Thankful for Monday: Happiness Through Gratitude

This is a new kind of project I’m forcing myself to do. Having a few scheduled posts a week really works wonders for my over-stimulated brain. I cannot mindlessly list topics and ideas forever, brainstorming over great articles and DIY-material until I’m suddenly too drained to write or publish any of it.. silly! As much as I love lists, I’ve recently realized I’m wasting a lot of time on them. And.. as you may or may not know, a new mother’s time is very precious and limited.

So I’m urging myself to again start keeping a gratitude journal which once helped so much with my positive outlook. I had been keeping one for months on my iPhone previously, another in a journal my doctor encouraged me to start.. I must say that although I enjoy journaling and scribbling nonsense, the gratitude thing worked best digitally because it was always on hand. I could attach photos in a flash and rate my days.. sadly when I updated my iPhone OS, however, my restoration went wonky and my gratitude journal -and all of the photos- were deleted. I had a bit of a melt-down -I’m lying, it was a full-on panic attack- .. I was so upset I couldn’t now see the progress I had made.. the once unhealthy things I was so grateful for and the realization of what I should be grateful for.. to which of course my husband reminded me, “You have what you are grateful for right here, it shouldn’t be hard to start a new one. I see the progress you’ve made and deep down you know you’ve made it.”

So, on Mondays I will begin to look back at all of the wonderful (and even not-so-wonderful!) things I should be and am grateful for. It is said that keeping a gratitude journal is very healthy, a great way to be open to all of the amazing things you have in your life that you might not be noticing. It’s also said to lift your spirits in a way that cannot be denied. I agree and I urge you to try it! Even if just for a month.

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One

The sweet taste of a homegrown strawberry that I happened to rescue from the brink of death! We were in the grocery store and the fluorescent lighting must have left the shriveled plants with much to be desired. I instantly usherd one to the register and planted it in new soil and a large pot — now it’s branching out into my yard and attempting to spread sugary-sweet red fruit to all of the rabbits in the area. I did get to taste one berry, one very delicious berry, however when I watered it today I noticed my other three berries had been eaten. We have a cottontail friend roaming around now and again so I’m sure he was the one who experienced the delight of the fresh berries — at least someone enjoyed them!

Two

Every single coo and grunt my daughter makes. And the fact that I unbelievably have a daughter and can talk about her. It’s absolutely a trip and I never could have imagined how wonderful it would be. She’s been in my dreams for quite awhile so I feel very fortunate that she has arrived in my arms and left me with a scar I will never forget. I can’t to experience every new moment with her and I want to remember absolutely every day.

Three

Heart-wrenching memoirs of hardship and survival. I’m a dark, depressing memoir addict. I think it has something to do with being inspired by overcoming one’s past to become an amazing and creative person. Having been through a rough and tumbly past myself and having watched many of those I love fall to the negativity of their own past, it’s very enlightening to see what can be accomplished if you devote your life to overcoming it.

Four

My husband’s new-found appreciation for cooking. Not just because I get to taste all of his experiments, either, but because I am also passionate about cooking up my own creations and it’s double the excitement! We have yet another interest that we share and it’s the best kind of interest — the kind that tastes delicious. He keeps practicing on fresh Tilapia and I keep inhaling it.

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Five

Thrifting for vintage, kitschy mugs. Thrifting is not only fun alone, it’s even more fun because of the people you do it with. I often go thrifting with my best friend or husband and we have a blast finding kitschy goodies, vintage magazines and trying on 70s bathrobes. It doesn’t get old! You don’t need a lot of money to have a great time combing through pop-culture memorabilia — just a lot of time and patience. Even a box of old records or postcards can become an exciting giggle fest. No matter what their selection, make sure you look through the mugs and vintage cookbooks — they’ll always provide you with some inexpensive, kitschy fun for your kitsch-en!

What are five things that you’re thankful for this week?

The Trip of a Lifetime: A Drug User’s Fairytale

I grew up in the 70’s/80’s watching everyone do cocaine. I thought it was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen. when I was 8, i lived with my aunt for awhile and her husband would snort big rails of what he called “sugar” and then he’d do nasty things to my cousins (ages 2 and 2 weeks) and break things– there was lots of screaming and crying and my aunt would always beg me to never do drugs EVER!!!!!!

In high school, I fell in love with a heroin addict who killed himself. My best friend was a crystal meth addict. The adverts were everywhere, too, “THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS!” with the egg frying in the pan. My boyfriend fell asleep at the wheel of his mom’s Porsche and crashed into one of those signs with me in the passenger seat. I swore it was a sign from god. I designed myself to stick to my chain smoking and alcohol (I’d been drinking heavily since age 9 and this addiction was BAD ENOUGH).

Then I started going to raves… I got curiouser and curiouser, like Alice in Wonderland. I gave in and tried acid for the first time at 22 years old. It was the most fun I’d EVER HAD!!!

Something else happened at 22. I found out I had an ovarian cyst the size of a PEACH PIT. The cause? Another drug! Ortho novum 777 – the birth control pill that I’d been on for the past 7 years. My body was never the same after.

I’ve never done an ‘illegal’ drug that did the damage that that ‘legal’ one did.

The cancer made me angry and careless. My experimentation became a reckless fascination. I set out to try every single drug in existence and did drugs constantly for the next 10 years.

In 2002 I swore off illegal drugs. My life without all the drug craziness seemed like a dark void. I filled that void with marijuana. I watched a LOT of t.v. and did NOTHING with my life. I stayed with a boyfriend that beat the shit out of me and didn’t care. I was too lazy to leave. Lovely drug but zzzzzzzzz …. watch the motivation kill.

When I finally got off my lazy ass and left the asshole boyfriend, I found myself sober again and severely depressed. The doctor put me on ‘celexa’. this made me go CRAZY. Crazier than I ever went years ago when I experimented with ecstasy, mushrooms, acid and crystal meth.

Needless to say, I have friends that have done meth and acid for years and have LOST THEIR MINDS. One of them saw me driving by once and thought a giant twinkie was driving my car. I didn’t go THIS crazy, thank god.

Several prescription drug combinations later (and MANY side effects along with them, including 20 pounds of weight gain), the depression was gone but the cancer came back, this time in my right fallopian tube.

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Sober now for a year, marijuana entered my life again as the miracle drug that helped me get THROUGH that cancer. It was the only way I could SLEEP, EAT .. hell, get THROUGH the day. I WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN. Legalize this drug NOW!!!!! 🙂

Confused?

Yeah, me too. If this made no sense, It’s because I’m trying to stop smoking pot again and I’m fiending a xanax like you wouldn’t believe. I had too much caffeine today and it’s making my words all jumble together. I could really go for a cigarette, even though I only smoke when I drink, but I can’t have a drink because it counteracts with my xanax. DRUGS ARE EVERYWHERE. ahhhh!!!!!

Am I pro drugs?

Hell yeah!!! Wouldn’t change a thing. My life was f*cked up before them and f*cked up after them, but I LOVE the rainbow trail that they created behind the rollercoaster of my crazy ass life while I was on them!!