Ending the Insanity

I think I have shared with you all before how challenging my workplace is for me and I have at long last arrived at a conclusion; I cannot endure another 3 years (at the least) or 8 years (at the most) to get the Big Payout. It’s simply not worth the cost to my mental health, my chance of happiness and working towards a goal that betters society, or at least my little corner of the world. What I am saying is I have decided to seek employment elsewhere and see what the Universe will offer to me, once I shake free of the belief that this is the Only Job I’ll Ever Have. I may take a job with a cut in pay, but a reward factor that is priceless. If I can truly help people by being myself and sharing the best of my wisdom, intuition and God-given talents, then I think less pay would be worth it. I do believe that we prevent ourselves from being happy or content with our lot in life because we feel as though it’s better to be employed and miserable then unemployed and  happy, when in reality there is a middle ground; the road less traveled. The path of where your heart, your soul and your destiny leads. It could be a job as average and unexciting as a receptionist at a doctor’s office, but the opportunity to reach people, share kind words, provide comfort, or just simply listen is there. The greatness in each of us is there already, but we need to take steps, make decisions and often times sacrifice to achieve our goals, realize our dreams and have faith that it will all work out. So I will be making some changes in the upcoming months and it is my hope that I will find a way to make the most of my gifts and still be able to pay the bills. Wish me luck and I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

“When you let go of what’s in your hand, it’s now empty to receive greater blessings from God”.

My Graduation Day

happyYesterday I had my “graduation” from the IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) that I’ve been going to for the past month while trying to get my mood under control and get some help with the issues I had been having for some time. It was something that I’d gone through before a couple of years ago but I guess it was time for a refresher course and to reevaluate my psych meds to see if there was something I hadn’t tried that might provide a better mood stabilization and thus ensure lack of “episode” in either direction.

This program and the other one I went to before combine education, therapy, medication evaluation in a group and in a one-on-one setting. It provides a safe place to “feel your feelings” and to learn more about whatever mental health diagnosis and/or addiction you may be suffering from. I have met people in this program that I will stay in contact with, see at AA meetings and with any luck at all, will dance at a wedding or two. These are more people that I feel God has sent to cross my path; they are fighting the good fight, arming themselves with knowledge and aligning themselves with others who are trying to make a positive, real change in themselves. The support in those rooms is amazing and there is so much love, you just can’t believe it. People who have sat next to each other for a matter of hours know that person more deeply than most of their family members do. Tears are shed, old wounds exposed, dark secrets brought into the light and pain; tons of pain, buckets of pain of various degrees and ages fills the room, but the love and the fellowship absorb it all. Hugs are given, offers of support made and expressions of encouragement spoken and a new feeling takes place….hope. Hope that change will happen, positive thoughts will replace messages of self-hate, feelings of shame will gradually fade and self-love will grow in those empty places. Light will shine, the world will have colors once more and happiness will be a possibility. Sobriety will bring a whole new world of honesty, love, friendship and growth. Needless to say, this cannot happen if the old people, places and things are held onto. We must let go of the old ways to allow the new life to be received; if we are glorifying or fantasizing about drinking or using, God cannot give us the gift of an honest, sober life. It’s all possible, if we are willing to do the work. Attending the meetings, reading the Big Book and keeping watch over our thoughts and feelings are a big part of it, but so is getting a sponsor and working the steps. This is where I left off last time and I believe this is why I found myself in the situation I was in last month, desperate to drink myself to death and be done with, once and for all. You see, I never got a sponsor and didn’t get past the first step. So I wasn’t drinking, but all the yuck was still working within me, motivating me to romanticize alcohol and pine away for it, like a lovesick teenager (no offense to lovesick teenagers or any lovesick person of any age). I hadn’t done the real work so no real change had taken place. That is my next mission; get a sponsor, do my therapy with my new cool therapist and start sorting through the boneyard to find my pain and set it free.

nothing says Love like a tattoo

New Tattoos

New Tattoos

I’m spending the day with my son (the best medicine EVER) and we are in the process of getting tattoos that were meant to happen on Mother’s Day but didn’t actually happen do to non-scheduling issues. Devon got the words “truth” and “honor” on the inside of his wrists and now I am getting the same words with the same placement. These are two things that he and I share; the search for truth and the constant need to keep our honor amongst trying times, dishonest people and dangerous situations. These tattoos are a physical representation of the bond we have and the lessons we have learned on our individual journeys and where our paths connected. I love my son; he’s saved my life more times than I can count and teaches me something every time we talk.

Happy belated Mothers Day to me & gratitude for such a wonderful, loving son.

All The Lovely People

I have been looking back on some of my recent posts and the fact that I miss JJ is pretty much absolutely clear but what I realized is not clear at all is how many people I’ve met since he passed that I feel were sent to me by him (and God of course) to help me stay the course and keep my sobriety, as well as (finally) dig deep to the old wounds and bring them into the painful light of day to work through them, cry the tears that need to be cried for my inner child as well as the adult me; understandings that couldn’t be made at that time of my life can now be made and with love and forgiveness, something old can be put to rest and something new can grow in its place. Something like hope. Hope is a powerful thing, it carries people through tragedies and travesties and is a memory that never fades with time but stays powerful, potent and carries the promise of what is yet to be. The people that I have met on this particular segment of my journey are addicts, fathers, sons, friends and lost souls with hearts of gold, minds with gossamer strands of stability straining against the pulling of the manic thoughts, like flies desperate to escape the silky, sticky strands of the spider’s web. They have gazed into the abyss and it has most certainly stared back at them, but they have not shed their humanity; the young man tells of how he has raised his young sons to open doors for ladies, help them with their packages and show them all respect. This he has learned, not from from growing up fast and watching who really did the heavy lifting in his life; the women. The mothers, grandmothers, sisters and wives, as well as girlfriends of these men have seen and heard enough to fill a library full of books and still have more to tell; they have done the hard work, the child birth, the difficult explanations to their children as to why daddy (or mommy) can’t get out of bed to play with them again, why there is so much yelling and fighting one day and hugging and kisses the next? But I digress.

Jeff was always one thing and one thing first and foremost; a great human being. But I also have five fantastic brothers who are all very unique and loved human beings with gifts so varied and bountiful that I am often amazed at what they can do individually and what we manage to create when we decide to work together. I am beyond blessed to have these men as my protectors, defenders and above all else, friends, You guys rock.

Jeff also wanted me to continue my education, as he felt that I was incredibly intelligent and to not use my gifts would be a waste. I have met so many good people during my time in the ACE Program at the local community college who have reinforced the belief that I am relevant, capable and have a place as well as a mission in life. As far as the bipolar diagnosis, he was always quick to remind me (as others have) that I am not singularly bipolar and that’s the end of the story… I am also an alcoholic, too!! Haha. But seriously, thanks to all the lovely people I have met and those I still have yet to see face to face. Thank you for your concern, your friendship and your prayers and positive thoughts. Things are looking a little brighter each and every day.