Thursday, April 14, 2016

Leaving the Mortgage World Behind

I've been meaning to write this post forever and finally have a spare moment for the first time in the last few months!

Life is so weird. 

So, I made a big decision and decided to leave all of my education, training, licensing, and professional experience behind and take a leap of faith. I left my career in Mortgage. 

This was a decision that I knew I would make one day, I just didn't think it would be so soon. 

I started working in mortgage about 4 years ago. Right as I got into mortgage is when my addiction really took off and got insane. I coped with a lot of the stress of my job by checking out and getting high. The only way that I knew how to cope with that type of stress was by getting high, because that's how I had always done it since I had started. My addiction and my job were so intertwined. 

I would get sober, then the pieces of my job and frustrations that I had would just chip away at me until I couldn't take it any more. I would lose it, and relapse, and completely self destruct. Then, I would get sober and change myself on the inside. Then I would put myself back in that same exact environment and stress, and the cycle would begin again. 

When I started working at US Bank fresh out of treatment, I saw it so clearly. I had conviction to stay sober. I wanted to be sober and was willing to do whatever that took. I was willing to do hard things to stay alive. However, the environment would eat away at me. The stress felt so overwhelming, because I didn't know how to cope with it without wanting to check out. I realized that I was setting myself up for failure. As I noticed this, I realized that I really had no other choice. It became so clear to me one day. It was my career, or my life. My career was not my life. Recovery was my life now. Recovery meant I could stay alive. My career was killing me inadvertently. 

Although I was changed on the inside, my life and stress on the outside was the exact same. 

Although it was so clear to me, it was still a very hard decision. It really scared me. I didn't want to lose what I had worked so hard to build. But I didn't want to die either. 

Finally, I just took a leap of faith and trusted myself and my conviction for recovery and my life. I think it was the first time I loved myself more than I loved trying to appear a certain way or be a certain way. It was the first time I genuinely made a decision for ME and for no other reason. I didn't care how it looked.  I didn't care about my title or the company I worked for. I cared about myself and my happiness above all. 

What a break through. 

So now, I am walking a new path and starting a new career. I am really excited. I feel really good. Although I am scared sometimes or worried that I lost something that was great, I know that I have potential for even better in not only my career, but in my life. I trust myself and my decision wholeheartedly. 

While some days I still have a break down and don't know what the crap I am doing, I always come back to the piece of me that trusts and knows this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing right now.

I feel amazing. I don't feel like someone who is living in fear of relapsing all the time. I don't live in fear of my addiction. Yes, I respect my addiction and the potential it has if I don't do the things I know I need to do to stay healthy and safe. However, I no longer feel like I am defined by an addiction or defined by being in recovery. I am someone who has struggled with an addiction. I am someone who now lives in recovery. That is a very important part of who I am and what makes me the person I am today. But I am so much more than that. I am not defined by a disease that I live with. I have so many great characteristics and have the potential, ability and talent to do great things in my life beyond struggling with an addiction. It's really exciting. 

I'm really stoked for great things ahead!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tender Mercies

To say the last 3 months or so has been challenging would be the understatement of the year. The funny part is, 2 days before all crap hit the fan, I remember sitting on my parents back porch in complete peace. I remember thinking to myself, "I am finally at peace. The past 10 years have been a rollercoaster of insanity, but I am finally at peace. I love my family. I love my job. I love my relationships. I love recovery. I love God. I know it's not always going to be this way, but right now, I am completely at peace."

Then 2 days later...BAM. 

I keep thinking how in the world did my life turn upside down so quickly? Within 1 month, EVERYTHING changed.

However, today I couldn't help but think about all of the tender mercies that have taken place during the hardest of times. 

On November 5th, Chase and I parted ways. Obviously it was not by my choice. I don't think it was fair or justified at all. But, it happened. I knew it might be coming for about 2 weeks before I actually left. Those two weeks were miserable. By the time November 5th came, I was completely in victim mode. It didn't make sense. It wasn't fair. It wasn't my fault or in my control. I lost it. That day, I relapsed. I justified it by saying that I just needed to check out for the day and it wouldn't get bad. Lies. The voice of my addiction is so sneaky. Luckily, that day I flew out to Seattle and got away with my friends for the weekend and didn't continue to use. Then I got back and reality settled in. I was a mess inside, but I didn't want anyone to know that I was struggling. Instead, I acted like I was completely fine and excited to move forward. I kept saying "this is happening for a reason", even though inside I was feeling a deep loss and sadness over all of this. The disconnect from how I was feeling and what I was saying is what took me down and took me down hard. I stayed sober for about a week. Then, I snapped. And when I say I snapped, I snapped hard. 

I won't go into detail about my relapse, but let's just say I started using on a Tuesday, and woke up in detox on a Friday. I got myself into some scary situations. I should be dead to say the least. After I got out of detox, I made the decision to go back into Day Treatment for stabilization of 2 weeks- this was the first treatment I chose to do on my own and wasn't talked into. Well 2 weeks turned into 4 weeks. I finished up Day Treatment on December 23 when I was 30 days out of detox. It was tough. It was the hardest round of treatment out of the 3 I have done. I worked my butt off. I worked hard on being honest with myself and vulnerable. I took things very seriously, because my relapse was very serious. 

Today, I started my first day at my new bank- US Bank. 

So through all of this hell, there were so many tender mercies that I am grateful for: 

1. The day I left Chase, I already had offers from Wells Fargo and US Bank. Also another offer from another company not related to mortgage. I never had to go through the stress of applying and interviewing for a new job. 

2. I had enough savings to take a break through the holidays. 

3. I asked for a start date of December 28th, which worked out really well since I wound up needing to go to treatment for a month. 

4. I didn't die. 

5. My close friend pulled me out of the scary situation that I got myself into and took me to detox. Possibly saved my life. 

6. My close friends and family loved and supported me through all of the struggle and hardship. They loved me through it. 

7. I was able to get treatment immediately when I needed it and stay as long as I needed and as long as it took. 

8. I have 2 renters to help pay my mortgage and utility bills. 

9. My Seattle trip took me out of my immediate relapse and was a perfect distraction during my most intense emotions. 

10. My God has shown more love, empathy, compassion, and guidance than I ever knew was possible. 

While my hope two years ago was that I would get out of treatment, be cured, and have the ability to help others who were struggling, that just isn't my reality or my process. My process has been what it has been because it was what I needed. I feel like I hit rock bottom and then just kept on digging. My life the past 3 years was definitely not in the plans. It wasn't how my life was supposed to go. It wasn't what I wanted, but it was definitely what I needed. I never want to live the past three years again. But, I am glad I lived them. The two main things the past 3 years have shown me is that 1. I am very resilient and there is strength in continuing to get back up and keep fighting against this disease. 2. God loves me, knows me, and will never give up on me. 

While things don't happen like we hope them to, there will still be reasons to be grateful and take note of the tender mercies that we receive along the way. 

Now, I am ready for a new beginning to a new journey. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Hello! So, I kinda failed miserably on finishing my story with Suboxone and now I don't really want to go back into it because it's not at the forefront of my life. If you want to hear my story, let me know and we can chat about it. Basically, everyone said getting off of it is impossible and cannot be done. I have been off of it for more than a month now and while it sucked and still sucks to have withdrawal symptoms, it feels SO GOOD to have that monkey off my back. 

So, I am currently unemployed and now have time to actually blog sometimes. I'm not going to go into the whole story with that. I am happy to talk about it to anyone who's wondering, but I don't want to take it all to social media, so I'm not gonna.

Anyway, I left Chase on Thursday and then went to Seattle for the weekend with some of my best friends and old roommates to visit my friend Ashley who lives up in Washington. The trip couldn't have had better timing! It was sooooooo good to get away for the weekend and be with some of the best and most hilarious friends that I have. I think if we didn't eat so much over the weekend, I would probably have a 6 pack from laughing so hard. I don't really want to go through the trip day by day but I will share a funny story which ended the trip pretty hilariously. 

We have played a game called "Dice" since we were in college. One of the things with dice is that if you lose, you have to have a consequence which is agreed upon before the game. So on Sunday night we decided to play Dice. We decided that a consequence for losing one game would be to put on my friend Ashley's competition bikini and high heels and run down the street. Ashley does bikini competitions and is literally TINY and SUPER ripped. So nobody wanted to put that sucker on. And everyone knows I just learned how to wear heels like 2 years ago. So of course I lose and have to do the consequence. So, I went ahead and put on the tiny diamond bikini and wore the highest high heels I have ever seen and literally ran down her street. It wasn't even late either. It was like 9pm. I think that is probably one of the most daring and hilarious things that I have ever done. But, it also summed up how funny and awesome this trip was!

So onto pictures (not of me running down the street in the bikini, but actually good pictures of the trip):

Our first full day, we went on the most beautiful hike. We may have gotten lost and ended up hiking 8 miles instead of 2 or 3, but it was worth it. Washington in the fall is unbeatable. I loved it. Most these pics are scenic from the hike because it was gorgeous. 

My parents are very big on getting their daily steps in lately, so I had to send a picture to brag to them how many steps we got in on the hike!

I loved being near the water and port towns. 

We saw some of the gnarliest trees

Me, Carlie, Jentry, Ashley. It was so fun to be reunited probably for the first time since our days at Dixie

More of the hike...

Jentry and I waiting to get on the Ferry Boat to Seattle

We went to the marketplace in Seattle. We saw them throwing fish which was pretty rad. 

It rained the whole day while we were in Seattle, but we really didn't mind it at all. 

We were slightly stoked en route to Seattle. 

More Hike Pics

Jentry climbed up into a tree that was actually really rad in real life

Carlie and I on the plane. I love the fact that no matter how long we haven't talked or seen each other, we pick up exactly where we left off. 

We did A LOT of driving to see different things over the weekend. I learned how car sick I get as an adult. It was rough, but it was a small price to pay for the sights we got to see. 

Ashley (amazing bikini comp champ), Jentry, Carlie, Me. 

We got really good at group selfies

Our last day we went to Olympia. It was such a rad port town. 

When we were in college, my mom would send us themed socks for the different holidays. It was only fitting that she sent me with some new socks for all of us!

I am so glad I went and got to see some of my favorite people and see beautiful Washington. We had a blast and I can't wait for our next girls trip!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Journey To Zero

I think like most addicts who are in recovery, we like to talk about the beauty of recovery, not the ugliness of addiction. We try to move forward and not dwell on the past- but never forget how dark that past was and why we never ever want to go back to that person who we know that we aren't, yet addiction brings out. 

So let's talk about the ugly side of my Suboxone journey, along with the beauty of FINALLY being done with the drug two years later. 

So what is suboxone? Suboxone is used for opiate addicts to help them come off of hard opiates such as heroin. It is just like heroin and attaches to the same opiate receptors that heroin does, however, it doesn't produce the same high effect as the other opiates. It is a very effective drug to get opiate addicts on when they are detoxing from the hard stuff or if there is an opiate addict that chronically relapses and suboxone is the only way to block them from getting high on other opiates if they were to take them while on suboxone. It's kind of a hard drug to understand so if you really care that much about understanding what it is and how it differs, you can google it if you have a real itch to learn about those bad boys. Moving on...

So the next question is- am I a hard core opiate addict? Am I addicted to heroin? The answer is no. I would abuse opiates such as Loratab and Percocet when they were around after surgery or what not- especially when they were MUUUCH easier to get back when I was in high school, but I never actively sought them. They made me nauseated and I didn't like them like I liked other pills that were tranquilizers. Tranquilizers were my thing- Ambien, Xanex, Fioricet, Soma, any downer that would fly under the radar at Dr's offices and different pharmacies.  Not only did I love those types of drugs, but more than anything, I loved manipulating the whole system from the Dr's to the Insurance company, to the Pharmacies, to the Drug reporting database. See, us addicts are really smart (sometimes detrimentally smart if focused on the wrong things) and the greatest high doesn't come from actually getting high, but it comes from actually being able to manipulate our way to the high. 

So, if I am not a big opiate person, then why was I put on Suboxone in the first place? Well, when I entered rehab two years ago, I was put on the drugs that I was on because I have 3 herniated discs  in my neck along with a few other issues with my back and neck. So, I honestly believed that I couldn't get off those drugs because regardless of whether or not I was an addict, I was in very real and true pain. So the Dr. at my treatment center found a solution to get me off the "hard stuff" and on to a "safer" medication for chronic pain. Next thing I know, I am on a very low dose of suboxone. Since I didn't have a high tolerance to opiates- because I hadn't taken them since my last surgery 4 years before, the suboxone actually did produce a sort of high for me. While in TREATMENT, I was all about taking my suboxone every day and loving the way it reduced my anxiety, took away the physical pain, and just overall calmed me and helped me sleep. So from the day I left treatment and was in charge of my own medication management, I abused those suckers. 

It wasn't hard at all at first. I was on such a low dose, that if I took double what I was supposed to, it made me feel really good. I started messing around with them on a regular basis and then began going hard on them for 3 weeks out of the month and then either manipulated the system to get a new script earlier than needed, or I would buy them at an outrageous price from my friend from rehab for about $25 per pill. This went on for about 8 months. I was in so much denial that this was even a problem. I was sober from the drugs that ruined my life, so I was sober right? I wouldn't have any problems kicking this problem at some point in the future- if it was even really necessary. I just want to say I REALLY was committed to sobriety and honestly didn't believe that this was a problem at all. Denial can be a sneaky manipulator. So about 8 months later, when I was close to 1 year of "sobriety", going to school, starting a new job, doing an internship, etc. I started abusing them more and more and manipulating my way through the system to do so. 

Finally, one day my Therapist straight up called me out on it. My cover was blown. I didn't have 8 months of sobriety anymore because the secret was out and I couldn't do anything about it. So then we devised a plan to get off of them. By this time, I was up to 16mg from the 1mg I had started at the year before. Suboxone is one of those things that you can't quickly just taper off of because of how well it sticks to those opiate receptors. I had to go to a suboxone clinic and come down safely on them. 

This post is getting too long, and even I don't have the patience to keep writing about this. Let's pick this back up tomorrow. 

To be continued....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Life In The Sexy Lane 2.0

Well Hello! Welcome back to Life In The Sexy Lane 2.0! It has been a long while since I have posted on here. I needed some time away to get myself and my life back together. While I love posting and sharing on this blog, there is also a constant juggle that I feel between wanting to be real and genuine, but also wanting to show up and be strong and show my better side or share the better parts of life. Sometimes, especially when you feel like you are completely lost or broken, it can get hard to post because those are parts of myself that I have a hard time acknowledging to myself- let alone people who read this blog. I have always prided this blog as being real and genuine to who I am and what I am going through, but sometimes when life itself feels as though it is blowing up all around me, I tend to disconnect. I disconnect from myself, my loved ones, and my life. I begin to just show up and go through the motions without feeling any emotions or enjoyment in my life. So when I started relapsing last January, I didn't want to admit it on my blog for many reasons. I wanted to show my strength in my recovery, not my weakness in my addiction. Sometimes there is a fine line between being genuine and being too vulnerable in an inappropriate public setting. I didn't want to lose my internship or get kicked out of my school program because I wanted to work in recovery despite the fact that I was not in a stable enough place to be working in or planning to work in recovery when I wasn't in a solid place in my own recovery. And honestly, I just didn't want to start the whole recovery thing all over again. Needless to say, the last six months there have been some drastic changes such as dropping out of my school program and not completing my internship hours. Starting an IOP treatment program and relapsing so I had to take 6 weeks off of work to do a day treatment program. And since then, practicing what I have learned and really work on myself and my recovery which required a lot more private journaling rather than public blogging. That being said, I have really missed this blog. It has been a great way for me to emotionally connect and become vulnerable. It allows me to express and share myself. And the best part, it allows me to connect with so many others who decide to share their story of struggle and find a small glimmer of hope in their own pain. I can't promise a blog post every day like I have in the past, but I do want to start sharing again and I feel like now it is the right time and I am in the right place to begin to post again. I hope to share with you my struggles, victories, comedies, and the interworks or how my brain randomly operates moving forward. 

So, moving forward....let's go through some pictures/highlights from this last summer...

We got some rock climbing in

We bought this girl her first pair of roller skates

This little one literally grew up right in front of our eyes

My parents and I spent a brisk Memorial Day weekend up in Park City

I got my favorite pair of summer sandals

Charlee in now enrolled Grandpa Davy's Hunting Recruiting club

I finished my first year at Chase Bank by accomplishing all of my first year goals 

Grandpa took the kids fishing

These were by far a summer favorite treat

So many Sunday afternoons with the littles

And every Sunday was a new adventure

The week after my relapse, I got into Golfing as a way to support my recovery. My first two games, I got birdies...haven't gotten one since. I took lessons and probably played almost every single day. 

These kids reminded me what playing outside all summer is magical

I took my own style to the golf course

I bought a new Garmin that is 100 times smarter than I am 

All the cousins went up to Park City for a week 

And they were stoked to say the least

I taught Kylie the secret to life is to drink A LOT of Diet Coke

We got 6th row tickets at Kelly Clarkson

I developed a sock addiction

Kylie started walking...and Charlee started posing and smiling for pictures

I started Trail Running again

And it was the best way to restore my broken spirit 

I reconnected with FTR and ran at Recovery Day with my Hero and Sober Sister Rachel

The girls decided going to the Toy Store on our Date Nights is now a regular tradition (so much better than going to Chuck E Cheese)

And we tried to all smile for a picture...

But most pictures turned out goofy

I played in the freezing cold Women's Realtor Golf Tournament on team Stewart Title 

Dave and I went to DC because I signed up for a Half Marathon solely to have a reason to eat at Good Stuff and have this iconic Roasted Marshmallow Shake

When you're at the Capitol, it's only cool to be super cheesy and wear patriotic gear around.

Of course we did all of the cool tourist things that I have probably done 25 times now

I ran a half marathon without training and got the running bug again. My goal is to run my Half Marathon Personal Record in September of 2016

Being addicted to running is much better than being addicted to drugs. 

We enjoyed summer nights in the backyard

These two became very best buds

My new baby niece Charlotte was born

Four months of golfing paid off with 3 drives straight onto the green at Sleepy Ridge

And, the summer has officially come to an end. 

It was a great summer. A summer for the books. I feel healthy. I feel happy. I feel strong. I feel connected. I feel like after 10 long years of fighting so many demons, depression, anxiety, etc...I am finally content and happy with who I am and where my life is going. It feels amazing!