This is my OPINION, not to be confused with any official stand from anyone else.

I believe my alcoholism entails a lot more than my inability to drink normally.  I believe I was a little alcoholic as a child, unknowingly waiting for the magical elixir of my first drink.  The drink that would answer all my questions and settle that “restless, irritable, and discontent.”  

Why else would my childhood friends also be alcoholics (with some exceptions)?  We had yet to have a drink, so the problem was as yet  Ill-formed and unnamed.  I call it “pre-alcoholism,” the alcoholic before they ever have a drink.  We were attracted to one another because we shared this misfit-ness.  I spotted it in my daughter when she wasn’t much older than a toddler.  And sure enough, the first drink turned her from a contrary teenager to a full-blown alcoholic.  The disease was just waiting.  

Obviously this is why recovery from alcoholism is much much more than abstinence from alcohol.  Without alcohol, we are left with all the “reasons” we drank like pigs.   Thankfully, we have the program to deal with those reasons so that we can live sober successfully.

But that’s not my point. 

There’s a person in the political arena who has never had a drink in his life.  His older brother died of alcoholism.  So he never drank.  When I look at him, I see that overly intense look in his eyes, which I have seen so commonly in alcoholics.  I believe his whole body and soul is just screaming for a drink! 

Hence, a pre-alcoholic.  And not someone I’d be comfortable with holding a high elected office.

That’s my opinion.  That and  ~$4.65 will get you an iced latte at your local Starbucks.

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2 weeks, 6 days

That’s me being happy on my bike, after an open water swim.  I have gotten so I love my weekend trips down to the lake for an early morning swim.  Before anyone else is in the water.  The sunlight gleaming on the water, the water so cold.  Most mornings, a few others will join me before I’m through.  We sometimes talk about which triathlon we’re training for.   I always think that I must continue this habit of early morning lake swimming after the race is over, but I know it is unlikely.

Biking, on the other hand, I have come to hate.  It used to be my favorite, and my strength, but now it is the opposite.  I decided that racing with a mountain bike is just stupid, so my road bike is in the shop getting a tune-up.  That thing terrifies me, but I know it is so much easier to get speed on.  I haven’t been on it since my last triathlon, 4 years ago.    I have gone over its handlebars twice – the first time breaking some ribs.  I just haven’t gotten over that fear.

The run will be whatever it is when I get off the bike.  I am not counting on doing anything fast.  I just want to finish and not embarrass myself.  This race is more about sisterhood, I will be with my age group.  We will start pretty much after the competitive wave and the breast cancer survivors.  There are always a few women who are currently undergoing chemo.  There’s a reality check right there.  And then the women who for whatever reason made this their stretch goal.  Some of them weigh a lot!  Some of them are old.  Some young.  It’s inspirational and it puts my vanity into perspective.  Yeah, I’m slow.  Yeah, I’m “fat,” but I’m strong and I’m healthy.  It’s all good.  

I’m plugging, trudging, plodding along.  I’m grateful to be alive and sober.  God is good.

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My son is in state to fight a local fire.  I got to have breakfast with all my children on Sunday morning and it was wonderful. I hope he can stay through this weekend, but the life of following wild fires throughout the western United States is mercurial.  

My sister’s birthday was yesterday and it hurt like hell.  My sis thought her birthday was a national holiday, and over the years pretty much convinced the rest of us with her extravagant parties.  

Before I drift into morbid reflection, I’m going to sign off. 


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July 7

It is a month today since my sister died. Those three words “my sister died” still take my breath away. It is becoming my new reality, but it still feels raw and awful.

Yesterday I had the first procedure of the dental implant process.  I am incredibly grateful for dental insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts and the job that is paying for all of this.  I am also grateful for a great periodontist with awards all over his walls.  He is a handsome young man and a very good surgeon.

He is also an Ironman Triathlete.  Somehow the topic came up and I told him about my Sprint tri coming up in August (a month from today).  As I was leaving his office yesterday, we stopped and talked for maybe 15 minutes about our training.  And as I got in my car, I thought “This is why I am a triathlete.”

So this young athletic Doctor chats with me as a peer.  A fellow athlete.  A person who understands why he doesn’t want to wear a wetsuit and why finding a place to train on the bike is now so challenging in the Denver metro (because of our ever-expanding population, many of whom have moved her to smoke pot – gross), how gaining weight seems to be inevitable when training hard, etc.  We talked and laughed and enjoyed ourselves.

I think this makes me “other” than a 64 year old overweight woman.   Which is what I am.  But I am an athlete.  I run races.  I do triathlons (this will be my 10th).    Even if I come in last, which I have done more than once, I am still out there.

I think I signed up for this race in February or March. I thought I “needed” it because of my job.  I had no idea what the summer would hold and no idea how very badly I needed this event in the future, and the eternal present of training.  Thank God for it.

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Training and Injury

That little injury of my right foot has been diagnosed as a Morton’s Neuroma.  My doc ruled out a stress fracture by way of x-ray.  I was resigned to this, but then remembered a chiropractor who had been part of my running group and specialized in Active Release Therapy (ART).  I’m a big believer in this therapy because it helped me tremendously when I was training for my marathons.   

I made an appointment and saw one of her colleagues last week.  She did ART, dry needling, and applied kinesio tape.  It helped.  I saw her again yesterday.  

But my training, between this injury and a trip to NYC, has suffered.  I think I will be fine with the swim, and I can finish the bike ride, but it will be hard.  The “run” is probably going to be a walk or even a limp.  That’s not the way I wanted this to be, but I would rather finish poorly than not participate at all.  

I ordered a new running dress last week.  I will wear that over a tri suit once the swim is finished.  I like the way they look and feel.  I still need to get a new tri top.  I have a couple of old ones, but spandex is a tricky fabric and becomes transparent after a time.   

I’m excited about the race and the training.  I just wish I had more time to devote to it.  This weekend I may try a 3/4 tri.  Not all of the distances, but maybe 3/4 of them.  Just to get a feel for what I need to accomplish in the next five weeks.  

I’m incredibly grateful my old body will still do this.  What a blessing.  

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Monday Morning

Heading into a holiday weekend, gratefully.  I filled up this past weekend with too much activity and ended up with a migraine and a sleepless Saturday night.  I was a bit afraid of inactivity, but I must remember that, as an introvert, I need a lot of alone time.

I’m also a person obsessed with politics and world news.  Granted, lately I have had to switch off the constant news because I find the state of affairs in the US so disheartening. But I have been so busy of late I haven’t had time to really wallow even slightly in it.  I hope to have lots of down time next weekend.

I’ve given a lot of thought to what I really want to “get done” before I die.  There are a few things, but they’re not really “bucket list” type things.  I want to spend more time with my grandkids.  I want to experience summer mornings in the mountains.  I want to take a long train trip in a sleeper car (something I was planning with my sister).  I want to retire!!!!

But for now, I am glad I am working.  I am glad to have the co-workers I have.  I am grateful for the friendship with my office next-door-neighbor.  She’s a 37 year old (born the same month as my daughters) African American woman who I have come to like very much and admire.  We have such fun!

Dinner tonight with one of my friends who lost a brother the same week as I lost my sister.  I’m sure there will be a few tears shed. She is such a sensible young woman and very grounded.  It will be good to see her.  We worked together at the hospital for 21 years.  

Boring.  Life.  Sober.  Grateful.  Grateful.  Grateful.

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More plugging

Back to work, back home, back to “normal.”  I think I’m ok most of the time and then see some evidence that I’m experiencing a new ok.  Every morning now my meditation includes weeping.  My drive to work is so difficult because I that is when I called my sister.  Not that I called every single day, but I knew I could if I wanted.  Now I can’t.  

There is no one who has as much faith in me as my sister had.  No one who will encourage me and mostly always be on my side the way she was.  She had a huge role in my life.  I don’t think I realized how huge it was until it became a gaping hole.  

This morning I got almost all the way to work before I realized I left my garden’s drip irrigation system running.  It is a 32 mile ride which takes over an hour so going back home seemed insane.  I will go at lunch time and thankfully this afternoon I have a meeting that is about half the distance.  I hope I haven’t flooded my yard and that my water bill won’t be huge.  I called the water company and they said I ought to be ok as long as it’s not much more than 4 hours.  

Here’s what I’m grateful for:

  • A job that’s just the right amount of challenging for my current brain power
  • Friends who have been so supportive 
  • The summer season and all the flowers, fruits, and vegetables
  • A good new doctor who is a practitioner of functional medicine and has me on NO medication at all
  • My home, be it ever so humble….

For these and all the other blessings in my life Thank You God.

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