In this episode of the smiling again, podcast I’m very fortunate to speak with, Alissa who is living in the US on the Jersey shore, the idyllic Jersey shore that we’ve all seen on TV.
Alissa is a mom of two boys aged four and nine. She had a younger sibling who battled with addiction and unfortunately lost his life to it last year. And her husband of 10 years is an alcoholic. They are no longer married. He’s sober today. And she is thankful for that.
Alissa shares her story of her transformation journey,
the decision to work on herself everyday to build a happier life.
She talks about how every day, she wakes up and makes a choice,
to still do the work,
and to still keep going.
Alissa shares how she started with small steps and just one thing – going to the gym.
Here’s a glance at this episode…
[3:00] And we know we can’t control anyone else. I think that’s a lesson that both of my young young children have already grasped, you know, who can we control? Ourselves. And they know that already. And to take that with you from such a young age, I think is just going to help their lives and help them do so much better.
[04:55] I will say my transformation, I like to call it began in 2018. It’s when I had decided that I had to figure out a way to get out of the situation, to get my children into a healthier home environment, to get myself into a healthier place. So I will say 2018, at some point I decided I have to do something. I didn’t know what it is, but I have to start. I wake up and I make a choice to still do the work and, and still, still keep going.
[06:34] I started out really small. What I think is really small. Some others maybe thought it was bigger. I started with the gym, take 45 minutes for myself. I’m work on my health because I had young children and I want it to be healthy and I want it to be able to keep up with them. And that was my first thing that I decided to do. And what ended up happening was so beautiful. It was 45 minutes a day and I went five days a week. And in those 45 minutes, I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t thinking about my life. I wasn’t worrying about what the next catastrophe was going to be or what tomorrow was going to look like. So I ended up having 45 minutes a day free from my own life.
[07:36] I decided to build on those and paddle boarding, which I got some more free time and then yoga, which helped. And I had gotten more free time. And once you feel the break from your life, it’s, it’s almost, you almost accidentally inspire yourself to keep going for more breaks.So you can get out of your own world. And, and the more you do that, the more time you spend doing that, the more positive you end up being, and then you make time for more of those moments. So I think it was probably the better part of two years. I finally would wake up every day and, and most of my day was positive and, and that was amazing.
[9:37] It was hard. When I committed to that, I didn’t have much time as I know a lot of moms don’t. So my exercise time was five o’clock in the morning. So I would get up at four 30, get myself out the door and get to my class by five, be home by six, take a shower school, up to the babysitter and then go to work. And then in bed by about eight cause I was tired. So that was often really hard to get up. And, and remember that commitment that I had made to myself at four 30 in the morning, it’s easy to roll over. It’s easy to go back to sleep and say, I’ll do it tomorrow. So those were definitely the hardest, hardest moments. But once I got about a week through, again, just knowing how positive I felt for those 45 minutes, what it helped me get up and it helped me stay motivated to, to go and do that.
It continues to take effort and you need to continue to work at it.
[11:02] So Alissa, tell me, what do you do when it’s tough? Because I’m sure you must have some mornings where it’s hard to get out of bed at four 30 in the morning or whatever time it is.
[11:27] It’s definitely something I think I’ve learned from my children when they’re hurt or they’re sad or they’re having a problem. We, I allow them to cry about it and, and get those feelings out and then we talk about it and then we move on. So it’s okay to take that break and feel what you’re feeling. So I would set a timer for an hour and okay, let’s say you have this hour, go lay in your bed, be cry. Yeah. Be angry that this is your life. And then when that hour’s up, you’re done and, and move along and do something productive and they do.
You have to allow yourself the time to feel that it’s hard.
Every day you just have to remember why you chose to do what you did.
[15:17] And, sometimes that’s difficult because you have to reflect on, on some of the bad things that happened in the past to remind yourself of why you chose this, why you wanted to keep going yesterday and, and why you need to keep going yesterday, because we can all make a promise that we’re going to change and we’re going to make it different.
[21:07] And when I have those really, really hard moments, I repeat that to myself. And sometimes I cry as I say it, because it’s a beautiful reminder that life may always be hard, but you can still decide to be happy. And that helps me kind of adjust myself or my crown, put it back up and keep walking with my head held high.
You can’t wait for life to stop being hard, to decide, to be happy.
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Blossome is a supportive community for those who have endured losing a loved on to addiction. Find a pathway to peace, let go of guilt, shame and live with self-compassion and joy. Join the Blossome community where you’ll find others who are on a healing journey, supporting each other after losing a loved on to addiction.
Kim Moore is the Founder of Blossome CIC. She lost her husband Chris to alcoholism in 2017. She faced a difficult journey while raising 2 children alone, with her family living on the opposite side of the world. Kim founded the Blossome Community and The Pathway to Peace healing journey so no one would have to feel alone while enduring the trauma of a loved one’s battle with alcoholism or addiction. She is also on a mission to end the generational cycle of alcoholism and addiction in families.