Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Friday, February 3, 2012

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.


  1. I say do the happy dance! You can be happy for her and yourselves. We, as parents of addicts in recovery or not, know things can change in a minute but we need to allow ourselves to savor the good times too. They maybe different types of good times than parents of "normal" children, but they are our good times. ENJOY the good feelings!

  2. This post made me HAPPY because YOUR HAPPINESS shines through it!!!!!

    Happy Belated Birthday to Doc. And you know what? We never do know what's going to happen next. I love you guys so much, and think about Emily every day. There has to be a reason she's been through this hell, and put you guys through this. There just has to be a reason.

  3. I am so happy for you. It has been years since we had any real hope. Your daughter is sounding very reasonable. I believe that many more rock bottom addicts could get better with more time in rehab. I wish you would write more about her rehab. I can tell that it uses some brainwashing techniques but I think the addicts need a good brainwashing. As long as it is done responsibly. I am very curious to learn more about the program.

    Happy Birthday to your husband. Enjoy these good times. Many people miss their moments of joy waiting for complete happiness.

  4. Anna, due the what she was involved in before she went to this program, I do not trust putting anything "out here" in the net-land, where someone could from her past could reach her. I believe I have given you my email, kelrish@aol.com, please feel free to email me any time. I will tell you all about it and answer any and all questions you may have. I really haven't written about how scary it was for her and all of us with what she got herself involved in or tried to get herself out of.

    Laurn- Thanks so much for positive support!

    Jenny- thanks for always being there! You sorta know us personally and along the way, a lot of people don't understand or stay away from us due to this subject.. but not you! And I count on people like you! Love ya!