Archive for January, 2006

Tagged! (I secretly like these!)

Posted in Quizes and Tags on January 31, 2006 by TodaysAddiction

I haven’t been tagged in a long while, but MamaK got me

1. Four jobs I've had:
Waitress
Retail Clerk
Nurse
Body Piercer/Business owner

2. Four movies I can watch over and over:
It’s a Wonderful Life (I watch it every Christmas)
50 First Dates
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Forest Gump

3. Four favorite books:
Illustions by Richard Bach (Totally changed how I look at life)
Anything by:
Stephen King
Dean Koontz
Or either of the Kellerman’s

4. Four places I've lived:
Spokane Washington
Port Angeles Washington
Keaaeu Hawaii
Salem Oregon

5. Four TV Shows I love:
E.R.
The Apprentice
Extreme Home Make-over, Home edition
Forensic Files (you never know when that kind of knowledge will come in handy!)

6. Four Places I've Vacationed:
Lahaina Maui
Mexican Riveria
Orlando Florida
New Orleans LA (no… I can't spell LA, bite me!)

7. Four of My Favorite Foods:
Pasta
Seafood
Chocolate
Green Chili Stew

8. Four Sites I Visit Daily: Only four?!?!
Even when I don’t have time to peek in on everyone (rare), I always peek in on:
Bricotrout
Late Bloomer
Osbasso
Sis B
And many more!

9. Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:
Anywhere in Hawaii
Cabo, Mexico
Visiting Sis B
Anywhere warm

10. Four People I'm Tagging:
I’m not a tagger… so maybe four people will volunteer and leave a comment saying you played along.
(But this is going around, perhaps everyone’s already done it! OMG, what if I’m last!?)

Ooh I love toys… shinny, shinny toys!

Posted in From My Brain on January 29, 2006 by TodaysAddiction

I think I need one of these
We have a Dish Network system at home. This is called a pocket dish. Television and Movies can be downloaded via the main system and viewed anywhere! It also holds photos and Mp3’s.
Rather than renting Dvd’s, movies can be downloaded from HBO for trips, music is always handy and favorite TV shows can now be watched at work!
It’s not like I watch lots of TV or Movies, or listen to Mp3’s everywhere I go… it’s not like there is anything on Dish that I just can’t live without.
But it is shinny, cutting edge and I’d be the first on my block to have one!

*Edit… as you can see, the poor impulse control remains, it’s just been redirected 🙂

The rise and fall of an alcoholic part 3… Breaking the myth

Posted in Addiction/Mental Health, From My Past on January 28, 2006 by TodaysAddiction


By now, most of the decade that was my 20’s lie in the bottom of a bottle; the kids are getting older and more aware. I can see them taking on the same parental role I took with my Father… something has got to give; I can’t drag them through the same stuff I’d gone through… I didn’t realize it at the time, but I already had.
I did go back and see the counselor, if for no other reason than to prove their assessment wrong. But like an accident waiting to happen, I could already see what lie ahead; I challenged myself to quit drinking for 24 hours, just to see if I could. I could not. I needed inpatient treatment but because I was a single parent and was unwilling to make other arrangements for the kids, we did daily outpatient treatment instead, followed up by daily AA meetings.
There is a myth that when a drunk stops drinking the sun begins to shine, birds sing and all is right with the world. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While I was drinking, life was good; I knew how to manage it. I had no idea how to live without it. I left the guy (again) because all we had in common was drinking. I was always the person who left, yet I always resented being alone.
I had no social skills, no coping skills and no support. Creditors called daily for unpaid bills, I’d written a string of bad checks to make ends meet. I was running out of employment options because I’d routinely changed jobs every 6 months or so. Sober people did not trust me because I’d already lied to and used most of the ones I knew; the drunken ones didn’t think I was much fun anymore.
I had a huge mess to clean up and now CPS was taking an interest in my parenting skills so I didn’t dare drink. Life was much worse once the party ended; all I wanted to do was drink just to make life “normal” again. Without any numbing agents I routinely beat myself as I became more aware of what my life had become, my self esteem was at an all time low. For the first time, I had no escape.
Once treatment was over I thought I was equipped to handle the outside world, I was so sadly mistaken. I needed a sense of security so despite the advice of those who had successfully gone down this path before me; I turned the other direction and attached myself to yet another guy. He was sober and within a month I’d married him… I was desperate and could not bear the thought of turning 30 without some sense of having support. In another month we were separated, I was on the run actually. He was crazy. That marriage was soon annulled. He was extremely delusional and thought the police were following him everywhere, he thought the neighbors were spying on us and that our apartment was bugged. I panicked and fled one day while he was at work. He gave chase and I ended up coming back to Oregon to hide in a round about way.
I finally broke down and realized that while I was not drinking, I had created a mess I could not get out of, I was being chased by a crazy man, my car had finally been repossessed, the bills caught up to me. 6 months after I quit drinking, I finally hit bottom. I was broken. I started going back to meetings and this time I listened…
My biggest challenge was in giving up the idea that I was not a complete person myself, I thought I needed someone to complete me. I had to learn to trust myself. I need to learn to become a parent to the kids. I had to relearn everything I’d previously done as a drunk.
The kids and I spent the next 18 months or so bonding, just the three of us, no men, no drink. Finally there was light at the end of the tunnel. Finally we began to heal as a family and I slowly became a whole person.
Once my spirit began to heal, once I could trust myself again… I began to make different choices.
It has been a long up hill walk, and I am still climbing, it’s been nearly 14 years now and yet it feels as though this was written about someone else… like it could not have possibly been me. I did have one “slip”, such a cute word for an impending disaster. I just couldn’t let my life slip away so easily now, I finally had something to lose.
It feels like a bad dream.
It feels so good to finally be awake
I have come to realize that some of us are born with holes in our souls, often we plug them with what ever is handy; sex, drink, drug. I’ve had to work hard at finding other ways to plug the holes. I’ve poured myself into my family and my business. I’ve worked hard these last years to make up for the first years and although nothing can give back some of the things I have taken, on an initially shakey foundation, a fine sturdy home has been built.
At last, I have something to offer…

I know this sounds cliche` but changing your life begins by changing your mind…
*

The rise and fall of an alcoholic part 2

Posted in Addiction/Mental Health, From My Past on January 27, 2006 by TodaysAddiction


Taking up from where we left off… I am 23, I’ve got two small children. I started college a couple of months before the divorce, mostly because husband #1 was against it. I mean what a waste of money if I was going to stay home and raise babies, right?
I was alone, none of my family lived in the state, I had no friends since most of them were church related and sided with the husband. I was unemployed. I lived in low income housing. Except for college, I was one step away from spitting out a few more kids and becoming a welfare statistic. I had made myself quite a mess in a very short time. Perpetually seeking the father figure, I was always attached to one guy or another, right off the bat. Being a bargain shopper, I seemed to always choose the guy right off the discount sale rack. At this time in my life I was an odd combination of attributes, independent yet clingy, insecure yet stubborn, free floating yet with some sense of direction. My self esteem was horrible and worse yet, I was too dumb to know it at the time. If I were a weather pattern, it would always be storming from the conflicting temperatures.
In college I found myself once again trying to find acceptance. The first guy I found lived in my apartment complex, life with him was a party, all the time. We went out every weekend and often hosted week day parties at one of our apartments. Between parties, weekends and school, the kids were always with one sitter or another, usually a teenager, which ever one I could find at any given moment. I rarely saw them unless the party was at my place. I was completely mystified when this first guy broke it off with me because he soon became tired of taking care of me once the party was over. I had no ability to drink and stop, once the drinking started I could not stop until I’d passed out, often leaving my date to find the sitter and my kids and tuck all of us into bed. The next boy was a paramedic student… I was a nursing student, it seemed perfect. He gave up on me after staying up with me all night after a party. I blacked out part way through the night and he took me home. He went door to door in my apartments looking for the kids and when he got to the apartment of the previous guy I’d dated, he got a sympathetic pep talk… after finding the kids and bringing them home, I was passed out and choking on vomit… he kept me alive that night, but left in the morning, never to return. I just didn’t get it. It didn’t even dawn on me that this was not good. Through out the rest of school, I had Adele, my best friend. I decided it was time to take a break from guys and just have some fun and Adele was the ticket. She was a cop’s wife of all things. He worked every weekend so we took my car out to the clubs so he wouldn’t spot her and we played into the wee hours every weekend. Life was a series of phone numbers never called and of one night stands. We were having a blast and yet I was not with any one person long enough for anyone to be too concerned. I drank myself pretty, I drank myself funny, and I drank myself smart…
Adele was the first person I’d ever done drugs with (other than pot) and we actually made a game of trying new things… while studying we would chose one drug and see how our weekly test scores faired on Friday. We tried it all, my first time skiing we were drinking and high on crank, I actually thought I could ski and went down the “black run” on my first time up. Everything was a competition and that was the only reason I think I made it through school at all. Safety never occurred to either of us, I became so accustomed to driving drunk that I thought I drove better after drinking than I drove when I was sober and often drove the kids home at 3:00am after a night out.
Towards the end of school I hooked up with a wonderful guy who dealt coke from work. I can’t even begin to tell you how badly that went. I graduated from school and soon started work at an area hospital where I routinely stole halcion and valium just so I could catch some sleep every couple of days. I finally walked out with a gun pointed at me after my daughter (then 3) asked my best friend if she could live with her after mommy was dead. The kids saw it, but I did not…
I continued to drink, but was pretty burnt out on drugs and violence. Rather than drinking till I passed out, I had perfected a technique of drinking all day, every day. By this time I was non-functional unless I was drinking.
I met the next guy in a bar, I thought it would be another “pick up” but he called back… we spend a couple of years and moved through a couple of states together. His drinking habits were much like mine, mandatory for a “relationship” with me. Beer was like soda and really didn’t count as “drinking” at all. At a 7-11 one night a clerk mentioned the amount of alcohol I bought, so I started stopping at different stores on my way home from work every night. We felt OK about our drinking because we never drank hard alcohol until after 5:00pm except for weekends. We frequented several bars on a regular basis and again never thought twice about driving home afterwards. I remember running a red light at a major intersection and we just thought it was funnier than hell… thankfully the kids were not with me that night. Thankfully God watches out for drunks.
Because the kids were now older (5 and 8), babysitting was not so much a problem, we just tucked them in bed and after they were asleep, we went out. The thought now strikes terror in my heart, but I didn’t give it a second thought at the time.
We were close friends with another couple; we saw them every day, had dinner and drank every night… One day, out of the blue I asked my friend: Do you ever wonder if you have a drinking problem? She laughed at me. But my mind set was beginning to change. I was feeling guilty; feeling like there must me something more. Drinking at home was no problem, but I was calling in to work a lot, I was on my last warning. One day at work a nurse offered me gum, I declined, but she insisted… she could see I was still somewhat drunk from the night before. My secret was getting out and rumors were starting. I was growing uncomfortable, even a little paranoid. I decided this discomfort was not from drinking itself, nor from my need to stop. I decided that I was growing uncomfortable due to some childhood issues I was carrying around and perhaps some counseling would soothe my spirit while allowing me to continue the lifestyle I’d become accustomed to. I made an appointment.
At my first appointment I was asked to fill out some paperwork and included in that is a questionnaire. I answered the questions honestly except for the drinking part. Writing it down, it did seem like a lot of alcohol, and I could no longer remember the last day I didn’t have anything to drink, if you counted beer, which I did not. I deleted much of the beer and cut the hard alcohol in half when answering questions… I knew I wasn’t an alcoholic, I had a job, I had a relationship, I didn’t beat the kids and I’d never been arrested.
They declined to work with me unless I was in treatment.
I was pissed.

Herein lies hundreds of detailed posts, this is just the “quick” overview.
It looks like there will be one more part…

Sometimes you’re the bug, but not always…

Posted in Addiction/Mental Health, From My Past on January 27, 2006 by TodaysAddiction

I began a story a few days ago (down two posts) called ‘the rise and fall of an alcoholic’… I plan to write part two tonight or tomorrow morning. Before getting into the “meat” of the story I just wanted to share some experience with you…

I write about this for a few different reasons:
1) Because it happened, because it is part of who I am and a large part about how I arrived at this point in my life.
2) Because others have either been there and think they are alone, or are there right now and don’t know if they can get out… hopefully sharing this will help.
3) Because if you stick around life long enough, roles can change. Some times we are the abuser, sometimes the abused. Some times we are the helper, other times we need help. We all justify things, but we are not the good guy nor the hero in every scene in our life. And as much as we would like to deny that… it too, is part of life.

When I first decided to write about parts of my story (sidebar for other parts), I told readers that there were parts of my story that may disappoint the reader, that didn’t show me in the best light… that may even piss the reader off at me, and yet those are all part of who I am today, I just took a path that was not the most effecient, but I am here nonetheless.

I do not believe that we are the sum of the mistakes we have made, but we are the sum of how we respond to those mistakes. We are not the sum of how many times we have waded through the mire, but of how many times we’ve stopped, and reached our hand back to help someone else through as well.

It’s Half Nekkid Thursday…. again!

Posted in From HNT, From My Camera on January 25, 2006 by TodaysAddiction


No words today…
Just a picture.

The rise and fall of an alcoholic part 1

Posted in Addiction/Mental Health, From My Past on January 24, 2006 by TodaysAddiction


This post was brought to you by an idea from reading a post at Bricotrout’s about drinking and not drinking. Several people have mentioned in comments that I’m a good Mom, and I am… now. That wasn’t always the case for me, I am so lucky that my kids turned into happy healthy adults and that they don’t hold my stupidity against me. It just goes to show you that no matter how badly one’s mistakes in life are, children love their parents… Thank God.
Let’s take another trip down memory lane…
My childhood was a bit non-traditional, my Dad was a very active alcoholic, my Mom was not physically around, through a turn of events I ended up in foster care and eventually reunited with my Mom and I moved in with her at the age of 15. A very difficult age to be, under the best of circumstances. At that age, in some ways I was very sheltered, in others I was pretty street savey, it was an odd combination. To my Mother’s credit, she took on the responsibility of raising a child who until then had pretty much been raising herself. In earlier years, I had been overly responsible and when I moved in with my Mom, it was the first time I felt safe enough to just be a teenager… and I was, with a vengence. Some of this may come as a surprise to family as it was my job as a teenager to keep these things hidden… it was something I did pretty well.
Every family has it’s genetic tendencies… Things that did not start with me, my parents or even their parents, some of these things are passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. In my family, it’s addiction. If you add all of the family members on both sides, I can count the number on one hand that has escaped a personal battle with drug or alcohol addiction. Of those few not affected, fewer still are the ones that don’t take a personal inventory occasionally just to be sure their habits are not getting out of hand. Because I was rather distant from family for many years… few had any idea just what my day to day life was like or how much I had lost control over my life.
I had always been surrounded by alcohol, it wasn’t hidden from me nor was it kept out of my reach. I had seen my Father drunk on many, many occasions and on my Father’s side, this was just all “normal” behavior. Alcohol was the center of every family gathering and drinking alcohol as accpeted at drinking water. I do not remember when I took my first drink, either I was too young to remember, or it was so accepted that it did not seem like a landmark in my life. While I knew I did not want to be like my Father on the one hand, the corralation between drinking and becoming an alcoholic completely escaped me.
I started drinking regularly as a teenager. Some my Mom knew about, lots she didn’t. I so desperatly wanted to fit in somewhere with my peers, whom I felt seldom understood me that I tucked in with the first group who would accept me… the partiers. On weekends we played like many kids do, we were always at someones house drinking and smoking weed. I had made friends with some older guys, with their own apartment and it was party heaven as we never had to worry about parents. By my Junior year in High School, I was sneaking Mom’s vodka to school for a little lunchtime boost. I’m pretty sure this is where I learned the skill of drinking just enough all the time to be buzzed and yet to function as though nothing was going on. I also learned how to hide things rather well. I loved the attention I got from my peers because of my ability to out drink almost everyone and still be functional, as a teenager, any attention is good attention… and I was (still am) quite competetive. I was very insecure, but while drinking I found that I was the life of the party, the focus of attention and of course my jokes were funnier, my antics more interesting, while drinking I was accepted and I thought that drinking brought out the “real” me, the funny me, the popular me that was hidden deep inside and that never showed itself when I was not drinking. I had every reason to continue.
At this point, I still don’t think I was yet an alcoholic, I was just developing a problem… I did have a lull in my drinking in the following years and I really didn’t miss it too much. It was the lull before the storm.
We ended up moving to Salem, my home today, between my Junior and Senior year of High School. I had calmed down some and was trying to settle in. Shortly after beginning my Senior year I met a boy, #4 & 5’s father. He was a good kid and he thought he saw something good in me too. He went to church on Sundays and was a rock solid guy. He was quite the influence in my life and I was getting attention from this guy, positive attention, while I was sober. This was a good thing. He offered me the stability that I craved and potentially a future. Four months after my 18th birthday, we married. I looked up to him and did not want to disappoint him. We went to church together and I stayed sober. #4 came along after a couple of years. Soon I began to feel smothered. We had this child and his father had definate ideas about how he wanted this child raised. He had very “christian” ideas about that, many of which I did not necessarily agree with. I am not stay at home Mom material. I wish I were, but I’m not. As he got deeper and deeper into the the church, I began to pull away. I was rebelling I guess. He didn’t want me to work, so I got a job. In hind sight, I realize that I looked at husband #1 as more of a parental figure than as a spouse, he looked at me as a project, something to fix. It was really doomed from the beginning. #5 came along and he really felt that with 2 children it was time to put his foot down. Three months after #5 was born, I filed for a divorce, my final act of rebellion.
By now I’m 23, a single parent of two and I have no local family or emotional support. I am emotionally back in high school, wanting to be accepted, wanting an escape from the difficult path I choose to walk.
Part two to follow…