My spirit doesn’t move like it did before.

18months

I’m only here to brag bc I found out that’s what social media is good for.

  1. getting sober was really hard for me. I wasn’t good at it. I couldn’t get past the nine-month mark.
  2. my mental health was jacked. I wish I could go into all the suicidal ideation and paranoia I was in since this is a bragging post and all, but I have a lot of other things to brag about. If you knew me 18+ months ago, you could attest to the insanity. If you didn’t, consider yourself #blessed
  3. the number of people I could talk to honestly when I was struggling was like, no one. ZERO. Like, about anything. My belief in people was like, what-is-ttt-r-u-s-t…? Not bc people had been bad to me. But bc I was habitually bad to everyone. It’s hard to trust when you aren’t trustworthy.
  4. I didn’t actually think God was even around. Ok… He seemed pretty f!cking absent if ya ask me. You probably didn’t notice the lack of church check-ins and the fact I didn’t post flowery Bible verses on social media amidst the Trump memes and mass shootings. But I did still pray (afancywaytosay:talktomyself) in hopes something, ANYTHING would listen. This was out of SHEER desperation. I mean that. I had nothing to keep me going but words… and faith that soon I’d die or things would get better. If you’ve ever heard me share at a meeting, you’ve undoubtedly heard me recite the Plath line that summed up this brag-worthy moment: “I talk to God but the sky is empty/Orion walks by and doesn’t speak.” The emptiness was SO real.
  5. I have now lapped my nine-month mark TWICE. that means, math. That means I am 18 months sober today! Or to a normal person, a year and a half sober. but I think I like the idea of counting my sobriety in 9-month increments for as long as God will let me. Here’s why…

When I was like, 10 months sober, I drove back from writing at the Salton Sea and was for some reason, super annoyed by my wonderful friends asking me to go to singles events and trying to match me up with dudes. I was so conflicted about why that bothered me. (I still have some theories.) So I begged God for one thing. Well, two things. (I’m still bragging, don’t forget.)

  1. God, if you keep me sober, I won’t squander my time here on earth. I will love your sons and daughters and CREATE whatever you want me to. Just, GOD, please keep me sober.
  2. I don’t have to marry, I don’t need children, just help me birth SOMETHING that can help SOMEONE. (Here’s where it gets weird.) I said: God, with all of my love and devotion, with care and attention, I will tend to that art daily like a mother does to her children if you promise for someone to be helped by it. Just keep me sober, give me guidance, your Will be done — not mine.

I then went on to get a year sober, was restored to sanity, got many wonderful supportive friends that I trust and developed an AMAZING relationship with my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.

Oh yeah, and wrote a ridiculously shitty first draft of my novel the following month.

Then it sat.

And sat.

And I hated everything I had written.

And depression began to creep in.

And I was like, JESUS. WHAT. THE — (Oh wait, I’m supposed to be bragging.)

So God gave me a new heart (that’s a short way to say a lot of stuff happened) and my book is now being rewritten and I’m excited, and frustrated, and devoted. I sit in front of a screen by myself for many hours each night, much more than I’d like to admit. But when there is progress, it feels good. I don’t know that it will actually be “good” but I do know, and have faith, and I have to believe, it will help someone someday.

I hope if you’re struggling with addiction, faith, or mental health, you can feel comfortable calling me. 858-790-2244 there’s never any judgment here.

I’ve learned in these 18 months a lot of things about bragging. Like, not doing it. Pride, ego, saving face — ditch it. If I could tell anyone anything about overcoming any adversity EVER, it is this: be humble and know that you are Loved, then make a change. The one you fear the most.

Also:

You are

SO FREAKIN’

Loved.

Now go get that help ya need! Your whole life is right on the other side of the hardest thing you’ll EVER have to do and thank the Lord it will totally be worth it.

At least that’s what I tell myself after I’ve selected the thousands of words I’ve written with my finger over the ‘delete’ key and then decide not to press it.

Okay, I love you, goodbye now! 😚 I have birthing lessons to attend! (This is just my way of saying research, aka reading books I like.)

So wild & holy, You are.
So made in your image, I am.
So, wild & holy I’ll be.
-vanz

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