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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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Saving my life...

Yesterday I had an e-mail from a gentleman who was questioning why I would expect anyone to donate to a fund to help a drunken zombie who has only spread misery and strife all around him. Unfortunately, I do understand his point of view and I respect his decision not to participate in the fundraiser. I can see how it might appear that I’m asking for help for someone who does not deserve help.

This person clearly states that he has not read very much of my blog, but what he has read has offended him. He has had an unfortunate childhood which has left him with scars that may never heal. He also seems a bit “put out” because of the difficulty he has in meeting his own financial health needs. Again, it is an all-too-common circumstance in our country. Maybe he should start his own fundraiser and try to get help for his own situation.

The fundraiser is not so much about helping Riley stay immortal. The reality is that he is probably not going to make it through this battle no matter where we live or what I do. But then, I’ve heard that he’s dying before. The kids and I have stood vigil by his bedside before. Please forgive me when I have my doubts that he may not be leaving earth this time either. I won’t plan for a memorial service until I have his ashes in a box ready to be buried at sea.

Is it unrealistic for me to want to be in an area where I, Linda, can get the support and help that I need so that I don’t get sick from the sheer stress and physical requirement of taking care of him? Is it unreasonable for me to want to continue to do the things that seem to help so many others who find themselves in alcoholic chaos? How can I do those things when caretaking a cancer patient is a 24-hour a day job?

I’m not trying to save Riley’s life. That’s the job of his cancer team. It’s my job to provide him with assistance in following the doctor’s orders. It’s my job to do what I need to do so that when he passes from this world, I will be able to live with myself.  What I’m trying to do is save my own life.

Riley is still an alcoholic. That doesn't go away just because the drunk is not drinking. Riley would still be drinking if given the opportunity. He just doesn't have the means or ability to be drunk. In spite of all of that, Riley is still human and I will treat him with all the humanity I can muster – believe me sometimes that is very difficult.

If your decision is to NOT participate in the fundraising auction – I’m good with that. I don’t expect something for nothing and that’s why I have chosen the auction and challenge format. I thought it would be a lot more fun than just sending some money off to a cause. Wouldn't it be fun to watch your kids eyes lit up when they think they are talking to Santa? And if you really hate what I’m doing – challenge me to shave my head at the start of what is supposed to be a very cold winter. That would be a good punishment for whatever wrongs you think I’m doing. If you love what I’m doing and can’t afford to participate – post me a positive/encouraging comment on the fundraising site or suggest a challenge that you think might be interesting and fun.

And on this Thanksgiving Day --- THANK YOU to all my readers, even the ones who do not like me.


Bev said...

There is also something else to consider and that is if you did not provide the proper care for Mike than you could be charged with elder abuse. Everyone has their own opinions and you've always have been extremely gracious in letting them voice theirs Linda. (I don't think I could do that). No one really knows what they would do unless they were in your shoes. Being a caregiver is hard. Looking out for yourself should always come first because without you where would Mike be?

Anonymous said...

"Is it unreasonable for me to want to continue to do the things that seem to help so many others who find themselves in alcoholic chaos?
Ask the people who you "seem to help" for cash.

"How can I do those things when caretaking a cancer patient is a 24-hour a day job?"
Is anyone asking you to "do those things"?
If whatever you do for "so many others" is so valuable then send them a bill for your services.

I can afford to participate in giving you money...but I choose not to. Vain babbling is of no value to me.

Maybe just a plain old GO FUND ME button might work.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could plead your case before the United Nations like Michael Brown's parents from Ferguson.

This was the response given to them.......

"“The sense of entitlement these people displayed is reprehensible” .

Anonymous said...

The last two comments represent the exact reason I have stopped reading certain blogs-stopped associating with negative people.... I've also removed myself from poisonous family. Why these people continue to visit your blog and make such comments is beyond me. Their lives must be pretty dull on the other side of the computer screen. I hope you had a nice holiday. As always I appreciate you and the work you put into your blog.


Linda -- The Immortal Alcoholic's Wife said...

Thank you, Elizabeth. I'm sorry for the previous two comments. I try to be fair and let everyone express their point of view. I agree that I don't understand why they read my blog if it offends them so much.