Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Truth

prayer2I wanted to share with you a something I wrote weeks before I got clean, not because I think it is so great, but because it sums up perfectly the sense of desperation I experienced in my “before” life. I am so glad that I have written things like this, so that when I grow forgetful, as I tend to, there are reminders everywhere to help me see the light. I think it is remarkable that I am where I am, again, intact, thriving, happy. I am not proud of the things I admit to here, but they are the truth for me- or were. I can’t help but think my prayers were answered. I hope these words find the people who need them most, so that they know they are not alone, and that there is ALWAYS hope. Enjoy:

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Today, just a little bit ago, I was coding a chart for the cancer clinic (I am a medical coder, and I work from home 90% of the time) for this man less than ten years older than my mom. This poor guy- he has cancer everywhere. His throat, his bones, his lungs, his liver…it isn’t good. I don’t need to be a medical professional to know that. When I finished with his coding, I stopped, bowed my head, and said a little prayer for him. This is not at all out of the ordinary for me, honestly. Even when I am in the office, if something I see in a patients chart is particularly awful or scary or sad and overwhelming, I will do the work, then pray, and no one is any the wiser. I just feel like it’s what I want to do, they need it, and it certainly can’t hurt anyone, right?

Today, my prayer for this man was simple- Dear God, please take note of this man, he is very sick, and he is probably very scared, he may feel a little hopeless, I don’t know, I don’t know him. But if I were him, I may just feel like there is nothing good left for me, in my fear. Maybe he is not a nice man, and people don’t care about him. Maybe he is a great man, with great faith, and many people love him and have had their lives touched by him. Either way, lord, he is your child and you love him- please put your hand on him today and let something good come into his life, give him hope, or peace.” That is as close to exact as I can get you with my prayers, especially since, I don’t know about you ( how you pray, or even if you pray at all, let alone for random strangers) but my prayers aren’t spoken aloud, they are thought and felt as much as they are spoken telepathically, only inside of my head. So there is quite a bit going on along with the words. At the end of this prayer, though, rather than stop, my prayer pulled a fast one on me, changing direction. Here is the rest:

“Oh yeah, and while you are putting your hand on people, how about reaching out to me, God? I am not doing so well, over here. I realize I have every single thing I need to have a happy, good life, but I need help, God. I need you to pull me out of this sickness causing me to lay waste to every happiness in my control. It isn’t just me, God, I am affecting so many other people, ruining their happiness, changing their lives…my babies, my girls, God. I never want to hurt them, and I can’t stop. Time is going by so fast, and I feel like I am just stuck here. Please help me, God. Please, please do something. Get me out of this. Every single thing I am doing is wrong.”

As I was finishing this prayer, crying like a little scared girl, looking around for a paper towel to mop up my entire head with, the writing thoughts started up. I was annoyed for a second, because I can’t seem to have a meltdown of any caliber anymore without the thought of taking it down “for the book” popping into my head.

Then it hit me. Here I am, sobbing, asking God, PLEASE, for a hand, for help, for a way out…and the answer is always, Writing. Write it down. Put it on paper. Don’t let it slip away, don’t waste it, don’t think you are getting out of this without using it- what do you think you are here for, anyway? You have a problem, a really BIG problem, and you can write about it the way you can talk- so that anyone can relate to you. This is not an accident. If you don’t make this problem a light that you can shine into the lives and hearts of people just like you, or people who love people just like you and cannot understand…well, then what will have been the purpose of all these years? All this heartache? Don’t waste it.

That is, I think, what I am being told, here.

I really haven’t wanted to listen. I wanted to tell this story when I was well, rather than in the midst of the worst, sickest part. It would be an easier story to tell from there, and easier to hear. But maybe I can’t help anyone well, not yet. Maybe you need to see the whole picture, this feeble, frightened woman who still feels like a little girl most of the time, a girl who hates herself- loathes herself, pretty much, for what feels like weakness. Weakness, selfishness, greed, compulsion, darkness. All of those things are present. Callousness, cruelty, rage, impatience. Side effects. Mercurial, unpredictable, inconsistent, confusing- all accurate. Sad, broken, desperate, scared, helpless, despairing. Yes. Completely fucking out of ideas, frozen in place, terrified to ask for help? Oh yes, all of those, also. And in quiet terror, I watch the years fly by, and me, still here, missing all of the things that make up a life. Here, but not here. Present, but detached, missing all of the happiness and tenderness, forfeited to the tyranny of my mental illness or whatever it is, turning every thought into one about me- “ do you think anyone is noticing me acting weird? Am I acting weird?” “Why is she talking to ME like that, I’m fucking here, aren’t I? why are they singling me out?” “No matter what I do, it isn’t good enough.” “Oh my gosh, when can I get out of here, I need to figure out where I can do this at.” Every thought in my head, obsessing over myself. Rushing through birthday parties, ruining Thanksgiving, never letting anyone see me for long enough to talk too seriously, keeping my kids from ever relaxing or getting to know their aunts, uncles, cousins. But, you know, they have their whole lives…I mean, plenty of time, right? I’ll be better way before it even matters. Right?

But I haven’t been better. And now Aisley is sixteen. Do you know what that means? That means I waited her whole life, her entire childhood, hoping something would change, and I would get better. I stole every single chance for normal memories of her childhood, memories that even I have, in my screwed up childhood. Memories that I CHERISH. I love my daughter more than anything, but I could not refuse myself, even briefly, to give this to her. There is something so brutal and awful about that. No wonder I despise myself.

I am in a battle for my life every minute of every day. You may not know it by looking at me. I have mastered, or at least become skilled at, putting my best face forward for you. I will smile and look you in the eye, and try really hard to keep my word, show up on time, be fair and honest and decent, because that is who I want to be, and the way I want you to think of me.

I don’t want you to know that I have been a drug addict since I was nineteen years old. That I have seen and done and known about things that would horrify the average person, but don’t even surprise me anymore. I would die if you knew how unhealthy the way I live, the way I treat myself, is. I would be so embarrassed if you saw how I behaved, sometimes, towards my children, or my mother, who have done nothing but love me. I would be so ashamed if you knew how poorly I treat my job, that gives me every tool imaginable to live a prosperous life. I would be mortified if the people I work with, my friends and respected peers that have shown me such kindness, so much love and support, knew the truth. I don’t want anyone to know the real me. And it is making it so hard to ask for help, that I don’t know when all this will end. I live in constant fear of being found out, and what the repercussions of that would be. I am terrified of that, but finding the courage to get help seems almost less possible to me most of the time. The rest of the time, I am just continuing on, not improving or worsening, steady in my pursuit of…nothing. More of this. More misery and emptiness and shame.

 

I guess I need to tell this story. I don’t want you to know me this way, but you are going to have to, if I am ever going to get better. And I HAVE to get better, I HAVE to. I can’t bear thinking of what my regrets will look like if I have to look back at my whole life, and see nothing but me standing in a wasteland, refusing light years of love being handed out on a silver platter. What a fool. What a sad, terrible fool. Please, God, please let this help. Let this be the start of a tunnel out of here.

Thank you.

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A New Phase

 

 

For some odd reason, I had it in my head that phases are something we go through early in life, then we grow up, and we become these solid, stable, unchanging, humans. It’s kind of unfortunate, and has caused me all kinds of unnecessary grief, that I am only now realizing the truth- that change truly is the one constant in our lives, and phases are a natural, healthy part of that. You see, I thought I was some kind of failure for my sense of unrest, my need to do something else, be different, want more. I guess I thought this was a symptom of unhappiness of something.

As I wrote in my last post, the realization dawned on me, recently, that, for me, not only is this desire natural, but it is a survival instinct. When I am still for too long, when I am bored, and not reaching for the next thing, I am in danger of self destruction. Now, I am not saying that a little stability is a bad thing, don’t get me wrong. I have had the same job for almost seven years now, have lived in this house for nearly three, and in this area most of my life- I do think it’s important to have long term friendships and ties to things. Especially if you have children, I suppose (although we moved like crazy and I liked the adventure, personally). But within that stability, if you have it or want it, it is totally normal to experience, and hopefully embrace, change. It is okay to go through new phases all your life. As long as you aren’t shaving your head and joining weird cults every six months, hey! Live your life.

I have been through a whole lot of change over the past few months. I think I was stuck in quite a dangerous rut for more years than I want to think about, and then, when I finally got the balls to open up the door to my prison cell and walk out, all sorts of things happened. I went into this manic-joyful phase that was wonderful to experience, and clearly a joy to behold ( per my friends), but it sure was a bummer to find it flickering out so soon…

The good news is, it didn’t completely disappear- which is to say, I didn’t wind up back down in the dregs of the rut I had been in, thank goodness. I found myself in a phase of just wanting to fill up my life with as much fun and good times, good friends, as much living, as I could. So I did this for a while, too. I ate out a lot, and did so many awesome things, and it was great. It was also totally exhausting.

So, after sleeping away two entire weekend days, I find myself here. This new phase looks to be very useful indeed. I think I will call it my “fine tuning” phase…you see, without me even realizing it, the last few phases I mentioned above were all extremely telling. They left me with some really important knowledge- what I know for sure I do not want, how I want to feel, and what makes me feel alive. I learned that I must have balance, above all things, to sustain happiness, and that too much of a good thing is definitely not such a good thing for me.

Going forward, I have a tentative plan- I will continue to meditate daily, and walk my dog, because these things unfailingly make my day better. I will try to be as faithful with prayer, because it fits, although I don’t always remember. I will continue to strive towards order and neatness in my home, no matter that it feels like I am fighting a losing battle- it makes me feel better when the dishes are done. I will continue to work on this blog, even if I just can’t spend a lot of time reading everyone else’s blog, and I never ever build a gigantic following. That’s not really why I do this, anyway (although it would be nice, I am not going to pretend otherwise). And I will work on my new book every morning, until it is done.

I will keep spending time with my friends, and planning things that sound like fun, and I will continue to nurture new friendships along the way. But I will always leave time for myself in there, plenty of it, and time for my children, because these are the most important hours of all for me- unscheduled, empty hours, we can fill with whatever we want. I will work on balance. I will lay the next stepping stone in the path…and eventually. I will get to that place I am seeing in my mind. I intend, however, to enjoy every inch of the journey.

Have a wonderful day.

More Normal Than Normal

 

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It’s been a while since I have written- you may or may not have noticed this. There is a good chance that I find myself more important than you do…it works this way, sometimes. I have set my timer for thirty minutes, and taken an oath to go clean my disaster of a bedroom- thoroughly, for once- as I suspect this may be the root of my current trouble. My current trouble, in case you are wondering, seems to be a total lack of interest in…being awake, pretty much.

I would say I may be teetering on the edge of depression, if it were more consistent. There’s a chance that I am just worn out, and tired of my slobbish ways, and frustrated with myself for showing little improvement in this one area of my life. It gets super old, never knowing where the hell anything is, losing your keys and your sunglasses, your shoes, and entire ensembles in the abyss of your bedroom. I am a little afraid of what this says about me, as a person, this inability to clean up my act…in this one way. But the thing is, get me out of here, this crappy little house, and I am fine. At least this cloud of dust and disarray doesn’t follow me out into the world.

I am trying to go easy on myself. In the past two months, I have laid to rest some serious shit that I have carried around with me for WAY too long. The burden of addiction (the drug one, anyway) is no longer mine to carry, for now. That broken relationship that kept me stuck for many years, I set that free, too. So why, then, can I not sustain that perfect, blissful happiness that was mine all these previous weeks?

I think the simple answer is this: that is just not a sustainable feeling, over the long term. I am a human being, and as such, I can grow used to ANY feeling- happiness, sickness, sadness, anger. I can carry any of those around with me, and eventually, not notice that I am carrying them at all anymore. It’s as unfortunate on the bad side as it is on the good- I mean, don’t you think? As miserable as I was as an active drug addict, much of my time was not spent in awareness of this misery. It just was. So, in the same way, nothing here has really changed- I have just adjusted to this new gift of beautiful, blessed freedom. It feels normal to me already.

This is why, as humans, we must continually set the bar a little higher, find new aims, new adventures, new hopes and new aspirations, when we get somewhere we have been trying to go. It is okay to revel in it for a while, but for me, at least, I need to continue striving for the next big thing. For me, as a person with addiction issues, I think it is especially important not to stagnate, not to rest on my laurels, not to stop searching for the next thing that takes my breath away.

Addicts are a funny bunch. It occurred to me, while driving home this afternoon, that maybe drug addiction is a lazy way of being different…think about it, before you immediately dismiss the whole idea. Most of the people I know who are in recovery, and same for the ones who are not in recovery in ANY sense of the word, do not suffer from lack of intelligence. They are a smart bunch of people with a rebellious streak a mile wide, nine times out of ten. Nonconformists. Different, weird, odd…on and on. 

Now, bear with me, because I haven’t thought about this long enough to really present my argument in the most persuasive light…but can you see where I am coming from? If you KNOW you are different, and you know it at an early enough age to have spent years, already, being bothered by it by the time alcohol, or drugs of any sort, come into the picture…but before you have a chance to grow up enough to know that maybe there is a better outlet for your wackiness…wouldn’t the drug culture seem like a perfect fit? Wouldn’t it seem like a relief to find your home among the weirdo’s?

Wow. I just found myself getting a little choked up while writing this, and I will tell you why. I have nearly normaled myself to death over the past few weeks, people. I had my mom here last weekend, and spent a lot of time with her, and a lot of time with my various friends, and I did a lot of “normal” stuff, and I am still recovering from all of it. The pointed truth is this- I am different. I have always been different. And it is hard on me to be anyone else, although I certainly do try. I had a dinner party at my house that just about did me in…because it is so incredibly stressful for me. It never goes the way I picture it in my head. The house is never clean enough, and I am never cheerful enough, and it always ends with me wishing I had gotten it right.

I am who I am, only now it is without the excuse of any substance. This is just me, trying to figure out how I can become more like the person I imagine myself to be in my head. Maybe the secret to that is that I can’t. Maybe I need to accept that there are actually some limitations to what I can accomplish, right now, from this spot. Perhaps next week the possibility will reveal itself to me. I don’t know. But, in case you are wondering, there is no part of me that would trade even this unpleasantness (that really isn’t all that unpleasant at all) for the oblivion I once sought daily. No way.

And with that, I must go. I have a room to clean.

Bad Dreams

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Occasionally, over the past few months, and every night, for the past few nights, I have been having terrible dreams. They are all slightly different versions of the same dream, actually…if you are a mother, I would be willing to bet you have had them yourself. In this dream, my youngest daughter has gone missing. She is gone without a trace. I am searching for her frantically, and no one seems to be nearly as concerned as they should be. I find myself unable to trust anyone because no one has any idea what has happened to her, so it could be anyone. Not last night, but the night before, the last part of the dream consisted of me sitting in a car with her father. I looked at him, in so much emotional pain that I could barely remain in my skin, and I asked him “do you think she is still alive?”. I woke up before he could answer me.

The weird thing about this dream is that, usually, we find her again. It is always three days that she is missing, and when she shows up, she can’t tell us anything about where she has been or who she has been with. Last night, when I tried to question her about who had taken her, she just fell apart crying, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask anything more. Also odd is that, despite my relief at having her back, those three days that I lose are maddening for me. I cannot bear not knowing what happened to my child. The dreams are very disturbing and awful. I have no idea why I am having them, or what I can do.

Camryn is a whirlwind of a child. She has more energy coursing through her than three average three year olds put together. Spending long periods of time with her can be…challenging, to say the least. She is never quiet. She is never still. She is ALWAYS getting into things she shouldn’t be,  “experimenting” with my favorite earrings, pouring milk in her kaleidoscope, decorating my books with her drawings. When I scold her, she asks me “Do you still love me, mommy?” and I tell her that there is NOTHING she could do that would ever make me stop loving her. There is nothing.

Her mind is as busy as her body. She has hundreds of questions, every hour of every day, ranging from “Do rhino’s get lonely?”  to “why do people speak Spanish?” to “Why does that lady have a little girl, too?”. I don’t always have answers for her. But sometimes, I don’t WANT to answer her. To be honest with you, sometimes, I just want her to stop bugging me. I have a lot going on in my head, too, and it’s hard when you can’t sort anything out because your kid NEVER STOPS TALKING. EVER.

I am impatient. I am snippy and short and sometimes meaner than I ought to be, especially when I have too much to deal with at once, or I have been too long between stretches of quiet. I forget to play, sometimes, and I definitely forget that, when it comes down to it, I am dealing with a beautiful, perfect, happy, wonder of a child. A child who says “This water feels WONDERFUL.” When she is in the bath, and asks me “Wanna snugga bugga?” (cuddle) when she crawls in bed with me. The same kid who painted all my spare change with nail polish is also the kid who won’t let me say a harsh word against her sister, thinks her dad and I are “so beautiful” and asks for a hug when she gets in trouble. 

Maybe these dreams are supposed to remind me to be infinitely grateful for my perfect, healthy, gorgeous children. Because I tell you what- when I wake up, night after night having these dreams, the first thing I do is reach for that little girl. I hug her and kiss her little arms, and I am still terrified, but I am so relieved. And every day, I try to remember to be better. I don’t always succeed, that’s for sure. But I do try. Today I am going to try even harder. Because I love that girl. Both of my girls. And also, I need to get some damn sleep.

Sober Thoughts

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I’ve had a wonderful few days…a wonderful past month, actually. I’ve had so much fun, done so many things, but most importantly of all, I have stayed off drugs and pretty much changed the course of my entire life. No big deal, hahaha. Seriously, though, things were headed in a really bad direction, and it took a massive effort to turn that ship around before it hit the iceberg. Funny thing, though- once it started turning, it took on a life of it’s own, and sort of took off towards better things.

Now, I find myself in a quandary. One of my main rules, this time around, were that I would follow my OWN rules- not the rules of any other person or organization. What I really meant by this was that I was not going to go to NA meetings, and I was going to drink if I wanted to, and not feel shitty about it. I have done this with total success. Sort of. I mean, I have had a few beers, several glasses of wine, and even a mixed drink, once, and this has been fine. That isn’t the issue I am having at all.

My issue is this: I really want to help people. I really want to take all of this experience I have, and all of the things I have learned, and offer it to other women who are new in recovery. Which is a hard thing to do when you aren’t actually IN recovery. I am not naive enough to think that just because this way works for me, it will work for everyone else. I honestly don’t think that one way could ever work for everyone else- hence, the issues I have with NA and AA. However, I do believe that the rules they have chosen to follow (alcohol is a drug, period) are the safest ones. Maybe some people can drink, but a lot of people can’t and shouldn’t, and it’s just better to be safe than sorry. Even if alcohol never becomes a problem, it certainly does lower ones inhibitions and defenses, and can lead to bigger, worse things. I am not disputing that, not at all.

I am also not the kind of person who will pretend to be something I am not. I will not go to meetings, do the whole deal, get to a point where I am able to sponsor other women, and be drinking on the sly the whole while. That is just not me. Trust is not something to be toyed with. Especially in a situation as delicate and important as someone’s sobriety is. It is literally life or death, sometimes. I could never be casual about something like that.

So what do I do? Find another way to help women like me? To be honest with you, I can’t think of any better way. Meetings are the place where I could be the most vital help. Right now I simply don’t think I am willing to give up the life I have right now. And that sort of bums me out. Is drinking really that important to me? No, I don’t think it is. I really don’t even drink often, and when I do, it is never much at all…I don’t think that’s it. I think that it is the utter freedom I have right now, to make whatever decision I want to, at any time I wish. I don’t have this whole set of “suggestions” in the back of my head to guide me, and I don’t need them.

It’s not that important to me, but it’s not something I am ready to give up, either. It is something I am thinking about. I’m thinking really hard about it. Because maybe it’s not about me, and what I want to do. Maybe it’s about the needs of others, and it’s a small sacrifice I can make of myself so that I can be there to help. I haven’t decided yet, but I will let you know when I do. 

Have a wonderful day. 

 

The Dreaded “Good Morning” Text

 

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I would like to dedicate this post to my good friend from High School, who first brought this to my attention…you know who you are.

I have been single for a few months now, having just recently stopped licking the wounds from a very long, very turbulent, very damaging relationship- as many of you already know. Very early into my “singledom”, I was so terrified of backsliding (as I have countless times in the past) and running back to my ex, I decided it would be a good idea if I went out with someone new. You know, sort of as an insurance policy of sorts…yes, I see now that this is a bad idea on MANY levels. I have come to understand that I am in NO WAY ready to navigate the treacherous waters of dating, nor do I even want to. But for a minute there, I thought it was a good idea.

I had chatted with this dude on Facebook for quite some time before the actual, final demise of my relationship- going way back into December, I think. My ex and I were very off and on then, and I kept making tentative future plans to meet this guy for coffee, which kept never happening. As is often the case with Facebook, this guy knew a lot of people I knew, so I thought maybe I knew him, too, but even if I didn’t, he was clearly not an ax-murderer, right? RIGHT? Well, probably not, anyway. So, in March, when he asked me to have coffee with him again, I thought, why not?

Here’s the deal…it may have gone fine, if it weren’t for his total over zealousness. The minute I said yes, the barrage of Facebook messages and phone texts ratcheted up to intolerable levels. I got useless, boring conversations that distracted me from whatever I was doing. I got countless, irritating, winking emoticons. I got daily doses of the the dreaded “good morning” texts.

What is the problem?! You may be wondering. Clearly, this dude was interested in you, he just wanted to let you know. Isn’t that what girls want? Sigh…well, yes. And No. See, had we already met for coffee, and found that, indeed, there was a spark there, and we both felt it, those things may very well have been welcome.  But this guy didn’t even know me. At all. And something about those leering, winky emoticons made my skin crawl. I found a suggestiveness in those innocent yellow faced orbs that I never noticed before- I mean, what the hell was he getting at, anyway? Why all the winking?

Then came the morning, six thirty, tops, when I heard my phone buzz across the room, and noticed that my entire body tensed. “Gee, wonder who that could be?” I asked myself sarcastically. I grabbed my phone, and sure enough…”Good morning! wink, wink”. FUCK. I sent him a message back describing that I was in no way ready for any of this, that quite frankly, I was a little put off by all the attention, and I just didn’t know if meeting was a good idea. On the following Monday, he asked again, and I said NO. I told him “I am sure you are a really nice guy, but you seem to have a lot on your plate (he is going through a pretty nasty divorce, which he told me ALL about during our one phone conversation), and I am really not interested in complicating my life. I promised myself a long time ago that I would honor my instincts, and I am getting a big old NO in this case. I’m sorry.”

He said “I thought we could meet as friends and see where it goes.”

I said “I think I am being pretty clear that it can’t go ANYWHERE because I am not interested.”

He said “Okay. I’ll call you”

Sigh. Well, I don’t know if he’s called me or not, because the texts kept coming, so I just blocked him. Then I got rid of him on Facebook. Now, I keep getting hang-ups from a “no caller id” number. LOOKS LIKE I MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.

The moral here? Boys, dating a grown woman on the fast track to forty, especially one with kids, is not like dating a childless woman or a woman in her twenties or early thirties, even. We are infinitely more careful. We have usually learned hard lessons in love. To say we are cautious is optimistic of you- I’m more skittish than a mouse in a box with a boa constrictor. Of course, I am not dating, after all. But when I am…please don’t send me the dreaded “good morning” text. Not until you are pretty sure I am into you. 

Thanks.

And for my nominee for the Liebster award today, I have Three Months to Forty, a blog I just discovered about dating…at my age.

I’ve Been Chosen for a Liebster Award!

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You can’t imagine my surprise when I saw my notification last night that I had been nominated! So, first and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to Ashley at Musings & Adventures in living. Then, of course, the anxiety crept in. The first rule- “Tell 11 random facts about yourself”, no problem! I do that regularly in my blogs, anyway. I will get to that in a minute, here. The “Answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you” part is no problem, either. Heck, I love telling people my thoughts about just about anything (hence the blog, duh). It’s the middle part that is giving me a little grief- you see, one of he requirements is to find other bloggers with less than 200 followers and nominate them. Eleven of them, no less.

Confession time…I don’t think I regularly read eleven other bloggers. Even if I did, I have no idea how many followers they have. Furthermore, I have no clue how to find that information. So here’s the deal, I will accept this award, and I will, over the course of my next eleven blogs, give you my nominees. I just can’t do it all at once. I want to be real, here, and not just throw any old names into the hat. So I will be on the hunt for my 11, okay?

Onward and upward! Here are eleven things you may or may not want to know about me:

1) I have a little brother and a little sister. My brother and I share a mother, my sister and I, a “father”. My brother is 8 years younger than me, and we only lived in the same house for about four years. I always joke that I am an only child…and so is he. My sister and I didn’t meet until I was in my mid-thirties. We found each other on Myspace. No, I am not joking.

2) I have two tattoos and one piercing. Not bad for someone who was on drugs for as long as I was!

3) As outgoing and socially comfortable as I am, I absolutely loathe the beginning of new relationship. All the uncertainty is torture for me. Sexual tension makes me want to pull my hair out. I just like to get the ball rolling, or forget it.

4)I had to testify in a murder trial once.

5)I have really bad taste in men. I have had one upstanding boyfriend who I have no regrets about dating, and two who read this blog regularly. They can draw their own conclusions.

6) I hate flying so much that I don’t even want to discuss it anymore. I can’t think about it. Next time I fly,  I will be heavily medicated.

7) I am a terrible liar.

8) I am very vain. Therefore, gaining weight and getting a little older has not been fun for me. I still look pretty good, though, to me. 🙂

9)I have lived in my house for over two years now, and this is a miracle for me. I am a gypsy, totally. I love starting over, somewhere new. This is hard on kids, though, I hear, so I am trying to stay put.

10) I am not a big fan of shopping for long periods of time, unlike my mother and my oldest daughter. Get in, get what you need, get the hell out- that’s my motto.

11) I believe in God, 100%. You may or may not like this. I could care less. Nor do I care what you believe in, nor do I think discussing (ie, arguing about) it is a good idea. To each his own. REALLY.

Okay, check that off the list…Now for the questions from my nominator ( is that even a word?) :

1) Why do you write?

I write because I have to write. I don’t know how not to write. I am composing in my head, letters, conversations, stories, all the time. It is just the way I was assembled. Sometimes I see a word, and a story grows out of it like a little bud out of a the earth. I write because I love  it more than anything. 🙂

2. If you could accomplish only one thing with your blog, what would it be?

Well, of course, the best possible thing I can think of ever coming from this blog would be to catch the eye of a really great agent, who wanted more than anything for me to send my manuscript (yes, I do have one finished, and one half way there, not to mention ideas up the wazoo.) to him/her, and propel me to international, albeit quiet, literary stardom. Of course, just being able to do nothing except write would also be nice. I wouldn’t mind at all being a syndicated columnist, either.  But the truth is, I didn’t start this blog for any of those reasons. I just wanted a place to talk about what was going on with me, and maybe let people know that if they were going through struggles with their kids, or with addiction, or with aging, they totally weren’t alone.

3. If you were given money and a full month to travel, where would you go?

This one is a toss up between renting a winnebago and traveling all over the United States, and hopping on a plane to travel all over Europe. I couldn’t nail down a destination if I tried, there are just SO many places I long to see.

4. What is one thing that you are creating in your life? (art/personally/work-related)

The most important thing I am creating in my life today is Joy. The past years of my life have been soul killing, and I am restoring myself- through meditation, through self- care, through fun and really living. When my stores of joy begin to run low, I need to start working at it a little harder. Change it up every day!

5. Who would you choose to be your mentor, if you had the chance?

The beauty of being a writer who also loves to read ( and I don’t know how you could be one without also being the other, honestly)  is that you are free to be mentored by the most fabulous people in the world, whenever you so choose…other writers! I love Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Lamott, and of course, JK Rowling. How could I not?

6. How has writing influenced changes in your life?

Writing is often a way for me to sort out and organize my thoughts, and so it influences me greatly in that I am able to spot major flaws in my own processes as they are happening…when I am keeping up with myself, that is. A lot of it happens in review, though. Looking back, I’m like “What the hell were you thinking?!” Most of this is around men, of course.

7. If you could meet anyone in history, who would you meet, and why?

I don’t really have an answer to that…Albert Einstein fascinates me.  I wouldn’t mind going back to take Hitler out (like, with a rifle, not to dinner, duh.). But I don’t really think that way. There aren’t a lot of famous people that I dream of meeting, now or in the past. I would love to just live like a week in every era from about 1870 on…I think it would be fascinating to see the way ordinary people lived their daily lives!

8. How you do stay motivated to reach your goals?

This is a funny question, because I am not sure I have actually ever done that- met a goal- before. I have written things down, and then looked back and found that these things have actually happened. Well, I was just sipping my coffee, mulling this over, and it occurred to me that I have, in fact, met some pretty major goals…the way I stay motivated is by breaking it all down into small, manageable tasks. Also, money motivates me, lets be honest…but fun is the biggest deal breaker. If I am enjoying myself, the rest is easy.

9. Where would you like to live?

The best answer for this question is EVERYWHERE.  I love where I live now. I need to be near water, I don’t know why. It doesn’t have to be the ocean- a river or a lake is okay, although a river over a lake. I like moving water best. But I have the ability to be happy just about anywhere, honestly. I like new things. I like adventure.

10. Who is your greatest inspiration?

My greatest inspiration so far has been heartache, renewal, and rejoicing over having risen from the ashes. My greatest inspiration is whatever is on my heart from moment to moment.

11. If you could give a group of people advice, what would it be?

The best advice I can ever give someone is TRUST YOUR GUT. You know more than you ever imagined!

And with that, I will give you my first nominee, who I love and have no idea how many followers he has or even if he already has one of these bad boys. His name is Benny, and his blog My Ideal Woman, is one of my favorite, and one of the first I ever followed.

Here are your questions, Nominee:

1) What were you hoping to get out of having a blog, and have your expectations been met, fallen short, or been exceeded?

2) What are your writing goals, if any?

3) What would a perfect day be like for you?

4) If you found out you had one year to live, what would you change about your life?

5) Why aren’t you doing that now?

6) Do you have a favorite time of day to write, a favorite place?

7) Do you love the distinct smell of a library, and a bookstore, do you know the difference…or am I just a weirdo?

8) Do you feel largely misunderstood by the majority of your non-writing friends, and does this sort of bum you out?

9) What was the hardest thing you have ever been through, and what did you learn from it?

10) What do you find to be the best part of being not as young as you once were? What do you look forward to about growing older?

11) This one is a biggy! Are you afraid of dying? What do you believe happens after death? I’m just curious.

Thank you again for selecting me! I look forward to finding ten more bloggers to nominate!