Sunday, July 26, 2015

Air Flight Time: It's been scheduled.

The die is cast. I have figuratively speaking crossed the Rubicon river. In my mind there will be no turning back.
I purchased a one-way air ticket to fly to Ecuador to live in Cuenca indefinitely, and will be departing September 29th.

Dawning of the new day.

That's it!

And the two month delay between now and flight time will do me good in more than one way. It allows time for a concentrated measure of practice to learn more Spanish. It provides plenty of time to take a slow approach to the go-day. I don't want any rushing around to do anything in a hurry.

A couple major reasons exist as to why this prelude period benefits me in substantial ways.

In early May terrific pain in my shoulders, arms and neck sent me literally screaming inside an ambulance to the emergency ward at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital. (Fort Miley) MRIs revealed the source of the pain was degeneration of the spine. That's the point. I'm still waiting  for the pain to entirely or mostly subside. I'm taking lots of pain medication. I'm doing stretch and movement motions daily. Given time it's likely the pain will largely disappear of its own accord. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe by the time I'm taking a taxi to the airport, I won't need to manage any pain. Maybe and hopefully.

If anything scuttles my current plan to go to Ecuador, though, it would likely derive from an acute worsening of the spinal degradation. I'll see how the cookie crumbles and do my best to stay healthy in the meantime.


Cuenca, Ecuador

The second reason this rather considerable pause before leaving benefits me is that I put myself in a situation which is so well suited to learning how to best live that I'm not going to abort the process before it's over.

I'm living in a Christian-based residential recovery program for veterans with addictions. It's a house in San Francisco. We live here to re-examine our lives in a safe, conducive place to do so. We all are living here to learn to discard thought patterns that tear us down. We support one another. We listen to one another. We are all men of the black and white races on the same team playing ball to win the World Series.

Five days a week I attend classes sponsored by the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) at Fort Miley. I'm doing role playing exercises on how to maintain the flow of conversation. I'm learning how to catch a false, detrimental thought before it lands in my head, check it out, then change it into a new, pro-me thought based on authenticity. I'm taking a class called "Advanced Skillfull Emotions" that has a workbook and homework. It teaches for example how to recognize when you begin to start fooling yourself into relapse by letting emotion have a free hand---to identify triggers that spell danger in the form of allure, comfort or excitement.

Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco, CA

I'm not going to miss this opportunity which landed in my lap, not even to get to Ecuador sooner.

Anyway---meanwhile, with the help of American ex-pats living in Ecuador, I've placed into order vital needed ingredients. I'm in contact with a medical doctor in Cuenca who has agreed to include me as his patient. I know where to go to find an English speaking psychiatrist. I've bookmarked a page on the net where I can reserve a temporary residence. I know an airport shuttle service that will pick me up at the Cuenca airport. And I know the day, time and place where the 12 Step meetings I attend are held. I intend to build a structure of support for myself while I'm in Cuenca.I intend to become part of a charitable organization or church that does good works.

When I arrive in Cuenca, I'll go to the office of Gringo Visas. This company did all the needed work for me to obtain my permanent visa. And when I get to their office, they will direct me to the immigration office to have my visa officially registered. Since this by law must be done within 30 days of arrival, it's high priority. It will seal the deal.