Tag Archives: addiction

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR SOCIAL STATUS IF YOU DONT DRINK?

I saw this photo quote online and thought it would be a good topic to discuss.  I have heard people say things about how they feel like they “have to” drink to fit in.  My husband is a drummer so when he is playing in a band it brings us into the bars because that is where the local bands play, or if there is an event happening in town.  I got to thinking though that I have heard people of all ages talk about this and how they feel they have to drink to fit in.  To me I think that is just absurd and I feel that more people need to stand for what they believe in and not feel so pressured to do anything just to be accepted by people who are probably not true friends in the first place.

I take alcoholism very seriously because I live that life.  I am the wife of an alcoholic and the last thing I want is for my Daughter, Step-Children, or friends  to walk that same path.  When I hear my daughter tell me about her and her friends going out and drinking I have to admit that I sometimes kind of stop breathing for a moment because I have concerns about her ending up with a drinking problem.  I can hear her right now saying “Oh my God Mom, I don’t have a problem I don’t drink all the time, I rarely get drunk”!   And she is right, she doesn’t have a problem, I tend to over react at times, BUT because her Dad is a recovering alcoholic and she grew up in an alcoholic home and her biological Dad is an addict I can’t help but feel that overprotective Mom inside just praying that she doesn’t get caught up in any addiction.  My daughter is an independent young woman with a great job, and a good heart.  She is good to her family and friends.  She thinks before she makes choices and weighs what the consequences will be and that is simply by learning from past mistakes and lessons life has taught her.  I am a very proud Momma, she is an amazing beautiful person, a great role model for her nieces!

My husband and I have had people (men and women) ask us HOW we don’t drink in a bar. My husband tells them he is a recovering alcoholic and breaks out in hand cuffs when he drinks HAHAHA (a little dark humor there).  They will ask me why I don’t drink and my response is…… simply out of respect for my husband, and I don’t need to drink.  Some people are just amazed and just don’t understand how it is possible and believe we have such will power, (these are usually the people who have a drinking problem).  They say how envious they are because they wish they could do it.   Yet others judge us, and will give us these weird looks.  It is OK judge away, I know that they are miserable and addiction is in control of their lives so they can’t see past themselves and believe that somehow we are missing out on a “fun” life.  That would be where they are wrong, FUN didn’t start for us until recovery came into our lives.  Now it is all real and honest and we remember things we did and my husband doesn’t have to wake up in the morning wondering what he did the night before to hurt everyone and wake up with regret.

My concern though are the ones that do it to fit into a social standard.  The ones that do it even though they don’t like it and then they begin to crave it.  The ones that believe that if they drink or do drugs like their so called “friends” they will be liked.  The ones that do it for a guy or a girl.  I hear younger people being allowed to have a drink or two at a BBQ or a dinner event.  I do not agree with this.  I believe that this type of behavior that parents allow when they have teenagers just creates a pathway to some form of addiction and bad choices.  Maybe it is judgmental but I do not think it is OK to allow your underage kids to drink, they are not your friend they are your children, you are their parents and role models.  If you make bad choices like drinking and driving what do you think they will do?  Have a drink with your kids when they are grown adults and are of legal age.  I feel like we have enough troubled children in this world due to a lack of parenting with boundaries, structure and consequences. This of course is just my opinion I am not a doctor but I am a Mother, Stepmother, Wife, Daughter, Etc. so my feelings about this I will tell you I am biting my tongue right now to say more about it, but think before you act and do what is right long term for your children and family.

In our family there is a lot of addiction and it rips families apart.  It kills people, it causes terrible health issues, it destroys relationships, it is truly a devastating disease that you can actually do something about!  Get your ass to recovery, check into rehab don’t leave because it is tough because you know the saying “no pain no gain”.  It will be harder emotionally than anything but I can promise you this, your whole life will change in ways you never imagined were possible.  Nobody is blowing smoke up your ass it’s real, miracles do happen.  I mean it isn’t all unicorns and rainbow’s everyday but you will have those days too.  There isn’t just one way to recover but you must do it right.  Being dry isn’t the same as recovering!  Do the work and watch your life unfold before your eyes. Life isn’t going to give you everything you want, your marriage may be too damaged to save, you may have lost your job and everything you had, some of your relationships with family will be destroyed and you may never get that back, but you might, it may not be today or tomorrow but months and even years from now people do come back.  Have faith in yourself, when you are right and healthy you attract that back into your life.  If the best thing that happens is those people accept your amends and forgive you, then that in itself is progress. 

Sometimes we have to loose everything in order to appreciate just one thing!  Sometimes you have to start from the ground up all over again to live a life that is worth living.  Living drunk and strung out is not a life,  you are merely existing, it is not a way to live.  Stealing from families and innocent people, hurting others to get your next drink or your next high is not OK.  You may believe that the only person you are hurting is yourself but let me tell you that as the wife of an alcoholic and a mother to the children involved, you hurt your loved ones way more than you are hurting yourself and that is part of addiction, you can’t see past your own nose.  Trust me when I say to you no matter what age you are……..Be true to yourself, don’t drink or do drugs just to fit in because if that’s what you have to do to fit in then THOSE ARE NOT YOUR PEOPLE!  Your people are the ones that do not judge or criticize you but want to help you reach your God given potential to be all you can in this world.  We all have a gift, a divine purpose, find it, embrace it.  Get to know who you are without medicating and running from your issues nothing will stop that pain until you deal with it and allow yourself to heal.  Drugs and alcohol do not allow you to heal.  Recovery is work, hard work and it is something you have to choose to do every day for the rest of your life but it will be the most satisfying intense work you have ever done and the payment will be living an honest life that you can be proud of full of good honest people!!  Have a safe Memorial Day, make good choices!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity, Harmony

 

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE???

Someone recently asked me what advice I could give to others in the same situation or thinking of getting into this type of situation.  I can only speak as the wife of an alcoholic and I can only share from my own experiences.  I have come to find that there are commonalities in every person who has an addiction problem no matter what the substance is.   Which outside of alcohol and drugs can also be food, shopping, gambling, and so many other things.  I can’t tell someone whether they should stay or go.  We all think and feel differently.  I can share some things that I learned along the way…………as the photo quote above states “I still loved him through it all”.  Not everyone will make it out together!

Alcoholics can have all or some of these behaviors, manipulation, lie, play the victim, blame, twist words, be emotionally and or physically abusive, leave for days at a time, loose a lot of money, infidelity, SELFISHNESS like I have never seen, broken promises, secrets, steal, and there are so many more; but you get the point.  It is so hard to separate the “alcoholism” from the person.  Addiction is just pure evil!  People try to escape their pain by numbing it and pretending it doesn’t exist but it follows you wherever you go, and until you confront and resolve it in some way there isn’t a drink or drug in the world that will make it go away!  Alcoholism isn’t a choice, it is a sickness of the mind!  It isn’t an easy life loving an alcoholic.  I can tell you that no amount of begging, yelling, or crying will change the alcoholic.  Until they are ready to seek help for themselves and admit they have a problem there isn’t anyone or anything that can get them to stop drinking.  It is a very heartbreaking life to watch someone you love slowly kill themselves and destroy their innocent families.

So many nights you spend alone.  You become their caretaker, you are responsible for everything.  You are a two parent home yet only one of you actively participates in raising the children.  You keep secrets from other people about your life.  You make excuses for your alcoholic.  You lie for your alcoholic.  You live in shame due to their addictions.  Somehow with as often as they blame you for everything and even though you know it isn’t your fault, you start to believe that somehow it really is YOUR FAULT!  The whole family gets into this dysfunctional cycle and soon it’s like you are on a hamster wheel and the cycle repeats continuously with no way out and the entire family becomes so sick from one persons addiction.  I believe the spouses and families of alcoholics suffer so much worse than the alcoholic does, in different ways.  The spouses try to take the blunt of everything, they hide and protect the children and the rest of the family from their alcoholics behaviors.  The spouse allows the alcoholic to beat them up with their emotional abuse to save the children.  You try and make life “normal” for your family.  You become an enabler and you don’t even realize that is what you are doing, sometimes they even get the children to enable their behaviors too. The family becomes just as sick as they are!

You find yourself slipping away into what feels like a black lonely hole of HELL!  You feel your soul being crushed from the inside out.  You feel your heart breaking everyday because no matter what you try your alcoholic doesn’t see things the way you do, they don’t have the ability to see things the way they really are.  They see things through the eyes of the alcohol bottle, through a false sense of reality, to escape what is really happening due to their alcoholism.  Which is why when you try and paint them a picture of what it is like from your perspective they will blame you, they will tell you that you cause your own pain.  They will crush your sprit, they will emotionally cripple you and use that as an excuse to drink!  They will twist your words to suit them because an alcoholic will not take responsibility or accountability for anything bad, it will always be someone else’s fault…..and it is usually the one closest to them…….their spouse!

I know by now you are saying “why in the hell did she stay with such a monster”?  Because the truth is he isn’t a monster the “ISM” is.  The addiction takes over their body and mind, they become a shell of the person they used to be before the disease set in.  There is a person connected to the alcoholism, they are in a great deal of pain that they felt nothing in life could help cure until they got lost in the bottom of a bottle.  One drink felt good enough to make him relax so three could really help numb the pain and before you know it those few drinks turned into bottles of the harder stuff.  Sometimes they blackout and that is much better than dealing with what drove them to drink in the first place and the cycle quickly gets out of control because when they feel the pain they drink to stop it and before long they are drinking everyday throughout the day because their tolerance is building and one drink just isn’t enough anymore.  It is too painful to face reality so they become a victim to their own circumstance as does the family.  

 Know you can’t ever control an alcoholics behavior and until THEY hit their own personal bottom and THEY realize for themselves that THEY want to change and THEY want to live a different life and THEY choose to get into recovery nothing will change, it will get worse!  In your life together when they are actively drinking you will see them have moments of clarity and they will see themselves for a moment through your eyes and they will be apologetic for all the pain they caused you and the family and they will promise to stop and do better.  And they are better for a while, but it is always short lived because the hold the addiction has on them is far greater than their strength at this point.  Suddenly you have all the HOPE in the world.  You believe them and just know that THIS TIME it will be different, until it’s not.  I believe in those moments they are fighting the disease within themselves to get out of the prison they live in, in their own mind and that is how the alcoholism keeps them coming back.

One blog post just isn’t enough to share everything about this topic but I can tell you that it is not an easy life.  It has been my journey and I chose to stand by my husband through it all.  There were years of hell and serious heartache, a lot of damage.  Although he is now in recovery going on 5 years in October he has to stay on top of his recovery.  My husband will always be an alcoholic, but now he is a recovering one, but the disease is always within him waiting to come out and take over again.  As long as he stays present in his mind and uses the tools and the program to keep his life on the right track he will be OK, we will be OK.  We have rebuilt our marriage and we have to work on it everyday.  Life still goes on and bad shit happens all the time.   People we love die, you get behind on bills, loose jobs, family gets sick, the list can go on but I have learned that if you are not able to be grateful for what you have in your life at every moment then you are not eligible for anything more until you are!  Here is an example…….if you live in an older home and the area is less than ideal and your roof leaks but you don’t have the money to fix it just yet and all you can say is “I hate it here, I hate my house, I wish I had a nicer house” well you are missing a great life lesson my friends!  It’s called GRATITUDE!!

You see I learned a long time ago that you have to give more than you get.  You have to pay attention to your loved ones when they are hurting.  You have to find the positive in even the worst of situations (because I promise you it’s there).  If you are always being negative then that is what will come back to you.  We all do the best we can and other times we fall short of being the best version of ourselves.  If you choose to stand by your alcoholic just know it isn’t an easy journey and it’s a lifelong one at that, BUT sometimes even in the darkest moments if you close your eyes and listen with your heart and soul the answer will come to you.  Life isn’t always easy sometimes it straight up sucks, sometimes it is so painful you feel like you just can’t go on.  In those moments hang on tight don’t let go, don’t give up, there is always a better way, reach out for help!  There is always someone out there that needs you, that needs to hear your story, your voice.  Not everyone can and will be saved, lives are lost everyday to addiction, it is truly heartbreaking.  You may be the person who helps save another person, even a stranger.  You may never even know the affect you have on someone and how your presence in this world changed their life, but they will know.  You never know who is listening and why.

Know this…….no matter how long we are here on this earth we all have a divine purpose. I believe we all make a difference to someone.  Life is a gift, and for those that are struggling with addictions, my hope for you is that you find help.  That you change your life to become the best YOU that YOU were meant to be!   We can’t make someone with an addiction problem get help but we can be there when they reach out for help.  For those of you that chose to leave your alcoholic please know this……. you have nothing to feel guilty about.  You did nothing wrong, sometimes you have to save yourself because an alcoholic will take you down with them.  Please don’t take my words wrong.  I am not bashing alcoholics I am the wife of one, I am simply being honest about it, and my husband would tell you the same thing.  He supports everything I write because it is all true.  I am not going to paint a pretty picture when it can be an ugly one.  I am the friend that tells you that your outfit looks awful.  Sugar coating a lie doesn’t make it easier for someone because those lies eventually all come out at some point.  As hard as the truth may be to hear at times I would rather know than not know. 

Although recovery is a lifelong process for both the alcoholic, spouse, and family it is possible to rebuild.  It is possible to start fresh and heal.  I get to see and hear miracles everyday in meetings.  Not everything is rainbows and unicorns!  We are all human we struggle at times, an alcoholic can fall back into old behaviors without picking up a drink.  People sharing their stories and their everyday problems with others helps to create healing for all.  It helps us to stay in reality and not get caught up in all the bullshit life can throw at you.  Relapses can be part of an alcoholics story but they have recovered from it time and time again.  Not everyone gets it their first time around but wanting it to be different and to keep showing up to try is what makes all the difference in the world. Never loose HOPE and hold onto believing that one minute, one hour, one day clean, sober and most importantly in recovery is better than a lifetime using!!

Wishing you Peace and Serenity……….Harmony

What Happens To A Family After A Loved One Get’s Into Recovery?

c5ec80dba6ee0a5cfb223e18878dfd021 The photo quote to the left speaks volumes.  When an alcoholic/addict are using THEY come first and everything else comes after that.  We heard this topic for the first time in a meeting last weekend about “the family after”.  I thought what a great topic to write about.  I know it is what I talk a lot about but you don’t hear about it being a main topic in an AA meeting.  Hopefully the answer for you is a lot of healing for your families………and watching miracles happen in your own life.  So much happens once they get into recovery, and for us it wasn’t a great start.

Some people when they first get into recovery can become dry and that isn’t the best way to live a life of recovery.  Some people believe if they put down the substance of choice then that is sobriety, and while that is a good first step if that is all you do then you are dry and before long it will be worse than when you were using.  Stopping isn’t recovery.  Recovery is all about digging deep, getting to the root of the pain and confronting the demons you have been trying to run from and numb all these years. 

What happened to our family after recovery began was a lot more pain for the first 10 months and then the change began.  I have seen first hand the grave difference between being dry and true sobriety.  A lot of communication began, a lot of change in behaviors, a lot of healing.  My husband has been accused by people of “not being an alcoholic”.  Some people have even said that in my book I portrayed him as a monster!  My husbands response was…… “I have to be real honest with myself and others, I have to hold myself accountable for the pain and damage I caused to myself and my family”.   He said “I AM AN ALCOHOLIC, I WAS A DESTRUCTIVE MONSTER TO MY FAMILY AND DID UNSPEAKABLE THINGS THAT CAUSED ALL OF THEM, ESPECIALLY MY WIFE, DEEP PAIN”!  That is my husband taking responsibility for his alcoholism and owning it!

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I believe not only is it a lifetime of self discovery and recovery for the alcoholic but also for the loved ones affected by it.  Sometimes it takes years before the damage done by an alcoholic shows itself. Recently, our oldest Granddaughter shared with us that we haven’t been around very much for her.  I do blame my husbands alcoholism for that.  Not that we aren’t accountable for our actions because we are, we own that.  It broke my heart to know that while I was so busy trying to protect our kids at home from this evil addiction it was also leaking out and affected the next generation.  Until we were confronted with this pain we never realized that it had such a painful effect.  Now we have a better understanding and we know what we need to do to help heal and make it better.  We are blessed to have the opportunity to heal things with our kids and family that have been hurt by it.  So we can build a closer relationship with our Grand children too.

Everyone including myself is collateral damage by his alcoholism.  It is a terribly debilitating disease that takes lives every single day.  The only way to come out of it alive is by getting into recovery.  No matter how many years people haven’t spoken to you or tell you they want nothing to do with you because of the way you acted while you were drinking be patient, miracles happen everyday.  We have heard people in meetings talk about their children who wanted and had nothing to do with them for so many years (one guys son it took 18 years) but in the end when you show you have changed.  When people see the example you are setting they will come around.  Others though sadly will not.  Not every marriage can be rebuilt.  Not every family member will be a part of your life.  You will loose many people that you thought were “friends”.  Life works itself out and I can tell you that my husband has removed toxic people from our lives, in spite of my persistent suggestions of trying to make contact and work things out……..he wants nothing to do with certain people and that is his choice.  I support my husband and I understand the reasons why. 

Today the only people we surround ourselves with are kind supportive people who want to be in our lives.  We have so many different types of people in our lives.  Today we are closer than we have ever been.  Even our bad days, are still great days.  We have been together almost 17 years.  We have learned so much on our journey so far.  We have so much more to learn and grow from.  We appreciate the simple things in our life like our chickens and ducks.  We would never have been able to enjoy that before.  We have learned how to communicate and express our feelings with one another.  We talk about our problems instead of screaming or walking out.  We aren’t perfect we don’t always do things right or to the best of our ability, but it is different now in the sense that we don’t hurt each other.

12373375_10205683961314321_5452186814230665007_n1  We live our lives to be the best version of ourselves that we can.  We spend most of our time together because we spent so much of it being apart.  We absolutely love our crazy life that can get chaotic at times with the animals but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We have the most amazing life because we got through it together.  Our support system of people is incredible!We have learned how to be grateful for all we do have.  We know that everyday we need to show our love and respect for one another.  We are best friends, we protect each other and we aren’t afraid to call each other out on our bullshit (mostly I do with him) 🙂 life today is the best it has ever been, we wouldn’t change a thing because we know this life and our time together is a precious gift.  Today and everyday we get to rebuild our family and strengthen the relationships we have with our loved ones.  Life is beautiful. 

My hope is that if one person still struggling reads this and realizes that there is a beautiful light at the end of the darkness you have been living in, all you have to do is reach out your hand and do the work, know that you too will be a miracle and your life will begin to transform before your eyes, you just have to believe it to see it and never ever give up HOPE!!

As always, wishing you Peace & Serenity……..Harmony

 

Struggles In Sobriety……..From My Perspective!

0b8733a114b13a3894b4cae14d7799191I have heard people say things like “just stop drinking you will be fine.”  That statement really couldn’t be further from the truth.  I thought the same thing about my husband’s drinking.  I would say “if you didn’t drink things would be so different.”  They were different but NOT in a good way (at first). You see if someone is just putting down their substance of choice and not getting into emotional recovery then the only thing you do is remove your numbing agent but you still carry that deep seeded pain and anxiety of what you are running from in the first place.  Or whatever haunts you will follow you until you face it.

Don’t get me wrong a desire to stop drinking and admitting your life has become unmanageable is your first step, BUT what I learned very quickly is sobriety is about the journey through self discovery in recovery.  Once you surrender (completely…..Mind, Body, Soul) that is when you will feel the change begin.  My husband has just reached his 4 years of sobriety,  which is an amazing accomplishment in itself.  We are all so very proud of him and he is proud of himself.  We also know that sobriety doesn’t mean you won’t have troubles in your life because life still happens but learning how to cope with these issues on a whole different level is a big part of recovery.

Recently my husband has had some struggles with old alcoholic behaviors.  He found himself behaving in some of the same ways that he use to when he drank.  He was becoming short with his comments and not very nice at times.  He said he could see what he was doing but wasn’t quit sure how he could change it, but he knows what he needs to do for himself.  Sometimes that old enemy “alcoholism” is sitting right over your shoulder trying to convince you to have that “one drink”.  I know my husband and that way of thinking is NOT a good path to go down.  He went to a meeting the next morning and said that more meetings would be helpful.  He has the tools and he knows what he needs to do to change his thought process.  However, if you don’t put the effort into action then things will inevitably get much worse.  More meetings, reading his big book, reaching out to the other guys in the program as well as his sponsor are all things you learn to do because you don’t have to struggle alone.  In these meetings we go to no matter how much time someone has you will still hear the struggles they have in their sobriety.  One man this weekend that spoke has 31 years of sobriety.  He said “when I start acting up my wife will put me in my place.”  It’s not in a mean way it is more of a nudge to say your falling off your path.  Sometimes we need that though, we don’t always see our own faults until we hear that we are hurting someone else.

6a7fd6943efed594aa057b91c00cb2de1For anyone who is working on change no matter if you have an addiction problem or not change can be so hard, but it can also be easy when you are tired of behaving in the same ways that create a negative energy that hurt the ones we love and ourselves.  The only way I feel we get better is to hold ourselves accountable for our own behaviors.  The best example I can give you is if you are saying or doing something to another person and it is creating pain for them then you are clearly on the wrong path.  The worst pattern someone gets into is when they blame another person by not taking responsibility.  That doesn’t mean you have to follow down that same path.  Sometimes saying nothing at all is your best defense.

When I speak of “old alcoholic behaviors” what that means is handling a situation in ways that you use too.  An example I could give you would be something like my husband would leave our house without saying goodbye or telling me he was going, I would just find him gone.  It would be to become verbally abusive.  It could be to sit in your “self-entitlement” and refuse to see you have strayed way off your path of recovery.  Blaming others for your bad behaviors, ETC.  It isn’t about picking up a drink it is about your insides getting out of control and allowing the devil to take over again.  Alcoholic behaviors can happen in your ways of thinking without your lips even touching a drop of alcohol!  Sometimes I hear people share in a meeting that they have lost someone they love, even their spouses.  They say when life gives them every reason to drink and they don’t, that is when they know they are keeping their life on the right path and using the tools they have learned to remain not only sober but in the state of recovery.  Honestly, the best thing anyone of us could do is to clean out our emotional house and face those demons and stop allowing them to control our way of being.

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We all have things that haunt us, hurt us, changed us, make us angry.  In the end though when you learn how to tackle each of these hurts one by one you will begin to feel such a sense of relief in the way you feel everyday.  You will be so happy that you didn’t pick up your drug of choice to get through it because to me the only reason we pick up those habits and medicate ourselves in the first place is because we don’t want to face other things.  We use the drug of choice as a shield to “protect” us, but the truth of the matter is it causes you and others so much more harm because alcohol/drugs give you a false sense of reality.  It will tell you what you want to hear so you keep coming back falling deeper into your addictions.  The only thing that sets you free is surrendering, complete honesty, accountability, making amends, and live those amends everyday.  Even the worst situation can’t become worse without fuel……..if you stop fueling it and find a way to extinguish it instead and learn the lesson from it then you are on your way to a much more positive place.  After all, we all want a life worth living.  Now is your chance to take those demons down and live your life in ways you only dreamed of but never thought possible.  You got this, with every little step your life will continue to get better and pretty soon even your worse days sober will be better than your best being loaded!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity…………Harmony

 

PART ONE………CAN TRUE FRIENDSHIP SURVIVE ALCOHOLISM?

66fb283d15da2f9c1e4ddbc5dd9fb7e01I met a good family friend of mine 21 years ago but let me tell you, it didn’t come without some serious drama………..She answered my newspaper ad (can you believe that we actually read newspapers back then)! I placed the ad for daycare openings. I was a stay at home mom because my daughter had open heart surgery at 7 weeks old and I wanted to be with her full time. I started babysitting her daughter when she was 13 months old. We quickly became friends and turned into family.

She had a second baby (a son) a few years later that I would also get to care for. She decided to leave her husband and file for a divorce when the baby was about a year maybe 1 1/2 years old. My friend moved in with us and that is when I really was able to see the troubles she was carrying around with her. She got involved with another man right away (I knew he was even bigger trouble). I also watched how much she was drinking. She loved her rum and diet coke. She always had to have a bottle of rum in the freezer. Fast forward 6 months, she had moved out got her own apartment but she wasn’t OK. Then, One night she called me freaking out that she was going to take a bottle of pills wash it down with a bottle of alcohol to kill herself and she was going to give the kids cough medicine so they could go with her.

I drove to her house. I marched in there I took the pills and dumped them down the drain then I poured out the alcohol and told her to “get her shit together” and in the meantime I was taking the kids with me and I did just that! I called their dad and told them what happened and before long serious shit went down and her and I stopped talking. I couldn’t be surrounded by that lifestyle so we stopped talking for 8 years. I knew she needed help but she wasn’t ready for that and I know I could have handled it better too. Of course this isn’t all that happened this is just what finally caused a break in our friendship.

Our girls were now 13 years old when we met again and it was as though none of us skipped a beat it was like no time had passed. Our girls were inseparable when they were little and they were that way again. We all became much closer this time and now I was married and had step-children. We got together all the time for dinner and game nights, spent the holidays together, special events Etc. During this time I was more aware about what heavy drinking and alcoholism was, after all my husband was a binge drinking alcoholic and now he had a drinking buddy. One time about a week after she had a surgical procedure done we all went to see a concert up in Lake Tahoe. They hid a Ziploc bag of rum in my husbands pants so they didn’t have to pay for all the alcohol they needed. They were so wasted it was ridiculous! We had to get a wheel chair for her because she just had surgery and couldn’t even walk.

There wasn’t one family night or event we went to where these two didn’t drink. However my husband drank an excessive amount while she kind of paced herself but I noticed that she had to drink every single day at least 1-2 drinks a night during the week from what I knew and the weekends it was a free for all. Fast forward again to 2011 and her drinking had progressed and her poor choice in men started to cause more problems in her life. Her boyfriend at the time broke up with her and she had a serious emotional meltdown, so bad that another friends son was over at her house one evening and at about 10:00 I received a panicked phone call from him saying that she was threatening to kill herself and then go kill her ex. My problem is I was so involved in her life that I took her problems on like they were my own because somehow I could save her. She was family and I cared about her and the kids, it killed me to see her slowly killing herself with alcohol and she wasn’t even aware at what the problem really was. To her it was everyone else because to an alcoholic manipulation, lies, blame, and denial go hand in hand.

My husband and I raced over there and I ran upstairs to where I found her sitting on he stairs and she was so drunk. She said to me “If you and the rest of the family really loved me you would just let me kill myself” I said absolutely NOT!  We love you so we WILL NOT be sitting by while you hurt yourself or someone else. On our way over to her house I had called the police and told my husband to let me know when they were there. Within 5 minutes of being there I said “lets go downstairs, you are not going to be happy but this needs to happen” she came down the stairs and saw the police standing there. Boy was she pissed!! After talking with her or trying too and her freaking out and being belligerent they gave her a choice she could go on her own to the hospital in the ambulance or they would be making her go. She was so out of control yelling at them. She was so pissed at me BUT she wanted me to ride in the ambulance with her so I did. She was so rude and out of control at the hospital refusing to put on a gown saying she would sue people it was crazy. That is what alcohol does to you. It creates this false sense of reality and entitlement.

Well they released her several hours later I have no idea why they didn’t put her on suicide watch but they didn’t. She came to see me the next day, she was a total wreck she asked if she made an appointment with her doctor if I would go with her. She got in the next day I believe with the nurse practitioner. She was rocking back and forth on the table and she was shaking and crying but she was telling the nurse that if this guy would just come back to her everything would be fine she would be OK. The nurse started asking her questions and suggested that checking herself into rehab would be very beneficial for her. My friend flat out refused, she said all she needed was HIM to come back to her and she would be fine and she repeated it over and over again. The nurse tried to encourage her to really consider rehab but she absolutely refused she was unable to see the problem was within herself not someone else.

A few weeks later she proceeded to get worse and a friend of hers called me and filled me in on the situation which was she had chosen to stop eating she was just going to drink alcohol and kill herself that way. Her friend said her parents were coming to town to visit and she suggested we tell her parents the truth about what’s been going on with her and see if they can help her. Whenever her parents would come to visit she would hide all of her alcohol while they were here and she wouldn’t drink either, each day they were here she would become more anxious and angry because she wasn’t able to drink she feared they would catch her and for whatever her reasons were she didn’t want them to know. I begged her so many times to just be honest and talk with them that they would understand but she was so worried about disappointing them. I told her they love you they can help you. So we decided to do an intervention. So you have to imagine the people involved in the intervention was my husband another current alcoholic, another friends husband, alcoholic, and the other friend addicted to prescription pain killers and me who has no addiction problems but somehow I get myself into these situations because I want to help and I mean well. Definitely not the best group of people to do an intervention but what are you going to do you work with what you have, right?

We didn’t know it at the time but it was her Father’s 70th birthday (when I found out I felt so terrible). I was outside talking with my friend and I had no idea that her other friend and the two men were inside spilling everything to her parents, this didn’t go as planned. Well my friend absolutely flipped out she went crazy and she went after the other female friend telling her how much she hates her, then her and her father had such a struggle he threw her down on the couch and actually had to kneel on her to try and make her stay. there was a lot of yelling. It was such an upsetting day very difficult to watch, it broke my heart.  We left to give her family time to deal with what just happened but we hoped that she would finally get the help she needed. I left that day knowing that would be it for our friendship, I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew that it would be a long time before we ever spoke again if we ever did. She was one of those friends that I had fun with and talked to almost daily, she was company for me during a time when the world was pretty dark for me but nobody really knew that…….our kids grew up together they were family BUT she was very selfish, she was never there when I needed her, and when she was she would let me know how inconvenient it was for her. Things were getting so bad with my husbands drinking, our marriage was awful she couldn’t really see it, she had no idea how much I was hurting and what I was going through, because she had the same type of thinking my husband did, thinking from the mind of an alcoholic is so different. So I decided once again I had to walk away from our friendship and this caused me to become very depressed and sad because the evil part about alcoholism is it takes the very soul of the person you once knew and in it’s place it leaves the shell of that person you no longer know……………….

TO BE CONTINUED……………………………

JUST A BUNCH OF BABBLING…………

13466028_10206986273871321_4545967841221518694_n[1]Hi all it’s Harmony Rose……My husband & I just celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary! I am not sure that I have an actual topic for this blog I would just like to talk about some different things and see where it goes……….

Life is much crazier today than when I was growing up. I don’t remember hearing about so many shootings and violence in the world as you do today. My daughter is 22 years old and I talk to her almost every single day because I want to know she is safe! I have to say, I can’t imagine how the parents or families of these shooters must feel. As a society we are so quick to threaten the family or cast blame on them when most of them had no idea their family member was a raging lunatic and had the desire to kill people!

People today are so focused on race, religion, political beliefs, what gender you are, if your gay, straight, bi-sexual, homosexual, transgender, good lord………….let people live their own damn lives and worry about yourself!  Bottom line is we are all human beings we all have our own beliefs but nobody has the right to physically punish you, verbally abuse you and destroy your life because of what they believe you to be. If you won’t take the time to get to know someone before you choose to pass judgment on them then you better make sure all your skeletons are out for everyone to see because nobody is perfect we all have flaws and that’s OK it means we are living life and learning from our mistakes as we go along!  If your goal is to maliciously hurt people then that is a reflection of your character not mine! I hear this quote often in AA meetings I go to with my husband “what someone thinks of me is NONE of my business”! That would work great if nothing bothered me. I am a very sensitive person, I want all my family and friends to love me and for people to like me, when they don’t, I don’t understand why because I am a good person. Truth is not everyone gets along, not everyone will like you and I have learned that it is OK to let people go out of your life for your own well being because some of those people are so toxic, but we hold onto the idea in our mind of what things are like instead of taking it at face value.

My husband and I have a little farm at our house with dogs, cats, ducks, and chickens. Before he got into recovery we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy these things together. For me his sobriety means I get to heal. It means I get to build a deep connection with my husband and him with me on every level because his mind and judgment are no longer clouded by alcohol. His sobriety is also an opportunity for me to be able to communicate with him more openly when problems arise. My husband talks with me now and we have funny conversations, deep conversations, and everyday kind of conversations. Much different than the ones when he was drinking it was more like a battlefield than a place of acceptance or understanding. Life is so much different for us now, we are truly blessed that we had an opportunity to rebuild our marriage. Many people don’t. Some people just give up when things get hard or they get bored and think someone new will help them feel alive again. People way back when have a saying “if it was broke we fixed it”. Now I’m not saying everyone should stay together but there are relationships that if people put the time and effort into falling in love with their spouse instead of being unfaithful looking for that “connection” I would bet there would be less divorces and more love in this world.

In the end though what matters is that I give more than I get. I give deeply with all my heart to all the animals in need that I can rescue and help. I am very passionate about animals and I do speak up for them and do all I can! I am very strong willed when it comes to someone who lies! I can’t stand when people lie and when they do it maliciously it really doesn’t sit well with me. The Italian in me really get’s going BUT I have learned that there are things and people that are simply not worth my time or effort! You try and hurt me, my family, any animals, your done, you have no place in our life and it is as simple as that!  The more effort and energy I put into people like this that suck, the more life it sucks out of me! I say learn the lesson feel what you feel and resolve it within yourself, it takes time, these things can be very hurtful, but some people you just can’t reason with because they are not rational and you have to learn to let go. Sometimes it’s family or a friend and you have to love them wish them well but there is no place for toxic people in our life.

Life is crazy but what an amazing journey it has been! I have always loved to write but would never have thought that in entering a contest 8 months after my book was published I would be a Finalist winner!  They said “now you’re an award winning author” WHAT, ME are you serious? That is so awesome! Talk about being humbled & proud! My husband supported me 100% in my writing this book to share our most intimate journey through alcoholism with the world. You see after it was published we sat down and read it from cover to cover together and it brought up so many emotions for us. We laughed, and we cried a lot. It was cathartic for me but also very much for him. There are things my husband doesn’t remember while he was drinking but he remembers bits & pieces and for him as bad as some of it was it filled in the blanks for him. It was eye opening to see all the destruction one persons addictions can have on the whole family.

Some people think it is one person’s problem but my husband and I knew it was so much more than that and that is why I wrote this book and shared the details of our life. It’s a family disease! I knew I wasn’t the only person who felt the way I did I wanted to help people as much as I needed to help myself. Our book has opened up so much communication with complete strangers sharing their own experiences strength and hope with us. I have had people hug me like they have known me forever and with tears in their eyes said “Thank you for writing this book”.  It isn’t about my book being the best what it is about is connecting with people all over the world from every different race, religion, sexual preference, nothing matters with alcoholism it is not prejudice it will take anyone into it’s evil clutches and once it has a hold of you it is hard to get out. Knowing others have been where you are it helps people to feel less alone, less crazy, and it gives you a support you have maybe never known before because others in this world have taken the same journey and made it out the other side and knowing that may help save a life, a marriage, a family and that was the most important reason for writing this book to help others in any way we could!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity…………Harmony

 

ALCOHOLISM IS NOBODY’S FRIEND!

addicts-dont-have-relationships[1]I recently posted this on my author page and it received a lot of attention so I thought I would blog about it. I often found myself for many years feeling like a hostage in my own home, life and skin because of my husband’s alcoholism!  I have heard many people say over the years that people who are in abusive relationships, or with an addict of any kind “deserve” what they get because they choose to stay.  I myself find that to be a very ignorant response and I will tell you why……

Think about it, we are all human beings and we get comfortable in situations no matter if it is good or bad for us. We get stuck in repetitive behaviors and responses and the cycle continues until you become aware of it and you choose to change it. Now you will hear my husband say that alcoholics including himself take their spouses and family hostage. So what does that mean exactly? It means that he has no control over his disease of alcoholism and he in turn is controlled by said alcoholism which creates typical alcoholic behaviors like lying, manipulating, creating chaos, doesn’t have the ability to be totally present for their family, gambling, emotional abuse and or physical abuse, stealing, infidelity, the list goes on and on.

People like myself who chose to stay doesn’t mean I deserved to be treated the way I was treated. I am also not a victim, but our children and I are hostage to the disease!  You do feel like a hostage held by this person who may look like your husband, wife, mother, father, children, Friend, Etc. however they are just a shell of a person that the drug of choice causes them to be! The good news is there is HOPE!!  When someone chooses to take that first step to change their lives and begins a recovery program like AA, Al-Anon, a rehab facility, or an outpatient program your whole world begins to change!  For someone like my husband he began to see life for what it really was, he no longer had those beer goggles on seeing things the way alcohol presented it to him he had a harsh and painful reality check and it isn’t a pleasant one!  He was finally able to see how much damage he caused not only to himself but what he caused us, his family!

I want everyone to know that we all have a choice to stay, to go, to get help, to not get help, but nobody deserves to be treated like a human punching bag and that goes for the addicted person too! Also nobody has a right to judge anyone else either, we are all running the same race in life and none of us will get out of here alive no matter what your status may be the richest person in the world or the poorest homeless person. My husband is proud to say he is a recovering alcoholic but there are people that don’t understand what alcoholism really is and they don’t believe he can be one, even though he will tell you himself he is!  Not everyone can or will recover from their addiction, not everyone will seek help and go to any lengths to change it.  For those that do get sober and want to learn how to live a happy sober life to be joyous and free from the bondage of self there are ways to do it.  My husband and I are just one example of how someone can go from living a life in HELL to living a life worth living!

You always have a choice and no one can tell you what to do but people can help you and guide you. Families are ripped apart and devastated by alcoholism and drug addiction. We all suffer lifelong affects even long after our loved ones have received help for their addictions but we learn how to forgive and heal. Some will stay together and others will not and then there are people who lose their life and take their lives everyday.  Addiction is not a joke, it is a sickness and it is very debilitating, it is crippling for the family too!

Miracles happen everyday when you chose to put down the bottle, pills, needle, whatever it may be. I always say be the change you wish to see in the world! Be the example for your children, family, and friends. You are all strong and courageous even when you are scared that is when you find your strength! Go be amazing walk into that rehab center, that meeting, get on the internet and find help in your area. Reach out to family and friends, reach out to strangers in meetings. You got this!! You will be so amazed when you walk through those doors and feel like you are finally comfortable in your own skin, that someone finally understands who you have been, when you realize you have never been alone all you had to do was to take that first step or pick up that phone. Those strangers will become your family whether it is in Al-Anon or AA or something else your world will be full of people who are there for you and will help you to succeed!

We are all a little broken inside and we are all made up of flaws but we are also full of lessons we have learned in life and when we take the time to learn what our purpose is here on this earth we begin to shine! Find whatever you are passionate about and go do it!  Never be ashamed of your story, where you came from or what you believe in, find yourself and be true to who you are……………Go be the best person you can be I know you can do it I have faith in you and remember any heartache or pain you feel will pass! Keep HOPE alive in your heart and soul and allow yourself to heal! Be well on your journey through life my friends, never take one blessing for granted!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity………Harmony ❤