Meet Ollie

IMG_6111So this happened this weekend …. my husband and I were bored and took a trip to the local animal shelter, the next day we brought our new 8 week old little boy puppy home.  Crazy?, yes!  But we couldn’t resist.   We think his name will be Ollie.   We have tried out several names and this is the one that seems to fit the best, at least so far.

Our current dog is getting on in years and we have been toying with the idea for awhile, but not seriously and we were wanting an older dog, not a puppy.   Funny how things work out.   Our older dog, Sadie, is not overly thrilled with this new addition.  Hopefully in time she will grow to love him as we do.   Right now she is totally trying to avoid him.

Spring/Summer will be the perfect time to get this puppy trained.   I am not working and Steve is in between jobs and taking the summer off to really explore different opportunities and what he wants to do with the rest of his life.    We are blessed that we have the means to let him do this and the chance to spend some fun time together.

It is a crazy world we live in …. you never know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.

Empty Nest Again

Back on my beautiful back patio, chilling, listen to the birds sing and letting my mind wander some more.    I am blessed with my family and friends and the life I have despite the obstacles of addiction and at times mental issues.

This past weekend we celebrated Easter.   Both of my girls were home at the same time, the first since Christmas.   I had not seen Kirsten, the Chicago daughter since then.   It was so wonderful having a full house …. the two girls plus 1 boyfriend for a long weekend.   It is different with adult children our relationship has changed to an adult relationship.   Steve and I really enjoy our adult children, we had a lot of fun just hanging out with them and being together. We did the family Easter thing at my Moms house celebrating with my brothers and family … 14 of us in all.   And though it was very loud and chaotic at times, it was still wonderful.  I love having everyone together, the kids ages 2.5 to almost 24 enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt, it was fun to watch the little ones and the big kids act like little ones.

Now it is Monday.    Allie and Patrick are back to work in Columbus.  We took Kirsten to the airport this morning for her flight back to Chicago and school and Steve left for an overnight business trip.   I went from a full house to just me sitting at home alone contemplating life. I am back to having an earache and sore throat  and sinus issues … which is making me more self aware that I am now alone and feeling a little sad.   I miss having my kids around, but they are spreading their wings and I am proud of them.    They are great kids or I should say they have turned out to be great people.

Really I should have nothing to complain about, I am truly blessed.

April 19th

Today is the anniversary of my first surgery to create my JPouch due to the disease of Ulcerative Colitis.    It was April 19, 2005 … 14 years ago.   It is hard to believe how sick I was in 2003-2005.   I couldn’t eat, I definitely couldn’t drink alcohol.   I was tired, irritable, very thin (says the now fat girl) and always in pain and in the bathroom.    I look back on those days and it was complete misery.

I was anxious, I was clinically depressed.   I was on so medication to treat the UC that nothing worked to help the depression and anxiety.   That is really when my love affair with Xanax started that I eventually would be come addicted to.    I was on high doses of prednisone which made my mental symptoms worse, but it was the only thing that would remotely control the pain and bleeding from the UC.   At the time it was a pitiful existence.

I had my surgery at the Cleveland Clinic which was tops in treating bowel disease.    I was so apprehensive to have this surgery.   It scared the hell out of me, in fact I was pretty sure I was going to die having this surgery or die if I didn’t.    If you don’t know what a JPouch is look it up, it is complicated, but in a nutshell they remove your diseased colon – which was all of it and create an internal pouch for waste from you small intestine.    In 2005 it was an open surgery where the cut you open to remove the large intestine, today it is way less invasive.   I had an illeostomy bag for 3 months and another surgery in July to remove that and connect everything.

It is the most painful and traumatic thing I have every been through.   With both surgeries I would say it took about a year to fully recover to my new normal.

During this time I became very spiritual.   Praying the Rosary, Novenas and just talking to God.    I felt very close to my higher power during this time and probably would not have survived with out my faith.   I even had the anointing of the sick before the surgery.   It helped me cope.

Even after I recovered the anxiety and depression lingered.    The Xanax usage continued to increase and the drinking was a problem, because internally my make up was now different and I had the brain of an addict.

Today, 14 years later, I am healthy, I am sober and I can eat just about anything (and obviously I did to make up for lost time).    I am grateful for the healing this surgery has brought me.   They say you are not cured after you have the surgery.   Problems still can arise, but they are few and far between.   I thank God for the miracle of medicine and all the people who took care of me and my family during that time.

I always remember April 19th.

 

Now What ……

I am sitting here on my beautiful back patio enjoying a the warming weather of spring.  Just thinking and letting my mind wander.    My life is good … on the outside.  No seriously it is good and I feel guilty for not been happy and joyous.   It has been about a year since I have quit working and I am still trying to find myself.   I volunteer, work with my sponsees go to AA meetings, see my trainer and hang out with friends and family.  What is there not to love about this life.   I just don’t know, I need more purpose.   I am feeling what is the point of all this life stuff and know there has to be one.

My therapist suggests that maybe taking a class would help keep my mind busy so I am thinking about what I want to do.   I do enjoy learning and a class would give me something to focus on … but what?    I am researching online courses and it is overwhelming.   I did find an inexpensive site with a lot of options of work at your own pace classes which might be a good place to start, I could just dabble in something and see if it goes anywhere.    Steve and I are also contemplating a yoga class – which could be helpful with our anxiety and stress and overall lack of flexibility.   I am starting a bible study class this week so that is something too.   There is also a “class” of sorts I want to take about breaking the barriers to exercise, diet and health (since I have done very little in that arena as well).  I have got to do something more with myself.  I have  just got to get up and do it!

So obviously I am still in this funk.   I am not sure what it is about, but it is making me crazy.   I just don’t want to feel this way and it does make for some crappy days.  I don’t want to drink and/or drug, but it would sure take the edge off.   I just have so much to loose if I choose to go that route.   Like I said before, I have some great friends in recovery that I love with all my heart and I do not want to loose that.   I also (usually) enjoy working with others in the program.

I guess I just have to feel the feels and keep acting like life is as good as it is, because I am sure it will be again soon.   I just seem to cycle through these down and anxious periods.  I really am blessed and grateful, I know I have it good.    Lets just be Happy, Joyous and Free.