Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Observations from a Padded Cell.

I should make a point of clarification.  These observations are not, in fact, coming from a padded cell.  They are merely written as part of my medical/mental treatment plan.  

Since a mental and physical breakdown last week, I am taking two weeks off to be a part of a depression and anxiety group. And after that, I am asking for three additional weeks off.  After which, the plan is to submit my two weeks notice and return to South Dakota (with-ideally-a job offer from the State of South Dakota as an emergency management specialist....just putting that out to the universe.)

Breakthrough moments today-
  •         THE Chiropractor.  Amazingly brief and painful, but brought a certain level of blessed relief from my dislocated pelvis.  (Note to self-pay Brenda for the 1300 mile diagnosis). Two horrendous pops, a few grunt laden groans and tears and I could walk out almost normally.
  •         Do I like being sick?  Is it not the perfect excuse for bad moods and avoidance.  Gonna need to work on that.  

So there is my first journaling. For this round of mental and substance abuse.  I really like I can do this on a computer. I'll actually be able to read this, whereas my entries from treatment in 2007 are most  likely illegible.  Last night I started a doodle.  And I've totally blown off homework.  

I did watch The Rescuers, just because.  And while searching for a funny ecard on dysfunctional families for Kevin I stumbled upon a website with 42 of the most ludicrous, hilarious signs that I've ever sign.  Even beats the vortex sign in Sedona.  And i posted it on Facebook. Which I never do.  Laughter is the best medicine. But narcotic drugs are nice too. Time to pop mine.  But I am not washing them down with vodka!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Follow the Leader

Derailment can be caused by an gigantic boulder or sometimes a small pebble.  What caused this most recent crash. A crash left me depressed, unmotivated and exhausted again. I sit here seeking the reason why it takes so very little for me to become hurt, to crave the ice cold tingle of vodka, or the creamy cheesy liquid of the beefy nacho griller or a bag of almond M&M’s.
On the 19th I posted about a fight with a co-supervisor. That aforementioned supervisor filed a grievance, hostile work environment accusation against me.  During my Gallup vacation, I soared. I was relaxed and happy. I did a pretty good job of staying on my diet and walking.  I was able to feel attractive and sexual with my male friend who came to Gallup.
The day after I returned, I was issued the NOI and I’ve been self-examining my feelings, motivations and actions. What role did I play? How culpable am I? What can I change? What is my motivation for working? What rewards do I need? Am I rationalizing?
I want to be a leader. Charismatic.  Efficient. Empathetic. Strong. Approachable. Likeable. Trustable. Intelligent. Competent. Caring. I just don’t know how to do it.
All my favorite heros and leaders are not the ideal the City of Phoenix is looking for. Captain Kirk. Jethro Gibbs. Hope Hubris, Space Tyrant. Xena and Hercules. Special Agent Pendergast.  I want to be like that hard assed but well-loved colonel whose troops love him because he works as hard as they do, even harder and always protects them and fights for them against the upper brass echelons.

 I’m not quiet and reserved. I don’t appear to reach out and touch the hearts of those around me. I appear aloof and arrogant (I think). Hard work isn’t enough. I’m not sure what is. But I want to figure it out. I’d like to reduce the number of harpies that inhabit my head and make strafing attacks when things aren’t going well at work. I will change them into beautiful fairy godmothers who will grant me the insight to become what I envision. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pity Party Sans the Good Stuff

You have a crappy day at work. Say the supervisor you are training gets pissed at how you say something, and you are pissed at the fact she can't take the answer I give so she goes ballistic. Then the dispatcher trainee can't learn cause of the blow up (you were actually behaving on the second blow up). Then your boss asks can we talk. Gotta love it. Then you get to work two extra hours of OT. After being told that you should work so much, tell us what we can take off your plate. And oh, by the way, may you need to see an EAP (Employee Assistance Program aka a shrink).

Back in the day, I would have gone  home and drank a bottle of vodka. Or gone to hooters and had a carafe or two of white zin. Then I gave up alcohol. So I switched to drowning my sorrows in Coke or Dr. Pepper. And a bag of peanut M&M's, red licorice, Skittles or other confections.

So a month ago, I gave up soda and sugar. And tying one on with a raspberry flavored seltzer water and a bowl of fresh fruit just doesn't have the same effect. Here's to being healthy. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dream a little dream

They say to follow your dreams. To let nothing get in your way. Believe in yourself. Jump all the obstacles. Shoot for the stars.

What if you have too many dreams. What if you don't know what your dream is.  What if you are too practical and want that secure job with an automatic deposit every two weeks, health insurance and paid leave.

What if that safe job consists of the tasks that you love. Challenges that you love. But you, just like in high school, you are the misfit.  The way you talk. Your jokes. Your motivation. Your vision. Your vocabulary.

It used to be easy to earn the respect of your coworkers or employees. Work as hard as they did. Try to help them with the little things. But now, I don't even respect them so how can I expect them to respect me. Their values are not mine.

Is having a job you that you love, worth the agony of emotional despair and emptiness you feel when you walk out of the building at the end of the day.

take a look at yourself in a mirror. who do you see.  is it the person you want to be. is it the person you should be. is it the person you could be.

when you close your eyes and write a script for the future what do you see. Twelve more years as a secure City of Phoenix employee. Most likely as a Sup I because you have a tendency to be blunt, opinionated and not politically correct.

Or are the glimpses of dreams and messages from the universe doable. Make money with a camera. Maybe words. I was told healing was in my future. Reiki, oils, quantum energy. Motivational note cards. An organic garden bigger than the one mom had. Mayor.

Sometimes I wish I had one overwhelming vision of the future. Where I am supposed to go. The mountain I am supposed to climb.  The one talent I am  supposed to pursue.

The things I know. I'm tired of brown air. The 100 degree heat before June. The loneliness. I miss family.

Really all I want is the "quiet nobility of leading a good life". Peyton Sawyer. One Tree Hill

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Guilty as Charged

I sometimes refer to myself as not only a recovering alcoholic, but a recovering Catholic.  And I've always blamed my Catholic schooling as a reason for the guilt I carry for ridiculous things.  But I think it's also a habit of an alcoholic or any addictive personality.  For the Catholics, its the ritual of going to confession. The idea that another person has to voice their wrongs to another human being (AA's 5th Step)

Take tonight for example. I'm sitting here feeling guilty that I've not worked on any of my "home" work. Creating the breach/incident procedures. Finishing the ENS guide. Developing the patrol syllabus. Why should I create an emotional stress burden because I have chosen to not do work at home that I won't get paid for.

In the past I always took work home. I remember Monday nights when I lived with Amy. I worked six days a week-Ground Round & Helicopter Flight. We'd drink Miller Genuine Draft, vodka & shots of Rumplemintz. and watch football. Then at Leg Affairs. And at Westwind. Not when I was just a dispatcher at the Comm Center. The whole time I was married, Brian hated it. Always said I chose work over family. And it was true.

Now that I live alone, I don't have as much desire to be a workaholic. I just want to waste my time watching tv online and playing stupid computer games. So I then I feel guilty for being unproductive, for wasting time. But it's my time to do with as I desire.  So many things I could accomplish. My book of poetography. My master's degree. Service and volunteer work.

The guilt about the foods eaten or not eaten. The steps not walked. The weights not lifted. Friends and family not called. The guilt of potential failures. Risks not taken. Paths not chosen. The guilt of what if. The guilt of the imagination. The insidious ethical concept that becomes the pit in the stomach and reaching its thorny tendrils to the brain triggering the voice. The voice that criticizes. The voice that mocks and denigrates. The voice that says you'll never get there or be that.

The guilt that become a physical presence in the cells that created a body suit of armor made not of chain mail but of fat and toxins. The fat and the fear of alcoholic venues that make it easier to stay in a one bedroom apartment and play mindless color matching computer games that somehow turn down the volume on the guilt. Until the hands of the clock sweep in ever widening circles of time passed and wasted.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sunshine, Roses and Qi

Today was World Tai Chi Day.  I actually took a Saturday off and used 8 hours of vacation to go. Even though, I've only had four lessons with one of the main coordinators.  I'm amazed at how much I remember from my early teen years when the family attended Lightning Fire Mountain Kung Fu School.

It was warm. Blue sky. Heavy aroma of roses. Chirping of hummingbirds from high in the trees at the Franciscan Retreat in Scottsdale. A few butterflies flitting through the crowd. The quiet strains of a wooden Native American flute in the background.

I wish I would have brought my real camera.  Taking photos with my cell phone was not a good experiment. Somehow I ended up taking video. Not sure how that happened. I wouldn't mind doing a weekend retreat there even though it is a Catholic facility. Another group there was doing a 12 step retreat. Maybe some day I will have to formally do #4.  Not just apologize to Brian who didn't see a reason why I had to.

I'm going to have a sunburn tomorrow. One that I'm going to be proud of. I'm also extremely proud of the fact that I went and participated for an hour. And even more impressive, I took fruit and jerky in case I got hungry. Don, my tai chi instructor saw me eating the fruit and said "good for you". Made me very happy.

I saw some amazing instructors. I wanted to do a reiki session with a man doing demonstrations, but he was very busy. But I did meet another healer that I liked. I'll probably book with him.  Several months ago I had searched for a tai chi school and actually posted their schedule on the board for awhile. I had been hesitant to join the class, but I've felt inadequate and clumsy and terribly fat.  But one of the instructors was wearing a bright orange shirt and was so incredibly flexible and graceful it was amazing. It made me feel like I could get to that point again.

So I talked to him after wards and got his card.  When I googled it, it was the same site I had posted on my wall.  Karmic message or what?  Guess I'd better listen.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'll have a donut, bartender

Why is it that I can admit I am an alcoholic but not a sugarolic? (I just made up that word, I think.) Or that I was able to learn to like all of those nasty tasting alcohols like Jack Daniels, Jaegermeister, Goldschlager and all the others.  Even that first drink of vodka during a freshman year road trip to Denver. Or the second time as a sophomore in the Centennial Hall Cafeteria when the daughter of a Lutheran minister brought a bottle of cheap vodka to drink after the Christmas holiday dinner.  We poured soda from the machine and Siri poured a huge (or maybe not) glug of it on top and I drank straight from the cup without mixing it. That was the same night I said fuck.

During the drinking years I really didn't "do" sugar. Alcohol contains plenty of substances that convert into sugar in addition to providing that warm feeling in the pit of my stomach. Or that wonderful buzz that turns into a way of not thinking.

Since I've been sober, I've sought out sugar to create that buzz. Although it's really a poor substitute. The peanut M&M's,the licorice,  the Skittles that are sorted out by colors and eaten in a specific order (green, yellow, orange, red and purple - I really like the new green apple).

So why is it that I could quit alcohol, but not sugar?  Why is it that I use the excuse that a bag of Skittles is better than a  bottle of vodka? Why can't I apply the 12 steps to processed food?

Today is my first step in SA (Sugarolics Anonymous). I admit that I am powerless over sugar and processed food. I will endeavor to eliminate this poison from my palate and become a sugar free person. Not quite sure how to do it, but I know that it begins with taking each meal or food at a time. 24 hours at a time.

Except, I am not ready to give up my 20 ounces of liquid Coke Classic or  Dr. Pepper.  Afterall, we strive for progress, not perfection.