You Are Worthy

I am often trying to lift others up, both as Moonshine Niki, and in my personal and very real life. Using my gift of words for this is extremely important to me and is something of a life goal.

I told a friend today that I wanted to write, but that I needed a writing prompt. Shortly after this conversation, I got my inspiration. I was watching a show about heroin use in America. It showed a few people trying to make an impact in several ways, from court programs, to ministry, to emergency responders that administer Naloxone (commonly referred to as Narcan) to treat overdoses. These people go out trying to make a difference knowing that most of the time, addicts are going to turn right back to drugs.

As I was watching this, I started thinking about the drug users. They are miserable, they are afraid, they feel stuck, and they are a slave to the drug. They don’t want to be where they’re at, but changing it feels like an impossible task. There’s the physical component (addiction), there’s few places to turn to for help, and one aspect I feel that gets in the way the most–judgment.

We have all heard people say something like, “We shouldn’t waste resources on Narcan. Just let all the addicts die,” or, “They chose that life for themselves, why even try to help.” Society tells those struggling with a drug problem that they are worthless, they are scum, they aren’t worthy of life. To make it worse, those that are involved with drugs are often involved with other things that bring shame. Child Protective Services, theft, even from those that love and help them, prostitution, and other things that bring public shame and ridicule. So, for these people, the entire world is looking down on them, treating them like they’re not real people–just a problem draining society, and there are many roadblocks in the way. This does not make it easy to change.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not making excuses for people continuing their lives like this. What I am saying is that it is not as simple as just deciding to stop. I’m also saying that the people that are trying to make a difference, the ones that still treat addicts like real people, that provide words of encouragement, and that offer support DO sometimes make a difference. While most turn right back to drugs, there are those that don’t. There are those that are at the end of their ropes and ready and the only push they need is a loving hand extended in kindness. They get clean, become productive members of society, and sometimes even go on to help those still struggling. These are the people that make it worth it to keep trying.

While I’m not working out in the streets, I’m obviously not a medical responder, and I don’t have some kind of ministry, the one thing I do have is my words. If there were more people showing kindness and humility, there might be more addicts wanting to change things for themselves instead of hiding away in shame with the one thing they feel loves them back, drugs.

So, I want to reach out to those that feel broken in life. I don’t care if you have made your own bed, so to speak. I don’t care if you chose to pick up a needle that first time. I don’t care if you have sold your body, lost your kids, have stolen, or have tried and failed repeatedly. I’m here to tell you that you still matter. You are still a human being worthy of love, protection, safety, and a good life. It is never too late to decide to turn it all around. You are never too far gone or a lost cause. I’m here to encourage you, and tell you that you are worth reaching out for help.

This is how I intend to spend my life. I hope to someday make a career out of it and do more, but for now, my words here are what I’ve got. For now, I intend to spread love from behind this computer screen until a new plan comes along.

And just in case you need to hear it again, you, my friends, are worthy.

Much love,
Moonshine Niki

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No Means No

I wrote this on the Moonshine Niki Facebook page a year ago today. I will never forever the event that happened the night before that made me feel so much fear for my own safety. I got myself out of that situation because I wasn’t going down without a fight, but I have no doubt that the guy that scared me so much felt he didn’t do much (if at all) wrong. 

Read it and know it, my friends.

Today Is The Day

I’ve had a hurting heart for a long time now. Most of my life has been painful in one way or another, and this is garbage my heart has hauled around with me wherever I go, in good times and bad, in happy and sad…

Thirteen years ago yesterday, I gave a doctor permission to turn off my sweet baby girl’s life support. Thirteen years ago, I took my precious 2 month old baby girl into my arms and rocked and sang to her as she took her last breaths and left this world. Thirteen years ago, I became a different woman. I wish I could say that over time my heart has healed and it’s just a horrible tragedy I now reflect back on with sadness. Some of that is true. I’ve done as much healing as is possible with the loss of my child, but grief is a forever “friend” for anyone that has lost someone close. The problem is that since that day, my life has been one battle after another, one tragedy after another, one heartache after another.

Becoming a bride at 17 set me up for an incredibly difficult life in ways I NEVER would have expected. Times were hard, I never had money, and I had an abusive husband. Then my world was rocked with my baby girl, and life got even harder. I let one hurt stack up on top of another, then another hurt layered on top of that, and so on. I let these hurts layer on top of my heart like one very heavy stack of bricks weighing my tender heart down.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are so many ways my life has improved since, and I’m no longer that broken 21 year old girl with 3 small kids, a mean, drug addicted husband, and carrying around fresh grief, but every hurt I’ve endured since has been added layers. I need to be free of this weight.

So…the answer? I have my first therapy appointment today. It’s time for me to figure out how to let all this pain that I wear like a heavy coat in the heat of summer go. It’s time to love myself enough to heal. You see, I think those of us that go through long term pain in life tend to go back to it, caress it, love it, hold it close because it becomes our comfort. It’s familiar. It’s always there. And life without it can be scary, so we hold ourselves back with it. Well, I’m done with that. I deserve a happy life, so today is my first step in that direction. I may be a single mom, I may be a tender spirit, and I may have been dealt a shitty hand in many ways in life, but I choose to not let any of that hold me back any longer. Today is the day. Today is the day my healing begins.

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In My Bed

I do a lot more thinking in bed than I would like to, especially lately. Last night, I was lying there wishing for sleep but experiencing some pretty intense back pain from work that left sleep elusive for a long time. This time though, while I was lying there, this blog idea came to me.

I laid there last night thinking about beds. As an adult and a parent, so much happens in bed. It’s the place that lovers make love. It’s the place that moms comfort sick children. It’s often where laundry gets folded, where we take reprieve from stress in the middle of the day, even if only for a moment, and where exhausted people fall in at night in hopes of good sleep.

A lot happens in bed as grownups, and I know that for many of us, it’s our favorite place. When I have a lover, my favorite time of day is when I get to set aside life’s stress and cuddle up to the man I love. I love those few moments of talking, winding down, and snuggling up. I love to lie my head on his chest and just listen to the heart I love beat. If I’m lucky, in those moments before sleep, I get to use my body to show him just how I feel, but even if I don’t, I’m still so happy to breathe in his scent and feel his breathing with mine as we drift off to sleep.

As a single person, I know bed is still my favorite place, just obviously for different reasons. Lately, it’s because my bed is my sanctuary. I get up every day with a determination that I’m going to give my all into making a good life for myself and my kids with just us. I’m making specific effort into not using any of my old Band-Aids to temporarily ease pain. I have a history of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms to mask hurts, and I’m hell bent on not turning to those this time. There’s no men that aren’t special to me. No slamming whiskey doubles home alone while I feel sorry for myself. No pot smoking while indulging in high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods to stuff my feelings down.  So instead, I take care of my adult responsibilities each day. I get up, I clean, I do laundry, I take care of the animals, I do all the mommy things (oh my gosh, single parenting is tough work), I keep up with my self-care (which is going to be revealed in depth in a later blog), and I go to work.

Coming home from work, I know I get to still set aside life’s stress and fall into my favorite place, bed. I may be alone in it now, but I get to relax, I get to rest my weary and aching body, I get to just be still. No more stress for the day, no more “adulting,” and no more effort into tackling the world. I get to just breathe.

I feel more peace now than I have in a quite a while. The stress can be high, but there is so much relief in doing things the right way. I’m loving this new me. I’m still the same strong, feisty, sassy woman, but I’m also the woman that for the first time in her entire life, is proudly standing tall in her choices, knowing that she couldn’t be doing any better. So, here’s to my new life, here’s to late night thinking and creativity, and here’s to my bed!

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