Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for November, 2010

A 3 Leaf Clover Thanksgiving

As I told her I loved her and missed her I heard the waiver in her voice. My mother began to cry over the phone and I soon felt like Thanksgiving was lost….

I’ve never really been too far away from my loved ones on a Holiday. I have always made some type of effort while using or being clean to see them. It reminds me of the time I went to my Father’s for Christmas one year, sitting uncomfortably in his living room, while we gave him and my step-mother presents and excuses were made as to why he was unable to afford gifts for my wife or myself while looking under their tree at the stack of presents for her children. It’s not the point of I expected a gift, I expected an effort.

I called my Dad and my Mom Thursday. They have been divorced since I had been 13. I can count on one hand the number of times they have been in the same room together since then. 3 Weddings and 2 Funerals. The miles between us seemed 2 fold this year. Some family here asked if we were going back north for the Holiday and to be honest we really just didn’t have the money to do that. I spoke to my Dad and made sure he had something lined up. He did, dinner with an old schoolmate. Then I made the tough call to my Mother.

As I have gotten older I have come to realize that time can be a friend or it can be a foe. Time is one of those things that we seemingly feel we always have enough of, but yet cannot buy it. I posted several months ago that I felt like my Mother had early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Repeating the same questions or the same things over and over. Yesterday she asked me if the kids were getting acclimated here ok at least 3 times. I steadily kept the conversation going in different directions only to have it come back to the same points, until the end, when I told her I missed her and loved her, and she began to cry. I miss my Mom terribly, and I soon felt like I might as well have moved to the moon, knowing I wouldn’t see her this Thanksgiving.

Trying to turn a negative into a positive is never easy. We talk about it all the time. How addicted people can seemingly find the one 3 leaf clover in a field of 4 leaf clovers. It seems we are drawn to the negative while we ignore all the beauty in our lives. I was short with people that morning, intent on being miserable, until we arrived at my wife’s relatives and something happened.

I looked around. People were laughing, engaging me in conversation. I had made 2 pumpkin pies and people here were impressed that not only a man could cook, but would be willing to. The kids were exceptional, the food was excellent and I soon found myself faced with a decision. I could either continue on with struggling with feelings or thoughts, or I could just let go and enjoy the moment. I chose the latter.

In doing that I was able to enjoy the here and now. I was able to enjoy myself and others. I was able to be me without fear af acceptance. I did all of this rather unintentionally. I did it because my Mom would have wanted me to. So I give thanks to my Mother for not letting me forget how precious the moment is, because I can’t buy them back, even at a Black Friday Sale.

Take Care,
Bob D.

If Your Under 25…This is for you….

It started either with the disposable camera or diaper, I’m not sure which, that sparked off this generation. You know Gen X, Gen Y, now it’s what I call the ‘Disposable Generation’. Anything can be replaced once it’s used up….Jobs, Living Arrangements, Boyfriends/Girlfriends, Friends, and Family. Once it’s served it’s purpose, it’s no longer needed, and tossed to the side like expired cell phone minutes. Twitter, Facebook, and Texting have taken the place of Hello, How are you, and Have a Nice Day.

My daughter is in this generation. I am disposable. So is her mother. Most of her friends have been. So have boys. It’s not that anything has changed, except me maybe, I guess I find some comfort in looking at it this way. Already a know manipulator and liar, loud and rude, and of course general know it all, this outlook has solidified what her mother and I know to be true. When you are 18, it is time for you to go.

It’s not that anything major has happened again. It is the daily grind of living with her that is wearing us down. When an argument can erupt over a glass of milk you know it’s bad. Her behavior is starting to show in our 12-year-old son, whom has been a shining example through all of her difficulties. His mouth has started to kick in, because he see’s her do it and thinks it is acceptable. See, she can be vicious with her mouth. Say things that just come through her head without regard for anyone’s feelings. There is no couth, no tact, no respect. Not just to us, but to anyone. She feels this is ‘honesty’ and people just need to deal with her the way she is. The sense of entitlement is overwhelming.

I’ve spoken to other parents. It’s not just us. There are others out there that go through or are going through the same thing. I thought we were doing a decent job at parenting. I thought we were ‘Hip Parents’. I wonder what brought this on? Did we spoil here? Cater to her too much? Is it society or subliminal messages sent through Barney or The Wiggles? I’m sure I could blame music, movies, MTV, Rap, and a slew of other outside sources but is that really it, or is it what they see in the world. Does the world really look so fucked up to them that this is their answer?

Most of the ‘songs’ my daughter listens to usually includes the lines ‘Everything we been through or All we goin’ through’. When you are 15, 16, 19, 23…How much have you really went through? I am sure some have endured a tremendous amount, but we aren’t talking about the minority here. It’s like having sex at 15 and the girl breaking up with me. I thought the end of the world had come, not realizing every woman on the planet earth was capable of doing to me what that girl did in the back of a car.

Is it immaturity or lack of sense? I don’t have the answers but I know this, we have 17 months left with her. 17 months and although I Love her, it will be time to go. My wife has agreed. When you have your diploma, and you have turned 18, your time with us is done. I told her this the other night. I told her you need to make sure you have your plans straight, that you do what you need to do. You can do anything in the world that you want to do, you just aren’t going to do it here living with us.

Thanksgiving is next week. It will be difficult not seeing my Mom or Dad. I will call them. I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable Holiday with your family, loved ones, and friends.

My brother-in-law called last night. He wants to come down after Christmas with his wife and 3 or 4 kids. We don’t have the room to put them all up. But if they want to come, I guess come and we can go from there.

Inventory at work came out at 1.5% loss for the year which is acceptable for 1.5 million in sales.

I’m still here. Plodding along in spite of myself sometimes. I’d like to thank Nora, Elz, and Peg for their continuing support and love. Even the days I am hardest on myself I understand that my life today has so much more purpose and meaning than to waste it on drugs. I have come too far. December 19th I will have 5 years clean. This has been by far the toughest year with the most challenges. But it has taught me that my resolve is firm, my faith is intact, and that I am a capable person. That I am stronger than what I think, that I can achieve goals, and that recovery, today, is possible.

If not one thing I said made sense, it’s ok. Sometimes I just need to vent…If your over 25 that is for you……

Take Care.

Bob D.

There’s No Litigation in the Cemetery…

Most of the time I don’t think about dying….Until recently.

Ask yourself this question……
Am I sure?

Am I sure of what happens? Do I just close my eyes and that’s it?
Maybe some residual electric sparks in the neurons of the brain cause the ‘White Light’ effect? Maybe I just drift off to a sleep and dream through infinity? Am I really expected to believe that I will arrive at a gate for admission into ‘Heaven’?
Is there a physical place such as a Heaven or Hell or is that what we create here on earth with the time we are given?
Am I willing to roll the dice and gamble that I know I am right? I mean I won’t have a lawyer with me to argue my case when I die. I don’t think litigation is allowed in the cemetery.

Just some questions I have pondered the last few days. I really don’t have any answers for you, maybe I’m looking for them myself. I think it’s kind of arrogant of me to presume that I am here for the time I am given only to close my eyes and that’s it.

Life over the past week has pretty much sucked. I don’t know any other way to put it. The kids have been terrible, work has been a pain in the ass, and my wife is going through her own doubts and fears. The only thing I hold onto is that I know this is temporary. I keep telling myself something will change, I just don’t know what or when.

I keep pushing on. I’d like to write more, but my mood is completely sour and I just don’t have it in me right now. I just wanted to check in and say hello.

Take Care.
Bob D.

Rid Me of Myself…..

As I stood looking at the screen and the teleprompter put up the words from the song the words glared at me like an angry billboard. How is this possible? How is it I am just now seeing this? Have I been so closed-minded to it all that I never bothered to consider it a possibility in my life……..

I was in church of all places. I have been looking forward to going over the last few weeks. I really like this church, but of course, my ‘fear of commitment’ lights are blinking in my mind. ‘You really shouldn’t be here, people in churches judge people like you’, I told myself. If they knew what you were and the things you have done they would run you out of here faster than you could blink.
The band played a song. They have a contemporary, actually pop-rock band that plays, and they played this song that had this line in it.

Rid me of myself.

It was strange the way the words ate at me. Then the sermon, took several different twists and turns around the very subject I was thinking. Judgement, fitting in, acceptance, and so on. Could it be that God was trying to talk to me or was it all just simple coincidence? I had to find out, so when I got home I sent the Pastor an email.

I told him that I liked the church, the message, and was curious on his views of 12 Step Programs. He replied that he is a huge supporter of 12 Step programs and thanked me for sending him an email. He told me that it was an accomplishment to do what I and others have done and find a new way to live.
I was really excited to hear this and have been talking with my wife about making this our home church. I will keep you updated.

I haven’t been to meetings nearly anywhere I would like. It seems something always comes up. Some event at home, some school event, something. What I’ve been doing is using it as an excuse to not go. I don’t know why, I know I am not cured by any stretch of the imagination and I am more of a realist to know and have seen from experience that church is not a substitute for recovery based fellowship. Basically I have been slacking and have become apathetic in certain areas of my own recovery. Maybe that’s why the line from the song struck me so hard. I am the one consulting myself about what I should do to maintain my recovery and that usually isn’t a good thing.

Football is now over and I have really no more excuses to use. I have to come up with a schedule and maintain that schedule.

My wife and I looked into buying a house. We were told we needed to get rid of about $4,000 worth of credit card debt to do so. That includes my poor choice of my ‘Emergency Chase Credit Card’ that turned into ‘Bob Needs Credit Card’. It’s funny, not really, how a decision from 3 years ago is affecting something I want to do today. My wife was really disappointed. We need to get out of this small rental one way or the other, it is just too small.

My wife and I talked at length last night about things here. We are both in agreement that some days it was a good decision and other days a bad decision but nonetheless we are here now and need to work with what we have. We talked about the kids, talked about us needing to talk to other adults more other than family. Isolation for us seems to be the main topic. We need to be involved with some other things and make some friends here. We are still hanging on to our old lives up north and aren’t getting anywhere. It’s amazing what happens when we talk, other than the day-to-day chit-chat.

I wish I had something inspirational to give you. Maybe I have. Sometimes inspiration doesn’t need to come roaring in, like a summer storm, but sometimes it comes quietly. When I rid me of myself, when I step out-of-the-way and see life through different eyes, sometimes I get what I want, but I definitely get what I need. I need to talk more right now, open up, and not be afraid of judgement. I accept who I am, do you?

Take Care.
Bob D.