Little Lost Soul

I have a soft spot for lost cats.

When I was around 5 years old, we took a trip up north to my grandparent’s cottage and brought our white cat, Bozo, with us.  When it comes to pets & animal care, my young parents were not the brightest.  Bozo was antsy by the time we got to the cabin almost 3 hours away.  They thought he might have to go potty, so they let him out of the car as soon as we arrived (not attached to a leash or anything) and he quickly disappeared into the woods.  I spent the rest of my childhood asking my grandparents if they found Bozo at the cottage yet.  We never saw him again.

Fast forward 35 years.  It was 2014 and we had just moved to our home in Novi.  We have indoor/outdoor cats but were cautious with letting them venture outside.  We slowly let them explore the outdoors and all was well.  

A couple weeks after moving in, our cat Milo disappeared.  We posted online, hung up flyers all over the neighborhood and prayed.  It was already an awful year, we had suddenly lost my mom a few months before and lost my grandma around the same time that Milo disappeared.  

This fortune gave me much needed hope in my search for Milo

Milo would be on the lam for about 4 months.  During that time we would also lose a young cousin and my grandpa, it was an awful year. Shortly after leaving my grandpa’s funeral up north in early January 2015, we got the call that someone found Milo, halallulah!  Surely this was a sign that despite the tough year, everything was going to be ok.

Milo was a more cuddly and loving cat after being lost for 4 months

Fast forward to Christmas this week.  While at my in-laws, the porch camera was activated on my phone.  I checked it and saw a strange white cat on the porch, but he quickly went away.  I saw him again the next day.  By this time I was concerned and tried to get him to come to me, but he ran. Two days later my youngest came downstairs to tell me there’s a white cat on the porch.  Long story short, I’ve been seeing him about once a day since then.  I posted him online, worried that he was lost. We have new neighbors next door and I’m hoping it’s theirs or maybe someone else got a new kitty (there are a couple outdoor cats in my hood – but not an unfamiliar one like this one).  Deep in my heart I’m worried that he is lost in the Michigan winter – like Bozo & Milo.  

The white kitty is coming closer to the house day by day

I hope this kitty is able to find his way home and is not cold and hungry.  I am keeping my eye out and trying to sweet talk him in case he is lost. 

After all, aren’t we all little lost souls in some way or another? 


The last thing I wanted to do today is get my butt outside & moving.  

I’ve been (yet again) decreasing my pred, so I have decent levels of aches & pains today & my foot has been ok but now I have a stiff ankle problem that I’m trying to work out.  Plus I’m a little sore from walking over 3 miles yesterday.  

BUT… it’s the end of December in Michigan and sunny and in the 50’s (rare, but wonderful).  So I couldn’t pass up at least a couple mile walk with the pooch.  

Before I left I was super crabby & short with my family.  Going out turned out to be the best medicine.  

The bright sun shining on my face was glorious.  The mild temperature seemed more like spring than the start of winter.  Shortly after getting out I felt much better.  I wanted to go at least 2 miles but ended up going to 3.  I even ran for a couple short minutes (nursing that ankle 🤨).  

Now it’s time to get these Christmas decorations put away & the house cleaned up and back together.  

Have a great day everyone!

The Exhausting Addiction Cycle

I read a blog some time ago that has really been on my mind lately. It was about relapsing and going through the most difficult part of sobriety over and over and over again.

I feel like this has been where I’m at since July (UGH, like a whole 1/2 year wasted.. makes me feel kind of sick to think about). When I’m not drinking the first month or so is the hardest physically, mentally and emotionally. Especially weeks 2-4 where I could sleep like 12 hours a day. Even those few drinks Xmas eve messed me up for days (sleep, irritability and piece of mind, etc).

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Not sure what my point is here, other than to be annoyed at myself. BUT I’m hoping that this knowledge and experience can help douse the PAWS fire that tends to heat up around days 10-14 and randomly pops up throughout early sobriety (and probably later, although I’ve never been past early sobriety– so I wouldn’t know).

I’m really tired of starting over and this awful cycle 😔

Time to pull up my bootstraps and conquer this “thing” that only wants to take over and ruin my life.  I am so much more than this stupid alcohol addiction.  F*** You alcohol &

Betsy too!!

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Namaste: Deep Breaths after the Holiday

I bow to you, you made it.. WE made it!!  PHEW!!

Christmas for me, was actually really pretty nice (besides being overly tired from too little sleep the night before).  We leisurely spent the morning enjoying our gifts and cleaning up.  We walked to my in laws and had a delicious dinner (I can’t believe I actually was ranting a few days ago about it all being too ‘fancy’ – It was good food and pretty laid back.  Shame on me).  After dinner we played a few games, had a lot of laughs and then had time to chat.

My sister in law (the one who had her kids taken away last summer and is going through a divorce) was there and appears to be doing well.  She looks about 100 times better physically and we had an honest chat.  For a long time, it felt like we were fake and she was fake– having to fake smiles and not talk about this situation.  My hubby and I had some good one-on-one time with her and for the first time in a long time it all felt honest, raw and good.  I told her a few things that I had been meaning to over the summer (like acknowledging that any one of us, especially me who is prone to addiction, could be in her same situation had we married someone who spiraled down like her husband did and we also got to talking about going to AA).

I hope that my honesty and the things that I shared were helpful, but sometimes it’s hard to know and you question whether or not you made things better or worse.

We left around 8:00, which gave us some time before bed to chat about the day and get in a game of Cribbage.  Unfortunately, I had a hard time sleeping again (damn that Christmas eve blip– messed me up for days), but woke up without a hangover so I was still able to have a productive day.

I was busy the day after Christmas!  I packaged up and mailed my Avon returns, picked up meds for Jules, got my license renewed, had a lunch date with hubby, went to Sam’s club to get berries and cherries (hello toxic food detox), took Jules for a 2 1/2 mile walk, washed all of ours and our oldest’s bedding (he spent the day cleaning and organizing his room to make way for his new huge TV), took a nap, had lots of coffee and watched a movie.

Oh and when I was awake 1/2 the night on Christmas eve, I found a great Groupon deal to test for food sensitivities and gut issues, so I bought it.  I got the form completed and printed and mailed it off yesterday with hair samples for the test.  Hopefully this will help me on my journey to good health.

Last night I slept much better.  I had to get up at 8:30 because I had an appointment to pick up my orthotics.  Thank goodness I set my alarm, I probably would have slept past 9.

I just got back from my appointment and am going to take Jules for a walk before the rain starts.  I’m hoping to get all of the Christmas decorations put away and the house back to normal.  Need to get groceries but thinking about having them delivered (I shouldn’t since I’m off work right now, but MAN this service is really fantastic!).

Whether the holidays were joyous or stressful, or maybe a mixture of both, we made it!  Pat yourself on the back, indulge on the self care, take a minute (or two) to slow down and be thankful ❤ ❤ ❤

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Merry Christmas

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I’m feeling a mixed bag of emotions this morning.  I’m really upset with myself because I drank last night.

We were celebrating at my dad’s and my sister was drinking wine (as usual).  We brought a bunch of La Croix and Bai drinks and while I considered but then talked myself out of drinking wine, I ended up pouring vodka into 2 of my bai drinks.  My dad had a collection of liquor bottles on his counter (no one but my sister was drinking last night, this was from a party or something that he had previously).  I was bored and slightly irritated and it was there.

Didn’t plan on drinking and I’m not happy about it one bit.  The vodka actually stole my Christmas eve.  We got home early (around 8) and I passed right out.  Didn’t help arrange the kids’ gifts, didn’t leave out milk and cookies and didn’t move the elf.  On a positive note, since I crashed so early, I got up at 2 am to move the elf and leave out milk and cookies.  Then I proceeded to lay in bed for the next several hours, trying to sleep and trying not to hate myself for drinking poison last night.  I hate the drink!

Here’s the cool part:  MY relapses in the past have lasted days or weeks.  I’ve never had a one night blip.  I do not believe that I will drink tonight- or tomorrow night.  It wasn’t very fun to drink last night, it made me feel like crap, it stole the night with my family and now I’m going to be overly tired today from a night of messed up sleep.  Hopefully I will never drink again– and if I do– hopefully I can recognize for what it is– shit!  That is progress.

My day counter…

Today my day counter says that I’ve been sober for 16 days.  I’ve been meticulous about setting back my counter whenever I drink.  BUT… I’m considering not setting it back to zero- but to set it back one day.  Not that I care about losing the 16 days, but I’ve been diligently tracking my patterns and I’m sure that a month from now I won’t forget the one night blip on Christmas eve.  Also, I know this is very mental, but resetting back to zero almost gives me permission to drink the next few nights, because what the heck, I’m at zero already anyways right?  I’m still torn on this but will probably end up resetting.  I won’t forget that I had 2 weeks sober before Christmas.

Christmas Day

Despite the blip, missing last night and sleeping horribly, I am feeling pretty optimistic today.  Physically, I don’t feel bad (hungover).  My pred is working and I’m going to take a morning walk in a bit and am going to try to run a little.  It’s 6:30 am and I’m anxiously waiting for the kids to get up.  They only got one present from us, but have a few things to open from their grandparents and also full stockings from Santa.  Hubby has a few gifts for me (I have NO idea what they are– just small things we shop for ourselves for our big gifts) and I have nothing for him.  We may have a present for us from his parents, I haven’t checked under the tree yet (they drop off the kids and our gifts the day before Christmas).

We will be heading to his parents house later.  I decided that it will not be a repeat of Thanksgiving.  I will not listen to my SIL or MIL while they rant for hours.  I will listen for a few and then remove myself from the situation.  Hopefully there won’t be a repeat, but I am setting my boundaries just in case.  It’s nice because they live behind us.  I am going to excuse myself early and come home and hang out with the dog and watch a chick flick.

Soooo.. that’s it.  Kind of excited to get today over with and get on with this wonderful vacation.  Merry Christmas ❤


Christmas Eve Eve Morning

Day 15 today!  Feeling good about being sober, but the rest of me might be falling apart.

I’m supposed to take my Humira every 7-10 days.  It’s been about 3 weeks since I took it.  I thought I had a Parvo Virus that mimicked RA and that I could not take it and not be in pain.  WRONG!  I woke up on Friday pretty sore all over.  Yesterday was even worse.  It gets better as I get up and moving and get Motrin in me, but it’s so discouraging to wake up in so much pain.  It robbed me of a productive day yesterday and I ended up restarting my pred last night.  My goal is to start decreasing it again after Christmas all while I clean up my diet.  I haven’t been eating awfully, but definitely have had too much sugar since Friday.

So.. another disappointment this season.  I’m going back to the natural guy on January 8th.  I’ll be able to tell him that I haven’t been drinking, but I’ll have to tell him that I’m still flaring everywhere when I’m off my meds.  Hopefully he can help me figure this out, as I truly don’t believe that Humira is the answer– rather it is a potentially dangerous band-aid.

Today is Sunday morning and it’s been a good weekend.  Yesterday we watched my little niece and nephew for a couple hours because their social worker was dropping off Christmas gifts and they weren’t allowed to be home.  They have improved SO much since last summer, it is truly a miraculous transformation.

Chris is 4 and when he was over a few months ago, it took him like a half hour to clean up all of the cars he was playing with (constantly got distracted, needed a million prompts to keep cleaning, etc).  Yesterday I heard him say, “I want to play something else.” He then proceeded to clean up his cars (in about 5 minutes) without us telling him to and gave the bin of cars to my teenager and asked him to get him the “guys” out to play.  It’s something minor, but just these little things make me see how far these kids have come.

After they went home, we drove out to my sister’s house to help her fix a few things.  She is going to be selling her house and needs some minor things done.  Unfortunately, she didn’t have everything she thought she did, so my other sister’s boyfriend had to run to Home Depot and the guys didn’t get a lot done.  They did get a few things done and now know exactly what tools they need to bring for next time.   It wasn’t that much fun hanging out with my sisters yesterday while the guys worked.  I was just kind of crabby due to my body pains and didn’t really talk about it because they just wouldn’t understand.  It’s ok I’ll see them again tomorrow and should be happier, the pred should kick in by then!

So now it’s Sunday and we have to go do last minute shopping for our nieces and nephews– oh and some food to bring with us tomorrow and Christmas.  It’s almost 11:30 and I actually slept in past 10!  It was SO nice.  Would’ve maybe slept longer but stupid Milo was meowing and scratching at my bedroom door.

My whole family is downstairs so I’m enjoying waking up with my coffee by the fire, thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet!


I was feeling so unprepared this holiday season, but I’m glad that I didn’t drive myself nuts stressing about being overly prepared.  It’s ok to do the minimal– in fact, sometimes it’s necessary ❤

The Pain of Not Drinking

I know I said this before, but I am just not feeling it this Christmas season!  It’s days away and I’m barely prepared and don’t even care.  I’ve felt extra sad this week about my mom not being here.  She has been gone for over 4 years and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out why this is hitting me so hard this year.

I’ve been so irritable this week!  I got a group message from my dad yesterday about getting Walmart subs for Christmas eve dinner.  It about made me lose my SH**.  WHY the F*** do we have to eat nasty Walmart subs?  They will be paired with pizza– probably $5 hot and readys from Little Caesars (BLAH!!).  If this isn’t bad enough, Christmas day will be spent with hubby’s fancy family with a super fancy meal.  ALL of this is making me so cranky!

This is all so different than the Christmas we’d have with my mom.  She made GOOD food.  Not too fancy, but not garbage food.  PERFECTION.  She made plenty of hor d’oeuvres and desserts and then we would do something GOOD like a party sub from Subway.  Now I’m stuck between two parties on opposite spectrums– both which I despise.  I want familiar, the way it used to be.  All of this has been too much, I am literally crying every time I think about it.

How freakin’ ungrateful can I be???  My dad would be crushed if he knew I felt this way.  Hubby’s family would probably be pretty annoyed as well.  My dad and hubby’s parents will not be here forever.  Realistically, they probably won’t be around for a ton more time, they are all nearing 70.  WHY can’t I forget the food and the process and just be thankful that we have family left to spend time with.

It finally dawned on me tonight– why I’ve been so upset and emotional about it.  This will be my first sober Christmas.  No wonder why it seems like I’m just processing my mom’s death– I was always too drunk before to deal with my feelings and emotions.

Betsy took this opportunity to tell me that I should drink up.  I took an imaginary sledgehammer and squashed her between the eyeballs!

I’ve dealt with difficult holidays sober, such as my mom’s birthday, my birthday, her death day, 4th of July (which is a heavy drinking day for me, one day after her death day), Easter and Thanksgiving.

I know I can do this and I want to.  Even if I’m sad, miserable and irritable until Tuesday.

It actually makes me feel a little bit better knowing that there is a logical reason why this week has been so tough.  I’ve got my eye on the prize of staying sober and accomplishing another first!

On a happier note, tomorrow is the LAST day of work for 2 weeks!  Tomorrow will be such a fun and festive day at school, for the first time this week I’m looking forward to getting up and going to work.

On another happier note, I do not think that we are going to have a white Christmas.  It’s been in the 40’s and I’ll be overjoyed if it stays that way.

See, lots of great things going on, I just need to focus on them.  But it’s ok to be sad too and feel the feels.  This too, shall pass ❤

Bah Humbug, and One Day at a Time

My mom died over 4 years ago and I’m not sure why it’s hitting me hard this particular Christmas.  I just want the holidays to go away– or be done with already.  Our decorations nearly didn’t make it out and I’ve only bought two small gifts so far. The new year can’t come fast enough!

This week has been particularly rough.  I’ve had a nasty cold, but have been trying to work out most days, dragging myself through the exhaustion.  Most days I’ve worked out after work, except for yesterday.  Yesterday I got up early and walk/ran on the treadmill.  PAID for it all day long with brain fog and exhaustion (working out before work usually makes me feel good) so I took a rest day today.  I’m hoping to sleep early and sound tonight and get up again tomorrow morning and take Jules out for a walk/run.  I have an appointment after work so if I don’t do it in the morning, it won’t get done.  Even with this cold, it’s important for me to work out most days because I know that helps my moods and cravings.

It’s been a busy and frustrating week at school.  We had a new student in the fall and I JUST got a notice that she has a previous IEP (Individual Education Plan for students with a disability) with 10-12 resource hours per week.  I have no idea HOW we didn’t get the IEP record until now.  It is DECEMBER and this poor child has had no support.

I have an IEP meeting tomorrow for another student and that has been a source of stress also.  The parents (who have always been super nice, committed and dedicated) are super anxious and stressed out because their son is going to transition to middle school next year.  They are having a hard time accepting where their son is at socially/emotionally/academically particularly because this year his younger twin brothers have surpassed him physically and academically.  It’s going to be a long and stressful meeting tomorrow and I’m dreading it with this cold (I’ll be facilitating the meeting and going through all of the paperwork which is over 10 pages long).

Friday is our last day before break and it can’t come fast enough!

Recovery is going well.  Along with the working out, I’m meditating and journaling regularly.  I also started using the adult coloring book I bought last summer.  I have one picture done so far!  I do find it relaxing to sit and color at night.

Ok- that’s about it.  It’s been a LONG day.  I was exhausted as I left work but found the energy to get all my chores done including catching up on laundry, take my littlest (hubby and oldest are lifeguarding tonight) out to dinner and then get a gift for his teacher and bus driver.  It’s after 8:30 already and I want to get to bed ASAP.  Hoping I feel well enough to walk tomorrow, but if not, I’m going to rest.

Today is Day 10.  Even though it’s been a difficult and annoying week, I haven’t had the urge to drink (yet). I have 100 days on my mind.  I am 10% there already!!!  🙂

Day 8

Today is Monday and day 8 AF.

Yesterday ended up being a great day, which I was productive.  I cleaned all the bathrooms and got a severe case of hypoglycemia during.  My BG was like 45, so I stopped to make and drink a shake.  Afterwards, my hands were still shaking and I knew it would take 10-15 minutes until I started feeling better, so I took the opportunity to meditate in my bed.  I had a successful 10 minute session and then got back to work.

After cleaning the bathrooms, I organized some of the Christmas decorations and then took a 3 mile walk.  My foot/ankle was hurting during the walk so I didn’t run at all.  My ankle really hurt the whole night, which bummed me out since I WAS on the upswing.

I’ve been good about sticking to the low purine diet for gout.  It doesn’t say to limit sugar but I know from research that sugar can trigger it.  I had a bowl of fruit loops for a snack Saturday night and am wondering if that’s what triggered it (ankle and foot very swollen especially after walking– note I took it easy walked pretty slow/no running.  Much different than my speed walk/ran Friday afternoon).  I will keep an eye on the possible sugar/gout correlation.

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We had an early dinner and chores were done early so we had time as a family to relax.  We watched a movie and had snacks.  I brought bowls of carrots and blueberries to snack on and shockingly, it all got eaten!  I felt good about feeding my family fresh snacks instead of the processed junk we usually eat.  Really it was the perfect Sunday night.

I am at work with about an hour left of seeing kids.  My foot/ankle is MUCH better today– which I am SO relieved because I’ve been decreasing my pred and was a little nervous that this was the cause of the increased pain, so I’m SO excited that it’s doing better today.  I’m hoping to get a good walk/run in after work.  I also want to meditate and journal tonight.

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Feeling strong today, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I am thankful for feeling well ❤

Sunday Funday

Oooooooh I do have a love/hate relationship with Sundays!

I am feeling pretty relaxed although the looming thought of making lunches and preparing for tomorrow is creeping into the forefront of my mind.

Happy last week before holiday break!  I simply can’t believe that it is already time for holiday break.  Didn’t we JUST go back to school like yesterday??

Reflecting on the past few months makes me very happy.  September was HARD.  My foot problems were scary and I didn’t have any answers.  I was trying to do a strict autoimmune protocol diet and worried that I would have to take a medical leave to deal with my issues.  I am so thankful to have found medicine man who can help me feel my best, all without a strict elimination diet.

(Side Note: Many many people who have autoimmune disease symptoms have success with a strict elimination diet.  MY personal belief from what I’ve been learning is that if you have a virus in your body– such as my Parvo virus which causes Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms– certain foods can trigger the symptoms.  THIS is why the autoimmune diet works– you are avoiding the food that triggers the symptoms.  Getting rid of the virus will yield the same results.)

So here we are, nearing the end of December.  I’m only 7 days sober today but feeling confident that I will continue to gain momentum.  Right around Christmas day will be difficult. This is around the time that I typically experience PAWS.  I am aware and will be prepared.  By the New Year, I will be almost a month in and will continue to learn and grow.  By summertime, sobriety will be normal and I will forget how awful alcohol has treated me.  I will have to dig deep to remember how I relapsed in July 2018 and how it took months and months to get back on track and also how awful my foot was swollen.

Lots of reflecting today, what a great way to start off my day with hope and positivity!

Lots to be grateful for today.  I am thankful that I’m feeling better today.  I am on cup 3 of coffee and going to tackle our bathrooms with a mop and rag after this cup.  After that I’m going to go on a walk/run.  Afterwards, we are going to the inlaws for a bit and then finishing decorating for XMAS (getting there!).   Later will be more relaxing as I prepare for this week.

Leisurely weekend mornings are such a treat!

Yesterday after I wrote I continued to feel crummy.  We picked up our teenage son and his friends from the mall and went to a sushi buffet.  I didn’t even enjoy it, I just felt fluish.  Then we went to Sam’s Club and got the essentials as fast as we could.  Funny thing is that my body must’ve been craving detox from the flu because I grabbed every type of berry I could find.  After Sam’s I took a nap and felt a lot better when I woke up.  I’m so happy it didn’t put me out all weekend- that is a blessing!

That’s all I’ve got.  This coffee is almost gone and I need to get moving.  Happy productive Sunday!!  ❤