It may not be NaBloPoMo, although lately it has felt like November. I am again committing to post daily in April through BlogHer. The topic this month is grow – I hope by fertilizing my blog with posts my followship and writing will bloom!
Mike Doughty is a musician in long term recovery. When I was first in recovery, I could not get enough of listening to him, and did not even know he was “like me”- not until the release of his memoir, Book of Drugs.
I also finally watched The Anonymous People this week, which I highly recommend for anyone in recovery or who advocates recovery.
As my readers realize, I have not spent a lot of time on WordPress the past several months. As my freelance promotional and journalistic paid writing has increased, my personal writing has decreased, and WordPress reading halted completely. Today I returned to WordPress as a reader, perusing Freshly Pressed, Community Pool, and blogs in my Reader. Following are a few reads I enjoyed, in no particular order.
Blog on! Read on!
This is something I wrote four years ago in response to the death of my best friend. We had been friends off-and-on for 10 years. We both battled our mental health and addiction demons, and became incredibly close when we went through treatment together five years ago. I want to turn this into a personal essay but I can’t: it’s a time capsule of love and loss in early sobriety. She died on my old sobriety date, and although I wish I had not relapsed for four months two years ago, I am glad I have a new sobriety date. If I had not relapsed, I would be celebrating 5 years of sobriety today, and grieving her death four years ago. I try to keep in touch with her daughter, who now has a daughter of her own, but I am terribly human at it. But having a selfish day of suffering from the should-of, would-of, could-of’s will not bring JED back, however I can try to stay better connected with her daughter in the future.
A Beautiful Mind with Tits
I’m so sad and still wrapping my head around your loss. I am so blessed to have had you in my life. You were my closest friend this year. I hope you knew that. I got a year Jed! You should be fucking celebrating with me ~ with a Diet Coke. I have a roll of quarters; we could be at “The Big L” right now, raiding the pop machine, ensuring that there are no Diet Cokes left for the rest of the residents. And clear out the Reese’s Peanut Butter cups as well. I hope you know how much you meant to me. I wish you had called me one last time. You would not have been a burden. Here are some random memories of you from the past year:
I fear fanny cancer. Fanny is English slang for vagina and sounds less anatomical than the V-word , and less insulting than pussy or cunt. Cancer……well I can’t think of any funny slang for that disease, and putting fanny before it does not take away the fear.
This fear is a tsunami, which runs deep and long in my emotional waves, surfacing again and again as an overwhelming sense of dread crashing the calm surface of gratitude I so desperately want intact.
The cause of this particular fear tsunami happened 25 years ago with the earthquake/landslide/ volcanic emotional eruption that was my mother’s death. She died suddenly at age 52, when I was 17, of uterine or cervical cancer. I do not know which one because my dad did not keep track of such things. He’s very academic, and theoretically she died because the cancer spread plaguing her inner surfaces.
She died on Father’s Day, approximately two weeks after she was diagnosed. She did not take care of her health, was my understanding of the situation. She had a fear of doctors, I remember family members telling me at the time.
It was a blessing and a curse. Losing a mother is extremely emotional at any age. At 17 the loss was unbearable at times, but I lost a depressed, alcoholic mother who I never thought loved me, except that one time she soberly told me so on her death bed.
Blame is an easy reaction to life events when you are 17. I blamed the doctors for not catching my mom’s cancer sooner. I blamed my mom for not receiving health care sooner. Their timing was all off, and consequently my mom died.
As I got older this blame turned to shame. I became an alcoholic myself because I did not want to feel. Shame on me. I would occasionally get physicals and pap smears performed, but after one bad biopsy experience didn’t follow-up on the bad paps. Shame.
Shame damned-up my emotions. Slowly I’d let the emotions flow when I found sobriety. Then an ego-based tidal wave of fear would rip my sobriety away. This time after six months of sobriety, I faced the fanny cancer fear and had a pap smear done. It came up negative. I let nearly two years pass before following up.
The fanny cancer fear tsunami washed away my calm surface after I finally saw a gynecologist, got a colposcopy done and four biopsies. Four minuscule pieces of my cervix that were once intact and then sat in separate petri dishes in some lab.
“Two years too late?,” I asked myself as waves of tears surfaced, again and again over a week’s wait. The lapse of time it took for me to get the procedure done was illogical, which I told myself again and again. New shame surfacing its ugly unproductive head, spiraling my emotions, wreaking havoc on my serenity surface.
Calm came again with the results, which proved I was fanny cancer free. My feet are again planted firmly in the sand, faced forward, away from the tide. I will let my feet get wet with the passing tides of emotion as I maintain my two plus years of sobriety, but for now the tsunami of fear has ceased.
Bass and I are actually away for the weekend visiting his mother in the middle of Wisconsin. So instead of posting a sobriety song (which I’ve failed to do for a month) I’ll post pics of our place in a small Southeastern Minnesota town.
We live in the bottom half.
Beginnings of a home.
Basses and musical things.
Tech boards make me hot.
The World Does Not Validate You....YOU Validate You!!!
Reflections by Plain Jane
(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction
the bipolar battle
Personal journey exploring mental illness and suicide
But it's not a death sentence
“Be compassionate to yourself. That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical. Think what you’d say to encourage a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.”
Coming out of the Dark, into the Light
On Being Creative, A Mother & Bipolar
Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.
Poetry, Thoughts and Stories