I just have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to sign up for the LA Marathon again. Best race ever in my book…even tho it’s my slowest 26.2 ever. I’ve thought about it almost every day since 2/14/16! Plus, losing my brother makes me want to do something life-affirming.
He’s gone. Just like that. Alcohol…probably drugs…what does it matter? The same insidious fucked up fucking piece of shit disease that has so many of us in it’s grips…squeezed the life out of Joe this morning. Oh, and now the pain. It hurts more than anything. I loved him so much. We were so close. Watching him slip deeper and deeper into the abyss was difficult and pissed me off. The last phone conversation we had ended abruptly. He was so altered that I didn’t answer when he called back. I tried. I put stuff on his wall on Facebook. Pictures from when we were little etc. he wouldn’t call me back. Finally today, Easter Sunday, I tried to call him after mass.”where you at, you big ole honkey? I love you. Happy Easter. Call me.” He had just died when I left this message. I will never hear his voice again except on the voicemails I will never get rid of. Now the pain is thick and it’s making its way through the back of my throat and into my jaw and it tingles and makes me want to vomit. I can’t believe he’s gone. My beautiful brother who struggled with so much pain he couldn’t bear it.
I met with my sponsor this morning planning to start going through the steps again. I packed my big book, and notebook… I stopped and got us a couple of big coffees at Starbucks. When I got to her house, we exchanged hugs as usual. As we began to talk, she told me she relapsed. In working through my own recovery program, I realize there is nothing I can say or do that would make her stop. It has to run its course. She is devastated and full of fear. We talked a lot, openly and honestly. After I left, I started thinking about what I was feeling about all this. My first thought was to put it all aside and go work out and continue with my day. But I’m not. I decided to sit with my feelings because they are painful. I prayed for her, for her safety, that she will quickly returned to her recovery program. I cried. I wondered if my feelings were out of place. And it just came to me… She is the first person I have trusted completely in years. And working through the steps with me, she knows everything about me and loves me anyway. So I understand now why I feel this way. My relationship with her has been very important. I have trusted her. This is not an easy thing for me to do. So, I am getting to a meeting at noon – my home group – and I think today I might actually share. My own recovery has been life-changing and is extremely important to me. I will get another sponsor. I already know who I intend to ask. And it feels almost adult like to experience this with my sponsor, and not get sucked into the darkness. I am able to see the situation for what it is, feel what I need to feel, and still take care of myself. That feels really good.
Everything was fine considering separation and all. Husband went out of town on one of the nights he was supposed to have my daughters so the girls were with me that night. The next day they were to be with me for the next two nights. Husband wanted to have the girls stay with him since he “lost” a night with them. Anyway the bottom Line is my sophomore wanted to keep our agreed-upon schedule and be with me. That was almost 24 hours ago. As I compose this blog post, they are sitting at a restaurant while he tries to undo the damage he caused last night. Among the grab bag of threats that were strewn about last night, we have the old if you leave here tonight don’t you ever come back here again threat; I am your parent you will do whatever I say. I was quite proud of her when she picked herself up and said she was going to wait in the car. I was not far behind her. The texts full of vitriol lasted all evening. I went to pick up my ninth grader at his house this morning because she didn’t want to stay there last night and the ugliness quickly picked up right where left off. My daughter was late for school; I was late for work; and we were both shaking and upset. When I left work, my phone was blowing up with text messages which demanded an apology from me for speaking to him in a demeaning way in front of my daughters. The rest of the threats in soon… I am canceling your credit card today; this car is actually my car; you better find a real job real fast; get an attorney. I am still shaking and anxious. The good news is I haven’t felt like this for a while which tells me I am putting distance between me and him. I also recognize that in the world of a narcissist, perpetuating fights serves to teach the victim to be quiet and not share her feelings or come to the defense of her child when she witnesses verbal abuse. In the old days, when I was living this way 24 /7, I would simply stuff my feelings and try to help the day and evening proceed as normally as possible. As if normal existed under our roof. I would also look for a way to accept responsibility because in my world I believed that in the end, he was right and I was wrong. I entered this blog post today because I didn’t know what else to do with my feelings. I thought about calling my sponsor, but I am already seeing her tomorrow morning to start working the steps again. The best news is that I relied heavily upon my higher power and all the 12-step prayers and work that I have done thus far to get me through today as safely as possible. By safely, I mean not having my self-worth depleted, not second-guessing myself. Speaking about all this is very helpful for me because I won’t keep the secret anymore.
This weekend was pretty cool. As far as running goes, on Saturday morning I ran a 5K and placed second in my age group. I was pretty excited about this because I haven’t run fast in a long time and it rained all morning and the streets were very wet and it was still drizzly. During the 5K, I was expecting my legs to feel fatigued, specifically my quads. Normally, that is what happens. It didn’t happen this time. I realized I feel much stronger since using weights and my newest work out. That was a really nice surprise.
On Sunday morning, I laced up and lined up for the zydeco half marathon. More weirdness. I had no anxiety at all leading up to the race. This was unusual for me. The race itself was awesome. The course is different from when I first ran it. I realize now that for those running the full marathon, it is no longer a double loop, but a single loop around Lafayette. The course was stocked full of wonderful interactive volunteers. Water stops were not congested at all. There was an abundance of police stationed all over the course to keep us safe on the roads. I am not great at pacing myself so I jumped on with a two hour 15 minute pace group that was paired with a four hour 30 minute full marathon pace group. This was the first time I have ever been with a pace group from beginning to end. It was so much fun. There was lots of conversation, storytelling, laughter, encouragement. As me and my pacer peeled off from the full marathon group, it ended up being just the two of us. We had about 3 miles to go. I still had a good bit left in my tank so at about the 12.5 mile mark I asked her if, since it was just the two of us, could we just let it rip till the end. We were slightly ahead of our pace. Unfortunately, she has to finish on time regardless. So, I thanked her for her support and I let it rip all by myself. I was really happy to cross the finish line a couple of minutes ahead of my plans to our 15 minute goal. The weather was fantastic. We started at 60° with a slight breeze. I decided to try out my Skechers shoes that I bought at the Los Angeles Marathon. I am so glad I did. The cushioning is amazing. The only pain I have in my feet comes from running without socks and needing a pedicure. Given the current state of my life, I consider this small potatoes. I celebrated by having frozen yogurt with a few sugary toppings. I won’t muddy the water with my regular life, but I will say I feel happy. And God is certainly so good to me.