Wasted Time vs. Time Wasted

I’m getting old.  No no…don’t try to make me feel better by telling me how young I look…well…okay you can try.  Fact is that I’m 53 damn years old which means I’ve been on the planet longer than I have left on the planet (unless I live to be 107 which is highly unlikely…possible but unlikely).  PLUS the time I have left is time this body and brain will be winding down rather than gearing up or coasting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing my hands in the air like I don’t care and giving up!  Quite the contrary.  I’m doing all I can to keep the body and brain “hittin’ on all 8′s” for as long as possible.  That means working, exercising, learning, eating well, sex and all those other things that More magazine says will keep me young.

After all, 50 is the new 30 right?

What the fuck does that mean anyway?

Anyway, I’ve become very contemplative of late.  I’ve been looking back and thinking about all the time I wasted being trashed when I could have been doing something else.  Anything else.  I spent so much time wasted that I wasted a shit-load of time.

See what I did there?  Yeah…I’m a regular Bill Shakespeare.

But seriously, I did waste a great deal of time that I could have spent enjoying…well…anything!  Specifically I’m talking about my 40′s.  Yep…pretty much the whole freaking decade.  That’s my lost decade so to speak. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I drank in all of my decades from my teens to my fifties and I didn’t know it then but I drank alcoholically for all of it.  But my 40′s?  Yeah…that was when it all went to shit and I dove ass first into that big bottle of Chardonnay.  That was when it went from being “fun” to being tragic.  When it went from being an occasional way to blow off steam to a necessity.  That’s when I began to isolate and spend “quality time” with my bottle(s).

I feel like that whole period is one big blur.  From 2001 to the end of 2009 the following events happened…

  • September 11th (we lived in DC then)
  • My husband’s company failed (due to 9/11)
  • We moved to my dream home (near the beach)
  • The hubs had emergency triple bypass surgery and then gall bladder surgery two years later
  • One of my twins broke his arm which required surgery and then a while later contracted a serious bout of strep that landed him in the hospital
  • I had to fight to get the other twin diagnosed with ADD and then found out he was clinically depressed as well (which of course I blamed myself for)
  • My mom passed away after spending a great deal of time in and out of the hospital and running into a house with her car which almost killed her in and of itself
  • I accepted a new position that relocated us to another state leaving the dream house behind and plunging me into a prolonged depression
  • I got laid off from that job about a year after we moved
  • I decided (with the help of my wonderful husband) that enough was enough and got sober

Looking back you’d think all of those things would be etched in my brain for a lifetime right?  Well they are…sort of.  Most are kind of a blur because I spent so many evenings drinking and so many days wondering when it would be okay to crack open a bottle.  Date night became an excuse to get plastered and escape, for a minute anyway, all the bullshit that was happening. 

What I do remember was using all of that as an excuse to put on some diving gear and go deeper and deeper into that bottle like the scary dude that sometimes shows up in Bikini Bottom to try to capture SpongeBob and Patrick.

Let’s try this again with my internal demon adding her two cents.

  • September 11th (we lived in DC then) – the more I watched the coverage, the more I want to drink
  • My husband’s company failed (due to 9/11) – I’m sorry honey, let’s go out and drink talk about it
  • We moved to my dream home (near the beach) – Let’s celebrate by having all our new neighbors over so I can get shit-faced the first of many times and embarrass myself the first of many times to know them
  • The hubs had emergency triple bypass surgery and then gall bladder surgery two years later – Okay I can’t drink because I never know when I’m going to get a call from the hospital…gotta keep it together…I could really use a drink
  • One of my twins broke his arm which required surgery and then a while later contracted a serious bout of strep that landed him in the hospital – My boy needs me, I need to be ready to go to him in the middle of the night or, when spending the night at the hospital, oh well, I can have a drink when he’s home and okay
    • Let’s pause this part of our broadcast to pose a question: “Who the fuck has thoughts like that when their son is in the hospital being stuck with nine million needles?”  Answer:  An alcoholic in denial…that’s who.
  • I had to fight to get the other twin diagnosed with ADD and then found out he was clinically depressed as well (which of course I blamed myself for) – I’m a terrible mother because of course I caused his depression…better get two bottles tonight
  • My mom passed away after spending a great deal of time in and out of the hospital and running into a house with her car (which almost killed her in and of itself) - drink, drink, drink, drink
  • I accepted a new position that relocated us to another state leaving the dream house behind and plunging me into a prolonged depression – Let’s celebrate because I got the job…oh my god I hate this job…I hate this house…I’m homesick I want to go home…drink, drink, drink, drink, drink
  • I got laid off from that job about a year after we moved – I hate my life, I’m so depressed, no wonder I drink, I hate myself, I CAN’T STOP DRINKING
  • I decided (with the help of my wonderful husband) that enough was enough and got sober

Here’s the saddest part…rather than remember, with clarity, all of the life events that usually serve to build character, provide wisdom, and make us appreciate all of the beautiful things that life has to offer, I have clear memories of trying to figure out where my next drink was coming from.  And I was supposedly high functioning!!!!!!!  There was no functioning happening there people.

That’s a WTF moment if I’ve ever heard one.

Sobriety has taught me to look back only so much as it will help me stay sober.  I need to wake up and realize that sitting around “contemplating” how much of my 40′s I wasted getting wasted isn’t going to change one motherfucking thing.  No matter how much I wish I could go back and change things, the fact is I can’t.  God put me right where I am supposed to be exactly when I’m supposed to be…here…there…  Attention:  Is there a grammar nazi in the house?  I think this post could use one right about now.  Just raise your red pen…I’ll see you.

It’s time to get back to enjoying and experiencing the time I have right here, right now.  Time to get my pink cloud back.  I’m sober and moving solidly forward.  And being sober has helped me learn to be present and pay attention to what is going on all around me every single solitary moment of every single solitary day. 

No more time wasted…no more wasted time.

Namaste

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Because I’m Happy

Reason enough for a gratitude list.

Today I am profoundly grateful for:

My family.  I have the most wonderful husband and six of the greatest kids on the planet.  From my oldest to the newest they are all incredible human beings and I find no greater joy than being in their presence.  They fill my soul with love.

My friends.  Thank God for the friends in my life.  They are all a gift.

My job.  Crazy as it is and as difficult as it was to secure – I’m exactly where I am supposed to be and very, very grateful for being here.

My home.  I have built more than just a house.  I have been fortunate enough to build a home where all who enter can take a deep breath, exhale, and find peace…if only for a little while.  Doesn’t matter where it is, what size it is or what color the paint is on the walls…where my heart and my love reside is where home will be.

Calamine Lotion and antihistimines.

Men who love carpentry and happen to live in my home.

Puppies who take well to insulin.

Blue Jays who chase great big black snakes out of my yard.  I never liked Jays because they are the bully of my trees, taking over and chasing away more gentle varieties that sing to me.  HOWEVER, after witnessing one peck at and chase a snake out of my yard the other day, I’m a now allowing them free reign.

Did I mention antihistimines?  Oh…yeah.

And…as always my sobriety and my faith.  Nuff said…

Namaste 

 

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Slowing Down

Since about mid-May I’ve been going full-out, hittin’ on all 8′s, balls to the wall.  Between the house and the busy season at work, there has been absolutely no end to the rat race.  I have worked through a head cold and pink eye, exhaustion, extreme heat and humidity and all other manner of plagues that have beset me. (I’m not even sure if I used that word correctly but I’m too tired to care.)

Now, with the house 95% complete and things beginning to slow down at work I have met my match.

Poison Ivy.

Holy mother of God this shit is horrible!

In my job we train incoming Analysts and Associates for seven weeks.  We get them right after they graduate from college, train them and then set them loose on their jobs.  Part of that training is to take them to do community service which reinforces the commitment my company has to giving back.  Because we train in the summer…in the south…we try to stay indoors.  This year however, our numbers we so large that we had to take two groups to local parks for “beautification”.

USUALLY, “beautification” means spreading mulch, picking up trash and planting for 3 hours.  Not this year.  One group went to weed gardens for a local farming cooperative and the other cleaned out a wooded area in a park for safety reasons (bad guys hide in that shit yo).  Problem is…no one told us that long sleeves and long pants were advisable.

Guess which group I was in?

I’ve never had poison ivy in my life and I’ve cleaned out some really yucky areas in yards.  I know I’ve been exposed because others have gotten it when I have not.  So I instructed anyone who knew they were allergic to stay out of the wooded area, wear gloves and just feet the chipper.  I dove right in…after all, I’m not allergic.

Um…yeah.

So now I have this shit all over my arms, legs and…wait for it…FACE.  Turns out brushing the hair out of your eyes with arms that have been exposed to poison ivy isn’t very smart.  Well fuck me backwards.

The doctor gave me a five day dose of Prednisone, an antihistamine that wouldn’t make me drowsy and sent me packing with a looking of pity rarely seen on a doctor’s face.  I’ve been through every home remedy known to man to calm the itch…baking soda and apple cider vinegar, Benedryl cream, cortisone cream, oatmeal baths, etc.  The only thing that’s helping is the stuff my mom put on me when I had chicken pox as a child…calamine lotion.

Thank the good Lord for calamine lotion.

But…you guys know how I roll…gotta put a silver lining on this shit.

I think this is the Universe telling me to slow the hell down and take a breath.  So that’s what I’m doing.  I have several books I haven’t even begun to read, an appointment to get my hair done, and a recipe I want to try for dinner.  The antihistamine that’s not supposed to make me drowsy makes me drowsy so I foresee naps in my future.  I’m going to catch up with the hubs, watch HGTV and just veg…you know…lay like broccoli (that’s from Pretty Woman – love that movie).

Just as soon as I…

Namaste

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Community

com·mu·ni·ty

noun, often attributive \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\

a :  joint ownership or participation

 

b :  common character :  <community of interests>

 

c :  social activity :  fellowship

 

d :  a social state or condition

 
 

Like many alcoholics, growing up I never felt like I belonged or fit in anywhere.  I always felt too fat, too ugly, too clumsy.  I always felt like I said or did the wrong thing; that others always had the answers or were in on the joke.  I was always outside looking in.

Funny thing is that it wasn’t just as a child or teenager or young adult.  It’s something I deal with to this day.  In any social situation, business situation and sometimes even family situation, I’m still feel outside looking in.

Except here.

“Here” meaning out here in this blogging world with all you blogging readers, writers, lurkers, browsers, commenters, emailers or whatever-ers.  Here is where I know I’m accepted.  I know I’m understood.  I get the joke.  I’m at peace.

“Here” meaning that I know for a fact that if I got on a plane tomorrow and flew to London  or Canada or New Zealand or Sweden or Colorado, Mexico, California, Pennsylvania; or if I drove to Raleigh/Durham, Atlanta, Florida or Virginia that there would be someone there who would put an arm around my shoulder (or maybe a giant hug) and, without saying one single solitary word, I would know I was understood. 

Because you are my tribe.  You are my people.  You are my community.

Never before have I experienced anything like that.  Never have I felt so much that someone “gets” me.  But out here, you do.  And I “get” you. 

We’re a community

Women have BFF’s.  Best friends that we organize and categorize.  I have the supreme BFF who is my girlfriend from waaaaaay back.  Her family is my family and we’re like sisters.  Then there’s the BFF at work; the BFF at home; the BFF at the gym even the BFF at the grocery store if you’re there a lot.  There are BFF’s but there isn’t a community.  We keep them separate and seldom mix them together in social situations.  Why?  Who the fuck knows?  We’re women.  We do shit like that.

Anyway, with all those BFF’s there is no one that shares this particular thing with me.  This thing that is all of me and at the same time none of me.  This thing that will be with me forever like my green eyes or wrinkled thumb nails.  This thing called alcoholism and recovery.

As much as I love them (and I really, really do) it feels like such an exhausting and daunting task to think of sitting down and trying to bring them up to speed on what my life had become and where it is now.  In the few instances I’ve tried to share more than just, “Yes, I’m an alcoholic but it doesn’t bother me if you drink,” I’ve been met with concern, shock, empathy, sympathy, and even anger and resentment but never have I seen that look or heard the words that tell me, way down deep in my heart – she gets me.

I could share my blog which I have done with some, but I’m very, very selective about it because I don’t want it to change what I say or how I say it.  If I want to call a friend a bitch in a fit of anger and resentment, I don’t want her to read it here and carry a grudge for years on end while I’ve forgotten and forgiven the moment I click ‘Publish’.

We’re women, we do shit like that.  I have no idea why.

Of course my family is my center.  My children and the hubs are where I feel the safest, where I trust the most, where I open my heart wholly and completely and without fear.  They’ve been with me through all of my changes (kids are smart, don’t think for a minute they don’t have a bullshit meter because they do and it’s WAY more sensitive than ours) and they, miraculously, still love me.  They are why I breathe.

But even they don’t “get” it like you people do.  I often find the hubs trying to empathize with something I’ve written here or said and I find myself thinking, “Nope…he’s trying but he doesn’t/can’t get it.  But damn do I love that man for trying.”  Sometimes I’ll keep trying but most times I just stop talking, listen to what he’s saying and, get this people…let it go! (Aren’t you proud of me?)

What keeps me sane and away from relapse is that I know you’re here and that I’m sober and that someone, somewhere out there in the wide wide WIDE cyberspace is saying, “OMG!!!  She’s writing about me!!!  How does she KNOW?”  I KNOW because I’ve done it myself and continue to do it time and time again while reading other’s posts and comments. 

So thank you.  Thank you for “getting me”.  Thank you for reaching out in your quest to get and remain sober.  Thank you for being brave and writing down shit that would never come out of your face but needs to see the light of day to keep you from drinking.  Thank you for commenting even when you’re nervous and feel stupid and think nobody wants to hear what you have to say but writing it anyway.  Thank you for just reading and taking what you want and leaving the rest.

Thank you for keeping me sober.

Namaste

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Fear or Reality

I got a lovely email from a newly sober woman today (28 days…woot!!!) that got me thinking about my early sobriety. I remember being afraid…a lot. Mainly I remember being afraid of the unknown because when you’re newly sober after drinking the better part of your life…everything is unknown.  And scary.  Which made me fearful.  Did I mention that I was afraid?

Anyway, here’s my brain’s way of sorting through those feelings.

FEAR:  I’ll be boring.  I went through life thinking I was outgoing and the life of any party.  I could dance the night away and chat up everyone.  I was FUNNY and it wasn’t long before I had everyone laughing.  What will happen if I take away the booze?  Will I still be the life of the party?  Will people still think I’m funny?  Will I still want to dance the night away and throw lavish dinner parties and stay up until the wee hours talking to my bestie?

Realty:  I am boring…so-the-fuck-what.  Turns out I’m an introvert.  I don’t even like parties.  I detest small talk.  My children sucked all the rhythm out of my bones during my pregnancies so I don’t even dance well anymore (it happens…Google it).  I was only the life of the party because of the booze.  Hell, I was only AT the party because of the booze.  Staying up till dawn talking?  I’m too old for that shit.  I need my sleep.  As for the lavish dinner parties?  I rather just have a couple of friends over for an informal pot luck.  So much more real and a hell of a lot cheaper.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re an outgoing extrovert type of person YOU WILL STILL BE THAT PERSON SOBER.  Whoever your way-deep-down authentic self is will emerge the longer you’re sober.  It’s scary but well worth the wait.  For me, the booze made me something I wasn’t.  Which brings me to my next point…

FEAR:  I won’t know who I am without the booze.  I remember standing in my bedroom with my arms wrapped around myself, sobbing and saying to my husband, “Who am I?  I don’t know who I am!  What if I’m one of them?!” (Meaning my alcoholic family.)  I had placed such an ugly face on alcoholism and my biggest fear was being one of them.  I had preconceived notions about AA (which turned out to be false BTW) and I was terrified of going to one of those meetings.  I just wanted things to go back the way they were before I lost control.

Reality:  Okay, here’s the thing, for a while I had no idea who I was.  I couldn’t go back and I had no idea how to move forward.  All I wanted to do was hide in my room and/or sleep.  I was quiet, introspective and EMOTIONAL.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph I cried at EVERYTHING.  I got angry.  I felt resentment.  And when I was happy I felt JOY.  WTF was that all about?  It was about feeling true feelings for the very first time and not having any freaking idea what to do with them.  I was a woman who was stoic, strong and not afraid of anything and here I was reduced to a blithering, crying idiot.  I was raw and vulnerable and unsure of what I was going to turn out like when it was all over.

As it turns out I am one of them.  I’m an alcoholic and always have been.  Things were out of control from the moment I took my first sip of beer.  That’s a stone cold fact.  I never had a chance.  Took me a long ass time to figure that out but there it is.  What’s more I found my own way to that realization.  Through blogging, online support groups, reading memoirs and self-help books, leaning on my family for support (I had to learn how to do that) and a tiny bit of AA, I finally, blessedly became okay with the “A” word.

I also am becoming okay with the person I am.  Can you say “big fucking deal”?  I think that you can.

FEAR:  If I’m an alcoholic I don’t want to be seen as that kind of alcoholic.  That kind of alcoholic is the mental picture that I had of a bum in the streets, zonked out of his mind, with his cheap booze in a paper bag and begging for money.  Or, even worse, my sister.  Forty-nine years old.  Reputation as the town drunk.  Sick, tired and ugly, inside and out.  Sad.

Reality:  What I discovered that there are many, many people who are alcoholics that are just like me.  High functioning people who have a running dialogue going on in their heads that is all about booze.  There are also other faces of alcoholics that don’t look like me…but they don’t look like my misconception either.  In fact, there are as many faces to alcoholism as there are people on the planet.  Which brings me to…

FEAR:  If I’m an alcoholic, I don’t want to hide.  I’ve lived with shame long enough – I refuse to live with it one more minute. 

Reality:  I got sober my way and it worked for me.  I’m a believer that there is no one size fits all sober path.  I think we all have to find our fit.  I also believe however, that we need to try on lots of different things before we decide what fits us best.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You get a little more sober?  You gain a little more insight into yourself?  Oh yeah…that would be bad.  (Insert heavy sarcasm font.)

What’s more, I treat my alcoholism the same way I treat my depression.  If someone asks why I’m not drinking I’ll either say it’s because I lost control or that I’m an alcoholic (depends on the setting).  I don’t make excuses.  I try not to sugar coat it.  Most of all – I am not ashamed of it.  It’s genetic and I’m sober.  Period.

These are my truths.  Everyone has to discover their own.  Just remember that the path to sobriety and recovery is like anything else worth having – it takes work and perseverance but it’s worth all of it and more.  It’s scary.  Some days are diamonds (pink clouds) some days are stones (potential relapse, depression, weight gain from sugar, uncertainty) but you work through it and come out stronger.

And most of all you learn not to be afraid anymore and that’s just the best thing ever yo!

Namaste

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At the Movies

Read this movie today…you should too.

http://afteralcohol.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/playing-the-film-to-the-end-the-actual-end/comment-page-1/#comment-599

Brilliant.

Namaste

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Discombobulated

This is a word I’ve always used to describe when I’m feeling undone.  When parts of me are going in a hundred different directions and I haven’t time to stop and throw a lasso around them and pull it all together.  I thought I made it up…turns out I was wrong.

dis·com·bob·u·late

[dis-kuhm-bob-yuh-leyt]

verb (used with object), dis·com·bob·u·lat·ed, dis·com·bob·u·lat·ing.

to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate: The speaker was completely discombobulated by the hecklers.

 

Who knew?

No matter how you say it, frazzled, frantic, frenetic, confused, befuddled or whatEVER I’m a mess.  Up at 5:30 to work by 6:45 home between 7:00-9:00 bed by 10:00.  Weekends spent working on the house…painting, painting, painting, sanding, building, grouting, decorating.

I am fucking exhausted.

And what’s worse, I’m feeling REALLY disconnected from the hubs.  I go to bed early and he stays up with the boys to be sure they’re all home and that they have what they need (don’t judge…old habits die hard…even when your boys are grown ass men) so by the time he gets to bed I’m in snoresville.  (Of course, I don’t really snore.  I just said that for illustrative purposes.  Yeah…that’s it.)

Even if I were to take a weekend off from the house it wouldn’t help because I’m all keyed up and it takes a while to come down from situations like this.  Plus I’d just stress about what wasn’t getting done instead of relaxing.  Better to push on through to the end (will it ever end?) so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labors…in October.

Oh what a PERFECT excuse reason this used to be to stop and get a bottle or three of wine to help me escape relax and prepare for the next day.  And OH how I looked forward to the weekends when I could really get my drunk on relax and recharge my batteries.  And then VACATIONS when I could just sit and drink relax and really understand that I was an alcoholic what life was all about.

Now I have to resort to things like a foot or back rub from the hubs (no matter how quick…quickies can be a good thing…double entendre intended), a hug from my boys, a walk at lunch around the beautiful city in which I work or a snuggle with the dogs to remind me to slow down and breath from time to time.

Yeah…sober life sucks (heavy sarcasm intended).  Guess I’ll just have to put on my big girl panties and get recombobulated.

Now that word I’m SURE I made up.

Namaste

 

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Coming Into the Light

I’m feeling better you guys. I still feel flat and somewhat depressed, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Thank you for that. And by “you”, I mean the sober blogging community as well as those of you that take time out to comment and support.  It means so much.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blogging thing and this sober thing and this depression thing and this therapy thing and, while they are all interrelated, the blogging thing stands out most in my mind because it’s the thing that is most responsible for my well being.  Blogging is what moved me from sobriety to recovery and what keeps me fully connected to my recovery on a daily basis.  Which explains why, when I became depressed, I stepped away.  (Depression does that to you.  Just like alcohol it lies to you and makes you do stupid shit that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing to feel better.)

When I stepped away I did it because I felt that I had been sitting in this sobriety/recovery place long enough.  I felt that I didn’t have anything left to say on the subject and my brain told me that staying stuck in the pattern of reliving my drinking days and talking about recovery and sobriety was not good for me.  My depressed brain told me that I needed to move on and not stay rooted in the past.  That I should move forward and not keep looking back.

I think this is how relapses must start.  You being listening to the lies your depression and fear tell you.  That you’re okay and you need to move on – you need to run away from all those hard things and go where things are easy.  Where your well-meaning but misguided friends and/or relatives tell you about how great you are and how you’re cured and should move forward, get some other interests and stop living in the past.  Where you can just stuff down all that hurt and pain – ignore it – and it will magically disappear because, after all, you’re over all of that.  Right?

Right?

Yeah…right.  Stepping away from actively processing those emotions that come up in my every day life and just stuffing them down and escaping is the LAST thing I need.  In fact, it’s not the last thing I need…I don’t need it AT ALL.  Because it’s toxic.  The relapse begins with food or shopping or manic behavior (well…for me anyway) but eventually, even if I never took another drink, it would be about booze.  The dysfunctional behavior would be there and I would begin to think about the wine, get pissed off because I can’t have a drink, become hyperaware of everyone around me who’s drinking…all the things that made me miserable before I actually entered recovery.

I honestly don’t think I will ever take a drink again, but that doesn’t mean I won’t relapse.  If I forget to work my recovery and start stuffing emotions and fear down again, I’ll just end up fat, in ill health, in financial crisis and miserable.  What kind of life is that?  I’d still be a burden to my children.  No one would want to be around me.  I’d still be getting old.  So I’d end up isolating myself with reality TV, food and the internet.  A miserable sober alcoholic.

Might as well drink.  At least THAT would kill me faster.

{shudder}

Writing, journaling or blogging (whatever you choose to call it) keeps me grounded in what’s important.  It allows me to process emotions, feelings and events and not stuff them down.  It reminds me that I’m not alone and that I have a voice.  That even if no one ever reads another word I’ve written, I can come out here and sort through all the shit that swirls around in my addicted brain and toss out what’s not good for me.

That’s a fucking miracle yo!

But people do read.  This community of lovely, caring people who bare their souls and share their pain as well as their strength on a daily basis have become some of the best friends I’ve ever had.  Some have their own blogs, some just read and comment and some lurk.  Some are still drinking, some are trying to quit, some have been sober a long time and some have family that have brought addiction to their doorstep.  Doesn’t matter.  Each and every one of us contributes to this community of sobriety in some way and we make a difference every day.  Whether it’s to each other or just ourselves, coming out here means something.  It’s important.  I don’t want to ever again forget that.

Namaste

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Homesick

I am a Maryland girl.  I was born and raised for a period of time in Washington, DC, but in my heart of hearts…I’m from Maryland.  I have a big tin of Old Bay Seasoning in my cabinet (because what self-respecting Marylander doesn’t), crave Thrasher’s fries and Dolle’s caramel corn on a regular basis, think of mountains as soft and rolling like the Blue Ridge rather than sharp and steep like the Rockies, and likely have a combination of salt, fresh and brackish water running through my veins (because the Chesapeake Bay is actually an estuary which has all three). 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the Annapolis side.

Maryland is neither north nor south having straddled the Mason-Dixon line for the better part of the last 300 years.  Most of the state has very little accent save for the group near D.C who put an “r” in the word wash (as in Warshington), the group from deep southern Maryland who sound like they’re from the deep, deep south, and the group from points north of Baltimore who sound just like they are from Philadelphia.  We have bays and beaches and mountains and lots and lots of places where not only George Washington slept but most of the Founding Fathers’ laid their heads as well.  In fact, MD is a hotbed for political activity and personalities.  (Camp David is in MD you know).  We are the shit yo!

Western Maryland in the fall…only God makes colors like that.

I’m finding that I get homesick less frequently but with greater intensity than I used to and that the only thing that will cure it is plant my feet in good old Maryland land.  I need to soak up some salt air along with the stench of crooked local politics and fresh cut tobacco.  I just need to go…home.

The Boardwalk in Ocean City Maryland.

When this feeling comes over me, I begin to think about how and when I’m going to go.  With whom I’ll stay.  Whether or not I can make a trip to the ocean while I’m there or if I’ll just hang at the Bay.  Who I’ll stop and visit and for how long.  Maybe I can get a trip to the mountains in while we’re there and stop at my grandparents gravesite to maybe “tidy up” a bit.  Or maybe not.  I wonder how to get where I need to be while still managing to avoid the absolute nightmare that is the Capital Beltway.  I know I need to grab a copy of the Washington Post – Sunday Edition and read my favorite comics and talk one of my friends into a crab feast while I’m there.

Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs

My daughter and her family are still there.  My best friend is still there.  My beach is there.  My Bay is there.  The city dock in Annapolis is there.  My football team is there (don’t bust my chops, The Redskins play in Maryland); my baseball team is there (The Orioles).  It’s where I met and fell in love with the hubs and where all my babies were born…all six of them!  My first house is there and my favorite house is there and the only church to which I ever really belonged is there.

One of the oldest Catholic churches in MD (and Maryland has A LOT of Catholic Churches). I love this church.

Of course my time there wasn’t all sunshine and unicorns.  As we all know my upbringing wasn’t exactly Ozzie and Harriet (and if you’re too young to know what that means…Google it).  Could I move back permanently?  I doubt it.  We’ve planted roots here.  It’s a beautiful place to live and I love it.

But 8 hours north (by car) is home and every once in a while…I need to be there.  I need to hug people and wander roads that I’d know in my sleep and see what’s changed and visit old haunts.  Maybe it’s a result of the depression cycle I’m in or maybe it’s just been too long but whatever the reason, I feel a distinct pull to the north.

Now where did I put those ruby slippers…

Namaste

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Mystery Solved

I found out how my post from yesterday got published before it was finished.  Seems my darling husband found it after I minimized the window (rather than closing it) and thought that I wasn’t going to publish it but that it needed to be published so…he did it for me.

Now I have all kinds of issues with this but I’m not as angry as I would have been say…five years ago.  Then I was an open book but only to a certain extent – you know…except when it came to my drinking.  Now I’m an open book, appendics, table of contents and acknowledgments too!!!

And sometimes I carry a metaphor too far…but anyway.

I do feel a little “invaded” however and so he and I will have a little “chat” but I want to do it the right way because, bless his heart (as we say in the South) he was only trying to help.

And he does – constantly.  After 31 years together it’s safe to say that he knows me better than any other human on the planet.  He’s got my back and I’ve got his.  As my daughter says…ride or die.  No matter what, he’s my biggest fan.

But he can’t, ever, know what’s it’s like to be a depressive nor will he ever know what it’s like to be an alcoholic (or an “aholic” of any kind).  I try very hard to explain it to him, and this blog (which he reads) and your comments go a long way to helping him see into my fucked up head; but really?  He’ll never really know because he isn’t either of those things.  It’s like when I was pregnant and I tried explaining to him what hormones had done with his wife.  I still looked the same (if by “the same” you mean with an additional 60 pounds and another human or two on board) but I sure didn’t act the same.  At any given time he was probably expecting to see my head start spinning and pea soup to come flying out of my face.

But he tried…he tried so hard to understand.

It just wasn’t possible.

So the hubs gets props for trying to understand what was happening inside my head yesterday and publishing my post before it’s time.

But darling, I love you to the moon and back and at least until tomorrow…but if you ever fuck with my blog again…I’ll go SE on yo ass and cut you faster than you can say, “But I thought…”

Namaste

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