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Welcome To Life As I Live It

My Interest List

This page updated 12/28/99.

The photo at the top is of my husband Kevin and myself. He's my best friend, lover and soul-mate. He's my rock. He's encouraged me every step of the way. I am truly blessed today. Life, today, is good. I didn't always feel that way.

I am a recovering alcoholic. I started this page as a communication link with others so they could get to know a little about me. Also I want to state that I am not doing this for pity, but to give hope. I am not ashamed of who I am today and I have dealt with the past. This page is about hope, and promises.

I'm a mother of four and a grandmother of three. These young ones are a beautiful gift from God, without being who I was in the past I would not have them, so I am grateful for the past. I have known the worst now I know the best.

Past...A time of fearfullness and darkness. Present...Sunshine and living life to the fullest.

When I finally was "sick and tired of being sick and tired" I made the first step in my recovery of life. I admitted my powerlesness over the disease of alcoholism and asked for help. The road to recovery is a simple one, but simple doesn't always mean easy. I had to learn to live life again, as it was meant to be lived. Life isn't meant to be lived in fear and self-loathing. Life is a wonderful gift of a Higher Power that I know as God. I know today that God didn't create us to be miserable creatures, He meant for us to have rich fulfilling lives.

Those of us who suffer from the disease of alcoholism can forget that simple fact when we "listen to our disease". This disease is a killer, not only of physical life, but of our spirituality. It can lock us into fear and hoplessness if we allow it to do so. When we finally hit our bottoms is the time to start working on ourselves and begin to live again. This was a learning process for me, I needed to learn to live again.

I used an abusive marriage as an excuse to drink. I listened to what I know today to be sick thoughts in my head. I thought that if I was drunk and passed out I'd be left alone and not have to listen to the constant abuse, I thought I was numbing all the pain. I was so very wrong. All I was doing was postponing taking some kind of action. I allowed myself to wallow in my fear and self-pity. I was on the course of self-destruction.

I finally hit my bottom, and realized that I could not deal with these things on my own, I needed help, and a lot of it. I reached out my hand and it was grasped by my fellow AA members. They helped me regain a sense of balance. They helped me learn to love myself again, and to forgive myself. The most difficult being to forgive myself, which is not unusual for an alcoholic. We have to forgive ourselves to start to love ourselves. It hasn't always been an easy path,but it's well worth the effort. I have no regrets of the past, I had to experience it all to be where I am today. I have experience that I can share with others. I do not regret the past, nor do I wish to shut the door on it.

Once I really began to look hard at myself I began to work on the solutions. I discovered that I could make healthy decisions for myself. I learned to deal with the fears, and not keep them hidden. This was a tremendous relief for me and the beginning of real healing within myself. I thank God for that, for without Him at my side this would not be possible.

The next few years were spent recovering the person I was capable of being. I'm still working on that person on a daily basis, taking it one day at a time. Every sober day is a beautiful gift. At night I can see progress as I sit quietly and go through a gratitude list. I have so very much to be grateful for today.

Like many women "alkies" I am a survivor of domestic violence. Later on I hope to put some links here to DV pages. I answer Domestic Violence hotlines and also facilitate Domestic Violence support group meetings. This also has helped in my healing. We can heal if we allow ourselves the freedom to heal and use the available tools.

I say survivor rather than victim, because I am no longer suffering as I once did. To be quite honest, I'm not so sure I like the word survivor either. I am first and foremost a human being, and I deserve to be treated as such. I like to think that I did more than to just survive. Today I am thriving! I live a full and happy life.

This page is here to let others know that healing is possible with some work from within. When I decided to do this page I was a little apprehensive about putting myself in cyberspace. My present husband has encouraged me in all of this. Yes I married again! I had promiself that I never would, and I broke that promise. It's the only promise that I ever willingly broke and I'm so very glad I did. Kev is a very special kind of guy. He treats me with the utmost respect, and every decision is made together. He's never put any kind of pressure on me and waited until I was ready. I've told him my whole story, after all he deserved to know it, and it helps him to understand who I am, and where I come from. I've never hidden anything from him, nor will I ever. He knows all of my fears, along with all of my joys. For anyone beginning a new relationship after having an abusive one, I encourage you to be honest with your partner. Tell him or her your story. I have seen what can happen if you don't. The new partner could see a reaction you have to something, and think that they are to blame, when they aren't.

I know what it's like to be abused and feel the fears and pain. I know the feelings of guilt that go with it. I often asked myself "what if?" Those two words often got me into trouble. I changed "what if" to "what is," and moved on. I had a lot of support from my physical family and my AA family. I learned that I wasn't alone.

There are also programs in many areas for the abused women, men and children. Many communities offer Domestic Violence Services. They range from hotlines and support groups to individual counseling. I have placed links on this page leading to pages of information that is available. There is help out there if you want it. Today Domestic Violence is recognized as a growing problem. Take the time to visit these pages and learn from them. If you are in need of help now, call your local family services or your local crisis hotline. These people usually have the resourses available to be of assistance.

I know now that I can't change the past,nor do I want to, but I can learn from it and use it as a tool to help others. This page will change as I share more of myself.

Friends advised me to include this writing. It was written some time ago. It shows the desperation and fear of abuse combined with all of the fear of the newly recovering alcoholic. I decided to include it to show that someone reading this who feels this way, is not alone, is not without hope.

FEELINGS PAST

In lonliness and fear, I rage at the night. I cry in the darkness of the long terrifying night. I rant and rave at my powerlessness. No magic balms...

No quick cures...

The nights are long, terrifying and lonely, oh God they're lonely.

I'm fighting the demons that are claiming me, and I rage at myself.

I'm fighting for my very essence, that which makes me... me. And I'm losing the battle that's raging inside.

" Oh dear God, Help me! I can't help myself...though I know I must take the steps. But, I'm so afraid, so very afraid, and I can't conquer alone...the pain and the fear that consumes to the bone. I can't even list the burning inside, I want to run, I want to hide.

That option is no longer there for me. To give in would be so very unfair.

But Lord, I'm so tired, yet I cannot find rest.

Are you once again putting me to the test?

Oh Lord, I'm desperate now,

How to fight this battle I know not how.

But I won't give up, I'll continue to try, for if I lose this one surely I die.

I don't need material things, they won't ease the burden

What I do need, I cannot say.

How can I, with my head such a mess.

Oh Lord, hear my distress, and help me with your gentleness.

Provide a candle to light my way.

I can no longer keep the darkness at bay.

I'm so tired, so tired and alone, With the pain and the fear, that eats to the bone...

My monster is growing inside of me now,

I've got to tranquilize it somehow.

I must lay it to rest."

This piece was written very late at night, a time that is rough for many of us, the alcoholics and those in the throes of a domestic violence situation. The decision to include thie piece wasn't easy, but I was encouraged by people whom I love and respect. It shows some of what I felt in the past, and my plea for a life.

The nights can be lonely and long. There are some solutions out there, but you need the willingness to take the steps. The steps are simple, but not always easy. The end product is well worth the effort!

I also have put a link to my favorite singer's page here. He's a Canadian, and his music, is music you feel, my present husband won me with this music.

Visit my friend Songdov's page, she also has a lot to offer! You'll find a lot of good recovery material here. Besides recovery information she has included the writings of people in recovery. It's pretty powerful stuff!

Those of you on AOL might want to check into KEYWORD AAONLINE for recovery info. Here you will find many useful links. Also check out the health channel that AOL provides. Here also you will find info leading to recovery areas.

I must put in a word of caution here, don't let your computer become a replacement for meetings and other face to face contact. Nothing can replace interacting with other people. If you think you have a problem get to an open AA meeting, get names and phone numbers. Anyone who provides you with these is willing to accept your calls, don't feel that you're intruding.

Click into the java applet to learn more ways you can help locate missing children. this is a growing concern. Every day thousands of children disappear from thier homes, leaving families distraught with fear for their young ones. Also if you follow this link, check the events listed. Child Watch holds child ID events. You can get an ID card, at no cost to you, that has all your childs vital information and photo on it. These cards are very valuable if your child becomes lost. They can be shown police, store managers, etc. Many times we panic under this type of stress. With this card you have the information right at hand. This card is for the parents to hold.

I've added a link to a friends page, click on Please Help These Children. Maria is also a Knight of Kindness who is involved with helping to bring America's children home. Her page is very informative. God bless her, and the many others who are working hard to keep our children safe!

I've also included a link to a page concerning violence against women. The candle shown here shows my support in the movements against violence...There is no excuse for abuse!!

This page is still under construction, I will be adding to it, so please be patient with me. It probably will always be under onstruction, much as my life is! Life just amazes me today. I'm really enjoying serenity these days.

Again, I urge you to contact your local Domestic Agency if you are living in a violent situation, there is help! I have put links here to national organizations and state hotline numbers. No one has to live in fear. Learn from me, and others like me. There are those who are willing to help. If you can't find the listing for a Domestic Violence Agency, your local police department and hospital may be able to help you.

A friend sent a link to Bunni's Place, I've put it here, take a trip over there and find a smile. She's updated her pages recently and added a lot.

I've added a special story here. It's the story of a young girl who was killed by her abuser. On this page is a wonderful poem written by her mother, Margaret Hanna. The girls name is Tammy. Please take the time to stop by and read Tammy's story. Stories like Tammy's show us that the laws must be changed. Stories like this are also part of the reason I am fighting to change the laws in my state.

Everyone talks about world peace, but how can we have world peace if there is no peace on the homefront. We have to change things here first, peace starts at home. We are known as the home of the free, so we need to change laws and make innocent victims truly free. Free to live without fear, especially in their own homes.

"There is no excuse for abuse!" I'll say that again and again until I'm heard. My dream is for every victim to find peace, and be able to live a life without fear. Impossible, I don't think so. It will take work though. I'm willing to do that work. You can help too. Contact your local Domestic Violence agency to see how you can help. There are groups who are lobbying to get local and national laws changed. You don't have to be a victim to help in this way. The only thing needed is compassion and a willingness to help others.

I just added a special page here. It's the poetry of a dear friend of ours who is no longer with us. This page also contains her last message to us. Our Annie was a very special friend to many of us. I'd also like to thank those who sent her poetry to me. I had a crash and lost much of it. You guys are the greatest.

I'm sitting here doing this update(Jan.27,1999) hardly believing the changes in my life. Tomorrow we will be closing on a home. This will be my very first home as an adult. You can't begin to imagine how this feels after all these years. I must admit though, I will miss this little apartment. This is the place where I found so much peace and made so many changes in my life. This is where I was always free to be myself. Thank you Kevin,for the gift of sunshine and peace. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support. Thank you for being you. I love you Kev, and I'm most grateful for having you in my life today. I wouldn't have made it this far without you're being there for me!

I am also a proud member of the Knights of Kindness. To find our more about us come visit the Knights of Kindness homepage. We work together to help others, no glory seeking here! We are going to make a difference, one smiling face at a time. After all, little steps add up to big ones.

Please click on the graphic below to visit the Ribbons of Hope Campaign. Thank you Suzy, a fellow Knight, for putting this page up. After all, who will fight for our children if we don't.

This computer will finally be in an office space! Right now I'm sitting in my living/dining/office space. I have so very much to be grateful for today. If I were to put a gratitude list here, you would be reading for hours!

A special thank you goes to SOBRTOMMY. I had no trouble putting this page up but for some reason I couldn't get the html coding right for the images I chose for Annie's page. Tommy, thank you!

5/2/99 Early this morning I spent some time in IRC(internet relay chat.) While I was there I met a lady by the name of Laura. We exchanged links. I went to her pages and found them wonderful, so please stop in and visit her! You'll find valuable information there on recovery, abuse, and many pleasant surprises. I guess she also enjoyed my page, she graciously gave me the two new awards that are here. Click on the Pass It On award to be taken to Laura's pages. In fact many of the graphics you see here are links to other sites. I'm finally learning to code!

Last but not least, I have finally added a page of my poetry. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to put it up here, but here it is! The first one pretty much tells my story. The rest are what I was feeling at the time they were written.

Five years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of touching a computer. Since then I've learned that almost anything I mess up, if I'm patient, I can fix. I've met many wonderful people online, and have been able to share thoughts and ideas. I've been able to keep in contact with a close friend who is very ill. She moved down south and the phone bills would be astronomical!(We're capable of talking for hours.) This is the friend who introduced me to her computer,AOL and IRC. I'm so grateful that we can keep in touch by e-mail.

Not only did this friend introduce me to the world of home computing, she was a big part of my safety-net when I left my abusive husband. She was one of the few whom I could trust at that time. It wasn't safe for me to be alone, because of the stalking. Nancy and her husband gave me a place to stay for a few days to keep me safe, and possibly alive. My present husband's company had sent him for training on a new program they were implementing,and I was still being stalked. I owe them so much! Not many people are willing to do something like this but to those of you who are, God bless you! You have given us something we never can repay, and you gave it freely. You helped us stay sane, and possibly have saved our lives. Now we are sharing our stories in the hope of helping others. Without you this would not be possible.

Like many others, my X started stalking me after I had left. I'm far from unique. Many women have been down this path and have overcome fear to win their freedom and the right to live a life worth living. Today we try to pass the message on that there is life after abuse, and you're worth it! Don't give up on yourself, we certainly haven't. This is one of the reasons that you will find our stories on the web. We want to give hope to those who are where we have been. Life has so much to offer and you deserve to sample it.

Again I want to thank my wonderful husband, Kevin, for the gift of this computer. I've met so many people online and shared so very much with them, recovery from abuse, alcoholism, but most of all friendship and a willingness to share. Five years ago, I was locked in fear; three years ago, I overcame that fear;two years ago I had healed enough to take a chance on a new life. May17,1997 I married again. This time I married for love, not out of fear. I thank God daily for putting Kevin in my life. Repeat visitors will notice I changed the music here. After almost two years of the same music, I thought you guys deserved a change, so I uploaded Cannon, a soothing classical piece. I hope you enjoy it, if not turn off your sound!

5/9/01 I had to change the background. . .new life deserves to show what it is. Heart, yellow rose of friendship, and the ever present coffee cup ;) Butterflies and birds. . .well they symbolize freedom. . .freedom from pain and self. Many times we unknowingly stunt ourselves, but we can overcome this in time and with patience.

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My Favorite Links

Knights of Kindness
Leonard Cohen's Official Site
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Family Violence Pages and Links
Pieces of Songdov
National Hotline Numbers
Family Violence Prevention Fund
Margaret Hanna-A Mother's Story
Poetry of Our Own Kleereyes & Her Last Message To Us
This is Tommy
My Poetry
Laura's Recovery Resources
Angelfires Free Pages
The Mining Company
Please Help These Children

Email: Sheila34@nycap.rr.com