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.

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*

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?