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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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Forget the chick flicks

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. In my opinion, the best part is that on the 15th of Feb, all the Valentine candy will be half price. That’s a decent reward for enduring all the syrupy sweet advertising and romantic chick flicks.

It’s really isn’t that I’m not romantic because I truly am a romantic at heart. But, I don’t need a specific day to remember that I should be romantic to the people I love. Well… I know it’s not just about the romance; it’s really about expressing your feelings for those you love. I like to send little cards to my grandchildren and others who have a place in my heart. It’s fun for them to receive a little something in the mail.

Would I like to get a bouquet of peonies today? Well, of course I would. They are my favorite flower and I’d love to get them ANY day of the year. Although it would be nice, it is not a requirement for me to receive anything on this day. I would really rather just not look at today as anything special. However, if you want to send me peonies, please send them because you like me and not because some greeting card company has declared this as being the day dedicated to “love.”

Back in my younger day, I would be all ga-ga over whatever my man would give me or do for me on this day. In fact, Riley was an awesomely romantic guy. He would make dinner reservations and have a single red rose at my place at the table. He would send flowers to my office. Of course, as our marriage sank into that alcoholic abyss, he never even noticed it was February; let alone what day it was. Valentine’s Day lost any importance to me.

Over the years, I treated today just like any other day. I ignored the love birds swooning over one another and tried to find a direction for my eyes that didn’t include any lovers. I confess that it was difficult. But I had the kids to focus on and they were always excited for the day when they would receive little cards from school mates. For them, the best part of the day was the cupcakes and punch during their class party.

Now that Riley is gone and I’m now unmarried, I still don’t long for all the Valentine Day hoop-la. I’m still thinking, “Oh wouldn’t it be nice to get flowers,” but not really caring if I do or not. Valentine’s Day is still a day that I stay home, draw the curtains, and stay in my jammies. I won’t watch any chick flicks on TV, but will do a marathon viewing of any and all Arnold, Segal, Sylvester, and Willis movies that I can find.

I know… I know… you’re thinking that I’m jealous of all those people who are popping open that heart shaped box and inhaling the lovely aroma of chocolate. Maybe you think I’m secretly crying in my coffee because no one realizes that I’m essentially alone on this day of love. You could be right. But while I might be missing that chocolate essence and the attention from a man who cares about me, I don’t begrudge anyone else’s experience.

I suppose it’s a part of my philosophy of living until you die. If you can’t have everything you love, then love what you can have. Life is too short to sit around and mope over not having the sweet stuff of your dreams. Do what you enjoy and enjoy doing it. How productive is it, in the grand scheme of things, to wring your hands and cry buckets of tears because you can’t always have what you want?

You are probably asking… “What about Sam?” Sam and I have a very long distance relationship. We are not your typical couple. I don’t need him to fawn over me and shower me with gifts. He gives me what I need by engaging in conversations that have more to do with each of our activities, plans and interests. We don’t judge our relationship by other people’s standards and we don’t adhere to rules made up by whoever it is that makes up rules. Things are good and that’s the best Valentine’s Day gift I could have.

Valentine’s Day can be tough for those of you who are in an alcoholic relationship. My suggestion is to make yourself your own Valentine and do what feels best for you. Make yourself happy because you are the best Valentine that you’ll ever have.  

1 comment:

Petunia said...

God Bless you Linda!! I am a medical student, and I was looking for more information on end-stage alcoholism. I stumbled upon your beautiful blog. I have spent the past 4 hours reading over 300 posts.

You are amazing - and I believe you are an angel. And it is great to hear you doing well.

My father has been an alcoholic for forever... thought it would kill him multiple times, in and out of rehab, many days ingesting nothing buy alcohol and coffee- yet vomiting.... I was surprised how long a person can live on only alcohol and coffee with no food.....

Anyways- I stopped speaking with him 8 years ago. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. There is so much guilt. I attended multiple Al-Anon meetings, but I still felt empty. I have received negativity from multiple people...including him... about always keeping ties with family. And only someone who has been in my shoes understands. Thank you for your beautiful blogs.

I found such comfort and will continue reading. Continue taking care of yourself :)