A few months ago, I wrote a story about a place in Texas that I visited called Natural Bridge Caverns. 61 years ago, Clara Wuest from New Braunfels, Texas stood on a spot on her farm and asked God to help her raise her 2 little boys alone after her husband died trying to milk a cactus, sort of. Little did she know what was underneath.

This story was similar to this newer cave that was discovered, recently in another country:

The reason these hidden treasures appeal to me- other than normal treasure hunting curiosity- is because one day we are just walking around with certain elephants on our shoulders, or the opposite: not a care in the world; & the next minute our world drops out, literally, from us.

“They” say – whoever “they” are- that we are all one paycheck away from homelessness or one argument away from divorce. I could apply this to substance use and say “one h..¥¥ or one bottle away from losing everything & ruining family cohesiveness and family functions, but my sarcasm isn’t even funny today. So ignore that comment.

Yesterday was my son’s 35th birthday. For one year, I have prayed he would make it to 35. I even made all my passwords reflect that hope. So imagine that I woke up to his continued “missing in action” in Las Vegas of all places, and had the feeling to call the Clark county morg.

Yup, that’s where we are. I’ve called Emergency Rooms once before, and the booking report is on my home screen, but never this. As the answering service paged the mortician on call, I find myself wondering like Brandon Novak states repeatedly:

“How did we get here?

Luckily the very nice mortician, who must receive worried mom calls alot; informed me there was no John Doe’s in the last 24 hrs.

This debilitating fear.

Addiction loves to shroud us in it’s victimhood and make us go dark & despondent with brooding thoughts of death and destruction. I mean, we really don’t even need the thoughts- we can SEE the devastation with our own eyes in our precious children.

But we don’t have to stay there.

So how do we turn this fear into hope or at least some sense of inner peace?

A recovered addict had this to say about us Moms:

Shared with permission

Disclaimer: I do not agree with the word enabling as it has negative, guilt-inducing connotations AND it means different things in different situations, so I cut out the middle part….

“I see so many mothers in this group with broken hearts and it honestly kills me. I was in active addiction for 15+ years and have been in recovery for 8+ years. One of my biggest regrets, through it all, was the heartache I caused my parents and my daughter. My brother still struggles with addiction today and I wish I could help him! I wish I could bottle up how good it feels to be in recovery and pass it on to every struggling addict. Recovery can only be received by a person that is ready. No amount of begging, screaming, talking, crying will ever work unless they are doing it for themselves. We can place our loved ones into treatment by court order or they can be placed there as part of their sentencing, but until they want it to stick, it will not………….. Love yourself as much as possible. Live and enjoy the life that you have left. You are killing yourselves for ones who will not save themselves. Let your children know you love them and when they are ready for treatment, you will be there. This is a battle only an addict can win. You can be a part of their addiction or their recovery, but not both. Also, We DO recover!! It takes some longer than others.

My prayers are with you all and if I could be of any assistance, please let me know”.❤️- Tamika Watts

I want to highlight the take care of yourself part. Hold onto hope and live in your peace, despite the chaos around you. Just like the discovery of the ice caves in my story, you never know when that moment will come that your life will be changed. You could be standing over a GOLD MINE while worrying about how the ground looks or looking at all the weeds. They say complaining brings about more of what we don’t want and gratitude brings about more of what we do want. The challenge is trying to find that gratitude in the middle of dire circumstances.

Where is my hidden cave of gems? Is it gratitude waiting in the darkness for me to discover it? Am I losing diamonds because I see too many stones? Am I unable to see the blessings of strength & perseverance because the prize isn’t in front of me, all shiny and being worshipped?

I’m in darkness regarding my son’s illness.

I don’t know the outcome, yet as of right now – there’s hope because I haven’t been told otherwise. If I can get out of my head & not jump to catastrophe thinking, I might have some moments of peace for my gratitude to expand.

It is in gratitude that we find true happiness. 

It’s Just a Light

It’s just a light in my bedroom.

A battery operated LED light to help my aging eyes see the light gray words printed on tan pages, as so many of the older books have.

It’s a light to help me wind down at night. To take my mind off the endless, circular motion of my worried brain as it goes round and round the catastrophic thinking that has become my daily companion.

The batteries recently died in my “light”. I replaced them, then realized that the velcro holding it to my bed was peeled off & I wasn’t sure if I had anymore. It was useless if I had to prop it up or hold it. “Oh well”, I thought, as I snuggled into my bed.

I'm too tired to care.

This had become my motto recently.

We had been camping all weekend and I was exhausted. My husband was busy packing to leave out of town for work.

As I drifted off to sleep I awoke to see him sticking my brand newly velcroed LED light in its place on my bed.

I couldn’t believe it. Or maybe I could. This man spent all weekend hauling around campers and coolers and ATVs to make sure I could relax all weekend. He even climbed up a huge steep mountain- in a rainstorm- to find me some Geodes, hauling the 50+lbs down the slippery mountain.

These acts of service may not appeal to everyone, but after the few years of struggle with my son that we’ve had- it’s the little things……AND it’s the things that we normally wouldn’t appreciate, that matter. Especially in times of stress.

You see: my husband isn’t my substance use disorder son’s father. He only knows him as “the addict”. He doesn’t know This Guy. The fun-loving guy who always has a funny story to tell. The guy who never stops talking, but yet not in an annoying way. He always has some idea, some thought or joke to tell. Always smiling. My long lost funny boy.

My husband doesn’t understand my feelings of loss.

The losing someone while their still alive-loss. The missing of family vacations- before addiction stuck its ravaged head into our business of happy little family-loss.

He doesn’t understand my literal consume-ment of my son’s addiction. With his life.

But he cares about me.

And he cares about my self care. Thus -he cares about my light.

In the world of substance use disorder, it’s easy to feel alone and that no one can possibly understand. It’s so important to find bits of support wherever we can. They may not understand what we’re going through, but they can still care.

I was watching one of my favorite shows, “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” It was about a man who crashed his plane into the African bush. When rescued he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard these words:

"You're in safe hands now." 

You may not have a partner, but we can all find our “safe hands” or our “light”- if we start looking for the small miracles.


I woke up today shrouded in worry & dread. Wishing for so many “things” that I want to happen to me and those I love.
Things that would surely calm my riddled heart of chaos.
While watching the planes go to and from the airport and seeing my little doggie without a care in the world, I realized that although those planes LOOK like they’re in a straight line, it’s only because they are so close to their destination. They are coming in for the landing or just taking off with high hopes and lots of turbo.

Yet, while in the air, they are tossed to and fro and veering off course many times.

What if they gave up midair, saying “to hell with these clouds, I can’t see where I’m going”.

Just like the plane’s journey mine and my kids’ are also riddled with turbulent clouds at times, spilled drinks, vomiting, fear, confusion, blankets.

I realized that most of the “things” that I want are long-acting things.

Most are actually out of my immediate control. Sure I can do all the prep work & hustle in all directions trying this way and that way to pull people and circumstances my way. Wanting immediate results!! But my work must end there.
At some point I have to give it up and just love the journey without regard to the possible outcomes.

Holding space- giving grace.

I can still align myself with the highest vibration possible.

I can still give unconditional love and support.
But ultimately others have their part to play too. I can’t force someone to hire me. I can’t take away my kid’s problems or pain. I can only fly steady.while appreciating the many experiences and blessings I have NOW!

My day turned out to have a lot of turbulence- locked out of my house, phone dead. Wouldn’t charge. Stuck giving plasma for an hour with no book to read or phone to look at lol (that’s torture). Bombed one interview.
But I also rocked another interview! I was pretty much offered a position that I didn’t even apply for 🤞🙏(we’ll see on Friday)
And I was touched by the kindness angel 😇again, who always seems to rescue me.
Life is sooooo full of blessings if we can look past the turbulence.