We all want something beautiful, man I wish I was beautiful.

Random thoughts after reading Eckhart Tolle, quotes of his below:

“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”

It is true I get stuck in a perfectionist mindset with these stories I want to write and it paralyzes me. Not good. Any progress I’ve been able to make I’ve been able to embrace that it just isn’t going to be good, lol. But at least it’s making progress. This writing process reminds me very much of sculpting. Have you ever used clay? It’s just a blob and sometimes you gotta add some water to make it easier to work with and move it around and it’s heavy and there’s resistance in the clay and meanwhile your hands get all dirty and even when you get the general structure of it down you gotta go back in with a finer tool and carve out the details and meanwhile clay is drying on your hands and getting crusty and after hours of growing a hunchback and your contact lenses drying I a crisp within your eye sockets  it’s time to decide whether to throw the clay blob in the fire or not. Well, writing isn’t like that. I’m not working against time with a substance that is drying on me and making it more difficult to work with as time goes on, as far as I know. Or maybe, idk. Regardless it doesn’t need to be done in one sitting so I need to get over that and sculpt a little bit everyday and know that each time I walk away from it im not about to throw it in the fire and set it in it’s current form permanently. But I think it was Anne Lamont who said something about the first draft like omg, please don’t let me get hit by a bus and die bc I don’t want anyone to see what a shitty first draft I wrote lol. And anyway I already wrote the first draft, I’m just rewriting / resculpting it now, lol. Hmmm… Ok this analogy just died. RIP.

“The past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”

Truth. Whatever ‘salvation’ I think future-me will get from future-finished product is an illusion. That expectation is formed from experiences in the past when I’ve written stuff and gotten good feedback from people who were impacted by it, but that was all just a result of doing what I was compelled to do at the present time and that was to write for myself. It isn’t just the completed project that sets my little heart aflame. It is the choosing of the right words and the right scenes, the understanding of myself and the world and epiphanies of the things I learn while I’m writing, the so-close-connection I feel to God when I make stuff, the complete presence in that moment that I really chase, etc. Creating is one of the purest forms of meditation, I just wish mine wasn’t littered with overdose and vomit stories. 

“Instead of asking “what do I want from life?,” a more powerful question is, “what does life want from me?””

Well, I know. And this is a solid part of my whole “why.” So go figure. 

smug bc I bleached my own hair.

I talk out loud like you’re still around.

By the way, I didn’t forget yesterday was the day your dad left.

When the pain on this earth became unbearable —

It might have been two lives that day.

But it wasn’t. And I’m still here to remember

The date your dad left

I just can’t tell it to you, yet.

Found this randomly scrawled in a notebook. I don’t remember writing it but I remember whose dad it was.

Reckless L🤍ve

Just a reminder — I’m alive. and I still love you and hey, God does, too.

Oh ya, and I cut my hair and had a unicorn hot chocolate from Creme & Sugar and I like Valentine’s Day. 💓

And I’m still forever covered in dog hair.

Listen to Iron Maiden baby, with me.

Coppola has watched me inhale carbs by the bucket every night for the past week. This is mainly bc I forget to eat during the day and bc I inadvertently avoided carbs for so long. So when I play-eat him (meaning, I make sounds like I’m munching on him) he now yelps and squirms away from me. Hmm. so that’s what’s new in my life, how about yours?

All right. I quit a job and I moved into the cutest little place in one of my favorite neighborhoods and I’m really excited. I keep pausing and going, “God? Hi…. God? Okay, good. Hi. Hi. GOD. Oh, phew. Ok, no just checking that You’re there.”

Often times when things have gone the way I thought I wanted, I often found out that it was not what God wanted. But then I remember I didn’t want to quit my part-time job or leave my free spacious place to live. I didn’t. But I did anyway bc it is clear that when I want what I want more than what God wants — it’s gotta go. So, I let it go.

What came in to replace the financial stress and emotional burden of giving up a job has been nothing short of a deep joy and contentment in all the blessings that have come my way that I had NOTHING to do with.

There is no way I could’ve manipulated, lied, cheated, or otherwise forced things to work out the way that God has aligned them.

ALSO — I had a HUGGEEEE epiphany about why I haven’t been able to finish writing my book. I was driving on the freeway, telling God I’m so sorry I didn’t keep my promise to have that damn thing finished. I just don’t know why it’s been so difficult but I promise that I do intend to finish. And I also couldn’t figure out how all these good things kept happening anyway… and then it hit me.

And it humbled me.

And now I know.

So. I’m gonna let it go.

All I did was praise. All I did was worship. All I did was bow down. All I did was stay still. ~ Defender, Rita Springer

The Crisis of Doubt

Hi 2021. How are you? Scattered, you say? Aw, well… I think most people feel that way these days. I, for one, can relate.

My thoughts and my actions and my beliefs are spread out in front of me, they aren’t currently contained. And with crystal-clear clarity I see them laying out, no – they aren’t within me. If they were all on top of a blanket, I could pick it up and shake it off and be left with a clean slate – hey, that might just be the answer.

The last few months of 2020 I spent a considerable amount of time noting all the things I didn’t get done. It wasn’t done in self-flagellation, but rather acceptance that I chose to do other things instead. Except that 50% of the time, I was asleep dreaming I was awake – so how much of a choice I had can be left for debate. I went through motions day in and day out, life on cruise control. While I cruised, the end of the year came like a fatal stop sign, the period at the end of a book, the PS to a letter I didn’t want to read.

Here is the thing.

The things I wanted things changed. Suddenly, my entire DNA evolved – my desires craved a life I didn’t have. The life… I knew it was improbable. Also, I didn’t know if God wanted it for me, so I didn’t say anything. Still, I schemed to make it happen. My mind folded in on itself trying to make it all work and instead, I just got a skull full of crumpled thoughts. So, I gave up. I’ll always be indebted to people who pulled favors, that I’ll never be deserving of all the things I take for granted… This is just who I am and I can’t do any better.

Part of me wants to share the miracles that unfolded when I gave up, but part of me doubts that any of it is still happening. God is good, isn’t He? His faithfulness is beyond my comprehension. This isn’t because I got what I wanted. It isn’t because I behaved and I was a good girl so now I’m rewarded. Its because I was struck by my beliefs that were killing me, and my ego was sprouting up again and I had no capacity to cut it back down to size.

The miracle is that my wants changed to what (I see now, I think) God wants for me. The reason I think these are God’s desires for me is because they surely aren’t mine and haven’t been for a long time. But then it was all I wanted. When I finally arrived at that conclusion, He made it happen in only the effortless and light way that God can. There is nothing I could’ve done to control how it all turned out. There is nothing I could’ve done to make it all any better.

It is true what it says in “Abundant Living” about humans being created to be Christ-like, it is the most natural thing in the world for us. But when we overthink it and get influenced by our society, we stray. We miss the mark. We transform the easy path in front of us into a life-threatening hike across the opening of a volcano and then lament that this walk to the grocery store is just so hard.

It feels bad when I go against that divinity I’ve been given. Its much easier to follow it and reject the world than it is to reject the divinity and follow the world. JK, no its not. I mean, in the grand scheme of things it is but in the moment, who wants to go against the world? Exhausting.

But yet, it happens. Its happening. And I didn’t even really have to do anything but ask God to help me. And He showed up.

This isn’t why I “believe” in “a god” – this is how I know God.

Let this be our little secret, no one needs to know we’re feeling higher and higher.

I’m starting to write less sloppily here: https://vanessagomezpereyra.medium.com/

OK, so I never did AA really.

There was nothing there for me. Just a bunch of old white dudes talking about how bad they wanted to drink but at least they were sober for 20 years straight.

I was like, ew what? I don’t want that. I want Blue Moon, bye.

Then I had to go to these meetings that were an off-shoot of AA called the Big Book Awakening — BBA, for short. These were cool because the people that spoke at the podiums would tell me what their lives in their various addictions were like (BBA was open to all not just alcoholics because the core belief is the same: there’s a spiritual malady that must be treated) and how they recovered and I believed them.

They were funny, smart, well-spoken, I wanted to be like them. But I had to face a lot of ugly dumb stupid truths about myself. Oh yeah, and I had to relinquish control of my life and let God take over. Laaaaammmeee-NOT. Best decision ever.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve been asked to speak at more regular AA meetings lately via Zoom. So I do. And I don’t mention BBA because it isn’t really widely accepted and there’s a lot of criticism around it. Mainly because they don’t chant: Don’t drink no matter what! One day at a time! Think through the drink! Like, what the hell? If I could do any of those things, I wouldn’t be crawling on my knees into this shithole dump of a church basement hiding from a probation office and looking for a solution to keep me sober forever, morons.

What I found in these regular AA meetings via Zoom recently are the same thing I found over 12 years ago when I attended my first one: There is no hope. No one talks about their selfishness and self-centeredness. No one talks about doing God’s will instead of their own. There were men sitting there in despair and no one had the solution for him which was right in the damn Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous! You know, that thing these meetings are supposed to be based on?

So immediately, I’m like OK people are dying in these rooms and now I totally understand why my group of Big Book thumpers try to approach this work with love and tolerance instead of the pushy preachiness I immediately went to. Peoples lives are on the line.

That said, I’m going to start attending these meetings more regularly even though I really don’t like them and I hope hope hope hope hope I have something important to say so that someone can come over to the bright side and seek God but I hope I can do this without completely shutting everyone off to the idea of whatever they may be willing to conceive “God” to be. And this can only be accomplished with God’s help so though I’ve been sitting in this thought for a weekend, this line keeps coming up: “…and though he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.”

[That’s me doing the scoffing, btw, at being able to get anyone to open up a Big Book at these regular AA meetings but whatever, I’mma remain to pray.]

Break through the walls, beat down the doors, crash through the windows + c o v e r t h e e a r t h

The tattoo on my wrist says CREATE. I got it when I was nine months sober. The little flesh and ink promise that the rest of my life would be spent making good on this earth, instead of robbing people and the world of it.

This blog documents moments of nostalgic pain and destruction. Still, I haven’t found a word in the entire english language to describe the millions of ways I died in my alcoholism. The habitual spiritual deaths that occurred with every breath.

The mental obsession of not breathing.

The physical unwillingness to breathe.

But, here I am. After 3 years, I still grieve for the girl I could’ve been had I stopped at 20, or 25, or even 30. Who could I have been if I hadn’t destroyed her?

There’s no guarantee I would’ve been ok. So at least living in the present, the path that I took, I know I ended up ok for now. There is a solid feeling that I’ve made some stuff and helped some folks, creating a space of love of others and finally, myself.

But while I was doing that, I realized, I can’t keep making more and more goodness. My God – this world is overdosed on self-thought and distraction. I do not need to add more to it. How can things get better without adding good to the world? Well, we destroy the bad, of course!

When I went through the 12 steps of AA, I realized that doing all this work and admitting my faults and making amends was NOT about “becoming a new woman.” It was actually a process of destruction to rid myself of all the things that kept me from being the woman I already was – a child of God.

Already, I am full of love (and you are, too.)
Already, I am full of joy (and you are, too.)
Already, I am full of peace (and you are, too.)

But one broken heart, one disappointment, one bold resentment – and I’m cut off from accessing the good that is already inside of me. (And you do this, too.)

As I’ve worked with women through the step work and watched them shed all these old lies and identities they picked up because they didn’t know how actually awesome (defined as: extremely impressive, breathtaking, awe-inspiring, miraculous, etc, etc, etc) they were, I die a little bit more. Because I want to believe AA is a hoax sometimes, that the God idea just makes me “feel” better, that my imagination saved me.

Bricks won’t hold it in. Lies won’t hold it down. Love will let it out and we will let it drown the darkness, fears + brokenness, can you feel it now? Let it cover you.

Have you ever been in a dirty bedroom with a someone who was one night away from killing herself? Then locked yourself in a hospital dining room six feet away from her, listening to every written resentment that kills her with every breath, every day? Then given her instructions to take it all to her God – whatever she imagines That to be – and tell that Power that she’s willing to let go of the beliefs, delusions, behaviors, that ruled her life? Then hear your phone ring from an unknown number only to have it be her? And have you ever felt electricity running through the earpiece as she speaks, sending shock waves of Power through your skin as you remember – This is why I got sober.

To see, hear, and feel that moment that someone takes their soul back and surrenders it all over again to a Power that wants to use it for good. Sometimes I forget I made that same surrender. But moments like that make me obsess on it and seek it out like, well… an addict, I guess. 🙂

And if all that could happen with one “throwaway drunk” don’t you think it could happen with so many more?

Could you imagine if the non-drunks did this, too?

What would the world look like if we could all breathe deeply, look eachother in the eyes, and not have anything to hide? From ourselves or from each other? Wouldn’t that be Heaven on earth?

So, Create is still my motto – sure. But I’m not so afraid of destruction anymore now, either. If I had it my way (God, are you listening?) I’d find a way to destroy the delusions that keep us separated from each other. I’m not there yet. But if/when I do – this song will totally be the soundtrack to that moment – enjoy! 🙂

So let the Spirit rise up, let it break through the walls, and beat down the doors, and crash through the windows and cover the earth.

I’ve seen it before, felt it before. Peace I can’t explain, love that won the war is here now. Can you feel it now? Let it cover you.

Hot like the summer and mean like a child


I packed all of my belongings for the weekend in a pink duffle bag. I always had wanted to be one of those sophisticated women with overnight bags to show that she was planning on sleeping with someone and she was well equipped to do so. I didn’t have one of those bags though so my pink gym bag would have to suffice.

On my way to San Diego, I stopped by CVS and got two small boxes of pinot grigio. These were the perfect travel size to put into the glove compartment, my purse, or to just drink while driving because people thought the weird little carton was coconut water. I drank them warm and sometimes even hot if my car got too warm with the broken air conditioner. If I held my breath while I drank it, I could almost get rid of all the sourness that drowns the taste buds. I drank one and a half of the boxes of wine and as the GPS navigation was telling me I had arrived in front of Mark’s house. Then I chugged the last of it. I sat in my car telling myself it was possible to turn around and head back home or get more booze if needed. Before I gave it any more thought, I threw my door open and jumped out.

I marched up to the front door and saw the screen door was closed but the real door was open. Inside, there were men’s voices and a dog running back and forth. Before I could ring the doorbell, the silhouette of a man startled me.

The screen door flung open and I stepped back. There was the familiar stranger. Same blond hair, same crooked smile, a face that looked both young and aged, a disgusting goatee I made note of to mention later. I’d successfully eradicated badly styled facial hair for years. It might as well be Samson’s the way some men talked about it. And true, when they’d succumb, they often became strangely docile. This one would need to be taught docility.

His eyes were blue, shiney and crazed, his gleamy smile made me cringe. It was a smile that didn’t move his stone eyes. I watched him like a bad movie come to life. His arms began to reach for me.

I’ve never had a creepy uncle before but I imagined these are all the feelings one would associate with one. I shuffled towards the open arms as my gym bag hit the floor. My eyes shut involuntarily as his arms embraced me. I quickly tried to detach in case I smelled like booze then looked at him sheepishly from a close distance — I greeted this strange man.

The rest of our first date was mostly a blur.

Date: 2018-11-06
Words: 1568
Minutes: 56

NOTE: If you haven’t noticed, I’m posting a lot of old words from prior to 2020. When I got sober, I got in the practice of writing everyday. This doesn’t include my handwritten stuff of which I have a ton of notebooks as well. It was my religion. Now that I look back at some of it, I can’t help but laugh. Some of it makes me cringe, some makes me proud, and some I’m like, w o w –  I was crazy. Guess which one this is – enjoy!

[These are all mostly unedited except for typographical errors or grammatical errors that affect clarity or intended meaning.]

I said, “I was born At the bottom of a wishing well”.

NOTE: If you haven’t noticed, I’m posting a lot of old words from prior to 2020. When I got sober, I got in the practice of writing everyday. This doesn’t include my handwritten stuff of which I have a ton of notebooks as well. It was my religion. Now that I look back at some of it, I can’t help but laugh. Some of it makes me cringe, some makes me proud, and some I’m like, w o w – I was crazy. Guess which one this is – enjoy!

[These are all mostly unedited except for typographical errors or grammatical errors that affect clarity or intended meaning.]

Something good! Something good… something good to say about today is that I have eleven months sober and I think that’s something to celebrate. Something less celebratory is that I’m still single. Shrug. I can’t really blame God for keeping me single. That is who is behind this, right? Wink, wink. It’s okay, that’s what I keep telling myself. It’ll all work out. These are a lot of empty words to describe a very empty feeling. Here we go, the meat and potatoes of my loneliness. I’m simultaneously in love with several men and also absolutely love none of them. Perhaps even sadder is that I’m loved by none of them, either. There are a lot of theories behind why this might be. First of all, I’m not very desirable physically or emotionally. I’m not overconcerned with my weight and I refuse to put an emphasis on shaving my legs all the time. I have a sizeable amount of debt and a criminal record. My mental health record is a little spotty and I tend to overshare this information regularly. I talk about God a lot and I write pretty bad poetry and even worse, rambling prose. And actually, being lonely isn’t so bad at all.

Date: 2018-09-08
Words: 184
Minutes: 0

Now the only thing a gambler needs is a suitcase and a trunk

I don’t know where to begin so I’ll begin here. I called out of work because I feel like a miserable human being. I’m fat. I’m depressed. I’m ugly. I go to work and sit at a chair while clicking the same three links over and over and occasionally popping into my boss’s office in hopes she’ll bombard me with a ton more work to do. You wouldn’t think that most people would want more work but I do. I lived in such a chaotic mental space for so many years, I thrived under pressure in stressful deadline-driven environments. Then I calmed down. I had to calm down when I stopped drinking. I couldn’t continue the pace. For a few years, I’ve been afraid of picking up that pace again. But in a world that prohibits me from drinking and driving and recklessly ruining my life, I need to find some other way to find meaning. To find life again. For me, that would pitifully be through work. Wouldn’t it be amazing and great to work somewhere that would pay me just to write about my thoughts? Even this is almost alien, though. I used to be so much more familiar with a keyboard. Not the physical attribute of one, I can still type over 45 wpm with my eyes closed, but then most of humanity in the United States can. No, I meant I felt more familiar with it when I spent hours agonizing in emotional pain about which letters would tell my story best. My vocabulary was better and my metaphors were sharper. Now, my allegories are muddied and the reader always misinterprets what I meant to say. But that’s what Margaret Atwood says anyway, once you have created something and put it out in the world, it no longer belongs to you. She also says that a writer isn’t a writer unless they write. I haven’t written anything in a while, so I guess now is my time. I get exhausted by telling myself the same story I told myself while I was drinking. “This time will be different, this time I will eat healthier, this time I will exercise, this time I will write more, this time will be different.” Within 24 hours, all my will is gone and I’m calling off work and laying in bed with the blinds closed, mindlessly thumbing through hours upon hours of Instagram and Facebook feeds.

Date: 2018-09-05
Words: 406

Do you feel ashamed when you hear my name?

I’m not afraid. I’m going to sit here and type out my fearlessness to show you how unafraid I am. I’m not afraid of my mother finding out. I’m not afraid to attach my name to this. I’m not afraid of anyone reading this. I’m not afraid of what you think of me.

Sylvia Plath is on my side. She watches over me as I write.


I’m afraid of everything. I’m afraid of sounding asinine. I’m afraid of poor sentence structure. I’m afraid of sounding vain. I’m afraid of being shallow. I’m afraid of sounding ignorant or even worse, being read by the ignorant. I’m afraid of being misinterpreted.

Sylvia Plath is on my side. She watches over me as I write.

My writing drips of neuroticism and I hate that. I want to wipe it clean and forget I have two sides of me. I want to tidy up my writing so you think better of me. I want to create a vision of a person that knows what she’s actually writing about. I want to actually know what I am writing about.

Sylvia Plath is on my side. She watches over me as I write.

My writing should be boundless and unrestrained. I want to write Freedom and understand its name. I want to type with reckless abandon and forget about the editing phase. I want to pretend that when you read what I read, it’ll all be okay. I want to create a living organism with a heart that beats and a mouth that speaks through black words on a white page.

Sylvia Plath is on my side. She watches over me as I write.

My concern isn’t if you love me. My concern is: Can I love you, just as you are?

Today, I remembered. I had been asleep, dreaming that I was awake. But I was only resting until my consciousness stirred. My eyes opened. I took in a deep breath and the view of my life. That’s when I remembered: I could be awake.

🤍

“Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity…” — Big Book of AA

🤍

“I have no concern at all whether anybody loves me. I have one concern: Can I love you? Exactly as you are, and I don’t need anything to change?” – Mark Houston

🤍

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.

Where there is discord, let me bring union.

Where there is error, let me bring truth.

Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.

Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love,

for it is in giving that one receives,

it is in self-forgetting that one finds,

it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,

it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

– Not by St. Francis

🤍

Tonight I was reminded of why I love my recovery: Because I had nothing to do with it. If I could stay sane on my own, I wouldn’t need a god. That’s why some people stay sick — they think they’re staying sane but they’re not. We don’t drown in denial, we swim in delusion. I don’t have a choice between relapse or recovery, my choice is God. In health and in horror, I choose God. He figures out everything else. Now, I let Him.

🖤

Your love is fearless, help me to be courageous, too.

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.” – Anne Lamott

I won’t claim to be an enlightened individual. Mainly because if you’re reading this, you likely know me and could call me out on my several thousand spiritual flaws. My humanness. But I will say the desire to want to be enlightened flutters daily from heart to brain in this 5 foot 2 inch body of mine.

My fears still get ahold of me, though. The all-or-nothing, black-and-white, yes-or-no thinking begins to call the shots. Everything is an absolute, there is no need for context — I already know. When that happens, the possibility for miracles — the miracles I need — gets snuffed out. Just that fast, just like that. *snap*

The date of the third anniversary of my sobriety gallops towards me and I think, Are you sure you’re coming for me? Are you mine? Does that date belong to this alcoholic?

Time just isn’t a good measuring stick to use for this kind of stuff. A year is a year is a year. Am I better for it, I guess? But the reality sets in that this spiritual malady never. goes. away. A reprieve, yes. Twenty four hours — I know, I know. But also, what about all those times I didn’t rely on my Higher Power? All those times I curtsied politely and said, “Thanks but no thanks, God. I’ll do this my way,” turned back back to walk right smack into an infinite loop of regret and still worse choices.

Not a drop of alcohol, not a pill swallowed — yet still, desperate to feel something different. To be someone else. Chasing a high I didn’t know I didn’t need.

If I don’t get this, then I’m not that. If I can’t feel this, then what is the point. Why try, why try, why try? Why believe anything could ever change?

That last thought: the inebriated final call of self-will. So short-sighted. So delusional. So drowned in self-pity and self-interest.

The truth is I want to believe. Otherwise why would I care that I didn’t?

Things can change. Things will get better. And I know I’m speaking in vagueisms and that can be annoying but believe me that this is the constant state I am in during this season of my life. The solution remains the same, it is always the same. If I ask God to help me believe, He will.

Just. Like. That. *snap*

I’ve been playing dead my whole life.

I saw a dead owl today. It was stiff and on its back. Two legs stuck out of it, the feathered blob. It was on a path behind me as I walked my dogs. The path separates the manicured field from a small wild creek. At first, I thought of the internet meme that shows an owl sleeping on the ground. “Did you know owls sleep like they just got back from a night of partying?” the caption said. Probably in Comic Sans. But which way was that… face up? Or face down? I couldn’t remember. For a second I thought – Yeah, it’s just sleeping. It’s nap time, duh. 5 pm. It has rodents to rest up for. Party Owl stays up late. Creatures like this don’t die alone. Not like this, in the suburban wild, in this type of stillness.

But no, then I remembered – the meme was funny because owls sleep face down. Well, this one was face up so I guess it wasn’t sleeping. Anything with that many feathers should look regal. Instead, it was a caricature of an owl that wasn’t wise enough to escape death.

Last week on my walks, I kept seeing bluebirds. My dogs sniffed the trunks of trees and my eyes wandered to the branches. Bluebirds fluttered there, the sun highlighting their shimmers of blue. Never could get a good photo of them. A friend told me to see bluebirds was a sign of joy and prosperity to come. That was the meaning of seeing a bluebird. This was the significance of being a witness to a bird with blue wings.

The owl didn’t look very significant. Wondered what that meant. Unless it was used as a prop of my lost wisdom then, maybe. Who determines these things? Who adds the meaning? My dogs still hadn’t noticed the corpse. Their noses buried in grass, contentedly inhaling ants. They didn’t move as I pulled them away from the owl’s last rest. Finally, in what could be considered animal abuse, the harnesses that held their little bodies lifted them up and away as I grabbed them each like six packs of beer and marched across the field. Tiny chihuahua legs mimicked a walk but they dangled mid-air.

 As we left the carcass behind, a group of children ran by us. Coppola, my smaller dog, growled and barked at their laughter. Personally, I couldn’t stand the sound either. But there’s no use in warning them, Coppola. Eventually, they’ll find out about death. Leashes tangled as I finally set the dogs down, a safe distance completely across the field. As I worked to loosen the knot, a child’s shriek pierced the sky. Children started to form a semi-circle around the owl. Once dignified but never again to be significant, that owl. Then silence. 

The leashes untangled and a child whimpered, “Mom!” 

And honestly, that reaction made the most sense to me. Moms are good to call to soothe the oddball horror that can only be felt and never described. She comforts when mourning strikes, standing in line at the grocery store, grieving for security the world can’t supply. When the Burden is too heavy, it steals my breath as it suffocates – yes:  MOM!

Later, I looked up the bluebirds in San Diego and found out they weren’t bluebirds at all, they were scrub jays. Scrub jays. Wasn’t it the great musical trio TLC who said, they didn’t want no scrubs? Well, neither did I. There was no romantic significance of seeing a scrub jay. I checked.

That was significant to me.

And I get this feeling
Whenever I feel good
It’ll be the last time.
ICU – Phoebe Bridgers

The Biggest Worst “Decision” to get a 3rd DUI

There is no excuse for driving drunk. Let me be clear.

For true change to happen, for people to stop being reckless with their own lives at the expense of others, the way we talk about mistakes like these would have to change.

It baffles me that to this day, someone will say I made the decision to drive drunk. Maybe the first time, or the trillionth time, but by that time — it wasn’t a choice. It was my life. On a daily basis I was engaged in behaviors that put me and others at risk. Or at the very least, would severely concern my parents.

There was not another way to function at the time of my third DUI. I was given every opportunity to be a happy healthy individual and still, the true CHOICE I made was to not. get. help. I refused to believe I was living in a way that was “wrong”. My alcoholic life seemed the only normal one.

By the grace of God and the human angels he’s placed in my life, I’ve been able to see there is another way. Through tremendous amounts of work and mercy, many old beliefs and behaviors have been abandoned to transformed to support living a healthy and meaningful life.

It was well-intentioned but bad advice, hell yeah…

If you’ve ever scrolled through social media during the holidays, or like, a worldwide pandemic, you may come across well-meaning friends posting the number for NAMI or Suicide Hotlines.
“If just two of my friends will post this, you can change the world.” Or something.

These posts invariably appeal to people who want to provide support to the mentally ill without having to get involved in the messiness of it. Well, if you’ve ever really loved a person with mental health issues, you know — it’s far from clean-cut and sanitary.

As a person who is well-versed in various forms of cognitive and dialectical therapies, spirituality, and nutrition to manage her own fluctuating mental stability, it still catches me off balance and knocks me on my ass every time. As someone who previously flooded the discomfort of feelings with booze and participated in shopping sprees and obsession of things not-yet-conquered (boys), in order to distract myself from feeling anything mildly unpleasant – I’ve had to change.

Now, as a sober person trying to not be crazy all the time, I have to sit with all the ugliness that swells up in this five-foot-two body. There are still physical scars on my arms and legs to prove a time existed when I couldn’t stand this dis-ease. There are, I imagine, mental scars still breathing through half-healed and half-gaping wounds —  aggravated by my own self-willed beliefs of how my life is supposed to look. Like pouring salt on a snail, I pour sugar on my emotional wounds and watch the mess fizz up. It’s the sweetness I want, all the empty calories, that spins me out into a cycle of moods. I want to always be in control of how I feel. Sometimes, I just can’t. And anyway, how I am supposed to feel? Sometimes, I barely can.

So when my brain is fizzy and my body feels made out of boulders I’m too weak to shuffle across my living room floor to get to the door and answer, I scroll past the Suicide Hotline posts and think, “That’s sweet. That person thinks that when I’m this deteriorated by a depressive episode, that I’ll think straight enough to pick up a phone and call someone.” I hope that it works and I KNOW that it MUST for many people. But since I like to consider myself so special, I’ll let you in on some other safety measures I have in place because my dual diagnoses likes to super complicate things and makes a liar out of me.

  1. I let people know I’m in recovery and have bipolar 2 disorder. This will automatically make people suspicious in any drastic personality and mood changes so this is the easiest best way for people to call me out.
  2. When I feel the spiral (up or down) coming, I get super honest for the .003 seconds that I can and let 3 or 4 of my closest peoples know. Then I blab about it on social media.
  3. My family members and 3 close friends have the door code to my apartment in case I stop responding to calls/texts.
  4. I make commitments to ongoing things like workshops or groups so if I’m missing too many weeks, someone again can call me out on it.
  5. The best thing I’ve learned to do is to just let things fail.

It is OK to fail being able to control my moods, to sleep in too long and miss my morning meditation, to not sleep enough because I’m doom-scrolling until my eyes wanna fall out, to binge on sugar and watch my body swell up from the inflammation it causes. It is OK to fail for a short period of time. But then I gotta try.

When it goes onto week three, the changes need to start and that’s why I’m here — getting back to writing. It’s the last thing I want to do and it’s the perfect thing I need. But this didn’t come to me. I shouted at God to help me and he threw an old journal at me and told me to write. [Literally, I was walking (moping) around and my old journal came out of nowhere and landed at my feet and I tripped and I got madder than I already was. OK GOD I GET IT THANK YOU BUT HONESTLY iloveyou&thankyoufornevergivinguponmeJesusilybye]

Am I Miss Universe yet or do I need to be an alien for that?

DUI’s + Jail + Insanity

Just realized I hardly ever shared my videos to my blog, which is kinda weird. As I’m revamping the direction of that channel, figured I’d post some of the classics.

While I can’t stand watching these after I post them, whenever I do accidentally hear myself I think, “Wow, that’s an old idea. I should probably revisit that. Make a new video.”

And someday I probably will. But that day is not today. Watch this if you wanna. Love you!

I was all covered in sound when you asked me to turn it down…

It’s two o clock on a Friday afternoon and my nose is red. It would be red on a Monday morning, too. Or a Wednesday night. But it’s bothering me more now because I wear a mask in public to keep safe from a virus and I understand that importance but I’m still vain at times and it annoys me that the rough cotton rubs off my overpriced foundation. My nose is red because I have rosacea. It’s nothing interesting. There is actually a subtle joy I have to complain about such a stupid thing.

Actually, right now I’m staring at my red nose in my driver side vanity mirror. My car is perched over what I imagine is a bottomless pit of metal and mystery. The oil change I’m finally getting is 3,200 miles overdue. I meant to throw away the remnants of the Valvoline sticker semi-reminding me (and alerting the oil change guy) that I’ve slipped back into irresponsible habits bound in excuses and lack of motivation to care for myself.

My last car was a Beetle and I drove it to. the. ground. It still ran pretty well in the end, I guess. Part of me wanted to keep it for actual sentimentality, a feeling I can only conjure up when cars and pets are involved.

The windows stopped working in the middle of a storm when I was running a fever and God said, “Are we done with this yet?” and I littered highways from San Diego to Arizona with my headlights that would spontaneously crash on the asphalt if I hadn’t duct taped them in place well enough.

My cars and I were always in tune though. When my life was going well, my car ran well. When I was running around in a flurry of chaos, my Beetle would spontaneously malfunction. It was an accumulation of accumulations: neglect on avoidance on top of denial and self-reassurance that I didn’t have to listen to that knock on my engine, I can just turn the music on louder. Or I didn’t need protection from the rain when my window won’t go up, it’s time I buy a better raincoat anyway. And so today, in the middle of a work day, I decided this can’t go on and 3,200 miles over I’m getting my oil changed now.

And right now I’m finding joy at this drive-thru oil change place. The guy is very friendly and even his calling me sweetheart hasn’t rubbed me the wrong way. We are very different looking people and our lives probably wouldn’t intersect for any other reason than he provides a service that I need. He possesses a skill that I lack and have no desire in learning. It is an act of rebellion to have my oil changed. When my work cell hasn’t stopped ringing since 7am and the numbers in my inboxes are nearing to triple digits.

This here, me in a hot car in a drive-thru oil change, making small talk with a largely-bearded and tattooed thin man, writing down my thoughts, while the world kills itself over who is holier than thy, and I’m wearing a (now, sweaty) yellow shirt that says, “trying my best.”

And I am.

Post-car maintenance.

This might all be gone tomorrow.

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As a child, I think my parents did what parents do and tried to protect me from everything that could harm me. God bless them for trying.

Sometimes this preoccupation was so grand, that seeing my discomfort seemed to cause uneasiness in them and whether or not this is true, it felt like my ending my discomfort was more important than making me comfortable.

There were very few times I could remember being told to suck it up and realize that I’m not going to get my way all the time. Very often, I did get my way. This wasn’t just with my parents either, this was at school, with teachers, at work with bosses, with boys and relationships, even in rehab with counselors. I always found a way to manipulate my discomfort away.

But how did that serve me? It didn’t, really. It just used up my energy to avoid a feeling of displeasure that regardless of it’s origin, was always going to be temporary if I’d just suck it up and adapt. But being adaptable isn’t as valued as being comfortable. Comfort rules everything around me. This American culture thrives on independent comfort and we revile anyone telling us to sacrifice a little so someone else can feel some comfort, too.

Then I got into recovery and dug up every thought and idea that brings me discomfort and I sat with it. You know, something that Pastor Miles at the Rock Church in San Diego always says is, “God didn’t make you to be happy, He made you to be holy.” And it’s true. So much of my life’s energy was spent changing what was going on around me so that I could be happy. But how permanent is that if everything is always changing? Things needed to change on an internal level so that I could walk through whole (and holy) regardless of the ever-changing discomforts around me.

Since getting into recovery and growing in my faith, I really do understand now, I don’t need to have my discomfort removed. Really, I can thrive in discomfort – I can overcome when I rely on God to steady me as I limp through uncomfortable situations, half-rolling my eyes out of annoyance and half-hoping I get through the situation holier and set apart – closer to God and out of the discomfort.

The entire world has been in varying shades of discomfort for… always. It has always been this way. We are just more closely identifying the source of our discomfort as a society and it’s bringing to light the outliers, the radicals, the ones who cannot name discomfort even though it’s on every breath they take and every drop of perspiration as they sit in anxious thoughts of doom and gloom. This discomfort is alive and tingling in every cell and it’s pushing mouths to move and hands to type and sometimes the words aren’t friendly and sometimes they don’t attach themselves to reality and I just have to wonder, I really have to wonder: What would you do if this was all gone tomorrow?

Would any of it be worth your anxious thoughts? Your evil deeds? Your fiery words? Your tense heart? Your paralyzing doubt? Your second and third and fourth thoughts?

If these questions are too uncomfortable for you to consider, then I will give you the easy out. I will give you the answer. I will remove your discomfort. Read on.

The answer is:

No.

So just walk it out. Get through this. Do the thing that makes you uncomfortable. Open yourself up to hurt. Vulnerability is a muscle and it’s never weak, it’s only open to not being the strongest one in the room.

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No, I’m not afraid of hard work/And I did everything I want

I just got done telling God I feel like I’m in line, waiting at the DMV trying to get my license reinstated. Not sure how long I’ll be waiting, not sure if I’ll pass the driving test, but looking forward to what’s ahead. One step closer, one step closer… but geez, I hate waiting.

It’s okay, I’ve gotten better at it. This doesn’t make me less grumpy. Just quieter. Not really in the mood to talk because I have to anticipate what wild thoughts God has in store. His plans are really that – wild. I feel like he’s a great best friend/father who I tell in a tired delirium, “You know what would be so cool? To have a pet elephant!” Then opening my front door and seeing a baby elephant on my doorstep.

Super cool but like, I don’t know anything about elephants, God. What do I do with it? Is this one of those tests where you give me what I think I want and it turns out to be a nightmare? Bc I don’t like that movie, it always ends badly and I’m always the villain.

Anyway, after moping around and poking God for some progress, today there was some.

I’m still staring at it wondering what to feed it. What do I do with this one extraordinary life?

Just go where God takes me, I’m more than okay with that.

*shrugs and follows*