Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Arch-nemesis, Pri- Madonna's and lessons learned.

Have you ever asked yourself, what lessons have I learned from life so far? I know I have. And for the most part after looking at the big picture, I know I have learned many things from life. For everything and anything I ever did, there was some sort of learning experience, whether big or small, bad or horrible, I learned something.

I think back to when I was a child and I asked my dad to buy me the Grease record from the movie Grease with John Travolta. Like the good dad he always did his best to give his daughter everything he could, so he bought it for me.

But, like the pesky little brat that I was, I broke the 45 inch record in half because I was unhappy that dad did not buy me the Grease album, that I was not specific about, upon making my request. As you can imagine my dad was not happy and did not hesitate to let me know.

Okay, so what did that teach me? Number one, it taught me to be specific when I say or ask for something, Number two, ungratefulness gets me no where and three, don’t mess with dad.

Life is so amazing this way, you can look back and be thankful for something that at point seemed useless or even humiliating. Among many of the lessons I've learned in life, one in particular has been humility.

There was a time when I could not imagine myself cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors for a living. Not because I frowned upon it but, because I thought with my education I should be working in an office with sparkling glass desks and shiny door knobs. Well, needless to say, I could not find the shiny door knob job and things were getting pretty hard financially.

While discussing my hardship with a few friends, one of them made a mention of a person who was looking for a cleaning lady. My friend asked me if I would be interested, and I said yes, but only because I did not want to seem like a Pri Madonna, which would have been ridiculous given the circumstances.

That job was one of the best things I ever did in my life. I worked cleaning houses for about one year and besides earning a few bucks to pull me through while I got back on my feet, I gained so many other things from it like strength, good honest work ethics and gratitude for being given the opportunity to actually see that where there is a will, there is always a way.

Of course part of life lessons can sometimes involve people you don’t care to socialize with. In this lesson I learn not to be so quick to judge. Let me tell you about this woman, I use to call her my ‘Arch-nemesis.” Oh my goodness, I could not stomach her presence and I knew darn well she felt the same about me. Why? Well as me and her know today, we were jealous of one another, plain and simple. She thought I was prettier than her which contributed to her low self esteem at the time and I did not like that she had more money than me which fueled my financial insecurities. When ever she had a boyfriend, she made it a point to inform him or rather demand not to look at me and well frankly, I did the same. As you are probably saying to yourself right now “that is ridiculous and self absorbed.” Yes it was. Ah….the perils of being a girl and becoming a woman.

Anyhow, I was experiencing yet another one of my challenging life experiences, emotionally and spiritually, and it could have easily been my worst if; my arch nemesis had not extended her hand out to help me. Yes, my dear readers the woman that I did not like, turned out to be my angel during my time of great difficulty and I have been hers during her tough times. Today we are good friends.

Lesson learned here….. Do not be so quick to judge others, look beyond the exterior and into the interior, those you criticize may very well be the ones you help and help you  when in need.

Presently, I am experiencing another lesson in my life; I think it’s the king of all. And undoubtedly I can say that I am learning lot’s from it. I guess that’s what life is all about; you live it, learn from it, utilize it in a positive way and pass it on. 

How do you feel about the lessons in your life? Have they guided you to make better decisions in your future?


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On finding the good in the bad.


It is so easy to see; feel and experience things falling apart in ones life, yet so hard, almost impossible to notice the good that can come from it. But, if we stop, I mean really stop and look within and around, you can actually see them.

Sounds cheesy I know, like a teaching from some self help guru who probably never experienced hard ship. For me, the challenges can be so daunting that it eats away my energy and creates fear, making it hard to envision how something good can come out of something bad.

But once we begin to practice self care and acceptance, we begin to understand that sometimes things that fall apart were never strong enough in the first place. Keeping it together was all consuming. And although falling apart can be hell, starting over is exciting, a new beginning for things to be done right and feel good, as it should have been all along.

Do you believe that good things can come out of bad experiences?

What’s your take on challenges and hardship?


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Loosing myself along the way - Who am I?

Its about that time for me to do some serious sharing. Every now and then I feel that it is essential for me to just let things out and let things go as a way to start a new within me. Right now seems like a good time.

I feel lost on this Mothers Day. I have spent most of my life doing everything and anything possible so that my children could have all that they need, a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their back, gifts to open on Christmas mornings, gifts to unwrap on birthdays and much more. Mostly, what a caring, loving mother should do. But it seems like that was not enough.

I've hid my fingers, rearrange things as well as my life, so that my sons ocd would not worsen, but it has, through no fault of his own of course and treatments working temporarily, if at all. I've bowed my head in countless apologies with no fault of mine, so that my daughter would feel better about herself only to make myself feel worse.

I've lost many things along the way, including myself.  Looking back, I think I did it this mother thing all wrong. Mostly because I was desperate single mom who lacked guidance and understanding.
Those who said being a mom doesn't come with a hand book are right.
Today, as much as I adore my children, I have to admit, I feel like I don't even know who I am. At least not at this moment.

In recent months I parted ways with my husband, lost my apartment and my dignity. But as they say, "there is good in everything." I'm grateful I can still find the good in my circumstances. One thing I do know is that I'm a  strong cookie for holding on when most times I should have exploded.

You know that saying "You can't make others happy if you're not happy?" damn, I finally got that. It sure took a long time. Instead, I was doing it backwards,  "I'm not happy, if I don't make everyone else around me happy first." Not!

Despite the downward spiral, I have managed to continue to fight for my mental health, my well being, as well as others along the way.

Yet, saying I'm tired would be putting lightly. I'm freaking exhausted, too much that I'm considering cancelling my plans for today. I need a Mother's Year, never mind a day.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Notes to self -- Jotting down general thoughts and sharing them with you.

In dealing with others, especially those closest to me, I am learning and doing. 

Think before I speak, ask yourself is it worth it?

Practice self care go to support groups, therapy and positive fellowship it is going to help you move forward and keep it green. It will be a daily reminder of acceptance, prayer, meditation and doing things differently.

Remind yourself everyday that some are sicker than others, but I have a choice on whether I want to engage in the sickness or stay on the healthy path to recovery.

It is better to ignore with grace than to react with anger which will only create chaos and more conflict.

Remember back then you did not know what you know now.
Things are different believe it or not. I’m different, my behaviors are different. And it does not matter if those around me are not, I am. And I can make a difference in the outcome.

I will not be the blame. I will not be held responsible. And only I can control that by setting healthy boundaries.

Do not expect, demand or wish for understanding, agreement, nor pity.

Accept things for what they are, have the courage to change the things that I can and look for understanding where others share their experience, strength and hope.

Remove yourself from the negative, engage in the positive.

Keep your expectations of others low and yours high.

Never scream, latch out, and throw daggers nor use sarcasm, that only makes things worst.

You have no point to prove because that is nearly impossible to do with toxic people.

Keep the peace. It is better that way.

Go to your meetings.
Go to support groups.
Build a strong support network.
Most importantly never give up on myself.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holding on to my voice.

When I was battling alcoholism and untreated mental illness my opinions and feelings were not taken seriously or were considered unacceptable. The thing with that is that even when I got sober and began healing, the things I had to say were still not validated. Those around me got use to me not speaking up for myself or when I did, I was shunned and asked “are you okay? Or did you take your medication today?"

Well, apparently some peoples view on me speaking up has not changed much over the years. I still struggle with speaking up and having a voice, difference now is that I still do it anyway.
Sometimes, I am even bold enough to tell them, that "what I say matters and if they don’t like it, it is their opinion, just as I have mine." That’s a shell shocker for them, and by them, I mean those closest to me. Yes, it’s always the one’s who are closest to you.

One of the things that has been difficult for me is to say NO. When asked to do something, go somewhere, contribute to something or maybe even say “no, I don’t agree.” it has always been challenging for me. Although, I still struggle with it, I am getting better at saying “no,” sadly it often comes with a confrontation, another thing I suck at. But, I am saying it more and the end result for me after a bit of anxiety is that I feel proud of myself. 

Bottom line is, I am worthy of having my own opinions and feeling about things. My choices matter, my voice matters, even if it doesn't to anyone else, it matters to me and using it is just as important as anyone else’s.

How comfortable are you when speaking up for yourself?

Do you struggle with finding your voice and expressing what is important to you?

Is it hard for you to say no?


Sunday, December 8, 2013

The night I thought my boyfriend was going to kill me and I almost killed my stepfather

Okay, I'm going to attempt to make this a funny post. Because the truth is, I can easily make it into a dark and dreary one. 

I was drunk as a skunk one evening, well, many evening's during that time of my life. But this particular one was different, it was the night I informed my then boyfriend that I was breaking up with him. He handled it just as I thought he would, this is what he said to me “I won't let you leave me, try and you will regret it."  
Well, I certainly was not sleeping in my home alone that night. So I did what any good drunken girl who feared for her life would and should do. I went to my mother's. 

There it was the good old sofa near the wide open window, on a hot muggy night, in a non air-conditioned family room, perfect. It had been my pass out couch many hot, drunken nights; I decided to sleep naked on this one with a light sheet to cover me.

Later, at about three am I was awakened by the sound of what sounded like a gun shot outside of my window. Scary as you can imagine, but even scarier was the sound of the locks to my mother's front door being opened minutes later.

I knew everyone was home my mom, my sister and brother, so I had no choice but to jump to the conclusion that the man I feared was breaking in to my mother’s home. I thought "That's him coming in to kill me and that was his warning shot." Seconds later I heard someone enter, I ran to the door and jumped on my attacker, fiercely kicking and scratching him. Basically, I was not going down without a fight. All of a sudden lights went on, I heard my mother scream "what's going on!"  I see my mom and sisters face fluttered with fear and my brother standing in a karate position, one which he had learned earlier that week in his martial arts class, fitting for the moment I'd say. I looked up and saw my stepfather with eyes of terror and a bloody face. I released him, and then I look at myself, completely naked from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

Shortly after my mother tossed me a blanket and as I came to from the shock and embarrassment, my mother explained to me that earlier that day my step dad moved in and she gave him his own set of keys. The reason why he was coming in so late in the night was because he was returning from dropping someone of at the airport.

That was twenty one years ago, today I am a sober woman and my mother and step dad are happily married. I will never ever forget, and I’m pretty sure neither will he, how I welcomed him into our family. 



Monday, November 11, 2013

It was a good run, but now it’s back, depression – Chasing it away with self care.

I had a good run, I really did, but now the grayness is once again leaning towards me, leaving me frightened that the darkness will settle. I have not felt this way in quite a while. This past summer was a good one, so was the beginning of fall, lot’s of changes took place which I embraced positively. I even manage to get my laptop fixed and finally purchase internet service, which was a drag because there were no towers available in my area; low and behold I am plugged in thanks to those hot spot USB devices.

And now, here I am battling this melancholic feeling that I am all too familiar with although, I was almost certain it would remain in the past. It is indeed, a reminder that although it is not who I am, it is still a part of me and will always be. My depression will come and go, sometimes go for long periods of time to the point where I get comfortable as well as complacent, my usual routines go out the window, self care is placed in the back burner and meditation along with spirituality is a thing of the past. All a big No, No, I may as well have a ticker time bomb attached to me.

I have a plan which I am hoping to implement as soon as possible. I have learned through out the years that although depressive disorder is part of me I don’t have to entertain it; there are things I can do to lessen it and put it to rest. Exercise is also a part of me and when I don’t do it I begin to whittle away, so I will make it a point to re-join the local gym and make use of my membership, I will also start to practice my prayer and mediation again, along with attending my Ala-non 12 step (family and friends of alcoholics) meetings which sadly I have stopped going. In other words, I will practice self care with the goal of evading the darkness and preventing it from settling.

 Are there any self care routines that you have not practiced lately, which you would like to get back into? What kind of things do you do that make you feel better?


Monday, August 19, 2013

Resentments - Do we ever truly let them go?

I wonder if we ever truly get rid of resentments or, if we learn how not to let them affect us the way they once did, almost making it seem as if they no longer exist.  That is until something someone say's or does triggers those well kept resentments, and then BOOM! You're floating in an ocean of horrible memories, swimming to save your life once again.

I find for myself this tends to happen more with my mother, as it recently did. And although, I love her, she has a way of bringing out in me things that I was certain, were no longer a hindrance in my mind and heart. Leave it to good ole' mom she can actually make things I crumbled, burned and tossed in the incinerator, come back to life.

It's so darn easy to say "let it go, move on" Hell, I've said that plenty to myself and others. I think it's better to say "practice letting it go." Yes, practice until the pain lessens, and if the resentment comes back, full speed, straight ahead, practice some more.

For we are not perfect, but we can still move positively forward in life, while practicing the art letting go.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hole Prevention and Slithering Vipers.

My illness is doing push ups this week. Luckily, I have it under control. Ha! "Control" good one!

Do you, we, or I ever really have it under control?

It seems to me, that's when coping skills come into play. I've learned how to cope in a healthy manner, in which I keep myself from spiraling down into a hole. I'll call it "hole prevention" yes, that sounds good for now.

You see, that is the thing about my depression, I just never know. It is like a slithering viper, camouflaged, quietly hissing beneath the dirt and grass, waiting for a vulnerable moment to attack.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Emotionally stable in an unstable life - thoughts and thinking some more.

Thought - "Oh gosh, things are so far from perfect."

Moving along....and at this very moment thinking about how my online community helps me keep it together.Writing, reading, sharing my thoughts or feelings helps me get through the day. When reading other blogger's posts and comments whether on here, FB or twitter I gain knowledge and strength.

To think I have been staying connected through my phone because I can't afford to fix a minor issue with my laptop nor get my wifi going, so this little gadget is my outlet and my source of inspiration along with my bible.

I am grateful that these past few months I have been able to keep my emotions stable although, my personal life is unstable. Let me not forget to mention my weekly support groups, they also help keep me grounded. Oh, suspense thriller novels too, thank you John Grisham and James Patterson.

So many things I'd like to write about in the near future, one of which is the topic of "dis-associative episodes"  I think I have experienced a few in the past, so I am anxious to learn more about them and exactly what they are. Hopefully, I will be able to get a sufficient amount of  computer time at the library and do research so that I can share my  findings with you.

In the meantime, as always, I am happy to be connected with you.

What gives you strength and helps you stay emotionally stable?

Do you know what a disassociate episode is? Have you ever experienced one?


How was your day today?  :-))

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