Thursday, September 27, 2007

Anger, Resentment.... Acceptance

So I have a post that I have been meaning to write for awhile but I just haven't seemed to make the time. Remember last week when I promised you a post... yeah... still in my head. Then today as I was typing a letter to a family friend about how I'm doing I realized that everything I had just written was pretty much what I wanted to write here. So... here it is: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Before Jake went to treatment and even after he left I convinced myself that everything would be wonderful if he would just stop using. After all, he was the one with the problem, and that problem was the drugs and the alcohol. Obviously if those things were taken out of the equation life would be all sunshine and roses. How could it be anything but?

Then Jake came back and I woke up from my lovely dream to realize that just because he had changed everything wasn't suddenly perfect. I was faced with a flood of emotions about the way things used to be and also the way I was afraid everything was going to be again. For me, this fear quickly turned to anger. LOTS of anger.

I was angry with him for what he had done but I was also angry with him for things I thought he should be doing and also things I was afraid he was going to be doing. On top of that I was angry at myself for not seeking treatment for myself sooner. I convinced myself for so long that I didn't need a support system and I didn't need to change anything about me that when I finally did decide to go and get help it seemed like it was too late. I had just started to attend Al-anon meetings and then the next week he was home.

I found myself very resentful of him and of the fact that he was there in the first place. I felt like I was just learning who I was and what I liked to do and then he came back and I felt like that was all taken away from me. Like I didn't have the time I needed to heal myself.

So as a result, I would blow up at him about the dishes or the laundry when really that wasn't what I was mad about. Last Thursday I ended up talking to Jess for about 45 minutes (totally missed the first episode of Survivor... THANKS Jess!! :-) and she mentioned to me that sometimes people fight about the topics but not the issues. So she told me that I needed to start focusing on the issues (i.e the reasons I was upset in the first place) and not the topics (i.e. the dirty bowl that didn't make it into the dishwasher).

This seemed to make a lot of sense to me but I still wasn't sure how to begin. So I went to my meeting on Friday and I talked to some people about it. They had some really good suggestions for me. I started pausing before I blew up about something and deciding, number one if that was what I was really mad about, and number two if it was worth fighting about.

Then at my meeting last night we talked about personal freedom which is basically being free to live your own life and be your own person. This topic is HUGE for me because I have spent 11 years doing what Jake likes or basing what I can go out and do on whether he wants to go or if I'm scared that he will get drunk and make and ass out of himself!! :-)

I've spent so much time watching him and taking care of him that somewhere in all of that I lost myself and I lost my ability to just be me. So now, I think I've turned a corner. Jake and I are talking about our, or mostly my at the moment, issues instead of fighting about them. And I am working on finding myself. Right now, I still catch myself doubting whether I should make plans or do certain things but I'm getting better.

On Sunday I'm going to my aunt's house and I didn't feel for one moment like I had to clear it with Jake or make sure he had something to do too so he wouldn't be getting into trouble. I just decided I wanted to do something and I made plans to do it. And for me... that is HUGE.

So, I think I'm finally moving forward in my own recovery. I'm getting to a place where I'm accepting that Jake is NOT my responsibility. I am my responsibility and Zack is my responsibility.

As we say in Al-anon. One day at a Time....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I spent this weekend going through my grandpa's old pictures and newspaper articles. I'm going to scan everything in and make CD's for my family members so that none of these memories are ever lost.

This weekend I'm going to go to my aunt's house to go through my grandma's old pictures to do the same thing for that side of the family. If you ever have the opportunity to do this I HIGHLY recomend it!! It has been great to go through all of the old pictures. All of these memories I never want to loose and I'm SO greatful to get the opportunity to see and record images like these:

My grandpa - Age 2

My Grandma - Age 3

My Grandparents - Just Married

My Dad - Age 3

Friday, September 21, 2007

6 Months

I have a post all written up in my head but I thought this was more important. So I'll leave this up for awhile and maybe put my post up later today or this weekend.

Today is Jake's six month AA and NA birthday!! (For those of you not in the program that means that he has been sober for 6 months.)

YEAH for Jake!! I'm so proud of him for making it this far. Things are going well for him and if he continues down this path I have no doubts that we will soon be celebrating his one year birthday and many more after that.

CONGRATULATIONS Jake!! We love you!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

4 years

Today is my mom's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!

Today is also Jake and my 4 year anniversary. To celebrate I woke him up at 1:30 this morning by screaming about a giant spider on the wall. It wasn't until I had the lights turned on that I realized that I was dreaming and that I had carried that dream over into real life.

So, happy anniversary to the man who would have killed the imaginary spider for me at 1:30 in the morning!! (Even if it was just to get me to calm down and go back to sleep!!)

I love you lots!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quick Update

I'm just going to post something REALLY quickly because I'm busy, busy, busy at work.....

- For all of you out there who play on line gambling games, YES you have to report your winnings and losses from on-line games on your tax return.

-Yes really...even though you don't get any tax forms. Keep track of this and report it on your return. It will save you having to pay someone like me LOTS and LOTS of money to recreate it and it will also save someone like me valuable hairs on their head.....

- Jake has a sponsor now. He asked this man to be his sponsor on the 7th. This has helped him immensely.

- Jake now attends one meeting per day as his sponsor has recommended. He has only missed one day which was Saturday because we were out running errands. His sponsor said this was fine because it is important for him to spend time with us too. (For the record I offered to drop him off and wait in the parking lot when I realized what time it was but he decided not to go.)

-Jake and I attend meetings together (I go to Al-anon and he goes to AA) on Tuesdays and Fridays. It is a nice time for us to talk about our recovery and to spend some couple time together

-Jake really likes his new job. He has a lot of responsibility but he has really stepped up to the plate and seems to be handling it well.

-More than his new job Jake likes that his new job is located less than two miles from my parents house and so he gets to go there every day for lunch and eat whatever it is my mom has cooked for the workers and my dad. (I'm jealous...)

-Zack is doing fine and growing like a weed.

-Yes I know his website is outdated. I can't upload pictures and home and I have been SOOO busy at work I haven't had time to mess with it.

-Yes... really... I know Zack's website is out of date. I promise you, he is fine and growing and spoiled you can stop reminding me.

-I am doing well with the adjustment. There are things Jake and I need to work on, like talking to each other better, but these are now normal couple things as opposed to what they were before. Normal couple things I can handle.

-Some time this week I may dig myself out and then I will try ever so hard to post something with a little more content.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007





Happy dance all around!!

He got a job!! He will be doing maintenance at a trailer park. Mowing, weed eating, snow removal, fixing things that are broken, changing water meters, all that good stuff. It is a full time position so I assume they must have enough stuff to keep him busy.

He got this job all on his own which has just made him over the moon with excitement. AND... while he didn't flat out tell him he was in treatment, he didn't lie either. He told him he was in recovery and active in AA.


Jake was gitty as a school girl last night. Although he admits it is not what he wants to do for the rest of his life it is a job that pays money and that's what he needs right now. Something to build up his confidence and get his foot in the door.

So, join me in the happy dance will you?? (Ok, I know you're at work... but you're dancing on the inside right??)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


So the job hunting is going no where. This telling the truth thing is NOT getting Jake very far. Even the people that he has told half truths too seem to be frightened away. It is like he mentions the word recovery and people automatically write "NOT IN THIS LIFETIME" in big bold letters across the top of his application.

Last week he had an interview with T@rget to be a stock boy. This is not a hard job. High school kids get this job. Jake, however, did not. He called me today to tell me that they had sent him something in the mail. They wouldn't tell him what it is. I'm SURE it's a rejection letter. If they wanted to offer him a job they would have called him on the phone. Sending something in the mail is how companies inform you that you did not get a position.

So today he had another interview and he is also filling out some more applications. I am trying oh so hard to stay positive for him. I keep telling him all he needs to do is keep filing out applications but I imagine that if it is discouraging for me it must be discouraging for him.

After all, he's not dumb. He is well aware of the fact that most people can just walk into T@rget, half ass fill out an application and get a job. Yet for him, even though he didn't tell them he was in treatment just that he was now in recovery, seemed to blow the whole thing.

Cross your fingers with me will you that SOMEONE... ANYONE will give him a chance. All he needs is to get his foot in the door but right now even that is a difficult task.

**Update, he drove all the way home from his grandma's house before going to fill out more applications just to get the Target letter just in case I was wrong. I wasn't... but oh how I wish I was.....**

Monday, September 10, 2007

Job Hunting

Wow!! Where have all of you been? I had people leave comments on that last post that I didn't even know read and people who I knew read but had never left a comment before. For the record I told Jake to tell the truth, our friend Jess was over and told him to tell the truth so I think he gets it.

He will know this week about the two jobs he interviewed for last week and he has another interview tomorrow. When he interviewed last Thursday he did tell the person that he was in recovery and active in AA so I think he's also getting the message that honesty is the best policy.

Also, for those of you who asked, yes we are very aware that he will not be able to get the pick of the litter for jobs. For the last 10 years or so he has been in the construction industry. He knows that there are a lot of people who use in that industry and for that reason even though I have suggested construction jobs he has not called them. He's very leery of that right now and so I'm just letting him do his own thing.

Quite frankly I don't care where he works as long as he feels comfortable there. He has sent away for a study guide to take the US Postal exam. I don't know if his past will haunt him if he gets an interview there but he wants to try and so I'm just keeping my mouth shut and hoping that with a little job history under his belt by the time he takes the exam maybe that missing five months won't even be an issue.

In the mean time what he's applied for are jobs that pay $8-$10 per hour. When he left the job market he was working in jobs that paid $12-$15 per hour. We both know that these are probably not jobs he will do forever. But they get his foot in the door and right now any job is better than no job at all.

Friday, September 07, 2007

To Tell or Not To Tell??

Jake has been interviewing for jobs this week and he has run into a problem. Does he tell them where he has been and risk them not hiring him because of it or lie to them and risk them finding out he lied and getting fired over it??

I go both ways on this. Yesterday he told the guy he interviewed with where he had been. He said that it didn't seem to phase him and that the guy told him that he can respect the fact that Jake had taken the time to make sure he got better. Still I wonder if the guy didn't just say that for the sake of being polite only to write NO WAY on the top of his application as soon as he left.

This morning he has an interview and when he filled out the original application he put that he has been working for his dad for the last five months. So, now he doesn't want to change that and tell them the truth. So he told me that if they ask he will just tell them that he is leaving the construction industry because he has a son and needs to get away from that environment. Sort of a half truth.

So which way does he go? What would you do? If you were an interviewer and someone told you that they had been in treatment for five months would you still consider them for a job or would that automatically turn you off??

Maybe the sort of position makes a difference. He has thus far interviewed for a grill cook position and a shelf stocker/truck unloader type position. So it's nothing where he would be handling large sums of money or anything like that. Does that change your answer?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Things are going along rather well at our house, considering the circumstances that is. Last Friday Jake stayed home and cut down some trees and did some yard work. It was LONG overdue and it was nice to have him home to do it.

Then Friday night we went to a meeting. He went to an AA meeting and I went to an Al-anon meeting. I was much more comfortable at this meeting and I'm not sure if it's because I knew what to expect or if I just liked this meeting better. Either way, Jake liked his meeting too so our plan now is to attend every Friday.

We also have a meeting scheduled for this evening so I will be interested to see if we like this one also. If we both like our meetings we may fall into a Tuesday, Friday meeting schedule with additional ones as needed. I really like being able to go to the same place but attend our different meetings. We are doing something together, but yet still getting our own thing out of it.

Then on Saturday we went and visited his grandma and had breakfast with her. Then in the afternoon we went to visit his mom. She was camping for the weekend and so we got to ride horses (which neither one of us has done in QUITE a while) and then we cooked our dinner over the fire. It was nice to visit with them and definitely something we would like to do ourselves once Zack gets a little older and we have a little more money.

Sunday found us a church with a very tired, very wriggly child. Note to self, do not skip morning nap hoping he will sleep through church. He will NOT sleep, he will just piss and moan and wriggle and drive you insane.

After church we put Zack down for a much needed nap and Jake and I headed out to begin cleaning the garage. I wanted to be able to get some things moved to the shed and some things organized so we could possibly fit the lawn mower and one if not both vehicles. Well, we got some things moved, but not much went into the garbage pile.

After about two hours we decided to call it a day and go to Lowe's to try to find some shelving and a cabinet for Jake's hunting stuff. We found what we were looking for but the prices on those things are NOT cheap.

After all the running around we decided to take it easy yesterday. Jake went fishing with a friend until about noon and then in the afternoon we took Zack in the wadding pool we borrowed from our friends.

For all of the running around and doing things Jake and I managed, for the most part, to not have any major battles. Unfortunately the manner in which he was returned to our home left a lot to be desired in the adjustment area. We still have a lot of baggage leftover that doesn't just go away because he's clean.

We both have to learn how to talk to each other and how to ask for what we need from the other person. These may seem like small things but for us they seem to be large hurdles that we are going to have to break down bit by bit.

Today he went for his outpatient evaluation and they only want him to come one night a week since he is attending meetings regularly. So now comes the process of him trying to find a job and us having to get his jeep cleaned out so he can drive it and we can get it insured again. The thought of him driving around again scares me to death but it is necessary. I can't continue to act as his mother. I have to let him "sink or swim" so to speak and this is the first step in allowing him to become the "man" of the house again.