This is NOT a successories post. I'm not going to say QUITTERS NEVER WIN AND WINNERS NEVER QUIT or some other bullshit that is likely true, but leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I will say, it is possible to get through the shit and come out the other side and smell pretty damn sweet. See? I know, cliche and silly. But true. I can't help myself.
I've heard from a lot of twin mommies lately. Who've been through the shit with their babies who were born premature with terrible odds of health problems, and so many made it through and are today happy, healthy kids. They didn't give up. They were fighters and they beat the odds. There are others who fought just as hard and didn't make it. And there is no explanation for that tragedy. None. I sit here typing with shaking hands as I cannot begin to understand the cosmic reasoning for this fact that we lose some souls every day who fought just as hard as the others but didn't make it. I feel that way with us being pregnant, why us and not so many others who so desperately want this and have tried all the same things we did, WHY US?
And then there are the addicts and alcoholics out there who want sobriety, who need sobriety and yet, cannot grasp on and keep it. WHY ME? Why am I given this gift every day? I do the work, but so do many others and they don't get it or they die. This disease kills people every single day. I see it and know the people it kills who are just like me. I cannot sit and focus on the WHY ME aspect of this second chance I've been given, all I can do is be grateful and PASS IT ON. Pass it all on as much as I can.
I have this friend. Who is struggling to find a job. To find a place. To find comfort in every day things that most of us - in this country anyway - at least those of us reading this blog, take comfort in. That we will have gas money. That we will have enough food to feed our children and ourselves. Our pets. That we will be able to pay our phone bills. I know this friend is trying her damnedest to make it all work. She is not sitting on her arse waiting for someone to hand her all the answers, she just wants a damn job! She is grateful for what she has, but she is frustrated. I'm pretty sure she wants me to SHUT THE FUCK UP with all my positivity and THIS TOO SHALL PASS nonsense. But I keep saying what my sponsor and others said to me when I was at my lowest, which was after I got sober, by the way, because things don't magically get better just because we get sober.
It's ironic that I should say never ever ever ever ever quit, as I am the QUEEN OF QUITTERS. Smoking, drinking, caffeine, sugar, fake sugar, soda, meat, dairy (which has come back a bit since being knocked up), anti-depressants, cheating, lying, being a terrible person - those are all things I've quit. And yet, I still say, never ever ever ever quit when it comes to fighting this life of battles.
You know my story. I had it all with my family growing up. I drank it all away and was homeless for a while before going to jail and finally getting and staying sober and having to build everything back up from NOTHING. But I did it. But I didn't do it alone. And I kept going, even when all I did every day was go to AA meetings and didn't even have enough money to put a dollar in the collection basket. Back then at the clubhouse I went to, they would say, "if you have a dollar, share; if you need a dollar, take it and pay it back later." I prided myself in not taking those dollars, when in reality they would have made a big difference in how my everyday life went at that time.
To think that one dollar can make that big a difference in someone's everyday existence changes EVERYTHING. If you've never felt what it's like to not have enough for a bus ride, then you don't know what I'm talking about. But we all should. We all should experience what it really feels like to have nothing and be dependent on the kindness of strangers and our gumption to get us through the day without crumbling and giving up. People do it every day, for years, for a lifetime. I was fortunate in that mine only lasted a couple years. I didn't have kids to support and frankly, I have no idea how women who do get through all of this without losing their kids, which many of them do.
So back to my friend who is struggling so hard right now and feeling defeated and like the world is against her and all her hard work of filling out job applications and praying and working the steps and doing all THE NEXT RIGHT THINGS she can muster, I say, KEEP GOING. I have been there. So many of us have been there and it will get better. IT WILL GET BETTER and the only way you can be truly grateful is to have weathered the worst of times and come out of it a better, stronger, fiercer fighter than you ever were before.
I've met so many bitter, hardened, life weary people in my life and that doesn't make you tough. Hell, I used to be one. People say I've softened in the past few years, and I admit that I have. I'm not as bitter or anxious to make sure YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY SUCKS ABOUT EVERYTHING as I used to be as life is pretty damn good once you get to the place of acceptance and gratitude. What makes you tough is going through HELL and all the SHIT and being the lowest common denominator and coming out of it with hope and grace and dignity. And passing this shit onto the next person who needs it.
At a meeting last week one of the old guys said to me, "I seem to remember a blonde girl pounding on this table yelling, RELAPSE IS NOT PART OF RECOVERY!" And yes, that was me. I was angry and I wanted to shove everything in everyone's face. I don't have to prove anything these days. I just need to be there for people and not judge them.
The richest people in the world worry about protecting their wealth, when you have NOTHING, anything you have is a gift. I never ever EVER take that for granted. I've been on both sides, and I rather like having my comforts taken care of today. I'm not going to act like I would look forward to having nothing again, but if I had to, I hope I would carry this attitude of THIS TOO SHALL PASS even though it all fucking sucks and I AM TERRIFIED into the next chapter. Hell this having twins nonsense scares the shit out of us and we don't know how we're going to to do it, but we will some how some way. And it's all going to be OK.
None of us know what is next. None of us can control what happens to us in the grand scheme of things. All we can do is mentally and emotionally be prepared for the shit to hit the fan, and what will we do when it does? How will we handle it?
Sometimes hope is all we have left....and it's then that you have to learn to cling to it and ride it out. We're stronger than we think.ReplyDelete
<3 We hope with her and for her because we love her. Amazing post, K. Truly.ReplyDelete
I am a single mom and day to day is a huge struggle but I live by that motto. It will get better. Sitting on my butt complaining wont get me any where. My son needs me to stay positive. He has many health issues and I am constantly worried about him and his health. If I just wallowed in it and just said why me he would never get the help he needs. I love him and I have to keep moving forward. There is a Disney movie called meet the robinsons and the motto in the movie is keep moving forward, don't let your failures hold you back. Keep trying and moving forward and one day things will be better.ReplyDelete
I love Meet The Robinsons... One of the most under rated Disney movies ever! Single mom here too. Loved the post today! Keep moving forward...Delete
How is it you know exactly what I need to read and *poof!* you write it? I know this wasn't directed at me, specifically, but it still helped. I love you, I love the friend that you're referring to, and together we are going to do this, girls!ReplyDelete
I have "This Too Shall Pass" tattooed on me. I completely understand why it is your mantra.ReplyDelete
I really should have that tattooed as well. That is so my mantra and I say it and try to believe it... most times it works.Delete
We are all in this shit pool we call life. Why not splash around a bit and have as much fun as we can. We need to get through it all together as people. Raise another up even if you need to be raised up yourself. It all helps in the end.
K, my heart goes out to your friend as I've been in and out of jobs/lay offs, etc. and I just fear the day I get laid off again. I'm a single mom, mortgage, two dogs and an ancient cat!
As Dory put it, "Just keep swimming".... So who's with me here?
YES YES YES. This post is just full of orgasmic YES. I have been there. 2 Christmases ago all I could give my kids was what their school gave me from their toy drive. Before that I was asking neighbors if they have any extra food I could have. And before that I was walking a mile to buy a box of granola bars because it is all I could afford. That was the worst year of my life. My life now is not significantly different. I am still broke, my van is on the verge of dying forever, and I still sometimes don't eat dinner because I want to make sure there is enough. But the significant difference is that I changed my attitude from 'what else?' To 'whats next?' And I keep going for it.ReplyDelete
Hope is one thing that NO ONE can ever take away from us. We can give it up or throw it away but it can never be taken. Hold on to hope with everything you have and you will make it through. Tomorrow is a new day and even if it isn't any better, it's a new day.ReplyDelete
We are all in this together, struggling differently, succeeding differently. Ups and Downs, coming and going...ReplyDelete
Never underestimate what your kindness, your stories, your hope, your inspirations can do for someone else. They can change a life.
Ahh Katylove..if everyone had a heart like yours, this would be heaven on earth.
I love you and your big heart.
What the hell IS it with you & your timing? How do you DO this? Know just what someone needs to "hear" just when they need to "hear" it?ReplyDelete
You. Amaze. Me.
That is all.
I think there's a saying "Just when you think things are at their worst, it gets better". I truly live by that motto - I've had a lot of sucktacular times in my life but you know what, I'm still here talking about it so it couldn't have been that bad!ReplyDelete
My heart goes out to your friend. I am not homeless but understand what it feels like with trying to find a job as I am currently looking as well. I hope she keeps her chin up as well as you do. I always use to believe that things happen for a reason and God has a plan for us all but recently I lost my nephew in an accident. My sister is stronger than I am but is having same feelings as I am. I feel like quiting but won't because of my child. I don't believe God needed my nephew at such a young age as people are telling us. I just don't know what to believe anymore, I do know if I could I would give everything I have and live on the streets just so my sis could see her son again. Kudos to everyone that is stronger than I but maybe I will find strength again someday. Congrats to you and your husband on your baby twins love them every second. You sound like you will be a wonderful parents and good luck to you.ReplyDelete
I love this. I love that you just linked it on FB with the note to "never ever ever give up." I just realized that the last Dark Moon necklace my sis got me had these words transcribed on them. So awesome.ReplyDelete
On another but related note, last week I really grappled hard with this when I learned that folks who'd gotten a shot I'd got during the time period in which I got it had been infected with fungal meningitis. It was a terrifying couple of hours before I found that the place I'd gotten the shot from had not received contaminated doses of the injection. But even after I learned I hadn't received one, it overwhelmed me to think that there were others who got those shots through no fault of their own. They didn't do anything different than I did. They just happened to be in the wrong place with the wrong symptoms at the wrong time. I felt so grateful that I didn't receive one of the contaminated shots, but it was a gratitude laced with sadness that others did. It doesn't make sense. And yet, I'm grateful in a way for the reminder that none of this is permanent. No matter how good we are, or thoughtful, or persistent, sometimes random factors will intervene. That makes it all the more important to be hopeful about the opportunities present in "right now" (or possibly tomorrow, or the day after) since--who knows how many more of 'em we'll have?
Wow. Thank you. I needed that today. I have a nice house, loving boyfriend, car and job. Yet I have Ben complaining about what I don't have. I needed a reality check. I vow to be happy with all my blessings from now on. Thank you. Truly thank you.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for sharing! You have such a special gift for that 12th step. I hope to get there someday. You are not preachy, and have a gift for humor and have gotten me thru some rough times with your personal brand of cheerleading! You have done the work and it certainly did not come easily that you are where you are in your life right now! Having the grace to take that work and share it with others to help them attain what you have is very special. Thank you for all you have done for me without even actually knowing me. May your future be filled with joy and light!ReplyDelete
"life is pretty damn good once you get to the place of acceptance and gratitude" yes, yes, yes!!! and you will be an amazing mommy :)ReplyDelete
Amen ! You rock !ReplyDelete
Beautiful! Giving up is never an option for me and even though I still, occassionally, step in life's shit I'm now grateful in the knowledge that I at least have another pair of shoes to change into. Keep on keepin' on! Life smells better the further you go. Peace.ReplyDelete
Girl... Girl??? ...GIRL!!!!!ReplyDelete
Fuck it I'm speechless.
Just when I think you can't possibly get more awesome, you prove me wrong.ReplyDelete