Friday, August 31, 2012

Life Choices

A beautiful young woman
I am extremely sad.
 
I normally blog about the lighter side of my life, but today I need to express my frustration, my anger, and my deep sadness. I  am an emotional roller coaster of emotion the last few days, and I am a wreck. 

A couple of days ago my niece was admitted to hospital.  Overnight her condition worsened and she was placed into the intensive care unit (ICU).  Late into the evening the next day she was flown to the University Hospital in Edmonton after her condition continued to deteriorate to the point that she required life support. It didn’t need to be this way.

She is in her thirties.
 
She is a mother.

She is a wonderful person with a bright smile and a kind heart.

She is an alcoholic. 

My frustration stems from feeling helpless. My anger is from wishing she had made better choices, and my sadness, is acknowledging that she is powerless against the disease, which is alcoholism.  This is a disease that is preventable.

Alcoholism has plagued my family for as long as I can remember.  The difficulty for me is watching while my family wage their personal battles with alcoholism . The battle is sometimes won, but not always.  The battle continues as they fall victim to it again and again.  It is one day-at-a-time practice and the goal being to never give up on sobriety because there is always hope and a new beginning. There is always another day, never give up. 

There must be so much pain. When did all the pain begin? Was it because of residential schools? Was it the loss of our indigenous language and traditional lifestyle? Is it intergenerational trauma? Did it escalate after we tried to mask the pain, which created more pain? Did it have to do with racism? Low self-esteem? When will it end?  

I admit that I don’t understand it.  I don’t appreciate what it's like to walk in their shoes. I don’t know what it feels like to crave that drink in spite of what it means and how it will impact us and the people we love most.

What I do know is that it's not a fight you take on alone.  The truth is people are hurting and in pain. A pain that is hidden behind smiles and laughter.  A supportive loving and compassionate system is the only chance to win this battle. It takes a community.  Family.  Friends.  People who can help you face the difficult truth.  

Most importantly you must love unconditionally.  And by that I mean you need to demonstrate your love not by encouraging them to join in the “party” thinking that after "a few" you'll not be hurting anyone.  But rather by being there for them when they are sober.  Being there for them when they are weak.  Being there to listen. And being there to say the hard truth while letting them know that their life holds value. 

In happier times!
My niece is fighting for her life.  She is demonstrating with her life the very real possibility where this lifestyle could take you.  If, she makes it through, she is going to need support because she can never have another drop of alcohol for the rest of her life.  Which on the whole is not a bad thing.  If she doesn't make it, this will be a terrible tragedy and a huge loss for our family. 

Still, either way, if you have this problem, I challenge you to make a commitment to her that you won’t follow her into the lifestyle that had her in her prime end up in the hospital fighting for her life.  If you can do that, perhaps her tragedy will not have been in vain. The cycle of alcohol and drug abuse, including prescription drugs, must end. 

Follow Up April 3, 2012


On holidays in BC

I am pleased to write that she is living a great life without alcohol.  Life is not easy, but without alcohol she has one less complication. Newly engaged, and enjoying everyday, feeling blessed, and is making the best  of her second chance in life. When you see her, give her a hug and let her know she is loved.

2 comments:

DUTA said...

I'm sorry about your niece's condition. Hope she overcomes it soon.

Alcoholism is quite common in places with very cold weather. Like you say , the disease is preventable; it is also possible to get rid of the addiction if the addicted person is not too weak of character, and if he/she cooperates with those who wish to help him/her.

Anyway I wish your niece a quick and good recovery!

dbs said...

Hope you are all well.

Blog Archive

Labels

#greencold-pressedjuice #healthcare #sisterlylove #healing #love (1) 100 days of gratitude (4) 2008 (1) 2010 review (2) 2012 (1) 2014 letters (1) 2015 (1) 2016 (1) 6th line (1) A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table (1) Acadia University (1) acai bowls (1) accident (1) accidents (1) ACDEN (3) ACFN (7) Addictions (2) Adia (1) Advertising (1) Africa (1) Agricultural benefits (1) Ajahn Brahm (1) Albert Mercredi (1) Alberta (1) Alcoholism (4) Allan Adam (1) alternative care (1) Andrew (9) Andrew Gr.7 (1) andrew's books (1) Angelina (1) anger (1) animals (1) Annie Pootoogook (1) anniversary (5) apology (2) April (1) Arctic (1) artist (2) Arts (1) Asia (1) Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (1) attachment (1) Attawapiskat (1) August 2011 (1) aunt (1) Aunt Marie (1) Auschwitz (1) Australia (3) Autumn (2) Ayurveda (1) Baba (1) Bad to the bone (1) BBF (1) BC (1) Bennet Dam (1) Beverages (1) Bill C-31 (1) Billy (1) Biology (1) birthday (5) birthdays (1) blessing (2) blogging (3) blogs (1) Blood pressure (1) Bob Dylan (1) Bodhi (2) book review (2) Books (3) boys (1) brain (1) breast cancer (1) Brother (1) brothers (1) Buckminster Fuller (1) Buddhism (1) Buddhist (1) Burns (1) Bush (1) Business (1) camera (1) Canada (1) Canadians (1) cancer (1) Captain Schettino (1) captain Sullenberger (1) Cars (1) cat (1) cell phones (1) Challenge (2) change (1) charity (1) Charles Camsell Hospital (1) cheating (1) Chief (2) Children (1) China (1) Chipman House (1) Chocolate (1) choices (1) Christian (1) Christmas (6) Christmas 2015 (1) Christmas music (1) Christmas Mystery (1) classic cars (1) cleaning (1) climate change (1) cold (1) cold pressed juice (1) cold season (1) cold virus (1) colonic (1) Coma (1) communication (2) Consumer alert (1) conversations (2) Cook (1) coping (1) core (1) cottage (1) Cough (1) country life (4) CRE2015 conference (1) creative (1) Crisis (1) Daniel Lanois (1) Dawn (1) daydreaming (1) Death (4) deer (1) Dene (2) Dene Sayisi (1) Denesuline (1) dentist (1) deranger (2) destiny (1) desuline (1) Developed country (1) disc hernaiation (1) disconnected (1) Distracted drivers (1) DIY (1) dogs (1) Dorval (2) drama free (1) dreams (3) drive (1) Drum (1) drunk drivers (1) Dunrobin Ontario (1) earthquake (1) Edmond Metatawabin (1) Edmonton (2) Ego (1) Elderly (1) Elders (1) Election (2) election 2015 (2) electronics (1) Elegy for Mama (1) elope (1) emotions (2) Empire State Building (1) Enabling (1) energy (1) Environment (2) enzymes (1) Facebook (4) fall (3) family (34) family tree (3) family vacation (1) farm (1) farmer's market (1) Father (1) Feb. 12 (1) feel good (1) Fiction (1) Fiji (1) fire (1) Fire 2016 (1) Firewater (1) First Nation (6) First Nations (2) First Nations Financial Transparency Act (1) fisher (1) Flora and Fauna (1) fondue (1) Food (4) Food and Related Products (1) for sale (1) Fort Chipewyan (18) Fort McMurray (12) Frank Abbott (1) Fred C Adam (1) freedom of speech (1) Freeze (1) French Toast (1) Freshman (1) Friend (1) friends (5) friendship (4) fun (3) future (1) Games (1) garden (2) Ghetto (1) Ghost (1) gifts (3) ginger tea (1) Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest (1) Goals (2) God (1) gofundme (1) Good bye Mom (1) Governance (1) gratitude (2) green smoothie challenge (1) green smoothies (3) Green tea (1) greens (1) Gretchen (1) Gretchen Morgan (1) Grey Owl (1) guest book (1) hair (1) halloween (1) happiness (7) Harold R Johnson (2) harvest (1) hawaii (4) healing (1) Healing Our Spirit World Wide (1) Health (10) healthy (1) Heart and Soul (1) Hearts (1) heatwave (3) Helen (1) helping (1) Henry's (1) here is what is (1) High School (1) Hilton Hotels (1) Historical fiction (1) Historical novel (1) history (1) holidays (6) Holy Angels (3) Home (2) homeless (1) homeopathic (1) hope (2) Horns (1) Horns: A Novel (1) horror (3) Hot chocolate (1) housework (1) hubby (2) Hummingbird Hill B and B (1) hurt (1) hypertension (1) Ila Bussidor (1) impermance (1) Indian Act (1) Indian wedding (1) Indigenous Peoples (1) integrity (1) intention (1) Isidore (1) January blues (1) Jerry Seinfeld (1) joe hill (1) Joseph Boyden (1) Joy Bliss Raw (1) juice (4) Karen (1) Kauai (3) Ke e Beach (1) kindeness (1) kindness (2) Kinship (1) Kitty Kelly (1) KMS (1) La Loche (1) Lac St. Anne (1) landline phone (1) laugh (1) Laughter (2) Lend Me a Tenor (1) Lent (2) Leonard Cohen (3) lessons (1) letting go (1) life (14) life skills (4) lifeskills (1) lifestyle (1) Lights (1) line ups (1) Lists (1) Literature (2) living (1) lost dog (1) love (21) Lumahi Beach (1) Lunar ice (1) Mac (1) Macbook air (1) mad as hell (1) Mad Men (1) Magical universe (1) Makua beach (1) mama (12) manners (1) Maple syrup (1) March winter (1) Margo (2) marriage (1) Mary (2) Mary Olive (1) Massage (1) Master Cleanse (1) Matt Lauer (1) Meaning of life (1) media (1) meditation (3) meeting (1) Melbourne (1) members (1) men (1) Mental health (2) miata MX5 (1) Mike and Kay (1) mind (1) Mindful (1) Missing and Murdered women and girls (1) Molly Wizenberg (1) mom (1) moments (2) Moneca (1) Money (2) Montessori method (1) Montreal (2) Moon (1) Mother Earth (1) mothers (1) Music (2) Music Box (1) musician (1) musing (1) my birthday wish (1) MySpace (1) nap (1) NASA (1) National Arts Centre (1) National Youth forum (1) Natural law (1) Nature (4) Neil Young (1) New Year's resolution (4) New Years (2) New York City (1) news (1) newsletter (2) Night Spirits (1) no snow (1) Norman Doige (1) Novel (1) November madness (1) nuheyatie (1) Nuns (1) Nurses (1) NYC (1) Obama (1) Odyssey trip (1) oilsands (3) old days (1) On the Web (1) Onion (1) Onions and Garlic (1) Online Communities (2) Online Writing (1) opinion (1) Oprah (1) Oprah Winfrey (2) Organic food (1) Ottawa (2) Ottawa River (3) Pacific Foods (1) pain (1) painting (1) Paris (1) passion (1) Patric (3) Pay-Per-Click Advertising (1) Peace (2) Peggy Blair (1) People (1) People and Society (2) Personal finance (1) Peru (1) pets (1) picnic (2) pizza (1) planes (1) Play (1) plumber (1) poem (2) poet (2) point claire (2) Poland (1) politics (3) pollution (1) pond (1) Pool (3) Port Alberni (1) power (1) power outage (1) present (2) Princeville (1) Produce (1) Promotion (1) public washroom (1) Publications (1) purpose (2) Quebec City (2) Racism (1) raclette (1) random (1) Range Rover Evoque (1) raw foods (6) Reflection (1) relationships (7) relaxing (2) religion (1) remembrance day (1) repairs (1) Residential School (1) Residential schools (1) resolution (1) responsibility (1) Review (1) Riddell street (1) rituals (1) river (1) River musings (1) Roger (1) Rose (1) Rossi (3) rumi (1) sacrifice (1) sadness (1) sailboats (1) Salad (1) Saskatchewan (1) Saturday (1) school (1) schools (1) Scotland (1) Scottish independence (1) Search Engines (1) seasons (1) Second Life (1) Security (2) self care (2) sensual (1) sept 2 (1) September 18th 2014 (1) Services (1) shakespeare (1) Shanghai (1) sheep (1) Shepherds of Good Hope (1) shooting (1) Shopping (3) Sigh (1) silence (1) singer (1) Sisters (4) skiing (1) sleep (1) small town (1) smile (1) Smoothie (1) snake (1) snow (3) Social Media (4) Social network (2) Social network service (1) Social Networking (1) Society and Culture (2) solocree (1) song (1) Sorapot (1) Sorry (1) soul (2) Soul School (1) souls (2) Spa (1) Specific Claims (1) Spirit of Christmas (1) Spreadsheet (1) Spring (2) Status Indian (1) Stieg Larsson (1) Stillness (1) storytelling (1) Street people (1) stress (2) success (1) summer (2) Summer 2012 (3) Summer 2013 (1) summer fun (1) Sunday 160 (7) sunday picture (1) sunny ways (1) sunrise (1) sunset (1) Surgery (1) surprise (1) Tag (1) tansi (1) Tea (4) Technology (1) Teenagers (1) thanks (1) Thanksgiving (1) the real you (1) Theatre (1) Therese Deranger (2) thinking (1) thoughts (1) Time (2) tooth (1) Toronto (2) Toxins (1) tradition (1) traffic (1) transformation (1) trapper (1) travel (1) Treaty No.6 (1) Treaty No.8 (1) truth (2) turkey (2) turtles (1) tweets (1) twitter (3) UFO (1) University (1) unplugged (1) Uranium city (1) vacation (1) Valentine's Day (2) values (1) Victoria (1) Vik (1) vistors (1) vote (1) walk (1) Warsaw (1) Water fasting (1) weather (1) Web Design and Development (1) weddings (2) weight (1) William Blake (1) William Ricketts (1) Williams (1) Winnipeg (2) winter (2) WIPCE (1) Women (1) world series (1) World War II (1) writer (1) year in review (1) Yma Sumac (1) yoga (1) Youth (1) zombies (1)