Thursday, April 23, 2009

a new reality

The tears began to flow as I hit the interstate on-ramp.  Not 2 miles from home.  And before I knew it, my foot was firmly planted and I was speeding (yes, in the legal, or shall I say illegal, sense) down the interstate, tears streaming down my face.  Doing the exact opposite of what everyone said, and what everyone said was to "be careful."  

Indeed, I would not say speeding while crying is considered a careful act.

Why was I speeding?  What was my hurry?  

I had left my comfortable life--Jeremy, the Bug, the quadruped entertainment/snuggle troupe--and found myself rushing toward a new reality.

Speeding away from helplessness and toward almost certain pain.

Yet there I was and it seemed the uncertainty, fear, guilt, anger, hope, apprehension, and anticipation--along with a myriad of other nameless emotions--were weighing down that gas pedal as surely as my foot was.

Several miles later, I finally found equilibrium again, but it was fragile.  Tears proved to be my unrelenting companions today.  It was just like that.

I traveled today to meet my brother and pick up my Dad to come home and live with us for a while.  My Dad is an alcoholic, with rapidly failing health.  Those 2 factors are so enmeshed I'm sure no one could untangle them.  This is my family.  And this is our last ditch effort to get our Dad healthy.  I'm clinging to a hope that he is still there--beneath the addiction, beneath the loneliness and sadness of the past several years.  I'm just hoping to see a glimmer of the man I grew up with, the guy I once thought knew everything (don't all daughters think that of their fathers at some point?).

In a perfect world, he would be in a residential treatment setting.  It is where he needs to be, and we hope in the future he still might go.  Because truth be told, I don't know squat about addiction and coming down from your demons.  Oh I've been around it my whole life and I'm no angel myself.  I have my bad habits certainly, like picking my lips and spending too much time on the computer (love you macbook, missed you today).  But that's just what they are, they are habits, not addictions.  And I'm essentially clueless as to what the future will hold, particularly the next few days.  Dad's first days of sobriety.  A chance to see what might be left when his relentless companion is gone.  

It is worth mentioning that my brother got him through day 1 and most of day 2.  That my brother has been enduring a lot being the most easily accessible child, living in the same town, seeing firsthand the ups and downs, and how each down seemed just a bit farther down than the one before it.  Until we got to where we are now, just shy of that ubiquitous "rock bottom" you always hear people talk about.  Or maybe this is "rock bottom," who really knows?  Maybe it's one of those things you can only really see in retrospect.  I guess we'll find out.

Tonight, somehow, all feels peaceful.  I'm fairly certain all the other beings in the house are sleeping; something I surely should be doing too.  I don't know what tomorrow brings.  I don't know how long Dad will be with us, or if we'll be successful together in fighting this beast, or if things will be surprisingly easy, or surprisingly hard, or if I'll want to run screaming from the whole darn mess.  So much I don't know.  But if this peace proves fleeting--which I'm pretty much counting on--let me savor it now.  Let me shore up, because I know I'll need it.


Trish Chibas said...

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Good luck!

G&M said...

We love you guys and are thinking about you. You are a strong woman and although this is going to be very rough, I know you will be able to endure. You are doing the right thing. I am always just a phone call away if you need to vent or talk... stay strong, and channel your peace!

nathaniel, elizabeth, & grace said...

A- That's beautiful writing about an undoubtedly not beautiful topic. You're in my prayers!

Nichole said...

Amanda, you are a remarkably strong person! I have so much respect for you and what you are doing. You are all in our prayers and if you need anything at all, you are welcome to call anytime . . . even if you're up and can't sleep at 3am again. Love to you all!

Chris F said...

You are such a beautiful person Amanda. I will be praying for that glimmer! Love you.

Anonymous said...

From my job, I know a few things about the DT's that occur when the alcohol is leaving the system-some pretty serious risks, watch him like crazy, I'm sure you've already gone through some of it, but the risk of seizures, and bad ones, is very there. Getting alcohol out of the system is actually a lot more medically dangerous than coming off heroin! I commend you and Jeremy on your willingness to take this on.

Madeline said...

My dad did this too, once a bad bout of pneumonia forced him to make a choice. I wasn't there for it. What a lot to ask of yourself. I know that AA is what worked for my father (now over 20 years sober) and for several I know. Hang in there.

deldobuss said...

Amanda, our hearts and prayers go out to you. I too have had to struggle with the pain of an alcoholic father, and someday might have to face the reality you now have crashed into.

It's a painful thing to see your father so fragile, so pained by his own choices. I am glad he was able to seek help.