Birthday? What birthday? How very dare I?

IMG_1492I I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend.

I knew my birthday was looming,  the last few birthdays I’ve felt the loss of not having my daughter around on my birthday.  I don’t have a sister.  My friends who have sisters always seem to have such lovely birthdays,  it’s something women do isn’t it?

So I basically was feeling sorry for myself.  My partner stepped in and booked a meal somewhere special.

I am so lucky to live in an amazing and beautiful part of the country. The hotel where he booked the table has amazing sunset views over the sea. It’s always been bit of a joke between us, we once went in just for a drink and he walked out as he wouldn’t pay the prices.  So this really was a special treat.

Now,  if you have been reading my blog you will know Faith is in hospital.

He called me while I was at work.  I knew straight away his mind had gone again.  So I listened to his talk of all sorts of imaginary events.  I know he has no idea it’s my birthday so I don’t wait for, or be disappointed when he doesn’t wish me a happy birthday.

It’s a manic day at work. I’m covering colleagues who are on holiday. Whilst juggling my work,  trying to get the important things done, in the back of my mind I’m thinking I should call his girlfriend and the hospital.

In my lunch break I call Hope,  she doesn’t answer.  Mmmm that’s odd she hasn’t returned any of my calls since Monday when Faith went into hospital.

Aaahhh but he did say he had the phone charger.  Still odd. I thought she would have gone out and bought a new one.

I call the hospital twice. Can’t speak to anyone.

Back to the madness of work and I have no time to think about them.

When I eventually finish work,  I worked late to try and catch up, I don’t have a lot of time before we need to go out, and we need to vote also, I call Faith.  He is still totally out of it still. I can hear a nurse in the background telling another patient off. I ask if his girlfriend Hope is there, yes she’s here. “Can I speak to her, oh yes hang on, Oh I’m attached to a drip, I need to go and get her, He laughs “Ha ha, can you hear her? She is really loud and bossy, she’s trying to order everyone about” I know instantly she is not there. I tell him not to worry I will speak to her later. My house phone starts to ring. I tell Faith I will call him back.

When I pick up my house phone and hear Hopes mothers voice on the other end my heart sinks. She only ever calls when there is a problem, I know she’s going to say “have you heard anything from Hope” She does, and I want to cry. I know my evening has just gone how shall I say “tits up” .

Yes she’s concerned, she’s heard nothing from her since Monday, my heart is in free fall, I’ve been here before, then when she tells me they are in Wales on holiday I know this is going to be all down to me again. I am the only one with a key to their flat. The fact she has not been in to see Faith is extremely concerning, she just wouldn’t do that, for some crazy reason she seems to love him. My mind is working overtime, I can see her laying dead in their bed. I call the hospitals, last time she disappeared like this she was in hospital. No, she’s not been admitted anywhere. I feel sick, I call her mother back and tell her the news.

I also tell her it’s my birthday, I was just about to go out for my birthday meal, I will have to cancel it, there is no way in a million years I could go and eat my meal and enjoy it whilst thinking she could be laying unconscious or dead, this not being in contact with anyone for days is so out of character, she would have normally been keeping me updated with Faiths progress in hospital.

As you can understand she is devastated that I have to cancel my plans, And obviously very, very concerned about her daughter.

I tell my partner we will have to cancel the meal. He looks at me and shrugs. Here we are again, our lives being impacted again by the selfish alcoholics, I know that’s what he thinks. He’s right.

The journey takes 25 minutes. I ask my partner to please come in with me, I am so worried by what I might find.

As I walk into their room, there was no polite knocking, I am met by a very disheveled Hope. My immediate reaction is to hug her. Then, oh boy, does she get it. Like two barrels straight between the eyes, I am uncontrollable.

I get her mum on my phone so she can talk to her. I know the feeling of not knowing if they are OK.

She explains that she bought a cheap charger but it didn’t work, we try to get it working but I think she was right, we don’t manage to get the phone to turn on.

But I don’t stop, “you’ve had four days to get this working, you haven’t been to see Faith, what the hell have you been doing for four days?” The answer is obvious. The bed is stripped, she is shaking and slurring, uncomprehending, she offers a sorry… woah! Red rag to a bull, “sorry? Oh the explitatives that come out of my mouth, I tell her so many things that before I’ve not said. I don’t hold back.

We eventually leave, leaving her with strict instructions. I am yet again exhausted.

Now for my positive thoughts, yes I can find one. The birthday meal that was booked has amazing views when the weather is good. It was lashing down.

We found a really lovely authentic Greek restaurant that served us up the most amazing meal. The other restaurant can wait for a sunny day. So I get two birthday meals.

 

 

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Back in hospital

change

I knew as I had heard nothing for several days he must be back drinking heavily.

When he didn’t pick up my call twice I stopped calling. At least that has changed, before I would have been wondering is he still alive, do I need to go and check on him. Now he lives with his girlfriend I know someone is there to call the ambulance when eventually he gets to that point that he needs to be in hospital.

So I wasn’t surprised to get the call to say he was in hospital. I didn’t want to hear all the details, I had heard it all before I have no sympathy left.

I called him once in hospital. He didn’t reply. That was Monday.

Today he called me. no explanation, no telling me why he was in hospital , no, he was just concerned about the fact they had lost his keys, they were attached to his trousers, which were covered in blood, and now gone. Also his girlfiend had no charger for her phone as they shared one and he had it. Oh yes he also had no trousers.

So his girlfriend couldn’t contact him, if and when he was discharged he didn’t know if he could get in his flat, and he had no trousers, lol, for once I can almost laugh.

And, finally I do not feel compelled to help him. I won’t be rushing off with a charger to his girlfriend, then dropping trousers of for him and asking at lost property if they have his keys, and when I find out they haven’t go and get more keys cut.

No I won’t be doing any of that. I just said, oh Ok, my dinners cooked, might speak to you tomorrow.

I don’t know what has happened, final realisation that anything I do for him is a waste of time and also enabling him?

Nothing will change, he will be discharged, full of promises to make changes, empty promises.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I would love to have him turn up on my door, happy and healthy with a card. I know this is another birthday when that will not happen.

Let me find my ending positive thought…

I have learnt, I have protected myself, I am growing in strength whether he continues to drink or not.

What will be will be

The futures not ours to see

 

 

My heart ♥ is in your hands

I lie awake in the debths of night

A pain as raw as the pain I felt when I gave birth to you

Fills my body

My heart ♥ a weight so heavy in my chest

My heart ♥ as strong as a lions

Or as delicate as butterfly wings

I endure the pain

I have no choice

There is no pain relief that will take this pain away

I wait

You can continue to drink your alcohol, your pain relief, until the day

You break my fragile as a butterfly wings heart ♥

Or you can reach out to the many hands outstretched to you

And make my heart ♥ whole and strong again

My heart ♥ is in your hands

If only you knew

I can’t Believe it, he is still sober

I started writing this two weeks ago, when Faith was sober, I never got round to publishing it. Since then things have changed again. But I will leave my first few hopeful paragraphs………..

What’s this? What’s happening?

I’ve  got used to calling Faith only to hear the drunken voice that I know only too well. Even when he’s sober I ready myself when I call him, to hear his drunken answer so I know he’s back drinking.

But this time, so far it hasn’t happened.

So I have told him I will visit this weekend with food parcels. I would give him enough food for a year if I thought he would stay sober.

But today he is, So today I will help him with food. He still hasn’t managed to sort his benefits situation, and I know it’s not because he hasn’t tried, so he has money to pay his rent but nothing else.

I asked him how many days he has been sober and he answered with “I don’t know, I haven’t been counting” This is a little different, he usually adds on a few imaginary days. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that he needs to stay sober to sort this benefits situation has been a factor?

Back to today.

I think the reason he wasn’t drinking was simply he had no money.

When I visited him with the food both he and his girlfriend were happy and thankful.

She had plans to see here son the next weekend. All positive thoughts and plans for the future. I think this is the first time they have ever both been totally sober together.

A few days later I spoke to Faith, he sounded very down and mmmm maybe he’d had a drink. He certainly wasn’t drunk, but, I had that feeling. I decided not to ask, it would change nothing if I did.

Then he started not picking up when I called, so I knew.

I haven’t spoken to him since until tonight. He said his girlfriend Hope, had gone out and was not answering her phone, he was concerned. He sounded pretty sober, but I knew.

I asked if Hope was drinking, he said yes she was and quite a lot. I then asked him, he replied just enough not to get the shakes. Well that’s a little different to the norm, usually he would be totally out of it.

I decided to broach the subject of rehab. He listened, he said he seemed to be in a cycle off being sober for a few weeks then drinking. I thought, he had been in that cycle for years, but didn’t say. He said his best chance of getting into rehab was if he was to go to ADAB, I might have that wrong, but it is support for addicts as far as I know. He said he could get a support worker if he went there. I said “but you haven’t gone, you knew about the place, even had an appointment, but you didn’t go”

I reminded him his life was not able to move forward while in this circle. Of course, it’s up to him, nothing I can do. He sounded OKish, he said I love you mum. So that’s it. Update. For once I’ve had a good few weeks without worry, let’s see how much longer it lasts.

Feelings of guilt

IMG_0987Why oh why am I feeling guilty?

I have had two very short phone calls with Faith over the last few days.

He is sober, how I wish I could feel excited and happy about this. I should do, it’s what I want more than anything in the world isn’t it?

I guess it’s because I know it won’t last and I don’t want to feel the pain of disappointment when he drinks again.

But when I have spoken to him I have been very negative and ended up raising my voice. It’s not what he needs and I don’t know why I’m doing it.

Well I do know why. He is now having to deal with the financial problems caused by his drinking. His benefits have been stopped. He has had no money coming in for 6 weeks now. The reason I sent him money to cover his rent.

The confusion of his alcoholic life means sick notes have not arrived on time and where they should. He has been unable to sort things out because he has been either in hospital or drinking and incapable. He has been told he now has to start again. Put in a new claim. Which asked questions such as can you walk 10 yards unaided? Well that’s a joke, it depends if he is drinking and how much. I know if he completes these forms himself he will not get benefits. He will need to start looking for work or get nothing.

I am totally against people claiming money and not working. I work full time and have worked most of my life. I also would love for Faith to be working. I also know at the moment he is not capable of holding down a job. If he gets a job and gets sacked for drinking or not turning up, which will happen, he will again lose the right to any benefits. He will end up homeless.

I have suggested both days he contacts citizens advice bureau. But he won’t listen. I know there are people there who can help him. Today’s excuse was OK I will do but then I can’t go and sort my housing benefit at the council and I can’t…….. the list goes on. Why can’t you do all those things? I juggle my time every day. I have had a particularly busy stressful day trying to fit too much into too short a time. But I gave it my best!.

But after the call I realise I am being negative, probably controlling, I never thought of myself like that before. I am telling him what to do instead of letting him make his own decisions and mistakes. But I know he needs this help, I know how difficult it is to get the benefits that he does need. I know who picks up the mess when it doesn’t work.

How do I shut up,  stop this interfering. Let him just do it his way.

My problem is my fear of him dying.

I know if he doesn’t sort this out it could send him spiralling  into a black hole. If he loses his room he will be on the streets without his girlfriend, I know she would go back to her family. I won’t have him back here.

I don’t think he would survive being on the streets and losing her.

So that is why my frustration with him for not just trying my advice, boiled over.

After our conversation I felt stressed and he felt upset, and I realise he is obviously trying to stay sober and my conversation hasn’t helped him.

I did say it was lovely to speak to him sober.

I just know how important it is to get this benefit situation sorted and quickly, not at his “this time next year pace”

So that is why I am feeling guilty. I pray I haven’t pushed him to drink again. I just find it frustrating seeing how naive he is about things but he won’t accept help.

This has been a change, we have not been like this before. Maybe it’s a good thing, he’s being more assertive. If he stays sober , he can work and it won’t be a problem. The trouble is I have no belief in him anymore.

Maybe I do need to get out of his life.

 

 

 

Less contact and a period of calm for me, but it doesn’t take away the worry

Well it hasn’t been exactly no contact over the last few days but it has been minimal and I have refused to be drawn into their dramas.

I finally had a phonecall apologising. It wasn’t a total apology and I still don’t think Faith realised how wrong and hurtful he had been. They tried to tell me the police had called and apologised to them!  What!!!  Are you serious?  I honestly believe they don’t know what is fact and what is fiction in their alcohol affected brains.

I’m afraid I didn’t just accept his apology simply because I felt he was saying sorry but he didn’t know what for.  I told him very clearly about the untruths he and Hope had accused me of. He couldn’t grasp what I was saying and phoned me later asking questions but he had the whole situation confused again.

I’m worried his brain is being permanently affected now.

The next time he called, I let it go to answerphone, he was looking for sympathy again.  “We are both sick,  we must have picked up a bug, we can’t keep water down”

This is where, what to you or me would just be an annoying unpleasant thing to deal with,  for a dependant alcoholic, it can be much more serious.  If you can’t keep water down you can’t keep alcohol down either. Which then causes much more serious symptoms.

I just replied by message “You had better both go to hospital then”

That’s all,  no sympathy.

I later hear they both were admitted to hospital at different times.  Faith was kept in for 2 days.

He called to let me know he was on his way home,  again it went to answerphone.  It was good to hear him sounding sober.

But I know it won’t last,  the hospital will have discharged him telling him to have small amounts of alcohol to help with the symptoms of withdrawal.

I didn’t believe this,  until I heard it for myself.

He is an alcoholic,  he can’t have “just a small amount”

So he will return to his drinking, I know this for a fact.

So it has worked for me, stepping back, life for me has been calmer.

It doesn’t stop this ache in my heart and fear in my stomach though.

Day 4

Day 4 of not knowing how Faith is doing.

How I wish it was him counting. Day 4 of being sober.

I have sent a message today.  He promised to repay me money I lent him to pay his rent as he had problems with his benefits.  I hate to think he might be using that money to buy alcohol. Why do I say “might”?

Angry with myself that I paid his rent anyway,  I just couldn’t deal with the thought of him being homeless again.

And now angry with him for not paying me back as he promised.

I kept it simple.

“I see you have not transfered my money into my account”

That’s it,  nothing else.  I don’t even know if he will see it.

I hate you alcohol!!!!