Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leave Of Absence

Hey guys,
I'm back at work and my stress and anxiety level are at volcanic levels, so I'm going to put this poor little blog even further back on the stove until I get a little equilibrium back. This too shall pass. K

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Much Needed, Much Appreciated Good News

Apparently the "something" that the radiologist saw on the daughter-in-law's scans were her ovaries.  He had assumed that they had been removed when they did her hysterectomy (For the record, I think they should have been removed, get everything out of the war zone you can!) and he thought he was seeing a mass that shouldn't have been there.  So the scans were all clear after all!!

Thank you Jeezus!

Now she will be following up often, often, often and developing a very close relationship with her dr. for the next seven years which I'm sure will become a big pain in the butt.  But a very appreciated pain in the butt because she's going to survive every single one of those seven years and she'll be around for her kids to terrorize in their teens.

She's a lucky girl!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moore Prayers

Life asked Death,
Why do people love me,
But hate you?

Death replied,
Because you are a beautiful lie,
And I am a painful truth.

One day when I was in kindergarten, I walked home from school to find a huge, gaping hole in our backyard.  My dad had decided to dig a storm cellar because my older sister was deathly afraid of storms and went into hysterics every time the tornado sirens would howl.  He thought having that hole under our back porch would calm her fears.  It did better than that, it scared off all the tornadoes.  Never in all the following years did we ever have to seek shelter from a tornado in that cellar. When I was young, I'd head down there with all my favorite stuffed toys, and some cheese and crackers every time the tornado watch ticker came across the bottom of the tv screen.  It was a lark.

I no longer consider tornadoes a lark.
 Not after Hoisington, Greensburg, Joplin, Moore x 2....
Not after I think of scared little kids who were counting down the hours until summer vacation, thinking of swimming pools and barbecues and tee-ball, huddled shoulder to shaking shoulder in a hallway.
I can't think of that without bursting into tears.  A few more days and school would have been out.  

My daughter-in-law went in for her scans today.  They saw something.

Tonight I want to be in a bar with a bunch of others, our eyes peeled to the TV watching news reports of the tornadoes and motioning to the bartender to keep them coming until we forget why we're there.  I want to drink until I no longer care why.  I really do.

But God and I decided two years ago that now was the time I needed to be sober, I needed to be STRONGER.

I don't know why.  I am afraid of what may be coming. 

But I will stay strong and I will stay sober.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Has Anybody Seen My Confidence, I Know I Left It Here Somewhere

 Until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life!
- Rocky Balboa

I just wanted to let you know I didn't hit the pinnacle of 600 days and then decide to do a free fall into barrel of whiskey.  You weren't really worried, were you?  You know me better than that, right?

I'm gearing up for work again this summer and I've worked myself into the same frazzled, second-guessing, downplaying my abilities, wrecking ball to the old self-confidence mode that I usually get into.  I think I have post-traumatic stress syndrome from the old-school asshole surgeons that I trained with in my early days, you know, the ones that would throw sharp pointy instruments at you, if you made the mistake of handing them the wrong thing, or asking them the wrong question like, "Good Morning, how are you today?"

So the other night I couldn't sleep and I got up in the middle of the night to worry and fret and try to memorize the PDR, then about the time the sun was over the mountain ridge and the cap'n was getting up, I decided I was tired and was going  back to bed.  As I stretched out in bed, I hollered down to him from the loft, "This is kind of reminiscent of my old drinking days, isn't it? (I was notorious for getting up and drinking a bottle or two of wine at 2 am just to try and get back to sleep).  Then I said, "You're probably looking under the couch for my wine glass, aren't you?" 

And he said, "Nah, I know you."

 Confidence restored.  Isn't that a wonderful thing?  The thing is, if he'd looked under the couch, he probably would have found a wine glass or two because it's probably been over 600 days since I cleaned under there.

Back to memorizing the PDR...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

DAY 600!

There's yours truly down in the dungeon, looking for Princess Euphoria.  I think there's a couple of decades where you wouldn't be able to find a picture of me with out a glass in my hand. lol
 And here's me a couple of weeks ago with my grandson.  I found something better to hold onto.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Fairy Tale

 an•he•do•ni•a (ˌæn hiˈdoʊ ni ə)
n. Psychol.
lack of pleasure or of the capacity to experience it.

I had a couple of comments on my May Day Blog that I'd like to try and address.  One was from Signe who basically asked which came first, finding something that I could fall in love with or giving up drinking.  The other was from a member of the MM Mainlist who said I made such a complicated issue sound simple.  There are no easy answers, we all know this, I told my MM friend, once we get some distance from alcohol everything becomes less complicated, and to do that, Signe, I had to push myself to find something, or many things, that I thought could become more important in my life than alcohol. Then I had to quit drinking to make them worth it.

But there are devious forces at work that keep us from doing either one of these,

Let me introduce you to Princess Euphoria and Princess Anhedonia, they're sisters and they go hand-in-hand and they live in the land of Alcoholism.  Where one goes, the other goes.

First let's talk about Princess Euphoria, we'll call her Phoria for short.  Phoria is the one we met that night we took that first drink.  We felt like we had just met our long lost best friend.  She was always there for us, anytime we needed her.  Phoria was one great gal, even if she was a little flighty, and insincere, even if she was a little dangerous and convinced us to go places where we wouldn't normally go. "Feel like jumping naked off the back of a boat while the crowds watch?"  Sure, why not? "Wanna go home with that cute stranger at the end of the bar?"  Hell, yeah!  She made us feel more alive than we ever had.  She was like the Pamela Anderson of friends, she was fake as hell,  from her false eyelashes to her triple D's, but she was fun and she made us feel so good about ourselves. Hot damn, we loved that gal!  She had lots of friends that she wanted us to meet and they all worshiped her.

The only problem was she had this ugly sister name Princess Anhedonia, we'll call her Annie.  Annie was a loutish, brutish, clod of a gal, she followed Phoria everywhere she went because, hell, she couldn't get any friends on her own.  She was a real sour bitch and she got great pleasure from making us feel bad.  She'd make fun of us, and tell us that we were worthless pieces of shit, and then she'd cover her bristly mouth and giggle, "Just kidding. he-he  You know I love you."  She made our skin crawl and our stomachs turn.  She scared the shit out of us, but we tolerated her.  For Phoria.

Some people wised up fast to Annie, and as much as they liked Phoria, they couldn't put up with her malevolent side-kick, so they regretfully bade their farewells to Phoria, or else they arranged to meet her on the sly for short little get togethers, and as soon as they sensed that Annie was going to show up, they got the hell out of there. These were some smart cookies.  Others, like me, lingered longer,  we loved Phoria so much that we continued to withstand Annie's abuse, just so we could spend as much time as possible with our best friend. She was worth it.  She'd been so good to us.

Now unbeknownst to us, Annie hated Phoria, she wanted all of Phoria's friends for herself. She was secretly plotting to kill her, but first she kidnapped her and put her in a dungeon.  She would let her out every once in awhile just so she could lure us closer, but then she'd quickly throw Phoria back in the dungeon, and we would be forced to tolerate Annie's increasingly sadistic behaviour. We couldn't get rid of her, she started hanging around longer and longer.   Again, some of the friends wised up, and as much as they loved Phoria, they decided they couldn't tolerate anymore of Annie and they escaped.  But others, like me, kept coming back, we'd tolerate anything just for those few moments spent with Phory.  Those few moments of light with her were all we had left in our darkening world.

Annie began letting Phory out for shorter and shorter periods until she had lured all of Phoria's most steadfast friends and trapped us in the dungeon, it was then that she finally killed Phory.  Phoria's friends wouldn't believe it, we  kept looking for Phoria, through all the dark hallways and vomit tainted cellars and into the bottom of every dusty bottle we found, we kept calling out her name.  Some got lost down in the catacombs beneath the dungeon and wandered about aimlessly, looking for Phoria, until they perished.

But some of Annie's prisoners, and this time I was one of them, decided they had to escape, they couldn't live with Annie, and Phoria wasn't coming back.  But Annie was a vigilant and punishing warden and time after time she caught us and pulled us back into her chamber of terrors.  Every attempted escape resulted in a harsher punishment which broke our spirits and made mush of our wills.  Annie was a master at brainwashing and she was especially adept at making us believe that there was nothing waiting for us outside the dungeon walls, we were reviled and worthless beings, blights on the face of the earth.  We were better off where we were. That's what she would have us believe, and she was very convincing.  We shook our head in resignation, we were doomed.

But wait!  There was another sister that we'd forgotten about.  Princess Joy!  We'd actually met her first, before we'd met either Phoria or Annie, she may not have been as crazy fun as Phoria, but she was beautiful, in her shimmering clothes,  and most of all kind.  She also made us feel good, but she made us work for it and her rewards were enduring.  Joy was no pushover, but she was real and she was loyal and we knew she would rescue us, if we but asked. She was our only hope.  We went in search of her, struggling past Annie, we broke free from our cell and ran through the endless dark halls  calling a new name.   Finally we rounded a corner, and a dim glow lit the the walls, it was her, Joy.  She'd been waiting for us, waiting all along, to lead us out of the dungeon that surrounded us,  all we had to do was follow her and keep her in our sight.  

Annie didn't give up that easy though,  she gave chase.  She was big and lumbersome, but she was persistent. Some of us got  outside the dungeon walls and saw all of the obstacles looming in front of us and ran back in.   Some of us looked back long enough to let Annie catch us and throw us back in the dungeon.   She managed to wrap her hands around the ankles of some of us and we had to pull her along until we could break free.  That horrid bitch dogged all of us for a measure but the further we got from her lair, the weaker she got and the closer we got to Joy.

So Signe, your daughter may never find her "passion" or joy until she escapes the clutches of the anhedonia that alcoholism cultivates, she needs to find something that she once cherished, or something she could cherish as a means of escape, and then she needs to keep her eye on that object and quit drinking until that object starts to shine.  Here is a link to a discussion about alcohol induced anhedonia that might convince her.

And my MM friend, it sounds as if you're gaining distance, don't look back and keep going.

P.S.  I know that some of us embrace the anhedonia that alcohol wraps around us, it insulates us from the pain of life but it also keeps us from the antidote to pain which is joy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
Meister Eckhart

Way back when I was a young girl we would spend the first day of May making cones out of whatever material we could find, sometimes it was the construction paper from one of our old kindergarten masterpieces that we'd decided to sacrifice in honor of the day, or sometimes it would be a plain white paper plate with fluted edges and barely detectible smudges of ketchup and mustard.

We'd get out our cigar box of broken crayons and decorate the outside with emblems of springs,  yellow daisies and rabbits and the iconic 70's smiley face, then we'd attach a handle to the cone and stuff it full of whatever spring flowers we could filch from Mom's flower beds, usually the early blooming roses and iris's.  With baskets in hand, we'd stealthily prowl the neighborhood, looping the handles of the baskets over the doorknobs of our unsuspecting prey, then we'd knock on the door, or ring the doorbell, and run like heck around the corner of the house, waiting for the inhabitants  to come to the door and find the May Day surprise we'd left for them.  Most of them opened the door and looked out and a scowl would form over their features right before they slammed the door.  It seemed, the Hickey kids had played this game one too many times without leaving a surprise.  But in the jubilant spirit of spring and the exuberance of youth, we persevered with the knocking and running until our beleaguered victim finally flung open the door to give chase.  It was then they would spot the dangling basket of posies.  I tell you, it would stop them in their tracks and we'd have to stifle our giggles as the angry expressions on their faces turned to chagrin and finally to a wistful nostalgia as they remembered their own days as marauding May Day basket hooligans.

By the time my boys were of appropriate age, the May Day basket tradition had been mostly abandoned and forgotten, but I decided to revive it.  On May first, I'd force them inside away from their games with the neighborhood kids and I'd sit them down with all the construction materials and they'd whine but then finally give in, I'm sure thinking the sooner they got the "stupid baskets" finished, the sooner they could go play.  Afraid not.  My yard was not as bounteous as my mother's in spring flowers, but I was not about to be thwarted.  (I'm pretty sure my unflagging enthusiasm for resurrecting this dead tradition was fueled by a couple of Jack Daniels and Diet Pepsi's) I'd have the boys pile into the car and we'd drive down the alleys of our local florists. The boys would cower in the backseat of the car in embarrassment as I dumpster dived for flowers whose stems were broken or whose petal's edges were just starting to turn brown.  The boys would stuff the bedraggled flowers into their "stupid" baskets and we'd ride off into the night in search of victims.  (They liked this part.)

Today is the first day of May, May Day, and several of my friends on the Moderation Management Mainlist are embarking on a 30 day abs period.  Today is Day 1, the most difficult day of all.  For today, that is.  Tomorrow, tomorrow will be the most difficult day of all.  It is woefully easy for me to look back and remember what got me through those first days of not drinking,  I was usually coming off of a bender, and sickeness, physical and spiritual sickness, is what fueled all the early days of abstinence for me.

I wish it hadn't been that way.  Instead I wish I could have laid careful plans for my first day and the days that followed.  I have often been asked how I quit drinking, the simple answer is, "I just quit drinking." but that is not the answer they're seeking, and it's not completely the truth.  "I just quit drinking." lots of times but "just not drinking" wasn't enough to keep me from drinking again.  What finally made me able to not drink again, was to find more and more things in my life that were more important than my drinking, and then I had to nourish them until I loved them enough to not want to see them suffer from the neglect and apathy that went hand in hand with my drinking.  It wasn't one single thing, it was a basketful.

So if I'd been lucky enough to start a 30 day abs period, or a forever abs period on May 1, without my usual hangover, I'd look at those 30 days as if they were a giant May Day Basket and I'd pack it full of things I could fall in love with. Writing, biking, gardening, knitting, painting, charity, my kids... are just a few of the things I might put in that basket.  If I ran out of things that I thought I could fall in love with, I'd go dumpster diving until I found something, even if I had to dig down to the very bottom past all kind of rotting stinking garbage, even if it's survival was doubtful.  Then I'd pour all my efforts into saving it.

That's what I'd do. I'd spend this month doing my damnedest to fall in love with something. Anything. Lots of things.   I'm sure, in the first few days, I'd be like my old neighbors and I'd keep  opening the door with a scowl to see nothing there, but  I'd keep answering that knock on the door until I found the gift that was waiting for me.   Just so that on May 30, if I'd tried my hardest, if I'd given my utmost best effort, I would be holding in my hands something precious, something that I loved more than drinking.

 Maybe more than one thing. 

Maybe a whole basketful of things.

Maybe just myself.

P.S. Best wishes for all you, MM May abser's, you can do this if you keep your basket full.  If any of you want to share what things you're finding to fall in love with along the way please tell us about it in the comments. In addition, if any of my fellow bloggers would like to share what got you through those first few days and weeks of abs, please do.