Category Archives: Uncategorized

Milo update

I’m writing from my hotel room in Saskatoon. Milo and I flew here last week for him to have surgery on his liver shunt. The surgery was on Thursday and he was supposed to come home today, but there were complications. Hopefully he’s released tomorrow. today was very scary. It started with the concern he would need a second surgery! A scan showed he didn’t…but the waiting for the results really freaked me out and all I could think was of the worst case.

This has been tiring and stressful. Being alone in the hotel makes me feel lonely. I went out and had a pedicure yesterday and chatted with a girl and it help me remember there’s tons of people out there living their lives, with their own issues. It’s hard to be alone in a strange city. I feel sorry for myself!

This afternoon I had some strange thought that anyone else would be having drinks in their room. That it would be a way to pass the time and dull the worry. The thought was so strong….

Instead I took a nap. I am tired. My brain is tired. Between work, where things are constantly changing and I feel very undervalued, Milo, who seems so helpless and who I am so attached to, travelling and being in a hotel, the cost of all this and just taking care of everything….I’m fried. I wanted to escape.

The nap helped. Then I ate. Had a shower. Watched my team lose the hockey game (go flames go). I message a few friends and told them I was worried. It all became manageable. I know drinking will never be the answer for me (or anyone). It doesn’t fix anything…it just defers the problems and stress. And maybe adds to it.

I am saying a little prayer that Milo has a goodnight and tomorrow he gets out of the hospital! If you have a minute please send him good vibes. He’s my little dude!

Stillness and peace

Anne

Anne and Milo

Puppy drama

Milo, very scraggly, in Anne’s arms

I love Milo. He loves me. He follows me everywhere. He misses me when I leave the house. It is amazing to see such devotion. I understand why people love their dogs so much.

Milo has a liver shunt. It is not a good thing. It means that there is a blood vessel (or many) bypassing his liver. When this happens the liver cannot detoxify the blood and then waste products, mainly ammonia, build up. In hindsight I can see that this has been the source of all his medical issues. He had been having hepatic encephalopathy. His body was being poisoned because his liver wasn’t being utilized. vomiting, lethargy, shakiness, what seems like headaches and mental disorientation. All from this.

He is now on a medically managed diet and meds. He has a ct scan scheduled for April 7. Surgery would be the best, if it is recommended. So far his pet insurance has been very useful. I have still spent tons of money on appointment, but the scan and surgery may cost $10000. Sigh.

Having a tiny ball of fur so reliant on me has been stressful, but also a joy. I’m so happy to finally know what was making him so sick, and he is now much more of a puppy. He plays with toys. He likes to eat. And, maybe less exciting, he is humping everything! Like a normal dog.

While this has been happening my company has also been absorbed by a competition and I have been shuffled into a different role, while trying to finish of my old one. Lots of concerns about employment, pensions and work location. Ahhhh. I have worked for the same company for 25 years. This is a change I didn’t see happening!

Never a dull moment. Keep milo in your prayers and I will update the blog after his scan!

More drama made manageable by my clear and sober mind! I think my word of the year, integration, is truly coming to pass.

Stillness and peace

Anne & Milo

Optimism

I have psoriatic arthritis.

I have had joint pain and swelling for years. I was diagnosed with palindromic rheumatism years ago, but chose not to treat it as I didn’t really believe it, it wasn’t that significant, and I was still drinking and the drugs would be hard on the liver. So, of course I chose booze over health.

Last year I developed psoriasis. When my dr saw it he connected the two and sent me to a dermatologist and rheumatologist.

The derm also noted my Achilles pain, that I have tried to Physio away for a couple years, is a symptom. He made the diagnosis and prescribed methotrexate.

I was reluctant to take it. It suppresses the immune system and it seems like during a pandemic that might be a bad thing, lol. I delayed, but at the same time I had severe morning back pain, as well as swelling and loss of range of motion in some fingers and my feet. I wondered if it was just age, but my family dr insisted it was not normal and that it was likely to start (or continue to cause) permanent damage.

So. About 3,5 months ago I started it. I can say it has been shitty. I take it once a week, and it causes methotrexate flu – the day after I feel like I have been run over by a truck. I have also has a mild, chronic headache. Worse, my psoriasis and joint pain didn’t change.

A few weeks ago I decided it wasn’t working. I called the derm and asked for a different drug. They insisted I try a higher dose (partly due to insurance requirements).

Begrudgingly, I followed their direction. I also did some investigating online on managing side effects. 2 weeks later, I woke this morning with no back pain. Something I have not experience for years. It actually feels a bit like a miracle. The psoriasis creeping up my arm also looks lighter.

I am hopeful! I am also glad I accepted the specialists help and followed it. Perhaps this will turn out to be the right treatment and I will prevent future pain a disability! I am still waiting to see the rheumatologist. Currently scheduled for April.

Anyway, I had to share. Patience is a virtue.

Stillness and peace

Anne

I

Word of the year 2022 – Integration

It is already past New Years and I Have not come up with my word for 2022.

I have though about it a lot. I considered fleeting, as in, everything that feels so heavy and unending is really fleeting in the long run. I like it, but it is not quite it.

I then considered crucible. My daughter is reading Arthur Millers play, the crucible, a play I loved at university. I like it too. A crucible is a hard test. A challenge. Hmm. I don’t think I need that right now.

Then yesterday my friend posed the photo below online and I knew I had found my word. Integration. Allowing everything to settle. To savour all I have learned and experienced, and incorporate it, and maybe, even leave behind the parts of it that changed me, but no longer serves me.

Happy 2022. I hope it is a good year.

Stillness and peace,

Anne

8 Years

Today is my 8 year sober anniversary.
8 years of continuous sobriety.

When I write it it seems so long, but time has flown by.

When I first quit I didn’t plan to be “sober”. Life was ok, but inside I was suffering. I knew alcohol was making my anxiety unbearable, but any time I tried to cut back my anxiety crushed me.

I knew I was brittle, exhausted and sharp. I hated myself and saw no other way. I had built a strong shield of being fine and overachieving. No one saw me.

I decided to give myself the gift of a year of sobriety. I thought this would fix things and then I could drink again.

Lol. Once the option to drink was removed my eyes were opened. ALCOHOL is the problem, and there is a simple solution. Do not drink it. No matter what.

Not even during the death of a close family member, a wildfire evacuation, mental health challenges, a divorce ot a global pandemic.
Not even on a boring Saturday night.

I am still working on the things that brought me to where I was 8 years ago. Now I know I don’t ever have to do that alone again, and that if I don’t drink, and face the problems, solutions will come.

Thank you all for sharing your journeys. You continue to help me every day and that fills my heart with love and joy.

Stillness and peace.

Me and my little love.

Old memories

Life with Milo has been interesting.

He is a doll. He loves me and follows me around and he makes me so happy.

He has also been sick. Like barfing followed by extreme lethargy sick. Being so tiny, at 2.5 pounds, this has been extremely stressful and scary. I am constantly worried I am doing something wrong and that he is going to die. He was a very very small runt at birth. All his brothers are over 5 pounds already. He was the outcast and this was what made me fall in love with him right from the start as the breeder posted photos and videos.

The first time this happened I freaked out. I almost couldn’t cope. I cried and sat with him and was so distressed. I told Cleo I wished we hadn’t gotten a puppy. I couldn’t function. it was so strange…like time stood still. At the vet they told me these little dogs are fragile and I felt judged for having a small puppy.

This isn’t really like me. I am usually much more solution oriented…but I was paralyzed. I felt completely inadequate and defeated.

I realized I was having some sort of flashback to when Cleo was a baby. She was very small and very ill for the first few years of her life. We were in and out of hospitals and to so many doctors. It was excruciating and it was when my drinking really amped up. The anxiety of having a tiny baby who seemed so ill was crippling.

Throughout her life medical issues have come and gone. At 16 she has had more tests and specialists than I could list. I thought I had made peace with this…but it was clear I still have a lot of trauma inside.

Recognizing this, with the help of some friends, helped. I realized why it was so stressful, and I relaxed and started asking for help with Milo. I changed how I was feeding him, more little meals. I stopped trying new things and simplified.

He is better. Still barfed yesterday, for no apparent reason, but he is growing and playing and I feel like we will be ok.

I try to remember the saying, this too shall pass. As I sit here petting Milo’s soft fur I am thankful that he came to live with me. he is helping me deal with something I didn’t even realize I still carried.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Milo is the one on the right…obviously, lol

More love

I drove my son to university this week. He’s taking engineering at my Alma mater. Is it in 8 Hour Dr. away.

In Calgary he staying with his dad. Dad has a self contained basement suite just for him. Although They have had minimal contact since his dad moved out in 2018, cooper decided that this offer was right for him. Is a good choice as Cooper is very frugal. LOL. I have saved for his university and he knows his financial situation. He can afford to live alone if this doesn’t work out.

His dad currently lives with his girlfriend and their son, who is 18 months old. I remember when Craig told me he was having another baby. I was so worried my kids would feel replaced by this new baby. This Distressed me greatly. I was so upset at my kids now having a sibling who is in no way related to me…that they might never know. This caused me so much stress and heartache…and was part of what led to my breakdown in 2019. I hated Craig for doing this then. Hated.

Coop moved in over the last few days. During these days the baby baby was sick and unhappy. He had his 18 month shots and they obviously gave him a little reaction. Cooper and I tried to make as little noise as possible to not disturb the baby.

On the third day he was feeling better And went out into the backyard and Cooper and I went out to meet him and his mom, who neither of us have ever ever met. It was definitely an odd situation, to be sitting on the deck chatting with my son, my ex, his gf and their baby.

The baby looks like my son. And he is an adorable toddler. The mom was nice and said she would keep an eye on Cooper.

I suddenly realized that this baby just adds more love to my sons life. He now has another brother. This isn’t a negative. This is only a gift. It doesn’t take anything away from us.

I can’t say how this perspective came about. or why. I just was overcome with the realization that everything was exactly as it is supposed to be, and that this baby wasn’t hurting Cooper at all…or me….he was just a little boy playing out in the sun.

Perhaps it was seeing it in real life that washed away all my old protective worries and pain. I can’t guard my children’s hearts…that is a tough realization for a parent. And, even more vital, I DIDN’T NEED TO. Cooper is able to do that for himself.

Craig and I were together for 25 years. Half my life. I still love him as a person and only want good things for him in his life.

I cherish my independence and love being single. I love living life my way. I can honestly say I have come to a point where I am thankful for the suffering that has given me this new perspective.

I wouldn’t have chosen it, but, like the gift of enlightenment that came from sobriety, I am willing to accept the grace that results.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Seven years blogging

I got an notification from WordPress the other day that it was my 7 year blog anniversary.

I must say, I never expected to maintain a blog this long…I have a million journal that I start and never stick with! I somewhat expected this to be the same.

It is the interaction here that sustains me. People come and go. I am happy for everyone’s successes and sad for their struggles. I get love and support back. I realize that the world is full of people trying their best and it is just as powerful to interact online as it is in person. thank you all for that.

When I quit drinking in December 1, 2013 I though it was the end of something. It turns out it was the best beginning I could possibly have imagined.

My life is average. I have a job. I got divorced. My kids are growing up. We have struggles with mental health issues. It is, however, Lovely. I have learned to manage the good with the very very hard.

I plan to hang around here for a long time. I hope my blog encourages others to consider a sober life. It is a freedom unlike any other.

Stillness and peace

Anne