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Farther On

This song, by the Alaska String Band has been replaying over and over in my mind for the last week since my roommate first played it for me.

All religious language of God and Jesus aside here (I am not a religious person in any sense of the word), it’s as if my inner one wanted me to hear this when I tried to take my life two and a half years ago. She wants me to hear this now, to comfort me, and reassure me, and help me heal from that time. I’m not sure where she ends and my higher power begins. She and my highest self are the same. This was her voice, steady and unwavering, and which I couldn’t hear. It’s as if she is singing it to me now, telling me how much she loves me. She takes my hand, and tells me she is there, has always been there, and will never leave me. She will never stop singing this song to me. This is her voice now and always.

“Farther on, still go farther … Jesus will foresake you never. It is better farther on.”


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For Carl

my new private balcony

my new private balcony


A new era has begun in my life, with a move from the place I moved into 2 months ago, to a place that is … well, it’s a little piece of heaven, with a fellow recovery woman.

It’s on a river. The sound of the river permeates the entire property and house. My room is on the 2nd floor, with my own private balcony. The house has several skylights, wood floors and trim throughout.

The property has several gardening areas for vegetables and flowers, grassy nooks with chairs, fruit trees, and a gazebo on the river. There is also a workshop and an art studio.

Both my roommate and I feel that this is a place that wants to be a vessel for healing. It wants to provide a safe, affordable and soul-nourishing haven for people who need it, in order to do our work, the work of the soul and spirit. The rent is super cheap, and the location is a few minutes walking to down town. We want to host healing circles and various healing modalities here.

My arrival here happened suddenly, removing me from the danger inherent in living alone. I had been isolating and not eating, in and out of various states of dissociation and paralyzation. A friend of mine asked me why i was remaining in this harmful situation. I realized I had not made it real in my mind that it was a harmful situation. I was still holding on, trying to convince myself that it wasn’t happening, that really, I was fine; I was just thinking I wasn’t. When the landlords there gave notice they were returning to the Valley, this new place emerged. After my friend asked me why I was staying, I checked out moving earlier, and was given the green light. I moved the next day.

The previous roommate here was a beautiful, bright, gay man who was the keeper of the space and property, loved gardening, home repairs and landscaping. He also lived with OCD and Bipolar Disorder. He chose to leave this world by suicide last month. As he had promised to his friends, he waited until he was happy for several months before leaving. He sorted his things and arranged for them to be dispersed, cleaned the house, made soup for the woman who is now my rooommate. Everyone knew that his leaving was imminent, and when he was all set up to facilitate his departure, he emailed my roommate, who was out of town at the time. It took him two consecutive attempts to leave.

His body was found in his room. He died a happy, loving and giving spirit; at peace in his surroundings and with his friends in this life. His passing has brought me here, and so I write this as an offering of gratitude and appreciation. I feel his presence, and that he is a kindred spirit. I regret that I did not get to know him while he was still here.

For Carl. For all your journeys, sorrows, joys, achievements, struggles, and losses. And for all the great love you gave to this world. May you be in peace in the afterlife. May your spirit soar on, always and forever free.

beside my pillow, the sound of the river surrounding.

beside my pillow, the sound of the river surrounding. words and cards by a fellow aca member. amethyst heart stone from fellow coda member, crystal from dear friend in my previous city up North. I am not alone on this journey.

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PS. update on the prayer

Update on the prayer post from yesterday:

The friend eventually did show up yesterday. I called another friend of mine who is qualified in restorative justice, active listening and systemic family constellations. She came over, and my friend sobbed for two hours on the floor of my room while we held him. He had never done this in his life. He then finally slept the night here, on a mattress on my floor. Today, he has had another fight with his Dad, and when I last spoke to him this afternoon, was unsure where he could go to sleep tonight. i share a small one bedroom with my mom, and she does not feel able to extend an offer him to stay here.

This person has lost his original and created family and house; has not been able to work for the last year or so, does not have a diagnosis, and is about to run out of money. His ex is taking him to court for child support, and refusing to communicate with him in any other way. He has not seen his kids in 3 months, and his parents are disregarding his request for them not to have contact with his kids (due to abusive tendencies of his Mother). He feels that all his relationships are falling apart, including those in the recovery world; that there is no safe place for him to be in the world, and he has exhausted all his sources of support. He has stated that he is willing to die for his parents to change, if that’s the only way they will listen to him; that he feels a sense of extreme powerlessness and hopelessness, and that he feels peaceful when he thinks about dying.

I felt like this when I attempted to end things. I think a couple people possibly knew or could sense where I was at, but did not feel confident enough to intervene without my permission, and how do you really ask permission to intervene? It definitely seems like an awkward and scary thing to do. This is an interesting line for me to walk right now. I don’t know if I should be taking action, forcing him to go to the hospital, against his spoken will. I think that if he is meant to make an attempt — whatever the outcome — that his his higher power’s divine will, and nothing but love can come out of it. I continue to pray, offer the support that I can, and let it go to the Universe to look after and work it’s magic on. I’m filled with sadness and wonder at the same time. I wish I had the answers, but I am witnessing some of the most dangerous effects of severe willfulness (see my other post today) that is preventing him from the peace and survival of radical acceptance here. I can only do what I can only do?

(It may seem here that I am obsessing. Really, I have only missed one choir practice because of this. I am keeping myself in check, and not allowing my own life to be upheaved in any way. I am observing, and I am curious, and I am exploring my feelings a little bit here, and putting out more prayers by sharing this with you.)

Luv innerlight.

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willingness & radical acceptance

My dbt (dialectical behaviour therapy) group was talking about two subjects today that I find myself still talking about tonight.

The first was willingness vs. willfulness, where willfullness is the resistance we come up with to avoid change and trying new things. There was a true or false question: T or F — A person who is willful is trying to be argumentative and difficult on purpose. The answer of course is false, that there is deep and old pain and trauma in our resistance that is demanding to be heard. That to say that a willful person is trying to be difficult is not a compassionate or at all effective stance to take.

The second was radical acceptance. Ah yes. I was trying to explain what radical acceptance is to my Mom tonight, and came up with this:

  1. The ability to shift our expectations of a person or situation to see what is, instead of what we think should be, accept that reality, release the feelings of anguish.
  2. Accept what is by trusting that it is divine right action, guided by our higher power, who is always and forever looking after our highest purpose, greatest ultimate joy and satisfaction in life.

I think this definition is still in progress, but that’s it so far.

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manifestation boardSo far, I have manifested:

  • a guitar
  • a guitar teacher
  • a mechanic on trade

It is empowering and comforting to erase the manifested items, as they arrive. It feels like an affirmation that the universe is there, and that I am connected to it, and that I matter. I am a part of the universal flow of energy and resources. I will not die.

It’s exciting to replace a feeling of hopelessness and overwhelm and lack with these feelings of being loved instead.

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heart like an insect wing

I started volunteering at a resource centre for people with disabilities this week — seeing how it feels to be somewhere at a specific time, 3 hrs a day, 2 days a week. It’s been a joy to contribute in an atmosphere where I don’t have to be traditional or normal. It’s okay to be imperfect, or need support.

I feel like I’m living with everything in the air these days, but in a new way — everything in the air and pointed godwards, with curiosity, a tentative smile on my lips. being in the world is feeling different. saying this is extremely vulnerable. i dare to smell the breeze, let the wind blow through my hair, be willing to accept its falling down again. my heart is like an insect wing.


what’s your broken record, shame & a step ten interpretation

broken record image

unknown source

I’ve been hiding from blogging lately, having the inner critic step in. Inner Critic (IC) says something like, “You are so self involved. Why would anyone be interested in the inner workings of your brain?”

I’ve continued writing, but have not posted anything because what I have written seems somehow unfinished, extremely brash or out of character, and I have not brought myself to post any of it. This is a side-effect of identity confusion.

In response to the re-emergence of my IC, I remembered writing on a fridge whiteboard two Falls ago, “What’s your broken record?”. I’d written it in the spirit of the relationship between me and my new land lord there (this is really not where I thought this post was going). Although we hadn’t ever really hung out, we’d at least known each other for both having gone to the Haven.

The thought that inspired me to write that was that broken records destroy lives because we can’t get them to stop playing. They need a good dose of understanding and validation to let go of their grip on us — the grip of Shame (in the spirit of Brene Brown’s talk on TED entitled Listening to Shame). When we remove shame, we can see what’s underneath it; we can see an event or characteristic of ourselves for what it is when we stop being ashamed to the point of denial about it. Because as long as we remain in denial about it because the shame is too painful, we can never integrate that event or characteristic into the rest of ourselves. We remain split, between an inner world and an outer one; shame creates that.

I wrote a definition of Step 10. It’s much shorter than the definition of Step One I had written (and posted) several months ago.

Step Ten is a daily practice of noticing and surrendering our answer to the question, “How is your relationship with your Higher Power today?”

It’s strange to come back full circle to the realization of “What’s your broken record?” now seeing it in the context of Step Work. What comes out of me can seem like a broken record, but the only way to heal it is to keep talking about it. That’s what I keep hearing from fellow members who have encountered this type of IC before. The only way to heal it is to keep talking about it. And to sit in a room full of women who have been through child abuse and violence and suicidal depression saying that, I do feel the truth in it.

Integrating is hard work, and no one who hasn’t had to do that can truly understand it, the fact that it requires us to become willing to sound like a broken record to see what our broken record actually has to say and finally respond to it.

This is my scattered brain today. I will put the links in this post in later.