To the Family That Still Suffers..

“If I’m helpless tell me now
Tell me now
And I’ll stop trying to figure it out”

~John Mayer~

Have you ever had a week that just ate you alive and spit you out? If you didn’t have to raise your hand, Congrats-its 2021-you have officially lived in a bubble. Life is filled with its ups and downs. We have to feel the glory to know the defeat and all that jazz.

My sleep tank is pretty empty, my journal has been furiously written into, footsteps beaten into, more serenity prayers to count and so much more. While I was stress cleaning the house today (that IS an entirely different topic for another rainy day!) I had so many thoughts cross my mind that I knew the universe was telling me to get it out there. You see at the end of my stressful week placated with a large drinking festival and overtime at work; I stand with my battle wounds at the end of the finish line still sober.

GRATEFUL to still be sober.

I had a serious overlap of recovery and relapse and the “addict that still suffers” happen before my very eyes. I also had a new sub sphere of recovery I hadn’t thought about before occur to me. The families that still suffer.

I came into a situation where in my line of work an individual had need due to a water damaged cell phone and more in the early am hours. As well as needing replenishing of gin and tonics prior to 8 am. He was asking staff to help him locate his brother (who is locally known in the area.) At first the length I went to was to tell others to “not judge” out of nothing but fierce loyalty to those I see still struggling. Then I mulled it over, this individual asked me for help, the internet is accessible, I know who he is asking for, I just had a nagging gut feeling I owed the brother a phone call.

So I trusted my gut. I called the brother and as politely as I could reintroduced myself and only revealed that his brother was here and his cell phone was damaged so was looking to try to connect with him. What I got on the other end of the phone was a grateful sigh followed by polite feedback on how to move forward. I was told the family was looking for this person and had combed the town hospitals and jails in desperation.

The empathy in my heart exploded and my mind swirled back to a different time. A time when I was sitting in the Bear River Health Treatment Center, and after a really intense group session I was overcome with remorse and called my Mom. I couldn’t believe that I had been so selfish when I chose alcohal over family and literally had my poor parents, Aunt Susie, and so many others worried sick for days that turned into weeks on what the ill fated outcome could be. As soon as she picked up the phone, I started to cry and told her how sorry I was for everything I had put her through and after what we had just been working on I had to call and tell her that.

I still rememeber her response.

“Its in the past, all I want is for you to move forward and be healthy and happy.”

I had forgotten until this past week the intense hell the addict that still uses or the alcoholic who still hasn’t surrendered yet put their family through. We call recovery and the recovery community a WE community. You have others to help you get through it for a reason. Its like having the largest, international extended family ever. The same is for addiction. Its not just a solo person it can take down. The entire family suffers.

So for me, from here on out, whenever I silently pray for the addict that still suffers, I will add on the family that still suffers. Weeks good and bad come and go. I’m forever grateful that my family can now sleep well knowing I am okay.

I hope and pray you can all do the same for yourself. As for me, I am going to work on better sleep habits, longer runs, and as always I am here if you need me.

“Good Enough for What?”

“And if I’m being honest
I’m not always as tough as I seem
And I can have my moments
Where words can get the best of me
And the ones that I say to myself
Are the ones that hit the hardest”

~If I’m Being Honest, Kaitlyn Bristowe~

What words do you hear in your head on repeat daily?

For so many of us; its version of negative self-talk. Something someone has said to us that stuck in a place of time of intense healing or need of character affirmations’ not assassinations’ and it just…well STUCK. The human nature tends to believe the very worst about ourselves during our very best days. Matthew Perry just admitted during the much famed FRIENDS reunion the amount of pressure he felt to always be “on” make others laugh, perform, and how paralyzing it was for him. The people that were around him daily had so much empathy for him. They had no idea. My heart hurt for him. I got it. Those isolating thoughts that lasso us into just “one more drink” in the early days of our addiction.

I’ve been there. I’ve always been the “not good enough” girl in my own mind. Its horrible, damning, isolating, leads to searching for something to numb and more. We snap at the things that people don’t understand. We seem like we have it all together. Its exhausting.

I share all of this because I’m in a place now where I’m sober, exploring my demons that lead me to drink in the first place, and able to reach out and listen to others. This past week alone with others has been eye opening, emotional, and so incredibly transparently reveling that others suffer from this too. People suffer in silence an perform at a perfect 10. Its heartbreaking. I get it and so have been there. They take on so many burdens, negative words, emotions and more and manifest it unto themselves.

I’m so done doing it.

I refuse to allow myself to be a part of anything that eats away at: myself, my self- esteem, my spirit, my recovery and my authentic self. I refuse to buy into the words I have been called this week meant to take me down: useless, lazy, selfish, self-centered, and more. I also refuse to watch anyone get taken down when they aren’t able to fight for themselves. Kicking someone when they are down is criminal and makes you weak. I have a bit of my Grandma (TT) Geraldine in me-don’t mess! I am who I am in this moment doing the best I can, and I am inclined to believe that the rest of the world is as well.

So for now, do what Ellen DeGenerges says, “Be Kind to One Another.” People are already playing tapes on repeat and suffering from things you know nothing about. For so many that I love; your kindness is what may help keep them sober and serene for that day. (seriously.) Words matter and so do you.

I love you all and am always a phone call away.

Love always, Kate.

“Get Feisty!”

What do you hide that scares you to not talk about?

I know for me for MANY days, weeks, months, and may be even years it was the broken pieces of my broken past littered with trauma, addiction, healing, and moving on.

In the beginning, I wanted to be the poster child for everything I had going on to heal from. It helped me feel connected to others. I was LOUD and PROUD. Then somewhere in the dark and twisty parts of my life story, I got quiet and retreated. (I call these the shame pockets Satan wants us to dwell in.) I have had some odd reminders lately that have pulled me out of these pockets.

I was able to talk about my life, my moments, my own path, my own healing, my own recovery, my own trauma to look someone in the eye and let them know they weren’t alone more than a few times in the past week. I explained to a physician while talking about a very dibilitating migraine issue that NO NARCOTICS and “sorry I get very fiesty about my recovery!”

I loved the response back, “Get fiesty! Its YOUR recovery and your life!” I was not expecting that response. I mumbled something back like, its not something I have ever had a problem with, but I just don’t trust my brain. I also got the response, “You shouldn’t, you have a disease we need to treat and nuture too.”

Nuture.

Wow.

“I said thank you so much for saying that” (then damn near cried when I had a moment alone…)

I am grateful for the checkered path of a very cumbersome week that pulled me out of my comfort zone. There are no coincidences in life or God’s plan (in my opinion.)

I am not sure where my pathway is for this moment, but I want to say this.

We are all human. We all have our own stuff. Some of our rock bottoms and trauma are so incredibly jagged and scary. That doesn’t mean you have to be alone or that another human being can’t connect with you. I care. So many people in this world care.

You are a worthy, blessed, incredibly human being.

And I am always a phone call or text away….even with a migraine.