Just One Year Later

Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them. 

Sue Grafton

One year ago today I found out that one of my best friends (soul friend, really) passed away unexpectedly. While my logical, rational brain knows that he’s no longer with me, my heart and soul feel as though he’s never left. I hear his voice in my head when I’m thinking about doing something I’ll more than likely regret; I feel his presence when I’m thinking I’m alone in the world and I remember his words of encouragement and tough love when I’m feeling weak and scared. I loved the reflection that JJ showed me of myself; he was the mirror that didn’t have the flaws and distortions like mine did. He shared with me who he saw me to be, what incredible potential I had to become My True Self, to shed the skin of addiction, self-doubt and depression. He believed in me completely, trusted me with his secrets and loved me even when I exasperated him and irritated him with my stubbornness and unwillingness to change. He celebrated my victories, gave me a shoulder to cry on when I felt hopeless and always encouraged me to not sell myself short. He helped me to draw upon a wealth of courage and faith that I didn’t know I had; he challenged me to go outside my comfort zone and to stand tall, love myself first and foremost and believe that I am worthy. Worthy of love, success, happiness and living an honest life, free of deceit, untruth and outright lies. You see, I had lived this way for so long that I had forgotten the joy that life can bring. I had forgotten to notice the beauty of everyday life. The brilliant sunsets, the heavenly scent of freshly laundered linens, the symphony of nature, once you get away from the traffic, sirens and chaotic sounds of the city. He celebrated and treasured the simplest things; a warm bed on a cold day, a faithful dog, a hot bowl of soup on a winter’s day and leftover pizza for breakfast. He would not let anything go to waste and would regularly eat whatever I couldn’t finish when we would go out to lunch. He was the hardest working man I’ve known since my father and a prouder father I’ve yet to meet. He left me too soon and I’ve faltered repeatedly since he’s left, but only because I feel as though I’ve lost my anchor.  I agree completely with the quote from Sue Grafton; I can’t let him go just yet. Today, I choose to celebrate his life and the legacy of love he’s left behind. JJ, you are still with us; you will never be forgotten and you will always be loved. I miss you.

Better Living Through Chemistry, Again

Today I realized that there is a reason why doctors (shrinks/psych docs, etc.) want us “chemically special” people to stay on our psych meds. It’s mostly because if we don’t, we tend to go a little bat-shit fucking crazy. My special brand of b.s.f.c. is my temper (see previous post about the Incredible Hulk) and my innate ability to see the funny/crazy/stupid things and comment on them in a (I’ve been told) highly entertaining manner. Combine those two fabulous talents and you end up with a really angry, funny, scary woman. It’s no wonder I haven’t had tons of men clamoring at my feet, begging me to marry them and make them the “happiest man in the world”. Yeah, you see it.
So, today at work, I was doing my very best to muzzle that mad, crazy, funny woman and get her to SHUT UP so we could keep our job and not call undo attention to ourselves (you do know by now that it is not single-occupancy in my mind, don’t you?) when, much to my dismay, a rather (ok seriously) snide comment flew out of my mouth. Oops. Did I say that???? It wasn’t the worst thing I could’ve said and it wasn’t said within hearing of the subject of said comment (at least I don’t think so) but it did help to illustrate in glorious Technicolor and Dolby Surround Sound that my filter had gone the way of my meds; outta there. Which leads me to this post. I know I haven’t posted in a long, long time, but I thought today I would try to channel some of my inner rage in a more positive, less fallout kind of way.
The flip side to the incredible anger is an equally incredible sadness. If I ever want to make myself cry, all I have to do is go to Facebook. There, I can find all the happy couples, the vacationing families with their matching outfits and cute poses in front of every scene imaginable. I can locate ex-boyfriends that still have my heart and find out that they have remarried, had more babies, vacationed in Italy or just gotten shitfaced at a friend’s wedding. All of this is wonderful and some part of me is happy for them, but another bigger, louder part of me thinks, “That’s all fine and good for them, but it’s not for you. You have your independence, your solitude and you can leave the toilet seat down until the end of time. Celebrate that!” Yeah, I do have those things. But I think the root of this deep sadness is the feeling that I had that and I let it go. More to the point, I set fire to it, destroyed it and made sure it was good and dead. At the time, it made perfect sense and it was the best thing to do for all concerned. Now I am starting to believe that was my one chance at happiness; that was the one man on the face of this wretched planet that loved me with all his heart (until I broke, crushed and basically shredded it) and I threw it away. Damn. My Bad, In a BIG WAY.
Of course, I know (logically) that there is more than just One True Love. I also know that hiding out in my apartment, binge-watching Netflix and investing my emotions in characters in a story is no real way to find love, or even quality of life. You gotta break some eggs to make an omelet and you’ve got to risk leaving your safe place and venture out into the cruel world to find what’s you need to feed your soul, give you a different view and possibly expand your horizons, challenge yourself and GROW. The only thing I’m doing by hiding out is allowing my fear to grow and God knows, it doesn’t need much help from me. It grows just fine so long as I give it lots of darkness, isolate myself away from people who may tell me that they are concerned about me or God forbid, have someone they’d like me to meet….eek!
Yet, it doesn’t do any good to have the knowledge and not act on it. So, my first step is to get back on my meds (I promise I will, Michael!) my experiment in going med-free has not been a total failure, as it has shown me how much of a difference they make in the quality of my life. I wish I didn’t have to take them, but I would bet that the diabetic wishes he could eat candy bars and not have to worry about his blood sugar; the cancer patient wishes she didn’t have to do chemo, etc. In the face of everything going on in the world, my problems are certainly First World problems, as my son would be quick to remind me.
That’s all for now. Love and light to you all.