God, Help Me Change The Things I Cannot Accept

I've had a couple of friends in my life recently that have wanted to talk to me about their drinking. I really like these coffee dates as it forces me to dig back, way back before this blog, before I met my beloved recovery community, before I ever Googled "Am I An Alcoholic?", before I'd ever uttered one word of the Serenity Prayer. It wasn't that long ago. It's a lifetime ago.

That morning in the summer of 2014, I woke up and knew it was finally time to change the things I could no longer accept. It was one moment in time, like the Sun breaking through a cloudy sky, and if I didn't raise my hands and my head upward, the next moment would be different, it would be dark again. 

I could no longer accept breaking promises to myself. I could no longer accept breaking promises to my family. I could no longer accept disappointing my son and hearing him say, No More, Mom. I could no longer accept my unpredictable behavior. I could no longer accept my lack of sleep, interrupted nightly with 2am full body sweats and shakes and the sensation that my heart was beating out of my body. I could no longer accept spending money I didn't have on booze, spending my kid's money on booze, selling family heirlooms for money to buy booze. I could no longer accept waking up and not knowing where I was or waking up and saying, "Thank you for getting me home safely" to a God that I only spoke to when I was up Shit Creek. I could no longer accept those tingling hands, the year-long eye twitch, the normal of feeling like curdled milk everyday. I could no longer accept not seeing one single dream of mine to fulfillment. Not one.

I didn't know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I was going to do something. I took some of my power back that day. Now, every day I live sober is a celebration of this new life. There is not always a parade, but I am grateful every damn day. 

Gratitude is an action and making some art expresses that. So many friends I've made in the last two years, friends that I am so grateful for, are converging on Austin in November for a conference. I want to be armed with not just any old business cards but with my little cards of gratitude, and since this is right around the corner, I best get started!

I love LOVE collecting boxes of cool, vintage playing cards. And these little artist trading cards you can get at any art supply store and HOW CUTE ARE THEY?? Other supplies you'll need are pens, glue, easy peasy.

I like to wing things, so I'm going straight to pen but that also means that each one will be different and that is what I'm going for. After I've added a butterfly and sufficient info, glue. Done.

I'm in love with my cards almost as much as I'm in love with my life. This is not just a thing I'm doing. I'm not just trying to get through it. This is my life now. This is me.

What can you no longer accept?

Summoning Your Unicorn: Magical Thinking

I was an isolator out of the womb. Growing up, I had friends, I did things, I had sleepovers and went to summer camps. However, I spent most of my time at the top of a climbing tree, daydreaming or under a blanket fort listening to Top 40 on the radio and...daydreaming. Isolation and magical thinking go together like PB and bananas. When I was hiding, I was conjuring not only a different, better life than I had, but a radically different life. It may seem harmless enough but can really be stifling when the fairytale thoughts bleed into real life. I imagined that some very important person would come waltzing into the Church of Christ in Smalltown, EastTexas, hear me singing "How Great Thou Art" like an angel and immediately whisk me to Nashville and give me a recording contract. Or a big Hollywood agent would notice me at the Hot Biscuit salad bar line and say, "Young lady, you should be in the movies." But I never took a singing lesson. I never acted on a stage a day in my life. Maybe I wanted those things but I never did the work. And later in life, when I was presented with the opportunity to do those things, it was too late. The damage had been done. The magical thinking had seeped so far in that I honestly didn't know that that was how dreams were realized. I didn't know that things were actually achievable by putting in hours and hours of work. So I chose small. I chose safe, over and over until that was just my life.

Should we blame Cinderella and all the bippity boppity boos? You can mantra and vision board or know the secret or manifest abundance all day, but none of it will bring any dream to fruition without work. It's just not how life works and to think otherwise is, dare I say, immature. Magical thinking kept me drinking well past my expiration date as well. My thinking, every single day, was that I was going to wake up and be a normal drinker and I would enjoy it and not be miserable over it and I wouldn't have to do any work to change. You could say that I was just thinking positive! Or that I was just procrastinating. I can be positive to an extreme, but if bills and warrants and careers and health and families are neglected, it's tipping into Magicland. 

If it sounds like I have a complete handle on this, that would truly be magical. I know more than I ever have in my life that if I want to manifest something, it takes identification, action, hard work and change. Now, the Serenity Prayer is my checks and balances system. If I live it, it's like sprinkling magic fairy dust on everything. Now, if I'm wise enough to know the difference, I pray for courage to take action. Now, the rewards for dreaming big and then doing something that moves me towards that dream are beyond the actual dream, 5th dimension level good. Now, that is truly magical to me.

If you start going to Magicland now and  you need something more than a string on your finger or the Serenity Prayer tattooed on your wrist, you can make your own unicorn horn! Pure, unadulterated reality can suck too, we know this because we tried to escape it for so long, so this little magic horn can take you in the other direction as well. So how about an action-packed tutorial, because that is where the true magicfuckingthinking lies.

You need a few supplies: a headband, ribbon (if you want to cover the headband), various fabrics cut into cones (I used silk and lamé for the flowers, felt for the horn), embroidery thread, scissors and glue (not shown: regular fabric thread, needle and stuffing).

First, I wrapped the headband with the ribbon, gluing it down as I went. To make the flowers, fold the cones in half long ways and starting at the narrow end, take your needle and thread back to front, making a quarter inch wide running stitch. When you get to the opposite end, tie it off and pull the stitch. You can go to Pinterest and find 1000 different fabric flower tutorials, but I like a messy little rosette. So I just sort of play with it until it looks acceptable, then I tuck the wide end under the flower and make several stitches through the bottom of it until it's secure and won't unravel. For the horn, roll the felt into sort of a dunce cone, glue the edges together and add a little stuffing to it. I glued the embroidery thread into the pointy end, wrapped it around as evenly as I could get it, tied it off and added a little circular cap to the bottom. 

Assemble flowers and horn as you wish, glue to headband and done. Freaking magical. You're welcome.