How many people likely write “Ok, this is my first blog,” etc?? A lot I would surmise. I’m not sure what would even come about should anyone follow this one. I just simply want to ‘get some things off my chest’ anonymously. That is what appeals to me most. But I don’t know how to start, except start SOMEWHERE. I’m not looking for self-pity, the story of my life is a good place to start. This foundation will be layered with some of the most humorous stories of my checkered past.
Let’s get the ‘woe is me’ shit out of the way. When I was a baby I was premature and subsequently always had some form of bronchitis or another. I got used to growing up sick. Underdeveloped lungs, perhaps. My mom smoked, as many moms did in the 70’s. When I was 22, in college as a flute major, out of the blue I started becoming incredibly, painfully, stiff for my senior year of college. A diagnosis of lupus scared the shit out of me, and I labeled myself for years. Later, I think it was Lyme’s. Still not pleasant and still in the back of my mind, it happened, was odd and I moved on. I had my first ‘breaks’ of depression and anxiety at 19, and later, when I thought the lupus was gone, I moved on. To Utah, where I ‘fell in love.’ With an alcoholic, who quickly gave me the tools to become one myself, wherever that dormant gene lied. Then it became the raging priority in my life in years to follow…
In the midst of becoming an alcoholic, I was misdiagnosed with inner ear infections for 9 months (9 months of Meclizine, a dizzying drug), often chalking my vertigo to a hangover here or there, or what I thought was my inner ear…. only to receive an MRI that revealed a brain tumor the size of a tangerine, benign thankfully, but complicated. “Vascular” the doctors said…a mess of entangled nerves and vessels. This was my downfall. 30 hours of surgery and anesthesia, later extreme psychosis in the hospital ICU as a result, and Gamma Knife radiation. I quit caring if my ass was showing in the hospital gown. I thought the nurses were after me and giving me Iron lung treatments, this is the tip of the iceberg of my panicked psychosis. And then, later, I quit caring, period. The surgeries caused deafness in my left ear, which is a true curse for any musician. I’d been a music therapist for years, and this became extremely taxing. Not just taxing, at times near impossible..when you go deaf in one ear, you lose the ability to hear what’s going on around you, how to locate sound, and everything sounds like cacophony. In the world of music I strived for harmony, and now it was a jumbled mess. 9 years later, I still cannot feel my face on the left side, which made many a date attractive. Dating….”Hi, I’m theLotus, I ..”…what? There was too much baggage in my ravaged life. I can’t tell where sounds come from, often looking like an idiot, and also get food, runny noses on my numb side, resulting in a MESS my friends are kindly tolerant of. It’s attractive.
In those 9 years, I eventually realized the beer and wine (and champagne!) benders I was perpetually experiencing, minimizing, lying etc. was a serious problem and joined AA. While a godsend, I doubt everything every day. Life has improved dramatically, but sometimes I want to scream…that none of the ‘woe is me’ was “fair” in the first place. Ooooh, fairness. Possibly one of my biggest issues. No, life isn’t fair. And if “My higher power” has a vision for me, I sure hope it’s lying on a comfy bed in the afterlife, and being lazy. Perhaps allowing me to sip champagne without a problem, as I knit in a big comfy bed with lots of pillows. That’s a bit of a selfish wish, my family can hang around too. 😉
Folks debate on what being a functioning alcoholic must really be like, a major contradiction, they say. Yet, I made it through a graduate program, tumor, booze and all, with straight A’s. I was not sane, but managed to keep all my secrets….secret. Until the facade was cracked. And then torn down like the damn Berlin Wall.
Let me end my first blog entry here. And with this: I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I have fleeting moments of what I’d like to call sanity, hope, beauty, cynicism, sarcasm, slipping up, but mostly…humor. Without it, I don’t know where I would be.
A note on The Lotus:In Buddhism the lotus is known to be associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The flower is considered pure as it is able to emerge from murky waters in the morning and be perfectly clean. Therefore in common with Egyptian mythology the lotus is seen as a sign of rebirth, but additionally it is associated with purity .