Home Base, Uncategorized

How to Deal with Internet Criticism

As I’m trying my hand at writing with this blog site AND starting my first book, I really needed to strengthen my armor and battle my extra sensitive innerds to withstand future haters. So I was thrilled to read a fellow bloggers advice.

I came across THIS article on internet criticism.

In it they state to “Accept that someone else’s opinion is NOT your problem.”

Duh. I mean in theory it’s true. Why DO we care what Jim Bob from timbuck2 says?

Why does it seem like a direct hit to our gut. Is this all stemming from the era of ‘value everyone’s opinion–because everyone has a voice’ lessons in debate class?

The trouble with modern internet “debates” is they’re NOT debates. They’re arguments. So that in itself should show us that when someone criticizes US or our work, we should take it with a grain of salt- as my Mama used to say.

Speaking of my Mama; They also quote in the article, one of my favorite childhood comedians:

“Carol Burnett once said:
Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.”

Yup and you can never take them back thanks to screenshots and clouds.

Of course we’ve all saw the damage for ourselves. Arguments that quickly turn to name calling and making fun of someone’s profile picture as “verification” of “no wonder you’re an idiot”. Really? Are we in kindergarten?

All this negative energy and bad vibes doesn’t just harm our health, has a ripple effect too. When we get angry online do we immediately “let it go” & decompress or do we stew about it, take it out on our families, then get back on the thread and defend ourselves some more?

What wasted energy. I’ve always said that the person is judging you for your ONE SENTENCE out of 550 million sentences in your life. So then why so we give credence to their opinion??

It’s ludicrous on our part.

Yet we still get drawn in to the “debates”.

In years past, there were relatively few things debatable. I mean you could argue your theory on anything but EVERYTHING WASN’T POLITICIZED either.

As I stated in this THIS article a few weeks ago, every family, friend, and coworker seems to need to Draw a line in the sand and risk the unraveling of relationships with family and coworkers.

Wtf really matters?

Opinions don’t equal facts. No matter how you spin it because today’s facts can be twisted- says I. In another opinion article. ( Cause MY opinion MATTERS 🙂)

Anyway, you get the drift.

If we wasn’t somehow dependant on “followers” or job reviews to maintain our lifestyle, I suspect we could ƇƛƦЄ ԼЄƧƧ.

But meanwhile… We need a balance of “caring about people just not what they think”

Which leads me to another great article about what people think -written by someone with a great Opinion…🤷‍♂️

Please check out This advise too.

VERY timely needed. (Just my opinion- lol)

https://wp.me/p1KAF8-77h

100n days of hope

100 days of hope

A daily wisp of hopeness

#1-Just for today, I will enjoy & find beauty in the layer I am currently immersed in.

#2-Letting go means that we trust enough to KNOW we will be ok no matter what is happening around us-to give us a glimpse into the true meaning of freedom.

#3“To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns or the sharp stones on life’s path.”

– Kahlil Gibran

#4 “Today I choose the find the strength in my heart and clarity in my mind to face whatever comes my way.

-Samantha Waters

Uncategorized

Just Sit With Me

This reminds me of my mom, she was such an advocate for kids but anyone over 18 or so she determined should just “know better” .. And suddenly extended some sort of judgement or “opinion” bless her heart and rest her soul 🥀

What IS that magical age when we “know better”? And are we even the one to decide?

“If a child were to appear at your door – cold, frightened, alone, and tired from a long journey… If he or she were anxious, heartbroken, raging, and confused… unsure of why they have come here, where God is, whether or not they have been forsaken… Would you refuse entry to the little one? Would you first demand that his fear dissolve, her anxiety be healed, his confusion clarify, or her heart be mended? In your most authoritative spiritual voice, would you urge the little one to first “get over it,” accept everything the way it is, urgently forgive those who have harmed them, or quickly “raise their vibration?” Or would you provide sanctuary and safe passage from a long voyage? A warm, safe, contained temple in which the stories, the feelings, and the images of this one ragingly alive nervous system can be illuminated and held, articulated and metabolized in an environment of open, tender interest, curiosity, and love? Inside this majestic human body the beloved is at work, spinning out worlds of experience which are soaked with intelligence, sacred data, and saturated with both sweet and fierce grace. Things are rarely what they seem here… doorways and portals opening and closing by way of the breath of the divine as it makes its way into form…… as it finds its way into this rare world of time and space… with you as its vessel.- Anne Skinner

Home Base

A Moment To Feel Ok

This quote is so interesting to me, because we (society in general) “seem to” look down on addicts or homeless people in some fashion. I’m not saying there’s ingrained ‘bias’ at all. I’m just going on what I’ve felt myself & seen in my culture and community before addiction hit my family head on .

I realize that not all homeless people are addicts, and of course not all addicts are homeless; but we still have these fleeting first impression thoughts of self-righteousness and judgement when you see that guy -or gal- on the street.

“Why didn’t they just quit
when they first realized they had a problem-or how sad-it’s too as they didn’t get some help“. Or the biggest one “Why doesn’t he just get a job in this thriving economy?”

There isn’t one answer to all those questions, but that doesn’t stop us from seeing them as some sort of weaker species.

As we drive past quickly; thankful to not be under pressure to look at them and face the stark reality of our society- along with the relief of the burden of NOT having to decide to give them something-. (“Because we all. know what they’ll spend it on) or ( “the news stories have proven some are scammers”).

So we gladly drive by, with an exhale & pull out our phone to see what we’ve missed.

What will make us laugh or who liked our last post.

Or we reach for the chocolate covered pretzels to let that delicious fructose melt on our tongue signaling those endorphins to release the dopamines so that the serotonin in our brains will make us happy.

Hmmm. Same process, different ‘drug’.

I mean it’s normal, we are human. We NEED these endorphins to even get out of bed in the morning.

Everyone needs to self regulate their emotions and find their happy place.

The problem is when we fail to see that what we are doing is the same thing ‘they’ did, no matter their reason for starting. ( Drugs or alcohol)

Whether it was surgery or one drink on the weekend to relax, some of us don’t have, or lose that ability to self regulate the amount and be able to stop.

Is that a character defect?

Who knows? Gabor Mate might. Many other experts might. But bottom line, we are all human. We all need comfort, to feel warm & loved & that we belong.

The fact that 21 million Americans have an addiction, with only 10% being treated; tells me that we still have a huge way to go in reducing shame and sigma of addiction.

One way to do this is reduce the judgement that they are somehow any different than us, in the way of willpower or strength.

We have zero idea of what choices they had to choose between, whether escaping from abuse one day or a traumatic event or just normal life’s stress that we all have.
Maybe next time you see someone who’s obviously struggling or “looks like they’ve had a rough life” maybe we could offer a McDonald’s gift card, or hand them a heart shaped chocolate candy, or if they seem safe, ask them if they need you to go buy them anything just for today to help them get by. 💞🙋‍♂️💞

How good would that feel to boost our endorphins for even more than a brief moment, probably for the rest of the day?

Home Base

Today Was a First

Had covid not happened, today probably wouldn’t have happened. And like most things covid, I wish today hadn’t NEEDED to happen.

Click here for nar-anon mtgs

But it did.

And I did.

It wasn’t really my choice. I mean not technically. It was my son’s choice. Long ago my son’s choices forced today to happen.

I zoomed into my first nar-anon meeting. For the lucky ones who don’t know what nar- anon is, it’s the equivalent of al-anon, which is for families of alcoholics. Nar-anon is for families of narcotics users who became addicted and found themselves “powerless over their life.”

Luckily though, I am not powerless. I chose to get myself some help from the maddening rollercoaster which loving an addict brings on.

What a weird club to be in. Little squares of faces in the zoom boxes on my screen. People from all over.

Tennessee,

New York,

Montana.

People from all walks of life. I see in the backgrounds of some, the old wood paneling from my childhood. Others are seemingly lying on a beach? A few men, but mostly ladies. A few young, most old.

Ladies that have been secretaries and treasurer’s in the organization for sometimes 20 years! God help me if I have to talk addiction for that long!

I mean, can’t my son just get better? Can’t we just go back to our previously scheduled lives before addiction took hold? Can we kayak on Dr Seuss’s La Jolla beach in San Diego again? Can my adult silly son yell “Mom! Mom!” In his annoying loud voice with a smirky smile even when I’m answering him from 10 feet away.”What son?” “Watch what I can do!” In his best Stewart impression.

Can’t we go camping again with his favorite Grandpa, his hero, who just passed on? Can’t we go scouting for deer, or look for deer sheds, roaming the mountains for hours, listening to my son’s endless stories of chasing a deer on this mountain or that mountain?

Hey, I know. Isn’t there lots of movies about time travel? So if they can dream it up in a movie then it HAS to BE possible right? Ok. I pick 1988. My now addicted son was 2. His little toe headed hair bouncing over his forehead. His head looked huge compared to his body. He stood up in the 1984 Ford Bronco 2 & pointed to a truck, “Dum bum!” He said. “What? ” “DUM BUM, I WANT A DUM BUM!” We looked at the big dump truck out the window. We laughed. He laughed, smiling at a little boys hopes and dreams of driving a truck full of dirt. This little boy ended up owning a company with dump trucks & an excavation company!

Or how bout time travel to 5 yrs old? He was riding in the seat behind me in the driver’s seat on the interstate as we headed home from shopping. Suddenly, I heard a swish of air blowing in. He had managed to open the door handle and the door was open a few inches with a semi-truck barreling up beside us!!! I yelled, “BRAXTON! Lean towards your sister!” I couldn’t do anything but pray that the door closed enough and he was leaning the other direction in the back seat, as I maneuvered to the side of the road. My heart was pounding a million miles an hour as I pulled over and proceeded to yell at my child for his actions. “Why did you do that? How did you do that? What’s wrong with you?”

In my defense, I probably didn’t say THAT last line, but I’m sure my anger took over in fear and shock.

But in my time travel moment, I can have a do-over, see? I can take that little boy in my arms; I can say “honey, I’m soooo glad you’re safe, I’m glad we’re all ok. You were led by some unknown reason to pull on that door, and you were very lucky and were saved from a lot of pain or even death. Do you know, my sweet little boy, that you will face many big semis like that one? Do you know how they can overtake you and make you think you’re safe when really they want to hurt you? They can even transform themselves into other things like an ice cream truck to get your attention. There’s a secret though. The ice cream is poisonous. 🍦🐍

Soon, though, you will want nothing else but that ice cream. And we will all miss you terribly. You will have a little boy who’s just your age now who won’t know his daddy.

But do you know how strong you are? Do you know that you can get through anything? It’s going to seem like you’re lost sometimes, But I have faith in you son. I know you will always figure out a way to live your dreams and stop the enemy from overtaking you when you are tempted or have gone down a wayward path.

Oh my sweet strong little boy, let’s go have some ice cream- err I mean some chicken nuggets- and you can tell me everything about today that made you happy or sad or scared.”

” Hi, I’m Samantha & I’m the mother of an addict”.

Uncategorized

An Addicts Struggle

I have mixed feelings about influencers & outreach coordinators but I have huge respect for people like Chanda and Nester Nation who are authentic and use their voice (& music) to help raise awareness for recovery. She shows in this video the struggle an addict goes through to battle their demons while conforming to societies expectations. https://www.facebook.com/chandalynn33/videos/1590135494470317/

Home Base

I Decided I Like Masks

As I left work and headed to run errands amid the Covid pandemic, I slowly put my mask back on that I had been wearing all day as a nurse. Usually I resist putting it back on, because of breathing, claustrophobic & dizziness issues. This time however, I welcomed it. Because today was another highly emotional day in the life of a mom of an addict.

My son is an adult, but the devastation on our family the last two years has been palpable. His two little kids abandoned from their daddy, his ex-wife forced to sell their beautiful new home, and his business that most of the family worked at- was gone.  He had one attempt at rehab and it seemed to make it worse in the sense that it gave him the impression that all rehabs were scammy like that one.

Today, though was another rough one for this mama. He had sent  pictures of himself to me after not seeing him for 5 months. To say I was shocked is an understatement. My once buff, stocky, six foot 240 lb. son looked like a little old man who hadn’t eaten in a month. I, of course, had to torture myself all the more by pulling up his old pictures and making a split screen to show the drastic difference that the toll of drugs has had on his body.

As I walked into the grocery store, the images of these pictures pierced my mama heart so deeply, my eyes stung with tears. I felt my face scrunch up and my body become weak. But I still was able to push my cart around with my mask pulled up to under my eyes, and no one knew the difference. I can mourn my son while he is still alive, amidst other shoppers who wouldn’t have a clue what I am dealing with. I can walk around and grab the milk and eggs and wonder if my son is eating today. I can basically buy anything I want while he struggles to get a few dollars. I can feel guilty for not paying his phone bill this month, even though it seems to not do any good because he doesn’t call in for his court hearings anyway.

Nothing with addiction makes sense. You’re either tough loving them or your enabling them. They’re either going to die, or they’re going to recover.  You feel powerless for the outcome, paralyzed in fear and confused as to what is the right thing to do. Most of all, you have deep sense of sadness for your child that you once knew, is gone. 

My struggle with my son’s addiction is mostly a secret anyway except to family so I literally wear a mask a 24/7. But now, with the current covid precautions and the masks, I can still have my complete daily or weekly meltdown while doing errands and no one is the wiser. I arrive home with my tears dried, my eyes just a little red and my mood lifted just enough to get on with my nightly tasks.  This is a day in the life of an addict’s mom. – Samantha Waters

1000 Last Goodbyes

Excerpt from 1000 Last Goodbyes

Zero. What an awful number. Especially if you’re staring at it, in blaring red neon on the heart machine. I was sitting next to my 86 pound dad in the hospital, listening to the slowed beeping of the machine. His gaunt, pale, sunken face haunted me, but it still didn’t stop me from climbing into his bed with him, knowing I would never get the chance again. The COPD he had battled for years had finally overtaken his lungs, causing him to go into unconsciousness when they wheeled him into the emergency room from the ambulance, a few days prior. The nurse had said, it was only a matter of time, until he would slip away. She soon came in the room and said it was time, he was ‘ready’. She left my mom and I to be with him. My sweet mama, stricken with her second bout of lung cancer, sat on the chair with her colored scarf covering her chemo ridden scalp, seemed nervous; scared. She didn’t know quite what to do. I laid my head on his chest and watched his lifeless body slip away as I stared at the machines. I told my mom to come over and say goodbye.  Suddenly, I heard his heart beating again with my ear that was on his chest! I said, “He’s alive! Go get the nurse!” My dad raised up his right arm, as if it was once last flailed attempt to beat this disease, then dropped it to the bed. He was gone. Years of smoking would take his life and then my moms just 4 months later. 

So why then, 12 years later, were my oldest daughter and I, standing in a convenience store, on an Indian reservation, in the middle of December, waiting in a long line of people who were all there for the same reason? To get a carton of Lucky Strike cigarettes for half the price. It was for my son, of course-isn’t everything? He was in his first rehab-out of state. Remember, life with an addict has you doing things you never thought you would. Your standards drop bigtime as you celebrate small victories that are unexplainable to regular people with regular problems that don’t involve substance use. As it was, we were actually thrilled to have found these cigarettes for him because we had searched online on how to send some directly to him. Apparently that’s not an option, it’s illegal or something. So that kids can’t buy them online.

Turns out that even though both your parents died of lung related diseases-directly as a result of smoking all their life-the shock of finding out that your kids smoke, has completely worn off when you realized your son is a heavy IV drug user.  To ‘Only Smoke” is HUGE compared to THAT dark world. We were thrilled to be able to do that for him, as long as he was in rehab, and they were allowing cigarettes to help with the absence of the drugs.

My son finished that rehab for a total of 72 days clean. Almost a miracle in the world of addicts. But as naively “first-timers to rehab” we were, we were shocked when it didn’t “cure” him. Our healthy brains could not wrap around this non-linear course of addiction and recovery. With any other mistake or unfortunate event such as a fire or earthquake, you process the shock, clean up the damage, and rebuild. What we didn’t know then, is that fire and and inanimate objects don’t have ingrained trauma or other mental health issues that continually fight against the rebuilding. Habits are engrained in humans to create safety and order. In the ADD, addicted brain it is no different. The path of least resistance, even after a break, and a few good counseling sessions, is to go right back into the fire. That evil, disintegrating , rabid fast burning fire that has shattered so many people and families’ lives. Do you run into it to save them? Or stand there in utter horror, hoping and praying that they walk out with most of their faculties intact…..