episode 38, It’s been almost a year…

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So much has happened, is happening.  On Thursday, Cathy let us know that one of our members died on Sunday.  She did not commit suicide.   She was almost exactly a year older than me.  I guess she died in her sleep.  I think she was in the group about 4 weeks maybe.  But that would be 12 3-hour sessions, more or less.  It is amazing how much you get to know someone in that time.  It is very sad.  

I think another member quit.  I know I shouldn’t take credit for that, but if she couldn’t take someone disagreeing with her, than it was my fault.  Of course, more likely, she just had way too much going on, or fell off the wagon, or was dissatisfied with the group as a whole and just dropped out.  I’m not overly fussed about it.    I mean, I’ve been there so long that I think maybe if someone has a problem, I’m kind of an impostor and I should move over (leave the group) so others do not lose the opportunity.  And then I come to my senses.  If Cathy thinks I no longer can get anything out of the group, she will tell me, and we will work on getting me out of there.  I am not waiting for that to happen, in fact, I had a kind of problem on Tuesday this week.  I mean, so much is happening, so much I am processing with the conversation with Brian and all.  Cathy isn’t acting concerned about my hanging out there at all.  

Last week Karen said we would work on a plan to get me out of there this week.  But we didn’t.  This was because I mentioned that I really cannot afford it.  But we didn’t talk about it this week because I didn’t bring it up.   Too much going on.  If Cathy and Karen are connecting about me, I don’t know.  I’ve stopped asking.  I am just as paranoid, but whatever.  I stopped asking how long this is going to take, which according to Karen is growth, I don’t really remember asking it quite that way, but whatever.  I think I am giving up and just letting it take as much time as it will take.  That is what I keep saying: “I should be over this by now.”  

I’m tired.  I’m sad and depressed.  The perpetual grey-black cloud is parked over my head and it won’t leave me alone.  I am wondering around like Eor.   I can’t do a Tigger if my life depended on it.  I can’t even do a Winnie the Poo, or Piglet.  

I talked to Denise at the CRCC on Wednesday.  I finished the assessment — it took two sessions. [Karen said that isn’t abnormal and insurance companies allow for two sessions when billing.]  The last half hour we talked about Brian.   She said they do not encourage confrontations for just the reason, what happened with me.  Most of the time, 75% or more, can’t remember the exact figure of perpetrators never admit they did anything wrong.  With him back to drinking heavily he is not facing things and perhaps not able.   I told her that if I did not try to talk to him, I would regret it if I did not get the chance, like if he dies.  

I whined about how I am angry with him now, and regret having not gone into how it effected my life.  Denise asked me if I was going to fill those holes in my life with bitterness or with good stuff.  Geeze.  I guess she won’t let me feel sorry for myself.  I told her she was right.  I do have choices.  But when she asked me what I wanted to do, I told her I wanted to be a rotten bitch for a while.  

When I told Karen this, she laughed and asked if I was easing her into knowing Sue or just jumping right in.  I came back with how I didn’t ease into anything with her (Karen).  She said she was joking.  

I am sorry if this is really fragmented.  I am feeling a little fragmented right now.   I got Cathy, and I feel like she is really on my side, and I am starting to feel safe enough in there to let some stuff out.  Sometimes it is not all that voluntary.  It is usually somewhat delayed though.   I started to panic on Tuesday.  I tried to hold it in check, but while they were having a quiet, image, mindfulness, my body decided to turn that into crying.  The thing is, I really don’t know why I started to panic in the first place.  Cathy said that I am working through a lot of stuff, and I have a lot to work through, and I am doing well by managing to stay in there when that happened, and to use the skills.  

I was going to ask Karen if she thought I was stupid for having unreasonable expectations for my brother.  I told her that.  But I’m not stupid — that is a cognitive distortion.  She said that because this was the first contact with my brother about that, no one could have known for sure what the outcome would be.  From what I knew of him, it wasn’t unreasonable, not until you factor in the increased drinking, and I didn’t know that was the case until I talked to Lisa (my sister) after the fact. 

My Christian beliefs are internally pressuring me to forgive, but I thought I was there, but took 3 steps backwards.  Now, I’m pissed.  I am irritated with myself for not saying more to him.  I mean, he knows I remember, and that I think it affected both of our lives, and that I’ve been in a lot of therapy, but there is so much more I want him to know.  I don’t want to rush into forgiveness when I am just no longer there.  It’s a process.  Maybe I am going to have to forgive him (in my heart) once a month, once a week, once a day, several times a day.  Until it sticks.  But I am not there right now.  I’m still pissed.  So I am kind of feeling opposite with regards to my faith walk right now.  

It seems like I feel two ways, conflicted, about a lot of things.  I’m not in a comfortable place right now.  I am worried about Thanksgiving.  I will see Cathy tomorrow and Tuesday, but I won’t see Denise on Wednesday, Thursday is a holiday, and Saturday I won’t see Karen.  I do have appointments for every Saturday in December though.  Well, anyway.  It’s a long weekend coming up.  Will be doing a ton of work on Thursday, and then the rest of the weekend I have to try to fill out somehow.  

My A1C numbers went down but are still high enough that the coroner wants me to take another sugar med.  Not sure I will do that.  The cardiologist says that I should be on a statin and the coroner said that too, so I started that.  Today.  Still waiting to hear about my polyps from the colonoscopy, but am not worried because the doc did not seem worried about them.  When Mom had hers he got her back in right away and under the knife super fast.  The cardiologist said everything is looking good.  I lost a little weight — trending down.  Blood pressure is a little high, but I told him about how I’ve been missing the meds and he said maybe we should just monitor it and the coroner can add the other med if necessary.  I am already taking metoprolol and losartan for that.  I couldn’t take the lisinipril, and adding the cholesterol med with the thyroid med and the diabetes med, and my aspirin, well it’s a cocktail already, and the thyroid has to be taken on an empty stomach by itself, which is why I forget to take the rest.   But mostly good news on the health front.  


Join the Conversation


  1. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Solongago,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. That’s a tough situation to be in, but I’m happy to hear that you seem to have an understanding with Cathy and Karen. Also very happy to see mostly good news about your help!

    Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help. We’re here for you, no matter what.

  2. Zoe

    You definitely have a lot going on. I’m sorry for the loss of your group member. Even if you don’t know them outside of group personally, you do bond in a way and get close to each other in a group setting, so it is still often difficult when something like that happens.

    I think it’s okay if you feel like you can’t forgive Brian. I understand that you feel like your faith requires you to forgive him, and I know that faith is really important to many people, especially when they’re going through difficult times. But I think it’s important to be in-tune with your feelings with something like this, and to not push yourself into something you feel like you “should” do, if it’s not something you actually want to do. If you do feel like you want to get to a place where you can forgive him, that is totally up to you. Just don’t rush it, and still prioritize yourself and your feelings. But it’s also okay if you don’t get to that point. Your feelings are always valid, and you don’t need to feel guilty or bad about the way that you feel, even if it’s not in-line with something like your faith right now.

    Thank you for the update. I’m sorry things have been more stressful lately, but I hope you’ve been able to at least have a little break over the holiday. You definitely deserve to take some time for yourself.


  3. blashea Volunteer

    Hi, I am so sorry that you are going through all of this and for your loss. I am so proud of you for all the progress that you’re making. I am also glad that you found a support system. Your feelings are valid and it is understandable to feel conflicted. I hope that next week is better for you. You are so strong. Thanks for continuing to trust us with your story, I look forward to hearing from you again. Keep your head up. We are all here for you.

  4. Jess Volunteer

    I’m sorry that it’s been a rough week for you. You’re processing a lot of information, so it’s totally normal to feel conflicted and fragmented, especially about the situation with your brother. The holidays are always really hard, but just keep pushing as best as you can. If you need anything, we are always here and there are also resources under the “Find Help” tab on our site here.
    I’m glad to hear that your health is getting better! Keep up the good work! I hope you start feeling better and you’re able to get into a routine with your medications. It’s hard to get used to taking them, but it’ll be good in the long run. I use the app MediSafe, which is similar to what someone recommended earlier. It might be worth it to look into something that will help remind you to take them! Anything that helps.
    If you need anything at all, please reach out. We’re always here for you! Sending healing thoughts and good vibes your way. <3

  5. MH Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Thank you for coming back and updating us again.
    Glad to hear that you got some good news in regards to your health. I know it is hard, but try to keep your head up high.
    We are here for you!

  6. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    It sounds like you’ve been experiencing a lot this week. It’s understandable that you’re feeling fragmented and conflicted – you’re processing a lot at once. As for forgiving your brother, it is a process. On some days, we’ll feel like we can forgive the person, and on other days, it can feel downright impossible. That is okay, and your feelings are valid.
    It’s okay if you don’t feel like being like Tigger. Maybe you could take time to feel everything you’re currently feeling, then figure out if there are ways in which you can help yourself feel better. Maybe scheduling in some self care or doing something you’ve always wanted to do could help.
    Sometimes when we don’t know the reason why someone did something, we come up with possible explanations. Some of these explanations put the blame on us. It can be hard not to blame ourselves, but I want to remind you that her leaving was not your fault. The other member may have left due to personal issues, etc., and as SFM said, we don’t know what people are going through.
    I’m glad that you’re making progress with regards to your health, and I hope you keep making progress! Thank you for updating us. We’re glad to help you and to read about how you’re doing. You can do this.

  7. Deanna Volunteer

    Hi Solongago-

    Glad to read your health is on track. Polypharmacy is a pain. Do you have a smart phone? If so, I recommend Mango Health for med management. I love it, it’ll give you a reminder whenever it’s time to take your meds and it keeps track on your progress like if you take them on time. Plus you gain points and enter into raffles for gift cards. Super helpful ? there are likely other apps, that is just the one I found and stuck with.

    I loved your Winnie the Pooh reference, in fact I had just compared myself to Eeore the other day. I hope you find your tail.

    Holidays are tough, it sounds like you have a plan though. Plus we are always here when you need us.

    I’m definitely with Cathy, by the way, hanging in there through the really tough stuff is no small feat. It’s like how it’s against instinct to run toward a fire, but no one can ever put it back unless they confront it, and with the proper equipment you should even come out mostly unscathed.

    You will get through this. I’m cheering for you ?


  8. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Good to hear about the good news on the health front. I’m sorry you’re feeling a bit fragmented, and I know the holidays are tough. I know we have some resources on the site about dealing with the holidays as a survivor-they might be helpful for this upcoming weekend. Thanks for sharing more with us.


  9. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there Solongago,

    First of all, I am so glad you’re doing mostly well on the health front. It seems your health can be one less stressor for you for a little while.

    From your post, I sense you’ve been struggling for a little bit as life has been a little crazy – and that’s okay. It’s important to remember there will be good days (months, years) and then there will be bad ones too. I can tell you’re concerned that the members leaving may be a reflection of you – but try and remember it is not. We often don’t know what’s going on in others lives. And there can be SO much going on that has nothing to do about us. Sometimes our brain can be a strong thing that makes us want to belive we did something wrong. I definitely get that. It can be a struggle to try and remember it’s not us, but I know you are strong and can keep pushing through. I sense it was devastating to hear that one member passed. I’m glad you took the time to write to us about it and express your feelings too.

    I just wanted to point out I loved your Winnie the Pooh reference. Sometimes all I can be is Eor too. It can be a struggle to be a Tigger or any of the other characters who seem to be happier. The fact that you’re trying is what matters. I see that you’re pushing to be happier, as you go to your groups and are doing all the right things to stay on the right tack.

    What will you be doing for self-care around the holidays? Sending you lots of light and positivity this upcoming week. We’re always here for you.