Darkness Before the Dawn

Image: hal-pc.org
Image: hal-pc.org

There comes a point in each addict/alcoholic’s life when they feel like there is no way things could get worse.  Whether they are in deep debt, being evicted, homeless, selling sex for drugs/money… the list goes on.

The darkness swallows us, like that giant monster we swore was in our closet as small children.  Only this monster is real.  It is real and it is ugly and it devours us every day making life worse while we try to drown or numb the pain.

My darkness was in a basement in Bucks County, PA.  I had lost my children, was unemployable and was living in the same house as my enabler (my ex-boss).  He and his wife had let me stay with them after I had been evicted from a house in Philadelphia.  I was in debt, could not find work and lived there under the prerequisite that he would give me drugs and money and I would repay him accordingly.

All of my “I never’s” were coming true as I sat in that basement listening to him lumber around upstairs, praying to high heaven he wouldn’t come down those steps.

My two daughters lived there with me and slept in the room on the other side of the basement.  Their precious little faces looked so peaceful when they slept.  My God, what had I done?

No one could tell me about my darkness.  I had to figure it out by myself.  That is the sad truth about addiction and alcoholism.  We always have to find out the hard way.  All those interventions, the threats, the promises the deals… none of it works.  I mean, it may work for a short while, but we just have to feel like there is nothing left.  We have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

It is that moment in time, that darkness before the dawn, that loss of hope, that are you freaking kidding me…. that is when we look at ourselves in the mirror and beg God for help.

Flash Fiction Friday – The Darkness

Image: forum.skyscraperpage.com
Image: forum.skyscraperpage.com

I’m sitting in the dark now.  It stopped raining about an hour ago.  People are walking up and down this quaint little street in Newtown, Pennsylvania.  I tried to walk; I really did.  But it was just too much for me.  All the people. Man, the people.  Their eyes boring through my skin began to drive me mad, you see.  I could see everything.  Everything!  All their sins, their heartbreak, their desires seeped into my soul like rain into the dry, cracked earth.  I had to get away you see.

Now, I am isolated with the memory of a thousand different stares beaming into my brain.  It is just too much!

There is only one way to get rid of this torment.  I have to cut it out.  I have to let the tears bleed out of my skin.  I must release the screams from my pores.

It is the only way…

Flash Fiction Friday – Bullet

Reblog of a favorite Flash Fiction of mine.

English: Picture of a standard 'K Bullet' as m...

So I sat in a box for the last, oh, I don’t know, seven years?  Just sat there on a shelf with dozens of other boxes on other shelves with the others and I am finally free.
I don’t know who opened the box and put me in the chamber of freedom, but his fingers were fat like crinkled sausages and they smelled like shit. I guess some uprights never wash their hands.
“There you go my pet,” the upright says. “You are such a special little bullet. You were born to do great things.  You are going to change history, my pet.”
The upright talks a lot.
It’s freaking dark in here.  I have waited my entire life to get out of that damn box. I am a special bullet.  I don’t mingle with common bullets.
Seven years I have waited for this.  I don’t know what to expect. I just hear the voice.  I guess the voice thinks I can’t understand, but I can. I hear it talk about me.  It talks about my velocity, my speed and my distance.
It’s weird, you know? I don’t know what any of it means.
I can hear the upright speak as I sit here waiting for my moment of glory. He told me I was going to change history.  I don’t know what that means really…  but it sounds important.
Before the upright put me in here, it held me close to where the voice comes out.  It told me all these things.
“You’re so beautiful,” it says.
“You are the most special bullet ever, little bullet. You are going to make poppa so proud,” the voice cries.
I wanted to concur or validate the voices wishes. But what the hell, I’m just a bullet after all. A special bullet it tells me. But I don’t know what the means.  I don’t even know what my purpose is.
“Oh, special bullet. Be straight and true with your aim, young one.  Guide your soul into the heart of that bastard and save us all,” the voice screams.
The upright put me in something cold and long.  It’s dark in here.
Wait.  I just heard a loud bang and now I am zooming through the air toward another upright.  I don’t understand any of this.
Now I am in something hot, dark and wet. This is so odd.  I was happy in my box with the others.  I don’t feel so special anymore. Where is the voice?
I hear other voices now.  They are making high-pitched noises.  They are screaming, “He’s shot! He’s shot!”
My shell is gone.  I am now a flat piece of metal.
I still don’t feel special.

All About Perspective

What do you see?

Perspective.  We all have our own.  Some perspectives we learn over time while others we form on the drop of a dime.  I have said, in earlier posts, that I find people fascinating.  Their tastes, their mannerisms, and their idiosyncrasies.  But what I am really into is their perspective.

For example:  the glass to the left of this post.  Half full?  Half empty?  Too much?  Not enough?  Do you even care?

I was at a meeting last night and at the end, we all went outside.  A lot of us stand around and chitter chatter sometimes; getting to know each other and all that. I was talking to my old sponsor, and I spotted this huge bug on the wall to the right of me.  It was huge and beautiful, from my perspective.

I started to ease my hand under the bug (my mother had shown me how to do this just this past weekend) and my old sponsor started to become uncomfortable.

“Please, Darlene.  Don’t do that!” she begged me.

“Why?  It’s a harmless bug.  Look how cool he is,” I defended as I edged my hand under the left rear leg.

“Cool?  It’s ugly and it will hurt you,” she said.  I could hear her perspective from the fear in her voice.

I really wanted to hold this bug and get a better look at it.  From my perspective it was just a bug; a misunderstood bug judged solely on appearance.  My perspective saw beauty and uniqueness.

I decided to spare everyone (at this point more people were watching) the horror of me (gasp!) actually picking up a giant bug to revel in the beauty I saw in God’s little creature.  My old sponsor relaxed and so did a few other people after I moved my hand away from the bug.  I felt a little sad because I didn’t get to pick the bug up.

However, I am happy that I got to see it and that I didn’t cause mass hysteria! 😉

Life is all about perspective.

Have your perspectives ever changed?  How do you feel about bugs?

ROW80 – Life, Living and GAH!

So… pretty much my Flash Fiction Friday commitment is a big flop because I have not one flipping story idea.  So, next Friday if I do not have a story idea, I am going to reblog one of my older ones and maybe that will get my creative juices flowing.

Today is my parents 40th wedding anniversary.  Wow.  I spent yesterday with the whole family and we went to the Cape May Zoo.  It was a great day.

On my goals:  meetings are in check, got a little editing/proofing done, commented on a few blogs over the course of the week and managed to get on Triberr only one time this week and share a lot of posts.  This week I am aiming for two.

I took a Chakra class Friday night, and that was a lot of fun.  It was a guided meditation and it really helped me look into myself a little deeper….

Goals for this week:

  • get back into blogging
  • proofing manuscript
  • sorting out my life
  • AA/Al-Anon meetings

I hope everyone else is having a great Sunday and has a great week!  Keep up the good work you guys and gals!

ROW80 – Getting Down and Dirty

So, I have been going to A LOT of meetings.  I even started going to Al-Anon, because hey, I am from a long line of alcoholics, so it makes sense.  And, as I go to these meetings (six a week) and I meet new people and hear new stories, I am finding out many things about myself.

Honestly, I can’t change me or my circumstances without rigorous honesty and self-awareness.  If I keep living in an imaginary bubble and pretend my life is just the way I like it, my life is going to stay exactly the way I don’t like it.

That is lame.

I went to the library Saturday and took out two books: “Make Your Creative Dreams Real” and “Become a Personal Trainer For Dummies.”

I know I am a good writer, and I love to write.  My dream has always been to be a best-selling author touching people’s lives, all the while living in an amazing house up the mountains somewhere.  However, what I am realizing is this:

I really love people.  I love talking to people, I love making someone’s day and, most of all, I love helping people.  People fascinate me.  Their mannerisms, their behavior, the things they say and especially the way they project the way they think.

And for some reason, whenever I journal or reflect on what I REALLY want to do with my life, it always comes back to helping people.  Specifically, it always comes back to becoming a personal trainer or an addiction counselor.

So that is where I am at.

My goals:

  • Write synopsis and query letter for “Bound and Broken.”
  • Come up with some flash fiction stories (I had NO idea what to write for this past Friday – sorry everyone).
  • Continue with meetings.
  • Do a mind map of goals, tools and resources to get on the right path.

That’s it for me!  😀  Where is everyone with their progress?  Do you ever find new goals as you tackle current ones?

Have a great week…

ROW 80 Update – Keeping in Stride

Well.  I must say, I am really doing quite nicely!  I am keeping up with my final edits on my novel, maintaining meetings, and taking time for myself.  I am up to page 140 on my WIP.  I sent my work to two fellow bloggers, and when they get time, they are going to read my work. Yay!

Friday night my BF and I went on an actual date.  We had tons of fun and I, for the first time, tried “green tea frozen yogurt.” It was absolutely delicious.

I am back into my Friday Flash Fiction and you can check out my latest piece here. Honestly, I wrote it kind of last-minute and had a picture on hand from a real place!  That real place is where the story is surrounded.

Now, on with the goals!

  • continue edits on “Bound and Broken.” I should wrap it up in two weeks.
  • continue with Friday Flash Fiction.
  • continue to share fellow blogger posts 3x a week via Triberr.
  • maintain meeting attendance.
  • clean up my work space! (There are books, papers and colored pencils everywhere!)
  • Start on my Power Mandalas (hence, the colored pencils.)

That’s it for me!  I was on vacation for half the week and I really got some time to relax.  😀  How about you? What’s going on in your world?

Keep it simple!

ROW80 – Accountability

I honestly was not going to hop in on this round of ROW80.  I thought, “gah!  I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I’m too everything not to do this.”

But then I thought about it.  I am really just being too lazy.  I am the kind of person that, when I get in that dark slump of lazy selfishness, NEEDS someone (or something) to push me.

And then I thought about how hard I have worked up until this point.  I was writing/editing every day.  I was posting on my blog 2-3 times a week. I was commenting on other blogs (a lot!) and I was really involved in our little community.

Well, I need to get back there.  And I am getting back there starting today.

Here is my list of this round’s ROW80 Goals:

  • read through my manuscript one more time, looking for any inconsistencies or places where it is lame.
  • read/comment at least 3-5 blogs a day.
  • journal, journal journal.
  • share blog posts via Triberr.
  • Write a Flash Fiction piece each week to post on my blog for Friday.

That’s it for now.  The truth is, I have been so out of my mind the last few months… I really needed to get back into meetings and getting back in touch with people in the program, and I did just that.  It feels good to be back in the rooms and reaching out to others.

I wish everyone the very best on their ROW80 road this round!

ROW 80 Update – Keeping With The Beat

So I was successful in keeping with the editing process. So far there are two parts I highlighted and made notes on that basically it sucked and I had to go back and revise it when I was finished on my “seek & destroy” mission of editing all the unlikable parts of my WIP. I am up to page 104 of 188 and hope to be finished before the month is over.  I am off Monday, so a big chunk of time will go to this.

I went to a meeting Friday night and got my six-year coin.  😀  It was a proud moment.  It is an odd feeling not feeling right or comfortable in my own skin for most of my life and the first part of my sobriety.  But, as I shared Friday night, I realized, I am extremely comfortable in my own skin these days and really like who I am.

It is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t know what I mean.  I love me!  And not in that “look at me! look at me!” way. More like:  I am so comfortable with myself these days that I don’t have to pretend to be someone I am not to get people to like me.  I am being true to who I am and that is so important to propel forward in a positive way!

My Goals

  • Continue editing.  I am keeping with this goal.
  • Make meetings.  I made two AA meetings this week!
  • Triberr 2 – 3 times a week.  I did two this week.  I go down the whole page til I share all posts – it takes a while.
  • Comment on blogs.  I am not really doing this as much as I used to (I burned myself out).  But I am commenting on about ten – twenty blogs a week and try to comment on different ones.
  • Come up with a few ideas for my lagging “Flash Fiction Friday” posts. Truth is, I have had zero ideas wrapped in a blanket of nothing.

That’s what I got so far!  How are you coming along with your goals?

Take care and have an amazingly peaceful week!

ROW 80 – Things Are Getting Funky

Ya know, sometimes I wonder what the heck life is all about really.  Sometimes I feel like it is one big joke of oxymorons, coincidences and irony. I really do try to gather the positive out of every situation, however, I am in a situation now and I am laughing because it is so sad. I won’t go into detail on my blog here, but let’s just say, WTF?!

Okay.. thanks for letting me share.

I have continued to review/edit my current WIP. I am up to page 50 of 188.  If I do five pages a day over the next 30 days I will finish by July 4th!  Also, I put a shout out to anyone who wanted to beta read it for me.  The work is a crime drama with sex, murder drugs and language.  So if anyone is into that or isn’t offended by such things, shoot me an email at ninjagal@comcast.net.

In other news, my ATV injuries are healing well with the exception of my left shoulder.  No biggie… it will be where it is supposed to be eventually.

On With The Show

  • continue to edit WIP. Five pages a day.  Finish this!
  • Continue to read/comment blogs (I have slacked on this immensely, I am truly, truly sorry).
  • Triberr:  Three times a week.
  • Read Shay Fabbro’s Dangerous Reflections! It sounds very interesting.

That’s it for me… what say you?  How are you coming along with your goals?