Uncategorized

Gratefulness In the Midst of Worry

As I read this post from a fellow blogger, I couldn’t help but remember hearing that story/ analogy in church years ago.

What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days. At the time, I thought my life was difficult but compared to now, I would go back any day. My parents were alive and my kids were all home and safe.

The thought of addiction affecting my family was completely out of my head.

But tonight, after going down memory lane on my phone with pictures and videos, I felt the familiar sadness creeping up from my belly….

I hate feeling bad for what isn’t anymore. I hate not being able to enjoy almost 33 years of my kids memories just because the last 3 have been bad.

But as I read my fellow blogger’s story of Thanksgiving, I realized I was kicking God in the teeth. ( I wonder if (He) has tee….. Nevermind).

Why didn’t I stop & tell my kids how much hardship they would face? And how strong they are? Why do they look so sweet and innocent then? As if they would be ok, with just life’s normal struggles?

Because they WERE sweet & innocent. They never wanted life to be so difficult. They ARE strong. They have just forgotten. Like in a coma with amnesia. They’ve Forgotten who they are. Forgotten their strength. They’ve become identified with their struggle. Labeling themselves, as society has labeled them.

In my defense, i probably did tell them.

And I’m trying to now -in their worst moments-even as adults. As my fellow blogger put it:

Respond to your children with love in their worst moments, their broken moments, their angry moments, their selfish moments, their lonely moments, their frustrated moments, their inconvenient moments; because it is in their most unlovable human moments that they most need to feel loved.― L. R. Knost

For now, instead of dwelling in the past and feeling sad, I will rejoice and embrace the time I had with my little ones; knowing that I did the best I could with the precious gifts God gave me. I served him. I loved them. I will continue to love them despite their choices.

Instead of getting mad at God for not moving the mountains that I want moved; I will praise him for entrusting me with their care. Despite my moments of guilt and despair, I still believe that I was their choice for a Mother, for whatever reason.

Lauren Daigle says it best

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.

Home Base, Uncategorized

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 🇺🇲