Today is #worldbipolarday2018 . Bless all my brothers and sisters that live with hope and strength and fight stigma on a daily basis. Let‚Äôs sparkle in 2018. ūüíõ I‚Äôve been missing some people that I love lately and I realize they are always with me in some way ; I always have their wisdom in my heart. My dad has been gone for about 12 years now and sometimes I struggle with not being able to ask him for advice or just listen to his beautiful voice or watch him in his beautiful glory. The way he influenced people and helped people by just being him. He left me with the heart I need to carry on with out him. That‚Äôs the strength I carry. I love all my ghosts and angels. Always Stay ‚≠źÔłŹ‚ú®#bipolarstrong.

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Soccer & My Field of Dreams

I have been thinking recently about some tough times in high school. I never really fit in; I never really understood why. I was tortured by it really.¬† I never spoke about it. I just tried to keep busy. I sang in choirs and bands and played a lot of sports. I never knew why I didn’t fit in; I just didn’t. Now I¬† realize why but back then I didn’t know. I had friends but I was really shy and just wasn’t on the same level as most of the other kids.

I was always worried and scared and well just different. My interests didn’t jive with anyone else or any of my friends and that felt like a lonely place. If it wasn’t for sports I don’t think I would have done as well as I had. Well, I take that back, I know I wouldn’t have.

Especially Soccer. I was good at it. I never even played soccer until freshman year in high school. Me and some friends kind of joined on a whim to get in shape for basketball. I ended up doing better in soccer. We were a brand new team. Our town didn’t have soccer teams when we were coming up so it was all new to us. No one wanted to play goalie and I said, shit, I’ll do it. I mean I already knew how to catch and I knew I could jump and dive. I just had to learn about the game and the angles. Goal keeping is all about cutting down those Angles. Since our team was so new and a lot of the teams in the wealthier surrounding towns had been playing for a while we got our asses kicked. Great for me because I saw a lot of action in the goal and I got good.¬† It was a soccer for dummies crash course. I mean we would lose 20 – 0 and I still had like 120 saves. I was beaten and bruised; so much so that I got called down to the counselors office because they thought I was being beaten. I was like no …I’m just on the soccer team.

My general practitioner would examine me and after ¬†seeing my bruises he didn’t let his own daughter play soccer in school. I tried to explain it was unusual circumstances, I was a goalie on a very young team. I had bruises that were as big as my whole shin. Literally people would try to take me out or break my leg. We were undefeated on my college team and that was no joke. There was all sorts of under-handed stuff that happened out there. Some teams were classy. Others .. not so much. I was always in pain but it was ok.

There was something about soccer,¬† I liked it a lot. I loved basketball too but I wasn’t as successful at that. It made me take my mind off my problems. It got me thru. I would be running around , kicking, diving¬† on that soccer field and it made things feel possible again.

I was really happy when I decided to play soccer in college and found a school that wanted me. I found a few actually. I even got into UMASS and they were NO. 1 in the country in womans soccer but¬†I chose to go to a smaller school. Looking back I probably made the wrong decision but UMASS was so big and scary to me back them. In college I was on a completely different kind of team than high-school. They were undefeated and they were very good and I might only have one shot and one save the whole game. That was a mental warfare. ¬†It takes tenacity and Mental stamina to be a goalie. You had to stay focused and you had to save that one shot because if you didn’t you could lose and that was not an option. I felt alive in that goal. I felt alive as soon as I put those goalie gloves on. I can tell you that going to college didn’t change anything about feeling different. I always felt like I didn’t fit in but soccer was everything for me at the time and somehow it got me feeling more centered like maybe I could finally fit in.

When we would practice we would¬†do this thing where the team would just take continuous shots at me one after the other. That was pure adrenaline. Diving, getting up, diving again. It was great. I remember one practice we were doing that and I just started sobbing in the middle of the drill. I just stood there crying and my team-mates were just looking at me. They thought I was hurt. I wasn’t, not the way they thought.. I just told them to give me a minute.

They all looked so confused as I sat there and sobbed; my coach was like what’s wrong? Sometimes that happens. ¬†A wave of emotion comes over you and you can’t submerge it, ¬†it comes unexpected; deep pit in your stomach, moves up to your throat and then … there it is. Without any warning.

Dark feelings, depression, learning problems and social problems would overwhelm¬†me at times and I didn’t know what to do about it. That soccer field was my saving grace.¬† After games I would run around the field or late at night I would go out there and run three or four miles. ¬†I¬† didn’t run as much as my team-mates being the goalie so many times I would run after practice or after games; whatever. I felt like a bad -ass queen when I was in that goal. I loved that game. I loved that field. During the day in between classes I would go to the field and get some sun. Listen to some music. Put some Robert Cray on the boom box and chill. I got some dark tans in New Hampshire on that field.¬† Because I was on the soccer team I got to be in a apartment building¬† that was really for upper classman but I got in because I was a soccer player so my apartment was like 10 feet from the soccer field and everything else you needed. There were some perks for being a soccer player.

When I got out of college I said to my self, what am I going to do without my soccer team and my soccer field. What am I going to do? I knew that soccer helped me with whatever was going on with me. With that deep depression and I was worried because I knew it would get worse and it did. I didn’t know a lot about my feelings back then but I knew enough to know that.

After college I would go to the gym and do other activities but nothing compared to running on that grass and kicking and diving and running and competing in such a way that made me feel alive. At that time when I was on that field in that goal with my team ¬†I felt like I finally fit in. I was the captain of my ship. For three hours I felt like there is where I am supposed to be and all was ok. I was part of a team and I loved them. When I was thinking about that game I didn’t have time for intrusive thoughts and if they did come they didn’t stay as long. After we won and we always did …that adrenaline kept me RIGHT until the next practice¬†or game.

Whenever I would lose my way and I still do at times; I would think of that soccer field and the sun on my face and the fresh air and think how can I find that again. The feeling of being alive and in the moment of competition; focused on my team mates and that game. Damn I miss that.

I dream of soccer still, sometimes I wake up and my heart is racing and it’s another soccer dream. As life changes and we grow and get older things change and adult stuff happens. Sometimes staying balanced can get difficult. It’s easy to lose our way.

As long as I can always find “my field” it helps me thru, what’s your field?

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

For the Stalkers ūüíč

Let everything that’s been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy, but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important, let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it’s tender and pliant. But when it’s dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.¬† Andrei Tarkovsky

Stalker_poster

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

Two Women in Town

The other night I stopped to get some beverages at the local convenience store and two women decided that they wanted to start a fight with me.¬†They kind of parked behind me and waited for me to come out so they could start some stuff. Whatever.¬†They said something to me and¬†seriously I was like really, were doing this?¬† I didn’t fight back, I blew it off but I wasn’t in the mood for their ¬†bullshit. ¬†I have never done anything cruel to anyone in my hometown but for some reason there is some serious hate coming my way. It is fine…I can handle it but you have to wonder why?

Now these two women didn’t say much but it was¬†more about¬†the way they insulted me¬† ..¬†like they actually knew me. I didn’t know them. How dare them!. My anger grew as the night went on. Then I thought to myself how easy it would be to fight back and just maybe make a tragic mistake that could affect me and them for the rest our lives. That’s how it happens. It can be that quick. I am not a confrontational person and I am a non-violent person. I know myself. But they better watch out because you can start a fight with the wrong¬†person and well..you never know. You here about Road rage all the time.

I always wondered how someone could get to that point where they would actually cross that line.  I would never kill anything or anyone but the anger I felt in that minute gave me the insight, I mean I would never hurt anyone intentionally,  I will always take the highroad and walk away but I am ashamed to say I fantasized about taking a knife and stabbing those two women in the neck.

Now it was just a harmless fantasy but it made me think about people and  how someone could lose themselves if enough shit happens to them over their lifetime. I remember thinking that no matter how hard I tried or how kind I was to people bad things kept happening to me.

Now there is a lot of great stuff happening too so I am so grateful for that.  I have now learned how to ignore the negative stuff and will not let it affect me anymore. My hard work has paid off and I know I am where I want to be. I was angry but I let it go fast.

I refuse to let it affect me anymore.

Every time I watch Dateline I sit there and wonder ..how the hell could she kill her husband like that or how could he kill his best friend like that? You know, it was always inconceivable for me.

I’ve thought about this often. It fascinates me and frightens me at the same time. The human condition I guess and how easily a life can change over one bad decision.

After I saw Eugene Oneill’s Play, Hughie, on Broadway¬†I was reminded how much I love his work. I was always attracted to his¬†plays because he wrote about people on the edge. The depressed, the addicted , the night people. The darkness of his work and the darkness¬†of his own life always kept my interest. I went back and read some of his plays recently.¬†I re-read¬†his most popular play Long’s Day’s Journey into Night.¬† I even love that title and completely understand it.. There was a quote in that movie that I was familiar with but I think for the first time I really understood it to the fullest of its meaning.

‚ÄúNone of us can help the things life has done to us. They‚Äôre done before you realize it, and once they‚Äôre done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you‚Äôd like to be, and you‚Äôve lost your true self forever.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night¬†¬†¬†

The saddest 48 words ever¬†spoke in my opinion¬†…. but nothing could be truer. I know this happens to a lot of¬†people and they have no idea how it happened.¬†It’s like a rolling avalanche, once it starts moving you can’t stop it and it keeps destroying¬†everything¬†in its path. That very thing almost happened to me; losing yourself forever;¬†but¬†a little luck, strength and resistance¬†was the key for me and so I was saved. I remember thinking how did I get here? This isn’t who I am.¬†For some there is a turning point and they are saved, for others there is a turning point of no return. My heart breaks¬†for the latter.

I understand how easy it is to end up there.  The unfortunates in the world, prone to addiction or mental illness or violence or bad luck.

Maybe they were born poor or have no family. Maybe they were abused and cast out into the night. Maybe they just made one bad decision. Maybe they trusted the wrong person. Some people have to pay for that one bad decision for the rest of their life.

That breaks my heart. I can’t help but think about them. It reminds me of a movie¬† I love called¬†Two Men In Town.

It takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I think it’s a great movie with a powerful message. Forest Whitaker and Harvey Keitel are reunited again in this film, whenever they work together poetry happens.

I loved them both in the movie Smoke. Harvey Keitel was a¬†cigar shop owner and a Poet in his spare time. He took a¬†photograph of the corner where his store was located¬†every day at the exact same time of the day, every day. ¬†He¬†kept a photo album of his life’s work. I loved that. So Poetic. Great Movie.

Anyway in Two Men in Town Forest’s character (William Garnet) was a murderer who got out of prison after 18 years of serving his¬†sentence.

He was¬†model inmate that tried very hard to control his anger and become a peaceful person. Forest Whitaker was incredible in this movie by the way. I saw it when it first came out but watched it again¬†recently….a few times. I know I’m a super fan but no one can deny the brilliance of his performance in this movie. There was also this bad ass parole officer¬†Emily Smith…I loved her in this film. Imagine this scene..so she sits listening to¬†I think , Edith Piaf, ¬†¬†while cleaning her guns in the desert night under the stars. That was probably a nod to the French Director; Rachid Bouchareb¬†in this movie.

That scene sets the precedent for the whole film. Dark vs. Light, Good vs. Evil, Love vs. Hate, Beauty Vs. Beast. She was the female heroine trying to help Garnet through the whole movie. A tough but fair ethical parole officer with a heart. Brenda Blethyn was the actress. I also loved her in the movie Secrets and Lies; another great movie. She is an incredible actress.  So like I said, the movie takes place in Albuquerque New Mexico. Some scenes are breathtaking while others are just dust and ashes.

Walls and Borders are a big part of this movie too; geographical borders and emotional borders.

After Garnet served his¬†18 years¬†sentence the sheriff (Harvey Keitel) in town wouldn’t let¬†Garnet alone. He had an old score to settle with Garnet¬†and had no forgiveness¬†towards him.¬†The¬†sheriff¬†kept harassing him, and no matter how hard¬†Garnet tried to turn his life around¬†Agati¬†( Keitel) was there to derail him every time.

Every step forward was a step back. The heartbreaking scene between Garnet¬†and his adoptive mother (Ellen Burstyn) is heart wrenching. While she speaks with¬†a¬†almost detached¬†and disappointed voice about a scorpion that was loose in the house (symbolism) I understood Garnet’s frustration because he just wanted his mother’s love; love she couldn’t afford to give.

This movie makes a huge statement about redemption over a Dark Past¬†and ¬†working¬†toward New Beginnings. It seems we don’t like to let people have new beginnings. We don’t like to let people forget their past. For example; We don’t let prisoners have a second chance in this country. We let them out with no money and let them fend for themselves. It’s tragic on so¬†many levels because so many prisoners are locked away too long and the crime doesn’t fit the punishment in the first place. It seems to be getting even worse in this country . People are going to Jail for thirty years for minor Crimes because of Corrupt judicial system. Three strikes your out? There is Big Business in putting folks in prison now a days. The increasing stats are overwhelming. ¬†It is very sad and unjust.¬†The song Let my people go comes to mind, Paul Robeson https://youtu.be/gtLcELU1brA

There is a lot of symbolism in this movie as Garnet washes his hands of the past. Not letting someone start again, and live their life is a sin. You can watch the movie and no matter what your beliefs are about prisoners and murder you have to appreciate this well-acted story about new beginnings, redemption, and the tug of war between good and evil.

So..when those two women in town started with me at the convenience store it reminded me of a fight¬†I got in when¬†I was about ten years old. Now that I am back in my home town¬†I am reminded of childhood memories. You can’t help it, there are reminders everywhere. So I was ten and me and my best friend were walking down to the same store that¬†I was just talking about. It had just snowed and my friend had a snow pants on. I was dressed in jeans, These two girls, older but still girls, bullies, started to make fun of my friend in the snow pants. Back then¬†snow pants weren’t cool at all. lol.

Well I thought it was important to protect my friend ( I¬†am very loyal)¬†so¬†I told them to stop and to leave us alone. Well because¬†I spoke out they decided to turn their attention to me and¬† left my friend alone. They then started to jump me and I remember them slamming my face down into the snow and punched me a couple of times. I heard my friend start to cry ¬†because she got scared because she saw blood. My nose started to bleed and there were little rivers of blood oozing into the snow…like a bloody snow cone. The two girls saw the blood and they got scared as well and ran off. I still know one of the girls names. I ended up working with her at a restaurant when¬†I was sixteen and she played on the same softball team as well, she picked on me there too but decided after a while that she liked me and left me alone. God, I couldn’t get away from her.

The other night when those two women in town started fighting with me in that parking lot it reminded me of that day in the snow,¬†I was ten again and I had a bloody nose. The snow was red and my face was covered in ice. Its funny the things we hold onto. I could have fought back or even went further and caused physical harm. My life could be changed in an instant. So when I got home¬†I decided to write some words down to shake off the anger¬†I was feeling, first¬†I vented to my friend, god bless her…and then wrote a poem about how¬†I feel about some of the people¬†I have come across recently. Anger is something¬†I’ve had to¬†deal with and try to minimize. It has¬†been a work in progress but I¬†think I have mastered¬†it. I am sick of being accused of things¬†I never did. I am sick of being mistreated.¬†I am sick of being patronized and ¬†I am sick of being misunderstood but¬†I know how lucky¬†I am to be here to write, love,¬†work¬†, sing and laugh. I am making¬†my comeback. My turning point was in the direction of up; not down and¬†I am so grateful for that. Don’t look back don’t look back don’t look back, only forward. The ten-year old is now fifty looking forward to love and light. Your perceptions of me cannot and does not matter anymore. I am only feeling the love coming towards me, the rest will be ignored, no more anger, no more violent fantasies.. only love and light. I can no longer care about the big hoofed herds and their opinions of me. They are wrong but¬†I know longer need their approval. I¬†will only let the light come in. I have washed my hands of the past, scrubbed them clean.