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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Critter Under the Bed (written because for some: “it is time to open your eyes and see”)


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My husband of 13 years was one of the local pharmacists plus owned 5 drug stores in our coastal town in Oaxaca.  He was highly respected and loved in our community. And he was labeled as the town widower with five adult children, who had married the American Teacher.  (That’s me.)  Pharmacist Gabriel was wealthy, yet extremely frugal.  He cut corners on everything except his own London style clothing and holiday family banquets.  The family had had the same Ama de Llave ( head servant ) for 20 years .

Critter Under the Bed Click to Tweet

She ran the house her way and usually with her blame game of verbal control.  Her expertise of Gabriel’s favourite recipes, taught to her by his late mom, gave her leverage to do as she pleased.  The adult children were very fearful of ever having to manage daily life, house cleaning and meals without her.  They could not fantom the many family celebration “ fiestas” without her.  Who would do all the cooking?  Even though she was a prized housekeeper, Pharmacist Gabriel never gave her a raise.  He assumed Vicky was where she was supposed to be, caring for whom she was supposed to care for. 

One of my husband’s passions was his love for Mexico’s culture and terrain.  We often took bus tours to different states in Mexico to see the ruins and cathedrals.  In addition, we looked forward to spending time in the local produce markets tasting  ‘fixed on the spot’ tamales, cheeses, sauces, hot soups, etc.  Of course, we only toured on economy class buses with economy tourist packets and native guides.


These second class trips involved traveling with 30 folks I did not know, sightseeing through the bus’ dusty opened windows, patiently controlling between bathroom stops with my own supply of sanitary paper in my pocket, fitting elbow to elbow around family style restaurant tables, and posing in tightly grouped camera shots.   All that was easy for me.  Even having to sit crunched up beside strangers on bus, taxi, ferry-boat and train trolley seats never bothered me.  

Critter 2 girl sitting in bus

You see, my ex-husband did not sit beside me / he didn’t permit physical contact.  I found no challenge with Mexican village menus and praying to bless the unsanitary food settings where the bus driver unloaded us to grab a bite.


 In route to the next big towns the bus driver would park on a shoulder of the highway where people had set up stands to cook and serve ‘fast food’ for travelers.   We would stand in line waiting for our food to be served out of hot towel covered buckets and from the makeshift sizzling hibachis.  Our ‘GO’ plates could be anything from pre torn squares of pinkish butcher paper to large banana leafs. Passing cargo trucks added exhaust fumes and muffler noise to the ambience.  Now that’s real getting down and being one of them!  Actually, I love it!  You know the ole saying: “When in Rome…..do as the Romans do”.

This trip was going to be my last adventure as the highly respected Pharmacist’s wife. I was privately preparing for a departure back to my own country. (Exciting but terrifying) I had been in this familiar, Mexican habitat some 21 years while raising my innocent son. He never deserved to be put through my codependence prisons we had endured.  He was gone now and learning the American way of life. That’s a culture shock for any new comer to The United States, I assure you.  And now it was my turn to go through that challenging period of adjustment as did my son.  

My thought life secretly pondered:  What was ahead? What to take with me , where to go, could I get a job, would I ever find a true love, could I stay clean and sober, could I drive on a freeway, survive snow, build credit, make friends? This was all so scary. 

I had been in a recovered alcoholic over 2 years now.  One day, just for today, I did not drink no matter what.   And being in substance abuse recovery via the 12 step manual, internet sponsors, & 12 Step Study audios, I had learned one thing for over 2 years.  And that lesson is to “trust and rely on God”.

My heart had run out of hope for my marriage and the painful loneliness was beginning to kill me. My private doctor and physiatrist agreed that I had one chance to live and not die. And that last resort was to leave. I had been doing the same thing over and over some 13 years and expecting a different result. No matter how hard I perfected and care gave and gave up me, I could not make my husband, Gabriel, love me. I was making him and me unhappy. His coldness, flippant indifference and public unfaithfulness were subconsciously suffocating my desire to live.   


My mind and body had shut down 2 months prior on New Year’s Day 2006. I had flown to Chicago to witness my wonderful son’s boot camp graduation. 

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Oh how beautiful that day and weekend was. … (I’ll tell that miracle tale on another day). 


But briefly I had waited my turn at the taxi pick-up point outside the Chicago O’Hare Airport two hours from midnight to 2:00 a.m.  I was heavily exposed to a snow blizzard. I was used to 110 degrees hot weather south of the border.  My lungs got much too cold waiting for that taxi outside 2 hours.  So, three days later when I returned home to Oaxaca I had developed a bad constant cough. 

It was almost Christmas and my spouse wanted us to take the overnight tour bus to Mexico City to see the famous Almeda Park Christmas lights. 


Adam, my son, used to go with us each year. Just a Christmas tradition, but I had to pay my own way and my son’s expenses everywhere we went and ate.  That held true for about 90% of our expenses at home, too.   


I was asked to pay for my own laundry soap, cleaning agents for ours and Adam’s room.  I was responsible for my share of the telephone and electric bill as well.  These were senseless ‘roommate type’ living expenses that most husbands absorb, (especially wealthy ones).  The 74 year old pharmacist had money, but only for his family (whatever that meant).  

Remember me mentioning the controlling personality of the house cook?  She was the one who made sure Adam and I knew that the family fruit, milk supply and soda pops were just for that….the family provisions and not ours!  In my point of view, every-time I shopped for these household supplies, it was a stinging reminder that my own husband did not care for me! It was not about money. To me it was all about unkept marriage vows.

After getting home home from Chicago,my personal physician, told me it was dangerous for me to travel until my lungs were better, but my husband insisted we go to Mexico City.  So my doctor gave me an injection to get me thru the holiday trip.  Back then, Mexico City had very visible pollution.  And Mexico 

City has mile high altitude…not good for congested lungs.

Upon return we soon had a house full of 4 step daughters and 5 grandkids visiting grandpa’s house for Christmas and New Year’s. 


I slept in my son, Adam’s room to not keep ‘My Love’ awake by my nonstop coughing. Dec. 31 about 10 a.m. my Gabriel called me over to our bedroom and stated very firmly with stand-up tall, self-dignity: “Gueda, (white one) I have told you two other times that I married you to take care of me and not for me to take care of you. Your coughing is keeping one of the babies awake. You need to leave now.  Go where you need to go. If you need to return to your country, I will help you. But you need to leave.”

He adjusted his tie and walked out of our bedroom to go to his office.  I turned around and entered the bathroom, looked up to my God of my understanding (which is Love, Love, Love) and said: “Well, Sir, I have been asking You over three years to do your will in my marriage and this hideous triangle of lovers my husband has. I take this as my answer from You. Thank- you, Sir.”

I had no fear. I packed a tiny bag, Bible and 12 step readings. 


The doctor had the car that day so I took a cab to an internet web café to email my on line alcohol recovery sponsor, who lived in California.  After that I called the dad of one of my former university students, as his dad was also in recovery.  I asked him to suggest a safe and clean hostel or pension. He hurried to where I was in total shock of what had been done to me!  He found a clean pension and drove me there.  I was just fine and prayed, read and slept well. But the next morning my body had shut down from a truly whipped and broken heart. I could not talk so I very slowly texted Josephine, a girlfriend.  Josephine rushed over and got me to the emergency room of the clinic that my doctor owned. My doctor was away for the holiday season. 


The staff workers rolled me into the emergency room and popped a pill under my tongue.  I only remember Josephine screaming to Jesus and digging in her purse for anointing oil. 

Critter 26 hand picking up bed sheet corner

Then 4 days later I awoke at Josephine’s home and she insisted it was time for me to talk to my husband. I finally yielded under her sweet nagging.  I called him and agreed to return home per his request. He wanted to discuss something with me.  And he wanted me to come back home. 

The day I went back home I called Mary, a dear friend I had taught English with at the university.  Actually I had had to leave my director position at the university in order to have free time to attend 12 step meetings in the mornings. That’s the way I did not relapse.  Meetings were and are my reminder of the illness I have and where I came from, not to return by picking up one little sip. 


I still owned my little school that I ran at night. Mary and I were going to drive around town and wait in the car, while my secretary posted signs about a new course I was opening.

That cough; that cough. I needed to buy some cough drops and there was a new convenience store caddy corner to my husband’s office over his main drug store.  So I pulled in the parking lot of the handy little store to buy the cough drops real fast.  As I was reaching for my coin purse, I glanced in the rear view mirror. Oh my goodness! I grabbed my chest and tried to catch my breathe!  I then pointed to them so Mary would turn and look.  One of my husband’s girlfriends and he entered a cab beside his office building.  He had just called that he was having coffee with Attorney So and So and would be home a little late for dinner.

I whispered to Mary: “ I need a drink.” She firmly returned: “No.  No drink.  Breath deeply.  Collect yourself.”

I dropped my face on the steering wheel and asked God “why?”   This was happening on my first day home and my husband had asked me to return.  He couldn’t have the consideration to pretend faithfulness just one day!

I heard the answer in my inner self. I think that was the first time I had literally known that Still Small Voice. 

“Because it is time for you to open your eyes and see”

Long story made short, Mary, my secretary and I drove to every coffee shop in town and called Lawyer So and So.  The lawyer had not talked to my husband in three months and the coffee shop he later said he went to was now out of business!

So I secretly began to make all arrangements to disappear. First, I needed to leave in good graces with all Mexican government departments.  Secondly I wanted to bless my girlfriends with my worldly possessions.  I couldn’t take my material accumulations of 21 years with me.  So, I had a blast giving them away!  Most of my friends were on very modest budgets, so they were excited about the gifts I bestowed on them saying I was down sizing.  And I commenced to settle all immigration and Hacienda (Mexican IRS) matters before leaving the country.

My physician and psychiatrist told me to prepare my departure without telling anyone or I would shut down again from the heart breaking experience of “goodbyes”.  I was silently bidding “goodbye” to my community, profession, coworkers, blended family, town, new adopted culture and foods of 21 years.  It would be too hard for my emotions and mind to handle.  I was told that my codependence addiction toward my cold shouldered husband was so extreme, that I could go into withdrawal. My instruction was just get to America and get immediate help for codependency. These two professionals informed me that in medical school they had learned that 10 out of 100 emotionally abused women pass away within 24 hours after walking out of the relationship.  The doctor gave me 10 pills from Germany to calm me until I got to a Co-da ( codependency anonymous ) meeting for support.  They were a non mind altering medication prescribed to start taking the day before I left. 

Preparations were in motion to escape quietly to the airport one early morning soon.. But one last detail had to be completed on this tropical rain forest vacation trip before I left.  I would make my last attempt to see if my spouse could ever love me. I hadn’t totally given up.  Yet, I was finally at peace. I really knew the answer and only needed to cross my “T” and dot my “I “confirming I had done my part before fleeing.

This Chiapas journey was so beautiful, as it was extremely close to nature in the raw sense of the word. We’re talking about some nights without even an outhouse, much less electric lights, fan, TV, carpeting.  I learned to whirl a rag in a propeller motion while waving it up and down my body length to keep insects away, to bathe with half a pail of well water behind nature’s shower curtain of late night darkness, 


to be a quick change artist in broad daylight while sitting on my bus seat (without anyone getting a peek), to tear a piece of cardboard box off at the market to be a most valued hand fan, to use an old t-shirt for a bath towel and lay it across my seat back to get dry in transit. All these lack of modern conveniences have never fazed me as hardships. I enjoy the art of being in nature’s flow full of gratitude and adventure.  I practice focusing on expectation for what God has around the bend.

Actually one of the most exciting memorable praise times I have ever had was on this last trip when we spent a day where there were several shallow clear natural pools. They looked very “you Tarzan, me Jane”. 


It was quite a hot day so dipping in the clear water was tantalizing. Each pool was a different color.  They ranged from turquoise to powdery blue to a purple hue. In order to enter the water one had to carefully step over and maneuver around thick intertwining tree roots. The pools were not beside each other so a mini hike was in store between swims. I was alone and having a peaceful blast quietly planning my preparations for my return to my motherland. My husband always stayed near the tourist guide’s 17 year old helper.  We had been on several tours with this guide and his young assistant to different Mexican states.

Actually Gabriel was always kinder and more considerate to that teen tour guide than he ever was to Adam, my son – his own step son.

I had raised my boy to the best of my ability. To tell the truth, Adam had survived his childhood but by the grace of God. We had really been thru the emotional wringer. I had made our bed and poor Adam had had to sleep in it. He finally had a father and that father’s name was Uncle Sam!  I was now able to go back to my homeland without the worry of providing for my son.  I didn’t have to worry about my son should I not get a good job or find a decent place to live. His address was at sea with room and board!  


I had never had family for us to go back to in the United States.

As I daydreamed about starting my new life at last, I sang my own made up songs to the Lord.  After the water time our guide gathered us to a picnic sight to have beans and hand patted tortillas. There was also a paper thin slice of sun dried meat. (What animal the jerky was from, I have no clue, but it was unbelievably tough!) 

After eating, my husband started off for a climb in the jungle mountain. He had a game he would laugh about as he periodically enjoyed telling the tale. The story was in memory of his late wife. He would make her walk from one end of downtown Mexico City to the other while he marched in rapid pace glancing in shop display windows. He was an athlete and walked at a very fast speed with great ease. He would laugh about how his late wife would be limping and exhausted after the almost 2 mile hike on asphalt and cement. I had also been victim to his game twice on our Oaxaca town seawall. Both times I needed injections in an ankle and ended up having to drag one leg for months.  It was just not healthy to try to keep up with him. Too fast!!!

He was up to it again. ..This time the game was for me to keep up with his climb up the jungle mountain as he followed the teenage guide. 


But I grabbed a strong long, dry pole from the ground and let my husband hurry off thinking I would race behind frantically.  I was in my own spiritual world of praise and worship, singing to my Lord at the top of my lungs. 

I didn’t see the danger of all the twig and leaf covered trail steps leading up and up. I didn’t think anything about snakes or critters in the vines and under fallen foliage.  I was just finally having the freedom to worship and sing without having people around. There was no church, Bible time or prayer before meals at the house. So this very private alleluia session in a tropical forest was wonderful! I never hesitated to grab onto vines and pull myself up and step on the unknown footings.  And then, I realized I was on top of a high jungle mountain!  I had arrived! 


I was overlooking magnificent waterfalls. I sang even louder and happier. I know the feeling of an eagle now. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.  Yeh! Oh Father God, how beautiful!!!

I had to return pretty fast because it began to rain hard and the path down could get muddy and slippery.  Long fall….

What a nice day. I guess it got me filled with the conscious contact with God that I was going to need for that very evening.

Our guide had given us a pep talk that he saved the best for the last two days! Yippee! We were spending the night at a luxury beach resort area for the middle class National Mexicans.  The vacation spot was called Puerto Risco. Needless to say we arrived both bushed from swim and  hike;  all famished for a real meal.


As the bus entered the city an unpleasant stench appeared at each street corner. There were high piles of stinky, fly covered garbage thrown at the end of each block on the media. Whoa! What an invite!  It was some festival and carnival time.  The booth lights were set up in little parks. The few restaurants in the resort town were full of customers eating, and our tummies were empty. So we piled out of the tour bus to walk the main street spreading out to fin for ourselves in quest for dinner.  We were to reunite at the town square for our hotel arrangements in one hour.

The guide confessed we would be scattered all over as no one hotel had had enough room for the whole bus load. 


Some ladies were even staying in private homes with families. One basement room had three  twin beds in a circle with  a toilet in the middle of the room and a curtain was improvised around the toilet. The only mini window looked out to the sidewalk as sandals and flip flops walked by.  Poor ladies!

The beloved pharmacist and wife (us) were to get the best accommodations (or so we were told).

It was almost impossible to communicate with my husband. His past time at home was sitting in front of the TV upstairs in the family room. He watched Hitler movies about three hours a day never getting bored of them. His library had shelves and shelves of books based on this hero of his. I had discovered two times that it was effective to call his secretary and just make an appointment as a client if I had an issue I needed to discuss with him. I had done that upon two different occasions when I had been particularly upset about one of his public displays of infidelity. 

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Tonight was going to be one of those rare times we could communicate, or so I planned.  We walked on the beach and sat under a palapa (palm leaf shelter) while awaiting our room. As we sat and viewed the foamy tide I took in a deep breath and bravely asked:

“I am confused about some things.  Why is it you have never even turned your head to look at any of my photos when I want to share my life with you through them?

When I tell you memories of when I worked at NASA or was an airline hostess / model / had my jewelry supply business / was an Indian jewelry trader on the road in my motorhome, you never even pretend to listen, much less make a comment.

You have never told me you are proud of me for the books I have written or the language institutes I have launched.  I don’t understand. Please tell me why.  Today I want to know why.”


Now inside my love starved imagination I suddenly saw my husband gallop in on a white horse, hop off the stallion and run up to me, kneel and kiss my hand as he declared how blind he had been and now he suddenly had fallen deeply in love with the beautiful accomplished women that I am!!!  I almost crossed my fingers waiting for his love and kindness to evolve.

His answer was quick and cutting to the core! It took my breathe away. It slapped sense into me at last.

“Oh Guerda (white one), even your son says you are crazy” at which he got up to swipe off the sand and he walked away not even waiting for me much less helping me up from the ground.

That is just what I had taken this trip to discover.  And I remembered what the Still Small Voice had told me:

“It is time to open your eyes and see”


Remember the story about the frogs in the big tamale pot (or crab pot or canning pot / what did your area call it?) 

Well, the frogs settled in close together and made the best of it as the water got hotter and hotter. Maybe they were thinking: “It’s O.K.  It’s all good.  I can do this. Things will get better soon”.

And the water began to boil and they never even tried to escape and they killed themselves.  Did I tell you that the pot was very shallow and they could have jumped over the rim at any time, should they have chosen to live? They all died.

My hidden flight itinerary was dated for March 10, 2006. In two more weeks, I was going to leap over the rim of the boiling pot, passing goal and not going to, but getting out of my own jail. My husband, Gabriel, had just dropped the last straw on this camel’s back!  I held back the tears and put on a peaceful face, as always. My eyes were opened.  I finally could see.  He had just given me permission to carry on with my escape plan.

But first for a good’s night sleep….tomorrow would unfold tomorrow.

Critter 23 hammock and spray can

The guide was at the nicer hotel in town waiting for us to return from eating. The lobby was under the hotel rooms in an opened area patio that was tropically furnished. On the front desk counter was a little bell to wake the clerk if he was asleep on the nearby hammock. Oh yes, and a broom was propped up against the wall. Plus there was a spray can of insecticide at one end of the counter. (That should have been my clue.)

The guide had brought our luggage from the bus and he explained this was the nicest room left in the city and he would see us at the plaza at noon. Off he scurried with his young male assistant. They were probably going to sleep in the bus.

Critter 24 simple Hotel room

I rolled my flight bag on wheels into our room. Double bed, marble floor, one wooden stick chair, mini closet without a door on the left of the room and 2 steps that entered a sterile bathroom with only the necessities.  There was not even a shower curtain or toilet seat. I checked and the bathroom window was well locked. As was my custom, I emptied and lined up my toiletries, went to the closet and got my Bible and 12 step manual out of the luggage along with my flashlight, towel, flip-flops, and night wear to go take a shower. Gabriel was just sitting in the chair. There really wasn’t room to do anything else.

The Voice, the Voice; It said: “Go over to your side of the bed and look under the bed.”

Now, Mexican hotels are very practical about bases for beds. To save on wear & tear and because cement is so much more affordable than wood, most teachers’ desks in public schools and hotel bed frames or just poured cement. One never had to clean under the bed and it was great on the spine. So beds were merely a mattress over a concrete rectangle.

I knew that and I knew God knew it. So, I thought ‘nah’ it must have been my imagination. I went to brush my teeth. 

The Still Small Voice repeated ever so kindly: “Go over to your side of the bed and look under the bed.” 

Oh! O.K. Maybe someone left a gold watch or 100 pesos there. Yeah right. I better get the flashlight and  a coat hanger to reach with. I mean there is no “under the bed” so best not get too close.

As you recall the broom against the wall in a hotel lobby and insecticide ready to grab and aim, were clues I didn’t pick up on. About every two months, my spouse’s grandkids, Sonny and Adriana,  would come screaming ““Night-Night”, “Night-Night”, un raton!” 

They named me “Night-Night” because I said that before we departed to go to sleep at night. And raton means a mouse. So when they spotted a mouse the hunt was on. Vicky, the maid, and I would run for the brooms on the back steps and head for the last scene of the crime. How the kids would shrill and jump up and down as the mouse would escape from one piece of furniture to the next and laugh at Vicky and me do our routine until mouse died ~ we won.


Where was Gabriel all this time the mouse hunts were on?  Hiding in the bedroom. He hates critters.

So, that is why the hotel night clerk had the broom ready for action. They had critters!

With close toed shoes on (not flip flops); with the flashlight in one hand; and a wire coat hanger in the other; I cautiously leaned over to see my side of the bed which was 12 inches from the wall and window.

Nothing visible. Using the coat hanger I elevated the long white sheet that draped over the side of the bed almost to the floor. “WOW!” 

Wow, Wow, Wow.

Big, Big…….sooooo Big!!!

As I was moving swiftly to the bathroom to collect my beauty aids and then to the closet to rapidly stuff my towel, books and other possessions in my luggage and zip up, I was singing praise songs with eyes as big as a deer looking at a spot light! That’s what I do in the middle of any crisis once my vocal cords can function. I sing to the Lord…glory, glory, glory, glory…

Gabriel asked where I was going. I said back to Oaxaca; that I had had enough. He said that there were not any buses or trains or an airport. I said I would walk; I had had it.

I handed him the flashlight and demanded he go see, but to be very careful.

Critter 26 hand picking up bed sheet corner

He tip-toed over very slowly, bent over a bit, peeked using his fingers at the corner of the cover sheet.

He looked about a whole minute (like he was frozen) and said: “It’s a scorpion”

He left the room and I stood in the hall with my baggage in my arms and my eyes focused on the pathway from me to it! How can I explain this for you to really get it? Oh yes. A banana. That’s it, a banana. Think of a dark, over ripe yet firm banana standing on one end and curving up other end. The tip of the curved up end pointed up in the air was in a striking position! 

Critter 27 giant scorpion

BIG scorpion!!!

Gabriel and the night clerk arrived with spray can and that broom. They entered. I walked down to the exit area. 5 minutes later they returned to the hall and closed the door behind them. We were all walking to another building. No one talking except then the man informed us this is a brand new wing to the hotel and everything was new. I tip toed around to check it out. There were high cedar closets that did not go all the way to the ceiling. The bed didn’t have a headboard installed yet, so there was a three to four inch space between bed and wall. I went over everything singing under my breath. “Glory, glory, glory, glory”.  Then I told them to get a ladder and look on top of the cedar closets. Gabriel had never been so obliging before. He told the man to go get the ladder.

I must have shined the flashlight between the wall and bed and over the closets and around the room ten times thru out the night. I have to admit I was not totally trusting and relying on God. 

Why didn’t I meditate on the fact that God did not tell me to look under my side of the bed so I could be moved to another room just to be stung by a ‘Critter’. Duh, Cindy ! “Have some faith!  Know who your God is!”

The next morning I was able to get Gabriel’s attention long enough to learn the whole amazing story.

They had killed the banana sized scorpion I had seen. But they decided to check the rest of the bed to spray it.

Here goes.

The cement bed base was hollow to save money on construction costs. The base had cracked open with a 2 inch gap and the sheet was hiding the hole. The nest, better yet, scorpion colony was in that bed base. Gabriel said there must have been 20 of them! He and the night attendant just hurried out and shut the door behind them.

I wouldn’t be here today if I had not listened to the voice of my Shepard. Sing to Him when I get scared or angry or confused? You bet I sing to Him! Yes! Even in public He is worthy of my praise.

Behold, I give unto you power to thread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Like 10:19

I invite you to enjoy my addiction recovery tales ( Oh yes!  This tale was the addiction of codependency ) Check out my Lizard Tales.  They are fun, insightful readings.  And guess who the lizard is?  Me!  Www.StopFryingYourBrain.com. Just type: Lizard Stories in the search box on the right midway down or got to the category and select right menu bar. Here’s what to look for (see or click below)

Detox click image for more information


According to Bright Futures Blog:

Alprazolam, marketed under the brand name Xanax, is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Similar to the effects of alcohol, alprazolam works by depressing brain functions. Abuse of this drug can be dangerous and can lead quickly to an all-consuming addiction to the substance.


Xanax addiction is hard to overcome stay away at all costs

I was about 13 or 14 when I first took Xanax or alprazolam (the generic version). It wasn’t prescribed for me, but I was an extremely overreactive kid. I would throw fits that left holes in walls and doors knocked off hinges. I was a fully functional Asperger’s syndrome having maniac. My mother didn’t know what to do with me, so she used to give me .2 mgs of Xanax to get me to calm down.

Fast Forward to adulthood…

After many years of unruly behavior, I found myself a full-fledged addict. I was 21 and heavily addicted to narcotic pain killers to the point where they didn’t get me high enough so I needed to supplement the narcotic painkillers with Xanax to get a high. It worked great most of the day I’d spend on the couch nodding in and out of consciousness and drooling on myself. Great way to live ay? Yeah right?

What was it like to withdrawal from benzodiazepine’s?

Most treatment centers won’t take you if you’re on benzodiazepine’s because you are at high risk of seizure and they can’t do anything for it. The only way to come off is to slowly taper off the drug. However, when I got clean in 2009 I was combating a 50 pill a day (Roxicodone) habit and a daily intake of 4 mgs of Xanax a day. To give you an idea that is two Xanax bars a day.

What are the withdrawal symptoms like to deal with?

Once I had come to Florida for treatment it took me about 4-6 months to fully withdrawal from the Xanax and Roxicodone. Some of the symptoms from the withdrawal were watery eyes, muscle aches, restlessness and other symptoms.

I can tell you this, I would never in my life want to be addicted to Benzo’s again ever…

The worst is the first few weeks and then it gets bearable, but also keep in mind I didn’t taper off. I just discontinued use and detoxed cold turkey.

If I were to suggest anything DO NOT take the stuff unless medically necessary because the detox is horrible.

God Bless



SFYB Contributing Author “FUBAR” Best stuff in the hood brother

Addiction a Disease? Or Learned Behavior?

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Yo big dogs listen up. My name is “FUBAR”. If you don’t know what that means click here. I am a crackhead, a drug dealer servicing dozens of crack houses in the hood. My drug of choice is crack cocaine of course and let me tell you, I am a subject authority.
It took me a while to get the publishers to approve me. My intent is to write a number of articles from a drug dealer and crackhead point of view. Let me thank those in charge who gave me this opportunity. Mainly the head dude there…. Rob (Thank God he’s a biker)
Addiction a Disease? Or Learned Behavior? Click to Tweet
Came across this website one afternoon when I was visiting customers. Crackheads were sitting around discussing addiction watching on their smart phone. I thought it might be interesting to share their perspective.
Of great debate in the crackhead community, the Russell Brand piece this website did. Click here.

Crackheads don’t share the perspective of the doctors, therapists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists etc. As a group, we advocate addiction is a learned behavior and not a disease.
By that I mean, most of my new customers use crack cocaine to escape  some other problem which is bigger than them. Many of these people are lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, bankers, grocery store owners etc. Their world in some way has been totally obliterated and these people are lost souls.
The pain of losing everything you worked for your entire life and then not knowing how to recover is what drove them to use crack cocaine to get relief.
Just as an observation, crack houses are very unique place. It doesn’t matter if you sold your mother into slavery, slayed your father or barbecued the firstborn for dinner. Your accepted unconditionally within the group. No person will make any judgment of you.
So I submit to all here that crackheads are socially dysfunctional. This is their attraction to the house in the first place.

Yes people you’ve got problems at Rat Park… Sales are good!



I know in my case this is true. Looking at my picture you can see that I am a handsome dude and I shouldn’t have any problem with women socially speaking that is. I was doing it wrong all my life going to bars with fancy cars and spending all my money. Imagine how surprised I was when I discovered I could have any woman in the house for a $20 rock. I was truly enabled and addicted for life. Think about that!

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I find that once crackheads put their life back together, smoking crack and hanging out becomes very unimportant to them. Please share your thoughts.

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Like a Champion

Are you a champion doing what you do best? Or would you say there is room for improvement in your life
Mike Downing

Mike Downing Contributing Author

It is likely that you are one of the millions of people from around the world that have been watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Regardless of winning or losing the game everyone appreciates the level of dedication required to reach the top in their game. This intense training and performance of the body doesn’t display the confidential work an athlete must undergo to train the brain for maximum performance.


As we watch the physical ability of the athlete- can you imagine what is going on inside of the athletes brain and the mental conditioning to reach those levels? Nobody earns that level of success without hard work, dedication, tremendous sacrifice and a coachable attitude. Athletes are excellent examples and model the coachable attitude that comes directly from discipline in the brain.


Let’s look at what a coachable attitude really means and keep in mind the coachable attitude relies 100% on the athlete’s responsibility to think clearly. The athlete must be willing to accept feedback from a coach in a safe environment without turning negative or shutting down. Athletes understand the coach is working exclusively for and supporting the athlete’s goals. The coach earns respect by skillfully demonstrating the ability to hold the athletes focus to reach maximum potential in the moment of training or competing.

The skilled coaching conversation between the athlete and coach will open the mind to awaken and discover the missing pieces required to move forward like a champion. Unfortunately, we are not able to coach ourselves objectively or as effectively without a coach to frame an objective view of personal performance.


When we reach the top of our career or win the game we need to learn how to manage that level of success in a productive manner. It’s healthier to have a receptive mind at all times to cross check and allow our thinking to be challenged. There is nothing wrong with demonstrating self-control and no reason to be embarrassed or feel insecure at any time during the process of achieving higher goals while working with a coach.


Professional coaches create a safe and productive learning environment to draw out the best of each client. How would your life improve if you hired a personal coach to unlock strengths inside of you? That’s right, if you believe you are coachable and ready to move forward in your career or struggling with an addiction – why are you not reaching out for help? Studies indicate that people are responsible for placing personal and professional limits on themselves. Skilled coaches help you increase your limits with confidence and sustainability by connecting your strengths, core values, beliefs, needs and wants to confirm balance in your life.

Naturally, a coach will look for a strong commitment with a coachable attitude to create a dynamic relationship between the athlete and coach. During the private conversation the coach will deliberately stretch the client further to reach higher levels faster. This process requires a client to mentally and physically push through challenges every time the client feels like giving up, throwing in the towel or quitting.
Let’s be candid and get serious about taking responsibility for our personal growth and development. Today there are several books based on the brain and how the brain functions. The brain is empty and pure when we are born and continually develops and learns until we take our last breath. Unless, a medically diagnosed condition is found that prohibits the ability to learn or retain information.


We understand the brain activate when we use our five senses. (eyes-ears-nose-mouth-touch) Meaning everything we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel will record new data instantly and permanently in our brain. When this information is received into the brain it will become our responsibility to further challenge the new information quickly using our learned filters to process whether this information is good or bad for us. This is key because the filtering process is learned and will help us navigate decisions based on the facts. We learn the difference between right from wrong, good from bad, yes from no and all of these filters start applying when we are very young and learning from our parents, friends, family, school, television, games, etc…

Unfortunately, most people choose what they believe is bad for them because someone else told them it was bad and not to do it. Wow, that’s right! Notice when someone tells us not to do something we might do it without them knowing. When a person uses his or her free will to choose there is not much we can do for them when deliberately acting out and choosing things that have the potential to cause harm. Respectfully, how does that work for all teachers out there? It’s never worked for me. The first opportunity a curious person gets to find out what bad really means will immediately uncover the other side. Yes, the temporary good feeling of pleasure, rewards sensations being released inside of our bodies chemical factory.

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Did you know, there is very strong evidence supporting the brains natural organic ability to learn, process and retain new information on how to set higher goals based on your strengths and core values? Yes, with the right program repeated several times the brain will eventually respond and accept the client’s decision for change. Training the brain will condition a new normal with confidence and sustainability to moving forward to break free from an addiction, manage time more effectively, improve relationships, health, fitness and life balance.

My guess would be that if you are reading this article you are ready for help or you know someone who is looking for help. My job, our job is to get real about who you are and why are you here reading this article. I don’t believe things happen by accident as much as divine moments in time. Tell me what’s happing right now in your life that’s not working and when do you want to get back on track?

My job, our job is to create a custom plan built exclusively for you and your situation that defines what your focus will include and what you want to achieve moving forward.
How would you answer the next set of questions: Are you struggling with an addiction or need help adjusting to something new? Do you want help? If so, when do you want to start? And who will trust to uncover those obstacles that are holding you back from moving forward? You must be willing to be completely transparent on where you are right now and what you expect moving forward.

Hopefully, this article will encourage you to reach out for help and find a program that matches your situation. Retaining a personal commitment, addiction recovery coach like Mike Downing will help you reach your goals faster with clarity. Help has arrived! www.PureCommitment.com
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A Tribute to John Belushi

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His name is John Adam Belushi. He was borne on January 24, 1949 and exited our earth on March 5, 1982 at the very successful, yet young, age of 33 years old.  He was dynamic and award winning within every platform preformed: film, television, music, and play.  Up to the time of death, he was actually the only celebrity who had ever placed number one in all three categories: record, film and television show at the same time.

Tribute to John Belushi Click to Tweet

His face was so highly recognized by the public that he rarely carried a plastic identification card, such as a driver’s license.  He literally was able to renew his driver’s license, get his marriage certificate and cross over from the United States into Canada without needing to pull out an official I.D.  His face was his identification!

John Belushi was a very tall celebrity figure who measured 5’6”.  He was a living example that height is no stumbling block in life.  Another well-known figure, Military General and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, also measured 5’6”.  Belushi had a passion for reading about him.  A common phrase that John Belushi used when signing autographs was: “Wise Up!”

According to Wikipedia, John Adam Belushi is described as: “intense energy and raucous attitude.” Raucous according to Webster is: loud and unpleasant to listen to, and behaving in a very rough, noisy manner. John Belushi knew about the 7 second rule for making first impressions.  He knew he only had a seven second opportunity for each first meeting, preforming, interviewing, and influencing.  And he took advantage of that 7 second energetic attraction window, making sure that those in the same room and audience knew he was there and would remember it.

He married Judith Jacklin Belushi in 1976 and they were married until he died in 1982.  They were school sweethearts.  She was 15 going on 16 and he was 16 going on 17, just like in the song that was sung in the moonlight in the Gazebo in Roger and Hammerstein’s Sound of Music.

In an interview when asked to tell about what kind of husband John Belushi was, Mrs. Judith Belushi used the 80% positive / 20% forgotten rule in her thinking and evaluation of the love of her life. She only remembered the 80 % positive.  She says that she knows there was a negative 20% side to him, but it is the 80% good that she remembers.  That good side of John Belushi was: loving, a great provider and extremely protective, only wanting the best for her.  His best friend was Dan Aykroyd.  This best friend, Aykroyd, continues to be there to aid in her provision and protection as business partners for the House of Blues Night Club change nationwide.

Once John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were alone conversing and sunning at the beach while enjoying music.  The Ventures song, 2000 pound Bee, began to play. Between them they agreed that each would like to have that song played at their individual funeral.  They promised each other that whoever died first would be honored by the other playing that tape at the funeral.  Their pun of this plan was: “Wouldn’t it be great to lay this noisy, heavy tape on a church full of people!” John never knew he would ‘win’. And Dan Aykroyd was a man of honor to his best friend.


1000 family members and friends attended a memorial service in New York at the Cathedral of Saint John Devine. Aykroyd completed John Belushi’s self-directed finale. Mr. Aykroyd placed a portable music device beside the Cathedral pulpit microphone and played 2000 Pound Bee.  John Belushi had the best balcony seat in the house as his spirit could enjoy the stunned impact of his audience, immediately followed by great laughter. But that was not the curtain call.  Dan Aykroyd and Mrs. Judith Belushi continue to lavish the Blues Brother Music to John Beslushi fans with repeated opening nights nationwide in the House of Blues nightclubs.

The John Belushi fans know that the cause of his death was drug related.  Different industries have their own ‘kryptonite’ or goal reaching potions.  For example in the health and beauty spas they tend toward juicing and fruit and produce bars.  And the muscle building gyms trust and rely on different protein nutritional shakes. In the airlines and 18 wheeler vertical, they all live on coffee as they do they travel time duties.  Gamers enjoy delivered pizza.  Well, in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Hollywood was filled with drug use for that extra boost of talent endurance.  Everywhere you looked drugs were there.  The producers, the directors, and actors all seemed to be using them.  John was no exception.


According to the website Belushi.com, under the menu selection ‘death’, it was stated that on March 5, 1982, it was just another night for John. He was in his bungalow #3 with some friends working on a movie script.  But that night he decided that he wanted something to take him further than he had ever been. He did not know he would get his wish. John shot up a speed-ball. The mixing of heroin and cocaine that night had a cumulative on the brain slowing down John’s breathing finally causing complete respiratory failure.  Robin Williams had visited bungalow #3 that night and left.  Later on Robert DeNiro stopped by to see John Belushi in the #3 bungalow and saw that too much was going on so he stated to John as he left: “ If you ever get up again, give me a call.’

Belushi seemed to have a thought pocket or pattern about senior living and death. He and his lovely wife summered as renters in 1977 and 1978 on Martha Vineyard’s Island before they purchased their own home there.  And Belushi often said that at the Vineyards the air is fresh and one could get a good night’s sleep there. He told his wife: “We are going to be very old. Being here at the Vineyard is the key to living an old age.  Look around you.  Look at all these old people.  This is where people come to live to get old.”

The last time John Belushi and Judith were on the island together they actually drove by the Abel’s Hill Cemetery (where Belushi is buried) at Martha’s Vineyard.  And Judith said that she would like to be buried there.  He said:” I would like to have a Viking Funeral!”  In respect to the desire of John’s mother, Judith did not have the requested Viking Funeral for her late husband.  However, on the first anniversary of John Belushi’s death, his funeral wish was observed by setting fire to a dingy that held various Belushi’s mementos.  Then the burning dingy was put out to sea near Gay Head.

In 1990, while Judith Jacklin Belushi cleared the closets of years’ worth of her late husband’s clothes she stated:” I have kept things for some time that I always thought would be for and auction even before his death. The items were auctioned for a charity benefit.  The items have not been forgotten but each have been displayed in the spotlight of honor by fans and collectors of comedy lovers.  John Belushi is recognized as the 5’6” very tall man who made that first 7 second appearance an impact in every gathering and performance stage he entered.

John Belushi, as described in Wikipedia: “intense energy and raucous attitude”.   Could that imply the attracting force to prompt John Belushi’s viewing world to “Wise Up” and see that they are O.K.?  Could Belushi have been relaying to his audience that they can disregard their fears, doubts and insecurities of not having been socially perfect and let the laugh be on him!

Belushi was scheduled to present the first annual Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 1982 Academy Awards with Dan Aykroyd.  Aykroyd presented the award alone and stated from the podium. “My partner would have loved to have been here tonight to present this award since he was a bit of a visual effect all by himself.”

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SFYB Staff Writer

Sober Survival at Parties

By: Lisa

On Day 43 of my sobriety, I let myself ‘out of my sober bubble’ and went to a party. My first party sober in my lifetime!!!!!!! I purposely arrived two hours late because I was really nervous so I waited until I knew there would be lots of people there so I could ‘blend in.’

Sober Survival at Parties

I rocked in looking fabulous as I had promised to myself.

While driving there my legs felt like jelly and I was really shaky.  Then I pulled myself together and told myself, “You are a grown up successful woman, with 3 kids and these are your friends”

That helped calm my nerves.

Remember (I didn’t know this then, –  alcoholism actually affects your central nervous system and it can take years to recover properly). No wonder I was so nervous. I arrived and immediately made sure I got ‘busy’ chatting to people.

I took a big bottle of pre mixed lime and soda with me and kept my glass nice and full at all times.

Luckily the birthday girl loves to dance, so she cranked the music and we boogied on down.  I actually got really hot and sweaty, I sure wasn’t expecting that from the night.

Earlier in the week the host had sent me a text prompting me to stay ’till the end and dance around the lounge.’ This implied she was expecting me to drink a lot as she well knows me for. She likes her wine this girl so because I was new to the sober partying thing, I was nervous about the staying late expectation.

As the night went on, I listened to people repeating themselves, I watched them spill drinks and smash glasses, I watched them wobble on their feet, I listened to little tiffs over who has been drinking MY champagne, etc etc. All stuff no doubt I used to do, ok,  – DID.
I found it all rather amusing. (it’s the little things ok!)

After 3 1/2 hours, I was able to do something I had NEVER EVER DONE BEFORE after a party. I got my car keys and drove home!!  It was very liberating.

So if you find yourself early in sobriety, (or at any stage really as we are always ‘at risk’), I want to share some pre party strategies that I planned in advance to help me.

This could apply to a party at any time of the year, but of course it is particularly poignant at the moment given ‘tis the season to be jolly and party invitations are plentiful. Some of these may or may not be relevant for you, but if you can use them and better still, add some more, great!

Sober Survival at Parties

  • Do lots of dancing to keep occupied
  • Ask other people lots of questions so they get talking about themselves, this takes the pressure off you (people LOVE to talk about themselves given half a chance)
  • I chose to arrive late so there were lots of people and I could ‘blend in’
  • Buy a new outfit (sober treat, you deserve it) so you look and feel your very best
  • I took Lime and Soda as it is the colour of wine so looked fine in a wine glass (this should stop the nosy parkers enquiring WHY you are not drinking)
  • Take a camera and be a self-appointed photographer to ‘keep busy’
  • Have an early exit strategy (eg, got to get home for the babysitter)
  • Pick up a friend on the way so you have the “I’m driving” excuse
  • Tell a good friend that will be there your ‘story’ so that you have a ‘sober ally” and ‘safe person’ to escape to if needed for some light, honest relief
  • Have fun watching everyone make a tit out of themselves
  • Know that you will remember all the gossip you heard (keep confidential of course!)
  • Have faith in the knowledge you will be hangover free the next day
  • Make sure the alcohol you take with you is excellent quality, only 2017 Vintage (paying attention are you?)

I reckon the best strategy of all is to not go to any parties when you are new in sobriety, but if you can’t or won’t say NO, I hope these help. They really helped me.

And, also very important, if you really really don’t want to go for whatever reason, I really encourage you NOT TO. Protect yourself at all cost and DON’T GIVE A MONKEY’S ARSE ABOUT ‘LETTING PEOPLE DOWN.’

Your sobriety is most important!




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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Everyday Weapons against Cravings

Every 4th Quarter, (that means the last three months of the year that are packed with holidays involving spending, celebrating, toasting, expectations, seeing past folks and places, very mixed emotions, maxing credit cards, malls, traffic jams, weather delays, transporting foods and gifts, meeting sales quotas, the good guys and the bad guys at family gatherings). 4th quarter attacks the memories and regrets especially hard on New Year’s Eve. In recovery we call it the evil:  IF WHATs  &  IF ONLYs.

suicide prevention ribbonAnd then the following chatter channel flips on in the minds of those in recovery from drug and alcohol or any other addiction: Have you ever heard them within you?
“Just one won’t hurt. I just need to take the edge off. After all, I’ve been good a long time.”

Hold on! We have defense weapons. Grab the right ones! Dhaaaaaaaa
When it comes to cravings and mental obsession with Drugs/Alcohol/Dysfunctional behaviors:

Assortment of unusual confusing road signs over a white background.

 Breathe in. Feel the desire. The signs can be confusing.

• Ask what it would feel like if I didn’t act on it.
• Describe the feelings. Does it hurt? How so / where?
• What would be lost if I didn’t act on it? What would be lost if I did?
• How important is my recovery?
• Who’s affected? What would be gained?
• Continue to watch for feelings, do they change? Can I let them pass for now?
• Think about a higher power / God.
• Is there something else I desire more, that is actually a healthy alternative?
• Am I avoiding something?
• Can I talk about these things with another person who understands / sponsor?
• Can I laugh at myself for wanting things that are not good for me? Hahaha
• Can I put it in perspective: What do I truly want?
• Can I stop and be thankful to God for all the gifts in life this moment,
even if some parts are not what I want?
• Happiness comes from within.



Serenity Prayer:
God, Grant me the Serenity, to accept things I cannot change,
Courage to change things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
Tell myself I can do that later if I still want to. Focus on something else I may be avoiding out of fear.
A project I am stuck on, a person I need to amend or get back in touch with. Work.
Talk about the procrastination with sponsor.
Consider doing something healthy / productive or relaxing that affects me in a positive way:

• AA meetings / step work
• Meditate / pray
• Shower
• Cup of coffee / tea / snack
• Listen to music
• Get a massage
• Help others
• Schedule things I may be avoiding
• Positive affirmation to myself or others

All we have in life is this moment!
We are all miracles!
Each moment is a gift and a blessing~ Anonymous Lizard

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Good Bye Letter to my Best BUDdyrest_in_peace

Dear BUDdy,

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Please let me commend your marketing department for spreading the message to the world about ‘drinking responsibly’.

Unfortunately a large amount of people do not need that message, as they have already discovered that grave truth.
For myself, being a major problem drinker, I know full well the dangers of over doing it!
Of the many products you brew, I can honestly say I favor BUDdy the most. It wasn’t BUDdy Light or BUDdy Select. It was plain Ole BUDdy. For a long time there was Ole BUDdy: right after work, on weekends, and that’s about it. Then, in the recent past, good Ole BUDdy had a grip on me. I started feeling like I couldn’t do anything or spend any time without BUDdy.

This is when it became very obvious I had to put BUDdy down (like a once faithful dog that had turned on me and the family).

BUDdy, I am informing tomb stone Buddy jpgyou and my loved ones, I have to retrieve the rest of my life by staying sober from now on. Please don’t worry that it was all your fault. I put most of the blame on me for letting things go so far. It is not even because my son died. (I thought it was for a few years). I am the one who let things get out of control. Help has always been available for the asking.
I just can’t go on with you anymore. My wife is deeply in love with the pre-BUDdy me. And my life depends on ‘Just for today’ not picking up or drinking, no matter what.

This is ‘goodbye’, BUDdy. It is just something I have to do.   ~Anonymous Lizard~

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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

Lizard Reveals 3 Gift Givers

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Christmas is around the bend. For many it is time to get back in credit card debt, something like dads who have to create giant credit card balances annually during family summer vacation. Christmas expenses are accrued because presents need to be bought, wrapped and maybe mailed out. Ingredients for holiday meals need to be brought home from the supermarket.

My first Christmas as a mommy, Adam was still within. I had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon at the end of summer. Hubby#3 no longer needed to pursue me, so the lavish courting had stopped. And taking care of his latest wife and prenatal expenses never even began. I was still working at the airline reservation center and putting in 12 hour shifts in order to save up for the gynecologist bill. It was due before my 7th month of pregnancy as required to maintain my doctor’s service. I had selected a Spanish speaking doctor so Adam’s dad would be comfortable during my labor. Our plan was for him to be present in the delivery room. He had wanted us to move to Mexico right away. I was having a child at a ripe age and did not know Spanish, yet. Hence, my doctor insisted I remain in America for childbirth procedures.


Boy! Am I glad that I did stay in my country. I never got an ultrasound taken to know Adam’s gender in advance. I could not afford it and was suddenly the bread winner. I chose to believe all my spouse’s lies and excuses as to why he never had money to help out with my living costs and prenatal care. Even the fees for hubby#3’s free flight passes were deducted from my pay checks. I had a whole dollar to my name the day I walked into the hospital to have our son.

I had sold most of my collectibles like the RCA Victrola, rod-iron Singer sewing machine stand converted into my vanity, the TV cabinet I had had made in the orient, and ginger jar lamps that were shipped over. I even sold the sofa. It didn’t matter. I was now in survival mode and needed to eat right, buy my vitamins, try to get enough rest and have gas money to get to church.

I taught myself to sew my own maternity tops and was complimented a lot on how gorgeous my clothes were. I cut out the zippers and tummy sections of my slacks and inserted elastic panels to convert them into my ‘expanding’ need. How grateful I was that it was Christmas season! I designed quilt patched stockings and took orders at work. I would create 3 a night after work. I had been blessed with a long list of special stocking orders (each with names to be hand embroidered on them). I would sew until 2:00 a.m. and clock back into the reservation call center at 8:00 a.m. for my 12 hour shift. It was literally: “Oh my aching back!”


I never permitted my heart to acknowledge that I was being used and abused. I only knew I was being a good Christian wife standing by my husband! Duh…..? We were not equally yoked. I had messed up again.  Oh those codependent songs I listened to as a teen like: Stand by Your Man, My Man, Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries. (‘As a man thinketh so is he’.). I had been brainwashed to die to self, but instead of dying to self for the Lord, it was habitually dying to self for hairy legged men.

We did move to Mexico and we rented a horrid house in a very rich zone, that was painted and fixed up little by little. I was not permitted to leave the house by myself. That was reinforced by me being guarded. There was a daytime guard and a night guard. If I did have to go somewhere I had to be chaperoned by paid servants. I would sneak to the market on the bus to buy fruits or drive to a tiny new church in the sandy beach colony once in a while. Many times hubby#3 would screech up to the market place or church on the beach and the public eye would witness in amazement how I was pulled into the vehicle by an ear! I lived in exhausting, continuous prayer due to my fight against fear.

By the time little Adam was in kindergarten, I had gained enough trust to take him to and from school or walk 2 blocks another direction to the local supermarket. I would use a stroller to take Adam to and from school as it was too hot for a child to make it walking in the scorching sun. We were below the equator. I had permission to leave the house just long enough to go to the kindergarten and quickly get back. I was being checked up on. Eyes were everywhere on us.


Adam’s first year in school I asked God for a Christmas tree to try to have holiday for my little boy. At that period of time, there were no Christmas trees in our area. Christmas with Santa was not big in Mexico, yet. Latinos there had their own way of celebrating the birth of our Lord.

There was a very rich man who lived in a fortress of a house not far from the kindergarten. The cement walls around the house were 10 feet tall and a watchman stood guard at the gate. This rich man was married to a British lady. So, she knew about Christmas trees and could afford to have anything she wanted flown in or shipped over. We lived in a port city.


Soon after asking God for a Christmas tree, we were coming back home from school and I spotted our Christmas tree lying beside the garbage can cage in front of that mansion! I guess the British lady had gotten a new tree. I was singing thanks to God all the way home as I pushed Adam’s stroller with one hand and was dragging the artificial tree with the other. The next time I walked to the supermarket 2 blocks away, I bought 30 cents of different red and green fabrics. Adam would sit with me as we decided on kitty, heart, bell, ball, angel, and other patterns to draw, cut, hand stitch and stuff with whatever was available except the plastic grocery bags.


Those were highly valued and we even washed them, hung them to dry to reuse over and over. Zip lock and baggies had not arrived yet; nor had throw-away-diapers made it’s way to our area. I was able to get some paper clips to hang the ornaments. And the thick metal pull off seal from Adam’s powdered milk served to cut out a star for the top of the tree! We were so pleased and tickled!

The next Christmas we still had bits of fabric left over and I had saved ribbons, etc. We sat after school for a month and made individual Christmas cards for each house on our block and the relatives of my spouse, plus Adam’s teachers. They were amazingly divine! (Gifts made with love are anointed with beauty.) I hand wrote the greetings inside. We were so excited as we walked the block and knocked on the doors to deliver them. One house was even the mayor’s.

The next Christmas I learned to use old bread buns called bolillos, to make bunt cakes of different tropical fruit flavors or natural chocolate cocoa cocoa beans. The cocoa cocoa beans exported to the Hersey Company in Pennsylvania for candy come from 2 hours away from our town. We had the real thing! And the natural vanilla was from 5 hours away!


The bread buns are peddled from a deep braided basket harnessed to the back of a hiking vendor. He makes his round about 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The bread is still nice and hot. The vendor walks his route announcing “Boliiiiiiillo”. I developed a way to make the bunt cakes in the microwave. I got very good at it and secretly sold them as part of my ‘escape money’ I was saving up. Making these bunt cakes in volume was an activity of togetherness we could only enjoy when Adam’s dad was away. There was no joy when he was in town. One never knew when he would blow in like a destructive tornado hissing, accusing, striking, throwing, commanding, demanding. Adam would run and warn “Dad’s coming!”. And he would run and crawl under his bed.



I remember once there was a traffic jam and the city chief of police was detained in the backed up line of cars. He had his car window opened. I bravely hurried out of my kitchen and crossed the street to try to convey to him in my limited Spanish that Hubby#3 was beating me. The law officer had a jolly laugh much like Santa does. He made a fist with one hand and punched the palm of his other hand, telling me to hit my husband back. The traffic began to move and he drove off having a good laugh.We had no phone. Each letter I wrote soliciting help from love ones in America, was returned to me by my spouse in rage. My communication with America had been cut off.


So, I trusted and relied on God for protection and a way out. I got both. As much as I was battered, I must tell you I thought I had some type of blood disorder. I never bruised. Only once in those 8 years did I have any mark left on me from his anger attacks. Oh I had a cut scar or two, but no bruises. The one mark I mention was a big V from the shape of his boot tips where he had kicked me around on the floor. My son was forced to watch and listen as his daddy instruct him that he would someday hate his mother as much as he, his dad, hated her now. Thank God that Our Father takes that which was meant for evil and turns it into good for those who love Him.

Despite the evil one, Adam and I did our best to have Bible story time, make crafts with tidbits of whatever supplies we could find, and make bunt cakes for the poor. We had to have fresh bread in the house everyday for hubby#3 whether he came home or not. We also were demanded to have the daily Mexico City newspaper with the lottery ticket winners announced in it. If I failed to have them I was beaten. Even on days that the bakery was closed and the days the airplanes could not fly in to drop off the Mexico City newspaper, I physically paid for it.  At least we always had lots of cold bread (as it is called in Mexico). I guess in America it is called ‘day old bread’.

Adam learned to make the bunt cakes while standing on a chair. Christmas and Children’s Day we made about 20. We had a blast driving into the colonies (outskirts of town where huts were on sand roads). I let Adam select the kids to hand a bunt cake to. His Spanish is perfect even today. So, he would explain that we made the cake to celebrate Baby Jesus and we were giving them with love. The kids would get giant smiles on their faces and run off toting the special treat home to the rest of the family.

I remember one pre Christmas Day, when I had built up more trust and could drive to town for the daily newspaper with Adam (without chaperon); we were stopped at a red light. Adam and I always saw the thin man with no legs walking on his hands wrapped in rags on the median. Most of the year that cement was extremely hot and abrasive! Drivers would hand him money from their windows. We never had money. The bread and newspapers were paid for by one of my husbands girlfriends who was also his head chaffer. She managed his petty cash in a brown paper bag. I know at times his brown paper bag had up to $100,000.00 in it.


Anyway, it was one of the days to take our Christmas bunt cakes to the colonies.  We were waiting at the red light and the thin man with no legs was on the median in the cold wind. He was so tiny. Adam was about 6 years old and they were the same size. Adam asked me to row down the power operated car window. He pulled off his only jacket and leaned over through the back passenger window and said: “Feliz Navidad!” That gift to that freezing man made my wonderful son very happy inside and out! It was an electric moment to see the eye contact of two hearts giving and receiving non committal generosity. There were no ulterior motives. It was an understanding of: “This was meant to be. Enjoy.”  We had no Santa in our town, yet. But we asked God to provide so we could be living Santa helpers. We had fabric scraps and glue. We had day old bread crumbs. We had a jacket!


Amidst the beatings and all, my life was being of value. I was able to raise my son to know the meaning of brotherly love. Oddly, even this year, as Adam is 31 years old, he is very steadfast to reach out to donate to our local rehab. He drops off good work boots, hoodies, and well made winter jackets. As those boys in rehab reach the phase of their recovery program where they need to go out to do manual labor in order to pay rent for their sober housing, warm work clothes are a must. This was instilled into Adam that cold Christmas Eve when he hurt inside seeing a man without legs exposed to the cold on a nasty cement street median.
cropped Santa on throneWhen my son was a small child, only major hotel chains in touristic cities had Christmas trees displayed in the lobbies for American visitors to enjoy. And major cities like Puebla, Mexico City and Cancun had throne chairs with Santa placed around their parks so family photos could be taken. Santa was the ‘gift giver’ north of the border.

South of the border kids were not forgotten during the celebration of our King’s birth, either. But the ‘gift giver’ was just enjoyed in a more Bethlehem theme. The day of giggling children being remembered during the holidays is called:Three Wise-men Day. The three Wise-men are actually referred to as the Three Kings. Children write their wish list to these Wise-men who took gifts to Baby Jesus. They can hardly sleep the night of January 5 because when they wake up January 6 the gifts will have been laid out by their beds.
cropped 3 wisemen


Oh! I forgot to tell you the kiddos need to line up their shoes beside the bed. Even if a child only owns a meek pair of rubber flip flops, the God loving Kings, who traveled so far to bear gifts to Mary and Joseph, are not prejudice! Upon those precious poverty feet protectors there will be a toy.
January 6th is a holiday representing the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas. The children of Mexico in particular look forward to this holiday as traditionally, gifts are exchanged on this date, not on Christmas Day by a Santa.

And now my deep desire is to reveal a non hidden, yet little known truth, about the other Christmas ‘gift giver’. This universal ‘gift giver’ is experienced by those hearts and souls focused on treasures that are not wrapped in pretty paper nor tied with a bow.  In the natural world gratitude is expressed after the gift has been received. There are different cultural traditions for saying ‘thank you’ worldwide: maybe nods,cheek kisses, hand shakes, phrases, bows, jumping joy, etc. That is the earthly way of giving, receiving and thanking.

There is another unseen world. It is the spirit world. It is governed by laws of nature just as the touchable world has laws of nature. Many successful businessmen know the following un-hidden truth to be extremely yielding! They give with the right motive of helping another. These ‘gift givers’ do this faith action with a grateful heart because they are thankful to be capable enough to give (whether that be a tangible gift or helping out with their influential services). They celebrate the success of the person they are helping. They thank God that they, too, have a need for which God will provide solution in the midst of their own service to another. So they become their very own ‘gift giver’ by being the ‘gift giver’ to another!


This spiritual principal is receiving by giving. After ‘gift giving’ one’s turn to receive will come and will come in great multiplication! What am I saying? Plant seeds of the type of gift you need. Thank God for the harvest of what you need before you get it. In your heart expect the manifestation of what you are praying for. Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. NIV Luke 6:38
You will reap.


Smart millionaires seek out struggling persons, who they can help, support and sponsor in the business world. They know that by being the ‘gift giver’ to help another become successful, the harvest multiplies their own wealth and empire.  What theories are these?

  • Plant a seed, reap a harvest.
  • Faith with action.
  • Calling in miracles by thanking God prior to and acting as if by sharing the miracle before receiving it.
  • Being a living catalyst for God to use when helping others.

The more we can be trusted to be a channel to bless others, the more God will supply us to keep the channel flowing with provision for those in need.
Be your own ‘gift giver’! Give and you will receive. However, this ‘gift giving’ is not to be done trying to manipulate or control, but thru the joy of seeing others blessed and believing you can trust God’s provision.
If we want apples we must plant apple seeds.

If we want our loved one to find sobriety; if we want our loved one to get shelter while on the streets; if we want our loved one to have good food while being a lost wanderer.

cropped city mission

Bingo! Be a ‘gift giver’ at city missions, help out the drug treatment rehabs, take provision to transitional housing and sober living places.
cropped donate rehab

Expect your own miracle. Help out the recovery world with joy in your heart.  Sacrifice material things trusting your Higher Power to supply your own need later.

So: Santa, 3 Wise-men, and WE are the ‘gift givers’!
cropped 3 wisemen
It works if you work it! Merry Gift Giving!.
From the Cindy Lizard gang & Stop Frying Your Brain!


Funniest DUI Arrest Ever

Funniest DUI Arrest Ever


Funniest DUI Arrest Ever

Funniest DUI Arrest Ever

Funniest DUI Arrest Ever

This website is becoming the most visited substance abuse site in the nation. Click here to learn more



This is a fun one!  Don’t miss backroad ( get ‘er done ) ingenuity for transporting  top priority booty!

Bear in mind some food for thought as you enjoy this history making DUI:
Ability to evaluate right from wrong, level of decent language even under the influence

Love for mother, Concern for preservation of treasure being hauled Sudden legal educational knowledge!. It is amazing how many of top inventors, innovators, business developers, and politicians of great worth in history have had drinking problems.Proactive abilities seem to blossom from heavy drinkers. 




Big Blink




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