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.

My absolute favorite ^^

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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.

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

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

Let The Past Die, So YOU Can Live.

My past is just that, the past. I no longer spend so much time sitting in my bed thinking of the horrible, cringe worthy, shitty (so. very. shitty) things I did while I drowned out my demons. It wasn’t until recently and with the help of my very best friend that I actually found a tiny glimpse of peace with it. See, the things I had done I never felt any guilt for. I didn’t feel that guilt for most of the things I had done until years later while in the process of repairing myself. Yes, I am a very kind person sober. Drunk Lyndsi, oh boy, not so much. High Lyndsi? She was friendly, wayyy too “friendly.”And drunk Lyndsi, she was around more often than not.

Its kind of ironic ya know, I watched my mom be the “drunk” everywhere we went and I swore I would never be that mom. Yet, as soon as she died from cirrhosis of the liver my first thought was to wash down my pain with anything I could get my hands on. Kind of makes you wonder what kind of demons my mother was fighting on her own? Guess I’ll never truly know.

Funny how things work. When you you finally put in the work to dig yourself out of the hell you put yourself in, you see yourself as a whole different person. The things or person you were before now make your stomach sick. The very thought of being the person I am today doing these things rocked me to my core.

For months I struggled with “why” why on earth did I have to do these things to my family. The only people in the entire world who stood beside me through failed rehab attempts, stupid embarrassing drunk nights and down right unpleasant come downs from whatever I was using the night before. I dragged them through hell with me and still they loved me.

That’s unconditional love y’all, and I finally realize that. For so long I was mourning the loss of my mother’s unconditional love that I pushed away every attempt of unconditional love my little family so willingly tried to shower me in. My husband just wanted me better, he wanted his wife back. And he fought like hell to get me back while I fought like hell to stay in the comfortable numb place I had buried myself in.

It gets a little easier every day, but I always have to put in the work. I have to push myself to make better choices than the day before. Getting better doesn’t just happen over night, it comes in phases and I’m glad to say the phase of dwelling on my past has nearly ended.

Addiction “Trap”- Why I Fell So Hard Into Addiction

It wasn’t my undeniable, unresolved childhood trauma. The images of my mother and father using needles “secretly” around me and my sister.

It couldn’t have been the adult I was rushed into by having a child so young.

No, it sure couldn’t have been the depression and emptiness I felt as I watched my mother die before my eyes from years of her own battle of addiction.

Nor could it be the thought of my fathers suicide and the image of the very bridge he jumped from.

No my addiction started and ENDED with me.

All of these traumas were just chapters of my life story. These things didn’t have to define me.

I let these images and emptiness in because its all I ever knew. I indulged in reckless behavior and years of addiction because I was comfortable there.

Guilt wasn’t enough for me to stop. There was not a single soul on this earth that was going to help me stop.

Why does it take us so long to realize we deserve better?

That WE deserve to be undeniably happy with the person we are.

We’re comfortable in our addiction and chaotic life. We think we have it “all under control.”

We do not.

I often wonder what I look like from others prospective now. Sober me.

I was so confident as an addict. Untouchable, careless and wild. But I wasn’t happy.

Today, sober and nearing 30, not as confident but my soul is at peace. I’m not fighting the same demons I once was for so many years. I’m not rushing through life with anxiety because my dealer won’t answer a text or call.

I’ve let that little girl inside me with so much trauma and heartache finally go to rest.

It’s time for this new chapter of life to be fulfilling and breathtaking and not rushed.

-Lyndsi

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Always “More”

The funny thing about addiction is..you really don’t fully comprehend how bad it is until you truly want better.

I tried for what seemed like forever to become “fully” sober. But as I became less and less indulged in active addiction I found myself grasping for anything that would just take the edge off a smidge.

In and out of smoke shops trying new “legal” substances that would take me somewhere I had no business being anymore; high.

Taking a pill here and there to just “calm my nerves” knowing damn good and well my body and addiction never would allow “just one.”

I had to fully give up the life I lived for so long to truly live a life I want to stay sober in.

Recovery wasn’t as fast as it looked to outsiders. I battled my demons alone as I always have.

But this time I came out on top.

I was finally able to stop grasping for something more and hold on to what I had.

-Lyndsi