Friday, March 22, 2013

The Old Vs. The New

The Old:

“I’m leaving.  Have a good day.  I love you.”

The New:

“I’m leaving.  I hope you feel better. Need anything before I go? I love you.”

The Old:

“When will dinner be done?”

The New:

“Want some company in the kitchen?”

The Old:

“The meeting was fine.  It was cold in there. A lot of guys showed up.”

The New:

“Today I shared about my dad and I could tell it struck a cord with some of the guys.”
I realized it’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything about Devin, especially anything positive, about his recovery and I have to keep reminding myself of the reason I started blogging.  To give other people who stumble upon it and those who lurk, hope, not just for themselves but hope in their partner too.

I remember reading how high the relapse rate for sex addiction was back in 2010-2011 when the only things I read were sex addiction related.  I was terrified and everyday I feared Devin would relapse and somehow I managed to make his relapse all about me.  When the first relapse came with a porn site less than a month after disclosure, I panicked but we worked through it.  A few months later, another relapse, I collapsed again.  That was it!  I was going to file for divorce.  That was a year ago and he’s been sober ever since.  Recovery can work, if you work it.

Why?  I don’t know.  End of post.

No, I’m kidding.  As much as I whine and complain about Devin’s recovery work, he has come a long way and he does a lot.  He has a sponsor that is tough on him when he needs to be.  If Devin isn’t sharing enough in the meetings or is showing up late or leaving early, no matter what the reason, his sponsor won’t meet with him for their weekly discussions.  His sponsor enforced this once and Devin got angry but when his sponsor didn’t budge, Devin did as his sponsor requested and now they are back on track again. Devin is gaining more from his meetings by sharing with everyone and gets more feedback after the meetings are over too.

He’s also begun attending a group meeting and while he was gung-ho in the beginning to get started because our counselor felt he was becoming stagnant in his recovery and without attending the group he may slip, he had it in his head that he only needed to go every other week.  Our rockin’ counselor let him know he needed to attend every week to reap the proper benefits.  Now that he’s been going, he really likes it because it’s small and they have a chance to interact with each other and with our counselor.  Who rocks, by the way.

Communication can still be an effort at times but for everybody all the way around it’s improving.  Especially between he and the kids.  He’s struggling with overcoming being the “stepdad” and not being close to them at the height of his addiction.  There was never yelling and screaming, there was just not much of anything for two years.  Devin and I still struggle at times to communicate yet we always make it through and thankfully we’ve gotten past the silent treatments for days on end and the “I’m fine” when it’s really, “You have just pissed me off!”
This is not our spare room.  Not even close!
 The spare room aka his hobby.  I will put this in the Work In Progress category.  It’s rare that anything arrives from ebay so if your stock in them recently went down, my apologies.  He spent some time in there on Sunday but got derailed when he saw I was watching iRobot.  (Scary, spellchecker didn’t grab that word, are there robots among us?)  

I have completely almost….detached from that room.  In fact, I redecorated my family room with my tax refund, shit I need to file that sucker, when I redecorated, I put up sheer curtains so I don’t see inside there.  I asked my counselor if that was putting myself in denial and she said, “No, Elsie, it’s called redecorating.”  She also explained this is something I am going to have to be patient with, his hobby. 

To me, it’s a bunch of plastic and toys and boxes that can easily be discarded (sold).  To him, it’s the one part of his identity he’s got left that wasn’t fucked up, that he didn’t destroy.  Add a touch of OCD to that mix; a dash of addiction and a man who is still working the beginnings of his steps and the end result is a room full of a hobbyist’s wet dream.

At his last appointment, he sat down with our rockin’ counselor and decided it was time to start taking action.  Looking at where he was a year ago, Devin has made great progress.  Looking at where he was two years ago, Devin has made outstanding progress.
~~~@  ~~~@
 This is a scheduled post and I am supposed to be sitting in the dealership getting work done on my car.  They promised wi-fi but if I’m late getting to you, I totally blame them!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

That's Some Bad Hat Harry

There are moments in time, moments in our lives, that we always want to remember and cherish.  Last week so many things fell into place, I had many chances to be grateful.  Our son was home from college on Spring Break, the steroid pack gave me a few days of pain free days, the weather was kind on some of the days and check out that blue sky and gorgeous water!  
I had to use my imagination a bit for the warm weather because we weren't even close to that.  A front that was moving in was causing some rough seas but making the surfers quite happy.  I still don't understand how they can tolerate that icy cold water, despite their wet suits.
Our dogs were just as happy as we were except when their paws met the ocean.  They only did that once.  They ran and played with each other and with us until each and every one of us were exhausted and called it quits.

Perfect memories captured on film and in our minds.

Later that night, we were relaxing on the couch, all of us lounging on the sectional, watching a rerun of House. Anyone familiar with the show will know that at the end it shows this:
My son and I used to watch House together every Monday night and began to race each other to see who could say "That's some bad hat, Harry" first.  

Now, here we were, several years later and without even thinking about it, we both shouted out, "That's some bad hat, Harry" and began laughing.  What's the big deal?  It's a cute little thing you guys still do, why are you sharing it here?  Because it got me thinking. I asked my daughter if she remembered clapping to the Friends theme song when she was little and said she did.  

These, of course, are all positive things that I've left upon them.  What about the crap I've instilled in their brain?  The negative thoughts I implanted in there like my mom did to me?  

Turns out, I did just fine with them.  When I made my amends to them as part of my step work and let them know I was in a 12 step program, not only did they let me know they were proud of me, they let me know I was was being way to critical of myself and the damage I think I caused when it came to them and they felt I did a great job.

My kids fucking rock.

Next update will be on Devin, I think.  Maybe.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tulips and Other Stories

Excuse me, pardon me, coming through, please step aside.  Thank you all so much for showing up today.  It means so much to me and I know it means even more to our friend, Mark from The Rambling Person .  

Most of you will remember Mark from the dedication post I did on my other blog and now I have the honor of hosting him on his blog tour for his new book, Tulips and Other Stories, now available at Amazon. The best part?  You don't have to have a Kindle to download it.  I don't own one and I'm still able to enjoy Mark's very well written book.  I'm enjoying it so much, I wanted to share it with all of you.
Buy It Here
Let me hand the floor over to the published author himself and offer my congratulations to him too!  I'm so proud of you, Mark! 
~~~@   ~~~@
At first I wasn't sure just what to write for this post. Which seems very odd if you know me as I'm usually able to just keep going once I have an initial idea and I had an initial idea here: I released a book, and Elsie is very kindly letting me promote it on her blog. I wanted to just do more than say that though, and I wanted to come up with some real kind of post. I ended up leaving it quite late, but I did find something to do in the end. I thought of how I could help keep it relating to Elsie's blog. If you've come across here before, and chances are you have, you know that in her time Elsie has managed to overcome quite a lot. I myself had to overcome a fair bit in relation to the book.

 I originally wrote the book when I went slightly insane and took a week away from blogging to write every day and by the end of the week I had a series of eight short stories.
 Insanity, it works!
 I sent them off to an editor friend of mine and the reply from him was not really what I was expecting, and not really good news. The general meaning of what he said was that the stories weren't bad but I could do better and the writing could really be improved. 
 This sent me in to one heck of a downward spiral. I was barely doing any writing other than my blog and I had trouble with that even. Every shred of confidence I had in my writing was gone and I was already depressed as it was. This only made me worse. 
 Fast forward a few months and I went in to therapy for my depression and the subject of my book actually came up. My therapist encouraged me to get around to editing them and I was finally able to start the editing. It took a while still because I couldn't force myself to do it. Though when I started editing them I saw what my friend meant and I was able to fix the stories. I even extended a few of them and made them much better. 
 Now when people criticise my writing, I try not to let it get me down and stop me. I have some faith in my writing, more than I've ever had. The fact the book isn't selling well does depress me, but I'm still trying to not let that get me down.
 My thanks go to Elsie for letting me say my piece, and everyone who has been there for me on my journey of writing and will still be there as I continue on it. Writing this book was quite a mental experience for me and no matter how it sells, I can say to myself that I did overcome my demons, and publish a book.
 Sometimes that's enough, sometimes it isn't. It's always true though.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Audio Post on Emotional Sobriety and a Way Cool Announcement if you missed it

Shortest post ever!  I felt compelled to share this with you, my Hooligans.  It brought me to tears several times so naturally I want you guys to cry too.  No, seriously, this is such a powerful lecture this guy belongs on Ted Talks.
He is speaking about Emotional Sobriety but it isn't just for alcoholics or addicts, it's for anyone who is filled with emptiness, unhappiness, fear, self-doubt, self-hate, and it rocks.  Yes, it is an hour long but it is totally worth it.  

I hope you enjoy it as much I did and remember to love yourself!  You're worth it!

Tom B. Jr. Emotional Sobriety

Oh, if you missed my post the other day on my other blog I made a wicked cool announcement.

I'll be here in the morning but this afternoon...not so much, so enjoy your weekend everyone, I know I will and if you have plans, I want to know what they are!!  Are you partying?  Spending time with the family?  Working around the house?  What do you have in store?