A busy day brings Peace

Today was a busy day, too busy really as I’m seriously exhausted and trying to convince my daughters it was bedtime at 6pm….no dice unfortunately.

But it was a great day.

Woken up too early by my 7 year old I performed our normal morning routine of getting myself ready, waking my youngest with words of love whispered to her, then speaking a bit louder and approximately 15 minutes later firmly letting her know that she is not allowed to ignore her Mama or ask again for 5 more minutes to snuggle.

Did I mention she’s 5?

Brekkie, lunches made, bags packed, snow gear on the kids and hubby gets them out to school and I was off to physio therapy for the painful stuff they tell me will heal me.

Then to the school to get my youngest and next pick up my friend and off to the church we merrily go.

Why were we heading to the church on a Friday instead of resting to recover from physio you ask?

Why to set up for MY Baptism on Sunday of course!!


Yes it’s true this ego driven, sinful creature has been SAVED in case you haven’t noticed (cough, cough) and I’m celebrating it with the world on Sunday.


I’m going to share with you all an excerpt from my church’s website which clearly explains why I’m choosing to be baptized.
What is Baptism?

  • It’s a symbol – a picture demonstrated openly and publicly to tell others what God did for you when you became a believer.
  • It’s a backward look – at the resurrection of Jesus Christ as evidence that His death was sufficient for your sins.
  • It’s a present identification – by obeying Jesus and being baptized, you are identifying yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ. You are making a public declaration that God is in control of your life and that you want to follow Jesus.
  • It’s a commitment for the future – this symbol of baptism signifies a genuine spiritual reality in your life. You are telling everyone that you are dead to sin, alive to God, and free to serve and follow Jesus Christ (Romans 6:6-13; 22-23).
´╗┐I’ve had the desire to be baptized for years, my belief in God has always been strong, even during times when I was pulling away from Him.

It was a hugely daunting idea in the past, I knew that on that day when I did finally stand in front of the congregation and declare myself as a disciple of Jesus I’d be letting go of everything I valued at that time.
I would no longer define success by the amount of money I made, by being the “best” at whatever sport I was doing at the time, by being popular, having nice things….on and on.

I knew that eventually the day would come when my life would change…..but I avoided it.

I tried to convince myself that living a life dedicated to glorifying God looked boring, I looked down my nose at it, condescended to those who claimed to lead it. They must be a bit dim or at least wearing blinders.
Life just isn’t that simple, they mustn’t have the killer instinct and go-getter drive I did!

I lied to myself like this for years.

I flat out denied my inner beliefs and allowed my ego and greed to rule the day for far too long.

Then as you all have read in previous blogs I got sick and tired, turned to God and he brought me to AA and sobriety.

The day came when God convicted me, when I knew it was time and that I was ready to share my story and love for God and his grace in my little slice of the world so I didn’t hesitate.

 I was confident, certain in this.

But still scared in the back of my mind.

Scared that I’ll share too much, what if I couldn’t find the words, …..it was the unknown.

Rather than let my fears grow I reflected on my life, specifically the changes in the last year and saw how this isn’t the unknown. I’m already living a life filled with Jesus, enjoying a truly amazing Relationship with Him, now I’ll just be sharing that.

Generally speaking I live my life out loud,
up front and present these days so I quashed those fears with my faith and knowledge that I am fulfilling a command of my Lord and if this causes me a bit of discomfort then so be it.

My baptism will serve as a symbol of the burial of my old self and the resurrection of my soul to walk in life with Christ.

So today while we were setting up the room at the church for the lunch we will be holding following the service I paused to look around and enjoy the moment, to enjoy the simple yet elegant centerpieces we had made.
There was no stress.

There was peace at all the change in my life, I felt serenity and courage to face the questions I know many of my friends and family will have….in fact I welcome them.

Isn’t that wicked cool?


My daughters won't be walking down the aisle in diapers…I hope.

I’ve been inspired this morning by my friend dAAve, thanks for that my friend ­čśë dAAve posted this photo of an old ad.
So of course my mind began waking up and Google was opened.
Disclaimer: I’m trying to be a good blogger and source everything I reference, Bravo to SoberJulie, it only took 3 months to catch a ride on the copyright train.
I came across quite a few ads that made me think.
This ad was found here Quitting Smoking 4 U

1955 Seven-Up ad which I found here on another blog:  The lunch tray.
 After a taste of Spring like weather here over the last week of course Mother Nature decided to have a laugh at us and dumped a bunch of snow here last night.
At the ungodly hour of 7 am I woke up this morning to my 7 year old exclaiming VERY LOUDLY that it snowed last night! could she go outside? get up Mama and look at it all! oh my gosh I’m glad I found my other glove! we can make a snowman! come on Mama GET UP, let’s go play!
So today is a no bus day!!!
Yippee!!
Alas our girls attend a no bus school which means it is a school day as normal for them.
Boo Hoo.
I looked at their little sleepy faces and had 2 options:
1 – a day of lazy Winter fun (which if I have my choice is crafts, coloring and INSIDE fun) 
or
2 – get make lunches, argue about getting dressed, brushing teeth and hair, struggle to get them into snowsuits and associated Winter gear, panic about driving in the SNOW, get them to school and have to make 2 more trips on the SCARY SNOWY roads.
Hmmmm decisions, decisions.
I caved (huge surprise).
So I made the “Best Mama In The Whole Wide World” decision to enjoy what I hope is the last snowy day of the year together instead of sending them to school.
Then I saw dAAve’s post and began reflecting on other choices I’ve made as a Mother:
How to transition from breastfeeding to formula and when.
What formula to use.
Which butt cream to use.
What baby classes to attend.
Will the Baby Einstein videos stimulate her brain or just plain exhaust her.
If we should give her the recommended vaccines.
What to feed her.
Are we introducting this new food too soon.
Going back to work after Maternity leave was actually difficult for me, I really loved being with my babies but ENJOYED work.
Who to choose as a babysitter.
How to, when to, omg what do you mean my choices changed????
What to do in an emergency situation, seriously who plans for these things???
Am I a GOOD Mother?
Isn’t that the age old worry of we Mothers?
Will my child grow and thrive to be the best her she can?
I seriously doubt that the Mothers who were in the 1950’s thought they would be harming their babies if they fed their babies beer, the overwhelmed Mom having a smoke to “deal” with her baby didn’t know of the health effects and the Seven-Up Mom certainly wouldn’t have known that said “wholesome” choice could rot the teeth right out of him/her.
But they worried just like I have.
I wonder if the hot cabbage leaves I applied to my breasts to help the milk let down will have ill effects, if the vaccines or medicines I’ve given will show negative health issues, if that time I wasn’t there to soothe my girls will scar them for life, if them being allowed to sleep in my bed after nightmares will make them needy adults, if I should have taken away the soother sooner….
It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of worry but as my Mum likes to say to me:
“Your daughter won’t be wearing a diaper at her wedding nor will she have a soother, deal with today and go with your gut instinct as long as it’s in her best interest.”
Confidence as a Mother comes with experience which is a bit of an oxymoron because each child is different and the first time we experience situations we have no experience.
It’s a quandary, one for which there is no solution except time.
We can only do some research, weight the choices and go with our gut and give it up to God, hoping we make the right choices.
Much of Motherhood is intent, awareness and being grateful when you get it right in my humble opinion.

My blood feels cold on a warm Spring day

Oh finally a free day!!!
A fantastically prearranged day of NOTHING!!
I just love taking a vacation day from work and making NO plans. I should do this more often, certainly if each time it could be a lovely spring day like today.
After a long, cold, snowy winter it feels like a gift is given when the sun is warm enough to go outside without a coat, to bring the bikes out of the shed.
Hubby’s arrived home from night shift with my beloved coffee and we have zero responsibilities to comply with today.
I love these days where family memories are made.
The girlies are awake, and enjoying having very relaxed Mommy and Daddy just hanging around the house.
I’m actually enjoying getting my 5 year old daughter S ready for her morning of Senior Kindergarten, having my 3 year old C  beg to go to school with her.
Holding my 3 year old, soothing her as she sobs deeply at the unfairness of life before school years.
Bye bye darling S , have a great day….no you’re not going to the sitter’s today, we will be picking you up from school, yes we’re REALLY home!
Yippeee!
Oh hurry Daddy is ready to go walk you to school.
Sighh, a sip of coffee while cuddling with my 3 year old C.
Bliss.
A very slow morning ensues, lovingly lazy interactions of a husband, wife and young daughter.
Plans are made for the afternoon when S returns from school.
Family time to be enjoyed, perhaps even a new experience or two as a hike is on the agenda.
11:14am the phone rings, it’s the babysitter.
Hello there.
 I’m a bit confused by the call as she knows the girls are with us today but it’s always great to have some chatty time with this woman who has become so special in our lives.
This woman whom we love, who is helping our youngest to perfect potty training before school in September.
The one who gets to hug my babies while I’m at work.
The one who they love as much as we appreciate her.
What’s that you say? You want me to sit down?
Fear….
WHAT’S GOING ON BABYSITTER?
Okay, there was a situation there this morning….Thank goodness the girls were HOME….one of the other little girls fathers arrived to speak with you?
OK, so not invested yet but waiting for it…
WHAT!!!
That 14 year old boy, the son of a “helper” at your daycare with Asperger’s ….yes I know him.
Wait, what did you say?
Little daycare girl’s brother told her father he witnessed WHAT?
OMG
14 year old boy….whom I was told was NEVER alone with ANY of the daycare kids, whom I’ve never seen alone with them…..
he touched the little girl?
Bile is rising in my throat, frantically I look for MY little girl ….gasping for air as hubby walks to me, concern in his eyes.
Ok so Father of little girl, the policeman is letting you know so you are prepared for the investigation…..that all the daycare children will be spoken to….that the parents should be notified?
Yes I hear you saying you’re not claiming that my little babies were ever left alone with Him, that you’re not saying that MY BABIES have been touched….BUT!!!
A loud ringing in my ears as I get off the phone, hyperventilation is just a breath away as I recount the story quietly to Hubby….Oh Hubby…..Dear Lord I am not prepared for this, HELP.
The cold sets in, my body doesn’t move unless necessary.
 I am still.

 Frozen in this fear as Hubby and I stare at each other surrounded by the sounds of our 3 year old gift playing.

Visions of TV talk shows where they say that parents often lead the child into recounting a situation incorrectly because of the way they phrase their questions, by their fears….
Deep breath.
“Hey C, come to Mummy for a sec”
“What Mama”
“When you’re at Babysitters, who pulls down your pants”
waiting, praying for her to say Babysitter and look at me like I’m crazy
“14 year old boy does when we play”
Time stops.
My blood feels cold.
Smiles plastered on our faces we stop the conversation and Hubby calls C over to play with him.
She is delighted.
My body remembers to breathe as my mind is filled with her smile, her laughter, the echos of what was our worry free day.
I call my sister, tell her, beg her to HELP.
She can’t change it.
I call the Children’s Aid Society, needing her to see someone who knows what this is, this horrific, dark thing which I don’t want.
I don’t want to ruin her by speaking about it with her in the wrong manner.
I CAN’T FIX THIS!!
I don’t know what it is.
We can go over there immediately, they will be waiting and will make sure C is comfortable, she will enjoy the experience I’m assured, she will not have any idea that this DARK thing is being discussed.
They will want to talk to our precious
5 year old after school as well.
Our lazy family afternoon won’t happen, we won’t be going hiking.
Will this be our family memory instead?
This post was written in response to the prompt from The Red Dress ClubThis week’s Red Writing Hood assignment is to write – fiction or non-fiction – about a time when you/your character took a detour. Where had you intended to go and where did you end up?

Pole Dancing bites me in the rump

So I was downstairs in the family room with my 7 year old, she was swinging in circles around the support beam. She was being silly, laughing, falling over and over as she was spinning. It was obvious she was trying to perfect something??

ME: Syd, what are you doing?

Syd: I’m trying to pole dance Mummy, can you┬áteach me how?

ME (ummmm pause….how the heck do you know the word pole dance??) What is pole dancing?

Syd: Dancing around a pole, you know that Mama

ME (carefully): What makes you think I know that? Who were you talking about pole dancing with?

Syd: Daddy, he said you’re the BEST pole dancer ever (with a totally serious face), come on Mama teach me how

ME: (imagining all the repercussions of this….teachers/friends…ughhh) Syd I don’t know how to dance around a pole but there is a Mayberry pole where there are ribbons tied at the top of a pole, the children each hold a ribbon and skip in a circle around the pole wrapping it up……

I love that hubby thinks I’m a GREAT pole dancer…..but REALLY? She is 7.

Hubby’s sense of humor kills me

A morning's silence

This morning my husband gave me a gift, he took the girls out to an event at his work and gave me a morning alone!!
Whoohooooo!!!
So many opportunities began running through my mind, shopping, getting a pedicure, going to my AA meeting with no time constraints….but all of those would mean that I would have to get up and become presentable which felt like an effort this morning…
Of course they all ran late getting out the house, bickering and stressing while getting ready to go.
But go they did.
I stayed in my PJ’s, got a cup of coffee, my laptop and plonked my bum into the Sleekcliner and began reading blogs. I had time to catch up on blogs I’ve missed which I enjoyed.
Our dog went upstairs to the front living room window and sat watch, she didn’t move…..she just whimpered every now and again as if to say “Where are they”.
So after a bit of blog reading I was feeling tired and decided to nap, this is a strange feeling for me as I lay there. The house was TOO quiet. I nap or relax often these days, due to pain or exhaustion but never with silence. I soon realized I wasn’t going to nap so what next?
I picked up Rumi’s poetry and enjoyed some time lost in it, then did some other short daily reading…totally relaxing….Easy Does It was in full effect.
Lately ´╗┐I have been contemplating Spiritual healing, not like let’s find your past lives or give me your bank account information and I’ll cure you over the phone.
I’m thinking of how many of us lose our true selves because we get in our own way.
Last night I had a group of ladies over to our home to introduce them to Heaven Scent Natural Products which is a line a friend of mine has created. We enjoyed great conversation, coffee, tea and YUMMY sweets from a local bakery. I snapped a pic of the Cheesecake thingies which I adored!!
I really enjoyed this gathering of women and it spurred me to reflect on how lost I had been in the past, there wouldn’t have been less than 10 bottles of wine purchased for a gathering such as this and the focus of the evening wouldn’t have been the same.
Somehow the “things” in life would come into conversations more, trips, upgrades we were wanting etc. Last night just didn’t feel like that. We learned about these amazing products, purchased some but also I felt like there were connections we were making with other women.
Sober get togethers ROCK.
 This past year my physical side has been recovering slowly as well as my mental side but the Spiritual side of my recovery has been accelerated. I’ll blog more on this topic another time once I’ve had more time with it.
My main point here is that this topic keeps reappearing for me over the last year now. In ways I cannot ignore it just pops up. I began exploring it about a month ago but haven’t really put much of my time or effort into it.
But as I lay there in my bed, in the silence while my dog kept watch on the house I felt God with me, assuring me that I was on the right path. I was questioning in my mind if I was going in the right direction, where God wanted me to focus my path and His answer came to me as a certainty, YES I am.
Because I don’t have much energy these days it’s important for me to give the time I can in the right direction. Everything takes me alot of time and I often have to repeat my efforts.
So I began developing this Project of mine in my mind. Let’s call it my Brain Child because I’ve always wanted to have a Brain Child….it makes a person sound brilliant somehow.
And then I spent some time with God in prayer.
The hubby and the children arrived home. They had a great day too, filled with clowns, balloons, lots of giggles and CANDY which means it wasn’t going to be a quiet afternoon.

Wash those hands!!

Here in Sober Julie Ville it was a Provincial holiday yesterday….long weekend!!! Yippeeee!!
This means that the girls and hubby are home for the day and we have no time constraints….whoopee right??
Visions of sleeping in, cuddles and a lazy day filled my head.Apparently the girls didn’t agree. Imagine, 5 and 7 years old and they don’t want to just laze around and ignore the world together??OK so I admit I was reaching with that wish but let’s see what we can do…first off lots of cuddles in bed…..which quickly turned to bickering between the delicate princesses so up we get.

Hubby arrives home right at this moment which is SWEET because he can work that impossible coffee maker.

OK decent, coffee poured and the girls are eating…..and the page is blank for the day….and it’s still only 7:50am. Why are we up at 7:50am on a holiday for the love of Pete……grrr.
Sip.

So I went and checked my Facebook briefly and was struck by all of the fantastic Family Day activities my friends are doing. Fantastic if I were an active person right now or loved the winter. This girl hates the cold with a passion, no WAY are we going outdoor skating or sledding. So what then?

Of course….pedicure morning!!
The girls totally bought into this, soak feet in the tub, a massage (which then initiates the giggles, squirming and much splashing) a trim and some lovely fire engine red polish to top it off!
Voila.
Disclaimer: Hubby was a willing participant, however our youngest informed us it’s against the law for boys to wear nail polish because they are allergic.
Interesting.
Her sister proceeded to tell her exactly why she is wrong, basically outlining freedom of choice in a 7 year old condescending manner and a yelling match ensued.
Hubby decided not to get the paint on the toenails.

Next we had lunch and then I realized there’s a whole afternoon of FUN to be had……but what’s the fun?
BAKING of course, in our house we love to bake. The fact that we never manage to finish all of our spoils before they ummm spoil doesn’t seem to bother anyone here. Usually I do most of the measuring, mixing etc and the kids do the licking and sprinkling.
This time I set up Sydney to do it completely on her own which was awesome but I’m reluctant to share her creations with others….let’s just say there was a finger, a nose and┬álots of hand washing involved.She did a great job, I am counting on her not knowing about the “from scratch” recipe cards for a while yet, let’s face it Duncan Heinz just does a better job more often than not.
 Now it was time for Little Chelsea to observe/irritate her sister with the pleading and begging to hurry up so she could lick the spoon.

So after a wonderful effort by Sydney, spoons being licked I popped the cupcakes in the oven, whipped up some frosting and Hubby occupied the girls while the cupcakes cooled.
Next they were onto decorating and suddenly these opposing parties became a team…..WOW it’s amazing how well they work together when they’re trying.┬á The compliments were flying to one another, lots of giggles, hey look at this….just a different tone of pride in their voices.

While our little family didn’t go outside, endured bickering, fighting, tears, frustration we did laugh, support each other, get creative, dance and in general have a BLAST on our Family Day and made some memories.

Hope you did too. And I hope you wash your hands often too!

Raising a mini-me

Our youngest daughter Chelsea is a DIVA, has been since birth. She was blessed with HUGE eyes which are totally expressive, you can read her every emotion through them.
She is one of those little girls who is FILLED to the brim with life and loves sharing that enthusiasm with anyone around her. She will walk up to complete strangers and compliment their attire, hair, pretty jewellery or anything she is struck by.
She wakes up chatting and singing away, albeit very grumpy like her Mum…not a morning person at all. And chats all day long to the point when I’ve been known to beg her to be quiet for 60 seconds.
She loves music, dancing, glitter and generally anything girlie.
She’s my DIVA to the core.
The first time I realized that she could manipulate people and had this side to her was when she was about 2.5. There was a backyard full of kids playing and being wacky while I read a book on the deck supervising in the sun.
Chelsea took a ball and threw it over the fence, cheered for herself and enjoyed this new skill. She then realized the ball was gone. She looked around and called to one of the boys who was about 6. She gestured and babbled baby talk at him while looking decidedly cutesy and the next thing I knew the wee lad climbed the fence and retrieved the prize for this Princess.
She was overjoyed, squealed at him and hugging him into embarrassment.
Pretty innocent still….until she did it again. And again. I think I watched her accomplish this 5 times before the boy was distracted by a game of tag the others were having.
What struck me was the look on her face, the realization I watched occur. She understood EXACTLY what she was doing.
Hubby and I are seriously concerned about her teen years ….her skills with winning people over just seem to sharpen over time. I hope she used them for good not evil.
Chelsea has a very high pain tolerance, we actually had to take her to the Doctor when she was young to see if she actually felt pain at all. This child would fall, get cuts and bruises like a normal active toddler but she didn’t cry or show any discomfort.

So as time went on and colds came eventually Chelsea got ear infections, the only sign we had was a fever or the one incident where she complained of pain 5 minutes before her eardrum burst.

She had ear tubes surgically inserted 3 different times. The last time was last February by a different specialist who agreed with me that a child shouldn’t need multiple surgeries. It went well and the DIVA was back in action that evening.

I have a million things ways this blog of Miss Chelsea could go, she’s so full life it’s amazing. But today oh today I shall not be winning any Mom of the Year awards.
We had battled a cold over Christmas and it hasn’t fully left our home. Each of us has had times of mal a laise, coughs. Chelsea has had a cough and before our Florida trip she was at the Doctor’s for her 5 year check up and got a clean bill of health except for the cold…no big deal of course.
Well lately Miss Chelsea Belle has been grumpy, like in your face screaming, throw yourself on the floor because you don’t want to wear socks grumpy. A handful to say the least….amazing how much a difficult child can stress a marriage hahaha I’m soooo leaving that one alone for today.
Miss Chelsea Belle hasn’t had hearing issues at all since last February’s surgery, which is a miracle in itself as it had been every few months for years before then. So I shouldn’t feel badly that I only realized this weekend that the poor little girl is practically deaf and walking around in frustration right?
I can only imagine how she’s felt lately. She is feeling unwell, constantly being yelled at to get her attention, facing a frustrated parent, not understanding why they are upset with her. We’ve been unable to get her attention or have her comply when she’s asked to do something. My normally chatty and inquisitive child had become my biggest irritation at times….asking the same thing repeatedly and totally unfocused.
Sooo I got it, it clicked and I had the Big Moment of Realization.
This morning I took my girl to the Doctor, my approach having changed dramatically with her over the weekend after the Big Moment of Realization Chelsea was relaxed and in better spirits.
I was totally prepared to hear that she had an ear infection, get a prescription and get her to gymnastics. Nope.
Here’s the applause for the Clueless Mom of the Year Award…..Doctor check her out and informs me that there is indeed a minor inner ear infection but the real concern is that little cough.
HUH?
The cough, the one she’s essentially had since Christmas?
Yes that one, it’s p
neumonia….
PNEUMONIA?? Without a fever or other symptoms?
Yes
So there I sat mentally beating the snot out of myself while imagining what her inner world has been like over the last week. This girl is so used to not being able to hear that she’s adopted the ability to mimic understanding. She has watched my body language to understand my desires/demands…..she’s doing what she has to in order to get by.
WOW.
I mean the illness will be quickly remedied, prescription and time off school to rest but my concern goes deeper. My daughter didn’t know she couldn’t hear. We will take her for a hearing test in a month, the Doctor is fairly certain she’ll be fine and for that I’m glad. Rock on Diva Chelsea!
In this I don’t feel shame or guilt, the situation will get better and so will our wee Diva! Where in the past I would have bashed myself repeatedly I don’t feel the need now.
But it is interesting how we can become conditioned to accept discomfort, frustration, illness and pain. We can become numb to it, just accepting it.
How it changes us, our actions and behaviors.
Chelsea was fine with her hearing loss, she figured she would just “turn up the sound”.
I used to do that in my life, turn up what I wanted to hear and ignore the situations I didn’t know how to resolve. I don’t do that anymore, time to begin teaching my girls.

One Day at a Time

Last February was a HUGE month in my life.

On February 6th I awoke after a heavy night of drinking hungover, sick, tired and defeated. It’s the day which would forever change my priorities and honesty with myself. This was the day I submitted my life to God’s will.

February 9th I turned 37….err I mean 27 for the 10th time.

February 10th I went to the gym and committed to running a 1/2 marathon with a friend in May.

February 26th I was in a car accident which negated the whole training pursuit.

This year has been a challenge to say the least. It began with starting to be honest with myself that I am and always will be powerless over alcohol but that I knew this wasn’t a hopeless issue. I knew in my soul that God would guide me. He brought me to AA and the people and the program which would change my life if I worked for it. Blind faith as I’ve been known to call it. And work it I have with the help of some fantastic people and God of course.

I am so glad I was sober before the car accident. This year has been one filled with physical pain, constant discomfort, scattered thoughts, inability to multitask or focus, sensitivity to noise/light, memory issues….on and bloody on. BUT I’ve laughed, I have breathed, been proud of my actions and efforts.

I have rejoiced in life!

Before I open my eyes each morning I’m greeted with pain but it’s like I’m beginning to be used to it on a momentary level….I don’t register it anymore. I don’t sit and wince or prolong the moment, I simply get up as I need to….get ‘er done right?

Each day I thank God for keeping me alive to have this time with my family and try as hard as I can to recover and participate.

Reality sucks for many of us, I’m not in control of my life so I have to appreciate what I can do.

But man it pisses me off! I’m normally functioning on numb….when I have emotions they’re HUGE. It’s hard to explain but it’s like I can see when a situation I am in is amusing but I don’t feel the laughter. I often put on the emotions for those around me to make them comfortable but I don’t really connect to it. Apparently this is the PTSD, I don’t care what it is, I just want my old self back.

Tonight I was at a meeting and one of the topics was feelings and emotions. People were sharing about feeling things for the first time in years and I felt this anger boiling over in me. Overwhelming anger. When it was my turn to share it poured out of me, my potty mouth was in overdrive ….I was releasing the anger at my inabilities all at once. Why wasn’t I given the opportunity to learn how to feel again in a “normal” way?? I know what’s normal right but this brain issue I have is messing with my recovery. So here I am on the verge of a panic attack and let it rip. I was shaking, stuttering, crying and letting loose my frustrations in a SAFE arena.

It was enlightening and the support amazing. After a year with these people in my home group you’d think I’d be at the stage of accepting that the support just exists but it humbled me. God again put me in just the one RIGHT place to experience this.

It’s not like I’m in a fairy tale and living happily ever after suddenly but tonight I can say I’m Grateful to have this foundation with these people and that for some reason,┬áwhich I don’t know, I opened up and didn’t have a full blown panic attack. My exhaustion didn’t take over and I feel like a weight has been lifted.

Today I’m certainly not the person I was a year ago, I have grown in ways I can’t verbalize well. It’s the spiritual side which is the essence of whom I am. I may never hold a role such as I did before the accident or run a 1/2 marathon but Dammit I bloody like who I am today.

Blessed

Well the Christmas celebrations are almost done and we’ve survived! Full of love, laughter and tears it was amazing for our little family. While at times I missed the glow which a wonderful glass of red wine brings I didn’t miss the sluggish, painful Christmas morning wake up, the shame or the bruises from falling down or bumping into who knows what.
This year we had 2 sick girls and we were up for 4 nights tending to them. This was tiring but also gave the opportunity for time with them in my arms to reflect on their wonderful little lives. How much they’ve experienced, the love they’ve felt and prayer for many more such times for them.
Christmas Eve I was sitting with Sydney (eldest) listening to Christmas Shoes on the radio which always makes me cry and she began SOBBING! She said “I’m so glad you didn’t die in your car accident” WOW
This little 6 year old has been giving hints at being constantly worried about me but man this hit hard. We cried together and then chatted about the fact that I’m alive by the Grace of God and that we must be thankful for all the time he allows us here before we go Home.
Did I mention that hubby thought this was a great time for a photo?
Christmas morning was hilarious, hubby in one daughter’s bed and me with the other (romance was dead to say the least). 7am and hubby and I were waking them….that was a trip! Then we loaded the breakfast in the oven, got a cup of coffee and expected them to dive into the presents. NOPE. The littlest just stood with huge eyes staring at the gifts and the oldest just layed on the couch. hmmmm where’s the lively girls we know??
So we helped it along and soon enough they got it!

My youngest Chelsea sporting her “oh my gosh it’s the Tangled “Bapunzle” baby!!”

Here is our eldest Sydney performing what we are now referring to as the “recline” pose of unwrapping gifts.
We then went on to Christmas Brunch at my sister and brother-in-law’s house with my folks and it was a BLAST! We had fantastic food and even played Taboo, have you played this game? If not go get it, serious fun and even a buzzer to annoy the other team with….as my brother in law found.
I took the chance to snap this sweet shot of Chelsea while we were there.
In closing this blog I’ll say that I may have physical limitations, memory and processing issues, be an alcoholic but as my daughter told me:
God made me AMAZING, just like I am.
Blessed indeed.

The Grace of God

I’m thinking to begin posting about my early sobriety before I forget the experience. My intent for this blog is to jot down my thoughts because these days they fall away from my memory. I love the blogs with humor about sobriety because it’s not all been misery, in fact, spiritually┬áit’s been an amazingly loving, wonderful journey so far.

SO a bit about my history would be an appropriate place to begin. I was born a super cute lil thing to a British Mum and Dad who lived here in Canada, I have one sister who is AMAZING, you know the type of sisters where one follows the other around constantly annoying the other trying to be like her? That was us errr okay it was me. Great childhood, involved with sports, school, community and church.
As I said in my earlier post I felt “less than” within my own self and unless I was able to appear to be accomplished at something I rarely participated in it. I did well in school easily, same with sports and friends generally.
I cannot remember my first drink, my folks enjoyed beer and wine so it was commonly around our home, not like I was drunk on a Saturday night at 5 or anything but I’m certain I’d tasted beer at home young because I knew it tasted like funk before I recall drinking it. I also remember despising doing communion at our church because the wine tasted horrific (budding palate?)

In grade 7 a bunch of us kids were at my friends house and decided to steal a drink out of her Mom’s Texas Mickey of hooch. Seriously this was a HUGE (like to my waist) bottle with a pump top that her Mom refilled with something she made (I specifically remember her using panty hose to strain something which she boiled on the stove). So we get the cup and took turns. It burned like a MOFO!! I hated it ….and yet I had more than one because everyone else was.

Fast forward to years later and I was drinking with my Sister and her friends (she totally didn’t want me to cuz I was only 16)┬á it was Singapore Sling out of a tupperware juice container and we were playing Molsons poker. Do you see where this is going? Yup drunk, blottoed…gross and puking in the bathroom an hour later. So again wanting to “fit in” I had an aversion to booze.

I must say at this point I do have a tenacious streak which has served me well in business and other challenges and ultimately in my dumbass quest to become an accomplished connoisseur.

Off we go to my late teens – didn’t bother drinking much, I was usually the DD.

I’m not sure why but in my early 20’s I began to drink regularly. LIKE A SAILOR. I took pride in the fact that I could drink with the “big boys” and leave ’em in the dust. Thursday – Saturday nights were drunkfests, when most people were making memories I was blacking out. I had a great job, great family and all were well on these fronts…in my┬ámind at the time it was normal for the youth to party like this.

I went to college again at 23 and didn’t really do the drinking thing because I commuted but Saturday nights are all a blur. Actually to be fair I was working 3 jobs and school so didn’t have much time but when I did…yup no holds barred. I think I had created a habit for myself of living my lives in different boxes, student, employee, sister, friend, daughter, party girl and never shall the two meet.

During my early to mid twenties I dated alot, made poor choices outside of work/school and led a really fast lifestyle. Clubs, parties….anything that was offered I spontaneously did. By my late 20’s I met who was to be my future husband. I got my first “real” career job and life was good. I remember feeling loved by someone other than family for the first time and my joy was huge because I loved him too. (let’s save that story of this wicked awesome guy for another blog)

Fast forward again to recent years…I was a Mom who worked, commuted and was often overwhelmed with the feeling that I wasn’t your typical June Cleaver which I strived to be. I compared myself to those other women who did it with seeming ease.

You know the ladies, the ones who are totally comfortable at the Early Years Centers, those who remember to bring snacks, clean clothes, are fully made up in their┬áLululemon yoga suits with their already tight abs┬áand chatting over a coffee?? I was the Mum who ran out 20 minutes late with the diaper bag that I forgot to restock, not showered in a few days, frazzled, dying for a coffee or perhaps something to eat for the first time in DAYS ….but I made it to the bloody Early Years Center so my 6 month old daughter could “play” and “socialize” with other babies??????

Why didn’t someone slap me?

So this caught up with me….a glass of Shiraz on a Friday night bled over time into a bottle. My husband loved the gregarious wife who had come back to him on Friday nights, I was carefree again for a few hours, witty, fun, SEXY!! Then on Saturday evenings we always had plans with friends which meant wine for me, beer for the men (hubby has always been a 1 or 2 beers guy) and of course for a GREAT night it was shots of Patrone! Oh and I am a total snot with alcohol, it was so important to me that it be “quality” booze until later when boxed wine and buck a bottle beer worked too, heck I even drank sweet white wine my parents friends gave them for Christmas when I was in a pinch.

So Sunday to Thursday I waited (without realizing) for feeling like myself again on Friday and Saturday. I loved my daughters and enjoyed them totally but ultimately felt like I wasn’t the best Mum God could have chosen for them. I beat myself constantly with my internal thoughts as we women are apt to do. I got fit, jogging 4K/day with a wonderful friend of mine and felt great about surface things.

This drinking had begun to take a turn, I could be fun tipsy Julie and suddenly for no apparent reason to those around me become Mean Nasty Drunk Julie. It was totally unpredictable by the number of drinks or type. Frankly I didn’t remember most of it. Black outs were common for me.

I refuse to do a drunkalog so let’s say that this continued for a while, sometimes it was a lucky night with Awesome Party Girl Julie and sometimes Drunk Julie came out. I got sick of feeling the shame of waking. There is nothing like being afraid to open your eyes and look to see the mood of the ones you loved the most to know what you did.

The time came after just another Drunk Julie night when I’d had enough. I told hubby (not for the first time) that I was done with drinking. That I had to admit I needed help and that I needed GOD. I had known for a long time that I had an issue, that I abused alcohol and didn’t know why. I also knew that the day I quit I would be changing my entire life, way of thinking and truly giving it all up….all of my wants/desires and dedicating my life to God and His will.

FRIGHTENING doesn’t cover it. I was terrified to face a LIFEtime surrounded by alcohol and not being able to imbibe. I would be excluding myself FOREVER.

So this was it, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. There was no more space within me to stuff down the emotions. I got on my knees totally devastated and prayed to God. I gave him my life, confessed my sins of which I could face/remember and begged that he fill me with His Holy Spirit. That he take my life and guide me. That’s it. I had no more words but God knew what was in my heart.

From that moment, broken as I was, God has used me. He led me to a meeting, gave me the strength to walk in the doors and I’ve been relieved of the need to drink.

I am SoberJulie and today I’m Grateful by the Grace of Godhe is using me for His purpose and I feel at home.