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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Panther in the woods...

Last week, Alea, my daughter and her friend went to the Isle of Wight Animal Shelter. They weren’t looking to adopt but they just wanted to visit with the animals and see the facility.  A kind-hearted attendant gave them a tour of the facility and explained the purpose of each separated area.

When she returned home she told me that she could not ever do that again. She had been thinking about volunteering, but after the tour she realized that she just wanted to take all the animals home and give them a good life. Besides there just wasn’t any room in her schedule for much of anything other than work and taking care of home stuff.

I asked her what she liked the most about the shelter. Her response was that she liked the part for the unusual animals. Her favorite animal was the panther. We couldn’t imagine anyone taking a panther as a kitten and trying to raise it as a domesticated animal. Panthers should be free to do what panthers do.

Behind and to the side of our house is all dark, dense woods. I know we have coyotes, raccoons, possums, deer, wild turkeys and many other types of creatures. I wondered if there was an exotic animal in the mix.

Maybe there are panthers in the woods. Maybe they are hiding and won’t come out unless there is a potential dinner in the yard. Lurking. Maybe they are lurking… waiting… watching…

Thinking about that Panther reminded me of the old saying “the elephant in the room.” If an elephant can sit in a room, then is it not possible for a panther to be lurking in the woods. In fact if we think that the panther is alcohol, then is seems reasonable for it to be in the woods – waiting for an opportune moment to strike out and make someone miserable.

Living with an alcoholic is like waiting for the other shoe to drop or working around the elephant in the room and now – waiting for the lurking panther to pounce. It seems those of us trying to keep things in running order get our agendas thrown out the window by the shoes, elephants and panthers who drop, sit or pounce in and make chaos out of our order.

I do not believe there is any way to capture the panther and prevent him from scratching up whatever current sanity there is available. It is the nature of the panther to scratch, hiss, fight, chew, and literally tear apart any living thing within their distance. It is the nature of alcohol to destroy a human’s access to reason, logic, or morals and this in turn inhibits the ability to be rational or logical.

When or if the panther can be convinced to stay in the woods and out of the reach of innocent humans, I think that is the best place for him. Personally, I don’t want shoes, elephants or panthers to destroy my peace and quiet. Years ago that would not have been possible. But now that Riley cannot get to alcohol and cannot find anyone to get it for him, all of my panthers, elephants, shoes and anything else that runs amuck in my vicinity is safely under control.

The unfortunate thing is that it took Riley having a heart attack, strokes and now end-stage liver failure before he stopped drinking. And, mind you, he did not stop voluntarily. He stopped because he had no access. He stopped because I refused to go against doctor’s orders and give him booze. Stopping was not his choice and if given the opportunity he would start drinking immediately if he could. It is his misfortune that he has me as a caregiver. He would be happier with someone else who would slip him a beer now and then.

There has been some talk of rationing him some alcohol during the day. He IS a dying man (I think, he may truly be immortal) and even dying men get a last wish. But, he’s not that far gone yet and I fear that his immortality will only strengthen if I lower my resolve. It’s early yet in his hospice status – I’ll wait and see what happens over the next few months.


In the main time the panther in my woods is safely locked out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENTS!!

One-on-One Visit Snafu!

As many of you may know, I offer One-on-One sessions with me through the Linda's Front Porch website. Over the weekend I found out that the application I was using for this scheduling was not working correctly. I did not receive notification when someone wanted to schedule time so those people became lost somewhere out there in cyber-sphere. I never received any notification of the requested visit and have no way of finding out exactly who got lost.

I have removed the app and am going to a more simplified system. Just send me an e-mail to LindasFrontPorch@outlook.com with the word VISIT in the subject line. In the e-mail tell me your preferred date and time. Also provide an alternate in case the requested time in not open.

Since I can't tell who was lost, I'm offering 60 minutes for $20 instead of the regular 60 minutes for $30. That's a savings of $10 off the regular price. This offer is good ONLY through July 18th, 2015. 

OARS F&F Group on NING is CLOSED

The support group at OARSF&FGroup.Ning.com is closed. The website had a lot of people register, but was not active enough to hold the interest of the members. I have closed the site down and replacing it with the NEW OARS Forum on Linda's Front Porch. (www.LindasFrontPorch.com) The new site is far more active and still provides the members with the same information as the Ning site.The New OARS Forum has people posting on the forum subjects daily and new topics are added frequently.

Privacy is very important to our posters. To enter the New OARS Forum site, two passwords are required -- one to enter the Forum and one to gain personal access.

 To register for the NEW OARS Forum, send an e-mail to LindasFrontPorch@outlook.com with the word FORUM in the subject line. Tell me your preferred user name and I'll register you and send instructions.

Group or Facility Visits

Do you have a group or rehab facility that you believe would benefit from my experience? Currently I'm booking speaking engagements for August, September and October. If you would like more information, please send an e-mail to LindasFrontPorch@outlook.com with the word SPEAK in the subject line. Tell me about your group or facility and I'll send you a brochure with availability and rates. There are a limited number of time slots for speaking, so be sure to book your event early!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Life lessons...

I’ve learned a lot about life in general over the past 60+ years. I learned this lessons by experience and not just because someone said or warned me about something. The things I learned are from the University of Life in the Real World and, also, the College of Alcoholic Insanity in Chaosville. Some of the lessons are very simple, others more complicated.

The simple and easy to understand ones like, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” were the hardest to remember. I’ve fallen into that trap more times than I can remember. When Riley was sober for a period of time and seemed to finally understand what alcohol was doing to his life, I would be happy.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Is he dead?

There was a comment on the Definition of End-Stage post asking me if Riley were dead yet. It reminded me of a friend who used to call about once a week and ask, “Is he dead?” After answering her with a resounding NO! we could continue to discuss how Riley was doing.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A gift to the alcoholic...

Whether to stay or whether to go is always a big question in the minds of a spouse of an alcoholic. Sandy James has written an excellent blog post on that subject. I believe it is worth everyone taking a look-see.

wwww.takingbackme.net

I find that her take on giving the alcoholic a gift a refreshing point of view. I know Sandy would love some feedback on this subject.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dealing with Stress after Rehab

This article was written for alcoholics who have completed rehab and finding it difficult to deal with stress. When I read the article, I thought it would be good for anyone dealing with stress. 

By Mitch Webb

Stress is a normal part of our everyday lives. From work deadlines to noisy children to flooding in the front yard, there are many occurrences that can easily take us from calm to wanting to pull our hair out. However, drugs and alcohol change the

Monday, June 1, 2015

Financial pit of despair...

During the days when Riley was drinking and we were together, often times more money would be spent on booze than the total amount of our utility bills. I tried everything I knew to make sure I got the paycheck before he had a chance to cash it. Because once it was cashed, it was basically gone. (That was before the days of direct deposit.) When he ran out of cash, he would write a check. I ended up closing the bank accounts to prevent paying return check fees.

Riley earned enough money to support our family. But, I worked two, sometimes three, jobs in order to keep food on the table. I don’t think he even knew how much money he was spending. He didn’t have to

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Finding a doctor

One of the OARS group members expressed some difficulty she was having in trying to find a doctor to treat her alcoholic husband. She surmised that he is in end-stage, but has nothing to go on except what she has read in this blog and her own instincts. In a rare moment of sanity, her husband told her he wanted to go to the doctor if she could find one that would see him. Of course, he did not want one who would insist upon detox or rehab.

Mrs. X began her search and quickly realized that her task was harder than she had thought it would be. After several days of phone calls, she was about

Friday, May 22, 2015

Relapse Prevention & Post Treatment Survival

Below is a guest post from a recovering addict, Justin. The content is written with the help of other recovering addicts and treatment professionals that help him on his road to recovery. Article courtesy of A New Start Treatment and Recovery, Drug Rehab Center in Los Angeles

            The term ‘Relapse Prevention’ is an often discussed and occasionally misunderstood phrase. The easiest way to understand it is simply break it down

Monday, May 18, 2015

For your resource list

I’ve been doing a great deal of work on my family’s history from the time they came to America to the present. When I discover something especially interesting, I write a long, descriptive version of the story. Since I have to fill in the blanks of things I don’t really know or can’t confirm, I can’t say it is a true biography. Let’s just say the book will be based on a true story. That sounds good.

I also write a shorten version which will take its rightful place in my book of short stories (titled That Reminds Me) which I hope to publish before July. That Reminds Me will contain family stories, stories submitted by family and friends, little quotes and other fun stuff. It’s purely entertainment. As with all my books, the proceeds are used to fund the support groups, OARS, and other related projects
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I’ve been asked by my friends producing the documentary to compile information for a resource directory that will be available at the film’s website. A select few will be featured in the film.  I have no problem finding rehab centers that fit our criteria. However, I only have a few support groups: Al-Anon, Smart Recovery; OARS; and individual counselors. If anyone has a support group, other than the ones mentioned, please e-mail me the info to ImmortalAlcoholic@gmail.com. Please put the word RESOURCE in the subject line.

On the subject of resources, I want to encourage my readers to develop your own