This!

This!
We talk about ethics, morals, our faith…. we debate, critique, judge or worse…. stand by and do nothing at all!

But what has God called you to do?… and more importantly, are you acting on it? Are you speaking up? When you hear misinformation? Or see someone treated wrongly? Do you stop and offer a helping hand when you can? Or do you…. pass them by?

What will your legacy be?
What seeds will you have sown at the end of your time on this journey in life?

Will anyone remember, how you treated them? And was it kind?….. with love? Was it free of judgement? Unconditionally and uplifting?….
As YOU would want or Hope for when you one day…. Find yourself down on the bottom in need?

Did you show empathy without judgement?

Did you….. Find your purpose in life? And better yet? Have you begun to fill that purpose?……

It’s not too late…. to help someone today, or change your path!

I personally do not believe, we were put on this earth to strive to make a trillion dollars…. I do, however believe we were put here to impact those around us!
To help those in need, within our means!

We are as a collective whole social beings, we need each other…
#ittakesavillage #communitycollaboration #togetherwearestronger (Not my photo credit unknown)

Perspective

#morningstorm #stormyweather #ourlynchburg #randomphotoshelpbreakuptheday #godscanvas #nobodypaintslikegod #phototherapy #jenzphelps #jenz #feedmysoul #shelter #prespective #countyourblessing #findingmybliss #foodforthought #emptyyourmind #healing #lettinggo
Perspective
I woke up to the sound of the storm…
My first thought was…
I hope my clients that are homeless have shelter… That statement right there, sorta puts all of life into perspective.
No matter, your pain, your hurt, your wounds… Do you have a warm bed?
Did you have a hot meal?
Warm bath this week?
Do you have a roof over your head?
A job to go to?
Then… life isnt quite as bad as it was 1 minute ago…
Right?!
You have tools….
To make things better….
Tools to help you heal you pain,
Get through your hurt…
And
Heal your wounds!
Perspective….
God has a way.. .
Of talking to us .
When we listen!
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Time will tell…

If you love someone…. set them free, they say!

If it is meant to be….

They will come back to you!

Question is….

Will you, still be, waiting?….

Or

Will you have, evolved….

Beyond them?

Will that window,

Simply have closed?

If so…. guess it was never,

Truly…. meant to BE!

#jenz #jenzphelps #momentslikethese #thestruggleisreal #love #emptyyourmind

CROSSROADS OF PAIN

CROSSROADS OF PAIN

I thought if I could love you enough in our 40s….
You would love me like you did when we were 16!
The love you showed me, when we were kids!
The friendship we had!
The bond, that carried us through childhood….
I pushed you away…. back then!
I didn’t know what to do with all that love you had to give!
I honestly…. didn’t really understand it!
I wasn’t even sure, I was worthy!
Your friendship…..
Carried me… out of some of my darkest places in life, over the years.
It was the light in your eyes,
The light in your smile,
The warmth from your hugs….
That I clung to!
I never had to say, too many words…
I could always rest assured….
Your eyes… were upon me!
There was such, comfort in that!

I never really felt the loss of you,
Over the years….
I carried you with me…
In my mind, heart, thoughts…
You were never too far away!
There was always, comfort in that.

I always felt I was in your heart!
I never questioned where I stood…
Because you made sure of that!
You always made me a priority….
At least… to my knowledge…
At least …. when I was around!
You made me feel…..
Valued! Unique! Like noone or nothing could ever replace; what we had!
It was ours… and ours alone!

When all the world was going bad!
I always… had that!
You!
My one great, memory!
My one great moment in life!

So why in our 40s….
Did we destroy… the one great thing we had?
The one perfect moment from life untouched from all the chaos life tends to add?
Why now in my 40s…
Am I finally ready to love you….
Yet you… run scared?

Why now in our 40s…
did you reach back out?
Why now in our 40s…
Do we find ourselves no longer able to communicate?
Why now in our 40s….
Does it all become so complicated?

Why now?
Can I no longer feel your presence with me?

Why now?
Do you no longer make time for me?

Why now?
Am I no longer special to you?

Do you have any idea how that kills my spirit?
Do you ?…
When all I can think of and do is put your needs first!

I will never understand the road maps God hands out!
I get he has picked out each individuals finall destination….
But….
Never in my wildest dreams,
Would I imagine the levels of anguish and pain, one would have to endure…
Just to walk there!

I am tired….
I am so tired of hurting!
I am exhausted to be honest!
It never seems to end.

I really don’t understand anymore,
No matter how many times, I read the map….
How many times, I look at the key…
How many times, I stay on the path!
Go off the path, stay true, follow my moral compass, do the right thing, time and time again…….

I find myself……
Right…. back….. here!
Standing
In
The
Crossroads
Of
Pain!

#jenz #jenzphelps #momentslikethese #lettinggo #artistherapeutic #love #hope #faith #lovehurtssometimes #findingmybliss #feedmysoul #findingmyself #thestruggleisreal #embraceyourself #emptyyourmind

Drowning Here

I am drowning…..

I am struggling to keep afloat.

You just hit me with a fatal blow!

Yes it is true…

I am human after all!

Hypocrisy, flaws, & all!

I am not perfect!

I never asked you to put me on the glass shelf!

I love how you flipped everything….

Back onto me!

Never once…

Did you…

Own your crap!

I at least was honest!

I could at least admit my flaws!

Own I was wrong!

Admit… I too am human!!!

You say, I have lost myself?

Perhaps that is true!

I lost it somewhere…..

Trying to help you!

I lost myself in completely loving you!

You are absolutely, correct about that!

I heard you…

Loud & clear!

I hear you even when you are silent as a mouse!

I know you….

All to well….

That is why,

It hurts so damn much!

I am drowning….

Over here….

You are just to removed to care!

You felt violated?

How do you think…..

I feel? Still?……..

You have a very narrow view of the world sometimes.

You say, pride is bad, but when I swallow my pride and tell you….

I am bleeding from my soul…..

You turn your back!

When I needed,

That conversation!

You just avoid, deny, deflect…..

I am trying to learn, understand, & heal!

I see everything we once were….

Being ripped to shreds…

Right before my eyes!

I can’t even stop it!

I hate it!!!

Because when all is said & done…..

There is only… one you!

Only… one us….

We have that history!

I hate seeing it…. end this way!!!

#phototherapy #jenzphelps #jenz #feedmysoul #surrender #love #emptyyourmind #hope #faith #friendship #lovehurts #randomphotoshelpbreakuptheday #healingwithin #drowning #emotionalism #emotions

Seasons of Change

We go through seasons….. in 2017… I was at the height of my weight! I had been in a high stress job for over 10 years, with a stressful work environment. I had been dealing with Summers medical problems, her brain surgeries, doctors appointments, started back college, doubled majored and the bottom left photo was taken my graduation from Liberty on 5-17-2017…. The right lower corner was in 2013. Haley sent me the lower left two photos today… showing me the difference!

I don’t know who that girl is from 2017!

I do however, know how I got here today! A friend, woke me up! He pulled me up from a fog I was living in…. So detached from everything, so focused on work, school…. I was keeping busy to avoid living!

It was my way of coping with the things going on with Summer that I wasn’t able to control!

God has a way of bringing people into our lives, to help us, teach us lessons… we might be focused… thinking WE are helping them!

When in fact….

God is using them… to do miracles; in our lives! I am grateful… for the lessons, life & God bring me…

Even when… often: I struggle to understand his timing of them.

#momentsintime #feedmysoul #truth #faith #love #emptyyourmind #findingmyjoy #selfcare #jenz #jenzphelps #findingmybliss #livingmybestlife #overlookingmyflaws #lettinggoofthepast #followingmymoralcompass #seekinglifeslessons #gratitude #friendship

I fell for every cliche you threw at me…

I fell for every cliche you threw at me… Like some lost love sick puppy!

You will never truly understand the anger I have at myself for that!

The anger that builds in me for you!

They say… you go through stages of grief …. mourning, if you will…

I guess the initial shock… has warn off!

I go from worry…. to anger, at the rate of a mock 2 jet engine taking off!

There’s a fire inside me….

Burning so hot!

It boils….

My veins feel, like molten lava are flowing inside them!

There is a constant movie reel now playing inside my head….

24-7….

Staring…. You!

And the fall out… of your mass self destruction!!!

You scream….

How, not one person cares!

How you feel so shattered inside …

Yet… truth is!

You are this deceptive lighthouse…

Drawing us all in…..

Its everyone around you…. that is broken and shattered…

As we draw in close to reach out… as you pull us in with your lies and deceptions ! Such a tangled web you weave….

How many prey…. Have you caught? In that web of yours?

I should have known better!

I was supposed to be smarter than this!

I knew of you charm… I knew!!!

I watched you… spin your web since we were kids! I knew all the tricks!

You went too far!

My emotions are like the angry sea…..

They just want to lash out at you right now! My spirit & soul just don’t have the heart or energy for it…. it just seems pointless ; to be honest.

Besides…..

What point would there be? The damage done…. has…. been done! You took the most valuable piece of me… My trust…. My Love, my heart! The very thing I have held onto…. You were freely given….. it cost me dearly…. And you…. just!…. discarded anything we built…. that Foundation of friendship… our bond, I thought was so soiled… so strong!

You disregarded it….. as if…. it were a hobby…. you simply got bored with! Tossed aside…. Until… you needed it again ….. Until…… I…. Found out… Until… my eyes were truly opened… to what… my instincts…. knew!

I was always…. living..

In a day dream….. when it came to you!a memory… of our past! That you… have now… trashed!

Beautifully Broken…

Today…. was a much needed, s#selfcare, family time and all around Good day!

I realized something today; for the first time in 3 years, you did not enter my thoughts! You did not consume my day, with worry and anguish. I was at peace!

I found joy again, for the first time in a very long time. I smiled, laughed, felt carefree, light hearted throughout an entire day! There were no tears, no heavy sighs, no holding my breath with worry. There was no, anxiety at all! I am starting to like the new version of life, without you!

It was never that… I needed you! It was that… I allowed myself to love you. Love you completely, unconditionally, and without reservations. I trusted you completely… Something I never allowed myself to do before.

Something…. I may, never do again!

Today I realized that, just maybe… we are ALL born, Beautifully Broken…

Perhaps the purpose of life; is as we find our way, we mend those cracks, heal those wounds, and maybe it’s the light inside us that shines through our Broken cracks and pieces, that allows others to find us, perhaps even helping us to heal… mending those cracks…

Those pieces that fall by the way side… maybe… just maybe! They are the missing pieces; that are meant to be found by others, we meet on our journey in life… perhaps!

The fallen pieces… are meant for them?… Maybe God designed it all that way!

Maybe… All the hurt, saddness, anger, pain, and suffering we feel inside; is meant to carve out pieces from ourselves, meant to fall off by the wayside, just waiting,…. Perhaps those pieces… now belong to someone else… Maybe…

Just May…. God; was carving out space… to fill you with something far more beautiful; than we ever imagined!

Perhaps by the end… When all is said and done, all the hurt, pain, suffering, was really just preparing us… For something … Something that will make us whole!

Perhaps…. we truly are… Beautifully Broken ; by Gods own design!

Today…. I left a few pieces…. of my hurt, suffering, & pain…. by the wayside!

I started walking again, on my path…. to becoming…. Whole!

#selfcare #emptyyourmind #findingmyjoy #findingmybliss #livingmybestlife #overlookingmyflaws #lettinggoofthepast #followingmymoralcompass #seekinglifeslessons #healing #lettinggo #healthycopingskills #love #hope #faith #friendship #momentsintime #momentslikethese #makingmemories #family #sisterhood #familytime❀️ #phototherapy #randomphotoshelpbreakuptheday #jenz #jenzphelps #feedmysoul #beautifullybroken

NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE HERE!

Never Thought I Would Be Here!

I never thought I would find myself here…. in this space in this place in life. NOBODY ever really plans on being here… finding themselves in love with an addict!

Truth is noone ever wakes up; with the life goal or dream of becoming a addict. A person of addiction; substance use disorder…. A disease that reaks havoc on not only the person; the family, loved one, the community, literally impacts everyone and everything around them! The ripple effect is neverending…

There comes a point when you find yourself in so deep; torn between loving them and trying to love yourself that you feel so isolated. You feel you have noone to turn to, to open up to, to talk to! Everyone has an opinion! Often filled with judgement and negative feedback of the addict. The term addict alone has a negative implication! It dehumanizes the person of addiction…. It’s how we use the word! Our friends words; OUR words, carry weight!

I have been to a few support groups; AlaNon, I have openly shared in a few. Some in my own family support group SFAMI sometimes… I found myself gaurded. Limiting myself to what I said, so careful to protect the person I love’s identity. Always so mindful of his family…. so concerned about their welfare… never thinking really about my own! My own mental health, that is… I was however; mindful of my own, position. As someone working in the field of addiction. How will this look? What will; clients think? Let’s be honest… those thoughts did and do run through my head…

But reality is… 1 in 5 are affected by mental illness or addiction! That is reality! There is NO social economic limitation on who or when or what age or race this falls to. So truth is; Why not me?… Right?

I reached out to many when I struggled carrying the burden alone. The words for help sometimes fell flat in my throat! It was too painful to speak of. I felt, if I talked… I myself… would break! (Starting to feel a little too familiar… I think I just went through the mother of all melt downs 17 years in the making… for kot speaking out! On my daughter Summer’s illness her brain surgeries)

I did over the last 3 years reach out to his family for help… 3 different times…

Truth is… THEY weren’t dealing with his behaviors; they had and have no clue! He hasn’t been in contact with them really and has done a good job avoiding them at all costs…. for several years now!

He is great a cloak and dagger! Masking his addiction when neccessary. He has learned over the years; his pride has taught him this!

I actually tried reaching out a few times to his family in several different ways over the last 3 years reaching out for help! All efforts failed!… I felt truth be told… defeated myself!

I don’t blame anyone… I do this for a living… And I myself am lost as how to reach him!

Waiting…. for someone; to be ready for treatment. That is the most painful, gut wrenching thing you will ever do loving some with a Substance use disorder! It will break you in ways, you never knew existed. I have felt pain, deeper than anything I have ever known. I realize this in largely due to the realization that he is my true love! To watch the light that once shined so brightly inside him fade so quickly over the last 3 years!

I can not tell you the last time I saw that sparkle in his eyes! That charm in his grin…. it all faded so fast. Replaced with torment and disparity…. stress and anguish!

I have seen things I can never unsee! Images of him; i thought once were unimaginable! I was never naive to the nature of this disease…. i know it all to well!

I have seen what damage it causes. I grew up watching it destroy homes, marriages, families, sons, daughters, communities… I know this disease!

I was so careful to never get caught up in a relationship with anyone struggling with it! I knew it would win over me every time! If I ever saw a hint of it… I walked away!

You… He! Was… is… my *kryptonite* I was never able to let him fall. I never saw him coming… I never saw the disease attached! He hide it so well…

It smacked me in the face! I thought, I can fix this! I can guide him… lead him back to where he needs to be!

He just needs encouraging, reminding, to be loved… unconditionally!!!

None of that mattered!
None of that changed a thing!
If anything…. it seemed to have added to his sense of shame, guilt
It created a wedge between us;
That never existed before!

My confidant, my lover, my best friend…
Now….
Suddenly…
A stranger… to me!

I see people in his life;
I have never seen before…
People I know are not *friends*
I see the worry and growing stress
On his face…
Time and time again.

His once well built frame…
Now narrowing….
Almost; unrecognizable.

I see multitude of women flowing in and out…
Freely using words of LOVE without any thought or regard!
I think to myself…
They don’t even know what LOVE is!?!

I find myself going through such a range of emotions…
From anger, to rage…. to trying to understand, to pity for these individuals…. to empathy for them as human beings….

But I still find myself digging in… soo protective over him!
Noone understands this of course!
You can’t vent or talk to anyone about this. They don’t seem to relate; or connect to what you are dealing with. In fact they become frustrated, they become uncomfortable, they start changing the conversation, or cutting you off. Worse case… they start trashing him!

Don’t they understand… you still love him? You still feel the way you feel? You have no control over who you love? Did they not listen when you said you have prayed to God about this? Daily? Begging for a resolution?
Did they not hear you say you felt God place this in your heart?
It’s a weight that burns in your chest and on your soul?… I can literally feel when he isn’t doing well! I just know in my gut … like I know my child is in trouble!

We are connected… for whatever reason….. we have that bond!

I know him… I know him better than he knows himself… I see through him; completely… I see through all the chaos… the drugs.. the women… I see his pain! I see his self destruction…. I can almost predict it..

It’s like he is trying to prove a point; but doesn’t even connect the dots to realize it! His self loathing! His sabotaging behavior; how he pushes away anything that truly loves him! Or anything he truly loves! His way of protecting them… His way of protecting himself!

What he does not see… Is how it destroys me! How it kills me inside! How it kills his family… how it hurts them! Not protect any of us! Especially not protecting him!

He try’s to numb and self medicate with drugs and women… trying so desperately to fill empty voids inside himself. He will never be able to fill… Not this way! Not with those women…. not with those drugs! He knows this!!!

Try talking to someone about that! Try opening up to someone about that! It’s not easy…. saying those words outloud…. are not easy!

They cut through you like a jagged knife! That wound; just bleeds…. it never seems to close!

Try holding it together; working in the addiction field! Seeing others grow and get better, try being able to help others…. but NOT the man you love!

That’s a hard pill to swallow!
There’s no class to prepare you for that!
What do you do?

Keep it bottled up inside?
Go to AlaNon? (I did that!)
Helps … some!
But…

The hurt…
The worry…
The pain!
They are all still here!

Each day!
Each night!

Is he safe?
Has he got food? Shelter?
Are those *people* *women* feeding him drugs? Is he getting high?
He is… alive?

I tell family members all the time in the SFAMI group…. you have the power! You can take back control. You set the boundaries!

Two days ago…. I finally, found the courage to block some of the social media access I had to him. I had to, for my own mental health. It was causing me too much anxiety and worry….. seeing the people he was hanging out with. Knowing what they were about!

I don’t know what the answers are… in fact, I know very little! I struggle daily if I am doing the right thing or not. I weigh if I am being fair.

I often find myself praying… For God’s protection of him, to wrap him in his hands… to fill him with his love, to make him feel whole and loved to take away his pain. I often pray… that God’s will is done and not my own, that I have the grace and humility and understanding to accept the outcome of things.

But… for now! God has placed this in my heart… I don’t understand God’s timing…. why he would bring him back into my life … to have me watch him self destruct.

At times… I am not sure my heart can bare it… to be honest!

Journaling helps……

#addictionawareness #mentalillness #addiction #sfami #alanon #feedmysoul #thestruggleidreal #stopthestigma #recoveryworks #recovery #supportgroups #ittakesavillage #togetherwearestronger #addictionrecovery #addictionisadisease #substanceusedisorder #nami #narcanon #12steps #recoverymatters #mentalhealth #jenz #jenzphelps #findingmybliss #healthycopingskills #selfcare

I really am just… raw!

I really am just…… raw!

I feel like honestly, someone pulled out the glass bottom of the floor from underneath me. I could see it all crumbling around me, holes in your stories, your irrational behavior, the patterns that all scream ADDICTION!

I know…. I work in this field, I see it daily. I knew! I just wanted to believe in you! I wanted to believe, you were better than the man standing before me. Than what you were showing me, over and over again. I wanted to believe that the boy I fell in love with. The man I love: still exists!

All the denial and protests; all the times you stood me up, canceled plans, broken promises, just failed to show up! Be true to your word! All the times you Choose drugs, your drug friends, that life, over me! Over us! Over…. treatment, healing, moving on!!!

Yes! Yes….. I know, it’s a disease! I am well aware; I advocate daily to this fact. Yes! I know…. but… you made active choices… time & time again! You are making them still!

You are chosing drugs, to numb your pain, over even trying treatment! Even trying help offered; even being open to it! You are choosing drugs and these drug dealers and your drug using friends….. over me, your family! & a better future for yourself! Over healing….. Don’t you deserve; to heal from your pain? You hold the power to sstart that journey! Only you!!!

Yes, that makes me mad! So mad! It’s one thing, to not understand why you seek out drugs, or need them. But, you know! We have talked about it in great detail. (You are the smartest man I know. Making decisions… Chosing…. to suffer! When you know thare is help… waiting for you!) Its another, to know and just continue down the same path… time & time again…. destroying yourself, & everyone you love!

I will not just sit by and watch you, self destruct, just sit by and watch you…. throw away your life on drugs! On a pity party, about how horrible life is! How noone cares? (Seriously….. ! Do you not see me? Hear my pleas? See the worry? My restless nights?)

Yes, life sucks! It does, you have had some truly horrible things happen to you throughout life! You are resilient! Strong! You have already overcome! You are also the anchor I cling to, but…. lately …. I cannot find you!

Why give in now? ….. I am here…. I have been here!!! Rooting for you! Cheering you on! Supporting you! Fighting along side you…. I want you to win! To overcome this battle…. I know you can.

But what I see…. is a man that acts like he has given up! Like he has no choice! When in fact He is hanging on by a thin thread…. ironically…… a spider’s web, is one of the finest threads spun…. yet: also the strongest!

Isn’t the sheer act of hanging on by a thin thread… even as fine as a spider’s web…. the definition of; (Fighting! Hanging on!)….?

You have choices! Many choices! You just keep choosing the same, tired; endless path!

You are not done yet! You are however…. lost! Lost as hell!.surrounded by the wrong people!!!

How many times do you need to hear me say this? 50? Or 48?….. You choose!

I need you to wake up, before it’s too late! You keep waiting for something?… what exactly are you waiting on?

You do know…. I can yell, scream, talk, pray, love you unconditionally, be mad, detach, walk away….. I can do all those things…… but none of them..

Bring you back….

To me!

None of them…. bring you out of the darkness, out of the hurt & pain!

It kills me…. I see you hurting, suffering….. I feel it to my core!

I don’t know what else to do…. but I do know this! I will not…. do you hear me…?

I will NOT…. be caught up, in that tangled web of suffering you are so hell bent on clinging onto!

My path…. I choose, I have chosen; is full of hope! You might be the Love of my Life! My True Love!…

But I will not!

Be apart of that tangled mess you have created! A web of lies, deceit, life filled of drugs & chaos with no end in sight. All because…. A stubborn goat! Choose not to change!

A wise man… once posted:

I am still…. rooting for you and hoping… you see the light soon! Time…. is slipping away from you.

#addictionawareness #mentalillness #addiction #sfami #alanon #feedmysoul #truth #faith #love #emptyyourmind #thestruggleisreal #embraceyourself #findingmybliss #livingmybestlife #overlookingmyflaws #lettinggoofthepast #followingmymoralcompass #recovery #addictionrecovery #stopthestigma #healing #selfcare #mindfulness #healthycopingskills #lovehurts #painoflovinganaddict #addictiondestroyseveryoneittouches #lovingyouisnteasy #jenz #jenzphelps #momentslikethese