remembrance of an event so horrific that the details could only be described as terrifying, tragic and pure hell. But you see… I don’t view it that way.

March 23, 2007 was the day that gave me my life back. On this day I realized that I was not immortal… this was the day I realized what death was… and that I wasn’t ready.

To live through something is one thing… to survive is even better… but to thrive… there are no words.

Every single one of us will have one event, one moment that defines who and what you are.  Things happen. Good and bad. It’s up to you to determine what you do with what you are given.

They say the best gifts are wrapped in sandpaper.

The best gift given to me… was wrapped in flames.

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