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When Life Gives You Lemons

April 27, 2013

jan 2013 334I have always loved the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”  Recently I have been trying to do just that and even adding some extra sugar to my lemonade.  There is also a saying, “When it rains, it pours.”  I have recently been experiencing the negative affects of people trying to “rain on my parade.”

It began with a break up.  I am still working on “fixing” the problems caused by that break up which were things like phone calls to my doctor’s office claiming I was selling my prescriptions.  I was as confused as the doctor because I do not take any prescription medication anymore but when I did, I do not know too many people who would buy Abilify or Zoloft, anti-depressants.  So, other phone calls were made to my Methadone clinic, my health insurance, and other services I receive.  The anonymous tips claimed I was defrauding the system and while I was required to provide all of my paperwork, my benefits were suspended and I had to drive to the clinic 20 + miles one way, everyday for over two weeks.  My car has a broken steering column, no heat and the brakes are shot.  It did not break me.  Each time I received a new complaint, letter in the mail, request for a hearing and other accusations, I complied.  What else could I do?

I could have gone to their house and acted like I used to.  I could have challenged them and physically fought them but instead I chose a different approach.  I chose to comply to every request.  I chose to be grateful for what I did have and I chose to look at the situation with compassion that someone has such little respect for themselves that they have to try to disrupt and destroy someone else’s with cruel intentions.  It is unfortunate but I learned a wonderful lesson in all of it, I love my life.  Money means nothing and these road blocks they think they have put up for me, only made me stronger, more humble and appreciative for what I have.

Each time I “fixed” one of the complaints or phone calls made against me another one would happen.  A new accusation and something else I would have to defend myself against.  When none of those things worked they shut my cable off which should have been done but not in that way, they gave me little warning.  I revived a text at 8 or 9 at night and it was off the next day around noon, they knew I had an outstanding bill.  So, it benefited me and my family in many ways, we were able to not only pay off the old bill but pay for a month of service and all of our bills for May because I am not sure with this next hearing will entail.  Having the cable shut off for a few days was the best thing that could have happened to our family.  We spent time with each other, played music, walked the dogs together, cooked together, we read, wrote and shared with each other, it was fabulous.

It brought us together and made us realize how horribly addicted to the TV, video games and internet we are.  Now we set limits for ourselves, get outside everyday and spend more time together.  We have even made a schedule for cooking dinner.  We take turns cooking but we have to do a little more than that, whoever is cooking has to come with me to shop for the ingredients of the meal they chose to cook.  They must learn to shop wisely, figure out the smartest options, value family pack or regular small pack, sales, coupons, etc.  It is helping my children learn how to stretch the dollar and not only are they learning how to shop smart but we always are environmentally conscience and bring our own totes shopping so we do not waste plastic bags.

We also are all involved in the family budget.  Every reciept goes into our computer program that keeps track of our spending on a simple spread sheet every month.  The kids have to participate in the budget.  They have access to it so they can see how expensive things are.  Then it helps them to be more conscious of wasting water, electricity and gas.  Since they have been involved our utility bills have significantly dropped.  Everyone is much more aware and we were able to save almost $500 in April, all because the kids learned how to use the timers on the TVs.  Turn the lights out when they leave a room, turn down the thermostat when no one is home or at night.

The point is that through these challenges we were able to find ways to appreciate life more.  We became closer as a family, we started enjoying more activities together, we became more aware of our spending habits, found gratitude in what we have and most of all no matter what life throws at us, we can find beauty in its lessons.  “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” and add lots of extra sugar!


From → My Story, Recovery

  1. I have nominated you for a “Shine On” award for your work on this post. To accept and participate in the fun, go here –

    Keep up the good writing, and the good recovery!


  2. Kira permalink

    Wow! That’s a lot of stuff going on! It sounds like you did an amazing job at keeping everything in perspective…hard to do when it’s raining that hard! Isn’t it amazing how a couple of days “without” makes you realize what you actually want to be “with.” Thank for this post


    • Yes, when it rains it pours but in the famous words of Def Leopard, “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” in fact, I’m going to listen to that on youtube right now and dance a little while I get ready for bed! Just keep adding lots of sugar! In all seriousness, I believe there is a lesson in everything and there is absolutely lessons when people attack you when you start heading in a different more positive path that they cannot come with you on. They have to make their own path. I feel sorry for them, I feel bad that I am the focus of their hate. I remember what it was like to live like that, it’s so very sad.


      • Kira permalink

        The hardest part of my recovery is realizing that I can’t bring my “friends” along with me. They have their own path to walk and it doesn’t always intersect with mine. I’m having to learn not to feel guilty about getting healthy!


      • That was very difficult for me as well, I had a hard time letting go but recovery was more important and I ended up very lonely for awhile. It takes time.


      • Kira permalink

        I’m in the lonely stage right now, but WP helps! And I know that right now my recovery needs to be about me and what is best for me. I know somewhere out there there are healthy friends just waiting to hang out… 🙂


      • I hand to stick it out, go to meetings, meet new people and connect. In the beginning, three years ago and before I relapsed last summer, I did service work in NA, I got a homegroup, I got a sponsor and eventually I became the GSR for my homegroup and went to the area meeting every month to vote on issues affecting NA as a whole. In made me feel like I belonged and I made lasting relationships. I am fortunate enough that I still have my sponsor even though I lost her for a while after my relapse, I hurt her by not returning calls, etc. she did not know if I was dead or alive. We reconnected and she took me back but it took awhile. She did not turn her back on me when I came back though. Just because she couldn’t sponsor me right away did not mean that we could not be there for each other. she is amazing and I love her dearly. It takes time to build relationships like hers and mine, and the other relationships I have with recovering people. Another amazing thing that happened was people I have not seen for many years came out of the woodwork to support me. Friends from school and before I was heavy into drugs. Some thought I was dead! Just because someone isn’t a recovering addict does not mean you cannot have a lasting friendship with them. It’s people who are in active addiction that are poisonous to us. It’s lonely and painful in the beginning, I know but it is worth it. There’s a better way of life. Active addiction stole everything from you, now you have to do the work to earn it back.


      • Kira permalink

        Your response gives me hope!!! I’m glad that your sponsor stuck with you when you came back 🙂 I am definitely staying away from people who are still in the addiction lifestyle. I am on my way to getting my life back and it is a beautiful thing!


      • It is a beautiful thing! Keep up the good work and as I said it is worth it. You will find what you’re looking for, I promise. You have to do a bit of leg work and pick up the phone, call people you meet in groups and meetings. Practice, practice, practice! Remember, they were in our seats once, they came through the doors, lonely and scared just like us.


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