Tag Archives: #SoCS

#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.

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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 9/26/20 – Container

Linda has provided us with the prompt of container for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

There is nothing worse than trying to find lids to the containers in the plastic to go cabinet in the kitchen. Wait, there is something worse, when you specifically buy containers with lids that stack together and your husband refuses to fall in line with that practice.

I cannot tell you how many I say, “Mr. Herrera, I buy these types of containers because of their ability to help save space and to keep the containers and lids together in one simple place. You see on Sundays I cook Sunder dinner and I deliver food to some very special people – my mother in law, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and some other friends of ours.

It is very annoying searching for containers and then not finding the lids because he has put them in a drawer where they don’t belong.

On a different topic, I am getting better a placing certain things that have come up in my recovery into different MENTAL containers, some would say compartments – but aren’t they really the same thing?

For example when the old resentment player decides to suddenly crank up, I shut it off and throw it back into the far reaches of the resentment container in the brain. I have been blessed that over the last 8 months and 22 days I have not had to throw the desire to drink into it’s mental container – because I haven’t had any desire to drink.

What I do have to make sure stays in their respective mental containers are my character defects of impatience, sometimes being impulsive, speeding (for which I just completed my Defensive Driving Course for getting a ticket for going 86 in a 70 on a country road in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas on 9/5/20 when I went to see my family on a spur of the moment trip), finding faults in others that I do not like about myself. I could go on and on with this list.

How do I keep those things where they belong? I wake up every day and thank my Higher Power whom I choose to call God for waking mu ep and not just bringing me to. I ask for His guidance in all that I do by turning everything over to the care of God as I understand him. I make meetings whether online or face to face. I do the best right thing. I do not pick up that first drink. At the end the day I again thank my Higher Power for being my partner in recovery JUST FOR TODAY! I am continuing to work on my 4ht step and I am in constant contact with my sponsor and I have the best support system in the world.

That’s what’s in My Rattled Cage today, 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 9/12/20 – Collar

I had my pictures ready yesterday 9/12/20 and I was ready to write this post and then the day just rana way from me. Linda gave us “collar” for our prompt for this week’s #SoCS.

I thought what a perfect prompt because all of our babies got a new collar this week. In order of pictures – Crissy, Little Bitty, our newest baby Lucy, Sadie, Stitchy and Zailey.

We sure do love our babies and I hope every one has a blessed week.

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

#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!!

#SoCS 8/29/20 – “More Than a hundred”

Linda has given us “more than a hundred” as the prompt for today’s #Socs.

Do you remember the days of the first phonographs. Then came the modern record player. Then there was the reel to reel players and my favorite music that my mother would play on the reel to reel tape player was Elvis Presley’s Christmas. Next we saw the eight track tape players – my sister used to play on her record player and eight track tape player a lot of the Beach Boys, Lynrd Skynrd, Janice Joplin, The Doors and all kinds of 70s rock.

Next came the cassette tape and players. Many of you probably remember your first Sony Walkman and then their were so may knock offs. The next thing that came along were compact discs (CDs) which also had its own version of the Sony Walkman CD player. Then came the MP3 player and boy howdy did Apple make a few million on that with the iPod. With streaming services such as Apple Music, I Heart Radio, Sirius XM and all the other ways to listen to music – we all have had to adapt to the way we do it.

I have been a customer of T-Mobile since 2002. When the first iPhone came out in 2007 T-Mobile did not offer it. In fact T-Mobile did not offer the iPhone to their customers until April 2013. I hated the hype about the iPhone because I was never going to be able to get one, they were way to expensive for me. My first iPhone was a 4s and since that time I have moved up and I currently have the Red iPhone 11.

Where am I going with this,? I have more than a hundred music CDs that range from almost every genre of music. The problem is I no longer listen them because I have over 3,000 songs in my extensive Apple Music catalogue and that is how I listen to my music. I will say that when I took my road trip to Lamar, Missouri on Mother’s Day weekend, I did listen to some of my CDs in my brand new 2020 Mistsubishi Mirage that I did not know had a CD player until I did some investigating in my car.

That’s 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!

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!!!