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Recovery: Day 1,096

Recovery: Day 1,096

Today marks three years of recovery for me, and what amazes me the most is how quickly time is able to pass us by if we do not pay attention. This is what recovery has been about for me; paying attention. At first, what started out as realizing and admitting I had a substance use disorder, had now become a three-year recovery process of understanding…why. By showing up for my life, keeping myself accountable for my own choices, and learning how to express my emotions in a healthy manner, I have been able to see another day and live my best life in recovery.

In this post, I will share with you some of my biggest recovery struggles, and why this way of life is no easy feat. I will talk about what recovery has offered me thus far, and despite the challenge of it, why I would not live another way. Regardless of what it is you may be battling, recovery from anything is a day to day process. Recovery is simply choosing to want the best for yourself and your life, and getting honest about the things that pull you away from that.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Dear Depression,

Dear Depression,

It’s #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, and you know what that means…I am going to write about it! Except this time, I am doing things a little differently; I am writing a letter directly to Depression.

If you have spent any part of your life having to overcome the battle of this mental illness, you will understand this letter on a deeper level. If you have never experienced the struggle that is depression, then I urge you to read this letter so you can try to understand. Depression takes on many forms, and it has this cruel way of making everything seem fine to the outside world when in reality, the person suffering is having to fight a constant internal battle.

For me, writing about my own experiences, and sharing the struggles that I face has been a key component in my own mental health recovery. I hope by reading this letter you feel better knowing you are not alone, or you are able to take something away from it so you can empathize with those in your life who do suffer from depression.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Learning to Choose Inspiration Over Desperation

Learning to Choose Inspiration Over Desperation

5 years ago, today, I found myself in Jail Cell #11. My ‘roommate’ appeared to be a regular and very aware of the fact that I was terrified. Despite shame being a feeling I was familiar with; this was a level of shame that I had not yet experienced. Up until that humbling realization that I had put myself in jail, I had been pretty convinced that I was invincible; that I could get away with anything I set my mind to. Getting arrested was a pivotal moment in my life. It was through this time of desperation that I was able to make a step in the right direction.

Despite this incident being the motivation I needed to quit my addiction to amphetamines, the big question I was left with, was why did it always take desperation for me to want better for myself? Surely, there was another way to go about how I live my life.

In this post, I talk about the two motivating factors we all tend to lean on when it comes to making a change in our lives: Inspiration & Desperation. I beg the question of, why does desperation seem to be the most popular choice, and why is it that we wait until we are at our worst to want better? I am only speaking from experience here, but I guarantee all of us have an example of when we were inspired, and when we felt desperate. Since my arrest five years ago, I have slowly but surely begun learning how to choose inspiration over desperation. Isn’t it beautiful that we always have a choice?

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

10 Lessons My Mental Illness is (still) Teaching Me

10 Lessons My Mental Illness is (still) Teaching Me

My Mental Illness never fails to remind me that it has a key role in the way I live my everyday life. I still struggle with the fact that each day has its own set of challenges, but that is only because I still struggle to let go of what I cannot control. Having to accept that my mental health will always require a certain level of work has been challenging, because let’s be honest, mental illness can be exhausting.


In this post, I share TEN lessons my mental illness is still having to teach me about myself, or better yet, lessons I am still having to accept about my journey. We are all going to face our own set of challenges in life, and for a portion of the world, mental illness will be one of those battles. We cannot deny what we must face about ourselves, and the 10 lessons I talk about are just some of the truths I can no longer run from.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

5 Daily Habits That Make Me a Better Person

5 Daily Habits That Make Me a Better Person

My life has always revolved around having certain ‘habits’, but it was not until my recovery that I started to learn (and accept) which habits were good for me, and which were bad; most of them being the latter. Because of this, I have spent the past couple years discovering which habits I could incorporate into my daily routine to make me a better person. What I have found thus far has been incredibly beneficial, not only in my recovery but just as a human being in general.

In this post, I share with you 5 daily habits that keep me on the right track, and I go over what each habit has done for my life since making it an everyday priority. We are all going to face tougher days in life, but it can be the daily habits we choose for ourselves that keep us afloat when the going gets tough. These may not all work for you, but I think all are worth giving a shot!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.   

My Take on Being a 'Woman'!

My Take on Being a 'Woman'!

It was not until this year that I truly paid any attention to International Women’s Day. I know what you are probably thinking, ‘How could a woman not pay attention to a day that is dedicated to the achievement of being a Woman?’ Well, for one, it was not until recently that I even granted myself the permission to own, and accept the accomplishment of what I feel it means to be a ‘Woman’. So, when International Women’s Day came around this time of year, it gave me an opportunity to really think about the word ‘Woman’ and what it means to me, as well as what it has meant to me in the past.

In this post, I try to piece together the many moments in my life that I have felt like a Woman, but also, the many moments where I am taken back, and able to feel like that scared little girl I have once been. This post is not about ‘Feminism’ or however YOU choose to define that word. This post is simply just my perspective of being a female, a girl, and most recently, a Woman. A title that I fought off for quite some time, but am finally starting to see the beauty in what it actually means to appreciate it.  

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

On Life, Loss, & Learning That One Cannot Happen Without the Other!

On Life, Loss, & Learning That One Cannot Happen Without the Other!

The idea for this post didn’t come to me because of good news I received, but because of the opposite. The news of an old friend passing caused me to take a deeper look into loss and what it has meant for me over the years. Although this is a much tougher topic to cover, I always feel that it’s necessary to explore both the ups and downs of life, because like my title says, with life comes loss, and we must learn to accept that one cannot happen without the other.

In this post, I talk about loss in a way that hopefully offers you a lighter way of looking at something so dark. Not that we should become numb to it happening, but instead, we should live our days moving forward believing that our life is for something greater than the pain we experience. If we allow the darker times to consume us completely, we take the risk of forgetting just how beautiful life can be when we are able to learn from it!

This post is not only dedicated to my friend who is now in peace, but also, to any, and all families that have been impacted by the violence that has been occurring...everywhere quite frankly. We live in a scary world, but we cannot allow the world to make us afraid to live!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

8 Truths My Tattoos Won't Tell You!

8 Truths My Tattoos Won't Tell You!

When it comes to tattoos, we all have our reasons for going under the needle to permanently put ink into our skin. In the 8 years that I have been partaking in the art form that is tattooing, I have learned many truths about having tattoos; what they mean to me, what they mean to other people, and why the latter is the least bit of my concern.

As I excitedly await a tattoo appointment I have today, I felt that it was appropriate to write about my tattoos and shed some light on the topic. In this post, I talk about 8 of the more important truths I have gathered through my journey, passion, and appreciation for ART that is tattooing.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!

AA Wasn't for Me, but Recovery Isn't 'One Size Fits All'

AA Wasn't for Me, but Recovery Isn't 'One Size Fits All'

After my last drink in August of 2015, I thought that because I admitted to having a problem with my drinking and drugging, that meant that I must attend meetings, work the steps, and recover by their rules. It only took me three months, and three chips later to realize that I didn’t have to recover by following a specific program.

In this post, I share with you some of the ups and downs I have come across throughout this recovery process of mine, and I share some more of my reasons for not connecting with AA. It’s important to understand that there is not a ‘One Size Fits All’ recovery program. Behind every story is just a unique person with some highs and lows. You don’t have to be an addict to relate to the fact that we all have flaws.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

Dear Readers,

Dear Readers,

This week I wanted to do things a little bit differently, and write a letter to, well… you; the one reading this; the one who has somehow found this page. You are a huge part of the reason why I continue to put myself out there, and just by clicking that ‘read more’ button, you are supporting me in more ways than you will ever know.

In this post, I open up in a different way and I get the chance to say how I feel to those of you that are reading this. Every single one of you is a reminder that I am not alone, you are not alone, and together, we can make the world that much better.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

Two Years Sober & Learning How to Love Myself Again.

Two Years Sober & Learning How to Love Myself Again.

I never thought this day would come, because, like most addicts, I never wanted to admit that I had a problem. Nobody grows up knowing that one-day sobriety will become their fate, nor does anyone plan to self-destruct their way to ‘rock bottom’. But here I am, at day 731, and still choosing to climb up the wall of recovery.

In this post, I talk about the struggles I have faced in my two years of sobriety, as well as the beautiful things I have learned during the process of this lifelong journey. This post is less about sobriety and more about becoming who I was meant to be. Regardless of if you are sober, we are ALL having to heal from something, and this is just a story of my recovery thus far.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

Gaining Followers for Losing Weight: How My Online Presence Fueled My Eating Disorder!

Gaining Followers for Losing Weight: How My Online Presence Fueled My Eating Disorder!

I was about to be a Junior in college when I woke up one morning and decided I no longer liked feeling depressed about the girl I saw in the mirror. So, I changed. Almost as if something just flipped in my brain, I stopped making poor food choices, I increased the amount of exercise I was getting, and I created a “Fitness” page on Twitter to track my journey. It didn’t take long for the pounds to come off, and the followers to flood in. What my followers didn’t know was that the secret to my weight loss was no longer built on a desire to be healthy; it was based on the fact that my behavior was compulsive, and filled will a need for control.
 
In this post, I share the truth behind the girl who had all her followers fooled, and I open up about my personal struggle with a compulsive exercising eating disorder.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes!

Not All Heroes Wear Capes!

It’s that time of year again where we get to celebrate the Father figure in our lives! I like to emphasize ‘Father figure’ because depending on how you grew up, there are many ways to define what this means to people. This could mean a single mom, a loyal guardian, or your own blood, but at the end of the day, whoever it is that plays that role for you, it is important that we take the time to thank them for all that they do on a daily basis.
 
In this post, I thank the man that has proven time and time again that he will always be there for me, and I get to put into words why I have always considered my Father, a hero with an invisible cape.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

#FathersDay ❤️ 

Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,

In honor of tomorrow being Mother's day, I decided to do things a little differently, and express some of the things I have never been any good at saying out loud. 

In this personal post, I write to the woman who is half of the equation for who I am today. It has been a bumpy 25 years, but she has always remained my Mom through the worst of it. 

I haven't been the easiest daughter to raise, but because of her, I have learned what is important in life. 

To all of the Mom's out there, whether you be single mom's, single dad's, or a loving guardian, YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT, and you deserve so much more than one day.

Happy Day Before Mother's Day! ❤️

A Letter to the Girl I Was 4 Years Ago

A Letter to the Girl I Was 4 Years Ago

4/21/2017 marked the 4 year anniversary of my arrest. 

In this post, I write a letter to the girl I was four years ago, and if I could give my past self any kind of advice, this is what I would say to her. 

In one of my most personal pieces to date, I share my most unflattering photo with the world, and I tell you the truth about the girl in the mugshot. 

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

7 Things I Learned While Packing Up My Life & Moving

7 Things I Learned While Packing Up My Life & Moving

So, I did it. I moved out of the area that I have lived for 95% of my life, and during the process, I learned a handful of things about myself. 

In this post, I talk about my experience through packing up my life, and moving away. I share some of the truths I learned through this process, and I discuss my reasons for moving to a new city. Read more, and share an experience in the comments that you have had through the process of moving your life to a new, undiscovered, place! Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

Facing fears: Why I Decided to Speak Up About My Story

Facing fears: Why I Decided to Speak Up About My Story

Sharing my story through various platforms has helped me heal others, but most importantly, it has allowed me to heal myself. I decided a few years ago that I was no longer going to hide from who I am, and that included who I was to those around me.

So, when I was asked to speak to student athletes about my story, I was nervous; extremely nervous. It was one thing to type up my story and allow anyone to read it, but to actually stand in front of a room of people and let all of my walls down, that was an entirely new experience; one I hope to experience again.