Category Archives: Alcoholism

7 STAGES OF GRIEF

Someone recently said to me, trying to reassure my pain I am toiling daily to move through by saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” I say, “Fuck that!” Although my sister was a staunch Christian and all times attempted to live her life by “THE Word” she definitely was given more than she could handle and I too feel like this, the 4th of 6 familial deaths since April of 2015, sure as hell seems like more than I can currently handle. Those who have known me for ages know that I have triumphed through much in the last 3-4 decades of my life, managing to combat the suicidal depression I lived with for all that time, coming through the other side, but this is so very different for reasons I cannot explain. Many have said, “I cannot imagine what you are going through.” And I tend to agree with that statement, no, no you cannot and I would only wish this sort of pain on some that have intentionally wronged me in this lifetime. I’ll not be naming any names at this moment, but a few do come to mind. One reason I am making a concerted effort to stay away from humans right now is that I know for certain the truth in the statement “Hurt people hurt people.” I am not into intentionally causing another innocent human harm right now due to the pain I am experiencing.

In an effort to move through all of this, I have had to rely on the professionals in my life, mainly my EMDR trauma therapist in Buffalo, NY and my counselor from my recovery program in South Carolina back in 2017. I am happy to say that AG and I had such a wonderful connection that we have been able to eliminate that client/patient privilege crap and remain close friends. Thank you AG for being the amazing, brilliant, loving and compassionate human that you are!!! I’m SO grateful for you in my life!

Yesterday morning, I had an EMDR session scheduled with my therapist in Buffalo attempted via some lame video conferencing app. Although I attempted to troubleshoot the issue before we actually connected screens, this is the 2nd time that the microphone simply did not work. We spent 15-20 minutes (most of which I was having a complete fucking meltdown) trying to get the technology to work. I don’t think anyone should ever have to do therapy sessions by video, but it is all many of us have in the time of covid. I need human interaction right now, but there are so few who I actually feel safe with. Since Pam’s body was discovered 2 weeks ago, my friends list has intentionally and significantly shrunk again. That just has to be AOK with me. I have long been into quality of friendships vs quantity anyway. Currently, I am ever so grateful that I have my Mona and my professionals to help during this critical time. Some days it is all I can do to just keep us fed, watered and rested. I have had sleep issues my entire life and this time is no exception to that affliction. Thank goodness and mother nature that fresh air, sunshine and a frigid mountain lake for the WTFU swim are abundant where we currently are situated. From this point going forward, there will be no one allowed in my life who makes lame excuses for not being present for me as I have been for SO many in their times of hardship and need over the years. The 4 word question… HOW CAN I HELP? is all I need to hear from so-called friends during this time. Not that I have an answer for anything exact at this stage of the game, but knowing someone has the good sense of decency, care and compassion to ask, keeps them on my list. You know who you are my beloved die hard amigos. <3 <3

Over the last two weeks, the emotions have been paralyzing most times and have run no gamut other than immeasureable sadness and rage… nothing short of either. While having my meltdown yesterday morning about lousy technology, the housekeeping and management of my current brief hotel stay knocked and asked if everything was ok? Damn, if that ain’t one loaded question currently, I don’t know what is! I assured them that I would be ok and I know eventually I will…. but WHEN is the question? If I had a job/job right now, I know I would be being directed to just go to work. Yes, just go distract yourself, Sue. Just get on with your life as “normal,” right? I am ever so happy I do not have one of those “control of the masses” idiotic things like a “job” right now. My immediate “work” is to stay alive and to stay healthy first and foremost.

These intense emotions that have arisen bring me directly back to Barb’s suicide. Her final attempt of 3 was the one that ultimately took her out of this physical realm. The first was thwarted in October of 2014 by someone who I once considered a best friend since 3rd grade. Yes that someone, (completely against my adamant plea – the only time in my life ever begging on my knees) DEMANDED that crisis services be called. Yes, while I was on my knees, she was screeching in her already consumed daily post-work, 5-6 Michelob Ultras (or Lites cuz you know that alcoholics need to keep their sex appeal) tone – “I am trained for this! This is my job!” I attempted to explain to her begging that THIS was not her job, that THIS WAS MY SISTER not one of her immature, no life experience students she financially counsels and that Barb was taking her own life because she did not want to live in her vaccine damage ridden body any longer – NOT due to mental health issues – two totally different things. Still, that bitch dialed the number, and they on the other of the line forced me to give them Barb’s address. The Crisis Services team raced on over to her home, busted down her door and dragged her to the hoosegow at ECMC hospital in Buffalo. At that time, Barb had been on a series of medications to cease her tremors and keep her mildly sedated, Ativan being one of them. Those medications were not administered to her for almost 60 hours while she waited in the hallway for a bed, and after all those hours of waiting when they FINALLY got her into the psyche ward and situated, she had a massive seizure, fell down and busted up her shoulder into multiple pieces requiring major surgery to repair. Yup, thanks there old pal, just what my poor sister needed… for you to do your ever so important “job.” Here’s wishing your ignorant ass massive suffering in what’s left of your “functioning alcoholic” life. Yup, I can imagine if you are reading this now, you are well into your daily post work beer or wine induced coma, only to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. Groundhog day much? Such a fulfilling life, no? Yes, I have ZERO tolerance for alcohol users and abusers any longer. As Barb always said… “Alcohol, the last legal and MOST dangerous drug. It only makes you fat and stupid.” Amen to that, sister B! Needless to say, two plus years and two attempts later, Barb finally got her wish, Septemeber 28, 2017, the very night I had returned to Buffalo from my virgin sobriety journey with Mona to Nova Scotia. The details of all of this are far more graphically depicted in my upcoming book.

Back to the current ANGER…. Many people have stated (and left my life as well) over the years due to my so-called anger, stating that they are afraid of it – etc etc. I recently have come to realize exactly from where that anger/rage stems. If it wasn’t for that powerful energy of anger, I have no idea at times how I would have survived until now. Pam’s tragic passing has brought forth yet another piece of anger because her death was definitely preventable. I am rip shit angry at the fat ass Dr Capote in Buffalo, NY at the Dent, who kept dispensing the drugs freely. Yup, just keep those big pharma companies in business and your pockets lined, Doc. One day you will get yours as well if I have anything to do/say about it. Two sisters deceased now due to writing scripts for benozs like they were candy. Pam knew all about what Benzodiazepines had done to her brain and had desperately tried to get off of them for the last 4 years. I hope one day as is currently with happening with opioids, that Dr’s are able to be sued for abuse of benzo scripts. I will be first in line with both Barb and Pam’s names on the list.

Let me add a few names to the rip shit list of late… a couple of C U Next Tuesday’s… Sharon Frochen… the “recovering?” meth addict who recently threatened to “bury me.” Nice recovery there, Chica. And less recently, the beloved ever so important ex-employee of Yoko Ono, Ms JAP herself, Ellen Goldin. And last but not least, earlier this year on my journey, a person I truly thought was a kindred Spirit and best friend, Barbara Sklar who lied to me over and over again until she was finally busted. Here’s hoping gals that our paths NEVER cross again in this lifetime. There’s just some people that do not deserve the time of day and you three will now exit my thought process on ending this paragraph. Oh, and if you seek revenge for my calling you out here, feel free to write your own book.

Surely this anger will pass, but in the interim, I am staying out of civilization’s way or else there might be a casualty or two. By the way, if any of you have not seen the new movie on Prime with Olympia Dukakis entitled, “Cloudburst,” Stella is my new Goddess figure and I am going to be channeling her until further notice to get the ever so ignorant riffraff out of my way in this life o’ mine. Yes, this is MY life that I intend to keep on living RX and alcohol free in honor of both of my beloved sisters gone waaaaay too soon. I’ll be back soon in more optimum condition once this rage moves through me and onward. Because ONWARD and FORWARD is the only place to go in a life that has been riddled with as much trauma and sorrow as mine and my beloved mostly deceased family has had to endure. ONWARD.

Also posted in Barbara A Ruof, DEATH, EMDR, ETERNAL LIFE, GRIEF, IGNORANCE, MENTAL ILLNESS, RECOVERY, SPIRITUALITY, Suicide, TRAUMA Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

PULL YOURSELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS

Since 1998, the suicide rate has increased 25% in this country. Mental illness continues to plague our society and it continues to be gravely misunderstood and judged harshly. This week we lost 2 very successful folks who were in the spotlight, yet how many left us that will not make the headlines???

When my sister took her own life last September, I received a few texts from friends who commented on her mental health issues, insinuating that those were the precursor to her tragic act. My first reaction was to defend her, saying it was NOT mental illness that caused her to take her own life. And I have to ask myself, why did I feel the need to defend her mental health so staunchly? My answer is because for the most part in today’s society, depression and anxiety are shunned, thought of as “bad” or something that we possibly have control over. Resources and funding to help the mentally ill are consistently being cut as the disease spreads like a wildfire through America. And the less resources the mentally ill have, the more end up homeless on the street. When I first arrived in San Francisco in 1992, I was astounded how many folks were wandering the streets. By the time I finally left SF in 2010, there were literal camps of homeless below the freeway on 13th street. My heart simply could not take seeing them all on a daily basis. How in the name of all that is GOoD can we call ourselves the greatest nation in the world when these serious problems plague our society?

For many years, I personally suffered from SEVERE depression and anxiety. My depression was SO crippling at times that my good friends who had compassion and an inclination of what I was enduring would come and stay with me, just so I could find an iota of comfort and/or not harm myself. I can’t pinpoint exactly how, why or when my depressive episodes and anxiety lessened. All I can say is that I AM SO ETERNALLY GRATEFUL THEY DID because those snippets of hell, those dives into the abyss of unimaginable sadness made me understand exactly why people like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade hung themselves.

My mother suffered from depression. My grandmother was heavily medicated for 45 years of her life for mental health issues. My great grandfather had my great grandmother committed for her mental health and then he took his own life. So, was(is) my tendency towards depression and anxiety genetic OR as my sister Barb had mentioned often, learned bad thinking? Quite honestly, I’m not sure if there is a definitive answer to the cause of my own disease. I have come to attribute my own depression towards being born ultra-sensitive in a society that doesn’t nurture sensitivity. A great book I read to help understand this was “Self Care for the Self Aware” by Dave Markowitz. I also kept deep, dark secrets for many years. And I also used drugs and alcohol to avert my feelings. Since I ceased using drugs (all street and pharms) and alcohol 18 months ago, my depressive episodes have decreased significantly. AND I attribute my “recovery” to having great counseling as well as digging into those places and secrets held inside that haunted me for years. Most importantly, I became willing to open up and not hide anything any longer, and that included my anger and sadness which I believe turned inward was a huge cause of my blues. I decided that I didn’t care what anyone thought of me or how I chose to live my life any longer. I decided that I was going to unconditionally love myself…. AND get a dog!!! So, my “fixes” may not be permanent, nor may they be yours. The most important thing I can suggest for those suffering is to not be afraid to find some help, to find a compassionate ear and last but not least, DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU TO “PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS”! As a society, we owe this disease a lot more attention. And…. we owe those who suffer chronically from it A LOT MORE COMPASSION.

 

Also posted in DEATH, Depression, Depression, Drug Abuse, IGNORANCE, MENTAL ILLNESS, RECOVERY, SPIRITUALITY, TRAUMA Tagged , , , , , , , |

TIME TO REMEMBER

It’s been a while. It’s been a long while. My fingertips have missed hitting these keys. Anyone who is a writer or knows about writing knows that inspiration is necessary for the words to emerge. I’m hoping that today is a day where my thoughts translate into a message that helps people discover their potential, their passion, their true nature of living as a Spiritual being having a human experience.

A friend posted this meme on Facebook a few weeks back and I hung onto it in essence to bring forth a message of hope to those who are searching for their place in this seemingly crazy world. When I think back about my life as an innocent, before the world told me who I should be, I see a sweet little girl who loved to play with her kitty cat. I see a little girl who LOVED to be outside in nature and fresh air. I see a little girl who absolutely hated to wear a dress and loved to get dirty. I see a little girl who was very in tune with what was around her and very much focused on love. Unfortunately, a lot of what I experienced growing up was not a positive environment for a child to be raised in. This was not my parent’s fault for they did the best they could. I have long ago forgiven them. AND I have learned that life is always what you make of it and that our experiences can either be used to enhance/enrich our life or they can be a deterrent to our growth. I do believe all in life is meant for our growth. When we have what we may perceive as a negative experience, I believe our job is to look beyond what we are disturbed by and question what we can learn from it. My lessons always seem to be around tolerance and patience, two things my mom always accused me of not having enough of 😉 As far back as I can remember, I have always been a rebel. Children of alcoholics are often deemed anti authoritarian.

Back to the meme… We grow up in a society that seemingly already has quite the established structure of what we should do and be in life. I remember knowing as a child that I was artistic; I loved to write, loved to paint, love to sing and play music. I also remember knowing that I would not bear a child. After years of rebellious behavior as a teen, the time came for me to possibly follow suit. Was I going to college? Was I going to get THAT perfect job, get married, build/buy a house, purchase all the proper insurances, have 2.5 kids and live happily ever after enslaved by someone else’s idea of what my life should be? OR was I going to follow my heart and my dreams and live a life that I designed, not one that society designed for me? For many years I struggled with the fact that I did not live in the “norm”. Like George Carlin suggested many times in his comedic routines, I have ALWAYS QUESTIONED EVERYTHING and came to my own conclusions about what worked for me. Once I did my own investigation, I found that my ideals usually didn’t follow what society favored… Nonetheless, I persisted not withstanding many challenging times both emotionally and financially. But I sure learned something from every single experience I had and it has made me the happy and confident person I am today. And although there are many people I know that poo-poo my at times gravely outspoken nature and free-spirited way of living, what matters most is that I AM HAPPY. And as the Buddha said to his students who questioned THE way to happiness… He said, “There is NO way to happiness. Happiness is THE way”! My motto has always been do what makes you happy as long as you are not hurting anyone else. So when people ask me what I do, I answer that I work every day to maintain my happiness 🙂

So to all the younger folks who might be reading this, I advise you to FOLLOW YOUR BLISS! Take the time to find out who you were before someone told you who you SHOULD be or what you SHOULD be doing in this life. My advice is to first cut your social media time in half. Throw out your TV and read books about real life people who do real life things to change the world! Don’t focus solely on building the bank account because any wise soul knows that money does NOT, and will never buy happiness. Do what you love and enough money to support your passion will follow. Don’t wait for retirement to travel. Go outside every day and consciously breathe in fresh air. Take a spontaneous road trip. Climb a mountain or swim in the frigid ocean. Take the road less traveled. Watch the sunrise and/or the sunset. Do something/anything that makes your heart sing every day. Life is short. Carve out your own path, be proud of it and NEVER look back!

REMEMBER… Life is a journey, not a guided tour 😉

Also posted in CAREER, CAREER COUNSELING, FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, GOLDEN RULE, Life coach, LIGHT, SPIRITUALITY Tagged , , , , , , , , |