Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Great Thanksgiving Had By All...

We had a great Thanksgiving.  All of my family and Charlie's family joined together for a meal.  My favorite part was my father's homemade yeast biscuits.  I could eat twenty of those things.  The turkey was so moist and tender and not at all dry.  And it wouldn't be Thanksgiving if it wasn't for lots of delicious casseroles.  

Dad was ready for me, as well, with lots of drugs. 

"You sure you won't take your Klonopin?" he asked me. "You will be less nervous."

"I am okay," I replied, feigning resilience.

Dad kept seeing my hands shaking nervously. I didn't want to take any drugs to mar the experience.  It was the first Thanksgiving I had attended in a long time.  Previous years I would stay home due to my social anxieties and wait for my mother to bring me a plate of food. 

My sister's daughter will soon be two years old.  She took the cake as the cutest member of our little entourage.  She would run and grab a toy to bring to me with the biggest, shyest smile.

Now, it is late Saturday afternoon and getting darker by the moment on this overcast day.   Football is on to capture most other's attention.  The much ballyhooed Auburn vs. Alabama game is on -- the big rivalry.  I am home wasting time on the Internet trying to avoid football if at all possible.  Hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving as well.     

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Stuffing that Wasn't

We all gathered around the table in the dining room for our thanksgiving meal.  Mom sat next to me with Al, Charlie's son, to my left.

"Is this supposed to be stuffing?" mom asked with her nose turned up high as she chased a morsel around her plate with her fork.

"It has sausage in it I think," I replied.

"Sure wish we had you father's stuffing."

My cousin Johnny insisted on making the stuffing from some frou frou French cookbook. 

"You will all love it!" he decreed. 

I just got off the phone tonight and me and mom were heartily laughing.  My father has joined the bandwagon. 

"Next year we are having mother's stuffing southern style."

I started clapping and mom did as well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Dope Man...

The phone rang at 7:30 AM.

"I am coming to get you to get your shot," my mother said on the other end of the line.

I hung up the phone after saying thanks for the call and muttered under my breath, "It's too damn early for this."

Once again, I put my life in my mother's hands and let her drive.  She was still asleep as well.

"How did you get harangued into doing this?" I asked her.

"Your father," mom replied. "He is afraid you won't go."

I chuckled.  I have been amusingly calling my father "the dope man" lately.  The amount of pills he wants me to take keep increasing.

"Don't you get tired of taking all these pills as well?" I asked mom.

"Your father would kill me if I even mentioned going off some," she replied.

"The dope man" was glad to see me when I walked into the pharmacy.  He pushed the green box of Risperdal Consta across the counter towards me with a devious smile.  Medicare part D was billed $524 dollars for this one injection. 

"You will feel better in a few hours," he told me. 

My shoulders slumped as dragged myself out of the pharmacy, into mom's car, and down to my doctor's office.  The good thing is that I am feeling better already.  I struggled with my anxiety attacks all weekend thus the lack of writing.  I have a love/hate relationship with all the medications I am on.  

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mrs. Complicated...

Mom has called three times this afternoon.

"I'll be there at five with your cigarettes," she said on the last call.

This lack of money I am forced to endure extremely complicates my life.  You don't realize how nice it is to just hop in your car to go buy something until you no longer have that option for a few years.  I try not to complain, though.  I have a pretty good life.  And the three dollars mom has been giving me is such a blessing. 

Mom came over yesterday and stayed for hours.  We had a good talk and at times I felt like her therapist.  She has been upset that my brother and sister never call her. 

"They only call your father and that makes me feel terrible."

"Well, they don't call me either if that makes you feel better," I replied.


"Isn't that the black man you used to hang out all the time with?"  mom asked me Saturday on a trip to Fat Albert's.

"Sure is," I said grinning.  "That is George."

George is now working at Fat Albert's selling lottery tickets.  He looked really good sobered up and dressed nicely.  Somehow, I just can't picture George working for someone else, though.  He is so fiercely independent.  

Friday, November 21, 2008

3 Dollars Richer...

Mom decided today that she will give me 3 dollars a day spending money.

"Don't you dare tell your father!" she told me scoldingly. 

The three dollars is to buy me two regular 20 oz Coca-Colas a day.  I was just glad for something, anything.  It will be fun to drive down to Fat Albert's everyday, see George, and to buy my Cokes.  I will have a new ritual.  

Helen took it upon herself to clean today.  She was worried my father was going to notice the lack of cleaning since he is over here every night.

"He's paying me to clean as you know," Helen told me this morning. 

Helen is cooking a chicken, cheddar, and egg noodle casserole for supper.  Mom has already been by twice hoping the casserole was finished baking.  Helen had asked me the other day what I like the most and I told her casseroles.   They are pretty easy to fix as well.   

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spontaneous Journeys...

"I really would like something good to eat," mom said this morning as I drove us back from Fat Albert's. 

My mother loves a good hotdog more than anything.

"Let's go to the Dairy Dee!" I said excitedly. "They have the best slaw dawgs I have ever eaten."

"Where is it?" mom asked.

"In Opelika," I replied.

It was a long, long drive, but well worth it.  Mom and I both got foot long slaw dogs and chocolate shakes.   It was a delicious treat.


I really appreciated all the kind and supportive comments yesterday on my sobriety birthday.  You people rock!  I couldn't have made it this far without your help, the supportive comments, and all the blogs I like to read.  There are tons of good AA blogs out there and I found most through Google Reader.    

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quiet Sobriety Birthday...

Mom and dad wanted to take me out to eat for my sobriety birthday.   My sponsor is mad at me for not letting myself have a birthday party at AA with the almost gold medallion.   I have decided just to stay in and do what I love most.  Having quiet time with Maggie and the Internet.  Mom did just go and buy me supper.  A Wendy's double with cheese and a large fry.   I am full and set for the evening.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Late Bloomers Literally!

It is Nov. 18 and we still have dandelions blooming.  Today is a cold and blustery day as well and it just looks odd and out of place. 

Bedtime Last Night!

Of All She has Going On...

Mom's been in the hospital with her mother these past few days.  Memaw thinks she is having strokes, but they can't find anything wrong.  I was sitting in my den this morning waking up when the phone rang.  It was mom on her cellphone.

"I miss coming to see you," she said. "I am stuck with mother and I miss Maggie and you."

This did my heart so good.  I was so supremely lonely this morning. 

"When will she get out of the hospital?" I asked.

"Don't know," mom said. "But your uncle is with me. He's been a big help."

There was a awkward quiet moment.

"I need to go, but I will come see you soon," mom said breaking the silence. 

"I love you," I told her. "I can't wait to see you over here."

"Love you back," mom said and she hung up the phone.

I am missing my normal rituals badly.  Things have been out of whack ever since my parents went to Washington D.C.  Like an autistic child, I am beginning to balk.  Let's hope things return to normalcy soon.   

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tony, A Voice that Needs to be Heard More Often...

Tony doesn't write often on his blog, but when he does, it is powerful prose. Tonight he wrote of his journey out of addiction and schizophrenia. Powerful stuff for those of us, like me, who are walking the walk.

Tony's Schizophrenia Corner

Through the Leaves of Fall...

The Home Guard is Recruiting...

Major Maggie in some patriotic poses. So far today we have staved off unrelenting attacks of pedestrians. Corralled one squirrel in the backyard. And dutifully gone on our rounds through the wild yonder behind the house.

The So-Called Sick Son...

My father swears something's wrong with me lately.

"For months you were quiet and now you are all needy! You came over to the house three times yesterday for diet Dr. Pepper! You usually stay at your house!  Are you taking something?  You haven't even asked for your Klonopin in days.  That worries me!"

Here's the part where he attempts to medicate me with one Risperidone and two Klonopin.  I took the pills with a swallow of delicious, wonderful, regular Coca-Cola.  

I have learned to stay quiet during these little interrogations.  I realize I am feeling better and more self assured and this confounds my family.  I am no longer playing that mentally ill, sick, confused son.  The role I have to play in my mixed up family to support the status quo.

I am feeling better!   

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Self Portrait #2

Winter-Like Sun. Goodbye Sun for Another Day...

Sunday Morning Rituals...

I walked into my parent's house this morning to the smell of baking biscuits and frying bacon. It has become a ritual for us to eat together every week. We fixed our plates full of biscuits, bacon, and strawberry preserves and sat down to eat.

"Joyce's camellia is blooming," I told my father in between bites of wonderful breakfast food.

Dad walked over to stand at the backdoor to see if his, too, were blooming.

"Mother always liked camellias," dad said. "She would always keep a bowl of blooms on her dining room table."

Dad talked a lot of football this morning which didn't interest me. I barely kept up with the Auburn game yesterday. I realize I would have a stronger bond with my father if I took some interest in sports. It all seems rather silly to me, though.

I left to drive home just as the hordes of church goers were leaving church at noon. Car after expensive car paraded by the front of my parent's house as I tried to get out in the road. It didn't perturb me. I thought wistfully of the quaintness of small southern town life and how much religion is important to that existence. I've thought often of if you can't beat them then join them. My thoughts on organized religion are an entirely different blog post and would violate one of my cardinal rules of blogging, though.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Don't Tango. I Don't Waltz...

Charlie's son, Alan, came to see me tonight.  It was a surprise visit and set my social anxieties into overdrive.   "What will I say?  I am not dressed for this.  Dog hair is every where," all raced through my mind.  Luckily, Al took the lead in this little social waltz or tango.   Gregarious as ever, he laughed and talked and I soon felt at ease. 

Maggie, on the other hand, thought little of this strange human with many muted barks and uneasy walks to try and sniff Al.  I had never seen her act so peculiar.  It was almost comical.

Al left and I sighed with relief.  I felt as if I had been on stage for 30 minutes performing.  I called Dad knowing he probably encouraged this to happen.

"Why didn't you tell me he was coming?!?" I blurted out over the phone.

"I knew you would back out," dad replied. "You need friends your age and Alan likes you."

I sighed as I hung up the phone and slumped down into my lazy boy as a Saturday night college game played on the TV.  I just wish these things came easier for me.  The anxiety is nerve wracking.      

Fall Arrives in the South...

Fall arrives with a flourish in the South.  In a matter of days, the leaves have turned color and begun to fall.  It always seems later every year.  I keep thinking October, but it is the mid of November.

A Pleasanter Moment with Mi Familia...

My father kindly brought me a plate of Helen's home cooking during our medication ritual last night.  Three fried fish fillets, lemon wedges, hushpuppies, cole slaw, and potato wedges.  We sat at my kitchen table as I ate and took my pills.

"You seem good today," dad said genuinely interested.

"I feel great!" I replied very exuberantly.  "I treasure nights like tonight."

I told him of watching the shuttle lift off earlier in the evening and how emotional it still makes me.

"Remember Challenger?" dad asked solemnly. 

"I was home from school after getting my tonsils out eating strawberry ice cream.  You were home from work.  We watched it on TV stunned."

Dad left after hugging me and kissing me on my cheek.  That's something that doesn't happen often.  I curled up in the bed with Maggie as I listened to Coast to Coast AM and watched Tru TV on mute.  I wasn't long before I was sound asleep to vivid dreams.  Dreams of past lives when I was still married.  I awoke to feel as if Rachel was in the bed with me.  I almost reached out for her to find only Maggie. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sunshine for the First Time Today. It has been dreary and overcast...

Vampire Romance + Teen Angst...

"Twilight!" mom explained after a temporary lapse of memory when I asked her what books she had bought today.

I had just driven over to get some soft drinks for my daily caffeine fix.  From what I've heard online, these should be some interesting books for mom to read.  I am wondering if she will like them.  She disliked Harry Potter.

Mom then asked me about my magazine on tropical fish.

"I always pick the most expensive hobbies to be a poor man," I told her chuckling.

"Well, maybe you will get an aquarium for Christmas," mom told me.

I wasn't going to get my hopes up.  Last year, I wanted curtains for my house for Christmas and they never materialized.  I never did get a Christmas present from my parents.  I just chalked it up to how much they do for me year round.  I really couldn't complain. 

As I was leaving, I walked downstairs into the foyer and then into the basement.  Inside the fridge was ANOTHER gigantic bottle of wine.  I muttered obscenities under my breath as I grabbed three Diet Dr. Peppers.  It had been almost a whole year and the desire to drink is still there.  Albeit muted.   A year ago, I would have drank the whole bottle as I stood there without a care in the world.  Is this some sign from above that I am getting better?  I do know that I will always be an alcoholic though.  There is no cure.  The obsession just lessens over the years I hope.   

Manning the Command Post as Maggie Yawns During a Lull...

Fish Supper, Anyone?

Helen cooked at my parent's house today.  Dad is having his cousins over tonight so she fixed a big meal for them.  She fixed her special fried fish supper which is delicious.  I hope to be the benefactor of some of her melt-in-your-mouth hushpuppies. 

Mom and I went to the book store down in Auburn today.  My mother is a voracious reader and constantly needs to resupply her books.  I was mainly interested in the magazines and specifically Tropical Fish Hobbyist.  I let my mother drive the whole way which would greatly interest my father.  It can really get your adrenaline pumping for all you thrill seekers.  

After a lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, I settled in front of my hobby desk and worked on some projects.  I need to get to the hobby shop soon as I am running out of things to do.  I noticed I chain smoke while working on model railroading.  Lots of cigs just burn up without me smoking them all the way. 

Maggie has alternated from laying outside to manning her command center on the back of the couch.  It always intrigues me how she knows the nefarious pedestrians from the good ones.  A hearty barking session is given at the bad ones. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Circle Goes Round and Round...

Step 13 : Rid yourself of relatives with pill fetishes.

I am so obsessive compulsive, and I take a pill for that, too!  It makes me uncomfortable when my father foists pills upon like he did yesterday.  It plays into that old alcoholic mind set that everything is better after a few drinks.  I am so weak of will that I will gladly take them in the hopes of feeling anything extraordinary.  I realize I am replacing drink with pills.  And the pills are coy and subversive.   My sponsor might just shit in his pants when I call him about this tonight.  We have talked of it often with me being not very open about it.   I don't want to go through another withdrawal like I did with alcohol.  It was terrible.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In One Ear, and Out the Other...

I was sitting this morning in my psychiatrist's office.  He was blathering on and on about my cholesterol levels and exercise.   It was getting to be grueling to sit through.  Finally, he moved on to my present problems.  I sighed with relief.

We kept my medications the same.  I weighed on his scales and am down to 205 pounds.  I have lost 52 pounds by just not drinking sugary soda.  My doctor and my father were very pleased.

As we were leaving the doctor's office, Dad placed two pills in my hand.

"Take these," he said. "You are going to need them.  We are going to see your great aunty Myrtis."

I smiled and took the pills with a gulp of diet Dr. Pepper.  All the pills did was make me drowsy and it was hard having conversations.  My aunt was in fine form for 92 years young making many racist comments about that "colored man in the White House."  She always makes me cringe doing that.  I have to remind myself that she grew up in a different time and place.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It Never Fails...

Just before my injection, I become an emotional basket case and make a fool of myself on my blog.  I get all sentimental, weepy, and whiney.   I should have titled this blog:  Ode to the Missing Parental Units. 

A new nurse gave me my injection today.  Rebecca, my old nurse, had her baby yesterday.  Luckily, it went without a hitch, the baby and the injection.

"You're done!" my nurse exclaimed.

I sheepishly pulled up my pants and ushered mom out the door. 

"I'm glad that's done," I told mom walking to the reception desk. "I will feel so much better today."

"Maybe, I need to be taking this shot as well?" mom replied always hoping to feel better.

The biggest smile broke out upon my face.  "That's my mother," I thought.  It is so good to have them home.    

Monday, November 10, 2008

Maggie and Sunshine!

Valleys and Hills...

I was lying on the floor a moment ago putting together a little bird feeder my mother had gotten me months ago.  Maggie did something very uncharacteristic of her as she walked over and started to lick me on my face vigorously.  "But Dad! You need a bath!" she seemed to be saying.  I giggled and swooned and cried, "Yuck!"  But I let her do it.  It was a special moment between me and my best friend. 

I realized I am suffering from a depression while my parents were gone.  I am so dependant upon them for everything.  I am out of gas.  Out of meds for my toothache.  And several other things.  I am also noticeably missing the socialization and social comfort I get so much from them.  Mom calls me several times a day many days and often comes over.  I count on dad coming every night with my medications.  This has been noticeably lacking from my life.  

I was reading "The Homeless Guy" today.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.  What is noticeably lacking from his life is any family support.  That must be such a lonely and depressing existence.  The more I read, the more depressed I grew until I left to read Upsy-Downsy's Blog.  I was immediately perked up by the suggestion to go out and get fresh air and sunshine.  And you know what?  It worked.  Me and Maggins headed outside for a little camera time.  I'll post that video in a moment.  Hope you all are well today!  I miss you all! 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Say Goodnight, Gracie!

Waiting on More Company...

Beyond Lucky...

I keep telling myself today that I am beyond lucky.  I feel down today and lonely for some reason.  I should have died that cold and icy February night I was drunk and wrecked my motorcycle.  That has been today's theme.  Trying to stay upbeat and happy.  I am incredibly lucky!

Maggie brings me no end to joy.  We were just laying on the bed and I thought about how lucky I am to share these times with her.  Yeah, my life could be better, but there was no better moment between dog and man just then. 

Things to be thankful for:

  • Always reliable and fast Internet.
  • Plenty of nutritious food and drink.
  • A home that's paid for.
  • A car that's paid for.
  • A family that, even though I've put them through hell, still loves me.
  • The programs of NA and AA that got me through so many dark times in my life.  Times I almost gave up hope and started to drink again.

I have a speaker's meeting only a fifteen minute walk from my house at 7 PM.  Maybe that's where I need to be tonight.  Even though I don't like the groups in town, they should have something to offer me tonight if just another AA goer's struggle with alcohol.   

Closeness... We Haz It!

A moment ago was one of the weird and odd times that Maggie was practically in my lap.  I was petting her and she was trying to sleep and listen for visitors at the same time.  Soon, a car door shut and she bolted into action.  It was Charlie. 

Maggie goes bananas at the sight of Charlie's, my mom's, or my father's cars.  It is the highlight of her day.  Kinda like Santa coming for small kids.

"Hey Maggie darling," Charlie said as if he was talking to a baby.

This encouraged Maggie to wiggle and whine even more vigorously. 

"I know I am early, but take your medications," Charlie said, handing me my pill pack.

I needed them badly.  We took my medications so early yesterday that they had worn off over night.

"How are you feeling?" Charlie asked.

"Bored and listless," I replied.

"I'm sorry," Charlie said, trying to think of things I could do.

I am pretty much stuck at the house since I am out of gas.  I didn't tell Charlie that or he would have filled my car up.

Charlie left and I felt really sad.  I didn't realize how lonely Maggie and I were until he left.  Hopefully, I can find something interesting to do online today.  I would go crazy without the Internet.  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Charlie, the Bringer of little yellow pills...

Charlie's been taking good care of me while my parents are gone.  He keeps bringing me more Klonopin.  I am usually only allowed two a week.

"Dad is going to shit in his britches when he finds out how much Klonopin you've given me," I told Charlie.

"I don't want you to get all crazy on me," Charlie said laughing.

We both then burst out laughing.

Charlie brings me gifts.  Yesterday, I ate entirely too much.  Helen's wonderful meal and then Charlie brought me a Wendy's double with cheese and a Biggie Fries.  My favorite part was the coke.  I don't get caffeine drinks very often.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Flat Out Tired...

Had my first flat in my new car today.  I had to work this morning.  I was heading home when I heard a strange noise and the car started to pull to the right. I pulled over to get out and look and it was a massive flat.

Luckily, I have a mechanical aptitude for these sorts of things.  I had the spare on in about ten minutes.  I used to go to school to be a automotive mechanic.


I was very pleased with the election results.  Let's see if we can all do great things these next four years.  


Helen called me a moment ago.

"Where have you been?" she asked worried. "Your father told me to check in with you while he is gone."

"I had to deliver a hospital bed," I replied.

"What do you want for supper tomorrow night?" Helen asked.

"Something fall-like," I replied. "Lets have turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, and that macaroni casserole you make so well."

"Oh, you gonna put me to work, eh?" Helen said laughing. "No easy meal for tomorrow."

"Helen, you could cook a dish rag and I would find it appetizing."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama's My Man!

"Obama's my man!" Helen said exuberantly as she was pulling clothes out of the washing machine and into the dryer.  "I'm voting as soon as I get off."

I smiled.  I didn't tell her who I voted for.  She didn't ask.  I've learned... don't ask, don't tell.  Politics are so personal and polarizing.

Mom was still in the bed at 10:30 PM.  They leave tomorrow for Washington D.C. to see my brother and his family.  I wasn't asked to go.  Such trips exasperate my mother causing much time in bed.

"Are you going to get groceries?" I asked as I sat down next to her on the bed.

"Noon," mom said with her cat, Muffin, laying on her hip. 

I walked in the bathroom to get my two Tylenol PM to take and today's dosages of regular Tylenol and aspirin.  That is my day so far.  

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

Maggie in Lamp Light...

Maggie has the right idea.  Bedtime!  I will be so glad tonight at midnight when I fall asleep.  Gonna find something on the Internet to do till then.

Trying not to be Bitter. Trying to be Positive...

I just drove to my parent's house to take my daily medications.  I was reeling in emotions on the short drive.   Dad also gave me my Klonopin which he so fears I will become addicted to.  I only take around two a week.  It is hard not to become bitter at all this and how I am treated.  My brother and sister are both Oncologists.  My father runs his own very successful business.  My mother is retired from teaching school 30 years.  Me?  My claim to fame was being the mentally ill drunkard son who lived in the woods, homeless.

My positive side is smiling today, though, in juxtaposition.   I have so much to be thankful for than to become mired in the negatives of my life.  I have a house and car that are paid for thanks to my parents.  I have an income.  I have extremely expensive medications that without, I wouldn't have any quality of life.  My schizophrenia is, for the most part, in remission. 

"You do so well these days," my father told me calmly a moment ago as I started to cry sitting in the chair next to him.

"I have so many regrets," I responded. "It is like a constant knife in my heart."

Dad held my hand, told me to dry my tears, and to take my medications.  I drove home wiping tears, but with a smile on my face.  I am still alive.  And there is always hope.  Keep hope eternal.   

My Favorite Animal...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunset from my side yard...

Lean Times in Andrew-ville...

For the longest time, mom would clandestinely give me twenty bucks or so feeling sorry for me never having any money.  It really made my living situation much more doable as I could get coffee, breakfast, or a burger when I wanted it. 

"I can't give you any more money," my mother told me today out of the blue, "Your father almost found out."

It felt like someone had hit me on the back of the head with a sledgehammer.  I didn't realize how much I leaned on mom doing that every week. 

"Are you mad at me?" she then asked.

"No," I replied. "It worried me, too.  I didn't want you to get in trouble with dad as well."

"What are you gonna do?" mom then asked me.

"I guess I will try to use my one year sobriety point as leverage to start getting money again."

"Sorry," mom said and she hung up.

You know what I felt?  So lonely.  Like the last person I could count on in life had given up on me.  I also felt helpless having little control over my own finances.  It can be a blessing and a curse.

Me in the Sunny Bathroom...

Here's me with my new glasses on. I also cut myself on the chin shaving this morning.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

2 Votes for 1...

"Who should I vote for?" mom asked me this morning.

"Haven't you watched any of the debates?" I asked.

"You know I don't watch TV anymore."

"I'm probably voting Democrat because I don't want the Republicans to privatize Social Security," I told her. 

"I will just ride with you and let you fill out my ballot," mom said still looking confused. 

I laughed jovially. 

"Mom, I can't do that," I replied. "It is probably illegal."

"Well, I will just vote Democrat," mom said looking pleased with herself.

"Okay," I replied shaking my head. 

I almost got two votes for the price of one.