Tag Archives: Recovery

Another Dispatch from the Hideout

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu

It seems that I’ve retreated to the hideout again. For those not familiar with my earlier post, the hideout is a virtual one, described as follows, “I don’t have a cabin in the woods, or a bunker in the basement, I only have my home, a 645-square foot apartment. It’s where I wake up in the morning, retreat at the end of the work day, hideout on the weekends when I’m writing or feeling introverted, and end my days, often falling asleep on the couch watching TV. Yeah, I’m that girl. I live alone and most days I’m happy with that choice.”   Continue reading

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Me Too — DAMMIT!

Trigger Warning: This essay contains firsthand memories of sexual molestation and harassment.

From my memoir, Perfectly Flawed:

“It was during one of those occasions I lay napping on the guest bed at my maternal grandmother’s house, on the chenille bedspread under the picture of the geese taking flight from the marsh, Charlie came into the bedroom to wake me.  As I struggled to gain consciousness and understand what was happening, I could feel Charlie’s beard stubble scrape my cheeks like sandpaper. His beer and cigar-soaked breath was at my ear, breathing heavily. Continue reading

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Hotel Bar

“A recovering alcoholic walks into a hotel bar…”

You may be surprised on how this story ends. I’m the recovering alcoholic — that’s not a surprise to most of my readers — yet soon I will be scouting locations for my new web series, Hotel Bar. No worries, I won’t be drinking anything that contains alcohol during my site visits, but I will ultimately tell a story or two about a subject I know about, bars, bartenders, and the stories they hear. Continue reading

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I Need to Pay Attention to What I Resist

“Where there is power, there is resistance.” ― Michel Foucault

There are many tools for living that I’ve acquired over the years from parents, mentors, school, books, films, spiritual practices, and recovery from substances and unhealthy behaviors. I’m most grateful for the latter, which saved my life. Today, we are faced with challenges in personal, social, and political spheres. Now, more than ever, I need to pay attention to what I resist.  Continue reading

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No More 9 to 5!

It’s still winter in Wisconsin. After a week of record-breaking temperatures of spring-like weather — a hopeful tease of things to come — then came the rain, sleet, ice pellets, followed by snow and howling winds. We’re reminded that winter remains for a few more weeks before spring arrives. Spring is a season of hope and new beginnings. So is my life today, as I cross the threshold of my third act. Cue up Dolly Parton, no more “9 to 5.”  Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 10

The Final Episode: This is the last in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Dear Next Girlfriend,

It’s time. It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. I’ve been having lots of one-way conversations in my head with my ex-girlfriend and you — my next girlfriend. I’ve been living in the past, or imagining the future. As I said, it’s time. It’s time to be in the moment, in the here and now, and accept, yes, fully accept, that I’m single and I’m okay — all that TM (Transactional Analysis) self-help, self-talk from the bestselling self-help book I’m Okay, You’re Okay from 1969 that in 1972 made the New York Times Best Seller List. Next girlfriend, it’s not exactly like we’re breaking up — we never got together! Continue reading

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The Power of Circles

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” Lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Last weekend I attended a recovery enrichment workshop at Edgewood College presented by Fred Holmquist of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center. The experience was a powerful reminder of the role recovery circles have played in my life. Over the years I’ve sat in many circles in outpatient treatment, aftercare, 12-step meetings, and retreats.  Yet this is simply one sphere of my life where circles of friends and peers have empowered me. Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 9

Note: This is the ninth episode in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Next Girlfriend,

It’s a cloudy, grey, overcast day — the eve of the Summer Solstice. Showers moved through the area earlier as thunder rumbled and tumbled in the distance. The sun is trying to find its way through the clouds overhead, outside the window where I write. The weather matches my mood as I hope to find the partly sunny outlook or the glass half full way of thinking before the longest day of the year arrives. I’m reflective. I know I’m mixing metaphors — it’s what I do. Continue reading

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The Tale of Two Quilts

“What goes around comes around.” — The basic definition of how karma, the law of cause and effect, works.

“And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take.” — Lyrics from the Beatles song, The End, composed by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles from the album, Abbey Road.

This is a tale of two quilts, two long-term relationships, two sisters and two lessons about karma.   Continue reading

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Musings on a Year of Writing

“I’ve learned that by the practice of writing with intention, discipline, and passion, I became a writer.”

This past week marks a year, the anniversary, the birthday of this blog. I’ve been writing as an avocation for over 35 years, beginning with poetry, followed by recovery journals, stand-up comedy and monologue scripts, memoir writing, and finally as an activist-essayist.  Since starting this blog and maintaining a practice of writing at least weekly, I’ve become the thing I’ve been doing. I’m a writer. Continue reading

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