The Clouds are Lifting

Wow, what a memorable week filled with tears, laughs lots of hugs but most of all gratefulness. On Saturday my bother Jay, completed his #200 Marathon out at Wobegon. This was my first social outing since my illness, and I was determined to make it out there to watch Jay come across that finish line. After everything my brother and I have been through I was lucky enough to be standing there waiting for him to cross that finish line,  it was a bittersweet moment.

On that very same day, my oldest daughter celebrated 365 days of Sobriety and on Wednesday with my younger two children, I made the drive down to St. Paul where Anna received her 1 year medallion.  I can’t lie, it was very emotional but as a mom, one of my proudest moments!!!!! What my daughter, Anna has been able to accomplish in a years time is unbelievable and admirable. As some of you know, addiction is a very lonely and empty existence and I can assure you, my daughter never wanted this for herself, no addict wishes this.  I cannot be more thankful to all counselors/staff at Hazelden and her friends/family who have been there for her and continue to support her. She deserves the highest respect for taking responsibility for her addiction, holding herself accountable and accepting the help she desperately needed. She is now living a sober heathy life, just more proof that Sobriety is achievable. I wouldn’t wish this for any parent, but  the truth is addiction does not discriminate and has no boundaries.  If you think  Addiction is never going to affect you or someone you love, think again. It is a harsh reality.

As some of you already know, my only brother Jay, is definitely my hero, such an inspiration and role model for all of us, especially for my four children.  My daughter Anna, she is my array of Sunshine, all I have to do is look at her and she makes me smile. She is just more proof that you can beat addiction and turn your life around.  They are both inspirations and beams of light shining for all of us to grab onto. These two simply provide me/us with so much hope, they are two beautiful souls that I am so grateful for, I am truly blessed.   I can honestly say, the  dark clouds seem to be lifting in my life and the light seems to be peaking through. It is a very slow process but man it feels good to finally feel some happiness.I have posted some pictures from this past week, enjoy.  Much Love- Jenn

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R U Grateful?

No matter how good or bad you think life is, wake up each day and be GRATEFUL, thankful for life. Someone somewhere else is fighting to survive.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs after my life changing health crises, I have really learned how to be much more grateful.  Life gravely gave me a hard slap in the face so to speak, but woke me up and made me see how grateful I should be. To think about the people who have been sent into my life and why.  I have really taken the time to reflect and realize how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life and I am alive because of them. (most of you know who you are). Since my last health crises in December, I have worked really hard to surround myself  among healthy, happy people who love me and care about my well-being.  Some of these people had previously been brought into my life, but I found myself to busy to have time for them, when in reality I just needed to make time for them.

I am fortunate enough to have been given another chance to rebuild my friendships with these lovely people again, to spend my time with them listening and learning. They are all so special to me and they all love me unconditionally and only want what is best for my highest good. Some of these people have literally saved my life as they give me strength, balance, energy, peace and love and they all help me see hope in tomorrow. I have a number of physicians and friends who are helping me in my journey, some helping me heal physically, some helping me heal emotionally/mentally and some helping me spiritually. it’s pretty incredible when I think about it. Each of them is helping me in a different way but for the same reason, to heal my whole body. They are all helping me in my journey to heal my mind, body and soul and in return I am paying it forward, helping others heal.

As some of you know, I am slowly healing from my last stint in the Hospital along with my cancer diagnosis. My team of surgeons/doctors have prepared me for a year-long recovery process just from the surgery itself. This means, It will be a year before I really will know what my “new normal” will bring and that is pretty scary and hard for me. I don’t feel or look like I used to, some for the better but there are things that I really miss about myself. I am working really hard at becoming the healthiest person I can be, mind, body and soul. With the help of my dear friends, I am learning that this is more of  a journey then a recovery. There is really no date as to when all of this will get better, it is a daily battle for me and I have good days and really bad days.

I am screaming at the top of my lungs, when I say SLOW DOWN people, take time to reflect on how blessed you are and be grateful for the people who god has brought into your life. Be thankful for the ones who love you unconditionally, the ones who will have your back no matter what. The ones that will be there to stick it out through the good the bad and the ugly. Give your relationships the time and care they need to grow, because at the end of the day it is our friends and family that are what’s important, they are really what life is all about. Don’t wait for something bad to happen to realize how grateful you should have been.

Love harder, laugh more and  when you start  acting like life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one. Be Grateful.  Much love -Jenn

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