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All posts by Scuba Girl 65

I am a single 50 something Canadian woman living in Mx, living out a dream. I love to scuba dive and any water-related activity. I have my share of heavy baggage and with that in mind created this website to share the beauty and the pain of being human. I lived in active addiction for decades and now I have been freed from the obsession to use those drugs for many years. I am a big advocate for marijuana and CBD helping with pain management and avoiding using pHarma related pain relievers. I write about everything and anything. I have a million stories and I have been told many times to write a book so I write here.

Circling The Drain

circlign the drain

My forties are coming to a close, and the ever-looming fifties are upon me.   We make up fun sayings when we end a decade to make the slap of reality less painful. Flirty Thirty, Naughty Forty, and Filthy Fifty! So we get nastier with age!

My forties have been about learning how life works, becoming okay with who I am as a woman. In my experience, I was more than happy to leave my thirties behind, as well as my twenties. I came into my own in my forties, and it only took me 25 years to do it.

My Thirties

This decade was filthy in more ways than one. I was still in active addiction, and most of my thirties passed me by without a thought. I remember the days would pass into weeks and weeks in months and months into years.  Each New Year would come around, and I would think, “Wow, another year, and I am still alive.”  I began to have some clarity in my 38th year. And with the help of God, I went to a recovery house for women that changed my entire being.

I was in my forties when I discover the woman in me, and what it meant to be me without a belly full of drugs! I started to develop into a responsible, productive, loving, kind woman.

These are some of the things I have come to realize in the last decade:

  1. Learned how to be a friend
  2. Let go of toxic things, and the only people in my life love and respect me. (this one took awhile)
  3. Experienced love and trust and could reciprocate it back.
  4. Learned how to forgive and sometimes even forget.
  5. Stopped caring if I had makeup on to go to the grocery store.
  6. Started to love me and all my imperfections.
  7. Keeping a scorecard is never worth it – letting go wins, so much less energy.
  8. Everyone is not going to love you, and that’s okay, love anyways.
  9. Live in the solution, not the problem. (this way of thinking helped me tremendously)
  10. Began a sweet relationship with Jesus. ♥♥♥♥♥♥
  11. Understood the meaning of the word surrender.
  12. I love breathing compressed air and being underwater more than being on land.
  13. My emotions rule me any longer.
  14. Getting acceptance of others and myself.
  15. Music is healing
  16. It’s okay to cry
  17. Not everyone will forgive you.
  18. I realized I was either operating out of fear or love.
  19. Either I was running too something or from something, and I needed to stop and be.
  20. Grief does lessen with time, and time does heal.
  21. I am more adventurous and bold than I thought – I moved to Mexico alone.
  22. It’s okay to agree to disagree with people and still find value in the friendship.
  23. My friends know everything about me and love and accept me anyway.
  24. Learned to be alone, but not lonely.
  25. Age is only a number, and I try not to let it define me. I have friends of all ages, and that gives me perspective.  
     

In conclusion, I know the next decade of my life is going to be excellent; I am going to embrace it with all its challenges and adventures and learning curves.

All I know for sure is:
 
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
 
Socrates

Blessings scubagirl65

Letting go and Surrender

We all struggle with something about ourselves that we dislike and would like to change, mine has always been a little thing called Surrender. I will fight to the death on any given point. Controlling, trying to control, until it makes me crazy.

A small whisper in my ear “surrender Roxanne, let go, and you will feel better”.

Yet I hold on until I do something incredibly stupid and or push people away by holding on to hard -with claw marks on the object. The cloak of isolation envelopes me, I feel alone and unloved. This is where my head takes me – feelings of rejection, abandonment, all because of something that happened 50 yrs ago at the start of my journey.

In reality, I am loved. I am valued and I am special to some. I have worth to many. The enemy of my mind wants me to isolate and feel depressed and alone.

When I feel like this, I might wallow for a while and lick my wounds and play the why game but eventually that gets old and I want to get into the solution.

I listened to a podcast recently on how to overcome rejection by Dr. Aziz and he put it so simply. There are two types of rejection; internal and external.  Most of the time we perceive it as internal. We take a simple no and turn it into “I am not good enough” I am too short, too fat, not worthy whatever your mantra happens to be.  When this happens we need to stop and take a real look at what is ACTUALLY happening

The person that you think is rejecting you probably has stuff going on in their life that has NOTHING to do with you. READ THAT AGAIN.

Do we have that much control? That if I only said this or said that, the person wouldn’t have rejected me.  When the reality of it is that it has NOTHING to do with you.

Dr. Aziz puts this as a great analogy. If someone offers you a cookie and you say meh I don’t want the cookie, I know if I eat this cookie I will feel like crap later or you decide to eat the cookie. when you reject the cookie you don’t think it’s a bad cookie. It’s just not for you.

I have found that when my head starts reeling and twisting and turning into something I can’t seem to let go of – I simply need to tell myself to STOP in my outside voice. That gives me a few seconds to then proceed to change that thought into something positive

Out loud I start a mantra that is positive: I am worthy, I am smart, I am beautiful, I am exceptional, I am perfect – you get the picture – whatever means the most to you. I take the negative and turn that into a positive. 

This is something I need to work on and it’s not a quick fix solution. I didn’t get this way overnight and I won’t fix it overnight either. There is beauty in surrendering I just wish I would do it sooner.

Grief As I Know It

I remember when my best friend died at the age of 29, three weeks before his 30th birthday. My step-father told me to get over it, and everyone dies, and it’s a part of life. Well, duh, I thought. I was so mad at him for being so insensitive and as far as I was concerned not very helpful. He wasn’t a nice man to me throughout my childhood; so why would I think he would have compassion for me now. Anyways I digress that is another story in itself. He was about 70, and I guess at that age a person has seen a lot of death.

My grandparents died but they lived a good life. They were old, it’s the natural progression of life. Losing Brian, my best friend that I met when I was 7 was devastating. My chest felt like my heart had been ripped out.

I can not say that any death after his death has gotten easier. I have experienced many deaths, in my 53 years on this earth. What I can say is that they are all different but none the less heartbreaking.

The heart-wrenching punch to the stomach; can’t breathe, still feels the same as it did all those years ago. The questions of why did this happen still are on my mind, but the length of time is much shorter.

Do we become cold and indifferent to pain and suffering through the passage of death, the older we become?

This year alone, I have lost three friends and a fiance. The biggest hit was my soon to be husband. Devastated is what we all were.

I still wake up some mornings with a lump in my throat and bile rising from my stomach, feeling as if it happened yesterday. It has been a year now. As I stand and look in the mirror barely even awake, brushing my teeth, I start to cry. I think to myself, “a great way to start the day.”

Does time, one knows someone, determine the extent of the grief? I would have to say no. We can not measure anyone else’s pain to our own. Is it a process, yes. With all the deaths, I have experienced in my life I know is that it doesn’t get easier but changes. Maybe wisdom and experience have something to do with it. Was my step-father, right?

I have days that I get by and even moments when I don’t think of him, but then a song or a smell or a sight will bring him to the forefront of my memory.

Some of the ways I have been dealing with it differently than in the past is that I express my feelings, and I don’t try to numb out with alcohol or drugs. However, lately, I have found a new way to numb out with an endless series of tv. Sharing my grief, with someone I love and trust with my feelings, and I try to get out and enjoy the things I once enjoyed.

I know one thing for sure that we can’t avoid death but hopefully, time is gentle for you and you don’t have to see it too often.

Resource: Elizabeth Kubler Ross – 5 Stages of Grief Model – https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/

Sounds of Silence

It has been a long time since I have put pen to paper or should I say fingers to keys. Writing has always been a way for me to get it all out. The last couple of years, I have stopped using my voice.

Things changed for me a so much. I met the man that I thought I was going to marry. He took up so much of my time that I think I lost myself. I lost myself in his life and forgot about things that made me truly happy. How did I let that happen again? I ask myself this over the last few months. Our love that was anything but calm. I was scrambling, in all directions – it was an all-consuming fire our love.

We both agreed that this relationship was different. From the moment we laid eyes on each other. We had never felt anything like this before, and it was different. We couldn’t get enough of each other. It soon became all consuming. We talked on the phone ALL the time, skype sessions for hours and trips to see each other. He became my world. Nothing else mattered except him and his life. I stopped doing things that made me happy because he was my world.

This is not a fairy tale love story. It soon became very apparent that this relationship had some problems. Not with our love but with life.

The Problem

He lived 2000 miles away, divorced but still not over the loss of the family unit. His children were everything to him, and that was part of the strong attraction I think I had for him. I am sure I will never know the real story of his life before me because as we know, there is his truth, her truth, and then The Truth. Perception is a tricky thing in life.

Having stepped out of the fire, but not on my own accord, because on Feb 14th of this year his heart finally broke and he died suddenly. All my hopes and dreams that I had for a future life with him in an instant vanished.

It left a massive void in my life. My world became silent.
I had let so many things go during our manic whirlwind of a relationship. My life was no longer my own, and I lived for his phone calls and his visits or my visits. I let go of my friends, my church, activities like my love of scuba diving.

As a result, I see how unhealthy I became now that I have silence.
Since that day, when my world stopped as I knew it and life became silent, and grief took over, I have had much time to reflect. Today I finally feel like I am starting to live again. I started doing the things that I love and makes me feel alive diving.

Diving has the kind of silence, a healing silence where it’s just me and my bubbles — the sounds of the ocean with its special lullaby sung just for me.

picture by girlsthatscuba.

Vitamin Sea

Photo by Dive Ninja

Growing up on the prairies on a farm and never seeing the ocean until I was into my thirties did not stop me dreaming of the sea and its wonders. I remember wanting to be an oceanographer as young as 10 or 12 years old, however, my parents were people of a different generation and thought it best I focus on something reliable like a teacher or secretary. The ocean and its animals continued to fascinate me, watching Jacque Cousteau on TV.
As I grew the thought of experiencing the ocean wonders became less and less of a priority in life. Until one day, life had taken a twist, and I started living on the coast of British Columbia.

The day I decided to get certified

I realized that life had not entirely passed me by. With this one decision, my life changed in so many ways. I was standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean – feeling quite sorry for myself that day. I was gazing out into the great blue abyss; my thoughts turn to swim with the fish. I realized that my dream had not died and I was near the ocean and could indeed learn to dive! I was 38 yrs. Young.

I researched and went on forums to learn the best dive shops in the area, and within that month, I found and signed up for an open water course. I immediately went from open water to advanced, moved quickly to rescue, and eventually dive master. In the first year, I had logged 100 dives. I would go under every weekend and even some weekdays. I would travel an hour and a half one way. On the days I didn’t get wet, I would hang out at the dive shop and listen to stories from the owner and the teachers that had made scuba diving their life. These divers had thousands of dives under their belt. I loved hearing stories of their underwater adventures. The freedom to travel, scuba dive, and teach. I was obsessed!!

Diving

Diving has always been an outlet for me. My experiences have changed since I became certified in 2006. First learning to dive in cold water is cumbersome, with dry suits and extra weight and mostly shore diving in the chilly green 44F water of the Pacific Northwest. I started diving with a pack of divers that cared about “trim” and “buoyancy” and all the rules of a good diver. We challenged each other to get better with all the skills we learned in all the classes we took.

When I looked on in awe of the divers that had 100 if not 1000’s of dives under their belt, many of them assured me that it takes at least 50 dives to “really” become a diver. Not having to watch your air or buoyancy but be so comfortable in the training that one could relax enough to enjoy the experience. I can feel the pressure in my ears and body and almost know my depth. Of course, always being aware and checking the gauges. So as a new diver don’t be too hard on yourself and each dive gets better and better.

Cold water is challenging with the temperatures, visibility, and currents but so beautiful; however, it was tough some days with the visibility like pea soup (local shore diving) our navigation skills became honed because we couldn’t see where we were. It was never about what we could see but more about a feeling we felt when we were diving. But close to Vancouver Island and by the Georgie straight, beautiful crystal clear green water with 100 Ft visibility and some of the prettiest topography I have ever seen.

Diving saved my life in more ways than one. I found a new family. Divers I know are unique and are different from the landlubbers. They are helpful and passionate about the state of our oceans. They are all a bit quirky, maybe even a little rebel.

I am blessed to live in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where the conditions are not so severe. Warm blue waters, boat dives, and service to the point where I can’t remember the last time I put together my dive gear. With Cabo Pulmo only a 2-hour drive away, local diving is a 5 min boat ride, and the surface interval is as exciting as the dive with whales jumping, Mobula rays bouncing and slapping like popcorn on the surface, sea lions playing and sunning themselves on the surface. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Photo by Pepe

All year round there is something different going on. Just this last month the locals flooded to a little rock about a mile from Spirito Santos Island by La Paz BCS. Giant Manta Rays – they were spectacular and not shy at all. It’s the first sightings of these beauties for several years. No one knows why they are back.
One New Year I went diving with the staff of my local dive shop, and that evening I could hear and feel the vibrations of the whales singing. Local white tip sharks living in a cave by Lands’ End a popular dive spot.

We can’t forget about my favorite sighting of an octopus, sometimes even out in the open. Of course, they are just little guys that don’t compare with the Giant Pacific Octopus but still smart and fun to watch all the same.
Diving, however, has not even about all the cool stuff I see but more of needed relief from the workweek. As soon as I start to descend, my head clears, and all the problems of top-side disappear.

I am in Mother Nature’s womb, I feel instant peace. I start to meditate. Listening to the sounds of the ocean, and my breathing. I slow my body down to the point that my air consumption is minimum (something else we used to work on when we were diving in PNW), the diving crew always joke with me that I must not breathe and I am a mermaid.
Jacque Cousteau said it best,

“From birth; man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface, and he is free.”

Jacque Cousteau

Diving is my therapy in life.

There She Is

There she is!

We all tend to wear masks in our everyday living. We usually don’t expose our real authentic self to anyone unless we trust them enough. And even then it takes years to really show yourself. At least that is my case. It takes years of trauma that the masks just appear and it takes time to peel those onion layers away to find you’re true authentic self.

You know, that self that shines! Eyes bright, the guard let down. When all the pretenses drop. I didn’t even know that I did that till I met the “man,” the man that I was going to marry.

The first time he said it, shocked me. We were lying in bed, cuddling and talking, and then I got real, and I guess that was what was happening, vulnerable in a way that only comes with someone that I have known for years. But this man, for all intense purposes I didn’t even “really” know. It was at the beginning of our relationship. It was so full of passion and electricity it took us both by storm. Really knocked us both out. How could we feel this way about each other after a short period? But it was no denying it and other people, strangers would pick up on our electricity, and it would make them smile.

He said 3 simple words that impacted me I would never have thought. He looked at me and said, “There she is,” and it stopped me in my tracks. I immediately started to cry. He saw me. The beautiful mess that I am. No one and I means no one has ever said that to me and I knew by looking into his baby blues that he really meant it. He didn’t even realize what he had said when I started to cry, and he didn’t know why. I then explained to him the meaning of that powerful statement to me. He shed a tear too.

After that, when I had my guard up when I put on the fierce face (which is how I protect myself), he would say to me ” Where’s my girl?” and instantly I would become real and soft, and we could work out whatever disagreement we had been going through.

I couldn’t wait to marry this man, he really knew me. Unfortunately, we never got a chance, he died. Which is a whole other story I might write about some day?

I wish that everyone can find someone that genuinely sees who you are and if you do snatch that person up!

It took a long time to find him, so I am hoping that I am blessed again someday to meet someone else that can really see me.

The Airport – Day 5

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We drive to the airport with no army, no stops, straight through! We were amazed and if we would of listened to the radio station and the people talking we would of never known.

What we saw at the airport was thousands of people trying to get out of Cabo. Mostly tourists with there vacation being a bust but there were a few locals. We still had a long way to go. The line up was at least a mile long or more. People had been there for days!! God’s hand was on us this whole journey. From the time we got to the airport to the time we were on a plane to Guadalajara it took us about 3.5 hours! Once we made the decision to fly local instead of back to the USA it went rather quickly. The Canadian consulate was there yelling ……any Canadians here?? Josh and I raised our hands. Oh maybe we are going to get special treatment we thought ……hahaha we got nothing! But to be fair there were no USA consulate people there. I am not even sure why they wanted to know if we were Canadian or not.

 

People were weary but in generally a good frame of mind, speaking highly of the resorts they came from and how the Mexican works STAYED with the guests instead of going back to their own families. Making sure the guests were taken care of. I wish I had been in a hotel…….

We had brought food and water with us as we did not know how long we were going to be at the airport. We handed all the food and water to a support worker at the airport and they were more than happy to take it off our hands.

We rounded the chain linked fence with anticipation as we knew it was only a matter of time before we were sitting on a plane.  We rounded the corner and saw this

 

2014-09-18 08.12.51

We thought we were flying out in a Federal Police plane – we were so stoked!! It wouldn’t of mattered if it was a small engine plane we would of been happy. Our journey was of only 5 days but it felt like a life time at that point. To all the warriors that stayed in Cabo and helped Cabo rebuild and rebuild there homes with no water or electricity for 1 month – you guys ROCK!  As one of my friends put it “the struggle is real”. Some of our friends homes were destroyed partially or completely, my home was not and it was right by the water. The damage that my home sustained was mild compared to all the other people that lost their homes to this storm.

Next up …..Guadalajara and home

The Last Night in Cabo After Odile

My friend first…… Then me…….my sister picked up! I have never been so happy to hear her voice! My voice started to tremble …oh dear I didn’t want to cry…..I haven’t cried yet.

I needed to stay strong, there was work to do. Her voice broke down and that was it, I lost it! I felt so stressed, tired and weary. I promised I would contact her again as soon as I could…

We each took a turn on the phone, while the others just gave us privacy.

After their phone calls with family they Both wanted to flee Cabo and I really felt I should stay……my truck, my everything is here, how can I walk away? They continued to talk to me, I agreed but I still really felt uneasy. I called my sister back and told her we would try and get out. We stopped to check on friends and they said they had a full tank of gas and would drive us to the airport. Wow we just scored big time, they told us to come anytime……

We returned to my place and we started to secure everything we could in the one room that seemed the safest and I put my computer in the truck, we would move our most valuable over to the condo, it seemed really secure. We returned home to pack a bag. We decided that we needed to pack light so the airlines would just board us. We heard the airport was not allowing any traffic in and the army was only letting out tourists that were in hotels on a list …….we didn’t care. I am Canadian and I’m going home!! As I was packing my bag, my friend came running up yelling “we have to go now”, come to my house it’s more secure. She just heard from a lady that the bandits are coming into gringo neighborhoods, looting and then setting the houses on fire! The stakes just went up! With my heart racing, I packed a backpack and took one last look at my home and thought am I ever going to see you again? Our stress level was so intense, but we tried to find humor!

We also found out who the leader is and who the followers are in a disaster. I am defiantly not a leader and I think I would surely die if there was a zombie apocalypse. After watching many episodes of The Walking Dead, I thought I had learned a few things but apparently not – maybe if I had stayed here I might have gotten tougher but I don’t need to prove I am tough today like I always felt I had to years ago – I am a big ole softy and not tough at all however that is a whole different article!

That night I was in turmoil as to whether I should leave to Canada or stay where I had made my home. I did not sleep again even though I felt safe that night staying in a condo where the door shut and locked. In the quiet moments of talking to God that night I heard his voice that said “Trust Me”

On Our Way

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On our way

I promised my roommate that I would not leave her sister and kids behind.  She was out of town at the time of the hurricane. We went to search for Jenna and the kids.  We found them with out incident and I told her and her husband that if I did not get her out of dodge, that her sister would tan me alive! Jenna’s husband Dilan offered me a warm Mexican beer and it was good. We then we went back home.

We didn’t sleep very much, if at all, that last night in Cabo. We kept going to the balcony and watched the residents armed with flashlights walk around the complex to try and keep us protected from the “ banditos” that were apparently coming to the gringo neighborhoods to loot, pillage and burn.

That night we had a hot meal. Our pastor and his wife decided to cook their meat that was going to go bad so we had hot chicken and tortillas. I don’t remember eating much for the 5 days or even drinking much water. I know that I really wanted a cold drink and there were no cold drinks to be had. I guess many people had a generator (smart move) and they ran their fridge so things stayed fresh and cold. But I didn’t know any one that had a generator – things felt pretty bleak!

We were ready to leave at 4 am as we had no idea what to expect at the airport. We had heard through word of mouth that we were not going to get through, that the army was there and they were only allowing tourists to leave. We half expected we would have to walk through the desert in the hot, hot, sun to get to the airport.

We went to the friend’s house that had a full tank of gas,  they are going to drive us to the airport. There were 4 of us in total. I gave my keys for the truck and the one locked door in my house that housed the precious gallons of water to the pastor of our church, advising him to use what he needed to use and take what he needed to take.

I am tired, really tired.

Day 3 After Odile

2014-09-14 18.25.34

Sept 17

Didn’t sleep again the place is so unsecure, it’s hard to rest. Woke up and began cleaning again. I think what’s the point another storm is coming and my home will be flooded again.

No communication is the worst, we don’t know if anyone is okay, the only way is through word of mouth and it’s all really bleak with not much hope given. No food, water is limited and if help does come we need to get to the drop places for food and water but with no gasoline how do I get there?

I am sick of trying to clean, with no water. Haven’t showered in a few days, but we are trying to remain hopeful that we will see the military soon. Why hasn’t help come yet?

My old roommate came over; she lives over in the next community. We talked about going to her friend’s house and siphoning gas from her bike that we could use.

I packed a bug out bag with a few pictures, money, and papers and decided I would carry it everywhere. We locked our water in the only locking door and we ventured out. I had over 1/4 tank of gas in my 4 wheel….not much…I had to conserve.

We left the safety of the community and it shocked me every time we left…. the decimation of my beautiful Cabo in ruins. Cabo; in the last 3 years have become my home and I have such a connection to the people that live here. Gringo and Mexican alike.

We drive 10 minutes away from town towards San Jose and the downed cell towers, palms and power lines are everywhere too. We are carrying weapons. I have a screw driver, knives……..wow is all I have to say…..

Now I have tell you we had some  good laughs along the way….siphoning gas is a real treat and I remember from my farm days how gross it is………we were all gagging and laughing and finally my friend got it to drain……..great we have 2 gallons, not much but not nothing either. We couldn’t get gas from the other 3 cars we hit someone already got to them and they were parked in my drive way. This place had a relatively clean pool, I got in and washed my hair….still gross but better than before.

We just happened to try the phone and we got a dial tone! yippee I wonder if we can call international?