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All posts by Scuba Girl 65

I am a single 40 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.

Grief as I know it

I remember when my best friend died at the age of 29, three weeks before 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. But I was so mad at him for being so callous and as far as I was concerned not very helpful. But 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. At the time, he was about 70, and I guess at that age a person has seen a lot of death. But this was the first real death I had encountered in my youth. I mean I had grandparents die, but they were old and lived a good life so in my opinion that is the natural progression of life and death. However, when someone dies that is young and let’s not forget my best friend that I had since I was seven years old, it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.

I can not say that any death after his death has gotten easier. In my 53 years on this earth, I have experienced many deaths and what I can say is that they are all different but none the less heartbreaking. The heart-wrenching punch to the stomach feels like I can not 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. Of course, the biggest hit was my soon to be husband. He died a sudden death at 48 yrs old, leaving behind four beautiful children and a bunch of childhood friends that I had not met until the memorial and of course his family was devastated.

It’s been almost six months since he is gone and I still wake up some mornings with a lump in my throat and bile rising from my stomach. Still feeling as if it happened yesterday. 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. Even with all the deaths, I have experienced in my life from old to young, from family to friend or lover, all I know is that it doesn’t get easier but changes with age. 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. The loneliness is the worst so I try to keep myself busy.

Before he died, I went out and bought the safe food gloves that are used to handle food. I bought them at Costco, so I have like a thousand of them. He showed me many things in the kitchen, and that was one of them so now every time I put on those stupid gloves I think of him – like I said I have a thousand of them. WTH

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. I am accountable to 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.

 

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. 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.  The love that was anything but calm, had me scrambling, in all directions – it was an all-consuming fire our love.

We both agreed that we had never felt anything like this before, and it’s not like we didn’t have our share of relationships, but this one was different from the moment we laid eyes on each other. 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.

Now, this is not a fairy tale love story like I thought in the beginning, it soon became very apparent that this relationship had some problems. Not with our love but with life.

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. He had all-consuming love and loyalty towards his children which to me showed me what kind of man he was.  I think because the father of my daughter who had no interest in being a father right from conception and most of the men I met over the years seemed to be dead-beat dads, this man only wanted the best for his children and worked hard and played hard to make sure that they did have the best. 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.

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

I was left with a huge 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.  I see now how unhealthy I became now that I have silence.

Since that day almost 6 mths ago 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.

I have known for years that salt water heals.  It heals physical ailments because of the rich magnesium in seawater but it also heals me emotionally. When I am in or under the water I instantly go into a meditative state, I have always joked that it is my therapy for the long stressful work week

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

I am so grateful that I remembered that sound of silence.

Til next time, blessings my friends

 

Learning to let 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. We tend to think that we have so 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 onto 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. For example, I am not worthy to I am worthy.

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

 

All the broken people

All the broken people where do they all come from???

 

Watching the news online is so very heartbreaking that I don’t do it very often. I prefer to live in my little bubble of bliss sometimes. Knowing how many people are struggling with life. The brokenness: of addiction, divorce, war, death. The things that touch people’s lives on a daily basis that creates hurt, mistrust, loneliness and dysfunction within our lives. It makes me realize the world is falling apart at a faster rate now than ever before.

I used to think that I was the only one that was truly broken but the drug addict life style is so  self- centered no wonder I never thought of anyone else pain – so blinded by my own tragedies throughout life.

I was given the opportunity by the grace of God to get clean and that is when I started to see how broken everyone was – addicts like me, hopeless with their own tragic life stories. It took some humility to realize that I was no worse or better than anyone person in the rooms of Narcotic’s Anonymous – we were all there for the same common theme – it didn’t matter what happened to us or what we used or how we used it – it was all about the feelings and how we all felt broken and needed help. At last I finally fit in and it was with a bunch of broken people trying to get well.

When I moved from Canada to Mexico and started to go to church,  I again got into the mindset that I do not belong with these good people –  If they knew who I was and what I had done they would never accept me.  However after I started to get to know them – again I realized that it’s a bunch of broken people trying to find their way by the grace of God.  They too had stories –all different but all the same common themes.

I have been truly blessed to find 2 groups of human’s that I can relate too on different levels but the common theme is we are all a bunch of broken people trying to get /be better with our lives.

I then start to think of how lonely, all the people,  that have not found the rooms of NA or the church and how desperate they feel and all they know is that they are broken and separated from the love of God and people. I remember those times and my heart calls out to do something for someone else today.  Maybe I will go find someone that is hungry and feed them or maybe they just need an encouraging word and a friendly smile to keep hope alive one more day until they can find the strength to surrender to God, the NA program or both.  A seed plated today can take root tomorrow or the next day.

Be the seed for someone today. I know I will.

Peace

 

Eleanor Rigby- Beatles – Look at all the lonely people

Circling The Drain of My 40’s & What I Have Learned

circlign the drain

 

My forties are coming to a close and the ever looming fifties are upon me.  I’ve always heard stuff like 50 is the new 40’s or 30’s are the new 20’s.  We make up fun sayings when we end a decade to make the slap of reality less painful. We come up with ways for theme birthday parties like Flirty Thirty, Naughty Forty and Filthy Fifty! So apparently we get nastier with age!

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

In my opinion my thirties were filthy in more ways than one. I was still in active addiction and most of my thirties passed me by without a thought. I just 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”.  It was in the beginning of my 38th year that I began to have some clarity and with the help of God I was brought to a recovery house for women that changed my entire being.

Through this house, I started to discover the woman in me, and what it meant to be me without a belly full of something! But it was not until I entered my forties that I believe I really 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:

I learned how to be a friend.

I learned how to let people go from my life that were toxic,

and the only people in my life love and respect me. (this one took awhile)

I experienced love and trust and could reciprocate it back.

I learned how to forgive and sometimes even forget.

I stopped caring if I had makeup on to go to the grocery store.

I started to love myself and all my imperfections.

Keeping a score card is never worth it – letting go wins, so much less energy.

Everyone is not going to love you and that’s okay just love.

I started to live in the solution not the problem. (this way of thinking helped me tremendously)

I began a sweet relationship with Jesus. ♥♥♥♥♥♥

I then started to understand what the meaning of the word surrender really means.

I truly love breathing compressed air and being underwater more than being on land.

I didn’t let my emotions rule me any longer

I have acceptance of others and myself.

Music is healing

It’s okay to cry

Not everyone will forgive you

I realized that I was either operating out of fear or love

I was either running too something or from something and I needed to stop and just be.

Grief does lessen with time and time does heal slowly.

I am more adventurous and bold than I thought – I moved to Mexico alone

That it is okay to agree to disagree with people and still find value in the friendship.

My friends know everything about me and love and accept me anyways.

I learned to be alone but not lonely.

Age is only a number and I try to not let it define me. I have friends of all ages and that gives me perspective.

Having said all that, I know my next decade of my life is going to be awesome;

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

 

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

 

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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?

Day 1 & 2 After the Hurricane

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My friend who lives in the complex over came to see me. She didn’t have it as bad as me. We walked over for a moment and used her landline phone. Little did I know that it would be the last message left for my family for a long time. I got there answering machine. I so wished I could of talked to them.

We decided after a bit of clean up to go for a drive. Unbelievable destruction! Power lines, palm trees, signs all over the place. The destruction was so bad that we came home immediately.

We went to bed early with a plan for the next day to try and clean up some more and then go into town. Oh I forgot to mention there were buildings down everywhere and people were starting to loot the corner store!

Sept 16 day 2 after the storm

We woke up and decided to go to town to see if there was anything left. I am so grateful I have a 4 wheel drive because a regular car would not get through. Mudslides from flash floods were 2 ft. deep full of mud across the hwy, power lines down, buildings just gone!

I stopped to see if my coworker was ok, as she lived alone with her fur babies. She was not home or at least she didn’t answer, her dogs were outside. I will check again tomorrow I think.

We stopped at my work and a window and water was blown all over. No one was there. Met my friend Tony and started to talk to people about the power. They tell us that it could be up to a month to get power back! Plus we have no cell service. Without power we can’t turn on the tap and get washing water, cooking water…..it doesn’t run without power! Things just got a lot grimmer. We talked about the food we have on hand and we realize we don’t have a lot of canned goods……I never expected this!

People are gathering a small army and I see they are going to start to loot Walmart, SAMs club and maybe Costco and this is only day 2 . I’m so scared. The army is there. Later I hear they just opened up the doors and let people take any food items etc. that they needed……

I have 1/2 a tank of gasoline…..why oh why didn’t I get a full tank? I feel so stupid! I was so unprepared! Oh but we have 12 gallons of clean drinking water….that should last a little while if we are careful.

I have a Costco size baby wipes. Thank you Kyrstin for getting me hooked on them. This is how I will wash for the next several weeks because of no power. We do have a cistern with water that we decided we can use to boil and cook with….thank goodness we have a gas stove!

All the freezer stuff is starting to melt, the fridge is warm…..everything is going to go bad. We will have eggs and bacon tomorrow and lots of it!

 

We heard there is only one working cell tower in La Paz 2 hours away. We won’t be getting power back on for at least 2 weeks and all the stores are getting looted! We are worried we might have to bug out, oh ya we just heard the airport is destroyed and won’t be having any flight in or out for a week or more. What are we going to do? And to top it all off with all the rain, our doors won’t shut as they are swollen, bugs and mosquitoes with the threat of dengue. Plus we heard through the grapevine there is another storm headed our way!

My place looks like a bomb hit it, it’s super-hot and humid out and we don’t have a safe place to ride out this next storm. We are afraid that people will start looting houses and we have nothing to protect us…. I can’t go to work and that means no money for me……I really feel …….tired….

Tomorrow is another day to fight the battle.