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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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Here's to 300!

Today’s post is the 300th since I created this blog on October 19, 2011. There have been good responses and bad responses; words of encouragement and comments of distain; some readers gained knowledge and support while others were disappointed. I’ve talked about medical issues, personality traits, sobriety and drunkenness. I have offered support groups and tried to impart cold and hard facts. I’ve had several readers who spent many hours on trying to get me to stop writing posts and even had death-threats from an unlikely source. Through it all, I persevered and tried to maintain my open, honest and informative attitude while trying to always keep a sense of humor. I’m proud to have been able to meet that goal.

In this journey, you’ve read about Riley’s absurd ideas and beliefs from the brain of a man who could no longer see logic or reason. You’ve read about Riley’s heart attack and his entry into hospice at a local nursing home. Then there was his miraculous recovery where he further solidified my name for him as the Immortal Alcoholic. Now I am sharing with you about Riley’s cancer and my frustration at being his personal home health aide while living in a medical desert.

You’ve also come along as I created the Workbook for Caretakers of End-Stage Alcoholics; held several seminars/workshops; finished and published The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife; and now… beginning my public speaking/seminar endeavor as a business that gives back. We’ve come a long way Baby!

Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for understanding me when I’ve been down in the dumps. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for sharing your experiences and resources with the other readers. Thank you for being a part of “Team Linda.” For those of you, who don’t like my bandwagon, thank you for challenging me.

Several people have been suggesting that it is time for me to relax and enjoy my retirement. They say I should focus on crafting, sewing, gardening, cooking, etc. Leave all this alcoholism nonsense behind me and let it all go. I just nod and smile because even though they may be very close to me, I think they just don’t “get it.” I’m not finished yet. There’s still so much more to do and as long as I’m physically capable of working on the projects of my choice – I’m not going to sit in a rocking chair and idly knit booties.

Now that the first round of treatment for Riley’s cancer is nearly complete (his last day of radiation will be New Year’s Eve), the doctors and social workers have taken me aside and talked to me about expectations for the future, as well as handling the present difficulties. Riley has a 50/50 chance that his cancer may be in remission after treatment. One doctor believes that is an optimistic prediction and would suggest his chances be lower. In each interview, they have expressed to me that I need to pick up where I was before Riley was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer. I was planning a seminar that got postponed; I was beginning the sequel to The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife; I was compiling a book of short stories; and, trying to grow the support group numbers. I’m told it’s time to bring all that to the fore-front once more and accept that Riley may not be around much longer. I should be planning my life with the reality that Riley will most likely die within the next couple of years either from cancer; the treatment side effects; and/or, the high possibility of him returning to drinking.

WAIT!! What did you just tell me?? I thought I heard someone say that Riley is going to die in the very near future. Haven’t I heard that before somewhere? Didn’t I act on that advise once before with disastrous results? The definition of CRAZY is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I’m not crazy enough to believe that Riley’s time is near – I may believe it, but it’s crazy to act on it. I’ll believe Riley is not immortal when I have his ashes ready to be shot from the torpedo tube of a submarine. Until then, I will continue to believe he is not going anywhere anytime soon.

However, I will take the advice offered to me. It’s time to get back to doing what I was doing before the diagnosis. With the possibility of having a real home health aide for a few hours a day, I can see a bit of freedom looming on the horizon. Time to get back to work!

Post 300 is a Thank You to my readers and a declaration of returning to my own form of sanity. If I were a drinker, I’d make a toast to the past 300 posts and the upcoming 300 posts! What the heck… I’ll use my V8 juice! Here's to 300!


Leonard Laird 2653355@gmail.com said...

Two years ago I found your Blog and have laughed with you, cried with you and got just a frustrated with someone close to me,that was at stage "we may not see you tomorrow" My brother has always been a drinker and I am lucky that I was not right beside him with my addiction. I will get into what worked for me another time perhaps. Well my sister, and mom were with him the night the doctors told them to take him home and make him comfortable. for he surely didn't have but a few days at most, "NOT ON MY WATCH" I could not even think of losing my best friend, My worst enemy at times. During his stay in the hospital I went mad surfing for information on Eastern Medicine . I found the key that unlocked his livers code to stop the destruct mode and after a a few weeks he was back up gaining weight holding his own but far from a full recovery. Milk Thesle" some sort of magic that I found while reading your blog. I know you mentioned it but where I don't know.But without that knowledge my family and I would have lost him. After all the hard work and the many sleepiness night cleaning and caring for a man that was about 80 lbs soaking wet. He got to where he was mobile and more out and about and looking good.. We had moved him into my sisters house, lord help anyone that would so much bring a drop into her home.. We were safe. we thought. this man as you know wood barely ever eat, only take bird portions and use the excuses you have outlined may times here. Up in the middle of the night to make a grand breakfast to which the mess only resulted in a half can of Campbell soup open and drank from the can.. You have been in my shoes.. and I am just a few steps away from catching his attitude.. Well I said we moved him into sisters house. that didn't last.. he had to pick a fight so he could go back to moms house.. that's where the wine is,, So Turns out moms is his enabler. first it was a glass of wine.. good for you..NOT when you cant walk away from a glass if your children were being mowed down outside, you will kill it before you help.. JUST SAYN.. Its a choice. I don't want to loose my brother. we have some wild times and some wild secrets that will never be broken.. but the days are getting rarer and rarer.. I will keep you posted.. thanks for your blog, Thanks for your guidance and support that I found and took from your words and from your heart. Riley is my brother so to speak. Its just like T_Minus 60 seconds.. there is an order that's followed to the T before lift off.. and when you started calling them off ,,they were right on time and right in line..

Zowie said...

Linda, thank you. Because of your blog which I found about 2 years ago, I have been able to cope much better with my alcoholic husband. Although he is better now concerning his drinking, things aren't perfect and never will be. It is an insidious disease. I accept that fact and have found a new strength to keep me going day to day thanks to you.

Love and best wishes for you and Riley in 2015.

ADDY said...

Happy New Year.I don't think alcoholism ever leaves you, even if you want to leave it. My husband has been dead for nearly 5 years now and its legacy still rears its head when I least expect it. You leave it when you are good and ready. Meanwhile if you can help others, why not carry on?

sobermum said...

Thank you Linda. I love your blog