Addict · Addiction · Autism · Bloggess · dating life · Family · Life · Life story · love · Mother · Recovery · single · Uncategorized

Something for the New Year….

It’s early Saturday morning and I just decided to grab some coffee and hit the keys- these keyboard keys that is. Actually I think I’d better grab another cup of java so hold please…

Ahhhh coffee. Do you know I went three years without a drop of coffee before I decided one day to grab a cup and viola? I am a coffee drinker again and have been for at least 4 years now. Just like that. I have gone a lot of years without a lot of things in my life- all by choice. Most is for the absolute best really, I am in recovery. My clean date is September 5, 2008 and all I can say to that is I am forever grateful for finding a new way to live. I am not going to speak about the other things I go without, it is all by choice.

Usually in the mornings I am hanging out my bedroom window talking to chickens and feeding my fat cat Hermes – that has not been the case lately. My college daughter Irene is home for the winter break which includes Christmas and the New Year coming; I will return her soon to her dorm life the Saturday after the New Year. I hope. I say I hope because in reality she is struggling, two of three classes she passed with excellent grades and one she failed. I don’t know what any of that means other than I will have to arrange for a tutor and more support. I am sure there are lots of new college students struggling, I am sure it has nothing to do with her Autism- it is just calculus. It may have to do with turning in assignments, things I always made sure she did when she was home with me.

Home. Home is very different now and seems to be wherever I rest my head lately. I have a room I rent and that is really all I need. I have let go of just about everything I owned. Kept some work clothes and camping gear, the children and grandchildren’s keepsakes. You know all the hand painted pictures, the yearbooks and little ceramic items they created for me in school. All the awards and trophies, the special rocks from camping trips and my little box of teeth they lost in their younger years. All of the mementos that I hold dear to my heart, that no one ever saved of my mine from my youth. My things were tossed out, some were even given to me when I returned from my runaway days only for me to toss out in my addiction. I couldn’t keep anything back then and have little to no memories. Reasons why I love to make so many memories now and to take all the pictures for evidence and proof of my existence. The only existence of my life for over a decade was mugshots, those were the pictures that were captured of me. I digress.

Back to home. Irene does not like it where I am living so for now I have not been there. I have been at moms sleeping on the couch or somewhere else where it has been a bit more comfortable- but still close to enough to moms to be close to Irene. Irene has a room at moms where she can close the door and close the world out. Now some may wonder how I am letting my child decide where we stay, Irene is Autistic. Irene is eighteen now and legally an adult- legally, not mentally. She is pretty much my only concern in life. Yes I do have other children, but this amazing thing happens when you groom your children to be adults equipping them with the tools they need to survive the world. They grow up. They sprout wings grow up and move on and out. It is called life and I have done a great job raising my children providing them with the life skills needed to become adults. I may have arrived on the scene late to the parental parade, but I showed up.

Irene is different. Different but not less. She may very well be living with me her entire life. I have given her the best tools out there, she is soaring at college. Go Slugs! She is attending her classes, cleaning up beaches, going on school trips and chasing Pokémon wherever she goes. The reality is I am not sure how far she goes or what the outcome will be, I just have to have faith. Faith in time. This time at this moment is what I have faith in- for everyone and everything. Faith.

Faith brings me to the New Year, and the past year as well. Faith is all I have, mixed with a whole lot of love, courage, perseverance and my recovery. Without that I have nothing. I thank my God I have everything I need! Faith will move mountains. It will open doors and close doors as long as you just keep going. I will. I will keep going. I will no longer stand in the door waiting. I was. I was waiting for two people to work on what needed to be worked on and hopefully make their way back to one another.

A funny thing happens when you do the work- you just keep growing. My Sponsor in the 12 Step Fellowship I belong to has always said the same thing to me throughout the years, “just keep doing your steps Christine.” I didn’t understand that years ago in the beginning. Those early years when I thought I would stay married to the second husband, the ‘lifer’ in prison who is no longer a lifer due to new laws and has a release date in 2021. That will be a new saga to write about then, but for now we are still on this one- staying in today. Linda always said those words to me because she knew, she knows, with Stepwork there lays a journey to self-discovery and you may find all those things you thought you were and wanted may change. They have changed. I no longer want what I once had. He made it easier every time I saw him- every time I see him, to know why I left. I thank him for that and I thank my God for the gift of awareness.

My dear friend said to me well over a year ago, yes go live with him- you need to see. Well I did. Unfortunately it was all the outside issues that became our issues that made a difference in our lives at that time- in my opinion. We all have them, opinions. It was our kids, who were adults. It was maybe even that accident? Everything seemed to be going smoothly up until shortly after. It was the behaviors. Those behaviors that surface without doing the work. It is sad really. I no longer feel for any of that. With the needed Stepwork, just dropping my twelfth again and committing to the New Year’s recovery with yet another round I have found acceptance for the time and the gift of closing the door for good and moving on.

What seemed important no longer does. My friend Nancie was the person who had confirmed it would be good to go see what it would be like to live with him. It was her handsome husband who asked me that one question when I saw him last Saturday, “will I see you on the New Year’s ride?” That question. He later apologized for it, he forgot he said. I let him know I loved him and it was Ok. Many people forget still-John just forgot.

I am forgetting. I am forgetting the past and moving on. I am closing the door for the New Year and letting it all go. I am deleting the memories, locking away the photos and those dreams of what I thought would always be. I am filling my life with new dreams. I am filling my heart with new goals and ideas and opening the doors to the world and the word yes. I filling my soul with hope. I always have hope.IMG_7805

My God knew and always knows what I need, long before I do. A few months back I was asked to speak at a New Year’s Eve event up in Humboldt County- I said yes. Yes knowing I would be gone on New Year’s Day. Yes- knowing it will always be the Fellowship that saves my ass and gives me what I need. Yes to open doors and love. I am in love! Love with my life and the choices I make. Love with the journey and the possibilities that are out there. In love of the unknown. In love with willingness and faith. In love with knowing life is too short to be unhappy. Life is so amazing and should be enjoyed- hold nothing back and live it to the fullest!

I am in love with me and what exciting opportunities are out there with the New Year that is coming.

It is now New Year’s Eve. I had stopped clacking on the keys the other day and picked them up again today. It was meant to be. It was all meant to be. Tonight I will let it all go. I will leave it all here in this beautiful place and go home anew. I love my life. It was meant to be mine. All of it!

The Chicken LadyIMG_7806

Addict · Addiction · Bloggess · Childhood · death · Family · Farmer · hopeless · Life · Life story · love · Recovery · Uncategorized

No More Numbers….

I haven’t written in a bit- anything that I have put here that is. My time has been spent on numerous applications and Statement of Qualifications along with Cover Letters and Resumes; over thirty so far. All of that dedicated writing has garnered me six interviews in the field I am attempting to enter, two within just the past few days. Those who know say I am doing great since it takes determination to enter this field at the level of which I am attempting to come in at. Perseverance. Do you know how different my life is now than it ever was before? It is evolving daily- still. Gratefully.

Today marks a few things to remember, December 19th is my daughter Marina’s birthday- she is now 28 and December 19, 2008 was the date of my last sentencing for crimes committed- to date. I say to date because – well if I fail to remember where I came from or what I was like I may be doomed to repeat. I do not forget. I was given a gift, a gift that took a few years to grasp with my thinking and stubborn head; I needed to bleed a bit more before I surrendered.

I remember the day well when I surrendered for the first time, actually I was just trying to get to my mother’s computer where I had hidden a check writing program. That was all I really needed, her computer. My laptop had been stolen 24 hours or more earlier- not sure of the timing. Who pays attention to the timing when they are released from jail on a heroin charge in a small town like Jackson in Amador County, California? Who hails a cab because she has no wheels and heads straight to the casino? Did I mention hailing a cab in Jackson is not the easiest thing to do? This was way back before things like Uber and Lyft. Oh, and the who – that was me. Just a bit of what I was like back then. I was a nightmare who scared many in my path, especially those I loved the most. Family.

The surrender as I mentioned did not look like a surrender- it was just a manipulation for what I needed. The outcome became willingness. Willingness to enter detox for the first time ever. Detox. That is for addicts by the way- I was not an addict at the time. Or so I thought? I was just tired.

She was there for me, my Aunt Lily. She opened the door for me and thousands of others just like me. Lily ran the detox at the Effort for many years. That first time in detox was like a vacation- I just fell out. When they took me to a meeting after I was well enough it was like a field trip. The meaning behind all that is, I don’t think I took it all that serious. I did in my way. In my own little dope fiend way.

Lily passed away Monday night on December 16, 2019, a few days ago. It is fresh, the emotions are real and so is the gratitude. Lily knew me before I was even born, she is family. My father, a little known secret, was the very first to get her loaded. She often joked and reminded me of that and my dad corroborated it at least once in jest. It was more like a blackmail and the rest of the story I will save for another day maybe. This is about the numbers.

Not the numbers of times I ended up in detox, which would be four. My calls from another county or better yet someone calling for me and making arrangements for me to come in again. Lily always said the same thing, “come in well.” If and when I made it there I was safe for a while. One time I recall shooting up at the little VFW just at the corner, I just needed one more. After the fourteen day detox that in the end would become a ten day detox until the very end when I bounced on day three; there was usually a residential program she had already arranged a bed for me at.

Seeds. The seeds were planted long before I knew, long before I was willing, long before I came to believe.

The numbers of which I am referring to are the little gold numbers I wear around my neck. They will not be there again. The numbers are gone. The numbers that passed from woman to woman on their clean-dates are gone- but not the memories. The strength is still there. The wisdom is still there. The courage is still there. The commitment is still there and the love. The love that she showed me, the unconditional love- no matter what.

I cherished those numbers and the date they were always given to me by my Aunt Lily- my clean date, September 5, 2008. I now have over 11 years clean and I have Lily to thank for that and so many others. Lily would give me my number representing my years in recovery and I would surrender the previous year’s number to be passed down to the next woman. Lily had numbers up to 19. She had faded into a coma throughout those past few weeks and woke on the day she celebrated 20 years, December 3, 2019. The tradition is over and will fade.

Lily knew me. She knew where I had come from and she knew the people I had run with- she knew my family too. Not many people can say that about me. My Aunt Lily hand-picked my Sponsor and sent her to me in that very first program after she delivered me from the detox. She also stopped at the pawn shop from the detox to the program so I could pick up some things- you know how we do it. Lily knew. She knew what I needed before I knew. Although I didn’t stay way back then, I eventually made my way back. I am so grateful I made it back, that is not always the outcome for addicts in recovery who choose to go out.

I was afforded a gift in the end with my Aunt Lily and that is time. My beautiful mother cared for her since they, to this day, have always stayed the best of friends. She stayed in mom’s spare room until my mother delivered her back to the hospital. She was younger than my mom. How crazy is that? Lily was good and so full of life one day and then she was gone.

Hold on to your loved ones and cherish them while you have the time. Just love….

The Chicken Lady11222444_416677725194743_1751676487993896391_o

Uncategorized

Team Irene- the College Daughter

My Irene has lost so much weight. She’s healthy but I wonder if she’s eating? I have always said to others she eats about 5 different things and 3 of them are a variety of potatoes- chips, fries and baked; oh and mashed too. That is Autism. That is her Autism because Autism is different for everyone and it changes daily. She is doing amazing at UC Sant Cruz and I keep having to tell myself that and others when they ask because I don’t know anything different and I won’t know until it hits the fan- if it hits the fan. Shit that is. Until then I just practice acceptance and faith and know that I’m utterly powerless.

I know Irene is walking everywhere on campus because Irene can’t drive or even ride a bike, mostly out of fear and I’m ok with that. This is probably why she has slimmed down so much I tell myself. She has learned the bus system with the help of her IHS worker who is bringing on another worker so Irene gets more hours a week. She must need them if they are doing this – I have to trust them.

Her hygiene I will not talk about, but she has hair growing everywhere including under her arms and I know that is a thing now with girls so I encouraged her not to worry and to do what ever she wants- I will not define her. Many of her clothes just went straight to the trash and shopping had to be done. She was home for Thanksgiving and we are on the drive back now with her dad at the wheel so I have some time to reflect and jot down a few lines.

Irene is Autistic plus as many of you know, depressive, anxiety and ADHD as well. She is my gift. The gift born in the front seat of my car in my addiction. The gift I tried so hard to keep. The gift I walked away from and thank my God for bringing me back to when I got clean. It’s never too late.

Irene won’t say if she’s hungry, she’ll wait until she can find some chips or bread; she doesn’t want to bother anyone. I saw she ordered some gourmet cookies delivered to her room- I know that was probably very exciting for her. Her bank account is attached to mine so I always know what she’s buying. She has only made it into the Mc Donald’s in Santa Cruz once her whole time at school; this was her staple at home and still her treat.

I’m taking her back with snacks and enough hygiene to last her until summer. If I make sure she has everything she needs then she hopefully won’t run out. What Irene see’s as necessary to buy and what is not are different than the usual- she needs every airport neck pillow she sees- tampons not so important. I’m hoping these extra hours with her worker are utilized to the fullest and I have a list of items to discuss with them. I haven’t even seen her room yet but if it looks like it did a few weeks ago I’ll send her and her dad Mark out to Mc Donald’s so I can get it together while they’re gone. She panics when things are moved or when people are in her space. She stays secluded but gets out to do the things she wants when she wants- the things that interest her.

Irene makes it to her classes though. I hope she is turning in assignments and studying for finals- she is so smart. I had to map things out -everything in high school daily including homework and due dates- she’s on her own now. Things her IHS worker is supposed to be assisting her with- organization and dates. She lives in her own world doing what her mind wants to. I can’t explain Irene any better than that other than a beautiful brilliant gift and my daughter.

I have heard C’s get degrees and although she has always been an A+ honors student that came at a cost. Frustration, tears, meltdowns and stress along with her picking at her skin and pulling her hair out. Her bangs are growing back out and I don’t see any signs of hair pulling- although she is always wearing a hat. A mother knows her child. She is thriving and I have to keep supporting her. I’ve picked her classes – yes again, hopefully for the last time. She was upset with me. Irene didn’t understand classes have to be picked and no longer will she just get a schedule. I finally got the IHS worker to get her to a counselor and follow up with that to map out her years for success. Irene was 1 of 200 accepted into UC Santa Cruz’s Computer Science degree program in 2019! If you put it in front of her she will do it. She can do anything.

The Chicken Lady