Wheeling & Dealing

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The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic was founded by Dr. Dave to service the influx of people into the city during the counterculture movement in the 1960s. He offered substance abuse treatment, psychiatric, and medical care to anyone. The clinic has moved, but the original door is now proudly displayed in the new lobby. I’ve been going to this clinic since I first arrived in San Francisco, befriending the staff and feeling welcome each visit. One of the security guards offered to take this photo and I said it would be my holiday card. 

Merry Christmas, I get free healthcare! 

Love, Molly & her scootster ✌️

Although I don’t hide the fact that I’m a “recovered” addict, I don’t exactly advertise it. Except all over the Internet 😂 Just like I judge the passed out junkies in the street on my way here, I know people judge addicts, no matter what their circumstance. I have no interest in explaining myself to anyone, nor do I have to. I just want to be proud of myself, and dammit, I am ! ❤️ Before I moved to SF, I had 6 years of sobriety under my belt. I didn’t see my epic relapse coming, but that’s exactly why I still see an addiction counselor.  I’ve had good luck with addiction specialists. Maybe because they tend to be patient and understanding, dealing with the folks the rest of society doesn’t understand and is critical of. We rarely even talk about addiction, we talk about life and how to make good things happen. I leave feeling empowered and strong, knowing that I am actively contributing to my own well-being and sobriety. 

I’ve been to a lot of these clinics, in about 5 different cities, and what might surprise people is that it isn’t all homeless people, burnouts and archetypal addicts. It’s wealthy housewives, it’s little old ladies, it’s straight-A students, it’s people just like you. Addiction shouldn’t be shameful. And getting help for whatever ails you, that’s a strength not a weakness! Anyone who thinks any kind therapy is for the weak, I’m sure you know everything and are not at all judgmental- congratulations on being perfect.🏅 When the going gets tough, it’s tough not to reach for a substance. Anything to get me through. But like my mentor Paul used to say, that’s like taking an aspirin when there’s a rock in your shoe. Take the damn rock out.

Moral of the story:

I won’t be having any eggnog this Christmas. Not because there’s alcohol in it, because drinking eggs sounds gross 🥚 Cheers!🍻

Happiness is a wily bitch

do what it says

do what it says

Waiting for the car to get fixed today, I played with the only toys in the joint. These happened to be the first letters I put on the board 😀

Sometimes I find it frustrating when people say happiness is a choice.

The decision to TRY to be happy and try to stay positive, that's certainly a choice. But happiness is a wily bitch. Happiness is simple yet difficult, complex but uncomplicated. I believe happiness is not so much a way of being, but a state of mind. I consider myself a happy person, yet melancholy is my middle name (it’s actually Jane). I have dealt with depression my whole life, with long bouts of apathy and heartache. I think my happiness comes from my attitude, my decision to stay optimistic and not give up. To not wallow in my depths for too long without leaving the door open for the unadulterated contentment that's available to me. So is happiness a choice? I don't know. It's been my experience that happiness is often happenstance, a RESULT of choices I make, conscious or otherwise. I've felt absolute pure happiness, but when I chase that dragon like a high, I find it always seems out of my reach. When I stop forcing myself to feel happy and just start to pay attention to the pockets of calm, I see the joys all around me. Even on the worst days, I try to be grateful for the moments of bliss, and keep perspective. That's when I feel lucky to see that happiness lurks around even the darkest corners. It's ok to embrace our sadness, just don't get too comfortable there. If we decide that happiness is something we can intimately know, we are opening ourselves to it. Try not to give up on that big annoying yellow smiley face that's often taunting you 😀

I really don’t need shiny happy people telling how to be shiny and happy, but I do want to be shiny and happy so it’s complicated and now I’m tired.

#happinessismagnetic

Put on a happy face

i woke up like this

i woke up like this

Whenever I look back at my life, every year has been so different. It's like a book of chapters from every genre, a manic manifesto. I see growth for sure, but I also see what my old mentor Paul called my dance of two steps forward one step back. I jump into things head first and then I retreat. I push myself way out of my comfort zone, and then I find myself back in familiar patterns. I always think the worst is behind me, and dear god I hope it is, but I'm also aware that unless I'm continuously working toward goals and taking care of myself, one misstep could send me spiraling. We all have darkness inside of us. I've chosen to only put out good vibes, but I never want to give the impression that my life is all sunshine and rainbows.

When I'm feeling really low, instead of projecting that out into the world, I put on a happy face and try to keep smiling. I mean that literally. Next time you’re angry or sad, force yourself to smile. It’s hard to be angry when you have a shit eating grin on your stupid face. Force some belly laughter and you might find it turning into real laughter. At the very least, it will take your mind off the darkness for a even a moment, and it’s probably better than kicking and screaming. Although sometimes that’s necessary too.  😃

Whatever it is you focus your energy on (what you want, or what you don't want) that is what you'll receive. The universe wants to give you what you're obsessing about, for better or worse. I believe that we become whatever we tell ourselves we are, so we have to be mindful what we are telling ourselves.

So today I'm telling myself all the things I want to always be true. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I'm successful. I'm living up to my potential. I'm capable. I'm growing. I'm strong. I'm grateful. Everything will be ok ❤️


  

existential coffee

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? ☕️ My favorite quote, by Albert Camus, absolutely sums up depression, existentialism and absurdism. These are heavy topics, and it sounds dark, but there's something funny about how ridiculous our brains are, and how little we understand of our own existence. We find purpose and assign meaning to things because we have to in order to not develop a fatalistic view of life. I like to see the humor in this concept, and also how liberating it can be to realize that these are two very real -albeit very different- options we all have. There can be levity in the macabre, for that's the point when you see there may not be a reason for any of this. You don't have to stay there, but visiting that possibility can bring a lot of perspective. And for some people, this doesn't sound like a silly question at all. (I choose coffee, obviously.)

should I kill my self or have a cup of coffee? Albert Camus 

should I kill my self or have a cup of coffee? Albert Camus 

pretty silly

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I once read about a woman who never smiled because she didn’t want to get wrinkles or lines on her face. She said she has great skin. Congratulations lady, you can live pretty and die unhappy. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a face full of wrinkles and a perma-grin than a baby face and a lifetime of never doing the best fucking thing you can do with your face 😃

Thinking about it, it’s really not that different than when we choose not to go swimming because we don’t like how we look in a bathing suit or we’re embarrassed by our scars & stretchmarks. Or how we are so caught up in how others view us that we refuse to dance or sing or be silly. Or how we spend so much energy worrying about pleasing everyone else that we never fully realize what makes us happy. Or how we search so hard for the perfect partner that we never learn how to fall in love with ourselves. I’ve been guilty of all of these things. We sacrifice one thing for another, even when one of those things doesn’t serve us. 

So let’s all put on our teeny bikinis (or weird fitting mismatched ones) embrace our sexy ass imperfections and just enjoy the feeling of floating in the water. Let’s be the first ones on the dance floor and the worst ones at Karaoke. Let’s share our silly, bare our souls, take those risks, and be unafraid of what the mirrors of our peers are reflecting back to us. (Or rather, the fears of those mirrors, which are usually not at all what we think). And mostly, let’s smile the fuck out of our faces and wear these lines like a badge of honor at a life well lived, loved and laughed. ❤️ #nofilternecessarycauseimbeautifulasiam