About 10 years ago, I found myself living a life of excess. I drank too much, ate too much, partied too much, dated too many and spent much more money than I had. After 17 years of abuse, my body almost self-destructed. At one point, I found myself weighing in at 528 pounds, an alcoholic, broke and alone. I sat there on my little corner of “rock bottom” and felt sorry for myself. I was repulsed and ashamed of what I had become. On January 15, 2011, I had an epiphany. I was forced to face the reality of my mortality and I was mortified . On January 16, 2011, I quit drinking completely which was truly difficult, in that I still owned a bar. I lost a total of 252 pounds and went back to college after 25 years. I am also a loud and proud lesbian. I have stared almost every type of discrimination in the eye and vanquished it. I have lived life to the highest of highs and hit the lowest of lows. I am still searching for my middle ground. I have completely turned my life around. I am not who I was three years ago. I like to write and create. My passion is to communicate, educate and motivate. Recently, I lost my best friend and my greatest supporter, my mother. She was never one to whine or engage in self-pity. Despite all of the hardships she herself endured, she managed to raise 4 very strong, independent and successful children. When we were overwhelmed with stress, love and life she would sit us down and calmly say “Pick a struggle cupcake….and resolve it”.
I did…I have….and now I would love to share some of my experiences, struggles, failures and triumphs with you. In doing this, I hope to compel and inspire you to confront your demons and conquer your looming catastrophes. There is always an answer, an escape or a solution. We just have to find it! Together, we shall! Now, let’s get started! Pick a struggle cupcake…..pick a struggle.
So this has been an incredible year for me. The universe has blessed me with so many amazing opportunities, that I am dizzy in trying to make the best choices. When I weighed 528 pounds & had all but given up, I felt within me, one last surge of energy, one final spark of hope. The spark began to smolder & then ignited a fire which has kindled an inferno. I do not exaggerate when I say that not so very long ago; I was at the end of my rope. I held on, tied a knot and swung wildly in the wind for a while. I went back to school in hopes that I might find my purpose. I first studied Human services for a couple years, thinking that I could help others who may have struggled with eating or drinking disorders. I found the program exceedingly disheartening and discouraging & realized that this might not be my calling after all. Yet I knew that through all of the pain & heartache I have experienced and more importantly survived in my lifetime, I did have within me the ability to help those people who were willing to accept it. I began to write. The words spilled out onto the paper and would not stop. My deepest compassions, concerns and emotions, along with my struggles, failures and yes, victories lay open & exposed on the pages of a dozen notebooks. I thought long & hard as I read the words and absorbed the significance of their existence; and then it hit me like a sudden bolt of lightning from the sky-I finally realized my purpose. Nothing in my life has given me more joy, than that which I have experienced this summer in sharing my stories of hope & inspiration with all of you. The outpouring of raw, honest emotion that I receive daily is overwhelming at times yet, I read all of your messages, comments and posts. Sometimes I am overcome with sadness as I listen to the battles that you fight & thankfully, other days I swell with pride and satisfaction when you share a victory, even if it is just a small one. With all of this being said, I have put together an inspirational book full of my short stories and favorite blog posts that comes out on Monday, December 1, on Amazon and Kindle and is called PICK A STRUGGLE CUPCAKE. I will do my best to create, motivate and inspire all of you to reach your goals and wildest dreams...if in turn, you will join me in this journey to discover mine. My book...a lifelong dream becomes a reality on Monday. A writer is only a writer if others stop and read the words. Please read mine.
Fondly, Alana Marie
Fondly, Alana Marie