Archive for shame

It’S A NEW DAY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2020 by Her Broken Wing

I can’t believe it’s been 10 long years since I earned (and I mean earned) my sobriety. When I first started AA, I sat in the back of the room, I was angry. I was in denial. I was also forced to be there by the Nursing Board.

Before, I remember lying in the bathroom floor begging God to take this addiction from me. I remember thinking that if I could just get sober, life would be perfect (But be Gentle)! I sat in the back of the AA, when I heard one of the old timers say that days ahead would be some of the hardest days. Little did I know how right he was.

I had to learn how to find emotions I never had. I also heard,” you think you’ve hit bottom, watch out, those bottoms have trap doors.” At the time I did not know what they meant. I do now.

How did this happen? I was a hospice nurse. I was a good, dedicated and a caring nurse. I worked 40 years as a nurse until I lost my job. No going away party. My Nursing identity was my shattered. I was so devastated. I was lost. I mean as the AA group said, most either get a DUI, end up in jail or die. But I only lost a job. I didn’t do those things. But I was told, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Yes thinking back!

Yes, true my heart and my soul had died!

Looking back like forever ago, I had migraines so I was given prescription drugs. The doctors gave them to me. After all, I thought it was ok, right!? I’d started with one pill, then two, then I don’t know how many I took. In my mind I made up headaches, pain,etc. This went on for years.

Then one day my boss called me in her office. “If you need, we can help you..”. Another day she said,”if you need help I will help you.” I was still in denial. But I decided to call my friend, he said the same, it’s time to get help.

How did I meet my friend? Working at hospice and not unusual, I attended a patient’s funeral. There was a man in front of me. He turned around and said, “Well, I guess you were her nurse ? ” He said, “I guess you are caring, compassionate,and Christian —with sarcasm? “ I got defensive. ” Yes I am!” Then he pulled out a card. The card had small flames on it. I knew it, he was a Satan worshipper.

I looked at it. It was a 12 step recovery program. I didn’t know much about that. But I did know God was sitting next to me.

I told the man after the funeral, ” hey, I have a “friend!” So I asked more. We arranged a meeting to talk about my friend. I met him at McDonald’s to get more info for my friend. We talked and then he said, ” What are you taking?” I busted out crying. I had be drinking and taking ” Prescribed meds” a long time.


Later I thought, (I was at least sober the day my dad died!) There was a long time of grief, shame and guilt. I hated myself. My dad warned me. I had let him down.

My dad died years ago before he knew how bad it was. At his funeral, I had written his eulogy —sober In honor of my dad. I was a daddy’ girl, well, so was my sister.

My sister picked out the song, “To Sir With Love.” (He had taught us so much about being a lady. Other than being a mean deep sea fishermen. He tried to get me from a (Tom-boy to a lady.) I had someone read the eulogy, I wrote Sober as I could not do read it. He deserved the words from my heart. I, however, knew I could not read it.

Not that it matters (well, yea maybe it does). I was told that, 3 of my grandparents where alcoholics ( my grandma died in the DT’s at age 53.) I’m going to respect my parents anonymity. One day, my dad told said, ” Be careful.” Ah I thought, I won’t do that. Never say never! How, did it happen? So tenuous, I’m sitting in an AA room. The disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. I hear my dads voice.

The day I revealed my addiction, I devastated my family. I went into out patient rehab. Reported to the Nursing Board. Lost my job. Did I mention how angry I was. Later I realized I was angry at myself.

With my tail tucked, I walked through the doors of the beginning of a life changing event. The nursing board was a 4 year program of a weekly nursing program and the rest which consisted of seeing an addictionologist, a counselor weekly, a nurses group weekly, AA 3 x week, and random drug test that I had to pay for. Oh gosh I could go on. I was incensed .

I had to get a sponsor (someone to walk me through me through the 12 steps and the program), I went to AA at least 3 times a week. (The 1st 90 days I went everyday. It’s called 90 in 90.) My sponsor said 3-things, 1.) the disease is outside doing push-ups waiting for you and 2.) secrets keep us sick ( rigorously honest). 3.) and one drink is too many and 1000 is not enough..

Resentment, was an understatement of transformation of my soul. Finding my spirit. I mean it was everyone’s fault.

Today I look back, 10 years later, this was hard work but it saved my life. It saved the convergence of my family. It taught me how to live and feel. And I’ve met some of my best friends from this group. They get me.

I know to change playgrounds and playmates. I also know I had no one to blame but me.

Want a drug, I think noT!

10 years proud….but I can’t get complacent.

I’m Connie, I’m an addict.

When Grace Rains

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 4, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

“Yes, but…!” Luke 9:61

Would I run to Jesus on the water when I can’t even believe ….

Do I follow You with true abandon, Abba Father?

Or am I Peter, do I deny You in public places? And love you to pieces In my quiet time?

“Yes,but…”

But what about my friend, Jesus? I can’t even manage my life, so what’s it to me what goes on in her life. Focusing on her life takes away the pain of my shattered and fractured life. So, this rolls around in my head with sometimes a bitter taste in my mouth as it rolls off my tongue.

It’s easier to gossip just a tiny bit, “bless their hearts.”

But really, I’m just a mess most days. Sunday’s best I sit in the pews. By Monday, I’ve lost my “religion “.

Speaking of, what about my drug of choice, (Oh don’t act all self-righteous), We all have one, a drug of choice that is. There are drugs, alcohol, shopping, shoplifting, pornography, gossiping, road rage, adultery the list is mighty. If I didn’t hit yours, it is there. Just ask Jesus to show you. And don’t try throwing a stone at someone, it just might come back at you.

As a recovering addict, I missed His grace. Or so I thought. I lived with so much shame and guilt I believed in Satan’s lies. Truth is when rain falls, it falls on us all.

Yes, but…

His grace falls.

me

How Will I Die?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 17, 2018 by Her Broken Wing
I’m an addict, I can never be forgiven… Right?! I feel less than worthy of being able to do God’s work. How stinkin self-righteous that is! I know more than God?

(Luke 23:39-43)39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

John 3:15)”…that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life”

As A Hospice Nurse, I heard that question often. But this particular  time I will hold onto the question with a whole new meaning and a special love.My sweet patient looked down at the floor wringing his hands, finally having the courage to ask me “the” hardest question, yet. I could sense something had been bothering him during our last few visits. I could see it in his eyes. “How will I die?”He is an intelligent man, spoke 7 languages but lost that ability due to cancer, so I knew he would expect the details. As I began sharing the process of dying, I could feel “A” presence overtake us. I may perhaps say that God filled the room. I just know it. He took over the situation. Peace filled the apprehensive uncertainties that crept into my mind.Nearing the end of my explanation of death and dying, I told my patient (and friend) that one thing I have noticed was that all my patients are given an incredible peace in the perfect time nearing the end. However, my patients thus far have been Christians. Well, maybe exaggerated a bit. I have heard stories of patients passing that were not Christians that were less than peaceful but I have not personally experienced it so I could not share that.He then said, “Well, I just might be your first.” First what?, I asked. “First nonbeliever .”  HmmI felt my heart just sink into my toes. I had given him several Christian books to read and he had “enjoyed” them so I just assumed…. Now, he looked at me with such sadness. He told me that he wasn’t worthy. Well, I sure get that. He had never led a life that God would be proud of. He did not attend church much. And the list grew. But he said, “I’m not a bad person. I just didn’t work for God.I asked him if he had read the Bible or parts of it. And then I asked him if he believed in it. He said, “Yes.” I asked him if he believed that Jesus was the Son of God and again he said, “Yes.” So I did have a foundation to work with as I talked to him.

We went on for some time, God giving me the words, scripture and the peace to share. I finally asked my patient if the thief on the Cross had time for works, church and all the things he had listed and through his tears he cried, “No.”

The words shared were…Supernatural… and from our Heavenly Father…. I was a partaker.

He said, “I have some thinking to do.” And I asked him what he felt he needed to think about. I said, “Would you like to receive Christ as your Savior now? I can help you do that and I would be honored.” He nodded yes. There we held hands. His mom, a Godly woman, sat across the room. And we prayed to receive Christ.

I believe I heard Heaven rejoice.

Interestingly, as I shared this with my family (of course, leaving the name confidential), my 12 year-old son asked if we were going to baptize him. Well, duh! Why didn’t I think of that? So this week our Chaplain is going to baptize him. I’m not sure who is more excited, him or me.

How will I die? My sweet one, you won’t—you have eternal life now!

living the supernatural

Me

Tentacles of Hope

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2018 by Her Broken Wing

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The image was engraved forever into my mind when I woke up in ICU from a suicide failure, something that would forever haunt me.

I’m so sorry to those I hurt. but at the time I meant to die. I’m glad God spared my life, as I was already unconscious when they (my husband and police)  got to me. I had really believed, and thought I would die. I could only imagine the horror of my husbands face when he found me.

I had been so sick for so long. I was untreated for the following; anxiety, severe depression, mania, yep bipolar, I had drug and alcohol abuse for 10 years, later PTSD (I started having nightmares, screaming every night and my husband had to console me to a safe position) And rIght, of course, my eating disorder  (bulimia, anorexia) and dissociative (which started at age 5 after a severe trauma). Now it’s on rare occasions. Yikes, there is more but I’m sure I’ve outworn my welcome here.  For now…

In 2010, I went into drug rehab. I did not realize  what was ahead of me otherwise I would have hauled ass but I had a sick mind. And that I was being groomed by this creep man, this so-called Doctor. In 2012, I was sexually assaulted by this man who took an oath, “Do no harm.”

Over the next year I started losing weight like crazy. My eating disorder had exacerbated.

Looking at pictures, I looked horrible, I had people ask me if I was sick instead of  I was smokin hot! I asked to go into treatment but the doctor just said, “you are too old.” I was like 50!

Whatever age, whatever sex, I believed we all deserve treatment. My nursing board sure thought so as I had been approached by the nursing board. You don’t want that, trust me? Then I had no choice, no voice.  I wasn’t too old, there were women older than me in rehab which only as angered me. I wasted precious time damaging my body.

My mind was killing my body. I was a deserted shell.

The octopus has his arms. (There are 8, like duh). You get rid of one arm (well you can do the math), calling my name into their world.A black abyss, bottom feeders.  So bipolar is a disease, not much I can do about mental illness except do the work to stay as normal as possible. Whatever that is? Treatment for me includes medicine and it has taken years to find the right mix. A good counselor someone I could trust. psychiatrists to prescribe your meds. And a 12 step program.. prayer and meditation ( that isn’t crazier than me), a sponsor, someone in the program that I can talk to. And the most important thing is i need God. If you are atheist, you need God too.  This is my cocktail for surviving mental illness and addictions.

The shame and guilt which can be crippling at times, I  was able to share my experiences for the first time and because of my illnesses, after I sought treatment , treatment, treatment and drugs like antidepressants etc., I was able to get back on my feet.

For me, when I got sober, I was on the 12 step or AA pink cloud. I floated. All was well. And when the sexual assault happened. This is when I plummeted. I crashed

I went from one arm of the octopus to another  arm of the octopus. I was vulnerable (James 1:2-3), I had not put my faith in God’s way, my shield of armor. And my ED went nuts in 2013 where I spent a total of 3+ months in rehab.

What was the image I mentioned that had been engraved  into my mind forever when I woke up in ICU, I will never forget my children’s faces with tears streaming down their cheeks. That image still haunts me.

As does my own experience as a child, My parents attempts and my granddads successful suicide, It left me with  scars that were deep within my soul. I am still angry. I have had extensive counseling, therapy and many other things but mostly Prayer on my knees kind of praying.

The crash  was pivotal in my healing of a very traumatic life, childhood trauma, etc.  Oh, I do have to work at it. AA, sponsors (a 12- steps),engaging with others,the hardest for me was changing playmates and playgrounds. And most importantly a higher power which I call God!  I was blessed with the best of friends, all in the program so they get it! But My family rocks! They have stood with me in spite of me!

How good is that?

Blessings

 

disclaimer: This blog is my experience. Take what you can use, leave the rest. Respect me and others or I’ll send the monkeys. Connie Barris and may not be used, reprinted, or published without my written consent.

The Angel Tears

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 14, 2012 by Her Broken Wing

We are all recovering from something whether it is abuse of food, booze or just being a jerk. The difference in all of us is we are either “recovering” or active in our addiction? One thing for sure, we are all the same and all in this together.

So Dear Hope,

I have been in your shoes not too long ago. I woke up swearing I would never do this again and meant it. I have cried, screamed and begged to die with the realization that my life as I once knew it, was over. I have slid out of bed and ran to the bathroom to throw up one more time, crawled into the shower and hung my head low as shame wreaked through my mind, body and soul.

Sick from withdrawing, panicked from wondering where my next fix would come and confused about how I came to this place, I knew I was at my rock bottom. Praise God, there was nowhere to go but up. The Angel tears were dipped in happiness as they danced and as I was offered the gift of my addiction. Yes, as sick as it sounded, my addiction was a gift. And I have found myself dissecting my soul trying to figure this one out. What the heck?

 

When I first got sober, it was like my arm waking up from being asleep. It was painful and strange. The pins and needles are like sadness over things lost, fear of the unknown and anger over the disease. After being numb for so long, I started to feel all my emotions at one time and it exploded like a nuclear plant. There is really nothing I could do but go through the pain until the feeling came back.

 

What matters most of all though… is that I got sober. I owe no explanation to the world. For being sober is enough, I am enough. God says so.

So today, I get up, put on make up, go to work, go to a meeting with other addicts and share our experience, strength and hope and I pray. I pray. I pray.

I am a recovering addict and I am proud of this badge I wear.

Beautifully Awkward

Another One Down

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 26, 2011 by Her Broken Wing

Friday night and another one down…

She had hoped and prayed this time would be different.

But a little too much fighting and not enough love…

The bottle became her escape like days before.

Morning came and the light shone in…

Realization of her sin made clear.

Shadows danced and haunted her soul…

How does she get out of this hole?

She cried her tears but no one could hear…

Lying in her room staring at the ceiling.

Hope was gone, shame set in…

She reached over and took a sip of stale pain.

The night was setting and what had she done…

Her mind was foggy and she didn’t care.

Shadows danced and haunted her soul…

How does she get out of this hole?

Morning came but where was she?

Quietly she slipped out of this pain.

Another one down, dead to disease.

How do we get out of this hole?

When the world takes her toll?

Another one down……

In Memory of a “Friend”

Beautifully Awkward

I Am Woman

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 27, 2011 by Her Broken Wing

I am not enough and yet too much— all at the same time… I am Woman… 

My career has always been my identity. I measured my worth based on where I was on the rung of the corporate ladder. So needless to say, when I fell from my professional ascend into the pits of despair, I lost all hope.

At the same time, as I had been taking too many drugs, sleeping too much, running fast to keep away the demons of my past, I was too sensitive and too opinionated.

All the result of shame that sought me though the cracks and crevices of my life. It would ooze through the walls built around me that I thought would protect me. Such an irony of my secluded existence which eventually became exposed.

If only I had done things different… (Whatever that looks like)

Maybe if I had tried harder…(Whatever that means)

In the mess I created, I only wished to be loved, accepted and pursued. Yes, pursued. I wanted to be loved by someone. So I started filling that void with people, things and then…drugs. It would take tremendous pain before I would realize that all these things were not filling the void but only making the emptiness bigger and wider in my life.

Built within my soul was and is a deep passionate desire to live. I desire intimacy. I desire being pursued. That is how God made me as a woman — To find great meaning as a woman.

The veil of shame and guilt was removed on the Cross. I choose whether to fill the void with Him, my Savior. For He pursued me. Now I pursue Him. (1 John 4:19)

May I be the woman of Your great story told.

 Beautifully Awkward

 

 

 

The Great Mystery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 11, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

“Once you alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now… the hope.” (Colossians 1:21-23)

 

…The Great Mystery…

 

So…Christ died for my sins…somehow that was not enough to keep me sober.

I’m sure that just about now, many of you are aghast at what I just said. But if this were not true, none of us would sin. For clearly, something was missing. And I was sure to find it.

I have great zeal and passion for life. I just never knew it. My secular knowledge and wisdom far outweighed the supernatural world yet to be explored. I was intellectually prideful… Not to be confused with an intellectual…obviously.  I had the lights on but nobody home deal as well– no heart either.

I faced the subtle lies and deceptions of the world around me through my diverse skills…those developed along my path of destruction.

I cultivated my own spiritual world, my own beliefs. No wonder I could not embrace the “Church” –maybe that and the shame factor. Either way, it was a volatile combination–the implosive type.

Inner alienation…self destruction…the great fall…

For God used all this to clear out the cobwebs of my life to open up room for…

His Son…

The Great Mystery…was not that Christ died for my sins (although He did) but that I could live tenderly, passionately and with tremendous zeal with and for my Savior…

Beautifully Awkward

The Occasional Power Outage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 22, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

Living on a diet of tears, I cried the blues… Where was my Maker? My God? Psalm 6:6

Tormented, I tossed and turned through the darkest part of the night. Sleepless nights became long…And soon the days became dark. The Moon faded and the Sun withered away.  

Nights were always the loneliest… The world hushed as she slept, while the quiet stillness haunted my restless spirit. The taunting voices spoke when no one was around—injecting doses of shame and guilt deep within. Mornings would come but not soon enough. Then the same raging war within me began all over.

My compass had broken long ago– I was so lost. I somehow managed to walk through the darkness of my life fumbling and feeling my way around– Only because I did this on my own. I did not seek help from anyone. It was a self-worth or lack-of problem for me.

The sad thing—is all I had to do was turn on the switch and the room would be illuminated. But that was too easy. It took another person handing me a new compass to find my way around the still dark part of my life I had led for a long time.

Eventually, but for the grace of God–the light came on. The Moon lit up. The Sun began to shine. And my Abba Father gathered my tears. Isaiah 25:8

I now sing a new song.  Psalm 33:3

Most days…

But I still have the occasional power outage…

Beautifully Awkward

Lightning Never Strikes Twice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 11, 2010 by Her Broken Wing

Lightning brightens the sky. Heightened in a multitude of colors by its’ radiant heat. As a child, I stood mesmerized by the beauty.  It was magical as if the light danced in the sky to its own music. I have heard lightning never strikes twice.  I hope they are right.

“Don’t let it catch you by the window,” says grandma. “It can be very dangerous.”

My grandmother’s words resonate in my soul today.

The first thirty years of my life were very difficult. As all of us, we learn to just “cope” in this fallen, sad world.  So it comes as no surprise that an escape was offered to me and I took it. Numb to the pain. I lived there many years. I began to drown out the sound of my grandmother, “Don’t let it catch you…”

I had begun my life as a leper. Could those around me not see it– the shame, the guilt all over my face? The shadows around me illuminated by the brightness the hovered over me only made things worse. “Don’t let it catch you…”

“Stop” I cried. “just stop…”

If you run hard and fast, you can escape the sounds, the shadows….  For a while.

I grew tired and weary after many years … I began to slow down. The sounds and shadows caught up.

I had nowhere to go…less I die.

The lightning had struck… The heat was on. It’s beauty gone.

No longer afraid, I had lived the Hell of my choices.

I now stood in a brightness of a new healing…surrounded by others. 

Many with open arms… loving arms… and those are the ones that matter most.

They are the arms of Jesus.

 Beautifully Awkward