Element Amenities

A weird, evolving website inspired by addiction and recovery. 

Night Time

Night Time

Night time. The time when I think too much….inside my head some crazy, crazy stuff. Daytime I feel good, distracted, doing very fun stuff, like driving and hiking around. These days I let myself go there and replay the memory, to take away its power.

After that fucking, crazy creative writing thing I had going on with Brandy and her dude. I mean, I had no idea the experience I had was going to bring up so many more visual things, memories, and questions to myself. Like how long have I been reckless with my physical self, not actually caring for the whole thing, mind, and body?  I’m reflecting on what happens when you tell yourself, you’re a bad person for a long time. You treat yourself like shit.

Instead of re-fucking traumatizing myself in my head of memories, I think of my good ones. And I write. It’s kinda like having a nice crisp glass of Pinot Gri,  in an expensive glass. This is better though, it’s cleansing my fucking soul. Now if I hear his accent in my head I tell it to fuck off. I mean I am actually saying it out loud. Grreat, now I’m gonna really look crazy. I do it for two reasons, one because it works, and two it gives me back my power. It was the tactile part that threw me. Love is supposed to feel gentle and kind. And comes from a place deep inside. He didn’t have that.

I am very tactile. I love feeling fabrics, and textures. When I lived in London, I used to go to Liberties on Regent St. just to feel the fabrics. They have a spectacular fabric department. The building itself is styled after the Tudor era. Very cool. As I run my hand down the thin motel bedspread and gaze at the 70’s wood-paneled wall, I’m in a very rural part of Manitoba, not many options. This motel is giving me some good creepy creative vibes. I love it. I can picture it in the winter,  a mist monster in our world piled high with snow. That’s just what it looks like. You can tell it’s built for a hard winter, the potholes are insane. The buildings are squat, with small windows so warm air can’t escape in the -40 below it reaches. And you can smell it, I just walked outside to smoke and I smelled that familiar winter is coming smell. 

 

  

Tea

Tea

Processing a lot over the past few weeks has made me realize, I have some pretty dark places. NOT hiding from it either. I have so many funny characters cheering for me in my mind.

Ok, here is the story where I am going to live up to my self labeled name – dry cat lady, Jackie has been bugging me to write this for a while.

I have two cats, one is a 10-year-old small but mighty, blue point designer Siamese.
The other is a massive, white rescue from the pound in Ontario. Yes, my cats are the one thing consistently in my life. They bring me joy, first of all, they are actually hilarious, and second, they are a good pet for people who work a lot. Which I used to always.

I call my house Cat Castle because of these two, they rule me and are a tough team to beat. Especially when they team up. Bae Nut is devious and Mr.P is the king of my cat castle. I am the caretaker.

It’s a constant battle of wills between the castle caretaker, and the spoiled royal brats. Their main objective at the Castle is to trick the caretaker (and anyone who enters), so they can fly out an open door to freedom.
The royal brats love escaping and have escaped as a team, and solo. The caretaker is convinced they plot and scheme, after all, those brats can get over any fence the caretaker has ever built for them… She even had to bring expert help from maintenance to add scare tactics. Big long white danglers and ominous dark black bars. Escaping Cat Castle is difficult and quite dangerous.
Mr.P has his own poop “moat” on the inside of the gate, which he works on morning, noon and night. There he stands guard until the rest of the castle is up and about. He is very good at keeping away night creatures that lurk on the outskirts of the Castle at dawn, waiting for their chance to steal his heavily guarded magic fountain. You see, Mr. P has one thing that he must protect at all costs, his magic fountain. It brings soaring treats of delicious fowl, of all colors and sizes. A stalk, a chase, and a kill is the only way his kingdom can rest. Bae watches the entertainment very closely from whichever perch suits her fancy, so she can get all the information she will need for her world domination. P faces terrifying obstacles, the dreaded green water bottle, and the booby-trapped gate. The caretaker wields the bottle with the precision of “le porteur de lepee” and the fence is a love-hate, so tempting but also dangerous. Long ghost-like fingers, sway and howl in the wind, and the spikes, they have jagged edges and are hard to navigate. he has encountered them before and was rescued by the caretaker, luckily, as he may have missed eleven-zies! He made another daring dash for it the other night, and those damn spikes almost got him again, and he had to return with just his foot bottom slit. Poor Mr.P.

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

I know… this is another fucking sad story, but that’s the point for me. My life has actually turned around since I stopped drinking, and I’ve been thinking about how I am going to continue to stay sober. That’s the only thing I am doing differently, thinking about what will help me stay sober. And this is my AA. So if you’re reading this, you care, and thank you, If you’re reading this and you don’t care, well… you do you. I’m gonna do me.

I have a lot of guilt about what happened in my relationship with Rae. I just wonder, what kind of headspace is someone in when it happens. I mean, what was I actually giving off in terms of energy. Now that sounds ridiculous, I know, but it crosses my mind all the time. Was it my fault? Did it really happen the way I remember it? How can someone who I choose to share my life with, for 9 years be so fucking cruel? And it felt so violent. Is my judgment that bad?? No, well yes..maybe. See? Ha… everyone tells me it’s not my fault, and on a conscious level, I know.

I still hear his voice in my head, (it’s been three years) and of things he would say, pet names he called me. I think of how we met, and how persistent he was to win me over and to keep me. It’s hard to think of the good things actually, I haven’t had a kind thought towards him since. I mean the last 6 months were bad, with a lot of drinking. Around this time I was starting to experiment with hard drugs 😕. And I was partying, and not easy. I was a right cunt to him a couple of times. And I talked shit about him behind his back. I don’t know man, I don’t want to give him too much air time. Because he would love it, and it hurts.

This is being processed in bits and pieces. Uggggh I don’t know what’s going to come out and how. Anyway yeah.
Sunshine and 🍭

Weird things are coming up for me, like first the sex then the intimacy, and the safety.
Because there were times when he physically, and mentally cared for me and was gentle. And I remember the three hairs on his left shoulder that I used to love. I was thinking about the self-care in this sober life I choose. I don’t know what else to call it. I mean I exercise every day because I know that’s one of the ways I stay sober. I really try to live in the present. That keeps me sober. I think I have always done things in the moment, but not always in the present if that makes sense 🤔.
I swear to God I always do everything backward…dyslexia or self-sabotage? lol
Cognitive confusion. That’s a good name for a band.

Peace in the Valley

Peace in the Valley

So this feels weird blogging from my work trip, but it’s fine. I have downtime and I have hours that I work. I’m disciplined about my time management. Hairdresser skill. This trip feels good for me. It’s like this magical loop opened up when I sobered up. I love traveling solo. We have a team here, but it’s mostly solo work. I am kinda worried that I will never want to fully immerse myself into regular society again… I actually enjoy my own company. And other people too, for a limit. I just don’t know how to regulate my energy sometimes. So writing on my downtime is necessary. Helps keep me sane.

This trip really is a bit like pressing reset. I had a blast today. I drove all up and around, Peace River. What a beautiful piece of Canada. Huge blue sky, fields, and valleys of a million colors of green. It really is god’s country. The only other drivers on the road were large work vehicles. And the occasional large pick-up with a Farmer. None of the nav worked consistently so it was a paper map and occasional bursts of internet. It was pretty cool. I haven’t seen anything like it before in my life. Got lost a few times, found super kind people. Fort St John doesn’t quite have the same beauty as where I was today. It’s a hard-working town, that’s for sure.

I’m not sure where I will be exploring tomorrow, I don’t mind either way. I love the adventure.

Lifer

Lifer

I have a bad habit of going back in time because it feels comfortable. The fact that I just called it a habit feels like I’m not allowing myself to feel my feelings.

PTSD-I have a lot of patience for myself but sometimes, it feels very comfortable and intimate being in a place I know is not good for me. Intimate is a funny word, the person you are most intimate with is yourself. Your own thoughts, the ones that you keep to yourself.

When I’m walking around some days, but mostly when I’m at home I will start thinking about something that really hurts and notice a pervasive kinda lure there. I want to stay there, and I like to sink into it. Like a big, duck-down pillow that’s soft and full of feathers, It feels alluring because of the fabric and you know you spent a lot on it. It’s warm but the gamey odor and feather quills prick you every time you use it. I had a dream last night that I drank by accident. I had a dream I relapsed, and then it was full-on. I find it so weird how my body can create the exact feeling of being perfectly buzzed while I’m dreaming. It always lingers for a second before I really wake up.

I’m traveling next week. I haven’t been on a plane in a year and a half. All I keep thinking about is how I used to drink myself to the point of a little hammered in the airport bar then top it up to really hammered whiskey on the flight. I don’t have a fear of flying, I love traveling. I just loved airport drinking, it was a part of the ritual of flying…. Everyone goes to the airport bar when they’re traveling, for a beer or two, I’d go for as many as I could get down my neck before the plane. I could crush pints.

I’m excited but nervous. I made myself take some time off from work before the trip for the first time in my life. So I could get as prepared as I could. I bought a new coloring book to bypass the bar cart on the plane and I have three books I want to read during my downtime. I love to read about the places I’ve been to. I am very excited about that part. I love traveling. This, this right here is what I went into tourism for. This feeling of adventure and discovering somewhere new.

Travel is like somehow pressing a reset. I’m hoping I can recognize when I’m feeling insecure about something, and catch myself slipping into that old comfort habit. I will tell myself it’s ok to visit if it’s useful, but not to stay there too long. PTSD will trigger that comfort in pain in me always. I just have to know I’m doing it and move on. I mean I managed to make it around the countryside in south France with my brutal Ontario French, before any kind of easy internet access. I’m feeling pretty comfortable taking a plane without drinking. I’m just gonna keep telling myself. New normal. New normal.

Old ships on the Lake

Old ships on the Lake

I woke up this morning with the worst belly of my life – panic disorder suck. Good days and bad I guess.

I did it myself. I let myself get overwhelmed and didn’t give myself time to digest. I was worrying about the future for no reason. Can’t control it so why worry about it?

I’ve learned that if I get out of my present and write something it makes me feel grounded. And now that I’ve tidied my front porch, I’m sitting outside with the Bae, (on her leash) watching the world go by. I feel calmer already. I love being around people but I also love being by myself. I’m like the new Mrs. Kravitz on my street. I like my neighbors and my hood.

Its amazing what you learn when you work from home and don’t have a car. It’s nice, it slows your life way down. I like that. A lot of grandkids around right now – for the pool and the location. Lots of people live here so there is lots of action to watch.

I’ve realized in the last little while that I’m lucky to have had such a unique childhood. We grew up on Lake Ontario and spent many summers just running wild. There was a beach at the bottom of our street with an old concrete diving board and a creepy old raft. The diving board had been installed by some neighborhood boys years before us and was all cracked and split from the ice in the winters. In the summer the local teenagers would drag the raft out to its spot and secure it to another concrete concoction under the water. We spent so many years there I was young enough to play with the long furry seaweed, and then old enough to swim to the raft with my sister to smoke cigarettes. One hand to swim and one to hold our smokes and lighter over our heads. We’d scare each other with shark stories while we’d dry off and smoke our cigarettes then race to swim to shore.

I would spend mornings and lunch at my Dad’s parents’ house. (My father brought them over from Yugoslavia in the late 80’s). Dedo would take my younger sister and I to the park then and my nana would feed us the most amazing lunch, I loved lunchtime at Nana’s 😋 after I’d run off with my friends to explore the beach, we used to find these really cool pieces of dishware, and we’d pretend they were from the shipwrecks. A lot of the things probably were, the Great Lakes are a little like small oceans, but fresh water, they are massive. I learned over the years that Lake Ontario indeed had a lot of merchant shipwrecks in the 1700-1800s. Especially loading from Kingston, (where I’m from.)

Lake Ontario always scared me a bit, dark, wild foggy looking. Even on the brightest summer days, you couldn’t really see anything while you were swimming and there were always fish lurking.. or water snakes. Nothing worse than one of those things touching you when you can’t see it coming, I used to like fishing right off the boat launch next to the Kingston Penitentiary wall.

A lot of things washed up on those beaches over the years. We were surrounded by history, and limestone buildings, big enormous government institutions. An old military town with forts and prisons, and a dark ominous lake. The last time I was there the old building for the criminally insane was still there sitting empty and creepy as hell. I don’t know, I guess I was thinking of home today. I’m glad I wrote this and did some strength stuff. Farmers carry for mental health 🏋️‍♀️💪. Tomorrow’s plan is to cook some nana food. 🥘