Category Archives: love

Dear Kokomo

My sweet 20 year old Calico kitty. Besides my son, you are the last thing connecting me to my ex, the man that adopted you to impress me.

I didn’t know it at the time, but you were rescued from being put to sleep by a coworker of your dad’s and he decided to take you in, because he thought since I loved cats so much, it would bring us closer. Of course, I didn’t know this until after our divorce, but on some level it brings me joy that his caring about me, saved you.

You were a feisty little kitten. I had made the two hour drive to the West side of Florida to spend the weekend with your dad, when I got a call saying, “I need your help.” It was your dad. He had adopted you from the coworker during work hours and you wouldn’t stay in your make-shift box carrier and they were afraid you would get out in to the mall and be lost forever.

So I rushed over to get you. When I got to the back room, there you were on the desk batting peppermint hard candies around. You were completely oblivious to all the workers that were cooing over you…all you cared about was the little candy.

I was completely smitten with you from the very first sight.

I drove you in your make shift box to your dad’s place. At every light you would pop your head out of the box and I’d have to get it back in before the light turned green again. It was hilarious.

I got your safely settled in and when your dad got off work he joined us. It was so cute to watch this grown 6’4″ man get way down low and talk baby talk to this tiny little tot of a kitten. He was right, I loved him even more for adopting you.

After a few weeks, you started to get mean. It was because your dad worked so many hours around the holiday’s and you were lonely. So I talked him into adopting your brother, Bandit. At first you wanted to kill bandit, but just like us, he won you over.

Within a few weeks, you two were inseparable. You would run so fast that you could run up the side of the wall over the couch behind us without falling and then hit the ground running when you got to the other side. It was so cute. You would run across your dad’s head and in and out of the covers all night long. I couldn’t believe you never woke him, but you certainly left him with a few scratches.

When your dad and I moved in together, it was the day a hurricane was supposed to hit Florida. I lived on the East Coast and he was moving in with me. So he drugged you two and put you in the jeep to make the two hour trip to my place, only a few hours before the hurricane hit. Your brother was out like a light, but not you. You hated the drugged sensation and cried until you felt normal again, including the whole two hour drive. I thought your dad was a saint for not smothering you. He handled it like a trooper.

You were always daddy’s little girl. Dad never had the same schedule from week to week, but like clockwork, when daddy sat on the couch to watch tv, with beer in hand, you would park yourself right up on his lap and purr like a kitten.

When we moved from our first place into a bigger place, we got one with a beautiful screened in patio (“lanai”…I’m still not used to that name!). You and your brother Bandit would wake me up just before sunrise and I would open the slider and let you two watch the sunset come up together from the lanai. You were adorable. You would catch bugs and lizards every morning.

Then one morning a cat was outside and you went nuts. You used your claws to slice the screen and out you went to eat that cat. Your dad and I panicked…it was still mostly dark and we were out there running around trying to catch you. Not because we were worried about you with the other cat, but we were living on a lake full of alligators. It took a half an hour, but we finally got you in and because you smelled like outside now, Bandit didn’t recognize you anymore and you two started fighting. That lasted two days before I finally got advice to put a little of your dad’s cologne on you both so you would both smell the same and magically, it worked like a charm.

You and your brother were scared to death when you human brother came into the world. You wanted nothing to do with him, but you compromised because you had to if you wanted daddy’s lap. Kiddo in dad’s arm, you in dad’s lap. I would try to hold you, but you could care less about me, you were dad’s cat.

When your kitty brother ran away, you seemed lonely at first, but then got closer to your human brother, so we didn’t get another kitty.

Later we ended up adopting two dogs. You were the queen of the house though, those dogs ran in fear from you. They knew better than to even sniff in your general direction.

When your dad and I split, he took the dogs and I took you because dad was not himself and I worried you would get the short end of the stick when dad was having bad days.

You were never super close to me, but once we moved, you became very affectionate with me. You dominate our home now too. The two adopted kitties I have now, know who is boss and NEVER get in your way.

You’ve been declining in health for a while now. You don’t hear well, you seem to get lost and I’m not sure how well you see either. You just lick most of your food now and miss the litter box more than you make it, but you seemed content to this point.

Today when I cleaned your litter box though, I found pink. You have the saw-dust pellets for litter, so they are usually just brown or yellowish. I’ve never seen them pink before. I cleaned it all out and put a different batch in there, in case it was just a different type of wood used for that batch, but tomorrow we will know for sure. If it continues to be pink, that is blood in your urine. While I could put you on antibiotics, this is just the second time in less than a year that I would be dragging you to the vet after 19 years of never needing to be seen. I feel like this is just the beginning of the end and the last thing I want is for you to suffer in the end. So if there is pink tomorrow, I think I know what I have to do.

It will be so hard, but you have been so loved for 20 years, and I know it’s right not to make the end bad by hanging on too long.

Your name was taken from the song Kokomo, because your dad and I would go to the Florida keys to get away and had so many wonderful memories there watching the performers with the cats and visiting the store for cats, that we wanted to be reminded of that happiness anytime we looked at you. Now anytime I hear that song, I will be reminded of the happiness you brought me.

I love you pretty kitty Kokomo. See you in the next life.

The good, the sad, the advice

Ladies Night!

Last night was the big night. The paint and wine party we went to was a huge success.

I was a tiny bit nervous that not everyone would have fun. Only a couple of them knew each other, and I worried that someone would feel left out.

When we got there, the place was pretty full, so unfortunately, we couldn’t all sit together, which made me even more fretful, but I steered people together that I thought would get along. So three sat together, one sat across from me and one next to me. The one across from me was definitely cut off and didn’t know the people around her, but she had already gotten seated before we got there so I couldn’t really help it.

About half way through we got a break and all finally got to sit together around one table and chat. I told everyone that I wanted to do something like this once a month. That if it’s a group, then if one couldn’t make it, at least the rest could still get together.  Most seemed on board. 🙂art

Once we got started it was so much fun. Being an ambivert, I can turn on the charm when I’m out for a limited period of time. I was laughing and carrying on so much people around us joined our conversation and we all got to know each other. It was a blast!

I’m not an artist (clearly), I’m very left brained, but I didn’t do this for the art, I did it for the companionship and it was exactly what I’d hoped for!

I wasn’t the only one that enjoyed it either. I got texted by nearly everyone afterwards telling me how much fun they had and how they appreciated me putting it together. The next day, one of them even invited all of us over for Memorial!

I think we are finally getting this girls night thing down!

Our wedding song

I was completely caught off guard tonight when I was watching the Ellen Degeneres show and she had the singer Sia on to sing a song that was in the movie “Finding Dory”, coming out soon. When she started singing I thought she sounded so beautiful. I started to feel like I knew the song, but when she got to the chorus, I realized it was my wedding song…”Unforgettable”  As she sang, I went down a painful memory road. I remember him dancing with me and mouthing the words, his eyes had a twinkle. He seemed so sincere.

Now he is on a vacation with his new wife, celebrating their anniversary, which just happens to be on my birthday. It hurt.

I had intentionally allowed myself to forget the song and even remember just recently thinking how great it was that I couldn’t recall it off the top of my head…the only time I think I ever really appreciated my declining memory….and now, just like that it all came flooding back.

I was proud of myself though, because while I shed a tear or two, when it was over, I put it behind me and continued to enjoy the rest of the show. I’m happy these reminders are fewer and farther between.

I’m still going to watch Finding Dory, but at least now I’ll be prepared for the song and hopefully can relate it to something new.

And then there’s that…

Feeling a little sorry for myself, I decided to go on eharmony, a dating website where I’ve had a membership for a while now and see if there was any new matches that said hi.  No luck there, but I did find an article that I thought was great advice.  Not just for relationships, but in all aspects of life, so I thought I would share it with you.

Here is a teaser:

Harris calls this process “fusion” and offers a simple and quite effective strategy for “defusing” thoughts:

  1. Think of a thought that has been troubling you, such as “I’ll never find the right person.” Spend ten seconds really immersed in that thought—believe it as much as you can.
  2. Now add the phrase, “I’m having the thought that…” Take ten seconds and repeat that to yourself: “I’m having the thought that I’ll never find the right person.”
  3. Add a final phrase: “I notice that I’m having the thought that I’ll never find the right person.” Repeat to yourself for ten seconds.

When I ask my clients how they experienced this exercise, they say that with each step they gained distance from their thoughts. They realized they were … just thoughts. They weren’t immutable truths; they weren’t prison sentences. They were just momentary blips that passed through their minds.

Hope you enjoy!

How not to lose heart

 

 

Addiction Confliction

Addiction has always been my demon. I believe having a mood disorder that went untreated for decades added to a genetic propensity for addiction leaving me vulnerable and willing when the opportunity presented itself.

My dad’s father died from complications of alcoholism and tobacco use. My mothers father died from complications of diabetes and gangrene that was a result of alcoholism.

I started overusing medication at an early age. I would sneak into the medicine cabinet all the time and take anything from baby aspirin to Di-gel tablets repeatedly.  My parents insisted I was a hypochondriac and I believed that as a child.  However as an adult I now can tell you for certain that I took medicine because I was physically uncomfortable, even if the cause was psychological.  Each time my parents would catch me and make me stop for a while. At 13 or 14 I started drinking, but it didn’t become regular until I was 15 or 16 at which time I also started smoking. When I started working at 16, I was introduced to coke, which led to meth. Once on meth, I completely gave up drinking and smoking and I was hooked on meth until I was 19.

The first time I got clean I was 20. The irony was not lost on me when I was the cleanest I’d ever been on my 21st birthday, a time when many are welcomed into adulthood with the ability to legally drink.

Once I finally made it through meth withdrawals and back to some semblance of normalcy, I had to start taking Ibuprofen to sleep each night or otherwise I couldn’t get but a few hours and it wasn’t enough for me to function.

I was also a roller coaster of emotions.  Anger was a common one, but the spectrum was readily available, welcomed or not.

I went to the doctor asking for a sleep aid and she said she would rather I take ibuprofen than risk getting hooked on a sleep aid. In hind sight, I probably should have found another doctor, but I understand her reluctance to give a former addict a potentially addictive drug.

Soon the ibuprofen wasn’t enough and I began drinking again. A little, quickly turned into everyday  complete with hard liquor and many binge drinking episodes over the next decade or so (prior to getting pregnant).  I also smoked off and on.

When I met my ex-husband, we mostly hung out together and drank. It was fun, we didn’t have a child at the time and we always went to work, so I became a high-functioning alcoholic.

I didn’t drink during the day (unless on vacation), I didn’t crave it at all during the day. I got home, made dinner and that’s when the wine started flowing.

When I was pregnant, it was the second time I became clean. I didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs and I have to tell you, that period of time was horrific. Not because I was pregnant but because I couldn’t sleep and there was nothing I could do about it. I would get 5ish hours a night, when I was lucky, and stayed completely miserable all day. My anxiety hit a whole new high. I was so desperate for my son to be born thinking it would surely all subside, but to my surprise things actually got worse. I didn’t realize yet how taking pain medication would throw me into deep depression. Only in hindsight (after looking back at each time I ever had to take it in the past) did I finally make the connection. So after a c-section I spent two days in a morphine haze, which turned into a deep and difficult depression.

By week 4 of baby, since I never (ever!) got milk, I decided there was no harm in drinking a little at night after baby was asleep.

I still maintained that I was not really an alcoholic because I never thought about it during the day, I didn’t miss work, I didn’t drink and drive, I just drank a bottle of wine between dinner and bed. I didn’t get drunk in case baby needed me.

Years later when my marriage hit the rocks, my bottle turned into two. I’m fairly certain I was poisoning myself daily but all I cared about was getting out.

Once I was out, 2 bottles turned back into 1 and about a year into my freedom I actually stopped drinking for 3-4 months. Then the ex’s girlfriend moved from another state, to in with him and life spun out of control once again. My drinking went from none to a bottle and a half a night, in the span of about a week.

Two years ago, the ex & his moved out of state and things settled down again. Down to one bottle I went and I drink it over 3-4 hours, so I’m not even really drunk, I just get super tired and I love that. It something no sleep aid has ever been able to accomplish without severe after affects.

Lately the amount has been creeping up again.  I know that my drinking is a problem. I’ve tried to quit several times as of late. I can no longer hide behind my fantasy that I’m not an alcoholic, despite all my excuses:  I don’t drink during the day or even really think about it. I’m not drinking to get drunk, because I don’t like being out of control, I just drink to slowly relax and eventually induce sleep. I don’t drink and drive. I go to work.

But the truth is that it does affect me.

I want to stop.

It’s good money going out the window. It’s hard on my body. I can’t lose the weight I want to. I sometimes oversleep. I hate feeling trapped by the addiction.

So in recent conversations with my therapist, I told her of my 3 year plan. My son will be out of school. I won’t feel as vulnerable, if I should lose my job. And ever since my first addiction, I desperately wanted to do an in-patient addiction program. I’ve quit “addiction” at least 3 times on my own, it’s hard, painful and I always end up back there. So my plan was to get the kiddo through high school and check myself in.

Now is when the demon rises…whenever I get to the point that I recognize addiction holding me back, I quit. I quit drinking, I quit smoking, I quit meth. So my brain is in a tug of war over the fact that I shouldn’t wait 3 more years. I’ve quit before and I should quit now. Save the money, the fat and the bad influence on my son and just stop. So I go a day without drinking and then the next day I have two bottles. It’s like I’m on a roller coaster and it’s become mostly what I think about.

I know from past experience that by week two of being sober, I’m pretty much home free if I stay away completely, but I can’t see making it to week two in my current life.

I realized last night, after drinking one bottle (all I had at home) and not being able to fall asleep, that in the last 3-4 weeks I’ve had about a dozen hair brained ideas of businesses I could start, but eventually talked myself out of.

I kept thinking it was born out of boredom. It’s not though, it’s my subconscious trying to uproot my life enough to help me quit drinking. But then addiction sweeps in and says, you can’t keep up with a business, go relax and have a glass of wine.

I want to wait and check myself in and do it right this time…with support, with medicine for the withdrawals, with no outside influence from the real world and with the proper support when reintegrating back into the real world. I want real skills to keep it at bay. I want to break the neuro-pathways for good. I want to be really healthy. I also think it would be SO incredibly helpful for them to see what I’m really like not addicted so that they can be sure I’m on the right medicine to control my different brain. I’ve never had a real diagnosis and my meds are always a best guess based on how I am at the time, including addiction. Yes, my doctors are aware I drink wine with my meds. They are not happy about it, but would rather I take meds and keep functioning than possibly slip back into suicidal ideation.

Yet, I feel like I am wasting my life. I have so much to offer, but I can’t truly be stable if I’m drinking. I don’t want to keep throwing good money away. I want to lose weight before I end up with a permanent illness like diabetes or a heart condition. I want to exercise and it not kill me like it does now. I want to get off the asthma inhaler and cure the re flux…both caused by my drinking. I want to stop feeling sore everyday when I wake up. I wan’t to break out of this 9-5 job and live the american dream…be self employed, have a for-profit to fund my non-profit. Do something that really has impact on others (in a good way!)  I want to find love.

There is a tiny part of me that is afraid. I keep hanging my hat on the fact that if I wasn’t drinking I would achieve so much…lose the weight, get healthy, save up for a vacation, start a business, find love…but what if I quit and none of that is true…and I’m really am the same person even without alcohol. Would that reality spawn the next deep depression.

Maybe that’s addiction talking, but maybe not…I have been sober before….

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I’m sure this will be the subject of my life for the next weeks to months, but I probably won’t be posting about it unless it’s that I quit, so don’t worry about having to go through this again anytime soon. 🙂

 

Updates

After a crazy two weeks, I’m feeling worn out, but hopeful.

Kitten Watch: Two days ago, I had five kittens, but yesterday I added number six. A newborn kitten that had been abandoned and needed a lactating mom. While she is considerably smaller than my brood, she is surviving.  My initial five are growing like weeds and are starting to open their eyes.

Tent City: I’m still very upset about the prospect of the mayor forcing the people to leave Tent City without any type of plan for them. I created my protest sign and then on Wednesday, the day I took off, we had really bad storms, so I decided to wait until today. I plan to just stand on any street corner this weekend and then on Wednesday, my next vacation day, I’m going downtown to the Mayors office.

Kiddo: We just finished week three of the last quarter of the school year and I can now say beyond a shadow of a doubt that his meds are finally balanced. He barely mentions staying home and has his grades back up. It’s such a relief too, that he is not at the maximum dose of any of the meds he is on, so when he does grow (and he will!) we can just make increases, instead of starting from scratch. So instead of a 3 month hellish change, it will be a 2-3 week not quite hellish change. 🙂 Seriously, it’s a huge relief!

Gluten Free: I finally gave up on the Gluten challenge. I realized all the foods I’d been eating were processed because I was looking for it to say gluten free on it. I’m back to eating fresher…veggies, fruits, etc and I feel alright. I don’t think I ever made it long enough to know whether it was really helping, but I guess if I get to feeling bad enough, I’ll try again.

Finding Love: hahahahahaha

Also I was nominated for an award and a challenge…so I will be back later today to share.

Momma Bear!

For anyone who has never experienced that instant when mothers instinctively respond to whatever situation “appears” to threaten their child’s health or happiness…let me just warn you…STEP AWAY FROM THE CHILD!!!

Tonight I went on the patio to feed my ferals.

I found the little girl being aggressive again and her tummy thinner. Off in the corner, in a box I put out, there were little kittens.

I peaked while she ate, but she immediately let me know that visitors were NOT welcome!

So I gave them space.

I’m so excited to see these little babies. What a wonderful gift to remind me of how precious life is.

I saw at least three, but there could definitly be more.

Sweet little kittens…what a wonderful day.

How to start over

It’s been almost 6 years since my divorce. I tried online dating a couple of times with very little luck and only one date with, what became a stalker.

I’ve poured my heart out in therapy. I’ve been able to move past the hurt, anger and grief of the divorce. I want to find love again, but I don’t know how.

It became evident to me last night how desperate I’ve become when I reconnected with a few people from my past on facebook. I don’t use facebook ever, except to reach out to people. I never post and I don’t read others posts. So unless we have been in touch, I have no idea what’s going on in your life.

When one of the people I connected to accepted my friends request, I went down this pathetic little road of “what if he is still single?” We really connected on an intellectual level and he was a good influence on my health because we would go to the gym during lunch, but I was married, so of course, nothing more than a friendship ever existed. But now, almost six year after my divorce and 12 years after I last saw him, the what if’s carried me down a happy little path. Until I realized he is married.

I have to say I was so embarrassed that I allowed myself to get carried away like that, I actually cried…which is out of character for me.

My brain then took me down another fun path about of how pathetic I am and everyone around me is married or in serious relationships and how I’m overweight and look older than I am. It was so depressing I went to bed.

Today I’m feeling a little better. My medicine is great about stopping the intrusive thoughts if I keep busy. So I’m off to run errands.

Thanks for letting me vent. If you have a little love pixie dust you can spare, I’d be forever grateful.