Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Archive for the tag “Solstice to Solstice”

Last Night…

I did a huge sink-full of dishes after my babes went to bed.

And then I corrected work and reported final grades for my students.

Played a little of a silly video game just because I wanted to.

And then I read a bunch of political articles on Clinton and Trump.

Watched several hilarious video shorts on the same subject.

Coordinated my new book club’s next meeting invite.

Took my vitamins and meds in a long-series of nights taking vitamins and meds (the longest consecutive stretch of nights in my life).

Read a book.

Visited with the hubs.

Fell asleep.

All sober.

Day 515, and still surprised by the little things sobriety gives back to me.large_happy-birthday-present

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A Whole Lot of Nothin’.

Yep. That’s about sums up my motivation and drive today. I’m home with my sick babe and rather than cruise through the house and make it look awesome, spotless, and wonderful, I have been mindlessly surfing the internets, listening to music, and thinking, “I should be reading my book right now.” Oh, about a hundred times.

Nothing feels kind of nice.

Especially when I stop with the guilt and the should-dos.

Nothing doesn’t happen very often – for me, or anyone, I would guess. So, here I am savoring nothing. I’m going to turn my tuneages up and shut down the naggy voice in my head.

Be well, friends.

Day 465, Live long & prosper (immediately or later – it’s up to you).

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Oh, Leonard Nimoy. You are so wonderful.

Some Sea-Faring Metaphors….

Well, school has started. Not only for me, but for my very own little Kindergartner as well. One of the gifts of being at this new school is that it’s a Pre-K – 12, so she has the opportunity to be there as well. It’s a phenomenal school with phenomenal teachers. We are so lucky to be able to spend our mornings and afternoons traveling to the same place. I love walking her up to her classroom from my office. I love picking her up, happy and excited for what her day has been. And I love, most especially, getting to see her in the hallways every once in awhile, which of course if when I get lots of extra kisses and hugs. It is so special to have her there. To be at the school together.

As for me, in-service/workshop days were already three weeks ago. Yow! And the week leading up to the start of school was FULL of information. I felt like I was drowning. Each day more and more information, people, expectations, lists of procedures would be piled on top of the day before…. The water just kept creeping up and up over my head. Add to that I was having tech issues with my computer and everything internet, so I was behind on a practical level as well.

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However, even in the midst of the massive overload, I was so Welcomed and Cared For. Seriously. If you ever want to work at the Nicest Place on Earth, send me a personal message, because I have found it. These people are generous, empathic, sensitive, thoughtful. They have good senses of humor and will do just about anything to help. They are passionate about their students and their families, and especially about learning and creating thoughtful, compassionate, justice-seeking young people who will go out into the world to make it a better place. So, even in the midst of my own personal worries, I felt and saw some awesome and inspiring humanity all around me every minute of the day. Their presence and kindness really buoyed me up (to push the metaphor further).

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Top ALL that off with being a new parent of a new student? Well, jeez, Louise. I left every day inspired and hopeful all the way up to my tippity-top, in spite of all that was looming over my head and whatnot that I had left to do.

Fast-forward and I worked my butt off over the weekend and the few days we had for prep that first week (we started on a Wednesday), and then, tuh-dah! School started.

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Get it? It’s a School…. Of Fish. (I’m a dork.)

And all was good and right with the World. I found my rhythm. I got my shit together (for the most part). And the days have just been sailing by …

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Fun. Good energy. Promise.

Teaching is what I love. What I feel I was born to do. And even though I am in a new, unknown place, as one of my dearest friends said to me, ‘There are kids everywhere.’ And it’s true. How wonderful that it is true. And to be in a place where the adults Love kids and Love teaching, it feels like it might be just the right place for me.

Day 453, Love the Pisces Queen.* Found at: http://www.zazzle.com/pisces+puzzles

 

Hello, Out There.

Hello, friends. It’s been a little while. Yow. Time passes when you’re busy doing stuff, doesn’t it? I’ve been thinking about you a lot, and checking in pretty regularly on WP to read your words and journeys. I just haven’t had the chance to sit down and write you my own epistle until now. Sitting feels good. *smile* As does writing you. *clickityclack*

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So, the End of Shows went beautifully. Both were well-received and well-attended. The Shakespeare show (Midsummer) was love-ily to have because it kept me grounded and connected to both my past, present, and future (an 18-year history with the company, as well as looking forward to directing and being with my favorite people again next season/summer). While on the other hand, the mega-musical marked a significant Ending because it was the last show I will direct at my now-former school. The show itself was strong, vibrant, funny, and a little naughty. I definitely felt I went out with a Bang!

Of course, the Universe is always there to remind in so many different ways that I am not in control, nor can I, nor should I try to control the world around me. With all the anxiety surfacing inside me this past month around the closing of my shows, the Job being well-and-truly final, readying our house for the market, looking towards starting the new-*sparkly* Job, trying to spend time with my sister-who-was-in-town-from-Australia-during-my-busiest-two-weeks-of-the-summer, leaving for vacation, and now about to hit the ground running with the new job and the house….. Well? My anxiety has just climbed and climbed and climbed. And in each of those pockets of Life, the Universe has aptly put me in my place again and again.

First. My beautiful, amazing, phenomenal sister left 3 Thursdays ago. We have a tradition in our family, that whenever someone is driving away (the Leaver), the people staying behind (the Leavees) wave until they can’t see the car any longer. And, weather be damned, the Leaver/s in the car roll their windows down and wave back until they can’t see the Leavees any longer, too. So, with this tradition well-established, my sister hopped into her rental car, rolled down her window, got the last teary hugs and kisses from me and the babes, and then turned to go down the driveway. When what should appear? You guessed it! The Universe. In the form of a school bus (in July). It came around the corner and then pulled to the side of the road with its red stop sign shining, and its red lights flashing…. We just laughed. Because what else could we do? It was perfect. And funny. And gave us the chance for a few more hugs and kisses.

Second. The last show of the mega-musical…. All day, I just had nerves. It felt Epic. Important. One of those I-am-going-to-remember-this-event-for-the-rest-of-my-life-type things. So here we are chugging along, I’m watching the show and just enjoying it and laughing at all sorts of new moments in the show, and then. Crash. At the end of intermission as I’m about to start the show again, the hubs (who was in the show) comes up to me and says another actor and the pit say the music director is either drunk or high. Oh, what?! Gah. So I race back to speak with the person and to see if they’re right. …. Yep. Sure as shit. …. He is so far gone, I don’t know that even speaking with him would do any good. I pulled a musician aside and asked him to push the show, the cues forward if the MD dropped the ball on anything. So the whole second half, I’m just holding on and hoping we make it through the show without any mishaps (we did), and also trying to figure out what to do about this man. It was just odd. In all my years, I have not had this happen to me in any way, shape, or form. And then for it to be my last. I don’t know, it felt odd, though not unexpected (I wrote about my misgivings in an earlier post). With all the adrenaline now wrapped around this problem, the significance of it being my Last Show dropped. And a bit of regret, following the show, I didn’t handle the situation very well. I skirted around it, made sure he had a ride, etc. However, I followed up the next day and feel much better about that. I know if we had had a Sunday closing, I would have fired him and told him not to come back. But since we closed on a Saturday, I just wanted to get through the show, and we did. On the phone the next day, I was angry and sad, particularly because this is a show at a high school with teenagers in the production. The choice to get drunk before a (professional) gig felt incredibly selfish. He could have compromised the entire production. …. I asked him if he thought this was a problem, and he said that he did think so, that his mother was very sick, and not for the first time. Then, I offered to send him some resources via email, and promised that I would follow-up with him in a few weeks to see how he was doing. I penalized his pay, and then later, apologized to the teenagers for not being more assertive the night before. I apologized for the MD’s behavior, and told them what he did was not okay. It was messy, but at least I followed up on all of the loose ends.

Following all of this, my mother came down for a week and helped me get a ton of stuff done with the house. The hubs and I have one more week to work, and then, I am hoping we are set to show our house starting next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

Third. This past week, we went out of town to the shores of Lake Superior. Beautiful. Majestic. Mighty. …. But my anxiety was really high. Incredibly high. About death. About losing my babes – especially in the midst of the water, which just seemed incredibly powerful. I know I was driving the hubs nuts on one particular day, because he had them in the water amidst these big waves. I just saw the immensity of the water stretching out behind them, and the strength of each wave as it rolled in and hit them, and I was just So. Scared. That they would be knocked over. Pulled out before we could reach them. Before I could save them. … So all this, and then? Oh, there’s the Universe again. This time it showed up in the form of sister-brother battles. Our 3-year old kicked his sister’s head, which banged the edge of a coffee table. Stitches at a small-town ER. Ah, vacation memories…. But really. It acted as a good reminder that I really can’t control anything. And I know that deep down, but it doesn’t always stop me from wanting to try. Letting go is a lesson I need to learn again and again and again it seems. … Also? The accident freed me up and helped me to embrace the waves and the water with my family later that day. We got splashed and soaked, and we laughed and held onto one another.

Day 432, Thanks, Universe. I needed that.

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A Monster Mini-Update.

Hello, friends. Monster here and doing well. It’s been awhile since I last checked in because I have been mega-busy. Here are the haps in a nutshell:

  • Opened ‘Midsummer.’ Yay! So cute, so funny, so silly, so good. It is still running through next week.
  • Opened another show this week – a mega-musical – to mark my last production at my current school. It’s taken a lot of late nights staying up, painting, working, etc. Lots of little pieces needed doing, but? They got done. Huh. Zah. Also, my favorite part are all of the grads and families who have already come back to see the show and give me  hug. So beautiful and incredible to be surrounded by so much love.
  • In the meantime, I joined the committee hiring my counterpart at my new school.
  • Started digging into my new office/area and reorganizing and making it my own … Very, very slowly.
  • Welcomed my little sister home for a visit. She arrived last week with her fiance from Australia (whee!), and is in the state until the 28th. With all that’s been going on, I haven’t had a lot of time to see her, but am looking forward to one or two days devoted to her and the fam.
  • And lastly, I decided (two Sundays ago) that it would be a great idea to get our house on the market in the coming month, and then find a house, and move. Crazy? Probably! *smile* So many things to do! A lot of small upgrades that will help with the price point, I hope.

In Soberland, since sharing my year-long sobriety with my friends and family on Facebook, I have had so many kind, amazing connections with people. Even two weeks later, I have people telling me how proud they are, or congratulating me. The Love is palpable. … And it feels a lot freer, too. Not that I was hiding or ashamed of my sobriety, but there is another level of ease because more people know and I don’t have to navigate as many social moments now. Liberating.

Alright, off for more house porn ….. It is so addicting! (But not in a I-need-help kind of way. I swear. *smile*)

Day 410, I’ve missed all you cool-cats.*

 

Sort of Out & About.

Hello, all.* Can you tell I have a few more hours of free-time lately? Ha. I am starting to worry I will bore you with all of these Life updates….

Well, I am here today, because I did a big thing. I posted my tattoo and the reason for my tattoo on FB Sunday evening. Here is some of what I wrote:

Friends, I am Sober. And have been sober for this past year. I found sobriety because I had lost Myself. Truly. Lost her. Did not know where or who or what I was anymore. I could see my Beautiful Life and I would marvel at the fact I was not happy inside of it. How could I not be happy?! But I wasn’t. After turning over so many aspects of myself, trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I kept hitting my head against the truth – I had slowly, without realizing it, begun to center my world around drinking. And so? After a long, painful, pissed-off bit of soul-searching, one day, I just let go of trying to control it all. I let go and stopped drinking on June 9, 2015. 390 days later? I am more Myself, more present, more confident, and more happy to be alive than I ever have been as an adult. 

And the response was overwhelmingly positive. People commenting, liking, all the kind things people do to recognize others on the ol’ FB. I even had one old acquaintance reach out to me privately and tell me she was also sober, and had been sober for 15 years. Yow! And another friend wrote me and said he had begun sobriety about the same time as I did. Again, wowwowwow. So overwhelmed with Kindness (my word o’ the year) and living honestly and openly.

I had a number of people make the comments of either, ‘I had no idea!’ or ‘You are so brave!’ And while the first relates to living as a high-functioning alcoholic so that no one sees what’s really going on (Of which, I am not surprised, but also a little sad about.), the second… I feel it relates to the social stigma still associated with sobriety and being in recovery. It’s an interesting line to walk being sober and being in this world that loves booze and fun and letting loose so much. It’s interesting because of the challenges of feeling like I am the odd one out. There’s the whole fear-of-missing-out syndrome based on the many, many advertisements and product placements, and general depictions of people having-fun-by-drinking-together in most of our entertainment options, as well as that same ol’ FB engine that perpetuates the images of friends drinking and laughing and going to breweries and pub-hopping, etc. And with all that, we few, we happy few (Henry V), are walking through this alcohol-soaked world thinking we have something to hide. How absurd is that? …. Yes, of course, the shame of past transgressions and foibles and times when we-did-that-when-we-were-drunk (x 1,000,001 for me personally)…. But stepping into sobriety, we can be proud we stepped away from our past. We can be proud we took a positive step in order to help ourselves. There is no shame in sobriety, nor should there be.

Of course, here I sit, struggling with whether or not to show you all a picture of my real self, and like an anxious hypocrite, I can’t quite rip that bandage off yet. I am so close, but just not yet. Much of my hesitation has to do with the stories I’ve told here about what I did while drinking. Some of it has to do with my identification as a woman with bipolar as well.

Again, Stigma… noun: 1. a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

Why is it we stigmatize our hurt? Why are our hurt and our pain thought to be negative? Things to be ashamed of? Even what I have found in the past 36 hours is that living my truth is not so bad. It’s actually very liberating and relaxing, because I am not working to keep a secret. I came clean (again). I know there’s a history, as well as a present-day condition within our world that demands we be unkind to those who are different and other, but when we embrace our truths and tell our stories, isn’t it true we grow stronger and more compassionate and less judgmental because knowledge is power. Truth is power. Cliches, sure, but soso true.

Has my own introspection given me the courage to self-identify? …. Hrm. Not yet. A little anti-climactic, isn’t it? Sorry. But we’ll see in the future. I have done so much to embrace and to own my whole self (this past weekend especially), I feel I am close. But not today.

Day 392, yes, and not yet.
p.s. Made it to the Summer Solstice and forgot all about it! That’s 3 rounds of moving with the universe. Onto the next!
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The Long-Awaited…

Is finally here!

…. And it hurt!

…. And it still hurts!

…. But It. Is. SO. COOL!!!

I love it.

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That tattoo artist is amazing. Cool. Good at swearing. Great story-teller. And a friend of friends. Can’t wait to go back to her next year for my second star… *smile*

For those who ask, first, it was a pretty tender place to get tattooed in the first place. But? I couldn’t think of anywhere more I wanted it. So, glad I went through with it. The feeling was like when you scrape your knee, but in slow-motion, and on purpose, and for a looooong period of time. Well, 30 minutes. But still. Slow-motion pain.

But now? I feel like a bad-ass. I also feel like if I do become a regular inker (skeptical), then anywhere else I decide to put a tattoo would be a breeze. Did I mention how tough I am? *smile* Ha, yeah, right.

Day 390, Heya, Universe. Thank you.*

Wakka Wakka Wakka.

While this post is begging me to write ‘The joke’s on me,’ I just can’t. Life is good. Life is full. Life is busy. Productive. Creative. Playful. Sunny.

And I am here having opened a show this past week, which I was pretty sure would be the first un-funny production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the history of the world, but then? Boom. Saturday hit, we hit our stride, and we were hilarious! *angelssing* Thank all that is holy. And now? It’s probably one of my favorite shows (comedies) I’ve directed. Especially because it’s outdoors and just FUN. Love that. …. And of course, the process was fun, and actually the week of opening, we weren’t too stressed out, but yes. I was worried about the funny-factor. Problem solved. Phew!

Following the opening, I dove into my second show this past week, and now have a bit of a hiatus for the days surrounding the 4th. *sigho’relief*

The hubs and I have had some really great evenings out together. Cast party, show, Finding Dory with the babes. And now tonight, we are headed to our first date ever to a comedy club. One of my very dear friends is opening for the headliner, so we are going to support him, and also just to check it out. I’m excited. We are even having dinner out beforehand. Look at us! We’re grown-ups!

Also in the works…. I had a tattoo consult the other week, and now I am set to go in on Sunday the 3rd for the real-deal. I’m nervous, second-guessing, and excited. I’m a nut. The date is significant to me, too, as it is a date I always remember for hurting someone I loved very much…. You guessed it, while under the influence. Yes, some of it was youth. Yes, some of it was naïveté. Yes, some of it was selfishness. But I always remember the date. Even 15 years later. I feel like there is something to the world’s design that my tattoo date is the same as the date I so frequently associate with shame and regret. Perhaps to help balance out the scale?

Day 387, *insertpunchlinehere* … Ba-dump-bum!

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A Year in the Life.

Well, today is the day.

1 Year Sober.

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And?

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I was inexplicably sad and tired all of the time. I felt constantly stressed, angry, and frustrated with my Life in general, and I was resentful and irritated with those people I love most in the world. I wanted so much to be the person I remembered being in my younger days, but I couldn’t find my way back to Her. I turned in on myself and away from the world. I tried every night to ‘treat’ myself and take some Me-Time in the guise of a wine glass. I thought it was adults did. Instead of filling me with positives and benefits, the wine took things away…. Most of all my sense of self, and replaced it with shame and pain.

Today? I am not the person I was. Even in the midst of all that has transpired this year (this spring in particular), I am Joyful. I am Happy. I am sure of myself, who I am, what I want, what I believe. My relationships with others are deeper, more sincere, more honest, more present, and more consistent. Resentment has gone the way of the dodo. Shame left me soon after I stopped drinking because I had nothing to feel ashamed about. My work/my creativity is stronger. I am rested. I am kinder and gentler – most of all with myself. I truly feel like I have recaptured Who I Was into the Me Who Is Now.

Sobriety is the best gift I have ever given myself, because it has given me my Life back.

To those people I love here in the blogosphere, my family, my friends, and the hubs, THANK YOU for all the love and support. I would not be here without having you with me on every step of this fascinating journey.

Year 1, Here I Am.

p.s. To those considering sobriety, perhaps just try it and see. What’s the harm? If, like me, you’ve tried counting drinks, setting limits, setting rules, jumping through the hoops of justifying the morning-after drink, or the drink at 5 o’clock-even-though-yesterday-was-an-alcoholic-blur, or if you’ve covertly picked up another bottle because it was on your way, or next to the grocery store anyway, or if you’re planning get-togethers with friends because it gives you the opportunity to drink in a group, an alibi, but then later by yourself, or if you’ve drunk by yourself and secretly filled your glass, or watched the bottle level go lower and lower and you’re not getting enough while everyone else seems to, or if you’ve hidden bottles away from your people and then gotten rid of the empty bottles when no one’s looking….. If you’ve done any or all of that, what would be the harm in just trying sobriety for a day or a week, just to see how it goes? What I discovered was that Sobriety is a whole lot less work than drinking ever was. It was actually easier…. on my life, on my health, on my well-being, on my peace-of-mind. Reach out to us here, if you want someone to listen to your story, or if you have questions. There are so many of us here who have been where you are. And, to be sure, I do not have all the answers, nor is my journey done. I still choose sobriety every day, and sometimes that choice is a lot harder than others, but? To me, it is always worth it and proves itself to be day in and day out. Love, -HM.

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3… 2… 1…

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
     -Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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Here I sit in the midst of my countdowns (plural)…. The school year has ended. Grades have been reported. Grad parties have been attended. My own goodbye party has happened, where it seemed an infinite number of hugs and ‘See you soon’s and ‘Keep in touch’es were said by all. In the job world, I have one sliver of a string keeping me tethered to the Old, while a second silver string is dangling in the near future – complete with transition meeting set next week, and then off to the races with planning, learning, deciding, more planning, scrapping, then planning s’more… *smile*

It’s been good. Gooder than I thought it would be. (Please know that grammatical error was a conscious choice.) The major hurdle had been this past Thursday with the end of the year luncheon, and once that was over, everything else kind of followed in a logical sequence.

So, now I here I am contemplating my big 1 year-aversary set for Thursday, 9 June, 2016. I am actually getting kind of excited for it. Today, in silly Monster-fashion, I contemplated the idea of ‘One. Year.’ and what all that meant. I mean, of course I know it’s a year, but for some reason, today I felt like I could suddenly look back and see and understand what that huge concept represented – all of its ins and outs. Daunting in its magnitude. And proud-making in its scope. And shiver-shaking in its many, many effects.

As each day goes by this week, I am trying to raise my courage levels so that I am ready for my big dive into skin art. I am determined to get a tattoo (moon & a star) on my left wrist, but now that I have discovered the beautiful Rilke quote above, I am getting all cocky and thinking…. ‘Aw, I could totally do a moon and a star AND a Dragon.’ …. Someone talk me off my ledge. *smile*

Day 363, I will keep you posted, cool cats & kitties…..

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