Learn to Love Yourself

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Hello, Everyone!!
Today a very special blogger, Ashely at Chronicles of a Cold Texan nominated me for the Liebster Award! I just want to talk about this amazing lady for a moment. She is originally from Texas and currently lives in Finland. Her blog is about her tales, or so, in her journey from being a Texan to living in Finland. But she writes about so much more. She is an amazing blogger, a rare gem, and you would be my honor for you to check out her blog.

With that said, I want to say, thank you, Ashley, from the bottom of my heart. When I read my name in the nominee section, I wanted to cry.

This Award is a way us to expose newer bloggers, which we think are pretty impressive, and share them with the world. To let them know, they are doing an excellent job and keep writing. As Ashley said, "a virtual high-five."

Ashley has asked me eight questions:

1. How did you come up with the title of your blog and what it would be about?
Many of you know that I suffer from the disease of addiction. During my struggles, I lost my self-esteem. I lost how to love myself. This blog is a way for me to get back what I lost.

2. What inspires you write?
I am very honest with my readers, and if I have cravings or a relapse, they are the first to know. Being accountable to someone is a huge help in my battle with recovery. The longer I stay clean, the more I build back my self-esteem. The more I write, the quicker I "Learn to Love Myself."

3. Please share ten random facts about yourself.
1. I am a Philly girl trying to make her way down south.
2. I've been battling with addiction for over 20 years.
3. I am finally following my dream of going into the law field and went back to school.
4. Along with the disease of addiction, I suffer from mental illness.
5. I have one miracle son (I was told at the age of 16 that I could not have children)
6. My father past when I was eight, and it was the biggest devastation in my life.
7. I am engaged to a wonderful man who is a support for me with my battle.
8. I have two beautiful step-daughters from my 1st marriage and six step-grandchildren (and one on the way).
9. I can drink coffee black, with cream, with sugar, or with cream and sugar, morning, noon and night.
10. Summer is my favorite season, the cold goes right through to my bones.

4. How do you like to spend your spare time when you are not blogging?

When I am not blogging or studying, I love to go to the lake, Lake Travis, with my family.

5. What is the number one thing you have on your "bucket list"?
To complete law school.

6. Who/What are 3 blogs you love?
Chronicles of a Cold Texan
From Struggle to Strength
Jingle Jangle Jungle

7. What is your proudest moment?
The night I had my son.

8. What is the trend you've been loving lately?
I love the fact that America is opening up its minds, and gay people are allowed to be married in some states.

My nominees:
Eric Ease - From Struggle to Strength
Mary Burris - Jingle Jangle Jungle
Alison Ferrier- I Just Wanna Hear Some Rhythm

The rules for the nominees:
Acknowledge the blog who nominated you
Answer the questions I've asked of you
Nominate (and inform) 3-10 bloggers with generally less than 200 followers. (I took that word generally and used it :))

Ask them your questions
Share the LOVE!!

My questions for the nominees:
1.  How did you come up with the title of your blog and what it would be about?
2.  What inspires you to write?
3.  What started you blogging?
4.  What are ten random facts about you?
5.  What is your favorite season and why?
6.  What are your three favorite blogs?
7.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
8.  What is the #1 thing on your bucket list?
9.  Describe yourself in one sentence.
10. What is your favorite social media outlet and why?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

People Do Care

Hello Everyone! I had a goal to start blogging on a regular basis again for April. Here it is April 7th, and I'm just starting. But hey, at least I'm doing it!!

So, I've been so busy with school work, but...
I've remained clean!

I need to start blogging again about my addiction because it helps ME! I just read some comments on my last blog, "Not Working the Steps Yet", and they made me feel so good! One comment was from a nonaddict. I read her blog all of the time; she's great, and it made me feel good that she read and commented on mine. So that's one boost for my self-esteem!!! And the second comment was from an addict/alcoholic. (Not active.) She also made me feel good, she commented that, not everything works for everyone (in so many words). She let me know what worked for her and gave me suggestions. I love suggestions from people. It means to me that they care! I have to believe that everyday clean is a good day. I also received a phone call from a relative 2 minutes after my last blog posted. She told me how proud she was of me and that I'm doing a wonderful job! Sometimes I need to hear things like that to remind me  that:
every clean addict is a miracle! 

So, back to me staying clean. It's been a struggle; I'm not going to lie. But I'm doing it. One day at a time. One thing that is helping me is that I write to someone very dear to me and who is in jail. I consider this person a brother to me. I've been writing him a lot and letting him know what is going on with me. He is an addict as well, so he understands my craziness when no one else does. It truly is a help talking to another addict. I know, I have my fiance, who is not active and has been clean ten years. Maybe it's because he's invested so much emotion in me. Maybe it's because I think it is easier for him to stay clean. But somehow I feel that he doesn't totally understand my thinking. He asked me (a while back), "How are you feeling, not using?" My response was, "It's been a while since I've used, but I'm having cravings." That upset him. He expected me to say that I felt great and that I don't need that s***. I disappointed him. It's a constant struggle with me. Not a major one, but I think about using at least once a day. I even still have drug dreams. So, when I write my "brother" and tell him how I'm feeling, I know he understands because he lets me know how he's feeling. Don't get me wrong, I love my fiance to death. I just feel he doesn't get me in that area.

Many who don't understand will say, "Isn't your family enough to stay clean?" Staying clean or using isn't about them. It's about me and how I feel. I use over feelings. I know that feelings aren't facts, but they are real. I just have to remember that they also don't last forever; they too shall pass.

I know my triggers, first is boredom. That's a biggie for me. That's why it's easier for me to stay clean during school because I am so busy! My second trigger is feelings. Negative feelings trigger me more than positive ones. All it takes is for me to get depressed or feel like nothing matters. When life is tough and I want to give in is the worst! But I have to remember that this situation will not last forever. And I will be happy again soon! So, today is a new day, and I woke up, clean and happy!!

Before I go, I just want to thank you all for reading my blog. I know I can sometimes go off in crazy directions, and it might be difficult to follow. But I appreciate it. You comments keep me going. It's nice to know people care, people who don't even know me personally!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


I kind of dropped the ball for a minute. I stopped writing. Well, I didn't actually stop writing, I was working on a guest blog post for this blog called "JingleJangleJungle". I thought that I would be able to crank it out in no time, like I can do with my "Learning to Love Yourself 1 & 2" blogs. But this was different. I'm used to writing about me, my life, and my battle with the disease of addiction. But "JingleJangleJungle" is about music. So I needed to incorporate music into a blog about me. It was difficult, but I did it! You can read my blog on March 29th at 


But not until Sunday.

So, here I am. Writing again. Letting y' all into my personal space. Let me first say, I've been doing good, I'm still clean! Also, I've been maintaining 4.0 GPA. Yes, that's all good. So, why do I feel the way I do? I feel like I've lost that positive spark. The one I used to have. I don't want to use. So, let's get that clear. But I just don't feel as excited as I used to be about being clean either. It's like I'm stuck in a rut. Maybe I stopped growing. Maybe I do know what's going on and I'm too embarrassed to say. Maybe it's more than one specific thing.

Well, I said from the beginning that, "I was always going to be honest". The main reason I created this blog was for me and to help me in my recovery. So, if I'm not honest, I might as well not write. (Do you see where I'm going?) 

I haven't gone to a single meeting, I haven't met a sponsor, and I haven't worked on the steps, I may have put down the drug, but my behaviors are still there. 

(For those of you who don't know, there are 12 steps in recovery. I won't get too in-depth, but they help you to surrender, to give your life over to your creator, and to work each day on correcting your character defaults. A person will never be perfect, so when you've completed steps 1-12, you start over. It's something you do for the rest of your life. And you can't work (do) them on your own. You need a sponsor, someone who is clean and is living the 12 steps.)

So, let's start with, I'm not good with money. Being an addict, I have something inside myself (which all addicts have), "I want what I want when I want it!" Like wanting a second car. I'm not even allowed to drive! I still have not gotten my license back from my DWI. I'm eligible, but I haven't done it. Because my PA license is expired, I have to take the written and driving test again (after I pay my reinstatement fee). So, I have no license, but went out looking for a second car last month anyway. Bought one too. One that I knew we couldn't afford. And one that we paid too much money for. But my credit is so messed up, I was willing to take anything anyone would've given to me. Well, that car got totaled. Thank God, my fiance wasn't hurt in the accident. The sheriff doesn't understand how the car didn't flip over the guard rail. (It went straight up in the air. The truck slid down a steep hillside into a creek. The truck should have slid down on its head, but it didn't.) I'm in over my head financially with many other smaller things too, like payday loans. So, I finally broke down and asked for help. I have 2 incredible women working on a financial plan to help me get out of this hole. A hole I dug myself in because of behaviors I need to change.

I know all of this intellectually, that I need meetings, a sponsor and to work the steps. I've been through this process many times before. I know that the only way to, not only stay clean, but to be in recovery, is to work the steps. The longer I stay out of the recovery process and simply remain clean, the greater chance I have to relapse. Because, for those of you who don't know, relapse starts WAY before a drink or a drug is ever picked up. It begins with your behaviors and your thinking. 

So, what am I still doing sitting here and not at a meeting? Right? I honestly don't know. I'm so depressed that I don't want to go anywhere. It's like I'm stuck in a vicious circle. Maybe I'll feel better come April, knowing that all of my bills are paid and, I may not have much to live off of this month. But if I stick to the budget, this summer I'll be able to afford to do something nice with my family! I don't know. The only thing I do know is I have to get my butt to a meeting!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I am truly grateful today! I can honestly say that too. And a grateful addict will never use. So I gotta keep this going. Today I'm going to be short and sweet. I've had my mouth closed for a minute trying to keep up with my school work. But I've been doing great! Life couldn't bee better. Of course, I'm not walking on cloud 9 the whole time, I have my moments, but I'm glad those moments that I have I'm clean and sober. Like right now I'm going through something because I'm trying to get some legal bills paid and I can't get through to a human...it's all automated! I need certain info to pay online that only this agency can give me. I might even get a violation of my probation if someone doesn't call me back before 5pm today. But you know what? God's got me. And if it's meant to happen, it's mean to happen. I did my part. I left a message. and the answering machine message said, "If you leave multiple messages, your call will not be returned." So I left one, that's all I can do. Anyway...that's what I'm talking about. I'm not on cloud 9, but life is good! I'm alive and clean and thank God, today I have the money to actually pay these legal bills. Before, I would have been violated because I spent the money on substances. But not today! So, if your day isn't going right, just think about, life could be a lot worse. And there will never be anything coming at you that you can't handle. I promise that!Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, February 6, 2015


Well everyone! I'm still doing awesomely!! I am still clean and I feel great! It makes me wonder, what took me so long? When I'm in the grip of active addiction, I can't see anything else but the drug. I don't realize I haven't cleaned the house or made dinner or showered. I know....it's awful! But that's what active addiction does to me. I am so glad the obsession has been lifted. I can be clean but obsess over the drug! So I'm celebrating my obsession free time. It's a great day to be alive, clean and obsession free! I am a truly blessed person. The God of my understanding is good to me. Number 1 reason is I am still alive! The situations I used to put myself in, I could've been snatched up anytime (not even from the drug itself). But there was a different plan for me. One that included a very loving son. I was told at the age of 16, that I would not have children due to my "lack of self-respect". I caught something that could be cured with antibiotics, but by the time I realized anything was wrong, it was too late the damage had been done. So 10 years later, when my doctor told me I was pregnant...it was a MIRACLE! I always wanted a little boy, from the time I was young. I wanted to name him after my father, and my prayer was answered. So, you see, I have another incredible miracle to be thankful for. And the love that this child has for me, is UNBELIEVABLE! Everything I put him through, (because when I am in active addiction, my family suffers right there with me) he still loves me. And then 3 years later I was blessed with the most amazing man I've ever met (although at the time I had no clue that this was my soul mate). He has stuck by my side through thick and thin and back to thick. He is a recovering addict as well, and through all my relapses, he never once did. His explanation is that, he knew if he "went down that path with me, that would be the end of us as a family". He wasn't willing to give me and my son up for anything. And believe me, there were times where I pushed him to leave. I did everything in my power to try and make him go. Not because I really wanted him to leave. But because I felt like I wasn't worth a thing. He kept telling me he loved me and I was gonna show him that that's impossible. He really doesn't love me and never will love someone like me. But he stayed, and picked me up, and showed me what TRUE LOVE really was. Not physical attraction or love in good times and good times. But that he had UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for me. So...I have 3 strong miracles in my life. I'm alive, I have a child and I have someone who loves me unconditionally. My life is complete. I am truly blessed. I need to remember these things if ever my disease wants to creep up on me. And I needed to share this blog with everyone. So I thank you for reading.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


The other day I was sitting, doing my school work when I realized, I don't want to use anymore! This was the first time I felt like that since my relapse. My assignment was about visualization. I had to visualize characteristics that I'd need to earn my degree, and visualize one time in my life that I had those characteristics. I remembered how it felt to live clean and sober, because obviously, I wouldn't have those characteristics when using. Anyway, I brought myself back to that moment in time and felt what it felt like to live clean. I could smell it, taste it! I made it! I stayed clean long enough to actually not want to use. I got over the hump. This is the most wonderful feeling in the world! I know some of you who read my blog aren't addicts, but if you could imagine...living in a dark hole, forgetting how to live, and then one day you remember how to live in the light. I just wanted to share that with everyone.  I'm on my way, finally.  It's been a long, dark road, but it made me who I am today.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


It's been awhile since I've bogged, I've been so busy with school these past 2 weeks. But I must say, I'm doing well when it comes to my addiction.........and then today happens....
Like I said, I haven't relapsed. Good, right? Well, my fiancé was looking for something and found an old unused portion of a substance. He FLIPPED!
Of course he doesn't believe it's old. I immediately threw it out. Still, he doesn't believe. He said a lot of hurtful things. I feel awful because some of what he said (things about the past) are true. I was a liar,  I did go outside of my relationship, I did use down here in Texas. But that was the past. Not now. I've been diving into my school work. It sort of became my new obsession. But now he thinks that while he's at work all day, I'm lying, saying I'm doing school work when I'm just getting high. Which is NOT TRUE! But after all of my past lies, how is he to believe this one truth?  I also had a super bad night at work last night. Bad enough that I just gave my 2 weeks. Now I'm jobless and I might be single. He said he can't take anymore and he's going to leave. He said he is "living a life of hell" with me. Do you know how horrible I feel. That this good man looks at me like a life of hell. Between last night and today I feel so depressed. And I've been taking my meds. So i know what I feel isn't my illness. If I cause this much pain in people's lives....Why am I around?
Things were going well, now I feel feelings of Hopelessness, Desperation, and Despair. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Today Was NOT a Good Day!!!

It started out bad from the beginning. My fiancé was so angry with me. It was nothing but fighting all day! It made me want to use. I feel like, who cares anyway?!? All the negative thoughts came spewing out of my head. Then I realized my son was awake. So I kept my mouth shut. I remember days of my mom and dad arguing. It was awful. I hated her for it. I hated her even more when he died because I needed someone to blame and she was the perfect target.

I don't want my son growing up like that. I don't know what to do. I wish I could just sweep up my family and place us in a different life. But, I can't, and this is the life we've got. I know I can make it better by staying clean. So why now, don't I care? What is wrong with me?!? I hate this part in recovery. The cross road to say whether you'll be going back out or staying in. It seems like today was just the perfect day to go out. But then I read today about how feelings aren't fact, and feelings pass like gas. When will mine pass. Take One Day at a Time, right. I'm at a minute. But my minute is still here. When will these feelings go away. I know if I were to use that it wouldn't make the situation any better, but I'd feel better for the moment. Or maybe not. Maybe I'd feel worthless and shameful. Maybe I be overwhelmed with guilt, Well, for tonight I'll just go to sleep miserable. I hope I wake up tomorrow, I've never been this angry at life before!!!

I can't talk to my friends because the ones I know use. I don't know too many people down here yet. I've been here a year and haven't made the best choices in stable friends so far. That a whole other issue that is a connection to my Learning to Love Myself. I associate with people who are right there with me. Because I know I won't disappoint them.

Well, hopefully tomorrow is better. I don't know how long I can hold on. Maybe another day?? Maybe not. Who knows, I sure don't. I only know that today was not a good day!

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I am greatful today. Don't get me wrong. I have my amazing son and my ever so loving and faithful fiancé. What more could I ask for? We're all fairly healthy. We have a roof, food, heat and water. The family unit is very important to me. Which is not how I was brought up. Now, I'm not trying to throw my mom under the bus  it's just how I remember it....

My childhood came to a screeching hault when my father passed. I was 8 and I couldn't handle the fact that I would never see my father again. My mother did the best she could.  I know that. But she couldn't handle it either. My dad had only been 29 and no one thought he'd die before her, at least not at age 29. She was 10 years older than him. After he died, my mother went into a deep depression. My sister, the only sibling that I knew I had at the time, was 16 years older than me with her own 3 year old child. She didn't live with us and it wasn't like we had a whole lot in common. My brother (who at this time thought was my uncle) was 18 years older than me, again....nothing in common. And lastly, my youngest sister, who I only knew existed when turned 16. So it's just me and mom. And wait, her ex-husband, my oldest sister's father would come over time to time and try to help us out financially. He is a good man. He stayed friends with my mom and was there for my father's funeral. My nephew (the 3 year old child) became the closest to me. Out of all my family, we're still the closest. We're the only ones each of us has, that we can really be honest with. But, how can I, an 8 year old, talk to him, a 3 year old, about my feeling of sadness and darkness that consumed me. This was definitely, the icing on the cake, that sealed my fate to turn to mind and mood altering substances.

Take for today as an example. A light went on in my head. I use because I don't want to feel. Feel stress, feel sadness, feel anxious, anything negative....I was not given the tools to learn how to cope.

"Using IS my coping mechanism. I'm not trying to hurt ANYONE! I just don't know how to feel."

I don't want to be deceitful and lie. I don't want my son to be embarrassed of me. I don't want my fiancé to leave. I dont want to hurt the ones I love. But, like I say, "You have to Learn to Love Yourself before you can love others." Which is exactly what I am trying to do with these blogs. Stay clean long enough to truly love myself. Otherwise, I'll never show my amazing family how much I do love them.

And so, like I started with, I don't mean throw my mother under the bus, but we weren't a "nuclear" family at all. Not that that's a bad thing. But I missed that, growing up with a mother and father, and throw a couple of siblings in my own age. Don't get me wrong:

 I love All My Siblings and wouldn't trade them in for the world!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


So....yesterday was my first day of online college. I am taking 2 courses.

"Pathways to Academic & Professional Success" is my first course. This course, (I can already tell), is exactly what I was missing the first 2 times I went to college. It helps you figure out where your strengths are and helps you identify your weaknesses, so you can study and do well in school. Perfect, perfect, perfect course for me. I'm really starting to think 100% that I made the right decision. So far I've learned I am strong in self motivation.  Just hearing a response from an assessment like that gives me motivation and mental strength. I was also told I am not so good in managing my time, which I already knew. But here's the thing, I knew, but that's it. I knew. I didn't have suggestions on how to fix the problem. Now I know to write stuff down that I have to do. Prioritize! And give myself time limits.

My second course is "Intro to Criminal Justice". Oh yeah, have I told you I've alway, my whole life, wanted to go into some area of law.

When I was a pre-teen, I wanted to be a Supreme Court Judge. (First female at that time.) When I was in my 20's, I worked for a law firm and I wanted to be a paralegal. And now, I would love to become a
Criminal Defense Attorney! 
That's right, a criminal defense attorney. First I will get my paralegal degree. Once I secure a job as a paralegal...I will go to law school! 

I will be financially stable after passing the BAR. I will donate some of my time to people who can't afford an attorney and are stuck with public defenders. As long as I believe in their case, I will take it Pro-Bono. I believe everyone,  whether rich or poor, should get excellent legal service.  And I've been on the other side 1 too many times with a public defender. They get the job done, but that's it. They get the job done . 


Sunday, January 4, 2015


School starts tomorrow! 
I'm starting back, well actually I'm attending, you could say, for the first time. 

2 other times I attempted school. The first time I was just 21....funny, I signed up with my sister who is 16 years older than me....she was 37. I am now, 37. Anyway, we signed up at community college together. I don't have to say what obviously happened to me.....I dropped out. I wanted to party and not study....AT ALL! So, when it came time for our first quiz,  I knew nothing. I stood up, went over to the teacher with my quiz in hand...and said, "Nothing you taught is on this quiz." Well, she informed me that the quiz was on the material she assigned us to read. So I walked out. Just left. I felt relieved really. Now I could go to the bar every night and not have my sister, with whom I was living, get on my case. Of course, she works in computers, for some company. Traveling around the U.S. showing people how to use some software. And me....well, I'm just beginning. 

The second time, I had my son...he was 4. I was living in my mom's basement apartment. I had been clean for 3 years at this point. Well, I just started dabbling.  So I get the idea, probably high one day, to go to school again. I signed up, but by the time school started I was in full active addiction. Physically addicted.  So needless to say I think I went to 2 classes at the most. 1 class one day, and a different class a week later. I couldn't even make the 2 classes the same week.

So why then, now...I'm when I'm struggling to stay clean...am I going back to school? I can't give you an answer. It just feels right. I believe my situation now is different. I believe school will put me on the right track. I'm trying to stay clean this time. Not trying to get high.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Relapse is NOT a requirement, but it IS A REALITY (in recovery)

I thought, if someone just gave me the right ultimatum, I'd never use again. Why was I so different? Why couldn't I live without putting chemicals into my body? What was wrong with ME? I know people who, from the time they first stepped into the rooms....haven't relapsed. Why couldn't that be me? Take my fiancé, he decided 10 years ago that....that was it. He wasn't gonna live that way anymore. And that's that. He hasn't. Through all my B.S., nothing. I'm jealous of him and his ability to do that.

But.....THAT'S NOT ME....

So, what do I do? Simple really......

I have to be the one to make the decision to NEVER USE AGAIN!

That's right. So simple, yet so difficult. I must be the one to decide. No one can force me. No one can give me an ultimatum.  No one can do it for me. So.....until something clicks inside of me, (I may need to hit my heas a few more times,) I'll just keep coming back.

Relapse is NOT a requirement, but it IS A REALITY (in my story)....

Hopefully it won't be for long. With each relapse I get closer to that beautiful day, where I can Learn to Love Myself enough to not put chemicals in my body.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


My Year In Review....

This past year has been one Rollercoaster Ride, for me & my family. January 1, 2014, we were on the road driving from Philadelphia, PA to Austin, TX. I was at the bottom with my addiction. Using every day, spending obscene amounts of money every day. My fiancé gave me an ultimatum, move or he leaves. So, January 1, 2014, we packed our SUV with clothes, our son's video games and toys, 2 chihuahuas, 2 cats and left. We didn't have even $2,000 for the trip (gas, food, hotels). But we made it, somehow, to my sister's home in Spicewood, TX.

Those 4 days of driving, I thought about using....but it wasn't until we reached our destination that I started freaking out, (in my head). "Where was I going to get my stuff?"


This was the deal I made with my fiancé. To move and stop using. We tried detox, rehabs, nothing could help. We were hoping the move would at least get us far enough away to where I'd get some forced clean time. We thought if I could get enough time, (even forced) I'd remember how it feels to be clean. Everything was fine until April 24, 2014....which It told you about previously in "Struggle".

I don't remember the first time I picked up in Texas, but I do know I almost repeated the same pattern I had in PA. Almost. I caught myself this time. YES, MY LIFE BECAME UNMANAGEABLE & YES, I WAS POWERLESS OVER MY ADDICTION, but this time I was at a point where I could stop, or so I thought. It took me going back to PA to get away from the substance that roams the area I live in down South. Since I've been back, I've picked up twice. Yes I said twice. Today, I stopped calling Janey and went my own way. I've been upset ever since. 

So now I have a new date,  January 2, 2015. And I only pray that this is my last date. I told you I would be brutally honest. And I will keep that promise. Even if it means more humiliation. I'm not doing this for anyone but me. I'd rather have people talk behind my back, but be clean, then people thinking I'm clean and secretly killing myself. 

I didn't start off the year the greatest, but it doesn't mean the year will be bad. Last year I was definitely worse off.  So if I've made an improvement, even small, that's good enough for me.

(Names have been changed.)