Thursday, June 5, 2014


How I wish I could find a way to share with you what the past nine weeks have been like. 

For once words fail me, because one of my greatest gifts - the gift of story - is also one of my greatest liabilities.

I love a happy ending; a hopeful garnish to ease the sting of pain.  

There is no room in my life for decorative flair these days. I am on a journey inside, to the unvarnished truth.  I am traveling through time and space, to the very core of me.   It is both a wondrous and terrifying experience.  I cannot afford to dodge unpleasantness or pain.  This is not to say I do not have hope or happiness; I have plenty of both. 

But I have learned that my preference for a neat, tidy, happy ending has allowed me to avoid uncomfortable truths about myself. 

I read my own words about the difficulties of the past three years, and I see a lot of grace, hope and gratitude.  I see myself weather the loss of my Dad, battle cancer, wrestle with depression, anxiety, and struggle with relapse.

The words I have written in this space are all true. I am skilled at finding grace in the darkness. 

It's what has not been on the page that matters now.  I wielded my words like a shield, hoping they would protect me from the increasingly shaky ground under my feet.  I didn't want to look down, at the cracks. I wanted to reach for the sky.

The thing about the sky?  It is unreachable.  What matters is what under my feet, a solid foundation. The parts that nobody sees, deep in the earth, are what holds everything else up. 

I don't know where I belong these days.

All I know is that it is impossible to go on a sacred internal journey and write about it for the world to see.  

But because I have written so publicly about recovery for so many years, I do want to share this:  I have spent the past 60 days at an all women's inpatient residential treatment center.  I completely stepped away from my life, my family, my kids, my world.   It is the hardest thing I have ever done, because I so want to be needed. I want to be the mortar that holds everything together. It is much easier to do that than to look at myself. 

Moms aren't supposed to do this, step away and focus only on ourselves.  We are hardwired, most of us, to sublimate our needs to help others.  We aren't supposed to put ourselves first - especially after the selfishness of addiction has held the whole family hostage. 

I have hurt a lot of people over the past few months.  I lost myself, and instead of asking for help, I thought I could tough my way through it on sheer force of will.  I was so, so scared, but I kept madly weaving myself a tale of strength and hope, instead of admitting that fear had me by the throat.  I would like to say I should have known better, but the irony is that all the knowledge in the world can't help against addiction.  I forgot about God. I took my will back.

When it comes to addiction, self-care is key.  In general, women struggle with this.  Women in recovery have an even greater struggle, because we wrestle with so much guilt, shame and remorse that we overcompensate and give even more of ourselves away.  At least I did.  Maybe this will sound familiar to some of you, too.

As much as I want to be with my kids, at the moment that is not fair to them, because they can't make me well.  It's an inside job.  I need to be here, among other recovering women, and I am no good to anyone, especially my kids, until I am on steadier ground.

So here I am, post treatment, sitting in a little room in a sober house on Cape Cod, living with four other recovering women.  I am taking it slowly this time, my re-entry into life.  I have lost a lot of things I used to take for granted, everything from driving to the privilege of being part of my kids' everyday lives. 

I don't know what my life will look like going forward. It's no longer up to me.  I am living moment-to-moment, praying, doing my best and letting go of the outcome.  I am sitting in lots of discomfort. I can't afford to wonder what people are thinking of me, if I am being judged or scorned.   I don't know what will happen.  All I know is that if I am sober it will all work out the way it is supposed to, and that may not be the way I would like it to.

My suburban life feels very far away at the moment.  I have spent two months living with people who are battling for their lives, and it changes my perspective on a lot of things.  I feel disconnected from the things that were so much a part of my identity: writing, blogging, advocacy, jewelry making. 

Those are things I do, but they aren't who I am.

I am a work in progress: a flawed, joyful, messy, broken, hopeful, grateful woman in recovery. 

And today, that is enough.


  1. Take the time. I have missed you, And you are much in my thoughts.

    Head up, shoulders back, deep breath, And onward.

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  2. "I want to be the mortar that holds everything together." True for so many of us. To a fault.

    Peace and strength to you Ellie.

  3. It takes strength to take this time and do this work.

  4. A comma ellie, it's a comma. It seems we are so forgiving if a disease like cancer takes us away from what we "should" be doing, and we allow ourselves what we need to do to get well. The entire community helps us do that with casseroles and gifts and kind words. But with your disease, there are no casseroles. You must make your own. And sometimes we must look at what we have, and realize we do in fact have the happy ending, it just doesn't come dressed like we thought it would. Sometimes it looks simply like a NED report at the doctor, sometimes it looks like staying up late doing laundry...the privileges of life are quite storybook in fact, at least to this chick. :-)

  5. Praying for you and your family, Ellie. Shame is such a poisonous thing. And for every person you perceive as judging you, there are many more who find you courageous and inspiring. Just by following your gut and doing what you know you MUST do to treat your illness, you are shining a light for others who might just find their own strength to do the same, because of your example. Please don't stop writing. You have more people than you know rooting for you.

    1. So very beautifully & well said!

  6. The hardest thing that women, especially moms, do is take care of themselves. You are brave and strong enough to do that. Be well.

  7. Hugs my friend. I am so proud of you.

  8. Ellie, you deserve all the best. You are loved.

  9. Ditto to all the comments here Ellie. You have been there for so many people - now it's time for us to be there for you. Take time to heal and what ever you decide to do after that - it will be the right thing to do : D (( Hugs))

  10. You are the bravest woman I know and I am proud to take this journey with you. Know that you are loved down to the very core of your being. Recovery can take many paths and we each have to follow our own. So. Very. Proud of you.

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey with us as much as you have. Your words have touched many, myself included. I can honestly say that you have helped me develop a new perspective on life and alcohol and it has changed the way I live. Thank you for that. I wish you well on the rest of your journey.

  12. Ellie, Thank you for being so willing to share your experiences with everyone. You have no idea just how much people can learn from and look up to your example! A very dear friend of mine shared an article with me that he wrote about overcoming addictions. I know that it won't solve your problems but I hope you can find comfort and guidance through it. Thank you again for your example of humility! I am praying for you :) Here's the link:

  13. Hey Ellie - been hoping you would check in and let us know how you are doing. Hang in there. Lots of love.

  14. Ellie,
    I've been a blog reader from the beginning and I've followed your story since you were up writing with DaMomma! Your story is so universal, yet personal. Your writing has a way of drawing us in. I found myself wondering about you and your family about 4 weeks ago. I am grateful for an update and will keep your blog in my feed reader hoping to hear from you soon. I'm proud of you for taking care of yourself. Light and healing to you and your family.

  15. Brave and beautiful , just like you. Wish I could do more than send virtual hugs and love. xoxo

  16. What you are doing is just the opposite of selfish, it is an illness that needs nurturing and caring in order to get better, you are doing what needs to be done. No sham in that.

  17. I started my recovery journey (my second after a lengthy relapse) on April 13th. Looking at a calendar, it seems that I have been clawing my way through this at the same time you were. And what is remarkable is that while you were working on yourself, you were working on me. I listened to The Bubble Hour reruns obsessively over the past few months. You are so strong and brave and wonderful, So much so that you were able to simultaneously help yourself AND help a 30 something in NYC who found hope in your strength and voice. Thank you for everything and know that you are even more inspiring to me now than ever before. Take care of you.

  18. I love you and I'm so happy to hear you are taking this time. xoxo

  19. Ellie, you have been in my prayers during the time you haven't been posting. You are very brave in your journey with the baffling disease. You are an inspiration to all of us. Please keep posting.
    Your friend

  20. Glad that you're doing what you need to do. It's good to hear your voice again.

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  22. I'm so glad to read this!! I'm a new reader but have gobbled up every on your blog & anxiously awaited to hear how you were. It's been said in all the comments prior but my gosh - I stand in awe of your honesty, your bravery, your beautiful prose, & your willingness to battle. We are all rooting for you!!!

  23. Remember you are not just doing something for yourself, you are doing something for your family too. Getting well. You may be stepping away physically for a moment but you are also stepping towards them by bringing a healthier, happier person home to them. Makes me think of the flight safety talk - put your own oxygen mask on before your children's - you're no good to them unconscious! Wishing you all the very best. xx

  24. I love you, Ellie. I just got out of inpatient a week & a half ago & am in outpatient now for mental illness, but I also lost 15 years of sobriety on my journey downward. I haven't been able to blog about it yet. I just wanted you to know that I relate & I love you & self-care has been the hardest thing for me. Surrendering was & is so difficult being a mom, but I wasn't going to be around much longer to be a mom at all if I didn't go.

  25. Of course, I don't know you, but I have been thinking about you and hoping you were OK. Here's my thought: it makes me sad to see you still struggling so much. You have been involved with the 12 step model for a number of years, and it hasn't worked. It didnt work for me. Too much giving my power to other entities and people. Too much fear of relapse. For me, I had to take my will back to get sober. I took it back from alcohol. I made a decision: no more drinking. Never again. It was up to me, not God, not my family, not any recovery group. ME. I believe in God, but it's not His job to get me sober. He has bigger fish to fry in the Universe. He gave me free will, He gave me choice. I use it for staying sober.

    You are hurting, so perhaps I should not have said this. But the helplessness of the 12 step model hasn't worked so far. Maybe shift your thinking to "This is my choice. I will never drink again. I have to care enough about my life to make this decision." And it IS a decision for me. One I made four years ago, so I don't have to remake it every day, or even think about it. Which I don't. I never think aut drinking, it never tempts me. such a relief to decide!!

    I have changed my life, my friends, everything, to accommodate my decision. There are no more "shoulds" in my life. It something makes me uncomfortable, I don't do it. An ex-friend told me I should drink again, I was more fun then. Note the "ex." I've told my husband f he doesnt get help for his anger, I'll leave. Maybe I'm not the old obedient Catholic girl I used to be. Thank God. She almost killed me.

    Nothing will ever threaten my sobriety. I decided to never drink again. No discussion in my head ever, no wondering if I can do it, nothing. The door is closed. Just as I know I would never harm a child or puppy, I know I will never drink again.

    This might be what works for you, too. Peace to you, you can do this.

  26. Ellie, You are an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have a real fear of relapse and your story is a huge reminder about how we need to stay vigilant to keep our sobriety. It is so easy to lose if we let our guard down. I have only been sober for 55 days and to see people drink after 3 years really freaks me out.

    I am so glad you are taking care of yourself. There are so many of us rooting for you, it was very nice to get your blog today in my inbox.

  27. You are exactly where you need to be for your future. I am proud of you taking this step. I have enjoyed following you and as a fellow recovering alcoholic, your words have helped me. I wish you the best and will pray for you.
    Bob - Atlanta

  28. Ellie - I always feel "with you" in spirit. I still do. Here's a poem that I've found helpful when traversing through some dark places. It helps me embrace all of it, rather than following my instinct to run. It's by Rilke.

    A "wide and timeless life" await you! Be brave. friend.

    I love the dark hours of my being.
    My mind deepens into them.
    There I can find, as in old letters,
    the days of my life, already lived,
    and held like a legend, and understood.
    Then the knowing comes: I can open
    to another life that's wide and timeless.
    So I am sometimes like a tree
    rustling over a gravesite
    and making real the dream
    of the one its living roots
    a dream once lost
    among sorrows and songs.

  29. Thinking of you, glad to see this post, your children someday will understand more than you can ever imagine. Hugs

  30. You have been in my thoughts and prayers for months, because even though I had no idea what was going on, I felt it important to think of you. Take care of yourself and know that even people who do not know you "in real life" are keeping you close.
    Trudy's Mom

  31. You have helped me more the you can ever know in the past two months through your voice on The Bubble Hour. I am rooting for you and your continued recovery. Thank you for all that you have done for so many people. I am very new to all of this, but taking the time for yourself, in your bubble, and drawing on all the knowledge, experience, tools, and spirituality you have gained, sounds like the exact right thing to do at this time for yourself and your family. I will be keeping you in my thoughts, with gratitude and hope for you Ellie.

  32. Thank you Ellie for your willingness to share and open up even as you continue to struggle. Your honesty is inspiring. I wish you the best as you rebuild your life foundation. -Alan

  33. I am sorry to hear that things went pear shaped for you. I haven't read your blog or story, so forgive me. (I was directed here by another sober blogger). But what I can say is that I fully understand what you are talking about...that shaky ground, that loftiness reaching upward without solid footing, that ability to see light in dark, and yet there is turmoil within. I find moments (and by moments, it can be a few minutes, or even go a few days) that I am like that. I am a whirling dervish, without taking time to focus on the things that got me to my sober, healthy, recovered self. And that's when I feel things crumbling beneath me. I let things go, i let them slide. I am a slider that way, and will sometimes take the softer, easier way. And I get off kilter.

    Taken this further, I get into my old ways of thinking, my old habits, my old ego-driven take charge self. And as exactly you pointed out (and I loved) is the part of "where is God?" in this. And I have to remind myself of that sometimes...when I get bent out of shape about something (small or large or anything in between), I have to ask "who's running the show here?" And then get re-connected that way. Sometimes I have to do this countless times in a day. Ugh.

    This is tough stuff, Ellie...but you're here, and you're back and that is more than can be said about others who go back out. Some return in a body bag. We are the lucky ones, Ellie. We get to sit at our computers and talk about this and reach out (and in your case to way many more than many of us dream of) and we share and learn and laugh and cry. We get to do that, and that's because we see that the Maker is with us. We are here for a reason. Is relapse part of recovery? I don't see it that way. I feel it's part of the illness. And that thing is relentless, as you know. Cunning, baffling, powerful. But you're here, and you are thinking of your family.

    I have been there, Ellie. Detox, treatment, separated from my family while I put my life back together stone by stone. But it happens, and we get there, and you are getting lots of love out here and you'll be back in a different way, with a different light, plugged into the sunlight of the spirit.

    Thank you for this....get rest, get well :)


  34. I would just like to add my voice to the good wishes - the bubble hour has been massive for me, such an important and helpful resource. I've listened back through all the old episodes and you and the other presenters almost feel like friends to me. All the best - wishing you much love. xxx

  35. You are doing the hardest thing ever. Prayers for your healing and for those you love. Strength for the journey, peace in the dark, hope for the light that cannot be extinguished. Your path in this world is often treacherous--you have been chosen and called to work that asks everything of you. You are a light-bearer. May the God of your understanding bless you and keep you, and may She hold you in the palm of her hand.
    Ellen D.

  36. Sweet beautiful YOU! I read your blog years back when I was examining my relationship with alcohol. You inspired me and helped me. I was struck by a few of your words here. Fear got you in the throat. YES! You survived throat cancer. You got that fear out this is just the few remains. My dear never ever call addiction an act of selfishness. You know it is a disease. Your cancer wasn't an act of selfishness. Be well. Know your children are loved by your courage and self care. I am holding you in prayer.


  37. Dr.Brave help me to save my marriage today

    An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me,my name is Mark Davis,i live in Maryland/USA,and I'm happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn't love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again.So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{}So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn't call me for the past seven {3}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster.So,i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to the for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. {} Thanks..

  38. Ellie: Your blog and The Bubble Hour have been, literally, a lifesaver for me as I navigate early sobriety. You and I both know how common relapse is and that people do get through it and come out the other side. You are doing what you need to do and that is wonderful. So many people out here care about you and we know you are doing all that you can. Sometimes you need to be broken for a while and rehab is a good place to do that. There's so much strength and love in you -- it shines through your writing clearly -- and those things may hibernate for a while when we go through tough times but they don't go away. They are inside us always. And when you are feeling better you can go back to sharing them. In the meantime, rest and breathe. Many "virtual" hands of women you have helped are holding you up as you do. We're all in the same boat, and when you can't bail, we'll bail for you. Peaceful moments -- Sarah Jane

  39. In Maori there is a phrase 'Kia kaha' it literally means 'be strong' but it's one of those beautiful words that actually means a range of things and is used in many different ways - as people move into battle, as the grief of a lost one is felt, as one is facing making a monumental mistake, as a relationship ends...... It's just a way of showing love and reminding a person they are still loved and there position is understood, unjudged, acknowledge. Kia kaha Ellie.

  40. I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is

  41. xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxo



    hello to the every one on this forum ; am here to share my experience with dr OGBONI about what he just did for me last week , for helping to reunited with my ex lover Mavis who broke up with me after 2 years of relationship because of his families did not like our relationship . but after Dr OGBONI of has done his wonderful work for me i was so shock when i saw Mavis calls on phone asking me to come back to him that him is ready to stay with me and beg his families to love our relationship and he actually did so and with a support from DR OGBONI his parents that never wanted to see both of us promise to sponsor our wedding by December as we are planing now . so with this great work done for me by DR OGBONI i promise not to stop telling others about his good work in my life , so if any one also need his help here i will advice you contact him to via ( bye

    mary jane _ CANADA


  43. Hello, my name is Miss faith, I'm from UK. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is genuine and real. I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing Garvin, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I found consultant.odia spells and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Several days later, my phone rang. Garvin was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, the spell caster opened him up to how much I loved and needed him. Spell Casting isn't brainwashing, but they opened his eyes to how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try it. It will bring you a wonderful surprises as well as your lover back to you. The way things were meant to be." you can contact the spell caster on he's very nice and great.

  44. Hello, my name is Miss faith, I'm from UK. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is genuine and real. I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing Garvin, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I found consultant.odia spells and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Several days later, my phone rang. Garvin was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, the spell caster opened him up to how much I loved and needed him. Spell Casting isn't brainwashing, but they opened his eyes to how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try it. It will bring you a wonderful surprises as well as your lover back to you. The way things were meant to be." you can contact the spell caster on he's very nice and great.

    I am Mrs Victoria Allison From United Kingdom, I
    don't know were to start but all thanks be to DROGOZU who helped me in getting back my man
    who belongs to me. This is my story: One month to
    my wedding, my husband started dating another
    lady, his attitude became very strange and I was very
    confused and devastated, my life turned upside
    down, I went to my friend and narrated my story to
    her but she told me that I shouldn't worry about it,
    my question was why shouldn't I be worried, she told
    helped her out when she had a problem with her
    husband, then I never believe in any spell caster
    because I thought all of them are fake!!! But as my
    friend introduced me to the GREAT AND POWERFUL
    SPELL CASTER DROGOZU He helped me in
    getting my man back to me. He came begging me to
    have him back. Our marriage held, am now a happily
    married woman and am living with husband with
    much love everyday!!! SO I WANT TO USE THIS
    is there to solve your problem. His email is


  46. i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a prophet, i never believe in all this prophet of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Prophet Akhigbe for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that the Prophet Akhigbe casted on him that make him come back to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Prophet Akhigbe for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.


  47. My Name is Emil.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from married to Single...when i went to her to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life...I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job...he told me he gonna help me...i don't believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Us the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he's busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday...My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she's doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven't seen anything yet... he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for can mail him to I cant give out his number cos he told me he don't want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he' will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good Again His Email Address Is:

  48. Best of luck to you Ellie. My thoughts are with you.