All The Feels
This is long over due. It has been way to long since I last posted. I don’t even know how that happened. So, so much has transpired in those months. I don’t even know where to start. Life is so different now then it was a year ago. Yes, almost one year ago we drove out to North Hampton to say a final good-bye to JoDee only to end up bringing her home. She is nearly 11 months clean. At the end of April, she will be clean for a year. One. Whole. Year. Take a moment to appreciate the gravity of that. It’s hard to believe.
The first months that she was home was not easy. I didn’t realize how closed off I had become until she was home, and that was forcing me to feel something. I know that day we drove home from North Hampton I was crying but that was not my norm. My norm was basically flat. I didn’t really get mad, or happy, or really anything anymore. I didn’t even notice that shift. I think at some point the body shuts off those emotions as a way to protect itself, just like shivering is the bodies way of trying to keep itself warm. The lack of feeling was probably the thing that kept me upright and functional after all the insanity that had transpired but it comes at a cost. It was like being on a specific diet for a long, long time. No meat, or no dairy for months or years and then sitting down to eat a giant steak, or an ice cream. It feels amazing in the moment but later on it will be misery when your gut is torturing you. I had that, but in an emotional sense. I felt nothing, but then when I started to feel something, I felt everything. And one of the most tangible emotions was anger. I was so pissed off I could almost taste it. That seems contradictory, right? I mean she is alive and healthy and living at home and I’m mad? I’m insanely mad? Makes no sense, right? Wrong.
I was bitter, and resentful, and terrified. Most of fear stems from anxiety or anticipation of the unknown. I was so afraid that we would get used to her being home, and she would be gone, leaving us broken hearted again. And, the longer she stayed, the more I realized how much time we had lost, and how much time I lost with friends, and how much my life had changed, and how shut down I was which made me angrier. I’m sure you can see where this is going. Anyway, JoDee worked hard, and worked with AC and did the things she was suppose too. She followed all the rules, and took shit when we gave it, and slept on an air mattress for months, even after it had a hole in it and would half deflate during the night. She had some issues sort of reacclimating to normal civilized life, and not life with the homeless.
We are almost a year to that day, now. A year has passed. In a few short weeks she will celebrate a year of clean time. And a almost a year later and I feel like I am emerging from a fog. As I reflect back on the last year, and the last seven years, I realize how absent I have been in most everything else. I have not been a good friend, or a good listener, or a good feeler. I have the feels now, though. I can tell you that. One of the biggest things that has changed is that JoDee is pregnant. And she is having a daughter of her own. The “finding out” story is one for another day, but to say I was not exactly thrilled at first would be an understatement. Part of the reason I wasn’t thrilled was because I was sure she would be gone, and I would be raising a grandchild! That is not the case. She is doing all the right things. She is healthy, and happy, and excited about life. And I am excited for her. I am excited for me. I am excited that our family finally has something to celebrate, and a future to look forward too. Most of all, I am excited that I willing to allow myself the possibility of having hope again.
Recently, someone told me I have walls up that are 10 feet tall. That is probably true. No, it’s definitely true, but when I look at the things we have gone through as a family, and as individuals, it’s not really a wonder why that is. Seven years ago I walked into the first detox, months later she was missing in the first state she ran away from. Six years ago I sectioned her for the very first time. Five years ago I sectioned her for the second time, and four years ago I sectioned her three times in one year. A year and a half ago I sectioned her for what I hope was the last time. I have banged on the door of drug dealers, I have chased her into places that I can’t imagine anyone being in, I have watched her life be saved enough times that I am scared she has worn out all her luck. By the time we went out to Northhampton last year to say good-bye to her, I had stopped feeling anything. I didn’t feel happy, or sad, or mad, or sick, or really even scared. I felt nothing. Feeling now is very weird. It is like learning to appreciate the human experience all over again. I have really enjoyed seeing friends again, and spending time with them, and not worrying if someone will ask me how JoDee is. I have realized how absent I have been, so I have a lot of ground to cover. Thank god I have good friends that have been patient and understanding and forgiving of my shortfalls. More to come on Baby Girl Ferreras. And on how we manage to live post active addiction. I have heard from many people that addicts can recover. I am working on feeling the feels….. some of those feels suck, but some of them have been awesome.
As an update:
In January our beloved 15-year old black lab named Bud crossed the rainbow bridge:
Georgi misses him terribly, as do we all.
I got to be the “know-er” of the gender by going to the ultrasound appointment, and then throwing the gender reveal party- which was a lot of fun.
This was the cake I got her…….
Jared turned 18 and got what I can only assume is the first of many tattoos… since that’s how we roll:
Steen, JoDee, AC and I completed our annual New Year’s Day egg throwing- which was amazeballs, and we (Steen and I) started training for the 3-day 50 mile MS Walk:
And most recently, Jared was a big jerk to me, and because he is my kid….. got me this cake to say sorry!
I look forward to sharing the positive changes, after so many years of negativity. Thank you for all the support, and all the love.