I'm going to preface this post with a warning, I've been a little bit angsty, and I am getting all my issues off my chest right now. This my involve me talking about people in my life. It may mean it involves you. I'm sorry. But this is my space, and its time for me to leave everything on the table and move on. If you can keep handle of the drama...read on.
Sometimes its difficult to remember that there's a plan. That I have one, and that life and the universe have one for me.
The last month or so has been really interesting for me. I've experienced a lot of growth. I've had a lot of change in my life. We have a new dedicant for our coven. I was getting on track with my bills (oh, my bills, the never ending game of catchup from all my prior bad decisions) I've been growing spiritually, I've been forming and reassessing new bonds with people. I felt like things were moving forward.
Then last week happened. And it rather feels like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet.
First things first, I suppose.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm an addict. I don't use now, but I used to. I'm 11 years clean and I take a lot of pride in that. I used to have a big problem. I recognize, too, that those feelings never really go away. Temptation is usually only a line, a pill or whatever away. So I stay away from that stuff. Anyone who has ever been invited into my home knows that's my one hard and fast rule - you never bring drugs of any kind into my home. If you do, that's the last time you step over my threshhold, and its a deal breaker for friendship. If you love me, you'll keep that shit away from me.
As you may have read, I had my wisdom teeth out not too long ago. (two weeks now?) They gave me some serious drugs for my pain. I appreciated it. I can't take any NSAIDS, so ibuprofen and aleve and all those guys are out. I can't have over the counter medication and quite a few of the prescription ones are off limits to me too. So I usually end up with opiates. This is fine, most of the time. I get what I need to get me through, and its over.
The wisdom tooth thing, however, brought to my mind the real trouble with being an addict. I unquestioningly took those pills every four hours for an entire week without thinking about what it was doing to my body. How sad and foolish of me. I know better. Within days my body had formed a habit for them. I didn't really realize it until last weekend when I left my pills at home when I went to work. Then my body reminded me how terrible a come down can be. I had cold sweats and hot flashes. (and let me tell you, when its a 100 degrees in the back of my restaurant, that's an amazing feat.) I was shaky, irritable and frightened. I was paranoid. I was tired and my body was threatening to do all sorts of things, from faint to go into full-blown migraine mode. I knew none of it was real. None of it. Still, when I got home, I took a pain pill because my (lack of) tooth was hurting. I instantly felt better.
By Monday I knew I was in trouble. I turned over the pills to Kitten in the morning and told her not to give them back to me. I don't need them. Cue a really bad day at work where I spent most of my free time in the back station we don't keep open during the week sipping sweet tea really slowly and trying to pull myself together. I bit off Oscleot's head and I knew I was in trouble when Flyguy came to find me, tried to hug me and make me feel better and I couldn't even relax in his arms. He's the safest person I know outside of Kitten. Bad day.
I think the thing is, I'm really disappointed in myself. Sakura tells me not to be so hard on myself. I mean, I had to take the pain pills. There wasn't an option. And I can't help that my body formed an addiction so quickly. (I still, by the way, want one. Thank Goddess Kitten hid them in case my willpower gave out) Still, I should have waited when they wore off to see how long I could go before I needed another one. As I told Flyguy, other people letting you down is tolerable most of the time, but letting yourself down is impossibly horrible. You feel like the worst person on earth.
After a week of detoxing, and drinking lots of water and eating healthy foods, I've almost returned to normal. I can eat a meal without being sick to my stomach (turns out the doctor was right- that mystery illness I had last summer was a result of my former drug use. The symptoms are exactly the same) I can almost go to the bathroom with regularity. I have leveled out my moods. It will be okay. I'll never be that careless again. Lesson learned. Even if I do feel like a fool.
Over the weekend I also got to deal with work drama. There's always drama at work, but this time it actually involved me. I won't go into detail, but suffice to say, for the first time since I've become a supervisor at Casa Bueno, I stood up for myself. It didn't end well. There's was lots of confrontation to be had, and I hate confrontation. Especially now that I'm trying to get ahold of my anger issues. I don't want to loose my cool at my job. I fought for it this weekend. I was fortunate that I was able to maintain calm. But the long story short is one of our managers left the company and I'm pretty sure the staff thinks this is a direct result of what I did. It isn't, but it will be perceived that way. I'm bracing myself for all the drama that is going to fall out from that. The other supervisor who doesn't seem to particularly like me very well anymore (she used to) is good friends with the one that left, and I feel like I've got to be careful. I never meant to upset or offend anyone.
When we got paid on Wednesday, my check was significantly smaller than it had been. Yesterday I asked about that. It turns out I got served for a garnishment (hello, old unknown medical bills) and someone had signed for me. I missed my court date and chance to settle, and from what I understand, I would have been able to. Now I'll be having to call attorneys and crap to see if I can pay this old bill without the $2,000 interest that is going with it because of the garnishment. Stupid. And upsetting. And the upshot was, no one told me.
I felt like my world had moved a little off kilter. I'm going to try and take care of it next week, but it looks like I won't be getting paid for the work I do for the next two weeks or so...the courts move at a snail's pace. And I'll be working as a supervisor more the next few weeks, so I'm going to be working for free. I've done it before, I love my company so I don't mind taking the hit every now and again. I just wish I had time to prepare myself so I could have some money stacked away. I mean, I did just drop the $1,000 we had laying around on my teeth. Ouch and a half.
Our regional manager is coming in this weekend, and I'm terrified that it isn't going to go well for me. Our GM and HM are going to be out of town. This would be the perfect time for an angry and disillusioned supervisor to throw me under the bus. I'm praying that won't happen. If it does, I'm secure that my GM will get my back when he comes home. I want everything to run smoothly while he is away. So...I'm a little stressed about work.
Cue personal stress in the form of one former coven member who is taxing my limits of perfect love and perfect trust. I won't name names, because I'm a good person. But most of you who read me with regularity will notice when a person who was formerly in a lot of my posts disappears. Yeah. You have this one figured out.
Anyway. This person and I have had a conflict personally over the last few months. To my best understanding, it came from them telling me about some life decisions they were making that they were unsure about. I was clear I wasn't judging them, but I also told them that if they had to ask me how to feel about it, they probably already knew how to feel. One of those decisions involved their life partner, who is also someone I am close to, and it put me in a tough spot.
Over the next couple of weeks they became increasingly angry with me. They stopped coming to coven meetings. They bailed on a holiday. Then they disappeared, only to resurface long enough to try to make amends, get angry when I didn't throw fluffy bunnies and rainbows at them, and then disappear again. The trouble is, the coven notices that sort of thing, especially when the after-effects of their bad decisions start raining down on everyone in the group mind in the form of bad karma. And you know what? They had a right to know what was going on. But sometimes you're supposed to respect confidences.
Last week this person, along with all the coven members, received an email from me letting them know that we were finally putting our governing principles (think bylaws, or code of conduct) in place and that everyone would need to get together to read them and sign them. Its time for us to lay down the ground rules. I thought we could wait until our coven got bigger, but it became apparent to me that no, it couldn't. It was time to start playing a real game, and stop playing Calvin Ball. This person came to me and let me know they were sorry for their actions. Then they gracefully bowed out of membership, recognizing that the code of conduct we had set would probably be something they weren't ready for. I appreciated that, because it was mature, and also saved me the trouble of possibly having to throw them out at some later date.
I told this person, who is an old friend of mine, that they were still my friend, and that was something that would never change. This person decided to test that theory yesterday. I'll admit, I was already in a bad mood. I've been dealing with a lot, I'm post-pill grumpy and I just found out someone at my work screwed me (intentionally or otherwise) out of about two grand. I knew they were coming because we had talked about it. They were coming to have some buddy time and catch up because we haven't seen each other much.
When they got to work they had brought someone with them. I would have been delighted if it had been their partner, because I love their partner with all my heart. But it was someone else. Someone I could have gone the entirety of my life without meeting and been fine. This person was the root of the conflict this person and I had gone through and to me, it seemed like both a slap in the face and a colossal insult to my integrity. I couldn't believe they could be so insensitive. I ignored the part of my brain that said they were doing this on purpose, I want to think the best of people. Suffice to say, I was not charmed to meet this other person, and I was fighting with all the dignity I had to be cordial and polite. I'm not entirely sure I succeeded.
The staff, who knew that me and my friend (?) had been fighting were at first delighted to see that they were there being a pal. Then they asked who the other person was. When I explained they were aghast. Let me tell you something, when a grown adult can shock and horrify a teenager with their callous behavior, its bad. Maybe they just thought that my friends were better, more mature than that. I sure did. Either way, I got several loving pats on the back. At least my staff loves me, right?
So all of this bad stuff has left me feeling a little heavy, a little hurt and a little off kilter. I try to be an upbeat, inspiring person. That's what I was born to do. This week, its been hard. I've had a difficult time finding my serenity. I've been clutching at the straws of my happiness.
I will say this. I'm lucky to have wonderful people in my life. Sakura has kept a running dialog with me about the goings on, and has given me a lot of love. Felix, new to me as she is, has sent me love and light every day. Its an indicator, to me at least, that she's a good person to have in my life. Shorty came over and spent an evening with me. We had a nice time. Flyguy, for the first time in months, made it over to spend another evening with me. I got two whole uninterrupted hours with him. I realize now how very much I had missed his company. There's something wonderful about his sincerity and his lightness. He's like a constant recharge to my personal battery pack. He proves there are good people in the world. He's one of them. My partners have been loving and supportive in all of this. They spoil me rotten. They took me shopping so I'd feel pretty, they cooked me dinner so i'd eat. They held me when I was feeling awful. They understood when I needed space.
My world isn't ending. Last night, at the suggestion of my friend Batik, I went out into my back yard and just sat. I let the earth and the evening fill me up. I let the energy of the garden i love so much tend to me for a change. I watched all my stray kittens play in the yard. I watched the moon rise- and I swear she never glowed so brightly before. I realized this- despite how overwhelmed I feel, it only takes moments for me to be grounded. I have to trust that I make good decisions for myself. I have to give myself a little slack, because everyone makes mistakes.
I've been building a good life for myself. I used to work in construction. Let me tell you- there is never a project that was on time and on budget. There's extra expenses, nasty surprises and sometimes there's delays. Sometimes its so hot you can't hardly move for fear of suffocating. Sometimes it rains so hard all you can do is bail out and brood about how far behind you get. But every now and again everyone pitches in, you get the day's work done and there's time to do a little extra. The boss is pleased with your work. You collect your paycheck and head off to the bar for a beer and a moment to laugh and dance when you put your favorite song on the jukebox. Let me tell you a secret. My life is just like that.
I'm saving my quarters for the jukebox, because its not going to be long before the day comes that I'll be ready to let go and laugh.
I do it all the time, after all.