Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 50

It's that thing that makes it impossible for me to watch reality TV and laugh at people or think, "I am so much better off than they are."  I'm not.  I often say that the longer I'm sober, the less I know.  And what I mean by that is, I am no one to judge anybody else.  COMPASSION is the Thing I Love this Thursday.

I didn't learn it in church or in school.  I learned HOW TO judge people in those places.   I had to re-learn and train myself based on my own experiences. 

It's not my right to tell others how to be sober, how to parent, how to get pregnant, how to eat, how to dress, how to live or how to die.  I have opinions, I have moments where I am outraged, but it's not my place to put that on other people.  I struggle with this.  I don't eat animals, but I don't put that on other people.  Ever.  And I demand the same in return from people.  Or we have problems. 

I tend to wonder, "how would I react if someone said, did, thought this to or about me?" before I act.  If the answer is not kindly, I try not to do it.  This is new behavior for me, just in the last few years.  And it takes a lot of practice. 

Compassion to me means letting people live their lives and not criticising them for that.  People I meet in real life, on the Internet or just see on TV or read about.  It needs to happen everywhere for me.  And the miracle really is, that it's happening. I feel it.  I feel that compassion even if I don't necessarily understand what this person's life is like or what their choices are about.  Compassion is not agreement.  It is not condoning or even accepting the person's choices and behaviors.  It is simply having the grace and the moment of, THIS IS HOW IT IS FOR THIS PERSON AND MAYBE THEY DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER.  Maybe they are having a really hard time and weren't always like this.  We all can understand that, right? 

I find myself CRINGING at pictures on the Internet that just make fun of people.  That somehow say, look at how stupid this person is compared to me.  To us.  That's bullshit.  That is when I unlike people and pages. 

If you were to see pictures of me when I was out of my mind on booze, hell even some pictures of me today when I have on a skirt that is too short or my underwear CLEARLY shows through my clothes, you might think you are better than me.  That's your prerogative, sure, but I can't live that way any longer.  It feels too damn good to have compassion.   

Laughing or criticising the misfortune of others is a lowly lowly sport.  I don't have any tolerance  for that. If you are reading my blog and you are not an addict or alcoholic or a SUPPORTER of us changing our lives, you can leave right now.  I'm taking a stand.   If you want to give me a hard time for not eating animals, goodbye.  We don't have to all agree on everything, but we need to respect each other.

COMPASSION is something that I had to learn.  It didn't come naturally to me.  I had compassion for people who were JUST LIKE ME.  But that was it.  Growing up in a suburb where everyone was just like us made me oblivious to "others".  Then I became "other".  And it's the best thing that ever happened to me. 

Now, I'm developing this compassion for everyone.  Even if I am completely different from them, it doesn't make them bad and me good.  Compassion is hardest when you need to show it for people you absolutely don't understand or couldn't possibly relate to.  That's the test.  Sometimes I pass and sometimes I fail.  I am working on it.  I want to teach my kids this compassion.  For all.  Not just some.  Not just those we deem worthy.  We are all worthy.  I want my kids to be shown compassion and to show compassion.  That's something I need to lead by example in doing every day.  All the time.

COMPASSION is not always easy.  It's not natural for me.  But it's getting to be more and more so the more I practice. Biting my tongue in some cases and jumping into other cases is how I'm learning we can all do better and be better for ALL OF US.  We all exist together.  We just do.  We can make it more difficult or we can make it more loving.  Today I choose more loving and more COMPASSION.  What do you choose?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thumbs Up!

The only thing funnier would have been if he gave us the "thumbs down" sign.

This is the boy's hand.  Giving us the "thumbs up" sign at our 20 week ultrasound yesterday.  The girl was all dancing around and we saw her little feets moving around, making it hard for the tech to get a good picture of her. 

There aren't many words to describe that feeling of awe and joy when you first see the fully formed little mini humans moving around inside your belly. 

So, I will just share a couple more photos with you.

The boy.  In profile.

And, the girl.  THE GIRL.
All is well in there.  They are both in great shape and all measurements and checks indicate that they are developing as they should be.  Gratitude abounds. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 49

I met up with a couple college girlfriends last night that I hadn't seen since we graduated in 1995.   Well, that's not true, one of the girls SAW ME at a Fiona Apple concert years ago out of my fucking mind on booze and I have no memory of it.  She emailed me on Facebook a couple years ago and asked if that was me, I said, yes, that sounds like me and I was at the concert.  Not that I remember it. 

In the neighborhood of Andersonville in Chicago, there is this glorious contraption of entertainment, the Puppet Bike. 

Anyway, I got there early and was sitting outside watching the Puppet Bike when this dude sat down next to me with a duffel bag and gym shoes with no laces.  I know this look.  It's the homeless look OR the look of someone on a psych ward who has had all their laces and belts stripped so they don't try to off themselves.  I have lived both situations.  Anyway, this dude sat there for a minute and pulled out a HUGE hard cover Dictionary and proceeded to read it.  Upside down.  I know this story.  I have lived this story.  I so vividly remember sitting on park benches trying desperately to act normal to appear normal to BE normal while I was casing the people walking around me to see if I could get any cash or favors from them. 

This is the conversation:
Him: "I was going to ask you if you had a smoke but I see you are pregnant." 
My tears welled up as I answered, "I quit smoking right before I got pregnant, so I'm sorry I don't have one for you."
Him: "So you really did smoke?"
Me: "Yeah, I did a lot of things.  I'm a recovering drunk."
JHim: "You sure don't look like one."
Me:  "I've been where you are.   Are you OK?"
Him: "I'm OK, I just wish I had a smoke right now."
Me: "Well I hope to see you at an AA meeting some time.  They are all over the place, there's one right down the street here.  My name is Katy."  And I offered my hand in greeting, which he did not take.
Him: "Uh huh, hi Katy, good luck with your baby."
And off he goes.

Every time I have an encounter like this, I am terrified.  I look at my life today and know I am ONE DRINK away from that man last night.  I don't push AA, I offer it and suggest it and say, this is what I do and it works for me.  I hope it works for you too.  I can't NOT reach out to people.  It makes my husband nervous, but I'm a smart cookie.  I don't take a lot of risks, but I will risk helping someone if I can. 

One of the reasons I loved smoking, and there are many, is that it was a chance to strike up conversations.  Smoking can be a very social thing and there is not an opportunity for that if you aren't in a group with the smokers any longer.  Sure, conversations can happen anywhere, but the smoker conversation is something unique.  You know what I'm talking about.  I miss it. 

I went on to meet my girlfriends for dinner and we were transported back to being 19 and 20 years old and clueless but now with perspective appreciating the shit we went through.  We had each other's backs then and it feels like we do now too - in a very different but lovely way that only people with shared history can have.  We went through a very fucked up Theatre/Acting school for 4 years, and we have a bond because of that.  We laughed a lot and all realize that we were together during a moment in time where we were young and naive and yet thought we knew everything.  We didn't know shit. 

I didn't tell them this story of my conversation with the gentleman wanting a smoke because while he is my people, he is not everybody's people.  He is lost, he is pushed aside by society, but mostly by himself.  He's not lost to me.  Nobody is lost.  They just have to make the choice to start being found. 

The Thing I Love this Thursday is BEING FOUND.  By old friends who appreciate you for exactly who you are and all you've been through and for a lost soul BEING FOUND by sheer grace. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


OH CHILD, this belly is growing at a rapidly alarming rate!  Not to mention my ass.  This is the time, people.  The time of glowing and happiness and basking in the wonder that is creating not one but TWO babes in my increasing by the day belly.

There they are!  Dancing around in there like only Hall & Oates can!

And I am.  I feel great!  After the hell that was In Vitro for me, this pregnancy is a piece of cake.  And at 18 weeks along, I am right where I should be.  The bumpsters are mango sized now according to the "What to Expect When You are Expecting" app that I have on my phone.  They're all fruit and vegetable sizes, so that's a little weird but also good perspective, rather than, YOUR BABY is 5 INCHES.  Give me a mango and yeah, I know what that shit looks like.  And maybe want to eat it, which is only a tad disconcerting.  I'm eating pretty well with some allowances for some stuff I crave, but nothing crazy.  I'm trying to walk on a regular basis and just overall trying to be healthy.  I don't believe being pregnant is an excuse to throw everything out the window and just eat crap.  Nobody benefits from that, my babies or me.  Or my husband who I want to be attracted to ALL THIS.

This is the time where panic and happiness and excitement collide.  Just thinking about all the baby shit we will need is overwhelming to the point where I literally bat my arms around and say, "OK, I'll come back to that later...." The really fortunate thing is we have several friends who have twins and can help me with this process.  The registering, the feelings the reality of what all of this is going to take.  I've had maternity clothes given to me second hand and offers of all kinds of baby stuff and I couldn't be more grateful.  Don't even get me started on how freaked out I get by baby showers and all the stuff.  Social anxiety combined with people giving us shit, is overwhelming to say the least.  So grateful, but so overwhelmed. 

AND,  What is going to happen when I go back to work? 


Reel it all back in there, sister. 

Gazillions of people have done this before with way less resources, money and love than we have.  Millions will do it after us.  What I really really really want to do right now is enjoy where we are.  We have two babes that are developing and growing and dancing and getting ready to rock our worlds upon their arrival. 

It is simultaneously the scariest and most exhilarating feeling I've ever known.

Nothing new or earth shattering as we are just grains of sand that are doing what so many have done before us, but dammit, this is new to me.  New to us.  And we are truly loving it.  As surreal as it is, and I never thought we would be in this situation, the joy I feel when I see and hear my dear sweet Dumpster Husband talking to our babies makes me weepy with joy.  WEEPY WITH JOY. 

Now, back to my rapidly expanding ass.......

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 48

I'm going light today.  Or am I?

The Thing I Love this Thursday is the world of MATERNITY. 
I love me some maternity leggings!  They are from Old Navy and they have the full front panel that goes right over Hall & Oates so beautifully.  I AM IN LOVE WITH THESE LEGGINGS.
Easy Peasy for the modern girl of maternity - a big JCrew shirt, leggings and chunky heels.   And why is it whenever I say or hear the word maternity I am INSTANTLY transported back to the 1950's?  WHY IS THAT? Is it so old-timey that it does that others besides me?  Well, I'm utterly OBSESSED with Mad Men and know WAY too much about the show and it's fashion and politics and character motivations.  And I like it that way. 

Long gone are the days of Betty Draper sitting in her kitchen with Francine drinking and smoking and watching little Sally Draper with a dry cleaning bag over her head with the only worry being something along the lines of "if those dry cleaned clothes are messed up you are in big trouble, Missy!"

This is about my favorite scene ever from anything ever.  (ALL these Mad Men photos are courtesy of the mad geniuses at TLO - Tom and Lorenzo - My FAVORITE RECAP SITE if for some reason you don't read them yet, YOU ARE MISSING OUT!)
 Those were the days, weren't they?  I MISS SMOKING.  Yes, I still miss smoking.  I'm not doing it, but dammit, I miss it. 

My two favorites.  Roger and Joanie.  And the ciggy.  Mmmmmmmm. 

And Miss Trudy Campbell here in here cotton candy frou frou come and get me but stay the hell away from me get up?  FABULOUS. 

Y'all know I love me some old school glamour.  I just do.  And most days I'm still wearing my own clothes - meaning non-"maternity" clothes.  WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE STRETCHY CLOTHES.  These gals didn't have that back then.  I still wear the cat-eye glasses and the red lipstick and you can pry those from my cold dead hands thankyouverymuch, but shit like this nonsense above, no way.  In my defense, as in the "I didn't just jump on the Mad Men train",  I had these cat eye glasses and red red lips long before Mad Men came on the air.  And will long after it goes off the air.

We are in a great place today in history for women's fashion - and particularly in maternity clothes -  in that we can be all retro if we want and yet have the modern comforts of stretchy pants too.  PURRRRRRRFECT. 

I'm still pinning to my What are you wearing today? board over on the Pinterest.  You will see the transformation from no belly to belly with two babes.  It's fun!  But not NEARLY as much fun as being able to smoke and drink while pregnant.  Sonsabitches. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It Just Gets Better and Better

Here's what I know.  I once was lost and now I am found.  I was once a recluse, a non-human being feeling doing, and now I am a functioning, respected contributor to society.  But more than that, I am happy.  Daddy Doin' Work did a post on "Achieving Happy" today.  He speaks about the change in his life and what made him realize just how good everything in life is and that he best get to appreciating and making the most of it.  LOVE THAT. 

When you have hit a bottom in your life, any kind of bottom, be it emotional, financial, physical, addiction - IT CHANGES YOU. 

The show INTERVENTION is new again.  I've watched every episode since it started airing.  I find it to be therapeutic in that it takes me RIGHT BACK to where I was 11 years ago.  Which is homeless, hopeless, penniless, drunk, blacked out, without any kind of hope or grace or glimmer of happiness.  I sit and cry and shake the entire episode.  For the families, who are just as sick in their own way as the user.  I cry for who I was and what I inflicted on people who loved me and tried so hard to help me.  And then I'm grateful.  I am so grateful and it makes me want to do more, be more, help more who need help, who WANT help. 

I've been on both sides of interventions.  I've been the irate bitchy selfish scared drunk who runs out of the room yelling and swearing and pushing everyone away.  I've also been the one sitting there hoping to get someone to their bottom before they reach it on their own.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  To reach a bottom. 

Mine came about 11 years ago, on October 4, 2001.  You know this story.  I was in jail for public intoxication and fighting (YES, ME, FIGHTING - that tells you how different I was when I was drinking).  I felt a moment of something.  I didn't know what it was.  It felt like a spark, a glimmer, a tiny minute moment of what I call grace.  To me grace means a reprieve from the awfulness that had previously been my entire existence. 

If you have hit a bottom of any kind, you know what I am talking about.  No one can make you really hit that bottom but yourself.  Your friends and family try and try and sometimes the consequences work, sometimes they don't.  For me they did, I lost EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.  And yet, I was still drinking.  BECAUSE I WAS SICK. 

I hallucinated if I didn't drink.  I had seizures if I didn't drink.  I had delirium tremens if I didn't drink.  I was the most pathetic, sad creature you would ever encounter.  And, yet, I am so very grateful for every single thing that hit me, that I put myself through.  It WAS NOT POSSIBLE for me to go a couple hours without drinking.  During the day, during the night, I HAD TO DRINK.  And yet now, somehow, miraculously, through working a good program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I am not drinking.  And not just that, I am happy, joyous and free. 

This hitting bottom changed me.  I wouldn't change any of it.  Not one thing.  It has made me who I am.  It has made me this person who is hard and soft at the same time.  It has granted me compassion and grace.  It has given me perspective on other people struggling and ability to listen and to try and help.  THIS is all what has made me HAPPY. 

Hippy Dippy guide to happiness.  I need simple guidance and this works.  photo by

Hope, Happiness and Grace are three qualities I want to exude.  I am agnostic, which to me means I believe in something bigger than me, of course, as my ego is not that big to believe nothing else exists, but I don't have a definition of what that is - and I don't need to.  I've had my spiritual journey that's led me everywhere, and I am at a great place today believing I have a Higher Power, but I don't need to tell you all about it.  It's personal.  Just like yours is personal. 

I don't have to try very hard as they were gifts given to me.  I just want to keep that circle going.  I never take one second of my life for granted.  NOT ONE SECOND.  I believe the reason I am here is to share what I was given and keep being grateful.  I don't know shit about a lot of things.  I know A LOT about being a drunk and getting and staying sober.  That is the highest calling I could ever hope to achieve.  I just hope I keep doing the next right thing to stay sober.  I choose today not to drink.  I hope I wake up tomorrow and do the same thing. 

I am here to be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a good employee, an aunt, a friend, but MOST OF ALL I am here to carry the message of sobriety.  And how very good life is on the other side of Hell.  Happiness is a by product of living well and of living right.  I want to keep what I have and add to it.  So I choose to keep working at this thing called sobriety.  One day at a time.  With all of you. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 47

THIS is about my all time favorite picture of my dad and I.
My dad is pretty damn awesome.

This really tells a good story of my dad.  It's worth it to go look at the pictures.  FOR REAL.  Go.  Seriously.  It's pretty amazing he turned out the way he has. 
My Dad's Mother was Blanche DuBois and Norma Desmond Combined.

My Dad is more open minded, sympathetic, put together, responsible, charming, chivalrous and successful in life than he has any right to be by his upbringing.  My dad SHOULD be a raging alcoholic who smokes unfiltered Camels.  Oh, and be married and divorced several times.  Because that is what his parents and relatives did before him.  But he's not.  Because he chose not to do those things.  He made the decision and just didn't do it. 

We don't have the same dimples or anything.  Not at all.
He SHOULD be a big ol' mess.  But instead he's a great dad and an incredible Grandfather to my peanut nephews and niece.  He has taken care of my mom for over 40 years and not only taken care of her but made her laugh an enjoy life more when they are together.  He's taken care of my brother and I with whatever we could have possibly needed.  He worked so very hard to give us all what we needed and wanted and provided the best in life for us as a family, he still does.  He has given more than a man should.  And that is what makes him a great man and a phenomenal father.

More so today than ever before, I understand and appreciate my dad.  He went through a challenging childhood as an only child of MULTIPLE divorces (see link above) and yet, he came out on top.  He and I had rocky times, as any child and parent will from time to time, but you all know how they helped me get sober and since then, we've worked really hard to have a mutually respectful relationship, and today, we have it.  It's full of love and fun and appreciation.  He has a great sense of humor and I know I get some of it from him.  He is a bit of a dandy - a clotheshorse if you will - and I KNOW I get that from him.  I really enjoy spending time with him today. 

The older we both get, the more I appreciate him. 

One of my greatest joys is seeing and hearing my Dear Sweet Husband with my dad.  I never thought it would happen, but these two have so much in common and my dad gets really excited to see and talk with him.  "Well, I have to tell Christopher about this....."  SO CUTE.  They have a lot in common and their brains are wired similarly.  It's fascinating. 

He loves Sally Boy too.  Who doesn't?
He is so excited for these bumpsters in my belly.  I know he never thought he would be Grampy to what will be 6 kids soon between my brothers kids and mine, but he loves it.  He thrives on it. It's his reason for everything now.  And I'm so grateful I get to watch all that. 

Last time my parents were visiting.  Now one of my favorite pictures.  These two have my heart. 
More than ever with these babies coming, they are my backbone. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Darkness I SHOULD NOT Feel LET ALONE Talk About

Here's the awful truth, that we as women are not supposed to talk about, I was pregnant in the very early days of my pregnancy and I was ecstatically happy, except that I was still mega depressed from going through IVF (In VItro Made Me CRAZY) and the HORMONES MADE ME CRAZY  -- joint post with my girl Sam Irby, who was being made nutso by hormones as well for different reasons.  THOSE HORMONES ARE BASTARDS. 

People know about Postpartum Depression these days as many women experience this and it's more talked about.  But this damn pre-natal pregnancy depression kicked me in the vagina and the head and the heart big time.  My dear sweet Dumpster Husband sent me this article this morning that absolutely hit home as to what I was going through and and while I am on an upswing from now, it's still very relevant.

Not Just the Pregnancy Blues by Jessica Grose on Slate

I stopped all my meds in July 2011, the last one being Zoloft, as I was getting my body in prime baby baking shape.  Now, that was hard to withdraw from, but I did it, and honestly, didn't have that much of a serious problem with anxiety or depression until I started the damn hormones and birth control pills they jacked me up on for In Vitro.  It's a stronger dose than regular pills, and I had never been on the pill in my life, so this was all new to me.

I put myself through this, so I know it's my own fault.  I've been on psych wards.  NOT AS AN OBSERVER.  You know what I'm saying?  I am no stranger to mental health issues.  I have a history here and I am aware of what healthy is for me and what it is not.  I was not healthy going through IVF.  I was fucked up.  BUT, I also knew it would pass and hopefully the outcome would be worth it.  Which, in our case, it absolutely is.  But I feel I need to address it.  

The pill made me fucking crazy.  It made me seriously lethargic and depressed.  As in, I didn't leave our apartment for about 3 months, unless it was going to work or something I absolutely had to do.  And even then it was such a Herculean effort, that it took all my energy to just get my ass out of bed.  I could barely go to the grocery store. I was miserable. It seems silly to say this about a pill that has done huge things for women through the years and I'm grateful for the pill but GOD DAMMIT, SCREW YOU PILL!

Even after I found out we were pregnant, we were just so nervous and I was in a funk about it.  WHY?  Because my chemical make up responded wackily to these drugs and to the hormones from then being pregnant. 

Now that I'm in my 2nd trimester, the depression and lethargy have subsided.  I see my friends and go out and do things.  My friends that I kept saying, "NO NO NO NO NO" to everything they asked of me, I now say "yes" again and it feels good.  I'm not encumbered by the hurt and the anxiousness I was engulfed in during those three months.  When I'm smiling my big goofy ass smile, it's absolutely genuine and I'm not barking at people pretty much at all.  All to say, I'm so god damned happy it's kind of sickening.

Anyone who says I am complaining when I should be the happiest woman in the world right now for being pregnant with twins, can kiss my white Irish arse.  Everyone who reads my blog and knows me knows how OVER THE FUCKING MOON I AM.  But this?  This realization that I really got socked with something major and didn't even FULLY really realize it at the time, makes me think there have to be so many others out there who have gone through this, or are going through this as well. 

The only reason I am able to write about this now with any kind of clarity is because I am climbing out of it.  You see me smiling and laughing and that is doubly good because I am pregnant with miracle babies.  Hope and Weird Science made these babies. This blog and writing and some very dear friends I've connected with through the internets and of course A.A. and my Dear Sweet Husband have helped me through this.  Sometimes the most I could do was write.  And I kept writing.  And I kept being grateful.  As miserable as I was, I was always grateful.  That doesn't change.  If it ever does change, we are in serious trouble.  Everything else passes, gratitude just evolves.  I'm so grateful I am not in that hole I was in even a few weeks ago.  I also know I can go into a different hole as this pregnancy continues and even after I give birth.  Being aware and able to talk about it is so very helpful.

The happy is back!  For now. 

Embrace ALL the feelings.  Not just the shiny happy ones.  That is the only way we are truly healthy.  I have to feel the bad to feel the good.  Embrace and deal with ALL THE FEELINGS.  And just because they aren't fact, doesn't mean we don't need to deal with them in some way.  THIS TOO SHALL PASS. 


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 46

It's Thursday.  And the Thing I Love today is MY TOOL BOX. 

I have accumulated if you will, a toolbox. 

Now, picture the actual tools being metaphorical tools, say, the wrench is PAUSING BEFORE REACTING, and the hammer is SITTING WITH IT.   

Not sitting ON it, a la The Fonz.  But just having a feeling, SITTING WITH IT, and not having to act on it immediately and from my gut. I've written before about what an asshole I used to be when I first got sober - the first few years there.  I wrote about keeping it zipped in the workplace, and what a gift that is to be able to SHUT MY DAMN PIE HOLE.

But SITTING WITH IT for me, means something happens or someone does something to me (most times it's not TO ME anyway) and I just don't react.  Similar to pausing, in fact, right after pausing, SITTING WITH IT can mean the time I just digest.  And talk to other trusted people about it.  Meditate on it.   Just FEEL it.  It's OK to just FEEL it.  Even if it's shitty and I feel so pressed to react, I still SIT WITH IT today.  NOT ALWAYS, but so much more than I used to.  I used to drink to not feel this stuff.  It was too uncomfortable to feel uncomfortable.  And guess what?  IT STILL IS UNCOMFORTABLE.  But today, that is OK.  I can still SIT WITH IT and be OK.   

It is yet another tool that is in my toolbox of how to deal with being a functioning member of society these days.  I never learned these tools until I got sober.  It seems so silly and common sensical, but you see people flying off the handle and spreading their bullshit negativity everywhere they go, so it must NOT be that common sensical.  I don't want to be that person any more.  Because I was.  I was angry and I was bitter for a long time.  I gut reacted to EVERYTHING.  I made everything about my feelings.  And guess what?  Feelings aren't facts.  Most times things aren't even about me, and if I just PAUSE, SIT WITH IT and develop a plan, things go so much more smoothly for me.  And for others, for that matter. 

I am not that angry, bitter person anymore because I chose to change. I did a lot of hard work on myself that is still on-going and always will be.  COPING SKILLS.  LIFE TOOLS.  Who knew?   These  tools I've learned through sobriety and I have a chance to make better choices in my life. 

It sounds super hippie dippy trippy, but I'm all about love and compassion today.  I want to give people the benefit of the doubt and I want to give second chances.  Of course, that's where another tool comes out of the tool box, BOUNDARIES.  Healthy boundaries protect me.  I am responsible for myself.  No one else is.  PERIOD.

I know, I hear myself talk sometimes and I want to spank my own face, but this shit works you guys!  It's all part of letting go and just being happy.  Not fighting so hard against everyone and everything has given me freedom to be genuinely happy.  Even the shittiest of times doesn't have to be so shitty, if I use my toolbox and don't rely on old behaviors.  Old behaviors make me sad and unhappy and miserable to be around.  Old behaviors make me drink.