Sunday, January 26, 2014

A story including... 3 dryers.... minus 2 roommates, and ONE peaceful home................again.

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Sorry it's been almost a month,,, since my last post.... There was some ,,,,,,,,,,,,, UNEXPECTED Drama,,,, in my HOME; so called, Sanctuary, that once AGAIN,, is now my sanctuary... THANK GOD for that.
I'll explain all that, a little later...

First things first….
I promised the “details” of the new DRYERS…. 
Yes, that’s multiple.
My Mom,,,, she didn’t know!!!!!   Okay, let me explain….
So the other day, my dryer decided to DIE…. Well the few days beforehand,, it was taking 2-3 “cycles” of 70 minutes to get a load of laundry completely dry…

So I kinda sensed, it was on it’s WAY OUT….well finally it just gave up all the way,,, and was NOT getting WARM,,, at all.... the top, the inside, everything was ICE COLD. I posted on FB just in case anyone I knew,,, knew of a FREE one, or damn close to free... Since I probably won't have ANY kind of cash til the 15th of Febraury....
no luck there....
so,, yesterday my Mom n Dad call,,,,, say they FOUND one, they are bringing it over, and the lady said we don't have to pay for it until it's plugged in and WORKING.... Okay, awesome. 
I in the meantime, get things cleaned up,, a "path" thru the over-flowing laundry pile,,, you know things  like that.
I'm WRESTLING the old one, out the back door, almost down the decrepit ass,,, ROTTEN stairs that lead to my back porch...... My Dad was like, HOLY SHIT. . . ;-0
so WE wrestle out the old one...... and repeat the "moves" with the new one,,, UP the rotten steps, instead.... LOL
next,,,, comes plugging it in....
NO HEAT.
oh, awesome..... Dad takes the dryer half way apart,,, he plans on checking the heating element, maybe it's an "easy fix"
well a half hour into that,,,,, he sees a gas LINE....
hmmmmmm
guess that's WHY it won't get HOT???
ha ha ha
not really that funny,,, but I helped him put it back together,,, got sidetracked getting after Sam, when he moved it back OUTSIDE, so I don't really know how all that went, but okay apparently.
next,
he takes the heating element out of the old, 1977 dryer. . . . Runs to the appliance place in town.... heating element, STILL WORKING..... so HMMM back to square ONE.
they soon leave once again;after delivering back the perfectly fine heating element......, only to RETURN about two hours later.
WITH ANOTHER DRYER~!!!!!
third time.... YEP!!!
It was the easiest wrestling match, since my Dad and I had already done that twice before, earlier in the day!!!!
I said, hey we'll be pro-fessionals at this Switch-a-roo soon!!!! he just shakes his head,,, and He doesn't know that I can SEE just a hint of a smile...
And let me just mention the fact,,,
my dad and I worked TOGETHER MOST OF THE DAY.... and didn't ARGUE ONE TIME!!!
I think you call that progress???
And NO, I'm saying I'm the one who did it..... He was trying to get along with me.... I could SENSE IT..... or maybe I'm way off,,, who knows..
what I DO KNOW,,, is the other story I'm telling in this post,,, has my Dad involved too,, and it's been VERY COOL to not only SEE him once in awhile,,, but have him HELP ME,,, with NO BITCHING.... and actually STICKING UP FOR ME,,,, when I needed it.
I mean,,,, it's something I never saw coming,,, or expected, or anything.
Maybe he's finally noticed how hard I'M TRYING EVERY DAY,,, just to hold my life together.....
See,,,,,, It wasn't very long ago at all,,,, he didn't believe a word that came out of my mouth,, and I could tell, couldn't really stand to be around me.
 THATS OKAY!!! I certainly don't blame him,, Now that I can SEE how far I've really come,, and where I really WAS , not so long ago.
so,,,,,,, ?? It's any one's guess WHAT goes thru his brain cells... LOL
BUT we are getting along,
at least for now,, and he seems to listen when I speak, and believe what I say, and believe IN ME, again.
I'm not doing anything to screw that up. it's taken almost three years. . . . .
I harbor ZERO resentment,,, one thing I learned in counseling,, they tell you OVER AND OVER....
not every person WILL be able to forgive mistakes you made during your addiction cycle(s)......  But all WE can do, is TRY TRY TRY,,, and keep doing the "next right thing" ......  and NEVER EXPECT FORGIVENESS... actually accept the fact they may NOT FORGIVE YOU,,,,,, that way, when/if they actually do,, it's a POSITIVE and not a negative.
okay, there's your RECOVERY 101 for this post....

next.........
A tale of two roommates,,, 
So,,, to keep things CONFIDENTIAL......
for some ODD reason/lack of brain cells this particular day in December....
an "old friend" I once lived next to,
got out of a 90 day treatment program just about two months ago. she is working on earning full custody of her 7 mo old daughter. ( I think 7 )
Anyway,,,
back in December, she was staying with a family member, and not naming the particulars,, she had to leave suddenly. . . it was 23 degrees out at 7am when she called me bawling. . as any (sober) person would be.....
she was upset and in despair, with NO PLACE TO GO,,,, and nowhere to turn. I said, well I'd really like you to TRY and find a solid place to live,, but if it comes down to the NITTY GRITTY,,, I do not want you sleeping in the streets or some one's car, and relapse.... You have been working SO HARD,,, and I just..... I'd really like to support you in that. BUT,,,,, I'm absolutely dirt poor right now, and can't really even pay my utility bills, alone.
she assures me she should be able to find a place, without much trouble.... she starts staying with a friend,,,, just across town. She'd call and check in with me, let me know how things were or ask for a ride, about once a week, or so. I invited her and her mother to Sam's birthday party. . . . I really want to keep her 'mind in the right spot' concentrating on her DAUGHTER,,, and doing all the right things. NOT THAT I'M PERFECT.. it's just a great feeling,,,, to be some one's knight/angel/savior when they are in a hopeless mind-set.
then,,,,,, I'm not sure???
Christmas came,, and I invited her to Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. And her boyfriend, too of course..... they did attend,,, and it was fine. . My family is very supportive OF ANYONE trying to win the battle I fight, daily.

they also like "knowing" who the hell my friends are.... LOL.... yes, probably to keep better track of me,, but honestly, It doesn't bother me... with nothing to hide, it's a NON ISSUE..
so,,,,, right around new year's eve,,,actually two days prior,,,, she says she really is going to need to stay with me. 
I agree, and tell her I want to let her know of just a few rules I have. .  Like  ---
Absolutely no pills/H/paraphernalia of any of it..~~~. Keep in mind Sam goes to sleep at 8am ... QUIET TIME all the way until 630am...~~~ our "schedule" Is everything.. it'd really help if she stayed on the same one..~~~... No guests whom I do not know, and definitely not after 8pm. zero tolerance for anyone actively using coming over to the house. ~~~ we will work out something for rent,, but probably just split the utilities, 50/50 .~~~ this can not be a "permanent" solution,,, a few months AT most, just until you do figure out something PERMANENT... 
Not bad, right???
I mean,, yeah I'm a real stickler... LOL
well in ALL HONESTY AND FAIRNESS.... things were FINE for three weeks..
I mean,, yeah it was weird,,, two people being IN my stuff, and IN my "space" but I felt RELIEF ABOUT THE BILLS.... and thought,,, this is a perfect way to get to mike's actual payday,, when he can pay some of my bills.
So,,,
about Mid-January,,,, I say,,, and explain how the City of Warrenton, does NOT let you get 30 days past -due on the water/sewer/trash bill,,, and it's due, and I don't have the money.... But I can/will have HALF THE $$$ by Friday of next week,
so if you two would SPLIT THE BILL WITH ME... by FRIDAY,, that'd be great... oh and by the way,,,,, they will probably leave a SHUT OFF NOTICE sometime during the week,,, we have to make sure it's paid BEFORE the date on the tag... they WILL SHUT IT OFF.....
They have SHUT MY WATER OFF TWICE,,, in the last 18 months.. and they "waived" the FEES ONE TIME..... the latest SHUT OFF,,,, ended up COSTING OVER $500
so.....
let's split the bill,,,,, we each pay $80 on Friday,, and all will be COOL.
hmmmmmm I think things are FINE... I mean, she gave me NO REASON TO DOUBT it'd be paid.... or I'd have the money, by then.
TUESDAY comes the SHUT OFF NOTICE/door hangar  
"pay past due amount no later than Monday 5pm or your service will be disconnected without any further notice"   by the way,,, Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. day,, and a holiday. so the city is CLOSED.
On Wednesday or so,,,,
I see some shopping bags around the house.... I do NOT say anything,, it's not really my business... but I am starting to STRESS OUT about the bill........
FRIDAY COMES AND GOES.....
I give them a ride here and there,,,, it seems as though they have some money>???
again,
I WAIT TO SAY A WORD.... even though the ANXIETY IS EATING AT ME... because I mention to my grandma,,, about the bill, the shut off notice, and the fact I have two grown adults living in my house now.... and should be able to PAY THE DAMN BILL...
I've only been working part-time,
it's a tough time of the year for construction, and especially in our area... so my "paycheck" ON FRIDAY was $225.
the water bill was $ 167.00 the "past due" amount...
I paid my $80 online, on SATURDAY... I had wanted to pay it AT THE CITY OFFICE, by Friday,,, but obviously didn't have the money.
Saturday evening,,
I mention HOW STRESSED OUT I AM ABOUT THE BILL/SHUT OFF WARNING.
she just ASSURES me,,
she will have the money...
Sunday.... Nothin'
Monday.....  I go to work.... I get done... Go get Sam from daycare.... CALL and ask, so do you have that money?
**** uhhh no, but come home so we can work it out
do you realize they are gonna SHUT THE WATER OFF!!!??!!!
(((yes,,, I started to lose my 'cool' but who the hell wouldn't??)))
she just continues to try and assure me, 
she will have the MONEY LATER IN THE WEEK and relax, and blah blah
NO THATS UNACCEPTABLE... TOTALLY NOT OKAY
yes, I yelled........

I called once again, this time,, putting my foot down.... 
and this is the HONEST TO GOD TRUTH OF THE SITUATION....

"alright,, look,,,, if you do NOT have the $80 for the bill, then you need to LEAVE NOW... because you guys have been LIVING AT MY HOUSE FOR A MONTH NOW AND HAVE NOT GIVEN ME ONE F_ING DOLLAR,,,, now how is that FAIR... You tell me,, WHY my son should have HIS WATER SHUT OFF cuz YOU do not feel the "need" to pay ONE F_ING BILL?????"
no, I didn't listen to her bullshit answer.
I wasn't listening to anything... I was totally OFF MY ROCKER , by then,
so mad that I was shaking,
so PISSED OFF I was ready to beat the bloody hell out of any person that LOOKED at me wrong...
I haven't been that PIST OFF In a long, long time.
but..... to 
act "entitled" to act like I go to work EVERY DAY,,, and work my ASS OFF TO SUPPORT TWO GROWN ADULTS..... So they can sleep all day and stay up all night, and cook at midnight, and run up my bills, and NOT PAY ME A SINGLE CENT..
well
that gets me fired up!!!!!!!
to top it ALL OFF........   this Holiday Monday,,, I look up my POWER BILL online...
are you sitting down??
from december 26th to jan 20th,, it's  $ 393.00
YES FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS......
I mention THAT...... they of course do NOT believe me,, it's completely obvious at THIS JUNCTURE... they PAY NO BILLS AT ALL... EVER.... and do NOT plan to.
I mean,,,
I don't know for SURE I guess....but the way she just thought I was totally full of shit... was unbelievable.... I left it on the laptop,,, she could have looked at it for herself at ANY POINT.
She just cried,,, after I got so MAD I pounded the counter top, AS I spoke (ok;yelled) 
well she backed way up,,
then just cried, and whined,,, "FRIENDS DONT DO THIS"
oh yeah,
well FRIENDS DONT LEAVE YA HIGH N DRY EITHER.. why SHOULD I have to spend MY WHOLE PAYCHECK ON THIS BILL... when there are clearly TWO OTHER ADULTS HERE<<<<<< PAYING NOTHING!!!!
some friend... huh

Well I guess I've wasted enough time on that subject...
as grandma, and mom both said..... Hope you learned your lesson
yes,,
I definitely did. I'm a happier person living alone, anyway... just too spoiled, I guess.
Good luck to them in the future... On to the next IDIOTS they go....
least my "turn" for idiot of the month, is up!!!

It's sad , the whole thing....... and I really hope we can just part ways, and it be done with. . . . . . I wanted to take her to small claims court... but my whole family pitched in to help with the water bill... and they said, just drop it and move on.
And, since I got SO MAD,,, so fast about the whole situation... maybe I can't see straight and that's EXACTLY what I need to do........ 

My Mr. Samuel......
is going to kindergarten next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Actually have an appointment with the "team" of teachers, (head start/ESD/evaluators/specialists) on February 10th,,, on what the plan is for him academically, next year..... I'm hopeful he can be out of the ESD classes... but I guess if they agree it's best to keep him there, I don't know how I'll argue not to. I do know the classes he's attended so far, have really made a difference. And he likes it,, I think he benefits a ton from the "one on one" he gets there.
AND....
he's learning to ride WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS....
of course he's much more ready to just "go" 
than he REALLY IS...... but he's making progress... and that's all any of us can hope for.
I can't wait to let him play SPORTS 
this spring/summer, since he's FINALLY FIVE YEARS OLD!!! the "minimum" age for soccer/baseball/etc.
I think he will LOVE IT... and even if he doesn't..... that's OKAY TOO... we'll just find something he DOES LOVE!!!!

Mike's update......
he's working 7 days a week, still...... he started driving SOLO, on january 2nd,,,, and since his boss only does monthly payroll,,,his first paycheck
won't be until FEBRUARY 15TH.
but that's OK,, I keep telling him...... maybe it will be TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT...
So,,, monday thru fridays he's driving log truck anywhere from 2/330 am to 430-530 PM. and yes he's tired,,, but he says he likes it... and he's really TRYING.... trying to support me and Sam.... trying to show me he can take care of his bullshit, as I like to call it..... and well it is showing me a lot of progress.. especially since he's had a pretty GREAT attitude, to boot.
oh,,,,, and as soon as his boss finds someone to FILL the position, washing trucks on saturday/sundays,,,, he will have SUNDAYS OFF.... and he's pretty damn excited about that...
Sam thinks it's the definition of COOL... that his Dad drives a big ol' log truck , now..
LOL
he loves asking him about it,,, and talking about it, and telling people,, anyone who will listen pretty much....
Mike passed his third polygraph,, about two weeks ago.. which is GREAT.... not that in my opinion they really "mean" anything... PFFFFFT.. please!!! but it's good for His Probation... better yet, getting OFF PROBATION.... and that's his #1 goal.

I think that's about all I've got tonight.
man, I am tired... Sam and I had a ROUGH DAY TODAY....
the TV receptacle, where the HDMI plug goes... is BROKEN... I've tried everything, I worked on it for SIX HOURS STRAIGHT TODAY.
we usually get to watch Netflix/HuluPlus,,, by streaming it on the Roku,,,, 
which hooks up to the TV w/HDMI cable....
NONE OF THE THREE female ends in the TV will work... the picture won't show up. it's TOTALLY FRUSTRATING..... and Sam was MAD at me earlier, cuz "you broke the tv"
nice...
I kept saying YEP EVERYTHING IS BROKEN,,, Get USED TO it!!!
anyway,,
was a rough day, but I just read him 3 stories,, and rubbed his lil back until he fell asleep.... oh and sang a couple songs, too
Days like today,,,, I have to do some "extra" stuff just for my piece of mind,, to make sure he knows, I love him whole-heartily no matter WHAT THE DAY BRINGS....

2 years,,,, 9 months,,,, 9 days And Counting !!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS AS ALWAYS to my countless FAMILY... who stretches NEAR AND FAR...
who may or may NOT be related by "blood"
who love me unconditionally,,,
and would help me with anything they could..... any time of the day or night.....
I'm holding up guys....
doing my best,,, and showing a SMILE, to boot.

Goodnight ~~~~~
        


why do I look like I'm in pain???? cuz Sam's elbow was IN MY LEG!!!!

that's LIFE.....
enjoy each breath........




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Brand New Year, Christmas, and Coping skills....


~~~~~~~~~~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR~~~~~~~~~
                       ******Bring it on 2014******
That’s what I have to say about it!!!
Anything,,,,, well ALMOST anything, has GOT to be better, than MY 2013 was……
I mean…. I GUESS more “bad luck” CRAP could happen,,,,,, but if i have ANYTHING to say about it,,, it will most certainly NOT….
If things go as I PLAN them to….
In April, I’ll have THREE YEARS CLEAN TIME..
Not that it makes me  invincible, or “incapable” of relapse…. I KNOW that’s not true…
In all honesty,
I’m just as SCARED as I was 2.5 years ago, about a relapse……
Especially with all the “events” that have taken place the last 12 months…..

Christmas…..

Was great… was really nice to be with friends and family,,, although I’m not sure there’s a difference, these days. I consider any/all of my closest friends my FAMILY….
It was really nice that my FAMILY,
picked up the "slack" in gifts, that Mike and I couldn't afford this year. Of course I'm not saying my five year old "needs" a room full of gifts to open on Christmas morning,,,, but a few from family, and a few from the big man, Santa,,,,,, is suffice, isn't it?
WE could really only afford the few from Santa...
so it was NICE,,, generous, , , HELPFUL,,, that the rest of the family made sure he had gifts to open,,, and as usual he was very thankful, making sure to tell EVERY PERSON thank you before opening the present they wrapped for him.......
One thing,
I hear over and over from complete strangers, is HOW polite my son is.... And,,, don't get me wrong here, I'm absolutely happy to hear that; at the same time I'm somewhat disappointed, MORE KIDS his age, are NOT as polite..... when I was growing up,,, you said please, thank you, your welcome, just BECAUSE it's the POLITE THING TO DO.... and you're to treat others AS YOU want to be treated.
These days I don't have to remind him to say thanks, or please hardly ever,,, it just "comes naturally"... In my opinion, it's partly because that's how I SPEAK TO PEOPLE.... further more, it's HOW I speak to MY SON.... they really DO repeat everything YOU DO.... good, bad or otherwise...
I'd much rather hear,,,, "that's the most polite child I've ever met"
too many times than getting snotty looks,  my child being called rude, or anything else CLOSE.....
what's the next generation going to "be like"
C'mon parents!!!!!
Let's TRY and not be so afraid of child protective agencies that we don't teach our children MANNERS...
I totally GET why some parents are afraid to discipline their children.. I've SEEN the child protective agencies in "action" and I've read so many horror stories, it gives ME nightmares...
Truth is.....
You can teach manners, good behavior, and respect without spanking, beating, banishing, isolation, ETC.
what's the secret???
I can't tell you for YOUR CHILD... I only know what it is, for MINE.
You have to figure that out.
I have learned,,,,, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT,,, goes much farther, than anything else.....
For my son,
ignoring him,,, is the WORST THING EVER,,,, to him.
You could take away sweets, candy, privileges, toys, WHATEVER you want... he won't care.... believe ME< I tried ALL OF IT...
But,,,,,
Putting him the corner or the hall way,,, where he can still SEE me, but I completely ignore him??
Ohhhhhhh he HATES THAT...... I've come to the conclusion, THAT'S the "key"

You have to find whatever it is, that WORKS.... and what works for ONE KID,,, probably isn't going to work for the other one.... I know that's how it was, with My brother and I... My mom and dad handled both of us completely differently... YES< I used to get highly angry about it, growing up... Once again,, another reason in that long-ass list of reasons, I've apologized to my mom and dad, OVER AND OVER...... Ever since my son turned 2 or so... Anyway,, NOW I get it... NOW I understand why consequences were different, and don't blame them ONE BIT for it....... now......  LOL

A few random thoughts on LEARNING coping skills... (and  using them!! )

OOOO the HOLIDAYS are officially OVER!!! ha ha ha ha
I'm glad I made it.... Made it without too many "urges", without too many tears, and things  SEEM to be going well..... I don't take that for granted these days, like I used to. And I know that everything could change in the BLINK OF AN EYE.... Keeping that fact in the back of my mind, helps me appreciate the times my family is able to be "all together" in one place. It helps me really "live in the moment" which I really recommend to anyone and everyone. You'll start to see things differently. I learned a lot about that, in my relapse  prevention stuff. 
See, they have you come up with 3 scenarios, that YOU think would most likely cause you to use again. For Example, Mine were :
~~~My Mom or Grandma getting very ill and/or passing away.
~~~Going through a divorce/separation or anything like that with Mike.
~~~My child being a teenager and/or hating my guts.

So, after you "name" these scenarios, you go through the actual events or timeline of what would happen, how you would handle it SOBER, and you "practice" steps to prevent putting yourself in "danger" of relapse. One simple example I have is, when Mike was arrested, I called my very good friend who lives about four blocks away. She's never had a "problem" with drugs/alcohol, but is 150% supportive of my sobriety. As the police cars drove off, even though I had almost 2 years clean-time, my #1 thought was, 
"I know how to make you FEEL better"
Of course it was my addiction talking, trying to trick me into using.... WELL,, that's not what happened.... THANKS to that relapse prevention, I picked up my phone, called her, said the sheriff just took mike away on some kind of rape charge.....
She says, Oh my God, Amber. ..... are you at home? 
yes.
I"m coming, right now. Stay RIGHT there.....  
See,,,
my "first sign" of an urge, or trigger, or the DANGER ZONE... as I like to call it, is being ALONE..... and/or being UPSET, and alone...... The very first thing I do is start to withdraw myself from Family and Friends....  whenever I notice myself doing that nowadays, I make sure to not get "too far" out of reach..
I'm forever grateful she drove right over, and stayed by my side ALL DAY LONG... I don't even want to THINK ABOUT how that day would have turned out, without that phone call. It was like, I didn't even have to say it,,,, she just KNEW I couldn't be alone... No, she didn't act like a babysitter,,,, she was a shoulder to cry on, a quiet voice telling me no matter what, Everything WOULD BE OKAY, eventually..... And best of all, she LET ME BE SAD.... but also let me know, it would be OKAY.... I hope that makes sense?
and I can only hope any other person, in my shoes, going down this road of recovery, has such a self-less, big-hearted  Friend, to help them get through the LIFE CHANGING moments we go through.. So they too, can stay sober through it all....
I'd do anything in the world to return that favor, to help her in ANY way, because she probably did have at least a small part, in saving MY LIFE... Not just on  01-19-12, but theres been plenty of other days, countless times I've called and said, I just need to talk for a minute , and tell you what's going on inside my head......

NOW,
back to my ORIGINAL POINT... about LIVING IN THE MOMENT.....
the counselors/therapists all say,
the only way to "prepare" for someone passing away, is to make sure you make GOOD memories with that person, while they are still here..... When you spend time with them, to BE THERE, both physically and mentally....  Not texting on the phone, or thinking of the long list of "to do's"
Be there, be present, and make memories that will LAST.... Then, and only then, you'll know you didn't take that person's time for granted. This really makes sense to me. The other part of it, was to "walk thru it all happening in your head"
Like a movie almost... Imagine you're loved one being ill, in the hospital maybe, visiting them, the tragic day they do pass away, the body being taken away, the phone calls you make to family and friends, organizing the memorial services, ETC ETC ETC.
Now,
that part has been really tough. But little by little I did go through it all. And, afterwards the first part begins to make even MORE SENSE.

this is all a small piece of the puzzle.... to my NEW COPING SKILLS....... Since I can NO longer rely on the ONE coping skill I had for a long, long time.
FEELING your feelings and emotions..... PFFFFTTTT....... that's pretty harsh, too.
things really DO hurt..... on the other hand, good things really DO feel GOOD, too.
I know I've talked before,
about how all the "experts" say, the brain will stop maturing and kind of "halt" with the parts of your brain that deal with coping mechanisms, feelings, emotions, foreseeing consequences, ETC.... From the time the person starting using, until they do finally get clean. Then your brain will sorta "pick up where it left off" and start maturing again. So, I'm 'mentally' late teens/early 20s I guess... LOL
it might be worth it to add,,,, I always thought it was kind of BS.... you know? How the hell do they know when my brain stopped maturing???
Well,,,,,
Now that I have some clean time.... I DO see a considerable difference in my coping skills, and SOME of my peers. Now, I'm definitely not the "worst" of the peers I know..... but the ones who never have been down that road of addiction.... well let's just say they are much better at expressing themselves, dealing with adversity, basic "unfairness" and things like that. I'm working on it though!!! I'm definitely nowhere NEAR giving up!!  And honestly, I feel like it's getting EASIER to express my feelings, or share how I feel, even when it IS something uncomfortable. If it's to someone I don't know very well, let's say a boss for example, I will usually lead with..... "well I really need to share something with you, and I'm not doing it for any other reason than to unload how I feel, because it's what I have learned I need to do, to stay sober. So please forgive me in advance, and thank you so much for listening to me"
MOST people seem to absolutely respect the honesty and let's just say balls it takes to do that. . . Well that's been MY experience anyway. I've even said things ALMOST like the above statement to bill collectors, and stuff... Mike's Probation Officer,,, for one... I told her,,,,, Look, I just need to unload a little here.. You are the one in charge, you are the one in TOTAL CONTROL, and I'm NOT on probation, so I'm going to tell you how I feel not to piss you off ---but because it's the ONLY way I know how to STAY SOBER.. which is my number one priority,,,,, DAILY...... (then here comes my rant!!! )
And just for the RECORD.......
I have apologized to his probation officer.. why? ...... hmmmmm
maybe because that's just the way I was brought up....   No matter HOW rude someone else is to you, doesn't mean you HAVE to be rude and horrible back. You can be the "better person" and apologize even if you don't feel it's deserved, and know that at least you don't have to be on the same "level" as them..... I know I've said this quote before, but it's one of my life-lines for success.....
my mom ALWAYS said,,,, Amber--- you are NO better than any other human on this planet, but remember there's also no S.O.B. better than YOU ARE, either...... 
she might not have said, SOB, but I'm remembering at least a few times she did !!! LOL
probably so I'd remember.......  I've told my son the VERY same thing....
So, I never apologized to the PO for my FEELINGS, but for my attitude, relaying them. 
One other thing I've learned is I can't really "help" how I feel, or what I feel, it just comes in waves....
so,,, to ALL OF YOU,,, who put up with my occasional moodiness, tantrums, random rants, ETC ETC...
THANK YOU..... thank you for listening, thank you for standing up to me and telling me when I'm wrong. Thanks for helping me LEARN how to live, again, without drugs. without that coping skill of "escape".
I really can't put into words how grateful I am for my support network,,
which stretches CLEAR ACROSS THE COUNTRY......... and includes probably every generation on the planet.....

enough of that mushy crap!!! huh?
Well see, I have to express the mushy stuff, too. It's just a part of life nowadays.

Helping Others.......and helping addicts......
I so wish I could help every recovering addict out there...... in SOME way.... but I just can't. and the truth is, if you are close to someone who's recovering, or trying, or maybe not quite there yet......
I think the STRUGGLE is just as important as DETOX.....
Honestly...
I'll tell you why......  when you're in active addiction,,, and pretty much, (or 100%)
homeless, penny-less, desperate, alone, scared, hopeless, ALL THOSE TERRIBLE THINGS..... you get yourself through detox, and the REAL WORK starts.... Let's say you finally have a job and a solid roof over your head. Just keeping THAT,,,, just keeping those two things, is one HELL of a fight..... well it certainly is for most addicts, and it was for me. so, In my HONEST OPINION,,,
if those 'things' would have come EASY.......  than I probably wouldn't have put such a "high value" on it, and it would've been easy to lose... maybe easy to let go, and not pay the rent, spend the money elsewhere, instead.....
BUT,
it was a daily fight, to get up and go to work, and pay the bills. On the other hand, it was a HUGE RELIEF to not have to scheme, hustle and lie every day to stay "well"
today for example,,,
If I have a random thought (I cannot control those! )
about using, or getting high,,,,   the first thing that comes to mind, is I'll lose EVERYTHING.... Not all at once, but I know it would happen QUICKLY..... and I know my "support network" would pretty much be gone.....
it's taken a LONG time to get SOME TRUST back from my family and friends. Now, I don't blame them ONE BIT.... I'm actually grateful for the CHANCE to earn ANY of it back. . . 
I guess what I'm trying to say is,,,,
you don't want to "help" a recovering addict TOO MUCH, especially in the beginning, because it will make it "too easy" to give up.
I hope that makes sense???
if you really WANT TO HELP someone in that position,,,, rides to work or to look for a job, is a good start.. or a bus pass.... with their name on it, some type of non-refundable pass, if you can get it. Take them to the store and buy some groceries, something like that... and make sure and keep the receipt.... LOL.... You may be laughing, but I'm telling you the honest truth here..... Another thing if you're more willing to donate $$$ rather than time, offer to pay for some therapy, counseling or group sessions. Obviously let them pick and you PAY THE PLACE DIRECTLY........ Just a few tips for those of you, in the given situation... those are the things that helped me. Mom/Dad/Grandma gave me NO CASH at least for the first year. I didn't blame them, I didn't hold a grudge or get upset, because like I said, I'm grateful they let me WORK ON EARNING TRUST BACK.......
there's MANY people out there,
who really have a good "drive" to quit, and quit for GOOD, but who have NO support network, no "means" to gain even simple things so many people take for granted, every single day.
I offer rides a lot.... Since the bus schedule pretty much sucks, here.
You should see the way a face lights up,,,, 
on someone who's walking a couple miles a day, or riding a bike in the rain daily,
when you offer a ride here or there.
WOW, really? they say, THAT Would be SO GREAT... Oh man, THANK YOU so much....
it really does feel good. . . 
and see, you can totally help, without giving cash, or anything ,,,,,,,,,,, trade-able.......
Finally,,,
do NOT feel guilty about making them work for trust, or favors, or ANYTHING.... Think of it this way..... Later down the road, any 'trust' they have earned back,
will become this price-less 'thing' they do NOT want to lose... It becomes a reason to NOT relapse.... a reason to reach out for help, instead of an escape.....
All you really have to do, is be willing to listen, willing to work on the relationship yourself a bit,,, too.  NONE of us are perfect.... and we never will be. . . . but we can share great memories, laughter, and holidays worth remembering.... Pushing all the painful memories away and out.... 
that's the life I want to live.... that's the life I'm TRYING TO LIVE....

I'm nowhere NEAR perfect, and don't ever want to come across that way.

THANKS for reading my thoughts, feelings, experiences, pain, heartbreak, perseverance, and HONESTY..... There's no way I'd be sitting here typing this without ALL OF MY SUPPORT SYSTEM.... I mean ALL of you....
I think I'm getting better at this stuff!!!  and thanks also, for "calling me on my bullshit"
because I do need THAT once in awhile, too.
                          
           



 
 

To CLOSE....
here's my very guilty-looking dog..... yes, digging holes in the yard!!
LOL
we have an understanding,,,,, again, I think.... I'm sure he did it because he was bored, or mad I quit taking him for walks when it snowed..... anyway,, thought you might enjoy.... his guilty face!!!



Have a safe , wonderful 
and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!