Well I’m glad you decided to show up this crazy year.
Have I been a good girl?
Well, that’s debatable. What do I want for Christmas you say?
I thought you’d never ask.
I want to wake up with anticipation in my loins.
I want to be excited about something again.
I don’t want to dread turning on the news. Or getting on social media. All those motivating quotes I usually see–only turn to arguing in the comments.
I had someone block me today because of my political beliefs. Even though we had a connection in the unfortunate club of moms of addicts; our love for recovery didn’t matter in the face of hate for a political party.
I don’t want that anymore Santa 🎅
Peace on earth is pretty cliche’ to say but we need it desperately right now.
Oh and while you’re sprinkling that pixie peace dust all over -could you just go ahead and take every craving for drugs and alcohol out of every cell in my sons body? And every other suffering addict right now too. That’s what I want.
Should I do what Burt Reynolds did in the 1978 movie The ENd?
People acting the way they do strictly out of ғᴇᴀʀ.
Think about it. Would there be ĂŃŶ office politics if people were not fearful for their job?
Would there be ĂŃŶ fights in relationships if people were not fearful of LOSS?
Would there be ĂŃŶ addicted gamblers if they were not fearful of being βŘØҜ€?
I swear everything that anyone does is out of fear of losing something. Either their identity (which they have attached to their job, their relationship or their material things) or their lifestyle.
I’m not a psychologist but I believe most things come down to those 2 things. (But I am a mom AND a nurse sooooooo…..)
Let’s look at those 2 things.
Identity: Who am I?
Who am without this mask? Literal mask and invisible mask.
Am I just the sum of my parts? My achievements, if you will…My title, my riches, my awards on the wall? All those things are representative of power and prestige in our society. Of course, we have to have goals. We can’t just live in a tent singing kumbaya can we?
It all depends on where you are in life.
While raising my kids, I yearned & searched for bigger and better things to achieve my goals of organization. If only my house was bigger, my car newer (because of course then it wouldn’t be messy) or if only my kids had nice cubby’s to organize their backpacks and shoes then they would for sure organize their backpacks and shoes.
Now, that I’m old🧓 I want peace, simplicity, order, beauty. I definitely don’t want a big house to spend all my time cleaning. I don’t want cubbys or a huge washroom for more and more clothes to spend more & more time washing.
So wherever you’re at in your journey there are different things you want. If you want to move up the ladder at work you will do almost anything to appear competent, resourceful and productive. If you want to be seen as the good mom, you will do almost anything to a͆p͆p͆e͆a͆r͆ as if…..
Now I do understand, not every good mom wants to fulfill her ego and post perfect family photos so that she’ll get lots of likes and comments of what a beautiful family she has and what a great mom she is. Some just WANT all that. Regardless of what others think or say.
But regardless of the endorphins that flood our system to help us feel good, we all have root (core) emotions we need. I believe that it all comes down to safety.
We want to feel safe.
What? A worldwide virus in is coming? My family needs toilet paper to feel safe.
A mask will keep us safe? Well then I want a mask. (Don’t worry, I’m not going there- but I kinda sorta did Here)
Having our house organized with this or that helps us feel safe. Having a food supply helps us feel safe. So many things that advertisers KNOW will appeal to our sense of safety via our ego. “If my hair is soft and thick and healthy looking them I will appear healthy and strong and on the ball. That will make me feel good which makes me feel safe in my world)
If you have ever listened to Abraham Hicks you know that A̳l̳l̳ you have to do to feel good and HAVE good is get into the “zone” so you can then get into “vortex” to receive everything you ever wanted.
The way to get into the zone is to deny ANY negative thoughts and focus on what you want rather than “what is”.
So if you’re sitting there with your head in your hands staring at your empty back account sick to death with worry of money, you will get more empty back accounts and more stomach pains and more worry, which then takes you “out of alignment” so you bring on more bad luck. Such as a car wreck or illness. Her theory has been around for ages that you must feel good to receive good. It’s basically the law of attraction redone, with The Secret going back to 1937 Napoleon Hill & Helen Blavatsky a Russian occultist in 1875.
But why then do people who lose everything make a huge comeback sometimes? There are plenty of videos set to music to show these famous and not so famous people who have done that. I think it’s because of Gary V.’s quote at the top. Yes I’m quoting Gary V despite not liking his language he used to spout off & his empty long videos. Now he’s getting into more short and sweet motivational shartzz – I like to call them -such as This and This one too.
All I’m saying is, when you lose your job that you can’t imagine ever losing and you survived it; and you lose your dream business you built up – like my son; you lose your beautiful home that was your pillar image of your success; and you still survived, then you come away with a deep power and strength inside u that nothing can break you. This means that worrying that someone won’t like you or like your work, becomes a non issue. Engaging in drama doesn’t appeal to you because you have nothing to prove.
Divorce used to be the scariest, baddest word I knew, but after surviving it, I don’t fear being alone anymore. Does this make us insensitive and hardened to the vulnerabilities of life? Not if we don’t let it.
I think it makes us a better person because we don’t attach our identify to a specific job, title, person, or area to live in or our annual income.
We know we can find happiness anywhere. Money and power make life easier in alot of ways, but they make it alot more complicated too.
I haven’t read The Tethered Soul in a few years but it’s the best example I can think of – of how money didn’t matter to him- before he had it and again after he had it.
Don’t be afraid of losing everything- you just may find yourself.
(I’m sure he made a hellofalot more money than Maslow by adding an EXTRA need! But that’s neither here nor there) -ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇsᴛɪɴɢʟʏ, ᴡʜᴇɴ ɪ ғᴏᴜɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴠɪᴅᴇᴏ- ᴛᴏɴʏ ᴡᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇɢɪɴɴɪɴɢ ᴀᴅ..
This variety /boredom/ thing fascinates me because with any excessive behavior that STARTS with these “Trauma Blocking” behaviors they soon become so out of control that everyone involved is just wishing & begging to go back to that “boring” life.
Watch any movie or documentary on cheating or murdering a lover or spouse and you’ll see that their lies and their sins seemed to start from a place of boredom or opportunity.
So how to avoid starting these “blocking” behaviors that just lead to trouble?
I outlined a few ways in this blog on Checkpoints -by basically keeping ourselves accountable- to stay ” safe” if you will.
The other thing this list brought to mind was what constitutes a “trauma”? Some people insist they had a great childhood without too many upheavals yet they have poor insight into why they have such a horrible and quick temper as an adult.
I think of someone, somewhere telling the inner child of this person that their feelings aren’t valid so they learn that somehow rage or anger or impatience will help them feel validated. Somehow.
I guess because it makes people stand at attention or react which makes the angry one feel in control, respected even. Those of us who have lived with such a person know that’s not the case though. Respect flies out the window when one acts like a jerk..lol.
I’m not a therapist, but I am a nurse👩⚕️ and one thing we do as nurses is validate the patient. If they’re mad at the doctor, we are the peace-makers. (I know you really wanted to talk to him but Monday mornings he has alot of rounds to go to- he will be here soon. Meanwhile- what can I do for you?)
As mother’s, we know all about manipulative validation. “I know you’re tired, but just pick up all your toys, eat dinner, do homework, have a bath THEN you can sleep!”
I know, all these things need to be done, but how many times do we SHOW kids that their feelings aren’t valid? Or correct for the situation by trying to get them to think the way we do?
“Honey I know yourt mad at your brother for stealing your toys but how would you like it if he hit you?
This says,: “your anger is misplaced, you have to THiNk about OTHERs BEFORE you get all crazy.”
I guess depending on what era you raised your kids and what parenting model you followed, this may or may not be correct.
In hindsight, and in conclusion; the things that we do on a daily or weekly basis to comfort ourselves are very real and very needed to stay emotionally healthy.
It’s the oldest best advice I heard growing up, MODERATION IN ALL THiNGS that may be the key to keeping these behaviors in check, whether we think we are covering up some hidden “trauma” or not.
By creating the time and space to look at ourselves and the affect we may be having on others, we might be able to ward off behaviors that leach into addictive ones that will eventually harm us and the people closest to us.
Before I discovered Addiction so intimately within my own family, I would have written off this Video as just another religious kook.
But when you are dropped to your knees with such utter powerless & deep despair, you find yourself seeking out a God, any God- real fast. The sheer pain & fear along with the loss of someone you love dearly Even though that person is still alive, is humbling to say the least.
After basically going through the 5 stages of grief with the loss of this relationship, you start to actually have some compassion for them. Or at least I did…..or do. That s kindof where I am now.
My son. I miss the son I remember & love sooooo much. And even though I’m incredibly grateful that he is still breathing, the son I know & knew is not available right now.
He has an out to lunch sign on the door.
When I finally came to the realization that my adult child isn’t the sweet, innocent perfect person I had held onto believing for so long, I was devastated.
They ARE still loved immensely! And the biggest blessing Is that they CAN CHANGE at ANY time!
HOPE is a wonderful thing.
It’s all we got really.
Having a bad day? Hope gives you a new day tomorrow.
I’ve heard addicts say that is what they lacked the most( & needed from people) more than anything was hope. Because their illness tells them that it’s too late, they’re too far gone, why try anymore. Just get high and numb out then everything will be ok.
I am hoping that I can begin to have this kind of Christlike compassion for my boy and other addicts. Even when they don’t ACT as if they should deserve any mercy, they are still human beings having a horrible existence right now. Having to lie, cheat, steal to support a stupid evil powerful drug that has held them hostage for way too long.
I can’t imagine losing your mind that way, your Freedom, your family, everything you once cared about to become a slave to a THING.
Can you imagine the freedom, the love, the sheer JOY of being saved? Of having that hope spread through your body with more power than any Evil drug? Can you imagine how that would feel?
Consider the powerful artist painting above by Stephen Sawyer. It’s titled “Calvary”; meaning “it’s a pain that we associate with not only great sorrow but great victory.”
One interpretation in THIS article states that at this point the addict isn’t feeling any pain but it hurts Jesus when we hurt ourselves.”
He wanted to demonstrate that “When you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” In my past religious teaching I would have taken this as a ” oh well then it’s too late, I’m worthless because I have sinned against God & his son. But isn’t that the whole point of Calvary?
The artist went on to say “The Temple of God is within you …and … IF WE ALLOW IT – we can create a magnificent home for the Presence of God in our lives.”
I think there are many ways to interpret the message, one being that Jesus will take all our pain away if we only reach out.
Check out my latest post from a blast from my past. LEANING IN!
Here’s an excerpt:
We’ve often heard the term LEANING IN as way to listen to hear and not to respond.
In Andy Goldsworthy’s film “Leaning In”, he sees it as one of two ways- You can either walk on the path or go through the hedge. Trailer to leaning in
I’ve always seemed to pick going through the hedge and the “most difficult” path, but it certainly has been the most adventurous.
On a family camping trip many years ago, we were going down a mountain path on the million dollar highway in Colorado. We were in a 25 foot motorhome we had rented for this adventure. I had 5 little kids in that tin box and as we headed down the steep windy roads, my fears and imagination took a new level. I have always been afraid of heights and being on the passenger side seeing the edge and the seemingly endless bottom of the mountain, the thought of my precious cargo spiraling down the edge of that rocky cliff sent me into a panic.
I actually started yelling while half crying: “LEAN!!! LEANNNNN kids-towards the mountain!!!”
That was back in the days of not as strict seat belt use and I really thought our 7 bodies leaning towards the driver side would stop our spiraling life in that moment.
Apparently it worked. We survived! But for years, my kids never failed to tease me at every opportunity to LEAN! LEAN Towards the mountain! That day we stayed safe on the path. I leaned into (away from?) my fears, I suppose.
Brene Brown told Oprah many years ago what I have now come to realize is true in dealing with our emotions,
It’s he or she who’s willing to be the most uncomfortable can rise strong,” Brené says. “Discomfort: the way home.”It may be more tempting to lean away from discomfort with “a glass of red wine, or six,” Brené jokes, but leaning in is far more powerful. Brene Brown-leaning into discomfort
Think about it, those who seem to have an “easy life” tend to be the ones who can handle far less. I’m not faulting them, everyone has a deck of cards they are dealt and they play them the best they can. For those born into wealthy and/or healthy families, I commend you.
I once had a co-worker who figured out that we both knew a mutual acquaintance. She proceeded to tell me what a wonderful human this person was and I wholeheartedly agreed. In my mind, though, I was thinking, “she’s had a cushy, easy life with alot of supportive and wonderful family around, why wouldn’t she be?” Of course, I have since learned that appearances are misleading and we NEVER know what obstacles a person goes through personally, NO MATTER what they post on social media.
“A hard life build character” the old timers used to say. So then, if being uncomfortable (or doing hard things) is a way to work through our emotions, how do we help a new generation of kids stay true to their core selves and just BE OKAY with their emotions? How do we teach them not to distract themselves with wine or beer or electronics or sex..later.. of course? Maybe the answer is in the 8 steps to wellness that I outline in THIS POST.
I think that acknowledging our emotions AT THE TIME, is the first step. This requires that we give ourselves the time and space to do that. I mean, how do you acknowledge sadness when you have to be to work in 5 minutes? You have a good cry, wipe your eyes, and go into work I suppose. That’s what I do most days. Is it deflecting or ignoring it by doing the things we have to? I dont think so. I think we have responsibilities with limited time and we still need to Get up & show up.
As long as we are giving ourselves the needed self care AFTER work and ACTIVELY working on the 8 dimensions of wellness, we can learn to LEAN IN, MOVE FORWARD and be our BEST version of ourselves that we can be.
I know, I know. You’ve probly never even thought about it. But I have. Cuz see, as a woman, there’s an interesting phenomenon that happens when we sit down to pluck our eyebrows.
It’s strange, but true. So years ago when Google became a “thing” – yes, I’m THAT old- 👵, I looked it up. Yup just as I thought. The trigeminal nerve runs above the nose & eyebrows.
When you irritate the skin around there, it stimulates that nerve. Into action or reaction. I am a nurse so I had to learn & memorize all those nerve things. But today I woke up and wondered why ( or if I actually do ) I don’t sneeze at night.
Apparently its for our own protection. “Even if an insect crawled across your nose you wouldn’t sneeze because those muscles are paralyzed while in REM sleep”.
Usually we don’t notice or question it. Until it’s something that we are driving our selves crazy wondering why we can’t get it.
I’m sure you have many stories of “I’m sure glad I didn’t get what I wanted back then”. I have a few. The biggest one was when I was 16 and pregnant living in small town America. I didn’t have much of a support system & it’s not like I could google “what to do when you find out you’re pregnant and you’re a poor, shy, naive girl from the sticks”
The best “solution” when I realized “oh my God I’m a statistic now” seemed to be this scary thing called abortion.
Don’t worry, this isn’t an argument for or against abortion, or to pluck.or not to pluck ( aka wax or bush brows- remember Brook Shields?) or even sneezing while asleep.
Its simply a reminder to learn to ᒪEᗩᑎ ᗷᗩᑕK when you are frustrated at a situation you’re dealing with.
ᒪEᗩᑎIᑎG ᗷᗩᑕK let’s our natural instincts kick in. Leaning back or ‘feeling WITH’ lets us experience our feelings, the good, bad & ugly, then move forward with a decision that’s not wrought in turmoil necessarily, but in determination of the main goal.
That goal might be just to feel better in the moment- without regrets later or to plant seeds of hope for someone else, or to create stronger bonds with this person.
The most important thing is to get yourself to a safe place emotionally – so you can figure out the goal.
As I drove on the interstate to work today, I saw the flashing billboard with the following words:
If they don’t live with you, zoom for Thanksgiving
I felt my eyes stinging with tears.
What about a second option?
What about the family members who you haven’t seen for 6 months? What about your first born son who was the hero & leader of the family who’s now lost in the world of addiction?
In fact, that son may not even be alive today. I haven’t talked to him in 2 days & at that time he was so scared that he would be picked up again for supporting his habit, that he just wanted to run away. 😥
Yes, that one habit that ‘other people’ say- “if he really wanted to quit he could.” True of anything right? If I really wanted to be svelte & toned and dare I say ‘skinny’; I could just do it right?
We all know it’s just not that easy. Not impossible, just not as simple as it sounds.
It’s kindof strange that my son is scared of getting caught doing what his brain tells him he MUST DO! Imagine a smoker getting arrested for buying ciggerettes…..
Imagine the daily guilt and shame and sneaking and lying just to get a drink of water to us…. A needed glass of water….
Not the same? Read my article on cravings found Here. It’s a pretty simple explanation as to what an addict goes through.
Anyway, back to water and ciggerettes and me being skinny. They’re all cravings & desires aren’t they?
OF course, that’s a Matter OF OPINION. As is EVERYTHING these days.
Opinions don’t equal facts. No matter how you spin it because today’s facts can be twisted.
I dread Thanksgiving & Christmas this year. Not because of Covid, but because of my fractured family. Disappointmeant, unspoken & spoken expectations. My inability to fix everyone’s concerns. My inability to move mountains to create stronger bonds…..
My son, 4 hours away, whom I can’t zoom with on Thanksgiving, even if I wanted to see his 100 lb weight loss ravaged body- because he has isolated himself away from his family and his life as he knew it for 32 years.
I want to scream! There’s help available! You have 2 little kids who need to know their daddy loves them!!!
But with addiction it’s just not that easy. Their brain is hijacked into believing whatever the drug tells them. It’s always just one more time. It’s always not that bad. It’s always you have all the time in the world.
Meanwhile, 1 year turns into 2, and soon we will be heading into year 3 of this nightmare.
Before that, this son had built his dream business from nothing. Along with his brothers and dad.
High school drop-out, but Worked his butt off from age 16 to 32. Nights, weekends- 70 hrs a week or more. Married, 2 precious kids. Built a beautiful hand crafted home in a red rock mecca paradise.
Brought his brothers and Dad along with him. They were unstoppable. Custom & commercial cement. Powerline fabrication,an excavating business & a freaking business for awhile.
In 2015 he did $500,000 in labor alone with zero investors which is unheard of in this business.. His closest competitors were multimillionaire companies… His Gross revenue in 2014 was 70k. He set a goal to double it… He reached 1 million the next year..set aset a goal to double it..reached 3,million in 2017..
And then the opiod crisis hit him.
The last year he has lost everything.
I wrote THIS article as we were preparing for his intervention and first rehab. I was so angry at the political climate THEN! The waste of money spent, when my family & many others were DYING !!
Politics aside though….
Although it seems impossible these days to avoid a political conversation and/or have respect for someone who supports a certain group or cause; it can be done!
Groups, meetings, friends and families CAN get along without spurring a argument, IF they can focus on what they DO agree on.
It takes effort for sure.
But if we can find common ground and unite together in a cause where we can actually make a difference, I think we can help the downtrodden, the mentally ill, the families and lives thrown into addiction.
To Save a To Save a Life – by The Frey….. One of my favorite songs of all time………
I just hope and pray every day that my son’s life is saved…by the grace of God or anything for that matter. I’ll take anything…….😭
I mean…is that even possible? Maybe not with our children, because I believe we do the best we can with what we have while raising them.
But as adults I have always felt that if we stick to our personal “checkpoints” as I call them- we could prevent allot of problems.
When I watch a movie, I’m always curious as to that “ʍօʍҽղԵ” when things changed to start the downward spiral either in the form of stealing, cheating, lieing & addiction.
My very favorite example of this is an old movie with Bridgette Fonda & Billy Bob Thornton. Good Lord, talk about normal people’s lives being thrown to the wolves! A Simple Plan
Hindsite being 20/20 aside-; If we religiously ( I use that word loosely but completely IN context here) have a self -monitoring system that we can use to pull ourselves back from a path that will only lead to disaster, I believe we could catch allot of issues.
This system might actually be a weekly worship, a nightly prayer, a daily journal writing, or a friend who holds us accountable as simply as in the form of a conversation once in a while to help us see how far fetched our thinking is getting – lol.
There are many other ways to do this including Hal Elrods Miracle Morning program called Savers Seen HERE.
Or reviewing Miguel Ruiz 4 agreements daily Seen HERE.
Tony Robbins, of course has his billionaire advice HERE.
Mel Robbins morning routine made her famous ( & Rich) with just 5 measly seconds HERE
Recently I discovered a great list right on the government substance use disorder website thats listed in my GET HELP section on MY site
It’s called “Creating a Healthier Life, a step by step guide to wellness.
Many companies have put their spin on it but it’s basically an expanded version of Maslow’s hierchy of needs.
When looking at this, it’s easy to see how far off the circle IN ALL AREAS addicts find themselves, so it’s no wonder how overwhelming it must be to even begin.
Luckily some wonderful recovery professional made a simple recovery model- which I love.
I hope these resources can help us see how important it is to stay true to ourselves on all areas of life so we can be a healthy, emotionally strong beacon for those struggling. Not to mention to keep US out of danger of going off track for living our best lives ❣️✨❣️