5 Reasons I Like Animals More Than People

I have grown up with animals in my life at all times. As a baby, our Siamese cat Cozy slept snuggled up next to me in my crib. At 3, our Collie Heather was my pillow and protector. At 12, I lived on a horse ranch spending countless hours grooming and riding my horses.

As an adult, I have worked as a Veterinary Receptionist and Assistant. I have also owned a pet sitting and dog walking business for 10 years now. I don’t think it’s any secret that animals are one of my main passions in life! I usually like them more than people. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Animals are loyal to a fault
While humans are very good at proving that loyalty often comes attached with conditions, animals prove that being loyal to their humans can often be detrimental to their own well being. People will abandon other people simply out of convenience, or for their own selfish needs. Animals More often than not will stay loyal to people even through physical abuse or neglect. Animals rarely turn on their human families. I wish I could say the same for some of my human family members!

2. Animals love unconditionally
Animals don’t care if we are poor, fat, ugly, popular, college educated, what color our skin is, if we believe in God or not, are gay or straight, if our house is messy, or even if we are homeless. Animals are not judgmental assholes. That would be people! Animals love us because we love them, plain and simple.

3. Animals are always happy to see us
It never matters how we left things at our last departure, as it often does with people. My cats and dog always greet me as if they haven’t seen me in weeks! Granted sometimes their food dish just needs refilling, but none the less they always at least pretend well that it’s me they are happy to see and not just a human food dispenser!

4. Animals are very emotionally aware
I am not talking about their emotions sillies, I am talking about our emotions! Even when my significant other appears clueless or my kids are too busy bickering to notice, my cats and dog seem to have that controversial sixth sense when it comes to deciphering my complex web of emotions. When I am feeling sad or overwhelmed they are always first on the job to cheer me up!

5. Animals make fantastic therapists
Because animals do not speak in a language that we understand, as well as speak far less than human blowholes they make the best therapists! Sometimes we just need ears to listen, and soft fur to soak up our tears. More often than not, humans feel the need to give us advice and tell us how to live our lives. Animals just listen sympathetically, and lick away our tears. Sometimes they even act as comedians making us laugh away our worries!

So there you have it, 5 reasons I like animals more than people. I’m sure I can come up with several more, but I don’t want to offend any people I know. See, another one right there….it is much harder to offend animals than it is people! Ok, I’ll stop now.

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34 Days strong!

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Here I am 34 days strong! I spent my first 4/20 celebrating sobriety instead of weed in over 20 years! I received my 30 day chip Thursday night!!! Very proud of that!! I have an amazing sponsor, and I embarked on my step journey on Friday!! I am learning new things about myself thanks to my new found clarity, and I am feeling again. I feel more human, and less like a zombie every day!

I have certainly had some pretty tough moments as well. When you’re used to numbing out when anxiety and stress take hold of your mind and body, having to feel overwhelming sensations and emotions can be excruciating! And so frightening!!

Speaking of frightening, overwhelming, and anxiety (oh my!)…since childhood I have been extremely shy. It has caused me an abundance of stress in my life. I got teased and shamed not only by cruel kids, but by family as well. So closing up to the outside world kept me “safe.” Rejection was absolutely terrifying to me. It still is.

To fully live life and embrace opportunity, we must move beyond our comfort zone and face our fucking fears!!! Well to do that personally, it means speaking in uncomfortable situations. At my MA meeting Thursday, on a challenge given to me by my sponsor I did just that!! I shared!! And I even lived through it!  I know the more I do it the easier it will become. Just like anything else in life.

I am so grateful that I have made this choice. I am most grateful that I don’t have to go it alone. Between the support of the group, and my sponsor as well as the inspiration of the success stories, i know that I can do this!

One Week

Today marks one week of sobriety for me from Marijuana. It’s crazy to think that only 2 weeks ago nothing terrified me more than quitting my 21 year addiction to my steadfast friend and safe haven. Now here I am a week into life without my old friend. I’m still here, and I’m still ok.

It’s been challenging, but life without challenges isn’t very fulfilling. Getting high to numb emotional pain is like treading water. You may not drown, but you definitely aren’t moving forward either. It’s like being stuck with no hope of moving on to bigger and better things.

I refuse to hinder my life progress any further. I am finally sick and tired of being sick and tired. More so than I am ok with just being numb. This is the biggest escape from my comfort zone that I have ever made. Not having my “pacifier” when anger boils over, or stress becomes too much to bare is extremely difficult. Though difficult, I have learned it is still doable. As the saying goes: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

I have made some tough choices in my life, as well as endured some difficult circumstances. The difference in those cases is that I had my coping mechanism right there to help me through the thick of it. Now I have to learn a whole new way of coping, and a whole new way of life.

My therapist is a tremendous help in that department. He has taught me grounding exercises, as well as breathing techniques to bring me back into the present moment. Being new at all of this, I am still struggling to utilize them every time I need them, but like everything else in life It takes practice and patience.

As far as physical and mental changes thus far….I have been tired, moody, irritable, less hungry (duh!), dreaming again (love this one!), stressed, and best of all more confident in my ability to accomplish anything I put my mind to!!

Have I had urges? Of course!! I wouldn’t be an addict if I didn’t. But I now know that I am in control of my actions and choices and not my emotions and impulses. Man that’s a great feeling…. I am in control of my life! Wow! For an addict, that means more than the best fucking drug induced high in all of the world!

I will always be an addict, and I will always have to remain dilligent with my coping skills, emotions, and stress levels to keep moving forward and to not slide down that slippery slope into a relapse. I will always need to be compassionate with myself, as self-hate is what brought me down this road to begin with.

I am on the track to lifelong recovery. I have an amazing support system with my Fiancé, best friend, kids, therapist, family, and of course the tribe at my MA meetings. I love them all for loving me unconditionally, and believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. It’s all onward and upward from here!

It’s Been 5 Days…

I haven’t smoked pot in 5 days. I attended my first MA meeting Thursday. I am learning to live a whole new life as a whole new me. I ain’t gonna lie…it’s been tough. Pot has been a part of my life for longer than it hasn’t. I am 37 and I started smoking it when I was 16.

I have had cravings. I am moody. Crying one minute, totally fine the next. I have been irritable on and off. I’m tired, and stressed out.

But it hasn’t been all bad either. I have started remembering my dreams again. I have confidence in myself for letting go of something so much a part of me. I have higher hopes, and bigger dreams for my future. AND best of all I haven’t binged on food since quitting.

This is all so far out of my comfort zone, that I KNOW it will change my life for the better. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one step at a time.

Goodbye Mary Jane

Dear Mary Jane (aka: weed, pot, ganja, bud, green, and myriad other terms of “endearment” I have coined for my beloved Marijuana)….

We have been involved now for over 20 years, but I think it is time that we parted ways for good. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed our time together very much, but even good things must have an end.

Let’s face it, our time together hasn’t been all good either. Sure, you were there for me at difficult times when I thought the emotional pain would break me if I didn’t inhale your comforting clouds of calmness, but you only helped me temporarily.

By always being there you allowed me to become numb to my pain instead of working through and overcoming it. That sounds like more of a hindrance than a friend. You have always enabled me to avoid my core issues by putting me in a trance of apathy.  I know you always meant well Mary Jane, but even the best of intentions have consequences.

We had our fun too….toking it up at concerts, and parties. Eating pot filled brownies and baking “green” cookies. Enjoying you with friends and family. And of course you were always the most successful when it came to bringing me down from my paralyzing anxiety attacks.

I am going to really miss you for a little while. I’m going to crave you at stressful times. I am going to have to use alternative methods to soothe myself when the shit hits the fan. I am pretty much going to be living a whole new life without you in it.

Am I scared? You bet your bong I am! But I am also so freaking excited for what my new Mary Jane free life has in store for me. My possibilities are endless! Clarity, energy, motivation…oh my!!!

I will have to feel again. I can no longer use you to escape my life. At 37 it is time I start living instead of hiding. It is time to start experiencing things with a clear head as opposed to a foggy, dazed and confused one. It is time I am born again as an EX pot head!!

And so Mary Jane, we have danced our last dance. Thank you for all of the fun, and memories that I will cherish forever. But I don’t thank you for the “enabling” of avoiding my life. It is time for me to grow up, and stand up for my well being. To do that I must leave you behind. I wish you well, and hope there are no hard feelings. Take care!

Your former fan,
Alyson

So What?!

I can be selfish. I am Moody. I speak my mind. I talk about politics. I have even been called the “B” word. So what?! I’m a human being. I never claim to be perfect. Far from it. But I’m ME! Why shouldn’t that be good enough? Why should I apologize for being myself? Who is anyone else to judge my character?

Everybody wants others to be nothing but positive and happy all the time. Negativity seems to cramp everyone’s style. To that I say “get off your high horse and welcome to reality!!” If you don’t like negativity then stay away from it. Don’t berate people who are negative. Don’t make fun of them, and don’t blast them on social media!!

The world is made up of so much diversity. That includes personalities. Some people are more inherently negative than they are positive. Does that make them a bad person? Does that make it ok to speak poorly of them? I don’t think so. Maybe that’s because I am often one of those “Negative Nelly’s” that I am referring to.

I have grown up being put down and judged unfairly due to certain facets of my personality. One of those facets being negativity. Because of this hurtful treatment I have always secretly put those of my opposite characteristics (bubbly, glass-half-full, happy-go-lucky types) on a pedestal. I have always felt that there must be something wrong with me since I am often told that my negative attitude needs adjusting. Ever since I was a child. And it wasn’t just school yard bullies that didn’t “approve” of my negativity, but family as well. Negative family at that!! Interesting how easy it is to call the kettle black!

I have been told to “smile” I don’t even know how many times. Each time it hurts just the same. Each time makes me not only not want to smile, but to wipe the smug little smile off the schmuck telling me to do so! Here’s Some great advice from a well known country western legend: “Mind your own business, and you won’t be minding mine!” Yes, even Hank Williams knew better! For anyone to think that they have the right to tell anyone else how to be is beyond arrogant.

Nobody knows what someone might be going through in their personal life. You might tell someone to “smile” who just lost a loved one. You might blast on social media how people need to stop being so negative all the time. Someone like myself might read it and be triggered by memories of being berated during childhood. My point being, we are all so different in so many ways. One way doesn’t have to be better than another. One way doesn’t deserve to be treated in an inferior fashion just because someone doesn’t agree with it. We are all doing our best. If my best isn’t good enough for someone else, so what?!

I totally understand that being around negative people for long periods of time can be exhausting and unpleasant. That is the exact reason negative people tend to have few friends. We aren’t popular. We aren’t social. But we aren’t necessarily hermits either. We aren’t trolls or gremlins. We can eat after midnight (though it does go straight to our thighs!) and we usually don’t bite!

So please stop treating people as if having a bad day, or even a negative attitude isn’t allowed. We never know what others are facing in their lives.

America

Keeping us obedient, ignorant, and arrogant
Is what our leaders want
The obedient do as they’re told
The ignorant go with the flow
The arrogant put on a show
Espousing what they think that they know

America, land of the free
Only to the wealthy
Unlike other civilized nations
We must pay to stay healthy

Really we are nothing but slaves
From our cradles to our graves
Working for chump change
Struggling to survive
While the 1%ers
Own islands in the Maldives

A country divided in so many ways
Just another distraction to keep us dazed

America, a country where the media spews lies
Brainwashing the masses
To cover their asses

We are told to fear those of the Muslim Faith
Illegal aliens and of course the gays

Fingers are pointed in all the wrong places
But those to blame wear familiar faces
They wear suits and ties as their clever disguise
Only discernible to those who are wise
And aware of our Country’s demise

Gun rights are always a topic of debate
Yet another reason to divide and hate
How scary it is
When rights are more important
Than a child’s fate
With all of our firearms across the states
We will certainly destroy ourselves at this rate

Bullying is a problem for our youth
So many kids today are uncouth
Parents are distracted
By stress of all kinds
Leaving their kids to fend for themselves at times
Not feeling very wanted
They seek out attention negatively
Through the kids they have taunted

People expect the kid who’s a victim
To stand up for themselves
Through punching and hitting
Two wrongs never make a right
Yet so many believe
An eye for an eye

Using our minds is a thing of the past
These days we numb our brains
With celebrity gossip
And cars that go fast
Busy chasing the next promise
Of beauty, weight loss, fortune or fame
American priorities are so damn lame

Veterans of our country
Aren’t given much thought
Regardless of how many
Battles they’ve fought
Use them up and throw them away
They’ve gone mad from PTSD anyway

Abortion is a sin
That will earn you a ticket to hell
But cops murdering unarmed citizens
Is perfectly swell

The food industry designs food
That causes addiction
And makes us fat
Then they turn around
And blame us for that

They tell us we’re weak, gluttonous, and lazy
All while keeping the truth hazy
When our GMO riddled food
Makes us ill
Have no fear
Every symptom has a pill
Yet so few cures
Are available still

Sickness is more profitable than health
Even beauty trumps health
In a country driven by wealth
The multi billion dollar diet industry
Thrives on our insecurities

We are a nation
Preoccupied with superficiality
Obsessed with living up to
Society’s ideal reality

America, where compassion is rare
Where we are ruled by greed
And controlled by fear
Guns, violence, hate and war
America, what else are we good for?
Mass shootings, addiction, and homicides galore

Blaming our country’s problems
On drugs, crime, the homeless and poor
All while the rich keep taking more
The underdogs of society
Are not the problem
But symptoms of inequality
These symptoms are the result
Of living in a country ruled by Oligarchy

Don’t dare disrespect the flag
But being hateful and racist
Entitles you to brag
Free thinkers are scarce
While the “sheeple”
Support the corrupt leaders with fierce

I can’t believe they expect us to be patriotic
In a country that is so idiotic

It is time to stand up for human rights
It is time we all get up and fight
If we sit back and do nothing
We will surely end up in a plight
One person can’t change the world
But all of us together just might

It is critical that we try
If we keep our heads in the sand
We can kiss our beautiful planet goodbye
Denying the truth does not make it a lie
We are one love under the endless sky

Let’s start helping people
Instead of condemning
Stop creating enemies
And start befriending
People of all colors and beliefs
We all bleed
Feel happiness and grief

We are more alike than not
What we all inherently need
Cannot be bought
Love, acceptance and feeling like we matter
Is really all that we are after
Not feeling as though we are enough
Makes living a successful life
Pretty tough

Our leaders thrive
On keeping us down
As long as they have their yachts
They don’t care if we drown
Keeping us in a state
Of fear and self doubt
Is what their jobs are all about
It keeps us under their control
As money and power
Are their ultimate goals

Many Americans just turn their heads
Always believing what they are fed
Someday their choices
Will bring us all dread

Ignoring important issues
Will not change our fate
Someday the sheep will wake up
But it will be far too late
Securing the future of humanity
Just can’t wait

My children depend on it
And so do yours
America, what the hell
Are we waiting for?