About Me

I thought it might be time to update my “About Me” information for those of you interested.

Before I share about my battle with addiction however….I thought I would add a few more details to round out the picture a bit. :-)

I was born and raised in southern California.  Spent my summers hanging out by the pier at Seal Beach.  Ahhh….to be a young surfer girl again!   After graduating from college…I made a handful of hops around the country (including back to Cali for a few years) and eventually ended up in the mountains of Utah where I have lived now for 17 years.

After I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism…I spent 3 months in the Big Apple doing an internship at ABC News and CNN. Actually had the privilege of working in the lobby of one of the the Twin Towers. It was an experience I will never forget and was the beginning of my life-long love affair with NYC. I would make quarterly sojourns there if I could…hopefully, someday I will!

After that, I spent a couple of years as a TV news reporter in a small market in North Dakota of all places!  Southern California girl moves to North Dakota in the middle of winter! My friends and family thought I had lost my mind…I was almost convinced of it myself!  But it was a great experience and I met the man I would end up marrying there…so I guess it was a “good thing”. :-)  After getting married we spent some time in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) where I worked as a producer for a daily talk show. A few years later, when I started my family, I adopted the title of “professional Mom” for several years.  When my youngest was about 3 years old…I got back into the biz…this time producing a daily talk show in Salt Lake City.  I spent 5 fun-filled years producing Good Things Utah at KTVX-TV and was privileged to work with some of the most talented and wonderful people I’ve ever met.

All of this has been great experience (and material) for my latest endeavor….blogger!  Hands down the most fulfilling and creatively challenging thing I’ve ever done. I can honestly say, I am enjoying every minute of it. I hope you are too!

Of course, as we all know, into each life a little rain (or a lot) must fall….and approximately 10 years ago my fairly smooth life’s path suddenly turned frighteningly bumpy and the clouds decided to let loose!

I share my “story” not to shine the spotlight on me, but with the hope that if there is someone out there who has or is currently trodding the same path I did…they will know they are not alone.

Some of you may know that I have battled and am currently winning the battle with addiction. I say currently because as an addict I know there is always that possibility I could end up back where I started if I’m not vigilant. So I continue to fight the battle one day at a time…taking great joy in each and every one.

A little background…

It seems like yesterday….it seems like a million years ago…but February 20th, 2008 is the day I celebrated my 46th birthday, and is the day I graduated from a residential treatment program for substance abuse called the Ark of Little Cottonwood.  Thanks to the angels there, I am here today. I can’t say enough about the people and the place so I won’t even try except to say that if you or anyone you care about is suffering from the nightmare of addiction, you will not go wrong seeking help from them. They literally and figuratively and every way possible, saved my life.

How I got to the Ark is a long story, one I could write a novel about (maybe someday!), but in a somewhat Reader’s Digest form it goes like this:

About 10 years ago I started going through what I can only describe as a mid-life crisis. I was married with 4 wonderful kids and had everything I thought I ever wanted…and I was miserable. I wanted “more” than the life I had carved out for myself to that point and started looking for new ways to live it. That in and of itself might not have been such a bad thing, but unfortunately the choices I made led me down a dark and perilous path.  If there’s one thing I hope to convey to everyone who reads this, it’s that none of us know our propensity to become addicted!  It can happen to A N Y O N E!

A little more background…

I started drinking socially at first. Innocent enough huh? Alcohol, the social lubricant. I just wanted to have a little “fun”!  And actually there would be a few “good” years before it actually began to turn ugly. But when it did…well, it was UGLY. I actually remember the day when something particularly upsetting happened in my life and for the first time I drank with the sole intention of it numbing the pain. And you know what?  It worked!!  It worked really, really well!  It’s almost impossible to feel pain when all your senses are altered. And it IS impossible to feel pain when you’re passed out. At that point all the pain goes away…..for awhile.  Unfortunately, it’s only hiding, waiting, gathering strength for a tremendous comeback.  That is how it started. I drank to numb the pain which only multiplied the pain I would feel later.  And on and on it went for about a year and a half when my life was finally spinning so out of control that my family sought out the help for me that I couldn’t seem to find for myself. That’s when the miracle of the Ark entered my life.  Don’t get me wrong…I did not go waltzing in there willingly (as my family and counselors will attest to), but my life was so far out of control that even in my chemically altered brain I somehow knew I had to do this.

A second chance….

I entered the Ark on December 5th and graduated 72 days later on my birthday. :-)  So now I have two birthdays to celebrate on that date.  My belly button birthday and my RE-birthday. When I was given a second chance at life.  I often say “I should either be dead or in jail”.  That is not just for the shock value either.  I really should be one of those things.  But because of an amazing AMAZING family and my Higher Power that NEVER left me, I have been given that second chance at life.

The present and future….

This website is part of that new life.  When I was in the Ark my counselors taught me many important things, but one that was crucial for me was that I needed to find my passion and pursue it!  They didn’t just say it was a good idea….they said that for me it was mandatory if I wanted to stay sober. After a few stops and starts, I feel I have finally found that passion I’ve been searching for through this blog.  The only thing that could make it better for me is if you find it useful!  I hope you do.

So there you go. A bit more about me. Hopefully it will help someone, somewhere to know they are not alone, they are not “the only one”.  Believe me, I know how that feels.

Once again, thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back often. And please feel free to share your story with me. While I can’t respond to them all….I read each and every one and draw strength and inspiration from you!


Jill
jill@byjillee.com




515 thoughts on “About Me

  1. TAM

    Jillie,

    Your story is so similar to mine. You are not alone.. nor am I!!! The only thing I haven’t accomplished yet in my recovery is fullfilling my passion.
    Mine has always been writing.
    I have spent the last month searching the internet for a way to get started online with my writing passion in a way that I can use it to help others.
    I am so glad I found your site. It was very helpful to me with the article about cleaning stove burners with ammonia.
    That is how I found you. Then I went to your HOME page and found this article and it helped me so much,
    you don’t even know.
    I know I have to keep working every day to find a way to share my passion with others in order to help them.
    The program I went through says that I MUST help others and by doing so I will keep what I have been given which is sobriety.

    Thanks,
    Tam

    Reply
    1. Wanda Burns

      Wow, Jillee!! This is an amazing story! God has been so gracious to you, by giving you those people at the Ark! It’s amazing, isn’t it, how He uses people, just to bring us to where He needs us to be? None of us, would be anywhere without Him :-)

      I love your blog!! I am on here EVERY day!! Can’t miss, One Good Thing!!! NOT EVEN *ONE*!! Thanks for all you do, and I will be praying that God will Bless you in many more ways to come!! And I’m so glad, He had used this blog to help women be more knowledgable housewives, and men, to be knowledgable so they can do things when no one is there :-) You have helped make our lives better!!
      Wanda

      Reply
    2. adrianne hurtig

      I love reading about success stories! Whether baking, cleaning, gardening or life! Recovery does not apply to me, personally, however, my daughter was struck with a horrible pill addiction and has since celebrated 2-1/2 glorious years of sobriety! YAHOO!
      The reason I’m sending this note, Tam, is to share with you what a dear writer friend shared with me: Write. Everyday. Something. Even if it’s horrible…just write.
      So, there it is, my words of encouragement & knowledge! Write.
      Best of luck to you!!
      ~Andi

      Reply
        1. annee

          I just had to throw my two cents into this because it is great advice to write something every day even if it’s awful, HOWEVER, one musn’t be discouraged if one fails to manage it.

          I was set free recently by auther Christina Balwin in Storycatcher when she revealed she wrote sporadically in her journal. I always thought I’d mever make it as a writer because I failed to write every day. It gave me such relief to know a multiple published author does not always journal daily. I write when I write and sometimes it’s all day long for weeks at a time and then I don’t write more than a grocery list or a greeting card for a few weeks. It is who I am and I’m just okay with that now.

          Bless you all in your writing and recovery! I too am clean and sober, since January 12, 1990. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday. Although I rarely think of drinking or using anymore, I take life one day at a time and God is my refuge.

          annee

          Reply
    3. jabee

      Jilee

      This is so inspiring . Thanks for sharing your story. I love your blog and followed lots of DIY successfully. Stay blessed and keep sharing your love and passion with the world.

      Reply
    4. Lori Heneen

      Tam,

      thanks for sharing your story!! I truly believe one of life’s greatest gifts, is giving to other’s. It makes us feel better. Whether we share a story, a gift, a helping hand, a product, an ear, a hug or silence! It is what makes us all get back up when knocked down.

      I have worked in medical sales for 10 years and thought I had it all. Great job, healthy, etc. Problems was in the end, I would look at patients coming into offices looking for help, were given a pill and not “help.” I have since left to stay home with my 2 boys (who go to a Montessori school for socialism) and be a better wife and mother. I have never been so happy. I have left behind many “friends” in the last few months realizing they are not true friends, but acquaintances that made me mentally toxic.

      I still need and enjoy working so am now working for a company that has been around almost 30 years and has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.

      It is has been SO AMAZING!! Although I am just getting started, my checks don’t replace what I was making at my J-O-B, but will with time. But that isn’t what motivates me. I have helped a 30 year old girl who worked at Wal-Greens (meds at her disposal) with severe psoriasis she has had for years with our NATURAL products! I have a customer who thanks me for helping with her pain from arthritis! I have gotten my niece off ADD drugs by giving her 3x a recommended dose of our yummy fish oil. We have such amazing products and are such an ethical company, I just can’t rave about it enough.

      If you are interested in doing something like this to help others while generating an income, I would love to show you all the products and why they are so amazing!!

      Good luck on your road to recovery. We are all here to help each other

      Lori
      lori_drex@yahoo.com

      Reply
      1. Debora

        Dear Lori, I would like to hear more about what you do. Please tell me about how you are helping others! It has been a lifelong wish of mine to somehow, some way, help others…… I need help myself :-o

        Reply
    5. Donna L

      Dear Jillee:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story! I too, am an addict, pretty much for the same reasons as yourself. I got the help I needed because my friends and family had an intervention for me. Yes, I hated them for about 24 hours..and then, I said..I surrender. I am so glad I did. I recently celebrated my 2nd year of sobriety and I never, never..want to go back there, there…being that empty void of loneliness and despair.
      I too, am finding my dreams slowly come true, (by slowly I mean slowly, but hey..one step at a time, right?) I, at the ripe ol’ age of 54, recently went back to college to become a pastry chef and I am LOVING it! I will graduate..one day..or sooner if we win the lottery:). I am doing very well, A average going here, people..not bad for a brain that probably lost quite a few of those “smart cells”.
      You can teach an old dog new tricks!!! Can’t wait to graduate and put on my chef’s hat and go forth into the “real” world again!!

      Take care and God Bless!
      Donna

      Reply
  2. liza jane

    Amazing life story Jillee! You just keep doin what you do! I know I speak for a ton of people when I say how happy I am that the Good Lord blessed us with you. You have inspired and helped us in so many ways. Thank you so much for continuing this blog (I’m so addicted to it that I check it multiple times a day). I LOVE IT!!!! :-)

    Reply
  3. Monnie

    Jill~~
    I am an adult child of an alcoholic (my mom) so I can appreciate where you are coming from. Thank you for listening to your family, I know it was just as hard for them to seek help for you. My mom has 20+ years in recovery now. A blessing we do not take lightly. I hope and pray you continue to thrive and find your passion.

    Reply
  4. Julie

    Anytime I see the word Recovery, I feel an instant connection with that person. I too share your story. I was the proverbial “life of the party” from age 16 until the day of my 4oth Birthday, 11/06/2007. On that day instead of the kegger had planned for my big bash, I admitted myself to a rehab center for Alcohol and Addiction Recovery. This decision truly saved my family, my soul, and my life.

    My life had been great for so many years, so I thought! By the end of the disease’s peak, it was ripping away at my family, my goals, my career, each and every day.
    My husband and children could not take it any longer. They sat me down and said, “you need to go get help or pack your stuff and get out.” My lifestyle was affecting every part of my life in a very negative way. I was no longer the Life of the party, instead I was sitting alone in my basement drunk and high talking to my dog until 3-4 am every night. This did not make me that very kind and compassionate Registered Nurse that I once took so much pride in.
    Fast forward 4 years….We are the happiest family I know. This after counseling, acceptance, and lots and lots of forgiveness from all of those people I hurt along the way.
    I learned in my treatment program and AA so much about myself, and a brand new way to live that is better than I could ever have imagined. My husband stuck by me through it all. The years of watching me try to ruin our lives, unable, but trying to fix me.
    We celebrated 25 years of marriage Feb. 28,2012 with our now adult children who had huge smiles filled with pride on their faces. My husband and I have been together since college, had our first child my Sophomore year. Sudden parents at age 23 and 19! Its been a crazy rollercoaster ride, but in the end I too am extremely proud of us.
    I love hearing the success stories of people in Recovery, and I pray for those who lose their battle with this disease. You don’t truly understand its depth until you have lived it.
    Jillee, I thank you for your honesty, and look very forward to my new subscription to “One Good Thing”.

    Sincerely,
    your Sister in Recovery,

    Julie O.

    Reply
    1. tracy

      I’m glad you got help I grew up with an alcholic mom and we no longer speak.If you had not received help you could of ended up like my mom.She is now suffering from the long term effects of alcohol abuse health wise,I hear it’s terrible.My parents divorced because of it.I am glad you had the strength to stop.No one will ever know what it’s like until they have walked in our shoes.I do not even know this person my mom turned into it’s ugly.I do have the happier times before she started her down ward spiral,but I cannot watch it any longer so I don’t.I did visit her 8 years ago only to find her drunk I was disgusted to say the least,but hung in there to visit for a bit.It justs turns someone you know so well into a different person.God Bless You and Your Family!Thanks for sharing your story.

      Reply
    2. anonymous

      continue to be awesome because your post just rang very true for me :) i will be thinking of you and Jillee when things get tough and i want to turn to my old ways…..thank you from someone you will never know. you have no idea how much you both just changed my life.

      Reply
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  6. katie

    help!!!! I tried the contact me but never got a response….
    O made the enzyme cleaner, added a bit of yeast, its been a few weeks, and it smells awful.
    Let me back up….
    I started without yeast, added yeast two weeks in, about two weeks ago, there is white Goo on top I keep stirring in, its smelling baaaad, no way this is going to become good smelling, is it???
    Oh, I also added some lime.
    Please, tell me!!!

    Reply
    1. Loh El

      No she did not. Did you read the discussion on this page after you read the story at the top, or did you just scroll down and decide to ramble about an enzyme cleaner? I am guessing you never used yeast. Firstly, you may want to let it cool and shake it, that is if you are heating. I Would say heat it if it is liquified. I know when I bake, I have to heat the water, in order activate the yeast. Please post the link so maybe the readers can figure it out. I really think this is a pretty popular blog, and Julie is probably not able to get back to everyone so quickly.

      I would also maybe read about yeast. Yeast has a yeasty smell. But, if it works, I would just deal with the smell and rinse it off anyway. I am not sure about the chemical reaction with lime and yeast. It is an acid. Essence Oils are different, they are designed to be scents.

      I would need to have the link to be any further help.

      Reply
  7. Joy Ratliff

    What a wonderful (and horrifying) story! You are such an inspiration! Even though I don’t have a drinking problem, I am addicted to cigarettes. I’ve quit several times and always go back. Too bad there are no rehabs for smoking! (I wish there were)
    I don’t know what my passion is. I guess that’s my big problem. I’ve lost any direction in my life.
    I have medical problems that has caused me to go from a fast paced working life where I raised 2 children on my own, sometimes working 3 jobs to make ends meet and trying to give my children what they need and some of what they want, to almost a dead stop, drowning in self pity, which I HATE!! Your story tells me there is hope.
    I often dream of being able to plant and grow a garden, play kickball with my grandchildren, go shopping with my grown daughter, etc. but instead find myself weeping into my coffee.
    I know our situations are completely different but I tell you all this to let you know that I find hope and life in your blog. A glimmer of the person I use to be are in your pages. They stir up in me some motivation to try new things or just to persevere . Thank you so much for sharing your world with others. You do more good than you know.

    Reply
    1. Linda

      I too was addicted to cigarettes for about 40 years. I quit a few years ago only to go into a depression (a side effect of quitting as cigarettes are an anti-depressant). The whole 5 months that I had quit I thought about cigarettes constantly. I went back to smoking. I only smoked about 5 cigarettes a day but I was still hooked. About a year ago I started on electronic cigarettes. They were great! They are healthier for you (no carcenogens (?), tar or any of the chemicals they put in cigaettes). The right e-cig is essential for success. I tried e-cigs a few years ago, but since I was being cheap about it, I didn’t continue with it. I researched the web to find an electronic cigarette that would make it a success. I made a decision & I will have been smoke free since October 6, 2011. Don’t be cheap about it, you definitely get what you pay for. The ones that you get at smoke shops or convenience stores are really not quality e-cigs. My preference is using an e-cig with a manual battery. It has a button to press to heat up the liquid. You get to control the amount of vapor & throat heat to receive. An automatic (without the button) battery shuts off after a few seconds & the amount of throat hit is minimal. Think about it. I recommend SmartVapors.com. Their prices are more reasonable than most & their flavors are pretty good. You will be surprised at how soon your taste buds come back & you breathe better. Plus you’ll smell better. I no longer smoke, I vape. Or, better yet…. I smoke batteries.

      Reply
      1. sharri

        have you seen the reports about the harm that the vapors are causing in people?????
        there is no magic bullet, or easy path out of any addiction, persistence and doing the work. any addiction. I pray you good health and that you are able to overcome !!

        Reply
        1. Leslie

          In case any of you fighting nicotine come back to this, please try Quitnet.com. I was very seriously addicted to cigarettes and thought I’d never quit. I thought I’d die smoking, and die from smoking. I stumbled across the website and have been smokefree for over 4.5 years.

          Jillee, thanks for opening this conversation, and thanks for writing a blog that I look forward to every day.

          Reply
        2. MahtaMouse

          My boyfriend’s mother is dying of emphysema and ofcourse has the excuse that IF the doctor had told her, blaah blaah blaah, she’d have quit sooner; which any smoker knows is balagna. BF always said he knew he was going to die like his mom, but always continued smoking. The “patch” didn’t work. Now he has “early emphysema”. When he was diagnosed, I went online and researched e-cigs and bought him some along with the refill liquid (full nicotine to less nicotine until down to water vapor). Eventually he quit smoking all together. Those e-cigs were a blessing.

          Reply
    2. Wanda Burns

      I never have smoked, but my grandparents where (and one of them still is) addicted to smoking.

      I don’t know how you feel, but YOU HAVE A PURPOSE!! Sometimes, pastors can help people with addictions, even for somking. That could be an option! :-) I hope and pray you can find help!!

      I will pray for you!!
      Wanda

      Reply
    3. Erin

      Find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or an Al-ANon meeting (for family & friends of alcoholics) and attend it even if you aren’t an alcoholic. You will find amazing people like Jillee who live right in your neighborhood who can become a support system to you. You will be inspired on a daily basis to hear of others who struggle with life but still find the will to continue. You will get hugs and make friends. This will help you beat the depression you face. The support system this provides is invaluable and best of all it is FREE you just have to show up. God bless.

      Reply
    4. Jesi

      Finding an al-anon meeting is a great idea. I would also suggest, as someone who has struggled with depression, get your hormones checked…progesterone, estrogen, and make sure you’ve got a healthy, functioning thyroid. Take a 30 minute walk every day with the goal of getting some sunlight and a serotonin boost. I live in the pacific NW, so I at least get the serotonin:) , not sun so much. My last suggestion…find a healthy church (if you see lots of young families there, good sign), and plug in. This will serve a couple functions…there are oftentimes women’s groups of all types that you can plug into,, and make some great supportive friendships, and the messages you hear should serve as a barometer. They should help you to take stock of your relationships, your life, etc, So that if there are other underlying causes of depression, be it unforgiveness, etc…those things will often come to light.

      Your coffee should be enjoyable! Blessings!

      Reply
  8. Linda

    I am glad I took time to read your story this morning. I give you so much credit for your recovery and on going recovery. I look forward to your email in my box every morning. Your writing is so funny and enjoyable, I would never have guessed you had gone thru the dark part of your life. I have bought supplies to make the laundry detergent and just about everything you have given “recipes” to make. I wish there was a treatment center for procastinators. I also am working on becoming less of a hoarder – I love gadgets, which I will buy not just for me but for family members. They just shake their heads when I say “oh, I have something you can use to do that”. I will say most times they are happy I have the “something”, but I need to stop buying something that may not be used for a year. I do give myself credit that I know approximately where it is when needed, ie, in the basement right back corner, in the barn, etc. Keep up the great work in your personal life and your blogging. Take care

    Reply
    1. Trixie

      Haha, Linda. You just cracked me up. If you find that procrastinators rehab, you really need to let me know too. I am the queen of procrastinating. LOL.

      Reply
  9. Tina

    This is kind of make your hair stand up on the back of your neck moment. Was just reading posts on Facebook thinking to myself; I can’t keep drinking like this or it will kill me! When I clicked on how to clean your stove burner cups. Usually I just read it and go back to Facebook, I don’t know what made me click on your tab “About Me”. I expected a Martha Stuart type write up and was shocked to read your words, maybe someone is trying to tell me something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Tina….someone is definitely trying to tell you something! Please do me a favor and LISTEN! Believe me…I know that’s easier SAID than DONE…but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and the fact that you stumbled onto this page the same day you told yourself you had to quit…MEANS something!

      Please feel free to email me if you need any help getting yourself headed in the right direction. It’s time Tina.

      Reply
    2. Tisha Harrison

      Tina,
      I just read your post and the wonderful supporting ones. I’m here to lend my support and my heart to your life and your success. If you read this, please feel free to email me anytime. We likely have something to talk about.
      May Angels Walk With You

      Reply
    3. Lindsey

      Oh my goodness gracious. JILLEE. TINA. I just stumbled across your blog from someone else’s mention of ACV with a link to yours. Then I found this post. Then I read Tina’s comment. Then I noticed the date of her post. April 16, 2012. That is my sobriety date, the day I entered rehab. So I know exactly where I was when that comment was left. It gave me chills. Tina- I don’t know who you are but you are now on my prayers list. You too, Jillee. My life is amazing now. And I can say that even after having lost my dad suddenly only last month… Miracles are out there.

      Reply
  10. Gretchen

    I love your blog! I had to make a very hard decision to leave my work life of 14 years to find balance. Work was my drug; I poured everything into it and totally neglected the rest of the issues at home. Although I do not have a substance issue I am a child/sibbling of an addict…..I found myself in a deep depression and identifed that I was starting to drink in social settings more often. I was diagnosed with depression and then following that stage 2 skin cancer. Looking back I have struggled with depression for years but just did not know how or what to do. I am currently working through my issues and am finding happiness. I am not a stay at home mom of a tween and a teen and LOVE it. AND now have started a small at home business. So thank you for sharing and allow others to relate.

    Reply
  11. Samantha Ross

    I just wanted to say your one heck of a women!!!!! Im so glad your here with us today and you shared your story and your great recipes. :) Im a single mom with two teenage daughters and following these neat ideas has saved me tons of money. My daughters think Ive gone nuts because everytime they turn around Im making something. LOL!!!!!!

    Reply
  12. Mallory

    I just started reading your blog today. I’m always finding myself skimming through blogs, looking at the pretty pictures, and scrolling quickly down until something catches my eye. I usually lose interest pretty fast in those sites and never remember to check back for the updates. Your blog, however, is exactly what I have been looking for! It’s extremely insightful, useful, and funny. Thank you for sharing! Best of luck and take care! I’ll be watching you! :) -Mallory

    Reply
  13. Ann

    Jillee,

    Your story was inspiring. It hit a nerve close to home. I had been on a similar path in my lifetime. Sought help and work at it every day. I wish you joy and happiness one day at a time. I do love your website. Will be watching. YOU GO GIRL!!!!

    Reply
  14. Kirsten de Bouter Shillam

    Hi Jillee, what an inspirational story. I stumbled across your site by accident which is lovely and refreshing and all the more compelling knowing how this is your “second chance at life”. I really wanted to connect with you. After losing my dad and a marriage breakdown, I spent 4 years as a single mum, desperately trying to keep it together with a newborn baby and a 1 year old. Finding my new partner and all of us relocating to the coast and subsequently starting my Blog has symbolised my new start in life in a similar way to yours. After a long, dark tunnel I found light and my expression and passion for writing (I have a background as a fitness professional and life coach/speaker). There is so much to be said for coming through the storm of your life. What initially may seem as the darkest place ever, can eventually with the right kind of support and determination become the brightest place ever. I am pregnant, running my Blog and coaching practice, all of which seemed inconceivable even a year ago. All the best with your Blog and I look forward to reading it. Kirsten

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Kirsten…thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that dark, dark place ever existed in the “light” of how blessed I feel today. Keep up the great work! HUGS!

      Reply
    2. Christy Robertson (1)

      Hi Kirsten, This is the FIRST time I have ever written or replied to anyone on a blog…..I am not sure why I am doing so now! Maybe I feel as though I would truly like you as I identify with you in many ways. I have had a marriage breakdown, 3 kids ages 10, 4, 2, been a single mom. I absolutely love fitness and am fascinated with the mind, body and soul……but unfortunately work in an industry that has NOTHING to do with anything that I am passionate about. I am in a very, very, very dark place and reading your post just gave me a tiny bit of hope that “this to shall pass”. Good luck and thank you for posting.

      Christy

      Reply
  15. Cathy

    I have been using your tips for about a month now and just happened upon your story. I believe all our strength comes from God and I know He had a hand in your healing. My mom is a recovering alcoholic but she is now paying the price of that addiction not only to alcohol but also to cigarettes. She has been in and out of the hospital for the last two years suffering from arteriosclerosis. She has almost no circulation in her left leg and foot and will probably eventually lose her foot soon. She has had numerous surgeries and her body is in terrible shape. She said she hopes people will look at her and realize the damage that addiction has done. I chose to not go down that road. I have never smoked and have not had anything to drink in over 25 years. I only drank occasionally but seeing what it was doing not only to my mother but my alcoholic sister made the decision for me. My grandmother also was an alcoholic and died from cirrhosis of the liver. People just don’t realize how easy it is to become addicted.

    I pray that you will forever remain “recovered” and will never go down that dark road again. God is so good and has blessed you and has now blessed we “moms” with someone who is looking after us with her awesome frugal ideas. Thank you Jill and be blessed!

    Reply
  16. Rej

    Very inspiring Jillee, thanks for sharing. I came close myself to turning to drink to cope with pain but shook myself out of it when I realised where it would lead me, as a single mom have to be always there for my 4 year old son. I wish you many more fruitful years and more success with your phenomenal blog. I stumbled acreoss it by accident actually….

    Reply
  17. Kim

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband is currently working through his own battle with alcoholism and I am always encouraged to hear from others who have overcome their own addiction.

    Reply
  18. JaNae

    Hi Jillee,
    Although I’m not a Californian, I’m a transplant to Utah also. Like you, I have a love of NYC and don’t get to visit nearly often enough. I also lived there for a few years and like you did work at the twin towers at various times. I haven’t had near the excitement that you have with broadcast journalism, but I still enjoy acting on local stages. I’m still struggling with my own addiction and learning how to deal with my husbands. Although I am not addicted to alcohol, it is only by the grace of God that that is not a part of my addiction.
    I just wanted to say “Thanks” for sharing yourself along with so many great tips, tricks, and ideas. Your story and your life gives me hope. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. You’re an inspiration to so many of us.

    Thanks,
    JaNae

    Reply
  19. Puka

    Jillee,
    I can’t even tell you how much your blog, knowledge, and story have completely and utterly changed my life. I too have been on the find myself to save myself demands of sobriety, and was blessed to have found your blog a month ago. Since then I have found so much joy and passion again and started heading towards my lifes purpose and goals. I couldn’t thank you enough for spending the time you do to create the things I love love love to focus my energy on and heal the soul. You have truly helped guide me to the truest form of myself!

    Many thanks,
    Puka

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Ahhh Puka….as much as you believe I helped you….you sharing your story with me helps ME just as much. So I thank you for that. I am so grateful the invaluable advice I received to “find my passion” has helped keep BOTH of us sober. :-) God Bless!

      Reply
  20. Colette

    Jillee,
    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn’t easy. I am married to an alcoholic in recovery and I know it’s not easy for him. I always want to encourage people who make the decision to change their lives and become better people. I wish more addicts could see how much better life could be if they let their addictions go. We have a lot of family we are praying for since this is a family problem for us. Never be afraid to feel the joys and the pains of life, it reminds us we’re alive! Keep doing what you do, Jillee. I love your site and will keep following all your great ideas!
    Colette

    Reply
  21. Maria

    Your honesty is very inspiring and hopeful. Congrats on your sobriety and to all of us women who do this one day at a time. I just celebrated my 7 year bday and for some reason this was a special year for me. I believe it’s because I finally found my passion too and finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I love your blog and all your tips. Keep it up!

    Reply
    1. Jillee

      Maria! That is wonderful! Congratulations on making SEVEN YEARS…one day at a time! I’m so happy for you! For your special anniversary AND for finding your passion! Keep up the great work!

      Reply
  22. Diane

    Found your blog via The Holy Experience blog by Ann Voskamp. I’m a director of a recovery program at our church. As a teen I had a sex addiction, which turned to rage early in my marriage and parenting. Thanks for sharing your story. I love the tapestry of stories we weave when we are willing to share – we find ourselves in each other’s stories!

    Reply
  23. Jillee

    Diane….what a great work you are doing through your church! I commend you and thank YOU for sharing your story. You are so right about the tapestry of stories…it constantly amazes and thrills me. :-)

    Reply
  24. jennifer

    How awesome to share your testimony with those whom adore you! You never know the lives you may touch with just your words of inspiration~ I too, as we all do, have faults but mine are woven within me thru an emotional and mentally abusive father…which lead me to the GREATEST FATHER of all, my Heavenly Father….I push forward and work in the education field where I try to shine those lights of those children whose voices may not be heard anywhere else other than on my caring ears and heart…keep pushing forward! I LOVE your posts! Thanks so much! Jennifer

    Reply
  25. Lauren Carlisle

    Hiyo! So nice to see a fellow blogger (though thanks to my adhd I have about 3 that only have a few things written on them!) that’s also in recovery! I was browsing your blog thanks to pinterest and saw the word “recovery” and I can’t tell you how excited I got! I am also in recovery for alcohol and every single day is a struggle, but so far, every single day since I stepped into my second AA meeting has been a success! (I got plastered after my first meeting! Big surprise!) My boyfriend and I are about to go out to eat but I will come back to your blog and visit more later! So glad to have found you!

    Reply
      1. Lauren

        Thanks Joanne!! That means a lot to me :) Through prayer, worship, and Blythe grace of God I am still sober!! My sobriety date is August 15, 2010. I’m still sober and working my dream job at the Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi!!! I get to help cats and dogs recover from abuse and find their forever homes! It’s what I was put on this earth to do :) I was given a second chance at life so I want them to have a second chance too!!

        Reply
  26. Suzy Allen

    I have recently discovered your tips and blog thru Pinterest and this IS the site of my dreams! You are a real person with practical tips. I love your story, and God bless you everyday as you continue your journey. We lost a son 2 years ago, our baby of 6, who salso struggled with substance abuse, overcame the drugs, but succumbed to it’s affects on his brain and spirit. ANYONE is at risk, don’t begin!! You’re awesome!! Come to St. George, you have lots of fans here!!!

    Reply
  27. Beth Williams

    Jillee – thanks so much for sharing your story. God willing I will be celebrating 22 years sober in August, and my hubby has about 6 months less than I do. We have 2 kids here at home that never have to see us as we were when we were doing “our thing”!! We have 2 older kids from one of his previous marriages that have been restored to him because of the walk he began thru the 12 steps. And they are a blessing to me and have been for many years – they know who he was and how he has changed. Your openness and willingness to share your story are a blessing to all who stop here – and just what I needed to read today!!! It’s not about the years – it’s about today and each day is a new day to give thanks to the Lord for what he has blessed us with! I know staying grateful and open to what he wants to give me can keep those old feelings from creeping back into my life, I know they are still out there waiting (even after all this time) for a chance to trip me up, it’s only a daily vigilance of connecting with my higher power that keeps me from turning back and going down that path! Keep on keeping on girl, we are NOT alone, and never HAVE to take a drink again if we don’t want to (speaking to myself as well!) by the Grace of God! Thanks so much for the practical tips too – I will be subscribing to your blog – so I can share in your walk — all the way down here in Texas, because “One good thing”, leads to another! Be Blessed!

    Reply
  28. Rebecca

    Your testimony touched me so deeply, partly because I know and understand your emptiness (I too have had that empty feeling of wanting and needing something more). The other part because I know what that longing is for. You see, we were created with a longing to worship & please God! HE put it inside of us and when we don’t know how to satisfy that longing, we turn to other things to get satisfaction. That longing can only be filled when we are filled with the Holy Ghost as the Bible teaches in the book of Acts! If you will read the book of Acts, especially chapters 2, 10, & 11, and anything beyond that book, you will find many examples of people just like us who found what they were looking for!

    I find myself becoming dissatisfied with life, nothing looks right, feels right or pleases me. Then, I find a place to pray and allow God to fill me with His spirit all over again, and let me tell you, there is NO greater feeling in the whole wide world than to feel the spirit of God and to know that I am right with him! I challenge you to read your Bible, study and ask God to reveal to you His gift of the Holy Ghost! It will satisfy your soul!

    Reply
  29. amy

    You are awesome!!!! Just found this site. Can’t wait to go back to all the archives and see all your fantastic ideas. Thanks for sharing your awesomeness. Keep on keepin on!

    xo

    Reply
  30. Kris

    Thank you for sharing your story! It is very inspirational and has motivated me to press on. Rebecca, your comment really touched me. I have slipped into a rut. Lately it has been difficult to feel joyful because my dreams seem to be so far out of reach. Thank you for reminding me that our God can turn any amount of rain into a rainbow. I really wasn’t expecting to receive this blessing this morning. I’m going to read the book of Acts now. Thank you all for your powerful comments. Best wishes and blessings to you all.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      You are most welcome Kris! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment. Hang in there! Remember…One Day At A Time…applies to everything in life! Try to find joy in the moment! HUGS!

      Reply
  31. Jennifer

    Jillee,

    You are just awesome! My youngest son has been out of an addiction recovery program for about 4 months now. As his mother it was so painful to watch him. I still worry. A lot. He is doing well now (so far) but I know that it is always a battle because as they say “once an addict, always an addict”. I do not lose hope, however, knowing that God is watching over him. And you. And me. And our families. I commend you on sharing your story as it provides hope and comfort to others who may not be as willing to share. May God bless you with continued strength and courage. Thank you for all that you are teaching me ! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

    Reply
  32. Barbara M

    Jill, You are an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing your story. I absolutely love your blog & wish there was a like button on some comments like on fb! lol :) I think we all have our demons (I tend to overshop) and it is when we decide to change our lives that we truly find how blessed we truly are. You have inspired me in so many ways, my step children & grandchildren have teased me saying they were going to call that show about hoarding on me…since I have been reading your blog & a few others I have donated about 25 huge trash bags to our local donate shop (the items are resold super inexpensive and the funds raised are used to help those less fortunate in our community). I have also been on a mega organizing binge. My husband doesn’t know what has caused the change (he is computer illiterate) but he is amazed at the changes I have made. It’s amazing how much happier our marriage is as we declutter, and how we now are back to working together to keep our house a home. Thank you again for being such an inspiration to all of us. PS I am making my first batch of homemade laundry detergent as soon as I log off! Can’t wait to try it!
    Barbara

    Reply
  33. Lenee Ladas

    I really enjoyed reading your story and it brought me back to when I was starting my struggle into recovery. I went kicking and screaming saying in my alcohol induced brain that i had no problem. I find now that I didnt know anything when i thought i knew everything. I went to detox 3 times because each time i drank after i came out my family would push me back in. I remember the second time going back they said to me “I thought we would never see you again.” When i was in my 3rd detox people there said I cant imagine you drinking what you say you can drink. Just shows that you never know who it could be that it would effect at any time. Unfortunately I had a huge problem w/ relapsing. I have come to beleive that it had a lot to do I had no passion. Its such a blessing to learn how to live the soberlife and just asking your higher power for help what can do for you.
    Since i choose the sober life I moved from the boston area to sunny south florida and went to school to be a real estate agent. I have people in my life that want me to be around them all the time. Sometimes i get overwhelmed by it because i am not used to it but my higher power has plans for me and i just have to accept where he has put me and he has good reason for it.

    I am so glad i read you about me page and I so love your site I just might have come to an addiction switch a more healther one :) (your blog) but at least i will have a spotless house and have tricks up my slevee for my sellers to get there homes in order to sell thanks to you.

    Thanks for all you share
    much love

    Reply
  34. Pingback: Original Blue Dawn . . . It’s Not Just for Dishes Anymore | One Good Thing by Jillee

  35. Tina

    Wow, from diy fabric softener to this :) Thank you for sharing your story. It’s amazing how one person opens up and leads to so many others. It’s healing. I’m very familiar with recovery. I was in for an eating disorder and I can say now I am living in freedom! Married my husband in June 2010, he was also a recovering addict. He relapsed after we were married and addiction nearly tore our marriage apart. He was a sweet, smart, funny, kind hearted, hurting addict…and hurt people, hurt people. It just happens. He checked into outpatient rehab Jan 2012, to get help and save our marriage, the day before he passed away. One last hoorah-what most addicts/people do- one last drink, drug, huge crazy dessert before a diet:), whatever your “thing” is. I know without a doubt our Higher Power(to me, Jesus) took him home for reasons that He knows are best. I am encouraged by you finding this way to tell your story. It’s definitely a gift and a pretty helpful one:) My husband knew he had a great calling on his life, to reach out to children that had similar horrible childhoods like his, but he I think he was afraid to fully give himself to that calling. You surely can’t be numb that way. He had lots of battles to fight. Thank you for putting your story out there. People are hungry to find healing from whatever their battle is and waiting for someone to be open and real.

    Reply
    1. Savanah

      Woah…your comment, out of all these comments, hit a nerve instantly, brought tears streaming down my cheeks as I read about your husband, and his horrible childhood. I just turned 40, and still cannot find my passion -which is killing me- and cannot heal from my childhood, and can’t forgive the people who hurt me, and continue to try to tell me I am worthless…they are not sorry, they continue to try to hurt me. I now have a 5 yr old son, and decided these people.. who are supposed to make life better for me – my family – are losers, and I don’t speak to them anymore. It’s for the better but i feel alone. I must be going through some healing process.. at first I felt awful…like a victim/marter, feeling sorry for myself, wondered “why me”…now…I am really angry. I’ve lost lots of people who were around me, cause I began pushing them all away as well (though probably for the better) now I am left with my spouse and son. Thats it. I used to be happy. Had tons of people around (cause I hated being alone). Now I am alone (no friends or family). I feel strange and alone without family…like I’m different than everyone else since most have family that care for them. I feel like an outcast, but know I am a good-hearted person who is finally standing up for herself, but starting over at this age hurts. I do enjoy the little things in each and every day. Some days are better than others. On the bad days..I tell myself tomorrow will be better, and it is.

      Reply
      1. Randa

        Savanah,
        Just read this and want you to know that I’m praying for you tonight. Though we don’t know each other, your message touched me. I’m asking God to wrap His arms around you, let you know His love, and start you on the road to healing that you so greatly desire.

        Reply
      2. vickie

        Savanah, I can only feel for you. You are really not alone. If only you could find a talent, It will help tremendously. I have a father that I love very much & when I was growing up he would always say to me, ( you little dummy). One day when I was older and married he said it to me & I told him how I felt about it. He has never talked to me like that again, and now I love him even more. I have suffered from depression most of my life. I have been on medication now for about 10 years. It helps a lot. I had a passion for wanting to learn how to sew (make Quilts), & I learned. and now that is part of my healing process. Once you learn to stick up for yourself and tell the people that are hurting you how you feel,… You will feel better about yourself. I can’t begin how it helped me when I started opening my mouth and letting others know I was no better than them. I love life now. I struggle a little but I am on the mend. Mind you I am now 51. I wish you all the happiness in the world!!! Get going Girl!!

        Reply
  36. Maryann Anderson

    Hi, Jillee,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I once thought I couldn’t live without drinking. Little did I know that I could become sober (in treatment at age 43) and have the kind of life I always wanted to have. Getting out of myself by helping others is one very positive way to insure a better life. By the grace of God, on June 2, I will have had 22 years of sobriety. It gets better every day! I’ll “keep coming back” to your site.

    Bought “all” the stuff today to clean my shower, tub, clothes and dishes. I’m so excited. Thanks, again!

    Reply
  37. Shano

    Thank you for sharing your story. Not easy to do!
    I can totally relate! So glad that I am well…13 yrs. from the grips of wine! Ewwww! I hate to think of how my life was while drinking! Soooo thankful that I had a family and a child who let me know it was time…time to stop it, was getting ugly for them to watch and be around it and not fun anymore for me! I can also remember drinking till wee hours of the night, talking to my dogs…jeez. It just got worse and worse and more depressing! Now I can’t wait to hike everyday with my dogs! Family time is precious time.
    I could go on and on! Haaa!
    Luv your blog! You go girl! XO

    Reply
  38. Christine

    Amazing story! I am not battling with addiction but my “rain” is if a different sort. It’s difficult to live around people whose lives “seems” perfect and easy while mine is in its bumpy path. While nothing seems to go wrong, I encounter set back after set back. Thanks for sharing your story and blog. People like you are inspiring and help assure others that life does go on if we choose to pursue our passion.

    Love the blog and glad I found it! Continue to Fight On! You’re an SCAL girl, so thought I would throw that in :)

    Reply
  39. Julie

    Jillee,
    I stumbled upon your website a few weeks ago and have been in love ever since, I must say after reading your background and struggle my love for what you do has only grown. You are an inspiration to others to improve their life, home and future. I stumbled upon a quote on Pinterest the other day: Treat people as if they were who they aught to be and you will help them become who they are capable of becoming. I am an Emergency Room Nurse and while I haven’t struggled with addiction myself my Sister has, a few times. I hope that in the short time I care for a patient that I can show them that I believe in them. Sounds strange but I often find myself wanting to do and be more to my patients who are struggling with addiction and seeking treatment. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I think you are amazing; I truly wish you and your sobriety the best of luck and I am excited to learn Lots of Good Things from you along the way!

    Reply
  40. Stacia Sapp

    I came across your blog from something my niece had repinned from you. I’m reading your story, thinking she is writing about me! I too about 46 or 47 decided my life sucked. ( I dunno why compared to other people who have greater challenges) I have always been a social drinker and the life of the party as well. I started drinking more and more, and as you know became more depressed. Trying to hide my drinking from everyone ( not too sucessfully:) I would black out, pass out, saying things I so regret, embarass my family. I too should of been dead or in jail SO many times. My children had graduated and moved out, and are sucessful adults. (Did something right!) My husband was misdiagnosed with throat cancer and I just fell apart. My husband of 28 yrs secretly moved out when I was at work one night. Wow slap in the face..Big time. I stayed in our home talking to the dog, drunk and high every night till 3 or 4 in the morning as well. I didn’t want to go anywhere , be around anyone. My oldest told me one day.. “I want my Mom back, I can’t even talk to you cause your hammered all the time.” Quit my job before I got fired. Yet, I still kept on drinking. It didn’t matter what time of day or night it was. My entire family was trying to get me into rehab, which I refused, of course. One afternoon my friend from jr high came over,(one of the ones who still talked to me) I was so sick from partying the night before and had her take me to the emergency room, I was admitted to the hospital for three days. My potassium level was nil. I know someone who died from that same thing. I detoxed with medical supervision which you need to do if you have been drinking for awhile. Very important ! I walked out of the hospital and quit drinking. I tripped and fell twice.. Still sober:) Still married to the same man who never gave up on me~ 28 years. I have two wonderful adult children, going to be a Gma first time the day before my 50th b-day in July! There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about drinking, exspecially when stressed or ticked off. It truly is one day at a time the holidays are tough:) I now am “back in my life” I regret time wasted and the things I missed.” pick your self up by your boot straps”, as my Gma
    used to say. In today’s slang that would be carry on….fill in the blanks

    Reply
  41. Amelia

    I just stumbled onto your site through Pintrest. I LOVE this! My life has taken a turn in a different direction, and more than ever I need to save funds for our family. I have been making and pinning most of your diy cleaning solutions. Thanks so much for all that you share! Congrats on your accomplishments & your willingness to share :)

    Reply
  42. lisa

    Hi Jillee

    I came across your website by mistake really, just looking something up on an email i got about saving money and saw your idea for frozen yogurt. Which looks great by the way. I noticed a few more ideas that I will be trying very soon but then I went on to read your story and I started thinking about someone in my family who suffers with addiction too. She is a lovely person and she has been trying so hard for years to overcome her addiction and she is succeeding and with the help and support of her family, we are all very proud of her. I will be passing on your website to her so she can read your story and I am sure she will find some comfort in it. Even though we are in the UK it is nice to know she isn’t alone in her struggle and addiction can affect people from all walks of life.

    Love and Best wishes to you and your family
    lisa xx

    Reply
  43. Rachel

    Jill,
    I did not come across your website by accident, like those lucky ladies did! I just know you. Which makes me even more lucky!
    Thanks for all your GOOD THINGS!
    You are incredible.
    Rachel

    Reply
  44. Jodie

    Jill,
    BIG HUGS TO YOU! I love your open and honesty about your life, struggles, and found passion. I too, am in recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous. The Anonymous part doesn’t count for me. I believe the more friends know, the more likely someone will show up for me to help. It was in 1994 that I called my pastor to my house and told him I thought something was wrong with me. I was Family Life Chair out our church as a volunteer. I also volunteered for anything my children were involved in as well as community. I first came in program and was a perfectionist (something I keep struggling with today). That is not the message of course that we want to send. I had family (husband) problems that eventually caused me to divorce him. I was drinking wine at night after kids were in bed, thinking I needed it to fall asleep.
    I have had a few slips over the years and currently have 4 years this past March. This new sobriety dates made me realize Alcohol really isn’t my problem. I don’t even like it. It is life I was struggling with. I too, was trying to cover up pain and not feel it.
    It is funny how the thought of it even makes my stomach turn now!
    There is dysfunction and alcoholism all through both sides of my family. The dysfunction part I still struggle with. I am married to a man in AA for 10 years now, and he is so opposite from me. I have achieved so much calmness in my recovery. He hasn’t found that in his. I was a silly drunk, and he was a mean drunk. He now can be orally abusive and controlling, even though he does not drink and goes to a meeting 4 days a week. It is one of those “elephants” that live in the house and not outside. His father is the same way. All which I have learned since being married. We dated for several years before getting married.
    I would like to add to anyone on your blog reading your story, if you are in recovery, give your self time to be alone and not in a relationship if you are not currently married. My suggestion is two years and really know all about the future family you marry in to. This advise is for females and males.
    Sobriety is one day at a time, let go and let God, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here.
    Hugs to you and everyone that is in recovery or struggling with themselves or someone in the family.

    Reply
  45. Janie

    Jillee,
    I always feel a bond when I met someone in recovery. We all have a story, I thank you for your honesty, openness, and willingness to be of service. What a “coincidence” that I am trying to find ways to save money for other things in which we need to be sustained in life, and I run across your blog. Refreshing, interesting, helpful, and a blessing is what I have found, besides saving money!! Thy will be done.
    Thank you for being,
    Janie

    Reply

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