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.

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