Thursday, June 25, 2015

Reaping Rewards

For some reason this pic of my grandkids reminds me of those old Circus photos of midgets and giants, or I guess to be more politically correct these days, Little People and Big People.

But back to matters at hand.

Sorry for dropping out of sight for a week or so, I went to visit my kids and grandkids. It is during these visits that I think I reap the most benefits of being sober, being fully present for my grandkids. They were a big impetus for me getting sober. Only one of them, the oldest, will have ever known the drinking Grandma Kary and since the oldest is now 11 and I quit drinking when he was 7, I hope those memories will fade. But he still has at least one of them, he brought it up to me a few months ago. And although he may not attribute the memory to drinking, I do."Grandma?" he asked, "remember that time I was staying with you and you made me go to bed at 6:00 pm when it was still light out. I wasn't tired at all and couldn't sleep and just had to lay there for hours."

Yes, I do remember that time.

 It was just him and I up here at the cabin for a week and it had started out so well, we were having so much fun fishing and having campfires. But I was drinking. At this point in my drinking I had started kindling and even if I overdrank by a small amount I would go into these horrendous episodes of withdrawal. Of course, I didn't know about kindling back then, I just couldn't figure out why my "hangovers" were getting so much worse even though at times I drank less. I would continue conducting this dangerous experiment for another year before finally joining MM and then a year later quitting drinking for good.

Anyway, back to that week. From Day 3 of our great vacation, I lay on the couch while grandson was forced to stay inside and watch TV or videos and eat ice cream for meals. I kept promising him that tomorrow would be better. But it never was. And, of course, I was still drinking, weaning off, because that was the only way I knew of warding off what ever might be coming if quit drinking completely. I remember at one point thinking I should teach him to dial 911 and give them our location, just in case.

I should have called someone to come get him, but I didn't, I was too ashamed. 

I survived the week, as did he, and delivered him to the doorstep of his other grandparents at the end of the week. I'm sure I looked like hell. I've told this story before, I guess its one of the ones that stick with me, that still turn my stomach.

But Drinking Grandma is dead and gone, and while I may have looked wistfully at my son's beer last week as he sat on the back porch in the evenings, I have absolutely no regrets about the week. None. And that is the greatest reward of all. 

No regrets.

P.S. More grandchildren coming to stay with me this week and I am not afraid. 

P.P.S.  If your hangovers have started to grow in their extent of horribleness and length, no matter the amount you drink, you have probably started kindling.  It doesn't get any better from this point.  You are at the point that something very scary could happen.  The only way to avoid this is to quit.  I don't recommend even trying to moderate at this point because moderation, especially in those early hard days, is a teeter-totter.  One drink too many and the teeter-totter crashes to the ground sending you, on the other end, flying through the air until you land in a broken heap on the ground.  It's just too dangerous because you don't know if that one more drink, is going to be your last.


  1. I just learned something new. Kindling. I did not not even know this existed. It is scary.
    Picture of your grandkids is great. They look happy and mischievous and they made me smile. Great looking kids, grandma! :)

  2. Hi Kary May,
    I'm glad you had a lovely time with your kids and grandkids. Your grandson will eventually forget that night (or maybe not. Kids have memories like an elephant!)
    I've never heard of kindling either. Is it a new term? I hope I never have to experience it.
    Enjoy spending time with your family.
    A x

  3. Love the picture and hearing that you're enjoying time with the grandkids! Fun! Bet they're having a blast with you too. I'd never heard the term kindling but can attest that hangovers got much much worse in my last two years of drinking with no major change in how much I drank. This led to earlier drinking and panic and disgust, so I like to thank hangovers for saving my life. Dependence is scary shit.

  4. 1. That was my first thought when I looked at the picture of your grandkids. I think it's the look on the little one's face...he looks so grown!

    2. Never EVER forget this memory. This is the one that will keep you sober forever...I know...I have a few of them myself.

    Love you girl...