I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. Tony Robbins
It’s hard to believe that I started this blog almost a year ago. I started writing this blog on New Year’s Eve 2011 and as it almost dawns on New Year’s Eve 2012 I was thinking back at the amazing amount of changes that have occurred in our lives over the last year. When I started this blog Michael and I had just gotten back together after a forced separation due to legal circumstances. We almost broke up several times at the beginning of 2012 and, in fact, I almost left him and he almost left me more than once. We both struggled with bouts of alcoholism, me more than him. We went through the AA program together and are stronger for it. This last year I have hit some of my darkest nights and yet at other times I have seen some of my brightest days. In the last year we have lost “friends” to betrayal and back stabbing, we have lost musician friends, but at the end of the day our relationship has grown stronger through all the trials and tribulations. We have grown closer as friends and our love has grown deeper. We have managed to regain something through our music, that something special that has always been the glue that held us together.
During the last year I gained some of the lost time with my daughter and grown closer than ever to my mother. I have become a better rhythm guitar player and taught myself to sing in Welsh. I have learned more about myself as a musician in the last year than I have in 42 years of life. We have played some really fantastic gigs over the last year, and have many more to come. I moved up in the writing world from being an internet writer to writing for a real magazine and making my worth for the articles I write. My photography editing skills are getting better and better and I am continuing to work on my dream collage. I have no idea when, if ever that will be finished. It’s an ever evolving dream journal in images.
I have seen friendships end and new friendships sprout. I have also seen friendships that I thought were dead in the water re-sprout with new life of forgiveness and understanding. With each dying flower a new one sprouts in its place, a more beautiful one I believe, richer in color and smell. At the end of the day, and almost year, life is very good. It is as hard as it ever was, but we are happy, and I know that come what may Michael and I will continue to grow together, to love together, and to perform together. Life is very good my friends!
With that I leave you with The Supremes and the beautiful Diana Ross…
Don’t cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won’t let you see the stars. Violeta Parra
We had a falling out, Donna and I did. We both did some stupid things to each other that caused a friendship of over 27 years to fall away, awash in mistrust and lies. We really stopped our friendship about a year ago and I won’t go into the reasons why here, it’s irrelevant. Needless to say, we have finally forgiven each other. It took some time and some work, but we are friends once again. Yes, we have renewed our friendship but there is a certain amount of trust that has been shattered and can’t ever be retrieved. No matter what I can always forgive, but I will never forget, I can’t, the pain is still too fresh, too new. So, we are friends at arms length. Is it good to have her back in my life, I don;t know yet…..That remains to be seen. On the other hand, my best friend, Brian (Boo), who is my daughter’s Godfather, pretty much blew me off. We were supposed to go do something together while he was here from Pocatello and we didn’t. He stopped in to see me for like a 1/2 hour on Tuesday and that was it. He has gone back home now. I had asked him to stick around and come see us play tonight at The Gathering Place, but he wanted to be home yesterday. It hurts that he didn’t make more time for me. Ci est la vie.
With that I leave you with queen…
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips
It appears that I am caught in some sort of karmic justice boomerang. I keep running into people from my past that I thought were long gone. I find, even after all this time, literally years, I still have trouble letting go of “stuff”. Believe me I try, but it isn’t easy. The Buddhist in me says that I must forgive and let go in order to move forward, but it is so hard when all these mix of emotions come welling up inside. You put on a good face and just try to pretend like everything is ok, when deep down inside you know it’s not. You’re standing there smiling at this person that hurt you, you are saying “Hi” and all the general small talk, and you know that you are simply putting on a false front, you are bald face lying when your smiling! I don’t know whether I hate myself more for being fake and pretending a false forgiveness that I don’t honestly feel or whether I hate myself more so for my inability to let go and go on. I am trying to grow as a Buddhist and I find that at times like this my faith and belief is really put to the test. Maybe this is karma’s way of giving them a chance to say “I am sorry”. I don’t know. I do know that two simple words go a long way toward mending the bridge of past hurts and ill will. With that I leave you with one of my all time favorite heartbreak songs…..
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. Winston Churchill
How you treat others and speak to them is a direct reflection of yourself. If you look down on others and treat them with disdain what is this saying about you as a person? On the other side of the coin, if you treat each and every person with courtesy and respect what does that say? Recently I have had the experience of running into both ends of the spectrum. I have had one person that was so rude and short with me that I will never speak with that person ever again. This person treated me as if I was no better than a little bug under their shoe. On the other hand I have met some very sweet people that have been warm and inviting and in the end formed some new friendships. In the middle of the spectrum I have a friend who is incredibly self-involved and only seems to be focusing on their own current negative situation. They are so busy having a pity party that they are completely oblivious to the people around them and the difficulties of their friend’s situations. If you are hurting, this person is hurting 10 x’s worse. You know this person. Rather than focusing their energy on fixing the situation they blow their horn vociferously to anyone who will listen about their terrible situation and how no one is helping them. Part of the problem with this, beyond the obvious, is when a person does this their friends will draw away from them like pulling back from a hot stove. Truly, it is ok to tell people your situation, but always try to have a positive outlook and a plan on how you can fix it. No one is going to fix it for you. If you sit and cry to people all day, everyday, about your situation you are 1. wasting energy that could serve a better purpose and 2. Pushing people away from you as surely as if you were a hot, flaming coal of self-pity. No matter how bad your situation is it serves you better as a person to always keep in mind that your situation could be worse and you are not the only one hurting in this world. We all need to vent and let our friends and family know what’s going on with us, but it’s ultimately important to take the high road and if one avenue doesn’t work, explore other avenues. Eventually you will find the road that works, and never give up. No matter what, keep in mind that the things you spew out of your mouth can end up coming back to bite you and push people away. With that I leave you with the Beatles, have a peaceful day
For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think we are all guilty of it. At some point or another we have gotten on our FaceBook, or our blog, I know that I have, and just spewed out all the anger or rage or disgust we are feeling at someone or thing we have felt treated us unjustly. I have done it in moments of rage, hurt and anger. Did it solve anything, absolutely not. Did it make things any better, well, I might have felt better for like 2.5 seconds. At the end of the day I came to realize that spewing that kind of anger may or may not reach my intended target. What I did realize is that the many friends and family and people I didn’t even know saw that anger and rage just as surely as if I was standing on the busiest intersection in the world butt naked. Do I want people seeing this anger and hot rage. No! Sure, I may be angry, but spewing out a diatribe of profanity and rage serves no purpose other than to alienate people you know and people you don’t even know yet. It completely turns people off. My advice to anyone feeling this kind of rage and anger at someone is to confront the person that hurt you face to face, not FaceBook to FaceBook. Take it from someone who knows, it will only come back to hurt you in some unexpected way just as surely as a boomerang comes back to the hand that threw it. Be peaceful my friends, if you’re angry don’t keep it bottled up, confront the source, don’t spew it out there for the world to see. Once it’s out there you can’t take it back, nor can you take back the indelible impression you will leave with all those people that you probably didn’t even know were seeing it. Just my Buddhist thought for the day and on that note I will leave you with No Doubt….
I ain’t the same person I was when I bit that guy’s ear off. Mike Tyson
My poor baby Mojo. If you have been reading my blog then you know we adopted a cat, or he adopted us, I’m not entirely sure which but knowing cats the later is probably true. Anyway, I named him Mojo and he’s been with us about 2 weeks now. Now Mojo, my darling little friend, is having an ear issue. I am not sure if it’s ear mites because I don’t see the usual suspects of dried blood but I do see the head shaking and the frustration and scratching at his ears. I have begun using an otic suspension on his ears, when the little guy will be so kind as to let me put it in there. Boy, does he ever get pissed at me when I do it. I just can’t stand to see any animal suffer in any way. If he only knew I was only trying to help.
If what you say is based on what people want to hear, rather than what you intend to actually do, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the difficult position of having to break your word.
Why do people tell others that they are going to do something and then not do it? And then….then they wait until the last moment to tell them that they are backing out. This is something I will never understand. If I have a gig to do and I know that I can’t do it I let people know at least a week in advance or at the soonest possible moment, it doesn’t matter whether the gig is paying or not, the importance lies in the fact that I have people relying on me and if I chose not to be there and don’t let them know until the last possible moment it puts them in a bind to find someone to replace me. It’s not fair to the people relying on me to be there and do my part because every person is a link in the chain of whether something is going to work or not and when I let them down I am breaking the chain of whether a gig is going to be successful or not. With music there aren’t 100 other singers that can just step in and take my place, or bass players, or guitar player, etc…You get the picture. If you can’t do something then don’t say you will…It’s that damn simple, there are no feeble excuses as to why you suddenly changed your mind after making a commitment. Here’s the thing, if you do things like this chances are the people that were relying on you in the first place are going to lose all trust in you and there probably won’t be an offer for a “next” time. You just blew any potential there might have been of something good. Say what you mean and mean what you say!
I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them. Judith Wright
When you stop using mind altering substances, such as alcohol in my case, you are forced out of your little numb closet into the world of feelings. Suddenly you realize you are alive and you can feel. Those feelings can become overwhelming because when you begin to feel again every emotion begins to take on the proportions of a bright painting in the vivid neon colors that are so intense they hurt your eyes and you are powerless to turn away from the painting even though it burns your vision. Yesterday was just such a day for me. I went through my day just as surely as if I were a zombie plodding along going down some strange path and going through the motions without knowing why I was doing that or where I was going. I wasn’t numb, in fact I was far from it, I was in a deep pensive funk that I couldn’t seem to shake and I burst into tears at one point for absolutely no reason. I guess instead of taking the day off from my normally busy schedule I should have kept busy but I had no way of knowing that my mind was going to be in such a turmoil of mixed emotions. Sometimes being too busy can be a very good thing.
- A Different Person (catseyesk.wordpress.com)
There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. ~Hodding Carter, Jr.
My daughter has informed me that she’s leaving to Alaska on Saturday. She’s leaving and spreading her wings. I tried to explain to her that she’s leaving what feels like a cage here to a cage there. She’s running scared because she’s pregnant. I tried to tell her that changing scenery is not going to alter circumstance. Of course she won’t listen to me, I’m only her mother. She’s running away from me and herself to grandparents that she doesn’t know and they don’t know her. They are the ones that sent her the plane tickets, not just for her but for her boyfriend that is leading her around by the nose. Don’t even get me started on the boy’s mother. She’s just happy that a girl, my foolish daughter, is getting her lazy, good-for-nothing son out of her hair. Why did it have to be my daughter that finally got this lazy boy off his lazy ass and out of his mother’s home? My daughter sent me a message on Facebook that she wanted to see me before she left and I told her “no”. I will not apologize for refusing to see my daughter off to a foolish expedition without a plan or any foresight. I know me too well, anything I say to her is surely going to sound like judgment and it will come across harsh. So, I chose not to see her. I choose not to see her because as surely as the Earth rotates on it’s axis I know that if I try to speak to or look at my foolish child right now I am putting my sobriety at risk. I am not sorry to say that I am being selfish about my sobriety. I wish her the best, but deep down I already know how this is going to turn out and she will have to find out for herself. There are so many things wrong with this picture, her boyfriend’s mother is so happily throwing her child to the wind in her over-exuberance to have her son out of her house and on his own when he doesn’t have a pot to piss in or the knowledge of how to get a pot, and dragging along my pregnant daughter with him. His mother uses this fallacious argument that “I have raised my kid!” I could say to my daughter, “If it were me”, but it isn’t me and at this point she is going to make her mistakes and I’m only afraid that this is one that she is going to pay for dearly. I’m sorry for her because I think she’s going to realize her mistake but it’s going to be too late and her pride won’t let her tell me so.
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis
Everyone says I have changed so much in the last month and a half. Mike says I am a ray of sunshine. The funny thing is I know that I have changed inside, deep down inside. I am still crossing the monkey bars and learning how to cross while holding onto a banana and not fall. I am like a child learning all about myself for the first time, the exception being that I am an adult with a vast array of experiences, and some not very positive at all. The fact of the matter is that I am still grumpy, and at times, downright cranky. That’s just part of who I am. The banana I hold onto is the goal that once I cross the monkey bars I can eat my prize, that golden, yellow, delicious banana with its rich fruit wrapped so tenderly in a protective peal. I find that I am tired a lot more than I used to be and I don’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. There are days I just feel down and depressed, there are days that I just don’t give a shit. The fact is is that I am human and I still feel things, just differently because now there is no numbing, mind bending substance to take it away. I have to face my emotions head on and that isn’t easy after such a long and devoted career of inebriating myself from feeling anything. In this new life full of changes and becoming a different person the knives are very real, the pain they inflict deep and I don’t have the Novocaine to stop it like I used to. Yes, I have been given a whole new set of tools to deal with my hurts and ills, but they are still there and more real than ever, and that is hard! In the beginning of sobriety we are more than happy to grasp the banana knowing that one day we will be able to partake of it’s wonderful fruit, but no one tells you you have to swing across these precarious monkey bars of emotions and feelings to the other side before you can really enjoy the fruit, and if you drop the banana you get to start all over again. The thing that no one tells you about is the flood of emotions that may seem like they are going to overtake you. This flood of emotions happens because we no longer have a mind altering substance to blind us to the tidal wave that is rushing our direction.
- Monkey Bars (thedailytravesty.wordpress.com)
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. ~George Bernard Shaw
After the car wreck of your life has finally come to a stop and you have begun to pick up the twisted fragments of metal, the broken shards of glass, healed the cuts and wounds, filed the insurance claim and received a new car it’s time to look at the cause of the car wreck in the first place. Were we not the drivers that caused the wreck? Were we not the ones who lost control? After the exterior mess is cleaned up there is still the internal wreck to clean up, and believe me I need a big broom and dust pan. Even after you think the mess is cleaned up, swept away and thrown in the trash, inevitably you still find shards of glass, pieces of plastic and fragments of metal you have missed. The best thing I have found is walking into a place where you find happy, sober people doing happy, sober things. They have all been in the same car wreck as you, it may not have happened for the same reasons, it may not have been exactly the same wreck and some walk away in better shape than others. The point is that we must honor our self by cleaning up every last piece of the car wreck and surround ourselves with cushions like a bumper car so that that accident doesn’t happen again, for next time we may not walk away unscathed, if at all. Surrounding ourselves with sober, happy people is that cushion of which I speak. If you continue to surround yourselves with people who are constantly getting into car wrecks you are not going to honor yourself and your insurance rates will climb higher and higher with each new collision. Finally, the insurance company is going to get sick of you and the wrecks and drop you entirely. It isn’t enough to simply clean up the mess, we must change and learn to honor ourselves and those around us.
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. George Carlin
I will be the first to admit that I am a cynic. I have lived my life distrusting of other peoples motives, because aren’t all humans urged by the need for some personal gain of their own. In reality I have always questioned people’s sincerity and motives, whether they stemmed from the true spirit of giving of themselves to another purely for unselfish motives or if their input was driven by self-serving motives. My circle of friends is small, my circle of acquaintances large. I keep the ones who I know have no ulterior motives close and everyone else I keep at arms length as acquaintances or even further away than that. The more I get to know a person determines the distance of their relationship with me directly in proportion to their motives. Being cynical isn’t hard, in fact it is quite easy, in truth it is being optimistic about the human race that is hard. It is my genuine hope that I will one day learn to not be such a cynical, distrusting person, but it is a very hard thing to do when you find that a majority of the people you meet on a daily basis are only becoming acquainted with you because they “think” you have something to offer them rather than in the genuine spirit of friendship. They extend a hand to you as a “friend” with motives untrue and fettered by wants and desires.
If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Mary Engelbrei
Ok, so my therapist wants me to write a letter to my mom about all the resentments I have toward her. Damn man! Why? I am where I am in my thinking about my mother and I don’t understand why she wants me to dredge up past resentments that I have let go of. That is not the Buddhist way and I don’t like rolling that way. I think that a majority of women have resentments toward their mothers and no matter how good or evil their mothers are or were they are set up to fail no matter what they do. We daughters put a high level of expectation upon our mothers because that is the matriarch we look up to. It’s really not fair to them, if you think about. We take our mothers and place them upon this pedestal that I think not even the best of mothers can reach the pinnacle of and when they don’t reach our level of expectation we get angry and resentful. That’s not fair to them. They are human and fallible just like everyone, but I think we daughters look to our mothers as some sort of superhuman with no kryptonite and that’s our own fault. Sure, my mom was a self-involved creature and I know for a fact she never wanted children, but her moral beliefs would not allow her to “get rid” of us. She was more interested in partying and being free than being strapped to 3 children. Oh well, I can do nothing to change who she was then, I can’t change all the ways she let me down then, what I am capable of changing is the kaleidoscope I view our relationship through. I can chose to see all the colors as dark and bleak, or I can choose to see the color values that stand out the most, the positive colors and I can choose to forgive her and myself for not seeing all the pretty rainbow of colors sooner.
I know it seems like I’m this strong person who can get through anything, but inside I’m fragile. I’ve had so many things thrown at me, and each one has only made a crack. What I’m afraid of is shattering.
I cried myself to sleep last night, yesterday was a really bad day and I haven’t wanted a drink more since I quit than I did yesterday, and I have never wanted to quit music more than I did yesterday. I didn’t give in to the unholy terror ripping through the core of my being, but don’t think that I didn’t want to. It is so hard to face the knowing, the knowledge that you have something really beautiful inside you to give and no one wants it. You are ignored and treated like crap by even the ones closest to you. You think I would be used to it by now, it’s been that way my entire life. My mother had an ignore button and she’s apparently not the only one. The day started out good, I found a sponsor, but then it just went to crap. What still sticks in my mind was when a person I like very much said something completely rude and snide to me. I was trying not to take up his time because I knew he was busy and I though his son was going to fix our beverages for us. Like an idiot I said this and he snapped at me and made a point of reminding me who he is. It hurt! What this friend probably didn’t know was that I was already a wounded animal when I walked up to the counter. Well my wounds were only going to get deeper before the day was finished with me. I sat at a table with my beverage and waited. Next thing I know my lead guitar player/husband was gone and didn’t say a word, I was left there sitting alone, beverage in hand and hurt. He was where I wanted to be. So I left and went home and cried myself to sleep. It’s morning and I am still crying. Why can’t my heart have a crap cleaner like my computer?
- The Fragile (happyperdition.wordpress.com)
- Pain of Glass (myownheart.me)
- Fragility (unexpectedlovely.wordpress.com)
- Fragile strength (butterflywarrior.typepad.com)