Hi! My name is Clairey and I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic! Today I would like our topic to be gratitude. [Read more…]
One of the greatest gifts I’ve received in recovery is my awareness. I sat down this morning to write and everything I thought of was grouchy and negative. [Read more…]
Hi, my name is Clairey and I’m addicted to nicotine. I am powerless over cigarettes and my life has become unmanageable. I have come to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity and I’ve been turning my will and my life over to this power….EVERY 5 MINUTES!! Good grief. Yup, all these 24 hours at a time later and multiple attempts to quit and stay quit off the smokes I’m back at Step 1, 2, & 3. Again. [Read more…]
Feeling lots of feelings this month. Another friend of mine has passed away. We had been friends for twenty years. He was married to another friend of mine from my early years here in Jackson Hole and they have 2 beautiful young boys. I drove up to Montana to say goodbye. Lots of crying, singing, praying and talking to God on my drive. I was honored to bid him adieu by singing Amazing Grace at his service. I love singing that song even though I get terrible stage fright. Such powerful words especially for this addict/alcoholic. Grief is such a strange thing. We all seem to process it in such different ways. [Read more…]
‘One day at a time’ this week has yet again been slapped in my face. Since I’ve been in recovery this motto has baffled me, frustrated me, given me peace, and taught me many lessons. I consider myself not to be one stuck in the past but not forgetting it nor shutting the door on it. I know where I came from and where I can quickly go again. I’ve taken much pride that I don’t dwell on the past. Future-tripping and worry is my issue. Or so I thought until a few nights ago. My husband informed me I’m always thinking about the past. WHAT?! He’s Crazy, I thought. Well he is correct in the sense that I think about memories. No regrets though! I am very aware I can’t change the past. Does that count? I have no idea!!
Hello all! I was given this amazing opportunity to write to my fellow alumni and I thought I’d start off by telling you a bit about myself. I’m an addict/alcoholic and my problem is Clairey! Ouch the truth hurts sometimes. Fortunately today I have a solution for “that problem”. Actually I have a huge tool box full of solutions and as long as I stay humble, honest and willing, and remain teachable just for today I no longer have to live in the problem. What a blessing!
That blessing started for me in October of 2007 when I drove across country, high as a kite on cocaine and drinking whiskey, back to my home state of SC. I admitted to my parents at 32 years of age that I had a problem and I needed help. After some research and a few phone calls to friends and treatment centers I drove myself to Mill Springs, NC and checked myself into the Pavillon. That November 7th for the next 6 weeks and then 3 months of Pavillon IOPT changed my life forever. It set a strong and beautiful foundation for my new life.
Today, I’m back in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and almost 40 years old! Practicing the principles still…to the best of my ability. I chair meetings when I can, sponsor, and have a sponsor, work and live the 12 steps, pray, meditate, write a recovery based blog entitled, High on Hugs, when I’m inspired, and jump at every opportunity to be of service. My husband is in the program and we have a 3 year old son who’s grown up in the rooms. Our parenting style is based on the principles and traditions of 12 step groups. I owe my entire world today to my foundation at the Pavillon and my ongoing active participation in my recovery program. I am living beyond my wildest dreams and have long since surpassed “The Promises” that seemed completely unrealistic when I started this path.
Recovery is me today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a productive member of society as well. At least in my own mind! Had it not be for me living this life in recovery one day at a time…I’d have no life much less be productive at dang near anything. Today my life is filled with grace, amazing moments of serenity, awareness, courage to face fear and find solutions. I am blessed. Life on life’s terms still happens. Bad things, sad things, and uncomfortable feelings are still a part of life but today I have a solution. Drinking or using is no longer my only option and I know without a shadow of a doubt that option won’t “fix” a thing. Life didn’t suddenly just get filled with rainbows and unicorns and chocolate sundaes with cherries on top when I got clean/sober. It didn’t just “Get better”. But you know what? I’ve gotten better and I continue to do so as long as I keep one foot in front of the other and do the next indicated right thing. Today I have a higher power and I ask that power to guide me. When I forget to do so, it doesn’t take near as long to realize, “whoop-see, you’re trying to drive the bus again Clairey!” and turn it over again. I am by no means perfect, I still have character defects and I am NOT afraid to use them. I also have a T-shirt that says that! I am one drink, one toke, one snort away from being right back to where I left off at, so today instead of ‘keep coming back”…I think I’ll just stay. I’ve witnessed and been a part of too many miracles to figure out which one it is they speak of when saying, “Don’t leave before the miracle happens”.
So with that and in a nut shell, I’m Clairey and I look forward to writing and connecting with you on this ever evolving journey we call recovery!
“Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends-this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”
Yesterday after my noon meeting I headed to therapy. I absolutely adore my therapist, by the way. I went through 3 different therapist after my longtime therapist left and I’m so glad I did because I love this lady! When we first started getting to know one another she asked me why was I still coming after all these years and still sober and doing 12 step meetings as well. My reply was quite simple and I basically told her I felt therapy was another great tool for me to utilize and there’s always something I want to learn, grow, expand on about myself as an individual.
A sober sister of mine asked me a few years back, “who is Clairey” of course I responded with a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother. She then said,” who is Clairey without all the titles?” I had no reply.
So this was my therapeutic goal to be set. My therapist and I put it in black and white and I see her almost every week. I was sharing with her some realizations I’ve had and some goals I’d like to somehow put into action. A few things that really make me happy and I enjoy greatly. After sharing this with her she asked me, “what do all those things have in common?”
My reply was, “Me!?!”
I was most definitely pleased with my response but it was not the response she was looking for and asked me again.
“What do all of these things have in common?”
Starring blankly at her I asked,”what?” She said they all involve helping others! Well, gosh darn it she was right.
To be continued….
Everyone can be great because everyone can serve
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Yesterday was my first day pain-free and I felt like a human. Spiritually, mentally, physically, and even visually. This whole process of having a miscarriage has been tough in all aspects. I realize this isn’t a subject most speak of. I also am grateful that I am who I am because I’ve apparently helped a few by sharing my story. Yesterday I was just so happy to feel like me again.
Then it dawned on me. Yesterday, April 7th was my due date for our son Tanner. My happy, healthy, love of my life, almost 3-year-old boy!
You see for me, one of the greatest gifts is awareness. I would miss so much, so many daily miracles, blessings, and moments of gratitude if I don’t just get out of my own way, stop, and pay attention. It is really easy for me to feel sorry for myself and focus on the negative. I am notoriously a classic victim in my own mind. But!… If I slow this overactive brain of mine down, take a few deep breaths, and listen, watch, feel, be open, be willing, and admit there is something so much bigger than me out there…I just get smacked in the face with all the good shit in life. You know, the really really good shit that just makes you smile, your heart skip a beat, that feeling of overwhelming peace and serenity that engulf your being. That is when I find my happy place. That place where I am content in the moment. No sweating the past, no regrets. No anxious moments of the what ifs, future tripping, and filing myself with worry. That is when I am what the Great Spirit, God, The Universe, Mother Mature and the rest of the gang intended me to be. That Clairey is what I’ve spent days, months, years searching for. The happy, content, authentic Clairey.
So today, if you are anything like me and so busy, so wrapped up in a the day has ahead, all the insignificant bullshit really….STOP! Stop and take a deep breath! Stop and just be! Stop and pay attention, there is always gratitude to be found. ALWAYS! We just have to have the willingness to be aware! You will see it, you will find it…I promise. And when you do, all will be right. If only for a brief moment. But without those moments, I would not survive. Quite frankly, without those moments I don’t think any of us would.
So in the words of my sponsor, my friend, and a truly wise woman who I love with all my being, “pay the fuck attention people!”
You might just need that moment to make “it” all better.
Live-Love-Laugh-And HUG a lot. Life will take on new meaning.
It has been sometime since I’ve sat down and written. It is a great tool for me to process things and hopefully help someone along the way. Since I wrote last I’ve celebrated 7 years of recovery. I started making my handmade jewelry again and started a shop, check it out! Jewelry By Sassy! My relationship with my husband has grown and I love him more than ever. My son is almost 3 years old and I love everything about being his mom. We’ve had grand adventures as a family and shared lots of love and laughter. I was pondering the other day over all I’ve gone through in the past 7 years in recovery. The most memorable years I’ve had!! (Laughing out loud on that statement.) I’ve also had some of the toughest situations and struggles I would have just preferred not to. Those times where using briefly popped in my head as a solution. The feelings I was having at the time I certainly did not want to feel. And all those times I found the willingness to not pick up! To pick up a phone instead, to play the tape all the way through, to go to a meeting, to pray, meditate, call my sponsor, read some recovery literature, ask for help, and so on.
I’ve not written in some time. I can’t believe I actually thought my life would be boring without drinking and using! That being said, I’ve been soaking up the sun, finally, here in Wyoming. I’ve been busy enjoying life, trying to go to more meetings, loving my 2-year-old son, loving my husband, working with sponsees, calling my sponsor, and trying to balance it all!
Feeling as if I’ve unwillingly put my blog on hold I thought, “Why not include some different perspectives on life in recovery?”
So…I did one of the things I’ve learned to do in recovery… I ASKED FOR HELP!
I am truly blessed in so many ways. The following is written by one of these blessings, a friend, and partner in recovery, Ashley Bell.
I love you Ashley. Thank you for your willingness to write a blog for us & not only talking the talk… but walking, hiking, singing, and living it as well.You have what I want….. ” The third step prayer has much meaning to me. It was the first thing I ever read out of the big book. I had booked myself into a treatment center when I was 17. I had lived in the same small town and rarely left town unless there was a reliable supply of booze around. After a few times when people would ask me to share or things would go wrong with the people I was with I decided that staying home in my parent’s basement was the safest most reliable choice to make. Beside I could stop carrying around the paper with my contact info in case someone found me dead, I was a bit dramatic but practical. So I checked myself into a treatment center in the big city. Alone, surrounded by kids as crazy as me, and I had no idea how to be there. I was crying in my room one night about 2 nights in to my 35 day stay and a counselor came in. He showed me the third step prayer. I read it. For the first time I tapped into a power greater than me. I did not know what to do with it other than show up. What I know now and did not at the time was… it set in motion a pattern of living for my life, to which I have clung to through many, many hardships and blessings.
When I first arrived they had me under watch because they were afraid I would ‘off’ myself in the shower. By the end they were putting bad kids in my room because I caught the buzz, to be had here in the rooms, as a result of the steps. Result of the prayer I prayed at the beginning, I think so. Fast forward, many 4th steps, step 9’s and endless hours on the phone with my people and I’m in the car in Yellowstone National park and from the back seat comes my 4 year olds voice, “pray about difficulties”. My husband, who is also sober, and I start deciphering what that means. Asking many questions my husband realizes he’s talking about the 3rd step prayer. “Take away my difficulties”. You see my husband and I had been praying that prayer every morning in the car on our way to the adventure of the day all week we were on vacation and many times before that. We had no idea he was listening. Raising kids sober is about as real as it gets. This is the time in my life I have had to work the hardest on my program out side of meetings. I don’t get to as many as I want to, I don’t go to as many functions as I used to and I don’t remember to do my daily inventory as much as I could. What do I get in exchange? I get the spiritual assignment of raising another human being while I stay clean and sober. My victories over my difficulties are shown every day when I make a mistake. I get to own up to them in front of these little people who watch my every move and demonstrate what true humility is. And also what true happiness is. I don’t have to pretend things are not happening.I don’t have lie to them. I answer their questions honestly and treat them with the respect they deserve. The third step prayer started me off to a pretty good start, kept me sober from that day to this, connected my husband and I on more than one occasion, and has now brought our son into the realm of a solution greater than himself. He has asked us to pray for him many times over the last 4 years, at least since he’s been able to talk. This was the first time he’s used our tools directly. What a gift to raise a family in a home based on the 12 steps and 12 traditions. That day I prayed this prayer for the first time all I wanted was the pain to stop. I had no idea what was waiting for me down the road. If I got what I deserve I would be dead. If I got what I wanted I would have sold myself short. Today I have a life that is filled with relentless service, but as they say you have to give it away to keep it right? I’ve been sober 13 years. Haven’t drank since my first meeting. People say to me all the time I wish I would have gotten sober as young as you. What I know is that idea keeps me separate from my fellows today, I’m grateful to be sober at all.” Ashley Bell
God, I offer myself to Thee, to
Build with me and to do with my as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
That I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
That victory over them may bear witness to
Those I would help of Thy power,
Thy love, and Thy way of life.
May I do thy will always!”
(BB page 63)