Pixar and Recovery?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Took some time away last week with my wonderful husband in Florida!! It was amazing and I'll be sharing our experience there soon, but here is something I have been wanting to share for a while  now :) 

In case you haven’t heard because you live under a rock or something, Inside Out is finally out on DVD. Naturally, it is purchased and added to my collection of DVD’s, but before it donned my shelf, it had to be watched. 

This may seem like a reach, and some people might call me crazy, but I really feel like this movie played a part in my recovery. 
Let's be real, it’s played a part probably with how I understand myself in general if I’m honest. 

Before I continue into this blog, spoilers are about to get REAL up in here, so if you haven’t seen the movie. 
Right now
Everything you are doing

Happiness has always come easy to me. A kid of comfort by nature, as long as the world I’m in is comfortable, I’m content. Other emotions are a little more complicated for me to wrestle with. Not that being sad is confusing, I just hate being sad, especially in front of other people. Even family. So for me, now that this season of discomfort has entered my life, I’m sometimes afraid I won’t be happy again. 
Now let me tell you how this movie has given me a sense of understanding that has been helpful towards my recovery. 

To quickly summarize a tiny glimpse, here is a small portion of reading from The Guardian

“...Riley is born, Joy spontaneously appears – a shimmering, big-eyed Tinkerbell-like pixie – and Riley’s view of the world on a glowing, cloud-like surveillance screen. Joy is soon joined by other emotions – Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. . . These five monitor Riley’s life and produce her responses by operating a console of levers and buttons...”

Now, this is only to set the scene, I'll leave out as much as possible. 

At face value, this movie looks like a fun comedy about a middle school girl, dealing with her emotions, from the emotions point of view. But for me, it just reminded me of things I probably already knew, but have helped so much as I'm journeying through different areas of my life. 

"C'mon think POSITIVE!"

Joy lives at the helm of Riley's control panel, and strives to run the show. Making sure that as the day ends, most, if not all of her memories wind up as joyful ones. 
I kind of resonated with Joy. She's super care free, fun loving, and all she wants for Riley was for her to be happy. Which is all I want for others as well as myself. By nature, I'm just a happy person. It really takes a lot to make me frustrated or mad. And I always considered my overall nature of being happy as a positive thing. Which I still believe that. But it made some aspects of recovering a but more complicated. Joy has a hard time letting Riley be anything but happy, and for a long time, I did too. 

"Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems"

Voiced by Phillis Smith (some may know her as Phillis Vance, Vance refrigeration), Sadness seems to be the demise of Joy's number one priority and the cause of this whole big adventure. It would appear to Joy that Sadness really does not play any vital role to Riley and more often that not, she wonders why she's even there in the first place.

And really, who could blame Joy, right? All sadness did was drag them down, drag Riley down causing Joy to wonder why Sadness was even here at all?! But in the end, Sadness is the only one who can truly save the day. 

Too much of the time, I've lived like Joy. Pushing my emotions into the "circle of sadness", wondering why I just can't be happy. Why do I need to be sad, why can't I just decide I want to be out of this disorder and move on. 

Be happy. 

As time has passed these last couple of months, and really, after I saw this movie. I can appreciate the seasons or moments of sadness that have come into my life.

Without admitting to myself that sadness was even there, and allowing myself to really be sad, I don't think was able to move on. And that I truly believe that experiencing emotion is what has been missing from my life.

I kept trying and trying to figure out how to be "un-stuck" from where I have been. Trying to take the short cut out of this process.
But what really needs to happen is just to be.


This time in my life right now has been all over. Sad. Happy. Frustrated. Afraid. And all of this goes against my typical easy going nature. I like to be happy. But making room to feel sad and scared and angry has allowed so much support, compassion and growth in my life. So had I just skipped all this emotionally hard stuff, none of this would have happened. 

So definitely. Some days I'm happy, maybe grumpy. 
Or, like today, I'm happy, I’m sad, I’m restless, and instead of getting mad at myself for feeling this way, I'm trying to be better at just letting those emotions be. 

Joy learns to appreciate Sadness for who she is and what she brings. And she understands by the end it’s okay to be sad because it gives you a new understanding and appreciation for all the good times. 

So be happy. Be sad. Let the bad days make the better days so much better. 
I'm not advocating you need to make yourself sad. Don't leave here to watch a caged up puppy video while the skies are grey. 
Just take your day as it comes :)

But you should go watch this movie
no lie
what are you still doing here. 

go go go!!!

If you haven't already head over to Lord Still Loves Me and check out Julia's lovely blog. She's started a recovery round up where one of my blog posts has been featured! 

false promises

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The biggest lie we all heard as a kid. . .

“It’ll only be a minute” 
mom says as she walks into the grocery store. 

We placed all our hopes and dreams into “yes, it WILL only be a minute” and as the cart continues winding down the aisles that hope fades thin with each item placed higher and higher on the mountain of groceries accumulating in the cart. 
Countless times in our lives we are faced with lies. What’s sad is that too much of the time, at least for myself, I know we buy into them. Sometimes we know when things are really phony, but more often than not, the world is a tricky place and we buy into things with empty promises. 

Mighty kids meals ARE super nutritious
That appliance WILL make my house nicer
The color on the box DEFINITELY will make my hair turn out like that
This lens WILL make you a better photographer

So much of life, no matter what stage your in, is navigating through these lies and empty promises. But the tricky thing is that life spends so much time piling promise after promise into our lives, that not before long, our time is divided amongst these false gods. Promising us so much, that truly they wont deliver on, solely to keep our focus on them. 

ED promised me so much. 
Body Acceptance
Finally feeling good in my own skin

With these false promises, there will never attain enough. 

--It was never that I wanted to keep going. 
It just kept happening. Once the number dropped, that was the norm for me, anything else wasn’t acceptable for ED. It promised that once X happened, I would gain the happiness I desired. But it was never enough to gain that happiness. 

And a few weeks ago, I was hit over the head with an enormous amount of truth. 

Anything that takes the #1 spot away from God is a false God

That’s what the world wants from us. To keep putting in effort after effort into these false promises, so that we can never be fully invested into the promise that God’s made for us. 

1 Kings 18:19-21 ---Elijah says to stop wavering. Quit interchanging Gods. Using a false when God doesn’t meet your needs and vise versa. 

I never wanted God to come in only when ED wasn’t meeting my needs, and for ED to come in when God seemed to be gone. 

But that’s what happened. 

I would pray and pray as hard as I thought I could, take this from me, but there I was. Stuck. 
There needs to be a shift. 
 My God needs to be 100% in my heart, what possible transformation could happen when my heart is torn between two Gods. two promises?

Wherever you are, I hope this doesn’t sound too “rant-y” but so much still had to change in my head and heart in order for me to move on. I spent so much of my time just stuck, living and feeding into things that just weren’t true. 
And deep down I always knew what was happening. But it became so much of my daily life that it didn’t feel false anymore, it just felt normal. 

I was thankful for being reminded of this. Reminding me to be mindful of where I’m putting my time and my energy. 

And it’s still hard. 
It takes time. 
I still have bad days where I sit and buy into everything ED wants to put in my head because it knows that everything I’m doing now is counter productive to what it wants. 

But there are so many more good days. Days where I can challenge those empty promises. Where I know that’s not what is true or good, and can move on from them. So may things like this never go away, but you learn how to experience differently the false promises that come into our lives? 
And it's crazy too look back, even just a few weeks.

This is me, not knowing I was living into false promises

This is was last Sunday :)

It's weird noticing how things are changing. I can't tell because I live myself all the time. But now that I've been working on refocusing, it's making huge differences

I don’t know. haha wild stuff happening in my mind today!

Anyway. Stay warm!! It’s super windy and gloomy here today, making me extra introspective. Hoping everyone else out there is much cozier than myself!

--What’s your weather like?
--How do you tell apart what’s real and what isn’t?


 So it’s my second Thursday feature in my month of thankfulness Thursday, and I’m here for a brief moment to brag about the woman I call my mom.

Here she is. 
She’s literally amazing. 

In so many more ways than I can even being to tell you, she is the most amazing person I have ever been blessed to know. 
Never in my life have seen her place herself before others. She would happily go without if it meant that her husband, kids or others could go “with”. 
More patience than anyone I have ever met 
She’s always there to listen and be there even if she may not feel like she always has words to say back. 

I love her SO much. 

I can not even begin to thank her for how much it’s meant to me to have her in my life, especially now, I’ve been able to just lean and depend on her and that has literally meant the world to me. 

She moved guys!! Literally took herself from her home in Michigan and came to me. So that I could have the support she knew I needed even before I knew really how much I would come to need it. 

Like, just no words. 
I love her to death

And I’m so thankful for all the things she is to me


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Honoring the month of “Thankfulness”, I thought I’d take time these next couple of Thursday’s to highlight some people in my life that I am incredibly thankful for. With the season of my life that I am in right now, I never really know what to say. I know everyone that has surrounded me feels like they never know what to do or say. And I want to let you know that it’s okay! I never know what to say either. So I want to express my thanks in the only way I know how. And that’s writing. 

Today I’d like to introduce you to one of my most favorite persons in the entire world. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the man who stole my heart. . .

Jake Boss. 
One of our engagement photos!

There's so much I could say about this man. And perhaps I'll overload your "mush" factor by sharing our whole story. But for now, I really just want to express how thankful I've been for him over the last year. 

He's stuck by me on my best days and on my worst. And though he my feel like he's never helping in the right way, he always has done and been exactly what I need. 

I'm so thankful he's been able to still be himself with me. 
I'm thankful he's still able to be silly even when things have seemed so frustrating and hard. 
I appreciate so much the degree to which he supports me. Willing to put his own plans on hold so I could move closer to family and be surrounded by the support I needed. 
I love that he's still my best friend. 
I love his quirks. 
I am SO thankful that he sticks with me. 
For his patience

He's been such a light to me in more ways than he knows. And writing this now, it's hard to even put into words how much I appreciate this guy. I hope he knows I have constantly felt supported and loved by him even if he feels like it's not helping. It helps. A lot. 

If you don't know this man, you should be his friend!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Car chases 
Foreign countries
Damsel in distress
Revenge seeking parents
Liam Neeson 

When I hear “taken” those are the first things that come to mind. Shady black market deals, people held against their will and Liam Neeson out to get them all. Spoiler alert. Bad guys loose, Liam saves the day, the family sees better days. . .

There are so many ways in which we feel like things are taken from us. Student loans take our money, jobs take away our time, being stuck in a funk takes our smile. And what’s crazy is that we don’t see it happen. But when we take an objective step back it’s easy to see where we stand in the scheme of things. So I have something to tell you. . . 

I was taken. 

It didn’t happen suddenly. I wasn’t drug from under my bed without warning to a place I’ve never been before. But it happened quietly. Unbeknown to me. 
I no longer was a part of the life I use to live. 

 --ED took so much of who I was. 

It began so small. Choices I thought were my own. Habits that grew into lifestyles I thought I (Alicia) wanted. It all felt like me. I was never separate from ED. People told me that it was there, that ED was a problem and something really needed to be done. But to me, I couldn’t see. It took my sight. I was never myself. 
And like I said, I was taken, but it all happened slowly. I was still able to feel like myself, pursue the things that I was passionate about but little by little it crept in.  

This is all probably SUPER vague, and maybe sometime soon I’ll share more of my story. My whole story? I don’t know. What do you want to hear? But I’m sharing this little chunk now because as time is moving on, and I’m able to move forward, it feels like the first time I can objectively see what was going on. ED took me from my life. And it’s frustrating. Because how did I not see it until now? 

How did I not know it took me from my friends? Because I could feel it. 
I always felt like I was never able to fully have a friend. 

Now I know it held me back so much from just being a normal 24 year old. I was never fully investing in others because it had me investing so much of who I was into it. And I really miss friends. Like holy cow. ED took so much of who I was, became such a part of me  and I see it now. I can tell how much I couldn’t really be a friend, and I miss my friends. (I hope that phrasing was coherent). 

I hate that ED took me from the things I loved. 

Ministry was a huge part of my plans after college, and during college but it’s gone now. Like how did I not see what it was doing? Isn’t it weird? I had such a heart and desire to be involved and with the ministry I was in, but not even that could bring me  back from where ED was taking me. I had such a sense of false comfort. That everything was fine. This was everything I wanted. But it wasn’t. And as much as it had taken from me. I miss being comfortable. But it was never a life of comfort. It was such a fake comfort. And I’m adjusting. Maybe I used to miss what I thought ED gave me. But now I’m sad for everything I know it took. 

I don’t say all that to have you be sad for me either. Because like I said, I’m able to see now, so much more objectively than I used to. And it makes me so excited. I used to be scared of change, but lately I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m excited for where continued recovery is going to take me next. I’m thankful that I have been able to take myself back. Just crazy that I am just now realizing where I thought I was!

The beginning of the month just brought on so much reflection for me. It was helpful to write. So I hope it didn’t sound too messy. 

What do you think:
-Should I share my whole story?

-What do you know now that you wished you knew then?

Check this out!!

P.S. exciting news!! Julia from Lord Still Loves Me is hosting a round-up! Featuring posts from other blogs and women on other perspectives and areas of their own recovery. Go check her out, her blog is so wonderful

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