Sunday, August 21, 2011
My family tells me that I’m one of the most positive people they know. But then, they ARE my family – so I believe they must be a bit prejudiced. They love me. They may not always understand me and sometimes they just down-right don’t approve of some of the things I do. I always give them something (or someone) to talk about during family backyard barbecues. I really don’t mind being the fodder of their jolly. It creates conversation and makes them express their opinions. It makes them appreciate their own lives and helps them to see that they all may have different options.
When I was having a lot of dental work done, one of my nieces said to me with that little laugh… “Oh… Aunt Linda, you make having a root canal sound like something to look forward to!” Why not?? The end result would be straight teeth and the ability to chew food on both sides of my mouth. I was definitely looking forward to that. The procedure was just a stopping place in the journey to a healthy mouth. That’s a positive.
Riley’s journey through alcoholism can be looked at as both a positive and a negative. For me alcoholism is a negative. Riley doesn’t see it that way – he believes it’s the best possible way to live his life. For him being drunk is a positive. He wishes he could stay drunk without being alcoholic, but he knows that’s not reality and for him that is a negative. On the other hand, he is positively happy that I no longer try to force sobriety down his throat. There is a peace in this house because of that and that is a positive for both of us.
I am very positive that I’m fortunate that Riley is not a violent drunk. He is abusive – without a doubt – but it’s all mental abuse and I can handle that. I’ve detached from the drunken Riley and no longer take any abuse personally. I do get caught off guard and that’s when I’m vulnerable to his words. When that happens, I’m negative about being able to follow through on my commitment to stay with him until he expires.
The future for Riley does not have a positive outcome. He will die as a result of excessive alcohol abuse. I do not believe there is any hope of him miraculously deciding to become sober. Been there! Done that! In fact, I doubt I could find a rehab center that would admit him. He has a tendency to not participate in his own recovery. Anyone dealing with an end-stage alcoholic knows the frustration of having great hope as the alcoholic heads toward sobriety just to be slapped down when the drinking resumes. There is nothing positive about that – so – YES – I’m negative about Riley’s chances for sobriety.
Reality sometimes sucks. But ignoring reality is worse. I don’t live in a world where I can create my own reality which does not match the way things really are. I don’t live in
’s Wonderland, but instead I live above the rabbit hole. The reality of alcoholism is that there are only two ways out – sobriety or death. I’m realistic about Riley not choosing sobriety. I’m realistic that alcohol kills. I’m realistic that I must protect my own life while protecting my daughter from the destruction of alcohol. Alice
I believe that trying to force an end-stage alcoholic into sobriety is not rational. In fact, trying and trying can make a person insane. I think Albert Einstein said it best when he said that the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” A definition of rational is “Consistent with or based on reason; logical” as shown in www.thefreedictionary.com. With those two definitions, I believe I can surmise that the thought of Riley choosing sobriety would be both irrational and therefore – insane. I have choices too – I can choose that insane way of thinking or I can be a rational realist. I choose the later.
To sum it all up – I think the best description of me is – I’m a positive person, a rational realist, who thinks negatively about Riley’s recovery while realistically accepting life as it is in the present and the probable future. That about sums it up.
at 9:58 AM