A Letter of Forgiveness

angel

‘Let us be willing to release old hurts.’- Martha Smock

Dear Renee,

The last three years have been especially harrowing, yet you’ve persevered. I always knew you were  a strong woman.

I want you to forgive yourself for the last ten years of drinking. I want you to love and accept yourself and know that you are a beautiful spirit.

You are not your past, and it does not need to define you. Your future and your community are the sober people, the perfectly broken.

Your children love you. The longer you are sober, the more their trust will return.

Do not look for love until you can find it within yourself.

Go to meetings.Work with a sponsor. Keep busy. Dive into work and become a stellar employee again.

Be kind to yourself and know that you alone are enough.

Let go of your past. Let go of love that is not evenly returned and move forward.

Find peace.

Find joy.

Find love from within, and the brilliance of it will flow to everyone you encounter.

Forgive yourself, and put your trust in the future.

Love, Renee

(This is a letter I wrote to myself the last night of my stay at the Brighton Center for Recovery. My addiction counselor told me to save doing this section of my homework after everything else was done. I read it to my community the day I ventured out of the Brighton Bubble into the sunlight of new future. I’ll  share of my journey when the time is right. For now, I have another story brewing about a wheat farmer and his wife. I hope to post it soon. This girl is getting her sparkle back for sure. Thanks for following me on this journey.)

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31 Days and Counting

marilyn 1

“Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” – Marilyn Monroe

Step 1: I admitted that I was powerless over alcohol that my life had become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.

Ay, there’s the rub, catch, or whatever you want to call it. The searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. It’s not easy for a procrastinator like me to park my ass in a chair for a couple of hours and list all of my resentments.  My flaws. Wrongs that I cannot right. Pieces of my past I gloss over. Only to bring them up again so someone can point out how fucked up I am. It’s unnerving and it makes angry. It’s why I gave up going to AA the last time I got sober. I became what you’d call a dry drunk. I didn’t drink, but I didn’t do the work to stay sober either.

31 days ago I’d had enough. I bought a Big Book and began reading it. I even got a sponsor. Of course being the pig headed woman I am, I tried to move ahead and do some of the other steps before completing Step 4. Super Sponsor called me a cowboy and told me to do the program by myself if I was so damn smart. Thing is, I’m not smart. I’m frightened beyond belief. When I finally admitted that to myself, the work began.

My sponsor told me to remember that I wasn’t writing prose. I’m a writer though, and it’s what I wanted to do. I wrote my list in a way that maybe someday my words could be used as a soliloquy if I ever got to do a big Share at an Open AA meeting. Of course I look at the sentence I just typed and laugh at my arrogance. That’s not what Step 4 is about. It’s about letting go of resentment and all that other junk that weighs us down.

Last night I sat at the kitchen table and completed parts I and II of Step 4.  With all the courage I could muster, I texted my sponsor and told him I was finished. His response, only three little letters, ‘ILY’. It made my night to know that he was still in my corner. Still cheering me on.

There’s more work to be completed, but I’m closer than I was two days ago. I’ve been sober for 31 days. I’m not going through withdrawal anymore. I can sleep through the night without having horrific cravings and nightmares. I don’t want to beat the shit out of everyone I come in contact with. I’m generally a happy person to be around again. I’m snarky, sarcastic, fun loving, a smart ass, sparkly, and basically a raving lunatic. So yeah, I’m pretty much back to normal.

What I find most difficult to do at the moment is find my muse. She or he is hiding in plain sight I’m sure. Pray, keep your fingers crossed, dance naked in the moonlight, or whatever you need to do to help me find it again. I’ll be sitting at a table, working on part III of Step 4.

Love and kisses,

Renee

Guest Post for Daan van den Bergh

Pheonix

Today I share with you a link to a guest post that I did for my friend Daan van den Bergh. It ain’t pretty, but the best stuff I write seldom is. It’s a cautionary tale of addiction and redemption. My redemption has barely begun. Please be sure to share my story. If you’re living with addiction, get help, go to a meeting, and/or find a sponsor. Message me if you need to and I’ll point you in the right direction. I’m too new at sobriety to be of any use to you yet.

Triggers, Guilt and Alcoholics Anonymous

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Dostoevsky

“Mom, why do you drink?”

It’s none of your business. I leave the reasons why I drink at the AA meeting table.

“I guess it’s between you and Dad then.”

“Nope, it’s none of your Dad’s business either,” I stated. “Sometimes I don’t need to explain shit to you. I just want to get better.”

“Okay Mom!”

“Is there any way we can repair our relationship?”

“Don’t know.”

As my tears spill, I tell him, “I don’t want to be your peer, I want to be your mother.”

“That’s all I ever wanted you to be,” he says in reply.

My Adam Boy, the one that I thought understood me the most, never did at all. I created the divide between us, but so did he. I am not going to shoulder all of the blame anymore. The burden is far too heavy for me to carry on my own.

There is such thing as respect for your elders. While I was teaching the kids to do so with other adults, I forgot to include me in the lesson.  I thought they respected me, even when I was being a nonsensical drunk. Should I have put a boot in their ass more often? Maybe. Maybe not. Should their father have demanded that they respect me more? Maybe. Maybe not.

They think the world of Roger Darling. Me, they liken to a cartoon character that gave birth to them. I’m a weirdo.

I can’t go back and change a thing. All I can do is move ahead, and ask that they think more of me. That what they say and do to me can hurt.  I am their mother. I’m also their elder. I’m not a peer and I’m not supposed to be. Someday, I will be the grandmother to their children. I will be the wise old sage that will tell their children what not to do. I hope that their children will come to me for comfort when Mom and Dad’s rules are too much for them. Because I will be sure to teach them  to give their parents the respect they deserve. We live and learn, and we share our lessons with the next generation. At least, that’s what we’re supposed to do.

A few years ago, after having dinner with my mother, cousin and daughter, I got a phone call.

“My darling daughter  I love you,”  my mother stated in her most serious tone.

“I love you too Mommy, but I just saw you like, two hours ago,”  I giggled.

“After the argument you and Meg had at dinner, I just wanted you to know that someone liked you, that I like you.”

“Mom, I’m okay, or rather, I will be.”

During our phone call my thoughts returned to the conversation during dinner. My 18 year old daughter knew everything about college while I knew nothing. My mother gazed at me as my brow furrowed and smile faltered. Mom and my cousin continued the conversation, while I sat mute and tried not to cry. It wasn’t about the subject matter, it was the tone with which I was spoken to that made me clam up. My heart broke, and I was done.

I don’t write this post to demand respect of Meggie and Adam Boy. More so to learn to respect myself in these early days of sobriety. The respect from them will come in the passage of time. As they see me heal, they’ll heal too.

Teach your children the meaning of love, honor and respect. Don’t forget that these three principles are a two-way street.

To love, honor and respect ourselves, is to teach our children how to love, honor and respect others.

Love and kisses,

Plain old Renee

(And I’m just fine with that!)

Tales of an Addictive/Compulsive/Impulsive Sparkly Girl

No, I didn’t break out in handcuffs. However, I did break out in stupidity. Read on, dear reader, read on. Oh and on the subject of RDJ, yeah I’d hit that. In 100 different ways. Giggle!!!!

I started writing this on 10/19/2012. Not sure when I will post it. Not sure of anything as of late. Except the fact that life is only as good as you make it. So I’ve decided to make a good life for myself and those around me. First off, I have a confession to make. I am an addictive personality and very compulsive/impulsive. I think with my heart most of the time, and to hell with the outcome. Then my conscience gets the better of me and I have incredible panic and anxiety over my actions. I’ve always been this way. It’s not something I can shut off. It’s something that I must live with and control every day. It sucks, but it’s who I am. Secondly, I am an alcoholic. Yes, I am. My addictive/compulsive/impulsive brain thought that I could drink again after all the weight loss and exercise. What I got was a big, fat nope, you can’t do that!  I got the message after I proceeded to drink a magnum of wine one night and pour my heart out to a friend that I had no business pouring my heart out to.

My Roger Darling knows nothing of this binge and if he reads this post this is where he will find it out. I’ve been married to the man for 23 years. He’s kinda got this sparkly but tarnished girl figured out. For reasons completely unknown to me, he stays. He stays with an addictive/compulsive/impulsive woman who does stupid shit when she drinks. He stays with an addictive/compulsive/impulsive woman when she doesn’t drink and still does stupid shit. He stays. And why does he stay? Because he loves this addictive/compulsive/impulsive woman. Yes he does.  For that, I love him with every part of me that I can.

He sat down with me a few days ago after my wine binge, which he might have known about but didn’t acknowledge, and said, “woman, I love you, get your shit together.”  I said, “you’re right honey, I’m sorry I will.”  AGAIN! I’ve been saying shit like that for hmmmmm, going on 23 years now. That evening he had to go back to work for a few hours. We sat, had coffee, watched the Tigers sweep the Yankees (YAY!) and chatted. I gave him my word that it was a night for me to disconnect. To watch 30 Rock, Up All Night and The Office on NBC. Then it was bed and a book. No computer. No writing. No texting. Nada, nothing, zip, zilch, and zero. And that my friends, is exactly what I did. I threw out the empty wine bottle, I kicked my feet up and watched crappy t.v. Which isn’t that crappy because 30 Rock is the shit! Tracy Morgan makes me laugh so hard, I wet myself. I talked to Roger Darling on the phone. Then crawled into bed with the Wonder Schnauzers nestled around me and slept the best I had in weeks. I never even heard RD crawl into bed with me later that night. I was out!

The next morning, I awoke and I was happy. Maybe even a little sparkle had returned. I’m a little tarnished still. I always will be. Because, well, I’m an addictive/compulsive/impulsive girl. But I’m one that is dearly loved by her Roger Darling, her Meggie, and her Adam Boy. And by many, many, many others.

First and foremost I need to find the love I have for myself. I’m a good person. I have a good heart. I love with all of it. Though not too wisely sometimes. I am smart. I am funny and sarcastic as fuck. I say fuck a lot! I’m a bombshell and dammit, I’m a fucking rock star! Yes, I’m in therapy. And that man is a fucking rock star too. He keeps me in check and makes me realize I AM NOT CRAZY! I am not bi-polar, and I’m not narcissistic. The highs, lows and and intense emotions I feel are what make me, me. This is me!

Here’s a bit of random trivia for you. Robert Downey, Jr. was born April 4, 1965. I was born April 3, 1968. We’re both Aries (stubborn/bullheaded/fiery/passionate/sensual/adventurous/fun). We are both addicts. Why am I not surprised I am born under the same sign and only a day apart. I’ve always loved the man, but now I get it even more. Hey, I watched Biography recently because, well the man flips my damn trigger. I’d let him watch t.v. while he did me for the love of God! Okay, enough about him. DAMN is the man HAWT! Seriously, enough.

I’ve been sober for a week. I’ve been getting better by the day. The depression is waning and so is the anxiety. I went back to exercising. Which is such a good addiction to have. My joints hurt and my muscles are sore. But hey, it’s so much better than a hangover.

Not sure why but the song below resonates with me. He was newly sober, but had incredible support. I have incredible support. So on and on this sparkly but tarnished girl goes. BTW the book writing continues…… On and on I go….. With love in my heart, and love by my side.

Special thanks to Harry for sending me a message to tell me to keep writing. You’ll always be my BFF who gets me. Why in God’s name you are still my friend after 14 years I will never fully understand. But I love you Harry.