Returning 2018!

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This year has been one of the best years of my life. That may seem surprising considering how poorly my mother’s sobriety is going (or not going at all). I refuse to let her alcoholism dictate my happiness though. So as I look back over the year, I look back with joy. I attribute that joy to two major things.

1.) I have the most supportive and incredible husband. He is the best part of my day.

He takes care of me. He challenges me. He loves me for me. He loves my family even though they are INSANE. I don’t know what I would do without him.

2.) I started this blog.

This outlet has been the most comforting form of therapy I have found to date. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I feel validated in my anger, sadness, hurt, and triumphs. I have become so much more self-aware of how my feelings towards my mother and my family are controlling and affecting other parts of my life. I have loved getting to know my readers and hearing from people from all over the world! It truly has been a beautiful learning experience. Thank you for being a part of it with me!

I am taking advice from myself and taking a break this holiday season! I will be back the first week of 2018 with I am sure many amusing, and not so amusing, tales from the holidays.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas of things you would like me to write about next year, please feel free to comment below or email me! Some of my favorite posts were suggestions from readers.

Take care of yourself this holiday season! Try to find laughter in the darkest of days and always remember that your life is worth protecting.

I have loved this adventure with you all and I am looking forward to starting fresh with you in 2018!

-Grumpy Sunshine

Follow me on Instagram @grumpy.sunshineblog, Twitter @grumpysunshine4, or on my Facebook page @Grumpy Sunshine.

 

 

The Hurricane of Addiction

The Eye of the Hurricane

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Have you ever been in a hurricane? I have. Small ones and big ones. The rain starts slowly and the wind begins to pick up. Most people have chosen to leave because they know the damage that could be caused but you decide to stay. Call it ignorance, call it stubbornness, call it bravery, whatever you want to call it, you are now in the storm. The wind has rattled your house, the rain has flooded your garage, and a tree has fallen in your yard. Nothing too devastating yet. But for a few minutes, maybe a few hours, it is calm. People start going outside and picking up the pieces, maybe boarding up their windows again. They do this quickly because they know the storm isn’t over. We are sitting in the eye. Chaos behind us and chaos ahead.

I am currently in “the eye” that is the hurricane of my mom’s alcoholism. Chaos behind and chaos ahead. She currently has no access to alcohol and has no means to get it. My dad is driving her to and from work. She is basically being babysat 24/7.

I know, and you probably know, that this is a Band-Aid covering a large open wound. This isn’t a long term solution nor is it going to help her get sober but for now, my dad needed this calm before the holidays pick up and his leash has to loosen.

Right now we are enjoying the peace but we are not forgetting all the damage that has been caused in the past few weeks. We are trying to fix the broken windows before the eye passes. Trying to get some rest before the wind is so loud we can’t sleep.

You know that scene in The Little Mermaid where the man on the boat yells “Hurricane’s a comin!” You usually have time to prep for a hurricane so the scene is kind of silly. You would think experienced sailors would know the signs that a hurricane was brewing? Regardless, that doesn’t mean they can stop the storm.

We knew my mom would be relapsing. We tried to prepare for it. We tried to prevent it but it happened anyway. It always does this time of year, which ironically happens to be hurricane season. The hurricane is “a comin”. The relapse is brewing. Who knows how long the storm will last this time? For right now, we are sitting in the calm. We are tired, we are worried, and we want so badly for the storm to miss us or pass us but that is unlikely. For now, we just pray for strength, guidance, and peace.

I wrote this because I felt alone recently with my frustrations until I reached out for help and I immediately felt safer, comforted, and stronger.

If you are in your own hurricane, remember you aren’t alone. Reach out to your neighbors to see if they have sandbags to protect your belongings. Lean on your friends if the rain damages your home. Seek out refuge if you are in danger. Don’t weather the storm by yourself.

Thank you for reading! Find me on Instagram @grumpy.sunshineblog, Twitter @grumpysunshine4 , or my Facebook Page, Grumpy Sunshine! Share if you think this would help spread awareness about living with addiction.

-Grumpy Sunshine

Do NOT Eat the Potato Chips!

Have you ever gotten completely upset about the most ridiculous thing? In reality, you  are just not addressing a much bigger issue?

Just me?

Well this weekend, I had my own little mental breakdown over potato chips, barbecue potato chips, just so you have the image in your mind.

My husband and I were watching TV yesterday afternoon and he gets up and goes to the kitchen. He comes back with a bag of barbecue potato chips and starts eating them.

“Sweetie, those are for your lunches. If you eat them all, I won’t have a snack to pack you” I said, hoping he would put them away.

“There is another bag in the cabinet. It’s fine” he said.

A normal response would have been something like…”Okay” or “If you run out, you will have to go to the store this week” or even the deathly “I may have to pack you fruit instead”. However, normal isn’t my style.

My response is to start crying, not just a single tear drop while I quietly wipe it away. Oh no. I burst into blubbery, snot dripping, hyperventilating tears.

“Babe” gasp “If” gasp “You eat all the” gasp “chips” gasp…..”you won’t like your lunches” gasp. Tears and mascara are running down my face. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My face turned bright red. I was seriously sobbing over the fact that he might not have a snack this week.

My husband is looking at me like I have lost my mind (rightly so). He jumps up and puts the chips away and comes and sits by me laughing. He hugs me because he already knows what I figure out after I calm down, that I am upset about something else entirely. I, of course, am even more upset that he is laughing because my heart is aching over the thought of him eating his lunch snacks when it wasn’t lunch.

Am I crazy? No I don’t think so. Was I really upset about the potato chips? No. My husband could survive with some yogurt or grapes that day but I had been holding in that cry since earlier in the week. I wasn’t addressing a much bigger issue and my brain decided I couldn’t hold in my frustration and sadness anymore, to my husband’s expense.

My mom has been lying about having her license. She said the judge gave it back. I had dinner with her and my dad this week and bluffed saying I knew she didn’t have her license because someone had told me. She freaked out but eventually admitted she did not have her license because she had refused to blow when she got the DUI.

We went in circles about why they hadn’t told anybody, how she was getting to work, and why were they lying. Frustrated that she was still lying and that my dad was enabling her lying, I told her that if anyone asked me how she was doing over the holidays, I would be honest. We will be seeing a lot of family and the subject is definitely coming up.

Her response was “Why do you want to hurt people?”

HA! ME???

“I am not hurting people by being honest. You are hurting people by putting yourself and others at risk while driving drunk. You are hurting people and yourself by continuing to drink and not seek treatment. You are responsible for any pain caused.” I said while laughing incredulously. I was so amazed that she was actually trying to blame me.

She shook her head the entire time I was speaking, like she was shaking what I was saying right out of her head. I was so mad. It was like talking to a five year old. She just kept repeating that I was being mean to her and that I was wanting to hurt her. Classic manipulation.

I am not going out of my way to tell everyone how terrible she has been but the least I can do is be honest if someone asks me. Lying for her for years clearly hasn’t helped. She is getting worse so something different needs to be done. I tried to explain this. She refused to see this as her fault at all and it was just me being “vindictive”. Could she be anymore textbook alcoholic?

After my good old potato chip breakdown, I realized I needed that cry. I needed to let out my disappointment and frustration with my mom. My husband is still not touching the chips but I think if he does, I will be able to manage 🙂

I try so hard to show people that my mom’s alcoholism doesn’t affect me. I try so hard to look strong and normal. I try even harder to pretend like everything is fine to avoid making people uncomfortable. I forget to remind myself that I am strong! Verdict is out on normal. BUT there is nothing wrong with being affected by my mom’s disease. We need to talk about things even when people get uncomfortable or nothing will ever change.

Sometimes dealing with the pain right in the moment isn’t ideal but don’t bury it down deep enough that you are sobbing over something insignificant. Don’t let it burden your heart to that point. Be okay with the pain. Share that pain! You are not alone.

Thanks for reading! Find me on Instagram at @grumpy.sunshineblog, on twitter @grumpysunshine4 or on Facebook at Grumpy Sunshine. Subscribe if you’d like to read more and share with anyone you think might benefit from my posts. I love hearing from people!

-Grumpy Sunshine

 

Humor Me

Let us delve into the deep realms of possibility that our loved ones will never get sober…

What would this mean for you to accept that concept?

What would it mean to acknowledge that they may never get better?

That this may kill them?

That their actions could lead to killing someone else?

That this is your life?

Does it mean that you may have to leave them? Does it mean that you have to give up the life in your head that you imagined for yourself? Does it mean you have to give up the life in your head that you imagined for them?

Maybe.

I am not married to an alcoholic, I am the daughter of one. My situation is slightly different from others. I can’t get rid of my mother. I can’t “leave” her. I am a grown woman. I live with my husband away from my family already. I can’t exactly break up with her.

I can set boundaries, absolutely. And I do. I have finally given up enabling the situation but I can’t cut all ties with her and run.

I can accept that she isn’t going to get better. It isn’t out of anger or hurt just being realistic. Accepting that this year was the hardest thing for me to do because it meant a lot of things I had planned were going to change.

My future children will not be babysat by their grandma.

We won’t be taking family vacations together.

My in-laws and my family will never be truly close.

I may be disliked by other family members because of the boundaries I have had to set.

My mom may die because of her drinking.

These are pretty distressing thoughts. These are also self-healing thoughts. Accepting that these things are possible, and most likely probable, has helped me let go of a lot of unrealistic expectations.

My sister, who is swimming in denial, can’t accept these things. For her, it would be too painful. She can’t imagine my mom not in her children’s life. She can’t acknowledge that we won’t be having a normal family one day. She is clinging to that hope/denial. I am not sure what you would call it. Maybe me calling it denial is my pessimism while others would call it hope is their optimism.

For me, letting go of hope…it was incredibly freeing. I cannot control my mom, only my response to her behavior. My sister chose her response to be one of hopeful wishing and I have chosen indifferent acceptance. Neither of us are “wrong” but some days one of us is stronger than the other.

Where are you in your journey? Do you think they’ll get sober one day? Do you think the damage in your relationship can be repaired? I love hearing from people and would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on instagram @grumpy.sunshineblog or find me on Facebook at Grumpy Sunshine. Share this post if you think it would help spread awareness or understanding.

-Grumpy Sunshine