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  • Writer's pictureLori Erion

30-Day Letters of Gratitude Challenge

The photo explains how to do the 30-Day Journaling Challenge. This is mine. I decided to add it to the FOA blog, and share it on Facebook, as an incentive for others to try it as well. In our busy life, it is ALWAYS hard to stop and do what we need to for ourselves, let alone "journal".​

I am trusting in the process as described by the authors of The Letters of Gratitude.

DAY 1 - Saturday, April 26, 2014 (April's 20th birthday)

Ok. I am starting small as the instructions indicate. I am grateful for my FOA family. It feels really great to have indescribable compassion for, and from the group members. We truly have a bond that I have not felt with any other venture I have been involved with. I feel as though I am now not alone in my struggle for answers and peace, and that they now serve a positive purpose by... one helping another, to help another.

DAY 2 - Sunday, April 27, 2014

All in all it has been a really shitty day. So I guess the directions say I need to find the lesson learned from the challenge. I'm not really in the mood to find the lesson right now, but I will do it anyway. Hmm. The lesson can be that I still have a long way to being more consistent in finding a peaceful way of dealing with this. That maybe someday when someone else is where I am today, since I directly will know how they feel, I can truly help them through it, even if its to be still and listen. Be there for them. When they are on a verge of a breakdown, not leave without saying a word. Cuz I know from today, that hurts.

DAY 3 - Monday, April 28, 2014

I am sure there are many that can understand how I feel, and many more that can't. The feeling that nothing... credit cards, debit cards, jewelry, heirlooms, appliances (including window air conditioners), or anything else you can imagine, is not safe in my own home. This is something that I never dreamed I would have to endure as a parent. Even behind locked doors, nothing is safe from disappearing and being sold for drugs. It a violation that no parent should ever have endure, and before you know it, it happens over and over and over again. That being said, the lesson I learned today is this. Even though my life has been a living hell lately, I feel it is all minimal compared to those in Arkansas that have lost EVERYTHING in one moment, without much warning, nothing slow about it. That has got to be horrible. Something that I CANNOT imagine. So maybe my life is not as much of a wreck as I think it is. Someone is always fighting a bigger battle than I. I feel more positive already. And I thank all my friends that have reached out to show their concern and care. Now that April is at the Nova House (at her request), I can relax and re-focus, and I feel very blessed that she was able to get in there so quickly. THAT is something to be positive about. Now I just need to focus on each day, possibly each hour, and not think about any further expectation, and trust in the process.

DAY 4 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Been another day to get through. I woke up with a "keep positive" attitude. All was well. Then I got the call that the rehab had taken April to the ER again today, and she went AWOL. An awesome opportunity for help that she ran away from. This evil beast gets a hold and won't let go. But the lesson is: I have to. Now is the time, just like we tell the afflicted, that I have to listen to the others who have been where I am. I can't let my emotions and fears get in the way of the process. There is nothing I can do to save her. She has to save herself, and she is not ready. I have to leave it that. Now I need to save myself from the insanity that this brings to me and rest of the family.

This has shown me that there are people who truly care about my welfare and the welfare of my family. This has been an awesome positive from all this. For this, I am truly grateful. One of the reasons I started FOA was to make new friends. This has happened and I am thrilled. I can only hope that others benefit as much as I do, and that in the future FOA can provide this support to many, many more. I think fellowship is essential for us, just like it is for the afflicted.

Funny how none of us, affected or afflicted, ever asked for this, and it is amazing at how many parallels there are between their recovery and our recovery. Hmmm something to reflect on.

One last note to quote an FOA friend on her situation, "I just keep praying for a miracle. I hate drugs."

Ditto and (((((Hugs))))) <3

DAY 5 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

So I was just talking with my son and his girlfriend about their fall schedules at Sinclair. My son dictated today's entry when he said he was sure that I would probably live life different if I had to do it over. Hmmm. My fist instinct was no I wouldn't... I am where I am supposed to be. I don't know what I would do different, if anything. Sure there have been hard times, hills and valleys, but the small moments like we just shared, might be what it's all about. I have confidence that my son is going to do well in whatever he chooses to do. And whatever that is, it is sure to benefit and help someone. He is so compassionate.

Back to thinking about what I would change... I think that because I KNOW where I am today, I am good with that. It's the anxiety of thinking that if I had done things differently, I don't KNOW how things would be different. They could be better, they could be worse. The unknown is uncomfortable for me. So I guess that means that I am good and comfortable with where things are for me today. There are a lot of people with way worse problems than I have. I have so much to be grateful for. And that is what keeps me feeling ok.

My sister says I am one of the strongest people she knows. It's the strong ones God gives the challenges to, because He knows you will persevere and be even stronger for it. My mother is the most awesome person I know and love. She has been through MANY challenges herself, and maybe watching and learning from her, is how I am able to deal with mine. Maybe when she was facing these challenges she asked God, " why me?", and maybe that answer is, "because you need to be the teacher for your own children." So there is a reason and a purpose for everything. Sometimes we just can't understand why when we want to. My mother continues to be here for me today, and I know her heart breaks over all what is happening. But what she really needs to know, is she is the one who prepared me for this journey, and was the best teacher I could have had. I love her.

And then there's my son. He, also, has had HUGE challenges to overcome. And he has. He is the poster boy for the fact that there is hope, that there are miracles, and people can change their path if they have the desire to do so. Maybe I taught him that. Thanks Mom. And then he will teach his children.

Life is good.

DAY 6 - Thursday, May 1, 2014

Strength and trust come to mind. The title of next week's meeting is (which I totally stole from Dr. Steve Maraboli):It is when I struggle that I strengthen.It is when challenged to my core that I learnthe depth of who I am.

I love this. It makes me feel ok that last week I was at a real low place, just hanging on, frustrated and angry. Angry at the system for not accepting April into treatment because she could not pass a drug test, angry at April for not being able to do what it takes to pass the drug test... patience and nerves shot and non-existent. Challenged to the core, may be putting it lightly. All of us who have been where I was, know exactly how I was feeling. But then >>> like the pattern of my life, I pull myself up and re-focus. I never seem to stay 'there' long. Probably because it is so much work to stay there - and so unhealthy for me and all those around me. And once you realize that you can come up out of it ONE time, you know you can do it again... and again. So I would say the depth of me goes pretty deep.

That's what trusting in a power greater than yourself can do for you. For you see, it's not me, it's the God of my understanding, doing for me what I cannot do for myself. Thank you CB for showing me the way.

DAY 7 - Friday, May 2, 2014

First, thank god its Friday. Second, the pool is getting filled tomorrow morning. Third, its 12:06 am but I am considering this still Friday. My midnight is actually probably more like 1:30 am. So Friday it is.

On April 27th, the day after April's 20th birthday, Geneva Erion left this world to be the ones she has so missed all these years. She was the mother of my first ex -- the father of my children. I got to thinking if this made her an ex too... like ex-mother-in-law. I decided that this does not make her an ex. We have had mutual respect for each other all these years, so... I have decided that the rule would be if you like the ex-in-laws, then they are still "in", if you don't like the ex-in-laws, then they stay "ex". So she's "in"

Geneva was such a compassionate, giving person, never expecting anything in return. She liked to cheer up the kids at the local hospital by dressing up as a clown. She liked to see other people happy. She has had her share of challenges, and hers make mine seem minimal in comparison. She was preceded in death by three of her children, not one, but three, including my children's father. I cannot imagine what this was like for her. If she seemed a little off, or kinda crazy sometimes, I always gave her the benefit of the doubt, thinking that a woman who has out-lived three of her children is entitled to 'be' however she wants to be. So I am happy that she can finally be with those who she has missed all this time. She did a great job with her life, despite all the challenges she faced throughout the years.

I decided to call JH and touch base on how they were all holding up (they live in IA) We were talking about how it is good that Geneva was at peace and out of her pain, but JH started to tear up about missing her and all, and then I started to tear up too...Realizing that at that moment, I had soooo much emotion for this whole situation. More than I realized. The emotions and tears took me by surprise. Then I started to think about my own mom at 80 years old. I am in denial that anything is ever gonna happen to her. Let's leave it at that cuz this is the start of another topic for another time.

RIP Geneva. You are loved.

DAY 8 - Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy with what I got done today. Especially the pool getting filled. I am excited for our second year as pool owners. My son has always wanted a pool in the yard, and last year I decided to get one, he enjoyed it immensely, even tho the season was short. I am hoping for more fun for him, his awesome girlfriend, and I this summer. We used to lob the ball back and forth, and it was really fun. The best part was spending simple, quality time with the family. Looking forward to swimming, grilling and walking the dogs.

Last year April hardly used the pool at all. The few times she did get in, she would have me get the raft all ready, so she could just slip in on it, without really getting wet. But after she got in, she seemed to enjoy it. And that meant that I enjoyed it. It was nice to have her be a part of something we were doing. It is, and was, so rare. She doesn't like the heat at all. We must not be cut from the same cloth...

She sounds like she is hitting a deeper bottom. I am praying that she comes back up after she hits. Praying for a miracle. I hate drugs. Thank God tomorrow is Sunday.

DAY 9 - Sunday, May 4, 2014

Almost midnight. Good weekend and got lots done. I wanted to take this time to let anyone following this journal challenge know that the reason I am posting my journal is to motivate and remind others to do this as well. It really has helped to keep me more positive, more grateful, and more interested in other priorities and other people, as opposed to being stuck on my situation.

Any comments? Anyone else been motivated to try the challenge? How is it working for you? Interested in hearing about anyone's experience.

DAY 10 - Monday, May 5, 2014

After stopping at Fulmer's Community Market in Park Layne after work today, I reflected on my move to this area. Sometimes I wonder what in creation was I thinking when I moved here. But after my visit to the market tonight, I was reminded what it is about this small town that I like.

The man working the deli was very outgoing and talkative from the moment I walked up to the counter. I wasn't sure I was gonna get anything – prices have gone up so much. I decided to get a few things and he was telling me about the cookies he had made today, something new. Sugar cookie top and bottom, chocolate cream inside and mini morsels around the edge. Each about the size of a sandwich, and all 4 for only $2.29. I walked over and took a look. Then I thought $2.29! I asked the man, why so little for so much. He said they were new and he wanted people to try them. I took a container of those too. YUM

Then he told me he that he is really a cook, but couldn't get a position that paid anything. He had worked at Fulmer's previously, and they re-hired him and paid him well. Then he told me about the BBQ that they are having out front on Saturday.

He was just really friendly, helpful and happy. He seemed happy with himself, his job and the moment.

There is also a lady at the New Carlisle PNC that was really friendly and happy to hear about FOA and commiserate about the drug use in the area (I was rectifying my bank accounts). She even gave me a lead on a local guy from Medway that did T-shirts. I called him that day, and he too, was really friendly. I ordered 20 shirts from him and it worked out wonderfully. No shipping charges was the topping on the cake.

What I love about living in a small town is the people. Done it before in Iowa and it was the same way.

Today I am grateful for the small town that I live in, and the genuine home town simple life, and when I see a car parked in the front yard, it makes me smile. Only in Park Layne.

DAY 11 - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Today was dentist day. We go to Dr. Todd Baker in Springboro. Why did I choose his office as our dental care people? Because the dentist's name is TODD of coarse. He lives up to the Todd name, handsome and nice. Only met one that wasn't. That is why I named my son Todd. All the Todd's I ever knew were nice and handsome. Anyway, all three of us went, even April. That reminds me of 6 months ago when she was trying to meet us at the appointment as she had an appointment at TCN in Xenia beforehand. TCN insisted she was high and wouldn't let her drive. They offered her a cab, but not to New Carlisle where we live, that was out of the county, and not to the dentist, because that was against the rules. I told them she really needed to be at the dentist, and to get her there if possible. She ducked out of the smoking area to meet us, and they sent the cops after her. She never made the appointment. Todd and I had to pick her up at a gas station in Xenia and drive her back to New Carlisle. I would not have doubted that she used that day, but she was fine just like she was any other day. What a disaster.

The appointment was good. Todd still has ZERO cavities and no fillings ever!! How does this happen? April's wisdom teeth are coming in. Hope taking them out can wait till next year. And I have a filling that needs attention, but all is well.

On the way there, we were discussing other people's idea of what the dentist is for. My son said that most of his friends seem to think the dentist is only for emergencies. Not prevention. April agreed. We seem to be the only people they know that goes to the dentist every 6 months. The kids like the fact that we take care of our teeth. And they tell me that they will do the same with their kids. Kudos to my mom for this! I learned this from her. She would take all four of us at the same time, up until I went to college and went away. So now I do the same thing with me and my kids. And they will do the same thing with their kids. And their kids will do the same thing with their kids. I hope.

Mom spent a lot of money on my teeth in particular. I had braces and had 4 teeth pulled in the process. Then all the wisdom teeth pulled as well. I am sure my parents really didn't have the money for all that, and she never said a word about it. I would come out of the orthodontists office looking like I had been tightened to the hilt, and mom says she felt for me. Offered me aspirin and support. I don't remember it really hurting that bad. I think mom was very proud of the way my teeth turned out, especially since the orthodontists used a plan to make all my teeth fit that other orthodontists said wouldn't work. She prolly still thinks about how nice my teeth look when she sees me, and is reminded that it was a very good investment!

Lesson learned: see the dentist every 6 months as recommended for a beautiful smile.

DAY 12 - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Doin this from my phone tonight so using this pic. Great FOA meeting. Love meeting newcomers. I am considering starting a meeting more south of town town to accommodate more people. Anyone interested? Msg me or see and email me your thoughts. I am grateful for the ability to overcome and never give up on the drive and motivation I have to create change.

DAY 13 - Thursday, May 8, 2014

Great day. Work bought my co-worker and I brand new macs and they are here. Thanks!! Tons of gratitude. Went to a great meeting w some of my FOA peeps and hoping that T got it. I see really good things there. It is most encouraging when people are ready for help and you see them embracing it. It is awesome that the people I have known all these years are so giving and eager to help those that they don't know. This is How It Works. Grateful for this day.

DAY 14 - Friday, May 9, 2014

I am eternally grateful for Fridays and my comfy bed. Zzzz

DAY 15 - Saturday, May 10, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM Mom, I want you to know that you did an awesome job in raising the four of us. First of all, you basically did it all yourself, and heaven knows that I know what that is like. You had more hurdles to jump that most. Through the years you have been hard on yourself when looking at back at some of those times and I think you need to know that all is well, you did a great job, and the best you could, for everyone. That's all anyone can ask, and that's what you always taught me. And now that's what I teach my kids.

Being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had. The job is never done, It doesn't pay well, and the rewards are a long time coming. I want you to know that I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for you, and the challenges that you faced as a mother. And continue to face as a mother, and this has opened my eyes to the fact that my 'job' as a mother will never be over, I am proof of that for you. But in the process you taught me unconditional love, forgiveness, perseverance, wisdom and strength.

I wouldn't have changed a thing. Thank you for everything you taught me, and teach me today. Thank you for your never-ending help and support you have shown me.

I hope you have a great day, I know I will. I love you.

DAY 16 - Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day. Good day. Worked hard on the pool and yard. Pooped.

DAY 17 - Monday, May 12, 2014

Not sure if anyone noticed, but I took a day off from the journal yesterday. After all, it WAS Mother's Day. lol. Anyway, got lots done in and out of the house. Looking forward to swimming in the pool -- the work is somewhat therapeutic and worth the effort. I wish that April could look at gettin off that shit like this. Prayin for a miracle. I hate drugs. Thanks for line KM.

I am super excited about the organization - they are about the movie: THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE which is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. NO LONGER WILL WE REMAIN SILENT --- uh yeah, I would be one of them... and I am not remaining silent either. We are moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters - all bringing the power and proof of recovery to our communities. Together we will change public perception, and ultimately the public response to the addiction crisis...FOREVER.

I am advocating this movement and would like others who like this idea to get on board with me and LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!! Then I think, who am I kidding. One person cannot make a difference. What AM I doing? See I go both ways. I am a person living in long term recovery which means that I have been free from alcohol and drugs for over 8 years.... AND I am the mother of a heroin addict, thus FOA. I have a passion for both sides of this. To help the addict find a path to recovery, and the families to find a path to peace. Society is kinda making it seem like the support group has to be one or the other... I am not so sure it has to be this way. The family and the addicted loved one seem to travel a parallel path, until one or the other gets help. We RUN together in this... and one thing that makes FOA unique, is that we have families, and persons in long term recovery and newbie persons in recovery and persons contemplating recovery, all in the same support group, and WE like it this way. No matter where ANY of us is on this roller coaster called addiction, it is a long treacherous ride. WE ALL HELP EACH OTHER. And that's what I love about FOA. Happy Monday!

Day 18 -Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I love this pic. It radiates strength, positiveness, the depth of the good we are or can be. That beyond the struggle is the Sunlight. I was on the news again today. I do it to create awareness. I put my situation out there so others see that this is a real problem affecting real people. That I have a support group for people like us and maybe someone will seek it out and it will help them. There is also a real solution which I am working on getting on the media. Problem is that drama sells, not fluff and good stuff. I hope I can get someone to listen.

Day 19 - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Small but great meeting. KEY people were there. I thank them all for coming. Sharing a video tonight. Is this considered journaling still? I hope so cuz it's late. Favorite son, so handsome, a candid fun moment amidst the chaos. I cherish these small snippets of good times. Looking forward to more this summer. ♥

Day 20, 21 & 22 - Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 15,16,17, 2014 I missed another day. Since I didn't really have anything to journal about, April gave me permission to share a goodbye letter she wrote while at the American Addiction Center in CA in January. I have hope that one day she will be ready to act on her heart felt words of inspiration. She, like me, wants to share awareness that addiction does not play favorites and is not a spectator sport ~ eventually the whole family gets to play. I love her. Dear Heroin, You’ve ravaged my body, you’ve ravaged my mind. I still think about you all the time; but it’s time to say goodbye. We met years ago, Colin* introduced me to you. Now you’ve demolished his life too. You took away my feelings, you took away my pain. I’ve never been afraid of you, the way I am today. I like the way you feel, but not the things you’ve made me do. I’ve caused a lot of hurt and pain, all because of you. I hurt my mother, I hurt my brother, things I can’t undo. It’s not enough to say I’m sorry, so I’m saying goodbye to you. I’ll miss your comfort, and your warm embrace. You’re tearing my life apart, but I’ll have your name forever on my heart. My wounds will heal, but my scars will remind me that if I ever pick you up again this same destruction will find me. Love, April *Original name has been changed.

Day 23 - Sunday, May 18, 2014 Seven more days to go to complete the challenge. I thought I had gotten it now; how this addiction, RAT BASTARD, works and operates, but apparently I don't got it.... was had again today. ugh. I am not sure that mothers are innately equipped to deal with rat bastard. I think mothers instinctively want to help their kids. Want to believe their kids. Want the best for their kids. Want to love their kids in the way that most mothers do. And because the RAT looks like our kid, we think we are dealing with our kid. But we are not. Lesson learned: I need to remember that looks aren't everything.

Day 24 - Monday, May 19, 2014 What better positive topic to journal about than 300LIKES! I thank each and every one of you for helping to share the hard, cruel fact that addiction has touched more than 2/3 of American families in one way or another. I created this support group to help families of the Dayton, Ohio area come together to share their successes and trials in an atmosphere of heartfelt compassion. It continues to amaze me every week, the closeness, the instant bond, the well-know look in the eyes that we all share...because we all know what horrors and miracles we have experienced. I have a special passion for the addicted loved ones that come. It creates such hope that they are reaching out for help for themselves, and in turn, this helps our families. FOA can help them as well. We all have experience with where we have been to get help, and what it involved. We share information and it is getting to be a good resource of information as well as support. It is only going to get better. We have a great core group of members, and to all of you, I am eternally grateful for the help you have given me personally, and also the help you have contributed to the group, through the sharing of your personal experiences. Everyone MATTERS and is so special to me. Thank you

Day 25 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

News Footage on April This segment is of my daughter, April telling Fox 45 about how her addiction started and what it is like for her now. As much as we like success stories with hopeful endings, her doesn't have one yet. They took a lot of footage and should develop a video to show in schools and for parents. It outlines her addiction really well and one can see that heroin has no prejudice and destroys anything in its path. We talked about her doing this, and she wants to bring about awareness to young people and families about heroin addiction in the hopes that if someone sees this (and hopefully the rest of the footage), maybe they wont pick it up and "throw their life away" like this has done for her. Maybe parents will be more aware by seeing this, and listen and seek help sooner. I am really proud of her courage to throw her life in front of the news for everyone to see. It must have been hard. She has nothing to gain, no axe to grind, just sharing awareness of the reality of it for her, and other heroin addicts like herself. I found it sad, angering and frustrating that someone I know insinuated that April was not sincere in her words and actions. I really just don't know how someone who isn't in her shoes could judge her so quickly and harshly. Even if you know someone, or have lived with someone who is a heroin addict, how do you KNOW how THEY really feel? That's what this was about. How her addiction has overtaken her. It is attitudes like this that make it difficult for addicts to receive humane treatment, more timely treatment, and respectful treatment that a mentally and physically sick person deserves. It is out there, but sometimes like a needle in a haystack. This is why I started FOA, so families and addicts have a place where everyone understands our pain, and doesn't judge ANYONE, but instead come with passionate hearts to help all. I thank April from the bottom of my heart for this bravery she showed today and I love her. Prayin for miracle for ALL. I hate drugs.!

Day 26 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 This is the corner of Shull and Brandt Pike. The corner that Sinclair Huber Heights is on. The corner that FOA holds its weekly meeting at. I want to shout out a HUGE THANK YOU to all the people that showed up tonight despite the challenge of getting there. It really was heart-warming to see that FOA is that important for some to travel in such a mess. To those that chose to stay in... don't blame you a bit, but we missed you. Our speaker did finally get through the traffic with a short time to speak. From the short time we had, I know her story and message will be truly inspiring. Tentative plans to have her speak 2 weeks from today. The poor security guard. We always stay till the last possible moment and he starts to pace outside the room around 9:30, I'm thinking to remind us of the time. We are always the last to leave the building, and he leaves right after us. Sooo he was probably thinking he would have an early night but Nooooooooooo...when he saw us all coming he was probably saying...... those FOA people NEVER GIVE UP. Nope, we don't. God bless the security guard. He is a very nice man. Great meeting! See you next week!

Day 27 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 I have a QUESTION for Mothers of addicted loved ones. I was at the Dayton Dragons game on Tuesday night. The weather was great, the food was great, the free hat that I gave away to a random kid, was great (cuz I will be getting another one at our FOA game day event, June 1st). I posted this pic on my personal page the night of the game. I posted here again, because I am wondering if other moms do this thing that I do. See the boys in the green hats? They looked to be about 9 and 10 or 11. I was wondering a lot about these two boys. Were they brothers? Friends? How into baseball are they really? They had hats and neat T-shirts all about Dragons. Would they still like baseball as adults? And then the big question that comes to my mind so often. I wonder if they will grow up to be heroin addicts. I wonder this about a lot of kids I see, even babies. I think I wonder about this because I know FIRST HAND that you don't have a warning that your kid is gonna get trapped in the deadly clutches of RAT BASTARD (heroin). You are blind-sided by it. You may know they are dabbling in smoking weed, drinking or some pills, but NO idea that they are SHOOTING HEROIN. And since it has no prejudice, ANYONE could have this monster lurking in the back recesses of the mind and they don't even know it. It's like a switch goes from OFF to ON if an opiate enters the body. OFF-ON. That's it. And if you are "allergic" to heroin, that's it, OFF to ON. Not everyone is "allergic". Some have tried it, and don't seem to care for it, so they don't do it again. But others say that they loved it the very first time, and went back for more, and more. And so this is how it began for so many. Switch is now ON. And it stays in the ON position for a long time. And even when you think it switched OFF, the RAT BASTARD is lurking close behind to see if he can switch it back ON. Sneaky piece of shit. SO THE QUESTION IS: Do other mothers of addicts look at kids and wonder these things that I do? They look so innocent. I look at pictures of April. No sign. Perfect baby. Smiley kid. Who wouda known?

Day 28 - Saturday, May 24, 2014

I wanted to journal a bit about ANGER. The other day, I became angry when someone judged April's news footage. I journaled about that the other day. After that, I didn't want to participate in an upcoming event because I didn't feel like being with those people. A couple of days passed and I wound up going. My sister said, "I thought you weren't going" and I texted back, "bigger, better person". This all got me thinking. There are so many things about addiction changing from spectator to participant when it comes banging on your front door, barges into your home and takes over your life, and the life of everyone in your family. A few of the things that really get me going is all of the behaviors associated with addiction that us families know so well. But most of all, being taken again. Trusting and then realizing you have been had again. Thinking you were talking to your kid, then realizing it was RAT BASTARD the whole time! ANGER. Another is when people who have their own crosses to bear, judge my actions concerning our situation. Some mean well, but some spout off so quickly before even thinking sometimes. They KNOW what they would do. REALLY...DO YOU? My feeling is people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Until a person walks in these shoes, you will NEVER know what this is like, and to judge us and our actions is unfair and cruel. We have so much of our own shit to process through and live with, that throwing more unnecessary shit on our pile just makes the load that much heavier. That's what I think anyway. But then again, that's what advocacy and awareness is all about. Changing the way these types of people think. However, when its people that are in your close circle, it hurts and gets me ANGRY. This brings me back to "bigger, better person". When I am ANGRY about these things, I REALLY have to remind myself to not be ANGRY at everyone. It's not their fault, and it's not fair to them. If a person in my situation allowed, you could be angry all the time, as there are SO many frustrations, challenges and hurdles to overcome. But, being a person in long term recovery, no alcohol or drugs for over eight years, I have a program to work, thank God. When I catch myself being angry at everyone because I am angry at one incident, I defer to what it has worked for me for the last eight years. (pp 66 & 67 AA Big Book) "It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done." We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one." -- And this is why I can be a better person today, even with all the chaos, pain and heartbreak that a person living in active addiction can bring to your life. Progress, not perfection. Prayin for a miracle. I hate drugs.

Day 29 - Sunday, May 25, 2014

I started running a day behind yesterday, however, my 30 day gratitude journal challenge is almost over. I couldn't stop this journal without sharing the fact that I have become a MOVIE CAPTAIN. Yikes. What this means is that I am (my group) bringing The Anonymous People movie to the city of Dayton, Ohio. This means that as the host of the movie, I am gonna have to address the audience at the start of the show. YIKES. Talk about being out of your comfort zone. I think one of the greatest memes is the one that says "If you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable" I am being led to do what I am doing. I am hoping to create positive change on how addiction is perceived by the community, thus enabling the afflicted the opportunity to get well. This movie does the opposite of what we are all used to. It takes a positive approach to recovery by hearing from those who are in long term recovery and how their lives have become more hopeful, productive and stable because of it. I am one of those people and there are more of us in Dayton that no one knows about. I am hoping that this movie draws these people out, to have the same vision I have, that Many Faces 1 Voice has. ( Those that have some recovery time may be especially interested, as the premise of the movie is that people in long term recovery have a voice that has been silent thus far. The more that people in long term recovery speak out about the hope and stability they have received as a result of their recovery, the more people can get well and have the same opportunity to do so as a result. The messaging is only about the positive, not the negative. So the lesson learned is that I am doing things that I would have never dreamed as a result of our situation. If only one family or addicted loved one gets helps a result, then FOA has done well. I get nervous or anxious, but I just push through, knowing that this is what I am to do. I can't explain it, but it's all good. This journaling has been good. Rough sometimes, because it is the last thing I do in the day, and sometimes that is really the next day, ugh. Please take a look at supporting me in hosting this movie, we could be making history in a new way of looking at recovery for the Dayton area. Check out the webpage where you can see the trailer and also purchase your ticket. I'm excited. This is gonna be good.

Day 30 - Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 30 - FOA 30 day journal challenge. See this? Day 30. The last day. I started this challenge on April's 20th birthday, April 27. This pic was taken Feb 19, 2013 the night April graduated from Creative Images. I think this is an awesome pic of her. She didn't like it. We have been through A LOT the last month. But on this day 30, she has decided she has had enough. Ready to put it down. Tired of the hustling, tired of the piece of shit car she has, tired of all the legal trouble that has accumulated as a result of her addiction, just plain sick and tired. I can only hope and pray that it sticks. That she has the strength and determination to push through it. That she is desperate enough to want something better for herself. We have had some good talks over the last few days. She has been tapering herself off, and sticking around the house. Tomorrow would be day 1 without anything. Maybe that should be HER DAY 1 of the gratitude journal challenge! I would recommend the journal challenge to anyone. I really think it has helped me to remain sane, and see the positive in what can be so heart breaking. Kind of kept me focused and accountable. I think I will continue to journal here, just not every day. It has kept me up way too late, as it is usually the last thing I do in the day. So my friends, I hope this is a new beginning for April. Please pray for her. I am PRAYIN FOR A MIRACLE. I HATE DRUGS. Thanks KM, I love this line. Goodbye, farewell... 30 day letters of gratitude challenge.

Hope you enjoyed it :)

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