And the Winner is…

As I always try to mention, it’s crucial to face upward whenever you hit the ground—for any reason. I have been struggling with health issues and lost employment and trying to decide my next steps forward rather than just wallowing in self pity. Health issues hit everyone nowadays but age contributes and that’s another dangerous trap to avoid.

Notice how the more famous celebrities who are exiting this life are Boomers? Concurrently, this triggers besides grief, the “clock is running out/ticking down “ attitude, which if one is not careful, can lead to a “mid-life, no-life, end-of-life “ crisis! To defeat the trap, take a step forward. I’m bothered by the professional belief that most addicts are Borderline Personality Disorders who lack impulse control and continue to struggle with decision making. It’s not impulsive depending on your perspective and how much time you spent weighing your options before you decide, right?

Since I am writing this post, and I try to be honest and transparent about my life, my example was that I had several choices: file for unemployment while dealing with my health issues, get my LCDC License exam done, go back to school (yet again), get another job as an intern right away.

After using my amazing kids as a sounding board and getting their input, I decided BACK TO SCHOOL I GO (for the 5th time) but it’s the most efficient path to my goal of being a fully licensed working counselor. So I will add a post graduate certificate to my academic resume. I have to say, making the decision forward made me feel so motivated and unburdened. Of course it helps that my partner supports me in this and every endeavor (although I will bear the financial burden because I don’t like anyone paying for my academic steps forward).

So what’s my point? Life is an ongoing learning, growing, witnessing of loving, painful, scary, curious adventure…you can’t afford to miss a moment of it. Don’t wait too long to stand up again. Look at the road ahead…it may have forks in an intricate branching out pattern, but consider what will bring you nearest to joy in your life. As the awesome group Foreigner said: “That was yesterday, but today life goes on, no more hiding in yesterday’s world, cuz yesterday’s gone” (thanks guys I love this song—once a DJ…).

Talk to you as my plan evolves, but in the interim, peace, love and blessings to all.


Keep On Moving….

It’s incredible to me how quickly life moves without consideration for our level of self-awareness or regard to our maturity. It has been five years since I entered recovery ❤️‍🩹. I wanted to help others as I was helped, both with substance use and mental health issues. Completion of a second master’s degree was imperative. Then the focus shifted as I spent as much time over the past year caring for my dad until his passing. After he was gone, my next goal was to find employment and work toward my LCDC license.

Fortunately, I was blessed with a position at a local mental health and addiction counseling organization. I fell behind the curve of required training as I was overwhelmed with online modules required by the state as well as by the company. I was starting to catch up on all of it when suddenly, out of nowhere, a pickup truck T-boned my compact car totaling both vehicles and injuring my back and shoulder.

I suffered a mild concussion too and about two weeks afterwards, my back went into spasm which caused me to be out on leave to address. Meanwhile my blessed children are successful in their endeavors, their careers and relationships. I have so much to be grateful for, including my partner who loves me and takes good care of me. What is the point of pain—as an experience???

My head whispers “growth” while my soul cries “empathy, compassion…appreciation!” All of life is seeking balance, peace, understanding and acknowledgment. There is no good without bad/evil…no freedom without restraint, no humanity without inhumanity. The light in the world fades to darkness and loneliness without love and light, hope and longing for spiritual enlightenment—the desire to be closer to our creator. But on we go.

In the interim, peace, love and blessings to all. And feel free to email: nmrecoveryhope@protonmail.com

We cannot live in or change the past, we must strive to witness each moment in our lives as a teaching moment. I struggle to reach my bootstraps these days, but I still pick myself up and move forward. Always ending each new lesson learned by thanking my God for the opportunity to grow. Death may be our graduation from this existence to begin the next.

If you’re having tough experiences, try to hold this perspective no matter how painful the experience. In the words of the great Diana Ross, “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place…if you can.”

In the interim, peace, love, blessings and growth to all. Email any comments to recoveryhope@protonmail.com


A Happier New Year

I received my official diploma certificate and my License certificate as a LCDC-Intern, and the state of Texas requires 12 more credit hours in order to waive the 4000 hours of clinical time, so it’s back to school for me.

I next received terrible news about one of my family members. My daddy whom I adore is terminally ill. I have joined my siblings in caring for him and school will work once I get enrolled at the Antioch university.

My supervising therapist has taught me to mantra “ it’s a process, not a crisis,” but it will be a crisis at some point in the process. I pray for healing and strength every chance I get.

My recovery is always a priority, yet caregiver responsibilities have taken my focus. We are here just briefly browsing through time. In a day of intolerance and violence, we should be kind to one another.

Blessings to all for the New year.


The Next Chapter Begins…

Sorry as always for the long delay since posting last, but I completed my practicum and graduated (diploma came in mail with my official final transcript yesterday!) on August 4th with straight As. I earned the bragging rights 😉

My pre-practicum and practicum were at WWR in Canyon Lake, Texas and everyone I worked with was amazing, helped me learn all areas of treatment from intake assessment to discharge as well as the different treatment types and offered me a part time position after I get my license as an LCDC (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor). I am especially grateful to Kira, Brian and Casey as well as Deanna, Desaray and Johanna. Debbie makes the place keep running. These people have the right idea. State-of-the-art modalities in a beautiful setting with staff who are top at what they do, but most importantly, genuinely care about their clients and want to help them with their underlying issues. It was an unbelievable experience and I thank them all.

So now what? I am studying for the licensing exam. I purchased the Study Guides and sample exams for the licensing exam for LCDC in Texas and plan to schedule an appointment to take it in person as soon as I am prepared. I don’t want to wait too long to take it either because I don’t want to forget the practicum experience in each of the 12 core functions plus I am anxious to return to work and get paid too.

My dad is after me so much to get my doctorate that I just promised him I would, so I guess that’s going on my long term goals list! More importantly is that I get to see him before getting quarantined again. I worry and regret that I am not spending enough time with him and his age and health problems are like a ticking 🕰 clock to me. I have decided that attending my graduation ceremony may need reconsideration because of the spiking numbers of people who are getting sick and hospitalized.

Please get vaccinated. My position on this is clear. If the evidence shows that those who get vaccinated may get a variant of COVID but milder symptoms, then it’s probably worth getting it.

I just returned from a 2-week vacation to see my son and my partners son who both by strange coincidence live in Wisconsin, mine in school at UW Madison finishing his doctorate in Medical Physics and my partner’s son is a tenured professor of philosophy at UW Oshkosh.

When we finally got home, I was feeling poorly and my partner went to get COVID-19 tested at the local pharmacy, but had to make an appointment, so instead he bought 2 different kinds of home test kits. I took the first one and it turned out positive so he took the second one and it turned out negative. I texted my doc and he told me to come get tested at his office the next Monday. The rapid test was negative and he wanted to be sure so he had me take the antibodies test which came back negative yesterday. Whew! Dodged a bullet!

So what did I have? Some stomach bug with a sore throat probably from the hotels and air conditioning…I guess….

Back to work! I plan to schedule my test today if possible and get on studying. I need to discuss my graduation ceremony issues with my partner and my best friend I was planning to visit with while in Phoenix.

If you read all my blogs you know my daughter was Director of Athletic Training at Northern Arizona University for over a decade. She finally moved on to a much better job where I believe the staff and management will appreciate her skills. She is now a supervisor for one of the largest practices in orthopedic surgery and medicine in Arizona and I am so proud of her as well as impressed and inspired by her (more bragging 😉).

My daughter grew up to be the woman I always wanted to be. My son, continues to inspire me and the whole family to complete their education (dad will be grateful). He will complete his PhD, then go on to complete a residency just like an MD, but will work in the nuclear side of medicine (his father, grandparents and other family angels smiling down from heaven). He works harder than any man I know…and continues to amaze me.

I am motivated by my kids to keep dreaming and going after my dreams: go become a licensed addiction counselor and therapist. Until next time, peace, love, good health and blessings to all….


What a Beautiful World…

Everywhere I go, I see something beautiful. I miss my hometown and home state of New Mexico, but living in Texas, I have found beauty in every place I go too. There are wildflowers everywhere in the hill country and when they bloom especially along the highways and in the middle, it never stops impressing me. Bluebonnets first, followed by orange indian paintbrush, purple daisies, yellow flowers of all kinds, some taller than all the others, white flowers, pink flowers, red flowers and multi-colored flowers. I haven’t learned all their names, musical sounding at times. There’s Hymenoxsys, Fall Aster, Esperanza, a wide rainbow of color that grows naturally here, or is planted. The Texas DOT boasts an impressive 30,000 pounds of native flower and grass seeds are sowed every fall. And they also plant carpets of green grass mixtures.

Then, there are the trees…..I wondered what besides love brought me here and I have discovered a new arborvitae fascination. Each tree is shaped with different limbs, branches, and leaves that seem to want to tell me a story…it’s really spiritual. I am taking so many photographs with the hope that someday I will have time to learn to sketch them all properly.

Then there’s my education and career. I am in the final phases of my second master’s degree. I am presently in my Pre-practicum phase of my MS in Addiction Counseling and am working at a ranch which is beautiful, which is all I can say about it. I am really enjoying my hands-on learning and have met some amazing people in the mental health and addiction recovery fields.

And finally, there’s my love, my relationship with an old flame that has grown into a partnership. We are different in many ways, but we also have learned some commonalities we can share, like for example, he is a good photographer and has taught me, and given me an iPhone 12 (I haven’t been an Apple girl since the 1990s), and my first real camera which is a Panasonic Luminix so I can take better distance photos. There are so many birds here, it’s like waking up in the jungle. Our home is across the street from a beautiful lake in a development built in a pecan orchard, so everywhere you drive there are trees on both sides of the street arching over toward each other like a tree tunnel. When the light hits it right at other times of the day, it is truly gorgeous! And that leads me to…

Gratitude and my own recovery. I can still do online meetings in my home state, as well as here (thanks to the pandemic). I have had both vaccinations, (Moderna) and did fine with the first one (hardly noticed it), but the second one took me down for a couple days like having a bad flu. I am happy to report that I am fine now, at peace, talked with my sponsor in NM, working three days a week, still in love, and grateful to my Higher Power for everything I experience.

Somehow, I want to help our society heal. Let’s calm down all the hate, and try to replace it with tolerance, love and forgiveness. Accept that we each are unique and walking a path that is ours to understand. The Creator has blessed us each with gifts, we should share them, even if it is just smiling at someone; that smile costs us nothing and it may impact someone else who really needs the connection.

Finally, I want to say today that in spite of the documentaries and fake news, the tragedy of the Opioid Epidemic is that we chose to take the drugs. Nobody forced them down our throat. We need to be accountable where we should. I am an advocate for pain relief. There are now cancer patients or others suffering in pain that should not be and who cannot get relief anymore due to changing restrictions. As far as Oxycontin goes, that is a highly seductive mistress who will entice you to fall in love with her, then enslave you and ruin your life every way possible.

If you are trapped in addiction, please, please, do not resist the impulse to ask for help. There are many people who are willing and able to help you break free. The feeling of liberation after getting clean, is indescribable. We forgot what happiness felt like and have to re-define it and experience it all over again. Or we never had it, and can experience it for the first time in a life free of drugs and alcohol. We get to take back control of our lives with the help of a Higher Power of our own choosing who truly loves us and believes in us and our growth. Don’t wait….

If you have anything you need to share, feel free to use the contact section of this site. Also, the owner of this account has set up a new secure email account to converse with those who wish to talk with me. The address is: recoveryhope@protonmail.com Feel free to reach out.

In the interim, peace, love and blessings to all who read this….