Rewriting Your Story

The Icing on the Cake

The original writing on this little piece of cyber real estate was published on October 3, 2016. It came to life when I was seven months sober, so it has been parked on WordPress for nearly five years—and it has served as the second mini-chapter of the tale of my recovery—a story that was titled “Unteach Me.”

Continue reading “Rewriting Your Story”

Endurance with Ease

In thinking about the letter “E,” the words energy and endurance came to mind. As I started working on my image, I wasn’t sure which one I was going to talk about, or what I would even say, so I created something that might tie the two words together. Obviously, this woman has energy, and it’s possible she’s trying to build her endurance. Still, I was drawing a blank.

And then I found my inspiration (thank you Google). This incredible quote by William Barclay…

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”

As a recovering alcoholic who is now joyously sober (going on 5 years next month), and an agnostic turned believer, this quote really resonated with me. When you’re living a life of transformation, and sharing that story with others… it can be terrifying at first. Self-doubt loves to rear it’s ugly head and whisper things like “What if you fail? What if you screw it all up? What will your story say about you then?!?

It’s a weird place to be. You want to tell EVERYONE the story of how God changed your life, with the innocence and excitement of a child, but you also sense that you’ll have to bear the weight of this HUGE adult responsibility… you have to STAY that way. You have to STAY sober. Otherwise, your story will be like so many other stories out there. “Yeah, God changed me alright. But then I turned around and changed myself back.”

If there is anything good at all that comes from the dark times that so many of us experience—no matter what those dark times might be—it’s that these trials, hardships and adversities make us stronger. They build our endurance. We have to get to the other side of them first, of course, but once we do… we are different.

The way I see it now is that if I was able to live through the hell that I put myself through when I was in my disease, I sure as hell can live out my sobriety. And with a daily surrender, there’s really nothing for me to bear. I turn it over to Him and then it’s in His hands. I get to live in His grace… and He gets all the glory.

Amen… and End of Story!

Thanks for joining me in my series Life: From A to Z. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the letter “E,” and I’ll see you around soon for the letter “F!”


Some of you may have noticed that I’ve changed image styles again. I was recently inspired by an interesting abstract piece that I saw and so I’ve been experimenting with these motion blur backgrounds. When I added the woman (who I photographed at the beach some time ago), I noticed that the colors of her clothes and skin were blending with the water… almost perfectly. How cool is that?!

In the Beginning

Let’s start anew!

After 3 years and 10 months of being on this blog, and while suffering from COVID-itis (also known as having extra time and trying to make good use of it), I’ve decided… WHAT THE HECK, let’s go back to the beginning.

Something I’ve realized is that our stories get old. They become stale. When looking back from a new perspective, we see and feel things differently than we did in the past. Maybe we’ve learned more about our lives and our experiences and we need to expand on our old ideas. Or perhaps we find that some of the chapters we’ve lived are no longer relevant to our story; they’re history, and they no longer serve a purpose. Either way, each person’s story is their own, and it’s up to them to make use of it.

I’ve hemmed and hawed about what to do with my 4 year old story. I thought about taking it down— deleting the old pages—because it feels outdated to me, and I fear it’s value has expired. But, after much deliberation and consideration, I’ve decided that it would be more interesting and worthwhile to change it up, or “RE-write” the story—from a totally new perspective. 

In the Beginning was first shared on October 2, 2016. It was my very first post, and the very first chapter of my ongoing “real life” story. That’s a lot of firsts. This particular chapter focused on when my problems all started; adolescence. What I’ve learned since writing it, is that fear, loneliness, and confusion are common at that age, and there are many people who had the same exact thoughts, feelings and/or experiences during these young years (and beyond).

I think the key take-away here is that we are never as alone as we think we are, we just can’t find that out unless we are willing to open up and share. That being said, I’ve turned this old chapter into a poem about teenage angst, and the crucial thing that I was lacking in those days… faith.

Choose wisely

Innocence flutters away, 

As self-awareness blooms,

Philosophy fills the mind, 

With questions that consume.

Who am I? Why am I here?

What will I become?

What’s the reason for living?

And where did life come from?

Something inside of us shifts,

At this “coming of age,”

We begin to wear our masks,

And the world becomes our stage.

It’s a crossroads we all face,

Never sure which way to turn,

The directions seem unclear, and…

There are lessons we will learn.

Be strong, and choose wisely my child,

For so many will deceive,

But One will always guide you right,

And all those who ask… 

Receive. 


I created a new featured image as well… a little pink to represent the wonders of my innocence and youth.

Life is good, and God is great! 


READ MORE POSTS IN THIS SERIES
In The Beginning
Rewriting Your Story

Better Together — Out of the Ashes

It is DAY ONE here at Out of the Ashes, a brand new collaboration in it’s infancy stage, and we welcome you to come and follow us along. Life is full of “new beginnings,” and many of our contributors have been there—oftentimes more than once. With our combined talent, creativity, knowledge and experience we hope […]

Better Together — Out of the Ashes

The new site is up! Thank you to all of you who have offered to collaborate—I will be in touch to coordinate your contributions very soon! It’s not as quick and easy as I would like, but that is life, eh?!

I hope that my followers will check out the new site, and follow it as well. It’s still a baby, but I hope to see it grow to maturity. I won’t make a habit of sharing every post, just enough to get things rolling.

I Choose Peace

Image by Patou Ricard from Pixabay

I’ve been hemming and hawing for weeks (or months), the pendulum swaying back and forth; from feeling as though it’s my responsibility (as a human being) to talk (or keep talking) about current events—to the polar opposite—thinking that it’s the last thing I should even consider.

It’s been harder to write, ever since the virus began circulating and destructive human behaviors began rearing their ugly head. There’s been sickness, stock piling and greed, fear, anger, and chaos… sliding into racism, violence, protests, riots and anarchy. That’s not to say that most of this wasn’t around before the pandemic, it was just hidden a little better. Regardless, how do you go about ignoring all of that—acting as if it’s business as usual—without feeling… well… peculiar?

I’ve considered sharing some new ideas about my New Lifestyle, New Me project recently, but I’ve talked myself out of it because my personal life—and things like my lifestyle change—seem so insignificant, or trivial. So then I wonder if I should just talk about what I feel. And then I realize that I’m not sure what it is I feel, or why I even feel it! But… I think it finally hit me the other day.

I was talking to a friend about recovery meetings. She was asking me questions because she was curious about what goes on inside the rooms. I was explaining to her how all of the meetings are different. Sometimes there’s a speaker, and the rest of the room sits quietly and listens. In book study meetings, we read from certain chapters (of whichever recovery book we’re studying), and then we talk a bit about our thoughts on what we read.

And then there are the “other” meetings—the round robin meetings—where they go around the room, and each person gets about three minutes to share. I explained to her that there is no cross talk (no conversations are allowed to take place back and forth), and that everyone just listens. Once the time is up, the floor moves to the next person.

And then I told her about the uncomfortable moments I’ve had at those meetings, when I’ve watched someone break down. Sad. Struggling. Scared. In pain. Depressed. Sobbing. And then the timer dings. And the next person starts talking, almost as if nothing had happened. The room is tense and uncomfortable for a few minutes, and someone might offer the poor soul a tissue, but all in all, we just keep going—moving right along—as if it’s business as usual. It’s so peculiar!

I think one of the reasons this happens, is that it’s a room full of alcoholics. Ha! All joking aside, that is actually a true statement. Everyone in the room has the same issue. The same sickness. No one is better than the other, and no one is worse. No one goes into those rooms to fix someone else, nor are they even capable of doing that. They go there to fix “themselves.”

Once I got home, after our conversation, I realized how similar it was to how I’m feeling right now. It’s like the world around me has the floor, and it is breaking down. Sad. Struggling. Scared. In pain. Depressed. Sobbing. And here I am, listening… waiting for the timer to ding. My inclination is to reach out and grab the world, and try to fix it. But maybe—just like in the rooms—I can’t do that.

I can only fix myself. And it’s uncomfortable.


That pretty much sums it up. Life is uncomfortable right now. I think the image from pixabay works perfect. Moving forward in recovery and maintaining sobriety requires discernment. Each person is responsible for what they allow into their mind. And today, I choose peace.

Much love to you all!
—Janet