Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Notebook Syndrome

Camp Scabs Scholarship Applicants: By this evening, Friday 22nd, you will receive an email with our random pick for this September's Camp.  If you applied you should have received a reply email from me just letting you know you're on the list.  If you didn't get this reply please resend your email to campscabs {at} gmail {dot} com


You know how in The Notebook the main character, the guy, I forgot his name, works his ass off every day trying to get his wife to come back to him.  I told Mr. Scabs, "this is what I call The Notebook Syndrome".

The main character (I know, terrible that I've forgotten his name. Maybe I should google it).....Noah!  Noah and Allie have been married and in love for years when she's diagnosed with Alzheimer's.   They have a great love story filled with passion and fighting and losing each other only to find each other again so she decides to write this story in a notebook because she was losing her mind and doesn't want to forget.  The idea is that if Noah reads the notebook to her each day she will remember who they are and "come back to him".  They will steal a few moments of clarity from the dementia that has taken over her mind.

Every once in awhile, when the conditions were just right, I'd work my ass off all day, talking Mr. Scabs through his life and his addiction.  And by the end of the day he'd come back to me.  He would have clarity and humility and recognition.  He would be like the man I fell in love with. We would steal a few moments from his addiction.   We would dance and hold each other for a minute and be real.  And then, just like in The Notebook, he'd slip away before I'd even noticed. Back into dementia.

This isn't good.  I decided to quit working my ass off.  


  1. I was taught something in my internship that I think applies everywhere-- never work harder than your client. It's something greenie social workers tend to do. We want to save the world. We bust our butts getting resources and making appointments and getting connections for someone, and sometimes, it works out really well. But a lot of times, they just aren't there yet. So you put in all of this energy and work into it, and it was for nothing, because they don't pick up the pieces you've laid out for them. Putting in that kind of energy is totally worth it when you get the boost of seeing their lives positively impacted, but it's so deflating and defeating when you're handing them all these golden tickets, and they say, "Meh. No thanks."

    It is heartbreaking when your only investment is in seeing your client succeed.

    It would be soul crushing when it's your husband, and your investment is in having your best friend back.

    Gah. Addiction sucks.

  2. Thanks for this. Just this morning, I watched my husband walk away to go board a plane and "start a new chapter of his life" as he put it on Facebook. A chapter with a girlfriend, addiction, and without his wife and 2 daughters. And even still I find myself feeling like if I could just talk to him again, he would reconsider, or realize what he's throwing away, or something. But I need to quit working my ass off to convince him that I have worth. I feel like I lost my best friend today but in reality, he's been gone for a long long time. Just as I was writing this the song "say something" came on . . .

    Say something, I'm giving up on you
    And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you

    It hurts, but I couldn't. Only he can, and he isn't choosing to.

    Thanks Scabs.

    1. Ugh, Bec. That's awful. So many hugs to you. Your daughters are so blessed to have someone who is so strong, so willing to look things through and pick out what is good and valuable and work to shed the rest.

    2. {{hugs}} and prayers for you.

      i can barely grasp the pain you are going through right now. My (ex)husband also chose addiction and a "new life."

      You aren't alone. There are people who love you and others who can relate. And i promise will get better. It will hurt like hell and then get better.

      God bless.

    3. Thanks for the encouragement. It is so beneficial to have hope from people who have lived through it.

  3. Hugs to you Scabs and every other woman who has been working their asses off. I've been working mine off too-- and I'm exhausted. Physically and emotionally. My ass should be small for how hard I've been working. ;) It's time to rest. Sending you all my best!

  4. Ps- I could not LOVE the photo today more! Freaking AWESOME!

    In my situation he says the right things and sounds like he's wanting to change, and from the outside it might look so good. But then its immediate lies and secrets and deception. UGH!!

  6. I couldn't help but laugh out loud in a crazy kind of way when I read this because I'VE DONE THAT TOO! Great insight and I love the way Amommyous words it as well!

  7. Oh Scabs, you must be so exhausted. Sending you strength and love from across the country. Hang in there my friend. xo

  8. I love this post, very true. It's heartbreaking.

  9. Love. This. Post. Been there, done that and you put it so well. I'm tired of working my ass off too. I have plenty of other things to devote this time and energy too that are more lasting than a few fleeting moments.

  10. This made me giggle. Maybe because the photo just made it more real for me? Hmmm......but I loved this post Scabs!!! Life was really so much better once I stopped working my ass off for only a few moments of clarity from my husband's child addict brain.



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