Holiday Fun

Happy Holidays!

Having been raised in the United States by a flag flying family our holiday season has always begun at Thanksgiving. Board games, football, shopping and puzzles are the traditions of our holiday family fun. The thing about holiday fun is it comes with a price, a reminder of past holiday fun. For an addict who is active or in recovery the season can turn into a nightmare relived.

Big D and I try to focus on the present but we are, “hu-mortal.” (Big-D’s word for people) We are real folks who love visiting with family, but the fact of the matter is, the holidays make us crumble. We turn into stressed out balls of goo.

I stress over making food, eating too much food, cleaning and gifting. Big D stresses over paying for all of it. As a non-addict I handle stress by engaging in long conversations with my best friend and habitually going to the gym. Being an addict in recovery Big D does not handle stress as well. This time of year quickly becomes overwhelming for my love. Rapid thoughts stream thru his brain and before anyone can say, “Happy Thanksgiving,” I find my cherished wallowing in despair. With-in a moment’s notice he is sitting on the couch surrounded by broken plates of burnt dinner.

It is at this time I remember to stay calm. Taking a pause to remind myself addicts in recovery still deal with a daily medical disease. In sickness or health my role is to nurture. Please, do not be delusional to my situation, as the support I am also completely capable of loosing my mind. However, when I do because I have been steady and supportive, he returns the favor.

Live with Love,
Live in Health,
Live Happy and Enjoy The Season!

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Precious Trinkets

Sharing a home with an addict in active addiction eventually leads to many, “lost,” items. Most of them mean the world to you. However, they just disappear never to be found again. As if little fairies swept through your house caring off anything of monetary value. The thought of you missing these, usually sentimental, items is of no consideration to the fairies. They want what you have, so they take it. To you the trinkets are more than just, “stuff,” they are memories of people you love and the good times you’ve shared.

We are taught not to live in the past. We are told not to value material things because we can’t take them with us in the end. Well, I disagree. I loved all my, “lost,” valuables. And I know they were sold to random people for drug money. For drugs I never even got to enjoy. But, the aftermath of destruction my, “lost,” things paid for I definitely was privileged to.

The ideal I did not realize at the time was I had to experience the low we lived in to appreciate the high we live in now. Today, I still miss the precious trinkets we, “lost,” along the way. I am wiser for it, though. Now, I appreciate everything I receive. Not long ago we moved back to my hometown. For a month I spent Saturdays with my grandmother. We ran errands and fixed things around her house. The last weekend, before she went into the hospital, she gave me many of her precious trinkets. It occurred to me as I placed them on display in our dinning room, everything comes around. If Big D was not an addict in recovery I never would have moved home. I never would have had those precious Saturdays with my grandma. The time I am allotted to spend with those I love is my most valued treasure, one which can never be, “lost.”

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Letters

Saddened by Addiction
8375 N. First Ave.
Monberry, IL 41325
411 Hope You Can Help Ln.
Changeville, USA 80372

August 25, 2013

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is L. K. Brown. I am a concerned citizen penning my plight. Seeking restitution for the pain and suffering addiction inflicts on our citizens. Please, contact me regarding the whereabouts of the party responsible for this transgression. They should be held accountable for their wrong doings.
In the 80’s we waged a war against addiction. Back then, we battled for the streets wearing our DARE T-shirts and signed pledges to never do drugs. At the time little me skipped off to, “Say No to Drugs,” classes. I liked the war. You knew where you stood. Regrettably, as so many ideals we used to have, addiction is now a blurred subject.
Aside from the obvious junkie on the street or kid with too much time and no imagination, there has emerged a new addict. The drug alley has become a Dr.’s office. New addicts are people like my 90 year old grandmother with Alzheimer’s. She is prescribed to take pain medication she doesn’t need, in order to manage the agony the pills convinced her body to depend on. Having consumed them for a decade, if you were to cut her off she would die from withdrawals. Most people have not seen a person detox, it’s arduous to watch and horrific to endure. So I’ve been told of the latter, I’ve only experienced the former. All of these meds keep her up at night, so in addition she takes sleeping pills. This elaborate ordeal is for a woman who on a daily basis tells me she wishes the Lord would come for her. She misses her husband and longs to be with him in heaven.
The question remains, who am I allowed to blame for her cycle of doom? Could everyone involved be to blame? The selfless souls in her life provide a martyred line up. There is the Dr. who wrote then original prescription for her back pain. Then you have, the pharmaceutical sales rep., my sister’s occupation. An individual selling medication she’s confident restores patient’s health. And then you have my Mom, her caregiver, the closest person to her. Gram’s biggest cheerleader. The tireless fighter, battling for her mother’s well being at every appointment. Are we to blame her? The consent optimist. Continuing her faith in the next Dr. visit. “Yes,” she convinces herself, “the next one with eliminate my mother’s pain.”
In the end society blames the drug corporations. As do I, reluctantly. What other option does our family have? Grandma’s lived a long and fulfilling life. Even if her last years became an unfortunate example of a common American family situation. All anyone wants is to see her happy one last time. I long to place blame anywhere. Unfortunately for me, the bad guys are faceless corporations. And, obsessing over who to blame is an unhealthy habit.
My consolation prize is stated a philosophy my husband holds dear. According to Big D the war on drugs is over. We won. By the acceptance of understanding addiction is a non-discriminatory disease of which the only cure is abstinence, we carry on. Grandma always kept an open mind regarding life’s changes. When she was well she consistently sought knowledge. Taking pride in her continued practice of progressive thoughts.
If you happen upon a person to blame, I would appreciate their contact information. Penning a letter to the responsible party is my next corse of action. Your consideration in my concern is appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,
L.K. Brown

“Letters,” is dedicated in the memory of Grandma Eleanor. Thank you for taking such exceptional care of all of us. Give Grandpa a hug from me. XoXo

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I “Lost” It

Moments of complete irrational behavior reminds a usually sane person they are human.

Through the chapter’s of my life I have been a hoarder, a minimalist, a collector, a slob and emitted some OCD habits. All these phases concluded in a warm embrace of organization. However, one can become overly organized. I do not do well with losing things. I also, do not do well in admitting something is “lost.”

Naturally, being a control freak, I have a process to the find the thing I’ll never admit was “lost”. First, I go to my top 5 logical places. Next, I look in Big D’s logical places. These are very different places. If at this point the item has not been found, quietly I grow into a frantic, obsessive, tyrant on a secret mission. Never will I ask for help, that would be admitting defeat. Instead, I distract Big D with an errand to run. Once he is out of the house I have free reign to open and slam drawers without rising suspicion. Arriving home, Big D is welcomed by a frustrated wife flailing about in a house she bulldozed through. Cabinets and drawers remain open with new piles of clutter on every available surface. Now, he pity smiles at me and I vow, “I’ll never tell him I ‘lost’ it.” He tries to distract me with a game or movie. I decline, casually starting to put things back in their place. Finally, I go back to my top 5 and really search.

A habbit of mine is to misplace something temporarily every time we return from vacation. However, our most recent homecoming game of “lost” ended surprisingly.

My search simmered down, eventually, the evening drew to an end. Physically exhausted sleep eluded my thoughts. Frustrated, my mind began the battle of Crazy vs. Rational: Why can’t the dog talk? I know the dog knows where it is. I would be able to find if today was not Friday. Yes, if today was last Monday I would have found it. What purse was I using when I held the item last? Why is the supply drawer not bigger? I would have put it there if the drawer was bigger. Was it stolen? Yah, that makes sense. Someone came into our house and stole this one thing and nothing else. I wonder if Big D found it and isn’t telling me? How can he find it if you won’t tell him what it is you clearly did not lose.

I turned to him and smiled sweetly. He flipped through the TV stations. “Did you find it?” he asked.
“Find what?” I replied.
“Whatever it is you lost. Did you find it?”
“I didn’t lose anything.”
He laughed to himself, “Ok. If that’s how you want to play it?” Kissing me good nite he turned the TV off. Darkness flooded the room with silence. “Get some sleep you’ll remember where it is in the morning.” My brain battle would not accept defeat. I know where it is I just haven’t thought of where to look for it yet. To conclude the day, Crazy won.

Daylight arrived. My first thought was, “I know where it is!” Rushing out of the covers I scurried to my accessories armoire. Opened my brown and white summer purse, there it sat in the pocket I purposely left it in. A huge sigh of relief exhaled from my body involuntarily.

“You found it.” Big D stated as we sipped our morning coffee. I smiled, happy to be back at peace with myself. He continued, “You know, I always know when you lose something.” My eyebrows raised to his claim as I peered over my glasses. He smirked. “You go kind of manic. Like, an addict looking for a stash.” He laughed into his mug, ” I would know.” Looking through me he went on, “I was that addict for a better part of 30 years.” Standing up from the table he remarked, ” It’s tiring isn’t it.” I didn’t reply. It didn’t seem like a question. He kissed me on the head taking my mug for a refill. “I’m glad you found it.” I remained silent. If I said anything then I would be admitting I lost it, in more ways than one.

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FEARS

In my past each time I decided to not confront a situation usually it was out of fear. Big-D has an acronym for FEAR. My G-Rated version of his saying is; Forget Everything And Run. I used to avoid confrontation the way most people avoid STD’s, taking all precautions necessary. Though, if not for my fear of uncomfortable situations my life with my love may never have existed.

I will always remember the night he asked me. High in the sky the moon hung bright. We were BBQ-ing, a passion we share to this day. Wrapping his arms around my waist he pulled me in tight. Drawn to one another we basked in the glow of new love. He starred down at me intensely as if his eyes were talking to my soul. I lost my heart in his deep gaze. “I want you to stay. Stay here with me? Be the girl I come home to at the end of the day.” Behind on rent and scared of my landlord the sudden opportunity to move in with him became my best option.

So instead of putting my, “Big Girl,” pants on and dealing with my rent issue I said, “Yes!”

” Amazing!” I though to myself. “He doesn’t even know I’m having problems making rent. Maybe this is real. We are in love. This is what you do when you’re in love. Right?” Well it is, sometimes. In the moment I chose the path of avoiding my fears. Now, I can see this was not the responsible solution. But, my fear of confrontation made my love haze too strong. I moved in. Immediately life was super fantastic, for about three days.

Drowning fast into the depths of addiction my love now owned a new life raft, me. Years would pass before my devotion for Big-D ever wavered. However, quickly I changed. Out of necessity I took a stand for myself. While in active addiction the addict in my life taught me the art of confrontation. No longer would I avoid out of fear. I had a new fear and I loved him.
L.K. Brown

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Sidebar

Before each blog post I always read them aloud to my addict. We discuss it and he comments. Until today he had only supportive and positive feedback. After I read my next post he asked if I could not call him, “my addict.” So, from here on out he will be referred to as, ” the recovering addict in my life,” or, “my love.” Most of the time, though, I’ll use my nick-name for him, “Big-D.” And to share a bit more info. about us he calls me, “Peeps,” because my voice is so much higher than his low baritone.

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Believing In?

An aspect of the way my addict confronts his sobriety is to believe as humans we are not the “end all” of life. He is certain there exists something greater than “us” that we can lean on in times of struggle. I’ve always felt the same way. Throughout my life I have studied many faiths. Never believing in any one in-particular but, knowing I am not the greatest “being” in existence. If I am, we are all caught in a big mess.

I was baptized Methodist, per Grandma’s insistence. Santa and Easter Bunny provided fond memories. Dad explained religion to me when I was very young. He taught me faith is highly personal and to respect the choice every person makes. He closed the lesson by letting me know he would support any choice I made. Thus began my research into religions of the world. So fascinating, I am still a student of the subject.

My husband was raised a little different. In his house the only option was Catholic. Until his sobriety he never thought twice about spirituality. As a couple we never discussed it. Then came the moment I realized his sobriety had allowed him to gain a better understanding of faith than I had. Annoyed by this, I dwelled on it for a while. I had so many questions. When did he become more knowledgable than me at one of “my things”? Out of the two of us I was the open minded one towards religion. Now he has a “greater power”? What if i don’t agree with his choice? Isn’t this something we should discuss and decide upon as a couple?

He explained to me his spirituality was personal and I was not involved in that relationship. For so long I prided myself on being open to every faith. Now, all of a sudden I’m watching my addict grow beyond me. I had spent so much time learning about all the world’s religions and never picked anything to believe in. His actions made me seriously think about my own. As I considered religion becoming a part of my life, my addict became a person I highly respect. Could I ask for anything more?

L.K. Brown

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