Just Another Recovering Person

Posts tagged ‘Holidays’

Creating Fate


‘There’s no
limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.’
Jack Goldman, Founder of Xerox PARC

 

‘Sometimes a blank TV is not such a bad thing to stare at.’
My Dad

 

I hope you have all been well. I really can’t give you a full explanation as to why I stopped blogging. It was a combination of things, I suppose.
I felt as if though I was rambling, aimlessly, at the obvious and wasn’t in a place where I felt I had much left to offer. I guess first and foremost my blog had become as lifeless as I was becoming. Going thru the motions and not getting at the heart of what was or is going on. Not talking about how I really felt about things. Covering up emotions and using excuses like Kleenex’s.

I am still clean. How I have no clue. Well I do and I don’t. I give the credit to God and to my family whom have both put up with me infinitely. The Basic Text talks about how desire cannot be measured and I am grateful for that, because in reality, desire has really been the only thing I have been using.

I have a desire not to use. I believe that to be different than a desire to stay clean. I have not been to a meeting in several months, I have not read, nor written on steps. I have not done anything related to recovery in a while and surprisingly my behavior hasn’t changed. I credit this to a firm foundation in early recovery and the stark realization of I know what the consequences will be if I return to what brought me on this road to begin with.

I do not recommend this to anyone; in fact I don’t care for it much myself. I now know what the literature means when it talks about ‘apathy and procrastination being 2 of our seemingly inherent enemies’.  I know that things will change, I know that what worked in one phase of recovery may not work in another, and to be honest I am tired of beating myself up over this issue. Right now in this moment in time of my life, I can’t create fate. I can’t ‘make things happen’. I can’t create time that isn’t there; I can’t manipulate others to make my schedule easier.
What I can do is get off my ass and do what I can; everything else will fall into place……

Since my last posts my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. I celebrated 6 years clean time and Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and went.
My daughter’s tirades have reduced to a minimum and she is working for Subway. My son continues his art and his winter campaign to ‘Kill Them All’ on MW3.
My wife and I are enjoying our relationship now more than ever. I am still working way too much. I am still at 2 jobs and hope this will change in April or May. We are more than likely going to have to file bankruptcy. I don’t want to but the figures in black and white don’t lie and I honestly can’t keep up this work life forever. My day starts at 5:30 am and I usually don’t get to sleep until 11 pm, 6 days a week. This may have something to do with why my recovery has been lacking but I knew that going into it.

I hope you all are well. I hope that your Holidays have been well filled with memories and laughter. This year mine have. I have enjoyed these holiday’s more than I have any other. For some, the cheer may not have been as anticipated. My words for you are that Everything is Temporary.

Take Care,
Bob D

I will be returning…..


Despite rumors to the contrary…my demise has been greatly exaggerated.

I took an impromptu, lengthy break from blogging and will be back after the 1st of the year to refocus on what brought me here to begin with.

Recovery.

I am still clean (6 Yr anniversary was on December 19th) and a lot has happened since I last posted. I will fill you all in. I have some great new stuff coming and some revisits to some older material with new thoughts on it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Bob D.

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.

 

 

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.