Tou rette’s or not Tou rette’s, That is the Question

Hi!

 

Slushkitty’s 2-year birthday was last week, March 20th – happy birthday, kitty cat! I have kept a diary since, like, birth. It was always very cathartic and therapeutic for me. I so fondly recall my younger days in less complicated times when I would write every day about my day to work through my troubles and moods, and to journal my happiness. If I didn’t write for even one day, I would feel a little absent or distracted until I caught up. But then a couple things happened: 1- Four people I can think of off the top of my head read my diaries – one even picked the lock! After that, when I’d go back and read my past entries, instead of remembering happy events or seeing how I got through or recovered from heartbreak – even heartbreak over the guy who picked the lock – my stomach would turn and my face would ignite knowing someone read my deepest thoughts, fears, and secrets. Being so violated, I was hesitant to write so honestly and in such detail after that. The devil is in the details. And 2- booze and drugs happened. I arbitrarily wrote in my diary during those years (and years and years). The devil is dreadfully in those details. I actually read some of the booze and drugs diary recently. It was indescribably disturbing… and cryptic. I scanned a page for you. It’s a real cliffhanger, missspellings and all!

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The whole reason I started this blog was because I started writing again, writing mainly my 4th step, and some of it was pretty funny on paper. The reason it has been taking me over 1.5 years to write my 4th step is because I am writing and dissecting my story, the devils detailing specifically why I’ve been feeling a little absent or distracted (gargantuan understatement), not for the one day like when I was younger but for the years (and years and years) that I rarely wrote about, and was in deep denial about. It was horrifying remembering those times, but over these past few years through sharing at meetings and with sponsors and friends, I can now look at that old life with awe at the absurdity of it all, and with a big PHEW! I totally understand the humor of much of it now! The only reason so much of it is so very amusing is that we survived it. And we have a healthy, loving forum in which we can tell the tales, for “no matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others”. And if we’re happily benefitting others by sharing our experience, strength, and hope, why not have a little fun with it? Why not take it a step further, beat the ones who put their noses where they don’t belong to the punch, and showcase our own wild-and-crazy flavors of insanity in a blog, especially now that we are starting to ascend that scale. Sharing my stories is a reminder that things could be and sure have been much worse. Many memories that used to haunt me now inspire me! It’s like they were someone else’s adventures – a fucked up and really really dark cartoon character’s adventures. Of course they were mine and I am better for having lived through them… and they’re too precious to keep to myself. Or so I have been told, and so I choose to believe… and so happy birthday, Slushkitty!

 

Occasionally I go back and read earlier posts in the same way I would go back and read my diaries of younger days in less complicated times, remembering happy stuff or seeing how I got through tough stuff. Looking at earlier posts, I also see a bunch of references about restraint of pen and tongue, recalling how I furiously typed, going ape-shit on someone but then couldn’t post much of the entry, sometimes none of it at all. I made a commitment when I first started this blog not to use Slushkitty as a weapon. With two exceptions — ex-bf “Prince of Hell” and old boss “C.U.N.T.”— I have been able to honor that commitment. And lighten up because I was also reminded that my only job in my first year of sobriety is staying sober, and that no one ever said anything, not a word, about having to be nice. Give a sister a break. (I had to change my sobriety date again, dammit. I took a Percocet I had left over from my hystie.. six months after my hystie when I was not in pain, so in good conscience I had to change the date. It was sometime in May, I believe. I chose May 24th as my new date, because May 24th is International Tiara Day and everyone deserves to be a princess – or a drag queen – at least once a year). Back then, and sometimes now still, I wondered if my internal dialogue was symptomatic of Tourette’s Syndrome. Tou rette’s or not Tou rettes, That is the Question. And speaking of Tourette’s, welcome to my current conundrum…

 

Within 15 minutes of starting my new temp job, a guy who works there arrived. He walks around singing loudly, laughing like a lunatic, which I find very disruptive. Everyone thinks he’s so great. He is SO over-the-top loud and obnoxious, it occurred to me that he actually has something medically wrong with him. How would anyone be able to work with this distraction otherwise! My annoyance morphs instantly into compassion, and I think how strong he must be, how hard it must be to have Tourette’s, having to deal with judge-y ignoramuses like me on a daily basis. It is not that fun anymore — and it’s certainly not nice — to have fun at someone else’s expense. This realization, this gift of sobriety, kind of sucks when you’re an irreverent smart-ass. Where do you draw the line? I found that it’s especially difficult when you’re in a bad mood, are waist-deep in resentment excavation, in profound financial crisis, have noise sensitivity, have no one to commiserate with, and have had to spend hours trying to come up with a believable and non-self-incriminating way to explain how you lost your last $10/hour temp job because you a). punched, b). spiked the salad with acid of, c). put thumbtacks on the chair of, d). called the cops claiming indecent exposure from, e). other the person who like you has suspected Tourette’s and a high level of neediness that you had to sit next to in an adjacent cubicle all day. It’s a tough call whether restraint of pen and tongue is in order, or if it is too funny not to share. I have decided to share.

 

I believe that the HP of all of our respective understandings reflects our purest selves. By that I mean that if you are essentially gentle and quiet, your HP will cradle you gently and quietly in safety. If you’re essentially boisterous and colorful, your HP will scoop you up and dance with you in joy. My HP is essentially obnoxious in a clever and loving way, so it graces my life with inspiration and lessons via temp jobs. My current assignment has had me diving into the depths of my soul to face the truth about my life so I can break through my resentments and be happy while simultaneously forcing me to stifle hysterical laughter. As mentioned above, tragedy or misfortune can simply be rich with comedy. Tragicomedy, I believe it’s called.

 

As an out-of-control active alcoholic, I was ruining my life, career, credit, dwellings, every single personal and professional and romantic relationship, self-respect, body, spirit, sanity, etc… I did not suffer alone, mind you – I was taking everybody down with me. But I would not admit to anyone including myself that I had a drinking problem. Basic and obvious, alas I was blind. Recently I admitted to Lily, some friends, yesterday to an entire CK group, and finally to myself another basic and obvious fact: I didn’t go to college, and the truth that I have not told and have denied to everyone and myself is that I tried and failed.. 23 years ago. I have been terrified of trying again… for 23 years. This is a huge part of the birth of my self-loathing and shame, fueling the broken record that’s stuck on the refrain “I’m stupid. So stupid. I’m inferior. So inferior. Stupid! Inferior! Too late! Much too late!” and it has caused me to fight, flee, or hide for 23 years. Hallelujah! I can see! I can see now! The fella with Tourette’s (or not) pushed me over the edge and I surrendered, at long last! I can see!

 

But perhaps more than being able to see that fact, I am capable of doing something about it, and I have started taking some action to do so. I’ll keep you posted on my progress! I am so excited for this new endeavor! My other recent breakthrough was learning that I am not a mind-reader. Not only am I not a mind-reader, no one can likewise read my mind! No one is thinking I am stupid and inferior because I didn’t go to college. No one would even know I didn’t! How would they unless I volunteered it? No one is hearing my mean refrain, my internal constant Tourette’s tic screaming, “I’m stupid! I’m inferior! It’s too late!”. No one thinks it’s too late. And even if they thought this or could read my mind, it’s none of my business. And something else I learned? No one is thinking about me anyway. So, basically, I’m insane. My paranoia and fear are manufactured by my imagination. So I have decided that I’m going to put my imagination to good use, open myself to constructive criticism, learn good stuff, and all the while pushing that monster of a chip off my shoulder!

 

What does any of this have to do with Tourette’s guy? WELL, so now you know I am terrified of failing college and have been torturing myself for not going. I have been unemployed for over 10 months and have convinced myself I won’t get a job because I don’t have a degree in anything. My HP and in it’s ever-loving wisdom, love, and sense of humor has me working a temp job at a sales office of a staffing agency. ALLLLLL day long I look at resumes and all the higher education applicants have from prestigious schools, knowing these chumps are applying for entry-level jobs, and getting rejected. Not only do I look at resumes all day, I was hired to sort all the applicants based on their rejection status, so they know whether they still need to send out the canned rejection email. I have to listen to Tourette’s guy bullshitting applicants on the phone on his sales calls, saying the same thing to every single person..”I am SO excited to talk to you about your experience! We all love your qualifications! Just a couple questions: how long have you been out of work? Why is there a gap in your employment history? We’ll be in touch soon! SOOO excited to have talked to you!” He hangs up and WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOP! And then saying the same thing every single time to the woman in the next cube, “So annoying! DE-NIED! HAAA WHOOOOOP!!” I also had the unfortunate opportunity of hearing the following conversation between him and that woman-child he sits next to:

 

Her: I didn’t know Pharrell was so OLD!

Him: Really?? How old is he?

Her: Like OLD old. Let me check.. He’s 40!

Him: Daaaaamn.

 

I also get to overhear many conversations with other, but nicer and more mature, recruiters. “<Company> is offering a little less that you’re asking. They start between $100-120K. They have other applicants with PhDs – that doesn’t mean you’re not viable, but it may be an obstacle”. I do have a flare for hyperbole, but I am totally serious about these conversations!!!

 

Hello, all of my nightmares! I am old, uneducated, people actually do lie and make fun of your resume behind your back, applicants with way more qualifications than I have get rejected, I’m working for $10/hour and these people at $120K would be taking a paycut, hundreds of these applicants apply for the same job and get rejected each week, etc…. So, I’m marinating in my nightmares and then I realize that I am laughing my ass off at the ridiculous situation I have found myself in. How could I not laugh! I realize that I’m texting a few of my more warped friends about what’s going on because they’d appreciate it. I realize I have friends at all. I realize that the wheels are spinning about a new blog entry. I realize I have a conscience and maybe I shouldn’t write about it. I realize the education/rejection/bullshitting are in fact realities but they are not personal – they’re pretty universal. I realize so much of the stuff of my nightmares is changeable if I want to change them. I realize I have so many resources of so many varieties to change my reality, or more important, to change my mind about myself and the way I treat myself. I realize I don’t have to turn lemons into lemonballs. I realize HP is working in my life and has given me gifts of questionable taste to heal myself, and maybe others, through comic relief.

 

I’ve been at this job for three weeks. The woman I report to came to my desk last Thursday, heard Tourette’s guy whooping and hooting and singing, she stopped talking, rolled her eyes, and said, “I am so sorry you have to listen to him all day. He is so annoying”. I realized not everyone thinks he’s so great. I realized there is nothing wrong with him. I realized he is just obnoxious. I realized my maladaptive coping mechanism to deal with people I find annoying is to pretend they don’t exist. I realized if I change coping mechanism, I would have realized sooner that Tourette’s guy sings loudly all day because he has on headphones and is singing along to music and has a really bad voice. I realize if he thinks Pharrell is old, then he himself must be very young. I realize he’s oblivious, not an asshole out to get me. I realize I am not an asshole because the answer to that question “Tou rette’s or not Tou rette’s?”, is “not Tou rette’s”… = fair game! WHOOOOOP!

My Lanai and It’s Dirty Secrets

Hi!

 

So, I am upon another anniversary season. One year ago, my Leroy got sick and went to kitty heaven, but that is very sad. Two years ago, I relapsed over CM at 11 months sober, but I am so bored with that. Three years ago, I surrendered to the bitch and joined CK. I could have sworn I wrote about those final days of drinking but even with some determined digging in SK, I couldn’t find anything. Broadening the dig however, I found some misc. files that I hastily sent myself from work before I got canned, and found some clever Slushkitty drafts, and I found the blog I started! Woot woot!

 

They say the more things change the more they stay the same. I’m still coming to terms with a lot of the same stuff I was last year. The entry I started writing about that last fateful year began with me announcing that it was the first blog I was writing without a cigarette. Then I went off on some tangent about “Judging Amy” and guess I never finished writing it. Did you know that the little girl who plays Amy’s daughter Lauren did in fact age? BBFITW and I thought she had progeria, that premature aging disease, because after eight seasons she was still in first grade… or so thought this drunk and that pot-head. And come to think of it, if she actually had progeria, the opposite would have happened to her… right? She’d look like she should have been in Shady Pines (“Golden Girls” reference #1), and not in first grade. What was I talking about? Oh, yes. So I never finished the blog and I started smoking again in the meantime – good thing I never made the announcement that I quit smoking. And alas, here I am today, mumbling under my breath, rather than announcing, that this might be the last blog I write with a cigarette. But hopefully and with some help, the more things stay the same, the more they’ll change this time.

 

My parade route to destination CK was a long and très tragique one, and there were many red flags along the way that I pretended not to see. I described these red flags in an earlier post – and I’m repeating now because it’s funny – as ticker tape in my One Woman Parade of Crazy. In the same way that my hundreds of Mrs.-Jones-she’s-a-nut–she-snubbed-me seemingly inconsequential but wicked resentments snowballed into that monster that’s been in the way of my happiness and Love for the past 42 years, the seemingly relatively non-dramatic and inconsequential but humiliating pickles I found myself in during the last few months of my drinking most certainly snowballed me, a bloody pulp, into CK.

 

Snowballs! The winter of 2010-2011 yielded Boston 81” of snow, which is about double the average. (This year we’ve gotten 57.1” so I don’t know why everyone is complaining! This is kids’ stuff! Toughen up!). I lived, and still live, on the top floor of my house and have a lanai (“Golden Girls” reference #2) off the living room. Having the same recycling dilemma as every single CK I know, occasionally I’d sneak some bottles out on trash night and stick them in the neighbors’ recycling bin, but more often than not, I’d just put them on the lanai and hope they’d go away. Having 81” of snow that winter made that almost possible – the snow would just blanket the bottle cemetery. Out of sight, out of mind! …until April… when the snow melted.

 

My landlord “Dizzy” is straight out of Central Casting – an authentic middle-aged townie from the Charlestown projects. And his voice! That voice! Think of a really really really loud Harvey Fierstein with a potty-mouth, a Boston accent, and some boundary issues. Early that April 2011, Dizzy unannounced climbed up a ladder to my lanai to clear out the gutters, and to his – and my! – horror discovered all my bottles. “What the fuck is this?! I mean, I don’t care what you do, do whatever you fuckin’ want, but these are gunna staht to smell! You need some help getting’ rid of ‘em? I’ll help.. I’ll…..” NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Mor-ti-fied, The Prince of Hell and I bagged them up later that day or the next and took them to the recycling bottle return machine thingies at Liquor Land.. and naturally used the $10 towards an 18-pack of Miller Light cans. This is where my drinking took me: 18-packs of Miller Light cans. *Shudder*. Around that same time, Dizzy’s wife “Tishy” – also out of Central Casting – had to come up to my apartment because the stove was broken. Tishy, unlike Dizzy, gave me fair notice. At this point, the Prince of Hell was basically living with me because he wasn’t working (long, obnoxious story behind that) so his cable and Internet were turned off, and I was bringing him meatball subs every night and putting quarters in his meter. Yes, my drinking took me there, too. So, I was walking into my apartment at the same time Tishy and the repairman were leaving. I walked into my living room and there was the Prince of Hell, on my couch, waiting for his meatball sub, all gross in nothing but his boxers, watching TV, every surface of my house covered with our beer bottles and cans. Mor-ti-fied. I was speechless. If absolutely nothing else, he couldn’t have at least put on pants?? Apoplectic, I walked away, as he yelled after me, not entirely unlike Dizzy,  “What? What do you care? You’re paying rent. You can do whatever the fuck you want. They can’t say anything. What’s your problem…” I walked into my room, texted Bed, asked him to take me to a meeting, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Cut to: this winter and the 81” of snow. I don’t smoke in my apartment anymore. And having been snowed in and unable to open the back door, I stand at said back door, blow the smoke outside, and yes, throw my butts on the lanai. Give me a break – I am captain of this ship called Living Alone and have been for a very long time. I can do whatever the fuck I want – walk around naked, not pick up after myself, and generally just be gross – but I had every intention of picking up the butts, and I always do. One day about a month or so ago, I unfortunately did not pick them up fast enough. Dizzy called one morning when I was already out and about, and said he had to come over to fuckin’ shovel the fuckin’ snow. I panicked and asked him if he could wait an hour until I got home. He said sure, sure, no fuckin’ problem. I bolted home, and discovered to my horror, little gobs of slush and wet footprints up my stairs – there were strangers shoveling my lanai! All bitchy, I asked, “Did Dizzy not tell you that I asked if he could wait until I got home?” to which they replied, “No – Dizzy let us in – how the fuck else would we be able to get into your place?” to which I replied “Oh, I’m sorry I’m sorry – you’re right – I’m sorry – I just asked.. um.. yeah so.. I’m just worried about… the cats?”. Dizzy called me later and unapologetically said he had to get up there right away (liar!) because it was a hazard (liar! He slipped and said the guys were on the clock) and he doesn’t care what the fuck I do, and to do whatever I fuckin’ want, and was I mad because he saw the cigarette butts? Mor-ti-fied. I told him.. um.. that I was.. you know… just worried about… the cats?

 

I’m going to accept this mortification with the cigarette butts as the last, or at least one of the last, heave-hos to get me to quit smoking for good, like the beer bottles and cans did three years ago. My doctor has me on the nicotine lozenges (which are covered by Masshealth!) AND the patch (which is also covered by Masshealth!), but made the unfortunate admission that I can also smoke while on the patch. So I am of course. But unlike three years ago, now I am actually a little worried about my heart exploding and/or having a stroke. The Time has Come. I can do whatever the fuck I want, and what I want is to fuckin’ quit smoking! And I think that I have some family and friends in my life who actually do care what the fuck I do and want me to quit, too. And to you I say, thank you for being a friend. (“Golden Girls” reference #3).

 

P.S. If anyone else would like to quit, let me know. Maybe we can buddy up and quit together! And then get our teeth whitened together! And smell better together! And have more money together! And have more energy together! And live longer together! And etc, etc, etc…!

“Dear Slushkitty” Lives! Help, please…

Hello!

 

I have been seeing the same psychic for about 20 years. His name is Alex and he can be found at the Tremont Tea Room — http://www.tremont-tearoom.com/ — you should totes go! I think I actually wrote about Alex in here before, but I must tell you more! At the first reading I had with him, he told me I was writing letters to someone named “Jack” and he’s seen me twice and I have never seen him. I was writing letters to a Jason Priestly imposter, whose real name was “Jake”, at the time. He said he saw me flying over bridges and I would live with someone named “Christy”. I moved to San Francisco and my roommate’s name was Christy. He saw me outside making hats. At the time, I was making hats on my mom’s deck. All ye naysayers, explain THAT! Go see, Alex.

 

So, I saw him last week. Nachel gave me a gift certificate for Christmas. Like I did 20 years ago, I was laughing my head off – he’s a scream! – and because he was spot-on. I volunteered no info and he dove right in. He said I wasn’t working and my last job ended in an ugly way…to say the least!!! (I never shared with you any details of the sexual harassment I suffered while selling dial-up modems – how SAD is this already?!? A suuuuper slimy sales rep sent me a vibrator and my boss saw nothing wrong with that). Anyway, he said I had a job interview next week, and I was like, “No, I don’t. I certainly do not”. He looked a bit puzzled, and said, “No. You have a job interview next week”. Exactly two hours later, I got an email from the place I had a phone interview with back in December asking me to come in next week for an interview. All ye naysayers, explain THAT! Go see Alex.

 

He said a whole bunch of other stuff that got me all teary and goofy with optimism – like my hidden, and very specific, dreams coming true. One thing he said is that I am a writer. Again, I volunteered no info before he said this. He said I have an advice column and I already have a logo and it will be a brand, and what am I waiting for? Y’all get ready for the Slushkitty t-shirts and coffee mugs coming soon! Dream big! (Incidentally, the place I am interviewing with is a promotional products company – ha!) If you’ve been following my little bloggy, you’ll recall I did briefly have an advice column called “Dear Slushkitty” – not an original name but no one shared any witty (or any at all actually) name suggestions – please feel free to do so now! Here are a couple of my advice posts: http://slushkitty.com/2012/05/26/dear-slushkitten/  and http://slushkitty.com/2012/05/13/dear-cassie/ .

 

I’m going to start up my “Dear Slushkitty” advice column again! Please help a sister out and kindly submit your questions or troubles about Love, cats, recovery, Swedish boy bands, vibrators, sentences ending in prepositions, or anything else that you fancy my opinions or suggestions on. You’ll be helping me, too, not with writers’ block but with general malaise and atrophy of the brain. I’ve gone from selling dial-up modems for perverts to filing invoices for an insurance company. Since the Republicans cut off unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed – thanks, petty, nasty, heartless meanies! – this beggar cannot be a chooser. I am not sure I needed a fat dose of humility, but whatever. By the way, my birthday is this Tuesday, February 18th. This year, I’d like groceries and cat food for birthday gifts, please. (I’m totally being a drama queen – yesterday I irresponsibly spent an embarrassing and unreasonable amount of money on mascara. I may starve, but why should my eyelashes starve, too? Have a heart!).

 

Please send your dear Slushkitty questions for “Dear Slushkitty”! It’ll be fun! It can be my birthday present :) Please post them in the comments section here or email me at Cara02127@rocketmail.com.

 

Love ad infinitum..

Xoxox

Slushy-K

Love in the New Year

Hi! And Happppppppy New Year!

 

I’m starting this shiny New Year with an experiment – I am not going to charge my phone. Not charging it is a step beyond just turning it off, and a step before asking my landlord to back over it with his truck. By not charging it, in case I can’t stand not being wirelessly connected to the world anymore, I can take those few minutes it takes for my phone to charge enough so I’m able to check my fucking texts, to change my mind and unplug the bitch. “Why would you not want to check your texts, dear SK?”, you ask. “Because…” I say…

 

… I’ve heard a few sayings over the past couple of years that have helped me coax myself off the ledge. One DLD says is “rejection is God’s protection”. The other is “crazy people don’t know they’re crazy”. Just pondering these two statements makes me dizzy, and illustrates why I don’t want to turn on my phone. My Number One Fear in Life is, and always has been, Rejection. So on those rare occasions where I find myself throwing caution to the wind, vulnerable, caught with my pants down, so to speak, I seek Rejection. I seduce Rejection by dancing the Dance of the Seven Medications (none of which work, btw) then cutting off Rejection’s head. Does this make any sense? Does this sound crazy? Alas, crazy people don’t know they’re crazy. Or do they? I can’t see how fear-of-rejection-fueled craziness is God’s way of protecting me.

 

Another thing I’ve heard is that relapse starts long before you decide to take that first drink. Exactly two years ago, I was circling the drain over CM, slowly and agonizingly relapsing. Minus a few thrills, our relationship, as painfully dissected in this bloggy, was make-believe. Make-believe evokes images of a sweet little me playing dress up and kissing the back of my hand, but my make-believe with CM more resembled me starring as Jessica Walter’s Evelyn in “Play Misty for Me” (watch please: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH4mbbXOXsY ). Luckily, or not, or for the most part, it never went this far. I suffered with my delusions – and drank – in relative silence. During my CM days, I was as out of touch with reality as our dear Evelyn was.

 

Cut to: Present Day. I am much much more emotionally stable now. I mentioned the CM days because for the first time in two years, there’s a realistic real-life person – let’s call him “The One I Like”. I’m keeping my phone off to avoid possibly being derailed if I don’t get a text from TOIL. Potentially and equally as distressing, if I do get a text, some unfortunate punctuation may catapult me into the stratosphere of doom. Why, just a couple of weeks ago, I had a mini-meltdown over a comma, because I am a reasonable person. Everyone knows that “Hi” followed by an exclamation point (i.e. Hi!) means “I’m thinking of you because I like you very much!”, whereas “Hi” followed by a comma (i.e. Hi,) means “We need to talk”. HELP! Circle the wagons! Get out the big guns!

 

Lily tells me that Awareness is the step before Acceptance, and Acceptance is the step before Action. I am very aware, as evidenced in the comma dilemma above, that I have found myself in dangerous territory. I accept the fact that so much of this is my pure, paranoiac imagination. I think I should pause at Acceptance and focus on being grateful for all my blessings before taking any action. Making progress is a HUGE one of those blessings.

 

Have you guys seen the Jodie Foster movie “Contact”? My apologies in advance for the forthcoming corny analogy. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but here’s the gist of one of the scenes. She gets a map and the blueprints from benevolent aliens to make a spaceship so she can visit her beloved dead father in another dimension. She gets the go-ahead from her quasi-NASA bosses to build and launch it BUT they make her wear a seatbelt – No belt. No brains. Click it or Ticket! After ample disagreement and defiance, she’s like “Fine” and belts up. Upon lift-off, she gets violently jostled, her head increasingly and dangerously banging on the sides of her spacesuit. In desperation and with much struggle, she unbuckles her seatbelt. And then all the noise stops and she floats dreamingly, weightlessly in the spaceship as it travels a zillion miles an hour through kaleidoscopic wormholes en route to Dad. My little analogy here is that the seatbelt symbolizes my all-encompassing, debilitating fear of rejection. I desperately don’t want to wear it anymore. The NASA bosses symbolize the peanut gallery in my head – they insist that I wear the seatbelt because all they want is for me to be safe. The benevolent aliens symbolize Love/HP/God. They give me a path and directions to that which I miss and long for. Her Dad and another dimension symbolize Love and Safety and Hope. The thrashing and deadly turbulence symbolize the way I have lived my life. The moral of this story is that I need to let go of my crippling fear. Not only does it not work anymore, it’s really really hurting me. Not having the faith to trust that everything is as it should be is deafening and blinding me from the beauty that is my journey. All my resistance does is keep me apart from Love.

 

Thank you for letting me talk that out! I believe I know what Action to take. I’m going to charge my phone!

 

One enormous piece of the pickle I failed to mention is that TOIL and I had a grown-up conversation and we agreed that it’s best we not pursue this emotionally. He’s a sweetheart and his most endearing qualities I’ve noticed thus far are his earnestness and kindness and wish to do the right thing. It’s curious how I take a mutually loving decision and pervert and warp it into cold, devastating proof of rejection. 2014 is my year to kick the crazy!

 

This morning, this first day of this New Year, I did not wake up alone. Actually, I did, so that’s my first lie of this New Year. Well, I slept over NayNay’s. She has been sick and didn’t want to wake me up with her coughing, so she slipped out of bed on her sprained ankle to sleep on the couch. So considerate and sweet! There’s no one on earth I’d rather have spent my first hours of a new year with. That sounds like a very happy start to 2014! I can leave my phone dead to shut out possible and imaginary rejection *** OR *** I can charge it and invite love in and share it with my friends. I can hole up and isolate *** OR *** I can be available if anyone needs a friendly voice or has happy news to share. And I actually have friends! And I have so much love in my life! And it’s a new year!

 

For what seemed like months, everyone had been talking about the dreaded Trifecta of Temptation and Terror – the holidays. They’re over… and they almost passed by without notice. I was at a meeting last night and a friend said the words “the holidays” and I felt a little turned around. I couldn’t remember what month or season it was or when “the holidays” were. I think I caught myself in a moment of being truly present. My holidays were lovely and I think that contributed to why I was so peaceful. I spent them with my family. I love my family and they love me! A bunch of relationships in all areas of my life have been reborn. Like the Baby Jesus. And I am so grateful.

 

Happy New Year and so Much Love…

xox

 

 

Gratitude on a Very Sad One-Year Anniversary

Dearly beloved,

We have gathered here today (on Slushkitty, Facebook, and email) to celebrate this thing called life. Electric word ‘life’, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time, but I’m here to tell you, there’s something else: the after-hystie world. A world of never ending happiness. You can always see the sun, day or night.

 Today is the one-year anniversary of my hysterectomy. It’s a very sad day for me (and for all the fellas who wanted to impregnate me), but I have so many blessings to be grateful for. Today, I am grateful that/to/for:

* Prince.

* The few months I was recovering from surgery that I was able to spend with my sweet Leroy before he went to Kitty Heaven.

* Penelope and Oliver and having this time I’m not working to spend with them.

* Not working!

* Working! Temp work at a pleasant office at a pleasant company with pleasant people and feeling appreciated and liked.

* Liking and being liked.

* Loving and being loved.

* Making mistakes, bad decisions that I thought were so awful and embarrassing until I reluctantly shared them with Lily who reminded me I am human.

* Making mistakes, bad decisions that I thought were so awful and embarrassing until I reluctantly shared them with Nay Nay who gently told me it’s normal human stuff… and funny. Of course!

* Knowing  (and trying to remember, as always, in real time) that making mistakes and bad decisions are opportunities to learn, not opportunities to self-flagellate.

* Making good decisions, doing the next right thing.

* Estrogel estrogen replacement.

* The few minutes it takes for Estrogel estrogen replacement to dry that I can also take to practice the self-care of body moisturizing.

* My health. After 41 years of good, clean living, I’m fit as a fiddle and fresh as a daisy. (Friday night, I walked into a restaurant and got carded!)

* I GOT CARDED!

* When I GOT CARDED, I was able to say with a very happy smile, “I’m not drinking”.

* Having the most wonderful friends to not drink with on a Friday night.

* Having the most wonderful friends to not drink with on a Saturday night, too!

* Being sober, thus able, on a sad anniversary Sunday to go out with my delightful fellows to share my experience, strength, and hope with addicts and alcoholics who are not as lucky.

* Luck (Love, God, HP, Friendship, etc…) because why else am I still here?

* Being here.

* Prince.

xo

Sample Resume Cover Letters

Thank you much for playing Mad Libs and helping me apply for jobs! 

________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,

 

Your position for Dutchess sounds icky and exactly what I am looking for! I have 408.6 years experience in dwarves with a primary focus on ganache management. I’ve been fortunate to have the experience of pegging with winsome customers to meet their shifty needs. The consumers’ serpentine satisfaction ensures our continued and effervescent success. I always eerily demonstrate the “Oi!” attitude to make that happen. I’m spiffy for the opportunity to scorch with your chartreuse team that makes it sordid to come to work every day with haughty ideas!

I trust you’ll bang in my bone-dry resume that I have the bidness that you need to make your crack emasculate!

 

Peace out.

Slushkitty

 

/Gettin’ Jiggy

________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,

 

Your position for Executive in Charge of All that is Holy sounds cute and exactly what I am looking for! I have 42 years experience in cats with a primary focus on fuzz management. I’ve been fortunate to have the experience of purring with fabulous customers to meet their smart needs. The consumers’ phoenix-like satisfaction ensures our continued and self-actualized success. I always creatively demonstrate the “Zowie!” attitude to make that happen. I’m devoted for the opportunity to maximize with your complementary team that makes it complimentary to come to work every day with beautiful ideas!

I trust you’ll energize in my lovable resume that I have the go-getter that you need to make your fashionista await!

 

Forever yours,

Slushkitty

 

/Munsel Störkel, Sr.

 ________________________________________________________________________________ 

 

Dear Mr./Ms. LastName,

 

Your position for Inside/Outside Retail Sales Managsisstant sounds lovely and exactly what I am looking for! I have 14 years experience in boxes with a primary focus on key management. I’ve been fortunate to have the experience of sobbing with alienated customers to meet their determined needs. The consumers’ muffled satisfaction ensures our continued and petite success. I always defiantly demonstrate the “Outstanding!” attitude to make that happen. I’m flawless for the opportunity to escape with your gentle team that makes it meaty to come to work every day with lavish ideas!

 

I trust you’ll run in my practical resume that I have the village that you need to make your women smear!

 

Sincerely,

Slushkitty

 

/NayNay

Play Resume Mad Libs with Me!

Hi!

 

It’s been three months since I posted, so I thought I’d pop in and say hello. Hello!

 

The reason I haven’t posted lately is because I have been diligently writing my 4th Step all summer. This shit is epic! I write every day until I am about to have a seizure and then call it a day. This strategy has never been recommended by anyone. Ever. But moderation and self-control never appealed to my delicate sensibilities, so why start now, right? Lily believes the hardest part is over and I choose to believe her. So now I can start looking for a job in earnest without the crazy emotional distraction of writing my life story. I have been blessed with some new peace in my soul, too!

 

As well as soul searching, I actually have done some job searching in these past few months. I applied for a handful of jobs, and spent a reasonable amount of time writing cover letters that attempt to make me stand out from the herd of unemployed chumps seeking the same position. When I send out my resume and intriguing cover letter, one of three things happens: 1- it floats out into the cosmos and I don’t get any sort of acknowledgement that anyone ever received it. 2 – I get an auto-reply that says they’re delighted I’m interested in working for their company, and if they’re interested, they’ll call me, don’t call them. Or 3 – the most infuriating – I get an auto-reply that says they’ve found someone who is a better fit for the job. How can this be? No human could possibly review my resume and ixnay me that fast. I conclude a very narrow-minded computer does the ixnaying. Here is where I need your help!

 

This narrow-minded computer is scanning resumes for key words and spitting out the ones that don’t match some percentage of their mystery criteria. I love words. I’m good at werds! Plus I literally copy chunks of werds from their job description and paste them appropriately in my resume, but alas, I inevitably get bupkis in return. I’m at a loss. So I’d like to ask for your help and creativity! Want to play a little Resume Mad Libs? I do! If you want to play – and I hope you do! – please fill in the blanks below and I’ll insert them to my cover letter and post them on Slushkitty…it’ll be fun!

 

Job Title –

Adjective -

A number  -

Plural Noun –

Noun -

verb ending in -ing –

Adjective –

Adjective –

Adverb –

Exclamation –

Adjective –

Verb –

Adjective –

Adjective –

Adjective –

Verb -

Adjective –

Noun –

Noun –

Verb -

Salutation –

 

Please post your words in the comments section here or email them to me at Cara02127@rocketmail.com *

Xoxox

SK4eva

Sorry, Mom!

Hi!

When it comes to technology and electronics, I’m about as apathetic and impatient as you can get. I have been known to get abusive to the MIS guys. When something anything goes wrong with my computer, and I go deaf, dumb, blind, and psycho if anyone suggests that I may have had something anything to do with whatever snag I’m suffering.  Now that I am (happily) on week nine of unemployment, that MIS guy is my mother.

Her heart is in the right place, and she is very generous, but she should know by now who she’s dealing with. I have broken the last three (not exaggerating) computers AND the last three (not exaggerating) vacuum cleaners she has given me. (Sorry, Mom! I called the Dyson people. Can we talk about that offline?) She got a new Kindle and gave me her old one the other day. I almost had an aneurism trying to find the on/off button. A few years ago, she was taking me out for dinner. She handed me her iPhone and asked me to call ahead to see if there was a wait. I was like, “how? Where is the keyboard? The mouse? How about the magnifying glass?? I’ll just call 4-1-1. Hello?? No dial tone!!”

Anyway, I was dating an Internet genius (not exaggerating) a few years ago and he was embarrassed for me that I was still using my mom’s hand-me-down Razor, so he got me an iPhone for my birthday. It took me at least two years to realize I could charge it from my computer, and not only from a wall outlet. It then took me months to stop and read the pop-up message that I got every time I charged my phone asking if I wanted to transfer all my cell phone pictures to my computer. I would just get annoyed and click ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok.  Since I never bothered deleting any of those pictures (who has the time?), I ended up with endless duplicates. Pain in my ass. For a host of hysterical reasons, things with Internet Genius didn’t work out, but I got an iPhone, right? Not too shabby.

Last year, I started seeing a sweet angel from Heaven – let’s call him “MC” – who liked to text me pictures of his penis. They weren’t sexy (are they ever?) but they caught me off-guard and made me LOL every time, as intended. They were so funny! He’d pose for all sorts of inappropriate and perverted selfies – they slayed me! I’d be at work talking to someone, in a meeting, wherever, my phone would light up and POW! Look, everyone! MC’s Penis! So shameless! So wrong! So funny!

As I mentioned, I haven’t the slightest interest in computers or technology. Ironically, my last job was selling cutting edge dial-up modems. I never understood exactly what they did. Actually, and more accurately, I never cared what they did. Sadly, no one else seemed to care either. Poor things. Dial-up modems stopped flying off the shelves, like so many Dodo birds before them, so many many years ago.

So anyway, when my computer would magically transfer all my pictures, they’d save them in a million different places (drives? Is that what they’re called?) I tried to delete all the duplicates and the dirty ones, but I swear to God instead of deleting them, my computer backed them up and hid them somewhere. I decided to sort them and keep the ones I wanted in a shiny new personal folder.  (There is no such thing as “personal” anything, btw. You probably knew this). Knowing my days were numbered, a few weeks before I was canned, I emailed that folder to myself and also put them on my phone. I downloaded them to my home computer, twice by accident. When I actually did get canned, the MIS guy sent me all my pictures in a zip file, so I downloaded them… again.  Then my computer broke, so my mom came over, figured out the problem, transferred everything on my computer to a thumb drive, went to the Apple store, got what we needed, then she reinstalled everything. The pictures multiplied like Gremlins. 

I had a picture of my sweet Leroy as my background, but he was sideways. Having no patience, I tried flipping it upright for exactly 15 seconds and gave up. I could live with Leroy being sideways, craning my neck while I cried. Mom, however, couldn’t live with it. It was a quick fix for sure, and she was more than happy to help! (I bet you know where this is going). I had no idea where that picture was saved, so she opened random pictures in random folders hell-bent on finding Leroy. Instead she found MC’s penis. I saw one pop up and nearly died, but she closed it right away, not realizing what the pic was. And then she opened another – same result. Then she opened another, and I had an out-of-body experience. She took a good look at it to figure out what it was, then with horror said, “well, THAT’s not what I was looking for!” Thank God I was still out of my body. Like so many embarrassing events in my life, if I don’t acknowledge something, then it didn’t happen. She calmly shut down my computer, and we left to go shopping, as previously planned. When we got to the top of my street, I said that I didn’t really need anything at the store actually, thanked her sincerely, got out of the car… and ran home.

The End. Please God, let it be The End. I am so sorry, Mom!

RELAPSE! DENIAL! and TRUTH! OH MY!

Hi!

What’s new?

What’s new with me? WELL, on April 13th I celebrated two years of sobriety!.. Hold the applause. With much exhaustion, I must confess that I celebrated “two years” one year and three months early. Fo shizzle. Not kidding. I want to throw myself at your feet and apologize for being dishonest about something so serious and for SO long, dear readers.  I’ve spent the past three weeks self-flagellating and coming clean at meetings, by text, phone, instant message, and email – and now blog and Facebook –  to everyone I can think of (and also to strangers in meetings I’ve been to, like, once in my life, in Boston, Watertown, Milwaukee, etc…) who has ever applauded my sobriety, my program. BUT everyone I have told has been so supportive and loving, their reactions so moving and sympathetic… one was actually congratulatory! Not that I recommend AT ALL that anyone relapse to get the reassurance that you’re loved and accepted by your fellows, because now I know that we always will be, no matter what. Emerging alive from my recent experience, I’d like to very humbly suggest that if you have found, or if you may find yourself some day in my position, that you open up and share about it.. like, right away. There is no need to suffer with this secret – telling will not be as bad as you might think, mostly not bad at all. I promise! And I’m no liar!  I’m telling the truth, and at the risk of sounding  I-drank-the-Kool-Aid-ish, the truth has graced me with an unexpected freedom that I am grateful for and excited to go get myself some more of… in real-time this time. No apologies for my relapses*  were requested, needed – offers were not even accepted! – not even a little bit.. No shame. Seriously – no shame. Sincerely. No shame.

*  When people talk about unfortunate occurrences of drinking in recovery, they use different words. When people say ‘slip’ – I think, “Oooops! How on earth did that happen? Silly me!”. ‘Slip’ is too cute a word for something so potentially fatal. On the other hand, when people say ‘relapse’ – I think, “I’m in the gutter dying.  I’m washing people’s windshields at stop-lights, whether they like it or not. How the hell did these traffic cones get in my kitchen?”  (True story, btw). ‘Relapse’ is too terrifying a word for something so completely survivable, and so common. I looked up the word ‘relapse’ in the dictionary just to be clear. Relapse: A return of a disease or illness after partial recovery from it. No wiggling out of this one – ‘relapse’ it is. I just wish ‘momentary’ was in that definition somewhere. Oh well.

 My actual relapses – two total – were pretty boring. The excuses / lies I told myself, shame (shame shame shame), guilt, the stress, self-loathing, sadness, and onus I carried for 13 or so months, and then all the personal horrors and circumstances that eventually saved me from myself are all much more interesting. But the stories are worth telling, too, as cautionary tales in a way… <cue distinctive ‘dun dun’ sound effect  from the “Law and Order” intro> …These Are My Relapses:

Relapse #1 ~

At the beginning of 2012, at about nine months sober (no, really, I honestly did have nine months!), I started seeing CM, and all starry-eyed and mushy, I told “A Hip Fella” about him. Knowing I was new and it being totally against the law to date in your first year, AHF asked how much sober-time I had. I told him nine months (no, really, I honestly did have nine months!), to which he replied, amused and snarky, “Let me know how that works out for you”. The nerve! But annoyingly, somewhere within the next two or so months, “that worked out” with me drinking, crying, screaming into my pillow, so mad at myself, and in the throes of what can only be described as ‘temporary insanity’… and just weeks before my one-year anniversary.

I knew exactly what I had to do – I had to tell Nelissa, and then tell everyone else and re-set my sobriety date. I never thought it was OK – I had every intention of doing the right thing. I told my old therapist right after it happened, and he agreed, of course, that I had to tell Nelissa. But I couldn’t do it. Pre-anniversary party plans were being laid. All my loving supportive friends were asking when the Big Day was. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them. The days turned into weeks, medallions came and went, then Denial swooped in and came to the rescue, as it had so many times in my life. Denial – my low-life hero! I’ve had a lot of other low-life heroes in my life, too, come to think of it.

Denial is quite an evil bitch. I would talk to my old therapist about recovery and often would mention my sobriety date.. the liar-liar-pants-on-fire date, knowing absolutely but still not quite registering that I knew that he knew that I was hopelessly lying to his face. So I started using air quotes and rolling my eyes when I mentioned the date, which I did all the time because I was so genuinely happy and unfathomably grateful for the program and that I made it “one year” (rolls eyes)  without a drink. I was a perfect representative of sobriety. I would catch myself telling him and twist my face with guilt, like maybe if he knew I felt reeeeally bad about lying, the ‘slip’ wouldn’t count. I asked him once if he thought I was a horrible human being for not being honest in a program of honesty, and he said, “I have no judgment. I work with a man who likes having sex with horses, and I don’t judge him either”. I thought, “OMG – it’s sooo much worse than I thought. Lying is on par with having sex with a horse?!? I’m definitely NEVER telling anyone now”. And then I thought, “How does that work? That must be very confusing for the horse (like dressage), not to mention a logistical nightmare for the perverted, degenerate ol’ chap. Hmm – chaps. Are chaps involved?”. Disturbing images from the world’s largest S&M leather event, the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, I used to go to for unresolved voyeurism, popped into mind – kindly folks with whips, chained collars, and yup – chaps over bare legs. I still have nightmares about sunburned asses waiting for aloe at the first-aid stations – safety first!

Relapse #2 ~

Not as interesting as but much more dangerous than Relapse #1. I went to Portland and Hawaii last July, and smoked a bunch of weed. I half-confessed at that beach bonfire CK meeting I went to in Waikiki. I raised my hand and told them I smoked weed and that I was anxious about having to tell my friends in Cambridge, but it was the right thing to do, and so do it I would. I left the meeting feeling relieved about telling the truth (rolls eyes) and grateful to be able to practice a trial-truth-run to my new CK friends outside the continental US – then left the meeting and smoked more weed. (Important note to friends on OR and HI: you did NOT, not even a smidge, contribute to my relapse. It was entirely my decision. I love you guys so much!). I celebrated having a marvelous and sober (rolls eyes) vacation by having two drinks on the flight home and taking way more ativan than necessary (which is to say, any ativan at all – it’s an anti-anxiety med and I like flying – never had anxiety about it). I took enough that I didn’t remember much or really any of the 15-or-so-hour trip from Hawaii to Boston. Definitely a ‘relapse’. I came back to Cambridge and a friend asked in jest if I had to change my sobriety date, and I said “Nope!” but I thought, “Nope! I didn’t have to change it last time!”.

As time and then more time passed after these relapses, the more convinced I was of the humiliation I thought I would have to face by ‘fessing up. The time and then more time just pushed me further into denial and guilt, and further away from the option of coming clean. On April 13th I celebrated two years (rolls eyes) of sobriety, and on April 15th, the day of the Marathon Bombings,  I accepted my two-year medallion. On April 16th, I melted down and told my dear dear top shrink the truth (rolls eyes) that I didn’t deserve the medallion… because I smoked weed on my trip. He kindly pointed out that over these past six months, I’ve had to endure the crushing sadness and emotional, physical, and hormonal devastation of my hysterectomy and the resulting menopause, the degradation (that some part of me thought I deserved) of sexual harassment at work (more on that in a later post), and the worst thing that could possibly happen – my sweet Leroy dying. By pointing this out, he assured me that I have had a legitimately rough time lately, and that I did not cause of all of it with my lies, and that I not only need, but I deserve, to use every resource necessary to carry me through this, and that there’s one thing I can control and that is to release this burden of secrecy about my relapses – that it is actually no biggy to anyone but me, no one will probably change their (nice) opinion of me, and I’ll still be loved. So I left his office on that April 16th, and called Lily and told her the truth (rolls eyes) that I drank before my one-year anniversary and smoked weed on my trip. On April 17th, I got sick of rolling my eyes and told Lily, and later that day my home group, The Entire Truth, which is.. I drank weeks before my one-year anniversary, and smoked weed AND drank on my vacation, and my actual sobriety date is July 13, 2012. I got my 9-month chip a few weeks ago and was over the moon. Hot dog! The truth surely shall set you free!

I drank the first time out of pure heart-breaking anguish. I drank the second time for no reason other than I am an alcoholic – that’s what I do – I drink. The second relapse was much more dangerous because I shut it out almost completely – no one knew about the drinks on the plane but Virgin Atlantic. My logic behind not telling anyone about the second relapse was that if I told about the second one, I’d have to spill the rotten beans about the first one, and if I was going to finally be honest about everything and have to reset my sobriety date, then I may as well go on a holy bender and get tanked one final time.. knowing full well that the one final time could very likely be “final” because it would kill me sooner or later, and with my track second, I’d pray for sooner. And that’s terrifying.

The beauty and grace in all of this is the proof that CK is working, and I am right on track. What stopped me (which truly is a miracle) from collapsing into raging active alcoholism is what I’ve been told so many times – go to meetings meetings meetings. And prayer, by golly! When Leroy was dying, I was desperate – I felt like I was dying with him. I screamed into my pillow (I seem to do that a lot) for the will and strength to live through the heartbreak and helplessness of seeing my sweet boy whither and in pain. I prayed for mercy to help ease my guilt for being dishonest because I started thinking I was the cause of his sickness. I had no notion nor intention of finding relief through telling on myself – no, I was asking for a way around telling the truth at all costs.  So, I prayed, and I screamed, and I never skipped a beat in my meeting schedule. [Actually, that’s not entirely true. Coincidentally (or not?) I got really sick after my relapses. Not hangover sick, but caught a virus, cold, or infection kind of sick. I got the flu (which I passed along to CM.. snicker snicker - oh give me a break! I didn’t mean to! I’m still in my first year of sobriety, remember? I have to be sober, not nice) the first time, and caught a respiratory infection on the plane home from Hawaii the second time]. 

More beauty and grace in all of this is the undeniable evidence of Love – wonderful, comforting, healing, you-go-girl Love Love Love! I’ve known for ages that I am powerless over alcohol, but still I drank in recovery and that can be called nothing but insanity. I continued to go to meetings and be truthful about everything else I could bear – I made a commitment to myself to stay sober when I came into CK on April 13th, 2011. I continued through my shame to keep what I could of that commitment. Keeping those secrets and lying about my sobriety date were agonizing until they became unbearable. I threw in the towel – the monogrammed damp yucky towel of fear and self-will – and asked for forgiveness and help. What was thrown back at me were the gifts of Love and Freedom, the promise of Happiness. But happiness is not just on the horizon, it’s already here.

Slushkitty Lives, indeed! This entire blog, up until today, is peppered with lies about my sobriety date but I’m not going to go back and change anything. That would be dishonest.. and those days are over. Those days of “dishonesty” were never actually really here though. I had to tell the truth – not the truth about me being a big, fat liar – but the truth about me NOT being a big, fat liar. I’m a human alcoholic in recovery, which is not only the best kind of alcoholic to be (human), but the best kind of human to be (an alcoholic in recovery). I mean that! I am seeking (and fighting tooth and nail for) honesty and peace in life, and from that I am finding freedom and Love. I certainly could never do any of this alone – I am doing this with the happiest and most honest people in the world. I heart CK and am honored to be in your numbers.  

Quick notes: This entry has taken me a long while to write because it’s been a painful, stressful time in my life, and I was scared to tell you the truth. A bunch has happened since I started writing this.  And regarding my recent blog subject matter – my last blog was about putting my sweet Leroy to sleep. This one is about my relapse. My next may very well be about losing my job.. but that will be a fun and victorious one – I promise!


UPDATE: I lost my job yesterday! As promised, it was victorious indeed! Stay tuned for details…  they involve a vibrator and unintended revenge!

I Love Leroy

~ Leroy ~

September 23, 2000 – March 29, 2013

Image

 

Hi, there.

In my entire life, I have never been as heartbroken as I am and felt as helpless as I do right now. Leroy, the love of my life, the apple of my eye, the sweetest pussycat, died last Friday, March 29th. He stopped eating and got very sick very quickly over the course of three weeks. I, with help from Nay Nay and The Girl with the Uterus Tattoo, got him to the most caring vets and best hospitals, but my sweet baby didn’t make it.  I’m devastated, in disbelief, in a daze. I don’t even want to put in writing that he died because it makes the unthinkable a crushing reality – I can still barely catch my breath. “Let’s Sing a Song about J” recently said that there are tears for when there are no words. My tears have not stopped – and I don’t think they ever will – but I owe my sweet boy an attempt at words for the 12 and a half years he lovingly gave me.  For many of those years, he was the only Love and affection I had in my life. And it would have been enough, too, but I had to leave my smokey and sad cocoon apartments and face the world I hated. But faced it I did and survived it I did, despite myself. Over these past two years I found friendship and happiness because I got sober and the subsequent life it rewarded me. My life, now filled with so much Love, replaced that dark empty life I had excruciatingly endured only because I always knew I had a squishy kitty waiting for me at home. (I also had a 12-pack waiting for me, but I didn’t feel as pathetic drinking alone – because I wasn’t really alone – because I had said squishy kitty on my lap with pure Love in his eyes, always happy to see me, no matter my condition). My friend “SBIB” asked me the other day when I told him that my Leroy was very sick, “Do you believe God had a plan for Leroy, even though you may never understand what that plan is? Maybe Leroy was sick for a while, but held on until he knew you were safe and happy enough for him to leave?” Such beautiful sentiment from a good friend! While I can’t bear the thought of him sick, it brings me some necessary comfort to imagine that he chose me 12 and a half years ago because he knew I needed him. I still need him. Then last week, he decided that my ability to give and accept Love (beyond to and from him) was secure, knew I was protected, and knew his job on my lap, on my head on my pillow, in my arms, and in this world was complete. One final kiss and a smoosh of my face into his cute little body, and he was gone. I felt his sweet heart stop in one hand, and his chin fell and peacefully rested on my other hand, like it had done, again, so peacefully, so so many times before. Goodbye my pretty kitty, best boy in the world, the center of my heart. ** Keep reading please – I promise this blog gets happy.. or I hope so, for the Love of God… so sad…! **


At the very end, his gentle and so sympathetic vet, told me that Leroy was crossing the “Rainbow Bridge”. I’d read this “Rainbow Bridge” poem before – if you don’t know what I am talking about, you’re going to have to Google it yourself. It’s indescribable. I must at least say it is suuuuuuper corny and sappy, but I am sure it talked many a grieving pet parent off the ledge of utter heartwreck. Nay Nay, who stayed in the room with me and glued me together through it all, folded a copy of the story and put it in my bag and said I should maybe wait until later to read it. Knowing I could not possibly feel any worse, I did read it later, sobbed, and then had a rush of lovely and funny memories. Part of the poem says, “There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together”. Leroy, being the coolest cat ever, got along splendidly with everyone – people and other cats – had no signs of social anxiety, unlike me, his mom. One time in San Francisco, in-between apartments, BBFITW (the father of my kitties) and I stayed with friends, who also had cats. Our friend wanted to keep our cats separated, but Leroy was like ‘Relax, dude. S’all good’. I came home one day to find him perched happily in the cut-out hole in the middle tier of their cat tree and their cat was perched happily on the top tier – they were a totem pole of delicious cuteness! To date, it’s one the cutest things I’ve ever seen. So, back to the poem… The “run and play together” part applies – I am sure Sweet Leroy is playing with other kitties in Heaven.. but it has to be an INDOOR Heaven. I have a deck where I live now, a big open-roof deck on the top floor of my house. I have only let the cats out one time. One Time. Penny and Oliver were stoked to be outside. Penny hung a left and tried to run down the fire escape. Oliver jumped immediately up onto the 3” railing THREE FLOORS ABOVE CERTAIN DEATH. But little Leroy made himself super small somehow, crouched down as close to the floor as possible, turned his head and looked up at me with those huge green eyes and gave me one of those knowing pleading but silent cries as if to say “why are you doing this to me?”, and the ran backwards inside as quickly and quietly as possible. I realized that in his entire ten or so years my baby had never been outside! Little guy had been living in a safe and sheltered Lap o’ Luxury his whole life! So, the “meadows and hills” bit of the poem needs to be changed to “nylon cat tunnels and tall dressers” to play in.. with “air conditioning and space heaters”.. and on totem poles of delicious cuteness.


As I mentioned earlier, “Let’s Sing a Song about J” once said that there are tears for when there are no words, but 12 and a half years ago, my tears over a different cat brought the cutest kitten in the history of kittens AND in the history of cuteness into my life – my squishy Leroy! The story is very sweet! It goes a little something like this…


In 2001, I was living in San Francisco with a crackhead, let’s call her “CHCH”. (That’s an entirely different story for some other time). We were smoking bowls one night and watching “Golden Girls” when we heard this horrible whining screaming outside. The screaming was not human. Somewhat assured that it wasn’t any of the human lady prostitutes who lined our street, we ran downstairs into the courtyard and found the prettiest little but injured Calico cat, dragging herself by her front legs, crying. CHCH ran out front and rang everyone’s doorbells to see if anyone was missing their cat, while I stayed with the kitty trying my best to be a cat whisperer and calm her down. A neighbor with a car came down and scooped her up and took her to Animal Control who in turn took her to the SF-SPCA. She had all sorts of internal injuries and was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. They think she may have been hit by a car, but she recovered completely and I adopted her. Yay! I named her “Sophia”, as in “Petrillo”, and she was the most darling little girl. She slept all day on a pillow on the middle of my bed, and slept all night on the middle of my chest, and we did this for weeks. Then one day, a month or so after I adopted her, CHCH called me at work. She said she had some bad news – the entire neighborhood was plastered with ‘Lost Cat’ posters. I was outraged. Outraged, I say!!! I sent out a mass email to my friends taking a poll on what I should do – what kind of monster lets their cat outside in the city and doesn’t realize she’s gone for two months??! I got some strongly-worded replies that it would be I who was the monster if I did not return her. So, I did, reluctantly and with anger, but I did. It turns out she was the cat of the hipster across the street named “Cara”. She was out of town and when she returned, the cat “Mena”, not “Sophia”, wasn’t home – her roommate got a kitten and was like ‘move over bacon..”. I often talk about how I did not cry for years when I was drinking. I remember now that this was an exception. I cried and cried and cried – after only a couple months, I became so attached to this kitty. So, within the next day or so, BBFITW took me to the SF-SPCA to pick out a kitten. They had entire rooms, not cages, for litters of cats. I sat in a Heaven covered in playful grey-haired kitten fuzziness, (If Heaven has a waiting room, this is exactly what it would be like). This tiny 4-month-old bright-eyed pale- green-eyed angel with a shock of grey hair walked up my legs and looked up at me. Cooooooing, I said, “I like you. Do you like me?” and he gave me a little headbutt, and I said, “He’s The One!”. But as I said earlier, he was the one who picked me, not I him. He said, “She’s The One”. And so began our Love.


The saddest fact about being a pet parent is that we’ll likely outlive our beloved pets… unless our pet is a sea turtle, of course. I could and I will in time write so much about my sweet Leroy, about how he rescued me so many times from The War that was my life, and just about about how pleasant and funny and loving he was. But I am so heartsick right now – I want to tell you specifically about how he is still loving me and taking care of me, helping me see through my blinding and unbearable sadness over his leaving me, but still leaving me gifts.


I had to tell BBFITW that Leroy died. He’s the one who brought me and Leroy together, and although he still lives in San Francisco and hasn’t lived with Leroy in a number of years, he loves him the most, like me. BBFITW told me a few days later that he told a friend of his about Leroy, and his friend made a sizeable donation to the SF-SPCA in Leroy’s name. He, and Leroy I am sure, hoped that brought me comfort and it did, so much. Last Sunday I got an email from a childhood friend “jennIFER” (who’s now a Facebook friend, of course) that said, “I’m so sorry about Leroy. He was a great kitty. All of my nurses loved him and were sad to see him go. Our thoughts are with you”.  It turns out that jennIFER works at Angell Memorial as the manager of inpatient services and of the nursing staff for emergency and critical care. She took care of Leroy while he was in Critical Care during his last few days! I am sure that Leroy had arranged that, too – made sure I knew that he had loving care right up until the end – let me know he was never alone. My regular neighborhood vets who took care of Leroy initially and then sent him to the ER sent me a lovely sympathy card. They both, as well as jennIFER, said that Leroy was a sweet kitty and is watching over me, which I knew, but it is comforting to hear it again from professional animal doctors! Leroy had a paw or two in that as well, I am sure. So many of my friends that know about Leroy said that they would hold their kitties closer and tell them how much they are loved. Leroy made sure my friends’ cats got an extra hug.


Maybe the most tender gift of providence Leroy gave me was a sort of introduction, if you will, to my new sponsor “Lily”. I think he chose Lily and waited for me to ask her to sponsor me because he knew we’d have an immediate bond. She lost her precious cat a couple of months ago, and Leroy knew that Lily would understand on a cellular level the depth of my sadness, because she knows on a cellular level how deeply someone can love her cat, how deeply someone can just Love, and now perhaps, specifically, teach me how someone can carry on with their lives and be happy after losing such a huge Love… because I am having a desperately hard time believing that’s possible. I cannot stop crying. I miss him so much.


On a happier note, I have been talking a lot about Leroy in meetings and I’ve been being cradled with sympathy. Of friends in CK who grieve, even after years, for their loved pets, those friends have become good friends, good friends have become close friends, close friends have become dear friends, dear friends have become irreplaceable and they’ll never get rid of me now! Leroy had a paw or two in that, too, I am sure. It is comforting and fun to think that all our cats and dogs, who were/are loved as much as my sweet baby, found each other and are playing with each other on The Rainbow Bridge. Ha! I couldn’t resist! But really, I said that my idea of Heaven is being covered in playful grey-haired kitten fuzziness. Maybe our adored and departed pets’ idea of Heaven is being covered in playful colorful recovering alcoholics… recovering alcoholics who are happy and have so much Love to give and receive.


They say a very long time on Earth is just a blink of an eye in Heaven. You’ll see me, Penny, and Oliver soon, my squishy bunny, and we can’t wait.


We love you, Leroy. So much.