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Trails of Smiles-ɢuɪᴅɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ᴊᴏuʀɴᴇʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ Iɴɴᴏᴄᴇɴᴛs

As I watched the little boy in his navy blue fleece jacket; with his warm knit hoodie covering his wavy brown hair, happily bouncing along the sandy path, I couldn’t help but smile with grateful relief.

Every three steps, without fail, he would stop, bend down and draw a circle in the sand. “Look Nana! a circle!”

This was my grandson, 3 years old, diagnosed with mild autism a little over a year ago. I had limited contact with him, partly due to distance, but mostly because of a grueling 3 years dealing with my son’s (his dad) slide into addiction.

It has been heartbreaking to watch the events unfold like a classic textbook of addiction’s strange and darkened chaos. With the collapse of my son’s business he built for over 10 years, his 12 year marriage,and the loss of watching his 2 little kids grow up, my son had now isolated himself from everyone.

Relations had been strained with his now ex-wife, as the hurtful trauma of divorce along with everything else, had everyone scrambling to survive their emotions and salvage what was left of their lives as they knew it.

I was with this little boy for the first month of his life, as a preemie baby confined to oxygen until his little lungs could catch up.

I didn’t see him for almost 2 years after that, while his mom struggled with her transition from the marraige and her new home while ( hopefully) realizing that we were not the enemy trying to inflict more pain onto the situation. 

The first time I saw my little grandson again was Christmas 2019. My amazing daughter had somehow negotiated for the now ex-daughter in law, to come to our family Christmas party and bring the kids that all the cousins had missed for so long.

I can’t imagine her anxiety, walking up to the house we had rented for the occasion, to the family she had been a part of for over a decade. Not knowing if we held any blame or malice to her for anything.  Would there be an argument over the addict? I found out over a year later that she was fearful he would show up, wanting to see his kids,  even though he was safely out of state in his first rehab.

As the door opened and they stepped in, I couldn’t believe how big the kids were. I had seen occasional pictures that were swiped from social media discreetly since we were all blocked, but to see them in person was amazing. I especially was curious if the little boy resembled my son. I watched him be carried inside, with bright wide eyes looking cautiously around. His thick hair and smile was the image of my son.

His long eyelashes melted my heart, taking me back 30 years to my innocent happy funny son playing in the dirt. How I wish I could go back to that moment and tell my son that’s he’s tough enough to resist anything that comes his way, that he doesn’t have to partake of anything that makes empty promises. But of course, I probably did say that. No amount of shudda, wudda, cuddas are helpful with addiction. It happened.

As the salutations and reacquainting took place, watched him casually but with inner analyzation; I won’t deny that my heart instantly sunk a little as I could see that he carried himself a little differently, maybe a bit stiff. I didn’t know what it was, but I hoped It was nothing. I found out later that night,that he had tested for mild autism.

Wow, this is huge. I couldn’t process it adequately while trying to do holiday party activities. I wondered if my son knew. They had talked on and off over the 18 months, mostly in regards to the divorce and bancruptcy and selling their beautiful new home, but I dont think she divulged much about the children, since there was so much hurt and abandonment. Would this devastated him and push him back into his addiction after rehab?

My son had wanted to see his kids at different times the previous 9 months to rehab. And even after, he wanted to be in their life. He asked me recently, “why do you think she wont let me see them?” I was so exhausted by then, trying to get him back into treatment and such, that I didnt have the energy to say, “ Because you are on drugs, you are not reliable and safe, and its better to not go in and out of their lives and have them see you like that”. All I could muster up was, “it’s probably better for right now.”

This is one example of how their (persons with a substance use disorder) hijacked brain lies to them, telling them that they are perfectly capable of using drugs and managing a regular life. They’re not. For one thing, they absolutely do not understand time management. An hour to them is a week in real life, I swear. The part of their brain that controls assessing risk and consequences, is basically in a coma. And future plans? Non existent as their reptile brain is the only one working for survival. “Get dope or die” it screams daily.

So now, a year later, to have my precious first born son’s kids with me, doing one of my very favorite things, -hiking; and in my very favorite place, was simply heaven. 

Such a mix of feelings as I was able to walk and talk and play with these two little humans. Their mother, despite so many ups and downs this year, so many disagreements and misunderstandings- the last one just a month ago- was pleasant and agreeable. It was just like old times, sans the elephant in the great outdoors- my son.

I was torn between feelings of sadness that my son should be here, jumping off rocks and acting goofy like he used to, and just accepting the situation for what it was: A family enjoying each other, healing from life’s traumatic experiences, and moving forward with love.

It can only help everyone involved. To see that life can go on despite a difficult diagnosis, despite a traumatic divorce, 2 huge bancruptcies, extreme lifestyle changes with no money to maneuver it.

These precious kids need to see how healthy people handle stress. How unconditional love with boundaries works. How cunning and false some things are despite shiney promises. They need to know that people can make the best of what life throws then, without bitterness and regret. Who knows, these lessons is adults are lovingly teaching, may come in handy when my grandkids’ kids are faced with challenges.

So play in the sand, my little grandson. Get your fingers dirty. Smile that smile. Blink those long eyelashes. Run and play and enjoy life as a child without knowing adult problems yet. Most of all KNOW

-ᗷEYOᑎᗪ ᗩᑎYTᕼIᑎG

that you are loved. You are safe and loved.

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict

The Night after Christmas

нow was your Cнrιѕтмαѕ?

The words echoed into my ears even before they left my co-workers mouth.

I instinctively have enough experience with avoidance and deflection to get a jump on her question.

By appearing busy and having enough ‘questions’ and data of my own; I was able to layer my question on top of hers seemingly without a noticeable pause.

I understand that I could just answer like everyone else does, with the obligatory, “Fine, thanks how was yours?”

However,  being the Infp personality type that I am, mixed in with the now
Mom of a substance use disorder adult child -that I must keep hidden in order to avoid the sigma of judgement- I just can’t seem to gloss over small talk with fake clichë answers.

It doesn’t help that I work in a culture of very religious young adults who mostly all meet the criteria for (our) societal expectation of school, college, church missions, marraige, & service;  leaving zero time for sinning, let alone drug use.

I’m not saying everyone else has perfect lives, I’m not that naive. I know they don’t, but in my world of constant daily strife and worry, it’s so incredibly hard to think any differently.

When I hear their stories of how their weekends went, I have to inwardly laugh at the comparison of my akward -seemingly co- dependant- obsession with whether my son is alive one more day.

“I went on a fun first date, I really like him, but I’m trying not to show it, ya know?”

“Oh really? Well I spent all night Saturday worrying that my 34 yr old son had overdosed by sticking a needle in his cyst- filled arm, while being homeless with no where to go.”

Do you see my hesitation in engaging in ANY personal small talk? It’s like a Friday night sitcom that’s so true it isn’t even funny.

I mean the average person wouldn’t get it, let alone a twenty- something giddy, college and love focused zoobie. Yes that’s what we used to call the locals who were hard core religious worshippers.

I’m NOT bashing my religion. I still draw great comfort in my relationship with my higher power. I just don’t go to church and temple and abstain from ALL alcohol etc. The demographic I work with are very limited in their views and tolerance if you will.

So I go about my day, in a sortof secrecy. Truthfully, almost no one, except my bosses, know anything about my personal life.

I’ve always been a little quiet in that regard. Loyal, private, not engaging in office gossip. But the last 2 years have pushed me further into that lonely hole. The space that a select few – growing by the day, I think- unwillingly are members of.

So, Christmas. What does one do for Christmas, when everyone is actively planning family parties and gifts to each other?

You do what you can to feel a sense of normalcy. You try to not let the other kids feel slighted. You fake it until you make it and by making it I mean to FIND something, anything to be grateful for.

I have started to realize how detrimental to my health and even my appearance, my constant worrying is causing. Recently I actually started combing my hair and find the oh so familiar knot- yes KNOT!!! In the same spot. I realized that I ALWAYS end up putting my hair in a braid because I don’t have the endorphins/ dopamine / whatever you want to call it to give a damn.

To think I haven’t even combed completely through my hair in who knows how long, is very telling.

Gʀᴇᴀᴛғᴜʟʟɴᴇꜱꜱ ꜱʜᴀᴛᴛᴇʀꜱ ᴇxᴘᴇᴄᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴꜱ.

My new years resolution is to find something every day, every hour if I have to, to be grateful for. And when someone asks me how my holidays went, I’m going to smile and say, “Better than I deserve,” just like Dave Ramsey does.

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A Simple Driveway

ᎳhᎽ ᏆhᎥs ᏢᎥᏟᏆuᏒᎬ mᎪᎠᎬ ᏆhᎥs mᎪmᎪ ᏟᏒᎽ

It looks like just a house.

Some cement.

A fence

A few trees

But it’s more than that to me.

To me, this house represents success. It’s represents hope. It represents forward motion. It gives hope to a sense of normalcy again. It screams “Please validate me even while I’m in this darkness!”

Specifically, I’m talking about the driveway made of brand new cement. This represents the seemingly long lost talent and grit of my entrepreneur son who did a downhill slide into addiction in 2019. And I don’t just mean bunny hill slide. I mean Matterhorn, Revelstoke, and Whistler- Blackcomb kind of slide.

The kind of slide that takes everything you own away. New house, huge business, over 20 vehicles, 2 campers, and last but certainly not least, a 12 year marraige and 2 precious kids.

Why?” You ask? “ Why would anyone ‘choose’ to lose everything?

Of course they don’t.

They only chose the first part. The part about having a drink to take the edge off the day. Ya- know? Like you and I can.

They only chose to lessen some back pain from working 60 hours a week.

They chose to take a pill to finally be able to sleep the whole night through. It was slowly, gradually, until they realized they became sick without it. Until they realized that they were spending more time trying to not be sick than living life. They were telling more lies than they’d ever told in their life, just to avoid being sick.

By the time they started having the negative consequences of their substance use, their brain was so hijacked to get more and more that they couldn’t care. Not didn’t care- Couldn’t care.

As Gabor Mate stated in this article: …The addicted person

“ suffers negative consequences as a result of, and yet has difficulty giving up”.

Dr. Gabor Matè

He won’t even argue the disease versus choice because he believes

Addiction is neither a choice nor a disease, but originates in a human being’s desperate attempt to solve a problem: the problem of emotional pain, of overwhelming stress, of lost connection, of loss of control, of a deep discomfort with the self.

All I know is the devastating effects of this ‘condition’ because my family has experienced them daily. The deep pain, anger and confusion permeats everyone around the addicted loved one. So any, I mean- any -progress, to get back into being a functional member of society, is celebrated with a big sigh of relief.

This driveway and the work involved in prepping it, forming it, pouring and leveling it, is an amazing accomplishment.

Today, I choose to be extremely grateful for this picture of this simple driveway.

It represents HOPE.

Hope for more driveways. More work. More contracts. Less court, less drugs, less shady friends.

Hope to climb out of the darkness of addiction and back to the amazing dad, husband, sun, brother, uncle and friend my son IS!

As this Christmas Day comes to a close, I’m now filled with my usual sense of melancholy and sadness.

I’m so happy my son is alive today. I did NOT want to lose him on Christmas. Yes, there was an empty chair at our parties as I wrote in my blog this week. All in all, it’s another day in the life of a Mother of an Addicted Loved One.

This same Article is on medium with a few minor changes.

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Brain Changes with Addiction

I first learned about the hijacked brain in a nursing in-service at work in 2017. Nurses were just starting to be able to get help for their risk of becoming addicted. My family was experiencing our first what the F moments of something being amiss with my 32 year old son.

He was flying high (excuse the pun) on the success of his company he had spent years building. However, he was disapearing from job sites more often, leaving foreman’s without direction and supplies, and trying to maneuver his flailing marriage & family-life.

He would admit later- on voice recordings- that he had so many irons in the fire, and had promised so many people too much, that he turned more and more to drugs just to function and help deal with his own disappointment of his unfulfilled promises.

It was heartbreaking. I remember sitting in that meeting thinking ,”wow! I’m glad we are catching this early”

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It seems I should have known more about addiction by then, being a nurse and all; but truth is, I had the same stigmatized view of addicts as alot of people still do.

I thought it was a certain class, maybe the poorer, uneducated kids from troubled homes. Boy was I about to get the lesson of my life.

As I wrote in my Soon to be released book, I HAD to find a way to look at addiction from a human perspective.

I was shocked to find out the possible numbers of people addicted.

Harvard states: Nearly 23 million Americans—almost one in 10—are addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

Once I dug deep into the actual physiology of Addiction, and the possible causes, it was time to look at chances at recovery.

Different studies quote very low numbers on recovery, some as low as 2%. But recovery is very hard to measure. It’s much easier to  track how many are treated

Here on the government’s website they show the many areas of treatment and how many facilities are licensed.

The sad thing about addiction- Other than every single thing about addiction is sad- is the fear of the brain not being able to heal.

I’ve heard recovered addicts say that for 2,6, even 12 months out, they still have problems with memory or energy or even feeling joy. It’s not surprising, considering the massive changes that the high amounts of dopamins cause in the brain.

This is your brain on drugs-no frying pan

There’s so many mechanisms involved that it is a miracle anyone recovers, but millions do. As this harvard help guide explains the brain changes:

“Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.”

“Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain”.

Harvard describes it further In THIS article on the hijacked brain.

The surgeon general website has good info on neural pathways that addiction causes. The good news is these pathways can be re- routed. Remapping, it’s called. Here’s a great visual From Alta Mira treatment center

Alta Mira
Continue reading “Brain Changes with Addiction”
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Holier Than Thou

My momma used to call them: “hypocrites”.

The people who seem to be on their ‘high horse’ looking down on others or because of their choices or conditions in life. Or maybe it’s actually us, who find ourselves saying about others, ” If only- THEY wouldn’t have done THAT– I wouldn’t have to do this, then my life would be exponentially better”.

Possibly, that’s a true statement. But what if our own attitudes and actions have a greater impact than we think regarding OTHERS’ choices?  I am specifically talking about our own stress response to situations- especially at the beginning -of the addict’s journey.

Admitting our own frailties is difficult especially when someones else’s are blatantly front and center, blasting us in the face.

Today I was thinking about this ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴇғғᴇᴄᴛ. There are many scientific articles rebuking cause and effect mostly in the subject of matter & objects- not humans. Well except for this human example.

You can watch this video here

I decided to go down the rabbit hole and explore  ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴇғғᴇᴄᴛ
in addiction-

(Surprise Surprise! Says Gomer) since this IS an addiction blog..

I see so many frustrated and bitter posts on mom’s addict support groups about how awful the person with a substance abuse disorder is. They are mean, crass, irresponsible and everything else that you would expect from someone whose frontal lobe is in dysfunction mode in order the let the midbrain do it’s hijacked thing: fight or flight; sick or not sick etc.

We Must, at some point realize that our one finger pointing out, still has 3 pointing back at us.

For example, looking at a homeless person brings out all of our, ” I’m so glad that’s not me or one of my kids-I mean we all work and do responsible stuff right?”

Or the allure of trauma news stories or murder shows makes us think of how fortunate we are that we don’t have those people in our family. I’m not a therapist but it may even be trying to justify, downplay our own problems or even deflect from them.

I know that quote seems harsh.

We all have our faults, some of which we are distinctly aware of. Things such as being disorganized or always being late. Usually, we are oblivious to how much those faults affect others. Luckily we manage to get by without too much devastation and learn to function around our “faults”.

With addiction, the person suffering may initially suffer in silence. They may not even know yet that they are falling into the whirlwind of needing the drugs to avoid being sick. As their dependency escalates they become even more unaware of how their actions are starting to affect others because they are so hyperfocused on their goal..

With the devastation that addiction causes in the short term and eventually long term; the ripple effect to everyone involved, is devastating.  By then it’s sometimes difficult to look back and think what we may have done to “cause”( I say this with extreme caution- hear me out) the ‘addict’ to turn to that particular damaging coping skill.

Before you tell me all the things your loved one has done while in addiction, I will save you from having to relive it.

We have all been there, we who have had our lives interrupted and turned upside down. We all know that we didn’t ask for it. Even- those momma’s & dad’s with a history of addiction.

Their recovery is valid and by no means deserving or even destined to have a child with a substance use disorder.

Let me ademently state that personal responsibility is always number one.


Personal responsibility or Individual Responsibility is the idea that human beings choose, instigate, or otherwise cause their own actions. A corollary idea is that because we cause our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable.


If we go back to basic cause and effect diagrams, every cause has an effect of course.

What I want to focus on though is TᕼE ᑕᗩᑌSE.

We all know the effects, but Why does the cause happen?

If you look at this Article with a study from 2014 from Samhsa it shows how closely related mental health is to addiction. Dependent on what age someone is faced with certain traumas, their resources for coping skills may determine increased drug use.

As I read through this Article explaining Dopamine, I can’t help but imagine that when faced with these life stressors; certain people – especially those with a genetic deposition to addiction- NO MATTER WHAT AGE, will choose to feel good over feeling the angst of stress.

Of course, it seems like a no-brainer. We ALL would choose feeling good over feeling yucky. As I’ve made this journey into my son’s addiction the last year, my days are spent on a roller coaster of emotions. I can be fine one minute and the next start thinking about my firstborn son who’s deeply lost and isolated from our family. I will burst into tears while driving down the freeway. At such devastating times, I have to evaluate what it is that I need- right now- to feel better.

So many times the thought comes: “If I was a drinker- it would NEED a drink right now”.  So why is it different from a drug? I know, because alcohol is legal. I get that. I’m just saying that once someone is addicted to the dopamine response of ANY DRUG, they are going to run to that when any sign of stress comes their way.

Life and relationships are hard enough to maneuver, but people with poor coping skills and/or people prone to addiction use those skills to feel better.

So, ANY KIND of stress, including difficult bosses, insecure or spouses with their own deeply rooted issues, troubled children, the addict resorts to escaping to their (new?) coping skill. First silently, because it seems harmless and a welcome relief to the stress of the day. Like a glass of wine to a non-. Alcoholic.

Ultimately, as we all know, this eventually creates mounds more problems than they originally ever had and as a result, they become the fall guy for all things gone wrong after that point.

After their secret is made known and the house of cards starts to fall, anything and everything (EFFECT) that happens as a result of the addiction is now deemed the addicts fault

They even start believing what the drugs tell them and, by now, what everyone else is telling them and showing them. The stigma of being worthless and useless imbeciles of society is further “proved” by involvement in crime and/or the justice system.

The addicts’ behaviors are now so wrong that any previous behaviors of others is forgotten. Everyone -including the addict -becomes stuck in this spin-cycle of destruction which is very difficult to hop off of.

The addict is bound to his own shame and blame game. Yes, it was HIS initial CHOICE to start due to his coping mechanisms, so the cause and effect seem pretty clear cut.

I’m not in any way trying to take the blame off of the addicts’ initial choices. I also am NOT advocating any more guilt on the addicted loved ones’ families. God No! We have enough. I’m simply saying that there probably were a lot of problems before the addiction because there just IS, in life. But NOW because of the EFFECTS of The Addict, every other personality problem or characteristic of anyone involved in the addict’s journey suddenly disappeared. 

So, because HIS choice was made along with every one of our choices and CAUSES we made. Ours just may not have bankrupt us, or make us chained to our disease like them.

And yes, we do still suffer immensely because of their choices (& effects of those).

I believe that true compassion is remembering the person as a human being who got caught up in the devastating whirlwind of addiction. Like driving through a windstorm, thinking you’ll get through it with a couple of scratches but a hurricane is waiting within to give you the ride of your life.

I believe that it’s us, with healthy brains, who can show the addict how to handle the stress of a
Windstorm again.

Of course, they have to be somewhat willing, but we can still model UN-toxic behavior & healthy empathy.

Being treated like they are humans who made some mistakes will give them hope that they CAN SUCCEED at recovery and that they are NOT a lost cause.

I believe that WE can be their HOPE in a world that only shows them more turmoil and darkness.

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Empty Chairs

This time of year is bound to drudge up painful feelings for those who have lost a child or have a prodigal son or daughter who is lost in addiction or otherwise estranged. The happy music, with families dancing around the warmly decorated fireplace, is almost too much for moms like me who are worried sick about their child or children.

We go through the motions of forced shopping, baking, decorating, even if it’s the bare minimum. We think no one will notice, as long we do our “due- duty”.

But they do.

My husband sees the pain on my face as I order gifts online, knowing that I can’t order anything for my oldest son.

He sees me plan our family Christmas party which is a 35 year tradition, knowing that ‘the boy’ won’t be there.

My other kids notice the endless memes I post about “sitting with someone in their darkness” and “help the homeless, it’s someone’s brother, son or Dad.”

They long for the days when I wasn’t so hyper- focused on the “least happiest child”.

Hell, I long for those days! The days before addiction hit our family. I watch with happy tears, a video from Christmas 2016. My son, in his brand new custom- built- by -him house with it’s cobalt blue Christmas lights shining brightly along the perfectly planned ranch beams. It was the picture of success. A successful business, a beautiful family, a warmly decorated house, with plenty of presents under the tree.

My son happily unwraps the gifts in the “saran wrap game” we were playing. He slams it down in true bigger- than-life style that was all his own. Everyone laughs! The sounds of his little girl gleefully giggling at her daddy breaks my heart.

How long has it been since she saw him? 10 months now. How she must lie in bed and wonder what she did wrong.

I hate hate hate this disease.

And no, I will not argue about the cause of this nightmare. Disease or choice.

To me it’s doesn’t matter. Pain is pain. Even if I didn’t have a loved one experiencing the horrible consequences, I’m not going to play judge or jury on someone’s life.

No one would choose the consequences of Addiction. They wanted the benefits of a drink or a pain killer. They didn’t want the excruciating torment that follows.

So here we are. The holidays again. How to be in the spirit? ⛄🎄⛄🎄

My nurse practitioner friend, whom I did confide in, said I needed some stabilization meds, but how can I take the very thing that started this nightmare? 💊.

Yes I know.

Even my professional sense says that it’s different. I won’t abuse them. I’m not going to get addicted to antidepressants.

But I resist. You see, I have this underlying Hope.  This theory that every day he’s alive means that EVERY DAY could be the day he chooses recovery and ‘ I ‘ will be all better.

With the law bearing down on him, you would think.  But his wretched master is a cunning one. “H̷E̷” (the wretched master) tells the most outrageous lies EVERY damn day. And my smart, quippy, entrepreneur son believes them!!!

My son, believes that just one more day will make everything ok. One more day of👹 u̷s̷i̷n̷g̷👹, then he will be ready to stop. But that day never seems to come.

So meanwhile, I have to find a solution.

I’ve always peached gratefulness, but where was mine now? When my little baby granddaughter sends me a video singing

🥶”千尺ㄖ乙乇几” 🥶

in true 2 year old free-spirit form! 🎶👯🎶👯🎶; My heart melts. I Must find a way to ᴍᴀᴋᴇ sᴘɪʀɪᴛs ʙʀɪɢʜᴛ again.

I can’t let others drown in my misery.

Even if my going through the motions means I add a little song to those motions.

What if I add a beautiful handmade ( dollar-store) ornament to each of their gifts?

What if I actually bring the JOY that I so desperately want myself to my other equally deserving beautiful family members?

What a beautiful thing. To create pleasure out of such pain. I think they call that alchemy….

I call it JØɎ.

In gratefulness we find our true freedom 🇺🇲

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Constraining Beliefs

ł₣ Ø₦ⱠɎ

After a week or 2 of disappointing events, and a sucky work week, I was destined to a restless and worrisome night – replaying a conversation with a coworker over and over.  This morning when I jumped in my car for an eye appointment, This Talk by Wendy Watson was playing on the radio.

I heard the words “Constraining Beliefs”.


In my despairing state of mind, I resorted back to my default thinking that has probably held me back my entire life.
If I had an argument or misunderstanding with someone, I would think “If ONLY they would DO this- Then I “could” feel this way…”

If I had trouble at work, my default Constraining Belief was: “I’ll just quit then”.

If someone rejected me or stabbed me in the back, my Constraining Belief said.”I will never talk to them again”.

Wendy uses examples of “I’m just fine, or I can’t change”. These beliefs only push us further behind.

As I see it, it makes things worse than what the original problem was anyway. As my mama would say “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face”. I never knew what that meant into a few years ago.
This talk was in 1998, yet everything she says is timeless. Most of our…” distress flows from wanting to have connections with each other that just aren’t happening”.

That’s so true.
We want to feel valued.
We want to feel appreciated.
We want to feel loved.
We want hope.

Yet what are WE changing to make that happen within ourselves?

In today’s climate, we think if only we engage in one more argument, if we post one more meme, surely everyone will come around to MY WAY of thinking….
Wendy says:

“You cannot make someone change his/her mind. But you can invite and entice, offer and persuade, and then respect what he/she chooses to do……

Have you already received some clues about what someone is longing to hear from you? What would need to be different for you to offer those words—honestly, and from your heart?” Wendy states in her talk.

As I pulled into the eye doctor, my eyes stinging with tears…..
I realized how my expectations of others were  holding me back from the true change that I desire.

With my family, who I love dearly, more than anything, my coworkers who get the very last ounce of energy I have, and with my intense search for answers to my son’s addiction, my small voice had all but disappeared, causing those other “Voices that make YOUR voice a stilled, small voice….”

What things can • I Do• differently– instead of expecting everyone else to Change?

One of my favorite religious leaders, Thomas S. Monson said this:

“To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility.-Thomas S. Monson

He once shook hands with my now addicted son and said “hey! I want a mission outta you boy”. 🔘💙🔘

I can’t help but think that his “mission” was to help others who would never have met anyone like him. And his mission is not over- obviously.

So I take great comfort in his words, especially as I’m going through this journey of mourning my addicted son while he is still alive.

In the depths of despair, the psalmist cried out to God. Despair makes us feel isolated and distant from God, but this is precisely when we need God most. Despair over sin should not lead to self-pity, causing us to think more about ourselves than God. Instead, it should lead to confession and then to God’s mercy, forgiveness, and redemption. When we feel overwhelmed by problems, feeling sorry for ourselves will only increase feelings of hopelessness; but crying out to God turns our attention to the only one who can really help.                          

“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice; let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” Psalms 130:1-2.

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict

Give Me Back My Son

ƛ͙ Ɗ͙ƛ͙Ƴ͙ Ɩ͙Ɲ͙ Ƭ͙Ӈ͙Є͙ LƖ͙Ƒ͙Є͙

Sunday: I’m at work, passing medications– the irony. The very thing that started this nightmare into hell.


10:15 text- “Hey mom, is there any way you could help me out? I don’t get paid until tomorrow and I borrowed $100 from a friend to cover rent.


10:16 “Hi son, nice to hear from you. I could buy you some food.


10:18 “I need to pay him
back. Please, I haven’t asked for anything for a long time.

10:19 “I could possibly pay some on your rent.


11:20 missed call
11:22 missed call
10:39 “I’m at work I can’t talk.
10:39.5 “Sorry mom

12:30 “Mom this guy is wanting his money back faster than I can get it.


12:40 “Mom I promise I’ll pay you back tomorrow

2:30. “Mom I’m working my ass off. I just cant’ get ahead. Please? I only need $60 now. $40 for him $20 for food.


4 pm. Get home, start dinner, laundry.
6 pm relax in front of tv
8 pm get ready for bed
9 pm lie in bed grateful for no text, wondering if he’s beaten up.


10:30 text: “Mom I only need $40 now. Forget the food. I don’t need to eat. I’m begging you.

Sigh. Look over to make sure my husband is asleep.

Breathe…..

Detach, “they” say.
Don’t enable.
Block him.
Live your life
He has to hit “Rock bottom”

Rock Bottom?
The kid has lost everything. His Business, his livelihood, brand new house, all his equipment, over 20 cars, his family. His 2 precious kids.
He’s practically homeless with only the clothes on his back.
He’s also lost over 100 lbs. 😥
Rock bottom?

God help me
I pick up my phone, I proceed to do exactly the opposite of what my daughter and I had decided in regards to texting.
My son is severe ADD and admitted he only reads the first few words of any message.

Our Motto had become

sʜᴏʀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ sᴡᴇᴇᴛ

I proceeded to write out a Nar- anon friendly message about how I would love to help but I can’t, how I know he can have a better life & I’m willing to do anything to make that happen EXCEPT keeping him in that cycle of desperation. I said today’s $40 or $60 will be needed tomorrow and again and again and that he has the capability to support himself like before and as soon as he’s ready to make a change I will help him all I can….


Then I put his messages on ignore and put my phone away.

VƗØŁΔ!

2am. I SLEPT! That long!. Looked at phone. No messages in the ignore file.
Good..he didn’t even try to beg.


6 am. I SLEPT! Looked at phone. No missed calls. No new message in ignore file.


7 am. Coffee. Check Social media. Do pow wow aroebics warm up.


9 am order more addiction books off Amazon.
Noon. Clean. Laundry. Rake leaves.


2 pm watch Netflix, write article for my new blog about how to deal with an addict child- ya know? Since I had this all down pat…

No messages in ignore file.

6 pm dinner. Visit with youngest child, tv, write, read. No messages in ignore file

9 pm bed. Wow this is really working. Just tell them how it is and they mind! Maybe he’ll choose recovery! Tomorrow even!

11 pm. No messages in ignore file. Realize it’s been 24 hrs since he’s been on online.


12 pm. Realize that he didn’t even read my long message! He’s been offline now for 25 hours,!
Omg. What if that guy came RIGHT AFTER he sent that last pleading message & threatened him to pay $$ or pay with his life!

Suddenly I get the impression to call the hospital. I’ve never actually done that before. This must be a revelation that he’s there!
I call the hospital and ask if they have anyone in there without ID who’s beaten up or overdosed. Secretary says “We have 2 without ID. Let me transfer you to the Emergency room answering machine”.

2? A fight? He got In a fight with the dealer/ friend/ rent borrower!
I give my description of him to the ER answering machine.
I turn my phone volume all the way up. Roll over.

1 pm: Check phone. Nothing.
Roll over.

1:15 :Check phone.

1:30: check phone. Missed Call!!! I check my voicemail. A nice asian lady reports that no one fitting that description is there- goodbye.

My heart sinks. It’s been 26 1/2 hours since he’s been online.
I break down and check the booking reports.
No arrest.


2:30 am.Roll over. Try to sleep. Hear a sound. Get up. it’s my daughter going to work. Back to bed.


3:30 Hear another sound. Omg. What if they dropped his body off here since my address is listed as his and they wanted to show me a lesson.


6 pm awake! I slept! But with actual visions of him in a room in a chair with his hands tied behind his back.


8:30 am send text to son:
I’m so sorry – I didn’t know your life was in danger.

Please! please! Someone😭 save my son!
Followed by 5 texts begging him to be ok.

9:30 am Him: “Omg I don’t have a phone off of wifi and that message u sent did it. Try starting from nothing with no help. I should have known better than to ask anyone for help as far as everything else. I’m not going to be reachable anymore because they have now waved my right to a trial so with an attorney I would have no fellonyz now I’m a 6 time convicted felon on the run with a mandatory 5 years- I’m screwed”


Me : Thank God you’re alive.

Him. Omg that’s absolutely crazy why would I not be alive? Stop watching so many movies”

9:38 am: I collapse on the couch feeling the fullness of my tears well up behind my eyeballs in a raging flurry of sadness mixed with relief that today isn’t MY DAY for THE phone call. I hear a deep exhausting gutterall cry coming from a body that thought it knew how to handle this stress by now. The realization that I just spent another night in worry and fear ( for nothing! Which I’m,? Glad buttt….and it sounds like there’s more ahead.

Knowing that today will now be a wash with my emotions completing thrashed, the tears spill out over my flustered angry relieved face. I cover myself with my weighted blanket, feeling not only the tiny beads of lead on me, but the entire weight of the world.

I realize I have to go to work for 8 hrs tonight. I immediately send out a text to 18 people to see if they’ll cover me so I can drown in my own misery of torture.


One by one the refusals came pouring in. They need to car pool kids, their husbands are working. I want to scream: “GO AHEAD live your normal lives! My son was just dead, for 30 hours, tortured in a room or laying in a hospital bed as a John Doe, in jail on one of his warrants. But it’s ok. I’ll go to work and pretend that I have a normal life with normal problems and a son who’s happy and healthy taking care of his obligations making me proud again.


Damn
heroin,


Damn
addiction.


Damn
Purdue…


Damn whoever else I can blame.


Yes my son too
Damn you.
Come back.
Bring my real son back
😭💔😭

Yup
A Day in the Life of a Mom of an Addict.


How was your day?







Home Base

Addictology Deconstructed

Yup you read that right.

Kind of a tongue twister, but this Doctor really did a great job at deconstructing addiction for the layman. She lived it as a heroin addict while in medical school and for years after. She wrote her experience in this inciteful Book.

She is such a valued resource in educating people on why their loved ones are acting so rude and ridiculous.

It really does come down to what we’ve heard before-those damn pleasure centers that we ALL love so much.

The hippocampus and amygdala are our motivators to get up every day & seek out pleasure- however small.

That part of the brain becomes so flushed & overwhelmed with opiods ( thanks in part to Purdue-👿) that the addict can’t derive ANY pleasure from ANYTHING else, so they spend every waking minute of every single day seeking out ways to achieve that pleasure.

This usually means trompelling on anybody and anything just for one more day of trying to reach the pleasure centers’ levels of the day before. It soon becomes a grueling game of only using to avoid sickness with almost zero pleasure. A viscious horrible rat wheel cycle of a never ending purple gobstopper in a relentless version of groundhog day.

I hope you can see her Facebook live. Best explanation of the brain of a person with substance use disorder.

Nicole labors Live

Nicole Labor

Here’s another one. Hope you enjoy them

Home Base

ƬӇЄ ƑԼƛMЄ

The flickering light searches the night🔥

Illuminating the tear soaked walls

Walls that were meant to be sad.

Will the tears ever dry? As they hang in confusion of whether or not they are real.

The light itself wonders..

Is the light good or evil?

Does it represent warmth to a cold tired soul or the brand of a demon?

Doesn’t matter. It flames on. Until it doesn’t.

Leaving the walls dark & the tears to dry on their own.

The depth of despair lies in the darkness for no one to see.

Does it exist if no one can see it?

Does light illuminate what is hiding beneath the darkness…..does the darkness only exist after it’s opposite appears?

Only in the wisps of fading strands of smoke may the secret be held…