So I had a conversation with the universe, or prayed to God, however you want to word it– fine by me.  It was just the other day while I was driving.  I’ve been struggling with a few things and I finally had some alone time to work on my relationship with myself.  Prayer and meditation are a huge part of that for me and currently, triumphing over these struggles is a large part of my daily ambitions.

I’ve been consciously developing my relationship with myself for about 5 years now.  What does that even mean?

I jacked my life up.  5 years ago it became extremely evident to me that I had messed everything up.  I had been married for 7 years, all but 2 months of that marriage was ugly fights and separation.  I had not seen or been allowed communication with my daughter for a year.  I was facing 45 years in prison.  I was a drug dealer and had 20 grand left.  The first thing I did was get a lawyer.

He helped me get a great deal — 5 years, locked up for only 3 months (always get a lawyer!)  It’s unfathomable, but I could still be sitting in prison…

But as wonderful as that was, the deal of a lifetime had come from my lawyer’s secretary.  She had overheard EVERYTHING incredulous about me.  When I walked out of my lawyer’s office and into the lobby, the secretary was in tears.   She apologized then went on to tell me about her brother and how this rehab had saved his life from the disease of addiction.

Maybe because I was raised within the confines of this disease—I mean EVERYONE I knew did drugs and/or drank heavily at some point in their lives—that it wasn’t until THEN I had any clue that I was going to die.  Even then, it was just a little blip.

Did she just say, “Saved his life…?”  Ok, I’m listening—I’m facing 45 years (at the time I was told that, however, I could’ve potentially been charged with life for each count—9 total– as there was no “cruel or unusual” limit with these particular charges) and I’ve got nothing but time now so…

I still don’t know her name, but whatever she said landed me in rehab soon thereafter.  The one her brother went to.  I could never be more grateful.  It certainly saved MY life.  So I gave the rest of my drug money to the rehab while they taught me about what the hell was wrong with me and what to do about it.

I pointed the finger.  I grew up in a drug and alcohol infested environment—duh, I became a drug dealer.  I was abused and taken advantage of in every way imaginable—it’s THEIR fault my life sucks, it’s THEIR fault and I was backed into a corner, what else could I do?

Well, it turns out, “get a cup” a friend recently reminded me.  Or big girl britches—whatever.  I needed to find out what was really messing with me and what I had to do with it.  How I kept playing into a vicious cycle I had created for myself.  I had NO CLUE that at any time before this, I could have gotten off the horrible roller coaster I was on AND built!

It was all inward.  And it was NOT pretty.  Yuck and ugh!!!  I can’t describe how even now I get a certain pang of ickiness recalling this period of time in my life.  I had tried to be this hard-ass—I mean, I WAS—but really, I was just this fragile little girl who didn’t want anyone to know how fragile I really was, and still am.

I didn’t like to admit that I was HURT and felt abandoned by the people who were supposedly never supposed to do that me.  I hurt and abandoned my own child in many ways in reaction to some of these feelings.  That perpetual cycle needed to end.  But I began to see it, or other things in all of my relationships.

I learned that I had to look in and figure out MY part of it.  What could I do differently?  Boy oh boy, was there a WHOLE lot of painful digging just to figure out how not to trigger my addictions.  Then came learning how to act differently, then actually ACTING DIFFERENLY.  So this is my NEW perpetual cycle.

Find out what the problem is.  Find out what I can do differently.  Learn HOW to do it differently.  DO IT differently.

Family, friends, sober network, and the like have all helped me along the way.  If I hadn’t met certain people, or certain things didn’t happen I don’t think I’d be where I am today.

So I remain grateful for having been given the opportunity to come back to life—literally.  Today my oldest daughter lives with me and helps me take care of her little sister and brothers.  I’ve been married a little over a year to the man who gave me 3 more children.  We’re nowhere close to being on the verge of starvation—which has been the case a few times in sobriety.  Our bills get paid on time.  I’m starting a business, my husband is going back to school, and the kids are healthy…

So what’s wrong?  What’s the struggle?

I don’t have to fight everyday against horrible compulsive behaviors that lead to my death and dark futures for my children.  At least not to the extent that I used to have to fight it.  It’s hardly noticeable at times.

I’m not in prison.  You really have no idea how atrocious prison/jail life is or how free you are until most of your freedoms, like when and where you can go to the bathroom, are stripped from you—including on demand strip searches—can’t explain what gets taken away there…

Just with that, I have PLENTY to be grateful for.  And there is definitely SO MUCH MORE.

But the STRUGGLE…

The struggle to find out exactly what it is I believe in and don’t believe in.  In any given situation.  So many things keep coming up that I’m being FORCED –by the universe and other people’s choices– to confront.

I REALLY don’t want to.  I literally tried getting away.  The universe laughed in my face and said, “Nope.”

So I’m LIVID.  I want what I want, when I want it—NOW!  But as I mentioned above, I can’t really live for very long feeling this way.  It’s a trigger.  So I’m trying to gain new perspective.  The universe said no to this, but what has the universe said YES to?  I could start there…

Help others
Remain grateful
Gain a “growth mindset” vs a “fixed mindset” about the things I REALLY don’t trust to change within myself or around me that I affect
Continue to grow my business as it helps others, helps me, and can build a future for so many others

That doesn’t sound so terrible when I rewrite it, but let me tell you…these things are HUGE struggles for me right now.

I would much rather remove myself from situations or think that they’re impossible to work through instead of learning how to grow in things like forgiveness, healing, patience, etc.

Screw those things, right!?

Let me ditch the kids, the hubby, and shirk all other responsibilities I’m sick of at this point and just do me.  I mean, everyone else does…

I FEAR putting my heart and soul into everything and the result being less than what I expected.

I have trust issues.  I’m learning the hard way that other people aren’t necessarily the way to work out trust issues.  People are people…they suck.  Some can be helpful sometimes, but just about everyone sucks enough to screw up their trust with at least one other person at some point in their lives.

So when the universe basically trapped me within my own mess once again, I know not to fight it.

I still really don’t care for the universe’s decision on this one.  But I can see what’s happening.  I can see where this cycle is going–that I am TRULY grateful for.

So I’m going to continue to try to find ways to help others, accept that the universe wants me to continue growth in an area I really don’t want to grow in at all anymore, will do my best growing in this area even though I don’t want to because I’ve learned what happens when you don’t pay attention to what the universe is trying to tell you.  I’m going to continue to share with others what I have found to help break out of vicious cycles.

I don’t expect much at first.  I’m literally just going to put one foot in front of the other by asking others who have done it before me how they did it.  Then I’m going to do whatever it is they tell me to do.  That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s gotten me out of homelessness, poverty, addiction (that’s still a daily thing, mind you), court dilemmas, toxic relationships, etc.

I learn, I apply, I teach.

I’m still on my journey to fun, freedom, and fulfillment.  I know there’s even more to be had.  It’s me getting in the way of that.  I’m NOT blind to it.  Now it’s time to do something about it.  I can only teach others as far as I’ve gotten.  I plan to go further, and so thankful to have people in my life I know will help me get there, and then tell me to KEEP GOING.

This is life.  You only get one.   I’m going to do something with mine, even if it means starting over again fresh, every day.  I don’t care.  I want to feel better than I do and want even more than what I have now—I don’t think TOTALLY selfishly.  Whatever—

I know what I want.  Tom Petty put it best—“I Won’t Back Down”

It’s not an option.  It hasn’t been an option for almost 6 years now.  I won’t stop where I’m at.  Even when the universe seems to be against me, it obviously knows something I don’t, so I’m going to stop fighting it and go with it.  I KNOW I have the support to do WHATEVER it is I really need to be doing, turning it into what I really WANT to be doing.   But I clearly see the defining line of what others will be able to do for me and what I will have to do for myself.

That perpetual cycle we’re all riding!  But we never truly have to do it alone.  Even when I thought I was, I still turned to the universe.  I didn’t get a cushy response, but I got one.  Comfortable it will NOT be.  No promise of that anywhere, the opposite in fact.

But I want more, so I have more work to do.  Still THEN, more will be revealed.

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