Monday, September 29, 2008

12 meetings, 12 days

Today S will come home having gone to his 12th meeting in as many days. I'm so proud of him I feel like I could burst. We will get through this and figure out how to make it work. I know we will. I'm reading a lot about patience and time out in the blogosphere and it's appropriate. I suppose it's a lesson we have to continually be reminded of.
At least, today I have confidence. ;-)

But I do have to share this crazy tidbit. Yesterday I went to an exercise class with my neighbor. Another friend of ours is training to be an instructor and so this was a practice class for her. So we start by marching in place, some funky situps and pushups. I'm pretty strong from working outside, but I was feeling a little burn. Well, about 10 minutes into the class, we move from sitting to standing and I get totally lightheaded. I go to sit down and have some water and completely pass out. I come to about 45 seconds later to my friend trying to wake me (convieniently, she's a nurse) and another woman on the phone calling 911. I think the first thing I said was, don't call 911! But of course they did and the paramedics said my blood pressure was pretty much dead so they took me to the ER where I sat for a few hours growing more and more annoyed with myself. Who the hell FAINTS in a freaking exercise class! The only good part was that S came and hung out with me for the hours and cheered me up as much as possible.

I'm blaming it on lack of water, but who knows. The tests all came back and said I was fine. Now that's some crazy shit, eh?

Anyway. Catching up on blogs.
Thanks for welcoming me into the blogosphere, peeps. Y'all rock!

p.s. The photo is Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) in fruit.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Fun New Gadget

I added a gadget at the bottom of the page called Blogger Play. It's pretty cool. It's a slideshow of random images recently posted on blogs and if you see one you like you can click on it and be taken to that blog. It's a great way to spend even more time in Bloggerland.

As an update on my last, and rather depressing post, I woke up feeling much better (isn't that always the case). S was cheery too. And while we didn't really talk (whoa! no way!), at least the vibe between us felt good. S was whistling and singing and generally being silly in a way that I haven't seen in a while. So today I have much more patience than I did last night.
Thanks for all the support peeps. It means so much.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

All I've got

You know, I just can't win in this. I can't seem to get it right and I don't know what to do.

I spent the afternoon with my neighbor who is becoming a good friend to me. We're women and we like to talk and share and sometimes complain about our men. So I've shared some things with her about S and me. But after she left today, S asked me if I showed her this blog. I had and I told him so. I tried to ask him if he was okay with that, what he felt, but he just shut me out entirely saying, "I don't know how I feel so you don't have to sit there and stare at me." Well, what am I supposed to do?

It's just all too much. I can't talk to him about anything, he's not crazy about my blogging, not crazy about me talking to my one and only goddamn friend, what the fuck am I supposed to do? I know the therapist said to wait and be patient but it's fucking hard, you know? I can't believe that he's feeling better when I feel worse.
Why isn't he reaching out to me? Why doesn't he seem to care about how I'm doing, or how we're doing? Does he really think everything is okay?? I just don't believe that. And I don't understand what's happening to us.

So what do I have to be grateful for right now? My health, a roof over my head, my cat, Notre Dame beating Purdue (I hope, it's still the 4th quarter but they're up by 17), a great job...

wow, well that's about all I've got at this moment. It'll have to do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No more elephants!!

S is feeling a lot better these days. It could be the pills. He's still going to AA every night which relieves my worries quite a bit. We went back to our couples counselor tonight. She helped me (us, hopefully) to break down what has happened recently and how it fits into our past and our future.
The past six weeks, S has been drinking much more heavily and our communication fell to pretty much nothing. As he says he was either drunk or hungover pretty much every day from the end of July until the past week. As the therapist says, he was essentially not in the relationship. Checked out. Gone. So now that he's sober and feeling better, I want desperately to connect with him, to make sure we're still on the same path, to check back into the relationship. So I keep bringing the drinking up. Whenever we talk, that's what I want to talk about. But S is feeling better, he's not feeling the urges to drink, in fact, he's not thinking about alcohol very much at all. And he definitely doesn't want to bring that subject back into the foreground. We needed her to point this out to us. She suggested to me to hang back another week or two and see how S continues to feel with these meds. So I'm going to try to relax a little about this overwhelming need to communicate to S exactly how I'm feeling. Instead, I'm going to try to plan some fun dates and places to go and things to do to build up our foundation again and remind us why we're together. Hopefully this will inspire him to do the same.
I'm also going to encourage him to read this blog to see what kind of dialogue it opens up. I'd like to see a post on here from S. Wouldn't you?
S and I have a long road ahead of us. But we're together because we believe the journey is worth the struggles. I'm 27 years old with a lot of life ahead of me and I want my future to include S. Sober. I want to buy a house with him and maybe raise a family with him. I want him to be my rock in life, the person I can count on to be my partner, my support, my shoulder to cry on. He's the other half of my spoon.
The therapist tonight said "Sometimes you gotta fight for it". Sometimes we have to just say what's on our minds, not hold it in, not wait for a better time, just say it. And if that means a fight, well so be it. A fight at least is not pushing issues aside. No more pretending things are okay when they're not. No more elephants! Please!

That's all for now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A good weekend

Hey, you know what? Life goes on. And my man is at his forth (count 'em!) AA meeting in as many days.

Happy dance, happy happy happy dance!

Here's the conclusion I came to this weekend. I think that I can handle the episodes of drinking, if we're communicating in between and he's making an effort to get help(specifically by going to AA).
And while he may not like that the subject of conversation is his drinking, I think he's going to have to get over that. He's also going to have to realize that as long as we're together, we're dealing with this disease together.
I wish I prayed (I know I've said that before), because if I did I would pray that he continues to go to a meeting every night. I would pray that someone would reach out to him at a meeting and pull him into a community that will support and understand him. I would pray that the meds help to lift his spirits and make him feel worthwhile. Mostly, I would pray for us to find comfort and security with each other. Boy, with that kind of list, I think I better learn how to pray and who to pray to.

And now, a short, first time attempt at a gratitude list:
I am grateful for

1. The juiciest, freshest, most amazing peaches from the farm up the road (nectar of the gods, truly)
2. A fun day exploring and shopping in this amazing town I live in
3. Having my own little postage stamp to garden in
4. My beautiful home and funny cat
5. The 190th anniversary of the Topsfield Fair (can't wait!)

And so, as the little boy across the street likes to shout out the window; "GOOD NIGHT WORLD!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Surviving, though not quite thriving

It's finally Friday after a hellacious week so I just wanted to post quickly on a couple things. First to thank everyone for the support and encouragement. When I started blogging, I never expected to "meet" so many interesting people and hear such interesting stories. And I certainly never expected that perfect strangers would be offering comfort, sympathy and empathy. But in a way, it's almost easier than hearing all this from my friends and family. You out there aren't biased in anyway, you're just responding to my words and my words are what's in my heart and on my mind. It's pretty damn liberating and supportive.
So thanks peeps!

Second thing I wanted to say is that I went to acupuncture again Thursday and my mood turned dramatically for the better afterwards. I felt relaxed, less anxious, less worries. It's amazing and I truly think everyone could benefit from this practice. It gets your life force moving! Literally! How cool is that?!?

Lastly, I wish I could say that S and I have really turned a corner and I sense a change in the air. But sadly, I don't think that's the case. I need to some serious thinking and writing this weekend, so I hope you're all ready for the ride.

Much love and enjoy these pictures. The house is across the street from one of the properties we work on and the snake was on another jobsite.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Turns out, I really AM crazy

I really feel that we need to clear the air. So I made an appointment to go back to the couples counselor next week.
S hasn't had a drink since Friday (I think, could be a day longer than that, I try not to keep track--is that bad?).
We're still not communicating with each other at all, really.

Good morning.
Have a good day.
I love you.
How was your day?
What do you want for dinner?
Look at this cute cat!
Well, I'm going to get in bed and read.

He's taking an antidepressant now. This was the recommendation of the pill doctor a week or so ago. It's too soon to tell if that's having any effect.
S tells me that the pill doctor may think that he's not an alcoholic.

I'm sorry, my thought process seems to have stalled after that last statement.

S not an alcoholic? Perhaps just self-medicating his depression with alcohol? Forgive me if I seem confused. Hoes does that explain the half-empty bottle of vodka hidden among the plants in the garden this weekend?
Maybe he's not an alcoholic. Maybe he just can't get out of the habit of self-medicating. Is that not the same thing?
So should I go back to calling it "the drinking problem" instead of alcoholism? Should I give a fuck anymore when I honestly can't tell if he does? And didn't I go through enough hellish months and years of wondering if I was the one with the problem because I couldn't stand to be around my man when he was drinking? Couldn't stand the way he stumbled and slurred and passed out and then repeated it the next night. Thanks Pill Doctor, for throwing that doubt back in my lap again.

I want to be patient and loving and supportive, I really do. It sounds insincere, but I swear to you it's not. I want more than anything to be the support he needs. But maybe he doesn't need my support. And maybe my support doesn't matter to his "drinking problem" one way or the other.

I also want to scream and rage and throw a wicked fit. When do I get my turn for tenderness and loving concern? When does the tv go off and we start taking walks, talking, and enjoying each others company?

You know the really sick thing? I almost want S to come home drunk so he'll go right to bed and I don't have to sit here in front of the tv not talking. If he comes home drunk then I can continue to wallow in my own self-righteous misery.
But of course, i don't really want him to come home drunk. I want to see his face, smiling . I want him to be in a good mood, maybe happy to see me. I want him to grab me for a big bear hug and a long kiss and the words "Please stick with me Molly".

But it's 7:45 and I'm straining to distinguish the sound of every passing vehicle.
Pray for good news for me this night. I'm running out of hope.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just rambling...

I had a visit from my Mom this weekend. We talked and cooked and gardened and I managed to keep the cigarettes to a minimum for her. We spent a lot of time talking about my older sister, who is so different and so difficult. Of anyone in the family, she would really benefit from therapy. I think she has a lot of body issues and self esteem issues and these make her extremely defensive to the point where normal conversation is nearly impossible on any topic. We've never been close, didn't grow up together and now live on opposites coasts of this country. I think a tight sisterly bond is pretty much impossible.
I also had a good conversation with mom about S, which I haven't done in a long time. I told her about the HBO Addiction series and how it's helped me to better understand his addiction and why "he can't just stop". She was receptive, but I think a little skeptical. Though she didn't say so to me. I think she truly likes S (he's a very easy man to like) and really just wants us to be happy together. Plus, I think she's hankering for more grandkids. I get that from my dad too. But kids? Wow. I don't feel right about bringing a child into our relationship yet. I just hope that some sense of stability comes before I'm too old for wee ones. Thankfully, I have some years. I was just glad to have been able to talk with her about addiction. If S is going to be in my life for years to come, I want my family to be able to understand and support him and me. I don't want this disease to be an elephant in the room at every family occasion.

I guess that's all that's on my mind for now. It's a chilly, drizzly fall day out. I think I'll catch up on blogs, read a book and squeeze in a little work, saving plenty of time for an afternoon nap.
Much love to you all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Taking Care of Myself

Intellectually, I know that I need to "take care of myself". But what does this really mean? I did see an acupuncturist today and think I'm sold on that style of medicine for the rest of my days on earth. That was a step towards taking care of myself. I wonder in what other ways I should or could take care of myself.
I eat too many sweets, smoke too much herb and too many cigarettes, and the acupuncturist said I need to give up coffee. (Cruel and unusual punishment, I say)
On the other hand, I'm trying to make friends and do stuff in the community (going to the library, volunteering on weekends, evening class next month...). This sounds reasonably healthy and well-adjusted, no? Physically I could be in a lot worse shape, I think.
In what ways do I, and should I, take care of myself emotionally? This blog definitely is beneficial, getting the words out instead of letting them rattle around the brain cells. I do need to build a better support system, maybe try some AlAnon meetings again.
But the problem to me is that "taking care of myself" emotionally means working with S to put our relationship on a good path. That's a huge part of a healthy, happy, well adjusted Molly. So then how do I "take care of myself" if I can't take care of that part?

I mean, to me, the action of "taking care of myself" would include things like figuring out how to buy a house, how to support myself and be a productive part of my community and world.
As an individual I'm doing okay, it's the rest of my family I'm worried about.

Oh but I don't really know. I'm making it all up. I'm just searching for a way to make sense of this crazy crazy world we live in.

And in case you were wondering about last night, my poor sweet man was overtaken again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He's late

An hour late is all it takes for me to start wondering if he's drinking again. Grocery store then home, just to pick up two things for shouldn't take him this long. But I don't want to call. Not yet.
Each car that drives by, I listen to hear his truck. But nothing yet. And the seconds tick by.
Now I'm limping from room to room (my back pain is brutal), not wanting or able to clean or cook. Is this engine his? It slows, turns and parks...but not his truck.
Cross your fingers for me. This could be a long night.

Seriously. What would you do?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something else for a change

A list of things I love about fall (in no particular order).

Wearing a big cozy hoodie on cool nights

Apple picking in Vermont

Endless amounts of fall foliage and colors

County fairs for the fried dough and farm animals, but not so much the carnies

The smell of leaves

and gourds and squash

Comfort foods like mashed potatoes, slow cooked stews, and zucchini bread

Cicadas and crickets

Cooler nights mean more snuggling necessary (man and beast)

Tomatoes and carrots and zucchini

Fewer summer tourists in town

Football Sundays (the perfect excuse for long afternoon naps)

Halloween is coming!

What'd I miss?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mental Storage Space

I like this blogging business. It makes me think about what's going on in my life. Why is it that the act of writing can help to clarify and focus thoughts? This blog prevents me from slipping into the cozy place in my mind where problems don't exist and I can ignore the elephant in the room.
Such a massive elephant too, it's kind of amazing we can still ignore something that size. I guess it's easier than trying to figure out how to squeeze it's big ass out the door.

S is at a group tonight and mentioned that he might hit an AA meting after that. There's one that he likes nearby, but this Monday night routine has also created opportunity in the past for S to drink, so I worry that it could be a trigger as well. We'll see. We had a good weekend though, so maybe that will carry him through a little longer. His appointment is Thursday with the pill doctor (can I just say that instead of phramo-psychologist? It takes too long to type and I don't know how to spell it.) I'm still trying not to get my hopes up too high for the meds, but it's hard not to imagine the possibilities. I can't even think of the possibility that she wouldn't prescribe anything.
Unfortunately, I think next week we should go back to the couples counselor. It's been a number of weeks, and we usually have a pretty constructive, if slightly torturous, hour. I guess that's what good therapy does though; it makes you look at and think about what's going on inside the ol' noggin. And couples therapy forces us to talk to each other about those pesky noggin thoughts. I'm not convinced we're getting it all out on our own right now. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure that both of us are holding back some feelings (no point in downplaying an obvious fact).

On another note, and a super exciting one at that, I've got my very first ever appointment to see an acupuncturist for my back. I'm really excited and I hope she can work some serious magic. Otherwise, I might be thinking about a career change.

Not a very exciting post, I'm afraid, but thanks for letting me get it out there.

Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Thank you all for your many thoughts and well wishes. I got a little teary eyed yesterday from all the support! Is this what Al-Anon is like, but with "live" people? I've only ever gone to a few Al-Anon meetings and that was when S and I first got married and I started to face the issue. I hate to say it, and please don't be offended, but I found the meetings to be incredibly depressing. They were small groups, in dark rooms and the people were always crying. No wonder I ran screaming from my marriage! I should try again, I suppose. What do you folks like about your meetings, if you go? What other support systems are there? After the past week of feeling so alone in the big bad world, I need to have something to in place to help me when things get to that point again. I don't have a lot of friends. My dearest friend is in Bangladesh. My family is really loving, but...well, I don't think they're equipped to support me in times like these. I've only been blogging about this for a few weeks, but I've found it to be very helpful. If nothing else, I will continue to write.
S and I did try to talk last night, haltingly, carefully. But it was still the beginnings of conversation.
In the darkest times it's so hard to see through to a more positive place. I should try to remember that that is probably how S feels most of the time. Next week is his meeting with the psychologist and I hope that the medications will help. I hope, I hope, I hope. I hope for miracle pills that will turn my man back into the laughing, smiling, happy man he once was. I hope she says the right things to him to get him to AA and to make these steps out of addiction a little easier. Last night he told me that he feels like he has concrete boots on. His suffering breaks my heart.
But I do feel better today. I slept long and well last night. And somehow my back is not troubling me like it was all week. So there is some of the relief I was looking for. Again, I thank you all for your support and kind words.
~ M

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What the Fuck

So tired tonight. Long, hard day at work today, in some pretty good heat. My back is really bothering me too. Haven't been sleeping well. Feel drained and very sad and so lonely. What am I going to do? I want so badly for things to be so good that I think maybe I imagine the good times to be even better than they are. Or maybe I'm just able to appreciate the good times because the bad times are so bad.
Or maybe I'm just sick to death of wondering and guessing and imagining what's going and I just want to hear it from him. I need him to talk to me. If there's any way to make it work, he's going to have to talk to me. I don't care if he doesn't want to communicate, he has no choice if he wants me in his life. I just hope that "if" isn't too big.
Ugh. Too tired and blue to blog tonight.
Depressed and complaining -- that will have readers flocking. Away.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An off night...

He's drinking tonight. All day long I knew this was coming. I knew it when I went to bed last night. I didn't even stop at home after work. Instead, I went straight to the marina and pulled in right behind him. We talked, or tried to. I hate talking to him when he's been drinking. It's so hard to control my temper and tell him that I love him and to be safe when I want to scream and rant and become unnaturally violent. These are the difficult times. Tomorrow he'll be remorseful and depressed. Tomorrow night or the next he'll come around and probably apologize. He'll probably tell me he appreciates what I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to belittle his words (or future words). I know he's sincere. He's sincere every time and it will last a few days, maybe a week or more before it happens again.
But tonight he resents me for bringing up the "drinking problem" every night I've been home (all of two days). He resents me for having this blog, or needing this blog. He resents that it's not his own personal problem but our problem.
And I just want....relief, I think. And maybe a little human interaction. This blogging community I'm discovering is amazing, but you'll have to forgive me for still wanting to look into another person's eyes, for needing hugs, for wanting some love and affection.
From moment to moment I'm committed, then ready to walk; heartbroken, then full of love; scared then hopeful. Will it always be like this? I'm afraid I know the answer already.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I recently found a book at the library called Addiction. It's a supplement to a small series HBO produced in 2007. S and I watched the first two dvd's last night and I have to recommend it very highly. Please check it out. It includes interviews with the top doctors and researchers in addiction and it clearly explains how addiction is a disease of the brain and how relapse is part of the disease. In their words:
"Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease. Brain imaging shows that addiction severely alters brain areas critical to decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control, which may help to explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addiction."
This is the theory and thinking in which I place my hope.
I don't believe that an addict has to reach "rock bottom" before they can get help. I desperately hope that this is a disease that we're just beginning to understand and that someday soon we'll have the tools to treat it. I want to believe that soon the stigma will begin to dissolve and we'll no longer see addicts as weak, as morally degenerate or as criminals. Maybe our loved ones will be treated no differently than someone with heart disease or hypertension.
If I prayed, that would be my prayer. I wish I prayed. I wish I believed in some greater, mystical force that could hear my hopes and grant my request (it's not like I'm praying to win the lottery, after all). Mostly, I believe that power is within each and everyone of us. The power of the individual to be the change they wish to see in the world. But I'm afraid that while I rent the movies and read the books and try and try and try in every way I can think and analyze the best ways to talk about it and the best ways to make him happy, I also somehow know that in the end, it's all up to him. And in S I've placed a lot of hopes and dreams for the future. And I don't have control over him or his actions. There is a lot of fear in acknowledging that. That exact fear and lack of control over my future is why I wanted the divorce. So why am I back with him? I never stopped loving him. I still love him and I still hope and dream about our future. But while I do that, life keeps rolling along. So I try to remember that too, and to appreciate what I have each and every day. And I have so much that I'm grateful for--my sweet house and amazing town and friendly neighbors. I've actually made friends with another woman my age who lives two houses up from me. I can't tell you how huge this is for me. It's beyond amazing and I'm so grateful for it. I've never had a lot of close friends and have a hard time opening up to strangers.
I'm grateful for my job which may not ever make me wealthy, but has me outside every day, working with some terrific and quirky people on some stunning gardens. It's still the honeymoon phase of this new job, but for right now, I love it!
It just feels good to be able to appreciate what I have, what we have. I want so much for S to be able to see the world as I see it. Is that ridiculous? I want him to appreciate all the amazing things in his life and ours.

Goddammit, I want him to turn off the TV and talk to me.
Big dreams. Big world. Little me.