Addictive Personality

I’ve always known that my son had an addictive personality but since he seemed to use it for good things, it wasn’t an issue. In fact, most times we would just roll our eyes at how intense he was.

I’ve heard that most addicts are people with addictive personalities. And if they didn’t have one before, the drugs will make sure they do now. The unquenchable thirst for more, and more, makes them prone to get involved in riskier and riskier obsessive behaviors. That so called line that “normal – thinking” people think is so bold and stark – like an orange painted crosswalk- is just a blurry gray to them. It’s as if they are color-blind to the advancing risks of use.

I learned from Addiction deconstructed, by Nicole Labor, that the reptile brain is always in action of seeking what they perceive as survival. So lying, hiding, stealing and then selling are progressions of an unhealed brain which sees only the options of survival to them but to us they only seem to further their bad situation.

Addiction wouldn’t even be a thing if it didn’t have this strong drive for “survival.”

So the fact the person (puppet) follows the algorithm of addiction behaviors; shouldn’t really be a surprise to us. I think we forget that fact when talking about the why’s of this devastating disease.

Why are they so mean?

Why are they so devoid of empathy?

Why are they so selfish?

Why isn’t their children enough to get them to stop?

Or:

Why can’t a regular job be enough?

Because, it just isn’t.

You can explore all the ‘why’s’ of an addict that you want, but it’s just going to drive you insane.
It’s like those little pullback play cars. You pull them back a few times to rev up the wheels then let them go.
At that point, nothing is gonna stop them until they crash. We all know what those crashes entail, but most are temporary, sadly some aren’t. They just get sent in a different direction. Addicts actually adapt well to different surroundings because their minds (if not completely healed) MUST find something l to focus on to tame their headspace.

The “addictive personality” theme may explain why some people can be on opioids or occasional alcohol and not get addicted. (because they don’t have the addictive game, or propensity for it?)

We just don’t understand enough about their brain to know what it’s like to be so controlled as to ALWAYS be in survival mode. Whether that’s the fear of being alone/ powerless/ raw with their own emotions/facing what damage they’ve caused; we are not going to be able to reach them.

WE are not going to reach them in the way that we think. and unfortunately they are not able to show that they care.

I believe that they really CAN’T care until their brain is remapped or given time to heal.
So they continue to ONLY care about what their ‘sick’ brain tells them to.
It creates a path behind them of chaos & confusion, hurt people & innocent children & lots of lost time & money spent.

The only conclusion that gives me any sense of peace is that we ALL must ultimately navigate our own journey.

So, in a sense, we need to stop wondering why.

We can help by working within our boundaries, we can pray, sympathize with others, etc but each of us- including the addicted- must forge our own healing journey in the best way we can to survive our pain❣️💛❣️

The Mother Love

The Mother Love

Love is not found in the Hallmark aisle.

Love is not found in boxed chocolates tied up with a silk bow.

Love is not found in a Facebook post with lovey-dovey pictures.

Love IS found in the quick breathe of a Mom who looks at her phone and sees the number of her child calling.

Love IS found with the expelled breathe of relief when the door to the treatment center or bus door closes with her child behind it.

Love IS found in the fallen tears on the pillow, alone, in the dark.

Love is seen when a mom looks into her hurting childs eyes as he lashes out at anyone who dares get between him and his master.

This life, this journey. We didn’t request to be in the club. But when we first laid eyes on the child, along with all the hopes and dreams to come; we unknowingly accepted the disappointments and pain that would surely come also.

The first time our child came home crying because someone was mean to them, we felt the fierceness rise inside us.

We knew instantly we would fight for our child’s heart. We knew we would do anything to soothe their pain.

Now they seem so far away.
We can’t save them.
We can’t bridge that gap to cauterize their bleeding heart. If we could, we would.

God knows we try.
We try bandaid after bandaid.

It doesn’t work.
The hemorrhage continues.
It filters through loved one’s lives and relationships like hot lava flowing from a huge volcano.

We wonder when it will stop. How deep is that hole?

No one truly knows.
So we forge through the pain.

Thinking we can’t go on.

But we will.

Because of that momma bond. Unbroken. Unseared.
We will go on.
And even if we can’t fix this boo boo.
We can still love.

We love DESPITE the pain.
We love THROUGH the pain.
We love because we are Mother’s.

We carry love from the pre-mortal existence before earth and we carry it through the galaxies into the afterlife.

Not time, nor space can douse a Mother’s Love.

Throughout centuries and worlds of hardships- nothing has stopped a Mother’s Love.

Beware, of the Mother’s Love.

It can crush unimaginable barricades.
Move mountains to plains.
Change hearts to Gold.
Make a meal out of nothing.
Sew a complete fictional character out of strips of cloth.

This war might think it has been won. The victory flag being raised by the devil himself.

But he doesn’t and never will…..
Know the strength of a Mother’s Love.

Post-Easter

Easter has always been my second favorite holiday. I love the pastel colors, the tulips opening up to the hope of spring, and the colorful candy. Finding Easter eggs was my favorite childhood activity for some strange reason. I would make my mom hide them 2 or 3 times until she was sick of it. The fact that we basically had 2 rooms and a small yard to hide them in, meant that they were usually hidden in the same place too.

In my community, we had a tradition of “rolling Easter eggs” that my kids found out was not a commonly known thing, as they received weird looks when they ventured out in the world.
I look back on the pictures of these times with such melancholy, and love in my heart, albeit with a tinge of sadness.

I have always felt a need to capture moments as they happen with the realization that the moment will never be here again. So 27+ scrapbooks later, I am left with precious memorabilia to look through on occasion. I can look at these pictures and really appreciate how precious life is, holding my sadness close but having hope for better days.

To every one who suffers during holidays and every day & those who are apart from the people they love-may you have peace and comfort knowing all will be well, in due time. Even if you don’t know what “well” means.

There is always a greater purpose. 

And no- I’m not saying everything happens for a reason. None of some things should EVER happen. God doesn’t want people suffering. He doesn’t “make them suffer”. A lot of it is from free will of someone else or the person suffering.

I believe free will is important for human autonomy and for society in general. But that doesn’t mean others’ choices don’t affect us.

I’m reading a great book on how to deal with others’ choices when they cause you pain. It’s called: Letting Go, Rugged Love For Wayward Souls – how to love and forgive those who have hurt and abandoned you.

I will be putting a few paragraphs from this book into my book because it describes my son perfectly. Specifically this one:

Although I hate the term “Letting Go”, because it implies letting an unwell person flounder around needlessly. But I want to learn how to Love Ruggedly😎💯😎

Free Gifts

As I was shopping at a discount and salvage store yesterday, a lady was standing in front of a palate of cardboard boxes as I checked out. She asked if I wanted a case of dinner rolls- for free.

Being Easter weekend (and even had it not been) I said “sure”.

The box had been frozen and was thawing fast. I drove home and proceeded to put my groceries away. When I saw how many ‘dinner rolls’ there were in that case, I quickly called around to see who wanted some. There were no instructions in the box, just a California company. I managed to divide my rolls up and put as many in the freezer as I could. The remainder I placed on cookie sheets to thaw out and bake.

A bit later, I noticed they hadn’t risen at all, so I heated up the oven and put them at 325 degrees. When I started to smell the dough cooking, I checked on them and they were obviously too brown. I tried to save them by scraping off the dark part but they were still dough-ee inside.

My daughter stopped by and since she worked in 2 bakeries as the bread baker, she said to cut a slit in them on the next batch. I turned on my air fryer and decreased the heat, and started my second batch complete with the much-needed slits advice in the top. They too quickly went dark with dough-ee insides.

Finally, after this failure, my husband called from Texas, and after hearing my baking adventures, mentioned that maybe they are scones. Yes! They are scones. Little square scones! It was obvious now. The lady just hadn’t known what these “free gifts” were.

I proceeded to heat up some oil and dropped my newly acquired dough knowledge with confidence into the crackling oil. They quickly turned dark and crusty with dough-ee insides. Obviously the oil was too hot. Next batch was better- a soft golden brown developed on the outside as my mouth watered, thinking of the butter and honey dripping off of them into my mouth.

When they had cooled, I eagerly sliced into the golden brown crust and was hit with more raw dough!

What the heck? How many times was it going to take me to get my reward from my ‘free gift’?

It was then that I realized how long it had been since I cooked scone dough. Years! But my memory was being forced back. After letting them sit outside the freezer for a while, I would take the little clumps and stretch them in all directions, as far as I could without breaking the tender dough, then gently lay them in the warming oil.

The skin would gently turn a light golden brown upon which I would turn them over to finish their lovely cooking into a beautiful display of breaded goodness.

How could I have forgotten? 

Over the years my cooking and baking has decreased tremendously, so this seemed the likely excuse. But the more I thought about it, I started to see that I had forgotten my way because I was mistakenly told what my free gift was.

My gift wasn’t “frozen dinner rolls”. My gift was a mixture of soft flour and rich oils and butter and baking powder and a touch of salt, all immersed together, frozen, silently awaiting their chance to be dropped in the hot oil-not unlike the making of steel-just waiting to shine brightly into SCONES!

How often do we forget what our gifts are? How often do we veer away from our truth to chase some version of ourself or a false God who promises things that are too good to be true and end up causing strife and pain, not only to ourselves, but to others.

How often do we feel the ache of a soul abandoned by God? Who was the abandoner? How many times have we unknowingly crushed someone who loves us, because we were hellbent on some sort of personal satisfaction at all costs?

Or maybe someone has or is doing it to you. You feel the ache of who they used to be. You feel that they have forgotten who they are.

They've forgotten their gifts. Their gift to the world. Have you forgotten your gifts too? 

Your gifts of love, of compassion. Your strength. How many times have you been told you are strong? But you didn’t feel strong. You felt weak, insignificant; ignored even.

You forgot your gifts. You lost sight of your power.

You were pulled into the pit of pityland where everything is gray, gray, gray.

How to get out? Where do we start looking for our “free gifts?” Our gifts that were lovingly handed to us by a greater power or by the generations of goodness that our ancestors contained of which led to the billions of cells that are YOU!

This video is of the Paralympics where all the runners are blind. They have partners who are tied together at the wrists! I don’t know the whole story but I know this video brought tears to my eyes.

https://www.facebook.com/reel/702423574085939?fs=e&s=cl

Rise up.

You can find your gifts again. Your gifts are meant to shine. You can be an inspiration to those around you, even when you feel broken. Maybe the way to mend the emptiness and pain inside you, is to be of service to someone else.

Easter is about re- birth. Springtime.

New growth. Old growth redefined.

Happy Easter

Happy grow day. Happy find- your- hidden gifts day.

The Ties of Connection

I wrote the following post 4 years ago before knowing how deeply my family would be affected by addiction and therefore how important connection, and the joy of memories would become.

It was soon after, that I began my deep dive into studying addiction. Little did I know the changes that would come and how much more “raw and isolated” I would become. At the time, I was very grateful for my relationship with my 2 older kids and my entire family. We were all doing relatively great but the seeds of despair had already started to show glimpses of discontentment.

2018:

Several studies have linked lack of connection to many struggles including suicide, depression, addiction, mental illness, self harm, job dissatisfaction & even the mass shooters in the news.

This lack of connection can be with community, self, family, a partner, a higher Divinity or society in general.

This winter has left me feeling very raw & isolated. Not due to the weather, but rather with some shadowy streaks of fear rising up. Fear related to instability & unsurity, lonliness, & the pressure to achieve certain results.

Normally, throughout our lives, when this turmoil arises in our belly; we have that go-to person in the form of a partner, a grown child, or our parents. That person validates our emotions and helps us find our center.

Sometimes this person is male. For the last 2 1/2 years, I have developed absolute respect for the men in our lives who carry so much weight. They are the pillars. Our strength. Our ‘please open this jar’ go-to people. They know the buck stops with them for the next house payment and electric bill to be paid.


They have to think if their child needs more medical care or higher college costs all while trying to be competitive & skilled in their career PLUS keeping the women and children safe & happy.

Until you lose that support it’s easy to take it for granted how much we all rely on each other.

Single moms know it, disabled people know it, parents of sick children know it, & people who’s parents have died know it.

In my journey of feeling loved, safe & finding joy, I’ve missed the listening ear of my parents tremendously. Even though they’ve been gone 11 years this year, it still leaves a big hole in your life.

My mom & I would sit & talk on the phone for hours. Sometimes saying absolutely nothing for minutes at a time! Can you imagine that today, in this busy world?

My 2 older kids are my phone pals now. They will lovingly talk to me for hours at a time. They always seem to bring me back to source, back to reality, back to Love. ❣️

I have become so incredibly close to those 2 humans the last year that it’s crazy. So grateful for them 💙💘

My point of this post on this international women’s day is to love on everyone around you today. The effort people in your life make just to keep themselves running & everything else humming is amazing. As a nurse, when someone has a stroke or a devastating illness, I see firsthand the amount of work it takes to keep one human functioning.

Look at what Mom’s do! Every day they keep families, husbands, households, jobs, cars & yards running in functional & beautiful order!!!

Hug your parents & kids today💝


Tell them what you notice about how they try to make things better. For themselves or others. Tomorrow they could be gone in an instant.

Thank you to my kids, their beautiful partners, & anyone who helps them be a higher version of their selves.

I’m incredibly grateful to all of you.

🙏💖🙏💖🙏

Facebook memories like this can evoke feelings of sadness. The loss that’s felt when a child veers away from the family. The parents who have suffered permanent physical loss know this sadness well. Facebook even has a filter which you can say I don’t want to see memories from this person or place or time.

But who wants to erase the feeling of better times?

Who wants to forget about joy?

Joy transcends. From a child’s smile to the fresh whiff of a newborn baby’s smell. From a steaming cup of coffee to the first buds of spring -revealed through the tiny tulip bulbs peeking up through the semi-frozen ground.

Joy washes over us in waves. Sometimes the waves are noticeable like the tingling butterflies we feel with a new love. Other times we are so busy in the moment that we don’t realize how precious and valuable they are until many months or years after.

As we dig deeper into our feelings during challenging times; its easy to get caught up in the sadness. The trick is to take the beauty of sadness and marinate it with the precious memories we cherish of our child. Then we can turn our pain into deep compassion and love. Compassion for ourselves. For all you’ve experienced. For the journey of a thousand miles of a momma who cares. A momma who just wants her precious family back. A momma who did the best she could with under suspicious and vicious odds.

A momma full of love. Full of memories. Full of joy.

The joy of love.
The love of joy. 

I’m Done

You’re done. Admit it, you’ve said it.

You’re done wishing things would get better.

You’re done with the lies, the empty promises.

You’re done putting out all the effort when there doesn’t seem to be any return on your investment. Speaking of money – it makes your head spin to think about it. Would you work at a job where you shed sweat, blood and guts not to mention mounds of tears and never get a paycheck?

Yet you keep doing it because- well that day might come when you get handed a check or a morsel of apology or a spark of things getting better; which you hang onto for dear life. You live for that day. It seems like your entire existence is spent on that moment.

And that’s why you say you’re done. That you’re tired. Tired of searching.

Searching for your magic solution. Just the right mix. Ya know? The right mix of being supportive and not doing that “E” word. But you’re so tired. You’ve said you’re done a million times. But we know you’re not. Because you have hope.

And faith.

The reward is just around the corner, you know it!

Over and over again. Like a little kid lost in a carnival looking for her parents. It’s scary and hard but you know the reward is coming. You’ll find them and they’ll be holding a big pink sweet sticky cotton candy and it will all be yours! So you continue.

What are you losing meanwhile? What part of yourself are you missing? 
Vika Strawberrika on unsplash

I know, with my own journey, I woke up 2+ years later, 25 lbs overweight, a house full of junk & needing repairs and all my other relationships in need of attention. I didn’t know where the time went, yet it seemed like 20 years had passed too!

I had to take a good look at my quality of life and those around me. I had to figure out where my “project” ended and where I began. I had to be my own hero not everyone else’s.

The path to begin to do that is with self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself the credit you’ve been secretly wanting from others. Or whatever reward you wanted.

Resolution, peace, martyr status. A pat on the back. You’re human. We all want these things. But at what expense?

The key to not needing anything from others ( in theory) and from outside circumstances (& thereby letting them dictate your moods and life) is to give what you are seeking to yourself, fully and without judgment. Throw yourself a party, but this time it’s not a pity party, it’s a job well deserving of all the effort regardless of the result.

So you can ‘be done’ if you want. You can be done driving yourself crazy with worry. You can be done feeling empty with pain and torment. You can be done trying to control uncontrollable things.

You can set some limits such as turning off your phone at night so you can sleep. You can set limits on money or gas. You can develop coping skills such as active diversion when your thoughts start going to all or nothing thinking.

You can learn coping skills. You can learn boundaries and limits.

Just never set limits on love. Loving those who need it most and most of all- yourself. 

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.

What Does Love Say?

This is true – even if we are talking to ourselves.

Meeting ourselves where we are.

Two years ago I wrote in my journal:

I wish I was more grateful
I wish I felt more secure
I wish I was more loving
I wish I was less worried

I still wish for most of those things. Truth be told, the last few years have kicked my trash. I am extremely grateful for many things, on the daily…….My God KNOWS.

But it seems to never even out. If it’s not one thing it’s another. I find myself telling my same old story. It’s like groundhog day. If it’s not one child, it’s another. The places and spaces that appear as challenges in my life, seem too unsolvable, especially in the beginning. They stare at me in the face, like a bully on the playground. I seem incapable of what that GUY in the sky thought I could do.

My purpose? Do we ever find it? If it’s to enjoy each day for what it brings, as a wise elderly housekeeper told me years ago; then I’m gonna have to change my story real fast. I’m 54. I find joy in many places but I am not still not sure of my value. Joy seems selfish.

I know life is short. Problems are temporary. They change like a silent old black and white movie. Sometimes I feel like that is my life. It flashes before me without much (valued) effort from me. What effect do I really have on scenes that will play out anyway? Is everyone prone to these lonely thoughts? If you look at their problems, it would seem that way. Everyone just wants to feel relevant. Is relevance real? Is it genuine? Do I need recognition to feel real?

Yes, I know I shouldn’t.

I’m actually the Queen of NOT wanting attention. Don’t give me an award and ask me to speak. God No. I can think of no worse torture.

But, at times, I want to know I made a difference I guess. Don’t we all. Those who are in front of me want that to.

The never ending circle of life- of LOVE.

Anger says: “I’m so mad that I can’t get my way and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Sadness says: “It’s so unfair that I can’t get my way.”

Fear says: “I can’t imagine not getting my way.”

Denial says: “My way would be so much better.”

Boredom says: “My way is anything but this.”

Emptiness says: “It seems as if my way is always opposite or different than how things are.”

Acceptance says: “The Universe is always orchestrating life in my highest favor, whether it seems to be going my way or not.”

Peace says: “When my way is put aside, the way is shown.”

Compassion says: “I understand how you feel. I didn’t get my way either.

Joy says: “Everything is always going my way, no matter the details, outcomes, or circumstances.”

Love says: “I embrace the one who needs life to be one way or another and I cherish the one who has no particular way to be as the eternal innocence of all.”

Oneness says: “Even the notions of getting my way or having no way to be are equally unique ways of the Universe playing in form.”

Transcendence says: “All paths lead to the same way.”

Truth says: “I AM the way, the way I AM.”

Matt Kahn
What would love do? 
Sit with it.
Sit with you.
Sit with me.