I had a huge milestone this past weekend. It was a couples (2) weekend outing to a rented cabin, near Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. My first time ever staying in a "cabin" since back in my Boy Scout days. Unlike those, this was a really nice, self-contained, nicer than my home but in no way luxurous. Just a cool cabin. Spend a day shopping in Sandpoint, ID, fun litte shopping town. I'm relaxing from having to continually "push through" to concentrate. Like someone flipped a switch, and I had an appetite. Three years, I'd lost my appetite since she died. Been surviving off of fast food. Lost a lot of weight and muscle. Just wasn't hungry. So all the sudden, on Saturday, I was hungry. Really hungry. And I ate a lot, you know, Thanksgiving type of full. I couldn't believe I could still put food away like that. One really good sort of truck stop with no trucks type of old style diner. Took our table 1 hour and 20 minutes to get our mother's day breakfast. But it was a nice time just to talk, no real hurry to get back home, a good visit. And such good food. Dang! And I've been eating good this week since I've been back. And getting my sleep. I went too many years with minimal sleep, magnified by her death. So now I've got an appetite and forcing myself to get adequate (normal person) routine rest.
You know, I've seen my new life (LWJ -- Life Without Juanita), take some pretty major pendelum swings since her death. It's been quite the journey. Yup. Appetite and Rest. Pretty cool breakthroughs :) Scottie -- oh yeah, I hit 20 years sobriety in less than 2 hours. May 18, 1998. That was my first life altering course. Glad that no drinking stuck with me, had a brother-in-law drink himself to death at about 32 after my sister was killed in a head-on. John was one of the finest men I've ever met. Truly, a man I was glad married my sister. Yes, one of the few things I hung onto was my non-drinking. Juani knew how big a deal it was for me to quit drinking, and she put up with 2 years of my daily attendance at an NA meeting. She put up with that, started to wear thin toward the end. But I found God on that path. Had a blast looking for Him. Turns out He wasn't lost. But I was. Turned my life around. Whole different direction. Earning money and reality (and a good patient wife) drug me back out of my first and only one year sabbatical. Was able to afford living for one whole year without working. That was nice. Learned the Bible. Lots of good things. So 20 years of sobriety is a pretty big deal for me personally. I had a mother that died from alcoholism and liver disease. Alcoholic family, post-banned from ever seeing her children again. How Dad accomplished that, I'll never know. But my mom was too far gone into her alcoholism at that point. A quart of whiskey a day. For a two year after divorce period, I either knew her drunk or passed-out. Us kids fended for ourselves. I was age 9 and 10. Yeah, alcoholism ran in my family, in no small way it was just family culture. So different back then. All things considered, I think I turned out pretty good. Gave up the high stress life for less money. But we were a team, and pulled through. You know, all we each wanted for the other was their happiness. All things considered and boiled down to our primary concern, making sure the other was happy. Juani was pretty low maintenance, her kids, another story. But when it came to pursuing my happiness, she gave me free reign. So I worked in a high stress profession, sobered up, and my life completely changed direction, 20 years ago. Until she died, that was the best run. We were married 30 years. I never considered not growing old with her. We were so good together. My wasted Well, that transition of life happened over a 5 year period. Stop drinking really changed me for the better. I began to grow again as a person. I was 40, been a hard drinker with periods of self-impossed abstinence, since age 16, a teenage alcoholic under control over the next 24 years. I was in one of those self-imposed abtinence periods when I met and married Juanita. I lasted about 4 years on my own, just didn't drink. But you always pick up where you left off. Damn. I had a good woman, stuck by me no matter what. Why? Because she loved me and she trusted me. We were a team. I thought chasing the profession would make me happy. Didn't. Had the opposite effect. Glad I got out of it. 15 years ago moved here. Had a starvation office for a couple years after my sabbatical, got a paycheck job, got laid off, unemployed for 2 years during the recession, studied pre-nursing to keep getting my checks, got my present job helping to feed poor and hungry people and stuck with that for 8 years now. Helped build something. No other job could I have survived my grief. And pre-nursing? We had no idea what that was about. Made no sense, but I couldn't find a job, so just kept going. Well, fast forward to her terminal cancer diagnosis. Over the next 4 months, those very same nursing assistant skills I learned were invaluable since I was her sole caregiver. She would not have let another person in our house to care for her. Amazing how life things happen and you just shake your head when the stuff that makes no sense just works itself out. A lot of my life has been that way. Crazy pendulum of life. ~~~ Scottie (again :)