Tag Archives: crisis

Loving An Addict

Loving an addict….
It’s just another normal day in my life.  Wake up, rally the kids, get out the door, and go to work. I’m relatively new at the office.  Less than 4 months in fact.  That’s pretty much as infant as it gets when working in child welfare.  Professionally speaking, I have zero experience.  None.

I live in a small rural area in Ohio where the “opioid epidemic” is out of control.  I don’t mean it’s a nuisance, or a pain in the side to taxpayers – but, it is of course.  What I really mean is it completely out of control.  There are families that simply cannot put it down and see the beautiful and tender faces of their children in terrible distress.  Parents aren’t even trying to get their children back from children services anymore.  In with the opioids, out with the children. The battle isn’t even fought.  Parents are waving the white flag and walking away childless without fighting the good fight.

I know addiction quite well.  I watched loved ones die slow and agonizing deaths from drug and alcohol addiction.  “Sad” isn’t the word I’d apply to that.  “Devastating” isn’t even profound enough a word to describe it.  I still haven’t found the words to impart the deepest pain that exists when you watch a loved one slowly taking their own life – not by suicide, but by addiction.
Every. Single. Day.
As a child, I could not understand what was happening to all those people I loved.  I was oftentimes startled by their love and laughter one day… and then rage and anger the next.  A beer can was a sure sign to hide or find an excuse to leave.  If I happened upon that odorous smell then I knew that things could go bad real fast.  But, what I didn’t know was the long term effects of drugs and alcohol.  For a very long time, I didn’t even know it was called a drug or alcohol.  I just knew it was there and those using it were unpredictable.

Nonetheless, their addictions did not stop me from crying endless nights for them – for their sufferings.  Their addictions did not stop me from hurting as I saw them sick and dying.  And then, as we laid the first in the ground, I was enraged.

I spent most of my adult life trying to show some grace to those battling addiction.  I love and honor the person each are meant to be – free of the addiction. No addict wakes up each day wanting to chase the high or bottle.  Addiction is how they have grown accustomed to coping with their own trauma.  It probably feels more like the addiction is chasing them.

I have loved many addicts in my lifetime of 40 years.  There isn’t anything someone can say to change my mind about that kind of love.  It’s raw, painful, innocent, full of grace and absolutely, at times, mostly enabling.  It’s a love that believes that love does conquer all.  I’ve prayed thousands of hours for their changes, their health and their abilities to overcome the struggle of addiction.

I’ll never forget when my uncle passed away in his early 30’s.  With his last breath came the realization that no amount of love can save someone.  And it wasn’t until later in life, that I struggled with accepting I cannot change an addict.  But, it doesn’t stop me from wishing that ten little fingers and ten little toes would stop a parent in their tracks, to take inventory, to make changes and to give those sweet children the best chance this tough world has to offer.

With addiction comes broken spirits of the many children left parentless.  They are fragile and traumatized.  They yearn for their parents, even if that means taking all the dysfunctional parts of that life.   Because, that’s their normal.
– Carmen 
Not Just Nearly Learn happiness, But Really Learn happiness

Stuck in the Middle With Myself

My name is Caprise I am a 46 year old, single Mom. I consider myself pretty old for a teenager. I would LOL at that but here I am fully understanding LOL and getting teased for knowing it’s meaning by my younger work colleagues..among other things.

The world can be a tough place for a woman in her 40’s. On one hand celebrities are being celebrated for owning their years. Meanwhile giving the side eye, Charlize Theron being quoted as saying no women after a certain age should wear a T-shirt with Hello Kitty on it.
It should be noted I Love Hello Kitty.

We are told be yourself. Have fun hair. Own your curves. Have your own style as long as it fits in a mold. A celebrity can cut her hair off in a pixie and it’s the new it hairstyle. I do it and I feel compelled to say please don’t cut it too masculine or make me look old.

The first time I felt the side eye I was checking in at the registration desk to get my haircut. I cheated on my normal salon and went to a similar salon. The young lady behind the desk had all the piercings, black eyeliner, funky hair and wearing a Ramones shirt. She was less than pleasant with me. I had come from some pretty heavy meetings so all my tattoos were covered up. I never feel old usually until I have these types of interactions. All I kept thinking was do you even know who the Ramones are?!

More recently I had a meeting with a younger staff member. The room we were in was hot and I took off my sweater. To which I got wow you have a lot of tattoos. Yes I do and I’m pretty sure some of my tattoos are older than you. They legally can buy you drinks.

To put things in perspective 4 of my girlfriends myself included got our noses pierced for our big birthdays. Our version of a mid life crisis? No -for me I always wanted to but wasn’t sure what my employer would think. Since I’ve been there for 12 years I didn’t want to rock the boat. I met with our HR team got it approved and the next day got some nose glitter. We were a generation that listened to grunge, wore flannel… music and how we looked was our rebellion as it always has been. But the backlash for still wanting to express ourselves that way is rarely well received.

A few months ago I colored my brown hair blonde – recently I started adding lavender. For the most part it has been well received but a few people felt compelled to say again I must be having some sort of crisis.

Could it be my recent weight loss?

Could it be after years of not feeling like myself I do now?

Could it be ending a very hard and hurtful relationship?

My generation was the generation that got pierced, tattoo, ushered in Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair, worked three jobs so we could go to them. I made it possible for some of you reading this to have more acceptance looking not like someone else.

When I got my belly button pierced it was such a novelty at the time that the British alternative band whose concert my radio station sponsored insisted on taking pictures with me. It hadn’t hit Europe yet.

One of my favorite cartoons The Far Side had a strip that featured two old guys sitting next to each other heavily pierced and tattooed & the one says “ I see your were stupid in the 90’s too.”
While I’m not a member of the barbed wire ink tribe both my arms are covered in ink and yes I have the unfortunately named tramp stamp.

Help me understand why that isn’t ok?

Why can’t I be a Mom, successful in my car and still express myself?

Why can’t I crush on Henry Rollins and listen to Anthrax?

If men of a certain age do these things – look at how they balance. They are renaissance men. Women want them. Men want to be them.

Here’s my point in this blog. I worked for each piercing and drawing on my body. They are all extremely personal and mile markers of where I’ve been and made it through… a blog for another day.

As for my hair well life is too short to have boring hair.

It’s ok to have two sides. Just don’t get arrested. I don’t have bail money & trying to save for my 50th birthday trip to Spain.