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Sunday, July 07, 2013

I am a huge fan of the TV show, "Friends." It was and continues to be my favorite TV show of all time. I just fell in love with all the characters, their interactions, the hilarious stories they told, the whole aspect of six friends who were very close and shared everything with each other. I often wish they would have a "Friends" movie to tell us what happened to them....even though I realize they're fictional characters. I have the complete series boxed set and watch the reruns way more than I should, since I know most of the lines in each show by heart.

In my People Magazine this week, Chandler's (Matthew Perry) story of addiction is the cover story. I knew he had a lot of problems with drugs and alcohol over the years of Friends. It is obvious in how his character changed sizes, some episodes he is painfully skinny. I always assumed those were the years he was on drugs, and not eating. Then he got heavy and I figured those were the times he was fighting the drugs and alcohol, and turned to food. That's how addiction works, when we shut off our addiction to one thing, we turn to something else. As I read his story, I identified so much with his addiction problem. Today he has opened up one of his former Malibu homes as a halfway house for addicts who are recovering. I think Matthew realizes that if he stays involved in helping others stay clean, it will help him. He has been clean many times, and always relapsed. This time he has been clean and sober for two years. I'm rooting for him. I don't know the statistics, but I do know if you maintain a weight loss for two years (as I have), your chances are only 50% of regaining. Maybe it's the same for drugs and alcohol? Everytime I read about somebody who has maintained a weight loss for many years or beat another addiction, it gives me hope that I can do it forever too.

But it is still day to day for me. Sometimes it is moment to moment. I tell myself if I don't eat that crumb of cake left on Du's plate, I'll be okay. I tell myself that means I'm stronger than the addiction. Damn cake. I made one for our Fourth of July celebration and there's left-overs. None of us needs it. Why do I even make this stuff? I have weak moments still. It is a recipe that makes a huge (and very rich) chocolate cake, in a jelly roll pan. I had one piece on the Fourth and have had one piece since, eaten from the pan, a bite here and there all day long yesterday. I will be so glad when it's gone. It is so rich, I have no idea how many calories are in one piece, but I bet it's around 400. OUCH! The Chex mix is gone, and all that is left is the veggies from the relish tray I made. So if I can just concentrate on veggies and NOT cake, I'll be fine. The scale did not show a 4th of July gain, but it is still about 10 pounds more than I'd like, and 8 pounds more than when I went to New York in November. I got back down to that magic 150 in April before we went to Washington, D.C., too, and came back weighing exactly the same as when I left. I would be much happier back down in the 150 lb. area. So there's work to do.

I have been wearing my FitBit religiously, but it hasn't motivated me as much as I hoped. With the business of preparation and clean-up after our Fourth of July party, Du's and my evening walks with Lola have gone by the wayside. The temps have heated up again too. That is always a good excuse for me--it's just too hot to walk. But I think I will suggest it tonight, as things seem to have returned to normal at last.

Our Fourth of July celebration was sparkling! We had a great time with friends and family. It was an awful shame however that youngest son had to work. He had helped in the preparation so much, and worked so hard getting the house ready. He thought he had it figured out so that he would be able to be home for the party, but the Railroad had other ideas. He even got a call to go to work about 3 a.m. on 7/3, which would have meant he would most likely have been home by 3 p.m. on 7/4, which would have been perfect. But then they called back and said, "Nope, we don't have a conductor for you, so don't report to work." He still thought he would be called shortly, but for some reason, he wasn't called to work until about 6:30 that night, which meant he was gone all day Thursday and didn't return home until about 8 a.m. Friday morning. But when I woke up Friday morning, this is what I saw:

Yes, he was outside, cleaning up. What a kid!!! He's 27 years old, and just the best kid ever!

Here's a few more pictures from our annual party. There was so many kids this year and two of the gals are pregnant and due this fall, so there'll be even more kids next year. I love watching those young ones, they are simply delightful! I couldn't fall asleep after the party, and it was very very late. I probably laid there until about 3 a.m. I kept thinking, "The party's over.....will we be able to have it next year?" The uncertainty about our future is so hard, I have to concentrate on NOW, but it's hard not to worry. Du asked me if anyone asked about his catheter, or said anything to me about his cancer. I said, "Not a soul." No one said anything to him either. He had asked me beforehand if I thought it would be okay if he wore shorts that day, which exposes his catheter tube and bag. I said I thought it would be fine. It's OUR house, after all, and it was pretty hot. I think people are just like I used to be. It's so hard to know WHAT to say, so you end up saying NOTHING. But I think had they not known of his diagnosis, they would have asked about the catheter, so I'm guessing everybody had been told by our sons. They just didn't know what to say to either of us. And I understand that. But now I understand even more how important it is to say something, even if it's simply, "I'm me if you need anything ever." Of course that would have started my tears, so maybe it was better that no one said anything...

Daughter-in-law and beautiful granddaughter Amber in the pool.

The Bouncy House that middle son brought along. The kids loved it, and it took the place of more adult games like Badminton, volleyball or croquet.

Daughter-in-law, her sister and grandson Duncan, doing some swimming.

Mia, other granddaughter, in the Bouncy House.

Late in the evening, daughter-in-law's sister had brought some glow in the dark bubbles, which my granddaughters loved chasing. She also brought balloons that had tiny LED lights in them, making them glow as well. It made it easy to find each kid in the dark, if you remembered what color balloon they had!

My daughter-in-law's nephew was so excited about his box of fireworks, he asked me to take a picture of them. So cute!

And I was there as well!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    2936 days ago
    Special day with family. I'm sorry your son wasn't there, but you had a great time. Maybe you and your husband can take him to dinner or make a special meal for him. He worked so hard.
    You do have will power.
    2937 days ago
    Sounds like a great celebration. Glad you enjoyed. Don't worry about next year yet. Just enjoy the todays.

    As to addictions, I figure we are never cured, it is something we always have to battle and curb to keep aside. I've learned to turn to other things such as my crafts to calm me or when I'm bored instead of food. But it is always there in the background. I've just learned that I'm happier without the binges.
    2937 days ago
    It looks like everyone had a great time at your picnic. Now aren't you the hostess with the
    mostess. emoticon emoticon Jeanne emoticon

    2937 days ago
    Your celebration looks wonderful.

    My food addiction is alive and well. Every time i think I've beaten it, I get knocked back. Today was one of those days I ate everything in sight. I did get my exercise in (45 minutes of cycle spin class) and I enjoyed Church this morning. I will just have to do better tomorrow.
    2937 days ago
    I really liked your blog and thank for for it, (I to own all of Friends) Love your pictures and your 4th And we are, or have been here and we will get back! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2937 days ago
    Any addiction can sneak back up on you when you least
    suspect it. I also suspect once the cake and goodies are
    gone that you will find your focus again. Great pictures
    and what a wonderful son to clean up after missing the
    party. Great group you had and even more next year.
    2937 days ago
    What fun!!!
    2937 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    Obviously everyone had a blast!! It is hard resisting cake, especially one that sounds like yours! People should have taken some of it home with them so you wouldn't be tempted. Of course, I tend to use the excuse that my grandkids would like some or something dumb like that. Trash it, if you can, or had Du take any leftovers to work. This addiction is a tough fight!
    2937 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Ah, food addiction. It's so easy to fall back into old habits, isn't it? I've gotten to the point where I make a lot less food than I used to and send as much food home with people as possible. That cake sounds like it would be hard to resist. Your 4th of July party looks like it was a big success! I'll have to remember the balloons with led lights in them. What a clever idea.

    I can understand why no one mentioned the catheter or cancer. Also, they may not know whether you and your husband are comfortable discussing it. It's a really tough call. I know I wouldn't have wanted to make you cry!
    2937 days ago
    So many things to comment on! First off - I am a huge fan of Friends too; I never get tired of their antics. Secondly - my son is an engineer on the Illinois Central, so I know all about those extra board calls. Thirdly (is there such a word?) your grand kids are adorable! And finally - I am so happy you annual party was such a success. You are blessed with a wonderful family!
    2938 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13793073
    Funny thing that I just saw your blog~ just finished watching an episode of Friends LOL. Timeless. What a wonderful day for you and your family and friends! Great pictures. You are an awesome role model for us here on Sparks. You are doing so great. Savor and enjoy that piece of cake~and don't fret if you throw the rest away. I used to keep things around after parties and then realized~ either pitch it or it gets "flushed" out of our system anyway. Either way it's wasted, right? Hey that son of yours is a gem. (I'm sure both of them) What a guy to miss the party and then help clean up! Good job Mom and Dad. Next year when you are ALL together again, hope he doesn't have to go off to work! God Bless and thank you for sharing. emoticon
    2938 days ago
    Thank you for the great photos, it looks like the party was a lot of fun and everyone is smiling.
    I haven't seen the issue of people but I also relate to everything you said about addiction. I am changing jobs and stressed to the max and my last day at my current job they took me to an Italian place to eat. They all ate the buffet. I avoided all the meat but everything was fattening and greasy and of course I ate TWO pieces of pie when we got back to the office. The food was just blah but I ate it to be gracious (aka: STUPID). I ate the pie for the same reason. Friday night I was in misery and nauseous. At least I won't have to deal with the food pushers in my new position. I will be in a very small office and nobody cares what I eat and don't eat. it won't be the topic of conversation. Whenever I eat these old "comfort" foods (in addition to making me sick) they almost always trigger a binge. This was no exception. This addiction sucks and I know it's a forever thing I have to manage.

    So....I developed a new question to ask myself before I eat anything...Is it real food or is it chemicals? If my answer is chemicals I need to walk away.

    I'm so thankful for this forum to share my struggles. I pray for your family and for the best possible outcome of this situation. We ALL need to try to enjoy each day because they are a gift, even if they don't feel like it.

    2938 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/7/2013 12:59:17 PM
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