Scribbles from Seg

April 30, 2016

A good friend once told me that the only way out is through. I suspect this entry will be filled with cliche’s so I might as well start with one. So much has happened that it is overwhelming to begin to start to commence with catching up.

I have to tell you about losing everything – G., job, home, car and freedom. I have to tell you about moving and H and jail. I have to tell you about my loose relationship with the truth. I will try not to be wide of the point. And I will certainly try to make it interesting and unique. Who wants to read the same shit over and over again?

Seriously?

September 24, 2013

I haven’t been writing. I have’t been reading. I haven’t been grocery shopping. I haven’t been.

It started in June or July of 2012. I continued to drink heavily and plan my death. A doctor found out about the plan and had me admitted to the mental ward at St. Lawrence. I was there for 3 or 5 days and what I was told by the psychiatrist in no uncertain terms was “well, you need to quit drinking.”

No shit.

Obviously the doctor (no one actually) had read this blog. I don’t know if it is even visible anywhere.

So, although I was hospitalized against my will – I eventually checked myself in and actually had a pretty good time with my fellow crazies. Before they let me leave though – the doctor strongly suggested/advised/demanded I enter an outpatient program for substance abuse. Okay, fine… I will do it.

The IOP is run by an incredible man – I liked going to group 3 nights a week for hours and hours. I liked that he breathalyzed me. I like (not really this part as much) that he required me to go to AA (and prove it) three times a week and find a female sponsor within 10 days and call her everyday.

I was into it. I was into recovery. I was feeling good and was sober for three months. I got my three month coin from the hot guy Pete and although he didn’t know my name (I only say it at every meeting… “Hi, my name is Tess and I am an alcoholic” ) I still felt good.

Until I didn’t. Around my 40th birthday, I started drinking again. Something snapped one day and I knew – completely knew- that I was going to buy wine on the way home. I had tunnel vision. I don’t think anything would have stopped me.

From there the drinking continued. It wasn’t long before I was back drinking daily – all day if I could.

I treated the nice guy I was seeing at the time like shit and he eventually gave up on me.

From November – February I was drunk. I am not sure I had one day of sobriety during that time.

It was around the beginning of February that my boss suddenly came into my office and said (with her head and nose up high) – “I smell wine” I immediately denied it and she wasn’t buying it – but she left my office.

This cat and mouse game went on for a couple of weeks – then, one day she came into my office and sat down closely across from me and took my hands in hers and said “I don’t think you can get sober again without going back into the hospital.”  I was so relieved. I immediately got on the phone with the Brighton Recovery Center – this was a Thursday. They said they would have a bed for me on Sunday.

So, I did what any experienced alcoholic would do and drank myself into a blackout that lasted all weekend. My boss picked me up that Sunday. We dined at Cracker Barrel – she told me to get whatever I wanted – diet coke and coffee and water and fried okra and catfish.

We stopped at Marshall’s on the way and she bought a curling iron.

Once we arrived at Brighton she stayed with me for a long time. The intake process took about 4 hours (maybe more) The waiting room was filled with people that would eventually become my friends – and more.

I am not going to go into the Brighton experience on this post. It stands alone and will take a lot of time and remembering. Stay tuned.

I stayed at Brighton for two weeks. I left on February 24 – I arrived there on February 11. I insisted they spring me so I could get home in time to watch The Oscars.

I picked up Griffin for a few hours when I got home. His dad wanted him back fairly quickly because it was a school night. I had assumed he would watch The Oscars with me- but his dad requested he go back to their house for the night.

So, there I was standing in my living room – alone – The Red Carpet began – and I left. I went to the party store up the road and bought wine.

When, I left Brighton no one would have convinced me that I would drink ever again – and then just like a bolt of lightening – I was back at it.

I don’t remember March or April. I became very sloppy with hiding my drinking and ended up getting caught drunk at work……. more than once. My job had required I see an  EAP counselor – just as a resource to help me. I wasn’t in any trouble…. yet.

By the end of May the word “sloppy” doesn’t come close to my drinking. On Wednesday, May 29 I was found by EMT’s and police naked on the floor wedged between my bed and the wall.

I had not called into work. I had not answered my phone or my door. My boss called my parents and they called the police. They believed I was dead. Unfortunately, I wasn’t.  I was taken against my will to the hospital. I had to have a “safety sitter” with me at all times – even to use the bathroom because they believed I planned to hurt myself.

I don’t know what would have given them that idea. I had pills, I was heavily intoxicated and – oh yeah – I was covered in lacerations. I have been a “cutter” off and on for years. I picked it up again when I was looking in the cupboard and happened upon an exacto knife. It was like finding a million dollars. I also began beating the shit out of myself again – so, there were bruises all over my body too.

While in the ER – they wouldn’t give me anything to calm me down – as I sobered up the anxiety, sweating and nausea was unbearable. I did make the most of it by lively chatting with my safety sitters – they were a great group of young people (except one)

Late that night I was transferred to Community Mental Health to be evaluated for further care. I was told there would be drugs for anxiety there – that was a lie.

I was in the middle of the most intense manic episode I have experienced and they put me in a small, cold room with nothing by magazines from the early ’90’s.  My head was going to fly off, I was going to fly (like NEO) through the roof – or, I was going to pace a short, bug infested old hallway for 8 hours. So, I paced and paced.  I didn’t know when the last time I slept or ate was. I was flying high and I have never been more uncomfortable – from the inside out.

Thankfully, the intake worker was awesome. She eventually let me sit in a chair outside of her office (I was not allowed in – CMH policy) and she talked to me – and listened to me.

CMH is a holding tank. I was sent there to be evaluated to determine if I needed to be admitted. Eventually, a psychologist interviewed me – as well as another woman – I don’t remember her role. This was happening in the middle of the night.

I hadn’t talked to anyone – not my parents even. It didn’t take long for the staff to decide they couldn’t let me go. So, they began looking for a mental facility that would take me.  St. Lawrence in Lansing was full. So, I was headed out-of-town. The place I really didn’t want to go had a bed for me. I had to leave CMH once a bed was found. They weren’t going to cater to my psycho beliefs about where I should go.

I asked my new BFF what would happen if I left the building (even though I had no shoes) and she promptly said “you’ll be arrested.”

At some point in the early morning I called my parents to tell them I was being transferred to Carson City. They weren’t happy with me – at all.

it wasn’t long before two (hot and young) EMT’s showed up to take me by ambulance from Lansing to Carson City. I had a good time laying on a board in the back of the ambulance – restrained talking to the super cute EMT. He was very cool (and very taken 🙂

When I arrived at Carson City – the check-in process was mind numbing. They did not have it together to receive me – and I immediately wanted out. As time went on though – it got better. However, when my parents got there to bring me some things when I hugged my mom I whispered in her ear “GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.”

No dice.

I will write about my time in Carson City in a separate post.

While there – my boss came to visit me. She always brings me the best magazines. She also brought a gift from a friend at work that had made me prayer moccasins.  Google it if you care what those are – but I was overwhelmed by the gift.

My boss delivered the message very clearly to me – now is the time to go to a long-term substance abuse facility. I became very upset and begged her to agree that I could go home and do the outpatient thing again. She would not agree. I had a crying fit in my room and the nurse came in to check on me. I asked her to talk to me for a bit. She sat on the edge of my bed and tried to get me to accept I needed longer-term care. She asked me to write a journal entry about why I drink. I have that somewhere .

The discharge nurse, Nancy did some homework for me and she found three places to choose from.

My boss used her mad-Googling skills and brought me information on each one.

I chose a place called Our Hope in Grand Rapids. It was a 12-bed residential facility for women. After awhile I thought this sounded like an okay idea.

Nancy did some calling and after waiting a day or so for the answer – I found out I could go to Our Hope the following day. I felt happy.

My parents and I coordinated how I would get there. We would have to stop at Meijer because I was going to be gone for at least 30 days. When I was hauled off by the EMT’s all I had was socks, jeans, a bra and one t-shirt (My Michigangster t)

I am not ready to write about Our Hope yet – but when I am, the entry will be titled “Deb’s diapers and other rehab woes”

I stayed at Our Hope for exactly 30 days. They wanted me to stay longer. I was having none of that – I wanted out of there. I started smoking (again) while I was there and I was going to run out of cigarettes soon – so, I knew it was time to go.

Plus, in true Tess fashion – I met a guy in the mental ward at Carson City that I wanted to get home to. He had also attempted suicide and was a severe alcoholic. Perfect.

My parents picked me up on July 3 (against medical advise)

I got home – my place looked weird. My mom had cleaned and got me groceries and washed my bedding.

All I wanted when they were in my place was for them to get the hell out – so I could smoke and call John.

John was staying at the  VOA and he had a curfew – this made him the perfect match for me because that meant I would be alone within hours of getting home.

The next day I agreed to golf in a 4th of July outing with my parents. I made it to the course on time and we had a good time. When we were done and eating dinner in the clubhouse – I got a call from Griffin’s dad. He told me that I was gone for over 40 days (no shit) and he hadn’t heard from me. I had talked to Griffin – but not him. He let me know that it is their preference that Griffin no longer spend the night with me. He could come over for a few hours – but then I would have to take him to their house. I agreed – saying if that is what he thought was best for Griffin then I would not argue.

I saw Griffin for a few hours on Friday, July 5. I have no memory of what happened next. Somehow it became Saturday, July 6 – I had made plans to pick John up for breakfast and never showed. I have a memory of my mom being at my screen door. The next memory I have is being back in the ER. I had fallen and hit my head on the screen door track. My mom couldn’t pick me up and I wouldn’t wake up – she had to call the ambulance.

My boss came to see me in the ER – her first words were “I’m not mad” – when I sobered up they were checking me out of the hospital. I had no way to get anywhere. My mom had left.

I had to call my parents and ask them to come get me.

They were disgusted with me. My mom had just spent thousands of dollars for me to stay in rehab for 30 days – and I didn’t make it a few hours before drinking again. I don’t really know what to say about that.  I was stunned too.

They made me go to church with them that Sunday morning – I had to wear my nieces flip flops, my jeans and Batman t-shirt. My dad yelled at me to COMB MY HAIR! but no matter how hard ti tried to try – I looked like absolute shit.

the next day – Monday – I had concert tickets in Ann Arbor to see David Byrne (or husband #3 as I like to call him) – we made it to the show – the show was great – Ann Arbor was great and we returned home without incident.

Somewhere in here I saw John again and he kissed me.

I had my meeting with Human Resources at work on Wednesday – July 10. Unbelievably, I still had a job – but I had to sign a contract stating I had no more chances. Next incident I will be gone. They said I could return to work the following Monday. What the fuck would I do until Monday? – I knew what I would do. So, I drove to St. Lawrence Substance Abuse and called from the car asking if I could be admitted for detox.

I had met with a therapist the day before my meeting with HR. I was honest with him about my drinking and after he did some checking – he suggested I come in for a bit. I told him I would be fine.

But after the meeting at work – I knew I wouldn’t be fine. I called from the parking lot around noon. They told me to come back at 4:30. From there I went to the Better Health Food Store and bought two bottles of wine. I figured that would get me to 4:30.

I went home and packed my own bag this time. This time it was my decision to get more help.

I was intoxicated when I got there – so, I was required to stay in my room and not be around the other patients. I immediately began going stir crazy. I spent Wednesday to Saturday there and then came home.

Thursday night my mother came for “Family Night” with the IOP therapist. He is such a good speaker and so smart about addiction – I think my mom learned a lot. I had been to several Family Nights over the past summer and although I had heard the lectures before, I continued to learn. And, my thinking was different this time. I knew how severe my addiction was. Hell, I was back there again.

When I got out on Saturday – I don’t know what I did – but I did not drink.

That Sunday, I went shopping to Target for Super Hero toys and to Ulta for makeup. When I returned home on Sunday I was very anxious and uncomfortable. I called my friend Jane and then my friend Carol. I talked and talked about what the past 50 some days had been like.

I made it through the night and returned to work on Monday.

Everyone was so nice and happy to see me. IOP began that night and I was happy to be back in Dave’s group.

As I said before – Dave requires three AA meetings a week and the name and phone number of your sponsor.

My mom went to every family night. We would meet at El Azteco for dinner and then go. It was a nice time spent together.

My dad even came to one. He commented to Dave that he just doesn’t understand how or why someone would want to live with addiction. David’s response was that he has been at this for 20 some years, and he still can’t explain it to non-addicts. Only addicts truly understand the cycle of addiction and it will never make sense to a sober person.

I get confused because I grew up believing my father was an addict. In Brighton my parents brought Griffin to a family session with my therapist. I had talked to her about my dad being an alcoholic. I about fell out off my chair when my dad told her that he is not an alcoholic. He just used to drink. Whatever. If that is what he believes – it is his life.

Part of my agreement with work was that I went back to see the EAP therapist. She does not know addiction. And we did not click. I have been in a lot of therapy and I know who is good (for me) and who isn’t. She was not at all helpful – she continued to tell me how bad I “fucked up” and called me names at times. Once, when I told her about a date I went on and after she suggested I call HIM for another date and I replied I wasn’t going to call him – she called me a “chicken shit” More than once.

I had a date with this interesting professor – but I was so nervous before the date that I threw it.

I will need to write about what has gone on since I graduated from IOP – but not yet.

I cannot believe the things I have. The risks I have taken are unbelievable. Who would do that? How could I do that? How did we end here over and over again? What was it going to take? The threat of losing my job, my son, everything I have isn’t enough – it makes no sense.

Where I am at right now is determined. I will remain sober for me. The lying and not following through has become too much for me to bear.

I have to do this my way – it is personal. Others, even though I know they care, cannot influence my sobriety. Rules and threats will not keep me sober. Doing what I need will. I am stronger than ever now. Who knew there could be so many bottoms. I know I could go much lower – but I will no. I am done.

It is over. I have no idea how long it is going to take to earn trust of those around me. Why would they trust me? I am a liar. I fell in love with an alcoholic this year – and I know how it feels to simply not be able to reach someone – someone who says they love you.

so maybe being pissed is what has made me finally turn the corner. – Fine. I can be grateful later – whatever works and gets me there for now.

You want to watch me like a hawk, then watch this. I am going to prove them wrong.

Unbearable

April 29, 2013

This is unbearable. Nine more minutes.

The clock is not moving. I have to get over this. Mom, Dad, Lorie, Matt, Mark, Griffin,

I do not believe this is a disease. I believe I am weak.

I have to get over this. I am the only one blaming me. Blame, guilt, regret, all of those things will keep me drinking and numb.

Everyday seems more desperate than the one before.

Just don’t. Just don’t. Just don’t.

AWAKE

October 6, 2012

I am getting used to it. I am getting used to knowing that there is nothing out there. I do not need anything. All that I know is what I see. I will not learn from a book, a teacher, even a preacher. I learn from what I see. 

All that I have is my soul and I will lose what I cling to most. 

I spent 40 years restless, looking for something – being other-dependent. I cannot immediately change that way of thinking. Through determination, patience and practice, it will come. 

The Disclaimer

October 6, 2012

Finnegan Begin Again – 2016
If you are going to read some, try to read all – there is no time limit, but there may be a test later. If I were you, I would start from the end and work my way to the front.

Some of what you are viewing is exaggerated for readability.

I cannot keep a “normal” journal because my right hand shakes too much to write
(or put on a good coat of eyeliner. )

And always remember the Golden Rule ~ Content is King.

You will not gain happiness from sensual desire. Satisfying a sensual desire does not last.

Happiness is gained through insight. Insight is gained through being calm.

Loving Kindness,  Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and finally Equanimity.  – Those are your four friends.

Patience. Determination. Ruthless Honesty.

Ego

We can never be truly right. Being right comes from our ego. We all have our point of view. Therefore, everyone may think they are right – using their own perspective and ego.

Good or bad- it is just happening. Good or bad it is just happening. Good or bad – it is just happening.

What is there to get worried about if everything moves – everything disappears?

We are all suffering because suffering is caused by craving and wanting. We will never have everything we want because what we want is fleeting. If we were given the opportunity to have something we love for a long time it would turn to misery. What if you were enjoying a wonderful meal made by a loving friend. You told the friend “This is the best meal I have ever had.” and the friend said “If you love it so much, why don’t you sit there and eat until tomorrow?” Then it would become miserable. No one would want to sit and eat for 24 hours. Or take a nice warm shower for 24 hours…etc.

If someone is making you angry – do not allow that. Think of them as a teacher. They are showing you something about yourself.

Good-bye Pink Cloud

September 22, 2012

When I was in IOP and also in AA people referred to the “Pink Cloud.” This is the period of time in early in recovery when everything is great. You feel wonderful, confident – and everything seems to be going your way.
The first month of sobriety I felt very healthy, positive and strong. And then, that changed. I started to become angry and stressed out. I am negative. I can’t even recall the feelings I had two months ago – it is as if they evaporated.

Yet, I have heard or learned a lot of good things about how to get through the rough days. Applying those words of wisdom though is tough. I choose how I feel. A problem without a solution isn’t a problem at all.

I learned about setting boundaries. I was warned about bailing out someone’s canoe. It was stated over and over to let go of the things I cannot control.

So, what I have been doing is what I can control. I go to work. Work is hard. I control very little there. Many people work with me and they are wonderful – however, everyone has skin in the game. I need to learn to chill out – or I will have a heart attack.

After work now I prefer to go home and be by myself. It is quiet at home. I can decide what I do. I may not have control from 8-5 – but I am making sure I control 5:30 – bedtime. and the weekends too.

On Thursday I golfed in an outing. I did not drink. I didn’t do anything like I did last year. I did treat myself with dignity and self respect and I feel good about that. No negative consequences will come from that day.

I am though dealing with a very bad consequence from my accident in April. I have to get car insurance and because of my careless driving ticket  the rate will be very high. I haven’t had the guts to run the numbers yet – but I really don’t know if I will be able to make bills. And it is so bad that it isn’t even a matter  of canceling Netflix and Hulu – I will do that – but this is a big fucking number. I already quit eating out. I quit drinking. I will quit buying shit I don’t need (I do need to do that, the party is seriously over) – but I don’t see what I can cut out that will save enough money to cover the cost of insurance. This is a problem without a solution. Maybe I have to get a second job. I have done that before and I remember I took home very little money. I don’t know. I will pray. Another saying in AA is that you have to give it away to keep it. We’ll see.
I am responsible for what I did. I really have never been one to blame someone else for my actions.

I am worried about how much help I will be to Griffin. He is 13. He will be able to enter drivers ed. soon. Will I be able to help him get a car.

If he doesn’t choose to go to LCC – will I be able to help him get into college? Is my credit so screwed that I will hurt rather than help? Thank God for Matt and Michelle.

I am feeling the pinch from changes in State of Michigan stuff. Stuff I don’t ever understand. Benefits and retirement and important stuff like that. My take home pay is less. I have to do something. I can’t remain still while getting screwed.

I have been more quiet lately because for me to share my feelings is to say things that go against all of the principles I am working so hard to apply. When I speak I want it to be true, unique and interesting. I am so sick of Facebook. People posting every single thought there. I find myself being tempted to do the same. I am stopping myself. I need to find some other way to post a feeling. One kid at AA said when you have any emotion treat it like a railroad crossing and stop – do nothing and wait for the train to pass.

I need to remember to slow down and not speak so fast. Not react so fast. Breathe. Pray.

A meditation book arrived yesterday – now I need to read it.

Just like others I thought drinking was my only problem. Drinking was my unhealthy coping mechanism to all of my problems. So many things bug me. So many things that I cannot control. Few things are any of my business. I need to acknowledge that and let those things go. Drinking was not the solution. Being a high-strung asshole is not the solution. I will figure this out. It is going to take patience, practice, determination and strength. God willing.

Amen.