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Life Goes On (was Oh Well?) Part 3

Old 11-21-2020, 02:11 AM
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How's folks?
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:26 AM
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It seems to me you may be going through some difficulties but you know like everything it passes. When it seems least like doing so at least have faith it will. Just keep on not doing bad things, keep on doing good things and let nature take its course. Relax. Give something away. It helps to keep some change in the pocket to give freely, without expectations, to someone in need. Give someone a blanket. Whatever, shift the focus. Peace. X
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:25 PM
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Does it seem like I may be going through difficulties? I suppose maybe it does, but don't think they're any more or less difficult than anyone else's normal life stuff.

How are you, Grymt?
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:59 PM
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Ok. In the long run I plan to ordain (buddhist monk) or become a hermit but an opportunity to ordain next year has come up so what to do in preparation has come to the fore. Otherwise life is peaceful.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:58 AM
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That's amazing, Grymt! Where would your training and ordination happen? I hope your daughter is doing well.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:26 AM
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Middlest is cooking everything today and lots of it. Several of her friends are here as well as youngest. I'm limiting time in the multitude and wearing a mask while doing so.

Youngest and I had a spirited and convivial discussion about bigotry of all kinds which led me to bring "otherism" into the picture. Where she'd been talking about gender identity and sexuality, I expanded into stigma and how that's something addicts navigate throughout their lives. She countered that people are born with gender identity or race, addiction is an illness, so that's different.

True or false? Interesting question, but neither of us said so. She found a reason to leave the room, so enough said. 15 minutes later, I sat down with her again and apologized for bringing my situation into the discussion. She said, "It's ok, but thank you for acknowledging that."

Not much later, middlest asked where the turkey baster was and I concluded I must have thrown it out. I drove the long way to Target so I could play Pokemon Go, Target was closed, so I then went to 4 other stores. So I came home empty-handed having also carried with me plenty of memories of past holidays or family occasions when I'd found a reason to run to the store for something or other so I could smuggle some vodka into my home.

Middlest said, "You were gone for a long time," which is something she would've said back then. I told my slightly entertaining story of Pokemon Go-ing and the people and sights I saw in the stores. And it was all fine, but a few minutes later, I told middlest I was remembering the bad old days and wondered if she worried while I was out. She said, "For the rest of my life." I told her how very sorry I was for that and she said, "It's ok. I know you do." She didn't mean "it's ok" any more than youngest did, but I knew what they meant. "It is what it is. You are trying. And so we move on as best as we can."

It's not a Hallmark movie ending, but it is real life. And it's ok. As they say, "Time takes time."

For all of that, I am thankful.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:27 AM
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Happy Thanksgiving!
Pokemon Go is not something I am familiar with personally. I dont even know what one is to do? I did hear, a few years ago, that people were being careless in the middle of the roads and getting hit by cars with that game. People? Maybe one person. Anyways, that game seems innocent enough and its nice to hear your are having a good time with it.

Turkey Basters are a hot ticket item these days. We don't even own one of those. Given that there is only two of us and two felines, I think we are okay. I perused the cat food selections yesterday for our felines. I thought they would love a good feast too. The selections are quite interesting when a person actually spends time reading what is being offered. I settled on Chicken and Liver shreds. YUM! For some reason the felines were not around when we finally got home and were ready to eat. Today, they eat like Kings and Queens.

We have to be careful about giving them canned food. They think they should be eating it at every meal and whenever their heart desires. Its quite the scene for a few days after their canned food meal. Lots of crying and lamenting if its dry food. Lots of running around the kitchen table in unison crying and lamenting. They are trained to circle the kitchen table when I prepare their food. Yes, cats can be trained. We are 8 years into this show now. I really dislike when one of them needs to wake me to tell me that their isn't wet food in their bowl. Our girl feline despises the word "No" and will yell at us when that word is spoken in her direction. She has problems with authority and not getting what she wants when she wants it. So, canned food is a "special dinner" and I deal with the aftermath for a few days.

It is so good that your daughters were at your home having Thanksgiving with you. Very good! Did the eldest call? How is she holding up?

I do think that your daughters see what you are doing and how you are giving it 1000% effort. They love you. I could not see them being there with you if they didn't have an immense deep love for you, O! What a gift! Yes, your daughter will worry for the rest of her life in some ways but given enough time all of that will subside. I would like to think it will. I hope your weekend is peaceful and relaxing. Happy Happy Holidays to you and to your daughters!
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:05 PM
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Both the training and ordination is at a monastery about 4 hour drive from here. I'll have a trial run first. I had been thinking of going to somewhere like Myanmar as a teacher lineage I'm used to comes from there but we'll see. My dear daughter is in the end of treatment so we'll see how that has gone. She is doing well with lots of good solid support. Thank you. Be well.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:17 AM
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Pokemon Go is a game played best on a mobile device, as one encounters creatures and challenges whilst moving about the world. One needs "poke balls" and other items to play the game, which can be paid for with real cash if you're extremely lazy and don't care about a buck, but otherwise are gathered by going to "poke stops," which are located at places of historical significance or sponsored locations. The game is not responsible for people walking right over cliffs and into traffic, but it is engaging enough to lead some people to forget their surroundings. As are texting, checking your phone for email messages, talking with a friend, and eating a messy sandwich.

There are 5 cats who call this place home at the moment. Two are mine (gifted by middlest without my acquiescence, but there you have it), two are middlest's, and one is eldest's which has been staying with me for awhile going on three years now. Feeding them is a challenge, but I've figured it out. One tends toward shockingly thin, so I need to feed him by himself, one is getting very pudgy and has hairballs, so she gets special food and needs to be kept away from the others, the third is a dumpster cat so I need to be very watchful of him as he'll eat anything he can get his mouth on (I had to buy a crockpot with a locking lid because of him), and middlest's two lurk around trying to get in on the others' meals after they've rapidly scarfed down their own food. It's funny that we do things for our pets that we know we'll pay for in the aftermath, isn't it? I hope your cats have recuperated from their Thanksgiving gluttony or will do so soon.

Eldest did call. It sounds like her roommate is unbearably co-dependent, so she said she was going to try to get transferred to a different room. They've started her on a new regimen of medications and she thinks it's helping. She asked if she sounded different, and I said she did - more on an even keel. Other small talk ensued, then we got cut off because she didn't get more quarters in the pay phone quickly enough. I pray that she is able to find peace, at least in her sleeping accommodations. Everyone needs at least one place where they can rest and rejuvenate without feeling threatened.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:23 AM
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Interesting, Grymt. So you'd close up shop/house and relocate, I presume? Will you be able to communicate with us if so inclined while you are there? How long is noviate (if that's the correct word)? I am very pleased for you to know that your daughter is doing well and has plenty of support. If you would, could you let her know that someone who doesn't know her half-way around the world is thinking of her and wishing her well?
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:17 AM
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I am in the habit of writing down thoughts and phrases on sticky notes during meetings. Those go up on my bulletin board to form a jumbled colorful thought cloud. Writing the things down is because that's my way to remember. The bulletin board thing? I'm not sure how I came up with that, but posting them has meaning to me. Perhaps to signify these things I'm thinking/learning/working out are not to be "done" only within the confines of a meeting; they are part of the excavation of my authentic self.

The other day, I wrote "Gifts from God are meant for re-gifting." And I smiled at my own thought. Because, of course, it's true. But also, re-gifting in "the real world" connotes dumping some thing we don't want on another because we don't value that other person as much as we do ourselves. I'm sure I will discover at some point this string of words is a meme or the name of a book or a song, but I experienced a delight with my own mind for coining (?) this phrase. It harkens back to the day the priest in rehab and I were discussing my questions about forgiveness. He advised that we accept forgiveness from God so that we are capable of passing that on to others. I like that. A lot. Who am I to forgive you? Nobody. But I can pass along what I am willing to receive.

All of this is an introduction to a gift I received yesterday. Each of my mother's five brothers suffered from alcohol addiction and all but one of those brothers have died. Some had recovered, others had not. The uncle still standing is only 11 years my senior and is a great, funny, caring, smart person. There's a lot of tragedy in his story, but he has overcome those things and now lives contentedly in his country home with the person he loves most in the world. Several months after I left rehab, this uncle contacted me about something (a rare occurrence! we just don't communicate much in my family) and it prompted me to out myself with regard to my own recent recovery efforts. It's something he and I had never discussed directly, but he wasn't surprised at my disclosure - not because I'd ever been intoxicated in his presence, but just because it's a family affliction. He wished me well and we left it at that. That was about four months ago, I think?

Yesterday I received an email from this uncle to commemorate his 36-year anniversary of sobriety. He told me his "what happened" story to offer he didn't know what - maybe a "thread, a handle, a beacon, whatever." I responded to him with immense gratitude and shared my own "what happened" story in which all of you played a cameo but significant role. And then I thought about this guy who was a dear friend to my dear departed brother. We don't know each other, not really. But we do - because of my brother. And also, as I found out later - he is also in recovery. In a big, generous way. And so I wrote to him:

I know I've thanked you more than once for your friendship with M, and I understand that his friendship was a gift to you as well. The thanks I feel for that is wholehearted as it was a gift to me in more ways than one. There's something really terrific in knowing that someone I love dearly has a circle of people in which they are mutually loved. It's evidence of the universe turning in the right direction, even if it's only evident in small personal pockets.

I struggled with addiction to alcohol for close to ten years. Well, longer than that, but I started really paying attention somewhere around 2011. I went through/to multiple IOPs, counseling, psychotherapy, SMART Recovery, AA, Dharma Recovery, rehab; you know, all of the things. M didn't know the extent of the problem, but I did share with him at one point. My mom - she likes to tell people things, so I knew he knew but we never spoke about it directly. Until one day, I think it was after I'd been discharged from my first rehab. I guess he was in the midst of initial chemo treatments at that time. When I confessed that I felt like (*&%$) because I had this self-induced addiction that I knew how to correct but couldn't seem to actually do it, I was holding that up against his cancer, for which he had no fault. He responded with great empathy, "It's not your fault, and what you are facing is just as deadly as what I am."

A, you know the guy was mostly not mushy on the outside. Like all (in our family), he made good use of his rapier wit and sarcasm to show his affection for people. But this was one of those moments I got to share with him where both of us were completely unguarded and able to show our love for each other without any need for artifice. I didn't know until you and I connected on facebook after M died that you were the one who must have given him that compassion. I've wanted to reach out to you a number of times while I was still in the midst of my battle, but didn't see the utility of doing that.

It seems fitting that today, after receiving that email from my uncle and just three days shy of my 10-month anniversary, I should reach out to share my gratitude with you: this thanks-giving.
This is my thanks-giving for all of you. Everyone who has posted regularly, infrequently or never at all. Those of you who "thanked" my posts so that I knew you were there even if you never said a word. Those of you who debated with me, challenged me, thought "out loud" with me, sympathized with me, ticked me off. Each of you loved me, cared about me, supported me in the way that was most fitting to you. Thank you for this gift - thank you for loving me until I learned to love myself.

Namaste
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:29 AM
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I wonder If I am going to be a weepy mess all day?
It started last night with a documentary about Princess Diana.....enough said about that!
Fast forward to this morning, I read your Thank You post and my eyes are filled up with tears. Deeply truthful. Very very touching.

You are doing so well, O! I am so proud of all the work that you do everyday. Such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your journey and for being a sounding board. For offering advice. For guiding. For all the conversation. Thank You!


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Old 11-28-2020, 07:19 PM
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ach, O, what thoughtful offerings all around, from and to so many people. full circle.
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Old 11-29-2020, 02:09 AM
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Thank you for your gift, O.
❤️
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:35 AM
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Eldest called last night. She wanted to ask me to send cigarettes, which I'd actually just boxed up for her along with coins to feed that gluttonous pay phone.

With that out of the way, she spoke of other things. She's been doing some thinking about what happens after discharge and has pretty much ruled out IOP because the hours won't work for her. So her plan is to find a sponsor and start creating a sober community. I told her I thought she should think about going to a sober home. No. Nope. No way. It's not going to do her any good. N to the O, no. When I pushed, she shut down. But only for a minute or so - that's progress. She apologized for getting angry with me and I told her I understood - I'm on her side and just want what's best for her.

Funny how things that go around come around, right? When I was presented with the same "offer" in rehab, it became a lightly veiled ultimatum from her and from middlest. And I went. And I don't regret it. It was good for me.

I don't think I could or should ultimatum her.* But I did seek guidance from my sober friend who is not much older than eldest. She agrees with my plan to put a letter in that box of cigarettes that explains why I think it's the best thing for eldest to do. Not as a mother, but as a woman sharing my experience with another addict.

Grant me the wisdom, indeed.


* Sticky note from a meeting yesterday: a woman shared that someone had "should on me." Love it.
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Old 11-29-2020, 01:40 PM
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Thank you my friend.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:07 AM
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*ahem*
10 months.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:52 PM
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noted
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:15 AM
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Hey O, happy, happy 10 months
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:23 AM
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10 months? YAY! Congrats!
Keep on Keeping on, O
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