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I'm in a Screw It state of mind.

Old 04-23-2015, 07:34 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Give a call to the insurance company and ask to speak with a case manager. You'll need to put her on the phone with them briefly ) unless you are power of attorney) so she can give permission for you to talk to them. I know Medicare provides a week per calendar year, and yes, it's to prevent caregiver burnout. Because without you she's likely going to a hospital, and they want to avoid paying for that.

You can also call your area agency on aging or your state's elder affairs office. Numbers should be on Google.

Even better, you can try speaking to her doctor about your current state. He/she may write an order for a respite stay. Might help insurance recognize and cover it.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:43 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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Originally Posted by erics View Post
Give a call to the insurance company and ask to speak with a case manager. You'll need to put her on the phone with them briefly ) unless you are power of attorney) so she can give permission for you to talk to them. I know Medicare provides a week per calendar year, and yes, it's to prevent caregiver burnout. Because without you she's likely going to a hospital, and they want to avoid paying for that.

You can also call your area agency on aging or your state's elder affairs office. Numbers should be on Google.

Even better, you can try speaking to her doctor about your current state. He/she may write an order for a respite stay. Might help insurance recognize and cover it.
Oh, she is already in a care center. Receiving excellent care.
But in her opinion, nobody can care for her like I do.

I was hoping it was almost like a respite for the caregivers place.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:50 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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But in her opinion, nobody can care for her like I do.
I understand that AO. That said I've met some real angels in care centres.
You should never feel guilty for taking a little you time.

Put on your own oxygen mask first yeah?

D
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:55 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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You're awesome, AO. From what I've read in your other threads, you really go above and beyond for those close to you and I can't find words to express how much I admire that!

Hopefully Fredo and Badnis will pull you through the tough nights, but some help from a human might do you good, indeed. I think your mom would understand.
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Old 04-24-2015, 04:14 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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<3
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:21 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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AO - I wasn't online last night. Sorry to hear about your problems...read thru the posts and you sounded much better after a few hours. Glad that you posted here. Lotsa love and support. Hope today is better for you
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:45 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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I, too, am chiming in here late, but wanted to send my support and thoughts.

D's comment about putting your own oxygen mask on first seems crucial. Not doing so has been my Achilles' heel, both in life and in sobriety. It is so easy to work ourselves to the bone, exhausted and drained, and then succumb to the siren sound of alcohol (mixing my classical metaphors here, I suppose). Anyway, as a few folks on here reminded me awhile back, it is okay to put yourself first.

Take care, and big hugs to you and your loved ones.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:46 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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i agree with D (((((AO)))))
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:51 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Lean on us anytime. We're here for you. I've been in a similar situation -- and this might not sound very helpful, but it might be, so I offer it -- is there any way you can find even five minutes of time for you each day? Just to sit, close your eyes, or look out the window... just five minutes of self-care.

xo
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:09 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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Originally Posted by NikTes View Post
Lean on us anytime. We're here for you. I've been in a similar situation -- and this might not sound very helpful, but it might be, so I offer it -- is there any way you can find even five minutes of time for you each day? Just to sit, close your eyes, or look out the window... just five minutes of self-care.

xo
I absolutely love your avatar. The Fibonacci Spiral Golden Ratio is one of my favorite sacred geometry patterns.

Yes, I spend as much time as humanly possible "out there".
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Old 04-24-2015, 01:38 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Hi Alpha.

I apologize for the long post, but I imagine that I need to do this for both of us. I'm not using my own experience as a template for what you're now experiencing, but to throw some things for myself in sharper relief.

I'm happy to see that you seem to be getting through your torment and heading for the other, better side.

For me, your comments and your recent and ongoing trials and tribulations raise questions for me around which circumstances I offer help and support, and why I do so. And also when and why I withdraw my help and support.

I don't believe that any of us is built to manage multiple life stressors on our own. This includes getting sober, during which many of us feel that we're under attack by a range of aggressive and painful enemies. Your helping attitude often seems to leave you depleted and vulnerable to the escape that drinking only promises. That's only natural, and is only one reason why your process is so difficult to change. In the same way that moving from excessive and destructive drinking to sobriety is so difficult for many of us to change.

When I was a child, and then during adolescence, my mother was a handful. She suffered an abusive childhood and, though I was not aware of it and the later, ongoing consequences of her "downbringing" at the time, I came to know her as someone who had suffered deeply in life. She had a long and successful career as a practicing, teaching and administrative nurse. (My mother is a recovered alcoholic, and presented with many alcoholic traits long before she started drinking to excess.) She spent the majority of her time helping other people at the expense of her family; she'd always stop at the scene of an accident or run to a neighbor's house when something went wrong. My parents fought about this frequently. I learned that the best way to get her attention was for me to be ill or to feign illness. I developed "childhood asthma" which I believe was more psychosomatic than otherwise, and I learned how to pretend that I was having an attack. I stopped having attacks when I was about eleven or twelve years of age (real and pretended), relying instead on the care and attention that I got from my friends and, later on, from potential mentors in my life. Since my manipulative behavior was reinforced, it became habitual for me, and something I relied upon to acquire comfort and affection outside of my home. I suffered dire consequences in my friendships and in my professional and romantic relationships as a result.

I became that pathetic person who attempted to get attention from just about everyone, including prospective girlfriends, by pretending that I wasn't well when those relationships were faultering. I recall that when I started interviewing for jobs that I would sometimes begin the interview by announcing that I was ill -- perhaps I had a cold or something that was "going around" -- in order to create a special kind of plausible deniability in the event that the interview didn't go well. "I told you I was sick when I entered your office, so you can't evaluate me based on a poor presentation when I was, after all, sick." I was also an overly sensitive, thoughtful, hardworking and ambitious person, so I more often than not relied upon those traits to win the job, but I remember clearly those instances in which I relied on my personal "Plan B" to get me through.

For as long as I can remember, I've generally been open to helping other people in need (it made me feel useful), but I'd often be left feeling sad or angry when I didn't get something in return. (Not suggesting that this is the case with you.) Or when I did get something in return, it wasn't "good enough," or just not enough at all; a destructive dynamic that only made me miserable and left me feeling that I was never good enough for anyone. (Probably doubling as motivation for my ambitions.) Quite inevitably, this played out as a number of self-fulfilling prophecies.

When I first got sober many years ago, I got the gift of a clearer, more comprehensive self-awareness, and my realizing that my presenting myself to other people as damaged or depressed, playing the victim, hit me like a kick in the stomach. This eventually evolved into my feeling extreme emotional discomfort whenever I felt an impulse to make excuses for anything I did or did not do, along with extreme intolerance for people who did the same. The change goes something like this: I don't always need to be rewarded for the things I do (we should, after all, be rewarded for our good work), and I don't need to explain why I'm not "good enough" for so many people. Among much else, this shift motivated me to go to graduate school and to work in my chosen field. (Disguised blessings don't always identify themselves as such when we want them to.)

When I finally shed my formidable armor of resentful people-pleasing, I was able to craft my place in the world. Though I shun victimhood in myself, I still find it uncomfortable, even at times offensive, when I see this in others. I don't believe that you play the victim card; you've "earned" the stress that you carry through your good works. For me, taking care of other people often signaled that I was doing so in order to avoid that which I did not like in myself, a kind of other-centered redemption that was ultimately unhealthy and disappointing for everyone involved. I no longer carry shame for what others assess as my shortcomings, but instead focus on living a better life, and my efforts towards helping others tend to affirm my being rather than highlight my shortcomings.

For a long time, I've been able to see clearly the significant differences between depleting myself, enabling others, and helping other people to help themselves. When people, adults, start to become dependent on me and me alone to get to a better place, and especially when they do little or nothing to help themselves, I intuitively sense that there's something wrong, something unbalanced, in the relationship. I cannot help someone who refuses to help himself, or someone who decides that he is helpless to help himself. For me, there is a special kind of interpersonal "immorality," so to say, to continue to help someone with this dynamic, even though it sometimes takes a great deal of time and effort for me to get to the point where I recognize that my best efforts are futile, even destructive.

There is a truism in the practice of psychotherapy that says that, over time, when the therapist is working harder than the patient, then something different needs to be done. Ultimately, maturity, purpose in life, and individual growth rely on both the ability to accept and make good use of help and support from others, and then to take responsibility for ourselves in meaningful and potentially productive ways. The alternative is despair accompanied by a looming and withering sense that we're standing on the sidelines, watching our lives go by.

Part of the remedy for me in terms of being available for other people by offering help and support was creating safe places in my life, "places" where taking care of myself is an unambiguous practice. Psychotherapy, training in martial arts, riding my bike, AA, satisfying my intellectual curiosity and my emotional needs. SR has become the same for me to a certain extent. I did the same thing the first time I got sober and then again following my three-year relapse. My self-supporting activities have proved to be powerful, and I feel no need to apologize for them.

Hard choices are hard because they're not easy. Even when I'm helping other people, I own nothing more valuable than my own life, my own existence. Accepting responsibility for how I live my life, for what I do must be a part of that, including the inevitability of uncomfortable and sometimes painful consequences. Otherwise, I'd have very little to show for the time I'm here.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:57 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Very nice, EndGame I really appreciate the comprehensive understanding and honest analysis in your post. Not one of those posts of yours in content and the shared experiences that I tend to relate to so much and find so familiar, but it is very much so in terms of introspective depth and breadth. And I believe the content is something many people here on SR can identify with, one way or another... very relevant to the mission of this forum.

AO, I also feel that you habitually tend to overwhelm yourself with dealing with other people's issues in your life. Perhaps in a way, it's a coping strategy you use to distract yourself especially after accumulating a decent amount of time dealing with yourself? Kinda running from yourself this way, just like with drinking? Maybe you experience overwhelm with your own emotions and this causes a high level of vulnerability you start to struggle with, then you try to focus on others to hopefully compensate... but it also gets too much after a while? You clearly are a receptive and hypersensitive person so no surprise about all this. Just some ideas, not sure they are correct since these patterns of behavior are not too familiar to me personally so I'm less confident dissecting without knowing more... just something I kinda see.

Btw, I also had a period when I was really into this whole Fibonacci / Golden Ratio thing... for me it was from my interest in Nature and in a period when I loved the idea of looking for universal patterns in everything, and had those romantic ideas to search for a Theory of Everything... including what makes a great piece of art a great piece of art in terms of harmony and aesthetics. I was into all sorts of craziness related to this. Well, still am sometimes

Anyhow, going back to topic, whatever is behind what you are experiencing, my suggestion is the same: boundaries. For me, sometimes it's hardest to have healthy boundaries with my own self... to put limits on my thought processes and fantasy life, but I had to learn to do this otherwise my own mind would be quite capable of driving me to insanity.

I think I told you similar things about external boundaries when you were struggling with your husband a few weeks (or months?) ago, try to shift your focus.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:12 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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(((Endgame))). I read your post while walking this evening. I came home restless, irritable and discontent yet again. Alcohol was putting itself back on a table that I had overturned a few months ago.

I really Really do not want to drink.

You all have given me much fodder for thought. I have no desire to go back to where I was 4 months ago. A year ago, two years ago.

I'm in a delicate transitionary period I have never journeyed through before. Primarily because I'm FINALLY doing something about my anxiety and depression medication wise. There is a slight teensy contentment behind the discontent. If that makes any sense ? I can feel a shift. It's small but noticeable when you have spent decades self medicating.

I discovered tonight, through these posts and forced excercise, that the crux of what I'm facing now, is that I feel I have all the responsibility of being an adult, minus the fun that comes with being an adult.

My alcoholism, anxiety and depression rendered me agoraphobic 15 years ago. I have battled that on and off since then. Trauma after trauma, year after year, piled its way into my psyche and left me incapable (and rather undesired) of venturing and journeying out of my bubbles, so to speak.

I have my safe places, my zones which I can travel without completely falling apart with anxiety. But I still rely on a few people to get me here and there.

When you start drinking at 4 years old, and then REALLY hit it hard starting around 15, development is arrested. Most times, I still look at my life and think - how the hell did I get here ? I remember going through this the last time I got sober for an extended period of time. It was like when Homer Simpson starts smoking weed and in a moment of clarity he says "Wait, we have a kitchen ?" I feel like a child in an adults life.

So much of my adult life, all of it really, has been on this weird autopilot mode. Being forced to act the adult, long before I could be considered one. And then when I became one, suddenly needing someone to drive me everywhere because I couldn't ? I have the big accomplishments on paper. And yet, I can't drive to the store ?

Endgame, you are on to something here with the whole psychosomatic illness thing. My agoraphobia keeps me tethered codependently to those that aid me in my fear.

I have some big things I guess I'm going have to face now if I'm going to truly and honestly move forward.

Huge fears and phobias that have totally gotten out of control.

Things I'm sure most of you take for absolute granted.

Will I do them ? Or will I go back to the unsafe safety of the bottle ?

Sadly, the jury is still out.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:22 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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hugs AO. You are dealing with a lot. People who are not addicts find different ways to get through things and some of them are actually healthy. Some of those healthy ways cause people to learn and change and mature. Talk it out here but don't drink at this. The jury can't be undecided. If you only know one thing for sure let it be that drinking is not an option.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:54 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
So much of my adult life, all of it really, has been on this weird autopilot mode. Being forced to act the adult, long before I could be considered one. And then when I became one, suddenly needing someone to drive me everywhere because I couldn't ?
I too was a parentified child, and the child I was tasked with caring for was my mother. She worked full-time throughout her life, and the strain of managing a marriage and raising five children -- not to mention dealing with her abusive childhood -- was visible. I made tea and snacks for her, sometimes did the laundry and ironed my father's dress shirts, and, even as a child, tried to comfort her when she was down. I came to believe that if she were okay, then I would be okay too. My world was shaken when she was ill or simply not feeling well. And I feared that she'd die before I got what I needed from her. As I commented in my previous post, I carried these dynamics into my adult relationships with unfortunate outcomes.

Acting as I thought an adult might act during my childhood did not prepare me for adulthood and only stunted my personal growth and maturity. My version of being an adult was contaminated by being a parentified child. I was overly stern and judgmental. I was put off by age-appropriate behaviors in children and adolescents, and I had zero tolerance for other adults who indulged themselves in childish behaviors. I allowed myself to be held hostage by other people's needs, and I had extreme difficulty in both joining with and detaching from other people. My only surprise was that I didn't end up interpersonally and socially disabled. And the booze always made this go away, just like peek-a-boo, or hiding under the covers seemed to do when I was a very young child.

I was tired of acting as an adult when I finally reached an age when I was "supposed to" be one. I wanted my adult responsibilities to go away or, even better, have someone else take care of them. In terms of taking responsibility in my relationships, my thinking was "I've already done this!" I felt that, by having taken care of my mother, I was entitled to something better, something easier, something completely self-indulgent. But the world didn't cooperate so, among other things, I used booze to escape.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:28 PM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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I am in awe of some of the wonderful responses. I am sorry that you are struggling.

AO, I am in a similar situation, I can not say how I am coping sometimes, and know that at times I clearly am not.
I do know that I am being stretch more as a human being than ever before, perhaps even more than motherhood...

I am very different person now because of my situation. I think I am becoming a more rounded, big picture, I definitely have adapted more spatial intelligence, LOL. AND...definitely not sweating the small stuff. My circumstances keep me preoccupied in my daily activities and can be consuming.

AO, I love this line in the serenity prayer " Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." It helps. x
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:25 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
You are beautiful.... Fight friend. Fight.
(((ALPHA)))

I've so wanted to post to your remarkable thread, me good friend. As you already know, from your loving quote above taken from my own thread, I've had better days too, lol. I'll say to you what you have so often and again said to me: don't ever give up!

Yes, drinking options can be put on whatever table comes to mind. And the moment this happens is the same moment we begin a slippery slope kind of horrific struggle. It's really very human to look at all our options. Its how we move forward and learn from our experiences. The thing with drinking is though, there is nothing to left to be learned, yeah?

We're not dumb. Any of us who have quit and quit again know drinking is much worse even as a last resort. Even to have options for it on the proverbial table is a tremendous sorrow to our best efforts to our strongest hopes and so on.

I failed at quitting for six lousy years. I refused all help until the very last week of my 12 years of drinking and drugging which had always been with alcohol, and drugs, but alcohol my DOC since age 12.

You started at age 4 (((ALPHA))). My heart and spirit has trouble working through the horrible angst which comes with those past numbers, my friend.

If I may, lets be clear though, okay? The trials of both are youths are different than what is happening today with either of us. Sure we remember, but much of that memory is or was a resentful re-feeling and re-association. I known this about myself for decades, though, as I've already explained in my part 1 Authenticity thread. Still, knowing something is not the same as doing something. Knowledge without action is pretty much nothing more than a spiral holding pattern to deeper and deeper variations of delusional ugliness. I speak from experience.

So, over the past few months before cancer came to town, I've quit on being resentful of my failed responsibilities growing up as a teenager and into a man. A man? Well, I've learned I'm both less and more of a man than I've ever realized, and as well on so many not doable and doable levels, respectively.

My friend (((ALPHA))) Future drinking is NOT an option on, near, under, around, below, above, here, there, anywhere near that ******* lousy and stupid ******* table.

I'll be back to this remarkable, insightful, hopeful, and loving thread again. Right now, I have too cry a bit for both of us.

Robby
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:05 AM
  # 58 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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Oh Robby..... Now I'm really balling.

You gave me this moment of your precious precious time. When you should have nothing left in your energy reserve to spare.

My God. You.

Just you.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:03 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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AO...I've only just come across this thread and I'm sorry to have missed it.

Several months ago, I was in your situation as regards feeling that pull to drink. I had spent months giving every bit of me, physically and mentally, toward helping my family. I was with my Dad from the first time the oncologist told him he was dying....through the hospital admissions for cancer related illness...I liaised with hospice care for him at home...I helped move him, bathe him, change him...and I held his hand as he slipped away. I thought I was dealing so well...no thoughts of a drink...I arranged his funeral, sorted out my Mum's finances...and then, when it was all over and I had that deep sorrow hit me, that's when the voices started. Whispering their lies, I surely deserved a drink now. Poor poor me. I knew months before I picked up that I would relapse. It became a self fulfilling prophecy.

I stopped posting here. I entered a dark world of grief and despair...

I can tell you that drinking adds a new and terrifying layer on top of that Alpha. Shame, regret, despair, guilt. Down and down I spiralled. I became secretive. I lied and manipulated. It wasn't long at all before the very dark thoughts began...what was the point of me?

Alpha...I can fully appreciate the difficulties you have in your life. Everything passes. There are solutions and a way forward. As long as you stay sober.

We all need you. Xxx
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:14 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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(((jeni))). Thank you for sharing that.
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