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Breathe- Just Breathe

“Breathe, just breathe”.

That’s what I constantly hear myself saying these days.

In this political climate of the world today, it’s SO easy to find yourself in a sudden moment of anger, shock, and surprise at any and every new development.

It’s hard not to react and retort with a knee- jerk response. It’s hard to remember that you are no doubt going to waste your energy AND Not likely to change ANY minds.

Those of us in the business of momma hood find ourself in this predictament quite often.

“Pick your battles”

Is our war cry.

Those of us with a very loved one in active addiction live with this fear & panic daily.

As I stated in my Previous post on the pandemic, we are familiar with the daily shock without the “ahh”. 

It’s amazing what happens when another human being ever so conveniently decides to cross your way in a not so positive manner.

Even if it’s one of your own ….

One minute everything’s fine, the next, you’re at the top of the highest roller coaster heading down to the depths of who knows where.

We find ourselves plunged head- first into a world that we were only vaguely aware of before.

What to do?

Most people, especially the “anon” groups tell you to detach with love. Unfortunately alot of their stories that I hear, feel more like detach with coldness and aloofness.

It goes against every mother- cell of survival and caretaking imaginable. That’s why we hang on for so long.

Sometimes too long. Until we are deficient & lacking energy, focus and hope. The very things people look toward us for.

We are the healers, the lovers, the make-it-all better-ers. We stay up all night just to make sure our babies don’t choke if they have breathing problems.

Over the years we fervently buy creams, vitamins, educational toys to make sure they develop normally. We worry if they are lacking anything that might cause their stuff esteem to plummet.

Now our babies are out there doing all sorts of self harm and damage to their precious bodies. We can’t think about it without cringing and feeling a deep sense of .. Failure? Or is it just sadness?

Yet we are told over and over again, “Let go” “Give it to God”. “Live your life.”

So we resort to…..

Appearing to”let go..

Appealing to God to take it…

And Attempting to live our life.

Because if we do anything other than that, we are punished for caring.

Twenty or thirty years ago we would be punished for not caring, for not giving our family everything they need and providing for their safety and comfort. But the minute they turn 18, OR the minute they are labeled “an addict”; we are judged as co-dependant.

Robert Weiss, in his Book Prodependance, squelches that diagnosis saying that it’s not abnormal to care about someone when your family is in crisis, whether that crisis be cancer or addiction.

It’s a comforting book full of validation for us suffering Mom’s.

But just because it’s not abnormal to care, doesn’t mean it’s healthy either. If you find yourself lost, feeling powerless, depressed and struggling to relate to anything and anyone, then you have a problem OTHER than your addicted loved one.

That’s when you need to decide: “Is this vile creature that has hijacked your beautiful child, going to have two victims or just one?”

That’s the question of the day for this mom of a person with a substance use disorder……

Credit: Samantha Waters- Kauai, Hawaii

Just Breathe Edna’s Art

Home Base, Life's Zilly Things

RBF

That’s right.

Those of you who know what this means probably have it yourself.

Maybe not.

These are questions to ask yourself if you want to know if you have it.

  • Have you ever been asked what’s wrong when nothing is wrong?
  • Have you ever been told you look soooooo tired?
  • Have you ever sat in the hairdressers chair and looked at that person in the mirror not even recognizing the face?
  • Have you ever turned on your phone camera and saw a giant, sad, scary face staring back?
  • How many times can you count the instances where someone asked what you were p’d off at?

Resting Bitch Face.

It’s a thing. Wikipedia even recognizes it saying it goes back to the King of France in 1654 who knew?

And WHO KNEW men, including Eminem could get it? Even Kings! Lol

When I wrote this article regarding how I like wearing masks due to covering up my emotions; I failed to mention the benefits of having my RBF hidden too.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been mistaken as grouchy. So the question comes up: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Hmm. Maybe the chicken came first.

Regardless, I spent my life as a peacemaker, always trying to get those around me to feel good or “differently”, which would eventually come back to haunt me.

I learned that it’s ok to feel anyway you want. Just like it’s ok to look anyway you want. If others have issues with it, I learned to slyly (and possibly passive aggressively), rebound the ball back to them.

When my co-worker asked me why I don’t talk more, I asked him how much talking would make him feel ok about me? He seemed taken aback.

So how much of a resting bitch face would I NOT NEED to make me popular?  Most people would say it’s all in the first impressions. If you can pull off coming across as friendly instead of standoffish, that’s a plus. 

So imagine my surprise when I found out there’s a cure. Vanessa Van Edwards gives the following suggestions in Her Article

  • When you are looking at someone, look up at them. This makes your eyes more open and less downcast.
  • Use makeup to reshape your downcast eyes.
  • Replace your neutral frown with a small smile. …
  • Own it.

I tried for alot of years to replace my downturned mouth for a fake plastic one, but I just couldn’t maintain it. So I guess I’ll just have to own it.

I have plenty of celebrities to keep me company, including my husband’s favorite Anna Kendrick. Lol

Besides, there are worse things……

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict, Home Base

I Don’t Want to Sit by a Heroin Addict

These are the words I heard echo from a co-worker during a meeting today.  She was talking about a client who didn’t want to go to a place of business in case he had to sit by a heroin addict.

If I was financially independent, I would have stood up and said: (well- yelled, “There are worse things than being  a heroin addict, like being intolerant of humans who’s sins show on the outside!”

But I’m not, so I didn’t.

As it is, I sat there in my silence of suffering as usual.

Michael J Wilson in his book Loving Lions describes the impact as this

“I watch the impact that my addiction has, and it’s like watching a horror movie. You know something bad is going to happen and you want to yell at the person onscreen to not go into that basement, not to open that door, but they never hear you. The movie goes on and I am forced to watch, trapped within myself, unable to stop it. I feel helpless, I feel useless, and I feel worthless.”

Page 81, Loving Lions

Yes that. All of that.

I keep my struggle with my Lion seperate than other areas of my life. Or, I at least try.

Later on that day I was sending another patient to see a medical provider as scheduled, and she yells out, “I’ll be back, I’m going to see the drug dealer!” Haha, everyone laughs, while my insides fall the 1000 feet that it took me to build them up again after the comment earlier this morning.

Drinking or joking about “needing” a glass of wine, is all fun and games until you see the first phone call from the jail knowing it’s your beloved child who not only had that glass of wine, but couldn’t stop at one.

Loving lions also describes their (the person with a substance use disorder) ( in-)ability to fix that problem too:

“I do not have the ability to fix a problem that has me convinced it does not exist. I am not capable of putting myself into the challenging recovery process that is required to get well. I am not capable of coming up with a plan to fix a problem I cannot see clearly. I am not capable of fixing this without help. I am not capable of pulling myself out of this hole. “

Which brings us to a crossroads and to the normal model of “a disease”. How do you help someone who’s very disease won’t let them believe they need help?

It’s like a pimp. Convinces his girls that they can’t live without him, even though HE is the problem, engaging them in illegal activities, lowering their quality of life, risking their health, their freedom etc.

Drugs are the biggest pimpmobile ever and I wish that caravan hadn’t stopped in my town.

Just to top my day off, this Day in The Life of a Mom of a person with a Substance Use Disorder; I see a “Story” pop up on my son’s Facebook. He is quite new at Facebook, having only had it the last year or two when his addiction seared to new “heights” so to speak; so I was curious that he figured out that feature.

Much to my shock, I saw a conversation that he accidently posted on there, which was “seemingly like a drug deal”. Unbelievable. I frantically tried to message him to delete it. No answer. I knew there were people on his Facebook that were not “real” friends and would look at that as “ah ha see? He’s still at it, what a loser” or whatever people think of addicts. No, I’m not trying to cushion his fall. He’s fell so hard the last 2 years there’s no cushion left. I guess I’m just still a bit embarrassed of it all.

Shame and blame go right along with the agenda of addiction. For not only the addict, but the family.

My son finally answered my frantic messages. He said he doesn’t know how  that conversation got on a story or how to get it off. I hurriedly explained with detailed screenshots how to get it off. 

Then in true Nar-anon cringe worth fashion, I gave unsolicited advice & told him since he has warrants out, he probably should be more careful. He still insisted it wasn’t a drug deal.

Ok son.  Over and out. 10-4 to this day.  Another Day in the Life of a Mother of a person with a Substance Use Disorder.

How was your day?

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict

The Casualties Of Addiction

ƛԼԼ ƖƝ ƬӇЄ ƊƛƳ ƠƑ ƛ ԼƖƑЄ

The little girl with the shy smile, came over to me, standing in the kitchen. Her sticky fingers grabbed my hands and led me to the dining room table where the family was singing Happy Birthday to her soon to be little sister.

She sat in the tall wooden chair and put my hands on top of it and said to stay there behind her.

The birthday girl’s Mom brought the My Little Pony cake in, as the familiar song rang out with happy smiles all around. 🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶

As I watched the plume of smoke rise up from the candles, I felt the tears stinging my eyes.

This was my little 6 year old granddaughter; who I managed to see a few times a year, despite living hours away.

These people were mostly her new family, of my youngest son as he forged into a new relationship and new life.

The previous life held my eldest son, the family business, and all my other happy kids and grandkids.

As the grey smoke disappeared into the abyss, my eyes clouded in tears as I thought of the irony of that smoke.

The sweetness of life swirled up in the yummy pink fluffy frosting. The colored candles of adventure dripping with melted wax. The lightness of the flame flickering, taunting. The flame is what separates the light from the darkness. When the flame extinguishes, the smoke does its dance….


And oh, did our smoke dance. Our family had now joined one of millions ripped apart with addiction, specifically opiods which not so quickly, dominoed into heroin.

We can argue all day long about who’s fault that was, but it’s clear that anyone who was remotely vulnerable to addiction had some intense marketing help.

Over 200,000 thousand Americans have been lost to the opiod epidemic crisis. The recent Sackler family lawsuit has brought to light some factors of this.

Home Base

Pandemic For a Year? Welcome to ØɄⱤ World

We’re coming up on a year of this pandemic. My daughter was really Ill last December with what she thinks was Covid.

I wrote this article last April when the pandemic was in full force. It’s meant to show the living hell a mom of a substance use disorder person lives with comparitively to Covid 19.

Continue reading “Pandemic For a Year? Welcome to ØɄⱤ World”
poetries

Freeing

It’s kindof a relief really

This life

So much energy spent

On the fight, fighting for a reason
Different reasons, really

Then you find yourself in that moment….

Of trying to light a firework…….

Finding the fuse
Trying not to get burned
Running away

Hearing the hiss of the connection

And then nothing

Dead nothing

What? How can this be?

I saw the spark!

WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

Nothing…..

You did nothing wrong….

It was never about you…

poetries

Don’t Touch The Glass

I stare.

Nothing stares back.

They just swim.

And swim.

I wave. Nothing.

I tap on the glass.

Nothing.

The glare.

The waves.

The piercing lights that feel dark.

Nauseating.

I press my red, tear- soaked face against the cold glass.

See me. Please. See ME suffering.

I scream…..My breathe gushes back into my face.

I know, I’ll shame you into noticing.

I’ll yell! I’ll yell to change the flow.

Soundwaves.

HEYYYYY!!!! YOUUUU!!!!

The death of silence.

I sit. The cold floor feels like 100 jabs of icicles.

Or is that my heart? Melting into the floor.

Sliding somewhere. To the glass. Under.

I see red.

Swirling red.. up, up, up.

I feel nothing.

Someones tapping……

I hear it.

I just can’t feel it.

Is that a scream? I can’t hear it, I feel its vibration. Yet…….. Nothing.

Why can’t I care?

I wish I could care.

Instead, I swim, I swim.

I swim. I swim. Going nowhere.

It seems ok. So I swim.


Home Base

Alcohol is NOT Exempt

I know I usually write about addiction in the form of opiods, but I actually have some intense interest in the fallacy (?- is that the right word?) of alcohol dependance.

Since it’s so widely shown, glamorized and basically accepted, on the movie and media scene; and since it’s even politically correct (does that even mean the same thing anymore?) to laugh at an alcohol meme; it sometimes gets overlooked as the horrible, slow killing addiction, it is, or can be.

So I was happy to see Matthew Ward’s An Open Letter to Myself About Sobriety post on Medium.

“We live in an opioid epidemic. The articles about it come out every week. People are addicted and dying and it’s horrible. According to the CDC, there were about 47,000 deaths related to opioid use in 2017.

So, it might surprise you that according to the same CDC data, there were about 88,000 deaths related to alcohol use”.

Originally published in The Ascent

If someone you know insists that they have it under control, there’s a great questionnaire on The government’s website SAMSHA
This is the very same website that the social media influencers will give you when they say they “have access to rehabs all over the country” including the ones they ‘broker’ for, if you have good insurance.

But all that aside, if you need help please  CLICK or CALL. I’ve called it and they’re very informative. There’s also tons of articles on this site for moms of teens and everyone. This site is our tax dollars at work, so use it.

Meanwhile, if you have managed to quit, or moderate your usage, or even thinking about it; I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind of what would you do instead of drinkng?

It’s sounds like an easy enough question, but those who spend hours and hours with their ḂḕṠṮ ḞṙḭḕṆḊ will understand this fear.

No worries,  Benya Clark (from Medium again) has the answer. He listed cooking, drawing, and running as his top three.

Now to those who are used to massive amounts of dopamine that substances provide; these are going to sound boring. And they probably will be at first. Until the natural Dopamine sources get built back up, you’re going to have force yourself, with some good accountability partners maybe, to start small and build up the habit—
Ya know-

ᴊᴜꜱᴛ ʟɪᴋᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴅɪᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀʟᴄᴏʜᴏʟ ᴏʀ ᴅʀᴜɢꜱ

Boredom, ingrained habits in the brain, and the lifestyle of connection  that all and drugs bring; along with this lack of Dopamine; is the reason for allot of relapses. People feel alone, lost, and bored, without their old coping mechanisms.

The good news is, new friends, new coping skills, new job opportunities can and WILL happen when you don’t have the consequences that addiction brings. You will mostly have your FREEDOM back. You won’t be enslaved to the time and MONEY.

THIS Article quotes the average American spends $22,600 over 40 years drinking 1 – yes 1- cocktail a week. ($11). There’s a Spending calculator you can use HERE. I guess it’s variable what constitutes “too much” spending on alcohol. I certainly would not use that to predict if someone is addicted.

It’s surprising how much addiction actually cost – just for the point of sale. Not even touching on the money from jobs lost, fines, insurance, and the many  other fees that go along with alcohol & drug use.

Drugs are a completly different story when it comes to money.I would say you can quadruple those numbers, easy, if a movie star or wealthy person.

It’s all very sad.

Not sad for the business end, but sad for families and children.  

It’s not a fact that escapes people with a substance use disorder (SUD- not addict). It’s one thing that contributes to their shame and blame of their condition. So much so, that I think it keeps alot of them IN that very cycle, because they think they can never pull out successfully or make up all that money or fix all that they’ve broken.

Our healthy brains KNOW it can be done, but remember,  their brains are technically damaged or at least temporarily hijacked in the areas of emotion, self control & that darn jacked up reward center.

My favorite person with a SUD-turned Doctor, says it best in this video. If that link doesn’t work- here’s next best one. Nicole Labor. Also buy her book and stuff… She humanizes addiction because she’s been there. Even while in Med school!

Regardless of where you or someone you love is at in their consumption journey, there is no reason to not at least have the conversation about how they’re doing and where they feel they want to be in 5 years.

Study after study, and -headline after obituary-  show that all addictions are progressive, leading to jail, death or recovery. So early intervention is paramount. It is a treatment condition. Despite the statistics shown, you can be part of the 21 million Americans who are in some form of recovery rather than the 88k who die every year due to alcohol related deaths.