Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grumpy Old Woman....

I've been absent for a while.  Hubby is a horse vet and this is the beginning of our busy season.....thanks be to God.  The economy and a tornado a few years back have not been kind to our business. Add Son's slip into our already hectic lives...... a bit like an aftershock, sending us rocking and rolling a bit. 

Luckily, boundaries kicked in at warp speed and his experience with the enforcement of previous boundaries and his level of sobriety and God's grace all helped to curb that storm.

I'm trying so hard to "find" myself.  I keep trying to quit, get fired, retire....maybe like Klinger on Mash, I'll shoot for a section 8?  Any ideas on how to lose your job when you work for the hubby?  Our new girl was just finding her groove when a better offer came along.  Now, I'll be there more than ever. 

The job itself isn't terrible, it's just not "my" thing.  Perhaps it's selfish but I want to do my own thing for once.  I've been mom for 23 yrs and wife for almost 26 yrs.  I've worked for hubby for 18 yrs and been Doc's wife.  I'd just like to figure out who I am while I can still remember! 

I am frustrated with working for some of those privileged clients who stamp their feet wanting what they want, when they want it and threatening   reminding me just how much money they've given to my cause.  It feels like I've sold my soul to the company store. 

I'm frustrated with those who come in hoping to "wow" us with their knowledge.  I like an educated owner who cares for their horses.  A"natural horsemanship" owner came in telling me that she had a book and had figured out what her horses problem was the night before she came in (kept wondering why she came in).   She brought "the book" and ran around the clinic reading sections of it to hubby's assistant and she doesn't get the whole personal bubble thing....  She has her hay analyzed and supplements with all sorts of things she feels are missing.  Purina Feed Mills and their decades of studies have nothing on this person.  I doubt those horses in the wild supplement with sunflower seed and beet pulp.  Seems to me that her natural horsemanship is about as natural as reality TV is real...but that's just me.

I am sick and tired of those women who come in treating me like the help while going overboard being syrupy sweet to hubby.  Do you think that having to put up with watching that  will strike out some of my time in Purgatory?  I think I deserve it, what about you?

Maybe it's burnout.  Maybe I'm not very charitable.  Maybe I should go back to school and get a psychology degree and keep working here.  It would be a magnificent research opportunity.  I know God has a plan for me.  I just can't for the life of me imagine where he's taking me.  And, I'm highly impatient. 

Today I say a prayer of Thanksgiving for progress and not perfection.  I say a prayer for patience and direction.  And I say a prayer for Henry. 

PS Just read "The Camel Knows the Way" by Lorna Kelly  Great book about Lorna Kelly who was the first woman auctioneer at New York's Sotheby's who volunteered in the slums of Calcutta with Mother Teresa.  She is a recovering addict who was brave enough to write about her character defects and an experience and woman who changed the way she looked at her life. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Winding Road


When I talk to the girls at the jail, I often make two drawings.  One is a straight line that starts at the bottom of the page  and moves to the top of the page.  The second drawing is of a line starting at the bottom making it's journey two steps forward and one step back.  The second drawing is what experts say progress in recovery usually looks like.

My son takes the second path.  A slip occurred recently.  Slips always cause fear to rear it's ugly head.  It is like feeling a familiar pain, knowing it's sting before you feel it's full affect.  But, I am learning that this downward dip doesn't go all the way back to the bottom.  Pleasantly, I was surprised by the lessons learned by the slip.

Progress has been made.  Big progress.  I am not sure that we would have come this far this fast without this slip.  I could not have imagined this in my way of fixing things.  Good thing I am learning that I have no qualifications in the fixing business.

Today I am thankful that I have learned to trust and let go and I say a prayer for Henry.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Life!

Thought you might enjoy seeing the newest member of our family....a colt (boy) born at 1:00am CST.

 Out for the first time in the field.
The Dad got impatient with the little guys ability to follow mom so he lended a hand.  Happily he's got the following thing down, now.

Dad loves babies....

Mo thinks it's his job to watch over the horses.  At 12 years old, I imagine he's thinking..."oh not another baby."
Below is Sassy the pony...trying to look over the stall to check him out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Pain of Addiction Revisited.

Last night my son began asking why the Dad and I were so hard on him as a kid.  We were hard on him.  He was so smart, had ADD and fooled around (so we thought) in school.  We were tough...too tough about grades, so much so that he became anxious and nervous.  We were stupid and parented from fear.  It was not a good mix. 

I spent a good part of last night listening to him air his hurts to me and offering apologies, tremendous regret and no real answer other than we were wrong.  He then told me how hurt he was when we kicked him out after testing positive for drugs when he refused treatment.  I have always been the tough one about that.  I have never regretted it.  But, God's hand was in it and he gave me the courage and peace to go through with it.  I didn't do it alone.  It was the hand of God guiding me through.

But, the thing that he said that has haunted me today is when he said with tear filled eyes, " I was hungry Mom, I stole food from Kroger everyday."  I hate addiction.  Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate....It reminds me of the movie, "Sophie's Choice" .  Any decision you make leaves some devastation.  Will we ever heal?  I pray we can.  And I say a prayer for Henry, who never did.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Gentle Sounds of Falling Rain...

It's raining cats and dogs today.  I am lucky enough to be home and can enjoy it's peaceful rhythm.  I've got both girls home off and on on their spring break.  #1 daughter is babysitting for a friend with 6 children while they're celebrating their 25th anniversary in Hawaii.  #2 is driving back and forth while working at a restaurant.  #1 is laying beside me taking a nap with 2 snoring dogs.  These sounds relax me and help me to appreciate what I have.

My son asked me recently what I called him on this blog.  I told him that I just referred to him as my son.  He asked, "are you sure you don't call me dipshit or maybe dumbass?"  He has a great sense of humor.  Recently, he's been telling me how happy he is living here.  He hugs me before work and tells me he loves me.  He calls and checks on me.

Things aren't perfect and financially things are quite strained.  It really wears on me.  But, it's a lot better than where we were.  It's still one day at a time.  But, today is a good day.

Today I say a prayer of thanksgiving for these changes and the wealth of family.  I pray for continued growth and I say a  prayer for Henry.

Does anyone know the origin (original)  of the phrase "meet them where their at"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Swirling Thoughts

Because I am a fair weather kind of gal, I become a bit of a TV bug during the winter and the cooler parts of spring and fall.  I was scouring through Netflix the other day and found a TV series that I have come to  love.  It really isn't a deep or thought provoking show but it did get me to thinking.  It's called "Life". 

It only lasted two seasons but it's about a police officer who was framed for murdering his friend and business partner.  He got life in prison.  After twelve years his verdict was overturned because of DNA evidence.  Prison is a tough place for a police officer so in order to survive he began studying Zen.  Now that he is out his approach to solving crimes has a sprinkle of zen mixed in.  This makes for a very entertaining, out of the box approach to a crime show. 

In Al Anon we try to live each day and only take one day at a time.  That's quite a tough undertaking.  I began looking at how the Jesuit priests follow their patron through the spiritual exercises.  They are fascinating and layered and deal with increasing awareness of who we are as God made us.  The exercises teach us to be aware of our senses and intuition. 

Yesterday I bought a book called, "Mindfulness for Beginners."  On the front jacket the subtitle says, "reclaiming the present moment and your life."  The author is a developer of mindfulness based stress reduction.  He teaches us to be present with who we are right now and to learn to eliminate all of the swirling noise that our fears and busy life blast into our minds drowning out our present.

Pretty cool stuff, huh?  Horses in the wild rarely have health problems.  But, the minute we start taking them out of feeding grain or stalling them in a barn, turning them into show horses the problems begin.  I think we're a lot like that.  We have been taken out of our nature by phones, TVs, cars, fast food, wanting to get ahead, staying so busy that we don't have to deal...etc.

Just my thoughts.  I'm ready to get back to the quiet.  It sustains me now. 

Today I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the ability to keep learning.  I pray for growth for you and your addicted loved one and I say a prayer for Henry.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Color of Water

I met a fellow blogger on Saturday.  I've been reading her blog for over a year and always loved her perspective, ability to look beyond the norm, humor and kindness.  In the beginning, all I knew about her was that she had a son who was a recovering heroin addict.  She knew that I had a son who had an addiction to drugs and alcohol. 

The more I would read her blogs, the more I liked her.  She was like this invisible friend.  Perhaps like a pen pal we used to have, back in the day.  But, she always clicked with the way I saw things.  Slowly I began to learn a few odd facts about her life. And, I imagine she learned a few about me.

I'd like  to give you a slice of what I know about my friend.  She is a realistic "glass half full" kind of gal.  She is a fighter for her kids and her family.  She isn't afraid to look at those that society may have tossed aside.  She looks beyond and gives them a piece of her heart and fights with them.  I don't think that she has room in her life for's so unimportant.  She has learned many painful lessons along the way and shares them with anyone who is willing to receive.  She is a crazy exerciser.  She has already buried and mourned her expectations for her children.  She now sees how little they matter.
She sees God's hand in much of her life.  She doesn't judge and enjoys having fun.  She is a boasting Grandma! 

Now, let me tell you what I learned about her after meeting her.  She has brown short hair.  She is totally fit.  She is white.  She has a few freckles.  I learned her whole name and met her daughter and granddaughter.  I learned that she started out Catholic before trying "those churches that have three rock n roll songs and a thirty minute feel good message" and finally to Judaism. 

I read a book called "The Color of Water".  It is about a biracial couple.  The wife is Jewish and the husband is a black southern Baptist.  One of the kids once asked his mom what color she thought Jesus might be and she replied that she thought he must be the color of water. 

My point is this, we became friends (to borrow some really great words) based on the content of our character rather than the color of our skin or race, religion, political party or socioeconomic standing.

If I can say one good thing about this journey that addiction has taken me on, it would be this;  nothing matters except love......unconditional love. Nothing else...... I learned this fact the hard way but I'm hoping that because of that it means it will "stick."   It was so odd sitting there with her at lunch because I felt like I knew her heart and her face was like a total stranger!!  What a neat way to make friends. 

Today I am thankful for the gifts of insight that this disease taught me.  I am also thankful for all the wonderful people it has tapped me into.  I pray for all of our loved ones affected by this disease and as always, I say a prayer for you, Henry because I'm not sure anyone else would.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I remember when the word boundaries was first introduced to me in relation to addiction.  It was a little frightening and exciting to realize that I did have a little control.  The idea of something that might wrangle the chaos that constantly swirled around my life seemed like something that was too good to be true.

I began to realize that boundaries were all I had in terms of control.  Learning to be consistent with the addict was the test.  Addicts manipulate.  They are the master deceivers.  It took a little practice to stand firm.

In the Homeward Bound Program at the jail I volunteer to take an AlAnon meeting.  These girls really need AA or NA but we are all they have.  One of the things that the girls had a hard time hearing was the fact that I kicked my son out when he refused rehab.  It is a topic that they continue to revisit each week.

All of the girls but one have come to understand why I did it or have let it go, but one.  Wednesday she asked, "what if you kicked him out and he committed suicide?"  I replied, "then he would have made that choice."  I asked her, "what if I allowed him to continue to live here and because of that he had enough money to buy enough drugs to overdose?" 

"It was my boundary"  I said.  "It may not be your mothers."  "It was what I had to do to take care of myself."  "You get to decide what your boundaries are."  "You get to decide if drugs are more important than sobriety."  "You get to decide when you've had enough and you want something different."  Maybe she listened.  Maybe not.  She will decide.

I've not been on here much as I've been working way too many hours.  My house is a mess.  Laundry is piled high.  Groceries are non existent.  I've been eating so poorly and my weight is up.  I could use a few of my own boundaries about now.  It's funny how I couldn't see how the girl at the jail was putting her sobriety on her mom's shoulders because she needed her even if she was using.  She could not see that her choice was just that....her choice.  Same with me.  I haven't put up the much needed boundaries to take care of my health. 

Today I say a prayer thanksgiving for the AlAnon program and the lessons that I have to keep learning, over and over again.  I am thankful for the lessons that those girls teach me and the perspective that they give me.  I pray for growth for each of us and I say a prayer for Henry.