Tag Archives: alcoholism

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BIRTHDAY!!!

Today I celebrate 1 Year of SOBRIETY!!!

I have done it by working THE PROGRAM of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS and remembering that I cannot keep what I do not give away freely!!

I thank my family and friends for their undying support, and my family at my home group the Goliad and Global Steps AAthat happens to meet in the hall of In The Rooms.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!

#SoCS 12/5/20 – List for Sobriety

Linda has given us the prompt of “list” for today’s #SoCS.

Enjoy this lyric video of For King and Country’s “Never Give Up”.

Yesterday I celebrated 11 months of SOBRIETY because I have never given up. My last drink was on January 3rd, 2020. I have not done it on my own, it has taken a lot of work with my sponsor, attending/chairing/sharing in face to face meetings at my home group the Goliad Group along with service work as the Group Secretary; attending/chairing/sharing in meetings at my online home group Global Steps Alcoholics Anonymous that just happens to meet in the hall of In The Rooms.

But there is also an important list of 12 everyday things that must happen if I am to remain SOBER!

  1. When I wake up in the morning, I thank my Higher Power whom I choose to call God for waking me up and not bringing me to.
  2. I ask my Higher Power to assist me throughout the day with keeping my character defects in check – yes, I do have a lot of character defects and I turn my will over everything in my life for the day to Him. His will be done and not mine!
  3. I keep in contact with my sponsor and other alcoholics that help keep me sober.
  4. I go throughout my day doing the next right, best thing to keep me sober.
  5. I share in my online meetings.
  6. I chair online meetings twice a week.
  7. I attend and share in my face to face meetings.
  8. I chair one face to face meeting on Monday evenings at the Goliad Group.
  9. I do spot-check self inventories throughout the day.
  10. I recite the Serenity Prayer sometimes many, many, many times throughout the day.
  11. The most important thing that I do is “I DO NOT PICK UP THAT FIRST FRINK OR ANY OTHER SUBSTANCE I USED TO USE” just for today.
  12. When I go to bed, I thank my Higher Power for ASSISTING me throughout the day to help keep me SOBER just for today!

Enjoy this video of For King and Country’s “Control”.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!

Late #SoCS 11/28/20 – Optimism

This week Linda gave us the prompt of “opt” for Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

As a person in recovery from alcoholism and addiction sometimes it can be exhausting to remain optimistic when just as you think things are going well a wrench is thrown into the mix. I opt to write about a couple wrenches that have been thrown into my mix that is beginning to wear on my optimism, yet is not wearing on my sobriety which is a great thing.

Over the summer I had a great opportunity to gain a temporary position through Leading Edge Personnel at The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) as an OMS IV Phase II Coordinator making really good money and loving what I was doing because it was out of my normal realm of work. That all changed on 10/30/20 when I was leaving campus, where I had been working because they are doing construction work on the house next door, and I received a call from Leading Edge Personnel as I am driving home. They were calling to inform me that my assignment at the university had ended effective that day at 5PM.

I was in shock, dismay, anger and just down right flabbergasted because as far as I knew I was doing a great job and progressing to possibly being hired on by the university proper. I did not see this coming at all. Over the weekend I regrouped and kept my optimism that I would be fine and I did not drink over it. I let Leading Edge know that I was available for placement and I reached out to some fellow colleagues from UIWSOM to ask if I could use them as professional references or if they would write one for Zip Recruiter and they all said yes or simply said that anyone could call them for a reference as well. I immediately updated the resume and got it out on Zip Recruiter, Career Builder, LinkedIn and Indeed.

On 11/2 I accepted a placement through Leading Edge Personnel and reported on 11/3, Election Day here in the US, to Hazel’s Hotshot Freight Company at a much lower rate of pay, but yet I still opted to keep my optimism that all would be okay. Well, that didn’t last long for a couple of reasons. the first being that there was not enough work for the 3 temps they had brought on board and so we spent at least 2 hours or longer each day doing nothing. The second being I knew after the first day that I was not a good fit for this company based off of conversations overheard in the very open workspace. On Wednesday, I told the person who was my supervisor at Hazel’s that it is not within my work ethic to sit around and get paid for doing nothing. I stuck it out until Monday 11/9 when I began to harbor a really big resentment towards this company. During my lunch hour that day I reached out to Leading Edge as to the process of not returning to an assignment. They said I had to give a two-day notice. After lunch me an colleagues sat there for another hour doing nothing and the resentment was growing stronger. I spoke to the supervisor and reminded her of our previous conversation, I said this is just not for me and she said “okay, you can go home.” I did go home and opted to send an email to Leading Edge to inform them of the situation and to ask if they would make an exception to the 2-day rule. I did not hear from them the entire week.

On Thursday I applied for unemployment because you have to wait 3 business days to allow the agency to place you. I again reached out to Leading Edge to express some further concerns as to why I was not a good fit for that assignment and they said they would put me down as available for placement. On 11/16 I called in to say I was available and I was told okay, we put you down. On 11/19 I received correspondence from the Texas Workforce Commission that they can pay me benefits

“Reason for Decision: Our investigation found your employer fired you because you were unable to perform your assigned work to their satisfaction. This is not considered misconduct connected with the work.”

I reached out to Leading Edge to ask them if I had been terminated from the temporary agency and I was informed that yes, they were no longer going to even try to place me. Again, I opted to remain optimistic and keep my positive attitude and keep applying for positions that I am qualified for.

Moving forward, the rest of this post is a cautionary tale. Then, out of the blue I was contacted by a company called Hillensquare Real Estate for a position of Realtor Assistant making $2,900 every two weeks or every 14 business days of work. I went to their website and clicked on their tabs, etc. not paying nearly enough attention to what was not on their website – such as who the founders, president, VP of operations, what awards they had been truly given etc. I trusted my own instincts and decided to take a leap of faith. on 11/19 I signed a contract that looked legitimate, a confidentiality agreement that looked legitimate and sent them a picture of my driver’s license for a background check. On 11/20 I got notification that my background check had passed, that should have been a red flag because I have never had a background check clear in less than 24 hours. So, on 11/23 I opted to begin work for “Hillensquare” and began with my first task which was due in 24 hours. I submitted it on 11/24 and received task 2 due in24 hours. I submitted task 2 and received task 3 due on Friday 11/27 by 9AM due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

By now I had told everybody about this great opportunity and how the company had reached out to me. On Thursday when I saw my sister in Fredericksburg, TX, by the way a beautiful drive in the Hill Country, she said – “you gave them your bank information?” – I said yes it was a legitimate direct deposit form. On Friday morning, I submitted task 3 and received task 4. I also spoke to my best friend and she was like, – “did you fully investigate and vet this company because there are a lot of employment scams out there?” I told her sure, I went to their website etc. and this looked like a legitimate company.

Well, after that conversation I began to gain a resentment and did do an about face and did all of the research and investigating I should have, I checked them out through scamadvisor.com/check-website/hillensquare.com. The domain name hillensquare.com has only been in existence since 10/1/20. There is no information as to who the domain is owned by because it is blocked by a service called WhoIsGuard by the domain registrar namecheap.com. When you click on the website it travels through no less than five IP addresses. They have never been awarded anything. There is no affiliation with the Better Business Bureau, in fact on 11/9 there were already 2 employment scam reports on Hillensquare with the BBB. The company has absolutely no social media presence nor does the so-called HR Manager Amanda Smith if that was really their name.

I then opted to email Amanda Smith and let her know everything that I learned about Hillensquare and told them that if they were a legitimate company then in good faith, they would be able to immediately direct deposit 4 days of pay $848 into my account and that I required a response by 3PM CST. Needless to say, I received no response nor did Amanda Smith respond to messages on WhatsApp which is how we had been communicating throughout the week. I have not lost any money because I have no money to lose, I just lost a little bit of my PRIDE!

After this, did I become depressed and angry at myself for falling for this crap – yes, I did. Did I drink over it – NO I DID NOT!! I remained optimistic that I will find a new position and my Higher Power whom I choose to call God will place me where I belong. On Friday 12/4/20, God willing, I will celebrate 11 months of SOBRIETY, through the pandemic and changing jobs several times throughout the year – I have opted to remain optimistic and remained SOBER, CLEAN and SERENE through my face to face home group the Goliad Group and through my online home group Global Steps Alcoholics Anonymous that just happens to meet in the church hall of In The Rooms.

Just to be clear if you are contacted by a company for an employment opportunity, keep your eyes peeled for what is not on their website and make sure you do due diligence in your investigation of the company before even considering going to work or signing any type of contract, etc.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by.

#SoCS 10/31/20 – Trick not Treat

Linda has given us the prompt of “trick” for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SOCS.

I have not written in a while because I have had no free time and I have not been able to carve out any until today!

Happy Halloween…October 31st! – The MPS Advantage

Since June 23, I have working through Leading Edge Personnel at a great assignment with The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM). Yesterday afternoon at the end of the day as I was leaving campus for the day I received a call from Leading Edge Personnel to inform me that my assignment with UIWSOM had ended effective immediately. I immediately stopped in my head and said, this has got to be a TRICK! The reason I was given was that they had found another individual to fill the position I was serving in as a Phase II Coordinator for the 4th year medical students.

Happy Halloween! | Standard Market

I didn’t even know that they were looking to replace me, as can happen when you are on an assignment through a temporary agency. I really thought that I was doing a great job, there were no indications that something was afoot.

Here is the great thing, I did not drink over it nor do I intend to. When my Higher Power whom I choose to call God closes a door, He will open another one. I pray very soon.

The other thing I did not do is this. The old alcoholic in me would have shot off a scathing email to the powers that be at UIWSOM deriding all of the things wrong with the institution and the people I worked for and with, and blah blah blah blah. The alcoholic with almost 10 months of recovery simply wrote a very professional email and asked simply – exactly what happened for the powers that be to make the determination that I was no longer a good fit and to end my assignment. We will see if I get a response from one of the 3 people that I sent it to.

Happy Halloween: Adland delivers spooks and scares | Campaign US

So, this morning I did wake up and say, was it a TRICK or a TREAT? I am just going to do what I do best, dust it off and hit the pavement again and find another position. I may not find one that pays what I was making there, but something will come.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by and have a VERY SAFE and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

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#Socs 98/5/20 – “Sharp as a …..”

Today Linda has given us “sharp” as our prompt for this week’s #SoCS.

When I was younger I would be called sharp as a whip. As I became a teenager I became sharp as a pencil. As I moved through adulthood i was ranging from being sharp as a tack to being as sharp as a double edged sword with my fiery tacky sense of humor at times along with my very sharp tongue.

Today I deal a different type of sharpness. You see I have always been a go-getter especially when it comes to my work ethic. I currently find myself being called sharp in how I work, but I am also being called eager. Eager can be both a positive and a negative meaning that it can definitely be a sharp double edged sword.

The other double edged sword that I have to be very careful with is my recovery. I am very cognoscente that I must not stand still in my recovery, If I do I will be cut by that edge of the sword that cares nothing about me and my recovery.

September is National Recovery Month. We all know I am an open book and I am proud that I am in recovery! The last few years have been a struggle, but I am so proud to say I have 8 months of sobriety today. Unfortunately it took my husband Cruzer having open heart surgery in December of 2019 and me not taking it well for me to really wake up, but I am woke!

I am blessed to have a huge support network in my family, friends and my fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. But it is important to note that the number one thing that I have in my recovery is my Higher Power whom choose to call GOD!

If you know someone who is struggling with any type of addiction please let them know about a really great supplement to face to face meetings. In The Rooms that has meetings all day everyday for almost every type of addiction you can think of. I have a home group online Global Steps AA, that has a total of 64 meetings per week and just happens to meet in the church of In The Rooms!!!

So in order for me to be sure and handle the edge of the sword that does care about my recovery the way that I do, I do some pretty simple steps. I remain sharp as a tack in regards to my character defects coming to the surface and nip them in the bud. I thank my higher power whom I choose to call God every morning for allowing me to wake up and not just come to. I am in constant contact with my sponsor. I am currently working on my 4th step.

I love doing service, in fact I truly believe that in 2016 when I turned 50, the whole reasoning behind my major relapse and then continuing to have issues with relapse and recovery – was because I had gotten mad at folks in my home group the Goliad Group and my online group – and I quit doing any type of service.

You see, I always say, I cannot keep what I do not give away freely!!!!!! That is a true statement if I am doing some sort of service for my fellow alcoholics then I cannot keep my sobriety. Today I chair meetings at my face to face home group and in my online home group. I share in every meeting that I can, because I never know who I will touch with my words of experience, strength and hope.

So as long I continue to work this sharp program of recovery, I WILL REMAIN SHARP AS A TACK!!!!

That’ what’s in MY Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!

Late SoCS 8/22/20 -“Brush It Off”

Linda gave us the prompt of “brush” for this weeks #SoCS.

How is it that people do not and cannot follow traffic situations. On my main thoroughfare S. Presa St. there has been some utility work being done and the left hand side of the street is closed down with detour signs everywhere.

I drive this street everyday and I kid you not, every single time at least one driver decides to go around the barricade and drive on the wrong side of the street and then proceed to get mad when they almost hit me. Luckily, with my brand new car, I drive with so much more attention being paid to my surroundings and the other drivers that can often be idiots.

This brush with accidents daily would make you think well, why don’t you go a different way. I don’t drive a different way because I know that that side of the street is blocked and that a good driver will pay attention to the detour and not continue to give others a brush with accidents.

This kind of reminds me of the 3 1/2 years of my struggle with returning to my recovery from alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. Every time that I decided during this time to pick up a drink and not knowing when to stop I was bringing myself ever closer to that brush with not ever coming back. Some days there were even brushes with death and yet I just could not pick myself up and BRUSH all that crap off.

Today I have over 7 1/2 months of recovery and everyday I get up and I brush that negative crap out of my head and brush what litlle hair I have and I get on with my day and I do the most important thing.

I don’t pick up a drink – JUST FOR TODAY!!!! Let’s all get up and brush the crap away!!

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!

#SLS 5/17/20 – 180

song-lyric-sunday

This week Jim has given us the prompt of finding a song that includes a number for #SLS.

In many of my other posts I have written about my strong Catholic Faith along with many other aspects of my personal life. Today I have chosen a song by Jordan Feliz called “180”.  It is song about an individual asking for God to assist him in doing a 180 degree turnaround in their life and returning to remain in their faith.

This happens a lot to individuals like myself who suffer from the disease of alcoholism or any other addiction problems. But in order for a person to truly make that 180 degree turnaround they must truly do the work and have faith in a Higher Power that will be there through the good and the bad. I have truly turned my will back over to my Higher Power whom I choose to call God and I am happy that the 180 degree turnaround is happening in me and I am truly loving life and myself today.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!

Lyrics
Father, can You hear me now?
I’m feeling like I’ve let You down
I’ve lost the strength to turn myself around
I really hope You hear me now
How’d I get so far away?
What if I outrun Your grace?
Can You replace these broken yesterdays?
And promise me I’m not too late
Call me home, I want to be Your own
I’m running desperately into Your arms where I belong
And I know Your love can turn this heart
A hundred and eighty degrees to bring me back to where You are
Tell me I am welcomed in
Show me mercy doesn’t end
Wash these muddy stains that marked my skin
And tell me I can start again
Call me home, I want to be Your own
I’m running desperately into Your arms where I belong
And I know Your love can turn this heart
A hundred and eighty degrees to bring me back to where You are
I can barely believe it
You’re racing to meet me
Your eyes filled with healing, oh
Restoring, redeeming
Forgiving, receiving
This is my beginning, oh
Call me home, I want to be Your own
I’m running desperately into Your arms where I belong (I belong)
And I know Your love can turn this heart
A hundred and eighty degrees to bring me back to where You are
I’m running desperately, ooh
A hundred and eighty degrees, I’m back to where You are
A hundred and eighty degrees
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Colby Wedgeworth

Happy Mother’s Day!!! – 5/10/20

HappyMothersDay20

Today I write this post from my birthplace, Lamar, Missouri. I drove up yesterday so that I could lay flowers at my mother’s grave who passed 22 years ago today on May 10, 1998 which just so happened to be Mother’s Day.

This trip was one I needed to take because I have never been at my mother’s grave alone and so I have never had the chance to have a long conversation with her and tell her that I no longer blame her for all the things that happened to me as I was growing up nor for the choices that I have made as an adult. I have always held resentments towards her and my father because they did not know how to raise or handle a boy. I used to think they never wanted a boy.  I now truly believe my parents did the best they could with who they were and what they had.

I currently have a sobriety date of January 4, 2020. I can say that I see a definite change in my attitudes towards my resentments towards my parents, even my resentments towards myself in regards to my struggles with relapses and journeys into recovery from alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. While yes I do have the genetic gene I believe for alcoholism and other addictive behaviors, I am at a point now where I have turned everything over to my Higher Power whom I choose to call God. I am already beginning to see differences in my mental attitudes and my spirituality is just growing even stronger.

As long as I remember daily that I cannot drink like other people and I cannot pick up that first drink ever, then I will also remember that recovery is a JUST FOR TODAY program. I only have to live my life in recovery ONE DAY AT A TIME!! So, I have let go and I am letting God guide me for His will to be done daily and not my own. I am seeing those 9th Step Promises coming true!!

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!

#1LinerWeds – Ask and It Will Be Given To You

2019-20-1linerweds-badge

For todays #1LinerWeds I want to remind everyone struggling with alcoholism or addiction to remember “Ask and It Will Be Given to You”. True statement if you ask your higher power and your support group for help you and you do the work, you will see the 9th Step Promises come true!

I hope enjoy this live version of Anthony Evans singing “Ask”! That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!

A Late #SoCS – Directions

socs-badge-2019-2020

I am running late this week on my #SoCS, but here I am. So Linda gave us the prompt of “directions”.  So I looked at a frozen dinner in my freezer and one of those Yakisoba soups and their directions started with peel back the corner to vent contents.

Peeling back the corner of the box is kind of like peeling back that first layer of an onion. This reminds me of a classic line from Mike Meyers as Shrek to Eddie Murphy as Donkey in the family movie Shrek. “Ogre’s are like onions!”

For me this particular time of recovery from my problems with alcoholism and addiction to cocaine addiction is a reminder that those of us in recovery that are really taking their program seriously are not ogres but they are definitely like onions. As people in recovery we are slowly peeling back those layers until we get to the very core of what we are and why we are alcoholics and addicts. You see as I am moving through my recovery, I am doing things differently. I am beginning to see those 9th Step Promises coming true and I am not even a third of the way through the simple program that is suggested.

Tomorrow I will have four months in recovery and I am truly blessed to have a great sponsor who refuses to let me rest on my laurels. Right now there are no face to face meetings but I am still able to attend meetings with my online home group Global Steps Alcoholics Anonymous that happens to meet in the our church In The Rooms an online recovery place which has so many other recovery program meetings for any addiction that you can imagine. I am working my steps and I am about to embark on my 4thStep which will demand true rigorous honesty on my part.

On my 90th day of recovery I purchased a brand new 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage. I would have never imagined that I would own a brand-new car. I am working a job that pays $10.50 an hour and yet I have no fear of economic insecurity. I am feeling a mental peace that I have never know even during my previous 2 1/2 years of sobriety between February 2014 and September 14th, 2016 when I turned 50 and unfortunately threw that sobriety away and have been struggling through relapses and recoveries over and over again.

In December 2019 my husband of almost 19 years at the time had open heart surgery and I did not handle it well at all. In fact, I wedged his truck in concrete barrier on Christmas Eve when I went out and got drunk – luckily, I was able to have it winched out and I drove it home. But that wasn’t enough. On New Year’s Eve I had no intention of drinking let alone getting drunk because I had to open the Dollar General that I worked at 7AM. Well I did get drunk, did not open the store and then proceeded on a bender due to the shame and remorse. On January second, I returned the keys to the store and as I was leaving, I did wreck my husband’s truck and damaged the right headlight and hood area. Again, going into another bender until the night of January 3rd when I had my last drink.

Next weekend I will be taking a rite of passage and taking a road trip in my brand-new car to Lamar, Missouri where I was born and spent summers and Christmases with my grandparents who are long gone. Sunday is May 10th, and in Mexico every and every so many years including this year is Mother’s Day. I will be going to have a conversation with my mother at her graveside as she passed on Mother’s Day May 10th 1998. But I will also be seeing my grandmothers and grandfathers, my brother and other relatives that have passed over the years. This trip I anticipate will be very cathartic and yes I NEED TO TAKE THIS TRIP, even during this troubling time in America I cannot allow my fears of another health issue to stand in my way of taking down a demon that has been such a huge part of my multiple journeys into relapsing and recovery.

This time I know that if I pick up one drink, I might as well just die because I do have another relapse in me that would be the most horrible of them all, BUT I DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER RECOVERY IN ME!!!!

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!!!!