Posts Tagged ‘sobriety’

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.

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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.

fullsizeoutput_108d

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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Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.

Tooth Ache

January 12, 2018

My tooth hurts.

Achy.

I’m hoping it’s temporary.

I’m one week and two days away from getting the permanent crown put in.

I’m not in severe pain, it’s just there and a touch disconcerting.

I got notice today that my dental insurance is about to end, as though it was much good, and I’ve looked up on my PPO to see if there is dental available through my plan.

It looks like there might be.

Then again.

Who the fuck knows.

I had made a opthamology appointment four months ago.

Yes.

I said four.

And today I got a message to call the office.

They weren’t sure if my insurance covers the visit.

I gave them all my information and am awaiting details.

It’s so frustrating.

I have not had this experience before.

Having to wait such long times to be seen, not being able to be seen, having to figure it all out on my own.

I had Kaiser for such a long time I got super spoiled by their facilities and the easiness of booking appointments.

I wish the school hadn’t changed over to this health plan, but it’s what I have and until I can afford something different, it’s what I’ll be using.

I do get a stipend from my family, so there’s that, it’s just the inability to be seen that has me really flustered.

I didn’t go bananas on the woman who called me but I did question why the hell it took so long to be contacted if there was a question in regards to the coverage.

I mean.

I just would have kept my October appointment with my ophthalmologist on Irving street.

Really nice guy, Dr. Kurtzbay.

I liked going there, although I did not like paying out-of-pocket for the services.

The last two pairs of glasses I got were both over $450.

Plus I was a little flush, for me, and I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Which I managed to hold onto for about four months before losing them.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When I got this new insurance I was excited that there was ophthalmology and dental included.

Of course.

I haven’t been able to use the services, I haven’t been able to get in to a dentist or an eye doctor, so in a sense it feels useless.

I have used the insurance once to be seen by a new primary care physician in an Outer Sunset facility that reminded me of a bad made movie scene in a third world country.

I have the number for the only dentist facility that my insurance purportedly covers and I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if I can get in.

If I can’t then I will renew my own out-of-pocket dental care for the second year in a row and just stick to my guy over at Sunset Premier Dental.

He’s not first world, but not third world either, and he takes appointments on Saturdays, so there’s that.

Speaking of appointments.

I get to see my chiropractor in the morning.

I have a 9 a.m. session.

My back as been feeling better, I will say that, not 100%, but significantly better, I’m not in nearly the same amount of pain as I was a few months back when it started to act up.

I think this is my fourth session.

I’ll have a few more sessions still covered by my family and then I will see about continuing.

I really like her energy, it’s just $85 a pop and she wants to see my weekly.

Add that to my personal therapy at $120 a session, and the week get’s expensive quick.

I wouldn’t really be thinking that much about it, but the unexpected dental stuff did eat up my little buffer.

I’m not too worried, however, I’ve gone over my numbers a bunch of times and I’m going to be just fine.

Tighter than I want to be, sure.

Wishing I hadn’t committed throwing in $200 to the party on Saturday, yup, but fuck it, whatever.

When I was out drinking and using I blew more than $200 a night and frankly, I’m happy to help host a party and have a fun time and a good dj and friends come out to dance that I typically don’t see.

It’s only a few days away, my sobriety anniversary and it still doesn’t have that anxious feeling around it, I’ve nearly forgotten, in fact, that I had an anniversary coming.

I have heard people say that before, especially busy people, but I never really thought that there would be a time when I would not be acutely aware of an upcoming anniversary.

And I’m just not.

It’s rather nice.

The party makes it rather nice too.

So.

I’m not going to focus on money, it’s all God’s money anyhow.

I’m just going to focus on what needs to be paid next and have faith that I’m taken care of.

Paid my phone bill yesterday.

Felt great.

I actually like paying my bills.

I mean, even though I didn’t want to shell out the money to my dentist, I really like that I was able to pay it and pay it in cash, well, not paper-folding money, but you know, by debit card which is not a credit card.

I have not even used the credit card I got a few months back, I’m not even sure I will for that matter.

I like paying my debts with cash.

It feels good to be accountable.

And it feels really god that tomorrow is Friday.

Fuck yeah.

I’m ready for the weekend.

So ready.

Seriously.

Gold From Dross

January 8, 2018

I keep hearing my person talking to me about my life and what’s been happening over the last few months and school, and work, and relationships and how she managed to give me the most amazing compliment and also an admonition all at the same time.

She said that of all the people who she’s met in her life I am the best person at making gold come out of a poor situation.

She was giving me a really big compliment.

And.

She was also pointing out that I am used to not getting to work with much, so I manage to make the best out of whatever situation that I am in.

That I also, it was noted, have a tendency to take whatever I can get and spin it into something beautiful because I was never really allowed to have wants or needs.

And as it turns out, those wants and needs are not being met.

In a way.

My needs are being met and wants are desires that have a pretty name attached to them.

I have everything I need and then some.

But she had an interesting point, that just because I have the ability to make due with less does not mean that I must have less, that I’m allowed more, and that I can acknowledge those wants even if they are not met.

It’s a poverty thing, growing up so poor, take what you can get and be happy that you got anything.

It’s a kind of scarcity thinking that I have to often work around.

Like yesterday when I was getting the crown for my cracked tooth and there was a part of me that was loud and vehement, go with the cheaper option!

Fortunately.

I have done so much work that I knew that what I needed to do was go for what was best for me and my health and have complete faith that I was being taken care of.

And I was.

I paid for it, it’s done.

Today was actually quite nice, no pain whatsoever.

Well, once, once I bit down on my dinner a little too hard and there was a snatch of pain, but other than that, nothing worth noting.

I’ll be gentle with my teeth for the next couple of weeks and head back in on the 20th to have my permanent crown put in.

What has stuck with me about the comment was partially what I did yesterday and also acknowledging that there are parts of me that I just don’t let out, I don’t acknowledge that I have wants and desires that are very human and pretty typical.

Again.

She noted in the sweetest, kindest ways, nothing judgmental about me, or my situation or my life, just that she wanted me to see the parts of myself that I was perhaps pushing away as I made gold from my situation.

It struck me deeply.

And when I got off the phone with her I hopped onto the website for my yoga studio and signed up for the 4:30 p.m. class.

I was going to skip it today having been plenty active this morning and then going back to bed and sleeping until 10 a.m.

Which is the last time I will be sleeping in for a while.

Supervision starts back up tomorrow morning.

I will be up at 6:30 a.m.

I’ll be taking my car, rain in the forecast, and I will need to leave home earlier than normal to get to my supervision in Hayes Valley, during morning rush commuting hours.

Blech.

But.

Hey.

Not riding my scooter in the rain!

Supervision for an hour, then a phone call with the dean of the Transformative Psychology PhD program, then work, then two clients, then home.

It’s a long day.

So yeah, letting myself have that kiss of extra sleep was nice, plus I went to bed late last night, I was restless and had a head full of thoughts, dreamy thoughts, but thoughts that kept me up a little later than I would have wanted.

I don’t think I fell asleep until 1 a.m.

So morning yoga was out.

I flirted with the idea of doing either the 4:30 p.m. class or the 6:15 pm restorative yoga class.

But after my phone call, I knew, I had to get into my body and exercise.

It was super good.

So good.

Great instructor and I got super sweaty and just worked.

My head was quiet, except at the very end right before the final pose and it got a little too chatty, but it was emotional chatter that needed an outlet, and I was able to cry a little and let it go.

Sweat, tears, all the same thing, pain leaving the body.

I floated home and when I got there a message came in from a woman in my neighborhood about what I was doing this evening and where I might be going and did I want to head over to Quintara and 20th?

Um.

Yes, please!

Super good, caught up with my fellows, did the deal, got right with God, connected and feel really positive about moving forward into this week.

As I come up on my sober anniversary and see all the amazing insights that I get to have and all the growth that I have gotten to do this past year, it blows my freaking mind.

Like.

Just for instance.

Right before my friend picked me up to go do the deal I sent off my graduation application to my school program.

I paid the $90 fee and I filled out the four pages.

I noted my 4.0 grade point.

I expressed what name I want on my diploma, my full name, middle and all, thank you very much.

It asked if I wanted to speak at my commencement and I said I would be honored if so chosen.

I said I was going to attend the commencement and that I would walk in the procession and yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I said I wanted to pick up my diploma in person.

I want that baby in my hands as I cross the stage.

My god.

What a day.

Started with love and gratitude.

Ended with love and gratitude.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Luckiest girl 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.

But.

Whoa.

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.

Plus.

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.

Anyway.

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.

Plus.

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.

But.

First.

A little fun.

And.

Oh.

A tiny bit of pain too.

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

And.

Yes.

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.

You Look Much

December 31, 2017

“Better than when you came in!”

And.

“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.

Like.

A lot.

It’s super nice.

Plus.

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.

Anyway.

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.

Fuck.

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.

Yeah.

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.

Blessed.

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.

Because.

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.

REALLY.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Bonked But Not Broken

December 17, 2017

Perhaps a touch tender, but for a minute I thought I was going to actually get a shiner.

Fortunately I only cut my brow bone.

How did this happen you ask?

Eagerly going in for the salad at Gus’s Market’s salad bar.

I didn’t see that the glass partition was raised, whomever had restocked the salad bar hadn’t lowered the shield and I didn’t see it.

Not at all.

I smacked right into it.

“OW!”

I said and then I started laughing, what kind of idiot I must have looked like?  I’m glad I could laugh at myself, it really was sort of funny, like someone smacking into a glass window while walking out to the patio.

I chuckled pretty hard and the guy across the way said, also laughing, “that is exactly the kind of stuff that happens to me, I’m glad I’m not alone.”

“Here to be of service,” I laughed again and got my salad.

I actually hurt myself worse than I thought.

I was standing in line to check out when I realized I could feel something dripping down my eye.

Oh my God!  Am I bleeding?

I paid for my salad and La Croix and popped open the camera app on my phone and turned it to selfie mode.

Yup.

Sure as shit, I was bleeding.

I asked one of the cashiers for the manager, who hustled right over.

I took off my glasses, explained what happened and asked for a band-aid.

I in hindsight I was pretty damn calm and I wasn’t upset about it and I wasn’t going to make a fuss, although a tiny petty part of me was like, “buy my salad!” But I was actually just really aware of how I felt internally, that I was happy, joyful, spiritually attuned, and not really ready to pull a class action law suit against the manufacturer of shield glass on salad bar.

I took the band-aid, went to the bathroom, washed the blood off and put the band-aid on.

I actually looked kind of cute.

I had just come from a holiday ladies brunch and holiday party and had dressed up for the occasion.

The band-aid added a certain kind of tough aplomb to my outfit.

The brunch was also the reason why I felt as good as I did.

I had gotten to reconnect with ladies in my fellowship and community that I have sorely missed over the semester of busy.

It felt so good to sit and chat and catch up and see how folks were doing.

I even got a client referral from one of the women there who is a licensed MFT.

That felt really good.

In fact, the whole day felt really good.

I had a great supervision group.

Nobody noticed my eye, the bleeding stopped pretty quick and though I have a tiny bump and an obvious cut, it’s hidden quite well by my glasses frame, and I got to have a merry check in about all my adventures the last two weeks.

Last week I wasn’t in supervision as I was in class so my supervision group wanted to hear all about the lecture and how my semester had finished.

And one of the other interns, who has been there over a year, talked to me about a possible client referral, and he said, “you’re an amazing therapist.”

I just about broke out into a blush.

Later I thanked him for saying it and he added on, “not only are you an amazing therapist, you’re just an amazing person, you really have so much to give.”

I just was so struck by the sweetness of it and we hugged and wished each other happy holidays.

So nice.

Then!

Oh my gosh.

I run into a woman I used to work with at Hawthorne Lane, the fine dining restaurant that was my first job in San Francisco.

It turns out she has an office in the same building that my internship is in!

I was so happy to see her, it felt really good to reconnect and see how well she was doing, she had a big cancer scare a few years back while I was in Paris and to see her healthy and happy and ask after her husband and son felt super sweet.

She told me how great I looked and how happy she was to hear how I was doing, she was in awe that I was heading into my last semester of my Masters program.

Validation galore today.

Then off across town in my pretty little car to do some Christmas shopping.

And may I just say, how nice it is to have a tiny little car.

Aside from the fact that she is so adorable and cute, she’s teeny and I found parking in a spot that no one else could possibly have fit.

As well as when I got home tonight, squeezed right into the tiny spot on my block that almost always is open.

Then some Christmas shopping.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

A little holiday sparkle manicure.

Because.

Glitter.

Then back across town to the NOPA and getting right with God and connecting with my folks there.

So good.

I also found out that two of my friends who I had thought were going to be out-of-town for Christmas are in town.

We made some got to go dancing plans.

That felt really good.

Then the drive home, warm and cozy in my car listening to Music to Slow Dance to, a playlist that I am just in love with, and yup, there was my parking spot waiting for me.

And.

When I got in.

Mail.

Man, I love getting holiday mail.

I have a little garland of stars and green box twine that I hang my Christmas cards to, I got to add two in the last day.

The mail made me very happy.

A birthday card and a Christmas card from my grandmother.

She’s my last grandparent alive.

I was over the moon.

Last year she forgot my birthday and that sort of bummed me out.

But she didn’t this year!

It just felt extra special sweet.

And that was my day.

Sweet.

Funny.

Special in quiet ways.

Tender and in love.

Happy.

And I just signed up for a yoga class tomorrow morning.

Plus.

Yes.

I may let myself go do a little birthday shopping tomorrow.

Because.

Well.

I’m going to be the birthday girl real soon.

And it feels nice to get myself something sweet for my birthday.

Without sounding facetious.

I deserve it.

I work really hard.

But I have no complaints about that.

It is something I get to do.

My life is grand.

Full of love and light and joy.

Happy.

Happy.

Joy.

Joy.

Luckiest girl in the world.

At The Crack of Dawn

December 15, 2017

I will be up too early.

Yeah.

I know, suck it up baby, have some coffee and shut up.

I hadn’t forgotten that I had an early appointment before work, but man, it did sting a tiny bit setting my alarm clock for 6a.m.

Sigh.

Oh well.

Just because I’m not in school at the moment doesn’t mean that there won’t be days that I need to be up and out early.

Tomorrow is one of those days.

I got into see a chiropractor in the Mission.

At 8 a.m.

She was super sweet to fit me in at that time, normally she doesn’t take clients at that time, but the rest of her schedule was so full and my schedule being also full, she made an exception for me.

She normally doesn’t see clients until 9a.m., but tomorrow she’ll be there at 8 a.m. and sigh, so will I.

The irony of this, which does not escape me at all, is that afterward I will be scootering off to a park in the Upper Noe Valley neighborhood to hang out with the baby while mom gets a work out in with her trainer.

Which means wearing the baby carrier and carrying the baby.

Meh.

One of the reasons my back has been sore and tender for the last few weeks, carrying the baby in the baby carrier.

Grateful as all get out that today he slept in his car seat and had a huge fat nap that I didn’t have to have him strapped to me to get.

Usually he likes to sleep on me.

And don’t get me wrong, I like it too, so much, he’s so sweet and warm and cozy, it’s really nice, but it also hurts my back to carry him around.

So hopefully I get a good adjustment and my hips go back to normal and the small of my back will stop hurting so damn much.

Despite the appointment time being so early I am looking forward to having the adjustment, it really is needed.

It just means going to bed really soon.

I am also contemplating skipping breakfast.

Well.

Not really skipping breakfast, but not eating it at home.

I’m planning on getting up at six am to take a shower and get groomed and dressed and slide out the door by 7:30 a.m.

That doesn’t really give me time to do my morning routine and breakfast, I won’t skip the morning routine and if I want to do breakfast I would have to get up at 5:30 a.m. instead of six a.m.

I’m not ready to sacrifice that half hour of sleep.

I have a feeling it will be much-needed.

So I figure I’ll just grab a couple of persimmons or an apple and some almonds and just eat that at the park when I meet the mom.

And then it’s Friday.

And yes, it will signify my first weekend off in three weeks, my first day off, well, sort of, fuck, haha, I still have to go to group supervision, but it will sort of feel like a day off.

I really could use that feeling.

I’m going to meet some ladies in the Mission Saturday morning for a brunch, then head over to do group supervision and maybe afterward I’ll treat myself to a manicure somewhere before I go do the deal with my peeps.

I am ready for that as well, getting back to some fellowship.

Especially with the holiday sneaking up around the corner.

Sunday will be a little more chill, I’ve got a lady coming over to do some work and then dinner in the Castro with my person who is celebrating a huge anniversary.

That will be really good to be a part of, so much so.

Then one more week of work and a nice three-day weekend.

A weekend I’m still not really sure what I want to do, but I’m taking suggestions and thinking about what would be sweet and nurturing for me.

I think that’s going to be very important over the holiday, good self-care, compassionate actions for myself and those around me, practicing kindness and generosity, getting out to do the deal, go to a movie, fuck, it’s been a while since I was in a movie theater, ages really, go to the museums, get myself a little something.

Last year I gave myself a necklace that I was wearing today, for my birthday, that I had picked up in the Mission at a little art gallery on Valencia Street.

Maybe I do that this weekend, get myself a little birthday present.

I know.

My new car is pretty much the best present ever, but I didn’t really buy that with my birthday in mind.

I think there needs to be some other kind of recognition around it.

And I am so, so, so grateful that I took the night of my birthday off from clients.

That feels really important.

Just as it feels important to give myself a little something.

I rather liked the idea of jewelry, I like wearing it into my client sessions, I’ve been wearing more necklaces than I have in years and I really like that, I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but I do have an appreciation for a new accessory in my repertoire for sure.

I will have something to open, my mom’s birthday card, which has been sitting on my table now for a little bit.

And!

I have gotten my licence plates in the mail today.

In fact, I sort of want to open them right now, just to see them.

Ooh!

Ha, that was fun.

I opened them.

I will definitely have to put them on the car.

Maybe Saturday before I head out to the brunch.

I was thinking about riding my scooter since the brunch is in the Mission, but really, I don’t have time constraints except to be at my internship by 2p.m.

So I will allow myself to drive my car.

I really love having her, it’s been such a special experience.

I do feel like that is going to be the thing I do,  a mini road trip.

Just not yet sure where.

But I feel the road calling with its siren song.

Anyway.

Time to call it and get my butt to bed.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.

But that’s ok.

It’s the last day in the week and my evening plans look stellar.

Like.

Really stellar.


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