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Working for a purpose.

With the death of my dad came a lot of bills. I’ve been working 5-6 shifts a week to make extra to pay on his bills. I’ve miss him everyday but I know he is proud of my for continuing to stay sober.

Today is Fathers Day. My first of many without him. I of course worked to keep my mind and body busy.

With the covid I had quit exercising. It didn’t help that the gyms also had to close. The last few weeks I’ve picked up trying to get my steps in daily. It’s really hard with working so much but I’m doing it. I’m also drinking a lot of water.

This past week steps. 🙂

It’s good we only have to be sober for today and only one day at a time. If I tried to focus on to much I would be overwhelmed and probably drink. I have the gift of living only one day at a time. Sometimes I feel like I’m living one hour or even one minute at a time. I also thank god every night that he help me stay sober and I can go to sleep sober.

☀️

Grief

I had to take some time for myself over the last month.

My dad passed away suddenly on April 3rd. It wasn’t expected. He had high cholesterol and had a previous stent in his heart. He still mowed his own lawn. He still walked miles and miles to hunt. He was only 62.

The day he passed he was washing buses at his job. He drove elderly people to their appointments and to grocery stores. He suddenly collapsed. He was in ventricular fibrillation when EMS showed up on the scene. They worked on him for 43 minutes. They lost a heart rhythm 10 minutes after arriving. I know they tried the best they could to revive him. That give me a lot of peace.

With the covid-19 we were not able to have a normal funeral. Only 10 people were able to come. We had to stay 6 feet away from everyone. I wasn’t even able to hug my mother and comfort her in her time of need.

The Red Cross was able to get my brother home from Japan. My other siblings all love close or a state away. My brother went back to Japan on May 6th. My sister who was home from Tennessee went home on Sunday which was Mother’s Day. I’ve been checking on my mother regularly. Yesterday was really hard on her. It was the first tine she came home to an empty house. I wanted to go be with her but she has been drinking wine nightly and taking unisom to sleep.

The day we buried my father I drove to the tobacco shed and bought two packs of cigarettes. Then I drove to the liquor store and bought a fifth of bourbon. My grief was so intense I wanted to drink it away.

I didn’t. I called my sponsor. I would have to face my feelings eventually and drinking was not the answer. I was close to drinking. Instead I’ve poured my self into online meetings, working and hiking. Being outdoor has helped. My normal trails are shut down due to covid but I was able to find a few that were not.

I’m patiently waiting for more trails to open and also the state line to open up so I can travel. I have bought laminated maps of all the surrounding states and have been mapping out little mini trips. It keeps me busy and will also be healthy for my body.

I’m will go to any length to stay sober even during emotional times. I’m very thankful for the program and having so many people I can call friends now. They have really helped me get through this.

❤️🌞

Isolation and Covid 19

My last day at my previous employment was March 21st. I was suppose to start working at my new job on March 29th. I went to get my TB skin test on March 25th. Upon walking in the facility I had to answers questions one being “Have you had contact with a positive Covid 19 patient?” To which I had to answer yes. I was pulled to a covid 19 floor my last day of work and was in contact with 2 positive patients.

They immediately isolated me. Even though while taking care of these patients I was in full PPE (personal protective equipment). PPE keeps healthcare employees safe while delivering care. They asked me to leave and would call me with the next step for my employment. They called me the next day and said because of the exposure I couldn’t start work for 14 days. Their decision was if I was already an employee and wore my new employment PPE then I could continue to work. They decided since I was exposed from an outside organization I would have to wait 14 days to start working. I don’t like it but have to respect the decision.

As of yesterday my previous employer has had 45 positive employees of covid 19. My new employer has only have 6 positive employee cases. This does give me some comfort that they are doing the best to protect the employees. It’s not been easy being stuck at home.

The decision made my new employer made me disclose this to my PRN employer. They have since concluded they would prefer me to also stay home for a total of 14 days. I feel honesty is the best policy.

I will be able to go back to work at my new employer on April 4th. I should add it’s not a new position. Just the job I left when I decided to move to Louisville. Everyone is so excited I’m back to the Lexington area. All my previous co workers are excited I’m back and I’m exited to be back with them.

My time at home has been spent unpacking and organizing my home. I’ve been cooking and attending a lot of zoom meetings. I’m lucky I got my tax refund before this state lockdown. So I can finically be ok with taking two weeks off work for now. I’ve got about 10 more boxes left to unpack. Today I was finally delivered the bookshelves I needed to unpack but I don’t have a screwdriver or hammer. So I will have to wait to unpack the rest until I can get those. You can bet on the 4th after I work I will pick those up and start putting these bookshelves together.

Stay safe everyone during this trouble time.

❤️ ☀️

Busy Bee

I’ve been busy with the move and then being sick. I still haven’t got everything unpacked yet. When I decided to move in with my boyfriend last year I was able to donate many things to a females sober living house.

Thankfully with being sober I was able to work extra shifts and replace those things I donated. I did have to sleep on my couch for a few weeks but I appreciated getting my new mattress so much.

My boyfriend and I couldn’t make things work so yesterday we finally decided to split. I’m going to have to stay at my brothers house until I finally can transfer back to my old job. It’s a 3 hour trip from my house to my current job. It’s only 1 hour from my brothers house. Today I went and finished all the drug screens, background checks, immunization checks and T Spot testing. Hopefully I’ll get my start date soon.

Breaking up hurt a little bit. We were together for 2 years. I cried a little bit but I’m very strong. I’ve built up a community of friendships through my AA program and was able to lean on them. It made getting through yesterday much easier. We all need a little support sometimes.

❤️

Moved

The last couple weeks has been a blur! I moved back home. I never realized how homesick I really was. My son is loving being close to his grandparents. I have also loved all the help they are giving me!

I was able to plan a dinner with my mom. Then I was hit with a little stomach bug. My mom had to end up driving me home because I kept vomiting. Then I aspirated some of my vomit. Gross I know.

My esophagus is really messed up. I had breast cancer many years ago. One of my treatments was radiation therapy. It not only burned my skin but my esophagus was fried. I couldn’t drink sugar drinks anymore or carbonation because it hurt so bad. So I learned to like unsweetened tea and I gave up sodas. During my treatments I lived on pretty much a liquid diet.

Food sometimes gets stuck in my throat. I can usually get it out with a weird cough. It’s the only way I can explain it. There has been a couple times food has got lodged in my esophagus and I’ve had to had surgical intervention to remove the food. They have had to stretch my esophagus due to strictures.

I try stick to soft foods. If I do eat a steak I have to be very careful and chew extra. My favorite food is raw carrots so I have to extra careful with those.

So why am I talking about all this? I’ve got pneumonia again. From aspirating when I vomited. It sucks. It’s 64 outside and I want to hike but I’m stuck I side while I heal. I’ve got boxes still to unpack.

But I’m sober. So I can’t complain.

🌞

Home

The last few weeks have been tough. After living a few months in the city I’ve decided to move home. It’s funny because I’ve spent over 30 years trying to move away from that hometown. I remember as a teenager telling my mom I could wait to grow up and move away.

Since being sober I’ve formed a relationship with my mother. I want to be able to spend as much time with her as possible. When I was drinking I always pushed her away and that was my fault.

My son has a close relationship with his grandparents. This is because when he was younger they pretty much raised him because I was drinking. They cared for him when I couldn’t. Taking him for visiting and seeing the pain on all of their faces when we leave is to much. Being back home means that he can see them every day if he wants.

I’ve had my house on the market for five months now. I’ve had a few offers but never could sell it. This is god doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I didn’t want to let go of the property because it was HOME. It’s the one place I’ve always felt welcome.

This weekend I called my previous manager and she said I could have my old job back. This is great news. So now all I have to do is pack and rent a moving truck.

Yesterday I broke the news to my boyfriend. We have been living together since December. We have dated for 2 years. He doesn’t want to leave the city and move away from his dad. I asked him to give my hometown a chance and he isn’t willing. It hurts a little because I have given the city a try. I gave up my job and I moved. I’m not going to build up a resentment. I know he feels close to his dad like the connection I’ve build with my mother. Just like the one my son has build with his grandparents.

Please pray for me as I work this transition out over the next couple of weeks. I really feel this is the best for my son, myself and my sobriety.

There is now place like HOME.

My backyard at HOME!

Love Myself?

I don’t regret my past. My past has made it hard to love myself.

I was raised in a broken home. My mother has been married three times. She dated several people throughout my childhood. People were always coming in and out of my life.

My father wasn’t in my life until I was around 12. He was in the navy so I only got to spend a week or two in the summer with him. He was always a phone call away but never really there. When I got married young I cut him off for 10 years because he didn’t approve of my marriage. That caused a lot of tension in my marriage.

I was abused and molested at the start of a young age. The abuse was from my step grandfather. When I was a senior in high school it came out to the pubic that he sexually abused several girls. I had to continue to live in the county while the other girls who were molested didn’t have to live there. I felt branded. It was like I wore a Scarlett letter. My grandfather was a pillar of the community. A great guy to everyone. He was dependable and trustworthy. That what everyone was saying to me. It was published in the two local papers. Front page it was displayed.

Everywhere I went people would ask me if it was true. Did my grandfather really do all the things that he was accused of. I felt like I was dying inside. I felt like people looked at me different. It was like they looked down on me.

My grandfather was arrested. He fell ill while awaiting his trial. My grandmother stood by his side. That was another betrayal. My grandfather passed away while waiting for his trial. I never got to confront him and say what he took away from me. I went to his funeral to make sure he was really dead. I felt like you couldn’t kill the devil and he was the devil in human form.

I find relationships hard. I find loving myself and my body hard.

Drinking helped me suppress all the feeling of my past. Being sober I now have to confront these feelings. The stress and anxiety of trying to love myself. The shame and guilt I feel inside sometimes is unbearable. I don’t feel like a victim but I don’t feel like a survivor either.

I can go hiking and get dirty. Then I can take a shower and make myself clean. The trauma of my past makes it feel like I can’t clean my inside. Living in a new city full of strangers doesn’t change my insides. It just changed the outside.

I want to feel whole inside instead of damaged. Maybe I’m just supposed to be beautifully damaged.

❤️

Valentines Day

So it’s officially the day of love. People have rushed out to buy flowers and chocolates. Those receiving them take pictures of these display of love and post them on social media sites. Those bitter about the holiday are posting about “Happy Single Awareness Day” and “Happy Independence Day.”

Last year I couldn’t wait for this day. It was my 90 days sober. At the meeting I attended they give out red chips for 90 days of sobriety. Fitting that I would get a red chip on the day of love. ❤️.

This year I’m still sober and very grateful for another valentines sober. Tomorrow I will get my son a valentines card and some chocolates. It’s half price the next day. He doesn’t care it’s a day later and I save money. We never really celebrated the holiday on the correct day as he grew up. I normally worked the holiday so celebrating late was really out only option.

I hope everyone makes it through this holiday sober. You can do it!

❤️

450

Recently celebrated 450 days sober! Had a fabulous day for celebration. Watched a show and went to eat at one of my favorite sushi places. Then it was back to work like normal.

This weekend I had the privilege of taking care of someone who was recently diagnosed with cancer. She was given 6 months to live but with chemotherapy could live longer. We chatted about our children while I provided care. After a few days I was able to discharge her home. While waiting on transportation at the front door she started to cry. Of course I asked why. The response was “my son hasn’t hugged me for weeks.” My heart shattered for her. She then went on to explain that her son worked with the public and with her chemotherapy he was afraid hugging her would make her ill. As a nurse I want to fix things but I couldn’t fix her.

We never know what people are going through. Are they fighting an emotional battle they can’t share with anyone? I’m great when sharing when something good happens but recoil to myself when it’s bad news. I’m the first to congratulate someone else when they have good news also but don’t know what to say when they share bad news.

So as we sat there the only thing I could think to say was “I don’t know what your going through but I can sit and listen.” So I listened. I learned more about human compassion in that 15 minutes while we waiting than I have in my whole nursing career. She went from tears to laughing. Her eyes had lightened up. I had done my job.

Meeting have taught me to listen. It’s one of the gifts that sobriety has given me. Sitting and listen to other people talk and just not hearing the words that they say. Understanding the meaning they are delivering.

I’m blessed and grateful that with time I’m seeing a change in myself. The old me would have rushed that lady to the car. I would have looked at my watch about 20 times wondering when her ride was getting there. In my mind I would have been thinking about all the other things I had to complete. I wouldn’t have taken the time to listen to her. I’m thankful I’m not that old person anymore.

I’m challenging you to take the time to listen this week. Block the world out and truly listen. Take time for someone.

❤️

Movie

I have a subscription to a television provider that plays series and shows. Yesterday I was scrolling through the newest releases. Then I saw a movie that they recently put on. I was frozen for a second. It was the last movie my ex husband and I went to see in a theater. I watched it and cried a bit. It was also a sad movie.

Emotions came flooding in. Being depressed lately didn’t help with the emotions. My ex was my best friend. We were married 19 years. We grew up together. He knew all my secrets. My drinking just wore him down.

I don’t know when I became so fragile. I use to be tough as nails but everyday I get a little bit stronger. I had to lose him to find myself again. I wouldn’t have hit my rock bottom if he didn’t walk away.

Drinking destroys lives and relationships. Sometimes those can be saved with sobriety but sometimes they can’t. I have to respect the decision my ex made. It saved me.

Today as I worked out I listened to the soundtrack of that movie. I don’t regret my past nor wish to close the door on it. It brought me years of happiness which I got to think about as I listened to those songs. Instead of crying I found myself smiling.

I’m living now instead of just existing. I have a future.

❤️