Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for December, 2010

As Desperate Now…..


‘I swear I will leave and you will never see me again except to piss on your grave’……..

This is what I was told on Sunday by my 16 year-old daughter in another one of her unending tirade’s. It wasn’t so much that line that got me going it was….

‘Why don’t you leave, just like your Dad left you’

Now that one, that one hurt. See I have learned that my daughter when enraged loves to take things that are personal to me and use them as a weapon. I’m sure if you search my blog you will find a post that I wrote shortly after she called me a crackhead the first time. After that incident I soon realized that anything, and I do mean anything can be used as leverage during one of her verbal assaults.

I was the age my son is now when he left. Just shy of my 13th birthday. My world was shattered. For all he wasn’t, he still after all, was my Dad. It was the spring and I came home from my friends to find him on the side porch with his suitcase and a papersack full of can goods. He told me my Mom and told him to leave. He wanted me to know he never left me, but he did leave me. That he would see me later.
It would be 2 years before I would hear from him again with any consistency. My oldest sister left, and my mother was left to raise me and my younger sister. I watched her work 2 jobs and cry over rent money. My world was turned upside down.

After the dust settled Sunday, I described this to my daughter whom seemed uninterested. I told her she had hurt me. That if she was going to do this type of thing to other people in her life, when she herself is hurt or angered, to use things from people’s past as a ‘getback’ that she was going to live a lonely life.

I went to bed that night empty. The days events vivid in my head. I have realized there is nothing more I can do as a Father. I have lost my daughter to something greater than myself. When someone or something takes me out of character to the point I feel life is not worth living, I have given it too much power and control over my life. It dawned on me…..

I am as desperate now as when I was using drugs for something to change.

I have to turn her over to God now. It is beyond me. I have no idea what today or tomorrow holds but I will not allow these feelings of anger and hurt consume me. I will not allow my life to be placed at the whims of someone who hasn’t even lived life yet. Who is guessing at how to treat people and how the world works.

I didn’t leave, my daughter left. She is still here physically, but she left long ago. Maybe someday she will come back to us, maybe not. I can’t dwell on it. It hasn’t done any good so far, and I don’t see any good coming from it in the future.

God hold me tight until these feelings pass.

The Christmas of 1978


I couldn’t have been more than 10. It was 1978 and Star Wars was all the rage. I had seen it in the theater and the toy I wanted the most was the beautiful Millenium Falcon. I had watched the Kenner commercials on TV and dreamed of flying that sweet beauty with Han Solo and Chewbacca on more than one occasion. I had to have it, and of course, I received it. I woke up early that Christmas before anyone else. I crept under the tree to the largest box that was marked with my name on it and slowly, gently pulled just enough of the tape and wrapping paper away to catch a small glimpse of the prized toy I had so eagerly wanted. It was the greatest toy I would ever receive.

My parents had thrown a party sometime during that week of Christmas. I remember vividly awakening from my bed at some point that evening to find my Dad’s friend Al passed out under our tree. Someone had taken the time to put a Christmas bow on his forehead. I remember it so well……

It was the year of the great blizzard of 78′ in Ohio. We lived outside of Columbus in a nice home. Desegregation of Columbus Public Schools had my parents furious. I had no idea what the word meant, but I did know it would mean that I would ride the bus much further than I ever had. My parents bought a house in a rural community. The thing about this house was the basement was furnished with a bar and a pool table. These were 2 of my Dad’s favorite things. It would be in that house, at that bar, I would take my first drink at 10 years old. I would take more than one drink in that house. I had found out why my Dad wanted a bar in the basement. When the adults drank and laughed, everything seemed ok. They had numerous parties and entertained constantly. I watched as the adults all laughed.

I guess my point is there are never-ending highs and lows in life. I know it to be true in mine. When the good times have been good, they have been great. When they have been bad, they have sucked. I mentioned to my wife the other day that I pray most days for normalcy. I’m not sure if that is possible, and if it were I’m sure I wouldn’t know what to do with it if I received it. We often talk about ‘finding or maintaining balance’ in recovery. The holidays, for some, can be an emotional and trying time. It has been my experience that this is when I need to open up more about what is going on inside of me. To talk to someone else instead of counseling myself, or not talking at all. 

There are a multitude of circumstances for this anxiety. I can’t measure what your’s may or may not be. Mine is and always has been centered in guilt or fear. As time has moved on, resentments seem to have faded, and I am better able to deal with Christmas. It’s not my favorite Holiday, but I am coming more to terms with it. I guess I wrote about 1978 because it stands out to me as one of the few Christmases that isn’t filled with pain and disappointments. Not all of them have been great so I hold onto that one, just for me.

Our plans here are low-key. A simple meal, candlelight service tomorrow night, and family. I am sure that ‘A Christmas Story’ will be on the tv at some point, as will ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. I will watch others as they run about, trying to find that perfect gift, try to create that perfect moment and capture that elusive ‘Christmas Magic’. I will watch as my children open their gifts and hopefully we will have hit the mark one more time with something they like. My wife and I will smile at each other and give that all approving nod of contentment as worn out parents on Christmas usually do. The day will come and go into the quiet of Christmas night and as all drift off…..

Me…..I will be somewhere, perhaps back in 1978, flying that Millenium Falcon one more time.

To all of you….
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Bob D.

The Pain Remains the Same……


5 years ago on this day, was the last day/night that I used. My clean date is the 19th because the 18th is and forever will be a blur, except the feelings of desperation and the realization of who and what I had become….  A Drug Addict.

I have spoken to literally thousands of addicts and none of whom I have spoken to ever set out with the intention of becoming addicted. I know that, for me, it went simply one was great so two should be better. 2 no longer does the trick, 4 has to and so on.
It’s not important what or how much I used. I don’t ever remember turning down anything that was ever offered to me. Knowingly taking things that I had no clue as to what they really were. I could tell you a hilarious story of taking a nitroglycerine tablet once, but alas, that isn’t the point. What is the point is I was willing to try anything that would ultimately change me.

I started writing at about 9 months clean on MySpace. Met some wonderful folks there, one in particular. Elizabeth is from McKinney, Texas and has been an amazing voice of reason and support. She has challenged my thinking and my reasoning. We have never met, yet I know her like we have been friends our whole lives. We have talked on the phone a couple of times and currently she is experiencing a challenging point in her life. My thoughts, hopes, and prayers are with her and David.

I wrote on MySpace for over 2 years and decided at some point to blog here. I don’t necessarily think of this blog nor any other than anything than what it was really intended for. A blank page to let my words, thoughts, opinions, and feelings on. If other folks stumbled across it and read something they could relate to, find strength in, or completely disagree but challenged their thinking then it was ok with me. I really have no clue how many people read, I know I did a page once about Amanda Bynes as a joke that continues to get ‘hits’ a year later, so I take it all in with a grain of salt.

I know there are great people here. Peg, Nora, Chaz, Corey, and others who have supported me and I wanted to thank them as well. I know it sounds corny, but there is an old Barbara Streisand lyric that went something like, ‘People needing People, are the luckiest people in the world’. Yes, surprisingly I know who Barbara Streisand is, she is my mothers favorite artist. I guess I am one of those lucky people, because I need you.

As I look out my back window a thought occurred to me. I have earned this. Our program of recovery as found in NA (My 12 Step Program of Choice) is free and freely given, but it has taken and continues to take effort. I read a line out of the Text a couple of days ago about how the disease of addiction is progressive even in abstinence. How is this possible if I haven’t used anything in 5 years? The reason is…..

I am the disease of Addiction.

The problem has always been me, I just tried to use drugs to solve my ultimate dilemna…..Myself.
Addiction is a thinking and feelings disease. I’m not going to get into any debate about genetics and environments. The reason why the disease is progressive during abstinence is that I am progressing as I Live Each Day. I am recovering each day, that is why I do not believe in the terms ‘recovered or cured’.

The title of this blog is deceiving. Today my life is full, busy, chaotic at times, and rewarding. The pain however of recalling that last night of use is still fresh, still hurts, and for that I am still grateful. Without that pain, my memory would grow short and my gratitude would waiver.
I have had the chance to see many beautiful things. Wonderous adventures and have done things I have only dreamed of.
I also have seen the worst there is to offer. I have watched people who I love die and watched addicts live with the delusion that they can use just ‘one more time’ never to be seen again.

I feel fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. My wife, who has never wavered in her support of me and her love make life worth living. My children, whom at times are completely as crazy as me and as equal pains in the ass, are still my kids, who have their father.
My sponsor, whom kept early recovery simple and straight forward, is not only my sponsor, but my friend.

I haven’t done a lot right in recovery. It’s been trial and error. I’ve made mistakes and probably will continue to. It’s about progress, not perfection.

But I have kept my promise……

The promise I made December 19, 2005

God, if you will help me, I will try.

 

 

Commiting Suicide….By Holding My Breath


I once heard..’No one has ever committed suicide by holding their breath’.
I’ve also heard…’Load the cart, don’t worry about the mule’.

I never get tired of looking into the night sky here. The stars are brilliant, and the silence is, well, deafening. Moving from the inner city to the middle of nowhere has had some advantages. This is one of them, as for the others, they are few and far between. I thought in moving that somehow I had thought of everything and have come to find out I really knew nothing at all in the first place.
I second guessed the economy, I second guessed the job market, I second guessed family involvement, and I second guessed myself. All that being said as I drive home from an exhausting day at a job where I am entry-level instead of management there is a sense of pride. That I accomplished something in my mind, that if I can do it here, I can do it anywhere.

Most days I keep to myself. I really don’t have anyone to talk to. It’s not that I have a ton of stuff to say, but the days do get lonely at times. My relationship with my wife, I believe, has become stronger. We aren’t as distracted as we once were, but it gives us too much time to focus on the children and their every move. It’s not to say the kids were left to run like wild animals in the city, but here, there aren’t many opportunities, and when there are like basketball games and such we tend to be overprotective by default.

I have learned that recovery comes from both within and without. I am not afforded the luxury of just ‘leaving to go to a meeting’. I am faced more with life than I ever have been. These past 7 months have been the most difficult in my recovery. I have compromised myself to the point of almost using. To be honest the only thing that has kept me from using is knowledge that if I pick up I will surely die, in more ways than one.

The thing that has been missing, is me. I have not been participating in my own life. I have been using excuses and anger to fuel petty resentments and apathy. I can use anything like a drug, including myself. Odd statement isn’t it?

As I write this I have been clean for 4 years, 11 months, and 21 days. I made a promise to myself, my Higher Power, and my family….That if God would help me, I would try. That’s what I said beside the bed in detox with tears streaming down my face….That I would try.

I’m not ready to give up on that. I can hold my breath for a long time, but not forever. I need to breathe life back into…..Me.

Take Care,
Bob D.

One Day to Feel Better-Faster


This week has been one of those weeks. One of those weeks that has tested my understanding in parenting, being a spouse, and being in recovery.

My daughter decided to ‘go off’ this week over a punishment from a choice she made and kicked in our bedroom door while we were gone to retrieve the items taken from her. She verbally threatened her mother and I again. You know what I did? I took my wife and son, looked her in the eye, and said…’Goodbye’. She asked where I thought we were going and I told her we were leaving while she sat there. She told me she was going to destroy the house. I told her to have at it and we left.

I came home and nothing had been done. I looked at the door and looked at her and reminded myself that in 16 months she will be gone. I keep feeling a level of guilt looking at it in this manner, but this week’s past actions confirm why I do it. I can’t wait for the day she turns 18, because that will be the day she is asked to leave.

I never thought it would be like this. Never in a million years. I often wonder what went wrong. It seemed really to kick in when she was 13. I don’t know, I could go crazy over it, and I’m not.
For those who know..We have tried medicine, psychiatry, religion, and so on. She is just hell bent on living her own life, don’t worry, she will.

Work has been up and down. Getting ready for the holiday’s has went well. House is decorated and some shopping done.

I picked up a new guy to sponsor. The other guy I ‘sponsor’ hasn’t called but twice and I think just wants to tell others that he has a sponsor. This new fellow went to a workshop (AA) yesterday on how to work the 12 Steps in one day. I laughed.
There used to be this old way of thinking that this is beneficial. It has been my experience that it is not. I told him that if anything he got some information that will be useful for when we do stepwork but this one day seminar on how to feel better faster just doesn’t work with me. That it is nearly impossible to take someone who has no experience living clean for any length of time and ask them to take a ‘Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory’ as found in Step 4. When I had 2 months clean how searching and fearless do you think I was? I had no clue what a ‘Defect of Character’ or a ‘Shortcoming’ was. I had no intention of making amends and certainly wasn’t going to pray or meditiate. This is just an example, but hopefully you get my point. There is a saying in recovery…’Time takes Time’.

I need to do something positive today other than doing laundry and watching football. I feel like I am spinning my wheels as of late. Truth be told, most of the time I am tired and uninspired which is a bad combination. I feel like I’ve lost something, and I miss it.

I hope this post finds you well.
Bob D.