Tag Archives: Higher Power

#FOWC – Health (Physical, Emotional and Mental)

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Areas of Physical, Mental and Emotional Health

This post is a little late because I have just been lazy and tired the last couple of days. Part of that is because of dealing with a situation that threw me for a loop on Sunday morning at my normal parish church St. Cecilia Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. That is a different story and a different post.

When I saw this prompt, I thought how appropriate considering the weekend that I had had. I am very honest and open about being bipolar, fighting depression, recovering alcoholic and addict while also thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 22 years. These aspects of my life make it vey clear that I have to be cognoscente and diligent in how I manage these three areas of my health. My physical, emotional and mental health have to be at the forefront of everything that I do.

I wish I could tell you which one of these three are the most important, but the truth is that everyday it varies. One day the depression can be so bad that the mental health takes center stage. Another day I can be so drained and tired even though I have done nothing that my physical health takes center stage. Then there are the days that the feelings are so manic that the emotional health takes center stage. Very seldom do all three aspects of my health take center stage together like the actors in a play at the end when they take their bows.

What I do know is that even when one aspect is taking center stage all three must be attended to or else my self will runs riot which is the reason I have had such a struggle with chronic relapsing over the years. My physical health is best when I am compliant with taking all of my medications as directed; when I exercise whether it be doing yard therapy or walking the dogs – which is therapy in itself, making sure that I am eating right. My current goal is to maintain my healthy weight of 180lbs and holding onto my size 34 waist – yes, I am bit vain when it comes to my weight. The highest I have been was almost 260lbs and I have fluctuated over the years with my most weight loss coming when I was deep into my addiction.

My mental health and emotional health while be separate, they are also extremely connected to each other. In order to maintain my mental health, again, I need to be compliant with my mental health medications. We recently simplified my regime so that I am not taking so many pills but an taking the exact same dosage. I also have to make sure that I am making all of my appointments with my chemical dependency therapist Stacy Jouffray and my psychiatrist Dr. Cervando Martinez. Another area that assists me with my mental health is my blog because it is very cathartic for me when  I share my experience, strength and hope with others through my writing.

My emotional must be maintained by having healthy relationships with my sisters, their husbands, my nieces and their children and families. I need to work at being better at calling my father who will be 79 in April. I work daily on my relationship with my husband of over 18 years along with his mother who love as though she were my own mother. Maintaining close relationships with my best friend Yoli and my friends the Sisters of The Holy Spirit, my other friends that I may not see often but we have been friends for 20 years now. I also need to maintain my relationships with my fellows in Alcoholics Anonymous. My most important relationship has got to be the one that I have with my Higher Power whom I choose to call God.  If I am working on all three of these along with my mental and physical health then every day I can state this with certainty “JUST FOR TODAY, I WILL REMAIN CLEAN AND SOBER!!!”

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

 

Fitness Word Map

The ranges of Physical Health

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The Wheel of Emotions

 

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Ranges of Mental Health

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#FOWC – Health

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Qualified

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018

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What makes a person qualified? Who determines that a person is qualified to do a specific job, to speak on a specific subject or to share their experiences. Ultimately it is the individual. One will apply for positions because they feel that they are qualified. Most people will not discuss topics unless they truly believe they know what they are talking about, because no one likes to seem like a fool. There are those of us who just have that gut feeling that they can possibly touch others by sharing their experience, strength and hope by telling their entire story with no reservations.

Let me preface this by saying, I am not arrogant nor do I think I have all the answers when it comes to recovery from alcoholism and addiction. What I will say is this, my story is my story and I am proud to say that while there have been many ups and downs in recovery and life in general, I am here and that is through the grace of my Higher Power whom I choose to call God and because I am unabashed about sharing who I am and where I have been along with where I want to go – I feel this makes me extremely qualified to share.

I am always blessed when I can speak of my troubles with my alcoholism, cocaine addiction, being bipolar and of course that double edged sword of depression. I love that I am a work in progress, I will never be perfect but with the help of my fellows and my faith, I continue to grow in recovery every day.

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

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Kaleidoscope

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge 

 

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines KALEIDOSCOPE  as:

 1 : an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (such as glass or plastic) between two flat plates and two plane mirrors so placed that changes of position of the bits of material are reflected in an endless variety of patterns.

2 : something resembling a kaleidoscope: such as
a : a variegated changing pattern or scene
b : a succession of changing phases or actionsc : a diverse collection

I love this word because for me, in my life of over 51 years I have been a kaleidoscope and have b in many kaleidoscopic settings. I remember when I was younger and my grandmothers or parents would buy me those toy kaleidoscopes. I loved looking through the hole and seeing the many beautiful patterns of colors. Ever interchanging making new patterns. Often times those kaleidoscopes were a reprieve from the things going on in my childhood. That is for a different post or multiple posts in general.

When I was younger, long before I ever started drinking or using any other type of drug, I used to do things that I knew were wrong because I thrived for attention. Good or bad, it didn’t matter. I was actually a pretty good shop lifter and check passer in my late teens. These activities wound up landing me in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. I spent time on some of the worst units within the system, and lived with such a kaleidoscope of individuals of every race and mental persuasion. I never once had issues, not because I was a gay man, but because I knew how to respect myself and others while making sure I was never taken advantage of.

I have worked in many different fields over the years, fast food, retail, higher education, call centers. Think about in every one of those jobs, again there was such a diverse kaleidoscope of individuals that I worked with and constituents that I served.

As I have gotten older and have been loved by my husband of 17 years, Cruz, I have learned that I have facets of a kaleidoscope in my life. As some who is clinically diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder, depression that often can be deep and of that huge elephant that I am so proud to be honest and open about my struggles with and current recovery from alcoholism and cocaine addiction. This is where my life is something resembling a a kaleidoscope because of the succession of changing phases and scenes.

I am proud to be the kaleidoscope that I am because I know that my Higher Power whom I choose to call God does not make mistakes. My God thinks that I am a most perfect and beautiful ever-changing kaleidoscope that is a continuous work in progress.

That’s what’s in my “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by.

 

Daily Post & Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Inchoate

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           Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the adjective inchoate as being only partly in existence or operation or imperfectly formed or formulated.

This word is very interesting to me and fits into two aspects of my life. As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder with depression that often is deep and long, I feel as though I am inchoate. You see when I am deep in my disease of alcoholism and addiction, often brought on by my mental illness issues, I feel as though my existence is nonexistent. Does this make sense?

As a gay man who knew at the age of six that he was different and has had many struggles over the years, I have also felt as though I was imperfectly formed mentally and otherwise. However, when I became strong in my faith in my Higher Power whom I choose to call God, I realized that I am not imperfectly formed. I am just how God intended for me to be. I am a 51-year-old gay man that has been married to his husband for over 17 years, with seven dogs and I have been thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 21 years. All of this along with my demons of alcoholism and addiction and the mental illness are just facets of my life for which I ask God to continue to help me remain clean and sober just for today, while asking for his grace to be over me at all times.

The second aspect is my writing. I love to write and have many things that I can write about. The issue is that because I do not write every day or as much as I would like my writing may sometimes be inchoate. Yet writing is an art form that improves with time and content. I am a personal writer, I have some pretty strong political opinions that for some reason have held back on, and I am not afraid to share who am with any because my story may actually help someone else struggling in the same areas.

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Higher Power

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

 

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Every day I am blessed that My Higher Power whom I chose to call God is with me on this incredible and sometimes difficult journey of recovery from alcoholism and cocaine addiction. This journey also includes dealing with having bipolar affectation disorder and some deep depression that still comes on even though I am on Lithium and Bupropion, while thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 21 years..

That being said, I am also blessed to have a very loving and supportive family that has always seen me through THICK and THIN!!!!

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Ego

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

Ego, sometimes I love the word and sometimes I hate the word. As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict thriving, not just surviving HIV/AIDS for over 21 years with bipolar disorder/depression and being married to my husband Cruz for over 17 years – my ego can be a HORRIBLE double edge sword.

At first glance when you meet me, you might think – wow he has it together. You might be right on that particular day or you could be wrong because as a person in recovery with several chronic conditions, I have learned to wear an incredible false exterior mask. While I am proud of who I am in all of my many facets, sometimes I also hate myself, that is when my anti-ego is not in check.

I am strong person with a very strong Catholic faith, which has faltered many times over the years because of my alcoholism and addiction, that knows that he is loved by his husband and family, my family and numerous friends that I have had for years. I have been told that I am an excellent, powerful lector during mass along with having a strong voice in our 8am choir. I have also been told that I am an excellent cook. While all of these things are great, I don’t take compliments well because I don’t feel I deserve them. Often my comedic barrier pops out when I receive compliments.

I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my ego. I received my B.A. in Communication in December 2007 and two days after the ceremony 12/17/2007 I began working full time for the University of Texas at San Antonio. I remained at the University is two different roles until August 2013 when I caused me to be fired because of my EGO and my alcoholism and cocaine addiction. During my last two years, until the last few months, I was very much so a functioning alcoholic/addict. Mind you during this time I also earned a M.A. in Communication, a lot of the work was done while I was drinking and using.

During my six years I built a lot of important relationships both internally and externally. I served on several committees tasked the betterment of the university. I attended many meetings with the president of the university and his leadership. I was damn good at my job. That was until my ego got the best of me and I began to believe I was untouchable. Big mistake, huge. So yes, I was fired.

For two and a half years I applied to 46 postings and had 9 interviews with my alma mater and beloved UTSA.  This was all done as I working on my recovery and had almost 11/2 years sober. My family and friends all said why, you will never get hired back. I proved them wrong. On 7/1/2015 I returned to the University of Texas at San Antonio with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. When I returned, it was as if I had never left. The relationships that I had built and nurtured previously with other departments, divisions and external relationships picked up where they left off. I again was asked to join those same committees. I was known and loved by my colleagues. yes, again I was damn good at my job and my superiors were impressed by how easily I could take a very bad situation and correct it with ease because of my nurtured relationships. Here my bold ego is talking.

Then life happened and my ego kept telling me I was great and I untouchable and that hey, one drink won’t hurt you. from January 4, 2016 to May 27, 2016 Cruz and I lost five of our 10 dogs Tippy, Buddy, Fluffy, Minnie (Doodle) and Patty due to many different reasons. Then on September 14th 2016 I turned 50. The Sunday before I had a FANTABULOUS 50th birthday party with all of my family in from the Houston area and loads of friends. On my birthday proper I took a half day with no plans. My disease kicked in and I sabotaged 2 1/2 years of sobriety. I hit all my haunts and did all the things I used to do. In the end, this carried on through to early January with my being out on leave through January and then being able to resign on 2/16/2017.

It has been rough haul since, but one this is for certain – my EGO is in check and will remain so with the help of my Higher Power, whom I call God!!

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

The Daily Post – Lecture

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This post is part of The Daily Post – 2/13/2018.

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As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict I cannot tell you how many times I heard the lecture from my husband,  family, friends, my infectious diseases physician and mental health professionals about my needing to quit.

My husband’s lecture was always the normal ultimatum and threat of kicking me out of our house or sending me to jail.

My family and friend’s lecture was always about how I have so much to live for and all the things I would miss if I were to die of an overdose or alcohol poisoning.

My physician and mental health professional’s lecture was always about, you guessed it, how the alcohol abuse and cocaine abuse were affecting my physical and mental health. Along with this was the added reminder about how my alcoholism and cocaine addiction were going to take their toll on my HIV/AIDS viral load and T-Cell count. Which for all the abuse my body has taken just in the last 6 years, I am still non-detectable and my T-Cells are still above 700 – so I have been extremely lucky!

Do you ever lecture yourself? I bet you do, either aloud or silently. For me, my lecture to myself this time around was the best lecture of them all. You see I am a very faithful Catholic who truly believes that I have the best life coaches in my corner in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While yes my faith has faltered at times, I always find my way back.

The most important thing that I can share in regards to recovery of any addiction is this. The individual entering into recovery can not be doing it for the wrong reasons – even though they may seem like the right reasons. For instance, we cannot enter recovery to please our family, friends, physicians, or our mental health professionals. We cannot enter recovery because of what we are afraid of losing. We must, as I did for the second time in 4 years, determine that we are “tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired”.  Then we must take the ever painstaking steps to work on our recovery. I am a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous  as well as being a member of Global Steps AA a video AA meeting group on the hosting site In The Rooms. These groups and programs continue to guide me through my continued recovery – because I want them to.

Four years ago today I began my first journey through recovery because of every single reason above six months after losing my job that I loved with the University Career Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio. I loved being clean and sober. My life was coming back together and I even went back to work at my beloved University of Texas at San Antonio with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. In May 2016 I threw away 2 years and 3 months of being clean and sober because of life. The downward spiral just continued to through the summer. I was still working and loving my job of over one year and then on September 14th, 2016 I turned 50 and I have no idea what happened to cause the hurricane that was a comin. I visited my old haunts and got drunk off my butt and bought a whole mess of cocaine and then I was off to the races. I didn’t return to work until mid October because of continued illnesses being caused by my being off to the races.

The craziness continued and of course I lost my job with the university on February 16, 2017 for a different reason other than my addictions but in essence caused by them. Does that make sense?  I continued to enjoy, as I believed, all the drinking and drugging I was doing. In early April 2017 I attempted suicide by swallowing thirty trazodone pills while drinking heavily and doing coke. The attempt obviously did not work because folks are reading my writings. My Higher Power whom I choose to call God had and has different plans for me that are not meant for me to know.

I do know this, when I attended the ACTS Retreat 11/30 – 12/3 I meditated, I prayed and when it was all said and done I left my alcoholism and cocaine addiction on the Alter of the Tabernacle. This was on Saturday December 2nd. When I came home on Sunday I did walk to my store. I bought two 24 oz. cans of beer and a six pack of O’Doul’s Amber non alcoholic beer. That was the last day that I drank. On  the night of 12/3 I meditated and prayed for guidance and help with remaining clean and sober everyday moving forward. I am so proud and happy to say that the daily obsession and need to drink and or get high have left me. I am currently two months and 10 days clean and sober. I do it by reminding myself that JUST for TODAY I WILL REMAIN CLEAN and SOBER!!!

That is what is in My Rattled Cage today!!!!

 

 

#JusJoJan Daily Prompt – January 19th, 2018 – Darkness

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This post is part of #JusJoJan Daily Prompt – January 19th, 2018.

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As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict I have heard the statement above hundreds of times. Unfortunately it make take multiple times before the dawn sticks. The fact of the matter is that until this darkness comes most of us who struggle will not take the first step in admitting there is a problem.  But once we do and we truly mean business the dawn and new and fulfilling life without alcohol and drugs is very possible. We just have to work extremely hard, rid ourselves of PEOPLE – PLACES – THINGS, surround ourselves with a support system that is unfailing, get into some support program such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or any type of program that will work for us. I attend online meetings with Global Steps Alcoholics Anonymous through IntheRooms.com which is a great accompaniment to face to face meetings. I also have The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, 24 Hours a Day, According to Bill, Daily Reflections, Living Sober and several more books that are personal stories of those who came before me.

This blog is not nor will it ever be a religious preachy blog. But I will tell you that you may often read items about my faith and how it intertwines and continues to mold my life. The great thing about 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous is that they are SPIRITUALLY based but they are not religious. For those struggling with their spirituality anything or anyone can be their Higher Power. I choose to call my Higher Power God because I am a very spiritual and faithful Catholic. That does not mean that my faith has not been tested and shaken because of my personal demons. I do know that when I am right with my faith and my spirit all things are possible through my Higher Power.

I am a work in progress – PROGRESS not PERFECTION and that is all I can be on a daily basis. I once had 2 1/2 years clean and sober. Over the last year and a half I have changed my sobriety date more times than I care to admit. Today I have 45 days clean and sober. I know that when I went to my ACTS Retreat 11/30 -12/2 I had a most extraordinary faith affirming, transformational and life changing experience. I have said in previous posts that I have heard many times to leave your burdens on the alter. At that retreat I prayed, I meditated and I left my alcoholism and cocaine addiction on the Alter of the Tabernacle. Since the retreat I have been blessed to not have the incessant crippling obsession – no desire – and no thoughts. That being said I am still working my program and continuously asking my Higher Power to assist me in remaining clean and sober.

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JUST FOR TODAY, I WILL REMAIN CLEAN AND SOBER!!!

That is what is in My Rattled Cage today!

Late – #JusJoJan Daily Prompt – January 14th, 2018 – Ultimatum

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This post is a late entry for #JusJoJan Daily Prompt – January 14th, 2018 .

Disclaimer – I have spent the last 24 hours in a quick but horrible bout of food poisoning.

As a person who has struggled over the years with my alcoholism and cocaine addiction, I have received many ultimatums from my husband Cruz. The first came in October 2001, not longer after I moved in with him due to losing my apartment etc.,  when he found my cocaine. He stated then it either the cocaine or him! I had been what at that time I would have a NORMAL drinker and he was okay that but not the cocaine.

After that first ultimatum, I did not touch cocaine for 10 years no desire, no obsession no nothing. Then in the summer of 2011, I cannot explain it, but I wanted it and I was getting it. When this vicious cycle began so did the vicious cycle of not being a NORMAL drinker. This went on for 2 1/2 years through the death of my 99 year old grandmother on 11/2/2012 and then the death of my 89 year old grandmother, who was my biggest fan and who spoke to every morning at 7:30AM to have our morning coffee, on 2/11/2013. This long stretch caused me to lose a most fantastic job with my Alma Mater The University of Texas at San Antonio where I had worked for 6 1/2 years moving up in four different departments. I loved that job, I was well known and served on several committees. When I lost this job it was devastating.  This time it was a much stronger ultimatum from Cruz regarding my drinking and drugs and my house, my babies and  him it would all be gone. You would think that would have lit a fire under me and make me want to give up the ghost. It didn’t.

It took me until February 13, 2014 a day before our 13th anniversary to figure it out. Beginning in  August 2013 when I left the university, I continued to apply for positions trying get rehired even though my family and friends said you will never go back. I posted for 46 positions, I had 9 interviews and then on July 1, 2015 I did return with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. I was so excited to be back, relationships folks in other departments picked up right where they left off. I was good at my job I was in this position until February 2017 when I was allowed to resign. My downfall began when I started drinking again after May 2016 when I came from work and found the fifth dog out of our ten laying dead in the middle of the street, we had already lost four between January and April 2016. It was too much for me.

I continued to drink, not every day up to September 14, 2016 the day that I turned 50. It wasn’t planned, but I sabotaged myself. I went to all of my old haunts got drunk and bought a crap load of cocaine. This started my next downfall and continued until I lost my job at the university again on. In April 2017 I attempted suicide, not planned it just happened, my Higher Power whom I choose to call God had other plans. I still don’t know what they are yet. In the summer, Cruz being the patient man who loves me again gave me the ultimatum, either the drinking and drugs or him. I did not pay attention again and my idiocies continued through November.

Then the greatest thing happened. I attended my first ACTS Retreat. This retreat was the most faith affirming, transformation and life changing event in my life. They say to leave everything at the alter and you will receive God’s blessing. I am a firm believer in this statement. I left my alcoholism, my cocaine addiction and many other health concerns  on the Alter of the Tabernacle at that retreat. Since the retreat the incessant obsession with alcohol and cocaine have been gone, no desire and no thinking about it. This does not mean that I am cured, it just means I need to continue to do the work that needs to be done.

So the current and most important ultimatum is my own ultimatum – do the work, stay CLEAN and SOBER JUST ONE DAY at a TIME or die. I don’t think I have any more stretches in me and frankly I don’t want to find out!!!

 

 

Late SoCS – 09/02/17 – BIRTH

This post is part of SoCS!

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Here is my disclaimer, I started this very late last night and went to bed and I continued this evening so I apologize for the lateness again.

Every once in a while I question my birth. I know that my parents did not want a boy.  I do have two older sisters whom I adore and have been my fiercest protectors, my biggest fans and two of the greatest best friends a brother could ever have. Throughout my life I have had so many things go wrong. As a child, I was not the most perfect child – all I ever wanted was attention from my parents and anyone else, and it did not matter if it was good or bad. I knew at the age of six that I was different from other children – specifically boys. I knew that I like boys – not necessarily for sex at that age, I just knew that I was attracted to boys. When I was little when other children would watch TV with their parents and siblings – I was made to sit on the side of a wall with my back to the living room so I could not see the TV. If I did anything wrong such as lie, steal food from kids or anything that my parents felt I should not do, my punishment was that my father would make me at five or six jalapeno peppers and then I would be locked in my room. I spent a lot of time locked in my room, I suppose even back then I was becoming institutionalized.

When my parents got divorced neither one of them wanted me to live with them, so their divorce judge sent me to a place called Devereaux Foundation in Victoria, Texas on September 13, 1979 one day before my 13th birthday on September 14th. I was only supposed to be there for a year and my father continued to pay $2,000 a month for another two years until it was determined that I would return to my mother a little after my 16th birthday. While I was I was supposedly diagnosed as being slightly retarded with high attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While at Devereaux I thrived because I was getting the attention I craved from the staff and a particular boy who I had my very first homosexual sexual affair with for three years. I often wonder what ever happened to Randy Maggard.

When I returned to my mother in October 1982 I was an awkward 16 year old that had not realy been socialized other than for the same individuals that were at Devereaux for the previous three years. High school was not very memorable. I did have my first job at McDonald’s and I met some lifelong friends. But McDonald’s was the beginning of a long string of unsatisfying jobs , yet that wasn’t even the beginning. I learned that I was pretty damn good at shoplifting and this before I started passing of bad checks. My mother would even encourage me to get her books, cigarettes and anything else. Again, this was all in efforts to gain attention. Well attention I got. Between 1984 and 1988 I did four different stints in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections facilities. I spent time on a couple of the more notorious units and yet I never got in trouble while still getting plenty of attention from the guys who I was involved with while incarcerated.

In September 1990 I was paroled to San Antonio Texas. A few months after moving to San Antonio, I began my many stents working at several of the gay bars here in town. I also worked waiter jobs. Back then while I did drink and I did dabble with cocaine, never would I have imagined how badly my addictive personality would become with those two things. On New Year’s Eve 1995, while drunk and high I left a party and my partner of five years and went home with someone. I wound up having unprotected sex with them and little did I know that this individual was HIV-positive. I did not know at the time, nor would I know for another year that he had passed the virus on to me. Although I was working and making some money, I was also donating plasma twice a week and had been for about three years. In January 1997 I went to my location to donate plasma and they pulled me back into an office with a doctor and proceeded to tell me that I could no longer donate plasma because I was HIV-positive. I went into denial until May 1997, at that point I went to the San Antonio Metropolitan health District and got tested. After which I face the truth that yes I was HIV-positive.

In the summer of 1997 I went for my second stent in rehab at the patrician movement here in San Antonio. It was during this time that I learned that my mother was very ill with cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C. Now mind you, when I learned of my health I thought that I would just go home and die with my mother. My higher power whom I choose to call God had a different plan for me, and I still don’t know what that plan is. When I got out of rehab and I was living in my apartment by myself I spoke to my mother every day until the day of her death. So let me back up a second in early 1988 I went to work for a company called Metro news company. I told my boss that I was in recovery as a an addict and alcoholic. She asked me if I would ever do cocaine again and I said I don’t know if something tragic or devastating happened, I don’t know.

On Mother’s Day May 10, 1998 I called the hospice care facility that my mother was in, she was in one of those hepantic comas. I told the nurse who answered the phone if you go in to make her comfortable or give her water whatever please tell her that her baby in San Antonio called to wish her happy Mother’s Day and  to tell her that he loves her. This was between 10:15 and 10:30 AM. At 11 AM I get a call from my sister and she asked me what am I doing and if I was sitting down. I told her I was not sitting down and she told me I needed to sit down. She proceeded to tell me that our grandma Wanda had called her to tell her that our mother had passed at 10:30 AM. Grandma Wanda had not called her and my sisters had not called her, my mother was truly waiting for me before she left us.

So back to my boss who asked if I would ever do cocaine again, I called her and told her my mother passed and she told me to her at the office in 15 minutes. I did meet her at the office and she reminded me of that conversation we had and she asked if I wanted a line. That was the beginning of six months of nothing but being a functioning cocaine addict and alcoholic in which my boss was providing all the cocaine. On October 6, 1998 which was my mother’s birthday I was arrested at my office for a probation violation because I had not been reporting because I knew I would fail the urine test. I again wound up in the state penitentiary just for a few months.

In January 1999 I came back to San Antonio again was working hard to get my life back together and start working at a great job called Sitel Corporation in which I made some lifelong friends. I was still dabbling in cocaine and I was still drinking does not heavily. To backtrack to 1996 a mutual friend of mine introduced me to this very handsome man who is 12 years older than me. At that time we became what people would say our friends with benefits, then we lost touch in 1998 when I went to jail. In January 2001 this man called me out of the blue because he just needed a friend to talk to. It was almost as though we had picked up where we never even started. What I will say about this particular piece of my history, is that through all kinds of stuff he and I are still together going on 16 1/2 years.

When I moved in with him in October 2001 I was at rock bottom. I had been helping cut cocaine and stuff out of my apartment I was doing it all the time and I had lost my apartment. I was still doing coke when I’m moved in with my better half and I was told it’s either this or me figure it out. So I quit doing coke, I still drank all the way until 2011 during the summer. Now during this time I not only got me a bachelor of arts in communication but I also earned a Master of arts in communication from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Oh and I was a full-time staff member at the University for six years until my drinking and cocaine got the better of me and I had to leave. After I left the University in February 2014 I began a journey of recovery from alcohol abuse and cocaine addiction which lasted almost 2 1/2 years. Well I fought for two years to get back the University when everybody said I would never go back and I did return on July 1, 2015. I worked hard for almost 2 years but then life happened.

My better half and I started 2016 with 10 dogs. Beginning on January 4 and ending on May 27 we went from 10 dogs to five dogs. Three of our dogs we lost due to aggression issues, our littlest baby we lost due to health and my Patty I found laying in the middle of the road dead two doors from our house on May 27. All of this loss is just so much for me and that is when the drinking began again. Between May and September I had no inkling no not know nothing about cocaine. On September 11, 2016 my entire family except for my father and stepmother came to my 50th birthday party here in San Antonio and I had many friends that attended. I think there were 50 people at this party, and it was the first time I had ever had every single one of my family members in one room here in San Antonio. My actual birthday is September 14 and I was born in 1966.

On my actual birthday I took off half a day with no plans whatsoever. Well, that addictive personalities saboteur was very much a play. That afternoon I hit every one of my normal haunts I drank plenty of beer, plenty of tequila and I purchased a good amount of cocaine. This became my downfall because over the next few months I missed a lot of work I continue to drink mass off continued to do coke until I was pushed out of my job. Let me rephrase that I wasn’t pushed out I took the meat hook yanked my myself out because I was an idiot. The drinking and cocaine use continued even after I lost my job because I had a dealer who made it so easy as he would give it to me on credit.

On April 3 of this year while very drunk and high I took 30 trazodone trying to commit suicide, and again my higher power plans for me that I don’t know. Things are good today and just for today I will not drink and I will not use. I’m doing this for me because I have my husband and our seven dogs now and I have my sisters, their husbands, my nieces, their husbands, my great nieces and great nephews and I have my church family because yes I got my faith back again.

So while this is a very long post and I do apologize, no I don’t apologize because this is something that needed be written for a long time. So today it is September 3, 2017 and I am 11 days from my 51st birthday and I am proud to say that today I do not question my birth. My higher power whom I choose to call God has his plans for me and every day I just need to say made thy will be done not my will.

This is “What’s Rattled My Cage”!!!