What's between the covers

a sampling of what you can expect in each book

Workbook for Caretakers of End-Stage Alcoholics

The life of a caretaker is not a walk in the park and sometimes people take on the task without understanding what to expect. There are three sections concerning some of the basic physical characteristics of end-stage alcoholism and the associated cleanliness issues. It’s an extremely stressful lifestyle and maintaining some aspect of peace and sanity is a gigantic issue. You will find a section on suggestions for the caretakers maintenance of their own sanity.

Within these pages you will find a means of tracking the health and history of the end-stage alcoholic in your care. When entering a medical facility you will be asked questions that may be difficult to answer because you simply did not notice or just do not know. If you get into the habit of tracking certain information you will be able to give a good account of what happened and when. This may be vital information in determining the level of need for medical intervention.

It’s also important to know how to communicate with the medical community. Besides explaining how to use this workbook, there is a suggested method of talking with the medical staff. Read it, learn it, and use it, in order to establish good co-operative communications with your doctor.

Use this book as a tool to help you in your journey through the impossible and frustrating world of end-stage alcoholism.

The Immortal Alcoholic's Wife

I’m in an unpleasant situation. My alcoholic husband, Riley, has exceeded any reasonable expectation of continued breathing time. He has been through the rehab process more than a dozen times. I’ve been told at least eight times that he will not live another six months without detox.  After his last detox, the doctor took me aside and told me he would never survive another one. 

I anticipate and plan for the end which, unfortunately, always feels as though it would be a blessing. We have even gotten to the place of having hospice involved in his care during his final days. But his final days never arrive. In the past, I would always end up insisting he go to the emergency room, he detoxes, we are told he won’t make it this time, and he recovers.

This book is about what I have found to be true during the experience of surviving my husband’s alcoholism. No two drunks are the same. My experience may not be the same as anyone else. But, this book is generated from my own personal experience of living with a person who has been an alcoholic for more than 40 years. I will only attest to what has transpired over my lifetime with the alcoholic that has directly affected me. I will explain how my childhood experiences groomed me to be the perfect little homemaker and caretaker. What I write here will be bare-naked honesty.

The Immortal Life of Riley -- Sequel to the Immortal Alcoholic's Wife


Riley Riley has knocked on death’s door more than nine times. Each time the door opens but he does not pass to the other side. That’s why he is dubbed the “Immortal Alcoholic.”

This book is a sequel to The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife. It was not written to re-hash the information that can be found in IA’s Wife. What you WILL find in this book is information about Riley that you may not be able to find anywhere else. It is not so much of a “story” as it is a “journal” of the events of Riley’s life.

Riley was not a bad person, but rather, a good person whose brain became so saturated with toxins that he ceased being the good person he was and turned into someone more undesirable. Inside every alcoholic lives two people, the person before the alcohol and the person after the alcohol. Even while deep in the throes of alcoholic insanity, that good person will occasionally come out and show his face.

Surviving the Chaos

Alcoholism is sneaky. The disease progresses slowly until you end up feeling that you are at a point of no return. It’s all very innocent. You stick with the alcoholic because he really “isn’t that bad yet” and suddenly you realize that things are far worse than you imagined. It’s the Frog Soup syndrome.

There’s a battle that goes on inside my head. It’s like the angel on one should and the devil on the other. The angel says “Help him. He has no one else. It’s the right thing to do.” On the other hand, the devil says “Kick him out. He never treated you with respect. Make him suffer now.” I understand both sides and I’ve consider doing both of those things. My moral compass always wins out and I take care of him the best I can. In the end, I still have to live with myself.

That’s how most people with an alcoholic in their life end up being the caregiver. There are other ways to get to the caregiver designation. Children and siblings of alcoholics almost always want to help and care for a parent (or sibling) who cannot manage on their own. They may not live in the same house, but they keep a watchful eye on what’s happening. They may help keep the house clean and healthy food in the pantry. All the extra attention ends up being care giving and that can mean the end of having a life of your own.

So here you are. You are now the “go-to” person for the alcoholic. You’re the decision maker, financial manager, housekeeper, cook, etc. In short you are everything to the alcoholic. But who are you to you?

I certainly wouldn’t tell you to stop being a care giver. That’s a decision only you can make. However, I would like for you to consider a person who needs care and isn’t getting any or enough. That person is YOU. You need You. You need to save your own life and step up for yourself.

And what if you don’t? What if you continue to put all your energy into making sure the alcoholic is safe, comfortable and well fed? The alcoholic may very well out live you. You may suffer from stress-related illnesses and it only takes one to do you in forever. Who will take care of the alcoholic when you are gone? If you have children, who will take care of them if you walk off this earth early? In my opinion, it would be a real shame for the care giver to sacrifice his/her life so that the alcoholic could continue making others miserable. I suppose in that case, the alcohol would win the battle to control all those around.

That’s where you are and that’s how you got here. What are you going to do about it?


That Reminds Me

A Collection of short stories based on growing up in the 1950s-60s in a small rural farming community in Central California.

Peanut's Walk

Out the door she went into the cool but sunny morning. At the end of the driveway, Peanut turned right and walked right down the middle of her side of the road. Sycamore Avenue was a street that had Sycamore trees planted right down the middle. Cars can, and did, pass over from side to side of the road as they wished. Often it was to avoid the kids doing exactly what Peanut was doing – walking down the middle of one side of the road.

Peanut had gone the length of one house when she spotted something in the tree-lined median. It was shiny, so she went over to inspect it. Just a piece of tinsel and nothing she was really interested in keeping. She kept going by putting one little foot in front of the other. She saw her neighbor’s children getting into their father’s car. They waved and asked if she wanted a ride. “No, thank you,” Peanut replied.

Highway Four was the main road through town and where Sycamore Avenue started. Peanut turned left and started to walk in the area under the trees that was farthest from the busy road.

Purple Thistles! They were soooo pretty, but when she tried to pick one, the thorn pricked her finger so she decided to keep walking.

But… wait… there… over there… was a patch of wild daisies. She raced over and picked one to put inside her book.

Now she could smell the melted solder from the welding shop. Her father had warned her to never look at the sparks of the welding machine. Peanut kept her eyes down and was careful to not look inside the shop for fear that she may go blind in the instant that she took a  peak.

Looking down she saw a shiny rock in a puddle. She stopped and squatted down to inspect the rock. Picking it out of the water mess would make her hands dirty so she decided to leave it behind. Her mind told her to keep walking. She didn’t want to be late for school… but there was this can and it was perfect for her to kick out of her way. The can had mud on it and when the force of her foot met the metal, the mud splashed up onto her clean shoe. Darn! Now she’d have to clean it when she got to school.

School! She HAD to get to school.


Huh? ABC's of Understanding Woman

The book every woman wants her man to read. A light-hearted but direct and honest communication to men about what women men when they say something... anything.

EMPTY CLOSET

A woman’s closet may be packed with clothes so tightly that you couldn’t slip a piece of paper between the hangers, but she still sees it as being empty.

Women dress for the occasion and not for the day. If she says she has nothing to wear she means that everything in her closet that would be appropriate for that occasion has already been worn to a different, but similar, occasion. She doesn’t want to be seen twice by the same people in the same outfit. So… she has nothing to wear.

HOME

When a woman says she wants you to come home, she doesn’t mean she wants you to go to where you live. She wants you to come home to where she is. She wants you to consider HER to be your home. She wants to be the place where you feel the most comfortable no matter where she lives. Home is where your heart is and she wants to be where your heart wants to be.

 HONESTY

Be honest. There are times when a little white lie will work better and it’s OK to do that, but the big things always require honesty.

When a woman she says she wants honesty, she doesn’t mean that she wants you to simply tell her the truth. She wants you to live a life that won’t require dishonesty. She doesn’t want you to tell her that you are lusting after another woman. She wants you to tell her that she is the only woman you want and for that statement to be true. If it isn’t true then don’t say it.

If you have had a change of heart and no longer feel the love for her, tell her. Don’t do it in anger. Be gentle. Don’t wait and hope things will change because they probably will not. And don’t expect her to “just figure it out.” She needs to hear it from you.

MONOGAMY

In all my years, I have met only one woman who could handle being in a relationship that did not include monogamy. And even that relationship had boundaries.

It may sound really cool to have multiple women in your stable at one time, but the complications can be incredible. You must be able to remember conversations with each woman, know their likes and dislikes and treat each one as though they were the only one. It is time-consuming to be in multiple relationships. It is also expensive.

That’s true even if they know about each other. No woman wants you to tell her that you have a date with LuluBelle on Friday evening because that turns Friday night into an evening of hand wringing and loss of confidence in you as a man and her as a woman. If you want multiple women you must become an infallible liar. And, oh, by the way, nothing turns a woman off faster than catching her man in a lie.

You must remember your long-term goal. Is it to grow old with someone who will be a companion as the energy in your dick starts to fade? Is it to be alone and still available to any woman who expresses interest even though you may be ninety years old? Sure, playing around sounds, and is, lots of fun when you can have a pick of female companions. But the choices narrow as you get older and you may pick them, but will they pick you?

In my opinion a man’s energy would be best used to find and focus on one woman who can provide compatibility in all aspects of his life – especially in the bedroom. Finding the right woman can make monogamy easy. Finding several “right” women can dilute the meaning of any, or all, of the relationships. Imagine you have the ingredients for ONE pot of soup but you need to make THREE pots. So you divide the ingredients into thirds and fill each pot with the water you would have used for one pot. You have just watered down, diluted, your soup. Each pot tastes watery because it is watered down. It’s like eating vegetables in a bowl of water. It’s the same thing for relationships. They are best if not diluted into a bland experience.

If a man should be so lucky as to find a woman who will tolerate a non-monogamous relationship, and they are compatible in life and sex, he should make a commitment to that woman that will let her know that he will not leave her for some fling he had on Tuesday night. She wants the man to love her and her alone even if he has sexual escapades with other women. He must also understand that condoms are a necessary part of his sex life when multiple partners are involved.

No woman wants to be the favorite, but rather she wants to be the ONLY woman. She doesn’t want to be the top priority; she wants to be your ONLY priority.

When a woman tells you she wants an “open” relationship, it means she will not make you a priority and eventually not have time for you when you want her. It means you aren’t important enough for her to make a concerted effort in making you happy. There’s some other agenda and you may not discover what it is until you are hurt – emotionally, financially, socially, etc.

Refer to “Open Relationships”.

ZEBRAS –

A Zebra is an animal with those interesting stripes. They have always had stripes and they always will have stripes. No matter how much Clorox Two you use, they will still have stripes.

We all have basic personality traits. It is the core of who we are. We don’t change our basic personality. These traits are like the Zebra’s stripes. There’s not enough Clorox Two to wash away those traits.

If a woman has basic traits that you find offensive or just don’t want in your life, don’t expect those traits to change. All humans are capable of change up to a certain point. If a person is self-centered, that person will probably always be self-centered. There’s no point in trying to change what basically is.

I’ve heard many people say, “I thought he/she would change after we were married.” Don’t count on it. Instead marry or commitment to someone you don’t have a desire to change. That Zebra’s stripes are here to stay.