Posts Tagged ‘Hayes Valley’

Do I Stay

March 6, 2022

Or do I go?

My upstairs neighbor has been playing horrid music all day.

All damn day.

Since 11a.m.

It is now 8:15p.m.

Non-stop, no rest, no break, hardcore electronic, thump, thump, thump bass music.

It is like living inside a headache.

How’s that meth treating you dude?

I’m pretty sure the kid is using, the hours he keeps, the loud music, the people in and out partying, banging the gate, the music that is non-stop.

He’s a DJ.

He’s actually a bagger at Whole Foods, not to disparage anyone in any service industry, but he’s a hobbyist.

Not a real DJ.

Or, not a DJ with any fucking talent.

Then again, even the best DJ on the planet might stress me out if I was listening to it non-stop without being able to turn it off for nine hours.

I’ll get a reprieve at 10p.m. when we play our nightly routine of chicken when I give him a few minutes to shut down the damn system, noise ordinance, and then go out and stridently ring the door bell.

He never answers, but the music does tend to stop.

Not always.

But a few complaints to the landlord–seven emails documenting time of day and levels of noise (anywhere from 12:30p.m. to once at 4:30a.m.) including me recording how loud it was with my phone and sending that in–a complaint filed with the city and calling the cops three times, has helped a bit to get him to comply with turning off the system.

Normally I’m not in my damn house all day, except when I’m in my home office seeing clients during the work week on video, and there are a few weekdays he obviously is not working–Tuesdays and Thursdays, when it’s going off all day long.

But today.

Ugh.

Today I was in the house all day long.

Not my happy place for a weekend day.

But I hurt my back a couple of days ago.

Fuck me.

I am getting old.

I pulled a muscle in my back and it has been a screaming nightmare.

I mean.

Ok.

I exaggerate a little but it has been really painful.

I got it, sigh, hopping around putting on a pair of leggings.

Ugh.

It just went out and I screamed and said, “no!” really loudly.

It was also, wait for it, the first day I was going back into office to see clients in person.

Fuck my life.

I hobbled to my office.

I have hurt my back in this same place before and know that the muscles there are not great.

The first time I injured it was back in 2005 and it was a dozy.

Like super fucking bad.

I didn’t pull a muscle then, I tore a muscle and it took so long to heal.

I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t lift anything more than 5lbs for literally six or seven months.

I walked with a fucking cane for five months.

It was horrendous.

This was not that, but it spooked me, it was too close for comfort.

So I knew I had to take it easy the last few days and fortunately there has been some recovering, I certainly did not tear a muscle, I have been able to lift things and move around, although watching me put groceries away would have been a hoot if you had seen me trying to get things in the fridge.

Lift with your legs!

I got down too low at one point and just threw things in the fridge.

I also couldn’t load the bottom part of my dishwasher, so doing all the dishes by hand, luxury problem.

And let me not forget the agony of changing the cat box out.

Good grief.

Today I tried to go out for a walk and realized that I had been over compensating with other parts of my back and now the middle part and my shoulders are fucked up.

Gah.

So I just did a very slow mosey around a few blocks and came back home.

I got nestled on the couch with lunch, a heating pad, a book, a cup of tea and just stayed there the whole day.

Around 5p.m. I had had it with the music.

Remember the part about being inside a head ache?

Yeah.

I tried to nap and I couldn’t.

The music was just too much.

So.

I thought, well, hmm, maybe it is time to move.

All my requests about lowering the music have been pretty snubbed and I have kept telling myself, you’ll wait him out, he’s a kid, he’ll move soon, I have invested a lot in my home and it’s lovely and cozy and I don’t really want to move.

Although I could stand a little more natural light and a little less street noise to be honest and my utilities here are pretty high–it’s not really an energy efficient apartment.

But.

It’s a five minute walk to my office.

And I just started going back into my office.

And I like the location.

But.

Headache.

Pounding headache listening to this crap all day long.

So.

Craiglist.

And low and behold what is this?

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/d/san-francisco-one-bedroom-gem-in-one-of/7450255496.html

Why look!

(UPDATED EDIT: I just went back to Craigslist after listening to more horrible music and thinking, yeah, maybe it is time to get the hell out of here and the ad changed! The ad fucking changed. It was listed for $2600, after I emailed my landlord the ad changed to $2750. I’m being gaslit, this happened to me when I saw my apartment when I moved in, I believe my landlord did a bait and switch putting an ad on Craigslist for $2750 which is what I had my filters set to on the site and when I came to see it, he showed me the ad for $2850, which is what my rent is, I was seriously confused but I also needed a place so I took it. And fuck, I should have taken a screen shot. GRRRR. I imagine there’s going to be a very interesting email tomorrow from my landlord.)

It’s the apartment across the way from me.

Which is literally the same size square footage as mine.

FOR $250 LESS!

Now it wasn’t always $250 less a month then my place.

No.

When it first went on the market they were asking pre-pandemic San Francisco rent: $3300/month.

They never got it.

The apartment has been empty now for about a year.

The rent dropped to $3100.

Then to $2950.

Then to $2850 about four, maybe five months ago.

How do I know this?

Because I have gone on Craigslist more than once in frustration around the noise of the music.

And the apartment always pops up in my search.

So when I saw it today I was livid.

What the fucking hell?

I furiously texted a friend, I perseverated on it, I pulled out my SF Tenant Handbook and I looked up negotiating a rent decrease. I Googled some articles.

I debated inside my head.

All the while listening to DJ Douche Bag.

My fond moniker for my upstairs neighbor–who fyi is not the master tenant, he moved in last May and has been a freaking nuisance since then.

I know he certainly doesn’t pay as much rent as I do.

And I decided.

Fuck it.

I’m writing the landlord.

I let him know that I needed a few maintenance things done at the apartment and then I made the request.

I let him know I wanted to renegotiate the rent (I had tried once last year in August and he shut me down but said he wouldn’t raise the rent this year).

I reminded him of the obvious, I’m quiet, amiable, pay my rent on time–actually early I literally pay the rent every month on the fifteenth for the upcoming month as this is when I get paid.

I’m a solid tenant.

I also said that it was unreasonable for me to be paying substantially higher rent than that which was being offered to a new tenant to the building and I asked for my rent to be lowered to reflect the rent being offered in the ad.

I also offered to sign a longer lease, 2-3 years, if that would help.

I actually don’t want to move, it’s a fucking hassle, but if the apartment across the way is being rented for way less then what I am paying and the noise upstairs continues.

I’m out.

Despite what I hear on the street about rents going up it doesn’t seem to be that way and the fact that a one bedroom in Hayes Valley in a rent controlled building has been on the market for over a year tells me all I need to know.

It’s time to lower the rent.

Right damn now.

I don’t believe the house party is going to stop upstairs, but if I was paying $250 a month less in rent I do believe I could tolerate it a little better.

And if my landlord isn’t amenable.

Cool.

I’ll be on the market for a new place.

Let me know if you know of anything.

Sans DJs.

New York State of Mind

November 7, 2021

It’s interesting what a little down time and sitting in my bed for, what now, twelve days?

What it will do to your mind.

I’ve been bed bound recovering from a surgery.

Third surgery this year.

Kind of crazy.

I have not had any surgeries in sobriety until this year.

I am no longer afraid of the pain pills or of becoming addicted to that shit.

I do not like them.

No.

I do not.

Ugh.

Gross, wonky thoughts, horrible nightmares, weird mind meanderings, drugged sleep.

Not for me.

When I was out there using and drinking and smoking and fucking around I liked the up all night kind of drugs.

Cocaine was my spirit animal.

This girl liked to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time.

I didn’t like the slow track.

Never have.

Likely never will.

I have a good girl friend who tells me I drive like her step mother.

Now in some vernacular circles that might come across as an insult, not in this case.

Her stepmother was a rally race car driver.

What my friend doesn’t know is that I slow down when I have folks in the car with me.

heh.

Anyway.

I will also add that pain killers, they do work you know.

I have found myself asking for them.

But only right after the surgery.

The first surgery this year happened in early February.

Burst appendix.

Well, it wasn’t burst until I was actually in the ER.

Then it burst.

Guess that’s a lucky place to be if you’re appendix is going to pop, might as well be where it will be taken care of.

I eschewed the pain meds, I said, no thanks, I’m sober, don’t want any, no way, no how.

Except.

Well fuck.

It was surgery.

And coming out of it was excruciating.

Apparently when I came out I still said no to the pain meds on offer, I have no memory of this.

However, after about twenty minutes or so, maybe more, maybe less, it’s hazy, I couldn’t take it.

The nurse who was typing up a note looked at me and said, “honey, you’re dying, let me give you something.”

Tear leaked down my face and I nodded yes.

Oh sweet God.

Was the relief immediate and welcome.

That was the only time I took anything.

I refused the rest.

But after having gone through that experience I realized I could handle surgery.

And not relapse.

Thank fucking God.

I also realized I was tired of my belly.

The loose skin from the weight loss.

Weight loss I’ve sustained for years and years and years now, twelve I think.

I was too old when I lost the weight for my skin to bounce back.

It just sagged.

I have always been self-conscious about it and it was disarming to lose all that weight and then be left with a body I still had to come to terms with.

I think that’s why a lot of folks actually gain the weight back.

The skin is depressing.

I did a lot of work.

I did a lot of praying.

I did a lot of acceptance.

And I had beautiful body experiences.

I have dated men who were stunning.

My ex for sure.

Gorgeous and hyper fit.

And I still felt self-conscious.

Not as much as I used to.

But it would happen.

No matter how many, “thank you God for this beautiful body” prayers I said, I still felt something.

Sometimes is was dismay, like if I hadn’t been messed with as a kid would I have drown myself in a sea of sugar to cope with the feelings that wouldn’t ever leave me.

Add weight to protect myself from the world, from the predatory gaze of men in my family or on the street on in school.

Would I have been just a normal size kid?

A beautiful body to match my beautiful face.

I used to wish that I could just cut off my head and put it on another body.

And yeah.

The work has worked and the acceptance has worked and I’m hella grateful for this body that I have been given to walk around in and ultimately, that it saved me, it took the brunt of the mental and emotional pain I was in and held it for me.

Thanks body.

And.

I also wanted something more.

Something transformative.

Like all my tattoos.

A new story for this body.

A new experience.

The appendectomy and the healing that happened and the focus on that part of my body pushed me to inquire about skin reduction surgery.

I have talked about it for years with my therapist.

I have dreamt about it, if I win the lotto type dreams.

So.

I talked to my GP.

And she agreed.

And she referred me to a plastic surgeon at Kaiser.

And I stood naked in front of a mirror and took 365 degree photos of my body and the sagging skin on my stomach and upper arms and sent a stranger photos.

My first naked selfies.

Probably my last.

And I met with the surgeon and he asked me why I wanted the surgery and I told him my reasons and I told him about all the work I have done and how long I’ve been abstinent and how much I wanted to do it, with tears on my face.

And he said.

“You’re the perfect candidate for this surgery, you really are, you deserve to have this surgery done.”

And he said.

“But your insurance won’t cover it, Kaiser won’t cover a dime of it, believe me, I have fought for this for many a patient.”

He asked me one other question, “does the skin on your belly prevent you from walking?”

Um, no.

And he said unless it was so much skin that it prevented my mobility my insurance wouldn’t cover it.

And he ended with, but I still think you should do it and I’m going to refer you some numbers of colleagues in the Bay, as Kaiser in San Francisco is not doing any cosmetic surgery at the moment due to the pandemic.

I took naked selfies for no good reason.

Ugh.

And for all the right reasons.

I called all the numbers and I got no after no because pandemic, because booked up, because on vacation, blah, blah, blah.

So.

I decided to go out of pocket.

I found my own surgeon.

Dr. Kenneth Bermudez.

And he is special.

He is fabulous.

He was amazing to meet and he’s been a dream to work with.

He was not cheap.

I blew all my savings.

I’ve been saving to buy a house.

But instead I decided to remodel the one I live in.

I also used student loans.

I ain’t gonna lie.

I figure I’ve become a great therapist, I have a full client load, I have a lovely business that I have built and worked on and put my heart into creating.

I can afford it.

I will make the money back.

So we set a date, July 16th, to do a brachioplasty, belt lipectomy, and butt lift.

There were some complications which meant that I had to derail the surgery a bit, turns out I was anemic and the surgeon wouldn’t due the full surgery.

But we compromised.

He did the brachioplasty.

And I’ve been recovering from that, pretty well, too I think.

It’s been rather extraordinary to not have the wings of skin hanging off my upper arms.

My arms are still healing and it was painful to go through the process, but man, it was worth it.

After a month and a half of healing I got an iron transfusion to accompany the plethora of iron supplements I had started taking in July.

And my surgeon set my date for the belt lipectomy for October 26th.

hahahahahahahaha.

Right after my PhD dissertation defense.

Can I just say that whole thing was stressful as fuck.

I successfully defended.

I am a doctor.

Huzzah!

And I pretty much turned right around and started getting myself prepped for the belt lipectomy.

Big ass surgery.

And in hindsight I am grateful that there were complications with the first surgery, I don’t think I could have dealt with both my trunk and my arms being inoperable.

It would have been too much.

So I went in 12 days ago and got it done.

He removed 7lbs.

7lbs!!

Of loose skin and tissue.

Fucking amazing.

I’m still too swollen to see much of a change, but I am excited for getting healed up enough to see the difference.

And wear clothes and buy new clothes.

And walk outside of my house.

I’ve been pretty bed bound for the last twelve days.

But.

I am happy to say.

That once again, I got off the pain meds really quick.

I was on Percocet, which is basically Oxycodone.

I hated it.

I mean.

In the beginning I took it without thought because I was in so much pain.

And I slept a lot, a lot, a lot.

But after my six day post-op follow up appointment I felt ready to titrate off the shit.

I went one more full day on the meds, going longer in between taking the pills.

And I had a plan to wean down and cut the pills in half and be off of them by this past Friday.

But.

Ack.

I remember one night, Tuesday it was, one week after the surgery, where I realized that I didn’t need them and that I didn’t want to continue taking them and I was afraid I would become bodily addicted.

So I stopped cold turkey.

And yeah, it wasn’t fabulous, the first night, Wednesday, was hard to sleep and I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching videos, but I got it out of my system and I haven’t had anything since this past Tuesday.

Four and a half days now.

Just Extra Strength Tylenol, lots of bubbly water, and videos.

Movies, series, cooking shows.

And for some reason.

An awful lot of what I have watched has been set in New York.

I have always wanted to live in New York.

And in some ways I sense it’s a good thing I didn’t when I was till actively drinking.

I think New York might have been the death of me, San Francisco nearly was.

So I never made it there.

I never moved there.

But I have thought of it often.

A brown stone in Brooklyn.

A therapy practice.

Seasons.

Granted.

I know winter there is not the bucolic cinematic scene that I watch cozied up with my fuzzy blankent.

Winters are brutal.

But spring, summer, fall.

Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?

I am nostalgic for a place I have never lived in, though I have visited three times.

And I fit in.

I fit in quite well.

I love the characters, and the character of the city.

I also know it can grind a person down and I know a lot of folks that have moved away.

But there is something about it.

Even now, on the cusp of turning 49 I think about moving to New York.

Though I sense you have to be young to make it in New York and really get established.

I am too old.

I have my one bedroom rent control apartment in Hayes Valley and my office is a five minute walk away.

I have the fog and the cable cars and the trolleys, the ocean, the multitude of beautiful hills and vistas, the Victorians.

Sure.

Yeah.

There’s homelessness and rampant drug use and shit on the sidewalk and some guy in the neighborhood who walks around with a super huge sound system strapped to a rolling cart, but there is still beauty.

So much beauty.

And just like I fit in New York.

I fit in San Francisco.

I’m in year twenty of living here.

So.

I don’t think I’m moving to New York anytime soon.

But there is something there.

A life maybe, running parallel to the one I am in now.

That once in a while I can just see out of the corner of my eye.

So when I’m ready and fully healed up I think it might be time for another trip back.

Which might be a bit yet, I do have to heal and I am going to Hawaii in February for a conference.

Maybe in the summer.

A four day weekend.

A stay at some swank hotel or a cute Air BnB in Brooklyn.

Until then.

I’ll keep watching videos.

I’m still on bed rest.

But I’ll keep the dream alive.

New York, you’re so often on my mind.

Back in the Saddle

June 22, 2020

I could mean this literally and figuratively.

The figurative part comes down to being back here, on my blog, writing again.

Man, it feels nice to write.

I have had one hell of a busy summer.

There’s been this pandemic thing.

Social distancing.

Working.

Working some more.

Working on my dissertation proposal–turned in my third draft this week.

Oh yeah.

And moving.

I don’t believe I have written about that at all.

You know, that little thing, moving during a pandemic.

Or maybe I did and I already forgot because it’s been a minute since I have done a blog.

(at least on this platform, I’ve been posting to my therapy website, but that’s a different kind of blog)

And it’s been a minute since…

I have been on my bike!

Today, however, I got back in the saddle.

I cannot tell you how good that felt.

And, heh, it was just like riding a bike.

I won’t lie, I was a little nervous, it’s been over a year and a half since I had ridden.

I didn’t ride once living in my previous place.

My bike simply hung on a hook on the wall in the hallway entrance to my studio in-law.

Once in a while it would beseechingly call out to me and I would feel some guilt and I would say, yeah, this weekend, go do a ride.

But it was windy or raining or foggy or miserable, as it can be in the Outer Richmond.

And I live on a gigantic hill and it’s a one speed.

And.

And.

And.

Cue not riding at all.

It just never happened.

Until today.

I have been in my new home officially now two weeks.

It’s been a big two weeks.

Getting all the things set up.

Aside.

Today I got my Ihome pod set up.

Soooooo happy.

I got my music speaker back.

I have an old one, like a really old one that docks a first generation Ipod music player and it’s cute as shit and it glows and I can play all the music I loaded on it years and years and years ago.

But.

It doesn’t run off my phone (unless I want to get a cord that will connect it to the speaker and whatever not being a tech kid I will probably not do that, although I suspect the actual accessory is probably pretty cheap, anyway) and I can’t play my music apps–Spotify or Bon Entendeur.

Mostly I want to hear Bon Entendeur, which is a French house music app that I just fucking adore.

My Ihome pod was a gift from the family I used to nanny for when I graduated from my Master’s program in 2018.

I didn’t take it out of the box until I moved into my previous place, so I had it for six months before I actually turned it on.

Game changer.

I really love it.

Great sound.

Great speaker.

Connects right to the internet.

I never use the Siri part of it, just connect my music apps on my phone to it and voila, dance party.

Except I couldn’t figure out how to get it connected here.

A friend tried to walk me through it, but it didn’t take.

So today, after my bike ride, I’ll get to that, I sat down on the kitchen floor and googled all the things.

And.

I got it to work!

I am so proud of myself.

I know, a small accomplishment, but it felt really good and I’m happily listening to my music right now.

I’m also feeling very happy in my body, which got to go on a bike ride.

I moved to Hayes Valley in San Francisco.

It’s pretty damn flat.

I’m at the foot of some hills, but I don’t have to ride up them, I can just head out towards Market street and ride my sweet one speed through one of the flattest parts of the city.

And.

Yes, there are people out (and I was horrified to see people lined up to get into Ross Dress for Less.  Really?!) but not nearly as much as there would be, see previous note about pandemic, and there were very few cars and buses.

It was a glorious ride.

I rode all the way down Market and then along the Embarcadero until my legs got a little sore.

I knew better than to push it.

I don’t want to be sore tomorrow and it’s been a while since I had ridden.

Easy does it.

And easy does it again.

For I will be riding a lot more.

I am going to get my parking permit for my neighborhood this week and then I don’t plan on driving my car anywhere for a while.

I won’t be going into my office for a while yet, so no need to drive there.

My office is small, even if I wanted to socially distance I couldn’t.

I will continue to be doing telehealth for the near future.

Which means, aside from once a week when I need to drive to Daly City to work at the youth health clinic, I don’t need to move my car.

And now that I got back in the saddle, I will definitely be using my bike.

It was dreamy.

I pumped up the deflated tires and I got my messenger bag out of the closet, grabbed my Ulock and my Palmy lock, my wallet, hooked my keys on my belt loop, grabbed a Sigg bottle of water out of the fridge, put on my bandana mask, a pair of sunglasses and hit the road.

Like I mentioned.

Little traffic, either car or foot, some, but not a lot.

It was surreal, I have not been downtown since shelter in place went into affect and it was surreal to see it, and there are people out, like I said, line for Ross, but not that many, certainly nothing like what I would normally see on a Sunday in downtown San Francisco.

I felt really good biking again.

And on my return from the trip I swung into the Farmer’s Market at the Civic Center plaza and grabbed some stone fruit from a vendor as the market was closing down.

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be so close to a farmer’s market again.

I got yellow nectarines, which tasted like how I imagine sunshine should taste like, sweet, and thick, and full of light and golden tones, and I got apricots.

So good.

Came back to my place, stashed the bike in my bathroom–which is huge and my bicycle fits without any trouble, and prepped fruit for the week and stashed it in the fridge.

I’m home.

My bicycle is home.

My Ihome pod is set up.

My home is set up.

My pink couch is hella cute in my living room.

I got up privacy shields on the bottoms of my windows in my bedroom and living room.

I got cute little coffee tables to flank my couch.

All that’s left is to set up my bike stand so that I can store my bike standing up in the closet (I have a walk in closet in the living room) and to get my book shelf delivered and set up.

I feel happy.

I am very grateful and very lucky and very aware at how good my life is right now.

Even without being able to really engage with and connect with my friends and fellowship.

I am in a good place.

And I am.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Much.

At.

Home.

Made It Through

May 21, 2018

The weekend.

I graduated!

Pretty spectacular.

Grateful for the pomp of it and also, well, grateful that it’s done too.

It was a lot of work getting ready for it and I could use a little break from all the hullaballoo.

Granted.

All the ceremony was lovely and I was glad that I attended even if the walk across stage happened so quickly, it was an important walk for me to make.

It was nice to have my mom there too, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and it was good to reconnect.

I’m ready to reconnect to my regular schedule though.

It was nice to have the time off to do the special things, and the not so special, the endoscopy and that damn wire test took up some time and mental space, I got a text from the doctor’s office today that my lab results are in and that I will discuss them with the doctor on Wednesday.

Note to self, make sure to tell the mom at work.

Back to work tomorrow.

Although since I don’t have supervision in the morning, it will be a late start for me.

So I get to gently wind down this weekend of festivities.

The graduation party was fabulous.

Though a bit breezy.

A lot of people didn’t come out to it due to weather being cold and windy, but those folks who did brave the conditions really had my heart.

And my best friend who set up the whole she-bang, man, I am so grateful for all that work.

Throwing parties is work, especially when it’s an offsite event on the beach.

Especially when it was freaking Bay to Breakers today!

They had the whole parking lot cordoned off for the event.

Bay to Breakers is a notorious drinking run that starts at the Bay and ends at the “breakers” at Ocean Beach.

Had I known that it was today I would never have done my party at the beach.

I had to park my car at SafeWay and walk a couple blocks, not horrible, but when the time came for breaking things down and getting things back, it was a bit daunting.

Fortunately I had some great helpers and the one good thing about Bay to Breakers having all their gear set up in the parking lot was that there were gigantic lights put up everywhere, the beach was bright as day.

I had some worry about having enough day light to break everything down, but the lights from the parking lot saved the day.

It was still a bit of a hassle getting things off the beach, but the crew that was left at the end of the party were great and helped me by sitting on my stuff and waiting until I had gotten my car and I was able to get everything in and back to my house.

And.

I am very proud of myself for this.

I unpacked everything and put it all away.

Including throwing all the beach blankets into the wash and putting away all the sodas and sparkling waters that did not get drank.

There were a lot of left overs.

As I said quite a few people didn’t show, but the sweet company of those that did kept me warm on the cold beach and I was happy to celebrate.

I even wore my cap and gown for a little while.

Until the wind blew off my cap and I got too cold.

But like a good San Franciscan, I had two back up layers, a sweatshirt and a jean jacket, plus fingerless gloves and an infinity scarf.

I just bundled right up.

Plus there was the fire and dancing to stay warm and a couple of times hopping into the tent that was good wind protection and actually felt warm.

The family I work for even came.

All the kids had hot dogs and s’mores and they were super sweet and the family gave me a crazy nice graduation gift.

I got some amazing gifts.

I am so grateful for the expressions of love and affection I received this weekend.

I really am.

It was also nice to be witnessed and seen.

To have the acknowledgement of all the work I have done in the last three years meant quite a lot.

There’s still plenty of work to go.

I suspect there will always be work to do.

But.

I am going to take this moment and really let it all soak in.

The flowers in vases all around my house, from my best friend, my mom, my boss, my mentor, help me to see how much I am loved and appreciated.

The beautiful gifts I got.

The sweet cards.

The drawings from my little five-year old charge.

The hugs.

Even the congratulations from strangers as I was walking down the street in my cap and gown with my arms full of flowers, felt really good to get.

Acknowledgement.

Hard work.

Achievement.

And a moment or two to bask in it.

I found parking really quickly when I got to Hayes Valley, there’s always one spot I check first, I used to park there almost all the time when I was going to solo supervision, and sure enough, it was open.

It’s tight, but my car’s small and I just barely fit.

Because I didn’t have to look for parking I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to be at the theater.

I stopped at Arlequin to get a latte.

I sat outside and sipped the hot coffee and really looked at the street and the people walking around and as I realized that I was sitting next door to Absinthe, Arlequin is their sister property, a more casual, but still upscale cafe, to Absinthe’s fancy French pedigree.

Sipping a latte, in my cap, about to walk the stage at the Nourse Theater, and get my Master’s Degree, quietly reflecting on how far I had come.

Absinthe was my first job in sobriety.

I got hired there 19 days after I got sober.

I sure have come a long fucking way since waiting tables there I though.

I smiled.

And as I sipped the last of my latte a busser from Absinthe came dashing over.

“Did you graduate today?”  He asked.

“I’m about to, I head over to the theater as soon as I finish my coffee,” I said and smiled.

“I’m so proud of you!” He said, he grinned.

I grinned.

It was a moment.

It surely was.

In a weekend filled with so many of them.

Of pure unremitting gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

It’s Almost Time

May 19, 2018

I literally just watched a video on how to put on my cap and gown for tomorrow’s commencement.

I sort of had to.

I have tried on the whole outfit once, but forgot how to put on the hood, which as a Master’s Degree recipient you don’t actually wear.

As a doctoral student when I graduate they will place the hood on your head, but for the Master’s you just wear it draped over your shoulders.

When I first tried it on I put the hood on backwards and I looked like I was a priest.

The cap and gown are black and my Master’s hood is gold with navy.

I ahem, actually got my nails done to match my hood.

I know.

I know.

Hush.

I don’t think I will often rock gold glitter nails, but you know, once in a lifetime when I get to walk the stage and accept my Master’s Degree I think gold glitter is appropriate.

hahahaha.

I will be a professional and have the nail polish removed by the time I see clients on Monday.

But I did have fun at the nail salon picking out the color, I saw it and I was like, oh snap, I can totally match my graduation gown.

I also had fun getting the damn wire removed from my nose today.

I did not write my blog last night as I was horrendously uncomfortable.

I had my endoscopy yesterday and they did a test that required me to wear a wire for twenty-four hours and record when I ate, drank, or slept, it measured the Ph level of the acid reflux when I had it.

Although, to tell you the truth and a bit to my annoyance, I did not have any reflux yesterday!

But there was nothing to do but wear the damn thing, I wasn’t going to take it out.

I had trepidations about sleeping, I was hooked up to this little machine all night long and I was afraid if I rolled over in my sleep that I would knock the box on the floor and it would pull the wire out of my nose.

Very grateful that did not happen.

And extremely grateful that when I went back today to the GI lab at Sutter on Buchanan that a nurse took it out in less than two seconds.

She asked me how the experience was and I reported I had been pretty uncomfortable with it.

It hurt my throat where it was laying and I lost my voice a tiny bit and it constantly tickled my nose, I had a slightly runny nose all night and all day until I had the wire taken out, I also sneezed a lot.

Nevertheless it’s done and then I was able to go over to the Inner Sunset and meet my mom.

My mom that I haven’t seen in four years.

Oh.

We keep in touch, but she lives in Florida and I live in California and what with work and school and internship, life, etc, four years.

It’s very sweet that she and her partner have come out to see me walk.

I can tell she is very proud.

We had coffees and tea and caught up and then went and met up with some of my fellows in the neighborhood for an hour and then we had dinner at Marnee Thai at 9th and Irving.

They were very happy with the food.

I was happy too.

It was nice to share my school experiences and it was nice to introduce them to some of the folks in my fellowship.

I felt pretty grateful.

And.

Tomorrow I walk.

I’m actually doing it.

I’m actually walking.

I’m graduating.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’m wearing, but I have some ideas and I will have plenty of time in the morning to work all of that out.

I’ll probably leave the house around 12:15/12:30p.m.

The commencement ceremony is being held at The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

I have to be there at 1:15p.m.

There’s a dress rehearsal for the graduating classes at 1:30p.m.

They will open the doors to the theater at 2:15p.m. and the ceremony begins at 3p.m. lasting until 5p.m.

I’m going to have to bring some lunch or a snack with me.

Then.

Off to the beach!

Super excited about the party.

Although a bit bummed about how chilly it’s been today, and looks like it will be for tomorrow, cool, overcast, breezy, cold, got to wear layers for sure.

I usually wear leggings under my dresses here in the city, San Francisco is mercurial with its micro-climates, but I’m thinking I may also want to stash a pair of tennis shoes in my trunk and some cozy socks, so that once I finish with the formalities of the graduation ceremony I can hop into some kicks for the beach.

I plan on driving straight from the event to the party.

I have a feeling some of my guests are going to be there early, like the family I nanny for, since they have kids, and I want to make sure I get out there when guests start arriving.

Plus.

Well.

Bonfire.

I do love a good beach bonfire and I haven’t had one in quite some time.

It feels fitting to have the celebration with a big fire and a sunset at the beach, despite the coolness of the weather, it will be fun, I’m going to pack a scarf in my car too.

I should just have a bag of warm things in the car at all times anyway.

Anyway.

Enough about the weather.

It’s time to wind down so I can be ready for tomorrow!

So.

So.

So.

Excited!

Nothing’s Sunk In

May 8, 2018

I have not yet felt the reality of being done with my Master’s program.

It has not sunk in at all.

I bumped into, and invited, a former employer who I ran into today in Noe Valley to my party, who replied after giving me a huge hug, how much the boys would love to see me and that they would of course come.

It was very sweet.

She and her partner are both psychiatrists, so it was really nice and quite validating to get some of the recognition from them when I worked for them regarding my abilities.

The last time I bumped into them I had just begun practicum.

Now I’ve completed the program.

It was a touch surreal.

The time has gone by fast, even though it was such a slog too.

So much work.

She insisted that I needed to stop and take it in and take a moment.

But I don’t have any moments.

Not right now.

Not right yet.

To appreciate and reflect and give myself a pat on the back.

I just jumped right back into work today and before work I had to go to Hayes Valley and drop of my paperwork that needed to be signed.

And of course.

I fucked it up.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

What is my problem?

Tired.

You are tired and overwhelmed and want everything to be completed and you just finished a Herculean task and haven’t really sat with the reality of what it all means.

And.

I didn’t fuck it up that bad.

But for a minute there.

I was so mad at myself I could have screamed on the corner of Gough and Hayes.

In fact.

I did say a couple of profanities out loud in frustration.

I was so set on getting the paperwork to the right place, to the right mailbox on to the next thing that had to be done, so über focused, that I didn’t realize the door code to the building I was using was the wrong one.

I made the presumption (as it has happened in the past when I met with my supervisor that I would occasionally get to the office before it was open and I would have to wait until he arrived to turn the dead bolt) that when the code didn’t work it was because there was no one in the office and the dead bolt was still in place.

I was so mad.

Why wasn’t there someone there?

There’s always someone there by this time.

What the fuck is going on.

I was so frustrated, thinking that I had come all the way down and there was no way of getting my paperwork to my supervisor and shit, I’m going to have to come down again and damn it all to hell.

I sighed.

I turned around.

Then.

I noticed the mail slot.

I could put the envelope through the mail slot.

I hemmed and hawed, the post it note with my supervisor’s name and suite number  could come off, then how would anyone know where it was supposed to go.

But.

I figured if he didn’t get it I would just print off another form and run it back down.

I slid it through the mail slot.

I decided I had enough time to mail out my Mother’s Day gift and I headed off to get into my car and wait a second.

The code.

Did I use the wrong code?

What code did I use?

Shit.

I think I used my therapists code.

My therapist in Noe Valley.

Hallelujah!

I ran back, I looked up my supervisor’s code, I let myself into the building, I went to the mail slot and looked at the floor.

There was nothing there!

Where’d the hell it go?

I dashed upstairs.

The door to my supervisor’s office was closed, I know better than to knock, he could have been in session, but I hoped fervently that he was there and had gotten the envelope.

There was nothing left to do but go and send and e-mail and feel a bit chagrined and not beat myself up too much, I still did a little, and get on to the next thing.

Mailing said package.

Which I did.

Then ran into the former employer.

And yes.

I did acknowledge she was right, I need to stop.

To sit.

To savor it.

But honestly.

All I feel like doing is crying.

I’m in a lot of pain again with the reflux and I haven’t enjoyed the ending of the program partially because I haven’t had the time to do so but also because I’m in gnarly ass pain again.

Fortunately.

The GI’s office got back to me today and booked the three procedures with me the doctor wants to do.

I will go in on May 17th and see what is going on.

I have taken that whole day off from work, I’ll be doing a ph test and wearing a wire that will be inserted through my nose into my esophagus and into my stomach, for 24 hours.

I had already asked off for the 18th, figuring that I would be socializing with my mom who’s coming for my graduation.

I really don’t want to deal with a parent visit and the wire test, but what the fuck can I do?

I can’t take being in pain like this much longer and I’ll deal with the visit the best I can.

The doctor will also do an endoscopy.

The procedure will be done at 1p.m and I can’t eat 6 hours prior or drink fluids 4 hours prior.

My mom called today, she’s back from her trip and wants to discuss her trip.

I don’t even know what to say right now.

I feel like I’m just hanging on, I’m not sure I can manage more.

I’m just in pain.

I know it will pass.

I won’t die.

I mean.

I hope not.

I want to wear my cap and gown.

I want to walk the stage.

I want to celebrate on the beach with the people I love.

I really do.

Free Day

April 14, 2018

Today.

No reflux.

Knock on wood, I still have a few hours of the day left, but for real, no reflux.

Oh.

I thought it was going to come at any moment and there was a tiny hint of it on the way into work, but it just never really coalesced.

So relieved.

And the fucking doctor’s office finally got back to me.

For a consult.

The doctor went over my referral and denied doing the endoscopy bundled into the consult.

Meh.

I have to see the GI first and then he’ll decide at that time whether or not to proceed with an endoscopy.

Fine.

May 2nd.

More weeks away, but the next step has been taken and maybe there is another answer out there, maybe there is something else that can be done, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.

At least not yet.

heh.

Which reminds me, note to self, I need to register for the fall semester on the 17th of the month, which is basically four days away.

Just popped that on my calendar.

Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks.

Lots.

I just updated my calendar a bit and also I just signed up for yoga class.

I haven’t been in sometime, weeks and weeks.

School and horrible reflux.

The last time I went I had reflux really badly and it was the most miserable experience, I couldn’t bear to bring myself to go again, if I woke up and had reflux I was either cancelling the class or if I went to bed with it really heavy I would just not sign up for a class.

But since I haven’t had it today and mornings for the last week or so have been pretty stable, I’m going to take a gamble and go.

If it happens, if I get it, I’ll take it easy, or slip out.

I am not going to torture myself, it was so awful when I did it before, it was the worst experience and I’m just not down for making myself feel bad.

However, I am hopeful that I can go and the only pain will be from not having done it in a while.

I am also obligated to go to group supervision, but honestly, it’s not a weekend of school and though it means being time committed to a certain place at a certain time for two hours, I can totally muster through.

I’m excited for the weekend.

I’ve been looking forward to it all week, I’ll get to hang out with my best friend and that will be super nice.

I’ve missed my friend dearly.

It will be really good to catch up and reconnect.

Other things this weekend will be dinners out.

Tomorrow night at Brenda’s with my person after I do my Saturday night commitment.

And.

Sunday at France’s with my best friend to celebrate an anniversary.

I’m going to even get dressed up, Frances is a nice place and it’s hard to get reservations there, from what I’ve been told, but I was able to secure a late reso for us on Sunday and I decided I’m dressing up.

Not nanny clothes.

Not therapist clothes.

Fun, pretty, dress up.

I found a dress on HellBunny and it came today.

Fits perfect.

It’s a fifties style retro dress, sort of fit and flare, sky blue with navy blue and white flowers.

I think it’s quite pretty and I’m excited to go out on the town.

I need that kind of fun in my life, even if I have to get up early and go to supervision the next day, it’s worth it.

I only have a few more sessions left with my solo supervisor!

That feels so strange to say, I remember when I was first seeing him and I thought I would never be done with it, a year and a half!

And it’s gone by quite fast.

Due, in no small part, to being a busy person.

I only meet with him two more times.

Which means I have to get my paperwork in order here soon.

I picked up the paperwork I needed today from my internship and I’ll be bringing that into my solo supervisor to sign on Monday, then it goes back to the school.

I need to also look over my graduation requirements and make sure that I am getting all the right things together to turn into the school to prove that I have fulfilled the requirements.

I need my therapist to sign off on our sessions, 50 of them, which I’m just a tiny bit shy of, but will have by the time my last weekend of classes happens.

And I need to get on the party planning for my graduation too.

Plus.

Oh, let me not forget, I have two more papers to write.

I’m actually hoping to get to one of them on Sunday.

I have some time in the afternoon after I meet with the two ladybugs I normally see on Sundays to do the deal.

My person whom I also meet with asked me to meet tomorrow night, hence Brenda’s, which leaves me with a few solid hours to get some work done.

I’m hoping to knock out the majority, if not all of my Research Methods paper.

It’s a lot to do, but I know I will feel better addressing it sooner rather than later and the more I can get done heading into my last weekend of classes the better.

I’m secretly hopeful that I can have it all done in the next couple of weekends so that I can be chill for my last weekend of classes.

Fingers crossed.

No reflux in the morning and some yoga.

And whatever I get done this weekend.

Well.

It will be enough.

It always is.

 

Long Days

March 6, 2018

I don’t feel much like writing, truth be told.

Habit I suppose.

To sit and write.

Although I’m semi obsessed with a playlist I’ve been making on Spotify.

My head’s just not in it right now, the writing not the music.

I sang my heart out driving home tonight.

Good thing there wasn’t much traffic out there, I did not need to be witnessed in my crazy torch song belt out.

It was a long day.

Mondays are and I have to remind myself of that.

Supervision in the morning was intense.

I had to terminate a client today so there was a lot to cover and I have another termination on Thursday.

It’s tender work.

I’m super glad for my supervisor, he’s a really good match for what I need to be learning.

I have seven weeks left with him.

ON one hand I am rather glad for that.

To not have to be in Hayes Valley every Monday morning at 9 a.m. is going to be a relief, to avoid rush hour morning commuter, that would be divine.

I will miss his guidance though, he’s hyper intelligent and has an amazing way of showing me how therapy works.

He also believes that I am a good therapist, kick ass in his words, and that’s nice.

Although I would probably never say that to him when he’s got a critique of my technique or the work I’m doing with clients, I think he’d give me quite the look, “hey, don’t you remember when you said I was a kick ass therapist?”

No?

Heh.

We did a fuck load of work today it felt like two sessions packed into one.

I covered a lot of client material.

And then I got assigned a new client.

Whew.

My head was a little spun today.

Distracted and not really present.

I did try to get grounded and I was able to sneak in a shopping trip to the grocery store in between work and supervision, which was so helpful, I shouldn’t have to do any more shopping before the upcoming school weekend.

Gah.

I am exhausted thinking about that.

I’m not ready.

I have to write another paper and I have a bit more reading to do.

I am tired.

And it’s Monday.

And.

The mom reached out and asked me to come in early again on Wednesday, so that’s a ten-hour day.

After a twelve-hour day, today, an eleven hour day tomorrow, which might morph to a twelve hour day, I have a homework assignment to speak with a licensed MFT and that’s tomorrow after I wrap with clients.

Sigh.

I’ll get it all done.

And maybe going in early on Wednesday isn’t such a bad thing, I can take my laptop with me and do some work while the baby is napping.

Fingers crossed that neither of the older kids are home sick from school.

If I just have the baby for the first half of the day I could actually do some homework at work while he naps.

I did manage to get a little bit of reading done today and I found another source of material for the annotated bibliography I have to put together for the class.

This is the kind of crap I’m not good at.

Actually.

That’s not true.

I am good at most academic work, I just don’t find this interesting and when I am bored with a topic I’m not compelled to do the work.

But.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s a required and I’m almost halfway there, halfway through this final semester.

I’m ready for a break.

I know.

I know.

I just applied to a PhD program, but hey, there’s the summer to come.

Still waiting on my friend’s parents to get back to her, by the way, regarding buying tickets to Paris.

I stopped looking.

I’m just going to sit and wait until she reaches out.

I’m willing to spend what needs to be spent.

I don’t need to obsess on when I buy them.

I have realized though that I won’t be able to do the dream work seminar and retreat that I was going to go on withe some friends in my cohort, it would mean unpaid time off and I’m just not going to do that right now.

I will have to take unpaid time off if I get into the PhD program as there’s a retreat that starts out the program in the fall, but aside from that I really won’t be taking any other time off except for when the family is on vacation.

Who am I to complain?

I’m going to get five weeks off paid.

I won’t mind having an unpaid week off to pursue my educational goals.

I can hardly believe it sometimes.

I got notification today that my last set of transcripts were sent out to the school today.

Which means they department will have all my materials soon and can process my application.

Shit.

Ugh.

I almost forgot.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

I need to apply to the Diversity Scholarship.

It’s five thousand dollars.

I can really use that.

Five thousand less in student loans is nothing to sneeze at.

When the fuck am I going to get that done?

The application deadline is March 15th.

That gives me ten days.

Sigh.

I’ll get it done.

Oof.

I am tired.

I was going to go to yoga in the morning before therapy.

I think I may skip it and just let myself get some rest.

Even just a half hour is going to do me well.

And with that.

I am going to bid you adieu.

I am tuckered out.

Seriously.

 

 

Thank You!

February 24, 2018

Thank you Carmen!

The mom said, and pulled me into a hug.

I wasn’t expecting that.

It was so sweet and so endearing, I teared up.

She was thanking me for the week, one of the most challenging weeks I have had with the family I nanny for.

Two very sick kids.

Dad and the oldest were out-of-town all weekend visiting Grandma and relatives and friends out of the country, so it was just the mom and I.

And two of the sickest little monkeys one could imagine.

Today I carried the baby on me for nearly 8 hours.

I might have had a few moments, a run to the bathroom, a quick gulp of tea, where I wasn’t holding him, but he was pretty much glued to me the entire day.

The mom’s been handling the nights and I have been handling the days and she is sorely short on sleep.

I did my best to help out as much as possible.

Which really meant tending to the baby while the mom helped the little lady.

She is not a good sick kid.

Who is, really when it comes right down to it.

And she needed a lot of attention.

Mom would nurse the baby, then hand him to me, that was about my only reprieve, when he was nursing.

And let me say, it wasn’t the worst way in the world to spend my last day of the week, a hot little baby cradled against me all day, sleeping mostly.

He’s been running a fever and just has no desire to do much but sit and snuggle and doze.

Once in a while a big coughing fit would lead to some screaming.

There is nothing more disarming to my psyche than a child screaming in pain.

It was piercing the few times it happened to me today, but fortunately, he was fast to be soothed and I was able to get him comforted and back to sleep fast.

I spent many hours just holding him and rocking and humming.

I spent some time too with the both of them when the mom had to make a run out to do some errands.

At one point I had the baby on my chest sleeping and the little lady snuggled up under my left arm, a pile of stuffies, two blankets, and some children’s video playing on the tv and, yes, I nodded out.

All three of us sleeping in a pile on the couch.

It didn’t last long.

The mom came back and I woke quickly, I wasn’t really deeply asleep, just in that drowsy half state that happens right before true sleep.

I was really grateful that I could help the mom so much and I was happy to receive her thanks, if a tiny bit overwhelmed and surprised by it, I was also very, very touched.

I like her.

I like her a lot.

She’s quick becoming a friend and I feel very much a part of the family.

I was also grateful to leave tonight.

It was a long week.

I had a big trip the weekend prior and school the weekend before that.

So this is actually my first weekend at home in a couple of weeks were I’m not obligated to much.

To much.

Ha.

Fuck.

I make myself laugh.

I have plenty I need to do this weekend and plenty that I will attend to.

I do hope, though, that I will have some down time and some moments to relax.

I will definitely be going to yoga.

I have missed it for two weeks, the travel and school, and I’m sure I’m going to be rusty and sore after tomorrow’s class, but I need to get back in it.

And my best friend is going to come with me to class on Sunday, so there’s great impetus to get my butt to go to the studio.

We had breakfast today before work and I was very happy to meet, to spend time, to feel like a human being connecting with another human being, before I became a comfort pillow for the baby for 8 hours today.

Grateful for my friend and the time I got to spend and that I get to have company in my yoga class on Sunday, that will be awesome.

Although I know I will be self-conscious.

I’m usually a bit self-conscious any way, but I go, and I always feel better and I usually wish that I could go more often.

But I’m also never sure when the hell I’m supposed to be able to get to another class.

I may be able to squeeze in a third this week though, my therapist is out of office on Tuesday, I could make the morning yoga class happen before going into work.

Any time I can squeeze it in I am trying to do so.

Life is busy.

Yoga in the morning, shower, breakfast, writing.

PhD application preparations until I have to go to my internship.

Group supervision from 2-4p.m.

I might try to swing over to Hayes Valley and go to Optical Underground afterward, I have the prescription for new glasses to get filled.

I have gotten my last two pairs from them and I always find something I like there and they are cheaper than a lot of places.

I am still a bit miffed that the UCSF optical department doesn’t accept my insurance for glasses.

What was the point of going there?

I’m still so not pleased with my school’s health insurance but hey, I do have it, even if it doesn’t seem to have paid off any, at least I won’t get the ding when I go to do my taxes.

Which I also want to do very soon.

Indication of how busy I have been, I haven’t yet done them.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of February and I haven’t done them.

Very unusual for me.

But.

Hey.

Last year I didn’t have an internship or supervision, I wasn’t in therapy, I had a few spare minutes to attend to it.

I will, and soon, just need to get my PhD application done this weekend and then the taxes.

And then.

The carrot.

With my return I will be doing some traveling.

That’s always the reward for taxes getting filed.

A trip.

I’m still waiting to see if the family is going to take me a long for part of their vacation and what that will look like, but I do have it narrowed down to July.

Paris in July will be hot.

But it will be Paris.

Anyway.

That’s a wrap on today.

I’m ready to chill out.

Have some tea.

Watch some Peaky Blinders and go to bed.

I have a lot to do tomorrow.

A lot.

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.

 


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