Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homesick Times Two

After a long summer of having my son home from college for the first time, I thought I would have at least 2 weeks crisis free.  But does that really ever happen?  Well, not in my life it doesn't.  

I think most of have discussed that our addicts seems to have crisis's on special days, or occasions, or holidays.  It appears the same is true when they are in recovery.  Emily make contact with us, 2 days before my birthday.  ( Not that I care about my birthdays anymore, but I did have a plan or two).  3 of her main supports or best friends left the program within 48 hours of each other.  As they contacted me, ( which was so very nice of them), I came to realize they all left for different reasons, all seemed pretty justified to me.  However, I knew Emily was very upset.  Then, Cherokee Nations came with a bus and took all their people out of the program.  Emily became the senior person very quickly and she was frantic and panicked.  She said the program is closing.  She needs our help to find her another place.  We made some calls and did some quick research to find out that she was probably correct.  

So what do you do?  You jump, you want your child to stay clean, you want them to make it thru the stress, you will do anything to make that happen.  Right?  Well that's what we did.  

We pulled a lot strings from a whole different state.  We got her an assessment.  We confirmed her current place has no license.  People were being pulled by PO's because they had to be in licensed facilities.  However with all the people leaving her program, the other programs were filling up and beds were being filled as the minutes ticked by.  Her assessment , was eye opening to us.  What smacked me in the face, was be careful of what you wish for.  Didn't I wish and pray for her to be there for years?  What have I done?  The woman that did the assessment is the head of the counseling center locally there.  She said first, you should be so very proud of your daughter!  She wants this so bad, she is working her butt off for it.  She is intelligent, articulate, and in a lot of ways, very lucky to be alive.  She said here are the problems.  The woman who runs this operation is known around here for putting so much "guilt" on the participants.  Makes them feel they can't do it without her.  Exploits addicts.  She said think along the lines of brainwashing.  Your daughter will have nightmares for a long time to come and she will need some deep counseling for "deprogramming".  And unfortunately, your daughter is just the stereo type this woman preys on.  And your daughter is in her web.  

She also said, if it wouldn't be crossing professional boundaries, she would have taken Emily to get her stuff and took her home until she could find a bed for her or take her to reputable program.  So between her and my husband contacting another program that this woman believes in and we had a lot a good about, we got Emily a bed.  

Now to figure out how to get word to her.  We had a ride arranged at 1 pm the next day.  The program is usually only 1 year and Emily will be 1 year in Oct.  But they agreed to keep her for 6 more months, because of her assessment, because of her being a senior person now, doing intakes and office stuff, they needed that.  To me, it all meant, a life boat being offered.  She is one lucky girl!

We called her house and demanded to talk to her alone.  They allowed it.  We explained what has taken place and what the result of her assessment was.  She said, well, the Director took her out to dinner, bought her some stuff, took her around town to show her where she wanted to take this program and basically got to her.  Emily said, I owe this program everything, I wouldn't be sober if it weren't for them.  I said, wait a minute, nobody can keep you sober, but you.  I have no doubt you have enough resources to stay sober and enough to go and use if you so desired.  Here's what she told us, I am an adult, I can make own decisions and haven't you stressed to me that you will only support a long term program and complete it.  That's what I am gonna do.

What did I learn.. again.. how quickly we jumped to HER crisis.  Then came the contact of I am homesick.. I have almost been here a year.. I can make it at home.  I want to see my room, my dog.  Please Please.  Oh, that's all I have ever wanted.. her home.. us to live "normally", so starts the tugs on the heartstrings.  But, we held our ground.  No.  We will see her in a few weeks and I think there will be a lot of heavy conversations, as we have been keeping it light on our family visits, but it's time.  Amazing how they contact us in need, then less than 24 hours they are an adult and don't need us, then get homesick.  I am sure it's all part of recovery, but I need to always remember it's her recovery.

Manchild number 2.  Called me.. humm not a text, but a call , that started out with "Mom, can you talk for awhile?".  Why didn't I say I am busy? LOL.  He broke up with his girlfriend of 2.5 years... or should I say she broke up with him.  He was saying, I loved her, well no, I love her.  Then I had a flash back... don't we all still remember our first love?  How traumatic the break up was??  My `wounded boy.  Of course it's not my place how wrong I thought she was for him.  I just said, well if it was meant to be, there's still so much time, if not, hurt, heal and move on.  

He said, well Mom, I am homesick.  Can I come home?  This kid is never homesick.. that's why I sent him off to camp as soon as I could.  I lived with too many people who were homesick at camp, college, etc, I wasn't gonna let that happen to my kids.. give them their wings.  But there's that tug at the old heart strings again, so I said of course, come home.  I feel guilty saying it to one child and not the other, but the situations are so different.  

I can tell you, he has learned going out with the "hottest girl ever" doesn't always mean her character is what he thought it was.  I have been though this him before with her, but it only lasted 48 hours and usually over a text... lol.  But, I believe she has done enough damage after the fact, he is seeing the light.  His friends are telling him how much he changed when he was with her.  He brought his new roommate over.  Great kid.  He went to the Browns game with another group of guys he hasn't seen, so he is taking the steps not to isolate or sink into a depression.  

I am glad "home" is place my kids want to come to when they need security, somewhere to hang their hat, somewhere they know they are loved and valued.  I also want them to go though these things as pain free as possible.  I can offer them their room, a lending ear, a home cooked meal and love, but I can't make it all go away for them.  Looking around for that magic wand.. must be lost again.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mother's Joy

It's been awhile since I have given an update.  Summer flies by!  I wanted to share my "mothers joy".  I had both my kids together, first time in 2 years!  I can't tell you how it felt to be a semi-normal family again!  I did post some pictures on FB, but not one person said anything.. so my joy sorta deflated and I guess I have been thinking, nobody really cares.. so I will take a break.. and enjoy my moments by myself and not share.  ( I get like that sometimes!).

We kept the "family visit" light. ( July)  Nothing heavy and tired to meet everyone needs.  I think everyone was nervous to be together again, after all the anger, lost dreams, shattered hearts.  But, I have to say, both kids stepped up to the plate.  Andy really put forth an effort, which made me happy.  He could have easily given us his grunts and attitude, but he didn't.  It wasn't 5 minutes and I heard the sibling laughs, the teasing, the old stories.  Oh how that warmed my heart!  Emily didn't push and or over do.  She seemed to accept what was being offered without wanting more.

Emily now is going on 11 months.  I can honestly say, there were points in this journey I never thought that was possible.  I know in the blink of an eye, it can go back..that's always lurking under the surface.  She is moving along and is now working in the office and doing intakes and is the leader of a group of women.  She is running groups and is signed up to take seminars for certification starting in Sept.  She still has 13 to 14 months in this program, but I guess all the past places we paid for, actually helped her and somethings did sink in.

Tomorrow I will be taking my son back to college.  Bitter / Sweet.  But, it's time, amazing how the cycle of life really does work... It's time for him to go out there and sink or swim again.  I have to be honest, I am not one of those mom's who will miss turning out every single light 10 times a day. Or, wake up to a 5th meal cooked at midnight and all the dishes, pots, pans, pizza pan, left on the counter.  I won't miss tripping over size 11 shoes, and he has more shoes than me I think.  But I really will miss his daily phone calls from his way home work asking if I need anything.  His texts to tell me the guys are coming over to make a fire and hearing the voices bantering or laughing.

My husband and I will be heading back to see Emily in Sept and then she will get a home visit in October, as it will be a year.  Hopefully Andy will join us that weekend, but I have learned not to push.

Hope everyone had a great summer!

Monday, June 11, 2012

No Longer an Empty Nester

Well this past school year has flown by!  My son is home from college.  He has been home a total of 4 days and spend probably less than 24 hours here at home.  I hear this is typical.  All I know is, my nice quiet empty nester life is over.  It's back to, the upstairs smelling like Tag and Axe, back to the big shoes littering the front door entrance, finding cups and drink cans/bottles laying around and an endless supply of laundry to be done.

Good news is, he does have a full time job and is off today and we have a "date" to spend time together.

Bad news is, he is still in his rut about his sister.  This weekend is a summer "family" weekend at Emily's place.  And it's Father's Day.  We rented a little condo and asked Andy to go with us and spend Father's Day showing him around the area.. he has never been in that part of the country.  Well , it also happens to be his girl friends graduation party.  So when she was over, in front of everyone, I asked her if she knew about the conflict.  She said yes and she told him to go see his sister.  He, of course got mad at me.  I just said, hey look, I need to know, because I have to get the dog a kennel reservation and let Grandma know if she can go, etc.  And, it's best to be honest and have an adult conversation about it with all of us present.  He just said, look, I am closer to my girlfriend than Emily and that's who I am supporting and I will talk to you later about it.  Well later turned into, " I am not going".  I didn't say anything, I just said, thank you for letting me know and walked away.  What is there left to say?  I am not gonna beg, I am not gonna try and reason with him, I am not going to "force" him to come and make our time with him and Emily miserable because he doesn't really want to be there.

It's just another reminder, this addiction crap runs deep and it might take a long time or a life time to get over for some of us.  Makes me sad.  I would love for the four of us to be together, even if it's for 1 day or a few hours.

Meanwhile, my best friends father has been in ICU since we got back from the Dominican, about 3 weeks now.  My sister in law is not doing well at all, they are keeping her on chemo til the end, so I am going to see her in FL when I get back from seeing Emily.  So I am trying to be present for all of this and not worry about the rest.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Card

The one card meant a lot to me.  It was hand made with a heart and 2 hands holding it.  It said:

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY KEL_BELL!  I love you very much!  I just want you to know how blessed I am to have a Mother like you.  You have always showed me unconditional love despite all the hell I put you through, and your support throughout my recovery is what gets me through.  Mom, I am sorry for all the years I wasted blinded by addiction, but, I am hopeful for the years to come finally be able to be the daughter you deserve.  I cherish our relationship deeply and I look up to / respect you for what a huge heart you have.  Mom, words do not express what a wonderful mother you are and how grateful I am.  Thank you for all you do, I know it has not been easy.  Love you, hearts Emily.

I have a hard time with this.. for several reasons.. it makes me sad what addiction does to families.  It makes me sad to think of all the Mother's Days and holidays that have been ruined by addiction.  I feel heartbroken for all the Mom's out there whose kids are not in recovery and are still going through what I went through for  many years.  I wish I could do something more to help them.  

Part 2

So we got Emily and Renee on Sunday at 9 am. Mothers Day.  Renee is also a mother of a 3 year old.  So I know she was feeling alittle sad.  They took me to their room and we blessed the room and spiritually cleansed the room.. they asked me to do this.. so I did.  Then we went to another wonderful breakfast place.  Unfortunately it was still raining.  But we did head to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure to look around.  We had fun shopping a bit, getting ice cream, laughing, hiked a bit on the trails.etc.  Then we just decided to go back to the house and hang out.  I made some appetizers and munchies and I had brought some speg.  One of Em's favorite dinners.  So I cooked that up.  Meanwhile she gave me several cards.. didn't quit hugging me.. telling me she is so sorry, she loves me.  She gave me an Irish Necklace with a card that told what it was and it was so appropriate.

Emily got to talk to my Mom after brunch.  It's been years since she has spoken to her and that was special.
But the best part was, my son called me and I said, I am with Emily, would you like to speak to her?  He said yes right away.  I wasn't expecting that.  They were talking and I left the room to give them privacy and I heard the belly laughs again.. what a wonderful sound!  After she hung up she said she had been waiting for that and was nervous at first.

So we all sat down for dinner and soon enough, we had to take her back.. but I felt so good seeing her, hugging her, being with her.. I couldn't stay too long or I would have cried my eyes out.

The next day the head woman texted me saying she actually cried several times.. when we first came and were hugging, she cried after we left.  When Emily came home and said she got to talk to her grandma and brother, she cried.. She said this why I do what I do.. Emily has a hard background and lots of growing and relearning to do, but this makes it all worth while.  So I felt good leaving her there, she is in good hands and gaining her independence drug free.

A Very Happy Mothers Day- a few weeks late!

I have been MIA for awhile for several reasons, I have been busy and I was getting an error message when I logged on and didn't have time to deal with it.. but Thanks to Tori, I am up and running!  Not that I wanted to download Google Chrome, but, they gave me no choice.. oh how I hate not having a choice!  Anyway..

I had a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend!  We went to see Emily for a weekend visit.  Backing up a bit, it was Mother's Weekend at my son college May 4th weekend, then we went to see Emily May 12th weekend and got home late Monday and I left for the Dominican on the 16th, Wed.  I was feeling very overwhelmed.  Like it was too much and too much money all at one time.  I tried so hard to be present for each and everything without stressing about the next one.  I think I did ok in that area.

Ok, our visit:  We rented a house in the mountains vs a hotel.  I have travelled this way before, but my husband has not.  So he was leery, but it worked out well and is much cheaper than a cold hotel.  So he is now sold on the idea.  We got there around 3 pm on Friday and scouted around a bit, had dinner, went to the grocery store, etc.  We picked Emily up at noon on Saturday.  She had to bring a senior girl with her on the visitation.  I really enjoyed her friend, Renee as well.  When we pulled up, Emily came running out.. we hugged and cried for a long time.  She took me in the house to meet some of the other girls.  It's a beautiful house, older brick Victorian  style, which put my mind at ease.. I had different visions.  I told them I had donations in my car and might need some help.  The woman in charge yelled SUPPORT and the girls came running and emptied my car!  I am like I need to try this at home!

We walked around the cute town.  The girls had not really explored, no time, so they enjoyed that.  We had a wonderful fresh lunch.  The girls knew one of the waitresses, guess she completed the program already.  She gave us yummy desserts!  Then we took Emily to get her hair cut.  The woman that cut her hair is "in the program" and did a great a job on her hair, cutting to her natural wave.  Then we went to the bigger town, shopping at Target.  Got Emily some clothes, a CD player, and hygiene supplies.  Then we took everything back to the house we rented and I had some stuff for her that I brought.  We went thru that and it started raining.. but the girls loved the house and felt so comfy.  Renee said she was gonna have her Mom rent a house next time she comes.

Then we went to dinner, Mexican.  It was all fresh!  And just wonderful.  The food there is all good, fresh, some organic, local.. they are very progressive in that way and very reasonable.  After dinner we just came back to the house to hang out, watched a movie, girls laid around, we laughed and stuff.  Emily sang and played the guitar to the song she wrote for us.  We had to have them back at 11 pm, only to pick them up again on Sunday at 9 am.  Even the girls were like, it's kinda stupid we have to go back just to sleep, when there is so much room here for us to stay.. but oh well, it's the rules.

Continued on next blog

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are grey, You will never dear how much I love, please don't take my sunshine away.

I sang that to my kids all the time when they were babies and toddlers.  Last year when we were doing the Grad party video, I made my husband include that song to the baby pictures of my son. 

Recently, I found it printed out on burlap and bought it.  It's sitting on my table to be framed.

I got a letter from Emily.  Here it is:

April 5, 2012


So I just got your Easter Stuff. Thank you guys so much! I cried so hard when I saw the journal and card. I want to let you know that was the most special, beautiful gift I have ever gotten. Did you make it? I love you so much, Mom. Seeing that you even thought about me, let alone love me that much is the thing that gets me through the day. And sometimes when I feel like can’t do it anymore, I think of you and Dad and Andy. How much I love you guys, what a blessing it is to have you and your love in my life. The fact this program will help me become a better person, thrus, a better daughter and sister, and how lucky I am to have such a loving and supportive family rooting for me. It gives me the strength to push through this, and of course I am doing this for me, but I want to be a good daughter and have you in my life. I always have, I think I was just blinded by my disease for a long long time.

Mom, this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Sometimes I get so frustrated with this program and I just want to throw my hands up and quit, but honestly, I have learned more about myself and life, how to cope with reality and things not going how I want them to, holding myself accountable and learning I am going to have to just accept the in life we have do lots of things we don’t want to do. I have learned I can make it through devastation, anger, pain, resentment, guilt, fear, boredom, hopelessness and heartache and not have to use drugs. I have learned I still have a long way to go. This what makes this program different than any other I have been through. That’s what makes me feel like even in a short 5 and half months I have grown more than I grew in all 20 years of my exsistance. And every day I think of you. I have realized a lot , about our relationship and looking back, I blamed you for many things that you did not deserve. Many times you tried to help or do something out of love for me. I just kicked you down , took it the wrong way or acted “selfish” making you feel beyond hurt.

Mom, I am so sorry! I could not stop using drugs and anything or anyone who tried to prevent me from doing so , I disguarded and destroyed to get the drugs I thought I needed at the time. Now that I am sober I can realize how revolting I really was. I know I may not deserve it, but please forgive me. For all the horrible things I did to you, the unbelievable pain I have caused you. The trauma, I made you victim to and just that I have always loved you with my whole heart. I just did not know how. And I look forward to the time we have now to make up for it. After all you are my Mommy. I remember you used to sing me this song as a baby and now I am gonna sing it to you through this letter.

“you are my sunshine. My only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are grey

You will never know dear, how much I love you,

Please don’t take my sunshine away”


Hearts Em

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mr. and/or Mrs. FIX IT

For some reason this topic has been coming up a lot with me lately.  Maybe as more of my friends are in our unfortunate situation or maybe more people are opening up about the subject of addiction, but the words " I just want to fix it" keep popping up. 

I think, as parents, we do just want to "fix it".  We feel it's our job to "fix it".  I know a lot of fathers of addicts who say something like, if there is a problem at work, it's my job to "fix it".  People come to me for me to "fix it".  I am good at my job.  I have no doubt most of them are very good at their jobs.  Negotiation, following the rules or laws, finding compromise, double checking someone's work are all part of "fixing it".  A lot of times when they "fix it", they feel good, they may get rewarded by a promotion or bonus, for saving their company time and money.  They stress they can find the solution to the problem and have a hard time understanding why all their efforts in dealing with their addict child in the same way, do not produce the same results as at work. 

I guess all I can say is, your work place is probably not infested with the horrible disease of addiction.  I or should I say, we, spent a lot of time learning this.  I don't think you can learn it over night.  I think it's a process to realize you can never be "Mr. Fix It" to your addict child.

If we keep "fixing" things for them, we become enablers very quickly.  Enabling leads to co-dependency.  And pretty soon, it's a family disease and no one is getting healthy.  Everyone is reacting to crisis after crisis, trying to "fix it". 

I guess Dr. Bill knew what he was doing when he wrote the steps.  Step 1: Accept the things you can not change.  You can not "fix" this.  You can not change this for your loved one.  You can certainly wear yourself out trying and going thru the process of learning this.  ( Like we did ).  But, if we had not gone thru the "fix it" stage, we would not have arrived to where we are now and I would like to believe my daughter would not be where she is right now. 

When my kids were little and fell, I "fixed" it by cleaning the scrape, putting a band aid on it and kissing it.  The boo-boo healed nicely, no scars left.  Addiction is not like that, we can't reach for the band aids or tool box and "fix it".  It goes against our nature as parents, and I personally, think it should. 

Pretty soon, we find ourselves in trouble.  ( or at least I did).  The stress took over, I got physically very sick.  I quit socializing and isolated.  I didn't cook dinners, going the grocery store was a big chore.  The disagreeing or fighting with my husband escalated as we disagreed on how to "fix it".  Soon enough, not only was our daughter always in crisis, so were we.  How do you "fix" that?  It all seemed like too much, where to start, what to do? 

Well what I would say, looking back, is, "fix" yourself first.  It starts there.  And the biggest part is coming to grips that you can't "fix" your child.  Your own guilt and shame and feelings and thoughts of where you went wrong, will only hurt you more.  When all my efforts and energy of "fixing it" for her, continued to result in the same outcome: her continuing to use, I realized no amount of tools from me could "fix" her.  Fixing yourself doesn't come over night... or over many nights.. it was a slow process that I am still working on.  But, along with counseling, I started saying "yes" to outings with my friends.  I started "faking it, til I made it".  Meaning I would go out with my mom friends and pretend to smile and laugh, that eventually I really was smiling and laughing.  I started cooking again, a few meals per week and tried to do it with love..knowing my husband and son would appreciate it gave me the satisfaction.  I started doing things I missed doing, calling an old friend, doing beading, painting, gardening, playing cards, picking up a book that wasn't about addiction.  In all honestly, I felt and sometimes still do, here I am laughing with my friends, or making something I totally enjoy and my daughter is hurting, hurting in ways I can't help her with.  One day my son said to me, how come you never make your chicken Alfredo ( aside from clogging my artery's) I related that dish with Emily.  I said to my son, well I thought Emily was the only one who liked it.  He said oh no, he loved it and missed it.  It was as if anything that reminded me of her, vanished, it was easier that way.  But, by him bringing that to my attention, I realized, not everything I thought was her favorite, was just for her.  I went out that night and got the things to make chicken Alfredo for my son, not her.  It felt good.

I hope all the Mr. and Mrs. Fix Its out there, don't stay in that stage as long as I did.  I hope your process goes faster than mine did.  My tool box now contains sticky notes as reminders for me to stay healthy, it contains saying yes to things and not isolating, it contains simple things done with love for those around me, it also includes me saying no to things, its ok for me to say no.  It also contains boundaries.  It includes things I will support and spend my time and energy on and the things I won't.  The good thing about my tool box, I can take things out and put new things in there, so I can "fix" myself and everybody wins then, they have all of me, healthy and not run down. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Small Developments

I haven't posted much, just because Emily is still in the 30  day transition period and we have no contact. 
But, I have my ways.. LOL

Not sure I mentioned this, but, the family with at Christmas time, their daughter got kicked out of the first program and went to the current one Emily is at.  The girls on a 30 talking ban. Which is fine.. for many reasons.  But, they got their first call from their daughter last week.  The mom left me a message.  Said she talked to her daughter and she is doing great!  Loves her job at a nursing home!  She said she asked her about Emily, even thou, she knows they can't talk about other clients and they are on talking ban.  But she said her daughter Emily is doing so awesome!  And please let Emily's parents know, she is doing great and working hard and contributing a lot.    I was happy to hear that!

They also called this week.  They wanted to see if we would pay 32.00 for Emily to get her license.  We agreed.  If they feel she is ready, I want her to have that in her life... it's part of growing up and being responsible.  She sabotaged it the night before she was suppose to get her license at 16.  She took my husbands company car out and drank and drove.  She didn't get caught by the police, but she did by us.  And of the school that a license is a privilege, not a right.  I could never live with myself if something happened to her or she hurt someone else. 

They have taken care of contacts and glasses and let us know all about it.

When they call, I will ask how she is doing.  The reports are all so positive.  That scares me a bit!  I am used to the other.. all the negative things she does or how she is always in trouble.  They said she is doing awesome.  She is working hard , she is a big help in the house and she is really helping the new girls.  She calls them on their BS and teaches them what NOT to do.  Go figure!

I would like to take a minute and Thank a fellow blogger, Tori!  She took a comment I made and turned it into a super nice gift.  She could have said nothing, I would not have known any different.  But, she reached out to me, she went above beyond the meaning of blog friends.  It was out of the blue, something I never expected from a little old comment I made and she made it almost a reality.  Thank You Tori, thank you so much!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Grass is ALWAYS Greener

Last week, I was going to post the most recent letter I got from Emily, but I ran out of time.  Funny how things work...  No sooner than I had sat down to type the letter in Word, my phone rang, it was the area code of the city Emily is in.  It was not a number I recognized.. you all know THAT feeling! 

It was Emily.  She has changed programs.  She left the other one at 8 am and was calling me at 3pm.  No one from the first program bothered to call me, even though I requested , in writing , to be notified.  At this point, still no word from them.  I was a bit put off by this.  I told her I had just gotten her letter and she said, well my letters are lies, they tell me what to write.  I said so all that nice stuff, the common sense context are lies?  She said well, not exactly, but I couldn't tell you how bad it was.  I was being yelled at ALL the time.  I said well maybe you need to be yelled at?  I was not backing down, I have learned, it's usually not the program, it's usually her or her perception of a program or person.  I stressed the grass is not always greener.  We will only support a completed long term program for you.  Yadda Yadda.

Her points were: I am an adult, I can make my own decisions  ( haven't we all heard this before too?).  I am almost 5 months clean.  This new program is 2 years also.  It will provide meetings daily and group, which I was not getting from the other program.  I am not asking you for anything.  It is run by the woman who help start the other program I was in. 

I congratulated her on the 5 months.  I said you are always looking for the easier way out.  If you had let the first program break you and rebuild you, I believe you might have a chance.  I reminded her she is still in PAWS, this is a critical time for her recovery, as she starts to get in trouble, sabotage her recovery around now.  And, at some point, she has to quit going around the programs and go directly in the middle to get to the root of the problem and recover. 

Needless to say my husband was NOT happy.  I had to call and tell him.  He had a whole list of what we were not doing for her.  Basically cutting her off til she graduates a long term program.  He has since softened abit.

I slept on it for 24 hours.  Then I called the new program.  I will tell you what.. as soon as the girl told me, " I just love little Emmy, I wanna pinch her cheeks and hug her to death", I got a red flag.  My daughter the actress is back.. she will say, act, do , whatever she has to in a situation, in this case it was to get herself in the program.  Then the girl told me, Emily's intake took so long, she decided to take Emily on her errands with her around town.  Oh great, now Em thinks she is special. 

These are my red flags, because I know my daughter like the back of my hand. 

I understand fully and gratefully, it could be worst.  That number she called from, could have been a jail, a cell phone of some loser, etc.  And each day she is clean is a blessing.. I know all this.. as I have done my work and I have walked this path before.  I am not saying I am not grateful.  I am just saying, I see red flags again.  I listen to my gut, it hasn't failed me yet. ( unfortunately).

The girl did explain the rules are basically the same, only softer.  Instead of working 12 to 20 hours a day, they work 6 to 8 hours and include meetings and group.  I asked if the meetings were "in house" or out in the town.  She said the town.  Another red flag.  Emily is known for meeting and taking off with some guy from rehabs, meetings, etc.  The girl said, well she can't even look at or talk to a guy.  I laughed... I said you have met the pro at passing notes, getting the word out if she interested.  But, here is where my work has to play into everything, I have to accept whatever she does, weather I agree with it or not and let it go.  I just told her, my daughter thrives in strict environments, as much as she rebels against them, it is where she makes the most progress. 

She said in this program if they get in trouble, they will put on "move", but there will be a beginning and an end.  So if she caught using a phone on the job, her move will be 1 week, where as at the other place, you could be on your 6th move and not even remember the first reason you got in trouble, no beginning and no end. 

I asked if she knew if Emily left because she got in trouble, or did she get kicked out, or did she leave on her own accord.  She said on her own accord.  She said she packed all her stuff up the night before.  Nobody said anything to her then.  She announced at breakfast at 7 am she was leaving, nobody said anything and by 8 am she was across the street with us. 

I had put an opened ended credit card at a Walmart for her to get glasses and or contact.  Her contacts are from 12/10 and they are 2 week disposal ones..  If you remember last year, we got her this for her birthday, but she never went back to pick up the contacts, as she was running from the law with 6 felony warrants out for her.  I was working with the other program on getting her an eye appt.  This new place has picked up the ball and will be taking her to get that. 

She will be give credit for time served at the other place.  She has to complete their 30 day , no contact and then if she isn't in trouble , we , she, can pick back up where we left off.  We can send any amount of birthday gifts and stuff to her at any time. 

There are some things that hit me.  I am not into numbers or dates too much.  But this girl, whose name is Kelly too, said, this is Emily's 9th program and she isn't 21 yet!  I said I know, and maybe the 9th will be the charm, as she has the number 9 tattooed on her hairline, for her life number.  She asked when Emily was turning 21.  I said April 12th.  She said.. oh wow, that is the anniversary date for this program, we are having a big celebration.  Maybe those things will work for us/her this time??  I know, I am reaching for straws! 

They called me with an update on Friday.  Emily is doing "ok".  Said she is stepping up and taking a big initiative in the house with work and group, showing leadership. 

So it is more contact than I had with the other place.  I am still not sure the grass is greener, at some point, it has to come down to doing the work, not avoiding it. 

But, for today, as far as I know, she is clean.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

First Letter

We got a letter from Emily.  It was dated Jan, 22, 2011, but postmark is Feb 7, 2011.  But, I wanted to share!  What scares me is, and I am being totally honest here, is, it's every addicts dream letter.  So I wonder how "real" it is.. isn't that sad I think that way??  My friend read it and she said, who cares if staged or they give her an outline, she is learning the right way to do things and that's not a bad thing... I had to agree.  Here it is, misspellings and all.



If you are receiving this letter that means I am finally in acclaimation and can call you ass soon as I receive a letter in response to this one from you! How are you?!! How is Andy? How is Lucy? Man, I miss guys a lot! I just got off “the move” a couple of days ago. I did 60 days! It was one of the most difficult yet forfilling challenges I ‘ve ever faced in recovery and the feeling of accomplishment, growth , pride and strength in completing all that “the move” time has made my recovery even more important to me. I feel like I can accept and pull through anything this program throws at me now. Almost all the girls that I came into this program with are gone now. Out of 8 of us transition girls, 2 are left and 1 is me! Today I woke up at 9 am and had a day off for the first time in 2 months.. and my leader had made me a cinnabun with a note that said “ I love you Eminemily!” on it. My other leader is working on getting a guitar donated for me to play. I feel like I have people who care about me here. I have real friends who want to see me succeed, but still care more about my life than mny feelings. I feel accepted , good qualities and character defects. I laugh here ALL the time, but I do cry a lot too. I have so much gratitude as well.

Speaking of, mom, remember when you used to ask us to do the Gratitude Notebook at the dinner table, and we all complained?? Now I see you were just trying to teach us gratitude. Mom and Dad, I am so sorry. You guys gave a great childhood, vacations, the Beck Center classes, being room mom, coaching, lessons on anything I was interested in, camp. Trips. I am blessed to have such loving parents and I took all that for granted. I think I had to lose everything to appreciate anything and I had to lose everything to grow up to recognize how much you guys did for me. Dad, I remember you singing my Sugar Mountain as one of my favorite childhood memories. The guilt I feel for what I put my family through eats me alive, but hey are helping me learn to forgive myself here. I hope you all can one day forgive me as well. I would like to have the opportunity to be the daughter and sister I once was so long ago and hopefully even more! I am growing up here. I am getting thicker skin, I am becoming more determined, and learning I cannot feel happy all the time, there will be moments of pain, of joy and just as many moments of pain, and being content is being ok with it all. Accepting any emotion and realizing it is not permament. Acceptance is a great state of mind.

I am learning how to play the keyboard. And, me and another Ohio girl are starting a band. There is no guitar here so I just started messing around on the keyboard. By my 3rd day, we had an original song, harmony and all written! We had 2 names for our band, we were debating on …. “Sometimes Slowly” or “Fatally Hip”. We chose “Fatally Hip”.

It hasn’t snowed here yet. It is 2012 though, so I am pretty sure that means the world is going to end. How is my brother? Due/ miss , Andy a lot! Tell him I say Hey and that I love him. I hope he is enjoying school and what-not. Oh, by the way, they have approved me to get my license! Can you even believe it??!! This is a big accomplishement! I think.. I am very excited. Anyway, please write back ASAP. Oh by the way, Happy Birthday Dad! I hope you got my card. Love you guys! I can’t wait to see you this Spring!

Love you!

Hearts! Emily

Friday, February 3, 2012

"FREE" Rehabs

I know Anna, has asked for the name of the program my daughter is in currently. ( Anna, I did leave you a comment on my last blog post).  I thought I would share my list and what I little I know about each program.  I am not a counselor, I am not a doctor, I do not endorse any specific program.  I have acquired this list thru many different people, counselors, or my own research.  How quickly us parents of addicts run out of money!  Meanwhile our children still need help or guidance or programs that don't cost an arm and leg.  This is what I have found:

Oh, I should note, I have not gone to any of these sites in months, so I am not sure the website is still correct.  You can run a Google search and see if they are still in business.

SanParignano.org - This is in Italy.  It is a 4 to 5 year program.  I have spoken to them on the phone, seems like a good program and was on the "list" for us.

delanceystreetfoundation.org - I believe this in San Fran, CA.  I know Emily did call them and was accepted.  I just know that city might have made her habit worst if she chose not to stay in the program. 

pathways-ky.org - I believe this program might be nationwide.  I know there is another one in Charlotte, NC.  They also offer IOP as well.  It did not help us, but it's not say it would not help someone else who is serious about recovery.

libertycenterconnections.org -  This is in Ohio, has a male and female program.  I do believe they need to be detoxed.  Emily did this program, never completed it, but I thought it was very good.  They did EMDR on her and I highly recommend it for anyone experiencing trauma or PTSD.  If this link doesn't work, search Steps at Liberty + Wooster Ohio

recoveryconnectionscommunity.com ( or run a search for recovery connections + NC).  This is a longer term program.  All the ones in NC are run pretty similar.  Self sufficient, meaning the clients do the work to keep it up an running.  I am not sure if this is coed or just for females.  It is a "newer" one there.  Do not expect counseling or anything additional

recoveryventurescorp.org ( or run a search for recovery ventures + NC).  This is longer term, coed, same as above. 

firstinc.org ( or run a search for first + recovery + NC).  Don't quote me, but I believe they are merging with recovery ventures.  It was for males only, but I believe they are now taking women and maybe women with children.  It is a 1 to 2 year program and probably the easiest of the above 2.

thamkrabok-monastery.org - This is more along a monk run facility.  They are free, but do take donations.  I got the name of this place from someone who went thru the program.  They have been clean for a long time and said this program saved their lives.  We researched it, it was a consideration, what changed our mind was on the website, it says " We want warriors, not victims".  At the time, we did not feel Emily had shed the victim role and we would be wasting time and airfare. 

Not free, but reasonable, for women only, sober living is Jennifers Gate.  Run a search Jennifers Gate + Ohio.  Truely a wonderful program built on the right intentions. 

Not free, but worth it as far as therapy.  EMDR.  Run a search on it.  I highly recommend it for anyone suffering from trauma, PTSD, etc.  Vets, war victims, etc would benefit.

We have not done, but I plan to do : www.clearyourmind.org   It was highly recommended to me for myself and Emily.  The main place on the east coast of FL I believe, but many states have qualified people to do it.  I suggest reading the stories or testimonials.  I may not do this, but I will take Emily do it after she completes her program. 

That's all I have, if I hear of more reasonable programs, I will be glad to share.  Again, I am not a professional, but just a mom doing research.  I can't be responsible for anyone elses experiences or encounters.  I don't endorse any program over another.  At some point, we have or had considered all of these. 

Reasons To Exhale

Sometimes I do feel like I am holding my breath and I don't even know it.  Maybe it's called stress?  I don't know.  But, I do know I feel l was able to exhale in the past 24 hours.  It's not filling me with "energy", but it's allowing my mind to wander in other places and plan for me.  Hard to explain. 

But, here is what has happened. 

Last week, I had emailed the program Emily is in and asked if she call her Dad for his birthday.  I explained, normally I would never ask, his birthdays come and go and we don't make a big deal about it.  But, it's the big 6-0!  And it's the first year no kids are around.  Of course I never heard anything from them.  But, when my husband came home, he said you are gonna be jealous... I got a call from Emily!  I wasn't and I am not jealous.. I was happy!  ( I am jealous about something, but not that, and it's for another post).  He said she has moved to the next phase.  She can write us when she gets a letter from us.  Incidental, as he walked in , I was writing her a letter.  She filled out an application for getting her license and it was approved, so within 2 weeks, she will have her license for the first time ever.  They have moved her into another place where she now has access to a guitar and keyboard.  She said she is really happy for the first time in her life.  She has a goal and that's to graduate this program.  He said you could hear "self esteem" in her.  She said to put our minds at ease, she has no plans to leave the program.  She wants to get the most out of it she can.  She said she can even laugh at herself when she remembers she thought and said she was "terminally unique".  She said she just wants to be the average Joe, contributing to society and keeping her disease in check all the time.  That's is weird to to feel relief and feel good after putting in a hard days work over chasing drugs.  She said this program is working for me!  He said she sounded so happy, upbeat, asked over and over about me and her brother.  She said her hair grew out and they let her get a hair cut and it's her normal color now and she doesn't plan hiding behind a box hair color.  So I am assuming we will get to hear from her more.  Which will be good for our healing too.

Then my son called my husband.  To wish him a Happy Birthday.  He also said to my husband "I love you".  Now Emily always, no matter what condition she is in, if we talk, she says I love you.  Sometimes to the point, it got to be just words to me.  But, my son, well, he will say it to me on the phone, but it's in a mumble form.  But he doesn't say it to his Dad.  So my husband was so happy about that! 

It was then time to leave for our dinner.  When I made the reservations, I told the GM, I don't care what happens, but I want the check.  So we got there and they said 2 of your guests are already here, in the bar.  The GM said, the gentleman as already requested the check.  I said, exactly why I told you I before hand I want the check.  So I just gave them my cc right then.  My husband had invited another couple, a guy from his band and his wife.  I wasn't sure how it all would go, could be awkward or conversation would flow.  Yes, I worry about stuff like that.  Well it all flowed and we were there for 4 hours!  The check came,  it was already put on my cc.  Yes, I had to inhale for a minute seeing the total.  I have been at those kinds of dinners, but for business where, I didn't get the check.  The couple from my husband's work are the CEO and CFO of the company.  They are in a different league than us financially.  They were insisting they wanted to pay.  I said listen, I invited you for his birthday.  If I had a party for him, it would have been a lot more.  You have picked up so many dinner tabs, invited us to so many social things, tickets for stuff, and the use of your condo in for 500.00 a week when you could have gotten at least double for it.  So to take you dinner for a celebration for my husband's birthday, is my pleasure.  You might think I am making a deal about this, but you have to know them, to pull this off, was not an easy feat and it made me feel good. 

I had 2 real goals for his birthday, for him to talk to Emily and for me put on this dinner with his friends... and both happened.

My husband said it was best birthday in a long time and felt very fortunate and lucky.  It's been a long time since we have been able to feel that way or think that way. 

I do know what a lot of you are thinking... with addicts, especially "rock bottom" addicts like Emily, we better not get too excited.  Let me be first to say, I agree!  I am not typing this with huge excitement in my tone.  But, I am able to exhale completely for a minute, because she is still there.  I heard my husband telling my Mom on the phone about his conversation with Emily... I KNEW what she was thinking... you are getting so excited and 3 months from now, she could be gone and she "tricked" you again and this time you are older and the fall will be harder.  How many times are you gonna let this girl do this to you.  But, her interests are me.. and maybe my husband... she has made that clear.  She worries about me, she is my mother.  I will also say, I have not heard these words from Emily ever before.  She did not act like a victim, she did not ask for anything, she did not blame anyone.  She did not beg to leave.  So I can exhale, I will not do the happy dance thou.. Not sure I ever will with this disease, I might for something else, but not this. 

My husband is different than me.  He has a lot reasons to be ( again, another post).  When we were driving home from dinner, he said, well I might be working til I am 80, because Emily might want to go to college in a year or two.  I did not say, a long time ago, when we paid for the therapy school, and every other rehab, we reminded her, this was her college money, if she wanted college, she would have to figure it out.  The financial support from us is/was gone.  I just looked at him and said, we will cross that bridge when we come to it, but she might have a best seller in her journals or a cd in the works, and her path just might not be college or what you feel would be the best for her.  I also didn't say... One Day At Time.  Because, I know he was just "excited" or I hope he was. 

But I have exhaled and slept and had a nice day today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

60 and Some New

This will be a double post.  Tomorrow my husband will be 60.  I can only imagine how he feels.  I personally have not hit 50, but I plan on doing that on a beach somewhere with beach boy bringing me drinks with umbrella's, so it will might make it easier for me.  My husband is more practical than I am in this area.  At 40, I insisted he whisk me away to FLA so I could not be at our next door neighbors annual Labor Day party and hear all the "old age" jokes from my friends.. that's how bad I get! 
My Mom recently turned 70.  She sent him a nice watercolor card she made.  She wished him a Happy Birthday, included a nice birthday gift and her last sentence said to enjoy the next 10 years, because turning 70 was actually hell.  Lovely!  My husband laughed, knowing my Mom, but he also started making his bucket list! 

I told him flat out, I did not have any party planned.  He doesn't drink, not that it matters, but I didn't want people to feel "weird" and he's not a party person.  I did not plan a trip, but I did ask about it.  We thought about a long weekend in NYC or Chicago, but at the time of our discussion, it was kinda cold and who wants to go those fun cities and freeze... little did we know it's be Spring - Like weather now.  We decided we would save that money for a nice Spring Break beach trip.

He said just a nice dinner out with my family.  Well dear, it's a Thursday's  night and your "family" is me.  I am it.  One is away in college and the other is away in a program.  I did call my son and see if he could come.  He can't , he has 2 exams on Thursday and Friday.  I did email the program and ask if Emily can call to just say Happy Birthday, no response.  So I invited a couple from his work ( the CEO and CFO) and he invited a guy from his band and his wife ( will know her name when I meet her).  And I made reservations at Hyde Park. 

Normally, I would have had something BIG planned.  When he was 50, I gave him a trip to Key West and knew when he got that, he wouldn't expect a big surprise party, which I also pulled off.  But, I am gonna tell you something, addiction sucks the planning out of me.  I feel like I have been planning interventions, working with rehabs for beds, gathering things for the lists of stuff they need at any given place and I am all planned out!  I feel like with addiction, you have to have A-Z back up plans.  It's worn me out!  So I am sticking to my plan of dinner and a little trip later in the year.  That's a plan isn't it?  For some reason, I don't feel like it is, but I guess "it is what it is". 

Now on the good news.  And personally, I am not close to 60 yet, but, I would consider this a good "gift" and I believe my husband does too.  I had him call the place where Emily is now.  We haven't heard anything in awhile.  The first phase was suppose to be 45 to 60 days and we are well past 90 days and she is still the first phase.  So I was itching to know what's up.  This is taken from the text my husband sent me after he spoke to the woman in charge of Emily.

She is ok.  Just finished "restitution".  Suzy says she has surrendered to "whatever, just tell me what to do".  Suzy says she should be able to write in 2 weeks.  Says Emily is starting to change for the better.  She also said Em has given no indication that she wants to leave or quit. 

So I cling to those few sentences.  I think it's a good birthday gift, don't you?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Real Point of This Post

There is no real point this post.. just because I am in a limbo stage.  Do I turn this way or go that way or stay still? 

There has been no word from Emily.  Which I guess no new is good news.  Except, as the program goes, she was able to send mail and receive mail within 45 to 60 days... except if she keeps getting in trouble, which must be the case, because it's been over 90 days.  So my liberal, no rules daughter is still fighting the system.  I say that, as I am inhaling, I can only exhale with it because she is still there. 

I, personally am all over the board, which results in spinning my wheels accomplishing nothing.  Yes, I am ADD, but a medicated one... so this spinning is bugging me. 

For example, I have 2 new addictions.  Pintrest and Houzz.  They are exactly what I used to do with my little online "deco group" back in the 90's.  There were 8 of us that met on an AOL decorating board and broke off to form our little group.  We posted links, project ideas, decorating tips to each other.  We went as far to take actual photos of our before and after projects, take the film to the drug store to be developed and ran home to scan and upload them to each other.  This little group motivated me!  In fact I just found all the pictures of some my "projects".. including the mauve, burgundy, gold glazed ceiling I did in my kitchen in my old house.  So I thought, great!  Pintrest and Houzz will motivate me again!  But, all I do is put things on my boards or ideabox.  I sorta feel like I completed a project by doing that, but that's far from reality! 

I do not "feel" good.  I can't pinpoint it and I have a long list of excuses for it.  Like I am not gonna tell my doctor, she will just want me to go on lexapro or something.  Let's not forget it's the most depressing time of year, or at least it is in Ohio... that's a great excuse for me!  My mood matches the weather!  That's it!  Hey at least I recognize I am in a funk! 

So what do I do? I go buy Zumba for Wii.  I will do that every morning!  That lasted 2 weeks.  My husband said, we should give up the club membership, nobody uses it.  I said , let's use it together!  Let's meet at lunch and workout!  Ok, we have done that 3 whole times.  I was out of town, then he's been out of town.  God forbid, either us go without each other! 

I keep hearing about the Wheatbelly diet.  So I spent yesterday reading about it.  I even got up, stepped away from the computer, got a box and my goal was to get rid of the wheat things in my pantry.  Well, crap, I just went grocery shopping, I would be wasting all that money!  Put the box away.  So I thought, I will be good and make myself a Lean Cusine for lunch.  A few bake potatoes bites, broccoli and cheese.  Seems like that would fit the wheat belly diet.  Wrong!  In darken letters on the back, it says this product contains Milk and Wheat.  My dinner when my husband is out of town is either toast or Healthy Choice chicken noodle soup.. that would be out!  Boy, maybe this diet isn't for me after all.  But, I will try to more conscious.  I have not had a baked good, toast, bread or pasta for 2 whole days!  That's progress isn't it?

Let's not get into my research on tryamine.  I guess I would have to go RAW and I don't see that happening!  I am all about connivance, but I don't have to be.. I am not working, I am not doing a house project.  I could do it, but where is that motivation? 

Speaking of not working.  I was making necklaces.  I sold well over 100.  I am still selling them off and on.  I certainly go on line an buy what I think I "need".  The USP man comes almost daily with my little crystal packages.  I go to the point of opening the package, putting them on my work desk, because if I put them away in the labeled containers I have, I will forget I have them and reorder them.  I have a friend who knows owners of a few little shops that would love to sell my stuff and will buy them outright.  She is just waiting for me to complete my inventory.  She might be waiting awhile, I am just not motivated. 

I watched the Anderson Show yesterday.  I got mad!  It was on parents calling the police on their teen child.  Have any of these parents walked in my shoes, that said if you have to call the police to parent your own child you are a failure.  I almost got the motivation to write a post on the Anderson site.. but I didn't.  Last time I did that, the show called me to be on it.  That's for another post on another day.

Oh, I look at Craigslist for job postings.  I might go as far as sending an email, but never my resume.  That would require commitment and I am not ready for that! 

It's now almost 3pm, I am dressed.  I have talked to my friend, whom I met on ODR, we talk daily.  I have made dinner, I have done my researching for the day, I got my package from the UPS man.  I made several phone calls, but let me tell you, we have gotten about 2 inches of rain, it's cold out and the dog has not even got out of her cage to out and do her business.. maybe I can't do anything today because I am waiting for her to get up?  Good excuse as any! 

I hoping I get a letter from Emily and I hope I quit spinning my wheels doing nothing soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Non-Addicts and Surgery

My best friend from high school had back surgery two weeks ago.  Since I have had 3 of them and I know pain, I offered to help her this week.  I had to keep several things in mind.  She did not choose to take my advice and get a 2nd opinion, so she got her back fused, there are 3 screws and a metal cage around her back now.  I don't know, but my doctor told me that is a last resort for me.  I was also about 15 years younger than we are now.  And I told her my story of how God has a lesson .. I pushed myself too much after the first one and didn't listen to the doctor, I felt better, pain free, so that gave me a license to go back to my normal life, of super mom.. the word No was not in my vocabulary.. so God said you didn't learn, let's do this again and again, til you 'get it'. 

But, what really scared me for her and still does, the amount of meds she is on.  Oxy's, perc's , muscle relaxers.  The words she says , echos in my head.  " I am taking as directed by my doctor".  I realize the pain is high, I realize in today's world, there is no reason to be pain.  But, I also realize how quickly a person can become dependent on them.  And it scares the shit out of me!  I realize the meds do her talking now.  So if I question it, she says my doctor said I only have to be on them for 2 months.  I am sure her doctor didn't tell her that is enough time to become dependent on them.  I just told her, I am so sorry for your pain.  Pain is a horrible cycle.  But, I also want you to understand and have knowledge of what these meds do or can do to a person.  I told her, let's talk in 2 months, but I can't go thru this my best friend from high school too.  All I want is for you to be aware... just aware.  I am not sure how "aware" a person can be on all those meds.  I heard the "excuses", like the oxy's kill my pain, but don't make my head fuzzy.  I am allowed to have 2 muscle relaxers and 2 perc's at the same time. 

And all this scares me for her.  Or for anyone who has to be put on a cocktail like this for pain.  Our lives can change so quickly, and not for the better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10 Things About Me

I am copying from Anna's blog: Letgohangon.  She has had pretty much one of the worst years of anyone I know and managed to find 7 great things about herself and keep going in a positive manner.  And, it was a refreshing post compared to the subject of addiction.  So, Thanks Anna, copying is the highest form of flattery .. right?

1.  Most people think I am an "Ohio girl".  I was born in KY and got my wedding dress in KY.  I have lived in Exton, PA, Edina, MN, Fairview Park, OH twice.  Rocky River , OH and Sylvania, OH. 

2.  I used to love big parties!  Hosting them, going to them and participating in them.  Now, I enjoy a quality time with a few friends.  I tend to pass on the massive get-to-gethers anymore. 

3.  I love things like energy, crystals, polarity, reiki.  I believe intentions are very important. I believe you get what you put out there.  I believe the universe puts people in our lives at exactly the right time.  I would not consider myself a religious person, but more a spiritual person. 

4.  I have a small family.  My father and I never made amends while he was alive and I am ok with that.  My mom married a man that I can not relate to, due to his own upbringing, we just don't gel and I wish we did.  My brother is 18 months younger than me.  He had a liver transplant about 4 years ago and is drinking.  Again, I can not relate.  It breaks my heart, I wish it wasn't like that.  I love his kids, but his wife keeps us apart, maybe due to Emily?  Maybe she thought I did a bad job?  I don't know, but I wish that wasn't the case and I wish there were more siblings in my family.

5.  I like to give more than receive.  I never know what to say when someone "gives" to me.  Like I don't deserve it or something.  But giving fills my heart... and that does feel good.  If I see something I know a friend will like, I will pick it up for them.  I love making dinners for families in need.  I love donating to the food pantry.  I love just surprising somebody with something little that might make their day.  If someone calls me for help or resource for addiction, I am there to help anytime.

6.  This is hard for me to admit, but I am a reality tv junkie.  I tell my husband that I am a "people person" so these interactions interest me.  Weather it's Storage Wars, Intervention, Housewives, Jersey Shore.. it will be on my ddr.

7.  I have a major fear of the dentist.  I really don't like surgeries either or I will go a step farther, hospitals.  I avoid them.  I will be glad to make a dinner for someone after they have been there, but as far as me going to visit.. that's harder for me.

8.  I think kids are funny... oh and smart!  Their minds and bodies full wonder is so cool to me! 

9.  I am not very good at it, but I do love to do "crafty" things or create.  I like to paint, bead, make stuff. 

10.  I have been "in charge" of many things.  PTA, PTO, benefits, school fundraisers, boosters, etc and what I have learned is you can't do it all yourself and if you have a good group you can do amazing things. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


My Mom turned 70 today. 

I did not get her anything.  Not that I forgot it was her birthday.  I did forget it was a big one.  Or did I?  Maybe even for me, 70 is big.  It's in your face that you are on borrowed time.. and I don't want to think about it.  I know it's just a number and you are only as young as feel, etc.  But come on, let's get real, 70 is big, bodies don't work the same as they did when they were 30, 40, 50 or even 60. 

I didn't even want to call her and wish her a Happy Birthday.  Partly, because I knew how she was feeling about this.  But I did call.  And I told her, I am not even 50 and there is nothing I want or need and I know you feel the same, but I will get you something, just what I am not sure yet.  Of course she was fine with it.  She always says don't spend your money on me and I get that, because I say the same to my kids and I mean it.  You can't take it with you. 

But I did find out, she is going to lunch with girlfriends at this resort we stayed at last Christmas.  So I called the resort and got an anti-aging facial for her and they will present it to her at lunch.  Maybe it will make it feel better?  Anything with words "anti-aging" has to be good .. right?

I don't want to go all sappy into what a great Mom she was.  She knows it, I know it and I am very lucky in many ways with her and all her love and support and lucky to still have her around.  The other gift I will give her, will be one she won't know about.  I will answer the phone every time I see her number pop up.  I will respond to her emails within 24 hours.  I won't blow it off and think .."oh, it's just my Mom, I can get back to her". 

So I am raising my glass to my Mom today!  Happy Birthday Mom!  You are the best!  I feel loved and supported by you and that means more than anything to me!  Cheers! 
Oh... and many more!
Love you!