Category Archives: Beginnings

Today is September 4, 2017. I am alive and well.

There ain’t no use in dyin’ ‘fore yer time. Lots of folks is walkin’ ’round jes as dead as they’ll ever be.   Alice Caldwell Rice

I know what’s it’s like to walk around dead. I remember clearly waking up from a night’s sleep, from a nap, from several naps and having nothing to look forward to, nothing to feel joy about, nothing to love.

I was a vessel with no oars, adrift. I didn’t know I could swim to shore at anytime. Getting wet was painful. It reminded me that I could take a towel to dry off. I could get into clean clothes. Neither thing appealed to me. Both things required too much energy.

My grandmother was afraid to leave me in the house alone. She was afraid of what I might do….I might try to take my own life. A balloon will pop if too much pressure is applied. The latex that is left afterward is trash. I was certain to leave trash. I was certain to leave a life not lived. Harsh, but true.

My grandmother had to go to the mountains to close up the cabin for the winter. She asked my mother to come and stay with me. My mother did. She created a space for herself in the family room in front of the TV with sheets, an ashtray, and a bottle of vodka. Mom whose petals have long since fallen off leaving only the unblinking face of a sunflower.

I didn’t mingle with her when she was there. We were both dying in our own ways. Maybe my life greeting her life would cause a silent flame that had no place to burn. A candle wick unlit saves the candle from melting. Maybe we thought melted wax was too messy and impossible to clean from the carpeting. Our lives were not messy. They were stale.

I don’t recall the day I began to walk back into the living. But I know that I did because I am here and have been here for quite sometime, unafraid of leaving little messes in my wake. I try to clean up as I go and am usually able to wipe the water spots from the mirror leaving a sweet reflection of a kind smile.

My mom didn’t fare so well. She died at the age of 58 from alcoholism; her liver stopped working.

I regret the love that went unshared between us. I believe the most valuable thing we have to offer is our time. I didn’t give my mom time. So, today I hope to spread kindness in this world. Walk into life with a smile for others. Corny, yes. Necessary, yes. I reach out today and am offered a bouquet.

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Today is July 10, 2017. I am alive and well.

Prior to sobriety, I was often lonely even in crowds of people. If I could have been at home with myself that might not have been the case. There was no coming home to myself and I was absent emotionally in my relationships with other people. I was a door with a rusty lock and a broken bell. I was a scratched window covered in grime. No one could get in or see in even though I was desperate for human contact.

Enter sobriety. Everything changed. Especially my social life. Especially my spiritual life. People wrote letters and dropped them through the mail slot in my self imposed door. They scrubbed my window clean, drying it with newsprint so as not to leave streaks. With effort, I opened the door. I looked out through the glass. There was dinner and coffees and movies and truth telling. So much so that it become a bit overwhelming. I am still an introvert. I now enjoy my own company with God at my center.

So today as a woman alone in her home, I will seek comfort from the spicy mustard colored walls that surround me and the ever present feeling of Spirit. The truth is, I am only as alone as I want to be. I can either set aside time to meet a friend or more importantly, marvel in the sense that all is right with my life. A bird just hit the window outside my study and bounced off. I too, can be that resilient. There are many ways to be in the world–four quarters make a dollar as does one hundred pennies, ten dimes, or twenty nickels. Currently, I am the paper dollar–a little frayed around the edges but still capable of buying two chocolate eggs. Cadbury. Fabulously delicious.

Today is June 14, 2017. I am alive and well.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  -Anais Nin

I don’t want to miss out. I don’t want to throw a curve ball at my future when it is possible to throw a no frills fast ball. Straight and in the glove. Thrown back at me straight and in the glove.

“Tight in the bud” is like being an unopened can of chicken noodle soap gathering dust in the pantry. I deny myself and someone else nourishment. Rather than being noticed in a crowd, I remain on the periphery of people, my arms folded against my chest, void of deep companionship and the experience of others.

I have loved one man deeply with all of me. I use to think to do this meant I would become lost to myself. I have worked too hard to bring myself forward and in doing so gain an understanding of me in my body, home in my body, to throw it away.

Loving Guy was like pulling off a bow, unwrapping a present, opening the box and finding wool socks and slippers. Comfortable. Warm. Protective. Easy to slide in and out of. We held hands everywhere; in front of the television, on the sidewalk, in the parking lot, at restaurants. 14 years of intense loving, giving of myself, and receiving from him.

He is now in Florida with another woman. The love I have for him hasn’t changed but obviously the delivery of that love has. Our contact is not physical. Our contact is through telephone calls and texts.

I live single today. As a single woman, I can do so much more. Read when I want. Write when I want. Cook what I want. Have coffee dates with friends when I want. I am a force tugged at only by my cats. I am a tree with bare branches looking majestic even in winter. In the fall, I support leaves that offer silent beauty.

I am of myself. I am that blossom that Anais Nin writes about.

Today is March 23, 2017. I am alive and well.

I haven’t posted a blog in several months. I was unable to got on Word Press. Thank you to all who have recently become followers. And always, thank you to those who have been with me for quite some time.

I just started looking for an agent to represent my second book. My query letter is as follows:

Emma, the Giraffe at the end of the Hall, follows my book Mind Without a Home: A Memoir of Schizophrenia. Kirkus Review called Mind Without a Home “inventive, jaggedly lyrical, and disturbing.”

Emma is my continued journey away from the crippling effects of alcoholism and schizophrenia. Unlike years ago, I am addicted to life. Life shows up in good form and in bad. The dark isn’t a terrible thing; it’s simply a moment waiting for batteries. My mind is treating me well; dust stops at my ears. I am moving like a swan in sneakers without webbed feet. I am a little beetle surfing the air on a green leaf.

I make a home outside the psychiatric hospital with a lover, Guy, and two Shih Tzus. Seven years go by, and I remain hospital free.

I lose the lover and dogs without losing my mind. Guy was good to me for as long as he could be.

Today, I am comfortably single with many friends to be responsible to. I am loved beyond the edge of language. A great sense of peace occupies my days. This is what this book is about; my journey to peace and love.

I’ve had one rejection stating that she “wasn’t grabbed.”

I appreciate any opinion you might have regarding my query. Hope you’re having an inspiring day.

Kristina

Today is July 13, 2014. I am alive and well.

I hear the wind in my home. It was a cyclone of activity in preparation of my niece moving in. Now it is a whisper like tissue landing on table tops. My niece will move in in September. She is 18. I expect the walls will buzz with her presence. She has already hung a poster in her room that says Charlie in glitter with her basketball shirt number.

Life without Guy is still odd. His presence is as real to me as the poets on my shelves, beginning with A and ending with Wright. I imagine I hear the commercial from the other room advertising eating Shredded Wheat as a way to increase your sex drive.

My next lover will not be a television addict. My next lover will opt for reading. It is good that I even think there will be a next lover. Somewhere in the distance there is a man who will reach to touch me and will come away with clean laundry smelling of sandalwood. My life with be clean of Guy and I will be able to reach forward.

Today is June 20, 2013. I am alive and well.

So, a little bit about myself and why the blog. I am a 48-year-old woman who has alcoholism and schizophrenia; two diseases that tell me I don’t have a disease. Writing the blog reminds me of where I come from and hopefully dispels some of the myths that get attached to these two diseases.

I am in good health. It is possible to live well with these two diseases. It is not easy. In fact, it is quite difficult, but I am up for the challenge. And the pay off is tremendous!

I am a member of a twelve step program that assists me in taking care of my alcoholism. This year, God willing, I will be celebrating 20 years of sobriety.

This year, because of a good medication regimen that I take as prescribed every day, and a little bit of willingness to walk into the day, I will celebrate being hospital free from schizophrenia for six years.

I am a writer, and as such, I don’t usually write in simple black and white ways. I didn’t want my metaphors to cloud alcoholism and schizophrenia. But it is true my alcoholism is a patient dog who will, if not given clean water to drink regularly, drink from the sewer every time, making her quite sick. And my schizophrenia will place me on a runway with an oncoming plane. I will either step out of the way of the plane or jump onto one of the wings in flight to another reality other than the common one in which you and I eat dinner and watch the local news.

I invite you to take off your hat, stand in socks, and journey with me as I slide into truths. Alcoholics are not just men in sheets with bottles in paper bags. Schizophrenics are capable of joining others in the stream of stars that invite love and kindness and compassion. I welcome you. Ride with me. Suspend judgment. Reach out. The world is full of all of us and allows for unicorns. God bless.

Today is May 29, 2013. I’m alive and well.

I have no idea how to begin a blog. Is hello necessary? Maybe. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening…any of it. Name. I’ll start with my name–Kristina Morgan. Middle name Marie if you would like to know. Just like putting butter on a warm roll. Kristina Marie Morgan. There, I’ve said it. I take full responsibility for all I write here. Hopefully, nothing offensive. Or is offensive a good thing? LIke having to open a glass jar with a rubber mat. It gets your full attention for 10 seconds, and then voila, there is release.

If you’ve gone to Amazon and looked up Mind WIthout a Home, you know that I am alcoholic and schizophrenic. My memoir includes details about both these things. Today, I believe I live life well. This has certainly not always been the case.

Pre-sobriety, I was a drunken shadow. I made myself as invisible as I could. Being six feet tall by the age of thirteen made this very difficult. In sobriety, I worked at a convenience food store. It was during the time that one could freely smoke in the store, even standing at the cash register. One night, a couple of police officers came into the store. One of them said to me “smoking will stunt your growth.” I said to him “thank God I started smoking! I don’t need to be any taller.”

Today is May 29, 2013. I’m alive and well.