Timeline of ups and downs


We so often think of recovery as an upward motion. A staircase that is climbed, bringing you higher and higher to a state of personal self-love, awareness and success. And yet,  as I approach the 10-year anniversary of my dad’s death, I can’t help but look back over these years and see the ups and downs that have been my life. For better of for worse, this has been been ME for the last 10 years:

April 2004

  • Father died
  • Received small inheritance
  • Filed for divorce
  • Got my undergrad degree in Journalism & English Lit (after 16 years)


  • Had nervous breakdown
  • Did not take job I had applied for, but rather, started to work for my father’s company, after a few months on Paxil!


  • Took my 4 and 6-year-old sons cross-country to Utah, a dream come true.
  • Bought my own house
  • Officially divorced

January 2005

  • Started dating G

September 2005

  • Broke up with G
  • Got back together with G

August- October 2007

  • Broke up with G for good
  • Dated M, very briefly
  • Went to psychics and mediums several times
  • Quit smoking, and started to “live clean” and think differently about what I put into my body and “who” I hung out with

March 2008

  • Began this blog
  • Dating S
  • Realized I was a love addict and read voraciously on the subject
  • Placed some very important boundaries around myself for the first time in my life
  • Created values for myself, for the first time in my life

October 2008

  • Went on Prozac because once a month I would yell at S and not trust him (in the end, I had good reason)
  • S broke up with me and chose pot over me
  • Went off Prozac
  • Went into hibernation for 4 days, crying
  • My uncle died
  • D sent me a Facebook friend request

NovemberDecember 2008

  • Began to make peace with my single life for the first time ever, instead of looking forward or “waiting” for another guy
  • Pangs of loneliness

January 2009

  • Hugely creative time for me
  • Began dating D with the “let’s keep this organic” mantra (no waiting for the phone to ring, no trying to push this relationship to work if it wasn’t working, etc., no fantasy, no day-dreaming)

January 2009-May 2013

  • Moved in with D, got engaged, bought a house, sold my house
  • Lived for the most part in pre-wedded bliss, with a bump here and there, but no real health issues, no real emotional issues, no period-related hormonal issues, and no doubts

December 2012

  • Was sick for 2 months after working very strenuously for a non-profit

May 2013

  • Got a dog; incurred a SEVERELY negative emotional reaction to the dog and my attempt to get rid of the dog (which D would not let me do for a couple of months, but then finally came around). This seemed to be a turning point for me, as I felt as though my freedom was in jeopardy and D cared more about the dog than my happiness. But we overcame it.

August 2013

  • Had a bad bout of vertigo 2 weeks before my wedding, in ER
  • Got married
  • Had tiny episodes of vertigo throughout my honeymoon

September 2013-March 2014

  • Was sick nearly every month for the entire year
  • Because of changes made internally at work, my “job” was pretty much phased out
  • My two-year commitment to running the non-profit ended

April 2014

  • Began dealing with depression– a first! And anxiety (the usual).
  • Rushed to ER for chest pain and strange pain around left breast (chest pain may have been panic, but pain within left breast is real but unidentifiable).
  • Teenage son caught hanging around friends who smoke pot
  • Finally selling a vacation house that has caused me and my family a lot of disruption; my one brother still won’t talk to me
  • Still unable to figure out pain in chest area that won’t go away
  • Tried to apply for an MBA but my company won’t pay for it. I’d have to pay for it myself ($$$)
  • Started gardening and meditating to calm my nerves
  • Looking into grad school or starting my own business–need to do something to keep myself busy and active








4 thoughts on “Timeline of ups and downs

  1. Thanks for your blog on this LJ. It makes me think about how different everyone’s journey is to recovery. There are no rules and we can only work on stuff as it comes up into consciousness, not before. I have so many wobbles and crisises in my weeks still, I watch this kind of fearful panic inside at times, when I have to deal with grown up stuff like being accountable at my work, with my health and time. It’s taking time, but with the support network of others in recovery around me it gets gradually, ever so slowly, easier. On the path with you sista.


    1. You know, I saw my mom fight some pretty crazy battles in her lifetime, but once she did, that was it. She never looked back and has remained relatively happy the rest of her life. I really hope this is just a passing health issue and that I too can return to what I would like to think of as my normal healthy self. But guess what…it’s hard! And life is ever changing. Hang in there Susie. Let’s never give up 🙂


  2. June, I hope you feel much better soon. I have chronic depression and anxiety that I’ve battled since I was 12 years old. I know that chest pains can definitely be anxiety-related. I only get them when I am having super horrible anxiety and am just anguished, but they feel very much like how you always hear a “heart attack” described. I hope they can find out what is causing your pain.

    Also, thanks for sharing your journey with us. I am beginning to see it’s often one step forward and two steps back with recovery. I relapsed back to alcohol recently and am bearing down hard to avoid that demon. I’m accepting a no-boyfriend nor husband life for the first time since I was 14 and it’s been tough…probably why I’ve started the substance abuse thing again.

    Take care of you!


    1. This happened to me when I first divorced in 2004. I felt so untethered and alone that I went back to smoking cigs after I’d quit for 10 YEARS. What a waste. At least I came to my senses fairly quickly and quit again in 2007. Sometimes we just need to fall down in complete exhaustion. The trick is to exchange a bad, harmful addiction with a good one. Easier said than done!


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