Posted in adventure, advice, anxiety, Goals, happiness, inner peace, Life, meditation, Mental Health, Musings, People, spirituality, women

Gentle

gentle
From The Desiderata

Gentle is my word for today. I will try to be gentle.

Not only with others, but most of all, with myself. I am my own worst critic, always thinking back to some awful thing I did in the past, or worrying about things that I might do wrong down the road, rarely able to give myself any credit for the beautiful life I have provided for myself, here and now. I am forever berating myself for almost every little thing I do- and even when I do it right, I could have done it better.

So today, I am practicing being gentle with myself. Every time my mind starts galloping off into the future or flailing away uselessly at the past, I am gently bringing it back, to right here, right now. This morning, I was morbidly imagining myself with some life-threatening illness, worrying about how my children would fare if I should die. I had to pull myself back- Courtney, you are not dying in a hospital bed. You are standing at your sink, washing your daughter’s water canteen, absolutely healthy. You are fine. You are fine.

Yesterday, while I was meditating, I was having trouble with the sheer volume of my thoughts. There were so many things my anxious brain needed me to acknowledge right NOW. All of the sudden, I had this immense compassion for myself. An image popped into my mind, unbidden, of big me holding little Courtney in her arms. I ran my hands down 7-year-old-me’s back, and could feel the little knobs of my spine, the little angel wings of my shoulder blades sticking out. I told myself “it’s okay. Shhh…it’s okay.”. I don’t know where that image arose from, but it was powerful. The little girl in me needed that hug, that acknowledgement so badly. I may be a grown woman now, but that child is still in there, somewhere. And if it is hard to be gentle with me, perhaps I won’t struggle so much being gentle with her.

Here’s the thing- I want to fully inhabit my life. I do not have a desire to be bound by all the rules and dogma that I have either grown up with or invited in myself over the years. I want to be free. And all of this is brand new to me- it’s like I woke up two weeks ago and started questioning every single thing I believed to be true. I am starting at zero, trying to figure out who I am, really, and how I want to show up in the world going forward.

And the very first gift I choose to give myself today is this- be gentle. Be gentle with yourself, and with those around you. Let other people have their thoughts and feelings and perspectives, and choose to walk around them- let things be. Just like I told little me in that meditation yesterday…Shh…it’s okay. Everything is okay.

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Posted in Blogging, fun, Goals, Life, mindfulness, Musings, People, random

A New Week

mondays

I’m one of maybe five people in the Universe who actually like Mondays. I know it’s weird, and I’ve accepted that I’m in the minority, but listen…who doesn’t like a fresh start?

Last week is OVER. Whatever you did wrong, wherever you fell short, that is in the past already. You have a brand new chance to get it right this week. Mondays are ripe with possibility, a shiny, unmarred week where everything can go totally right.

I was a little off my game in some areas last week- to be honest with you, there are areas of my life that I haven’t been tending to very well at all. This week, my intention is to change that, to get back into my happy little groove, start doling out my energy more carefully to the areas that need it most.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day watching two seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, I ate (GASP!) McDonald’s ( I swear, never ever ever again, what the hell was I THINKING? ) and after that I was pretty much done for. I felt like a greasy pile of garbage by 4, and by then I had lost all hope of getting any of my chores done.

But you know what? So what. It’s over. It wasn’t the wisest use of a day, but everyone needs a garbage pile day once in a while. Today I feel rested and ready to go tackle some shit.

With that in mind, I am going to leave this right here, and go prepare myself for the day. I hope you make the most of your week, too.

Posted in Addiction, advice, family, friendship, Goals, inner peace, Learning, Life, People

Starting Again

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There is a little plaque hanging on my kitchen wall that says “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”. This is a sentiment that resonates with me, especially because, looking back at my life, I see that my guilt and shame over how I had chosen to live the perfect, blessed life I was lucky enough to be born into, kept me sick for a lot longer than necessary. Ironic, right? I felt so bad about my choices that I chose to continue making poor choices. You know, thinking about all of that, it makes me tired, and it makes me sad, and it makes me feel yucky. It’s a feeling I’d like to wash off of me forever.

But it’s a part of who I am, and if I ever forget, (as if that were possible) I’d be in danger of repeating those mistakes, I think. That is one thing I can say about my life, at least. Once I got clean the first time, through all the relapses that eventually followed, I never made the same mistakes. I did the same drugs, and I lived the life sort of, with one foot in and one foot out the door. I literally lead a double life. I kept my job and tried to maintain the facade of a “normal” life. What I learned there was that, for me, the misery created by living a lie was even greater than just being an all out, bottom of the barrel, dope fiend.

Eventually, I reached the point we all have to reach before we decide that a change is worth making. Usually, it is when everything becomes so painful that we cannot make it through a day without crying like a baby. I have been there many, many times. I don’t want to go there again, but if and when I do, I really hope it is for some other reason. If I have to be miserable, let it be a new misery. I know that if I am clean, I will be able to deal with it so much more capably.

The first part of this “return to earth” is intense. Our bodies are depleted, and our souls are just overflowing with the feelings we have been busily anesthetizing for…way too long. We are tired and frazzled, moody, and terribly afraid. I am thinking of my little brother who is in treatment now, as I write this. He has had such a hard time. When he called to tell me he was headed off to rehab a week or so ago, I was so proud of him. It is so goddamned hard to admit that we need help, especially if it isn’t the first time. May you never know the way that feels. I was too afraid, myself, but boy did I need help. I was afraid of losing my job, my kids, my house. I didn’t want anyone to know what a spectacular failure I was. I was so concerned with how I looked to the world that I actually preferred to continue killing myself rather than surrender, to admit that I was not doing well.

Thankfully, it has worked out alright. I have so much gratitude for everything good in my life right now. I want so much for everyone I know, and everyone I don’t know, even, who is caught up in the the madness of this spirit consuming disease to find what I have found. Some of them definitely will. Some of them won’t, not ever. And that is their own personal path, I know that. I understand that some people I can love, but I have to do it at a distance. I have finally learned that in this way, I must put my own best interests first. It is an incredibly delicate balance.

It is 6:22 in the morning, and I have been up since a little before five, like I am almost every day now. I am close enough to my latest disasters to still feel overjoyed by my relatively unscathed escape. I regret being angry zombie mom to my kids, angry asshole daughter to my mom, angry negative Facebook poster to my friends. I regret being a fake ass liar to the people at work. I am sad that I can’t really even tell them the truth now, and ask them to forgive me. All I can do is be this girl, today, and make a silent amends…make my life an amends, even, by being the best I can be at all times.

And when I mess up, I start over. Mess up, start over. It doesn’t have to be a backslide or a disaster, another sad chapter in my life. It’s just a little misstep, and then a correction. Have a beautiful day.

Posted in humor, Life, love, People, random, relationships, Uncategorized

Breaking Up: It Really IS Hard to do.

That song, old as it may be, knows of what it speaks. I know- you would think a woman rapidly approaching an age so advanced she no longer feels great about blurting it out (even though I still look GOOD, thank you) would already be aware of this, right? Well, as I may have mentioned here, or maybe in my REAL blog (just kidding, this one is real, too), I am a super late bloomer. I was too busy doing drugs in bathroom stalls all across the west coast to form many mature, enduring bonds. So this is pretty much the first time I have gone this far into something with another, fully invested, human being. And it has utterly failed. Which really sucks.

Argh! I am writing this to cheer myself up and be funny, and instead those last few sentences sent me running for another roll of toilet paper to sop up my face with. As you can tell, I am a little emotional. I guess that is normal, but what do I know? I know I could have probably been over it and on with my life if I had just pulled the plug way back when I first realized we weren’t going to make it. Shit, I could have been happily married after an average length engagement by now, if I would have done that. That’s okay, though. Some of the things I would have missed out on if I had were totally worth all the rest of this suckage.

Some of the things going through my head that I catch myself thinking are pretty understandable- things like: “What if this is actually the best you can do? What if this is really a great relationship and you are just a total fucking bitch and you are throwing it all away?” or “What if you just can’t be happy, period?” Luckily, though, I realize that these are trick questions posed to me by my own frightened heart. This is not the best I can do, it is not a great relationship, I AM a total fucking bitch, because I am miserable, and anything that makes you feel that way is okay to throw away. I know I am easily capable of happiness, because even in the midst of all this heartache, I have moments of it every day. The less weighted down I am by all of this turmoil, the easier it will be for me to laugh again.

Some other things I wonder about are, does it take this long for other people to split up? I mean, we have basically been in the process of parting, seriously, for the better part of the past year. Before that, even, I knew we were headed that way. I guess I just always thought that people had enough, broke up, divided up their stuff, and parted ways. Now that I am going through it, I realize it takes a long time to really throw the towel in. It has to hurt pretty bad, for pretty long, to finally admit you have lost. Even then, when you pretty much know that sticking around is probably going to destroy you, it is still hard and sad to say goodbye. I don’t know why I need to know if that is normal or not- all I need to know is that it is what is happening in my life, and I am dealing with it the best I can.

Some of the more amusing thoughts I have noted scampering through my twisted little mind are these:

“I guess this means I am going to have to start being fussy about how I look all the time, now.”

“What if he finds someone faster than me? And what if she is prettier than me? And younger? (etc., etc.)” Then I realize what I am thinking, and that I don’t want to even date anyone for a good, long time…and also, how much of a bummer it will be for the next girl, when she realizes what she is dealing with. Maybe she’ll get lucky, and be too dumb to see through the nonsense. Maybe, just maybe, he won’t fool around on her. Maybe I should just stay out of his imaginary future relationships, though.

My very favorite candid thought so far, though, has got to have been this: “What if the next guy I’m with has a smaller penis?” I seriously contemplated this, and came to the conclusion that…well, that would really suck. I don’t know what else I can say about that. Except, REALLY? THAT is what you are worrying about?

Well…it’s one of the things. But at least it was a funny thing. Anyway, I am doing the best I can, and sometimes I feel more like posting than other times. I don’t want to bring the whole blogosphere down with my sad little life, so lots of times, I write in my handy-dandy notebook (thanks, Blue’s Clues, for that) instead. But I am always writing.

When I’m not, you know… thinking about the next ( hopefully enormous), penis I might encounter. Have a fabulous day!