Friday, March 30, 2012

Confused Identity

First of all, thanks for the book recommendations.  Its fun to see that many of us have very similar tastes in books (which doesn't surprise me one bit!).  I picked up a few things at the library, maybe I'll do a book report after I read them :)

Secondly, wow, this "being me" thing really stretches a person.  Its not easy for me to talk about myself.  It may seem like that's all I do now, and every time I write about me all these voices in my head are saying "No one gives a sh*t what you have to say" or "What an arrogant person you are writing about yourself"  or "People are going to quit reading your blog because its so stupid now that you talk about you".  Believe it or not this stuff goes on in my head - some of you may be able to relate.

But I wont listen to the voices.  I have to move beyond that.  Life is too short to be hung up on petty voices that try to distract me from growing.

I've said this before and I'll probably say it a million more times:  I love my therapist.  I love the way he gets me to see things, face things, learn from things, etc.  Looking back at the other therapists I've seen, either I had a string of bad luck and Eric is the first good one I've had, OR, he's exceptional and the average therapist is not all that helpful.  I can honestly say I have never learned anything NEW from a counselor/therapist, other than him,  that I had not already known on my own.  That's not to say that seeing them was a waste of time - they helped me move through some stuff but didn't enlighten me as to what the stuff was.  Clear as mud?  I hope so.

In addition to helping me with boundaries, my wounded self, etc. Eric is also helping me understand what Keven is doing through in these first few months of sobriety.  He told me that early sobriety involves being confused about your identity because all of a sudden its you and you - not you and the drugs, you and getting high, you and all that goes on with that lifestyle.  Its you alone.  You have to rediscover things about yourself, including your boundaries, your belief system, etc.  I can see that going on with my son.

For an addict the old belief system goes something like this:  Drugs at any cost.  We've all seen it.  Drugs come above all else.  I know for most addicts, Kev included, it was a full time job getting high, staying high and then getting high again before you got sick.  He said "going on a mission" was just as important as the actual getting high, and it often took all day to "complete the mission" (get the money, communicate with your connect, hook up with your connect, etc. etc.)

I also like what Eric has to say about boundaries:  They are a discovery of your self that help you move toward your best self.  I never thought of them that way before.  My boundaries with Keven have been so enmeshed, and still are in many ways, that its like I have a confused identity too.  Slowly but surely I think I am moving toward my best self but this is just the first steps on a lifelong journey which had a HUGE detour over the last four years.  I'm back on track now.

Hope we all have a good weekend with no new drama and lots of hope, peace and love.

P.S.  I'm trying to read blogs today and this darn computer keeps crashing while I am commenting.  So you may noticed I stopped by and didn't say anything - that's why!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I'm heading for the library this weekend, anyone like to recommend something?  I like fiction and non-fiction and everything in between :)

Also, I've been reading lots of books on my computer and/or phone with the Kindle app.  Its very cool that you can buy/read Kindle books without an actual Kindle.

Had a great visit with my therapist yesterday.  I wish I could talk to him more often.  We barely touched the surface yesterday, an hour goes fast.

Hope everyone is having a good day.  I am reading blogs and trying to comment and send emails to people but am feeling so weird, so not myself.  I need to get back on my meds.  This is what happened last time I tried to quit.  I have to face the fact that I need them.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Talking about me...ick

I have an apt. with my therapist later today.  I see him every other week and if I didn't like him so much, I'd just quit going.  But I respect him and appreciate the way he gently pushes me to talk about things under the surface that I normally ignore.

Last time we focused on my men issues* (something I thought I had dealt with but apparently not) and the fact that I grew up without any nurturing from adults, in fact the opposite.  Many adults in my life proved to me that they could not be trusted and/or caused me harm.  So, I'm great at nurturing others but not at receiving it and certainly not at nurturing myself.  SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANY OF YOU?  I have a feeling it does :(

So here I am two weeks later and I haven't done a dang thing to work on nurture myself, in fact I've gone in the opposite direction abusing my body with the wrong foods, allowing negative self talk, giving in to hopeless feelings and just not caring enough to pull myself out of feeling defeated in certain areas.

What do I tell Eric during my session?  The truth of course, but I wish I could tell him I was doing better.

On the other hand - how much of this has to do with me quitting one of my anti-depressants cold turkey?  I don't know.  I didn't want it in the house because its something Keven has abused in the past (Welbutrin).

Thanks for listening.  I felt like getting this all out there today.  Sort of like writing in my virtual diary.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

*I have a fear of commitment among other things.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My little Love

This is what makes me smile on a daily basis.  She looks wise and kind  but don't let that fool you, she's the boss of me!  My little Chiweenie, Sugar.

Two GOOD Weeks Home

We allowed Keven to move home on March 14.  He had completed 30 days at the ranch and had the right attitude so we decided to celebrate that by giving him the opportunity to continue doing well while living in the comfort of his home, surrounded by love.

So far, so good.

It hasn't been long, but it seems like he's been home forever (in a good way).

I know better than to think he's out of the woods and his drug days are behind him, but honestly, something is very different this time.

No one knows my son as well as I do.  I know he does best when he feels we are on his side, cheering him on.  I am glad I followed my gut instincts in this decision.  He's been a joy (wow did I just say that!?!).

He's doing what's expected of him and beyond.  He has a sponsor, he goes to meetings every night with an old buddy he just happened to run into at a meeting (a guy that has almost a year clean).  He has not talked to ANYONE associated with his old life and rarely even uses his phone.  He spends a lot of time at home, and is looking for a job.  He goes back to the ranch on the weekend to hang out with his group/counselor (alumni are welcome any time).  He's seeing a therapist.  He took himself off all his meds and seems okay without them.  He's even cut way down on smoking cigs which is awesome.  Now if I could get him to eat healthier....

One step at a time, one day at a time.

But you know what?  Even with all this positive behavior, I can't really relax and enjoy it too much.  That knowing is still there clouding everything else.  How fragile this time is, how easily it could all blow up and go back to hell.

I aksed him what his motivation was and why this time is so different.  His answer was simple:

"I never want to go through that again.  I know if I "go out" again, it will be to die".

Okey doke!  Well then, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze don't go back out!!!  I hope he doesn't.

Still praying/hoping and sending out positive thoughts to each and ever addict and parent of one that I know of.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Monday, March 26, 2012

How California Are You?

I've lived here all my life and never thought of myself as a Californian. But I guess maybe I am...
**NOTE:  IMO, this applies mostly to Southern California.  Our Northern brothers and sisters are much more down to earth, friendly, less obsessed with material things and looks and status.  Annette, do you agree?**

What are some stereotypical things about your state?

  • There are people walking, jogging, running or biking at all hours of the night and day and the gyms are open 24 hours.  (true, but not for me, I walk in the daylight)
  • You go to Starbucks daily and never have your coffee the same exact way more than once. (I don't do Starbucks often, I like regular cheap coffee just as well).
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mad Men Season Five: FINALLY

 I never saw Mad Men when it was on the air, but for the 17 months it was off, I watched all four seasons via Netflix and got totally hooked.  Sunday night Don Draper and gang are back.  CAN'T WAIT :)

Do any of you watch this show?  Do you watch TV?  If so what are some of your favorites?

My other favorite show comes back next Sunday:

The only other shows I watch consistently are:  Storage Wars and re-reruns of Cold Case and Without a Trace.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Hair

I'll have a pic later but I don't like it :(

I went darker, but not real dark, and I am already wanting to start highlighting it again.  I will never consider dark again.  I LOVE DARK hair, just not on me.

I cut it to just below the shoulders and the cut is okay but nothing special.

When will I learn I am a long-haired blond for life?!?!?!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I need some input on my hair PLEASE!

Part of me feels silly asking this to people who can't even see me, but I want a variety of opinions. Here's the sitch:

I've had long blonde hair for EVER.  But the older I get the darker the roots are getting and the more often I have to have it colored/weaved (she has to do both).  So the natural solution is to go darker, BUT, the one time I did I HATED IT.  So I am kind of afraid of going down that road.

Also the length issue.  I have an unhealthy attachment to my hair!  I have used my hair to hide behind for years, which is odd because it actually draws attention.  It all goes back to my childhood.  BUT...

I'm 52 freaking year old!  I want a hairstyle that is easy, makes me look younger and is still at least a few inches below my shoulders (to me, that is short!).

So I've put a poll on the side of my blog.  Humor me and share your thoughts in the comments or on the poll.

(trying to find some pics to post)

blond with dark roots!

reddish shoulder length

Holy Crap Black!  (I had it toned down but this is the only pic I have of me with dark hair)
Obviously this was a few years back since that's Keven in the
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Monday, March 19, 2012

Whales Just Wanna Have Fun!

This is so RARE and so amazing, I had to share it with you!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Maintaining Insanity :)

A little humor for today.  I found this on my old blog, not sure where I found it originally.


1. sit in your parked car at lunch time wearing your sunglasses. point your hairdryer at passing cars and see how many slow down

2. page yourself over the intercom, but don't disguise your voice 

3. every time someone asks you to do something, ask them if they want fries with that 

4. put a garbage pail on your desk and label it in box 

5. put decaff coffee in the company coffeepot for three weeks, then suddenly switch to cappaccino 

6. In memo area of checks write for smuggling diamonds 

7. finish all your sentences with in accordance to the prophesy 

8. dont use punctuation 

9. as often as possible skip, dont walk 

10. order a diet water at a restaurant with a straight face 

11. specify that your drive thru order is to go 

12. sing along at the opera 

13. go to a poetry recital and ask loudly why the poems dont rhyme 

14. put mosquito netting around your desk and play tropical music all day 

15. five days in advance tell your friends your not going to the party because you don't feel like it 

16. Have coworkers address you by your wrestling name: rock bottom 

17. when money comes out of the atm scream i won! 

18. when exciting the zoo scream run for it they're all loose 

19. tell your children that due to the economy you will have to let one of them go 

20. send a hug, joke or smile to a friend today! 

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 1990, 11:30 pm - A Life Changing Moment

22 years ago today I was with my ex-boyfriend and, well, one thing led to another.  During our very brief encounter I heard a voice in my head clearly say "You just got pregnant".  Those four words scared the hell out of me, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was true.  At that time I attributed the voice to God speaking to me, but now I think it was just my own intuitive nature pronouncing that my life had forever changed.

I told the ex-bf that I just got pregnant and, amazingly, he believed me.  He said "Well, ok, if you are for sure let me know".  I said, "I'm sure."  He looked worried.

At that time I had just applied for a job and was waiting to hear if they hired me.  I knew it would take them two weeks to make the decision and that if I was pregnant it would not be right for me to take the job.  I waited two weeks then went to my doctor and had a blood and urine test.  The urine tests were negative, my doctor said it was unlikely that I got pregnant that easily and that she'd call me later with the blood tests.

So, in between the time I saw her in the morning and getting the positive blood test in the afternoon, I was offered the job and I accepted it (even though in my gut I still thought I was pregnant, I decided I was being silly since the urine test was neg.).  It was a tough  decision to accept the job because I loved my current job and my boss and I were very close.  I was on my way to his office to put in my two weeks notice when I was paged on the intercom.  I took the call and then started crying immediately and saying "no! no! no!".

I didn't take the new job (but did go to work there when Keven was 4 months old and stayed for over 15 years!).

I was devastated to be pregnant.  I cried more tears than I knew I was capable of making.  I even prayed for a miscarriage (that's very hard to admit, but its true).  To me it felt like my life was over and I'd be stuck with a kid and single and never have fun again....major pity party.  I was 29 years old and my life was never going to be the same.

How true, our lives aren't the same once we become parents.  It took me almost four months into my pregnancy to start to think of it positively.  Suddenly I was IN LOVE with my baby.  I chose not to find out if it was a boy or girl because just like I knew I was pregnant, I knew it was a boy.  I chose to name him Daniel (which I obviously changed at the last minute).

It was a loooooooong pregnancy since I found out about it on the day I conceived!  And exactly 40 weeks to the day later, Keven was born.  I never knew what love was until that moment.

I've always been highly intuitive, which can be fun and also spooky at times.  I'll never forget the feeling of that moment when my life changed.  Even though he wasn't planned, my son is the best thing that ever happened to me.

I look half dead in this photo!  I lost a lot of blood, it was quite and ordeal getting this kid into the world!  (24 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing and an emergency C-section).
But, it was worth every second to have my bundle of joy.  My sister was by my side the whole time, and has been ever since 
helping me raise our boy.
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Thursday, March 15, 2012

When They Are in Recovery

Someone (actually it was A's grandmother) recommended a book to me, its called "Everything Changes" by Beverly Conyers.  Its about relating to your loved addict when they are in the process of recovery.  There's nothing really new in it that I hadn't heard before, but these two things are good reminders:
"A major characteristic of genuine love is that the distinction between oneself and the other is always maintained and preserved."
~Scott Peck, Road Less Traveled
"When we step in and take on responsibilities that are not our own, we weaken the people we love. We send the message that we don't believe they're smart enough or good enough to make it without us.  We also set ourselves up for a big fall if things don't work out the way we'd planned.  Resentment on both sides is the end result of trying to control someone else.
The solution is to allow our loved ones to manage their own recovery.  As one therapist put it, "Families sometimes have a hard time with early recovery because its a time of uncertainty.  Things don't always go smoothly.  But they need to accept the fact that they can't control the situation.  Families can give."


Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What happened next...

I turned him in, he's in jail.

Amazingly enough after not hearing from A for over a month he called me the morning after the investigators were here.  He wanted a ride to court, I said no.  Then I called the investigator and told him A would be at court.  They met him there and arrested him.

I felt it was the right thing to do on so many levels, but that didn't make it easy.  The main two reasons I did it were to protect both A and K.  With A out of the picture completely K won't have his worst/best friend around to tempt him in any way (he'll be gone a long time this time, probably 5 years minimum in prison.  But more importantly, A will be safe from OD or getting shot.  He always runs when they try to arrest him and these days cops are shooting a lot of people so I don't want to risk that (around here it happens at least weekly and the suspects are not always armed).

In other news:  I had another great session with my therapist yesterday.   We talked about my childhood for the first time and got emotional - which was completely unexpected.  I thought I'd worked through that years ago but Eric is unlike any therapist I've had in the past, its like he actually cares, he's not just doing his job.  And I think that got to me.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Monday, March 12, 2012

Visit From Investigator

A few minutes after I arrived home from work there was a knock at the door.  It was two police investigators.  They knew me from when I reported "A" (I don't even want to type his name) for stealing from our home.

They were looking for him in relation to several burglaries of computers, etc.  Today they saw him running near a BANK.  Ugh.  A bank?  Really?????

I was able to give them four locations they might find him.  They asked me if my son was still associating with him and it felt so good to say NO.

It felt like they were testing me a bit (as a good cop should) by asking certain questions.  For example they asked me if his girlfriend was "good news" or "bad news".  I said BAD.  Then they said she was looking at some serious charges (so they already knew she was bad, right?).

It was disturbing on many levels.  I hope they find him, I am so angry and disappointed with him.  Yet, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I am also sad.  I don't want anything to do with him, but I still care about the little boy in him that grew up in a horrific environment.  But you can only use that excuse for so long.  He's had plenty opportunities (and love and support from his grandparents, brother, friends and me) and he still chooses this life.  I mean hello - a bank?  Really?  Was he really going to try something that dumb?

I'm glad they were not uniformed cops in a patrol car.  My neighbors have seen that over here too often and even though it had nothing to do with Kev, I would rather them not have any more reason to think bad of him.

As I finish typing this the police helicopters are overheard with their searchlights on.  Its probably just a coincidence.  I just don't want him to get shot - he always runs.  Why am I worrying?  I can't help it!  :(  Damn it.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

P.S.  They also asked me about the tattoo he has across his chest that reads "God Called In Sick Today".  (how do they know about it, I wonder?).  They thought it was a statement that he's a badass and on the day he was born God wasn't around to stop it.  I told them no, to him it means when he felt God was not there for him when he cried out to him for help.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

All work and no play...

The other day (I was in another county where people are friendlier and actually talk to each other while waiting in lines) this woman and I were waiting in a line and I mentioned that I had Wednesday's off work.

We then discussed how Europe, Canada, Australia...and probably everyone else in the world,  had WAY MORE leisure time than Americans.  They have more holidays, they work less hours per week, some of them even take off in the middle of their work day to rest!

They must be able to spend way more time with their families, friends, nature, and doing whatever it is that floats their individual boat.  In other words:  they have time to enjoy life rather than working 40 plus hours a week in order to have two days off and if they are lucky get paid holidays and vacation time (I don't).

The conversation ended with the woman saying "We have it all wrong.  I think its one of the reasons our country has so many problems.  Sure, we're the most powerful country and all that - but at what price and what difference does it make if we all work our asses off till we die?

Food for thought.  What do you think?  I think she has a valid point which makes me sad because it seems to be getting worse, retirement age is getting later and the older you are the less time you have to enjoy the fruits of your labor - working your whole life just to get by.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Will you smell my cilantro?"

I was doing some grocery shopping for my mom today and there was a very attractive man with his two young sons in the produce section.  I was in front of the radishes, he the cilantro.  Well you know how it is with cilantro, right?  You smell it to make sure its really fresh (and that its not parsley!).  So this guy asked me if I would smell his cilantro.

I took a whiff and was disappointed, it wasn't that pungent.  I gave him my thoughts, he said "that's exactly what I was thinking but I wasn't sure".  We then got into a long conversation about planting herbs, fruit trees and raccoon (that steal the ripe fruit off trees).  

Eventually I had to move on to the bread isle, but he sure was friendly and nice.  I probably reminded him of his mother or something.  :)

So this little interaction got me to thinking about MEN.  My therapist wants to "explore" that with me because I made a comment about dating hundreds of men in my life - he said, "Not literally?"  I said "well, yeah, I've been dating since I was 13 so I've had more than enough time to date that many men".  And that always brings up the big question "how come you never got married?"  He wanted me to take time to think about it, but I've had plenty of time to psychoanalyze myself:

1.  I fear commitment, can't imagine spending the rest of my life with someone, even though that's what I've always longed for, right????

2.  Maybe its not a fear of commitment, but a fear of choosing the wrong mate and then....

3.  Someone BETTER might come along, because after all....

4.  I deserve someone very special because I am such a wonderful person, unless....

5.  I have such low self worth that at some level I feel I don't deserve love, but...

6.  That's simply not true!  Therefore...


Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Clear and Bright and Smiling

I saw my son yesterday.  What a difference 23 days can make!  I'd never gone that long without seeing him.  When in jail, I'd visit weekly.  When in Rehab, I'd go to the family meetings.  When in the hospital, I'd visit daily.

So it was nice to see how huge his smile was when he caught a glimpse of his mama coming to give him a hug :)

We had a short visit and didn't talk much about drugs/addiction/recovery/etc. because really, what is there to say?  He SAYS he has never felt this way before and thinks this time will be different.  I know he means that in his heart. mind and soul, but I also know just because he means it doesn't mean it will happen.

He has the most beautiful greenish-blue eyes I have ever seen.  They were so bright and clear and didn't have a hint of "sketchiness" in them.  I can almost read his mind through those eyes and can see when his words are not matching up with his true thoughts.

So, we'll see what happens next.

In other addict related news:  Some of you may wonder what ever happened to Anthony.  He was such a big part of my life for so long, but not anymore.  I haven't seen him for a few months.  He's out there using and doing horrible things to make money to support his habit.  I am close with his grandmother, she keeps me posted on him.  I hate to sound mean, but I just don't give a crap about him  right now.  If he had an ounce of humility, or a shred of remorse - maybe I would.  But he's being mean and nasty and trying to lay guilt trips on his grandparents who don't want him in their home - but he keeps sneaking in (his brother lives there).  Of course I hope the best for him, but I don't want him anywhere near me, my family or my son (and Keven wants NOTHING to do with him or any of his old friends).

Still working on getting my mojo back (as my co-worker put it this morning when I told her I was still in my funk).  It will come back.  In the meantime I'll just get through it.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

P.S.  Bruce's new album came out Tuesday and I still haven't purchased it.  That's a first, I usually have it pre-ordered or got buy it on my lunch break the day it comes out.  Just not myself!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Little Bit Lonely

Or as Robert Plant said in "All of My Love":

"I get a little bit lonely, just a little, just a little..."

Its been a quiet time for me.  I've felt mostly down the last week (or has it been more like a month?).  Its hard work to pull yourself out of a slump because when you're in one, you just don't care.  So I'm waiting for it to pass, because I know it will.

Being an introvert, I need time alone but I think I have too much time by myself.   I feel myself pulling back deeper and deeper into isolation.

Some days it feels like the best part of my life is over and that I wasn't able to fulfill certain dreams.  At my age its not impossible to still fulfill them - just a lot less likely.  I know this sounds like a pity party - but its not.  I don't feel sorry for myself, just kind of disappointed.

But the most important thing of all is family.  My son is alive, he's doing well, I can hear a change in his voice.  The thought of him going back out and using drains me, so I am simply not going to think about it, there's no reason to at this point.

Part of my problem is that my job is as boring as you can possibly imagine (I'm always checking to see what else is out there).  I don't use any of my skills, I don't interact with people much, I just sit here on my ass and answer the occasional phone call, sort mail and send and receive the occasional fax.  I can do whatever I want up here so I read, I walk laps around the lobby (when no one is looking) and I spend time on-line doing whatever.

Also, I haven't written much on this blog because I feel like I have nothing to say of any value (for example - what is this post about?  It sounds like a bunch of whining and I don't want to be that person!).

I hope this lonely/sad time passes soon.  I think in some ways the drama of Keven's addiction kept my mind occupied 24/7 and now that its stopped (he's still at the ranch) I don't know what to do with my thoughts.  My mind is just dull.  I wish I could afford to see my therapist every week, he really helps me.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara