Monthly Archives: April 2013

Grant me serenity.

“God, grant me serenity”…Words I have so often spoke over and over again until I was choking on my tears and shaking uncontrollably. Fiercely, I continued to speak these words until suddenly, the serenity came. Usually sleep immediately followed. *You can use this no matter who your higher power is, even if it is a jar of Claussen pickles! LOL* Just recently this occurred as I am dealing with a lot in my personal life right now that is….incredibly stressful to say the least. After feeling this intense anxiety, frustration, and borderline fear of not being in control of every circumstance in life I came to a wonderful realization that has brought me the most serenity I have ever felt in my life.

As human beings, we desire control. Control over our lives, control over situations, and sadly, even control over other people. It is in our nature, thus it is hard to change…but it is possible. Especially if you have been through a traumatic life event such as a rape like I have, you will struggle very hard with this concept of accepting there are things you will never have any control over. Things like rape are never truly about sex, it is about control, and for the survivor, it is all about losing control. My addiction to self-harm as well as controlling what food was “alllowed” into my body to the point where I was too thin and very sick was mainly about control. Many people who suffer from an eating disorder or self-harm addiction do it because they are desperately trying to gain some control over their life and body. Please know that I understand how hard this is, but it can be done!

So, I’ve been in the Narcotics Anonymous program since 2007 and you’d think that I have this whole control thing down right? Nah, I don’t! I am still working on it every day, but the great thing is, I am getting so much better at it and finding it a lot easier to “let go and let God(s)”. (Again, sub in your personal higher power). I have found the key to feeling serenity any time I start to get overwhelmed and feel a full blown PTSD panic-attack coming on I remind myself that it is a damn good thing that I can’t control everything and make everything go the way I think I want it to go.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “What the Hell did she just say? Why would you be happy to not have things go your way?” My answer to that is so simple it’s hilarious that I couldn’t see it my whole life. I am a human being…meaning, I know absolutely shit about the universe and the best way things should go to ultimately bring a wonderful outcome. I have puny human knowledge and wisdom, so why the Hell would I know what is best for me and my life in the long term down to every little decision in my life. I don’t. There is someone who does though! My higher power does, and whether yours is Jesus Christ, Buddha, Astarte, Thor, (the list goes on) take solace in the fact that the Higher Power knows all. Your Higher Power knows all and therefore, they know exactly what needs to happen and when and where to get you to where you will be most happy, healthy and complete. Our Higher Power loves us and wants us to have wonderful lives, so we can relax and have serenity knowing that they are a millions steps ahead of us and is holding every aspect of our lives in their hands.

Things don’t go my way all the time. Actually, a lot of the time things don’t go exactly how I had planned, but now I feel great peace knowing that it’s because it would have led me down a road I don’t want to go. Instead something much much better is coming for me. I hope that this brings you as much peace as it does me.

New and improved Journey out of the abyss Facebook page.

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to drop in and let everyone know that I have opened a new and improved Facebook page for Journey out of the abyss. Feel free to like, comment, email, post away!! I would love to start a support network! The link is:

Take care til next time my friends!


Stopping the unhealthy relationship cycle: A four step guide to creating and keeping healthy relationships.

 I know I’m not the only one out there. I know I’m not the only one who hates being alone, loves being in love with someone, and getting love back. I also know I’m not the only one who had a habit of getting into relationships with people who “couldn’t” give me true love back. Since High School I have been hearing my Mother warn me, “Ashley, you really should try to be out of a relationship for a while. Heal from the last one, learn the lessons it taught you, and then get comfortable with being with…yourself.” Well, I always knew she was right, but because of my deep fear of abandonment that was seared into me as a little girl, I have for a long time, found it very hard to follow through with her advice.


Over the past year I have done a lot of learning about relationships and how to break the cycle I have been in since High School. There is so much to learn about something that you think would come natural that really doesn’t. Especially when growing up you were given only negative examples of relationships to learn from. It’s very hard to understand that you should marry someone you love unconditionally and truly loves you back and who will never lay hands on you to cause you harm when you grew up seeing your Father beat down on your Mother daily either verbally, emotionally, physically….etc. Yes, it wasn’t your fault and it never will be your fault that this is what you had to deal with as a child and are seriously lacking in knowledge of this area of life. What will be your fault is if you don’t take control of your life and start learning what a healthy relationship looks like, and then make it happen for yourself. You owe it to yourself no matter if you come from a very healthy, happy and stable family, or a torn-apart, horrifying and severely dysfunctional one. No one is going to give it to you…so make sure you take care of your heart and do this for yourself! So far, I have devised a process for myself in changing the romantic relationships in my life and it is comprised of four main steps.


The first step is spending time with yourself and yourself alone. Learn every little thing you can about yourself. What makes you happy, what makes you sad, what sets you off, things you love to do and things you can’t stand to do. You know, it took me until this year to realize that I love painting. It also took me until this year to realize that I can’t stand being a doormat. (And I am so done with that). The first thing this whole making and keeping true and healthy relationships boils down to knowing who you are, and being completely happy with yourself especially when no one else is around. It is also important to know that if you don’t love and respect yourself, it makes it hard for others to love and respect you. Once you start making progress you will realize how amazing it is when you feel good about yourself enough to actually be happy about being single. It is quite liberating!


The second part is making a list of characteristics of the former lovers, husbands/wives, boyfriends/girlfriends you have had in the past good and bad. After you have written down everything about those individuals that you loved and you couldn’t stand, do some deep soul searching (and don’t do it for a night and claim that you have it all figured out…I am very guilty of this) take your time and realize what qualities you want and NEED in a significant other. Write all of these things down. Take a look at the list of qualities you have had in a significant other in the past and compare it to what you really and truly want and need. I’m sure the majority of you can say that there is a huge huge problem here. The list of characteristics I wrote down for my past relationships were nothing like what I know I want and need in someone. It made me shake my head and say, “Now it’s time to figure out why I settled for someone who couldn’t meet my needs…for someone who only was toxic for me”.


The third part is making a game plan for how you are going to change this nasty cycle you’ve gotten yourself into. Mine looks a little like this:

  • Stop looking to date someone right off the bat because I am lonely and want someone to love. Make friends, real, true friends and spend lots of time getting to know them. Know someone as a friend for a while before considering something romantic. It is safe and healthy to know someone deeply (and know others who know them very well) before ever dating them.

  • Start learning everything I can about healthy relationships. How to start them, how to keep them, and what to do when things are not as good as you want them to be.

  • Continue to learn and practice great communication skills. (How can someone satisfy me in a relationship if I am too afraid to share with them what makes me happy…and more importantly, what hurts me and scares me)?

  • Spend time everyday reminding myself that I am a good person, a wonderful and loving Mother and I can be single and very happy single. Also, that I do deserve a true, unconditional, strong and healthy love and that it will come in time.

  • My happiness never depends on the happiness of someone I am in a relationship with. I am strong and independent and I don’t have to fall apart every time the person I am with falls apart or is negative towards me or others.

  • If something ever feels wrong, speak up immediately. Don’t compromise yourself.

  • If you start seeing red flags…don’t you dare ignore them! Do something about it.

(This is a taste of my very long and complicated action plan). Hopefully, this gives you some insight on what you can incorporate in your own plan).


Now, for the fourth step (and this isn’t set in stone, and we don’t all operate the same way and God knows I may add more for myself later), put your action plan into effect and never stop it. Type it up or write it really neatly and post it somewhere where you will see it every day. If you are anything like me, it will help you to see it very often. Don’t be afraid to add things to it, or modify it, so long as it is helping you stick to the plan of being good to yourself and being only in healthy and happy relationships. Remember, you deserve this! You were not put here to suffer and live out your days alone. You were created to thrive, be fulfilled and fulfill others. Take care of yourself, especially your heart…as in the words of my precious Mother, “be gentle with yourself”.


I love you all, talk with you next week! And please, if there is anything you would like to discuss or have me write about, feel free to write me, pm me, add me on Facebook.





Stop making excuses, never accept failure and do what you love.

Hey everyone! First off, I want to apologize big time for the severe lack in me posting for a while. Second…I want to name this post a little off of what I’ve been dealing with currently in my own life. A lot of my posts in the past have been things I learned from experiences that I’ve already gotten through. This time I want to focus on something I am dealing with right now. My personal life has been pretty hectic to say the least, especially in the past few months. Because of this I have started procrastinating on certain things, making excuses, putting things off for tomorrow that would make more sense to just bust out in that moment. For example, writing a post on here that will not only help me heal a little more, but also hopefully help others. I’ve been looking at the stats on my blog to see if anyone reads it and I was absolutely blown away! Fourteen countries!!!! That has seriously made me wake up and realize that what I am doing is even more important than I thought…and therefore I have NO room for excuses when it comes to being too tired or too lazy to write a post. When you make excuses, procrastinate and such even a little bit it grows like a weed! Then before you know it, you have a huge mess on your hands! When you start to make excuses in your head and formulate some “reason” to put something off, take a moment to really analyze what you’re about to put off and what the repercussions will be if you go through with it. Most of the time you’ll realize it will be much easier and wiser to knock it out now and save you a monster headache later. 


Another thing I want to talk about ties into the first thing. Never accept failure. Don’t quit! Especially when it’s something that means a whole lot to you and/or you love to do. When you start getting lazy and putting things off it starts turning into accepting failure and giving up. This is horrible! Don’t do it! Please! Let me paint you a picture from my own recent daily life. I was exhausted just a few nights ago, had gone to school, played with my son, fed him and myself, cleaned the house and then at 9:00 pm after my little one was asleep I sat down to do homework. I looked at all of my paints, brushes, paper and the assignment and wanted to cry. I felt so overwhelmed. After a few minutes of freaking out I got a hold of myself long enough to realize the assignment wasn’t really stressing me out…it was all the crap about the assignment I was making up in my head. I started imagining defeat ALREADY in my head! I was imagining my hands shaking so bad that I couldn’t paint, or spilling the clean brush water all over my work and the cat jumping up onto the table and ruining all of my efforts. I started laughing when I realized the torture I was putting myself through! yeah this assignment was going to take a few hours, it was going to require my effort, skill and attention to detail. But if I remained positive and certain that I could get this done and then just go to bed, it wouldn’t be as bad as I was making it out to be. Our minds have a tendency to take something unpleasent and run with it a million miles per hour! I am not kidding you! I seriously made a molehill into a gigantic mountain and because of it I almost decided to put the assignment off. After catching myself, and reminding myself how much I love art and desire to graduate from school with good grades for my Son and I, I was actually excited to get the homework done. I got it done at 2:48 Am, but was able to fall asleep fast knowing that I got everything done! 


So again…don’t put things off unless it truly can wait, don’t ever settle for less, give up on yourself, fall and then not get back up or stop doing what makes you happy. These are things that once you get down, they will really help you to feel that much happier about who you are and your life! I love you all and I hope everyone is well, I will post again next week. Because I am making it a point to post once a week from now on! Take care, I’ll see you soon!