Sunday, March 30, 2014

Waiting On Spring

It's been a long winter. Today it is in the 70's but the wind will blow you over if you're not holding on to something anchored down.

I'm still speaking to students. It's going well and I hope some of them hear me. Lots of personal examples of students actions when I speak that keep me going. I have cards with my blog address, phone number and e-mail on them if they want to take them. I leave them sitting next to the door. Any evening after I speak my blog hits go through the roof. Makes me sad in a way.

I want to thank everyone that responded to the Guest Bloggers that sent me posts. I still answer e-mails and have called a few people that ask me to call. I guess this is my way of giving back to all of those that helped me so long ago.

Alex and his family is still doing well. There are a few things I take from his journey:
  • nothing is impossible.
  • hope is everlasting.
  • love is better than anger.
  • never give up.
  • if you need a break take one, then get back at it.
  • accept what is, give up on the world of "ought to be".
  • if the world falls part tomorrow, I still have today.
Can't wait for it to get nice enough to go on a road trip on the bike. I'm needing a little freedom and open road.

This year I hope to get some lake time. The boat has been in the basement for two years. Time to hit he water and I have grandkids to teach how to ski. When Erica was 3 I put her on my ski and took off. We skied a big circle she fell off once and wanted to go again. I got Brooke on the kneeboard when she was 3 but Tyler and Owen haven't had the grandpa experience yet. When I look in the mirror its hard to believe once I skied competitively. How did I get so old and so fat?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another Guest Post

Hello to all. 

My name is Kim and I'm an adult child of, soon-to-be x-spouse of, and parent of addicts.

I could ramble on for hours with different war stories of chaos, insanity, and pain, but not today. It's the first day of spring signifying change. The change isn't about them, it's about me. I feel it's time to concentrate on myself and my needs. It has always been about them and their affects onto me. However, this morning I decided to look into me and see that I'm spiritually sick. I'm not well.

The truth is, my Dad passed away seven years ago, my husband has been out of house for three years, my daughter is active in her recovery, and my son recently entered detox for heroine. None of them are actively using in my face and I'm in control of my own actions and reactions.So what then is my problem? My answer to myself is simple. I'm engrossed with anger, bitterness, and resentment.

I know I must learn to forgive. Forgiving them all and praying for them is supposed to be the key to my freedom yet I can't do it! Perhaps I hold my resentments for my own sick satisfaction of blaming them for all that went wrong. I have to look deeper into myself to find out why. I like the idea of joining an online community for feed back. My psychiatrist isn't helping me nor the handful of therapists I've gone through. I've been spending time writing my memoirs and returned to college online to further my education. I haven't been practicing yoga, which I happen to love, due to a recent back injury. I do enjoy my grandchildren and the new man in my life. They taught me to love.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Guest Post: Intake (a must read)

Not long ago I ask for guest bloggers. One person responded that she wanted to write and she already writes her own blog. She ask me if I would give her a subject. Knowing her past and what she had been through I was somewhat intimidated. Selfishly I thought of myself.

Four times I took Alex to rehab. Each time I left him there My feelings were always good and happy. I have always wondered what it was like for the person walking through those doors and wasn't walking right back out.

Kel, yes many of you know her and her blog, tells us what it is like.

It doesn't matter if you read this post first or read her blog first, please read both. Here is Kel's blog and below is her story.

Kel's blog: This Can't Be It

Kel's Story: Intake

The intake process took a few hours, most of it waiting for insurance approvals, and checking bed availability at the treatment center.  I am fortunate in that I have an excellent job that provides me with exceptional insurance benefits, however, the insurance company will only pay for inpatient treatment if they truly believe all other alternative options have been exhausted.  I have never sought treatment for alcoholism before, but” lucky me”, I had a few suicide attempts under my belt that involved large amounts of alcohol and prescription medication, a previously treated addicted child who died from a heroin overdose, a minor child with a long history of in and outpatient treatment, and a mother who passed away just 11 months prior from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. Additionally, referrals from my psychiatrist and therapist attesting to the fact that my continued abuse of alcohol combined with my diagnosed PTSD and depression, leaves me at a high risk of suicidal ideology and being denied the treatment I needed and desired would be a hugely tragic unmitigated disaster if something unfortunate were to happen to me as a result of such denial. 

Three nail biting hours later, insurance authorization in hand, the Man and I nervously departed  the intake office with my previously packed one-bag-only-that-you-will-need-to-carry-yourself  containing the suggested one weeks’ worth of clothing, my labeled prescribed meds, and whatever personal hygiene items I could fit (which cannot contain alcohol) and we headed East beginning the 90 minute drive to the facility that would be my “home” for the next 20 or so days. Of course, true to my alcoholic nature, we decided to stop for lunch just a mile or so before the treatment center and indulge myself with what I hoped to be my final “one more for the road”  glass, (read: bottle) of wine. Much to my dismay; my last glass of wine was to be a local subpar varietal, that on a normal day, I wouldn’t allow to touch my lips until I had at least drank whatever good wine I had at my disposal first.  I am a wine snob you see, but I get over that as soon as my options become limited. 

We pulled into the parking lot, and even with my wine buzz in full effect, the reality of the situation I precipitously found myself in, was paralyzing terrifying.  How did this happen? What is going on? Why am I suddenly the one being checked into a rehab center instead of being the one to check someone else in? I am not an alcoholic, I made a mistake, I was just kidding around. I don’t need help, I can stop anytime. Please honey don’t make me go in there, I don’t need help. I just need to learn to manage my drinking better, get a little control over it; I can easily do this on my own, maybe I will go to an AA meeting with a friend of mine that I know in recovery…  Does any of this sound familiar?  Similar to what many of us parents of addicts have heard from our addicts at one time or another?  Denial, pleading, begging, grasping, crying, desperately frightened; he held my hand and my one-bag-only and walked me to the front door and held it open for me. 

Crossing the threshold of that door could be assimilated to my youth, when I was a new bride crossing that threshold with my then new husband, my future was wide open and I was starry eyed. Only this time, my future was bleak and possibly deadly if it didn’t work out.  A lawyer could help me if I were to be charged with a DWI, much as he would with a Divorce, but would be of no assistance when the alcohol eventually caused my organs to shut down, my skin and eyes yellowing from liver failure or hepatitis, dialysis required to do the work of my no longer functioning kidneys to rid my body of the toxins building up aiming to drown me in my own noxious body fluids, losing the ability to eat and drink on my own-  sores and abscesses debilitating my esophagus triggering me to choke on my own bile, and vomiting blood from my mouth and nose. Dying of alcoholism is painful and horrible.  I have seen it with my own eyes.  If you haven’t witnessed it first hand, it is not something I recommend putting on your bucket list. 

After saying our goodbyes, a security aide arrived to escort me from the reception area to the basic facility. Leaving the security of the Man was daunting, yet, a little bit hopeful and liberating. It was only me now. However, as the Aide guided me through the halls, the tears began to flow: ugly, sad little girl tears, I somehow felt compelled for the Aide to understand that I was here of my own free will, it was MY CHOICE to be here, I drank too much wine because my son died of a heroin overdose you see. Such classic, narcissistic alcoholic behavior, don’t you think?  I was above the rest of the other addicts and drunks, I WANTED to get better.  He told me that he was an addict in recovery. He worked here as a security aide, because he wanted to, because a place just like this one, saved his life many years ago, and he wanted to give back and help save someone else.  That someone could be me or any other one of 80 drunks and addicts that were in the facility at the moment.  He was not impressed with my tears of self-pity, or my designer boots, and he wasn’t interested in carrying my pretty lavender suitcase that I struggled to carry on my own. He had seen many clients walk out of the very doors we just came in through die of an overdose within mere hours of being released. Another arrested within days of her release for vehicular manslaughter, after killing an innocent young mother of two, after blowing almost two times the legal limit when breathalyzed at the scene. This disease was no joke. It was time for me to stop crying and get on with the business of saving my own life. 

Oh, I think I may have forgotten to introduce myself.  Hi, my name is Kel, and I am an alcoholic. 

 Thank You Kel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Students Again????!!!!!

Talking to students at schools does something for me. It's so hard to stand up there and peel scabs off of old wounds, but it is so therapeutic.

Every teacher has warned me at one time or another about this class or that class. A student they KNOW that will challenge me or try to disrupt the class. Sorry to disappoint, their predictions have not yet come true. At the end of the day the students sit there in class and all I see are eyes fixed on me. And as you all know us parents of addicts are fixated on eyes.

No one disrupts. Maybe I scare them but I'd like to believe that I am saying things they want to hear.

Students come to me after class, shake my hand and thank me for taking the time to share my story. Some times they share a story with me.

I don't watch or take names but I leave business cards by the door and students are free to pick one up that has my phone number and the address of this blog on them. This evening I look at the stats blogger provides about hits and the hits on this blog begins rising immediately following the end of the first class.

And, to end the day, a message on my phone. "Mr. Grover, I need help, can you call me."

ps.: in two weeks I will be speaking again, this time at Shawnee Mission South. Wish you all could join me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Question #2 Naltrexone?

My 21 year old son Alex is due to be discharged from rehab this Wednesday.  This was his 4th rehab stint in 20 months (unfortunately, most of those times in rehab has been only 6 or 7 days because insurance refuses to pay. The longest was 21 days).  His addiction progressed quickly from Percocet to snorting Heroin.

Naltrexone has been suggested to us by his counselors.  I have done research, but so far have come up with a lot of clinical information, but not much "practical" information from addicts or family members of addicts.

Does anyone have any first-hand information on Naltrexone that they can share with me ASAP?  We have to make a decision by Monday.

Thank you so much

I am sorry, I don't have any history or experience with this. I hope readers can help you.