On the wagon…

Day 7

No wine, vodka, whiskey-none of my favorite things.  I’ve done it before, I wrote about it, but this time seems harder for whatever reason.  I decided to take another break for a yet to be decided length of time-but I’ll manage.

For the first couple of days I had liquor on the brain and questioned my motives endlessly.  Why am I torturing myself?  Is it even worth it?  I didn’t lose any weight last time, what makes it seem that things will be different? 

I persisted through those really hard days and here I am on day 7 and feeling better about it.  I figured I may as well share some of what I experienced through the process so far…

  • Sweating-during sleep I’d go through phases of being comfortable and then covered in sweat.  It wasn’t horrible but not the most pleasant.
  • Irritability-I was cranky, I wanted a few glasses of wine to unwind and knew that wasn’t an option so…bark bark bark.
  • Bloating-even more bloated than when I consumed a bottle of wine.
  • Lethargy-I have no energy, feel a little down,  and somehow feel the need to watch Grey’s Anatomy from the very beginning.
  • Breakouts-my face is starting to look like that of a teenager.  I know it’s temporary but I’m definitely not happy about it.
  • Sugar cravings-I realize now that the alcohol I was consuming was feeding that craving and now, in the absence of alcohol, I need ALL the carbs.  Oatmeal Creme Pies, Nutty Buddy’s, chocolate covered blueberries, breads…Gimme!!

Honestly, I’ll be even happier when I lose the bloat and sugar cravings.  I’ve already gained a few pounds from the shitty sugar foods I’ve been eating in just one week.

I hope I still feel it’s worth it next week!

Wolf at the Door

When I think of meth, it brings to mind The Big Bad Wolf.

Knocking at the door, “Come out little piggies, come out!”

As I have images of this wolf, the Radiohead song Wolf at the Door comes to mind.  I love Radiohead and listen to them, oh, my kids would say far too often, but I find Thom Yorke’s voice soothing and their music is melodious and hits me where I like it-right in the heart.  So when I hear this song, it brings forth so many emotions tied up with my son.

Meth is certainly the wolf at the door.

He was doing so well.  He seemed like he might make it this time and be strong.  But after his legs healed he started having people hanging out next door after I told him repeatedly not to allow that.

“We aren’t doing anything wrong, I just want to hang out with my friends.”

I told him to go do that at their houses, if they had any, because I didn’t want it here.  I’m all too familiar with that scenario.  But he didn’t listen.  He was climbing in and out of his window, as well, which, as a condition of his return wouldn’t be allowed.

It all blew up like in the song- a flan in the face.

I sent him a text telling him, yet again, that I didn’t want anyone next door and that Matthew had discovered two people in the LOCKED patio and that it had to stop.  I told him I’d start calling the police if I found anyone there.  He proceeded to tell me to go ahead because they won’t do anything anyway.  I went on to tell him that maybe it was best, then, if he left, especially if he wasn’t interested in following one simple rule.  He told me he wouldn’t leave, no way, and I couldn’t make him.  I hopped in the car with Matthew because I was going to tell him to get out.  I’d had it.

I got to the house pretty quickly, fuming, actually, and found him sitting at the computer with a pissed off look on his face.  I told him that he needed to leave;  enough is enough.  He had not called his public defender to reschedule court, nor had he called the rehab facility whose program he needed to attend.  He was healed and taking advantage.

The wolf huffed and puffed…

Matthew said something to the effect of, “What’s your fucking problem?”

That was it and he jumped up out of the chair and got into Matthew’s face-he’s got a few inches on Matthew as well as five years.  It certainly wasn’t a fair fight but fists were flying and I yelled him to stop.  He wasn’t in the mood to listen so I got on the phone with the police and as he heard me call he yelled, “No, NO, NO!” and ran out the door.  I told them what happened, they came quickly, took mine and Matthew’s information as well as an account of what happened.  I’m fortunate to live in a city with a nice police department.

Since Matthew got punched in the eye, the officer suggested I have the fire department come out and see if he had a possible broken nose or any other facial fractures.  They were kind when checking his face and everything seemed to be intact, thankfully.  I declined a ride for him to the hospital-I live about five minutes from there so no need, especially since nothing was broken.

The police said they’d keep looking for him and they’d put a “Stop and hold” on him so that all officers would know to keep him.

Felony child abuse.

I’ve tried SO hard to get him back on the right track.  I tried to keep the wolf from the door but like the song says:

I keep the wolf from the door but he calls me up, calls me on the phone

Tells me all the ways that he’s gonna mess me up

Steal all my children if I don’t pay the ransom

And I’ll never see them again if I squeal to the cops…

He got picked up the next morning and is now in jail.  He has court tomorrow.  I fear for him in there-he’s like a little kid with a stunted brain who finds new knowledge impossible to retain.  He’s been there before, doing the same shit, only now it’s ten times worse.

I haven’t been able to sleep well since Sunday.  Matthew is very angry, rightfully so, and doesn’t want to see him again.  I’m just plain sad.

Meth is a wolf that will huff and puff and will eventually blow your house down

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I have to keep telling myself that this is not my son.  These are the words of an addict lashing out.  I’ll always love him;  he’s my boy, he just can’t live here and blow my house down.

(I asked my daughter to draw me a wolf for this post and this is her artwork!)

You can count on Mom

I got a call last week from the oldest son wanting me to pick him up because he was hurting and hungry.  Many emotions swam over me at once-panic, dread, sorrow, heartache…my child has been in trouble for so long and it’s impossible for me to turn my back when he clearly needs me for the most basic essentials.  I drove about a half an hour to a sketchy part of town and waited for him to come out to my car.  The first thing I noticed was how gaunt his face looked.  His pretty blue eyes did not shine and he was very pale.  He was looking far older than his mere twenty-one years.  He put his back-pack in the trunk and off we went.

Not knowing what to talk about, I left it up to him to speak first.  He started telling me about how bad his legs hurt and how his head had been throbbing for days.  He looked like a lost puppy.  I didn’t bother asking him if he was hungry, instead driving straight to a drive thru.  He wanted a double western bacon cheese burger.  I got him the large combo and he was done with the fries within five minutes.

We got to the house and I suggested he shower and take a long hot one to wash away some of the filth that had surely attached itself to his wounded legs.  He happily obliged.  As he showered, many questions went through my head:

  • what am I going to do with him?
  • how long will he stay?
  • is he going to try to break into the garage again?
  • when are they going to have room for him at rehab?

I needed to get some laundry done and seeing as I’ve been house sitting for my mom, I could do it at her house.  I told him that if he wanted to sleep here  he should get me the sheets and blankets off his bed because I hadn’t touched anything since he’d left previously.  His friend had given him some skateboard guts so that he could put his back together and he wondered if I’d take him to the skate shop so they’d put it together for him.

We got that done and I wondered if he’d turn around and sell it for drugs.

He left for awhile, happy, because he had a functioning skateboard again.  It’s nice to see him with a genuine smile, even if it’s small because he’s exhausted.

Please don’t go get meth.

I got all of his bedding and clothing washed and left it folded in a bag in his room.  I didn’t want to do too much because I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t want to be disappointed.  And, as sorry as I felt for him, I didn’t want to bend over backwards just to be shat on again.  He didn’t come home that night but showed up the next morning, put his sheets on his bed and promptly went to sleep.  I asked him one time if he was doing alright and he said sleepily, “I haven’t been in a bed in so long.”

I checked on him periodically but he slept for almost five days.  He got up to use the bathroom occasionally and I gave him a gallon of cran-raspberry juice to keep by his bed so he wouldn’t drink out of the container in the refrigerator.  I didn’t see or hear much from him but I was content knowing he was safe and not in jail.

He wasn’t getting beat up by the police.

I assume that those five days were spent detoxing from meth and who knows what else. He swears he has not, nor will he ever, use heroin.  Who knows.  I told him they make that shit with so many chemicals that he may have inadvertently used it at one point.  Of course, that’s a great way to get people even more hooked, right?

His legs are infected and draining. I brought him some antiseptic liquid that his supposed to clean the wounds and relieve some pain but if they still look the same tomorrow I’ll have to get him in to see a doctor.  I’m not quite sure why the hospital spent thousands getting him cat-scans but wouldn’t bother to bandage his bleeding legs.  He went directly to jail after the hospital and staph is a popular infection to pick up-especially having open wounds.

I try to make sense of the nonsensical and it leaves me frustrated.

For now, he is at home and I’m thankful.  Relieved.  He’s my firstborn.  I had so many dreams and desires for him as I cradled him all those nights, years ago.  My only wish now?

Stay alive.


I didn’t post the other pictures showing the infected areas because they aren’t pleasant.

My Rocky Bottom

The oldest boy texted his dad informing him of his latest arrest.  Apparently,  he tried running from them, well, biking from them.  He didn’t get far before he was tackled, body slammed, and face planted into the asphalt.  He said his fingers got pretty messed up and somehow his leg had incurred an injury which he says was a cut to the bone.  They took him to the hospital where he received a cat scan which revealed a concussion and they wouldn’t stitch his leg wound.  And now I ask, How far down is rock bottom?

California has had its teeth pulled regarding drugs.  An individual can walk up and down the street carrying meth, a pipe, various other drugs and their paraphernalia with nothing more than an officer checking for felonies and then being transported to the jail overnight and released the following day.  It’s nothing.  It doesn’t count.  The state voted to reduce drug charges to misdemeanors so now they are nothing more than the equivalent of a traffic citation, only there don’t seem to be any fines.  How would they pay them, anyway?  California would rather make up the difference on me for not having my dog licensed on time.  $300 for failing to register your dog vs. getting a talking to by police for carrying meth.  Make sense?

These kids need help.  No, I don’t want to see them in jail, but I’d wager that most of them are dealing with psychiatric issues that need to be dealt with and I’d think the state could come up with a few rehab facilities that are set up like jails only not actually jails.  Keep them confined but get them clean and feed them.  But our governor would rather waste billions on a stupid bullet train that will never get built.  It’s hard to feel hopeful for the future when you see these young people with no options who will continue to spiral down until their crimes turn violent and they end up in prison or dead.  I’m no bleeding heart, but damn, there has to be something.

This has been my morning-well, in actuality, the past five years of my life.  Worrying about my oldest son who seems hell-bent on self-destruction with no way to get him on the right track.  He’s brought the criminals around who have inhabited the garage next door.  Saturday I discovered a blanket thrown over the outside security light and a blanket on the grass covering a block of cement that I’m sure someone was going to use to break the back door.  I called the police about it and they sent a giggly woman who spent a grand total of two minutes checking it out.  She happily returned to flirting with her partner before they drove off.

I didn’t realize that the rock bottom being referred to was my own.

A Quick Trip

I went to Vegas with the intention of hanging out in the casino with my husband, drink free.

I arrived, stitches hot from sitting on them for the entire ride, minus one quick trip to the only working rest stop along the way.  I was sore and in need of a painkiller-it was Tuesday and I’d only just had the surgery on Friday.

We got checked in, got up to our room, Robert jumped in the shower, and as I sat on the bed looking forward to a couple of days of relaxation-my neighbor called to tell me that our oldest son left the men’s home already after staying less than 24 hrs.  That kid knows how to shit all over everything.  My relief and lightheartedness was replaced with dread.  He was supposed to be in that home for a year-they’d let him live there as long as he didn’t use drugs.  He couldn’t manage one full day.

Instead of spending time visiting with each other and having a calm two days together, we focused on the fact that he’s forced our hand.  No more coming home for showers or food, no more loading up his phone with new music or checking his social media.  And definitely no more hanging out next door in the garage where the police have been closely watching for months in order to gather enough information to raid it.

I had also planned to stay on my diet while in Vegas.

This was definitely not on my low carb diet.

At least not the hash browns and pancakes!  I tried.

That evening we stayed down in the casino until late.  We played blackjack until our luck and my wine ran out.

The next day we spent our time at the nearby outlets and walked a few laps and bickered back and forth.  The stress of having an addict for a child dominates every aspect of your life if you let it.  We’re still grappling with it-I don’t want our limited time together to be spent arguing over things of which we have no control.  It’s not our fault-we didn’t cause this.

I’ve been trying to get him on this low carb diet with me.  It’s difficult for a truck driver to follow any sort of healthy diet but he does have a refrigerator, and once he cleans out the ice cream, he’ll have room for bacon and pepperoni.  I think he thinks I’m being pushy.  I’m really not trying to be, but as (almost) every wife wants their husband to be healthy,  I do try to give gentle nudges.  He’d probably argue that they’re more like karate kicks to the groin but…I’m still me.  I’m not the nicest, I suppose.  I blame it on my humor-I have inherited too much of my dad’s sharp tongue.

We enjoyed looking at things we don’t normally.  They have a store there, Le Creuset, which happens to be an outlet, as well.  And while their entire store was 40% off,  I can’t see myself ever spending over $300 on a cast iron pot.  They were gorgeous and we had fun imagining our new kitchen full of these fancy items, and Robert loved teasing me about leaving rotten potatoes in them to sit outside until he dumped them for me (yes, I’ve done that more than I care to admit!) retching the entire time-he has a delicate stomach.

The colors were rich and I fell in love with the plum-colored collection they had.  We discussed which color pepper mill we’d want and I told him it was up to him;  I’m not the one that peppers everything.  He’ll pepper food before he even tastes it-salt, too, but mainly pepper.  He finds it strange that I don’t.  It was nice to discuss housewares and idly pass the time.  I miss him.

I liked these:

After the iHop breakfast that morning hit my stomach like a ton of bricks,  I found myself hurrying to the restroom on more than one occasion and I have to ask-why can’t women manage to flush a toilet?  I don’t understand it!  Is it laziness, are they in so much of a hurry that they can’t possibly spare 30 seconds to step on a lever?  These thoughts were going through my head as I tried to maneuver myself onto the seat without letting my stitches actually touch.  That’s more difficult than it ought to be but considering the location, it’s my reality.  Forget a toilet seat cover-I tried and spent too long trying to carefully remove wet tissue from my stitches when they became wet after flushing.

I lead an interesting life.

We made our way over to In-N-Out and Robert easily talked me into trying a lettuce wrapped 4×4.  It’s four juicy beef patties with four slices of cheese wrapped in iceberg lettuce.  Of course,  we made it a combo that came with fries so it completely rendered the low carb burger useless, albeit, monstrously tasty!

I inhaled my burger and Robert kindly offered to eat my fries for me.  I declined his offer.

We drove around the area imagining living in the newly built gated communities.  I joked that we could move and not tell our oldest.

I left the next day and the trip home took an hour longer than usual because of an accident.  I played cat and mouse with a Ram for many miles because he cut me off and while his big truck has a bigger engine,  my lighter badass car can quickly overtake him.  I took every opportunity to pass him.  Jerk.  I have to find ways to keep myself entertained because the drive along the 15 freeway is ugly and I can only shift my leg around so many ways to avoid sitting on my healing leg.

The kid has court tomorrow.  We’ll see if he goes and if he does, if anything happens.  I’m doubtful on the latter.

 

Wino more wine…

Day 15

I’ve done it.  I’ve gotten over the hump.

The “hump”, as I call it, is the first three days getting my mind adjusted to the fact that there will not be overflowing glasses of wine while I cook dinner, or two or three martinis while I watch a movie before falling asleep for the night.  The hump is hard.

I have to constantly remind myself that I, in fact, do not have to have a drink.  That there will still be opportunities for drinks in the future, if I so choose, and the world hasn’t suddenly depleted its wine reserves.  It’s a whole body transformation.

My Navy son has come home to visit before joining the fleet and I’ve been his chauffeur.  Normally, I’d have to gauge when I could pop open the wine bottle by when I’d be done driving for the day. “Just three more hours, then I can drop him off and relax with some drinks.”  I’ve had to alter that thinking completely.

What I’ve noticed since I’ve quit drinking:

  • I have more energy
  • I wake up earlier
  • I sleep better
  • I can drive whenever I want
  • My memory is improving
  • I’m able to be fully present in the moment
  • I’m able to deal with my problems-my head will NOT implode
  • I’ve developed an obsession for iced tea

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure I could do it-I did not set a time frame as to how long I’d quit.  I just let myself go with the flow and that seems to be working for me.  So far, the benefits outweigh my desire to have a warm comfy buzz and I love that!  I feel the need to become healthy, and I will go back on a diet once my son leaves at the end of the week.  I wanted to be kind to myself so I’ve had ice cream twice and a couple of other treats.

I think the biggest misconception I had about not drinking is my weight-I thought for sure I’d be dropping some pounds.  Sadly, no, this hasn’t happened.  On the contrary, I’ve been gaining and it’s not the ice cream.  Somehow, I think because alcohol dehydrates the body, I’m showing what my actual weight is on the scale.  I weighed more while I was drinking but since I was in a constant state of dehydration, I was less on the scale.  Well, now that I’ve replaced alcohol with iced tea, I’m no longer dehydrated and now find myself faced with the fact that I’m just plain fat.  But that’s alright!  I can do this!  I can face obstacles better now that my mind is clear.

I draw on the strength of my grandma.  She was an alcoholic who drank throughout the day, everyday, to deal with my grandpa’s health issues.  He wasn’t alway kind to her, and quite often would say hurtful things to her.  She drank more and more until she found herself in the hospital with her doctor telling her to quit the booze or die.  She’d developed diabetes and her numbers were sky-high, as well as her blood pressure.  She decided then and there that she’d quit drinking and never go back.  I admire my grandma for so many things and this is one of them.  I do think that there was a certain determination that one only achieved after having survived The Great Depression.

I have a lot going on.  I’m dealing with a criminal/drug infestation in the property next door that seems impossible to overcome.  My husband had just pulled into the driveway and heard a commotion in the garage so he shouted at them to shut the fuck up and as soon as those words left his mouth, several people ran out of the garage and towards the alley where one guy started beating on his girlfriend.  My son and his macho buddies with their crowbars, knives, and various other instruments just stood there while they waved their objects but didn’t do a damn thing.  This “friend” of theirs continued to wail on the girl as my husband ran up, pulled the guy off of her, and proceeded to go Marine on him.  He didn’t need to lay a finger on him-the drill instructor shouting as he was nose to nose with this piece of trash was enough.  He told him to get out of here and never come back and the punk said  he was taking his girlfriend with him.  Robert said that, in fact, she would not be leaving with him and that he’d better take a hike.  I’m paraphrasing, of course.

This is just one of many instances of the activity I deal with on an almost daily basis.

The oldest son’s court date has been pushed back until May 30 because the D.A. brought in a new prosecutor.  It’s basically starting from the beginning and I’m so frustrated with the state.  The county is willing to bend over backwards to help him get on some sort of aid-a phone, housing, etc., but they aren’t willing to make him have some real consequences.  The kid needs rehab.  I refused to pay for it with our insurance because:

  1. Kaiser has ridiculous rehab services
  2. Our particular plan is outrageously expensive
  3. If the county wants to support him, let them pay for rehab
  4. He’d be better off in a Salvation Army rehab where he has to work to earn his keep
  5. I’m not going to be his damn taxi

I talked to his social worker/assessment coordinator yesterday-I didn’t care for her tone.  You’d think with a degree in Social Work, a person might develop skills to be social.  She failed that class, apparently,  because she basically ordered me to call Kaiser and find out what the insurance would pay for as far as drug rehab services.  I obliged, but when she called back to find out what I’d discovered, I told her forget it, I’m not paying for it.  She told me she had a long list of places she could try to as she said this I’m thinking to myself,  Bitch, why didn’t you just start there instead of me doing your damn job? I wasn’t feeling especially social, either.

With alcohol, I can numb my mind, relax my body, feel less inhibited.  I’m finding that I don’t need or want that as much.  I need to be more aware, especially when finding myself in a den of thieves and addicts-I need to keep my wits about me.

I poured out the remaining contents of the wine bottle sitting atop my counter.  Then I made some bacon.

I haven’t had one drop in 2 weeks.

None

Wino

Day 4

I haven’t had a drink since Monday night when I decided that I really need to let my liver have a vacation.  I came to that conclusion after my second martini.

Wine is my favorite drink;  red wine, to be specific.  I follow wine people on Instagram-they’re always cheery with a full glass in their hands wearing their fancy dresses and high heels that I’d break my neck in.  There’s a certain alluring quality to the image.

The reality is, I don’t have occasion to wear the fancy dresses or high heels.  I drink to quiet my mind and have a sense of peace, even if it only lasts until I refill my glass.  I’d like to say it hasn’t become an issue.  I’d like to say that I don’t think about it a thousand times throughout the day.

I’m overwhelmed with the chaos my oldest son has brought to my house.  His drug addiction and the “friends” who follow him are inescapable.  I have mothers and aunts showing up at my door looking for their kids.  “I have no idea where they are,”  I say.  Because I don’t and I really don’t care.

His drug addiction has infested my house like a bad case of roaches and no matter what I do to try to rid myself of them, they multiply and hide in the shadows.

Have you ever heard what comes out of an addict’s mouth?

“Fuck the police.”

“I stabbed my mom’s boyfriend in the head.”

“I’m not afraid of guns.”

“I hate you and wish you’d never been born.”

One of the many reasons I’ve become so fond of having a glass in my hand-It settles these conversations;  quiets them enough so I can get through my day.  But lately, the drinks have become the louder voice and infiltrate any quiet I manage to get.

So I’m taking a break.  It’s hard.  Real hard, I won’t lie.

I have a restraining order against my son and between that and everything else he brings, I’ve been a bit stressed.  Understatement of the century, folks.  But I have other kids and they deserve more than a mom too buried in guilt and intoxication to take them out to dinner or to go buy book 4 in the series they’re reading.

I’ll do it because I can and because I don’t like to lose.