Monday, April 25, 2011

It's All Relative

 I had a thought at Easter dinner yesterday, and it's helped me put things into perspective, as I really needed to do.  We were at my brother's house, and it was unusual in that it was just my husband and me for this holiday dinner,without even one of our "kids".  Our daughter lives far away in Australia, D is in Fla., and our son who lives close by was to DJ a charity event later in the day that prevented him from making the 2 hr. trip with us down to my brother's house. 

 All during our kids' growing up years, and even before we had the kids, we've spent holidays with extended family members, as much as we could, depending on where we've lived, as we moved around with the military.  Most of our holidays have been with the brother and his family that we were with yesterday.  In fact, due to various factors, it's been much longer than usual since we've spent a holiday with my brother and his wife.      What came back to me was the last holiday dinner we had with them, Christmas day, 2009,...since during this last one, we went up north to be with the other part of our extended families.    Oh boy....what a difference from yesterday compared with that last Christmas dinner in 2009.

  On that day, at our house, we'd opened gifts with my husband and our 2 sons...daughter was also away then.  My brother,  his wife and adult son were arriving in the early afternoon.  After having some breakfast...the "boys" went upstairs to their rooms for awhile.  I was down in the kitchen, cooking, etc., for the dinner later on.  As was often the case in those terrible some point in the late morning, I realized that D had once again slithered out. : (    He used to go down the back stairs from his room and just be noise, no bye, see ya later....I would imagine many of you may relate to this.  But even the "experienced me" for some naive reason, didn't think he would do so on CHRISTMAS DAY.  But as we all know, addiction certainly doesn't respect a holiday, even one as special to us as Christmas.    I called him..he finally answered, acting like it was just normal behavior to do what he did....and oh yeah, he'd be back in a little while.

  Well, my brother and family came in the very early afternoon,....bearing gifts,...we all sat and visited, enjoying each others' company, opening gifts, carols nice. Still, no D shows up. His gift from them remained waiting for his return.  We had appetizers, sat and visited some more....still no D.  Finally, after quite a long time, in mid afternoon, we all sat down at the dining room table for dinner,....this awesome beef tenderloin.  Just as we sat down, who do we look out the window to see walking up the driveway ?  D.    He comes in, sits down at the table....obviously high.  : (    No one says anything about that, and I said something about the food or what we had that he liked.  His response...."nah, I'm not gonna eat,.....I already ate at 7-11."  : (        You choose to eat at 7-11 on Christmas day ??  When we have this beautiful dinner at home ?  double was just all so pathetic, and even though our family knew all about D's "issues", was still embarrassing.  It was sickening, and just indicative of all that he was doing and how messed up he was then.

     Soooo, after my past couple of posts of worrying and being sad about where he's living, etc......yesterday totally helped me to get a grip and just be GRATEFUL !!  As I said, yes, I already am grateful for him now working on his recovery and yes that's true......but even though D wasn't with us yesterday, I know that if he was at that table with us...he wouldn't have been high and would have been polite and enjoyed the great food and not have taken off when we looked the other way for a minute.  The time I just spent with him showed me that. 

    He's been in touch with us quite a bit in the past couple of days and he's feeling MUCH better than he was.  And yeah, something as simple as the daily alarm on his phone is working to remind him to take his medicine and he IS taking it now daily without forgetting. (yes, I was the one that set the alarm, not him...but oh well, it's working !)         And today, he began his new job at the food place,....and was happy about it all. 
                           Anyway.....things CAN change for the better.  Here's hoping that these changes continue and can exist for all of our addicted loved ones.


  1. Great reminder about being grateful for the positive changes. Things may not be perfect, or even "good" but they could be worse and probably have been.

  2. I remember visiting my son's first "Sober Living Facility" in Arizona. What a disappointment. But I shook it off and reminded myself that was where he needed to be at that time in his life. At least he was on his own, working, dealing with his own issues, etc.

    He moved on to Florida and stayed in Sober Living Facilities for a few years. He now has 3+ years of sobriety and has stayed in Florida where he and his partner are in the process of buying thier own home.

    I believe all those sober living facilities (there had to be 6 or 7)helped pave the way to his sobriety.

    And while it's hard to have our boys living so far away. It's what works for them that counts.