New Year, No Gurus

I am finding that I am getting through the day because, well, it is a day that has 24 hours to it (on this planet) and I am alive in it. That’s it. There is no magic spell. There is no Dream It and Make It Happen Genie that grants you anything. I am doing my best. I am spending time alone, I am spending time with friends old and new; these are very genuine and loving relationships. I had a wonderful trip with my son to the beach over Christmas and it was rewarding and beautiful and relaxing and fun.  He is one of the best people I know. I almost didn’t go on the trip because of money and it was so wonderful, I am glad we did it. Good things are happening and I am being in ‘life’ like I am supposed to but I still want to give up every single day.

When Savannah died in April, I wanted to die. People told me not to die. I did not die. I searched for the meaning in life, in my life, in how one stays on the planet after tragedy. I listened to audio meditations, ‘healing’ meditations, I  held fundraisers, I promoted a non profit that fights addiction and raised over $4000, I scoured the internet for grief counseling, wrote in journals, read Savannah’s journals, did my tarot, painted, wrote, went to a bereaved parents group, reached out with all of the reach I had and spent hours and hours researching every single thing I could find on grief and death. I watched tragic, awful stories on Netflix about murder, torture, escape and death to see if there are worse things. (There are plenty.) I had my headphones on most of the time at work or during my time alone listening to self help gurus, meditation music, guided meditations; which for years has gotten me through stuff, until finally I had a breakdown. I ripped my apartment apart; ripped everything from the walls and smashed a lot of stuff. (It was very satisfying and Marie Kondo ain’t got nothing on me.) I scared my family. No one knew what to do with me. This is suicidal depression.

Positive affirmations are so evasive on social media; you can’t get away from memes telling you to BE HAPPY, or BE SAD. Or BE ANXIOUS. Apparently every single emotion and feeling is perfectly fine and absolutely normal and you need to just go about your day. Its mostly the being happy ones, the striving for success ones, the pick yourself up and dust yourself off Memes- I can’t take them anymore. The world in general, wants to swallow these sayings like some big pill, so that they can ‘be positive’ in hopes that some ‘positive magic’ will come in and take over for them. (Like God, but for ‘spiritual not religious’ people. Its a positive affirmation instead of a prayer.) And it does, ‘come in’ for a bit. Reading them and believing in them and using them to motivate me got me this far, but when something horrible actually happened in my life, I quit believing in this ‘positive’ over meme’d magic.

There is no magic. There is no pill. These are lies we tell ourselves so we will get out of bed and keep everything in a friendly, even keeled fog. Even if you get out of bed, there is still the floor you have to walk on. There are clothes you have to wear, bills you have to pay, food you have to ingest. This positive affirmation shit is no longer cutting it for me. I have to pay rent. I have to quit missing work. I could ‘dream big’ and ‘believe’ all I wanted; I was going to get evicted DREAMING about success and money and happiness.

I got to the point where I could no longer ignore the fact that all of these self help coaches and gurus I’ve been listening to, all happen to be multimillionaires. Do you really want to know a good way to be successful and rich? Sell your ‘happy’ ideas to a very vulnerable and semi bourgeois, very WHITE, audience who have a big disposable income and who are suffering from First World miseries who will buy your books and tapes and pay several hundreds of dollars to hear you tell them to ignore reality, get into the ‘vortex’, think and dream big and IT will happen. Meanwhile, doing these things does not pay your bills. If I had listened to this shit for reals, I wouldn’t be here. I couldn’t just dream of money, I had to go make some so I wouldn’t be homeless.

I moved up to Boulder and Savannah died the very next day. I moved here because I was going to do my Reiki and start my business as a healer again but when I got the news, it all seemed a sham. The great healer…couldn’t do a fucking thing about her own daughter. I didn’t get any ‘feelings’ from her the night she died, I had no ‘energy force’ reach me, I couldn’t zap into her body and prevent her from dying from a drug overdose with my Reiki vibes. It’s all part of that magic people want to believe in so desperately that they’ll give you money for it. I don’t believe anymore.

I was faced with making the decision of going back to my apartment in Denver to live with my boyfriend and his three small kids (every weekend) or go for it in the city I had wanted to live in for years and try and make it on my own with every dream dashed and start all over from below zero. I didn’t even have a job. The plan was to work with my friend in her biz and build mine and work somewhere and build build build this ‘healing’ practice. It all dissipated. The help, the friend, the healing idea overall. And I couldn’t go BACK. To anything. My life was forever changed.

I did not have the mental capacity to deal with small kids or present any kind of ‘normal’ to anyone so I could not go back to living with boyfriend.  I did not want to take care of any living souls at all whatsoever in any kind of way, nor was I capable. I don’t have to raise three very young kids who are not mine and I have the piece of mind to know this despite society/ego/self cramming it down women’s throats that we are nurturers. Motherhood is a load of shit and the hardest work you will ever do that there are no rewards for no matter what everyone tells you or what you tell yourself. Children aren’t like puppies, they are human beings that you had sex with someone to make. They come out of you and you raise them and feed them and have fun, memory lasting, good times with them. They become themselves and their own beings and sometimes even after all of that; they die. I simply can’t take on three kids who have a mother and a father already. It’s their job.

Ask any woman in her 50’s (and over), if in her next life, she would have kids. Go ahead. Ask one. A very close friend will tell you NO. No WAY. Your life is on hold as soon as that baby pops out. No matter how cool you think you are; running 5k’s, being in cross fit or starting businesses…oh yes, We may strive, as mothers, we may thrive, but mostly we survive it. We make due. We wait. Look at any famous successful women, I mean REALLY SUCCESSFUL. They either don’t have kids or had the kids and still chose the career and had someone raise the kids and they are forever judged for it. There is no way out of this thing unscathed. Or maybe she chose a job that ‘works around the kids’. Doesn’t count. She had to put off what she wanted. The man just continues on with his day, his job, his life. #metoo will never happen to moms. It will never be EQUAL. Stay at home dads are treated like Gods. Even if a woman has a 6 figure income and she’s an amazing, amazon woman…SHE LEFT HER CHILDREN to be successful. Yeah, next life…no way. This life however, I will continue to fight having to scrape the bottom of the barrel just to pay rent.

Children have minds of their own and you as a parent are not the light of their life past the age of 11. I am lucky enough to have had the pleasure to actually like and enjoy my children immensely. They were and are some of the best, most interesting, and loving, kindest people in the world. My parents did not like me, (you do not HAVE TO like your kids.) I just happen to think very highly of mine and was/still am very proud of them. Savannah put me through the ringer, but she was one of the coolest people I will ever know. I will never be as talented, as good of a writer, as raw and real as her, nor have any minuscule of the fashion sense she had or be as good of a friend as she was. My son is an adult and living his life and we are very close and comfortable together and have fun and laugh and laugh together and we are honest with each other and I couldn’t ask for a more loving soul to call my son.

I am justifying here that I can have these unconventional thoughts on motherhood in general AND still be an empathetic, lighthearted, adventurous, soul who is also a mother, but who can no longer listen to the bullshit of the push for mandatory happiness. Good attitude? I got it. Sure! Laugh more? I definitely work on that by trying to watch less tragedies. I’m too much of a realist to get over this immense pain of losing a daughter by way of meme’s and the law of attraction.

Every time I listened to Abraham Hicks (whom I have been listening to for at least six years now…) I began to wonder if any of the advice she gives would help, say…a mother who’s child has been taken by ICE. If this mother could afford a $250 ticket to a Phoenix speaking engagement perhaps or a possible $14,000 ticket in a high end room on a cruise ship seminar, would this woman, who’s child was locked in a cage in America, who is sad and grieving and worried; would these seminars and Laws of Attraction help her? If she could just ‘imagine’ her child not locked up, not in danger, maybe she could get through this.

Nope. I’m not buying it.

Abraham/Esther speaks about all of her homes and cars and trips non stop. I get it. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our cool stuff and her talking about it helped everyone accept wealth into their ‘vortex’.  A real, ‘If she can do it, gosh darn it, so can I!’ attitude. And more power to her entrepreneurial self for working hard and making all of her money. She had her husband pass away so I was very interested in her teachings getting me through my grief. All I heard now in my new life, that I am forced to lead, was people whining about money and that death wasn’t real because we are all eternal souls. Which is great for the dead person. The living mother that I am now, left behind in this non blissful, painful realm of the human life we lead here on earth, was not BUYING IT. None of this was hitting home anywhere for me and my grief let alone in my job search.

Being in the midst of a real life altering, tragic death, lifted the veil for me. Are people who are starving in the world going to get anything out of these seminars? No. Trump probably listens to them too. He sure believes in himself and thinks everything he wants is possible. He dreams big doesn’t he? He has lots of money. He thinks he’s right about his thoughts and feelings and that he’s just misunderstood. Read ANY MEME now and imagine Trump reading it. It will kill it for you.

Anyway, starving people can’t afford to attend these seminars and doing so won’t feed their families. Why don’t they give this advice for free if they believe in it so much? Why not go to the poorest of poor villages on earth and give free self help seminars? Or just HELP.

Abraham/Esther promotes ignoring reality. Which in theory is beautiful! Don’t get me wrong, I am so annoyed by reality and its relentless ability to set fire to all of my grandiose dreams and desires, believe me, I have created my own little world here in my apartment nest. Especially after I ripped it apart and nailed blackout curtains to the wall. I found this ‘wishful thinking’ and ‘build it and they will come’ type of advice and belief system to be total bullshit. They’ve got this covered too though, by leading you to believe its not working because you don’t believe in it enough. So the six year old with leukemia just doesn’t trust the future enough? Or believe it to be true enough, so they die?

Positive Thinking gives us all a false sense of REWARD. As if we are all entitled to feel better than others because of our amazing attitude that the Debbie Downers just can’t achieve. And along the same lines of this, people who are ‘negative’, are also justly punished under the same veil of falsely accusing themselves of not being ‘strong willed’ enough. So I guess all those sick and dying babies in the world are just not good enough to stay on the planet because they don’t believe.

Again…I am all for having a good attitude. I am a friendly, congenial, compassionate person. I’m just not swallowing the pill of HAPPINESS OR DIE.

So I tried to find gurus who maybe do speak to the poorest of poor. Sadhguru. Again with all the wealth and fame and cars and houses. Dandapani…nope. Took the name of an ancient king, but has a degree in electrical engineering, became a monk, got married, and has cashed IN!! (I’m sure their love is real. Who am I?) Eckhart Tolle! Who wouldn’t love that guy? He has the more nihilistic approach by far, which I like in a guru, but I cannot afford to ever go see him. Even if I could, is he going to make sure I don’t miss any more work because I can’t function or will he pitch in when rent is due? Or do I just close my eyes and stay present? No. No one is going to do that but me. Plenty of people are helping me, have helped me and continue to help me but I have to do the work. It is sucky, awful work and the worst reason imaginable to do the work; my daughter died and I have to carry on because I have a son and CONFESSION: because I kinda want to see what happens.

One day when I was driving I had a ‘Final Destination’ moment. The one where I’m on the highway and a giant truck appears in front of me that is carrying very dangerous metal things on the back of it. I went into my typical fantasy mode which I usually do when I am behind a truck with very dangerous metal things on the back of it; imagining being killed. The best part about this fantasy is that I die but not by way of suicide; something just kills me. I have concluded that it would be so much easier this way and also not my fault. Then I had a revelation.

I had spent so many years doing this, this not wanting to not be alive anymore, that this game was natural and a natural fantasy for me to really ‘feel’ what it would be like to not be here anymore. I could imagine all the ‘feelings’ of disappearing. Imagine people finding me, coming to the hospital, or apartment, or highway roadside. The fantasy usually ended up with imagining my kids getting the news of my death and then being devastated and making those feelings real would usually pull me out of it. Now, I was the devastated one, so there was no stopping me. I imagined being killed in my car by these giant steel tubes and then I imagined seeing Savannah and running up to her and it ‘felt’ great. Then she turned around was was all: ‘What are YOU doing here?’ She was pissed! ‘I missed you!’ I said. ‘I wanted to be with you! I hate this!’ I said. ‘No! No, you can’t be here!’ She told me. I thought she was sad I was dead but it was something totally different. She conveyed to me that she had immense things to learn and that she was busy and didn’t have time to help me with this whole death thing. She was very annoyed. She was in her own experience and it had nothing to do with me. That was a game changer. My death fantasy even got fucked. Nothing works anymore.

A few weeks later I tried the fantasy again and imagined a speeding car hitting me and killing me instantly, this time when I ‘died’ my first ‘feeling’ was ‘NO! WAIT! I HAVE STUFF TO DO!’ This shocked me. The fantasy no longer worked. I wanted to hang out here a bit longer and I was hesitant in the fantasy to ‘die’. I do want to see what’s going to happen. Everything changed.

I was struggling with money and working and not making enough to pay rent and this was only three months after Savannah died. I cried all the time and found it very difficult to work. I went to quit my job, was ready to pack and had two helpers who would move me back to Denver/Boyfriend’s apartment that afternoon. My aunt encouraged me to go into my job and quit in person and not do my regular disappearing act and to just tell them what was going on. She runs a restaurant and she is always willing to help people with work struggles. I took her advice and went in person to quit and got offered my current position and a pay raise. That boggled my mind. I told them everything that was happening. They helped me. So I called off the moving crew. All my typical rugs had been pulled out from under me.

Most recently, I realized I was not getting the hours I needed to make enough to pay my bills. I thought I was doing so good just keeping the job. Still crying…A LOT but I was showing up. So my first thought of a solution was to ‘Dream Big’ and ‘Believe’ that I would have all the money I needed. I love to travel and I thought I’d rent a room, pay less rent this way, live smaller, work my job and try and save money so I could travel more. New idea: DONE. (Still on the Believe It And It Will Come track.)

Then I had my third revelation: The easiest straight line to my money solution would just be: work more. I could simply ask for more hours, put my time in and make it a point to keep my apartment and build my own financial stability from the ground up. Wow. Just work more. Odd concept. No dreamers need apply.

That sounded realistically easier than what I was preparing to do in my new scheme which would have involved ten times more suffering regarding: A) trying to get out of my lease contract B) owing money for breaking my lease C) moving in with people I don’t know D) borrowing money to move in with people I don’t know E) giving up my privacy and alone time F) not having an independent lifestyle and living under someone’s house rules G) never digging in and making my life mine by always relying on someone else to provide the place/roof under which I live. It was so simple when I took dreaming out of the equation. If I just asked for more hours, I could keep my independence which means more to me than almost anything I suppose. Again my boyfriend offered to let me move in with him and not work til I figured this out; DREAM COME TRUE!!!! NOT WORK???? HELL YEAH!!! Honestly. I would be almost 90 steps back if I did that and I don’t want to handle his kids and when would I ever just settle into a life I wanted? Always running, always chasing the Law of Attraction DREAMSCAPE. If you want it it will come to you…

NO. I can’t live like this.

This is the essence of what living big means to me. LIVING. Listening to people. Communicating. Being with real people. Not memes. Hugging strangers and being kind and opening up and making someone else’s world better. Not selling people bullshit. Stepping IN to your LIFE. Saying hi. Shutting off that needy brain. There is no vortex. There’s just YOU.

I asked for more hours.

I got them.

I went on a beach Christmas vacation.

I put my apartment back together.

I have to leave now to go clock in.

I let my landlord know I am catching up and rent will be late. She was wonderful.

I am cutting hair on The Hill for all the college kids I know.

I am planning more trips.

My boyfriend and family and I had the best New Year’s Eve party ever.

I didn’t give anyone any money to figure this out.

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Live or Die: Part Two

This is how I got through the last 24 hours. This is scattered and un organized. I will write my novel another day. This what strong looks like:

I cried whenever no one was around. I had all these grand schemes to Go Do Something when I got off work and I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I tried to go to a movie and I didn’t have my debit card so I tried to use a gift certificate and it all fell apart. Wrong theater…bla bla bla. I’m so sick of crying in public. I mean, no one really cares…some people smile, some don’t notice, but I’M sick of it. I just didn’t have the wherewithal so I came home. Sometimes to have the sadness full on, full frontal, rip roaring, bawling my eyes out, losing it, attack is all I can do. I cried so hard I made sounds that didn’t sound like me.

I watched a couple of episodes of Sherlock.

I wondered if people who have kids die any other way than from a drug overdose get more support? This is a weird thing to grapple with. It’s messy and ugly and scary to everyone and somehow makes this all ‘nasty. And fuck that. That’s why I worked so hard with Shatterproof. This is gonna be a long road.

I talked to a friend, boyfriend and my aunt on the phone.

I think I did dishes.

I read Savannah’s Instagram from beginning to end. I like to see her be alive. I like to laugh with her, I like to see her moving and talking and being funny and she was so funny. It keeps everything about her not being here anymore NOT ALL ABOUT DRUGS. She was so much more than that and in her videos I can see that. She was so talented. So much stuff on her Instagram I am astounded. And her Twitter and her Vine. All of her creativity is so alive on there. I can see she was at the peak of it when she got to New York for the first time. All of her poetry, her photography, her videos, her writing, so creative and soulful and FUCKING FUNNY and so much love and pain and hope and finding herself. She was 18-20 and really creating so much during that time.

I cried all day today wishing I could have paid for her to be in The American Academy of the Dramatic Arts for four years. She went for a summer program at the school and stayed in NY for three years. She simply loved it there and became herself in that school and with her friends that she made while attending. Surrounded by adult ‘theater kids.’ She was in New York 4 months and got cast in the play ‘Playground’ that ran in NY, London then LA. She found it. She had it. All the ‘it’ a girl needs, she had. She attended Studio 4 after that and always wanted to get back to that.

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I don’t know when the heroin started exactly. Somewhere in there. Maybe before she went to New York. God, I don’t know. I can see when she is clean and I can see when she is not. I’m sure I could pinpoint it if I CSI’d every journal and piece of info that I have here. A lot happened in New York. Good and bad. It was everything that made her happy and everything that ruined her.

She had just left Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder Program..(here’s a blog entry from that time.)graduated high school…and then attended the summer program at AADA then stayed in NY. The eating disorder would never leave her. The damage it does to your psyche never lets up. I’m wondering if this play pushed her over the edge. So much. She loved it, but maybe it was too much. She would go back to eating disorder rehab at The Eating Recovery Center one more time here in Denver, then on to Utah for drug rehab about a year or so later.

Her insight was amazing. What I am reading now in all of her social media, especially Instagram, were things that were helping her recover, and those words are helping me recover right now. Some of the posts brought me to my knees. I was already crumbled up in bed losing my shit but the hits were hard. It’s funny to me how private she was, yet so creative on social media. Her private life tho, was very private.

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I can see now why people choose to not speak of someone after they die. To let it go. Let it pass. Leave it alone. I used to think ‘how could someone do that?’ Now I know. It’s so they can move through the day without wanting to die all the time. It hurts.

I’m trying not to ruminate. I hate that I know that word. I hate that Savannah had so much pain and yet I love that she still offered so much healing to the world. I hate that so many people took advantage of that pain. I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) read into these posts and words and tweets and memes like I can now. I am heartbroken I could not provide more. I am heart broken my son lives so far away. I feel like I shouldn’t waste a minute of my life in sorrow but that is impossible really. I should move closer to him. I don’t know what to do in life. Forever a mom. I spent my young life raising kids trying to have a life and now all I want is that time back.

I hate money. It made me have a hard life with the lack of it. I never really got to be the parent I wanted to be. I was always living just above poverty level in shithole apartments; that I dressed up for us as much as I could. Like in the movies, or in real life perhaps if you’ve ever seen one; how there would be a really old apartment and with old furniture but it is immaculate and everything is shiny and in its place. We didn’t have the best stuff but I kept what we DID have in the best shape. Except that one red couch I bought that felt like the first, living alone, grown up thing I purchased. I drug that around everywhere until I had to move out of an apartment to get away from an abuser and I left it by the dumpster. God I made my life hard. Did it ruin my kids? Can I take all my choices back? This thinking will drive you insane.

I asked my mom then if I could move back home and she said ‘You can sleep in your car before you can come back here.’

I always thought she treated me like a drug addict; or how we are taught to treat drug addicts who steal and lie and scare you. I never did anything to them. I always paid rent when I went home. I cleaned, cooked, helped with the horses, worked, paid back money when they bought tires. I don’t know what I ever did wrong but I finally don’t care. Fuck them for raising a daughter who hates herself.

Then look what I did. Despite everything I did to fight that. All the art, theater, song, and creativity I brought into our home for me and my two kids so we could all have our personalities and lives and no judgments. The three of us were MY FAMILY. I let them have freedom but I kept our computer in the living room out in the open. We had bedtime and rules and homework and stuff like that. We did so many things outside and biked, played roller hockey, hiked, camped, painted, sang, made videos, danced. I was so shut down as a kid when it came to having my own ideas and personality. I vowed to never shut my kids down.

This is so fucked.

So that’s what I did that last 24 hours. My mind went from past to present to my past to Savannah’s past to Anthony’s past. I dredged my brain for the sewage of answers that come up when you try and figure out why your kid died of a heroin overdose in rehab after seven months of living there. It’s a stinky, horrible maze of tunnels and places you don’t want to go.

I’m starting to think rehab in and of itself is a lie. Why would you take a group of people who want nothing more but to belong in a community and who want to be loved and separate them from their family and friends, give them no contact, have them sit and talk every single day about all of the worst things that ever happened to them in their lives over and over and over again, have to present themselves to the group for forgiveness every time they fuck up and then want them to find a life worth living? It’s like if you had to go to work and sit and tell everyone all of your shit, EVERY DAY, then when you fuck up, have to call them all together and announce the fuck up so you can get your constricted privileges back again. How are you supposed to assimilate after that? Just go find your tribe, you have a community, you BELONG, get a good therapist to go to in private, dance more, you are ok. YOU ARE OK. YOU ARE.

Intervention doesn’t work.

Just have them be a part of a community that helps each other and rises together and sings and dances and maybe has medication monitored and SHOW THEM HOW TO LIVE. Show them how to be a community. Show them how to accept, not demean, pick apart, and devour one another.

It’s insanity.

So I spent hours on this topic in my head and crying my guts out. They will still do what they do I suppose. It’s a very hopeless feeling. Figuring out humans.

Then I got up this morning and went to work.  I listened to meditations for four hours while I made breakfast and lunch for the guys. If I unclenched my brain for one minute I cried. I cleaned up. Good zen work. Ate a little food. Cleaned out my car. Now I’m home on my sofa writing this.

Crying.

Wanting so much.

It’s beautiful out.

I need to stay gold.

My son is having his life. I can’t figure this out. I don’t know how he is having it. It’s such a weird blanket grief lays on a family. I have asked him but he has no words to explain.

I’d like to just shut my brain up for one fucking day.

I have champagne in my fridge! I will make a raspberry Bellini.

That is how I am strong.

I go and go and go like a godamned Energizer Crazy Ass Robot Killer Bunny, then I take a break. Sometimes the break is a hike, painting, or watching tv, but today it is champagne.

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