Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear DALLAS
Happy birthday to YOU!!!!
Happy birtday, girl!!! I hope you are enjoying yourself, you sure deserve it. You have certainly turned your life around. Are ya going out to dinner or doing anything special?????
The hubby, kids and i are all going to a "fair" this evening. It is a country-type fair with crafts, tractors, good food, rides and other stuff. It will be nice to go out and show off my new smile and get some of that fall-time night air. My two yr old has his first "real" cold. He was up alot last night with a fever and whining, a llllllloooooooonnnnnnngggggggg night!
Anyway--my little one seems to be bouncing right back, he is fever-less and up and around, just a little stuffy nose. Must be all the fruits and veggies he eats, he prefers them over any other type of "junk" food, so i guess i lucked out!
Well I hope you have a FABULOUS evening and live it up.....you are SOBER and well.
Thank you Lisa, Rockingham...and Michelle from another thread!
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes, your thoughts and words really do mean a lot to me. It's like you said, Lisa, I do feel as if I know many of you and I do have pictures in my mind of what everyone looks like, and I sincerely consider you all my friends, even though for now it is in the "virtual reality" sense! Seriously, you all have made such an impact on my life, that there is no other way to think of you than as a very good friend of mine.
This birthday was so different from my b'days of the past. My last b'day that I had that did not involve pain pills was probably around when I turned 18. Ever since then, I've always had a way of getting pills for "those special days!" Ick... I remember the pills and what kind and how many from most b'days, but I don't recall the people or the events of the day, so I hope that this b'day will be the start of a new tradition and I will always have different memories to fill my mental scrapbook with.
How I spent my day...well, I went to the clinic and took my dose, then I stayed for my first group meeting. It was so wonderful! There were only 4 of us, and then the head of the counseling dept. to lead the group along with the meth clinic director. We did an exercise in cognitive behavior, and I found it so enlightening and also a reality check that I've only begun to scrape the surface of this thing known as addiction. We had to write down an event that triggered an angry response in us, and then discuss it and learn a different way to handle a situation like that if it were to ever happen again. Well, when they got to me, and I read them mine, I heard lots of "oh man," and "oooh, wow, really?!" My anger inducing situation was my relapse in August...so I wrote down "Using for a migraine last month." I got so much help and the group focused primarily on my example, although we did go through each person's example as well. I guess because mine was an admittance of using, it was a good one to address for a group of addicts. So I spent my morning with strangers with whom, by the end of an hour, I felt they were no longer strangers. One was a 22-yr. old man who had been an addict since he was 15...got into his mother's demerol at a very young age. Another was a woman much like myself, she is 40 and addicted to pain pills, but the mind-blowing thing is that her husband put her in detox for 5 days and now thinks she's "cured." Little does he know that she is on methadone! She waits till he's gone to work and her kids are in school and then she comes to the clinic. I was so surprised, and I asked her why she didn't tell him? Her answer was, "he'd kill me..." I felt really bad for her. The other lady was a 40ish Latino woman who reminded me of Charo! Her accent, her energy, all of it! She was so cool, and her anger inducing moment was when a lady whom she is letting stay with her until she gets back on her feet, took one of her last 3 packs of cigarettes and left a note and some money in its place. We spent a lot of time talking about her rational and irrational reaction and thoughts about what happened, and she ended up realizing that it wasn't the actual incident that caused her this much anger, it was that she expected this lady to know that what she did was beyond her personal boundaries with respect to her belongings, etc. It was quite an eye-opening session that's for sure, so my present to myself was going to a group meeting where I learned that contained within most actions an addict does is either an expression of love or a seeking of it.
There was an hour+ long conversation of unconditional love and support with my sister, who is ten yrs. older than me (the one w/the incestous ex-husband). It was great talking so openly and honestly with her ! Then there was a call from my kids who are at their dads and it was filled with "I love you, mom" and "happy birthday, see...you're not old!" sentiments. Another call from my ex's aunt and uncle to express their love and best wishes, and then a coming to this board and seeing a birthday thread started by my anonymous support group pals! All of this is so strangely overwhelming, and in all honesty, a meeting with strangers, your posts and these calls were the best presents I could have ever asked for.
So today I celebrated my new life and the realization that if I had kept on the way I was going, I may not even be here to have this day. My job at the mortuary ended (thankfully), but I know I was sent there for a reason, and I took with me what I was suppposed to learn...the value of a human life. I started a new, full-time permanent job last week and they waived the 90-day probation period for health insurance, and offered it to me Friday, and said they will pay 100 percent of it!!! I haven't had insurance for 5 years, and I almost cried (well, I did, I just waited until I was out of the office...) It has truly been, for the first time, a birthday I can celebrate by looking back on what I've accomplished in this last year and be able to say that I feel I've accomplished a heck of a lot for an addict. I have gone from being unemployed, uninsured, and a full-blown pain pill addiction full of depression and suicidal thinking to being gainfully employed, insured, and no more thoughts of pills and the craziness that surrounds it. It was a very good day indeed ...
I also celebrated having my senses still about me, and having at least the sense to not lose my house by spending the day at home after the meeting and doing some "puttering" and cleaning...after all, this is my home and this is something I own and it deserves some respect and appreciation for giving me a comfortable place to live and grow and learn. My sense of sight I celebrated by watching the sunset and viewing the almost-full moon thru my backyard telescope as well as looking into the eyes of my counterparts in this mtg. today; my sense of hearing I celebrated by listening to some tunes of my past, my children's voices, and listening to my baby cat purring as she slept by my side this afternoon; my sense of touch I celebrated by feeling my children's hugs, my cat's soft fur, and my ability to click on these keys and communicate with you all; my sense of taste I celbrated by tasting my methadone and aknowledging its role in my new life, and later, by eating my dessert before my dinner simply because I can ! My sense of smell I celebrated by smelling the carnations I bought for myself along with a "sunshine" scented bottle of hand lotion to take to work! I am relishing in my aloneness rather than wallowing it it, and tomorrow I will go to a depression glass show and even if I don't add anything to my collection, the beauty of the glass and the history behind it will stimulate my senses all over again.
I have finally found that I can have my b'day cake and eat it, too...and so with all my love and respect and thanks, I wish you all a good night and a wonderful day tomorrow. It is a tried and old cliche', but stopping to smell the roses, or in other words simply appreciating what we have and what we didn't, as addicts, do today, can be quite a big reward for time spent and often wasted on other way less important things. And that leads me to my final celebration...today I didn't take any pills, nor did I even think of or desire them. If you would have asked me 3-6 months ago how I would feel at 47, I would have said the then-obvious thing, "old," but today I feel very much alive and each of you played a very big part in my achieving that feeling, so thank you all again from the bottom of my heart...
That was so incrediably beautiful-i can't see the keyboard..im in tears..
You are such a special woman-Ms Dallas...Happy Birthday..
And..a wonderful writer-someday..i believe you will write that book-
It sounds like you had a nice mellow day..im really happy for you-that you are on the clinic..and its working for you..it is freedom and it is recovery.
I have a friend who has been on the clinic for several years-he was addicted to H..for 25 years..starting at..age 13...He was a jazz musician-and used to hang out as a kid-around the clubs..sneaking into shows..around some of the all time legends-unfortuately becoming addicted...
The clinic saved his life-and he is doing so well now..
The cognitive behavioral therapy is something i just began w/ my own therapist-unfortuately after 2 years shes leaving to go to a new hospital..but i am starting to see someone she refered me to..and will delve into further.
Its been helpful-changing your thinking process-from negative responses-to positive..
Ive been a bit lazy w/ it-there is alot of writing involved..but im sure after the transitition to new therapist-ill get into it further.
Well-Thank you for that beautiful/inspiring post-for others still deep in there addiction-it gives hope that there are options in recovery-like suboxone-methadone has given addicts a chance at life...
Have a wonderful day..Ms.Alice..
"There once was a lady named Lynn,
With a brain so excessively thin,
That...'tho primed to the date,
STILL, she was late (!)
And was forced to shout with chagrin:
HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY, DALLAS ALICE!!! "
Okay, does writing a poem in honor of your birthday grant me any dispensation for being a day late?? SO sorry I missed your special day! Have not been on the board for a few days...so you turned the grand old age of 47, with nary a peep from this friend who, despite her latent senility, cares very much about you--and the birthday you celebrated, yesterday!!
As for the post you wrote about your special day--I don't think I've ever heard a birthday so eloquently and so vividly described and appreciated as your loving testimony to life!!! So much hopefulness in every word. You reminded me (and many others) how special all the little everyday things are. I've always kind of believed that those "little things" ARE life. Our days pass with so many small reasons to smile...and you've managed to capture that so perfectly in your post! None of us can possibly read of your happiness...and not feel some of it seeping into our own days ahead!
Also...thanks so much for describing your group-of-4 meeting. Not being my happiest in groups, I thought how lucky you were to meet others with similar problems...yet still be in a small enough group for you to focus on each person and get to know them more individually. (Sort of like the difference, at college, of having to sit admist a giant auditorium-sized class--but then moving on to a seminar course--where only six of us would sit around a table with the professor, who made sure our ideas were individually addressed.)
Will you meet with these same people again? Is it a weekly meeting? How sad about that 40 year old woman who felt her husband would "kill" her (psychologically, not physically, I hope!!! ...if she "admited" to needing further help. Sounds like the guy needs an intervention!!! How in the world is she going to cover-up this Methadone after-care program, if she has to sneak off just to get her medication? And...just think of how little support she can look forward to during those tough times ahead. Pretty soon, her husband will be the actual PROBLEM--and NOT her addiction!!! Poor thing really needs some counseling (or rather her HUSBAND needs some counseling)--or their marriage will become one great lie.
How do you feel you interact in groups? People tend to either be very pro-group....or more "one-on-one." I always felt I got kinda lost in groups...there are always one or two people in any group, who have more dominating personalities, who do most of the talking, and who almost immediately become the focus of the group. And I prefer to get the lay-of-the-land--listen and think about what's being said--before I speak. But, by doing that, I often find I almost have to "work" at being heard--because I didn't establish myself as a "talk leader" right away. And the last thing I need from a support group...is to have to focus on its group dynamics rather than the on the issue on which I came to get support!! LOL! (Can you guess, by now, that I just about never join groups?!)
In some situations, it's almost as if the atmosphere becomes charged with competitiveness over who is most successful in being focused upon!! Whereas "one-on-one" is nearly always a successful back and forth exchange, with each person offering insight, more easily heard. Anyway, I'm always interested in the "group vs. one-on-one" dilemma as to what kind of person benefits from what kind of support. I have a friend who absolutely THRIVES in group meetings.
Congratulations, also, on your new job!! Yea! What will you be doing? Whatever it is...if your colleagues bore you stiff--at least THIS time, they won't actually BE stiff! LOL! Sick, sick, bad, bad joke. Oh, pulllease....strike me off the stand-up comedy list!!!
I didn't know you had a sister ten years older than you! I certainly missed the post about her incestuous husband. (I'll check your older posts.) Anyway, glad you had a heart-to-heart with her and that she is so supportive. Addiction is an area that I am not yet ready (and may never be) to get into with my younger sister. For many reasons. Sigh. (She's 4 and a half years younger than I am.)
The moment I saw your (and Lisa's) kind and worried posts to Michelle, I just had to let her know about them, because I know she does not check the board as much as she used to. As I told her, that's what happens when you have good, close friends--they're going to worry about you!! :-)
You get to know people on this board in a way that doesn't happen in real life! You get closer...more quickly. Somehow, by sharing your most guarded, secret, unvoiced fears, your relationship with other "kindred souls" leaps to levels it would normally take years to reach. Look how much you've already given to this Board in just these few months!! (By the way, I have a visual image of you, too. Which I'm sure is dead wrong! LOL!)
Gotta go now, because, believe it or not, I am still immobile with this 'orrible foot wound...so, hanging the leg down while I'm on the computer just hurts. Tomorrow morning is my appt. with the surgeon...and in truth, I'm pretty darn woried. Instead of the skin "knitting" together--as it started to after the surgery two weeks ago--it looks to me like the same thing is happening again. The stitches appear not to have held the skin together--and this miserable "object" (formerly known as "a foot"! is looking kind of infected again. The second I have to walk on it--just to get to the kitchen or bathroom--it swells up and starts throbbing. (Which is why I'm not supposed to walk on it. And I have to keep it raised on a zillion pillows, above heart level.) But if this thing needs further "procedures", I'm just gonna scream. It's almost two months now, I've been home and in bed. I KNOW I was told that it would be long in healing...but it never looks like progress is being made. :-( Even the surgeon noted what a "rotten healer" I am!! LOL!
At any rate....that's why your post came just at the perfect time. Just when I was cleaning and changing the dressing...and feeling so frustrated...and worried, I read your post! And...it has inspired me to do the following when I send this note off: give my Lhasa Apso, Theo, another giant hug; put my Peke-mix, Celeste, against my shoulder, so she can snuggle into my neck; be wicked and eat two slices of crispy, fatty bacon; flop back onto the pillows and read the new Philip Roth novel, "The Plot Against America" (a "what-if??" tale of a changed America, where a Nazi smpathizer, wins the presidency in 1940); and...finally, to make a list of all the things I SHOULD be doing--but don't HAVE to--because of my foot! LOL!
So....Happy Birthday again (why SHOULDN'T you celebrate it for two days?!) And thanks again for such an inspirational post!
Gee! I liked Lynn's poem to you so much, I'm going to say "ditto" for me! (Twins can do that sorta thing!) Happy late Birthday, Dallas Alice. And may this be the first of many more TRULY happy ones. You mean a lot to your friends, here, on this Board, and we ALL CELEBRATE the day you were born! The Planet Earth is a better place for having you! (And speaking of "planets" - here is a special birthday humor flashback just for you, Dallas Alice - and any of those who remember the Twilight Zone. "Wait! Don't go, don't get on the ship! We translated the book! It's a COOKBOOK!"
HAPPY belated Birthday DallasAlice!!!!!! Sorry Dallas!1 I havent been on to wish you a happy bday!1 I dont have a computer at home! I have to wait until i go to a library or my college class!! Have a fantastic day!!! My birthday is April 24!! How you been girl?? I hope your day is filled with a lot of happiness and joy!!!! How old are you?? Have a great day!! I hope things go great for you on your birthday!!! Love, Christina
Just a quick thank you to wrap up this thread! To the twins, Cali, GoddessGirl, and anyone I may have missed or who wrote me elsewhere, I truly hope you know how important you all are to me and how large a role you all have in my life now. This was the first b'day I spent where I could actually reflect on a year and see that I did things to better myself instead of remaining stagnant.
I care very deeply for and respect all of you, and your support and encouragement since I've been a member here has helped me in ways that I don't even think you know of, but please know this--all of you have been a part of my addiction and recovery in an incredibly positive way.
This forum contains some of the most strong, forthright, humorous, and intelligent people I've ever had the good fortune to meet, and I think the world of you guys...