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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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Young and Restless

I’ve been watching the Young and the Restless ever since it’s very first episode back in March of 1973. The only reason I watched it was because my best friend was at my house and she was a big soap opera fan.  Not me. I had two small children and felt that I didn’t have time for such a frivolous thing as sitting down to my TV everyday at a particular time.

In spite of that, I found myself getting to know the Brooks and Foster families and all the intertwined drama they produced. I started feeding my kids lunch just a little earlier and putting them down for naps just before the program started. That way I could watch without interruption. I was hooked. I could feel myself becoming a part of this Genoa City community.

Katherine Chancellor was introduced into Young and Restless in November 1973 as a wealthy alcoholic socialite. It was the first of what would be a long-standing exposure as to the effects alcohol can have on a person’s life. The producers have continued throughout the years to increase awareness of how alcoholism can ruin a person’s life.

I applaud the writers and producers of this show for their continuing efforts. However, I feel an entire segment of Genoa City’s population has been overlooked.  That is the effect of alcoholism on those who love the alcoholic. Here is a perfect venue to make the invisible collateral damage less invisible and they have dropped the ball.

Of course, a soap opera is not a soap opera without dysfunctional families and Genoa City has more than their fair share. Top of the mark would be the Newman family with the alcoholic mother married to a man who seems to constantly confuse his children with business co-workers. Maybe if Victor were less inclined to fix all problems with buying solutions and pay more personal attention, the family would have more of a chance to find peace. While Victor and the kids all say they are worried about Nicky’s drinking, I see them covering up and lying in order to protect her from herself.

Then we have the perfect candidate for showing how the family is affected when we look at the Winters’ family. Neal’s daughter babies him and protects him like he was her child instead of her father. Yet, I have yet to see anyone take Lily aside and explain to her that her father’s alcoholism belongs to him and he must be the one who does something about it. There are ways she can help him, but she cannot take his alcoholism away. Lily tries to find reasons for her father’s drinking and if she can solve the “reason” she can solve the problem. I would say to Lily, “Your father drinks because he is an alcoholic and that’s what alcoholics do.” I would tell her that to believe anything else is just giving him an excuse to drink.

The family dynamics in the circle of an alcoholic are not clearly depicted in the alcoholism story lines of the show. There is an opportunity for the writers to establish one with the creation of Jack and Neal’s newly founded association for addicted persons. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.


Also, we have yet to see (unless I missed it during those years when I was without DVR and working) an alcoholic become end-stage. An end-stage story line would help so many people who are struggling with alcohol. It would help many family members know what is ahead of them. Of course, actually viewing what end-stage is really like may not be appealing to the masses. Maybe the masses could use a little eye-opening.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What it means...

I found this poem on the Alcoholic Family Support page in Facebook. You can find it here:


Written by Bobbie Lee Oney

Loving an alcoholic, 
Means forgetting to love yourself.

Loving an alcoholic,
You lose your sense of nerve. 

Loving an alcoholic, 
Means you're the one who ends up hurt.

Loving an alcoholic,
You'll never get it right.

Loving an alcoholic,
will keep you up most nights.

Loving an alcoholic,
Teaches you'll never win the fight. 

Loving an alcoholic,
You lose your sense of self.

Loving an alcoholic, 
Is it a sacrifice that's worth the fight?

Loving an alcoholic,
The pain, the misery, cruel words. 

Loving an alcoholic, 
Hoping and praying someday he'll be happy enough to let go.

Loving an alcoholic, 
Thinking you're a terrible person that deserves nothing better. 

Loving an alcoholic, 
So many emotions, not enough words.

Just loving an alcoholic and praying someday that 
will be enough for him to let it all go.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Show me the money for all this fun

Someone close to me has said something to the affect of “caretaking Riley really isn’t very hard.” It was inferred that I am only doing this for the money. The first thing that came to my mind was “What money?”

First of all, I’m not a nurse. I hate doing anything that even resembles nursing. That includes taking care of Riley. There isn’t enough money anywhere to make caretaking him a pleasant experience.

When I was 12 years old, I helped in the caretaking of my grandmother. I loved her dearly. She was my “go to” person and I loved spending time with her. My duties were to take her the bedpan and then empty it. Make sure she has water, snacks and anything else she needed to keep her comfortable. I didn’t mind doing it because it made her happy. But, it awakened me to the fact that I didn’t want a career in nursing. My aunt offered to pay for my entire college education if I went into nursing. I declined the offer in favor of attending fashion design school.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What! No family program?

I want to vent a little bit today. Just a little bit, I promise.

I received a very pleasant e-mail from a person who represents a drug and alcohol rehab center. The nice lady on the phone said they wanted to see if possibly they could be a guest poster on this blog.

I checked out their website and I loved the concept of their program. It was not your run of the mill rehab where the client is showered with lots of AA and then sent on their way. They have a very viable alternative to the standard rehab center. I commend them for that. Can you guess what my one big objection might be?

Where’s the family program? There are all these wonderfully inventive things for the addicted person, but I saw absolutely nothing for the family. I was disappointed because I thought they could have used that creativity to expand their current programs to those who have been left in the peripheral damage zone of the addicted person.

I brought this issue up to the lady on the phone and she said she would discuss it with the owner of the facility and get back to me.  I won’t sit by the phone and wait for what probably will not happen.

Vent over. Well… maybe…

Workbook for Caretakers

I was just notified by one of my readers that after purchasing the Workbook for Caretakers of End Stage Alcoholics, she did NOT receive a link for the download of the actual book. If you purchased this and did not receive it --- PLEASE, let me know so I can get one to you. ASAP. Contact me at LindaWrites@live.com or ImmortalAlcoholic@gmail.com.

I apologize that you did not get your copy. I wasn't aware that the system was not working properly.

Thanks,

Linda

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Surviving the alcoholic's addiction

Do you know how long it takes for the brain to be alcohol toxin free after an alcoholic quits drinking?

Do you understand the legal ramifications of staying married to an alcoholic?

Do you have a safe place to escape when things get heated at your house?

Have you a support system when you just need to vent?

Linda’s Place will provide all these things for anyone who is battling the dilemma of staying or moving on. It is a recovery center for families and friends of alcoholics. This is not just a glorified Al-Anon center. However, Al-Anon will be invited to hold meetings at the center. This center is a place of education, support and resources.

At Linda’s Place you will find on-going

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Parallel Race

This week marks the end of any extra help in caretaking Riley. About a week ago I received a call from our Veterans Administration social worker and was told that they were assigning me 12 hours a week from a personal care aide. The very next day I received another call from the same social worker that my 12 hours had been taken back because the VA has discontinued the program that gives that benefit to any veteran who does not have a service related disability. I will have no aide, no respite time, and the visiting nurses paid for by Medicare are at their end of time. We have physical therapy and occupational therapy for another week. Then I’m on my own.

Riley has improved under the direction of the PT and OT. He can now get out of the bed and into his wheelchair. He can also get to the shower and have a real chance to clean up. I should be happy for him. He can do those things but requires

Monday, February 29, 2016

Alcoholic Shades of Gray

After receiving a comment from a reader, I thought a bit of clarification might be in order. Let me see how I can explain this.

I am a senior woman and I own a black dog. Not all black dogs are owned by senior women. Not all seniors own a dog. Not all women own dogs. Not all seniors are women and not all women are seniors. Does that make sense?

I do not believe that all people who drink alcohol are alcoholics. Not all people who get drunk occasionally are alcoholics. If you have a drink after work or wine with dinner, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are an alcoholic.

I asked Riley to tell me what an alcoholic looks like. After all, who would know better than a self-professed alcoholic? He replied that if you

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Can dreams come true?

In my disappointment of rehab centers to provide quality family programs, I mentioned that there should be a recovery center just for that segment of people. I got an overwhelming positive response to my idea. That response got me to thinking that maybe this was something I could do. So I started doing research.

How does an individual without funds and not-so-great credit get the funding necessary to even begin such a project? I asked a friend with a thriving business to give me some pointers. He suggested crowdfunding to get the funds to get started with the basics. Once I have the basics, he suggested fundraiser activities, such as seminars, dinners, etc. Then once I am an actual working business to make the business non-profit to be eligible for grants. The key, says my friend, is in the marketing and to do marketing I will need the crowdfunding money. Makes sense to me. This idea is starting to sound possible.

The next step is to write up a business plan. I got a great template from SCORE and started filling it out. This is where I needed to know what the recovery center would offer and how people would pay for the services. I know what I would like, but that may not be possible at this time.

My dream family recovery center would offer several types of programs. First, there would be an in-house, residential, stay of four or five days. This program would include group and individual

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sadly...

I recently issued a challenge to rehab centers to tell me about their family programs. The ones I liked would be featured on my blog. Sadly to say there were NO rehab centers who responded from the USA. However, Chris from Gladstones Clinic in Bristol, England, was excited to share with me the aspects of their family program. Although their program does not meet all my criteria, I decided to feature them anyway simply based on the fact that they truly understand how important a family program is. See their post below.