We never know when we’re going to be yanked out of this life. Right? So – sometimes – we really need to live it up. Large. By having pizza for breakfast. I just gulped down a slice of pepperoni with mushroom and extra sauce. And man alive was it DELISH!
Maybe the better question is, what does it feel like? What does the line look like that divides love from obsession – or at the very least – preoccupation? How are we supposed to step away from it if we can’t identify it?
Think about it. If someone is, at the very least, preoccupied with you – or preoccupied with loving you – how do you know? How can you tell? Do you feel smothered or do you feel “Weird/Uncomfortable”? What’s the difference?
Identifying things that aren’t tangible isn’t any fun. I’m not having fun. I want to name it.
What does healthy love look like? How much love is too much? This is all very confusing. Wouldn’t some folks kill (not literally – this is a metaphorical question) to have the kind of attention and adoration that someone who loves another TOO MUCH showers on them? Where’s the balancing line? Is there one? Maybe I’M the problem. Maybe the kind of love that would make me feel more comfortable doesn’t exist. Or there’s either too little of it or too much. Maybe there’s no such thing as the perfect amount of love and attention.
I have to move in four months – if I want to. I can’t decide whether to stay or go. I really want to dig my heels in somewhere and start calling a location ” HOME”, but I’m not sure whether to stay or go out and explore. I’m getting too old to keep moving around, but I’ve got this yearning to get the hell out of here. I don’t feel at home where I am. I’m not crazy about the city I live in…
Do I stay because of someone? Or no? What if I don’t share this person’s feelings? I wish I did. This would make things so much easier…
Yes. It has to be creamy peanut butter and it has to be dill pickles. The experience of the crunch of the pickle needs to stand alone. It can’t be mixed up with the crunch of a chunky peanut butter. And the sweetness of a sweet pickle would detract from the creamy smooth deliciousness of regular creamy peanut butter. I prefer wheat bread, but any bread should work. This is best untoasted.
We talked earlier today and he jumped right on it saying, “Mom, I’ve made a decision and I’m not sure how you’re going to feel about it.” He’s going to join next month.
For the record, he’s 25 and has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science. He’s been unable to find an appropriate job that relates directly to his education, and he’s been applying at companies across the United States.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. The word ‘Uneasy’ is coming to mind… He could very well turn this move into a career. My sweet baby is about to take an epic leap.
I told him that I support whatever he chooses for himself so long as it speaks to his heart.
I love building these things! Having a fire going in the fireplace is probably what I enjoy most about wintertime.
My next house just has to have a fireplace in my bedroom. What a fantastic way to fall asleep. The shadows and flickering lights dancing around the walls … the sound of burning embers … it’s so hypnotic.
I don’t care what the truth is – give it to me. Even if I have to lay down for it. I’m ready. Don’t leave out A N Y T H I N G.
Remember that Matthew McConaughey movie, Interstellar, where that robot is programmed to tell just 90% of the truth because humans are emotional and apparently someone out there thinks we can’t handle 100%? Well, who made THAT GUY the boss? Cuz that’s bullshit. I’m human and I want 100%. Don’t color my picture with the gray wishy washy in your life. I choose color.
That’s my attitude. I think every person on the planet is here for a reason. We’re all good at something specific. We all have a job to do.
What’s your job? Do you know? Are you doing it? Are you willing to find out no matter what? Even if it’s something you never imagined? Even if it’s something you desperately don’t want to do? Would you still do it if you were assured by someone or somethingyou trusted that this is your mission in life? How many opportunities are missed due to people either hesitating or over thinking things?
Who said there are no absolutes? How do THEY know that?!
That’s right – going to rehab raises a plethora of fears. Like:
Breaking old routines.
Time away from family.
Loss of relationship/s (this could turn out to be a good thing in some cases).
Fear of getting to know yourself and what that implies.
Rehab isn’t cheap.
The food isn’t always spectacular.
Unless you’re very very very rich, you’ll have to share a bedroom with at least one person.
They might not allow headphones.
Confronting the stigma attached to addiction and treatment
Facing the lies you’ve told (to others and yourself).
Confronting your excuses.
Learning time management skills.
Being approached by folks who knows more than you do.
Becoming open to new ideas and perspectives that threaten your relationship with alcohol and drinking.
Realizing that the world you left before you entered rehab – needs to stay in the past.
At the very least, the upside to going to rehab is that your drug of choice is out of reach for the duration of your stay. Or – – – at least it’s supposed to be. This time apart from your drug gives your brain an opportunity to air out. In turn, this affords the alcoholic or addict opportunities to say and do things that are intelligent, respectable, honorable, and honest. And THAT is what builds our momentum toward and confidence in sobriety.
Look! Here’s another one behind the living room curtains! And here’s a new bottle of vodka in the guest bedroom closet under a stack of blankets. Of all the weird shit! No!! I swear! I have no idea how this stuff got there.
I speak no lies.
PUHLEASE. And I don’t know which is sadder – that the alcoholic says weird unbelievable crap like that or that the person they’re talking to wants to believe it.
I used to hid my alcohol ALL THE TIME. I didn’t keep it under my pillow because that would have been uncomfortable, but I’d keep it under the bed on my side. That way if I wanted some, I could just heave my ownbadself over and get a few swallows in without leaving bed.
My ex husband threw away a lot of my alcohol back in the day so I learned to hide it really well. Sometimes, I’d hide it so well, even I would forget where I put it. But I didn’t make that mistake too often. I learned that the best place to hide my alcohol was among his things. I could also hide my stash in the kitchen because he was no cook. The oven worked on countless occasions.
And then of course, the places to hide alcohol outside are nearly countless. Where there’s a will – and us alcoholics have one – there’s a way. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I liked hiding mine because it offered me a sense of security. Knowing that I had hidden liquor was like knowing I had an extra $1000 stashed away for an emergency or a rainy day. It made me feel safe.
Since I’ve become sober, I’ve learned of new and even sneakier places to hide the intoxicating liquid – a binoculars flask, a hairbrush flask, and I’m sure there are others.
That’s C R A Z Y!We’re CRAZY!
If you think your friend/loved one/partner/daughter/son/fill in the blank is drunk – they most likely are. The evidence will be overwhelming and unquestionable. Especially if they’re walking around ALWAYS smelling like toothpaste or mouthwash. You have to ask yourself – just how many times a day does Cindy Joe brush her teeth?
You say “My God does such and such for me…” Or, “My God would never …”as though your God came into existence at the same time you did. Does your God have a name? Is your God a male or a female? How’d that work out? Did you pick the gender of your God? Did you have to put in an order for your own special God or … what? Can everyone do that? Order a God like they order a pizza? You get to just whip up a God that has all the qualities you want and none of the qualities you dislike? How is that God any different than you just becoming the person you really wish you were?
At my third treatment center in Newport Beach, CA, we, the residents, were taken to the grocery store once a week to stock up on groceries. There were four of us to each apartment, which meant that only four of us used the refrigerator in our kitchen. One day, I picked out and bought a particularly delicious looking 1/2 gallon container of chocolate chip ice cream. Once we all got back to the treatment center, I promptly placed it in the freezer and forgot about it.
The following morning, as I sat on the front porch journaling before our house group meeting, a counselor approached me with one of the residents. When I looked up from my notebook, and after the counselor apologized for the interruption, she indicated that the resident with her had something to say.
“I stole your ice cream.” A young woman named Petunia blurted.
I blinked at her and then at the counselor. I’d only had one cup of coffee and was hardly prepared for a confession of this magnitude.
“What?” I asked them both.
“Jennifer, Petunia here stole and ate the ice cream you bought at the store yesterday.”
I looked to Petunia and I could tell by the look on her face that what the counselor said was true.
“But I just bought it.” I said, thoughtlessly. “Really?” I sat back. “Why?” And then with disbelief, “You ate the WHOLE CONTAINER?!” I didn’t know what to think. This was totally new territory for me. No one had ever stolen my ice cream before, much less confessed to having eating all of it.
“I stole your ice cream and I’m sorry.” Petunia looked everywhere but at me.
She was there in treatment because she had an eating disorder – something I knew nothing about. She was bulimic. Petunia tossed a $10.00 bill on the table next to my pen. “That’s to replace the ice cream.”
I honestly didn’t care near as much about the ice cream as I did about the fact that she not only stole it, she had to sneak into our apartment to get it. I should have known to always lock our doors, but – jeez. It wasn’t a top priority of mine as I was there to address my alcoholism. I’d not given any thought to eating disorders or to thieves. I’d never been a victim of theft before.
“How did you know I even had ice cream?” I finally asked. And then, catching up to myself, I continued, “You snuck into my apartment and went through our fridge?” How did you manage to do that without anyone seeing you? Where was I?!” I asked, knowing I’d been there all night. I suddenly began to feel very creeped out.
“I think you were in the shower.”
“She’s really sorry, Jennifer.” The counselor added. Petunia nodded in agreement.
FUCK ME! This was too weird. I really didn’t know what to say other than, “You are not allowed inside my apartment again – ever. I don’t care if you’re invited. I will let my housemates know what you did here and tell them that you are not allowed inside.”
“Okay.” She said, staring at her shoes. “Sorry.”
“YEAH! ME TOO!” I finally bellowed. More confused by the whole situation than I was with her. I couldn’t reasonably blame myself for what she had done while I was in the shower, but for some reason I decided I should have known better. Someone should have warned me that this could happen. This was not how I expected to find out that I was in treatment with women who suffered from eating disorders. Who else might be afflicted by such a disorder? Who else couldn’t I trust?!
The above is an excerpt from my memoir, Saturation.