🍷Alcoholism’s Collateral Damage❤️‍🩹

One bottle after the next is knocked back. Roaring laughter, wide smiles, glazed eyes. Amber liquid sloshes onto the stained carpet, blending in with urine, vomit, and feces. Feet shuffle toward the kitchen. The room tilts, a shoulder slams into the wall. Fingers claw for something. Anything. But there’s nothing. 

Nothing but darkness as everything else fades away.

The next afternoon, the scrawny man with white stubble on his chin lays splayed out on the dirt-stained floor. Someone knocks on the door. No answer. Someone knocks again. Bottles rattle as they skitter across the floor. 

The door cracks open. 

A naked father, covered in nothing but his bodily fluids, shades his red-rimmed eyes with his hand. A son, with his wife and small children walking up behind him, blocks their view.

A planned barbeque destroyed. Family bonds strained. Disappointment clouds the once bright day.  

A decade passes. A decade filled with driving a father to and from work since he can’t drive himself thanks to a DUI. A decade filled with trying to cook for a father who’d only show up drunk. A decade filled with a father asking for money. A decade filled with a father trying to light up a cigarette in his daughter’s car with his grandchild in the backseat. A decade filled with reaching out, with trying to save him, with offering help. But no one can save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

Time goes on. A grandfather can’t spell his grandson’s name. A grandfather who doesn’t know what his granddaughter likes or dislikes. The grandchildren don’t know him, either. They call him by his given name, because he’s nothing more than a stranger.

A father who calls his grown children – not to see how they’re doing. Not to tell them he loves them. Simply because he needs something.

Alcoholism isn’t victimless. Its dark web entangles its victim as it promises nothing more than a good time. Alcoholism is a jealous mistress who doesn’t like to share. She doesn’t just destroy the poor soul who lives and breathes for the next sip of her nectar. She destroys families.

It’s easy to judge from the outside. To judge the kids for not calling their parent. To judge the kids for not visiting their parent. But when you fight to save a parent who doesn’t want to be saved, there’s collateral damage. Good, kind hearts are hurt over and over again to the point they become numb.

This is what comes with alcoholism. It’s ugly, cold, hurtful. The family members caught in the path deserve compassion and kindness, not judgement and hate.

This is reality.

Ms. Write Life

Love Chooses Me

It’s so easy to get lost in the negativity of the world that we can lose sight of what’s right in front of us. I listen to the news or scroll through social media and there’s so much anger and hatred pouring out that I wonder what life will be like for my children when they’re paving their way through life as adults. It seems like the world thrives off of division instead of unity. Every application defines us by our gender, our race, and sometimes even our socioeconomic status. All I see is an application that divides us and judges us by what box we check.

            I can’t control what’s happening in the world, but I can control what kind of person I am. There’s good people in every race, in every career field, in every city and rural community. There’s bad people as well. We have a tendency to let a few bad apples define a group as a whole, and we cast judgement on them. I refuse to choose the toxic web of hatred. I refuse to judge anyone based on what box they check on an application. You’re either a good person … or you’re not. Your wealth doesn’t make you a good person, the color of your skin does not make you a good person, your title does not make you a good person – the only thing that determines that is you and the actions you conscientiously take every single day of your life.

            As the world is in turmoil and chaos, I opened my mailbox this afternoon to find a package from my husband. It isn’t my birthday. There’s nothing significant about today at all. But, this man, sent me a gift just because. An ordinary day turned significant in mere minutes because of a simple act. An act that conveyed love and brought joy to my heart. Every single day my husband chooses me. His love chooses me. And I wonder what the world would be like if we ignored the news media, stayed off social media and just focused on doing one small act of kindness each day. We can cling to the darkness and be swallowed by it, or we can choose to be a beacon of light, keeping the darkness at bay.

            I married a man because he was a good human being who loved my child as if he were his own. If your vehicle is stuck in the snow, he’s going to stop and check on you, and pull your vehicle out. If you’re stranded on a lake in a boat with a useless motor, he is going to check on you and tow you back in. That’s just who he is. That’s why I married him.

            As we go through life, there will always be struggles and adversity. Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect. Finding someone who accepts you for who you are, cheers you on no matter what and is a steady hand reaching out for you when the ground is shaking beneath you, is life changing. There’s ugliness in the world. But there’s beauty too. Today and always, I choose love over hate. I choose kindness over indifference. I hope you do as well.

~ Ms. Write Life ~

Ramblin’ Misfit

It seems like forever since I’ve been on here. The last few months have flown by for this girl. I was on the road most of February – hit 11 states for work in 10 days. Then I spent almost a week in Arkansas. Here’s a few snaps from the work trip(s).

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In-between all of the traveling that month, my son turned 16 – EEK! I’m still trying to get used to being in a car with him driving. My dad and sister are trying to get used to it as well. They even prayed before getting in the car with J. I can’t say that I blame them…

My dad turned 60. So, I flew to Maryland and back to Ohio the same day to surprise my son and my father with surprise parties. Each one thought it was for the other one. Needless to say, it was worth it. I was tired from all of the traveling and work stuff I had going on, but everything I do in my life is for my family. Jobs will come and go, co-workers will flit in and out of your life, some friends will be there one minute and gone the next, but family is family – there for you through it all.

My family are the ones who see the sides to me that I don’t share with very many people. I keep a solid line between my work life and my home life – so friends from work are VERY rare. Then I’ve been on the move most of my life since my dad was in the military, so the walls are up and I find myself being guarded and not really getting close to too many people outside of my circle of family.

Now, I’m enjoying a small reprieve from traveling before I hit the road again. I’m pretty excited about the next few months. Vacation is right around the corner, which means I will be in Ireland, Scotland and England in no time. I work hard, then play hard. Life is about creating moments and memories, which is what I do. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I would’ve visited new places or tried new things. I don’t always fit into the normal cliques, but this ramblin’ misfit ain’t missing a thing.

I hope y’all have an awesome day. I managed to get back into the whole gym/jogging scene, so I’m smelling a little ripe at the moment. Ha!

Much Love,

Tiff

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Home

I happen to live in a small town where we have one caution light in the county and alcohol is non-existent. Before moving here, I didn’t realize there was such a thing as a dry county where alcohol isn’t sold anywhere – it’s not sold in grocery stores, restaurants and not a single liquor store is within our county lines. It almost feels like stepping into the past. Not. Even. Kidding. Your neighbors still wave at you as you drive down the road, people still like to stop and talk your ear off, and most of the folks around here can tell you they are related to you by some distant relation.

Growing up, I moved from place to place every few years, so whenever anyone asked me where home was, I didn’t really know how to answer it. Should I tell them Arizona because that is where my parents spent most of their lives? Do I tell them Germany since I spent most of my childhood years there? Or should I tell them Maryland since I graduated from high school there? I’m happy to announce that I no longer wonder how I should answer that particular question. Kentucky is home. It’s where my heart is and that’s really what home is all about.

I might live in the middle of nowhere and have to drive a good thirty minutes to get a gallon of milk, but I still manage to travel. Some of family likes to call me Ramblin’ Rose because I’m always on the go. I’m not scared to drive across state lines, I can drive in Washington D.C., Puerto Rico or anywhere else I decide to go. I think it is important for my boys to see other places and other cultures because just because people live differently it doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong – it’s just different.

Sometimes we have a tendency to quickly judge other people, which I try not to do. I think everyone has the right to live their life they want to as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. In my opinion, I believe we are here to love each other and to be kind. I don’t want to be the one to pass judgement and cast stones. I just want to live my life, make the best memories I can, love hard, live harder and be at peace.

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I love my family, and I love the memories we have made together. I love looking back at pictures of my son running away from the waves because I can remember his laugh and his smile. I work hard to give him and his brother a life with these kind of memories, and I feel so blessed. Life. Sweet, sweet life. Build it around people you love and who love you back, folks.

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~Tiff~

Live Your Best Life

I’ve been reminiscing quite a bit lately. My oldest son will be turning sixteen in two weeks, which seems impossible to me. Where does the time go? If I died tomorrow, I know the one thing I have not failed at is being the best mom to my boys. Having a child when you are barely nineteen isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing in my life. My pregnancy at a young age was a defining moment in my life. It made me pause, look around me, and see what steps I needed to take to be what I needed to be for my son.

You can be a teen parent and be successful – even if you don’t make it on Teen Mom, y’all. I promise. It will take long days, even longer nights and determination, but you can do it. If someone would have told me when I was twenty-one that I would one day be in a position to take my family to Hawaii or the Virgin Islands, I probably would have laughed in their face. But…both happened. Some people focus on the fancy cars or big houses, but for me, it’s all about making memories.

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One day, both of my boys will be grown and setting off into the world to create their mark on it. They will remember the time we have spent together as a family – from planting a vegetable garden every year to the cool vacations we took. Not to brag or anything, but I’m a pretty decent cook as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have a chef, but wouldn’t we all?

To my boys, live your best lives. Love hard, tell your kids you love them and how awesome they are, and remember to always be kind.

~Tiff~

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