God is Orange

orange chair

I threw myself into alcohol oblivion while going to different bars hoping no one would recognize me from other bars in town. I was living with my best friend’s mom and she was nice enough to take me in and help me detox and provide much love that I desperately needed. She was a Eucharistic Minister that attended church everyday who was serving God by helping me. And it felt wonderful to be around someone who was not toxic but only held great concern for me.

It was the next day at her house that the truth about my alcoholism became utterly apparent. And one would think  that after the detox, the shakes, the sounds, the voices,the chills, sleepless nights and countless cigarettes that I would never dare touch the stuff again. But it didn’t take long for me to relapse and I started right where I left off; wanting to die.

I knew of one place I could go to get help but I thought I was better than those women. They were criminals and prostitutes with their kids taken away. I could not get help with this sort of foul-natured types. I was from Thousand Oaks. I was upper middle class and I was not about to go.

Jose, a busboy from work confronted me one day. “I saw you running in your car today.””Running?” I thought to myself. I had no clue what he was talking about. “I spoke to the Holy Spirit today and he said you are not one the right path. That God has other plans for you.” This was not what I wanted to hear.

Yet he was right, entries from my journal begged for death from this torturous life I was living. I could not see any way out. It was just a matter of time before I would end it.

A few nights later, I dreamed that I walked into “The House of Hope.” This was the place where the criminals roamed and the prostitutes taunted. But I walked in and the entire room was decorated with orange furniture with barely any room to actually move.

A woman asked, ” What do you want?” I answered in a soft voice that I was looking for the House of Hope. “You got insurance?” she asked. “No, I will go.” I said. “Now wait a minute I will be right back.”She shuffled through the orange furniture until she found her way out. All I could hear as she walked off was something extremely foreign to my ears.

When she left I noticed a radio. But what played from it seemed unfamiliar. It was like a thousand angels singing at once. Music so beautiful, I became mesmerized and I completely forgot the orange room with the firm lady and why I was even there in the first place. It was the loveliest sound I had ever heard in all of my life. No instruments, only acapella. And voices sung from the end of time out of the speakers of this old rusty radio that radiated the unconditional love that we all search for.

Then I woke up.

I could not shake this orange room dream. It was like no other. And for the next few nights when I woke up I felt like someone was holding me in my bed. But I was alone. Things were not making sense.

My best friend’s mom became aware I had relapsed. The feeling in the house grew cold.When I fist moved in all doors were open throughout the house and now they were closed. I was making the mom sick with stress. No one wants an active alcoholic in their home. Yet I had nowhere to go.

She finally confronted me one morning after I had a night where I blacked out and made a terrible mess in her home. I did not deny anything. But I was not about to go through withdrawals again without  being under the care of a doctor.

I was  accepted in the hospital and I shook and I sweat and I was scared and I was ashamed. The doctor gave me some Valium but when I went to sleep I dreamed of some snake man pushing me into a smelly swamp of serpents. “Is this where you want to be?” The Snake Man screamed. “Is this what you want?”

I actually woke up and I was sure that the doctor had given me LSD. But this was good old fashioned delirium tremens. Like many before me, I was experiencing hell on earth.

When I was finally released from the hospital I was pretty ecstatic. I had no cravings for alcohol and I was willing to do what it takes. I told my best friend’s mom that I was not going to call the House of Hope, I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I just want to see if it is orange.

Down into the barrio I went. The streets of San Pedro shared great violence among its residents. But I had nowhere to go. And as I pulled up in front of this halfway house/rehab I could not help but notice two of the brightest orange chairs sitting outside the gate waiting as if to say hello. ORANGE. No doubt about it. Flawless beautiful orange.

And I was home.

 

The Truth and Nothing But The Truth

In the mornings, looking over the Ventura sunrise, I began to show up at the grocery store to buy liters of gross white wine.I was thirty years old, I had very little money at that point  but I tru…

Source: The Truth and Nothing But The Truth

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

 

 

 

The Days of No Return

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After my father died, I went a little crazy. Actually, a lot crazy. If anyone has lost a parent especially the parent that raised you, then you will know the great pain and strange grief that unfolds after the parent’s death.

First of all, I was starting to get suicide ideation back. I could not stop picturing myself with a gun in my mouth blowing off my head. That started 4 months after he died. I finally went to an urgent care where I was introduced to antidepressants via sample packs. I did not understand at the time I needed to take the same amount every day so I would take 10mg one day, 100 mg the next and then maybe 25mg the following days. Nothing in my life was in order.

My first husband and I bought a house with some of my inheritance money. It was a small house that was perfect for he and I and our six cats. It was our little home and he worked hard to make it nice.

My first husband was not aware that I had started drinking up 15 drinks a day. I had been since I took care of my dad in hospice at my home. My ability to care about anything was completely lost. Therefore, when I was mixing my Zoloft with 15 drinks of alcohol a day and smoking pot, my decision-making was based on anything that would keep me numb.

The summer of 2000, my ex husband and I had gone to Italy for a wedding. When I returned from Italy…it was on!  Dinner parties at my house  became common. Drinks and laughter and mania continued and I really thought I was happy.

But this is when my hands began to shake. I had gone to enough AA meetings with my father to know that this was not good. But I could not stop. Alcohol was taking over my life. Eventually, after taking mushrooms and talking to some close friends, I came home and asked for a divorce. He was stunned. I was cookoo.

Immediately, after he left I called the guy I had been in love with over the course of my entire time spent with my ex husband. The guy had a girlfriend but for some reason I decided that he was my property and I had dibs. Not two days after we went out did he declare that he loved me. I wasn’t ready for a new relationship but who cares, right?

This guy could always read right through me and I had never had anyone so smitten over me at the time. Although, it is important to mention that this guy was an excessive alcoholic who could be compared to Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas. But I had crossed a line that many other alcoholic people cross. The point of no return.

We stayed together for one year and half and he was extremely abusive. But I was not innocent either. Plus, he continued to see his ex girlfriend behind my back. And I unbelievably thought I was being wronged by her when I was the one who stole her boyfriend in the first place!

There were times the police came because we fought so loud. And TV’s were thrown out onto the lawn. My little house became a breeding ground of wild abandon with pot smoking, drinking, cigarettes and total delirium.

I was about to leave him when he came home one night to say he had cancer. I was far too loyal to leave anybody in that position so I waited.

Things got worse. I crashed my car, I maxed out all my credit cards and decided I did not need to pay my taxes. The promises of payments to some creditors for my ex husband and I became greater debts unbeknownst to him. And I lived in awful fear of doom and gloom where the mailbox was not my friend and I could no longer answer my phone. They turned off cable, the trash stopped and I could no longer make long distance calls. I could not see how far of a hole I was digging but the bottom was still far away.

In the end, I made a decision to move back to California where there was no greeting party waiting for me. I had lost my friends and I was not prepared for the trouble that awaited me.

Still…it went on until one day.

 

 

 

Sky Miles

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I think I have a problem. I thought I overcame it but I started to do it again.

I move. I move a lot. I have moved a lot. I have moved more than anyone could ever believe.

Here is my List:

1972-1977 Keats Ave, Thousand Oaks

1977-1977 Sidney Ave, Thousand Oaks

1977-1990- Shadow Lake Drive, Thousand Oaks

Summer of 1990  Wildwood area

1990-1995 Santa Barbara (great times)

(three or four moves in SB)

(1993in between small moves to San Jose, Berkely and Westlake)

1995-2002 Portland, Oregon

(in between moved 4 homes)

2002- 2002 – Ventura, CA

2002-2003-San Pedro

2003-2004 Redondo Beach

(small move to Seaside, CA)

2004-2004 Aptos, Ca

2004-2004 Atherton, Ca- Stayed one month and then I moved within 24 hours after my 48 year old Turkish boyfriend said I needed to iron his shirts and “watch” the cookies.

2004-2005 Lake Oswego, Oregon

2005-2007 NW Portland with Steve

2007-2010 SW Portland with Steve

2010- 2011 Washington DC

2011-2011 Ghana, Africa

2011-2011 Omaha, NE

2011-2012 Cody WY

2012-2016 Billings Montana

Therefore when we were offered a job in Germany, I didn’t want move. But the lure of moving to Europe engulfed all my rational thinking.

But we waited snd waited and were even given plane tickets. They took our stuff, we surrendered a car, bought European phones, sent our most prescious values to the APO address they have us. And after 70 days post contract signed, they eliminated the job. We were screwed.

2016-In three days we move to Missoula, MT. We got a lease to own. 4 acres, 3200 sq ft overlooking a beautiful valley.

Final thought: I am tired of moving. That is all.moving