Guilt in Recovery- The Years Pass While Guilt Stays

Everyone knows how empowering it feels to kick an addiction and come out on top. But, nobody tells you about the immense amount of guilt you were going to feel reflecting on your past self and mistakes you made. Yes, you make your amends and you apologize to who you need and you’re supposed to let go. Just like that, you have to come to terms with the people you hurt along the way. Nobody tells you just how absolutely heart breaking it is going to be to come to terms with the fact that during your self-destruction journey you tore apart the very people who hung on to who they knew you could be.

Years later and here I am once again dragging my heart through the ringer because I can not believe that the amount of love my husband has for me is still here after putting him through the worst years of our lives. I know, I know it’s time to move on Lyndsi. It’s time for me to allow myself to receive the love my husband has been trying to shower me in since the day we met.

My addiction and emotional patterns stem from childhood trauma and an intense fight or flight reaction that I have never been able to grow from until now. I have never worked so hard on myself than I have these past couple of years and this is something I need help with and I am not afraid to say it is hard as hell.

I constantly apologize to my husband. I constantly let him know how much I love and appreciate everything he has done for me. Why? Because the things I have done in the past still eat me alive.

My husband sent this to me this morning. How did I get so damn lucky?! When do I start feeling that I am enough for his love?! But how very true he is. Five years ago I was lost, beat down, and destroying everything I loved.

At what point do I finally let go of what I did and who I was and accept that the person I am today is healing and worthy?

Recovering addicts and children of addicts are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. I don’t just say that because I have been grateful enough to survive and overcome both. I say that because I know how easy it could have been to give up. How easy it is to go backwards and say “screw it, I am better off numb.

The silent battles we face each and every day would be enough for any regular person to throw in the towel. Not us, we have seen the dark and lived in it for so long that there is no way in hell we want to go back. We just need better coping mechanisms to get us along our recovery journey. Better ways of letting go of what was and allowing what will be.

The ones that have stood beside us in our darkest moments are the ones we will cherish forever. Patience all around plays a big part in healing. Patience in yourself to know you are slowly but surely becoming the person you needed to be long ago. Patience from those who love you for all that you are and who you are meant to be.

Here’s to letting go.

Fight Or Flight Mode: Always Engaged

So, I took a bit of a hiatus from writing or sharing anything for a couple weeks just because I could NOT for the life of me focus on anything for more than two seconds. Shout out to my stress and anxiety for that! WACKKK.

Anyway, I didn’t even plan on sharing much this week either, even though we have taken a couple of pretty intense road trips and had some pretty share worthy experiences the last couple weeks I felt that I needed to release some of what I had been dealing with inside my head. For what it’s worth, I just hope it helps someone else going through a similar situation.

If you have read my past posts then you know I have dealt with some pretty heavy sh*t in my life and being a recovering addict. Recovery has been the greatest part of my journey thus far and I have realized so much more about my life than I ever could have imagined by simply digging down deep and continuing on this self-growth journey. BUT, this has also been the hardest things I have ever had to do. Being an addict was easy. Being on medications for all of these psychological problems or mental illness doctors pinged on me was easy. I was zombie for all those years and I had no want or need to feel anything but the numbness that came with being on medicine or being drunk and high. I also had no reason to dig down within and heal myself from past traumas or mistakes I had made and let that sh*t go. Until now. Sober Lyndsi would enjoy a more peaceful mind and soul. What I thought I had healed from just scratched the surface of what I really need to face head on. And at 28 it is about damn time to heal from those mistakes and childhood traumas and just be happy. I have a LOT of letting go to do.

As I laid in bed last night I began my nightly ritual of trying to calm my pounding heart and racing mind. It usually never works and my thoughts just take over until I become so exhausted with it I somehow fall asleep and start the same process over again in the morning as soon my mind wakes up. But, last night I had a short glimpse of relief. I saw myself as a young child at the beach with my mother. She was in her beach chair surrounded by seaweed smiling away with her crooked drunk grin as the sea breeze blew her short blonde hair away from her face. It all came in so vividly. This was my mothers favorite place and where I spent my entire childhood each and every chance we had. This was probably the last real time I had ever felt a real peace in my life. Being a care-free six year old, burying my legs in the sand while my favorite person in the entire world smiled and took in every single moment. And now I can only try and remember those moments because they became so far and in between shortly after. My mind has always been on fight or flight mode and I had no idea. Even after the all years and all the hard work I have put into being a better person and healing. I am still that child that is in a constant fight or flight mode and have yet to learn how to just find my peace in nothing happening. From a traumatized child to the young mother who’s father killed himself to the woman who watched her mother die, I have been in a constant survival mode going from one trauma to the next. Who THE F*CK wouldn’t be afraid of what’s coming next?! How do you tell your mind everything is going to be okay when your heart has had just about all it can take and always expects the worst?! I haven’t yet figured that out. I know my history and I know my patterns. Everything will be going fine and in true Lyndsi fashion I will make something out of nothing because that is what is supposed to happen right?! Something must go wrong if things are too peaceful for too long right?! Uh, absolutely not. But try telling that to my ding dang brain that has been fully equipped with tools on how to self sabotage and a heart ready to flee at any given moment. Yeah, it may take a bit longer on my healing journey but I know where I need to start.

The good news is, it is never too late to work on yourself and learn new ways of thinking and DAMN IT give yourself a fighting chance to learn those things! If I have learned anything from the last couple weeks of battling my own mind and shutting out everything and everyone, is that you are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. We are wanted, we are needed AND we are worthy of happiness WITHOUT chaos and destruction.

So Long Nevada!

So how about Thanksgiving 2020, eh? I mean, I feel like it was not as bad as some of my past Thanksgiving get-together’s. But, it sure didn’t feel like the “norm” either.

Thanksgiving has been a pretty dreaded holiday for me for the past five years anyway. It only happens to mark the last holiday I ever spent with my mother (If you would call it that). She made it maybe 5 minutes at the dinner table with us and had to lay down in my bedroom for the rest of the time. She passed away just four days later. Sad yes, the reason our Thanksgiving felt weird? Not really.

I have never had a Thanksgiving that did not feel rushed and “put together” like we did this year. Steaks. We had steaks. No ham, no turkey, no deviled eggs. No rushing, no cute holiday outfit to prance around the living room in. Nothing but business as usual. Not that I hated it, it just was different.

To be totally honest it was my first Thanksgiving I was really sober and in a good mental space. I was not crying over my mom at every little turn. I didn’t have any crazy expectation to meet because my mom did it. I was just enjoying my day.

Maybe I am also a little peppier these days just because we are FINALLY getting out of Nevada and this awful desert life in just sixteen short days!!!! I know, I should take in each and every beautiful destination we come across but I am pretty sure the desert has tried to kill me. Seriously, this sun is awful. No rain is awful. We happened to move here and in our unlucky Runge fashion, we experienced record breaking heat. Lets not forget the crazy high prices on every single item is just ridiculous! I am more than ready to get out of here! It has been real Nevada, but you have not been nice. Glad to mark that off the map and move on!

Anyway enough bashing I suppose. Things could be worse! We are finally heading back home to Texas waiting out the lay off and working on our tiny home. In a sense, I am in fact panicking a little, but I try to look at the bright side of everything. We finally get some down time to just be together and work on something together while the husband is not working. This should be interesting considering he gets stir crazy on his one day off a week! I’m sure I can find enough honey-do’s for him to last a week or so! Ha!

I always need a plan and if there is not a “plan” I tend to get a little obnoxious. I am literally all over the place scrambling the internet for job openings or what ever else my mind believes we will need while he is laid off. Yes, we saved for this but as I mentioned before “Runge” luck. Our truck that I used to haul our car here gave out. Total engine replacement. Did I mention it is 16 days till we LEAVE? YAY! Moving back across country with two kids two adults and a Great Dane all in a compact, tiny Ford Focus sounds like the perfect send off Nevada could give us. BOO!

All in all we made it a whole year travelling from Texas to Oklahoma, Arizona and Nevada. We have seen so many amazing sights. I have learned so many different things about myself and family along this trip. I have learned how resilient my children are being faced with the pressures of homeschooling and distant learning. I have felt the compassion of my husband while I thought I could not be a mother, teacher and wife all at once. Last but not least I have found a spark in myself that I would have never found without this journey. We have overcame so many challenges and struggles together as a family that I could not be anymore proud of us. We did this all together, and we made it…barely…but we made it.

There is no telling where we will end up on our travels or what is in store for us next, but there is no doubt that when we are together as a family we are strong, we are happy and we are home.

So long desert sun! ‘Till next time!

-Lyndsi

The Importance of Boundaries

It’s no secret that the key to having a happier life starts with your mindset. Sounds easy right? Wrong! It has only taken me, oh I don’t know…my entire twenties to realize this. Don’t let it be you too. It hasn’t been easy by any means. I am what you would call a “people pleaser.” I would regularly put others happiness and feelings before my own 100% of the time… all of the time. My mind had finally become so filled with everyone else’s bullsh*t, it was time I made some changes.

It was somewhere between isolation and detaching that I finally started to really find myself. And that took boundaries.

Detaching was crucial for my self discovering journey. I spent so much time seeking gratification elsewhere and from others that I never knew what it was like to actually accept me…for me. I feel emotions and energy a hell of a lot more than I would like but that is who I am and I am finally learning to love her. I mean, it has only taken me years of insignificant relationships and looking for acceptance from others to realize all I need is to understand myself fully. I had to take a step back from everything and everyone all at once. I had to realize I was the only person in the way of my own happiness. I was allowing everyone’s opinion and image of me control that. We cannot help what other people say or think. We cant control others point of views. Not everyone believes or thinks the same way as you. And that is perfectly fine…if you don’t allow it to eat at you. But of course all of our opinions are the correct ways of thinking right?! Nope. Never gonna happen.

When everything and everyone around you starts to become so overwhelming and nothing seems to be going your way. It is time to take a step back and re-evaluate. Find yourself again. Your true self. Create healthy (I cannot stress this enough) boundaries. Get rid of social media if you need to, take some time for yourself and focus on making you better. Honestly, I think getting rid of all my social media accounts was probably the best idea I had in a very long time. The endless scrolling through filtered BS and the crazy standards of people became so overwhelming. Why I added that on top of my already messy mind each day is beyond me.

Detach from anyone or anything that just plain is not making your life easier at the moment. Sounds a bit cruel, but I promise you, it makes it so much easier to work on yourself and only yourself. If they take offense to you working on yourself, they might have issues of their own to work on. But I am telling you, if the slightest inconvenience of someone else’s opinion of you makes you cringe and you automatically want to fix it…don’t. Do not let that consume you. Always have the power to let it go. Reel yourself back in and breathe. Create a better you, for yourself and only yourself. The happier and healthier your mindset is the less you give a damn. And boy I am getting better at not giving a damn every single day.

If I had to give anyone advice on becoming a better version of yourself, it would be to give yourself time. Work on it little by little each and every day. Always put yourself first. Stop putting up with crap you would not allow yourself to put others through. If you have to set boundaries with family…do it. Let go of any unhealthy relationships. And last but not least make sure you always have your best intentions at heart. You cannot pour from an empty cup my friends.

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An Addicts Help

I feel like I haven’t had much time lately to sit and truly express myself like I have been and last night something just pulled at my little heart strings and I knew I had to get it out.

My husband drinks. Every day. Like clock work. Yes, as a recovering addict this could be triggering but surprisingly, I do not crave alcohol as much as I craved my other drugs of choice. Maybe it is because hes my husband and that he is so good to me, that I hadn’t let it bother me much.

Recently my husband has been experiencing some slight health issues and of course my first thoughts are “you need to lose the friggin’ beer!” Oh, but how ironic of me right?! The same man who begged me for years to to put down the booze, not because of my health but for the sake of our family. And here I am preaching to him about the affects of alcohol. Sheesh.

My thought process was ‘how much better my mind and body feels being sober’, and that he would too. Besides that, if we do not learn and grow together there is always going to be miscommunication somewhere…right?! But look how long it actually took me to realize that on my own? Literally years.

It is quite different once the tables are turned. I mean, take my journey for example…Inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, AA meetings and church was never even enough for me…what the hell are my words going to do for him?! I see now why there are so many different approaches to this. There is never really one good answer.

I have seen what alcohol seemingly does to the body. I sat and watched it turn my my strong independent mother into a frail, bed ridden, dying woman. Yet again, that was not enough for me to stray away from it. Sadly, that was just my beginning for a downward spiral with alcohol and drugs.

I have also seen the resilience in my husbands approach to steering me out of that life. He never gave up on me, and knew I was still worth being saved. I’ll be damned if I don’t return the favor, and help him become a better him. But how?!

Now I am nowhere saying my husband is anything like me. No, not at all. His behavior when he drinks never seems to change. He is not self destructive like I was. He doesn’t go out and ruin his life every time he drinks. And he still wakes up each morning (gets a little harder these days) and works his ass off. The kind of “drinker” I tried to be.

I often ask him if he has ever experienced some sort of “ah ha” moment or “awakening” in life and always get the same answer. “I’ve always been the same, just me.” I only ask because I hadn’t experienced this either until I really got sober. If only I could take what I have experienced with becoming sober and show him how much more peaceful it has made my mind become. I know persistence is key with him. Nagging probably doesn’t help, but man is that easy for me! haha.

Either way, I only want the best and to experience more of this crazy life with a happier and healthier husband. I guess deep down I always knew I wanted to help others with these struggles, who knew I would start right here at home.

Share Your Story

Living life on life’s terms is hard. It is hard to accept some of the things that happen to us. We want to rush through life or have an answer for everything. For what? The end result is the same for all of us. But what we endure along the way, makes us each so different.

Whether we eat healthy, work out and do all of the “right” things…there is no telling what will happen next. Life is so odd that way.

This is why I am so interested in everyone’s “story”. We all have one. Good or bad, I find each person so unique given the story behind them.

Life gives each of us a personal book. Full of twists and turns, humor and dark chapters. Some more than others. Honestly, sometimes I kick myself for not asking my mom to write more about her life because boy, was she a wild one.

I am not someone you would pin as “loud and outgoing”. No, I am more of the “read your emotions” kind. Or, a people watcher. Watcher of all the people, if ya will. (Haha)

I can sit in a mall and give each person a back story just solely based on their actions I see. Yes, I know I am probably never right. But isn’t it fun to guess? I think we all hit a point in life where we just wonder what the heck we are here for. What is the point in all of this? But I suppose that is the beauty of living life on “life’s terms“. We never know what is happening next for us really. I guess this is why I chose to start sharing my story. A story in which almost ended way too early. Maybe one day my children will read the things I have wrote and understand mom was just as human and full of emotion just as anyone else. We are all in this crazy roller coaster ride of life together and sometimes we just need to feel like our story is worth being told. Yes, we are all human and share the same emotions. But I am interested in what made you the way you are. The things that make you, YOU.

So, tell me a part of your story you are proud of . Heck, even something you may not be proud of, but it made you who you are.

Because our stories are meant to be shared.

-Lyndsi

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The Hard Days

Some days are just better than others. Today was not one of those days. I wanted to give up today. Nothing I did seemed right. Everything I have worked so hard for..I wanted to just say “screw it!”

The person I am today has spent so much time “fixing” everything past me has messed up. And today, I just lost it.

I cried. I cried hard. I’m talking the gross, snotty tears that you cry so hard it takes a minute to catch your breath kind of stuff.

Trying to repair myself and life all at once has been costly. Not only meaning money wise, but mentally, emotionally and physically. As if it wasn’t bad enough on my marriage and children…my addictions took a toll on my overall health. I am constantly in a battle of which problem to tackle next on my health. “Should I go to the dentist or doctor this month?”, “My teeth hurt, but I should check on my stomach issues.” Each month it’s like there is something new. I know I did these things to myself, but when you are an addict these problems are last on your list. You think “I’ll take care of that when it gets here.” Well Lyndsi, it’s here. I know, I swore not to dwell on my past self, but man has she consumed me today!

It wasn’t until my daughter came in to give me a LEGO heart that her and her brother made for me that I really caught my breath.

My children have literally been through it all with me. My son even more so. We have done a lot of growing up together in his short ten years. I have done a a pretty good job at keeping my emotions to myself lately…until today.

I know they don’t truly understand, but the way they only wanted to help mom smile tells me I have got to be doing something right.

I can’t just give up. I am doing this life for them.

Yes, some days are going to be better than others, but there is still one goal. To live a life I am proud of. If that means crying my eyeballs out on a Monday afternoon and then conquering my Tuesday morning, I am here for it.

Lyndsi

Finding Peace Anywhere

Lately I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed. As you know, living in a camper can get that way. In the midst of preparing for a layoff, finding home school balance and now Christmas…it’s easy to feel like it’s all too much.

This past weekend my husband finally had a full weekend off and after all of our camper errands were ran he wanted to show us what he has been working on this entire time we have been in Nevada. I might not have mentioned it much but my husband is a Crane Operator and helps change the look of our landscape. (Its way cooler to say it that way!) He has been a part of the building of a wind farm in Arizona for the last six months. (Also, this is a terrible photo but one I took myself.)

Terrible photo of Wind Turbines

Mind you, I have never in our 8 years of marriage EVER been interested in what he does. The endless conversations he has with co-workers are 99% about cranes or wind turbines and I never took any interest in listening. Until now.

These things are massive…the cranes they use are massive and to be honest I guess my mind has never been as clear as it is these days (chalk that right up to drugs and alcohol) to really understand all of this. We pass these wind farms all the time knowing my husband helps build them, but it has never really clicked I guess. He gets to help build these structures that change the layout of landscape for our future.

We drove through the park looking up at all of these turbines turning, listening to the incredible sound they make as the huge fan blades whoosh through the air. My husband was in his happy place. The excitement in his words as he explained each and every part was enough to make my little heart explode! I was finally listening. Not only was I listening, but I was soaking in each and every detail he gave us. I finally understand his fascination with cranes and building these enormous structures. I wanted to learn, I wanted to hear what he had to say.

I felt a certain peace just being there with them and learning about something I have been around for years now.

Becoming a better me has benefited not only myself as a person but everything around me seems to be a little more clear. I no longer have this incredible feeling of absolute guilt every day for something I have done or some terrible brain fog that I can’t shake. My brain seems to understand more and take things in more easily. I enjoy the small things I used to take for granted. I enjoy listening, and taking in new things. The exact opposite of who I once was.

As we left his job site we came across one of the most amazing double rainbows I had ever seen. I couldn’t help but to think I am exactly where I need to be in my life right now. Sober, clear headed and HERE for my husband and kids.

Staying off drugs and alcohol has probably been one of the most toughest parts of my adult life (so damn hard!), but it has been one of the most rewarding for sure.

-Lyndsi

I’m not exactly sure when it all clicked for me, or what I was doing that day. But one day I finally felt a little better. If I had to guess.. it comes down to three simple things.

  • Have a positive influence. Having someone who sees what a beautiful human you are and truly knows there is something wonderful under all that chaos to be discovered. If you don’t have a “person” BECOME that person. Read something positive, give yourself pep talks, scroll through positive quotes on Facebook all day. Do whatever YOU need to have something positive in your life. Everyone needs someone to tell them its all going to be alright in the end. Thankfully I have two. My husband- whom I’ve let down more times than I can count, and my best friend- the one person who has been by my side through every stage of my crazy life.
  • Motivation. Why do you want to become better? What keeps you pushing and coming back for more in this world? What exactly is it that keep those feet sturdy on the ground and moving forward? For me, it will always be my children. Even when I made the worst decisions as a mother. The endless days and months I let them down. They still looked at me with loving eyes for guidance. That is my greatest motivation.
  • The Will. You have to have the will to to learn more. You have to realize you have been repeating the same actions over and over again and its getting the same crap results. The will to not only survive as a human but to THRIVE. My will had to be dug up from the very pit I buried it in. I had given up. Given up on myself, my marriage and my life. I thought I was already too far gone. It seemed like it wasn’t until I allowed myself to believe there was positive in my life, that I started to see change.

I’m no expert but I believe with everything in me that these are the very reasons I am who I am right now in this chapter of my life. When I finally allowed myself to let in the good and learn a new way of living is the day I started to enjoy the person I am becoming.

-Lyndsi

Patience In Recovery

It takes many years for some. It definitely has for me.

It does not happen over night.

Recovery goes at its own pace and is different for everyone.

Recovery isn’t about just sobering up. No, recovery means healing the parts of you, YOU have tried to drown for so long.

I do not believe there is ever an end to “becoming better”. If we truly want better, we must work every day to make sure those unhealed parts of us are brought to the surface and faced head on.

It is painful.

Some of it is ugly.

Very ugly.

I have kicked some a** on not wanting to drink or use for a better me. But healing the parts of myself that brought me there are still a daily struggle.

I’m impatient. Very, very impatient. I like quick fixes for everything.

I always find something wrong with with myself that can be worked on. But, there is no magic pill for personal growth.

I stopped fighting the demons from my past and welcomed the worry of the future head on. This has taken a toll on my mental clarity.

Patience is something I have always struggled with. But don’t we all?

We all want happiness…but we want it NOW.

The thought of the hard work we have to do to get there gets so overwhelming we put it off. BUT GUESS WHAT? The years still pass.

Nothing slows down for us.

Time waits for no-one.

What if we had been working on our happiness and goals that entire time? Instead of all the “quick fixes”. Where would we be down the road? Yes, always live in the moment, but never let go of why you want to become better.

I live life between living to be present and constantly overwhelming myself with plans of the future.

Finding a meeting point between knowing you have done all you can for the day and wishing we had done more is something we all long for. What a sense of peace.

The process of becoming a better version of yourself can be overwhelming…who am I kidding? It is overwhelming. But, the exact moment you can look back and say “damn, I have come a long way from who I once was” is a part of that peace we long for.

A sense of pride knowing YOU ARE capable of anything YOU set your mind to is so empowering. Happiness is a journey and I have only started paving my pathway.

So, today I choose to be patient with myself, and know I have done my absolute best for a better tomorrow.

-Lyndsi