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** THIS IS MY FIGHT SONG**

If you could pick one song to be your theme song of your life what would it be? Currently I swear I could use at least 15 songs lol. But right now in this moment. It is “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.

These last few months have been nothing short of a roller-coaster and what these last few months have taught me is for me to settle my ass down and take time for myself. I am not used to doing that. I’m like the damn energizer bunny to everyone else and then by the time I get to my needs I am completely empty and just stay empty. When I sit and think about EVERYTHING that has happened over these last few years of my sobriety I get sad because each time I come to the conclusion that I don’t know what the hell I want out of life and even worse I don’t know who I am as a person anymore. I’ve been so consumed with molding myself to everyone else’s expectations that I have no clue who the hell Antoinette is. Every one tells me that I need to take time for myself and do my own self care. I’ve bought books, calenders, affirmation cards thinking that the answer would be in one of those items. And you know what. I didn’t find one damn answer for anything in those items that I bought.

What I did find though. Is that I’ll be damned if I continue to live my life under everyone else’s thumb. Family, friends, colleges everyone. I am always so worried about what people would think of me in situations that would not benefit them or make them feel uncomfortable. But do they even care about my feelings during it all? Most likely not. I don’t know why I am scared to just say fuck it and do what I want to do because everyone else does. And honestly I don’t know what I would even do lol. Start over, go back to school, become an actual example of you can be whatever you want to be to my kids. I preach that to them every single day because they are my heart and soul and they definitely can do whatever they want to if they put their mind to it. So why can’t their mama do it lol? I don’t know how else to live life other than how I am now and its sure as shit not making me happy. I want to wake up without constantly feeling like I have to be everyone’s people pleaser because I don’t want them to be mad at me or feel like I don’t love them. But for a fact I still will do what I can for my family and friends. I just have to do it my own way. What that is, hell if I know. I have done so many things to protect my family and friends that I don’t even know how I did half of it. But something my older brother Kyle told me has been stuck in my head and I know what I need to do. He told me “Remember who the fuck you are because you’re a boss” (love you biggie brother)

Welp… Boss bitch it is then! What ever happens after this is god leading me down a path I need to be on for myself and no one else

*MUCH LOVE*

“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”

Fight Song- Rachel Platten

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** THIS IS ME ** SPECIAL GUEST

My beautiful daughter Emily wanted to make a post on my blog because she too likes to write her feelings down. Love that she wants to help kids who have anxiety like her too

Hi, I am Emily, and this is me! I worry a lot and I am not sure why. I get sad and angry easily. Things that make me angry are when my brother is mean to me, when I mess up, and when people yell. I do not like when people get sad because I feel bad, and it makes me sad. My favorite things are unicorns, dogs, books, blankets, and my family! My mommy helps me when I am sad because she cuddles with me, my daddy helps by making me laugh, and my brother helps by being funny. My best friend is my dog Sparky. He is cute and fluffy. When I am sad, he licks me and lets me hug him. We like to fall asleep together. I like to make people happy, I don’t care if I get rewards and treats, I just want people to be happy without having to give me stuff in return. I hope you enjoyed my story!! 😊

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**DANCING WITH THE DEVIL**

When you are in the thick of your addiction you do not care what, who or how you hurt people. All you care about is where you are going to get your next fix or your next drink. This tango of being in addiction mixed with mental health issues, I was seriously Dancing With the Devil. The devil of addiction. A lot of people have asked me why people who are in recovery always seem to find Jesus. Well when you stare the devil straight in the eyes you pray that there is something or someone who can come save you. Faith helps you get through some of the roughest times. Do I go to church every Sunday? No I don’t. Do I believe in God. Yes! Very much. You cry out to god to save you because the devil has you in his grasp.

One thing that I am trying to do is suppress the thoughts of the f**k ups I did while I was drinking, or at least keep them at bay. I still beat myself up over everything. I know I am not the same person as I was 4 and half years ago. But the actions from when I was in active addiction still live rent free in my head. That is something that I have to live with. But my goal for my own life is to not let that define me. Seeing the world with out drunken goggles on makes you see things and people a different way. Your judgement is no longer clouded by any substance and can actually see things for what they are.

I have been asked if in these last 4 and a half years have I ever relapsed. And with my right hand up to the big man upstairs I can proudly say that NO I HAVEN’T. Some people aren’t that lucky to have been able to step away. People have stumbled and relapsed. Some people have relapsed with years of sobriety under their belt and that 1 time cost them their lives. And right now there are people in active addiction praying to god to make their pain stop.

After I first got sober I had to come face to face with all of the pain that I have caused family and friends during my active addition and let me tell you! Baby that was a type of pain I NEVER want to feel again. When you are drinking or doing drugs or both you don’t have to fully comprehend all of the hurt you are causing because you are not coherent enough to even care. So when your body is rid of all the substances you put in it, you have to feel ALL OF THE HURT without a clouded mind state and for a lot of people they can’t handle that pain. They end up relapsing to not hurt anymore. I think the main reason why I haven’t relapsed is because I would be more disappointed in myself than my friends or family. The guilt from the aftermath is what is keeping me sober. Are there times where I would love to have A drink to relax?? HELL YEAH. But will I do it?? HELL NAW!!!! No matter what it is that is keeping you sober keep it up. You never know which person you may help with how you are doing your recovery. Recovery is not one size fits all. Some people do well with meetings and a sponsor and others are fine with just reading blogs about it because at least you know you aren’t ever alone.

To the people who are still “dancing with the devil” I pray that you can get the help that you need to stop that vicious tango of hell. If you need anyone to talk to, or need information on how to take that first step to get sober. I am always here💖

Much love

” It’s just a little red wine, I’ll be fine
Not like I wanna do this every night
I’ve been good, don’t I deserve it?
I think I earned it, feels like it’s worth it
In my mind, mind

Twisted reality, hopeless insanity
I told you I was okay but I was lying

I was dancing with the devil, out of control
Almost made it to heaven, it was closer than you know
Playing with the enemy, gambling with my soul
It’s so hard to say no, when you’re dancing with the devil”

-Dancing with the devil
Demi Lovato

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**SMILING FACES**

Like I said before. Music fuels my soul. One song that I have been listening to since I was knee high to a grass hopper is “Smiling Faces Sometimes” By the Undisputed Truth. I never knew what the that really meant until I became an adult. And Its crazy that back in the 60’s 70’s they were still dealing with things that we are dealing with now.

One of the most well known lyrics to that song is “Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within” And that is 100% truth. You can have so many “friends” but how do you know if that person is being 100 with you. My dad said a saying a long time ago and I swear. My pops is a G. “I would rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies” and that is the realist s**t I have ever heard. I thought being popular and having so many friends is what my life needed to be about. And the older that I get the more I’m like “F**K THAT… AIN’T NO BODY GOT TIME FOR THAT” LOL. So many people who I thought were friends turned out to either be closet racist or was faker than Kim K’s butt.

I study people before I get to know them. So if we first met and you think I’m a b***h. That is the furthest from the truth. I’m analyzing you to see if you are even worth my time and energy because I got screwed over to many times that I just don’t want to invest in fakeness. My motto… Be real or Be gone. It is so crazy that while during this recovery journey people are so damn judge. Like forreal?? Why? Just because you didn’t have to struggle with any sort of addiction or mental health issues doesn’t mean you are better. Because guarantee you got more skeletons in your closet that I have.

People can be all buddy buddy with you to your face so they can have some clout but as soon as you leave their true colors show. If you are that unhappy with you own life that you have to play both sides, then maybe you need re-evaluate your own self worth and mind set.

I will say getting sober and getting the correct mental health humbled my ass REAL QUICK. And you know what. I’m glad. Because now I can actually take a step back and assess the situation for exactly what it is. I’m not saying this to say all people as are shady people. But guarantee there is more fake ones then real ones. And if you are blessed to have a real one. KEEP THEM!!! Because that type of friendship only happens once in a life time and losing that persons friendship is like loosing a part of your self. So what would you rather have guys? 4 quarters or 100 pennies?

“Smiling faces sometimes, They don’t tell the truth Smiling faces, smiling faces tell lies and I got proof (Beware) of the handshake that hides the snake (can you dig it, can you dig it?) I’m a-tellin’ you beware of the pat on the back It just might hold you back Jealousy, misery, envy, I tell you you can’t see behind Smiling faces, smiling faces, sometimes Hey, they don’t tell the truth Smiling faces, smiling faces tell lies and I got proof Hey, your enemy won’t do you no harm ’cause you’ll know where he’s comin’ from Don’t let the handshake and the smile fool ya Take my advice, I’m only tryin’ to school ya Smiling faces, smiling faces, sometimes They don’t tell the truth”

**MUCH LOVE💖**

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** A CHANGE GONNA COME **

One thing you may not know about me is that music fuels my soul. If you think about it. There is always a song for whatever emotion you are feeling. From Mary J Blige to Metallica, The Temptations to Taylor Swift. No matter how you are feeling I bet you there is a song for it.

One song that is really getting me through these tough times right now is ” A CHANGE GONNA COME” By Sam Cooke. The meaning behind the song is Sam talking about all of his trials he and his family and friends endured during the civil rights movement and how he was going to get through it because no matter what at some point “A CHANGE GONNA COME”

Everything that I have been through in my life happened for a reason. What that reason is I am not sure. God put me through every trial, tribulation, happiness and sadness that one person can go through, but some how. I’m still standing. I’m still here. But why though? That is a question I have been asking myself for years now and do I have all of the answers to the reason behind everything, No? But what I do know is that God put me through everything because he knew that “A CHANGE GONNA COME” for me.

Getting sober and put on meds THAT ACTUALLY WORK for my anxiety and depression has been the change I needed. And I didn’t know that I would need it until right now. The last 8 years of my life I have been through a lot. Death, infidelity, more death, self doubt, suicidal thoughts, extreme pressure to be perfect so I don’t feel that type of pain again. All of that led up to my nervous breakdown. That breakdown was my change. My “come to jesus” moment.

When I got sober I didn’t know what life would have instore for me. But little did I know that later on that year I would find the FIRST of many reasons why God put me through everything to lead up to my breakdown and for me to get my s**t right. My nephew Dominick. He went through some things that at the time a 17 year old should not have to go through. And because I got sober and had a different outlook on life and new coping skills, I was able to help him when he needed someone the most. I honestly don’t know how I would have been during that situation if I was still drinking. I know for damn sure that I am glad as hell that I wasn’t. Honestly I feel he helped me out more than I helped him. We both needed each other and I’m so glad to have him in my life. Even though he’s my nephew he’s like my child lol. A 21 year old child lmao. I would do anything and everything for him (and now his soon to be wife and son).

That change was what my life needed. I couldn’t keep going down the road I was on with out any consequences. God really said “see this is what we not gonna do lol”. People get afraid of change because its easier to just stick with what you are currently going through because you already know what it is. But change doesn’t have to be frightening. Change can be amazing. But how you react to it is up to you. God will put you on the right track. But its YOUR job to stay on it. No matter how hard or painful it is.

I know God has more in store for me. Do I know what type of “change is gonna come” on this journey in life? Nope. But whatever it is, It will be a lesson or a blessing

“There’ve been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on. It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes, it will”
– Sam Cooke

*MUCH LOVE💖*

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**LONELY IN A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE**

*CAUTION. LONG POST*

Depression is not one size fits all. It comes in all forms. And when it hits it hits hard. And right now mine is hitting hard. On November 24,2020 my mom got diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia)and that has turned all of our lives upside down. I felt the roles shifting and I was now being the parent having to take care of everything. I have older siblings but its hard for them to do anything because one lives out of the country and the other has transportation issues. So that leaves me.. To do everything. I have kept myself so busy making sure my mom is taken care of, making sure my family is taken care of also working a full time job that I put myself on the backburner once again. And you know what. It f*****g sucks. Everyone is telling me how brave I am for doing all of this without relapsing and that usually everything falls on the daughter. Which from talking to other people I guess it is true. But I don’t see it as everything falling on me. I see it as a daughter taking care of a parent. The same exact way I was when my father had open heart surgery almost 7 years ago. I’m not looking for a pat on the back because if you are still lucky enough to have your parents alive you will do whatever you have to. But I find myself feeling lonely again.Emotionally..

You ever been in a room full of people who are having fun and you put on the façade that everything is ok so you don’t seem like a debbie downer. But deep in your heart you feel like no one is around. That is exactly the emotions I have now. I’m just going through the motions so everything runs smoothly. But it is breaking me down to my core. I will go to the ends of the earth for my family but sometimes I feel like if I’m not taking care of it then it won’t get done (I guess that is the Virgo in me). I feel like everything I do won’t matter in the end. And I hate that feeling. Dealing with my moms cancer, a daughter in counseling and emotions of unhappiness prior to my moms diagnosis is weighing me down. Have any of you felt this way? Yes your friends will say “i’m here for you no matter what” and “you’re never alone” But are you really though? The thoughts in your head when you are battling depression can make the most beautiful moment turn to straight hell and you don’t know why. I’m a fixer. And the fact that I can’t fix my mom, my daughter, my emotions in my mind is driving me up a wall that I am detaching from everyone.

It is not fair to my family and friends at all because I am to be the rock. The go to person. But what happens when the “go to person” has no where to go? Then what? That’s when the thoughts of what if’s/ maybe I should have/ Do I really want to? start to creep in and it consumes you. I thought getting sober would be the hardest thing but as of right now that s**t is a cakewalk compared to the issues that I am dealing with now. I am not happy with ANYTHING. And I know I should be blessed and I am blessed. But am I just contempt with everything because that’s what I always do. Settle so everything works for everyone BUT ME. Make sure everyone else is good before my own mental stability. And I am scared. Scared that I will forget about who Antoinette really is because of taking on the roll of the fixer for everyone. This blog has really made me see things in a different view. Between my dad’s open heart surgery (thank god he made it as well), my older brothers massive heart attack at the age of 38 (that god he made it) and now mom’ cancer. I have the constant thought of “what is it that i truly want in life? or am I just contempt?” I legit have no clue but its messing with my mind so bad that all I want to do is crawl in a hole and just stay there for the rest of my life. My family are my world and I want my kids to see happy mommy so they aren’t feeling sad or constantly worrying if I’m ok or whats wrong. But how the hell do I do that? How do I get to the place of actual peace and not feel tense on every single day or putting my feelings aside so I can please someone else. I have no clue what god has in store for me or what journey that I am about to go on but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared for any of it.

If any of you have any advice for how to try and take control of my life back so I can be a better positive rolemodle for my kids because I don’t want them to think that this s**t is normal. Because it sure as hell isn’t.

Leave a comment or inbox me with your advice.

**MUCH LOVE*

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**WHEN THE CYCLE CONTINUES**

“It won’t happen to my child”

I hear that a lot from people who think their kids are invinsible from any harm. They will never become an addict and they will never have any mental issues because “its my child”. Well guess what IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD, god forbid it IS YOUR CHILD. What then?

I feel myself saying that with my daughter. Our Emily. Emily is so incredibly sweet, caring, feisty, head strong and also a child with extreme anxiety. It started when my father in law died when Emily was 5. She didn’t really understand it at first. All she knew was that “Pappy Ed wasn’t here anymore” But fast-forward a couple years she now fully understands why Pappy Ed isn’t here anymore. Dad got sick and was in a rehab for lymphoedema for a little while. He ended up having to be intubated and was shipped to Upmc East for a couple of weeks. He was in the ICU so the kids weren’t able to see him. Then when he got transferred to Upmc Presby they weren’t able to see him as well because he was in ICU. So when we got the call that he passed it didn’t really hit her. All she knew what that he was gone. There was no funeral or anything because it was what dad wanted so they never really got a chance to say goodbye. So whenever someone got sick she would freak out hysterically because she associates being sick with dying because that is what happened to Pap. I have had several surgeries and she would freak out because she thought I would die like Pap. It got to the point where we had to hide the fact that we were sick so she wouldn’t freak out. We started going to a grief support group called Hopeful Hearts. And they have been an absolute blessing. She was changing back to the Emily was all knew.

Then damn Rona hit. And EVERYTHING she new as normal was no longer that way. And her anxiety came back 10xs worse. After a while of online school she started having really bad trouble trying to concentrate because it was just to much (and I get it. It was a lot for a 9 year old to try and process) also not having dance class during this time really made her upset too. So she made the bold decision to head back to school in person and she has been thriving. Then came my mom’s cancer diagnosis. I was not home as much because I have been taking care of my mom. So when I am home I’m flat out exhausted. Mentally and physically but trying to give everyone the time they need with me so they don’t feel pushed to the side. But that hasn’t worked. So her anxiety crept back into the picture. But this time her teachers noticed that she was daydreaming more and picking her fingers. Hearing this from her teachers my heart broke. This awful cycle of anxiety and depression has continued and it is now with my daughter. My sweet/ but feisty Emily. I can’t let that happen. No matter what happens I will be damned if she will experience the pain that I have felt. She also gets scared that I will start “drinking out of those little cups again” (a.k.a shot glasses) because I have been so stressed out. I didn’t relize how much my drinking did affect her. At such a young age I didn’t think she would understand it. But she did. And boy was that a shot to the heart because I am part of the reason of her anxiety. I promised her that mommy would never drink out of those little cups again because I never want to hurt her or her brother. We got her into a psychiatrist who will come to her school and have sessions with her. I’m am praying that all of this will help her so her nerves can calm down and just let her be a typical 9 (almost 10 year old next week)

I feel like I have failed like a parent because of the things not only I have caused but other emotions that she has experienced. I didn’t protect her enough. And that hurts me to my soul. So my mission is to make sure that she knows she is loved. That her feelings are normal and we are going to find new ways to cope and that mommy will always be here for her no matter what. She is definently my mini. But this part of me I don’t want her to experience. I want her to continue to be the Emily that is headstrong and also loves with all of her heart.

Parents. No matter their age. DO NOT DISMISS their feelings. Because you never know what road they will end up going down. We gotta protect them at all cost. And that is what I will ALWAYS do. Protect them with my entire heart and soul.

*Much love❤*

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**see what had happend was…**

Everyone handles stress, grief, life trials different. No two challenges are the same. My challenge was / is (not gonna lie still learning) self esteem. To quote my girl Demi “I wonder when I love me is enough?” And you know what, This question is jacked up. Because… No one is ever going to be completely happy with their life and at the end of the day no matter if you have kids, spouse etc. You gotta love yourself. Because if you don’t love yourself first how can you love other people (correctly)

This blog is that journey for me. Trying to love myself so I can love others “correctly”. I have a daughter who is exhibiting some of the same struggles that I did when I was younger and there is NO WAY IN HELL that I will let her feel the pain that I have felt. So we both are on a new journey on self love. And helping her is also helping me. I want her to know her worth always whether or not she has a co-signer. That is one thing I wish I would have learned younger. My worth. Because you think you know how much you cost and then the price changes. The more I feel my cost going up I feel others are going on clearance. So when I say “see what had happened was…” LIFE is what had happened. Years of never feeling worthy enough definitely will make you feel like a busted EBT card lmao! Feelings of self doubt or never being good enough. Well… A CHANGE IS GONNA COME.. and I’m excited for this change. Whatever it is.

Question for you readers… What do you feel your price is??
feel free to respond or just sit and ponder on it. What is your worth?

*Much love always*

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**When You Hit Your Rock Bottom**

I have been going back and forth on how I wanted to start my healing journey and figure out what makes me happy. And to be honest. I have no damn clue. But what I do know is that I love to write, I love to help people. And if I can do the 2 at the same time. Well hell. Its worth a shot. So welcome to Hott Mess 2 Success.

I am a 35 year old recovering alcoholic with 4 years of sobriety under my belt. Now have those 4 years been a cake walk? Hell to the naw! But I will tell you that every rough second that I have went through in these last 4 years has definitely made me the person that I am today. I am a mother, wife, sister, friend and for the longest time led a double life with my addiction. Now add on to that depression/ anxiety and PTSD. Thats a hell of a cocktail of disaster. A disaster that I never thought I would be able to get out from.

To try and have a starting point to this blog I will explain that my addiction just didn’t happen over night. It was years of dumpster fire emotions that eventually led up to my rock bottom. I have dealt with a lot of issues growing up. From parental addiction, death, emotional abuse to my own addiction. But to try and explain everything would be about 30 pages for 1 blog lol. But the defining moment of my rock bottom was when I showed up to work intoxicated and had to go to occupation health to get tested. I knew I was f****d up. But in that very moment I didn’t care. I didn’t care whether I lived or died because how I felt about myself in that time was nothing.. I felt like I was worth nothing so why not try to forget about why you hate your life so bad that you drink to forget. I was beyond embarrassed. But at the same time a sigh of relief came over me because right then, no matter what happened. I knew I finally had to get my s**t together. I had coworkers and friends text me and tell me that I am crazy, I also had coworkers and friends that are some straight up “ride or dies” and for that I am for ever grateful for you all. After about a week of being suspended (I was still drinking at home because I still felt like my life didn’t matter) I had a legit breakdown. I went to my place of employment at the time (our local hospital) walked into the ER at 7am and signed my self into a mental facility. I knew that it just wasn’t the alcohol that I had a problem with. My whole life was an utter cluster f**k and the only one who could change it was me.

Now I am gonna shout out one of my fav coworker/friend that was there with me during alcohol testing and the initial intake of my 201 process several days later. Brianna. Now I knew her in high-school but she was a year above me. But once I started working at the hospital we became really close. She legit is a ride or die. I can’t thank her enough for everything she did for me while going through this process. And because of the love from not only her, my other coworkers that were working at the time (Tara, Damien) but also her mom (who is a nursing supervisor) who sat with me THE ENTIRE TIME I don’t think it would have went as well as it did. Ya’ll when I tell you that at my lowest of lows this woman made me feel like I was going to be ok. And you know what Mama D was right. I was going to be ok. Now eventually I did get fired which was a blessing in disguise. But the breakdown and my 201 admission really made me see my self in a different way. Now I thought that it would be like the mental facilities you see in the movies. And yeah there were some “characters” but mostly it was just ordinary people just like myself who needed a little extra help. I spent a total of 8 days in the facility, got my depression meds adjusted. Found a therapist and when I came home I attended AA meetings. Now 4 years later I have the courage enough to share my story. Now there is a lot more to tell so follow my page to continue to find out how I went from Hott Mess 2 Success

*Much love peeps, Thanks for reading*

**Antoinette**