Posts Tagged ‘sobriety’

Sneaky Blog

February 12, 2019

I really should probably look at my homework.

But.

Fuck.

I have done a lot in the last couple of days and I also really should let myself off the hook once in a while.

I wrote a paper yesterday as well as attended a three-hour training in Berkeley for my internship.

Day off, what day off?

I also did laundry and roasted a chicken for food prep and packed up my carry-on for a trip this weekend.

I am going to do a quick zoom in and out of D.C.

A friend gave me some miles and I’ve booked an Air BnB with a fireplace in Georgetown.

We’re going to hang out, go to coffee shops and eat nice food.

I might not even go out all that much.

Sit in front of the fire-place and toast my toes.

I am going to do as much homework as possible this week so that I can actually enjoy my time there.

The trip was originally supposed to be before I started up school again but my friends schedule got wonky and we had to push it out.

So.

I will have a quick two and a half days and I’ll be right back in it.

Next weekend will be my weekend off.

Of course it does mean staying on top of things and as of such I did read 65 pages of an article today.

No fucking article should be that long.

Just saying.

Thank goodness the baby took a long nap today.

Poor little guy.

He’s been sick.

Went with the mom to the pediatrician today and it turns out he’s got an eye infection, a sinus infection and an ear infection in both ears!

He’s going to get a whopping big dose of antibiotics in the next couple of days and hopefully it will all get knocked out.

And yes.

I do actually have his cold.

I suspected I was coming down with it on Friday.

Sure as shit, Saturday I was running a fever.

But there was really nothing to do about that.

I got up, I did my morning routine, I went and saw my clients.

Fortunately it never really got anywhere as bad as the little guy’s had.

I’m a tiny bit sick, more like a light runny nose and some yuck congestion in my nose and throat when I wake up in the morning.

It’s like I got the diet version of his cold.

It’s enough to be a little annoying, but not enough to knock me down.

I will admit I was in bed pretty early last night, just to make sure that I was getting enough sleep.

That is the thing I constantly have to do for myself, get enough sleep.

Other things are getting dropped.

Socializing.

Blogging.

My blogging has been slight and I’m not excited about that, but I have to address homework pretty much every day and there is just so much to read.

My God.

The reading is heavy.

I am so very grateful I knocked out three books before the semester started.

I’m also 3/4s of the way through one of my class readers, which is going to be really helpful as I move forward.

But there is just always something else to read.

And I am constantly being sent stuff to read as well.

I can’t do it all

And I can’t blog as much as I would like, but I feel like I’m in a good place right now, turned in that paper yesterday and today did a substantive post to one of my classes.

I need to check into the other two and see what’s on the agenda, but I don’t have to do anything quite yet.

Aha.

I actually did.

And I just did it.

Hopefully I didn’t screw with the flow of the blog, but yeah, I had an inkling there was something I needed to attend to in my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

And there was.

So.

That’s done and now I can say I checked in and took care of it and between that, the discussion posts, the responses to others I made today and all the reading, I’m pretty good with my efforts today.

Really.

As long as I stay sober today, ultimately nothing else matters.

But I do want to do the work to get this PhD.

It does feel really important.

I have had some people in and out of my cohort as well exhort me to do a book about what I am writing on and to have it full of photographs of my tattoos.

I am actually thinking about that quite a lot.

I do know some photographers.

I should start asking around.

Of course the two that pop up in my head first are professionals and would probably be a lot to use, but it may be worth it to start engaging in looking.

I would like to document my tattoos anyway and since I’ll be writing about them and my experiences I am also leaning very heavily towards adding them into my dissertation as well.

Which is something I can do with the methodology I’m using.

Things to think about.

I also have to remember I’m meeting with one of my professors next Friday, pop that on my calendar.

My online program piece uses a lot of Zoom meetings, but I can’t make most of them wtih my schedule.

I actually had one this Saturday, client cancelled, and I checked in with one of my professors who lives on the East Coast.

We had a great talk and he gave me some of the best compliments.

I mean.

I was really blown away.

He said, “Well, Carmen, I just think you’re brilliant, I really do.”

And.

He added a little later that he had something else to admit to, “I save your papers until the last to read, that way I have something to look forward to.”

OMG.

Best compliment.

I was so very flattered.

I really want to let myself enjoy this compliment too.

In the not so recent past I have used compliments like this to stress myself out, I better perform even better, I can’t disappoint now!

So for the last couple of days I have really held that for myself.

Of course.

The paper that was due yesterday was for his class and the first of the semester (for this class, not for the semester, I’ve already turned in two other papers thank you very much).

So.

Yeah, I had some anxiety writing it.

But overall, I think it was a good paper and he’ll like it and it’s ok if he doesn’t either.

I know that I have skills.

Maybe not mad skills, but I do think I have some writing chops.

Grateful as hell for that.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

It’s time to attend to a few more school things before winding it down for the night.

Sweet dreams.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

(I have always wondered how one does that?)

Heh.

Little Gold Star

January 20, 2019

Today I got my 14th star tattoo.

14 stars.

14 years of being sober.

I decided I need to give myself a gold star.

It’s been that kind of year.

When I reflected on all the things that I went through and all the places I’ve been, I think that I definitely earned it.

This past year I traveled to DC, New York, Paris, and Marseilles.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology.

I went through a buy out and moved.

That was some serious stress let me tell you.

I also started a private practice therapy business.

And.

A PhD program.

I also got my grades back from said program.

All “A”s.

ALL.

I was a little surprised to tell you the truth, I had an issue with a final paper I turned in for one of my classes and I didn’t think it was going to fly, the paper, that is–I digressed from the specific instructions the professor gave and did rather what I wanted to do.  It was the only paper for the class, although there were so many discussion posts that I feel like I actually wrote seven papers for the class, and I ran a huge risk doing it.

The risk paid off.

So, yeah, a gold star felt really appropriate.

2019-01-19 20.54.20-2

Yes.

It did hurt.

And it felt really right and I was, obviously, very happy with it.

Not only was I pleased with it, but it filled out the space perfect.  I am very satisfied with the way all my tattoos look and really have little desire to put anything else in that area.

Not sure where I’ll put the 15th, but let’s just let me focus on the 14th star.

It really was quite a year.

I walked through some really challenging things and came out the other side.

I reflected on a lot of that today as I went about my day.

I saw clients at my office, did lots of writing, read for one of my upcoming classes for this next semester (school starts next Thursday!), went to Let it Bleed on Polk Street, got an iced coffee for a treat, walked around the Tenderloin and took graffiti photographs, caught up with my friend DannyBoy at the shop, took myself out to lunch in Hayes Valley, had a coffee with a friend in the Mission at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine, went to Divisadero and got my nails done, and then hit my Saturday night commitment and did the deal.

It was a day.

I’m really happy with my life right now.

Oh, sure, romantically it’s strange, but you know, that will work itself out.

Or not.

I have ceased (fighting anyone or anything) trying to figure it out.

I’m just showing up every day and taking care of myself and I feel really good about what I did today for myself and my own care.

I also thought a lot about what I want to bring forward for this next year.

Get through the next semester of classes, add clients into my private practice, travel.

I also want to get through the Below Market Housing Homeowners workshop.

I really am going to go after buying a house in San Francisco.

My friend whom I met for coffee happens to be a realtor and we spent an hour going over what I need to do to get myself in line to actually do that.

She gave me a good idea of how much money I will need to have saved up, which will take some time (or not, who knows, money may fall out of the sky) to save, but I can do it.

Plus that I should get a credit card.

Which I’m not super stoked on the idea.

I had one that I’d gotten last year and then never used as it made me uncomfortable.

But.

My friend insisted I was really going to need a credit history that showed me paying off a card.

She said get one, pay it off every month and always pay more than the minimum payment.

If I do get another card, and that’s an if, I will definitely not let a balance roll over.

I just do not like the idea of having any credit card debt.

I do, however, like the idea of having a good credit score and something that shows I am a good risk for a home loan.

I shall take it under advisement.

I actually tried to re-open the credit card I had closed but I could not figure out how to do it and just sort of set it aside tonight when I got home.

I feel like I did a lot today just by sitting down and talking about it.

I will manifest a house in San Francisco.

See if I don’t.

In the mean time there is plenty of other things for me to do.

I do want to keep a soft focus on it though, always have it in my mind and see where I can expand my awareness of abundance.

I am continuing to practice that opening up to the universe, to the flow, to God, to abundance, I have continued to give away a little more than I typically do.

More tip in the tip jar, more money in the basket, continuing to pay my bills within 24 hours of getting them.

And!

Oh my gosh, this is definitely part of the gold star, I got approved to become an employee at my internship.

Which means that I will start bringing in more money.

I am so psyched about that.

I’m excited for this year.

I feel like all sorts of incredible things are going to happen.

I really do.

Faith.

I like that.

Faith, abundance, joy, honesty, integrity, serenity.

Words to live by.

Principles to underpin my gold star.

And!

Love.

Let me not forget that one.

Never forget that.

Seriously.

 

Bullshit

January 15, 2019

I keep expecting someone to say that when I say, “thank you for 14 years.”

It sounds so surreal coming out of my mouth.

How the hell did that happen?

Really?

Fourteen years.

Nights and weekends, nothing in between, nothing to take the edge off.

As if anything really could.

Using or drinking for me over an issue or a problem would just be pouring gas on a bonfire.

I would burn it all down and I don’t actually think I would die.

That would be the easier, softer way.

No.

I think I would live a miserable, dire, soul less, ugly life.

I have so much in my life I cannot imagine ever going back.

I do see it happen though.

So here’s to having more commitments and suiting up and showing up and doing the deal no matter what.

My life is really wonderful and it was with much sweetness that I picked up some metal last night in front of my community who witnesses me with so much love.

It really awes me the amount of love I have been given access to.

Most of all, the love I feel for myself.

The level of compassion and forgiveness I have for myself really is so vast.

I didn’t have it growing up.

Occasionally I would have a moment where I thought I might have something worthy in me, I was certainly smart, but how many times does it take for a person to hear that she is “too smart for her own good,” before she begins, I begin, to think the same.

I used to also wonder.

How come if I’m so damn smart I can’t figure out my life or what I want or where I’m going.

I mean.

I had some idea.

I knew I wanted out of Wisconsin and after multiply failed attempts I made it out in 2002 to travel all the way across the country and cross the Bay Bridge in my little two door Honda Accord.

I still remember what it felt like crossing over that bridge.

I was definitely crossing a threshold.

I had no idea.

Sometimes I think it’s a good thing that I didn’t know all the things that were going to transpire.

Who knows if I would have made it out.

I do certainly remember that.

I had a feeling of dread that my time was soon to be up in Wisconsin and I needed to leave, there was a constant low-level thrum of anxiety, a beating drum of doom that throbbed just below everything.

I was in constant fear.

I had no name for it though.

I had no idea the anxiety I was under.

I knew the depression.

That I had at least been seen for, once when I was in my early twenties and when the therapist wanted to medicate me as my insurance wouldn’t allow her to continue serving me unless I was prescribed meds, I bounced.

I didn’t understand then what depression meant.

All I knew was that sometimes it was terribly hard to get out of bed.

Or bathe.

I remember my boyfriend once made a comment about it, that the sheets needed to be changed or washed and I knew I had to get out and wash the bedding and myself, but getting into the shower was so damn hard.

I can remember how sunny it was too and we lived really close to James Madison park, literally just a few blocks away on Franklin.

I can count the number of times I went to the park on a sunny summer day on one hand and have more than a few fingers left over.

I could not get myself out of the house.

I knew it would pass.

It always did.

But it started to get longer.

And longer.

I might have a day of it once in a while and then nothing for sometime and then it would just snake back in.

For some reason it happened (and can happen for me now, there’s sometimes a feeling of dread during the longest days of the year) during the summer when there was lots of light and no reason to be caged up inside.

People think depression and they see rainy days and grey skies.

I saw sunshine and couldn’t bear to be out in it.

I worked nights.

I slept days.

Sometimes, in the dead of winter I would not see the sunlight at all.

Unless it was the sunrise coming up as I was coming home from closing the bar where I worked.

I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in undergrad.

Turns out that some folks, about 10% of the population that has the disorder, actually experience the depression in the summer.

I remember one year that was really bad.

I was in between jobs, I had just given notice to the Essen Haus where I had been the General Manager and was transitioning to my new job at the Angelic Brewing Company as their Floor Manager (still the worst title ever, how about Queen of Doing Everything, that seems more apt).

I had two weeks off.

I was supposed to have taken those two weeks off to go on a road trip with my boyfriend, but it didn’t come to fruition due to the Angelic needing me to start before the trip had been planned.

I postponed it and planned on doing it the next year which never happened either, but I digress.

My boyfriend went to work in the morning and I sat in the living room of our apartment in a rocking chair.

I sat there all day long.

I might have read books.

I would sleep as long in bed as I could, then get up and sit in that chair until he came home.

Part of me suspected that there was something very soothing about the rocking of the chair, I used to self-soothe as a child when I was upset by rocking back and forth, I can still slip into it if I’m really freaked out.

I don’t remember much of that week, but one particular scene is always in my head and that is of the shadows growing longer and longer in the apartment as the sun set.

They would crawl slowly across the floor and I would watch them inch up the walls until the apartment was muddled in twilight and I would only get up to turn on the light five minutes before I thought my boyfriend was going to get home.

There were many nights of sitting in that chair in the dark by myself alone.

I told no one.

Wowzers.

I had no idea that was going to be what I wrote about tonight, but hey, there it is.

In addition to the SAD, I have depression.

Hahahaha.

Sigh.

Major Depressive Disorder is the clinical diagnosis.

I managed it once in early sobriety with antidepressants but after a few years I got of the meds and deal with it through writing daily in my morning journal, I use a light therapy box every morning, I write affirmations, I get outside as much as I can, I eat really, really, really well, I do my own therapy work, I cultivate relationships with my fellows and I have good damn friends.

And I don’t drink.

Alcohol is a depressant you know.

I didn’t.

Not for years.

And for years I have been pretty free from that great ocean of doom and for that I am so grateful.

My life is lovely.

Challenging, sure.

But absolutely lovely.

Thank you for 14 years!

You know who you are and I love you, very, very, very much.

I’m In!

September 19, 2018

And I’m writing this blog from my brand new kitchen table.

First new table kitchen table I have ever bought.

Ever.

I was reflecting on that earlier, I bought a new car last year, who am I?

I am very lucky.

Blessed really.

I just discovered someone who I knew really well as a child has passed of alcoholism.

My heart went out to her and the family, although to say it surprised me, it did not, just that I hadn’t known and she passed last year.

I am so grateful to be alive and having this experience.

Next time I tell myself that I am overwhelmed with school and work and the whole internship thing, I will remind myself that I am alive and for that I am beyond grateful.

Way beyond.

I am also moved into my new home.

I haven’t written my blog in days, or my morning pages either, not since Sunday Morning I think and I’m not sure when I blogged last but it’s been a few days.

Sunday was a flat-out run.

I was up early at 6a.m. to get myself ready and over to Alameda for a three-hour training for my new internship.

My God that shit is happening fast.

I have to get keys to my new office, close down my current client file (aside, another client is coming with!) and start-up my website, get a Square reader, get a phone number and get going.

I start with my new internship on October 1st.

Less than two weeks away, in fact, I see my first client two weeks from today in my new office.

Whew.

But I’m already ahead of myself.

Sunday.

A long three-hour training, then a dash back to the city and putting the rest of my stuff in boxes to move.

I had a dear friend come over Saturday in the afternoon and he basically just bossed me around and took apart my bed frame for me.  By the way, I needed the bossing around, I was so anxious that I kept getting distracted off task and he would get me right back on.  I was horrendously grateful for him.

Sunday I had another dear friend come over with his truck and help me move and he was a doll and put my bed frame back together again.

I actually got it all moved out and spent my first night here Saturday.

It was heaven to be in a bed, I’d slept on the floor (well, the mattress on the floor) the night before so I was really happy to be in a properly made up bed.

And I cannot tell you how nice it is to sit at a table tonight.

The last two days I have eaten breakfast and dinner sitting on the floor.

Which is fun now and again, I suppose, like a little indoor picnic, but I am so happy I have a new table.

A big table, a pretty table, a table that will do twofold work, my dining area and my work area, where I will be doing a lot of writing and very soon.

I have already actually written my first paper of the semester.

On Sunday.

Sitting on the floor.

I mean.

Fuck.

I moved out completely and I wrote a paper and I did a three hour training earlier in the day.

It was hard to make myself sit down and do it, I was so tired from the moving, but I had to, it was due at midnight.  I turned it in at 10:58 p.m.

And I just read my comments back and I did really well.

In fact, my TA gave me a huge thumbs up because I also put in a poem as part of the paper, a poem that was inspired by the time I was at the intensive and was also pertinent to the material that I was writing about.  I didn’t just use the poem to take up space.

I find this funny and endearing about myself, that I think that someone might think, oh, she’s cheating by using a poem to fluff up the word count on her paper, but most people who I know are intimidated by poetry and would prefer to just write the paper.

That’s not true either.

Most people I know aren’t interested in writing papers.

I, apparently am.

Although I still get good and nervous.

And that two-week thing?  When I start my internship, that is also the due date of my first big paper, an 8-10 pager.

So I have lots going on in the up coming weeks.

Getting the rest of my house together.

I have my couch (yippee!) getting delivered on Saturday along with the chair that goes with it, I have to set up the coffee table that was delivered a few days ago, I need a book-case and a dresser.

But I also unpacked, like I said, nearly everything, stored all my Burning Man things and notebooks and books that I’m not using in the basement, set up my shoe rack, hung curtains, assembled a rolling garment cart (my closet is small) and have set up my entire kitchen.

The only thing that is not sitting so well with me is that it’s cold in here.

I didn’t realize until my first night that there is no heat in the unit.

This has happened before, and it’s not a big deal, I’ve lived other places without heat, but I don’t want to live too long here without it, it’s cold out here by the beach at night.

So I ordered a space heater and that should be here in the next couple of days.

I’m just so happy to be sitting at my pretty table, listening to music, not worried about the noise, because my place is sound proofed, not that I’m loud, but you know, writing.

I have missed writing my blog.

I have a lot of things to do the rest of the week but I am feeling a lot better about it all sussing itself out, getting myself into my new place was the biggest thing and it’s done now.

I just have to go back and clean my old in-law, which I will do tomorrow after work and then on Thursday I will be returning the keys and getting the other half of the buyout money.

So happy this is almost at a close.

Ready to move into the next phase of my development.

I better be.

It’s just hurtling its way towards me.

Seriously.

Speed of motherfucking light.

One Thing At A Time

August 17, 2018

I was quite firm with myself this morning, there is only so much I can do in one day and I’m doing all I can.

With some grace, I might add.

“You’re doing amazing,” my person said to me on the phone as I was driving to work.

Aside.

God damn do I like being able to make phone calls from my car’s system.

And listen to music.

And be warm.

And yeah, I like my car.

Anyway.

I had called on my way to do a check in as I noticed a touch of anxiety in myself regarding what I can do and what I am not able to get to and if I’m doing enough and hey, whoa, slow down, I’m doing enough.

I am doing more than enough.

Truth be told.

I work a lot.

I work at work.

I work with my clients after work at my internship.

I am working to set up the parameters of my next internship.

Cue many back and forth emails with my former professor about sussing out what times and days I can use the office to see clients and what rent.

Rent has not yet been decided upon and I am nervous about it, but I know it’s just another hurdle to jump and if I catch my toe and stumble, it will be ok.

I put out a number and I haven’t heard back yet.

I sort of went with what my gut said was reasonable and I’m hoping that she’ll feel the same.

And if she doesn’t, if I need to pay more in rent, I will, I am not worried about making rent.

Not yet anyway, I’m sure that anxiety will poke its little head up once I am further along in the process.

I have also been carrying around the handbook that I was given at the orientation but I haven’t had a spare moment to read it.

I haven’t had many spare moments at all.

Which is why the touch of anxiety this morning.

What the fuck is it going to look like when I start my PhD program in two weeks?

I mean.

I have a feeling for what it will be, similar to doing my Master’s degree is what I presume, but also probably a little more work.

I ordered seven more books last night and hopefully I won’t have to order any more.

Some of the books I ordered won’t get here before the intensive starts, fingers crossed I won’t have needed to have read from any of them.

I did manage today, I see this as a huge win, though it was just a small action, to get one of my syllabi printed off and I noted that there is are a few mandatory readings that need to be done before the intensive that don’t include any of the books I ordered, but rather papers and online readings.

Which is nice, I can read them now rather than wait for a text-book to get delivered.

I didn’t have time to print off all my syllabi and I didn’t want to make myself feel rotten about it either, rather, just be happy that I took the small action of looking up the class, downloading the syllabus and printing it off.

Aside.

I am still so very glad that I invested in a printer my second year of my Master’s program.

So much is done online, but I still print off a lot of stuff and it’s super helpful to have printed copies of my syllabi, I really do better with paper copy than things online.

Speaking of online.

I also, in terms of the new internship, am going to have to set up a website for myself.

I have never designed a website and I have no clue how, but I know that there are many out there online that will have a simple plug and play sort of aspect.

They will already be formatted and all I have to do is add content.

Although there is the desire to ask friends to help me here, I know a few website designers, I really don’t want to pay and all my friends are professionals.

Maybe when I get licenced I’ll go with a designer, until then I will be doing it the “old-fashioned” way, ie, by myself.

So there’s that, plus business cards, plus getting another email address set up, just for my practice, plus a new signature for said practice that not only includes who I am and what I do, put also my supervisor’s information as well as Grateful Heart Therapy and then a general disclaimer about confidentiality.

There are so many details!

I know, though, that once the details all get ironed out, everything will fall neatly into place and it will be just getting comfortable in my new office.

I do hope to have all the transitioned out by October 1st.

That first week I want to be seeing clients in my new office space.

And of course.

Speaking of all the transitions.

The move.

It will have to be done by October 31st.

I haven’t yet found a place, but I am feeling ok about that, the right place will come, I am taking plenty of actions and letting people know.

I’ve spent enough time on craigslist to have a really good idea what the market looks like and what I think I can get.

So far it still looks like I will be living on my own, but I am going to remain open to the idea of room mates if it a really good fit.

Yeah.

So much stuff.

Of course I might feel a touch overwhelmed.

I was also telling my person how I felt last night with the break up and how I have been walking through the feelings and letting them happen as best I can.

“You really are doing just amazing, you are walking through so much, you are showing up,” he said again, reiterating it so I would really let it sink in.

And as long as I stayed sober today, and I did, it’s all ok.

Nothing is wrong.

There are a lot of things happening.

But as I have been told again and again, I’m not being given more than I can handle.

Grateful my capacities have grown!

The Last Goodbye

August 10, 2018

I have been thinking about this blog for days now.

You may have noticed that I have not written for a few days now either.

I was saying goodbye to the love of my life.

I never thought that I would write that sentence or that for the last year and three months I would be so involved with a man who I would have the opportunity to say all those things.

Love of my life.

Soul mate.

Partner.

The best thing in my life.

The best thing in my sobriety.

And yet.

There they were, over and over and over again, these declarations of the rightness or, the validity of, the beauty and power of love, lauded all over me.

I have had the greatest love of my life ever these past months.

Yet.

I had to leave him.

I can’t explain why, oh, I could, but I have no inclinations to air it all out, suffice to say what I wanted was not available.

I thought I was alright with that at first.

I did.

I thought this man is so damn amazing, so handsome, smart, kind, tender, sexy (fuck do not get me started) and funny, god damn is he funny, no one, and I mean no one, has ever made me laugh the way he did, ever, that I could deal with anything that the relationship handed me.

I kept it off my blog.

Oh.

You could catch glimpses of it here and there, but I never really talked about him.

And then I did.

Back in January.

I broke up with him.

It was like death.

It was so anguished and sorrowful and painful that I had friends reaching out to me to express concern.

I was vague, in the blogs, and it could have easily have sounded as though I had lost a loved one.

That is what it felt like, a death, I felt like death, I had never experienced such grief.

I remember relating to him later that I had not felt the depth of despair that the break up caused as when I had lost my best friend at 32 in a surprising and awful accidental death.

I felt more grief in my person when I lost the love of my life, that loss was harrowing.

But as my therapist once reflected to me, “you never really broke up.”

We couldn’t not be together.

We tried to be friends.

We tried to be compatriots.

We tried to not see each other.

We couldn’t.

We saw each other and then the inevitable swan dive back into the romance, the heat, the passion, the relentlessness of it, despite knowing that it wasn’t the best for me, I continued, I was in love.

I am in love.

I still am in love with him.

I still have this hope that something will shift, change, a magical thing will happen.

I know that is fantasy, but it is there.

In reality I also know that was has happened inside me, on the interior, in my heart, has not be sustainable.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I was hurting myself too badly.

It is hard to be a psychotherapist and try to hold onto something so painful, but try I did.

Of course.

I did fuck loads of work around the relationship.

Inventory after inventory, looking at myself, my patterns, how I love, the previous relationships and what they looked like for me.

I looked at patterns of attachment with my parents, I explored my psyche, I prayed, I meditated, I asked consistently for help and guidance from my support network.

No one ever really told me what to do, but so many could see that it was not a working relationship for me that, well, worked in my benefit.

God damn did I try though.

A part of me, larger than I perhaps wish to admit, still wants to try, to beat my heart a little more on the impossible wall that I was trying to scale to get to the place the relationship could flourish and grow.

I can’t though.

So I did the thing I never ever, fucking ever, thought I would do.

I asked for no contact.

Today was day one.

And there was no contact.

Although, truth, I felt him in my bones and body all day, an unremitting ache that has me in its grip, the burden of showing up for work and clients when all I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and cry myself back to sleep.

Sleep where I may perchance to dream of him.

I fucking asked for no contact.

On one hand I am appalled.

No texting.

No phone calls.

No emails.

No social media.

On the other hand, I am quiet and proud of myself.

It was horrendous, it was the hardest decision I felt such an ache for the loss of connection I cannot put it into words.

And I knew.

I knew, damn it.

That it was for the best.

That it is the “right” thing to do.

What ever the right thing to do is.

I am barely holding on here writing this.

I want to detail all the last words and gestures, the sweetness, the sadness, the anguished tears I shed, but I cannot sully it with my words and my sharing.

These last two nights I have been with him and I have no desire to share any more of it than that, the last two nights I have been with him.

And I miss him horribly.

I will be crying for a while.

There is so much loss here.

I have to give myself time to grieve.

So.

Forgive me for not sharing anything more.

I am devastated and that will have to suffice for now.

Devastated.

I Got Asked

March 13, 2018

I answered a phone call today, a phone call with a number that I did not recognize.

I knew immediately it was a number I should answer, it was not an odd ball number from Indiana or Wisconsin asking me if I wanted to renew my health care or a telemarketing scheme from some small town in Florida.

No.

It was an Oakland number.

Therefor local.

Therefore, necessary to answer.

I am a well-trained monkey, as part of my recovery I stay connected to people in my community by phone.

I often give out my phone number to complete strangers.

Women!

Only the ladies, thank you.

So that’s what I thought the number was.

A support call from someone, someone who I gave out my number to, some one who I may have recently met.

Happens quite frequently and when I am able, I answer those numbers.

It was not who I was expecting.

It was, in fact a woman, and it was also a stranger, but not from my fellowship.

From my school!

I got the call!

I got the call!

I got the call back to go in to interview for the PhD program.

I have made it through to the next round.

I mean.

I am going to sound a little cocky, but I am fairly certain I’m getting in.

Nonetheless.

It was thrilling to talk to her on the phone and to set up a time to go in and interview.

I will be interviewing with the department on Wednesday, March 28th at 10 a.m.

I have already cleared it with the mom to go into work late that day.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I just did.

I finished it before I started to write this blog.

I sent in the Diversity Scholarship application.

I got my financials together to show proof of need.

Hello.

I could just say I’m a nanny and I live in San Francisco, doesn’t that prove need?

But I sent in my tax forms to be transparent.

And the application itself as well as the personal essay explaining a little bit about me and what I am going to do to further diversity in my community.

I think I wrote a pretty good essay and I just let it flow.

Here’s what I wrote:

Diversity Scholarship Application

My name alone should alert one to the applicable nature of the scholarship, Carmen Regina Martines. I am Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Polynesian as well as Caucasian. I am a melting pot, I am a mix, I am the person who straddles the line between. And in that space I have an important role to play. I have dealt with the internal racism of my family, the white part as well as the non-white part, apparently neither side of my family wanted a “half-breed” a moniker one set of grandparents gave, while the other referred to me under their breath as Hapa Haole, a prettier way to say half-breed.

I am neither and I am both. I have found myself often wondering to which side I truly fall, not realizing that all along I fell along with the Puerto Rican and Polynesian parts of me—at least physically, if not spiritually (your  great, great-grandmother was a witch, my mother told me, on the islands she was well-known and revered). My great, great-grandmother was a midwife and a medicine woman, in other words, a witch. I have brown skin, brown eyes, curly brown hair, wide flat Polynesian feet, a wide Puerto Rican nose, full lips, I have been called a “wet back” I have been told I should go back to Mexico (I am neither Mexican, nor have I ever been to Mexico). I have had my name constantly and continuously mispronounced and misspelled. An Aunt, my favorite aunt on my mother’s side of the family recently spelled it wrong on social media, an aunt who lived with my immediate family for years.

If my own family cannot spell my name, then who can? I can. I lead by my example, I lead by strength and resilience, and I spell my name out to the world and I keep correcting the world until it sits up and listens, I am not here to be quiet any more. I am here to meet the two worlds halfway and instead of being somehow lessened by who I am, I become more. I have advocated for myself to get into the ICPW program at CIIS despite extreme financial hardship when I applied, I won the Diversity in Leadership award and that helped greatly, and then I won something else, I won self-advocacy, I won my voice, the full strength of it and I have every intention on using it, growing it and advocating for others, especially women, especially now, to step into their power and find their voice.

I began that journey by getting sober and abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and though I never felt different __________________, I will say I have felt different in school where I found myself to be the “only” quite often in my cohort. I grew strong first in _____ and then in school and I believe that between the two I have created a kind of crucible for change that I do not believe many have the capacity to manifest. I plan on carrying forth this deep identity and passion, my voice, my person, my experience, forward in my studies to help others embody their own power and story, and also to create new narratives, while not letting the old stories die, but rather to have them inform the new. I do not wish to stare at my past, but rather to acknowledge where I have come from—extreme poverty, neglect, violence, abuse, racism, classism, and sexism, and show how those defects, thrust upon me by others to create the worlds they needed to move through, are in actuality, assets by which I have grown, and grown through.

I have a roster of multi-cultural clients at my practicum (soon to be internship!), some full; some half, some mixed ethnicities, all with their own traumas around diversity. I am so situated to hold those stories and help reframe them in meaningful strength based ways. I believe that the continued furthering of my education will only help me to continue as a strong voice in my community, in recovery, in San Francisco, in California, and yes, I do believe, that it does ripple out, one person to the next, throughout the world, landing where it is most needed and welcomed. That is what I believe.

 

Ta da.

Hopefully that works.

And though, it’s not the essay I was planning on writing, it was what came out and I am happy with it.

And now.

I am happy to wrap this up.

I have done enough work for today.

Supervision, before work, work with a screaming baby (poor little guy has a UTI!), two clients, and all the work on the application.

I am done.

I am good.

I am so happy it’s all in.

And.

I go the interview!

Yes.

Big, Full Week

February 4, 2018

But then again, when is it not?

I was just going over my Google calendar and putting in all the things that I have happening this upcoming week.

I swear, I might need to not look at it for a while, there’s a lot going on.

But, I usually do have a lot going on.

I’m feeling the need to organize it as I wanted to see where I had little pockets of time to address things.

Like clothes shopping for D.C.

It was 75 degrees in San Francisco today.

It was glorious.

I wore a sundress.

I loved it.

February always has a run of nice days in San Francisco, it’s like a little mini-summer break, in the middle of what should be winter.

D.C. however is not that warm.

Nope.

Today the high was 41 degrees.

Granted I’m not going to D.C. to participate in outdoor activities, I mean cozy hotel, cozy restaurants and cafes, cozy museums, maybe a brisk walk around Dupont Circle and Georgetown but aside from that I won’t be outside that much.

Yet.

I still have a yearning for some cold travel appropriate clothes.

Plus I will have one nice meal out if not two and I want something appropriate for where I’ll be dining that’s not, well, a summer dress.

So.

Anyway.

Just spent a lot of time combing over my schedule and seeing where I can do things.

Tomorrow is pretty jam-packed.

Coffee in the morning and walk on the beach with my best friend.

9a.m. yoga class.

Shower and breakfast and more coffee after that.

My morning writing routine.

Food prep for the week.

And then.

I have a ten page paper I have to knock out.

I also have a lady coming over to do work at 2p.m. and I will be leaving to do very much the same kind of work cross town with my person at 5:30 p.m. then over to the Castro to get right with God and that is it.

My Sunday.

I won’t have time to do any shopping or the like.

Nor did I have time today.

I did, however, do some nice self-care things for me.

I did go to yoga, my head always says, just sleep in, but my feet were smart, I’d signed up for the class the night before, and I went, and as it is always, I was quite happy after I had done the class.

I had super hot shower, washed my hair, ate a great breakfast, worked on some client emails, did a bunch of writing, and went off to my internship for group supervision.

I was supposed to see a consultation today.

They no showed.

So I took the extra time, went to the bank, deposited a check, went to the car wash and got my car washed and then actually found brilliant parking just off Divisadero a block from a nail salon that I have been frequenting more often.

I got a mani/pedi and the eyebrows waxed.

It felt super nice to have an hour and a half of not moving, just relaxing, getting a little pampered, and then I was off to the spot for the doing of the deal and after, home.

A bite to eat for dinner, confirmation about meeting my friend for coffee, I can’t believe I’m getting up at 6:30 a.m. to meet my friend for coffee.

I obviously love my friend.

I hope there’s a lot of coffee.

Heh.

And that about wraps up my night.

It wasn’t a huge eventful day, but it was sweet and there were good moments of self-care and I had a few phone check ins with the new lady I’m working with and that felt really good.

I’m not going to make it a late night tonight, since I’m getting up early, just a little snack, some hot tea, and a bit of Peaky Blinders.

I’m quite taken with the show.

Just started season 4.

And a good nights sleep.

I’m not really upset about getting up early on my day off, it’s actually a good way to start the week, being up as early as my earliest day, which is Monday.

I’ll have a lot of 6:30 a.m. starts this week.

Monday for supervision before work.

Tuesday, fingers crossed there will be a fucking yoga class to go to before therapy.

Wednesday, a chiropractor appointment before work.

Thursday I can “sleep” in until 7a.m.

But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I’m back in school for the second weekend of classes for the semester, and that means a 6:30 a.m. start for each of those days as well.

So an early start tomorrow will just prime the pump.

And I’m super happy to see my best friend, our schedules are full and busy and it can be really hard to see each other.

I’m sure the company will be fantastic and I won’t be at all upset about getting out of bed early on a Sunday.

Fuck.

It will probably put me in such a good mood that I will get all the work done I need to do.

Fingers crossed.

Because I don’t have space or time during the week to work on my paper, I have to do it tomorrow.

I’m sure it will get done.

I always get them done.

I just have to sit down and show up.

And.

Well.

Write.

I think I can do that.

And with that I bid you adieu.

Snack, tea, Peaky Blinders, bed time.

Sweet dreams lovey.

Sweet dreams.

Open Heart

January 28, 2018

I have felt pretty fucking raw this past week.

I have gone through a lot and I have not walked it alone.

Today.

Ah.

Today.

I finally had a day without crying.

I got emotional, I had moments where I thought I would.

I had some strong longings, really fucking strong, to reach out and engage, but I remember that I don’t do this alone and that I have been given a lot of suggestions about how to navigate through my experience.

It doesn’t make it easier, in fact, it seems to make it harder.

But.

I suspect that the pain will be worth it.

That I will be left with something magic and special and worth it.

As I was told today, “the only way through is through.”

I am definitely going the fuck through it.

And.

Yes.

I did go and get myself some tattoos.

And yes.

They did ameliorate the pain a little bit, focused it in one location, shut my fucking brain off for a little while.

I got lost in the pain, floated around in it, distracted by the sound of the needle and the threading pain on my breast bone.

But it helped too.

And I love my new tattoos.

I got my lucky thirteen star.

For my thirteen years of sobriety.

I have a star for each year I have been sober.

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I had my artist, Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed Tattoo on Polk Street, make the placement.

I had thought of doing it a little lower, but when he put it underneath my ear I was quite taken with it.

Of course.

Holy shit.

That was distracting.

Having the needle so close to my ear, very distracting, it seemed to intensify the pain, the noise did, and I was very grateful that it wasn’t that big of a tattoo, he handled it pretty quick.

I had already gotten my other tattoo and was pretty pumped up on adrenaline by that, so the star didn’t hurt that much, it was just the sound of the needle and the vibration in my ear that was a little more intense than I had expected.

My first tattoo.

Well.

Fuck.

It hurt.

Yes.

It did.

I love when people ask if getting a tattoo hurt.

Duh, motherfucker.

Of course it hurts, come on.

Needles being driven into your skin, no really, it’s like getting a warm massage.

However.

I will say, my adrenalin kicked in super fast.

In fact.

I noticed it before I was in the chair, I was getting nervous and my body temperature went up, my fingers got cold and I got a little sweaty upper lip.

Fight or flight response.

Jittery stomach.

Despite making sure that I had a good lunch and I had it later in the day so that my stomach would be full while I got tattooed.

I can’t imagine anything worse than being hungry while being tattooed.

No thank you.

Anyway.

Yeah.

The adrenalin got up there right away.

The placement was on my breast-plate.

It’s beautiful.

I love the piece.

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I feel like it really tied all the pieces together and it just feels like I got the right placement and I really love the design.

It was based on a very special Tiffany pendant I was gifted.

One of my favorite things that I have been given this past year.

God.

When I think of the gifts I have been given.

I am amazed.

Even this pain that I have been walking through.

It’s a gift.

I get to feel it.

I get to feel the depth and breadth of my feeling.

I got to see how much I love.

I love a lot.

I love hard.

I love with reckless abandon and passion.

And.

Well, fuck, that makes me proud.

I’m alive and I wasn’t afraid to be sorry, I don’t have regrets.

Not a fucking one.

Rather.

I am grateful for all these experiences.

I have been given so much love.

The fact that I was hit so very hard with my circumstances shows to me the amount of love I have.

It is enormous.

It boggles my mind.

I used to pine for a love like this and then I got it.

And I was amazed.

I am amazed, at what I have gotten to experience.

And though I don’t believe that I am done grieving yet, I don’t feel like it’s a loss any longer.

Ok, that’s not true, it does still feel like a loss, but I know that it’s becoming more than that.

It is an opportunity to love more, to allow myself to step out into the light and shine forward and be strong and generous and kind and compassionate.

With myself.

With others.

I don’t know what my love path looks like, but I do not have any doubt that I won’t get to travel further along it.

Darling, reach out, and take my hand.

I will walk this path with my hand open, waiting for you to take it into yours.

I have faith.

Love.

I have so much faith.

And I know how strong I am.

For having walked as far as I have already.

I will be able to do this.

Grateful and alight for the experience of love that I have gotten.

In complete faith, utter and complete faith, that this love is not done.

It is infinite.

It is grand.

It is eternal.

All encompassing.

A shining beacon.

A brightly lit heart.

Just like the inspiration for my new tattoo.

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