Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
And then one man shared about what he was struggling with, his active ex wife. It brought up a lot of stuff I went through with my Mom in the first 5 years after my Dad's death. I can remember her coming to visit in the summers. She'd rent a beach house a few miles from my home and we would essentially live there. My brother's family would come up and we would have some really nice days on the beach with our kids. That was what it was supposed to be. Instead there was a lot of time worrying about my mother. It was then that her drinking was no longer something that we could deny. Yet we managed to do that. We managed to ignore it and let it happen so that we could enjoy our vacation. She was drinking in the morning and all day and all night until she passed out. Thing was so were we....well we waited until at least lunch.. but sometimes lunch started at 11. She was falling alot. I remember she fell down or up the stairs that second year. I didn't see her fall but the aftermath was horrible. She was terribly bruised and swollen along her whole right side. I wanted to take her to the ER and she refused to go. Then I was angry that she wouldn't go. Wouldn't take care of herself. She was coming home from grocery shopping which means she was driving drunk. Of course she was. Years later I found out that she had broken a few ribs because the doctors saw the broken bones in a chest xray they took to see her pneumonia. I can see now that this was the beginning of the end for her. She usually went to bed really early, to drink in private and to pass out. She'd get up to go to the bathroom, sometimes in her underwear, something grandmas just don't do, and sometimes falling onto her hands and knees in the hallway. Steadying herself to get up. I clearly remember myself, my brother and my sisiter in law watching her do this and doing nothing. Saying nothing. Just exchanging glances. We'd talk about it amongst ourselves but it was just too hard to deal with. We never figured it out. She'd wander in the middle of the night not knowing where she was. I know because I was usually up drinking myself. There's more but these are the incidents that kept flashing in my head as this man was speaking this morning. I did try to confront her once or twice, talk to her but that's hard to do when you've got a glass of wine or a beer in your hand. She told me I didn't understand. And I didn't. She had fallen into this deep abyss and couldn't climb out. Didn't want to climb out. And refused the hands that tried to reach for her. As the years passed she stopped having us for holidays and stuff. She would come here but it was getting increasingly difficult to get her here. And when she was, she drank the whole time. She tried really hard to cover it up, cover up how she could barely walk, how she was physically wasting away. She'd have us take her back to the hotel right after dinner I presume so she could drink without being watched. She refused to stay in my home. That last Thanksgiving, she said she had fallen over a vacum and hurt her back. That was why she couldnt' walk when what I know now was she was experiencing symptoms of Wernike's Encephalathy. She barely ate but I remember she wanted to take some leftovers home and I forgot to pack them. 2 months later, on New Year's day I found her severely malnourished and the only thing in the fridge was a bit of chicken from Boston Market with a Dec. 4th date on it. I've had a hard time with that. She couldn't go out for food. Yet she did manage to get boxes of wine as they were all over the house, empty. There was one in her car still full. She had binged through the holiday, knocked the phone off the hook. That was how we found her because we kept getting a busy signal and finally went to check on her.
I don't know where I am going with this. At the meeting, I felt a welling of grief and was going to pass but the guy next to me was sharing how grateful he was to have the meeting to share his stuff, that others wouldn't understand. But I couldn't share....I tried and it just came out as tears. I was just able to say that stuff had been brought up for me by the other share....and that I was grateful to be sober. Then I wept through the rest of the meeting. It was very nice to get some hugs after the meeting. One of my buddies got her 10 month chip so I was able to get out of myself to feel good for her. I was able to talk to another girl about some of her issues which helped too. Clean my side of the street with her. That's another story. And I am grateful for this forum where I can write about this experience and work through it. I will call my sponser this afternoon and I think I will go to the 9:30 meeting. I don't feel like drinking but I don't feel good. I'm not sure what I feel. But I know that I can't just stuff it and that is progress. And I am very grateful because I can see that my mother's low bottom became my high bottom. I could no longer drink without seeing the consequences right before my eyes even if I was not there YET. I was certainly heading in that direction. There but for the Grace of God go I.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I can live with that.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
So rather than go to Vegas and whoop it up like my girlfriend wants to do, or get some big piece of jewelry or expensive dinner, I would like to do this. Learn more, live more, pray more. So then there's the money. But I am sure I can rationalize that.....no big presents.....scrimp for a month....I'd love it for my husband to come but then there's that expense. Plus he doesn't want to explore Centering Prayer, he wants to rent a bike as in Hog and roam the country. Nothing wrong with that I suppose but it is more money. I said if he wanted this trip for his birthday we could really rationalize the whole thing. I'm good at rationalizing. Been doing it all my life why not turn that defect into something positive. Another woman from the retreat is also thinking about it. We'll see. I'm not going to project too, too much but things like this do take planning.
In the meantime I'll just look at the picture. It looks beautiful and I've never been to that part of the country. Another good reason to go.....
Monday, April 7, 2008
At the commitment a man approached me who looked very much like our friend Ozzy Osborne. He asked me if I was THE Kathy who chased his girlfriend after the morning meeting we were representing to give her my number. It was and she had called me too. I haven't seen her since but she's doing okay according to him. It was good to hear. I hope she comes back. A man from our morning meeting had shared that his wife was there. She showed up tonight at our meeting. I went to that commitment on no sleep. I had been up since 1 am after going to the air force base to greet some troops coming home. If I was drinking I never would have been able to do that. No way, no how. I am grateful for that. I am grateful that I don't have to do this again. I am grateful that God is in my life.
Tonight a bit of my past showed up at the meeting as well. I think I shared the story here about one of my drunks, jumping off a deck with a bunch of kids from the kitchen where I was working into snowbanks in the middle of the night. Well one of those kids showed up at the meeting tonight. It took us a few minutes to remember each other but we did. He grew up. I remember asking him to teach my little boy to skateboard. He told me skateboarding led to drugs. He was joking at the time but apparantly for him it did. And there I was a 30 something old woman jumping off of decks with him. He was probably all of 17, if that. I'm glad he was there tonight and I hope I see more of him. We talked about a few people we worked with that should probably be with us as well.
I have become very close to these last months to a woman whose heart was breaking tonight because she misses her son so. And he misses her which breaks her heart even more. She is in a sober house and her son is with her parents. She has been working so hard to stay sober and get her life back. She has more to do and my heart was breaking too. I hope I was able to console her just a bit. She is a good mother but sometimes the sentiment this too shall pass just isn't enough. I heard recently that tears melted the ice around your heart and her shell was definately breaking. I will pray that she can find comfort.
Another woman I have gotten close to slipped again this weekend. Her husband emailed me asking for help. I was able to suggest alanon to him thanks to what I have learned from Syd and the alanon woman who attends our morning meeting. I called another woman and we went to their house to try to do a 12th step call but they never came to the door. We slipped alanon info under the door and a note to our friend. She called me later and I brought her to the morning meeting today. He said I could give his number to the alanon member of our group. Both she and her husband came to the meeting tonight.
Our speaker tonight was celebrating his 46th anniversary. It was good to hear his story. Usually we just hear his booming voice. He is what you call a powerful example. Big Time! Even played backgammon with Bill W. Said he scared the you know what out of him. And this guy is big. His message is that service is what has kept him sober all these years.
There was a lot going on these last few days. And I am a grateful recovering alcoholic though I'll probably just stick to alcoholic.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Trying to get to Pease tonight at 3 AM to greet homecoming soldiers and then hitting breakfast aftewards with the girls!
I have an increasing network of sober friends and I am growing to love them!
My daughter's People Watching Club (yes there is one) is going to Fanuel Hall. I sent her to college for this.. Half will all dress in black tshirts and walk silently around in a single file line around the market with huge grins on their faces. The other half will observe peoples reaction. She is the treasurer and is plotting fundraising ideas to take a field trip to Montreal. Cracks me up.
My friends will be taking me on a kayaking weekend next month to celebrate the big 5-0! These are my "normal" girlfriends. One of them left me a mysterious message that she had a few questions for me. She is the one that the rest of the group worries about in terms of drinking. They didn't worry about me. Probably because I was always a relatively "happy" drunk. So I projected the phone message and thought perhaps she wanted to ask questions about AA. I had an entire 12th step going on in my head. Well, no. She wanted to know if I would let them celebrate my birthday. Very considerate and I love these girls. How could I say no even though I wanted the day to just pass by.
My husband is cool about all these girls' weekends and retreats. He has really been so supportive if not baffled by my metamorphosis (thanks for the word Michael) into a sober woman. And the cooler he is the more I want to spend time with him. Strange turn of events.
I am going to get together in the next week or so with another sober woman I met through my blog. Really looking forward to that though its a bit scary. You know, meeting for the first time someone who knows all about me. I think she should start a blog too so I can learn more about her (hint, hint)
My son is way to busy to get into anymore trouble.
I am sober.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
5 years ago:
1 year ago:
What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
1. Pay my bills and send out the rental agreement for a week at summer house on lake
Books I like:
Places I'd like to visit:
What I like doing:
What I like to watch:
What I would never wear:
Notice how everything is with something.....
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off my mortgage and move beach or lakeside.
Set up my kids for life
Take care of my brothers' families
Quit my job and volunteer for what I love, maybe open a women's sober house
Add my $.02 or so to make the world a better place
Three of my bad habits:
1. Smoking (just for the last 2 months, gotta stop)
2. Feeling responsible for EVERYTHING
3. Treating my husband with less than respect (getting better)
5 places I have lived:
3. Monroeville, PA
4. North Shore of Mass
5 jobs I have had:
2. Sales Clerk
3. Retail Manager
4. Gas Station Secret Shopper
5 peeps I wanna know more about:
Ann with or without Wine