Tag Archives: strength

Power of Example to the nth Degree

Three weeks ago my brother was diagnosed with cancer. This is what he’s got to say about it: 

“Dear friends! For your consideration, I present to you some shitty news.

Bored with the high-octane lifestyle of the Rockies, I came home and got the cancer. And boy did I get it good! Stage IV, present and hiding in various lymphnodes and organs for years. All very doom and gloom, if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Fortunately, dear reader, this author has never had use for statistics or odds, for doom nor gloom nor nefarious stowaways. I’m also about as stubborn as a tree stump (I ain’t leaving till I see some flying cars), and aside from it being a real pain in my side, I feel great. My thoughts are remarkably lucid and I’m always inspired by a good challenge. 

This will indeed be a long and crappy road. However, I am surrounded by good friends and a strong family. I’m a sturdy dude and I’m not afraid. I can motor through this. And if it kills me, screw it. I love dark comedy.

DO please send me your knowledge. I’ve never embarked upon an adventure of this kind. I would like a crash course from those who know. I’m making a real go at raw/vegan (i’m starving) and learning about some interesting alternate treatments (gonna pass on the coffee enemas). 

DO NOT lambaste this page with sappy emotional quotes under pictures of sunsets and birds. I will perish to spite you.

Telluride, I am real sorry to not be coming back this summer. I’ll be on my feet soon enough and have every intention of seeing you again. Until then, please kill my fridge with fire.

Thanks to everyone who has already changed their lives to accommodate mine. I am already eternally grateful.”

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Difficulties type 1 & 2

mouse strongLast night I went to a much needed meeting. I hadn’t been to one since Saturday, and it’s amazing how quickly my thinking turns.  There was no impending doom of drinking, but when my thoughts turn more selfish less selfless I know it’s time to get my butt to the rooms.

The best part about the meeting was that someone else got me there.  All it took was one text message:  Is there a meeting at 5:30.  I was promptly and positively informed of the time and location of a group I’d never visited.

There were familiar faces in the room and the chairs formed a circle.  I always like when the chairs are in a circle.  It feels personal.  It also feels like a stereotypical 12-step meeting…like in FightClub.  Or 28 Days.

It started with a 5 minute meditation.  I used to think meditation was hocus pocus stuff–seriously.  It was a firm belief of mine that anyone who practiced meditation was full of “it,” or slightly mad as a March hare.  Now, it’s a practice I value, respect, and work on daily.

The lights in the room were turned off and a candle sat in the middle of us on the floor.  There’s something undeniably magical about candlelight.  Meditation is not something I’ve “mastered,” (if that’s even proper mindfulness terminology) so I keep it real simple; usually breathing in love and breathing out patience.  Anyway..the lights turned on the leader read from the 24 Hour book.  The gist of the reading was “welcoming difficulties.”  At first, I thought, huh?  Then I realized that sobriety has completely redefined my idea of difficult, and there are two forms.

1) The ones I bring upon myself — I can take a traffic jam and turn it into a catastrophe. I can launch a diatribe against one person for several no good reasons.  It’s not difficult to make a situation even more difficult.  It’s actually my nature to take aspects of life and transform them into obstacles…but the program has given me tools to counteract the titanic thoughts. Perspective…that’s the tool I’m thinking of. It allows me to realize that some situations in my head are just not true.

Life on life’s terms, however, is full of uncontrollable adversities.  This is difficulty type 2:

The world can be a cankerous cold habitat…and/or completely laden with challenges. I don’t welcome anyone dying.  That goes without saying, but I said it anyway.  I do, however, welcome difficulties that give me strength, and those difficulties take form in  infinite numbers of ways.  Yesterday I went in for a follow up on a job I’m thrilled and nervous to start.  Holding my own in terms of wages and displaying my knowledge without panicking was difficult!  I made it.  I made it through friends’ deaths and family illnesses and times where my heart feels like it’s going to drop out the bottom of my chest. I’m not saying that life gets easier, but I read a quote once that said:

“Hope is the key that unlocks the door to discouragement.”

For Difficulties type 1, I need to recognize my own defects.  For Difficulties type 2, I need to remember and hold onto the message above.

Tagged , , ,

The Party Must Go On

Day 223

I wasn’t a daily drinker or drug user.  Don’t get me wrong, there were binges.  The intensity of a binge was dependent upon what my time-frame and where my mind-frame was.

There were the standard rights-of-passage binges that all upper-middle class white girls get to stumble through; spring break, Christmas break, made-up breaks, any and all holidays, the entirety of summer, etc etc etc.  These passages, of course, being high school into college.

I guess if marijuana is considered a drug then I was a daily abuser from 16-20 years old.  When I started skipping class it honestly was a relief from myself.  This is who I am, see?!  Failing tests and taking bong rips on the way to school was my security blanket for those tormented teen years.

When my group of friends and I made the transition from middle school to high school most of them started hanging out with the older kids; since I simply didn’t have the confidence, I fell behind.  The pot heads picked me up.

Sitting in the back of class stoned out of my gourde, being told that I was fucking up (not in those words) was exactly what I wanted.  Finally my insides could match my outside, as though I was saying, “I’m a mess, dammit, and I’m going to show it.”  The good news was that my bad behavior on the outside was laughable.  Haha, silly me, my GPA is 0.4.  Seriously, that was my GPA at one point, and I laughed all the way to graduation.  Then again, a lot was laughable in those days.

My girlfriends and I would cram six or more of us in a car, roll two blunts, then drive around town with all the windows up, to get as high as possible and see who pussied out first by gasping for air.  How could I take anything seriously with such a ridiculous regimen?

Life went on like that for a while.  Party party party.  Invincible.  The pothead crew and the old crew had combined and it was beautiful display of debauchery; wake up late, go to bed late, bomb around shit-faced from house to house and wonder the next morning how we got home.

At a certain point I started to notice my friends growing up.  They put thoughts and efforts into internships, and into their futures.  As a 26-year old I am just now coming to believe that I might “go” somewhere,  but back then I hated myself to death and the hope for betterment was extinguished by an extreme lack of faith.

I can see now that my mentality was simple.  My mind-frame was: If I wasn’t going to amount to anything, (this was a fact), then there was but one option:  the party must go on.

So it did.

Ultimately, the parties stopped working. The periods between binges got shorter, everything in life became unbearably unmanageable. My blackouts were getting darker, my mistakes were getting bigger, and the thirst for cocaine was something I absolutely could not quench.

For the first time, I truly felt that life was spinning out of control.  Eventually, inevitably, it brought me to my knees.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,