Looking for Healing in All the Wrong Places

Please tell me you’ve heard the song Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places“. It’s not one of my all-time favorite country songs, but it gets the point across. People tend to wander around looking for love aimlessly until they stumble upon it in a place they never suspected.

Well, healing is the perfect word to insert into the song, representing kind of the same thing. We learn to find things, whether destructive to our lives or not, that distract us from the reason we are hurting in the first place. We self-medicate with booze or other drugs. (The destructive kind of coping – which leads to no healing at all.) There are also people who self-medicate with the busyness of life and planning and going and doing. (These behaviors may not seem destructive on the surface, but they can wear you down just as fast as the obvious toxic coping mechanisms.)

I’ve looked for healing in ALL the wrong places, trust me. I binge drank for years, only to let the “real me” escape when I felt drunk enough to blame whatever came out of my mouth on the fact I was so trashed. I volunteered and organized every event at my kids’ schools, to keep myself from focusing on my crumbling marriage. I devoted too much time to running and working out when I should have been sitting in silence figuring out how I really felt. (Maybe I was trying to literally run away from my problems? But they eventually found me.)

There are so many other ways we self-medicate and try to heal ourselves, but until we get down to the root of our issues there won’t be true peace.

One day at a time, my friends.

Progress not perfection, folks!

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Bad Memories Bring Good Opportunities

Are you ever haunted by your past? Do you ever see flashes of a time you desperately wish could erase from your memory forever?

You know, those memories that make you cringe while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or helping your kids pick up their Legos. Those images that made you think to yourself, “Where the hell did that come from?”

Maybe you don’t have vivid images or flashbacks to a time everyone wants to forget, but I bet you have moments in time you wish you could change. (I know I do!) Maybe those memories don’t come to visit you very often, but when they do…man, they can derail your entire focus. But we can’t change the past…so what do we do?

We dig deeper into those hay stacks of memories to try to pull out that one little needle that threatens to torment us for the rest of our days. There is some reason why that moment in time lurks in the corner of your subconscious, waiting for the right time to reappear and shake shit up.

What I have come to realize is when a memory haunts me, it is because I haven’t fully dealt with it. There are countless ways to “deal” with a situation from the past, but more often than not it has to do with not being able to let go of something. Maybe we need to forgive someone. Maybe we need to forgive ourselves. Maybe we need to ask for forgiveness. Maybe we are holding onto resentments. The list goes on and on.

In no way do I believe it’s a good idea to keep pushing those memories aside and not address them, but instead I encourage you to face them and find a resolution to make them go away indefinitely. As I’ve stated before, I don’t know everything. But I do know that letting memories and your past control your thoughts leads to toxicity in your life…even if you’re sober.

 

Don’t Lose Your Spontaneity!

So in this stage of my life, I no longer strive to be spontaneous anymore. Yes, every once in a while I’ll get a wild hair to order pizza for the kids on a Friday night (I know, CALM DOWN!), but that’s about as zany as we get these days.

I feel as though “spontaneous = reckless” in this season of my life. I don’t believe that’s 100% true, but I find myself being less and less spontaneous the older I get. Maybe routine is to blame. Maybe my need to be responsible is to blame. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown so comfortable in our little cocoon at home that venturing off to anything new kinda scares the crap out of me.

Yesterday, I took my kids to audition for a movie…3 hours away! We never do anything on a whim like this. If something requires us to travel on the weekend (especially 3 hours away), I’ve had it planned out for weeks with the well-stocked snack bag and drinks needed for the entire trip ready to go before we ever load up the car.

No such thing happened yesterday. I had a friend who was excited about taking her own kids (granted they were only 30 minutes down the road from the audition) and her excitement about it got the best of me. I thought, “What the hell? Why not? All I was going to do today was laundry!”

We have no idea if anything will come out of going to this audition, but I did learn one important thing yesterday…try new things even if they scare you. My kids did it. They actually had fun too!

You can be spontaneous and responsible at the same time. My kids didn’t miss school. Nobody missed work for us to go. And we made it home just in time for our nightly routines. Don’t lose your ability to be spontaneous!

Celebrating One Year, Yesterday

There was a pop-up notification that I have been writing this blog for a year. A whole year, people! That may not seem like a big deal to you, but man oh man…that’s huge for me! The reason why it’s such a big deal is because in the past year I have let go of so many issues that have been lingering around forever, and it’s all thanks to this community.

Before, I would walk around holding in my resentments about the past, complaints about the present, and worries about the future. That is until they started becoming too big of a burden to carry.

Now, I get to come here everyday and talk to y’all before any of the chaos of my life (that comes with having a husband, 3 kids, and a dog) takes over. I get to sit down with my cup of coffee and contemplate life with you fine people each and every day.

So yes, a whole year is a big deal for me! Hopefully, there will be many more to come!

 

Reflecting on How Things Used to Be

I don’t know about you, but I thank God every day that my life is drastically different than it was in the past. I’m not saying that this is something self-promoting and I’m awesome for realizing what a disaster my life used to be. Just simply stating how grateful I am to not have to live that kind of lifestyle any more.

“What kind of lifestyle?” you ask. Let me paint you a little picture.

Several years ago, almost 4 to be exact, I was living a life of total chaos, only I didn’t realize it until the ticking time bomb was ready to detonate right in front of my face. My marriage was collapsing right in front of me, I was binge drinking on the weekends to drown my sorrows, I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be with my career, I was dying inside emotionally from the passive-aggressive/co-dependent relationship I had created and encouraged with my husband, and I was just downright unhappy with where my future was headed.

Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with myself or where my future was headed. I needed to make a change. I had spent so long trying to change everyone else around me – my husband, my parents pending separation and divorce, and even the uncontrollable situations at work – that I forgot I’m only in control of myself. Realizing only I can make changes in my life, I finally felt that time had come.

I’m happy to report that today our marriage is solid and strong with a foundation we tore down and rebuilt ourselves from the ground up. We are different people today than we would have been had we not decided to drastically change our lives. I quit my job that was ultimately toxic and very hazardous to my life and my marriage. We made a fresh start in a new community and continue to keep growing and improving ourselves.

What’s your story? How are you different today than you were 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 

To Drink or Not to Drink

Life as a stay-at-home isn’t all that glamorous. (Shocking, I know!) I’m not waiting to go to dinner parties when my husband gets home from work, or trying to get ready for the ball everyone other weekend. I try to get out of the house as much as possible and go places that both work for my schedule and help me get stuff done – the gym, the grocery store, the post office, etc. (Calm down. I know I should have told you beforehand this was riveting stuff!)

There are some people, moms specifically, who choose to get together ever so often for drinks or a “girls night”. (Although, I do know some moms who may meet too early in the afternoon, on a school night, to call it “girls night”. But I digress.) 

For a multitude of reasons, I don’t go to these types of gatherings. I’ve been invited to go to an early dinner at a beautiful winery to enjoy the scenery. Pass. I’ve been asked to go have margaritas at the local Mexican food joint. No thanks.

So, why not go? Maybe you are thinking, “You don’t have to drink. You have enough will power to just say no. Just go and be social.” There are two reasons why I don’t and won’t go to these kinds of activities.

  1. I still don’t 1,000% trust myself when I’m sucked into the vortex off a girls’ night out. (Plus, have you seen girls when they get sloppy drunk? And you want me to be the DD and take care of everyone? No thanks!)
  2. Drinking and being around drinking has a very personal connection with me. I realize some people have a healthy relationship with alcohol and can stand to be near it, but I am no such people. I don’t like to smell it. I don’t like to see what it does to people. And I especially don’t like it when people offer you something to drink, you politely respond with “No thanks. I don’t drink,” and then that’s followed with the infamous question, “Not even a glass of wine?”

I realize this may not apply to everyone’s situations and my reasons may be completely different than yours, but they are valid nonetheless. Don’t put yourself in awkward positions unless you are 1,000% comfortable in your own skin and know that you are in control of yourself.

Getting to Know Yourself a Little Bit Better

Have you ever had someone come up to you and let you know that you’re being completely unreasonable and unpleasant today? (Maybe they don’t say it in such a nice way…) Do you know when you’re being completely unreasonable and unpleasant? (Sometimes I don’t notice my behavior until my husband points it out.)

The reason I ask these questions is because maybe we don’t know ourselves as good as we think we do some days. We don’t always have to have a 100% spot on/no mistakes kind of day, but we also shouldn’t swing to the other end of the pendulum every five minutes either.

I have mood swings. [GASP!] Shocker I know…a woman with mood swings. But I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I take someone else’s perspective for my own behavior or attitude when I can’t see it. Some days I’m overtly irritable and I don’t even notice until my husband asks me for the 10th time, “Are you sure nothing is bothering you?” From which my initial mental reaction is, “You’re bothering me with all of these questions!” Hence, this is when I realize I’m being extra cranky!

The point to all of this is to know your emotions a little bit better today than you did yesterday. Know when you need to give yourself a “timeout” and step away from the chaos to gather yourself. None of us are perfect (by any stretch of the imagination), but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep improving.

Progress, not perfection…