It's been a week since my last post, and some stuff has been going on. So I thought I'd stop by and give you an update.
First of all, I've had two new pieces published in the past week over at the Heroes in Recovery website.
The first piece is a blog post entitled "Being Transparent to Help Break the Stigma." It talks about how sharing my experiences with my sons addiction is therapeutic to me, and about how sharing helps bring addiction out of the shadows and into the light.
The second piece is a story I wrote in the aftermath of one of the best Thanksgivings ever. "The Greatest Gift I Could Ask For: My Son's Sobriety" let's people know what an amazing thing my son's recovery has been, and that they should never give up if they, or someone they love, are struggling with addiction.
I hope you'll take the time to read both pieces. And feel free to leave comments on them at the Heroes website. I always like to know what people think about the topics I write about.
The other stuff going on in my life has to do with facing the ugly reality of unemployment. Without going into detail, I was being compensated for a while (with health insurance), but that has now run out. I am doing some freelance work, and my wife is working; but having a major chunk of our household's cash flow disappear has been pretty eye-opening.
Here are some random thoughts that have kept popping into my head over the last week or so:
*Paying the bills is tough when you lose your largest, steadiest source of income. It's certainly a wake-up call, and things will no doubt be incredibly challenging for me and my family going forward.
*When your health insurance benefits go away, you realize how important they actually were to you. It was kind of easy to take them for granted. Now I'm trying to decide whether to go on COBRA for a while--at a cost of nearly $1,600.00 a month--or if I should just take the plunge directly into the world of Obamacare.
*Something else you take for granted when it's included in your employer's benefits package: life insurance. You cruise along for years with ridiculously affordable life insurance--again, taking it for granted--then all of a sudden it disappears. If you don't know this already, trying to find life insurance that won't break your bank account is a pain in the ass. Especially when you're in your fifties and have some minor health issues. My advice to younger folks out there who are blessed with having life insurance through their employer: Go buy some life insurance from another source while you can do so at a decent rate. It'll save you a lot of hassle later on.
*I need a job. So if you know someone who might know someone...
I guess that's about it for now. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you a very happy holiday season. Remember to take time daily to be grateful for the little things in your life. Some of the greatest gifts we have in life are things we tend to take for granted. Live in the moment and appreciate everything each day brings you. There are no guarantees for tomorrow.
In the same vein, there's a fabulous quote in the new Anne Lamott book (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace) that I've fallen in love with. This quote hit me so hard that I printed it out and hung it up on my dining room wall. And I've used it as "grace" for the last two dinner gatherings I've hosted with my entire family.
"Right this minute, we understand that this is all there is, so let's really be together."
Amen, Anne. I think that line sums up life perfectly.
P.S. Here are direct links to my newest pieces on the Heroes in Recovery site:
"Being Transparent to Help Break the Stigma":
"The Greatest Gift I Could Ask For: My Son's Sobriety":