99 white chips on the wall

 Thanksgiving Facebook status:  “This is what a clean and sober Sloane looks like.  Today I finished my program at CSU.  I am fully detoxed from alcohol and drugs and can honestly say I have no desire to drink or use.  What a miracle!  In addition, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have started a medication regiment for that.  I feel fantastic.  Of course it will take lots of work on my end—staying active in recovery, taking my medicine, and staying away from bad influences.  But I am one strong woman and I know I can do this.  Thanks for all the support.  Love to you all.” 

meeeee

Such a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  Not only am I free from the bondage of chemical dependency but I have a better understanding of the way my brain works.  Being bipolar explains so much….things occurring long before I ever picked up an illicit substance now make sense.  I feel tremendous relief knowing there is an official diagnosis, a legitimate medical condition, because it is a form of validation.  Best of all it can be managed with medication.  Hallelujah!

promises

CSU’s facilities didn’t quite look like this.

“My name is Pax Prentiss and I used to be an addict.  But now I’m not.”  Surely I can’t be the only one who wants to jump through the television and smack him.  You don’t just snap your fingers overnight and become ‘cured.’  Well, maybe at his $50,783,123 treatment center you do.  But the vast majority of us can’t afford to receive daily massages and ride horses on the beach at Promises Malibu.  Which is why I am so grateful for CSU.  I do not have health insurance.  Paying for treatment out of pocket [even at a place far from luxurious] produces astronomical costs.  Did I mention I’m broke?  CSU saves lives– and is often the only hope for the uninsured and destitute.

dos

Just a little recovery humor

Don’t assume I’m floating around on some pink cloud confident in the knowledge that this chapter of my life has ended.  I’m scared shitless– but it’s a healthy fear.  Something would be very wrong if I wasn’t terrified.  Temptation lurks everywhere.  I know what to do.  It’s just a matter of doing it.  And really doing it this time, 110%.  You won’t see me trying to convert you or becoming a Big Book thumper.  All I want is a LIFE:  a fulfilling job; a car; my own place; providing for my children; traveling; paying my own bills….you know, adulting. If I decide I want to pick up a drink I always have that option tomorrow.  But today I won’t.

ashamed

This is my truth.  I am not ashamed or afraid to share it.  It’s certainly not easy to put it out there in such a public way but it is necessary.  If even one person sees this and feels less alone, reaches out to someone, or seeks help then it was all worth it.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Stars

stars

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Life

So what’s been happening in the many months since I blogged regularly?  Allow me to present a summary in photos….

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One of my dearest friends, Shay, treated me to an unforgettable vacation.  We went to Orange Beach, Alabama, where we stayed in a spectacular hotel [with an equally spectacular breakfast buffet!] that made us reluctant to even leave our room.  Most notable about the trip was the fact that neither one of us consumed alcohol.  What a blessing to be completely sober for this period of relaxation and reflection.  I am eternally grateful that I was able to enjoy myself clear headed.  No blur of a boozy haze or drunken antics for these two.  Considering how expensive it was to eat down there– I can’t even imagine the astronomical figures we’d be looking at if our tab included adult beverages.  Us bobbing around in the ocean waves will forever be my ‘happy place.’

love

I fell madly, passionately, deeply in love with Reno.  My 14.  We only spent a few months together but they were some of the best of my life.  I half-jokingly referred to him as my Florence Nightingale because he saved me from a ship that was sinking fast.  He treated me like a Queen and told me– more importantly, showed me– that I deserved the best.  Never again will I settle for less.  Thank you for everything, my sweet love.  You taught me how to be a Viking.

rip

My beloved Reno now walks the halls of Valhalla.  Mostly I linger in the ‘denial’ phase.  It just doesn’t seem real.  Or perhaps more accurately I shove it out of my mind as much as possible because it’s too damn painful.  I miss him every second of every day.  We had so many plans…with him went a piece of my heart that will never be replaced.  One day I will write about him, about this tragic loss, but right now I just can’t.  I love you, Reno.  No more pain.

freya

Freya settled comfortably into her Germantown home.  Who would have thought that the tiny, malnourished, flea ridden pup that Reno and I rescued would have turned into such a loving, rambunctious, and spunky young dog?  I exaggerate not when I assert that this is my canine soulmate.  #freyathebrave

sherry

A brief stint in Nutbush at the glorious Pike’s Peak town homes introduced me to two women I will never forget.  Lynda, I love everything about you!  And my sweet Sherry, rest in peace.  You were truly an angel on this earth.  Even though I only knew you for a brief time you impacted my life tremendously.  There wasn’t a mean bone in your body and your sweet spirit and kind heart will live on in all who knew you.  Thank you for opening your home to me, being my friend, and encouraging me to follow my dreams.  It is comforting to look down and see the necklace you gave me.

july

The kids were remarkably good sports despite getting rained out of fireworks on the Fourth.  I also turned 32.  That was our July in a nutshell.

will

Come August, Hubble returned from a multiyear stint at summer camp.  To say I am proud of him is the understatement of the century.  He is working, clean & sober, and staying in contact daily with his offspring.  It’s been quite the journey but I can honestly say I love and respect him– and he is not only my co-parent but one of my best friends.  Keep up the outstanding work, Will!  Your family supports you 110%.

adam

Adam‘s first day of third grade at Riverdale Elementary.

tatum

Tatum’s first day of kindergarten at Tara Oaks Elementary.

allen

My rock.  I thought I would never find happiness again.  You found me at my weakest and nursed me back to strength.  Allen, you mean the world to me.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your compassion and understanding.  It is no exaggeration when I say you brought me back to life.

joey

My ex, Joey, almost died after getting shot in Nutbush.  We were on horrible terms but all was forgiven after I learned just how close he was to losing his life….it’s been a tumultuous ride.  But I would never wish death on anyone.  I hope with every ounce of my being he recovers and becomes the man I know he is capable of being.

ghnh

GH Mafia!  When the going gets tough, I turn to the toughest women I know.  I love you all.  Birdie and Brittany, thank you for dining with me.  I look forward to our monthly excursion.

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Brittany created a miracle!  Little miss Sophia.  ❤

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Holly also created a miracle!  Little miss Hadley.  ❤

danielle

Danielle and Nathan got married after many years [and three beautiful children] together.  Much love to the happy couple.  I cannot wait to visit soon.

life

Overall…life is good.  I am blessed.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Tiny hands

donald-trump-graydon-carter

It’s abundantly clear that many mops are required to mop my bleeding, liberal heart off the floor.  Regardless of where one falls on the left/right political spectrum– I think we can unanimously agree the current Commander in Chief should probably ease up on those Twitter thumbs.  Let him grab somebody else by the P….I seriously feel as though I am stumbling through the Twilight Zone.  Perchance this is Apocalypse Now.

“Trump, the man, is now is up there with Hercules and Sisyphus with his own branded adjective.  I’m not completely sure what it stands for.  But when it finally settles into the lexicon, I’m certain that it will be a disconcerting combination of petulant, preening, ignorant, shameless, vulgar, paranoid, vainglorious, reckless, imperious, impulsive, unhinged, callous, corrosive, narcissistic, intemperate, juvenile, disloyal, venal, chaotic, squalid– what have I forgotten?  Oh yes– and just mind-numbingly, epically incompetent.” ~ Graydon Carter

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Five years of Taterbug

*Tatum Maris Reed*

21 February 2012 @ 12:46pm CST • 7lbs4oz & 19.7 inches

Born at the Regional Medical Center of Memphis

Looking back at the announcement of her birth feels like a million years have passed.  Only half a decade?  Surely every parent can attest to the fact that time flies when it comes to your children.  A blink of an eye brings a seemingly endless supply of memories, yet it still seems like only yesterday.  So much between now and then….

tater

Five years with my favorite daughter

Tatum, you have been a beacon of light since you were in my womb.  Your growth these past few years astounds me.  Other than your giant blue eyes [with flecks of gold in your right iris] you don’t even look like the tiny baby I cradled in my arms at the hospital.  Watching you develop into an intelligent, confident, sassy,charismatic, loving, opinionated, silly, funny, sweet little girl.  You are everyone’s Princess!  I love you with every ounce of my being.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Don’t eat all my candy

Other than stocking up on sugary swag for my kiddos and no time to enjoy a delicious meal cooked and served by somebody else because you are a T4T Team Captain food specials at local eateries, Valentine’s Day was just another day.  Even though it’s nothing special to me I could not help but contemplate the 14th of February a few days after the fact.  I promise to steer clear of sappy and bypass bitter.

vd2

When asked to select his mom or dad Adam chose…his sister!

“Dear Tatum, I have many reasons why I love you.  I’m just going to give you three.  You’re so cute.  You make me feel happy.  You’re smart and it makes me feel good that you’re smart.  You’re loving and it makes me feel very loved.  Love, Adam.  P.S.  Don’t eat all my candy.”

Adam made this for Tatum at school.  Talk about making a mama’s heart melt.  I absolutely adore the fact he selected his little sister as the recipient of the sole Valentine each student made for the craft.  What a fantastic big brother!  He never ceases to amaze me.  Whenever she’s not around he’s always asking about her– if the two of us are out and about he’s constantly picking out things she would like.  I could not ask for a better sibling connection.  During a time where Adam’s overall behavior has been…less than ideal…it reassures me to see that he treats his role as a big brother with the utmost reverence.

vdUntil recently my relationship status on Facebook fluctuated weekly.  Nothing actually changed outside of social media; however, I explored various types of taken, borrowed a boyfriend [thanks Jeff!], and was even single for a brief stint.  Now I’ve settled into the ambiguous “It’s complicated” — with no name attached.  Trust me when I say this is not an attempt to be evasive or dramatic.  My love life contains a myriad of complexities but it’s not complicated.  Blasting my personal business on front street no longer serves me well.

Is there a #1 in my heart?  Without a shadow of a doubt.  I am involved with a special someone.  We are ever evolving but our dedication remains constant.  That means I have no desire for dating, fornicating, or boyfriend-ing anyone else.  It’s no secret to those who know us…yet our mutual agreement involves flying under the radar until a more appropriate time.

vd1

“Love is friendship that has caught fire.  It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.  It is loyalty through good and bad times.  It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” ~ Ann Landers

💝

love

The collage above pays homage to the Other that is Signifcant.  He thoroughly enjoys perusing this blog when he gets the chance.  Not only does he mention it to everyone we meet but he boasts that it got me on TV.  As if my ego needed any more expansion. 😉

I am grateful for what we share.  It takes a special kind of man to want what’s best for the woman he loves.  Even if it means loving from a distance.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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