Category Archives: Alcoholism

Deep Breath

Hello-

This week has not been all sunshine and rainbows for me. I’m struggling to get anything done on my final paper for grad school- I’m so mad at myself, and I know (my sister keeps telling me, DH keeps reminding me) that I just need to take a deep breath, relax, clear my head and move forward.  I have some axiety issues with this paper- I keep dwelling on my failures and I let it and every other bad thought fill my brain and overwhelm myself into despair and I start the cycle all over again… getting mad at myself for not getting anything done.

So in true me fashion I made a paper chain – enough for one ring per topic I need to cover in the rest of the paper, and each ring has a positive saying on it to keep me going.    🙂    Hopefully it works.  I’m feeling a bit better today, however I only got one topic completed (so far).

I’ve caught a cold that started on Sunday with a runny nose, that moved to my entire head on Monday, and now is in my chest today. I need my rest- I just stayed up too late this weekend and it did me in. I’m not looking forward to working this weekend at the hospital – on Friday I’m there from 3pm to 11pm, and on Saturday night/Sunday morning from midnight to 8am. Ughhh…. I’m putting in my two weeks notice once I get confirmation that my beta count has progressed normally.

Which brings my to my main concern (second concern behind the paper perhaps… nah, it’s my main concern)- I just keep waiting to start spotting/bleeding like last time. Each and every time I use the restroom (which is quite often, I’m drinking so much water at work!) my heart skips a beat with every successful outcome of no spotting!  I still keep waiting for it though, like it’s just around the corner- I read far much into every twinge and every absence of a twinge as a bad sign. I wish I could be more positive…

DH and I were talking this evening when he got back from group therapy (all is going sooooo well there, can’t thank God enough there!), and I figured up how many days of happy pregnancy I had last time with Aaron – 11 days until I started spotting from the time I had my first positive pregnancy test. Today its has been … well crap, it’s only been 9.

Well, I was going to write how much relief I felt thinking that I had surpassed my last pregnancy by two days without spotting, but I guess I was wrong… it’s only been nine days, but at least this time my boobs hurt!

So tomorrow I go and get another beta, just one to see how it’s all progressing- I’m hoping for anything over 3,500. A week ago my number was 712, and once the hCG count gets in the higher numbers it can take up to 96 hours to double so that’s what I’m going for. I figure shoot for low so I can be realistic, or happier when it’s higher I guess?  Here’s my math:

6/22 – 712

48 hours later – 6/24 ~1400 (once in the higher numbers taking up to 96 hours to double)

96 hours later – 6/28 ~ 2800

24 hours later – 6/29 ~ ?????? Hopefully above 3500

I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks for stopping by!

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Filed under Alcoholism, Grad School, Infertility, Miscarriage, Pregnancy

Let’s Catch Up…

Hello- I’ve been absent for a while, no particular reason… just didn’t do my blog thing!

Well to let you in on what has happened since the first of April here’s a the run down:

  • I don’t really know what happened throughout April… it came, it went. No big news worth mentioning.
  • Towards the end of April while still trying to lose weight (I use the term try loosely, but I did have my biggest step forward in the last week of April) we attempted IUI #3. I was on 100mg of clomid, and felt just as I usually had, but when I had my mid-cycle ultrasound we found 5-6 mature follicles and my RE canceled our cycle. This left me a little completely pissed off- can’t figure out what’s our deal but I can sure produce the follicles!
  • The canceled IUI cycle came right after I caught my DH completely drunk. He “wasn’t very hungry” at dinner and barely ate a bit of pizza, when the man loves pizza, and he was oddly talkative and eager to help clean the house in preparation for Bunco the next evening. After dinner he went down stairs to shower and then I heard it- he was throwing up quite profusely. I took the poor guy a glass of water, and he couldn’t deny that he was completely blitzed. He confessed to downing 14 beers in the 15-20 minutes it took me to call him, go to the store, and drive home. We had many hugs and tears, and finished cleaning the house…
  • In the next coming days, between having the longest transvag US (ultrasound) and subsequent canceling of the IUI cycle, I gave DH an ultimatum – After three years it’s beyond time to get help or we will separate until you do! I slept in our spare bedroom the next two nights and went home over the weekend. There was never a struggle from DH, he just needed time to work through it all. He called and made an appointment for an evaluation.
  • The evaluation was yesterday, and I got to sit in on it. Last year, at the same location he went and they recommended about four weeks of individual meetings once a week… he did well for about 4-5 months, and was right back into it- and you all have seen the amount of damage he’s done since then! This time I am pleased to say that DH will be attending outpatient group therapy twice a week for 9 weeks, and then do once a week individual meetings after that for about 4 weeks!  Praise the Lord, I think this will get, and hopefully keep us on a good path for quite some time!  We will also be seeing a therapist for couples counseling and working on our communication.
  • May 9, 2011- would have been my due date for my first and only pregnancy that ended in a blighted ovum. After watching a program on three couples path through IF we were inspired to name our baby. Took a couple days to think of the perfect gender-neutral name for my perfect baby-angel, and then it hit me… Aaron! Aaron is named after his/her father’s middle name. And I know that the more common female version would be Erin, but I am just really fond of the double ‘a’, and fully believe that if our baby is a girl, she’d be perfectly capable of pulling off Aaron. So Aaron, my perfect baby-angel, was remembered quietly the day after Mother’s day- it was a very hard weekend, but I’m so much more at peace knowing he/she has a name (not to mention, that if the Rapture does occur this weekend, I’ll get to see my Aaron! And for the record, I believe that no one knows the day/time Jesus will return- only God)
  • In terms of our fertility path we came up with the following plan that I am pleased to announce:
    • We have one more IUI cycle covered by insurance, and we will cash-flow another through the summer months. In this cycle- IUI #3.2 (ha ha, get it, like software updates since we never really had a #3, and yet this isn’t #4- oh, so witty today!) I’ll be taking Femera, and doing the mid-cycle US with an ovulation trigger shot.
    • If not pregnant we see about doing a laparoscopy to see about endo/adhesions. I think this will conveniently occur during the weeks between our summer and fall semesters. Now this could go two ways- completely normal, or riddled with endo. If I do in fact have endo, then we’ll clean me out and try a couple more rounds of IUI. If not, then I guess our next step in this process would be IVF… but hello $$$$$, it would take us about a year to save up the money for IVF.
    • So we have decided to start our family through foster adoption in the event that IVF becomes our next move to having biologic copies of ourselves!

I am super psyched about this path! For the first time we have an actual road map… with an exit, or rather a new direction to our destination!

I do want to clarify that I don’t see any potential foster child/adoptee as consultation prizes, nor do I see them as an appetizer to hold me over until we can afford to have IVF or have any biological children. I see and know many children who have come from the foster care system and are thriving with their forever families- and I want to be that, and I have that capacity to fully love and accept a total stranger into my home and heart as my own!  To be honest, I am almost strangely more optimistic/excited for our foster adoption path than a successful IUI cycle?! Weird, but I think it just feels so much more  promising and finite. There will be an end to my yearning. When we take that step I can be so much more certain that a child will join our family. This won’t be without it’s bumps and share of heartache I’m sure, but neither is month, after month, after month of BFNs!

So that’s where we are at- IUI cycle #3.2, a name for our baby-angel, a plan for a family, and a plan for my man!

Life isn’t perfect, but it is looking brighter!  I feel good!

Thanks for stopping by, stay tuned for an exciting summer! And if you have insight to the foster-adoption system, I’d be very grateful for any help or information!

Much Love-

SeekingShirley

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A New Plan…

One thing I am very grateful for is my husbands resilience- I throw so many ideas his way and he just roles with the punches very well.  On Monday I was ready to put it all on the line and sign up for foster-parenting or foster-adoption. DH finally admitted to me openly that he does not think he could handle kids coming and going, and I realized that I’m not ready to provide the level or type of care required by many children in the foster care system. Although I really, really, really want to care/love/provide for/help/mother any living breathing thing near me, I need to do so for myself first.

For example: I’m a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy diet- with minimal artificial flavorings, colors, preservatives, etc. I believe that a good diet can do wonders for the body and mind (DH and my MIL are living testaments to this- they treated DH’s allergies and ADHD as a child with an additive/preservative-free diet). So I have it in my  mind that our children will be tortured with the same healthy diets that we as children were subjected to! However… I don’t do that now for myself, so what makes me think that I will do it when I have the added responsibilities and stresses of parenthood?

One of my passages from If at First You Don’t Conceive, by William Schoolcraft is the Inner Love Meditation – its all about the Eastern traditions of motherhood- it helped me to see that even without actual children in my care I skill possess and use all of the mothering characteristics. Caring hands, loving eyes, an open lap, and a heart that knows no end. Reading this passage helped me to see that I am already a mother- I would give my life quite quickly and without thought for my nephews, grandcousins, and grandfriends (children of my friends = grandfriends, like a grandmother and a grandchild. Same logic applies to the grandcousins), I’ve known a positive pregnancy test and that feeling of elation, and when I was pregnant and during my 2ww’s I avoid all things bad.

So why don’t I do this all the time?

I have all the eggs I will ever have- all the DNA I could possibly pass on is with me every second of every day and is subjected to whatever I put into or do to my body.

With that in mind, yesterday I hit up the DH with another idea… let’s hold off a cycle and work on ourselves first. We are only covered for three IUI cycles per year with our insurance, so we have one left and I want to make it count! I’m going to take this next month and establish good eating habits, a healthy diet, and a good exercise regimen. I’m also going to work on my mental health- how could I help teach a child how to deal with anger, disappointment, and responsibilities if I don’t handle them correctly myself. Hopefully with some weight loss and overall better health, the third time will be a charm!

I hope DH takes this time to seek help for himself and his alcoholism. I’m very scared that trying to have a child has not been enough to make him want to get better, a huge wreck was not enough, and I’m pretty sure that dealing with a pregnant me and subsequently a child later on will not be the magic kick in the ass he needs to get help. So I’m praying he will find the strength to fight his demons this month with me as we take the stress of ART out of the picture for a moment.

Here’s to health and happiness for us all!

-SeekingShirley

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Random Thoughts by Me!

  • I am not scared that my biological clock is ticking and about to expire… I’m more scared that the world will end in 2012 and I won’t have a child by then. Funny thing is I don’t believe anyone knows when the world will end, I just hope it’s not 2012!
  • Perhaps God is holding out on us because I haven’t completed my research paper for my Master’s degree.
  • Maybe He is waiting for DH to seek help for his alcoholism.
  • That makes me wonder if my miscarriage last fall was a little wake up call from the Big G to get our shit in gear… all three statements are ludicrous, but hmmm- ttc for nearly three years, working on degree for three years, and DH has been off the wagon for- you got  it, three years!
  • We’re going to have a conversation about foster parenting to adopt this afternoon- I think I’m at my ropes end, my house, arms, and life are just too empty. I have a lot of love to give to a child(children) in need, and I think I can take the devastation if/when they are returned to their family. At least I would have had a time, a special time, and a connection with someone in need of love and care.
  • I’m making a bracelet for the IF communities “Common Thread”, and my biggest question is what type of braid/knot I want to make. Even more, what kind of braid or knot I want to use for my friends/family going through IF. It’s harder now then it was when I was 12!

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Filed under Alcoholism, Grad School, Infertility, Miscarriage

Love my Husband by Detaching and Thinking of Nobody by Myself? Thoughts on Codependency

How the Co-dependency Movement Is Ruining Marriages.

The above link to an article by Willard F. Harley Jr.  may have just saved my day. I’m very confused by the codependent doctrine. I understand that my life needs balance,  I can’t spend day after day worrying and seeking resources for my husbands illness when I have my own work to do. That I recognize and I am trying to work on my ability to focus on important things (of course, writing this during my work day is pretty counter productive to that statement).

But I have never understood how separating myself from my husband would benefit him. He has an illness, you wouldn’t leave your husband and focus on just yourself if he had cancer! Such self-centered behavior does not convey love, understanding, and support in my opinion. So I battle with the message of codependency and my own feelings on how to proceed in an alcoholic marriage.

So today I feel beaten down, can’t concentrate, no motivation, overwhelmed, life is just a little too much to handle right now. I need my husband, my friend, to bare the burden, but he is not able to right now. The Harley article was very helpful in helping me to understand codependency in terms of an alcoholic relationship. The first section speaks right into my heart- avoiding codependent behaviors is incredibly selfish. But add alcohol addiction to the mix and it makes a bit more sense to me.  My love and caring is being sucked in by my husband’s alcoholism, and the alcoholism prevents him from returning it fully. I can bring all sorts of ideas and resources to him in hopes that he will get better, but the decision to get better is on himself, he must take the steps necessary to his recovery. I cannot help him. I can love and support him in his efforts, and that’s what I intended to do.

I hope you all can find a healthy balance in your life. It’s not all about ourselves, and it’s also not all about our loved ones.

Happy Balancing Act!

SeekingShirley

 

 

 

 

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Feeling totally Wrecked – just like our 4-Wheeler

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So here’s how my Saturday went: 5:30am wake up, 7:00am start a 16 hour shift at the hospital- busy day, didn’t get to sit/stop much until 10:00pm, 11:20pm make it home and I am greeted by my husband outside and he tells me this:

He wrecked our four-wheeler… about 20 minutes ago. He’s fine, his worst injury are two deep gashes in his arm, a sore knee, and a whole lot of road rashes, scrapes, and bumps.

So he wrecked the the four-wheeler and I’m wrecked with emotions. I asked if he had been drinking and said no, but what else would reduce the inhibitions and reaction time of a generally sane, safe- albeit risk-seeking man who on any other day of doing Lord knows what would be content to watch SportsCenter and reruns of Bones and Law and Order.

You should see the aftermath- I guess he went bombing down the field next to our house and he didn’t think he was coming up to the road that soon. Our roads are surrounded by bar ditches- he first went down the one side and then up the other side of the ditch which sent him flying – like he had jumped a ramp- over the road and he went nose end into the other side of the ditch, went through a a barbed wire fence (which is held up by big stone posts- what if he would have hit one of those!), and rolled end over end into a wheat field.

How he survived I don’t know- there are so many other outcomes that could have occurred. My chest, right in the middle of my sternum, ached last night as we were walking to the wreck and trying to load the four-wheeler onto a trailer. The ‘what-ifs’ are so horrible- I could have driven right by a dead or greatly injured husband and I wouldn’t have ever seen it.

I am Mad- Our stupidest purchase is now junk- we owe $4000 on the four-wheeler still. We were going to sell it to get out from under it on our quest to be debt free. Now- I wrecked the four-wheeler last May and so I’m not mad that he wrecked- when you ride long enough on a toy like a four-wheeler you will wreck. I am mad that he was going so damn fast – at night – without a helmet – by himself – and what I believe to be drunk. I am mad that I think he lied to me.

DH was always very open about alcoholism before he fell off the wagon. He introduced me to the AA definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I can’t help be see the same things happening over and over again. Many times when I am gone all day I return home to a drinking husband. This time he seriously hurt himself.  I’m very blessed (I guess) that he is rather safe with his drinking- he says he doesn’t drive and I generally believe him- for these days/nights alone he stays here at the house- he’s a home body. So I’ve never really been scared for his life. Last night changed all that.

Today has been a dreary dreadful day- the sun hasn’t shown once, it started snowing again, and we are both sore and just plain sad.

I want to talk with him so much- express my concern and encourage him to seek help. A year ago he went to 6 one-on-one counseling sessions for his relapse. His counselor encouraged him to attend AA meetings to keep him focused- he does not want to go to meeting. I have encouraged him to find a counselor to see on a regular basis, and he won’t do that either. I have encouraged him to seek support groups on line (you know I love mine!), and he won’t take the initiative. I know you can’t make an alcoholic seek treatment- they will not change until they are ready, which is generally rock bottom. So how do I raise his bottom- I’m not willing to leave him, and he’s fully capable of supporting himself.  All my “knowledge” on this type of situation is from Intervention. This situation is so different from many of those sad situations.

I’m hoping to talk with DH tonight while all this is sorted through my mind, and it’s still a fresh subject- I hate bringing up stuff like this days later. It’s not going to be easy, but life and marriage aren’t ment to be easy all the time I believe. It helps us to appreciate the good times, and I can’t wait for the good times in our future.

If you have any advice or know of any sources of information- I’d really appreciate it. I’m going to go attend my Al-Anon meeting on Thursday and search through my materials in the meantime.

I hope your weekend as far better, and if it was equally as shitty- I’m here with you.

-SeekingShirley more than ever!

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Soul Food {and Drink}

Hi there… Yesterday was a tough one.  I found a letter from our water provider to remind us to pay our water bill…  ever so conveniently hidden by it’s self in drawer in the garage. This did not make me happy, in fact I was quite pissed (which is my favorite four-letter word… well piss is a four letter work, but you get the gist). DH is responsible for the water and electrical bills, and I try to help remind him when I can- which makes me feel like a nag, but his track record is pretty poor right now.

Geesh- everything I put on here makes him sound so awful… but he’s not! He’s a really great man, just consistently hides the truth when it may disappoint me. This irritates me to no end, and any time I confront a situation he sits on a couch or chair, looks down, and the only thing he can say is “I don’t know” and “I’m sorry”

Some of you might be thinking this is a pretty sweet deal- a man who will immediately say he’s sorry and nothing else!  I say far from it… it’s a one way conversation in a two way marriage.  It makes me feel awful like I’m disciplining a poor defenseless child or puppy. I need my man to be my man and be responsible and act like the head of household that I need him to be so I can work on everything else in my life without having to wonder if he really did pay that bill or not.

So irritating! And knowing that our first IUI cycle did not work it sent me over an edge… I really wanted a drink. I read about other couples when they find out they’re not pregnant once again they open a bottle of wine, or have some coffee together, or go out with friends and take their mind off of the devastating news. Well, when your husband’s an alcoholic you cant do such things, and when he only drinks pop and energy drinks having a nice cup of coffee or hot tea together doesn’t work either.

I’ve associated food and drink with many social and familial interactions. Coffee in the evening (yes, the evening) or on a Saturday morning with my Mom and aunts, or with my friends on our way to class in college- it’s a warm, delicious bond. Fried chicken on Sunday’s at Grandma’s house was the perfect compliment after church. Don’t get me started on home-made ice cream on a hot summer day to celebrate someone’s birthday!

And then in college drinking with friends- having a beer with Dad- offering one to my future husband the first time I met him and being taken back by the fact that he didn’t drink, yet here he was… it was amazing!

I love sitting around a table or out on a porch with a drink in hand surrounded by family and friends! It’s amazing, it’s lasting, and I’m thoroughly lacking my soul food and drink fixes.  Not to mention the family and friends- I miss them. I’m bitter and I’m alone- can’t say it’s all because of my life’s issues, but being the childless wife of an alcoholic hours away from your home town family and friends doesn’t exactly open the doors to truck loads of social invitations.

Ok- so my best remedy is to invite people to drink coffee, or to a party… but I don’t think parties are good right now. I’ll stick with coffee…

Thanks for listening. If you have words of wisdom on dealing with such situations I’d love to hear it!

-SeekingShirley

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