A.R. Fleming, USMC, VietNam, better known by his VA family as FlemFlam.com, has passed away.  I don’t know the details of his death, just that he passed.  Visitation was today.

He was an all around great guy.  He knew how to make people listen to him, and as my friend Gary said, he even saved lives by imparting his wisdom through his own recovery.

He was a jovial, optimistic guy who never had anything bad to say about anybody.  He adored his family, especially his children and grandchildren.  For a long time, he talked about going to California to visit his daughter.  I am glad to report that he did make it to California.  Every day above ground is a good day, he would say.

How did he impact my life?

He was my Pachuco.  We often talked and laughed and sometimes even danced.  He encouraged me to write, and to do so often.  He also encouraged me to keep coding, but more than anything, to write, and in great part, Recovery Voice was born because of his supporting my writing.  He greatly encouraged me to share my recovery story, too.  If you’re reading this, it is in great part because of his encouraging me to write.  Chief, he would call me, his editor-in-chief.

He will be sorely missed by his family and his VA family.  He looked so peaceful, like he was sleeping, like he was going to spring out and start dancing or hooting and hollering.

He used to say that every day above ground is a good one.  I think I understand now why, because his absence will be felt by the many whose lives he touched.  However, Heaven has gained another soul, and it is a happy day in Heaven, because my Pachuco has arrived in his pink Cadillac, nonetheless.

Today in therapy I had an a-ha moment.  I guess it has been drilled in my head, that mindfulness helps depression and anxiety, but today it finally clicked!

I never really saw a connection as to how mindfulness can aid in symptom management.  But yesterday, I had a very frustrating day.  So frustrating, in fact, that I was crying from frustration. The voices I often hear went haywire, telling me how useless I am because nothing got done in the end. This could have been a terrible thing, because when the voices start going in a negative direction, it is hard to get them to calm down and they wear me and break me down.

That said, the voices were going and I just started by taking a couple of deep breaths and just noticing the voices, not judging, not listening.  They were annoying but they didn’t have any power too command me to do things. They just were… Until the end of the day, when I finally went to sleep.