Uptight, Twisted Inside

Hot thoughts are in my mind, all of the time.  I may be sober, but that is far from being recovered.  Every day is a new challenge…….the holidays, anxiety, old friends who don’t come around anymore, this because Team Hoffman is no longer the life of the party…..I would be a flat out liar if I said I didn’t miss the days of yore, but I can tell you what I don’t miss:

Drunken Dialing:  I shudder at the thought of the phone calls I used to make while drinking.  At one point, things became so bad that I had to hide my phones in my jeep, and lock the doors.  This worked for about a week…..and then I was back to calling people I had a beef with: bosses, girl friends, ex-boyfriends, employees that screwed me over…..I actually had to beat my boss, a doctor, into work every morning to check the answering machine before she did.  I was petrified I would quit without knowing it, and it didn’t stop until I gave up my drinking career altogether.

Unexplained Injuries:  I fell down stairs, fell into the wood stove, ended up with third degree burns I couldn’t explain-one Christmas Eve, after drinking an entire bottle of Grand Marnier, I fell on the front porch, breaking my shoulder.  I didn’t go to the doctor for over a year, too embarrassed and worried they would blame Dwain, like so many ER doctors had before.

The Morning After:  Is there a worse feeling than losing utter control over your words and actions?  I would gage just how bad my behavior had been the night before by my husband’s reaction upon my awakening.  If he wasn’t speaking to me (more often the case than not) I knew that was a good indicator that I had tripped the light fantastic, done something I would learn to regret, and/or spewed vitriolic hatred at the closest target I could find.  Chilling.  I had so much pent up rage in those days?  For good reason, but adding alcohol to the mix?  Criminal insanity, this disease of addiction.

Yes.   I want to be able to drink a beer, or twelve.  No, that will never, ever be my choice again.  And because of His amazing grace?  I get to wake up free from the knowledge that I had done anything to upset anyone.  Because of his protection?  I never tried heroin, or crack.  I don’t look at the recovery process any differently now than I did back then, but for one exception:  I have finally given the pain, the heartache, the wounded warrior syndrome-I have given it to my higher power-and what a life it has become.

The Bucket List…..

I want to be the girl in this video….travelling across the world, uninhibited, throwing caution to the wind.  Chances are, the likelihood of this happening is akin to a camel poking its head through a needle, and then realizing he still has to get his body through it.

I love, love, love to travel.  It’s just that we have no extra moolah, and what we do have goes to silly things like food, vet visits and electric bills.  I don’t have a bucket list in all actuality, but here is a sampling of things I would like to do before I leave this planet:

I would love to go to Ireland, in search of my ancestors.  If I do go to Ireland, I will be tempted to drink an ale with the kin folk-you know, raise up a glass to the country that turned us out-I hear they’re very folksy and welcoming, but let’s face the facts, I would want to live there, or perhaps petrify in one place, sitting at the pub, drinking Guiness, and singing the songs of my people.

Big Sur was a big draw, until I read about Bohemian Grove.  With our luck, we would find the wrong place at the wrong time, and I apologize, but becoming a blood sacrifice for the elite in this world?  Let’s just say I have no time for the big, wooden statue of Baphomet, and I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Hawaii was big on my “list” at one point, and now I see the error of my ways.  The fat faced dictator from HELL has threatened their peace, and I don’t want to spend my whole vacation in an underground bunker.

And lastly, there was Sea World.  Yes, I wanted to ride the dolphins with abandon, you know, be that girl: the one who never stops talking about her relationship with a fifty year old she met out in California, and then you come to find out it was a sea mammal.  No thanks.

So for now?  I’ll stay in this sleepy little town of horse and buggies, biting flies the size of Texas, and more cow manure than you can shake a stick at.


Gimme Gimme, Me First Attitude

I wasn’t motivated to write until I heard this tune on WXPN Philadelphia radio.  And the lyrics rang so true with my own attitude of late.  It is so difficult, this recovery…in the sense that I am learning a whole new me, an entirely different me, and most days?  I’ve noticed that just getting from point A to point B is enough.  Yes, I live in my own Private Idaho-but I am quickly moving towards the surface, kicking with all of my strength for an opportunity to breathe, before the next change comes to fruition.

The Gimme, Gimme people.  Oh how I despair at their selfishness, and yet-we are not to judge, we can’t be the judge of others-it’s not our place, only Jesus can do that.  Sufficient evidence proves that 85% of the population puts themselves first, above family, above husbands and wives, above fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  And sadly, I was one of those people for many, many years.  And then the miracle:  after a water baptism at my home church, I found myself rising like a Phoenix out of the ashes of my greed, lust and voracious appetite for validation.  I looked at those around me in a new light, I found love in my heart for people I detested, and here is a part of the secret-I imagine the not-so-pretty people as the children they once were.  I now know that if a broken person is acting unlovable?  It is their inner child crying out for attention, albeit the wrong kind.  I imagine them as that small, broken child, who never received the proper attention, acceptance  and emotional nourishment.  I find it rather easy to love the fractured, as I am a rag a muffin, a well used Raggedy Anne who doesn’t mind the tattered clothing, the worn out eyes, or frizzy, unkempt hair. 

I was lost, and now, well, now Jesus has me in a vice like grip-and I am profoundly loved.

You simply cannot pour from an empty vessel.

Got Jesus?

Stranger Danger

I was reading my bible the other day, and the scripture about not being of this world, or worldly, if you prefer, hit me like a ton of bricks.  From very early on in my life, I have stood out, in pretty much every venue of my life.  As a child, I would pack my green suitcase and travel the neighborhood, trolling for adults (not children, they pissed me off with their weird Barbie dolls and tea parties) who would dare to “come and play with me.”  I can only imagine what they were thinking, when they answered the door and looked down upon the oddity standing in front of them.  Chubby, red curls and not a shred of inhibition-I would  prance into the home of unsuspecting, stay at home mothers , open my attaché, (full of odd pens, crayons and doll heads) and ask them to make me chocolate chip cookies.  This worked about 85% of the time, and to be sure this was done to appease the weirdo and get her the hell out of dodge.)

I would go to the bar in Avalon, NJ with my father-when we could sneak away from mom-sit with dad, eating clams and drinking Shirley temples, playing Mr. Bojangles on the jukebox as many times as my stash of quarters allowed it.  I was 5 years old.  As I grew, my mother would go to these random thrift stores and buy the strangest outfit she could find, then proceed to argue with my until I finally caved and wore it to school.  The stand out?  A purple, velvet set of knickers with a poufy top and cameo at the neckline.  The white lace boots up to my knees added to the hilarity…….but my peers at Upper Merion Junior H.S. didn’t get the joke.  They gawked, pointed, and called me names until I cried.  I believe my courage began developing way back then, in spite of the meanies, I grew weirder by the hour, and to this day I am thankful……….

I have never, ever followed the fashion scene, (I am dead serious when I say I am only now, at the age of 56, learning how to put on makeup) and my outfits have been raising eyebrows for decades.  I care not what others think, never have, never will-and somewhere in the mix I suppose I owe  my lack of inhibition to Mary Lou, my mother and fashionista extraordinaire.  She went to a dress shop to design her own clothing, and I have to say that she was profoundly beautiful………but she was ahead of her time, she was ahead of my time for crying out loud.

Just the other day, while trying to avoid the dreaded tick bite, I put on my grey long underwear, hiking boots, camo shorts and gardening hat, then proceeded to the local grocery store where I turned heads and caused more than one shopper to slam her cart into the food displays.  I walk blithely to the tune of my own accordion, immune to the whispers and laughter.  I have been told by friends, and enemies alike, that “Only you could pull that off, Michele….”  I never try to be a fashion success, yet my style impresses more people than it offends.  And to this day, I don’t get it.  I am 5 feet tall in stocking feet, have blonde hair down to my waist, and even on a good day, well….my husband usually has to carry me to the truck because my shoes are bought at the Humane Society Thrift Store-it has never been of any consequence to me how the shoes fit, as I am a size 5 1/2 and finding any footwear not of the girls’ department is a total coup.

Another quirk I have?  If I pick something out of my closet (say a dress I’ve had since my freshmen year at Villanova, circa 1979) I am going to wear it whether it fits or not.  Just last week, after purchasing last year’s Vera Wang at Kohl’s with my 30% off coupon, I stood there stumped and provoked, as I tried to figure out how the hell to put it on.  It was a three-part debacle, copper and black sequins cascading down the front.  I finally took my scissor to it, and voila-right over my head it went.

I have been known to garden, in a teddy and sweat pants; to hell with what anyone thinks.  It’s my own yard, my own territory-if it doesn’t suit you, look away.  My best friend will not walk with me in our neighborhood because of the attire I choose to exercise in.  Last winter, and I kid you not, I wore a stunning pink Elmer Fud number to lunch in Lititz (where the snobs and starving artists mingle amongst stores only the very rich can patronize.)  I was with my nieces, who love the fact that I am, well, unique to put it kindly.  Men and women were walking right up to my face and laughing.  Poor manners?  Yes.  Do I blame them?  No.

I simply cannot be bothered with worrying about the Joneses.  I’m too busy living in my own private Idaho…..where I am the queen of the outfit faux pas.

Seven Sad Forests…..

A hard rains gonna fall.  And when this happens?  We will have no one to blame but ourselves.

I don’t believe it a revelation, this sour faced war in which we have become enemies-the political diatribe and hateful agendas have turned us into war machines with greedy voices,  the Great Puppet Master-the deep state elite are pulling the strings, and they want us at each other’s throats.  And they are succeeding, oh yes, they are succeeding.

I woke at 4:30 this morning, unable to sleep.  What will become of a fear driven population?  Where the people are many but their hands are all empty?  Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten?  Thank you Bob Dylan, for understanding the depths of our despair.

It is up to us, what we do with this cancer.  I have shed my political cape and traded it in for a cloak of compassion.  No matter what party you ascribe to-they will shut down any notion that they are not 1000% correct, worthy and right.  So, we go about our lives in a bubble, and mine burst the other day, when I was startled out of my tendency to think in terms of black and white.

We still have time.  We have a dialogue to continue, but this time-may we continue with grace and empathy for our brother’s plight, and let the hate crimes of contention  be washed away with a softer, cleaner rain.

The time is here and the time is now.

Chasing the Wind

I have always loved this song, from the very moment  I heard it.  To me, as a medical semi-professional, it always spoke of the miracle of life-and I can attest to the notion that when one family elder dies, a new child is born……..as was the case when my beloved father passed away.  My sister in law had no idea she was with child, until weeks after the funeral, and to say this brought joy to our family is an understatement at best.

Do I believe that my father’s soul is now Esme’s soul?  No.  I believe that we are children of a God so gracious, so merciful and loving, that nothing is impossible.  I also feel that when He sees our unbearable grief?  He blesses the family with new life.  It may be a pregnancy, an opened door, a new relationship…..whatever the case may be, He sees us in the midst of insurmountable odds, and oh the sheer jubilation he must experience  when he knows that our wracked sobs are about to be turned into cries of joy!

How great is our God?  My wish for you this coming year is for you to open your eyes to the miracles………and they are everywhere.  Rejoice!  He has great plans for your life~