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Sam Bailey 09-28-2016 06:05 PM

Hey Folks,

Ruby and I back from the park, been back awhile, actually. Ruby is napping now. I ought to be, though it's getting a little late for an afternoon snooze.

Anyway. Although wickedly hot outside, it's not unbearably so, as it was a while back. Any case, Ruby had a good and healthy walk/run. And swim! Oh my, is that narrow river gunky? Yep, it is. Mostly though, it's just mud and fallen leaves---yet to Ruby, it's as clear and sweet as any Rocky Mountain water source.

Not the point of this post, however. Our park adventure, I mean. Ruby's and mine.

The point is this: my friend Chuck died. Chuck was 73 years old and a regular at the park I run in. There are several of us. "Park friends." We see each other nearly everyday and we always, at least, nod and wave, especially if we're in the middle of a hard 300 meter interval.

Otherwise, we stop and talk. It's lovely, this friendship many of us have.Then we're off to our next workout. Thing is, we don't know any of our last names. Never see each other except at the park.

Since I've been hurt, I've been absent from the park scene for several months. And I lost contact with all my workout pals. But then, a while back I saw Chuck's brother and learned that Chuck had Shingles. He obviously had to take time off from the park himself, but, like me, fully intended to come back.

Then, now just a few days past, I see Chuck's brother again. I ask about Chuck, "where is that lazy brother of yours anyway?" I joke.

He's dead, I'm told.

It's a long tale, the reasons that Chuck died. Terrible reasons. The day after the hospital released him from the facility, he died. His brother found Chuck on the bedroom floor of his apartment. Chuck's family, as a group, believe the hospital and many of the doctors are responsible for Chuck's demise. Maybe they are. I don't know.

What I do know is that I will never see this crotchety old guy again. Crotchety but loving and sweet. And kind. He never failed to ask about Noah, about Noah's health and about Noah's sobriety. Chuck knew about stuff like that. He had 21 years clean and sober.

And now he's gone. Where in creation did he go? Are will all just kindling for the earth?

I don't even know Chuck's last name. But I know he was a good man; I know he cared about me.

He was my "park friend." And it is true, I wish he wasn't dead.

Yet.....he is.

Thanks for listening.

sam

Tryntryagain 09-29-2016 06:39 AM

Good morning dear, dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

What a magically beautiful letter. I knew Chuck, right there. I think i can explain.

When the Great Man was doing his dying, 20 months, a good whack, there were others on that journey that somehow "followed" the Great Man about. The same faces in the same waiting rooms, hospital beds and whatnot. One such was a "Chuck". His name was Ted, far older than the Great Man weighing in at a respectable 86, seemed fine to me, yet he was dying of cancer to.

He had fought as a pilot in the war, he was the archetypal English Gentleman stuck in a time that no longer existed. The love of his life whom he had been married to for over 50 years, had now departed and he knew it was his turn.

So the Great Man always refused to stop smoking as did Ted and often i had to take Larry out the the "naughty boys hut" where they were allowed to smoke. So i got to know Ted.

Somehow he managed to combine being a miserable old goat with an deep obvious compassion.....i could just feel it from him. Well he and the Great Man got on like a house on fire, (pun intended), at their journeys collided again at the Hospice. Same thing, a naughty boys hut, same old Ted.

Then came a day, i went to my usual morning visit to the Great Man ...and yes.....he was smoking outside with Ted, yet there was a totally different Ted speaking. I approached them both, it was sunny and warm, and there was no laughing, no "chirpiness" coming from the naughty boys hut. I did not know this could happen, yet you can stay in a hospice "until nearing the end" and then choose to go home, (if possible) to die. Ted had chosen that pathway and today, it was time for him to go home and die. He knew it, we knew it, goodness me it was a difficult hour.

When he had finished his 700th cigarette, he shook Larrys hand and said to him, "goodbye old friend", turning away as i could not watch this, he followed me and took my hand to shake it and said, "and goodbye to you you crazy man. I would have flown with you".

And off went that old and grumpy.... and quite extraordinary man.

So you know?......Every day when i am with the Great Man in my heart, Ted, is always there yet he meant nothing to me, i, nothing to him.

Circumstance made him very special indeed.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you my dear Sam

Alexis 09-29-2016 07:01 AM

Oh Sam im sorry about Chuck, your friend. what a beautiful letter, you write with such love and clarity.

I will think of you both today xxx

lostdog 09-29-2016 08:29 AM

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Chuck knew you cared and was your friend. May you have peace in your heart and a big hug by all of us.

R. Lee 09-29-2016 09:07 AM

Sorry for your loss Sam.

Sam Bailey 09-30-2016 04:07 PM

Hey Folks!

Sheesh, seems that most of my posts, certainly the last two, have been less than feel good posts...counting this one.

Bottom line: I just returned from visiting my (once) best friend, and writing partner, John. I think I wrote of him previously. Although we lost touch for the last decade, I recently reunited with him...based on our mutual friend/lawyer's heads-up.

See, John has Lewy Body Disease, the same condition that afflicted Robin Williams. Ahh, what a delightful condition. Basically, it's a mix of Parkinsons with Alzheimers.....and my friend is in, what seems to be?, the (near) end stages of the disease.

He's a mess, poor old friend of mine. At one point he was a hard-charging, bright, though often pain in the butt bright, clever, assertive, athletic and really smart guy. Today he wears diapers. He drools. He's often delusional, as he was, I think, today.

I could go on, but no, I won't. Why am I even writing about this? What purpose does this serve? Sure, I just returned from our visit, so, yeah, it is a fresh emotional wound I feel.

I don't know. Maybe I'm reminded, as I was with the death of my friend Chuck, that we are all mortal.

Maybe I'm just reminded that the close of life is inevitable for all of us.

Maybe other things. Most of all, I am reminded that I gave away years of my life caught in the darkness of drug addiction. I know, now I do, that I could never be the "best I can be" while under the influence of drugs or booze---and that all the time I wasted doubting that is just...wasted time.

If for nothing else, I need to remain clean and sober so I have a chance to be that "best Sam."

As I see all of us struggle in this darkness, I am reminded that this is true for every one of us. If we don't stop messing around with dope and booze, our time will be gone...and our chance at being the best whatever, that will be gone too.

I suppose the thing that hurts me most about John is that I know he knows this. In the time before this visit, he was able to tell me that he regrets his own waste of time. His waste was also spent in drug and booze darkness.

I feel so damn bad for him...and, if I'm honest, worse still for myself. I can help John now, now that I'm done with my active addiction, but, well, for him I guess it's just too late.

sam

lostdog 09-30-2016 09:19 PM

I am very sorry for all you're going through and the past revisited a lot. May you know that each day you share your bright spirit with us and in the present and now as you are, we just think the world of you. No regrets for you or us at all, just good ole Sam.

R. Lee 09-30-2016 09:51 PM

Sam, You are writing about this because you hurt. As we reflect on the wasted past I am & I know you treasure the fact that you are sober & you carry the message. I am thankful for you & your wisdom. It is OK to hurt & then try to let it go. Prayers & thoughts for John.

Tryntryagain 10-01-2016 05:40 AM

Good morning dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

Thank you for a really inspiring, and such an honest letter.

For ourselves, to be honest simply has to include knowing how many decades for some, years for others we have "thrown away". A time we were "not at our best". Yet dear Sam, that is sooo big, it is impossible to take on board as totally true.

My journey as a kid, the streets and all the malarkey meant i was "supposed to " always refer to those times as mind blowingly awful. I sure know that is where my own definition comes from, yet it is to "forget" the friendships, the life, the ways of those days and times.

Drug and alcohol addiction also "ruined" any prospects i would have had without them. However i can not allow myself to regret those decades. If i live to be a 1000 and hell freezes over, it was all just a learning curve.

You are Sam. You have Mrs Sam. Some may say this forum is but a vessel of words and wishes of well being. Some like myself can actually touch you, feel you, know you, and hold you.

Yes we can be touched by words, and know nothing of the author, yet words from those we have come to know and love, through the prism of each others experience, is a truly special way of soothing our grievances, our hurt and our regrets.

It is not to late for John to know you love him, and this is the place for you to come and share what that really feels like when it seems so hopeless. I am so sorry you have to see it, and i am so sorry John has to be it.

Another branch to the tree that is you. At times depending on which angle you see the tree, it can look both resplendent and truly beautiful, and at times, ugly, dark and frightening. It is all the same thing.

When i look at you i see such a beautiful tree. A strong, wise tree i can sit under to shelter from fear. A tree i can come to with my thoughts and ponder under, a tree that i can been hurt and angry, tearful and joyful. A tree that will always listen, and always, always give me wisdom with its shelter.

If those traits belong to someone who regrets years thrown away, could the tree give me sooo very much, had it grown in a different way?

My thoughts with you.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you my dear Sam.

Alexis 10-02-2016 01:29 PM

sorry you are feeling low Sam, please keep writing and being honest and open, i hope it helps you.

Will be thinking of you xxx

Millie 10-05-2016 01:00 PM

I'm sorry, Sam. Certainly sounds like you have valid reasons for being a bit down (not that there are INvalid reasons -- I hope you know what I'm saying).

So damn hard.

Alexis 10-05-2016 01:07 PM

How are you Sam? xx

Sam Bailey 10-05-2016 02:41 PM

Hi Millie, Alexis---All Folks,

There is a difference, I think. A different shade of blue. Not the more ordinary sadness-blue I sometimes feel, regarding these most recent developments, but a different ache.

Maybe it's a universal kind of sad, the fact that (forgive my cliché) we're all going to die. We're all mortal; we're all vulnerable.

I mean, my friend/partner John was SUCH a hard-charging person, and now he's nearly an invalid. What must HE think about this change in his life?

We all have plans (in life), right? Sure we do, one way or another. And while those plans sometimes come to fruition, most often they do not---at least not in the precise way we planned them. Sure, sometimes it's a better outcome.

And sometimes we get sick.

Time now to get my Zen thing working! Right? Ha!

Truly, when I regain my balance, as I pretty much have now, I realize the absurdity of life. I realize that, for real, It Is What It Is.

Life, I mean.

No matter what it is.

But still, I feel most sad for all those friends, family, loved ones of any stripe, who feel the loss of their loved one. That's the worst part, I think. The worst place to be in. Not the dying person, nor the dead person. They have the easy part to play.

It's the person left behind that suffers most. The person who loves.

Anyway. Again, friends---thanks much!

sam

Alexis 10-05-2016 05:27 PM

you sound a bit lost Sam, that makes me sad. Life is strange isnt it. At yoga tonight, i couldnt shift the image in my head of my yoga teacher crying. She is so nice and happy and helpful, and in my mind i was thinking of the time she had her heart broken.

Maybe im messed up??

But i often look at strangers and wonder about the times they cried, laughed, made love, screamed in anger...everyone has their life, so different, but the same emotions. It creeps me out at times.

Love you, keep talking to us xxx

Tryntryagain 10-06-2016 02:35 PM

Good evening dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

My friend and brother.....i'm soooo tired, so how's about...

"love you loads"....or do i have to pop "howdy" in somewhere?

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you dear Sam

lostdog 10-09-2016 09:30 PM

How are you doing Sam? Hope you are feeling better today.

Alexis 10-10-2016 11:31 AM

How are you Sam? Hope you are feeling a little better xx

lostdog 10-13-2016 09:09 PM

How are you Sam, I hope things are better for you. Sometimes, it is just very hard and I hope I can lift your spirits today. take care and I will think of you and wish and pray for you the best.

Tryntryagain 10-14-2016 05:39 AM

Good morning dear, dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

How goes it my brother? Here in my dear ole Blighty the rain is gentle pouring, the wind unforgiving, and dear ole Rolo loving every minute of it.

I often think of all my brothers and sisters in my head when i am out on our walks. I always smile when your name pulses in my heart, although i do get a tad worried when i haven't heard...from you....how you are getting along.

I have an overwhelming feeling you are a human bod who has learnt too well to keep "himself to himself"....and empowers others he loves in giving the rest of all you are. A thimble full of you is enough to inspire, and you know that. It still leaves my brother perhaps feeling lonely inside himself.

This brother wants to wrap my arms around you brother.

Speak soon eh?

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to Mrs Sam, Loveness to you dear, dear Sam.

Alexis 10-20-2016 05:54 AM

Sam, thank you so much for your support, it means the world to me xx

Alexis 10-30-2016 01:25 PM

Sam, not heard from you in a few days, how you doing? Miss speaking to you x

lostdog 10-30-2016 04:23 PM

Yes Sam how r u? I'm sorry your daughter moved, but you can visit the pretty area. Please take care and be gentle with yourself.

Tryntryagain 11-05-2016 12:42 PM

Good afternoon dear, dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

Why is it when i write your name my heart smiles so widely? Freedom....that's what it is.

When i read your letters to me, and to our brothers and sisters, i mean....all of us share all we are with each other, we are all so different, that beautiful mosaic of listening and learning folk, and the message i am left with each time i listen to you is...freedom.

What's that dear Sam?.....WTF am i talking about?....Ahh....

What i mean is that when another who has had a journey that contained challenges not many if any could overcome, to offer love, understanding and humour as an out to others as a consequence, is offering that person freedom.

Now, imagine being me feeling what i have wrote. So each day i come home to this family, and there is a letter from Sam. I know immediately i am going to listen and laugh. I will be given a message, an important message from the heart, wrapped up in a way that leaves me with laughter for sure, and loving to think on with.

Again, if you were me, you wouldn't half like to know how the geezer was getting along!?

How are you dear Sam?

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you dear Sam

Alexis 11-09-2016 10:14 AM

Hope youre ok Sam? Trump? wow .... unbelievable :mad: SO sad. xx

lostdog 11-10-2016 08:42 AM

How are you Sam in sunny California. My short trip there was so nice. I saw the good and bad. Take care and know that this burden should never be taken alone. We are all together.

Sam Bailey 11-10-2016 11:53 AM

Hi Folks!

Thank you all for your kind words. I'm well. Reasonably so, to be honest. Some days better than others, like most of us...right?

You might also notice that I spend most of my time here commenting on other folk's threads, thereby revealing my great wisdom. Or absolute ignorance. Ha!

Mostly, life here, with the Sam Clan, is moving forward, favorably, I'm thankful to report. My son is terrific, with 2+ years clean and sober. I couldn't BE more thankful.

My daughter (and 5, count 'em!, 5 grandkids) are living their sweet lives in Oregon, on the coast just down from the bucolic resort town of Astoria. Not ALL resort town, other industries too, but it's "look" draws lots of tourism.

Just this morning I spoke with Mrs. Sam about a quick few days visiting those precious people. Likely will do so just after Thanksgiving.

Our tenants? Ha! Finally got them out of our house, though not without us losing thousands of dollars. But okay, it is what it is. Right? Zen place and all that... I mean, it's only money... Those bastards! HaHa!

My knees? Don't ask. Ha! Still, I run on them. Ain't s'posed to, yet I do. But not if they hurt too, too much. Mostly I run barefoot on the local soccer pitch, fast but short---a mix of 200s, 300s, 600s and some mile intervals. What can I say in my defense? Any defense? It's what I do, who I am.

I do need to get back to my writing. Not the stuff I do for work, but my own writings. As I've noted, I've produced (wrote and directed) hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of television programs, mostly documentaries. And I'm totally comfortable with all aspects of that kind of dealio.

But writing anything for ME, short story, novel---hell, hardest thing I've ever done. Terrifying, too. Ha! Still, I do it. Not always to my satisfaction. Uh, rarely so, if I'm honest. Yet I do it.

I posted this quote the other day, "Writer's write." No matter what, one must take out one's pen and paper and, if one is honest...write. These days, yeah, yeah, yeah---no pen, no paper.....get out the ol laptop.

Anyway. That's that. For now, at least.

Think I'll be off to run now.

best,

sam

Tryntryagain 11-12-2016 02:43 PM

Good evening dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

How i love you so.

"Writers write".....no matter what, one must take out one's pen and paper and, if one is honest....write.

Indeedy.

2 things my gorgeous brother....

1....you just have....

2....the pen is the thought, the paper the heart.

Re knees....

If i told you what i have to do with mine, you would ask me how much my extension cost.

My arms have got the hump. They can't reach you.

Oh hold on....my heart can.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you and Mrs Sam.

Alexis 11-14-2016 09:57 AM

Miss you Sam x

Alexis 11-26-2016 08:52 AM

I wont stop telling you i miss you Sam haha how are you? xx

lostdog 12-04-2016 11:34 AM

Write us and tell us about your sweet soul and what's been up.

Alexis 12-05-2016 04:44 PM

Hey sam hope everything is great and youre looking forward to christmas? will you see your kids? xx

Sam Bailey 12-05-2016 07:24 PM

Hi All!

Many thanks for checking in on me. Though I don't often post on this Thread, I am certain to prattle on in all of YOUR Threads---so you all pretty much know, I think, what's happening in my life. I am certainly not loath to reveal anything.

Not loath, but saddened to reveal this, however. My most beautiful and wonderful (oldest) grandson has been busted for pot. At school. And now he's facing expulsion. Most disconcerting though is that he's smoking it...well, nearly everyday, we think. Now I have nothing against smoking pot...except if you're 15 years old. And at 15, I am horrified that he's doing this. The effect on a kid's brain can be...CAN be...catastrophic. Arrested development and all that messed up brain stuff.

In addition, he's giving his Mom (my daughter) a terrible time and might go live with his a-hole father in Portland. Such a mistake, I can't tell you!

Anyway. I am terribly distressed over this entire thing. I want to shake him awake...and I want to hug him out of this critical error. He and I have a bond that is unbreakable. The boy is more of a son than "just" a grandson. I tell him, "I love you with all my heart...and all my brain." And his wandering in this dark place saddens me terribly.

There's more. But enough for now. Suffice it to say, it's a freaking mess.

Anyway.

There you go.

sam

lostdog 12-05-2016 09:43 PM

I'm sorry. Hopefully he will quit it's a good thing he has you.

nan 12-06-2016 01:35 AM

Hi Sam, Sure sorry to hear about your grandson's issues. Family can bring such joy, and then they can also cause our hearts to really hurt. I work with "troubled teens" and many of them have no family support-your grandson is surrounded by family who love him and will work to get him the help and direction he needs. It will not be an easy path, but keep the lines of communication open. sounds like he just might just listen to his ole grandpa. imagine there will be counseling and other interventions offered. Maybe even he could come down and spend some time with you? Sending supportive wishes to both you and your precious grandson.

nan

Tryntryagain 12-06-2016 04:49 AM

Good morning my dear, dear Sam. Bright blessings to you.

Oh my friend, what to do...what to do. As I am not in the habit of handing folk eggs to suck, very little unfortunately is the answer.

It's only pot!! they shout......oh yeah?

15?? ****ing 15? You're having a laugh?

From what you have shared this is not a spliff behind the bike sheds with 80 of them, yet a use that is now a need. He needs you. Is there a way you can get him away from his Father without causing world war 3?

Like my Mum says, keeping those channels of communication open vital. Having had a handful of my own kids, sometimes that is all you got. Seemingly not enough, trust me, keeping those lines open means eventually, you will "get that call".....HELP!

As my dear brother I feel so very passionate for you. After my little lot, remember when I said all my girls came down from London a few months ago and they were completely smashed and took coke in my bathroom?......I will never forget that night for the sound of the shattering of my heart. I wanted to knock them all out and hug them all at the same time.

Then you know what happened the next time they came? Alcohol free, drug free, they had got it.

There is always hope, yet watching someone you love in a race....that you know what the outcome will be, makes you want to jump in the road during the race from the crowd, to stop your loved one as he is going to wrong way.

Keep being there. Keep being there. Keep being there.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you my dear, dear Sam

Alexis 12-06-2016 06:07 AM

Really sorry to hear this Sam, my cousin is 20 and smoking an awful amount of pot. Granted he is older but i see how it affects his mum.

Hoping you can help out and he can see he doesnt need it.

Love you xx

R. Lee 12-06-2016 10:35 AM

Sam, I hope that your grandson learns from this. You & yours are in my thoughts.

Millie 12-06-2016 04:47 PM

Ugh, that's so tough. I'm so sorry, Sam.

I was very close with my grandmother, and knowing she would disapprove kept me from doing so many things. Even now, though she's been gone for 15 years, when I feel like doing something harmful (to myself), I often conjure, "What would Grandma think?"

Have you talked to him? Does he know your history? Preaching likely wouldn't help, but knowing you're disappointed -- and why -- might have an effect.

Anyway. Just thinking out loud. I really hope he can get his head on straight. This reminds me of an episode of Better Things in which the oldest daughter, who smokes a ton of pot, realizes she's wasting her life and has essentially a mid-life crisis at 16.

I'm so sorry about all of it.

Alexis 12-12-2016 02:33 PM

How you doing Sam? Hows the family? x

Alexis 12-21-2016 05:52 PM

Sam, my friend, how are you doing? Are you excited for christmas? x


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