Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

So Glad

March 11, 2018

For my car.

The fog.

My God.

I don’t know that I have seen it this thick ever.

I am so glad that I rode my scooter home today in between school and my evening commitment.

My scooter was hit and run and I had ridden it home yesterday from class without too much worry, the guys at the shop pretty much said it was just some body work damage that was slight and nothing that was mechanical so go ahead and ride and bring it back in the morning.

Which I did.

And it was foggy this morning, but nothing like tonight.

I had the sense that it was going to be bad and I decided that I didn’t want to be out and get caught in it, visibility is just awful, the fog is so thick it condenses on my helmet and it might as well be rain, the roads getting slippy and if I’m riding close to the park, the fog condenses in the trees and drops down in big fat heavy wet drops on you.

No thanks.

My fear was that if I came home I might not leave, but after getting my scooter from the shop I just knew it was the best idea.

Besides, I was, I am all caught up on my homework and had nothing to do.

I suppose I could have found something to do to kill time, but I really just wanted to get my scooter home and get it covered up and put it away far a while.

I love my little car, I have become spoiled.

But the truth is.

I’m also safer in my car and I know it.

I am more visible and I drive safer and I feel so much more comfortable being warm and dry and having music.

I love having music in the car.

The fog was so dense coming home I had my windshield wipers on.

All the way home, it would have been a nightmare on my scooter.

I’m happy that I was safe and let myself have a home cooked meal as well and make a phone call with my best friend and get caught up on the day.


I got my new glasses!

I like them.

They are different and I had a few moments of fear that I wasn’t going to like them as much as I did when I tried them originally, I also couldn’t remember what they looked like.

And they are a different look, but I think they flatter my face well and I am already used to the prescription, except when I look up quickly.


They are progressives, the optometrists nice way of saying bifocals, so they are for both near and far and when I originally got my first pair of progressives, my just recently retired frames, it took me days to get used to the prescription and I was off-balance in very alarming ways.

I actually fell into a door at work and I walked around like I was drunk for a couple of days.

My entire equilibrium was off.

But once I got used to them, it went away and hasn’t really ever come back.

I had a touch of it for the first half hour I wore the glasses and now, well, now it’s gone and I really am happy I updated my prescription.

It’s not that much different from my previous one, but it is a little stronger and I have noticed the difference.

I like clarity.

I like seeing things well.

It’s nice to have them and I am sure I will get used to the frames as well and how they look on my face.

I’m already wondering about how to wear my hair tomorrow.



Also being annoyed that I am losing an hour of sleep for Daylight Savings time.

I was already planning on getting up early so I could get in a shower before class and I forgot I have to turn my clock ahead.


I guess I’m getting up really early.

Which is fine.

I’ll show up to class and be on time, like I always am.

I do like being in school, even when it annoys the piss out of me, like it did yesterday, I do like showing up and seeing the people in my cohort and I also like running into people who haven’t seen me for years who are all excited about my upcoming graduation.

That happened tonight when I went out to do the deal.

I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in four years, possible a little more.

And it was so good.

It was good to talk about life, she’s gotten married, I have gotten 3/4s of the way through grad school, and get caught up.

“You’re going to be an amazing therapist!” She said tonight.

That feels really nice to hear.

It’s been such work.

And I’m grateful for the work, it means I’m alive and I get to keep learning and that life is not, no it is not, at all boring.

I can say that without a shadow of a doubt.

My life is not fucking boring.

It is full of love, passion, adventure, emotion.


All the emotion.

I have feelings.

And they tell me that I am very much alive.

Grateful for those, feelings, even when they are hard to hold or I want them to be different from what is coming up.

I find that today, in this moment, after much work, and I know it is not done or even near to completion, that I have a great container to hold those feelings.

A vast, enormous heart that is ever expansive.

To feel is to know that I am alive.



I am so alive.

So in love with life.








Of course.



Just Do The Next Thing

March 10, 2018

In front of you.

I was talking to a friend of mine in the cohort at school about a particularly challenging classroom situation today.

It was the first class of the day, the first day of class, third weekend, last semester.

Many of the folks in my class described having a feeling of “senioritis” and not wanting to do the work.

I was like.

Shut the fuck up bitches.

I did the fucking work.

You can do the god damn work too.


I did not share that.

I took my judgmental ass and sat on the floor for a student led guided meditation for the class.

Guided meditation my ass.

I laughed inside, someone, me, has some contempt about this.

I sat quietly while the person leading the meditation walked around the classroom and beat on a drum.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I could not follow.

I instead choose to ignore the spiritual bypassing schlock and said the serenity prayer in my head on a loop and slowly relaxed.

Until the drumming got intense and insistent and intruded into my nice quite brain.

And that was sort of how class was.

Insistent, annoying, intrusive.

My issued with my cohort or certain members of the cohort is that when they haven’t done the work, many of us who have, bear the brunt of them having to be informed again and again about the nature of the work and their responsibilities thereof.

It’s a waste of fucking time.

My time is precious.

I’m paying a fuck load of money to be in school, I have made constant self-sacrifice to be there, I have taken on tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, I have had little social life over the last two and three-quarters years, and less sleep, I have missed fellowshipping opportunities to do school, have worked and worked and worked and read and studied and, and, and.





I don’t mean to yell.

I just got overwhelmed with it today.

There is a kind of refusal to take accountability for ones actions that rubs my fur the wrong way.

I was rubbed the wrong way a bit.

I felt like a frazzled cat that had fallen in the bathtub.

I did manage to self-soothe and breathe and pay attention to the information the professor was giving us.

And man.

There is a lot of information.

There was a two page  hand out with fine print and websites and dates and timelines and schedules and paper work in triplicate and my God, I don’t know, the encryption codes to the lottery is what it felt like.

There are a lot of hoops to get licensed and today I sat through a three-hour long class on what hoops I have to jump.

There were some folks who had no idea the number of hoops and were bogged down in the why didn’t anyone tell me all this information before and why am I now learning it and fuck, I didn’t do that thing that you’re telling me I need to do, what am I going to do?


I don’t know.

But you can get your whiny ass self to shut up and listen and perhaps instead of interrupting and wanting to change things to fit your agenda better you could just go with what’s happening, read the material, write the papers, and pay attention.

Works for me.


I am obviously taking someone’s inventory here.

And you know what?

I don’t want to make that persons amends.

That person has their own path and if truth were to be told, which is what this blog is about, trying to get as close to the truth as my skewed vision can get, I don’t want to be on that persons path.

I like mine just fine.

I have my challenges, obviously, low tolerance for bullshit being one of them, who doesn’t, but I don’t have to allow myself to be affected by another’s.

So I just sat and let the drama unfold and when I needed to take a break I texted with my best friend and connected to the outside world for brief moments.

I am so grateful I did.

Good juicy little reminders of my life outside of the classroom.

Which is sort of the whole point of being in the classroom, to learn the things that I need to know so that I may carry them out into the world and be a better person and for damn sure, a better therapist.

My own personal issues lead me down great paths of discovery and learning and I am not blind to this knowledge.

My biggest challenges over the past year have shown me the depth of love I have, great huge reservoirs of it, and where I really need to grow and allow more in.

There’s always the growth.

And today I got to grow by acknowledging that I’m not doing it perfect either.

I got anxious in class.

I got nervous about all the requirements and the “t’s”to cross, the “i’s” to dot.

But I also gotten to deepen my faith a little more and just focus on the next thing in front of me, having faith that the things that need to get done, will, in fact, get done.

I do have to do some more paperwork for graduation and I do need to get some signatures from my supervisors, my therapist (my Master’s program requires that I am in therapy with a licensed MFT while I am in practicum, therefore I have to get a piece of paper signed by my therapist that says I have done 50 sessions with her–I will actually hit session 50 four days before I graduate) and there are a few other odds and ends I want to make sure that I do.

But overall.

I got this.


I know there will be moments of panic, or anxiety or fear that I am doing it wrong but I think of the people who I know who have graduated the program and I know more than a handful, and I relax.

They did it.

So too can I.

I know I can.

I know it.

So all I have to do tonight is pack my bag for classes in the morning and have a nice hot cup of tea.

I have done all that I possibly could have.

And then some.

Almost There!

February 25, 2018

I am almost done with my PhD application!

I have submitted my writing sample–ten pages of an academic paper I wrote for my Transpersonal Spirituality class.

I figured that was a good paper to submit to the program as it, the PhD, is in Transformative Inquiry.

I refreshed and polished my resume and updated it so that it was applicable to the application and I sent that in as well.

I did the online application and submitted that.

I contacted both of the people who wrote me letters of recommendation and confirmed that they had sent said letters to the department.


I ordered my transcripts from UW Madison and CIIS.

I was a little miffed at first that I had to order transcripts.

Can’t the admissions office just look up the transcripts I already sent in from UW Madison when I applied for the Masters program?



Does the admissions department need a sealed envelope from the registrars office.

Can’t someone just walk that shit down from the 4th floor to the second floor?

I mean.

Fucking come on.


Then I was like.

Ok, not my rules, not my bailiwick, not my place to criticize, not going to change anything by getting all fired up and I certainly am not going to fucking sabotage myself by not getting the transcripts to the admissions team.


I shelled out the $40 bucks and ordered them to be delivered.

They should get there by the time the deadline closes for the applications.

And if they don’t, which I think they will, I will contact the dean of the Transformative Inquiry program and show copies of the receipts indicating that the materials are on the way.

I don’t think it will be a problem and I will also, now that I’m thinking about it, draft her an e-mail and just let her know I was unaware that they would need my transcripts again since I am currently enrolled at the university, that I paid to have them rushed delivered and shit, she can just look me up online and see that I have a 4.0 for my Masters degree.

It’s silly stuff, but I’d rather pay out the little extra and make sure that I dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s.”

And really I am happy to do the work.

Although it is a little nerve-wracking.

I had a moment earlier today when I just didn’t know if I was going to get it all done and it felt really overwhelming and I had a mild fuck it moment.


Then I remembered the glowing letters of recommendation that I have received and I thought about how disappointed I would be in myself and I just told myself to take some deep breaths and just do the next action in front of me.

Nothing more.

Just that.

Which at one point was just wash my breakfast dishes.


It was to do my morning writing.

I had hit a place in the online application process where I felt I was too anxious to continue doing it and I realized that a good way to quell that anxiety would be to do my morning pages.


I just stopped working on the application and wrote three and a half pages long hand and then I did my hair and make up.

I got sassy today too.

I was feeling it.

It helps sometimes for me to get sassy when I am working on something like this, it brings my energy up to be playful and dressed up.

I dare say it worked.

I also focused on doing what the next thing was all day long.

After I got my transcripts ordered I had to mail out a piece of mail and I had to go to group supervision.


I did just that.

I got in my car and I drove to the nearest mailbox and I sent off a signed document for permission to send my transcripts from CIIS to CIIS.

I let go of resentment and judgement around it and just sent in the request.

Then I drove to my internship.

Getting there with just enough time to run to Gus’s Market and grab a to go box and get a salad for lunch.

I sat through two hours of group supervision, I discussed clients, I talked about personal self-care, I checked in about a new client and I supported the other trainees in the room with their processes.

After group supervision I dashed over to Optical Underground, which had moved from Grant Avenue to Linden Alley.

The traffic was hellacious, but I made it there on time and I was able to pick out two new frames for my new prescription.

I, yes, splurged on some prescription sunglasses, and I got a nice new pair for progressive glasses for every day use.

I also asked that they tighten up my current frames, which had gone all loosey goosey on me.

I am really happy I got the glasses and then I bounced to the bank to deposit a check from my employers for the over time I worked this past week.

They always pay me for overtime in cash rather than having me get taxed, which is really quite nice.

Filled up the car with gas and found parking close to my nail salon.

Manicure and eye brow waxing.

Then off to do the deal.

And back home.

I wasn’t going to do a bunch more work on the application.

But I had a moment of realizing that I could do it, that there were in fact, a few things that I could just address tonight and get out-of-the-way.

Thus the resume, the transcript order (first one I did earlier and I couldn’t figure out how to access my UW Madison account before I left for group supervision) for the second set of transcripts, the academic writing sample (ten pages that I went back over and combed and edited to tighten and polish), and the resume.



I only have to do the autobiographical statement tomorrow and a statement about my goals for the program.

I should be able to knock that out in an hour.

Very happy with everything I got done today.

God damn.

I am almost done with my PhD application!

How crazy is that?


I’ll Just Leave This Right Here

February 9, 2018


To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter on behalf of Carmen Martines, in strong and unequivocal support for her in applying to the Transformative Inquiry doctoral program. I have known Carmen since she started here in the Master’s Degree ICP Weekend program in 2015. She was remarkable, astute, smart and dedicated then, and she has only gotten better in all the areas of competence, of heart and of relatedness that are central to being a therapist. Carmen has been a consistent, always ready and engaged learner, able to manage course load, timeliness and presence in classes. Evaluations by faculty of her clinical and theoretical work and progress have been consistently high, but more importantly, have emphasized her empathic presence, social justice awareness and interpersonal care. Overall, she makes good choices, works hard at staying personally and interpersonally aware and engaged. I trust her, and truly believe that she will benefit herself, the TID program and the community by getting that doctorate. There are many more positive things I can say about Carmen in support of her application, but I think you get the picture! Please contact me right away if you have any questions or any hesitations about accepting her in this journey! Thank you,


Um yeah.


So freaking happy when I read this.

I reached out today to my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department for the program I am in at school, and asked him how my letter of recommendation was coming for my PhD application to the Transformative Inquiry Department at the school I am currently enrolled in as a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.


I was not expecting the quick response.


The funny thing was that I was so busy at work that I had forgotten I had even reached out to him.

I had this little moment today when I was putting the baby down for a nap that I should check in with my advisor about the letter.

The application to the PhD program is due by the end of this month.

I haven’t done a lot of work on it as of yet.

I have filled out the really basic stuff and I have notified the school that I will be graduating my program in May and thus able to apply to the PhD program.

My transcripts look great.


And even if I was to get less than perfect grades for the last semester, it wouldn’t matter, my application will be processed far before I graduate, two months, perhaps even two and a half months before I will wrap my last weekend of classes.

So for all intents and purposes I’m applying with a 4.0 to the program.

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have done a lot of work in the program.

So much.

Intense personal work.

And let me tell you, never was I more grateful for it than tonight.

I had the client session to end all client sessions.

I obviously cannot divulge what happened in session.



It was one of the most intense sessions I have ever had, if not the most intense.

I had to work, consciously and with great compassion and awareness of what was happening not just for the client but for myself.

I had to not let myself get swallowed up in the session.

I held my own.

But I have to say, it took some time to shake it off after the session wrapped and the client left.

I did a lot of deep breathing.

I shook myself out.


I stood up after writing my progress notes in the file and I shook my arms and legs and stomped my feet and brushed off my arms and prayed.

Then I went to the bathroom and slowly went out to my car.

There was a lot of activity, drug activity, happening on the street, and though I wasn’t parked too near it, I was hyper aware of being a solo woman walking down the street where there were a good-sized group of men using openly.

I got into my car and called a friend of mine in cohort.

I told her what was happening.

Not the contents of the session, again, that’s unethical and illegal, and breaks the client confidentiality.


l was able to share with my friend that I was deregulated and that I had just walked past a bunch of guys using, and I was alone and I just needed to connect with a human.

Thank God for my car.

So, so, so grateful to be warm and safe and able to use the bluetooth to talk to my friend while I drove home.

We caught up, made lunch plans to eat together at the break tomorrow, talked about her kids, my job, life, and by the time I was home and parking my car, I was calm and together.

But wow.

That was one hell of an experience.

Super aware too how much I will have to process with my supervisor on Monday about the session, but for now, well, I can shelf it and attend to getting ready for the weekend of classes.

I am pleased to report my lunch is packed, my books and notebooks and folders are all set, I have my coffee ready to go, all I have to do is take my lunch out of my fridge and put it in my bag and off I go.

I will be taking my scooter to class.

My campus is downtown, a block away from the Twitter HQ.

There is no parking.


Not for a car.

Not on a Friday.

But there is plenty for a scooter.

Parking aside, I also have a lot to do tomorrow.

I’ll be leaving class a little early to go to my first optometry appointment with UCSF.

Then some doing the deal at Irving and 7th and then back to my internship to do a consult with a referral.

I got a referral!

And after.

Dinner with my best friend.

It’s a full day, and a day where I will need to be in multiple places with expediency.

I will need the scooter.

Grateful for the option to use it.

Although, I admit I was sad to park my car, I have gotten so fond of driving her, I even briefly entertained driving it, but to park, if I even found a spot, would be exorbitant.

So, the scooter it is.

I’m ready for classes, all my work done, all my reading, the paper turned in.

I just need to show up and participate.

I can do that.

And if I play my cards right.

I will get my PhD application done this Sunday after I get out of class.

If I don’t, I still have a couple of weeks.

I’m just super happy to have gotten the letter.

It was so nice to read after I got home.






I’m Going To Try

January 30, 2018

And I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it.


I am going to try to get up and go to a yoga class tomorrow morning at 7a.m.

Which means getting to bed really soon.

Like almost now.

I thought.

Maybe I won’t blog.



Like I could even do that if I wanted to.

My day seems to hinge on my writing practice, in the morning and in the evening and it feels so integral to who I am that to not write feels to wierd.

Especially to not write so that I can get enough sleep to get up to go to yoga before I go to therapy before I go to work before I see two clients in the evening before I do the deal before I pass out from exhaustion just reading that sentence.

Run on sentences, no bueno.


The thing is I have been saying pretty much every week that I want to try to get to this morning yoga class.

It’s just super tight on my schedule.

But not so tight that it’s not doable.

It means a few things.

It means having to get my shit together really fast once the class is done, shower, dress, make up, hair, breakfast–which would probably be in the car on the way to therapy or after therapy.

It would mean no coffee.

I don’t have my coffee set up in a way that’s expeditious to make and drink and slam out of the house.


I have cold brew in the fridge, but it’s not cold brew weather and it’s not my super yummy vanilla almond milk latte I make myself in the morning.

And breakfast would be cold too, probably a couple of apples or a green drink that I can whip up and throw in a Mason jar.

This is when I think to myself that it’s time to get a really good blender so that I can make a smoothie to take out the door with me.

I’ve had this thought before too, the blender smoothie thing.

Then I think about how I’ll miss writing my morning pages if I go to yoga.

Then I think.

But yoga.

And it feels good.

My brain argues, sleep in, rest, don’t get up.

Just take a nice morning like you usually do and do your routine.

That being said I have also told myself every damn time that I make a yoga class that I wish I was going at least one more time a week.

And what with my current schedule and the schedule at the studio I don’t have another option.



The great Tuesday morning 7 a.m. yoga debate continues.

I really have had this discussion in my head every week for the past month or so.

Ever since I saw it pop up on the yoga studio schedule.


It’s taught by my favorite teacher, so I know I’ll like it.


I should just compromise, write a short blog, drink some tea, eat an apple, watch a little tasted of Peaky Blinders and go to bed.

Sleep is also important to me.

All the things that I try to balance.

I don’t always succeed, but I do find that I am efficient with my time.

For instance.

Today I had some time between supervision and work so I drove to work and sat in my car parked on the street in front of the house and read from a text-book for a half hour.

I also read from that same text-book for the twenty minutes I had before my first client tonight.

I knocked out three-quarters of what I needed to read in that book.

If I keep that going I will be able to have a lot of my reading done for the next weekend of classes.

Just finding the little spaces and places where I can do that is important.

Especially since I have another paper assignment due next weekend.


Not exactly due next weekend, but by February 8th one part and by February 9th the other.

The thing is because of my work schedule and my internship schedule I find myself having to write my papers the weekend before they are due.

So I’ll be writing it this weekend.

And I also need to put together my application for the Transpersonal Inquiry PhD program.

I have one of my letters of recommendation and I can fill out the rest of the application.

I have started it, but not finished.

I need to also write-up a personal statement and put together a writing sample.

Prove I can write, you know.

I wish I could just send a link to this blog and say, “here you go, just read that.”

Not that it would necessarily be the kind of writing the department is looking for.

However, it would show that I have a strong writing practice.

At least I think so.


Grateful to be home, in front of my laptop with a nice dinner in my belly.

I had an upset stomach again today, the acid reflux is better some days and worse others and I’ve now gotten a second prescription filled and I’m just hoping that it stops soon.

If I have to refill the meds a third time I’m going to have to go back in and be seen again.

Fingers crossed.

I also know that it’s been a super emotional past ten days, to two weeks for me.

Two weeks, it’s been two weeks of super big emotions, mostly sad ones, so the tummy being upset is not unusual, not at all.

But I am grateful, again and again, to keep walking through this and doing the work.

I know what a gift this experience has been, painful as fuck, but beautiful in its own way too.

For there is no lack of love, there is in fact, so much love that I am constantly awed by it.


The love is so big.

I am besotted and graced with that knowledge.

I am loved.


I love.

To love and be loved.

It is.


The best thing in the world.



Graduation Application

January 5, 2018

Holy fuck.

It’s happening.

I mean.

It’s been happening for years now, when I think about it, the getting to graduation bit.



It’s really happening now.

I got a notification from my cohort’s student representative with the program that the deadline for the application to graduate is February 1st.

I have two more weeks before I’m heading back into the first weekend of classes for my last semester and I have to be on this shit in a major way.

There are quite a few hoops to jump through,

I am a tiny bit surprised that there is so much paperwork that has to be done, and at the same time, not at all surprised, the school is small and there often times seems to be a lot of unnecessary hoop jumping on the part of the students.

This is not something new.

So good information to have as I navigate the next couple of weeks before the semester begins, because I will also have another application due in February.

The application to the PhD program through the Transformative Psychology program.

That application is due at the end of the month.

The application to graduate from my Masters in Counseling Psychology will be due the 1st of the month.

Nicely bookending my weekend of classes and all the other things that I need to take care of to get through the month.


I am going on a trip in February to the East Coast.

Holy bats.

February is going to be a big fucking month.

And although it’s only January 4th I can feel that this month is going to fly by.

This week certainly has, I was like, wait, what, tomorrow’s Friday?

How the hell did that happen so quick?

Back to clients, back to work, holidays over, get yourself busy.

Gratefully this week really was an easing in.

I didn’t have my solo supervision, that revs back up on Monday, just my therapy this week, and I also did not carry my full load of clients.

I’ve had three this week so far, two of those session were tonight, and I will have a phone session tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

My last client of the week cancelled.

So I will actually get out in time to do the deal.

Maybe I’ll pop over to Our Lady of Safeway and get right with God.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve been in that neck of the woods.

I’ve a full day Saturday, dentist appointment at 9 a.m., hoping to get out with just a quick cleaning and get back to my neighborhood in time to go to yoga, then a shower, some late breakfast, and getting over to group supervision in the afternoon from 2-4p.m.

I’ll have a lull in between, maybe time to get a manicure.

I’ll hit my spot at 7pm in the NOPA and call it a Saturday.

Sunday I do have a ladybug coming over to do some work and I’m looking forward to that for sure.

Of course, I’ll want to get in a yoga class, and perhaps another bike ride, I really enjoyed doing that.

If the weather holds.

It’s been raining a fuck of a lot the last couple days and it looks like there’s still some more in the upcoming days.

So grateful for my car.

Really, so much.

Especially coming home tonight when the sky just sort of opened up out of nowhere, to not be on my scooter in the rain, such a blessing.


Sunday may be the day to kick out the graduation application.

I do want to get it out-of-the-way fairly quickly.

I don’t want it looming over me during the school weekend, especially as I will be occupied getting into my class routine.


I will want to have the rest of the time to work on my application for the PhD program.

Which reminds me.

I need to talk to my advisor, who just so happens to be the head of my department, about getting a letter of recommendation from him.

The PhD program requires that one of my letters come from my academic advisor.

I don’t believe it will be too hard to get a good letter from him, he was one of my first teachers in the program, I had him my first semester, he admires me, he has asked me to help advise others regarding writing academically and he’s asked after my experience with teachers in the program and some interesting internal conflicts my cohort has gone through.

I really like him and he likes me and he’s been a great advocate of mine.

I have to make an appointment to meet with him ASAP.

I’m going to be talking to the Dean from the Transformative Psychology department on Monday, I want to line up my advisor for the following week when I’ll be heading into my first weekend of the semester.



A little fun.



A tiny bit of pain too.

I have my anniversary in 9 days and a dance party to go to–the fun.



A thirteenth star tattoo to get–the pain.

I’ll be heading into see Danny Boy at Let it Bleed on Polk Street on the afternoon of my anniversary after I get out of my group supervision.

Danny Boy’s done the last three stars for me.

I’m planning a pink one this go around, a small’ish one, on the right side of my neck, above the big black star that I got, my 11th year, which also happened to fall right after David Bowie’s death–Bowie was sober and his last album was Black Star–seemed quite apropos.

I’m excited.

There’s some big stuff happening.

Anniversary, graduation application, PhD application, life, love, doing the deal, work, clients.

All the things.

All of them.


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2018

I really haven’t any resolutions to share with you.

I prefer to just treat each day like it’s a new day instead of having expectations that I need to change or get better or perfect something.

I need to grow a little everyday and not try to cram a bunch of resolutions into my day and think that I’m going to change over night.

Little bits by little bits.

Baby steps, baby.

And I took some nice ones today.

I got out of bed.

I know.


I really wanted to stay in bed and in fact, did sleep past the point I would normally get up.

My brain was trying to hijack my body though and convince me that I didn’t need to go to yoga.

I needed to go to yoga.

It, my brain, almost won out, but I have smart feet and I also have inborn knowledge from having done enough yoga that I always feel better after a class, even if it’s with not my favorite instructor at the studio.

Which is the excuse that I used the day before to not go, but really, I assure you I had gotten plenty of exercise the previous twelve hours to not feel upset about missing a class and I think that I needed the extra sleep yesterday.

Today, not so much, and I knew that I would not be happy with myself if I skipped yoga two days in a row during a time that I could be going to yoga.

I can’t typically make it to classes during the week, work and my internship conflict, so I’m a weekend warrior.

To not go on both Saturday and Sunday would have been sacrilege.

So I got my happy ass out of bed and into my yoga clothes and I stayed in them for a long time.

It was a great class, I was really surprised, maybe not having any expectations that I would enjoy the class I actually did.

I came home thinking that I wanted to go on a bike ride too, the bike ride had been running around in my head for a few days now that I think on it, and I figured I could actually make it a nice physical day for myself, maybe even go back to the late yoga class.

It’s a restorative yoga class, so it wouldn’t have been like a big effort, although I didn’t end up going, something else came up.


I did go on the bike ride!

It was great and in fact, I might let myself go on another tomorrow.

I was supposed to meet with a ladybug today, but she had to cancel, so after a good check in via phone, I pulled my bike out and pumped air into the tires, grabbed my messenger bag, a water bottle and my bike locks, in case I wanted to stop anywhere I could lock up my bike.

I rode out from the house down 46th to Sloat, then up to Great Highway, up past the zoo a bit, and then stopped right before the hill to gaze at the ocean for a while and snap a quick photo of my bicycle, she is a pretty, pretty thing, before I headed back down Great Highway, riding past my turn off to Fulton Ave, the up to 47th and around the park for awhile, around the soccer fields and the back side of the Beach Chalet, I went past the archery fields and eventually popped back out onto Lincoln Ave at Chain of Lakes, back down to 46th, then two blocks back to the house.


It was smashing.

I am so glad I did it.

Aside from the exercise it also felt really meditative and I reflected over and over again how amazing it is that I live somewhere so beautiful, that I literally am blocks away from Ocean Beach, that I get to ride my bicycle around a world-renowned park, that I get to live here in San Francisco.

It is a huge gift.

After the bike ride I had a late lunch and then made some chicken soup.

I’ll be visiting my person tomorrow, he just had a hip replacement surgery, and I wanted to bring him some more chicken soup, he’s gone through the two big Mason jars I gave him right before the surgery.

I’ll be heading is way by 1 p.m. and we’ll go for an easy walk around the block.

Like literally.

Just around the block.

And maybe a few minutes of hang out time.

I don’t think he’s got the energy for big visits, but he wants to see my face and I, his.

It will be good to see him.

I’m also going to hit up another yoga class tomorrow.

It’s nice to have a Monday off and the studio is open.

That will make three yoga classes over the weekend and a bike ride.

Not bad.

Especially for someone who is  loath to exercise.

I generally like it once I’m doing it and I know how important it is to move my body, but my brain is a sabotaging machine.


I signed up for the 10 a.m. yoga class and I’ll see my person at 1p.m.

Other than that I have no New Year’s Day plans.

Doing the deal somewhere and chilling out with my new book.


That’s not a psychology book.

I know.


I went up to Blackbird Books, the new book store in my hood next to Trouble Coffee, and splurged on the new Jennifer Eagen book, Manhattan Beach, I’m going to indulge my literary self and not read any psychology for at least a week.

So freaking sexy.

I may just spend most of tomorrow lazing on the chaise lounge after I get back from helping out my person and just read.

Such luxury.

And that’s it, that’s my New Year’s Day plans.

To chill the fuck out.

The year is going to be full and amazing, hello, I’ll be graduating, going to Paris, and starting  PhD program, traveling to D.C., and who knows what else will happen, seeing many clients and nanny’ing up a storm.

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of New Years!

Big love from the city by the Bay.

May the year bring you so much love and joy.

So much.


You Look Much

December 31, 2017

“Better than when you came in!”


“I remember you from 19th and Dolores, I mean it, you look amazing.”

He said to me with a big grin.

It’s nice to run into folks who remember me from when I first got sober.

I have changed quite a bit.

I mean.

So much.

It’s extraordinary.

Hell, I feel like I’ve changed a bunch in these last four years and certainly since I’ve been in my graduate program with school.

My life really blows my mind at times.

My great job.

My relationships.

My new car.

Um, hello.

I got her washed today.

First of all, fuck, it’s pricey in the city, but oh, man, she looks so pretty when she’s clean and I just know it will keep the life of the car up to take care of it.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go check out the place on Bayshore that you can get a membership to and get unlimited car washes for $29.99 a month.

I paid $33 today at the one on Divisadero.

I got a wash a few weeks back, my last weekend of classes, at the place on Van Ness and that was $30.

The one on Divisadero did a much better job.

However, $33 is a bunch of money.

If I can get unlimited washes at the place on Bayshore for $29.99 a month, I go once and it’s pretty much paid for itself.

It’s a place called Shine-N-Seal.

It’s a bit out of my way, but I was thinking today when I left my group supervision that it’s worth checking out on a day when I’m getting out of group since I’m in the Mission and the Bayshore is not so far away, maybe a ten minute drive.

And after dropping the $33 at the place on Divisadero I’m ready for something a little more economical, especially since I’m realizing how much I really like having my car and I like having her clean.


A lot.

It’s super nice.


Grocery shopping today, being warm, being able to bring more back than when I’m on my scooter, listening to music in the car, I really dig on that.


I have reflected a lot today how good I have it and I’m super grateful for that perspective.

I also got hella sleep today.

I was up for a little while this morning but then decided screw it, back to bed.

I didn’t go to yoga, I have a hard time committing to the instructor for the class I could have gone today, I just do not like his classes and when the option to crawl back into bed was happening, well, I just rolled with it.

I mean.


I felt like a million bucks today.

Super rested.

I got lots of laundry done, all fresh linens on the bed, all my towels done, and a run to the grocery store before I left for supervision.

Which was so chill.

There were only two of us so I got to go over a load of my clients and also check in about some school stuff, intern stuff, applying for my intern number, which will happen after I graduate in May.

Some talk about the PhD program I’m considering going into.


I said that.

I am getting pretty serious about it.

My supervisor at my practicum site told me he would support me through the process, he did the same thing I’m considering, like almost to a “t.”

“Carmen I worked full-time, I ran this place, and I got my PhD at the same time, you can totally do it and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation for the program.”

He went to the same graduate school program that I am in.

He also remembers me from 19th and Dolores.

And basically I got, “baby you’ve come a long way,” in no uncertain terms.

I have done a hell of a lot since getting sober, it is incredible when I think about.

Super grateful.

Over the moon grateful.


Crazy graced.

Lucky as fuck.

I don’t know how else to express it, but that I want to keep doing the deal and staying in the boat and doing the work, man I want to live this life and keep getting to do all sorts of amazing things.

Like get my doctorate in psychology.


Why the fuck not?

I’m only going to get older.

Plus, I can put off my student loans for a while yet, I have a place to accrue my internship hours, I will go for my MFT license and I will be a licensed MFT with a PhD.

Yes, please.

Today I had a few moments before showing up for group supervision, I went to Gus’s Market and got a salad from the salad bar and some stupid expensive blackberries, but gosh they tasted so nice, and a bottle of bubbly water, because I roll like that, and when I was walking down the hall on the fifth floor to supervision there it was.

“Take a Peek!”

A sign on one of the offices.

Oh yes, yes please.

Let me take a peek.

Look at that.

It was a big office, bigger by far than most of the offices I work in out the building.

I totally took a moment today dream my private office.

The space smelled of fresh paint and had a big window, double the size of most of the offices I am in, and it got sunshine.

I envisioned book shelves and file cabinets and a couch and a therapist chair and a place to have a tea-pot and a little mini fridge and oh, I could put down a nice cozy rug and hang art on the walls.

I just got into it.

It’s years away yet, but it’s not that far down the road.

My own private office, my own private practice.

I’ll be Dr. Martines licensed MFT and psychotherapist.

I’ll set my own hours, so that I can go to yoga in the morning and do the deal whenever I fucking want, I’ll make good money, I will have great health insurance and I will take nice vacations, I’ll have parking in the private garage in the building and live in a home that’s not next to the garage and below a barky dog, oh, man, I can see it.

It’s really not that far off.

It was super sweet to just have that moment in the office and I know that I might not be in that office space, but I will be in one, and I’ll be taken care of as long as I keep doing the things that I need to do to stay in recovery.

My life is fucking amazing.


Luckiest girl in the world.


Whole Lotta Nothing

December 30, 2017

Not that it was bad.


It was divine.

I only left the house today to go to yoga.


I almost didn’t go.

My brain said, hey, you were sick yesterday really bad, you should lie in bed and make sure that you’re ok.

Even though I was pretty much back to my normal self by the time bed time rolled around last night, no nausea, no headache, so no reason for me to lay in the bed this morning.

I got up and got dressed and walked over to yoga.

And it was good.

I got nice and warm and sweaty and had a good work out and stretched and my back is slowly feeling better, between a couple of chiropractor visits and doing a little more yoga, I have a much happier back.

Sure, some poses still not great at and I couldn’t hold a few of them today, tough on the tender ankles, but I know that balancing is helpful for strengthening my ankles and I also did some foot exercises today that my chiropractor recommended to me for strengthening my ankles.

I went though and I am happy I did.

It was the only time I went outside today.

I ended up taking a huge hot shower, wrote many pages in my notebook, and then had my best friend over for hang out time.

Lots of talking, hanging out, getting caught up, and I made some yummy food.

I cooked up my version of a Cajun gumbo/jambalaya.

Sans the crayfish.

I used shrimp instead.

It wasn’t really a gumbo and it wasn’t really a jambalaya, but it was somewhere in between and it was tasty.

I am very happy I made it too, knocked out some food prep for the week, what wasn’t eaten was put up and frozen and I’ll probably run some over to my person too, who’s recuperating from a hip replacement surgery.

I got the best text message from him regarding one of my soups that I had given him.

I made him an Italian sausage with white bean soup and then my version of chicken soup with veggies, brown rice, and Andouille sausage.

He was very, very happy with them both, but I think the latter got the big applause.

I do like to cook, it’s a nice way to show someone who you care for that you love them.

Since I don’t eat sugar or flour I don’t make super intricate stuff for myself, but since I know how to cook and have cooked plenty with those ingredients, I know how to combine flavors.

Sometimes I have no idea where the stuff comes from, I’m just like, hmm, put that with this and see what happens.

It’s a nice skill to have and I’m always surprised that so many people can’t cook or don’t know how to do even basic stuff.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m good and I feel like I’m definitely better than the average bear.

My friend seemed quite happy to eat the food.

I don’t recall any complaints.

We hung out past sunset, which really isn’t that late since the sun goes down around 5p.m. and by the time my company had left and I washed up the dishes and put everything away I had absolutely no desire or urge to go outside.

It’s just too cozy in my little house and I’m happy to stay put.

It feels rather nice to not have clients tonight, to not have work either, which is why I was able to go to a 8:30 a.m. yoga class today, the family I nanny for went out-of-town for the weekend.

I’ll be going back into work on Tuesday.

Back to therapy, back to seeing clients, back to it all.

Fortunately the kids will be going back to school by that time as well, working early every day this past week, with the obvious exception of yesterday having called out sick, is a bit of a grind.

I don’t mind it horribly and I’m always glad I can be flexible for the family, but it will be nice to go back to my regular hours.

In the meantime I don’t have a lot planned for the weekend, and no plans at all for New Years.

I would just rather skip it.

I have my dance party on January 13th and that will be my dancing fun, I don’t need to go and be out amongst the hoi poi over the weekend, I’m more than happy to skip lines, drunks, amateurs, and Uber and Lyft crazy drivers from out-of-town.

Not sure what I’ll do, if anything, to celebrate.

More yoga.

The studio has classes on Monday, so technically I could do yoga tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, making it a four-day run for me.

I think that’s the best idea.

And maybe I’ll take a little trip to Stinson or Muir in my car.

I got my FasTrak in the mail today, so I can pay tolls via that instead of cash and it’s a no brainer to get over the bridge.

I do have group supervision tomorrow, lest I forget, though it was a very, very quiet week for clients, only one client, I only have to attend group, which is nice, but I do have to attend.

My solo supervisor is still out on Monday, which is New Years Day, so I won’t start back up with him until the 9th of January.

A tiny bit more of a break.

School is back on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of the month, January that is.

I still have a few weeks before I have to start thinking about it, although I already have a tiny bit.

I just checked my grades, I’m still carrying a 4.0!


That’s always nice to see.

I also need to start looking seriously into applying to the PhD program at my school if I’m going to do that.

I think I have to apply by February or March.

My supervisor at my practicum site already said he would write me a letter of recommendation.

I definitely want to have that!

Plenty to think about and do over the next few months, but for the rest of this weekend, I’m just going to chill out, do lots of yoga, cook some nice food, maybe I’ll even buy a book that’s not related to psychology.




And Just Like That

November 29, 2017

I have registered for my last semester of class!

I can hardly believe it.

It feels very surreal.


Fucking amazing.

I will have three classes next semester.

Once a month I will be in class.

Five weekends.

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






I will graduate Saturday, May 19th.

Holy fuck.

It’s really happening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have taken Group Dynamics.

Therapeutic Communication.

Human Development

Integral Philosophy

Psychodynamics I and II.

The Clinical Relationship.

Professional Ethics and Family Law I and II.

Multicultural Counseling and the Family.

Applied Spirituality.

Gestalt Therapy.

Family Dynamics and Therapy.

Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment.

Child Therapy.


Couple Counseling.

Community Mental Heal & The Recovery Model.

Special Topics in Psychotherapy.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Counseling.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Jungian Dream Work.

Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

Elder, Spousal, & Child Abuse.

And practicum which includes Individual Supervision and Group Supervision.


That’s a lot of reading.

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



And I just have to do three more classes.


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

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

Today marked 26 weeks.

Half way there.

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

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

The therapy is good for me.

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

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

A lot.

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

I do a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

Very dangerous and very rarely expressed.

Almost never.

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

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

Most often for me, it’s fear.

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

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

I just cried a lot and it moved.

It’s probably still moving.

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

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

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

I have burdened myself for so long with false ideas.

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

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

A.  Who am I to say I’m God?

I’m just not that powerful.

B. I was a child.

I was a child doing an adults job.


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

A poverty-stricken, neglected, abused child.

Smart as fuck.

But a baby.

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

I was shocked when that popped out of my mouth.

My God.

Oh, sweet, sweet, baby girl.

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

And you got out.

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

Jesus Christ.

I’m still in awe of my session today.

That so much got sorted out.

Really astounds me.



It fucking works.

It so damn does.

Thank God.

Thank fucking God.


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