Mondays with Michael – Tears On My Cheeks

We are back on track with another sweet poem from Michael. Thank you for sharing your truth with us Michael! – E

Michael

Tears On My Cheeks…

Tonight I have sad eyes, I think I might cry.
Please give me strength lord, I continue to fight.
The tears drip down my cheeks, I give my worries to you, God help me please.
I’m trying to get home to see my family.
I have a lot of amends to make, for all the lost years, all the mistakes.
I hate this disease for what I use to be.
A liar, a cheat, and the worst part, I became a thief.
I’m sorry to anyone, I may have hurt.
Sorry for all the grief, I was selfish, I thought I was just hurting me.
I was in so much pain, all I could do was drink, anything to not feel, anything to not think.
I hope when we meet, you can see I’m not the man I use to be.
I’m full of love and compassion.
I’ve had an awakening.
I hope you still love me, but for tonight,
The tears drip down my cheeks…
Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…

Mondays with Michael – 9 Months!

Congratulations to Michael for achieving 9 months of sobriety! I know from experience, 9 months can seem like eternity. Way to go Mike! Today, let’s celebrate with him…and Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Michael

Nine Months (9) Clean And Sober

I never knew a man could cry so many tears.

Never knew I was so full of fear.

Through the rain, through the pain,

I’ve had an awakening, no longer insane.

Here to give back, to help those in need.

This is the vision from God, I see in my dreams.

Sobriety the greatest gift from above, through my higher power,

I’m here to help those who suffer, I’m here to love…

Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…

Mondays with Michael – The Promises

MWM

The promises are coming true, I can look in the mirror, I love you.
Recovered from a hopeless state of mind.
Reborn, awakened, here to help others, here to save lives.
It’s not about me, it’s about what I can give.
I’ve surrendered, I’ve been set free.
I crawled up out of the depths of hell.
I cried, I got honest, I came to believe.
I am a miracle, I can finally see.
Thank you God for this gift from above.
From this day forward, I’m here to love…
Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…

Not a Victim, No Longer a Volunteer

Have you ever had someone try to hold you down? Hold you back from your true potential? There have been a few times in my life when someone had given me advice sounding something like “Elysia, you might find that some of these people will try to hold you down or keep you in your place. Don’t let them. Just keep blossoming. Keep growing”.  Good words from well discerning friends.  Did I listen to them? Well I guess that depends.

I have heard the saying “There are no victims, only volunteers.” several times in my life. Discounting real victims of crimes and abuse, this is a true concept. I have never been held down unless I had let someone do so. In addition, once I became an adult I was only a victim when I volunteered to be one.

You see there were times that Hell no, I was not taking anyone’s bullshit. Then there were times that I might let someone else bully me until I realized there was nothing in it for myself. This would usually result in some kind of passive-aggressive behavior on my part. If you were on the receiving end of that, well I really do apologize. Because I can have a razor-sharp tongue when I let myself. I have made men and women cry with the words I have said. For this, I have no pride whatsoever.

In other cases, I might have found that being the victim could serve me quite well. In relationships, I might get nice rewards. When reminding the forlorn “victimizer” of what they had done, well I could win an argument or manipulate a situation to go my way. More so, if there were witnesses I might be able to use them for something at a later time. So as mentioned earlier, I volunteered for such victimization. Though I did not realize it at the time.


Fortunately for myself and my loved ones, something wild happened. I got clean & sober! I began to work with a sponsor and with other women in recovery. They taught me that I just had to keep my side of the street clean and not to worry about anyone else’s side. They taught me to take responsibility for my part in every situation.

As I grew in my recovery I developed the courage to walk away from a diseased, abusive marriage. This abuse went both ways. We BOTH participated in sick, emotional games and it was time to realize that it was not going to get better.  I learned to stay away from such relationships and how to set boundaries.

I learned that I, ME, MYSELF – would be the one who would teach others how to treat me. I continued this as I finished up raising my kids. It was uncomfortable and sometimes I thought they would hate me for good. That did not happen. What happened?  They began to respect me like they never had. Because I respected myself.


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One of my greatest shortcomings was letting people treat me like some kind of second class citizen. I then passed that on to my children. My children, who I thought the world of. They now felt like second class citizens. My sponsor explained that I was the one who would have to change that.

I remember watching a movie called “Once Were Warriors” with my eldest son just six months before I left my marriage.  It was a devastatingly sad movie but worth it to watch to the very end when the abused wife stands up to her abuser. This scene caused my son and me to look at each other and without a word we just nodded.

Lately I have been lead to the act of sending my kids little messages via text or messenger reminding them that they are royalty. That they have every bit of validation to go out and get theirs. Because we are warriors. We are strong and will not be held down.


Did you know just how empowering some Disco songs were?  Such as the lyrics to Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now By McFadden & Whitehead:

“And if you’ve ever been held down before

I know you’ll refuse to be held down anymore!

Don’t you let nothing, nothing

Stand in your way!”

So I say to you this fine Tuesday Morning: You might find that some of these people will try to hold you down or keep you in your place. Don’t let them. Just keep blossoming. Keep growing! And stay blissful my friends – E

Mondays with Michael – Dreams

This week, Michael has written about one of my favorite topics. Dream on and Stay Blissful My Friends! – E

MWM

Dreams come true when you believe.
Anything is possible, anything you can conceive.
Miracles are real. I know, Look at me.
231 days ago in the hospital, just about dead from this vicious disease.
I’ve had an awakening, thank you God for this gift I have received.
My mind is clear, my body is clean. Nothing but love, free from insanity,
I’m here to help those in need.
I want you to be free and happy.
This is my dream…
Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…


dreams

Mondays with Michael – Happy, Joyous and Free

MWM

I never knew life could be so great, never again did I think I’d have a smile on my face.
I give credit to God and the Angels, what a beautiful day.
They brought me from the dark to the light, through the Angels and God, I love the new Mike.
When I pray I always cry, tears of gratitude, I know longer want to die.
They taught me how to live, no longer selfish, I have so much to give.
I’m here to help others through the disease, you can recover, you just have to believe.
The obsession is gone, it’s a miracle.
I’m happy, Joyous, and Free…
Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…

Does Music Soothe A Savage Beast?

music-PA-EVALDIVIA8

Curious to this often misquoted text, which actually is written as follows “Musick has Charms to sooth a savage BREAST” I wonder if William Congreve mis-spelled the words. Because, I do believe that music does indeed tame or soothe the savage BEAST.


And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. – 1Samuel 16:23

With this thought, I am reminded of one of my not so better moments in life. A bus ride to Sybil Brand Institute for Women back in 1990.  Having not paid a fine, I was sentenced to 10 days at this facility. Oh joy. How I have managed to chose the hard lessons in life.

This was to be quite a long day, being booked in the Van Nuys, CA courthouse then off to holding for several hours with a diverse group of women who had a lot to talk about, shout about and fight about. Now I am known to have a mouth of a sailor but even I could not compete with the vicious expletives being tossed around. Everyone was smoking, cursing, yelling, spitting and just being genuinely obnoxious.

We all had our own histories of traumas, drug use and such. I don’t believe I was better or worse than any other woman there. I was just…well a little bit quieter. That says a lot about where I was at the time. Because quiet is not a word often used to describe Elysia. But on this day, I was observing.


The young girl, who could not have been much older than 18 told us about how she was ready to give up her child to the system for good, though she was pretty sure that  she was done with drugs for good this time. When we got to SIW, she would find out they were kicking her loose and made sure to let us all know she would be thinking of us while she “sparked up that first rock”.

There was the woman who was arrested for child endangerment because of the amount of guns her husband had in the home. She was informed by another woman of the inevitability of getting jumped and then put into protective custody.

Oh and this one homeless girl who had been busted for using and was wearing an upside-down sweatshirt for pants. She was a bit off in her humor I might add, using her attire as part of her jokes…

The girl I was to be handcuffed to on the bus was a heroin addict and in the beginning stages of “kicking”. She would soon be sick and get an uncontrollable bloody nose. The girl sitting behind us would soon get a bloody nose as well, but not from that kind of kicking. She would be getting her ass kicked by a couple of guards due to her belligerent manner.

Even during all this, I held no judgment for any of these women. I understood the reality of their lives – our lives. If only they could be, well a little bit quieter…


Finally the moment arrived for us to get on the bus. I thought it was nice that the driver had KOST 103.5 playing on the radio. Though it was difficult to hear the music behind all the loud voices of my co-passengers. “Biiiitch! I been looking for you!” and “That’s the hoe that has my old man’s kid”!

Then it happened. Daryl Hall and John Oat’s “One on One” began to play. A collective sigh moved amongst us. And everyone knew the lyrics! A beautifully soft chorus sang out. It was truly sweet indeed!

I’m tired of playing on the team
Ooh-It seems I don’t get time out anymore – Whoa-oh-oh (yes they sang that part too)
What a change if we set the pace face to face
No one even trying to score – Whoa-oh-oh (yes they sang that part too)
Oh oh I can feel the magic of your touch
And when you move in close a little bit means so much
Ooh yeah, you’ve got to understand baby
Time out is what I’m here for 

One on one I wanna play that game tonight
One on one I know I wanna play that
One on one I wanna play that game tonight
One on one so slow”

I laughed a little, definitely smiled…as I sang alongside these savage beasts who were women just like me. We were making poor choices with our lives. Some choices because we didn’t know any better and some because well, we didn’t care enough about ourselves to do otherwise.

My life is much different these days. I am happy to say that was the last bus ride to jail I have ever taken. Though, I will always smile when that song is played on the radio. Reflecting on a moment that was instantly changed from humiliating to soothing. Music indeed had tamed our savageness, for at least a few minutes.

Enjoy the music and stay blissful my friends! – E

WTF? Again? Why?

Tying a cloth in memory of C...and in prayer for the still suffering addict. — at Devils Tower National Monument.
Tying a cloth in memory of C…and in prayer for the still suffering addict. — at Devils Tower National Monument.

These are all questions that run through my mind as I am informed of another tragic loss due to a drug overdose.

Sometimes the disease of addiction is too damn heartbreaking. So, so very sad. A young man, a father. To say he will be missed much is an understatement. He was the kind of person that though it might have been a while since you had last seen him, you knew an encounter at the gas station was due any day. He would walk up to you and give you the biggest hug, expressing an enthusiastic “I’ve missed you!” But now, we know this will not be happening. Ever again. He is gone. Taken at too young of an age.

This guy had not a mean bone in his body. I don’t think one loss due to addiction is worse than any other. When we had assumed a person was doing well in their life, it is far more difficult to understand. After all, he was a good man, a good father.  Drug addiction is no respecter of man and has no discrimination. For it is an equal opportunity offender in its truest form.

Regardless of one’s past- when you make positive changes, everyone thinks that it is all over, all good.  We can all carry on now like nothing ever happened.  This is not how recovery works.


How can we in recovery avoid death by overdose?

Source: http://www.quotationof.com/
Source: http://www.quotationof.com/

Vigilance:  Watchfulness; Alertness. 

To continue to have freedom from addiction, vigilance must be practiced daily. This condition is one of which will rear its ugly head if we cease to remain alert.

Daily Contact with our Higher Power

A good spiritual connection is one of the strongest tools a person in recovery can rely upon in their toolbox.  They say seven days without prayer makes one weak. The disease of addiction is mental, physical and spiritual. Therefore, each aspect will need exercise to stay strong. Prayer is a wonderful strengthening practice. If you have not tried to do this daily, you might want to start soon.

Source: http://thinksmart.typepad.com/
Source: http://thinksmart.typepad.com/

Fellowship/Service

Helping others by suiting up and showing up. There are many people in the rooms who need to hear what you have to say. Or maybe they might need to see your smile. Either way, your presence is requested in the rooms of recovery. Be there.

Never Forget

It is good to keep the memory of your bottom in the back of your mind at all times. By remembering how lousy we felt when we first got clean, we have invested in an additional life insurance policy. None of us want to return to the extensive state of emotional turmoil in which we were living. It is when we forget that feeling that we are in danger of relapse and the (realistic) possibility of overdose.

This is but a small list of things we can do. There are several more ways to avoid the tragedy of overdose. But it’s a good start!

I know I am tired of losing good friends to the disease of addiction. Moreover, I must follow all of the above and then some so as not to break my loved ones’ hearts. We can all do this together, one day at a time. And what’s even greater, we can live this new life – filled with bliss!

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

If you liked this,  check out: https://livingelysian.com/2016/11/06/let-go-keep-going-or-start-over/

Monday’s with Michael – Alone

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Thank you Michael for this description of what each and everyone in Recovery experiences. This is raw, this is real. Stay Blissful – E

Alone
This weekend I feel all alone, like a little boy with no home.

As hard as I try, I don’t know why, some days I still cry.

I guess I’m full of fear, I’ve been praying all day God, can you hear?,

I’m not mad, maybe a little frustrated, and a little sad, today I really miss my Dad,

I know this too shall pass, I should be more thankful. I’m free at last.

Free from the disease. I continue to fight on, I continue to believe.

I’m truly blessed, I know God loves me, some days are still hard.

That’s just a fact, but I never give up, I stay on track.

Even when I cry, I know I’m healing, dealing with life on life’s terms, feeling my feelings.

I wish I had more friends, I’m really never alone, I’ll have God to the end…

Never Give Up…
Live 2 Love…