i want a dog. but i can’t have one. now what?

i live in an apartment complex that does not allow animals.  i love dogs and wish i could have one of my own, but since i can’t,  i have found a solution to getting my doggie fix.  there is a pet store down the street from me that houses rescue dogs in hopes that they will be adopted into good homes. they DO NOT sell dogs from puppy mills.  thank God.

i have lived in my neighborhood for 6 years now.  (wow time really does have wings!).  in that time i have become a trusted neighbor to this pet store.  and thus they allow me to walk the rescue dogs whenever i want.  not just me, they will allow any trusted neighbor to do so.  i love that they allow this.  these precious joys need love and attention and walks, like any other animal.  and it makes me happy that i can bring a little love into their lives.  it saddens me that i can’t take them home, but it warms my heart to spend some time with them.  and get to know them.

yesterday, i walked a little pup named sweetheart.  and boy was she a sweetheart.  she was so curious.  into everything.  looking around, interested in every moving leaf we past.  every moving person that walked by.  every moving vehicle on the street.  she was simply…curious.  and she would run around in circles.  as if she was over-stimulated by the world around her.  so cute.  we became fast buddies.  i plan on getting in to walk her again in the next few days.  part of me hopes she wont be there, because that will mean she was adopted into a good home.  but the selfish part of me hopes she will be waiting there for her special walk.

here is a montage of a few of the friends i have made at the local pet store.  my rescue buddies.

check out your local rescue shelters or pet stores that carry rescue dogs.  see if they will let you walk the rescues.  it is such a rewarding experience.  and you are helping the animals in the process.  showing them the love they so deserve as they await a permanent home.


the illusion of time

as eckhart tolle says, time is an illusion, and we should learn to live in the present or ‘eternal now’.

the sentence you just read was a moment in your time that is now gone and this sentence you are reading now is your present which is soon to be your past.  don’t start thinking about the next sentence until you are reading it, cause living in the future is never a good thing.  our minds have been trained to think in terms of past, present, and future.  therefore, we become so preoccupied on what was and what isn’t yet, that we forget about what is.  and that is right now.

sounds chaotic, but it isn’t really.  it’s all about staying in the now.  staying present.  being present in your life.  and not dwelling on what just happened or what has yet happened.

it took me awhile to understand this concept.  and i still trip up on it now and again.  i likely forever will.  but i do think i now have a tight grip on the idea of ‘now’, which has helped my life grow less complicated.  less stressful.  less dramatic.  and not so consumed with fear.  when i am living in the  future, i am living in fear.  no doubt. and if i am living in the past, i am most likely sitting in regret or guilt.

i am not saying that the future doesn’t need some attention…like planning for trips or business ventures, babysitters, etc.  what i am talking about is stressing over the interview you have next wednesday, or the project you have due tomorrow.  rather than focus all your energy on those future “stresses,” focus on this very moment, do the next indicated thing, and tomorrow will come when it’s suppose to.  right now it’s just an illusion.

rather than dwell on the fight you had with your girlfriend yesterday, and play the arguing conversation in your head over and over, let it go.  apologize for your actions and your part in it, and set that moment in time free.  it no longer exists.  it is but an illusion.


what a relief.  i no longer have to stress about what i did yesterday, or fear what i will do or need to do tomorrow.  i am allowed to just focus on this very moment, the eternal now.  life is so much less complicated that way.  and it’s funny how things just fall into place when you live your life in this logical, orderly manner.

i can look forward to something in the future, or be grateful for or sorry for an experience in the past, but i am no longer consumed by those illusions in time.  they are no longer real, or have not come to life yet.  the only truth in time is this very moment.  and that moment has now become the past.


so live in the now.  it’s the fear free, guilt free, regret free, more serene way to live.



all the cool girls are lesbians!

not really, but that is fun to say, being a lesbian myself.

i was thinking about my past relationships in life, and yes there were a few with men, and i began to daydream about why i enjoy being a lesbian.  here are the TOP 7 reasons that came to mind:

why i enjoy being a lesbian…

1.  my girlfriend and I communicate.  i mean we really communicate.  we analyze, dissect, marinate, and psycho-babble ourselves into the 4th dimension.  which i absolutely love!  we don’t yell, or scream, or throw things to get our point across.  we don’t intentionally cause emotional pain.  we talk.  and if needed we figure out how to do things better next time around to avoid conflict.  sounds so adult-like huh?  well my friends, it is.

2.  women understand each other.  a man will never fully understand a women’s mind, nor will a woman ever fully understand a man’s mind.  we really are from different galaxies.  two women in a relationship makes for two similar brain cycles working together.  women are naturally more emotional beings.  we can be dramatic.  overtly sensitive.  we think more deeply.  we cry more often then men.  we feel things on an abysmal level.  and we intuitively know how to comfort another woman in need of comforting.  it’s a natural instinct.  in my experience, (heterosexual) men don’t really have much of a clue about comforting, nor do they want to learn about how to do it.  tears make them uber uncomfortable.

3.  sex is intuitive.  that should be obvious.  when you have the same parts, you know what to do with them.  and in my opinion, sex is also way more intimate and emotional (for me) with another woman.  my past experience with men lacked intimacy.  it was sex for the act of sex.  not sex for the act of love.   plus, it simply didn’t feel right to me.

4.  the menstrual cycle isn’t seen as dooms day.  it’s understood and not ran from.

5.  women can kiss!  there is no kiss like a womans kiss.  if my lips touch the right woman, i feel it through every inch of my body.  its electric. and it is truly one of my favorite things to do…kissing my girl is a beautiful thing.

6.  im just one of the guys.  i get along with men on a different level now.  im looked at as one of them.  it’s loads of fun!  men are way more themselves when us women are not in sight.  they talk differently and they say things they otherwise wouldn’t dare say in front of a woman.  but after finding out im a lesbian, there is not much held back by the guys any longer.  i hear the way they talk about that girl over there in those skin-tight jeans.  it can be very boorish, but i must admit it’s sometimes fun to play that macho man role with the boys now and again. the men may talk with some vulgarity, and no one  (generally) gets hurt or offended.  im just one of the guys, as they say.  and really, i always have been.  i should have known long long ago i was a lesbian!

7.  no one questions why i am wearing a tie.  and damn it, i love ties!

i am a grateful and very happy lesbian.  i wouldn’t change things if i could.  i am what i am and i love what i am.

i still love men, i just don’t want to sleep with them or have a “relationship” with them.  women have my heart.


thanks for stopping by.

can you make love to your apple device?

i bet there is an app for that! 

so i had to look.  and sure enough…

im not certain how i feel about the above app.  so i will not say anymore about it.

my iphone, ipad, and laptop macbook pro do not have a pulse.  they can not take a breath.  yet i have treated them as if they do.  these technological devices had become my main means of social interaction.  and for an introvert like myself, i welcomed this illusion of a social environment.  why?  because they made me feel “a part of” in areas i never felt “a part of” before.

that probably sounds a bit pathetic.  but im all about honesty in my life today, so if the truth makes me appear pathetic to you, then so be it.  however, i suspect i am not the only one who feels like they are finally a “part of “ this newly impersonal society we live in.  i might just be more apt to admit it and share it publicly then the next person.

i have never liked to talk on the phone.  today i (generally) don’t have to.  i can text.  i can email.  or facebook you.

for most of my life i never felt secure, safe, or comfortable with you in a room, or in a room full of many “youse”.  or sitting at the dinner table with you.  i found a solution for that.  social media.  i could  now feel comfortable walking into your world…your timeline via facebook or twitter.  i can see you from a distance and i can tell you how i feel without actually speaking to you.  i can watch your wedding.  the birth of your first child. your kids growing.  their first puppy.  your first divorce.  breakups. etc.  i can find out your interests via pinterest or your wordpress blog.  i can learn about your professional life via linkden or branchOut.  basically, i can be a part of your life without ever actually physically seeing you. touching you. hugging you, or hearing your voice. etc.

it’s rather incredible.  and on the other hand, it is rather sad.  I am almost 36 years old.  im not so concerned with myself and my lack of social abilities.  but the youngsters in the world are missing out on the vital practice of social interaction.  real human interaction is crucial for physical, mental, and spiritual growth and development.  in my opinion, kids are being stunted by the lack human to human interaction and contact.  i was born socially inept.   after all, i am an addict/alcoholic which breeds social anxiety, awkwardness and fear.  but for those born without the alcoholic gene or disposition, real human interactions can only be beneficial.

for those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you know many changes are slowly and rapidly occurring with me.  one of which is my ability to socialize a little better.  my mouth no longer ALWAYS feels stapled shut when in a room with you.  i might not be little miss social butterfly, but i have improved and my comfort zone has widened.  basically, i am not relying on social media/networks to stay “connected” to the human race any longer.  i still use it.  in fact, i think i use it more now than before.  but that is because my interest in you and my interest in life has blossomed.  and social networks are still the best way to keep track of you.  but i don’t have to rely on them any longer to feel “a part of” this world.  to feel “a part of” the human race. 


i think social networking is fabulous and beneficial in many ways.  but for awhile there it was my only form of “interaction,” and that interaction is really just a grand illusion. now i use these platforms more for information about you, not for the illusion of intimacy.  intimacy in my life now comes from real contact in human relationships.  i now know that i can’t really feel connected to you unless i can look you in the eyes.  hear the tone of your voice. and even give you a warm hug, expressing the joy i have for knowing you are in my life.  my tangible life, not my online story.

i was a fictional character in my non-fictional life

what does it really mean to be honest with oneself?

as i grow in sobriety,  and grow in life, i am being faced with a lot of unseen, hidden truths.  more shall be revealed, as they say.

the importance of being honest with myself, is one area that i am constantly learning about.  working through.  and becoming better at.  honesty with oneself is not as simple as it may sound.

i have found that there is so much to be seen within my story.  i have to look in dark places and take many unexpected dives in order to see the truth in my story.  there are many angles to be examined.  to be seen.

with much experience and practice, i  learned how to convey myself, carefully hidden.   for security as well as deception.  so many years of this protection and deceit blinded me from what is actually uncensored within me.  and as i slowly tear down the walls and face the truths, i am forced to confront a quiet awareness.  it feels like my naked skin is being peeled off, layer by layer.

it is terrifying.  staring at my naked self.  this quiet self awareness.

i have always been aware of many of my imperfections.  but to be this exposed means i have many more defects of character to unveil.  and for most of my life, with great skill, i have hidden my defects with fictional characters played by myself.  act after act.  layers of misleading stories.  i hid behind those curtains because i must have believed the truth needed to be covered.

i’m exhausted.  tired of covering up what i fear i am.  it’s not so easy to hide from my defects, since sobriety kicked in.  my truths are now right in front of me, staring right at me. and right through any layers i might try to hide behind.

i now have a conscious self-awareness. and it is honest. i am free.

here are a few ways that help me try to be honest with myself (it’s a work in progress and i am by no means a master at this):

i hold myself accountable for my behavior.  i make my own choices.  i choose my own actions.  i make my own decisions.  and i am accountable for them.   if i did something or said something, i most likely meant to do it.  even if i tell you i didn’t mean to do it.  so if my behavior is off-balance and shameful, i must take responsibility and own up to it.  if that means an apology to someone is in order, i will give a sincere apology.

i’ve stopped throwing blame.  if i am blaming you then i am not facing myself with honesty.  i’ve learned that blame = avoidance.  as long as i feel the need to blame someone else or blame something else, then i am avoiding some truth within and i am living in fear.

i take an inventory daily (rather i TRY to take one daily).  i review my day.  was i dishonest?  unkind?  moody? spiritually disconnected? etc.  if i was any of the above, i address it immediately.  or asap.  if i don’t deal with immediate issues, they will become problems.  and once they have grown to problems, i find ways and reasons to blame.  i wallow in excuses and my actions become justified.  if i deal with my poor behavior head on, i am more likely to take responsibility for my part in it.  my eyes are sure to see clearer that way.

i expose my naked self. and i do so from a place of love.  i reveal my true story.  i no longer play myself as a fictional character.  this is the true me you see today. take it or leave it.  im not going to lie to you or to myself by trying to be someone or something i am not.  i only do that when i am living in fear, and today my goal is to live in truth.

there is so much more to be said on this topic.  and i am sure to discuss it further in later posts.  it’s a powerful subject, if you are willing to dig deep and be exposed.

self honesty is the key to freedom.  think about it.

my long distance heart

long distance relationships.  i’ve not experienced one until now.  and it is a challenge of the heart.

in a nutshell…..

i live in los angeles.  she lives in new york.  3 hour time difference and approximately  2,813 miles away from each other.  our relationship began in los angeles, where i met her.  she was here for business.  we met through mutual friends at a group dinner.  our first interaction was an argument about squirrels.  what better way to start off a relationship then with your first fight?  gets the awkwardness of fight #1 out of the way right from the gate!

after several weeks in los angeles she had to head back to new york.  and so the long distance began.  i soon found myself on a flight back east. i spent part of the christmas holiday there and returned home after new years.

i now spend one week per month working from new york so that our relationship can survive.  and grow.  and so that there is a date to look forward to…that being the day we get to be together again.  imagine never knowing when you will see your partner again?  that is just too difficult.  so my having the ability to work from the east coast once a month is a gift. and every so often she travels to  los angeles for work.  and that is always a great surprise.

once a month we come together.  things are great.  fun.  domestic.  happy.   it’s an unexpected compatibility.  smiles.  but then comes the day when i have to get on a plane and come back to los angeles.   that is when a slight feeling of separation anxiety sets in.  i do miss her when i leave.

long distance relationships.  they are a challenge on the heart.

here is the big question:   is the challenge  worth it?

here are a few query’s to help find that answer…..does the relationship feel right?  feel strong enough?  does he/she positively impact your life?  does it feel like more then just another “relationship?”   do you miss him/her when you are apart.  think about them often?  Is there some sort of love growing, by your definition?

you get the idea.

long distant relationships.  they are a challenge on the heart & emotions.  but for me, today, that challenge is well worth it.

i would have smoked 5,816 cigarettes

if i did not quit smoking 4 months and 24 days ago.  that is a lot of cigarettes i would have smoked.  this brings us to key fact #8 about donna.

8.  i am a recovering smoke-aholic.  

i started smoking at age 13 (maybe 14).  i remember that first cigarette i stole from a fellow family member of mine.  the buzz was amazing.  i was floating.  and i was in love.  and from that day forward, i was a smoker.  by the time i was 15 years old i was smoking nearly a pack a day.  later turning into two packs a day.  i was chasing that first buzz, and i never found it again.  i chased it for 22 years.

hello, my name is donna and i am an addict.

i am an addict of grand proportions.  i was born this way.  i am an all or nothing kinda gal.  there is no “in-between” for me.  if i am going to drink, i am going to black out.  if i am going to do drugs, i am going to ingest 3 times the amount any human should.  if i am going to eat (in hiding) i am going to eat 3 times the amount any one person should in one sitting.  if i am going to drink coffee i will drink 4 shots of espresso at a time, sometimes 6.  if i am going to fall in love, i will do so with all of me, nothing less.  but the latter isn’t such a bad quality.  🙂

with that said, it doesn’t surprise me that as a smoker, i inhaled two (or more) packs a day for more than half of my life.  i smoked when i had strep throat.  i smoked when i had bronchitis.  i woke up every two hours during sleep time to smoke.  in my old apartment, where i allowed myself to smoke indoors, i “slept smoked.”  i was actually asleep while smoking in my bed.  im lucky i didn’t burn the place down with me in it.  i did burn a few holes in my sheets.  insanity.

wow.  my life sure has changed.

today i am a recovering smoke-aholic.  i say “recovering” because i treat my smoking addiction like i treat my alcoholism.  i am powerless over cigarettes.  just as i am powerless over drugs and alcohol.  i will for ever be in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.  and i will forever be in recovery for my smoking addiction.  i can become a full-fledged smoker again at any moment, if i don’t work to stay smoke free.  just as i can become a full-fledged active alcoholic at any moment if i pick up that first drink.  there is no difference between the two addictions.

once an addict, always an addict.  it’s that simple.

im so grateful for the growth in my sobriety….from drugs.  alcohol.  and cigarettes.

thanks for stopping by.

till next time….

restraint of tongue and pen

“Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.”
(Step 10. From 12 x 12)

yes, this is really me.

this day threw me a few curve balls thus far.  tests of my ability to restrain from pen and tongue.  frustration. taking offense.  feeling defensive.  overly busy.  under appreciated.  and hurt.  these are the feelings that have manifested in me (thus far) today.  last year, with every feeling described, i would most likely react with a tongue lashing, keyboard whipping, or texting war.  instant insanity.  an explosive head, heart, and soul makes for a very unattractive person.  that is the old donna, however.  today, i talked myself down and chose to use restraint.  took a deep breath.  stayed moderately calm.  i analyzed what triggered such reactions/feelings in me.  could it be fear?  feeling less then?  seeking approval i was not getting?  likely all of the above were involved in my bubbling feelings.  fascinating really.  so i went somewhere unseen and said the following:  “grant me the serenity.  to accept the things i cannot change. the courage to change the things i can.  and the wisdom to know the difference.”  

i have come to realize, in sobriety, that i have no control over other people, places, or things.  but i do have control over myself  (provided im not drinking), and my reactions to other people, places, and things.

phew.  what a relief!

so here i sit, calm.  content.  and back to gratitude.  im officially a proud practitioner of self-restraint.  this is a much better way to live.  consider the alternative….being in the heat.  on the defense.  in the chaos of hateful feelings.  and lacking serenity.  feeling out of control.  blinded by red.  and for what?  nothing good comes out of getting stuck in such a dark place!

it’s seems i’ve graduated from sobriety diapers, to big girl pull ups!




9 months since my last hang over. what happened?

today i am .75 years. 9 months.  275 days. and 6,597 hours clean and sober.  i did not wake up with a hangover today.  i did not have to take a shot of vodka to start my heart this morning.  i do not have to drink away my feelings, good or bad, any longer.  thank you, God.

no more hang overs!

9 months ago, i was in a very dark place.  my world was very small.  you terrified me.  the phone terrified me.  my friends, family, neighbors…everyone terrified me.  and if you didn’t scare me, you annoyed me.

9 months ago i would wake up, look in the mirror, and give the woman staring back at me the middle finger.  every morning. she disgusted me.  i hated her.   she was not a sight for morning pleasure.  she was sad.  miserable.  lonely.  hung over.  trapped in a vortex that was sucking her further and further from life.  it was hard to breathe.  that was me… looking at me in the mirror… and hating me more and more everyday.

9 months ago i didn’t feel emotional pain much.  i didn’t feel sadness.  i didn’t feel guilt.  i didn’t feel love.  i didn’t feel happiness or joy.  i simply…didn’t feel.  i was too drunk or hung over to let in anything worth feeling into my life.

9 months ago, i lived my life in a blackout, much of the time.  what does it feel like to wake up most mornings and not remember chunks of your days and most of your nights?  it is horrifying.  the unexplained bruises and injuries.  the wonder of how i got home.  etc.  those mornings caused a pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that made me want to crawl into a tiny black hole and disintegrate.

9 months ago…i chose to get help.

today, i wake up and look in the mirror and i say “good morning” to the woman looking back at me.  i smile.  and i even love her a little.  that woman looking back at me is no longer doomed for sadness and disgust.  she is no longer miserable in her own being.  or lonely.  or hung over.  her life has come back and she is growing with it everyday.  that girl is me…looking at me in the mirror….and accepting me for who and what i am.  and who and what i am is not so bad.

i have no major complaints today, at 9 months of sobriety.  i am a very grateful woman.  i have a great job.  a great family.  a lovely girlfriend.  a great sponsor.  and a handful of dear friends who love me unconditionally.  those are all hard to come by.  i am blessed.


someone said to me this morning….the best thing about being sober, is being sober.



don’t take yourself too damn seriously. no one cares.

key fact #7

7.  i don’t take myself too damn seriously.

how serious do you take yourself?  be honest.  humans are egotistical.  we are ego-driven.  and ego-protective.  generally, humans are raised observing people reacting to life based on how it will affect THEM.  thus we begin absorbing egotistical practices at a very young age.  and we grow into adulthood with the notion that everybody is looking at us, thinking about us, or talking about us.  the world is out to get us.  and so are you, my so-called friend.   our ego’s inflate.  and inflate. and inflate.

ego is not all evil.  it’s good to have an ego.  it’s needed for protection.  a sense of safety.  im not so sure we can survive without it.  however, with an out of control ego, the world can become very small. and very one-sided.

what happens if i begin to take myself too seriously?

i can’t speak for you, so im going to just speak for myself here.  if i become too serious, i stop taking chances.  my sense of humor gets lost.  and laughter becomes rare.  i get competitive, which in my opinion, is not desirable. i fall back into that place where i lose myself and my authenticity because im too busy adjusting who i am to meet your needs and what i think you want me to be.  and, above all, i lose my true connection with people.  my world becomes fear based, and when i live in fear, i cannot succeed.  nor live happily.  freely.  or authentically.  all this from taking myself too seriously.  get it?

“I thought the problem for me was you. Then I realized the problem for me was me. The next thing I knew I was free.”

when the focus on life becomes all about me, and when my ego takes over, im in trouble.  im unhappy.  im driving on the ego centered super highway.   therefore, i try to stay in the laughter , and humor, and not constantly look in the mirror for something that is not there.  rather, accept what is, and move on with a smile.

this is not to say that there aren’t things in the world that need my serious face and attention.  obviously i take my job seriously.  i take the tragedies in our world seriously, etc.  its ME that i try not to take SO seriously.

we live in a world with a lot of heartache and we bear witness to so much pain and suffering, that to live life in all seriousness would be too much.  to constantly worry about me me me…and what you think of me me me….and how your choices in life will affect me me me…..is exhausting and not at all fun.  i’d rather be of service to you and the universe, then to focus so much attention on myself.

and that my friends is what i mean by not taking myself too seriously.