From “Fuck You” to “Thank You Cancer”

Standard

Six months sober, and divorced… A few days after my final goodbye to my four year old son, I hit my knees.

the second cocktail of chemo drugs caused a reaction and hair loss

 No, I wasn’t praying.. I was in so much pain that my body collapsed into a ball without much thought.  One minute I was texting “sweet dreams” and by the time she responded I wrote back “I think I’m going to the hospital”.  I felt like I was going to DIE; like a gremlin and the monster from the Alien were doing the monster mash right there in my gut.  I panicked, not only because of the pain but because I lived alone.  What if I got worse before I could alert help? One of my fears of being alone coming to life.  I called my friend asking her if she could please take me to the hospital.  She asked what’s wrong and I told her “please just come quickly.” I debated calling an ambulance but I didn’t want the attention of the street.. My self consciousness still winning, even in an emergency.

  By the time she arrived I had slithered down the 18 stairs from my raised house and was sitting balled up on the bottom step counting the hour long milliseconds that it took for her to arrive.  Once at the hospital, it took 45 minutes to be seen, and another 30 to get any kind of pain relief.  They wanted to do testing first.  I can’t say I blame them, I’d hit every emergency room in the area in pain at one point or another, seeking pain medicine to get high. In the moment tho, I hated every last one of them.  Restraining myself from punching holes in the wall felt impossible.  Laying waiting in our little cubical of the ER, I felt the mess starting to kick in.  The edge of the cliff began to get distant, and the doctor came and asked my friend to step outside.  She returned in tears, the doctor behind her looking somewhat apprehensive.  They told me they had found a tumor… A 19cm tumor wrapped around my left ovary and Fallopian tube.  It was the size of a 5 month pregnancy.  I remember the doctor looking at me like I was crazy.  “You didn’t have any symptoms before now?” He asked.  I thought about it and told him that I did have an increase in pain but I assumed it was because I was sober, and I could actually feel pain now, or maybe because I had started walking and my body was adjusting.

Pictures from the initial surgery

A symptom of PTSD is unmanaged dissociation.  Everyone does it on some level whether it’s entering auto pilot while driving,  and you end up wherever you are going but you don’t remember getting there.  That’s the mild side of the unmanaged dissociation spectrum.  Extreme sides of the spectrum are cases are dissociative identity disorder or DID (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) where the psyche completely splits into separate identities to perform various roles to the host.  There are many stops along the way of that spectrum, and I fall in at about the 60-70 range.  If you want to know more on this feel free to ask!  The point is,  my ability to separate from the feeling of physical pain was so fine tuned that the magnitude of the symptoms weren’t registering.  There was a disconnect.

  So, back to my story.. It’ll be a miracle if this blog actually tells the story I opened it to tell!
  From there I was rushed into surgery, the tumor was removed, along with my ovary and Fallopian tube.  A week later I found out that it was indeed cancerous.  Another fear.. Both my gran and my mother were killed by cancer on my mothers side, and my dads mother was also killed by that monster, and now it had me.  I won’t go into all the specifics.. Maybe another blog piece, but that was where my faith really began.

It wasn’t in a foxhole prayer, “God, please save me… ” it was real faith.. It was where I stopped bartering with the “if there’s a God” and started accepting the current moment exactly as it was.  I had been working on my third step in AA, “we made a decision to turn our will and our life, over to the care of God as we understood him” and I was almost all in.. The only reservation I had about staying sober was “if I lose my son I’m getting fucked up” and then I’d lost my son, and stayed sober.

Truth be told, I was secretly in love with another recovering alcoholic and I wanted to prove how committed I was to sobriety.  She had so many years sober, and I had only months.  I thought if I could tackle these monsters of reasons to drink, without drinking, we could bypass the “sober for a year rule”.

  I fought, every day, well almost every day.  There were some days when I couldn’t fight, and I had to lay in bed and just rest.  I remember feeling so much anxiety and panic when I would try to lay down and rest.  This video pretty much depicts that part of the fight (i record and document everything because my memory isn’t too great, and i lose time a lot… a big part of my recovery has been trying to piece together and accept that these things will happen, but looking for ways that i can take care of myself to make them less intrusive)

I was so scared that while I was resting, the cancer was taking over. No imagined it to be like a black cloud that I’d dispersed with my light of my sun, but crept back over when I wasn’t looking.  If I stopped, my body would get weak and I’d lose the fight.. And that just wasn’t an option.  Most breakdowns actually served their purpose in bouncing me back for the next round…

I spent many manic nights awake.  I began painting.  I didn’t want to watch tv, and so I started painting and found that I could paint! I had no idea.  I was pretty amazing at it too!!

Painted from a photo of Chicago that I found online
My secret love challenged me to try spray painting after seeing a video of the NYC spray paint artist..


Time lapse Video of 48 hours of learning to spray paint… not bad!

I gladly accepted the challenge, and within 24 hours I was spray painting my way to a masterpiece. 🙂 I remember selling some of those to my friends on Facebook, helping to generate some money towards the mounting costs of prescriptions and co pays.  I delivered pizza part time for Papa Johns in the evenings, and worked the back drive thru window of McDonalds with my AA sponsor and good friend in the mornings.
Having fun on the job 😉
  I bounced between photography and painting when I didn’t have the energy to walk.  In finding the gift of artwork, I saw a reason for being sick.  I would’ve never known I could paint if I hadn’t slowed down.  I remember how I felt the first time I realized that.  I’m crying again now just remembering how intense that feeling of trust in the universe was.  I remember telling the universe that it could’ve been a little more subtle than the big C, but then I thought about all of the times that I could’ve slowed down, and should’ve slowed down, and I didn’t.  Always running running running because I didn’t want to feel, and if I slowed down or stopped then the feelings would come flooding thru me at an overwhelming rate and I didn’t know how to adjust the faucet.  It was stuck wide open and I couldn’t handle all of that so I ran, staying busy.  It’s why I got fucked up to begin with. Thank you cancer.
a dresser from my sons room that became a painting project
  Four surgeries, and five chemos into the fight I began researching what could I do to improve my chances.  I asked questions on Facebook, and you guys responded with juice recipes, plant based diets.. And so I tried it.  I remember I couldn’t eat much at the time, but I kept telling myself “if I’m going to force myself to eat something, it’s going to be something that will help kick this bitchs’ ass! And I’d add a spoonful of peanut butter to a very green leafy disgusting  cocktail, blend it up and drink up.  I remember making music videos and joining the happy days fb group where my newsfeed filled up with all of these reasons people were happy that day.  That’s where I met a lot of you guys!  There was something about knowing people were watching, or at least feeling like they were, that grounded me.  I didn’t want you to see the real me.  I didn’t want you to see the crazy me, so I attempted to hide it, failing miserably with those I got close to, but it served its purpose.  I kept striving to improve, to be a better person, to show all of you how amazing I really am.. Because I didn’t feel it.. And you guys would tell me I am, and for a moment I would feel it… And as a true addict, it felt good so I wanted more.

 I began a bucket list which I named the “remember when list” because it was a list of things I would one day sit on my front porch telling stories of “remember when” to what I’d hope to be, my love.. Sitting next to me, saying “yes dear” 🙂 – that fantasy pushed me.  It set a tone inside of me and I wrote that list of things I wanted to do in my lifetime!! As that list grew, I realized that I didn’t have time to have a job.. Not in the traditional sense.  I started thinking of ways I could make money without actually going to work, and reading nomad blogs, learning how to travel as cheap as possible.  Again the faith came in, as I thought about everything I had already survived, and I saw how each individual storm in my life created a piece of evidence that I would be okay, no matter what.  Dealing with mental illness, never actually killing myself despite many years of feeling that was my only safe place to live mentally… Katrina.. Being homeless.. Heartbreaks.. I had survived  many storms, it’s what I do! In that I found strength and courage.  I saved links, and took notes, learning and forming the vague outline of how I could actually start working on some of these bucket list ideas.  Sure.. I couldn’t go backpacking Europe that day, laying in bed feeling sick as a dog, hurting, and generally wanting to die on some level.. But I could start studying.. Figure out what id need to do.. What equipment would I need? I’d only been camping twice.  I started looking on craigslist, and reading more and more.

What could I sell to generate money? I started painting sand dollars, and furniture, and whatever else came my way.  I sat out on Saturdays at the farmers market, hoping to sell a piece.  I went to galleries and talked to the managers, showing my portfolio.. I read blogs on how photographers make money with their pictures.. And the majority of the money is in portrait photography.. It wasn’t something I felt I was good enough for, having seen others work.  I didn’t have the money for the equipment I really needed, but I took my Panasonic LUMIX camera and did the best I could.. Watching YouTube videos on how to edit portrait pictures.  Touch ups etc.  I had the eye, I just didn’t have the knowledge, but I learned!

Adorable little girl and her mother that responded to a FB ad

I posted questions in fb photography groups, and they came back with all the answers to help me improve.  It provided the money to travel some more, but I didn’t care for it enough to pursue it further.

I took on a couple of website gigs, rehashing skills from my earlier years, and hustled flipping a broke down car.

Changing out the brake calipers – gotta trust the Universe to learn this on YouTube!

There’s never an easy answer to “how do you afford to travel” I just do whatever the moment presents itself with, and I am always provided for.  The Universe takes care of me as long as I allow it to.  I never thought I’d be a paid blogger.. $5-$12 a day, but it’s something! Every little something adds up and creates opportunity for more experience, and with more experience comes more opportunity.  It’s an amazing circle of life.

  Now my hope is to use my blog to not only record doing all this with mental illness.. (Which I really want to write about the transition from traveling to home.. I definitely need a better plan for reentry.  The last few days have been rough and I feel very spacey, ungrounded), but not only that and frugal traveling, but I’ve been writing the story of the travels from a first hand perspective as if the reader is the one traveling.  Once the story is written I want to record it and put pictures and videos to it so that the viewer or reader feels as if they are really traveling the world.

Then I want to donate it to everyone fighting a terminal illness, so that they can dissociate into the story and maybe get a little relief from the reality of the pain and treatment that they are going thru.  I hope it inspires them to fight, to really see the world, or whatever their bucket list things are, and if that’s no longer an option, I hope I get to help fulfill at least one of them by having this experience to share.

  Having said that..
I’d like you help me out by clicking on all the ads you see on this page, clicking back to the blog between each one.  I get paid per reader and per ad click.. And that helps fund this adventure.
I’d also like you to shared story if you believe in me and want to be a part of it!
And lastly, there is a box to subscribe to the blog, if you want notifications of new posts to the blog.
With that.. I hope you enjoyed my story.. It’s what got me to where I am today.. This year I have seen 22 states in the USA.. Fallen in love with traveling, seen my nephew for the first time, seen my first concert, mastered camping, backpacked four cities, opened an Airbnb of my own, become a paid blogger, met sooo many amazing new people, and next month I am leaving to backpack Europe! It’s wild!  If this is a dream, I never want to wake up.  Thank you Cancer!
“It’s a perfect day for a perfect day!”
Advertisements

Allowing emotion – Rage

Standard

Raging 
My head is vibrating. I can feel the tornado inside of me whirling up strong and stronger. I keep having flashes of destroying everything in my path.. Throwing the paintings from the walls.. Smashing the tv.. Punching things and just swinging uncontrollably .. Whats the point of it all??? What’s the point in experiencing all that “awesome stuff” if I can’t feel it.. If I can’t remember it.. If the fucking pictures on the walls could just have easily been bought at the store? What’s the point of wasting hours and hours painting ?? Who cares if I can paint or not? Who cares if I can write? Who cares if I can adopt all these amazing fucking tools and share them with others??? What does it matter, if sitting here in MY living room, in MY house.. I still feel this. I still feel everything. It still fucking hurts. I’m still alone. I’m still fighting with myself every moment just to get up and take a shower.. It’s a fucking shower.. I still feel black hole depressed. I still don’t wanna leave the house, but wanna run far and wide. I still can’t escape the tape player of reasons why I am feeling hurt. It’s just gotten longer. New things added to it.  


I feel so sorry for myself.. How pathetic is that? Millions of people out there trying to survive.. Literally.. They may not survive today.. And I feel sorry for myself. Raging inside my mind, and nothing but a tear rolling down my cheek to show it. So afraid to allow myself to physically feel anger. So afraid to allow myself to ever get close to that line where anger turns rage. I just keep stuffing it back down. I need a healthy outlet. An outlet for anger. Something physical.. But I’m so tired before I ever move… And all I want to do is sleep. 

Intercepting panic and morphing it into pride 101

Standard

Damnit … I was supposed to go the whole time home without a panic attack ://////
Wtf? I wasn’t even doing anything. What was I doing? Wrapping the painting for Michele.. Ohh .. And thinking of how far I’ve come since I first started seeing her almost ten years ago. I’m remembering the panic attacks that brought me there. So technically this isn’t happening.. Technically this is a memory.. Of how I felt then.. That was a good try…
Ok fuck .. Breathe .. Stop trying to rush thru this to get back to what you were doing… Chill out .. Focus.. Walk thru it .. Stop running … No running!! :))) Courtney 🙂 here and now… That’s it .. Plug into another feeling physiologically … Omg .. Of course!!! Why else would I be so in tune with describing emotions on a physiological level .. So that I can slip in and out of them ? Maybe ..
Ok so I’m feeling panicked.. Chest is pounding.. Stretch it out by breathing .. Sit up straight .. But we need a new feeling … Instead of trying to fight it back down to “calm” which is the largest span to cross .. How about a feeling like happy .. Or excited .. Hmm excited is too close to anxiety .. I want my body to actually feel different.. Ok love … What does love feel like.. Grans kitchen .. That hug from behind when she came to check on my progress mixing the cake.. Being tucked in at night .. Having my back washed.. The warm towels out of the dryer .. Ok that feeling is too emotional .. I’m missing all those things .. Ok .. Happy thoughts … Umm .. Victory!!! The time I bowled a 299 in an adult junior competition with my dad .. That feeling of making him proud … :))) Yupp there we go .. Full Chest.. Standing tall.. Kinda embarrassed to be that focus of attention .. But fuck it! 11 strikes in a row!!! You’re a bowler .. A damn good bowler.. Let it shine!
Ok .. Let’s see if we are grounded .. Cos Adele is on and that shit sure doesn’t help calm the storm lmao .. Ahh Adele .. I love you .. Always adding your two scents on this journey … Not this time tho …
and I’m out the bathroom .. Time Check 9:47 .. Started at 9:33 … 14 minutes!! Woooohoooooooo under the 15 minute adrenaline dump time zone!!!!

I find it so fascinating when I go back and read what I write when i am in the midst of the storm.  This one I happened to read for the first time in therapy later that afternoon after a very exhausting morning of panic.  I felt better when I left, having gained some insight about where to go with it.. but it didn’t stop further panic attacks once I got back home.  Luckily I have a ton of homework from her to work on, so that’ll be fun <- note the sarcasm.

Yesterday seemed like a day where a lot of people seemed to be struggling.  I had to step back at one point and just take care of myself.  I wish I could plug my brain in and just let everyone check out the tools they need in the moments that they are needed, but it doesn’t work that way.  Not yet anyway.. I am sure that will be possible one day.

Over the next 8 weeks, I will be facing the monsters inside of me once again.  Thankfully I have already cleaned, swept and mopped my closet once, so this time won’t be so bad.  On a good note.. I have a whole lotta pictures and footage of my travels that i’ll also be unpacking, and working on when taking mental breaks.. maybe even some artwork.. who knows?

For everyone who asks me how to get from where I was to where I am (because it’s usually when I am flying high on life that they wanna know) it’s time to tune in.  Lemme know you’re tuned in and wanna know.. I’m undecided at the moment about just how much I wanna share publicly.. preferably all of it so that it can help others.. but not exactly sure yet.

Goals: complete abstinence from self harm, binge eating, dissociation, panic attacks

Ok.. time to stop avoiding!

 

“but that’s about you” – owning my anger towards cancer

Standard

 

It doesn’t take much for me to get distracted.. but you can bet your boots that reading a post where someone wishes cancer on someone else.. that will do it everytime.  Not just one person, but this person wished cancer on all the management people at their cable provider because 300GB of data just isn’t enough to keep up with her gaming lifestyle.

  
I debated for a few minutes after reading it, to figure out if I even wanted to respond to that.  I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Why would anyone WISH CANCER ON SOMEONE?????  And over bandwidth??? Seriously? I responded.. and responded to the response.. and then decided to walk away.

  
  
  I was so fuming mad that I took screenshots of the post and sent them to a friend.. needing some sort of validation to my anger from some rational thinking person.. to which I got back “but that’s about you”

What?? What the fuck?? I wanted to pour out all the anger that came along with this whole conversation.. but she was right. It was about me.  It was totally about me that I was so entirely pissed off that this person would wish cancer on someone because with that statement, a thousand images of what that one word, “cancer”, brings.

fcancer
  The hours I spent vomiting, long after there was nothing left to vomit.  The longing to go outside and feel the sun on my face, but not having the strength to get out of bed.  The pain. The pain of feeling my cells fight each other inside of me. The pain of radiation killing cells inside of me.  The sores and blisters inside my mouth.  The lockdown to prevent further illness with such a low immune system.  The rooms of other patients, and faces that change, or don’t make it back for the next round.  The fear.  The fear that death was knocking on my door.  That I could die.  The smiles I put on my face so people wouldn’t worry… because I didn’t want them to go through what I went through when my mother was dying of cancer.  

  
I remember watching her fade in and out of sleep.. her breath stopping for longer than it should until she gasped for another breath.  I remember her going thru the stages of grief, knowing that she wasn’t going to beat this thing.  I remember the blood transfusions, and the tests.. each result almost unbearable to wait for.  Every answer weighing down on just how much time we had left together.  I remember watching her favorite movies with her, and putting her in the wheel chair to keep getting out and living to the best of her ability.. even if that was only a 10 minute wheel around the block.  I REMEMBER WATCHING MY MOTHER DIE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH .. and do it with SO MUCH dignity.

  

I remember my gran fighting this same beast .. Like a champ! And the other family members that have ALL been taken by this monster.

   
    
   I REMEMBER FIGHTING MY ASS OFF so that I didn’t die that same slow painful death.  Walking miles after surgeries against doctors advice.  Getting out and about when I was supposed to be on bedrest.  Drinking those foul green smoothies and juices, if I could eat or drink anything at all.. because if I was going to force it down me, it was going to work towards the fight.  I remember avoiding tv, and finding things I loved to do.. discovering I could paint.. and write.. and sing.. although I rarely had the breath and energy to get thru a song at that time.

This upcoming week makes 10 years since my mother passed away.  It doesn’t feel like it’s even been 10 months.  She was only 49 when she died… ironically, because she always said “I’ll be lucky if I make it to 50”.  I wish she were still around.  We didn’t have a very close relationship, but in those months that I was able to spend with her before she died, we grew close..  what could’ve been the beginning of the kind of relationship I had always wanted with my mother.

I wish she were still around.  I wish she could see her grandson.. and experience being a grandparent.  I wish she hadn’t been diagnosed with Cancer.  I wish that no one would ever be diagnosed with cancer ever again.  So yes… when I read someone wishing this awful illness on a group of people just carrying out their job descriptions to cap data to 300GB per month.. I take it quite personally.
/rant

Post Katrina Stress Disorder with a slice of Fuck You Cancer!

Standard

Holy fucking shit balls! I don’t know how much longer I can be in this panicked state of mind and self. Bad weather never used to affect me. I feel convinced that I am about to know what it feels like to be that house on the tv that got hit. Why this time? IDK but given I keep having a mental picture of it.. its really fucking concerning me. I am usually the one cool calm and collected.. the voice of reason and decision if needed.. but I am by myself, so I really don’t need to the voice for anyone.. just me.
There are so many things I could be doing right now that are on my to do list, and I cant fucking function. I keep pacing towards something but forget what it is by the time I get half way there, wherever there is for whatever it was. Im just circling my house, and I thought maybe I could sit down and blog it out.. I finally got all the way thru the act of putting music on so im not just listening to the wind howling around. This shit is no joke for a Katrina survivor. 
I remember those outer bands. I remember driving thru it, evacuating last minute along the coast. 

  
 Ok I cant fucking talk about that right now.. y’all don’t even know what it was really like to be down here for that .. unless you were here of course. My guests ask about it, because they see the cement slabs that are still here.. stairs leading up to nothing, where a house once stood. They always seem so completely shocked when I start talking about it, from my own personal experience. I’ve come to realize that most people hear “Katrina” and they think “New Orleans, Superdome, flooding, looting” that’s about it.. that is how the summarize THE most traumatic experience of so many lives. Did you know that Post Katrina Stress Disorder is a diagnosis? I’ve been telling that story a lot lately.. maybe because I’ve had guests almost the whole time that I have been home. Maybe the Universe is telling me that it is time to confront this one. Work thru it and file it away forever to stay.
If y’all could see my scrunched up face, tears forming and falling, my breath halted trying to catch up with the moment of pain that comes with those memories.. the floating bloated bruised bodies.

   
   
 The flock of dead birds laying on the ground at work 3 weeks later. The weeks without electricity or potable water. Lemme tell you a story about a survivor.
It was March 2005 when my nightmare started. I was working Mardi Gras for Dominos Pizza. It was insane hours.. Thursday thru Sunday I probably slept 10 hours, and worked my ass off the rest of the time.. chugging energy drinks like they were bottled waters. While catching the pizzas from the oven, 9 every 3 seconds, a pain invaded my abdomen like no other pain I had ever felt. I passed the cutter off and went to the lobby where the hot bags were stacked, and laid on them, clutching my lower abdomen tight. After the doctor and a few tests, I was told that I had tumors and they wanted to perform a biopsy. I was a bit of a junkie at the time, and I took the pain medicine prescriptions and never went back. My mother was diagnosed with cancer a couple of months later. She wanted me to come visit, but I couldn’t. Work had me tied up, and to be honest, I didn’t want to go. In June my sister got married. I was supposed to be the maid of honor, but I didn’t go. I was “managing my pain” and managing my store at my new place of employment, very poorly.. and couldn’t take off of work. I was caught in a three way love triangle, and a complete mess really.. Mum was getting sicker, but I still wasn’t visiting.
August 2005, Hurricane Katrina moved into the Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully it wasn’t my first experience with hurricanes here in the South. I knew the basics. Stock up, food, water, flashlights, batteries, and fill the tank up. I was managing a gas station infront of Walmart at the time. I couldn’t leave until the tanks were down to 1,000 gallons for the National Reserves to use after the fact. We seranwrapped the pumps and hit the road. 

  
 We exited New Orleans joining the endless traffic of people also still evacuating. My ex, her two girls, and myself in one car… my assistant manager and her girlfriend in the car behind me. 6 hours later we had moved 40 miles, if that. We neared the Six Flags exit…

 
Anxiety and sobbing crying again. I keep telling myself that I survived it all already. I survived 2005. It’s already done.. it shouldn’t be effecting me right now.. but it is. That shit was unimaginable.  I don’t think I can tell the story and portray just how fucking horrible it was. Seeing people stripped down to their survival instincts. Needing gas but having to decide if its worth risking being car jacked after the fact. Bartering cartons of cigarettes to move around unharmed. The smell.. the illness.. I remember the first time I heard an actual song on the radio again.. it had to be October… “ooo thinking about our younger years.. “ The endless days at work because no one came back. 

  
 They moved me to a store an hour or so north of where mine was. Mine was destroyed. People were detoxing off of drugs.. off of cigarettes.. living in the blistering heat of September with no electricity. 

  
 No one came. No one came to help.. for sooo long.. and when they did, they parked a truck and gave out bags of ice that we had to line up for hours to have a chance of getting one. The MRE military meals were brought in.. disgusting things, but when you’re hungry and cut off from the world, you eat it. 

  
 The government were giving out credit cards with $2,000 on it, and people were staying where they were with it.. relocating permanently. Those of us back here worked non stop, rebuilding work, or rebuilding homes.. cutting away the black mold… 

  
emptying houses after houses of furniture that had been left sitting in abandoned homes. I am sure that most of us really didn’t even feel the magnitude of what was going on. Disconnected in order to keep going. Military began policing the streets. Marshall Law was in effect and it was every man for themselves. I’m not sure they were prepared.. Some of them rookies, some of them treating us like wild animals.  

  
Flat tires were common due to the debris and nails from all the blown away buildings. Neighborhood after neighborhood of total devastation and nowhere to go. My house had three oak trees thru the roof and laying in the living room and kitchen, stacked on top of each other. I was homeless. I stayed on the couch of a friend, if I even left work. It was mid October when I knew I had to go home (England). I told my boss I would be back in two weeks.

When I landed, my step dad picked me up at the airport and drove me to the hospital. There lay my mother, old and frail in the bed. I felt so angry towards her but I couldn’t be so angry at such a frail woman. Fuck you Cancer!!! For all that me and that woman went thru, she wasn’t yours to take! We did so much crying together in those few months that I got to spend with her. We exchanged forgiveness’ that were long overdue. I took her for days out in her wheelchair… not that far because she didn’t have the energy.. but just to get out. She liked the garden center where they had a coffee shop. I looked after my little sister, who was 5 at the time. My mum had been doing her best to keep up the washing and her room.. and trying to make as unnoticeable as possible that she was dying. Her husband wasn’t doing shit, except for spending everything she had on antique record players, drinking heavily at the pub every night, dating a new woman, and whatever else he did that he didn’t let us see. He’d come home drunk and verbally abuse my mother. They’d yell back and forth.. she mostly cried. I am ashamed to say that it took me as long as it did to stand up to him, but I eventually found my adult voice, stood in his face and yelled “DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING TALK TO HER LIKE THAT!” He hit me and I swung back. He left and went to the pub.
I remember taking her to her medical appointments.. hours of sitting in the room talking to the nurses, and the other patients. I remember the naps that she would fall into, and checking to see if she was still breathing. Sometimes her breath would stop, and I’d think that she had gone.. just staring and waiting.. and then she’d gasp a big breath of air and wake up.. and I’d exhale.. realizing I was holding my breath with her. Friends would come to visit once in a while. I heard that the turn out at her funeral was massive. Flowers would come, and line the mantelpiece of the living room. It was originally my gran and granddads house. I’d sat in that same living room and taken goodbye pictures ten years earlier.. as I fled to America. While my mother napped, I’d go in the attic, and root thru the photo albums and other things left behind. I remember taking my little sister trick or treating around the neighborhood. She was so ecstatic that she got to go. Mum picked thru her candy when we got back. I videoed her playing with V.. pretending to take the good sweets. V handled everything like a trooper. She knew what was going on. I remember her telling my mum not to be afraid because it wasn’t her time to go. I am pretty sure that she is a bit of a psychic just like mum. I lost contact with her after Mum died. Her dad took her, and all the inheritance and severed all ties. Seriously cancer.. fuck you!
I stayed until new years, and lost my job for doing so. My mum and I agreed that she would rather I stay and spend the time with her while she was still alive, than leave and then come back for the funeral. My step dad never let me live it down for not being there at the funeral…
January 2nd 2006 I flew back to New Orleans… knowing I would never see her again.. having no idea where I was going to work.. no house.. pretty much nothing. I started on a friends’ couch, and went from there. It wasn’t until 2007 that my panic attacks started. I’d secured a career, had a good woman by my side and two beautiful kids. Life was back on track and my mind collapsed. I’d maxed myself out. I’d filed so much into the “I’ll deal with this later” category that it burst its banks, and full blown paralyzing panic disorder kicked in. I couldn’t say a full sentence. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t process basic math, or tell you my name. I knew it. I heard the words in my head and knew that I knew it, but couldn’t put my finger on how to do it. Or what that word was. I couldn’t be left alone. I’d flinch at everything. I couldn’t feel anything else but panic. It was panic, or nothing. My kids would come to me, and I’d just stare at them.. I wanted to hug them and laugh, and play.. and I couldn’t. My partner would plead with me to talk to her.. to snap out of it.. to tell her how she could help me.. but that mess of a spaghetti of thoughts and memories didn’t have a starting point. My biggest fear is being back there in that place again. I’ve been there a few times in my life. I’m willing to do whatever it takes not to go back there again.. and that’s why I write.. all the shit that flows thru this fucking brain.. I have to let it out or else it grows and consumes me and it wins.
The weather has calmed down again. It’s dark outside, and I don’t hear the wind anymore. I’ve been writing for two hours… need to move a muscle and change my thought.

Moving Forward After Losing A Child 

Standard

  

 Three years ago I lost my 4 year old
son, Tyler. I was a stay at home mom in a long term relationship with another woman. I was there before he was ever even born.. Went to the doctor appointments, cooked the nutritious food for his biological mother to eat, so that he would be healthy.. I was his mother.. Until we broke up, and she exercised her biological mother card. If I’d only known what would come next I might’ve fought a little harder.  It’s been a long ongoing process of letting go.
My plan was to pick up incense and warming oils at the flea market.. But apparently that isn’t that high on the totem pole. Luckily I finished writing my last entry late, because right after that I got a phone call from the HSSM, the local humane society, wanting to send a truck to pick up the stuff I wanted to donate. I let her know that I had a meeting to go to at 11am… Completely fighting the urge for this to be the excuse that I don’t make my first OA meeting. She sent the truck right away…

  
I hurried to get dressed and went downstairs to start moving the load forward. “Well, goodbye Tyler” I thought to myself.. Kinda sad. I debated holding onto the things people had asked for.. Until I saw them.. Or the crib so that I could sell it… “Nope.. It’s time for it all to go… Everything” I thought.. Kinda excited about what my storage room and garage was going to transform into. I’ve accumulated so much camping stuff that it needs some organization down there.  
  

  
Up pulled the truck. I saw the animals on the sides of it and smiled. The fact that Tyler’s belongings were all going to the thrift store at the animal shelter, to help animals.. It was pretty puuuurfect. Tyler and I used to have outings to the animal shelter.  

  
We’d see the animals and watch the families all excited that they had a new family member. There is a lot of love in those buildings, and even tho we didn’t need to bring one home.. It still put love in our hearts. Nowadays it wouldn’t be responsible for me to adopt a pet. I travel a LOT 

  
and I wouldn’t make a very good parent. I believe that I’m not meant to be tied down right now. I need the freedom to stretch and grow.. Make my mark on the world.. Be the change I want to see.. And inspire others to be and do the same .. And then one day when I’m older.. And I’m ready to settle down.. I’m sure there will be kids that would love a home.. Pre teens, or teenagers… The kids that our society throws away. Teens that I’m sure will benefit from my love.. “Grandmas house” will have a home for a dog.. A border collie 🙂 but until then.. Visiting the animal shelter and hanging out with them definitely gives me my fix. It’s always great therapy.  

  

They loaded everything up, and pulled away.. Thanking me for the donation. I feel embarrassed a little because the stuff was in need of another clean .. There was a bike that I didn’t think would be new enough to take.. But they took it. I guess if it was that bike or no bike it would make a child happy. I’m so thankful for the every day lessons of gratitude that come into my life. The clear mind that allows me to see the blessings in my life… To see the way the universe shows up for me.. My higher power.. My God.  
  They left just in time for me to head to the OA meeting. Boy…. Wait until you read that one!! 
  

Am I Really An Alcoholic? 

Standard

Mardi Gras was my last drunk .. I lived in Mississippi.. Was supposed to go to New Orleans for parades with friends there.. Celebrate being single.. We’d been fighting on and off for months. It was obvious that we weren’t going to work it out, but I didn’t wanna lose her. Despite how miserable I was.. It was better than being alone. The noise in my head was really loud back then .. All the time.. Switching back and forth and I couldn’t keep up.. One minute I’d be in the kitchen playing Betty butch Crocker.. Playing with Tyler, being the perfect mother.. The next I’d be locked in my room, sketching so sordid suicide scene, listening to plumb and cutting myself. Other days I’d be wheeling and dealing, flipping cars.. Buying them, fixing them.. Selling them.. Making money hand over fist, but still broke all the time. I’d been supporting her and our son our entire relationship.. Despite becoming so mentally broken that I was In and out of the psych hospitals. Eventually my job didn’t want me.. I was too much of a liability.. Too distracted.. No longer management material.. They out me out on temporary medical leave.. I never returned. Shame too, because I was the best darned manager that company had seen, for a while! At least, I believed I was. My ego so inflated, so grandiose, and manic when I really clocked into gear.. I brought home record sales weeks.. Superior service.. And kept my costs in line to the measure. It was the perfect job. I got pats on the back In the form of bonus checks. We didn’t want for anything.. Until I broke.  
  Now, it’s not surprising that I broke. Looking back.. The 80 hours a week at work, the suicidal teenage girlfriend, a newborn, and the craziest family in laws you could wish to have ,. Who all happened to work for me. My father in law was a pedophile. The family all knew it.. They’d sat down and forgiven him so I guess it was okay. It got really exhausting going to weekend barbecues at their house.. Watching them get drunk, and his touchy feely side come out. The grandkids were always there.. Young innocent victims with parents too afraid of being outcast that they just pretend all is well. It’s not surprising that I broke. I remember moving us out of there .. Out of Louisiana.. It was after id been homeless for four months.. Waiting for disability to approve my case.. That i wasn’t capable of functioning at a level where panic attacks, flashbacks, and dissociative episodes wouldn’t hinder me from working what was required. I was having episodes daily.. But couldn’t figure out why. I could never stay snapped into one personality long enough to figure out what was going on. It was like we all had to keep our eye on the predators.. We couldn’t internally trust ourselves to keep safe.. Not surprising .. I had plenty of evidence to prove to myself that I couldn’t keep myself safe. There’s no wonder I broke.  

  
  I remember we moved to Mississippi because our three bedroom house wasn’t big enough for her, me, our son, her sister, her brother in law and their two kids. I was the only one with income mind you.. I remember stressing daily.. Begging someone to get a job, but no.. Then that call came. Their son was putting toys up our sons butt.. He was five and our son was two.. He said his daddy showed him how to do it. CPS and the cops came, took the kids.. And I wasn’t allowed to kill him. There’s no wonder I broke.  
  Alone we lived again.. In a new house.. This was the house that we would raise our son in.. A good school district, a family sub division, and near the beach. It was perfect… And then your best friend and her girlfriend moved in.. Again.. Once again I began to grow resentful.. Resentful that I was always the only one paying all the bills. I felt used. All I wanted was my son in my life.. So no matter what.. I did whatever I had to do to keep him in my life.. I put up with whatever I had to put up with, to keep him in my life.. And I gave you everything you ever wanted .. So you would stay, and my son would be in my life. You got a job, met a man, and started having an affair within a month. I wished I’d never asked you to get a job. You accused me of being crazy, and reported me to my mental healthcare team.. I was locked up a couple of times .. You had our friends convinced that I was the crazy one .. Imagining that you were cheating.. That I was delusional again.. And they bought it.. There’s no wonder that I broke. 
  So we broke up.. And started leaving the house .. Full of panic and anxiety but it hurt too much to stay home, in our house.. Watching you text him.. Smile as you read his texts ., leave on weekends to stay at his house .. Meanwhile I was still paying all the bills. I told you I was going to New Orleans for the parades.. I fully intended on it, but I never made it there .. I remember getting fucked up.. Going to pick Benny up .. We were gonna go to New Orleans but we came across a guy that needed help.. If we brought him to Pensacola to help his son that was just admitted into hospital.. He’d give us a couple of pounds of weed.. It sounded good .. I could make more money.. And still make it back in time for the last day of Mardi Gras .. I don’t remember much .. I know we got the weed .. We never brought him to Florida .. On e he showed us the goods, a gun was pulled and he was told to run. We got drunk.. I went home and you were there with him.. Completely against the rules of my house … I saw my son and I walked out.. I didn’t want to act on any of my thoughts with my son there so I left .. Continuing to drink .. And popping my anxiety meds.. I was gonna go to Mardi Gras .. Party and say fuck it.. But I ended up at the bridge .. Stopping.. And feeling ready to just give up. The flashing lights pulled up faster than I could get my fat ass over the edge of that bridge. If it weren’t for my weight, I probably wouldn’t be here today. I was taken to the psych hospital where I stayed for six weeks.  
  I hadn’t planned on getting sober.. Just didn’t wanna be suicidal anymore.. Besides .. I had two pounds of weed waiting for me when I got home! By the time I left, sobriety was an obvious necessity. I admitted I was powerless, that my life becomes unmanageable when I drink. I made AA meetings, and built a support network. My life has completely changed for the better. I’m still single.. But I have the kinda life I never believed I could have. I travel all over the world! I get asked all the time why I don’t drink. I have friends that didn’t know me back then, and don’t see the harm in “just one”. They could never imagine the person I turn into when I drink and get high. I invented Emo.   
  Today I have been craving a gallon of daiquiri like a heroin addict going thru detox. I can feel my breathe quicken as I think about it. Chocolate banana mixed.. Extra shots.. In my mind I’m telling myself “I deserve it.. I can control it .. I made it all the way around Europe sober! You had one or two in November and bounced right back .. It’s Mardi Gras!! ” but I KNOW that I’m lying to myself .. That I’ll never actually make it to the parade.. I’ll taste it.. Just to quench the taste craving .. Start feeling a little buzz about half way thru the first cup, and “not want to have to worry about driving home drunk, so I’ll just go home now and drink it there .. And I’ll probably want another one after the first gallon is gone, so I’d better buy another gallon now.. That should last me till the morning… ” and before I know it, I’m holed up in my house..

Drunk.. Continuously topping off my buzz.. Keeping myself just there on the brink of feeling.. But not quite. “Functional” .. 
  I’ve given up sugar.. After gaining so much weight in Europe on that chocolate and sweet pastries that is everywhere .. And getting into good eating habits now, so that when I need to do it, post surgery, I won’t have to worry about it, it’ll be done. I have to say, I can physically feel the withdrawals.. I can taste what I am craving.. I want to get drunk to avoid the withdrawal feelings that I am having. I’ve cleaned my house, rearranged the furniture, and locked myself in my room. I decided to blog about it because, well, to be honest, I can’t believe how intense this craving is. It’s been a while, fortunately, since I craved alcohol this much. Lots of water chugging tonight .. And a new show to binge watch .. Maybe paint if I can focus. Just need to chill. I’m not alone.  Well, at least writing this killed another hour further away from the craving.  I love blogging!!! Hmm give love … 
What do I love about being sober?

  • Clear minded
  • No fear of driving drunk
  • No anger outbursts
  • Stay grounded 
  • Not suicidal
  • Can manage my emotions in a healthy fashion
  • I don’t have to drink to escape my feelings anymore.
  • Meeting other recovering alcoholics
  • Not being alone
  • The possibilities are endless as long as I am sober
  • The money I save
  • The memories I keep
  • The places I visit
  • Quality of life

I LOVE BEING SOBER

I LOVE BEING SOBER

I LOVE BEING SOBER