Tag Archives: breakups

facebook breakup

Tuning out Facebook for weeks at a time is commonplace, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which found that a majority of the current Facebook users it surveyed have at one time or another tired to the point of avoiding the social-networking site.

 

Pew used Princeton Survey Research Associates International to conduct the actual telephone interviews with a representative sample of 1,006 adults in the U.S.

The Pew study found that 61 percent of the Facebook users who responded have taken extended, weeks-long breaks from the site. Those who have taken Facebook sabbaticals did so for the obvious reasons: 21 percent were too busy, 10 percent lost interest, and 10 percent felt it was a waste of time.

 

(Credit: Pew Research)

 


break up sex with alcohol–and a minor miracle

according to the noted philosopher neil sedaka, breaking up is hard to do.  and i have decided to break up with alcohol and it’s rough.  i researched some options.

americans are a congenial, sociable, dyi lot.  so alcoholics anonymous is a very american way of dealing with the breakup.  and i’ve gone to meetings.  unfortunately, i did this when i lived in the small town of winnetka.  by the time i was pulling into my driveway after my first meeting, i was getting phone calls from people who hadn’t been at the meeting but who knew every detail of my story, every tear i ever cried.  what part of anonymous doesn’t exist there?  and besides, aa has a fifteen percent success rate.

if a prescription drug for strep throat had a fifteen percent success rate would the federal drug commission approve it? would you take it? would you give it to your kid?

americans also love their first ladies–dolley madison, jackie kennedy, michele obama. . . and they like honesty.

betty ford, the wife of president gerald ford, was very “i don’t care who knows” about her struggles with alcohol and drug addiction. she opened the betty ford clinic for people with similar issues.  she passed on in 2011 and was one of the most popular first ladies of all time.

trouble is, the betty ford clinic approach (inpatient thirty days) is expensive, my insurance wouldn’t cover much of it, and my premiums would skyrocket.  besides, i didn’t think of myself as quite that bad off.

i stumbled upon a solution.  a drug that’s not generally sold in the united states.  does well in europe and asia–i guess french folks don’t go to meetings which might explain a lot about the european union.

the medicine is taken over the course of eight weeks.  like an ssri antidepressant (think prozac, zoloft, paxil), it works on the brain’s pleasure receptors.  it is meant to cut off the connection between chardonnay and a buzz.  it is, again like an antidepressant, not likely to make any difference for several weeks until a critical level has been dumped into the bloodstream.  unlike antidepressants which stop working once you stop taking them, this drug is supposed to be taken for eight weeks and then you stop.  i suspect the reason one stops at eight weeks is that one is supposed to develop good habits. and keep them.

the first night i took it i drank a martini for the first (and last) time. it was made for me by a facebook friend and i will share the recipe because it was just as good as breakup sex can ever be.

breakup sex martini

you’ll need:  fresh basil leaves, lemon, ice, shaker, vodka, running tap water

cut up and crush the basil leaves with the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle if your kitchen is well equiped

cut lemon in half

put basil and ice in shaker.  squeeze lemon juice into shaker.   leave the seeds–it lends verisimilitude

add vodka and shake

pour into glasses

when your guest says “i’ve never had a martini.  it’s going to be too strong” retire to the kitchen, run the tap water (not into the glass, silly!) and say”this’ll be okay!

oh, did my head hurt the next day and i felt so discouraged.  i had no home.  my car was in the shop with bald tires and all my clothes.  i felt unmoored and full of self-loathing.  and i wondered if i was an alcoholic and should just resign myself to it.

founded in 1877, the pacific gardens mission in chicago has served homeless and lost souls. i felt like maybe i was lost. really lost. maybe they could help.

still, i dutifully took my medicine.  i went to a lady’s lunch.  the sort where there’s white wine and delicate salads and nobody eats their dessert.  ordinarily, i would have drank my wine, ordered a second glass and then another.  instead, i couldn’t finish the first glass.  i just didn’t want it.  i asked if i could switch to diet coke.

the next day i went to an funeral luncheon.  i started with a glass of white wine and again, said “i don’t really want to finish this”

at saturday dinner, i drank a glass with my meal and then after dinner ordered a glass but didn’t drink any. . .  even though i was paying for it.

does this mean the medicine works and i’m just an early responder to changes in brain chemistry?  i don’t know.  i will find out.  but i have noticed subtle minor tiny miracles that have made me so grateful.

i’m not identifying the drug.  because if it changes my brain chemistry so that i think i’m a dog and i start barking at postal workers, i don’t anyone else to have tried it because of me.  if it works, i’ll let you know.  if it doesn’t work, i just have to think of other options.

i don’t want to be a teetotaler, i don’t want to proselytize, i don’t want to stay in a clinic (unless they have wonderful room service!).  i just want to get to the place where i think i’m just pretty average.

i got the car back (and my clothes!) and aimed south to indianapolis to meet the three eastman sisters, two of whom (julie and susan) are my facebook friends. clare (far right) does not have a facebook account. neither does sophie the dog. i have many friends on facebook who are dogs and one cat.  facebook has been cracking down on accounts held by nonhumans–that is, businesses, spambots, animals, historical figures, and people who have duplicate accounts.

i aim south for louisville, kentucky–home of the colonels and the derby.  why?  to visit a facebook friend of course!  and this one needs a miracle just as badly as me!


dear alcohol, we need to talk

dear alcohol,

it’s never good when a girl says “we need to talk”.. . . and this isn’t going to be good. but i have to do this.  i really do.

no question, you’ve been there for me all through the years. in cans, in crystal glasses, at parties, at bars, and sometimes when no one else wanted to be with me. best friends forever, you’ve always said!

i went to florida two weeks ago with some high hopes, and i didn’t think you were going to get so . . . . well, aggressive.  i was going to visit with facebook friends in tallahassee, tampa, and orlando.  i was going to bring my dad justin along with me.  we were going to bond.  you were going to be just something i had with dinner–or before flights.

bonding with my father is an ongoing process. he and my mother placed me for adoption when i was three years old. this is a picture of me and my new mother on the morning i was baptized, a few weeks after the adoption became final. i met my father and mother when i was twenty five years old–using a private detective to track them down.

 

the day before the trip, my dad texted me and said he didn’t feel he was up to traveling with me from his place in tallahassee to the other cities in florida.  i would stay with him and his wife on sunday evening, rent a car and sally forth throughout the state, returning on friday to catch a plane back to chicago.

but when i got to florida, i was surprised to discover that my father justin’s wife was going on a business trip.  and that justin was a lot sicker than i had ever imagined.  and that he was undergoing provenge treatment over the course of the week and the clinic wanted someone with him.  that person would be me.

i cancelled all the facebook friend visits outside of tallahassee. my friends were so understanding. i was going to bake a cake with jennifer in tampa and she said “no problem” and made the cake on her own and posted it on my wall. the cake tells the story of my visits to see facebook friends all over the world. thank you jennifer!

 

the first phase of the provenge treatment went well.  justin and i watched television while his blood was taken from one arm, processed through a machine and reinserted (minus white blood cells) into the other.  he was weak, he slept most of the days, he had no appetite.  he slept in the master bedroom, i slept in the guest room.

his wife came home on wednesday evening.  i volunteered to take justin to phase two of his provenge treatment on friday before my flight.  he would be given a very high dose of benadryl and his own white blood cells–new and improved by some mysterious process–would be reintroduced to his body.  he needed to have someone help him get home.  also, it’s just good to have someone be an advocate for your care.  especially since provenge is still in its experimental phase.

justin is actually the first person in tallahassee to get the provenge treatment. it went well, by the way, and he says he feels better. he will get two more treatments.  i’m not sure what happens after that.

the next morning my stepmother’s first words to me were “you need to get a hotel room because i can’t sleep with justin.  he snores and he disturbs my sleep.  he has to sleep in the guest room.”

i felt the hostility.  it’s always been there lurking beneath a surface of tight smiles–and it dates back to the total shock it must have been for her as a newlywed to have me show up saying “hi, i’m justin’s daughter!”  i sympathize.  i really do.

i sat at the dining room table.  she woke justin and an argument ensued between them, with each hushing the other as  if they believed i couldn’t hear.  she wanted me out of there. right then. it went beyond a desire to not sleep with a snorer.  and yes, i heard every word.

i felt rejected, belittled, demeaned, and exactly like a three year old who doesn’t understand why she can’t go home again.  to her real home.  why she has to be thrown away, because that’s what adoption meant to me.

and i would have left right then, walked out of the apartment and said “good luck to you guys”  but i was scared of leaving my dad.  she went to work.  i sat on the couch with him.  i said “this is exactly the horrible feeling that makes me want a drink.”  and he said “me too” and he got up, went to the refrigerator and we drank two beers.  it was nine thirty, alcohol, a little early wouldn’t you say?  but you were there for me.  and for him.

but that feeling, that wretched feeling followed me out of florida, back to illinois, everywhere i am, everywhere i go.  rejected, belittled, a failure, a wreck.  i’ve lost friendships, i’ve lost the respect of people i respect, i’ve lost love–the very things i have always wanted but you’re always there, aren’t you?  ready to console me.  ready to tell me it’s all right.   ready to tell me i’m pretty and witty and funny and i mean something.  and you keep saying you’ll never never leave me and i thought that was a good thing. what i’ve always wanted to hear.

but coming from you, maybe it’s not such a good thing.

i’ve tried breaking up with you before.  white knuckling it.  alcoholics anonymous.  a chinese acupuncturist who also threw in a few extra needles that were supposed to make me lose weight in addition to sobering me up.  nothing worked.  you always came back and always when i really need you and can’t resist you.

this time i’m getting outside help.  i’m scared.  i’m crying right now as i write this.  you have been a reliable friend.  but i can’t do this anymore.  i’m breaking up with you.

and really, it’s not you.  it’s me.

when i made a new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends, i met quite a few who have made the same decision, who have had the breakup talk with you.  some have been successful.  some not so much.  some have done it on their own.  some have needed what i’m about to do.  i hope all my facebook friends, all my friends, all my family can understand.  alcohol, i never meant for our relationship to be so . . . monogamous.

my biological mother gave me this picture when she met me. alcohol, this was a gal with promise and potential and i want to get that back.