Archive for beginning

Facing My Giants

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 23, 2010 by Her Broken Wing
Kicking the drugs has been the easy part…comparatively. I have found after months and months of sobriety the real work has just begun. And this transformation is hard and agonizing work!   

   

Getting to the depths of my heart and soul is a painstaking process. I have found myself coming up with every single excuse so that I might avoid sitting down and facing my Giants (my past) and that I might assess how I got to this place of quicksand I am stuck in today. Hoping that I not dwell in my past but that I might surrender it and move on–something I have yet to do. Praying one day, the Giants will fall one by one, allowing me to finally turn it over to God and give Him the glory for this life — My Story. 

  

Sounds easy enough?   

  

But I have taken my pen and paper, looked at it, caressed it to only drop it with lingering regret. I have circled the paper to only walk away in great fear. I have lived a life of avoidance not only to this process but my existence as well. 

Reminding me of a time when I was in labor with my child and there were complications. I cried out, “I don’t want to do this anymore,” the nurse plainly stated, “You don’t have a choice honey.”    

 Today–is much like the time giving birth, I don’t have a choice now, I must move on to a new beginning–new life.    

  “…He is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)    

Beautifully Awkward    

Color The Sky

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 19, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

Lest I forget where I came from, let me go back to the beginning of my blackened sky.  

I remember a dark abyss…surrounded by demons, circled by a haze of uncertainty and confusion. …Voices calling me by name – unworthy, pitiful, shameful, selfish, unloved, unacceptable, ugly and evil.

The axis of my beliefs was and at times still are to quiet the voices in the only way I knew how.

In fact, had I not been faced with grave consequences I am not sure where I’d be now or if I’d even be alive. But I eventually succumbed to a Force greater than I.

Coerced into sobriety in a sense—by a family that loves me, a career I love and by a sickness that rages my body now and forever.

Someone asked me last night about how “it” (sobriety) came to be. I thought for a moment and said, “I came in kicking and screaming, very angry.” It was every one’s fault, not mine. The world had its way with me—I was in complete denial. I minimized the effects of my disease and yes, I lied. But the baffling, cunning and all-powerful disease was all too familiar to those around me. They just smiled. “What did they have to smile about,” I thought. Slowly though, my tightly crossed arms, loosened their grip.

Just maybe…Hope?

I am learning to live life—on life’s terms…”For your ways are not my ways” (Isaiah 55:8)

Truth is I do have one more “high” or “drunk” in me, I just don’t know if I have one more “period of sobriety” in my path. You see even though I am sober, my disease will continue to get worse. If I chose to get high, it will be worse on my body, it won’t be like starting over. I will die.

But for the grace of God I am sober, I am clean, I am living…

Today— I color the sky with my mark.

Beautifully Awkward

The ~Wave~ of Grief

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 5, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

Grief is an unpredictable creature of life. Grief is a common response to a significant loss to someone or something in one’s life. Grief occurs after the death of someone close to us but this intense emotion can also occur after the loss of a job, bankruptcy, or a sudden life style change. Grief comes in all shapes, forms and fashions. And most of all, there is no expiration date to grief. Many  well-meaning people in my life have said, it takes time,  God has a plan or you will be stronger for this. These statements were all well and good but it did not stop the flood of pain as I grieved.  And as time moved on in my life, I continued to have difficult days, hearing in the background from those same people, “Shouldn’t you be over this by now?”  If you have suffered a trauma or loss, you understand grief has no end and can rear its’ ugly head at any time.

My reaction to grief really manifested itself when, after years of using prescribed drugs, I was suddenly forced to stop or suffer grave consequences. The truth was that I suffered most of the consequences anyway but I saved my life.

Choosing to stop self-medicating, I quickly went through the process of an emotional and physical adjustment when I came off the drugs. Not only was I changing my life dramatically but I subsequently lost my job thus causing an uncertain financial trauma stress on my family. I now had to contend with a severe medical condition for the remainder of my life. It was not going to be a drive through fix-it like I had first thought it to be. I had more doctors involved in my care now even though my insurance paid very little– on top of a dwindling bank account.

The paradox of it all is that after all the years where I believed to have led this secret life, I was now being placed under a microscope and completely exposed for the world to see. In the beginning, I cried. And I cried a lot! I had my share of temper tantrums as well.  It brought a whole new meaning to hissy-fit. And I asked the “Why me?”  question more times than you can ever imagine. I was angry. I would go from shock, numb, sad, guilt, anxious and downright angry in a matter of zero to thirty seconds before you could blink your eye. Standing before you could be a completely different person each time you opened your eyes. My once  little numb world was now feeling every little pain — and it hurt.

My life was surreal.

I kept praying I would wake up and it was just a bad dream. But each day, I opened my eyes and there it was– reality. I appreciated that this was my life and what I had made of it. Each day, I would get up only to get knocked back down before the day was over. One day I had memory of a trip to the beach where I stood at the shore as I walked into the waves.  The waves grew bigger and as they bellowed up with tremendous force would knock me down each time. Worn out I would finally stay down and let the wave take me back into the shore. I grew too weary to fight. This sounded so much like my life now.

I thought a lot about that day at the beach and how much of a life lesson it was. So many times, I want to fight against what is going on in my life. I try to stand up and fight against the obstacles thrown in my path instead of just waiting and riding the wave out.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)

Waiting is hard. But it is all I have left– much like riding the wave into shore.

Beautifully Awkward

My To-Do List

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

I remember my first meeting to my now required licensure nurse group (it consists of a group of nurses with addictions lead by a recovering nurse monitored by the board of nursing –whew). I should be nervous, right? But leave it to me to be ignorant and arrogant. I went in and sat down with my to-do and has-done list of things to check of. This meeting was to be the first thing I checked off. Let me add that I was quite proud of how together I presented myself. I was hoping to maybe get time off for good behavior.  I was C.L.U.E.L.E.S.S.

Remember….. addicts are good at this kind of stuff…

Anyway–At that time, I still had my job.  And my world had not yet started to unravel.

So as I sat there, I listened to nurse’s talk calmly about not having jobs like they broke a fingernail, or how they were sitting back–waiting on God’s timing. I remember thinking the other nurses just “needed a plan” like me.

All the way around the room, those other drug addicts we  shared where we were in our life. Some of the nurses had been there one, two and five years down the road from their initial meeting, so they spoke of how they found jobs they now loved, and some even changed careers. Others downsized their way of life and others found peace with God.

Then my turn came and I pulled out my “list” (I believe I heard a snicker around the room as if they had seen this scenario before) and I began discussing what all I had done. First, I attended meetings, saw my doctor, told my boss and all is well. The room became very quiet. I heard the word “Newbie” come from somewhere.  At last, my advocate (she too is a recovering nurse that liaisons to the nursing board for us) spoke up and said, “First, you will have to quit your job. The nursing board will not allow you to work around narcotics in your job.”

My world started spinning. And I remember thinking this will not happen. I am not quitting. This job was all I knew. I had done this work for so long that I didn’t know what else I was going to do. I could feel myself start to hyperventilate. The other nurses that had previously snickered now saw my pain. They knew what it was like to be new and have your world suddenly turn upside down. This group had once been new to the journey not so long ago.  In their compassion, they started to console me as best they could but the tears broke loose no matter how hard I tried to conceal them. Little by little, my to-do list chiseled away to nothing.

Why was I being punished? Was I singled out to suffer this thorn in the flesh like Paul? (2 Corinthians 12:7) Why this one? Can I choose another one God? I remember saying those very words to God.

Oh yes, I do understand the consequences of my behavior and that isn’t what I am asking. Why this struggle?

The truth is in the beginning, I wanted my life back before the drugs. But now, I don’t ever want to go to the life I had before or during my time with drugs. For God has something much bigger in my life.

I have to learn to live life on life’s terms.

Just as with any journey, it requires a certain degree of travel on bumpy and treacherous roads.

I just have to learn which path to follow.

On My Father’s Apron

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

“Just let me die,” I cried into my pillow a million times. Eventually, there became a desperate plea for God to take me home. I was tired of fighting this battle of addiction but each time God would put sweet memories of my family in the forefront of my mind and I would hold on another day.

I had tried too many times to count on giving up the pills. I went through cold-turkey on at least 4 different occasions. You would think someone in their right mind would catch on quickly and not want to suffer needlessly but this is not the case with us addicts—we are sick. For each time I went through detox, I would swear off any form of drugs or alcohol– F.O.R.E.V.E.R; thus begging the God Almighty that if He would just spare me, I would serve every last living starving person on the streets from here to nowhere– for my remaining days on earth.

As in Childbirth, many women have sworn to “Never do this again” only to turn around and bear a child the following year; the pain subsides all-to-soon and we forget. Or I did. One time, two times and finally 3 and 4 came and I still didn’t remember the suffering I had endured from previous times I detoxed. I would succumb to the power of the drugs. I could hear the war going on in my head –drugs make you feel good. Regardless, the outcome was always the same. I gave in.

I had so much to lose. But it didn’t stop me. Little by little, I started losing things that were important to me. I didn’t see it happening or maybe I just didn’t care. Either way, my life was being stripped away until I was completely exposed. One day, I was left humbled and humiliated—it was far worse than any dream I had ever experienced where I stood before a crowd stripped naked with everyone staring at me.  The difference — this was real and there was no waking up to a better existence.

In a matter of hours, I lost my job. Thus, I lost my identity –my whole identity was wrapped up in being a nurse.

I was reported to my state board of nursing by my employer even though… (Another story)

I lost my role in several other capacities that I served in the community.

I went from a strong person everyone looked up to to a person of “Damaged goods.” Isn’t it grand how fast news travels?

But ah, I am losing my addiction to self-approval of others. When I hit the bottom, I learned a lot about myself. I learned who my friends really are and who they are not. The funny thing is the ones that run from you are most likely the one’s dealing with their own fears. This hits too close to home. That or they think my addiction is contagious??!!

The best thing of all, I have lost my old life. I am on the road to recovery and will be for the rest of my life. Praise God. I have a lot to learn about myself. But I realize I can’t do this on my own and I will be tugging on the apron of God.

I read in my Bible the other day, if a person accepts the sufferings of the Cross—and loses his life will actually save it…FOREVER…“(Mark 8:34)

In this case, I would say I have made the mark or I am in the right direction.

For now, I’ll be found on my Father’s apron.

The Chosen

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 20, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

The Chosen

I was chosen to bear a “burden” of tremendous affliction. “How long must we walk this road”, I asked God?   And I believe I heard Him say, “Until your flesh is broken, when you are exposed to the raw nature of human purity. And there will be nothing left but you and Me.”

I have prayed for years to become intimately involved with God so that I would breathe His every breath. I dreamt that I would be a halo of light begging others onto me, pleading for a drink. In my arrogance, I would deliberate those worthy of my offering.   But somewhere the channels of reality were switched, and my life landed on a never-ending science fiction nightmare.  I mean, who would want this crap-of-a- life? Who would want to go through an experience such as this—living every second of life trying to figure out how to get “High”?

No one; and it is in that belief that I believe people–run. I don’t know if they consider addiction to be contagious or they fear their own weaknesses.

I wanted to be someone. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to stand out. Well, I made it. I definitely stand out now. “Have you heard about ___?”

So what’s next?

I like to hold onto the whole “I am going to help someone else” premise, and just maybe I will!! But I imagine it will be a byproduct of my journey, not the original intention. I think it will be much more than the superficial appearance of a great ministry. This brings me back to the belief that I was Chosen, chosen to become so profoundly enmeshed with the deepness of –God’s love and mercy.

I am more than honored to have been chosen for this journey, for not everyone could withstand the humility that reaches deep into the very core of a being. Exposing me for who I am.

Now– I am stripped of pride, stripped of arrogance, stripped of “I am better than anyone else” and stripped of my holier-than-thou attitude.  Oh yes, I was stripped down to my flesh of newness like that of a baby. Now I too will learn how to walk, talk and live again.

I have been given a second chance. I am one of the lucky ones. I get to start my life over and live a new life. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I will soon meet myself. And I will ask…

Who am I?

I am Chosen.

Rock Bottom

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 18, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

Gone– were the many dreams I held in my heart, not just for myself but for my family.

Mom, what is wrong with you?”, cried my son; or sitting so many times in my chair waiting for my husband to come home with our child  after a school function because I couldn’t get out of bed. I Live the nightmare over and over of the cries of my children.

I am sure you have heard of “hitting bottom.” It is different for everyone. Most of the people I know with this disease would rather crawl up in a ball and die then to continue on. I can’t tell you how many times I begged for God just to let me die. My life became unbearable with shame and guilt.  I felt all alone and for sure that no one would ever understand. I had to be the only one in the world with this problem. It was a problem, right?

What will they think?

One day I got up and looked in the mirror;  I no longer could stand who I had become and even worse, I saw someone I no longer recognized. Slowly the bottom was getting closer, because now there was realization of the self-destruction I had created and it started to show in my eyes. Our eyes do not lie.

Where is the bottom?

It was somewhere between Hell and Purgatory. I reached the bottom when the consequences begin to outweigh the initial buzz from the very first pill or drink I took. Also, the search for the next pill began to engulf me with fatigue, shame, guilt and downright frustration. I had become the beggar on the street in my mind.

I was one of the lucky individuals. I sought help before I lost everything. But I lost enough. I lost years out of my family’s life that I will never get back. My children are almost grown and I can’t begin to tell you the tears I’ve shed as they walked out the door without me.

I lost a job I dearly loved. I wrecked my car. I put my health in jeopardy. The list goes on in which I will eventually cover.

Do I dream about being sober? What would it be like? Oh yes, I dream of being sober like a little girl dreams of her prince charming.

I made a list of the top 10 things that are important to me. What does each of those areas look like now?  This is what keeps me getting up each day now.

I wanted this so bad, but couldn’t understand why did it take so long to come clean? Why not “just do it?” If so many of us like the new life once we are clean, why do we relapse?

Why?

I do not know. I am learning though. Maybe because we never pulled up the dead roots. The whole reason we started, bad stuff, crazy stuff, who knows. The point now is to move forward.

And the good thing about being at “rock bottom” is the only direction left is UP!

Through the Grace and Mercy of God, I am here. And I have a purpose.

If you are struggling, there is hope and help.