We interupt this hiatus for a special announcement…

This young woman is my son’s girlfriend.  She is putting herself through a private college of the arts and could really use this money from Dr. Pepper.  If you are so inclined, please vote for her…it will only take a sec.  

 

http://www.drpeppertuition.com/profile/1699790476

We now return to our self imposed absence.

Namaste

 

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Hiatus

Hey guys – I’ve decided to take a little break.  I’m shooting for 30 days (I likely won’t make it that long), but I’m “going dark” at least until the end of August.

I need to step away and stay inside my head for a little while.  All is well – I’m just looking to make it better.

So as the song goes…See you in September!

Love and endless belief.

Namaste

 

A Date with Me for Tea

One of the main reasons I’m going the therapy route is that I have no idea how to process emotions.  Most people learn how to do that when they’re very young but people from dysfunctional homes like mine just stuff that shit down…ain’t nobody got time for that!  Of course we all know that comes back to bite you in the ass eventually.  For me the bite turned out to be clinical depression and a whole host of other text book behaviors that left me a 53-year-old recovering alcoholic in desperate need of therapy.  Oh well…cest la vie!

My therapist told me about a Buddhist saying that goes something like – rather than avoiding your feelings, invite them in for tea.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that.  First I have to recognize I’m feeling a particular way and name it.  Believe it or not I’m just learning how to do that.  So let’s say I figure out what I’m feeling and it’s knocking like a cop on my front door.  I’m visualizing opening that door with anger and resentment on the other side (or whatever I’m feeling in a particular moment) and instead of shooing them away, I invite them in for tea.  Which of course would be sweet tea rather than oolong because I’m in the south and that’s how we roll.  Which means instead of sitting on the floor on some fluffy pillows and sipping from tiny cups and listening to pan flutes, we’d be sitting on stools around my kitchen counter drinking from Tervis tumblers and listening to Trace Adkins or Colbie Caillat or P!nk.

Don’t judge.

Anyway, I like the way that makes me feel.  Like I could actually get comfortable with my emotions.  Get to know them a little better.  Let them leave in their own good time rather than rushing them out because I don’t want to deal with them.  Because they make me uncomfortable.

Except.

Except that I can’t figure out what to DO with them while we’re at the kitchen counter!  I’ve been trying to practice today and I’m having a hard time knowing what to do with them while they take their sweet time moving right along.  If I were at home and IF I had the time I could go into my closet and just let the feelings be.  But I’m not.  I’m at work and…well…ain’t nobody got time for this shit you know what I’m sayin’?

Yeah…I still have a little work to do.

My guess is that normal people do this on a regular basis and don’t even think about it.  They process emotions and feelings like breathing…it just happens.  I was thinking about how, when my kids were little, I used to make sure that whatever they were feeling was validated so they knew that it was okay.

For example, someone is angry and throwing a hissy fit.  I’d tell them (sometimes having to yell over their yelling) that it was okay to feel the way they were feeling.  That I understood and that they had every right to be angry because it never feels good not to get what you want.  In fact, let’s stomp and little louder and maybe punch some pillows.  But I’m not giving you the _____________ no matter how angry you are or how much you yell.  So get this out of your system and we’ll talk when you’re feeling more like yourself.

And then I’d walk away.

I’d say it worked about 70% of the time.  I mean sometimes an irrational child is just that.  But I notice now that they’re grown, that they are way more in touch with their emotions then I’ll likely ever be (with the exception of my niece and nephew who I’m still working on – but that’s a different post).  So how could I teach that skill without learning it myself?

Who the hell knows?  Maybe it’s just an innate desire to model what I wished was done for me as a child.  Maybe it’s just dumb luck.

For now I guess I’ll just use my feelings journal and me and my emotions will sit at my kitchen counter and stare at each other until they decide it’s time to get the hell out of my head and go bother someone else.

Namaste

 

The Appointment

Had my first appointment with the therapist today.  I’m not sure how many of my future posts will be about our visits together since many of my friends read my blog AND I gave him the link (I mean seriously…what better way to get inside my head than to read what’s I’ve removed) but I’m going to go through a little bit of my first visit because I think it’s important and I just plain want to do it.  So there!

First of all, I like him.  From the moment he said hello I liked his energy.  He’s young and interested and seems open.  All therapists listen but he seemed to be listening “more” somehow.  He made and maintained direct eye contact – I freaking love that.  He said things like “core work” which I took to mean he wasn’t treating me like a transaction.  He was willing to put in the effort it will take to make me okay.

And I have a feeling it might take quite a bit of work.

I told him at first that my primary goal was to learn to love myself.  Later I said I’d settle for like.  Then it dawned on me that I’d just like to be introduced to myself and maybe start up a relationship.  Like any good relationship I want to take this slow and really get to know myself.  Then I can decide whether I’m the kind of person I like and maybe one day even love.

That last paragraph sounds a little wacky but I suspect some of you know what I mean.

The funny thing was I could actually feel and identify some of the emotions I was having while speaking with him.  That’s new.  I mean that’s really new.  Like the last couple of months new.  So it was good that I could share it with him in the moment and get some positive reinforcement that it was normal to feel things and be able to identify them.

Okay…that paragraph might be even weirder than the first.  Sigh…

Anyway, I have homework and I’m excited about it.

There…that was a normal paragraph.  Well…except for the fact that I have never, in my whole entire life, been excited about homework.  But I digress…

I told him about my other therapy experiences.  About the woman who asked me what I thought I did to deserve my husband.  (Really?  WTF?)  And about how I just stuffed down the feeling I had when she said that, smiled sweetly, left her office and never returned.

Or the guy who saw me for a few weeks, pronounced me cured and sent me home.  He did teach me that I should cry more often but cured?  Uh…no.

Or the addiction specialist who, when he got too close or touched a nerve, I bolted and never returned.  Oh…and then I relapsed but you all know about that already.

What’s different about this experience?  It’s really very simple.

This time I’M ready.  I’m ready to listen and put in the work and figure out why I can’t like me just the way I am.  To pick at scabs until the wounds heal properly.  To uncover rocks, scrape all the goo away, hose it down and really look at the potential gem that lies beneath.

They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  Maybe this is it maybe it’s not.  But I’m not giving up this time.

Namaste

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

 

inspired blogger

So in my last post I mentioned that not one but two awesome things had happened recently.  Then I did an awful thing and left you hanging without revealing the second thing.  I realize how cruel this was and I’m sure you spent your weekend tossing and turning with worry and wonder because, of course, the world revolves around your’s truly.

Um…NOT.

Anyway, the second event is pretty cool because the lovely Justine over at Ever Upward recognized me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award which really touched my heart.  It always makes my spirit soar to learn that someone finds the contents of my brain on paper inspiring.  I know what it means to me to read someone else’s brain contents and find comfort.  To think I can do that for someone else just makes my day.  Thanks Justine…you da bomb girl.

So there are a few things I’m supposed to do.  I happen to find these things fun so here goes.

1.  Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.  Check.

2.  List the rules and display the award.  Check.

3.  Share seven facts about yourself.  Coming in just a sec.  You can’t wait can you?  See?  I told you…it’s all about me!

4.  Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know why they have been nominated.  (Like Justine, I am just going to list them and leave their participation optional.  Not “it”…I promise.)  Also…see below.  NOW you really can’t wait!

So without further ado, here are seven fun (?) facts about me.

1.  Project Runway is my favorite show ever.  Nope…not an HGTV show but a fashion show.  I love watching the limited amount of drama that occurs (at least they only show us a limited amount…I can only take so much drama on TV before I get anxious) followed by sometimes beautiful and sometimes downright weird fashion.  Love.  Did I mention love?  Yeah…that.

2.  Even though I’ve been married twice I have only been in love once and I’m still in love with the same guy after 31 years.  No I don’t feel like I missed anything.  Quite the contrary.  I feel incredibly blessed to have found this man who puts up with all my shit and still loves me.

3.  As I mentioned in my Geezer post I really don’t swear that much in real life.  I went through a potty mouth phase in my youth but in the real world I don’t find it adds anything to a conversation…in fact it makes me look cheap and a lot stupid.  Now…I have been known to let fly from time to time but I reserve that for extreme cases in order to ensure maximum impact.  But this blog?  This is the one place I can just let it all go and say whatever the fuck comes into my head.  I let my ghetto show here and I’m damn proud of it.

4.  I did in fact grow up in the ghetto/hood/poor side of town/projects.  No matter what you call it we were poor and lived in some ugly places.  And no, our love didn’t make up for a lack of money…it all sucked.  But through it all I always saw a bright side and knew that one day I’d come out of it and be better for it.  Wish I had been that wise about drinking…sigh.

5.  I have a bachelor’s degree in finance but my real love is English Literature.  I think the only real regret I have in life is that I didn’t major in English Lit in college.  I thought I had to major in finance to work in a bank…boy was I wrong!  And don’t tell me to go back…I have three kids in college, I hate school and I hate debt even more.

6.  I secretly wanted to be a comedian when I was a young girl.  I wanted to make people laugh.  Now that I know what I know about most comedians I’m glad I didn’t pursue it – I’m fucked up enough already!

7.  Just like I love all kinds of music, I love all forms of the written word.  From magazines to newspapers to fiction and non-fiction…I love it all.  I loved reading Othello as much as I loved reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  Don’t judge.  😉

Now comes the good part.  Fact is, I can’t choose from among those on my blog role for this one.  The bloggers on the sidebar of my this page all, in some way, inspire me, prop me up, make me laugh, make me cry, and have inserted their way into my heart.  I love them all.  Cop out?  Yes…get over it.

So this is obstinate me…I’m not going to pick.  I’m going to make you seek them out yourself.  And if you’re not on my blogroll and you want to be…just let me know.  I’m probably reading you anyway.

Thanks again Justine.

Namaste

 

 

 

Blog Tour Thingamajig

So the other day two really good things happened.  First, my blogger buddy Bcubed (which is my nickname for her so don’t get attached) over at Bye Bye Beer, gave me a shout out in her blog about an ongoing project that gives bloggers the chance to share their writing process and tag other unsuspecting bloggers (that was right from her blog post – word for word – I leveraged it yo).

Anyway, I always get happy when I see a post from Kristen pop up in my reader because I know I’m going to be lulled.  Yes lulled.  She has a way of writing that just makes me feel calm and easy and…well…lulled.  Doesn’t matter whether she’s writing about sobriety, our shared love of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay, cleaning bathrooms or her grandmother – it’s all lovely.  I so look forward to her posts.  So thank you Kristen for calling me out on this one.  I’m game…let’s go.


 

What am I working on now?

I’m working on getting out of this depression and feeling better about myself.  I’m working on finishing the redecorating of the house.  I’m working on getting my eating habits back on track so I don’t die a sick old woman like my mom and I’m working pretending everything is FINE until the first task in this list is fixed.  At this immediate moment I’m working on getting 60 trainees through their log on activities for their new laptops.  Pray for me.

Oh…you meant writing?  Carry on.

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

I’m not sure that you’d call what I do out here “work”.  I pretty much just mentally throw up on the page.  Kristen called me a straight shooter and I take that as a wonderful compliment because, no matter what, I try to always be upfront and honest.  So maybe that’s how I’m different.  Nothing is TMI where I’m concerned and, mostly because I don’t have to deal with most of you face to face, you get the full impact of whatever I’m thinking. 

Sometimes it’s random like young people swearing around two-year olds and sometimes it’s a well thought out idea or problem with which I’m struggling that needs to be processed.  Often I’ll just sit down and stare at the screen until something comes to mind.  Sometimes it’s a prayer to the Universe or just a thank you to God.

No matter what it is, it’s all me all the time cursing my way through life.

Why do I write/create what I do?

That’s the easiest question of all…it’s my therapy.  Like most alcoholics, I tend to hear voices (demons, beasts, whatever).  It’s the running dialog in my head.  It’s quieter now and not as frequent but it’s still there, annoying the shit out of me.  So I do what I can do to shut it the fuck up.  I write about it.  Once it’s out of my head and on to the page, I can look at it, examine it, process it and, hopefully, let it go.  It’s been working for 460 something posts so I think I’ll just keep going.

Because the honest to God truth is that even if no one read one word I’d still have to write it to stay sane.

How does my writing/creating process work?

Usually while I’m praying in the shower, or driving to work, or having a conversation with the hubs or the kids, or…oh who am I kidding? I have no idea how the hell this works!  It’s in my head, I want it out, I put it on the page, sometimes people read, sometimes people comment, I feel better.  The end.

Now to the fun part.  Now I get to call out bloggers that inspire me and make me happy.  Many have already been tagged, Karen from Mended Musings, Paul from Message in a Bottle, Allie from And Everything Afterwards and of course Kristen (or Bcubed as I like to call her), but there are still a few gems that I get to claim.


 

My friend Amy from Soberbia.  Amy writes directly from the heart and has a way with words that makes me sigh with envy every time I read one of her posts.  Her voice is clear and honest and true.  She’s hip and cool and my friend and that makes me very happy.  She has a wonderful plan about where to take her blog and I hope I get to see it.  She’s helped so many people with her wit and wisdom and I love her.

Good2begone.  This dude had me at hello.  He writes about sobriety and life and parenting and a whole host of other topics too numerous to mention.  What he REALLY does well is write short stories that he unfairly breaks up into segments that leave me begging for more like one of Pavlov’s dog.  I keep telling him he needs a publisher (as does his wife I think) but to date I don’t believe he has one.  As long as he keeps writing them I really don’t care.  He did give me a wonderful gift last Christmas.  He sent an email with a picture and his real name.  I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.  He’s a cool guy who also happens to be laid up right now because of a recent injury.  Pop on over and give him a read and leave a nice comment.  It makes people heal faster I swear.  Oh did I mention funny?  Yeah…that too.

Annette at Just for Today.  I’ve been following Annette for a few years now and we’ve become friends.  Whether it’s over our kids or dieting or the most recent facial cleansing method we’ve posted/commented about all of it.  She’s active in Al-Anon and I’m a recovering alcoholic so maybe it’s the opposites attract thing but I just love the way she writes.  She has a beautiful way of stringing words together and often I think I can actually see her heart in her words.  She’s kind and compassionate and I love her guts.

Sober Learning.  I was going to mention her and say that I hadn’t heard from her in a while but go out and read her anyway cause she’s awesome and blah, blah, blah.  Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link to get the link to link to this post (are you following me…cause I’m lost) and realized THAT I HAD THE WRONG LINK AND SO HER POSTS HAVE NOT BEEN POPULATING MY READER!  So I’ve got some catching up to do, I suggest you do the same.  She’s in her first year of sobriety which means she can always use some additional encouragement.  Plus she’s pretty damn cool imho.

 


 

 

As usual, there is absolutely no pressure to follow through with this if I tagged you.  You are not “it”.  It was just my way of saying thank you for filling my days with love and understanding and laughter.

Oh, and the second thing I mentioned at the beginning of this post?  Well I think I’ll pull a Good2beGone and make you wait till my next post.

 Namaste