A Little Update About Life

Hey! It’s been way too long right? I KNOW! Want to know what’s up? Follow along. It could get long.

Since the Kamloops IRS recovery of 215 students who didn’t make it home, I’ve been on a journey. That news uncovered in me, a whole lot of trauma and mental health issues. I was thrust in to rage and hate but also sadness and deep pain. It brought forth all the what ifs and what could have beens had my parents not attended or had they not made it home. I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t but also how different my life might have been had they not been forced to attend IRS.

So with that news, I was forced in to a journey I didn’t plan on taking but here I am. Still. Thankfully. It’s been hard, painful and exhausting but more and more I find the bits of peace I long for. I’m not getting any younger and this healing journey always astounds me, it never ends. There is always something.

Fast forward to these last few weeks. I’ve been decluttering our home like a mad woman. Why? I realized that all the clutter impacted my peace and caused me overwhelm and a sense of chaos. A lot of my life has been chaos, so that really takes a toll at this point of my journey, so the more structure and order I have, the more at peace I feel.

Since unloading 5+ boxes of stuff at the local thrift store and making some money on the items I sold, I have counter space! I don’t have a junk bin on the counter any more! I wake up feeling relieved and rejuvenated. It’s the best feeling ever. I woke up this morning thinking, “Man, I love waking up to a clear and clean space – clutter-free space!” It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself in this journey to date. I don’t feel so overwhelmed by STUFF when I come in to our home. I’m not annoyed and disgusted by the things we have in our space. (Don’t get me wrong, there’s always room for improvement! Yes, I’m that girl!) I have to thank The Minimalists for their podcast and Netflix shows for the inspiration. They speak my language and I love the concept so much. They’re my super heroes!

Hmm, what else? I’ve been super elated to see so many others decluttering their lives too! They’ve commented thank-yous and updates with me and it brings me great joy to see others unloading all the dead weight. That’s what clutter is – it’s dead weight, negative energy. Who wants that? NOT ME. Keep moving forward, friends. We got this!

With that, thank you for joining me here. That wasn’t too long after all. I will be cleaning up (ahem, decluttering) my social media and digital life so I hope to write more here so I hope you come back. I have much to be thankful for today, we all do, we just have to take a look around, then get up and get on with it. Cheers!

R

Fortunately Fortunate

I have to say thank you. Thank you to my husband, Greg, for all the patience, unconditional love and support he’s provided me.

My best friend and PIC, my husband, Greg

More and more we see alcohol (and drugs) affecting people we love and it puts in to perspective the life we have now, and the life we could still be living. We’ve come along way. My husband celebrated 10 years of sobriety this year and I couldn’t be more thankful. We’ve come a long way but it’s not been without obstacles. I think the thing that’s worked for us is that we’ve always been open and honest (and real) with our kids. When shit hit the fan, we’ve dealt with it as a family. We sat down and talked through tears and understanding to get to a resolution so they understood that talking about big issues is necessary to work it out and heal.

So why fortunately fortunate? I say that because we got out of what was holding us back. ALCOHOL. DRUGS. Thinking we were having a good time when in reality, it was nothing but a bad time. We’d live pay cheque to pay cheque, never had money, fought about anything and everything, and most sadly, our kids were in the middle of it. Our addictions always came first. So many people, us included, put the addiction ahead of our kids. Our kids! The most important people in our lives! Fortunately we stopped. That does not go without saying they’ve been impacted by our choices still to this day. It’s always a work in progress to remind them that they’ve always mattered we just didn’t know how to parent until we were able to see straight and heal. Fortunately fortunate.

I’m grateful every day my kids have sober parents. I’m grateful every day I can make choices about my life with a clear conscience. All I can do is pray they and the ones we love learn from their mistakes and realize that we’re not made to drink alcohol socially. Too much generational trauma has taken that away from us. Nothing good comes from drinking. I know this from experience and that sucks but again, fortunately I can speak out about our experiences so maybe it’ll help others. Fortunately fortunate. See you’re worth before it’s too late.

Sober and happy in 2020

Stop This Crazy Train, I Want to Get Off

Stop this crazy train I want to get off. This post is long overdue. I’ve not been myself for a very long time, or at least that’s the way it feels. Aging is hard. Life with teens is hard. Being happily married is hard. Shit is hard or so it seems. In reality, it’s only hard because I’ve not been myself as I mentioned.

I know, I know many people have it far worse than I do and that’s why I should shut the fuck up and be grateful. Don’t get me wrong; I’m so completely grateful for every day, my life, and my family, all of it. It’s just hard to deal with when you’re not feeling yourself and I’m not afraid to admit that. Sure, it’s selfish but that’s ok too. I’ve come to a place in my life where I need to be selfish. I need to take care of me first, so I don’t go completely off the deep end. Cue the crazy train.

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I’m not sure when or where it started but one day I felt good, the next I felt ‘off’. Misery. Whatever you heard about misery loving company is a lie. I hate people. I hate noise. I hate people, places and things. I just want to be left alone. I’m not even joking. Socializing makes me sick. Who knew that was even possible right? Well, now I know. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this. There were days where I felt literally crazy, like I was losing my mind, scared of what was happening to me. This is not the Renee I know. Oh but it is, naïve Renee. It is fully and completely you and you are ok, I learn to tell myself that after many days and months of feeling like shit.

Why am I telling you this? Why should you care? You don’t have to care and I don’t have to tell you but if I’ve learned anything about healing, it’s that talking about it helps and who knows? I just might be helping others to learn about themselves, too. I learned that these feelings, anxiety and depression happen to everyone and I’m not unique by any means. Shit right? We all want to be ‘the one’ hey? Well, tough shit.

If I could pinpoint a time when this started, it would be way back when I worked at my previous employer. That being said, it could have been earlier and just not noticed, so there’s no real way to say for sure. Anyway, I was in the shower one day getting ready for work when I felt like I couldn’t breathe suddenly, like the lights started to go out and my heart rate increased at a rapid pace. That morning I went to the emergency room just to be safe and learned I had a panic attack. What? Where the hell did that come from? I felt fine, though!? I was only getting ready for my usual day. What I didn’t know or understand at the time was that my work environment was causing this stress. Naturally, I blamed myself at first until a really awesome and supportive doctor helped me to understand that it was indeed linked to work and it wasn’t my fault. It just so happened that every morning before work I’d feel ‘funny or off’ but I didn’t realize that until much later and by talking these events through with medical and mental health professionals. Ok, so all better right? Nope.

Add the much earlier passing of my Grandma, my son’s graduation, his pending college departure, leaving a job I enjoyed and financial security, taking on two puppies, financial burdens, losing so many loved ones in such a short period of time, and I ask myself, how did I actually not go completely off the deep end? Thankfully I didn’t and I got help in time. I took care of my health and took time to recover. Some days I slept for two to three hours and would still get seven to eight hours of sleep at night. Even up until recently, I still felt ‘off’ and out of sorts but with talking to great supports, I am feeling alive again. That’s not to say, I won’t get in those funks again because it’s possible. Anything is possible, one day at a time, though. Focus on the good.

So what’s my point? My point is that I believe many people suffer in silence. I believe we need to take better care of our mental health. If we break something, we go to a doctor. If our hearts are broken a hundred times, we don’t. We ought to. If you repeatedly hurt or break something in some way, there’s going to be serious damage and sometimes we can’t see that damage but it’s there and it hurts us in other ways like what I mentioned above. Depression kills. Stress kills. Pain kills. Suffering kills. We’ve lost so many people in our community that it’s impossible for everyone to be perfectly ok. That alone is enough to do serious damage to our people and I think that’s prevalent if you just look around. Today, I am ok but I still have deep wounds that need healing, too. Remember, you’re worth it. You matter and your mental health is just as important as any physical health issues. It hurts to look deep inside and open old wounds but what’s on the other side is nothing short of beautiful. We are worth it.

Today, I choose to enjoy this beautiful day and live life on my terms. I’m not crazy, just dealing with healing, that’s all.

 

Renee

Relax.-Were-all-crazy

Celebrate Every Day

Today marks my husband’s eighth year of sobriety. It has gotten much easier but it hasn’t always been so. We struggled through a lot of shit to get to today. We made it here together.

I remind him often how much I love him, how thankful we are for him, and how grateful we are for this life we have. The one thing we don’t do as a couple is celebrate our successes enough, though. The little successes matter just as much as the big ones.

Like tonight, just so happened we got tickets to Green River Revival, a CCR Tribute Band, and so we invited family to come along and we had a good time, with lots of laughs and loud tunes. I don’t remember the last time him and I went out anywhere together, gussied up and had fun with other adults. Made me realize how important it is to celebrate more often, no matter the occasion, just celebrate. Celebrate our lives, happiness and health. That ought to be enough, to celebrate every day.

Back in the day, we’d get drunk and high to celebrate and celebrate getting drunk and high, it was a lose-lose situation. Now, we can enjoy the good times without drugs or alcohol and remember the whole night. YES! I don’t miss those old days. We have a really good life and I am happy to celebrate that, every day. We deserve it.

I love you, my Lomens. I love this life with you. I’m grateful every day that Creator gifted me with the three of you.Good night.

Renee

Goals and Gratitude

Good morning. The sun is coming up and I am on day two of my one hundred day challenge. I will write one hundred posts in one hundred days. That is my goal.

I woke up thinking, ‘what am I going to write about for ninety-nine days?’ I started yesterday, so technically, there is ninety-nine days to go. Waking up and getting right down to it seems to be helping. Crank some tunes and get on with it.

Today, it’s simple. Gratitude. Gratefulness.

Gratitude, according to Google, is the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

To recognize day ninety-nine, I’m going to list 99 things I’m grateful for, so here goes:

  1. My family, including the friends I consider family,
  2. The sun coming up shining on the tops of the trees,
  3. Sunrises,
  4. Sunsets,
  5. Driving on the highway when you first notice it’s like summer driving, clear of snow, just you and the highway,
  6. Cranked tunes,
  7. The smell of the coffee brewing,
  8. Silence in the early morning before the world awakens,
  9. Writing,
  10. My MacBook,
  11. Running water,
  12. A roof over our heads,
  13. Money in the bank,
  14. Chickadees chickadeeing,
  15. Journaling,
  16. Reading,
  17. Books,
  18. Bookstores that I can browse for hours in,
  19. Photos,
  20. Sobriety,
  21. My past, it is why I am who I am,
  22. My colorful art from Ashton and Danielle,
  23. Dishwashers, not human, but of the machine kind,
  24. Growing up in a small town,
  25. Small town life,
  26. Childhood friends from Kotchea Sub,
  27. The puddle that always accumulated by the stop sign that allowed us kids hours of play in the spring,
  28. Making mud pies and chocolate milk as a kid (aka dirt and muddy water and no, we never really ate them, but damn, they looked good enough to eat for sure!),
  29. My grandparents, George and Mary Behn, and Fred and Madeline Burke,
  30. Bananas,
  31. Fry meat, potatoes and onions,
  32. A cool shower on a hot summer day,
  33. Our ability to help others,
  34. Education,
  35. Na Deh Kleh Newsletter,
  36. Sober Indigenous men; nothing is sexier than a strong, sober, Indigenous man, who takes care of their shit,
  37. Same goes for women,
  38. A drivers license,
  39. Free courses to learn and grow,
  40. Our public library,
  41. Our cabin,
  42. The wind in the trees,
  43. The wind in my hair,
  44. Sitting by the water,
  45. The ocean,
  46. Vancouver, everything about it, makes it my favorite city,
  47. Airplanes,
  48. Road trips,
  49. Bucket lists,
  50. Checking off items on bucket lists,
  51. Rowing machines, try the one at Infinite Strength Wellness, I love it!,
  52. Getting rid of junk,
  53. Good perfume,
  54. My duvet,
  55. Solitude,
  56. Watching my kids laugh together or with their friends,
  57. Family adventures, road trips, travels, meetings,
  58. Lynda Gwynn,
  59. The Dene drums,
  60. Sweat lodge,
  61. Arizona meetings,
  62. Life on the Rez,
  63. People who stand up for what’s right for everyone’s benefit,
  64. Dateline and 48 Hours, what else would I do on a Friday and Saturday evening?,
  65. Jonni, Cash and Cannon, what’s life without dogs?,
  66. Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within,
  67. Robin Sharma,
  68. Tim Ferris,
  69. My Muck boots,
  70. My Sanucks,
  71. Passionate people, you inspire me,
  72. My voice,
  73. Medical staff in Fort Nelson, it’s nice to have the same doctor since before your babies were born,
  74. Jamie McDonald at Murray GMC, she’s truly the best,
  75. Corbett, Orthodontist,
  76. Great customer service, tip those people,
  77. Our newspaper delivery girl, Sydney (I hope I spelled her name right),
  78. Popcorn and a movie,
  79. Shameless, it makes me appreciate how good life we have, lol,
  80. Kakawis and the families who got us through the first 6 weeks of our new life,
  81. Summer nights in Fort Nelson,
  82. Northern lights,
  83. The brothers I never had, Josh (RIP), Jonas, Brad,
  84. Fort Liard, it brought me so many good things, including my husband and FTL family and friends,
  85. The FNFN Lands staff and building, they helped me through a real difficult time and made me feel welcome, I sure miss them and their space,
  86. Our traditional medicines that heal us,
  87. Healing work,
  88. Days Inn haha,
  89. Our Alberta family,
  90. Josh and Arn’s hospitality,
  91. Crystal’s cooking and creativity,
  92. My husband’s ability to fix, build and work on pretty much anything,
  93. Tattoos, I think I need at least one more,
  94. Bannock,
  95. Rodeo dances, they’re the best,
  96. Laughing with Greg, it’s my favourite thing to do,
  97. Music concerts,
  98. Memories of loved ones past, and finally,
  99. My blog.

Whew! Happy Monday! This is my reminder to start every day with a grateful heart. I’m so grateful for life and the opportunity to wake up to a new day every morning, a clean slate, to improve, learn and grow.

Renee