i went to my first NA meeting tonight since coming home from the recovery center.  i enjoyed my time there, even running into someone I hadn’t seen in the last ten years.  there was a swelling warmth in my heart and i was reminded what i got out of sharing and listening to others share.

going to gatherings like that one remind me what i’ve regained from quitting the drinking and drug abuse: feeling.  it’s pretty astounding how you can take feelings for granted once you lose all sense of them; feelings like waking up from a dream and having a moment to reminisce on it instead of battling a violent war of anxiety about the oncoming day, feeling a sense of satisfaction from giving someone else a moment of happiness rather than fulfilling a promise due to shame and guilt from putting it off for so long or even just the feeling of having a string of thoughts that come together to form a clarified idea.  i’m grateful for just being able to exist as a conscious human being.

at some point, the intake of drugs and alcohol became less of a daily enjoyment and more of an enslaving necessity.  i raced myself up my stairs every afternoon after work, arms wildly searching for a bottle to ease the stress of the first i’d grabbed that morning.  my fingers would seek through the darkness in the three A.M. hour to find liquid reprieve to my shaking limbs and rushing thoughts.    i’d slam the prescription bottle against my forehead in the waking hours and ask myself over and over not to put the pills down my throat.

what a waking nightmare.

the vicious cycle of depression, amphetamine abuse and alcohol intake was impossible to escape from without the aid of the rehab.  the meetings allow me take precious minutes to be able to remind myself by sharing with others about where i came from, how things happened for me and where they’ve taken me today.  i’m pretty grateful for that.

it’s been a long journey of reading through older journals, nonchalantly mentioning how i’d choked down 200 mg of adderall and avoided sleeping for three days to get work done to how see the world now.  in the grand scheme of things it’s only been just over 90 days but it feels like 10 years.

i want to feel the next ten years this way.

tomorrow’s another day.






i always joke that my tattoos and facial appendages were just a lie, a farce to give the appearance that i was this intimidating person. i say it’s my defense mechanism and that on the inside i’m a lover, not a fighter. it’s not a joke anymore. well, it really wasn’t then either but my outlandish appearance and seemingly extroverted persona helped with the jesting.

i’m famous for my hair among my friends, or i was. when i was in school from 22 to 25, a lot of the classmates would recall moments in the year and say “it was when she was teal” or something funny like that and everyone would ‘aah’ and nod. i finally grew my hair out now, haven’t dyed it, haven’t cut it, and people are saying this is the most shocking style yet. they wouldn’t believe that i’m shy. nervous. collecting thoughts and feelings on the inside. what could a vibrant exterior that’s attracting strangers’ gazes and being a walking conversation starter really be burying down?

lots. that was the point.

sitting in a group of strangers this friday, i opened my mouth to speak and shed a couple of tears; halfway over the subject being brought up and halfway because i had to reveal my innards to these people even though we were gathered there for the exact same reasons. weird, i thought, i remembered just never shutting the fuck up about things, not caring who was staring at me, feeling widely understood. then i realize it’s because i expected that response from people, so i was never surprised.

of course i knew everyone was staring. sometimes my hair was traffic cone orange or fire truck red. sometimes i’d dress in ripped clothes. i donned big black boots. i still do, but now my hair is long, my clothes subtle and the boots go with a uniform. my tattoos and piercings i actually love and are less of a reason for people to notice me now.

suddenly, all these things in perspective, i’m not willingly gathering the wandering eyes of people studying my face and body posture. i feel examined as i sit squirming in a chair, tears welling up because this is not how i wanted people to view me: unsure, in question, still figuring shit out. i spoke about my boyfriend, his disappearance when i entered rehab for recovery and suddenly or the first time since it happened i felt my face scrunch up. what, really, now? i couldn’t tell because it was of my necessity to be candid before a dozen strangers or the fact that it really did hit me in the chest hard to feel so discarded. i hadn’t shed a tear over the incident until that very second, i told them as it happened.

i allowed these people to view my disappointment, my regret, my confusion. they took it in sips, humming and nodding when i took a pause after every few, soft sentences. their words crooned back in velvety reassurances. i never realized how much a fidgeted as i spoke. much more than when i had spoken before. my own body told me what was bothering me the most and my skeleton felt like it could rip right through my skin and walk out the door.

afterward, i couldn’t focus through meditation. my chest still gestating a storm. i pulled on a smoke on the way home (as i’d picked up the habit once more while in rehab) and a slow relief started to creep over me. i’m letting go of a lot of negativity in my life: drinking, drugs, toxic relations with people. it’s not fucking easy. no shit, i hear you say; yeah, yeah. i’m getting there. little by little, i unbox myself on the inside, stretching one leg at a time, taking some deep breaths, taking in the vast space that i’ve uncovered for myself. it’s new.

i want more.


small talk

you are your worst critic

equivalent to all the debates i’ve dominated and fights that i’ve had the best comebacks to — hours after the fact — all in the shower — are the moments i spend dissecting my words after any conversation with another person, like a disgruntled art critic finding the blase nooks of a composition and shaming the artist.

it’s like how i feel when i’m at the supermarket and this self-conscious wave washes over me.  am i doing anything weird? are people looking at me? am i dressed okay? for whatever reason, i’ve had those strange paranoid thoughts.  and why, right? should shit like that even matter?  when your brain is bent like a boomerang, why not?

i hope to use my supermarket deflection technique to help detract from my insecurity: “think back to when you were at the store, kid. do you remember someone you saw there?  did you giggle at them or find something wrong with their every day clothes? did you focus on anyone? tell me one outfit that a person was wearing.  unless they were decked out in costume, odds are you noticed very little about those around you.  and that’s the level to which anyone else is observing you back.”

same thing goes with talking to people.  the things i’m mulling about in my last conversation probably aren’t even registering on that other person’s radar.  i might be thinking, “why’d i say this like that?  that was fucking lame” … i don’t think they’re also sitting there, hours later, on their bed snorting air and saying  “that one sentence out of that whole talk we had sure was stupid.  loser.”

could be a myriad of things.  maybe it’s because the truth was put out there and it surprises us and shakes our insides. maybe it’s embellishment to seem more intriguing and we’re nervous; should we have put it that way? maybe it’s just the struggle with the supermarket — “am i just an awkward thing in existence and does anyone notice that?”

probably not.
put the bat down.

i’ve been practicing my positive affirmations, been spending my time in parks or coffee shops enjoying writing, taken my time running through my morning routine getting ready for the day and not wasting another second in front of the mirror with Bojack Horseman ringing in the back of my head — “you stupid piece of shit”.

the one thing i notice is the lack of the voice, the negative spats, the mental clamor as soon as i open my eyes, the hysterical person trapped inside the glass box beating on the walls trying to tell me something.

i notice the stillness

and it’s good to fill it with whatever i want.




broken things

i woke up at 4:03 AM exactly and that Shinedown song started ringing in my head, as if it was the alarm tone set to ring. my body has been in ‘go back to work’ mode for a week and i’m not due to return until tuesday.

i was carted down to my brothers to attend what i thought was a kind dinner event he and my friend had set up to thank my coworker and his family for taking me in. we turned the corner and i saw a gaggle of my friends that i didn’t expect holding up a banner and screaming happy birthday and welcome back. i flew out of the car flabbergasted. i’d turned 31 in rehab a month prior and they’d been planning this since then. i’m still processing what happened.

we ate, we gamed, we drank soda. it was strange not seeing a beer pong table out or a designated shots counter space. the food was immaculate and plentiful and we had a fantastic time sober. i couldn’t have thanked them more. i was touched.

i came out of the recovery center ready to take on the world, having this sense that my vision of life was going to be renewed. within, i have this energy to do things i wasn’t capable of, knowing that the choices i’ve made to stay off the sauce are the best for me and only good things can come of it. still, i have this ebbing feeling of confidence and i realize it’s one of the things those in recovery preach about during all those didactic sessions.

displacement. i’m still learning that those who love me and care about me are willing to take lengths to bring me joy. i’m still learning that this isn’t a chore that they feel they must do but a gift they’re happy to give. however, the nagging feeling of being a relegated, broken thing of which its presence creates a pathway of eggshells everyone’s toddling across still rings in my mind. even though i’m struggling with the uncertainty of being an addict or just a person traversing a depressed pit in their life, i feel like a fine china decorative plate that others around me need to reach around. i can’t help but feel that they are nervous, cautious and uncertain of my placement back along the normal path.

i pushed thoughts from my mind like, “they had to collectively agree not to drink anything around me,” or “i’m sure they’re not having as much fun as they would if they were drinking”. i’m on an emotional teeter-totter between my paranoid thinking and the reassurance of smiles and joyous activities.

just the other night, two friends who are planning a wedding invited me out to dinner. my first thought was they were ready to have a concerning conversation about my presence at their event and reception. instead, the bride-to-be pulled out a hand-painted box from a brown paper bag and i opened it to reveal a sweetly decorated setup asking me to be a bridesmaid. i was warmed instantly. i conveyed my anxious thoughts and they laughed endearingly and hugged me instead.

we sat in group the other week and discussed trust: trust with yourself, trust with others. i thought about the topic for a second and then disclosed how my spectrum of trust turned upside-down. the people that i had the most trust and love in went from the top of the barrel to the bottom and visa versa. like, my boyfriend who i placed my love in distanced himself from me, never called and never visited me in my two months of recovery and the friends i thought i wasn’t so close to ended up pouring out their love in letters, emails and phone calls. i’m still reeling from the changes in my trust circle and i’m dealing with the patient understanding that people need to learn how to trust me from the beginning in a way. i myself was not the most dependent and trustworthy friend with my empty promises and inebriated inability to hold my word. i was full of excuses and isolated myself strongly.

though during my worst times of drinking i misconstrued people’s affection for pity, scoffing and dismissing all attempts to become closer to me. up until recently i didn’t feel this shame and guilt that came with recovering from a violent episode of substance abuse. i welcome it in a way, knowing that before any of this happened i was a shameless drinker who prided herself on embracing her russian capabilities. i walk out of a two month treatment knowing that i’m picking up the pieces of a losing game of chess and i’ve got to plan it all out with a different strategy. here i was fooling people into thinking i knew how to play.

written on my bracelet are the words in need to remind myself to keep my sanity in check: one day at a time.

yesterday is history
tomorrow is a mystery
and today is called the present because every day is a gift.

i’ll keep saying it until that feeling of wanting to reject a sense of wholesomeness leaves me. do one thing every day that scares you, after all.



deep breaths.

harder, better, faster chick; quick quips of wit on a reckless wreck erect upon reactive revolt. exercising ostracization, organized cessation, suffering sensation. gifted getaway, stored away a force unswayed, diving to depths to ease the obsess, a life laid to rest, unaddressed journey, bloomed in a gurney, turned to fruition postmortem admission. take a step back.

deep breaths.

qualified to be terrified, electrified; left to detest self-arrest, tested through time to reach a  sublime love of a mind that’s only just mine.  fucked off for too long, hopeful throng, familiar song played on repeat and i’m stuck to the seat letting the words just pour over; soft touch to the shoulder, words burn and they smolder and singe, feeling that twinge that gets my legs moving. a pain that brings soothing repast and i’ve cast aside what’s been on for so long.

deep breaths.

time to think twice is what will suffice to find within the din of overcast days i prayed to takeaway what’s left of the past. chastised and sized down, brown eyes burn red, passion unsaid, ready to act on this pact between me and my power, forget the sour days in the maze filled with thick hazy scent, where no turn was right. bright times on the way, swing life away. though may come a change, life is strange, step into the eye.

deep breaths.


i’ve been taking a sabbatical — today is called the present because every day is a gift.  i’ve given myself sixty this summer. i’m stretching out in the sun and feel like i’ve absorbed a whole new being, clean and serene but just as obscene. this thursday i travel back north to rev up my life with some fresh introspection. every day might not be a work of art but i’ve painted a pretty picture. cut out the toxicity, replace with productivity. i’m starting from square one.

re-roll; you throw the dice and don’t always roll 20’s. ive been down this beaten path less traveled before; i’ve got a new pair of boots ready to hoof it. no proof of a greener pasture but with stronger stature. i’m feeling tall even on my own, heart, mind and soul gone to hell and back and back on track.  it’s taken some time but i’ve devised a good course of action, climbing out of rock bottoms one trap door at a time.

the worlds just going to have to get used to me.

good morning, i’m coming home.




gold rush

i only just realized the singer for Death Cab for Cutie was the same guy from The Postal Service.  this sounds silly, i know, but i was a TPS fan when i was 16 or so and never took a listen to Death Cab.  so, it was only recently when a new song for DC came up on my pandora (“Gold Rush”) and i abashedly admit that the realization came to me 14 years up the road — and then this totally brand new song threw me hurdling down back the same way i came

// letting all the shadows free, the ones i wish still followed me // 

like a bright light shining in my face, i immediately remembered a rushed world of heart-driven hurricanes; the explosiveness of love, the explosiveness of loss — both starting just as cataclysmic as they ended — discovering how to live with yourself as all the feelings seemed to flood you all at once

// oh how i feel like a stranger here, searching for something that’s disappeared //

late night whispers and confessions of him, her, hows and whys.  skipping class and lunch just to lie by the stream — hidden in the reeds with a bit of spirit, shyly engaged with whispering lips.  sneaking into the community pool, stripping down to bare essentials and floating along, linked with what we thought was forever.  delving into the first social graces of others and then ripping through lawns like herds of gazelle fleeing blue lions

// all i see is a long goodbye  //

awed gazes of those newspaper-lined shopping carts, lit ablaze and careening across empty lots.  getting that first high — it took is to another world together and made us questions if our legs existed beneath our knees.  it felt like it would last forever, goodbyes for eternity and “i love you”s for even longer.  taking photos in the midlight to find beauty in an angry world with our arms clasped around shoulders to form circles while we cheered

// it seems i never stop losing you, and every dive becomes something new // 

 jumping the tracks split seconds before laughing with death while we rested with the cars thundering by. walking along the ghostly streets, singing songs while three sheets to the wind and emotions running like high voltage.  the slightest touch to move the bangs from your face creates a lightshow behind your eyes that could make fireworks cry, only to be met with a sinkhole you think your heart will never see the rim of again

// and all our ghosts get swept away, it didn’t used to be this way /// 

the first days of the end of early adolescence seemed tragically stunning, fatally gorgeous, lip-puckeringly sweet apocalypse.  whatever it was, that moment — that exact, very moment — it was the most precious thing that meant everything

// it didn’t used to be this way //

there’s no replica for that intensity.  those were real feelings, experienced for the first time and gobstopping you at every turn.  they’re burned, engraved, etched into your heart and rise up as a feeling of nostalgia that you relieve with a long, shaky sigh.  then, the world was anew in any which way you wanted it to be before you ever knew a thing about the world

// it didn’t used to be this way //

… and as the song goes to fade out, my memories settle back down to rest, curled and cosy, and i wake back up to a life where i think i’ve had it all figured out.  memories.   that’s all they are now, memories — not daunting haunts that dwell like a long-lost curse.  memories.  and it feels like i’m still looking for something i’ll never find

// it didn’t used to be this way //

but i know what it is now anyway, i think — it’s to find that totally new world again, surprising and unassuming, a black swan.  it’s out there.  it keeps me alive and wondering every day.

// it didn’t used to be this way //

and it doesn’t have to be.




valentine’s day: the great escape

happy valentine’s; this is a memoir of sexual youth in deviance and train derailment

(let’s go to a little different of a place for this day of hearts and cliche kisses)

at 19, i was mentally elderly and going through a weird phase. i’d taken up with 18-year-old, boot-clad, marxism-promoting, anti-establishment, trenchcoat-clad county college go’er who for some reason sparked my interest.

we’d met, we’d flirted, we’d somehow gotten together, the poor boy and the fireball that was i, raining down upon the dinos. at some point, he’d confessed his virginity, which i had no problem with. shit, who cares when it is you boink? so there we were, on a slow ride and cusp of experimentation (on his part) and the day came (ha) where i went for the gold

he’d smuggled me into his home while his parents were out until the next day, past his tattling little sister and into the upstairs. events ensued, flowers fell, we chortled, we laughed, we chilled.

sitting on the bed in the buck, mid comfy conversation in his parents’ room no less, i heard a strange clank and tilted my head towards the shaded window.

“someone outside mate?”
“naw, they’ll be gone till the morning”

i pried my finger through the slats of the blinds and breathed, “..’cept they’re back now.”

his eyes widened, and with the next sound of a slamming car passenger door, he lept towards the window in a frenzy, pulling down the plastic to see not only his parents but extended family moseying up the drive.

“IN THE CLOSET!” he crowed

but before i had a chance, the kid threw me stark naked into his parents’ closet, slammed the door and ran to scope out the situation. now, i know i wasn’t supposed to be there but somehow being found stark nude in his parents’ closet seemed to be a hell of a lot worse of a situation than being found there in general. alas, there i sat, shivering and inexplicably nervous about the outcome.

thankfully, sooner than later, he returned for me to throw my clothes in the the closet, allow me to change, and transferred me to, yep, another closet but this time in his own room. much smaller, way more uncomfortable. i sat there like a discarded rag doll with my feet halfway up the wall and the rest of me shoved under long coats and avoiding discomfort on collected trinkets and boot wear.

with the closet a smidge open, i saw his ten year old sister saunter into his room and make her way up to the kid. he held out a tenner, she took it and smiled this wicked, devilish grin

“thank you for your patronage,” the little conniving weasel said as she skipped away readily. he was paying her for her silence.

i huffed in the closet. ridiculous, i thought, but not as ridiculous as the next steps i had to take.

the dude leaned down into the opening of the closet door and quietly said, “you’re going to have to go out the window”

“fucking excuse me?”

february, after snowfall, without a coat, at 9 pm at night, an entire family a floor below me from the second story and this guy wants me to shimmy on the rooftop to make a break for it.

“it’s the only way”
“you can’t be fucking serious”
“if you make your way around towards the kitchen, i can get you down”
“there’s snow on the roof..I..”
“I brought your boots up”
“oh my god, you’re fucking serious”

so there i was, one foot halfway out to a three foot roof canopy with about a one foot clearance of lack of ice or snow, gulping cold air and watching my breath float down towards the bushes that i half considered making a jump for and ending this entire fucking debacle. but no, i was gonna go for it. thank god timberlands used to be of great quality and treading.

i began the slow shimmy towards the kitchen patio. i watched a family member go to and fro the car, right below me, as i stood frozen like a deer in headlights. i thought, the ability to commit suicide on sight definitely eased the idea of facing total and horrendous humiliation by strangers in the event they happened to look up. crisis averted, i rounded the corner and waited a whole five minutes until boyo there appeared with a ladder.

apparently he managed to walk through his living room with this fullsize ladder without question of where he was going with it.

“hey” he had said

“hey” they had replied, as he mosied his way to the porch. no question. aite.

he propped it up, i scurried down, i booked to my car, i dove inside and began seriously reconsidering my dating habits. he managed to gather my things and bring them to me.

this dating scenario did not last.

but if you feel left out in the cold this valentine’s day season, remember, you could literally be out in the cold trying to james bond across a roof in an attempt to avoid embarrassment meltdown.

go buy yourself some chocolate mousse and consider yourself lucky!

love yourself


the mean reds

it’s okay to just take time and have a seat in your own room, your own space, and just be.  but it doesn’t feel so great all the time.

sometimes, it feels like i’m waiting for something.   other times it feels like aggravation as i should be doing something but i’m unsure what it is.  i feel restlessness, nervousness and anxiety all the while just being idle and crosslegged on my futon couch.  thoughts go by like hurricane gusts and whenever my mind hits an “eye”  and the calmness hits, all i can do is daydream out the window.

bedrooms always have to feel like the secret fort you built when you were small to keep everything bad out. no matter how small, open, barren, decked, minimalist or sardined with stuff it is, it should give you the feeling of retreating back inside yourself.  least that’s how i feel.

i’m really happy of what i’ve managed to recollect item wise since my drive up from the south: new home, clothes, sleeping surface, own room, a rug… two rugs.  but it wasn’t about getting a bunch of things to make my life more comfortable, it was about making an arrangement; a story.  coming to another room with blank walls was just another journal and i wanted so desperately to write something new.

each item means something, everything was found somewhere different.  i’m able to look at everything that means something to me at once; it’s almost like flipping open a scrapbook or a photo album.  only difference is when i fall into my sea green ocean of blankets and flip to my back, i’m instantly surrounded in innumerable reminders.  and that rules, even if it can be bittersweet depending on the day.

but even on those days, when the feeling comes to me, the music is already on, my head already on a pillow and i can let that flavor of life kind of wash over  me.  it’s a feeling of nostalgia and it churns in the stomach and prods under the rib cage.  but i’m ready.    i’m somewhere where nothing’s going to happen, should happen to me. i’m home.  so i sit there, i let it all hit me in an awesome wave.

these moments of things taking over, the feeling that things are ending somehow, that need to cry or curl up, the idea that you’re a hopeless sort of being, the misinterpretation that everything is fruitless, the nervous biting sensation that you’re doing something wrong, the fear that something is beyond your grasp or just the sudden feeling that you’re anxious about something but you have no idea what it might be, and for no good reason at all … they sometimes feel so necessary.

sometimes it feels necessary just to let my whole body feel what my brain is thinking and boy, does it.    sometimes, it even really feels like you’re being filled with water.  floating inside and outside.  it’s not quite a sinking feeling but not a floating feeling either.  a real weird in between. eventually it goes out like the tide and things go on.

i feel a bit better.

just keep floating along.



i couldn’t decide on a title, either


i’m overthinking this.

this post, i mean. i’ve started with half a dozen starter sentences and every one of them sounded stupid.  i backspaced over these words a couple times already.   

blog entries are the tip of the iceberg; i don’t just overthink things i write, i overthink everything that happens or may happen or has happened or.. blah blah blah.

it’s hell having every possible scenario to something play on repeat and none of them are usually ever good, you know?  like, if what happens is anything, it’s something on the downside of things.  but why?  why can’t i internally deal with being alright with the way things are?

i self-deprecate. must be what it is cause it’s not a feeling of shyness, it’s a feeling of ridicule.  ‘why would anyone wanna read that’,  ‘why would you say a weird thing like that”, “it’s gonna be terrible”

it’s easier to identify when i’m doing it nowadays.  i caught myself doing it while trying to write something different here.   recently though, that negative voice’s been awful persistent.   life problems don’t tend to contribute to the stress combat squad in here.

but when i’m like this, i notice peaceful and beautiful moments more often.  i lingered in my shower yesterday because the amber light coming through the new, thick white curtains made the most ambient atmosphere refracting through the steam.  i couldn’t help but lean against a wall and soaked it all in.  it was gorgeous.  should tell my brother to pick aesthetic house items more often.

nights i can spend lying recalling conversations that haven’t happened yet.  remembering a way i acted in a place that i’ve never been.   sometimes, it feels like a defense strategy, like my thoughts are having a huddle before the big play to get ready to handle what they’re sure is coming next.    

i try to remind myself of black swans.  the one possibility that a situation may occur that would have never occurred to you, no matter how many scenarios you ran.  you’d say that’s like overthinking still but it’s more the comfort of “what if you can’t prepare for it”.  that ‘if it’s all out of your control, there’s nothing you can do’ digg?  so just chill, essentially



the left brain is a wet blanket



when i was nine or ten, i became super empathetic to other kids.

and it felt good to be selfless;  i didn’t have much elsewhere to find a way to kind of “therapy out” the things i’d been going through, i guess.  i’d spent a majority of my childhood dealing with bullies and emotional shipwrecks.  for some reason, wanting good for others did some warm fuzzy things to my heart. 

i started asking the first stars of the night “to bring happiness to people, even if you wanna take some of mine”

around the time my mom was diagnosed was when i’d started wishing on the stars, you know, for things to be okay or the occasional plea to turn back time.    after she’d passed on, i continued to always stop on the first star i saw, and it became habitual.

i woulda probably done anything to have her back. today, the connections i have with other people mean the world to me; they did then too but i couldn’t understand why.  neither could other kids; they probably thought my overly enthusiastic want to be friendly was overly weird.    i guess i was afraid of losing anything else after what’d happened.  i put my heart into people while they were still alive; the thought of other people’s death was way scarier than my own (still is).

after decades of doing this wishing, i’ve come firmly to believe that a universal alchemy has come to rule my life.  i’ve had a lot of crazy ups and downs, and the downs have been pretty stunning over all this time.  so i have to figure, with all that wishing, for every down i’m having, there’s an up somewhere else.

so i sit with my notion that for all the times in my life that i’m in a darker or problematic pit of seemingly endless stress, that’s the universe taking away from me what i offered to give to someone else in their time of need.   sufferings gotta equal out to something somewhere

least i say so, anyway.

is anyone out there smiling?  are you?  it all works out in the end