Real Life

I’ve been sick for two and a half days with a head cold and feeling pretty lethargic. I’m hoping to get some energy back and get on with what I need to do.

My brother bought a plane ticket last night to come get me for the 23rd of February and now shit is real and I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t scared and a tad overwhelmed.

It turns out I have some foundation issues with my 70-year-old house. I knew it. I saw the cracks in the walls. My buyers backed out of the original contract but then came back with a cash offer for less because they want the property and to tear down my house. It needs a new roof, the bathroom is a kinda fucked because I had a friend living here ten years ago and she drilled holes like an asshole and there is now moisture behind the walls. (I could have killed her, there was no point into doing what she did, she was just drunk one day.   She was a major drunk and I kicked her out after a month of her moving and living here. Actually, I didn’t kick her out, I gave her two options; get some help or get the fuck out because she would drink two bottles of wine and a case of beer and come in my room at night and tell me what an asshole I was, even though she was living at my house for free. It still just irks me.)  And now the foundation.

The offer is good. It’s not what I was hoping but it still makes my investment in this house a big one. I just got really sad yesterday, not crying sad, just sad to know that they are going to tear down my house. I’m walking around it apologizing to it. “I’m sorry old gal, you’ve been good to me and now I am leaving you and they are going to destroy you.” There’s also reminiscent feelings of when we sold my childhood home and how traumatic that was for me. I haven’t felt those feelings in a while. I drank them away a long time ago. I knew I would get sad to leave my house, I just didn’t know when it would happen. I’m trying to feel it but not let it take me down. Hard to do when you don’t feel well.

Needless to say, I really wanted beer yesterday. Even though I am sick. Being sick never really stopped me from drinking, it was an excuse to get some tequila or whiskey to kill the germs. However, I’ve taken a lot of acetaminophen and I didn’t want liver failure because of a cold. You just don’t fucking know.

I wrote about my job that I got fired from a few days ago. One of my friends, coworkers from that job is five years sober and we are still pretty tight. He’s been a great resource and support for me. He’s about 8 years younger and gay, not girly gay but Brokeback Mountain gay, ha! He’d probably get pissed if I said that but I think you need a visual to relate to him because this is a grim story I am about to tell. He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico about 6 years ago. He’s in school and just got a promotion at his job that is paying for his schooling. I think he is going to be a substance abuse counsellor or a parole officer, I don’t know which way he is leaning right now. Actually, he’s pretty freaked out about his mama and called me friday to give me the update and a WARNING.

His mama is a few years older than my oldest brother, 56. She used to come to the bars with us back in that time of crazy social worker drinking. I liked her a lot. After he moved, she and I would talk on the phone occasionally, she’s been in and out of rehab maybe a couple of times. Her last attempt to get sober was a few years ago when she had no more options left because her family in Tennessee was over it and she moved out to Santa Fe to figure some shit out and hopefully get a grip. She didn’t stop drinking. She may have cut back but she couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. She would lie about drinking. She would say she hadn’t drunk through slurring speech. He came home from work one night and she was passed out with the stove on, something burning and I guess he was done. Her boyfriend came and got her, married her, and supported her, she couldn’t work and kept the alcohol supply flowing until her health really started failing last summer. They were certain that she had some sort of liver disease and she would fall and break bones and was just a wreck. The boyfriend/step dad claims he knows nothing about alcoholism or doesn’t have the two cents to realize that he was enabling her and while she was going through all of this stuff, he was still bringing the boxes of white wine home.

The beginning of January, my friend and his sister finally got him on board to not supply the alcohol anymore. And for two days, she didn’t have any alcohol. She started to go into detox and by some miracle she allowed them to take her to the hospital. They thought, finally we have some traction for getting her sober, maybe. Well, it wasn’t a miracle because the ER gave her an IV and some librium and sent her home. For four days she after that she was rapidly declining. They called her PCP, who in turn got the blood test results from the ER visit and told them to get her back to the hospital. Her thiamine (vitamin B1) levels were so low and the four days she was home probably did irreversible damage to her brain. I guess that’s the window to guard against Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Look it up, it’s a horrible psychosis that neither of us had ever heard of before.

It’s been three weeks, almost four. He made a secret (it’s too hard to travel and not get people pissed off because you don’t go see them) emergency visit home a few week ago because they didn’t think she would make it. She has a history of an eating disorder and has been malnourished for years (this was why he was calling to warn me) and the alcohol addiction has turned into an even bigger nightmare than he had ever imagined. Being sober for 5 years and watching his mama go through her addiction he was just getting ready to attend a funeral. He knew she probably wouldn’t survive or ever get sober. He basically was waiting for her liver to give out and to brace himself for her to die young. No. That’s not what happened. It’s far worse.

Now she is in the hospital looking at long-term care facilities for the “feeble-minded” is what I think he called it. She has some long term memory recall but she can’t remember what happened five minutes ago. Some days she is verbal and some days she isn’t. She has a feeding tube that goes directly into her stomach but she is dependant on diapers and someone to change them for her. Most of the time she thinks she is on an airplane and keeps saying, “this is a really, really long flight.” And then she will hallucinate that she is petting a cat in her lap. Sometimes it’s a bunny. She has no clue that she is married to this guy that kept bringing the wine home and who is paying for this medical disaster.(Maybe not, we don’t know, he could very well walk away from her.)  She doesn’t even know who he is. It’s fucking hard to hear about and it breaks my heart for her. You’d like to think that she doesn’t really know what is going on and brush it aside, but God, I can’t imagine what a nightmare this is for her inside her soul. How scary and shitty and I never, never want to be in that place. I’m so sad for her two kids and grandkids. She is only 56. She was a really pretty lady who had a lot going for her. This is beyond tragic.

Needless to say, I have woke the fuck up. My old drinking buddy has come to her demise in less than 5 years of when we last sat at the bar laughing and having a “good time” and thinking we had all the time in the world to fuck around and we weren’t really harming ourselves. What’s the worst that could happen? Die? NO. This is almost worse than dying, she could live another 20 years like this, in a diaper, in a care facility. You just don’t fucking know.

9 thoughts on “Real Life

  1. I am so sorry for this tragic ending. You are in my heart sober island. The thing that stands out for me is that we just never know when our last drunk will be just that. A last drunk and then a venture on into sobriety. No guarantees in this game. Hugs my friend. Thank you as always for sharing yourself. You help so many and you have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy moly!! That’s awakening for sure. Be thankful for everyday we have our health that’s for sure. Keep the language going, I enjoy it ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is so much worse than death. It makes me so mad to hear what alcohol can do to people yet it is still promoted as a good thing. One day the tide will turn. It will have warning stickers on the bottles like cigarette packets do. It is just as bad in my opinion.
    I am glad that you got an offer on your home. It is sad that they are going to tear it down though. But I guess that is their choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read one study that they were trying to put thiamin in beer. It’s the medical community that is uniformed and following stigma. If you were there refusing your insulin they would have hospitalized you. Or a heart patient. Show up suffering from alcoholism and it’s your choice

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am really sorry to hear about your friend’s mom.
    Some of the consequences of drinking are obvious, like a DUI, but others are easy to dismiss…who ever hears of someone getting liver problems from drinking.
    So when you hear a real life story of that, it hits closer to home.
    I am glad you sold your house, and now on to new adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So scary!!! Especially about the eating disorder coupled with alcoholism. This is the reality of it. We dont often come face to face with the result of it. Betrand Russel said getting drunk is temprary suicide, and I agree. Drinking yourself to heath must be one of the worst ways that you can kill yourself because it happens so slowly and so insidiously.

    Liked by 1 person

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