My Miscellaneous Life

I really don’t know where to start ….. life surely can come at you in many different directions at the same time. But it is all good.

We just got back from a quick weekend visit to Dallas, Texas to visit my oldest daughter, Allie and her boyfriend, Pat. It was a wonderful weekend full of fun, family and food. 3 plane flights in 3 months for me is huge and I didn’t even panic much. Steve, Kirsten, my Mom and I all enjoyed some quality Texas time. Allie and Pat seem very happy, but in no rush to move things along in terms of an engagement. I also got the feeling that they aren’t coming home anytime in the near future to put down roots. I loved having my grandparents close by while growing up and loved my kids being close to my grandma and their grandmas. But I am definitely getting way ahead of myself. So I will just try to stay in today.

We were in Dallas only Friday early thru Monday afternoon and that was the perfect amount of time. A lot of drinking happens when my family is together – not like alcoholic drinking …. just drinking and I was for the most part just fine with the whole thing, I did get a little jealous when they got the cold Chardonnay on the warm day on the rooftop bar. But I guess I am finally realizing my place in the world and it doesn’t include alcohol and sometimes that is just unfortunate.

While we were in Dallas, Steve and I celebrated our anniversary. 29 years of being married. It is a miracle. I am so grateful that we made it through a very rough patch with divorce on the table several years ago. We are good partners and happy.

As you know we are temporarily living in a condo while we build a home in town. Well the universe seemed to be against us doing that. So many roadblocks, couldn’t land on a design or stay within a budget. We found a house we loved in the next town over and jumped on it. Looked at it on a Sunday, got all the bank stuff and preapproval done on monday and now we are moving into an existing home on 5/17. It just felt right the moment we saw it. I think it was meant to be. So we are busy packing up again after only 6 months in the condo. Luckily we have a lot of stuff still packed up in the storage room and the storage unit we rented. It will nice to “find” all our stuff again. I am tired though of living in the half packed messy chaos of a condo. We will need to get out, get it cleaned and on the market. We bought it thinking we would be here for 18 months or so.

I strained my back and shoulder walking the dog – much pain. Been sucking down the Aleve and Tylenol for over a week. Got a medical massage to work out the kinks and it helped. Got some good advice and exercises to do to strengthen the muscles (which I have been very bad about doing). I finally went to the doctor and got a muscle relaxer. He gave me a prescription for 90 pills! It wasn’t my regular doc so he doesn’t know my drug abuse history, I had a rough couple of hours thinking about those pills and the oxy I picked up and delivered to a friend. It makes me crazy that my mind still thinks like an addict. I took only 1 pill as prescribed, but it didn’t do much and my addict brain is thinking 2 pills may be better to help the pain and sleep issues better. I did have a nice long chat with my sponsor and now Steve controls the pills. The thing is I am allowed to have to 3 a day, but he will only give me 1 per night. Damn.

We got our second Covid vaccine this week. I still debated on whether or not to go through with it, but again family pressure. I feel fine this time and it is Steve who got sick from the 2nd dose. It is just weird that we have no history on these shots and what they may or may not do to us in the long run. We are totally trusting the system and I am not sure if that is wise.

So, the trip, moving, and the pain / pills and shot is what my life has been these last couple of weeks. It is all a little stressful, but it is all good.

The weekend is about to start and it is full of plans that also will include those around me drinking. That is just life! I am just living life on life’s terms and taking it one day at a time.

Stupid Covid

Yep … I got it!

Stupid Covid that is destroying and changing so many lives.

I pray that my case stays mild. I am scared of being hospitalized and having to be alone. So far it is just like a bad sinus infection with some added symptoms. It is a weird not being able to taste anything and my smell has been diminished. I still get hungry, but it is all about mouth feel and what the food looks like as to whether it is good or not. I don’t like the thought of shortness of breath. I feel it a little bit with all the stuffiness when the sudafed starts to wear off. It is scary what can happen with this virus and it is causing me some anxiety.

I feel very guilty that my Mom was at our condo on Thursday …. the day I started showing symptoms later. I don’t know what I will do if she gets a bad case of it. She has been pretty careful and is pretty paranoid about it all. Only time will tell.

Kirsten got her results back and has tested negative and has no symptoms. They still want her to stay home from work for a couple of days to make sure she stays symptom free. Steve is still waiting his results. He also does not currently have symptoms. We should probably separate ourselves more. Kirsten is pretty much staying downstairs, but Steve is generally nearby, I told him to sleep in the guest room, but he has not. I am pretty much on the couch or in bed.

Allie and Pat went home to Texas. Allie is not feeling well and said she will test tomorrow while Pat is feeling fine. It is odd how the virus and who the virus hits being as contagious as it is.

I am only on day 3.5, but I am bored. I don’t have the mind to do much. I try to read a little and have been zoning out to the TV. That is about it and it makes for long boring days.

So I will continue to lay low and say my prayers.

Stupid Covid!

Christmas 2020 Style

It has been a different sort of Christmas season. No large family gathering this holiday. I am spending the day with my family: husband, daughters and Allie’s boyfriend …. and the pups. Playing games, watching movies and doing family zoom calls. We will eat our traditional Italian dinner tonight with all the family, but separately in our own homes.

It is a low stress Christmas which is kind of nice.

One of my brothers is just getting over covid – his family seems to be ok, but they have not been tested. Allie and Pat were exposed by his sister on Sunday. They tested negative with the rapid test, but are waiting results from the regular covid test. So we just stay home and wait. I am sure they will be fine, but we want to be safe and not pass it on.

I am staying away from the AA club which is hard since I plan the Christmas (alcathon) meetings. But I am sure they can run fine without me. It is just a control thing.

We need to go make gift drop offs the the brothers and families. Not sure when we will get the gifts over to Steve’s mom. She has a lot of health issues and doesn’t really want to see anyone, but from a distance …. and it is too cold outside.

Despite the issues 2020 has brought to us all, I still have gratitude …. a lot of gratitude. I have everything I need and my loving family is healthy. There have been challenges to overcome, but that doesn’t diminish my blessings.

2020 has definitely not been the year we all expected it to be when it started back in January, but we are surviving …. together!

Grandpa’s Tradition

Every year, a few days before Christmas, my family gathers to make our traditional holiday dinner …. beef braciole and Meatballs. My Italian father started this tradition many years ago when my adult daughters were very young. It was all about the kids helping with the preparations. My Dad loved spending time with his grandkids.

Thanks to Covid, this years braciole making looks a little different. Each family is making their own braciole and meatballs instead of gathering as an extended family. Unfortunately we won’t all be gathering for the Christmas holiday this year. We will be getting together in smaller family groups.

My beloved Dad passed away 10 years ago. The grandkids (5 girls at the time) were all fairly young. That first Christmas after his death, it was the girls who insisted on continuing Grandpa’s Tradition. Making beef braciole and meatballs is still a family tradition and it has withstood the test of time. It is a special time for my family to gather to honor and remember Dad/Grandpa. There is another grand-daughter in the mix, who is now 4 and never got to meet her Grandpa Vic. She no doubt knows though, how much he meant to our family.

Even though Covid this year may have changed Grandpa’s Tradition a little bit. We all hope to be back together as an extended family next year to once again continue on the tradition.

Thanksgiving 2020 ūüćĀ

Thanksgiving looks a lot different this year due to Covid. Our Thanksgiving table will have 3 chairs instead of 14. We have zoomed with family members and have spent most of the day relaxing, watching TV and hopefully we will get a walk in.

I am happy to be with Steve and Kirsten. Allie is in Texas this year, but looking forward to her and Patrick coming home for a couple of weeks over the Christmas holiday.

We are all moved into our condo. A lot of our stuff is in the storage room and in the storage unit. It has been difficult to stuff everything from our big house into this smaller space. We have settled in the best we can amongst the clutter.

Our Thanksgiving dinner has been ordered from the neighborhood grocer. Turkey and all the trimmings. A lot of people I know are doing the same …. carry-out instead of cooking. It is just a weird and different kind of Thanksgiving.

I still have so much gratitude for what I have and the people I love. I am a blessed woman, I hope I will never take for granted all I have been giving. By the grace of God, I have my health, family, friends, home and sobriety in the midst of this crazy pandemic.

So even though Thanksgiving looks very different this year. I will count my blessings and I pray that you can find the gratitude I have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Old Friend New

Way back in the 8th grade a new girl moved into my classroom and we became life long friends, until we weren’t.

Even though we went to different high schools we remained the best of friends. We went to the same college and joined the same sorority. We fought a lot like girls will do. Sometimes we would go weeks without speaking, but always made up, until we didn’t.

As young adults we hung out. We went on many vacations together before during and after kids. My husband and I are the godparents to all 3 of her girls, they are the godparents to mine. Our children are close in age and were the best of friends until things changed.

We worked in the same business for awhile and shared a lot of friends and activities.

We were always there for each other or as I look back, I was mostly there for her. I saw her through her postpartum depression. I was very close to her Mom and I was there when she was dying. I often kept my friends kids and cared for them as if they were my own. I really loved these people.

When I was really sick with my ulcerative colitis and surgery was looming, I was in dire straights. We had a big fight over something silly but supposedly all about me and that is when I had had enough. I needed a friend and she couldn’t be the person I needed. Our friendship became toxic and just like that we were no longer friends.

About 20 years went by.

We would occasionally run into each other around town, it was bound to happen when you have people, places and things in common. By a force greater than both of us we even ran into each other on the streets in Barcelona Spain. Talk about a strange coincidence. We would always be cordial, but there was nothing more. I kept holding on to that resentment.

As I look back, I am sad that I missed her kids, my godchildren, growing up. That we denied our girls their friendship. They are all young adults now.

This friend reached out to me years ago to get together for lunch to talk and catch up and at the time I was just not in a good place and could not handle it, so I did not do it. She reached out again last week and today we had lunch.

I was stressed a little about what may transpire, but it was actually a really nice 2 hour lunch. We talked about a lot of things; kids, families, common friends, sorority sisters old times and life in general. Of course we did not cover everything ….. as I am not sure where this reconnection is going. She has no idea what I have been through with my alcohol and pill addiction or my involvement in the recovery world. I don’t feel comfortable enough to share those secrets. But maybe they aren’t secrets. What about if there is a next time and we go out for drinks and dinner, then what? I know I am getting ahead of myself as we have made no plans for another get back together. It is the age old question on whether or not to disclose addiction issues.

She will never be my best friend again, but we don’t have to be enemies. Hopefully we can start anew and renew our friendship and move on from here. Her mom, I know is smiling from heaven she always was rooting for us.

Let’s just live and let live

Pool Party

My baby niece turned 4 yesterday,¬† It seems like yesterday that she was a tiny thing.¬† ¬†It was a unicorn pool party and of course our little Caroline was adorable.¬† ¬†she has a boat load of girl cousins from both sides of the family …. there are 11 of them.¬† ¬†My 2 girls, 25 and¬† 22, my youngest brothers kids 17,15 and 11 then the cousins on the other side are 13, 10, 8, 5, 2 and our 4 year old birthday girl.¬† ¬†Quite the range of cousins, but all girls!¬† All were there except Allie who has recently moved to Texas.

Then there are the adults.   Family and friends who are like family.    Everyone is an Aunt or Uncle besides the grandparents.     Caroline is a lucky girl to have so many adults to love on her and spoil her.    Caroline really knows how to get along and act with adults, like I said she is adorable!

These pool parties, even a birthday party for a kid, some how turn into a drink fest.¬† ¬† ¬†There were fancy slushy drinks in hollowed out pineapples – with alcohol of course …. and lots of beer and white claw type drinks.¬† ¬† ¬†Who doesn’t want to drink on a hot day at a pool party, right?¬† ¬† And for me it was ok not to drink …. that is until everyone has had a little too much and I got a little too irritated.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I know I have lost that luxury to drink and my problems should not affect how others drink or not drink, and it doesn’t bother anyone but me.¬† ¬† ¬†I was definitely bothered.¬† ¬† ¬†Some know why I don’t drink, others don’t.¬† ¬† Some offer me drinks which I politely decline and others claim I am grumpy because I need a drink¬† (at the end of the night when most are pretty lit).¬† ¬†It can be quite annoying and trigger the poor me feelings.

Sometimes when a lot of drinking is happening and I know it is time to go ….. it is difficult to pull Steve away (not usually, but sometimes).¬† He was clearly enjoying himself and the beverages a little too much.¬† ¬† Why do I get so angry and as one friend said grumpy?¬† ¬†drinking is one thing, drunkenness is another and my tolerance varies.¬† ¬† I still feel awkward when everyone is at that point and I am left with my seltzer water.¬† ¬†I don’t like it.¬† ¬† I have to know myself and play that tape all the way through of what will happen if I do enjoy the drink.¬† ¬†I know it will not end well for me.¬† ¬† ¬†Finally I just gave the final warring …. I am leaving NOW, with or without you.¬† ¬†A wise friend suggested¬† that he “get on that bus” and go home.¬† ¬†lol.

I feel good today ….. no hangover.¬† ¬† But I still feel irritated.¬† ¬†I am playing that passive aggressive game.¬† ¬† Stupid.¬† ¬†No one knows I am angry, but I definitely am not being what you would call nice.

I need to get over myself and let others live their lives as they see fit, but I can not let their choices affect me and my sobriety.¬† ¬† ¬†The party started at 1:00 PM and I finally got to leave at 9:30 PM (with a little break in between to feed the dogs).¬† ¬†That is long birthday party for a little girl.¬† ¬†And let me tell you those kids where still going strong, just getting out of the pool as we were leaving.¬† ¬†To be young again and to be able to drink again …… that ship has sailed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now 53

Today is June 9th ….. My birthday and I am now 53 years old.    Time keeps marching by.   This year I am in Sarasota Florida with my husband and 22 year old daughter,  We bought a condo here with my brother and friend.   It is nice to get away, but you all know I like home best.

I went back and read the post when I turned 51 and all the gratitude I had for life.  Today I am still grateful, but life seems so much more complicated, out of control and in need of a makeover.

We are getting through this COVID 19 pandemic.   The lock downs are letting up and stores are opening, but people are still afraid and wearing mask while keeping distance.  Only so many allowed in restaurants and stores.  A lot of people are still out work and it is difficult to find a job. Most people are just over the whole thing.  But all are unsure of what will happen next and what our new normal will be.

Then comes the Black Lives Matters protests over the killing of a black man by a white police office.   I get the disgust, uproar and the protests, but I hate to see all the rioting and other people killed because of it.   Yes we need change and equality.   I get that, but destroying property and causing trouble is not to me the answer, but then again what do I know about being black … nothing.   All I know is that the rioting is scary and that we need a new normal of acceptance of all people.

The other thing that is going on is that one of my younger daughter’s friends passed away … the reason they are thinking is getting hit with tear gas at one of the above said protest.   We are still waiting for confirmation of the exact cause of death.  Rumors are flying around, people are harassing the family and social media is going crazy.  Definitely a hard time for the family and friends of this young woman and also this mother.

So this year on my birthday I am struggling to make sense out of life, struggling to stay sober and struggling to stay sane.    I just wonder what this world is coming to.    Sometimes I even struggle with what to pray for and about right now while things are in such upheaval.

I do look back and realize how privileged my life has been despite all the issues I have faced.   I had everything I needed during the COVID lockdown,  I am not in a city where violence and rioting is going on and my children are alive and healthy.    I can get the health care I need and the addiction treatment I need.  I have a loving stable family and many friends both in and out of recovery.     We have the means to survive.

So on this day, June 9, 2020 I am 53 years old.    The world is in chaos, but I can still find the gratitude I need to keep on Keeping on!!!

My Dad

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I will always remember May 28, 2010 …. The day my precious Daddy died.¬† He died suddenly with no waning of a blood clot to his heart.¬† ¬†This year, 2020 it has been 10 years since that day and I remember most of it as if it were yesterday.

I remember the middle of the night phone call ( 1:30 AM) from my Mom, arriving at the same time as my one brother, the hospital emergency room, the announcement call of time of death, calling to tell my husband that my Dad was dead and then Steve showing up with the girls who were 15 and 12 at the time and then calling a few close friends.  We gathered as a family around my Dad and said the Our Father.   To this day, 10 years later I can not say the Our Father with closed eyes without seeing my Dad in the ER and tearing up a little.

Growing up, my Dad and I were very much a like with our Italian tempers and often butted heads.  When I went away to college is when our closer relationship started.  My Dad was my biggest cheerleader and his support was always unwavering.    My family, Dad, Mom, 2 brothers and I all worked in the family pizza business.   I remember being in the office that Thursday before he died and the ordinary conversation we had before I left for home. I had no idea that would be the last conversation I would have with my alive Dad.

My Dad taught us well.   He was a family man, with a great belief in our Lord and Savior.  I know he is with his God in heaven and that gives me some comfort.  My Dad had done succession planning for the business with my brothers ( I chose not to be an equal owner operator РI wanted to be a mom to my children, not a business owner). Our company was like family and his death really had an effect all the employees and the community as a whole.   My brothers and our office staff did not miss a beat in keeping things going for our pizza chain and dough business.  My Dad did well.

I took my Mom home and stayed with her through the morning.    My brothers cleaned up the bedroom before we got there.   Neither of us slept much.   The TV drowned out our emotions.   Stupid TV informercials in the middle of the night early morning.

I don’t know how I became the strong one in the family during this time.¬† ¬† I planned and organized most of the funeral with some help from the family.¬† ¬†I was numb and just going through the motions.¬† It took me a long time to actually get to the grieving part.

I can not begin to say how many people were at his visitation.   The line was hours long for the duration.  I remember certain friends being there.  The support I had from my AA friends was incredible.  I probably would not have gotten through that time with out that support.   The actual funeral was beautiful with a packed church.  My Mom wrote a little something that the priest read and I remember his 4 grand daughters taking up the gifts for communion.  It was a special moment.   My Dad was liked by everyone.   The celebration of life afterwords held in a reception hall was full of wonderful stories and memories of my Dad.

I wish my Dad could see the successes of his children and grandchildren and our business.¬† He never got to meet my brother’s wife, Carey or little Caroline.¬† ¬†But I know he sees them.

They say over time memories fade and people forget.    I know many will never forget my Dad, He made an impact on many in our community especially his dear family and friends.

Our family is gathering on Sunday for a day of celebration of his life and to share our memories and grief.¬† ¬†I feel sad today missing my Dad.¬† ¬†I also feel grateful to have been born to such great and loving parents.¬† ¬† Life is for the living, but we can still cherish and miss those who are no longer with us.¬† ¬† ¬†So many memories ….. I will never forget my wonderful Daddy ‚̧ԳŹ .

The Overdose

Some people can drink alcohol and others can not.    Those who have crossed that invisible line will never be able to drink like a normal person.   We have an allergy.   A disease of the mind, body and soul.    The obsession that only an addict / alcoholic knows.  We were once spiritually empty and now we are full.   Recovery is a beautiful thing.

I have a dear friend in my 12 step program who lost his son this week to an overdose.¬† He lost his daughter 10 years ago to a motorcycle accident.¬† ¬† Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair.¬† Why do some of us make it to recovery while others do not?¬† There are so many people out in the world who do not know how great a sober and clean life can be.

My friend is not the first one I know to loose a child in this program.¬† ¬†A few I know have lost children to this disease and another to murder.¬† ¬†Brothers, Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Friends have all been lost,.¬† Despite these heartbreaks losing a child has to be the toughest (though I can not be the judge of that).¬† ¬† Amazingly, these friends of mine have been able to remain sober and lean on the fellowship, their higher power and the 12 steps to see them through.¬† ¬† I have the upmost respect and awe for those who can remain sober and steady in the face of tragedy.¬† ¬† ¬†I don’t know if I would have as much grace, I can only pray that I would.

We feel the pain of the death of another addict / alcoholic.    We know the struggle, the pull, the obsession.   We think of ourselves and but for the grace of God it could have been us, it could have been me.

We went over Step one and powerlessness at the meeting today.    The deceased young mans best family friend was there (along with my friend, the Dad)   She realizes now how close death can actually be if she does not get clean.  It was heart wrenching.    We or I must never forget how close death actually was and can be if I choose to go back to pills and alcohol.    We, the alcoholic / addict are powerless over  people, places and things.   We must change everything in order to survive.

I am at a place in my life where I can be around alcohol and people who drink moderately.¬† ¬†When friends and family get drunk and silly and stupid, well that is where my tolerance ends.¬† ¬†I know for me what I can and can not handle with others and the drinking …. its all about the people, place and things.¬† ¬†Some we can handle others we can not.

For my friend, I am really sad.¬† ¬†His son had been to meetings at out club.¬† ¬†My friend tried tirelessly to save his son from those demons.¬† In the end though he had to save himself …. both my friend and his son.