After dinner on Wednesday night, I washed walls. I usually do it a couple of times a year, anyway, but haven't done it since I was pregnant with Owen over two years ago. Can you say eeeeew? But you all know where I was, emotionally and mentally, on Wednesday and Thursday, and you know, I just didn't want to yell at my kids. I was also feeling restless, irritable and discontent, and well as being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Those are for me, even after some years sober, MAJOR triggers; I am still SO vulnerable to alcohol, to the sweet, numbing effects of drinking large quantities-so when I get to the point where I was on Wednesday/Thursday, I really just need to stop and reevaluate. I am not AT ALL going to say that I am not worried about money or my kids or that they don't cause me stress, but at that moment, the most important thing for me to do was not drink. It is so scary sometimes to realize how easy it would be, how all it might take is a bad day; and yet, I have been given all of these tools in AA that when I use them, I don't drink.
So I took care of the most basic needs: I ate dinner, I called a friend from the program, I made sure to take some extra time with each of the kids, I called another friend from the program, and then I washed walls. It seems so silly, but it works for me. I cried while washing, but it felt cleansing (no pun intended). Steve came over to give Owen his bath and read to him, and I took the time to go outside and sit on the porch for 15 minutes before having to go back in and engage. And I made a conscious decision to stop fighting. Not meaning giving up, not at all, but accepting that this is life at this moment, and just because it sucks right now doesn't mean it is going to suck forever. And that I need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing what I can do on a daily basis and things will fall into place. Or not. But the key for me is to focus on the things which are right in front of me, and trust that if I keep doing that, it is going to be okay-whatever "okay" ultimately looks like.
Through some creative financing (and thanks again to my friend Chuck, who certainly doesn't read my blog because he doesn't trust computers and I wouldn't want him to ANYWAY because he still thinks I am sweet and kind), between the $$ that he stuffed in my pocket last week, the returning of the bras, and Eli's mowing money (no, I did NOT borrow money from my kid; I TOOK it from him. He owes me the mowing money and any other $$ he earns for the foreseeable future), I was able to pay for the first half of the class last night and put gas in the car in order to make it to and from the class. I am grateful; above all else, this is what seemed the most important to me at this moment. I also spent a good part of the day yesterday (I posted in the early am, or rather scheduled the post I wrote on Wednesday evening to post early) making phone calls and trying to get things taken care of as best as I could. It is just a matter of getting through this next little while, and with the help of some people who would rather remain anonymous but know who they are, I will get through this next six weeks until everything gets back on track. Thankfully, I have not had to contact my mom, and with luck and careful management, I won't have to.
I want to rant and rave again about how crazy it is to still-at 36 years old!-be in a place where ONE major deviation from the budget is a tragedy, but I don't have the energy today. Instead, I am feeling tired and weepy but quiet inside. I don't have any answers; I know that I made certain choices a really long time ago that led me to this place, but the time for blame is long past. I also know that thing have been progressively getting better (I used to live on the edge like this ALL.THE.TIME. Literally). What can I be doing differently? I don't know. I can't pare the budget any closer; therefore, I think I just need to keep doing what I am doing. That pretty well sums it all up for me; this is where things are, and as long as I don't GIVE UP, they will get better.
I look around and see so many things going on and know that while money is and has been my biggest personal issue, we all have something. I was at that class last night (about which I will blog another day) and we are the only family who doesn't HAVE to be there; Eli might be in a terrible place right now, and I have no doubt that we are ALL going to learn from what this class has to offer, but neither his nor Hannah's behavior can be compared to that of the other kids. There was a group of kids who had absolutely NO respect for anyone in that room, including themselves. I was in a classroom later with the other parents, realizing that I was the ONLY single parent there and thinking that maybe I am not doing such a terrible job after all. I know and read blogs of other people who are struggling with family issues or health issues-terrible ones-and while it doesn't negate my own experience, neither does it mean I get to corner the market on pain and suffering.
I had a whole eloquent paragraph I wanted to write just then, but really, I just don't have it in me today. Just know that what you guys say-not just the blog folk who really ARE friends (and wow, how strange is that, really?) but my in-real-life friends-it does matter. It makes a difference. It makes me feel not so alone, not quite so crazy. And whether it is a financial way or otherwise, I simply cannot repay back those who have given me just what I need at the time when I need it. I hope to, at some point; to be a good friend, and a good support, and just be able to help.