Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hello Sunday Morning, Japan and a Ninja

I just joined   I am not going to drink for 30 days -- maybe even three months as is HSM's base. 
I want to see what happens -  because as much control as I think I have - I need to prove it to myself. 
Hoping to express some of the emotions that come up in my art -- and my daily outlook? Who knows? 
I have so much to live for, so many things I want to do... and I still feel like half my life was washed away in a storm of abuse and violence.... I am going to honor that past by reinventing who I am and finding the life I want.
I have the chance - and I dont want to waste it and I think alcohol is getting in my way... Im looking to go back to enjoying wine etc., but with a fresh outlook...

Complex-PTSD is not something that ever goes away - I have been haunted by it lately, it hurts inside and I think thats why my drinking has ramped up.  But then I try to pull up those small incredible moments I have had:

 - like my last trip to Japan (I love that I got to travel as much as i did) - traveling alone -- seeing Mount Fuji come out of the clouds while standing on the black sanded beach of Kamakura in the rain.  I took a stone from that beach to mark the memory.  I was wearing a very nicely fashioned trash bag to stay at least partially dry.  No way I was not going to stand on that beach and breathe...

- I like to do things for myself, by myself. Riding my motorcycle, something about the performance, attention and precision involved... self accomplishment I suppose and again, it alters your thinking, perception etc.   I think to its an act of defiance too - dont ever tell me I cant do something.  Its a way to prove to myself I survived my early years and came out on top... it feels great to not need 'help' and handle things myself - and this was something I wanted to become good at.

I am thinking I will sell it soon, Im always suited up head to toe, but the danger factor on busy roads cannot be ignored. I'm starting to think its not fair to my husband when Im riding. He thinks its totally hot of course;))  but I know he worries, and perhaps that trade-off is too great and a bit selfish...  holding pattern for now - but that is what Im leaning toward

Travel memories, and lone experiences, like education... no one can ever take these things away from you and they are yours alone.  Experiences are so much more meaningful than 'things'.  The make us who we are and can alter our way of thinking, perceiving.   Forging ahead....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Urge surfing, Life is a Trip, surfing vs, drowning

I just learned about the term "Urge Surfing".
It applies to addictions - but I believe it could come into play with feelings of frustration, guilt, anger - those times of fight or flight when you feel you might (or want to) give up and do something stupid.

The idea is to think of the urge, issue, frustration, trigger point etc. as a large wave -- and it's peaking.... think about riding that wave, get on top of it... surf the urge.  Eventually, as sure as the world turns -- that wave is going to break and plummet and recede.  So if you can surf on top and ride the urge - you can ride it down.  Own it, rather than it owning you.  Ok, yes, the wave will crest again -- but perhaps not nearly as large and you can surf it even easier. Then again - it can hit Tsunami proportions -- well, imagine the power in at least trying to command that friggin wave and not succumbing to it -- even that waves gotta come down some time.

I've Urge Surfed I realize -- figuratively through years of abuse/PTSD -- the drill.

 But I also did it literally - alone, in the middle of the night on a wild beach in Costa Rica - I've traveled the world alone... a lot.

I hit the crest of a wave, thrilled by the power - but one of them, it took me out.  I was tumbled under - realizing no chance for air - and there were rocks coming up around shore. I wondered how soon it'd be before I lost consciousness -- or banged my body head into the shore and how long it'd be before anyone found me -- and how much that mattered.  Weird thing here -- I never felt so alive, so curious - so relaxed in having tried and lost control.  I did get tumbled out onto shore - and was dazed and confused. But I felt so alive - so in charge of where I could go next, what I could do.  I did not let that wave break me. If if did, so be it, but I surfed it -- no it was not smart but it was empowering - I realized in this case.... I made the choice, I was not a victim to a perp. I was victim to my own experience, my own choice. I realized, this is the direction I needed to go -- to make my choices,,, MY CHOICES.   This wave taught me the difference between the power of Thoughts (figurative Urge Surfing) and Action (surfing).  We have so much more power over not allowing thoughts to tumble us under -- we can Choose before we Act. If we choose to React to the Urge -- chaos.

I always wondered what it would be like to be one of those people who just coasts through life -- but then... I love adventure, I do take risk -- I am working on making the choices that are right for me (I just trashed a terrifically good paying job - because it was toxic hell) and I never felt more sure. Scared yes, but clear and hopeful.  All part of reinventing self.

Coasting would be boring -- at the very least I know I've lived one hell of a life - and though Im angry at some of what I went through - ... this time, I will make the choices - if I choose to surf the urges and follow my intiution.

I def need a few more surf lessons -- this I know.  I did learn where to find Costa Ricas best Lemonade -- Life is a trip.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Abstract work in progress

Day after my blackout... i gardened and started this painting...

PTSD and a night in a mental ward.. maybe it'll improve my art

I wake up feeling nervous, I just do. Can't put my finger on it... May have to do with not knowing what comes next. But isn't that true at all times? You can never know. 
Brain scan and MRI this week....
I had a blackout episode last week... Lost 6 hrs of time... I'm a very coherent, rational person so this was a cage rattler and an embarrassment to say the least. Last thing I remember? Ringing the bell at my local police station... Asking for help because although I knew I drove there, I had no recollection or memory of how this came to be. I did not call my husband, did not even think or couldnt think more to the point.. and told the officer that I was unsure of self... So I ended up in a mental facility overnight (huh!? Me??) Felt more like a jail.. But coed. Me; Grad school: 4.0, public speaker, expert in my field, successful... well that night I learned all about panhandling, how to store crack and meth internally, lots of tips for being strung out and homeless.... fascinating but not required reading....  I instinctively stood by the office window most of the night so I was seen by attendants at all times and I was given a pad to lay on in the hallway since all beds were taken.... Wow... New experience.   Wasn't scared exactly, just knew I stood out a bit much... Not to mention all your clothes are removed and you are all there naked, save for a gown... Lets just say, I saw some parts of anatomy of people I'd rather not remember. Bad enough the obese guys on the beach wearing Speedos? Take the Speedo away... That was my evening....
I cannot explain this episode completely, and its possible there's something neurological and/or psychological of course.
But I've been through so much in my life and powered through. I've been thrown out of a moving vehicle by my ex husband , rolled into a ditch. Hitchiked in a bloody painful stupor to get help and get home.  Still persevered, stayed in school, got fantastic grades... No one ever knew... 
So why now the weirdness? I keep thinking... Is it because I am now labeled as someone with unmistakable PTSD?  Does the label create the trigger that says... Ok, now you can let go of handling and sustaining... Now you can just 'lose it'.  This is not me.. I'm tough, I endure and keep moving... I have a shot at a terrific new life... Ok, I'm not used to being loved and cared for... But is this what happens? You get a shot at a great life and only THEN the symptoms and vulnerabilities start to appear? Where is my thick skin that can look fear and abuse in the face and say.. Go ahead... Just do it... You won't break me.
I started painting this really intense work Ill post it soon.. It's in progress but its a telling, haunting work... But quite colorful and I believe I am going to like it when it finishes.  
Ok, I'll just keep trucking... I'll put my weirdness to the side for now and have my day. We all do this in one way or another I suppose

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A small emergency aid when someone grates on your self-esteem

Knowing you are a good person can get you through anything. I've been terrorized and brutalized more times than I can count - but for today; I was thinking of the smaller moments that catch you off guard and can wound if not careful.  I was thinking of a young pretty waitress I met yesterday. She was being reprimanded and condescended to for no reason save for the sick satisfaction it gave the current patron in question to be domineering and a bit sadistic.

The waitress stood there and took it with grace, but I could see the slight lilt in her posture, the change in her expression. 

So, I had a little talk when she came around to serve me my drink at the pool. 

Here is what we chatted about: 

Me: 7 years of cocktail waitressing - the usual need to pay for college etc...

Burned my waitressing shoes after getting my Masters; my testament to leaving that part of life behind for good.

2 months later I found myself in need of work and it was back to cocktailing at a posh hotel nightclub. Of course the patrons there;  and yes I'm talking the women... on dates with their considerably older, wealthy men, would look me up and down and sneer at me. The favorite would be the condescending way in which they would order and look at me with a smirk as though I was so beneath their stature.

Now of course having a thick skin is what gets most hospitality/service people through their days. Sometimes though a few bad days happen - or a rough home life is about all you can take and strangers battering against your your self-esteem fortress (plenty of that in future posts) well, sometimes they get through.

So here is what I've internalized and shared for over 15 years now with others I see being dealt with poorly by those they are attending to.  'Think to yourself... "I have to deal with you for maybe 20 minutes -  You, have to be 'that person' for the rest of your life". This is where the inner smile takes over and blooms into a warm generous service with a smile persona, regardless of what daggers may be thrown your way.  

Being a good person... If you know you are, you can get through anything
thought id end with a table i painted... its a big cable spool... fun to do it... love working in blue.