Thursday, December 22, 2011

Running a Marathon When I Prefer a Sprint.

Recovery is a marathon.  It's a long term goal; it's like ordering slow foods.  I am a fast food girl.  I like using a microwave and having short term goals.  Long term is very hard for this ADD brain to understand.  But, like it or not, it is a long and arduous process. 

It seems that addiction is this whole problem unto itself but then it leaves in it's wake this snowball effect of problems in it's periphery.  I've read that emotional maturity stops at the point that the addict started using.  So, there is all of this lacking maturity. 

Also I've read more and more about that underlying anxiety that all addicts have and how an inability to attach properly to family is a big factor in whether or not that they start using.  There is no quick fix to this problem.  This requires a day in and day out building of trust and safety to those sensitive people who have chosen to deal with life by using. 

Maybe I know just enough to be dangerous.  But, I sure do notice a difference when I practice love without condition.  Love doesn't have enabling listed anywhere in it's definition.  Love says all the hard things and hears all the hard things without pulling away or using judgement.  I sure wish I'd learned all of this long ago. 

I am thankful this Christmas season.  I will have my son home.  But, things aren't perfect.  I think we all have these crazy expectations.  I think that life may just be this long journey of loving and learning.  I've learned a lot in the past year.  I'm sure I have so much more to learn.  While love to learn, this one has been a little painful. 

Sometimes in the thick of things I get so tired and feel as if we have so far to go.  Then sometimes I look back and see how far we've come.  Today I pray for a positive perspective for all of us.  I pray for continued recovery and strength for our journies.  And I say a prayer for Henry.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Good Story

When we came home to the south after an 8 1/2 year job  just a few miles from Lake Erie, we rented a home on our local marina.  It was great.  The marina pool was just beyond our back yard and the lake just a stones throw from there.  My kids were all toddlers at that time and we lived on a wonderful playground.

Later my son became a lifeguard at that marina and eventually worked at the docks fueling the boats.  He thrived there.  Now, they have dug up the pool and in it's place is a very large dry dock structure.  A week or two back, my son said, "I want the sign with the pool rules on it, I'm gonna go one night and get it." 

While I don't condone stealing, I too thought that it would be very cool to have that sign.  I decided to scope out the scene.  I went and snapped a photo thinking I might enlist some young employees in an effort to snag that sign.  I drove home thinking with the good wrestling with the bad. 

Finally I decided that I couldn't get those kids sent to the pokey over that sign so I went home, got two phillips screwdrivers and drove back. I could go a be the middle aged crazy lady and beg until they gave it to me to be rid of me.  I could offer to pay for it ( but I don't really want to because they might start thinking antique prices). 

I pull back in to the parking lot as iron workers are in those crane baskets and I walk towards the jobsite looking for someone low enough to the ground to speak to.  I finally see this foreman (I'm guessing) he is a tall fellow, with strawberry blonde curly hair, missing a few front teeth and tool belt weighing things down if you know what I mean.  And, in true nervous fashion, I started becoming a blithering idiot.  I give him my whole long family history, talking too fast and too much until he politely says, "Little lady, that is not mine to give away.  Go see Buddy, he owns the place."

I catch my breath while quietly scolding myself for rambling on and on.  I didn't find Buddy but I did find an employee.  I tell him what I want and he thinks for a moment.  In my mind I am thinking, oh crap, if I have to come back to lift the sign, I'll be the first suspect as I've gone begging to everyone on the place.  "Sure, he says, we've dug the pool up, I can't see why we'd need it." 

I wanted to do a happy dance on the spot.  But, instead I rushed up to unscrew it from the wall in case he changed his mind or someone else thought better of giving it away.  He ended up meeting me up there and helping me get it down.  This is gonna be the coolest gift under the tree.  Both of my girls were so excited. 

The Dad and I got to talking about it and have decided that we need a better story to tell him as to how we got the sign.  Something that he would totally be shocked at Mom for doing.  The memory and the story are half the fun.  It is that connection that we make that is one of the true gifts of Christmas. 

I must admit that it was a lot more fun and nerve racking than going to the mall.  I am thankful for this memory.  I am thankful that my son is home this year.  I pray for all of the obstacles that addiction place in our way.  I pray for all our sons and daughters, husbands and wives and I pray for the soul of Henry.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas List

When my son was a small boy, he wrote a letter to Santa with his Christmas list on it.  He took that letter and put it in the mailbox put the flag up and announced to his Dad and I that his list was done and now he just had to wait for Christmas.  When I asked what he had asked for he said that I didn't really need to know because Santa would take care of it and I could just wait and be surprised.  He would not budge.  It took some fast work to get to the mailbox before the mailman, without him seeing to get that list!!

I still have that list.  It was so sweet and hopeful for the season.  It was grateful and yet a little boy who couldn't contain a desire for so many little boy things.  It was a magical time. 

Addiction took away all of that.  During his using years, I would ask my son what he wanted and it was always the  I didn't/couldn't/wouldn't see what was going on.  But, deep down I knew that things weren't right.  Anyway, the excitement was gone. 

Last year, we spent Christmas with my son but not until Christmas Eve did we even see him.  We had shut him out unless he chose rehab.  We hadn't seen him in quite some time and the Dad was starting to really lose it so we decided to just show up and see how he was.  He was sober.  It was our best gift.

This year one of the best gifts I'm already receiving is his ever growing list.  He's 22 years old but I'm receiving reminders, notes, and sizes on the dry erase board.  Last night he told me the two items he wanted....again and then named two more.  I said, "hey you said if you got those two you'd be happy."  He responded, "  the other two went so well I thought I'd see how far I could go." 

This gift I'm really getting is my son feels like part of the family again.  He feels comfortable enough to be that little boy again.  Addiction isn't controlling his every thought.  It's been so long since I've seen this young man with glimpses of that little boy still in there.  That is so wonderful. 

I'm so thankful today for the progress we've made.  I'm thankful for the gift of my son.  I pray for those of you still in the fight for your sons and daughters...may you get them back too.  I pray for the perseverance of those in recovery and I pray for Henry.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Delivery....

Okay,  so I delivered my first dog bed today and I was a little nervous but he ended up really liking it.  I was so relieved.  Then I met a man who does a little upholstery on the side.  He is going to help me upholster a canopy bed I'm working to follow.  When I showed him the fabric I had picked out he got so excited.  This new hobby/job...who knows what it is or will be, brings such joy and fun.  I am so thankful and I just wanted to share it with you guy,  my "in the trenches" friends.  It is so odd how I know so little and yet so much about you all. 

My prayers today are of thanksgiving for sobriety, my new friends, my new joy and the ability to hope for much better times.  I pray for your sons and daughters and Henry, as always.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Dog Bed Lady?

I've been trying to figure out who I really am minus being the Doc's wife, the kids mom, the office manager, the laundry girl, chef ( and I use that term loosely), the maid, lawn care service, stall mucker, dog feeder, etc.  One of the things I started doing was using my maiden name as my middle nameThis helps to remind me of who I was before.  Not that I knew myself all that well then but I only had to care for myself at that time. 

I've had a lot of fun writing.  I have even published a couple of pieces in little known magazines that you've probably never heard of.  I will proudly say that my first published piece was in a magazine called, "Miniature Donkey Talk."  It was titled, Life Lessons I Learned From an Ass.  I made a whopping $50.00.  It was a proud moment.  : )  Seriously, I have really enjoyed doing it and hope to have more time to devote to it in the future.

Then I saw a dog crate online, made from old ugly furniture, repurposed and given a little TLC and it ended up looking really neat.  So, I started making dog beds.  It has been so much fun.  I get to dig through flea markets, trash laid on the side of the road, Goodwill and the like.  I shop at fabric stores and craft stores, paint and hardware stores.  I've met a great group of little old men, semi retired who are willing to help me with my unusual projects. 

I've decided that dogs are like grandchildren.  People get totally silly and lose all common sense when it comes to their pets.  My first two beds were donations.  My third was a person at the auction who wanted me to make one for his wife for Christmas.  I was so flattered that I went a little wild. 

When I make calls to my carpenters, seamstress or customer I tend to tell them my name and after an awkward pause I say, "you know the dog bed lady" where I get a "Oh okay".  I guess it could be worse.  My daughter says it's better than being the cat lady. 

The neat thing about this is that it has taken me out of my usual paths.  It has introduced me to this whole new group of interesting characters.  It never fails that when someone sees my beds they instantly start giving me ideas of what a really neat one would be like.  Dogs just make everyone happy.  I think it's a great gig to work with them, if you can get it. 

Today I am thankful for this fun new adventure.  I am thankful for God's sense of keeps me guessing.  I am thankful that finding myself in this journey has given my son a sense that I don't have to sit and worry over him anymore.  I pray for all our sons and daughters and I pray for the soul of Henry, my grandfather.