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Sick

I sat at my desk and coughed.

Again. Just a short one. But enough to have me notice that it seemed to be happening a lot.

I felt that familiar tightness in my chest. I knew this wasn’t the normal chest/stomach anxiety that had lived there for over 2 years. This was real sickness- tightness. I had felt it coming on for a few days now. A bit of a shiver. The wave of dread sliding from the top-down resting in the big muscles in the thigh in the form of aches. My white blood cells working overtime trying to combat this invader. I went home and popped vitamin C, zinc, echinacea, & silver. Two days later I tasted it. That taste you get when you cough. When you know that you’re in for a few weeks of miserable Flem, snot & fevers. Ughhhhh. The dread of knowing your body has been invaded by a viral species.

Who has time to be sick?? I did a covid test on myself for the 3rd time this week.

Negative. Great.

Now I have to be sick PLUS not have an excuse to miss work. See, in nursing, and before covid, you had to be practically dying with the pastor calling your boss for you to call off sick.

I know, I know. But we take care of sick people, we can’t be sick. In theory and on paper, that’s true. But in the real world, you load up on cold medicine, and if anyone notices, you say you have allergies and no one blinks an eye. Now, after Covid, people would back away from you if you so much as uttered a little Kerchoo! But things have changed in the last 9 months. The long-talked-about nursing shortage is happening in real-time. There are no extra bodies to cover your shift. You work pretty much through anything.

I started thinking about when the last time I was sick was. It was October 2019. Despite being around covid positive patients and not missing a day of work since I had not been truly ill for almost 2 years.

Why now?

Hmmm. The day before my first chest tightness was the day I dropped my 36-year-old son off at rehab. We have been waiting 2 years for this. Even with the court breathing down his neck, he knew it was time. He told me he was tired of running.

Best words I’ve heard in a long time!

Tired of running.

I was tired too. My son had addicted himself out of a house, car, job, and family. He had been scoraging around, always “trying to start over with nothing” as he put it. He even had a bullet hole in his leg from one of his jaunts to Vegas. Most people who “start over” don’t get a bullet hole in the process. Bullet hole, to me, meant you’re still on the downward slide. But who am I to know anything?

I had met his addiction head-on trying to lead him out of this hellhole. I had begged and pleaded for him to see the light. When he was released from jail earlier this summer, on a Saturday afternoon, I was devastated. I thought the chances of him going to prison were exponentially high because I knew beyond a shadow of the doubt that he wouldn’t check in with pretrial probation as they asked. I tried to stay out of it. I did. But just because we “stay out of it” doesn’t mean our insides aren’t churning like a taffy twisting machine you see at the carnival. So while my stomach was in knots for the 9 weeks he was out, he finally went back to jail in the best scenario possible: Pulled over on warrants, with no new charges. This time, for 33 days, we (me & the lawyers) made sure he wasn’t getting out except to rehab.

So here we are. Him safe, me sick.

The very fact that I came down with one of the worst colds/ flu I’ve ever had the minute he was safe in rehab, was not a coincidence.

I think it’s God’s way of saying, “Rest, child”. Joanna Weaver states in her article on 7 verses for when you are weary:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

God knows what you need. Like a good shepherd, He ensures we have seasons of rest in green pastures and beside quiet waters. He also knows that to get to some of those restful places we may have to walk through a dark valley first, but He offers His presence to guide, protect and comfort us every step of the way.

No hurt is overlooked, no pain is wasted, no child of God is left behind. God will carry you through to the other side.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4"- Johannaweaverbooks.com

‘He MAKES me lie down in green pastures. I have always believed sickness is our body’s way of telling us (making us) to slow down. When we can’t seem to do it ourselves because of our martyrdom, or our real responsibilities. Ironically, I used to send my addicted son this quote when he was at the height of running his businesses and showed no reprieve in his drive and ambition.

He would soon live up to that and spent 3 years counting, in addiction, and now whatever time it will take to climb out. I’m forever grateful for the chances he gets and the second chance he has to live. I’m grateful that things have seemed to turn in his favor. Tonight as I settled in for a rainy afternoon making me some homemade chicken noodle soup, just like my mama used to make; I breathed in a sigh of relief. I guess it was time to take care of myself. I guess I needed this illness. I “earned” it. Not that anyone deserves suffering, more like forced to slow down for their own good. As I sat down to eat hours later, it was then I realized I had forgotten to add the chicken. My soup was just Noodle Soup.

Oh well. Go figure. Recovery is not a straight line. And neither is my cooking! Sometimes the chicken doesn’t even cross the road…or my stove!

Home Base

Ubuntu: Choosing Compassion Over Anger

I’ve looked at this picture and accompanying words several times over the last 3 years. Oh, how many times I’ve wished for treatment on a deserted island or a posh beach-themed ibogaine clinic in Costa Rico overlooking the warm ocean waves. How many times have I wished for my “tribe” to surround my son and will him back to life by chanting mantras and singing songs of hope? How many times I wanted tearful meetings filled with prayers and arms slung desperately over shoulders clinging to each other for strength on what the next best course of action should be. I wanted us to come away feeling fulfilled and hopeful that my son would know how much he was loved and would just see the error of his ways as he collapsed in sincere repentance and dramatic promises.

I believe in the power of Love. I believe that connection is a valid treatment (not cure) for addiction. I believe when lost souls push people away, it’s really the addiction making room for more addiction. And although we may not do the Ubuntu tribe thing; we are all healing in our own way. We are all doing the best we can, even if it’s not supporting each other in unison together.

As of now, I’m in complete gratefulness in my blessings of having everything I asked for come to fruition and so much more that I “scarce can take it in”. Although nothing is promised other than the moment we are living in, I am forever grateful that my son is on his journey of recovery.

My “tribe” was other mothers, my husband, my daughters, and a couple dozen zoom meetings of suffering parents. My God, who was the recipient of all my crying and sometimes screaming, in my car, patiently held me as I let him lead my son from the murky waters of addiction into the cold cement walls of the jail where he was supposed to heal his damaged brain by being around other damaged people. But guess what? They were his tribe. They were the ones who welcomed him with workout clothes, the “best bunk” and an immediate entrance into a certain group which is paramount for survival in jail. Certain people giving him valuable advice that you can’t get out of a book. God was watching my boy when I couldn’t.

Today I want to share a collection of positive stories and quotes on helping people. I hope you enjoy these and can apply them to your situation somehow.

This memory recently came up on my Facebook page after the deadly Las Vegas shootings 4 years ago. This is what I wrote in response to that:

"I see the anger and shock in people while they move thru their emotions of this tragedy as it plays out; I'm convinced again that despite all the good that social media has done; the hate, blame, anger, snarkiness, rudeness in times like this, serve more damage than any good.

I know all of these emotions are usually fear-based and are people trying desperately to make sense of their world.
We want to feel like we have some control over our lives & our destiny.
When something like this happens, we realize -again- that we have zero control over anything. We only have our experience of what we are seeing.
So, according to that perspective, we lash out to try to get our views heard to somehow make sense of it. Our goal seems to be' to try to change our state of how we are feeling or make sure that in the future, this doesn't happen again. We do this by placing blame on anybody, anything. We want to feel like we matter in the scheme of things and that we can make a difference somehow.
But truth be told, we just can't understand why things like this happen. Human behavior, natural disasters, are all completely out of our control & have been the study of man for centuries. We are certainly not going to solve them suddenly by arguing on social media.  It's really wasted energy to try to wrap our heads around it. And it's not really that beneficial anyway, because the next shooting Is going to be different circumstances, a different city, a different gun, a different motive (if we ever discover the true motives).

So what if...

What if we love our fear?

What if we accept that we CANT UNDERSTAND it?

What if we*******gasp******
fought hate with LOVE???
Can you do it?
To set your own soul free can you forgive the face of evil without knowing why?
What if the reasons were crystal clear to us? Would that help heal 100's of gunshots & wounds & would it make 57 funerals not have to happen? No, it wouldn't.
Even if we knew the grand scheme of things, or even the possibility that these 57 victims agreed to come to earth & be the focus of such evil, would that make our hearts hurt less? Or our fear the next time we go to Vegas- any Less?

I doubt it.

We all are going to have to work thru our thoughts & feelings of fear & shock & disgust.
Why not accept those feelings for what they are without needing to know why, then
give ourselves & others more love during this time, not more hate.

Of course we may never know the reasons behind such tragedies (that particular one included); Matt Kahn says it best:

Blame is the first act of war. Compassion is the first sign of peace. In tested times, an awakening soul first turns to prayer instead of resorting to blame. This doesn’t exclude external action. Instead, the power of prayer energetically infuses each necessary action step, as a living fulfillment of your highest intention in motion, instead of unconsciously expanding the vibration of victimhood through patterns of blame.

If first choosing prayer instead of blame seems too passive of an option, then the internal war rages on. There is much change to be made in this world, but it can only be accomplished by those who are willing to stand up in the name of truth, and act out their most noble values, without forgetting their Divinity or closing their hearts along the way. This is the grace of conscious action.

Whether you blame instead of pray, pray instead of blame, pray for those who blame, or even blame those who pray -- you always deserve more love, not less." - Matt Kahn

When our loved ones disappoint us, when our hearts are shattered to pieces and we think we can never recover. When we want to yell at God or the sacklers, or the governor- anyone who may have contributed to our misery- who is the one who needs love now?

Us.

We can wrap ourselves up in the arms of a soft blanket and feel the power of love envelop us. We can recognize the divine wisdom of polarization. To know darkness is to appreciate and relish in the light.

And while we are trying to show up for ourselves, maybe 🐝 Bees 🐝can help us figure it out:

“My dad has bees.🐝Today I went to his house and he showed me all of the honey he had gotten from the hives. He took the lid off of a 5 gallon bucket full of honey and on top of the honey there were 3 little bees, struggling. They were covered in sticky honey and drowning. I asked him if we could help them and he said he was sure they wouldn’t survive. Casualties of honey collection I suppose.
I asked him again if we could at least get them out and kill them quickly, after all he was the one who taught me to put a suffering animal (or bug) out of its misery. He finally conceded and scooped the bees out of the bucket. He put them in an empty Chobani yogurt container and put the plastic container outside.
Because he had disrupted the hive with the earlier honey 🍯 collection, there were bees flying all over outside.
We put the 3 🐝🐝🐝little bees in the container on a bench and left them to their fate. My dad called me out a little while later to show me what was happening. These three little bees were surrounded by all of their sisters (all of the bees are females) and they were cleaning the sticky nearly dead bees, helping them to get all of the honey off of their bodies. We came back a short time later and there was only one little bee left in the container. She was still being tended to by her sisters.
When it was time for me to leave we checked one last time and all three of the bees had been cleaned off enough to fly away and the container was empty.
Those three little bees lived because they were surrounded by family and friends who would not give up on them, family and friends who refused to let them drown in their own stickiness and resolved to help until the last little bee could be set free.
Bee Sisters🐝Bee Peers🐝Bee Teammates🐝Bee helpers🐝Bee a friend🐝 We could all learn a thing or two from these bees. 🐝 🐝 🐝🐝🐝

-Author Unknown”

The Ring Theory

Source: Illustration by Wes Bausmith”

In Psychology Today author, Elana Premack Sandler wrote this article on where to direct our anger in crisis. I thought it was fitting for addiction situations when our addicted loved one is in the center circle most of the time. It states this:

“If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that’s fine. It’s a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort in, dump out.”

Elana Premak Sadler

“Years ago, psychologist Susan Silk and her friend Barry Goldman wrote about a concept they called the “Ring Theory.” it’s used as a guide for family and friends to help prevent suicide.

You can read the entire article here: The ring theory

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“You Knew The Risk”

To those wonderful commenters on addiction/or an overdose post who say no one forced people with SUD to stick a pill down their throat or use a needle, I say to you: Thank God.

Thank God, it wasn’t YOUR CHILD. Thank heavens you don’t know what it’s like to feel helpless when you find out your successful son; the hero of so many, the big hearted business owner who took his family on vacations and bought his workers new tires to get to work; is now homeless without a car or a suitcase to his name.

Thank heavens you never had to buy your son Ciggerettes because you were so relieved he wasn’t using heroin.

Thank God you never cried when you saw a simple cement driveway picture.

Oh, but about that forcing thing? Did you ever buy a lemon car? Did the salesman ever promise you that it ran great, would last you years and years, and damn, you would look great in it, very stylish and on top of the world. Then when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, listening to John Phillips Topanga Canyon:

Oh Mary, I’m in deep waters
And it’s way over my head
Everyone thought I was smarter
Then to be misled.

https://mojim.com

And you’re cussing the salesman AND yourself first being so naive?

Well here’s proof that they (‘someone’ in pain or otherwise distressed) were swayed with misinformation (from physicians, brochures in Dr’s offices and a huge marketing campaign) that MAY have led to their drastic downslide into addiction and some into death 😢

Here’s what the investigations found

  • 1. A well-intentioned effort among some physician groups to better manage chronic pain2. False marketing claims about addiction to new, longer-acting opioids
    3. Lack of physician education on the use of drugs with high abuse potentials
    4. Direct-to-physician marketing
    5. Provider-run pill mills
    6. Culture of drug use and abuse
    7. Multitude of cheap, widely available drugs of abuse including black tar heroin
    8. Over-prescription of narcotics
    9. Expansion of Mexican drug cartels
    10. Corporate greed

This is a great video ( if you can call the whole thing great) explaining it. This is what chapter 4 in my book coming out this year is about.

Even Walmart admitted there were Red flags

Whoever and whatever may have contributed to this crises, the remnants of it’s hurricane force winds go on. Not only are the grieving families still suffering the kids if their family member; but others, who have the nightmare of a child still involved, is excruciating.

It’s easy to tell someone to “let go” or ‘live your life” because you can’t control another person’s actions; but that doesn’t make it easy.

Despite, the solution, or the correct course of action, when people are suffering it’s NOT the time to tell them it’s their fault. If its the person suffering with substance use disorder, shaming them into recovery has never worked.

If it’s the the suffering parents, saying such things as:

“You should have got them help….” Is just cruel.

I will never understand the social media comments that are so insensitive towards such a massive problem in our society, no matter what or who is the cause. It doesn’t matter how it started really…… Just how we can give suffering people hope….

God help me to never become that callous🙏🙄🙏

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The Gift of Gratefulness

My little chihuahua watched with piercing concentration as I sat down to eat my breakfast one morning. Hope and anticipation filled his eyes as he wondered and thought about what delicious morsels I must be devouring without him. As I took a bite of my pancake, I dropped a piece for him. He sniffed it thoroughly and decided against tasting it. I continued on. The next bite was filled with syrup and melted butter, so I thought, maybe he would like a piece of that. I dropped a small piece of dripping sticky pancake knowing he would be both my broom and mop on the hardwood floor.

He sniffed it and nothing……

It wasn’t good enough.

Bandit

His taste buds were not geared for sweets like humans and he wanted no part of this meatless society.

I stared at his pleading face, as I looked over at his dog bowl which was full of dry dog food. I felt a God-like superiority over him as I analyzed how to best handle this 9-pound varment.

“Dude”, I said. ” you have a bowl full of water, a bowl full of food, and a sticky warm piece of flour and sugar right under your nose. Why aren’t you happy?”

I felt the irony in this statement before I even finished my sentence. Is this what God says to us?

Why aren't we happy?

Many studies, articles, and books address this in-depth. Millions and billions of dollars have been made trying to get us to find happiness. After years of self-help books, seminars, and searching among various forms of religions; I can truly say that happiness is only found within a place that none of these things can buy. Although I’m still convinced that if I were financially independent and secure, I could pursue this study 24/7 and get back to you on that 😘; it appears that by watching those who have immense wealth, it still isn’t enough. They are not satisfied. They seek higher positions of power and prestige. The balance between being content, having enough, and placating the human ego or the drive for more seems to be a hidden secret.

I do believe happiness is fleeting.

Moments of bliss, followed by disappointment. What more can we expect really? Do we want to be in a heightened state of euphoria always? As a mother of a person who uses drugs problematically; I can tell you what he has told me. He said this state of euphoria is so powerful that it keeps people stuck in the cycle of trying to find that peak again and again.

Are we any different? Our desires may not be illegal or reach the height of divorce, bankruptcy, jail or heaven forbid- death; but as I stated in this post, we all are just trying to fill our needs.

Of course, we should be grateful for any and every ounce of blissness we get. But what about our problems? Is there a way to be grateful for those?

When my kids were little, I know I worried like crazy with each little thing that “seemed” like a variant off of the beaten path. Like my substance use disorder son’s ADD. How hard for him to follow instructions and learn in the traditional school setting. But when he got put in the world and could do his own thing, he thrived. Until he, himself, wanted more. This video warmed my heart on that subject.

That little boy who seemed so out of sync with “others” had a power and talent all his own. Don’t we all? Just because we don’t fit into someone else box. Or just because someone’s journey (or recovery) isn’t going as fast as we want, or the direction we want.

Today I’m in complete gratefulness. My son has been in rehab for one week. That might not seem like a big deal but considering it’s what I’ve prayed for-for 2 years, it’s a miracle! The other strange thing is for the 30+ rehabs I have searched and written to in the last 2 years, my son ended up in one just a few miles from my house. I didn’t plan that but ultimately I’m grateful. The first few nights I tossed and turned worried he would show up at my door having walked out, but now I’m just taking of day by day. When he went in, I tried to give him one of these blue bracelets that states:

One Day At A Time

But he said that was “too rehab-ey”. Oh, that boy. My rehab-resistant but trying- his- hardest boy. I’m grateful for any scraps of pancakes or any scraps of willingness I can get.

The cherry on top – (or syrup & butter) will be when my son finds his happiness and his bliss- without substances of course.

May we all find our peace and our fleeting moments of happiness
✨💝✨
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The Path Forward

I must love the analogy of a road.

Stretching out in the horizon. The path beyond seeing. The unknown just waiting for me to arrive to its party. Characters awaiting backstage to act out their best performance.

Then hiding behind the curtain to see my reaction. Everyone wants a show. The sparkly draw of drama, anger in its raw-est form. The ego on full display. Pain with lots of tears. The journalists love a pained heart. To bring out emotion from a torn soul makes for a great story that leaves people angry and quickly searching for who’s to blame. Then there’s the empty souls who are jealous of what passion is evoked out of this pain. How could someone care so much about anything? They shake their head in bewilderment, as they go back to their monotone life, not realizing that their bewilderment is their passion. They are playing out their part perfectly. The neutral, apathetic but always in control stagehand.

Everywhere I go I take a picture of roads.

It must mean I’m leaving all the stress and worry of the past behind.

It must mean that I have hope.

Hope in humanity. Hope in Love. Hope that someday I’ll get to a place where my hurt heart is settled on a comfy soft pillow and resting in bliss that today it will be alright. Today there won’t be any “what- ifs” or “what was’s”. That today I won’t ruminate on the past. Of loss, lost memories, people, places that tear at heartstrings.

Rarely have I taken a picture in my rear-view mirror. So why does my brain live there? 

Why do I insist on dwelling on what I don’t have? As a mom of little toddlers, if I gave them a treat or a toy and they threw it on the ground in a fit of whiney anger, did I keep giving them more to to try to appease them?

Maybe.

Once or twice. But soon I realized that they would never be happy with anything until I fixed the real problem.

Are you hungry? Sad? Tired?

Until WE fix what is bothering us right now, we can never be at peace.

“But!” you plead, “it’s not ME! If only xyz would do xyz THEN I could be happy.” Logically we know we can’t control another. Logically we know we are being puppets to their story. We are acting out as the victim, then the villain, then the hero. We want to be the star of our own story. We want to wrap up the ending with “and they lived happily ever after”.

God how we want that!!! Our heart soars at the possibility of that happening. The human Spirit in action. The human spirit of survival. It’s what kept little babies alive when supposedly they were born and mom couldn’t take care of them they could follow the Linea nigra: a dark line stretching from the top of the pubic hair to the belly button, sometimes extending to the breast, so babies could find the milk filled nipples.

Holly Clark/Stocksy

Might be an old wives tail but maybe the road in all my pictures represent a linea nigra. My lifeline to HOPE.

I once asked an elderly housekeeper in the hospital where I worked what it was that got her up everyday. She had loads of energy and never complained. She told me, “It’s the curiosity of what each new day bring”. Wow. How can I be that willing? That curious? How can I forge- forward without fear?

Right now I’m at the crest of the hill. The very farthest point you can see in the picture. I’m hopeful. Nervous curious. Wanting. Craving peace. That peace is different for everyone. It might be a problem solved. A Love resolved. A bill paid off. Or it might be coming to terms with what is.

Here’s my collection of What if’s. My roads to hope. Followed by Jack Canfield’s advice to keep being present as life unfolds.

JACK CANFIELD

Think of a car driving through the night. The headlights only
go a hundred to two hundred feet forward, and you can make
it all the way from California to New York driving through
the dark, because all you have to see is the next two hundred
feet. And that's how life tends to unfold before us. If we just
trust that the next two hundred feet will unfold after that,
and the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, your
life will keep unfolding. And it will eventually get you to
the destination of whatever it is you truly want, because you
want it.
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Defining Enabling for Ourselves

I usually avoid using the word ‘Enabling‘ because of the broad definition of it’s meaning and because of the negative connotations. I still believe that no one else can “decide” for someone else what enabling is. Each situation is so unique that I believe it’s a disservice to assess a situation based on one paragraph in a support group.

Of course we all learn as we go. There is really no other way to navigate through this maze of addiction or any other debilitating situation that renders the person unable to manage their life. To leave them floundering in their chaos just doesn’t seem right to me. Although I don’t support my son while in active addiction, I will support any and all things recovery.

I like this article from Nova Recovery with whom I have no affiliation with- because it lays out most of the facts surrounding helping with addiction. There are always unique situations and no one knows your particular one. I do have trouble with “Don’t act out of fear” because of the increased risk of death or long term prison sentences.

I also don’t like the last paragraph lol.

Tell me what you think.

The Enabling Cycle: When Helping isn’t Helping

Nova Recovery Center | Posted on June 1, 2016

Drug addiction does not discriminate, it doesn’t care if your rich or poor, famous or unknown, a man or woman, it doesn’t care what race or age you are. Many people can relate first hand to the effects of the drug epidemic in America, and parents are crying out with pleas of help. Everyone connected to the person abusing drugs can and will get hurt, husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, babies, other family members and friends.

Drug addiction doesn’t only hurt the user, but everyone else connected to him or her also. Substance abuse and addiction is a very serious problem for many people. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that, in the year before the survey, more than 23 million people needed treatment for substance abuse. However, only 2.5 million received drug treatment. Even more staggering 21.5 million of them reported that they saw no need to seek help. This figure suggests that many people are in denial about the severity of their substance abuse.

The reason behind this denial are complex, but one common reason is enabling. This means that someone close to the user is accepting their substance abuse and allowing it to continue with relatively few consequences. Enabling can be extremely dangerous, both for drug user and their loved ones. Since enabling discourages users from addressing their problem with professional help, it can lead to situations that cause physical, mental and psychological harm.

dssaaaa

Enabling protects them from the consequences of their choices and actions. The more you let them depend on you and take you for granted, the less motivated they are to change. Most enablers start off doing a nice thing for the drug user, usually something to help them out. They always have the best intentions and fully believe they’re helping, but they fail to realize that drug users are selfish and use manipulation to get what they want. The enabler enables because it gives them a false sense of self and makes them feel needed. They also feel control over the other person (through guilt) by helping them. However, they ironically still end up feeling resentful, frustrated, or unappreciated. Thus starting the cycle of enabling which can be extremely difficult to break. In my recent years of working in the addiction field, I’ve come to understand deeply the effects of enabling on the user and the enabler. Here is an example chart of the cycle of enabling.

Other examples of enabling are:

  • Ignoring the addict’s negative or potentially dangerous behavior – This behavior can involve anything from overlooking problems to denying that a problem even exists
  • Difficulty expressing emotions – Enablers are often unsure how to express their feelings, especially if there are negative repercussions for doing so
  • Prioritizing the addict’s needs before her own – While it is natural to want to help loved ones, enabling takes helping a step too far, where the addict has her needs taken care of while the enabler neglects her own
  • Acting out of fear – Since addiction can cause frightening events, the enabler will do whatever it takes to avoid such situations
  • Lying to others to cover the addict’s behavior – An enabler will lie to keep the peace and to present a controlled, calm exterior
  • Blaming people or situations other than the addict – To protect the addict from the consequences of drug abuse, the enabler might accuse other people of causing drug abuse
  • Resenting the addict – The result of the above behaviors is that the enabler will likely feel angry and hurt. She may act on these feelings by resenting the addict all while continuing to enable the addiction.

Breaking The Cycle of Enabling.

While enabling can be a serious problem for everyone involved with addiction, it is completely possible to break the enabling cycle so the addict can heal in productive, meaningful ways. Here are some suggestions to help someone stop enabling:

  • Don’t lie for anyone. Don’t be the parent or wife who gets on the phone and says her husband or son is sick when he’s hungover or using.
  • Don’t make excuses for others when they don’t fulfill their obligations.
  • Don’t clean up after a substance abuser. They should see the damage they’ve done and the chaos they’ve caused.
  • Be accountable for your bills only. If you’re not responsible for it, don’t pay it. Especially when dealing with consequences that addicts create. Don’t bail them out of jail, unless they want drug treatment help.
  • Stand up for yourself. You don’t have to be mean, but you do have to put your foot down. Setting and creating healthily boundaries allows you to gain your own life back.
  • Don’t rescue. A person must suffer the consequences of their actions. Which means don’t pay for lawyers or post bail. Many enablers turn from helping to saving and recusing quickly. Soon all of their thoughts and actions surround only the user, and they’re missing out on their own life.
  • Stop trying to fix everybody. You’re not a magician and you’re not God. Work on yourself. Get the support of friends, family members and counselors. Join Al-Anon or some other 12-step program. Do whatever it takes to stop yourself from hurting somebody else with your notion of helping.

Real love for somebody is being able to step back and allow them to suffer enough to recognize their need to change.

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Who’s To Blame?

Repost from February 2021

Ahh who’s to blame for the opioid epidemic? Notwithstanding personal responsibility, of course, but It’s easy to blame the Sacklers and the physicians for pushing it all those years ago. All for-profit as they seem to have zero remorse. But some people, prefer to blame “the enabler” for another’s addiction.

According to some current trends, us mom’s fit that label.

This tears my heart out because most of (or some of) my addiction uneducated (& unhealed) family, pretty much blame me for our addicted loved one for not choosing recovery. It’s a ridiculous unnecessary concept that I would be responsible for my son’s behavior.

It’s as if a very thick line has to be drawn for team X and team Y.
These people are all as deeply traumatized as I am about my son’s fall into addiction.
He was the family hero, leader & (I assume) they all just think it’s a matter of willpower on his part and his willpower would be higher if I didn’t do x & z ?

In reality, I hardly do anything for him, but they haven’t taken the time to actually talk to me about it. He’s the never mentioned elephant in the room who’s hasn’t been in the room for going on 2 years……
They have all shunned him & refuse to even talk to him- mostly because, yes, once every few months he does ask for money, or he will ask my sons for a business tool, etc… Which is denied.
So, as you can see, there’s a lot of burned
Bridges, hurt feelings, betrayal, abandonment… Everything that goes along with addiction.
And somehow, Moms are supposed to fix all that?

"If mom would just quit helping him", he would shape up.

Bottom line. My son is very very ill. He’s so incredibly stubborn and very ADD- which makes it all the worse. He’s still very ill.
He is also still my hero because even as an addict he has treated me better than most of my family.
This is why I’m so sensitive to all the enabling posts seen on support groups. My son is still a human, a struggling one. He has lost over 100 lbs. He still has nothing to his name. No car, no tools, yet still will go and pour a little driveway with great pride. (He used to run 3 businesses)
I love Resurrektion of Me on IG because her posts on people deserving of basic needs despite them doing things we don’t agree with-hits home to me right now.

If tough love worked, my son should be better by now. If caring and emotionally supporting him is a reason to stay in addiction then I guess I am the cause.

Bless us all🥰

Home Base

Fighting Against Someone’s Free Agency

Way back in the 4th grade at Lincoln Elementary in small town America, some 40+ years ago; I remember seeing the anti smoking video of someone with a hole in their throat who didn’t let that stop them from smoking.

It horrified me so much I ran home in tears begging my Mom to PLEASE STOP SMOKING.

“Do It For Me! Please, Mom. Can’t you see I need you? Can’t you see I’m scared you will leave me then who will take care of me? Because if you leave me I will have a lifetime of fear of loss and will spend immense amounts of energy to avoid loss”

– the inner child of Samantha Waters.

I didn’t actually say all that. But now I know that my fear of losing people begin with that moment, only to be followed by the lesson that it’s not just losing people I have to fear. I had countless pet dogs run over by cars on the busy main street we lived on. Oh, how I mourned each of their deaths. It didn’t matter how much I vowed to keep them tied up, or behind a gate- NEVER in the house!; they always seemed to get out & became infatuated with chasing those moving black tires. As I sat beside each dying dog, with tears streaming down my freckled little girl face; I vowed to do better next time. To love harder. To be more responsible.

To control the actions of another so that I can feel better.

I really thought I could control the universe or at least those around me. Not in a domineering narcissistic way. I’m as far from that personality as can be. (Some might disagree) but my intent is the same, I suppose: to help ME feel better.

You see, when faced with these losses, every single time throughout my young life, I didn’t know how I was ever going to get through it. I felt incompetent to handle it, to forge through those uncomfortable emotions. Losing my brother, my hero, my protector, when I was 14 was my biggest devastation. It shook my whole confusing world even more and left me feeling more alone than ever. I would avoid working through those emotions for a period of 10 years at least. I accomplished this denial by not talking about it and using other behaviors of co-dependence and “clinginess” to specific people and things to give me that sense of feeling relevant and in control. Relevant enough to make things and people want to stay……

Of course that doesn’t work, which creates a wounded soul with somewhat of a inferior ego and victim mentality. I’m not going to go into the psychology of these terms, but to me it just means that the world is harsh.

After watching Netflix’s: Sensitive, the untold story, I realized that my sensitivity to the harshness of the world was a unique minority but certainly not rare. I would like to say that the losses and tragedies in my life have made me stronger, but I’m not so sure because I still feel incompetent to handle traumas as they come up.

Of course we all have thoughts of “if only”. I do know enough that those thought are NOT helpful and keep us stuck in the past. Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of “time is not linear” thoughts. This helps me feel better because it relieves the pressure of:

“I should know better”.

If our experiences fail to teach us how to react and feel “the correct feelings” then what excuse do we have? What if it’s just a matter of clumping certain experiences together as a journey themselves, not in a particular timeline? I like that.

I’m not talking about defense mechanisms. Our experiences drive those. I’m referring to the positive coping skills and healthy thoughts that “should” happen with each new drama and trauma we have.

My mom never did quit smoking until her diagnosis of lung cancer in her early 70’s. She was very lucky to have that long of an earthly life with the tobacco habits she maintained. And I was blessed to have her in my life and my children’s life for that long. I took care of my Mom, emotionally and in a lot of physical ways my whole life, and it was an honor, not a chore. It helped make me who I am. Had she “changed” into the person I wanted her to be back then, I may not be the person I am today.

At the time of that little girl running home to beg my mom to quit smoking, was all I wanted in the entire world. When my brother died, all I wanted in the entire world was for that not to happen. When each of my kids did things against what I wanted for them, I pleaded and bartered with my God to change their minds. When people rejected me, I suffered in silent anger and bitterness. Luckily hindsight 20/20 is almost always forgiving with wisdom and clarity.

I now can forgive all those who didn’t ‘do as I wanted them to’, but mostly I forgive that little girl who was just struggling to survive, just like everyone else.

“The very person you find it hardest to forgive is the one you need to let go of the most. Forgiveness means letting go. It has nothing to do with condoning behavior; it’s just letting the whole thing go. We do not have to know how to forgive. All we need to do is be willing to forgive. The universe will take care of the hows.” – Louise Hay

Where does “free agency” and doing things for others’ benefit meet? Many battles have been fought for this idea. I mean, sure – a parent shouldn’t smoke for or around her kids, but there’s that dastardly word: Should”.

Lots of things shouldn’t happen, but they do.

It’s out of our control. We have heard in modern psychology for years to take care of ourselves first. To fill our cup. We instinctively know that people can’t be responsible for others’ happiness. It just never works. There are too many variables. The person who runs around trying to please each person they interact with is not called being polite, it’s called exhausting. In these moments of confusion when I don’t know which master to please, I turn to Matt Kahn’s wisdom of loving the girl in me who doesn’t know what to do. Loving the crying girl, the girl in mourning for her brother, for her parents now gone, and for the unraveling of her family due to the effects of substance use. It’s ok to not know the answers or the outcomes. It’s ok just to LOVE the one who wonders.

At this moment, the Universe wants you to know….
It’s not a matter of what happens, but how we choose to respond, that determines our level of consciousness. Whether able to act courageously in the face of despair, or continually shut down whenever change arrives, self-love is always the answer.
It may not lessen the pain or change your reality on command, but it will always give you everything you need to be the unwavering support, unlimited compassion, and irrefutable source of forgiveness absent from the past. From honoring the one who needs to know every detail about the future before stepping forward, to embracing the one who only knows doubt– and even acknowledging the one who yearns for love but has no idea how to feel worthy enough to receive it, every experience offers countless opportunities to deepen our relationship with our hearts as a gateway into the oneness of Source energy.
Rather than attempting to embrace the past,
what if you took the time to honor the
one it happened to?
Instead of trying to passively accept the injustices of life, why not passionately acknowledge the authenticity within you that cannot be okay when anyone is denied, persecuted, harmed, alienated, shamed, or judged for any reason? What if you didn’t blame yourself for being so sensitive, but cherished how naturally open you are to receiving the gift of life, no matter how daunting or delicious any moment seems?
Even when you are unable to love, simply resting in the blessing of “May this moment help me learn to love as never before” inspires milestones of growth that uplift your experience, while energetically assisting in the transformation of others. On behalf of the Universe, when the world seems cruel, we become more caring. When witnessing the unthinkable, we respond with greater thoughtfulness. When the world denies its pain, we dare to turn towards it. When life appears to be at its darkest hour, we shine our lights to brighten each perspective. This is the way of the new spiritual paradigm.
All For Love,
Matt Kahn

Home Base

Pink Beaches in Utah

As I stood on the bank of the large lake just 35 minutes from my house; I gazed out at the pristine waters that spread from east to west. The barren brown mountain to the north was a stark contrast to the bluish Oquirrh mountains beyond the sparkling water.

I walked toward the water, expecting to feel squishy sand on the beach. Instead, I felt the hardened salt crystals stand their ground under the weight of my sandals. The only sound to be heard was the crunching of the salty “ice” under our feet.

The breeze was salty too, as if to not be left out. The crisp fall air that I had distinctly felt the last few days was noticeably gone- likely retreating back to its summer hibernation and graciously allowing the hot summer sun to have one more day of service.

My husband and I were on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River and the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere- according to visitSaltLake.com.

The pink water on this particular side, are due to the millions of brine shrimp which are {tiny} aquatic creatures called brine shrimp, they eat algae instead of grass, and there are about 17 trillion of them”.

Atlas Obscura
"The brine shrimp are grazing crustaceans, surviving on a diet of algae that grows in Utah’s Great Salt Lake. They reproduce by laying hardy eggs called cysts, which survive over the winter and hatch each spring to restart the population. Brine shrimp cysts have been harvested there for decades—it’s a $67 million-a-year industry that supplies food for fish farms around the world—and since 1992...."-Atlas Obscura
Photo Credit

The brine shrimp bring back a fond memory from my childhood. Remember the sea monkeys ads?

Our pink shrimp adventure was one of many weekend jaunts we took in the beautiful mountains and deserts surrounding our city and state. But this one was different.

This time, I didn’t have to force myself to not think of my son.

I didn’t have to wonder if he survived the night. I didn’t have to wonder if he was in Vegas getting shot at.

I didn’t have to wonder if this mountain, or desert, or landmark would be the one where they call me to tell me my son passed away.

Although no days are promised to any of us, this time, I knew my son was relatively safe.

This time, after a series of miracles, my son was inside a rehab, (hopefully) starting his final journey of recovery.

It’s been almost 2 years since he entered his first and only rehab. He went out of state after a family intervention, just like you see on TV. He did ok there, despite it being a bit scammy. He made it 72 days clean.

The last 2 years have left me and those close to him, swimming in darkness as we struggled to understand the terrifying grip this disease has on him. But just like the brine shrimp above-their brine eggs remain viable in dry conditions for several years- because of desiccation tolerance; my son was being preserved in his “drought”.

"Desiccation tolerance refers to the ability of an organism to withstand or endure extreme dryness, or drought-like conditions. This means that physiological or behavioral adaptations to withstand these periods are necessary to ensure survival". source

Oh how my heart would weep at what conditions my sons life was in, at his little kids’ left behind and in the real possibilities of harm or loss of his freedom that awaited. I would weep in joy at others’s successes, then turn to sorrow that my son & our family was still struggling.

Little did I know that like the brine shrimp eggs in drought, or in their normal cold winter; those seeds of hope and love were being nourished in my son in the form of faith that he could pull through his “drought” period.

Yesterday, after not seeing my beautiful boy for 16 months-my husband and I embarked on another adventure- a midnight trek- driving 800 miles that ended in the sheer joy of watching my son walk willingly into a rehab and say: Thank you.

I know that nothing is promised. Many would say that this doesn’t mean anything. Addicts go through rehabs like Cars in McDonald’s drive-through. But my son is very rehab-resistant (for that very reason) and his rock bottom is as deep as the sea. He acclimates to every new level of condition that this life style has thrown at him. So to see the willingness of him to go through the door of the rehab, makes this mama’s heart soar.

May we all find joy in the present. In the beauty of now. Whatever droughts we have been through to whatever the future holds; may we offer Seeds of Hope and Love to all those around us.

I hope you enjoy my pictures.