When Will Things Get Easier?

tazmanian devilMaybe life isn’t going to be easy. Maybe it never was? But I seem to remember a time when things were more peaceful, more in synch with God and the universe, or something.

Or, maybe I’m fooling myself? Like the grandparents that say their generation wasn’t as awful as the next generation…. maybe, like forgetting the pain of childbirth, I forget that things never were ever that easy?

I don’t know. Certainly, my problems are all of my own making — well, actually, except the miscarriage, and actually except the economy wrecking the real estate market.  True, the miscarriage wasn’t my fault. The economy going in the tank wasn’t my fault.  But everything else was.  No, the bankruptcy wasn’t “technically” my fault – that was his fault.  But I went along with all of the decisions that led up to it.  I enabled it all.  It’s not like I haven’t tried.  An entrepreneur, I’m naturally an optimist.  I keep trying to “figure it out.”  I keep trying new things, working hard, coming up with new ideas and plans.  I think of my mother’s voice saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  Maybe she never even said that, but it seems like something she would say.

I have always had good intentions.  I really have intended to get spiritually and physically fit, sober forever, be a good wife and mother, create beautiful successful magazines that the local communities would enjoy.  Create a nice home for my family.  Lose weight, for goodness sakes — how long am I going to carry around these extra 30 pounds and pretend it doesn’t bother me?

How am I supposed to do all of this without a driver license for ten years?  Yes— the DUI last June and a crappy expensive lawyer; and now I’ve lost my license for ten years.  I just can’t accept this. And everybody is admonishing me (everybody who cares about me, anyways) for driving on a suspended license.  I’m not driving very much. I had to drive the boys to tennis practice and guitar lessons — the lady I traded an ad with to drive me places always gets migraines at the last minute.  So, my children have missed their activities.  The kids have been through enough — I’m not going to cancel tennis and guitar, too.

And all the relapses.  Man how I hate that word, “relapse.”  It makes me feel like such a failure.  All of the shame that’s piled up in my amygdala in the last five years. I relapsed last April and before that I relapsed in October of 2009.  And who knows if I’ll relapse again — I don’t have any faith in my ability to stay sober. And I’m supposed to give it to God and He will keep me sober– if I “do the work.”  I guess, to be honest — and aren’t I allowed to be honest here — I guess I don’t trust Him.  He’s given me more than I can handle and I always thought He said he wouldn’t do that?

So, when life happens, which is every frickin day, when life happens, then what?  Sometimes I just don’t want to be strong.  Sometimes I just want to say forget it and throw my cares to the wind, escape from it all just for about five hours.  But I can’t.

So, here you go — instead of “relapsing,” I’ll just dump all my authentic garbage on my anonymous blogger friends.  I’d rather relapse.  But I won’t.

I don’t ever do this.  I don’t like to complain. I hate (I hate the word hate but it fits here) to think of myself as a complainer and somebody that pours all my problems out on everybody.  And please don’t freak out on me and offer a lot of advice — here is where I make all my excuses for myself — I’m really fine.  Really, I am really fine. Please don’t worry or freak out. Just some days — even on absolutely beautiful sunny days like today, I feel hopeless.  As always, I logically know God is there. I know everything.  And that’s probably my problem.

The image of the Tazmanian Devil is my “logo” (I’m a brand/marketing girl at heart) for my alcoholism.  This little devil is the imagery I use in my head for my alcoholic personality. I picture a locked caged with this crazy spaztic Tazmanian Devil banging on the cage, begging me to get out, let him loose, just for a minute… But I have to, have to, have to keep him locked up; because if I let him out, even for “just a minute” (or, just five hours!) then I may never be able to get him back into the cage.

Book Review: Anonymous Disciple by Gerard E Goggins

untitledAnonymous Disciple, copyright 1995, is written by an author who not only did his research and is an excellent writer, but by someone who knows what he’s talking about. I can always tell when a book or a work is written by someone who has walked the walk with us.  The understanding is there. Reading this book was often like sitting in an AA meeting listening to a fellow alcoholic speak of his experience, strength and hope.  I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants a better understanding of our plight and how God’s healing miracle can be performed in the heart of an alcoholic.

It’s written like a novel – but it’s actually a biography of a Catholic priest who suffered from alcoholism and whose life was transformed by God into a beautiful thing.  Father Jim, the book explains was a disgrace to his fellow Jesuit priests, couldn’t stay away from the bottle and was admitted into the psychiatric ward of the hospital as a hopeless case.  This is what they used to do with alcoholics, put them in psychiatric wards because they were obviously insane.

There was no other way to keep them safe—from themselves and others.

Insanity. What else could the diagnosis be? A person who drinks themselves to oblivion every day, causes all sorts of trouble and disgrace to those who love him and whose own mother told him at age 50 to never come home again; yet he still continues to drink.  This wasn’t his first stay in a hospital either. He had been numerous times; but each time he was released with a little bit of health he went right back to the bottle or the bar.

A person with “so much potential.”  The alcoholic is mind-boggling to the “normal” person. Why can’t he just quit? Why would he drink again?

The author describes how to an alcoholic in this dilemma, this insane thinking is commonplace. We think alcohol is the solution to our problems, our only solace. Alcohol becomes the problem and the solution.  We get to the point we can’t imagine life with or without alcohol.  So we keep trying to drink the next time and hope for no consequences.

Father Jim and Father Fred drank together. Father Fred visited his friend in the hospital one last time before traveling to Detroit to “get sober” at Guest House, a rehab for alcoholic priests.  A few months later, Father Jim joins him at Guest House and the book walks the reader through their experience at Guest House and their miraculous lives afterwards.

Both Father Jim and Father Fred devoted their lives to AA, sobriety and helping other alcoholics. God turned disgraced lives into saintly ones.  A must read for every Catholic alcoholic and every Catholic who loves an alcoholic.

Guest House is still doing great work today.  http://www.guesthouse.org

Their mission is to provide the information, education, treatment and care needed to assure that clergy, men and women religious and seminarians suffering from alcoholism, addictions and other behavioral health conditions have the best opportunity for quality recovery and overall health and wellness.

Now located in a beautiful setting in Lake Orion, Michigan, Guest House continues to do God’s work helping their clients return to active, faith-filled ministry in the Church. A lay ministry of Guest House is the National Catholic Council on Addictions.