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Archive for September, 2010

They say it can occur in threes….

A few weeks ago, a local GA member lost his battle with several illnesses, stemming from his diabetes going untreated for years.  The same day he passed, I found out that the daughter of a different local GA member was diagnosed with cancer in multiple internal organs and they did not know how that was going, as it was Stage 4 when it was discovered.  The week after that, I found out that a good friend in the program in Vegas was also diagnosed with cancer of multiple internal organs, stemming from her instestines and was sitting at Stage 4 and inperable.

On Wednesday, September 22nd, they both passed away.  The daughter of the GA member and the Vegas GA member (I did a post about her).  A very old family friend also passed away.  She was the sister of one of my babysitters from when I was a kid.  Loved that whole family.

It was a sad week, but I had such a great trip over the weekend, I’m finding it hard to give myself time to grieve for the losses of so many great, insightful and wonderful people.  I’m sure at some point, I am going to sit down and cry my eyes out over Liz (the Vegas GA member).  I know I’m going too.  I just haven’t yet.  I feel it.  I feel the emotions bubbling and churning inside of me.

I’m hoping that when they finally do boil over, it’s not at work and not in front of anyone I don’t know very well, ya know?  I mean, even if it does, I’ll deal with it as it occurs.  I’m just hoping I’m going to grieve in private and not become a total basket case in public.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, I continue praying for the families, friends and anyone else effected by the deaths of Red A., Liz N., Cindy C. and Debbie J.  <3

Until next time…

There’s a lady I know…

Her name was Liz. 

She was in her mid 60’s when I first met her.  It was September 2001 when I walked into the meeting room at Nevada Power.  There was a row of older, white haired women who were sitting there hackling and making all kinds of noise.

She was British and her accent was awesome.  I loved listening to her speak at these meetings.  It was full of history and it was full of angst, humanistic behavior and love.  It was full of recovery and it was full of the disease of compulsive gambling.

Liz was many of those who walked before me into Gamblers Anonymous and kept those doors open for me.  I will be forever grateful she was one of those people. 

She adored me.  I don’t know what it was.  It could have been the time she was fussing at my aunt and I stepped in between them and told the British lady to back off before I punched her in the face.  Hmmmm.  I don’t know.  It could have been when we got into a screaming match at the business meeting over something that we disagreed on.  It could have been all the times I “mother fucked” the people at the business meeting.  Whatever it was, she loved me.  She adored me and Todd and spent a lot of time with both of us before and after meetings.  She always told people I was like a second daughter to her.  I loved that. 

When Todd died, she and I had a bit of a falling out.  It didn’t last long, but it sure got contentious.  She made his death all about herself, while I was trying to make it all about him, his mom and dad, his brother and the rest of us he left behind.  Unfortunately, it caused me a lot of resentments and I didn’t talk to her for a few months.

After I moved away from Vegas, I didn’t have any contact with her.  At all.  Until the National Conference was held here in Louisville.  She and a few other Vegas people came out for it.  I spent a lot of time with her then.  I got to hug her and tell her I loved her.  I feel good about that.  I’m so glad I went and I’m grateful I got those few short hours with her before it was time for her to see Todd.

About a month ago, she became ill and went to the doctor.  They discovered cancer in her stomach.  She went into a coma and then passed away last night. 

The world lost an abrasive, courageous, smart, beautiful, honest, blunt and wonderful person.

Rest in peace my Bizzy Brit.  I will miss you until I see you again.  Say hello to Todd and give him a bear hug for me.  Ya’ll keep each other company until it’s my time to join you.   You are now cured of our disease of compulsive gambling.  I pray that when it’s my time, I will be bet free for as long, if not longer, than you were.

Until next time…

Stairway to heaven?

These are the stairs I’ve been walking.  I skip one step each time going up and then I kinda of run/trot down the stairs.  My normal amount has been going up 4 times each time I do them.  I added two last time I did them.  I walk up the first level of stairs and then walk around the little area to the left and then walk up to the 2nd level.  I sometimes go two levels and then up to the next.  I can not SEE a difference, but I am sure feeling the difference in my stamina and endurance.

When we first started walking about six weeks ago, I could barely walk a mile without wanting to puke, ya know?  The last time we did the track at UofL, I did 3 miles almost effortlessly.  It’s awesome.  I love the way I feel after accomplishing things like that.  It keeps me going back to do more.

I haven’t done weight lifting or anything like that, totally just working on cardio and opening up my lung capacity.  I’ve noticed I am breathing much easier and I don’t have to use my inhaler as much.  I’m digging that!

My workout/walking partners do about double what I do and I’m okay with that.  They are used to working out and don’t smoke oh and don’t have asthma either.  So ya know, all things considered?  I’m rawking it.  I’ve heard these outside stairs are harder than the inside stairs.  Whatever.  The inside stairs (in the part of the right hand side of the building) go up seven flights and are dark and very “closed” in.  Makes me want to cry trying to do those stairs.  So I don’t.  I’ll stick to the outside ones!

I’m working my way up to being able to walk 5 miles or more.  This week at work, our schedules are all fucked up since I’m working 10+ hours per day to make up for Friday when I drive to Georgia.  I may end up being on my own walking at UofL.  Which is okay with me, but I’ll miss those stairs.  Yeah I know I’m crazy, but really?  Those stairs make me feel like a rockstar when I accomplish my goals with them.

Off to do homework I’ve been procrastinating on.

Until next time…

Slowly (or quickly) losing my mind?

I think I’m losing my mind.  Not really in a bad way, because I’m focusing on the end result of my goals with my higher education and career, but still losing it.

I am overwhelmed with the two classes I have right now.  I can’t seem to focus on both at the same time.  I try to focus on one class for a few days and then focus on the other.  However, my discussion boards don’t allow for this, so I actually have to focus on them both at least 5 days of the week.  I have to have at least 5 posts on the DB on five different days.  This means five days a week I’m reading, studying, etc.  I have to read my classmate’s posts and respond accordingly, etc.

Along with the discussion board questions (I have two DB questions every week in one class – sometimes three questions), I have a paper in each class I have to do and then I have the group project in the one class.  It’s horrifingly obnoxious, really.  I don’t know how college students do it who have more than two classes!  Oh wait….most young college students don’t have full time jobs.  Some might, though, so I’m trying not to get all single minded here.

Whatever.  I am overwhelmed.  This overwhelming feeling usually leads me to procrastinate on my school work.  It usually leads to me saying I hate being a college student.  But really?  In all honesty, I don’t hate it.  I’m just overwhelmed most of the time.  I only have a social life when I force myself to have one, which is a rare thing the last month or so. 

Work has been very calm lately and I’m digging that.  No negative energy to fight off and worry that it will transfer itself to me.  No out of the blue, “I hate you” type of tongue lashings.  Beautiful. 

My walking/work out regime has been going well.  But only when I’m motivated to go with the Taskmaster and his Co-hort.  If they aren’t walking, I don’t go.  I refuse to walk by myself or anything like that.  I am a stickler when it comes to my own safety.  People fuss at me for not walking when they don’t, and I just tell them I’d rather not tempt fate and walk with safety as my guide.  Ya know?

We’ve started going to the fire academy every other day.  This entails tower stairs and/or outside stairs.  I use the outside stairs.  The tower stairs?  Holy claustrophobia taking over, Batman!  My admiration for my firefighting coworkers has grown by leaps and bounds after trying those stairs.  Firefighting is not for me. 

I felt like I was suffocating in those stairs in the tower.  It was horrible!  While in training, they have to carry a 60 pound fire hose and run those steps.  Seven flights of stairs, several times.  Sometimes empty handed, but no matter what, they are in full firefighting gear when they run those things.  This would be 30+ pounds of uniform and equipment and then add to that the 60 pound hose.  No thank you.  Oh and in real life, they carry that shit INTO the fire.  No thank you.  I’ll push my pencil on this piece of paper and do my part of it.  Thanks.

Until next time…

So much grief and sadness…

I’ve been reading all these Twitters and Facebook posts about friends losing friends.  Best friends, old friends, new friends, just friends.  It breaks my heart for them.  My heart aches and I just want to wrap them in my arms and tell them what they are feeling is okay.  What they are feeling is absolutely, 100% allowed.  I want to tell them all that love transcends death and to continue loving their friend.  I want to tell them that I get it.  I get it.   

It all brings up my memories of when I found out about Todd and how I felt in the first week.  I was pretty numb the first few days after I found out he was gone.  I knew that he was gone, I just didn’t WANT to deal with the pain.

It brings me back to that moment when my friend SC had to life me off the ground because I had collapsed while listening to Todd’s dad explain to me what had happened.  Every single one of my friends who lost someone this past week is going through similar emotions.

Guilt.  Could I have known?  Should I have known?  Could I have done something?  I should have tried harder to get a hold of him that day. 

Pain.  OMG! The pain.  This can’t be real.  I feel like I’m being stabbed in the heart and the stomach.  It hurts to breathe.  It hurts to blink.  I can’t wrap my brain around this.  My head hurts.  OMG, someone make it stop.  Make the pain go away.

Anger.   Are you fucking kidding me?  What did he ever do to deserve this?  What did WE do to deserve this?  OMG I want to punch someone.  I want to slap someone silly until they hurt as badly as I do.  Those doctors from six months ago were idiots! Why didn’t they see this coming?  Or did they?  Goddamnit! I am so angry I could just spit nails.  He wasn’t supposed to leave!!!

Sadness/depression.  My platonic soul mate is gone.  Will to my Grace.  Jack to my Karen.  My best friend.  The best friend I’ve had in a very long time has come and done in a blink of an eye.  Don’t want to get up.  Don’t want to eat.  Don’t want to go to work.  Don’t want to deal with the stares.

Acceptance/remorse.  It’s so hard to believe he’s gone.  I still can’t breathe.  It hurts.  It hurts to open my eyes.  Thank God for my GA meetings.  Thank God for PEAP who set me up with a great grief counselor.  Half of my heart is gone.  I need to learn how to live with that.

Miscellaneous.   One step at a time.  One breath at a time.  One minute at a time.  One day at a time.  Holy crap, I have to go to California in August (2 months after he died) for a GA event?  Seriously?  I don’t want to go.  I don’t want to be reminded that we were going to go together.  Holy crap, the national convention is in October in San Diego.  I need to cancel his portion of the plane tickets.  Oh God, please don’t make me do this.  I don’t want to cancel his portion!  I’m so not going to that convention.  How did I let these people talk me into going to the convention?  The seat on the plane next to me is empty.  Empty.  Todd should be there.  This is going to be a horrible weekend.  Not looking forward to it. 

Made it through the convention.  Had a pretty good time, considering my emotional state.  Someone actually told me I should be over it by now.  Are you fucking kidding me?  It’s only been four months.  I’m going to be feeling this forever!  Let me remember him the way I want to remember him.  Let me mourn and grieve the way *I* feel is right for me.

These were just a few of the thoughts and emotions I went through 5 years ago when Todd passed away.

I am sending all of my love, prayers and positive thoughts to my friends who have lost someone this past week.  My heart aches for your pain.  Do not let anyone tell you that what you are feeling is not “normal” because it’s all normal.  For you.  Allow yourself to feel the emotions and walk through them.   Lean on people you can trust. 

Until next time…