Thursday, December 22, 2016

First Sharing of Journal

July 5

Very quiet day, as expected. When I got back from feeding this morning, he was up, apparently Hamish had been barking while I was gone. He didn't stay up though and I may not see him for quite a while. But that's ok, we are both dealing with an emotional hangover, and he with a real one, lol, so a quiet day is appreciated.

I talked to Starry again, let her read what I have written here. She is very interested in our journey and as I have said before, I appreciate her input and comments. We talked for quite a while, and she said she was captivated by what I'm writing. She called it a true slice of life, about relationships and how they develop and are nurtured. I was a little nervous, because she is the first one to read this and because it is so personal and because it is also filled with small details, I didn't know if she would be bored. She said she wasn't at all. Of course, she knows us both so that may account for her interest. She said it gave her such insight into both of us and into the scope of Michael's demons. She asked if I had written down a treatment plan with benchmarks and rewards. I told her no, I hadn't and that really isn't something I feel comfortable doing. At least not right now. Keeping this journal is my way of measuring progress, and frankly, since I am flying by the seat of my pants here, I have to constantly make course adjustments based on new insights I get into Michael. Starry said that it is incredible the progress I have made in such a short time and that made me feel good. After I sent it to her I reread the whole thing myself and relived many of the episodes I wrote about. I was able to call up the emotions I felt at the time and I, too, was pleased at seeing how far we have come. But I certainly can't rest on my laurels, we are just an inch into a many mile journey. But I can already see that, as expected, this is turning into perhaps the most significant journey of my life. Certainly it is the first journey I have put huge amounts of thought into and actually have a plan for. Everything else in my life has been kind of a “go with the flow” response from me. I don't know whether to attribute this to age and experience or something else. Just don't know

July 6

Another quiet day, Michael has days and nights mixed up. Went to bed at 7am, got up about 2pm. Spent a lot of time with Mary. We had a nice dinner last night, and I got a hug after dinner. That is almost the extent of the time I have spent with him in the past couple of days. These are also non drinking days, He seems ok, but still more quiet and withdrawn than I would like to see. Patience, Linda.

July 7

Darla the housekeeper came today and I had already asked Michael if he wanted to go with me to Costco while she was here, he said yes, so I proceeded with that in mind. He did, but it was like we were back on the trip, he was silent and sullen. He had not had anything to drink for the past couple of days, and he had killed another black widow spider during the night, this one in the house, and it freaked him out again and he couldn't sleep. But after we got to Costco I started to see him open up a little. In the first place he kept getting after me because I was doing things he thought he should do. Pick things up, carry things, reach things, that sort. He was actually teasing me. It was nice, then we decided to go out for lunch at BJ's, which we both like. After lunch he started talking a blue streak again. We had to go to Walmart and he was ok with that, and we were laughing and giggling the whole time. It continued on the trip home, then when we got home I gave him the remainder of the bottle of run and he started making himself small drinks. We talked, went over some of the same stuff we always do, but in doing so, it helps us (me) internalize it. His insistence that he knows how hard it is for me when he can't or won't talk to me for a couple of days, but because I leave him alone and don't bug him, when he is able to, he spends more time with me and we talk about many important things. He was telling me that he can talk to Mary because they have some of the same issues. And it is more lighthearted. With me there is more substance to our discussions. Yes, I must have patience, and understand that he has these periods when he can't seem to talk to me, but that he is aware of it, feels badly about it, though I don't want him to, and knows that if he and I just give him another day, it will be better. I will get used to it. I told him during the time he doesn't talk to me, I am confronting my own demons and trying to lay them to rest. Right now he decided not to drink and to play a little and see if he wants more drink later. Gives me a chance to do a little writing, before I start playing. Overall, things are going well, just not as I expected, but my expectations were not realistic in the first place. This is reality, and when it's good it is very good. When it's not good, I'll just have to deal, and I can.

Later same evening

We did some more drinking and talking. Actually, Michael didn't drink much, stopped at a good spot, and wants none tomorrow, just save it for Thursday raid. We talked for a couple of hours, a lot of the same, and some new stuff. Or rather new insights into old stuff. We talked about Mary, and how he knew he had been talking to her more than to me, and he told her about that. So tonight, she went offline to give us time to talk. Nice :D. We touched again on how he appreciates me giving him space. We talked about this book. He doesn't want to read it for a long time, but likes the idea of our talks being material for the book. I told him there were things that would embarrass both of us in the book, and he was fine with that. Agreed it probably lent authenticity. We laughed a lot, hugged a lot, and discussed how far we have come in just two short weeks. He wondered where we would be in two more weeks. I told him I am more interested in where we will be in two years. A lot of time we just go over the same thing, the uniqueness of our relationship, the harem, Mary, how comfortable I have made him feel, but that repetition reinforces the decisions we are making and our future together, for however long that may be.

Even later, same evening

It is 3 am but I wanted to write this while it was on my mind. I went to bed about 10: 30 and straight to sleep, but as has been happening lately, was awakened a couple of hours later. I heard Michael go outside and I decided to join him. He was drinking my bourbon because I had forgotten to take it with me when I went to bed. So he drank and we talked and we finally got to some new content. We started talking about medication. He knew I was thinking about it at some point, but he doesn't want to take any. More than that, he gave me his reasons.

His depression and anxiety run on both sides of his family. He says everyone in his family is on medication and can't function without it . I shared that I feel the same way, that I am not the person I want to be without my antidepressant. But he doesn't feel that he wants to just give into a pill. He said he has been close to beating this before, but hasn't been able to sustain it. He is brought down by guilt and people around him. He says it's like he falls off a cliff and everyone just keeps kicking him until he is all the way down, then he has to climb back up the cliff, one hand at a time, and start over again. But he feels he can do it. He says medication never works on him like it is supposed to. Exercise, a place where he is comfortable, no one guilting him, someone who cares for him, these are the things he needs to climb out of the hole and then sustain it. He feels he has that here, with me. He tells me he feels better now than he has in a very long time. His head is clearing, the mist is lifting. I am still not convinced he can sustain a recovery all on his own, but it is what he wants to do and I will support him while we see if he can. He recognizes that both of us had some unrealistic ideas about how this would go and neither one of us realized how hard it was going to be. I admitted to him that I have been fighting my own demons at the same time I am trying to help him. He acknowledged that he has been disappointed in himself somewhat, but that he is now not beating himself up over it. He knows he is a heavy drinker and that he needs it right now, but he is also planning and often succeeding in reducing the amount.

I told him I was hungry and he decided to make me a grilled cheese sandwich. While he was making it he asked me to get the rum so he wasn't drinking my bourbon. I did, and brought down the bottle, but I said to him “I am concerned that if you keep drinking this, that you will have another 3 day hangover.” It stopped him in his tracks. He said I was right, that he was going to finish the drink he had and then go to bed. He said originally he was only going to have one drink then go to bed, but I came down to talk, and talk and drink go hand in hand, but he was very glad I said something to him. It was the first time I injected a comment about the amount he is drinking. I did it gently, and followed it up with the fact that he is a grown man and must make his own decisions. I will never nag him and I will stay with him if he decides he wants to continue to drink. But tonight, at least, he decided to stop. He fixed my sandwich and I shared it with him,. He again thanked me for saying something to him and told me that any time I think he is drinking too much I needed to let him know. He knows he is not good at monitoring his consumption, and I see that as one of the ways I can help him. The desire to quit or slow way down is firmly there, but the ability to see when it is enough is underdeveloped at this time.

Again, I got the big hugs I love and the “I love you, damnit” that accompanies them. Then he went to his room and I came upstairs. I was in my bathroom and I heard him come up and put the bottles on my craft table. He doesn't want them near him. He doesn't want to drink tomorrow (or later today as the case may be). He wants to be able to have some sips on Thursday right before raid, not earlier in the day. He says that it is ironic that he came from a place where drink and cigarettes were readily available to a place where drink and cigarettes are easily available, but the difference is huge. There he felt trapped, here he feels free. He feels good now and revels in that feeling of clarity. I still don't know what I'm doing and going primarily on instinct, but so far, at any rate, it seems to be working.

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