There has been a lot going on lately.. I’m in Texas helping my mom and family out with my stepdad that is terminally ill and doesn’t have much time left here with us. This is the longest I’ve ever been home since I’ve been sober, which is almost 3 years. There has been so much going on here, not only caring for a dying parent but being around my family 24/7 which I haven’t done in a few years.. fighting constantly with a psycho cat that my mom picked up from a sidewalk sale, he is now referred to as sidewalk, he and I do not get along. My stepdad is home on hospice so we spend a lot of time right here at their house. Needless to say, my mom has let that cat rule this house from day 1, I do not!! I’m almost obsessed with battling this cat as to who belongs here more.. me or him! He hid under my bed, attacked my feet causing me to knock a picture clean off the wall… that was the beginning of the battle… it’s still a close race but that Cat will know his place by the time I leave here. My brother, sister in law, nephew, daughter, her boyfriend and my step siblings aunt and uncle have been in and out a lot, which is a blessing but… I was use to those in and out visits where everyone did what I wanted and I made the plans and they went along because I came all the way from Kentucky to visit.. etc. This trip, I’m seeing their 100 normal again. Work, school, kids, sports, etc. and it is foreign to me but I love seeing it… my brother and I fight every single time he walks in the door.. I’ve been told to gas my broom up and head on back to Kentucky to .. you wonder why people go shoot up movie theaters, because of dealing with people like me in the mornings!! I give him hell because he dresses in camo daily, why? I can still see his big ass! My daughter is the moodiest hypochondriac alive, god lover her but we know our limits on our visits! She’s head strong and stubborn.. she is me, we are the same and there can only be one boss in town and so we stay at separate houses!! She’s my rock and so easy to piss off!! This is all in fun and the way we banter.. but they aren’t use to me either.. long story short, being in recovery changes a lot in a person, I never thought I would have to get use to my family again.. or navigate through the day like I’ve never lived with them before.. It’s surreal.. but I’m alive and able to be in their lives sober and for that I am so very grateful.
My biggest struggle and worry about visiting is everyone feeling uncomfortable around me, changing their daily normal to accommodate mine.. that makes my anxiety shoot through the roof .. I know my family and friends and what they do on a normal day and a normal gathering, hanging out etc. My visits home have been catered around my alcoholism, no one ordering a drink at dinner, no one rolling up with their ice chest and drinks at a family gathering, no one being their normal, but trying to be mine, for my sake of course. Knowing in their heads (because I once was a social drinker) that they would rather stick hot tooth picks in their eyes than sit there and order a damn sweet tea at a Mexican restaurant as the margaritas and tequila flowed around them that they would usually be ordering.. or sitting at dinner around my parents house and having “family game night” with no alcohol, this was unheard of. Hell.. we were a hell of a lot better at game night with a few drinks down us so again, they catered to my normal and I hated every second of it, everyone laughing, playing, looking around at each other silently in their minds counting down how long we had to play before they could leave and carry on with their normal so… I decided I was going to let them off the hook, more for me I’m sure than them. I came for Mother’s Day and we were having one of those family gatherings at my brother’s house.. pool, volleyball, corn hole, all the activities, all the activities that you play better with a few beers down ya. I asked everyone to carry on just as they would if I was not there, I reassured them I was spiritually fit and had worked my program enough to know when I was done, not them, but me. I had my plan set for what suited me, and have done this many times since. Anyway.. that day was the most “normal” that I have felt in any of my visits. Everyone was relaxed, played games, visited, they were in their norm! Thank God! Side note… I suck at corn hole drunk and sober so.. not a lot changed for me.
I do feel like every visit home, no matter what the setting or who was around or what, there was something always awkward about it.. probably more in my head and on my part but never the less, awkward. But I hit those situations head on, the only way I do things these days and what keeps me sober. My last visit to Texas was a very emotional, blessed, awkward, my normal, their normal visit. I had gotten in touch with some very dear friends that I had not seen and maybe barely spoke to for almost 3 years, I asked if I could come see them while I was home, they were very open to my visit. Just so happen that several of them were all going to be in the same place when I came… not only was I excited and grateful but I was scared out my mind, so nervous, as nervous as I was to tell my mom that I needed to get on birth control back in the day. I now see this as a GOD thing.. I wanted to throw up all the way there, I ran things I was going to say over and over in my head, stressed myself out entirely. What if they told me to fuck off, which I had probably told them when they said they were worried about my drinking.. what if they this, what if they that. Well.. I had to do it no matter what the circumstances were, I owed them amends for my wrongs that I had done them and whether they accepted it or not, I was doing it. The things that these friends saw personally that I did, things that affected them, things they had heard, the whole nine yards, I had to face it. I walked up and saw my friend Paige, whom I love dearly but that I had also shit wrecked her pedal party, ran off from the group downtown, basically hell on wheels with and around her, caused a lot of worry and disappointment, she walked right up and gave me the biggest welcoming hug and everything inside me felt calm, they had no idea how frightened I was to see them. I also got to see her daughter and her 1st grandchild. I was elated and grateful and I couldn’t believe after all I had done that I was sitting there with my friends in “their normal” and mine and it was good. I had also asked them to be their normal before i got there, that i was the one to do the adjusting, we went down the street and saw several couples that I love and missed and they did the same, and stopped by another friend/families place in the area and they did the same… I felt overwhelmed and undeserving at first but I let it sink in and it was a perfect visit.. it was normal. Like I’ve said before, people can be so forgiving, I guess it shocked me because in my madness I didn’t forgive anyone for anything, I was bitter and mean but now I get it. Changed behavior really is the best apology and I am forever grateful for that day and those friends! I even went out of my comfort zone and went and visited an old friend/ and by old friend I mean I’ve seen him a time or two but mostly Facebook friends. LOL! I mean isn’t that how we really think we know people these days.. I subjected my normal to other peoples normal more times that visit than ever. It was great and I’m glad I did it but there is so much to it, this will be for another day when we talk more about dating sober.. it ain’t easy. Needless to say, I’m glad I was married and had kids before my alcoholism started because I can almost guarantee I would never find a husband sober!!!
Some of the amends I have made have been by phone, some by mail, some facetime and some face to face. My daughter was the first in person along with my mom, they came to Kentucky to visit and i took them off separately and made those amends. There were so many tears, so many laughs, so many stories. Thing about amends is .. we as alcoholics need to ask the person if there is anything that they would like to talk about anything that they are struggling with, not just ourselves.. and that my friends is so frightening, you know some of the things you’ve done to these people but not everything, i don’t remember months at a time when I was drinking so.. i again was scared out of my mind to do this with my family… what was I going to have to hear, what the actual hell did I do.. well, they told me. My daughter told me about the time she called to visit me at my apartment, I told her to come on, it was 10am in the morning, she showed up and called me at the gate, I told her to come on in and that was it… nothing… in that small amount of time from the call until l she got there I had passed out and wouldn’t answer my door.. so with her little dog and her laundry in hand she left and went to my brother’s house worried to death, I still to this day do not remember one thing about it, I was in total shock when she told me and immediately cried and I apologized and said.. I’ll show you with my actions that you’ll never have to experience that again. I don’t wish how she or I felt at that time on anyone, not even the person that holds up the drive thru at taco bell because they can’t make a decision, not even them. No child should ever have to experience that. During these amend I told her and my mom that I had decided to live in Kentucky once I left treatment.. believe me, they wanted me to stay there way more than I actually wanted to but I knew for my sobriety I needed to be there with a huge support group to test living out in the real world all over again. I’m still there!! I made amends to my stepdad, the one that is now seeing his last days, at a restaurant in Liberty Kentucky. I asked my mom to leave the table and go shop so I could talk to him alone.. if any of you know my mom, she’s done shopping and looked at everything in a store in under 3 minutes. She made several passes by our table going to and from wherever and making it rushed and weird but it was done and we both sat at that table and cried like babies! My biggest accomplishment.. that man got to see me get my life back together, see me sober almost 3 years and admired my strength throughout the process and that is an unexplainable feeling. He taught me how to be strong and I truly believe that I couldn’t have made it through what I did without his help. He never gave up on me.. ever! My amends to my ex-husband was a god thing as well. He’s always busy and all over the place but something made me stop mid day one day while I was still in treatment, go over to the phone with a dining room full of people doing their thing and pick it up and call him… turns out he was alone in his truck heading out of town and had all the time I needed, it was emotional, sad, happy, everything I can think of, I felt like I weighed less when I was done and again.. he was very accepting and was happy I was able to be a mom again to our kids and be happy. He’s not a very emotional person, he’s actually kind of dry and stern, or that’s the impression people get but I know diff so I did laugh a little inside thinking about him picking up his phone to a number he didn’t know.. and it being me! We hadn’t spoke in a year! I know he was nervous as hell, expecting my wrath that he got undeserving for so long.. he probably had my cell phone blocked still but I called him from a diff one, I’m sure he had so many thoughts but putting those thoughts aside he let me make my amends and for that I am grateful. At the time of my amends to him, I had no clue that he was remarried, none at all, the father to my children, no one told me and I know why. I saw him for the first time in over 2 years a few months ago, he looked like he just saw a ghost! This will be hit on more in my family dynamic post.. some shit you just can’t make up, it’s real and it’s my life. My brother, whom helped save my life would not let me make amends, not because he was mad but because he saw my changed behavior and that was enough for him.. oh, except he asked that I not boss him around when I visited Texas and we will get along just fine. I will never agree to that so… it is what it is! My ex-boyfriend/long time friend.. I was a terror to him and his family, yes his family as well. His children, his mom, his ex, any and all above. He accepted my call and was so accepting. Oddly enough I’ve been able to help get someone that is dear to him help and he trusted me to communicate with his kids and family when it was always a disaster before. This will def be hit on in my family dynamic, dating blog. Again, you can’t make this shit up.
I was also able to attend a wedding shower this visit.. for one of my daughter’s dear friends Bailey, she grew up in our home as did Sheldon in theirs. This was the first thing like this I’ve been able to attend with Sheldon and her friends in years, definitely one that I didn’t embarrass myself or her or anyone there, I thrived on drama and would have found a way to be pissed off at the cake not being the right color when i was drinking.. I saw several old and dear friends there, got so much love and some of them even wanted to take a picture with me.. I was feeling very special, like how Britney Spears feels out in public with the paparazzi. It was the best day with lots of love.
I would love to hear if any of these situations, feeling pertain to any of you. My sober and not sober friends.. and when I say not sober, I am referring to those of you who have that normal life, the one I use to know. Do any of you have family members that suffer with addiction or alcoholism and how do you handle situations when y’all are all together trying to mix the 2 normal? Do you feel like you want to stick hot tooth picks in your eyes when they visit or ?? Is it awkward?
I told y’all this was going to be long, and I appreciate those of you who took the time to read this. Texas is and will always be my home but I miss Kentucky and my family there. I will see them soon!~