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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, April 2, 2013

Moonlight on my path...


I love a big, bright, luminescent full moon. And sometimes, just sometimes when I stare at it for too long, I can feel a bit of loony-ness come out in me. I laugh a little louder; sigh a little deeper; talk a little longer; create a little wilder; and believe a little stronger. I like the full moon because it gives me license to do all those things. That is – as if I needed a license – NOT!
Recently we had a full moon. I think there is an after-affect. Maybe a kind of glow that lingers after the moon sets and the sun rises. Maybe there is a kind of “full moon craziness glow” that lasts for days after the full moon. That would explain a lot about both mine and other people’s actions.
I had an awesome Easter Sunday with my family. I laughed so hard my sides ached; I talked until my throat was sore; and ate more than healthy amounts of every tasty food served. Then I went home (really just downstairs) and crashed into bed at an extremely early hour. I don’t know if my excesses were a result of the full moon and I don’t care. What a wonderful day!
Riley chose a different sort of day. He stayed in his room and watched NCIS re-runs and played with a visiting dog. Gander is a golden retriever who is too old to just run around in the backyard with the other visiting pups. He is quiet and gentle. Both Riley and Gander enjoyed each other’s company. It was a good way to spend the day for both of them.
Riley and I were presented with several paths through our day and we each chose a different one. Neither path was wrong, crazy, good or bad. It was just a route of our choice. It was what worked best of each of us.
It’s my experience that life is a little like that. There are lots of paths we could take and we make our choices based on information available at the time. Sometimes we take a path that is well worn by others who went before us. Sometimes we pull out our machete and carve a whole new path just for that segment of our life. No path is right or wrong. Sometimes there are detours. Sometimes a bridge may be washed out and we must go back and start again.
The interesting thing about these paths is that they really don’t lead anywhere. They are just routes that provide scenery, opportunity, joy, sorrow as we go through our life. There’s an old saying that goes like this: Life is not a destination. Life is a journey. If that’s true then what is important is not where the path leads, but what is found along the way.
Riley’s path is different from mine. He prefers certain things that I would avoid at all costs. It’s his path and his choice to follow it. It’s not my place to carve the path for him. However, if his path puts him into quicksand, I can chose to reach out the branch that pulls him out so he may continue in whichever direction he wants. Or I can choose to just do nothing.
My path is one that has ugly, dangerous thistle bushes mixed in with the beautiful gardenias and camellias. I know they all have a purpose and I appreciate their beauty even in the ugliness. I encounter many different people and they are each on their own path. If our paths cross, we may converse for a while, share a cup of coffee, exchange ideas or we may simply ignore each other. Sometimes people join me as a walk down my path. It’s their choice to walk beside me or to go their own way. I may offer my opinion on how dangerous it may be to walk through an alligator infested swamp, but if that’s the path the person chooses, well, so be it.
While walking down this path as Riley’s caretaker, I stop and try to gain every bit of information I can so that I can make informed choices about my direction. I talk to him. I talk to other addicted persons. I talk to other caretakers. I talk to my family and friends. I get their points of view, but at the same time, I remember that their points of view are just “their points of view” and don’t have to be my point of view.
Riley makes his desires very clear to me about the path he wants to take. He wants to not be sober. That doesn’t mean he wants to be drunk. But he doesn’t like sobriety. This path he is on at the present time is not a path he would have chosen willingly. It was the only route available. It’s like having to get over a mountain when all but one road is washed out. Sobriety is Riley’s mountain and he just wants the fastest way out of it. It would not be my choice. But, it’s not my path… its Riley’s.
In my opinion, Riley’s quality of life is pretty good right now. I don’t know why he would want to change that. But the fact remains that he does want to change it. He wants off this path and change the quality of his life because for him this life doesn’t have the quality he wants. For him, if this is the only life-quality he will ever have available to him, he would rather get off the life path altogether.
It is hard for a non-alcoholic person to understand why anyone would want to live in a hazy, crazy world of inebriation. As I sip on my occasional (once or twice a year) glass of wine while having dinner with a friend, I am careful not to enter that place of having one-too-many. I hate the feeling of being personally out of control and so I avoid it as often as possible.
Riley is the opposite. He loves that feeling of euphoric floating through any event. He doesn’t care what the consequences are; he only knows that the feeling is what he covets.  It is the path he will choose at every opportunity. If he can’t take that path, he will take the path to his room that ends in his rocking chair in front of the TV. He’s not really comfortable there, but he is as comfortable as he can be sobriety.
My point to my readers is this: You don’t have to walk my path. You don’t have to agree with the path of my choice. You are entitled to walk your own path. You are welcome to express your opinion about the path I chose. However, no one is asking you to read about my journey. If it upsets you or is incites personal anger, maybe you should read a different blog. If my point of view is offensive, why bother to read it at all? I’m sure there are other blogs out there that would intersect in a more agreeable manner along your path.
No matter what path you choose, my path will continue even if it is lighted by the full moon craziness glow. 

18 comments:

Julia Watwood said...

Love this blog! I trully agree with you. I feel the same about choosing our own path in life and I feel each path I chose maybe not have gotten me far or was the "right" path but it lead me to where I am today... a wonderful husband and two great kids. For those that are giving you negative comments that is thier path and they can walk away

Anonymous said...

some of the comments aren't negative; just different

etheltest1 said...

Like the saying goes, "live and let live" : D

Anonymous said...

My parents are alcoholics and it has spiraled downward the last few years. I have begged, pleaded, and played every card I had to try to get them on a different path. This year, I have accepted that they have gone down a chosen route and there is not one thing I can do to change that. My dad indicates he is happy with his life. Thank you for this blog. It's helping me deal with my emotions as I watch my parents on this alcoholic roller coaster that I cannot control. I am choosing a different path and learning from their mistakes. It's sad but it's life at this point.

jo said...

nice , i like this.,

good point...take the path we choose. they all have some thorns...and some flowers.

jo said...

nice , i like this.,

good point...take the path we choose. they all have some thorns...and some flowers.

jo said...

nice , i like this.,

good point...take the path we choose. they all have some thorns...and some flowers.

Anonymous said...

Well said Linda. And to those who don't "get it" find another blog. I have only been reading this blog for a few months & Linda has explained her position more than enough times. This blog his her view on what she has to deal with etc. If you are fortunate enough not to understand what she (and many many more) is going through I don't think its fair you have the right to feedback negative comments. I have found this blog to be informative, supportive & a real life resource. Thank you Linda

Anonymous said...

Just as you suggest, Linda, I’ll be moving along. It makes me angry when I read the words of the caregiver of a demented and dependent elderly alcoholic rationalizing their plan buy their dry drunk alcohol.
Is that part of your moral and legal responsibility? No need to answer, I’m done here.

Kathy said...

I came upon your blog yesterday. Thank you for it. The anonymous comment who is angry reminds me of my alcoholic husband's ex-wife. She feels that way. But I don't. I have been through all the anger and resentment as you have. I love my husband and I can't stand to think of him as a bum in the street because that is what he would be without me. He doesn't work because he can't because his illness has progressed so. He doesn't want to quit drinking so he will die from it. He has been in and out of rehab and the hospital. He has to make that choice. But I choose to love him and yes pay for his alcohol.

Katie said...

I loved it...every word...

Anonymous said...

I have been researching Narcissist Personality Disorders. Pathological condition. No cure. Prolonged exposure leads to inevitable harm. If one looks heard enough you can see behind the Mask and sometimes the Mask slips. Apparently if the narcissist considers you useless in creating their image, they will dump you. That means if you blow their cover and don't buy into their BS anymore, and the old bait-and-switch doesn't work anymore, then you are waste to them and will try to get rid of you in their life. I'm done here too. Wishing everyone well on the journey. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

to those who may be in disagreement with linda, i know she may come off condescending at times when a person doesn't agree with her but she has done alot of good work. in saying that, i do not want to invalidate your statements. many here may actually agree. i for one will miss different opinions here. best to all :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda, Seems you have some of us who really see that 1) you bought Riley his booze until it almost killed him and 2) you will likely do this again. I guess I am out of here too because I see only you capitalizing on his illness and cashing his checks. Not much about Riley's struggle these days. Until you buy him more booze that is.,

Anonymous said...

Sales and Marketing people are taught and use Neuro-linguistic Programming similar to hypnosis.
Trance induction method. The main technique is to create belief through building a storyline. One of the most effective ways to penetrate someone's unconscious to close the deal. Like fairy tales worked the same way on us as children. I'm an adult now. It works on children...for awhile. Can be seen in commercials all the time. In this case what I see as the belief system and message that is being targeted at my subconscious mind is the belief system and message that is is acceptable to get alcohol to Riley because someone else believes he will drink eventually And it is a fact he is going to die anyway. If I make a comment labeled positive I reinforce that belief and message. if I make a comment labeled negative I do not reinforce that belief. labeled judgmental, I am of no value in passing that belief and message onto others. And am invited to leave. The only people left carry on the belief system and message to others with their "positive comments" who eventually come to this site like a revolving door. Such a deal.

Who does that?

Impression Management does not equal good character. Reality is for real. The story is not.
And the deal gets closed sooner if Riley gets booze sooner. Crimes have motive. There is no defense for indefensible behavior.

Satan appears as an angel of light. Snake charmers charm snakes. Is it true that one is known by the company they keep? This isn't working for me. Exit time.







Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Sounds like you may be stuck in a revolving door. I would not wish hardship or cruelty upon anyone. A person never knows what they may do when put into a situation.

You haven't exited yet. Maybe you should use the push/pull door

Alisa Matteson said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Sounds like you may be stuck in a revolving door. I would not wish hardship or cruelty upon anyone. A person never knows what they may do when put into a situation.

You haven't exited yet. Maybe you should use the push/pull door.

I wanted to claim this reply. I am not afraid to be known. I have had to deal with alcoholism and now a dead brother because of it. I don't need to hide anonymously

Anonymous said...

I am a wife of a long time alcoholic. I appreciate your point of view. I had to cut back on the internet to take care of person issues, I missed the blog every day.
To those that are critical on Linda you have no idea how hard it is to live on her shoes. Everyday is a struggle with an alcoholic. Are you do the right thing or not. Yes, we take our own paths and make our own decisions. My advise is unless you have walked in the shoes of the other spouse of an alcoholic please don't judge.