Hope Wissel, Recovery

Why is Trust Easier Than Faith?

Faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”.

Trust is “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”.

Why is it so much easier to trust someone or something than it is to have faith?  I will be honest, the two words sometimes get confused in my head.  Nothing unusual with the onset of MS….

We trust every day – driving on the highway a car won’t cross the line, flying in a plane we won’t crash – yet when it comes to having faith in a Higher Power (I chose to call God), we want more.  I often hear individuals talk about struggling with the idea of a higher power, of having faith there is something greater who is loving and caring.  Yet, we readily jump in the back pockets of other recovering addicts “trusting” they will lead us in the right direction since they have some clean time.  It is a very fine line but who doesn’t like the thrill of walking a tightrope without the chance of falling.

Life has had its ups and downs lately.  Nothing dramatic and probably no more than usual. The impact my relapse has had on my life (and my relationships) rears it ugly head some days which can send me spiraling.  Life on life’s terms was never promised to be easy.  I have faith God will restore relationships completely when the time is right.  I have faith he wraps his loving arms around me, giving me comfort when I am weak and struggling.  I have faith he will help me close the door on Debbie Doubtful and Negative Nellie when they come to call.  I have faith when the time is right those relationships will be restored and all will be well.  I also face the fact, they may never look like what I want them to be but I trust it will be right for those involved.

Today, I don’t have to be the selfish, self-centered person I was (I want what I want when I want it). I wanted to fix, manage and control situations and people so I could feel better.  I can change.  It took me a long time to totally understand how self-centered I was.  My justification used to be to make a list of the things I did for everyone else, or to sacrifice what I wanted to do, so how am I being self-centered?  I have learned to trust others when they point out this definite character flaw.  It is my faith which allows me to believe they were brought into my life for a reason.  See the fine line???

As the world reels from the “virus”….. “who do you trust?” “do you have faith?”.  Are you being negative and jumping on the anger wagon during this crisis?  Does this “interfere” with your life?  My one day at a time perspective and the inability to remember things has helped me keep a positive attitude in light of all of the negativity.  Showing kindness towards others in dark times is more important than ever.  Thanking those who are working hard to stock shelves.  Thanking those who are helping others who can’t get out.  Stopping by my favorite small business to share some “angel love” and support them during this difficult time.  I trust we will get through this.  I have faith this is a blessing in disguise.  Sometimes darkness needs to come before there is light.  Look at the positive side of all the closings.  Be grateful you have a home to go to.  Be grateful you have family to be locked in with -even if we may want to kill them.  LOL.  Be grateful there is some food and some toilet paper.  Please no hate mail.

I know I have probably squirreled throughout this post but my heart was heavy this morning thinking about things.  As we start to talk and plan hubby’s retirement, the “woulda, shoulda, couldas” come along.  I loose focus on who I am becoming, loving myself (okay I will start with liking myself) and start to force the memories of the past.  Struggling for memories brings frustration which brings negative thoughts and questions everything.  It is only when I trust in my Higher Power and have faith he will restore those memories if and when the time is right, I find peace.

If you are struggling with faith, look for the little blessings in your day.  What you call coincidences, I call blessings or your Higher Power at work.  Maybe your Higher Power is a loved one who passed.  Maybe it is your dog.  Yup, it can be anything or anyone you want it to be who is greater than you.  I’m a visual person since processing words is tough anymore… so someone holding the door, a random smile from a stranger, a hug from another recovering addict, a random call or text from someone you haven’t heard from in awhile… These things are blessings from a power greater than yourself.  Are you struggling with finding supplies during the “stocking up”?  Maybe someone shares their toilet paper or drops off a meal for your family or gives you the gallon of milk from their cart.  These are all your Higher Power at work.  Have faith, even as small as a mustard seed……….they are really tiny!  All things are possible.

Check out of my favorite songs.  Listen and trust there is a plan for all of us…

So, just for TODAY, will you join me in trusting your Higher Power has a plan for you.  He will guide you when you swerve off course as long as you EMBRACE his love and open your heart to all he has for you.  As you do this, your faith will grow just like the mustard seed.

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

Thankful Thursday: Labels

Thank you  for inspiring today’s message…..
Who are you? I mean your “identity” beyond titles, labels and your history?  For me, this is a tough one because I never knew who I was so I was always used a “label”……

 

“Who are you?” is a really powerful question.  With so many of us are looking for personal growth you would think it would be an easy one to answer.  What is the first thing you think of when you are asked this question????

For me, I would usually answer: what I did – mom or social worker or now retired.  Occasionally I would say self-employed.  I have friends who would answer with one of these:

  • what we are working, wishing and hoping for (nope this one wasn’t for me)
  • who means the most to us and
  • where we’ve been and how we got to where we are

But, who are you? Think about it for a moment. Can you answer the question without rattling off your rank, title or accomplishments?  I know I can’t or at least I couldn’t before walking back into the doors of NA 16 months ago.  I was always a label, never knowing who I was.  A pretty scary thought.  I may not have an answer but I am working on one…https://deanafarrell.com/do-you-know-who-you-really-are-beyond-titles-labels-and-history/

I’m a wife, a mom, retired social worker, MS warrior, grant writer, Jesus lover, entrepreneur, reader, blogger, daughter, sister, friend, encourager, crafter, recovering addict,  jean wearing, often a hot mess who is making progress to being a better version of me! If I really thought about it, I’m sure the list could go on and on…. just like yours, right?

My list reflects my story,  labels given to me by others, some I cherish while others I struggle with.  I remember (vaguely) a time when I had it all right – years ago my first time around in recovery.  I was confident in who I was and where I was going.  I didn’t let what others think control who I was or what I was doing.  I realize when I had my identity right, everything else fell into place.

Is who you are defined by labels or are you defined by the core values you cherish?  Are you a reflection of who you were created to be or are you still struggling with finding yourself?  I will admit, I was eager to work my fourth step because it I wanted to get to gut-honest.  I wanted to take a “searching and fearless moral inventory of myself”….. be careful what you wish for.  LOL. I may be struggling through the process but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I know once I can identify who I am beyond the titles, labels and my history – I will be a better strong version of myself able to make decisions – even the touch ones.

I love these words from Deana:

You will find yourself very clear on the direction you want to go, even if you’re not sure of what it will take to get there, because you know WHO you need to be in order to get there.

Stop trying to fit in. If nothing else today, take some time to ponder this BIG question “Who are you?”.

I know by continuing on this journey, I will become the person God meant for me to be.  Believe me, I am right there with you Working on making progress toward what I need to do in order to live out who I was created to BE !

Have a blessed day!

 

MS will Not Define Me

Moving on With MS

Today we are headed to the MS Center in Teaneck for my annual visit.  Truth is, I am really nervous.  The last year has brought some definite changes in my health.  I don’t always notice them but on a recent visit with my daughter in NC, she told me she is seeing the change and not for the good.

So for those who may be new to my blog, I will give you a brief history lesson.  I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) in February 2016.  I should say, I was told I had it BUT the doctors didn’t want to write it anywhere except on my chart.  See my symptoms didn’t fit the checklist they had for an MS patient.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) covering nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

Let me back up just a little bit. For years, I have been complaining about not being able to remember things. As a recovering addict of 26 years, I always said “the drugs killed my brain cells” and life went on.

Fast forward to about 4 years ago when after my husband suffered a health crisis, he started saying ” you are different”. I talked about “not remembering things” to the doctor but no one seemed concerned. Then there were other health issues: IBS, glaucoma, chest wall syndrome (yes, it is real), unexplained weight gain, loss of sex drive (yes, I am telling all), adjustment disorder with depression and periodontal disease. Believe it or not, I was okay with it ALL until the night I fell apart telling hubby how bad the memory issue had become. I truly thought I was on the same road as my grandmother – Alzheimer’s. At my  next primary appointment, we finally got him to listen to how bad things were with my memory.

After countless visits to the Neurologist, MRIs, a spinal tap, endless blood tests, and an EEG – there was no treatment options available.  Just wait.  So wait we did, and in 6 months, I was blessed with no changes in my lesions.  Then in June 2017, we noticed some more changes.  Difficulty with my joints, not sleeping, and mood swings.  The new MRIs showed more and enlarged lesions so it was time to take action.

For some it may sound crazy but I opted to wait until now to go to the MS Center for treatment options. Why?  I didn’t want to be sick for the Leadership Incentive Trip.  I wasn’t sure what the future held and I wanted to enjoy the trip with my daughter. In the meantime, I have been working with a chiropractor using holistic options to help with some symptoms.  An adjustment monthly helps with the tingling.  A gluten free and dairy free diet has helped me to feel better.  The CBD oil and the iodine drops help with brain fog. It is a journey and I definitely struggle with all of the things I can’t eat.

This is not about a “pity” party or being Negative Nellie. Just for today, it is about squashing the inner gremlins who want this life challenge to defeat me.  I am not ready to give up fighting but some days it is hard to keep up the fight.

So, today we head to the MS Center to see the MS doctor.  I’m fearful but I trust God has a plan for me.

I am blessed to be able to work from home.  My WHY is about giving back to others and not letting MS take over my life. I will continue to use my business and my blog to encourage others who are struggling with this disease or any chronic disease. I want to bring a smile to those who are struggling on the inside but on the outside look “normal”.

Life has definitely become a challenge for my friends and my family. They have learned to be more patient, not only with me but with each other.  They are learning even if “I can’t remember”, I still care.  We are learning to embrace each moment – pictures become more important than ever – they do help me to remember a little.

“My planner” is the key to keeping my life in order.  I am learning I can still have a successful business despite the memory issues – lots of notes, systems and a sense of humor.  My customers are amazing despite my inability to remember the names of products or prints.  I am amazed with 98% of my business being online, I am able to grow and pay my bills.  Customers even joke when I call them by the wrong name or confuse them with someone else.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog which is definitely more personal than I have written in a long time. All I ask is you continue to keep me (and my family) in prayer, and be understanding when I give you a blank look as if to say “I should know you but I don’t”.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

.

Clear the Clutter

Kick the Habit…What’s Yours?

bad habits 2

Today is  what I am calling “Think About it Thursday”.

Are you ready to reach for your dreams?  So, what do you need to do? You need to be sure you are not stuck in one place.  How are you going to do it …… by not falling into one of these bad habits.  Thank you Ilya Pozin.

#1 – Being a Lone Wolf.  Is this an easy trap for you? Do you work well independently and in a group? What do you do to make sure you don’t isolate? To make sure I don’t fall into this, I brainstorm with other consultants (family and friends), looking for ways to play well with others (even those who push my buttons) and stretching my collaborative muscles.

#2 – Saying Sorry.  Okay, so how many of you find yourself apologizing even when there is no need?  I know I am not alone.  I am grateful for a hubby who asks “why are you apologizing” whenever there is no need.  Did you know “Saying sorry about every little thing implies you are constantly making mistakes, and can undercut your position in the office and with managers.”  I am guessing it works with my family, friends, customers and my team, too.

#3 – Taking on Every Project.  Do you want to take on every project? Are you ready to jump in when others share their success, figuring it worked for them so it will work for me?  I have done this often, personally and professionally, so I have crashed and burned on several things because it wasn’t for me.  Do you find saying the word “no” is hard? It is time to protect your time and talents remembering quality is better than quantity.

#4 – Being Negative.  Are you a Negative Nellie? I am grateful my hubby quickly point out when I start the morning with a rain cloud over my head.  Do you find most times when this happens, you are playing the comparison game?  The “what if” with Doubtful Debbie joining the party.  On the outside, I have a positive attitude rolling with the punches with Negative Nellie waiting to burst out onto the scene.

#5 – Doing Things the Way They’ve Always Been Done.  I know you have heard this before – “If you do the same thing all the time, you will get the same results”. So, if you are not happy where your business is at or you are not happy with your life is – CHANGE IT!  Not all changes will work, take it from one who has tried LOTS then crashed and burned.  But if you don’t try, you won’t know and just maybe, you will find a new approach to life and your business.

office

#6 Being Disorganized.  Get organized and stay organized.  I admit on some days, my desk looks like a hot mess and on those days, I feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Some would say getting organized (or cleaning your office) is not joy producing so it should not take up a lot of time.  The truth is, if you don’t take the time to get a handle on the pile of desktop debris (or messy house), you may never build and grow in your business (or in your life).  Harsh words but so true because you are constantly spinning your wheels and getting no where.  Did you know “Every year, Americans spend on average nine million hours looking for things they’ve misplaced.”  Imagine how much time you have spent looking for things?

What is the bad habit holding YOU back from success in your business or moving forward in your life. If you tackle these habits head-on, you might just find yourself moving on up the ladder.  Share in the comments!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Happy Birthday Dad

Father's Day

Remember that I said October was birthday month in our family?  Well, today is my Dad’s 84th Birthday!

Life with Dad wasn’t always easy – my dad was an alcoholic.  Yes, I know once an addict (alcohol or drugs) always an addict, right?  Growing up Dad worked a lot and at some really unusual jobs, now that I think back.

  • Mom and he worked at the local airport.  Mom worked in the office and dad in the monkey house.  Yup, that was what it was called.  He also used to transport cars down to Florida for Mr. Brown (the airport owner) then fly home on one of those little planes.  I thought the airport was my private playground.
  • He worked at a liquor store but not just your typical liquor store.  They would sell amazing furniture (bars, coffee tables, etc) that came from Mexico.  As a result, we got to go to Acapulco one summer for a “business trip”.  The summer of my first bikini.

Then there are some memories that stand out and have their own stories to tell:

  • Lots of Camping trips
  • Dad picking up my now hubby from the police station (maybe more than once)
  • Dad picking me up at Horner’s when I was late coming home from a date
  • Dad reaching out to his HAM radio buddies to help me with geography papers in school

Then there were the rough years when alcohol stole my dad from me.  He was not the dad who pulled me on the sled to visit my grandparents at Christmas.  He was not the Dad who worked tireless along side my mom to serve breakfast to over 300 kids after the junior prom.  He was abusive both physically and verbally to my mom.  Generally not a nice person – I won’t dwell on that because I have forgiven him but I don’t forget.  For 16 years, I was angry and then came Belinda and my addiction.

I will be eternally grateful for my Dad for a visit during my first few days in drug rehab in Pennsylvania.  Family members had told dad what was going on and despite the fact that I hadn’t seen or talked to him in almost 16 years – he came to see me.  In fact, I was supposed to be on blackout and he convinced them that this visit was important to my recovery.  He was right!  That was when the long road to recovery began not only from my addiction but to a relationship with my Dad.

I will never forget the smile on his or Belinda’s face the first time they met each other.  Belinda was about 2 1/2 years old. Then there was the birthday party where Belinda helped opened cards for Dad, only to announce when they had no money in them. Dad gave her a family male role model in her life.  She was blessed to be “adopted” by her best friend’s dad but this was different.  This is her Pop-pop.  From that time on, two holidays were always celebrated with Dad – Father’s Day or as Belinda always called it “Pop-pop Day” and Thanksgiving.

One of the blessings of my addiction was that I was able to forgive my Dad and have a relationship with him.  We still don’t see each other that much – a little more than 2 holidays a year but no matter what he is always the same.  Whenever I call and apologize for not being around his response is always the same “I know you are busy”.

The greatest gift was the day that he walked me down the aisle at my wedding.  I never thought the day would come (the wedding or dad being a part of it).  Dad was there – holding on to me as the realization that I was getting married sunk in and dancing that Father/Daughter dance despite the pain.  Memories that I will cherish forever.

Thank you Dad for your love and support.  The road may have been rocky but I learned so many things along the way. I love you and wish you many more birthday years.

birthday cupcake

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!