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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, February 16, 2016

Rain, snow, popcorn, sheets

I’m feeling a little scattered today. My thoughts run from one thing to the next without much of any sense of direction. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on with Riley, the blog and just life in general.

Yesterday we had so much snow that you couldn’t see through it. I think that’s called a “white out.” It was beautiful but deadly. My daughter ended up in a field when she attempted to get to work. Icy country roads don’t give a big hoot about four-wheel drive which just doesn’t help when driving on ice. Both she and the car came back home without any injuries.

OK. So here my wandering mind goes… a white out, to me, is when you are able to get the white out and the stains gone if you are washing sheets or anything
white. Good old bleach, borax and baking soda do the trick each and every time. Follow the wash cycle up with a final rinse with liquid fabric softener and WawLaa! prettiest,whitest, best smelling sheets in town.

And now back to the weather – Today we’re having a rainstorm of the giant magnitude. I can see my neighbor’s fields are looking like a lake of standing water. Good thing he hasn’t planted any crops. That won’t happen until at least March. We planted some flower blubs –

Back to the rain… it’s the kind of day you would want to hide under a comforter with a cup of piping hot chocolate, a vintage movie on TV (I’m talking Nick and Nora Charles kinda movie.), a bowl of popcorn… and then just drift in and out of sleep while listening to the rain splash on the windows.

Sleep. I’m so happy that we have found the correct combination for Riley so that the hallucinations are under control and he gets a peaceful night sleep. When he gets that, I get it too. Being the caretaker of an alcoholic (drinking or not) or being the caretaker of anyone means the good things that happen are often dependent on what good things happen to them.

It’s really the same as when they are drinking. The caretaker gets good things when the alcoholic provides the opportunity to focus on those good things. If things are good for the alcoholic, they are more inclined to let loose of the hold they have on the family. The family can then take advantage of the lessened gripe and do something that makes them all happy. Like build a fort in the middle of the living room while the rain is pouring down outside. Get inside and play a game of Monopoly while the alcoholic is snoozing in the place he calls his bed. For kids, those times will be remembered as the good times.

For me, I’m a lucky one. Riley is NOT drinking because I won’t get booze for him and his misfortune is my good fortune. Don’t misunderstand; he is difficult even in sobriety. He is narcissistic and demanding and wants to control all who live under this roof like an iron-fisted, cold-nosed ruler of all he deems is his domain. Just because an alcoholic is not drinking does not mean everything is sunshine and lollipops. There have been many times when I just wanted to go buy him a bottle to shut him up and let him pass out.

I don’t think I’ll be able to hide under the comforter today, rain or not. I’m writing this post and watching the weather through my office window. I have a lot of office work to do. Riley is snuggled in his bed and enjoying the rain complete with popcorn, hot chocolate and old movie. He won’t be calling me for at least another hour and I must not waste that time on frivolous activities. There is a box of papers to be filed; some phone calls to make to rehab centers to interview them for the family program challenge; reaching out to people who are volunteering for the Washington Post story and/or the opiate documentary. Lots, lots, lots to do.

By the time Riley calls me back to his room, it will be lunch time. No amount of snacking delays lunch. Then he’ll be fine until about 3 p.m when he believes that it’s time for another snack and an update on the list of things he wants me to do.

I’d rather go back to talking about the white sheets…


Anonymous said...

Always always look forward to your posts

Anonymous said...

I check your blog every day hoping that Riley has passed and that you are finally free and at peace. It's not fair: You're a kind and compassionate person sacrificing (yes, sacrificing) your life so that an unrepentant "life-sucker" can live the rest of his self-destroyed life in comfort. And to have a nurse tell you to make plans for his care taking in case you die first from the sheer exhaustion of caring for the invalid is just...WRONG! I hope you get to feel the lightness of life once this burden is lifted from you. You deserve the love we all send you every day. xoxo

JBthatsme said...

Hi Linda, it's funny to hear you give laundry tips, mostly because while living thru the chaos of my father's alcoholism most cleaning fell aside. I lost most any motivation to clean since even when I did it was quickly undone and any housework would be magnified by a drunken fall in which he would likely dent the wall, break something, smear food or blood on the walls or wherever else he was. I lost a sense of self pride in myself and my surroundings. It's been a few months since my father's passing and I'm still working at putting the alcoholism puzzle of chaos back into pieces that resemble some sort of a normal life. I hope you find some wonderful family resources in your challenge, because it is so very needed. Thank you so much for your blog as well as all the outreach you do with talks, your book, this challenge, and other things I probably am unaware of, you are a great resource for all of us, and I sincerly appreciate it. I don't know how you do it, I still feel like pulling the covers over my head.

gina said...

I am thinking about you and your life in all this whiteness and how you could loose a sense of time. I am deeply respectful about your approach to life and that you are sharing it. I have been reading your blog for at least a year, also bought your book, since my life resembled yours. As a caretaker of an Alcoholic I felt supported reading your lines. My husband died 4 months ago, I thought your Riley would die before him. Now I mostly remember the good times, there were 30 good ones, 3 bad ones. And I miss him a lot, however he was just like a ghost in the end and he wanted and needed to die. Saying that I believe you understand. Taking every day very slowly I am thinking of you.