**BRAND NEW ME**

You know how on New Year’s day you see people posting “NEW YEAR NEW ME”. But within the first couple months of the New Year they go back to the same old routine and their “New Me” disappeared. Well that is me I am “people”. Just like everyone else in the world we set out to improve ourselves and we do good for a little bit but eventually you get comfortable again and just give up. That’s recovery. Finding your “new me” living sober.

It’s so hard trying to find yourself no matter what the age you are at, but trying to find who you are sober is extremely difficult. For the longest time I have always put everyone else’s feelings before mine and the only thing that made me feel like me was vodka. I’m gonna call her “Jackie” because my vodka of choice was Jacquin’s. For years Jackie was my best friend when I felt like no one else was there, she made me happy and helped mask the pain I had within myself. So when I finally cut Jackie off I had to find a new way of making myself happy. I had no clue how to do that. I was going to AA meetings and going to my group counseling and everything was going good until it felt like some of the people closest to me wanted to control my recovery. And you would think that would make me want to just say f**k it and start drinking again. But it didn’t. Because deep down I would be more disappointed in myself if I did that. But the resentment was there ( and honestly still have some resentment I am trying to get through). Going through the motions of learning how to live life sober I felt like a toy soldier and just had to “fall in line” because that’s what I felt like I had to do in order to stay sober and make sure everyone else was happy. At that point being sober seemed more like a chore than anything else because I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was just falling in line of everyone else’s expectations. And I knew something had to change big time.

These last 4 and a half years of my recovery has taught me so many things. And this past year dealing with life as a recovering alcoholic, living in this jacked up world of the covid pandemic and my mom’s cancer treatment. I know that I don’t want to just settle and keeping falling in line. I want more things out of life. I want to go back to school to get into addiction counseling and I want to just be happy for my family. But more importantly I want to be happy for my damn self. The mom in me feels guilty for trying to find my own self love because my kids come first. But if I can’t find my own self love how can I show my kids that no matter what always love yourself and be true to yourself. I have not been true to my self at all. Mainly because I’m afraid of other peoples reactions or feeling guilty trying to love myself. As a mom it feels like its a crime to want time to yourself or be in anything else other than mom / wife mode. When it is ok for me to love myself without feeling like I’m not a good person because other peoples feelings won’t be forefront of my life? When is it ok for me to become the Antoinette that I am striving to be without worrying about everyone else’s feelings? When is it ok for me to love me first?

Now…. Now is my time. I can no longer fall in line to everyone else’s reality of my own life. I may lose people who I love by trying to become my true self but you can only take so much before things explode. The old saying goes “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” Its time for me to find my “brand new me” once and for all no matter the outcome. This recovery and healing journey has made me stronger. In my heart I know I am strong, but my own actions have not been reflecting what I feel in my heart. Welp… Its time for a change.

Watch my glow up 😉

**MUCH LOVE**

“It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised if I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you’re wrong
If I walk a little taller
I’d be known to you too long
If you noticed that I’m different
Don’t take it personally
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
And it ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of free”

*Brand New me
– Alicia Keys

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