Forever at the Crossroads

Sometimes I hover at the intersection

Of life and death
Not certain of which to choose
As the world callously speeds by
I feel lost and alone
Susceptible to those thoughts
Those harmful suggestions
I’m never really sure are my own
Ambiguity at the crossroads
Is not unique to me
I am under no grand illusion
It absolves the collective we
The insidious pain I harbor
Beneath the cloak of perfection
Beneath the fear of rejection
Only perpetuates my isolation
Keeps me from the junction
That might lead you to me
Advertisements

Is there still Magic

How often do you make time for the magic? A better question, selfishly, is can and do I make room for the magic. My husband bought me a beautiful bike for our anniversary. He often jokes other wives might ask for diamonds, but I wanted a nice sturdy bicycle to take me around. Probably to take me outside of the landmine that is my mind. Its sleek. Dark gray and fast. Fast like me. Fast like my thoughts. Fast like my moods sometimes. I even track my speed and distance on an Excel file. Physically I am always trying to do better. Can I beat my last time? And then, what does it really matter.

I have taken a new job. Not my first choice, but one I obviously applied for. In this electronic and digital age, job postings appear on my phone while I sleep. Dutifully I went to the coffee shop to apply for various positions. I am approaching 45 and trying to make a career change. I am a social worker at heart and on paper. However, I am ready to sow some new career Oats. The job market seems to disagree with me. Application after application. Trying so hard to create, with sincerity, the best damn cover letter imaginable. You need this…check. Yep…super personable. Diligent..double check. I am your Go Too Gal.

I fancy myself a professional. I passed a county test and got invited to an Interview. Must of surpassed at least 20 folks to get this far. The Court system has been a silent interest of mine. I have some experience within the walls of a court room as an advocate for my clients. It feels like a nice fit more me. New…but also pulling in my social works skills. I put on a shiny dress. Answered key questions and waited.I didn’t get the job. I didn’t even get 2nd round interviews. I was devastated. Naively. Possibly. Probably.

This new job. I hope to be the best. I hope I can bring new life. New Skills. New energy. As I await the start date…

I was riding my beautiful bike along the river. For the first time, in a long time, I wasn’t trying to beat a clock. I wasn’t trying to Outdo myself. I wasn’t battling the everpresent voices in my mind. The ones that hang and lure like a lantern. Innocent, but deadly. I made my way up and down the river bank in peace. Breath seamless. Stride powerful. Sunshine guiding me.

As the bike path ended and gave way to city streets, feeling grateful and at peace, I saw the woman I am to replace. She had on a beautiful sunhat, seemingly also at peace, as she entered the Farmers Market. She seemed to disappear into the landscape. As she crossed, I felt a sense that it was right. I am in the right place.

It was magic.

Bitter Truth

I would swear it’s that crooked hand of time bending my reality that leads me back.  My warped memory downplaying the urgency.  It was just a handful of mistakes. Not very many really.  It’s a mere lack of mindfulness on my part.  Of course, I can fix it.  If only you would do your part and not cause me extra stress.  You know I can’t handle stress. Actually, I think it’s the loneliness.  My phone doesn’t ring.  No one seems to care. I’ve been forgotten. Always misunderstood. But, the anxiety.  THE anxiety is really the culprit. I should really talk to my doctor about it.

Drinking? No, I don’t think that’s the true problem here.  I recognize it’s not good for me. Bordering on harmful, maybe. Again. An easy fix. If only…..
Down the road of insanity I trot. These conversations playing in my mind.  The valid reasons someone like me would drink on the tip of my tongue.  The If Onlys on blast every second of everyday.  Probably, also, looking for more reasons unconsciously.  Anything to explain away what I obviously cannot control.
Let me glamorize for just a second.  The ice clinking in the glass.  Vodka splashing.  Cranberry juice splicing to make a beautiful color that lights up my mood.  The reassurance my smile will be in place. The dark thoughts will disappear.  I lean over to whisper in your ear and laughter is shared. Or, the dance floor welcomes my left foot.  Bravery fills my veins and I send that text I couldn’t before.  I feel beautiful. Comfortable in my very skin. Accepted.  Free.
When those 15 blissful minutes are up, I am lost again.  In pain again. Alone again. I know the insanity of drink has won again.  Yet, I yearn for those 15 minutes. A Lot.  The obsession is greater than me.  I have allowed the bottle to be bigger than me.  Poor, poor tiny me.
Only another alcoholic can truly understand this predicament. The desire not to drink is there. It is here. I have that desire.  Desire:strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. In my case, wishing is not enough. Willpower is not enough.  I must surrender. I must believe in my bones that I, and especially not alone, can fix this.  It’s more than a loose screw.  It’s a big ol breakdown of epic proportions.
But, is it really?? My mind likes to ask.  Are you sure?  If only….
The incessant loop is exhausting. Which is why I need to be vigilant.  Which is why seeking out help is paramount.  Which is why I’m in Alcoholics Anonymous. Which is why I have a sponsor. Which is why I really really want to work on the concept of a higher power.  Which is why I need to open my mouth.  Extend my hand.  Listen for the message.  Let the tears flow.
All of this is why I, now gratefully, say I’m a newcomer.  Not yet holding my head high. But showing up as best I can.  My name is Rhonda and I AM an alcoholic.

A poem…of hope

The drive down by the river
Echoed in the burned out trees
Sage brush nearly absent
Seems also are the honey bees
Blackened and hollowed out
Tall sprawling oak
Now in fevered disarray
Scorching heat of fire
Tearing at their fine souls
Threatening their ability to stay
In mother nature’s favor
Walking this fine line of
Pomp and circumstance
Fire black leaves blow in the wind
Crippled and broken
No more growth around the bend
Dire days for the manzanita
Beautiful red blazing skin
Now thick with smoke
Yet on the horizon and
Deep into the valley floor
Mustard spreads its wings
Billows of yellow sprouting
In its finest glory
The brightest smile of life
You’ve ever seen
Nature is fighting
Plotting its course
Bringing us small gifts
Within the raindrops
Within the wind gusts
Within the anxiety that startles
Our breath

Anxiety sucks

The room has become too big
My anxiety crawling along the walls
calling my fear front and center
Shaking hands
Short of breath.
Sweat down my back
Trying to stand tall when
the weight of the world is pressing
Dishes piled high
Laundry piled high
My bed sheets now hold my tired stains
I can’t get out of this bed
I can’t open that window
My poor kitty beckons in the Hall
No food in his bowl
Curtains curtail the sun and
Usher in the darkness
Weeds grow all around
Outside and
Inside this broken mind

Dreams die in the Fog

The lies
They take hold
Implant in my mind
No persuasion otherwise
This just is
Fantasy of life
On the wings of delusion
What could be
Buried deep in illusion
Who are you
To believe
To pursue
Don’t forget
It is you
That rides the wave of confusion
Your mind overrides
Any sense
Any infusion
Of possibility
Your Dreams die in the fog
Of unrequited absolution
For you dear one
Rest in between the realm of
reality
Duality and
Persecution
The long road is ahead
Forever waiting

Let’s talk about reaching out

Let’s talk about reaching out. More importantly my seemingly inability to do so. I have been in the social services profession for over half my life. My sole purpose is to be there when others reach out to me. I can attest to the relief it can bring for the other person. The so-called burden has an opportunity to be lifted by the very virtue of sharing with someone else. Releasing what’s typically rolling around in the “wrong neighborhood” of the mind can be cathartic.

Armed with this information and actually witnessing it to be true, you’d think I would jump at the chance to fill someone’s ear with my stuff. Not the case. Well, not entirely accurate. The idea of this prospect is wonderful. Unleashing the demons that constantly plague me would be so beneficial. But, knowing this is not enough. Speaking my truth is so scary and difficult, I prefer to hide behind my written words. I mean conveying my pain in some form or fashion is helpful. But, again, not enough. Realistically, some days all I’m able to do is furiously type on this computer and hope to be brave enough to send it out into cyberspace.

What is this fear? Fear of being a burden. Misunderstood. Unable to express what ails my mind, body and soul. The questions you might ask to clarify. Statements you might make to “help” me. Having to dive into deep shit I don’t know how or want to. Having to admit I have bipolar disorder and all the chaos it has created. The manic and depressive episodes that have rocked me to my core. Rocked my marriage possibly to its breaking point. Wanting to expel the details from my memory, but also not dredge up the pain it encompasses. Wondering if you could possibly understand. Or, maybe you do so much that I must then console you. What a selfish thought that is! Baggage I guess is part of the fear.

Just the other day I was quite distraught the whole day. Many many tears shed in the confines of my home. Well, and into the dark black fur of my kitty. Back to bed I went after 2 cups of coffee. I had received news the prior evening I did not get a job I felt highly qualified for. The interview had gone very well in my opinion. I even brought up a few ideas and sparked a discussion. Does it get better than that? I was able to speak to my weakness within the proposed position, but more so self myself as an asset. I recounted this experience to a few friends and they agreed it sounded positive. Case Management is in my bones, I told them. 15 years of direct experience..successful experience. Over 20 years in a social service delivery model in general. I could learn the “ins and outs” of the agency.

I suppose I could have picked up the phone that day and relayed my utter disappointment. But, I just couldn’t. We could argue didn’t or couldn’t. For me it was a could not. I sent out a few rushed texts. One to my husband and one to my brother. Both expressed sympathy, but just to move on to the next one. Typical advice. But, I’m not a typical person. I guess no one is. My bipolar brain was beating me up through and through. How does anyone know that if I don’t share? I keep it all locked inside. Tears fell on the couch and into the bedroom. My husband asked if I was crying as we nestled under the covers in the darkness. I said no. We both knew I was lying. I can’t share pain in the moment of pain. It feels physically impossible. My body will not let me. My mind won’t allow words to come out of my mouth. I just shutdown.

I have the opportunity to share my ups, downs and in- betweens with a woman who is willing to be my sponsor in AA. This equates to another human being willing to hear what ails my mind, body and soul. Can I lay down the walls and accept this possibility? Leave the baggage at the door and honor this for what it is..space to learn how to share myself. Space to learn about myself. Space to forgive myself.

Let’s face it. I don’t need space. I need connection. Honest emotional interaction. So, let’s talk about reaching out. How do you do it?

Black &White word salad

I guess it’s my 2 year anniversary w WordPress. But, I feel more like a failure than anything. I was a prolific writer, I suppose blogger, when I started. Letting it all hang out. Expression my therapy. Written words came easily. Cyber words somehow easier. Through psychosis, mania, suicide attempt, despair, fear, loss of relationships, darkness, depression..I carried on through this Medium.
Then. The most traumatic manic episode happened. My marriage was affected. Changed. Damaged.
My new job had to wait as I embarrassingly passed along a doctors note requesting a later start date.
Friendships fell off. Text messages went unanswered. Potential commitment dates fell through.
I fell back into booze and food.
Hard.
Secretly
Alone.
Changes are hard. Personally. Seasonally. Globally.
I have lost my words. Days and months have gone by. I read your words. Yearn to connect. But, I don’t. Can’t. Won’t. I don’t know why.
I feel the darkness of depression coming for me, creeping in. My body, mind and soul heavy. The trudging becoming too much. Not worth it.
These aren’t even full sentences or thoughts.
Changes are impending.
I’m not. Scared.
Just tired.
Black and white thinking taking hold
And more so
That I don’t care

Reborn

I rise and fall
On the anticipation of fear
There can be no perfect moment
Darkness into light
Sentient beings rise
Clamoring for answers
Faith on the hill
Fortune found in a cookie
Secrets of the past
Unlocked w a gold key
Moral compass shattered
Dangling from a wire of
Compromise and lost virtue
I am not myself
Staring back in horror
The mirror does not lie
Stripped
Scarred
And naked
Red blood spills on
White porcelain
Mental anguish
Gives way to the physical
I am reborn in this pain