Just for Today

Just for TodayBesides my parents, my longest relationship has been with prescription drugs, nearly eighteen years. Even in the midst of excruciating loss, relationships and friendships destroyed, homeless and destitute, I refused the thought that we would ever break up.

Addiction will take every thing and anyone you ever cared about, your dreams, your integrity, self worth, and even then, it’s never finished.

It wants you to die.

Go ahead,” I’d say, usually to a mirror. “I’m already dead.

I have an app that is a clock, continually running hour by hour, minutes, and even the very seconds of my sobriety.

One day I will write about my rock bottom, but not today.

We learn in Recovery to keep it simple, take each day at a time, and there really is no other way.

The first two weeks was a living nightmare, barely able to even crawl out of bed, the exhausting thought of even brushing my teeth overwhelmed me. It felt like an Elephant was pressing with all his strength directly into my chest while simultaneously a Military boot kicked me in the head.

Two days, Ten hours, 14 minutes, 22 seconds, the clock would flash.

I attended 90 Narcotics Anonymous meetings in 90 days. I’ve heard that if you’ve met one addict, you’ve met them all, and nothing is farther than the truth.

It was freaky almost, as if strangers were opening their mouths and words from my own personal diary were pouring out of them.

The first sixty meetings or so I was on the down low, keeping my head down, my ears wide open. Every day when I feel like I am crawling out of my skin, those meetings are like warm tender hugs, invisible medicine for my aching heart.

Then I leave, where the world awaits, a place I know as home, yet feel more like an alien just in town for a visit off my space ship.

I feel like an infant, very much reborn, raw and vulnerable but filled with wonder and hope, for my new life to begin.

And so, I breathe. I breathe, pray, cry, and feel.

With my heart pounding, the faces around me disappearing, I hear my own voice blubbering, “Hello. I’m Kathleen and I am an addict.”

 

Inconvenient Truth

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Tonight I think about what it means to live a convenient lie or an inconvenient truth. We all tell lies of convenience, to ourselves mainly, in one form or another. I have lied my way thru addiction, codependency and bad relationships. There have been the failed business attempts, the grandeur gestures of Motherhood to overcompensate the days I cannot be in my kids day to day lives. 
It is an inconvenient truth to admit at 36, again, I am recovering from another failed relationship, am flat broke, trying to climb my way to Spiritual and Financial freedom, but can I say it’s different this time?
I can.
I can say that looking at my truths or hiding behind them don’t change the situation I am in at all. But, truth has a mysterious key to self fulfillment. Steps to take action, for healing, for living become glaring in comparison to hiding behind a mask for acceptance or approval. That life is exhausting.
Do people poke and prod and exchange glances or put their own sense of doom on top of you?
Sure they do.
But, I can handle it.
It is humbling, rewarding and gratifying to live in the light of who you are, mistakes and all, inconvenient or not. It is the difference between stumbling through a dark house or having lit cinnamon candles and little fairy night lights plugged in the girls’ rooms.
The day to fully lit rooms full of sunshine and guidance may or may not appear, but I am light on my feet and welcome my little steps of inconvenience, either way.

A.D.D.

Image“Keys.”
Makaila holds them in the air confidently and together in unison, “check.”
“Purse.”
Lola likes this game, a competitive little thing she spots it under my seat, holds it up and shouts, “GOT IT!”
“Check.”
I feel the anxiety rise, in the form of fearful thoughts as I breathe deep, feeling the weight of that much like an invisible foot, pressing deeply into my chest.
“Where’s my phone?”
“Got it,” Kat says in that snarky preteen way, pulling my iPhone out her back pocket to scroll my apps like a pro.

I live in a world of logic, a place ruled by efficiency and time management.
Twenty years ago, I only had to worry about my alarm in the morning.
Now I hear Lola’s game loudly playing on the iPad coming from the back seat, Kat’s FaceTime phone conversation with Camilla as she adjusts the radio to a higher volume, my hand slapping hers playfully. The sounds of my blinker, Siri telling Kat what day her birthday is, the horn of an angry woman and yelling makes me forget the music volume entirely.
She is screaming at another car like someone just abducted her child, flipping the bird in the air she speeds by me, on her cell phone the entire time.
My GPS begins to talk as I nod acknowledgement to Lola who chatters constantly, not hearing a word she is saying.

It is fifteen minutes of the same red light, cars pumping their breaks in anticipation to pull into the parking lot, where there are more angry people, fighting over what looks like a parking space. I nervously check and recheck their Claire’s gift cards, my Paypal card, which I can’t find at first, so I check faster as I motion to Kat to be patient, shake my finger at Lola who at any minute could be in the middle of the street.

“Found it.” I exhale in relief, the door shutting behind me which I do not lock, just in case.

I have had too many terrifying incidents of locking my keys in the car, dangling in the ignition I see them, just as it is about to rain.
I can’t go through it today.
I do smile at the girls who are the most blessed gifts and reminders to feel the joy in life, who point out the half turned Apple sticker on my car bumper.
It was Kat’s idea to put it there after one night losing my van in a massive outlet store parking lot. She was horrified.
She decided there were way too many grey vehicles in the world so we needed a way to spot it.
“Genius!” I told her, hugging her to try and overcompensate for the guilt I feel.
She only pats these days, a brief pat to the back in no presence of teenagers is all I hope for in recognition that we are okay.
Even then, I suspect she must be in the greatest mood, so I seize the opportunity to lock her in a body tight hug, which she screams, but I don’t care.

Lola thought it was the best thing ever, being driven around by the security guard in a real golf cart, but not Kat.
I wince thinking of how I must affect her, being so much like her Daddy, life makes sense in lists, schedules, routines, and chores.

That was the year she wanted only a label machine so she could nicely line her crayons and pens to label them.
“No toys?” I asked her, Lola and I making astonished eye contact at the thought of the reality one might want a label machine, a bad joke to us.
I knew we were each other’s worst nightmare if not handled sensitively.
So, I let her be the grown up adult she came in the world being, let her be in charge of the things that give her anxiety, like the Apple sticker, which makes her a great problem solver.

“Okay,” I sighed.
“Mom, can I have her toy?” Lola asked, her eyes twinkling in mischief.
So, today I cringe over Kat, her pointing out the genius of her Apple sticker reminds me that I must drive her bonkers.
I was already tired and we hadn’t even crossed one thing off our list.

Living in this world can feel excruciating at times, but it never fails that my perception of the women around me can make it that much worse.
I see a woman with four children and a mountain of items piled neatly, her children in matching boutique clothing, a monogram baby bag hangs off the cart.
“Is she actually wearing lipstick?” I think as I stare, for this to me is a regular epiphany that I am existing on the wrong planet.
Four kids under the age of ten and the fucking woman has on perfect lipstick, manicured feet and probably every item on her list and it isn’t even noon.

“Bitch.” I think in my head and laugh.
If you can’t be one of them, you might as well be in rebellion against them.
Most days I have a sense of humor and love of adventure that drives me through the anxiety, letting me shrug it off, remind Kat that spontaneity isn’t always a bad thing, playing loud music and car dancing to make my point.
Not today.
Today it feels like a heavy blanket of hopelessness, not just guilt for not behaving up to Kat’s expectations but shame, which is much worse than guilt.
Guilt is the feeling of not liking what you do but shame is the feeling of not liking who you are.
The last stop to the QT for gas and I am depleted of all my energy and my head is pounding from the noises, my hands actually hurt from gripping the wheel too tightly.
When it was our time to pay, I realize I left my debit card in the car.
Lola tells the line of people and the lady not to worry, that her mom has “ADULT DISORDER DEFINITELY” or “A.D.D.” and they all laugh hysterically.
Leave it to Lola to play my own coping mechanism perfectly.
Make them laugh, let them believe you’re crazy, making fun of yourself always wins friends and gets you invited back for playdates.
The laugh makes it all okay for her, Kat groans “What now?” and I want to cry.
On good days I have the ability to laugh at myself whole heartedly, but not today.

Today I am dying.

My 36th Birthday with Bethany Mota

ImageI know what I was thinking.

“Who’s Bethany Mota?” 

NOW I know what 6 million you tube subscribers were thinking.

“Who the freak doesn’t know Bethany Mota?”

Seriously, guys. My 36th birthday only happens once and the only way to spend it is with my girls. I wonder if I had been born twelve years ago, like Kat, if I would love Bethany Mota too. An entire day to meeting her at Lenox Mall to be the top 300 to get an autograph and I still have no idea who the hell she is. Yes, I know. I am showing my age.

First of all, it was the first and maybe last time I checked them out to actually ditch school. I secretly thought that was the most exciting part but Kat’s reaction was priceless. She was pale, glaring at Lola to shut her big mouth, whispering to me to meet her outside so she wouldn’t get caught “ditching this prison.”

I am so glad she is my polar opposite. I think I wrote the notes to ditch school in perfect parent handwriting. In fact, I know I did. She reminded me nervously that it was only for emergency, and like always, I tell her to chill out! She would still have her perfect attendance record. 

Along with her best friend, the girls and I ended up in a line HOURS before her appearance, to save our spot in line. I am not a line person, people. I don’t do Black Friday and God knows I don’t do Bethany What’s Her Name Mota. If I could have made my birthday, it would have been in line at a concert, which makes me wonder if I was born 12 years ago, like Kat, would I worship a You Tuber?

I still am clinging to “HELL No.”

I hope just like I wasn’t a boy band groupie, I would maintain my nonconformist self and use school ditching for more rock n roll and less “Selfies” and “Instagram.”

Goodbye 35. You were hard, mean, and life transforming.

I’m creating a colorful year, and about to watch my first Bethany Mota video to prove it.

http://www.businessinsider.in/retail/Check-Out-The-Insane-Line-Of-People-Waiting-To-See-Teen-YouTube-Superstar-Bethany-Mota/articleshow/29872148.cms

GCD or “Grown Children of Divorce”

Understanding your negative belief systems, where they came from and why they are formed is never easy.
It is a life long process, the Imagemotherfucking onion of life, peeling away layer after layer.
My mom was always my best friend. She is a delightful person, funny, consoling and kind. She would have and probably did give the shirt off her back if it meant helping me.
I not only love her now, but back then, I adored her.
 
My Dad and I, back in the day, were never close. It was a methodical relationship with the same questions, forced hugs, and I always thought if it weren’t for my mom, he would not even know me.
 
So of course I plunged to her behalf, an adult woman gone through divorce herself, was going to protect her best friend and mother. It wasn’t until that one day, months after I left a note asking my Dad to never contact me again, these thoughts would start to irritate me.
 
Like, why did I get a divorce for my own fucking parents? My mom told me she wanted one and I offered up my services readily. Or did I?
Why did her own best friend tell me I could never have the life of my choosing, that my mother would never have it?
She had said the word free, and that church guy had used, whats that word, oh, codependent?
These were all new revelations that for that the first time, I couldn’t go to her about.
 
Why was I always protecting her? From who and for what? Wasn’t I the grown child experiencing the heartbreaking gun fire of a divorce the one who needed protecting?
So, why was I intercepting letters so gross and horrendous from my father?
They weren’t written to me. They were written to her. And yet, the entire family would uproot any day she received one, certain she was too weak to handle its content.
Could that be, well sick?
Could my own mother actually not have all the answers? Maybe she was as sick as he was but I was too codependent on her love and affection to see it?
 
And there, there was the day my mother pivoted from Entity to an actual person.
What does one do with this when the questions don’t stop coming and the answers never seem to show up.
At least, without hurting her or me in the process. I so hated hurting her.
 
Then, I got to see my father in a clearer light, objectively and as a husband, not a father.
I had not known the difference, my own pain was over issues with him that had occurred in their marriage, not specific to me at all.
It was information no adult child should have ever had, so who did that make me?
 
The greater the relationship with my father deepened, the more it became real to me, the father away she seemed to be.
 
I can now see that was the beginning of much needed understanding as to the life I had created and why. It was the first moment of clarity, amongst upheaval, shame and denial when I allowed myself to see what was broken inside of me and why.
 
It was allowing myself a search all on my own and being without her, the most beloved relationship I ever have had. I couldn’t have both. I had to give up one.
It was a price that nearly killed me.
If I were to tell the truth, the price of not having her is a void I don’t know how to fill, a road map without a destination.
I don’t want you to confuse death as a bad or good thing.
Death is a transformation of its own. I have died again and again and again.
How can I know tomorrow’s chapter if I’m stuck on the page I’m on?
So, you let it die.
You turn the page and before you know it, the person you could feel crying a room away is a stranger, so you must look in the mirror and die.
But, at least its real. I know the reflection, for all the good and bad, there is no longer confusion.
It’s just me.
The reflection is finally a mirror instead of a painting, a portrait of a woman I had only known inside of me, instead of a separate person, an identity entirely separate on its own.
I had for my whole adult life not known the real difference.
And I wonder why I choose codependent relationships, especially with females?
But, oh God how I miss those paintings.

Whack 2013 Moments

imageI was thinking about some of my favorite 2013 moments. I’m not sure I can possibly number them so how about a list? How about……

  • The online date who suggested I bring wine and a fire log wasn’t being a hopeless romantic. He had no heat in his apartment.
  • My ex who I have YET to blog name accused me of being on the dating site “LINKED IN.”
  • Kat, who after seeing Lola cry because a child at school convinced her she was being stalked by a cougar, took it upon herself to find the child’s number and called the parents herself.
  • Lola, from the back seat of the car saying, “Hey mom, you ever heard of Paul Revere? That guy just kills me…..”
  • Finding video footage of Kat convincing Lola to leap off tall furniture in attempts to get more you tube followers.
  • The fact I started a job fooling an entire company of people that I did not in fact, live in my van. I can’t believe I got away with that. Thank God for gym showers and McDonald’s wifi.
  • Lola getting drums for Christmas and nearly fainting on the floor.
  • My father attempting to join UFO conventions.
  • When my ex was told to wait in the emergency room for having a piece of metal stuck in his eye, he called a ambulance himself from the front door with his cell phone to be admitted faster.
  • Actually recruiting for a living, after having made fun of my dad my whole life for being one, I now was embarrassing myself talking into a head set.
  • Kat, a snarky preteen found online what she thinks is the “perfect” family. They are the TURD family and all their kids have TURD in their names to conceal their real identity. There is Baby Turd, Brother Turd, Princess Turd…She told me how she couldn’t imagine having such a great family and her own blog name. I thought about changing her name to Kat TURD, and revealing her in this blog! I’d be mom of the year right? Then I realized she would see how often I curse and use it against me. Then I realized she would one day be able to find this and while Lola beat her drums, I nearly fainted too.

What on earth will 2014 bring?

According to Lola, its already got a bad vibe because a black kid in her class said Martin Luther King wasn’t real. She was very upset by this. “BUT MOM, HE IS BLACK!” It blew her mind. Third grade will do that to you.

2013 sure as hell did.

I’m Not a Fucking Robot

image“I’m Not a Fucking Robot” was a line I used in an email tonight.

I’m feeling stuck in my life right now. I’ve been feeling stuck for awhile..

SO, of course when a certain someone points out the obvious, I don’t mention the “UNSTUCK” app on my IPad.

Seriously, there is an UNSTUCK app guaranteed to help you out of your stuck situation by asking how your feeling in the moments your feeling stuck.

I give it a shitty one star. Actually, I should get the one star for using it a whole two times.

No, I don’t agree, at least not away. I argue. I argue with the certain person, you know the one you always want to see you in the good light you are but never does, cause maybe you aren’t.

I mentioned to this person that they were like a well to me, one I stupidly bring my good intentions to in hopes for validation. Then each time I stupidly walk back empty handed.

“I’m NOT YOUR WELL!” The person said.

It’s true. I shouldn’t need a person outside myself to validate shit. I’m reading ALL ABOUT it in my Codependency books. Here is my question to the Universe. I don’t want any person to be my well nor do they want to be that. I know by my reading what the name is. I know I have it, am it, bring myself to live it, over and over. How do I make it stop? And quickly because for one…I hate it.

For two, it’s making me stuck.

What kind of conundrum is that? And it makes me laugh at myself this “I’m NOT a fucking Robot” statement.

No shit, Miss Obvious. You have clearly never been one of those.