Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

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?