14 nights, flights, buses, trains, metros and apartment for 2 in Paris.. You won’t believe the price!

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Bonjour! 

I get asked all the time about trips people want to take, and how to take them as frugal as possible.  So I have decided to start offering packages for trips that I’ve already researched for myself.  What do I get out of it? Bonus miles towards future free flights.  If you don’t mind allowing me to bank your miles, I’ll show you THE CHEAPEST way to see some of the amazing things that I see on my travels.  
First up is a romantic 2 weeks in Paris at Christmas 2016 (well, November 28-December 12,. But just think of the bragging rights on Christmas Day!) 

This package has a few different options, as I understand that not everyone is ok with carrying one backpack of belongings and commuting as far as I am comfortable with doing.  Hopefully my blog eases some of the fears around that tho.  

The cheapest option is $1570 

Roundtrip tickets for 2 from Miami to Paris 

14 nights in a private apartment on the outskirts of Paris 

2 transit passes for 2 weeks of unlimited buses, trains, and metros to get you anywhere you wanna go in Paris and its suburbs 

This is an example of one of the apartments, as opposed to a room in a hotel. 
It’s really a no brainer.  I’ll book everything for you, order the passes, the flights, the apartment and deliver you a package with detailed information of free and frugal things to do while in Paris to keep the budget down.  

Due to the special on these particular flights, and the apartment availability this offer could end at any time. I know where I’ll be 😍

Email me to book your Christmas Paris vacation!

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Mental health tools – blogging

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Well it’s been a while since I wrote a blog, and it’s been a while since I was panic free. Courtney even responded on a post I made about having anxiety for hours, “when’s the last time you blogged or did some artwork” but I was so caught up that I didn’t really hear the message. I had just written in my notebook that morning trying to ease the anxiety and it hasn’t helped.. But it had, it just wasn’t at the level that blogging helps me when I’m practicing it every day. It’s like exercise for my brain, and just like the stationary bike sucks on the first day after not getting on for three months.. Writing is the same. These tools only work for me when they’re part of my daily life. Doh!
Ok.. So what’s going on in my world? 
Well, I’m currently writing from a commune in chicamauga, Georgia. It’s an abandoned elementary school on the Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee state lines. It’s 10 minutes from Chattanooga, which is an amazingly beautiful town. Last night we went to the river walk to watch the sunset. I can’t tell you how big my smile is that I can write “we” .. Third year in a row that I’ve made a New Years resolution and it’s become realized.  
  So Yupp.. I’ve been traveling.. When I got back from Greece on March 16th, Amber went home, back to New Orleans and I stayed in Conroe, Texas at my besties house.. Courtney (the one with the bad ass food truck Falacos – if you’re anywhere near Houston, YOU WANT THESE BALLS IN YOUR MOUTH!!) and Benny (the artist behind the badass wall murals and famous peeps paintings that y’all see me posting) .. I have so much love for these guys.. Definitely on the inside of my circle, and have been a rock of support in walking with me thru this recovery journey. So I wanted to stay and visit before heading home from Greece.. and a friend came to visit for Courts birthday.. Introducing Kate.. Now, I wasn’t expecting to meet someone in that moment.. I was jet lagged, working on little sleep, and attempting to be present for the day at the food truck.. But something about listening to Courtney tell me about her friend that was coming over had captured my attention. I wanted to know more .. And after meeting her.. I really wanted to know more… and now I’m in Chattanooga Tennessee, with Kate.. And Athena (who I adopted the day after meeting Kate) and here we are .. A happy lil family road tripping!
  So .. New Years I made a resolution that I wanted to manifest a wife. Kind of a weird one isn’t it.. But in that moment, I asked God to present that person in my life, and I made the decision to really focus my energy into envisioning what that person would look like .. I don’t mean physically.. I mean, what qualities would I want.. Ability to travel, ability to be patient wit my panic stricken ass.. Someone I felt safe with, and could talk to without fear… Someone secure.. That wouldn’t get jealous or possessive and not be ok with me traveling alone still. There has been quite a process of really picturing the role that this person would play in my life, and learning myself enough to know the role I can offer to play in theirs. I’d love to be Casanova every day for them, but in reality.. There are some days that I just can’t be that.. There are some days when I need to just be by myself.. I’m learning how to be open and honest during panic instead of acting like I’m ok. I’m learning how to ask for my needs to be met.. Because I never wanted to bother anyone before .. I didn’t wanna be a burden, and I felt like I was on my mental days.  
  I have to say, God delivered when he introduced me to Kate. This road trip is showing me how true that is. 
So.. Where else have I been since Greece?? 
Miami, home, Pensacola, Orlando, Cincinnati, Ohio, Galveston Texas, and now the smokey mountains… And I’m supposed to be staying home for my therapy. Oops! Truth is .. My anxiety is better when I’m on the road and distracted by life, and falling in love with the new places.. 


Having said that, it’s time to get dressed and check out Rock City! I’m so excited.. And now my anxiety is down so I can get dressed and start this day! She’s so patient.. Just sitting in the chair across from me.. Athena on her lap.. Taking care of her own affairs. She’s amazing. 😍

Intercepting panic and morphing it into pride 101

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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!

 

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

If it made you smile, give it a share 🙂

Manifesting Her

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I wanna get inside you .. Slip between the layers 

In which you try to

Hide, where I cant find you..

And sing our song
I wanna nestle into your heart, 

Give it a little kick start

And Let 

my butter fly,

flutter for a while 
I wanna get in your fear,

Hold it close and be its calm, dear

For its there 

I know you’ll declare 

That I have won 
I wanna roam 

where no one goes, see

Be your one and only

And live the life 

Of death do us part 

  

Dear Wife who won’t let her cheating lover go,

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Dear Wife who won’t let her cheating lover go,

For a long time, I was you.  Relationship after relationship, fighting to hurry up and change to be the person that my lover was seeking out elsewhere.  The PANIC! that they were one foot out of the door, and I didn’t even know we were on the rocks.  I remember all the doubts and suspicions that I had but couldn’t ask, for fear of rocking the boat and throwing her back into the arms of her new fuck buddy.. oh god.. what if he/she wasn’t just a fuck buddy?

Wedding rings on a dictionary showing the word infidelity

Wedding rings on a dictionary showing the word infidelity

I remember the work it took to hold that relationship together. The threads of bribery, silence, promises to do better, try harder, earn more, spend less etc etc.  Whatever it took to keep her!  I know, all too well, the sleepless nights, the psychological warfare that came with tearing myself into two.. me, and the me I thought I needed to become.  I remember compromising my values and my boundaries.  I remember saying “it’s OK!” to being cheated on so many times, because I had to make sure that she knew this wouldn’t be spoken of again.  She made it clear enough that there was “no point in us working it out..” That I’ll “never be able to forget what she had done.”  I even rationalized why it had happened for her.   “No one had ever loved her for her before.”  “She didn’t know that I really would stand by her side no matter what.. now she does.. See! It happened for a reason!!! This was a good thing!”

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The self talk and torture that was “holding on” – I forgot what you looked like.  It’s been so long since that part of the cycle was “now” that I had lost sight of you.  While I am thankful for the reminder, as it is a lesson I wish to file as learned, I am disappointed in myself.  I’m ashamed that I am now “she” that you are competing with.  I am now the person you are trying to become to avoid losing her.  I am the ears that listen.  I am the object of her lust.  I am the reason that arguments occur out of left field.  I am the reason she wants more from you.  It’s me that she is texting.  It’s me that she originally took that selfie for.  It is me… and I know you hate me, because you can’t hate her.  I know that you believe in your mind, that if I just fucked off, everything would be okay between you two.  What you don’t see is that I have fucked off, many times.. and she always came back.  What you don’t want to think about is how much I too, was in love with her, because I didn’t have “a right to be”.  “She isn’t mine.” “I am wrong for having an affair.” You’re right.  There was a time when I believed wholeheartedly that you are right, because I was you, and I felt those feelings and I told myself those same things.

Being on the other side of this triangle has brought so much awareness, understanding, and acceptance into my world.  I know what it feels like to love a forbidden love… to wait patiently for my turn; while you aren’t home, or while she is at work.. to hold sacred those few moments in her day that she choose to talk to me.  The pleasurable times that she was taking a bath.  When she went out of town for work, and we met, went on dates, and spent the night.  Those times that the Universe allowed us to spend time together, getting to know each other, and falling in love.  I know what it was like to see pictures of the two of you, and feel the guilt penetrate me with such blunt force.. to walk away and swear that I couldn’t do it anymore… only to find that the one thing that hurt more than going against my morals, was not having her in my life.   I know what it was like to wait forever.  To love unconditionally.. even if a condition was that she was married.  I know what it is like to love without fear of losing her, because I never really had her to begin with.  I know what it was like to fear losing her anyway.

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I look back on the younger me, and I realize that every one of those relationships had already ended, the moment I realized I needed to save them.  The moment I found out that they were seeing someone else.  I look back, and think about where they are now.. and I am thankful that each and every one of them happened, and came to an end.  Everyone involved is happier.  I look back, and I forgive the “home wreckers” because I now know that a true home cannot be wrecked by someone else.  I have forgiven them, and understand that they just didn’t have the communication skills and honesty that it takes to have those uncomfortable conversations that something was wrong.  I didn’t either.  In that, I have learned how much I want that in my future relationship.  I have begun practicing it in my friendships.  It has helped me recognize it in others, and share it with those who don’t have it.  I don’t judge them like I used to when I thought I had that skill.  In that lesson, I have learned to look at people for what they do have, as opposed to what they don’t.  That in every disagreement I have with another person, I have an opportunity to learn a new way, which is awesome.. because sometimes my way doesn’t work for me anymore.. and maybe they were put in my life to prepare me for such a time?  I look at life very differently these days, and it is a result of loving and having been loved by your wife.

I know you know about me.  I know that you’ve accidentally been the one home when my package arrived.  I don’t know if you know about the packages I received.  I don’t know if you know everything she has told me that you know.  I sincerely doubt it, based on everything that came to light in the end of my failed relationships.

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To the Wife who doesn’t want to let go… I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused.  I am even sorrier for the pain that you choose to hold onto.

 

Sincerely,

Your wifes’ mistress.