About Me

My photo

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.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Where, What, When, Why, How???


I got a message asking me where I was, what was I doing, and, when am I coming back. I also received a comment about how I was adjusting to single life and had I started my book tour yet.

No, I have not started the book tour. I discovered that I have a surgery that I must recover from before I start any extensive travel. I could postpone the surgery, but I’d like to leave for the tour without anything hanging over my head. Book tour is STILL on, but probably not until closer to the first part of the year. My route will depend on the weather, but everyone who has asked me to come, will see my bright shining face.

Sadly, I’m moving from my big old country farm house into my daughter’s house. The farm house is up for sale and it’s easier if I just move out now. Anyone interested in a house on eight acres of land built in 1858, send me an e-mail and I’ll put you in touch with the realtor. I do not own this house, however, my 8th & 9th grandfathers once owned a part of the land. Interesting, since I didn’t know any of my family was from this area.

What I am doing… I’m packing, purging, downsizing and preparing for the move. I was surprised at how difficult it is to go thru all of Riley’s things and decide what to keep, give away, and just get rid of. I feel that I’m invading his privacy and erasing all evidence of his previous existence. I have stacks of books on AA with duplicate copies. What I can’t find a home for, will be donated to the local library.

When am I coming back? I never really left.  I was working diligently on the upcoming presentation in Williamsburg, VA. However, with the move and surgery looming over me, I postponed the presentation for a couple of months. I’m writing the sequel to Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife and working on another non-alcohol related fun book similar to the ABC’s of Understanding Women.

Oh my goodness, what can I tell you about my single life?? I’m still in a relationship with Sam. I have visited him after not seeing him in 13 years. Our visit was as though no time had passed between us. I am happy. Sam supports what I do and respects the memories I carry (good and bad) about Riley. He has known me for more than 20 years and the best way to describe our relationship is that we are the closest of friends. It works for us.

More about single life: When Riley died I posted on Facebook that my status was “widowed”. That was a big mistake. I am inundated with friend requests from men who were almost always “catfishers”. There have been so many that I will not accept requests from men any longer unless they are a friend of one of my friends. If you have tried to send me a request and you are male, please e-mail me and tell me you are going to send the request. Under those conditions, I will accept it when I see it come through. I gladly accept friend requests from my followers for both the "Immortal Alcoholic" page and my personal page.

It took me a while to get used to this feeling of not being responsible for someone else. But, I can honestly say, that I’m enjoying the fact that I just don’t seem to be worried about very much. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen and the direction of whatever is happening is not something I can or want to control. Most days I wake up welcoming a fresh new day. Other days… well… not so much… But the “other days” happen less often now that Riley is gone. My biggest issue is making decisions about what I want to do and when I want to do it. Being able to do ANYTHING I want (within financial reason) can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. If I just sit quietly the answers will come as they always do.

I hope I’ve answered your questions. Please keep reading my blog, books (they are available on https://www.amazon.com/Books-Linda-Bartee-Doyne/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ALinda%20Bartee%20Doyne ), and going to my Facebook pages. I’m also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ImrtlAlkysWife), and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-doyne-21504763/ ).  

I make no promises as to when the next post will be, but I can tell you the subject matter will most likely be more alcoholism related.

That’s all there is… remember to follow Auntie Mame’s advise to “Live, Live, Live…”

2 comments:

Syd said...

Linda, I am sorry to hear that Riley died. My condolences to you and his family.

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda. I've been following you for some time. I have even written to you once, some time ago, and received a very helpful response, thank you. I was just checking in on you yesterday and realized that Riley is gone. I've been thinking of you ever since. I am so glad that your instinct tells you that the answer to what to do next is to just be still and listen and wait for that answer to come in its own time.

It must be a kind of an empty nest response. I think alcoholics for some reason bring out maternal instincts, even in people with very, very low levels of maternal instincts. There is something about an alcoholic's face, demeanor...something...that is like a baby, or puppy or kitten, or a newborn killer whale (lol) that brings out a maternal response, a parental response is maybe a better description, to help, to provide, to take responsibility for and nurture, to make them safe, to take care of them much as any child, puppy or kitten must be taken care of...until they can take care of themselves. The problem with alcoholics is that their alcoholism will probably never make it possible for them to take care of themselves. But meanwhile, for years and years, decade upon decade they still bring out this deep parenting instinct. And unfortunately they (the immortal alcoholic, the eternal child, the perpetual problem benefit from it while destroying the surrogate parent/caretaker. I use the word caretaker vs caregiver because the endless taking always seems to exceed the limitless giving. I tell my alcoholic that he is in a catch-22. He brings out this amazing, limitless maternal instinct in women, but, here's the catch, he HATES being mothered! And the people whom he sees as trying to mother him!

When I was raising my daughter (with a wonderful non-alcoholic husband, her father) I began to ask myself when does parenting stop? At 18, 21 (legal drinking age)? When? And I answered myself. The urge, the compulsion, to nurture, protect, take care of your child, any child, any person, stops when you see that they are doing it for themselves! I explained it to my daughter as the policeman/policewoman without and the policeman/woman within. One day you see that they are beginning to police themselves, that they are doing a good job of it. You begin to see that you don't have to do it anymore, it is no longer necessary, that it would even be harmful to them. Your parenting/caretaking days are coming to an end. Then off they go. And you are left in your empty nest. You've lost your job! And usually when you lose your job you need want must begin looking for a new one. But maybe we surrogate parents of perpetual puppies (alcoholics) need to take it a step further and realize we have been relieved of a job that was not ours to begin with and that we have been restored to a normal life where one doesn't necessarily have to move mountains, be on call, take full responsibility for someone who accepts that voraciously but denies you any real control vehemently...and who will begrudgingly accept all you do for him/her but who hates you for doing it!

So...you are relieved, like soldiers from a surrounded post in the middle of the desert, relieved by defeat or by other soldiers or by the war being over. Your war is over.