Jalie’s Dear Ellen Diary Part Four

Hello again. Let’s jump right in, shall we…

Wed. March 30th, 2016

end of Page 59

I left off with,

Besides jumping off a bridge

I used to

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think about being locked in solitaire.  Now I dream of Ellen.  And I have to stay alive to do that.

Meghan, Bridgette?


Who else?            Susan Sarandon.

Jennifer Aniston.  Jennifer Garner.  Angelina Jolie.

There is a patient here.  Her name is Angelina.  She looks like her, I swear – this woman is older tho.  Her lips…


I love you!  Love yourself!  I love me!

[One the side of this page I have written]: I wish I could play some music right now.  So lonely, and now I can have a woman.

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Saturday April 2nd, 2016

Dear Ellen,

Wow.  I reread a few lines of what I wrote last.  Since when did I get so candid, so honest?

Maybe it’s this new – found freedom.


that would be a cool name for an island – or a new world

It almost rolls off the tongue.

So I started my day with a meditation group after breakfast.  I ran outta there after 2 minutes because I started crying and I suddenly had an anxiety attack because I thought I was going to start

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sobbing.  The meditation was about loving kindness toward a person – for me, the baby [this must mean Aurora, my first grandchild] then we were to direct all those feelings toward ourselves.

Toward myself.  I could not do it.

My MO is running away.  Next time I’ll be braver.

Dear Ellen               8pm

Angelina wants to go home.  Her beau doesn’t think she is ready.

I wrote Cami a 4 page letter. [this was another patient, who laughed with me, and she must have left and given me her address, and maybe expressed she had a female partner]

In it, I told her that I’d like to kiss her.

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Sat April 2, 2016

So I can sing Katy Perry’s song, “I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It”

Just kidding.  I’ve been singing that for years.  Before she was born, I think. [ I drew a funny face here with the tongue sticking out]

Angelina, Angelina, Angelina…men have loved you.

It’s snack time.

The ”other woman” is staying at my house.  IN MY HOUSE with MY HUSBAND AND KIDS AND GRANDKID!

Argh!  It’s so weird.

So painful, I have hostility.

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I love you, Ellen  I know life is messy & complicated and even mysterious.  Is that so? [this is from a frog joke and you say that with your mouth shaped in a little ‘O’]

So be it.

I wish I could help Angelina [it really was uncanny how much she looked like an older Angelina Jolie and her name was Angelina]  I feel like crying for her.  What can I give her?

Artwork [even then I was very into art, I absolutely loved art therapy and never missed it, I always decorated my space where ever I was]

Lemme look around.  I am

The Warrior Woman  [I have no idea]

SUNDAY APRIL 3rd, 2016

Dear Ellen,

I’ve decided to tell you my life story.  Only the stuff I can remember.  Hah!  [omg whaaa? Oh..no.. lol]

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No, I’m not making this stuff up.

The good, the bad, the ugly, the passion, the enthusiasm, the love, the painful, the embarrassing, the shameful, the guilt.

I want you to know that I am focusing my thought in the present moment and the positive stuff that has happened and could and will happen since the split.

I will give you the shit, the spit, the pits, since the split.

I am sleepy.

I’ll start that tomorrow.  Wish me a good sleep because

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11pm I had nightmares last night.  Tornadoes.  Usually I just see them in my dreams.  Last night I was actually in them.  People screaming, things and houses strewn.

Yes, it was a metaphor for how I am feeling now.  But it’s OK.  Till Tomorrow, Love yourself.  I love you.  I love me – Jalie

I’m gonna start writing my name like this   Jalie [with a long A and an accent over the A] -[ then I wrote], Jlee, Jlie, – that looks like why lie? Jaluh, Jelly [ my mom used to call me Jelly]


Anyway…guten nagen

Thank you Ellen

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Monday April 4th, 2016


Dear Ellen,

I’m feeling grateful.

My tummy is full.  I laughed last night.

Here’s why :o) [ I drew a smart looking smiley face]

When I was in college, I got pulled over by a policeman.  I was angry at a boyfriend.  I backed [my car ] thru an intersection in a quiet neighborhood, had 2 friends with me, and we were on our way to a dance.  Maybe I was angry because he wouldn’t go with me or his ex fiance was there, I don’t remember.


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We had all been drinking.  We all had to step out of the car.  Only one of us was of age to buy alcohol [drinking age in Wyoming at that time was 19]

The officers asked us to breath on their faces [boy, that wouldn’t happen it a time of a pandemic, would it?]

So I breathed loudly but hardly pushed any air into his face [it can be done, lol, I did it! It was cold outside and night time, you could see your breath]  My best friend at the time, full on breathed out like she was blowing out candles.

He asked if we had been drinking and I said, “No. And I’m Sagittarius, and I never lie!”

[friend got in trouble because he smelled alcohol on her breath, miraculously, I did not, and my other friend, the one of age was so scared he was crying, boy did I feel bad, my best friend got put on probation with the college we were all going to and had to do community service, all because of me and my angry driving, and I did way more of that later in life.  I used to have a belt in my little truck and when I got angry, I would whip the seat next to me.  One time I got so angry, I stopped my truck and got out and started whipping some bushes.  poor bushes, what did they ever do? I lived in the Southern California desert, so I blame the heat. ha ha.  I wonder what people driving past me must have thought?]

After retelling this story to a gal last night,  I said,

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“Well, it was almost true.”

Then I realized what I said and we cracked up.  So there is the story.

Maybe instead of chronological order, I’ll turn my life story into short stories.

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Sunday April 10, 2016

Dear Ellen,

It’s almost been a week since I held this[note] book in my hands.

I was going to be late for a group(a Big Book Study – AA)  [for those of you who don’t know, that is what they call the Alcoholics Anonymous book]

So I didn’t go.  Well, because I had to ‘go’.  My system is all messed up.

To catch you up, I am at Hazelden Springbrook, a  Betty Ford Foundation treatment center in Newberg, Oregon.  Maybe you heard of it before I mentioned it.

I like it.  I feel safe.  The women and men are separated and we don’t have conversations except to say hi and bye or thank you.

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Sunday still 6:45pm


It’s been good so far.  I enjoyed my time alone.  I started thinking back, wondering how long it has been that I had any alone time, without a camera on me.  A surveillance camera.  And my roommate left this place.  So I wasn’t wondering if someone was going to walk in at any time.  That’s a rule.  Privacy is very respected here.

So I took some time to read.  I did wonder if someone was going to knock.  But nope.  Let’s see…

How many days do I have clean and sober now?  My

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(7pm) sobriety date is March 25, 2016 so lemme count – I have 16 days without any legal or illegal, mind altering substance.  Today I haven’t even taken anything for anxiety.  I got a stress ball.  Then I lost it.  That stressed me out!  Where could I have left it?!  So I bought another one.  Then I found the first one.  It was in the toilet room.  Right in front of me on the floor.  Why did I not see it before?

Because it is almost

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pitch black in my toilet room.  It has it’s own door and when closed and the light is burnt out, I have trouble even finding the toiletto paper.

I opened the door a crack so I could see a little – sometimes you need to see to pee.

Anyway, there was my stress ball.

Now I have two so maybe by the time I leave here I will be way less stressed and have big Popeye forearms.

That would be awesome!

I also had to buy a watch, a razor (yay! it’s allowed now), some Q-tips and

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a nice lady gave me her alarm clock, the alarm clock she bought because I don’t have one, and I have the job of waking everyone up tomorrow.

Yeeeeah, I volunteered because my roomie was doing it every morning. [and she had left, right after I arrived. The next roommate I got was awesome and we laughed soo much. because ya know, sometimes if you didn’t laugh, you’d be crying.
got to watch Mark Lundholm[on tv] – a comedian.  He larious. [later I got to see him perform there and Henry and I got to meet him, I was there from April till the end of May and he came in June or July when they have their yearly bbq or picnic or whatever and an ice cream social]

My family visited yesterday.  That was so nice.  I miss them.  And they brought me some clothes.  I had only what I was wearing when I got here.  The nice people here

scrounged up

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a few articles of clothing for me – that was a relief. My kids and grandbaby came to visit and now I have two pairs of underwear.  Whaaah?  Maybe next week – Har.

I have to –[ I]get to go to a meeting soon, so signing off for now.

My newbie sober honeymoon will come to an end soon.  That’s OK – it’s good to be back in the program.  I am grateful!

Until later…Love yourself.  Love, Jalie

October 3, 2020

That’s it.  I did not write anymore Dear Ellen Diary.  I must not have needed to anymore.   What I would have to do is try to remember the highlights of my two month stay at Hazelden.

Here is one memory I have from my stay:

We watched a Dove Commercial.  Women described themselves to a sketch artist, then another woman describes that woman to the sketch artist.  The difference is almost sad.  It is sad.  The portrait that the woman describes herself always looks way worse than the portrait the artist draws when someone else describes them.

While watching this, I ended up in a very dark place.  The music playing throughout the video was emotionally touching, enough to make ya want to cry.  I started sobbing and wanted to die.

Felt like everyone would be better off without me. Felt like no one would miss me anyway.  I basically hit an emotional bottom.  I ended up wandering around the unit.  A person in an office saw me in the lobby and came out to ask if I was OK.  No.  I was not ok.  And I had to admit to this woman that I was feeling suicidal.  She was very understanding and kind and we found a counselor.  I had gotten the privilege of keeping medications I had in my safe in my room.  After talking for awhile,  she went with me to get them out and she took them.  She wasn’t my specific counselor, but she was one of them who was super good at her job.  Eventually I got to keep my medication in my safe again.

Somehow, the next time I had those dark thoughts, which did happen again while I was there after having a confrontation with one of the other patients(whatever we were called there) I was able to detach and observe and say, there are those thoughts again and This too shall pass. I’d like to say here, Change your thinking and you change your life. The first time I got clean and sober, I filled several notebooks with affirmations because the change it brings is permanent.  I have healed several physical ailments by writing affirmations.  And they work better if you write your initial emotional response after each one until they are neutral or positive.  AND one other way to begin to change your thoughts is by saying Up Until Now, if you have caught yourself stating something negative.  That shows the Universe your willingness.  AND if you are not feeling so willing, it was suggested to me to pray to be willing to be willing to be willing.  I tried to impart to my kids that all you ever have to be is willing in life.  The more you resist, the more suffering it causes, so be the water not the rock.

Saturday October 24, 2020

It is now 12:14 Sunday.  But I finished typing before midnight, adding Part Four, the last part of the Dear Ellen Diary.  I will be posting more to this site as I find other things I have written.

While in Hazelden, everyone gets a start on the 12 Steps.  In our small groups with our counselors, we would share each step.  When I did my first step, I did not cry, I breezed thru it.  My counselor said, “That was the fastest First Step I’ve ever heard! So you are going to do it again.  Get with another counselor and ask for help.”

Wow.  OK  I did, and I showed it to her and it still was not what she wanted.  So she came up with the idea that I should write a song.  What?!  She showed me some artists on the computer that had written songs about recovery.  So I agreed.  She wanted it done by Sunday.  Again, What?!  This was on a Friday, and I was to sing it in front of our little group.

I started working on it (they had a guitar there) and I got stuck.  So I went out to the common room with the tv and the movie Step Brothers was playing.  I now love that movie.  So funny.  At some point, I just got up and went back to my room and within a half hour I had written the song.  It ended up, that I sang it in front of the whole women’s unit.

There was a box of tissues in the middle of the circle we were seated in.  One of the rules there was, you could not hand someone a tissue.  They had to grab one for themselves.  At one point in the song (I had my head down, terrified and looking at the words because I did not even have it memorized yet)in my peripheral vision I could see several women dive for the Kleenexes.  I almost started laughing I was so nervous, but thought that wouldn’t be the best time.  The first song is called In Here and is a First Step song.  I also wrote a Second Step song called Angels Divide.  I ended up singing both of these songs for the entire women’s and men’s units.

You can hear both of these songs by searching my posts on Facebook if you like, as one of my roommates in the Oxford House I moved into (with my son, Henry) after leaving treatment, invited me to a Recovery thing at Portland Community College (where other people sang or read poetry)and she recorded me performing the song.  The guy with the microphone asked me about it and I talk a lot, explaining why I wrote the song, so sorry about all that blabbing in the beginning.   And instead of clapping, they asked people to snap their fingers and at one point in the song, someone started snapping their fingers. An interesting type of  Positive reinforcement.

I am doing much better these days and have not had any thoughts of wanting to do myself in, in a long time.  I have done enough work on myself and have enough tools for coping, so those thoughts hardly come up anymore.  Life is good.  I have faith and trust in God or the Universe or Creator or Source or whatever I feel like calling It in the moment.

I have thought  about doing the Youtube thing.  If it’s not too complicated.  I have lots of songs I could put out there.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this stuff.  If it helps even one person, it is worth it.

Until my next post, everyone take care of themselves!

Love and Peace,

Jalie S.

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