The Truth and Freedom

14 months in a boot, sitting on a porch over looking a river = 60,000 words of life that now need to be sifted, sorted, and hopefully converted into something useful.

I learned a lot about myself, and my story during that recovery time.  I looked at my trigger points for my temper, my joy, and false shame. I gave myself permission to get mad about things I under-reacted to in the past, to feel what I feel, think what I think, and to realize some things weren’t worth the time of day and it was time to let them go.

I usually started my stories with a them in mind and it took a few pages to get to the me part of it. That’s pretty normal for me, really. I’m glad I did it. I know more about who pulls my trigger and why, and I get to take ownership of that back.

Meme courtesy of Cowgirl Spirit on Facebook

I shared this meme today on Facebook and wow what a response. Several people wanted to correct this and say the truth will set others free, but it will piss them off — all eyes on everybody else.

We just love telling other people the truth about how we see them, don’t we? I hate to break it to you, but my truth about how I see you might not really be the actual facts of the situation. My truth is warped by perception and my past realities. So is yours.

I’ve learned something at the river, If I spot it, I got it. The need to point out other’s faults is becoming less and less these days. Not that I don’t notice them of course. Honestly, looking around and finding faults in others is like shooting fish in a barrel.

1. The overly controlling wife or husband. You know the type, they control the entire social circle, question your motives, know all of their spouse’s passwords and want immediate access to all social media on demand. Or they don’t let them use social media at all unless it’s a shared page. I know several folk, men and women alike who do this.

2. The woman who has a crush on my husband and tears up every time she’s around him. – I’m not going to lie that one alone makes me want to turn into woman #1. It also makes me remind myself that prison orange is not my color. He’s a grown man, he’s got this. He does not need me running constant interference or checking up to make sure he doesn’t talk to her. I don’t even know his passwords and after 25 years, I don’t need to know them. Honestly, if he’s going to chase after waterworks gal if I don’t stay on it, I don’t want him. And he’s not going to, so I’m not worried.

3. The friend who doesn’t have time to talk to her friends, but has all the time in the world to send plea letters from her non-profit-of-the-month making us all feel more like check books than friends.

4. The bitter alcoholic who blames the world for everything, but never themselves. The perpetual victim. “It’s not MY fault.” – or let’s be fair The Put Upon Alanon who super glues their wrist to their forehead and goes on and on about what all they put up with in the name of love.

5. The person who exaggerates their accomplishments ad nauseum in order to fit in or impress – hard not to roll my eyes when this happens. I know a few people who fall into this category.

6. The jealous over other people’s accomplishments gal – She’s not hard to spot, wears a martyrs hat and says “must be nice” an awful lot. Also likes to sigh heavily and roll her eyes.

Surely, I don’t do any of those things.


yeah right.

On my best day, maybe not. But not every day is my best day, you know?

It’s rather easy to feel good about myself when I compare my best attributes to the worst characteristics of others. A friend once told me that.

“Of course you feel good honey, you are comparing yourself to a low bottom drunk — kinda difficult not to come out on top compared to that now isn’t it? Now, let’s talk about you for a change.”

Talk about hurt feelings.

She was right — It’s easy to feel good about myself when I do that. I can be any one of those people I listed in a heartbeat if I want. Heck, I’ve been worse some days.

And so when something sets me off – like the water works gal, the controlling spouse of a friend, or another plea letter. I have the freedom to look at myself and decide what I’m going to do. I can tell waterworks to back off and then let it alone. I can do my best not to be that controlling spouse in my home and trust my husband, and as for plea letter I can ask to be removed from that list and look at my own lists of friends. While I may not send letters, I did have people on my FB list for the sole purpose of marketing to. I deleted them. Can’t very well get snarky with someone when I’m doing the same thing, you know?

They call that taking my own inventory – something I try to do on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean I can’t set boundaries in relationships. I do. I speak my truth when it impacts me directly — If it doesn’t impact me directly then it’s none of my business.

So just for today:

I can tell myself the truth

Clean up my side of the sidewalk

and be free. 

And it doesn’t have to piss me off like it used to. 

I’m a work in progress — a majestic creation designed by the hand of God. I’m just not finished yet and that is okay.

If you let go of nothing else, let this be the one.


I performed in a comedy contest two years ago. One judge told me to never perform comedy again after my first night. I had two more sets to do after that. Honestly all he did was piss me off — I may or may not have semi-intentionally torched that bridge while I was still standing on it. I may receive the grace at some point to make that right and I may not. I don’t know yet.

A second judge watched all three sets and then called bullshit on 90% of my jokes.

“If who you are communicating on stage is who you really think you are, then someone lied to you. Go find out who you really are, she’s the woman I want to see in your comedy next year.”

I then went home and promptly broke my ankle, had two major surgeries on my leg and was left without my go to for approval places, giving me 14 months to think about what both comics told me.

Neither judge was wrong.

I let fear rule my choices in jokes.

I wanted everyone to like me.

That was my first “big” comedy deal and I played it safe and I played it weak. I played “cute” to win people over.

It’s no wonder they didn’t like me, I didn’t even like the woman I pretended to be on stage.

I spent 14 months taking more than my comedy set back to the studs, I took myself there and I ended 2014 with a lot of letting go.

My trash pile includes:

Friends on Facebook who were only there because I thought I had something to prove — They were there as a see, you should have believed in me – look at me now kind of thing. Some were people I used to know but am no longer friends with and others weren’t even people I actually like in real life.

Names I’ve been called, things I’ve been told. Words like “lazy”, “Slut”, “Bitch”, “unwanted”, “stupid”, “bossy”, “Controlling”, “Bastard”.

Filling that wound with applause and achievements.

My need to control people by being cute or overly submissive.

Mind reading. I suck at it anyway.

Places and friends that are not safe.

Tilting at windmills — wasting energy and trying to change what cannot be changed. Controlling others.

Purposefully giving people a reason not to like me if I think they already don’t. Burning bridges while standing on them.

The desire to be known being over run by the fear of being found out. — that’s a big one and I’ll write more about that as the year unfolds.

Now you’d think after 30 years in a recovery program, I’d have all of this down cold. Notsomuch. One of the worst tag lines that’s going to take work for me is being told,

“I can’t wait for the day when I can prove to the world what a bitch you really are.”

That sentence alone has been the root of so many choices. That’s the sentence that I’ve allowed to define my actions and word choices for so many years. It also defined my sets and choice of jokes.

That’s the fear both comics saw manifest itself in that small theater in Indiana.

I learned a lot at The Cove. I learned that I’m not a bitch and that seasons pass just fine without my interference. I’m not any of those other labels either.

I’ve learned that I can know that for myself without having to inappropriately lean on those who already knew that for me.

So, I call a do over not only in my approach to comedy, but my approach to relationships as well and 2015 is just the year to do that.

Happy New Years you guys.

Much love,