Moving & Stress

This is a long read. More of my own whining to myself of everything that happened during the month of March in regards to the move. Technically, I should put this on “private” but I left it open since no one specifically was mentioned, so I’m not breaking confidentiality. Read at your own caution.

Before I get started, here is the the amazing part of how a program of recovery works in someone’s life. I didn’t have one thought of drinking this whole time. While not noted here because it’s a daily routine I was always going to meetings, talking to my sponsor and/or talking to another alcoholic/addict. Today six months plus sober I still live, “One Day at a Time”.

The last week was a struggle dealing with a move from one apartment to another. The whole process of this move was a fiasco since its inception. It was just frustrating one step after another. The three of us aren’t content about the move but realize we really had no choice. Several decisions were made which we have no control and now we’re left to deal with them. However, there are definite lessons I learned from the experience.

At the beginning of April our old landlord visited saying, “I heard you guys are moving at the end of the month.” We all looked at other shell shocked. Our program staff made no mention of it to any of us. Further, I had just met with my case manager that morning. It immediately got my blood boiling, so I called to find out more answers. I had to speak to three people to get an answer. In other words only ONE person knew what was going on with “the move”. Then she proceeds to pass me on to my case manager because I was on tilt. I just hung up. Yes, I did and five minutes later I realized what I had done. I called back to no one answering the phone. So ideally I have an amends to make in my future. The next day we learn it was something in the process which just was finalized. So instead of letting clients know first, they let the landlord know. Ideally we should not be talking to the landlord anyway (confidentiality) but our roommate apparently has a good relationship with him. Our case manager apologized for the “way the situation was handled”. He gave us our final move out date as Friday, March 29, 2019.

Days or weeks later it gets worse. We learn our new apartment is not a three bedroom but a two bedroom. Before we moved to supportive living, we shared bedrooms in the “three quarter house”, so the point of supportive living was to get our own bedrooms. Thus, two of us have to share a bedroom – again. My freedom of having personal space suddenly taken from me with no consideration. Luckily for me, my now roommate and I have made plans to move our of the program in our own apartment before this process (in August 2019). A little inconvenience, so be it. However, to make matters worse, this new apartment was right across the street from the halfway house and the three quarter house. Instead of taking a step forward, I felt like I am moving backward.

The blows kept coming last week. Staff, almost every day, “You ready to move? Why don’t you have stuff packed up yet?” Our privacy in the old place was interrupted almost daily by staff about this or that. The old landlord had two potential renters himself who wanted to see the apartment, so we had to deal with him, “Clean this place up, made it look good. By the way I don’t want you in the apartment when I show the place”. Here we were moving week, I had purchased four plastic storage containers because staff provided, let’s just say not the ideal boxes to move (i.e. empty bulk paper towel boxes, soap boxes and others from a grocery store).

Two days before the move I happen to see another person of the program walking down the street who was also moving. “Hey Mike, you ready to move on Thursday?” He proceeds to tell me the move date was moved to Thursday instead of Friday. My roommate had just gotten back from his meeting with his case manager and wasn’t told a thing. He calls his case manager who proceeds to tell him, “Oh yea, something was said about that in the morning… know unexpected things are going to happen.” The morning before the Operations Supervision makes a visit before 8 a.m., “Good morning, is everyone ready to move.” I just left to take a walk and smoke a cigarette. She tries to prevent me from leaving and I just kept going. The thoughts in my mind were not appropriate for the situation.

Last week on the day of the move, Operations Manager pops in 8 a.m., “Everyone awake, the movers are going to be here in 30 minutes.” The whole time, we were suppose to be the last apartment to move because it was agreed we were much more organized so it wouldn’t take as long to move. Luckily we were ready. Then she stabs again with, “Tomorrow I want everyone here at 8 a.m. to clean the place. I’ll have a list of things I want done.” All I could think was, “Can you just leave…NOW?” Eventually the movers came, packed our apartment with our help relatively quickly in an hour. Then it was a waiting game. Four hours later, they are finally moving stuff back in our new apartment. My roommate and I had nothing to do all day but sit on a park bench waiting for the movers to get done with the other apartment. Apparently they had nothing packed or organized. I think after all said and done, we got settled at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. We had to beg the Operations Manager to buy us pizza ‘cus our food was still at the old apartment.

Friday morning, I went down the street to smoke a cigarette. the Operations Supervisor yells across the street, “Mike, are you going to the other apartment to clean.” I mumbled something and kept walking. She’s lucky I didn’t say, “F**k off, [X]. Just leave us the f**k alone already.” As I’m sitting smoking my cigarette my other roommate comes to join me, his face red as a tomato. Apparently, the OM made it clear, we had to clean the old apartment by one o’clock, before she leaves for the day or there would be a consequence and we would be staying the weekend at the halfway house. In addition she expected the floors to be spotless, ‘I better be able to lick them…” At this point I had enough but I wasn’t going to get involved.

Fast forward to this week Monday. I was ready to battle with my Case Manager (who is also the Clinical Supervisor) about his staff. He and I have a good repertoire, so I know he would listen. At many points, he agreed with me, apologized, asked for suggestions, etc. But I told him it didn’t make a difference; there was no point. I know from my own experience these programs don’t care about their clients, which is very sad. All programs care about is money. Unfortunately my expectation when I got here was high, today I’m beyond disappointed because I feel like dollar signs.

Now it’s literally been a week since we’ve been here. We still don’t have a washer and dryer installed. But upstairs, the other residents that moved got their NEW appliances yesterday? It’s been a week since I’ve done laundry and now its going to be a whole weekend without washing clothes. We didn’t have trash cans either with four bags of trashing piling up outside so I took three of them from the halfway house. Anyone care? Nope. Lastly, we have a ant problem in our bathroom. Has anyone looked at it or taken care of it? Nope. All three things were given to my case manager on Monday to handle. His response when I asked him during the week, “Oh, I thought it was taken care of. I’ll check on it for you.” We say in the program, “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter”. Absolutely BS.

Moving from a three bedroom to a two bedroom requires some adjustments on everyone’s part. I respect my roommate but his lazy ass doesn’t wake up until he has to do something in the morning, if he has to do anything at all blaming his psych medications or a situation. I didn’t have to deal with it at the other place; our old address we had our own rooms. So I’m sitting out in the living room trying to get in my Morning Zen Routine, as I call it, and the other roommate now watches, “Trailer Park Boys”. In the old apartment he watched TV in his room. On that’s right, he hasn’t got someone to hook up his TV because he’s to lazy too. The past week I’ve felt like I’m walking on eggshells. Today, I’m just beyond it all. I get up, make noise if I must, get coffee, put the earphones on an do what I need to do in the morning. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone else.

I can go on and on with more whining but I think I’m FINALLY letting go of it all. What have a learned from the experience? Actually, as I look back, I’m learning a lot. Most importantly, I let all the small things pile up into a giant molehill which I have absolute no control over. I need to do what I’ve been doing for six months. Instead of drudging up the past getting myself “stuck” I need to make adjustments and move forward. In other words, concentrate of my sobriety, “One Day at a Time”. The chaos of everything outside of me is going to happen only if I choose to get involved.

Today I have three goals:

  • Breathe when things happen, not get involved
  • Stop whining, letting go of all bullshit
  • Just relax today, tuning everyone else out

Hopefully I can have a nice relaxing, peaceful weekend.

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