Posts Tagged ‘loneliness’

Sing To Me

November 16, 2016

Sure thing pumpkin.

“Alexa, play Mike Doughty, Sunshine,” I said, holding my sick, feverish little monkey in my lap.

Alexa complied, “now playing MIKE DOUTY, Sunshine.”

I always correct her, “Doughty, Alexa, get it right.”

And he sings.

And I sing.

And my charge burrows into my arms and snuggles in my lap and is warm and feverish and sweet and a total cuddle puddle.

I told Alexa to play Doughty on shuffle and the next thing you know, “Sad Girl, Walking in the Rain.”

Um.

Oh my God.

New music.

Yes.

I had forgotten that his new album was released in October.

I hopped onto my phone, tapped my Spotify, and yes, there it was.

The Heart Watches While The Mind Burns.

I am listening to it now.

It’s good.

But I’m partial.

I am partial because I am a wordsmith and I have a tiny crush, always have, probably always will, sorry not sorry.

And because I can carry the octave he sings in pretty well.

I don’t sing all that well, but I can get out a little husky phrasing.

It was a good day for the singing.

My nose has cleared up and though I still have a cold it’s not as bad.

I also made myself get up and go to yoga and about half way through class I could tell I was working through it.

The cold is lessening its grip.

I am hopeful that by the time I get to school this Friday it will be completely out of my system.

Not that I would skip school if I was sick, I haven’t missed a day yet.

I will miss a half day on Saturday, December 10th, a dear friend is getting married that afternoon, so I’ll be missing the last class of my Child Therapy class, but I think that should be ok, I’ll miss the final project presentation of a few of my classmates, but I will have all of my own work done.

It will be the first time I have missed a class.

I firmly believe that most of the battle is won by showing up.

Show up to the screen.

I blog.

Show up to work.

I get a paycheck.

Show up to my notebook in the morning.

I get relief and direction for my day.

Show up to the yoga mat, again.

I get some anxiety out of my body, I feel better and I stand straighter.

I’ll fucking take it.

Show up to a church basement after work, in the dark, sit and get some relief, get some connection, get some not so lonely anymore feeling in my heart.

I ran into an old acquaintance, I’ve known him since the beginning of my recovery and I asked if he had gotten my invite to my birthday party.

I told him to come out.

We suffer from the same loneliness that so many of us suffer from.

I realized today though, as I was lying on the yoga mat, that I’m just used to that pain.

I was born in that pain.

I know that pain so well and how to navigate the dark swell of it as the waves build and peak, that the black silk heavy weight of those waters can pull me down in it’s comforting embrace.

But.

What if.

What if I choose differently?

Maybe I will be uncomfortable.

But I won’t be lonely and when I get used to being happier, which I am getting better at all the time, maybe I won’t sink into that drowned ship of isolation.

“When’s your birthday?”  He asked.

“Sunday, December 18th, pinball at Free Gold Watch in the Haight, I sent you an invite on facecrack,” I told him.  “Please come, and come again on Saturday, it’s good to see you there, and we usually fellowship after the meeting.”

I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for throwing myself a birthday party.

Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be 44.

I’m going to have brunch at Zazie’s in Cole Valley around 2p.m.

Then pinball at Free Gold Watch on Waller Street from 4-7p.m.

If you’re in town, come play!

I made a facecrack invite and invited about 200 people and 20 people are coming!

That’s actually pretty fucking good for facecrack invites.

Folks are pretty busy during the holidays and my birthday is the week before Christmas, I am always at odds with any number of holiday parties and galas and events.

So I decided to do what I really want to do.

Brunch with some of my dearest friends and then pinball.

I love me some pinball.

I’m happy to have gotten such a nice response to the invite too, of course who doesn’t like an arcade for Pete’s sake.

I’m very happy to be doing something fun on my birthday.

Last year was so hard.

Sad girl walking in the rain.

That was me.

I had to work that day and it down poured all day long.

Buckets of rain.

I had made plans to go to do the deal and then get a late dinner with friends and a man I was pseudo dating, for lack of a better adjective or descriptor and on my way to doing the deal, getting soaked, it was coming down so fiercely, he sent me a text and cancelled.

My birthday.

He cancelled on my birthday dinner.

I wanted, just then to get all upset and irate and have a resentment and take some one else’s inventory.

But.

I am reminded.

I don’t want to take his inventory as I don’t want to make his amends.

I cried.

It rained.

On my birthday.

Sad girl walking in the rain/wide brown eyes seek the sunrise/dryer in the morning light.

I wore a sky blue dress and a white crinoline underneath it.

The flippant edge of my dress buoyed up by the fluff of fabric underneath could do nothing against the sorrowful pound of my heart as I walked alone up Church Street.

Solace for me later in the laughter of my friends.

The relationship rapidly unraveled and it did not matter that I loved him very much.

It did not matter that he loved me very much.

It was working, couldn’t work, wasn’t going to work.

Then today, I thought of my birthday prior and the Christmas alone, as my boyfriend at that time of year decided to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife.

Don’t worry about breaking my heart, I’m doing it just fine on my own.

There’s a picture of me that day, Christmas day three years ago now, sitting in the sand dunes in that I got so many compliments on, so many.

I found it sad and sweet and funny too.

Alone.

On Christmas day, taking selfie’s in the sand.

Sad girl sitting in the sand.

Ha.

So.

This year.

Something different.

First.

There’s no man in my life to not live up to my stupid expectations around my birthday or Christmas.

I made my own damn plans.

I’ll buy my own damn flowers.

And.

I’ll take my own damn self out.

Thank you very much.

I also have plans to be with friends over both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And let’s not forget.

Pinball, bitches.

I’m super stoked to be doing all these good things for myself.

Just because I’m used to being lonely doesn’t mean I’m alone.

And.

Just because there’s comfort in the familiarity of pain.

Doesn’t mean I have to continue to nurture it.

I choose happy.

Damn it.

I choose joy.

 

You’re The Girl With Flowers In Her Hair

July 12, 2015

That cries all the time.

Yup.

That would be me.

Crying on the back of the bus.

Damn you MUNI.

It’s bad enough to be that woman, but to be that woman on the back of the bus?

Even worse.

There’s a certain kind of anonymity that the N-Judah train permits, not so much when they are running buses to and from the beach as the work continues on the tunnel between the Cole and Duboce stops.

The girl with flowers in her hair who cries a lot, I think, is actually what she said.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time.

I have not seen my disease so up close and personal and in my face, and on my face, and smearing down my face.

I really shouldn’t have even attempted the make up today, but I tried to put on a brave face, even though I went to bed crying, I woke up crying, my face was leaky and runny and disastrous.

I would get it together to fall back apart.

I can say with all conviction and truth the amends to be made from mistakes in my sobriety have to be some of the most painful I have ever attempted.

And I haven’t made this one yet.

I did something last night that I am ashamed of, horrified by and bereft with my behavior.

I was manipulative and dishonest and I didn’t even realize what was coming out of my mouth but there it was and my friend got hurt.

It was like being in a black out.

I said something cruel and dishonest because my fucking instincts got bruised and I thought I was better than that, I don’t know, that I got this, I know how to live I do, I….

Fuck me.

I don’t have a clue.

Until the look on my friends face woke me up.

What did I just do?

I can’t breathe writing about it.

I have been putting off writing about it for hours, hoping that I would be able to make the amends tonight.

It does not look like that will happen.

I can’t force solution, it’s not on my schedule, it’s not my time frame.

It’s my fucking monkey though.

Or monkeys.

Shame.

Manipulation.

Perfectionism.

DIshonesty.

When I wrote, just because it’s taken me this long to get to my blog does not mean I haven’t written today.

I have.

So much, my heart hurts for it, my heart hurts for my friend, for myself, for being in this disease, for being human, and for knowing that the only way through this is though it.

And I may very well lose a friend who means so much to me that I cannot fathom not having him in my life.

Oh.

And there’s another one.

Self-sabotage.

I think I have let go, I think I have surrendered, then I go down that path, unconsciously, it seems, but I can see in hindsight that I got upset, I felt threatened and I said unkind things.

Things I did not mean, things I don’t even remember saying, except for the gist of them, for the flavor–which is all sea salt and rot on my heart, that what it tastes like and so I took it to the beach.

I took it first to 7th and Irving and was a mild wreck in my folding chair, my ass falling off, I stuck it in a bag and got it where it needed to be.

I shared and I shared sadness and sorrow, but I also shared solution and when I finished and the time was up I read about a vision for you and my voice cracked.

I cannot remember the last time I started to cry reading something.

The wreckage of the past caught my attention and twisted in me and I thought, the wreckage of last night, and then I read the rest of the words and felt something move and shift and a teeny step forward through the miasma of grief.

Then down the stairs out into the sunlight, buoyed up by the froth of crinoline under my dress.

If I’m going to be sad I might as well wear something that will bring some lightness to me as I drift tear stained around the Inner Sunset.

I went to Tart to Tart.

I got an iced coffee.

I sat down across the table and I spilled my guts.

“Well, aren’t you just a garden variety drunk,” she almost laughed, but then told me what she saw, her perception, and her generosity of spirit and point blankness, “you owe him an amends.  Do you have a piece of paper?”

I took out my notebook.

I wrote down what she said.

I cried with horror over my inability to have seen how hurtful I was to my friend last night and I admonished myself.

I didn’t cast about ashes and I didn’t beat my self with a hair whip, but man, I came close.

“Hey, don’t talk about my friend like that,” my best girlfriend said to me this morning when I shared what an asshole I had been.

I love you and I forgive you.

I kept saying it all day.

I kept seeing how deep this goes, how much work I still have to do.

“Oh!  Get grateful for that, it means you’re human, and you get to work on letting go of these defects.”

Back at Tart to Tart the almost perky tone of my person bolstered me, I knew she was right and I knew I have to go to my friend in a position of service and kindness.

And face to face.

That was the directive.

I reached out.

I got a response.

It was no thank you.

Once again I break my own heart.

No wonder I wore my heart sweater today.

Cream hearts on a field of black.

I did more praying.

I did more writing.

I did, oh come on, more crying.

Hell.

I haven’t really stopped all day.

There will be a moment of reprieve then it starts again.

“This is worse than with ____________,” I sobbed on the phone later in the day, having walked down to the sea and asked for it all to be taken away, wash it away, take my sins, every one, help me have kindness and compassion, for myself, and be of service to my friend.

However he needs it.

Not however I want it.

“You self-sabotaged and now you know what that feels like, you can recognize it and you can stop it the next time you have that feeling arise,” he told me.  “Then you talk to me first before you say anything.”

“And we hurt the ones we care for the most, we don’t mean to, but that’s what we do” he finished, “now you are aware, now forgive yourself, and let him have his process.”

The hardest part.

I wore that fucking flower in my hair all day long.

I thought there was a chance to see my friend and make the amends.

He reached back to me later and we set a time, but it came and went and he cannot meet me.

So I sit here in the grief that I have wrought.

My own self-made misery.

I can’t hate myself for it, I can only forgive and move forward with the knowledge that my disease runs hard and deep and I have to lean in on my God and I have to pray more.

Kneeling by my bed, walking in the ocean, walking through the fear, praying for forgiveness again and again and again.

I can’t regret the past, nor shut the door on it, but I can learn from this and I can hope for a new beginning and for a new freedom from the bondage of self.

The price feels so high.

“You will get through this,” his voice so calm over the phone, the waves splashed on my feet, the sun embroiled my head and lit me through with far-flung light, “you will come out stronger and better and you will love more for it, I don’t know what it will look like, but you will come through and you will have learned a deep lesson about yourself.”

There is a gift here.

I cannot see it.

But it is there.

Wrapped on the beach.

Dusted with the tears of the mermaids as they

Sing each to each

I will walk through this grief.

I will assuage this sorrow.

I will open that box.

And be bedazzled with glory.

I will keep doing this work.

It’s the only way I know how.

I will find my way back to love.

It has not left me, I just cannot see it through the blur of sea-salt in my eyes.

But it is there.

Love.

It is there.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service

July 3, 2015

So how about.

No bras.

No elastic bands.

No dental floss.

No idea what I was on when I was packing.

“Seriously, Martines,” I said aloud to myself as I finished unloading the contents of my rolling suitcase–a rolling suitcase that I hope makes it through the weekend and back to San Francisco.

It’s time for an upgrade.

I have had it for much longer than I realized when I looked back and recounted all the trips it has gone on with me, beginning with my return to Paris, sober, in 2007.

I have had it for 8 years, that’s a good stretch.

And I know how to pack it, I can get a lot of stuff in it and be jamming out the door fairly quick.

in fact, when I was done with my packing last night I still had 45 minutes before I had to leave for the airport and really, that was also giving myself a generous amount of wiggle room to get through the gate and to be on time for the plane.

Not that it mattered, considering how long we sat on the runway.

And, fyi, this blog may come out strange, discombobulated, unhinged a teensy tiny bit.

I have not had much sleep.

In fact, barely any at all.

I am going to sleep so hard in my great big king size bed.

Yup.

I’m in my own room, with my own bathroom and bed and though I had not planned on dropping the big cash (and it’s not too bad, really $360 for the three nights) I am happy and grateful to have a quiet place to rest my head and to collect myself.

I am also in a perfect place location wise.

Just outside of the conference grounds enough to not feel like I am in the noise and the ruckus and yet, close enough I can walk there in a bout fifteen to twenty minutes.

Although this evening when I ventured out I took the complete opposite direction of what the navigation on my phone told me and I was so certain I was right it took me 45 minutes to walk the 18 minute route.

Oops.

I didn’t mind so much though, I got some great shots on my phone and I was happy to play photographer during the pretty early evening light and to be traipsing about in my light summer dress, my sleeveless summer dress.

It’s actually summer here and not quite as bad as I thought it would be.

I am handling the heat and the humidity pretty well.

The lack of clothing and toiletries options not withstanding.

I really don’t know what had my brain pre-occupied that I missed completely putting bras in my suitcase.

I mean, come on.

That was the discovery that prompted the out loud scolding earlier.

However, I got over it pretty fast and was grateful I have the one I am wearing and it’s my favorite and it’s black, so it will go with most of my things anyhow, but it was annoying to discover that I had over packed panties and completely spaced my bras.

I had also spaced hair elastics.

Something I never do and I couldn’t even locate one in my lip gloss bag, where I usually have one or two squirreled away.

No pigtails for me.

Which is too bad, pigtails would rock with the dress i have planned for tomorrow, or even braids.

Ah well.

And the dental floss.

That was just a fluke, I used the last without realizing how little I had left.

I suppose a run on a pharmacy will fix the majority of those things.

All except the bras.

That’s a bummer.

But, in the scheme of things, in the rough out line of my day, really nothing to be even a little bent out of shape over.

I had a great day.

I ran into someone I know from Paris.

That was awesome, and he handily pulled my suitcase around for me while I took care of getting my registration lanyard and paperwork.

I had lunch with three of my lady friends.

One of whom happens to be the lady who came to my rescue when I was in Anchorage last December and drove me all over the place and was basically the person who kept me tethered to the planet and able to do the work I needed to do to show up for my dad.

I cannot, side bar, believe I am still writing, it’s beginning to feel like an odd surreal painting of someone typing words, I’m so removed I’m sleeping on the couch.

THere’s a couch in the room too.

It’s a really big room.

It could have held three people quite comfortably–two in the big bed and another on the couch.

But, as I said, more than happy to have my own chill quiet, calm space.

I need it.

I got a little lost in the crowds today and at one point felt terribly alone, funny that, horribly alone, despite being surrounded by thousands of like-minded folks.

I was dressed up after having taken an exquisite achingly hot shower and washing and shaving and doing up my hair, lots of flowers.

You can take the girl out of San Francisco, but you can’t take the flowers out of her hair.

I milled around the convention center and when the band, a really good band, an astoundingly good band, when I recall other such dances (though none as heavily attended) that I have gone to over the last ten plus years, played “I Had The Time of My Life” I got stupid.

Yeah.

Shut up.

I got sad listening to a Dirty Dancing cover song.

Yup.

Because that is where my disease will take me, sappy land, with no one around, yet thousands present, lonely, though so not alone, and a bit maudlin.

Really.

A dearth of bras is not that bad.

Feeling lonely in the middle of thousands of people is horror though.

I muddled through, I turned back twice, then made myself go and approach the dance floor, the music was good and so what if I didn’t know anyone.

I would by the end of the evening.

And when I least expected, I did run into a friend I haven’t seen in two years.

We danced like fools.

I danced the self-pity away and ended the evening surrounded by amazing women and sweet friends.

I sweated off a pants size and got my self hoarse singing along to the band.

Then.

A late night dinner–ham and cheese omelet and a side of fruit–in a 24 hour diner downtown.

I had come full circle.

And another friend pinged me and joined me for a last-minute conversation before we both called it a night.

There is much to do tomorrow.

And sleep must to be had.

I can go without the proper undergarments a few more days.

But I need my sleep.

So, with that.

I bid you adieu.

Good night.

Aufviederschoen.

Good bye.

To you, and you, and you.

Big ol’ hugs from Atlanta.

I’ll keep you abreast, though braless, of further adventures.

Real soon.

Like after I sleep 18 hours.

Have You Forgiven

November 15, 2013

Yourself for being single?

She asked me, a perceptive light in her eye, leaning forward across the table.

Oh shit.

What?

I have never had it laid out like that before.

Or if I did, I wasn’t hearing the message.

Oh, lots of time I will be paying rapt attention to the medium–is it flashy, does it glitter, is it pretty–but the message was have you forgiven yourself.

Well, god damn.

No, I have not.

I am to blame, don’t you know.

For everything, when it comes down to it.

As though I have some power over this, over anything.

The last couple of weeks have more than amply demonstrated that I don’t have power over much, just the actions I take, or don’t take.

Try not reacting.

Try pausing.

Say it with me, pause.

Pause.

Breath.

I took a naptation today.

I made that up, but man it was glorious.

I had my little Thursday girl, just one charge, music class, long nap, pigtails and a late afternoon Americano at the Mill on Divisadero.

I discovered that yes, indeed, the pushing of the stroller does aggregate my shoulder, it’s not just the double stroller, it is now every fucking stroller I use.

ARGH.

I did, however, after I posted last nights blog, log into my medical provider and book an appointment with my doctor.

I go in next Wednesday.

I was going to try to push it out to the week following, but I just can’t do it.

I have to get this taken care of.

I don’t like the idea of missing work, it’s a fucking catch-22, I can’t afford to miss a shift, but I can’t afford to get injured worse and potentially miss a lot of shifts.

So, I am taking it on the chin and going to get taken care of.

It was suggested to me that it could also be a pinched nerve.

Oh, hell.

It does sound like it, little internet web doctoring over in my corner, maybe…

Anyway, since I am not a doctor, I am just going to let my employers know I need to be checked out and leave it at that.  I can still work a half day, I booked the appointment for the afternoon.

After I got my charge down for her nap, bless her little heart, 2 and a half hours, I ate a really nice lunch (purple kale salad with organic baby cucumbers, Roma tomato, a tender sweet carrot, a little chopped apple, olive oil and balsamic and a veggie burger, accompanied by a cup of Earl Grey and an after lunch apple that I sliced up and sprinkled with sea salt and cinnamon) and sat down with a Tom Robbins novel, Still Life With Woodpecker.

I read for about an hour, stretched, got up, had bathroom break and decided a meditation was in order.

I got myself situated, followed the tail of my breath and sat for about twenty minutes.

Then I fell asleep.

Oops.

But so nice.

“Naptation.”

I like it.

I was not out for very long, but enough to really get refreshed.

“You sound like you are very tender,” she said, “are you aware of that?”

“Oh God, yes,” I replied, “I am in a lot of pain with the shoulder.”

“No, not what I meant, more that you are sad, grieving, maybe still Paris?  Have you written about that?”

Who are you and get out of my head.

“No, I have not done a lot of writing about that and you are now the second person in recent history to suggest I do.”

Grr.

I almost stuck my tongue out at her.

I listed all the great things I have been doing: bought myself flowers on Saturday, got a massage on Sunday, have been hula hooping, I went to an amazing concert, I got a boogie board….

“Yes, I know, and you’re sad and you’re feeling alone,” she added.

Stabbing pain in chest.

I thought my shoulder hurt.

Fuck.

“Can you be nice to yourself while you grieve?” She asked.

Can I play, can I forgive, can I move on?

How about, yes, yes, and yes.

I had never thought about it the way she was describing it, to love myself, to hold myself tenderly.

I am a bit gruff with myself.

I am doing more and more work.

Small things like stickers and sweet-smelling candles help, “are you burning potpourri in here,” my friend asked when he came by for a visit a few weeks back.

No.

Candles.

I like them.

Little fires in my house.

I like the way burning smells.

There was wood smoke drifting through the woods tonight as I rode my bicycle home, I pulled lungful upon lungful of air into my body.

Smoke.

Eucalyptus.

Evergreen.

Undercarriage tree leaf mulch, wet, rich, damp, earth, potent with magic and fecundity.

I whipped down Lincoln, her words in my ear.

How refreshing.

Not just the thoughts, no, the freedom.

I can forgive myself.

I don’t have to hold this garbage over my head any longer.

I am and have been doing the best I can.

Change will come when change is supposed to come.

I believe, with all my heart, with that wicked flame of a soul I have, with every bit of my being, that I do have a partner out there, we may have met, we may yet to meet, but until we do I can hold this space, tenderly, for myself.

Be tender to myself with forgiveness and let in love ,in its richness and abundance, spread out into my world.

To literally, tend to myself.

I came home and played.

That’s what I wanted to do.

I got out my hula hoop and put on some house music and hooped for a while.

Then, haha, yes, I played dress up.

Dress Up

Dress Up

My friend’s masquerade ball birthday party is this Saturday.

I got the hair down.

I’ll grab a mask tomorrow, the one my house mate’s daughter has is too small, and just wear a plain black dress and heels.

Voila.

Masquerade ball.

And aside from the forgiveness of self, which I am sure will be a continuing life altering exploration, I was given an assignment.

I have to plan three things for the upcoming months.

I have to make plans for Thanksgiving.

I have none.

I have to make plans for my birthday.

I have none.

I have to make plans for Christmas.

I, uh, yeah, have none.

So.

I have an idea for my birthday, beach bonfire, but not sure when to execute that.  My birthday, one week before Christmas, is a hard date to get anyone to come together on.  Plus, it’s on a Wednesday.

I have a little time to think about it.

Thanksgiving I don’t have a great deal of concern about, but I will take the suggestion and make a plan.

I have the whole week off.

I am open to ideas.

It was a revelatory day.

Painful.

Yup.

But once I got into the flow I realize that all these experiences, well, they just enrich my life more.

How amazing that I get to have all these emotions, to continue experiencing growth, even when those growing pains hurt, to have new revelations, and dare I say it, new forgiveness.

Today I am forgiven.

I forgive myself for being single.

Ain’t nothin’ gonna change til somethin’ changes.

I am a changed woman tonight.

Tender.

But changed.


%d bloggers like this: