Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

COMMENCEMENT!

The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.

Anyway.

Therapy.

My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?

Heh.

I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

So.

Deeply.

Deeply.

Grateful.

For all the love.

 

Advertisements

Scheduling

October 27, 2017

And moving forward.

I spent a great deal of time talking with the mom today at work regarding the rest of the school year.

What the family needs.

What I need.

It’s been a little over ten months with them.

We are going to sit down and renegotiate the contract in December, make sure my health insurance needs are being met, talk about vacation times, and schedules moving forward past spring when I graduate in May.

I asked off for a little travel time in February.

And I asked off for May 18th.

Which is the day before I graduate, the day before the commencement ceremony.

I suspect that my mom is going to want to spend some time with me.

She has told me that she and her partner will come to San Francisco to see me walk, to see my graduate with my Master’s Degree.

I have some feelings around that and no little nervousness, I haven’t seen my mom in a while and there’s a sense of wanting to show her a different San Francisco than the last time she was here.

Oh.

I didn’t entirely disappoint, I think.

I took her to Hawthorne Lane for dinner.

I took her out to the bars.

I took her to Coit Tower.

I can’t remember if we did Twin Peaks.

I took her to Chow on Church Street.

Philz Coffee before it was hip and Phil flirted his ass off with her.

I got her quesadilla’s from El Farolito, super quesadilla suiza with carne asada.

I took her to Tartine.

I did pretty good

I also ditched her at some point to get absolutely shit faced obliterated.

I was just going to go out for a few drinks with a friend at Blondie’s in the Mission.

I had already been with my mom for a week, I had taken her to London, on my credit card which I was soon to max out, but it still had a few dollars on it, hung out with her, fed her, bought her smokes, and drinks, and tuk tuk rides around Buckingham palace, to the Wheel, to the National Gallery, to see a show, we saw Stomp, I took her to a fancy tea place where we got stinking tossed on fancy ass over the top expensive cocktails.

So.

I was ready for a little mom break.

I ran down to El Farolito and got her the quesadilla.

I called my friend and said, “I need a margarita, I need a break from my mom,” and she said, “I’ll see you at Blondie’s in a half hour.”

I got my mom situated in my apartment on the couch in the living room, my room-mate was out-of-town, thank God.

And I got dressed and fled into the night.

I had two double margarita’s on the rocks with extra salted rim and when my friend said “let’s have another!”  I got a little scared.

I could feel it coming on.

It was probably coming on before I even got off the plane at SFO.

I think I knew.

I could feel it in my body, I knew it in my conscious even if I wasn’t saying it out loud.

I was going to score.

I had all the reasons in the world to get fucked up.

I had been with my mom for a week in a hotel room in London, flown there and back with her, I deserved a fucking drink.

But I knew if I kept drinking, well, something else was going to get up in the mix.

I looked at my friend and said a bit under my breath, “if I drink more I’m going to want to do blow.”

I said this because this was the friend who had used to be sober who had done that AA thing and had said to me once while we were on a run that maybe I might have a problem because of how I didn’t like myself when I used.

I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about and was aghast.

I didn’t like myself?

Truth was I fucking hated myself, but I couldn’t let myself see it.

She had told me that all I had to do is let her know if I wanted to use and she would help me to not pick up.

What ever that meant.

So in that moment, two double margarita’s in, with the urge to call my dealer on my phone and arrange a little something, something for delivery, I said, to the best of my ability what I thought was a plea for help.

Her response?

“I could definitely do some blow!”

Fuck me.

I sighed.

I know I sighed.

I got my phone out of my purse and I dialed my dealer and arranged for him to meet us at Blondie’s.

I went across the street.

“Hey, where are you going,” the cute guy sitting next to me said.

I flippantly replied, “my friend wants to do some blow so I’m going to the ATM across the street to get some cash before my dealer shows up.”

“Holy shit!” He jumped up, “me too, can I get some too?”

And like that, I had a new friend.

I was so popular.

Ugh.

I will spare you the dirty details of the night.

It was so close to my bottom that it was a pretty intense scene.

And I remember all of it, oh yes I do.

Right down to getting back to the house, while my mom was still asleep in the living room, with a couple of grams of blow in my bra, what I hadn’t yet used, to chop and snort and cram as much in as I could before she woke up.

I was that kind of addict.

I did not fucking matter that my mom was in the front room, probably heard me come in, probably knew what I was doing, nope, didn’t matter.

Because once I started, the party was not over until every fucking last bit was gone.

Suffice to say my mom’s last day in town was a bit of a rough one.

I muggled through.

I guess what I’m getting around to is that maybe I’ll want to show her a nicer time than I did before.

We are both in different places, and I also hope to have some time to celebrate my graduating from graduate school.

A nice meal somewhere with friends, good coffee, laughter, connection, company.

A party.

I should throw myself a little party.

Ah, May, you’re a bit away.

But when my employer and I walked through the months and worked on getting my schedule lined up with theirs, well, there you were, a tiny bit bashful but a little smile on your face, a daisy tucked up behind your ear, saying here I am, let’s have some fun.

Yes.

Of course, my dear.

Let’s.

Seasons Of Grief

July 11, 2017

“I know we’ve never been very close,” she said to me, touching my arm, “but how you are walking through this, I just wanted to let you know, it is brave and beautiful and there are a lot of people sending you love.”

I gasped.

I wasn’t expecting that sentiment.

She continued, “and I know it’s probably really hard to understand, but sometimes,” she paused, “sometimes God breaks our hearts so that they can hold more love.”

I burst into tears.

She hugged me and went her own way.

I see her now and again.

Here and there, in rooms of churches, on a folding chair, with a group of acquaintances, a smile, a wave, but not much else.

I saw her tonight.

I touched her arm.

She hugged me, we both cried.

Our community lost someone today.

Someone very dear.

Someone who shined very hard when he was with us.

He was taken far too young.

I have known him for eleven years, I met him early on in my days of recovery.

I kept seeing him in my mind’s eye tonight, when he was so new, so fresh, such a kid, such a little fucking punk, with this huge heart and pretty face, and dirty skinny black jeans and his punk rock attitude and dangling cigarette sneer on his mouth.

All hiding a very scared frightened kid.

All that bravado and machismo hiding vast reservoirs of tenderness.

I was thinking about a particular afternoon.

It was sunny, we were all in the courtyard of this church at 15th and Julien in the Mission.

He was in Giants regalia and so was Silas and so was another fellow and they all had their arms wrapped around each other, and the smiles, the grins, the love radiating off them was glorious to behold.

I kept seeing that in my mind today and the tears would just start and how I got through the day without telling my boss I don’t know, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and the kids wanted to play with me and I wasn’t the most present.  I kept getting texts and messages and phone calls and reaching out to people in the community.

I had to stay the fuck off social media after a while, it was just a constant stream of his face in photographs, so many of his goofy, stupid, grinning face.

The last time I saw him I smacked him.

“Stay, why don’t you,” followed by a hug, and a “knock it off our you’re going to die.”

He laughed.

I laughed.

We hugged again.

He died.

He died last night.

He over dosed.

I cried.

This morning, literally in my oatmeal.

I got the news and I was shocked.

Perhaps not surprised, I mean, I wish I could say that it was more of a surprise, but I knew what he did, I had heard his story so many times.

“Oh, yeah, gah, shooting up with a dirty rig and piss water from a public toilet down by the Civic Center, sticking the needle in my groin cuz I couldn’t find a vein.”

I countered with, “doing so much blow I throw up after snorting a line, all over my blow, so I let it dry out and I cut it, chopped it, and snorted it.”

High fives all around.

There is a kind a levity and humor, gallows humor, that comes with sobriety sometimes.

And joy.

So much joy.

His face when he smiled, when he played music.

So much fucking talent blown.

Ugh.

I remember loaning him some money, I can’t even remember when or for what and I just told him to not bother paying me back, “keep it and when you’re fucking famous and world touring you give me a backstage pass.”

“Deal!”  He said, “I love you, I would have given you a backstage pass anyway.”

I hope he’s got the best backstage pass right now.

I hope he’s playing up there with Hendrix and Jeff Buckley, with Lemmy from Motorhead, with all his favorites, just fucking jamming the fuck out.

Happy and smoking a cigarette and woo’ing the ladies.

He was a pretty boy, he was.

It hit home today.

And I was reminded of another thing that a friend said to me when my best friend died, almost ten years now, his anniversary fast approaches, at the end of this month, that “grief is not linear.”

It does not have a time frame.

It does not have a schedule.

It does not have an end or a beginning.

It will come in waves.

I saw a man tonight who used to work with my best friend and we both just sobbed on each other, it was too damn familiar, all the faces, all the people pressed together, all the tears.

I looked at him and said, “you better stick around, you just better.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” he replied.  “I heard the news and I thought of _______________ and I heard your voice and I just couldn’t not be here, I’m so glad you’re here.”

So many hugs tonight.

So many tears.

So many friends from my early days in recovery and all the memories and joys of seeing them.

And.

A reunion.

An old friend who let me go a long time ago was there.

We’d had a falling out of sorts, I don’t even know exactly all the details anymore, but we’d been best friends after my best friend died, she walked me through so much of that process and grief and we were super tight for two or three years after that and then a misunderstanding, a communication that misfires, conflict that we tried to resolve and just couldn’t.

She saw me.

I almost didn’t recognize her.

She stood up, we hugged and we both burst into tears.

There were a lot of “I’m sorry’s” and a lot of “so good to see you.”

We exchanged numbers.

She just friend’ed me again on Facebook.

Desmond.

You little fucker.

I really did not need you to die to reunite with my old friend, but I’ll take it as a parting gift, my sweet boy, that your passing brought so many people together tonight.

There were moments today when the tears wouldn’t stop falling and then.

Then.

Oh.

There were moments, so very many, when I was exquisitely alive, so alive I almost felt guilty.

Almost.

This life is so precious.

I will not waste it.

I will cram as much as I can in.

I will live.

I promise you.

I will live.

And I will love.

With all my heart.

So fucking hard.

So.

Hard.

I promise you.

All the life you did not live.

I will live for you.

And then some.

Promise.


%d bloggers like this: