Saturday, August 25, 2012

about the future, attempted amends, and my son

Hello all.
Mike finally heard from the trash company. They are 'proceeding with his paperwork' which means, as long as he passes all that stuff, then he has the job, I think. That would mean, benefits for us. We havent had medical insurance in a long time. Mike was covered when he worked for the concrete company, but to add me or sam on his insurance, was over $150 PER week. Not to mention, that would mean about $300 per week for the whole family. Yea, right. Most of the time, he didn't even make that. Anyways, it would also mean a 'set' schedule, and definitely steady employment.  So, apparently I was wrong, and there's hope yet, that he may get that job. :-}

Work is going well for me. We are pretty busy still, which definitely makes me happy. My friend's boyfriend started working with me,the week before last. That's been a little weird to say the least. I mean, its okay, Ive just never been in a situation quite like it before. Especially since, technically, Im his supervisor. I'm doing everything I can to not be biast. Not that there really is any damage done either way, its a small company, so its actually only me, him, and the general manager. Its been me and the general manager now since the guy left the beginning of July, that I had worked with the last year and a half.
I was so stressed out when he left, about painting and doing everything on my own. He had over 5 years of experience there, so he was definitely the guy that could answer questions. When he put in his two week notice, I asked/learned everything I possibly could.

Anyways, what Im getting at is, , , , , , much to my surprise, every thing's been going really well. Yes, Ive had some things that had to be sanded down and done over. But the end result, has been great, so far. My boss has been relieved, that I was able to pick up the skills I needed and get it together in a short amount of time. I always just did the trim work, mill work, closet stuff before. So now Im painting/lacquering all the doors, millwork, everything. It's now my responsibility as soon as it comes off the truck. To get things done on time, and for them to look great. That has really helped my confidence level.
I was really worried about money about two months ago as well. But now that we've moved and mike was able to find a decent job, theres a LOT less stress, in that department!!! Its soooooo much easier to try and pay bills, with two paychecks coming in.

Ya know, I cant remember the last time that I worked somewhere and I didnt have to worry about being fired!! of course the shop could lose business, and I wouldn't have a job to go to, that's always a concern. But what Im saying is, I'm NOT in fear, of being fired for something IN my control. Its just so foreign!! ha ha ha
Definitely a NICE change though, I must admit.

Now that Ive explained all the good stuff, I guess its time to talk about all the other crap.
Just to letcha know, I still haven't hit that magic amount of days, where all my cravings go away!!! Im pretty sure that day, doesn't exist.
But Im still holding out hope!!!
At work last week, a guy came in, that I used to talk to ALL the time. Ive talked about him briefly, before on this blog. He is the 'brother' of one guy I carried on a few conversations with, in the past 16 months. The big difference here, with this guy is I know that technically, I owed him money/pills at one point. I don't remember paying him back , but I do remember trying to.
So, here we are, I haven't seen him in two years, (other than driving by or walking by) and he comes pulling in to pick up a lumber pack. His boss, is one of the contractors that uses us, all the time.
And, I know, for a fact he is still actively using, from when I talked to his brother, and of course Ive seen him and other people (including his bro) making 'exchanges' in the parking lot of rite aid/safeway when Im at lunch or going to rite aid myself. While Im on the subject, next time your at your local pharmacy, do yourself a favor and look around.
Look and see how many people you see standing in the parking lot on the phone, sitting in their cars 'waiting' for something. If they are waiting FOR the pharmacy, why are they not inside??? Don't take my word for it, just look around. Now, yes, some people may be legitimately waiting on their spouse or whatever. But, watch a lil longer and just see if you can catch some 'exchanges' yourself. A car door opens, somebody stands at the window of the other car for a second. someone walks outta the store up to a car window, passes something and gets into another car. This is a much bigger addiction than most people realize.
Anyways, back to the other day...................
I say, "how's life man"
he replies 'fine'. In a cold, I don't wana talk to you AT ALL kinda way.
I just load the lumber pack, four boards at a time, silently.
After a few minutes, I say Im sorry for anything/everything I might have done while I was all fucked up man.
No reply.
I thought to myself, I should try harder to apologize. I should try to say something, explain myself further. The other part of my brain says, you've been in his shoes before, the one still using, with someone else trying to 'talk' to them.
what did you do then?
I didn't listen to anybody. Or anything.
So I thought, you know what? If he doesn't want to accept my apology, or accept my sober self, then that's his problem I guess. One thing sobriety has taught me, is that I cannot change anybody else. The only person I'm in charge of is, me. My son too, but I cannot 'make him' do much, of anything.
I already know he's surely heard everything Ive said to his brother.
So Im not going to be telling him any 'front page' news. And, obviously he's not interested, or he would have said SOMETHING.
All I can do is TRY.
I did, and yes it failed, but that's the way it is sometimes. he's probably mad at himself for being almost 40 and nothing to show for it. Not that I have a whole lot, but he still lives in his parents' garage. And he's okay with that. Hell, I would have been too, in my using days.
So I'm not judging him by any means.
What I was doing was trying to remember how I felt, when somebody left the 'scene' and excelled. I wasn't mad per say, but definitely like " I wish I could do that"
But it didn't go any further than a thought.
I don't miss that desperation, one bit.
However, it is important to reflect on it, from time to time.

I cannot believe how fast my son is growing. It feels like just yesterday he was coming home from the hospital.
The last six months, have been the most changing that I can remember. Six mos ago, he was talking you know, in small sentences. Now he's talking in paragraphs!! And I'm pretty sure he's telling me about dreams he has at night, he also makes up stories and tells them to me. It's so funny, to take a step back and look at things from his point of view. Life really is that simple you know.
WE are the ones that make it complicated. His eyes are so innocent, so nieve, and yet, I feel like when he looks into my eyes he can see right into my soul.
At least now, I CAN look him in the eye. I remember trying not to let him look in my eyes, a year and half ago. Even though he was only two, I still felt like he could see this big disappointment that I had become. or maybe that's how I felt when he'd look at me.
I so treasure the moments we spend together. No, its not all sunshine and rainbows. We do argue, he decides not to listen to me on a daily basis. But he gets over it pretty quick, and I'm pretty fast at pointing out the next GOOD thing he does. I  try to tell him thank you and good job on anything and everything I can. If I don't, then I feel like I'm just saying "no" all day long!!!!!!!!!!!!
He's made some good friends at preschool. He has about 3 kids that like to hug him good bye at the end of the day!! I was so worried he wasn't going to fit in or something, at first. When I wake him up in the morning, of course he tells me he doesn't want to get up, but by the time he's dressed, he's excited to go to school.
Feels a lot better than peeling him off me, when we get there!!! ha ha ha

Fritz (our dog) is doing great too. Now he and sam have a game they play, where sam holds the tug-of-war toy, and Fritz drags sam, all over the house or the yard, depending on where they are. Sam giggles so hard he can hardly breathe!!! Just that intoxicating kiddie laugh, where they giggle non-stop. I think its the best sound in the world. I don't care how shitty of a day you've had, you hear that, and you cant help but to smile. I took a couple pictures of them playing , so I'll put those at the bottom today. you can get the idea of the game, but no picture can do it justice. LOL

I think I'm just about ready to get a tattoo of my sober date. Some people have said, well what if it changes???
Well, it'll still be the day I decided to change my life. I'm not planing on a relapse, ever. But if it did happen, hopefully somebody would knock me out and take me to rehab, immediately if my 'slip' lasted longer than 5 minutes. Knowing that, then my 'date' won't change.
This is still the longest stint of sobriety Ive had, ever.
So now I have to think something up, some kind of design and decide where to put it.
Ive thought of the serenity prayer before, since I still say that to myself probably every day. And in the first three months or so, it was more like every minute. Ha ha ha ha

As always, thanks for listening.
Thank you so much. Everybody that's around me or thinks of me, leaves me comments, ETC, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, I can never thank you enough.
to be continued............................................................

here's some pictures :-}

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Life in general & more about suboxone therapy

Greetings, everybody.
Once again, another celebrity has died, of a suspected overdose. "Joey" from celebrity rehab, was found dead the other day, in chicago I think. Its sad just to see ANYone, lose a family member to this deasise. I watched the show(s) and I sure feel bad for his mother, you could tell just from how supportive she was, that she really loved/care/wished the best for him.
I cant believe its raining, again. Already!!!
Hopefully, it doesn't last. Im definitely not ready for fall already. Not that we get much of a 'fall' here, its more like cold mornings, occasional rain showers and the very occasional nice day out.
I wish I would have been able to take Sam swimming more this summer. It just hasn't been warm enough out to do it.
We did go a few times, and it was really fun. Especially the last two times, when our new family member, Fritz was able to come, too. Now that was alot more fun for sam, since he had someone to play with other than me and his dad.

Fritz is definitely a happy dog. He goes to work with me everyday. Sometimes when Mike gets off early he comes and gets him, and then Sam and they go to the dog park or the beach. Hes such a good dog. He's never jumped on Sam or anything. He doesn't take his food when he's walking around eating, or even jump on him, when sam is playing fetch with him. Fritz just waits, patiently, or as patient as he can!! For sam to throw the ball/frisbee for hm.  Sam has learned a lot too, about how every living thing has 'feelings' since we got him also. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get a dog.  Im so happy I waited, for the right one to come along. Its unbelievable, how much we all love him so much, already.

Mike hasn't heard a thing from the trash company yet. There hasn't been a letter in the mail, either. So who knows. I sort of think, if he would have got the job, he'd know by now. Either way, its okay, he knew it was (is) a hard job to get, especially around here. He's stayed really positive since he was able to keep the other job, and last week he was super busy. Went to portland and back, twice almost every day. Since he makes a percentage,
I cannot remember if I mentioned that I got a "soft reline" at the dentist two weeks ago. I looked thru (skimmed) my blogs for a moment, trying to find it, but I didn't find anything. That doesn't mean it wasnt there!!!!
At any rate, I did get a soft reline done. Which is where thy fill your top plate with this sorta soft material, it fills any 'voids' or air space between the denture and the roof of your mouth. It takes a minute to harden, then they 'trim' it up. Things sure fit better now, that's ALL I got to say!! Guess I didnt realize just how bad it really was, until I got this done. Its a 'temporary' fix, until the 'hard reline' gets done.  They like to do the hard one, at almost a year, or around there. If I need another soft reline, he said to just come in, and get it done. Since it's not the actual material the denture is made out of, I guess it kinda 'wears off' over time. I hope I didnt already say all this, then I'd feel like a dumbass. :-)

I've had an overwhelming couple of days. . . . . . . . . . .
First off, we got a 'notice' from the old landlord from our apartments. Which says they are 'holding' the deposit. It only counts the deposits from when we first moved in, and says NOTHING about the rent that was paid three days or so, before we sent our thirty day notice.
I wrote an email back, and copied the section of the laws that states 'prepaid rent' needs to be accounted for in a totally different statement, within 31 DAYS of them accepting the property back. They 'accepted' the property back on July 17th. It also says, they must pay DOUBLE what they owe the renter, of prepaid rent. They cannot 'withold' the prepaid rent, for deposit, if you have already left a deposit, which we did. I knew this was going to be a fight, because Ive heard it from everyone else that has moved out of there. And of course I'd like to consult a lawyer, because they haven't (won't) email/call me back about any of it. Uggh.
And, the previous owner, here at the trailer, did not pay the last of their water bill. So we got a 'door hanger' notice on Thursday. So, on my lunch break I had to go up and pay it yesterday, or it was going to be shut off Monday. THAT makes me pretty pissed, it was $231, that I was NOT expecting to have to pay out of my check. With that, and daycare (preschool) and the phone/cable bill; its the day after payday, and I'm pretty much broke!!! But on the other hand, the bills are paid, and Mike gets paid on Wednesday.
The power co also wrote us a letter stating that in the apartment, we had to leave a deposit with them, of $190. It says that because our bill is sometimes paid after the due date, they are keeping it 'towards' our NEW deposit, of $342. Im like ,,, are you KIDDING ME????? we havent ever had our electricity SHUT off, so who the hell cares if its late sometimes? We are talking about a time span of 6 and half years afterall!!!!!
Now, we have an electic bill, with a disconnect notice for the 31st, of $345.
Wonderful news.

So, this all overwhelms me. I just try not to think about it too much.

My patient assistance program, that pays for my suboxone, will end at the end of September. That'll be a challenge since its about $700 a month, the cash price. BUT Oregon has a prescription discount card, free for anyone with no insurance. That makes it about $550 a month. Then there is a coupon, you can use once a month from the manufacturer, worth $50.
So $500 a month, is what it costs me, all said and done.
Now, some people think this is just WAY too much money, and why don't I just stop and all sorts of stuff like that.
Well, the 'flipside' of the coin, is a habit, which towards the end, was costing me  $100-200 a DAY. So, I'll take the $500 a month any day of the week.
Im not ready to leave suboxone yet. I don't know when, if ever, I will be. Sometimes I still think about getting high, for one thing. When I do think about it, or come across someone that offers, it only takes a second for me to realize, that I have all my opiate receptors blocked anyways and it would take at least two weeks, of using before I felt anything anyways. And you know, I'd come to my senses by then, or at least I hope so!!! Thats just part of how it works.
Im posting an ariticle on HOW suboxone/buprenorphine works, at the end of my entry here. Now I know the writer seems a little "pro suboxone" but probably only because of all the good he's seen thru treating the "unfixable" addict over the years.
If you think about it for a moment, and all the medications that are in your cabinet right now, the ones you take on a daily basis just to be 'normal'. Well, thats how I feel taking suboxone.
And if I didnt, Im pretty sure it wouldn't be long before the monster inside me was trying to convince me I could take 'just one' pill.
Sometimes I think, well , youve got "X" amount of months now, your cured!! You could taper off and be fine. But the truth of the matter is, I tried for years to be free, of everything. I failed miserably.
Ive already talked about that, so I wont go into detail agian.

I'm going to try and apply for this "here to help" program again, with my doctors help I may be able to get 'approved' for another year. If not, Im still absolutely grateful for the year that I did get. I probably would have given up already, because it was just so expensive, when I started and had just started working.
As far as buprenorphine making you 'high' in small doses, I dont know about that. Even when I first took it, all it did was take the EDGE of the withdrawl symptoms. It didnt make everything peachy, like opiates always did. But, I guess for an "opiate nieve" person, it probably would. On the flip side, it would probably just make them sick. Like when I first started chasing the 'rush' of opiates, you get sick when you 'overdo' it.
Okay, heres the article, feel free to skip if you want to, I just thought it was a good idea to post it, for people who dont have any idea what the heck Im talking about sometimes!!!
for your continued support

A question was asked about the last post that warrants top billing:
“Buprenorphine acts similar to opioid agonists in lower doses, with the same addictive potential as oxycodone or heroin. In higher doses—doses above 8 mg or 8000 micrograms per day—the ‘ceiling effect’ eliminates interest and cravings for the drug.”
Buprenorphine Ceiling Effect
Ceiling Effect
I’m not sure I followed this. Can you explain more? What would you think about someone who is taking 1-2mg of Suboxone twice a day without a prescription, and says they want to stay on that dose once they find a prescriber? Are they better off on 8mg or more per day, or would it be ok for a prescriber to keep them at the lower dose? Is the answer the same if they hope to taper off the medication completely within a year (they don’t feel able to do this on their own right now, but hope to be able to when some life circumstances change). Thanks!
This gets a bit complicated, but I’ll do my best. A couple background issues; buprenorphine has a ‘ceiling’ to its effect, meaning that beyond a certain dose, increases in dose do not cause greater opioid effect. That is the mechanism for how buprenorphine blocks cravings.
If the blood level of buprenorphine is ABOVE that ceiling, the opioid receptors are maximally, 100% stimulated. If the person takes more buprenorphine, and the blood level increases, the opioid receptors don’t feel the increase, as they cannot be stimulated more than 100%. But more importantly: when the person takes less, and the blood level of buprenorphine goes DOWN, the receptors also sense nothing– as long as the level stays above the ‘ceiling’ level.
Read the above paragraph, and think on it until you grasp it– as it explains buprenorphine and Suboxone. If you understand that paragraph, you will know more about Suboxone than most doctors!
Below that ceiling level, the opioid effect from buprenorphine varies directly with dose—just as with oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, etc. Medications that have effects that increase with dose are called ‘agonists’. Buprenorphine is a ‘partial agonist;’ it acts like an agonist up to point, the ceiling effect, beyond which increases in blood level have no greater effect.
The level of this ‘ceiling’ varies from one person to the next, depending on efficiency of absorption (on average, only a third of a dose is absorbed from under the tongue), body size, liver function, differences in regional blood flow, and the presence of other medications that affect buprenorphine metabolism. In order for buprenorphine to have the unique, craving-blocking effects, the blood level of buprenorphine must stay above the ceiling level, for the reasons described above.
Lower levels (blood levels of buprenorphine below the ceiling level) still have SOME effects on cravings. Buprenorphine has a long half-life, an that alone reduces the desire to take more—especially if the medication is taken more than once per day– since the blood level drops very little between doses. For agonists or for buprenorphine below the ceiling level, drop in blood level equals drop in opioid effect, equals sense of things wearing off, equals cravings.
But the classic method for treating with Suboxone, as described in the certification course, is for it to be given at a high enough dose to stay above the ceiling level… and dosed only ONCE per day. If the blood level stays above the ceiling level, once-per-day dosing covers cravings completely. Yes, people still want to take more, especially initially, but that desire is not driven by chemical effects; the desire is instead based on psychological factors, like habit, or from being accustomed to feeling better after a dose, and getting a placebo ‘lift’ from taking a second dose.
A person can eliminate that second dose fairly easily, providing that the morning dose is high enough, i.e. usually 8-16 mg. To eliminate the second dose, the person should distract him/herself as soon as the thought about taking the second dose comes to mind. Immediately, do anything else—the dishes, call a friend, wrestle with the dogs… and the thought will pass. If the person does the distraction method for a few days, the need to take the second dose will go away—a psychological process called ‘extinguishment.’
Dosing every other day, and even every third day, has been studied; people cannot tell the difference, if the dose is raised enough to keep the blood level above the ‘ceiling’ (providing the person is given a placebo that tastes the same).
As for as the writer’s friend… I’m not a fan of any illicit use, but I am aware of the shortage of physicians. When the person has a physician, in my opinion the person should be prescribed a dose that allows for once per day dosing. Realize that buprenorphine wears off VERY slowly; it takes over three days for half of a dose to leave the body! So that ‘need’ to take more is almost always entirely learned or ‘conditioned.’ The medication does not wear off in that short period of time.
Even if the person has withdrawal symptoms, the sensations are almost surely imagined. How to tell? Use the distraction method, and note that a couple hours later, when the person remembers that the dose was skipped, note that the withdrawal went away. That doesn’t happen with ‘real’ withdrawal!
The sense of withdrawal that drives the second dose is simply a memory; a conditioned response that the body has that triggers the person to take more opioid. We become conditioned by drug use, just like the salivating dogs from science books! In the case of opioids, whenever we feel down, we think that an opioid will lift us up, as it has hundreds of times before. And even if what is taken is not a real opioid, the mind ‘feels’ a boost, just from expecting what has always happened in the past.
As for tapering, I look at many factors in order to recommend, or not recommend, stopping buprenorphine—things like age, presence/absence of using friends or contacts, physical health, mood, support network, personal motivation to stop buprenorphine, ability or lack thereof to dose once per day, consistently, number of relapses and personal ‘recovery’ plan, etc.
Realize that EVERYONE looks forward to a day when life circumstances will change for the better—but most of the time, life becomes more, not less challenging. Yes, it is nice to have a reliable job… but it is much more stressful being the sole breadwinner for a family with children, than working to pay for one’s self! Marriages settle down in some ways over time, but they also lose the intense infatuation that can gloss over personal differences.
As I have often written, it is VERY hard to stop opioids. It is a little easier to stop buprenorphine; I am convinced of that fact because I have seen opioid addicts taper off buprenorphine, but I know of no opioid addict who tapered off an agonist. But SOME people cannot taper of ANY opioids—including buprenorphine. I do not consider those people ‘addicted’ to buprenorphine, because they lack the constant obsession for opioids that is so destructive to the mind of an active addict. But they ARE physically dependent on buprenorphine— a fair trade, in my opinion, for a life of chaos, broken relationships, legal problems, and death.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My file cabinet, links to the past

Hello, friends :-}

So, we got mike's letter sent in, last weekend. You wouldn't believe what that poor guy had to go thru though. After he sent in a six page letter, pretty much explaining everything from his past, he had to provide police reports, to back up his 'story' in each of the two 'situations'
Yes, it was tiring, to say the least. I couldn't believe it, but the courthouse charges $50-$75 per HOUR, for 'research' on a case, older than five years.
We dug, and dug, and dug some more. And somehow maraculously found arraignment paperwork and police reports all the way from 2000. Crazy? you betcha.
BUT, he does now, still have a job.
And no word from the trash company yet. They told him he'd know by tuesday,(one way or the other) for sure. The waiting, is the WORST. But, now at least he has the one job, if nothing else. He did like it, for the two weeks he did it before. His boss explained, that he's on a probationary period, for now. Mike says, nothing's changed with me, only with you. And its  not really his boss, that had the problem with his background, it has to do with the insurance and all that. Pretty sure I explained that last week. Im just relieved, that we'll be okay now, one way or the other. yes, Im still hopeful, for the garbage company, but its not 'life and death' now, for lack of a better term.

That took up most of my nights this week, digging for old paperwork, and scanning it into the computer.
Along with that, I found all kinds of other court documents, old bills, old everything. Most of it of course relating to the beginning of my demise.
You know, I took opiates regularly from about 2001. I was trying to remember, the first time I went thru actual with drawls. Remembering actually experiencing it, is easy, its connecting a date to it, thats difficult. I know it was sometime in 2003. By 05, I was taking something, every single day, and the days of being able to take 'just' vicodin, were long gone. Of course I'd try to 'make it' on vicodin, but I always ended up being dope sick after 4 hours or so.
Anyways, back to my point.........................
Looking thru all this old stuff, brought up a rush of emotion for me. All the old feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, you know.
I tried to just 'work thru it' in my head. Like Ive read about.
Its okay, Im in a much better place now. You just can't help but ask yourself how you let it be so completely out of control, for so long!!!
I remember thinking, at those times, THIS is what addiction is. Im just the same, as any other junkie. There IS help, somewhere. But your pride gets in the way. You think you are doing such a good job of covering everything up, and thats the goal, you've worked at each and every day, for so damn long, theres just NO WAY, your gonna give up on all of that really easily!! no way!!

There's a file cabinet, in my kitchen with all these old documents filed away. The same thing exists in my head. But the things that are filed away, are memories, feelings, and resentments.
Its okay for me to visit them, once in awhile. Might be even good to do so.
I'm no expert!! I'm just trying to do better, NOW.

So, we had to go to Portland, and get Mike's work van back. We left this morning, around 10am. And we had already decided we were going to borrow grandma's car, she has GPS, and let's face it, our car has almost 300K miles.
Anyways, glad we had that planned, in advance. It was already getting warm outside, and the A/C decided to stop working in our car. Yep, the heater too.
I know it must be the fan motor or something, you can hear it 'click' when it wants to come on. When you flip the switch I mean. AND the rear fan, works, it blows out both cold and hot air.
Just one more thing, that DOESNT work in my car. But this thing, is a little more major. the other problems, aren't really a necessity. (cd player broken, passenger window only goes down from driver controls, passenger door doesn't lock, back door wont unlock)  Anyways, Im gonna have to do something, like take it to the shop, before september comes. Just one more thing to 'budget' in. So, we are getting on our way..............
We don't get but about 20 miles from home, and Sam starts vomiting.
I felt so bad for him!!! I always do, when he gets sick like that. He threw up on my sweatshirt, then his dad's, then grandma's blanket. Then he fell asleep for awhile.
We had him stripped down to his underwear cuz everything else was dirty, to say the least.
Finally, we made it there. Got stuck in traffic on Hwy 26, for about 45mins. We forgot that I-5 south, is closed on the weekends right now in the surrounding area of portland. So on the way home, we took hwy 30.
Left at 10am, got to the service station, to get the truck around 1pm. Then to meet mike's boss for a fill-up at 130. Then, had to drive thru town, to get to the open end of the freeway, in order to get going in the right direction.
Arrived home at 430pm.
Been a long day. We originally talked about going to one of the waterparks in portland while we were there, since it was going to be warm. But with Sam dry-heaving by the time we got the truck, the only thing to do was drive straight home.
He is feeling better now. I let him have a fudge cycle, when we got home, and now he's eating potato chips. Im wondering if it was something he ate, that made him sick, or if he just picked up a weird bug, from daycare???

Speaking of preschool/daycare, he is enjoying going much more than the first week. Its so much easier to drop him off now!!! He has a few friends, and loves to play outside, with all the kids.
He's definitely excited to be picked up, but its not so hard leaving him now. yes, now its like I feel bad, cuz he DOESNT need me, ha ha ha ha. Its always something I guess!!!
Its awesome listening to him talk about his day, and sing me songs, and everything else. His lil face just lights right up.

Work, is staying busy. Not too busy, not too slow. Just perfect if you ask me. Mike worked with me three days last week, just so we could  have $$$ coming in. Its really cool of my boss, to let him work, when he's 'availible'. Not that he couldnt use him, but you know what I mean. He could easily call the temp agency, and get whoever just for a day or two.
Theres supposed to be someone new, starting monday. The latest guy that was there, got fired on tuesday. Batter up, I guess.
The job in itself, isn't difficult at all, I mean, its physically demanding, yes. You have to constantly move doors around, and trim, and a variety of other things. Load/unload deliveries, move equipment around, etc. It is a little on the stressful side, for me. I dont think the "number two'' person has that much to stress about. Im the one that has to keep the jobs on time, and the one responsible for the 'product' looking the way it should. I just think in this county, its hard to find a good employee. Everyone that wants to be working, already is I guess. And since it doesn't pay that great, people that do work , leave for 'better opportunities'. And you can't blame them. I almost left not too long ago. My driving record still sucks, and to tell you the absolute truth, Ive worked for MANY contractors/construction places already. Meaning, they probably dont want any more of Amber. They only know the person I used to be, not who I am now.
Thats one of the reasons, I feel 'loyalty' to my boss.
He gave me a chance, when nobody else would. Like I said, I do enjoy the work I do, so that makes some of the other problems, 'fade' into the background. And now, with Mike working the $$$ issue is no longer a concern.
What I wanted to say, was that when I got knocked into the top spot, I hadn't really ever painted  a door, or clear coated (lacquered) a door. I had cleared/painted a small amount of trim. So, I was pretty damn nervous about doing these doors/trim for these multi-million $ homes, as you can probably imagine!!
I'm happy to report, that all my stuff, looks really great!!
Yes, it took some practice, and I'm still not perfect, meaning some stuff still gets 4 coats before its ready, but I'm getting there.
My boss totally trusts me and my judgement, of whats 'ready' and whats not. I have to give him the time lines on when things are going to be done, (and stick to them!) making sure they are perfect in the process. yes, sometimes I get overwhelmed. But it makes me feel better about myself, when I get things done, and they look awesome, and the customer (not to mention, boss) is absolutely happy with the results!!!

So, everythings going fairly well.It'd be great if Mike gets that new job, but at least now, if he doesn't we are still just fine.
The last (almost) 16 months have definitely been the happiest I can remember.

Thanks, again, to everyone for your continued support, in the battle for my life.
all my love, until next week..............................................................

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Skeletons in the closet

Hello everybody. . . .
thankfully, today is much much cooler than yesterday. Uggh.
I hate to be one to complain, about much of anything these days, but 92 degrees, is just much too hot for me!!!
And not to mention my son. We were going to go to the fair, in the morning, then to the lake. That was the plan on Friday anyways. Well, when we were getting ready to leave around 1030 a.m, it was already almost 85 degrees!!!!
Mikes backing outta the drive way and says, are you SURE you wana go to the fair? What do you think about going out to the lake, then the fair, after it cools off around 4 or so???
I'm like
Ran inside and grabbed some towels, we were all good to go!!
So, we went swimming, even Fritz, for like four hours. Everybody had a LOT of fun. Fritz, is fairly protective over sam already, he barked whenever somebody splashed him or got to close. It doesn't take long to figure out, that sam belongs to Fritz now, not the other way around!!
But very cute, none the less.

So I know Ive talked about Mike's new job. He got sent home on Friday, nothing that he did of course, but a pain in the ass, still. I'll explain that in a second,
Both of us are still holding out hope, because he has his SECOND interview with the trash company, on tuesday. so everybody keep your fingers crossed for that. It starts out at $16 an hour, and full benefits after only 90 days. Yea, that would be a really good job, it really is for around here. And, Mike's been applying with them, since hes had a CDL, so for about SIX YEARS, he's been applying and this is the FIRST time, he's been interviewed over the phone, and called in for a 'panel' interview.
So anyways, both Mike and I have a 'checkered' past I guess you can say. Well, he passed the first part of the background check for his new job. then, on friday, the place called that insures his boss or whatever, and BOTH the guys that were hired (mike being one) got sent home, because of the FULL background check. Now, the other guy that was sent home, got fired, right off the bat. The company will NOT insure him AT ALL.
Mike, was sent home, and still has his company phone and everything like that, because the man said on the phone, that its the "arrest record'' thats the problem NOT the convictions. Mike only has two misdemeanor convictions, ever in his life.
He explained further that if mike sends in a letter of appeal, that its up to the 'discretion'' of the company at this point.
Well, whatever I guess. Im gonna help him with the letter today, and we'll get it sent in. But I think he's gonna knock the interview outta the park on tuesday anyways, and that's why things are working out this way. NICE way to hope, anyways, right????
If he doesn't get the job for western oregon waste (recology) Oh well, wasn't in the cards, and he can keep looking.
I don't really let myself get too bummed out about anything these days, becuase the old saying is true,
"My worst day clean, is better than my best day, using"
That rings completely true for me, and I say it to myself, ALL THE TIME.

Mike was pretty bummed out about the whole job thing. I told him that obviously there wasn't even a CHANCE for the other guy to keep working, so an appeal letter may actually work, and either way, not to really worry about it. He can still work at my shop off and on, to get us by till he finds something else.
Our bills are much more doable now in the trailer anyways. AND I forgot to mention last week in my entry ( I think) how much LESS FUEL I go thru, going to work and back!!!!
Its unbelievable.
Sam is doing so much better going to preschool. Now that its been a couple weeks, he is way better at drop off time , and always excited to see ya, when you pick him up!!!
Fritz has been going to work with my everyday, so he gets about as many hugs as I do, when we get to the car, but thats just fine, too!!

I had to go in last week, to get my denture adjusted. The front of it, was like severing off that little muscle, that holds your lip to your top gum. Holy crap it was so sore. The dentist asked why I didn't come in sooner, I said that I was waiting for it to "fix itself''
Ha ha ha, he didnt think that was too funny.
So now, he wants me back on tuesday, and once a week until there is no adjustments to be made, he says cuz obviously I don't know when to call him.
Now that he took off some of the front, it feels loose when I'm smiling really big and talking at the same time. I don't know what the answer is there, but I hope he does. I'm thinking he probably will be able to figure it out. It makes me feel self conscious obviously, cuz Im wondering if my teeth are going to fall out. So far, so good. LOL
As time goes by , they are feeling more and more like "normal"
I didn't think I was ever going to feel used to them. But it IS getting better.

Ive been reading that blog,
and its served as a real good reminder for me, of where I was and never need to be again. you know, you'd really think, you could hit some 'magic number' of days sober, and be cured. It would be so great, if you had an 'off switch' for craving an opiate high.... Or any other high I guess. But it just doesn't work that way.
I thought I already knew this. Ive tried to cope with the fact, that addiction wont ever go away. And even 10 years ago, when I thought it had gone away, it was still there, hiding in the dark.
That blog serves as a good inspiration to keep working on your recovery, always, no matter what.
There is so many of 'us' out there, that know what that battle is like. Trying to put your demons to sleep, and push the reset button. Theres WAY TOO MANY of us, that don't win the battle. That are taken prematurely from everyone that loves them, no matter how hard they were trying. And I dont pretend to know what the secret is. I really have no idea. The only thing I know for sure is,
its different for every single addict. That 'line' that you cross, or whatever happens, when you get the strength to reach out, and get there.  And even then, theres people that have years sober or clean (both) and have a momentary lapse in judgement, and they never get another chance.
thats it.
So it doesn't matter how much time you have, clean.
No, its definitely not fair.
I feel so lucky to be here today. I found out later, that there were plenty of times I could have died in my sleep, or any other number of occasions, but for some reason Im still here.
I have no intention of getting off suboxone any time soon. I am on a lower dose now, but I dont feel any difference. So I guess I did it right!!!! I wish there was more understanding about it, and not so many people view it as a 'substitute'
I know for ME, I would have never come this far, without it.
There are so many times before, that I tried to quit, I mean, I really did. I wanted to be free from the chains that matt talks about in his journal so very badly. But I just couldnt do it. And at the end, I was suicidal as well. And that was scary to me. Because I knew, that suicide was a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and also that suicide seems to only hurt the ones that love you. I knew all of that, and never 'understood' it, until the last year or so of being dopesick every other day. Then, by that point, the 'sick' was so bad, I was willing to do ANYTHING, to take it away. I was beginning to think, the world would be better off without me anyways, I mean what good had I done in the last year???
Im thankful I never did it.
Im SO glad, that I got help when I did.
Its the hardest thing Ive ever done, and Ive never felt so much desperation, as I did then.

Wow I didnt mean to go to such a dark place there. I just want to make the point that, in order to keep this 'train on the tracks' I cant forget where Ive been.
That seems to be the key, in my case. Whenever I start to forget that, is when the cravings and random thoughts enter my head of using again. Or my brain tells me, that I could 'handle' it now, cuz Ive 'grown up' and I would be able to do it, without it taking over my life.
thats funny, isn't it???

For today, Im not going anywhere, Im right here, with my little boy. And my new place.
Enjoying life's little moments.
we had a BLAST at the fair last night. We paid for some friends to go with us, and so Sam could have  friend to ride the rides with. Let me say, that would have NEVER happened in the 'old days'. (and no, they werent the 'good ol days'!!)

 Thanks mom, and grandma for always loving me , no matter what. Thanks Mike for being the most compassionate man Ive ever known. THANKS to my whole family, for giving me a soft place to land, when I fell.
And thank you very much Sam, for your forgiveness. I know you will read this some day, whether you want to or not. . . . . .
THANK YOU everybody, for your continued support of me, and my journey. For this journey does not have  a destination, and will be ongoing. Its all the little comments/remarks I get, that keep me going, on a daily basis. Sometimes, an hourly basis!!!

To be continued. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .