Posts Tagged ‘strength’

Thinking About You

September 29, 2017

Hearing the reverb in a rock ballad.

Can’t stop thinking about you.

I feel like a young child.

Fixated on you.

Can’t stop thinking about you.

My is heart simple.

Almost seems to have lost its poetry.

Oh.

Song of mine.

When will I stop thinking about you?

Not till I see you again.

So.

I tell myself.

I have strength.

I have strength to withstand your absence.

I will live.

Even if.

I can’t stop thinking about you.

You.

My last thought at night.

You.

My first thought when I awaken in the morn.

You.

I can’t stop thinking about.

I miss you so.

Oh.

How I miss you.

I want to crawl into your bed.

In the middle of the night.

While the stars are still wheeling through the sky.

And.

The sun has not yet kissed the Earth’s horizon.

The light just about to change from dark to-day.

With the softest breath.

I would curl up against you.

Hold you.

Smell you.

Soothe myself by being near you.

So tired.

So sad.

So missing you.

I can’t fall asleep.

I want to listen to love songs and think about you.

Because I can’t stop thinking about you.

As if I can just keep thinking about you it will bring you back home.

I have been looking for you for so long.

Not knowing you were looking right at me.

And now that I know.

Well.

You’ve heard this refrain before.

But.

I can’t stop thinking about you.

And right now.

I am in your room.

I am looking at your sleeping face against its pillow.

I am kissing you.

I won’t wake you up.

I know you need your rest.

I know.

But I will kiss your face nonetheless.

I will frame it with my hands and touch your hair.

I will kiss your collar-bone.

And when you shift and stir and blink open your eyes.

I will be gone.

But still there.

In the flashing stars outside your window.

In the soft night air.

The stars can’t stop thinking about you either.

I miss you so.

I know.

I’m just repeating the words.

But as long as I am writing poetry about you.

Well.

I know you are with me.

And I can withstand.

I can wait.

I can.

Even though.

I just can’t.

No I really can’t.

Stop.

Thinking.

About.

You.

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Sleep

September 29, 2017

It does wonders.

I still could have slept another hour or fifteen, or so it felt, when I woke up, but I had gotten nearly 7 hours and that was miraculous after a long slog of a day with little sleep.

I am super grateful that tomorrow is Friday.

And that the mom had gotten mixed up with dates and I don’t have to come in early tomorrow.

I will next week.

But tomorrow.

Fuck.

I might even get eight hours of sleep.

It sounds so sexy it makes me shiver in delicious anticipation.

And just being the end of the week brings me some relief.

I’m almost there.

I still have a rather long day tomorrow, full day of work, client at my internship, but I don’t have a second client in the evening until next Friday, so I’ll be out by 7:30p.m. and able to make a friend’s birthday dinner at Fang on Howard Street.

I am also supposed to go dancing with the posse of ladies afterward at Public Works for Afrolicious.

I’m on the fence about that.

Originally I wasn’t going to be able to do dinner and felt an obligation to make a commitment to my friend and say yes to the dancing.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s been a long week.

I mean.

It really has.

And I’m still not in the clear.

I don’t have a day off until Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

I’m keeping the door wide open to just doing dinner and saying, love you, but I can’t make the dancing.

And.

I love dancing.

I haven’t really danced since Burning Man and god only knows when before that.

But, yes, I do like to dance.

And the music is sure to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I’m not committing though, not yet, I just need to see how I feel and not try to be a hero and push too hard.

If I have the energy, I’ll go for it and bounce home by midnight so that I can still get up and go to yoga in the morning on Saturday before I go into my internship.

I do know this much.

I am getting a god damn mani/pedi/waxing on Saturday.

I hate looking sloppy and my nails look like ass.

It’s always an indication to me that I am busy when my manicure looks bad.

It’s a time suck, an enjoyable one, but it takes time and when I have a school weekend, like I did last weekend, I don’t have the time.

Oh.

I tried.

I had a little tiny window Saturday between my last class and my first client, but the salon was full and couldn’t get me in for even just a manicure.

Note to self.

Make an appointment so I can get a spot.

I can’t go another week without doing the nails.

It’s a part of my self-care and it’s something I very much like to do for myself.

It’s a couple of hours of sitting still, flipping through magazines, letting someone pamper me, relaxing, using the massage buttons on the chair.

Yeah.

Definitely making some time to do that.

Then my normal Saturday night get together with my fellows over in the NOPA.

I might go out to dinner that night too, but not certain.

I also have homework to attend to, I do need to do some reading.

I actually got in a couple of articles yesterday evening, despite the fact that I had such a long day, I did a 45 minute stretch and got my CBT reading done so that I can actually know what the fuck is being talked about in my webinar on Sunday and I knocked out an article in my Child and Elderly Abuse class.

Little bits and pieces as I go.

It will get done.

I didn’t have much down time at work this week to address homework, but I have brought a book with me every day, just in case.

I never know what the time will bring, just that it’s important to utilize it when it occurs.

I hope to let myself have a little down time too.

I do what I can.

When I can.

I believe in abundance, my time is expansive.

I also acknowledge that my schedule is fucking full and it’s a lot when I step back and look at it.

But boy.

The time goes by.

And.

It won’t always be like this.

It just won’t.

It’s part of what I have to do right now.

Get the degree, get the degree, get the degree.

Eye on the prize.

Eyes softly on the prize.

I don’t want it to be the sole focus of my life.

I have people in my life who are my life and I can’t just be a soul hiding in a room studying all the time.

Or working all the time.

I need connection.

I need love

I need sunshine.

I need star shine.

I need love.

Oh.

I already said that.

But.

For the sake of telling myself that I am allowed.

I need love.

I can’t just send it out, to my clients, my family, my friends, to my job, without getting some back.

And thank God.

I am getting it back.

I am so grateful for that love.

Beyond words.

I realize that I have strength.

But I cannot be strong in a vacuum.

So.

I will do my best this weekend to let myself balance all my commitments and comings and goings and be nice to myself and maybe, I’ll get some flowers, or something else sweet for myself, be romantic, woo my heart, be gentle.

Heh.

See.

I’m making an opportunity to go shopping.

I see myself here.

Oh.

But.

It’s allowed.

Let me allow myself some sweetness for all the hard work I put in.

It’s allowed.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

And.

Maybe.

Yes.

A new pair of shoes too.

Heh.

 

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

All Systems Go

August 22, 2017

Fuck.

It was a busy, full, going on all four cylinders from the moment I got up, day, from early morning until.

Well.

Until.

Right about now.

I just got off an email back and forth with director of my internship, did a bunch of e-mails with some clients, booked some sessions, logged my hours for today in Track My Hours, and whew.

It’s like um, 10p.m.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s a full day.

I got some writing in today though, I hadn’t gotten as much morning page writing in the last week or so and it was really good to just let go on the page and scrawl away.

I also showered yesterday so I skipped it this morning, giving me a little more time to process all the junk in my head.

I don’t even know what I wrote, only that it felt good to write.

And.

I did a written gratitude list and sent another out to a friend via text.

I’m on a list he sends it to and I like getting it.

Not just because it reminds me to be grateful, it definitely does that, but to see what other people are grateful for.

I am grateful for everything.

My life is beyond my wildest dreams.

Sometimes it is strange and I wonder, how did I get here, but I know there are no mistakes in God’s world and I am being taken care of and having all the experiences I am supposed to be having.

Like being of service to the woman I am traveling with to Burning Man.

I am still having some trepidations about going with someone who is 74 years old, but I also am happy that I get to be of service to her.

It’s a nice to be of service to others, it gets me out of my head, and if you’ve never been to Burning Man it is super hard to imagine and of course, if you’re 74 there’s a different approach you’re going to make than if you are 24 or my age, 44.

How did I get to be 44?

Fuck.

Time flies.

I suppose I will look back in 30 years and wonder how it is that I got to be 74.

I’m going to be old.

I know it.

I also hope to be of service all the way to the end of my life.

I believe that’s the only way that I am going to be happy, by having a useful life, by helping others, it gives me happiness, it gets me out of my own head and I got to do a lot of it today.

I had a few phone check ins, one lady who I just recently met, and got to share some experience, strength and hope with her and although we are vastly different, we are the same person and it was good to hear how relieved she was to know that she’s not alone in her journey.

I got to talk with one of the other women I work with in recovery and I also got to see clients tonight.

And.

I worked with my supervisor.

I also got to go over my review with him, which was really enlightening and I got a better idea of how he thinks of me and what I am doing and that he also, although he didn’t exactly say it, likes me.

We had a great session and I learned a ton from him today.

I often feel as though I am taking a solo masters class in psychoanalytic theory when I am working with him.

I write a ton of notes and I can hear him in my head sometimes when I am with a client.

It’s exciting to work with him, he pushes me, he’s extraordinarily smart and intelligent, and I feel smart when I am working with him.

I like feeling smart.

I have always understood that I was intelligent, but the smart part of that eludes me, I have been mystified most of my life as to what people meant when they say, “you are so smart.”

I haven’t always felt that way.

Smart.

In fact.

I have often felt rather stupid, stupid in love, stupid in my life choices, idiotic some of the decisions I have made, or so I tell myself, but oh, the learning, the learning is so much.

I have such a wealth of experiences.

Mostly because I try to say yes to doing things.

Sometimes to my detriment, I’ll get too busy, I will get to wrapped up with my schedule and I won’t have the time to appreciate what is happening.

I try to find balance.

I don’t often succeed, but I try.

And I’m ok with failing.

Ah.

Who the fuck am I kidding.

I am never ok with failing, but I recognize that I am going to fail and that I will try again and again until it works its way out, whatever it is.

I guess what I am saying is that I live.

I am not sitting on the bleachers, I am in the game.

I am hustling.

Sometimes perhaps a little too much, but I know that it’s what it is right now.

And that all the things I did, mistakes, which were not mistakes, life experiences, travels, moving to Paris, moving back from Paris, trying things out, has led me here.

Right where I am supposed to be.

With the people in my life with whom I am supposed to be with.

Such gifts.

Such grace.

I didn’t expect it to look like this.

But.

I have to say.

It is a beautiful thing.

My life.

So beautiful.

My heart aches with it.

Grateful beyond words.

And now.

One more gratitude list before I retire.

Because.

Truly.

There is that much to be grateful for.

Every day.

Grateful.

Every damn day.

I Didn’t Do Much

August 3, 2017

But I did a lot.

I mean.

I really did.

I didn’t even go to yoga.

No.

I slept in, I lounged in bed, I was dreamy and soft and it felt so nice to lie there and let my body be and not spring forward and charge off into my day.

Oh.

I had thoughts of going to yoga.

But they were dispelled for better things.

I took the morning easy.

I ate a lovely breakfast and made myself a latte.

I made some phone calls.

I talked to people I loved.

I got right with God.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I mean.

I can fill a page, the words they stream endlessly out of my finger tips, scrawled across the page, margin to margin, all the thoughts and dreams and feelings there on the paper, my pens in a mug on my table at the ready.

I do go through my pens.

My cheap little guys that I buy at Walgreens.

I am particular.

I only like the Wexford black ink pen.

That’s the generic gel ink pen that Walgreens markets.

I love it.

I begged a friend, who asked me what I wanted from San Francisco, when I lived in Paris, to bring me back pens.

The gel ink is the smoothest and the pen is just the right grip for my hand.

Ask me sometime.

I’ll show you the place it sits on my fingers and the writer’s callous there.

Yes.

I have a callous on my middle right finger from writing.

I rather adore that callous.

I also have a distinct muscle in my forearm, again, my right side, I am right-handed, that is pretty developed solely from doing the writing I do every day.

I love words.

Can you tell?

I did more than write today, although I did not go far from my house.

I made it to the back and sat in the sun for a brief moment in the afternoon around 2:30pm when there was fleeting sun that came through the fog.

Mostly I stayed home.

I did work on the house.

I cleaned out my closet and got a bag of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes to sell to Crossroads.

I also moved everything in my kitchen, and pulled up the rug that I’ve had for the last three and three-quarters year, it was just a simple rag rug, but it had gotten pretty worn out and a bit ragged and I’ve been wanting to replace it for sometime.

I ordered a replacement on Amazon and it was delivered yesterday.

So.

Everything got moved, and I pulled up the old one, shook it out super hard, I did not toss it, it still has a use for me–I’ll be taking it to Burning Man and lining my tent with it.

I also had a long conversation with a woman who was referred to me by a friend in the fellowship who is going to Burning Man for the first time and she had a lot of questions and I just let her pick my brain for nearly an hour and told her where I was going to be camped and all the fellowship and community that is out there and it felt really nice to share my experience, strength and hope with her.

After I finished our conversation I got serious about re-organizing my space and cleaning, everything got dusted, even all my books.

And I winnowed through my books.

I’ve been wanting to sell a bunch of them for sometime.

I only have so much space in my in-law and though the idea of having a big library and loads of bookshelves is super serious appealing.

MY GOD how I want that.

Someday.

A house with a big library, books upon books upon books, paper, ones I can pull down from the shelf, hardcovers, and read, and inhale and love on.

But.

I repeat.

My space is small and I have only so much room and the stacks of books were starting to collect too much dust and really I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading since I started grad school.

So.

I dusted them all off, sorted through the ones I was absolutely not going to part with.

Like.

My copy of Bastille, Issue #2.

The small press that published my short story in Paris, “The Button Boy.”

Poorly edited, there’s a typo and a misprint.

But.

Fuck.

My short story.

In print.

In a publication.

I can say with no small amount of writer’s pride that my first publication was in Paris.

Not selling that guy.

Then a few books that were given to me as gifts and hold far too much sentimental value to ever let go.

Ever.

And the funny thing is, whatever doesn’t sell, I will happily take back and keep.

There will be some that don’t.

But for the most part I am such a sucker for the printed word, I tend to buy hard covers or first runs, so when I do sell I tend to be able to sell most of what I have brought with me.

There was a little sadness packing up the books.

But.

It’s stuff.

And when I came home tonight from doing the deal up the street.

Fuck was it good tonight!

I was so happy to come into my super clean, super tidy little home.

Fresh and clean and dust free, with a new carpet in the kitchen.

And.

Ha.

A “new” book on my table.

I discovered a book I bought two years ago, right before the first semester of my first year of grad school.

I had never gotten to read it.

Two years later.

I started and I’m 37 pages in.

I have my hopes that I will finish it before my text books start arriving in the mail, because as soon as they do, that’s the end of my pleasure reading.

I assure you.

Sneaking in one more day of leisure before I go back to work on Friday.

Yoga, this time for sure, in the morning.

Shower, morning prayer, writing, breakfast, go sell the clothes, go sell the books.

And then a mani/pedi.

I have a client consult in the early evening.

And that’s it.

The days of leisure and pleasure reading will soon be over.

It’s been a sweet little bite of time off from my day job.

My house is clean.

I did a lot of cooking today too, all my meals for Burning Man are in the freezer as well as covering my first weekend of my first semester, so I don’t have to cook or deal with that.

Yes.

It’s a few weeks out.

But it’s nice to have it done and there won’t be down time soon like I have had.

Sigh.

I have no complaints though.

It’s been a good run.

I feel rested.

I feel rejuvenated.

I feel ready for the next chapters.

And I feel happy having taken care of my home.

My sweet little sanctuary by the sea.

It may be small.

But.

It’s all mine.

And.

I do love it so.

Yes.

Yes, I do.

 

Sleeping In!

June 28, 2017

An extra fifteen minutes.

Woot.

It’s a party.

Heh.

My boss will be dropping off one of my charges at a summer camp and not back to the house until fifteen minutes after I would normally be starting, so she said, come in fifteen minutes late.

I’ll take it.

I will take any little squeak of time I can get.

I talked about time a lot with my therapist.

How it is a commodity.

How I have often felt that I don’t have enough of it.

(Love)

(Time)

(Money)

All the scarcity that I have dealt with in my life, how embracing abundance can be challenging and sometimes when I have it I want to spend it all, frivolous and mad, just to have it gone again so I can go back to a place of comfortable discomfort.

That didn’t come up so much, but I can see that pattern there in the background looming and lurking there.

I see you, I say to it, it’s ok, it’s going to be alright, you can buy those shoes.

You can book that trip.

You can have a nice cup of coffee.

You can do for you.

Heck.

You can do for others.

The gift of being able to give my friend baby gifts and food, that felt so wonderful, I love gifting things.

The gift of giving my writing, that can be so astounding for me to share.

So vulnerable.

What I was talking to my therapist about was this thing that happens with me in my group supervision and has happened for me on occasion, ok, more than on occasion, in school, is a distaste for people who waste time, who dilly dally, who are not clear, who can’t make discerning conclusions, who have to be led, who haven’t done the work, who are sloppy.

Messy.

Not put together, and not in the way that sounds, I mean, not concise with their language, thoughts, ideas.

Don’t waste my fucking time.

I don’t have enough of it and you’re not getting to the fucking point fast enough.

GET TO THE MOTHERFUCKING POINT.

BITCHES.

I mean.

Please.

My therapist points out, “sounds like judgement.”

Ugh.

Yes.

I know it’s judgement.

But what she then did was spin it so eloquently, so aptly, so delicate and with such a tactful manner that I got it, I got to work right through it and see that when I am in judgement I am defending some part of myself that I am not happy about.

I don’t want to be messy.

I don’t want to be disorganized.

I don’t want to be scattered.

And I never really am.

I am so super on top of shit it’s a little intense.

I do my work.

I do my work.

I do my work.

And then some.

And it can be a control thing, duh.

So much control, so much safety, comfort in the bound parts of me, comfort in the restricting.

I’ve never been messy about my trauma.

Or traumas.

Or the traumatic things in my life.

There’s a list, look them up elsewhere in my blog, this is not about the list, this is about the fact that it was never ok to be messy and upset about it.

Soldier the fuck on.

Chin up kid.

Clear your fucking plate.

Eat your food.

Don’t cry.

And God forbid don’t act like anything is anything but normal.

Normal.

What the fuck is that?

So.

I squashed it down.

I squashed all the messy and teary and hurt and angry and vengeful parts of me down.

I stuffed it down.

I ate too much food.

I escaped into fantasy.

I escaped into taking care of others.

So much easier to focus on another person’s problems rather than my own.

I smoked it down.

I snorted it down.

I drank it down.

And as I was expressing to my therapist, I realize I really just don’t let myself get messy, vulnerable, or dirty.

Except.

Well.

I do.

In one area.

And we talked about that and I cried a bit and I laughed a lot and I outlined the messy and then I outlined the happy and the love and the feelings and the experiences and it was really good to share.

And she reflected back to me and showed me how brave it was to not eat, drink, smoke, or do lines of cocaine to deal with all that hurt and that I have been doing the work and it really does show and that it’s obvious that things are changing in my life because I am being more vulnerable, less guarded, I’m letting things in.

I’m in my voice.

I haven’t lost it.

I am asking for what I want and saying what is in my heart and it’s glorious.

I am seen.

And it feels just fucking smashing.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

I had a good session today.

And then off to work, busy day, full day, lots of juggling baby and siblings and cooking and laundry and lots of sweet snuggles with the oldest boy who read a book with me about stars.

“Are we really made from stars?” He asked me.

“Yes,” I told him, and kissed the top of his head, “you are a multitude of stars, you shine.”

I am always beholden to those that shine.

I feel like I am shining now.

Bright and strong and fierce.

It’s a wonderful place to be.

In my strength.

And.

In my vulnerability.

From where all my strength stems.

When I let it.

When I am not judging.

When I am ok with being.

Well.

Um.

Messy.

 

Forgive

April 9, 2017

Forgive.

Forgive.

That’s what the message said.

I forgive you.

I hope you had joy while you ate my chicken soup.

I roasted that chicken last Sunday then used the bones to create a stock, it has garlic, onions, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, and brown rice.

I hope it fed you.

I hope it nourished you.

I wish you well.

I forgive you for taking my soup.

I forgive you for taking my gift, the one I was going to give to my friend in the cohort who is getting married.

I hope it brings you love and light and joy.

I do.

I forgive you.

And more than that.

I forgive myself.

I was not to blame, I didn’t do anything wrong.

I will, however, remember the feeling of what it was like to mystify myself.

Because I didn’t believe you could do this to me.

Take from me.

Take my things.

Take my little piece of home in a Mason jar.

My warmth and succor after a long day of class.

I was not expecting to have that happen in a space where I practice so much vulnerability.

Please God.

Have me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

I forgive you because I have to forgive me.

Some things are valuable.

And some things are ,well, just things.

“It’s just stuff,” he said and looked into my eyes and held my gaze, “you get to grieve the loss of it, don’t shove off the feelings, but don’t hold onto it, let it go, they’re just things, and as crazy as this sounds, the Universe has something better for you.”

I did not think that sounded crazy at all.

I believed every word of it.

I also took what he said to heart and let myself feel the sorrow of the loss.

I cried my tears.

I also know that the soup and the gift were symbols of other things that I had taken away from me, a sense of safety, a sense that the world is not a scary place, an inner equilibrium, home.

So.

I find solace and safety within myself.

That I am enough and that I can take care of myself.

I was able to source another gift for my friend.

I was able to go to The Market and get dinner with one of my favorite people.

I was able to accept hugs and shoulders to lean into and validation that what I was feeling was appropriate.

I took some action too.

I reported it to the school, if someone is rifling through the student lounge and stealing it should be shared with the students at the campus.

Food is a sacred thing.

We all need to eat.

So.

I forgive you.

I hope my soup warmed you, fed you, nourished you, gives you sustenance.

For that is what it has done for me.

I am proud of myself for taking care of myself, for having the good cry, for letting my T.A. approach me in the cafe and actually have a conversation about it that was both sweet and intimate, but affirming of me and my abilities.

“You are amazing, you have so much light,” he said and gave me such a hug.

I felt seen, validated, and empathized with.

I am grateful for that.

It was an unexpected gift in the wake of the loss.

He was right too.

It’s just stuff.

I have unshakeable faith that God took something from me that needed to be elsewhere, those things, all things really, are for God to appropriate, I had them for a little while, they are needed elsewhere.

I now have open hands to accept the things that God wants for me.

One of the biggest gifts were all the interactions I had with my cohort, my friends, and my T.A.

I was smitten with the love and affection that I was showered with.

I still am.

I had some wounds open.

Sure.

It felt that I my home dumped out and stolen.

It felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I could almost see the person searching through the refrigerator and going, “Ooh, this looks yummy, and then seeing the gift and thinking, “Ooh, I must have that.”

I understand.

There is a thrill in theft.

I have stolen.

I know.

It has been a long time, but I have.

There is entitlement in stealing.

There is adrenalin.

It can be addicting to swipe something.

To gain vicarious thrill from a source that is unwitting.

But this is just a story.

There is a narrative, an arc of action.

Perhaps there is guilt and shame.

I don’t know the persons story.

I do wish for them the ability to get what it is they need.

That is unconditional love.

I do not like what happened, I don’t care, not one fucking bit, but I do hope there is relief for the person, I wish them the best.

Because you can’t steal what I have in my heart.

In my strength of person.

You only took some stuff.

Stuff does not make the world go round.

You can’t take my sense of value, self-worth, or safety.

You can’t take away my experiences, pains, joys, loves, laughter, growth or healing.

Those things are nonnegotiable.

They are mine and you are not going to ever take that from me.

No one puts Baby in a corner.

I am my own woman and I am grateful for this, already, I grow stronger.

Something got moved around today, an opening was made for some unexpected healing, perception, awareness, and growth.

Actually.

I should be thanking you, Soup Thief, you unwittingly gave me an absolute firm sense of my core and my abilities.

I learned how to use my resources and how to accept help.

I learned it is ok to grieve for something, whether a thing, or a concept.

I softened and I grew.

Pretty amazing day when it all comes down to it.

I will say, I am freaking tired though, it was a draining afternoon to evening.

So.

Another cup of tea.

My apple and some blueberries.

A comfy pillow behind my back.

Half an episode of Billions.

And a good nights rest.

Conflict.

Resolved.

Solidarity In Solitude

January 22, 2017

No.

I did not march.

Although I was giving myself a complex about it, I did not go.

I did the deal.

I did the laundry.

I did the homework.

I did the writing.

I did the grocery shopping and the cooking and then, the more doing of the homework.

I’m a feminist for being in grad school, paying my own way, working as a self-employed woman, being sober, radical isn’t it, not smoking, being kind, using my voice and my experience to help others.

I could list lists of lists to convince you.

But the only person I really needed to convince was myself.

As I found myself feeling judged by friends for not going.

I think a lot of this had nothing to do with friends, I don’t think anyone gave my presence a second fucking thought, except that whenever I got asked if I was going, or it was assumed I was going, I bristled.

So I wrote some inventory.

First thing that came out is that I was afraid of being judged, that I was in judgement around myself, my experience, and god fucking forbid, whether or not my friends on social media saw pictures of me marching around with a pink cat hat on.

Sorry.

But no.

And I support Planned Parenthood.

Fuck.

They sure as shit supported me.

Years and years of service and sliding scale and birth control.

I went there in early recovery when I slept with a man and didn’t use a condom and found out he was an ex-heroin junkie who used to shoot dope with dirty rigs.

Oh my fucking god.

Get me to the doctor.

Planned Parenthood.

HIV test.

Negative, thank you.

And out the door.

I have donated plenty of money to them and I believe in them.

I believe in love, liberals, random acts of kindness, activism, resistance, raising your voice.

I mean.

I do live in San Francisco.

But I also believe in radical self-care.

And when I recalled, after doing some great work at beating myself up for waffling on whether I was going to go to the march, was that today was my first day off in two weeks.

Of course I didn’t want to go to the march!

I wanted to go back to bed.

I wanted to cancel on my yoga class.

I wanted to hide under the covers.

I did not.

I did get up.

I did go to yoga.

I did lots of breathing and I knew, even as I sat in solidarity with my sisters, mothers, friends, aunts, cousins, girl-friends, mentors, teachers, I need to do self-care today.

When I finished my inventory and realized, that yes, once again, I am just in abject terror or being unloved, abandoned, and alone, I felt a lot better, made a phone call, did a check in, got on the train, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and went an anniversary celebration of a 70-year-old institution here in San Francisco.

It was amazing.

It was sweet.

Lots of old-time experience, strength, and hope.

And though I knew part of me might feel a little untoward for not going to the march I wasn’t horribly upset to be missing it, for I was making connection, radical spiritual connection with many people quietly doing something that has been consistently saving lives for decades.

I’m ok with that.

And I was also ok to go get a mani/pedi and sit in the window and watch the trains go by.

Trains so packed with people that it wouldn’t pick up more and the stop in front of the beauty parlour was overflowing with women and picket signs and pink hats and supportive spouses, boyfriends, kids.

It was a beautiful thing to watch and witness.

And yeah, there’s a part of me that wishes to be there, but the part of me that gets overwhelmed by big mob like crowds was more than happy to sit back and focus on doing reading for school.

That’s a pretty radical thing.

Working full-time and going to school full time.

I had no compunctions about coming home when the rains came in and curling up with my homework and doing a bunch of reading and roasting a chicken in the oven.

So many years.

So many decades of doing for others before doing for myself.

I felt immense gratitude for this expression of humanity, for allowing myself the quite reprieve of a day off and not trying to work hard to work harder.

I really needed a break and I am glad I got over the guilt of taking it.

If I had isolated, if I hadn’t made an effort to go out and see my fellows, to talk with a friend on the phone, to connect with the clerk at the grocery store, then I would feel bad.

If I had spent all day lolling about pleasure reading or watching Netflix, I would feel bad.

But I didn’t.

I did a lot of work.

Shit.

I am doing it again.

Rationalizing and justifying why I didn’t go.

I didn’t go because I didn’t want to.

There.

Done.

Moving the fuck on.

Tomorrow.

Yoga in the morning.

Meeting with a lady in the afternoon to read and share experience.

Getting a tattoo after that.

Meeting with a friend after that for dinner, catch up, and doing the deal.

It’s a nice weekend, this, especially when I don’t need to feel guilty, not enough, or bad, for making decisions that are ultimately mine to make.

Not to people please.

Just to show up the best way I know how to today.

Right here.

Right now.

This is ok.

Seriously.

It really is.

One Dozen

January 14, 2017

Long stem blushing pink roses.

One for each year I’ve been doing the deal.

That was what greeted me this morning.

Actually.

The full moon setting this morning from my back door is what greeted me, all pearly and low hanging, incandescent in the first blush of morning.

I took out my camera and shot a few photographs.

I don’t believe that I did it any justice, that moon, that opal jewel in the dark indigo wash of sky over the ocean, but I gratefully pulled out my camera to give it a go.

That camera a gift.

Something that I can frame my world with, a poetic extension of my world view, a way to take the moment and hold it, like a poem in my mouth, a moment luxurious with depth and meaning and love.

I awoke to love.

Great love.

Outpourings of love.

Messages of gratitude and sweetness, kindness, reflection and beauty.

I felt blessed.

I felt more and more blessed as the day went on.

I had school today, my first day back in classes, first day, second semester, second year.

I had some trepidation after I was ensconced in all the readings prior to class, but by the time I was a quarter of the way into my first class I knew, this was going to be a different semester and yes, loads of work, every fucking semester has been so, it would be good, soul enriching, spirit broadening work.

I am looking forward to the semester and the learning in a way that I had felt disconnected from and dissatisfied with in my experience last semester.

Those cobwebs got blown away and I feel refreshed and re-invigorated by the work and reconnected with my cohort and really alive with the school.

Oh.

There’s still wonky crap, but what academic institution doesn’t have it’s foibles?

I had a surprising and wonderful discussion with my advisor and I have an appointment to talk to one of my professor’s about a letter of recommendation for practicum tomorrow after my morning class.

Things move a pace.

I made some executive decisions regarding where I am going to apply to practicum and I feel hopeful that those will suss out.

I had to face the fact that unless money suddenly falls the fuck out of the sky I’m probably not going to be able to do the UCSF practicum.

The program is looking for a 25-40 hour a week commitment.

And it’s not a paid internship.

Most aren’t.

But to work 25-40 hours a week on top of a full-time job and full time graduate school feels.

Well.

Fucked.

And impossible.

I had a chat with a third year student who is also in the weekend program and works full-time and he told me about where he was doing practicum.

The Liberation Institute.

Which is in the Mission and would be handy to my work and school commute.

Plus I found out after attending the workshop and practicum fair that the institute has weekend and evening hours available to interns.

Yes and yes please.

If I’m going to accrue hours and not get paid at least let them be during times that will facilitate me working full-time.

I live in San Francisco and I need to keep paying the bills.

And well, that would allow me to do it.

My current job is flexible with me having one Friday off a month to go to classes, but I can’t imagine that I would be able to work a job with benefits for less than full-time hours and the family needs me 35-40 hours a week.

There is a way forward and this may be the way.

Sure.

I’d love the acclaim of working for UCSF, but maybe this is better for me, not trying to cram so damn much into my schedule and still letting me do the deal.

Because doing the deal for the last twelve years is what has gotten me to where I am.

I would not be in graduate school if I was still out there using and drinking.

I’d be homeless.

You bet.

I’d be dirty and broken and soul less.

I might be dead.

If I were lucky I’d be dead.

But I’d probably drag along the bottom of the gutter terrorized and blank and shattered.

No thank you.

So a balance needs to be made.

I have always believed that it was of utmost importance to not put the life that I was given before the way of life that I had learned by taking the simple suggestions made to me in the very beginning of my recovery.

Simple, daily practices that keep me going one day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One fucking minute at a time sometimes.

And here.

Twelve years later.

Fierce and free and strong.

Joyful and happy.

Content and blessed.

So many gifts I have been given, so much life to live that I have been graced with.

It boggles my fucking mind.

Yes.

Yes it does.

Boggles I say.

And I know that as long as I put my recovery first.

Well.

Everything else will follow.

That’s been my experience.

When I didn’t know what to do or where to go.

I always knew where to go.

Church basements and funny rooms in the backs of odd buildings.

Holding hands with strangers that became family.

Sitting in cafes reading from blue bound books and sharing my experience, strength and hope.

How this works?

I can not tell you.

I don’t know.

I just do my best to take the suggestions given to me and to turn around and give it all away.

You can’t keep it without giving it away.

A crazy paradox of love and altruism that isn’t really so altruistic.

I mean.

I don’t want to fucking die in the gutter with a crack pipe in my hand sitting in between cars on Minna Alley on a piece of scavenged cardboard.

Been there.

Done that.

God’s got better plans.

Yes.

Thank God.

And thank you.

You know who you are and I love you more than I can possibly express here.

But when I see you on campus you know I will give you a hug and perhaps in the circle of my arms you feel just a small expression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.

I have so very much.

Yes, love.

Love.

For you.

Always.

Forever.

It’s Been A Day

January 9, 2017

And I haven’t left the house.

Well.

I tried.

I thought about it.

I was going to.

Then.

I didn’t.

I took care of all things domestic and necessary–laundry, cooking, food prep, cleaning.

I took care of all things personal and grooming.

Even knowing that I might end up spending the entire day indoors I still got up, took a shower, did my hair, my it looks fine, and even put on make up and a cute outfit, because, well, I like to dress for myself.

And I was to have a visitor and I like to be nicely put together when I have people over.

I am so glad she and I met.

It’s been about a month since we sat down and did the deal, it was so good to get caught up and hear about her life and listen and be present.

Such a gift, that, being present for another, no expectations, just me here at the table reading a few words from a blue bound book and listening to fears and love and faith and joy and happiness and challenges.

Getting to share what I have gone through, knowing my experience can be of service, that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is wasted, that every moment, triumph or painful fall, has meaning and can be shared with another.

My life has meaning.

That is a great gift to know.

My greatest assets are my experiences and knowing that another can make use of them is incredible.

So there was that and it was good.

Then there was the overwhelming feeling of it wasn’t enough.

That I wasn’t enough, that I hadn’t gotten enough done, that I had left too much undone during my vacation time.

Meaning.

FUCK ME.

I am already behind on my school work.

Fuck me.

I mean.

Holy shit there is a lot more reading than I thought there was.

I really took a look at my syllabi today.

And get this.

I did read an entire book yesterday on the train.

Granted, it was a small book, only 87 pages, more a pamphlet than anything.

But.

Shit.

I did not see the rest of the syllabus readings until today.

Whoa.

There was a lot of reading there.

I also, before the discovery that I wasn’t nearly far enough along, done a bunch of reading for my Trauma class.

Maybe 90-100 pages.

I only have one of the books yet, so I read what was assigned from that book.

I need to read about another 150 pages between two other text books for that class and at this point I am just hoping I get them in the mail this week.

Just to have them.

I mean.

I have plenty of other reading to keep me going.

I had been warned by two of my friends in the cohort that the reading for the first weekend of Couples Counseling was beyond the pale.

I didn’t think much of it until I look up the work after kicking through what I could of the Trauma class.

Holy fucking shit.

Whoa.

I mean.

Does this teacher realize that we have other fucking classes this weekend?

Good gravy man.

Fuck you.

I texted a friend and just sort of lost it, what the hell is up with ___________ class?

We commiserated about the amount of reading and that the reader wasn’t available yet, so he’d sent a fuck ton of downloads to the class to read.

I am not great about reading on a computer screen, it’s super hard for me and I also knew that I wouldn’t get through all the reading unless I was able to take it with me and read a little here and there while waiting for the train, or on the train.

Fucking weather.

Fucking fuckedy fuck fuck fuck.

The storm is also why I didn’t really get out.

I didn’t need to, I had done all my shopping and errands previous to this weekend because of the impending doom of the storm.

And it was big and is still going on.

I was going to leave for a moment, I got on the coat, I got my umbrella, I grabbed my purse and I walked out the door, locked it, opened the gate, popped open my umbrella, took five steps and said, “nope.”

I turned right back around, shut the gate, unlocked the door, put my umbrella back and hung up my jacket.

Then I went back to the syllabi.

I messaged my friend a few more texts and then discovered that the grades were up from last semester.

Wait for it.

Straight A’s.

And Passes for the classes I had that were pass/fail.

Which I still think is hilarious that some of our courses in a graduate school program are pass/fail.

Then again, thank God that some are, I tend to get caught up in them and then realize, hey lady, focus on the ones that have a letter grade.

Which means.

Yes.

I have straight A’s through three semesters of classes.

I am half way through the program officially.

Officially I didn’t do dick today in regards to my practicum stuff.

But I did buckle down after a bit of freaking out and needing to get talked down off the ledge by my friend in school and a couple of phone check ins I did with my people.

“Your timing couldn’t be more perfect,” I said as I answered the phone.

“Lay it on me mama,” he said.

And I told him about it all and how I felt overwhelmed and I have had nightmares recently.

Ugh.

Recurring nightmares that haven’t had in years, but hey, here you go, have a nightmare, not stressed at all are you?

hahahahahahahaha.

Vomit.

“It has to be enough,” I said to him, “it has to be, I already did more today than most people do all weekend.”

I felt the tears well up and slide down my cheeks.

Sometimes it feels like there is just so much work to do and no one to rely on but myself and my God I better make this work or I’ll be homeless in the park.

Thanks brain, really needed that added incentive.

We talked it through and I felt the pressure valve open and the emotional steam hiss out.

Then.

I expressed some plans for the weekend.

Yeah.

It is a school weekend, but it’s also a big anniversary for me on Friday.

So.

I’ll be leaving school, I decided, a half hour early so I can go sit in a church basement and make a little announcement where I have made a few before, eleven other to be exact, but who’s counting?

I am.

That’s who.

I’m also going to go to a special church on Sunday and have dinner with some friends before hand and pick up a little something that evening.

A sort of talisman if you like.

A special token of time and effort and work.

If I only do that.

If I only did that work today, the sitting across from the lady bug, the listening, the sharing, than it was a good day.

Fuck.

It was a great day.

An amazing day.

To help another.

Spectacular.

With those thoughts and feelings I got off the phone, ate a home cooked, I told you I did food prep today I have meals for every day this week and all my meals at school all portioned out and ready for take off, made a cup of tea and got onto the reading.

I watched a two-hour movie required for one of the classes and then read two clinical papers.

I did over two hundred pages of reading today and watched that movie.

But most importantly I acknowledged to myself that I am enough.

I am doing enough.

I have enough.

There is no scarcity.

No.

I have all I need.

I am so grateful.

Because the one thing that I may have the most of is perspective.

It is astounding to realize how well I have taken care of myself and how far I have come.

I’ve come a long fucking way.

Just saying.

And though I have a long way to go.

Well, they say, “they” who the fuck are they, it’s the journey not the destination.

I’m on the path and though I don’t know where it leads exactly.

I’m happy to report that I made some nice strides along it today.

And at this juncture the most important thing is to acknowledge it and to take my rest.

There will be more work to do tomorrow.

But for tonight.

I am done.

Seriously.

l am pretty much toast.

Which means.

Time for tea.

And listening to the rain beat against the glass on the back door and the deep hallucinatory roar of the ocean as the waves smash upon the beach.

Warm.

Safe.

Cozy.

And loved.

That too.

I believe it.

I know I love me.

And that is enough.

It was even when I did not realize I was enough.

Perspective.

Seriously.

Where it’s at.

 


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