Alcohol: A Cheap Excuse For Terrible Behavior!

After watching Dr. Ford’s testimony just now, and hearing every excuse in the book for “boys being boys,” I need to say, does Judge Kavanaugh have a serious drinking problem? Should that disqualify him from joining our Supreme Count? Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that he sure was a big drinker in high school and college. Is binge drinking now the norm in our country?

No one so far in these Congressional hearings has brought up that angle to our apparent problem confirming him to sit on the highest court in the land. Have we fallen this far in our assessment of terrible alcoholic behavior?

“Oh well, he drank too much. So what if he assaulted a fifteen year old…”

Christine Ford

I feel I’ve heard it all now. He could have easily “accidentally killed” Dr. Ford back in 1982. Of course she remembers it! If you know much about rape and murder, you know it happens all the time with drunks. They try to silence their victims and end up silencing them FOREVER.

If Kavanaugh gets away with this, after the Republicans ignored Obama’s nomination for over a year, than I give up on justice in this country.

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How writing can reveal your true Self to yourself

Late in 2007, I decided to start my first blog. This was an experiment for me, a way to see if I wrote about my true feelings as a 52 year-old female American, others might come and find ways to relate.    I admit. I hadn’t the slightest idea what I was doing, but I still love my byline:

midlife crisis queen original header

Looking back I would say this experiment worked. Within a year or so I had thousands of followers, and eventually well over 500,000 were following the Midlife Crisis Queen. A number of books followed.

The point of all of this was for the benefit of others. I hoped to encourage those who felt lost in the debilitating fear and doubt that midlife can create, and to show how normal these feelings were. I thought perhaps by showing how I had overcome enough confusion and doubt to move forward into a new writing career, I could give others hope. This was in the midst of alarming suicide rates among our 50+ population, which still continue. I wanted to show how my own difficulties eventually led to new enjoyment of life itself for me, after suffering a devastating midlife crisis in my late 40s.

This quote from RuPaul describes my feelings well at this life juncture:

“I was always looking for some way to fit onto this planet…To be open enough to hear the Universe’s stage directions.”

Finally, at age 63, I feel like I have “heard the Universe’s stage direction.” I am pleased to announce, for the first time in my life I see myself as a visible positive spirit in the lives of others, and in my own life. My writing career has played an integral role in this transformation.

There is something about writing, especially for an audience, that causes the writer to finally see and hear themselves in new ways. I kept a journal for decades before my midlife crisis caused me to begin sharing my thoughts and feelings with others, but it was only through writing and relating to others that I discovered my deeper Self, the Self that finally wanted to be seen and acknowledged.

Almost everyone gets into published writing to reach others, and yet the real rewards come from truly hearing yourself for the first time.

Sometimes when I read something I wrote years ago I see the person who always felt inadequate or like she might never fit into this world, one who did not want to be seen by others. For example, these days when I communicate with some I went to high school with, they invariable don’t remember me. That was my unconscious goal back then. I did not know how to appreciate my unique qualities, let alone share them with others. I literally did not feel comfortable being myself.

“The hardest battle you will face in life is to be no one but yourself, in a world which is trying its hardest to make you like everybody else.”  — From a high school graduation announcement

Today I regret that it has taken me this long to become my true Self and appreciate my best qualities. Why did this take me so long? But then I see that most of the human race historically had no chance of discovering their true Self or valuing this amazing resource. Most just did what they were told and then died.

transforming self

I so clearly see now that I am not the person my parents tried to make me, or all those rotten bosses I had through the years. I am uniquely myself today and that feels like an amazing accomplishment.

If this topic interests you, perhaps you might enjoy my exploration of what midlife means to human beings on this planet today:

Find Your Reason To Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife.

Please contact me at MidlifeCrisisQueen@gmail.com to purchase copies of any of my books. E-book and some paperback versions are available through Amazon, but I would rather deal with my readers directly 🙂

 

Louis L’Amour and Golden Aspen, Autumn in Southern Colorado!

I’ve been enjoying a Louis L’Amour novel this fall, while also indulging myself in some amazing quaking aspens.

aspen 2018 near Blanca Peak

Up above Cuchara near Cordova Pass…

back of Blanca Peak with golden aspen 2018

and up by Blanca Peak! Now is the BEST TIME to see these beauties!

Have you ever read the novel Conagher? A friend bought me a copy and said I had to read it, so I did. She said it reminded her of her dilemma since she moved here a few years ago. She loves the silence and isolation of her new life in the mountains, but sometimes craves companionship with someone special.

Conagher book

I thought Mr. L’Amour only wrote about the men of the West, but this novel is about a lonely female settler in rural New Mexico in the late 1800s who finds an ingenious way to connect with lonely cowboys. She even finally finds love way out in the middle of nowhere and just by chance. I love Mr. L’Amour’s descriptions of the beautiful but lonely West. Here’s a few lines from the main character Evie:

“She never tired of the morning and evenings here, the soft lights, the changing colors of sunlight and cloud upon the hills, the stirring of wind in the grass. Out here there was no escaping the sky or the plains, and Evie knew that until she came west she had never really known distance.”

I find it interesting how this character somehow captures my own feelings after just a year or so of living here, giving a marvelous explanation of how one adjusts to the silence and beauty of this powerful and yet desolate landscape:

Sunrise through snowy trees January 2018

“Evie Teale suddenly became aware of something else. For the first time she was at peace here, really at peace. She had believed the land was her enemy, and she had struggled against it, but you could not make war against a land any more than you could against the sea. One had to learn to live with it, to belong to it, to fit into its seasons and its ways…”

A Healthy Approach to Cannabis & THC

My introduction to marijuana was not early, and my experiences kept changing throughout my life. My first time was unfortunately at the top of a steep rock climb. I was probably around 18 years old. I enjoyed the relaxed feeling and the camaraderie it seemed to create in the group, but looking down from that height was not reassuring! I survived and in the process realized that the effects from THC can be subtle and friendly.

deaths from alcohol vs marijuana

I’ve never really liked the effects of alcohol at all. Nope, I’m not looking to a depressant to cheer me up, plus it mostly just made me feel stupid and then very sleepy. Then there’s always the fact that alcohol can cause cancer.  I know! Why is a substance that is highly addictive, definitely causes cancer and kills thousands on the roads every year considered legal and OK in this country, while various forms of THC are considered so bad for you? THC has a number of proven medical uses, not true for alcohol. Alcohol is just very addictive and a liver killer.

In my experience, I rarely smoked marijuana in my adult life, only when someone around me had some. I never bought it because I didn’t know where one got it and I wasn’t all that crazy about it. I generally got a small high from smoking and I coughed too much.

I have NEVER gotten high in public places or while driving.

Then in 2000 Colorado started allowing the legal sale of marijuana for medical purposes. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into a marijuana dispensary in Fort Collins. I said, “Now I’ve seen EVERYTHING!” I started smoking a bit more after that, but still wasn’t convinced that it was a good thing for me. I hate smoking anything!

Koala Bars new Shum-Met Bars 2018

It was only recently, with my introduction to the highest quality of chocolate bars with THC, that I understood what all the excitement was about. Now I can eat the smallest piece of excellent chocolate and about an hour later feel WONDERFUL, in a very positive and thoughtful way. This high makes me happy, and my thought process goes wild with ideas I could have never thought of while normal. I have to write down these ideas to remember them for later. I have always believed that drugs accentuate your present state of mind. This one helps me see how happy I truly am, and how much I love my life. Lucky me!

I did have one BAD experience with lower quality edibles a few years ago, and that is why I caution everyone to start out with miniscule amounts at first. Too much can make you feel terrible and it goes on for hours! With high quality chocolate it takes about one hour to feel it, I feel great for a few hours and then I feel sleepy. This works better than any other drug I have ever tried.

Counseling: Ready for a new leap of faith?

Stair way to heaven or nowhere in Huerfano County

I constantly meet individuals who could benefit from counseling from a competent, caring therapist. Unfortunately most fear too much what they might need to confront in their psyches and so resist, even though most would benefit if they had the courage to dig deep, re-experience their traumas in a safe, caring environment and then move up to a much higher level of consciousness, and a better life.

If you change nothingHow do I know this? I had five years of counseling in my early thirties from a marvelous woman. I was a poor person back then and paid cash for all of my counseling. I still say that was the best money I have ever spent. Through that experience I was able to actually see myself change, and eventually move on to being a much healthier human being. Not that I didn’t make many more mistakes in choosing the wrong people to be with, but I could at least see why I chose badly and then choose better next time.

I then took counseling psychology training at Naropa University. Such an amazing and fascinating journey that was! Deeper and deeper understanding of my own psychic processes followed. Understanding where my fears come from and then realizing I no longer need to live in fear is such a blessing! It’s one thing to know that you have made mistakes in your life, it’s a whole new process to understand why and then forgive yourself for it all. Finally seeing where you are coming from in your decision-making process changes everything.

Self-love and compassion for the rest of your life can be your best reward from a few years of excellent counseling….

Is there some leap you need to make right now? First try to get past all the crazy reasons why you shouldn’t or “can’t” seek counseling now. There’s always the “I’m too old to change” and the “People can’t change” argument. Please don’t say you can’t afford it. Can you afford to live a crappy life and then die? I am proof that we can all change and grow and find a much better life, but if you do wish to truly change you must totally commit to this entire process, once you find the right counselor for you.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, and sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Is it now time to discover the best parts of yourself before it’s too late? You can be all that you believe you can be and have the life YOU CHOOSE this time. And, by the way, there are also great benefits when you finally face death. Stephen Levine, one of my counseling heroes, counseled only those with life-threatening illnesses for most his life. He had seen that the direct threat of death is often when the greatest healing occurs. Don’t believe me? Read his book:  “Healing into Life and Death.”

I have spent the last ten years of my life writing about how midlife can be a great time to change everything, especially your own beliefs about yourself and your potential to change your life.

garden scene outside my bedroom door

My own best changes came after age 49, and today I cannot imagine having a better life! You can too!

How does change & trauma help us grow?

Carl Jung another we do not know

Less than 2 years ago I wrote this about my own life goals.  Back then, I didn’t mean what needs to happen in the next year or two, but what needs to happen for me to feel satisfied in the long run. I wanted more love, acceptance, appreciation, access to pure silence and to be surrounded with solar warmth,  natural beauty, music, wildflowers, peace, contentment with ever increasing relief from guilt and shame.

So what’s different now? I would say my greatest achievement has been acknowledging how much built-in shame and guilt I have lived with for years, and also how clarity and awareness can help me let that go. I used to think I was probably stuck with this feeling, and unable to free myself from its grip. But with time and introspection (and much encouragement from Mike!) I have found my way out of most of my guilt about just enjoying my life and feeling good. I do whatever I choose everyday now, and that my friend is a gift.

To what do I attribute so many changes in my internal dialogue?

brain puzzleI spent years studying the way our minds work, both through personal counseling and graduate-level training at Naropa University. What a gift to understand so much about the human behavior we are surrounded with everyday. Nothing like a higher level of “people skills” to help you understand the true motivations of yourself and others. I would add that my traumatic brain injury in 2008 has played a role. Shaking up so many brain connections really does change you, and it takes a few years to fully experience and get comfortable with your mind’s new openness.

Sunflowers on a county road

With a major change in lifestyle from city busy to rural quiet, I have changed immeasurably. Now, with the luxury of so much more time to myself in nature and the quiet, I continue to learn more about myself and my apparently endless capacity to learn and grow. Moving out of the city was key to seeing beyond the limitations of urban life. City life can keep you so busy worrying about the next thing, that you don’t have time to be present with anything that’s happening right in front of you. I had to leave the city to learn about living in the present.

first view of Spring Fire Wed. towards Mt Mestas on June 27th

My first view of the Spring Fire on June 27th from our home

I am still processing the results of our recent trauma here in southern Colorado, when some complete idiot one county west started the Spring Fire, which consumed over 107,000 acres near us. The evacuation was shocking. Talk about a sudden life event that makes you consider all of your past decisions and future plans! The randomness of it all confounds you. Is it really simply weather and wind direction determining whether I have a house still? I found there came a time when I lost all composure. I could no longer pretend this was not happening to me and my home. This experience I did not choose, offered me new opportunities to explore deeper levels of that old “illusion of control” we think we maintain over our life.

NICE view of sunflowers in garden and Spanish Peaks summer 2017

I have been transfixed by a quote from Arthur Rosenfeld recently. Perhaps you will also find his words insightful:

“…we all know how this ends, so rushing through life is senseless. As our inner life grows ever more luminous, the chatter of the speed-and-greed world slowly fades, leaving us with greater peace, tranquility, quiet and contentment.”