Life lessons from the pool
This is the conversation I just heard at the pool:
“Honey come get this dead spider out of the water, HURRY! OMG!!!! It’s alive!!! How can that be? Get it! Wait how is that even a thing?? How can it be ALIVE in the water? OMG it’s MORE than NOT dead! it’s booking it! Hurry! How Is that possible??”
To which the guy said:
Chill, Quit screeching.. You’re gonna be ok….”
You're gonna be ok.
I tell myself this all the time. Do I believe it?
Spiders are a bit scary, I admit, but when facing more insurmountable problems in life, they are fiddlesticks. What used to scare me, I look at with a mild curiosity at the power it once held on me.
Remember that being afraid of something is not the same thing as having a specific phobia. In order to receive a diagnosis for a specific phobia, certain criteria must be met, including disruption to acts of daily living and a decrease in your quality of life due to the intensity of the fear.Verywellmind.com
“A decrease in quality of life, due to the intensity of fear..”
These days, my challenge is getting through the day without overwhelming fear taking over. Loving an addict is like seeing a spider 🕷️ every second of every day but you can’t swat at it. It’s as if you’re stuck in it’s tangled web trying to save yourself while it’s just doing it’s own thing to survive.
I think it’s important to not “breathe that fear onto them- like the lady at the pool breathed her fear onto everyone there.
There are many treatments for arachnophobia and other fears, including “Exposure Therapy”.
Basically flooding the brain- usually slowly- with thoughts of the thing you fear the most. We mommas already do our own exposure therapy. We live and breathe the possible outcomes every day. This is called ‘over thinking’ or ‘catastrophic thinking’
Here’s some tips to help with that, not necessarily geared toward substance use.
Another way is to learn to trust a higher power. Trust in something or someone that doesn’t have all the emotions attached to it, like we do.
As Libby Cataldi, one of my fellow mommas-in-hope, stated:
“It’s difficult for our suffering loved ones to carry our anxieties, as well as their own. When they are in the throes of their addiction, they are struggling with obsession, shame, and the chase of the drug. When they are in early recovery, they face countless fears daily – how to get a job, how to pay rent, and how to go the next day without drugs. Today, I’ll try to bolster my serenity and breathe hope into my loved one”.Libby Cataldi
Breathe hope, not fear.
I’ve found that when I talk to my son in fear mode, it just creates defensiveness on his part. He’s a debater at heart, so imagine with such a monster of substance use added on, he wins the argument every time, EVEN if he’s wrong.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Do you want to be right or be happy?”. With our addicted loved ones, it’s so easy to tell them what to do with their life so that WE can feel better. But that kind of compliance ( if we even get compliance) doesn’t last. Connections last…..
Keep the connection, lose the fear.