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Flakes, Impossible To Duplicate July 25, 2013

basementAnd why would you? I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my best friend of 33 years, Brandy. (Disclaimer – yes, she still admits to knowing me and being my friend.)

I know I met Brandy when I was about seven, but I don’t remember much of it. I just remember that if I wanted to get out of my house and go somewhere else she was about nine or ten houses away, and I was almost always welcome. We grew up together. We went through everything together, from the first time I kissed a boy, to hanging out in a camper when it was well over 100 degrees (just to avoid our parents), a leaky basement that became my home when my youngest sister was born, Maid of Honor in my first wedding (that didn’t last a year), her family moving to Louisville (I felt like I lost her), later looking her up and finding out that she was literally five minutes away from where I lived. We’ve always been together, she has never left my mind or my side when it really counted. There is no one else that I could ever say that about.

That’s why she’s my best friend.

She’s also married to a great guy (that I introduced her to – by the way.) I suppose my only regret about our relationship is that I wasn’t invited to her wedding. It was a complicated situation, and I understand why things happened the way they did. I wish it could have been different, I would have really liked to have been there. It was the best outcome of an impossible situation, she’s happy, that’s all that matters. That’s all that has ever mattered to me.

Brandy is a person that I’m proud to call my best friend. I mean, come on, I’m kind of a jerk. I’ve been less than worthy of this friendship many times, Brandy has stuck with me, that means a lot more than I could ever express to her.

So I think I should thank Brandy in a “proper” way. So here goes 33ish years of dirt that I won’t explain, but Brandy knows what I’m talking about.

1. Fly swatters are a multi-purpose item
2. Ramen is good
3. Being the oldest isn’t always the best, but it prepares you for life
4. Plaid shirt are never really in style at our age
5. You can light a cigarette off of a space heater
6. You can watch a movie over a thousand times and it never gets old
7. Distance doesn’t matter
8. Popping zits can be fun
9. Spray paint is good for the soul
10. Licking the stuff off of Cool Ranch Doritoes isn’t weird
11. Bible papers don’t make good joints
12. Purple Passion
13. You can dress up any dress
14. Best friends will only tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter if you want to hear it
15. We’re only a text away
16. We’re not perfect, and we never really planned on it
17. You were the only person my mother ever believed
18. Skateboarders make horrible boyfriends
19. You can light a wall on fire with Aqua Net and a lighter
20. You can loose people too soon
21. You can forget what’s important, but remember before it’s too late
22. We’re parents??
23. You can get lost coming home from a concert
24. Fuzzy navels aren’t as spectacular as they sound
25. ET phone home
26. Restaurants aren’t the optimal place to grow up
27. When someone tells you “it’s a bad idea” you should probably listen
28. Sump pumps in Broad Ripple suck ass
29. Your braces made you more awesome
30. When I hug you I don’t want to let go
31. You believed in me when no one else ever did
32. You’re a great person/friend/mother
33. Let’s hang on for another 30 years or so, we’ll be crazy as shit, our kids
will make fun of us and we won’t care. That’s pretty awesome.

Thank you so much for being my best friend, I love you very much!

 

What I Wish I Didn’t Wear June 17, 2013

necklace sA necklace.

If you work with me or know me you might have noticed I wear a silver necklace. It’s a longer necklace so the charm on it isn’t obvious unless I pull it out or it makes its way out of my shirt. What hangs from that necklace means more to me than most things do. It can’t be replaced. It’s my Dad’s thumbprint.

It’s hard to believe that my Dad has been gone for four years in September.

People leave memories with us that will last for the rest of our lives. Some of the memories my Dad and I shared were the best times of my life. Teaching me about football, and watching me learn to love it. Kameron being born, and what a great Pop he was.  Mr. D and I getting married, knowing that the third time really was the charm.  Going to Lambeau Field together, our first trip together! Watching the Packers play in Indianapolis, tailgating with those silly Indianapolis fans.  Sunday football, coming over to my house every Sunday to watch the Packers play. Catching my first fish.  Teaching me how to jump a car. The difference between a flat head and a phillips head screwdriver. How to check a breaker and change a fuse. How to buy a car. How to make home made french fries. That Mikesell’s Rippled Potato Chips work best with Dean’s French Onion Dip. And the way to his heart was through my deviled eggs. Those are just a few of the millions of things that he taught me.

The selfish part of me missed my Dad, even though I know he’s in a better place.

The worst part about it for me now is that I know he would be so proud of me (not that he wasn’t before.)  He would be so ridiculously proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. It really has been awesome, and I thank sincerely the people that have (REALLY) supported me (Firebelly Team – Duncan Alney)  -my gratitude and your belief in me is immeasurable. I sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank you. I’m so happy!

Without my Dad there is a space in my heart that can’t be replaced. I don’t get to tell him about the awesome day I’ve had. I don’t have that smile, or pat on my shoulder anymore, he was the one person who always believed in me, no matter what the circumstances.

Things aren’t the same without you Dad, I love you and miss you so much.

I’m kicking ass Johnno, I hope you know.

 

What Mom Doesn’t Want For Mother’s Day May 11, 2013

I know, ok, I get it. I’m guilty of last-minute shopping. It’s not an accident that someone coined the phrase “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy.” Someone went through some stuff to come up with that phrase, let me tell you.

I’m in a giving kind of mood today, so I decided to help you. Here are some things that you should never, under any circumstances, ever get your Mom for Mother’s Day.

* Another hand painted ceramic piece of pottery. I mean it was cute the first time, and if you have grandkids we might give you a pass on this until they’re like five. Seriously, we have enough of those things to fill up an entire cabinet in our kitchen, and we’re running out of room in our kitchen, which makes us really cranky.

* Anything with “World’s Best Mom” on it. We already know we’re the best. Actions speak louder than words. Do a load of laundry, fold it, and put it away if you really want to yank on our heartstrings.

* Another gift set of soap or lotion. Think of the last time your mom took a bubble bath. Case closed.

* Made up coupons. Like the ones that say “1 free car wash” or “1 breakfast in bed.” We can drive through a car wash if we need to. Breakfast in bed? So we can clean up the dishes after you make a mess?

* Cleaning supplies. Even the fancy “green” stuff. All that makes us think about is housework, which we despise.

* An apron. For what exactly? So we can make you dinner?

* A memory charm bracelet. We’ll wear it once, and you’ll never see it again. Remember?

* A planter. Really?

* Any type of kitchen appliance, unless we specifically ask for it, just don’t.

* A scale. Unless you want to die.

 

Dogs and Spirits April 22, 2013

Johnno at Lambeau

Johnno at Lambeau

While I was dishing about my Food Network addiction earlier on Twitter something else happened. Some of you might find this a bit bizarre and that’s ok. By now I’m use to the questions or comments I get sometimes after I spill my guts all over the social media world. Don’t mind me while I spill, again.

I’ve heard more than several times in my life that dogs can see spirits, or ghosts, whatever you care to call it. I don’t like the word ghost, especially after my dad passed away. I’m sorry, I just don’t see Johnno floating around in some Casper-like state. Whenever I think of him I always think of him in jeans and a Packers or green golf shirt. That was standard issue Johnno garb. Another thing I don’t see my Dad in is wings. I can just picture my Dad entering the gates of heaven and giving a big “Hell No” to St. Peter as he tries to give my Dad wings. Wings the group he liked, the feathery things, not so much.

I believe in an after life. I believe when our time comes that we will see the loved ones that we have lost in our lifetime. I have to believe that, I have to believe that A LOT. I also believe that every once in a while spirits like to have a little fun with those of us here on earth. Us and our pets.

I have a leather couch it seats three comfortably. When my Dad was over watching a Packers game everyone had their “assigned” seats. They weren’t really assigned, but you would have thought they were if you came over to my house every Sunday. I sat in the middle, my Dad to my left, and Mr. D to my right. I still sit in the middle, and Mr. D still sits on the right. We don’t do it on purpose, we’ve just did it that way for a number of years, I guess it’s a tradition. My dog Shayla takes up Johnno’s now empty spot. It’s where she crashes out for 18 hours a day. Seriously, I think my dog is part cat.

Anyway while I was confessing my Food Network addiction on twitter Shayla was nuzzled up right next to me, which is weird. She really only does that with Mr. D or Kameron, Sam when she’s home. I really hadn’t noticed she was there until her tail started the happy thump. Then she looked up in the air and started licking the air, like someone had put their hand in the air in front of her and she started to go to town on it. I sat and watched her thinking she had lost her mind, but she kept at it, for like two minutes. I said “Shayla what are you doing” she stopped to look at me but went right back to it. I thought of my Dad, he would always pet Sha-na-na (as he called her) when he sat down and she would lick his hand. I decided to put my hand above her to see if she would lick it, nope. When I took my hand away the tail thumping and air licking continued. I closed my eyes and placed my hand on the left seat of my couch, expecting it to be cool to the touch. It was warm, like someone had been sitting there. Then Shayla stopped her licking and put her head down.

I think my Dad can sense when I need him around. Sometimes it’s an unexpected penny. Sometimes the lights go off. Sometimes he plays with my dog. Whenever those things, and other things happen I smile because I know he’s with me. Someday we’ll be together again.

 

Keeping Your Word – Even On Social Media March 26, 2013

Mr. D is a meteorologist, bet you didn’t know that. Yes, he is an engineer, but his degree from Purdue is in Atmospheric Science.  Sounds fancy doesn’t it? When all of the news stations were predicting major snowfall over the weekend I rolled my eyes. When Channel 8 broke in during the NCAA tournament games on Friday I sighed loudly. On Saturday I couldn’t take anymore of the snow nonsense, I took to my Facebook page and posted this:

“Everbody is talking about all this snow we’re suppose to get. No offense to the weather people, but they’re never right. So if there is above 5 inches of snow at my house on the ground Monday I’m taking a picture of me laying in it in my bathing suit.”
I glanced over at Mr. D who happened to be sitting next to me when I wrote it. He looked at me and said “are you sure you want to post that?” I looked at him coyly and said “duh.” He said “I don’t know if you want to do that” I said “why, they’re always wrong, you know we’re not going to get that much snow.” Looking outside at the sun he shook his head as I pressed post. I got a few comments and likes, nothing unusual.
Things started to heat up about seven o’clock  Sunday when one of my friends asked if I was getting nervous. At that point I really wasn’t, it was snowing but nothing alarming, certainly nothing to make me think I was going to have to put my bathing suit on. My son’s school cancelled class for Monday, no big deal, they cancel for anything these days.
This morning when Mr. D told me he was going to shovel the driveway and go into work I thought nothing of it, he likes a shoveled driveway, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up I didn’t even look outside. I instinctively grabbed my phone to check out Twitter and Facebook. Lying in bed I noticed that my Facebook page looked like it had some activity so I went there first. I immediately sat straight up in bed when I started to read the posts. “6.5 inches Steph, bring it on!!” “Yup, we are waiting for that photo you promised.” “So..what about that picture?” “If you wimp out you will never live it down. Just Do It! “Peer pressure – Do It!” 
I thought, is this happening? I thought quickly, ran through some scenarios, then I stopped. I got up, grabbed the bathing suit I had on last week in Cancun (where it was sunny and 80 degrees everyday) and put it on. I looked at my hair in the mirror and thought, I’m going to need a hat to cover up this messy hair. What a joke.
I posted to my Facebook page “I’m not wimping out – jeez you people! Kameron (my son) will have to take it (the picture) it may traumatize him for life!”
I knew there was no explaining this to Kameron, I mean what do you say? So I yelled for him to come downstairs, I needed him to “do something for me.” He came downstairs and saw me looking outside in my bathing suit and said “MOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I laughed and said “I need you to take my picture outside in a minute.” He looked panicked and said “why?” I looked at him and said “because I made a bet, and I lost, so I need you to take a picture of me laying in the snow.” He said “who did you bet, betting is stupid.” I said “sometimes it is, but when you say you’re going to do something you better do it. People will remember if you said you were going to do something and didn’t do it.”
So I did it.
The funny thing is while I was sitting in the snow I thought Kam’s not going to forget this. The time he took his crazy mother’s picture in the snow because she lost a bet. Someone actually mentioned to me that he would never forget it. It might be one of those stories he tells a friend or maybe even his kids about me and I’ll laugh and say he’s full of it. I hope he does remember it, mostly I hope he remembers what I said about keeping your word. It’s an important thing, something I’ve always believed is extremely important. Life isn’t any different than business. If you talk the talk you better be able to walk the walk. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. A client may or may not forgive, but they won’t forget.
snow
Was it cold? Yes. Did it kinda stink? Yes. The reaction and comments I got on Facebook made it priceless, and I missed the mail lady by two minutes, can you imagine? Good lord.
Tonight I asked Mr. D if he was surprised I actually took the pictures. He said “no.” When I asked why, he said “it wouldn’t be you style not to.” He’s right.
snow1
snow3
 

Ashley March 8, 2013

My relationship with my sister Ashley has always been different. I’m thirteen years older than her. By the time she was six years old I was out of the house starting my crazy life, she doesn’t remember us ever living together.

ME AND ASH (2)

There was a little while when we were somewhat close. Before I got divorced from Kameron’s dad and before she started playing softball in high school. After the divorce and softball started our lives just went in different directions. Being thirteen years apart didn’t help. She was doing high school things, I was doing more grown up things – like working 50 hours a week – paying house payments – fun stuff grownups get to do.

One thing we do have in common was my son Kameron. She loves him and he loves his Aunt Ashley. She is his godmother, his confirmation sponsor, acting supporter, WWE update listener, sushi eating buddy, along with many other things.

Another thing we have in common was love for our Dad. There is no question that my sisters and I almost competed for our Dad’s affection. What I think the three of us all came to realize and accept is that he loved all of us very much, but had very different relationships with us individually. There is no question though when my Dad died it drew a line in the sand between the three daughters he left behind. None of us realized how my Dad kept the peace in the family until he was no longer there to do it. Devastation sometimes can bring people together, in my case it drove me further and further away from my family. What was already a different relationship between Ashley and I became strained, and then nonexistent.

All of my relationships changed after my Dad died. It wasn’t just with Ashley. I was lost, so lost that at times I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back.

Since I have made it back something unexpected and nice, very nice, has happened.

Ashley has been very supportive of me not drinking. If you would have told me she would be one of my biggest supporters I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have believed that. We also are big fans of The Bachelor. Ashley has come over to my house and we’ve watched a few episodes together. Next Monday (3/11) when Mr. D and Kam will be at the WWE Event, Ashley and I have our own little Bachelor Finale party planned. We’re going to cook a big dinner, talk at the t.v., and bask in all the drama that The Bachelor provides. I think we should bet too..I’ll have to come up with something. Not like bet on who he chooses, but bet on how many times everyone says “amazing” – an over /under thing on that might be cool.

It’s fun to have my sister to talk to and hang out with, who knew right?!?

I would just really like to say thanks Ash for being supportive, and watching The Bachelor smut with me. It means a lot to me!

I love you!

Ash & me

 

120 Days….. March 4, 2013

Have you seen the movie Argo? From the outside, watching trailers and such, it’s typically not my kind of movie. With all the awards it won and all they hype around it I decided to watch it tonight with Mr. D.

I’m so glad I did.

It’s based on a true story, so no spoilers here. We all know how it turned out. In 1979 the American embassy in Iran was invaded by revolutionaries and several Americans were taken hostage. Six managed to escape and hid out in the Canadian Ambassador’s house. Time was ticking away and the CIA decided it was time to get them out of there. That’s where Ben Affleck comes in as Tony Mendez. He devises a ruse based on complete bullshit to get the six out of there, and it works! I won’t give away the whole movie, but I highly recommend it if you need your faith in “nothing is impossible” restored.

Which brings me here. I realized tonight that tomorrow March 4th I will be 120 days sober.  Now, you might be asking yourself, what the hell does that have to do with the movie Argo? Bear with me, this post does have a chance.

When the embassy gets taken over by the revolutionaries the six people that escaped were just doing what they normally did everyday. The got up, went to work, and the shit hit the fan. Not unlike what happened to me. The shit hit the fan for me in November. Like me they escaped imprisonment (mine was self imposed,) even death, and found a safe place to hang out for 66 days. They were scared, tired, paranoid, mistrusting not only amongst the people that were trying to help them, but to themselves. I dropped off the grid basically for 60 Days during that time I was scared. I was worried about what people might think if I just told the truth.

While the six people are in hiding the CIA is wondering what the hell to do. They bring in Ben Affleck and after going over idea after idea of what might work, or what they could do to make this situation better Affleck comes up with the crazy idea to produce a nonexistent movie to get them home. He gets a couple of big wigs in Hollywood to back him, passports, new identifications for these people flies over to Iran pitches it to them and they say they’re not going to do it. Kinda like when I told my doctor I was going to “just stop drinking” and he said “do you know how many people say that to me and they end up right back here with me in six months?”

When the six resign themselves to the fact that they really don’t have any other choice than to trust Affleck they decide to go along with his plan. Then it gets hard, really hard. He gives them their new lives, their bios that Hollywood has decided will get them out of hell and back home. They have to become a stranger to themselves and everyone around them. Even to their spouses (there were two couples.) They can’t be who they are because who they are doesn’t get them out alive. By the way, they have to memorize their new lives and be able to believe it enough to blindside an Iranian interrogator (if needed) in two days. I had to reinvent myself. I didn’t know who I was going to be or if I would like who I really was once I (whoever the hell that is) came back. The idea of putting myself out there to other people when I forgot who Stephanie is without her liquid courage, scary.

After Affleck pitches the idea and the six buy into it. They start working tirelessly to become their new identity. When they’re ready to go, when it’s crunch time, the CIA pulls the plug. They tell Affleck not to go forward with the operation, they’re going to send in some Delta Force to get them and for him to come back. Taking the least risk, the easy way out. Trust me, it would have been a lot easier for me to make excuses and start drinking again. Affleck stays up all night, calls the guy at the CIA and tell him he’s going through with the operation and hangs up on him. The moment he decided he was going to go through with his plan, that for him there was no turning back, was a huge moment.

When I decided I wasn’t turning back was a huge moment for me. I wish I could tell you it was that moment with the doctor was when I decided I wasn’t going back, but it wasn’t. It was when I started feeling better, that is when I really had to decide. When you feel good it gives you the illusion that nothing is wrong and you start lying to yourself. You can start making excuses, it’s really easy, trust me. One drink can turn into five, I’m done living that lie.

The really weird thing is I have a crazy amount of will power. I wish I could give someone who needs a little will power just a bit of mine because it’s crazy. When I say I’m done with something, I’m done. I mean that’s it – period. Anyone that knows me can attest to that. I had to be done with drinking.

I am.

I really have to thank Mr. D. He’s put up with a lot and hung in with me. I would also like to thank the people who didn’t think I could do it, because I did.

(If you know someone who is struggling with addiction please don’t ignore it. I have decided not to go through a program, I just don’t think it would work for me. There are programs that DO want to help. It isn’t a no win situation, you can make it back. It won’t be easy, but I promise, it will be worth it.)

 

The Old Gentleman At Walmart February 26, 2013

There are few things that Kameron hates more than to going to Walmart with me after school, but not many. He would like nothing more than to have me just pick him up and taxi him straight home. After a long, hard day of middle school a teenager just wants to go home and relax.

To tell you the truth I don’t like going with him. It’s a pain. All I want to do is zip through, pick up the things that I need, and get out of there. When we do go together inevitably Kameron will get distracted by someone or something and it will prolong our stay. And Walmart, ugh..Walmart is pure hell. It doesn’t seem to matter which Walmart we go to something always happens there.

When I saw Kameron coming towards my car today he already looked dishevelled. He spent the weekend at his fathers house which means lack of sleep. He went to bed late last night. Got up early this morning, and has been in school all day (poor kid.) I knew he was tired and I knew he wouldn’t like hearing we were going to Walmart. I told him that we had to stop by there, he said “REALLY??” “Mom, I just want to go home.” I told him I understood and we were just going really quick. He heaved a heavy sigh as to say why are you doing this to me?? I got it, loud and clear kiddo.

Just for good measure I grabbed one of the hand held baskets instead of getting a shopping cart. He looked at me like I was serious – I was serious – Dr. Phil comes on at four o’clock.

We walked past the deli which was busy, I told him we would come back to that.  Cruising through the bread and coffee aisle I was feeling pretty good. I grabbed the coffee that Mr. D likes and we were on our way to the pasta aisle. I had almost rounded the corner when I noticed that Kameron was stopped in the middle of the aisle (distracted by the dreaded snack cake.) I also noticed an elderly gentleman with a Walmart vest on pushing a large broom down the left side of the aisle. I touched Kameron’s arm and said “excuse us” to the worker. He smiled at us and said “it’s ok.” Kameron grabbed his snack cakes and we started to walk away.

Then the gentleman said “he’s almost as tall as you now.”sed kad standing Which made me turn to look and see if I knew him,  I didn’t. I smiled and said jokingly “I didn’t need to hear that today.” He winked at Kameron and said “sorry mom, he’s almost got you beat, but you knew he was going to be taller than you anyway.” Kameron and I found ourselves walking with this old gentleman while he continued to talk to us. “How old are you now 12, 13?” I said “he’s almost 14.” “Fourteen” he said, “you look very smart.” Kameron was just standing there, I nudged him and he said “thank you.” We all stopped together in the middle of the store. The man propped his broom at his side and said “stay in school, it’s very important for a smart young man like you to stay in school.” Kameron nodded a yes, and I said “you’re getting pretty good advise here bud.” I smiled at the man and told him to have a good day and went on about our shopping.

There was something very familiar about that man. When I heard “he’s almost as tall as you now” it made the hair on my arms stand up.

sed kad2

 It’s exactly like something my Dad would have said.

I guess it’s time to face the facts (for real this time.) Kameron is getting older, and yes more than likely he will be taller than me.sed kad1

But he’s not taller yet.

 

Are You There God, It’s Me Stephanie, Again January 16, 2013

I wrote a post last year titled: Are You There God, It’s Me Stephanie

I would suggest reading that post first and coming back to this one. I’m really proud of that post. It was probably one of the first times I really opened myself up and let you into part of my crazy world. I’m about to do it again – so here it goes…

Confirmation. So I decided not to have Kameron confirmed last year. The reason I told everyone else, and even myself, is that it would be nicer for Kameron if he waited and got confirmed with his class. He’s the oldest kid in his class. I decided on a recommendation from the pre-school that he attended to wait one more year before sending him to Kindergarten. He needed to develop more socially, and he was sad because his dad and I were starting what turned into a very long divorce process. Waiting for everyone else to catch up age wise and get confirmed with his class was a much better idea….

Better for me, because I wasn’t ready to have God back in my life.

I wasn’t even slightly interested. Even though my first post had a glimmer of hope in it, and I was hopeful, at least that is what I told myself. Honestly, the thought of going into church again made me sick to my stomach. So I sold Kameron on the idea of getting confirmed with his classmates, and he bought it. Which bought me time, because time heals all wounds right?

Sorta.

At least in my case. In that situation and others I was still fighting my secret battles.

Last Friday email – subject – Confirmation. This email didn’t catch me off-guard like last years email did. I knew it was getting close to time to start having meetings about confirmation. The email confirmed that yes, it was in fact time to start meeting about confirmation. Meeting at school (not church) about the confirmation that doesn’t happen until April/May buys me time. I can do meetings in my sleep. I can do uncomfortable meetings standing on my head. Meetings are not my problem. Wednesday night meeting – sure thing! So I had it in my head confirmation meeting Wednesday night, I can be as enthusiastic as I need to be.

A few hours later I get another email – subject – Meeting Change. I thought I hope it’s not a meeting on Thursday, I already have something going on. A change of plans. Instead of the meeting at the school on Wednesday night, we are going to church to have mass with the Archbishop. I put my head in my hands and said (fuck) very quietly to myself. Mass, that’s my first problem.  With the Archbishop is another problem, the bigger the hat in the Catholic Church the longer the mass. I’m looking at a an hour and a half mass easy. At this point it’s fair to say I would rather stick a pencil in my own eye than to have to walk into church tonight.

I haven’t been to church since my dad died, that’s not an accident. I’m still very upset and angry about the untimely death of my father. Where was God when my father died right before my very eyes? I asked for him, I prayed to him, I begged him on that day not to take my dad away from me. Yet my dad was gone that day, and it changed me forever.

Going back to church to me in a way is like saying it’s all good between me and God again. Which it clearly isn’t.

Then of course there is Kameron. Kameron is young and still has faith. He hasn’t had his faith tarnished by life and its unexpected curve balls it likes to throw at us. Even though he was old enough to understand what happened when my dad died, it didn’t break him like it did me. In Kameron’s eyes “Pop” is in heaven with God, having a good old-time. As time has gone on Kameron’s mentions of my dad have become fewer and fewer. In a way that makes me mad, but in a way I have to be happy for him. Knowing that his school is doing exactly what they’re suppose to be doing in religion class. Teaching that we are all God’s children, and that he loves us, flaws and all.

So I’m going, but I am not happy about it. I’m not going for myself, I’m going for Kameron, I don’t want to disappoint him. I promised him that I would try to make an effort and go to church more often. It was just going to be on my time-table, which kept getting pushed back further and further away. Abruptly, it is in my face and ready for me, scorn and all, at 7:00 p.m.

I doubt I’ll have some kind of epiphany, but if I do, you’ll read about it soon.

SED

 

60 Days… January 3, 2013

Have you ever had something so devastating happen to you that it made you want to crawl into a dark hole and never come out again?

I can honestly say yes, that happened to me. When my dad died a big part of me died. I changed. Even with the support of my husband, and friends I seemed to be getting worse not better.

I went to my doctor almost immediately after my dad’s death. I told him I was depressed, having panic attacks, and problems with my acid reflux (which I already had.) When he asked about how much I was drinking I lied. Not only to him, but I lied to myself about my drinking. He prescribed me some antidepressants and told me to cut back on drinking. The antidepressants made me more depressed. I quit taking them and drank more.

I decided to go to a grief counselor about a year and a half after my dad died. When I met with her she was shocked when I told her that he had passed away almost two years ago. She was concerned because I was still so distraught and it was starting to affect my health. I was beginning to have GI problems. She asked if I drank, I said yes. When she asked how much, I lied. She suggested that I go to the doctor to get back on antidepressants. I continued to see her, but after a year I still felt stuck. I decided to stop going because I didn’t feel like I was making much progress and the bills were starting to add up.

I went back to my doctor and over the next several months I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and more blood drawn and tested than I would like to remember. My blood work always came out fine, some levels were a little higher than others, but nothing to be alarmed about. They found after I had the colonoscopy that I had some hemorrhoids that would flare up and bleed, but that could be fixed with more fiber in my diet and less alcohol. When I had the endoscopy I thought for sure they would find I had ulcers. When it came back that I didn’t I couldn’t believe it. No one seemed to know what was wrong with me.

Depression, stress, feeling sick all the time, and medical bills adding up at a rapid rate, can be slightly overwhelming. Alcohol helps that right?

Around the end of October I started feeling really bad. Another test, another colonoscopy, a different doctor.

Going in I didn’t feel the same as I did with my regular doctor. I had been poked and prodded without any real answer as to what was wrong with me.

During the interview with the nurse before the procedure I had to go through my medical history with them. When the drinking subject came up I decided to be very frank with them. I was tired of feeling so sick and if being honest about that one thing could answer the question that no one could answer over the last year I thought – the hell with it. So I answered it, honestly. When I did it was like I had put down a sack of bricks that I had been carrying around for three and a half years.

After the procedure the doctor came in to talk to me and Mr. D. I’ll never forget him because he looked like Colonel Sanders. He had the white beard and hair, even the glasses were a spot on match. He told me that I had a fatty liver. No scarring, no cirrhosis ..yet. He was very frank, which I actually appreciated (he probably heard I was a no-nonsense kind of person after talking to the nurses.)

Then he said something that I will never forget. He leaned over and looked at me straight in the eyes and said “if you don’t stop drinking you will be dead in two years.” Everything in my body stopped.

I had one single thought.

teenager

I sat there in silence for what seemed like forever. I imagined Kameron’s prom, his graduation, his wedding, and grandchildren that I would not be around to see. I saw Kameron’s face and I knew in that moment I would never want him to feel the hopelessness that I have felt for so long.

I looked at the doctor and said “I just won’t drink again.” The Colonel sighed and said “do you know how many people say that to me and they’re back in six months with the same problem they had before?” He was condescending. I could tell he was frustrated, he probably has said that to who knows how many people. I looked at him square in the face and said “you’ll never see me again.”

So today, on day 60 of sobriety I can honestly say I’ve never felt better in my life. I’m not going to lie, the first two weeks of not drinking was like the worst hangover I ever had.. it just lasted two solid weeks. After that I started feeling stronger everyday. All of my symptoms that I was having are gone. It really is amazing.

I always wanted my dad to be proud of me, and he was proud of me for many things I accomplished when he was alive. I now know this is the proudest he’s ever been of me, I feel it everyday.

I’d like to thank Shawnie Quick-Raflik for encouraging me to write this. I thought I might disappoint some of you, it’s a shameful thing to admit, that is why I waited to write this. The many of you I do know.. if I hurt you in some way I’m sorry.

*If you feel like you know someone struggling, please don’t ignore it. Even though I’ve chosen to take this journey on my own with the support of Mr. D, friends, and family there are places that want to help*

Much Love, SED