Couch Potato


April 2008, Albuquirky, NM

I wish I could relate that the following day I popped out of the bed (that was not mine) renewed, refreshed, rejuvenated. Up, and at ‘em, ready to do something constructive. But, of course that is not the case. That outcome goes with someone else’s story, with a life that is, you guessed it, not mine. The truth is I don’t remember what happened the next day, nor for the next two weeks. They are, as people like to say, a blur. My next memory is of lying on the couch, crying. But don’t get the impression that I reclined for a few minutes and had a good cry, and then got on with my day. No. I mean, I sobbed. With great big snot globs hanging from my nose. It wasn’t a few minutes. It was a few weeks.

Mostly, I let the snot globs hang. I didn’t bother to use tissue very often. It felt good to cry; for the first time in nearly two years, I felt safe, physically, at least. I felt I was crying out of an enormous relief, and I reveled in it. I’d lie on the couch, morning, noon, and night, marveling at the way I felt. The couch was keeping me grounded! But God it was ugly. So, I’d laugh at its hideousness, with its background of diarrhea-after-a-bug brown, and its foreground of black Kokopelli figures, yellow Zia symbols, and green chiles. And then I’d choke on a heaving snot-glob-sob of gratitude, and run my hands up and down the material, stopping to rub the rough, raised spots of Kokopelli flute, Zia symbol edge, and green chile top. Rub, rub, rub. Oh God, I’m safe, I thought. Safe! I don’t have to worry about one person overdosing, and another one blaming me. Rub. rub. Oh God I’m safe. I don’t have to worry about crazed men breaking down doors, in sloppy pill/alcohol hazes. Rub. Rub. Oh God. I’m safe. Rub. Rub. Rub.

Basically, I flipped the fuck out.

And, kept flipping out. There was no job search, from this place that was not mine. There was only the couch. And somehow, I made that mine. Probably because I never left it. Memory after memory swamped my cranium, and day after day, I was plagued.

Woosh. There it was, the time I’d spent with the Scottish man. I shouldn’t have stayed with the Scottish man. Oh God I really shouldn’t have stayed with the Scottish man. That fossilized red-headed giant really did believe he could get me in the sack. I’d asked him to drive me to Mexico, if I paid for the gas, so I could buy the penicillin that I desperately needed for my skin. He took me, as asked, but then proceeded to buy several bottles of Viagra. The ride home was dreadful. Why had he purchased all of those pills? I found out the answer when we got back to his place. “Are you sure, you’re sure you don’t want to get in the tub with me? We can wash each other. It will be fun. Let’s make bubbles!” I thought if I stayed any longer, he might try to force me to make those damn bubbles, ick. What told me that, I didn’t know, but I listented to my instinct and left the next morning. But that meant I’d had to ask another guy I shouldn’t have been spending any time with for a ride. Ugh.

Bam. There it was, the time I’d spent with the Indian man. In a whisky-induced rage, he’d ripped a gold necklace from my neck, and threatened to beat me for being too rich. We’d been sitting in a park, smoking cigarettes, having what I thought was a good conversation when out of nowhere he jumped up and yanked off the expensive chain my grandfather had given me for some birthday or another. “Bitch,” he said. “Stupid, white, filthy rich bitch. That’s a decoration for you, you stupid white bitch, it’s money for me! I should beat you. Stupid white bitch!” Somehow, I’d managed to run away, in the dark no less, and back to the shelter where I was staying.

Smack. There it was, the time I’d spent with the older woman. I thought she was my friend, but no, she was not. Her daughter had stolen several of my belongings, and when I told my (ahem) friend about it, she told me that I could get out, thank you very much, because her daughter would never steal from anyone. “Get out,” she’d screamed so loudly that my bowel contents curdled! I’d ended up calling the sheriff to guard me while I packed, she was so enraged. The cop was just as mad as she was and kept yelling at me to hurry up.

That couch. That sinfully ugly couch.

As I cried me my very own creek, that couch became my friend. It had help me up, so far, yeah, way better than any person I’d ever known.

Attitude of Gratitude No. 6


I am grateful for the decision I made last night. I sat for an hour, almost in tears, thinking about what to do and finally I decided: NO MORE PHARMACEUTICALS and synthetic “vitamins.” This is the end of the road for me!

So, this morning, I took all of my prescription medications out of my “pill tackle box” and put them back in their original containers. That left me with another decision to make. What the heck do I do with all these pills?

There is no responsible way to get rid of them. I was sick to my stomach about it. If I flush them down the toilet, I am poisoning the water supply. Meh, filters, they can only get rid of so much, we all know that. I can’t throw them out, they will sit in a landfill somewhere and poison our precious earth. I can’t give them away, what, and know I am poisoning someone else!? Besides, there are legal implications there.

I finally had an idea though, and that is to use them for art! I am going to make an art project out of these pills and when I’m done I will post a picture. I will frame the result and then they will hang harmlessly on my wall. :-)

Wishing all a pharmaceutical-free day filled with abundant love. 

Attitude of Gratitude No. 5


I am grateful this minute for being positive!

Attitudes are contagious.  Are yours worth catching?  ~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.  ~Voltaire

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.  You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.  ~Roald Dahl

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself.  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.  ~James Openheim

Love, peace and positive thoughts to all. Smile about something. We make ourselves miserable with negative thinking, so SMILE. :-)

Attitude of Gratitude No. 4


I am grateful this minute for water.

Just take a minute, okay, thirty seconds if you’re very pressed for time, and STOP.

THINK. What would you do if you didn’t have water?

If you couldn’t take a shower, would you miss it?

If you couldn’t go to your tap, turn it on and drink a glass of agua, would you cry?

How long would it take? A day, a week, or until you ran out of other beverages?

If you couldn’t do your laundry, what would you do?

Keep buying new clothes and throwing out the stinky, stained ones?

STOP. THINK.

I am SO GRATEFUL for water. Water is life!

Love to all – it’s almost Friday, you’ve made it to yet another Thursday, that’s a big deal – and you have WATER. 

Attitude of Gratitude No. 3


Image found at: http://www.rediker.com

I am grateful this minute for getting my student ID. Yay, I am an official student! I took care of some other things at school that needed to be done, too.

I am grateful that these things are off of my T0-Do list and I was so happy and proud to get my ID. I was giggling when it was handed to me, all pretty, shiny and new.

I must admit, I was flabbergasted at technology, too. In 45 seconds we can PRINT plastic ID cards!

Love to all on this bountiful Tuesday evening. 

Attitude of Gratitude No. 2


Image found at: http://www.squidoo.com

I am grateful this minute for interesting conversation with my fellow bloggers. They always have a new viewpoint I’ve never considered, some fantastic inspiration, or something to teach me that I desperately needed to learn. I like that I am able to talk about such a wide variety of topics. Thank you fellow bloggers, for giving me such wonderful gifts to ponder.

Love to all on this gorgeous Sunday evening. 

Things I Learned From Living in a Homeless Shelter. No. 4


In 2007, I spent several months living in a homeless shelter. It was one of my greatest experiences. One that I wouldn’t trade for anything. It was a gift actually. I had so much to learn and the universe didn’t let me down. It gave me the gift of “rock bottom.” Some of the knowledge I now possess, could not have been learned in any other way. I wasn’t unhappy in the shelter, I turned it into an adventure, and kept a great sense of humor. That is why you’ll find that some of my examples are rather humorous. Others though, are very serious.

Homeless Shelter Learns, No. 4:

I learned to tolerate people who are different. I will easily admit, it had never been one of my strengths. I came from a tiny town, where everyone appeared the same on the outside. They acted the same, dressed the same, and seemed to have the same values. But being in the shelter, finally, I was exposed to a huge variety of differences. Hey, with over 200 people sleeping in the same room, well, I had no choice but to become more tolerant. But then I found I was amazed, NO dazzled by the amount of unique personalities, beliefs and habits that I encountered. I realized that I could learn something from anyone, absolutely anyone, no matter their backgrounds or circumstances. Now, I positively relish meeting people from all over the world. This experience served me well! I love different, and I am proud of that. Different, when you stop and think about it, is the same as same, because we are all human, so what’s the problem with external diversity, whether it be religion, sexual orientation or ethnic group? There isn’t one, we just make one up in our heads.

:-)

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