Celebrating Sobriety

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I wrote this in 2014… 

There are a lot of reasons I permitted myself to drink. Excuses. Sadness. Relationship problems. Work problems. Financial problems. Family problems. Your problems. My problems. Life problems. Death problems. Problems period…

Reasons for which i just knew i should drink. Excuses.

Joy! Relationship success. Work success.  Financial success. Family success. Your success my success life success success period!!!! Bottoms up!!

Then there were those days when neither problems nor success came my way… And I failed at trying to create either for an excuse to drink, so I drank. 

Truth is I drank because I liked the effect that alcohol had on my body, on my mind, and on my heart. That liquid courage that permitted me to start… Start that conversation with a beautiful lady.. At least thru beer bottle glasses she was beautiful..

The super powers it gave me to numb my emotions, the perfect potion, why wouldn’t I give it absolute devotion? Why aren’t you? Have you tried this shit? And they say I’m the one with the problem…

The permission it gave me to just not care, no need to be aware of others and their shit of course unless they had something to give, or share, then I was there. 

My favorite was its ability to allow me to avoid… I don’t have to elaborate… Wait what? Avoid what? Why life of course. 

So today I am proud to say that I can celebrate that while those excuses have still blessed my life, loss of love, child, and good friends wife, a medical emergency, a surgery, and possibly being fatally sick, i didn’t drink not a lick… I stand sober and dry with my new clear minds eye which affords me the ability to see who I want to be. A productive member of society… A worthwhile employee… A friend – a very best friend, selfless honest loyal and true who knows its not about me but what can I do for you… A daughter to a father whose spent years concerned, a lover to another that I won’t crash and burn.  An example a supplier of a glimmer of hope to the next who can’t vision their life without dope. 

All the excuses in the world could never convince me that they’re reason enough to give up living in sobriety.

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“She’s Gifted” October 25 2015

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“She’s Gifted”

This was originally inspired by a comment “you’re gifted” on one of my painting posts, and how those words have evolved over the years, and being gifted is something i treasure now vs feeling like a freak when i was younger.  Tho I was never in special needs classes, I was pushed forward.. given college math to solve at the age of 11.. spent time after school with teachers that saw the potential within me, and nurtured it to excel.  I knew I was different, being only 1 of 3 kids in the school to be offered this opportunity.  I remember being selected to learn violin, based on a test administered for the best candidates.. there were many signs growing up that I wasn’t your average bear.  Unfortunately, all i wanted to be was “your average bear” so that i’d feel accepted, and normal.

Pictured is Tessa at her 9th birthday party.  I remember shopping for her birthday.. I wanted to send her on a shopping spree to the Disney Store, an ice cream stop, and Toys R Us.  I wanted to then do a photo shoot of her, dressed as her favorite princess… I wanted her to feel like the Princess that she is.  At the birthday party I witnessed Tessa being the princess that she is.  Her authentic self shined bright at all times.  If she wanted to dance, she danced! If she was upset, she was upset.  If she wanted to sit next to her best friend when she was “supposed” to be doing something else.. she sat next to her friend.  Tessa taught me a huge lesson about being authentic that day… Thank you! ❤

After years of trying to be normal, fighting the natural, beautifully flawed person that I have been blessed to be in this lifetime.. Extraordinary is a word that fits … and it’s okay that sometimes that means I will have a freak out moment… sometimes I won’t be able to handle any noise.. or if i can.. it can’t have words, just music.  It’s okay to let my friends see me when I am out there.. and to ask them to give me some time to let my brain run wild, which means i won’t be able to focus on a conversation in that moment.  It’s okay.. because it is in those moments that my mind reaches a place where it clicks.. and something beautiful is produced… today it is this poem… enjoy…  and as always.. feel free to share if it resonates.

“She’s Gifted”
She sorts her toys by color…
And eats her food in groups
Seems socially awkward…
Maybe even mute.
Perceived as rather quiet
Rarely makes a sound
But inside her mind and soul
Everything is so loud
“She’s retarded” they used to call her
“She’s mental” they would say
“She’s special… ”
“Yea, special needs…” They’d tell each other
“She’s gifted, in her own way”
Surrounded by authorities
Trying to fit her in their box
Seeking treatment to make her normal…
Gifted didn’t shine a lot.
focused just long enough to get dressed
Take her meds
And eat some food…
Taking time away
 from all she had to say
and remember
When back in her own world
Constantly trying to keep up
Sticky notes posted in the furthest universes’ of her mind
Isolation became her greatest friend
The key to play freely and let her gifts shine.
Free to be herself,
Just as she is,
Her gifts multiplied and became fine tuned.
Picasso paintings
Pretty pictures
Expression expressed in magnitude.
“She’s gifted” they began to say
This time with a new air,
For no one was around to see the “mental”
State of mind
She needed to be within
To allow herself to be there …
There…
Where she could be gifted.

Recipe For Love? It’s no secret…

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“You attract what you are” – how many times in my life had I heard that?  How many times had I pondered that .. did I want to attract someone just like me? What did that mean? What would be the point of that … I mean, I already know me, right?  Why would I want someone just like me?  There’s things about me that I don’t like.. ohhhh

My journey into the world of self love was completely under protest.  It wasn’t a blissful “ah ha” moment after some downward dog, or during a meditative sunrise on the beach.. it was kicking and screaming, fighting every step of the way.  First of all, I had no desire to be single.  I’d never been single for longer than two weeks, and I had always been the one to leave, once that next step was already in the works.  NOoooooo way was I getting caught out to be left alone in some dark depressing house with nothing but my miserable self! Then she left… just as I had gained all these beautiful tools about how to create everything I wanted to create… with her.. she left.

Well.. there went 50% of the names I had listed under “name the people in your support group”.  Thank goodness for the next question and answer.. “How can I build my support network?”  I went online and sent a couple of messages out to Pathways staff, and looked up the nearest location of Codependents Anonymous.  This was as good a time as any to work on that.  I didn’t really understand how becoming codependent on meetings full of other codependents was really going to help me separate from those behaviors.. Heck.. what if I met a new lover there?  Ha! Man, my brain is a trip isn’t it? 

Today I am overwhelmed with how many people are in my life.  I don’t mean all the people listed on my facebook, although I am proud to say that I interact with a good percentage of them.  I’m talking about the number of friends that I can be completely transparent with.  The number of friends who trust me, and confide in me.  The number of friends that I can do the same with.  The acceptance that these don’t have to fall in both categories.  I am honored that people seek guidance from me, because I take that as a testament of how they see me living my life.  No one would’ve wanted advice on how to sit on my couch and binge watch 2 seasons of a TV show.

The biggest thing that I am grateful for is self love.  While I entered that path kicking and screaming.. the time I spent living alone, and entertaining myself, taught me who I am.  It taught me that I don’t like to watch TV that much.  That occasionally I like to read, and it’s okay that it is only occasionally.  It taught me that I like to dance around the house or record music videos and covers of my own.. that I think I have a decent voice, and I’m not too shy to share that.  It taught me that I don’t fit into a scheduled kinda lifestyle.  That some days coffee may be at 7am.. and some days I may not function well enough to brew it until noon.  Some days I won’t be able to drink it because my anxiety will already be too high.. and some days I’ll drink a whole pot.   It showed me that I could sustain life on my own.  I didn’t need two incomes… I needed to learn how to manage money.  How to stop the waste, and in doing so, I found that I actually had more.. living in the same house, on one income.. those of you that follow me will know that I’m not just talking about the occasional meal out.. I’ve traveled across half the United States.. 9 countries overseas.. funded my love of artwork, photography, upgraded my car, furnished and maintained my home.  Self love made that possible.  Faith made that possible.  Walking the walk, made that possible.

It was initially suggested for me to stay single for a year.  I don’t know if any of you have seen “28 Days” with Sandra Bullock.. Jermiah was a bullfrog… anyway, in that movie it shows the idea that someone getting sober should first learn to take care of a plant.. and then a pet.. and THEN they may be ready for a relationship.  Well.. in 12 step programs, they suggest staying in the relationship you’re currently in, or staying single if you aren’t.  Looking back at the impact relationships had on my previous attempts to stay sober, I thought this would be a good area to follow the suggestion.  I remember coming up on my 1 year anniversary of sobriety.  I was so excited that I was going to be eligible to find a partner.  I had three plants… 2 animals.. and a year of sobriety under my belt!!! I was READY!!! And then it dawned on me.. if I was still this eager to find the love of my life, and be with someone, then I probably wasn’t ready.  If I still felt like finding that missing piece in my life was the answer to all that wasn’t right about my life.. Dang it!! Admitting I wasn’t ready was one of the harder things for me to do.  To live with the intention of being whole, just as I am.. I’m still working on that.  I can say that I have moments where I feel that in its entirety, and it s a pretty awesome feeling.  To know that I don’t need to make more money, have a newer car, a bigger house, more friends, a closet full of name brand clothing, acceptance from everyone and their mother, initials after my name, a “mrs” before it.. a weight that begins with a 1 and not a 2.. or a 3..  I am beautiful.  I am kind, and giving.  I am disciplined, and just.  I am courageous, and strong.  I am peaceful and safe.  I am creative, and intriguingly talented.  I am adventurous and empathetic.  My heart hurts for others’ trials and tribulations, and I still snatch my superman cape from the closet.. wanting to fix it all.. and I still get heavy hearted and depressed when I can’t… and I’ll try three more times before I accept that.. if not more.  I am stubborn.  I should say that again… I AM STUBBORN… and I love that I am stubborn, because in that quality, I never give up… not unless the pain outweighs the pleasure, and then I have learned how to let go, and that I can let go, and I can feel all those feelings that come flooding.. and survive.  I am love.. I am love.. just as I am.

I would love to tell you that I walked this path flawlessly.  I didn’t.  For the majority of these lessons, I loved another, and it was in seeing how I showed up in my love, that I learned what I wanted to be loved like.  It was in the constant desire to improve, and be enough, that I saw how far I was willing to go to be the me that I always wanted to be.. in proving that I could make anything happen, that I saw I could make anything happen.  It was in attempting to prove to her that I was worth taking a chance on, that I learned I am so much more than a chance.  I am a gift.  I see it in the feedback that I get from close friends and complete strangers.  I feel just how loved I am.  I see what I have to offer.. and I began being picky about the person I’d wanna share my life with.  By this time, my life was something I didn’t want to sacrifice in any way.  I wanted to find someone who lives exactly as I live.  I wanted to find someone that was free to roam the world with me, while being self supporting.  Surprisingly, there aren’t as many of those as I thought there would be.  I remember thinking about how I could create that person.. the first thing that always got in the way was a job.. so I started looking for someone who wasn’t employed, and figured I could take care of them until they figured out an avenue of income that would support them.. Yea.. I know .. that wasn’t the smartest plan.. “Hey, do you wanna move in, be taken care of, and travel?” not exactly motivation to get up and do for themselves.  That lasted a month, and again I realized just how unready I was for a relationship.  I was still too desperate for it.

Several names came and went on my radar of possibilities.  I’d always find a reason why it wouldn’t work out.  I was in love with a married woman who lived a thousand miles away, and I was comfortable.  That’s actually a lie, because if I had been comfortable then my closest friends wouldn’t have gotten sick of hearing me cry over it, but I was in denial, and just knew  that if I waited long enough.. she was the one.  Sure enough, the time would come where she would sound like she was ready for us to be together, and I would freak out!!  What would that look like?  Would I have to share my home? Would she wanna redecorate? Would I be able to stay as laid back with her in person as I was thru a screen?  I hadn’t written about us in “our” journal for over a year.. I hadn’t drawn or painted.. or even written a poem.  Everything that had come to life when I felt the love flowing had stopped.. long ago.   I didn’t look at my phone in the morning to see if she’d said Good Morning.. because I knew she hadn’t.   I’d stopped telling her all about my days.. we still talked every day, but never about anything.  If anything, I purposely didn’t tell her about my day, waiting to see if she would ask.  I’d entered the world of tests.   I’d taken a step back, and tho going through the motions of it, I was watching the cycle.. our cycle.. and seeing the insanity of it.  My anger felt forever present.  I wrote and wrote in my blogs about my struggles, and never once did she ask, because never once did she read.  Not that I expected her to read everything I ever wrote.. I know I write a lot.. but I had alerts set to tell me when she posted things to multiple social media outlets.. I wanted to know.. because I wanted to know all about her.. and in watching myself come to these realizations, I learned how I love, and how I want to be loved.

So here we are, full circle.  NOW I wanted to attract who I am.  It finally made sense.  I wanted to be loved and respected, the way that I love and respect myself and others.  I wanted that love to inspire me to grow, and create.. just as it had before.. but I wanted it to bloom, and be reciprocated.  I wasn’t really looking for it anymore.  I had moved my attention to traveling.. and seeing the world.  I’d fallen in love with life.. and life was busy loving me right back.  I’d fallen in love with my faith in the Universe.. and boy was the Universe loving me right back!  I was pretty content with my life.. and then it happened.  I was introduced to someone new, and all I wanted was to know more…

  
I can’t tell you how many smiles have graced my face since I met her.  My favorites are the ones that come when she does or says something that I would say or do.  I find myself drawing her.. getting lost in the details of her face… writing poems or blurbs so that I can capture the moment, and the new feeling that I am feeling.  I feel twitterpated. J  I also feel cautious, determined not to float with the same river of relationship pasts.  I want us to carve our own river.  There’s no rush.  It’s healthy for me to miss her.   We both have completely different lives.. lives that have been such a blessing.   The travel life doesn’t allow much in person time because I am always somewhere else.  It’s the perfect breeding ground for creativity.  Exploring the obstacles of distance, and appreciating the time together so much more.  Next month we will meet in Cincinatti and roadtrip together to Florida.  Neither of us lives in either of those places.  J It’s exciting.  Every day is a new lesson.. a new area to work on.. or growth to be celebrated.  It feels good to be growing again.  I didn’t realize how stagnated I had become.

So yea.. you really do have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love another… and then you’ll attract what you love. 😉

The Happiest We

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I want YOU to love you
I don’t want you to need me to

Because I want to want to love and

Not feel obligated just to save you
I can’t know how to love you unless you show me

Spend time with you where you allow me to see

All the tiny cells of you and your soul

How else could I know which piece has fallen, when you don’t feel whole?
I want you to appreciate what it is to truly miss me

To be able to live our unique lives, sometimes separately 

With trust, loyalty and love

We’d sometimes find it tough,

But never slip into stale familiarity 
I want you to be YOU 

To do what you and your heart wants to do

To embrace your dreams

And create your legacy

To shine as bright as bright can be!
I want these things for you

Because I love these things about me,

And if we both have these things, 

Well, we would be the happiest “we”
– cre8ivflame

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