The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I]

I’ve seen a post circulating around Facebook that drives me nuts to no end, so I thought it would be fun to give my side about addiction.

We’ve all seen the “addiction is a choice” posts, talking about how calling addiction a disease is only enabling the addict and therefore allows them to feel sorry for themselves… Please.

Now before you sigh, roll your eyes, and stop reading this post, let me say that I am absolutely not in complete denial of those arguments. Yes, the moment someone decides to stick a needle in their arm, they are making a choice, and in some cases, I’m sure it does give addicts an excuse to keep using; however, to broaden the statement to apply to an entire group of people without consideration of how they were raised, why they made the decision to abuse these drugs, and what exactly does go through an addicts’ mind, is ignorance in its purest form. Let me begin by sharing my story.

For those that grew up along side of me in school, you probably have heard bits and parts of my story and know that drug addiction is a topic in which I am extremely passionate about. If there’s one thing that I hope to accomplish in my life, it is to speak out to those that are affected by a loved one’s decision to engage in such a damaging, heartbreaking addiction. I want you to know that you are absolutely, 110% not alone.

From my childhood, I remember cuddling up with my mom on the couch to watch Oprah every afternoon. I remember trying to squirm away from her as she tickled my feet. I even remember the way her thin, beautiful blonde hair laid against the back of her leather jacket. I loved this woman. I don’t doubt for a second that she loved me, too. We all have times in our lives where we have regret for the choices we have made, and that is part of the reason I have grown to forgive, cherish, and move on.

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I don’t have much of the paperwork on what happened, nor do I even really care to see it. Out of respect for all involved, I’m going to put this into the most courteous, easygoing way that I can. The paperwork I do have shows that on August 27, 2004, a “safety plan” was put into place by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. For lack of better words, our mother was struggling with addiction and my father was never in the picture. I was only seven and my little sister was four. This “plan” stated my sister and I were going to move in with our great-grandmother under the care of herself and my maternal aunt. To this day, I am grateful to these women for taking my sister and I in, keeping us away from the struggles of the foster care system. By November 15, 2004, the official order appointing guardianship to our great-grandmother was finalized.

As you can probably imagine, two kids at the ages of seven and four wouldn’t really understand the severity of what was happening. So my sister and I moved to a new school and started completely different lives. We started living with our aunt, uncle, and five cousins.

For a long time, the change wasn’t something that kept me awake at night. When I was old enough in school and big life events like first dances, recitals, and games began to roll around, I realized that something in my life was very different than a lot of my schoolmates. My mom was never in the stands during basketball games. She was not the woman to get me ready for school dances, and she was missing out on all of the great things I was accomplishing. I grew bitter. How could the woman that gave birth to me not care about me enough to be there for something so important in a child’s life?

My mother was in and out of prison throughout all of my elementary, junior high, and high school life. There were periods of times when I so badly wanted to talk to her that I had her write letters to my friends’ addresses from prison, in fear that I would get in trouble for talking to her. In her letters, my mother often denied the responsibility of us not being together, and this would send me into a rage. I eventually stopped responding to her letters, swearing I was done with all of the hurt and anger that she had put me through.  My friends and teachers that were oblivious to this situation made jokes or comments at school about hearing someone with my name being arrested for meth (My mother and I have the same name). Two of the times I found out about my mother’s arrest was because a teacher at school made a comment to me after hearing my name on the radio or television. I was nowhere near being able to get away from the pain that addiction had caused me.

It was somewhere along my junior or senior year of high school where I decided I was done being angry. Holding onto the resentment and despise that I had for my circumstance was only holding me back and keeping me from truly being happy. I honestly believe that if you want to be truly happy, you have to forgive those that have hurt you, and move on. I decided to see her off and on, and she even made it to one of my softball games my senior year. That was the only time she ever saw me play a sport. After long debate, the day before I graduated high school, I decided to call her and invite her to my graduation.

My mom saw me graduate high school.

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Throughout my entire life, seeing her in the bleachers that day stands out to me as just a truly beautiful, incredible moment of forgiveness, love, and progress. Although addiction has many downfalls, there can always be beauty found in something so ugly. No matter what an addict struggles with, we shouldn’t be so quick to turn our backs on them. You never know if you could be the one person that strikes the chord that leads them to recovery. Everyone on this earth has a purpose, no matter what mistakes they have made in the past. Take it from me, forgiving someone that has caused you pain is hard. It’s incredibly hard, but not impossible. The only way we can truly be happy with ourselves is to lose ourselves. Lose anger. Lose resentment. Lose barriers. Lose anguish.

Choose love ♥

Continue reading “The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I]”

Getting used to the view 😌

Feeling super thankful as we wrap up the move into our new home! We’re hoping to have it all done by tomorrow night!

I’ve been working my ass off to get this done, but I’m also disappointed in how pregnant I really feel. Tasks are getting harder and my stamina is greatly reduced. Understandable at 25 weeks pregnant in the humid 90° Illinois summer. But I still just wanna go, go, go.

It feels amazing to be a first time homeowner. Like all of our hard work has finally proven to be worth a damn. We did this.

Enjoy some of the views- I sure am!!

23 weeks…

Are we there yet?

Yesterday I hit the 23 week mark. I know we are on the downhill slope already, but I’m already starting to feel so miserable. Well, I’ve had it rough this pregnancy as it is, but the swelling is in high gear already. I’ve got cankles every night and a simple walk across the house makes me tired.

Did I mention we are supposed to close on our new home next week?

It all sounds so daunting. I’ve got so much to do, but I’m trying to keep a healthy balance between being productive and making sure that I don’t push myself too much. It’s a hard thing to balance when you’re up and down so much cleaning and cooking and packing and playing with a toddler… Every night I’m so damn tired I pass out within ten minutes of hitting the pillow – which is weird for me, because usually I lay there and stew on life before bed. I’m usually laying there for quite a bit before I finally pass out, but not here lately. It’s actually pretty nice. And unexpected, considering the whole pregnancy thing. Thank goodness I bought a new mattress, mattress pad, silk sheets, and a fluffy duvet, huh? It’s like we are sleeping on a cloud every night… and to think I was considering on waiting until we moved! I’m so glad I pulled the trigger on new bedding. It was much needed and the money spent is definitely paying off. If you’re looking into getting new bedding at a low price, check out this post!

So I’ve technically got 111 days until we go to the hospital for the c-section. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time considering we are moving to a new home in that time period. I’ve got a lot of nesting left to do, and not a ton of time to do it! Hopefully the swelling and faint feelings stay away for a bit so we can get moved as easily as possible.

Baby is moving quite a bit and I’m getting anxious to get this pregnancy OVER WITH so that I never have to be pregnant again! LOL – I’m NOT kidding, though!

Sleeping on a cloud, while staying on budget

I wanted to get a new mattress, but was worried about the price. And the idea of going into a store seemed daunting. So I decided to order all new bedding on Amazon – and let me tell you, it has paid off!

I reached out to some friends on Facebook about recommended mattresses and I received a lot of recommendations. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to spend a whole lot on a new mattress.

Zinus Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Someone told me that they had ordered this brand and highly recommended it. I went on the Zinus page and watched the videos on how they make their mattresses. I got this queen sized mattress for less than $400!

Zinus Swirl Gel Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper 

After receiving the mattress, I wanted a little more softness on the bed. This topper is AMAZING. We even took this camping with us one time and put it on the floor of our tent to sleep on. It’s sooo comfortable and I highly recommend this topper for any bed!

Silky Satin Bedding Set with Deep Pocket

My sister had praised silk sheets and pillowcases to me awhile back, so I thought, LET’S TRY IT! I will NEVER go back to regular sheets. Silk sheets are absolutely where it’s at. I can move in bed easier (Rolling over is no simple task once your pregnant belly gets bigger) and I keep cool during the night. 11/10 on these sheets, and they come in many different colors!

Utopia Bedding Comforter Duvet Insert

I wanted to get a new comforter and I wanted something fluffy! I’ve always loved the fluffy hotel blankets, so I wanted to bring that to home at a low price! I found this duvet insert for about $30!

Vailge 3-Piece Pinch Pleated Duvet Cover with Zipper Closure

I found this duvet cover on sale super cheap, so I just couldn’t resist buying it. I originally bought this before I had the insert, and I was happy to find out that they fit together perfectly. It’s super cute, light, and cool while sleeping. This cover comes in many different colors as well, and is less than $24! Plus, it has a zipper, which is way easier when changing the sheets!

EOD Thoughts: 07.06.2021

I reflect a lot. I write about my reflection and devotion to that on here often.

But one thing I’ve noticed about the last year:

It’s changed my methodology around reflection.

I used to rely a lot on the feedback I received from others. I naturally surround myself with honest people that will tell me when I’m not acting myself or when I’m wrong. I like that. I try to take that advice seriously.

That was a life we knew before the pandemic forever changed the workplace and how we conduce relationships with others.

I work from home three days a week and on the two days I’m actually in the office, there is hardly much conversation. No interaction other than Zoom for the most part.

So now I’ve got to try to internalize a true perception of myself while also taking account of how I make look on someone else’s screen.

Did I mention, with no feedback for reference?

Business in this manner makes me feel like I’m only going through the motions and don’t have much control over my own career.

So I think both personally and professionally, I need to really sit down with myself and think about how others may feel when we interact. I know I can do better at home; I’ve let a few too many curse words slip now that we’ve got a talking and brilliant toddler. And I can always do better at listening to understand Dylan, rather than thinking of my response to what he’s saying. We’re pretty upfront about everything when needed.

Anywhooo, the overall gist is that self-reflection is hard, especially after feeling the effects of a global pandemic. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself when thinking about how much better you could be, but rather consider how many things you are ROCKIN. Cut yourself some slack – EVERYONE is under their own form of stress right now. We’re all trying to adjust to something new. We’ll make it through it.

-EOD Thoughts-

EOD Thoughts: 07.02.2021

I’m working harder at not worrying about things until I need to. I’ve always been bad about gnawing on every scenario possible when I know something is coming up.

What will they say?

How would I respond?

What would happen?

I’m only digging myself deeper into a hold of anxiety and uneasiness. I try to remind myself that 99% of the things that I worry about never even happen anyway. So what’s the point of stewing? Life is too short to waste energy by being worried about fantasy scenarios.

I’ll worry when I need to, but until then, I’m just chillin’.

…………………………….

Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

I don’t have the time

I want to feel angry.

I want to.

But I don’t have the time,

I don’t have the mental capacity,

I don’t have the sanity,

I don’t have the self-control to

bring myself back in

once I start down that path.

It’s not something I can prioritize

anymore.

It no longer consumes me.

I push it to the back burner

because I have to.

I know I could feel better

if I let those emotions come

over me,

if I’d just let them go.

But I’ve got people

depending on me now,

that I didn’t have before.

Because my daughter is

watching me with a careful eye

and I don’t want the only

vision of a strong woman she sees

to be the one she sees on a screen.

Before, I could let

the emotions consume me.

I could fall apart and

nobody would know.

Before, I could hold the anger

until I was ready to release it.

I could reel myself in.

I could take my time sorting out

my feelings and

making sense of emotions.

But now?

It’s all different now.

I don’t have the time.