addiction, Quitting smoking

56 days sober

This is my 25th year smoking. I quit cigarettes  cold turkey on Jan, 3 of this year. I am on day 56. I was living in downtown Denver in a blonde brick high rise , I had a tiny balcony  on the twelfth floor that I would sit on a modern white plastic chair Smoking cigarettes. This was about 5:30 in the morning, 19 degrees outside,  you could see every breathe, it was so cold. I would sit under three coats and two blankets , hat, gloves. It was my homeless look. That morning as I started to cough as I did frequently, I noticed I was coughing in unison with my downstairs homeless friend Kevin who lived at the 7-11 under our building. Kevin is very sick , he is still smoking in his 60’s and it was that moment , I had to look at my junkie behavior with these death sticks. I looked up emphysema symptoms on the google, while doing that search I found a website whyquit.com.

It was a website dedicated to nicotine addiction. Over three hundred videos are on you tube and countless articles for reading on nicotine addiction . They believe addiction is healed in understanding addiction, they believe only in cold turkey quitting, as a nicotine addict you have to agree to never take another puff, one day at a time. Sometimes a second or minute at a time. It was that morning I crushed the rest of my cigarettes and threw them away.  I drew a hot bath with Epsom salts and watched you tube videos  on my addiction and how it was killing me for the next hour in my bath. I made a decision In my bath sweating, crying and feeling the full weight of my addiction on me ,that this addiction had to go. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like shit. The only solution  that I would commit to not taking another puff , ever.

What I have learned about nicotine  addiction really has kept me from smoking when I want too. Smoking is an addiction not a bad habit. The thing I am finding through the process of quitting is that as a smoker whenever I was upset, sad, happy . I smoked away my emotions. On day three of this quit I wanted to kill someone. I was so angry!!!! I work with the public that is not okay!!!!  The thing I was learning was that when I got upset smoking,  I would go smoke. It would make me pause, think, get some dopamine and help with  the situation I was about to deal with. Now, not having that smoke break, time out or dopamine and the anger comes, it can be overwhelming. I found out I still need to take breaks and go for a walk or take a break and breathe and feel the emotions.

I have cried more since I have quit smoking than I can remember ever doing in my life. The bathtub which has become my safe and happy place during this quit unleashes the tears. I have spent many baths crying. I think that this is healing and it is me getting out years of pain that I have smoked instead of felt. It feels bizarre because there isn’t necessarily a trigger or current reason to be crying that much. I am allowing myself to feel and respond which is new behavior instead of lighting up.

The other thing is when you stop an addiction the grief process begins. Anger is   second on the grief scale. One thing that has really helped me was to compare my quitting smoking to my dad dying. I can miss him, I can be angry but it doesn’t bring him back. I can go through all these emotions of grief with smoking and it doesn’t mean that I will smoke again. It helped me understand emotionally I can feel devastated just like I did with dad’s death but I have to handle it and bury it without smoking when I feel emotions. I feel them. It doesn’t kill me.

Working out has helped me so much with the anger , moods, and overall frustration of withdrawal and psychological addiction to nicotine. I have a 🥊 punching bag that I absolutely love to destroy while hitting as part of my workout and we recently moved right across the street from city park, which was so divine in timing with quitting cigarettes. We moved 5 days after I quit smoking which really helped with the routines around smoking. We also moved so close to the park I can run everyday. My dogs are in love with this decision as well. I have always worked out even as a smoker. The thing I notice is how much it helps me emotionally to get into the fresh air and run. The beauty that surrounds me even in the middle of a city. Everyday I run I feel my lungs improving along with my stamina.

I have gained weight. That is super normal because nicotine is an appetite suppressant as well as a stimulant. Smokers burn 200 more calories a day than non smokers. This is because every time you light up it makes your heat beat faster. Nicotine also tells the body it’s full before it is. Some people who quit smoking gain a ton of weight. That is because they are replacing food with the cravings.  I think it’s imperative to breathe during the first three days quitting instead of eating candy or food during a craving.

You can drink juice to keep your blood sugar up as nicotine affects the blood sugar. Deep breathing with the nicotine cravings is what helped me this time quitting. With addiction I think it’s easy to replace one with another. I don’t want have to loose 50 pounds because I quit smoking and replaced that addiction with a food addiction. A lot of people feel it’s better to do that than to continue smoking but I feel it’s just as dangerous to get addicted to sugar after quitting. Breathing calms and exercise is essential. I do and did mad amounts of yoga during this time. Sometimes I would be in a yoga pose and I would scream, I wanted a cigarette so bad. I found that gave me a lot of relief. Yoga helps because the pose is painful just like the experience with quitting smoking. It helps to reinforce the experience with the pose and the gains through the pain.

I have found myself depressed lately as the latest on the long list of symptoms of quitting smoking. Nicotine has been my drug since I was 15 years old. Nicotine gives me dopamine. That makes me happy. I no longer am getting that dopamine. I have to work at it by working out. Nicotine is also a stimulant so it gets you going. Not having that makes me feel tired and not as motivated. One thing I have to focus on in my depression is acceptance that this should be hard.

I have smoked longer than I haven’t. I have done so many things with my cigarettes I consider them my friend! Doing things without them will be difficult because it’s all new behavior. I think it is the resistance in our thinking that we shouldn’t be feeling or experiencing what we are. This is like learning how to ride a bike, learning how to walk. The hardest thing for me is giving myself permission to suck. Addicts are very hard on themselves. I am a total perfectionist. For me to come to a place where I allow myself to gain 7 pounds to achieve this goal of quitting smoking  was a lesson. I taught myself how to accept myself through that. I worked out hard everyday, I cried several times a day. I freaked out on my poor boyfriend often. It was a day at a time. My whole life has centered around my sobriety to nicotine this past six weeks.

I have barely spoken to friends. Telephone and cigarettes are like peanut butter and jelly. I have stayed away from phone calls to make my life easier during this quit. I text more.

I try everyday to do my gratitude list when I am at my wits end . I tell myself everything positive that had happened during my quit. I am grateful for not smelling like an ashtray. Disgusting! I am grateful my circulation is better I used to be cold and uncomfortable. I have to accept that I have to do other things to get the dopamine I got from smoking that aids in my natural depression.

In closing, whyquit.com has a Facebook support group at:img_2790

Statistics show addiction is overcome with support and community. This support group has been helpful in my quit, when I have been struggling and having hard days with the quit to go online where everyone is going through this process of quitting or has gone through it.

Have you quit smoking? Comment on what worked for you.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

What’s your sign?

IMG_2524.PNGYep, when you meet me for the first time, that is what I am going to ask you, “what is your sign?” Then as you get to know me or your a friend of mine, you will know this is how I understand humans. This is my language ,some call it my gift. I have been studying astrology for about 7 years.

Last week I was given an amazing opportunity to go to the town of Morrison and lead a team building lunch based on everyone’s zodiac chart, that worked in the office. I love skeptics. As I told them, many who work in astrology are not taken seriously because they change their names to star beam and quit shaving their armpits. That has not been my experience with astrology. It has given me great understanding about people and their temperaments and dispositions in life. As a hairdresser of 24 years I have worked with everyone. What I started understanding over the years is that, there is a theme in which people live their lives consciously or unconsciously. I like to know or relate to someone  so I can understand them and the way they communicate with me. That is the power of understanding astrology.

My first skeptic entered the room for lunch in Morrison, declaring she was there for the free pizza. She asked me ,”what I could tell her that would make her believe anything I was about to say? “I asked her, what her sign was?  She answered,”Leo.” I asked her if she suffered from headaches?  She answered, ” yes, horrible headaches.” I explained to her that the Sun was the ruling planet of Leo. The energy of the Sun can be so intense for these lions that they have to retreat to the dark due to their ruling planet ,the Sun or they will be plagued by headaches. She proceeded  to get her pizza and find a seat because I just explained something to her, her own doctors don’t understand. It gave her value, so she listened. My mom is a Leo and has suffered from migraines her entire life.  That is the power of astrology, knowing ourselves and others and understanding the differences. Each sign is ruled by a different planet, symbol, element, chakra and body part affected by these. We have several signs and planets ruling us within our charts but most people know only their sun sign. That is why we are so different even in the same sun sign. Most of the time we can relate to the element in the same sign.

I had everyone at the office in Morrison  pull their charts on their phones, so they could read further on their own time if they chose about their charts and how each planet affected them. We also used the information during the meeting to find out the strengths of each person in the workplace.  I have to tell you how happy I was to find out earth elements are running that town and government . We did not discuss the election at this meeting or politics because this was team building. I have written about my concerns with our elected president who by the way has no earth in his charts and explains why he is so flippant and fiery. He is Gemini sun (air), Leo rising (fire), Sagittarius moon (fire). That chart screams reality t.v. Show. It’s fine he doesn’t  have it in his charts but he needs to put Earth elements around him. He will naturally never be stable or practical. Earth elements are the practical people of the zodiac; stable, salt of the earth, practical. These are people you want running government. Those Earth elements are Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus. Even if these are not your sun sign they can be dominant somewhere else in your chart. Which was the case in this situation in Morrison. It was awesome as we talked about each sign, for them to point at each other and say,” that is totally you.”

I was given a gift certificate to use at any restaurant from the town of Morrison. It came to me in the mail,in a card from everyone who attended the meeting and signed with newfound zeal for this information. That is what it is. Information you can use to transform your own understanding about yourself and those around you. So glad they all got so much from it!

We all have our charts. We can learn about ourselves. We are going to do what we do naturally,unless we on purpose put people in our lives who help give us elements we don’t have in our charts. Some of us interestingly do it without knowledge or seek that missing element or elements. Statistically we marry within our sun elements. Air (Aries,Gemini,Libra), Fire ( Leo,Aries,Sagittarius),Earth (Taurus,Virgo,Capricorn),Water( Pisces, Scorpio,Cancer).  For me, I don’t have Earth elements in my chart. I have been aware of this for some time and need that balance. I have never dated or married in my Air element as a Gemini.  My best friend, my fiancé, my daughter  are all earth elements. When I am loosing my mind, I call them or talk to them. They present fact and stability to my emotions in practical ways. If we know we are going to react a certain way we can learn what to do to stop and think before we do it. Typically,Waters  feel before thought, Fires react before thought, Earth is critical before thought, Air communicates before thought. Finding out about charts is hugely fascinating to me but also expains the how and why of people. I think it brings great value to the workplace to know your starters,  your maintainers and your changers in the personalities you have working for you. It brought me no greater pleasure than to see this working in local government and their willingness to be open to it.

🙏🏻 Namaste

 

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Against Trump and a hateful agenda, Election, grief, Uncategorized

Confessions of a so called “crybaby”

I write this to the sounds of a nearby train, in the light of the super moon,  I wish I could enjoy more at 3:30 a.m. I awoke from what feels like the millionth nightmare I have had since Trump/Pence won the election. I know I am not alone as I go on Facebook to see my friends up at this hour too, posting they are unable to sleep.

Why are we not sleeping? Why are we having nightmares? Why can’t we get out of bed? It has been suggested and posted a lot that we may be a bunch of crybabies. Unable to accept the results of what the people spoke they wanted. For me and the ones I know in my personal life not sleeping, it is because we are scared for our futures. We are scared to have rights taken from us. Rights that are not equal yet, but we may be loosing the only rights we have protecting us. As the hate crimes against African Americans, Muslims and women are reported across the nation, my fears increase.

I understand why people in middle America voted for Trump. It is so awful what has happened in Flint Michigan and cities across America like Flint. It is a unaddressed problem by our government. It is the rise of greed and not caring about jobs for Americans. Now they are currently drinking poisonous water that is not fixed but told it is. They have been struggling for years with the collapse of the auto industry and job loss. It was completely arrogant of Hillary, when she had the Democratic ticket to not step foot in every Democratic state. They needed their voice heard and she took it for granted that they would vote party line.

Trump went to them to hear them and ordered hats for them to wear. The Democratic Party made fun of this. It was a genius move for Trump because he understands these people. They wear hats all the time, he knows this culture, they felt heard, that gave them hope, so they shouted his name and went out and VOTED. It doesn’t mean what he said to them will happen. It means they believed what he said and he showed up!

Also, I believe the DNC is responsible for not giving the Democratic ticket to Bernie Sanders. I understand people see the corruption of Hillary, I saw it myself. People who also voted for Trump from these cities were also Bernie fans and would have voted for him, given the choice. The Democratic Party no matter what it looks like in this moment, has had an agenda of more freedoms. It has supported unions always. Bernie was a voice of change too and also had the millennial vote. Many people could not vote for Trump or Hillary and chose not too or chose a third party. What screams to me everywhere, is people want change. Even if it means overlooking and endorsing the person they elected who is a bigot, misogynist, fascist, white elite racist.

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As we have watched Trump speak, he doesn’t seem consistent in anything he says. He isn’t a politician, he isn’t polished. It’s what Americans like about him. He is different than Hillary, he is not the MACHINE. That makes people seem to feel better and trust him more. People want change. People want to feel heard that have been suffering financially for a long time. They want hope and a plan. For me it has to say more than,”Let’s make America great again.” To me America has only been great from some people, mainly the white, straight, advantaged man who seems to not see his privilege.

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The days have moved on since Trump became the President elect and we are watching him pick the people he will surround himself with, to help him lead. That folks is why I am terrified in these wee hours of the morning. Pence is the scariest thing to me, Trump has said so many crazy things we can’t focus on this scary man’s agenda. Pence views homosexuality out of a fear base and built on religion, to the point I question if the man is straight himself? He hates gay people more than the God he endorses. I see Jesus saying,” forgive them for voting for Trump/Pence, they don’t know what they’ve done.” Like he did when he was crucified. As a recovering born again Christian, I have read the Bible and know that this a Christian agenda trying to keep the patriarchy  alive. Pence endorses shock therapy to heal gay people. Trump said on 60 minutes that he won’t overturn gay marriage. That is good news that I hope and pray stays intact! I still can’t help but not be able to feel peace because if Trump goes ,then Pence? Why are we not talking about Pence?

Trump did talk about abortion as well on 60 minutes. Ladies aren’t we lucky it won’t be banned in all states? Now your state decides on your vaginal rights, not the nation. Trump feels that you need to travel to another state if your state doesn’t allow you to get an abortion after being grabbed by the pussy and impregnated, that is your right if you choose. Just callous your way to another state, because truly if you stayed to prosecute the man that raped you in your state, well he might have had a couple drinks before raping you, which means that he won’t be prosecuted or have his life ruined because he raped you, he was drunk, he has too much to live for.. We have watched this play out too. Does this pro life agenda plan on giving more to welfare recipients, forced to keep children because they can’t afford an abortion traveling to another state? Change I want. Not this change.

In all this mayhem we are all living in right now , there is much division. People are grieving. We are all upset. For all of our own reasons. The reason I am upset is;
freedom is for all colors, religions and gender, that is not what I am seeing right now and have failed to see ever, in America . Our constitution was written to protect our freedoms. People wanted religious freedoms in America. It’s okay if you want your own religion to practice but you must respect that for others too. You can’t force people into your religion, even if it’s Christianity and that is what is predominantly practiced in America. Free will. Where is separation of church of and state in this agenda? How is this not like Muslim countries with Christianity in America? The man Trump wants to lead education in America is a creationist. The world is flat people, don’t you know? How is this not a Christian agenda to keep patriarchy alive? Or how about the decision to put a self proclaimed white supremacist beside him? I would like to point out Hitler did not come on the scene declaring, “I am killing all Jewish People “, at first. He had to get the voice and belief of the people first, before he could implement the massacre of the Jewish people agenda.

As a women I am horrified to go back. I am horrified that most of my friends I know as females, have been sexually assaulted in their lives. I am included in that. We as females have to be callous about that too because there is shame in talking about that, on women. One out of three females know this is going to happen in their  lives, it’s a matter of when.

The callous nature of humans is what I fear. The callousness of women shouting,” you will be fine, shut up.” Because that’s what has been shoved down our throats always as females! The callousness that I have to tell my daughters that they will have to accept they are not equal still, men can grab your pussy, men can do what they want to your vagina and then vote on your vagina, as to what you can do after they are done in your vagina.

I have to tell my gay son in callousness you might not get to be married and have children because people don’t agree with you, they think it’s a choice. The suicide hotline and suicide number have skyrocketed last week for gay and transgender children. I don’t know very many people that choose to be gay to be outcasted in our very obviously Christian society and be unsupported by the government forever until last year. Those same people are facing AIDS/HIV treatments and support of those going away under Pence.

Also, Trump called my Army Lieutenant of special forces awarded 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star medal veteran dad, a whimp. I have to deal daily with the fact that my dad committed suicide 2 years ago because his country failed him in mental health following Vietnam, along with millions of suffering veterans with ptsd who apparently are also whimps, some in the streets that I commit to feeding, because they could be my dad.

I have to tell my granddaughter in callousness who is half Native American that her people don’t matter and they never have, on top of the fact she was born female. Look at that current situation right now, how their promised land is being treated. Not to mention the atrocities they have endured as Native Americans, not as white men. We are moving forward with this agenda for the white man again, in our change as Americans. The whites man words that these changes don’t affect and is easy to scream, ” you will be okay!” That isn’t change, way more of the same, but worse! I know millions are not for this agenda, which gives me great hope, if we survive the next 4 years.

In closing, being an empath, I feel bad for everyone who suffers. All people. Not one group of people. I refuse to grow more callous than I already am, to survive as a female in America. Is this blog going to change anyone’s mind? I don’t know? That’s not why I wrote this. I never put up anything about the election on social media. When someone on my feed would say something about being for Trump it never changed me, it made me mad. I changed to being an independent voter. I never believed Trump could win. I believed Hillary and the machine would win too. I wasn’t excited about that, but I knew I wouldn’t be experiencing this pain under her. I feel better because I wrote this. I have been unable to function this past week. I needed to get it out of me because I myself have been grieving, going through anger and complete depression trying to cope with this this decision.

The answer to this problem isn’t callousness to people. Personally through my sufferings I have gained empathy for others. It’s looking like this Trump/Pence decision will bring about a great suffering, my hope is empathy is gained and bitterness, callousness does not grow worse.

I chose to participate in a peaceful protest in Denver Thursday night against this agenda of hate and oppression. I respect people and my father who fought for my rights, so I would never burn a flag. I completely understand why people no longer respect our flag. It is however under the first amendment in the constitution, their right to burn the flag or not stand for the pledge of allegiance. As my fiancé says,”If you want everyone to stand for the flag and never demonstrate their rights, I suggest you move to North Korea under that government.” Love him❤️. Protests, NOT RIOTS OR BREAKING THE LAW, is our first amendment right  and I chose and will continue to exercise that right. It is also difficult to communicate love and acceptance in raging riots. To be fair, most of these riots are started by the white supremacist groups showing up to counter protest. Protests have been impactful in civil rights, women’s rights and union rights throughout history. I choose not to be calloused, even if that means I am a so called ,”crybaby.”

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🙏🏻 Namaste

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healing, love, suicide survivor

Awareness

So strange the sensation I feel, responding  to a instinctual urge,  the connectedness to it, it is a cord unbroken, a path that never ends. Nothing can block it. It felt that way today about writing. I felt that want and longing for my thoughts to appear on the screen in front of me.

I have been locked out of my WordPress account for a while. It was okay though because I didn’t have this burning feeling inside to write this summer. So I followed my desire to write this morning and went to log in and it remembered my password somehow. So here we are😊

So this burning going on in me is about living in Awareness. What does that mean, anyway? It’s a Viewpoint you allow yourself  to see how you are  reacting or responding to situations. Are we personalizing every negative person’s behavior we interact with? Maybe we do live like that, but don’t want to, It causes too much drama. So we are willing to look at or we are open to not living in a defensive state or wanting to see or be open to a different perspective about how to handle things differently.

Awareness does not mean perfection. Rome was not built in a day! Sometimes in my experience, it’s all in retrospect that I see things, not necessarily in that moment. If I am hormonal and going through pms,  I will be more loud, angry and vocal about things that are wrong in the world and all the injustices. But I do have awareness that shows me that, so if I don’t want to be psycho. I can do something about it. I am middle aged and starting through major hormone changes. Being middle aged is confusing because my mind is the same and operating better cognitively but my body is having more restrictions. Injuries from the past are now not so simple. It requires a lot more physical working out and yoga for me to maintain what I once took for granted physically . The bod is changing!

Awareness is a friend to your self. It’s the only way to change because we are aware we need too. It protects you because it allows a free viewpoint if you don’t judge your awareness. Intuition and awareness are connected. Typically no matter what situation we are in, we know we are safe or not, right away. Sketchy things are happening around us and our awareness is taking it all in and gives a shout out to our  intuition in the fight or flight response. We are so connected. The blockage is defending our positions instead of having awareness about how we really feel inside.

Being a Gemini is difficult, to say the least. I struggle with my own duality and who is in charge that day. I see every view point and both sides so making decisions is agonizing. I am aware though that this goes on and I have a say because I am aware of what part of myself I need to express. In my path I am learning not judge myself a lot from my mistakes. I try to learn and know that I am going to be human. I am done feeding the perfection. Perfection is ego based. That is a debilitating state to live that has no happiness. I can’t compare myself to anyone. I am me. I have my story you have yours.

We all have gifts that are unique and personal to who we are. So many people are living in their gifts , not aware that is what they are doing. Maybe not for a living but the passion that drives within you that you pursue. It’s the causes we have to help people. It’s the empathy for someone going through the same heartache you went through. It’s our humanity.

Awareness is changing my life and I am grateful for the connectedness I feel to my intuition. I get to spend time doing what my soul is longing for and  it feels exhilarating and hopeful, no matter the current personal battles or circumstances going on. We can only change what we are open to seeing and not defending the person you were in the past. Change is what is happening all the time, we can grow and change because that is natural. It is part of the life cycle.

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Namaste❤️

 

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love, suicide survivor, Uncategorized

The art of being creative

I write this in rainy, grey, cold weather. The weather that seems to want us to curl into a ball and stay in bed, drink warm tea, read books that take us somewhere else or watch a movie to escape into another place, where magic and happy endings live. However life demands that we go to work and carry on regardless of the weather. My point is just that, when we don’t feel creative we must keep creating. I  am a stylist as my career choice. I cannot express in words the emotional roller coaster of creative lulls in a 24 year time with that creative outlet.

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Being a creative person I have gone through the lulls of not being able to be creative. If I think about it, fear is one reason that happens. Negative emotions  are another reason. As I processed  through this thought, I realized something huge. Sometimes we are focusing only on one type of creative outlet. We can hit a lull in that outlet and feel obsessed almost trying to get back to that place of creativity where we felt free to create endlessly.

The thing about being a creative person, which I personally feel we are all creative as humans, is that we have many outlets to being creative. What I have thought about lately is that we don’t give as much power or vilidity to some of the outlets we have. Recently I was going through a creative lull and I decided to start coloring at night because it was so therapeutic for my brain to not ruminate on my creative lull and fixing it. Coloring is said to be as beneficial as meditation for your brain. Studies have shown that coloring helps addictions, for the brain to be able to focus on coloring. Finding colors that are soothing to look at and create dimension.

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I have written in this blog off and on for 2 years. Sometimes everyday and not for months. I have experienced the lulls of creativity and writing too. Again I think it was that thought that my creative focus had to be there and not feeling free to let it flow from somewhere else. It’s also emotions and to me when I feel free I can create.  It is again the thinking that we must create from that one place we are focusing on. Writing has always been a focus when I am struggling emotionally. It is the most therapeutic outlet I have found when I can’t cope emotionally. I also think as a human it is good to be vulnerable to people who are suffering similarly to help them know they are not alone. When my father took his life and I wrote my heart out. It helped people who also went through suicide. There is shame around suicide and I would like to help remove that label. It also helped me to cope and move on,I am very grateful for the gift of writing!

The point that I want to hold on and share is that when we experience creative lulls, we have other ways within us to create. We just have to recognize that the other outlets have just as much value. Creativity is done with our hands. Painting, photography, cooking, sewing, writing etc…. it is endless the outlets we have to create. I am obsessed with flowers and the colors that burst forth from them. They inspire me. I have spent time growing them and photographing them throughout my life. The sunrises are one of the things I look forward too more than anything in this life. I have photographed so many.  I have cooked a million meals for my 3 kids and fell in love with cooking! Again sometimes with great vigor and sometimes barely able to boil noodles. All of these outlets matter. Don’t let fear rule you in the creative lull, let it out somewhere else.

Namaste❤️

 

 

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grief, healing, love, suicide survivor

1 year 7 months and 1 day

 

 

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It’s been that long since my dad passed, It feels like an eternity. Suicide is sudden, there are no goobyes,hugs, kisses or apologies, reconciliation to be had. It’s just over.  It is his birthday today which is why I am writing this blog. He would have been 72 years old today. I know many people reading this have experienced the pain of their parents dying. It is not easy and the pain still feels very heavy for me. People tell me it will get easier as time goes on, I don’t think about my dad as much as I used too, but the pain is still there.

I sat this morning sobbing while my boyfriend held me, just missing my dad. The pangs in my heart feel like a sharp knife. The memories flood in of his loud but charming laughter and ability to be silly and take over a room full of people. As I spend time with my gbaby, I sometimes shock myself as it comes into awareness  that I am mimicking my dad as I play with her. He would with all his grand babies play on the floor with them and do gymnastics moves  and let them climb all over him. He loved them and would teach and interact with whatever activity was going on.

20150411_073124-1I hold on the good memories of my dad. The suicide has become less of a focus for me as time passes. I feel terrible I couldn’t do more for my dad or enough but I am relieved that he doesn’t have to suffer with depression anymore. He doesn’t have to battle through memories of Vietnam or night terrors that he would have to sedate himself with medication to sleep through the night. He is free. I hold on to the things he taught me which was being passionate, bold and having integrity about the things I believed in life. He made me strong and gave me life skills that are innumerous. He never treated me like a princess, I was taught as a girl to carry our own weight in life,literally when we would backpack we had to be able to carry our body weight. I would cry and throw a fit like a girl but my dad would not hear it. We did Ride The Rockies as a family and if you don’t think riding up a mountain pass on a bicycle  I wasn’t freaking out, I was. My dad would just ride beside me and tell me to keep going and that I was wasting my energy crying. I also played on the baseball team my dad coached. He was a semi professional baseball player. I laugh, as I remember him yelling at me from the sideline , “SHAUNA, slide into base.” I would yell back, “not in these jeans,DAD!” He never did understand my want to be fashionable. I fought him but I  realize now it was all for my benefit. Hind sight in always 20/20.

Today I honor my dad on his birthday for the amazing memories of the life we shared and all the traits he left behind in myself, my children and my grandchildren.

 

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