Monday’s with – Me: Pain and the Disease

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Michael never ceases to amaze me with his candidness. It is real people like Michael that keep me real. Please keep an open mind as you read this. Michael is thankfully still with us and working on his recovery one day at a time.  Stay Blissful my Friends! – E


Age nineteen, I’m proud I’m a US Marine, but guess what I got too see?,

my good friend killed right in front of me,

to this day it’s still hard to believe,

how come it was him, why wasn’t it me?

This screwed me up mentally, this is the cause of my PTSD,

this contributed to my depression,

this is when my master became the disease,

I started drinking every day, anything to numb the pain,

I hurt so bad I wanted to go away,

I ate some pills hoping to never wake up,

but I did and my life continued to suck,

when I came home from the Marines, I didn’t realize it, but I was already a slave to my disease,

not only did I lose my friend, I lost my girl,

without Jennifer I hated this world,

it’s all good we’re still the best of friends, her family’s my family,

I’ll love them to the end,

this is how life went on for the next few years, drinking and drugging, trying to cover up the fear…

At twenty two I got in a wreck, I was drunk as hell, man I was a mess,

in the hospital, cut up, bloody and bruised, I couldn’t move my legs, but I still wanted more booze,

at twenty three the next love of my life, this girl was sweet, together for eight years, Vanessa I still love you, I’m sorry for all the tears, the disease had me, I was drowning in the beers,

twenty six was an interesting year, DUI number two I blew a point .262,

second trip to jail, it was no fun, thirty days locked up, nowhere to run,

I prayed to God and told him I was through, went to The Betty Ford Center, to cure the booze,

the second I got out, I found myself in the bar, I was insane no doubt, I was blind, I was lost,

I couldn’t see, always in a cloud from smoking the weed,

then I got introduced to my next friend in the disease, his name was cocaine,

oh my I’m in disbelief, then came DUI number three, I continued on like this until 2003,

that’s when my beautiful Vanessa left, she was through with me,

she was tired of the lies and broken promise, sorry doesn’t fix shit.When you have my problems,

a few months before that my granny died, I never realized how much a man could cry,

she was my inspiration, the only reason I tried, I loved my granny more than anyone,

she never judged me, in her eyes I could do no wrong, then I got fired from my job, and another failed relationship with a woman I loved, I could take no more, the shame, the guilt, the fear, the anger, the depression, the PTSD, the disease was about to finish me,

I went to my grannies grave with the gun in my hand, so much pain it was time to leave this land,

I put the gun in my mouth and said a prayer, God and granny it’s time, I’m getting out of here,

as I was about to pull the trigger, the grave yard was quiet like a whisper,

then out of the blue, a big gust of wind came ripping through, I heard a voice it said don’t give up,

I put the gun down and started to cry, off to The Betty Ford Center for one more try,

I really wanted it this time, I went to Alcoholics Anonymous, I continued to try,

relapse after relapse I got my fourth DUI,

I became a liar a cheat and a thief, everything I said I’d never be, man I hate this fucking disease,

then I got serious, I got sober and clean, that was a lie, I drank four times that year,

I thought I had recovered, I’d be alright, I continued to drink and drug for few more years, I was so sick as bad as I wanted to I could not quit…

Sunday Shot of Bliss VI. Slow it Down

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It is remarkable that since I wrote Slow it Down I., I have been going full steam ahead. Balls to the wall! Sidenote: If you think the phrase “Balls to the Wall” is nasty, get your head out of the gutter and click on the link to find out what it really means.

Anywhoo, back to slowing it down.  If you recall, I was reflecting on the one time I got a speeding ticket on my way to Yoga class…Yeah, cue up Alanis Morissette’s Ironic!

Slowing down is fairly difficult at this time in my life with work, writing this blog, studying for a 7-hour test this upcoming September and trying to get as much quality time with my granddaughter before she moves out of the state. I used to say I didn’t have enough time, now I know what that actually means.

Breathe

It is customary to start with the breath. Breathing is always a good thing to do.  After my hysterectomy, I developed panic attacks and visited with a Neuro kinesiologist. The first thing she pointed out was my incorrect method of breathing. I didn’t even know there  was a proper way to breathe! But yes, she told me that since I breathed in through my mouth it was increasing the anxiety attacks.  The correct way to breathe is to use your diaphragm and breathe in through your nose. You may breathe out of your mouth or nose, as long as you remember to breathe in through the nose. I have been doing this for years now and can honestly say that none of my panic attacks have ever killed me! Ha! But honestly, I have not had panic attacks since then.

Source: aromaticwisdominstitute.com

Aromatherapies and Essential Oils

With the explosion of the Essential Oil businesses Doterra and Young Living, many have better knowledge of what “real” essential oils can do for our well-being.  However, if it is not in your budget you can check out PlantTherapy.com or find Aura Cacia at your local health store.  Lavender is by far the most calming essential oil out there. I keep a mighty big bottle at home as it is also excellent for the many burns I inflict upon myself with my various styling tools.  You can rub lavender into your wrists, mist it through a humidifier or diffuse it with a tea light candle burner. I even picked up a locket that I can place a small piece of cotton doused with a couple of drops of the oil of my choice.

Rest

Lie Down on your back and close your eyes.  Take your attention to your breath and listen to the sound of your breath. Feel the vibrations of the air touching your skin. Be still, be quiet.  You might even find yourself slowing down enough to get in a mid-day snooze. Don’t forget, to breathe!

Unplug…Oh, Wait!

Did I just say that?  Why yes I did! Believe it or not, I unplug more often than ever…and when I say unplug this also includes the smart phone! I am sometimes amazed at how many emails, texts, PM’s and voicemails I DON’T have waiting when I re-plug. Nice to know the world keeps on revolving.

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Prayer and Meditation

Well, you saw this one coming, didn’t you? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Pretty simple no? Though I am one who can complicate a cheese sandwich, God spells it out in seven simple words! Just be still. Just recognize that He is God and You are not! The weight that came off my shoulders when I first acknowledged this is astonishing! Don’t forget to breathe!


There are numerous ways to slow down; Walking barefoot in the grass, Afternoon Tea, A Bubble Bath,  Tubing over calm waters, Star-Gazing, Walking the dogs, Petting the cat (if he/she will let you), Listening to calm music.  Something for every walk of life. Find your preference and go for it…Don’t forget to breathe!

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Mondays with Michael

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Michael T. Clark has graciously agreed to share his lovely words of poetry on my blog every Monday. Going forth, this day shall be deemed “Monday’s With Michael”. So let it be said, so let it be done. – E

Peace – by Michael T. Clark

As I walk up the mountain all alone,
I realize I’m at peace, this is my inner home,
I hear the insects, the birds, and the trees,
One with nature, this is how I fight my disease,
As the water flows through the stream,
My mind is calm, this must be a dream,
I feel the love pounding in my heart,
So blessed God gave me a fresh start,
The dirt and rocks under my feet, this is the foundation of the Universe that I seek,
My thoughts are so clear, not only do I see the beauty, I can hear,
The wind blows as I travel the path,
My cells are cleansed, like a warm bath,
This is the solitude that I seek,
Thank you life, I’ve found peace…
Live 2 Love…

Stay Blissful my Friends – E

Personal Values/Break on Through

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Personal Values

In my last blog “A Moment of Clarity“, I posed the following questions:

“Ask yourself if you still believe the words that you speak or even the thoughts that you think. Are your actions representative of the values in which you are living today? ”

I also wrote of taking action. Elysia, where do I start? I’m glad you asked. A few years ago, I experienced yet another painful bursting of a bubble. I found a support group on-line and one of the first assignments handed out was to prepare a Personal Values statement.

I had done this several years before after reading The Purpose Driven Life. Again, I found myself asking the same above questions. Not a bad place to be really.  At this point, I would do anything to step outside of the raw emotional pain I was enduring. The Personal Values writing process was simple and I would love to share it with you today!


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  1. Start with a list of everything important to you. You don’t need to overthink this, just write.  Some examples: Having dinner at the table as a family; Getting to Work on time; Daily Meditation and Prayer at a specific time of day; Going to the Gym in the morning; Spending one night a week with my girlfriends; Volunteering once a month at a shelter.  Got it? Good. So write, write, write!
  2. Review this list and choose 5-6 of the most crucial items for you today.
  3. Summarize these 5-6 items. Elaborate and expand on the importance of each value.
  4. Then again, ask yourself if you are already living according to any of these values.
    • If yes, identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
    • If no, how do you intend to make these work? Where are your strengths and weaknesses in following through? Might you slightly tweak one of these? For instance: It could possibly be more attainable to have dinner at the table as a family three times a week, or meet up with your girlfriends every other week.
  5. Ask yourself if your current work/life situation is allowing you to live these values.
    • If yes, then you are ready to go forward with living your personal values! I like to post them in a place I can see them daily as I begin the process of living them.
    • If no, well, this part can be difficult, because  you are probably due for a major life change. But be fearless! This is an exciting part of your life!

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Life changes are a positive thing, just not always easy. I remember when my little Chevy Aveo was a total loss due to a rear ending accident. I was sad. I loved that little car. It was fun and it made a really cool sound when I accelerated. Then I saw my new car…A beautiful purple Ford Fiesta with all the perks that the Chevy did not have!  I know this is just material, however transportation is a daily part of life for most of us.

If you trust the process, you can truly experienced the satisfaction of breaking on through to the other side!  


You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day, tried to run, tried to hide
Break on through to the other side

Break on Through

I know right? How do The Doors fit in with all this personal values jigger? This song can mean so many different things. Today I see it as anthemic. I am ready for a change. Fired up, ready to go, ready to break on through! This song did not represent such a thing to me several years ago.  That my friends, is the true magic of music. But that is a topic for another day ha!  I love the idea of changing my perception or psychic change if you will. I have a tattoo of a blue rose that specifically represents this type of change.

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Today is a different day. The bubble has been burst. Nothing will ever be the same. Thank you God!!

Now Go!

…And stay blissful my friends – E

A Moment of Clarity

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Moment of Clarity
AKA – Epiphany
AKA – Disillusionment
AKA – The bubble has burst!
 
I am a huge fan of disillusionment, having experienced many epiphanies – all for the improvement of my inner self. What I love about these said moments of clarity are the sudden opening of my mind, realizing that I no longer think or believe the way I have been all or most of my life. Maybe some of this thinking is cultural, or passed down in my family from generation to generation.

Zig Ziglar once told a story about a woman cooking a ham. Her husband asked why the ham must be cut in two pieces and  positioned a certain way. She replied that this is how my family has always cooked ham.  With her husband’s encouragement, she called and asked her grandmother what the reasoning was behind this method. Her grandmother laughed and replied “When we were young, we had a very small oven so this was the only way we could get it to fit.”

Not all moments of clarity are this cheerful and fun. Some can be painful…as growth usually brings forth some pain.  Sometimes we have to step out in faith to  live our truth. At times this can be perceived as failure by our family members. Occasionally  tribal shaming will happen. At these times, we must accept that we are disappointing our loved ones and own it for the greater good of living in our reality.

Benjamin Bratt stars in this movie, produced by his brother Peter. Though beautifully filmed, it is not an easy movie to watch at times. It tells a real story of generational culture and of beliefs/thought patterns. Tribal shaming appears in a rather violent way. I know this violence all too well. Still, I am glad I continued to watch. 
 
In probably the most powerful performance of his career, Benjamin Bratt’s character “Che” is more than ready to have his bubble burst. For in a beautiful scene alongside Aztec dancers performing, Che experiences a most compelling moment of clarity. It is in this moment, I feel as one with Che.  

Knowing we cannot go on living the same illusion and yet fearful of the unknown. At this jumping off point, either fear will motivate us or faith will. I think sometimes fear gets a bad rap. Fear is a gift, a part of our human nature. It warns us to swerve to avoid a car accident or to avoid going near the flames from a burning building. Fear can sometimes lead us to faith. 

A moment of clarity is as a good a thing as long as it is followed up with action. 
Ask yourself if you still believe the words that you speak or even the thoughts that you think. Are your actions representative of the values in which you are living today? Are you ready to have your bubble burst so you can experience real life? A blissful life?
 
Stay Blissful My Friends – E