I know I’ve posted a lot about addiction being about ingrained habits/coping skills that make it difficult to break free from.
Daily habits are how we build a life we want. I am always noticing how habitual my every move is in my house, especially my night and morning routine.
We don’t realize the safety this routine provides us.
Those who don’t have the comfort of those rituals miss out on the benefits that they provide us in life.
As my son has been mostly unhoused and couch surfing the last 2 years, I have felt guilty at times in having the luxury of my safety rituals and habits.
Well-meaning people would say, he chose his life- you choose yours.
But that doesn’t mean I can just turn off my feelings.
It must be a mom thing.
We are nurturers.
Each time I leave a stressful workday and I’m in the comfort and safety of my car where I can completely relax from my day; I feel relieved- then sad, that my son doesn’t have that.
Yes, I know it’s the consequences of his actions- but that doesn’t stop a mom from feeling guilt, or sadness. We always want our row of ducklings doing ok and “in a row” and safe.
That’s why it’s such a mix of emotions when they are in jail. Yes, technically they are getting fed and have a bed; but the other traumatizing parts of jail are not conducive to healing.
The best part of the jail, in my opinion, is the daily routine and habits that they can start again. I think it helps get the brain back to sleeping at night and eating on time.
As recovery advocate-Michael Lasday states:
We cannot arrest our way out of this. We have to go way to the front end of why and how it starts, ( prevention of people WANTING) harm reduction in the middle and better & quicker treatment on the end.
"Every increase in criminalization creates more scarcity, more demand, more reward and incentivized increasingly potent substances.
This is how we got here in the first place, not how we get out" -Mchael Lasday
I’m so grateful my son is out of there. But it’s still hard to not think (& worry) of the past and future. Each day is a gift.
The last 90 days have been an entire mountain of weight lifted off my shoulders. I have actually dared breathe. I have laughed at work and started looking at other people as real people again. I’m coming out of my Tunnel vision of turmoil. It felt good. Really good.
Then, just as my son is now experiencing, the realities of this life hit me.
He was so discouraged last night when he realized that others were still the same people as when he went into addiction.
He realized that he was the one expected to make all the changes and just get it right this time.
He realized that the bed he made for himself was still blaring bright white and being shoved down his throat. He was told by his old boss that he CAN’T even think of screwing up if he gives him another chance. My son said he feared he may never get to see his kids again just for gatekeeper reasons.
Do you know what pressure that puts on people? To start again with nothing. And not make any mistakes with a still-healing brain.
He will have to deal with it, I know. But my joy and gratefulness are being overshadowed by the realities of the world.
Depression and pain are real.
Having the stability and normalcy of the world was something I took for granted while I was fighting knee-deep in the arena of addiction.
Now that I have the garden hose out and washing off the muck, I see the world for what it has become.
I forge ahead not knowing if it’s really worth the effort only to be slammed down again.
The World seems so harsh.
Was I so buried in a different pain the last few years, that I didn’t see how harsh it was?
After my son’s first detox (at home). I remember showing him Chanda’s video about taking the drugs away leaving this raw core that doesn’t know how to deal with life without substances.
I think that’s where my son is at today.
And I feel oddly the same.
Even though I’ve never so much as smoked pot.
I still feel raw, afraid. Sad.
A grown woman.
Who am I to even complain?
As I posted my worries on my Facebook page, I received a great response from one of the Moms.
Truth is hard, change is hard, depression, addiction and we can go on & on about life's challenges. Gratefulness & mindfulness is what we need to practice because if we don't focus on here &now we are wasting time on thinking past & future. If we focus on what we do today - love others, do our best, and fuck the rest maybe life won't be so hard. Love you and thx for sharing your heart. Sending all of us parents who have to live without our beautiful children light love strength and healing hugs. 💕✨🙏✨💕 Forever Matthew's Mom😇- Debra Schmidt
It made me snap back into the present.
My son is A.L.I.V.E !
I have spent 2 years writing a book of my fears of him dying and he’s STILL ALIVE, yet I’m complaining! I
I must focus on now. I can’t worry about when he gets out of rehab. Or that he’s not humble enough. Or that he still thinks he has all the answers.
Maybe he does.
Who am I?
Gratefulness and mindfulness.
How can I do what that smart Mama suggested? Of course- meditation. Yoga. Affirmations. Any others?
This morning I sit in my living room and try to focus on NOW, just letting gratefulness enter my soul- without being forced with such thoughts of
I SHOULD be grateful.
I SHOULD be positive.
There ARE NO SHOULDS!
It is what it is in this moment. And in this moment I choose peace. Joy. Gratefulness. I looked around my tiny condo and just exhaled.
I relished in my things that make me happy to look at.
Even though they are material things -they are what’s in front of me right now and that’s really all we have.
This is how I start my mindfulness journey. I hope you enjoy.