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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.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I didn't mean it...

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” How many times have we heard those words? The fact is that alcoholics never intentionally hurt those who love them. And they are always sorry. But as sure as I’m sitting here, it will happen again and again. Each time there will be “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

I don’t really care to hear the alcoholic tell me “I’m sorry.” Those words mean nothing to me. Telling me you are sorry and actually being sorry is two different things. Let’s examine the phrase declaring that someone is sorry which can apply to anyone and not just to alcoholics.

First we hear: “I’m sorry.” Why are you sorry? Are you sorry you got caught? Are you sorry that you did the offending thing? Are you sorry that someone else got hurt? Are you sorry that someone else is angry with you? Are you sorry that you weren’t smart enough to keep your actions a secret? Just exactly what is it that you makes you be sorry?

Exactly what does saying I’m sorry mean? Does it mean

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Opiate addicted family member

I hope my readers can help me. I'm seeking family or friends who are concerned about an opiate addicted elderly person. I'm doing some research and need some input. Please contact me at LDoyne@live.com with "opiate" in the subject line.

Thank you very much!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I dare rehab facilities to take this challenge!

I was sitting in a waiting room when I struck up a conversation with another woman. It turns out that she was also the wife of a retired submariner.  Her husband has long since passed and she spoke freely about the long deployments and lack of communication and the parties with free-flowing booze. Both our husbands were dedicated Navy men who put the families on a shelf and took them down when they wanted to be fathers and/or husbands. The similarities were eerie.

Back in the day, the command would reward the men with barbeques and baseball games. There was plenty of hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, salads and kegs of beer. The wives watched in dismay as the men over-indulged

Sunday, January 10, 2016

My respite get-away

Day One

I arrived at TownPlace Suites by Marriott and checked into my “studio” suite. The space felt clean and fresh. The bed was covered with a pristine white coverlet over the cleanest sheets I’ve ever seen or smelled. There was a kitchenette that was completely stocked with everything I would need to prepare a full meal even if I didn’t plan on doing so.

After unpacking my toothbrush, I settled down on the bed that seemed to have been created just for me. I was in heaven and fell to sleep before I knew it. I awoke

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Annual optimistic arrogance

Here we are. We’re here every year, year after year. There’s nothing we can do to stop it and I don’t know anyone who would want to if they could. It’s the New Year. It comes with fresh new hopes and statements of adamant changes in lifestyles. In our optimism, we have images of brighter days and calmer nights.  In our pessimism, we dread what we know in the deeper recesses of our being is the logical outcome of this bright New Year.

Each year I start out thinking that I will strive to do things differently. I will pledge to write a chapter each week in the next book. I clean out my

Monday, December 21, 2015

Another Christmas..

First off…

It’s all set. Riley will be going to the nursing home on January 4th for five days so that I can have time to rest. I’m checking into a Courtyard Marriott on the evening of the 4th and enjoying three nights of stress-free bless. I don’t plan on venturing outside my room.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated to make this time away a reality. If you haven’t donated and feel that it is something you want to do – just click on the donation button in the previous post. I’m still trying to pull money together to allow me to go to dinner at a restaurant or two.

Anyway… on to other things…

It’s Christmas and I usually do some kind of Christmas post. Christmas is not a fun day for families of alcoholics. Even if the alcoholic is not drinking there is always an undercurrent of the possibility of a shoe dropping at any moment. It is stress at the maximum level. Not wanting to add to that stress by reminding us of the possibilities of disaster, I decided to try posting something a little lighter.

Growing up in the 1950s in a small

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Immortal... the definition of

Immortal –

Definition of immortal in English in the Oxford Dictionary:

Adjective -- Living forever; never dying or decaying

This definition goes on to say that humans are not immortal but their souls may be. I don’t think the authors of the Oxford Dictionary ever met or heard of Riley.

On Wednesday, Riley’s primary care doctor made a

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Now what?

Riley had a saying that went something like “When you’re up to your arse in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your prime objective was to drain the swamp.”

That’s exactly how I feel most of the time. With all the responsibilities of being Riley’s caretaker, sometimes I lose sight of my prime objective. I actually, I seldom can remember what is my prime objective. I seem to have many and they seem to change from day to day. Maybe my objectives are layered like a pyramid.

We have received the official notification that Riley WILL NOT be entering the Veterans Hospital as a hospice patient. I don’t understand all the whys and wherefores except that his lab results are not showing any abnormalities in his liver function.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A typical day

“Where are my friends?” Riley asks almost daily. “What have you done with my money?” he accuses. “How did I get so sick?” “Why are you keeping me prisoner here?” “Get me out of this bed!”

I answer him as honestly as I can, but my answers are met with hostility. Such is the life of a caretaker of a very end-stage alcoholic. Although I’ve been told he has less than six months, I know from past experience that this could go on much, much, longer. I don’t know if my health will allow me to see this all the way through to Riley’s end.

There is a light and it is NOT an on-coming train. He might be accepted into the Vet’s Hospice Program and be placed in the hospice unit at the VA hospital. He would be allowed to stay there for six months. What a blessing that would be!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Five year journey to end-stage

On October 19, 2010 I began a blog about life with an alcoholic who seemed to defy all logically anticipated end-of-life expectations. I wrote humorous little stories detailing the absurdity of the things he did. I wrote about the past and the present, the good and the bad, the laughter and the tears. As time went on and months turned into years, I continued to write. I can’t believe that I’ve been writing for five years.

As the years past, the posts changed. I did more and more research and shared my learned knowledge with anyone who visited my pages. I thought to myself “this is good, useful stuff and should be shared in an easy to understand, easy to find format…” so I wrote the Workbook.

A few months into writing the blog, my e-mail in-box began straining at the seams