Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Monday

I am thankful that the last couple of weeks have passed.  There was a undercurrent of anxiety and stress that seemed to run the show.  The biggest problem was that despite the fact that the Dad and I had come up with some very clear boundaries for the Son, the Dad suddenly needed to change them and didn't really bother to consult me.  I was furious.  Anger is my go to emotion.  It's like there is no pause available after my brain registers that I have been wronged.  There is an instantaneous explosion of anger.  Then, I get a little down and depressed.  Then I work out the emotions that I am feeling.

Eventually, after much prayer for my enemy (the Dad), I was able to see that he is in a different place than I am.  I was able to recognize that since he had not been the kind of Dad that he wanted to be early on, this is something that he needs to do now.  But, I was also able to say, "Look, I can't really watch it anymore so he needs to live in his own space."  The Dad actually thanked me for letting him do his own thing.  Seems so simple now.  But, communication has never been key in our relationship.  Hopefully that will change.

This week is supposed to be glorious.  Last week the weather was as dreary and turbulent as the mood in our home.  Today's high is around seventy-three and sunny....glorious sunshine!  I watched the movie the Joneses on Netflix.  It was really interesting.  I expected only fluff but there was something there which was a nice surprise.

Saturday the Dad and I went to see the C.S. Lewis play the Great Divorce.  It was so good.  It could easily be argued that as he fought with the idea of giving up lust that he could easily interchange that with addiction.  It was very thought provoking.  After the matinee we had dinner and went to a open speaker meeting.  The weekend ended on a good note. 

Today is my Weight Watchers weigh in after a very stressful and not so vigilant week, so we will see.  I'm still not giving up.  That is the variable that has changed this time around.  I think Al Anon has helped change my perception about failure. 

It's been a productive Monday, thus far, so I'd better head off and finish my list.  You can always count on prayers for each of you being on that list.  Hope your week is good.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Peace for the Day

Wednesday was tea party day at the jail.  Every "semester" of the Homeward Bound program we have a tea party for the ladies in the program.  This tea party is the work of one older lady who volunteers there teaching job readiness...crocheting...crafting all the while she is loving the stuffing out of each and every inmate.  Her name is Louise but she is affectionately called Weesie. 

Every tea party honors someone as well as the girls.  This time they honored the program coordinator.  One of the inmates painted a picture of hands holding the earth with chains broken and falling from those hands.  Mrs. Weesie brought in a cd of the song "Break the Chains...Amazing Grace" which I had never heard before.  She said that it would be our devotion.  As it began to play a few sang quietly along.  Then as the familiar Amazing Grace part began, those singing seemed to loose all of their inhibitions and we all began singing with wild abandon.  It was a very cool moment.  Margins erased.  Just one big group of ladies all wanting to help each other along in this life. 

Life in my home has not been easy.  The Dad and I have different views on helping our boy.  We both love him.  But, I need to let him go to love him in a healthy fashion.  The Dad feels a sense of guilt over not being there for him when he was young.  At the time, his focus was on work.  So he is trying as I guess we all have to have some impact.  It's hard for me to be around.  I will keep my boundaries firm and let them work out their own.  It isn't perfect but it's all I've got right now.

I'm thinking of buying tickets to see the Great Divorce at the performing arts center this weekend.  And the daughter was offered a position in the PhD program at Louisiana Tech.  It will be a big step for her but I know that she is ready.  That's all I've got.  A little bit of grace sprinkled with challenges of this disease and with life.  But for today, I have found some peace and I guess that is enough.

Praying for us all. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It is What it Is.

  The Son is not in recovery.  There it is.  While I am mainly trying to focus on my journey, I  need to be sure that this blog is truthful.  I don't know if he is abusing drugs but I do know that he is abusing alcohol.  I do know that he is not working on sobriety or going to meetings.  I do know that he refuses to see the need for them.  And, I do know that there isn't spit that I can do about it.

I also know that he began to fill in when his dad needed help at work and now he is there everyday.  It worries me.  He says that he is trying to get another job.  He is trying to get back into the apprenticeship program that he was in before he went to rehab last year.  But, whether or not this will actually occur is anybody's guess. 

The Dad worries enough for the both of us.  His anxiety is crippling.  I wish that he would get help for it.  But, there is spit that I can do about that. 

So, for the past couple of days, I have done what all southern gals do in similar situations....I've taken to my bed or sofa.  But, I'm a southern gal on Al Anon, so I have done some prayer and meditation and decided on some new boundaries and tomorrow I hope to emerge again. 

Tonight, I am chairing our meeting and going to pick up one of my graduates from the Homeward Bound program and drop her at an AA meeting next to my Al Anon meeting.  Perhaps that will perk me up.  Trying to take care, hoping you are too and praying.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Thoughts From the Weekend

Big Sister and I drove to Ruston Louisiana Friday night.  She had an interview for a position in a PhD program at Louisiana Tech University.  We arrived at 12:30 am.  We were unable to leave until she got off work at 2 pm.  Saturday morning she was supposed to be at the university by 9:30 am and finished around 4 pm and then back for a dinner at 6 pm. 

I did a little wandering around.  Ruston is 30 minutes from West Monroe, LA in one direction and an hour from Shreveport in another direction.  I wandered around the antique district in West Monroe.  It was probably the best antique shopping I'd ever seen.

Once her dinner was over, she picked me up from Starbucks ( where she had parked me) and we headed a little closer to home.  We stayed the night in Little Rock.  The next morning we headed to Memphis where I met a cousin for mass and lunch before heading back to Nashville.  It was so nice to see him and spend a little time there. 

I've spent a lot of time this year trying to stop and visit.  I'm trying to remember to savor the family that I have left.  The Dad and I have been isolated for far too long.  At first we lived 500 miles from all of our family and once we moved back here, the business and insanity of all that we had come to be took over.  I'm living my life now.  I'm starting to enjoy a few things that I had forgotten about.

I am tired of the same problems.  Today I feel as if I need to stay parked in my home and just rest.  Some days just feel as if things will never change.  Honestly, I know that many things are so much better.  But, other problems weigh me down.  Maybe it is the fatigue from the weekend.......You have all been there.  While I am taking today to just chill, I'll get back out there tomorrow.  But, while I'm in, I'll be praying for all of you guys.


Monday, March 10, 2014


I'm thinking of moving my blog to wordpress.  I'm not certain, but I think I need a fresh look and a fresh start.  I guess I'm having a mid (actually 2/3) life crisis/awakening......  There are just sixty-four days left till I turn FIFTY.  I can't believe it.  I don't feel fifty.  In my mind, I am still young.  Maybe I'm in my late twenties, early thirties max.  But, then I look in the mirror and holy crap, there is a middle aged woman staring back at me.  I went to my hometown this weekend for a bridal shower and  I ran into a few people that I knew from high school and they were old people.  How did this happen?

I'm going to weigh in today.  We missed last week because the meeting was cancelled for snow.  Today the temperature should reach seventy.  Welcome to middle Tennessee weather.  I'm always a little nervous about the weigh in, even though I weigh at home every twelve hours day.   I know I've passed ten pounds as two weeks ago I was at 9.4 lbs.  Just like my dad, who used to will winter away, I am willing the pounds to melt.  And, yes acceptance is something I'm still working on, thank you very much.

Lastly, I'm writing a book.  I've been thinking of doing it for three years.  At first, I wanted to write with some friends.  But, I had enough problems trying to figure out my own part, much less knowing how to coordinate it and organize it with another.  I've never really given up on it.  Maybe, it will be only for my family.  Maybe it will get published.  Whatever will be, will be.  But, these things I decided to do and follow through with in this my fiftieth year. 

I watched Oprah last night.  I watched the first episode of Lindsay (Lindsay Lohan documentary) and her interview with Russell Brandt.  I'm so glad that she (Oprah) is giving attention to the epidemic problem of addiction.  I'm really rooting for Lindsay but how many of you moms out there wanted to swoop in there and clean her hotel room and tell her that she needed to divest herself of all of that STUFF?  Maybe it's just me, but I also wanted to say, "go buy yourself a little cottage in the country or by the can you possibly get clear in the noise of the city and with paparazzi?" 

Yes, I still go to Al Anon (regarding previous paragraphs).  But, I think I have such good ideas......Loving the sunshine today!  Hang in there my friends, spring is on it's way.  Praying for you all.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Coming Full Circle

I have five brothers and sisters.  And, I have twenty nieces and nephews.  And, fourteen great nieces and nephews.  We are a prolific bunch!  Yesterday I traveled an hour away to see my niece and her newest child, just five days old.  He was so tiny.  This is her fourth child and so I decided to take them dinner instead of a baby gift.  By the time you have four, two boys and two girls, you have it (baby clothes, furniture, tools)  all.  But, you don't have time. 

This niece is my oldest brother's daughter.  While growing up, he was my favorite.  He is seventeen years older than me and he took me everywhere.  He tried ( and failed) to get me into sports.  He read to me, turning me  into a voracious reader.  We lived in a tiny town in Kentucky.  There were no book stores for miles around.  But, we had a library and we lived in the country so  the bookmobile came around every two weeks.  My brother worked on the railroad so when he went to a town where there was a bookstore, he always brought me back books. 

He got married when I was in my early teens and when he and his wife had a baby, I loved hanging out at their house.  It went well for a while but then my sister-in-law's drinking became a wedge between her and every single area of her life.  It was ugly.  We became distant.  Everyone just wanted to steer clear of the insanity that is alcoholism.  I grew up, got married and moved away.  Then my own cloud of addiction entered the picture.  They say that if you don't deal with things in your life, God will continue to give you opportunities to learn from them and so I guess he did.

Yesterday was the first time that I've really talked to my niece.  Oh we've chatted, but yesterday we talked about what was/is real.  And it was such a blessing.  This little girl that I knew is now a grown woman carrying scars from addiction but surviving it.  She is a loving mother, good wife and so diligent in providing for her children, what she did not have.  I am so impressed.  But, I want her to learn to take care of herself and to model that for her children. 

I want to get to know her again.  I want to get to know the others.  Addiction is the big elephant in the family room of my big extended family.  If we all gathered at the same time, we could form our own Al Anon group and probably an AA group as well.  I just think it's time we started to talk to each other. 

In other news, it is the second day of lent and the time changes this weekend.  I can't believe it's spring forward time again.  It's been so  cold that it doesn't seem like it can be that time, already.  Weight Watchers was cancelled due to weather which bummed me out because tracking both food and weight really help me. 

Big Sister got an invitation to interview for a position in a PhD program in Louisiana.  We are going down next weekend for a tour and a day of events followed by her interview.  I think she was shocked by the invitation.  She only expected to be accepted into masters programs. 

The Son is working for his Dad until he gets a new job.  I have a lot of concerns about that.  I really want to be careful that we aren't enabling.  We did need an employee and he had just quit a job but it can be a slippery slope.  Praying you guys.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gifts of Addiction

I've been asked to chair the next Al Anon meeting.  That means you lead the meeting and choose a topic for discussion.  Sometimes I need to deal with something in particular such as fear.  But other times I thumb through the index and I wait to see what topic jumps out at me.  This week I didn't really have a pressing need to focus on a particular topic so I started to thumb through the index. 

There were several topics that jumped out at me.  I wrote each of the topics down on a piece of paper.  I thought that maybe I'd take some time to see if one topic spoke to me more than the others.  I believe that Al Anon works that way.  God will choose and I will deliver the topic.  I finally looked at my list and instead of looking at each individual item, I looked at the collection as a whole and realized that they were all gifts of addiction.  You might think that they are gifts of a twelve step program or gifts from my faith or gifts from counseling, but really if it hadn't been for the disease of addiction, I would not have sought the changes learned from each of those avenues. 

Addiction has changed me.  Addiction has made me humble, loving, mindful, accepting,  aware, present and grateful.  Addiction has taught me not to be afraid, judgmental, mind other people's business or expect. 

I'm so grateful that I am in process.  I don't think it ever would have happened without addiction.  Maybe it would have, but addiction did happen and I am changing as a result.  Make no mistake, I would never wish this disease on my son.  But, it did happen and I will be grateful for the gifts that were given in the midst of the heartbreak.  I was wondering if any of you all felt the same way.  If so, what one thing really changed about you?

On another note, I have lost 9.6 of last Monday.  I will weigh in tomorrow afternoon at 4pm and I feel as though I've lost another 1-2 lbs.  I'll let you know later.  It is a slow process but I am thankful that I am facing a lifelong struggle. 

My niece just had her fourth child!  Her mom was an alcoholic.  I used to say that she was an alcoholic and my brother's drug of choice was her......I didn't know the term co dependent but I knew what it was....even then.  I'm going to go see her and take her dinner and a ODAT or Courage to Change.  I've never asked her as an adult how she dealt with it.  I guess we didn't talk about it much.  I think it's time I asked.  I'm praying for all of you.