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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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tornado warning...

When the Emergency Broadcast came over the television announcing that we were under a Tornado Warning, I gathered my stuff – blankets, pillows, laptop, water, etc – and put it in a secure place in my bathroom. I was ready.

Riley was in his rocking chair watching his usual NCIS. I told him we needed to get his bathroom ready in case the worst came about. He just said – “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” And being the good little caretaker that I am – I stocked his bathroom. Both the bathrooms are small and there is really only room for one person in each.

As the night wore on, I settled in and listened. Wind, rain, hail, more rain, quiet, wind and more wind – but there was no rumble. I was waiting for the rumble sound of an oncoming train. It never happened – and I was thankful.

As I was waiting, I could feel the house swaying with the wind. We have a brick rancher – solid as possibly could be – but the wind was so strong it was moving the house. I thought of the three little pigs who built their last house of bricks. What a smart thing to do.

In spite of the three little pigs’ wise decision to use brick in the construction – some lyrics kept running through my head -- but they weren’t verses about the pigs’ quest for a secure dwelling. Instead, I was hearing in my head the lyrics to a song from The Wizard of Oz.

The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.
Life with an alcoholic is much the same as a house in the middle of a tornado. This first verse could well define what it is like to watch the beginning of an alcoholic downfall. Things are unsettled, the family never feels secure and things start to fall apart.

Just then the Witch  – to satisfy an itch went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.
The alcoholic (the Witch) needs to satisfy the craving for alcohol and so he/she seeks it out. Sometimes they ask others to help them obtain the alcohol – as in hitching a ride to the liquor store.

And oh, what happened then was rich.
I think if we substitute the word “sad” for the word “rich,” this would be exactly correct. Because what happens after the alcoholic gets the booze is rich with sadness.

The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.

Things become increasingly upsetting in the alcoholic household as the drinking continues.

It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch, which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
The consequences of the alcoholic’s actions cause him/her to land in unpleasant situations. Eventually the health of the alcoholic deteriorates and puts the alcoholic’s life in danger.

Who began to twitch and was reduced to just a stitch of what was once the Wicked Witch.
The person who was once a vital, productive, happy member of the community is reduced to becoming a mere servant of alcohol. At that point, the entire family is not in Kansas anymore, but rather in some uninhabitable place – like Antarctica. No matter how many times you click your heels, those ruby red slippers are not going to help you now.

I’m told by fellow country dwellers that this is unusual weather for this time of year. Funny, in Linda and Riley World – living in a tornado is a way of life.

5 comments:

Syd said...

I don't want to live in that storm again and made a decision that I won't. If a relapse would occur, I have a choice about what to do. I love her but my life is important to me. I am not in the tornado and have felt what it is like to not be there.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

I love the analogy. Have seen some of those US tornadoes. They are unthinkable here.

Ann said...

What a perfect description of life with an alcoholic! Always a maelstrom, ebbing and growing, then ebbing again, while the non alcoholic wonders what the heck happened.

Gabriele Goldstone said...

Great analogy. You can't control the weather - just dress for it, or find shelter...plus, keep an open eye/ear on the forecast.

I'm enjoying calm skies for the moment - but always watching for the storm clouds. Glad to hear you didn't get hurt or sustained damages.

Cadan Henry said...

found the blog again. enjoy your insight.

C