What is really happening….

It’s been a really rough couple of days, just wishing and praying the pain goes away. Not often do I have some days like this, and the days like this I sure don’t miss.
Im blessed today as you can see, I am living and breathing, and just being me.
I am told that I must live life on life’s terms, without active addiction and news things to learn.
After all this time, and all I’ve overcome, this disease still effects me somehow through someone.
I have no control of the nouns in my life, yet I still let them cause me a small bit of strife.
I’ve not broken my time or commitment to self, I am fully aware, put it up on God’s shelf.
My attitudes my thinking whatever it may be, the problems I am choosing to tackle at sea.
My mountains, my valleys, and even my peaks, are optional battles that I choose for me.
I know I don’t have to appear at each and every fight, my battles are my choices, and lose them I might.
But don’t you be fooled, by my rant tonight, because I have shared this I’ll sleep good tonight.
I am but mere human and cant save the day, but clean and sober is my desire, just for today!

Gratitude speaks, when I share and when I care, Just For Today!

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A Group of Many One’s

We are a group of people, who on an individual basis are all experiencing life, which is an ever evolving mystery that encompasses pain and passion, faith and fear all in a days work, and yet we may feel alone in this huge world, someone else feels the same, somewhere.  We are truly never perfect or imperfect just the way we are, we are each our own hero’s and monsters, nurturers and haters.  Some of us leave Earth early, some late, some by choice, some by accident, some break down and get sick, and some just grow old; we each now know that every person has a ripple effect on the world around them even when they do not know it. Unity.Image

Class so far..

What is going on here, life is spinning so fast, yet so good. Don’t stop now I think. Theres so much to do. As I sit in the parking lot music blaring, loving it. What are my thoughts, well, yesterday I had 13 years clean and sober, today I have to give a self presentation. My thoughts race faster than I can put hem down, it’s a good thing.

Daniel is back from FLorida, he seems well, if theres such a thing in early recovery. He and my daughter are picking up where they left off which they think is starting anew. ha ha. I have enjoyed our conversation so far, it sounds all well and good.

My phone is ringing and beeping, idc though, let it ring, i hate my phone. I love music, it is so much better than the phone, its peaceful for my head no matter how loud it is. I will share tonight about the steps, my big book, the promises. Kelsey’s favorite song is on now, it si very intense, just like I feel. freehand writing is good, hopefully you’ll be able to follow it later. I dont know if I will. But idc it needs to be done. the music is thrashing in my ears, its matches the passion i feel inside all the time whether it be good or bad. I wonder if other people feel as loud as I do. I feel like they don’t. If they did, I think the world would be a different place somehow. Music and artists are so deep. Call 911 NOW! Yes Skrillex, I hear you, Mr. watch out for that little girl, she will come back to haunt you. She with gather the strength of many others and kill you.

Soon it will time to go in, i dont want to stop writing, I dont often get the chance, if I do it anyways wil the teacher notice? Will she give two craps?

I dont know what to do now. I guess I could tell you I have made a few friends in class. What sucks about this short class stuff is that you come to actually like these people and connect yourself to the world, and then boom its over. Err. The class ends at 10 and sometimes we are outside until 10:30 chatting away like its not a care in the world of time and space. Why does not everyone want to be on a path of self-enlightenment. Are there people who are really satisfied with who they are completely, without any question? God help them. I feel liek I will never be satisfied with anything, I will forever be craving growth and change, I guess that can be really bad, never happy? Will I arrive someday? Will I get to a place where I am not longer interested in school, in learning in God? Jesus I hope not.

The tone is down a notch with 10000 hrs by Mackelmore, obsessed by the way. Meaning, substance, but recovery of course. Please tell me that those people who are damaged goods are the only ones in the world that are open to enlightenment. Please tell me there are more, I feel like us people with a past are aliens in a world of Zombies who are separated from the truth, the light. Will they ever fucking get it?

Time to go, OUT

“How Does It Feel To Ask For Help?”

images-4“How Does It Feel To Ask For Help?”

            Just like it states in one of my favorite songs, “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  In my personal life, friends really are the family I choose for myself.  I feel that because of an unstable upbringing, and the lack of ability my family had to meet my very basic needs, I learned at a young age to become self-reliant.  Unfortunately, children can not raised themselves in a manner healthy enough to productive members of society with the coping skills I had learned.  The other unfortunate piece is that my immature and underdeveloped best thinking landed me on a troublesome path.  Self-will run riot is what I call it now that I am a bit healthier than before.

            Asking for help was not something I knew of, and I was taught that if I ask and receive help; I would pay dearly for it later.  I was taught that the world was an ugly place and to “just deal with it”.  Needless to say I dealt with it the way I learned how from my family which was to drink and use for each and every emotion.

At 16 years old, and a cocaine habit, I knew I had a problem yet could not ask for help.  At 18 years old I relocated to California, changed addictions to methamphetamines, quickly developed a new habit and a pregnancy and still could not ask for help.  At this point in life I am 18 pregnant and can not stop using while pregnant, I knew I was in big trouble and still had no where to turn if I wanted to.  I married a friend of mine in the hopes that we could work together to raise my child.  I first warned him of what he was getting into.  After the glory of infancy, my child learned to walk and talk, becoming a little bit more independent, I returned to my old behaviors, and eventually left my good friend who was also my husband.

For the following three years, I abused meth again, I volunteered for one abusive relationship after another and just spiraled into an out of control and pitiful life.  While selling meth to support my child, my habit, and myself I felt like I was on a continuous merry-go-round that I could not get off of.  For someone living my lifestyle, I always knew I was different, however I had no idea why.  I had attempted to return to school before, and that didn’t work out.  Every time I tried to help myself, it never worked out.  Self-will run riot.  I desperately wanted something better and had no idea how to get it.

Eventually one night I got busted, and I remember wondering whether to be scared or relieved.  Through the drug-court program, and not my first attempt, I eventually got some help….  From the courts.  I was placed in a long-term treatment program for substance abuse that was designed for pre-natal women and children.  The first night I was there, I cried with relief.  I had probably cried for the first time in as long as I could remember.  It felt so good to have my will out of my hands.  This is where the magic began for me.

While in treatment there were group therapy/addiction education classes all day, every day.  For me it was like earning a PhD on the subject of Kerry Ann.  Through these groups, 12 Step work, and one on one counseling I learned many things.  One on the most profound things I had heard my counselor say to me was, “Kerry Ann, why does everything with you have to be a business transaction, why cant you just accept something without feeling obliged to give something in return?”  I responded that, “That is the way the world works, everybody wants something and there is nothing for free.”  This may be true, a lot, but if we surround ourselves with people who are not using, we might discover something else.

For me, an addict in recovery, asking for help has a life or death value to it.  If you can ask for help, you can live; if you cannot ask for help, you die with your pride.  Learning to let go, and allow others in to your life for any reason is opening yourself up to vulnerability, however alternative is to risk relapse and death.

Being in a place where you need to ask for help can bring huge feelings of powerlessness, fear, anxiety, and they all lead to relapse if you do not ask for help.  On a daily basis, I have not only ask for God’s help, but the help of my fellow NA’s and AA’s in order to sometimes make the simplest decisions.  My life, my daughters’ lives depend on the humility needed to ask for help.

I still try to suffer alone all the time.  Thankfully I get by with a little help from my friends.  When things aren’t going my way, when I am frustrated, when the bills are bigger than the income my friends help my out by going to coffee and helping my keep things in perspective, help to remember to have gratitude for all of these “luxury problems”.  When my father passed away, my friends were there, not my family.  They loved me when I was suffering, and they did it for free.  This is a concept I couldn’t understand.  Just recently when my daughter got injured and had surgery, families who know me and how busy we are knew that just because I have an injured kid, I still have to live as quickly as always, they made food for my family.  They did it for free, they did it so I could be there for my child without stressing on feeding and cleaning and driving and going bananas.  They did it because that’s what friends do.  I do get by with a little help from my friends, and thankfully I have them.  I had one friend who never left my side this past two weeks.  She drove for me; she made lots of phone calls for me because people actually cared what was happening.  Help, I may struggle to ask for it, but when I do, I get it, and it’s free.

How does it feel to ask for help?  It is really hard, but it gets easier.  For me to name a time where I asked for help; every single day.  Every single day, every single decision.  I know for this addict, when I stop reaching out, and I stop asking for help I will be participating in self-will run riot, clean or not and that is not what I have worked so for.  The most important time I have ever asked for help, was when I called my probation officer and told him that I could not stay clean, even while pregnant and that I needed help.  It was the best phone call that I ever made; in fact it saved my life.

At this time in my life, asking for help is not as hard as it used to be.  I have accepted the fact that we all need help, and it is ok to ask.  Whether it is a small task, like laundry or a large task like loaning money I am always there for others and I like to help out.  When I see a woman who looks like I did 13 years ago, alone, and desperate yet stubborn, I will offer what I have and I will let her know that it is ok to ask for help, it just might save your life.  Being in a severe spot where you need to ask for help in my world is dark, scary, lonely, and fearful in fact terrifying.  But if I practice asking for help, as stubborn as I am, my blessings will keep pouring down on me as they have for the past 13 years.

A Time To Kill : Best Closing, try it, evokes emotion!

ATTKA Time to Kill:  
written by Akiva Goldsman, novel by John Grisham

Jake: I had a great summation all worked out, full of some sharp lawyering…But I’m not going to read it. I’m here to apologize, I am young and I am inexperienced, but you cannot hold Carl lee Hailey responsible for my shortcomings. You see, in all this legal maneuvering something has gotten lost, and that something is the truth. Now, it is incumbent upon us lawyers not to just talk about the truth, but to actually seek it, to find it, to live it. My teacher taught me that. Let’s take Dr Bass for example, now, obviously I would have never knowingly put a convicted felon on the stand, I hope you can believe that, but what is the truth, that he is a disgraced liar?  And what if I told you that the woman he was accused of raping was 17, he was 23 that she later became his wife, bore his children and is still married to the man today. Does that make his testimony more or less true?

What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts? I set out to prove a black man could receive a fair trial in the south, that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. That’s not the truth, because the eyes of the law are human eyes yours and mine, and until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be evenhanded, it will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices, so until that day we have a duty under God to seek the truth, not with our eyes and not with our minds where fear and hate turn commonality into prejudice, but with our hearts where we don’t know better.

I want to tell you a story. I want to ask you all to close your eyes while I tell you this story. I want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to yourselves. Go ahead close your eyes please. This is a story about a little girl… walking home from the grocery store one sunny afternoon. I want you to picture this little girl, suddenly a truck races up, two men jump out and grab her, they drag her into a nearby field and they tie her up, and rip her clothes from her body. Now they climb on, first one then the other… raping her…shattering everything innocent and pure with a vicious thrust in a fog of drunken breath and sweat. And when they’re done, after they killed her tiny womb, murdered any chance for her to bear children, to have life beyond her own, they decide to use her for target practice, so they start throwing full beer cans at her, they throw them so hard that it tears the flesh all the way to her bones, then they urinate on her. Now comes the hanging, they have a rope, they tie a noose; imagine the noose pulling tight around her neck and a sudden blinding jerk. She’s pulled into the air and her feet and legs go kicking and they don’t find ground. The hanging branch isn’t strong enough it snaps and she falls back to earth. So they pick her up throw her in the back of the truck and drive out to foggy creek bridge and pitch her over the edge and she drops some 30 feet down to the creek bottom below. Can you see her? Her raped, beaten and broken body, soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl…Now imagine she’s white.

The defense rests your honor.

A Lifetime of Pain for a Lifetime Gift

A Lifetime of Pain for a Lifetime Gift

            I once received a gift so miraculous in size, now that I am a mother; I compare it with the birth of a child, ironically it was the loss of someone I love.

            My grandmother Nancy Ann Callahan, was married to my Grandfather who was an abusive alcoholic.  My grandmother lived through things many of us will never understand.  She delivered twin stillborn babies.  She lost a son to sudden infant death syndrome, and another to suicide. She divorced my grandfather, and began to drink herself when the kids were still young.  As to be expected, my mother and her siblings had a very rough childhood.

In her efforts to salvage her life, my grandmother got an education and went on to work at Bank of Boston. She wanted to have her three daughters and three grandchildren together she bought a house in Randolph and moved us all out of the city.  She transformed herself and became ta symbol of strength rather than a victim.  She was my hero, my protector, educator, my safety net, and I was her shadow.

My grandma, whom I called, “Gram-Cracker” loved her Pepsi over ice, her AKC books, Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline.  We would sit in her room and watch Elvis music and movies.  One memory is that of watching “Sweet Dreams”, depicting the tragic life of Patsy Cline.  I did not know it at the time but my grandmother and that story had many similarities.   One of my strongest memories was when we watched “Steel Magnolias”.   One message that movie had sent was that men are always thought to be the strong ones, made of steel, but when things are at the toughest, its women who find inner strength.  Women feel more and yet they are the ones who endure the fight when it comes down to it.  Her death proved it to be true; at least in my family and in my life.

In 1993 she was diagnosed with lung cancer, she tried treatment with chemotherapy and radiation but quickly gave it up.  We had hospice care and the women in the family took shifts caring for her.   I remember clearly the arguing over her food intake, the fuss over the difficulty of getting any meat off her skeletal arms to administer her medication for pain.  She had to switch to oral and eventually dermal medication.

When I was in her room one evening and she had asked me to pull a box out from under her bed.  I slid the flat box out and laid it up on her bed, she told me to open it and I did.  Inside the box was champagne colored satin dress. I still remember the dress; I wish I could see it again.  She instructed me to take it to the tailor and have it prepared for her passing.  I replied that she need not worry, and assured her she would be around to see my future.

We switched bedrooms because my room was on the main floor and was more accessible for the hospital furniture; so upstairs in her room I went for the remainder of her life.   I was never afraid of the way she looked, even when she was fading away, becoming weaker.  I held my grandmothers fragile hands in mine, I read to her, sang to her and kept her Patsy Cline tape playing at all times.

The day the gift happened my aunts and uncles and close relatives began making their way in, including my grandfather.  All of the men stood at the foot of her bed, the women on the side, touching her.  When I look back its so clear how the men responded compared to the women.

We all knew her chest could rise and fall and pause for a certain amount of time, then stop for up to a whole minute and rise again.  All the while, Patsy Cline is singing in the background, tears are falling, and the room seems to be closing in on her.  After her last breathe the tape of Patsy stopped, all of the men were the first to exit the room.  I stayed with my grandmother until the coroners came for her.  I wanted to be sure that if her spirit left her body after her last breathe, that I would be there.

Some people feel that the experience of death is so horrible; I felt it was a miracle.  I was there when she took her last breath, when she left this world and departed for a place better than what she had here.  Her life was painful, undoubtedly more painful than her death.

My grandmother’s departure was so significant, and relative to her cycle of life.  After all, wasn’t she right, even in the end, the men couldn’t handle the realities, the pains of the toughest things like grief and loss.   She showed that we as women could survive just about anything that comes our way.  My grandmother gave me the gift of her lifetime, and her departure.  The gift of life and death.