Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rehab Continued...

Locked in a Psych ER for a day or so then moved to a Phsyc ward was very dramatic.  Plain horrible.  My memory of the stay is broken into pieces.  I did on the fourth day check myself out AMA (against medical advice).  I got hell for that, but I had talked to my therapist who came to see me, and she agreed that the conditions I was in were scary and I shouldn't be there.
My brother/sister in-law flew up from VA and when I checked myself out they, and a dear friend were waiting for me in a little room.  They asked if I wanted to go to rehab and I said yes.  I asked when, they said that night.  I asked for how long, they said at least 30 days.  They took me back to the house where I scrambled to throw clothes in my neighbors bag I had borrowed then I drank.
I do not remember much about the airport or how I even made it through security.  I remember getting on the plane and my seat was the last seat in the back.  I remember feeling like who fucking cares, fell into my seat hoping I could buy a drink.  Next thing I know, I come to and we are in Atlanta.  I struggled to get out of my seat and off the plane.  I looked at these huge signs, intoxicated and exhausted.  I found the Baggage Claim sign and started to follow the signs. I remember thinking that Atlanta was a huge airport and I didn't know if I could make it to baggage claim without passing out.  As I walked I told myself I could do it, just keep walking and following the signs.  I found baggage claim and my driver.  After retrieving my bags, we went to the car.  I got in, got buckled and passed out.  I again came to in front of a huge house.  Got out, half awake and literally stumbled in.  I think I remember seeing people on a couch.  It was 11:30 pm Thursday, July 26th.  I went into the office while the Tech did my intake.  I have no recollection of what questions they asked me.  I vaguely remember a nurse, a doctor, smoke break and a huge flop in a chair exclaiming 'This is fucking ridiculous".  I remember being taken to my room and pretty much flopping into the bed clothes and all.
The next morning showed up fast.  I ate, then sat through something called 'Community' where they read some passage and people said their name and spoke about the passage if they wanted.  All I wanted was for everyone to quiet down (it wasn't a loud crowd that early in the morning) and I wanted to go back to bed.  Yeah, no.  This wasn't a spa or anything revolving around leisure.  The house was huge and lovely but you didn't decide when you could participate.  That was fine, but I did want a few more hours of sleep.
Groups were all day and there were meals, free time and two 12 step meetings in the evening then followed by the coveted phone time.  Even numbers one day, odd the next.  10 minutes total time for your phone call. This didn't sit well with anyone, especially me.  After some time being there, people in my life on the outside were getting frustrated that they had not heard from me or that I didn't call enough.  It was not in my control. Phone time was difficult.  Hearing a person's voice you care about on the other end and being so far away was heart breaking.  Talking to my children for the first time almost sent me into 'sad-out'.  Hearing their precious little voices and what they were doing was beautiful until they brought up their father's gf.  That first conversation with them, I learned their father thought it was appropriate to introduce his gf and her kids to mine.  I felt as if I were going to die.  I mean I truly, TRULY thought I was going to die.  How could someone be so selfish?  These children have a mother who is all the way in N Georgia, who left without saying goodbye and their father thinks it is a good time to introduce a family into their lives and it just so happens he is screwing their mother.  He told me on the phone it was in a group.  His idea of a group was him and the kids and her and her kids.  I think I have mentioned in other blogs this is the woman he was caught having an emotional affair with and a woman he works with.  You can imagine knowing that he chose to have our children around her while I was in treatment without any say in the matter and hearing my babies talk about being with her and her kids was ridiculously painful.  I would not wish that kind of pain on any parent, even 'the husband'.  I sincerely could not do that to another human being while they were at their lowest of their lows, to disregard the appropriateness of how it could affect our kids.  This sounds Oscar winning dramatic I agree, but the frequency of visits with gf/kids increased and moved into a few mini vacations, one being where the husband and I honeymooned and the other at her beach house. Also the two of them thought it appropriate to have 'over nights' as well.  Meaning she and girls slept over at my house (her in my bed and the husband on the couch) and my kids and 'husband' over at her house.  Can you imagine?  Especially when my kids don't sleep through the night.  They come down to go to the bathroom, get water etc.  I asked him if he thought the kids actually slept all night and he responded that he slept on the couch.  He doesn't get it and doesn't realize our kids know.  From what I have heard from them, and the questions they have asked, they know she isn't just his 'friend from work'.  To not throw their father under the bus, I have pretty much had to gloss the truth over with a thick brush.  But it is to protect them from thinking badly of their father.  That is not nor ever will be any motive of mine.  Back to rehab, so I was derailed when I heard my children speak of the woman I had met for the first time several days prior and soon after decided I wasn't worth living sent me into a fit of sobbing.  I ran up to my room, closed the door and balled up in the corner and wailed.  I wailed like I had lost my mother all over again.  I wailed and felt that deep black hole of nothingness drop me down like I was falling from the heavens with no parachute.  I sounded like a wounded animal. I stomped my feet, screamed, wailed and stomped more.  I hurt and I hurt and I hurt.  This went on for 45 minutes.  It was as if someone was punching me repeatedly over and over in the stomach.  I couldn't breathe and the breaths I did take were shallow.  It was like the day after 'the husband' told me he wanted the separation.  I could not fathom this man was once again making a decision that hurt me.  Hey, I know now it doesn't reflect on me but I did not know that that day and damn, did I feel worthless. Today I know, his choices and decisions reflect on him only.  It shows what his character and moral value make up, not mine.  Not saying his is wrong, but it does not match either my character or moral values.
I believe a day or so later or maybe it had already happened, I found out 'the husband' had filed an Emergency Motion for Temporary Custody and Placement of my three kids.  A judge granted his emergency motion.  I lost custody and placement and exclusive rights to the house.  I also have supervised visitation.  I accepted that at that moment in time, I was not safe to parent my children.  Today I am.  And I am for many many reasons. I have been home with my kids for ten years.  And while 'the husband' has said that I was not a good mother (and he did in front of a therapist, while I was sitting there), I know I am a damn good mother.  I just have a disease.  I have a disease that I have been seeking treatment for for almost two years.  I fight this disease every day.  It is one day at a time.  So while in treatment, I am a long, long way from home, informed I have lost my rights to my children (temporarily) and lost my home and 'the husband' is playing house with my children.  I had the ability to walk out those doors.  I signed myself in and I could sign myself out.  But I didn't.  I stayed.  I wanted to walk out and go back to NE and crack some heads, but I knew I had to get a foundation going for my recovery.  I knew if I left that property before my time was finished, I would drink.  I knew that I could not drink and I knew that I couldn't do anything about my situation other than let time pass until I could change it.  I knew I wanted recovery more than I wanted to die.  I knew I had to take care of myself before I could take care of my babies.  I knew that my anger would pass and I knew I would get better.  It says in the Big Book of AA in the chapter Working With Others "Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone.  The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house".  For me that means that I can get well regardless of 'the husband', 'the girlfriend', 'the in-laws' or anyone else for that matter.  It says in the chapter How It Works: "Resentment is the 'number one' offender.  It destroys more alcoholics than anything else........If we were to live, we had to be free from anger".  I knew staying in treatment was the only way I could learn how to start living without resentments.  So that is what I did; I stayed.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I am going to have to bounce between my treatment experience and what is today. 

Life is not how I think I would want, but it is what I need. 
The past few days have been difficult but doable. I had not mentioned (only as I have not gotten to it in my treatment/rehab story), but I have temporarily lost custody and placement of my children.  I have accepted it, but I do not care for it, and today I do not think it necessary.  Knowing the circumstances in which the emergency motion was filed had been unknown while in treatment. The timing is a bit unsettling.  Suggestions by those who actually have my best interest in mind, have made very important facts come to light and are showing me the way.  While difficult, I know my motives.  My motives are ONLY in the interest of my beautiful children even though some motives by others are disguised as in the best interest of the children, they are transparent.  I have chosen to believe the best in people only to be disappointed or hurt.  I have been manipulated and had the shame slathered on so that I allow myself to feel guilty about certain decisions I have to make.  That will not be the case anymore.  I will not allow myself to be put down or be made to feel horrible. 
It was pointed out to me the chain of events that occurred for many months prior to my relapse.  And while I am the one who drank, I must remember I have a disease.  The disease factor of my alcoholism is easily forgotten by many.  While I can't expect people in my life to learn about my disease, I have always hoped they would.  I can't expect people in my life not to lash out at me because they are ignorant about the disease.  I am surprised (not sure why) that those who have dealt with this disease in the past have quickly forgotten their stance, their position then.  It is similar to an alcoholic who has forgotten their last drunk.  It happens, but can cause a serious lapse in judgment.  Anyway, I am bouncing here...My  thoughts are scattered as I have to pack some things this week for my move.  It is sinking in that my children will not be living with me. I feel a deep pit and have to remind myself constantly that it will be okay and it will get better.  Another hurtful process I am going through is that my 'husband' has been putting things in a bag or making stacks of things that are mine.  I have not been ordered to vaca the premise nor have I relinquished my rights.  My only guess is that is his coping skill.  If I am not present in the home then he doesn't have to deal.   I have much empathy for him.  I know what it feels like.  I have had much empathy for him the past month or so, and I don't know why.  I haven't even been angry.  Frustrated yes.  But I see what I see. And I see a man with no real direction.  I see a man who just wants to be loved and validated and because I can not do that now (he didn't think I was able to do that for a while, but I was) he has started to believe his own bullshit, as we say.  I know because I have done it for years; play the victim.  I also know him better than he would care to admit I'm sure.  My therapist in treatment told me I have to let him do his thing and if he spirals (which is being seen by some, not just me) I can not swoop in and clean the mess up like I have before.  Not being a martyr, he has had to clean up many of my messes.  What I saw in treatment was I had been enabling his behavior.  I never felt I was, I always felt I was strong.  But enabling someone's behavior is not always obvious.  I was enabling in the non obvious way. He had enabled me as well.  He didn't know he was and he didn't really have a choice because he didn't know what he didn't know. However, I have some experience with it now.  Anyway, I am hoping this week goes ok.  It will no doubt be emotional but it can be done.  How lucky am I to be able to feel? Truly grateful!!  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Went To Rehab And All I Got Was This Rash

That isn't entirely true.  I never got the 'rash' but a few others did. But yes, I went to rehab.  For 30 magnificent days I got to focus on me, taught why my thinking is screwed up and how to actually change my way of thinking. My time there was truly magnificent. Of course there was the rehab drama.  And being new (hopefully I will never be a pro) to the whole rehab thing, this (the drama) is quite normal.  Oh the things you learn. Can you imagine 25 plus people together everyday all day who have a thinking issue?  There was some seriously dark comedy going on there. Raw, unscripted emotional days where we were all trying to just survive for five minutes. I believe it will take me several blogs to go through my experiences, but I can tell you that going to treatment was the best gift I have ever received.  My brother & sister in law and a few friends were the key to me leaving the state and going to Georgia for 30 days.  

Let us start at the beginning. How did I go from relapsing in February to kicking ass to a fast decent into hell on earth? First things first.  I lost my spiritual path. I hoped off onto the self will run riot highway and got in the fast lane.  So quickly I crashed and burned.  Those who know me or read this may wonder 'why in the hell can't she get this whole recovery thing?'.  It isn't a matter of getting recovery for me, it is a matter of practicing what I need to do everyday to stay in recovery, and the list is long.  One day that list will be second nature, but today it is long and arduous.  No way am I complaining, it is just not normal for me to do what I need to do.  Changing everything is no easy task.  Undoing a life time of distorted thinking takes time, vigilance and patients.

Okay, so I had a brilliant idea to go and meet my husband's girlfriend. Yep, you read that correctly and I won't go into details this second, but later I am sure I will as it contributes greatly to my twisted thinking.  Anyway, I thought I should meet this woman. Why? Yeah, that is the question of the century. I don't know why, or at least I don't have a valid reason.  I think I just have this addiction to emotional entanglements.  I am an emotional masochist.  I hate it, but it hurts so good. I have for so long played that victim role while saying I am not a victim, that I just can't tell when I am lying to myself and when I am not.  I justify/rationalize my behavior because I do not know what healthy is most of the time. I just don't know what is good for me.  What I think is good for me is always the wrong choice.  It would kick ass if there was a good decision and bad decision buzzer that went off.  Of course the bad decision buzzer would be some kind of shock impulse. Think the Pavlovian Theory.  Conditioned response. But yeah, those buzzers don't exist.  I can create them over years of time by sober experiences and references, but again, time is a major player in my recovery process. Okay, I go and meet this woman.  Not my best idea.  Go to a two hour meeting and after the meeting I go to the liquor store and by a soda. Nah, I bought me some vodka.  Remember, one MUST have a sense of humor, but in NO way am I making light of what I did and/or my disease. What I do next is part from memory but mostly part from being told by others.  I buy the vodka and drive to a playground as it is becoming dusk.  I remember chugging the vodka and pulling out my bottle of klonopin.  I had a prescription and never abuse them when I am sober, but you put that drink in me and all bets are off.  I remember counting out at least five milligrams and throwing the little white pills in my mouth, tilting my head back feeling as if my neck would break and letting the vodka wash them down my throat while my esophagus burned.  I didn't care.  Death was being beckoned and I was not afraid. I poured more booze down my throat until I felt that numbness take physical affect.  I may not have felt the booze burning anymore but I was waiting for an emotional genocide to occur.  I was drunk but in the worst emotional pain and had absolutely no hope. No hope anything could change.  No hope anything would get better.  I had nothing. The cold emptiness was still there but I was drunk.  Nothing changed.  I did not feel any hope or relief from drinking.  Yes, that is what I wanted but booze doesn't provide relief or any sense of normalcy anymore.  It doesn't work and it hasn't for a very long time.  I knew/know this but I picked up that drink anyway.  I picked it up because I am powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. I drink when I don't want to drink.  I drink when I know in my wise mind that everything will stay the same yet be 100xs worse because I drank.  When I am in that place of no hope, I don't care that everything will get worse.  How can a person who knows that a drink will kill them still drink?  Only if you are an addict can you understand that question. I continued to drink and take more pills.  At some point I remember thinking I wanted to go to a church and pray.  While at the playground I vaguely remember texting with my brother and sister in-law.  I don't remember calling a very dear friend of mine and rather grotesquely vocalizing my wish to die and why.  I did call him and I basically gave him a verbal suicide note.  By the grace of God, I made it to that church. I say the grace of God because I drove in a blackout.  I have absolutely no memory of driving.  I am paralyzed by sickness just thinking that I drove in a blackout.  I had never driven in a blackout.  It is by the grace of God I did not kill anyone or myself.  The elevator falling sensation is taking over me while I type.  Horrified.  Once at the church I drank more and took more pills (so I am told).  A friend of mine called and kept me talking until they found me.  They were just going to take me somewhere to sleep it off until they saw the klonopin.  At that point I tried cramming more into my mouth but this friend hit my hand so the pills went everywhere.  At this time my friend knew I had to go to the hospital.  Another friend was called and they called rescue.  It was written down that I drank a liter and a half of vodka and took 16 milligrams of klonopin. My stomach was pumped.  I came to at some point the next day in the psychiatric emergency room in the hospital.  When I came to, I wasn't sure if I was dead or not.  Truly I had no idea.  I remember looking around at the white walls, dim lights and smelling that institution smell.  I for sure had died.  I looked down at my chest and on my scrub top was blood.  What was the blood from?  I felt my i.v. immediately and it was sore and uncomfortable. Was the blood from the iv? I don't know.  Once I realized I was alive and in a hospital I was terrified.  I was not aware of much other than I knew I had not wanted to live and somehow I had failed at dying.  I was not grateful that day. I was mad that I made it and was breathing.  What was to follow is very blurry also.  There are several days that are vague at best and quite frankly I lost more time.  Not knowing, not having any memory of my actions and decisions felt as if I was in a black hole.  
My heart hurts.  I need to take a break from telling my story.  I needed to write and may do more tonight. For now I need a cookie.