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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Greener pastures...

I love living in the country. I love not having neighbors who know everything I do by virtue of listening out their back door. I love having a yard that can accommodate a large garden. I love letting the dog out to endless scampering without a leash. I love having the cat leave me a mouse on the front step every morning. I love the smell of the fresh air without exhaust fumes. And --- I love that Riley can’t walk to a liquor store. I love that I have control over when he leaves the property and why. But, even without Riley, I would still love and live in the country.
Riley loves the city. He prefers everything to be in walking distance. He loves having his neighbors so close that you can hear them flush their toilet. He doesn’t mind walking the dog on a leash and using a pooper-scooper. He doesn’t mind changing the cat’s litter box. His idea of a garden is a tomato plant on the balcony. Over his morning coffee, he likes to plan and then shop for tonight’s dinner. He loves the urban lifestyle. Most importantly, he would love to take back control over his coming and going.
I admit… I’m all into what makes my life easier and the fact that I now have Riley back in my life means that I have no shame in doing what is best and happiest for me. So… if you think I’m being selfish – consider a recent conversation that followed our great breakfast outing. Keep in mind that having Riley with me is not for Riley or for me, but for keeping our daughter’s  life sanely intact.
Riley told me he wants to move back to the city. He states that what he wants more than anything is for ME to live with him in the city. Of course, this gets my attention because for most of the past 40 years – I have never been the woman he would have CHOSEN to be ANYWHERE with. So I pressed him on the issue.
After the long drawn out explanation as to why he wanted to be with ME in the city – the truth came out. Riley knows he can’t live alone if he returns to drinking. He doesn’t really want to live with me. BUT – if he lives with me in the city, he knows I’ll take care of him as he actively continues his alcohol adventure. I’m not the chosen woman – I’m just the only one left who will take care of him.
He better get used to overalls and plaid shirts.

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