Friday, May 27, 2011

Blogging Project Day 12 - Your earliest memory

Hmmm - okay well I have a few early memories from my times back in the big town of Monroe, NE.

For whatever reason, one of my memories is that I always had dreams that the Incredible Hulk was coming down the country road and he was going to get me. He was always green and angry. I only lived there until I was 5 and really, I don't even know - was The Incredible Hulk on in 1978?

Of course, my true memory was with my dad and softball. For some reason, I think that I was around 3 at the time and only know that because of what I was probably told. In any event, my dad played fast pitch on the local men's town team in Platte Center. My memory is vague but I think he had a broken ankle or something at the time. I think he even might have been on crutches at the time.

In any event, we headed to the Polish Pub (I don't know what it was called then), aka the bar. I remember at some point my dad asking me if I was ready to go home. I recall that I was having fun playing with my friends and wasn't ready to go home and told him that. Who asks this question of a child? Especially one under the age of 5? All I know is that I remember when I finally got tired and told him I was ready to go home, he told me I had my chance; he wasn’t ready to go now. I was stuck.

I do believe this story might have two different morals to it. One, if you are given a chance for leaving, take it because you might never get it again. Two, pushing a few chairs together makes a wonderful interim bed, so long as your parents know where you are. Why is that important? Years later at my Cousin Russ' wedding, I made use of the stack of chairs for an early bed time, unfortunately nobody knew where I was and I was temporarily "lost". Who says Schmidt's are not resourceful at an early age?

Life Note - Life is so much better than it was earlier in the week. My attitude it just to embrace it, love it and roll with it. Everything will always work itself out in God's time and well that has been happening this week. I got to catch up with Vanilla Horndog earlier in the week. As I was telling HairDresser last night, he is my perfect match, has those qualities that I would look for and he is someone I truly have respect for. However, his priorities right now are his two girls, which he has full custody of his 14 year old and a 50/50 of his 5 year old. The timing sucks and I don't know if and when the timing will ever be there. But as wise HairDresser reminds me, timing is just that, it will work out in the end if it is meant to. So, in the mean time, I am rolling with it and no regrets.

I also have declared this good news Friday. So far some things I have been waiting on have been popping up (in God’s time). So, I hope that they work out and in the end I will be in a much better place. Please say your prayers!

BTW - if you are reading this via email and wonder who Vanilla Horndog or HairDresser is, I have a new tab called "My Peeps" on the blog. I am trying to summarize all of these nicknames so you can keep track of them. As my wise momma points out, I have gone out with so many guys recently; it is hard to keep track of which is which. Hugs & Luv....have a great Holiday Weekend Y'all! Hopefully my liver doesn't hate me by Monday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogging Day Project - Day 11

My first love and first kiss

Hmmm, my first love and my first kiss.  Honestly, I really don't know where the first kiss was had or with who.  I grew up in a neighborhood with boys and was more of a tomgirl.  Although, we did play house when I was younger so maybe there was a kiss or two in there.

Now my first love, well that was Shane Burke.  Looking back at it, I really don't ever get why my parents let me go out with him, he was so much older.  Maybe because I was just so innocent at the time and so afraid to get into trouble.  It was the McDonald's romance, where we both worked.  He and his sister acutally both worked there and I think I was friends with his sister first.  I really didn't know that he was interested in me until McDonald's had called my house to let me know a dozen roses had been delivered there for me from someone and since I didn't work that day I should come get them.  Of course, this happened during the school day so my dad got to go.  All I could think of was how embarassing. 

He was four years older than me and really at the end of the day it is probably why it didn't work.  Of course, ironically it was his mom that broke up with me.  One of my friends saw him crusing "O" Street when I was out of town for softball.  He wouldn't take my calls after that and that is basically when his mom said something along the lines of move along, he isn't worth it.  I still managed to stay friends with his sister but even then, that relationship came to an end.

The cutiest part of the story is that my little brother, Shane, was only 7 at the time.  This break up was devastating for him.  See, Shane (BF) would come and pick him up and do things with him too.  I remember when he found out that he wasn't going to be coming around anymore, he wanted to know if that meant Shane wouldn't do anything with him anymore too. 

For the record, I stayed fast with being a Virgin until I was 21.  I won't say there was a few bases thrown in there, but nothing happened with.  Then again, maybe it was because my mom sat me down and gave me this leacture about if I decided to become sexually active, to let her know so I could get put on birth control.  What?  I am just going out on my first ever date mom.  I think that scared me and I didn't go there else I explained it to mom.  (LOVE YA Ma!) 

I still scratch my head knowing my parents let me date a 20 year old when I was 16. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Treading Water

That is where I am right now, just treading water and waiting for the seas to calm down.

Work just has me bummed right now so doing much of anything else just since unimportant and trivial.  I haven't been sleeping well at night so it leaves me less inclined to do much of anything else.  Sunday was a day off for me from Lowe's.  Guess what I did with it, how about nothing, absolutely useless.  I finally got out of bed around 10:30 am and then went out to do yard work.  That was my productivity for the day.  After finishing up with that a little before 2, I came in, showered and honestly laid in bed until 6ish.  I did manage to bathe the dogs and walked them but that was it. 

I need to break out of my funk this job & my boss have me in!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A bumpy ride

Been on a bumpy road and there isn't a sign of things getting better at work. Yesterday my boss ripped me a new one via email for sending an email asking to be included in demos and asking questions about an upgrade that I support to the other two individuals that support it. Since they are a higher level, I was out of line. Long story short, he came in the morning and started ripping into me before 8 on it. I didn't say a word and when he started raising his voice I started to leave. Which at that point he yelled at me to sit in a chair. When I didn't, he yelled for me to sit in a chair now. After I opened the door, he yelled and asked if he should write me up and then yelled to go home my day is done. Endless to say, he went to HR and now I have a headache but am still at the office.

I see Spin class in my future to restore order to my mind and hopefully it puts some calm back into place so I can blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blogging Project - Day 10

10 random songs from my iPod

So, I am cheating and going out of order.  The other one just required too much thought for today.  I am tired, my allergies suck right now and I feel like I have a pound of snot stuck up in the right side of my face.  I know - TMI.  I just ran out of my allergy meds that had a decongestant in them, so it seems worse today.

Now...for this random iPod shuffle - brace yourself for it.  I think my iPod has about as random of music possible but if it comes out that way here...we will see.
  1. Roses - Andre 3000
  2. Love Without End, Amen - George Strait
  3. My Boo - Usher & Alicia Keys
  4. Don't Be Stupid - Shania Twain
  5. Larger Than Life - Backstreet Boys
  6. Your Body's Callin - R. Kelly
  7. Suga Suga (Remix) - Baby Bash
  8. Come on Over - Shania Twain  (Must be her lucky day!)
  9. We Will Rock You - Queen
  10. None of Your Business - Salt-N-Pepa
Yep - it is pretty classic of my music taste.  Ironically - there is a lot missing that would of mixed things up - Linkin Park, Eminem, Old Country, Heavy Rap, Classical.  I really listen to a lot of different music and just don't limit it. 


So - I think a clear sign of the times was found last night.  I was helping zone Seasonal at the end of the night.  Typically we find things stolen all the time.  However, this time I just found it really, really sad.  I found an empty flag box.  Yes, someone felt to be the need to be so patriotic, they stole a flag.  I suppose one could spin it that it is the "Land of the Free".  I guess the have a different definition of what they meant by the "Land of the Free".

On a bright note - we are getting some much needed rain this morning!  Although, something tells me it might be washing away my grass seed right now.  I know that the Midwest has been worried about flooding but you have no idea how dry it is here.  They have burn bans in place at all the City Parks and that even includes Smoking.  I am surprised that we have been placed on Water Restrictions yet.  If things don't change anytime soon - we will be looking at being able to water yards twice a week on set days.  So far 1.6 million acres have been burned this year in Texas.  We have had under 3 inches of rain for the year, with January 9th being the last time we got more than a 1/2 inch in a day.  March and April were zero rain in the month!  So, I'll take what I can get!  Although something tells me I will be watering again by Saturday or Sunday!

Blogging Project - Day 9

How I hope my future will be

We can always dream, right?  In reality, I hope that my future contains a lot of today and this past couple of years!  I have really enjoyed the time and how things have gone.  I reality, I think I need to focus on what I do have going in my life versus what I don't have. 

My future will contain financial freedom and be without the burden of debt.  My ultimate goal is going to be having just my house as my debt and then not even that.  I want to be able to travel when I want and not feel like it sets me back a couple of months because of the added expense.  I do want to travel to all 50 states and don't forget all of those great vacation places out of country!  

I have this little picture book, if you will, and it has my dreams of my future in it.  It has one of those houses with the huge front porch on it, the one where you can put your rocking chair on and just enjoy a good book and a sunset.  It has a picture of a wedding dress because I do see myself walking down the aisle.  I have a picture of a family because that is in my future.  I have a picutre of my dream vehicle.  It isn't anything fancy but compared to my standard ride with no added features - it is fabulous.  Then of course my dream body.  :)  I look at the pictures daily to remind me what I am working towards!

How about the ultimate vaction....a girls trip to Hawaii!


On a life note - last night was the first night back to Spin class in probably two years.  I do know that I left exhausted and it kicked my butt - it a GREAT way!  I think that even Skinny Biotch even enjoyed herself.  The best part - last night was the best that I had slept in a LONG time.  I honestly woke up this morning ready to go and not feeling like I had to drag myself out of bed.  If going to spin class means I am going to sleep that good all the time - I am in! 

I am also going to celebrate hitting 5% - actually 5.4% of debt has been paid back since January.  I am hoping that since this month is the last month for Finn bills that number will really start to take off because the emergency fund has been rebuilt and money can be going straight back to the debt!  Keep that future in focus baby!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blogging Project - Day 8

A moment I felt the most satisfied with my life

Hmmm - In reality I don't know that I am "officially" at that point.  There are just things in life right now that I want to accomplish that I haven't.  Really my biggest goal right now is to get rid of Lowe's and just be able to relax and enjoy life.  So, I think that is really the point that I can say I am satisfied with my life.

That said, I think the biggest milestone of my life was the day I finish my first Triathlon, The Rookie.  It was a race I did on my own.  Outside of riding along with my mentor from Team & Training, I really didn't know anyone from the group well because I missed most of the training sessions because of work.  So, here I was at my first Triathlon, not really knowing anyone, not really knowing how it would end up and not really having a support system there - which was a first for me.

At the end of the day, I finished!  It might not of been fast, it might not of been pretty but I finished.  It made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to.  I grew up playing softball with my dad right there and realized that I could be an athlete without my dad pushing me.  It was also at the moment of crossing the finish line that I realized that I was a survivor.  I survived the hand of the Ex and I emerged on the other side.  I was going to be OKAY in Texas on my own.  I was a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for!

So, while I am not satisfied 100% with my life, I can say that I am okay with exactly where I am at.  Will it be a LOT better when I don't work 7 days a week, 60 hours a week - ABSOLUTELY.  But, until I no longer have that cross to bear, I am going to remind myself what it was like to cross that finish line and all the other finish lines since then!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogging Project - Day 7

My Zodiac Sign - and do I think it fits my personality

Maybe the most important question is, what is my Sign?  I sit on the cusp of two different ones.  Depending on which one you look at, I am either a Pisces or Aquarius.  However, most will default to Pisces and that is always what I considered myself.  I got most of my information from a Zodiac website (click here), all of which seems to fit me.  Of course, after I read the Deep Inside is almost sad.  I saw it ringing true.  :(

My traits in a nutshell:
Positive:  Loving and caring.  Trusting, hospitable, and will help all in distress.  Shy.  Helpful.  Romantic.  Creative.  Mystical.  Gentle and kind.  Compassionite.  Understanding of Others.

Negative:  Self-pitying.  Guillible and will give all in a lost cause.  Temperamental.  Dependent.  Esapist.  Sensationalist.  Depressive.  Can lose touch with reality.  Too emotionally involved with the problems of others.  Tends to blame self for everything.

Physical Apperance:
* Body: usually short and thinkset
* Back: may stoop as the person walks
* Eyes: a sleepy appearance with large eyebrows
* Head: oddly shaped
* Limbs: generally short

Hmmm - how about the Pisces & Love
To Pisces, there is no difference between love, affection, and romance. A Pisces needs all three. A Pisces who feels unloved is an unhappy person to whom life seems very gray. Love revitalizes Pisces.

Behavior When In Love
The typical Pisces:
* is romantic
* eager to please
* adapts to the demands of the relationship
* appears to be helpless, delicate, and vulnerable, but being loved enables Pisces to cope very well with a range of difficulties, problems, and tragedies
* is emotionally involved, to the point of not recognizing when he or she is being deceived or treated badly

The typical Pisces expects:
* to have his or her dreams valued and to be protected from harsh criticism
* to be cared for romantically
* to have children (Pisces love children)
* to be frequently reassured that they are loved
* all birthdays and anniversaries to be remembered

Pisces and Independence:

Pisces needs a dominant partner of role model in their life or they will very easily fall into a pit of self-pity and self-undoing. When they are independent and inspired by life's events, their creativity comes shining through but they are unable to be on their own for long before they start dreaming in their imaginary world of happy people and happy endings. They need other people to keep them grounded and on the right track.

Pisces and Friendship:
Pisces will go out of their way to help a friend. They are extremely sensitive and loyal. They will take a friend's problem and make it their own and suffer with them. This is the weak spot of Pisces but any friend of this zodiac sign should know that although they are attracted to people with severe problems who desperately need help, this actually does more harm them good. Even though Pisces will offer to make everything right, do not allow them to take on all your problems because they will lose their identity in your situation. They need a strong positive friend to make them strong. Pisces like adventure, new situation and social events. A Pisces friend will always have something exciting in mind and it is a very fulfilling, long lasting friendship.

Pisces Deep Inside:
Pisces have an intuitive and psychic ability more then any other zodiac signs. They trust their gut feelings and if they do not, they quickly learn to because they realize that their hunches are usually correct. Pisces downfall is their sensitivity and their inability to reject another person. They do not like rejection and they try to treat others the way they want to be treated so they will rarely say no to a person for fear of hurting their feelings. They will help another person with their problems and like to do so because making others feel good in turn makes them feel good. Pisces is the zodiac sign of self-undoing. People born under this zodiac sign are not susceptible to bad luck and unfortunate events, they bring them on themselves by overindulging, laziness and a knack for picking poorly suited partners and friends. They want people in their life who stir their emotions because this helps them to practice emotional stability. The inner conflict of Pisces is extremes of temperament and conflicting emotions. They are trying to pinpoint themselves on the real world while their spiritual world can cloud their vision, they will try to escape or avoid a situation instead of confronting it. Pisces eternal struggle is to learn to use their powers and their imagination in a positive, productive way and vying for emotional stability by not giving away their emotions to everyone else, they need to help themselves

Does everyone agree that I fit here?  Although I do believe I definitely have some of the stubborness from the Aquarius.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blogging Project - Day 6

30 Interesting Things about ME

  1. I have the most amazing group of family & friends that drop anything to help me if it was truly needed.  My extended family is so close that I often consider them more brothers & sisters than cousins.  I feel blessed for them and wish everyone had as awesome of a family as I do.
  2. I use sarcasm to hide my insecurities.
  3. I have two dogs with two distinct personalities.  Guinness (the princess/drama queen) and Finnegan (the wild man/all boy) who are often referred to as Finnegus
  4. I hate working two jobs, but it is a necessity.
  5. I do not have the ability to sit still and staying home for a few days would drive me crazy!!  (Thanks Mom!)
  6. I still miss and think about my Grammy (maternal Grandma) often!
  7. I do not like rice and will say I don't like certain foods versus trying to explain why.
  8. I do not see myself as pretty or beautiful but more of a plain Jane.
  9. I have entirely too mucy crap.  (I really am working on purging!)
  10. I am an Aunt to two and hope that one day the one knows how amazing I am like the other does.  (Some point CBM has to get her act together.)
  11. I plan on starting a family of my own at 40 whether through adoption or other means if I am still solo.
  12. Diet Coke is an addiction of mine.
  13. I am NOT a morning person and would much rather stay up late but can't sleep past 8 anymore.  Just wait until 9 to talk to me.  :)
  14. I feel embarassed if someone stops over and my house is less than perfect.  (I think I got this from my mom & grammy!)
  15. I still doubt that I was good at softball.
  16. I own a Jeep Patriot and absolutely loathe that car.  I think it is more because it is bare bones of everything (manual windows, locks, etc) and represents my connection to the Ex.  He walked away with nothing and I walked away with all the debt.
  17. I have considered bankruptcy.
  18. I still watch One Tree Hill.
  19. I have a revolving To Do List that I have on me at all times.  It is everything from weekly work outs to things I need to do at some point.
  20. I gave up cable and do not miss it at all.  (That is until Football comes around!)
  21. I love College Football and would be happy watching it all day.
  22. I was raised to work hard for what I want and have no fears doing so.
  23. When it comes to the panhandlers on the side of the road part of me feels guilty and looks the other way, while the other part wants to hold up a sign that says I work two jobs to keep my home, if you have the time to sit here with your hand out, you have the time to find a job or two.
  24. I don't get people that say I don't have money and need government help to feed their familes and provide medical care but can afford their Smart Phones & fake nails and everything else.  I do not respect these people and think they should be booted out of the system until their priorities are realigned.
  25. My current credit card debt exceeds the National Average but with hard work, it will be completely erased in the next two years.
  26. I have had seven surgies in my life with alll but one occurring between 1991 - 2001
  27. I worry about my future.
  28. I would love to vacation to all 50 states in my life and camp in as many of them as possible.
  29. My favorite vacation was spending a month camping in California, Arizona & Mexico.  I wish I could re-do that vacation/class!
  30. I wouldn't change my decision to move to Texas if I had to do it all over again!  I just wish more family & friends missed me enough to visit instead of asking when I am coming to see them. 
  31. (Only because I needed one more) I am grateful for moving to Texas and getting to know Big Country and his family more than I did.  I truly feel they are my brother & sister here in Texas! 
  32. (Because I can't count)I would love to have short hair but my hair grows to fast to be able to maintain it short. That said, I know I do envoke Hair Envy because I do have awesome!  (Thank you dad for those great genes!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blogging Project - Day 5

A time I thought about ending my own life

I am almost afraid to post this one. I get how selfish suicide is and really understand how much pain it leaves in the hearts of the ones left behind. I know through my faith that no matter how big the problem would seem, God will help you through it. When you least expect it, God helps you lift up the cross you are carrying and helps you carry it.

Personally, I have never known anyone that succeed at committing suicide. It sounds horrible to say it that way, but true. That said, I had a good friend in college that did try by taking all of the medicine she had in her dorm room, none of which would be fatal. She was going through a deep, dark time in reveling that a family member had abused her most of her life and she just didn't know how to deal with it anymore. So, she tried to end it. In reality, it was a cry for help. There was two of us that had find out and we took her to the emergency room. I remember sitting in the waiting room listening to her get sick as they tried to clear her system of all the drugs. It was horrible. It was also a cross that the two of us friends had to carry, we knew where she was and knew how much work she had in the days, weeks and months ahead but outside of one school official, no one knew. We had to lie to everyone on what was wrong; we just said she is sick. No, you can't see her. It was hard, really hard. I have had a couple of other friends either threaten or attempt it too.

Sadly, I get why she did what she did in that moment. While I have never tried to take my own life, there have been thoughts of it. Before anyone freaks out, it was a long time ago. It was after the assault in college. It became a war of he said, she said. Friends were pitted against friends. It was during that time that you truly learned who your friends were. I didn't know how to deal with it and didn't know where to turn. I remember the moment that I told my parents and remember my dad making a comment about if I lead him on or made him think I wanted to. Even my parents didn't get it. How could they? How could anyone. So I turned inside, shut down and tried to pretend as best I could that it didn't happen, that I could somehow forget. Then came the alcohol, a lot of alcohol. I honestly could tell you every bar special from Tuesday through Saturday. My friend and I were there with bells on week in and week out. My grades plunged and going to class, well I was lucky to make it. By the end of the semester, most of my teachers either suggest I fail the class and retake or just accept my grades were gone. My GPA that semester was a 1.9. I was mostly an A/B student up until that point.

I didn't go back home that summer and opted to stay in Hastings that summer. I did work, but not much. I got by on credit cards. The drinking continued. I didn't have a phone, cell phones really weren't around, so I was lucky to call my parents once a week. I lived in a basement apartment and spent the days staying in my dark dungeon. It was during that time that I considered ending my own life. I didn't think that anyone would miss me and life wasn't what I wanted to be. I didn't deal well with what had happened and didn't ask for help.

I really don't know what the turning point was but things slowly got better. There was still setbacks along the way and tough conversations that had to be had. My parents had no idea how bad my grades were that spring semester and really learned when I had to tell them I couldn't play softball in the fall because I was Academically Ineligible. Even when I went through things with the Ex, ending it never really crossed my mind. I had learned that I was strong and I would get through this. This too shall pass. At my parents urging, I did see a counselor after things with my Ex. She was tremendous and helped me deal with not only my Ex but all the previous things as well. She was a life saver to a certain degree. I deal with things so much more differently now. I still make an appointment to see her from time to time just to "re-center" myself.

Because it is so clear...I am in the back, grey sweatshirt with the stocking cap over the eyes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 04 - Your views on religion

FINALLY, an easy one!

I grew up in a Catholic family. My mom converted to Catholic when she married my dad and going to Church every Sunday was how we were raised. CCD classes were attended every Wednesday night by both of my older brother and I. When we reached the 9th grade, both of us made the switch from public schools to the Catholic High School in town. My little brother went to the Catholic schools from K - 8.

I can't imagine what life would have been like without my faith. It was in everything we did. Weddings, funerals, and baptisms it has always been there. I think that Faith has what got our family through some of the most difficult times with unexpected loss of my Uncle and the early loss of my little cousin. I know that some day, when it is my time, I will be reunited with them in Heaven.

Our family has always had some pretty awesome traditions that revolved around the Church as well.  When we would visit Grandma Schmidt, she lived right across the street from the Catholic Church so her house was often a gathering point before and after Church.  My favorite tradition was always Midnight Mass for Christmas Service.  Usually it was 10 pm when people started gathering at Grandma's.  Then at 11:15ish, we headed across the street to listen to the Choir.  Afterwards, everyone would go back to Grandma's and we would enjoy, cheese, wine and a lot of munchies until 3 am or later.  That is probably the one tradition I miss most during the Holidays!

When the going gets tough, I pray. When Finnegan was really sick, I went home that night and I prayed the Rosary. Prayed that God would make my decision with him clear, that he will guide me to do what is best for not only Finn but for my future as well.

While I struggle at times with some of the Church’s teachings, I know that without the Church, my life would not be whole. Some of the things are trivial and some are not. Catholics believe you have to go to confession to ask God for forgiveness. I have never fully understood why I have to go in this little box and tell a Priest what I did wrong and ask for forgiveness or risk going to hell. I believe that I can pray to God and ask for forgiveness without going to Confession. Of course, saying that, anytime I have had a major surgery, I find myself back in the confessional "just in case". I sometimes struggle with other teachings and wonder if that is really how Jesus would want them or if that is how the Church interrupted his actions?

I still go to Church. While I struggle to make it every week, I do try and make sure I am going at least once a month or more. It is hard working 7 days a week, 60 hours a week and then adding that time in there as well. In Texas, for whatever reason, you don't get out in an hour. Most weeks it is at least 75 minutes if not 90. But, I did find comfort in going so I am trying to get back in that routine!
This is my angelic picture of me as a Miniature Bride.  My grandma made my dress.  My hair was down to my waist at the time and I can tell you I remember spending a LONG time looking down because some how they french braided it all in!  The dress was then modified (again by my awesome grandma) into my First Communion Dress.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 03 - Your views on drugs and alcohol

Wow, another tough one! You would think this one would be easy for a person. I actually started this yesterday and never got to finish, it left that much thought to be had.

Views on drugs? Never tried any, I have been around them but I know they are not for me. I have seen the impact that they have had on different individuals lives and nothing good has ever come from it! Now that said, there definitely has been some of those "prescribed" drugs in my past with all the knee surgeries and back surgery. Honestly, after taking some of those, I get why people can get hooked. I think the best one I had was one I had after my back surgery. I felt no pain and really probably one would describe it as a "high" feeling. But, as the recoveries progressed, those drugs disappeared from my life.

Views on alcohol? Wow, it isn't until you stop and think about alcohol, the role it has played in your life that one wonders, is it really worth it? I grew up around alcohol. My dad's side of the family it was part of every family function. My mom's side, not so much. It was ground breaking news when my maternal grandma started putting beer in the fridge for my dad, where as my other grandma had a glass of wine every day. I honestly don't think any one of us cousins on my father's side made it to 18 before we had our first taste of alcohol. Heck, we might not of made it out of diapers before we had our first taste, it is cute you know to see that terrible face a baby makes when they have beer on their lips. Of course, I see what that life can bring to a family because of being on the outside looking in. Alcoholism existed in that family and still does. My dad, fortunately hardly drinks any more. But, when he does he thinks that he can hang like he did in the day or with the young ones and we are left with the wrath of his mood the next day.

As for me, alcohol is still there and while I do still enjoy it, I rarely drink it, especially to the extent I use to. In reality, if you look at the most devastating points in my life, alcohol was there front and center. There was college, when I lost my virginity to a sexual assault. Would I have made the choices that night that I did had I been drinking? No, probably not. Can I change that? Nope.

Then there was the Ex. I lived with the devastating effects of alcohol addiction every day. While he was not the typical alcoholic that drank every day, he was one none the less and when it was in his cycle of drinking, look out. I thought I could live with it, manage it and change him. But in reality, it was me that needed to change and leave my life dependent upon it. The last day we were together, I came back to my apartment to find him there and passed out. I must have surprised him but I took a beating of a lifetime that day. I remember having blood and not know where it was coming from and the scrapes on the way. Ultimately it was just scratches that would heal, bumps and bruises that felt like you had been in a car wreck but a lot of damage was done on the inside.

Today, those days with him still shape my life. It always will. If I could go back and change it, I would, but I can't. I just know that at the end of the day I never wanted my parents to get that devastating call that I was severely hurt or worse, dead. If I stayed, it would have happened. Even sadder is that he never remembered any of it.

So today, I would say I am cautious with alcohol. If you want me to pound drinks with you and try to force me into it, it won't happen. I have to feel 100% trust in the situation that I am, the people that I am with to drink to the point of being intoxicated. I will enjoy a drink or two with you but heading out on the town and pounding drinks until no tomorrow, probably isn't in my future. So, if I decline an invitation to go out, don't be sad or take it personally, I do want to spend time with you! However, given my past, that type of night isn't one that I would enjoy. If I do go, know that I go with a 100% trust in my heart that you will protect me and I pray you don't let me down!

Cheers to you!