Ten Ways To Help You Cope With Quarantine

We are struggling.

The shock of the news.  The change in our daily lives. The lost of our jobs, employees, schools, seasonal sports and weekend activities has rocked tge entire planet.

This is major.

The only thing that keeps replaying in my head is that there are billions, BILLIONS, of people affected today by COVID-19 and not one country, nation, tribe, neighborhood or home is living their “normal daily routine”.  Planes are down.  Buses have stopped.  Well traveled parts of the world are not receiving fresh footprints and those in the tourism sector are struggling to make ends meet considering we’re encouraged to stay home.  People are spending their money on stocking up the pantry and not living lavishly on concerts, sport games, tourism, home remodel, family vacation, investments, getting ahead, starting something new or are simply just holding on to the cash they have in hand for dear life.

The change seemed to happen over night.  We knew it was coming.  We saw parts of Asia, then Europe, then California purchasing toilet paper then shutting cities down and we just hoped it wouldn’t get this bad.  We just held on tight.  Watching. Waiting. Praying.

Then it hit.

Within two days schools were sent home.

March 16th, New York closed gyms in the morning and my gym in Ohio closed by nightfall.  Along with bars, restaurant, movie theaters, parks..

First were out of toilet paper.  Then chicken.  Now bread.

Were told to stay home.

Everything changed so quickly, so suddenly, we didn’t know how to prepare.  Or if we were able to prepare.  We just knew we had to do something.  But what?

Figure out what to fill our free time with, now that every after school activity is over.  Figure out how to teach 4th grade math.  Figure out how to have a baby sitter and still work three jobs.  Figure out how to pay next months mortgage while keeping food in the pantry because stocking up is not an option.  Figure out who to see without getting infected.  Figure out how to keep afloat through all of this when the list of insecurities is so lengthy that were just going with the current as it changes without realizing if were still in the boat, or in the waters without our life vest.

Luckily for you- I am a stay at home mom that had to learn many different coping skills while transiting from being a independent, 30something, hard working boss babe to being 100% depended on mother and house wife.  As one of my other SAHM friends just said, “Quarantine in our life.” (Thanks, D!) So I would like to share with you some insight, tools and, hopefully, offer some relief  of the unnecessary expectations that have been thrown upon us all.

1. Take one thing at a time. This is a rule I live by.  If you were to walk into an overly cluttered room and were told to organized it, the best approach would be to sort through one item at a time and move it to a location with like items.  Right now, I know school papers are thrown everywhere, kids are missing their friends, parents are working extra, or joblessly drowning in bills, and it’s very overwhelming.  Take one task at hand at a time.  Make a list of priorities in the morning and try to make it around 6 items (a number I was wisely given 12 years ago, trust me, its sufficient in a room with 100 items- you’ll get to them all) and mark them off one by one as they are accomplished.  You won’t feel overwhelmed with such a low number (6) and you’ll be able to focus on those things as you’re doing them while gaining some security back and feeling like you have somethings under control.  Try it for 3 days as a trial run and if it doesn’t work, tell me I suck at giving advice and I’ll try to help you find another game plan.

2. Become active daily. This is important! If you have kids, play something with them.  If you don’t have a backyard or large living room, see who can jump in place longer than the other. If you have space, USE IT! Everyone who doesn’t have space is jealous of you so use it for the sake of having it! Play outside games; soccer, race, basketball, whatever you’d like.  If you are missing the gym, google search at home indoor (outdoor) workouts.  You can specifically search “At home workout with no weights and little space” and see what shows up. You can also see my personal Facebook and Instagram for workouts I have very unprofessionally recorded with a time lapse setting in my “middle of remodeling” home and backyard.  If you are able to do so in your location take your family on a walk, jog or bike ride.  Twenty minutes of exercise daily will change the way you feel mentally and physically while being quarantine.

3. Ditch the sweat pants. Yes, they are cozy, comforting and the chances of seeing someone are slim but when you wake up in the morning and get dressed for the day, you feel ready for the day.  This will be different to those still working AND I pass no judgment if you ARE wearing sweats and pajamas all day, every day.  It may be your chance to take a break from your wardrobe, for all I know. So this may not apply to everyone but if you feel you are in a funk, and you’re down about this “temporary normal”, put on some jeans, or a dress, fix your hair and apply makeup (if makeup is your thing), snap a selfie, #hashtag #ditchthesweatpantstip and upload it to Facebook or Instagram so I can give you a shout out then facetime one of your loved ones that you desperately want to hug and say ‘hello’ to them.  Nothing is worse than having bed head and looking like hell and your bff from Germany calls and wonders why you look like your in a mental institute.

4. Do something for yourself daily.  A girl I know asked on social media if it was okay to take a break from her family when they’re all locked in the house together.. OF COURSE, CHICA! It is necessary to still do something you would like to do, for yourself, by yourself, everyday.  Right now, we’re shoulder to shoulder with those that mean the world to us, BUT NO ONE should feel guilty for wanting to lock themselves in a different room for an hour to escape a little bit.  Read a book, put a puzzle together, call a friend, watch your favorite TV show that no one else likes to watch with you, take a nap, do whatever you need to do to not go insane.  If you remain sane, the rest of your family might not drive you as nut because they will follow your lead.  Make a designated time to do that every day to maintain a healthy balance of your own time along with the time you need for kids school work, meals, time with spouse and the 30 projects you hope to do during this season.

5. Take a break.  As similar as this sounds to the previous “Do something for yourself daily” this is very different.  There has been much unwanted pressure on us that we don’t even realize.  When you feel overwhelmed, take a break.  Sit outside and clear your head. Walk away from the closet that you have organized four times and sit.  Ask your family to give you some space and rest.  The guideline my grandmother gave me a few years ago was to HALT. Halt (take a break) when ever you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  This has saved my life.  I used it many times in my recovery from alcohol and tens times more as a new mother.  I have even interrupted my husband and said, “You know, I’m really tired right now and I’m not following along with what you’re saying, so I think we need to talk about this later after I have something to eat and maybe take a nap.”                                                    LONELINESS: Do not feel guilty if you feel lonely right now while you’re staying home with your immediate family.  Most people are grieving because we can’t see our BFF, siblings, grandparents, coworkers, niece and nephews, parents, some people can’t see their kids! It’s okay to feel lonely, just know you HAVE to do something about it.  My favorite thing is Facetime and it has helped me while I have traveled around the world to stay connected with my friends and family and still see their shining smiles.

6. Try something new.  Have you gotten bored yet?  Now is a great time to dig into that project you’ve always wanted to start or try the hobby that has always caught your attention.  Usually, we have these thoughts in our heads: I wish I had the time to learn how to make macaroons. I wish I knew how to speak Portuguese. I’ve been wanting to make the baby quilt for 18 years now but I’ll get to it one day.  GO FOR IT!  Come up with a plan and go for it.  Whether you cook a new meal as a family or make time alone to start a long waiting hobby just go for it.  The fulfillment gained will allow the pain of this quarantine to lighten a little and it will offer a feeling of accomplishment to settle while we’re feeling very restricted during this time.  Get creative and try to not get bored.  The season we’re in does not have to be a time that’s wasted.  It can be a season of personal growth, family development and creative passions coming to life while we’re waiting for the world to start turning again.

7. Hygiene! It’s very easy to lose healthy hygiene while staying at home. Not going out with friends, not going to work, not seeing the store clerk or going to business meetings allows humans to become laxed when it comes to personal hygiene.  It doesn’t help that beauty salons and barber shops are unavailable at this time either! Who wants to wash, dry and curl their hair when roots are growing out, color is fading, eyebrows are turning into angry catapillers and clean cut lines are getting fuzzy?! However, it is important to maintain healthy hygiene during this time.  Shower every day (even if you sat on the couch binging your favorite TV show), brush your teeth in the morning and at night, clean your ears, wash your bedding, and of course, WASH YOUR HANDS!

8. Reach out. If you are struggling in any way getting through this pandemic, make sure you are reaching out to someone about it.  There are many emotional insecurities rising up and the best thing you can do about it is to maintain healthy mental health by making a phone call.  For those who have counselors and therapist, make a phone call meeting or Zoom chat set up during this time and try to make appointments as consistent as if you were still going into their office. If you just need to talk to a friend, make a call.  If you’re finding your drinking alcohol to cope and it’s getting out of hand, share that with a spouse, roommate or loved one THEN limit the amount of alcohol in your house for a period of time (hide it or give it away, don’t just drink it all to get rid of it! That’s the opposite of my advice!).  If you are on the edge of a relapse with drugs or alcohol, call your sponsor and make sure you are taking proper steps to prevent relapse.  EVERYONE, it is important to reach out if you are struggling AND don’t forget to reach out to your loved ones that you know are struggling.

Relapse Website:    https://www.rehabhotline.com/about-rehab/relapse-prevention/

Relapse Hotline: (888) 594-8501

9. This too, shall pass.  My sponsor through the Alcohol Anonymous program always tells me to remember ‘This too, shall pass’. When there seems to be no ending in sight, when we don’t know what the government will throw at us next, when our kids and spouse are driving us crazy and all we want is an hour of peace and quiet, remind yourself of this saying.  The pandemic, the quarantine, the uncertainty, the endless hours and days spent worrying, it will pass.  We will be able to return to a life where we’re always too busy to do the things we want to do, constantly going from one sport game to the next, spending the weekend and holidays with family and friends and getting back to the hustle and bustle of work.  This is not a forever situation.  This is a temporary season we’re in and it will pass.

10. Give yourself grace.  As a new mother, and a new stay at home mom, I had to learn that I needed to give myself grace in moments when I felt the obligation to make sure everything was perfect and right.  No one had placed this expectation on me and I have no explanation on why it was self induced.  It was just there.  So when you feel overwhelmed, conflicted and scared and you feel like every day you’re failing at being a great parent, good math teacher, creative grocery shopper and the best baker your family has ever experience, just take a step back and remember that life is a complete, unexpected disaster right now.  No one is doing ANYTHING perfect.  Things are a MESS.  Allow yourself to give YOURSELF grace to carry on.  You don’t need to be perfect, you need to be happy, eat well and sleep a sufficiently.  Daily routines will change and not seem so overwhelming and unmanageable when you give yourself the grace you need to get through it.

We’re all in this together.  Undoubtedly, we’re all in this together.  When we get through this our community that depends on one another so desperately needs to have a healthy population so we can come together and rebuild.

Hold fast. Be brave. Take care of yourself.  Have compassion. Share wisdom. Be kind. Give encouragement. We need each other in our isolation more now than ever.  You don’t need to hold on for dear life, you just need to change with the tide. The storm will settle, the seas will calm and the chaos will pass. Trust in it.

Warrior

Today I made a List Of Gratitude.

A list of things I’m grateful for so when things are gloomy, I’m on edge or just plainly pissed off I can reference to it to remind myself that the negative feeling I have in the moment is just a negative moment. It does not last. It can last longer than I want it to BUT I choose how to respond. By referencing back to my List Of Gratitude I can see many positive things in my life that are concrete.

This boy right here.

My 8 month old mighty warrior.

He is on the top of the list.

Many times in the last 8 months I have had spouts of anger and depression (hello, postpartum hormones and other insecurities) and if it weren’t for The Program- I would be back to drinking again. Which means I wouldn’t be able to take care of my boy, I would probably cancel plans or show up drunk and I would probably lose everything I have gained since April 2017.

Negative moments are temporary.

Positive moments are sustainable.

I made a list to remind me every day how awesome this life is. Things will be added to it as they come or as I’m reminded and the little things that are not a big deal will start to slowly vanish as I work through my personal inventory.

Dishes can be done tomorrow.

Miscommunication can always be cleared.

Laundry will never go away.

It’s out if my hands.

What’s in my hands is this baby, the love of my life and how I choose to view our present and future.

I have the power to choose gratefulness. I have the power to choose what is logical over what is emotion.

I am powerful.

Like this mighty warrior.

Breakthrough

What does it mean to you to have a breakthrough in your life? Overcoming a personal obstacle, finding a new line of work, hitting your fitness goals and many other things can calculate to having a breakthrough. Usually, when someone says they “had a break through” it is a giant feat. It’s something they have been working towards for quite some time. It is answers to inward questions. It is clarity to things unknown. It is finally opening the door to what is holding you back. It is an achievement of something that has been worked on for a very, very long time.

Sometimes those breakthroughs are everyday.

Sometimes they’re getting out if bed and going to the gym when you don’t want to.

Sometimes it’s having the tough conversation you’ve been putting off.

Sometimes it’s creating the resume when you need to find a healthier job.

Sometimes it’s believing in yourself and going after that promotion.

Sometimes it’s hidden.

It’s eating when you want to starve.

It’s putting the razor down when the pain is too much to bear.

It’s not buying the pack of cigarettes.

It’s walking away from abuse and neglect.

It’s not having the third cupcake.

Or forth.

Or fifth.

It’s not sleeping the day away.

It’s not drowning of alcohol and chaos.

It’s not being reckless.

This is The WRECKless Community. Where we support, love and encourage everyone who has breakthrough in their daily struggles and overcome their obstacles by being healthier and fighting alongside one another. Where you can find that you’re not alone. Where you can find resources to help you find light at the end.

Everyday we fight.

Everyday we have breakthrough.

#thewreckless #wrecklesswarrior #wrecklessrecovery #wreckless #odaat #battle #fighthard #fighttogether #breakthrough #sober #soberlife #soberliving #soberaf

Be Victorious

Ever wake up in the morning wishing your life was different? Thinking things like, “If this didn’t happen my life would be better”, or “Too bad I’m stuck in this situation”, and “One day I’ll catch a break but now everything just sucks.”

Feeling like the victim of your circumstances?

Thinking it will never end?

Waiting for someone else to follow through with their word?

Or worse. You’re living your dream life and everything is great then something happens and now…. It. Just. Sucks.

My life has changed at a drop of a hat many times through the years. Instant jobs taken away, uprooted and thrown in rehab (by MY choice), companies changing jobs that didn’t involve me, taken advantage of by MANY through financial help I’ve given, yet I’m not using any of those reasons as a crutch for people to feel bad for me about the things that suddenly change.

Because guess what..

THATS LIFE!

Things change.

People can’t control everything that happens to them and if we just sit around and play the victim then WE won’t change either. It will cripple us until we’re useless. When I left North Carolina to take care of my drinking habit I didn’t have a job and still had to figure out how to pay my bills. You know what I did?? I STARTED A HOUSE CLEANING BUSINESS!! It worked perfectly around my treatment. I made an opportunity for MYSELF because no one was going to hand me a Get Out Of Jail Free card. Once I got fired from my job because I was day drinking and didn’t show up to work- you know what I did?? I crocheted beanie hats and sold them to pay rent!! 🧶 (ps thats a lot of hats, btw) Lately I’ve taken some photos to take care of small bills. I’ve sold old school book. I FOUND OTHER JOBS. Whether it was self made or an actual corporate job, I figured things out when I didn’t have a notice that my finances were going to get cut.

If we realize we’re capable of doing more than what our circumstances tell us we’re capable of, we would lace our shoes up and get ready to go down whatever path was next. But instead, I see people every single day telling me “you don’t know what it’s like in my shoes” and they give in to their defeat and become the victim.

They’re right.

I don’t know what it’s like.

Playing the victim almost costed my life and since then I became a victor over my circumstances. I don’t know what it’s like to give up anymore.

I still complain, I still rant about shit that has happened, I still freak out when there is a change because I’M STILL HUMAN.

BUT

I am not a victim.

Every situation is an opportunity to see what you’re made of because you are NOT your circumstances.

YOU ARE VICTORIOUS

Change your shoes. Get new laces. Put on sandals, biking shoes, cleats, hiking boots, stilettos, WHATEVER you need to keep walking.

Now is the time to try something new. What do you have to lose? ✨

👟👞👢👡👠🥿🥾⛸🎿

#inmyshoes #victorious #createyourownway #alwaysreadyforchange #empoweryourself #opportunity

August 2019

This moment in August took me back to the old days. The days when I couldn’t wait to crack open a beer, pour a glass of wine, share a shot with a friend or stranger. The days when I would really live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.

Those days had to come to an end when I found my rock bottom. 6 years of battling my love hate relationship with alcohol and I had to walk away. Much like your typical abusive relationship it was cunning, baffling and powerful. I tried to control my intake- but I could not. I tried to justify my actions- but they never were. I tried to not repeat mistakes- then wake up the next day ashamed when I was apologizing for them.

As I was at The Club House before it was opened to take care of feeding my baby (Hey, a breastfeeding mother has to do what she needs to do these first 6 months!) I hopped on the bar, grabbed the first bottle I could and said “send this to Cory!” knowing it would be a good laugh! It just so happened that it was Jäger which was the fuel to many nights and the liquid of many inside joke punch lines. T-SHIRT TIME!

Memories, and lack there of, were created while drinking with friends, family and strangers that I cherish but the bad times had to end.

Two years and nine months alcohol free and yet I still make amazing memories with the same people. I still show up to the party. I still dance like crazy. I still stay up until 4am with everybody. I still sleep outside. I still sit at the bar and order food and an NA beer. I still support my favorite bars. AND I STILL STAND ON THEM!! I still love my life and I live it so much louder than I ever have and I am safe in doing so.

Two years and nine months.

I have been tempted. I have been asked. I have struggled with giving in. Motherhood has been the biggest struggle in the last two years to not give in- LOTS OF NEW STRESS! Every day I work The Program to get me through it. Taking it one day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time, making me feel more powerful and in control than I ever have in my whole life.

Don’t be afraid to show up to the party sober- chances are I’m already there.

Cheers ✨

#liveloud

#partysober

#onedayatatime #oneminuteatatime

Perfect Vision

This picture was taken in January 2010 in was in Mexico City for 6 weeks. This was a part of my two year journey in Mexico as I volunteered at a missions training base in Mazatlan, Sinaloa called Youth With A Mission and traveled to many parts of Mexico during that time. It’s the part of my life that when someone would ask me what I was doing, I would always respond with “Living the Dream.”

“Hey, what are you doing today?”

Me: Living the Dream

“What are your plans next week?”

Me: Living the Dream.

“What are you going to do while you’re in Mexico City for 6 weeks?”

Me: Live the Dream.

“How was your trip home? What did you do,”

Me: Just lived the dream.

You get the idea.

I WAS living the dream.

Beautiful, beach city with rich culture, amazing people and wonderful community that I enjoyed doing life with. After two years I had a vision of creating my own clothing line and using the proceeds to help those in need. This vision was so branded in me that I started to plan my trip back to the States to pursue my vision. My new dream.

I returned to my home state to work and start college with a fashion degree. The vision was to have a T-Shirt line that risked everything, pushed limits and surpassed what was already hanging on the racks while being a helping hand to the local community of my home town. If part of the proceeds can go to those in need, I would have a small hand in the big picture of seeing healing, growth and life to those who have lost hope.

I packed my bags.

I left my dream life.

I said good bye to countless hours pouring into a city in Mexico. Building homes, reaching young people with love and hope, running programs for teens and kids, arranging hundreds of guest to run weekly ministries during Carnival (Mexican Mardi Gras), learning to surf, speak the native language and I left.

I moved home.

Here I am.

Ten years later.

Wondering what happened.

Life gets to you.

Things change.

Vision change.

People change.

I started college in 2011 at the age of 25. I was determined and focused…. until I had to take Chem 101 and Pre Algebra!? Ugh! I made it through the first year on sleepless nights, lots of alcohol and not taking this college thing serious. I would focus more when I got to the courses I wanted to be in but these courses were not them.

My alcohol consumption sky rocketed. There wasn’t an after party that I wasn’t at. Closing down the bar and staying up for the sunshine was a normal. I still made it to class. I still made it to my other job.. for about a year. Then my life became unmanageable. I started drinking earlier in the day and harder at night. I started drinking and driving. I sometimes stopped at the bar, have a few shots, then go to my evening classes. I got accepted to travel to China (a dream of mine since 18) for a semester with the study abroad program but canceled my trip when I was charged for my DUI. Soon after that I dropped out of college.

I lost my vision.

I forgot my dream.

I moved AGAIN.

Over a few more years I secured my drinking habits to weekends and proper occasions. I balanced that pretty well and got back on my feet and started moving forward again.

I graduated college, moved to a big city and landed a corporate job.

I finally did it. I got my life back together and now I can finally go back to feeling like the 23 year old in the picture. Unstoppable.

Sure enough, heavy drinking returned suddenly and so greatly that I became lost in the flow of it and got to my lowest of low. I knew something had to change before I lost my life.

Another failed vision…

Another decision..

I knew I had to I quit drinking.

So I did.

I found The Program.

I found a different community. One where myself and everyone around me took my sobriety very seriously.

I found an amazing man.

I started a business and have worked other jobs I’ve always found exciting and creative.

I surfed more.

I traveled more.

I had a baby. 😱

I have done so many amazing things in the last 10 years and I don’t live in any regret. All the good things. All the terrible things, have lead me here.

The question came up when my baby boy was two months old. When do I go back to work? Where? What about child care? Can I work from home? Doing what?

Having all this time to think about what I want to do has brought up old dreams. I have the time and resources now to do what I’ve always wanted. I have the determination, passion and the vision.

It took me a while. It took a lot of change, heartache AND accomplishments. But I’m still here.

Living and breathing.

I am here. With my inner strength, my clear mind and much more life to live.

I see what’s ahead. I see what I can have. I’m going for it.

With perfect vision.

The Dream Life Is Not Perfect

People don’t like social media because it’s very easy to have an alter ego. Once I googled “how to have a daily routine as a stay at home mom” and this beautiful lady popped up. Perfect nails, luscious eye lashes, matching eyebrows, light curls in her hair, and a beautiful white smile perfectly framed with subtle lipstick. Although she went over some struggles she is challenged with, she made the #sahm life look perfect.

Sure, all women want to look great but this is what I want to explain. As we just got home from the beach, a much needed trip where we can experience traveling, a major passion of ours, I struggle with telling you how great our time was but fear the judgment that comes with it. Especially, since this has been the most radical year of my life and as I love to share, celebrate and encourage others to live their dreams, I have also gotten some #stank. I literally told my sister the other day that I wasn’t going to share that we were heading south for a few days but later realized I have now developed a fear that someone somewhere would #dislike ME for it. Not dislike what I was doing… but actually dislike ME. Most of my life I have done my own thing and didn’t care what people were saying or what they think, that’s their business and I mind my own.

In doing that, I have traveled the world, I got a college degree in my late 20’s (bachelor degree at the age of 30) I’ve had every single one of my dream jobs in one way or another, I have helped so many people focus on their dreams to chase OR focus on quitting their bad habits #soberity. I have led people, ministered to the sick, followed incredible leaders, hiked tall mountains and swam in deep waters. I have always lived fearlessly. 💙

And I would say I have a dream life because that is what I have always strived for. #livingthedream

But I don’t want ANYONE to be fooled. My life I share with you is MY DREAM. I don’t force it on anyone, I don’t tell anyone this is the only way and I NEVER try to convince someone to do what I am doing- this is only for me and my family #notsorry

But my life is not perfect either- yesterday I was enjoying our first family beach trip and today I look like a 12 year old boy house squatting with a torn tank because I didn’t find it necessary to change after I put it on (trust me it’s going in the trash after I hit POST). I struggled to feed myself and take care of the baby. I’m exhausted. I just put the baby to bed and laid on the floor because I’m. Just. Tired. I still have 4 things on my todo list that I want to get done.. and the list only obtained 5. I spend too much time on my phone while feeding the baby when I could be doing something I enjoy and don’t do much right now like listening to a podcast or reading a book (some feedings are 45 minutes long! 😭). I’ve been awake since 6:30a and the baby went to bed at 7:40p- 13 hours and 10 minutes of keeping the baby alive and safe while trying to keep my dream life “Perfect”.

And I struggled today. Emotionally. After vaca blues. “When do we go back? Why did we leave?” The answer: Because we have a really great life at home. It is not perfect but it allows us to do what we want, when we want.

And many of my friends are hurting today because they loss someone dear to them. When I hear stories like that it’s a major trigger for me and today I had to take one minute at a time and focus really hard on the progress I’ve gained since I’ve quit drinking.

I know I’ve been open and honest on different platforms, but I want you to know, this is my life in this moment- tears in my eyes filled with gratitude, thankfulness, sorrow and hope. Staying strong during my weakness knowing that it will all be okay.

I Can Be Too Comfortable

I can be too comfortable

I can share too much

When it comes to being an open book- I don’t have a crutch

I can be too honest

I can take criticism like water on ice

I can bend and contort until you can’t recognize my face

But never will I break

I can believe the lies

Take every no for what it’s worth

And ignore anyone who crosses me

I can be the good in every situation

I can provide guidance, life and wisdom

I can take the path laid and paved without becoming a wavering wheel

I can do all of these things on my own

I can do all of these things on my own

Now after breaking free from insecurities, being the puppet, living for others, putting myself last, proving myself, thinking I was stupid, thinking I was worthless, pleasing others while I, myself, am unhappy, and mastering the art of a contortionist, I no longer use my openness, my vulnerability and my weakness to allow anything to control my life.

I control my life.

I control my life all on my own.

{The strength of a fierce addict in recovery}

The Wreckless Lifestyle

The picture on the left was taking 5 years ago when I was in the middle of my drinking days, unhealthy, had no idea where I was in my life. In the months before I dropped out of University to take care of court costs from a DUI, right after I lost a job from day drinking before work, wrapped my car around a tree, had to literally leave Ohio to get out of the trouble I couldn’t seem to escape and moved to North Carolina. This picture was taken while we were at the beach and I was trying to learn how to balance drinking alcohol with life. But I know that I’m completely wasted in this picture because I never understood the concept of balance. I had crossed the invisible line and was never going back. I would convince myself that I knew when to stop but would never show it. I would convince others who loved me and were concerned that I was okay and I got it under control. I would do things others wanted me to do just so they would get off my back about drinking and over look my mistakes or bad habits. I was a people pleaser that lived off of being put down, judged, cheated on, talked about, lied to, verbally abused, harshly criticized, ALWAYS taken advantage of, and gave up on the girl my first 25 years of my life had worked for. I was done. I was gone. I knew I would self medicate for the rest of my life because I was shit and there wasn’t anything or anyone who could tell me other wise.

I was so lost in my depression that alcohol would bring me out of.

I was so hopeless in my depression that alcohol would keep me in.

Though I had successes in the following three years, over coming alcohol wasn’t one of them. I got back in university and graduated while getting two promotions at my job. I landed a kick ass corporate job in Raleigh only a couple of months after graduation. I found the greatest man a girl could ask for (and luckily I’m still with him ♥️). And I was on my way to ruling the world.

Until alcohol almost took it all away from me.

In Spring of 2017 I went to Intense Out Patient Rehab and learned that I’m not shit. I can get back to who I am. I’m able to have everything I’ve ever dreamed of AND MORE! I learned that some people have a rough road that they can get through. I learned I can still have a kick ass job and still rule the world.

The picture on the right was taken a month ago after Kevin and I sat on the beach talking about the plans I have of what all Wreckless can be. We game planned and brainstorm of how to start (can’t wait for September 23rd!) and what the next steps will be and what we will add over time. If I could ONLY TELL YOU EVERYTHING that we truly believe this will grow into, you would think I’ve picked up the bottle again!! I’m not kidding!

The picture of the lady on the right is me. Healthy. Eating right. Keeping my mind right. Drinking a piña colada mock-tail (pineapple coconut spark 😁) and on a family vacation with everyone who has seen my dark sides of alcohol. I have dreams. I have goals. I have my team beside me to help and encourage me along the way. I have everything I could have asked for because I was able to get myself back. I still have to hustle every day for it but now I can do that fully functioning.

The difference I saw in myself when I decide to change things is so remarkable that I almost can’t believe the girl on the left ever existed.

It is possible to get out of a rut. It is possible to get life back. It is possibly to have dreams and goals that are ACTUALLY achieved. It is possible because people CAN do it. Most people can do it while not having to quit drinking but I CANT! And there are others out there like me!

The Wreckless is a safe community where people can come and be who they are. They can get away from their reckless life style and find solitude in knowing they don’t have to prove themselves to anyone but their true self. This isn’t just for alcoholics like me. This is for everyone. For everyone who knows they are in a place where they don’t want to be in and need shelter and help to get out of it. For everyone who struggles with substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, OCD, and the list goes on. Mental disorders is the root cause of most abuse we put ourselves through or allow ourselves to take and we can manage it and live a healthy life. We just have to believe in ourselves again and learn that there is more to this life.

Join this community and learn how to overcome yourself and walk away from your reckless life style to live a Wreck-less one.

Instagram: @_thewreckless_

Gratitude as an Exercise

Since March of this year I have become a fitness coach working alongside of some of my favorite life coaches I’m thankful to have.  Over the past 5 years I have become involved in the fitness industry as, what most would say, a committed class attendee.  When I first started working out in North Carolina with my Aunt, life long mentor, coach, and friend, I realized how much “moving” made me feel alive.  I was a pretty consistent studio student while working 40 hours at a restaurant and attending college full time.  This existed for a good part of three years until I moved to Raleigh after finding a good “post grad” career working at a call center and living with a few young professionals.  I was obsessed with work and drinking alcohol 3-4 nights a week and got back into the whole “I don’t have time for the gym right now, I’m focused on my career!”  Which involved sitting at a desk and placing orders via CRM for 8+ hours a day.  I became immobile.
For about 7 months.
During this time my drinking became heavier during those 3-4 nights rather than consistent.  Like it mattered… Being an alcoholic really gives you the thoughts like “I can control it- I didn’t drink last night, did I?” “I CAN just have one.. See?” “Just because I drank all day Saturday doesn’t mean I need help. I haven’t drank all week- I deserve to relax.”  We become so entitled to the fact that alcohol is a friend we can welcome whenever we’re in the mood.  I’m able to drink, I deserve it.
In the earlier part of 2017, I still had this mind set.  I was working long  hours in a beautiful city that I rarely enjoyed and becoming more entitled to drinking however I wanted because I was still going to work, paying my bills, and keeping my life in order.  The gym happened about 1-2 times a week and my health was the last thing on my priority list.  I was eating heavy foods and drinking heavy becasue I was now a young professional in her 30’s that has her life in order.
On the outside.
The drinking and eating and working at a desk was killing me.  I was missing community, healthy community, that I have experienced in my life and i was keeping myself so busy with work that I didn’t bother to build friendships around me.  I had few friends at work and my roommates were great companions so I didn’t see the point of having anyone else.  My boyfriend lived in Ohio and we would visit each other as we could for the few months I lived in North Carolina.  He was catching on to the depression I was living in.  I wanted to be with him but my love for “proving myself to others” was the top priority every day.  I was blinded by the fuzzy vision of the drinks every day feeling like I had to prove to everyone that I was “going to make it in the big city and be successful.”  I didn’t realize that my love for alcohol kept me trapped in thinking that I already had it all when I really was alone! I was drowning in liquid obsession and trying to present to the world someone I never truly meant to become.
Or wanted to be..
Knowing I needed a major change in my life my family came together and brought me home.  Even against my will!! I knew I needed help getting back to a place where I felt comfortable with myself and confident in my own skin and regain my purpose in my life.  Without money driving me mad and without thinking alcohol was the best medicine to cure the lonelieness, I needed something extream to get be back on track.
A hard reset.
In my journey home, I started working out 4 consistent times a week again with my best friend, sister and coach, getting professional help, and growing a support group around me to help me keep busy and remind me that EVERYTHING will be okay.  Filled with embarrassment, guilt, shame and humiliation, I had a lot to recover from and focus on.  I am someone who wants to know, in detail, the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to every situation, I was completely in the dark with ONLY the next step AND I had to be okay with that…
It was the most difficult first few months back.  Every day had it’s own challenge.  Every day had it’s ups and downs but every day was one day further from the last day I drank alcohol.
Every day became more clear.
Encouragement came back to me.
Hope was restored.
Determination was something I believed in again.
Believing in myself, my dreams, my goals was ACTUALLY something I had back in my own hands.
For four months I was finding help from Catalyst Life Services and Recovery Center in my home town that I will forever be grateful for.  It’s because I was giving them a chance, and giving MYSELF a chance, to make things in my life different.  I believe in these services and centers and know that when people are open for a change, these facilities are available.  There are rehab facilities that cost a FORTUNE and I wasn’t able to afford that!! With the insurance I had, these recovery facilities are affordable for people who want help.  REALLY WANT HELP!
I wanted it.
I wanted it so bad every bone in my body was craving recovery. I wanted my life back.  I was sick of having times where alcohol gave me set backs that took me months to bounce back from and when I did I would mess up again.  I needed the tools, encouragement, and endurance to break free of my lust of alcohol.
I was over it.
#OVERIT
And this is my story.  My success story.  The story I didn’t mean to write when I started this post but what it has turned into may be something someone around you may be going through.  Or you’re going through.  Or you may have to step up one day, like my family did, and do something for someone close to you.
I am FILLED with a grateful heart of how far I’ve come.  The summer of 2017 I was making $80 a week and somehow paid my bills while “working on myself”.  Looking back now I couldn’t have imagined what the price of it would be if I didn’t make a change.  Now I’m making WELL over $80/week, I’m coaching at my home gym, running a residential cleaning business, mentoring a small group of women going through what I’ve gone through, and feeling on TOP of the world.  I will never be able to financially pay back those who have helped me but the truth is – They don’t want their money back.. They just wanted ME back!  And knowing that keeps me going.  Not only do they have me back but I have ME back.
I have bounced back.
I exercise regularly. I move weights.  I run.  I do jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, burpees, chest presses, squats.
I exercise gratitude, joy, love, patience, kindness, meditation, regularly.
I couldn’t be more grateful for how far I’ve come in one year.  For this reason I am competing in a CrossFit competition tomorrow that is raising money and awareness for a Recovery Facility in Medina, Ohio.  I’m not that great at CrossFit but because I believe that there are others like me out there, that need help and WANT it, I am going to support and make a fool of myself.  I’m supporting a good cause and taking a stand for the lost, the hopeless, the embarrassed, the guilty and saying “You can get through it and come out alive!” “You can make a life for yourself after you hit rock bottom.”
With every Wall Ball I throw I’m standing for encouragement.
With every Clean and Jerk I do tomorrow I’m standing for hope.
With every Assault Bike calorie I burn I’m standing for determination.
I believe there are others out there like me and I stand for them.
“By succeeding your battles, you win the war.”  – Nikki Hendershott