Archive for the ‘Therapy’ Category

Slowing Down

December 13, 2017

Not having any school stress hanging over me has really mellowed me out.

I got to debrief with my therapist about it all and the lecture and all the things love and relationship and work and family today.

It really amazed me to see that it was just one week ago today that I was on a stage giving a lecture in front of 100s of people.

It feels like it was last year.

There was so much that happened after the lecture that I quite lost sight of the fact that I had done it.

Even though I have had a number of people clamor for the video of it.

It has not been posted up yet and I’m rather loathe to watch it anyhow.

I don’t need to see myself, I was there, I know how it felt.

Even my therapist wants to see it!

My therapist went to the same school I’m in now and did the same program and had some of the same teachers.

It’s always a good feeling of commiseration with her about my life and school and all the things.

It’s almost as though we are contemporaries, friends.

We had a good session and there was much to process.

There always is.

And then off to work.

I went in early to help the family and got to spend an unexpectedly sweet day with the baby.

He’s almost a year now and it’s coming close to time to renew my contract with the family.

I’m very happy with them and they are happy with me.

It’s a mutual appreciation society.

Seriously.

The dad today said he didn’t know how they’d still be alive without me.

That was super sweet to hear.

It’s a trip though, working for a family with three kids, three really changes the dynamic, it’s a flat-out hustle sometimes and there is not a lot of down time.

There is always something for me to do.

Always.

I don’t mind, it’s good to stay busy.

Although not too busy.

The parents had asked if there was a day in the upcoming weeks that I might be able to help with an overnight and I gave them a night when I could and as it turns out that night doesn’t work and well, I have to say that I wasn’t really upset about that.

I don’t have solid plans to do anything on the days I have off, but I sort of like that I have some time off to do with what I will.

My therapist asked me about Christmas and what it was like for me and whew boy that opened up a lot of fodder.

I realized very much that the last few Christmases have been really hard on me and she was encouraging me to do something sweet for myself, a yoga retreat, a little road trip in my new car, something personal and kind and I will add, for myself, cheerful.

I often spend Christmas alone and I can get melancholic about it.

Last Christmas I was navigating through some personal landmines that surprised me but in hindsight needed to happen and helped me grow exponentially.

Nothing like pain to prompt some spiritual growth.

The year before I was with someone in Paris who couldn’t really be with me and that felt like throwing my heart on a bonfire and roasting marshmallows over it.

Burnt and crisp and super painful.

I’d rather not have a painful Christmas this year.

Soft and gentle and loving and I really want to let myself not freak out about it.

I don’t want to compare and despair.

Maybe the road trip to Stinson on Christmas Day, pack a picnic, go to the beach, have bonfire, collect shells, reflect on my life and what I want in the new year.

Or down to Santa Cruz and go to Bridges State Park for the Monarch migration happening now.

I tried to go one year with a boyfriend and yes, we made it, but so late in the day that the monarchs weren’t flying.

I might try to give that another shot.

I should also get my MOMA on.

I have a membership and haven’t been in months, now that I’m on break from school it’s definitely time to go again.

I also want very much to see the Klimt exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

I love Klimt.

That is a must do.

I will also do a movie at the movie theater.

Last year I went to La La Land on Christmas day for a matinée at Kabuki Theaters and then I took myself out to sushi.

It was super cold on my scooter and I felt pretty miserable riding around.

Not going to be a problem with year with having a car.

I’ll be taking her tomorrow.

The last two days I’ve been on my scooter to avoid the morning rush traffic and get to supervision and today to therapy, before work and then to my internship on time.

I haven’t those obligations tomorrow.

I’ll be taking my car.

I really love having that car.

Yeah.

The more I think about it the more I think a mini road trip will do me good.

Even if it’s just across the bridge.

Oh!

I could do a ferry ride too.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve I caught the last ferry to Sausalito, I got off the boat, walked to a coffee shop, bought a coffee and walked right back onto the ferry.

I got to see the city at night all lit up in Christmas lights.

It was stunning.

I got a lot of really gorgeous photographs from that little jaunt.

And of course.

I’ll find somewhere to go do the deal and get right with God, always that, especially during this time.

Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Nope.

There will be many ways to keep it merry and bright.

Heck.

I can just sit and contemplate my Christmas tree and watch Holiday Inn.

I love me some Bing Crosby.

I do.

 

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Almost There

December 7, 2017

I knocked out some more school work tonight after I got home from work.

Wednesday nights I don’t see clients and I had the wherewithal after work to not only get laundry done and make a batch of soup for the weekend, but actually to also do the final prep work for my group presentation that is my final project for my Transpersonal class on Saturday.

I got the e-mail announcing the last weekend of the school semester and a note about where my classes will be over the weekend.

I’m so close to being done.

I have a dream reflection paper to write-up yet, but that’s it.

At least for what’s do for the weekend.

One more paper will have to be written.

One more.

And then I can let myself have some holiday fun.

I really do want to get my Christmas tree this Sunday.

I keep seeing trees and holiday stuff and it doesn’t really connect with me yet, I have no time to think about it.

Or I haven’t.

Even though I have gotten a few things here and there and have Christmas cards and stamps and things to wrap and things to send.

I just can’t get to it until after I get my school work finished.

Once the semester wraps I will let myself unwind.

I’m not nearly as wound up as I was last weekend, thank God.

I could not have sustained that level of anxiety for long.

And now that the lecture has been done I have one less thing to think about on my plate.

It was a really sweet thing to get to be a part of and I received a very sweet e-mail from the producers who relayed that once the video is up they will let us know as well as asking that we all get together for a dinner together.

I think that would be very sweet.

Some of the other lecturer’s ducked out quite quickly and I didn’t get to say good night to everyone.

It would be nice to reconnect, have dinner, process the experience and well, just have a nice meal with people I have come to really like and respect.

Really glad I was able to pull it together and get to be a part of it.

I had such a nice response to my piece, all those nice words still are resonating.

Although, softly, and fading quickly as I move towards the weekend.

I have clients tomorrow to contend with so very happy with myself for doing the work on my final group project and getting my household stuff wrapped and taken care of.

I’ll probably do a few more things in the morning too before I go to work, but I’m not going to stress too hard.

I have all my papers in my folder, those that I didn’t already send in via e-mail, and my worksheets that I made as part of my presentation and all my food prepped for the weekend.

I’m basically ready.

Albeit a bit tired.

It’s been a big push to get here.

I am so nearly done.

I keep telling myself that I will be done by Sunday and then I can enjoy myself.

By going right back into work.

Hahahaaha.

Ugh.

That’s the bummer about the weekend of class work, it really means no time off.

I won’t have to go to work, so there’s at least a break in the kind of work I have to do, school work rather than work, work.

But I’ll still have clients.

One tomorrow night and I need to follow-up with that client and see if he wants my earlier slot, my first client tomorrow cancelled.

Friday I also only have one client.

So I’ll at least be done a little early, it was my late client who cancelled, so I’ll be out by a decent hour Friday night for which I’m very grateful for.

There.

I just sent my client a note notifying of the earlier availability.

It would really be nice to be home by 8p.m.

Really nice.

I’ll do client advocacy work if the client doesn’t pick it up, I always have something I can do, but yeah, fingers crossed I can get the earlier time slot filled.

I’d rather get the extra hour at home, at least this week.

Oof.

I am tired.

I totally lost my train of thought.

I may just wrap this up and wind down.

A quick cup of tea and a little snack and off to bed.

I think that is exactly what I will do.

Goodnight.

And.

Sweet dreams.

Really.

The absolute sweetest.

And Just Like That

November 29, 2017

I have registered for my last semester of class!

I can hardly believe it.

It feels very surreal.

And.

Fucking amazing.

I will have three classes next semester.

Once a month I will be in class.

Five weekends.

I will be in class from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

January.

February.

March.

April.

May.

I will graduate Saturday, May 19th.

Holy fuck.

It’s really happening.

I have to take Integrative Seminar, I really don’t know what that is, and Research Methods, which sounds boring as fuck and like a class that is a box to check off.

The other “class” is my practicum, or what I often refer to as my internship.

I’ll still be seeing the same amount of clients, but I may move some of them around, I’m not quite sure yet.

And that’s ok, that can be figured out later.

I was just looking over the piece of paper that I have been making little check marks on for the last three years.

Here’s a list of the classes I have taken and passed, passed pretty well, you could say, I’ve got a 4.0 thank you very much.

I have taken Group Dynamics.

Therapeutic Communication.

Human Development

Integral Philosophy

Psychodynamics I and II.

The Clinical Relationship.

Professional Ethics and Family Law I and II.

Multicultural Counseling and the Family.

Applied Spirituality.

Gestalt Therapy.

Family Dynamics and Therapy.

Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment.

Child Therapy.

Trauma.

Couple Counseling.

Community Mental Heal & The Recovery Model.

Special Topics in Psychotherapy.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Counseling.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Jungian Dream Work.

Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

Elder, Spousal, & Child Abuse.

And practicum which includes Individual Supervision and Group Supervision.

Whew.

That’s a lot of reading.

Just reading the list made me shake my head, I did all of those?

Really?

Amazing.

And I just have to do three more classes.

Sure.

I have to finish this semester first, but I will, I will.

OH, and although its a not a “class” I am also required by my program to attend 52 weeks of personal therapy with a licensed MFT.

Today marked 26 weeks.

Half way there.

I’m not actually worried about getting in all the therapy, which is one little thing that I don’t have to stress about, thankfully, my therapist went through my program and she told me that she would sign my paper even if I didn’t get the full 52 weeks.

I get the sense though that I will get the requisite amount of hours.

The therapy is good for me.

I have been getting to work through a lot of things that I never even knew I had to delve into, some of which I probably have been needing to address for years without even realizing I did.

I like my therapist a lot and she really has a good perspective on me and who I am and sometimes there is a lightness and a friendliness and almost a sense of talking to not just a contemporary, but a friend, a friend with a lot of perception.

A lot.

And a really helpful way of reframing my experience and also validating all the work I do.

I do a lot.

In some sense I’m a fucking therapists wet dream.

I do the work, I don’t make her work, I process the fuck out of my shit.

I do a lot of grieving, I let go of a lot and then I jump right back in.

Today’s session left me pretty wrung out and sad.

It was mainly expressed first through anger, which has always been a very dangerous emotion for me, I don’t think it was ever safe for me to express anger in my family and I didn’t often even realize I had it unless I was enraged and that feeling, rage, scared me to death.

Very dangerous and very rarely expressed.

Almost never.

I can remember a few times touching into it and frightened me badly.

I know better now, there isn’t really anything wrong with anger, it’s a sign, and it’s a primary emotion, it’s a top emotion, but there’s generally secondary emotions underneath it and that’s where I need to look, under the covers of anger and see what’s underneath.

Most often for me, it’s fear.

Fear of losing something I think I have or fear of not getting what I want.

I had a lot of fear come up today and it was hard to slog through, but I knew the anger I felt was about fear and eventually it all came out and I felt sick with it, on fire with it, I felt like I wanted to vomit it all out, retch it into the wastebasket, scream it into a pillow on the couch.

I just cried a lot and it moved.

It’s probably still moving.

Ah, all the things I get to work on, so very many.

I have discovered so much about myself from doing my course work and now, in the therapy, getting out the secrets and the sadness and the trauma and all the stuff I carry around like it’s a special knapsack full of rocks.

I just want to let them all go, put them back into the stream and let myself float away.

I have burdened myself for so long with false ideas.

“I failed,” I crumpled into my hands, I buried my face in my palms and just sobbed.

I won’t get into the specifics, they’re not relevant, but I can say in a general sense that I have been carrying around the idea that I failed at something and that I had not even realized I believed about myself, that I failed so badly at something that I ruined another’s life.

A.  Who am I to say I’m God?

I’m just not that powerful.

B. I was a child.

I was a child doing an adults job.

Granted.

A super precocious child who might have given off the impression that she knew what she was doing, but ultimately, at the end of the story, I was doing an adult’s job with the resources of a child.

A poverty-stricken, neglected, abused child.

Smart as fuck.

But a baby.

I was just a little girl trying to hold it all together and I couldn’t, I couldn’t make it work and I have been, for years, decades, even, carrying around this idea that I failed.

I was shocked when that popped out of my mouth.

My God.

Oh, sweet, sweet, baby girl.

You tried so hard, you didn’t fail, you did the best you could.

And you got out.

I could barely carry the burden of taking care of myself.

Jesus Christ.

I’m still in awe of my session today.

That so much got sorted out.

Really astounds me.

Therapy.

Wow.

It fucking works.

It so damn does.

Thank God.

Thank fucking God.

Taking the Damn Day Off

November 28, 2017

Well.

I’m not sure if I’m going to take the entire day off.

But.

I’m considering it.

My birthday is three weeks from today.

It’s a Monday, so it’s not a night I’d be out swinging a big stick and having a huge party.

But after some discussion with my solo supervisor today, I realized, which I had been feeling in the back of my head and in my heart, that I don’t want to see clients on my birthday.

In fact.

It sounds just atrocious.

Nothing sounds like a bigger bowl of self-pity to me.

I just don’t want to go there, self-pity it’s just not for dessert any more.

I told one of my clients tonight that I would be unavailable and she took it just fine, and I did not disclose it was my birthday, just simply stated I would be out of office.

No freaking big deal.

My other client cancelled tonight.

Because.

Hahahaha.

It’s her birthday.

So.

I will take her cue and not see clients on my special day either.

I’m tempted to take the whole day off, but I’ve not any vacation time left and I think it might actually be sweet to work with my charges that day, my little lady bug turned five yesterday and I got to have a sweet afternoon with her at school pick up and beyond and giving her the birthday present I had gotten her.

She loved it.

We had a tea party and wore princess crowns.

Although she looked at me when and said out of nowhere, “you’re not really a princess,” she cocked her head and paused, then added, “you’re really a queen.”

Oh my god little girl, make my heart just melt.

I must know how to carry a crown!

In fact, ha, I am remembering now what my best friend back in Wisconsin told me once, “You have a really regal way of carrying your face.”

Royalty.

I’ll take it.

Anyway.

I just know that it will better for me to not take clients that night and who knows, maybe take myself out to dinner and a movie or just dinner, it is a Monday night after all, or to the Imperial Day Spa or Kabuki.

Just not to my internship.

I have supervision in the morning, I can’t get out of that, work I’m 50/50 on taking off the day, but the night, damn straight, I’m going to do it.

Nothing about it feels wrong.

What, I realize, was feeling wrong was the idea of seeing clients on my birthday, I’m in an unpaid internship seeing 8 clients a week, it’s ok to take my fucking birthday off.

My clients will live.

And.

I won’t be pissy and sad and in self-pity and be upset with myself.

That might be the best birthday present I can give myself.

Although I could give myself a tattoo.

Heh.

I’m always angling for a little more ink it seems.

I’ll definitely be getting one in January, another birthday, or more of anniversary you could say, I’ll be turning 13 (years sober), so definitely I’ll be adding another star to the entourage I have.

I’ve also been thinking that I would get it as a “Lucky 13” star.

A big star with “Lucky 13” written through it.

Not sure yet, and still plenty of time to figure that out.

But yeah, the birthday in three weeks.

“You’re going to be 45!” She said, to me as she sipped her tea, “I know that because you’re the same age as me except with a four in front of it.”

God I love this little girl.

She is something else.

I’m so lucky to work with this family.

I’ll be renegotiating my contract with them next month as well, signing up for another year with them.

I’m hoping that they will offer me a raise, I’m pretty sure they will, and if not, I’ll negotiate a cost of living wage, which is appropriate for living in San Francisco, that’s for sure.

They are great people to work for and really do appreciate me, I got the nicest text from the mom today after work when I was doing some client advocacy work at my internship.

It’s good to be appreciated.

I do like hearing.

I do not need the validation, I know I do a good job, but it’s still nice to hear, it’s always nice to hear.

It’s like when someone you know loves you says they love you, you know they do, but it feels special anyway, no matter how many times it’s been said before, it’s still sweet to hear.

Oof.

I just got hit witht the tired.

It was a good Monday, especially when I think about how nice it was to celebrate with my charge her birthday, and also to just make it through the beginning of the week.

It’s going to be a big one.

Therapy before work tomorrow, work, two clients in the evening.

Wednesday I just have work, but I’m hoping to get a good chunk  of homework done, I need to finish up the online portion of my Pharmacology and Human Sexuality class done.  I think I can get it done Wednesday between work and my evening commitment.

Thursday is work and two clients in the evening, Friday the same.

Saturday is maybe yoga if my ankle is feeling up to it, and group supervision and homework, I’ve got to start a paper if not get one completely finished.

Because Sunday I’m in dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

The show is one week from tomorrow!

My goodness, it’s sneaking up fast.

Ack.

That reminds me!

I have to ask out of work an hour early next Tuesday so I can be at the show when the producers want us there.

I think I may have figured out what I’m going to wear.

Heh.

Although, damn it, I’m going to have to sneak in a manicure and some eyebrow waxing.

Yikes.

Maybe Sunday in between the dress rehearsal and my last CBT Webinar.

Sigh.

Oh for fuck’s sake, I have a lot to do, not going to think about it anymore tonight.

I did enough for today.

The biggest being the decision to take my birthday night off.

Self-care.

Self-advocacy.

Shit.

I even sound like a therapist.

Ha.

Taking Bribes

November 27, 2017

I’m serious.

I dangled a manicure in front of my face to get myself to sit the fuck down and write my Transpersonal Psychology final paper.

It took a minute.

Granted I started the day off wonky.

Fuck my life.

I was supposed to wake up to my best friends call this morning for breakfast and I remember as I rolled over thinking, “why haven’t I got a call yet?” as I went to check my phone, thinking maybe I had a few more minutes of…

Oof.

Fuck.

I had been called, and texted.

Shit.

Shit.

Shit.

I had the volume off.

I don’t know how that happened and I was so mad at myself, miserable with it, and I sent off a quick text hoping my friend was still in the neighborhood.

And.

Yes.

Though breakfast was off the table, only time for a quick coffee, but thank God.

I would have been devastated if I had missed seeing my person.

Dear God it would have been a much different day.

Suffice to say I got some sweetness, not enough, I’m going to miss my friend who is traveling now, but thankful, so much so, that I was able to get a little face time.

It meant the world.

And once I was up I got going.

Striped my bed, washed laundry, did some writing, drank more coffee, ate breakfast, tried not to think about the work I had to do today, but didn’t really succeed at that.

I get anxious before I have to write an academic piece.

My blog?

Pshaw.

I can’t hardly wait to write this, or my Morning Pages, but an academic paper where I have to cite sources and have an idea about what the fuck I’m going to write about.

Um.

Anxiety.

So cleaning, and cooking, did food prep for the week, although, really, there wasn’t much cleaning after yesterday.

And a cursory look over my calendar for the week.

My hopes for next weekend being a time that I will devote to my other three papers vanished as I looked it over.

Fuck my mother.

I have to do the dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture, for four hours on Sunday and I have my last Webinar for CBT.

Ugh.

I might be able to get one paper written that day in between the dress rehearsal and the webinar, I’ll try.

I think I can do my Drug and Alcohol paper that day, it’s pretty straight forward, compare a 12 step recovery meeting with a Harm Reduction therapy model.

Which means attending a meeting and participating in the harm reduction group that we had in class last weekend.

No problems there.

I basically have it all written out in my head anyway.

I still have to do citations, but I won’t have to do that many, and it’s a smallish paper, five to seven pages.

I’ll knock it out in an hour and a half, two hours tops.

Today, when I finally settled down to write my paper, it took less than two hours.

I had to do everything else that had to be done in the house before I could start, like I said, sparkling clean house?

Must have a paper to write.

Heh.

I had done some cursory work, looking over notes, then I got serious, after I had met with my ladybug and did some other reading and get right with God stuff, and she’d gone back out into the rain, I dove in.

Not true.

I ate lunch.

Then I dove in.

Meh.

I lie.

I washed the lunch dishes.

Seriously, I was like an anxious bitty dashing around my house looking for anything to distract me.

Then I sat down and wrote my paper.

WAIT.

No.

I didn’t.

I wrapped my charge’s birthday present, she turned five today, I got some super sweet photos of her at the carousel with her family, for taking into work tomorrow.

A pink glitter notebook and a big packet of stickers.

Unicorn stickers.

Bunny Stickers.

Funny animals in hats.

Flowers.

All the fun stuff.

Then.

Aha.

I wrote my paper.

Wait, um, no, I hemmed and hawed and then suddenly.

Oh!

I had a sudden surprise idea.

I pulled out a deck of Tarot cards.

I know what that sounds like, shut up.

But.

I really decided that that’s what I was going to do.

Active Imagination.

It’s a form of Jungian Dream Work that helps the person to engage with the unconscious.

Jung developed it for people who couldn’t remember their dreams.

We had done it a few times in class and I thought, well, heck, this might be a way to launch into the paper.

So.

I sat with the deck.

I asked it a question about love.

And.

Wow.

Did I get an answer.

About strength and fire and love.

Sensuality, star shine, holding on.

About perseverance, about not giving up, about staying strong and in the light.

It was a beautiful moment and suddenly I was in, I was in the paper, I was finding all the citations, I was following this beautiful serendipitous thread through my notes, finding poetry that I had written in class, seeing connections, making leaps, and voila!

I did it!

Fucking wrote the paper in about an hour?

Maybe it took total an hour and a half with the citations, and the editing.

But once I got moving, I was in.

It was amazing.

It really always amazes me that I can kick out a paper that fast.

Grateful does not even begin to express how I felt.

And yes.

I did have time to get out and go to the nail salon and get my nails done.

I even popped into my spot on 7th and Irving and got right with God.

That was fabulous.

I drove home listening to my current favorite playlist, “Music for Slow Dancing,” and talked to my best friend until I found a spot to park my car.

Yes.

I found parking in my neighborhood, block away, not bad, considering everyone’s back from the holiday.

And it was a small spot, it wouldn’t have fit a bigger car, so happy I have a little gal and not something bigger, it’s really so much better in this city.

I double, triple checked that I wasn’t parking on a street cleaning side and then I walked home in the warm, dark night, thinking sweet thoughts to myself.

My life is pretty good.

Oh.

Sure.

There’s still more work to do.

But.

I will get to it.

For now.

I can take the rest of the night off and have some tea and watch a video and get ready for the week.

I’m back in it tomorrow, full-time work, clients, and getting ready for the lecture.

But it’s all good.

It really is.

I’m happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

So Fresh and So

November 26, 2017

Clean.

Clean.

My house looks pretty fucking good, let me tell you.

All the laundry done, all the trash and recycling out and swept, swiffered, vacuumed, scrub the bathroom down, tidy the fuck up.

Which means one thing.

Mama had a lot of homework to do today.

My God.

There is no fucking end to it.

Yet.

Me thinks I see a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh.

The light is far off, but I can sense it getting closer.

I did so, so, so much work today.

My god.

My brain hurt.

Still does, not as much, and hurt might not be the right word, but I was worn out with the material, as I was warned that I might be, but I toughed it out.

I finished all of my Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class.

Huzzah!

But man, it took the stuffing out of me, and I don’t eat stuffing.

Haha.

It was a lot of reading, and a lot of watching some intense videos.

I wrote out responses to five of the sections, I got three out-of-the-way previously.

And I wrote a clinical mock-up of an elder abuse situation and what I would do, from mandatory reporting to clinical interventions and everything in between.

It was a lot of work.

But.

Fuck.

It’s done.

So happy I got all of that out-of-the-way, it really was the big monster in my block of classes.

I also finished all my reading for Transpersonal, which means, drumroll please…

I have no more reading to do for the semester!!

My God.

That feels fabulous.

I am not, however, out of the woods yet.

Tomorrow I have to write two papers.

One will be fairly short, two pages, on a dream I had, it will be my last dream to tun into my Jungian Dreamwork class.

The other will be a bit longer, but not too bad, five pages.

That one will, however, be a bit more formal and honestly despite having finished all the reading for the class I’m not exactly sure where I am going to go with the paper.

I was also in contact with my group today working on our final project presentation that I will be doing the last Saturday of classes.

I’m hoping to knock out both the papers and the group work tomorrow.

And also, if I can swing it, the Psychopharmacology online portion of my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

I have a paper in that class due at the end of the semester too and one for my Drugs and Alcohol Class.

Sigh.

That will be for next weekend.

I can get it done though, especially since the Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class is completed.

My God.

One more class done towards my degree.

Which reminds me, I have to register for classes in two days.

In two days I will register for my last semester!

I only have three classes.

It is going to feel miraculous after carrying six classes this semester.

I have only done four classes at once before, this semester was a stretch, and obviously, it’s not done.

OH.

And I still will have a final paper for Jungian DreamWork too, it’s just not due until after the last weekend of classes.

Which is always a conundrum.

Crush that bitch out of the park and get it done before my last weekend of classes, or finish that Sunday when I get out of classes.

Because the damn thing is due on the 15th of December and I’ll be working all that week and of course, seeing clients.

There’s no way I can do two big papers tomorrow and the small one and the online portion of my other class.

No.

I will be a wastrel of a person.

But.

Maybe I can do them next weekend.

Maybe.

If not, maybe I can get it started.

It would mean three papers next weekend.

Sigh.

I got invited out to the movies tonight.

I turned it down.

I got invited out to dinner.

I came home and made my own.

I am going to be over the moon when this semester is done, it will be nice to have a little more wiggle room for social outings and such.

Although I do have breakfast plans with my best friend in the morning.

Super excited for that, really happy to get to have some time before I get into the homework grind.

And if I’m good and grind hard and get a lot of it done, maybe I go to yoga.

Not the regular Vinyasa, nope.

My ankle is doing better, but not that much better, no, I was thinking maybe the Restorative yoga, my brain is going to need some restoring to normality by the time I crank out all the homework I have to do tomorrow.

Grateful I know how to write a paper and grateful for my ability to pull together my notes and book references and make it work.

I can do it.

I have my process and I’ve done the biggest work, which is the reading.

That’s the most important.

I’ll skim through my books, grab a stack of post-it notes and flip through my class notes, I will put together a skeleton of the paper in outline by looking through my materials and see what my common themes are.

Then.

I’ll write that bitch.

It’s five pages, so with prep time, reference time, write time, I am going to give it two and a half hours.

Actually.

That seems too long.

Two hours.

I’ll kick out the dream paper in twenty minutes, I don’t have to write it up with references, it’s just me doing what I do anyway, write what I see in my head, so two pages will be twenty minutes, thirty tops.

So maybe I’ll have all the writing done with in that time.

And that should give me enough room and time to finish the rest of the online material I need, I suspect that will take an hour to two and also writing out an outline and making a worksheet for my final project for Transpersonal.

That will take forty-five minutes.

So.

What am I looking at?

Five hours?

I think I can do that.

Breakfast shenanigans are early so I’ll be in the mix by 10 a.m. like I was today, today I finished at 6 p.m. working pretty much straight through, yes, even when I was cleaning I was doing homework.

I had to watch a few videos, but I will admit, I was listening to some of them while I was cleaning, the material at times was graphic and I found it easier to integrate when I was cleaning and sweeping and washing.

So if all goes as planned I’ll be done by five or so.

I have an hour break at 1p.m. to do some work with a lovely lady and get right with God, a break after that for lunch, and then back in it.

It will get done.

It will.

I can do it.

I can.

Go team go!

Heh.

Slow It Down

November 22, 2017

I left my therapists office very, very, very aware that I was not going near my brand new car.

No way.

No how.

I needed to just take a walk for a moment, slow down, get regulated, be in my body.

Then when I felt like I was not going to crash into anyone I walked back to my car, drove it a few blocks and got right back out.

I was up in Noe Valley and I wanted to take a moment and let myself have a little self-care and to sit down and grab a coffee and enjoy the fact that I wasn’t going into work.

Usually after I get out of therapy I make a quick run to Whole Foods on 24th and then skeedadle to work.

Today I wanted to go grocery shopping, but I also wanted to window shop a little and really just to slow down and appreciate that I had some time off.

Oh.

There was a little bit of a niggling voice that reminded me, hey lady, don’t get too comfortable, you’ve got a fuck ton of homework.

Nothing brings that home more than getting an e-mail from a professor reminding me that all assignments for that class need to be turned in by December 9th and um, I haven’t turned in any of those assignments yet.

I have been waiting for this week off to get all caught up with that class.

I had started the readings, but really not gotten too far.

This time off, fyi, is going super fast, I can’t believe tomorrow’s Wednesday already.

And I have been doing homework diligently every day, every damn day, reading, getting caught up, getting ahead, or finishing the reading.

I’m done with all my readings for Jungian Dream Work and all my reading for Drugs and Alcohol.  I’m 3/4s of the way done with Transpersonal and about the same amount done for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

So not bad, but all those classes also have a final paper, one of them has a final project as well.

I need to get as much work in as I can this week.

And.

Oops.

Fuck.

I’m working tomorrow.

I sort of want to kick myself over it, I should never had said I was available and not think that the mom wouldn’t take me completely up on it.

Not my current family, they are on vacation.

No.

The family I used to work for.

I got a huge mournful face of longing on the last day of school pick up from my former charge and a deep sweet ask for a play date, “when are you going to come over?” He asked with such sweetness and desire I just couldn’t say no and when I bumped into his mom I mentioned I would have down time.

I thought maybe an hour or two, a playdate, something fun and easy.

I got asked to work five hours.

Ugh.

Of course I said yes, the mom had already told the boys I was going to see them and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I also think I knew, at least in the back of my head, that though I like and respect the parents, I have a much more enjoyable time when I am, or have been, alone with the boys.

So I have a hunch the parents are going to take an afternoon day date and go see a movie or go out to lunch and I will have my two sweet guys to myself.

And maybe the dog, she’s a sweetheart, it will be good to see her too.

It’s not a bad thing the work, it’s just a little like come on kid, you’re busy, even though you’re not working, you’ve got a lot of reading and homework that needs attending to.

But.

Ugh.

Sometimes I have a hard time saying no.

Not always.

And I have said no to this family before when some requests were made, so it feels like a sort of concession, as well as, yes, an opportunity to make a little cash and to get some boy snuggles from my little guys.

I have gotten to do a play date with the youngest and one of my charges that was super fun and sweet, but I haven’t had any alone time with the older boy and I think he may need to see me.

I just got the sense.

And I can often times say no to a parent, especially if I’m busy, but wow, it’s super hard to say no to a child that needs you.

So with a tiny touch of chagrin, yes, I’ll be working tomorrow.

But.

I won’t go in until 1p.m.

So.

Yoga in the morning.

I haven’t been in over a week, or just over a week?

My back’s been sore and I’ve been busy, even though the work hasn’t been happening, oh man has the homework, so tomorrow will be good to get back into it.

I had thought originally with the time off I would be at the studio a lot, but I let myself get some sleep this past weekend and when my back was feeling super tender it felt better to rest than to push it.

I don’t express pain a lot, but I was definitely in some pain, still am, but it seems to be easing up a bit.

I’ve made a doctor’s appointment and I’ve been taking ibuprofen, but the appointment is not for a few weeks.  I’m going to try to be gentle and fingers crossed another few days of not carrying the baby around in the carrier will be good to my back.

And.

I was super nice to myself today, and I got a load of work done.

I re-parked my car in Noe Valley and went to Bernie’s Cafe and got a cafe au lait and sat on a bench and let the sun hit my face.

I got into being in my body and letting go of the material I worked on in therapy.

Suffice to say my therapist is recommending more therapy.

Ugh.

EMDR.

Just check the link, I don’t feel like describing it 100% however, I will say that it is a trauma treatment that is often used for PTSD.

I did it in a session once ten years ago with a therapist and I will say it worked, but it was close to the end of my time with that therapist and I didn’t have more follow-up.

I am ready to do it again.

Although I am loath to go and get more therapy, once a week at $120 a pop is enough.

Then again.

I want to work it out, get it out, process it, I want it out of my body, I want my body to be free, my heart to be free, my soul to move about the world and not go into traumatic reliving.

I need to be in the light.

And I know that means more work.

Fine.

I’m ready.

I told my therapist today that I feel like I can do it now, when I couldn’t before, I could barely touch into the trauma without falling completely apart.

I am much, much, much stronger now.

Internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually.

I am ready to do the work, and I suspect that I will finally get to resolve some things that have been burdening me for decades.

Let them go.

Embrace my life.

Help others.

It was good for me to take the moment today to sit on that bench, to get sun on my face, to slow down, I did some window shopping, I got some groceries, I came home and ate a nice lunch, I sat outside on the back patio.

Then.

I jumped back into the homework.

I kicked out three more hours of reading and I did two of the eight assignments.

Sigh.

There’s a lot to do, but I’ll get it done.

Even with working tomorrow.

It will all fall together and I have absolutely no regrets about being easy with myself at the beginning of the day.

I’m a fucking therapist.

I have got to practice what I preach.

Let me reframe that.

I get to.

 

 

 

Step Up

November 20, 2017

Do some service.

Get the fuck out of your head.

Worked like a freaking charm.

I sat and listened to an amazing woman today for hours.

I did a lot of reading.

I did some client work.

I got asked to do a speaking engagement and did that too.

It was fantastic.

To get to be my complete self, lit up, on fire, alive, in love, all the things.

I don’t remember what I said, which is good, that means I wasn’t trying to manipulate how people saw me, I was just sharing.

And my God.

The gratitude.

I smiled so hard.

My face actually got a little sore from smiling so much.

And.

Yes, of course, there were some tears, and love was talked about and I got to reflect on how much love I have been given and how much I still get to give back and out into the world.

It’s amazing.

I was also told this, “you sound like a psychologist!” A sweet man told me after.

That was really nice to hear.

I am grateful for so much in my life.

I have a life, I am alive, that is the start, and you know, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it bears repeating, if life were fair, I’d be dead.

Life is not fair, I have more than I can have ever imagined or asked for.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I have people I love and who love me.

I have a full heart.

I don’t do so many of the things that I used to under the guise of it makes me feel better, but really it just made me feel worse, temporary solutions to the pain I was living with.

Like smoking cigarettes, man, I still forget that, I haven’t smoked in twelve years!

No sugar.

No flour.

No booze.

No cocaine.

Sure.

I still use salt, but please, really, don’t take away my last white powder!

I also do things that I always wanted to do but I would just talk about doing them, I didn’t actually do them.

Like.

Oh.

Writing.

I write every motherfucking day.

How amazing is that?

That I consistently give myself the gift of sitting down to paper and pen and getting honest with my heart.

It is no easy task and it always gives so much back to me.

So too, this little blog.

I do love the writing, I love how my fingers fly over the keyboard, I love how the words pour out of my hands, a direct conduit from the love in my heart.

I have a great job.

I have a site to get all my practicum hours so that I can graduate in May.

Jesus.

I get to go to grad school!

How many people actually get to do that?

Granted I was getting hella frustrated with the FAFSA online tools which kept telling me my passwords were wrong and wouldn’t let me access my student account.

I have to file for the 2018 financial year.

I have not applied to school yet, but I have some fairly serious ambitions to do so, to go for the PhD, I’m thinking that I would get in Transpersonal Studies, which is a two-year program at my school.

I have to flesh some things out, when I would apply, what I might want to dissertate on.

“You should totally do it!” My therapist enjoined me.  “You find so much richness for yourself in the academic world.”

I had not thought of it like that.

I had thought of it, like I want a PhD, ego stuff.

Then.

When a professor I highly respected told me that I could be of more service in my community with a PhD I thought, yeah, I should do that.

Then.

Well.

I know this sounds kind of crazy, but it also sort of makes sense to me, it would mean being in school two more years and that would give me two more years to acquire hours at my internship before I have to start paying back on my student loans.

I am not in a paid internship.

I’m not sure that I could swing paying back student loans on top of getting my hours.

Then again.

I just keep saying, it’s God’s money, it will work out.

I do believe that.

But.

When my therapist reframed the continuation of school by reflecting to me how much I have gotten out of school, just personally, how much I have grown, that I am giving myself an opportunity to learn more and grow more.

I really liked thinking of it.

So grateful for my therapist.

We started in on a hard piece for me last week.

It was something that I have been holding for a while and I knew eventually it was going to have to come out and the work would need to be done on it.

I have done a lot of work, but there is still more to do, still places of pain that need to be touched into, places I need to grieve, things lost that I don’t know I’ve really let myself see that I had lost.

I don’t want to wallow in my past.

I don’t.

It doesn’t really serve.

But I do want to integrate those experiences, grieve what needs to be grieved, and let it go.

My therapists face when I was getting into some of it, how she pulled me back, grounded me, settled me back, ran over time with me to make sure I was calibrated and strong enough to leave the office.

I had tears on my face and many crumpled tissues, but I also felt a kind of inner awareness that this is where the real work is going to happen and I can get through it all the way.

I wasn’t collapsed in, I was strong, I was lightened, I lightened the load a tiny bit and left a good bit of it in a tissue in the wastebasket.

I have the strength to get in there, dig it out, and let it the fuck go.

So grateful for that.

I am resilient.

I have inner love and joy and strength and light.

I have been given so much love in the last few years, so much more than I thought I deserved, so much appreciation for who I am and what I do.

I really am loved.

I really am lovable.

I am enough.

I have enough.

And.

I get to give it all away.

Which.

Oh.

Glorious paradox.

Is.

The only way I can keep it.

The only way.

 

You’re A Natural!

November 19, 2017

He said.

And his wife added, “have you done this before?  Even my kids were riveted, they didn’t even look on their phones!”

I will take that, especially since it was coming from local rap legend Big Rich.

He’s going to be one of the people sharing a lecture at “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

I met him today and another of the speakers.

We did a rehearsal at Project Level, which is a place for kids in the Fillmore to make music, it’s Big Rich’s personal project.

He’ll be the finale of the show and he’ll be doing a freestyle version of his famous ode to San Francisco.

There will also be the Design Principle at Form4 Architecture, John Marx, my patron, and friend, who will be speaking on his experience with kindness.

There will be a woman talking about her eating disorder and how she dealt with it.

There will be a secular Muslim woman who decided to go back to her roots and start to wear the hijab again and what that experience is like for her in todays political climate.

Another man who is deaf will share his experience being normalized by his family and forced to act like he could hear growing up.  He’s now big in tech.

There will be a man in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the neck down.  He experienced a car accident at the age of 19 that paralyzed him.  He’s now finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at Berkeley and he designs machines and technology to help people who need assisted living mechanisms.

And me.

Little old me.

I’ll be speaking about my running away to San Francisco, finding myself in the party scene, losing it all and getting it back and how it happened.

Or something to that effect.

I was super happy to do the rehearsal today, albeit a bit nervous, to perform in a small group in front of people I really don’t know, but I went to the bathroom and did a little praying and got right with myself and asked to carry the message, to be a conduit and, well to not fuck it up.

And I did pretty damn good.

If I do say so myself.

I did forget one part of the lecture, but remembered it half-way through and was able to join it into the material without too much distraction.  No one noticed but me and one of the producers who had seen the narrative and I had practiced three times in front of her the lecture this past Monday.

Otherwise it was seamless.

And both the producers had tears on their face when I finished.

That felt good to see, that emotional connection was made and I was able to do the entire lecture in the time permitted.

I feel really positive about it.

I was linked to the page today and sent invites out to folks.

Come by if you’re in town!

It’s going to be interesting as well as the venue will be hosting a private Christmas party for the owner of Uber, who will be having Kaskade play.

I mean.

Fuck.

Kaskade’s playing Bill Graham at the end of December which is a gigantic show, the capaacity there is 8,500.  And. He’s going to be at the same event I’m going to be at?

Um.

Ok.

That’s going to be a party.

Seriously.

I just checked The Chapel’s website and so far nothing’s been posted about that date, but the tickets for the lecture series are available through EventBrite.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Good grief.

I’m really excited to get to be a part of this experience and super grateful that I get to show up in front of friends and community and just really tell my story, some of the dramatic parts of it, anyway.

And getting to share it with not just people in my recovery community, but friends from Burning Man, former employers, school mates and even one of my professors is going to come!

It means a lot.

And in other news.

I decided to not freak out and not try to cram all my 3,000 hours into the next three years.

After a really insightful group supervision today at my internship I got a lot of super good information about the process of tracking my hours and to take the damn pressure off myself.

Instead of trying to cram every single hour I can into my week, I’m going to relax, to let things happen, to accept that I could, although I probably won’t, take the full 6 years the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) allows one to take after graduation.

I would rather be a little slower, slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy the process, to the best of my ability while I’m still working full-time, and just let the hours accrue without having to be anxious about getting them all in the next three years.

I just switched over to the “new” BBS standards on track my hours.

And yes, I “lost” some hours, but ultimately, I believe, I gave myself some breathing space and some allowance to have a life.

Getting all 3,000 hours in the next three years would mean doubling, at the very least, my current client load.

Going from 8 to 16 a week.

It would be a lot for me to carry 16 clients a week and work full-time.

A fucking lot.

And that’s what I was entertaining in my head without really looking at it.

I brought it up in group supervision and got some very sound advice and suggestions from the group, especially from the two interns who went through the same program I am in at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies), so yup, I changed over and I have to say, I feel really positive about it.

It’s like taking an unnecessary pressure off myself that I didn’t even realize I was laboring under.

I want to get my hours as fast as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I also, at least currently, have to work full-time to support myself living in San Francisco.

Unless that changes, I don’t need to kill myself trying to get the hours.

I don’t want the next three years to be a miserable grind.

Especially as I’m also considering applying to one of the PhD programs at the school.

I do like how Dr.  would sound after my name.

Oh yes.

But.

I also have discovered that I am really good at academia and I have had a tremendous amount of growth, personal growth, by being in the masters program, I think that I would enjoy getting my PhD and really letting myself go for it all.

I mean.

Why not?

It’s just a few more student loans.

Ha.

And. End Scene

November 13, 2017

I made it!

I got through the school weekend.

Only one more left in the semester.

Holy shit.

Very excited about that.

Although not at all excited about the extraordinary amount of work I will have to produce for the last weekend of classes.

Four papers.

One final group presentation.

Plus wrapping all my online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) webinars and assignments and doing all the work for my online Child and Elder Abuse class.

Whew.

It’s a lot.

But.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I did have a moment today, though.

I was pretty wiped out by the class, a lot of emotional content for me was coming up, shocker that, go get a degree in psychology and watch the stuff surface, and I really couldn’t even decide what the hell I was going to do with the day.

I had some ideas.

Maybe I’d go shopping.

But.

I’m trying to hold out from purchasing anything as it looks like I’m getting quite close to actually putting down money on a car.

My application for a car loan was approved and I can go into the Fiat dealership in Berkeley and get the Fiat 500 Pop that I’ve been eyeing.

It seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I even transferred the money out of my savings account today.

I am not sure exactly when I’m going to go and get the car, the dealership actually offered to deliver it to me!

But I want to go into the dealership and go with a friend and make sure I’m doing all the things correct.

I have never bought a new car before so it’s all completely outside the scope of my experience.

Anyway.

Clothes shopping, though tempting, did not seem like the best idea.

I vacillated between rushing out and getting over to the Mission by 12:15 p.m. to do the deal, or just taking it easy and seeing where God wanted me to go.

Rushing is not what I wanted to do and so I meandered towards the Inner Sunset.

I realized I was super hungry and though I needed to do grocery shopping and I could just make food when I got home, I was too distracted and it felt like too much and when a friend in cohort asked what I was doing for self-care today, it struck me that I had no good answer for her.

“Maybe yoga?” I replied.

And it struck me that maybe I wanted to treat myself a little.

So.

I went to Marnee Thai in the Inner Sunset and got my favorite dish there–banana curry with duck and brown rice and a big mug of tea.

It was perfect.

And I did do some clothes window shopping and even tried on a few things, but didn’t buy anything.

Instead.

I went and got a manicure and perused a trashy magazine.

I got a decaf, yes, I’m that person, past a certain point in the afternoon I go decaf, cafe au lait at Tart To Tart and finally did my numbers from my spending plan for October and then did a spending plan for November.

After that.

I went grocery shopping after and that felt very good and proactive.

I did some work around the house and attended to a few small things and did some food prep.

Then.

Yup.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I re-wrote the narrative completely for the “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” folks.

I meet with them again tomorrow in between supervision in the early morning and work.

I think I had been dreading doing that work and not having an idea of how to get it going, but as I finished balancing my check book and I was sitting by my computer, I just did it.

I just kicked it the fuck out.

Then when I finished it I realized I could make the 6:15 p.m. restorative yoga class at my studio.

Yippee!

I scurried into my yoga gear and walked over, getting nice and settled in as they dimmed the lights and light the studio with candles.

So pretty.

So relaxing.

Such a nice gift to give to myself.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I came home, made a hot dinner and proofed my narrative.

I just sent it out a few minutes before starting my blog.

Super fucking happy.

I’m going to go take a shower and chill out.

Fuck yeah.

 

Oh.

And here’s the piece in its entirety, I may still change it, but well, I thought you’d might like to read it.

Enjoy.

 

Running Away From Myself

I ran away from home to San Francisco. I was 29 years old. I had just graduated from college with my undergrad degree in English Literature, which would translate to a career of asking “wilt thou like fries with that?” I had also just gotten a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and I had won an award for a manuscript of my poems from the UW Madison Book Store. I was on my way. I was going to be the next great American novelist. I had a plan.

I was going to find myself in San Francisco. A friend later told me that she was quite concerned for me, one does not find themselves by moving across country in their two door Honda Accord with all their possessions and a two month sublet in the Mission District. I, however, was convinced that I needed to move to San Francisco, it was home, Madison, was not. I never considered it to be running away from myself. I just thought I was getting the hell away from the craziness of my family.

I was running away from my mom who was smoking crack, from my sister who was shooting crystal meth with dirty rigs, from my homeless father, who would spare change for beer money outside the brewing company I was the manager at. I had been to San Francisco to visit a friend the year prior and knew it was where I wanted to be. I moved here Labor Day weekend of 2002. I had a blast. I drank, I danced, I partied, I went to clubs, I cut lines at 1015 and DNA Lounge, and one day did blow in the bathroom with a friend, maybe it was the Mezzanine or the bar at The W Hotel. I had arrived! I made so many new friends my phone could barely handle all the numbers. I was having the time of my life.

Then I started to have repercussions from all the partying. Drugs are like that, fun, fun with problems, then just fucking problems. The problems led to me getting really creative with my money, stashing it in my bra or sock or back left pocket of my pants so I wouldn’t spend it on coke. But inevitably, after a few drinks, I would call my dealer. And the money ran out, really, really, fast. I was gregarious and the life of the party, and as a dear friend told me later, “just because you didn’t go to prom in high school doesn’t meant that you get to be the prom queen now.”

Yet, I kept going. I got ominous warnings from my friends, I got warnings at work, and I pissed off my roommate for bringing the after party back from the clubs at 4 a.m. I accidentally did a line of meth in the bathroom at the End Up one night, with a new friend who I thought was giving me cocaine and two days later found myself still awake deconstructing Laura Croft in a trailer in Brisbane where my new best friend was making banana walnut pancakes in the kitchen.

I still don’t know how I got home. I started making deals with myself. Don’t drink tonight; I noticed I was quick to call my dealer after a beer. But didn’t you see how hard my job was, what assholes I was working with, and how much my feet hurt? It had nothing to do with the three grams of blow I did the night before while dancing at DNA Lounge in platform Steve Madden heels, no, it had to do with the head manager at my restaurant giving me a shitty section where I had to run all night long to serve my tables.

Things spun out of control. Faster and faster. One night I was just going to go home and a friend convinced me to grab a bottle of wine from the restaurant and go back to her place. A bum outside her door spare changed us as we were going into her apartment, I gave him a cigarette. Hours later when I left, he was still there and he offered me some crack cocaine. Of course I smoked it. And twelve hours later I found myself hiding on a piece of cardboard between parked cars on Minna Street smoking rock with a homeless man who was angling for me to become his girlfriend.   It had to stop. It had to.

I tried a number of ways to control and enjoy my drinking and using, but things just never took. No matter what I did. I lost that fine dining restaurant job, I lost friends, and I lost a lot of dignity. I left a $500 a month rent controlled room in a large Victorian house in the Mission for a room on Potrero and 25th for more than twice the rent. I figured I wouldn’t spend my money on cocaine if my rent were more expensive. I was wrong, was I ever wrong. I remember waking up one morning for a lunch shift and wondering what I had done the night before and when it finally came to me as I was getting out of a cab in front of work I was so overwhelmed I leapt out, and ran and vomited in the bushes before going in for my shift.

Finally, on January 10th, possibly the 11th of 2005, I hit the bottom that would change my life. I went to the restaurant I used to work at to see a friend, I wasn’t going to drink. Nope. I wasn’t, but the bartender put up my regular, a double dirty martini on the rocks with extra olives and a pint of Sierra Nevada. I drank a sip of the beer and called my dealer. I rang a friend, he met me out, and we went all over the city and at one point ended up at my house. He left his drugs with me, “you won’t do them will you?” He asked as he left. I did them. I stole from my friend and in that moment I made the decision, I was done, I don’t know why stealing a few grams of coke from a friend was how I smashed into my bottom, but it was. I made a cry for help. And it was answered.

It came from unexpected places. I thought I was just going to go to rehab. Instead I got introduced to a community and an amazing fellowship, and I drank a lot of coffee, a lot, I still do. Twelve years and some change later, notice my star tattoos? One for every year I’ve been sober, I still don’t know how the magic all happened, I am grateful beyond belief that it has. I get to do and be someone I never even knew I wanted to be. I am a nanny, I’ve been one for over a decade, I get to give children the kind of love and attention I missed getting as a child. I’m also a third year graduate student in psychology, I go to a full time graduate program on the weekends at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) which is located on Mission and 10th in the SOMA. The back of the building abuts Minna Street.

That same street where I gave a homeless man a cigarette, and he smoked me out with crack, I was once again twelve years later. I will never forget coming out of my Psychodynamics class at the end of the semester, holding a paper I had just gotten an A+ on and hopping on my scooter to go home. As I pulled out, I heard the roll of a lighter be flicked and the inhale of breath, there was a girl, a young woman, hair up in a messy bun, eyes downcast, smoking crack on a piece of cardboard between two parked cars. She was I and I was she. I can never, not now, not ever, express the tremendous gratitude I felt in me at the moment. As I zoomed off on my scooter, from my grad school program to my little studio by the sea. I was no longer running away from myself. I was just going home.


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