When You Miss Someone or Something

Longing for things and other people used to make me feel like I was weak. I felt like I should be able to do things on my own and not rely on others. I was proud. I was head strong. I was stubborn…to say the least. However now I realize I need to rely on others for so much of my life.

We recently moved to a new town where I don’t know many people. We haven’t really met too many neighbors, besides the obligatory Facebook page where everyone tracks lost pets and missing front door packages. The kids and I have gone to the park several times, but haven’t really made any friends there. We’ve visited our local library and have become familiar with the librarian, but not made any new friends.

It’s lonely moving to a new place. This morning, I started thinking about the friends and familiar places I miss about the town we knew.  Old habits started creeping in as I noticed myself thinking, “Stop! What are you doing? The past is in the past. We don’t live there anymore. We need to move on and think about where we are today and the life we are living now. No need to sit around reminiscing about the life we use to have.” (Yeah, my “inner me” practices tough love most of the time.)

But the truth is it’s good to miss people. It’s good to miss places. It’s good to miss familiarity. Because all of these things remind us that we have so much to be grateful for! I’m grateful I met so many wonderful people where we used to live. I’m grateful my children made tons of friends and knew the school faculty so well. I’m happy that we had people who embraced us into their lives.

I know I had this exact same loneliness feeling when we moved to our old town and it won’t last forever. But in the midst of these feelings, I wanted to acknowledge that it’s perfectly okay for me to be feeling the way I’m feeling.

Have you had any of these feelings too?

Give Us the Dirt (3)

(If you haven’t read the first part of this series, please go back to the beginning so everything makes more sense. Link here: Give Us the Dirt! & Give Us the Dirt! (2))

I wish there was a way I could skip over my entire teenage years and go straight to college and provocative living, but that started way sooner than college. When I was in high school, I had developed all kinds of bad habits already. I smoked cigarettes regularly on the weekends, even though I participated in every sport and was a good athlete to know smoking was bad for me. I drank every weekend without fail, even if it was only a beer or two I’d sneak from my dad’s Coors Light collection in the fridge. I lied about where I was going with friends on the weekend if I knew my destination was a place my parents wouldn’t approve of. I became sexually active with multiple partners and it almost became a goal to sleep with someone new regularly. I’m sure some of this behavior was typical for teenagers, but I also threw in another deadly habit as well…I drank and drove on a continual basis.

Growing up in the small town where I did, there was a hobby of sorts we called “backroading”. We would cram as many friends as we could into one vehicle, find someone of age to get us the booze, and then proceed to drive around town on all of the backroads we could find. Most of the time we were going well under the speed limit, doing 10 mph in a 30 mph zone. But occasionally my friends and I would wind up in the car with an idiot who had already drank too much and wanted to go fast! I must say that I’m lucky to be alive considering how stupid we all were. I do have friends I went to school with who weren’t so lucky. May they rest in peace.

This habit of drinking and driving set up the expectation in our young minds that we were invincible and even out of reach from the cops because most of the time no one was ever pulled over. I’m not sure if the cops knew what we were up to on those backroads and they just turned the other way, or if they genuinely had no clue we were all getting lost on country roads in the middle of nowhere blaring Kenny Chesney with the windows down going 10 mph.

There were several times when we went backroading that are memorable and no doubt have funny stories to be shared at a different time and a different place, but one story in particular rises above them all…and it’s definitely not so funny.

(To be continued…)

New Tests, New Trials

So I try to find things that are relatable for everyone that way we are all kind of on the same page. Well, one week ago we got a new puppy. And let me tell you, I wasn’t mentally prepared for a puppy.

Maybe most people can relate to the constant chewing, peeing everywhere, and piles of poop that come along with a housing puppy. I have raised a few dogs in my life already so I guess I was thinking I was a pro and told myself, “I got this!” 

Well, I don’t have this. This dog is straining my energy, the little tiny bit I had left after taking care of 3 kids this summer and keeping up with a house that seems to be always messy. He is constantly under foot and we are desperately trying to not step on him all day. He is a nuisance. He tries to chew on the kids. He has tried to eat my front door rug. He pooped in his kennel again last night and let’s just say it wasn’t fun to wake up to at 1:45 am this morning.

But even through all of that, we still love him. We may want to leave him outside for the remainder of the day at times, but his snuggles and kisses make up for all of the flaws.

He’s not perfect, so why was I pretending he would be? Why was I putting an expectation on him to be perfect, especially as a 9 week old puppy? 

Thanks for bringing me back to reality HP. I previously prayed for patience with the kids and I believe the dog is the answer to those prays. I’ve realized…it could always be worse!

Rain, Rain, Rain

It’s been storming here all night and even across a large part of our region yesterday. There was some flooding near my hometown, but overall not a lot of significant damage that I’m aware of. Rain has the tendency to be beautiful and destructive all at the same time.

For example, we’ve gone through periods of severe drought where all of the technology in the world couldn’t save what rain could help in just minutes. There have also been times when a lightning storms rolls in and I couldn’t imagine another way I’d rather spend my time on this earth than observing the magnificent natural light show before me.

So is the way of life…

We have times of great joy when things happen just when we need them to happen, there are times when we desperately pray that something will save us from the chaotic ways of a life we no longer understand, and then there is beauty in how the destructive ways of our lives have led us to the most beautiful outcomes we never could have imagined.

Thank God today for the rain…

We All Need Some Grace

Ever since I got back to every day life and reality has had time to set back in from vacation mode, I realize I’m already starting to get down on myself. “School is right around the corner and there is so much that needs to be done. Meal planning, school clothes shopping, organize the kids’ clothes, organize the pantry, get the garage in order, and I’m sure tons of other things that need to happen!” Yes, these were all of the thoughts running through me head about 5:30 this morning. That would make anyone go crazy, right?

Well I’m glad I can realize when old habits creep in and I have the power to not let those old things take over my life. I’m not in control of everything around me, but I am in control of myself and how I choose to go into the new school year. I’m in control of how I spend my time each day and whether I should spend time worrying or spend my time in a more productive manner.

I feel that some people think the more stressed out you are (and the more public you are about it!) means you are more productive. I believe the contrary to be true. When you are busy getting things done, you don’t have time to complain about how busy you are!

None of us are perfect here! We all need a little patience and a whole lotta grace!

Give Us the Dirt! (2)

(If you haven’t read the first part of this series, please go back to the beginning so everything makes more sense. Link here: Give Us the Dirt!)

Upon entering adolescence (as I’m sure many of you can relate), I tried to find the best way to fit in with the right group of people. Since I already had the ideology of the multiple beer-guzzling action demonstrated in front of me, I thought that the entire point of consuming alcohol was to drink it very fast and as many as you can. As you can imagine, this was a terrible idea for any 12 year old. (Yes, I did say 12 year old. I was mischievous and curious from a young age.)

I wouldn’t say I was getting drunk all of the time with my new found enjoyment of alcohol, but I definitely remember early signs of lying and inappropriate behavior. I remember taking my mom’s wine coolers. It was so easy to sneak them because a 6-pack would sit in our fridge well over a month at a time and my parents would completely forget they were there. Like I said before, mom was “allergic.”

My brothers and I also noticed these other bottles that would appear in our house from time to time, usually after a family gathering, and they would be stored in this special cabinet that was under lock and key. What was so special about these bottles?  And why did they need a key? The forbidden drinks became even more intriguing to me so I decided one time when my parents left for the day that we were going to investigate these special bottles.

I remember finding one bottle in particular that was in a purple box with a purple lush bag wrapped around the bottle that had a gold crown on top. Must be fancy to have it’s own bag, I would think to myself. I bet it tastes like rainbows to have such a fancy outfit. It did not. Straight whiskey never has had a big appeal to me unless I was trying to look like a bad-ass in front of friends in college, but that’s a different part of the story.

The introduction to the “hard stuff” was a pivotal point in my drinking career. It meant that there was more out there than the over-sugared wine coolers and beer that tasted like someone burped in my mouth. I had the taste of something new that made me feel powerful, rebellious, and most of all light headed and tipsy, which is the basis for all of my drinking to come.

When I was young, I started to gain a tolerance for drinking. Not so much as to say I was able to put down many drinks without the side effects of being tipsy. Rather, I built a tolerance for what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior when drinking. Let’s just say there was more acceptable actions than unacceptable. I had totally lowered my standards at this point.

(To Be Continued…)

Give Us the Dirt!

Maybe you’ve been coming here month in and month out to see if there’s any “good stuff” being distributed here on this blog. “It’s called Healing for the Alcohol ashamed, but I mostly see her telling us motivational insights all of the time,” may be a thought that has crossed your mind. Or simply, “Where is the real stuff? I want to know that someone else’s life isn’t perfect just like my own!” (At least that is something I constantly think when reading other’s blogs.)

You want the dirt? You want the truth? I’ll tell you the story, but this may take a while.

Growing up, I used to watch my father drink beer every night after he got off of work out in the heat. Being a larger man, I would watch him put down anywhere between 6-12 beers every night without losing all of his mental capacities. I never really saw my dad drunk growing up. Maybe once or twice, but it wasn’t many. When he was incapacitated, it was at a celebration like a party or a wedding.

My mother, on the other hand, still swears up and down she’s allergic to alcohol. It gives her the worst headache the next day, she doesn’t like the feeling of being “tipsy”, and she definitely doesn’t like getting to the point of being drunk. (Unfortunately, I did not receive this gene from her nor did my two brothers.)

With that being said, I watched my parents as we were growing up as I assume my own children are doing to my husband and myself. I noticed when dad would come in from a hot day and suck down several beers in a row without even thinking twice about it. Naturally, I thought I could do the same when I got to my preteen and teen age years. “Dad does it this way, so that’s how you’re supposed to drink beer.”

The biggest difference between my dad and myself was the fact that he was easily 100-150 pounds heavier than I was. When I entered adolescence, I truly thought this is how everyone was supposed to drink when they were given the opportunity.

Moving on to adolescence…

(To Be Continued…)