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A tough day today

Old 05-06-2013, 12:10 AM
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A tough day today

Hello all. Having a rough day and just want to vent. I chose here because, well, I'm an atheist. While I appreciate well wishes I don't want anyone's prayers.

My dad passed away a couple years ago this summer. It was hard since we were close, but he'd been in poor health and it wasn't really a surprise. In fact, it was a miracle he hadn't died thirty years ago. So while it was difficult, on some level I was glad to see his physical suffering end. And at least I was there with him at the end, along with the entire family, so it was as good a death as a man could reasonably expect.

Today my mom found out she has cancer. There were no signs before about a month ago. A few days ago she felt sick and was vomiting, and had blood in her urine. She is visiting her sister who's a nurse, and the sister was concerned enough to insist on taking her to the ER.

The docs think it's very early state colon cancer. They're pretty sure it hasn't spread beyond one small spot and feel confident it can be removed with surgery. If so, that will be that. Of course, anytime you go under general anesthetic there's a risk. But she's relatively young (61) and in otherwise good health, so there's reason for optimism.

Still, it's tough on all of us. My brother and sister and I are in our early 40's, and my brother & I have long expected her to outlive us both (all of Mom's siblings are in their 80's and her folks both lived to their late 80's as well). Again, the odds are in her favor but it's a real jolt to even think of losing her so soon!

I have the added "burden", if you will, of being overly fond of wine. I've been sober for almost exactly seven months now. This isn't really a "trigger" for me as I understand that nothing about this situation would be improved by going back to being a drooling, drunken idiot. But it doesn't help, either.

Just wanted to get my thoughts down in writing. It makes me feel a bit better.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:36 PM
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hey Myth.

My dad's second year anniversary is next week. I lost him suddenly, no good byes etc.
I was traumatised and in so much pain - drank wine (lots) for past couple of years (I'm just 2.5 months sober).

Sober now and finally at acceptance stage. I am so grateful my mother is alive and well. Yet I often think what will happen should she die suddenly, or become ill. So reading your post struck a cord with me.

I have thought, if anything happened I'd drink my way through that too. But thankfully now, I genuinely feel that I won't (for the obvious reasons). Good to see you are feeling that way too.

Yep write those thoughts and feelings down. (does no good to bottle em up)

btw, well done on 7 months. I'm still a newbie in comparison. Other than SR do you have any other supports? I'm struggling but am determined.

Best wishes and thankfully your mom has been diagnosed at early stage.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:06 PM
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I am so sorry, Myth. Losing a parent/hearing that one is in poor health is never easy.

And congrats on your 7 months sober. It is a really good sign that you are able to stay sober despite all of the setbacks you have experiences recently. Stay strong, and come here to vent as often as you would like.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:20 AM
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Thanks to you both. I'm headed to the hospital where she's staying, about 300 miles, in the morning. My brother & sister are going, too. Talked to Mom today and she sounded good. The docs have told her she's the healthiest patient they've ever seen, aside from the cancer. They expect to be able to get it all in one and it doesn't appear to have spread to any other location. If the surgery goes well they expect her to be released in a few days. If she's worried she isn't letting on. She tells me it's a pretty routine deal, but I'm going anyway. Any time they have to put you under, things can go south. I don't want to live with myself if something happens and I'm not there.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Tammy47 View Post
hey Myth.

My dad's second year anniversary is next week. I lost him suddenly, no good byes etc.
I was traumatised and in so much pain - drank wine (lots) for past couple of years (I'm just 2.5 months sober).

Sober now and finally at acceptance stage. I am so grateful my mother is alive and well. Yet I often think what will happen should she die suddenly, or become ill. So reading your post struck a cord with me.

I have thought, if anything happened I'd drink my way through that too. But thankfully now, I genuinely feel that I won't (for the obvious reasons). Good to see you are feeling that way too.

Yep write those thoughts and feelings down. (does no good to bottle em up)

btw, well done on 7 months. I'm still a newbie in comparison. Other than SR do you have any other supports? I'm struggling but am determined.

Best wishes and thankfully your mom has been diagnosed at early stage.

I drank heavily for many years, like so many of us did. But when Dad died I definitely started spiraling downward even faster. It wasn't even just depression, it was more than that. On some level I didn't want to disappoint him; his brother battled alcoholism for many years. After Dad passed I kind of felt like there was no need to hold back, no need to worry about letting him down. One of the last restraints was off and I felt like all was allowed. I spent at least a solid year plastered 7/365, with one exception- I was sober for his funeral.

I don't have any supports besides SR and AVRT. The latter has been a lifesaver. I can't link here but you can Google it. It's been very effective for me. 7 months isn't all that long in the grand scheme of things but I feel like 7 months or 7 decades, I'm in control again. There's no way I can drink in moderation, long experience has proven that. But the Beast can't force me to pick up that first one. As long as I don't start it doesn't matter that I can't stop. I don't really have cravings or and I don't allow myself the luxury of even fantasizing about drinking much. In my mind that's off the table, not a part of my reality any more.

By the same token, I understand now that I have a choice. I can't drink in moderation, but if I wanted to I could always start drinking like a fish again. All it will cost me is my self control, my dignity, my livelihood and eventually my life. If I ever start again it will be because I no longer care if I live or die. I don't mean that in a bad way; I'm not depressed or anything. But as an atheist, if there was ever a point that I had nothing to live for and didn't care if I lived or died, at that point it wouldn't matter if I drank or not.

Of course, I love life! So long as we're alive, there's hope. Always something new to learn and another experience to have. When I was drinking life was a monotonous trudge from hangover to hangover. Things are so much better sober!
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:38 AM
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What you said also strike a chord with me. Two things I specifically want to comment on. My condolences on losing your dad suddenly. I'm not sure if it's easier or harder. I guess on some level I'd been saying goodbye to my dad for years. When the end actually came it was hard but not unexpected. On one level I was glad he didn't have to suffer, and glad my mom didn't have to suffer with him. I feel I was fortunate to have had an inkling that this time he wasn't going to dodge the bullet again as he had so many times before. By the end there was very little left unspoken between us, and I know he died knowing how much I loved him, and how proud I was to have him for a father. On that count, no regrets.

I am experiencing some anxiety about the possibility of losing Mom. Like I said, we all expected Dad was on borrowed time but not Mom. My world would be unmoored without her. But even if the worst was to happen, I know getting drunk won't help anything. And it's the last thing either one of them would ever want, to see me throw my life down the drain.

I can see that I was wrong all those years about drinking. It didn't really numb the pain or stop me from feeling it, it just delayed it, postponed it. Booze doesn't solve any problems, it just kicks the can down the road. As there gets to be more road behind and less ahead you start to realize you can't kick the can much further.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:56 PM
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Thanks Myth for your explanations. It really helps to communicate with someone who has gone through the same experience. Regarding your anxiety, I found after my dad died, I was nearly possessive about my mother. I had a terrible fear of losing her. I think losing dad definitely triggered that. So its probably a natural response. I'm no longer madly possessive, thankfully, and I cherish every moment I spend with her.

I've not delved into AVRT yet. But plan to. I attend secular meetings twice a week, which is great for support, but I definitely need further type support (AVRT or whatever). My drinking was bad bad, but like you got way bad after dads death. Barely remember the first year of grief! Drank and cried for a year (I remember that part).

Best wishes for your moms surgery. Keep us updated.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:00 AM
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Delving into AVRT is as simple is visiting the Rational Recovery Website, taking 10 minutes and reading the free Crash Course. There are lots of other resources right here in this forum too. Some people have found this thread helpful: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ined-long.html.

There is a long running discussion (coming close to its two year birthday) on AVRT with over 2000 posts :http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...iscussion.html. Most questions have been asked and answered I am sure.

You may find them helpful. They start from the premise that you can indeed learn to quit and stay quit, and that you deserve (that is YOU, Tammy47) to have life without addiction.

Most people, 75% is the number, quit their alcohol addiction without any program or meetings or rehab. Believe in yourself and your ability. Onward.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:49 AM
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Great, thanks Fresh. I've thrown myself into learning about (recovery options etc) over past couple of months. AVRT was on my list. Will take a look.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:24 PM
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Well, just to update everyone- I'm back home. The surgery was uneventful, and the the docs remarked that aside from the cancer, my mom is in amazing shape! The cancerous area was very small, and there's no sign that it spread to any other tissue, nor into the lymphatic system. She's expected to recover fully with no need for chemo. With luck she'll be released on Fri or Sat. She'll have to stick to clear liquids for a few days, then transition to smoothies and the like for a few more days, then she should be right as rain.

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. It really gave me a good kick in the @ss and rattled my sense of complacency! But hopefully the worst is behind her now.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:43 AM
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I'm so happy to know things went so well with your mom, Myth.

Keep working on you. You're worth it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:56 AM
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I can totally relate. I lost my Dad when I was 16 due to alcoholism and I lost my Mom a year into my sobriety. There were unresolved issues with Dad but the one positive aspect with my Mom was she got to see me get sober and I was able to apologize for all the pain I caused. Regret is awful. Let the ones you love know it because they will not be here forever.
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