Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31st, 2011-Shiny Toy Guns-Ghost Town

So, the clock is ticking toward the end of 2011. I am usually the kind of person who bah-humbugs the previous year, and welcomes the new one in, expecting it to different-better-just because it is a new year. Like time says, "You know, 2011 was a rough year for her; what do you say we ease up for 2012 and cut her a break?" This year, I have a different attitude moving into the new year. Was 2011 rough? Oh, hell yes. Is 2012 going to magically easier? Oh, hell no! But you know what? I am ok with that-for  once. I guess the key to that is attitude and perspective, and a big change in both for me. Even though this year has been painful, I am making the choice to look back on it with gratitude. Gratitude for the good times, and gratitude for learning from the bad times. I made huge, life changing decisions this year, one of which was to get sober, with the help of a 12-Step program. I credit that for the change in attitude and perspective. So my point is this: 2012 may not be "better" than 2011, but it sure will be different and as long as I carry the lessons from 2011 into it, I will be ok. It will no doubt bring its own set of challenges- some of which I haven't even anticipated yet. But, the challenges of 2011 have taught me so much: just to keep moving through the pain, to stay in the moment, to be grateful, to be strong, and to walk into uncharted territory even though I am scared. To start taking responsibility for my own choices and the changes I still need to make. Of course, some moments are easier than others, but I understand more than ever that I can get through it. Not by avoiding the feelings, or drowning them in alcohol, but by embracing them, feeling them. I still have some fear of the unknown walking into this new year, but I won't let that hinder me. After all, I only have to take it one moment at a time. I can handle that. Anyway, my goal for this beautiful, sun-shiny day to to enjoy it with my son, so with that, I will close with my Moment of Waking lyric: "Everyone living in Ghost Town"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29th, 2011- Take my Breath Away-The Knife

Much less anxiety today. Watched "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" last night. Incredible true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor of Elle magazine, who suffered a stroke at the age of 45. He was entirely paralyzed from head to toe, with the exception of his left eye. He then decided he wanted to write a book about his experience, and with woman taking dictation, with the only communication being the blinking of his left eye, letter by letter, he did. He died ten days after the book was finished. It really puts things into perspective when you see something like that, and I feel so much gratitude for my life today. I am really looking forward to getting the book. Anyway, here is my Moment of Waking song, by a band recently introduced to me by a friend, The Knife. The lyric I woke up with? "And we raise our heads for the colour red."Great stuff. I couldn't find the original, but I like this remix.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28th, 2011- Moment of Waking

Well, I was two strikes down before I even got out of bed this morning: 1) Unskinny Bop was in my head 2) My body was riddled with anxiety. Been trying to get rid of both all day, haha. I am trying so hard to stay in the moment, to be really aware of where I am at any moment, and I do mean physically. I find that I can't be wrapped up in my head if I am listening to my body, although the anxiety is virtually a constant presence, ebbing and flowing through my chest. I realized that I should not fight it, but maybe just give into it a little, but not in a self-pity kind of way. In a "the only way out is through" kind of way. Not very comfortable, but I just try to keep reminding myself of all the things I have to be grateful for and, that this too, shall pass. In a meeting the other day, the topic was the first step. I had an amazing epiphany. I realized, for the first time, that I am powerless over my mothers suicide. And I don't mean in a what I could have/should have done to prevent it kind of way...those thoughts plagued me for a long time. I don't even know if I can explain it...but it really helped me understand and let go of it in new way. I feel an amazing amount of gratitude for that. In the meantime, I have realized, as Shirley Manson sang "The trick is to keep breathing." It really is. The mind-body connection is an amazing thing, and at some point today, I recognized that when the anxiety was the worst, I was unconsciously holding my breath. So, breathing in my goal right now. I think I can handle that. Oh, and I just cannot bring myself to post Unskinny Bop, so I am posting Garbage instead ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Moment of Waking-December 14, 2011

Ahhh, no major insights or revelations to report today, thank god. Everybody needs a break sometimes! Woke up with Lou Reed this morning, and in a fabulous mood. I love Lou, he is such a weirdo, how can I not? "Satellite's gone, up to the skies, things like that drive me out of my mind." Love this one...


Saturday, December 10, 2011


Life is such a trip sometimes. I made a huge, life-changing decision, and it has set off a chain reaction. I am not complaining, but damn. Now, I like to think that I am pretty good about taking an honest look at myself, admitting my character defects and such, but life has given me a whole new level to look at. When I decided to end my marriage, as painful as a decision as it was, I felt a measure of relief. Of course, I knew that it was not the source of all my problems, I guess I just did not realize that I was so hyper-focused on that particular set of problems, it made it so easy for me to ignore myself. To ignore what I need to deal with, what I need to work through. I was always the kid in school who did well, but only just well enough to make good grades and not really excel at anything. I was always hearing about my "potential." I never put it into motion. Well, surprise surprise; here I am, all these years later, still locked in the potential mode. Ain't that some shit. I am realizing that it is not enough for me to break free of a confining relationship; I have to break free of myself. I confine myself to this set of imaginary lines I constructed a long time ago. And I am fucking tired of it. Tired of being disappointed in myself. Tired of doing the bare minimum to get through the day. It's bullshit, to be quite honest. There is another me just screaming to be let out! And it won't be easy, but nothing worth having ever is, right? And I am so ready. I will no longer just stand idly by as my life passes. I want to LIVE it. Feel it. Be present in it. In other words, live it to the fullest extent that is humanly possible. I want to soak it up, absorb it with every pore. I thirst for it. Yearn for it. First things first, I have some messes to clean up. The only way I have ever been able to do that is through a 12-step program. I have a love/hate relationship with the program, although I cannot really pin down why. I mean, it quite literally saved my life. I bet if I did pin a reason down, I would find it to be complete and utter bullshit. So, I am heading back to meetings, and I am going to work the steps. I have never had such an intense spiritual connection as I did when I was working a program, working steps. I also decided to take a semester off of school, partially out of necessity. My estranged husband has decided that he needs a month in Seattle to deal with everything. A month does not sound like a long time-until you factor in the whole parenting bit, it becomes a lot more complicated. I was furious to begin with, but now I get it. Here's a shocker...maybe it isn't all about ME! Ha-imagine that! So, I am going to take some time for myself. It's demolition and reconstruction time, do or die, put up or shut the fuck up. Really. I don't think I am being over dramatic, and if I am, oh well. It's funny how one decision can take you down a path that you never imagined. It will also give me time to give my son some extra time and attention, which I am so grateful to be able to provide for him. He deserves it. Anyway, I am just emotionally and physically exhausted and I have no idea if I am making any sense whatsoever. I just gotta get it out. The best way to sum it all up is a song, as usual. A Tool song, at that. 46+2...that is where I am, what I want to do. Clear it all out, even if I have to crawl on my belly to do it, and step through my own shadow. I'm ready. Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011- For the second time in my life, I am in a extraordiary amount of emotional pain. The first time was when my mom commited suicide. I didn't walk through it so much as just exist through it. I just kept waking up, breathing, eating...without any choice in the matter. It just was. I had no faith, I really thought there was no way I would ever be ok again, and happy-ha! It was a living nightmare, every second of everyday for the first year or two. This December 13th marks the 6th anniversary of her death. Only in the past year or two did this time of year start to become significantly less painfull. God, my timing is impeccable. So now, having decided to divorce, here I am, in this often overwheming pain. This time...this time I know I will get through this. And I will do so wide awake, feeling it. Walking through the feeling. Without alcohol..hahaha...drowning my sorrows in drink has not even crossed my mind. No need to question that one. I have faith this time. I have had experience as the ulimate teacher. With my mom, I would have done anything in the world to get her back...if I could have willed myself back in time to try and change things, I would have in a heartbeat. It is just as impossible to do so now as it was then. I didn't get married thinking I would get divorced. Could I change my decision? Of course. Will I? No...there is no turning back. To me, it is a final as my mom's death, it is a death in it's own way. I choose everyday not to turn back, just to keep moving forward. I just keep playing the whole tape through, and it has never been a new tape, with a surprise ending, why would it be any different now? I can feel this pain, and still look back an appreciate the happy times, I could not do that with my mom for so long, the pain took over everything. And of course, there are the constants. My friends and family, who hold me up during the most painful times. I have more gratitude than I can put into words for that. My amazing son. And did I mention faith? Call it God, call it the's there. I just have to breath the fear out, cry the fear, the heartache, out and make room for faith. Choose to let it in. Easier in some moments that others, but even in that fear, I still know, deep in my heart, that I will not only be ok, I will be happy again. I am not a zombie this time around...I can still laugh and enjoy life. Maybe in smaller doses right now, but it is there. Another constant? Music. Man...where would I be without it? I don't even want to know. I can allow it into my soul, even if it is painful, it is ultimately cleansing. Plus, I can shake my ass to it and blow some steam off, which is a huge plus ;) Anyway, this group of 3 songs, once again, I am at a loss for words. They comfort me beyond belief, even when I sit in my car and cry to them. One lyric that I love, "Spread your codes to the stars" reminds me that I am a part of somethig so much bigger than myself, but it does not make me feel small. It makes me feel...reassured, hopeful even. And it takes me out of my own head, which is always a good thing. So, in the end, I hurt. It sucks. But above and beyond all that, I am grateful, I have faith and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. What more can I ask for? Absolutely nothing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Moment of Waking-December 3, 2011- I woke up today with a question swirling in my thoughts: What is it the separates the human animal from the rest of the animal kingdom? Opposable thumbs? The ability to reason on a higher plane? The ability to create and destroy? I eventually came up with two things: our propensity to be cruel, and our ability to love beyond reason. I am not aware of any other animal that causes another pain intentionally, just for the sake of doing it. Of course, you can always point out causal factors: rage, hurt, grief, hate, fear, but since when does correlation equal causation? Humans have been at war with each other since the beginning of time, with a multitude of reasons as to why: land, money, religion, resources, but could it be that it is just in our nature? Maybe even in our DNA? What about emotional pain? To break another persons spirit? To be unable to empathize? When I travel down these dark roads, I choose not to stay long. I always come back to the same thought, my son. Having a child gave love an entirely different definition for me. Sure, in my life, I have loved and do love many people and animals as well. But all of that pales in comparison to the overwhelming love that I felt when I held my baby boy for the first time, and ever since. Other animals care for their young, but is that only biologically driven? The need to continue your own species is, of course, not a uniquely human trait, it belongs to even the microorganisms, conscious or not. But that is another rabbit hole. My point is, what makes us love beyond what we think we are capable of? To love unconditionally? I do not have the answer, but I sure do have the reason, anyway. What would our world be like if we could apply a fraction of that pure love to other aspects of our lives, to other relationships, even a brief exchange with a stranger, or with our planet? Certainly some people do. When I can be conscious of how my words, my actions, affect others, I am acting out of love. When I can move beyond my own selfishness, that is. When I can take myself out of my own tiny little world for a bit. But my son is the only one I have never had that struggle with, it comes naturally, it just is. And I am beyond grateful for that. Especially during the hardest times of my life: when my mother committed suicide, and now, having made a decision to divorce. It enables me to get out of bed when I think it impossible. To smile when my heart is broken. To give love when all I feel is pain. Of course, it could be argued that it does not make me totally selfless, because my decision has inflicted pain on my son. Another rabbit hole, one I cannot go down. I suppose that, at heart, I am an optimist-I will continue to believe in love. I will choose to believe that this too shall pass. Because of my son, and for him, and for all he has taught me about unconditional love, and the unconditional love he gives me. Anyway, those are the thoughts I woke up with, layered within this song. Speaking of love....Muse.