My daily blog posts got sidelined by life. We are building a new house which we move into TOMORROW (!!!) and yes, I am still in a leg cast with crutches and a splint in my hand. Then last week my dad took a turn for the worse and is in the hospital. My sisters and I are taking turns staying with him during visiting hours. My life has been a blur of packing boxes, rides to the hospital, hours at his bedside, and long slow transitions of crutch-walking in between.
What I’m not doing is thinking about drinking. However hard this particular chapter gets I have no urge to numb or escape. We can do hard things, right?
I was watching Melissa McCarthy’s hilarious SNL bit after a long day at the hospital and suddenly felt a flood of gratitude for my tea (in a nice mug, made in my kitchen and not in a plastic cup on a tray like the one on dad’s untouched lunch tray), for my bed with memory foam and nice blankets (compared to the yellow hospital sheets) and my cuddly puppy (oh how many people in care are missing their beloved pets?).
This is LIFE. The freedom to get up and go pee in my own (pretty) bathroom without ringing for help. The freedom to go to the fridge and choose what to eat. To go stand outside and catch a snowflake on my tongue, should the urge strike.
Visiting my kids and grandkids, even briefly, keeps me grounded and full. It puts things in perspective and balances the end-of-life reality that must be faced when I return to my dad’s room. Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Recovery has taught me to hold space for people that are hurting. I know how to give service without making the situation about me. I can respect that this is part of his journey, and do what I can to help him through.
It could be days, months, and God help us, years. It’s surprising how a heart can keep beating long after the body and mind are spent. A gentle end would be a gift. We’ve dreaded this stage and yet here it is; worrying did nothing to prevent it.
Life is busy and multilayered. I’m excited about our new house and busy with work and involved with my kids and in love with my husband and committed to my hours each day holding space for my dad. And the dog needs to be fed and let out to pee constantly, and my cast is stinky and annoying, and I miss grocery shopping, and I really need to get my nails done somehow but there’s no time. Little thing and big things. All the things….
I’m behind in responding to comments and emails. Please bare with me (bear with me? Do either or both) as posts and responses may be sparse until things settle. If you’d like to help me, the greatest thing you could possible do would be to answer other comments, especially if you see someone starting out or struggling. (You can do so anonymously by leaving the email address blank when you comment). Not only will you be helping each other, but it fills my heart when I read them.
Thanks all. Stay well.
Thank you Jean,I’ve been trying for years to get sober and now on day 2 again ,today I read your blog and I had went through what your going through with my Mom and I could not face reality and drank more and more But now you given me the strength to face it and life goes on God bless you and family
I am cheering for you! You deserve to be free and live your life to the fullest. Alcohol takes us away and deadens our ability to feel the wonders of simply being alive. Keep going.
I am the guy who told you to go to mybrokenleg.com It is depressing and hard to feel crippled. It gets better. But for a while it is really depressing. You must realize that after I have broken my leg, I have completed 3 half marathons. It probably will get better. My demon now is alcohol. Sucks. Maybe I will die sooner than later.
Hi there, thanks for helping me out with broken leg info. I’m hoping to get the cast off tomorrow and you are my inspiration to get back in action with your three half marathons! Hopefully my musings on sobriety will inspire to take charge of your relationship with alcohol. Neither one of us needs to suffer or live a less-than life. We all deserve better than that. Please be well. Life without alcohol is great – I hope you choose to honour yourself!
thanks for all you do Jean! I will pray for you and your family
Day 45 here and I want to thank you for your amazing generosity of time, your honesty and inspiration. Your blog and The Bubble Hour are saving lives! I don’t know where I would be without the on line community of support I have discovered. I just went back and read all your posts since Jan 1. Sending you positive thoughts for healing.
Thoughts, Prayers and Gratitude Jean.
Your an inspiration and we all Thank-You!
Jean my heart goes out to you and your family. Know that I have so much gratitude sharing your journey for those of who were desperately looking for a map, it has really made my own journey bearable. Everyday it gets easier, little by little. Life is effing hard and yet we make it through, with help from people like you. Virtual hugs and thanks times infinity.
Onward day 64.
My prayers and thoughts are with you, your dad and your family. It is so wonderful that you can be there for him, fully engaged, spiritually and physically. You have given me and so many others, so much strength and hope. May it be returned to you now ten fold!
A year ago today we said our last goodbyes to my beautiful dad and it was gut-wrenchingly sad and hard. But now, I am so thankful that I was totally present for those weeks and days and that I was lucky enough to spend precious weeks with him, holding his hand and telling him I loved him right till the end. I decided to do the year without drinking 2 months before he died,and am so glad I did. I’m now at just over 13 months.
Beautifully said. Thank you.
Thank you Jean, for creating this forum that helps so many folks. Prayer for your dad, you and family.
Thank you for your blog-what a great service to others! They say it is a good day when everything goes well and you don’t drink but it’s a great day when nothing goes well and you don’t drink! May your strength carry you through.
And to top it all off (I know because I live in the same region as Jean) it is very cold and snowing,snowing,snowing. She’s facing all these challenges knee-deep in the snow,brutal weather and bad roads. Everybody send warm ☀️thoughts ! You continue to inspire me with your honesty and strength.
It was good of you to give both “permission” and directions re “how” readers may respond to other posts.
Thank you for the post and I will keep you and your dad in my prayers.
I will be praying for your family. Thanks for the great example of how to stay strong through the hard times. I’m very new to sobriety, today is 37 days. I’m slowly getting my life back and know that I must make time for “things” and think through how best to approach them. I love that alcohol doesn’t go through your mind. It used to always go through mine, but lately, it has slowly been fading away. There are other ways to unwind: a nice bath, stretching, warm cup of tea, petting my pup, going for a run in the woods, … and on and on and on. Best of luck transitioning to the new house and new time of life with all going on in your family.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Take your time Jean. You deserve and need it.
Big hug and lots of love
LikeLiked by 2 people