Monday, February 25, 2008

Last Post (today anyway)

Ok. So, Wife and I argue about daughter's nutrition. I say she's not eating fruits - period. Wife - who is going to AA, and came out rehab, says "Yes she is."

It is a "he said" versus "she said" thing for a second. I say, "Tell me what she eats or what do we have in this house that resembles a fruit?"

She goes, "Look, she eats Fruit Roll-ups." I say, "Are you kidding me?"

Her mind is fried I think. Or she is very good at trying to make me crazy. I realize she cannot make me crazy as I type this. I know this is stupid talk.

I control what I decide to think about me. Again, this is the easy part. My daughter thinks Fruit Roll-ups are fruit. (In truth my daughter is pretty smart. She knows they are basically candy. And she senses she is not eating the right food.)

She (daughter) was eating pasta every day. Until I intervened. It was easy to cook. No butter. No sauce. Just parmasan cheese. Every day. And all day. No joke. No exagerration. I did not know. Now I know.


I should be kind, and compassionate. It is hard. It is very hard.

I went and found an Al-Anon meeting yesterday, because of this new found resentment. I searched my little white folded piece of paper - it has all the meetings where I live, the times, whether it is for women or men, gays, adult children of alcoholics or whatever. I carry one in the car, one at my desk and ine in my briefcase. I worry a little, because some people I work with may actually see the folded piece of paper.

Where it was held was in some rundown place. It was not the best place I have been to in the world. But when I got there, I sat in the chair, a big plastic chair, the bad ones from Walmart for 5 bucks. But, I felt a calm over take me.

I breathed deeply. And I breathed deeply again. Calm. People who understand my situation. They all understand. Even though they are from different backgrounds. It is nice to be understood and to vent (we call it "sharing" but I vented).

Everyone always laughs when I tell my story. I think I try to make it funny because we are all in pain. It may also be that it because I am afraid to show my pain and it is a way of covering it up.

Everyone there, I have never met before, except for one guy. We met at a meeting a few times before. There were several moments where there is silence. This was where no one says anything.These are hard moments. I feel a compelling desire to tell others "Speak! I want to hear your story. And I want you to know it's okay." One new gentlemen, young, who's wife went into rehab, said during the first silent moment, "Now what do we do. Just sit here?" I nearly laughed myself off of the plastic chair - trying to keep silent guffawing (is that a word? who knows).

What has this got to do with Roll-ups and Resentment? Nothing. Except they start with R. But yesterday's Al-Anon meeting topic was Guilt. And I turned the meeting into resentment when it came to me. Or at least part of discussion was resentment in the voices of others. Guilt and Resentment, two evil sister lurking under the skin able to spread like a little fire damaging our well-being. One holding our head down in shame and self-talk that beats you up to a pulp. The other, anger, on a slow burn. It's mission: to fester until eats your heart one bite at a time.

We at Al-Anon suck sometimes at making it easier on new comers. So after 5 people spoke, I talked to the newcomers when my turn came around. I told them they will not get open advice here in the meeting, that if you listen, you begin to hear options and tools and ways of dealing with your situation. It is a "magical" thing that just occurs. Sounds like bullshit (I didn't say that because some woman brought her son who was all of about 4 years old to sit and he did which was amazing), but that no matter what the situation, we can help guide you and in cases where you need help hang around at the end. But we do suck at making new people feel welcome, at least in the meetings I have been to.

This Thursday, I take my daughter to an Al-Ateen meeting. I have cleared it by talking to a number of people. One lady spent 30 minutes on the phone with me to insure it was alright for a 10 year old. She will be in a room with children from 9 to 12 years of age. I am not as concerned about this as I once was. We'll see.

Got to go out for a run and read something inspirational.
Thank you for your kind remarks today. I consider you - strangely - as close friends. Even those that have skimmed the blog and have not said anything.
If you note over to right we will pass 10,000 readers this week. I put that little counter over there I think sometime in November when I was messing with Blog Gadgets.

10,000 readers. But not everyone is commenting. Feel free to comment, but no rush. But realize, no one knows who you are and we are with you all the way.
Also - we have just slightly over 300 readers this past weekend. I almost forgot to mention that part because I was resenting all over the place this morning. Great job by all this weekend


Laurie said...

Roll ups aren't fruit? But it says right on the box "made from REAL fruit"! I guess that's proof things aren't always what they appear to be or what we're lead to believe!

Joe, I've only been reading and commenting on your blog a few weeks, but it's obvious you're a good person and a great father! You're doing the best you can given your current situation! There should be more men and dads in this world like you! Hang in there and know there's lots of people who care about you!

Enjoy your time with your daughter! You should be able to get some delicious fresh fruit in Florida!

nanceelee said...

Fruit roll-ups are to fruit what gummy worms are to protein.

So sorry, couldn't help myself :-)

Anonymous said...

The best thing about living with an alcoholic, is the opportunities they frequently create for you to have a great time with your kids.

Enjoy your weekend with your daughter. It is your turn to be the "fun parent".


Syd said...

Joe, I'm glad that you went to a meeting and that your daughter will go to Al-Ateen. I wish that I had known about both years ago. I doubt that I would have gotten as far down as I was when I started in the program. Thanks for all that you write.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful blog!! I am the daughter of an alcoholic and my son is a son of an alcoholic who says he is one also. He knew he was an alcoholic at 13 years old. He wants to change but is in denial. Hes lost his drivers license so i'm his taxi to work quite a lot.

lola said...

I'm going to look for a alanon meeting to go too. I'm in need of support but love this blog its great!
Joe sounds like great Dad, hope he knows his Daughter is so lucky. My son's Dad has not patience with our son just because hes gotten his drinking under control!!He still drinks but doesnt drive, ha ha.

Joan M said...

I have been struggling that's a has been much longer than that. I stopped going to meetings about 10 years ago and things have gotten steadily worse. Mostly inside me for, heaven forbid we should let anyone outside know what we are really feeling.
I should tell you I have been in Al Anon for over 25 years and married to a recovering alcoholic for 44 yrs. We are now separated and I am having a multitude of mixed and crappy feelings. Letting go is not easy. I know I'm in for a bumpy ride but the road behind is much too rough for me to turn back.
I just needed to start sharing again and I appreciate this site as a place to do that. Joan M