Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time to say Woo Hoo!

I am exhausted. I slept 10 hours last night and I feel like I could sleep for 10 more. I absolutely love my new job and it's so rewarding. I'm working at an ALF with approximately 75 residents, 50 of which I pass medications to twice during my 8 hour shift. Needless to say, I run my ass off. There are some moments where I feel it's impossible, but it gets done.

The management is in shambles at best and the turnover of the nurses is high. The woman who has senority in our position graduated 6 months before me from the same program and shes been at this place for 2 months, also her first nursing job. I've made a personal commitment to stay there for a minimum of a year, I've got nothing but time right now and could really use the distraction.

So far, it's looking like I'm going to have every other weekend off but that can change at any time. I'm almost finished "training" if you could call it that, she leaves early most nights and I'm left to finish up everything on my own. I love most of the staff there, but like always - there is one pain in the ass who you just have to put up with. The residents are fantastic and are already getting used to seeing me. Geriatrics is exactly where I belong right now.

I went to my first weekend meeting last night in almost 4 years and met a few new people, saw some people I already knew, and got to hear a fantastic speaker share a great message of recovery. One thing she said that really resonated with me was how she described God's answers. Usually, it's yes, no, or not right now. But she phrased it as, yes, not right now, and I have something better planned for you. She was amazing to listen to and spoke with such eloquence that I wasn't ready for her to be finished when the hour was up.

I can't wait to get settled into my new routine and get everything in order. I don't expect it to happen over night, but I'm so ready to just move on with my life. I'm excited about everything around me these days and it feels so good to have such a positive attitude!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A New Beginning

Today I begin my career as a nurse. I was officially offered the position yesterday and will begin today. Part of me is terrified, but the other part of me is thrilled. I'm walking through this fear hand in hand with God and I have faith that things will work out exactly as they are meant.

Five years ago, fear filled everything I did. If I was happy I got drunk, if I was sad I got drunk, if I was angry I got drunk, if it was an average day I got drunk. I know you see a pattern here.... Today, when I have feelings I walk through them with faith and even when things don't turn out how I planned, I know that I've done what's true to me. Being able to have faith in myself and my decisions is something I've gained along the way in recovery and through doing step work and figuring out who I really am. I know now that I'm truly the person God always meant for me to be.

And, just in case... say a little prayer for me! This is a big deal!!! =)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Better than I used to be

"... we need challenges in order to grow; without growth we wither. Happiness is the bounty for facing the momentarily unhappy conditions." - Each Day a New Beginning

Growth doesn't come easy for me.I'm one of those people who needs to do things the hard way, learn my own lesson, and get on with things. Fortunately, as time goes on it takes me less time to learn the lessons and allows more time to appreciate the new view.
Lately the lesson has been on friendships. I've been learning about having friends and what that means. The last year or so has been very hard for many different reasons, and each time I've felt lost God has put someone in my life to help me over the hump - but those people didn't appear until I was willing to ask God for help. Funny how that works...

One important person who has recently come back into my life is my former roommate E, whom I used to constantly complain about. The final straw to our friendship ending was me doing the ultimate wrong - deleting her from fb. Yes, from fb (I know you just heard the ominous DUM DUM DUM of the drums). She was posting hurtful things about me and I'd had enough and clicked the button that officially ended our friendship. I'd like to blame her, but it was really my inability to communicate that my feelings had been hurt and I didn't know how to attempt to repair what had been broken.That was 2 years ago. A few weeks ago we began talking again and essentially were able trek through the amends process. E and I being close again is something I never saw happening, but letting go of that resentment has lifted a huge weight off of my heart. For the first 3 1/2 years of my sobriety we were inseparable and I didnt' realize how much I'd missed that until I had it back. It's like when you lose something and you don't realize it's missing until you find it again and you realized how much you loved and needed it. That is exactly my relationship with her.

I heard early on in recovery that through our greatest pain comes our greatest growth and I've really hung onto that. This last year has been the most painful since I've gotten sober, and I'm not always able to see the growth. I need other people to help me see it.

Which brings me to my new anthem. The previous two were Fucking Perfect by Pink and Born This Way by Lady Gaga. I used to listen to them on my way to clinicals, filled with fear about what the day would bring and whether or not I'd make through another day of nursing school. They were my power songs that got me through. There were mornings I wanted to turn around, go home, and crawl back into bed with the covers over my head... My new song is Better Than I Used To Be by Tim McGraw - I ain't as good as I'm gonna get, but I'm better than I used to be - says it all for me. 

I'm going to keep on growing, and as a friend recently told me - thriving (thank you B). Happiness is my bounty and I'm gonna start collecting!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It shows in your face

A few weeks ago I purchased a new daily meditation book - in dire need of change - called "The 12 Step Prayer Book". I'm absolutely in love with it.

Today's reading:

It Shows in Your Face

You don't have to tell how you live each day,
You don't have to say if you work or play,
A tired, true barometer serves in the place.
However you live, it shows in your face.

The falseness, the deceit that you wear in your heart
Will not stay inside where it got its start,
For sinew and blood is a thin veil of lace.
However you live, it shows in your face.

If you have battled and won in the game of life,
If you feel you've conquered the sorrow and strife,
If you've played the game square and you stand on first base,
You don't have to tell, it shows in your face.

If your life's been unselfish, for others you live,
And not what you get, but what you can give,
And you live close to God, in His infinite Grace,
You don't have to tell it, it shows in your face.

I can only hope that I live this sort of life, that it shows in my face. That even though some ridiculous things come out of my mouth, almost everything I do is done with compassion, care, and mindfulness. That I'm able to give away what I've so freely received in recovery and to be of help to others. That I truly love all of my friends and would do anything for them at any time.

I tend to downplay nearly everything I do these days. A majority of the people in my life think I'm living the ultimate Florida lifestyle laying by the pool basking in the sun each day and enjoying sunsets on the gulf in the evening. I do those things and I enjoy them, but there are more than two hours in a day, AND, as I repeatedly tell my mother - facebook is not real life.

Before I got sober, everything I did was to seek attention and approval from everyone in my life. I went for the wow, the risk, the shock, the ooh ahhh, the OMG, and the TMI. I went for it all so I could be the center of the universe, the one everyone remembered and talked about. And I got tired and stretched thin and worn out. Thank God.

That's when my life began. I can't say everything I do is service work or that I do everything right or treat everyone how I want to be treated... But, I try. And, when I'm not able to do that, I can fix it. I can make amends and do things differently next time.

I'm still working on getting past the 'not good enough' feeling that sometimes comes flooding back to me at night as I'm falling asleep. I'm scared to start a job as a nurse, thinking that they'll find out I don't know what the hell I'm doing and I should just pick another career path. The reality that I know, as I'm crying myself to sleep at night, is that I am good enough and I do know what the hell I'm doing - and - damn it, I'm pretty good at it. The only way to walk through fear is to have faith. And I have that.

And, I'm pretty sure it shows in my face. =)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You never know what's next, appreciate the moment.

My older sister's boyfriend passed away over the weekend in a horrible motorcycle accident.
I've just received the news this morning.

You'll never know what the next moment will bring.

Love with your whole heart.
Love with blind faith.
Love with all you are.
Love with the hope of forever.
Love without losing yourself.
And know that love is a blessing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gratitude, yo!

I woke up feeling genuinely grateful this morning. Typically, when I'm at a meeting and the topic of "gratitude" comes up, I cringe. I think to myself - it's not even November why are we doing this? And then the month of November comes again and I think to myself - wtf November, you're back already??

For anyone not in AA, reading this, November generally ends up as the month to talk about gratitude because of Thanksgiving. In November we have a Gratitude Dinner and we all get together to celebrate, fellowship, give thanks, hear an amazing speaker, and my favorite - the sobriety countdown. This past year was the first dinner I was able to attend. I've never seen so many AA's together in one place. The attendance was somewhere around 600 for the spaghetti dinner and, for me, it was -without a doubt- a spiritual experience. At the end of the sobriety countdown we were left with two people who were in their 55th year of recovery!

At the end of the dinner when everyone gathered in the traditional circle to hold hands and say the Lord's Prayer, I looked around the room and felt nothing but love. It was that surreal moment when you feel like you're watching a movie and wondering if this is really what people do in an AA meeting, except that you're really there and you know the answer. I felt like Meg Ryan at the end of When a Man Loves a Woman. I felt safe and at home and it was one of the first times in AA that I felt the power of prayer and that everything in life was going to be okay. And it made me wonder... how had I not noticed this before?

Since then, at the end of every AA meeting when we get together, hold hands, and say the Lord's Prayer I look around the room and have a feeling of comfort and love and safety because I finally realize that I'm surrounded by people who know what I feel like and I know that I'm not alone - no matter what.

So I'll keep coming back, no matter what.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Let's Celebrate!

Life Is A Celebration

Lord, help me today to:
Mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a friendly letter.
Share a treasure.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage another.
Manifest my loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Find the time.
Forego a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Acknowledge any wrongdoing.
Try to understand.
Examine my demands on others.
Think of someone else first.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
Laugh a little.
Smile more.
Be happy.
Show my gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Speak your love.
Speak it again.
Live it again.

Life is a celebration!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Not something I'm good at. I'm waiting for a contract to be accepted so I can have my new job. I'm at that point where I'm 100% ready to move forward with my life but a few things have to happen first. I need to have a decent job, buy a car, and get rid of my roommate. It's good to have goals, right?

My nursing license came in the mail today, so everything is finally official!

I sat down to write this post with so many things in my head and it seems they've all either left me or aren't presenting themselves in a manner for me to share. Off to bed.