Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween and Survivalist Thoughts

Well, its Halloween, and so far i have been unable to give up the Nicodemon completely...At one point i had gone 12 days then failed miserably , and after that well its been up and down..So far the pattern is i smoke only 3-4 daily, except  on my nights off ,mainly because i am drinking...I have to say 2 things here though.

1. considering i had been smoking a pack a day or more , i am proud i have maintained only 3-4 a day 5 days a week.

2. it took me two years to fully quit before with many ups & downs ,so giving up is not an option.

There's more than one thing i need to work on- i still need to cut back even more on the drinking.Its another thing i have been up & down with for a few years now. This year has actually been my most successful year at cutting back. And again, i am not giving up.

I have learned that over the past two years i really have done a lot of work on myself. I have left toxic situations, learned how to survive on my own again(financially),kept all of my medical, dental and eye appointments and started seeing the chiropractor regularly , gotten back into my art( and making a profit, at that!), I've revisited my poetry, meditation, and Yoga, started listening to CD books again,as well as stayed committed to not being committed( most dramatically since June of this year).I've also set up a home that i love, and have begun doing events in our own personal venue:)

I've taken a lot of tumbles and pulled myself back up.It's a step by step process, and i am no longer a young chicken.So , even if it takes me two years to :

1. quit smoking
2. keep drinking at a very sensible level
3. start exercising regularly
4.get my finances in complete order
5. decide where i want to live
6. stay single or not
7.start eating better( been on junk food for a year)

I will persevere..That is all...

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Pits & The Pride

So, here's how it is..

I am on day 2 of quitting smoking. Yup i am at 1 day plus 23 hrs , 25 niuntes, 59 seconds..and counting. It sucks...and thats a MILd way to put it.This is the longest i have gone without a cigarette since February of 2012, when, after 10 years of being quit, i stupidly started again.I keep asking myself why, but i know why.

It had to do with separating from my husband of 10 years, as well as moving in with a smoker.Not that i can blame either of them..i alone am responsible.I knew even then, the statistics of taking that first puff..and they were dead on.

I've so far spent the last 2 days in an extremely depressed state of mind...barely making it from one minute to the next.I cannot even imagine heroin or crack addictions...because at least i am not in physical pain, and my habit didn't lose me a job, a child, or my life in general.It merely stole years of my health, some of my money, and put me back in the "addict" category.

The main reason i decided to quit is because for the last 5 weeks or so i had been unable to sleep well due to waking up from coughing fits, even throughout vacation..this due to getting bronchitis for the 3rd year in a row at this time of year. If i cant sleep, my whole being suffers.So i could not go on in denial and suffering.If it had not been for that, i would have ignored it for years longer.

I am trying the patches but so far they do NOT seem to be helping at all.I have vape pen and am using a 0% nicotine blend, and i have the gun for extreme urges( even though that barely helps).On the positive side, one of my 2 roommates is also quitting, and the support is extremely helpful. The other one is trying but really has only "cut back". All ashtrays , lighters, etc are outside, car is cleaned out.Right now though, i am resentful( stupidly so) that the one roomie still has the means to relieve extreme urges by having a puff here  and there, and the child in me is whining "it's not fair!"...sigh.i have lollipops and regular gum, cut up straws, snacks, etc.I ahem been trying to drink extra ice cold water , stretch and get outside for fresh air, and busy myself with housework. i keep going online to support sites and have an app as well on my phone ( i check it several times a day)But it's not enough and i don't know what else to do. So here i am, blogging about it.

tonight i just had to get away from everyone , and i am up in my room alone..because i feel pathetic and weak. My mind keeps telling me i cant do this, and i have to fight back constantly.So here is a list ( as suggested by some sites) of why i need/want to quit.This si supposed to help as a reminder.

1. so i can sleep better in general, with less nicotine in my system
2. less or no coughing fits
3. less bad breath and could smelling clothes and hands
4. being able to go to smoke free places without worrying
5.not feeling toxic all the time
6.energy
7.not feeling ashamed of my addiction
8.the feeling of victory over something that has controlled me for so long-discipline and strength
9.better example for my grandkids
10.less being sick

i'm sure there are more.i keep reading other peoples insights, that does help. There have been a few moments where i have felt stronger, and the 24 hr mark made me feel like a winner- at least temporarily.My next "goal" is 3 days, then 7 , then 2 weeks, 30 days, and so on..i kind feel like i am in an AA support group - without getting any chips.I know i have to think of some realistic rewards as well..

All i can say is..i will keep trying, praying not to fail..Namaste



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Being your "Best Person"

I have a huge sign on my refrigerator ..it has 3 #'d questions i ask myself everyday as a reminder:

1.What are you doing to make the world a better place?
2. How are you going to give/give back?
3. Are you being your best person?

The last few months of my life( well years actually but more specific to this blog post) have been a virtual hell...a few moments of enlightenment , for sure...but honestly -hell.

At the end of June i made a commitment to stay out of ANY emotional entanglements/involvements /intimacies with anyone( mostly male..but also toxic female persons) . I put my best foot forward and dived headlong into healing myself in a myriad of ways. This encompassed my physical, mental, emotional and financial health.I have mentioned some of the spiritual and physical accomplishments previously. But let me expand on some other stuff.

In addition to treating my body better by getting the new bed, starting chiropractic treatment , yoga classes and increased meditations..my roommates and i ventured out more into the community and became more involved in general..Then we started our own venue, The Purple Giraffe Artists Loft.This was a huge endeavor and we committed to a team effort to get it up and going. We started with a once a month open mic poetry event.

Now this is at our actual home, so set up, expenses , and advertising was all on us.I have to say here, that since i have the most past experience with doing events, as well as the largest income..a huge chunk of my time and money went into this.So far we have done 3 open mic events..two have been semi successful..one was an absolute disappointment. When i say successful, i mean i solicited several featured poets, for two of the events, and have 3 for Novembers reserved. Also we actually had some unknown/new people( about 3-4 ) show up at each one, in addition to the featured performers and the vendors, which i also solicited.

Now , at the 2 "successful" ones, even though there was maybe a total of 10-15 people, everyone had a good time and left happy. So thats success in and of itself..plus we have had a a few say they will definitely return.

However, in spite the many years and many many people i have supported in this arts/music/poetry community - only about 5 have bothered to show up, help, promote or support us.Its beyond disappointing. I feel no repayment on my years of investment..only rejection, insecurity and and ostracization (if thats a word).I feel ignored and pushed aside.Its depressing and horrible.

After ruminating for months now ( and with all of the other issues- life, bills, problems, etc all piling up along side of this) i finally let some of it out today in a Facebook post. As expected, almost completely ignored.So..what does one do from this point?

Be your best person.

That means going on, surviving, re assessing , taking a deeper look at the reality and making adjustments necessary for ones mental, physical and spiritual health.

It won't be easy. I will face more of the same( criticism, difficulties, challenges, and at times, despair)..but i will be more set on a realistic outcome.I will regroup and make goals, plans, and progress. I won't give up.

I may have to , at some point, realize that the area i have been investing in is not where i need to be, where i will grow and flourish. or i may ( and i hope) to find a better, more mature, open minded group to affiliate with .a group previously unknown who are not always"up in arms" about everything and are actually wanting to improve things, not make everything an offense or something to spend time arguing about.People who want to enjoy life, sometimes agree to disagree, be healthy, balanced and well rounded in their lives and thinking.

Its all just a matter of looking at those questions, everyday and truly asking them of myself..

namaste.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

There once was a Fly in my Soup

Time to take that into perspective...exactly what IS a fly in your soup?

I'm not talking literally- which of course has happened to some.
I mean what is that ANNOYANCE that really makes you angry at times, the one you know is just one of those "little" things? The one that is just part of life and never really goes away, but doesn't give you the right to be grumpy or mean to people?

Yeah, we all have at least one, if not a few.

One of mine is people who are so long winded, rambling, topic jumping, or self centered that you really, seriously have to be rude at a certain point and interrupt them just to try to get a few words in or ask a question.
Another one is waiting a long time for a simple service....like a scheduled car service, a hair appointment, dental appointment, or a simple meal at a restaurant or drive through.

Additionally, i have been known to lose my patience when trying to explain something to someone who is constantly interrupting me and re directing...asking a million questions, or refocusing the conversation on their own, unrelated issues over and over.

yet even i can be guilty of all the above and-

yup, and i probably have a few more..


The thing is how do we deal with these inevitable nuisances and keep our own selves in check?How do we 'grin and bear it" or come up with the courage to civilly address them ? And what do we do when we lose it, our patience and common courtesy ? Can we simply apologize? Even if we know it
has caused some damage?

I think the answer is cloudy.  First, quite possibly , the solution lies within our own internal vision of what is "acceptable" , "correct", or "wrong".Our "expectations". In my case, many times i have been able to reflect on a situation and see that it was my individual ( perhaps subconscious) judgement or mood at the moment. For instance:

Waiting for a meal at a diner as a consumer:"i" expect prompt , efficient service. "i" am paying for the privilege of being "served". I expect courtesy, great food, reasonable prices and ,GOD forbid... it better not take more than 10 minutes!! haha...

vs.

Waiting on someone at a restaurant as a waitress: "i " expect to be treated like a human being, not a slave or servant. "i" expect the customer to make up his or her mind in a reasonable amount of time once i return and they start to order( not humming and hawing through the menu as if they were choosing a place to travel to in Europe some day in the future). "i" expect to be tipped appropriately for good service.

Ok...compare the two ideals.

Same person (me), two very different situations.

sometimes we get caught up so much in our own selfish needs( imaginary or not) that we forget to to take perspective .

The customer :may have had a long day at work and just needs to decompress, he/she may not usually be able to afford to go out and wants to feel special that night, he/she may be coming down with an illness or maybe has a chronic painful illness , he/she may be dealing with young , over active children or even a disabled family member, he or she may be going through a dramatic, stressful life event( death, divorce, loss of income, etc).

The Waitress: some of the above may also apply...but: he/she may have been on the shift for a long time that day, may have more than one job, may be new in the position, or may be having some conflicts with other staff or employer.She/he may not be getting many tips, may be under paid that  or getting the courtesy deserved, and may be taking the heat for other staff's inadequacies.

I guess the bottom line is..stepping out of your own scenario and at least trying to see/understand the other side is usually the best thing. Not making assessments based on your own views, or mood, or habits, expectations.

All in all, i also believe that what we do outside of stressful situations directly impacts how we deal with them when confronted. do we sit around in  self-loathing, blaming the world for not catering to us? Do we see other people, or things as the problem? Do we challenge ourselves to understand other points of view and actually embrace them rather than defend our own 90% of the time?

What we do when we are at calm..or alone...or even in meditation makes a huge difference when we are faced with situations that challenge us.It is not just something to deal with each time it happens, especially if one is prone to being reactive.. I hope to use my time wisely, and become better at locating or avoiding the flies in my own soup.

Namaste









Friday, September 1, 2017

Body Image


Along a winding path we travel, feeling our way we are brave, even if fearful- but we persist..until one day, we discover

"The Mirror"

now we start to question ourselves,ask if we are normal..if we are good looking or pretty...if we are good enough.now we start to compare ourselves to other "selves".now, every time we pass this damn thing , we compulsively look, assess, worry, and usually walk away in disgust-or at least with a lowered opinion of ourselves.

So our path becomes a circle in which we are drawn back to this mirror for validation time and time again. We no longer walk half as much down the confident , exhilarating path of discovery , learning from experiences, and enjoying our human-ness. Instead we look to others for opinions and approval.Instead we learn , over and over, that we will never be "quite" good enough no matter how hard we strive, contrive, achieve ,believe , accomplish,or relinquish- there will always be something lacking.

And no matter how internal this becomes, we keep seeking external validation- foolishly.
It's a wonder we survive past our teen years.

At best we go through many decades beyond this attempting to over come the intensity of pubescent angst. We dress, groom, and behave as we are taught by those in our environment so that we can "fit in". We watch and imitate our parents, siblings, peers, fashion models, celebrities, and even admired strangers.Sometimes we are even able to convince ourselves we are semi comfortable in our own skin, all the while knowing deep down inside that insecurity still exists, and we are just talking around it.

And no matter how much we overcome , we will always be conscious of those stretch marks, those increasing wrinkles, the ever growing spare tire,the bald patch, the saggy _____, the too large or too small_____, being too tall , being too short, not having the right______, etc etc etc.

Eventually , we lose ourselves-our truest self- to the world and its opinions-of-the-day.

As i sit here in my 50th year, i am not gonna tell you i have somehow discovered some secret to becoming youthful again. Nor will i say i have overcome my insecurities and magically become comfortable with myself.I will not pretend i go through each day confident and without anxiety or mild depression.It is present,it is part of us all , whether we chose to acknowledge it or try to assume an air of indifference.We lie to ourselves. We go on.

But i will say a few other things. It's never NOT time to strive for self acceptance, self love, or self esteem.It is never ok to continue to circle the drain of self loathing. It is not acceptable to remain toxic to yourself, or to give up and drown in self pity.

It IS ok to keep "plugging away" , everyday.It is ok to keep walking the walk, putting on your big girl/big boy pants, and facing the world.It is ok to constantly struggle and strive to be better,to learn, to grow, to experience life...no matter what your age or conditions.

Along the way we have achieved more than we can even remember or acknowledge. Some of us experience that if we raise children, watching them begin to talk, take steps, eat with utensils,sort out simple words or math problems, dress for a job interview, drive a car.

See, every single step, no matter how small is important.Some are uphill, some are like floating on air.Yet, balance comes in time.

Again, at age 50..i'm just actually "starting" to learn and grow, and realize i have so much more to learn , to do, to achieve .Not so much externally, as most of the past decades, but internally.Every failure, is a success in disguise.Every discovery is magic.Every memory is part of my resume.

As God wills it, our lives will go on. And we have to decide with each breath what we will make of it, how we will love ourselves, and therefore love others.We need to be our "best person", living examples,grateful stewards, and fierce warriors- peaceful , but unrelenting.

This is how we teach ourselves, honor our selves and our creator, grow our children, and finally..fall in love with our life-all of it.Because not one single thing is wrong with us, we are an ongoing project- tweaking ourselves, perspiring, hurting, enjoying, thinking, expressing, and most of all worthy!


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mindfulness

the last few weeks have been a total roller coaster..in a GOOD way! Ive made many decisions and have changed so many things in my life, little each day.From adding yoga and meditation, staying totally away from men and relationships,to vitamins and herbs , to seeing a chiropractor and loving my new temper pedic bed- I've even invested in  TENS unit-and these are just the major changes:)i have thus far stuck to my plan to reduce alcohol consumption as well..now let me fully explain this..

A while back i realized i was an alcoholic, and probably always have been- not that i have always indulged..Many years in my life i was totally alcohol free.and hadn't even thought about it.But around age 43 i began a journey with it that led to many bad things.Nothing major like a DUI or losing a job or becoming homeless..but many many minor issues- emotional, mental, and physical. Last year , if you recall, i went for 90 days without it & it gave me a whole new perspective . i consider THIS the beginning of my journey. It has not been without failures, obstacles, elations, and discoveries( both good and bad). For instance,i started drinking beer instead of wine,which was cool at first- less hangover, cheaper, etc, but as the song goes"sooner or later God's gonna cut you down" and in the past few months , it has. I started becoming rude and belligerent , drinking way more than i should on my nights off, and the hangovers got worse and worse- sometimes lasting 2 days , with anxiety and depression to boot.

at the beginning of this month i decided i would cut back a whole lot, with a plan- 1st 2 weeks , only a 6 pack on ONE night, not 2...then this past week down to 3 beers total on my nights off...done it, and done really well- even foregoing any  at all the first of 3 nights off and instead- spending it painting and organizing. These last 2 nights i drank 3- friday slowly, tonight quickly..its kind of an experiment... ..learning a lot about myself, my tolerance and the various effects.

anyway, wasn't meaning to post about alcoholism, but rather the things that have gotten my to a point where i finally was able to address it. That being some of the above, along with talking to my roommates, saying mantras constantly, researching, and keeping myself busy with healthful things.

I have many goals yet to attain- including quitting smoking, and starting to exercise regularly again. Not to lose weight or look better, but to FEEL better, more focused, and centered.I write all this down to get it out and as a reference for myself, but if you are reading this , know that we are all on our own journey..make it about peace, love, and happiness!


Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Irony of Criticism

I really need to write about this before i explode.

In the last few weeks i made the decision to cut someone out of my life who constantly gave me shit about offending them. The irony here is that it was the very same person who was a major contributor to the problem.It's upsetting and confusing. I spent most of our relationship feeling absolutely horrible about myself. It started almost from day one- i was constantly being reminded i wasn't behaving appropriately, my feelings and ways of expressing myself were unacceptable and everything the person initially seemed to like about me and fell in love with me for were no longer allowed and were wrong. From the way i dressed, spoke, acted and thought to things i posted on Facebook,wrote about here in my blog, said to my friends, or ..well you get the picture..i endured this for 3 years as it progressed and magnified and  no matter how many changes i made, there was always, always something more that i was or wasn't doing that displeased him..

Funny thing is, his last complaints about me were that i offended him when i drank..i was critical of him, etc..(mainly just off handed remarks i made were turned into major issues) .So the person who in fact formed me into a defensive and "mean " person because of the persistent humiliations and criticisms is trying to reverse the issue and place that on me.( google D.A.R.V.O.- the personality is real).Not having it...I have at last realized the issue is within the person themselves- its their own problem, not mine, and nothing i change about me will resolve it. It's on them.I could be mother theresa and daughter of Ghandi in all ways and there would still be issues.

Yes, i am a much meaner person when i drink these days, and i know i need to work on that. ..Because i never ever used to be this angry or mean when i drank. In fact i was more lovable and fun because i finally was relaxed.But over the years of unrelenting criticism, and having to be on the defense at all times..Ive gotten much worse, and usually theres a particular "trigger"---gee, is the picture becoming clear?Is there any reason to believe that there isn't a connection to the condition  as well with the escalation in my drinking , such as covering up my deep insecurities stemming from all of this?


Additionally i realized that my own mother was the same way, further creating the monster that i have become. I have fortunately gotten her as well as another" ego feeder" out of my life and i am now working, finally, on healing ME. The criticizer has continued to find ways to demean and under mine me, even finding ways around all of my communication blocks to do it.The last 3 emails i received, though, all nasty and condemning , i refused to feed into and did not engage in the battle as usual . I am finally done with poisoning my soul, and numbing my brain and body to deal with it.

I am on a sabbatical from alcohol for awhile( short goal of 30 days this time)  to focus on lief and clear my head without any unnecessary distractions- i have been adding many other healing things into my life.Meditation, art work and projects, honest discussions with my roommates, my new bed is still awesome, yoga..and oh! NO men!I can't even deal with any of that right now..So basically i am abstaining from sex, relationships and alcohol.

I have to get back to someone i can love inside, and theres a long long road of recovery ahead..Namaste!