Sunday, August 17, 2008

CBC, Comin' atcha!

Hi, boys and grrls. Last night was my first official work shift at the place I am now working---and actually getting a decent amount of hours!---the "Behavioral Center", which is a residential place for children and adolescents with behavioral and mental challenges. Several are DD and CD (Dual and Chemically Dependant), and reading some of their charts after lights out was so very sobering.
I was on the Unit with the more severe young women, including ages 11 to almost 18, I think. I brought some of the Orientation pprwork here to work with me to study up. Overall, it went really smoothly, but the honeymoon won't last that long I'm SURE. It's easy to be more patient with them, keeping in mind that they are KIDS. It was interesting to observe the interactions between a very curvy and cute 11th grade girl and a younger (male)Tech. Couldn't really tell if there was a crush situation happening, but it is something to be extra careful about even appearing like it could be. One of teh Orientation movies was about a pt. cruching on a young male tech, and this was def not like THAT, but it's easy to see how it could happen, especially for the girls being cooped up with only each other's company, and the young guys; well, you know they're pretty much subject to their hormones, anyway, aren't they? lol
Seriously, the Tech was completely appropriate and there were no boundaries being ANY way crossed, but the girl obviously likes him a lot. Could have even been a sibling-ish thing, as there were not overtones at all, but I was just keeping an eye on them. Seems like a very nice girl, there to get mentally and emotionally stabilized to finish up High School, basically. Was talking to Tech boy about her not having any friends at school, and about younger boys there asking her if they could have a hug. (She is STACKED) I remember that "line" from the itty bitty boys when *I* was in High School! Was glad that she rolled her eyes at them and went on her way.
It seems like for the first part, anyway, I will get to kind of mentor the girls to a degree. I feel comfortable there, and really quite happy to FINALLY be in "my element"....and not just my ride. ;)

Oh, and just to keep you in the loop, Mr. Georgia showed his true reptilian colors the other day. I mourned the loss of the (imaginary, apparently) friendship and what could have been, and I'm moving on. Men. Can't live with'em, and can't shoot'em.
Oh, well, I'm beginning to think that while there might be just as FEW quality men online as there are pound-for-pound in TRW (the real world), I can just keep in mind that it's not something that I want to try to get emotionally involved in. I know we can all show our 'back-sides' on occasion. I was just so hoping that it would be a long term thing. Well, Alannis Morrissette said some good things, one of them being "you live, you learn"...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Different Kind Of Share

Though a rose is a rose is a rose, this is a different kind of share.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Here I am, on this fine July--not YET sweltering--day, in probably my favorite dress, ever, as best I can recall. My beautiful almost-8-year old son took this of me. I think he's got potential, don't you? We just got back home from dropping off Big brother at band practise, and soon it will be time to fetch him and return him to the church's "teens" summer camp. I SO appreciuate the effort the ppl are putting into the whole thing, even if it is only a couple of days. I guess I haven't quite "arrived" yet, b/c I caught myself thinking ugly thoughts about one of the women there helping to set up a tent last night. It didn't take long at all, for that Little Voice to remind me "At least SHE'S trying to help!" So, I suppose I'll "keep coming back".
There are so many unusual things going on in my little world at the moment, that I don't even know if I want to share much of any of them.I guess the least controversial thing I can tell you about, is that in just about 2 weeks, I'll be on my way south, kids in tow, of course, to visit with a dear friend from H.S. and her family for a couple of days.
OH! And to meet Mr. WOW (ALMOST too good to be true), who will be driving up from Georgia to meet at about the halfway point. I feel more like a giddy school girl, and am more aware of my body's resembling an old school MARM every day... Desperately ignoring the old tapes in my head that want me to be stupid and forget how hard I've been working to be able go it ALONE, relying on NO man to stay afloat. It would certainly be nice to have a partner in anti-crime ;) again, no doubt about it, but I'm really tickled to have gotten to be good friends at this juncture. Sure, him being a cutie-pie doesn't hurt anything, and I am quite sure that God has arranged for us to live around 600 miles apart, for our own good---mine, anyway. I don't know if he has the 'jump-first-look-later, MAYBE' tendencies that I've exhibited in the past, but I have been doing my best to keep in today, and just enjoy the getting to know each other phase.
I've come to rather enjoy not having another adult underfoot, and I'm absolutely going to have the highest...standards (Hm. Not expectations, but what is the word I'm looking for?), EVER. The boys have each spoken to him on the phone, and they can't help but notice that Mom's grinning and happier more than she has been in a looonnnngg time. He's beginning to be a tangible addition here, in some respects. I missed having a friend to talk to on a regular basis. Well, God is in charge. I've reminded him, as we feel our way down this long(-----UPDATE: apparently I mis-measured. Turned out to be very SHORT & darker than I'd realised!!-----) dark hallway, together, that if God's not in charge it will never be anything but bad, and that all he's gotta do is stay on his knees.
I find my heart in that same posture more regularly, now, too.
God, thank you for looking after all the little addicts, and all the ex-addicts, and all the ones who are brave enough to love us. Thank you for letting us hear from You often, when we sit down and get quiet for a little while. And thanks for irritating ladies from church who want to help, when the rest of us can't or won't. Please forgive me for being such a butthead.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Free "dating" Inventory---Great stuff for a laugh

The Maid of Honor

Deliberate Gentle Love Master (DGLM)

The Maid of Honor

Appreciated for your kindness and envied for all your experience, you are The Maid of Honor.

Charismatic, affectionate, and terrific in relationships, you are what many guys would call a "perfect catch"--and you probably have many admirers, each wishing to capture your long-term love. You're careful, extra careful, because the last thing you want is to hurt anyone. Especially some poor boy whose only crime was liking you.

We've deduced you're fully capable of a dirty fling, but you do feel that post-coital attachment after hooking up. So, conscientious person that you are, you do your best to reserve physical affection for those you you can respect yourself.

Your biggest negative is the byproduct of your careful nature: indecision. You're just as slow rejecting someone as you are accepting them.

Your exact female opposite:



Random Brutal Sex Dreamer

Always avoid: The False Messiah (DBLM), The 5-Night Stand (DBSM), The Vapor Trail (RBLM), The Bachelor (DGSM)

Consider: The Gentleman (DGLM), someone just like you.

Link: The Online Dating Persona Test | OkCupid - personals | Dating
My profile name: : abbiegrrl

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Enjoy the Silence

It has been a really long week but luckily for us, it has ended better than I could have ever imagined. Last Monday evening, Jim was viciously attacked by three strangers and stabbed multiple times. There were three major injuries: a punctured lung, a punctured liver and a deep stab wound in his neck although in total there were something like 45 stab wounds found on his upper body. Obviously, he was amazingly lucky. The following stories all appeared in our local paper. It was such an awful thing to have to witness. I have never seen such animal behaviour.

If you are interested, you can also check out a video report from our local news.

London police have charged three men in connection with the stabbing of a man at a Wonderland Road South apartment building, Monday (May 12).

The victim, a 41-year-old male, remains in a London hospital in critical but stable condition.

The ongoing police investigation has revealed the three suspects assaulted the victim when he went to Unit 608 to speak to the occupants about loud noise coming from the apartment, police said.

Tenants in the building have said the unit was a common source of noise and has been the object of complaints on several occasions. Reports have also suggested that the victim is one of two landlords, employees of InterRent Properties, who responded to the unit following complaints from neighbours.

Police said none of the suspects charged resided in the building.

Detectives from the London police Major Crime Section continue to investigate the stabbing.

Patrick Ferrera, 23, Leonardo Ferrera, 22, and Marol Angou, 20, all of London, have been charged with aggravated assault.

Three arrests in stabbing
Tue, May 13, 2008

Three persons have been arrested in relation to a stabbing at 951 Wonderland Rd., London city police said today.

A 41-year-old man was taken to hospital yesterday with life-threatening injuries by ambulance after police responded to a call at the apartment building near the Westmount mall at about 5:45 p.m.

No names have been released yet, but the major crime unit of London Police Services is questioning suspects today and continuing their investigation.

Man, 41, in hospital with life-threatening injuries
Tue, May 13, 2008

41-year-old man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after an apparent stabbing in London's southwest end late yesterday.

The victim, whose name wasn't released, was taken by ambulance to London Health Science Centre's Victoria Hospital, paramedics said.

Three people were arrested, police said in a brief news release. No names were released, and there was no indication charges had been laid.

The incident took place at 951 Wonderland Rd. South, near the Westmount Shopping Centre, around 5:30 p.m. The area is home to many high-rise apartment buildings. One caller to The Free Press had earlier reported a large number of emergency vehicles, including police cars, gathered at the scene.

It's uncertain whether the injured man lived at the address where police found him."The investigation is unfolding rapidly," London police Staff Sgt. Tom Gaffney said last night.

It's Over


A man wielding a crowbar had police in Upper Bucks jumping early Monday morning.Joseph Raffensperger, 27, of Milford, was arrested around 4 a.m. for attempting to rob one convenience store and taking $165 from another, said Sgt. Edward C. Murphy of the state police barracks in Dublin.Quakertown police were called to the 7-Eleven on South West End Boulevard or Route 309 at about 3:40 a.m. where Raffensperger entered the store and brandished a crowbar. The clerk fended him off with a broomstick.“I feel bad for the clerk; it’s the second or third time he’s been held up,” said Murphy.After leaving the 7-Eleven, Raffensperger headed south on Route 309 in a red minivan, stopping at the Wawa at Tollgate Road and Route 309 in Richland. He again went in with the crowbar, this time getting $165 from the store, police said.While state police were responding first to assist Quakertown, then to Richland, where state police provide overnight protection, Perkasie police heard a description of the vehicle and spotted the red minivan and followed it.Raffensperger didn’t stop immediately when Perkasie police tried to pull him over. He lost control of the minivan on Main Street in Sellersville and when he tried to stop, he hit a shrub, jumped out of the minivan and started to run away, Murphy said.After a short chase, Perkasie police captured Raffensperger and turned him over to state police. Pennridge Regional police also assisted at the scene, Murphy said.Raffensperger was charged with several counts of robbery, simple assault, possessing instruments of crime, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and driving under suspension.He was arraigned at Quakertown district court before District Judge C. Robert Roth and taken to Bucks County Prison when he failed to post 10 percent of $250,000 bail.

I tried, I failed---at it all.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shame in the World of Sex Addiction

What does one do with the shame?

Perhaps you left your sex addict. Perhaps you stayed. Perhaps you left and then returned for reasons that are only known to you. Perhaps you don't know what to do. Perhaps you are a sex addict. Or a co-addict. Love addict. Romance addict. Relationship addict. Perhaps it's all of these. Perhaps it's none. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

Perhaps you are me.

At the end of the day when I am laying my tired body down to rest, my mind begins to wage war. The images scorch before my mind's eye, searching for a place to make their home.

I no longer want this body to be home to the memories. And so, the endless riddle is, what does one do with the shame?

When it began to dawn on me that my partner had a sexual addiction, I did nothing. I believed that if I loved him through it, showed him my unconditional love, that somehow he would be healed. And in doing so, I nearly destroyed myself. And honestly, when I say I did nothing, that is not true.

I enabled him.

I became a willing participant. I owned his shame. I owned his disease. And for a while, I believe I became his disease.

In my journey towards recovery, I have had to face the very real fact that I absolutely cannot change the past. I am a natural born control freak, so this has been challenging for me to accept. Shame revisits me often. I greet it like an old friend, cry with it, scream with it, and sleep with it. It visits me in my dreams, in shadows of pain, in twisted memories. Always exaggerating the evil it thinks it is.

And yet, in moments of clarity, I have come to realize that shame is nothing but love at the other end of the spectrum. I am propelled towards love and forgiveness with shame licking at my heels. I cannot seem to run fast enough. The awakening for me has been in the realization of this concept: anything that brings us back to love, is simply love in disguise. And so now, I tell my old friend that it is no longer needed, it has already done what it was supposed to do.

Shame has inspired within my soul a longing, a search for perfect love and complete forgiveness, acceptance, and redemption, and, yes, a soul mate, beautiful sunsets, full moons, magical beginnings, and happily ever-afters.

And I am finding that this road is leading back to Me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Advice for a "Captive" reader, et al

A daughter's pregnancy should be something joyous ... but due to daughter's history, use and or support of a heroin addicted "boyfriend", it is such a serious concern to me right now... especially since SHE doesn't seem to be taking it seriously at all. A BABY. Due in July.

I started this blog post on April 8 - My daughter was in jail again, 6 months pregnant, for possession of heroin... another stomach punch out of the blue when just the night before everything had seemed so good with her. Anyway, I had meant to ask for recommendations for books to send to her, anything that might get through to her while she was in jail - She's a reader...

Alas, she is also an addict, still, apparently - stories vary from her - she was holding for her "boyfriend" when she got arrested, or they were selling heroin but not using it, or she had heroin so she "wouldn't be in pain"... It's hard to fathom that she really thought that any of these were valid justifications.

It's sad to be a parent whose primary emotion, when learning that pregnant daughter is in jail, is joy... because for that moment I am sure she is not only safe, but that everyone who cares about her feels the same and won't bond her out. It's also sad to be so naive - The "boyfriend's" parents bonded her out a week ago :-(

I had written and gone to visit her, and made it clear I would not bond her out, that I love her and once she was released I would get her to rehab and have a place for her and the baby - That's what she said she wanted - she had said his parents were raising money to bond her out - I told her that if that happened, it was important for her to COME HOME and if she did my offer still stood. She agreed and said she loved me to and wanted to do the right thing for her baby.

Of course, she didn't come home. I am very worried about her lack of comprehension of the seriousness of EVERYTHING.

Gee - Sorry - back to the origins of this post... I would still like reading suggestions, but more importantly, I have one: "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff... It is written by a parent of an addict, and is raw in it's honesty of what it is to love an addicted child - I would recommend it to anyone who loves an addict, and to addicts themselves.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recently from Cross Addicted....

Hi, everyone.

It's Wednesday of Spring Break week, here, and MAN, am I ready for the kids to get back into school!!!!! I've never heard so much whining and crying, pi**ing and moaning, "it's too cold to go out! It's raining again! When does school start back up again??!!"---oh, wait. That was ME. Nevermind. xp

Well, I've been slacking on my schoolwork like CRAZY, so I felt that I would at least try to make this post somewhat educational, in case anyone should find it, while looking for info.

Last semester I was taking a class that was about the family and how they deal (or don't) with addiction, and it was striking to me that the textbook really seemed to "poo-poo" the idea of getting particularly concerned when the addict/alkie relapsed. It was saying that it's going to happen, so when it does, the addicted person needs to just pick themselves up and move on. Maybe try harder next time. WHICH, I'm sorry, am I the only one getting this?---smacks of the illusion of "self-control", to me. Reading these things, I remember thinking, "well, sh*t, then I can just go out and have a couple, and get up the next day and hold my head high and get that "slip chip"---coz, shoot, it's what we're s'posed to do! That chaps my ass. If it was all that nice and neat why would anyone ever need to quit?!

Anyway, that's not what I was going to write about today.
It amuses me to no end when I read things in Psychiatric journals adn the like, letting us all in on their latest discovery: "recovering tweakers more likely to have major depression"! (My translation, I'm pretty sure they don't use terms like "Tweaker" in their journals) Now granted, maybe this is only a no-brainer to me, b/c this is my area of specialty, and I've always tried to learn as much about drugs as possible. But it kinds really just makes sense, when you stop and consider it: Your brain is getting overloaded with FEEL-GOOD chemicals, for however long you are using coke, crank, Ice, meth, uppers in general, or whatever you wanna call it, then it stops getting all that sweet tweaky goodness. All of a sudden, the parts of the brain that are already built in, to make you feel good when good things happen, are NOT getting any assistance to do their jobs, and they have become essentially atrophied. I mean, it's just common knowledge, isn't it, that if you have a muscle that you don't use for a long time, it will get smaller until it can't possibly do the job it was made for?
And so it makes perfect sense to me, that I would tend to be even more of a "depressive" personality now, after having HAD the incredible highs that those drugs bring, for so long, and removing the same drugs.
But, I just wish I knew one thing, at least with some reasonable assurance:

Does your brain ever get balanced out again? I'd bet nobody has done all the testing necessary to really research this, for the simple reason that it would require the depressed person to be off of their meds for an extended period of time, and if that wasn't reason enough, think of the havoc it would reek(sp?) in the pharmaceutical empires, if it turned out that we COULD eventually be done with their fat, wallet-padding lineup.(???) I just want to be done with needing THE MAN, which is what it feels like, if I might be so brash. But today, right now, I am unable to remove the need for the chemical adjustments that the medical companies can only give. I detest this dependence. But until a whole lot of my situation changes, this is how it's gotta be. If only God would give me a big, towering, undeniable sign, and REMOVE the problem, so that I could just put them down and be ok.
I comfort myself, when thoughts of "what did the world do BEFORE they had antidepressants?" run through my mind, with this reply:
Maybe the world wasn't as completely morbidly depressing then. Maybe it wasn't.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Crossing Over

There are those who have said that they drank or drugged for years without harmful consequences of their use. Then one day they somehow "crossed over the line". They became unable to control their chemical use. Crossing the line is when the brain adapts to the chemical use and overrides the rational or reasonable thought processes. The chemical use-reward sequence that leads to the euphoria in the pleasure center becomes "hardwired" or imprinted into the brain. Once this occurs normal drinking and social drug use are impossible. They have crossed the line into addiction. They no longer can control the use.

People who are chemically dependent do not crave particular drugs but rather they crave the euphoria that a drug produces. While each person may have a favorite drug, the person is actually addicted to the feeling of intoxication.

I was recently asked why a recovering opiate addict could not drink alcohol. This is the answer. A chemically dependent person cannot replace one drug with another because it is not the drug but the feeling of intoxication that is the problem.

Addiction is a progressive terminal disease. Left unchecked the addiction can take a life either through accident or from physical complications. However, how many addicts really think about this in the early stages of their chemical use?

Alcohol & drug use becomes progressively worse over time as the tolerance to the chemical increases and to obtain that feeling of euphoria becomes more of a challenge. The higher the level of toxic mood altering chemicals in the body, the more damage is done to the organs & nervous system. The liver has a harder time detoxifying the chemicals. The body can no longer function in a normal manner. The health deteriorates. Consumption rises. All hell breaks loose.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What Is Chemical Addiction

Accepting that we're dependent on drugs or alcohol is hard. We find we do not fit our idea of an addict or alcoholic. Old family values, cultural beliefs, movies and television shows have given us inaccurate pictures of alcoholics and addicts. These images have influenced our thinking. We may see people who are chemically dependent as losers or failures or as people in the gutter of life which is certainly not the way we want people to see us.

The terms addiction, addict and alcoholic carry a stigma or feeling of shame. Many people believe that addiction is a weakness (if we were just morally or emotionally stronger, we could "lick" this problem), we should be able to stop using on our own and we just do not have enough willpower (if we were more disciplined we'd be able to stop).

The only thing I can tell you is do not buy into these myths. People who've never encountered the true nature of addiction can't conceive of what an addict is going through. They have never experienced the inability to stop chemical use. They just do not understand. The responses of our loved ones and close friends can be particularly hurtful.

We may see the addiction as unfair. No one ever said "Hey you, stand in this line if you'd like to become addicted to alcohol or drugs and ruin your life". Dependency is seen as a curse in which there are no answers. But there is an answer. It is called understanding the addiction process.

Addiction to alcohol/drugs is a complex illness. It is progressive and can be life threatening. It has social, physiological and psychological components.

The process of addiction begins with drug availability to the purity and route of administration. Dose, frequency and duration of use, genetic factors, developmental factors, mental illness, chronic pain and psychosocial factors all influence the process of addiction.

Then there is the brain chemistry of addiction. When mood altering drugs are put into one's body the bloodstream picks up these chemicals and quickly carries them to the brain. Inside the brain, these chemicals set off the complex chemical reactions within the brain and distorts the reality. This altered state is commonly known as "intoxication". Some people find this feeling pleasant. Others find this experience unpleasant.

Addiction is not about willpower or weakness. Research has shown that the addiction process is connected to how the brain is wired. Powerful chemicals called neurotransmitters control brain activity. They carry messages from one brain neuron to another. Whereas the cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain, "I will never use drugs or drink again". It is the brain stem that is home to the limbic system that contains the components of addictive behavior.

The limbic system stimulates the sense of smell, motivation, sex drive and complex emotional responses. It also contains what is called the "pleasure center".

The pleasure center responds to what else, pleasurable stimulation and learns to repeat it. Neurotransmitters endorphins and dopamine activate the pleasure center. Alcohol and drugs increase the activity of these neurotransmitters resulting in feelings of euphoria. The cycle begins with that first drink or that first pill.

Over time, the body stops making these neurotransmitters on their own because they have become accustomed to the presence of alcohol/drugs. Without the alcohol/drugs , the let-down begins as the brain is awaiting more alcohol/drugs. When the body is out of balance, the cravings begin. The need for the use of alcohol/drugs becomes intense and eventually takes over. The "thinking part" of the brain screams "stop". The "limbic part" of the brain screams "go".

Part II Crossing the line into addiction.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Feelings Suck Sometimes

I'm a little over a year into my recovery and for some reason, I still get shocked at how bad feelings can feel sometimes.

I'll give you a for instance...right now I'm feeling foolish, hurt and a little angry because of a situation that just happened between my husband and myself. The details aren't really important but the way I'm feeling is.

I wish I knew how those who aren't in addiction recovery deal with bad feelings. Do you think of ways to make it stop? Do you realize that it will go away on it's own? Obviously you aren't into numbing your pain right? Or are you and I just think that I'm the only one?

My first thoughts always have to do with making the negative feelings go away by any means necessary. In the old days that would mean numbing myself into oblivion with various pills down my throat and powder up my nose.

Now-a-days my first thoughts still always go to numbing the pain but...I just don't act on those initial thoughts. Usually my thoughts then move on to other ways of making myself feel better.

This time I've chosen to share what I'm feeling with you nice people in hopes that by getting these things out of my head via the keyboard it will give me a little relief. The days of me stuffing my feelings are over right?

My new life of not looking for instant gratification has taught me that even if the bad feelings do not go right away, expressing them is a healthy start.

I can tell you this - taking some time to write down my thoughts and feelings has allowed me to put a little perspective on what my actual feelings are. It's not feeling as bad as it initially felt. I guess this stuff really does work right?

Wow...this was like a sitcom. Everything wrapped up in a nice bow by the end of the episode. Well, thanks so much for watching and be sure to tune in next time. Goodnight.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

I find myself watching that show on A & E INTERVENTION from time to time. Sometimes I get sucked right into the addicts story of woe while other times, the addict ends up infuriating me so much that I fear I'll end up giving myself a stroke! I know that every addict is different and so is their tolerance, etc but you'll be hard pressed to convince me that someone who has just been using for a couple of years is going to have as difficult a time kicking then someone who has used for a couple of decades. Whatever, that's not really what has got me all fired up!

I am very much aware that there are a whole lot of people who drink or drug so that they are able to escape or forget some awful past trauma, or to self medicate either diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues. I also think that there are a whole lot of us out there who drink or take drugs just cause they like to drink or take drugs! I was most definitely one of them.

It's often much more difficult to watch the addicts support group as they struggle to come to terms with their addict and his/her behaviour. Without exception, they all seem to have a tendency to blame themselves in some way for the addicts problems. Maybe that's true in some cases, but I suspect that more often than naught, it is not at all related. Maybe they're simply being too hard on themselves. Certainly if they actually did something terrible, then my guess is that they already know it. So, if they are unable to actually think of anything that they could have done to cause them to drink or drug then there probably isn't anything at all. They should attempt to move on and stop torturing themselves with guilt, vainly searching for that traumatic event that caused their loved one to become an addict. They may simply have to accept that perhaps their addict does what they do simply because they love getting drunk or high for this and this alone.

I wished many times when I was young and immature and arrogant that I had something in my past to be tortured about. It's a lot more romantic and punk rock if your life is filled with some sort of angst! Unfortunately for me, I was as far removed from that lifestyle than one could possibly imagine - now, since my late teens and early twenties, I've since managed to change all of that and wish that I didn't have some of the baggage I've now managed to accumulate in the past two decades!

I was fortunate enough to be raised by involved, loving and kind parents, given every middle class advantage. I did exceptionally well in school. earning a full paying scholarship to university upon my high school graduation. I was a lifeguard at our local pool every summer and worked as a waitress at the local truck stop during the school year. I had more than enough friends and no terrible, life altering story to tell about my teen years or even any tease worthy physical defects. I had what many would consider an idyllic childhood and yet, I still managed to spend two and a half decades abusing substances as if this were my true life's calling.

I discovered booze in my mid teens, and I loved it. I mean, I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. I then managed to spend the next many years of my life enjoying it to great excess. I drank because I liked getting drunk too much. It fit just right inside my mind. Eventually, of course, the drinking got less fun, certainly less exciting, and in fact, actually started to get boring. It never got to the point where my drinking interfered with my work or life but still I could see that if I didn't reign myself in that I'd be unable to maintain the status quo much longer.

Drinking was much easier to walk away from simply because I had something newer and shinier to replace it with. I still had a pretty idyllic life even though I'd since been through a couple of really nasty relationships but even so, I never used any of this as an excuse to continue my substance abusing lifestyle. I had now simply integrated this into my everyday routine. Even at the very end of my final out of control opiate addiction two and a half years ago, I was never, ever using because of some awful trauma that I was trying desperately to suppress. To the end, and I mean to my absolute final hit with that syringe filled with about 12mg of dilaudid, I was using simply because I loved to use. End of sentence, full stop. Period.

In the end, it doesn't matter much how you got yourself addicted, once you are, you have a struggle ahead of you, and I don’t think that falling into addiction this way is any “worse” than falling into addiction and abuse for any other reason. Nobody plans to become a desperate drunk or drug addict, certainly not initially or intentionally, although as a species, we seem to be hardwired to seek out pleasure – and for those of us that seem to get more pleasure out of a drink and drugs than others, it’s understandable why we might get ourselves into trouble.

Friday, March 21, 2008


What happen to Scout? I am concerned. Thanks.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

First Job in my ACTUAL field!!!

Yes! Today, I am going to have the first opportunity to experience being a true, honest, hundred percent employed "CVC Supervisor"! For those who might not know, this means that when a decision has been made for parents to have "supervised" visitation with their children, I get to help. There will be families who are using our services under duress, and those who are coming to our program of their own accord. Either way, the point is, that I will be helping to provide a safe place for the families to begin what will hopefully end in reconciliation.
There were 3 other women who began this job at the same time as I, and we seem to be from rather different backgrounds. I grinned to myself when our boss said that we all brought different things to the table, very important skills and gifts, etc. I'm quite certain I am the only one of us with an extensive history of drug use and abuse! One of the ladies is a recent graduate of a local college, another is head of another "social services organization", and I'm not certain, but the 4th might just be a "Normie". :o)
I'm not sure what I've told the boys, but after church this morning the older one was asking me things like "Are you going to have any kind of weapons there with you, like in case the parents get out of hand?" Then he went into asking if I might be able to get a Taser?!
Like I said, I'm not sure what I've said to them previously. Apparently I mentioned the possibility of there being trouble, but I suppose I ought to have been a bit more careful about my choice of wording.
Truth is, I don't know if there will be any "excitement". I know it's going to involve a lot of tearful children and potentially some rather upset parents, but as far as anything I might have to intervene in, only God knows. I'm guessing that my background as an addict, added in with the classes in Crisis Intervention and the rest of the "Substance Abuse" curriculum are the main things that I uniquely bring to the place. I certainly look forward to the people-watching I'm in for. I can't remember a time when observing folks hasn't been tres intriguing to me.
Oh, the other thing I'll be doing, as well as watching and listening, is taking notes on anything "note-worthy". I don't know how I will approach all this, considering that each situation will be a different set of circumstances. But for the court-appointed ones, I'll probably go into it letting them think I'm easily fooled. I know better than most (well, most Normies, for sure)how easily a person can put on an act for outsiders, in order to get what they want. The lessons in manipulation and subtle abuse techniques that I experienced from marital experiment #1 have never left me. I am grateful for them, today. Wow. That's so crazy. The Alcoholics Anonymous big Book talks about things that will happen as we go along this journey called recovery, and one of them goes like this:

"We will not regret the past, nor wish to close the door on it."

I can't say that I don't regret the abuse I've been through, but I can see how God has faithfully turned it into something that we can use for good. And, frankly, if I can help a child to get out of that kind of existence, and/or prevent it from happening in just one family, then it WAS worth it.
Most of the time, if there has been a decree of "Supervised Visitation", it's safe to say that SOMEONE has made some poor decisions, at least. More than likely, I'm going to wager a guess that most of the time it
is the case. Not having begun this job, yet, I guess I'll have to report later whether this is the case or not.
But I'm really excited about it!

Oh, and I've been checking out an online introduction thingy, too. Made one new friend,I think. I have to tell you this joke, while I'm thinking of it---and it DOES NOT apply, here, tyvm:

How can you tell when a couple of addicts are on their second date?
Have you heard this one???

By the Moving truck outside.

Oh, you liked it, admit it!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dealing With Our Emotions

Addicts and Alcoholics are notorious for not wanting to talk about what's bothering them. When they were using, they couldn't talk about their problems for fear someone would discover how severe their addiction was. They may have learned early in life that problems were not to be discussed openly. Opening up may lead to manipulation or rejection by others. Many have used chemicals to cope with the every day feelings.

Learning to talk about feelings is a critical part of recovery. To remain clean & sober, one must learn the skills to deal with feelings. Failure to deal with feelings leads right back to chemical use. When someone is troubled, they should seek out other people in recovery and share their feelings whether they be of shame. guilt, anger or fear. This takes the burden off your shoulders and generally leads to some worthwhile positive feedback. It may be necessary to discuss these feelings with many different people as to reduce the level of these emotions.

Sometimes it is necessary to make changes in your life. You need to learn how to identify the problems that need to be dealt with. For instance, anger and resentment plays a major role in addictive behavior. Anger is not the issue. Unresolved anger is the issue. When anger is left unresolved then resentment sets in. Resentment is the major cause of relapse. Resentment is the the opposite of forgiveness and it keeps you stuck at the point of pain. Resentment does not hurt anyone else but the person holding on to it. Blaming others enables you to hold onto resentment. It gives you the excuse to not change.

Anger begins when we believe we have been treated unfairly. Then, it is stuffed deep within and we tell ourselves we have dealt with the emotion. The problem is this anger that is stuffed deep inside the emotional backpack, we carry around with us just turns into depression. Eventually, the anger that has turned into resentment that has turned into depression needs to be relieved so it is done by using drugs and/or alcohol.

How many of us have allowed our problems/emotions take over in our minds? We allow them to roll over and over in our mind and as the thoughts keep rolling around the anger festers, resentment increases and depression overwhelms. Obsession takes over and comfort is required so pop a pill, take a drink, do whatever to avoid feeling rotten.

Then there is fear and worry. Fear is a normal emotion that if used properly moves us forward and creates joy. If left unchecked it can block a person in recovery. Most in recovery especially early recovery are afraid of living as a sober person.
Up to this point, an addictive person learned that the best way to be safe and free from fear was to try and control everything around them. For an addict/alcoholic lack of control does not feel safe.

Some in recovery will find it difficult to identify the fear and will turn it into anger. Some are so overwhelmed by fear they feel out of control and panic. Overconfidence and cockiness are dangerous in sobriety. These attitudes minimize the severity of the addiction or the amount of work required to remain clean. Being afraid of change is normal. Not accepting that fear can be uncomfortable keeps the person stuck. It paralyzes. Living life without hiding behind chemicals is scary. Having to give up relationships is scary. Learning basic coping skills is necessary.

Learn to express feelings and concerns.
Keep realistic expectations of the world and ourselves.
Be honest with ourselves and others.
Keep no secrets and tell no lies.
Talk to someone who will listen.
Talk. Talk. Talk. Ask for help.

Monday, March 3, 2008

When drinking is the easier, softer way . . .

It has probably never occurred to most of you, perhaps it has, but most people don't have any idea what it's like to grow up gay. Enduring the message that we are perverts, that we don't deserve to marry or serve our country, that God hates us, exacts a toll that few other oppressed groups understand. When the very people who could be showing us how to grow up and to love ourselves and how to love those around us are saddled with the same burden and hide, we hide, too. No other group can really do that. Black Americans can't pretend they're white. Women can't (usually) pretend they're men. The only other protected class that might compare would be religion, but that isn't something so central to a person's identity as to be thought of as immutable. People change religions all the time. I was born into an LDS family, for example. I wasn't born Mormon.

I was, I believe, born gay. My parents recognized it, or at least the possibility of it, by the time I could walk and talk. Like many parents and like our society as a whole, they did everything they could to redirect it, suppress it, retrain it, punish it, punish it and beat it out of me, as though it were a bad habit.

The National Institute of Health and Mental Health America report that:

  • Gay and lesbian teens deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis. They hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes.[1]
  • Thirty-one percent of gay youth had been threatened or injured at school in the last year alone![2]
  • Gay and lesbian teens are at high risk because ‘their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them,’ not because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation.[3]
  • Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.[4]
  • Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education.[5] They’re often embarrassed or ashamed of being targeted and may not report the abuse.
  • GLBT students are more apt to skip school due to the fear, threats, and property vandalism directed at them.[6] One survey revealed that 22 percent of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.[7]
  • Twenty-eight percent of gay students will drop out of school. This is more than
    three times the national average for heterosexual students.[8]
  • GLBT youth feel they have nowhere to turn. According to several surveys, four out of five gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school.[9]
It is not surprising then that, as US Department of Health and Human Services reports, gay and lesbian youth are up to 300% more likely to attempt or complete suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. [10]

"Perhaps there is an easier, softer way." For many of us, that way is escape through drugs and alcohol. Again, the NIH reports multiple studies that all suggest that gay men are 50 - 100% more likely to be alcoholics or problem drinkers than straight men and half as likely to have abstained from alcohol use entirely in the last 30 days. [11]

Just like all alcoholics, it was incredibly difficult for me to reach out for help. It was very, very difficult for me to come to Alcoholics Anonymous and look for the similarities and to 'be a part of' when every message I'd ever heard told me something different. I might have not had to travel as far down the scale as I did if our culture didn't impose the idea that I was different.

I'd like to ask every member of AA to carefully consider exactly what we mean when we say, "I am responsible whenever anyone, anywhere reaches out for help. . ." This is a "we" program and we need your help. Stand up against prejudice and stand up to protect our children. Stand up because we may not be able to on our own. If we make it into the doors of AA, remember how hard it was when you walked in. Remember that the very act of walking in may be the very best we can do to reach out for help. Ask yourself to what lengths you are willing to go to carry the message of hope to another sick and suffering alcoholic.

[1] Bart, M. Creating a safer school for gay students. Counseling Today, September 1998
[2] Chase, Anthony. "Violent Reaction; What do Teen Killers have in Common?" In These Times. 9 July 2001
[3] Norton, Terry L., and Jonathan W. Vare. "Understanding Gay and Lesbian Youth: Sticks, Stones, and Silence." 17 July 1998: 3
Lexis Nexis. 20 June 2002
[4] Report from the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide (Paul Gibson, US Department of Health and Human Services), 1989
[5] Chase, Anthony. "Violent Reaction; What do Teen Killers have in Common?" In TheseTimes. 9 July 2001: 3.
[6] Garofalo, R. Wolf, R.C., Kessel, S., Palfrey., J (1998) Pediatrics, 101 (5), 895-902
[7] Chase, Anthony. "Violent Reaction; What do Teen Killers have in Common?" In These Times. 9 July 2001
[8] Bart, M. Creating a safer school for gay students. Counseling Today, September 1998
[9] Sessions Stepp, Laura. "A Lesson in Cruelty: Anti-Gay Slurs Common at School; Some Say Insults Increase as Gays' Visibility Rises." The Washington Post 19 June 2001
[10] Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, "Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide. Volume 1: Overview and Recommendations." January 1989
[11] National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institute of Health, "Sexual Orientation and Alcohol Use Disorders." March 2005

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Moving On

My Godfather was buried today. My Godmother, a depressed and demented shell of her former self ,watched him sink beneath the ground. Their son, my only near-cousin in life, grew into his own in choreographing our respects to his father, fiancee by his side. Of course, none of this was about my Godfather. All of it was about us, standing around his grave, shivering in the cold, snowy February Saturday. For he was not cold, now that blood no longer runs through his veins. Us, watching them grieve, wondering what they are experiencing, and what we will experience when we next find ourselves in their painful situation. For he was not wondering, the synapses in his brain no longer fire. Us, living and breathing the Holy Spirit of community. For he is no longer a part of that living, breathing community. Us, wondering about he, who no longer wonders. None of us really know what he is now. If he is living on in spirit, and is omniscient, he probably has lost his wonder. I want to wonder more, while I can, but not about death.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday!!

Of course I will deny it until my dying day, but just between you and I, today, I will admit that my oldest child, B, is indeed, bigger than me in some ways. His feet, for example. He was delighting in slipping on my way-cool tennies to run out to the car for a sec, a few months ago, but that day has definitely gone. He even wore them to school once, last year! That brat! We both thought it was funny, but I'm just glad that it's past, now. It would save money, I guess, if he'd stayed my size, but I'd hate it for him to only ever be 5'9"-ish.
AND I called my old BFF today, finally, after thinking about it for waaay too long. OH CRAP! I was s'posed to call her back tonight. SORRY GAILBETH!!! Sheesh. If memory cells were required for life I'd have died a long time ago, I guess.
I cinched that friendship, when I gave birth to my eldest on HER birthday...hee hee. How's THAT for a friend? I've never had anyone produce a child for my birthday...I guess I'm just not (sniff) that important. (sniff) ;o)
Well, I'm sorry to say that the presents around here were veerrry slim, indeed. The funds have dried up, and of course there was no more than a late-afternoon phone call from the dXh for B.

"(monotone) ...just called to tell B happy birthday...uh...(click)"

The under-whelmed look on his face said it all, really. How sad is it to not even be able to sound happy when you call regarding the day your kid was born? Thank you GOD that I'm not married to him anymore. I just can't stand the way he made B feel for so long. I hate that I was so slow in finishing that deal. I just hope and pray that the boy won't be too scarred for life from my inability to do what had to be done.
I wish there was some consolation in knowing that it's normal to have regrets as a parent, but as I'm sure you know, there isn't any. I will always have regrets. I see the ways my choices have worn down my boys, and it makes me just want to kick my own ass. Knowing the "why"s doesn't erase the pain in their eyes. It doesn't make it any better. Won't make their lives any less screwed up, as a result. Sure, I might do better in some ways, because of simply knowing more about mental health and addictions than my parents did. But for cryin' out loud.
One of the Promises in the Big Book is that we will not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it. Hm. Well, that's another thing in there that I'm not sure I can really agree with, fully. That probably makes 2 things. Not bad, overall. Sure, some tough times have made me a better person, but I guess I'd still rather get rid of the self-inflicted ones.
Last night in our small group (church thing), we were talking about how trials can make us better people, and one guy was saying how he wishes he could understand the reasons for the trials in relationships, or the lessons he was to learn. I thought "my relationship troubles have almost always been of my OWN making." I wonder if normies ever think of things like that? Well, maybe it's not "normies", but I guess it's just odd to me at this point when people don't get that sort of thing. Knowing that it's only from the program and the steps that *I* get them...

Well, it's too late as usual.
May you have a blessed day tomorrow, and until I post again...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Life in Hell

What I know about the situation is that I placed myself in it, for starters, so I have no business complaining about it or being so butt-hurt. I also know how to solve the problem of wallowing in self-pity and resentment. I know how to mend the pain of being sore at myself. But apparantly, at the moment anyway, I am unwilling or unable to pick up those tools and put them to work. I imagine that tells me that I'm getting some sort of reward out of this being miserable which is a perverse idea so it shouldn't surprise me.

I went to court yesterday to be sentenced for a probation violation. If I had not violated I would have been off probation in like 10 more months.

Now I have 5 more years.

200 hours of community service to do within a year and 5 more years of being on probation in a state that doesn't allow me to leave except by special permission and only to go be with immediate family. Which means I'm here, in this state I can't stand, where I don't believe I'll ever have a boyfriend, where there are no opportunities unless you really like hunting or fishing or are a Mormon or a Republican, for five more M*$#er F@&$(*g years.

I seriously, at least at the moment, think I'd rather die. And unfortunately, because I placed myself in this position, it validates every rotten thing I already think about myself and every reason I think carrying on is not worth it. I know that is my disease talking. I know this too shall pass. But it won't pass till I'm fourty f-ing eight years old. Till then I'm trapped in a mean, nasty republican cultural wasteland trying to protect myself from my past and from my drunken mother.

What is stupider is that if they hadn't made it a requirement I probably wouldn't feel this way. I'd probably end up here for five more years anyway. And this feeling is so overwhelming, particularly on my 11th consecutive Valentine's Day without a companion or any prospect of one, that I'm afraid if I said what was really going on in my head I'd be locked up for my own good. In case anyone needs me I'll be hiding in my room, crying, praying for the willingness to do the work.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Never let'em see ya...FEEL.

OK, so, when I was an adolescent, I somehow decided that if I did not let anyone know when I had a good feeling, ie happiness, then they would not be able to know to come and take the source of it away. Is this a common interpretation of events? I don't know. But I know that I became like the girl on the tv commercial , where the family is on vacation and the Mother's voice sounds like a jungle-safari guy, stalking an "elusive" animal...but the thing she's stalking is the girl's smile, and when the girl realizes that she's been spotted smiling, she races away, with Mom saying something like, "'s gone", at the end of the clip.
I did not allow myself to get excited or hopeful about things changing, knowing that experience had shown that it would not last. There's a big word for low-grade depression. I was told that I've probably had that for the majority of my life, or since I was about 7. But, today, I like to smile.
I might just have finally reached the place where I trust God enough to accept good things, w/o being so suspect of Him taking it back from me.
I don't know. But I'm going to keep on dreaming.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Broken Windows

"Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.

Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars."

Broken Windows by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, which appeared in the March 1982 edition of The Atlantic Monthly

Yesterday I learned that my mother had finally, after all the crap she's done, all the drunk driving, drunk dialing, drunk wedding wrecking, drunk ax wielding, drunk lying, drunk sending her kids to Scandinavia and leaving them there, etc. -- gotten herself arrested. Money can insulate you from almost anything, but not forever, and money cannot buy happiness. It can finance a spectacular misery and it can postpone, or evade entirely, reaching a real bottom. That is mom's situation; too rich to have the kind of consequences that it sometimes takes to fully concede defeat.

I learned from my sister that my mom had been arrested. I was checking e-mail on my mobile phone at work last night around 9. Her note said if I ever need a reminder of why I stay sober, take a look at the Ada County Sheriff's Arrest Report for January 31st. Of course I called my sister immediately. I'll spare you the details of the sordid story - it will probably make it into a screenplay at some point anyway - but the climax was my screaming mother being arrested in front of her home for obstructing police. Some part of of me, the part that isn't perfect yet, was thrilled that she was finally reaping some consequences from her addiction. The part of me that still hangs on to resentment toward her for any of the thousand ways she has harmed her children suddenly felt vindicated. In spite of all the 4th step inventory written on her and in spite of having some idea of my part, I have kept a careful distance from her. It wouldn't do either of us any good to make that amends too early. Clearly I need to do it so that I can put that inappropriate glee behind me.

The joy was fleeting though. It lasted just long enough for me to get home from work and pull her mug shot up on the sheriff's web site. It shocked me.
If the community of recovery is a neighborhood and the eyes are the windows of the soul , I live in a great neighborhood today. I live among people who solve their problems by serving their Creator and helping others. Windows in my neighborhood don't stay broken. Trash doesn't stay out on the street. Looking at the windows in mom's neighborhood breaks my heart.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Learning How To Live

None of us may claim to be independent, if we still depend on others to provide our happiness. We may wait patiently to get what we want, or we may get angry, because others aren't responding the way we think they are suppose to. Many of us behave as if there is some sort of universal guideline for living that is obvious to everyone. When others deviate from these imaginary guidelines, their actions are interpreted as intentionally being spiteful. Not only do we anticipate that others will act predictably, but also that their actions will fulfill our very own needs. Nothing is so self defeating, than to expect others to fulfill our own personal needs. We are doomed to disappointment as others can not do for us, what we are unwilling to attempt on our own.

To achieve or learn are solitary pursuits. At some magical moment in our lives, there needs to be a stark realization that we are responsible for ourselves. Instead of waiting or receiving, we should be actively grasping for our own truths. Learning is an intimate process with ourselves, that no one else can duplicate . Ideas can masquerade under many forms, but we transpose only those that color our imagination. There are no gradations, when it comes to learning about ourselves.

Real learning is a process of absorption. our mental chemistry is altered. No one else can perform this intimate transaction for us. The statement "I can't" should be permanently removed from our vocabulary, because it hinders growth. We can accomplish far more, than we are willing to admit.

A true refection of maturity is our ability to demonstrate effort, accepting the results, accepting our truth. For this growth to occur we must be willing to take a risk. To attempt new behavior, we must be willing to take a chance. There is no guarantee that the outcome will be what we expect. What can be guaranteed is that some learning will occur, therefore growth will then follow. We learn from our mistakes more often than we learn from our successes.

Risk and trust can be viewed as to skating on an ice covered pond. We test the environment, before we select to thrust our entire weight upon the frozen pond, to predict whether or not it can support us. Once we sense that the pond is frozen enough to support us, only then do we freely move about and enjoy our mobility. Like the skater, we have all the benefits of support once we have tested the environment and calculated our risks to be minimal. But if we never took the risk in the first place, we would have never be able to move about freely, learn and grow. Trusting ourselves, accepting our truths, learning how to live is our responsibility and no one else's.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shameless Plug For The Suboxone Help Spot

I know that ideally The Write Thought shouldn't be used as a way of plugging things but...I'm doing it anyway.

I wanted to let everyone know about a new site that I have started called The Suboxone Help Spot. This Suboxone support forum has been created in hopes of becoming a place where those who are currently on a Suboxone treatment program, those thinking about starting a Suboxone treatment program, and the family and friends of both can come and find reliable, accurate information and most

On my own site I kind of shot down the use of Suboxone without a strong recovery program and I realized that all I was doing was pointing out the problem without offering any kind of solution. So this is my way of being part of the solution.

Any help I can get in spreading the word about this site would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

God of my lack of understanding

Cross Posted from my blog:

I'm working Step 7, and one thing that tripped me up for a minute is my lack of understanding of God. In step 2, I was able to come to believe in a power greater than myself. I believe in the power of the 12 step program. I see it work and I know it works for me. I believe in the power of the people in the program reaching out and supporting each other. I believe in the power of belief, regardless of what the particular belief is. I believe that believing in whatever an individual believes in makes the individual better and stronger. In step 3, I did an exercize that really worked for me. I listed the people in my life over the years and the gifts that each one gave to me. Then I wrote a list of all of those gifts, and and did a meditation on all of these gifts as a kaleidoscope of gifts all coming from my higher power. I've done that exercize twice now over the years when working the steps, and it works for me. I even did a dialogue with the God of my lack of understanding, and while I can't say I understood, I know good things came of it. In step 5, I admitted to the God of my lack of understanding the exact nature of my wrongs. Again, I used the exercize of the workbook I'm using. I said it out loud. Then I looked in the mirror and said it out loud again to myself. Step 6 took a while, but I became entirely ready to have my character defects removed. I can't say I'm understanding God any better, but I trust the process.

I don't believe that everything is preordained. I don't believe that God makes every decision. I don't believe that God chooses evil and that there's some purpose for everything, that terrible things happen in order for some good to come. I DO believe that everything, even the terrible stuff that does happen, can lead to growth and that good things can come. I don't believe that if I pray right, then I'll get right answers. I do believe that whatever comes can be to my highest good. I can and do see gifts when I look for them. I got an amazing spiritual gift of another recovery tool yesterday when I really needed it.

All of that makes that prayer thing confusing for me. But yet again, I'm acting as if. Last night, and again this morning in the shower, I prayed, out loud, for God to remove all of my defects of character. I listed each one I know of, and I asked for help identifying those I haven't figured out yet. I guess, yet again, I'm coming to believe that I don't have to understand.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Return of the Thin White Duke...or sickgirl finally reconnected her internet...

And she is back...not with a bang but a whimper! Kidding. Finally, I’ve gotten off of my lazy arse and had the internet reconnected at our new place. I suppose that its been long overdue as I’m rapidly nearing my two month anniversary at my new job. My how very easily time manages to slip away.

All is extremely well in my little part of the world although a little bit on the busy side but I honestly prefer it this way rather than the other. Idle hands and all...My new job has been going spectacularly well which definitely has been an extremely pleasant and welcome surprise considering how shattered leaving the previous one had left me. Even though I was having my share of real negative and depressing thoughts regarding the whole employment situation barely two months ago, I managed to keep my head above water and did not succumb to temptation. Yes, there were some floating thoughts in that particular direction because that would have been an easy way out but these thoughts managed to float on by. I knew that in the long term this would have done no one any favors so it was surprisingly easy to ignore the short term temptations.

I wish that I had a bit more time right now to really post a proper update but I’ve got to run as it is starting to get late and although I don’t have to get up at an indecent hour for work, I do have to meet my Mother in the morning for a bit of shopping and lunch and I want to be in fighting form. The last thing I want to look like when we meet is all haggard and tired cause I’m not up for one of her lectures, blah, blah, blah. It can most definitely be a bit on the petty side on my part, but because of our history I usually ensure that I’m looking better than fine whenever we get together. This is a story for another day so for now, you’ll just have to use your imaginations although I’m sure there is another daughter out there with an identical type of mother who knows of what I speak!!!

P.S. I’ve also added the identical entry to my own site - two birds, one stone...Have also been trying to catch up on what has been happening with everyone these past couple of months plus become familiar with our newest additions. Am looking forward to having a chance to get to know everyone much better this year as well. Already I’m getting good vibes that this will be a promising year. Sweet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Annus Mirabilis

I'm a stubborn boy. I do not yield easily. Every time I had a negative consequence because of my addiction I quickly pushed it aside in favor of a new strategy that would enable me to keep using. I was "not able to bring into mind with sufficient force the humiliation and suffering" of my present moment. I had prayed for a long time that somehow I'd be able to manage it; somehow be able to be an addict and still have a life. When I realized that such a thing was not possible, I prayed in earnest for God to let my life end. I have found that most people in recovery had a similar, profound pain.

People say to be careful what we pray for. I don't know what they are talking about. I prayed that God would end my life and He did. Just not the way I hoped for. You see, I had hoped that I would simply not wake up one morning, or perhaps I'd get hit by a bus. I hoped that it wouldn't be to painful. I would have done the job myself but I didn't have the courage.

Prayers are heard and prayers are answered. I prayed for my life to end and it ended. Today I have a different life. By using some simple tools taught to me in the loving fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, and by the grace of an all merciful and loving Creator, I have gone to bed at night and gotten up in the morning, sober, for one year today.

The age of miracles is, indeed, upon us.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle....well, maybe "not so much"

Hello, friends & family,
I'm so happy to join you; Let me introduce myself!
I have been an aspiring "humanoid" for just a bit more than 15 years, by the grace of God. Aspiring...? You may ask. Well, as opposed to the alienated and pseudo-isolated life of an active addict. My drug of choice was "MORE", and I have used every chemical that was presented to me at the time (most of them more than once.) On Thanksgiving of 1992, I had what they call a "Moment of Clarity", and it's been a really crazy ride ever since!
I am blessed to have been given two children, B & E. They are both boys, both rambunctious as anyone ever was, and really good kids when you get right down to it. I have inflicted my own understanding of family relations upon them, and I try to learn every day how to do it better. This is my attempt at "Living Amends". My extended family consists of Mom and my brother, N, & his family.
Currently I am taking courses at a local Community College, in pursuit of a degree in Substance Abuse Counseling. When I'm not there, or in the Blogosphere/Internet, I can be found either at the "Great"-Will store, or the closest flea market. If my church were open more often, I'd be there more, but what can I say, they haven't yet caught my vision for 5 + services a week. :o)
It's getting late, now, so I have to cut this short. I'm a novice at the blogging thing, so I hope you will all bare with me. Blessings and hugs,

Friday, January 11, 2008

Let's Give The Write Thought Welcome Too...

As senior members of The Write Thought know, the site has gone through a lull. I don't think there is any real reason why other than we are people with lives, we are busy, and we can't always post on our own sites and also this community site.

That's why it makes me smile to recognize a little bit of a pick up on the site. Over the past few months we have added some new writers who are able to give some fresh perspectives.

I wanted to take a moment and introduce these new writers (many of whom have already posted to the site so I'm a little behind the times). So I'll give you their names (In no particular order) and their individual blogs. It would be nice if we could all get to know each other a little better and a big part of that would be to check out their personal blogs.

More than likely we have happened upon each other's blogs already. But in the off chance that we have not...check `em out. That goes for the newer members too. Peruse the list of personal blogs for all of the writers associated with this site. You may find someone that you can really identify with.

Who Am I

I am a mother who has raised three sons in which one fell into the pits of hell called the "Drug World". I have enabled, protected, covered up, then detached and learned to let go. Through his battle, I never gave up the hope, that one day he would beat this thing. I had to learn how to love without enabling, listen without judging, care without protecting and to this day, I continue to do all these things with the help of God and my program known as Al-Anon.

It has been an incredible road to self discovery as I learned to use all the tools available to me. It is the reason why I started the website It is the reason why I went to Al-Anon. It is the reason why I went back to college for a degree in Behavioral Health & Counseling. It is the reason why I am who I am today, a person whom I actually like.

When my son first started on that road called "Addiction", I did everything in my power to keep it a "Secret" for fear that my family would be viewed by others as being "Less Than".

You see, I had this problem called "Perfection" where I wanted to present to the outside world that my little family was that perfect Norman Rockwell family where everything was good and pure and oh so perfect. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my family, therefore my world was not so perfect. Imagine my surprise when after years of covering and hiding his addiction, that I discovered there were those out there who did not judge as well as those out there who could not judge enough.

My son is an opiate addict. He started down this road when he was 16 years old with percocet prescribed to him following major back surgery. What I did not know was after his prescription ran out, he started to purchase it out on the street. By the time he was 18 years old, he switched to Oxycontin then while in rehab, he met a cute little petite thing who introduced him to heroin. His life went from bad to worse overnight.

For those of you who know anyone with a heroin addiction, you know what that life entails so I won't go into all the little details just yet. Just know, I have seen my son in and out of detox programs, rehab facilities, intensive outpatient programs and various recovery houses to his present day methadone maintenance.

The last three years have been especially difficult. If you want to read about this journey, you can start at the beginning at my blog

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My limited understanding...

I am struggling with my daughter's addiction to heroin, and I am past trying to understand why she started using in the first place... The big question now is why can't she stop? Why won't she go to rehab? Why does she insist on trying to do it herself, go through a painful withdrawal, only to start using again...

I'm a smoker, and I have been "planning" to quit for quite a while now - I started smoking when I was 12 years old, to be "cool." I've quit before, but never more than a few weeks, and each time I started up again, it was harder to quit. My identical twin sister had half of a lung removed last January - lung cancer - even though she had not smoked for 6 months. That really hit home for me... And still, I smoke.

I know all of the reasons for quitting, and I actually believe that I CAN quit, now. I have a nicitrol inhaler, I have nicorette gum, I have an Rx for Chantix... I want to live to a ripe old age without being unable to breathe. So, my main hold up is... I really like to smoke.

I'm wondering if my addiction to nicotine is similar to my daughter's addiction to heroin in this small way? I have all of the tools, support and medical understanding - to kick NICOTINE... But. But. But, it's not really that easy - even with a different method of receiving the drug, it's the habit that's hard to quit, else it would be as easy as slapping a patch on my arm and going on my merry way.

I'm nervous about quitting smoking - I keep putting it off - It's a big part of who I am. It's a comfort. She's nervous about quitting heroin, maybe, for the same reasons? How do I reach her?

I really need to quit smoking - set a date and DO IT. That won't impress her, but I will gain so much more in quitting than the isolating comfort I get from smoking my cigarettes. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

More than just counting the notches on the bed post . . .

Yes. I'm talking about sex inventory. I've been procrastinating on that final part of my 4th step and I am sure the reason is something more than that I am lazy. God gives us what we need when we need it, right? So it must be time. When I went to bed a couple of nights ago the parade of men that have waltzed, raced, smashed their way through my life suddenly took and held my thoughts for hours. I've been having trouble remembering things recently, things like what time I have to go to work, but that night I remembered the name of the man I lost my virginity to. "Lost" is really the wrong word. Killed and buried in the night without remorse is more accurate.

Then came the one I loved and, I believe, the only one who loved me; the one year summit of my success at relationships. That bitter-sweet memory was quickly followed with my 21 year history of mistakes of varying magnitude; the one who liked to beat me up, the one I used for his money, the woman I married, and the years and years spent one month here, two months there; wrestling with men who never quite fit. Finally, perhaps most importantly, the IFX. I never knew that I could hurt that bad. I never knew that, to me, love feels like loneliness, loss, abuse and a warm body. His disappearance on my birthday was the turning point for me. That pain and that prayer delivered me to the place where God gave me my first step.

I've found my pen. I've got out my Big Book and notebook. And now I'm going to balk over the whole thing for another few hours while I go see a movie. Because I'm a spiritual giant. Not. I haven't picked it up because I'm afraid and ashamed and I lack faith that God will lead me to better things. There. I said it. But I believe with my whole heart that God has a plan, a purpose and a destiny for me to grow, however haltingly, in His own likeness and image and that means doing the work. So I'll do the work. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It Really Is A New Year

On New Year's Day I could always be found recovering from New Year's Eve. It was just a given that I would have gotten so fucked up the night before that my body would need to spend the ENTIRE next day recovering from being on the verge of alcohol poisoning.

Since this was my first New Year's Eve/Day in recovery I was very surprised to find myself where I was on New Year's Day...out sledding with my son. I know! What? Erin, sledding? Yes.

Last year at this time I had no control over myself regarding my Oxycontin addiction. Rationally I would know that Oxy's and large amounts of alcohol DO NOT mix but that usually did not stop me.

You could be certain that not too far into the night I would have to be brought home because I could hardly keep myself conscious and that further into the night you could find me sleeping on a pile of dirty clothes in front of my toilet...I was all about convenience.

Not a very glamorous way to ring in the new year right? Then, as I explained before, I would spend the entire next day feeling like I was going to die.

Not this year baby! It's with great relief that I tell you this year I didn't have to deal with havoc that drugs caused in my life. The only thing that I had to do was go out with my husband and son and celebrate the beginning of a fresh year. Sledding seemed appropriate since we just got a few fresh inches of snow dumped on us.

I'm hoping everyone had a happy and safe New Year's Eve/Day.