Wednesday, April 24, 2013

in a "nut shell"--- January till now


Hello all
I recently had a family member ask…… why don’t you make an entry, that kind of “sums it all up”   You know, what happened, and what your family is working towards, now.
What a great idea!!! Especially since, I recently edited out ,, a lot of information……
So I’m going to try and sum things up,,, best I can…
And if any close friends/family has any questions---- feel FREE to email me, my email address is---  the letter *A* then my last name plus 1216, at gmail.

*************************************
Summer 2012
So last summer, Mike started working for this medical transport company..... Before that, he hadn't worked in about a year, since we lived out in the "sticks" and only had one car, and you know, daycare is around $600/month... It just made more sense for one of us to stay home... When I started drug treatment and the suboxone program, both of us were looking for a job.....
I got hired first, and he stayed home. Until last summer, we bought a manufactured home, and got the hell out of that horrible apartment. the same month we bought the house, (june)  my workplace,,, needed a delivery driver, IMMEDIATELY... So he started doing deliveries and various things, for my boss. the very same week we moved into "town" and got into the new house, he had the job with the medical transport place.
that was in July, and from then on, when he didn't have any rides on the schedule, if my shop was busy enough, he worked a day here or there. 
***********************
November/December 2012
I was  working about 70 hours a week. We had some really big jobs come thru the shop, and seemed like we couldn't find any help, really..... 
In the first week of December, an investigator called Mike, while he was in Portland, and said she needed to ask him some questions.
He asked her over and over what it was about,, she kept saying she wasn't comfortable discussing anything over the phone.
to make a long story short, she came out to our house, about 9pm one monday night. Sam was actually sick, at the time, so i was busy trying to calm an-almost-four-year-old with a FEVER to bed.......
Mike spoke with her outside,,,,, not for very long, either.... when he came back in I asked "so what the hell was THAT all about?"
He says, "nothing, it's not a big deal"
well, it must be a big deal if there's a detective at our house!!-- I replied.
  He gave me a half ass explanation, that this lady was asking about a ride he gave two weeks or so, earlier... 
At that moment, I sat down, looked him right in the eyes, and said,,, "look mike, if there's anything we need to discuss, or anything you need or should tell me,,,, PLEASE tell me now, I do not want to hear it from somewhere else.. I have NOT been perfect... When I graduated my first 30 days of treatment, do you remember me sitting down with you and telling you all kinds of horrible shit??? you took that really well, and loved me anyway... I'm here for you.
he tells me,,, AGAIN...
it's nothing, I'm making a big deal outta nothing, and blah blah blah.......
So, I believed him...
why wouldn't I????
We've been together since july of 2000,,,, and we got married in july of 2003....
So, I dropped it.....
*************
January
Five weeks pass,,,, along with Christmas, and Sam's birthday......  Sam had stayed the night at "nana & papa's house" one other time.... 
So one friday night, my mom offered to take him, overnight, to give us a night to ourselves..... 
We were up late.... he he he ..... really late.....
Around 8am,,, a knock came  at the door, that would forever change my life.....
the sheriff came in and arrested mike on sex abuse one charges....
they also charged him with felony assault of an officer, times two.
 the whole story of what unfolded, is here.... 
http://almostoneyearclean.blogspot.com/2013/01/worst-day-ever.html
and the majority of what I went thru while he was in county jail, is well documented,,, and "safe" to leave up, as far as I know....
http://almostoneyearclean.blogspot.com/2013/01/hard-lessons-and-difficult-questions.html
http://almostoneyearclean.blogspot.com/2013/01/broken-hearted.html
I kept asking him, the first few days he was in jail, if he knew what the allegation was...
he kept saying "no, I have no idea"
I'm sure he was scared.... Im sure ANYONE would be scared to death......
Later,,,
when I ask WHY he lied, that night and beyond.... 
I lied that night I was "interviewed" because ,, I swear to you Amber, I didn't touch this woman,,, i did say some stupid things,,, yes,,, but I didn't touch her.. and I honestly thought, it would "work itself out" ya know... I didn't think I had ANYTHING To worry about, because she's 27 for ONE thing and because I NEVER TOUCHED HER...... 
And,,, I do believe him... I STILL BELIEVE HIM.....
the MAIN reasons we didn't
go all the way to trial,,,,,,,, 
One,,, in oregon, this "charge" carries a MINIMUM mandatory sentence of 75 months.... not something to take "lightly"
Second, and most important.....
during his 'interview" he was asked if he talked to this chick on the phone, and he kept saying, only concerning her ride as a client... which turned out to be bullshit.... he admitted to talking to her, after the investigator showed him phone records.....
the lawyer says... HOW will we EVER convince a jury he's being honest,,, with his first interview, he's lying like that?
hmmmmmm good question.......
**********
the allegation,,,,, "while giving (her) a ride back from longview, he first asked if she liked him, enough to kiss him. she said no.... then he reached across the van and rubbed her leg, starting at her knee and moving up towards her crotch. when his hand got "close" to the top of her leg, she pushed his hand away and said no. There was no more talking, on the ride back, until they were in front of her house, and he told her she was welcome to call him"
********
And, they did speak on the phone, twice for a grand total of 22 minutes. In that  22 minutes, Mike was being flirtatious, he did say some things he shouldn't have. but It seemed WAY consensual to me, looking at the transcripts... ESPECIALLY since she called him.... And of course they recorded it... and WHO would ever think they were being recorded???
I'm not defending him to the point,,,
Like he deserves to get by 'scott free' that's not what I'm saying at all... he should learn a lesson about lying to the detective, for sure... but THIS is a little extreme, in my opinion........and WHY does our son have to pay the price???  Why do I have to be a single parent to a very challenging four year old?? AND try to stay sober at the same time???
Pretty crazy.....
that even IF he did do that.... Pretty INSANE to me, someone can get 75 months for ten seconds of bad judgement.....
wait, it gets better..........
YOU MUST KNOW,,,,
this "report" says all kinds of things, that really get me angry..... here's just A FEW of the points,,, I'm getting at........
1.--- she's 27, supposedly disabled.... but I have a couple of friends that their kids are in the same "activities" as her siblings, and they all say you'd NEVER know it.... Mike said the same thing.... she walks/talks/acts just like you or me. AND,, it's part of the contract, of the company Mike was with,, IF you are unable to make decisions on your own, or unable to get in and out of the van UN-assisted, then you MUST have a caretaker/nurse/chaperon ride with you. 
so, why didn't she have one???  brings me to my next point....
2.--- It says also, she's disabled to the point, she cannot be home alone, since she can walk in one room of her own home and forget how to get back out of it.
(oh, but she can remember a 45 minute ride.....)  She's partially paralyzed on the left side, and partially def on that same side.
3.---Her mother, is the one who filed the report.... filed the report, and continued to make "noise" until the case was in front of the grand jury three times. Thus, the perfect explanation of why it took over a month, for him to be arrested.... 
which I may add, he worked 6 days a week, for this medical transport company in the meantime.... No other complaints, except he was speeding back from portland,,, trying to "make it" to see OUR SON with Santa Clause, just before Christmas..... (yep, what an animal)
LAST but not least......
This investigator,,,, called Mike's boss shortly after she spoke with him. His boss, Kirk asked if this was "something he should worry about, does he need to be taken off the schedule," ETC
According to kirk, she said, "no , I don't see this going much further than this, and I'll for sure let you know if it does."
He never got a call, until saturday the 19th, when I called him to let him know he'd been arrested.
*****************
What's happening now........
Mike's "in treatment" 
going to groups, and counseling. and Honestly, he's making the very best of this situation, and really taking it seriously,,, taking the opportunity to learn to be a better person, father and husband. and I'm really PROUD of him, for that.
he still can have ZERO CONTACT with our son,
which is by FAR the hardest part.....
Mike's polygraph is scheduled for the first week of may, and hopefully,,, I really freaking HOPE with ALL MY HEART,,, that it'll prove enough to get a supervised visit, or at least a weekly phone call.......
His evaluation results came back pretty reasonable... he was noted as "medium/high" risk to re-offend, only because of his "family history" of drug abuse and domestic violence (his stepdad) and it even says that's why it came out that way.... It also says, the dr. thought mike was completely ready,willing and able to complete a good counseling program, and learn from his mistakes. Go on to be a contributing member of society without future issues.  So I'm thinking that's about the best, that could have turned out......
********
We are not a "family" right now, which really sucks....
it hurts with every single beat of my heart... but I'm trying....
The Probation Officer, is ,,,, I don't know, I think maybe she's been "hardened" by all the other folks she deals with... she doesn't seem to care ONE BIT how hard this is on me or Sam.... The fact Sam is in therapy, and ESD classes now, since his behavior has just not been great since this all happened...
We do have  plans,,,
of filing to get him OFF probation around 18-24 months... there's only restrictions on where he can live, WHILE on supervision.....
I wonder, if the "victim" and that family, have ANY idea what this has done to our family????
**********
That's all,,, that's it.... In a "nutshell"
Like I said, any questions, feel free.....
~~~~
And PLEASE PEOPLE.... please..... the next time there's some new "law" up to restrict ALL sex offenders, EVEN MORE SO than now,,, please think about it fully.... 
please remember all the people prosecuted for just "chatting" in chat rooms with cops that are doing "sting operations" and prosecuted for child porn ,,, even though they had NO idea the girls in the video were under 18.....
I mean ALL the above,,
is treated the same as someone who does actually sexually abuse a child, like in real life......
Just food for thought, my fellow voters.....


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Okay, I need to vent a bit.......



I told myself, after getting through my worst craving day yet, a week or so ago..
IF {when} I started to feel overwhelmed,,,
I’d write about it, or share,,,,, I’d do SOME THING about it…

So here it is……….
One hard lesson I've learned the last 24 months is.... it's HUMAN to feel feelings... it's NORMAL, to have EMOTIONS.... Not every single day, is sunshine and roses.... You just cannot walk around happy as can be,,,, every day,,,, all day long..... NOT CLEAN, anyways....
sometimes,
my heart aches soooo badly, I can feel actual physical pain, in my chest. It feels like my heart is breaking into little tiny pieces.... Like I'm picking up the pieces of my heart, off the ground, after everyone has stomped on them.
Sorry to be so depressing...
I HAVE TO GET IT OUT, though.... to stay OFF THE DOPE,,, I can't keep it all in... It doesn't work that way.....  I hear quite often....
"you are SO STRONG to be getting through this"
Well,,,,,YOU Don't see me,,, cry my eyes dry, while I'm in the shower... why do I do that, in the shower??? So  my SON doesn't HEAR ME or see me...  I don't want HIM to know, it hurts that much... OF COURSE< I tell him,, I'm sad too, when he shares with me, how he feels.  we even cry together, sometimes..............   I'm doing my VERY BEST.... that I know, and I guess, that's all I really CAN DO...............
I miss Saturday morning cartoons,,,
ALL THREE of us, in our pajamas, breakfast on the snugly blankets, the dog crawling in our laps, the sun gleaming through the window and Sam asking his Dad WAY too early in the morning, "CAN we go PLAY OUTSIDE now???"   I mean,,,, it's sad... it's totally heartbreaking, to NOT have the answers for this kid.... he's so loving, he's SO CONFUSED..... He's asked me if daddy's in jail, he's asked me if his daddy died.... I mean,,, WHAT do these people REALLY EXPECT me to say??????   I asked the Probation Officer, if there were any ideas SHE HAD ... for a four year old, that was USED to his father taking him to school EVERY SINGLE DAY,,
then one day, he's just "NOT HOME" anymore... for a MONTH.... never even said "bye"
then,,, he's HOME,,,, yay,,, he's HOME,, finally....
FOR A WEEK......
and all gone, once again.... he's STILL... forbidden from ANY CONTACT....
Mike's done every single thing, this PO has asked,, faster than "expected"
Plus,,,, last week,,, we weren't having a "fun conversation" at all.. we were discussing separation, and all that crap.... well I WAS......
Anyway,,,, he broke down,,, as anyone would. . . he calls the P.O. and has her on speaker phone... he says,,,,
Look, I was just wondering, well BEGGING,,, is there ANYTHING I CAN DO to speed up this process?? my heart is breaking here, every single day I don't see or speak with my son. My wife is losing it, I"M LOSING HER... my marriage of ten years,, is almost over,,,, is there ANYTHING I can do, to speed this up,,, make it so I can HELP WITH HIM???? I mean, besides what I'm already doing? I mean,, this is MY FAMILY... I'll do ANYTHING... anything to be able to be WITH THEM, again... Please... please help me..... save my family... PLEASE....
and let's not forget, he was emotional as a man can get, while saying all that... voice cracking, shaking, you name it...
know what the answer was????
(((you'll love that YOUR TAX DOLLARS are at work, here)))
the reply was........
well NO... you NEED to learn to listen, and comply... I've been really easy on you actually... so I can tighten things up a bit, if that's what you'd like?
he says,,,,with his voice STILL cracking..... No, thanks.... I'm pretty sure that's exactly the opposite of what I just asked. but thanks for your encouragement.
****silence*****
he ends with.... well have a great day.
~~~click~~~
Isn't that FANTASTIC??????
Sometimes.....
I still cannot believe this has ALL GONE ON... sometimes,
I get SO ANGRY, I feel like I'm going to EXPLODE.... Literally.... **********EXPLODE*******
I was thinking.... the probation department they should do a FUNDRAISER... where the officers,, get to do MMA style fights,, or something.... for the HIGHEST BIDDER....
OOOOOOO I'd start a COLLECTION PLATE!!!!!!!!.........  Now,,, I'm HALF kidding... I'd do it,,, as long as it were LEGAL, and in a ring... I'm not saying I want to ASSAULT anyone, here... I'm saying I'd LOVE to blow off some steam, in a healthy way, though.... At work,, I BUST up the old pallets, with a SLEDGEHAMMER...... Yep, that works, til I can't feel my shoulders and arms anymore.....
I keep preaching to my son,,, you ONLY fight in a RING,, or for sport,,,, we don't FIGHT... it's the easy road to fight............. the better person, can make a SMART ASS REMARK,,, and get the other really pissed,, and WALK AWAY With a smirk....
I know,
I know... I'm NOT a perfect parent...
this is NOWHERE NEAR A PERFECT WORLD,,, either....
Time for some POSITIVE stuff.....
So, Mike and I had about the MOST grown up discussion we've HAD, in our ten years of marriage... EVER the other day..... it was both good and bad. The great news is,,,, we can COMMUNICATE again, without resentment, without the scoreboard in the background... yep,,, it really was exactly what we needed to do.
My point, here............... is while we were talking,,, I said, you know we BOTH need to come to the realization, there's NOTHING,,, I mean not ONE DAMN THING either of us can do to CHANGE the situation we are in.....
************NOTHING*************
BUT,,, the ONE thing we DO have control over,,, is what we LET this situation do to us,,, our family,,,, our marriage,,, OUR SON,,,,,,
we can make the VERY BEST of it,,,
by learning all we can,,,, you can take advantage of the counseling, the classes, everything.... you MIGHT just learn to be a better father,,, husband,,,, man.
Wouldn't that be great???
take something HORRIBLE, and turn it in to something GREAT???
(I don't mean what I'm about to say in a negative way,, AT ALL... but I don't know HOW else to say it).... after I said those words to him... it looked like a LIGHT clicked on,, WAYYYYY far back in the dark space, of his head....
And,,, he started Group Therapy,,,,     two weeks ago.....   and I really HONESTLY already see a huge change in the way he's looking at the whole situation,, the way he's TAKING IT ALL IN...                                  he's not on AUTO-DEFENSE    every time I say something to him... he's actually listening to my words,,, seeing things from MY SHOES,, for once. . . . maybe things WILL be okay????
Your guess,,, is as good as mine, right now....
the "estimate" for supervised visits,, is STILL around four months from now... for SUPERVISED VISITS...               so can ANYONE tell me WHY a serial rapist,, gets supervised visits,,, but a loving, "stable" father,,, does not???
anyone???
I mean,,, by the TIME he does get a supervised visit,,, it will be at least       SIX MONTHS, since they've seen each other.... and if he hadn't have been home for that first week he was out,,, well then SEVEN... and remember,, that's if EVERYTHING GOES WELL....   if not,, well it's going to be EVEN LONGER........ how is that OKAY???
HOW????
yeah,,, I'm VENTING.....
I get SO MAD...
then I'm sad,,,
then depressed,,,
then the heart ache,
then the sun comes up again, and the cycle starts ALL OVER...........
This isn't the AMERICA I used to be so proud of........... I'm ashamed of our government,,, for doing this to families all across the nation... then they WONDER why there's so many broken homes??? really??? and so many "lost children"  how are they even confused by that????
****sigh****
One more thing, OUT of my control,,, so I'll stop there.......
On the other hand,,,, work is super busy.... at least that's ONE THING I can control.....
Sam is "okay"    he started his "extra classes" last week.... the ones that are supposed to help him Sit down in the circle group, and pay attention, and be able to complete A TASK,,, independently......  I wish I could take away all the hurt in his little heart..... I wish I could make things ALL BETTER for him, with one wave of my "magic wand"
that's how he looks at me, , , with those deep blue eyes, that I feel like SEE right INTO MY SOUL.... he looks at me like "fix it mommy"
Sometimes,, he tries to convince me ,,, "if you let daddy come home he will be very good,,, I will tell him he HAS to be good,, okay mommy?"
and,,, just for the record,,,
according to the schools, and all that,, he's a "special needs" child right now, because of ALL the behavior issues,, and other issues.... So,, NOT ONLY, did his father get ripped away from him, like a band aid,,,,,,, but I'M STUCK with the aftermath..... I'm the ONE, that gets to listen to all the crap.....
I love the kid, to death,,, don't get me wrong... but it's
REALLY FREAKING HARD..... not to completely LOSE MY SHIT.... some days.............
I'm making it.... I AM.... and it feels good to let it "all out"
The one thing,, I try to do ,,, is make his dad's absence,,, affect him the LEAST AMOUNT as possible..... I try to hug him extra tight... and give him extra kisses,,, and yep, he's still sleeping in MY BED.... cuz,,, what the hell else am I going to do??? 
we sing songs, and we dance, and we have as much silly time as humanly possible,,, while I do have to work full time,,, remember.... LOL
but,, he seems happy.... I really HOPE he's a happy kid..... I'd do ANYTHING I COULD... to make him happy...
This world,, is rough.... it's unforgiving, and it's definitely NOT FAIR..... so if he can find happiness.... I'll feel that I've done my "job" well, as a parent.
In general... I'm a happy person... I've heard A LOT,,, that I'm the happiest person someone has known/seen/met... Not so much, since January,,, but I used to hear, all the time,,,
"How can you be in such a good mood all the time?"
Well, truth is,,, I have my moments of despair, for SURE... but maybe, when you've been down the road, I HAVE... there's a WHOLE LOT you could be SAD/MAD/depressed about..... but I CHOOSE to be positive,,, and look at the GOOD SIDE.........
TRY and find the GOOD... in whatever situation YOU might be pushing through.... it's true what they say,,,
**********YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE,,,,
UNTIL YOU'VE GOT NO OTHER CHOICE************
hang in there.... hold on tight, it's gonna be a BUMPY RIDE
If you feel like you can't find ANY good..... then try to
***Learn to laugh,,, at the silly things,
***learn to enjoy the things you NEVER even thought of......
***Watch an older couple, walk down the street holding hands..
*** take advantage of an old black and white movie...
***Listen to an old country love song..... not a SAD one, a LOVE SONG
for instance.... 
the older I get...the MORE I believe....
rock and roll, CAN save your soul......
It might not be "rock n roll" for YOU,,, and that's okay, but hopefully you get my point.... Good music, or music YOU LIKE.... is GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL...
don't believe me???   Next time your having like the shittiest day ever... listen to five of your favorite songs, of ALL TIME... and TRY not to tap your foot, or move or hum,,,,,, or anything...... You'll FEEL what I'm talking about... If you do NOT... then Maybe you don't HAVE a soul????
****kidding******
sorta...... LOL
That's all I got for tonight everyone...
thanks for reading all my venting... thanks for all your support, thanks to my family and close friends.... for EVERYTHING YOU PUT UP WITH from me....
I'm doing my best.... I'm still CLEAN, and I'm doing MY BEST... Know that much, okay???
I love all of you..........
I'll end this with pics of my BABY BOY.... Dancing in his NEW Nike high-tops.... showing ME,,, how GREAT he can dance.. in his new shoes.......
I know, your smiling now......



 
And here's a couple of things,, I FIND inspirational......


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Two years, tomorrow


Here I am. Two years later…………..
It sure hasn’t been an easy road. I’ll never tell anyone it’s “easy” to get anywhere, sober. . . The GOOD news is, it IS entirely POSSIBLE, though. As long as you have some support behind you. . I don't know HOW I could have made it here, without the numerous people in my life now, that are there to just listen, if that's all I need..... And, it's absolutely worth it all the hard work, all the "am I gonna make it?" doubts that go through your mind, millions of times a day. 
 My newest, favorite quote is....
"You've got what it takes,
but it'll take all you've got"
that about sums it up!!! 
In all honesty, I have to admit, I do still fight urges/cravings. It doesn't happen all the time, but it still happens. 
Just like I wrote about in my last entry, it can hit out of nowhere and really take your breath away. It's amazing to me, that THIS MUCH time can go by, and urges to use, can still be that intense. 
Bringing that up, brings me to my next point, that I'm still on Suboxone, I don't really plan on going off it any time in the near future right now. Plans change all the time, and I'm not saying I'm going to be on it forever, but as for right now, I'm not "fixing" what isn't "broken". . 
I'm still taking 8mg/day, but I've split it to four mgs twice a day. So that when I'm ready, I can cut one dose out, and I'm already used to taking a half. that's the "plan" for now, anyway. . . 
One thing I had to do, two weeks ago, was write a list of all the things I've gained, this last two years, and in turn write all the things I'd lose, and in chronological order, if I were to use, again.....

What I've gained                               Order I'd lose what I love
*a job I really like (been there 23 mos)           self-respect/confidence
*my car back                                      my job, then dignity
*driver's license                           Freedom & being independent
*self-respect/confidence/dignity                 custody of my son
*relationships with close family           utilities first(electric/water/etc)
*friendship/companionship                     car/house/roof over my head
*moved up at work/more responsibility     ***everything I've grown to love
*trust from others-- mending the "fact"      my mental/physical wellness
everything that came from my mouth was B.S.
*Re-building all of my relationships, over time
*Being a good parent, the best I can be
*My teeth fixed
*my health=mental/physical/spiritual
*ability to look at myself in the mirror without shame
*My "word" at face value
*proving those wrong, who didn't think I could do this,every day that I go to bed, clean and sober
(many of these ^^^ are still a "work in progress")

I know, it doesn't look like the "other side" is very attractive.... That's the hard part to try and explain to people, who aren't addicts. They say, "why don't ya just stop" 
Well, it's just NOT that easy...... Especially now, that I've done so much reading on the subject.  Now, that I know the part of the brain that tells an addict to use, is the same part that tells all of us to eat,breath,sleep, ETC..... That would explain why I still feel "hard wired" to use, at times of high stress/anxiety/etc....

So, I'm trying not to concentrate on the whole "time" thing, too much. Since last time I started thinking too much about it, it overwhelmed me. Sounds dumb, I know, but that's how addiction works. I am very glad I've made it these last couple months with NO slips, though. THAT is a huge accomplishment, considering life as I "knew it" turned upside-down...

On that subject, nothings really changed. My family still can't be together, Sam still cannot see his father, not even supervised visits. The probation officer even took phone calls off the list, last week. Mike admitted to talking on the phone to Sam, and she threatened the suspended prison sentence. So, I've told Sam, his dad is working way far up in the woods, building logging roads, and there's not even cell phone towers yet. He looks at me like, "yeah, okay" and moves on, but this kid isn't stupid. Last week, he asked me twice if his dad was in jail, and once  he even said,,,,
"did my daddy die?" 
NO. . . I told you he's working. You know he loves you with all his heart, don't you?
"yes, I know. . I just really miss him and wish I could say bye bye daddy, your my best friend even when your gone"
I know sweetie, I miss him alot, too. He loves both of us very very much and we'll see him just as soon as he gets back. okay?
" (few tears) okay mommy, I'll try not to be too sad"
it's OKAY to be sad, mommy gets sad, too. but I love you with my whole heart, and your daddy does too. (he squeezed my neck just about as hard as he's ever done it. and I hugged him and cuddled him until HE let go)

Just how else am I supposed to explain this "whole thing"????
the next "step" to supervised visits, is the polygraph test, which is now been scheduled for the middle of May. 
IF he does WELL on that, then he MIGHT have a supervised visit, by his birthday, the first week of June. 

Most of the time, I can't really believe this is all happening. Honestly, I TRY not to think about it too much. All I can really do, is be the best parent possible, and support Mike how I can, when I can. And of course make damn sure my recovery (sobriety) doesn't take a "back seat" again any time soon. 
On a  positive note, Mike's been working quite a bit, which helps alot with all his fees, and fines and appointments and CRAP.... I make him use pretty much whatever he gets paid, for all that, so NONE of it comes out of my paychecks. THAT money has to support Sam and I. 

So, that's about it for now. I've got a kid asleep on my lap, and I'm getting tired, too. . .  I did order myself a couple new t-shirts, since the other ones I had, are way too big now, so they're work shirts, now...
One of my new ones says, Sober and Badass, just like the one that's too big, because well , it was my FAVORITE..... and the second one says,
Sober and Sexy.......
And I think it's pretty amazing, I would have never worn anything like that a year ago, or so, but now I have enough confidence, I don't really CARE, what anyone else thinks about it..... meaning, when they see/read a shirt like that. It's supposed to be funny, and it's supposed to "show" that I'm not ashamed to be clean/sober, but PROUD of what I've accomplished. THANKS to all the people that stand beside me, supporting me on good days and BAD DAYS.
thanks by the way....
to every single one of you.....
Sam thanks you, too. I'm getting along better with him, now. I mean, more of our time is spent doing fun things now, rather than arguing or completing "time out"....
And that, makes me feel like I'm a better parent. the hardest job in the world, for sure... and even harder, doing it by yourself......

have a good rest of your weekend, everyone. 
To Be continued...........





Sunday, April 7, 2013

Still learning, after almost 24 months.....


Seven days to go, and I’ll have 24 months, sober****
***TWO YEARS*** 
  that’s NO small feat, ya know…… 
that’s a lot of nights without much sleep, dreams of using, and waking up in Jail, the Sweats/Chills together, honestly I could go on for days, but I’ll save it for someplace else………………………
I felt like I was “cruising” along just fine and dandy,,,,, 
then OUT of Nowhere…… I catch myself in a daydream, surrounded by opiates……
So, I follow my “usual” tactics-------
Only, instead of the urges leaving, they got worse………
You could say I was shocked.... because this kind of thing, hadn't happened in many many months. 
But, at least I knew NOT to 'deal with it' on my own,
and at least I had the ABILITY to follow through, and reach out......
~~~~~~
I thought,
it came out of "nowhere" but honestly, it only took about five minutes of talking to my counselor, and I realized, I screwed up two months ago, and every day since. My mistake was letting my 'recovery' take a back seat to the REST of the bullshit going on in my life. 
that's exactly how a relapse happens. I've heard people say that so many times,,, "I don't know what happened, it just did"
that's why I KNEW I had to do something, anything on the day I'm talking about. 
You see, when I first started this mission, to be the best person I could be, I was really scared, and thought about "recovery" all the time. I constantly did things, to ease my urges. Small things, all day long. As time went on, days and weeks, and months,,,,
those things became less and less.
Two and half months ago,
those things were on an endangered species list...........
And soon became EXTINCT from my day-to-day life.
THATS why "all of a sudden" the dragon, awoke.
It really wasn't all of a sudden, but I had stopped paying attention. 
My addiction,
NEVER STOPS PAYING ATTENTION.
I know/knew that, but among all the chaos that I never expected, I simply forgot. 
I've made it.... SO FAR.... and I feel stronger than I did a week ago. I'm putting recovery in the "Top Slot" again, and trying to learn from what I did wrong, to have such an intense urge to use.
It's kind of depressing,
to know it will always be this way. On the other hand, it CAN BE DONE..... I know it can.....
I'm doing some volunteer work now, too, through the outpatient program, and that's really good for me. Sam even goes with me. I don't ever want to "hide" my addiction from him. I want to be as open as possible, without being traumatic. 
******
In other areas of life......
My son is acting like a wild animal this weekend, for no apparent reason I can think of....
Maybe it's the "dropped" nap time, but it's been two weeks now, so I was thinking (hoping) the worst was over....
Maybe I was way off...... but who REALLY knows what's bothering him... it could be a whole host of things.....
I'm really trying my very best to be patient, but I will be the first to admit, that doesn't always happen. . . . 
I find myself yelling, and just trying to get him to HEAR me......
The yelling, is pretty much pointless... even if he does hear me, well then he's upset I yelled, and he forgets all about anything I was mad about to begin with.
Even still,,,,,
It's hard NOT TO YELL...... when you feel like a broken record.....
Today SO FAR, seems better than yesterday, but it's a close second place, and it's only lunch time.....
With NO nap,,,
he's been falling asleep around 730/8 pm!!!!
a HUGE improvement, from 1130 or midnight bed-time.......HUGE!!!!
the thought of him being asleep by then,
was the ONLY THING that got me through the afternoon of meltdown after meltdown, and a king size tantrum (or three)......
AND.....
by 730,,, all my efforts paid off.... He was snoring.....
~~~~~
While volunteering the other night.... I was asked to "share" how I got where I am........
I wanted to give a "short" but meaningful version....
*****
Standing up in front of all those tortured souls & spirits, I could FEEL the broken-ness in the AIR.... It was heavy with Shame, guilt, regret, fear, you name it.... you could feel just a Whisper, of HOPE, too.
you know,
I'm still "awkward" in social situations...
but I knew,,, these peers are at their worst (most of them)
and they just need something to HOPE FOR......
hearing that the relapse rate (generally speaking) is 
well over 80% and most statistics show, surpasses 90%
that's pretty disappointing to hear, just a couple days off the dope...
Anyway.....
As I started to explain, HOW I hit "my bottom" personally, by stealing anything/everything I could from the only people that still loved me...
AND. How suicide was looking like a viable option...
Since I felt I was NO good to anyone, 
the only reason I didn't follow through being, I didn't want my husband or son to find me. 
I knew my husband would never get over that, if it panned out that way. And all I could think of was my own voice telling people years before, "suicide only hurts the people that loved/cared for the person, and it hurts the people that loved them most, MOST...."
SO,,,,, maybe for ME, staring death in the face, with not one
shred of fear, is what it took. I'm not sure.......
As I told the story of how I got hired at my job,
and how I've been very dependable since day one there,
moved up, and all that.... I realized something.
There were only a couple people that would TALK to me, at that point. Some people in my life,,, tried giving me encouragement but I could definitely tell, they didn't even believe the words they were saying...... Like, "well good, I hope you make it this time"
mostly, it sounded like they were saying it, so they wouldn't feel bad they didn't.
Only my close family, would talk to me, and there wasn't any certainty in their eyes, I was going to "get thru the day"  (without using)
Going on suboxone, was the best decision at that point.
I cannot even count  how many times I'd detox, "white knuckle" it, until I screwed it all up, again.
Most times, I wouldn't tell a SOUL I was "cleaning up"
First reason being, when I started using again, I wouldn't get a speech, and second reason, my addiction was my secret ya know.... If I said I was cleaning up, then I'm admitting I HAVE A PROBLEM... and I wasn't ready for that....
***What I realized was,,,,,
When I got the job I have now.... My first co-worker, was a huge, the biggest supporter, I had that first month at least. Maybe that first ninety days.
As human beings, we all want a cheerleader... Someone to root for us, no matter what mistakes we've made. I didn't say anything at my work, about ANY of the crap, until I was there about two weeks, and it was an overcast day, all of a sudden, the back of my t-shirt was absolutely soaked in sweat, it was beading down my forehead....
Bobby,,,,,,, Looked at me and asked if I was sick.
I said, well, yeah you could say that. Since we'd worked together a couple weeks already, I knew a little about him, NOT a whole lot, but enough to know, he was a good enough guy he wouldn't call me a piece of shit, or something horrible......
I explained that I had just gone off methadone, and withdrawal could last UP to a year... PHYSICAL symptoms.....
He looked SHOCKED, at first. . . 
Then, he seemed interested, he just asked more and more questions. I was fine with answering them, when he showed, he was "okay" with what I was going through.
As the next days turned into a month or so, 
when I felt like I was at my breaking point, I'd tell him... I would tell him how HORRIBLE the cravings were, AND how much I was fighting NOT to use again. 
Bobby was surprised, yes, but more than anything else, he showed absolutely NO judgement, and support for my fight. Some mornings he'd say, Aren't you glad your clean today?  just outta nowhere, or on our way out the door, he'd tell me I did a good job, and whatever happens, don't get high, you don't need that shit anymore.
So, five to six days a week, I had SOME OTHER HUMAN showing me compassion, empathy, and most of all, friendship.
something I hadn't felt in about eight years.
Bobby isn't related to me, , , or married to me, he didn't
HAVE to be my friend... and he certainly didn't HAVE TO support me. he could have done the exact opposite.....
So,
as I'm speaking at the center,,,, I realize this, I figure out JUST how huge of a "roll" this friend played in my sobriety getting as far as it is TODAY..... what an asshole, I am......
the next day,,
I wrote him a message, straight from my heart saying I can never thank him enough for that. And, I'll never ever forget it.
   There's not many other human beings on this planet,
that CAN have compassion for an opiate/heroin addict. Most of the time, it's another, recovering addict. but,,, they are few and FAR between...... For some reason, our paths crossed, and I'm so thankful they did. He'll never know, how just saying those simple things helped me stay OFF the junk. And how important it was to HEAR from someone, those first few months.
   Now, I think of him more as a brother, than a friend. There's nothing I wouldn't do to help him. . . . ever.
   I'm pretty sure he doesn't even realize how big of a heart he's got. Or how UN-common that is, these days. I told him things I'd done, that I can't even believe. he never said anything derogatory about it, he'd say, "that sucks" or "wow... aren't you so freaking glad your all done with that?"  You know, reminding me that I didn't need to make the same mistakes again. Bobby saying positive things to me, and ABOUT me, made me feel like a HUMAN BEING AGAIN.... and not so much like the monster I'd become..... I still had a lot to learn, and a lot of things to work on, but at least I had someone I could share with, "safely"... Anyone will tell you, it doesn't take MUCH for an addict to relapse those first few months, and I'm just unsure that I'd be approaching two years, without meeting my new brother.   :-)
   The rest of my "story" was just about learning to be "myself" again, without drugs.... Without my security blanket.....
the one way I used to have, to get rid of all the pain....
    But, guess what???
LIFE is painful. No matter what... And it's up to each one of us, how we deal with it. There's sooooooooo many things I could be depressed about, IF I wanted to be. But I choose not to. I'm not saying I'm NEVER depressed, because I have my bad days, believe me. 
Most days, though,,,
I choose to think about the things and people I love, and those relationships I've built (re-built) with time and good choices. 
*******HEALTHY CHOICES*******
It's been a rough, tiring road. But it's well worth it, too.
*
*
*
I really need to say thank you to all of you, who've helped me along the way..... there's many people, I reach out to nowadays. but in the beginning, when I was counting 
****HOURS******  without drugs....not days,,,,
There were very few......
You know who you are, and please know, 
I'm forever grateful and thankful for each one of you, and the friendship that binds....... 
It doesn't matter what point in time, you supported me, I feel the same way, every time I shared anything with anyone, was HELP, maybe a deflection of relapse.....
THANK YOU.... from the very bottom of my heart********
~~~~~~
I'm going to start doing more volunteer work,
since it's really helping relieve alot of the guilt I still have left. I try not to feel regret, because this is "my path" and I wouldn't be  WHERE I am, without this path I've taken.
And, as far as the suboxone goes....
I really want to cut to 4mg (half a strip)
but I'm pretty sure, that with the recent urges/cravings, right now is probably not the best time. I'm going to give it a week or two... Right now I've split the one strip a day I take,,, so I'm taking a half at morning and night......
That way when I'm ready, I'll 'drop' one dose... Up to this point, I've had a real hard time, seeing the HALF, and thinking it's ENOUGH....
It's as much a mental game as anything else...
I HONESTLY feel the EXACT SAME,,,
taking 4mg,,, as I did taking 24mg.....
********
If anyone reading, wants to try suboxone, or has a loved one currently ON it, Please do some research.....
Remember, that ANYTHING can be abused....

suboxone,,,
HAS SAVED MY LIFE.....

Knowledge is power, too.... Just because you "hear" it's JUST trading one drug for another, or people get "high off that too"
doesn't make it true....
People CAN get high off it, yeah, IF you have Little to NO OPIATE TOLERANCE.... but the
"high" is more like sweating, nausea, sleepiness, ETC... I've heard it's not fun at all....
I haven't "caught a nod" in almost TWO YEARS.......
That's the difference for ME....
Here's some links, for more on the subject.....

http://www.naabt.org/education.cfm
http://www.suboxone.com/Default.aspx
http://www.samhsa.gov/

You tube video, for friends and family of someone battling addiction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkAY8m-uJI0

article
http://www.thefix.com/content/stigma-maintenance-treatment9216

And here's a few of my FAVORITE QUOTES,
that I recently posted all over my house....   (scroll down)
******

The very last thing I said the other night, at the end of "my story"
Was...... 
It's OKAY if this is your number 4 or 8 "try" and being sober... 
All you can do, is try and learn from every mistake, and do the very best you can... Fight for it, every day,,, this is your LIFE we are talking about, and you are WORTH THE FIGHT......


thanks.... to all of you that support me***********







                         

  HOPEFUL this last one, rings true, for ME......