Eight little-known signs of alcoholic behavior

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During the quarantine, many people have turned to substance abuse to feel more comfortable in their own skin. The truth is alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases of apathy. The addict does not want to care. But they care too much and it must be quelled. Here are some little-known signs of alcoholism that also apply to drug addicts that maybe useful during this difficult time of involuntary isolation.

Of course, we all know the easy way to spot an alcoholic: red face, preoccupation with alcohol, unable to stop drinking once started, etc. etc. But today I am going to share with you some insight on the characteristics of an alcoholic you may not know. Keep in mind, that what applies to spotting an alcoholic also applies to spotting a relapse because drinking alcohol is only a symptom of a greater problem inside the heads and hearts of people inflicted with the disease.

The Eight Signs

1. Anger and resentment- This is nothing new to someone who is in AA. The whole book is written around this subject. Alcoholics have a pattern of being angry and resentful. Often, on social media, one can see someone with hostile posts. This is a time to grow a bit suspicious. Alcoholics are triggered by what they deem to be unfair acts against them especially when it comes to close relationships. The disease makes it very difficult for the alcoholic to not take someone’s actions personal. However, in recovery, people learn that even the most atrocious acts of unkindness are not personal and people are taught to believe what other people say about them is none of their business.

2. Comorbidity- Almost all alcoholics have secondary afflictions of the spirit, mind, and body that manifest prior to the age we begin drinking. Many suffer from anxiety and depression. These symptoms pre-date substance abuse. have. In recovery, alcoholics are bonded by identifying in each other the same twisted personality traits. It seems like everything each alcoholic feels is always to the extreme. Alcoholics are incredibly sensitive. In alcohol. they look for relief in caring so much about anything and everything.

3. Big Plans but No Follow Through- The brain of an alcoholic is very different than that of a person who is not inflicted with the disease. The pleasure centers of their brains are not naturally full and it takes action every day to get into a pleasurable space. Alcohol replaces action in a way that thoughts of big ideas, sometimes brilliant ideas, are never completed due the fact that the intake of alcohol gives the alcoholic the same reward response as if they had actually followed through on goal or a task.

For example, if an alcoholic wakes up and decided that the lawn must be mowed, if they pick up, it is highly likely they will never mow the lawn or get anything done because alcohol creates a feeling of an accomplishment in the reward center of a person’s mind, leaving many tasks unfinished. This is why in recovery action is far more important than thought. Someone in relapse will begin slowly not to accomplish anything that is important for daily functioning and in the grander scheme of life.

4. A Track Record- This is very hard for alcoholics to see. They feel things are happening to them independent of their drinking. They believe that they are just unlucky. It is very difficult for an alcoholic to link their drinking as a consequence of what they choose. An alcoholic does not have to be drunk to make bad decisions. Once again, drinking is only a symptom that masks what drives a person to be reckless, irresponsible and sometimes very foolish. And the next thing they notice is that multiple situations are transpiring at once: but they cannot figure out why.

For instance, they get in fights with significant others, their bills are not paid or they lack money, their health deteriorates and most importantly, they stop doing things that they usually love, all at the same time. When someone is in their disease it is almost impossible for them to be accountable because their disease wants more alcohol. This is incredibly hard for a normal person to understand but it true.

5. Unhealthy Boundaries- It is hard to know if the inability to have healthy boundaries starts in the family of origin, which are likely full of other alcoholics or if it is just the nature of the disease. But alcoholics do not have healthy boundaries. They are often promiscuous, codependent and often expect others to do for them what they should be doing for themselves. They are abusive and they let themselves be abused. They do not know where they begin as a person and others start. This is very hard to master even in sobriety because of the extreme feelings and thinking that tend to create scenarios both in their heads and in their lives that cross lines of respectability and human decency.

6. Great Senses of Humor- Recovering alcoholics know how to laugh at themselves. They are usually very funny with off-color remarks and ideas. The way they view the world is quite different than a normal person and they are not afraid to embrace that side of themselves because they are usually rewarded by other people for it.

7. Moderation in Moderation- Alcoholics are all or nothing thinkers. Balance is just not a part of their vocabulary. If they eat, they eat a lot. If they exercise, they exercise to the extreme. And if they love someone, their love comes at the price of suffocating or isolating the person who is involved with them.

Furthermore, because the alcohol is filling their pleasure and reward systems, they don’t see much reason to change. They have a history of doing everything in our life to excess. Once again, they have a blind spot. They are unable to match their thinking with their behavior. They do not see the link unless they are practicing being mindful. It is doubtful that becoming moderate ever becomes easy for someone even they have years of sobriety. Each day moderation must be managed. That is why it is helpful to go to meetings, have a sponsor and be able to tell on ourselves to a therapist or other care professional. Otherwise, they slowly or quickly unravel into some sort of extreme.

8. A Need to be Special- Alcoholics almost always feel that they do not fit in. Because of this, they have a desire to be more “special” than their peers. They truly believe they are superior because of it. But at the same time, being special creates a distance which in turn breeds loneliness. One of the greatest things an alcoholic can learn is to find the similarities they share with my others if they ever want to enjoy a fulfilling relationship.

This list is not extensive. But it can tip a person off to know if someone has a problem with an alcohol problem. I usually can spot someone right away. However, it is seldom useful to tell a person that they are alcoholic. An alcoholic usually can figure this out on some level and either desperately tries to hide it or is willing to seek help.

The best way to endure and deal with this quarantine is to be creative and productive. That may take a little more effort for a recovered alcoholic, but it probably the best outlet they can find besides exercise and eating healthy.

via The New New Normal

The New New Normal

tif deb catlin

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

There is an eerie phrase surfacing among the herds: The New Normal. I do not know about you but I do not want the advertisers, the media or the government to decide what “The New Normal,” looks like. And there is no way to avoid that from happening if we do not decide what we want NOW!

In Julio Vincent Gambunto’s ominous article, “Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting,” he warns that The New Normal will be decided for us.  He brilliantly describes how the powers that be will try to control us. To combat the marketing, propaganda, and sensationalism, one must first know what they do not want.

I know longer want to be told how to look, how to eat, how to act in public and to hide who I am. I have witnessed a world that is extremely different behind closed doors than what the world is on social media. I want nothing to do with it anymore. Furthermore, two-party systems, fighting amongst each other over unreliable resources and pushing hate as an agenda has no place in what we can create! We must push forward and destigmatize all the stereotypes about people, illnesses, drug addiction, social class and total vanity that has been pushed upon us for decades.

Are you aware that we have always had a need to social distance in this country?  The average American prefers 18 inches between each other. If a person climbs on an empty bus, like clockwork, the seats will fill with people sitting far apart until the choice to sit next to each other is the last option.

Now, we have social distancing and it is not going away anytime soon. Six feet apart? Ok. But, in that space, may I tell you who I am? Or do I need to continue to hide? Shame and judgment are manufactured by marketing firms with roots in the days of Puritans and at the same time, we are pushed to be DIFFERENT. I have learned that the loneliest feeling in the world is to be different, therefore, in our new society, finding similarities between each other is the key to having a fulfilling life.

Think about it. Instead of being pushed to buy something new to fill that void, we could actually make a friend or meet our neighbors or be kind. (Mind blown!) We do not need to be medicated and obligated to line up like sheep prior to Gambuto’s idea of the “Great Pause.” Like the famous comedian Bill Hick’s used to say about the corporations and the government “You are free to do what we tell you to do. You are free to think what we tell you to think.” Well, that is not going to fly anymore.

Decisions need to make. Because if we do not make decisions for ourselves, they will indeed be made for us. I am deciding to continue to embrace the “Great Pause.” We did not even know how uncomfortable we were in our own skins until we were left with only ourselves: no shopping, no people, no restaurants, no more turning outward to seek what we already have inside. We can choose love, courage and the ability to be the change we want to be in the world (Gandhi).

Pay attention… because this is the first time in history that the whole world is truly watching what happens next and as a whole, we are helping each other. Take stock of your values. Do not end up in the daily grind. This is our chance to shine. As the greatest music band of all time proclaimed,  Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be (Beatles).

 

Beware of Air: A New Version of Ourselves

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I prefer to wash my hands to the beautiful lyrics of ACDC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” But you can do whatever you want. It seems like every day is Groundhog Day and the end is nowhere in sight. It is funny, though, because no one seems to know what day it is anymore and it has only been two weeks of isolation. Every single one of my neighbors took out their trash a day ahead in complete social conformity believing that it was Trash Day when it was not. Confusion runs amok and we are all reacting the best we can.

This major shift has cast upon us a new world that will never be the same again. The way we live, shop, eat, work, and interact will morph us into a new society. This pandemic is a catalyst for change and for unifying our species as one. And at the same time, death seems one breath away.

Still, never in our lives have we been faced with the idea that we are all just one person. For this pandemic does not recognize race, ethnicity, sexual identification, nationality or preference of self. This is the first time that humanity must work together as a whole community without borders to save our own lives and the lives of others. And we are in fear of not having toilet paper!

The magnitude of this event is completely shocking: displayed readily by the highs and lows of people interacting the only way they know how, through memes and social media. Our lives have been condensed to living with few distractions and entirely facing our own selves in our own skin. Unless you have borrowed someone else’s skin and that would go against our newly integrated law of social distancing. (Kids do not try this at home.)

Faced with this new norm are choices. I have already made a few. First, I reveled with humor faced with my possible demise. And I hope that trend continues to last. Then, I sunk into depression: a familiar darkness I have felt many times before. But I knew what to do.

In the throes of despair, I asked myself questions that truly will shape who I will become in the aftermath of this utmost urgent time. Who do I want to be when this is over? Oh, I could be hospitalized, quivering in a room with no locks waiting for my next dose of Valium. That is entirely possible. I could be on the floor, altered and discombobulated, in front of my son who is already terrified. Or, I could be the best version of myself.

And I choose the latter. When this is all over, whatever that means, I want to be fit, healthy, accomplished in ways that are aligned with my soul. I want to be loving, kind, and strong. For the lack of distractions beckon me to focus on myself for once in my life while I live in the bubble of my home for endless days unknown.

Listen to the media if you want. That is a definite rush and will keep you away from yourself. Fight on social media about how “right” you are about some opinion. But I do not speak in opinions, I speak only of experience. And experience has taught me to be more silent and listen. Conflict is a short-term rush much like a drug that makes a person feel high. I see why it is happening. Fear shoots cortisol throughout your body which immerses your body in fight or flight until it is processed through your kidneys and livers. Get high if that is your thing. But, know there is no escaping yourself. The only way out is in.

Fear is a great motivator. But so is love. And I will not be reduced to social conforms and sheep-like tactics. It is a time to beat to your own drum unless you drop dead but at least you know you did with glory. So I challenge you to be the best version of yourself and to recognize the state of affairs lies completely in our own, hopefully, clean and washed hands. No one can save us but ourselves. This is a time of unity and an opportunity to actually live as one: an opportunity we all said we strived for but have yet to achieve.

Take what I say as you please. I know there are haters and lovers and extremely numb people who may read my rant. But, consider this an opportunity to come together, for once, and focus on our similarities while we live in isolation so we can save lives on a global scale. Forget America First. We lost that the day the virus began.

 

Beyond Social Media

“Man was born to live with his fellow human beings. Separate him, isolate him, his character will go bad, a thousand ridiculous affects will invade his heart, extravagant thoughts will germinate in his brain, like thorns in an uncultivated land.”
—Suzanne Simon from MEMOIRS OF A NUN (1796)

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We are caught in an illusion of togetherness when we converse online. Days pass quickly as the all-mighty computer consumes are actions. It feels like we are not alone. Our conversations feel like true substitutes for real relationships. However, one thing is amiss: physicality. Humans are social creatures. Like all mammals, we need to be with one another to thrive. The isolation of the computer confuses the mind by fueling our time with compulsiveness and boredom.

How many times a day to we check our phones? Waiting, hoping for something to increase endorphins. However, the computer never really satisfies. It gives the gift of insatiability where there is never enough and the user is always wanting more. And in that period of wanting…life passes by.

Most mammals run in packs to assure safety and the ability to procreate the next generations. The togetherness is the reason for living: without it, the mammal would surely die. Human beings are not the elite. They are mammals too. Mammals who have forgotten their basic needs to function and thrive.

Every living organism on this earth is just trying to survive. That is how the world exists. Humans surpassed this mode and what was left became ingenuity, creativity, and insanity. The basis for neurosis dwells in the separation to which we agree to in our online relationships, in our comments as well as passing around propaganda as the truth. It is a possibility that we are destroying our species because we stepped out of the line of what was natural: staying with the pack, caring for one another and fighting for the existence of the whole rather than the individual.

As the years pass in the is the digital age, people’s hearts become crueler behind the computer. Unnecessary words are exchanged to sustain the level of serotonin that the computer offers. It is dangerous to depend on an external object to feed your soul. The danger lies in not really pondering what is within without comparing oneself to what is viewed on social media.

Creating social media was supposed to be a good idea. But it is has taken over the daily lives of humans. If we stop questioning the real world we are left in an imaginary maze of toxic overload, spread by each other, alone.

Take a minute to smell the air, watch the trees turn red and yellow and the temperatures drop. For a moment, look at who you live with as if they are more important than the fix you receive in the digital world. Just maybe, you may see life as it happens. We say life is short but we shorten every minute we spend interacting on social media rather than with each other in person. Humans were born to be together. I hope we do not lose sight of that through mundane distractions and arguing useless battles. All we have is today. Let us start now.

 

mom and me 8th grade

(Photo credit Chelsea Mandler)

As the dawn is growing near,

And the days begin to wane,

I saw the darkness in your eyes

Not much of you remains.

 

There is no sweet satisfaction,

To see the pain that you endure,

I wonder if you know it all,

That our life was but a blur.

 

Your strength, I did admire,

You knew how to survive,

You made it through the toughest times,

Steadfast and alive

 

But you did not fight for me,

You left in quite a haste,

I only see you walking away,

I never saw your face.

 

And the years passed by so quickly,

From being a child to where I am now,

I thought we would have a chance,

To mend our love somehow.

 

Yet, you were very nasty,

Always something mean to say,

I treated you with respect,

Because I am that way.

 

I got your Christmas card this year,

With a business card inside,

Telling me to take care of things,

When you finally died.

 

And that is when it happened,

When I could finally see,

You horrible, heartless woman,

You missed out on me.

 

And all the pills of I have swallowed,

All the drinks I drunk,

And all the drugs I have ingested throughout my life,

Was to fill the heart you sunk.

 

God graced me with some clarity,

I could see the undertaking,

In front of me, I will rebuild,

The life from me you’ve taken.

 

Therefore, the answer is simple,

I will not be your pawn,

You will have to find another soul,

To care for you after you have gone.

 

And when it is finally over,

The only pain I foresee,

For Coco

Corey sleeping

I have nine more years to prepare you for adulthood and the days seem to fly by so rapidly. There are so many things I want to teach you but life gets in the way. So lets start with that.

  1. Life gets in the way of all plans. That is why it is important to take the right action instead of being concerned your plans will not unfold the way you want. We always get to where we need to be.
  2. Our society teaches us to to be fiercely independent and to be special. Special people are lonely. It is more important to find the similarities with others than to be different. You are who you are…you don’t have to try be anything else.
  3. Social media hurts people. It takes away our humanness and leads us to believe we are connected through a computer screen of false images and ideas. Mammals are social beings and they need to be actually around each other for fulfillment.
  4. Your parents are only human. They have faults and flaws and can be selfish, too.
  5. What anyone says about you is none of your business. It is not personal. It is where that person is at in his or her lives. Try to be loving no matter what.
  6. Resentments only hurt you. Wishing bad things on other people creates hate within your body and damages your sense of well being.
  7. There are no shortcuts so do not even try.
  8. Dream big. Anything can be accomplished with hard work and a sense of purpose.
  9. You will have your heart broken. Maybe several times. Keep loving anyway.
  10. You do not know everything. I think you may have learned that from me but knowing everything discourages learning and this life is full of wonder and different things to learn about.
  11. Be of service. It is the easiest way to find happiness when you stop thinking about yourself all the time.
  12. Travel the world but also find a place to become rooted. Traveling expands your mind but being rooted deepens your soul.
  13. Human kindness exists and champions over any tragedy. Love is all around you.
  14. You are hundred percent accountable for yourself. Victims do not succeed. And placing blame is useless.
  15. Humility is the gateway to freedom from the ego.
  16. Start where you are. Not where you want to be or think you should be. Figure out where you are and begin. This is the only way to overcome adversity.
  17. Keep your eyes open and look at everything coming your way. There is nothing you cannot handle if you continue to take the right actions and stay 100 percent accountable.
  18. You are entitled to nothing. You reap what you sow and this feeds your soul.
  19. Look people in the eye when you firmly shake their hands.
  20. Never be too certain. An open mind will bring you more answers than a mind that fully believes it its own convictions.
  21. Sink into yourself. You are far more likable by others if you simply show your flaws and be thoroughly honest.
  22. Engage in small talk at first. This is the way our culture gauges each other. I had to learn this the hard way. I hope you heed my advice.
  23. All things are temporary and that is okay. Accept the natural ebb and flow of life.
  24. Always ask for help if you need it. Those that love you want you to be honest. It is the best way to build connections and life long friends. And of course, always be willing to help the best that you can.
  25. What you put into your body creates who you are. Think carefully how you treat yourself and always tend to your basic needs.
  26. Having courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. Be brave and get through whatever is in front of you.
  27. Comparison is the thief of joy. And joy can happen at anytime if you are paying attention.
  28. Laugh and cry and feel and think. Experience everything you can in this lifetime. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You are already nine years into the one you started.
  29. Don’t trust the media.
  30. Know that I love you with all my heart and I will always be there for you. Never be afraid to share with me your mistakes, your feelings or hide who you are. I LOVE ALL OF YOU.

The Anthem of the Wild Woman

Don’t compromise yourself, you are all you got.                                                                          Janis Joplin

This is the commencement of your daughter’s undying right to be loud and be heard. We scoff at the notion that women should be taught to be quiet; to play nice. It is time for our girls to take back their power and counterbalance societies’ messages with feminine prowess. We are the dreamers and the shakers and the beauties of the soul. We are the voices behind the music. Our power is recognized and intrinsically cultivated into the rhythm of the beat.

We are every shade of women. Using music metaphorically to encapsulate the pulse beneath our breath, our girls will cast a shadow over pervasive attempts to be silenced. There is no victory and there is no defeat. We just play our music. Together, united. We write our own rules into existence by tapping into the parts of ourselves that refuse to die.

Let me live out loud by beckoning all that is creative within me to the forefront of my life. I am my own power. I am my own song. I do not need to cooperate, hesitate or speculate what others may think. I know they want me to be quiet. But I have something to say and something to prove to myself. And I know that I will find my truth in the hallways of my mind and in the fluttering of my heart.

Women before me have paved the way until this point. It is my turn to love and to feel and to recognize that the repressive nature of being born the “wrong” sex does indeed exist. If it is wrong so be it. I will not change who I am to please you anymore. I hear the laughter of my own soul echoing through my beautiful body. I pound sharply on my own chest to rescue the sounds of my maiden cry. I am my own hero and villain. I do not need you tell me who I am.

The darkness with me will be courted. I am not afraid. That darkness is only a mirror of the thousand times I rejected myself for someone else’s pleasure. Bear witness to the light that fulfills its own self in me. That light shines gloriously when free from conventional thought. Do not doubt its presence. It is as real as me.

Together, my sisters and I will rock to the vibrational patterns that is woman. We do not twerk. We Headbang. We dance and we sing and we laugh and we cry. That is our truth. Our power is bigger than the lies I was told. We share the beauty of the world in each of our loving hands. Attached to each other forever in the symbolism that is SHE.

When you awaken the inner warrior in your daughter there will be no mistaking all that she has become from empowering her. She will be forever yours but she is yours by choice and not by situation. She is her own context. And we believe in her. It is time for her to be introduced into the limelight and dwell deep into the glory of being an authentic version of herself.

I found every shade of me on this stage. I bathe in my own essence. I will no longer relinquish my power. The days were long but full of meaning. And I will look back on this time and thank you for giving me the chance to bask in my own glory. I will always be your daughter. But now I am my own woman.

Mastication

I have never been a big eater. But after my surgeries created an inability to move around, the pounds packed on. I could not understand it. I did not eat poorly. I did not eat in excess. But, my trim body counted on me always moving. When that was taken away…I did not know what to do.

Where did I go wrong?

I am a fast-eater who does not chew my food properly. Or in scientific terms, I do not masticate long enough. Masticate means to chew.One must chew food slowly in order to not gain weight. Plus fast eating is linked with obesity. But most people do not know why. The science behind it isn’t simple. At least not for me. But it’s all about the brain and a little receptor called ghrelin.

When ghrelin is activated, hunger pangs follow. For some people, hunger pangs can be very painful. The stomach rubs against itself, triggering a pain response that can only be satisfied with food. The trick is to eat the food that actually takes time to break down without an accompaniment of water or other beverages.

Why? The breaking down of food requires energy and or a metabolic response that assures our brain that we are getting enough. The longer the it takes for the breakdown to occur the more likely a person is to not overeat. Furthermore, chewing also takes energy and activates synapses in the brain signal being full.

In the beginning of the 20th century chewing was the fad. There were ads about masticating all over the newspapers.  But it soon was replaced by calorie cutting. Now, our aisles are covered in protein bars, shakes, bottles of water and pills to lose weight. But this will never truly work because diet food does not make a person’s body work hard. It does not signal to the brain any long-time feelings of being full.

In fact, research shows that a person who chews their food longer will eat 11.5 % less over a year’s period. If you are 200 pounds that is over 20 lbs gone. Add eating real food that makes your body work hard to break it down while increasing energy and weight loss and losing weight will become much less painful. And…deprivation may be the newest fad  to exit our news-feed.

All I know is this…I lost 24 pounds in one month because I chose to eat whole foods and chew longer. I still had a little ice cream or a dessert every day. I could not really exercise due to being in chronic pain. But I watched the pounds peel off.

Now…please note. I am over weight. The first twenty pounds is going to be easier for me to lose than someone who is trying to lose the last twenty pounds. But…it was not a painstaking process. And that for me is the key.

In the end, diet food is a scam. If one learns the art of mastication, eating food will become a joy again and not something to of which to feel guilty all the time! J

The Glory of Being Fat

I spent the first 30 years of my life enraptured to be thin. In any food container, or drink or anything else, I memorized the calorie count along with all the nutritional value or lack thereof. At 24, my goal in life was to be a personal trainer. I was a glorious 164 lbs and I already worked out two hours a day on top of being a waitperson at a high volume casual fine dining restaurant.

But I never felt thin. I was the type of person where people always commented that it look liked I lost weight every time they saw me. For most women this would be taken as a compliment. But also for most women this might be seen as “so I looked fat before!”

I starved myself, I took up smoking not to eat, I snorted lines of meth amphetamines although I have never been one who enjoyed being awake and I drank black coffee to keep me feeling not hungry all the time. My boyfriend would make marks about pushing my skin together to see cellulite. It seemed. I only felt worthy of love if I was super skinny. I remember seeing an OB-GYN who remarked that I had gained 10 pounds from 15 years of age to 16 and that she was very concerned. But I should note I am 5’11 and I will never be petite…ever…ever.

So when I finally quit smoking after seventeen years of indulging and my father dying in my arms of lung cancer six years prior, I gained weight. First thought PANIC. But more weight came and it did not leave. Within a year, I had the first of seven major surgeries which made my weight plummet far beyond 200lbs. And there was nothing I could do. I was immobile and I had lost the will to starve myself out of sheer boredom of being in bed all the time.

Then…after I finally decided to buy clothes that fit me (after two years) I began to soften, literally and physically.  You see I truly believed I would not be loved if I was fat. After many years of special attention from men, I was horrified to give that up and be me. Plus my weight was always a topic of conversation with my father and mother. “Watch the pizza.” “Your hips are widening.” and it went on and on. Guess what? I was growing!! I am a tall woman that needed some weight. Their feedback was rarely met with enthusiasm rather I whispered “Fuck you,” under my breath.

However, one day I was at the deli counter and this guy was very kind to me. I looked behind me to see if he was looking at me. And YES…it was me he was talking to. And for a mere glimpse I saw I was worthy of kindness. I  began to notice other things too. People would open the door for me. Others would make me laugh. And my family and my friends still truly loved me!

What did that love look like to me? Initially, just smiles. But soon, my advice was sought after and then I made it even easier because I was willing to talk my weight with them. Soon “them” became everyone. I did not hide in the Plus Size section. I wandered and chatted. I was not alone in my obesity. There were others too.

Soon, I found that there were far more “real” people than just skinny ones. I stood taller. I chose what I wanted at any restaurant. I tried ice cream, roast beef sandwiches with extra cheese and even candy bars. And what I choose to ate had nothing to do with my worth.

You see the more I owned my weight, the more people found me approachable. And it can be lonely out there in “I am getting skinny again” land. And as my attitude changed, my beauty did too. I am almost positive that people still found me attractive!

Furthermore, I have a very keen insight on the friends I know who still measure their worth by the size of their jeans. In that world, weight means everything and there is no room for wonder, imagination, laughter or peace.

I weigh 273lbs today. I don’t think it is healthy. I will cut back on carbs and simple sugars. But I will do it for so many other reasons than feeling pretty for others. I will do it to live a long life. I will do it because with weight pain surmises. I will do it when I want to and I will not do it when I do not want to.

I own this life and it is a marvelous life. And I am lucky enough to have my cake and eat it too. Are you?

 

In Hipocrisy We Stand

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Have you ever noticed we have a National Day every day? There is a National Holding Hands Day, National Sex Day, National Siblings Day, National Donuts Day? National Best Friends Day? And as far as I can see it never stops. Does no one find this odd? Sometimes I feel like I am the only one.

United States is not  democratic nation  it is a Republic. This shouldn’t be news to anyone unless you were born after the flag salute became vile. And one should know that a Republic nation is ruled over by governmental law whereas a Democratic nation is ruled by the majority .

It is kinda sneaky of the press, our government and the corporations keeping us distracted to look the other way. It seems Democracy and being Republic has changed drastically as the government gains more and more power without ever telling anyone that is it one of the most inefficient governing power in this country.

But let’s look at this closer…first, the “powers that be” cause division. That has obviously happened. But it is important that we remain in conflict rather than staying aware of current topics.  Today’s subject  could easily be Putin capitalizing on Ukraine’s weakness or how poorly the Iranian Nuclear Deal is being managed by our top leaders. Yet,  we are being flooded with news and commentaries  about transgender issues instead. I do believe that transgender issues are important but do they really trump the 20 trillion we owe in debt to other countries? A debt so large we will never be able to pay it off in our lifetimes: clearly not under this Republic controlling the democratic majority.

But please don’t forget National Jerk Chicken day is two days after the Fourth of July. We really need to celebrate more.

Freedoms are slowly being replaced by rules. And unfortunately our vote only counts in theory. The Super Delegates and the Electoral College actually elect our leaders. But don’t worry we can talk about the Zika virus all day and all night to replace the reality that we have no voice left in this country.

Now that is good propaganda! Keep people fearful, while arguing with each other as they celebrate our new National Holidays based on twitter feed and possibly a push from the people who do not want you to hear the news.

One thing I learned living overseas as a US Diplomat’s wife is the public has no idea what is really going on. We are numbers,  populating inside machines that spy on us in order to decide for us what we should know versus what is really happening.

The big news is that employment went up one and half percent and our GDP has been raised. But there is no mention that the debt raised as well and that the people who figure out the percentages of employment do not include those who have given up on searching for work and or those who are partially employed. But on June 27th Rainbow Day is coming. And if you are lucky you will be able to gorge on National Ranch Day too.

Did you know that there were tens’ of thousands of videos where people were burning the Koran the day of the Benghazi attacks? The very reason we were not told it was terrorists and we let our people die. And the Egyptian filmmaker blamed for the evil film is still in jail over other reasons?  People are being thrown under the bus left and right and the news conflicts itself but its all right because National Wait Staff Day keeps us excited about life.

Think very careful on what you are being shown.  Ask yourself why now? Is there something they do not want me to see? The answer most likely is yes.That is what you can do for your country. Keep it real. Don’t let this self-made fast-paced world overwhelm you enough where you can’t see anything straight. That is the biggest danger to us as a nation in the end after all.

 

 

 

Insights on a Sunny Day

 

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Working day bar is always a drag. It is usually dead until you are about to leave and the rest of the day you stock, clean and fold your white towel over and over again.

On this day it was Sunday to my surprise this guy walks in who was good friends with upper management. I had spent sometime with him in social situations but I do not believe we spoke much to each other. However, only a few times in a lifetime does a person get to have one those days that change the trajectory of one’s life. And this would be one of them.

He was looking for Willy, the Bar Manager and one of his closest friends. Willy had left for the day. But I offered him a drink and he accepted. It was a margarita on the rocks (and no Willy I did not charge him). He was lawyer but I think he missed the bartending days because he directed me exactly how to make his drink which was fine with me.

“You know I need to talk to you about something?” He carefully said. And I asked what. “Someone told me you don’t like me.” I was stunned because not only was that not true, I was surprised he could be so honest. And so we began to talk. We talked about honesty and which led to deeper conversations.

We talked for several hours and he eventually drove me home and I invited him to stay for a little while. I liked how he was wise and funny. And I felt totally comfortable around him which was rare for me in general.

So I began asking him questions about life. He had a couple years on me and little did I know I needed the advice he would relay to me on this beautiful Sunday afternoon on my porch in Santa Barbara.

“I don’t understand why I can’t get a boyfriend.”  I complained.

“You don’t ask questions.” He said as if there was no other answer to my statement.

Startled, my mind raced about all the rules young people place on themselves to not get rejected. And I realized I never asked questions. I never said what I wanted. I just went along with the guy of the week until he moved on.

“But how could I ask questions?”

“You have to ask questions in relationships and in all that you do, so you have clarity and you know where you stand. You waste time if you do not.” He declared.

“So you are saying I need to ask someone how they feel about me?”

“Yes and ask them if they are interested in dating or are just having fun. And tell them your needs and walk away if they treat you poorly.”

This was the most amazing advice I had ever been given. Tell the truth? That was exactly what I thought I should not do. But I was willing to try it.

We drank a little more and I admitted to my dream of him of wanting to be a writer.

“Then you must be a writer!” He proclaimed.

I was still vulnerable about my writing but I took it out and he read every page. And he told me I was good and that I needed to fight for my dreams and I had the ability to it. He actually cared and he was quite serious about what he was saying.

Twenty three years later, I am still taking his advice. I ask questions in interviews, I tell the truth and I do not hide who I am. But even most importantly the seed he planted in my heart to write finally came to fruition this year. I finally took his advice on truth telling to a whole new level and I let my heart bleed all over the page because for twenty years my mind heard his message of “ you must write” and I let myself tell my story and write about what I wanted.

Two thousand views later on my blog….I want to thank this man. It is his birthday today and I find him to be amazing. He is a respected attorney  in his community. He takes care of himself and his kids. He is funny and loyal; a rare find indeed. But most importantly, he set out to do what he wanted to do and he reached success far greater than he expected.

And  merely by chance I gained much insight and courage on one empty day at the bar from someone I hardly knew.

Life has twists and turns. Never be surprised. You may not know how an event or a person can effect your life. Be open. And thank that person. I do every time I see him because I am afraid he will sue me.( Just kidding my friend.)  And I wish you the happiest of happy  birthdays. I hope to see you soon. 🙂

 

 

1992: When I knew EVERYTHING

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1992 I believe speech…

I believe we choose where we are in life.

I believe nothing should be lemon-scented.

I believe ATM’s are the root of all evil.

I believe anyone looks attractive after 8 beers.

I believe Elvis is dead.

I believe in memories.

I believe everyone should fulfill as many sexual fantasies as possible.

I believe Cindy Crawford should be shot and killed.

I believe Hitler was the devil.

I believe in remote controls.

I believe leaf blowers only work on Sundays before 10:00am.

I believe we are as beautiful as we feel.

I believe raisins taste exactly how they look.

I believe Bill Clinton did inhale.

I believe there is a sixth sense.

I believe in destiny.

I believe in taking a pillow to the beach.

I believe Michael Jackson can do whatever he wants with his face.

I believe blame is irrelevant.

I believe people walk through life never knowing their surroundings.

I believe marriage is not hopeless in the 90’s, just harder.

I believe in wine without dinner.

I believe what comes around goes around.

I believe everyone deserves the time of day.

I believe fleas are immortal.

I believe in tipping well.

I believe in life after death.

I believe people who have too many secrets go through life misunderstood.

I believe menstruation is a cruel joke form God.

I believe in order over freedom but never over equality.

2016 where I am now

I believe fate and character are one in the same.

I believe I am lucky to be able to afford lemon- scented anything.

I believe ATM’s are the last of our problems.

I believe anyone looks attractive after they bought my meal, made me laugh and bought me eight beers.

I believe Elvis dead but he did not die from a jelly do-nut overdose like my mother said ended his life.

I believe I have a photographic, autistic memory that irritates all boyfriends, marriages and all friend.

I no longer blush at the idea of sexual fanasies.

I think we should leave Cindy alone, plus her husband is a babe.

I believe  Hitler was the devil and an antecedent how social groups react under fear and pressures given any knowledge of Global Studies.

I totally did not foresee the expansion and technology of remote controls.

I believe we are as beautiful as we ACT.

I REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT BILL or his WIFE.

I KNOW there is a sixth sense.

I believe destiny is an illusion.

Pillow are necessary everywhere.

Michael Jackson. Too soon?

I believe blame is irrelevant unless you are married. Then it is solid truth.

I believe people walk through accept the reality that they are given, regardless of the truth.

I believe marriage is always harder regardless of the time in history.

I believe in dinner. But wine is good if you don’t have it every day.

I know what comes around goes around and I try to be of service at all times.

I believe fleas are immortal in arid climates.

I believe the morning doesn’t always save us.

I know there is a higher power.

I know nothing lasts forever except love.

I believe there are casual moments which are really wasted time as we could just get to know each other.

I STILL BELIEVE IN TIPPING WELL IN ALL CASH!

I know there is an afterlife. I have experienced it in many occasions that are undeniable.

I believe in order over freedom but never over equality.

I believe that hysterectomies can be the root of all happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men Have Sex with Short Skirts And Marry Long Ones

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Photo by Swanand on Pexels.com

 

Oh, I can hear it now. People standing up in arms rejecting my hypothesis. But hear me out you little short skirt women because you have a lot to learn.

Women have been sexualized through time so they are attractive to a man. For marriage? No…for sex. The tops are tighter, the colors slicker and the makeup is painted on as if a blemish doesn’t exist. We go to the gym. We don’t eat. We feel absolutely worthless when we hook up with some cute guy and he never calls again.

We laugh it off with our friends. Guys will be guys, right? Wrong. It is up to you ladies to decide if you want a man or a boy. Because a real man is secretly looking for a wife and he wants your beauty to be revealed not advertised.

I learned this the hard way. I would give out my phone number, asks guys out and even pay for their beers trying to be Gloria Steinem of our decade. Nothing worked. Finally, some guy tried to give me his phone number and I said you call me! And It worked and it continued to work until I found Mr. Right. You see the truth is the more someone invests in you the more they want to invest. Let’s say that again, “the more someone invests in you the more they want to invest.” This is a proven strategy of persuasion.

For instance, he buys you dinner. What do you wear? A long flowing skirt and appealing top with some heel not stilettos. Don’t give it all away. This man will not be able to stare at your unbelievable body but they are sure likely to wonder. Instead…he talks to you. He gets to know you. And even more important, you get to know him. If you showed up with a leather mini skirt the whole date would be about lust. Flirting would be high but no one really gets a sense of who each other are when you are laying down four hours later in bed with him. WEAR A LONG SKIRT!

Throughout time men instinctively are the hunters and the women are the gatherers. Is this sexist BS? Yes, but life is not fair and if you want your heart touched more than your boobs listen to me. Dress like wife material. After the wedding, you can walk around naked to the store. He knows you by then. He knows you are not just a skirt.

Many will argue with me. But our biological makeup always beats our ideals. I am not saying to be a submissive woman. I would have none of that. I am saying be you without trying to be overly sexy. You are worth that. You deserve someone who will adore you and love you and always find you fascinating. That is over in one short skirt incident.

We must start where we are in life and in society in order to make a change. The salmon who swims upstream often dies. Work within the system of this amazing life of love and stop throwing your brains out of the window. We know you are smart but your actions say everything. Reach inside the system and change it within. And that starts with long skirts.

In essence, you will not find men in bars or clubs or even at the gym. Real men have jobs. Those places are where the boys play. Be patient my Long Skirt Woman and spend your time making your life better. He will come…just not on the first date. 🙂

The End

 

I Have Arrived (for now)

There is a concept that most adults live under that pressures them to be more and to do more. Heck, my first word was actually “more” as a baby. It is the heart of capitalism in some ways. Yet, the feeling of “making it” behooves us as we strive and strive for triumph and glory. Or at least to have a big house, a nice car and some accolades to go along with it all.

The first time I thought I arrived was when I moved to Santa Barbara. I lived on Del Playa and I could see like 10 inches of ocean from my tiny kitchen window. I was so happy. But my happiness lessened as I learned how hard it was to struggle to get by as a young adult and I began to feel my feeling of arrival may be premature.

When I bought my first house I thought this is it! It was very small; one bedroom and one bathroom on a corner lot with a 1/4 acre of land. I lived there happily with my eight cats and myself until I was completely broke. I seemed to survive without that house and I concluded once again…I had not arrived.

Oh but my Master’s degree. That was the ticket and I treasured this wonderful piece of paper until I found out there were too many applicants in my field and it would be highly unlikely I would get a job where I was living at the time. I spent $60,000 to arrive and I learned if I am spending money to arrive that it is doubtful I will find that to be enough. Yet, I went on.

Then… Steve, Corey and I became US Diplomats and we lived overseas. This was in the advent of Facebook and I was more than proud of posting my diplomatic status as I moved with ease through the airports and customs lines while visiting embassies feeling part of the community. But it did not take long for me to realize my reasons for wanting to be a Diplomat were simply vain. I wanted to look cool. But I did not nothing to gain this status except marry a doctor. Once again I walked away disheartened. Actually I flew away that time since we were in Africa.

Now people can say that they do not give a poop about what people think. I have said it. But it simply is not true. We do care. We do compare and we do contrast and most of are still on a learning curve towards that “arrival” moment. However, if you look deeply inside you may find that “arriving” is only a social construction of reality we all agreed upon to make us miserable and insecure.

But I still continue on my search and now I know I have “arrived.” There was something I always wanted but never could afford. I did not pay for this it came with the house. But the most heavenly invention in the world has entered my life and I don’t think I need anything else to fulfill my idea of “arriving.”. What is it you ask? Well its beautiful and cold. It relieves me when I need it and it is always there at my beck and call. We share a bond of unconditional love that no ther mortal nad inanimate object could ever share. I see it smile at me when I walk in the room. And I will stay with it in sickness and health to death do us part.

I have finally arrived because I am now the owner of an ice machine attached to my refrigerator. And it has crushed ice and water, too! Love never tasted so good!

It is not the simple things that makes us happy. That is bull. But it can be the simple things at times. We live in a society that is always asking more. But today I am going to sit down and drink my ice water and relish in the beauty of the day. I might do it the next day as well. You know where to find me. The place where I have arrived (for now). 0505161355

 

 

 

For Jason

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You ask me if there were any happy times in my life and I struggle to answer. The truth is I have had many intermittent happy times throughout my whole life. Happiness is not a rite of passage onto this earth. It ebbs and it flows. It is not “the end all be all” for me.

Happiness comes to me through my relationships; memories that flash through my head like snapshots of which I am able to feel over and over no matter how much time has passed.

You know what I loved? I loved playing cops and robbers at Russ’s house with you and Shelley and Justin. I loved decorating you up like a Christmas tree when we lived in Santa Barbara. I loved hearing “I just called to say I love you,” by Stevie Wonder as Dad walked into the living room, I walked down the stairs and you walked in the door. We all sang in harmony and not a time passes that when I hear that song do I not I relive that joyful time.

I know you say you and I are are always overcoming things instead of getting ahead. If that is so, so be it. I do not question life anymore. I just try my best to live life on life’s terms. I never say “why me” because between the pain I have received handfuls of miracles.

I feel very blessed that we are so close. That we do not even have to speak to know what the other is thinking. We are a team and I love you more than anything on this earth. You make me happy. Paige makes me happy. Bailey makes me happy. Jenny makes me happy and so  on and so on.

We are not defined by critical moments although I choose to share about them now. We are defined by the love we experience. I remember one time I asked you how to keep love in my life. “You accept the love you are given and you give it back.” You replied without a hitch. I was twenty one at the time and I realized at that moment I was not able to accept love. A year later I met my first husband. You helped me evolve so I could be a person that accepts love. YOU DID THAT.

There is so much freedom in humility and one of the biggest rewards is happiness. I have the humility today to share my darkest secrets because I am strong and I am humble. Hiding who I am is never going to be my style no matter how many feathers I ruffle. I will go on being honest, choosing integrity and participating with love and by doing this happiness is always manifested.

You are my memory. That makes me happy. Don’t worry if I felt pain. Pain is part of the picture for growth to develop. Does it make me stronger? I am strong anyway. But love and happiness makes life feel amazing. And I treasure those moments.

And with that said…we are in this together all the way through and that makes me happy because I could not ask for anyone more unique and beautiful as you.