The shootings senseless killing of children, black grocery shoppers, a man riding on the subway for brunch in the city, all takes a toll. Why are automatic rifles necessary? Why are guns sold to eighteen year old boys?
Covid the naysayers, anti-maskers, hyper-vigilante mask wearers with the sanitizers. One day no mask requirements next day masks and six feet apart. What happens if I only maintain five? What happens if I lower my mask to drink from my water bottle? COVID!!!
I want to rise rise above, step out the door, have hope and see the beauty in a horribly negative world filled with horribly negative people.
My thoughts are jumbled at times, racing up and down, sometimes round, wanting to settle but not able to sometimes, refusing to move or not motivated to do so. Sitting still, sitting terribly still.
My body wants gratification found only in food of the lowest kind. The more, junkier, processed and artificially flavoured, the more my body craves. Each day brings a time for change and each day brings a time for more indulgence.
Sobriety is hard to retain when the world makes you want to space out for a while. Or rather you are not capable of dealing with the world so you choose to space out, be numb, inactive, inaccessible.
Gentrification not a word I use anymore as obliteration is more fitting. Luxury high rises are multiplying like fungi while the old buildings such as my elementary Catholic school are torn down or revamped into something new and trendy for the new neighbourhood, no longer my ‘hood.
Neighbours who have known me from a baby are now old with health issues and passing on. I am now that neighbour watching the new neighbors kids grow up.
My memories are stored in a Memory box located somewhere in mi alma (soul) and accessed through the head. It is not made of rose gold or lined with fancy crystals, no lock or combination to enter or exit. The Memory box is invisible as are the memories stored inside. Like all other boxes, there is a limit as to how much can be stored. In the case of the Memory box in which memories are thrown in haphazardly it can be trying when it comes to cleaning out the rubbish-what to keep, what is of no consequence and of course, there are the ones we would like to burn.
We all know what happens when we refuse to clean…
Memories are a tricky lot. Some are laments, regrets, pain, joy, happiness, and anger with a bit of mad tossed in. Memories have the ability to teach us lessons, that is, if we pay attention. Some try hard to forget them while others spend too much time in them, in the box, going through the clutter, ruminating over opportunities lost and not seeing opportunities gained.
And… We all know what happens when the clutter wins…
I have 58 years of memories stacked in my box and the ones before 7 years of age are not accessible. Good memories are as fresh, vibrant as the day they happened, bad ones are fuzzy fading colours and trauma comes in stark black and white. Those are the ones you can’t throw out. They are there for keeps, reminding you of the space they take up when least expected. The trick is to confront them, waddle in them, bring them close, hug them tight, then let them go. They will still be in the box but the space they take up will not be so overwhelming.
And… We all know trauma is not good but if we acknowledge it, healing can occur…
“I think we all struggle with that unreasonable guilt, E***a, and it is unreasonable, isn’t it? Certainly, my Dad who loved me so well my entire life would want me to live whole and free, right? Of course, he would. It’s just all part of this gut-wrenching process we all have to suffer through. Be thankful for those sparks. Fan them into flame. Live that life to honor your loved one but more so for yourself and the world who needs your particular gifts.”
-Response to a post I wrote on a grief board
Grief amidst a worldwide pandemic mixed in with addiction is not pretty in any colour.
But the body and mind can longer accept alcoholic as self-medication to make the world seem right. Grief chased down with bourbon needs to rise up and be dealt with.
So, I …
Hang on for a day The past is acknowledged, the future not ruminated on. The present? Front, Center and Back. Because that is all that matters.
Hang on for another day “An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature”-Big Book Finished the twelfth steps, now what?
Hang on The desire to run, do a gym work out, bang on the piano or even write has faded for Anger and Hangovers no longer fuel, mi alma (soul).
Hang on for yet another day Sobriety dulled my creativity or rather my creativity refuses to emerge through a clear thinking alma (soul).
Hang on for a day I have yet to print out those medical records, afraid of what may be revealed, afraid I’ll gain more truths into my inadequacies fueled by alcohol into how I was not there for you-figuratively.
Still hanging on Have not attempted to finish my piece on “One year without you” for one year has now turned into three years without you.
August 30, 2019 -12:10PM
“Hang tight-you will fly once your wings unfold. You will find a place either in this realm or another where you are loved & appreciated for being just you with all your quirky talents, flowing forth like glitter. Be Strong!”
Isolated and the deaths of my felines, a brother and sister, two days apart was the ‘woke’ to my consumption of alcohol. What went from drinking after 5pm morphed into drinking at 10am. Half bottle of vino to full bottle. Full bottle thrown in as a chaser for bourbon.
Bourbon and wine intertwined.
Sobriety literally began as one day at a time. One day drinking, one day not drinking, repeat for two weeks. Get the wine from around the corner, then go four blocks over for the bourbon. Next day wine from two blocks up to bourbon two down and four over. Then repeat every day, seven days a week. “Silly rabbit…!” Buying one day reserves instead of a grate and handle make me a control drinker.
Bourbon and wine intertwined.
July 1st, 2020 arrived and no drink that day. Or the next, or the next. Reached out for help on week three of no drink. Completed a ninety day program of no drink. Met others who no drink and others who gave up and drank falling off the continuum of no drink.
Bourbon and wine no longer intertwined.
Three months, six months and now 9 months free. A mind not terribly wasted in a hangover pool brings hope to the present. On occasion I’ll jaunt down memory lane in my mind to remember all the gains with no drink. The future is not for me to see. Hoping no drink will follow me.
Bourbon and wine no longer intertwined.
The glasses made to hold wine sit on the top, top, shelf of the kitchen cabinet. Shapes, colours, pieces of artwork not to be tossed. The bourbon glasses now hold plants swimming in water, toothbrushes and pastes of the human and greyhound kind.
Faith moves mountains You often said when despair embraced me
Fate moves mountains I often said as control is in another’s hand
Faith moves mountains Through troubling times optimism was your shield
Fate moves mountains Through troubling times alcohol was mine
Faith moves mountains You believed in a God that would nurture and care
Fate moves mountains I believed in a God that was cruel and malicious
Faith moves mountains You rarely shed tears and if you did they fell with a purpose
Fate moves mountains I cried everyday angry tears driven by self-pity
Faith moves mountains Cancer came back for you this time it latched on You cried once in the hospital and I knew you knew hope fought
Fate moves mountains Cancer came back for you I couldn’t pry it loose I cried as much as I drank and you knew I knew hope lost
*** It’s been three years since you drew breath. You were in my life for 54 years. I guess I’ll be mourning till the day I join you. I cry mostly mornings, when another day begins, without wine or bourbon. During the days I’ll smile as memories, come in and out, out and in. Looking forward to more smiles and fuzzy feelings when memories hit instead of pain and tears.
At the age of 56, last night on a Zoom meeting that was ‘bombed’ I was called a nigger.
‘Elena is a nigger’ is what someone wrote on their screen at the AA Zoom meeting that was ‘bombed’
Interesting fact, I guess.
Can’t say that I didn’t already know I was a nigger. Knew from the age of 11 when an Italian classmate enlighten me at the Italian/Irish Catholic school.
But an AA meeting?
A Zoom meeting not password protected nor protected with adequate bouncers to monitor the room? An AA meeting where sobriety is sacred and protected at all cost?
Not when you’re a nigger.
So last night during an AA zoom meeting that was ‘bombed’ someone called me a nigger.
Society has been using nigger from the time of slavery or even beyond and I’ve been privileged to hear it all through my days on this earth. Although, I stopped hearing it in my 40’s. I guess those people knew better to call a nigger a nigger especially in the workplace, in church, not on the subways though or on the street.
I heard the rappers take it and turn it into our own. No longer nigger but nigga. How quaint, how eloquent, how ballsy to take what They branded us and turn it into our own brand that They do not hesitate to use, to be cool, to be hip, to be damn bloody fools in my worldly view. But as Jay Z says during the Ballad of OJ, “Still Nigga”.
Being called a nigger in your 50’s hurts just like it did at 11.
I ain’t your nigger though I may be a nigga, but being a nigga to me is not being a nigger to you and you best not call me a nigger to my face because after this bullshit on zoom I just may cut you deep, really deep but not with a knife as I see in my mind but with words that flow from the scarred vault that holds the many, many, niggers I was called by the ones I choose to call They.