Just a Quick Link and a New Goal

When i started this blog in July 2019, i had a focus.I wrote so much better at the time , probably because of that and the fact that i had much more deep thinking time due to being off of Facebook. Tonight i decided to humble myself and go back to re read my own advice – because i really really needed to. And, boy, am i missing that person! If your were not on board at that time and would like to read the 10 steps i focused on here is a link to all 10 posts:

https://theglassvidalia.home.blog/2020/01/11/the-10-steps-links/

Moving on.

I really would like to get back on track with some constructive and productive writing. This means i will have to start , i believe, with another 10 step list. As i stated back at the beginning, i write here mainly for myself , with the vague hope of possibly helping someone else along the way.

So…

in addition to the other baby steps, i am adding this goal. Now…to figure out the new steps as i toddle into another year of life..

Thanks for reading and Namaste!

Today’s “I got this” Moment..

Right..so, another Dear Diary post…

After this weekends debacle and feeling way stressed and overwhelmed yesterday, i woke up with severe anxiety today. I mainly thought i would accomplish nothing other than pacing around doing everything i could to get it under control. I did my usual- took an Ativan, ate something, switched from coffee to water after 2 cups, took a long hot bath, read a few blogs and then waited patiently to go to my chiropractor appointment. I figured that would help somewhat.

While i was pacing around my mind was in a state of mulling over how in the world i was going to find a therapist.After all, i didn’t feel comfortable asking on facebook, nor did i feel good about asking any of the multiple people i know who regularly post about their therapy. After all, some have been going for years and are still a hot mess so i have very little confidence in any references they could give me. So, naturally i looked online.

I soon realized that before i could do anything i also had to call my benefits department to see what was covered, and if i needed a referral from my doctor. Oy! I loathe making phone calls more than any other task in the world including scrubbing the toilet.It’s always a matter of 1. getting up early enough to reach someone before the office closes…2. getting through a long menu tree, being transferred a dozen times, and several disconnects requiring me to start all over and 3. the process usually entails about 2 hours and because i don’t have a bluetooth i am tethered to my phone the whole time. More anxiety.

I started trying to think of any and all other ways to get a word of mouth referral and decided to ask my chiropractor. She is wonderful about that stuff and always knows someone who does just about anything. She gave me the name of someone i did vaguely know in the community and i sent her a message online. I believe she is mainly a life coach /natural healer type though so not sure if she takes insurance. But the description i got of her work sounds promising.Hopefully she responds .

So, I DID actually do something.

Once that was done i felt much better. In fact, by the time my BF was on his break ( we chat for a few minutes at that time) i was in a pretty great mood. It’s been many years since i’ve even considered – really considered- going to a therapist. I’ve only ever come close one other time, except for when it was mandatory ( child custody stuff) and as a teen ( also child custody stuff) and i backed out due to having no insurance coverage and a limited income. So i am quite pleased i have followed through this time- at least taken that first step.

I am not really sure exactly what a :life coach: will have to offer , but i am willing to check it out. If that fails i will have to go through the other steps of locating one who takes insurance and who knows? a more structured course of treatment may be what i need. But we shall see.

Namaste.

And So It Goes…

Some people keep a journal, or a diary, Some, like myself have kept a blog. One of my other blogs was started in 2008. Fairly often i go back and read old posts and it is a mixture of “Thank Gods”, regrets and mixed emotions.

Tonight i started with the intention of re reading last year in October. After reading that i decided to make the second post of the day on there explaining all that had changed, what hadn’t and what i feel about it all. Boy, was that a mistake.

Once i started remembering how this past year had actually gone ( in stark contrast to how i thought it had) i started hitting rock bottom. For one thing, last year in October i was on a really nice roll of improvements in my life. I was focused and making great strides. Then i started reading months beyond October and comparing them to now. The first thing that hit me was January of this year. That was the epitome of my “greatness” if i have to use a phrase. I celebrated one year of sobriety, had 2 months in not smoking and had attained the goal of staying off facebook for 6 whole months. I had bought a home of my own and committed to staying single for one year ( which would end in May and i accomplished that also).I had saved some money and my bills were under control. In January i also walked 65 miles- mostly outdoors.I even finally changed agencies and started on a path to once again having benefits. Life. was. good.

Then i started realizing how much has gone awry since then. I stopped walking, started smoking again and became casual about drinking. The bills have started piling up again and i am not eating well.All of this started around my birthday and has just continued with the pandemic and the state of our country.

In the past few weeks i have managed to regain some ground. I wont reiterate the successes and i will add that i did get to tan today and FINALLY made it into the library. So there has been some good, some small improvements. But the progress seems so damn slow , some days i just want to give up.

I think the bottom line is, i thought i would just continue to grow and improve and life would eventually be ‘one big happy’. Fool that i am. And what is dawning on me ( because i stupidly kept rifling through even older posts) is that so many things i thought would have come to fruition by now, have not. And indeed, i have backslid so many times it would look like V-tach on a heart monitor. So what gives with this delusion we have about life?Just when is it that we figure out its secret?

I read and ruminate about never ending relationship battles, wars against alcohol, trials with community , and issues with my job. I see the struggles with body pain, medications, and family. I am forced to acknowledge my many inconsistencies. And worst of all, i see the constant failures.

Still, i try. For some unknown , unfathomable reason i keep thinking “someday, it will all be just right”. Fool that i am.

I guess it’s now the time to start that acceptance part of the serenity prayer. Life will always be ever changing. It’s an acceptance of knowing that at 53 i still haven’t figured it out, and likely never will. And as much as i hate knowing this , i also know i NEED to know this- more deeply than ever before.

As they say-When we make plans, God laughs.And as Kurt Vonnegut says “and so it goes”.

The Other Problem with Alcohol

So, this weekend was enlightening to say the least. Perhaps it was because of the recent visit with my dad, or the fact that so many times in my life i have had to defend myself as a female that made it happen. Or, perhaps it was lingering unresolved trauma. But, as i rarely talk anymore about my recovery and alcohol and this relates, i will put the event into words here.

Anyway, had the dinner with my daughter and the grand kids stayed over. I love having them around but i think this time i had too much coffee and ate cake when i shouldn’t have, which upset my stomach and i couldn’t be as energetic as i usually am with them. They left in the morning to go to Hershey park for the youngest ones 5th birthday and all was well.

About a month ago, my artist freind and i, who also enjoys painting outdoors, set up this weekend to go to the creekside to paint ( with our respective partners) and then have a camping sleep over with a fire, etc. Unfortunately ( and yet also fortunately) they weren’t prepared to camp and stayed till dark to enjoy the evening but did go home. Now, about a week or so ago, my boyfriend and the guy he lives with who owns the property , decided to also invite some other friends over for the evening. Most were musicians and 2 cancelled due to having paying gigs, and another didn’t show. The ones who did were very nice and i mostly had a great time getting to know them.

However, once my artist friend and his girlfriend left, i found myself alone in a group of guys . It all started out well and most of the evening was fine. But there came a point when i felt put on the spot, as a female , to stand up for myself and it did not go over well. Now, mind you- we WERE all drinking. I have been allowing myself a night about once every 3 weeks or so to do this and never any more than that. But i do believe..no- i KNOW being in that state of mind just added to the situation in a negative way. Probably had i been sober, i would have just walked away and let it go. But once one is in the throws of consumption, as they say- the alcohol controls you, you don’t control it.

The situation was thus. One of the men brought up anarchy as a topic and made a misguided statement about what it was. and i quote “people just want anarchy in this country, chaos and nobody following any rules at all…” and a few other things. I interjected that this was not what anarchy was( as i have extensive knowledge in this area) and was then encouraged to explain. I stated it was likely not a good time since i was drinking but i was again encouraged. I began to explain my knowledge of such and about halfway through noticed the men had all started ignoring me and were talking amongst themselves about other things. It struck a bad chord in me and i felt not only ignored, but completely dismissed as a woman since mostly they never do such a thing with each other, but rather listen politely until the person is done speaking. I can also assert i was not rambling on at all, or making no sense, and so there was no reason for what i consider “rudeness”. It really set me off and i called them out on their treatment of me as a woman. Again, this did not go over well. My boyfreind was upset with me and we ended the night not on good terms.

So, today, i did apologize for making people uncomfortable but did reinforce that i was only standing up for myself . As i said, had i not been drinking i may have just walked away . This…this is what it is to be an alcoholic, and just one of the negative consequences.Your mind goes somewhere and you get stuck on something you should just let go.

With my particular alcoholism, i can say no and just not drink 90% of the time now. I no longer drink regularly , not even once a week. But i allow myself the one night a month or so. Still my problem is that when i start i absolutely cannot stop until there is no more. Sometimes, it ends up badly. Not even counting the hangover. I must continue to keep this in mind and do my best to deal with the issue. This may mean, and i expressed such, that i cannot drink at all in these social situations or even with my boyfriend at all. Indeed, what was fun for us both back in the beginning has had a few bumps lately.

But that wasn’t even the worst of it. I had been so focused on painting that i was not well prepared to camp. The night became unexpectedly cold and i got very miserable in the tent.We wound up having to go inside where it was warmer. And THIS, my friends, created and even worse situation . You see, the inside space is a small apartment that was constructed in a basement.It still looks very much like a cellar but with cabinets and heat, a small bathroom and my brothers old bed. There is a strange stairway to the upper level that is closed off most of the time, as any cellar in an old house.It is disguised on the upper level as a floor and can be opened when needed. Ironically , this was the case in what i will describe next.

The space is pretty much pitch black at night. I have no clue where any light switches are and i believe there is only one somewhere. It can be downright scary especially for someone with my childhood trauma. I loathed having to resort to sleeping indoors there but it was way to cold to endure the tent all night without proper clothes and blankets, just a sleeping bag- totally my own fault. So i consented to sleeping in that space with great hesitation.

What almost no one knows because it is extremely hard for me to talk about, is that when i was young , and kidnapped by my father several times as i mentioned, hidden away in those place with strangers( family that i didn’t even know) for months or years at a time, There was one place i was taken to on several occasions where i was locked in a basement to either sleep or keep me out of the eyes of any authorities or my moms side of the family who might discover me.This would be days or even weeks, i had no concept of time at that age.My brother and i were not always “taken” at the same times during those years, it was a matter of opportunity.

Whilst i was locked in that pitch black small space i was terrified. The door was locked from te outside and i never knew when i was going to be allowed out. Also, various male family members would “visit” me at night and do not so mice things to me. I couldn’t fight back. And i couldn’t even see who they were at any given time to identify them.There was no one to tell, and i was too scared to anyway. Much of it has become a blurr to me now because i have blocked it out all my life.Can we say “repression”?

So, this is where my mind goes especially when i drink. Back to traumatic childhood memories. Not just this one but many such incidents. I shake, i cry out, i have nightmares. It is unsettling for my boyfriend as i have never told him any details.He could not possibly know or understand why these things happen. All he knows is that it keeps him awake and he has no idea how to comfort me. He doesn’t understand why i cry out and scream at him not to touch me or why i have nightmares in that place. I now know i must tell him.

Again, i do not believe this happened to my brother, but we have never talked about it and he was much younger so likely has no idea. I have tried to protect him from this knowledge as well.

At this point, i have told my boyfriend i need to discuss something with him. And i have also stated ( as i mentioned) it probably isn’t a good idea for us to drink together. Obviously i have a lot of old trauma to still work out and the only real option is therapy. So, now that is also on my list.

Thanks for reading.Just wanted to share a little.

Hope you all had a great weekend and Namaste.

Gotta Keep on Keepin’ On..

A cute little Otter I’m working on

I have been continuing to make progress on the home front. Yesterday i finally went to the gym and got my membership renewed. Now to plan out the days of the week i will be going so that i have a consistent routine. I also made a few more necessary phone calls.Today, I cleaned the house, stripping the bed sheets, doing laundry, etc . then went tanning, got a few groceries and prepared for tomorrow.I also ordered my tires and called the shop. These things may sound mundane to most, but i cannot express enough how much the pandemic affected my usual focus and motivation. Getting these things back in order took a huge effort but i am so proud of myself for persevering!

One thing i have come to understand in all of this is that during this time many of us allowed ourselves to wake up each day and rather than focusing on what we should be doing, we allowed ourselves to go with our “feelings” way too much. It’s fine to have a flesh day occasionally -but for me, it became months and months of allowing my feelings to rule and procrastinating on necessary self care, daily motivation, and other accomplishments.I ceased making appointments, phone calls, and planning/doing things that were for my own good.

My daughter is having a family dinner tomorrow after which i will be taking the grandkids overnight( i have then once a month). So, i had to clean out/organize the car ( for 2 car seats) and get few few things set up to do when we get home.Thank goodness i also got them both sleeping bags to keep here rather than dragging them back & forth. They both like to sleep on the floor in my bedroom.We always have so much fun. At bedtime we settle in with ice cream and watch youtube stuff of their choice, and in the morning there’s pizza for breakfast. So cool to be a grandmother and spoil the heck out of them!

In the afternoon i am taking an artist friend and his girlfriend over to my boyfreind’s property to spend an afternoon painting Plein Air(outdoors). It’s a beautiful wild place with lots of stuff to paint.This is one of the one’s i am working on at the moment and will likely start another.

In the evening we will be camping at creekside again.And yes, there are otters there( which is what inspired me to paint one!) .They have planned a “fire circle” with a few friends( mainly musicians) so it sounds like a good time. Gotta enjoy the last of the beautiful weather and all things outdoors here-crisp weather, “hooty” owls and all manner of wildlife, a campfire and snuggling in sleeping bags and falling asleep to the creek babbling all night. Winter will be upon us before we know it!

In the next few weeks i still have many things on my list- setting a good schedule for all the routine self care activities ( chiropractor, gym , tanning, and getting to library regularly). I still have to upgrade my phone, and set appointments for my car inspection and one at my hairstylist. Honestly, i could ramble on about many things i need to take care of but these are just next in line.

So, once again sorry for the boring post. Mainly just writing for myself until i feel i am back to normal again and have something more worthy to impart. Hope you all are doing well.

Namaste!

Big Bad Baby Steps

Well, after Saturdays post, i figure back to the “Dear Diary” type for a bit.Too much rumination at once isn’t good for the soul

The past few weeks have been going pretty well according to plan as far as staying motivated. Sure, these are small steps and prior to the pandemic would have been nothing to even write about but I am starting to feel some peace and calm..Along with continuing to pay attention to self care once again (i even waxed my facial hair !) I have finally followed through on the following:

  1. got that laptop
  2. downloaded and began using Chrome as my browser instead of the glitch ridden Safari
  3. set DuckDuckGo as my default search engine- for more security and privacy
  4. am learning to navigate both more each day
  5. today i had another chiropractor appointment and scheduled several more plus purchased more of the supplements i’ve been using which are working well
  6. set up my EFT for the tanning salon so i can get back a little color
  7. stopped at the gym but it was locked because its 24 hrs and a key card is needed when not staffed. So tomorrow will go earlier.
  8. washed and vacuumed out my car

So, slowly but surely i am getting “myself” back together again- no more Humpty Dumpty for me! My next mission is to get to the actual library now that “limited” browsing os possible. i totally miss listening to those CD books on my commute to and from work. Music has been a nice break but it’s time for something more intellectual again.

Then i have to go upgrade my phone, order new tires , set up a garage appointment, and order a few items i have been putting off.

And…(drum roll)…..i got 7 straight hours of sleep today and didn’t even wake to go pee..

How’s that for success?

Namaste!

The Parent Trap

It is Saturday morning 8:30am. I never write in the mornings so i believe this is a first. Today i am awake early because my brother and i are taking a day trip to visit my father who lives about 4 hours away.

I haven’t seen my Dad in at least 5-7 years and the prospect has weighed heavily on my mind. Honestly, the only reason i am really going is to spend time with my brother.

I don’t believe i have ever spoken publicly about my Dad or why i have such animosity towards him. In fact,i have issues with both of my parents but my mother has been more “present” in my daily world since they split when i was very young so much of those issues are what i would call the pot still sitting on the stove, occasionally stirred.But let’s start with my Dad and see how far i get. It’s truly a deep rabbit hole.

My father..where do i start?

I guess the earliest ( and only) “good” memories i have of him was probably around the age of 3 or 4. He was a truck driver so was rarely home. When he was, i recall only 2 things- occasionally he would play his guitar and sing “Brown Eyed Girl” to me. The other was his obsession with my swing set – he would push me on it pretty often and fixed it as needed. Oh yeah- he painted my bicycle purple one time- my favorite color. Yup thats about it.

But aside from that, it was non stop violence and horror. My parents split about a year or so after my brother was born. I cannot say even to this day the exact circumstances. I do know my mom was not the most faithful woman and tended towards cheating with other women’s husbands in my dad’s absence( she is now a born again christian). I do know my father participated some pretty below board activities whilst on the road as well as hearing some sketchy incidents with the females in our family( he now also attends church) . But either way, i was too young to recall with any clarity.

Once they split , my brother and i sent most of our childhood and even into our teen years embroiled in custody battles, child support issues and being subjected hateful diatribes from both parents. My father would show up, force his way in and literally tear the house apart in fits of rages. We have photos. My mother hid us in a closet during these events.We were “kidnapped” by my father multiple times during these years-often for months or years at a time and hidden away in the literal mountains with obscure relatives. One discovery of our location resulted in an actual shooting event where my mom and grandfather came to collect us, and my father shot my grandfather in the foot. We were not collected that day, obviously, but continued to live in the unhygienic poverty level conditions for a period of time with the strange relatives.There were urine soaked mattresses, bed bugs, non working toilets and multiple families living in a small falling apart cabin type dwelling. These things i do vividly recall.I call it a blessing that my brother was 3 years younger and barely remembers the worst .So there’s a little of the early years.

Fast forward to adult hood ( and i am leaving out a huge amount of other sordid details). When i became a christian, i decided to forgive and to mend things with good ole dad. We began writing letters. After several years of this, i grew weary of hearing ongoing horrible things about my mother, misogynistic diatribes about women in general and the mental misery my father had grown the embrace. Then, one day my father was in a terrible motorcycle accident. He was in a coma for a while and when recovered had suffered severe head injury. I again felt horrible for not keeping in touch and my brother and i started visiting once a year .Things escalated quickly as my dads mental state had grown even worse. I finally decided to cut contact.

So, today my friends, i once again visit this man for my brothers sake. I will be able to write more upon my return.

Sunday evening report: It was a very long day indeed. 9 hours of driving and the visit being about 4 hours. My dad , fortunately did not make any remarks regarding women, but there were many racial slurs and prejudiced comments along with a totally unnecessary story about how he was going to shoot some ones dog in the face. But mostly i got to sit around enjoying( cough, cough) stories about cars and motorcycles. Thank god i have an auto mechanics degree- even if it is from 1992.By the time i got home i was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.

As this is getting a bit long, i’m gonna stop here and i suppose my mother will be another post. She does deserve her own anyway.

At any rate, i survived. And, omg- it’s good to be home!

Namaste!

Today was Better

As i continue to work through many changes at this crucial time frame in my own life and have begun to post more it stands to reason that my daily experiences will vary . And today was a good day, even though i didn’t think it would be.

I woke at 12p ( less than 4 hrs of sleep) was irritable and tired and it’s the day that i usually get to see my boyfriend for a few hours before work so i was upset that i felt so awful. However, he went out of his way to come early so we had more time and that just brightened up the whole day:)

So, i DID finally make those phone calls and appointments and also some additional necessary ones. We also took a ride to the nearest Apple store to look at laptops- one more thing on my list .( As a side note here- these stores are a mess. There were 3 unmarked lines outside the store in the mall. You were had to guess where to stand. The store has a capacity limit due to Covid and you must wear a mask and get a temperature check prior to being admitted. We had to wait 15 minutes to be called in after being checked in by an employees with a tablet outside the store- crazy, just crazy).

But i finally got to see the new version of the Mac air and ask questions about price, availability and shipping, so i have a better idea where i stand in that way. Mission accomplished!

But the best part is that much of my recent pain was not present at all today and i am beginning to understand how much the anxiety/depression cycle contributes to it all. Additionally( fingers crossed) i think the CBD is working:)

Today is another chiropractic appointment and i am also stopping at the gym and possibly the tanning salon.So, things are actually getting accomplished and i feel less overwhelmed.

I do apologize ahead of time if my posts are seeming a bit “diary” like at the moment. I am slowly but surely getting my sh*t together and just ask for your patience. I won’t always be pleasant, or peaceful or even have much of anything to say. But i will write. If not for anyone but myself. Feel free to read or take a pass.This is what i do to heal and recover.

Namaste.

Need That Lift

i woke at 2p today. I consider this a win as long as it was a solid 5-6 hrs these days. My intent was to make those phone calls but again, i failed.I LOATHE making phone calls and appointments. Gonna try again tomorrow. NO- i WILL make those calls, dammit.

However , today i did actually put on make up and curl my hair for the first time since February and drug myself out to the grocery store. of course having to wear a mask it was all kind of pointless, but at least i felt better about myself for about 45 minutes.

Thursday i plan to stop by at my local gym and see what’s up as far as mask requirements. I simply cannot work out with a mask on. So plan b is to purchase hand weughts for at home , and combine them with my yoga, and try , again, to start walking. I also want to start tanning twice a week for some color. My depression/anxiety continues to hound me daily so i desperately NEED a lift.

I’ve even thought about calling my hairdresser. Havent done anything but grow my roots out since last October. But, honestly, i am not unhappy with my hair and going blonde again would be really hard on the ends.So , probably nothing more than a trim and deep moisture treatment- if that.

Again, though, all of these things cost money, and i cant just splurge right now. I keep trying to do what i can but some days cant see my way out of the fog..

trying, trying…

One Step Starts the Journey

So, after sort of ranting yesterday ( a much needed one that i could probably have gone on about for days but restrained myself), i wanted to share a little positivity today. But first here are some cute little piggies:

tonight’s fun practice piece

For the last few weeks i have been going through a lot of physical pain, depression/anxiety episodes as well as financial issues. However, thank goodness i decided not too long after it all started to DO something about it.

Self care.

First, i started ( and laugh if you will) by finally starting to paint my toenails. It’s been over a year. Then, i moved on to actually shaving again. I won’t mention how long it’s been for that..lol.

Next, rather than continue to sit around in despair, i did a “re-set/detox” and have continued to work my way through the negative effects of this pandemic on my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. For one thing i finally buckled down and started seeing my chiropractor again. This has been a life saver! I had put it off for so long because it’s not covered by insurance and can get quite expensive. But i told myself that even though i can’t really afford it, i can’t really afford NOT to. And so, jumped in with both feet. Fortunately after a few weeks, i realized i could use my HSA account to pay for it. Couldn’t believe i had forgotten about that. Additionally, i scheduled a deep tissue massage for today which was awesome . I’ve also been adding some healthy supplements to my daily routine and….once again am experimenting with CBD products. I plan to continue with a weekly chiropractic session and a monthly massage.

( footnote: I have had some bad reactions to some of the CBD stuff in the past. I had an allergy panel done which indicated i was allergic to it. However, after much research and talking candidly with my Doctor, i discovered that many reactions are a result of the pollens that the hemp may come into contact with during its growth & production. So, the simple answer is to use only products grown hydroponically. So far, it’s going well.)

Self care.

It’s so f*cking important . Yet, we tend to put it off until we are forced to deal with the consequences of our inaction.

My next few steps are to schedule an eye doctor and dental appointment. Its been a few years. I also have developed a financial plan ( after simply getting by and ruminating forever) to get new tires/rotors/etc for an upcoming car inspection and then –at last- upgrading my phone and laptop. It will take 2 months, but at least i now can see “the light”.Fingers crossed for no other crisis, of course.

So there it is…ever notice how just taking those first few baby steps can get you more focused?

Namaste!