Thursday, August 14, 2014
Monday afternoon my middle son passed away. He was 23 and far to young. We don't have a cause of death and his friends have conflicting stories, and the ME report will likely be inconclusive until toxicology is back in 6 to 8 weeks. Ben is a recovery addict, but this doesn't really tell his story.
I have been so blessed with the out pouring of love not only for me and my family, but most definitely for my son. He was an amazing man, that I am so grateful that my dear Lord gave me for 23 years. This is what I wrote to his friends on his facebook page....
Benny was so loved and so highly thought of and helped so many people with their sobriety...I'm beginning to see that not only was he my son that I love dearly but he was an angel among us and the Lord has brought him home. Your stories are helping me more than you could possibly know and they are a tremendous gift in the middle of a parents worst nightmare. It is very difficult that he is not with us on earth anymore, but our memories will get us through this, as well as our faith that the Lord will bring many positive things from this tragedy. And more than anything I want to continue on with his legacy of helping people with their sobriety especially the families of those affected by drug abuse. I will let you know when I get that all figured out. I miss him every moment of every day, but I chose to think about all the amazing things he has brought to my life and all that he did while he was here. And that our reunion will be amazing, complete with his light up the room smile and his tremendous hugs!
If you are struggling with sobriety please reach out for help, and remember that Ben sought help over and over again. He would want this for you, and remember he's with the Lord....I wouldn't want him haunting you to get 'er done! And you know he will! Feel free to message me if I can be of support to you.
Again and again his friends reach out to me in private IM and through their posts of how much they loved my son, what a true friend he was, what a great boss. Their parents tell me of how he went out and would find their missing son or daughter and get them to rehab.
I am grateful for the last two years of our relationship especially. He finally saw through all the lies his father had told him about me, and saw that I was always there for him. He loved Reggie and was so happy for us at our wedding. Several people told them how glad they were that he was at our wedding, and he would smile and say that he wouldn't be any where else. There is a picture of him at the wedding in my pictures...the pictures I will cherish forever.
I made it to the pool yesterday, with tears in my eyes several times, as people offered condolences. I went to the pool to feel some normalcy after the days of horrific pain. I also knew I could probably escape the pain temporarily while I was swimming and I did. It helped me to think about what my son would want for me. I had told him that I believe that everyone on this planet has an addiction, to mean that every time you turn to something else to not feel your feelings it's part of an addiction and that mine was food. I posted earlier how much Positive Changes is helping me, and that is precisely why. It's helping me to relax yes, but it's helping me to be ok with feeling my feelings and knowing that they won't last forever. I had already begun to lose weight although it took me a month of listening to the processes to start to understand what I needed to do. In my swimming, I felt that my son would like me to concur for once and for all my addiction and I am and I will.
We went to the Oxford house that he choses to live at yesterday, so that he would be held accountable even though he made enough money to live in his own apartment. We talked to the men that were at the house and I told them how much Benny loved them and how many times he told us how grateful he was to live there. I told them to stay strong for their families, and to not let Benny's death derail their sobriety. They told me how much he helped them. And one told me that Benny loved that he had such a fun Mom. (I will hold that dear to my heart forever)
I know that at times that are coming soon, my grief will be crippling. I will likely be in and out of here for awhile. Know that I hold you all dear to my heart, my Spark sisters and brothers who are figuring it out one day at a time like me. My posts on your blogs and likes on your accomplishes may be few and far between, but know that I am pulling for you and thinking about you while I get through this. You are my Oxford house, where I know I will be held accountable and I love you all for it.
Monday, July 21, 2014
After not much physical activity last week due to my knee being very cranky, I'm happy to report I got up and got in the pool this morning. The gal swimming next to me is a true swimmer, and in great shape. I do freestyle up and back and then grab the kick board and go up and back...so I can breathe...LOL. I figure at some point I will get the stamina to keep doing crawl, but not yet. I can do the breast stroke continuously, but that leg movement doesn't make my knee too happy, so scissor kick it is. I decided to see on the freestyle how I was doing compared to the gal next to me.... Not that I'm competitive at all...:) Now mind you I am a lot taller, but I was keeping up if not gaining on her. Not bad for a lady who is out of shape. I think I still have that lady stuck in my mind that started swimming after the unexpected death of her brother who was a collegiate swimmer. Now she's the world's fastest long distance swimmer in her age group of 56. I'm not a huge fan of the chlorine, how tight the caps and goggles are, but the way it makes me feel afterward is amazing. I feel like it tones as fast as running does without all the jarring of the body.
So far my experience with Positive Changes has been very Positive. I am not currently losing weight, but with my stellar lack of fitness minutes last week, I'm certainly not going to blame PC. I find myself being much more positive, and I feel like it is motivating me to desire to exercise, I mean really desire it. And it also really helps with making better food choices. At first it was a big pain getting in all the self hypnosis sessions, but with how relaxed it makes me feel...I miss it when I don't get one in. I really had no idea how much stress I was carrying around with me all the time. I'm really grateful to be getting rid of that. Currently I'm setting my alarm for 4:30 to get my 45 minutes of hypnosis in to start the day, then after work I do about 35 minutes, and then before bed it's another 45 minutes. It's a lot of time, but that is time I'm not eating, and it's time that I'm really relaxing and that certainly has to help the amount of cortisol I'm producing.
Reggie bought a smoker, and used it yesterday. Wow, what amazing chicken it makes, I may never be able to eat baked chicken again. The flavor is unbelievable. He also grilled a bunch of vegies and that was dinner last night. Hmmm....I wonder if he could smoke cauliflower....that would taste pretty awesome!
We got a lot of organizing done this weekend and plan to do that every Saturday morning until we get it the way we want it. It's amazing how long it takes to get two households put together and organized. And I'm sure there will be many donation trips by the time we get it all done.
Hope you had a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
After work last night I was on a quest to get another in window air conditioner. They are going like hot cakes, because we are going through a hot spell, which I won't put a number to because I know it's like nothing else the rest of the country is going through....just hot for us. I got the air condition, got new screw drivers since our were crummy, had some wood cut to help secure the air conditioners better...after our learning experience the night before with the first one. By tomorrow night we will have three installed and that should keep the house comfortable.
Everything went well with the install. And I was bringing some of the boxing, Styrofoam etc from up stairs. I got distracted thinking about what I wanted to do next...and bam missed the last step. I can't even begin to tell you how I missed hitting two walls and landed in the hallway on my back and only ended it with a slightly twisted ankle and knee (unfortunately the already hurt one). My knee is the only thing that is making a little noise today, and I can't say it's much worse than before. Woo talk about dodging a bullet.
The rest of the night I decided that living in the moment, including my thoughts was a top priority! I got up and went swimming again this morning...and wow it's awesome how quickly I'm becoming stronger. And I'm really thinking I want swimming to become part of my normal program even during the winter. We will see if that stays a reality when it gets cold outside...but it's probably not much worse than being sweaty on the way home from the gym during the winter. I know it seems early, but I'm already seeing a difference in my body after only a few times.
So that's my lesson to stay in the moment, thoughts and all, and to enjoy the little signs of success and use them to improve my motivation each day!
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged!!!
A lot has happened in the last two months. Reggie tore his quad tendon, had surgery, we got married, went on a very low key honeymoon due to recovery, and I injured my knee.
Reggie is doing pretty well, and has started PT. Life is settling down for us, unless you count having a teenage night owl and lack of sleep a big issue...:)
Speaking of the night owl, she just got back from Young Life, Camp Malibu up in British Columbia last night at 1:00 in the morning. And we stayed up for about an hour talking about her experience and I'm sure we will here more about it tonight. She is now going to start looking for a job and we are hoping she gets one as a barista....she is going to do Running Start next year and will have more time on her hands. She loves coffee and talking to people....so I think it will be a good fit for her.
Reggie and I went to Whidbey Island over the 4th of July weekend, and stayed at the Navy Hotel on base in Oak Harbor. We had a really great time and as I posted yesterday I'm only up .10 pounds. I promised myself that first thing Monday morning I would get up early and get a work out in at the pool, this time in the deep end. And it went very well with my knee...it was only being cranky at the beginning, and I even managed the ladder for getting out fairly well. I have an apt in 3 weeks with my Primary Care Doc and he will probably refer me to Ortho. Either that or it can heal on it's own in the next three weeks...that would be fine by me :). It is doing some better than a month ago, but not good enough not to follow up. So my plan is to swim MWF and lift upper body and left leg weights on T TH and Sat or Sun depending on time restraints. If we don't install another window mounted air conditioner tonight I will make up for the missed work out this morning tonight.
I have posted pictures from the wedding on my page. There are five of them. The wedding was really awesome and everything I hoped it would be. My daughter did an amazing job singing, and the ceremony was very well done. The only thing that would have been better is if Reggie hadn't been on crutches for our first dance....but that really wasn't a big deal either. I still can't wait to finish up those dance lessons since we had only gotten one in when he injured himself.
I'm ready to get back to making strides in my weight loss efforts and keeping myself in check. Fall is right around the corner and as usual I would like to buy clothes the next size down...so that is my focus. I go to an initial meeting at Positive Changes tomorrow and will report back my findings.
Oh one other thing....while I was swimming yesterday and it got hard...very hard...I remembered a post I saw on FB about a woman who had taken up swimming at the age of 56 to honor her late brother who had been a collegiate swimmer. When she started she barely could swim two lengths of pool, now she is setting world records for her age. And this may sound critical...I don't mean it to be. The lady is swimming the English Channel at record times and her body is far from being in great shape. Well I would imagine you would have to have some weight on you or you would freeze to death. I think we all have this vision in our heads of what our ideal body would look like....mine I have to admit resembles that of my 18 year old self and not that of a 46 year old who has had three children. Not that it certainly can't be better than it is now. I think I just need to change the perception and that is I need to work to be strong and however my body looks I need to be ok with that...because that is the body that is going to get me through life.
Thursday, May 08, 2014
My brain is a whirling right now, forgive me if this is a jumbled mess of a blog.
Reggie was able to get into his GP yesterday, three days after his injury. I can tell you we will be changing from Tricare when we get married. I can't believe he had to wait so long. His doctor thinks he has either torn his quadricep right above his knee or the patella tendon or both. Next step is fighting to get into the orthopedic doctor. I am preparing myself that he is going to have to have surgery. With all the soldiers coming back from Afghanistan, it really will be a fight to get the care he needs. I did get to see where he works and meet more of his coworkers.
I woke up at 4:00 in the morning to my daughter getting sick. The stomach bug has struck. I just pray that Reggie doesn't get it, with his mobility issues it's really tough for him to get anywhere quickly.
Meanwhile work is extremely busy and it's difficult to take time off work to take Reggie to his doctor's appts. The most comfortable way for him to travel is sitting across the back seat with his leg straight, while I drive. However, whatever it takes to get him better.
And I need to pay the final payment on our honeymoon, and I don't even know if we can go. I do have insurance on the trip, but I do know we won't get all of our money back. And we were so looking forward to it.
Anyway, everything seems to be in limbo and I'm just trying to keep focused on the things I need to do.
I did have a thought last week about weight loss, and my lack of success. Motivation seems to be my real problem. As I was sitting in church, I thought if you can't do it for yourself, maybe you need to make a pledge to God. Each week you are going to give Him a pound. With weekends being my hard time, the timing is actually good. If I can weigh in Sunday morning, and go to church knowing that I gave Him one pound those would really add up, and I think I would get my motivation back. It also seems to help me when I want to mindlessly eat, I actually asked myself how I would feel if I couldn't give God my pound on Sunday how I would feel. And it stopped me in my tracks. Now to get my family stabilized so I can get back to exercising!
I don't know why I wait so long in between blogs, because it really does help center my thoughts and help me work through things. Hope you all are having a great Spark Week! Spark On!!!
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