Beer for Dinner (and Other Coping Mechanisms)

My dinner

 “You are so inspiring.  I wish I could have your control.”  These are words from a friend of mine that read my most recent blog, “French Fries are not a Vegetable.”

Thank you, Lori.  Yes, I do have a lot of control but not always.  In fact, I had beer for dinner last night, a Stone Pale Ale or two to be exact.  I was having a hard day and the thought of another salad made me want to puke.  So there, I do lose control at times. 

It is impossible to be on top of my game at all times.  Honestly, it is exhausting! 

Life is hard.  Sometimes, it is really hard.  I get down and my cravings kick in, chocolate covered almonds, ice cream, chips and salsa, been burritos with melted gooey cheese and beer.  At times like these, the site of another green juice makes me gag and I want to chuck that rice and kale bowl out the window for a big fat juicy “In and Out” burger. 

You might be thinking this is quite the turn from your last blog, Deanne.  What happened to sugar is poison, alcohol can cause breast cancer, transformation, best thing I have ever done for myself?  I guess it’s out the window with my rice and kale bowl for the time being. 

But that’s OK, because I want you to all know I am not perfect.  I mess up at times.  I am human.  We are all human.

So, yes, I am strong but not one hundred percent strong.  This month has been difficult, and this week even more trying, especially in the wake of Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Friday’s shooting hit me hard.  I was getting my nails done at “Happy Nails” for a fancy Christmas party.  I was looking forward to a nice manicure and pedicure, a little time to myself while Maggie was at poetry class.  As I looked up at the TV, “Breaking News, police cars, and 27 dead, flashed across the screen.  Any “Happy” I was hoping to get at “Happy Nails” was gone.  “Happy Nails” was just “Nails.”

In fact, not only was my “happy” gone, my holiday spirit, my optimism, even my gratitude, all kaput.  I began wallowing in the swamplands, again.  And when this happens, I break out the chocolate.

But then I read a post on Facebook from my nephew Shawn.  He helped me put the chocolate away with his poignant reminder:   

My nephew Shawn

The other day I was asked why I dislike slow, depressing music. I just shrugged and said I don’t like being depressed. Now that I think about it, it is much deeper and yet as simple as that.

I had an amazing child hood filled with amazing people! I had great loving parents Steve and Barb Johnson. I have 1 biological brother Chris, an “adopted” sister and brother Terra and Will, two step brothers E…don and Steven, and a load of family that I just fell into, Cathy, Jonathan, Monkey, and of course my lovely Rawr Muffin Amanda. In my life I have seen true tragedy first hand. I’ve seen family forcibly ripped from each others arms and ripped apart. I’ve seen friends lose the people closest to them. I’ve seen TRUE violent psychosis. I’ve seen police overstep their authority and abuse the very people they swore to protect. I’ve seen betrayal from the ones i love the most. I’ve seen peoples trust betrayed. I’ve seen what true depression is. I’ve seen a friend wreck and barely be alive. I’ve lost my own grandmother whom I was very close with. I’ve seen mental, physical, and emotional abuse on children and women who I know and love dearly. I’ve seen a child’s voice and needs go ignored and denied. I’ve seen a lot of dark things for my age more than I care to put on this status……

BUT and this is very key….

I’ve seen unconditional love. I’ve seen both my parents accept people and friends in need and it made the world for them. I’ve seen my cousins grow into the most AMAZING people. I’ve seen friends grow and prove their parents proud! I’ve seen my parents give a home to friends and make them family. I’ve seen family break the chains of oppression and live free from abuse. I’ve given a young man a voice. I’ve had my trust in people rewarded 10 fold. I’ve been invited in and made part of a business that is more of a loving family than a job. I’ve received so much love and help from a man that goes above and beyond the title of “Captain”. I’ve seen true deep seeded depression beat! I’ve seen bullies change their ways. I’ve fallen in love and am dating my best friend. I watched my friend get married. Saw addiction get beat. Saw my aunt kick breast cancer’s ASS! Watched my friend recover from his near death motorcycle accident despite what the doctors said and made it home for Christmas. I’ve seen families re united after weeks apart during rough times. I’ve seen beauty blossom. I’ve influenced a younger individual to turn their life around for the better. I’ve gained an amazing younger brother who i care for very much for. I won a game of alcoholic checkers against my “mother in law”. I hold my girlfriends hand through all the rough times.

I’ve seen a lot of beauty and amazing things in my life as well. When i listen to depressing music all the good fades from view. And I realized….. It is easy to forget the beauty and love in life and focus on the bad dark and evil. My father once told me “Your life is what YOU make it. The only bad days you have are ones you let happen. You can either sit there mope, cry, and get angry… Or you can stand back up and be determined to have a damn good day.” I have found this advice very handy and true.

So to my loved friends and family the moral of my long ass rant is this.

No matter how much tragedy you encounter there are amazing and beautiful things in your life as well, never fixate yourself on only the bad. So listen to some good happy nonsensical music and put yourself in a great mood. Realize life doesn’t suck. And have a truly amazing day.

I love you all.

Thank you Shawn for reminding me that in spite of all the bad, there is good, there is hope, there is love!    

We all have moments of grief and loss, when doubt hits us like a train and the pain is so overwhelming we cannot see the good.  I was having a moment like this.  But, as I have learned, this too shall pass. 

And it did, I drank a huge 32 oz. green juice today with a bowl of rice and kale and it was delicious!

One Response to “Beer for Dinner (and Other Coping Mechanisms)”

  1. Shawn Johnson Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’m really happy to see that this has helped you.

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