Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?


August 19, 2002 - 10:00 a.m.

Bilham

All the talk, all the gestures, all the promises in the world mean nothing when you donít believe in yourself. When your biggest obstacle in the world is you, you canít make a living.

Iíve been talking a friend through depression. Bilham isnít just depressed, his livelihood is on the line, heís ending a 19 year marriage, and heís convinced his kids donít like him any more. Heís a recovering alcoholic and is trying to learn new coping skills. When things get tough, drunks disappear in the booze. He doesnít have that hiding place any more.

Iíve known him for 22 years and Iíve seen him survive worse than this. When I met him he was recovering from an auto accident where his right leg was broken in three places, and it took him 2 years to recover from it. We started a connection back then that lasts even today.

He recognized he was depressed when he took the pledge about five years ago. He was really in charge after recovering from being in an alcoholic stupor, and then getting the right medication to alleviate depression. Thatís when he started to realize that one of the sources of his problems was the person he was married to.

Iím hardly an advocate for divorce but it seems warranted in this case. This woman is one of the most negative people Iíve ever met. Thatís really what ended our periodic visits in the past, my ex and I couldnít stand to be around her!

In some ways I think Iím here to carry him through this bad time. I know heís strong enough to get through it even though he doesnít. His ex-wife (or soon-to-be) is pushing all the old buttons. Heís progressed to the point where they donít work anymore. Sheís just now learning that. I keep reminding him that his immunity to her old tricks is a symbol of his progress.

Heís trying to re-establish contact with his kids. Theyíre the same age as my kids, which makes it more difficult. Teenagers that age donít really want to hang with the parents, they want more independence. Plus, The Big Kahuna (negative woman) is not playing fair, and apparently poisoning the kids against dad, for her own gain. Those plans sometimes backfire.

Bilham saw the doc a few weeks ago to get his antidepressant medications adjusted. He was doing so well he decided to go off them last fall, which resulted in his emotional crash this spring. He went back on them three months ago, but theyíre not working like they used to. The doc gave him a new formula to use in addition to what he had, but these things take at least a month to take effect.

Heíll get through this. He doesnít know his own strength.







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