one broke mama

adventures in losing it all, for the modern single mother

My Sister’s collection.

Ruby’s portrait of me. Thanks, Ruby.

Ruby’s portrait of me. Thanks, Ruby.

What I got for Christmas. A Cat Stevens CD from my Son, Sam. Thanks, Sam!

What I got for Christmas. A Cat Stevens CD from my Son, Sam.
 Thanks, Sam!

Grateful for the opportunity to have worked in a small way with some of the best Chefs and the greatest fish lovers in Toronto.
Have happily moved on and accepted a job assisting an Urban Forester.  I held the ropes for the first time the other day. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s also within my scope. I’m happy with this change. So many completely different experiences. Who knows what it will all add up to.
In five years, I’d like to be well on my way to becoming a great Therapist. Walking, Writing, Listening, Hypno, Horticultural, Touch, I don’t know what kind.
We shall see.
Still offering to be a connection to anyone looking for a little Food Bank experience or info.
Why? This time a year and a half ago I was at the lowest point of my life. I was new to a big city, having left my job and friends to help raise my kids closer to their Dad, with no confidence in myself, no prospects and at the end of a sudden worrying and increasingly seemingly impossible-to-cease dangerous secret spike in my alcohol intake whenever my kids weren’t staying with me.
I felt beyond alone, empty and hopeless, with not enough after rent for food, doing the best I could at the time to raise three nice kids without scarring them for life.
I was mortified this was where I had ended up, and it did feel like the end. There was no information I could see, which even began to describe where I could begin to change things.
But everyone needs to eat, right?
There was nowhere to go but sideways.
Beginning with how the food bank ropes worked and what it was like once you got in the door. I don’t know about you, but I like to know before I embark on any new adventure how it’s gonna go down. Selfishly, I got seeing it as material to absorb and transmit, an opportunity to help someone else, thereby fueling my brokeness out of the dark, lonely sadhole.
So much has happened. For me, A.A. made my obsession to drink disappear. That was my main obstacle to positive change.
I began volunteering regularly with Foodshare and A.A., and started to contribute and grow and establish relationships with people who were also making good, difficult changes, doing whatever it took to be of service. Someone I met through the program and had the privilege of getting to know well, volunteering at Foodshare and riding our bikes around town looking for good Pho, lost his life recently to Alcoholism. He was a dear friend, and the sadness, last year, might have killed me. Now it galvanizes me and my friends to always be there to help anyone who asks for it.

Grateful for the opportunity to have worked in a small way with some of the best Chefs and the greatest fish lovers in Toronto.

Have happily moved on and accepted a job assisting an Urban Forester.  I held the ropes for the first time the other day. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s also within my scope. I’m happy with this change. So many completely different experiences. Who knows what it will all add up to.

In five years, I’d like to be well on my way to becoming a great Therapist. Walking, Writing, Listening, Hypno, Horticultural, Touch, I don’t know what kind.

We shall see.

Still offering to be a connection to anyone looking for a little Food Bank experience or info.

Why? This time a year and a half ago I was at the lowest point of my life. I was new to a big city, having left my job and friends to help raise my kids closer to their Dad, with no confidence in myself, no prospects and at the end of a sudden worrying and increasingly seemingly impossible-to-cease dangerous secret spike in my alcohol intake whenever my kids weren’t staying with me.

I felt beyond alone, empty and hopeless, with not enough after rent for food, doing the best I could at the time to raise three nice kids without scarring them for life.

I was mortified this was where I had ended up, and it did feel like the end. There was no information I could see, which even began to describe where I could begin to change things.

But everyone needs to eat, right?

There was nowhere to go but sideways.

Beginning with how the food bank ropes worked and what it was like once you got in the door. I don’t know about you, but I like to know before I embark on any new adventure how it’s gonna go down. Selfishly, I got seeing it as material to absorb and transmit, an opportunity to help someone else, thereby fueling my brokeness out of the dark, lonely sadhole.

So much has happened. For me, A.A. made my obsession to drink disappear. That was my main obstacle to positive change.

I began volunteering regularly with Foodshare and A.A., and started to contribute and grow and establish relationships with people who were also making good, difficult changes, doing whatever it took to be of service. Someone I met through the program and had the privilege of getting to know well, volunteering at Foodshare and riding our bikes around town looking for good Pho, lost his life recently to Alcoholism. He was a dear friend, and the sadness, last year, might have killed me. Now it galvanizes me and my friends to always be there to help anyone who asks for it.



Ryan was someone I had a lot of time for, I met him nearly a year ago in the program. He was a reader, a thinker and a thoughtful observer. Someone who valued an honest day’s work and a good lazybones sleep-in. He dug dirt and grew trees, liked picnics, and loved his friends. And ginger ale. And, for reasons known maybe only to him, whenever someone said something horrible, he said he liked Vanilla.

Ryan was someone I had a lot of time for, I met him nearly a year ago in the program. He was a reader, a thinker and a thoughtful observer. Someone who valued an honest day’s work and a good lazybones sleep-in. He dug dirt and grew trees, liked picnics, and loved his friends. And ginger ale. And, for reasons known maybe only to him, whenever someone said something horrible, he said he liked Vanilla.

For no good reason, I find myself sidetracked at kind of a crucial moment in my tiny life. I might be thinking a lot about not getting less old, combining that with the number of my own offspring eating food, and trying to enjoy their fleeting youth in my Brobdignagian apartment, and the very reals that I am on a slip-n-slide to insurmountable debt with couch-livin’ an actual potential Christmas present if I keep up the not-payin’, recovery-rich lifestyle supported by consuming underemployment (honoured as I am to be working where I am, and with the people I do) and lately no more volunteer food box, because I am no more a volunteer (at the moment). This will all change.
Here are the great things in my small life:
My unbelievably fantastic, smart, funny, sweet and productive teenagers.
The coziness of the place I call home.
Honest work.
Food to eat.
Mended clothes.
Laundry.
The pets upstairs, and their tendencies to nap on me.
The undervalued glory that is enjoying the full employment of all my faculties.
Great friends.
Sobriety.
That’s good for now.

For no good reason, I find myself sidetracked at kind of a crucial moment in my tiny life. I might be thinking a lot about not getting less old, combining that with the number of my own offspring eating food, and trying to enjoy their fleeting youth in my Brobdignagian apartment, and the very reals that I am on a slip-n-slide to insurmountable debt with couch-livin’ an actual potential Christmas present if I keep up the not-payin’, recovery-rich lifestyle supported by consuming underemployment (honoured as I am to be working where I am, and with the people I do) and lately no more volunteer food box, because I am no more a volunteer (at the moment). This will all change.

Here are the great things in my small life:

My unbelievably fantastic, smart, funny, sweet and productive teenagers.

The coziness of the place I call home.

Honest work.

Food to eat.

Mended clothes.

Laundry.

The pets upstairs, and their tendencies to nap on me.

The undervalued glory that is enjoying the full employment of all my faculties.

Great friends.

Sobriety.

That’s good for now.

Project “Borrow the neighbour’s backyard while they renovate and supplement the kid’s dinners” is squeaking along a touch dryly, but elegantly as nature will do when left to it’s own devices. Am occupied with reality-based research on accessibility and sustainability in seafood, farmer’s markets, restaurants and coffee shops for the time being. Really. And I did not get my loan for school, but I did buy a bicycle. Will recalibrate and let you know. Also, I do appreciate the feedback and will get back to you. I hearby promise.

Project “Borrow the neighbour’s backyard while they renovate and supplement the kid’s dinners” is squeaking along a touch dryly, but elegantly as nature will do when left to it’s own devices. Am occupied with reality-based research on accessibility and sustainability in seafood, farmer’s markets, restaurants and coffee shops for the time being. Really. And I did not get my loan for school, but I did buy a bicycle. Will recalibrate and let you know. Also, I do appreciate the feedback and will get back to you. I hearby promise.

Here’s a thought I wrote about recovery while waiting for my friend, T. as he retraced his steps for his lost wallet.

This thing we are doing everything else instead of right now? The fourth step.

Hard to start, laying out all the wrongs we wronged and all the people we duped and all the heinous thoughts we thought when we drank.
Get that one done. Get it done because that road leads to the town where things are better than better can be imagined by our tiny imagination.

Do it, though, only after we’ve reached the pivotal place where we can say that life has become out of hand, and that everything we’ve done to right ourselves thus far has failed.
After we’ve said it out loud, after introducing ourselves with, “and I am an alcoholic” on the end, write out the shitshow that we became while still drinking. After we’ve admitted we just can’t not drink while we are the boss, and we need something bigger and smarter than us to take the hell over, finally.

This part is hard, it’s what makes some of us go out again. We are afraid to let anyone (thing) else take the handlebars. the stupid thing is, we cannot drive for shit anymore and we were going to kill us the way we were operating.

Update: Did it! Much simpler than I had understood, or made it to be in my mind. Rereading this I realized I had combined a few steps in such a way that the thought of the workload was overwhelming. Classic.