Driving Me to Drink

By November 29, 2014Issues, James Breckenridge

By James Breckenridge. You are NOT paranoid … if the Universe, Deity, Fate or Whatever is Out to Get You; and it certainly seems I am at the top of some Entity’s ‘To Be Gotten List’.

The past 6 – 8 weeks have been wearing away at my ratiocination and sagacity [sanity].

Tonight I hit the melt-down point: the point of lizard brain rage where reason is sundered giving birth to an eruption of irrationality and derangement.

To be rescued by a little voice in my head saying “this is not the brightest thing to be doing; in fact it is no where near bright … Dumb, Asinine yes, bright – Not Even Close.

One of the tools of recovery we fail to make use of for mental health and/or addiction [which is in truth a health or mental health issue] recovery is WRAP [Wellness Recovery Action Plan].

Whether the person dealing with a mental health challenge, a person dealing with addiction, a person dealing with concurrent disorders [mental health and substance use], service providers, the government, government ministries or the public the focus is on ‘we want it Now; we want it Fast and Simple and Done’.

Which is not the way it works when you are dealing with the complexity of the human mind; the complexity of the psychological, social and biological interactions that give rise to what is ME or YOU.

Recovery requires time, learning, hard work and continued effort in slogging forward; years of time, learning, hard work and continued effort in slogging forward.

Whether it is the years of time needed or the misunderstanding/lack of knowledge that is the primary reason we do recovery so poorly and recycling so well …

Personally I think that Understanding is the key to solving many of the challenges facing people, societies and the human race. When you achieve understanding, you change. I was angry at my mother for her alcoholism and my father for staying in the relationship and condemning us kids to that madhouse. Until the day I understood, truly understood being powerless over alcohol, co-dependence and the effect that living with an alcoholic has on the people in the alcoholic’s life.

When I UNDERSTOOD I let go of the massive load of anger and other negative crap I had carried around for years.

WRAP is an invaluable tool, but a tool that requires the investment of awareness, time and thought. The basic concepts are covered over six facilitated group sessions of 3 hours – but there is no place to turn for support in order to make WRAP part of you mental hygiene. The feedback I have gotten from those who were in groups I facilitated was the need for an ongoing group/drop-in where help – and encouragement – could be found to weave WRAP into your life.

Because when you find yourself on the precipice, staring into that seething cauldron of rage and stupidity … WRAP can provide that little voice that results in you throwing a few sheets of paper around, rather than heavier far more destructive and harmful things, cursing whoever, whatever and why ever you are being crapped on and then seeking to overcome.

So, what do I need to overcome and what is my plan?

I live in a basement suite; the entrance is around back via stairs that take you down 5 feet below grade. As the diagram shows there are three five feet tall concrete walls with the fourth side being the wall of the house. As noted in the diagram there is a drain in the concrete floor of the ‘porch’.

The drain in the floor ties into the weeping tiles, the drainage system for draining away excess water.

Which, while fast, convenient and cheapest, was probably not the best decision as the drain is at or is the lowest point in the system. The best solution, given the life of a house, would have been a dry well for the drain. You dig a pit, fill it with crushed [chunky, not fine] stone, put in a pipe, tap down the stone, put down and compact a layer of soil and pour your concrete floor/pad. Any water that gets onto the patio drains into drywell.

The problem with being tied into the drainage system, worse being at or near the low point of the system is flooding.

I do not know what occurred over the summer, but something has changed the weeping system drainage.

A week and a half {two weeks?] ago I went to use the computer and noticed the carpet seemed to have changed colour. A touch of the finger to the carpet told me that it was water that caused the darkening. Opening the door I found a pond where the porch had been.

A shop vac has sat on the porch for years as part of my inner accountant’s risk management strategy. That night/early morning I vacuumed up 2500 litres of water and lifted those 2500 litres up five feet to ground level so it could be poured out and drain away. When I had finished removing the water – priorities – I found my landlord was up watching television and let him know about the water backing up, but that due to luck only a strip of carpet had gotten wet.

The next heavy rain found the water rising again and my landlord told me to buy a pump and he would pay for it. To put in a sump pump [a pump that automatically turns on and off as needed requires a sump [a pit, well or the like in which water or other liquid is collected]. So after a discussion at Home Depot I got a utility pump.

Pumped out the water nicely, but not before a small water infestation had gotten a portion of the previously dampened carpet freshly wet.

This past Tuesday I wanted to go to Chilliwack for some live music but it was raining hard. Staying home and manning the pump proved to be a wise decision. Unfortunately, after turning the pump off after all the water had been pumped out [and there was no water coming up and out the drain], when the water began to flow out onto the porch it poured in so quickly that it was – once again the carpet by the door getting wet that alerted me to turn the pump on.

I turned on the pump when I got home today [Thursday] pumped the patio dry … and was surprised shortly after turning the pump off by……..the carpet by the door getting wet. The pump was turned on and the meltdown began and I hung on the precipice of anger and madness……..to be saved from plunging into that abyss – and down and down – by the little voice of WRAP in my head.

As I used the shop vac and the squeegee attachment to – once amore – vacuum the water out of the freshly wet portion of carpet I decided BLEEP with putting down blankets etc to soak up the water the shop vac seems unable suck up.

There didn’t seem to be much point, particularly after I had opened the door to turn off the pump [it had almost pumped the patio dry when I had checked a few minutes earlier] and found the patio under water because the water was flowing in faster than the pump could pump it out and away.

There seems to be two options.

Move – pouring rain, flooding, hard to pack with wet floors and you have to cart what is packed out somewhere or run the risk of a disaster [My Books! My Books!] … doesn’t seem very viable. And the Hassle……

Put a finger in the dike … plug the hole.

With a shop vac and a pump any water that gets blown in or down the stairs [the porch for the upstairs covers my porch/patio so rain does not pour in] I can clean up. I do not need the drain; in particular I do not need a drain that is not just a liability but is an active threat with a long wet winter/spring stretching months into the future.

So I created the diagram of the layout of the problem and wrote these words setting out the situation …

… and will commit the words to the internet and ask how best to plug the hole in the concrete, prevent flooding and to SMS [Save My Sanity]??

It is going to be a long night.

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