Recovery After Relapse

 I have gone back and forth trying to decide whether or not I wanted to share this post.   I have been  a people pleaser most of my life and I didn’t want any one to be angry with me. Others will stop reading.  BUT there may be one or two who will be encouraged or know recovery is actually possible.

My first time in recovery, I shared with everyone.  I didn’t care who knew because NA and the people I met saved my life.  They helped me to learn about me which made me confident.  Some would say I got cocky, since after two plus years of daily meetings I walked away from the program thinking I was “better” and was healed.  I was given back all of the tangibles in my life – family, a career, a house, car and so much more.

If you read my blog regularly, you may have noticed I have referenced my relapse and my walk back into recovery.  Pride and ego gets the best of me as I worry about what people will think.  BUT there may be someone out there who needs to hear this story….

When I started blogging in 2013, I shared the story of my addiction. The story of getting clean in 1991 was a blessing.  I was blessed with many years in recovery – from drugs.  Of course, I now know I substituted work for my drug of choice.  I became a workaholic – and some wondered if I cared more about my clients then I did my family.  As a workaholic, I had an occasional glass of wine figuring I had things under control.  Little did I know, it was the beginning of making a total mess of my life again.  See, I forgot one simple thing from those early meetings – a drug is a drug is a drug.  The truth is, anything we become obsessive about is a form of addiction.  So, as I worked for many years at a job I loved; I was able to “manage” my work – addiction.

When for health reasons I had to give up my crazy commute (4 hours a day round trip) and a job I loved – I was lost.  I had no real identity or at least I didn’t think so.  The first year wasn’t bad.  I worked on my direct sales business, and collected unemployment while I looked for something close to home.  The truth was being 54 with LOTS of experience was not an appealing trait for most employers.  All they saw was someone who was “older” and who they thought would quit when a better opportunity came along.

Over the next 7 years, my life would be like a roller coaster ride.  Taking jobs to fill the void and pay the bills.  But each time, my MS (not yet diagnosed) reared its ugly head, and I had to give my notice.  During 4+ of those years, not only did I struggle to find a job but I endured endless testing to determine what was going on health-wise with me.

Financial unmanageability was starting to wreck havoc in my life without a steady income.  MS started affecting my memory, my moods, my balance and my life. The unmanageability throughout my life got worse.  No steady income.  An inconsistent commission check from my direct sales business.  Using credit cards to pay for things or to shop or to keep up appearances.  Drinking wine to relax.  The old behaviors and feelings from my early days of using came back really fast.  Stuffing my feelings again.  Feeling like I didn’t belong.  Feeling alone.  Feeling like a victim.  Feeling unworthy of anything.  Playing the comparison game and never winning.  Being self-centered (I want what I want when I want it).  Angry. Letting pride rule. Jealousy.  All of those things I thought I had dealt with long ago.

See, the reality was I gave up the drugs but I never really worked on me.  I substituted work for drugs.  I identified as a Social Worker.  I identified as mom.  But I never identified as Hope – the person.  Looking back, I was happy with my life BUT I don’t think I was ever really happy with me!

One year ago, I walked back into the rooms of NA, I felt as broken and lost as the first day I walked into the rooms on October 26, 1991.  I have learned so much in the last year.  This year has been a turning point in my life…. you would think at 62 I would have finally gotten it together. LOL.

Are things perfect?  No but they are getting better.  I am learning to like me for me.  I still tend to play the comparison in my business but it is getting better. I am working on re-building broken relationships. I am building a network of strong women who I can lean on.   I am learning to accept my MS diagnosis and truly believe #mswillnotdefineme.

Why am I sharing this?  I want to help someone else who may be struggling.  I am coming face to face with my inner demons so I can move on from the past and embrace the future.

Have a blessed day!

Do You LOVE What You Do?

Do you know what day it is?  YUP, it is HUMP DAY!  For many, you are DREADING the rest of the work week.  Are you already longing for the weekend?  I LOVE Wednesdays (even Mondays).  The truth is…. I don’t mind going to work.  I am a recovering work-a-holic BUT when you LOVE what you do, it is really work?  I have talked about the struggles I have over the last few months to find what I truly LOVE again.  Living life on life’s terms has  been a struggle and has me rethinking what it is I really LOVE to do.

I saw on a blog a checklist for figuring out if you truly LOVE what you do… so I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.  Why don’t you try it with me?

First upNever a dull day!  Okay, my days have gotten a little dull. MS has caused me to struggle in doing things but on those days when I am focused…. WATCH OUT!  I tend to have so many ideas going through my head, I tire myself out!  LOL!  The ideas are great but I just can’t seem to put them into gear.  Last minute parties – of course.  Last minute fundraiser – wouldn’t miss doing it.  BUT now I have added the love of creating angels.  The joy an angel can bring to someone as they share a story of someone who has passed is something I treasure.  The creativity gets my blood flowing!

Meetings? Love them!   I love leading discussions to help others grow their business.  I do struggle when there are multiple conversations going on at the same time – my brain goes into overload.  I feel like the teacher telling students “only person can talk at a time”. LOL!  So, do I LOVE them? No, but they do get my juices flowing.

Inspiration is around the corner.  Hubby said something the other night “You see the possibility of angels in everything” and it’s true.  I had a friend give me some jewelry pieces to combine and make an angel for her and I’m over the moon excited.  Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE Thirty One.  I LOVE being around other Thirty One consultants who are smart, confident, funny, giving and dedicated.  They each inspire me in their own way to be better and to reach for the stars.

Work = part of life.  You enjoy life and work. You feel alive and joyful not just at home but also at your desk. When you love your work, it’s a part of your life.  

I think this says it all.

S0 much to explore!  When you love your work, it’s like peeling an onion. There are always more layers to discover and explore. When you hate your work it’s also like peeling an onion – but all you find are more tears.  

Are you discovering or are you shedding tears?

You hardly ever look at the clock.  This is definitely me.  I can get lost in my office working on my blog, crafting angels, creating ideas and planning the future.  You know the saying “time flies when you are having fun” well it does for me!

So what is the result of this check list for YOU?  Do you LOVE what you do or are you just working to pay the bills?  Don’t get me wrong, I do the same thing – I mean, the bill collectors want their money but I enjoy all of it.  I LOVE the combination of my Thirty One business and my angels.  Want to know more about my Thirty One business and how it might be able to change YOUR life, just ask.  Not only do you get paid BUT there are some AWESOME perks.

If you don’t LOVE what you do, maybe it is time for a change.  Life is too short to wait for “it” to come so you can retire and enjoy life.  Why not enjoy it NOW!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Thank You for Your Service

Today is officially Veteran’s Day even though the federal holiday was celebrated yesterday.

What is Veteran’s Day?

“We remember those who died BUT Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime,” It is a holiday “is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge their contributions to our national security, and to underscore the fact all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”

Would you like to make a difference in the lives of our military families?

Every week, households across the country get the Sunday paper which is typically filled manufacturer coupons.  Some cut out what we can use while others simply put the entire batch in the recycling bin never to be seen again.  Did you know you could help our military families and all it would cost you would be the postage?

Recycling coupons is a GREAT way to “give back” to our military families. Military families can use current and EXPIRED (up to 3 months from the expiration date) manufacturers coupons at the BX/PX.  Such an easy way to help others who risk their lives for us every day.

I never realized how much the “small” things we take for granted are appreciated by our military families and our troops until about 14 years ago.  My best friend’s husband, Bill, was deployed to Bagram in the early days of “Operation Freedom”.

A one month deployment turned into a 6 month stint during a time when there was no family support groups – just friends and family who got Stephanie and the four kids (Jen, Sean, Ryan & Shane) through the many days and long nights.  Every penny counted and believe it or not, coupons helped. Here is a quote from her Facebook page on Veteran’s Day –

” On Veterans Day, don’t count the days or the months. Just please remember every family of every soldier – and if you don’t know what to say, just do a random act of kindness like taking out the trash for a soldier’s wife while her husband is at home. Small things mean a lot. I know.  November 11, 2012 at 8:37pm  

Today, there are many businesses saluting veterans and active-duty military personnel.  They’re offering freebies and special discounts to show their appreciation for all those who have sacrificed for their country.  Proof of service such as a military ID is typically required and a few businesses will allow dressing in uniform as a form of identification.
Check with your location to see if they are participating:

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill: Free meal from a special menu Saturday at any of the nearly 1,800 locations.

Bob Evans: Free meal from a special menu available all day Saturday at all locations.

Bonefish Grill: Free Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Free small order of traditional or boneless wings with a side of fries.

Chili’s: Free meal from a special menu.

Cracker Barrel: Free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Free doughnut of choice, while supplies last.

Friendly’s: Free meal from a special menu at participating locations.

Little Caesars: Free Hot-N-Ready lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LongHorn Steakhouse: Free appetizer or dessert. Plus guests dining with veterans will receive 10% off their meals.

Muscle Maker Grill: Free meal at participating locations.

Olive Garden: Free meal from a select menu.

Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion and non-alcoholic beverage.

Panera Bread: Free breakfast sandwiches until 10 a.m. Saturday at participating locations. After 10 a.m., military members get a coupon for a free pastry to use on a future visit.

Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert.

Red Robin: Free Red’s Tavern Double Burger with bottomless fries.

Ruby Tuesday: Free appetizer up to $10.

TGI Friday’s: Free lunch menu item up to $12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Plus get a coupon for $5 off next meal.

Wawa: Free coffee, any size, all day Saturday for veterans, active military and family members.

Great Clips: Veterans and active duty get a free haircut on Veterans Day or pick up a free haircut card to use through Dec. 31. Also non-veterans who get a haircut Saturday get a free haircut card to give to a veteran.

Many stores offer military discounts year-round, but a handful are only on Veterans Day.

A.C. Moore: 15% off your total regular and sale price purchase with valid ID every day.

Home Depot: 10% discount.

Jo-Ann Fabric: 10% discount for military service members and their families year round.

Lowe’s: 10% discount.

Michaels: 15% discount for military families every day.

Have you served in the military?  You can get your ID card at most county office buildings with a copy of your DD214.

Do you know a vet who could use some cheering up?  I have HERO bags made up and ready to send out.  Complete the form below and I will send them out or if local, I would be happy to drop it off to bring a smile and a thank you to one of our Veterans.

 

If you should see someone from the military today – Thank them!  They don’t just sacrifice their lives on Veteran’s Day but EVERY DAY!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

September Basics

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Where is September going? In just a few short days, it will officially be autumn.  The Jersey Shore has been hit with some hot humid weather so it is hard to believe that it is actually the middle of September.

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Being in direct sales, I always feel like September is a restart.  Thankfully, every month we get to wipe the slate clear and start again.  I just came off an awesome 3 months in my business with personal and team volumes back to where they used to be.  So, I was riding on the high of summer unlike the past when I was in Vacation Veronica mode. But the reality was, my numbers for September during the BEST special of the Thirty One year were not where I wanted them to be.  I have been working hard to turn them around by putting forth a little more effort…. actually going back to basics.

I know it can get old, right?  Many times, I have written off a month when my numbers were not where I wanted them to be and began focusing on next month.  It always seemed easier to get excited about something NEW coming then to WORK in the here and now.

I was a Doubtful Debbie for a long time.  Never really taking some of the suggestions to heart OR doing any of them.  Never really trying. Playing the “comparison game”.  This time, I let the doubts linger for a day or two and then I kicked it into overdrive.  Sat in my office to do “money-producing” tasks.  Yes, that means picking up the phone – making calls and texting.  Calling people just to thank them for their support of my business.  I have been sharing my business with EVERYONE! Well, almost.

Occasionally,  I slip back into the “JOB” mindset.  Yes, I work a part-time job. Although, I don’t want people to see it instead of my business when they think of me.  I ran into an ex- co-worker from WAWA.  She asked me if I was working.  I said yes and proceeded to tell her about my part-time job!  OPPORTUNITY  MISSED!!!!  I called my hubby to tell him I was on my way home and had an AHA moment.  I had only causally mentioned Thirty One, I mean I was wearing a Thirty One t-shirt so did I really have to say it?  DUH???  I guess so because she asked “are you still doing Thirty-One”? OMG!  How did this happen?

When I started with Thirty One, I told everyone about my business.  I am not sure when the mindset changed and the worse part is I didn’t even realize it.  I LOVE my business.  I LOVE making a difference in the lives of others.  The passion is still there BUT I began thinking “people know what I do”  so I don’t need to say anything.  WRONG!!!!!  Talk about an AHA moment.  As I struggle with health issues, I have found I need to PRACTICE sharing about my business when people ask me what I am doing.  I say practice because it is a habit  I got out of and need to desperately get back into.

Thirty One pays the bills (or a lot of them) AND I want it to be the ONLY thing paying the bills.  It affords me the opportunity to spend time with my family and make my own schedule. It is my business!  My part-time gig is just a part-time thing – nothing permanent.  It has helped to fill the gaps as I struggle with health stuff. Or, do I hold onto it out of FEAR?  That is a scary question.  Do I not have enough faith in the fact with God’s help I can make my business a success?  Did the mindset change when I lost some of my faith and I didn’t even realize it?  WOW!  No, I am not going to try and answer these in this blog…

I just wanted to share my thoughts with you… maybe you are having an off month, maybe you are desperately seeking to have your own business but hold onto a JOB out of fear, maybe you need to change your mindset?  Whatever the struggle, there is still time this month to KICK out of the old mindset and bring in the NEW.  Almost sounds like a New Year’s Eve blog, huh?

What do YOU need to do different in your business?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Mindset Change

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Do you know what today is????  Yes, it is Wednesday but I LOVE this camel.  Every time I see a camel, I think of the commercial.  Not only is it mid-week, it is also mid-month!  Where is September going?  The weather is a little cooler – NOT happy about that since I am total warm weather kind of gal.

As I entered into September, I was plagued with an empty calendar due to Vacation Veronica mode.  I am happy to say, that mid-way through the month and that is all changed.  What looked like a dismal month for numbers has suddenly (with a little work) become an okay month.  Okay is not where I would like it to be but given the fact that I didn’t do much during the summer, I will take it.  What turned it around?

Back to basics… I know you are probably tired of hearing it but it is so true.  I was a Doubtful Debbie for a long time, writing off a month when I didn’t have much on the calendar.  Focusing on the next month before the current month was already underway.  Never really taking some of the suggestions to heart OR doing any of them.  Never really trying.  This month was different.  Set hours to do “money-producing” work in my office.  Yes, that means picking up the phone and making calls.  Following up with people who said they might be interested in a party.  Sharing my business with EVERYONE! Well, almost.

I did have a realization the other day when I ran into an ex- co-worker from WAWA.  She asked me if I was working.  I said yes and proceeded to tell her about my new part-time job!  OPPORTUNITY  MISSED!!!!  I called my hubby to tell him I was on my way home and had an AHA moment.  I causally mentioned Thirty One, I mean I was wearing my Thirty One sweatshirt so did I really have to say it?  DUH???  Somewhere along the road, I swerved back into the “corporate” mindset of having a        J-O-B! YIKES!  What happened?

When I started with Thirty One, I told everyone about my NEW business.  Then the mindset changed and I didn’t even realize it.  The passion is still there BUT I began thinking “people know what I do”  so I don’t need to say anything.  WRONG!!!!!  When that kind of thinking took over, I began sharing about my “job” as if that was more important than my business.  WOW!  Talk about an AHA moment.  Now, I am going to PRACTICE talking about my business when people ask me what I am doing.  I say practice because it is a habit that I got out of and need to desperately get back into.  Yes, I swerved off the original topic but I thought this may help YOU too.

Thirty One pays the bills (or a lot of them) AND I want it to be the ONLY one that pays the bills.  It affords me the opportunity to spend time with my family and make my own schedule. It is my business!  My part-time gig is just that part-time – nothing permanent, just something to help pay off the debt.  Or, do I hold onto it out of FEAR?  That is a scary question.  Do I not have enough faith in the fact that I (with God’s help) can make my business a success?  Did the mindset change when I lost some of my faith and I didn’t even realize it?  WOW!  No, I am not going to try and answer these in this blog…

I just wanted to share my thoughts with you… maybe you are having an off month, maybe you are desperately seeking to have your own business but hold onto a JOB out of fear, maybe you need to change your mindset?  Whatever the struggle, there is still time this month to KICK out of the old mindset and bring in the NEW.  Almost sounds like a New Year’s Eve blog, huh?

What do YOU need to do different in your business?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!