Sour City

No one wants to be in Sour City.

I ended up there by accident. My happily ever after seemed to be moving along nicely.

The road to Sour City was one I hadn’t realized I was on. The road was paved with apologies and grand gestures made by my addict alcoholic that distracted me from the mile makers (aka red flags) that indicated I was rapidly approaching Sour City.

I was living in an addict alcoholics world, two failed rehab attempts, bootleg suboxzone, drinking day and night while we were raising one very busy toddler, I found myself smack in the middle of Sour City.

It dawned on me as I was pleading, yet again to my addict acholic, “ I don’t want to live like this”. That I’d become sour and worn out. Bitterly unaware that I was just as out of control as my addict alcoholic was. I hated who I allowed myself to become.

I was the Mayor of Sour City and needed to be fired.

All my Moms out there raise your hand if you feel like sometimes your parenting your life partner. So not sexy. We all do it to each other from time to time. It usually doesn’t feel good so we stop. Now raise your hand if you are parenting your life partner who is an addict alcoholic. Now stand up if you can’t make it through an average day without parenting that addict alcoholic. Oh how it burns my cookies to even write that… Welcome to Sour City Moms, the place where we land when there isn’t anything more we can do to “help” our addict alcoholics.

I’m someone who writes stuff down. In an app, a note book, scraps of paper . I’ll write on anything. The urge to write compelles me. It was the reread of my own writing that slapped me with a reality check. I read everything as if I were my friend. Periodically asking myself “If I could help that woman how would I?” My writing spoke of a deep, unforgiving shame, loneliness, and isolation.

So there I was introducing myself to myself and wishing I could help me find my way out of Sour City.

This is the part where I started telling the world my story, even if they didn’t want to hear it. Often I found myself telling myself to stop talking, I didn’t of course. It was like I’d been marinating in Sour City for so long I just couldn’t keep it in anymore. I was a volcano of emotion that had erupted and I needed a safe, judgment free zone to share my story and ask for help. I took my search to google. It was slim pickings for Moms like me who had been supportive, supporting and raising my addict alcoholic. With free time being non exsistant I tried groups, one on one therapy, all sorts of 12 steps. I learned so much that first year. So so much. I also learned folks weren’t always great listeners and they were full of advice that didn’t apply to me. The deep loneliness was still there.

My addict alcoholic was in Rehab in FL, thrid round, when I connected with an acquaintance. As she told me her story I felt this strange feeling of belonging. She spoke of her addict alcoholic as if she was speaking of mine. She had the same battle wounds that had gone unattended because she like me was to busy raising her baby and surviving the day. It was so sad that our shared pain brought me the space I’d been looking for. In the months to come my friend offered up a piece of normalcy I hadn’t felt in my life with my addict alcoholic. That year she changed my life. Having that space I was desperate to find, having a sense of belonging, my loneliness started to let up. It was like being able to take a breath again.

A full, deep breath.

Today I’m passionate about creating a space for Sour City Moms to connect, to be heard, to feel the power of belonging and the potential for their loneliness to subside. And maybe, just maybe find their way back to the sweet life.

They Stood In The Fire With Me

Walking and talking with two of my favorite humans through NYC was like coming home after a long trip away. There are so few people in this world that I’m one hundred percent comfortable with. The people I connect with in a “let it all hang out” kind of way are the few who have watched it ALL unfold. These are the people who know my darkest corners and still believe in me. They’ve celebrated my best and encourage me to do better. Being with those two that day feed my soul.

It had been a long time since I felt filled up in that way, it was overwhelming (and awesome). It was shear bliss to know that connection was still there. Even though we were discussing some hard things we’d all gone through over the years. It was an honest, real back and forth of thoughts and emotions. What a gift not to use my filter or edit my thoughts. To walk and talk and be filled with belonging and joy. Priceless.

Sitting on the subway chatting about friendships that have left us a Mariachi band starting playing. An eruption of laughter was unavoidable… the timing couldn’t have been better. It was a great add to the moment. A reminder that humor was still at the foundation of our friendship. A friendship that has proven to be a fundamental part of me.

The deep appreciation I share with them has created a safe place for me. They have stood in the fire with me and I’m eternally grateful for their love.

You Will Always Have Love

I was 28 when a women next to me at a bar turned abruptly to me and said “You’ll birth a baby girl”.

“Who me?” Little did she know that wasn’t medically possible for me.

“I’m a bit drunk and I’m a medium. There is this nagging something that wants you to know you’ll birth a baby girl”.

I thanked her, I smiled and walked away with my delicious drink. I remember thinking she should slow down she’s had way to much of the good stuff.

I was 35 when the ultrasound tech announced I was having a girl.

Really…

How in Gods name did you get that info from all that fuzzy stuff on that tiny screen and holy hell that lady was right!

Instantly the conversation with the drunk lady in that bar played in my head like a movie.

How did she know!!!!!!

I was rocked to my core. Plenty of drunk strangers have said weird things to me… this one was different. This lady was right.

Last year I came across a lovely women while looking for insight and answers into a long drawn out battle with myself, stay in my marriage or leave.

I had exhausted self help books, therapist, support groups, a local pastor, and all sorts of other traditional “please help me get right with my life” stuff that I could come up with.

Kim was a breath of fresh air. She is a spiritual advisor, she has the ability to channel different energies that show her information. Skeptical right, I know I was, but I was open to anything at this point. The universe literally put her in front of me at a friends house. I won’t go into a ton of detail, but know this, she knew nothing about me. I had never met her. She spent less than 5 min. talking with me before she started her reading with me.

The first thing she said is your first child is always with you. What!!!!! How could she have known I had a miscarriage. Parlor trick?

The second thing she referenced was the “how I found out I was having a girl” situation.

Wait what? I sat still and silent as she tried to explain what the energy/spirt was showing her. “A blonde in a bar who knew before you did? Does that sound right?” She said. My mouth dropped…. there is no way she could come up with that!!!!

I have never included the color of the women’s hair when I retell that story.

Kim, I have got some questions for you!!!

I met with Kim 3 times over the last year. She is lovely. Soft spoken and unobtrusive.

At the end of our last session together she said “they want you to know, no matter what, you will always have love. You will always love and be loved. You won’t be alone”.

It wasn’t till she said it that I was aware of how scared I really was of losing one of the greatest loves I’ve known. Even though it had gone south. I was scared I’d never love again. It was in her words I found the peace and strength to remember “better to have loved and felt loss than never to have loved at all.” With Kim’s final words that day she completed a puzzle that had tore me up for years, stay or leave. Leave because I love myself, leave because I love Hadley, leave because I love him, leave because we all deserve a life less tortured. Leave because we all deserve to be loved in a way that brings us joy.

I’m thankful to have known love and be afraid to lose that love.

Imagine never knowing love… I just can’t.

I believe we’d be lost without love.

I’m driven by my love and am hopefull I’ll find it again.

Terrified

When I’m in the thick of my personal tragedy it is hard to see a future with out the looming repercussions of said tragedy.
I’ve spent many hours filling my head with banter, talking myself into or out of what ever bull crap that was slapping me in the face at the time. Telling myself to just keep going, things will get better. They usually always have gotten better.

These last 3 years wore me down, wore me out, and burned me out. Any love I had for humanity I started to question. Chewed up and spit out seems dramatic, but that’s how It felt.
Last year I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I had become my tragedy. Whatttt!!!!! I was terrified and slightly horrified.
I actually hated myself, disgusted that I’d let it take me over. That I had lost the ability to process it and move thru it. I’d been working so hard with my therapist how could this be?! Well you weren’t working on you Ange, you were working on your addict/ alcoholic. Mother of God!!!! (shaking fist at the sky) No one to blame but me.
I lost sight of my foundation, the place I come back to when I’m knocked off my game. Why?

I realized it I hadn’t nurtured or cared for my core foundation. I hadn’t done the work to keep myself standing in my values as I grew and aged. Result… one big tragic storm came along and knocked me on my ass. Holy hell.

Emerging from this tragedy I actually like myself. I’m comfortable again in my skin. The work I’m doing to care for myself and Hadley has me at peace. My heart is open, my head is clear and my foundation strong again.

I will forever be great full that the people I hold in my heart who watched this ugly process and we’re nothing, but kind, understanding, and most of all loving.
With my newly built, intact foundation I’m ready to help carry the weight of our lives again. It’s nice to be back:)

My Holiday in France Lifted a Fog

Grappling with the practice of calm and present has me realizing I’ve lost that piece of me that use too shine, that bit of je ne sais quoi that made me bright and vibrant.
Heading to France, I was worried I didn’t have it in me too relax and just vacation, too just be me. That I’d be unable to take a break from worrying about the things I can’t control. This anxious worrying often causes me too miss out on just being.What I’ve taken away from my trip is this, Don’t get hung up on where you think you should be, start living where you are.

Many kinds of conversations took place in France, shedding much needed light on my perceived state of limbo. Quietly reminding me through his conscious, kind choices, my friend unknowingly flipped a switch for me. Ah, yes, there is a space I can be apart of that has no expectations of me. That in that space I matter. The Door opening, (I can not work a door in France to save my life! This includes bathroom doors, lmao) bag carrying, inquiries of my preference… all things I forgot that are an important part of life. These selfless acts of small kindness flowed without shame or ridicule. With out a whisper of wanting anything in return from me.
As I taxi out on the run way saying goodbye to a lovely visit, I’m writing this with truly a new lease on life. Leaving limbo behind.

Am I a Passenger or am I a captain of the life I live?
Captain.