Friday, September 21, 2012

I'd like to meet you...

It was almost two years ago that I started this blog. I had no idea that I was opening such a gigantic box containing so many people in my situation. The more I wrote the more I felt that I was genuinely helping people. It felt good to know I could help others while helping myself. My loyal readers have read my journey through this insanity and know me without ever meeting me. I am truly fortunate.

A lot has transpired since that day in December 2010 when I published that first post. There’s the Workbook, the ImmortalAlcoholic Facebook page, the OARS F&F Group, my book The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife and I never felt my work was complete.
There is still a lot to do. I believe I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. The membership on the OARS F&F Group is growing daily. With our numbers increasing the Facebook format is making it difficult for people to maintain a string of conversation without getting confused. We need our own website.
Several OARS members met in person last month to have a live meeting. It turned out to be extremely helpful to them and they are looking forward to future meetings. It was a simple get-together in a restaurant that was reachable by everyone. Besides sharing stories, they laughed and enjoyed an evening outside the chaos. We need more live meetings reaching more caretakers who need support and camaraderie. Imagine meeting someone face to face who truly understands where you've been -- or possibly knows where you are going.
All of this leads to me believing that the time is NOW for me to begin the quest to turn OARS into a non-profit organization. This non-profit organization will provide support, education, live meetings, maintaining an independent website, and other resources to the friends and families of alcoholics in general. While I have always focused on the caretakers of end-stage alcoholics, this would be open to anyone inside the chaos.
I know there is Al-Anon and I believe they help many people. Unfortunately, there are many people that Al-Anon just doesn’t seem to fit. This is especially true of end-stage alcoholism. There is room on this planet for many different support progams.
At one point in time, I would have been able to fund the cost of becoming a non-profit on my own. But, since I’ve retired and Riley now has special needs, the funds are just not available to defray all the costs of filing paperwork, securing an attorney and accountant, and just simply getting things set up. The current members of OARS have banned together to initiate a fund raiser, but that won’t generate money for quite some time. We need this now.
Below you will find a link to a fundraising site that I have set up. This site allows me to accept donations from interested parties. Please be aware that because we not yet a non-profit organization these contributions are considered to be GIFTS.
It is not in my nature to ask anyone for money. When/if I do, it is an extreme emergency and not just a frivolous request. These gifts are not for me personally. They are expressly to facilitate an organization that I believe will help many, many people.
Please join me in my next step in my journey. Please support me in turning OARS F&F Group into a non-profit organization. No amount is too small. Everyone can help me in reaching my goal. On the right side of the screen you will find a link to the funding website. Click now and join the cause!
Thank you…


Anonymous said...

Wow. I am stunned. I found your blog about a week ago and have ready every post up to this one. While I do not wish a horrible death upon anyone, I was really hoping Riley would just go. He has caused an emotional and physical roller coaster for you. He definitely has some 'splaining to do when he does go. There is a special place in Heaven for you, Linda. May God bless you and keep you safe and healthy.

ADDY said...

Good luck in your ventures. At first, when my nightmare started, I thought I was the only one in the world going through it, but when I finally turned to blogging in 2008 as my sanity, I too discovered there was a whole world out there going through the same. Like you, I feel I want to make a difference to those in the wake behind me and am plucking up the courage to do something too.

Anonymous said...

I wish you all the best with this new venture, Linda. I have found so much comfort in reading your blog - knowing that I am not alone, and to see by your example that it is possible to keep one's sanity while living in a chaotic situation. I truly hope you will still be able to find time to maintain it.

msterfun said...

Kate, i started reading this blog for the same reason. My father's in the same boat at riley and i don't think i could pick which one is going to wind up in the finishing hole first.

My dad got his license back a couple of weeks ago after an owi. He had it back for 11 days before getting another one. That makes 4 total in his lifetime but technically it will be his second because the first 2 were 15 years ago. I advised him that he and i were through. I was brutally honest with him and told him that if i went to hell for not honoring my father, that we could talk then.

The best advice i can give to everyone who is affected by one of these selfish alcoholic pieces of trash is to hold in to and take care if yourself. Linda, get this up and going and help as many people as you can to help themselves. I still truly believe everyone of us would be better off releasing tge A's to their own devices but i know many don't feel they are able to do so. I pray they keep tgeir health and sanity far longer tgan their A can keep up their shenanigans.

Jackie said...

@ msterfun
Please don't feel like you are not honoring your father. You probably have and still are. There are many sites discussing 'Honor thy M & F' and what that means. A couple with some dialog copied - -
Here are some definitions of honor:
being respectful in word and action and having an inward attitude of esteem for someone’s position;
a showing of usually-merited respect; and
high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank.  These are all painful definitions for children of parents who have been abusive, dysfunctional and have seriously impacted others' lives. Please notice that to “honor” does not mean to love, adore, cater to, accept lousy treatment from, etc.
What Honor is Not
Honoring dysfunctional parents is not necessarily:
Doing whatever they ask;
Condoning their behavior;
Enabling their destructive behavior;
Enduring their abuse;
Sacrificing your life and potential;
Listening to condemning words, guilt trips or insults; and
Loving them.
Distance is a Viable Option
Once we realize the psychological, physiological and emotional issues that have developed due to being raised in a home with an alcoholic, our lives can begin to change if we make that choice. Distancing ourselves from the dysfunctional people and surroundings is one way to begin freeing yourself from the hurtful past so you can move forward into your awesome future.
Honoring Our Parents?
Maybe you are thinking – but our parents are our parents! God calls us to honor our mother and father, and I obey God’s commandments as best as humanly possible. But honoring them isn’t the same as allowing them to treat us badly. It doesn’t mean sacrificing ourselves, our happiness, or our pursuit of normalcy. I am not an expert, but I have researched and experienced quite a bit. To me, honoring our parents means respecting the fact that they brought us into the world. It’s a commandment to “honor,” not a commandment to love, adore, enable, cower or endure abuse – none of those are honor.
Consider the Source of the Guilt
If you are still living with alcoholic or dysfunctional family members, I encourage you to find a safe way to get out on your own. If you are living outside the alcoholic’s home, yet you feel obligated to have contact with them every day or be with them every day, please re-think that. In my experience, guilt trips by the dozens were laid on us every week. In my opinion, we don’t owe our parents nearly as much as the dysfunctional ones seem to think we do. Don’t stay because you’ll feel guilty leaving – think about where that guilt originated, please.

msterfun said...

Jackie, thank you. This post has helped me emensely at a time when i needed it most. And it helps too to know that i won't have to talk to him in hell down the road : )

Billy Ocean said...

This is such a great blog, thank you! I am an alcoholic myself with three years of sobriety. I have caused a lot of wreckage to my family and loved ones but as a result of getting sober and living honestly I've made my amends and now our relationships are beautiful. I got help from New Life House and they may be able to help you're loved one if he is struggling. Check out their website