Numbness

There are some days when you can feel your vibration so strongly you think others may actually be able to see it. Like an emoji on your forehead. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ซ Working daily on your mindset and intention is HARD! Sometimes it’s physically difficult to keep it strong and positive. Some days the vibe just wants to shut down, be still, quiet, and empty. It’s comfortable here, in the dark place. It’s familiar and smells like home ๐Ÿ–ค We are told that we create our best life with our highest vibrations. Persistence, perseverance, and passion! Work hard everyday on your positive mindset, your self love, recite affirmations, and set goals. But some days I just want to BE. I don’t want to work at it… I just want to see what momentum I can use to get through the day. And I feel guilty. Why? Because I’ve come so far! I know what I’m capable of and I know what I deserve. I’ve set some pretty lofty goals and I KNOW that hustlers don’t take days off… I know that the BEST way to reach my goals is to work hard everyday! So, on days like this, when my mood is gray, reclusive, and quiet…. do I listen to my inner Lady Boss that’s yelling “Lets go girl! Your not gonna inspire millions with THAT attitude! Get busy!” Or my intuition screaming STOP for one damned day and relax. Unwind. Chill. You earned it. But did I?

I think there’s a happy medium. On days like that I shift my focus towards some personal development and I try to learn why I’m feeling the way I am. Self reflection, journaling, or meditation. Fighting the urge to spend the day binge watching Netflix…. I ask myself the questions I need the answers to and I sit quietly and allow my mind to find the answer. Why am I not fired up about my business today? Am I frustrated with my results? Am I satisfied with my efforts? Am I REALLY doing all the things I should be? Am I wasting time and energy on something or someone that’s not serving me? Is it something outside of my control that’s causing me to feel this way? Am I allowing things beyond my control to effect my mindset? Whenever I find myself saying “He/she made me feel…” a certain way, I remind myself that I control my feelings and only I can allow someone to MAKE me feel a certain way. And some days your brain just needs stimulation in a new way! It gets bored with routine, so switch it up! Do something ELSE that’s good for your mind, body, or soul.

I recently started yoga ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ I am in LOVE. I have always had a tough time turning my brain off, just pushing out thoughts, stillness is very unfamiliar in my head. But when I do yoga NOTHING gets in. I’m loving the way my body feels, and the quiet time for my soul.

Numbness is a vibration. Just think of the way your lips press together and vibrate when you say it. Nummmmmmmb. It has a pulse. A rhythm. Listen to it. Feel it. Understand it. And then counterbalance it. You can’t have rainbows with out the rain, just like you can’t feel ALIVE without feeling numb.

A letter to Me, from Me ๐Ÿ’Œ

Hey girl heyyyy! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผlove-letter1

 

Listen! I know you feel stuck in some shit right now. Like your way over your head and too tired to keep swimming. I’m dropping you this quick note, cuz I’ve got a different perspective! Everything you wish wasn’t happening, everything you wish didn’t happen, and everything you wish won’t happen…..it has to happen. It’s what will give you the strength and the FIRE to get here. It’s the fuel that will push you to breakthrough the walls that we built to protect you, because growth is necessary. You’ve gotta go thru it, to get here. The place that your scars will save someone else’s life. You’ll find the passion to risk everything for what you truly believe in. You’ll discover the true purpose of your journey and once you’ve found that road, you’ll have the courage to keep traveling down it with a fierce curiosity for what the world has in store. So don’t wish it away. Don’t curse your higher power for NOT answering your prayer. There’s a reason for all of it, it’s all part of the plan. Just keep believing in yourself, and practice self care. Protect your heart and your mind. Keep reminding yourself that your ok. You’ve got this. For some reason you’ve been given this life, you’ve been blessed in countless ways. Bless others often and be grateful.

Future Crystal ๐Ÿ’•

Whatโ€™s Your Plan?!

I’ve spent most of the last 37 years wandering aimlessly through life, waiting for IT to happen to me. Feeling like a bystander. What’s the universe gonna send my way today? I think most of us do this! Mostly because it’s what we were taught… You learn from your environment, what you have seen others in your life do. Grow up, stay out of trouble, don’t do drugs, don’t get pregnant, graduate high school, go to college, find a partner, get married, buy a home, have babies, live happily ever after! The End!

Wait…?? That’s it?? What about “Finding Your Purpose” and “Giving Back” and “Finding Financial Freedom”??? ::flipping through my guide:: I don’t see that.

Here’s the thing, think of a massive ant hill. Every ant man and ant woman working together to build a peaceful, organized, healthy community. Stay in line, do your job, and get home alive! That rogue ant crawling along the side of the road….where’s she going? What is she crazy? What if she gets stepped on? What if she gets captured and tortured by children!? What if she gets lost and stumbles into a spiders web? These are all VERY real possibilities. I’m quite sure the fear of these unknown variables out there in the world are the reason why MOST of the ants stay in line and do their assigned job. It’s the same reason why human beings don’t step out of line and find their happiness. Getting uncomfortable, taking a chance, leaving the familiar to explore the unknown, is the ONLY way to actually be successful at this thing called life.

I’m the rouge ant. After 37 years of staying in line, and realizing that I wanted more, I deserved more, and I could achieve more, I’ve stepped out of line and i’m journeying off to see what I can do. Society is shouting “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? ARE YOU CRAZY? YOUR RISKING YOUR SAFETY!” And to that I say “You are not safe either my friend” If you think that your compliance will be rewarded with a promise of protection you are mistaken. Someone could come along and squash you at any second, even if you stay in line. Someone could come along and dig up everything you worked your whole life building in a moment and you’ll find yourself with nothing. We are ALL at risk.

Decide what you want. What makes you happy and what your passionate about. What legacy do you want to leave? What do you want “the dash” between your birth date and death date on your tombstone to REPRESENT? Get really specific… what would it feel like to have these things? Use all of your senses to envision it as vividly as possible. Harness that feeling…. Then make a plan to do that. Be that. Accomplish that. Stop at nothing until you’ve achieved it. Learn what works and what doesn’t work. Learn from every single thing that you experience in this life. Grow, teach, give back, and be grateful. Every time you feel like quitting, remember how amazing it’s going to feel when you succeed . Don’t wait till the time is right, it’s right RIGHT now! Don’t wait till you pay off the credit cards, mortgage, school loans, or other debits. Don’t wait till you make X amount of money, or reach a certain age. Do it NOW! Everything else will fall into place. It HAS to. That’s just the way it is. As sure as the world will turn, the sun will rise and set, and tomorrow will come… all the details will work themselves out. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, it what you do with it that counts.

Make today count!

๐Ÿ’•

Love Yourself ๐Ÿ’—

The way you treat yourself teaches others how to treat you. YOU are amazing! Treat yourself with respect, and love. There’s nothing wrong with being in love with the person you are! If fact, it’s imperative. Look at you! You have overcome challenges and lived through some shit! So, do you love the person you are? Do you love the person you are becoming? The choices you make daily? The way you honor your life and commitments? I do ๐Ÿ˜‰

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There’s been lots of times in my life that I was NOT in love with me. Mostly when I made alcohol a priority over everything else. When I allowed my addiction to takeover my mindset and cause me to make bad choices, I did not like the person I was or the choices I made. So why did I let it go on for so long? Because I didn’t think I was strong enough to change it. I told myself I “liked” me and the life I lived. And you will believe ANYTHING you tell yourself enough…let that sink in for a minute.

But when I was at my heaviest weight (185lbs standing only 5’2″) I loved the person that I was! I knew I wasn’t as skinny as other girls, but I never compared myself to others in that aspect. I was not taught to be happy by the size of my clothes, I was raised to be happy with the person I was. I always had a boyfriend and I was blessed to never be the victim of body shaming bully’s like kids are these days so my self esteem was pretty high!  I was a good person, I volunteered and helped people whenever I could. I liked me, and other people did too. So why did I allow thoughts of self doubt creep in and change my mindset?

I had just been through an emotionally difficult time in my life. I remember waking up at 4 am and running to the bathroom to throw up violently the morning I was supposed to testify in front of a grand jury. Telling your deepest darkest secret to a panel of 23 complete strangers, as the person who abused you for six years stares you down on the stand is enough to shatter your self confidence and inner girl boss! I’ll never forget driving to court that day, one of those pink plastic buckets you get from the hospital in my lap because the dry heaves just kept coming. We met with our lawyer and the advocate from RI Rape Crisis Center in the court house lobby and I was immediately running to the restroom again. I couldn’t face him, I probably would have thrown up all over the stand. He got lucky that day and took a plea bargain because I wasn’t strong enough anymore. We had been through so much at this point and I was literally falling apart. He was sentenced to 5 years. I suffered from his abuse for 6 years, and the torment of the memories for the rest of my life, and he got 5 years.

I didn’t love myself then. I beat myself up pretty bad. But I made a choice to get stronger and I was determined to make sure he served every day of those 5 years. When he came up for parole a few years later, I marched into that room and told the parole board why he didn’t deserve to live a free man a single second more than what his very lenient sentence would allow. I was strong and confidant and not afraid! I’m proud to say he served all 5 years. If it takes round 2, or 3, or 10…. you always have the chance to get back up and FIGHT for yourself. It’s not over till YOU say it’s over.

It was shortly after this that I began working on the boat. I felt strong, independent and confident. I immediately made some lifelong friendships and even dabbled in a little boat love. I was on cruise control! But confidence is like lipstick, you have to apply it multiple times a day! I had never been away from home, my mom, my friends and family. I had never left the country before! I was soaking it all in like a sponge.

Living in very close quarters with several other women caused some seriously crazy body dysmorphia, and it was completely subconscious for me!!! What I mean by that is, when I was 185 lbs, I looked in the mirror and saw a cute, curvy, petite chick with great hair and a nice rack! (God blessed this girl!) But when I was 105 lbs just 6 short months later, I saw the same girl! I did not see the too thin, bobble headed looking chick everyone else saw. (my head is huge…) I remember going shopping in St. Thomas at the Tommy Hilfiger Outlet and finding these adorable yellow shorts! I knew I had “lost a few” because my uniform was fitting a little looser. I normally wore a size 14, so I grabbed a 10. Too big. 8? 6? I ended up buying a 2. What the hell?? How did I look in the mirror and still see the same body?? That still blows my mind to this day. It’s just another example of how much control we have over our minds and what we believe! I told my self I loved ME at 185lbs and when I looked at me I saw something I was happy with. 6 months of popping diet pills, daily excessive exercising and anorexia/bulimia tendencies (why did I eat all that pizza ๐Ÿคฎ) and drastic weight loss did NOT change the person I saw or the way I felt about me…. That’s awesome! Why? Because it proves that no matter what your pants size or the number on the scale YOU can see beauty and love yourself.

When my mom came to pick me up at the airport after 6 months in South America I was blonde, tan, and 80 lbs lighter than when she last saw me. At first she looked right past me, and then she cried. After that I jumped RIGHT into a relationship with Mr. Toxic and BOOM! Cue the downward spiral! It took that 6 years of feeling like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, or thin enough to say ENOUGH! It took a good slap upside the head from a girlfriend to call off the wedding and move on! Slowly I began to love myself again.

Today I can honestly say that I love me. I’m not perfect. I have flaws. We all do… but I’m a good person. I like helping people, I’m kind and I try to spread love and joy wherever I go. I work on myself everyday because I’M worth it! I’m worthy of being loved and I’m so grateful that I’ve taken all the seasons of my past to learn how to love me.

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel anything but amazing. If they do, they do not deserve to be in your life. Sometimes that’s one of the hardest decisions to make, removing someone like that from your circle, because so often our biggest naysayers are the people closest to us. You MUST surround yourself with people that inspire you and uplift you. If someone’s telling you that your goals, hopes and dreams are silly or unobtainable sooner or later you’ll believe them. But if you only make time for motivational encouragement from yourself and others then before you know it… BOOM! You are your biggest fan!

My Sober Story

When I tell people that I have decided to live a sober life, I get a number of reactions…

Wow! Why?- Seems to be the most popular. My “go-to” answer is “I’ve come to realize that I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and it is keeping me from living my BEST life!” Sounds kinda clinical. Also doesn’t even BEGIN to address all the really good reasons why I have decided to live sober. Here we go….

I grew up with an alcoholic/addict father. My mom left him when I was very young because it was clear pretty early on that his addictions were creating a toxic environment for both of us. You gotta give props to Mama! She was a teenage mother who didn’t have much on her own, but she had the strength to walk away when she knew she had to. Taking me and what little we owned out into a wintery night on a sled and trudging through the snowy streets to my grandmas. That couldn’t have been easy…. but usually the RIGHT choice isn’t.

I learned this years later when I walked out of a toxic relationship. When you KNOW it’s what you have to do, you just do it! Because if your not strong enough to stand up for yourself (and your dreams) then who will be?

In the years that followed, my dad continued his struggles with his demons and we had a handful of men that came into our life. The 1st one ended up being Mr. Right but we had to throw him back to grow a little ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ll get to that later. Husband #2 was also an alcoholic but worse than that…he was abusive. For 6 years he mentally and physically abused my mother and sexually abused me. I’ll never forget the day my mother came to me in the kitchen of our 2nd floor tenement apartment and told me we were leaving him. Every detail…from the lace curtain gently waving in the breeze that came through the window that early summer evening, to the way my mother looked so defeated. Like she had failed us.

For five years I buried that season of my life. It was over! No need to talk about it, no need to tell anyone, right? Just tuck that shit away behind the memory of almost drowning in Auntie Mary’s pool one summer and my fear of elevators. Packed away in a nice little box sealed up tight with duct tape. Well, the adolescent years are not a good time to repress memories of sexual abuse. As I began dating I used alcohol as a distraction from being intimate with my boyfriends. I’d go out and party with the “bad kids” instead of facing the feelings that were rearing their ugly head. At 15 I was an accomplice to breaking and entering, and grand theft auto most weekends. Started stealing… like A LOT! Got caught once and NEVER did it again! Nothings scarier than the thought of going to juvy for swiping a bottle of Drakkar Noir from a drug store. And all of these situations I found myself in had one thing in common, alcohol. When I think back I wonder how I didn’t end up arrested, pregnant, or worse.

Fast forward a few years…Met a nice guy who was patient and caring enough to ask WHY I didn’t want to do the sex stuff, and so I told him. Poor guy probably didn’t even see it coming! He told his mom, who told my mom, and that’s when life got really fun….time to rip off the duct tape and unpack that box!

The years that followed that were rough. Mom and I went through hell and back together. Dealing with all the feels, and guilt, and shame.. like Lady Bosses, if I do say so myself! During this time my dad got so many DUI’s he lost his license. Once I got my drivers license and a car I used to pick him up before school in the morning to drive him to get his methadone dose… there were times I couldn’t wake him because he was passed out surrounded by empty beer cans. I made a difficult decision at this point in my life. I wrote my dad a letter giving him the ultimatum, ME or your addiction. I didn’t hear from him for many years. That’s a crushing blow to a young girl who has yet to find a man in this world that hasn’t disappointed her. We never told dad about what happened to me, I have no doubt he would have murdered the prick and gladly done the time. I couldn’t do that to him. Therapy was so amazing and helpful during this time of my life! I was blessed to find an amazing woman who helped me heal and move forward. When I came out on the other side of this hell I really needed to escape reality.

At 19 I started working on Mega Yacht Cruise Liners and spent a lot of time in countries with no drinking age, with college age party peeps! Boat life was incredible! Booze was abundant! I dabbled in eating disorders and lost 85 lbs, came home after a year and jumped into that toxic relationship I was telling you about earlier. This chick was a HOT MESS! Somehow I always managed to make it seem like I had my shit together though.

So have I touched all the bags here? All emotional baggage on board…? Almost…

The morning of December 16, 2001 was a cold slushy New England winter day. I was working as a Dental Assistant and I’ll never forget the way my stomach dropped when the receptionist came into the operatory during a procedure to tell me my Aunt was on the phone. Dad was dead. 46 years old. Never remarried, never even dated another woman. Spent 90% of his time on earth battling his demons and he lost. I felt so guilty for walking away from him, could I have helped? Would he have eventually gotten sober if I remained a part of his life? I’ll never know, but I did learn that you can’t change people. They have to want to change themselves.

Alcohol quickly became my accessory of choice! I started drinking at 15. By 21 I was a pro! I could drink more than most men twice my size. When your 5’2″ and weigh 105 lbs that’s not good! But the thing is, when you don’t drink everyday, and you don’t carry a flask in your purse, you don’t think you have a problem. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re “good” and you don’t need to change. I sometimes wonder if that’s the story my father told himself.

When you work in the bar scene and you surround yourself with people who drink as much or more than you, it’s easy to hide the fact that you have a problem. Everyone else is ordering another one! She’s drunk, and look how much fun she’s having. No one sees the problem with your drinking when they don’t see you at your worst. The lucky winner of that prize was my partner. I met him one fateful day on a bus trip to New York City!

When I met Mr. Forever I was still hanging on to the toxic relationship I was in. I had already called off the wedding but I told myself I could fix it…again, you cannot change people! The only thing you have control of is yourself. That day on that bus opened my eyes to exactly what I wanted in a relationship. Even if it wasn’t with this man, I KNEW I would never get what I needed where I was…and I made a choice.

Like Mama with her sled, I made the difficult decision to leave that familiar place and forge out into the unknown…. because I knew that I had to if I wanted to be happy. I lived on a friends couch for a few weeks until I found a place I could afford on my own. That wasn’t easy since I had a mortgage and bills to pay and once I told him I was leaving, Mr. Toxic packed up everything we had accumulated in our 6 year relationship and left me holding the bag. He even took the iron, ironing board, dust pan and broom. Loser. I did the right thing, I signed everything that was rightfully his over to him (his business that he put in my name so he didn’t have to pay court ordered child support) and started over. It took years to climb out of that financial hole but it didn’t matter because I was happy. For the first time in my life I was dependent on myself! That’s an amazing feeling, and a little scary!

Fast forward to a couple years ago. That amazing man from the bus, who showed me what it meant to be cared for and taken care of emotionally, asked me to be his forever. The answer was so easy and he still takes my breath away every time he kisses me. I was given this gift and I couldn’t be more grateful. Being with someone who truly cares about you and your well being is a blessing. When they love you enough to point out your faults, it helps you see the truth instead of believing the lies you tell yourself. When Mr. Forever expressed his concern with my drinking I immediately put on the armor. You don’t know what I’ve been through!

Excuse.

I don’t HAVE to drink to have fun, I WANT to.

Excuse.

I don’t drink all week, just on the weekends!

Excuse.

I don’t have a problem, I could stop drinking if I wanted to, I just don’t want to!

Lie.

I have had so many conversations with myself about my addiction, but I always seemed to convince myself I was good! I even stated this blog once before, after staying sober for a few days, but it wasn’t the right time. When you wake up in the morning and the sense of dread consumes you because you can’t remember the end of the night before, but your pretty sure it was bad. When Mr. Forever rolls over with that look of disappointment and fear in his eyes and all you can think is “Oh God what did I do now??” I can’t even tell you how many times that happened, countless. Life had become all about the next drink. Weddings? Ohhh I hope it’s open bar, cuz then he won’t SEE how much I drank! Bridal/Baby shower? Mimosas and Blood Mary’s WHOOP WHOOP! What do you wanna do tonight? Let’s go grab a drink. (or as many as I can suck down before we leave). But i’m GOOD! I got this! Holding a job, great friends, trophy marriage, building a business and creating a life of freedom i’ve always wanted! I compared my drinking to others around me and in comparison to some of them, I was a saint! But you cannot compare your life to others in order to determine it’s value. The fact of the matter was, I KNEW I drank too much. I was afraid to admit it. I was afraid of the label, I was afraid I couldn’t control it, and I was afraid if I “quit” drinking I wasn’t strong enough to succeed in sobriety. So I kept telling myself I was fine.

A little over a year after beginning my journey in direct marketing, I attended a Leadership retreat. Two days in a room with uber successful leaders in the company giving you all their “golden nuggets” of advice on how to follow your dreams and live life on your own terms! One of the BIG things they touched on was journaling. I always had a really tough time with this. It felt silly. Like “Dear Diary” ya know? But for a moment I allowed myself to get real. “Make the decision to feel. What are you avoiding? What is holding you back? What is keeping you from becoming the best version of you?” this statuesque, blonde beauty asked as she fluttered around the room like a butterfly. She was a top earner in the company and probably one of the wealthiest people in Direct Marketing…period! I committed to going all in. I stared to journal, and it only took about half a page before it came flowing from my pen. “If I can’t control my demons…they need to go! Stop making other things a priority! I drink too much!”

WHOA! There is was…and in PEN!!! Now what? There’s no backspace button, it’s out there now! The journaling helped me be honest with my self instead of the self sabotaging I was doing in my head. The rest of the afternoon was incredible, and driving home that evening, alone on the freeway, I cried my eyes out. God winks ๐Ÿ˜‰ EVERYWHERE! I said THIS is it. The time is now. I will not allow alcohol to control me, my thoughts or my life. I will not allow it to hurt my relationship with my husband, my family or my friends. And I will not allow alcohol to stop me from becoming the best version of myself. I had to make a choice, a HARD one! The first step is admitting you have a problem, and that means out loud! It was tough…I actually couldn’t find the strength that evening to tell Mr. Forever that I decided to quit drinking because…

1. Once you tell someone else, you are held accountable if you fail! In the past when I only told myself that I had quit drinking, it was easy to tell myself that I had QUIT quitting drinking 3 days later. No one else knew!

2. He asked me to get it under control so many times before. Why wasn’t that a good enough reason for me? Was my marriage not worth that?

So I didn’t tell him that night. And when the morning came, and I was headed back to day 2 of the retreat, I almost considered writing him a note, because it was so incredibly scary to admit it. But I knew that meant it had to happen. “Sooooooo…I’ve decided to quit drinking” EXHALE! There in that moment, felt like the top a roller coaster, before you begin the plunge into twists and turns, the moment when your suspended just over the arch of the drop… dangling. Here we go!

Today marks 45 days sober for me. I certainly am not an expert, but i’m kinda killin it… if I do say so myself. And like everything else in life, I try to learn and grow from the experience. This journey (so far) has showed me how strong I really am. How much helping others really completes my soul, and how incredibly blessed I am to have ended up here. In South Florida for the winters, working from home and spending every second of my time the way I choose. And now, telling my story so that it may help you KILL it on your journey. This life we are given is precious. How you choose to spend it is entirely up to you! The struggles along the way are NECESSARY!

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The Journey Begins

long_journey_jennawagnerHi! Thanks for stopping by. This is Crystal Sirois! Wife, daughter, friend, Nouna, Stepmama, Thriver, sober sister, leader, and giver! I’ve been so many places and worn plenty of hats. This one (Blogger) is brand new! Like it?!

I recently became sober (38 days ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ) and discovered my life’s purpose. I started living life by MY rules and MY design, and I want to help you do the same. Now I know what your thinking….”Heard it all before!” Right?! Maybe you have….maybe you’ve heard it millions of times, maybe you’ve never heard it like this, and maybe you HAVE but here you are, hearing it again. Don’t ya think that means something? I do.

Something brought you to this place, this moment in time, this particular blog. Your decisions! Your actions! So relax, trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. There must be something here for you… or else you wouldn’t be here.

I have a story. It’s mine, there’s ugly stuff and pretty stuff, but you can’t have rainbows without a little rain am I right? I wouldn’t change ANYTHING because I love me. I love who I am, who I am becoming and who I am GOING to be. All of that is because of this stuff…good and bad. So I’ll take it! I want to tell my story because I know that it can help others, and the most rewarding experience I’ve ever know in my 37 years is helping other human beings.

So, how do you start? Most people like chronological organization, like my husband! But me? I am all over the place! Try to keep up!! We may visit events in my life from 30 years ago, and then immediately jump to something that happened just days ago! Everything comes full circle, and sometimes you have to go way back for just a minute to realize that where you are right now is a ripple effect of something else.

The first thing I want to share with you is my sober story. It feels like the “hub” of everything… like Grand Central on a Friday at 4pm! There’s chaos along side a systematically designed transportation system. That’s my sober story…. Grand Central Station.