Monthly Archives: June 2013

~JUNE 2013~ AMERICAN RED CROSS

Never throw in the towel

About a  week ago, I posted this on my Facebook page.  It popped up somewhere on some random page at the exact time that I needed to see it…because I was thinking about throwing in my own towel ( a figurative one of course, since I don’t actually do any of the laundry in my house). I thought about giving up on this page.  I thought about giving up on these charities.  I thought about giving up on my New Year’s resolution when I was almost HALFWAY THROUGH.  Gulp.

Why would I do that now when I am so far into this?!?  I don’t know.  Allow me to give you some b.s. excuses an explanation. After the anticipation and the build-up to my husband’s 1st Soberthday last month, I was spent.  That single day that we successfully raised $500 for Arbor Circle gave me such a physical and emotional high!!  I loved it.  The positive thoughts and kind words and amazing support Greg and I received that day were some of the most incredible acts of love I’ve ever witnessed.  HUNDREDS of you guys stood by us and shared our story and congratulated our family on sticking together and making it this far.  But what was one day of celebration and joy was also the culmination of one year of anxiety and fear and commitment and encouragement and relief and pride for me.  I am not usually a crier, but the floodgates sure opened that day!  When I logged off of Facebook at the end of the day on May 22nd, I felt like I could sleep for a year.  I was exhausted. I crashed, physically and mentally.  Sobriety is hard work for all involved, yo 😉
I spent the next week ignoring the internet, instead finishing up school projects and field trips and lunch duty for my daughter’s 3rd grade class.  I took some more naps.  I went swimming in my pool.  I finished up my last 40+ hour work week for the rest of the summer because I want to be able to spend time with my husband and my daughter and my friends.  I started looking for bigger houses to move into because we’re cramped in ours and it drives me nuts.  I went to bed early and slept in late.  I did everything I could think of to lay low and avoid my responsibilities to myself and to all of you.

Not responsible

About ten days into the month of June, I put some serious consideration into pulling my head out of my ass.  I had made a promise, dammit!!  I owed it to all of the people following my page and my blog and donating money and supplies and volunteering time.  I needed to get inspired!  I needed to get to work on my June charity!!  I had big plans!!!  I changed my profile picture to the American Red Cross logo (except I forgot to post the link where you could donate all month. Derp).  I called my local Red Cross chapter with the intention of setting up a blood drive, only to find out that is something that has to be set up with plenty of notice in order to avoid conflicts, publicize the drive, and schedule donors for their appointments (Double Derp).  Finally, I went to the ARC website to sign both Greg and myself up for Emergency Preparedness Training so we could be useful to others around us in the event of a disaster…..there was not a single EPT course available within 50 miles of us.
Strike Three.
I was out.
I took another nap.  I pulled away from my friends (real life and online~sorry you guys 😦 ), I got snotty with my family, I sulked, I complained, I threw a pity party complete with balloons more deflated than my spirit, and then I tried to get away with it by sharing my tales of woe online.  And you guys almost let me get away with it!  I felt validated for slacking when friends and followers (all of you with wonderful intentions ❤ ) told me it was okay, I deserved a break, I worked real hard and I’ve done so much to bring attention to so many good causes, maybe I should just rest up and come back to it later.  And all of the sudden, for some reason, THAT was all the motivation I (finally) needed!
I am plenty rested up.  I can’t come back to it later because the need is now.  I will get a break, and that break will be on January 1st of 2014 when I’ve crossed the virtual finish line of my goal.  And when did I limit myself to finishing a charity for good by the end of one particular month??  What a crazy restriction.  I have the rest of the year!  I can still put together a blood drive.  I can still sign up for a class that assists people in crisis, albeit not the one I originally planned on.  Maybe CPR.  I’m sure Greg would be happy to volunteer for mouth-to-mouth practice.  Wink, wink.

The American Red Cross is just as deserving of the attention and financial support as any other charity I have in my line-up this year.  Their cause is a remarkable example of humanitarianism.  I feel ashamed that I waited so long to bring so much attention to what they stand for and what they do:
Each year, the American Red Cross immediately responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the U.S., ranging from fires to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents and explosions.  When disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and emotional health service to address basic human needs and assist individuals and families in resuming their normal daily activities independently.  The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers like fire fighters and police, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to disaster victims, and helps them access other available resources.  More than 90 percent of our total work force is composed of volunteers, and 91 cents of every dollar donated goes to fulfill the mission of the Red Cross. [information provided by redcross.org]

The first time I ever encountered the Red Cross was when I took babysitter's training classes so I could be as awesome as these girls!!

The first time I ever encountered the Red Cross was at age 11 when I took Babysitter’s Training classes so I could be as awesome as these girls!!

Moral of the story?  I’ve picked up my towel.  I’ve wiped off my sweat.  I’m gonna keep on going!!!
I. WILL. FINISH. THIS. MONTH.  I’m not giving up.  Please don’t give up either.
If you have an extra ten dollars in your account this minute, this week or this month, P*L*E*A*S*E consider visiting http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations and clicking the red DONATE NOW tab.

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~MAY 2013~ ARBOR CIRCLE

It has been almost one full month since I have posted on the result of my May charity!!  Shame, shame, know my name.  *hangs head* …………………….
Okay, I can’t leave my head hanging or else I won’t be able to see the keyboard to finish typing.
Anyway, if you don’t recall (but how dare you not recall, as it was one of the best days of my life!! 😉 ) my husband Greg celebrated 365 days sober on May 22nd.  For the first time since starting this page as my New Year’s resolution, I decided not to ask for donations at all during the rest of the month…I wanted to save it for one very special day~ his 1st Soberthday.

Had our waitress sneak a "1" candle into his French toast ;)

Had our waitress sneak a “1” candle into his French toast 😉

Following a delicious celebratory breakfast of French toast (Greg),  a double order of pancakes (me…HEY!  I can celebrate too) and chocolate milk with whipped cream and sprinkles (our daughter, who thought it was her special day since she got to skip school), I came home and posted the following request on my personal Facebook page, as well as my blog Facebook page:

Alright my favorite Do Gooders: you know that I usually ask for my charity donations alllllll month long. But not this month.  This month my charity is Arbor Circle, a rehabilitation and counseling facility in my town that works to help get people their lives back when they suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. They counsel adults. They counsel children affected by the behavior of these adults. They counsel families to give them the tools they need to stay healthy themselves if no one else will. They try to help over 11,000 people a year…and my husband is one of them. They helped us pay for 3 months of outpatient rehab. They helped us find a way to pay off all but $300 of Greg’s astronomical hospital bill, since he didn’t have insurance. They gave Greg an amazing counselor. And the best gift of all was that they gave him the tools to keep himself sober and be a fantastic dad.  WE WANT THAT FOR OTHER FAMILIES TOO!  So for TODAY ONLY I am looking for the 9 other people that will help me support this charity with their $10.00 donation. I know we can do it. Everyone deserves a chance at a sober day, a clear mind and a happy life. Sometimes we can’t do it on our own. It’s okay to ask for help.  Thank you for all of the positive comments and the amazing support ~ we’re reading all of it!! xoxo

And then I held my breath.  Sometimes I never know if something is as important to all of you guys as it is to me.  In fact, it has blown me away EVERY SINGLE MONTH that we have exceeded the $100.00 goal.  Sometimes just by a little bit, but more often than not it has been by a lot.  I expected that a few of our friends and family would see this and want to do something good for Greg.  I figured that some of my blog followers would want to donate in honor of someone they knew that has been affected by some kind of addiction.  What I was not expecting was the comments, the private messages, the shares, the “Likes”, and the $500.00 that was raised because of that one amazing day. ❤

Friends donated ❤
Strangers donated ❤
My friend Jeanna who writes the page My Children Think I’m Perfect signed up to make a recurring donation over the next year ❤
My friend Melissa who writes Adventures of Ninjamama auctioned off a hand painted glass and donated the money to Arbor Circle in Greg’s name ❤

Greg and Leksi
All of those donations and that support give kids like my daughter a chance to have their parents back.  Hell, it can give parents the chance to have their kid back!  The donations boost much needed funding to programs that help to support and encourage people struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.  It helps kids cope when they are left to witness their loved ones going through all the trauma.  It gives hope to people like Amy and Libby and Jeanna and Katy and Greg, who were damn lucky enough to find their way out of the dark and start heading towards light and towards life (which reminds me, THANK YOU AMY, LIBBY, JEANNA, KATY and GREG for sharing your stories this month with my followers and with me)!!!  They brought tears to my eyes, and I rarely cry.  I hope you’re proud of yourselves 😉

The support and love that our family received will never, ever be forgotten.  I try to remind you as often as I can that I can’t do this alone ~ you are the reason that Good Things are happening.  When that money is tallied up at the end of each month, I am only responsible for a teensy weensy portion of it.  I truly and humbly adore your sudden attack of conscience .   Onward!!!  xoxo

Hubby's one year sobriety coin from AA ~ he carries it with him everywhere.  The sobriety...AND the coin :)

Hubby’s one year sobriety coin from AA ~ he carries it with him everywhere. The sobriety…AND the coin 🙂

The Serenity Prayer.  Tattooed on Greg's back in hopes that somebody else who needs to see it, will.

The Serenity Prayer. Tattooed on Greg’s back in hopes that somebody else who needs to see it, will.

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