march madness

Not talking basketball here.

I am certifiably crazy in March.  Every freakin’ March.  I can handle January and February but by March I am nuts.

And that is when I have a steady job and my teeth aren’t falling out of my head and blah..blah..blah.

So, since my divorce and stints on the psych ward in 2009 and 2010, I’ve had a 6 year reprieve.  Now the crapola hits the fan.  Started over Christmas.  And continues.

Struggling with thoughts.  With emotions.  Struggling with Him.

Just plain struggling.

To drink.  Or not to.

Doesn’t seem to make a difference….

But I know better.

It does.  It makes all the difference.

Not drinking is the key.  To get through all the mud and molasses.

And come out better on the “other side”.

Lent.

I feel as if I’m faced with a lifetime of failure.

But I know that is the dark side speaking to me in my time of weakness.

It’s all self-centered bullshit.

Pardon me, but there is no other word right for it.

Looking forward to the light.

Grateful.  Yes, grateful. To be sober.

In spite of myself.

Thanks be to God.

3/17…otherwise known as

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ya, well.  It’s never been one of my favs. Even in my most devout drinking days it was just a lackluster day.  I guess I could use that to my credit.  I would only go so far to find an excuse.

I do have a bit of Irish in me though.  I know by my temper which I think has gotten a little milder in the last few years however, I’ve been single so…..maybe not.

Still don’t feel like writing.

Just stopping by.

Celebrated St. P. Day by going to morning mass, work, the fabulous parish fish fry dinner and The Stations of the Cross.

I’ve been praying and asking for a lot this Lent.

Mostly to learn how to love.  For real.

Really love.

The way He loves.

You and me.

And to stop judging.

Myself and others.

Grateful and sober.

Thanks be to Him.

still here…

and still sober.

But I just can’t get myself to write.

Gainful employment opportunities (or lack of) have got me down.

There are none.

Trying to turn the question around from “What’s to become of me?” to “Who am I to become?”

On a more positive note:  the ambivalence is fading.  Feeling grateful.

Thankful to be sober another week.

Keeping faith and hope alive.

This past week

So what damage can 1 bottle of wine do?

Quite a bit.  Psychologically that is.

The ambivalence toward sobriety is back.  The battle is raging inside of me.  A battle that at just 41 days had been won…by staying sober.

41 days…double minded mess

This is the kind of wreckage that sets up chronic relapsing.

When I read that having a relapse is a part of the recovery process, my brain perverts that into permission.   Twisted thinking.

Praying for surrender and peace.

1 week without the wine.

Only by His grace.

struggle

No claiming of days here.

Anxiety has had its way.

Only the 3 D’s remain.

Disappointment, discouragement,  depression.

“My soul is a burden, bruised and bleeding.  It is tired of the man who carries it, but I find no place to set it down to rest.  Neither the charm of the countryside nor the sweet scents of a garden can soothe it.

It finds no peace in song or laughter, none in the company of friends at table or in the pleasures of love, none even in books or poetry….

Where can my heart find refuge from itself?

Where can I go, yet leave myself behind?”

St Augustine and Wally Lamb

I know where I can go and leave myself behind…but it never works.  As often as I think it might.

But thanks be to God…He never lets go of me.

so…about my friend

After I had moved back to my home state, I realized very quickly that I would not be able to do enough massage to sustain me.

I saw an ad in the paper (this was 1999) for a vitamin buyer (I had been into health for years) so I called.  Yes, this was before Monster.com and Indeed.com.

I have never had to find a job online.  These days are different.  Going through that now.

Help.  (gulp)  (double gulp)

My strong point has always been my handshake and eye contact.

So before I get off again, let me continue.

I had no idea how long the drive was to the natural food store where I was to meet with the manager… until I made it.  I was going that way for a Dr.s appointment anyway but kept telling myself- “This is too long a drive, forget it.”

Somehow, I kept feeling that I needed to at least go in to meet with him.  I argued back and forth with myself but that small, still voice won out.

I went in for the interview.  He had just taken over the position of manager.

I was his first hire.

He was a Jew-Bu (a jewish buddhist) who had recently been through a conversion of his own.

He had received Christ as the Messiah.

Without going through all the details of our friendship which would take 1000 pages to fill, I can say that this man has been a living saint.  Not just to me…I have witnessed his presence to others.

When I went through my divorce 6 years ago and had a couple of stints on the psych ward, I was so ashamed.  Probably because my dad was always ending up there and my identification with him led me to incredible despair.

He never was able to stay sober.

This man, this living angel brought me groceries for probably 3 months.  He gave me money.  He continued to call me and visit me when, I think honestly, I would have given up- I was in bad shape.

We have known and loved each other for all these years…in a brotherly and sisterly way, although he even offered to marry me at one point to take care of me.

 But something had changed deep within me when my husband and I divorced.  And I felt this man deserved a full and mutually satisfying love relationship in every sense.

For me, it would have been for all the wrong reasons.  I can’t speak for him.

For me, my issues of the past (and other markers He has left for me) just lead me to believe that I am His alone.

I have prayed for years that he meet someone who is as Godly as him…

and he has.

We’ve often talked of growing old together and taking care of one another.

So this is very hard.

There is the selfish part of me that is not happy at all…

but-

I am also overjoyed for my friend.

Because she sounds just like him….

An angel walking this earth.

Glad to be figuring this out sober.

Thanks be to God.

My friend

I have a friend.

I believe our relationship  was anointed (foreseen and destined) by the Lord.

He has been for me an angel on this earth.

 This is how God led me to him:

I had just moved back to my home state of birth, after leaving when I was in my early 20’s to pursue my wanderlust.

Wanderlust: (leaving many open doors that should have been closed and many that remained closed that should have been opened)

My mom was dying.  My brother had died 6 months earlier from vodka.

I moved back in  with my step dad because I wanted to “help”him…he had given my mom the happiest years of her life- her 3rd and final marriage.

Now at the time I was a massage therapist in a very affluent area and living as I always had- choosing the most beautiful nature filled places to live- and relying on whom ever was available to help me.

 At that time, big sister was it.

I lived with her at the time and we were not getting along all that great.

I was living as I had my entire life– for me.

So true to form- when my mom died I picked up the “heroic” role and great “sacrifice” to move in with my step dad to “help” him.  And to escape rather than deal with the issues with my beloved big sis.

Who I believe to this day is responsible for any sanity that I may have.

Thank you, Sis.

Back to my place of birth.  Dark memories. Blank memories. Things I couldn’t remember.

But you can’t heal what you flee.  And I had fled my entire life.

The Pattern.

After all, even though they met and married after I was grown, he had made her happier than her previous husbands.  Yes, our family resembles the Disney movie “Your’s, Mine and Our’s.”  We (my siblings) were at one time a total of 8.  3 from my mom’s first marriage- 3 from my mom’s second (my dad) marriage and 2 my dad brought from a previous and tragically ended marriage…my dad’s first wife committed suicide.

I thank God for my many brothers and sisters.

My parents separated when I was I think 7 or 8- mainly because a psychiatrist she was seeing told her that if my father remained in our lives, her children would sustain damage beyond repair.

That’s all she needed… the choice for her was clear.

Now this was a woman who was raised to find a man and be taken care of by him.

She never worked.  But I was witness to her doing and trying whatever she could to pay the bills.

I think her first job was at a furniture store strutting around in white boots- Nancy Sinatra white boots to the tune of “These boots were made for walking’.”

God Bless My Mother.

I do have my limits.  And self respect. And pride….

Which in most cases in my life has been my undoing.

I started to tell you about my friend-

Well this was good to get out and I will continue my next post and let you in on this angel of mine.