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Monthly Archives: July 2019

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.