True North


Thank You to everyone who followed my journey while I was Trudging Destiny!!! When I first started writing I never thought anyone would ever read these things and it wants really the point. I felt I had a story to tell. What it brings to me today is clarity, solution, and an outlet of expression.

I have moved from Trudging Destiny to

TrueNorth1218

Same blogger different name. It’s a new journey for me since my new sobriety date of 5/18/16. A lot has happened and life is very different for me. I hope you that have followed me here will consider following me as I try to seek My True North. 😎

TC✌🏻

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Practicing Gratefulness


Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.- Barry Neil Kaufman

When you have destroyed your life to the point of what you think is unrepairable, where do you go? How do you even begin? What steps do you begin to take? Desperation drove me to do ‘whatever’ was suggested is my story. Even making gratitude lists!!! I’ve heard of these, what I would have referred to in the past, “stupid lists” since I arrived at AA in 2004. But never would I have thought these fluffy, psychobabble, silly things would be helpful. I’ve been such a cynic. I have called myself a realist, but in truth I have been a pessimist. I prepared for the worst because it WAS coming, nothing good was coming….. that happened to other people.

So when my sponsor suggested that I make a daily list and send it to her and she’d send me hers, in this new journey in sobriety…..I could have rolled my eyes all the way down the street. I was so damn annoyed!!! But when you are as beat as I was… you just do it anyway. Her lists were nothing short of amazing and wonder. Mine, on the other hand, coffee, my astringent (they were afraid I was gonna drink the crap in rehab so I just got it back), my pillow, and talking to my son. At least I could see something.

But it did get better, I got better. Lots of stuff happened and that would be entirely too dang long for this particular blog but I began to see things. I began to actually look for things throughout the day to be grateful for. A call from a friend. A beautiful sunset. A day without a migraine. A patient not cussing me out or hitting me (I worked in a fully locked unit so let’s just say my patients were a trip and sometimes I was the ride). A day without a fight with my husband. God’s grace. Becoming conscious of His Power, hell becoming conscious. My eyes were beginning to open to the wonder of life through the eyes of gratitude, from these little lists. That’s not all of course but I do believe now in hindsight they were a game changer for me.

Then the bottom dropped out about the time I thought I was catching my stride. After a month and half of inpatient rehab and 5 1/2 months in sober living I was going to move back home closer to my son and husband but into my own apartment. But like I said, what do you do when you have damaged your life beyond repair? What happened to me is I was handed divorce papers. I was heart broken. But I changed nothing in my daily routine. I continued to pray, meditate, talk to others that I trusted and most of all I continued to look for things everyday to be grateful for. Just like the quote says, “no matter what is going on outside of us, there is always something to be grateful for”.

I became grateful for God’s plan for my life. That all I had to ‘do’ was the moment that I was actually ‘doing’ at the present second, and knew that I could handle that. I couldn’t possibly handle everything I was going through, so I just didn’t. I just breathed it out. I focused on just what was good. Not what I messed up, not what I could no longer fix, not what I could have done differently in the past, not what was going to happen in the future, not what I wanted or thought I needed…… I focused on the moment I was in, mindfulness and being grateful. Grateful for everything that I had been through, the lessons I had learned, the mistakes I had made and the truth I had learned from them, the memories that we had shared good and bad because that energy was always and forever expended between the two of us, for who holds the future because it is far better off in His hands that it would ever be in mine. There were dark moments, sad moments, hard moments, and painful moments but they were all temporary although they didn’t ‘feel’ that way at the time.

“No matter how hard you try, you cannot get rid of darkness because it does not exist. It is nothing but the absence of light. In order to effect darkness you must do something with light, because the light is the only thing that actually exists.” -Teal

Developing the practice of gratitude in my daily life, for me, was one of the many things that brought light into my darkness. Not just the list though, that’s way too simple. Being grateful for something is more than just an attitude towards something, it takes action, awareness, care, concern, compassion, responsibility, respect, attentiveness….. get my drift??? It has paid huge dividends for me by bringing light into my darkness. I had no idea that gratitude could be such a game changer or at least it has been for me. It has immensely helped me and 4 months later after I thought I might just die without “him” I am once again whole. Completely grateful for the entire journey and hopeful for what is to come.

Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude. – A.A. Milne

Home


“Home is the place where we can be ourselves and accept ourselves as both good and bad, beast and angel, saint and sinner. Home is the place where we can laugh and cry, where we can find some peace within all the chaos and confusion, where we are accepted and, indeed, cherished by others precisely because of our very mixed-upedness. Home is that place where we belong, where we fit precisely because of our very unfittingness. Humility allows us to find the fittingness in our own imperfection.”- Ernest Kurtz

302 Prairie- I can remember the peeling wallpaper and cloth backing, the mix matched carpet, the lime green kitchen, the smell of the hardwood floors, the creakiness of the porch, speaking of the porch…. the old porch swing. I remember all of it, as if I was just there. This is all before the remodel and I remember all of that too. But it was Home for the first 30 years of my life. Sounds odd, because I moved 19 times from 1995-2007. By that time I had not lived there in 12 years, one failed marriage, many geographical changes but Home was always 302 Prairie. It was never just an address, it was where I felt safe, loved, accepted, encouraged, and most of all it had my heart. But isn’t that why we call it home?

I never called another place home until 2007. This place too had my heart and all those things that Ernest Kurtz spoke of: laughter, tears, a place I found peace…. I belonged. I remember the day I realized I was no longer calling my childhood home “Home” anymore. It was a big realization for me that I had found a new place to “be”. Be me, faults and all, good qualities and bad. I remember being shocked because I would call my old home by it’s rightful owners “Mom and Dad’s”. In finding a place to be, you find out a lot about yourself along the journey of life. Deep fears and insecurities, character flaws that show when only the “safe” people are around, it can become this protective little bubble of your internal world. At least mine did. But what happens when that place is no longer home anymore?

I can remember the day I moved to this town playing “I’m Moving On” by Rascal Flats on repeat. Although, I am not playing that song on repeat, that is what I am doing with my life. Those reasons I had to call that place “Home”  no longer exist. They are fond memories that no one can ever take from me, but yet they are still just memories. Even the hard memories, the tragic ones, the difficult times, and even the memory I have when I realized it was no longer “Home”.

I said it earlier, I found a place to “be”. I’m not sure that place has to have an address attached to it. Maybe an internal condition of being ok with who and what I am, what I have done and what has been done, seeing the past for what it is, the future as full of possibilities and my present is where I exist with everyone and everything that is in my presence. What I have come to learn is that my “ok-ness” doesn’t have to come from the acceptance of another nor do I need to be cherished, so I guess I am in disagreement with that part of the quote. I can have the things Ernest spoke of right here where I am sitting, wherever that happens to be. I can have love and laughter, I can have peace inside the confusion and chaos of life, I can have an acceptance for my mixed-upness and it doesn’t have to come from another person and in fact it shouldn’t. I can fit precisely where I am sitting because I have an Inner Resource that gives me all of these intangibles and more. What I am saying is, My definition of “Home” has changed.

Home is where I am.

 

Unshakable Foundation, Part 2


Better late than never Part 2…….after the Inventory, then what? Well that is the other part of the unshakable foundation I have been working on for the last 2 years and a month. Thank you to AA for showing me how to be a woman of my word and giving me an ego that won’t let me be the ONLY one in my accountability circle that answers a consistent “no” to meditation on my nightly check-ins.

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an UNSHAKABLE foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God’s Kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the Will of our own Creator.” 12 & 12 page 98

I was told to pray beginning on day one when I landed in AA by accident (God knew what He was doing and it’s a good thing He didn’t ask my for my opinion because I was already trying to run). My thoughts on the praying thing were all completely negative due to the fact I thought I had “neatly evaded and entirely ignored” the whole “GOD” thing for a while. But I was no FOOL! I saw the G-O-D in red on the wall in those cute little steps of theirs and I was not real happy about it!!!. The problem was that alcoholism had done its due diligence with me and had completely crushed me from the inside out. I was utterly hopeless and I had been granted what I know today as the “gift of desperation”!

They told me to Pray and I did. I was out of options and good ideas…. or bad ideas for that matter. Over time, God and I grew to be on better speaking terms, mainly because my perception of Him Changed. But that is a longer story for another day. But the whole meditation idea I completely ignored for almost 8 years of my sobriety. I just figured that was for more balanced folks. You know the ones that can turn their brains off for more than 10 seconds, and I was not that girl! Not by a long shot! I ignored the directions on page 86-88 of the Big Book and would hit and miss Prayer in the morning and at night. I prayed in times of trouble, not so much when things were good. I leaned on the fellowship for strength and on conferences for spiritually filling my cup instead of really trying to enlarge my spiritual life through truly seeking God.

Then came the day I wanted more, I needed more! I listened to a Mark Houston CD on steps 10, 11 and 12. He basically said if you aren’t doing 10, 11, and 12 then you aren’t doing AA!!! Talk about a stake in the heart, because I knew he was talking about me. I was doing step 12. I was working with newcomer women and I had service commitments. But If I was really honest with myself, I wasn’t great at step 10 because my ego was justifying a lot of behavior and I was very unapproachable. Just ask anyone in my homegroup, LOL!!! My 7 year chip Birthday night “roast” was brutal! I’ve never been called a Bitch in so many Politically Correct terms in my whole life and from the podium. Prayer, some…. Meditation, NOPE! I needed some serious work!

But thank God we are a work in Progress!!!!! Spiritual Progress not Spiritual Perfection!!! I was finally ready to acknowledge that I was ignoring these vital steps!!! I was ready to address them head on! I found some women that were ready like I was, not without some misgivings. I knew I needed accountability to help me remain motivated and stay the course. I am so grateful for these women that have been with me on this!

Texting nightly inventories and committing to what at first was morning meditation. Which has become daily meditation. I’ve learned that I can meditate whenever I want to! If I miss it in the morning, I can do it at lunch or before bed, because there is never a wrong time to quiet my crazy head and listen for God. I listened to guided meditations on youtube, I still do. I’ve read spiritual books. I read 86-88 most mornings….. It really is a WONDERFUL way to start the day!!!! I pray my way through it! I’ve done 21 day meditation challenges from Deepak Choprah. I don’t get upset with myself if I can’t keep my head quiet for 3 minutes or 5 minutes or 7 minutes. However long it is quiet is however long I meditate. Somedays longer and some days shorter. It’s not about the length it’s about the effort! I believe God is honoring my effort.

The Unshakable foundation is this…… Emotional balance!!!! What the hell!!! If you would have told me that when I started this process, I would have said BS!!! No Way!!! Crazy-ass girls with heads that run like mine don’t ever get to a point where they obtain emotional balance……But it is true! Higher Highs and Not low lows…..Does that make sense? Less anger! The ability to keep my Big ‘ol mouth shut! The ability to appreciate the sunset in Puerta Vallarta for 30 minutes. To be able to pause my day for that long to watch it! I highly recommend it, if you haven’t tried it! God continues to reveal more and more to me and more about me! I’m so so grateful God gave me the willingness to give this a shot! I only wish I would have tried it sooner!

-Big Girl Panties


Resentment is the number one offender for us chronic alcoholic’s like myself, that’s what it says anyway. In fact, the Big Book states that it’s SO BAD that it compares it to death 4 times in one paragraph: grave, fatal, shut ourselves off from the Sunlight of the Spirit(that in itself is death), insanity returns and we drink and with us to drink is to die. You could actually split that up into 5 times if you’d  like, but regardless of the way you count it, it’s just bad!!!

They say it destroys us, first spiritually and it’s all downhill from there. We run on self-will, though WE don’t think so, which is just all ego. Which just means that we won’t listen to anyone telling us that says we are operating based on our emotions, self-centered fears or delusions. It will erode our spiritual connection with our Higher Power and our fellows.

So what happens when you know you are the target of someone else’s resentment? What do you do when someone continues to retailiate against you? Pot shots, hateful words, malicious gossip, snide and contemptuous comments….. But you are Awake in Spirit enough to know that their only hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience. What do you do now? That’s what they call “when then rubber meets the road”! Do you put the Spiritual Program of Action to work in your life that you talk about in meetings or do you subscribe to you deepest darkest insecurities, protect your pride and take matters in the hands of self?

“…..we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.” 12 and 12 pp 92

I was told early on in my sobriety that I can chose mercy or justice. The literature tells me that I am basically incompetent of telling the difference between justified and unjustified anger(though my head would argue that point even today).  I was also told that it’s either justice for you and justice for me or mercy for you and mercy for me. Since I am extremely grateful for the mercy I have been given, I guess my choice is really a no-brainer!! I have no right to “feel” justified (because feelings aren’t facts anyways). So I must chose mercy for you.

Please don’t think that I’m some sort of Saint, it took me 3 days of meditation, reading literature and consultation with my sponsor and a few other spiritual advisors to come up with this conclusion. But the moment I did, a peace came over me!!! I typically hate character building and walking through uncomfortable situations but today, I’m ok with this. My mind may change tomorrow😊

In the last analysis, this person needs love, compassion, forgiveness, and the hand of AA. Sometimes the still suffering alcoholic is sitting “in the rooms” right next to you and let’s just face it…… Sometime it’s you or me for that matter!!!

We all need love, no matter how damaged we are or ate up with self we are or how unlovably insane we behave because I believe that is the will of my Creator.  Trust God, Clean House, and try, to the best of mu ability, to practice the principles in ALL my affairs!!! No matter what I fail at in life there is always a step to clean it up and I thank AA for that and I thank AA for my God!

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AA haters


I’ve been pretty open and honest that I am an alcoholic and that Alcoholics Anonymous has been the avenue that I have used to achieve 8 years sober. I am sober by God’s grace, that is my belief. I have put a lot of effort, action, and change in my life for that to be a reality. I am in no way the poster child for AA. I have found something that works for me and it works quite well.

I have enjoyed reading blogs about AA, sobriety, alcoholism, addiction, recovery, and a few other topics. Some from people that are sober, some not, and some trying to figure out if they should be or not. I relate to some people a lot and some not so much. I have also found some that have, apparently, made it their life’s work to discredit Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole due to their bad experience, someone who they know who had a bad experience, or because they think they know what we AA is about. Those probably amuse me the most.

They say AA is a cult or that they brain wash people. To be honest, my brain needed some washing! They mention that we are a hoax and that we force people do to this or that. They state we have a less that 5% success rate (if that is the case than I am one lucky girl! HAHA!). They believe that we shove God down people’s throats and or our own religion on them. I could go on but all of this is such a load of crap that I will stop there.

“Prejudice is a great timesaver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” – Bertrand Russel

Funny thing about people these days and the internet….. they believe everything they read good or bad, true or false. If you believe everything you see on Facebook or on chain letter emails…. you are an idiot! Check out Snopes.com next time you forward some crap you believe to be true. When people have made up their mind about something, whether it is true or false, their minds are closed like Fort Knox. It’s like “don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind.”

“Of alcoholics who came to AA and REALLY TRIED, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” Big Book page xx

This statement was written in 1955. Lots has changed in the world since then but I think the kicker in that quote is REALLY TRIED. I’ve seen a whole lot of people come in and out of AA over the last 9 years and I see a lot who don’t do anything but come to a few meetings. In my experience that approach with AA does not work. Truth is if AA can help one person not die from alcoholism or addiction then that is SUCCESS! In 2010, I went to the 75th International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio, TX. I personally said the Serenity Prayer with 50,000 plus other alcoholics in the Astrodome, so i know it’s helped more than just me!

AA has taught me to be a woman of consideration. Meaning, when I hear or read something, instead of shutting myself off, I consider if it is truth for ME. This whole journey has helped me learn truth about myself. What are your truths? I have no clue! But I know what mine are!

What do I have to say to these AA haters? Get a damn life! I have one that works for me and it doesn’t include forcing others to believe what I believe. There are plenty of other avenues to go through to get sober. My hope is that all those that are trying to get sober find what works for them, AA or not! Living in the endless spiral of self-destruction, unhappiness, hatred for self and others, depression, anxiety, guilt, embarrassment, etc. that drug addiction and alcoholism bring in its wake…… Is NOT living! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy or on those who hate AA with a passion!

Why can’t we all just get along? HAHA!

Change in the Making


Totally not my normal post but I heard this song today….. And this is me! I’m a change in the making, thank God and Alcoholics Anonymous for that! So I thought I’d share with y’all. I’ve heard it said before, I’m not who I was but I’m not yet who I’m meant to be. That is a truth in my life! Through continued work, sacrifice, surrender, service, faith and dependence in my Higher Power…. One day I will get there! Haha! But by then, I’m sure there will be more to change and more to learn. After all, it’s about the journey not the destination!

Here’s the lyrics

There’s a better version of me
That I can’t quite see
But things are gonna change
Right now I’m a total mess and
Right now I’m completely incomplete
But things are gonna change
‘Cause You’re not through with me yet

And this is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
Every day You’re chipping away
What I don’t need
And this is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making

Wish I could live more patiently
Wish I would give a little more of me
Without stopping to think twice
Wish I had faith like a little child
Wish I could walk a single mile
Without tripping on my own feet
Oh, but You’re not through with me yet

And this is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
And every day You’re chipping away
What I don’t need
And this is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be, oh

From the dawn of history
You make new and You redeem
From a broken world to a broken heart
You finish what you start in everything
Like a river rolls into the sea
We’re not who we’re gonna be
But things are going to change

I am living redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
And everyday You’re chipping away
What I don’t need
And this is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making
I am a change in the making

I’m not who I’m gonna be
I’m moving closer to Your Glory

Change in the Making
By: Addison Road

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