Against A Crooked Sky

As I drive through the windy canyon, the familiar rolling hills of my hometown gave way to the rows of turkey coops dotting the fields. Years ago, raising turkeys was the main livelihood for the country farmers. As a child, I would help my dad drive the trucks between the feeders to fill them up with grain. That little blonde girl roaming the countryside, looking for another adventure; seems like a million eons ago.

I had been making this trip more and more recently. To see my boys, all three of them- in the same town together! Finally, after many years of living in different parts of the state, they end up just 2 houses apart. Jobs, families, and that creep- addiction had separated our family and torn it to shreds. But the last 3 months were a true miracle. My eldest son had done a complete 180 and turned his life completely around. It took a brush with death- a new scary heart diagnosis, but it still was his choice.

His new mindset was completely focused on becoming legal again, resolving his court cases, trying to reunite with his kids, and forging a new career where he could meet all his financial obligations. Well, that and surviving heart disease too.

Most of those went smoothly but not effortlessly, although he has a way of making it seem so.

My goal and purpose with this trip and others was to enjoy every second I had with him and my other kids.

I wish I could capture the feeling of opening up Facebook and seeing my son doing life. Eating out, going to the lake, kayaking, riding ATVs. Things they had done together 4 years ago, now seemed like nothing had ever come between them.

I wish I could take this feeling of relief and gently hand it to every hurting Mom. I wish I could share my splintered heart whose gaps are being filled up with small mementos of my much-awaited hope.

Hope that I spent years clinging to. Yearning. Aching for moments that I have now. Along with it comes tinges of guilt. For those who are still suffering.

Maybe it's a bit like survivors guilt.

I vividly remember the anguish. The sleepless nights. I see certain pictures and it all comes back. The endless worry and feelings of powerlessness. The minute to minute panic of the perpetual other shoe dropping. I felt like I was running, running against the crooked sky.

Now I finally see the rainbow. The light at the end of the tunnel. The bliss of joy. Of relief.

I know that this good fortune could run out at any time, so it’s all the more reason, why I am covering myself in it. Soaking in his victories and just loving on him any chance I get. I think I’ve hugged him more in the last 3 months than 36 years. If only I could package up those hugs. Package up his essence, his joy. His smile every time I see him.

One of his little nephews asked if he was always so fun and pleasant, and we told him yes, he was. Later he can be told that sometimes drugs mask these qualities and that’s what the last 3 years were like. For now, it’s healing time.

I had this written on my chalk painted wall for an entire year.

If I could gift this feeling to other hurting Moms, I wouldn’t wrap it in a fluffy tissue bag with a pretty bow and a tag that says live, laugh, and love.

Instead, I would give them a bright glowing golden heart with the message: hold-on, hope-on, and heal-on.

A heart of intention, covered in precious dew drops of the tears of a thousand moms mourning the child they once knew. The dew would glisten and shine brightly to lead the way to give them hope. Hope that everyone’s heart can heal. I would pass its energy onto trembling hands that have no idea what’s in store.

I would cover those trembling hands with all the love and faith I could carry, gently warming them into a slow breathable calmness. Telling them to trust, to hope, to have faith that there is someone who loves them and their child even more.

Someone who has them gently wrapped in the palm of his hands ever so strongly, knowingly.

When the pain is almost unbearable, and they feel alone, they can hold on to that heart and connect to their loved one, wherever they may be.

When you can't see the light, the Rainbow. You can't see any way out. Come back to your heart. That's where the God of your understanding lies. That's where your peace is. 

💘
As my friend Joanne so lovingly states:
That's where your safety lies.  That's where your child is safest.
In your own heart 💜


https://mailchi.mp/d56448346eba/lovewins

The Spiderweb Trap

I’m having a fight with Charlotte. Charlotte watches me. I watch Charlotte. Charlotte is a lot smaller than me, but she still scares me.

I first met Charlotte- or Charlotte’s work– when I saw a little web over a picture frame in my bathroom window. I cleaned it off and forgot about it. A few days later, I noticed it again. I took everything off the window sill and scrubbed it down. A few days later – there it was again.

This happened 2 more times. I couldn’t ever see the creator of the web, but she was certainly persistent.

“Where was this master spinner at?”

Does she have a home that she spends time at and her web is just her workplace that she goes to at certain hours? A few days later, I finally captured the elusive spinner as she sat admiring her work, I’m sure.

Dang, it was a white spider which my superstitious Mom (rest in peace) always said never to kill or it would bring bad luck.

So here I was, seemingly held hostage by a tiny monster that I didn’t dare get rid of. Things were just starting to look wonderful, I didn’t need any more bad luck.

I didn’t dare risk it. So here we sit. Charlotte ruling the house from behind her magical screen like some wizard of oz behind the curtain.

As I watched this video by Joe Dispenza, it occurred to me that like him, Charlotte is more concerned with the future than the past. She doesn’t care how many times her home is wrecked, she’s gonna rebuild. Whatever my thoughts or opinions are about her, she won’t let it stop her. She’s gonna do her thing to live and survive the best she can.

What can I learn from this meager little powerhouse of an insect? That no matter what anyone else says or does, we can stay true to our own purpose, to our own joy and satisfaction.

We can spin our web however we want to. It’s OUR story. OUR pain, our joy.

Of course, connecting with others is human. We can’t really hide in a corner and entrap anything that comes along with vitriol and spitefulness. But we can heal enough so that we aren’t affected by others’ actions.

We can then open our hearts with love which like Joe says in turn opens up our neurons that expand [just like a spider web] and leads our brains to new ideas and learning. Staying stuck closes us off from open hearts and open minds.

How to heal? How to change our thoughts?

Joe describes it as waking up in the morning with a blank slate and NOT by focusing on our problems from yesterday. How much webbing could Charlotte get done if all she thought about was Euyore-like thoughts “It will probably just get crushed by some giant human hand in a giant white paper towel? Why even try?”

It’s fine to think about what needs to be done to fix things but not things that are out of our control. Joe says to use our thoughts to reaffirm our future – not to condition us to stay stuck in our past.

He states the way to do this is by visualizing your affirming thoughts. In other words, think about what kind of person you want to be such us loving and kind, not reactive and suspicious. Think of things you want to have happen. Things you want to do. Your brain doesn’t know the difference of whether you’re actually doing it or not, so it will start creating new proteins that reflect those activities and characteristics. This is actually creating a new YOU!

He talks about achieving “coherence between brain and heart” which makes synchronicity that creates a “laser focus” of information back and forth. This helps with stress, and reactivity, with patterns that no longer serve us. It creates new thoughts which turn into actions that create more opportunities in our lives so we don’t feel stuck in this web of negativity.

My hope is that we can use our magic to spin our webs of love. To catch joy and light into the strands of thoughts we produce. To reaffirm our beauty and our true selves into our own webs of life. To be able to find where our power and peace lie- free from past conditioning so we can be open to receiving more love and peace.

Summer Ducks, Eggs & Life

Behind my house, down the street, a ways, is a peaceful little urban fishing pond. It sits almost hidden among the 5 story apartments and towering businesses.

When I first moved to my little condo in 2016, I was thrilled when I came upon this jewel. It took me back to my country childhood full of ponds, rivers, and mountains. One of those rivers was the Sanpitch River.

The San Pitch River, extending 65 miles, is the primary watercourse of the Sanpete Valley and drains into the Sevier River in southwestern Sanpete. The river is named for the Ute chief Sanpitch, who also gives his name to the San Pitch Mountains and Sanpete County. Wikipedia

Many summer days were spent at that river despite it being a muddy, nasty adventure. It was common after swimming to climb into the shore and see your feet covered in little white bloodsuckers. We would scream and dance around and brush them off then jump on our bikes and ride home.

My urban duck pond is a bit cleaner, but not much. It’s full of debris and duck yuk but draws a few fishermen a day.

It has an attached playground and grassy area plus a Ferrell cat feeding area. On many hot summer days I would take my little chihuahua to the cool green grass and spend an hour or so.

On my most recent trip, I took a seat on the grass between the tall feather reed ornamental grasses and the ducks resting on the side. I looked over and noticed an egg sitting between me and the ducks.

Since it wasn’t in a nest, I could only assume the mother duck abandoned it due to it not being viable.

As I watched the ducks bask in the sun and stretch their wings; ignoring the egg; I couldn’t help but wonder how the mother knew the duckling had died. As I googled it, I came across this article about a duck who was retrieved from a mother and saved.

Mother duck dies, but removed egg hatches 26 days later

This sweet duck story could not have been more of a coincidence to my family’s situation right now. Some of my family members are exploring surrogacy to obtain a child for someone who doesn’t have any of their own. It’s radical since we have never done anything like this before. It’s exciting too.

I know that’s a little different than duck eggs but I couldn’t deny the relevance.

As I watched the ducks enjoy their day I thought of that abandoned egg in relation to just a few months before in my life. I have felt like I was fighting the battle of my son’s opioid addiction alone without a lot of family support for years. My husband has come a long way in his attitude toward addiction although he has always supported me and my efforts. It seemed to be just me and him against this monster of addiction that throws every axe and hot flame into every plan of action possible.

But 6 weeks ago on May 28th that all changed. My son was in ICU for difficulty breathing and low oxygen. He was intubated for 6 days. He was given a diagnosis of heart failure and given an unknown but bleak prediction of life expectancy. The cardiologist made it clear that the heart can only heal once so his lifestyle was paramount in making that happen.

The most amazing thing about it is the family support he and I received. His family rallied around him and he was even able to see his sweet daughter for the first time in years. I can’t even tell you how much of a difference that makes. The relief, the weight of the world seemed to have been taken off my shoulders and his. He couldn’t stop talking about it. I believe it made the difference between him giving up on life and going back to a lifestyle that would surely kill him.

I watched the ducks race to the water and seemingly play with each other. Or were they fighting over bugs? Whatever it was, they had to learn to survive and get along 24/7 in the confines of that pond. Some days I’m sure it’s a duck-eat-duck world, but ultimately they learn to survive and thrive.

Awee. My little fishing pond and the ducks that have been my summer friend for over five years now. They bring me a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the city all while teaching me about life and survival. And now that life feels like a lot less pressure and despair, I’m hoping these ducks and this pond will bring me more joy and beauty until the cold winds of winter descend. Until then, I will enjoy the massive heat wave we are experiencing and find balance and joy in all seasons.

Mint Plants

How can a plant help us see our lives in full circle? What can a few leaves, some dirt and a pot teach us about life?

What we think will never change- one day, suddenly changes!

That’s what!

I have 2 Mint plants. The one on the left was the healthy big one when I bought them. The next one over was a measly lifeless scraggly plant that was half the price. I had hope at first that I could save it, but soon decided it might not make it & I had the thought to toss it. After I trimmed the leaves off the healthy one, to put in my drinking water, it slowly died. Soon after, the second one took over & came to life & is now reaching for new heights. It’s growing up toward the skylight in my kitchen.

Funny thing is, there have been times in my life when I was the plant on the left. Other times the situation was exactly reversed.

Moral?

Don’t ever think you are destined forever in your troubles.

If I’ve learned anything in my short (5`3″) life, is that no matter how I feel or what just happened to me, it won’t last.

I KNOW it will change. Little by little I’ll feel better or something grand will happen out of the blue. Things have a way of working out. It’s just so hard to wait. Whatever it takes to get your mind clear & feeling better during that time is paramount. It’s taken me a lot of years to learn what I need to do to get to that place.

Had I learned it sooner, it might have saved a lot of heartaches. 

I was in the place on the left just one month ago. I thought all is lost, there’s no hope. But almost everything I have hoped for the last few years has happened.

I feel blooming.

Light. Hope. Happiness. Redeemed. Grateful.

Even- dare I say it? Joyful.

I wish I could say it was of my doing, but I can’t. My mood transformation is nothing short of a miracle. My family has come together like a forest full of lush blooming, sweet smelling greenery. The love and support which I thought was a distant dream, has magnified ten- fold. Amidst heartache and pain, it has blossomed deep family bonds that can only move forward.

I believe we can create our own miracles in the midst of struggle. Not by controlling others, but by honing in on our emotions and thoughts to pull us out of the depths of utter darkness.

Find your place & pull yourself up to it. Go toward the skylight. Find your Sun. Somedays you’ll be on top of the world. But be oh so humble when you are there. It can change in an instant. And don’t ever look down at that scraggly plant & think that you’re better than it. Both of you have the same innards inside. The same potential to be your greatness! It just might be hidden from the onlooking world. You both will ebb & flow thru life· So just be kind. Mostly to yourself.

When you are kind to yourself and others you can enjoy the flow so much more.

Remember to never, ever give up. Possibilities exist that are beyond our thinking when we are sinking. Faith in these possibilities, is a learned skill if you don’t naturally have that positivity.

Just remember:

YOU ARE UNFINISHED BUSINESS in MINT CONDITION!

Depression, Faith, Hope

If there’s one thing I’ve learned the last few years, is it’s ok to not know.

It’s ok to not know what the future holds. It’s ok to not have everything planned out. It’s ok to not know what the world will look like next year. I’m learning to trust by faith.

Faith over hope.

As I stated in this post, there’s a difference. In the process of just trusting, we may have some depression or sadness. As I listened to my audible tape “Care of the soul” on my way up to a camping trip yesterday, I listened with curiosity as he describes depression as a needed thing sometimes. It gives that space to reflect, to heal, to process. We don’t always have to live in this happy positive unauthentic state.

Anyone who’s experienced a “Dark night of the Soul” knows that you ultimately come out a better person. After all:

You can't know light without experiencing the dark. 
Notice dark night of the soul is about confronting of your own ego story and resistance to darkness. Facing the inner darkness is not about becoming evil. It is not an impossible task, cannot overwhelm or even harm what is real. It’s about accepting and integrating all of you. Inner darkness is the fear of seeing something you do not want to see, something that shakes up your conditioned understanding of the world and how it works. It is also the fear of feeling something you do not want to feel. Humans are taught by society how to hide these aspects of self. We are taught fear is a weakness. So we are taught to deny or avoid what evokes discomfort, taught to focus attention on things that feel good and overlook corruption, social-cultural mistreatment, abuse, exploitation of living creatures, Earth and human beings and energetic brainwashing of beliefs we come to hold. Many humans think they can run from their inner darkness. This is what is projected into the external world and what is arising to the surface as you are ready to acknowledge it and see things as they are. Some people go to great lengths to do all kinds of good deeds in effort to erase, counterbalance, or avoid recognizing discomfort. Yet, wherever you think you go, here it is. When unconfronted, darkness thrives. It exists when you don’t look at it. This is the nature of the dark. It is absence of light. Just start to turn and look at it, and it is evaporating. In dreams, face what is chasing you. Watch it disappear.” – Liara Covert

There are so many things in my life to be grateful for right now. When the little shadow of fear that lingers ever so strong in the shadows of my soul, starts to sneak up on me; I just have to grab onto my faith.

Faith that everything will work out for the best. I will have enough money to meet my needs. I will have a job. My kids will be ok. My grandkids will make it in their own way.

I am enough and I have enough- always.

By acknowledging what drives my depression or my worry ( fear) I can hopefully send it on it’s way and leave me in peace.

“Depression is caused by overconsumption. Overconsumption is caused by obsession. Obsession is caused by fear. Fear is caused by an absence of love. An absence of love is caused by a belief in others. A belief in others is caused by a label called others. A label called others is caused by a need to organize life into some form of understanding. A need to organize life into some form of understanding is caused by an inability to trust life as it is.

By loving the one who doesn’t know how to trust life as it is, the need to organize life into some form of understanding dissolves. As this occurs, a belief in others can be recognized as a belief in a label called others. Beyond the play of labels, a love that knows no other emerges from within you. As love emerges, you are absolved of fear, the tendency to obsess, or the need to over consume, at the rate in which the one who is depressed is embraced with equal respect, support, and heart-centered attention.

As depression is loved as never before, it becomes a vital stage of emptying out. As you empty out, the seed of ego dissolves to create space for the blossoming of consciousness. This allows depression to be a pivotal stage of growth and expansion, instead of something to fight, ignore, or avoid.” – Matt Kahn

What is the Difference Between Faith and Hope?

Faith, Hope & Vision

2021 started out to be about
👓 ᴠɪsɪᴏɴ 👓. Vision that didn’t happen in 2020. I wanted clarity more than anything. I was wrought in despair at where things were going.

During the year, it evolved to be more about нσρє.

нσρє that my people would feel safe & loved.

нσρє that bonds would be strengthened

нσρє that forgiveness would melt away pain & struggle.

нσρє that effort would override inadequacy.

I hoped beyond hope for those things- even if I didn’t completely understand everything or have clarity.

Miraculously, by the end of the year, I have received all that and more. Every night I thank God for my blessings. I still feel somewhat in awe at the goodness. I can hardly believe the miracles. True miracles that have happened in my family. Hearts burrowed in resentment were opened wide with love, if even for a day. Things evolved into the absolute best possible scenario. Step by step moving forward with positivity. But as usual, everything’s not perfect.

I still struggle with letting go. Letting go of the outcomes, and letting go of trying to control people.

I struggle with peace. Feeling peace in all things. Feeling peace amid chaos. There are times I don’t want to go on. The battle seems too big. My imagination gets the best of me or I see that blatant truth that some things will never change, and it pains my soul. I question what the point is.

These are times when I have to turn to music to calm myself. This one feels peaceful and helps me not feel alone.

I don’t know how long I have left on this earth. I don’t know what will happen in the time I have left. I only hope I’ve done enough good to be remembered by. As I read this quote by Mr Rogers, I know that not only do I need to accept others as they are, I need to extend that same love to myself too.

When all seems lost, when emotions are at their peak, when expectations turn into dust in the wind, we still have this little thing called ᖴᗩITᕼ.
ᖴᗩITᕼ that people are basically good.
ᖴᗩITᕼ that people are always doing the best they can at the time.
ᖴᗩITᕼ that things will always work out the best way they need to.
& Having ᖴᗩITᕼ that ᒪOᐯE will always prevail-if we let it.
L.O.V.E.
Letting Others
Voluntarily Evolve.

Clearing Out The Tears

https://500px.com/embed.js

Art-By Sandra Salana

After many years of many tears, this picture struck my heart today. It so closely resembles my feelings of the last few years. Dark tears of grief- of what paths my son had gone down. The inability to “fix” him. Seeing the pain in others as they coped with the loss of a person still physically here.

Lately though, I have actually been able to breathe- breathing in sweet gratitude for so many things. I need to give credit where credit is due.

My window washers.

My window washers who are always trying to clean up my tears.

A window washer

What do they do? With their buckets of fresh water and wands of hope; They go to great lengths and danger to give us clarity. With almost one swipe they can change our perception. Remember the dirty window story?

https://rememberthosewithoutadvantages.weebly.com/perspective.html

My story isn’t about others’ dirty laundry though. It’s about helpers.

I’ve had many window washers in my life, especially in the last 3 years.

The variety of window washer angels who willingly scrape those embedded tears from my dark stained eyes.

Firstly, My long-lost but reunited God. A God who, even as I was pouring out my tears of my long-lost son to him, gently washed them away speaking, “lay him at my feet”.

There are my grandkid window washers, who with their innocent smiles and bright laughing eyes pull me into their world. Taking me to baseball games, parks, hiking. Showing me the beauty of their world.

My daughter, who will ask me, “what do you need?” on those days when my sadness envelops me like a dark storm cloud. She might as well be whipping out her magic window washer to show me that I matter and that I deserve to feel good again. Even if only for a day. “What’s your plan?” She always asks. “Plan? I Plan to sit here in my misery.”

Then there’s my dear husband-the stagehand that never gets thanked. He pulls out his window washer and works his magic. When I need a back rub, a sounding board, or silence. Even if he doesn’t understand my undying devotion; he supports me over and over.

So yes, this picture strikes me. The sheer size of my problems in this picture, as I see them-is telling. According to my leaky saddened eyes, my world is a giant. My problems were so large, they seemed insurmountable. All the people trying to console me.

Until I declared my son healed. 

He wasn’t yet. He was actually in jail. He was frustrated and then suicidal. After they put him on suicide watch, he gradually started to feel better.

Now my son is 103 days substance-free! I want to shout it to the rooftops. It’s everything I dreamed of the last few years and more. But my studies have shown me that it’s not wise to be so sure. Relapse is common and with the contaminated drug supply, they are often deadly.

So I bask in silence. I let a smile cross my lips in occasion. I can almost wholeheartedly enjoy an activity or event, knowing my son is safe and being productive on his healing. He told me excitedly the other day:

“I’m such a better person than I was before my addiction”

I have to wonder, am I?

Did those saddened tears of disappointment do some good for me? Did I learn to love unconditionally? Not just the addicted one, but those who exiled him from their life?

Did I learn that my life matters, no matter what tragedy goes on around me?

Do I make even small improvements that help me feel better about my environment? Just yesterday I organized my desk display from chaos to cuteness.

But I also went to the doctor yesterday for the first time in 3 years and saw how much I weigh. I was shocked, to say the least. I now need a window washer to wipe away that problem.

Baby steps

Depression, Faith, Hope

If there’s one thing I’ve learned the last few years, is it’s ok to not know.

It’s ok to not know what the future holds. It’s ok to not have everything planned out. It’s ok to not know what the world will look like next year. I’m learning to trust by faith.

Faith over hope.

As I stated in this post, there’s a difference. In the process of just trusting, we may have some depression or sadness. As I listened to my audible tape “Care of the soul” on my way up to a camping trip yesterday, I listened with curiosity as he describes depression as a needed thing sometimes. It gives that space to reflect, to heal, to process. We don’t always have to live in this happy positive unauthentic state.

Anyone who’s experienced a “Dark night of the Soul” knows that you ultimately come out a better person. After all:

You can't know light without experiencing the dark. 
Notice dark night of the soul is about confronting of your own ego story and resistance to darkness. Facing the inner darkness is not about becoming evil. It is not an impossible task, cannot overwhelm or even harm what is real. It’s about accepting and integrating all of you. Inner darkness is the fear of seeing something you do not want to see, something that shakes up your conditioned understanding of the world and how it works. It is also the fear of feeling something you do not want to feel. Humans are taught by society how to hide these aspects of self. We are taught fear is a weakness. So we are taught to deny or avoid what evokes discomfort, taught to focus attention on things that feel good and overlook corruption, social-cultural mistreatment, abuse, exploitation of living creatures, Earth and human beings and energetic brainwashing of beliefs we come to hold. Many humans think they can run from their inner darkness. This is what is projected into the external world and what is arising to the surface as you are ready to acknowledge it and see things as they are. Some people go to great lengths to do all kinds of good deeds in effort to erase, counterbalance, or avoid recognizing discomfort. Yet, wherever you think you go, here it is. When unconfronted, darkness thrives. It exists when you don’t look at it. This is the nature of the dark. It is absence of light. Just start to turn and look at it, and it is evaporating. In dreams, face what is chasing you. Watch it disappear.” – Liara Covert

There are so many things in my life to be grateful for right now. When the little shadow of fear that lingers ever so strong in the shadows of my soul, starts to sneak up on me; I just have to grab onto my faith.

Faith that everything will work out for the best. I will have enough money to meet my needs. I will have a job. My kids will be ok. My grandkids will make it in their own way.

I am enough and I have enough- always.

By acknowledging what drives my depression or my worry ( fear) I can hopefully send it on it’s way and leave me in peace.

“Depression is caused by overconsumption. Overconsumption is caused by obsession. Obsession is caused by fear. Fear is caused by an absence of love. An absence of love is caused by a belief in others. A belief in others is caused by a label called others. A label called others is caused by a need to organize life into some form of understanding. A need to organize life into some form of understanding is caused by an inability to trust life as it is.

By loving the one who doesn’t know how to trust life as it is, the need to organize life into some form of understanding dissolves. As this occurs, a belief in others can be recognized as a belief in a label called others. Beyond the play of labels, a love that knows no other emerges from within you. As love emerges, you are absolved of fear, the tendency to obsess, or the need to over consume, at the rate in which the one who is depressed is embraced with equal respect, support, and heart-centered attention.

As depression is loved as never before, it becomes a vital stage of emptying out. As you empty out, the seed of ego dissolves to create space for the blossoming of consciousness. This allows depression to be a pivotal stage of growth and expansion, instead of something to fight, ignore, or avoid.” – Matt Kahn

What is the Difference Between Faith and Hope?

The Twists and Turns of Life

Life’s journeys can start out in fun anticipation of what adventures lie ahead. But sometimes we get in over our heads quickly and instead of turning back, get lost in the maze of unhealthy habits and practices. Everywhere we look, all we see is more tightrope-walking. The thin line between risk and pleasure. The little nagging thought that it will be ok. Just one more time.

I was with my grandkids at this rope park on Saturday and immediately thought of the comparison to life.

We all know that battling addiction is a roller coaster ride, especially for those who are on the sidelines watching is devastating effects. We can be on top of the world, thinking everything is fine; then be dropped to the ground in despair. Instead of butterflies in our stomachs, we have what feels like rocks. Heavy and sad. As I played on these ropes, I realized how far the tentacles and mazes that my son’s addiction have reached.

I also realized how strong the anchors are that are holding it all together. Anchors that can't be seen from all angles.

Whether you’re stuck in addiction, or watching from the sidelines, you might be stretching, reaching for the next rope to hold on to. In doing so, you have to have a certain amount of faith that those anchors will hold your weight. You just have to believe.

In this moment, after years, of crying out in pain, day after day- with the twists and turns of addiction; I finally made it through a maze of ropes to the other side. For now. My son was finally picked up on his warrants on August 17. On Aug 22, while in jail, he said his life was over and there was no way he could bounce back. He said he had no choice but to hang himself. I was able to get the medical personnel to listen to the tapes and place him in safety.

2 months later- last week- my 35 yr old son, with a bullet hole scar in his leg; called me from a non-descript rehab in a bit of tapered excitement. He’s been put in charge of all new admits. He shows them around and assigns them a bunk and their chores. He has to keep track of them and notify staff if they “run”. It’s a huge responsibility.
💬💯💬💯💬💯💬💯💬💯💬

The relief, the gratitude, the honor, the pride.
The hope forged from faith.
Day after day of earnest prayer.
Tears falling in want.
Tears, turned to joy.

The knowing that we are not in charge.
I say this knowing full well that things can change in an instant.
But I will still rejoice in faith.

My sincere message for today is how important it was that I spoke healing over my situation and problems. It’s ok to feel sad and disappointed at times, but to them- and all involved, it’s more beneficial to speak hope, instead of complaining like we are prone to do. I did my fair share of that, so I know it’s easier said than done, but it gets easier to speak hope instead of disgust to them.

We are not promised even one more day ourselves! So always leave them knowing that you loved them the best you could despite the horrors of this disease.

Today I relish in joy.
Joy in the journey of this boy.
I’m so glad I’m here to witness it because many times I wished to be gone.

No Regrets

I hurriedly rushed through the sporting goods store looking for the items on my son’s “list” for this weeks “drop”.

  • A coffee mug
  • A hat with a flag or a CAT logo
  • A lighter
  • More protein mix and protein bars and maybe pre-workout mix
  • Head -n- Shoulders Body/ shampoo wash
  • More cigarettes
  • Magazines

This day was special. It’s the eve of 4 weeks in rehab. 4 weeks to a person with years of substance use is HUGE. This is after 5 weeks in jail. Although this amount of time is a great victory, it’s a drop in the hat compared to the amount of time using……..years.

Insurance companies, and others, might insist “Shouldn’t he be healed by now?”

Hmm, I’m not good at math but 48 months doesn’t equal 2 months. The brain is amazing but neuroplasticity takes time. Just like it took time to adjust to the drugs.

We “think” that as soon as we get them out of that cycle of chaos and get them a shower and some decent meals, they will be good-to-go. If that were true- there would be zero return to use after jail.

As it is, my son is learning how to take care of himself again. For year’s, yes years, he has been in pure survival mode. Trying to find a place to stay every night; trying to maneuver his substance use, trying to justify his substance use, trying to deny his substance use. Putting poison in his body TO SURVIVE, yes survive. Every day his body told him- SCREAMED at him in fact: “GET DOPE or DIE”. It is survival to them.

But now, his focus is back on learning his body’s other cues. Cues of revitalization. Healing. Repairing years of damage to cells. Brain and body. He has scars. He has a bullet hole. He has ingrained pathways in his brain that automatically go into the quickest way to feel better and the quickest way to obtain the resources in order to feel better. To slow the hell down, sit in class after class, face his demons, face the pain he has caused his family, and face losing his freedom, must be daunting. To refocus that energy on lifting weights, or smoking, is a dream to me.

I gladly provide any of these items for the same reason as I picked out his baby food when he was little. As mothers, we are nurturers. It doesn’t matter if they are grown, men. Everyone needs their “person”. More and more studies are showing that even having one person believe in them, makes recovery more sustainable. Plus, nothing is promised. No time, no future, no measure of success is promised, day to day, with anyone, but especially with substance use. If I can buy my grown son some protein bars, I will gladly do it. Anything to keep him learning, contemplating, hoping for a better life.

I made the drop-off time at exactly 7:22.30, which is the time my son wrote down- just to mess with them. Ever the jokester, I love having his humor back.

As I made the drop-off, I could see the group inside, sitting in their 7 pm meeting. Unbelievably, I could see my son in direct view of the window! I had vetted over 25 rehabs by the time this one was picked. It wasn’t the best, but it worked out being the one needed. I didn’t have any idea it would be within a few miles of my house, in fact straight up the street!

Call me a stalker if you’d like, but I am cherishing every second of this. I cried and prayed every day for 2 years for this. Every day, I worried about his life being taken. He just told me about a guy who hung himself at the sober living house he’s supposed to go to after this. People are so tender inside. We have zero clue of the demons they must face. What appears on the outside is not truly reflective of what’s on the inside. They struggle with what awaits them. Going from having nothing to rebuilding everything back up must be horrifying. My son has no house, car or job to go to. If I can be his “person” to help him maneuver that, I will gladly take on that role. I will cherish every second of my role as his Mother during this precious time.

I sat outside in my car after the drop off and yup, you guessed it- cried. But these were tears of joy. This was everything, I mean everything, I could have wanted to happen. Prayers answered, dreams come true.

I am truly living in the moment with zero care of what anyone thinks of what may be the right or wrong thing to do. I don’t see anyone else making any effort to save a life, and that’s fine; but what I’ve said through all of this journey, as for me:

I want ZERO regrets