recovery · relapse · sobriety

2 Years

What a wild ride. 365 days x 2. By anyone’s math, that is a total of 730 days of continuous sobriety… By the Grace of God. I am not confused about that last part at all. Grace, by definition, is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. I didn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, but it has been given to me. I had to do some work but the work didn’t fix or repair me.

After finally coming clean about my relapse due to a near death experience, I absolutely could not “see the light”. I was certain that the gift of sobriety would not be granted to me again after squandering what I had been given before. I can remember having little God Winks… just to let me know He was there and I was in the right path. A path that I had no idea would lead me to here.

In a nutshell… I spent 45 days in treatment, 5 1/2 months in a halfway house, came home to divorce papers and my own apartment, rebuilding my relationship with my son and fighting to get custody, getting to know me without “Him”, coming to terms of how sick I had become in my marriage, exploring what it was that made me tick and light my fire, divorce finally over after 14 months, all the way to a new relationship with a amazing man and making an offer on a house the day before my 2 year mark. That’s a big ass run-on sentence… I am aware.

When I moved in to my apartment, I knew God had a plan for me but most days I didn’t know what the fuck that was. I’ve said before, I had no idea about the future or where the hell I was going but I knew that I could do each moment as it came. Some of those moments were really difficult and some were absolutely breath taking. Some I was sure of, that I was on the right path and some consumed with fear, uncertainty, and thoughts of “will I ever get there”. Wherever the fuck “there” was.

Some relationships broken, some relationships rekindled, some relationships repaired and then there were the new ones that came along. Getting over my inability to trust other people, moving in and out of authenticity, and seeking for the answers or the truth, rather. Knowing that each moment I had a choice to either participate in the life I now had or dwell on my fuck-ups and fear my future.

Despite, what I once saw as my fall from grace, I now embrace the knowledge and life experience it has taught me. It took a whole helluva lot of soul-searching, truth seeking, and for lack of a better term… gumption. Wait a minute… gumption is an awesome word!!! Common sense, resourcefulness, initiative and courage. That about sums up part of how I made it to here.

Grateful for all the loss, sad days, bad days, and pain. Why you ask? Because it makes the gains better, the happy days more joyful, the good days a true success and the peace I feel mean that much more.

There is always some amount of uncertainty in life, some way for fear the ooze in through the cracks and the negativity to surface. But I get to chose today to be content with uncertainty, be courageous in the face of fear and focus on what’s good… which is a whole bunch in my little world.

My friend made me a sign for my fortieth birthday that sits on my dresser with a quote that is more true than I realized the first time I read it. “Gods plan is bigger than your past” He doesn’t even have to let me in on the plan, no matter how much I would have liked him to… most of the time. The path or paths we take in life are ours for the taking. To not settle for mediocre or comfortable because there is always more to be had. Not really in the physical sense but as my friend Ken says, it’s the non-Walmart words. Peace, forgiveness, grace, love, contentment, courage, gratitude, patience(love/hate this one), compassion, mercy, etc. What I have come to learn as fact is that God is always moving mountains that I can’t see. Doing things for me in the background that I would never be smart enough to ask for because they work to His Plan and not my sometimes misguided asks.

I’m extremely grateful to be clean and sober today and I know today it’s a gift that I don’t want to squander this time by letting my ego think that I’ve really done something spectacular this time. The truth is I “get” to be sober and because of that, I am present, available, and I get to participate in Gods Grace through the actions I take to however falteringly follow His Will for me.

730 days into this sobriety date, I couldn’t be more grateful for the process even though I never pictured on day 1 that this is where I was gonna be. Yet, I know, I’m right on time.

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Exercise · Fitness · Health

I’m So Glad I Turned My Car Around

Pick a goal he said… Just pick a race. So I did. I picked a 5k to run on a day that wouldn’t be too hot and not too cold and far enough out I’d probably be able to run that far by then but you know what? Life happens.

So here we are 6 months out from beginning my fitness journey. Never in a million years did I think I’d be here. I’ve gained a total of 22 pounds but yet I haven’t bought a different size in clothes. Some of my jeans fit differently. The waist still fits but my ass I’m in a different place and my legs are more filled out. My arms look like they could beat up your dad and I have shoulders and back definition and quite honestly I didn’t even know that was a thing.

Before I ever got to the 5k I signed up for that was supposed to be April 21st, I finished a Spartan Sprint. That’s how life sometimes just happens. I finished it injured and not pretty might I add but I did finish it. That was a month ago today. Super proud of that accomplishment. I was crazy enough to sign up for a Spartan Super that is May 19th.

Injuries have been my enemy as of late. The worst thing about them is what they can do to your spirit and the termites they leave in your mind. I have fought the you’re too old for this shit, what the hell are you thinking doing this, why won’t you listen to your body, you are just gonna hurt something else when this something heals, rest won’t help, this just fucking sucks, all your doing is losing ground… bullshit noise in my head for the last 6 weeks. I’m not sure it’s gonna stop either but I keeping moving. I keep working. Some days are better than others to be honest.

It started with mild right knee pain after two consecutive days of running. Next was left hip pain, then Left peroneal tendinitis right before the Spartan Sprint. But I raced and finished anyway… in a lot of pain. Nursed that to as much health as I can while this hip pain reared it’s ugly head. Gluteus medius tendinitis… guess it’s kinda good I’m an Occupational Therapist and a pretty good diagnostician. I can at least figure what I can do to help myself heal but I want these things to heal faster than they do.

Pain and injuries dampen the spirit for sure. I started back to running a little over a week ago with a mile. Was supposed to take it easy. My pace was 9:19. My trainer was less than thrilled I didn’t take it slower. Lol. I slowed it the next day without my ankle brace the next day 9:56 pace. He set the pace that day 🙄🙄🙄. Tried on my own a few days later and just knew I was running really slow and sucking ass. Lots of mind trash going on about the injury and how I was never gonna get better so I stopped at a half mile and checked my pace and it was 8:38. Just proves that your mind is extremely powerful and terribly unreliable. 🙄🙄🙄

Time to try out the trails this past Sunday. I walked 1.5 miles then jogged 1.5 miles. Then ran the 2.73 trail and pace was 10:38. In all on Sunday I went about 6 miles, 4 of which I was running. Made me feel encouraged finally, despite the fact I had quite a bit of hip pain afterwards. My left foot was good though.

But here’s the meat of this…

Was driving on FM1476 just outside of Proctor this morning and I passed an older woman running with a left leg prosthesis. I turned my car around to tell her I thought she was amazing. I got to meet Gay Henry, 77 year old woman. Left below knee amputee who’s been running for 43 years. Lost her leg in a accident at her church when the building fell on her about 10 years ago. Broke her neck, back, crushed her spleen. Doctor told her if she wasn’t in such good shape from running she would have died. He told her to keep running. So she does. ❤️❤️❤️

She told me not to stop running. That it was always worth it and that it saved her life. I’m so glad I turned my car around.

So, In 6 months I’ve learned that I am strong but not done. Injuries only stop you if you let them. My mind still tells me lies and I still buy them. Goals are important to have because they push you to the next level and have something for you to keep your eyes on. Never stop running because running may just save your life someday. I’ve got more drive, determination, fight in me than I ever thought I had.

TC ✌🏻

life · relationships

Connection

Why is it that you meet some people and you are drawn to them, their energy, their soul? But some people you meet and you can easily walk away from. What is it that draws you to someone’s presence over another? You can try to walk away, try to move forward in a different direction without them but when they come back around you easily let them back in. How is it that they can have this type of power or pull at your soul that you can’t just “move around”?

You can’t choose these connections… they are either there or they are not. It’s like flipping on a light, either the bulb burns bright or it is burnt out. There is no in between. No amount of electricity can force a burnt out bulb to light the room.

I have, no doubt, been on a path of self discovery. A journey I chose to take, for myself. To get down to the meat of who and what I am. I started extremely closed off from the rest of the world… mainly humans. I had to, for my focus had to be on me without distraction if I was to fan the flame within me. At one point I knew it was time to expand my horizons and let others in. Hell, I even wore rose quartz to open my heart chakra to aid me in unblocking others from me and vice versa. I stopped wearing it deliberately at one point because I was too afraid to stay open to the possibility of a something or someone. But truly at that point the damage had been done. I don’t mean real damage, I just knew someone was under my skin.

No matter what I did, what decisions I made to shut it down, to close the door on this person, to walk the fuck away… I couldn’t seem to accomplish these things. Funny thing is, I’ve always been able to do this successfully. I couldn’t tell at the time if it was because I was more open, forgiving, and accepting of who people are and that I can’t change them… or if I had just lost my touch at excommunicating people from my life at will.

But there was something about them that drove me to be better than I was or even better than I am. Like a calling of sorts and I couldn’t put my finger on the… why them. I was trying my best to ignore any and all feelings, to keep my walls in tact. But the more time passed, the more I knew I couldn’t control the deep buried feelings that I was trying so desperately to discount, refute and deny. I’ve tried it all… blocking them, using the attention of others to distract me, busy, even trying not to respond to communications from them and I just simply couldn’t follow through. But why??? I eventually came to accept that I wanted them in my life at whatever capacity they were willing or able to be there.

I believe everyone we meet has a purpose. That it is not by accident but the universe’s intention to bring something to our consciousness. But that part is up to me to figure out and even more so… I have to be awake in spirit in order to do so. Awake to the idea or possibility that each connection has a purpose. Sometimes, I think we fight the connection because we are unprepared or maybe it’s just fear. But you cannot, after a time, deny the energy that exists between you. Once you’ve shared too much air space, you either lean in and figure it out or try all the things that I have tried and failed to be able to accomplish.

Sometimes the universe just has other plans for you that you don’t see coming, that are better than you ideas of the present or the future and that are completely unbelievable to even you.

So why are some people instantly connected to us while others are not. I think our souls are sometimes having a conversation that we aren’t aware of. Maybe it’s the passage of energy or that they’ve spoke before at another time and place. Can’t really answer any of this definitively but I know it’s up to me to unravel the mystery if I choose.

Today, I’m choosing to do so.

TC✌🏻

life

I’m My Person

I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy since it started, well til I gave up TV, so this idea of having a person is a concept I’ve been aware of. I’m also painfully aware that at this point in my life, I think it’s some dream concept or something truly trumped up by some writers on a TV show. Not in a jaded this is just bullshit type of way more from a real life experience type of way.

I’ve had close personal relationships with people throughout my life, those you would think would equate to this type of concept. So let’s look at the record…

Husband #1- good dude really. We were incredibly young and I was a budding alcoholic which caused some issues for sure. But he was never someone I could truly count on. If it wasn’t his idea, in his wheelhouse of taste, or came to supporting me… he was out. Was married to him from age 22-25. I went to 8 weddings for friends of mine that I can remember by myself. I used to LOVE answering the questions of where he was because truth was sometimes he was just sitting at home cuz he didn’t want to go. Although I went to OZ fest 6 times, saw Pantera 7 times, among other bands like SlipKnot, Type O-Negative, watched all types of car races, cars shows… stuff I don’t give two shits for. But I did it for him.

Friends- we are just gonna group these cuz I don’t wanna speak ill… really. I can just sum this category up like this: I’ve done funerals, hospital waiting rooms, court appearances, meals, late night phone calls, or just been present… I know how to show up for someone and if I have placed my bet on you, I’m gonna be there no matter what. Some of these people I have done this for, when my chips were down, let’s just say…. I learned to rely on myself. I’ve long since learned just not to ask.

That’s not to say that I don’t have friends I can count on, cuz I do but there has definitely been some ball dropping in my past.

Husband #2- he was great at the thick and thin business for a while. It’s what I fell in love with him for. Although what started out as supportive on all sides became supportive for appearances. He would go, smile, play the supportive spouse until we were behind closed doors. Then came the incessant bitching, complaining, insults of my family and friends. It made even simple holidays horrible. Trying to enjoy my family with him constantly complaining in my ear that started days before we even went and continued after we returned home was simply no fun at all.

My fears and insecurities were always ammunition in our disagreements. I learned not to talk and or tell him anything real about me for fear he’d flip it, twist it and slice me up with it, as he did many things. Of course I see all this now, but at the time I just thought if I could keep the peace it would keep him from turning on me. Until he didn’t need to be a disagreement anymore, all he needed was to have a bad day for me to be told how worthless, insignificant, or that I simply didn’t appreciate the wonderfulness that was him enough.

None of these are what I would call my person. Neither husband nor the numerous friends I invested in over the years. So yeah, I’m not really a believer in the concept.

But why am I writing about this? I’m on my way to my Uncle’s funeral. I’m used to funerals alone too… buried my Papa by myself without husband #2. He wouldn’t take off work to be with me. But for some reason on this drive, the idea popped in my head that it would be nice to not do these things alone. Of course my family will be there, and we are certainly there for each other… but who doesn’t want someone to be consistent, available, reliable, and present for just them?

Maybe I’ve invested too much in the wrong people, but I don’t know how to live any differently. Maybe I should have done less so that when I’ve needed someone, there is no expectation that the physical, emotional and spiritual support would be returned. Maybe I should let people know what I need from them and making sure it’s the right people is key.

I know my true reliance and dependence is and should be on God. Truly it has been, because on some of those dark days I don’t know how I made it through except for Grace. But sometimes a hand to hold, a hug or just someone next to you to tell you, “I am here for you” I think is a desire everyone has.

I’m certainly not going to change what I do for people just because the ball has been dropped on my dark, difficult or sad days. True connection with other people in your world is what makes life and experiences so special. It deepens and broadens our capacity for love, community, and emotional development… which in truth we all need. To not become jaded along the happenings of life because of past hurts can be tricky. To be able to remain open to the possibility that there is in fact a someone for you in your time of need can seem like a pipe dream based on past circumstances. You know I said I wasn’t jaded when I started writing this and maybe I am just a bit or maybe it’s apprehensive or just afraid.

My story ain’t over that is for sure. I certainly don’t know know what the future holds. I am not going to pretend like I haven’t just made poor choices in the people I have invested a piece of my soul in. But I’m also not going to live my life cutoff from the idea that their might possibly maybe someday be a someone. I guess that’s just a tiny bit of hope. That little bit of hope keeps me motivated to not stay forever walled off from everyone in my life. Pushes me towards just a little bit of vulnerability everyday even though even that seems terrifying at times.

Wrote this a week ago… don’t know why I just couldn’t hit publish at the time… maybe grieving, maybe because I’m not right at all, maybe because I’ve overlooked the someone that could be my person. Someone did show up for me that day, but I don’t always like to see the reality at the time. Or maybe I’m just blinded by my own disbelief, fears and insecurities that I discount simple acts of kindness instead of accept them at face value.

Exercise · Fitness · Health

5 Months; I’m Not Done Yet

I am officially a Spartan! I cannot believe it! How did that even happen? That’s not totally not what I was going for… I was just trying not to starve myself to death and try to put on some weight. Get my body back in some sort of balance. Not do some crazy-ass running obstacle course that would test me mentally, physically, emotionally to see what I was really made of.

I hurt my foot 2 Sunday’s ago. Peroneal Tendonitis… all you need to know about that is that I could no longer run to train for this Spartan Sprint. It had become some better with rest after about a week so my dumb ass went for a 3 mile hike. I came home that night and couldn’t put weight on my left foot without a good bit of pain. Back to no running and I was 6 days out from this race. To say I was upset is an understatement.

Now, prior to making this very hasty and probably not thought out decision to signup for this race a month ago… my mind set was that I was gonna surely die. There was no way I was going to be able to make it through this race at all!!! I counted myself out from the beginning. Then the initial injury happened and all I could think of was workout everything I possibly could to still prepare and not let this get me down and try to heal. But true to myself, I pushed it with a worse re-injury by the hike too long and too soon.

What happened in the process was my mindset shifted from “there’s no way I can do this” to “I’m gonna do this no matter what”. Why is it when I’m healthy I can’t believe in myself but you let my body tell me I can’t do something and I switch to an “I’ll show you” attitude.

I focused on everything I could do to heal my foot this week so that I could race today. Honestly I felt pretty good about it. Was highly anxious last night and this morning but focused. I knew it was going to be tough and that I was going to be in pain but I was ready to face it. Determined to finish the race… no matter what!

Well I did… finish. Not without the support and help from my teammates. Did my best not to lean on them but truly had to at times. The uneven ground was tough on my foot, the extra weight I had to carry at times was very painful, the slippery ground quite precarious, making sure I did my best not to land on it when climbing over walls was key at times.

I came over a 7 foot wall and landed hard on my left foot and it almost took my breath. Not 10 yards later I stepped in a hole and it brought me to my knees with intense pain. I told my team I needed a minute. Breathe it out. What choice did I have? Quitting wasn’t an option! I stood up… the only time I almost cried, leaned on my teammate for support for a little while til the pain got some better and carried on.

4+ miles, 22 obstacles… I did 7 sets of burpees from fails of obstacles. My teammates helped me out with those because the landing on my foot with those was as equally as painful and they helped because they are just that awesome 😎. But I did it, I finished. And I didn’t die🙌🏻

Sometimes you just have to prove to yourself you can. Sometimes you have to prove yourself you still have what it takes. Sometimes you have to see that you are still a fighter. Sometimes you need a reminder that you don’t have a quit button even when it would make all the sense in the world for you to do just that. Sometimes it’s about finishing the task in pain, injured, dirty, exhausted, surrounded and supported by friends.

I’m so glad I decided to get healthy, change my life and make this hasty decision to do the Spartan Sprint. The cool part is that I’m not done yet.

#spartan #spartanhouston #spartansprint #iamspartan

TC ✌🏻

Dating · Fitness · life

Looking Back… Looking Ahead

You ever go back and read your past blogs? I have over the last few days… not really sure why. Maybe just to see where I have been. So very much has changed for me not just physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually but also in my outside world. Friends have come and gone, some relationships have solidified, my divorce and all that entails, entering single life, physically changing my body, growth in my relationship with my son, balance of Work, recovery, and fitness. I’ve truly been on a journey with mytruenorth as my guide.

Finding who and what I am, stripped of all constraints of what others think of me because honestly… I do not care. I row my own boat. I’ve never been big on people pleasing and it sure is not a part of this me. How do you go from the worst version of yourself to the best version of yourself? Well, I used many spiritual tools as my guide. I stripped myself of negativity and input sources that did not serve me and found things that fed my soul.

What I love about what I’ve wrote is that it is always right where I’m at. Good, bad, mad, and even ugly sometimes… but still seeking the answers for a better way, a higher consciousness, a deeper meaning, that something more.

I’ve learned so much about myself. About what I can take, what I’m willing willing to give, how deep I can dig in. I’ve learned that scars can be beautiful but the healing process takes a lot of work. I know now that my walls had a purpose for a time but the unbricking process is more about authenticity and vulnerability which is more where I want to be. I know hope, Love, and passion exist. I couldn’t say that 18 months ago. I know I feel, see hear, experience things today that I used to completely ignore because I was too afraid to live connected to others. Sometimes these things hurt but what is life without pain? Pain makes joy that much better, that much more significant, that much more intense.

I have taken leaps of faith that have gone well and ones that have become somewhat painful learning experiences but that too is life. I don’t want to be stagnant. I don’t want to live afraid to act, to move, to love, to be. I want a full, meaningful life. A life that means something to me. That one day I can look back and say, “I’m so glad I did” not “I wish I had”.

I don’t want to stop becoming. Whatever it is that I am supposed to be… I am not sure. I don’t know what the end game is but I do know being fully present in the moment, engaged with those around me, saying yes just because… that’s where it’s at. Maybe it will work out. Maybe it won’t. But fear has ruled so much of my life for so long. The only way to get my life back is to act. To move. To be. To do. After all, no one else is gonna do it for me.

TC✌🏻

Exercise · Fitness · Health

It Doesn’t Have to Be Pretty

“They” say doctors and nurses make the worst patients… I’m gonna add therapists to that scenario. This is not news to me. It’s not new behavior, furthermore, it didn’t start when I became a therapist. Maybe that secured my destiny. My mother has always told my I burn the candle at both ends and that I’ve always felt this internal longing that if I don’t go to absolutely everything, I will miss something. She IS NOT WRONG!!!

Like I stated this is not new. This is my current condition…

Spartan Sprint in T minus 6 days and I can’t walk without a limp and at the moment running is out of the question. But how did I get here? Lack of ability or maybe willingness to take a break, heal, do what I tell my own patients to do, sheer determination to push through… no matter what!!! Like I said, this is NOT new behavior.

I was a sophomore in high school and I lived and breathed basketball. I landed on another players foot coming down for a rebound in practice and knew I hurt my ankle. I did what I knew to do with an injury at the time which was walk it out. I finished practice and told no one. My mom was highly concerned when she got home from work because by that time my ankle was about twice it’s normal size, I couldn’t bear weight on it and was just hopping around the house like it was no big deal. Next morning she loaded me in the car and took me to Doc, the high school trainer, he had a intense speech impediment and I brought Mom along for translation and because I knew he was gonna be pissed at me for not coming to see him after practice the day before. Grade 3 sprain, it was a Thursday morning. Game day was Friday against Midlothian. I did not care about the pain, the swelling, the grade of the sprain… quite frankly it didn’t mean anything to me. But missing that game did… missing any game did.

I suited up Friday, ankle wrapped with doughnut plus hard brace and was told I couldn’t play. Really?!?! So why let me suit up and why the Grade A wrap job? I was not allowed to warm-up. We were down at halftime and I begged coach to let me play. We didn’t necessarily agree but she said if I could get Doc to agree she would go along with it. I can be quite persuasive and flat out lie my ass off to get what I want and damnit, I wanted to play. Doc reluctantly agreed and on the court I went.

I walked on a fractured pelvis that took 6 months to heal. In my defense I didn’t know it was fractured at the time but I knew it hurt like a MF’er. I’d go out dancing on the weekends cuz I figured if it hurt to walk then why not dance. Most of those nights I was not able to walk out of the club because I could no longer bear weight on my right leg.

I get injuries. I get pain. What I fail to get is the proper recovery process when it comes to taking care of me. I can explain at length what you are supposed to do, be there to support you, be the bull dog when you aren’t taking care of yourself… but when it comes to me it’s like I lose all sense of responsibility to behave in manner that is kind to my own body.😂

As of right now, I’m gonna do the race on Saturday, no matter what it takes. I don’t know any other way to be. It’s not like God is gonna Re-wire my system in 6 days to make me act right. Sometimes you just have to prove to yourself that all your effort, work, sacrifices, dedication was not for nothing. The only person I’m gonna beat on Saturday is myself, I’ve known that for a while. I don’t think it has to be pretty to be finished.

TC ✌🏻