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Friday, March 23rd, 2012 | Author:

So, I made a mistake… maybe a few years’ worth of mistakes.

See, the thing is, this time of year, I always write about my inevitable mental issues on this public forum as a means to connect (I have a few readers with whom I discuss and from whom I’ve received appreciation for sharing my experiences every year, which encourages me to do so) but, after so many seasons of expressing the same “I DON’T LIKE MY BRAIN RIGHT NOW!/AUUUGHITHUUUUURTS!!” sentiments, I’ve started to wonder if I’m not just breathing more life into the situation by giving my depression a voice. By writing and talking about it, I allow it to state itself as the manager of my body and I acknowledge it as the controller of my Self, if only for a small amount of time.

I think that might be a mistake on my part… especially since I’ve turned my focus from “recovery” to “healing.”

See, I was raised in the type of society in which we don’t discuss such things as mental illness and being a little whackadoo in an open forum, so, in my recovery, I thought I’d be blasting through all those reservations in the name of “progress” and “awareness-raising” and all that. And I really, honestly loathe the idea of sitting on something and denying its existence or (heaven forbid) trying to act like nothing is wrong (I happen to be the product of a “sweeping-issues-under-the-rug” culture… nothing terrifies me more than perpetuating that. Literally nothing.) when something VERY MUCH IS AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED RIGHTEFFINGNOW.

However, I think after all these years and all this time recovering, there comes a point when I can’t keep giving my illness/neuroses/damage a megaphone if I expect to actually heal. It can’t keep speaking over me, regardless of how eloquent it makes me at times.

I’m grappling with where to go from here, when I stop to consider that this might just happen every year, no matter how much yoga I do, how long I sit in the sunshine/in front of our SADlamp, how many raw fruits and veggies I’m getting, no matter how many crazy extra supplements I pump into my body, no matter how much hypnotherapy I undergo, etc.; this might not go anywhere for a while – not without another decade’s worth of work. I feel like I should prepare for that to be the “worst case” scenario and make a resolution to behave accordingly, in a way that won’t give “It” more inertia when it comes to mess with me.

So, much like that other thing I’ve sworn not to talk about on this blog, my personal bouts of depression is henceforth off-limits here. If you need any other references, just search under “Things that Suck.” It’s aaallll there.

Sunday, January 08th, 2012 | Author:

Dear Allison,
At church today, an elderly woman stood during the “Joys and Sorrows”-sharing part of the service to tell the community about her sorrow, which was that she was unable to be by her “best friend in the world’s” side as her friend’s life was coming to a close on the other side of the country. She told us this, then took a moment to look to the side before blurting, “…I don’t know what I can do… or what I’m going to do…” and then turning to light a candle. Meanwhile, I buried my face in my hands to hide my now-convulsive sobs; I wanted nothing more than to intercept the woman with an embrace as she made her way, deflated and burdened, to her seat. Without thinking it, I realized that that woman may one day be me and I may be talking about you.
And then I thought, “God, I hope I die before Allison does so I never have to live without her.”
And then I remembered how much you fucking loathe that Winnie the Pooh quote about him wanting his friend to die a day after him so he doesn’t have to live without him and what a selfish douchenozzle move that is to wish on a friend – that they’d spend their last day in total misery because their BFF just died AND they’re slowly dying. And then I started giggling about how that sort of thing pisses you off enough to make one of your rare rants about it.

We met ten years ago to this week, by the way.

I’m sure you’ve realized in retrospect that you met me at the exact moment I reached the precipice of my freefall into unfuckingimaginable insanity/destruction after years of a slow-but-consistent descent in prologue. Really, the fact that we were still friends within a year of meeting each other is miraculous in itself because HolyLordballs, was I busy losing my damned mind.

I have a confession I never actually verbalized to you: you were my Bright Spot then. I remember meeting you and going to your dorm room and seeing this art that you’d created just because you wanted to make a prettier space for yourself (wha?! I didn’t know people did that! I thought people made art to show it off to each other or because their art teacher assigned it or because they wanted to submit it to something and get “famous”) and you sang songs that you’d written for your own amusement and you were this completely self-actualized, energetic being in a world of idiots (read: me) who were flailing around trying to leech energy off anything they thought was “cool” or “important” at the time and it was an unbelievable state of mind to encounter from where I was. Because, most of the time, when there’s someone who is somehow “above” the mentality of their peers, he or she has to have some sort of following or need to declare their mental/spiritual/artistic superiority to everyone else – especially if that person has been recently liberated from the confines of high school. But not you, dude. You just sort of did what you did and you liked what you liked and you were completely oblivious to the fact that you weren’t just “different”, but really, genuinely, special. (And not “special” like our generation’s everybody’s-special-in-their-own-snowflake-way “special”, but special like holy-shit-she’s-going-to-change-lives-and-do-shit-that-bends-reality special.) I’m not saying that either one of us knew what, exactly, you were supposed to do with all that “special”-ness at that point in the game and, you know, you’ve had a bit of a learning process with it, but I still knew then. Even though at the time, I was busy being either a)completely obliterated or b)completely absorbed in that disgustingly destructive relationship I was enamored with, I still recognized the energy we had together, even when people around us did not. (And still don’t, I think. I’m okay in the idea that we confuse people, though.)

ANYWAY. I don’t wanna bore you with a wordy scrapbook of memories ’cause, you know, we’ve talked about them to a masturbatory degree. (The only people who love talking about how awesome their situation is more than we do are Burning Man attendees…)
But, after a decade, I’m convinced that there has to be something Bigger going on here than two weirdos having befriended each other in a bullshit theater class. (Seriously. That class was buuuulllshiiiit. “Constructive Rest Position”? Learning to tremble? Bite my ass, Jermaine.)

You loved me when I hated myself so much I literally tried to murder myself. You have loved me when I let my demons reject you from my life. You have had that same delusional faith in me even when my life was nothing more than rolling out of my bed at my parents’ house and driving to the technical college up the road in my pajamas day after day because I’d failed at literally everything else. When I told you I was pregnant by some dude I’d been dating for 3 months, (less than a year after my second mental hospitalization, ohbytheway) your immediate response was to exclaim “CONGRATULATIONS!” and send me a bouquet of my favorite flower (lilies) the next morning, even though everyone else around me provided me with silence and fear for the next month. You have cheered me on from the sidelines, even when you were literally my only enthusiastic fan and you have never once shown any doubt that I wasn’t the person you’ve been trying to convince me that I am, even though I’ve done things to contradict that hypothesis many, many times.

Even though the noises in my mind sometimes get too loud for me to focus, I want you to know that I have never stopped loving you just as much. I cried every night you slept in the hospital and, aching with powerlessness, leapt at the chance to cram all your necessities (read: record player, paints) into my Jeep from Greensboro to Charlotte. I blew all my money from that coffee-shop job of mine for those monthly (sometimes fortnightly) treks up to Asheville to see you and I never once hesitated to plaster your art all over my dwelling space the minute it was given, in any form. I made sure to practice singing along to the more obscure PJ songs so I’d know all the words for the “next time” we got to see them perform (it totally worked!) I have always continued to talk to Chloe about you and show her pictures so she wouldn’t forget her godmother between the times she got to see you.

But I am, by no means, unaware that I’ve dropped the ball a lot and, when looking at this friendship and identifying its role within my life from this vantage point, I can’t help but feel the deepest regrets for the times I’ve let you down – you more than with anyone else I’ve ever disappointed. (Don’t tell my mom.) Dismissing your declining health and its symptoms (and understandable insecurity of those symptoms that compounded them) as “selfishness”, I pulled myself away from you and cut you off completely, in the name of “self-preservation”, instead of bothering to find out what, exactly, was at the root of your uncharacteristic actions. In my heart, I knew better, Allison; I know you better than to assume you’re just another brainless, unaware victim of self-absorbed-twentysomething-ism… why didn’t I do more? Why didn’t I stop to look deeper? Why didn’t I at least recognize that you weren’t being yourself – that something was obviously hurting you? I don’t know, Allison. I’ve spent hours of time wondering to myself what the hell kind of mental state I could’ve let myself get to in which I would completely ignore the “you” I inherently know and then regard your disease as your Self so much that I’d turn my back on you entirely. This time spent has only caused me insufferable pain – pain that worsens when I contrast my actions with the ones you’ve made when the roles have been reversed. As a friend, by comparison, I have been a selfish coward whose actions haven’t supported all those rambling speeches about your greatness I’ve made over the years. I don’t know why I have ever betrayed your trust or love when you have never once been disloyal to me, but I do know that I may never forgive myself for it. It’s just another testament to your wonderfulness that you somehow have, as always, seen that these actions aren’t indicative of my real Self and have forgiven me. Additionally, you have never once held me hostage for my shortcomings… Don’t think I don’t always carry those truths with me.

I always say that Chloe was The Thing That Saved My Life, but you need to know that YOU have constantly been The Thing That Makes Me Better. You bring out something in me that makes me a totally different person than the one I always thought I was; the energy I get when you’re around makes me love being alive and love being present and love being creative and fucking LOVE being myself. That sounds inane and melodramatic and really, really adolescent, but it’s true; you make me really happy to love the things I love. (“I JUST LOVE THE STUFF I LOVE!!!”) Just like I’d always kept my burning passion for Pearl Jam stuck in my pocket until I met you and let it reignite like crazy ever since, you’ve been the one to give me permission to really hurl myself at my loves, regardless of how idiotic they look to everyone else. You’re the one who lets me ramble for hours about Jim Henson/“Sesame Street” and who wants to watch “Tommy” 4,000 times to blabber about its nuances with me and you’re the one who will introduce me to new stand-up comedians or let me subject you to them and then dissect their genius for years upon years and you’re totally okay with spending Bear’s naptime just hanging out, smoking a hookah, drinking a shitload of Cheerwine, watching/running commentary during “Gia” and giggling about how fabulous it all is after making freshly-picked-strawberry-jam and you’re the one who gives me confidence to submit my writing to other people when I think it’s not terrible and you’re the one who gave me the balls to actually put that first stencil to use tagging various landmarks by immediately shouting “YES! LET’S DO IT!” and you’re the one who fucking laughs her ass off when I make a joke that I think is pretty good. You’re the one (many times the only one) who encourages me to not only figure out exactly what it is that I am, but to get really good at being that thing and then showing it to other people, when you will cheer loudly about it. Jesus Christ! Just writing that makes me feel unworthy.
Oh, but oh yeah! AND you’re able to do all of this cheerleading while also going out and seeking your own identity and truth and rocking at that, too.
DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE THAT IS!? Do you have any idea how fucking lucky I am to have found the aforementioned person AND that that person hasn’t totally given up on me yet AT ALL EVER (maybe because she’s insane, but I’m okay with that)!?!?!?! Because I don’t. I literally cannot conceive the odds of finding someone as special as you, having you come into and stay in my life for this long, and giving me all the gifts you have (and not just because I’m terrible at math…)

So, yeah. I just wanted you to know that I thought about all this today in church and realized that I’ll be talking about you still if I make it to 70 years old. And I realized that I would literally peel the skin off my back and sew it into a greasy, bloody skin-shirt for you if you absolutely needed it [in some post-apocalyptic, dystopian reality where that would somehow be crucial for survival.] (That sort of plot-hole is why I don’t write sci-fi.)
And I hope you know that everything I’ve ever said about your energy and vibrancy and incredible talent is the truth and is one of the rare, few things I Definitely Believe In. And I hope you know that I love you and have loved you no matter what my slow-to-adapt mind has convinced me of. I feel like you know these things, but I also felt like I needed to state them plainly and in print, where they could be cited and referenced.
More than anything, though, I’m so grateful that you’ve been such a definitive part of my last ten years. I don’t want to say anything hokey or forecasting about the future because that always seems to backfire for morons (ex: “Hope I die before I get old” – P.T.), but do know that these last ten years have been wonderful (even when they were fuckinggoddamnawfully terrible) because you have been in them.

Thank you so very much, Allison. Even if all our inside jokes and all our co-creations and all our memories and all our shared loves were suddenly stripped away from my conscious mind, I would still love you and everything you inherently are. I promise.

Right behind you,
L P-S

Friday, May 13th, 2011 | Author:

Before we get started, for the record, I still have a problem dealing with attractive people in person; I lose basic motor skills, my IQ plummets to disability-check-worthy lows, and, although I’m technically unconscious at the time, I’m 98% sure that I physically mutate into an equine anus during these encounters. This is something I hope to cure with time but, honestly, I’m not too optimistic about a full recovery.

However, back in my high school adolescence, I used to hate a few specific women who were beautiful… and the funny thing about this was that I actually thought I was hating them because they were beautiful. (Y’know, just like every other catty, insecure adolescent female being raised in this insane modern American society.) The weird thing was, though, that I only really loathed a couple girls specifically and then viewed/judged all the other beautiful girls around me objectively. For example, some of my closest friends at the time were “those girls” who were traffic-stoppingly/crowd-hushingly gorgeous and, while I sometimes cried with envy at the attention they were so easily able to garner, I never once actually felt any ill feelings toward them because of their staggering beauty. (Additionally, I never fell madly in love with any of my beautiful friends and thank God for that because aaaaawkwaaaard.) Similarly, there were other girls around me that our small community saw as “beautiful” but whom I genuinely couldn’t stand because of the horrible characters they actually were just a scratch below their coveted surfaces. I can honestly say that neither of these two varying types of beautiful acquaintances ever received anything other than objective emotional responses from me, which is pretty damned impressive now that I think about it, given how tormented by incessant, relentless insecurity I was at the time.

In my endless reflection on who I was (which is ongoing and consistently updated) you’d think I would’ve caught This Great Epiphany sooner, but, instead, it took me ten whole years to realize that the few girls I supposedly hated with every fiber of my being were, in fact, the ones I was in love with.

I know; it’s painfully obvious from where I’m sitting now as an “out” bisexual who has comfortably had relationships with women and has no problem identifying women I find attractive and acknowledging/praising the beauty in every woman. In fact, you would’ve thought I’d have come to this conclusion, oh, 7-8-ish years ago when I stopped being genuinely afraid of beautiful people (even completely inaccessible celebrities) after the realization that, just because someone else is physically beautiful, it doesn’t mean that I’m somehow not or am less of a person or should feel threatened/intimidated in their presence, etc. (You know… Normal coming-into-adulthood-after-a-bunch-of-therapy stuff.) Around that time (2003-ish), just like now, I just got shy and idiotic around pretty people (‘specially women) but my first response wasn’t to automatically loathe them; that was reserved for just a few people.

There’s one recently recovered memory in particular that brought about The Great Epiphany. In high school (as in every high school) there was this One Girl in my class who was just outlandishly gorgeous and wise beyond her years and incredibly vulnerable but unabashedly assured in her sexuality (moreso than the rest of us, who were still trying to figure out how to admit that we were sexual beings without being labeled “sluts”, ’cause we thought that matteredAAANYWAY) and, while her character drew me in and made me a bit obsessive in my observations of her, I just looooaaathed her with an intensity normally reserved for terrorists and abusive exes.

I know the moment it started, too. She and I were invited to a slumber party of a mutual friend and, although I remember nothing about this party except for who the hostess was and that we listened to a lot of Shonen Knife, one instance stands out as A Defining Moment of My Identity. We were all gorging on ice cream and whipped cream (maybe icing?) like you do when you’re 15 and won’t gain an ounce from anything you ingest and, for some reason, She turned to me out of nowhere, in apropos of nothing, and said, “Hey, try this; it feels really cool.” And then She put some whipped cream (maybe icing?) on my tongue and sucked it off.

Don’t get excited; literally NOTHING else like this happened at this or any other slumber party I ever attended in my youth. There were no ensuing make-out sessions, no admittances to deep, love connections, no scantily-clad pillow fights, no comparing of breast sizes – nothing. She closed her eyes and slowly sucked the cream off the length of my tongue and then perked back into Her normal self, exclaiming, “Weird, right!?” and then went on with the rest of the night with no idea that She’d just changed my whole entire fucking life.

See, I knew I’d had inklings of being “into” girls before then but, you know, a girl isn’t “supposed” to get giggly and giddy and infatuated over another girl the way she can over a boy. Girls aren’t “supposed” to doodle other girls’ names into their notebooks or whisper to her friends about how cute the female object of her affection looked on any particular day. Sure, there had been female acquaintances during my previous 15 years that I’d been attracted to, but I would just bashfully shy away and ignore them, lest I found myself giddily blushing in response to their attention and wanting to ask people if she’d talked about me or what she was wearing, etc. And, so far, I’d been keeping a pretty good cover… Until the tongue-sucking moment.

Being that there’s no handbook on how to handle keeping a lid on homosexual attraction when you’re barely able to define your sexuality at all (and/or even believe that bisexuality is a real thing and wasn’t just made up for “My So-Called Life”), I took the 5-year-old-boy-on-the-playground approach and decided to publicly hate Her. Passionately. For years. Actively. It seemed totally safe and foolproof; if I loudly proclaimed how much I hated Her, there was no way anybody would possibly think I was actually infatuated with Her, right? As far as I was concerned, I was a genius in my ruse.

And this embarrassingly immature/textbook scheme lead to me being a complete moron about it for the next 4 years, being reallysupernice to Her face (because I actually liked talking to Her and being around Her energy) and then overcompensating to cover my fondness by saying truly awful things about Her to my friends. (Years and years later, when I apologized to her for being suuuch a cunt, I explained that my insecurity was such that I genuinely never thought someone like Her could possibly give a shit about what someone like me might be saying about Her, which is honestly/pathetically the truth. I really never stopped to think that She would/could ever be hurt by anything I was saying, just like everybody else I talked smack about in high school. Seriously, I was nobody; who would take offense to anything I had to say? I know; pretty messed up… Uhhh… however, I left the part about the infatuation out of that conversation with Her; I figured the aforementioned statement was fucked up enough. No need to pile on unnecessary levels of fuckery¬† this far into the future when it’s no longer relevant, you know?) What a totally awesomely foolproof plan I had concocted!

This actually happened with a couple other girls I was very seriously attracted to (if you’re reading this and somehow still hold onto the idiotic/ignorant belief that gay/bi people are wildly attracted to everysingleperson in their preferred gender(s), I’m going to need you to stop reading this and maybe do a little research on how human attraction and this stuff all works. Come back when you’ve taken some time to understand human sexuality a bit more thoroughly. It can wait.) before the inevitable monkey wrench appeared in my seemingly foolproof system.

I should’ve seen it coming; after all, I was in college by this point and I was in an area where “alternative” sexual preferences weren’t so horrifying and bizarre in the public eye. At this time, I developed a colossal, maddening, unabashed crush on this unbelievable, enigmatic beauty who was full of wit and eroticism and style and confident sexuality. But before I had a chance to start actively hating her (as per habit) she… she noticed me. And… and flirted with me. Me! And wanted to get to know me and would call me and she asked me to go out with her… like, on dates…

… and I didn’t know whatthefuck.

Like with any overwhelming attraction to someone who inexplicably seems attracted to me in return, my first instinct told me, “RUUUN!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!” (Seriously. Ask my husband. I met him at a meeting for the student magazine years after all this, we locked eyes a few times, and that was enough to have me sprint out of there like I was racing for a prize. It took the poor guy a whole semester of chasing me to finally corner me long enough to express himself enough to get a date.) but, for whatever reason, I didn’t run [and good things happened that I won't describe in full here.] And, since then, I’ve had the ability/comfort to admit when I’m heavily/very much/OMGwhoa attracted to another female.

Admitting it to other people is a different story, however. For the most part, I kept my crushes on other girls quiet around my friends, for fear of making them uncomfortable and I NEVER told anybody in my family when I was dating a woman; I figured I’d save that for “if it got serious” because, frankly, they had enough to worry about with me being literally-clinically-psycho and alcoholic without confusing things with my “sinful” sexual practices. (Plus, they might’ve confused my preference for both genders as a symptom¬† of my mental illness or a phase and I certainly didn’t want to perpetuate those misconceptions.) Over time, I kind of casually mentioned it to friends here and there but there was never a day when I decided, “I’m going to COME OUT!!! HOORAY FOR ME!!!” I mean, I never felt the urge to publicly announce that I was into light bondage or having loads of casual sex with people I didn’t care about when I was shamelessly doing so (and I’m still not ashamed of that, btw) or that I really liked to be spanked; that sort of crap is none of anybody’s business, right? So what makes the gender of my sexual interest so important to other people? I dunno… So I never really made an official proclamation about it.

And I’ve rethought that over the years, especially after I got married. Once, my husband and I were discussing my bisexuality and he said, “Well, that doesn’t really matter now because you’re with me.” and I took great offense to that. To me, that’s like saying, “Well, I’m right-handed, but since we’re all using computers to write these days, it doesn’t really matter.” because it does. Being right-handed AND attracted to both genders are both part of my identity, whether or not I put those to use everysingleday. The whole idea of it made me feel like someone was trying to discredit a part of my identity just because I’m not implementing it at the moment and that felt wrong to me… I didn’t stop finding women attractive just because I legally committed myself to a monogamous relationship with a man, the same way I don’t stop reading/loving “Peanuts” just because Charles Schulz is dead.

Anyway, the important thing here is that I have stopped hating women when I have crushes on them, which is really liberating and healing and, frankly, way more fun than the alternative. That being said, I still don’t know how to handle myself around beautiful women who acknowledge me fondly (this became screamingly apparent last year at Burning Man, when unrealistically gorgeous human beings would reduce me to low, rumbling, staggered chuckles simply by making eye contact and holding it while smiling/passing me a hookah tube/dancing with me/making a joke/touching me in any forum/offering me fresh produce, etc. I spent the whole week drooling and muttering “Huhhuhhuh…” in response to half the people I encountered for this very reason.)

But at least I don’t have the knee-jerk reaction to hate someone just because she’s beautiful and/or likable, which I believe may put me ahead of the curve. Honestly, when it’s all said and done, I’d rather be an awkward, pervy, socially-inept weirdo than a stereotypical, catty woman who hates the beauty in other women because of her own messed up psyche. Seriously, sign me up for the Creepily-Leering Dykes League over the latter any day.

* This isn’t me actually “coming out” so much as just a story of my relationship with femininity and this recent epiphany I had about hating certain people in the past. I don’t really believe in “coming out” and I look forward to the day when nobody has to because nobody gives a crap who or how other people are loving/screwing/whatevering.

Monday, May 10th, 2010 | Author:

I won’t get all long-winded about the backstory like I usually do but, in the last week, I’ve really been struggling with a haunting from my past and an unclosed door with a broken-heart situation and how it relates to my current life and what I’m doing that’s wrong in it and all that noise. It’s been really attacking me, actually, and gave me a hell of a depression spell for a few days.

And then I realized that, in order to actually, totally forgive myself, I have to stop giving a shit whether or not anyone else does.

I’m starting to think that basic life principles need to come with footnotes for those of us who don’t automatically realize the implied intricacies.

Sunday, January 24th, 2010 | Author:

In order to get my Chapter III off to a strong start, I’m hitting the “reset” button on everything and putting myself through a 90-day rehab of sorts. Due to external conflicts, I couldn’t actually start this on my birthday, mostly because I intend to incorporate a lemon-and-cayenne-nastiness Master Cleanse fast for the first week and my whole little family has a disgusting case of the Ick that I needed to tackle first.

(Also, NO, I’m not doing the MC in hopes to lose any weight; I know I’ll gain whatever I get rid of right back after the week is over and I’d never want to lose weight through starvation anyway… Losing hair, muscle mass and skin luster is gross. I honestly just have so much gunk from the last two/three months in my system and I really want to get myself to a healthy, balanced state to work from. I’m even doing the salt-water flushes, but I draw the line at colonics… and not just because I can’t afford them.)

I don’t intend to go into great detail in public about my motivations or intentions with my DiY rehab but I really want it to be a means of flushing everything out (physically and mentally) and building my daily life from scratch, which will have a great ripple effect on the Bigger Picture. Frankly, I think it’s a change that’s long overdue and I’m excited to see where I am on April 25.

So anyway, I thought I’d give everyone a heads-up since I’ve heard the Cleanse does crazy stuff to one’s mind and, although I’m going to try really really hard not to, I may be prone to spouting some insanities publicly.

Maybe I’ll just make a rule to keep to myself for the 7-10 days.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 | Author:

I just learned that my brother reads my blog. This is touching to me on a number of levels, the first being the obvious realization that my sibling gives a crap about what I’m doing and will subject himself to reading my self-indulgent blatherings in order to keep up.

After the years of working to ostracize my family when I was stupid, adolescent, selfish and perpetually drunk, I’ve sort of settled into the belief that I’ll always sort of be the weird black sheep of the family. I completely understand why, in the years of aftermath since, their hesitation to bother with trying to be a part of my immediate life – let alone subjecting themselves to any more of my self-centered antics – has been palpable at best. The common (and often justified) belief that real change can’t happen in anyone is enough to keep most people at bay and, through the way I’m treated and perceived at family gatherings, I’ve sort of learned that this is the bed I’ve made for myself. I’m pleasantly surprised and touched to see that my past hasn’t permanently run off everyone who matters to me.

I guess what I’m saying is that while spoken forgiveness is wonderful, evidence of it is levity-inducing.

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Monday, June 01st, 2009 | Author:

Last night something really really weird happened and scared the bejesus out of me. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of a plastic bag rustling somewhere in the house. It was the kind of rustling where you can tell there’s something heavy landing on top of it, so I just assumed it was the cat. And then I noticed the cat was at the foot of the bed. When I leapt up in terror, I woke Greg up, and I quickly convinced him to check out the house while I grabbed the phone and the rubber door wedge and ran into Chloe’s room just in case some shit went down suddenly. (I love my husband, but he’s got a better chance at defending himself against someone big and scary than the Bear does. Don’t judge; it’s first instincts, people!) After ten minutes of exhaustive searching, Greg declared there was nothing to be afraid of and came back to bed. Just after we turned off the light and had laid back down, a bright light permeated the room for a second. I happened to be looking at the window at that moment and noticed that it wasn’t the kind of light associated with lightning or headlights; it was from a close, direct source, almost like a camera’s flash. Greg saw it too and wasn’t fazed, but it was enough to keep me up until sunlight lifted the veil over our little house.

Which is really unfortunate because I have a superimportant interview today with one of the guys that owns like, half of Myrtle Beach to help me get some information for this large project Greg and I are working on (again, check the personal, hidden blog for info on that, if you’re that curious/bored.) and, even though I had to pull some strings to get it, I really want to create the impression that I’m an up-and-comer, confident, independent, intelligent, and able to get shit done without having to ride on coattails. I don’t want him to feel like he’s just having to see me as a personal favor to my dad, I guess is what I’m trying to say and, even though I hate that the world is like this, in the “Good Ole Boy” system of the South, I know I have to work my ass off to get him to take notice more than I would if I was, say, my brother. Needless to say, I’ve worked for the last week researching the shit out of this guy’s EXTENSIVE history with the area, which dates back to the 1950′s when his dad came to town and basically turned it into the massive, sprawling tourist trap you see today. (For the record, this empire owns the classier hotels, restaurants, golf courses in town. Not the crappy neon-clad ones.) So I want to talk to him for the purpose of learning more about marketing to the tourist industry since he obviously knows way more about what visitors to the Strand really want than I do, but I also want to get a little more information about the state of Myrtle Beach’s tourist industry, who the leaders are in it’s development, and what sort of improvement or growth he sees or hopes to see in the future, either through the Chamber (which he’s been on the board of for 25 years) or through the efforts of independent businesses. I feel like this is all valuable info in general. However, he did make mention that he needed a couple new writers for his businesses’ websites so there’s an opportunity for that to be mentioned BUT I don’t want to even hint that I’m there seeking a job. (Although, truthfully, it’s really not important to me one way or another.) So my purpose is to “Wow!” him enough that he’s inspired to offer that sort of leg-up [and any other help] out of his own volition under the impression that I’m “one to watch” and “hold a lot of potential and promise” and worth supporting and all that. Plus, nobody likes a beggar/charity case. Anyway, because I didn’t get much sleep last night, I’m afraid that my thoughts aren’t as clear as usual and the luggage racks under my eyes make me look like a meth addict. So there’s that.

In related news, I used to work for this really talented, driven company last year who was all about supporting independent restaurants and delivering daily culinary news to the area without selling out. Although my services as a writer/reporter were no longer needed after September-ish due to economic circumstances, I was still asked to be a sales representative. I spent about three months really working hard on distributing sales packets and following up with potential clients but in January, when my massive wave of depression hit, I dropped everything in my life for about a month, including this deadline-and commission-driven side gig. After a month of not communicating with my editor/boss, I was too embarrassed and too ashamed of my unprofessionalism to check my emails from her, let alone to pick up the phone and face the music by making pathetic, sanity-related excuses. So, instead of acting like an adult, I treated my unprofessionalism with even more unprofessionalism and sufficiently burned a local bridge for no good reason. ::: sigh ::: One would think that, after a few years working the 12 Steps I’d be a little better at facing my major fuck-ups, but this time I retreated back into cowardice and made an ass of myself to one person who really believed in my potential and gave me a start into the professional writing industry. Way to freaking go.

ANYWAY, after sitting around kicking myself for it, I decided not to spend another day perpetuating this Fear and immaturity and so I sat down and wrote her a hand-written letter of apology with sincerity and nothing more. (I never expect this woman to ever trust me with any sort of job again and, frankly, I don’t blame her at ALL. I’m positive I’d do the same thing.) I extended to her an offer to get involved with the project Greg and I are in the midst of [risk and cost-free] on a totally third-party perspective where we basically feature and promote her website as a local perk without her having to do anything in return. (I thought asking permission to use her name would be better than asking for forgiveness in a few months should she find it and decide she doesn’t want to put her name on anything related to me or my work, should I make her efforts look trite and unprofessional by association. Again, I get this mentality given my previous/recent behavior.) I’m still pretty ashamed, to be honest and I’m sure I will be for a while, but at least I’ve done my best with what I could at this point and, according to the Four Agreements, that’s all I can do.

Man. When am I going to learn not to piss on great opportunities? One of these days I’m not going to be blessed with so many second chances and I’ll have nobody to blame but myself and nothing left but regret. I don’t do it nearly as often as I used to (I have a long history of blowing things… um… that sounded wrong…) but still, I do it enough to let it interfere with my life, growth, and general attainment of goals. And that’s not fair to anyone. ‘Specially me.

Monday, May 25th, 2009 | Author:

Since I was 13-14-ish, I’ve had this [obnoxiously, melodramatically] tormented relationship with the Past. Ohmygod, it was excruciatingly time-consuming and all-encompassing and just freaking exhausting. First, I started getting embarrassed about who I was and kicking myself for my mistakes from when I was just starting out in adolescence, which eventually turned into drinking a lot to blot out the mistakes and awfulness of the Past, which resulted in me making even dumber mistakes and building an even worse life/name for myself that I tried to blot out. (ugh. Redundant.) And THEN I had this weird obsession with people from my past where I tried to analyze every single relationship (platonic and otherwise) and every single conversation within them until it didn’t even exist anymore (name that mid-90′s teen drama quote!) and pore over what happened and what it all meant all the fucking time for years upon years after it ceased to matter. Any time my mind started to wander for even a second, I was never visualizing my life in the future being wonderful or fantasizing about sexual escapades or any of the usual daydream stuff people resort to in their moments of boredom; I was ALWAYS exhuming old situations and relationships and pondering them, poring over theories of what happened and, of course, assaulting myself with regret and the same, painful feelings associated with the hurtful situations over and over. And then when I wasn’t doing that, I was almost forcing it by going back and rereading things I’d written over the years to sort of vicariously relive all of it all over again. AAAaaaauuuuggghhh!!! Gah-ross.

It was easily the worst habit I’ve ever had. And it was an everyday, every hour practice that lasted over a decade. In fact, I don’t even think it was a “habit” so much as a mental lifestyle, considering how much power it had over my every thought and resulting action.

Christ, what a wreck I was.

Anyway, in the slow process of assimilating all my crap into our house from my parents’, I came across 5 different journals I’d kept since 2002. Interested to see what I had to say since such a tumultuous time in my life (2003 was when I attempted suicide), I picked up one of the older ones and started reading. Within 2 minutes, I was DONE. Not that I’d read the whole thing, but all I was seeing was these old feelings and stupid habits I just kept plunging myself into and, without a second thought, I rolled my eyes in dismissal [like I will try not to do when Chloe is whining to me about some stupid boy du jour who's wasting her time with his neediness or general fuckwithery] and flung the book to the side.

Most disgustingly, however, was the oppressively obsessive repetition of the name of my longtime boyfriend that appeared on everysinglepage at least twice and carried with it the same stories of inner struggle to get him to change into a decent person and my blind belief that tolerating all his bullshit would somehow eventually produce my desired partner. (Hint: it didn’t.) Now, reading his name actually didn’t do anything to me emotionally, which was a bit of a shock to me when I realized it later on. Usually when I’m staring a reminder of him in the face, there’s always been a dip in my emotions, a feeling of loss or possession or remorse or longing or something. This time there was nothing. Not excitement or anger or memories or anything. (So, there must be something to this whole “therapy” and “recovery” thing after all!) The reason I stopped reading, actually, was not because I was suddenly experiencing painful memories and corresponding emotions but because I just didn’t give enough of a shit to start.

No, seriously.

I started reading all this trite, struggling, frustrated, cyclical bullshit I did forever and just did not give a fuck. Naturally, I spent about three seconds thinking, “God, what a tremendous waste of time. What a bunch of fruitless, retarded (in the literal sense), unhealthy shit to waste so so many years on.” But instead of spending any time even thinking about that, I didn’t even care enough to rehash the regret. So, not only was I over the whole situation, I apparently am now over being over it.

I wasn’t so analytical about any of this when it happened, actually. In a span of 4-5 minutes, I picked up each of the journals, flipped through, saw that they were laden with carbon copies of the same entry and tossed them into a Dumpster-destined box with nothing but indifference. It wasn’t until Greg picked one up and asked “What are these?” that I realized how much my mentality had changed that I wasn’t poring over them and wading through all of their contents like I automatically would’ve done. Without wasting an ounce of energy, I’d dismissed evidence of my mistakes and didn’t even stop to consider indulging in my old destructive obsessions. Somehow, in the hustle and excitement of progress, I’ve successfully left behind one of my most oppressive habits without even noticing it was gone.

Holy. Fucking. Crap. I never ever thought my mind was capable of functioning without regret and remorse as a prerequisite. And now it just is, without me having to exert any effort to make it happen.

Am I allowed to push humility aside to be a teensy bit proud of myself for even a half-second?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 | Author:

Since my entry pertaining to the total fraud I encountered within my spiritual practices (related – of course – to other people) I’ve been spending more time meditating, more time dedicated to reconnecting myself to Spirit and grounding myself in my personal relationship w/Him/Her. And, in my meditations and other readings, I started getting more and more intense premonitions and spot-on symbolism in my other means of communion.

(At first it really freaked me out – like, sleep-with-the-lights-on freaked out -, which I was embarrassed about. I mean, I’m running around proclaiming to believe in this sort of thing and then when it actually starts to happen and become tangible, I get scared? That doesn’t make sense. And then I realized that a lot of people are like that. A few months ago I was talking to Greg about Catholic miracles in which those taking the manmade tincture felt it change into flesh in their mouths and pulled bleeding, warm muscle matter off their tongues to show to the rest of the congregation. When I asked why they didn’t just continue eating it because that is, after all, what Catholics specifically believe – that the bread and wine physically is Jesus Christ and not just a symbol – he didn’t really have a decent answer except that there was shock and awe involved. I think that’s exactly what I’m experiencing as of late.)

And then I figured out what was going on. Four days before I went to this faux minister, I had a really intense session with my group in which I was tapped more accurately into my friends’ energies than ever before and was receiving strong validation for my readings. It was incredible. Then, after the reading from the minister set me back, the readings kept coming in strong and I realized that the whole thing must’ve been a test.

Through my life, every time people have gotten in the way of my spirituality, I’ve thrown in the towel and walked away from all of it, including my relationship with Spirit/God/whatever I called her at the time. This has happened in two separate major events, once when I was 18 and then again when I was 21-22-ish. This time, however, instead of running away when people pissed me off, I went back to the source and focused my energy on bypassing outside, human influence and that was new for me. I think God was testing me, saying “Alright, I’ve got some big stuff set up for you, but I’ve gotta know you’re on board with me this time.” And the minute I came back, I started getting even stronger feedback and staggering evidence that God was excited and proud of me and ready to get to work.

Again, it was sort of terrifying to see tangible evidence of the Spirit energy sitting dead (or alive…) in front of my face, but it was also incredibly rewarding to know that, finally, I chose the right adventure. Hooray!

So, in brief, things are incredible right now. On a number of levels, although this is the one that feels the best. Easily.

Friday, April 17th, 2009 | Author:

I’ve been a total slackass for the last decade or so.

It’s pathetically true, actually. I took every single allowed absence in every single class I took throughout the 15 semesters I attended various universities (including summer school.) The week of my high school graduation I had a 38 average in my math class and somehow convinced the teacher to let me retake every test from the semester. I finished with an 85 average.

I could keep going, but I think I’ve made my point. I am notorious for falling through on really important responsibilities because “I just don’t feel like it.” and then coming up with a million lies and excuses in sad attempts to save face. Gross.

Excitedly, that horrible habit of mine has been sllooooowly subsiding since Chloe arrived so much so that people actually take for granted that I’ll do what I say I’ll do 98% of the time. It’s nice! Since this last bout of depression cleared up, however, this unslackiness has been abruptly dumped by the wayside and I’ve been driven in a way that I have not seen in myself in a long long time.

And it’s not a manic spell like I had when I first started the New Meds, either. I’m not unable to sit still or having crazy feelings of grandeur or anything. I’m still able to sit down and relax with my family and meditate with a clear mind. But I’ve been busy all day, every day for the last few weeks, working fervently on three specific Big Projects [and two notable but Minor Projects] that are going to help hurdle my family far far forward and upward. (I’ll explain more in detail on the Private Blog. Sorry…) They will, of course, require some outside influences in order to completely implement, but I’m really impressed with my determination and drive to actively go after these things. Finally.

And, also! Even though I’m dealing with these unbelievable stomach pains still (and couldn’t get in to see a specialist because the incompetent receptionist botched my appointments after two days of nagging her to… :: sigh ::) and numerous sleepless nights, I’m still pushing forward. And THAT would neeeever have happened a couple years ago. Never ever. Not. Ever. (Seriously, I’m the girl who, while living with her parents, would drive to school and sleep in her car because she didn’t want to hear flak about sleeping in and missing class. Bad.)

The OTHER other big thing accompanying all this is that for the first time in Idon’tevenknow, I’m so occupied with this wave of proactivity that I haven’t spent a fraction of the time that I usually would pondering the elusive or delving into my innermost feelings or becoming emotionally absorbed in anything that isn’t directly related to me. I know that sounds pretty self-centered, but I’m still writing letters to friends and the little girl in Peru that I sponsor and that lady in prison I mentioned earlier, so I’m not totally walled into myself. It’s just nice to have a little relief from the incessant banter in my head. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Again, I’ll quit being so damned vague when I have some definite destinations for this momentum we’re creating around my little household, but I feel really good about things recently. And I feel like I have purpose and the motivation to get there. And the peace to work efficiently.

Holy crap. Maybe I shoulda gotten knocked up before now.

Category: Confessions  | Tags: , ,  | One Comment