Thursday, January 27, 2011

Moments Frozen In Time

Every generation has a moment.

Time stands still and imprints the moment on your psyche like a photograph. You can remember exactly where you were, what you were doing, who was there. When it dawned on you that the world had suddenly shifted beneath your feet. And I remember - very clearly - the first time this happened for me.

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In 1986, Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida into a cloudless, clear blue sky. Among her crew was social studies teacher Christa McCauliffe who was to teach the first ever lesson from space.

72 seconds later, Challenger became a ball of fire against that cloudless, clear, blue Florida sky. Pieces of it rained down into the ocean. All seven members of her crew died instantly. (There is some question as to how long the crew actually survived after the initial breakup, but I can't bear to think about that so in my mind, it was over before they knew it.) Challenger Disaster

The world sat in stunned silence.

I was freshman in high school sitting in my Freshman English Class - Literature of Conflict and Survival - with Mr. Schmaing. Mrs. Snoddy, the attendance office lady came to the door with a note. Mr. Schmaing read it to himself, raised his considerable eyebrows above his glasses, turned to us and said, "I don't know if any of you care, but the space shuttle just blew up."

And twenty or so 15-year-olds sat for a few moments in  stunned silence. And then returned to our discussion of Alas, Babylon. Ironically, set in Florida.

The next time I have a clear and vivid memory of where, what, who and when was September 11, 2001.

Again with the beautiful, clear, blue sky that in a moment was shattered.

Every generation has a moment like that.

For my parents, it was a beautiful November day in Dallas. My grandparents, a December day in Hawaii.

I wonder what my children's moment will be and I pray that it will be a moment of great joy instead of shattering sorrow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Defining Chronically Ill and Flipping the Bird

How do I explain to people who are very rarely acutely ill what it's like to be chronically ill? I get attitude sometimes from people in my life who think I should just be able to get over it, snap out of it, work through it and pull myself up by my bootstraps.

If only it were that simple.

Let's start with some definitions. From the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary:

Chronic(ally): 1) describes a long-lasting illness; 2) always present; 3)habitual.

Ill: 1) unwell; 2) resulting in harm, pain or trouble; 3) unkind or unfriendly; 4) unfavorable; 5) morally bad.

A couple of things jump out at me so here's MY definition of chronically ill: a long-lasting, always present, unkind and unfriendly state of being.

And that definition reflects not only how I feel physically, but how a present myself to the world at large - unwell, unkind, unfriendly, unfavorable. Bad.

It's hard to be nice when you always feel like you've just been run over by a truck. It's hard to be charming when the simple act of smiling causes pain.

I find it interesting that the times when I feel the worst, are also the times I feel the most like writing about it. Not because I want to publicly whine about how awful my life is (I have a private journal and a sponsor for that - neither of which let me get away with whining for long) but because talking about it, writing about it, putting it out there is a lot like shining sunlight on a vampire - it shrivels up and ceases to exist.

And even though it sometimes hurts to laugh, it helps to find some humor in it. Learning to laugh about all the things that are wrong with me has done almost more than medication has in helping me keep my sanity.

As an example, my hands, wrists and fingers have been paining my especially bad the last couple of days. So, I posted the following to my Facebook status:

Lana D wishes her hands would get the memo to stop hurting. It is seriously interfering with my ability to flip people off.

And if you have done much driving on the streets of Havre the last few days, you know what a necessity that ability is!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just Another Drunk

I had a light bulb moment the other night after I posted about my obsession with my friend "Anonymous." Yes, I of course, obsessed some more. Okay, so it was less like a light bulb over my head than it was a ton of bricks falling on my head. And here's the conclusion I have come to.

It's the addict in me - that desperate need to fill the "gut level empty" with something, anything. When I drank, I could fill it with booze and - although temporary - that emptiness would go away. It would inevitably return - bigger, deeper, and emptier than before - and would require more and more to get it to go away.

People who know me but didn't know about my drinking problem often ask me why I go to AA. They say things like "I never thought you drank THAT much." Or, "But you never got in any trouble because of it." Well, friends and neighbors, that is only by the Grace of a God whose love I cannot begin to fathom. I never did much drinking in public. I did mine at home, behind closed doors where no one could see me. And was pretty determined to NEVER admit - to myself or anyone else - that I had a problem.

And so, the worse I got, the worse my choice in partner's became because I needed someone I could point to and say that's what an alcoholic does. Or that's what an addict looks like. I don't do that and I don't look like that so I don't have a problem. I don't have a single DUI let alone 11. I've never been in a fight in a bar. I've never been arrested blah blah blah blah.

I did whatever it took so that I could stay up on my high horse. And I damn sure was not about to admit to the FSS that - really - I was exactly the same as him. Just not as public.

Just because you couldn't see it, didn't see it, didn't know about it doesn't mean I don't need to be exactly where I'm at.

So. I don't know. I think I had a point. Let's see if we can find it again.

Oh, yeah. Anonymous Comment.

Obsessing for him/her is the drunk in me trying to fill the empty that I have allowed to creep back into my soul. And I don't think knowing who "Anonymous" is would help.


Because there are really only two outcomes here. I would either be disappointed that it's not who I think I want it to be.

Or, it is. And that would seriously feed the obsession much more than quell it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anonymity Makes Me a Little Nervous

I get a little nervous when I get "anonymous comments." Even when they're good. I want to know who's out there thinking about me. Because when I don't, I obsess over who it might be. 

Who are they? Why don't they want me to know that they think I should be brave, keep looking forward and never back? How do they know I've been burned too many times?

And then my imagination goes into overdrive. Wondering who it might be......thinking about who I would want it to I already know this person? Do they obsess over me as much as I obsess over them? Yeah. No. I think I'm a pretty cool chica but, I sincerely doubt I'm keeping anyone up at night (except, that is, for the Former Supposed Spouse and the Drunk Dialer). Or lookin' for me in the grocery store, for that matter.

And on and on it goes. Keeps me up at night, distracts me during the day. Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't know it required conscious action to post an anonymous comment.


I don't know.

At any rate, to my Anonymous friend.....

Thanks. And you're right. And I will. Be brave.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wildly Impressed with the Cable Guy

Last week, I ordered up satellite tv service because I was - let's call it disappointed - with our local cable tv company. I was initially disappointed that it would be a whole week before we would have it. And anyone who's made an installation appoint is familiar with the "someone will be there between the hours of this and that." My time slot was between 8 a.m. and 12 noon.

Let me just say, my technician called me at 2 minutes to 8, parked in front of my house, ready to get started!

Yay!! We should have t.v. again within the hour!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Do Bad Pennies Automatically Mean Bad News?

Ever notice that some people just keep turning up? Like bad pennies? 

I'm gonna have to stop going to the grocery store at 5:00 because, besides the obvious (too many people, not enough cashiers, etc.), I keep running into this one particular person. And ordinarily it wouldn't bother me because i don't know him really well and what I do know of him, I'm not particularly impressed with. He's kind of a cocky little fuck. Of course, the only contact I have ever had with him has been while in the company of the FSS (former supposed spouse). Oh yeah, and the Drunk Dialer. And there's really not a lot of love lost between either of them and this person.

Once upon a time, about 150 years ago - think it was the second time the FSS landed himself in jail - he answered a personal add that I had placed. (He had placed one too - think it was shortly after he and his wife had split.) Nothing ever came of it. But now every time I see him, I remember that.

And given my current state of mind - all those thoughts swimming about that I talked about last time - that's probably not such a good thing. It makes me wonder though. I only know him through my FSS's point of view. And as I mentioned, there is NO love lost between them. And in the last few months of all my soul-searching and inward reflection I have learned that I am entitled to my own opinions about people. That just because the FSS doesn't like someone, it doesn't mean I automatically don't get to like them.

So I find myself doing things a little differently. For example, I try NOT to go to the grocery store at that time of day in my pajama pants. And if my hair is bad (it's a good thing it's winter) I wear my funky winter hat. And if it's not cold enough to warrant a hat, I take a minute to fluff and spray. Use the "old lady cream" that has a touch of foundation in it so I don't look so much like death warmed over. Maybe even some lip gloss.

And I guess even if he doesn't notice or care, it's all good either way. Because I've also noticed that when I don't LOOK like death warmed over, I don't FEEL so much like it either.

Happy lip glossing this bright and shiny brand new year!

Somewhere, Anywhere......Someone, Not Just Anyone

I'm stealing the "somewhere anywhere" line from my fellow blogger Tammy over at Queen-Sized Funny Bone ( 

I didn't realize that I have the very same wish for 2011 until I read her post. I want to go somewhere, anywhere but here. Not to stay. Just to visit. Even if it's just for the weekend. Hell even just a Saturday-come-back-Sunday thing. Just go somewhere and do something fun. Wear my high heels again.

With someone. In particular. Who has an annoying habit of being quite charming. When he's not calling at "a quarter after one." Or, maybe he just knows me too well and simply knows exactly which buttons to push.

Cabin fever I think it's called. That feeling of having been cooped up for far too long and the intense need to be out of the confines of my room, my house, my mind. Maybe. Lots of thoughts rolling around up in there and not all of them are good ones. Safe ones. Smart ones. Sure would be fun though.

But once again, I am confronted with the question of where would it lead. Why start something - again - that very probably isn't going to end well. Again.