Saturday, February 27, 2010

They Said It Wouldn't Last

It's our 33rd wedding anniversary.  My daughter sent this card-


and inside it read:

We are going away for a few days. You guys behave!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I cannot handle whining blogs.  I'm appalled when your blog is all bitching about your family members (or friends or co workers), and then you post indignantly when they find your blog and call you on it.  

I'm on a roll...

if you got clean and sober your first attempt, it was by the grace of God, not because you hold some smug, secret will power others don't possess.

I feel a special bond with the blogs I read (and comment).  They are genuine, even if I don't always agree.

What about the awesome people who comment here? You are civil, empathetic, and I swear--psychic. You have the right words.  You have taught me to be less of a sarcastic steam roller (OK, that's a work in progress).

Andrew is ensconced in yet another institution. It bothers me, the resources spent on him, but I know a junky running amok costs society much more. He stopped himself,  he saw where it was going and made a conscious decision not to go there. 

It's a good day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So, today is one of those days I wish our family life wasn't so open to scrutiny (judgment?). I think, do I really need to tell all?  It's my hope you see an average, middle class family here. Lots of ups and downs, but sticking together in our own fumbling fashion.

Andrew went to his parole officer yesterday, and told her he has been using for two weeks (since his last drug test), and he needed help.  He told her he was days away from a full on run.  She called The Dad and said she was getting him into a 30 day treatment center within 48 hours.  Dad told her we really appreciated that.

Thankfully I didn't wait for the next crisis before I started going to AlAnon.  When I got the news, I had a sponsor to call. I had tools to center myself, and a deep faith that my loving God has a plan for me. And you. Andrew too.

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen"   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 22, 2010

Off The Topic

 An AA lady in my home AlAnon group is a character.  When sharing, she is always interjecting the AA promises, referring us to pages in the BB, and such.  The RULES are a person is not supposed to quote non conference approved AlAnon literature at the tables.

Some AlAnons are very rule conscious (as I learned the hard way).  Depending on the table, some leaders cut the AA lady off when she starts quoting the BB.  If I'm leading the table,  I let it go.

Fellow AlAnons, please don't point out to me the importance of following the rules. The lady brings humor, and frankly that is sometimes lacking in AlAnon meetings. Anyway, it's my meeting, not yours:)

She always has some good AA slogans I've never heard before. Yesterday, on the topic of fear she  shouted out :


F**k everything and run... OR.... Face everything and recover."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A New Adventure

By way of AlAnon service work, I met a psychiatrist at a large, hospital based treatment center. They have inpatient treatment, long term outpatient, counseling--a comprehensive place, and based on 12 steps .

Family of inpatients are required to attend the six session family program (everyone else is welcome). I was asked to develop a talk on boundaries (from an AlAnon perspective) for one of the sessions, as that concept always generates the most questions.

I have to attend all six sessions first, as well as at least four open talks where addicts share their stories. Last night was the lecture on how drugs of abuse (of course, that includes the drug alcohol) affect the body and brain. I was expecting animated DNA with cartoon heads, and a laser pointer, but the counselor used handmade poster boards to explain the science behind addiction.

I sat around a table with shell shocked family members who looked like they wanted to jump from acetaldehyde and GABA receptors to "why won't they just stop".

I thought about the long process a family goes through; it's not over with a rehab, a few meetings, jail, or promises. Families get stuck in why me, why us, and other unanswerable and ultimately unimportant questions. We were given a nifty little chart that demonstrated how every stage of addiction was mirrored by predictable family behavior (a progressive and chronic disease).

At any point along the time line, any family member can step out of the diagram, and work on changing the only person they can-themself.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Yesterday's post reminded me when smoking was a rite of passage. I bought my first pack of Marlboro Reds in the box at age 13. They cost 21 cents at the base exchange (my dad was in the Army). No one questioned a 13 year old buying cigarettes. If they did, no problem, there were cigarettte machines everywhere!

I hated Winstons. If I ran out of Marlboros, I wouldn't smoke a friend's Winston. Kind of like diet Coke and diet Pepsi.

My husband started smoking at 13 also, and smoked Kools for 30 years. He used to fire up one of those suckers before he got out of bed every morning. I hated Kools. If I ran out, I would never smoke a Kool, but if he ran out he would smoke my Marlboros. One time he smoked my last one, and I was furious.

I also hated Lucky Strikes, Tareytons, Camels, Viceroys, Newports, Pall Malls, and Benson & Hedges (blech!). I would go without rather than smoke those. In retrospect, I was a cigarette snob.

In my 30's, I decided Vantage cigarettes (Rich Taste, Low Tar!) would be a healthier choice. You had to really suck on those with their weird filter thingy.

At 38, I quit cold turkey, I was tired of it. I had smoked a pack a day for 25 years without even realizing it.

It took a few years to get my lung capacity back, but after awhile I was running half marathons, then marathons. I'm trying to find a moral in that, but I can't.

How many years did you smoke?