Posted by: Brenda Kula | August 19, 2008

Mulling It Over

I’m about to have my second large cup of coffee for the day (and it’s just two o’clock!). So I feel the guilt I would think alcoholics are prone to when contemplating that second drink of the day. (Caffeine is one of my very best friends! A big red mug, two packets of Splenda sweetener please, a little half and half, and then to top it off for us sweet-toothed women with growing mid-sections, a little flavored Coffee Mate (sugar-free, naturally.)

Speaking of alcohol, my neighbor fell after she’d had “a few” last week, and had to have surgery to lessen the swelling and blood inside her brain. Poor thing. She’s rather elderly. And lonely. With a husband who seems more interested in the tv remote (can any woman out there relate?) And so she was found late at night, finally, in a heap on the floor of her cement garage, surrounded by the rain that had been driving northward in sheets all evening. She’s small and fragile-looking. And was always wringing her hands over something. One of those types you feel sorry for, but run into the house when you see them walking down the street. Isn’t that utterly abominable? I know…

Okay, on that guilty note I up-ended and drank the last of that cup…

Anyway, she’s still in the hospital. She may not make it. And I’m telling myself: “why didn’t you take more time with her?” (Though she was one of those sorts who would have you doing everything in the world for her if given the opportunity. And I don’t mean helping a little. I mean every little thing.) Why didn’t I try and match her up with a good volunteer organization so she could find something to do with her time?

But then, we all did do that. And it didn’t do any good…

Alcohol is a drug, is a drug, is a drug. I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve been embarrassed by a friend or a relative or a spouse due to their having a “few too many.” I have seen it ruin countless lives. And unfortunately not just theirs. But their loved ones as well in the process.

Far better to go on to the doctor and ask for something to cope with the anxiety than to prescribe for one’s self by the glassful, in my humble opinion. Far better to think twice before having that second or third glass of wine because it makes one less inhibited and more social, before you get behind the wheel and run someone over in your blurred state. And ruin your life as well as theirs.

I know this is not where you want to read about these things. I keep telling myself to start another blog about all my ponderings on the ills of society. So that you can at least see these dialogues coming before you click on the pretty photo and find yourself immersed in some tale of woe.

I apologize for this treatise of which I am no authority whatsoever. I guess I just wanted someone, somewhere, if she doesn’t make it…to realize that we knew. And still, we did nothing sufficient to help her. Because she refused to help herself and wouldn’t let us.

And now I sit here, rain again throwing itself in sheets across my window, wondering what caused her to feel like alcohol was her friend and not her enemy. And wonder what, if anything, I might have done to make a difference.

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Responses

  1. Hi Brenda,

    I love my coffee also.

    Very powerful post. I feel terrible for your neighbor and I also feel very sad. Sad, that she refused to help herself and wouldn’t seek help. It almost sounds like she had given up on anything that could make a difference in her life. I’m not an expert but from what I have heard, that is a very difficult addiction to break. I will keep her in my prayers.

    take care of your self.

  2. That’s so sad

  3. We don’t drink coffee during the warmer months. J and I were just discussing the fact that coffee weather is just around the corner. We drink tea all summer.

    I’m sorry to hear about your neighbor.

  4. Hi Brenda,
    I have known a few sweet little old ladies like that too and like you (guilt ridden) I run the other way ,one in particular I still feel guilt ( the old I should of I could of but didn’t)when she passed away to make amends from my heart to hers I went to her funeral, we were less than a dozen people including her family, no one stood up to say a eulogy so I did and I told about her life story as I knew it because her daughter was my best childhood friend she also was passed away she was hit by a train if you can imagine that tragedy.It was just so sad heart breaking really.
    Take her some flowers and stay and chat with her in the hospital you will feel better if you do.
    Diane

  5. Oh Brenda, I feel so sad for your neighbor. I hope she makes it. I don’t drink as much coffee later in the day as I used to but in the morning, two or three cups is essential to my mood. I love the rusty flower!! It has such character.

  6. Brenda, how very sad. I have a customer who I believe hired me so she would have someone to talk to. I will keep this story in mind while she follows me around her yard.

  7. I feel so bad for your neighbor and for you, too, since this has obviously affected you. This is a lesson that we all need to take a little time to look out for one another. Sometimes it doesn’t take much, just a hello or a few minutes to talk. I know this has made me stop and think about how I need to be a bit more neighborly.

    Jan
    Always Growing

  8. What a sad story. That poor woman,I hope she gets better. It must be hard being elderly and having no one to turn to.

  9. I must have a certain amount of caffeine, too, tea my drink of choice. Three cups a day.

    Thank you for the reminder to simply be kind. But no one can save another. That’s God’s job. No one helps or hinders another from drinking. We all make our own choices.

    I love your thoughtful posts; they make me think, and you sometimes speak my heart, too.
    xxxooo

  10. Hi Brenda,
    You have certainly given us all something to think about.

    Please don’t feel guilty about what has happened to your neighbor. Alcoholism is a disease…and very hard to cure. A person has to want help.

    You sound like such a sweet thoughful person.
    Hope you have a great day,
    Diane

  11. Each season I love rusty garden decorations more and more. I don’t know why. I never liked them at all before. Now I have quite a few rusty things. I love your big rusty sunflower!

  12. Love coffee… could live off of coffee. In fact, there was a down point in my life when I did live off only it for a while.
    I’m sorry to hear about your neighbor. Sometimes, despite how hard a person can try to “do” for another, it will never help unless that other person is willing to help his/herself.
    I hope she pulls through.

  13. It’s taken me a long time to discover this, but we can’t save everyone from themselves. I can only make sure that what I’m doing is OK. I don’t want to or need to control someone else’s actions. I wish your neighbor peace and comfort with whatever happens.

    Gretchen

  14. Brenda,
    Your poor little neighbor was coping the way she knew how. Some people turn to alcohol, some to other drugs. We can’t really help them until they decide to love themselves and get what help they need. You are so right. Alcohol is a drug..a destructive life damaging drug. I wish more people understood that. Just my two cents!

  15. Brenda,
    Your poor little neighbor was coping the way she knew how. Some people turn to alcohol, some to other drugs. We can’t really help them until they decide to love themselves and get what help they need. You are so right. Alcohol is a drug..a destructive life damaging drug. I wish more people understood that. Just my two cents!

  16. Brenda,
    Your poor little neighbor was coping the way she knew how. Some people turn to alcohol, some to other drugs. We can’t really help them until they decide to love themselves and get what help they need. You are so right. Alcohol is a drug..a destructive life damaging drug. I wish more people understood that. Just my two cents!

  17. That’s so sad about the neighbor lady. I am saying a prayer for her. Keep us posted. On a lighter note, I love me some caffeine, too! I’m not a coffee drinker, but I must have my iced tea first thing in the morning! Patti

  18. Brenda, I don’t think you should feel apologetic for posting this. In fact, perhaps you’ve encouraged us to open our eyes to the neighbors around us. They may not be alcoholics, but some, the elderly especially, may need something we have to offer. I do believe we’re all here for a greater purpose than serving ourselves, and yet, it’s so easy to stay put in our comfortable little worlds. I AM sorry about your neighbor.

    I also love coffee. I drink mine with Splenda, a little half’n’half, and a tad of Coffee Mate hazelnut powdered creamer (not sugar-free, though it should be).

  19. Brenda,

    The sad truth is most of us avoid our neighbors. I avoid mine across the street because he likes to discuss his sex life and he talks non-stop every time we walk out the front door. He is one that I don’t feel sorry for, although I’m always cordial.

    You can’t help that woman. She can only help herself. I hope she lives to learn something from this and moves on from her life with that husband of hers, but since she is elderly I suppose she won’t or can’t. The sad truth is that alcohol doesn’t kill, people kill themselves or others out of stupidity. Drink, but drink safely, occasionally and wisely. I wish everyone followed those rules.

    hugs,
    rue


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