Off-the-Wall Street/a Journal of Recovery: Beware the Ides of March (March 15, 2020)

I would never have guessed that the heirloom jewelry I sold to pay for a shelter would have turned out to have been sold in vain. The shelter was not ready and never was built and my family never forgave me.

It forfeited any right to my mother’s significant jewelry by what they saw were irresponsible actions on my part. I was not to be trusted with the family jewels quite literally. Or anything else. Everything had to be managed by the sane sibling.

Ah, well. Thirty years ago today were we advised to go into our shelters. Since I did not have one, I slept that night in my car, a Mitsubishi Mirage L, that I called Mel.

Everyone was fine, including me. I remembered my mother’s lessons on how to dress for the cold and sleeping in a Montana winter outside was no problem.

Some afterwards bemoaned their fate and the fact that nothing happened. What we were actually taught though, is that prophecy is given that prophecy may fail because it is heeded. Nineveh is the example. People repented and so disaster was averted.

Interestingly enough, the intelligence community was baffled at how we knew to go underground when the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan was considered likely that very day.

Now we have a pandemic virus and shelters are not the need of the hour. Social distancing is, and today I remembered the lessons learned from three decades past.

I had completed a macrobiotic cooking course for cooking in shelters previous to that Ides of March 1990. Today, I made a macro-survival meal for myself and offered it up to the Ancient of Days, who gave the menu to the Prophet Daniel.

Grains, beans, greens and veggies are the recipe for success in recovery now. I remember Brother Lawrence and how he Practiced the Presence of G-d and wrote of it.

I cannot say who will survive this viral threat but today I am grateful that I remembered my lessons past. I have castigated myself for not being macrobiotic as defined by Michio Kushi because I still have disorder in my place.

I have been cleaning though, now. I’d relapsed into disorder after cleaning really well when I went back to the Catholic Church. It seems it must trigger my disorder, literally. It’s my co-dependent ways that make me feel it is my duty to absorb all the bad vibes of a family as a way to heal it. That never worked. And it just makes me crazier and unable to function to take care of myself properly and no one else is going to do it. Also, I was given the assignment by Father Patrick Collins, an Irish exorcist, that I am to write. And that goes by the wayside after I try to go back to Mass.

Maybe one day I will be healed enough, but now I am really trying to go back to work. My goal at Vocational Rehabilitation is to be a recovery writer. At least today, just for today, I did not go to the party they had tonight where I live that had alcohol and sugar snacks. I did not try to spoil their “fun” but I am grateful to have recovery from those addictive substances that would put me into the psych hospital. The last time I had to be committed, it all started with my having fruit-juice sweetened cookies. I went into a mania and eventually was locked up. I have a fructose intolerance as diagnosed by a blood test and it seems that it affects my brain functioning.

I have been 31 years sober from alcohol and that too is a blessing, although not my drug of choice. Being in a treatment center for the mentally ill homeless brought me a new way of life. A macrobiotic cooking class put on by a church teaching center was my moment of a personal peace, truly a gift.

I hope to pay it forward, but for today, I remembered to beware the Ides of March and stick to recovery. Others have their paths, but I have mine. They have free will. We have been asked to have social distancing and I have obeyed. And I am working to keep my own side of the street clean as recovery teaches. In the Self-Healing Cookbook, it recommends brown rice, lentils and dark greens to help find order and organization and to strengthen the lung and large intestines, which ought not to hurt in keeping the coronavirus from destroying my lung functioning. At least it is better than partaking of sugar which tanks immune functioning for hours after consuming it. So no matter what my future holds, I am grateful that I accomplished my goal of being a recovery writer.

I remember when I did not think I could go one day without ice cream and trekked to Baskin-Robbins in the middle of a blizzard and fell on my butt in the icy parking lot. I still got up and went in and chowed down. I also remember when I had been eating well for a bit but then binged on a coffee ice cream shake from the same 31 Flavors spot. Then I went right into a manic psychosis from the caffeine and sugar and had to be committed to the psych ward. For a long time, if I had the craving for that binge food, I would call to mind exactly what happened then. Now, by G-d’s grace I do not crave that stuff, because of the blessing of macrobiotics.

I heard someone say that they’d rather die than eat bird food. Well, actually millet is quite nice with oats in a morning cereal. And I choose to live, which for me, is a recipe for success.

“God bless the whole world, no exceptions,” says a refrigerator magnet…I think I’ll stick to that…



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