Home Base, Life's Zilly Things

The Magazine Rack

Over the last decade or so, we’ve heard all the things the smartphone has replaced.

  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Rolodex
  • Pager
  • Mp3 player
  • Boom box
  • Computer
  • Typewriter

But what you never hear about is the bathroom magazine holder. For as long as I’ve “played house” which is about 38 years now; I’ve had a basket 🧺 of ‘reading material’ by each toilet.

I can almost say with complete certainty that in the last 10 years, not one book or magazine has been pulled out and looked at except by me to clean the greasy dust of them.

So why do we hold onto completely useless things? Because of tradition? Or habit. I heard an organizer on the l radio say that you don’t need a pile of washcloths in your bathroom by the shower if you never use one.

That was HUGE for me!

I tend to keep things- just in case someone needs them.

Although I rarely have house guests, there’s always that ‘chance’.

As I looked around at what my attempt of ‘just in case’ was costing me, I noticed the endless half (or less) empty shampoo bottles that I keep because I don’t want to “waste the money”, yet I’ve outgrown the desire to use that brand.

How much is your time/space/clarity/simplification/order/dust-free items/TIME? Worth?

Amazon has it all figured out in this article. But im more interested in what psychological effect the clutter of these items has on a day-to-day basis. Every single thing in our houses has to be

*Looked at*

*Cleaned*

*Moved*

*Stored*

And before all these things- the mental energy has to be conjured up to do each one. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but we really do only have so much mental energy and time. If there is one stressful thing sucking up that time and energy, it pulls it in even tighter.

I guess you could call it Fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. Practical Perfection has a great fall cleaning checklist.

THE ULTIMATE FALL CLEANING CHECKLIST 

So today is purge day. I got rid of my toilet 🧺 basket! Now I’m working on unused washcloths.

Uncategorized

Not My Child

Overdose Awareness Day

For all those who see all the purple banners today representing overdose awareness day and you scroll on by thinking:

“I’m glad that doesn’t affect me, I’m glad I taught my kids better” or “Someone should have got them help”.

I applaud you. I do.

I am sooo glad that you have never had to watch your beautiful child turn into someone you didn’t know,
I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to get a call from the inmate phone system asking if you’ll accept the charges as you swallow the lump in your throat.

I’m soooo glad you’ve never had the experience of watching your 28-year-old, Once 220 lb- now 160 lb son, thrash around in the back seat, sweating, then freezing, begging his own mother to please take him to get drugs to stop this sickness, as you’re trying to take him to detox.

I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to see a dad in a restaurant with his kids & have your heart ache so deeply that your son isn’t with his kids.

I’m so glad you don’t have to sit down at a delicious meal & feel a twinge of guilt knowing your child hasn’t eaten for days & wondering where he is at.

I’m so glad you’ve never had to see your precious grandkids celebrate a birthday & not knowing the words to tell them that their dad has a chronic, progressive, fatal illness that teaches him lies & makes him do crazy things but he’s NOT crazy & this IS NOT happening because they are unworthy of love or did something wrong.

I’m glad that you would never tell a dying lung cancer patient that they shouldn’t have started smoking. I’m glad you would never tell a diabetic patient that they only get ONE chance to get their blood sugars under control, and then they’re on their own.

Or they should just get over this pesky illness that’s inconveniencing everyone.

I truly am.

Because I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone. I would never want anyone else to lay awake at night, unable to stop the tears, wondering what they could have done differently.

I wouldn’t want anyone else to wonder if today is the day that THEY get the call.

I’m very glad that you taught your kids to make better choices, & that you’ve never broken the speed limit or took a drink or had something so traumatic in your life that you just needed to get through the pain for a minute- And if you did, luckily you were able to stop or walk away without any devastating effects.

Great genes, or coping skills! I wonder if you could help teach those to others? Obedience to life and all the rules, like you have done your whole life, must feel great. I’m sure you love your wonderful life.

What say you? Oh, your life isn’t perfect? I must have missed that part when you were shaking your head in disgust, or when you were rapidly typing with your two thumbs on the Narcan post that your tax dollars shouldn’t have to pay for others’ dumb choices.

In that case, we should start looking at ALL the programs funded by taxpayer money AND also the local hospital programs for heart disease and diabetes, HIV, many of which are the result of personal choices and they DO affect others in their own way.

I’m sure you’re normally a compassionate person. I used to be you. I was compassionate AND caring! I donated to the local children hospital fund. I ran in the race-for-cancer cure fun run. I donated coats for the homeless drive every winter when my kids were little. I left cans on my front door for the boy scout food drive.

But when driving by the guy on the corner, avoiding eye contact with him; I just KNEW that he was only supporting his habit and I had all I could do to not say out loud, “Just GET A JOB!

I understand, I do.

Never, ever, did it cross my mind that I would be walking into a police station to pick up leftover evidence that they had from a drug bust. Never, ever did I think I would be watching a nurse drain a cyst off my sons arm and watching him scream in pain. Never, ever did I worry every single day that my sons life would end, except maybe when he was a baby and had a high fever and was vomiting all night.

See, I’m not really that much different than you. The difference is, I’ve had the humbleness bug forced upon me for a few years now. I don’t hold it against you that you have missed that bug.

We need to create practical affordable solutions for all- while eliminating the waste & fraud in treatment.

Shame and embarrassment are keeping people from seeking treatment.

Even if that means opening our mind up to alternative treatments such as Harm reduction.

The death rate is frightening and it IS AN EPIdemic as it affects the core of the family structure, jobs, crime, the jail system, and little kids who grow up with the stigma of a parent in jail or who has died.

Addiction affects every aspect of society whether directly or indirectly. If you don’t have anything to offer to help stop this nightmare, then please please offer your compassion and time. Even if you don’t understand how it gets to this point, you can still give
HOPE to a suffering addict or a kind word to the family of a person with a substance use disorder.

Or what about not arguing about insulin needing to be free. Maintenance meds are not usually free to anyone, but AED paddles and Narcan to revive-not treat, are free to EMTS.

Other people in pain are NOT the enemy.

See, I don't want one more parent to have to bury a child due to drugs or alcohol, but the only way that's going to happen is if we ALL take on a little part of this ongoing and progressive epidemic to get rid of judgements and stigmas so we can forge practical, affordable solutions for all. 
This IS everyone's problem...

It’s ok to NOT understand the complexities of this disease and to not have a solution!

You can still give that person holding a sign on the corner, a $5 McDonald’s card to let him know that yes, someone does give a damn today- no matter what their motives.

Without hope, everyone suffers.
🤗🍀🙏💔💕💜☂️
Uncategorized

The Powerless of Cravings

“If you will understand that we are starving, then you will understand why we do the things we do in our addiction. We’re not bad people. We’re just people. Just like you. But unlike you, we’re starving. This is why we hock, sell, trade everything we have. This is why we do the things that hurt the people we love. Our loved ones will say that we love our drugs more than we do them, but that’s not true. Even if you’re starving, you still love.” Dr Sam Snodgrass

This article is one of the best I’ve seen explaining opiod addiction to the average person from the point of view of the person suffering. The author is a doctor who suffered himself for 22 years.

It explains why people lose so much weight (along with everything else) as they become more and more addicted to not only the substance, but the daily rat race lifestyle that requires so much time and energy, “just to stay well” as my son always says.

When I hear moms arguing about whether to buy food for an addicted loved one, there’s always the comment: “if they can buy dope they can buy food”.

The problem is, they don’t.

To me, it’s like expecting a severe Alzheimers patient to eat on time every day without forgetting to turn off the stove.

Filters to protect privacy

The first time my son was “out there” for 9 months, he lost 80 lbs. The second time he lost 60 in 5 months. When I received this second picture of him last year, I literally broke down in horror with shaking sobs. When I sent it to my daughter, she was so upset, she had to leave work. She said:

“I didn’t have any idea it could get this bad in just 5 months”

"Our starvation for these opioids is far more intense than our starvation for food. If it’s a choice between buying food or buying heroin, then that’s not a choice"

He explains how it relates to us eating as a means to survival.

“Let’s say that the only place you can get food is out of a black market where food is expensive and it is scarce. And it is illegal. It is illegal to buy out of this black market. But it’s the only place you can find food. If you were in this situation, what would you do? Would you starve? Or would you break the law and buy food, to eat and to live? Would you steal if you had to, to buy food? The answer to that would be yes. Because survival is not a choice”.

Honestly, because of articles like this, my anger towards my son for all the damage he’s caused has melted in complete compassion for his daily, minute-to- minute struggle. I wish I could say the same for my family. Addicts get a bad rap because they don’t magically heal all these brain changes when they go to jail or go to a 30 day rehab; big truth is, it takes almost as long to heal as the time in hard core active addiction.

“We’re not narcissistic hedonists. When we hurt the ones we love, we hurt too. And what is sad is that we don’t understand why we can’t stop. We don’t understand why we do the things we do. We don’t understand why we hurt the ones we love. We don’t understand because no one has explained to us that the changes within the brain at a cellular, molecular, level, what we call opioid addiction, is an acquired disease of brain structure and, thus, function that is manifested not as compulsive drug seeking and use but, rather, as behavior directed towards the survival of the individual”.

I invite you to click here to read the full article.

It also directs people to resources if they are interested in finding out more.
Dr. Sam Snodgrass received a Doctorate in Biopsychology from the University of Georgia in 1987. He was then awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. After his Post-Doc, he was asked to remain as a faculty member in this department. In 1995 he lost his faculty position due to his opioid addiction. His use of heroin and Dilaudid began in 1976. For the first 13 years, his use was occasional. In 1989 he developed an opioid addiction and did not stop for the next 22 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the 501 c3 non-profit Broken No More and its subsidiary organization, GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing).

Home Base, Life's Zilly Things

Opinions Are Like…..Pools….

There’s one in every backyard and they’re full of…….leaves..

Life Lessons from the Pool

I had the entire pool to myself tonight doing laps, enjoying my solo aqua time- as usual, when a tall thin Chinese Olympic swimmer came in with her colorful braided hand woven chindi tote bag. As she stylishly pulled her swimming cap over her shiny dark pixie-cut hair; she placed her “eyewear” onto her delicate eyes to protect them from the savage chlorine and chemicals. I knew for sure that she was an Olympic swimmer, which is why I can confidently state- after the fact. – because she grunted every time she bobbed her head up between perfectly timed strokes.

So I did what any insecure middle age overweight person would do and stopped my pathetic slow motion strokes I had been doing (more like flabby arm belly flops) and took my pink floaty & went in the deep end and did scissors! Yes! My legs were my best quality so I’ll show her how precise my leg splits are 🏊🏅🏋. I was enjoying my dives down under until I got mixed up between the air and water locations and took a breath of water when I shouldn’t have.

As I tried to silently cough and sputter my way back to life; choking out water, chlorine and who knows what other chemicals, along with enough DNA to match 10 evidence tests; Miss Precise walked elegantly and choke-lessly into the hot tub & did a water aerobic tai chi ensemble.

Tired of my own ego- antics, I laid on my back and watched my belly float in the water as I contemplated the meaning of life.

Who was I? 
What was my purpose? 

Just the day before I had been told I’m a doormat by a co-worker. I was also told-THE VERY SAME DAY that I’m an amazing woman and an inspiration. So which do you think I focused on? Who do I Believe? Which words did I ruminate on as I lie in bed trying to sleep?

I don’t deny or discount any one persons opinion of me. They have a right to their perspective based on what they know OF me.
But I also don’t feel the need to explain my story and my struggles to someone in order to change their opinion of me.

Yet, here I am today feeling the same depreciating thoughts of not being enough as I explored in this post.

I have to remember that not everyone gets me or cares to, nor do they have the time for my shenanigans and that’s ok.
I can relish in the beautiful souls that compliment mine.

And, as Max Lucato says:

Proverbs 16:5 says, “The Lord despises pride.” So, get over yourself!

An elementary boy came home from tryouts for the school play. “Mommy, mommy” he announced, “I got a part. I’ve been chosen to sit in the audience and clap and cheer.” When you have a chance to clap and cheer, do you take it? If you do, your head is starting to fit your hat size.

Demanding respect is like chasing a butterfly. Chase it, and you’ll never catch it. Sit still, and it may light on your shoulder. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:2, “Don’t praise yourself. Let someone else do it.” Does your self-esteem need attention? You need only pause at the base of the cross and be reminded of this: The maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you. And that’s a fact!

From Traveling Light- Max Lucado

It’s ok to not be the star, or the Olympic swimmer. It’s ok to be Ordinary.


Life’s a balance..

Kinda like trying to float on a pink floaty and not face flop into the water 💦

Uncategorized

Dr Gabor Mate

 "All Addictions are attempts to regulate internal emotional state"            

Rob Waters January 10, 2019

Dr. Gabor Maté, a well-known addiction specialist and author, spent 12 years working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood with a large concentration of hardcore drug users. The agency where he worked operates residential hotels for people with addictions, a detox center and a pioneering injection facility, where drug users are permitted to shoot up and can get clean needles, medical care and counseling.

Born to a Jewish family in Budapest at the time of the Nazi occupation, he and his parents migrated to Canada, where he earned his medical degree at the University of British Columbia. Maté, whose personal experience informs his work, is known for tracing substance abuse problems to trauma that often starts in childhood and spans generations.

His work has been acclaimed, but a Psychology Today columnist suggested that his theories are reductionist and unsupported by data — a contention Maté disputes.

Amid the severe opioid epidemic in the U.S., Maté recently visited Sacramento, where he conducted workshops with addiction specialists and families affected by addiction. California Healthline contributor Rob Waters caught up with him there. The following interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

Q: A big part of your book “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” is about how you came to see that childhood trauma and pain lie at the root of addiction. Tell me about your insights.

Downtown Eastside is North America’s most concentrated area of drug use. In 12 years, I worked with hundreds of female patients, and every one had been sexually abused as a child. Men were physically, sexually and emotionally abused, suffered neglect, were in foster care.

Thirty percent of people there are native Indians, what we call First Nations people. For generations, the government abducted their children and sent them to residential schools. Parents were barred from seeing kids. Kids were physically and sexually abused by teachers and priests. Tens of thousands died. Because of multigenerational trauma, native communities have high rates of sexual abuse, violence, addiction and suicide. It’s the most addicted population in Canada.

All addictions — alcohol or drugs, sex addiction or internet addiction, gambling or shopping — are attempts to regulate our internal emotional states because we’re not comfortable, and the discomfort originates in childhood. For me, there’s no distinction except in degree between one addiction and another: same brain circuits, same emotional dynamics, same pain and same behaviors of furtiveness, denial and lying.

Q: You were born into a Jewish family in Budapest during the Holocaust. How did that affect your life?

I was born in 1944, and two months later the Germans came in. Hungary then had the only population of Jews in Eastern Europe that hadn’t been annihilated. Now it was our turn. My mother had a stressed pregnancy. My father’s away in forced labor; she doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive. When I’m 5 months of age, my maternal grandparents are sent to Auschwitz and gassed to death. My mother is 24, terrified and depressed. In October, they start killing Jews in Budapest, taking them to the Danube and shooting them.

When I’m 11 months, she gives me to a total stranger. She said: “Please take this baby out of here because I can’t keep him alive.” I didn’t see her for six weeks. In a child’s mind, that’s abandonment. I got the template for addiction: a lot of emotional pain, which I suppressed.

Q: You write about your own addictions being a workaholic and binge shopper of classical music, once spending $8,000 in a week on CDs.

I was not addicted to substances but I might as well have been. I couldn’t stop myself. I lied to my wife. I lied to my kids. It doesn’t matter which addiction you’re looking at; it’s the same dynamics.

Q: Last year in the U.S., an estimated 72,000 people died of drug overdoses, most from opioids. The U.S. penalizes drug use harshly and has the largest prison population in the world 2.3 million people, almost 1 percent of the adult population. Meanwhile, 90 percent of people with substance use disorders in the U.S. are not getting treatment. What’s your take on this approach?

The more pain you cause people, the more you shame and isolate them, the worse they’ll feel about themselves. The more suffering you impose, the more you strengthen their need to escape. If you wanted to design a system to maintain drug use and enhance the profits of the illegal drug trade, I would design the system you have.

Q: Let’s talk about the science. How does trauma in the early years of life affect brain development and predisposition to addiction?

Studies show that early stress affects both the nerve cells in the brain and the immune systems of mice and humans and makes them more susceptible to cocaine as adults. If you look at brain circuits implicated in impulse regulation or stress regulation or emotional self-regulation, all are impaired in addicts.

Q: Why do you think the opioid epidemic exploded in the way it has in recent years?

On top of the childhood trauma and the profound social and economic dislocation so many people experience, most physicians are completely uninformed about trauma and don’t understand how to address chronic pain or treat addiction. Hence they have a propensity to prescribe opiates all too quickly without looking at root causes or alternatives. Most people introduced to opiates in recent years started on medical prescriptions. When these are stopped, they turn to illicit substances. All this is greatly exacerbated by pharmaceutical companies’ well-documented drive to induce doctors to prescribe.

Q: Critics like psychologist and addiction specialist Stanton Peele say you’re proposing a reductionist vision in which abuse history and biochemical changes to the brain inevitably lead to substance abuse.

Peele totally misconstrues my argument. Nobody’s saying that every traumatized person becomes addicted. I’m saying that every addicted person was traumatized. There are other outcomes of trauma including cancer, autoimmune disease, mental illness — addiction is only one of them.

Q: You write with compassion about the people you worked with. But you also write about them as broken people who rarely seem to recover. What good are you doing?

If somebody had cancer and pain and you couldn’t cure the cancer, what would you do? Would you say, “I’m not going to help you any more”? Or would you try to ameliorate their suffering? The essence of harm reduction is you reduce the harm. You don’t impose abstinence. If they choose that at some point, I provide whatever support they need.

Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing.

Uncategorized

Gratefulness In the Midst of Worry

As I read this post from a fellow blogger, I couldn’t help but remember hearing that story/ analogy in church many years ago.

Back when I had a bunch of little sticky fingers, puppies, and lots of mud. What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days. At the time, I thought my life was difficult but compared to now, I would go back any day. My parents were alive and my kids were all home and safe.

The thought of addiction affecting my family was completely out of my head.

But tonight, after going down memory lane on my phone with pictures and videos, I felt the familiar sadness creeping up from my belly….

I hate feeling bad for what isn’t anymore. I hate not being able to enjoy almost 33 years of my kids memories just because the last 3 have been bad.

But as I read my fellow blogger’s story of Thanksgiving, I realized I was kicking God in the teeth. ( I wonder if (He) has tee….. Nevermind).

Why didn’t I stop & tell my kids how much hardship they would face? And how strong they are? Why do they look so sweet and innocent then? As if they would be ok, with just life’s normal struggles?

Because they WERE sweet & innocent. They never wanted life to be so difficult. They ARE strong. They have just forgotten. Like in a coma with amnesia. They’ve Forgotten who they are. Forgotten their strength. They’ve become identified with their struggle. Labeling themselves, as society has labeled them.

In my defense, i probably did tell them.

And I’m trying to now -in their worst moments-even as adults. As my fellow blogger put it:

Respond to your children with love in their worst moments, their broken moments, their angry moments, their selfish moments, their lonely moments, their frustrated moments, their inconvenient moments; because it is in their most unlovable human moments that they most need to feel loved.― L. R. Knost

For now, instead of dwelling in the past and feeling sad, I will rejoice and embrace the time I had with my little ones; knowing that I did the best I could with the precious gifts God gave me. I served him. I loved them. I will continue to love them despite their choices.

Instead of getting mad at God for not moving the mountains that I want moved; I will praise him for entrusting me with their care. Despite my moments of guilt and despair, I still believe that I was their choice for a Mother, for whatever reason.

Lauren Daigle says it best

Home Base, Life's Zilly Things

RBF

That’s right.

Those of you who know what this means probably have it yourself.

Maybe not.

These are questions to ask yourself if you want to know if you have it.

  • Have you ever been asked what’s wrong when nothing is wrong?
  • Have you ever been told you look soooooo tired?
  • Have you ever sat in the hairdressers chair and looked at that person in the mirror not even recognizing the face?
  • Have you ever turned on your phone camera and saw a giant, sad, scary face staring back?
  • How many times can you count the instances where someone asked what you were p’d off at?

Resting Bitch Face.

It’s a thing. Wikipedia even recognizes it saying it goes back to the King of France in 1654 who knew?

And WHO KNEW men, including Eminem could get it? Even Kings! Lol

When I wrote this article regarding how I like wearing masks due to covering up my emotions; I failed to mention the benefits of having my RBF hidden too.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been mistaken as grouchy. So the question comes up: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Hmm. Maybe the chicken came first.

Regardless, I spent my life as a peacemaker, always trying to get those around me to feel good or “differently”, which would eventually come back to haunt me.

I learned that it’s ok to feel anyway you want. Just like it’s ok to look anyway you want. If others have issues with it, I learned to slyly (and possibly passive aggressively), rebound the ball back to them.

When my co-worker asked me why I don’t talk more, I asked him how much talking would make him feel ok about me? He seemed taken aback.

So how much of a resting bitch face would I NOT NEED to make me popular?  Most people would say it’s all in the first impressions. If you can pull off coming across as friendly instead of standoffish, that’s a plus. 

So imagine my surprise when I found out there’s a cure. Vanessa Van Edwards gives the following suggestions in Her Article

  • When you are looking at someone, look up at them. This makes your eyes more open and less downcast.
  • Use makeup to reshape your downcast eyes.
  • Replace your neutral frown with a small smile. …
  • Own it.

I tried for alot of years to replace my downturned mouth for a fake plastic one, but I just couldn’t maintain it. So I guess I’ll just have to own it.

I have plenty of celebrities to keep me company, including my husband’s favorite Anna Kendrick. Lol

Besides, there are worse things……

Life's Zilly Things

BaNaNaS

Taken by me, this morning, in my kitchen

What an odd thing to write about, right? But every single time my bananas start to look like this, it takes me back 20 years.

I had this thing with bananas. They were touted as soooo nutritious, which led me to buy them a̲l̲l̲ t̲h̲e̲ t̲i̲m̲e̲. I mean ALL THE TIME.

Even though……

They always ended up looking like this….or worse

Banana past it’s time

I know, I don’t understand it. I think they were liked ok by my family.

I mean it’s not like anyone ever said, “I hate bananas.”

So I just kept buying them.

Vacations were the worst. I’d pack the car with treats, never forgetting bananas. I would see them every time we stopped and I would ask one of my kidlets..

“Do you want a banana?”

“No Mom”

“Why not?”

“Because i just don’t”

“Don’t you like them?”

“Yes, I do, I just don’t want one.”

And that conversation was repeated over and over for some 20 years.

And I’m still buying bananas…..

However, after posting this insanity quote, I realized the correlation to “bananas” & “crazy.”

As an advocate for mentally illness as it relates to drug use; I thought..I can’t be posting this…..

I decided to look it up.

Here’s what I found on the site The Real Dope- no less🙀

It’s crazy! I mean……it’s very interesting.

The story of bananas is a lot shorter and more mysterious than one would think.. Here the Oxford English dictionary can reliably get us back only to 1968, when a University of South Dakota publication called Current Slang reported that Kentucky college students (of “both sexes”) were using bananas to mean “excited and upset; ‘wild.’

In addition, (orange you glad I didn’t say addiction?) a 1935 glossary of criminals’ patois called The Underworld Speaks, “He’s bananas” is said to mean “He’s sexually perverted; a degenerate.” Here the connection to “crazy” is all too plausible, considering that at the time homosexuality was still widely understood to be a mental disorder.

Meanwhile, in what may have been an unrelated trend, by the 1850s or so another slang meaning for nut was “a person’s head” (no real stretch there), and “off one’s nut” meant “crazy.”

How the times change to upgrade on slang words to better fit sociatial standards. . There’s even a new dictionary on the block for slang words. The Urban Dictionary.

The old comedies were the best to depict slang words

But all joking aside, we were watching a preview of Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit” from 2007 and realized that movie would NEVER be allowed nowadays. As with many others like Archie Bunker.

The kids can say these slang words for 2020 such as periodt, boomer, slay, shook & yeet; but we can’t make fun of adults in a movie anymore, or someone will be offended.

I mean I get it. I don’t think he should have called Edith a dingbat. Or Rob Reiner “Meathead” but at the time, I laughed. My parents laughed. Did they know that was emotional abuse? Probably not. There was no internet to tell them. 😜🤪

Including me. For my cause, I hate the word “junkie” or “addict.” The correct term is person with a substance use disorder.

Same thing when mentally retarded became politically incorrect. The Federal registry, a journal of the federal government changed it to “Intellectual Disability.”

Anyway…. That’s my banana post for the day. 🍌.

Home Base, Uncategorized

Empty Chairs

This time of year is bound to drudge up painful feelings for those who have lost a child or have a prodigal son or daughter who is lost in addiction or otherwise estranged. The happy music, with families dancing around the warmly decorated fireplace, is almost too much for moms like me who are worried sick about their child or children.

We go through the motions of forced shopping, baking, decorating, even if it’s the bare minimum. We think no one will notice, as long we do our “due- duty”.

But they do.

My husband sees the pain on my face as I order gifts online, knowing that I can’t order anything for my oldest son.

He sees me plan our family Christmas party which is a 35 year tradition, knowing that ‘the boy’ won’t be there.

My other kids notice the endless memes I post about “sitting with someone in their darkness” and “help the homeless, it’s someone’s brother, son or Dad.”

They long for the days when I wasn’t so hyper- focused on the “least happiest child”.

Hell, I long for those days! The days before addiction hit our family. I watch with happy tears, a video from Christmas 2016. My son, in his brand new custom- built- by -him house with it’s cobalt blue Christmas lights shining brightly along the perfectly planned ranch beams. It was the picture of success. A successful business, a beautiful family, a warmly decorated house, with plenty of presents under the tree.

My son happily unwraps the gifts in the “saran wrap game” we were playing. He slams it down in true bigger- than-life style that was all his own. Everyone laughs! The sounds of his little girl gleefully giggling at her daddy breaks my heart.

How long has it been since she saw him? 10 months now. How she must lie in bed and wonder what she did wrong.

I hate hate hate this disease.

And no, I will not argue about the cause of this nightmare. Disease or choice.

To me it’s doesn’t matter. Pain is pain. Even if I didn’t have a loved one experiencing the horrible consequences, I’m not going to play judge or jury on someone’s life.

No one would choose the consequences of Addiction. They wanted the benefits of a drink or a pain killer. They didn’t want the excruciating torment that follows.

So here we are. The holidays again. How to be in the spirit? ⛄🎄⛄🎄

My nurse practitioner friend, whom I did confide in, said I needed some stabilization meds, but how can I take the very thing that started this nightmare? 💊.

Yes I know.

Even my professional sense says that it’s different. I won’t abuse them. I’m not going to get addicted to antidepressants.

But I resist. You see, I have this underlying Hope.  This theory that every day he’s alive means that EVERY DAY could be the day he chooses recovery and ‘ I ‘ will be all better.

With the law bearing down on him, you would think.  But his wretched master is a cunning one. “H̷E̷” (the wretched master) tells the most outrageous lies EVERY damn day. And my smart, quippy, entrepreneur son believes them!!!

My son, believes that just one more day will make everything ok. One more day of👹 u̷s̷i̷n̷g̷👹, then he will be ready to stop. But that day never seems to come.

So meanwhile, I have to find a solution.

I’ve always peached gratefulness, but where was mine now? When my little baby granddaughter sends me a video singing

🥶”千尺ㄖ乙乇几” 🥶

in true 2 year old free-spirit form! 🎶👯🎶👯🎶; My heart melts. I Must find a way to ᴍᴀᴋᴇ sᴘɪʀɪᴛs ʙʀɪɢʜᴛ again.

I can’t let others drown in my misery.

Even if my going through the motions means I add a little song to those motions.

What if I add a beautiful handmade ( dollar-store) ornament to each of their gifts?

What if I actually bring the JOY that I so desperately want myself to my other equally deserving beautiful family members?

What a beautiful thing. To create pleasure out of such pain. I think they call that alchemy….

I call it JØɎ.

In gratefulness we find our true freedom 🇺🇲