Tag Archives: Sobriety

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 9/19/20 – Celebration

Linda has given us the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday of “-tion.”

Reverberation on CONGRATULATIONS are in order for me because I turned 54 on Monday 9/14 and I did it SOBER!! As many of you know Between February 14, 2014 and September 14, 2016, the day I turned 50, I had 2 1/2 years of sobriety and then the alcoholic in my sabotaged me and I hit every haunt and did everything and more the old alcoholic used to do. This in turn became a three day binge which became a major depression and being off of work for a few weeks. I have had a lot of issues with relapse and recovery since that time however today it 8 months and 15 days SOBER.

You have read on my blog before about my epiphany a few months ago, 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.

Reverberation of CONGRATULATIONS also are in order for my home group the Goliad Group which had their first Alcoholics anonymous meeting on September 13, 1964 and today we will be having our 56th Anniversary BBQ CELEBRATION with a speaker who has 24 years of sobriety at 6:15PM. If you are in San Antonio and would like to join us – we will be serving at 4:30PM. There is a suggested $5 donation as well. We are at 537 Avondale, San Antonio 78223 and you can call us at (210) 534-3937 any time if you need to know when we have meetings etc.

I am proud to be SOBER JUST FOR TODAY!!! That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage, thanks for stopping by!

Late – #SoCS 7/18/20 – Link

This week Linda gave us the prompt of “link” for #SoCS. First of all I need to link my mental being with my writing being so that every Friday I read my email from Linda for #SoCS so that I write it either on Friday or first thing Saturday morning.

This week, I really do have a good excuse for being late. A few weeks ago I began working a new job at the University of the Incarnate Word and I had quit my job at 7-11 with the understanding I could be on call if they needed me on Friday or Saturday nights graveyard. That happened this week. So, Friday afternoon I got off at 5PM and went to bed for 4 1/2 hours and then went to work from 10PM to 6AM, came home and chaired an online meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous from 7AM – 8AM and then went to bed for 12 hours.

The day slipped away and it was not until this morning that I made a link that yesterday was Saturday and I again missed my writing a #SoCS post. I really am working to get better at making sure I link Saturday with writing at least one post, the one that matters – #SoCS.

That being said, I have made a very important link about me and my continued sobriety. I recently started serving as a chairperson of the Beginners meeting at the Goliad Group my home group and I recently got elected as the secretary of the group. I also began serving again as a chairperson for my online home group Global Steps AA that happens to just meet in the church of In The Rooms. I currently have one standing meeting per week that I am the chair of and I humbly accepted when two other chairpersons asked me to sub for them until they are ready to return to their meetings.

The link that I have made is that about a month before my 50th birthday on September 14th , 2016 I stopped doing any type of service work at my home group and my online home group after almost 2 1/2 years of sobriety. Because of this the dynamic of my sobriety changed, I had become prideful and I had lost my humility where it came to my sobriety. Because of this I know for a fact that there is a link between service work and sobriety. the link is this I CAN NOT KEEP WHAT I DO NOT GIVE AWAY FREELY!!!!

Today I know the ANSWER to my continued sobriety is HUMILITY, SELF-LOVE, SERVICE, the suggested program of Alcoholics Anonymous and my HIGHER POWER whom I choose to call God. I wanted to close with an excellent reminder from one of my favorite contemporary Cristian rock artists Jeremy Camp. Please enjoy this video of “The Answer”.

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

#SLS 07/5/20 – The Great Adventure

This week Jim has given us the prompts of Best/Better/Good/Great for #SLS. So, I have chosen Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Great Adventure. This song is just a constant reminder that if you have faith in a Higher Power, I just happen to call mine God, then you really are on a great adventure.

My great adventure has just surpassed the 6 month mark of SOBRIETY and I am loving this adventure as it is so much more this time. I am seeing things come true that weren’t even close to coming true when I had the previous 2 1/2 years of sobriety before I turned 50 in September of 2016. At that time I had quit doing service work in both my online meetings with Global Steps AA and my face to face meetings with my home group The Goliad Group. I have realized that that was the primary cause of my major relapse and then my continued roller coaster ride over the last 3 1/2 years. I am very proud and blessed to be on this GREAT ADVENTURE of RCOVERY!!

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

Lyrics

Saddle up your horses
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh

Started out this morning in the usual way
Chasing thoughts inside my head
I thought I had to do today
Another time around the circle
Try to make it better than the last
I opened up the Bible
And I read about me
Said I’d been a prisoner
And God’s Grace had set me free
And somewhere between the pages
It hit me like a lightning bolt
I saw a big frontier in front of me
And I heard somebody say let’s go

Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze
Oh oh oh
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s Amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the Glorious unknown
This is the life like no other whoa whoa
This is the great adventure

Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh yeah, yeah

So come on, get ready for the ride of your life
Gonna leave long faced religion
In a cloud of dust behind
And discover all the new horizons
Just waiting to be explored
This is what we were created for, yeah

Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze
Oh oh oh
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s Amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the Glorious unknown
This is the life like no other whoa whoa
This is the great adventure

We’ll travel on, over mountains so high
We’ll go through valleys below
Still through it all we’ll find that
This is the greatest journey
That the human heart will ever see
The love of God will take us far
Beyond our wildest dreams

Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze
Oh oh oh
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s Amazing grace
Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze (we’ve got a trail we’ve got a trail to blaze)
Through the wild blue yonder of God’s Amazing grace
Let’s follow our leader into the Glorious unknown
This is the life like no other whoa whoa
This is the great adventure

Oh oh oh oh (this is the great adventure)
Oh oh oh oh (this is the great adventure)
Oh oh oh oh (this is the great adventure)

Saddle up, saddle up your horses

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Steven Curtis Chapman / Geoff Moore

Slightly Late #SoCS – Recovery Toss

Linda gave us the prompt of toss for this week’s #SoCS.

There are days when I wish I could just toss all of the junk that lines the walls in my dining room, living room garage, backroom and the husband’s bedroom out.

Unfortunately, when you live with a hoarder, you cannot just toss things out. It is a struggle and I have begged for years for him to seek some help to so we can understand the cause of his hoarding. I will say that over the last two years, he has gotten much better at not just buying crap just to buy crap.

So, I simply just toss my own crap out. Every six months I go through a purge. If it hasn’t been worn or used in the last six months to a year – it gets TOSSED!!

I also continue to toss all those old behaviors , attitudes, and resentments out of my head and the way I speak and, act and react in situations that used to baffle me. By the way all of those items mentioned above are items that I have tended to hoard over the years, even when I thought I wasn’t. I am blessed to have 6 months of SOBRIETY as of 7/1/20 and I am so proud to have them.

So, I will keep on tossing what I don’t need and keep only what will benefit me in my road of recovery and being spiritually fit!!

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

Late #SoCS 6/6/20 – Fan

This week Linda has given us the prompt of FAN for our #SoCS.

I started writing this post yesterday morning and then my best friend whose mother passed away on Friday called asked if I could come over and handle taking down her brush for the big brush pick-up on Monday 6/8. So of course, I dropped everything and spent almost 9 hours assisting my ride or die.

I am a huge fan of many things. Specific movies to include A Few Good Men, Goodfellas, Casino, A Time to Kill, Steel Magnolias, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, anything with Joan Crawford or Bette Davis. As evidenced by my posts I am a huge fan of many music genres to include country, jazz, contemporary Christian, and anything from the greatest music decade ever – the 1980’s.

I love to read my favorite author is John Grisham and I have read pretty much every book he has written and seen every movie that was made from a book of his.

I am a fan of remaining sober and working my program with my great sponsor and my Higher Power whom I choose to call God along with the assistance of my husband – who yes, I am a huge fan of and my family.

You what I am the biggest fan of? You guessed it my four legged babies. They love me UNCONDITIONALLY and if my husband got as excited about me walking in the door as they all do, that would be icing on the cake. The pictures below were all taken on Thursday evening 6/4/20 which just so happened to be Five months of sobriety for me.

#AtoZChallenge2020 – Back to Life

B2020

For today’s#AtoZChallenge2020, I have chosen a song that definitely expresses how I feel as I come up on a new 90 days of sobriety. Tomorrow I will celebrate 90 days and without picking up a 90 day chip until after this craziness is over. I am so happy with where I am and I just need to keep doing the work.  After the crazy month of December and the harsh early beginning of January – I had to really make the decision that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I hope you enjoy this song by Mandisa, Back to Life.

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

Lyrics
I breathe out confusion
I breathe in Your truth
I breathe out all my fear
I breathe in Your peace
I, I’m coming back to life
I’m feeling hope arise
Because of You, only You
Jesus…
I, I’m leaving the rest behind
My heart is satisfied
Because of You, only You
Jesus!
I lay down my weakness
I take on Your strength
I lay down my defenses
I step into Your victory!
I, I’m coming back to life
I’m feeling hope arise
Because of You, only You
Jesus…
I, I’m leaving the rest behind
My heart is satisfied
Because of You, only You
Jesus!
Only You, Jesus!
Shame and depression, and all anxieties
They have no power over me
Addiction and strongholds, and every disease
They have no power over me, o-o-o-o-ohh
Shame and depression, and all anxieties
They have no power over me, oh!
Addiction and strongholds, and every disease
They have no power over me, oh!
Oh I, I’m coming back to life
I’m feeling hope arise
Because of You, only You
Jesus…
I, I’m leaving the rest behind
My heart is satisfied
Because of You, only You
Jesus…
I, I’m coming back to life
I’m feeling hope arise
Because of You, only You
Jesus…
Oh I, I’m leaving the rest behind
My heart is satisfied
Because of You, only You
Jesus
Because of You, only You
I’m coming back to life
Oh thank You Jesus
Oh thank You Jesus
I’m coming back to life
I’m coming back to life
Thank You Lord
I’m coming back, I’m coming back to life
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Michael Farren / James Galbraith / Krissy Nordhoff