The Opposite of Addiction is Connection


We hold our secrets close to our hearts when we can’t comprehend a situation foreign to us. We silently navigate the uncharted territory with no knowledge of the tools required. When you don’t understand, it’s hard to know where to begin, where to reach out for help.

This can’t be happening to me. Why is it happening to me, I don’t deserve this, are thoughts that first surface. We share our lives too much on social media, but for the most part it is a facade, a glorified exaggeration, an unrealistic view of who we truly are. When in truth we are all struggling with something deep beneath the surface. We are viewed by our “friends” as living life to the fullest. Perfectly posted filtered photographs present us to those who muse us from a distance, that we are living the dream, three words that are regularly used to mock the fact that we are NOT living the dream. Deep down we have underlying pain we suppress so no one sees our cracks, exposing our weakness and vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage” Brene Brown.

We sprinkle our social media with post that support the dark side, the reality of Mental Health, in hopes that someone will repost in support. We don’t know who is suffering but we do our part and share the heart felt meme.

We share to become more aware. Awareness and sharing of our struggles is how we become relatable to those who don’t have the strength to reach out and ask for help, you are not alone! No matter how difficult your struggle seems, when you acknowledge it and share, tomorrow comes with the rising sun and you begin another day a little lighter.

As we silence and suppress our pain we disassociate ourselves with those who deeply love us, they can’t help you fix what they don’t know. Again, you are not alone. We don’t want to burden them with our truth. No one has time. We think we can do it alone. We isolate ourselves knowing that if we let them look deep into our eyes, and show our truth, they will recognize the pain we desperately hide behind the window to our soul. The music that once made my eyes sparkle and dance has stopped, I can no longer hide the sadness in my heart. That is my truth, for now.

When you become a Mother, you fiercely protect your children with vengeance. You would annihilate the world with a push of a button without a thought to save your child. The love you feel is unlike any other. You would give your life for them to breathe another breath, even if it were just one more. Your life has a purpose and that is to love and support them in every way humanly possible. We nurture and love, as if it is the only way to allows our heart to beat another day.

We have become experts at covering up what is really going on, out of fear we will be judged. When in reality, everyone has something they are working through. When you face this fear, you will see others standing next to you, understanding, knowing the path you are on, because they too have been there. You are never alone. It is a path because of others who have blazed it before you, remember that!

I grew up with a family member who struggled with Alcohol and Drug addiction. I was able to deal with my feeling from a distance because I didn’t bring him into this world. I had no comprehension of the magnitude of pain his addiction caused my parents. They so bravely dealt with it as best they could and sheltered me from the pain and struggle that was happening in their hearts. My parents navigated his disease, that I am sure crippled them at times, not knowing what else they could possibly do. They loved and supported him and sought guidance to help them on their unfamiliar path. Even now, they look back and wonder what they could have done differently or better, 40 years later. I had such empathy for my parents in my teens, in my eyes they were the coolest parents anyone could ask for. I didn’t understand how he couldn’t see this as clearly as I did. I was truly blessed. I chose many times to be with them over my friends because my love for them was so strong. To this day, they are my guiding light in life, and are now helping me navigate the path I find myself on with my son. I chose a path that couldn’t have been further from the one my brother chose, perhaps subconsciously, because I didn’t think my parents deserved to go down that rocky road again. I wanted to be the music that made their eyes sparkle and dance once again. My extended family also had struggles with addiction, a silent slow killer of a happy family dynamic. That secret we keep to ourselves, to keep the peace, in truth it gives us anything but peace.

I remember in my 20’s, coming to terms with the fact that I may get a visit from the Police informing me that my brother had come to his demise and I prepared myself for the phone call or door knock, that he finally succumbed to his end here, and would leave us with a mess of emotions to clean up. My brother did survive, albeit with a tornado of pain left in a path of destruction. I now understand how my Mom feels, knowing he is alive is a comfort but not knowing why he struggled so, haunts her heart every day as it does mine. Why would anyone choose to struggle if they had the choice, and that is addiction. Like her I am at peace when my kids are safe, healthy and happy. I wish for her peace in her heart each day.

I was angry for years at my brother for not knowing what he was doing to our family, in my eyes he was oblivious to the pain he had caused us by the choices he made. I separated myself from him, giving him tough love when he chose to reach out to me. I couldn’t have him lead me down his path, it was too painful for me, and I needed to support my parents. I know now that he has his own demons and a heart filled with regret, that only he can try to come to terms with in his own way. I wish him peace in his heart as well. Was he too far down the path to make his way back? I think there comes a time when we all feel it easier to just settle with where we are. The alternate is a great deal of work. It is a painful reality that I am not ready to face with my own son. I am hopeful that what he is going through is just a bump in the road and that he will prevail.

I am still in denial as I write this. I just want to wake up and it all be a bad dream. For whatever reason life has dealt me these cards, so the challenge begins for me right here. I don’t want to believe my own flesh and blood could make me feel such heart stopping fear. Anxiety washes over me throughout the day when I think of him. I want to know he will survive, and believe in my heart he will but there are times I find it hard to trust in a higher power when so many don’t.

I hold it together for my daughter, as my parents did for me to lessen the impact it will have on her life. I want her to see the good, and have faith that life doesn’t have to be a battle but a journey exploring the never ending possibilities that life has to offer. I believe what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and that it is how you react or deal with what comes our way that matters, but when you are in it, it’s hard to see the light.

I no longer think why is this happening to me, it has not been about me since the day my kids were born. My heart will stop beating one day, and my hope is that I can rest easy and leave this world with certainty that I did my part in serving others and that my children found their purpose and some meaning to allow joy in their lives.

I find strength when I look into my daughters eyes and see a caring, compassionate soul who tries to balance her fear for and love towards her brother. I find strength in knowing my son is a brilliant young man who is struggling to overcome what is below the surface that only he can see. If and when he choses to expose it, he will stand among those who can not only relate but help him heal.

We have to get through it because the other option is too painful a place to visit, a place where many parents and loved ones go each day in this crisis we face with mental health and addiction. The loss of a son or daughter is unbearable in any situation, but to not understand their troubles makes it even worse, because as parents we are programmed to make things ok.

Until we share the reality that we are facing, we can not begin to heal. We need to stop suppressing our pain to start the healing process, whether it be your healing or your family members healing. We can’t allow it to consume us, and each person has to be accountable to do their part in the process for it to work.
We need to fearlessly walk with purpose down the path where struggle needs to meet grit. My question is does he have the grit he needs to overcome his struggle? Perhaps that is what he is learning today.

When I reflect back on my brother, I can’t help but think if he had sought out the help he needed to face his demons sooner, what kind of relationship might have been possible. I love him no matter what, he is my brother and I have learned over the years to accept him for who he is. I have no judgment, just the feeling of loss of what may have been. When I think of my son, I have hope that if he does the internal work to find the source of his need to self medicate he will be at peace and find a higher purpose with meaning in his life. With the love and support of your family, regardless of how hard you think this is, you can conquer anything.

Love conquers all.

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My Word…

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Your word is a reflection of who you are. We all need to stop making promises we can’t keep. Where have the days gone when our word meant something? Even the traditional handshake has taken a turn to weakness. ‘Lets shake on it’is no more. A solid handshake insinuates strength, just as a weak one leaves you slightly disappointed. When you reach out and grasp the palm of another, you are engaging in a silent formal agreement, an extension of your word.

As a child, the word of an adult was the gospel. Pinky Swear mimics our handshake, sealing the deal of a child. As a grown up you never wanted to let down the innocent mind and hopeful child looking deeply at you. Why as adults do we feel it acceptable to speak without actions.

I understand that things change, people make choices that can spin a promise right off its foundation. We often set out with good intention but along the way we get side tracked with that something shiny, that takes us in a direction we didn’t see coming. Our word slips through the cracks of the foundation we so easily let crumble. A foundation that took years to build. We need to think about our words before we release them to the Universe and initiate the hope said within them.

Vows are not what they used to be. I am not sure if it is a generational thing or whether some people take them to heart more than others. Kept promises are becoming a thing of the past. Our word is written in pencil so easily erased on the pages we try to write. We lack focus. We have much to distract us.

If we all take a moment to think about the words we release to those who have hope and faith in us, maybe we can change the way a promise is kept. Maybe then our handshakes will have more strength and our words more meaning.

When promises continually get broken we start to believe we are not worthy of that promise. Those who do give their word with full intention of following through lose faith in those who so easily and thoughtlessly release promises without the thought or meaning behind them.

For our words to have strength they need to start from within. We need to know who we are and what we want to allow them to take on the meaning and strength they were meant to have. We need to be honest, know our truth, and be unafraid to express it. Promises will then come in time when they are ready to be released.

I give you my word that what I write and what I say to you are words I can shake on. I mean what I say and say what I mean, do you?

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Movember ~ Making a Difference in Mens Health ~ Repost ;{

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We love the strength of our male energy. They protect us instinctively without even thinking about it. They stand tall when looked upon to hold us together. They dissipate our fears, and lessen our pain by just being present.

Even the strongest of men can have their fate challenged, leaving those they love wishing for even just one moment longer to be held in their arms.

Movember, changing the face of mens health with a ribbon on their upper lip, worn with pride, uniting men in all corners of the globe.

These men share a camaraderie, their list of commonalities are long, but what matters most is their health! Male energy bound together to show their support for those who have, are, and will, fight a battle they all set out to win. Sadly not all do, but by bringing awareness to this crucially important cause we can get through this together.

We have all been touched by the loss of great men, whether it be within our family, our circle of friends, or a co-worker. We have all known someone who has lost their fight and joined the world of Angels. The world must be in need of Angels…

~ Last year the world lost an amazing man by the name of Brock Hilliard. I am grateful to have called him my friend. He is missed each day by all those who crossed his path and felt his love.

~ My friend Rick Rae (Rickr) passed last week and left the world with one less positive difference makers. Rick supported and left his voice on Tara Cronica for many years! He inspired me on more than one occasion to keep going! And still does. I miss the simple : ) Rick left so often reminding me that I was thought of. I miss being called ‘kid’.

~ Ken Yamamoto, a supportive father, a loving husband and friend, lost his fight just days ago. He will be missed by a community who he shared time and space with watching great kids play hockey, lacrosse and music!

~ Wray Douglas, I have so many fond memories when I think of Wray. Thank you for always keeping us safe on set while you lived your dream. I am grateful for the selfless gift you gave without pause. My love and thoughts are with your family.

Just a few of the great men who made a difference in the lives of those they loved, may you all rest in peace.

So although I admit I love watching the progression of a great Mo, it’s deeper than that for me this year. There is no comical twist, just a blessing that there are individuals who step up to create change in the world…for that I am grateful.

So gentlemen, grow your Mo and wear it with pride and honour knowing you have taken a stand to make a difference!

Made_in_Movember_Icon_1Tracy ~

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The Light that Shines…A Story for All.

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Tracy headshotI sat with tears steaming down my cheeks as I watched the empowering story of Jill Brzezinski-Conley. I felt a warm glow each time I saw her beauty grace the screen. Her story is one of love, strength and courage. We can all learn and grow as human beings from embracing such empowerment head on without fear! I will continue to live without fear and when it tries to seep back in I will think of Jill’s strength to keep it at bay! Thank you Jill for telling your story!

Sue Bryce helps Jill tell her story…

What Cancer cannot do…
Cancer is so Limited…
It cannot cripple love…
It cannot shatter hope…
It cannot corrode faith…
It cannot eat away at peace…
It cannot destroy confidence…
It cannot kill friendship…
It cannot shut of memories…
It cannot silence courage…
It cannot quench the spirit…
~Bernice Chambers

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Taking Down Our Walls ~

Before I get into my post I’d like to thank Lawrence for adding his voice to Tara Cronica as a Guest blogger on Monday. Lawrence wrote, How Will Your Smile Inspire, which was about his experience of putting himself back out in the world of being single after being in what I call the ‘cocoon of marriage.’ I love your honest approach to writing Lawrence! Thank you!

Which brings me to my post…

Walls, we all have them. I know I do, I visualize mine as pink! Pink says there is a woman behind there that is strong yet vulnerable, who wants to feel safe and protected. Walls can do that, so can alarms systems and dogs…okay, so can human beings if you’re willing to take the chance. I was recently reminded of the walls I have built so beautifully around myself. I was told that it was time for me to let them down, once and for all! Anyone who reads Tara Cronica or All Thing Sexy and Silver would wonder what walls?

I’ve lost out on more than one relationship in my past because of my walls and not having the ability to express myself. I was not comfortable with feeling vulnerable, but who is? I think deep down we all know we have walls up but when someone points it out to you it’s like putting a spot light on the big pink elephant in the room. It takes over your mind until you acknowledge it and decide you are going to do something about it. Walls go deep beneath the soil to your personal foundation, and below that to the fears that erected the walls in the first place. Only then, when you can identify what the root of the problem is, can your walls be taken down, brick by brick.

Fear is the Thief of Dreams ~Gandhi.

When we experience hurt or pain we justify our walls allowing them to rise higher than before. We use our pain as a scape goat to not face our truth, our fear. When we don’t face our fears we remain behind our walls morphing them into a shield that we learn to carry with us, blocking us from life experience. When we let go of our fears we open ourselves surrendering to what life truly has to offer.

My walls get a fresh coat of paint when feeling surface in a relationship. Feeling vulnerable is the first sign that you care for someone. Allowing yourself to feel vulnerable is a step forward. Embracing it for all it is and what it stirs inside you is a huge jump in the right direction! Not everyone has good intention so it can be hard. Vulnerablity lurks behind us like a shadow…waiting to jump out and scare us back behind our fortress! It feels so safe inside our walls I often wonder why anyone would even dream of taking them down. There is a pay-off when you do, it’s called Intimacy. I am a strong believer that you grow when you step out of your comfort zone. Take chances, live with no regret, feel all emotion, experience love and loss! Life is Meant to be Shared not hidden from behind walls.

We are all a work in progress in this marvellous thing we call life. It can feel hard to navigate at times on our own. That is why we need to share ourselves with others. I have learned a great deal about myself through those who I’ve connected with over the years. Never underestimate the power of a connection, no matter how small it may seem in the moment. We enter each others lives for a purpose, teaching and learning from one another.

I know the walls that have protected and sheltered me from my fears deep inside are just a facade. I have become aware of them and in doing so I can comfortably let them down. I choose to be open, no wall between me and life experience. I still want a symbolic wall in my life, that of a man who will wrap his strength around me when I need to feel protected, and give me a gentle nudge when I get too comfortable…he will be the only wall I take refuge in.


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Tough Mudder

Has anyone else heard of Tough Mudder? Tough mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all round strength, mental grit, and camaraderie. Tough Mudders have already challenged half a million inspiring participants worldwide and raised more than $2 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. If you thought the Grouse Grind was a challenge check out this intro video.

Wow this is quite the feat for any athlete! I would love to try it but I honestly wouldn’t make it past the sign up day, I’d be so distracted by all the tough mudders! lol If you think you have more focus and discipline than I do, you can give it your best shot cause it’s coming to Whistler in the summer of 2012! I’m thinking it would be a great event to volunteer for…just sayin.

There is a pledge…

~ I understand that tough mudder is not a race but a challenge.

~ I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.

~ I do not whine – kids whine.

~ I help my fellow mutters complete the course.

~ I overcome all fears.

They also have a few Facts:

#1 – Marathon running is boring. And the only thing more boring than doing one is watching one.

#2 – Mudders do not take them selves too seriously.  You can’t show up without a sense of humour, they greet you at the finish line with a beer, a laugh and a rockin’ live band. Oh and your covered in mud!

#3 – You can’t complete a tough mudder course alone. You need your team mates to help you through the mud, ice-water, fire and 10,000 volts of electricity. Not to mention the 12 foot walls, underground mud tunnels. No one gets left behind!

 

 

 

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“Stepping Into The Ring” with the ‘C’ Word!

I always find it interesting that when we start a new month with a new ‘header‘ and ‘theme‘ that somehow our theme is identified in our topics. Jacquie created this months artwork and chose Finding Lyrical Beauty in Individuality’.

I was surfing the internet looking for interesting stuff to write about when I came across this video, it’s powerful! I lost my Grandfather and Aunty Margie to cancer. It seems that everyone is connected to someone who is either going through cancer treatment, has lost someone to cancer or has it in their own family.

Here are two examples of women who not only inspire but also have their own unique individuality. I shared a website with you a while back called Crazy Sexy Life and an uplifting documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer which was created by Kris Carr an actress/photographer. It’s all about Kris looking for a cure and finding life. Kris Carr was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Weeks later she began filming her story. Taking a seemingly tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression, Kris shared her inspirational story of survival with courage, strength, and lots of humour.

Nicole Johnson is a bestselling author, performer, and motivational speaker. Nicole’s ‘Fresh Brewed Life‘ message gives ‘Hope for the Daily Grind’. She addresses issues ranging from the comedic struggle of motherhood to the tragedy of dealing with breast cancer. Nicole’s sketch “Stepping Into the Ring” is for those fighting for hope over despair in the battle against cancer.

Inspiring Women Expressing Their Individuality ~

Whether it’s you fighting the battle against cancer or someone you know is, the human spirit is NEVER alone. There is always support and inspiration around us. Nothing can take your spirit unless you allow it to.

Inspiring Women Rock!

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‘Build a Guy’

You’ve heard about ‘Build a Bear’ for kids, but how about ‘Build a Guy’ for us single ladies out there! Come on think about it, we all get together and go to a ‘happy place’ where we hand pick our very own guy stuffy. We add a voice to him, or not, we stuff him full of fluff, hold that little red satin heart next to ours while we wish him to be everything we desire and then sew him shut. We can sign up to the ‘Build a Guy’ ID program too and put our name inside him so that if he dare try to run, gets lost or stolen he’s recovered and mailed directly back, and lives the rest of his stuffed life as a voodoo bear naughty bear. We add just the right amount of intelligence, and Voila he’s ready to dress. Outfits are optional, I’d pick a Policmen’s uniform (wink, wink) but hey it’s your choice, whatever you fancy at that moment.

On those lonely nights when we feel like company, but not really, he snuggles right in and melts the worries of the world, listening intently to our every word. And if at any given moment it ever goes sour and we get upset with him he can be easily switched over to a Voodoo bear. (kind of creepy I know, but check out the link anyway just in case)

Okay seriously though, if you could build a guy just the way you like, what would you want to make him just right for you?

My first body part would be the Eyes. When you connect with your eyes there is a magic that happens.

My second body part would be the Heart, it needs to be free and bottomless. If you can capture someones heart you have everything you need to be happy.

Strength and Integrity are next, it’s what makes a man real. To honour his word.

Throw in a huge Funny bone, he would need to see the world with humour, and we’re almost done.

Intellect, we all end up looking the same so the conversation needs to be intriguing.

Add Strong hands and a sense of Adventure and we’re set!

So what do you think Ladies, which qualities do you love in a man/your man? There are so many to love I know it’s hard to pick but which could you not live without?

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Let’s Be Honest…

tracy-pic3We all like to think we have honesty with our partner, friends, family and co workers, but do we? Are we being honest with ourselves?

You have to wonder don’t you. A vow is taken at a wedding, but still the divorce rate is approaching 80%. Spouses are trusted, yet affairs are almost common behaviour. Friends who were once trusted with deep dark secrets eventually blab to someone and show their true colours. Why are relationships failing? Everything seems to be disposable including relationships and I think it all comes down to honesty. I think people are afraid to be really honest with one another. They’re afraid to say how they really feel. If they do they take the chance of being judged and alienated for simply speaking the truth. How well do you really know your partner? Do you know and accept the good with the bad? Do you really know their passions and desires? If we are completely honest in our relationships, trust should be there. But lets face it, sometimes the truth hurts.


Trust; – noun: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, ect, of a person or thing; confidence.

Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people” I love this quote by Spencer Johnson.

How much confidence do you have in your spouse? Will they stand by you ‘til death do you part?’ I heard on the radio one morning about this study that was done when women in a marriage get ill. I’m not just talkin the flu or a virus here, I mean really sick. When women get an illness like M.S or Cancer 21% of men leave their wives. (That still leaves 79% that will stick it out, which is positive.) But if the rolls are reversed only 3% of women leave. The reasons given were that men don’t see themselves as the ‘caregiver‘ in a relationship. Men simply don’t multi task like women do, which would be necessary while taking on what would be required if their spouse was ill. This makes me wonder, if couples felt they could be more honest within their relationship, could these drastic measures turn into compromising ones? Could there be hope of working it out together simply because of raw honesty?

We all know how hard it can be to be COMPLETELY honest with anyone without hurting feelings somewhere along the line. But if you want real trust you have to start somewhere. I know this because I’ve been there. There is a huge payoff for honesty and that is friendship. Because of honesty in my relationship I have a best friend whom I trust more than ever. Scott is my best friend because of honesty. I will admit at times it was hard, but if you get rid of your ego and really put yourself out there, you get past the hard part and are left with trust.

When the truth is told it gives you the freedom to make decisions based on what’s best for you. It’s unselfish to speak the truth to those you love, whether the news is good or bad, the truth shall can set you free! The same goes with your girlfriends, although it is difficult to speak the truth to them at time, it is easier in the end if you do.

I think that as long as you have honesty, pure intention, you have trust.

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