Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The birth of Temporarily Dead

 I’m happy to announce my next step in my journey to recovery. I have published my mystery novel that has nothing to do with alcoholism. Well... that may not be exactly true. The inspiration for the book was from one of Riley’s statements. 

Before I started this blog and before I became Riley’s caregiver, he met up with some old friends, the Smith’s, from the Navy years. We had spent a lot of time with them and even shared a house with them for a short time. During that time, we were all very good friends. The guys were at sea about 50% of the time so it was comforting to have a friend who was going through the same ordeal. 


Upon seeing this couple at the mall, the normal “How are you?’ questions were thrown around. One of them asked “How’s Linny and the kids?” Without hesitation Riley blurts out “She’s dead.” The next words out of his mouth were that it was really great seeing them again and they had to get together more often. 


Shocked, Mr. Smith grabbed Riley’s arm and said, “Wait a minute! What do you mean ‘she’s dead?’ What happened? When did she die?” 


Riley calmly replied, “She was in a car accident. My grandson was in the car, but he was OK. It happened a couple of years ago.” Riley then turned and walked away. 


The Smiths were stunned at both the fact that I was dead, and that Riley was so nonchalant about the whole thing. They mourned my death “after the fact.” 


Fast forward several years. I am now Riley’s caregiver, have started writing the blog and collaborating with HBO on the documentary “Risky Drinking. I had several books published. If my name were “googled” a whole page of articles about me would come up. 


Mrs. Smith was doing some research on alcoholism and found the Immortal Alcoholic blog. She did a little more research and discovered the HOB documentary. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Her next step was to see if I was on Facebook. She found me. I got a private message that day asking if I was Riley’s wife. 


We had a long talk after the initial shock of my being really alive. she was relieved to discover that reports of my death had been greatly exaggerated. Once we re-connected it became a standing joke that I would call and let her know that I was still alive. 


Mr. and Mrs. Smith talked about how that would be a good story line. I agreed but thought I could just use the idea and not the actual events to create an interesting mystery. The idea rattled around in my head for more than a year. I wrote a short draft and called it “Temporarily Dead.” I had it reviewed by a professional editor and his advice was to “keep going.” So, I did. 


“Temporarily Dead” has evolved over the past couple of years and I’m happy for the non-alcoholic route the of story line. It’s centered around, Sara Jane Miller, a woman who is in a car accident and has lost her short-term memory. While working through her memory issues, she discovers that the world thinks she is dead. 


I hope you will read this murder mystery novel and enjoy a break from alcoholism chaos.  



Thursday, February 17, 2022

 Plant happiness in your garden

A friend of mine can grow literally ANYTHING. I bought an orchid thinking “How hard can it be to keep it alive? Surely I can do this.” Well, after it shriveled up, I sent it over to my friends to see if she could resurrect some life. She did just that. The next time I saw the plant it was healthy and blooming. Imagine that! Some loving time and attention was able to turn this dead-like plant into a living breathing beauty.

If only she could do the same thing with real human life. But, it isn’t her responsibility to do that for me or anyone else. It’s my responsibility to turn my life into something that makes me happy. It’s not as easy as that sounds. First there’s the figuring out what makes me happy thing.

When Riley died I floundered around for a couple of years. I had no idea what direction to go. What I thought would happen didn’t come through. After a while, I knew that I wanted to move to Florida. But, at that time, I had a job that I loved and a stable income that I could take with me when I moved. I had friends in Florida and I wanted to be close to them.

Now, it’s been almost two years since I moved and I’m back in the position of trying to do what makes me happy. I find myself without a job and I know what I would like to do as a job but, I can’t make the kind of money I need just by doing what I want to do.  What I want is to be creative and find a regularly paying job using my creative talents is far and few between.

That being the case, I have to re-evaluate what makes me happy. I have to take it to the very bare bones. What makes me happy is being self-sufficient and financially secure. So, although I want a job writing blog posts or as a seamstress, I’ll take some other kind of job. I’ll takea job that gives me a regular means to make my car payment and put food in my doggie’s dish.

Of course, there are other things that make me happy. I’m happy for what I have currently such as: several solid sister-like friendships; a loving but crazy family; and a man who supports and accepts me in spite of my out-of-the box personality. I have awesome neighbors and I live in a resort-like community.

However, I have found that “happiness” can be as cyclic as waves from the Gulf onto the beach.  I find myself struggling to keep all those “happiness” things mentioned above in my forethought when my mind gets focused on the negative. That’s when I wish my Florida Vegetable blogger would come and pour some fertilizer on my positive thoughts. Fortunately, I have that man who sorts through all the garbage and finds a blooming flower and reminds me that it exists.

Everyone has to define what “happiness” to them is and what makes your mental is flowers bloom. I believe a good start is taking a self-inventory and recognize what you do that makes you happy and what you do that you are happy that you are able to do. I’m happiest when I can pay my bills, but that’s not the true crux for what makes me happy.

What makes me happy is seeing my grandchildren smile when they video-chat with me. I’m happy when my dog lays her head in my lap and wants me to pet her head. I’m happy when I can help someone using knowledge that they may not have. I’m happy when my man smiles when he walks in my door and hugs me so tight I can barely breathe. I’m happy when I can make people laugh. I’m happy when I don’t have to “keep myself in line” and always be lady-like. I’m happy when I can design and sew something that looks great. I am very happy when I can write something that people enjoy reading.

If you’re trying to sort all this out for yourself, take your time and give yourself permission to think inwardly about your true feelings for what you do.  You could ask my gardener friend, but she can only help you grow your garden, it’s up to you to grow your mind.

Monday, January 24, 2022

 You Cant Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd

When Riley, the Immortal Alcoholic, became mortal and left me to a world that that was not immersed in drunken madness, I was surprised to find that I missed the chaos. I had grown so accustomed to balancing everything around me on a tray strategically placed on my open palm while roller skating around obstacles and maintaining my own sanity. Looking back, I can see that I often failed at the sanity part.

I floundered around for a few years while trying to figure out what my purpose was in life now that caregiving Riley was no longer in my job description. Many loving people in my life offered just as many suggestions concerning my future. I continued to work in the world of alcoholism and became a Peer Recovery Support Specialist. But did not get a job with that speciality.

I did a little coaching and joined forces with my good friend and mentor, Gill Haddock of Broadstreet Counseling Services. He encouraged me to put together a workshop on Surviving the Chaos. The planning was going well and just before I signed the venue contract, we got some devastating news that Gill was very ill. He could no longer be a part of the workshop except to encourage me. The program we designed required his presence and action. So we cancelled the event. Gill died last year.

Quality Outsource came along and offered me a job as an independent contractor. I was elated and began working for the company in administrative support. It’s a small company and I was encouraged to learn as much about it as I could. However, I’m preparing for my retirement and slowing down on my work hours.

OK… so… really…. I mean really in all actually, I don’t think I could ever be completely retired. My brain doesn’t work that way. I must have stuff to do and not just crocheting while watching game shows. I write a lot and I spend a lot of time sewing. I look for interesting ways to decorate – redecorate – my apartment. But, I need to earn money to maintain the lifestyle that I prefer.

My point is that even though you may become free of the alcoholism part of your life, things don’t just simply fall into place. There are decisions to be made. You’ll be faced with deep soul-searching as to what you want to do with your life. Sometimes you may have to learn exactly “who” you are because you may not recognize yourself without all the baggage you’ve been hauling around.

Now that I’ve spent a few years away from this blog, I now feel that I have something to share that you may be able to use. This blog is evolving. Surviving will be the focus. Look for changes each time you come here because you may see something you haven’t seen before. Look for things here that you might not expect, such as, short stories, guest posts from a variety of professionals. It’s all still in the formation stage in my mind. It will come out slowly. But for now… enjoy what’s here. Grab a cup of tea, settle back and take a little tour around what’s here.

By the way, I’m open to suggestions. Drop me an e-mail and give me something to consider.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

 It's Alive!

It’s a miracle! I resurrected this blog! I stuck a jumper cable to it and I think it’s starting to show signs of life. Actually, a lot of you have been coming back, checking in, e-mailing me, and perhaps, re-reading some of my posts. Thank you for that.

Although this blog is STILL the Immortal Alcoholic, there will be some changes to update the style and a few other things. I hope you will like the fresh approach and continue to support me by reading and commenting.

I’ll still be accepting guest bloggers while expanding the subject range. Tell me about what you do or what you would like to do for fun and entertainment. Do you have a favorite movie, book, food, restaurant? Tell me about it. Let’s see if we can open up some topics/subjects that will invite some dialog. But let’s stay away from the political mumble jumble that has most of us in a tizzy these days. We all have an opinion and we all think we are right. There’s no need to re-hash what’s been hashed to pieces.

A brief update on Linda – me! I’m in the sunny state of Florida and am happier than a frog on a lily pad in the middle of a pond in the deep south. I’m living proof that there is life AND happiness when the chaos settles and peace is allowed in the house.

I know you are all curious – YES! I’m about two years into a relationship with a man who cares more about me than he does about what’s in his drinking glass. Imagine that! He worries about me and holds the car door open for me. He allows me the – no—he encourages me to be the best of whatever it is I want to be. Believe me, that can change hourly. He accepts me as I am. There are no conditions to his caring. He just does. I didn’t know that men like him existed. If he exists, there must be others out there.

Employment is still on my plate. Although, I now work as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Currently I’m writing a procedure manual for the company. I love this job, the people I work for and the sense of usefulness I get when I’m able to make a difference.

Temporarily Dead is a mystery novel that has been in my computer for quite some time now. It has now graduated to being on my desktop and available for editing and re-writing. It will be out to the public in November. I may, from time to time, post snippets of the story on this blog. This will give you an opportunity to decide if you might like to buy the book and read it from cover to cover.

There will be re-writings of The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife and several of my other books. Watch for those announcements here.

Look to this blog for a variety of information designed to provide support for all of those who have been, or is currently, collaterally damaged by alcoholism. While most of what I provide is relevant to any addiction, my main focus is on alcoholism.

Please leave your comments, especially the ones telling me what YOU would like to see on this site.

Till next time! 




Thursday, November 19, 2020

Rest In Peace

 I wanted to revive this blog. I wanted to come back to it and post about life after having spend 30+ years in the insanityt of alcohol.

That's not going to happen.

For those of you who are just discovering this blog and are finding it worthwhile, I encourage to purchase my books and watch for new ones on the market. I also encourage you to find other blogs who address the needs of the collaterally damaged. They are out there. There are a lot of them.

I encourage you to get professional counseling, go to AL-Anon or find support anywhere that you can.

As for me... keeping this blog up and running simply keeps me tied to a past that I want to leave in the past. It's time for me to grow and move on. And I mean move on completely out of the alcoholism workd.

I'll post a resource page sometime over the weekend. As of December 1st, 2020 this blog will be completely taken down from the internet.

Rest in Peace

The Immortal Alcoholic Blog

2,243,711 total hits

Oct. 19, 2010 - Dec. 1st 2020

Saturday, November 7, 2020

There is life after death

It has come to my attention that recently someone has been trying to use my identity to turn this blog in a direction that would never be my intent. This person believes that alcoholism can be cured by using some kind of voodoo-ish doctor to solve your problems. Let me tell you, if you have an alcoholic in your life there is no magic fix by any magic doctor anywhere on planet earth. I, however, cannot speak out the outlying planets in our solar system.

ALL COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG ARE MONITORED BY ME AND APPROVED BY ME BEFORE BECOMING PUBLIC. I do not allow comments recommending any kind of magic hocus pocus. I also do not allow unsolicited plugs for rehab centers or organizations. If you see a comment with any such information – it is because I researched it and approved it.

Now that I realize that people are still coming here and reading what has been written, it’s time for me to make this blog lively again. While filled with unpleasant information, there is humor here and there. Sometimes it’s hard to see. When you are up to your ass in alcoholism madness, it’s hard to see anything that may remotely resemble something laughable. Let me assure you that you will have difficultly retaining your sanity if you don’t stop and see the comedy that surrounds you.

If you have been coming here, you probably know my history so I won’t go into all that. If you don’t know, then I suggest you get my book “Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife” and the sequel “The Life of Riley” which are both available on Amazon.

On November 17, 2017, my life took a turn. That’s the day Riley died and opened the door to the possibility of having a life of my own.

The day after Riley’s death, I woke up at the usual time as any other day. I went to his room to see if he were still breathing, as usual. But there was an empty bed. I went to the kitchen to make coffee but skipped making breakfast. Then I sat on my beautiful front porch, wrapped in a blanket, and tried to figure out what I was supposed to do next.

It was the start of Fall and it was not so cold as to turn my nose red. The leaves in the big oak tree in the middle of my front yard were gently falling to the ground. The dog was chasing squirrels and the cat was lying by my side carefully flicking his tail to the rhythm of the rocking chair rails. He was being careful not to have his tail under the rail as it came down where his tail had been.

I was anxious. I knew there was something I was supposed to do. I just didn’t know what it was. Nothing came to my mind. It was Saturday, so anything relating to business would have to wait for Monday. There was laundry to do; Riley’s things to pack up; family to contact; but I continued with rocking away my morning and being unsure of what my role in life was to be now.

It took me a while to decide what to do with my life. I floundered from one thing to another. I talked to friends and family. I had an idea of what I wanted, but was just not sure of how to go about it.

I wanted a life. I mean a real life that belonged only to me. I wanted to make decisions based on my wants and desires. I wanted friends that I could meet for dinner and wouldn’t raise an eyebrow when I ordered a glass of wine. I wanted a social life. And I wanted to discover who I was outside the confines of an alcoholic world.

It took me two years to decide where I wanted to be and how I was going to accomplish getting what I want. It took two years to decide to find out WHO this person named Linda really is.

What you will find in this blog is my journey from the darkness of alcoholism to deciding to be happy. Anyone mentioned in this blog will have an alias to protect the guilty – and OK – the innocent. I didn’t get to where I am today without the help of some very important people. Some contributed favorably and others – well – not so much.

I hope you enjoy reading about my newest adventures and misadventures. I hope you laugh and cry. But most of all I hope you understand that there IS life after.

Friday, February 7, 2020

A New Path

by Wren R Waters 

            I don't really remember how I met Linda.
            No, I remember how.
            I don't remember why.
            Like so many of us, lost in the haze of an alcoholic marriage, I found my way to Linda's blog.
            It was refreshing.
            It was real.
            It was eye opening.
            And it was frightening.
            Her daily trials and tribulations with an end-stage alcoholic left me wondering,
            “Could this really be my husband one day?  Is this my fate too?”
            I must have made a comment on her blog or something.
            But I don't remember why it was we somehow made the move from Internet friends to real, live, talking on the phone, getting together in person friends.  That's a hard leap to make frankly.  But for some reason now lost to the files of time, there was a private “call me” message and then a phone call and then...
            At first look, it would seem we had nothing in common.
            She's a few years older than me.  (Like she's 45 and I'm 35.  Wink, wink.)
            Her children are grown and she has grandchildren.
            I was (am) still raising children.
            She got away from her alcoholic.
            Initially anyway but when he threatened to have their daughter be his caretaker, she acquiesced as any (most?) mothers would and, reluctantly allowed him back into her life.
            To date, I haven't been quite so lucky as to have my alcoholic husband cheat on me and leave.  (But one can always dream, can't she?) 
            My husband is what the industry euphemistically calls a “functioning alcoholic,” since he goes to work every day, doesn't spend the weekends in a holding cell, etc., etc.  I will say I am a little bitter, and completely skeptical of the definition of “functioning.”  Have we really set the addition-bar so low that if an addict – be it alcohol, drugs or anything else – simply goes to work every week and not jail every other weekend, he gets to be declared “functioning?”  Believe me, no matter what the outside world may see, there is nothing “functioning” about these men at home.
            But I digress.
            Back to me and Linda.
            I was married to a “functioning” alcoholic.
            She was married to an end-stage alcoholic.
            I was navigating the emotions of being married to an able-bodied husband who chose to sit in the basement, watching television and drinking beer rather than engaging with his family and participating in life.
            She was navigating the emotions of the being the caregiver to a physically broken man who was breaking her spirit on a daily basis.
            It would seem even with the common ground of alcoholic husbands, we didn't have a lot in common.
            But that first phone call?
            The one that dared to edge up against the unspoken boundaries of Internet friendships?
            The sweet truth is the friendship showed its strength from the very first phone call.  Over the years, we have been there for each other beyond what initially bonded us.  We've cheered for things that weren't alcoholic related; listened to tears that weren't alcoholic husband driven; given pep talks that weren't about surviving the crazy swirling around us. 
            But now the friendship has come full circle and we find ourselves once again with seemingly little in common as we stand on common ground.
            Linda is widowed.
            She spent over ten years of her life as caregiver to a man she no longer loved as a husband but  but for whom she couldn't turn her back on as a suffering human being.  Her grief and healing process is tied up in the complicated and convoluted feelings of caregiver and widow.
            I am not widowed.
            I am not even divorced – yet anyway.  It is my sole mission this year and so my grief, my healing process is centered on the dissolution of what I thought would be forever.  When was the last time you heard of a divorce/widow support group?  Never, right?  Because the emotions and feelings lack commonality. 
            And yet, what we do share is that we are both tired.
            So very, very tired.
            So tired that we can't write.
            And when we can't write we wonder if we've each said, respectively, all we each have to say on the alcoholic husband front.
            And when we wonder if we've said all we have to say, we question whether or not we should still be in the alcoholic-husband game.
            And when we question whether or not we should still be in the alcoholic-husband game...
            We realize we can't just walk away.
            Not from blogging and writing and connecting with other women who are trying to create sanity in the insanity of marriage to an alcoholic.  But maybe it's time to connect in a different way.  Maybe it's time to shift our focus from surviving being married to an alcoholic to thriving in our own lives despite being married to an alcoholic.  
            Linda and I have talked about this a lot and while she agrees “in theory,” she is also hesitant. She knows her readers have come to trust her for information and support regarding the whole alcoholic-husband thing.  And it is the audience we both feel a connection to and a desire to support.  We have been there!
            Boy, have we been there.
            And so when someone “new” to this fucked-up club reaches out to one of us, we want to be that solace in the middle of the night, that voice that says, 
            “No, you're not crazy.”
            “Yes, there is someone here.”
            “But how do we do both,” Linda asked me. “How do we move away from the alcoholic-husband thing while still being a source of support and information for women married to alcoholics?”
            “I don't know,” I said.
            “But I'll go first.”
            (And I'll write the post warning/warming up your readers to the idea.)
            I started with creating a new website,
            Linda started by allowing me to write this post.
            That's as far as we both have gotten but as we ease our way down this new path, we hope you'll find the same support, information and sense of camaraderie you've come to expect, even if we're not talking about drunken husbands.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Welcome to Tabitha and Wren

Since I announced my departure from the alcoholism world, everyone has been fantastic. I’ve received lots of e-mails congratulating me and encouraging me to move on with my life. There have been a few that have related a sense of loss that I may not be posting as much as I had in the past. I’m very sorry that I will, indeed, be posting less. But… those of you who are long term followers will understand that… I have a plan! I always have a plan.

I’d like to announce a new member of Team Linda! Please welcome… Tabitha!

I received an e-mail from Tabitha expressing an interest in doing a guest post. After a lengthy telephone call, we came up with an idea that I believe ALL my readers will appreciate. Tabitha will be writing for the blog on a regular basis. She has been writing for years but has not had an outlet for her journalist work. She has done research on alcoholism and compiled a LOT of information. She, like me, sees the value in finding humor in stressful situations.

And another new contributor is Wren Waters of Quiet Raging Waters blog. Wren has published several books. Her point of view is that of a spouse who is trying to find a way to leave her alcoholic husband.

I have known Wren for many years and we have shared experiences, strength and ideas. We have very different writing styles which should add some variety to Immortal Alcoholic blog postings.

Help me welcome Tabitha and Wren to the world of the Immortal Alcoholic. Please post your comments, thoughts, reactions, suggestions and let’s all show both ladies how much we appreciate them for taking on this responsibility.

UPDATE on Linda…

I’ve had a lot of interest in my resume and had a number of job interviews. I feel very positive about getting a job offer in the next week or so. I will be back to doing title examining from my home office. I did a couple of practice exams and realize that it’s knowledge that still have stored away in that gray matter in my head – called a brain!

My Florida move is scheduled for the end of January – if I am firmly ensconced in new employment. Even being employed full time, I’ll still have time to put my toes in the sand and soak up some happy sunshine.

In short, everything is progressing nicely. I’m happy and determined to go forward without abandoning all my loyal readers.