Recovery, Like Life, is a Circle

Recovery, Like Life, is a Circle

Thank heavens for Rose. If it weren’t for her, my blog would be nonexistent. I just have not felt like writing in quite some time (which is super sad and probably means there is internal stuff I need to work on). Rose’s post speaks to me so much right now – I feel like the same stuff pops up in recovery and life. Maybe it’s time to listen?

By Rose Lockinger

I was told an analogy when I was first getting sober that made sense at the time but only in a theoretical sort of way. Someone told me that our character defects are like a Whack-a-Mole game. When you hit one down another will pop up. This person went on to say that we go around whacking them down only to have old ones that we thought we had already dealt with pop back up again, and this goes on for the rest of our lives or until we have thoroughly learned the lesson that we need to learn.

I remember thinking at the time, ‘yea that sounds about right’, but I didn’t really understand exactly what this meant. I didn’t realize that it meant that I would be continuously faced with half-Déjà vu moments, where after dealing with some issue or concern of mine, I’d realize, I’ve been here before, but just from a different angle.

That is one of the things that I’ve come to realize during the course of my sobriety; that recovery, like life, is a circle of lessons that come back around to teach you again and again.  It also is a venture down the road of progress not perfection early on in sobriety this was a mind boggling concept.  It can still be challenging at times as I try to grasp control of things I cannot control.  

circleAt first, I remember this was kind of daunting and I’d get a little upset because each time a lesson came back around, it’d remind me that I still had a lot further to go in my spiritual quest for wholeness. I’d get annoyed because I’d think, ‘didn’t I already learn this lesson’ and I’d also get down on myself for not being further along, whatever that means. But as time progressed I realized that this was the wrong way of looking at the circle of lessons that recovery brings and that I should be grateful that I even have the opportunity to learn and grow today.

I just want to say flat out that this is my opinion and I am in no way, shape or form a guru of anything, but I believe that the lessons of recovery come in circular waves for two reasons: to remind us of lessons we are beginning to forget and to show us more of the picture that we couldn’t see the first time around.

My ego has a tendency to rebuild itself and when it does, I can begin to unlearn some of the hard-won truths from the past. For instance, I learned fairly early on that humility and honesty were essential for my recovery. This lesson was hammered into me and given the state I was in when I first came in, being humble and honest weren’t really that difficult. I felt empty on the inside and felt as if I had nothing to offer in the way of staying sober, so I was open to learning and open to listening.

 

As time went on and I started to feel better there were times when I started to feel like I got this, or I’d start to think that I had done most of this on my own. When this started to happen I would notice that certain aspects of my life began getting out of whack. I would say something that I immediately regretted or I just wouldn’t feel the calm that I had when I was being honest and humble, and so as life has a propensity of doing, it showed me how I’d gotten off the path and gave me a nice little reminder to get back on the path.

It is interesting because when you start to live a spiritually based life, depending on God for guidance, you can be both aware and unaware that you are moving away from him. There is always a little nagging feeling that you might be moving in the wrong direction and if you’re lucky and open to life showing you the way, then this nagging voice will eventually become overwhelming and you know that you have to change course. Since I am human and prone to error, this will continue for the rest of my life, and the circle of lessons will continue to come back around whenever I start to lose my way.

However, life lessons don’t always come back around in order to remind us of something that we forgot. They sometimes come back around in order to show us a deeper meaning or give us a better understanding.

Most people that I meet seem to struggle in one particular area of their life, more so than in others. I would say that a good portion of the people that I have met in recovery struggle with relationships in one form or another and to watch them over the years repeat the same mistakes over and over again seems like madness, but it isn’t really. If you take the time to talk to them, you’ll realize that they learn something new from each of these repeated situations, something that they couldn’t have learned the first time.

I remember I once heard a woman say in a meeting, ‘If I knew everything that I know about myself now when I first got sober, I think my brain would have exploded.’ I remember that I laughed when she said this because it is so true. God and life will not give us more then we can handle and so we experience a repetition of lessons in order to understand more and see further inside of ourselves.

Today when I realize that I am experiencing a lesson that I may have already learned, I try my best to just go with it. I try not to resist or think ‘poor me, why is this happening again.’ I am not always capable of doing this, but I find that when I allow life to unfold in the way that it is meant to and I stay open to whatever lessons I am being shown, I tend to be happier and I tend to be able to move on quicker.

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rlRose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find her on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

Breastfeeding isn’t all tender moments and unicorn farts

Breastfeeding isn’t all tender moments and unicorn farts

Ashley Nicole, model and girlfriend of Miami Dolphins player Phillip Wheeler recently posted a picture of herself breastfeeding on Instagram:

http://instagram.com/p/kcqcGpKR8k/
http://instagram.com/p/kcqcGpKR8k/

Of course, people lost their shit. Cover up! You’re holding the baby wrong! Don’t wear sunglasses because you can’t make eye contact. You shouldn’t be dressed so sexy while feeding [really? who said nursing moms have to look frumpy?]. And one of my favorite comments:

Problem is she is standing up, holding the baby like a sack of potatoes and not even looking at the baby. Doesn’t look like a tender moment.

Uh, so when did breastfeeding have to be all about tender moments? Yes, part of breastfeeding is bonding with the baby, making eye contact, enjoying the rush of feel-good hormones. Those are important and necessary for both mama and baby.

But honestly, we all know it’s not that way 100% of the time. Sometimes, it’s about getting the job of feeding done. Sometimes (like this mama) we’re on our way out the door and baby decides it’s time to nurse. Maybe she decided to multitask and feed while getting ready to leave. Maybe she thought, I’ll feed him right up until he goes in the car seat, and then I can feed again when we get to where we’re going. I know I’ve had those thoughts before!

It would be wonderful if every time the baby feeds, we could hit the pause button on Life. The majority of the time, we can. But sometimes, we can’t. And mothers should not be chastised for fitting breastfeeding into their busy lives

The point is, don’t try to pretend that breastfeeding is 100% rainbows and sweet moments and then berate a mother for not following that credo. Breastfeeding is hard work, and occasionally you have to sacrifice the tender moment to keep life moving. Don’t hate the mama who is making breastfeeding work for her.

Soundtrack to my school life

It’s Twisted MixTape Tuesday Time, Y’all!

www.jenkehl.comThe theme for this week was “If My Life Had a Soundtrack.” You know, if someone decided my life was sweet enough to turn into a movie, theoretically these are the songs someone would pick. The thing about me is music has been huge in my life. And specific eras in my life demanded specific types of music and artists. So what I’m saying is this would be a very random soundtrack with little cohesiveness. Which I guess is a good way to describe my life, really.

I didn’t pick any bands that have really gone the distance. Nirvana, No Doubt, The Killers, Garth Brooks, The White Stripes and Tim McGraw would all be on the soundtrack as well because they are my homies for life. The songs listed here are the ones that come to mind first when I think about the different phases of my life and aren’t necessarily still on my go-to playlist.

To keep this from getting super long and unwieldy, I’ve limited myself to the first 18 years of my life. So if someone made a movie on my life from birth to the year 2000, this is what would have to be there:

Preschool

Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off

According to my mom, this was my favorite song when I was like 4 years old. She said I’d sing it loud and proud. This and Papa Don’t Preach were my jams. Guess I was a cool little kid? Really wish I’d kept this philosophy once I was old enough for sexy times…

Elementary school

Celine Dion – Water from the Moon

I loved Celine Dion. There, I said it. Her music perfectly sums up the ridiculous, hopeless romantic I was in elementary school. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PEOPLE. I was reading Danielle Steele novels and assuming I’d marry every guy I “dated.” And listening to copious amounts of Celine Dion. I practically wore this song out on the first CD I ever owned.

Junior high

Blackstreet – No Diggity

Of course I went through a stage when I thought I was a badass. Ok, so Blackstreet doesn’t exactly make me “hard” but this album was sweet.

High school

NOFX – Please Play This Song on the Radio

In high school, I was into No Doubt and Blink-182. Later, I was taken a little deeper into punk/ska music, thanks to a dude who moved to our tiny coastal town from southern California. I dated him, but I really don’t like to think about that anymore. At least I was able to discover some sweet new bands like Goldfinger, Me First & the Gimmie Gimmies, Less Than Jake and NOFX.
***Note: song has profanity. You see what they did there? With the title? Nice.

Alanis Morrissette – Thank U

Had to include two from high school because this song got me through my suicide attempt, my dad’s suicide attempt and my parents’ divorce (all happened within the span of 6 months). To say it was a rough time in my life would be a gross effing understatement.

What songs would be on your soundtrack? Make sure you head over to the lovely Jen Kehl’s place to check out other mixtapes. Who knows – you may find a new entry for your soundtrack!

 

Guest post: Nichelle’s adventures with 2 under 2

Today’s post is on a subject I’ll never experience (since C is over 2 and we only plan to have 2 kids…I probably just bought myself some twins in the next pregnancy with that one, ha ha): what it’s like to have two children under the age of two. I love this little peek into her life!

Kids are great. Kids are awesome. Two kids under two years of age, double the awesome! (Right?) The difference between having one kid under 2 and 2 kids under 2 is one crazy life, but I love every minute of it… (or at least I think I will in about 10 years)

A day with one kid under 2:

8:00 a.m. – Wake up somewhat refreshed, get Little out of bed

8:30 a.m. – Maybe have a cup of coffee. Watch cartoons or cuddle with little and have breakfast. Super healthy french toast made with egg, a splash of milk, cinnamon and whole wheat bread. Slice bananas and serve to Little. Help him/her use utensils, have your breakfast conversation.

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. – have some sort of learning time, like reading books, drawing and teaching how to use crayons properly…remember ONLY color on the paper. Little has undivided attention as you happily color together, smiling sweetly and chatting away.

NAP TIME!! Time to get a shower and get ready if you didn’t do that before Little woke up, maybe do some cleaning or watch a show depending on how long Little naps.

12:00 p.m. – Get little up from nap, feed healthy lunch…maybe some boiled and chopped chicken, steamed carrots and peas, and some brown rice. Little isn’t picky because you make SURE that you always keep trying things…just like the books and internet say.

12:30 – 2:00 p.m. – learning and play time. Teaching little new words, stories etc. Little loves cuddling on your lap or playing with the toys quietly.

NAP TIME!!! Do dishes, pick up toys, watch your show, play online…mommy time

3:30 p.m. – Little wakes up – SNACK TIME!

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – More interactive play/learning. Skype with Daddy (who is deployed) while Little sits in bouncer or plays, even sitting on lap and talking to Daddy

5:30 p.m. – Dinner time! Steamed salmon and asparagus with some potatoes. Yummy and healthy! Little eats it, happily.

6:00 p.m. – Bath time, lots of fun splashing gently and singing bath time songs.

6:30 – 7:30/8:00 p.m. – Winding down time, reading and cuddles. Then it’s BEDTIME! 🙂

8:00 p.m. onwards- do whatever mommy’s do! For me it was skyping with my husband since he deployed right after my first was born, drinking a couple glasses of wine on some nights, watching my favorite shows, chatting with friends etc. Man, who said being a parent was hard? This is the easiest thing EVER!

 

A day with 2 kids under 2:

6:30 a.m. – Littlest wakes up because he hears Daddy getting ready for work. Crying commences. Drag self out of bed and try to get Littlest to cuddle in bed and go back to sleep. He only wants to sleep in his own bed, so put him back and fall asleep again too.

7:30 a.m. – wake to Little and Littlest talking (read this as screaming in high pitched tones) to each other from respective rooms (on different floors in my case). Jump out of bed and rush to collect them so it doesn’t bother the neighbors. Go downstairs and turn on ‘toons and make a pot of coffee.

8:00 a.m. – Get breakfast ready…bananas and cheerios in yogurt (beats milk any day for little kids!). Little swaps his banana for Littlest’s cheerios ‘n yogurt. Littlest seems happy with this arrangement. Think to self – at lunch make sure Littlest eats his grains and Little eats his fruit!

8:30 a.m. – Clean up yogurt and cheerios from table, chair, floor. How did banana get over here?! Chase around Little trying to clean his face and hands while Littlest screams from his high chair (apparently doesn’t understand “no screaming”) and tries to feed the dog banana while the cat eats banana out of his hair. (My pets really earn their keep!)

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. – follow behind kids cleaning up the havoc they wreak. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU TO STAY OUT OF THE DVD/DIAPER CABINET?

Tie cupboard handles together to prevent the Littles from getting in again. Little poops, untie/cut ties on cabinet pulls (depending on what you used to tie it shut) and get out diapers/wipes. Littlest takes this opportunity to get into the now-accessible cabinets and throw as much as he can out while you hurry to change Little and pick up what Littlest has done. Man, can 1 year olds do some serious damage in under a minute! Secure cabinets again, only to discover Littlest has pooped. Repeat process. Luckily all that one-on-one time with Little has made him somewhat obedient and he listens when you say “Don’t even THINK about it!”

10:30 – Littlest MUST go down for a nap, he simply won’t wait until after lunch like Little. Realize that you haven’t managed to even get a cup of coffee, go in to find cold coffee in the pot. Pour coffee into mug and nuke since you can’t wait for the coffee maker to re-heat it. Little plays and draws, overall it’s a peaceful interlude. Wait, when is shower time?!

12:00 – Lunch time for Little. Healthy lunch, then off to bed. Sneaking back downstairs to try to get a quick shower, Littlest wakes up and loudly insists to get out of his crib. Grab him up and head back downstairs, thinking “Where did I go wrong? Why does this one have NO patience?”  Feed lunch, but end up cleaning most of it off the floor. “So you eat broccoli but not cheese or chicken? At least you are getting your vegetables in….”

12:30 – Play with Littlest. Except he has almost zero interest in interacting with you, would rather try to grab the remote, touch the PS3, steal your chapstick, climb on the couch and on to the side table. Finally you get him to play with you. Try to get him to say “Momma”…he repeats “Dadda” or “Bubba”…hmmmm…Does he not get enough talking time like you had with just one?? He goes off to do more naughty things, looks at you before he does it and laughs and does it anyways (even if it means a spanking or time out, after which he promptly repeats the offense that got him in trouble in the first place).

OH MY GOSH, you haven’t peed ALL MORNING! You realize just how bad you have to go, rush off to the bathroom. Come back to find Littlest has used the sub-woofer from the surround sound as a step stool to get onto the TV console.

Sit on couch and talk to littlest for a while, play, try to interact with him. Mine wants nothing to do with me for the most part. The baby who didn’t want anyone else, has turned into a 1 year old who would rather eat crayons or pet the cat than play with Mommy.

2:30/3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Little is up from his nap, and Littlest is ready for another. (There goes the trip to the commissary) Little has a snack and you take the opportunity to pee again. Come back out and he has all his raisins stuck in his mouth (this is the child that KNOWS to only take one bite at a time, and refuses to take another bite of food before he has finished chewing and has swallowed) and is trying to flip up the couch cushion that the cat is sleeping on yelling “WHEEE, Blaze goes WHEEE”. Ohmygoodness. The cat lays there looking at you as if to say “This is all your fault”. Little then plays nicely.

4:00 p.m. – Littlest wakes up. Bring down and give him a snack, then let the two Littles color while you prep dinner and do dishes from earlier. Look over to see Littlest hogging most of the crayons, Little sitting on top of the table (the stable little kids table, NOT a normal size table) while eating the only crayon his bigger brother would let him have. (where does wax fall on the food circle or whatever new thing they have created is called?) Walk over to them only to catch a reflection of yourself in the mirror (oh MAN haven’t even gotten a shower! When did I get circles under my eyes, it looks like I haven’t slept in weeks?!)

5:00 p.m. – Daddy comes home from work, Littlest screams in excitement and drops whatever he is doing to crawl his fastest over to Daddy. Lazy little booger still doesn’t feel the need to walk (even though you KNOW he knows how to since you have seen him take steps when he thinks you aren’t paying attention or are in a different room). Cook dinner while Daddy plays with the kids. Eat…well Littlest deems it more important to feed the dog and cat his food than actually consume anything but his vegetables…

6:30 p.m. – Bath time. When all is said and done, there is more water outside the tub than inside the tub, and you managed to get your shower. While fully clothed.

7:00 – 7:30 p.m. – Winding down time. Which consists of Daddy throwing the kids around and all 3 of them rough housing and wrestling.

7:30 p.m. – Bedtime at last.

8:00 – 9:30/10:00 p.m. – Mommy and Daddy time, watching tv shows, relaxing, and falling asleep on couch.

Mind you, all our days aren’t EXACTLY like this…sometimes we have to go to appointments, run errands, take the animals to the vets (which is in itself a circus event, a 2 year old walking, a 1 year old in a stroller, a German Shepherd/Great Dane cross on his leash, and a Maine Coon cat who ISN’T in a carrier but on a harness/leash…it’s quite a sight I am sure). Some days the kids are absolute angels. We keep quarters on the door frames to the bathrooms since our 2 year old can open the doors, pee in the dark since he can ALSO reach light switches (and here in England they are on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom), tie cabinets shut, still have a bouncer that we put the 1 year old in if we NEED to get something done that’s NOT in the living room, have too many toys, and LOTS of diapers. And this is all as a stay at home mom, which I am SOO thankful that my husband being in the military allows us to do this. I haven’t bought myself but maybe 2 items of clothing in the last year. We have started buying the cheap diapers, because for the most part they hold pee and poop the same. Life with 2 kids under 2 is crazy, hectic, but full of love and adventure. And I know in a few years when they are both a little older, I will miss all this chaos. My house will be sparkling clean again, and I will get to shower and get ready every day! I will even get to drink my coffee in peace. But my boys will grow up close to each other, and hopefully be the best of friends. Especially being a military family, I feel this is great for them, because no matter where we go, they will ALWAYS have someone to play with, someone close in age. Some days I want to pull my hair out, but I look at them together, how much they love each other even at this age, and I am so thankful for my 2 under 2, and this crazy life we lead!