Friday, April 27, 2012

Gratitude and The Blues

This is my journaled prayer to The Committee two days ago:


1. My sweet beasts who pull me out of my funk
2. I'm willing
3. I haven't smoked - wow
4. Sunshine today
5. I'm out of bed & dressed with only a small desire to crawl back into my comatose state

Dear Committee,
Help me process and not stuff. Show me the way to self-care. Gently push me in the right direction. (I am too old for smack in the face revelations so I thought I should be specific)

Please help me open my children's minds and hearts to the divine. 

Bless these people that I love (you know who you are) especially (yep, this one is for you) who is having a hard time. 

Bless these people that I struggle with (you probably don't know who you are, but I'm praying for you anyway you bastards)
Give them health, wealth, happiness, and love. 

That night I went to a Take Back the Night Rally and I heard some amazing women speak. One woman I know and especially admire, Been in the Same Boat Mama, (she and I were married to the same man. We commiserate). I was humbled by survivors' experiences. I was humbled by the men and women there who  tirelessly work to support victims of violence. Those women gave my a soul shake and smacked my cheeks with their courage. Wake up Queenpin...feel what you gotta feel, but feel it in perspective. Life goes on baby, this pain is only a minor bump in your road.

That is one of my favorite things about life, and one that also has a tendency to baffle me. Life goes on, until it doesn't. In my day I experience hundreds of emotions. I'm a drama queen baby, I'm the Queenpin. My emotional repertoire is large and wide. I'm sad, but I'm grateful. I miss my man, I miss my smokes, I love my kids. I love my job.

I've got the blues, and getting out of bed is not my favorite thing right now. No cigarette to look forward to. No sweet text from my man to start my day, but today I walked across a yard of buttercups following my sweet beasts. We peeked into a nest of baby bluebirds. I smiled at the beauty of it. I breathed deep, grateful I did not smoke. But then again today I talked to my sister on the phone, hung up, and called her back immediately with tears in my eyes, "Does the whole family just think I am completely fucked up?" No, they don't, but they don't always get the Queenpin. That's okay. Neither do I, but things are getting clearer.

My cravings for donuts and drink have passed. I've just got the blues, and the gratitudes. I've got life, because it is going on. I refuse to miss it all laid out in my bed feeling sorry for myself. I've realized as a single mom I've get about two days of that max and then my babies need their mama back.

Plus, they need help processing all this too. I've promised them we are going to sage cleanse the house of all the bad juju my moods have been creating. I'll be smoking out the bad feelings in a new way, a spiritual way. So to my dear friend cigarrettes I am gonna have to say: Fuck off carcinogenic fumes, Queenpin's got her healin' on.

Monday, April 23, 2012

When Alice Came Home

What do you think it was like for Alice post Wonderland? Do you think she missed it? Do you think she spent her days trying to get back? Do you think she cried for days over the loss of it? The loss of her escape, her Wonderland with no boring studies no one to correct her grammar?

I can tell you with certainty she did miss it. I can tell you that once she was free of Wonderland she broke into sobbing at the least little thing. I can tell you it took her awhile to adjust back to life with no escape. She slept a lot in those days. And I can also say she was glad to be home, that Wonderland was a crazy place...yet she loved it, and she missed it, and she wondered how she survived it. She wondered at the complexity of it, and then she slept and cried some more.

I haven't smoked in 8 days. My Sweet Escape and I broke up a week ago. I am friggin' depressed. And not, a little down, I am not sure I'm gonna make it through this without Valium and weed sad. I tear up at the least little thing and lay in my bed for hours not able to motivate. Thank goodness for my Beasts or I would have bed sores by now. They make sure their Queenpin gets her ass out of bed because THEY HAVE NEEDS.

You know my whole history of smoking thing so I won't bore you with why I stopped smoking. But you might be wondering what happened to me and my Sweet Escape. Simply put, we changed the rules and then it didn't work anymore. After 20 months we both threw in the towel, and I am a mess because of it.

So here's the long and short of it. The abbreviated version, and the long tale. When I was 19 my Sweet Escape and I hung out with some of the same people. He was friends with the crazy, yet hilarious, guy that I dated (did I mention he was crazy?). My Sweet Escape and I were friends then, but I of course had a crush him. This blue eyed, long haired biker, who read good books, and seemed to see the larger picture. This rowdy boy, who didn't seem to care what anyone thought. This young man who could surprise you with his kindness and shock you with his brashness. After about two years those times ended with breakups and new adventures. We all moved on.

Every few years I would see him around town. We would hug and catch up for a few minutes and then move on. Back into our lives that had become so separate. I was married and fat with babies for goodness sake. He working around the US pile driving and iron working.

But then, right when I was happily single, my husband gone, my first post divorce boyfriend gone, me basking in single woman-ness, here he comes into my life again, and what do I do when I see him? My voice raises two octaves and I giggle like I'm 13. He and I exchange numbers. I call my best friend who lives thousands of miles away and I giggle into her phone telling her I've seen HIM. She actually went out with him once. She knows.

I told another friend about running in to him, not leaving out my idiocy, and she said, "It's him. It's your biker."....Huh? Oh yes, someone had told me this man was coming, I just forgot. A few months after my husband left I felt so lost I went to a psychic and she told me there would be a man coming into my life. Someone I had known before. This man was a biker, he was the one, and we had stuff we needed to work out. At the time I thought, I don't know any bikers, and I blew it off. Well, after 2 years I had forgotten, but my friend had remembered, and then I did too.

So to cut to the chase he and I started dating, and it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. In so many ways he was exactly what I wanted and in others I really wondered what in the hell I was doing. I have never been so honest with a man about how passionately I felt about him, and I have never fought with a man the way he and I fought.

Yep, it was like this. Sigh....

Sometimes things could be bad. I would come home from his house shaken from our fights. Not only because of his behavior, but because of mine and the unstoppable fire that would flare out of me and burn us both. But then things could be so good. When I folded up into him, when I curled up at his side, or he just wrapped his arms around me, it was coming home. And then there is the fact that my Sweet Escape knows me. He has seen through me like no other. There is a comfort, and a scariness in that.

We were actually in a great groove until about a month ago. We had to go and screw it up. We changed the rules and once we did that nothing could be the same. My Sweet Escape and I needed to grow if we wanted to stay together and for many reason we couldn't do it. We changed the rules from wanting to be each others' escapes to wanting to be each others partners, and then we realized with the way our lives are right now, that would not work. The realization was brutal for both of us, because once we tried to move forward and couldn't, we also realized there was no going back.

Last night he called at midnight, maybe to get closure, maybe just to vent, but after I hung up the phone I knew that it was over. Not like the overs we've had before that lastest 3 weeks max. I don't want to hurt him anymore, I like him too much, and I'd like to think that he feels the same way too. Somehow we had gotten to that point where you think, "Have I really been treating someone I care deeply about in this way? And how the fuck do I stop it?" Both of our feelings are so hurt we can't even communicate these days without snarling at each other like dogs.

The funny thing is. I know he's not out of my life. Not this man. He's been on the fringes too long and I really like him so much. I want to be friends with him. That is a first for the Queenpin. I have never, ever, kept an ex in my life by choice. Oh yes, some have reappeared years later and we have thankfully become friends, but I don't want to wait that long for my Sweet Escape and I to make peace. I need him in my life, especially as a friend, where I don't have ridiculous expectations, and neither does he. I think we're going to turn a corner where it will be less passionate, but a deep friendship. That's what I'm hoping for. How could I ever let go of a friend that taught me to embrace my inner badass? And who let me run away to his house for almost 2 years?

When Alice came back from Wonderland her life was changed forever. In Wonderland she had realized what a strong girl she was, and she had found that there was a large and amazing world outside of her very small one. She missed Wonderland, but she was glad to be home. Of course she was confused by her experience, but I bet she never wished it didn't happen. Just like me, Alice delighted, and relished in her Sweet Escape, but when it was over, she walked away because there was nothing else to do, except say, "Goodbye/hello and how do you do?"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scotch and Wahhhhh-ter

Last night I did something I rarely do, I went to the liquor store and bought Scotch, and not because I was having a party. I also packed my kids into the car at bedtime, after they had brushed their teeth, and we went to go get cupcakes. I took a nap today, I ate large quantities of Italian food, I ate cake, and I got a new tattoo. I purposely tried to fill that empty God shaped hole that seems to have opened up in me with everything I thought would work. This is a week of cold turkey quit smoking and letting go of my Sweet Escape. It is a week of trying retrain my brain to let go of my addictions.

There was a period of time, a nine year period, where I didn't drink. I wrote a lot, I prayed, I talked about what was going on in my life with spiritual folks. It was a good time. I grew a lot, but I remember near the end of that time in my life, I was standing outside a restaurant with two of my girlfriends. We were talking about sex, all three of us married. We were sharing all these deep thoughts on intimate sex with our spouses, and after awhile I said, "God, sometimes I just want to get drunk and screw." I was sick of working so damn hard. I just wanted to cut loose and be oblivious.

I've heard that the only way to truly resolve problems or pain in your life is to go through them. However, sometimes I choose not to go through the pain, I choose to go around it, over it, and below it. I choose to paint it pink and pretend it is merely a sunset. I choose to throw glitter on it and pretend it is a galaxy. I'm no dummy, I know that one day these feelings will probably jump up and bite me in my ass, but right now I'm searching for that oblivion again. I'm in the just get through it damn it phase of my dilemma. I'll sort all those feelings out later. This week it is survive, maybe next week too.

But I actually don't think this hedonist fest will make it into next week, because I'm learning the damnedest lesson this week. It's the Goldilocks' principle (that dissatisfied little tramp). My search for satisfaction through the senses is not WORKING. It is all just a little off, Too hot, too cold, too big, too small, too fluffy, TOO NOT RIGHT. I am quickly realizing that nope, cake isn't fixing it, liquor makes me ill, Italian food makes me bloated, yelling makes me feel guilty, and I can only sleep so much before the beasts call for me to feed them AGAIN (really? 3 meals a day? Why didn't anyone tell me they ate so often?). I thought I was gonna be all grown up and drink Scotch and water, like my mother, and her mother before her, but hells bells, I couldn't even finish my first one. It just wasn't what I wanted.  I can't have what I want and nothing is gonna change that. 

I have been talking to The Committee too, I promise. They have assured me that I will be okay, and if I choose to go a little nuts, they might talk a little behind my back, but they'll still be here when I decide to come back to center. When I get sick of stuffing myself with bits of this-will-not-work and this-is-not-right I will come to them to lay it on the table. They have assured me they will wipe the crumbs out of my hair, have mints for the garlicy, liquor, cake breath, and most importantly they will remind me that life (even without cigarrettes, and a sweet escape), that life is sweet, and divine, and mine for the taking.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Committee

My search for spiritual connectedness has continued and lately I have found peace more often by looking towards the divine. I still haven’t really found a church, but what I have found is a committee.  Since I have been a practicing/non-practicing Buddhist  for the past five years, a return to Jesus as my only savior just felt strange to me. Like I was cheating on the Buddha. Plus, I don’t really know Jesus that well, and I wasn’t sure I could rely solely on one deity for all my needs. I mean, when you’re a Buddhist you get hundreds of Buddhas to choose from. Buddhas that fit your every need and mood. I know that saints in the Catholic religion often fit that bill, but I’m not so familiar with Saints and I need immediate spiritual counsel. I don’t have time to study up.

So what I came up with is a committee. A committee that I can take my worries, my gratitude, my anger, my fear, and my love too. A committee of wise ones that I trust and know. Its actually 2 deities I'm familiar with and one mama I love. I had to throw her in for the humanness, because goodness knows I am so very, very, human. The committee is nestled sweetly in my heart; Buddha, Jesus, and Mother Mary, sitting around a table where I lay my issues. I like to imagine them discussing the things I lay on the table and I often image myself kneeling in front of their small round, table, my head bowed in surrender as I finally let go of whatever I’ve been holding onto.

I’ve been keeping a journal in which I write to The Committee.  I write things I am grateful for.  I write prayers for people who are struggling, or with whom I am struggling. I write down the things I want to hand over to the committee, like being a good mother, acupuncture school, where I want to send my boy to school next year, what the hell I’m going to do with my life, and my constant struggle with smoking. It's short and sweet with no desire to be poetic. It is my bare bones shit and I lay it out for them to sort out. 

For me, laying it on the table is having faith. Something that I am trying to remember. Laying it on the table means trying to leave it there until an answer becomes apparent, until peace has been found. That is very hard for me. For four years I have been a Queenpin. A stubborn, in control, mama. Holding it together, and leaving claws marks on my climb to independence and stability. But, Mamas (and Papa), I’m tired, and I know there is another way to live.  There is a way to live without worry, and fear, and anxiety, but to get it I’ve got to have faith. I’ve got to give control over to someone else, even though I know that the wisdom of those someone else-es is all in me. Maybe it's my lack of self-confidence that makes me have to put other's faces on my own divine nature, but whatever it is, this seems to be working. 

We've all got baggage. We just wear it differently.
When I meet with The Committee I lay things on the table and a little while later realize I have taken those problems/people/fears/worries right back. Exactly when Buddha, Jesus and Mary are discussing the best way for me to handle a situation I rip it right off the table and try to figure it out myself, which produces worry, anxiety, and fear. Then I realize, "Oh, damn,  I was trying to have faith". So I hand it back over to The Committee as the Buddha laughs, Jesus shakes his head, grinning, and Mary says, “I've done that too, Sweet Girl, you should have seen me when Jesus ran off to the temple! Hand it back, Sister. We've got this. ”

Sometimes I invite guests to the committee, Mary Magdeline, is one guests, as is Mother Teresa. I've also had Ghandi, and Walt Whitman sit in too, because what I need is wisdom, and what I'm searching for is peace. Those are folks that I've learned a little from, so I ask them to sit and lay it on me. I've wondered if inviting Richard Simmons to be a guest for the day would motivate me to exercise, but then I worry he would offend the Buddha who is not known for his physique.

Some days I lay a Santa Claus size of my bag on the table, issues spilling over onto the floor. Other days its just a few things that lay exposed for us to stare at and pray over. Whatever sized mess it is, I'm starting to feel lighter in my burdens, and I know it because The Committee is taking over for me. They are sorting through my mess, lightning my load, and helping me realize that for this Queenpin, to truly be in control she's gonna have to hand over the reigns.