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Momma Bear/Bird

The momma bird pecked ferociously at the window. She could feel her eggs wobbling inside her patiently awaiting their day.

It only made her peck harder at the window, fervently NEEDING to accomplish this feat.

Finally! SUCCESS! She broke through the barrier that meant stability and LIFE for her littles.

She went home feeling accomplished. Time was SO SHORT. She could already feel the warm breezes of spring coming closer every day. She must return bright and early to continue her mission. She tossed and turned all night in the flapping dryer vent. It was warm there but the tin was hard and flat. She could think of nothing else but a nice round warm nest where she pictured her brightly colored baby eggs getting nurtured in her love.

The next day was more pecking, cautiously stopping when she heard a sound approach. Ah, it was just the neighbor, the ones who have the lovely bird feeder on their porch. Thirsty & hungry she flew away for lunch, reveling in her progress. Back at it, in what seemed like an eternity, but was really only hours in human time; she broke through the barrier.

She couldn’t believe it! Persistence paid off! Her nest would be the strongest in the whole neighborhood! She ravagely pulled off the steel screen pieces to line her sweet babies first precious sanctuary.

Her babies would be so happy! They would grow up strong and safe and warm. They would fill their beaks and tummies with worms and bugs and all things wonderful that momma found. They would squawk and play and frolic while momma watched on proudly.

When the time came for their departure, momma would shed a big wet bird tear and push them out of the nest.

Momma bird would have a moment of silence saying a little bird prayer for them to live a full and safe life. She prayed for them to have the wisdom to stay clear of airplanes and vultures and all things that mean instant death. She hoped they would have strong instincts to avoid the slow killers too, poisonous plants and moldy water.

But she didn’t have long to worry. She had to start preparing for the next batch. She started singing in her best, clearest most beautiful birdsong ever!

Word press

Just in case you ever wondered why Mom’s are so stubborn and refuse to detach from their child or at least ‘ worry-like-a-muttha’ when they don’t have food or adequate shelter. I guess the key is-be more like a momma bear when they’re little but become a momma bird later. Detach with loving purpose as you push them into the vast world.

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Addicted to the Addict

Guest blog by Cindy Gainer-Furst

PONDERING THOUGHTS

Have you ever looked at the parallels of our behavior vs. the addict?

In all honestly the addict isn’t proud that they are an addict, yet they are, they will do anything to use, to stop their pain.

We, in all honesty aren’t proud to be in the chaos of their addiction, yet we want to stop our pain and theirs.

The addict doesn’t take note of “how they might change” to help themselves.
We, also don’t take note on “how we might change” to help ourselves.

We are both struggling to resolve an issue that “ONLY WE CAN CHANGE FOR OURSELVES”.

We are begging and asking the addict to get a grip, get help, stop, change, etc.
Yet as we travel down this road, this is exactly what we should be doing for ourselves.

I’m not one to be the 1st to say leave by any means. However, I will always be the 1st to say, stop! Stop trying to swim up stream, stop and look at your situation and how you can help yourself to stay well.

Just like the addict we have to admit that we are powerless over their addiction.
So where does that leave you, where is that taking you? What can you do to not become emotionally wounded and feel less than, not worthy, helpless and all those ugly things?

This is your work, this is where you take back control of your life. You honestly have to take these measures, whether you stay, go or straddle the fence.

So let go of trying to control them, condem them, fix them or become so emotionally vulnerable to them. Truly acknowledge and accept that this is your journey and their journey!

Now take control of you….
Use your tools…

Boundaries
Stop enabling
Detachment
Create a life outside of them, Their addiction doesn’t have to be a life sentence to you.

If you take these measures of self love and work towards a positive life, the answers will emerge.

I mean why are we not allowing ourselves to take the same measures we want our addict to take?

Love yourself and get well and you know what, just maybe your new strength will be a turning point for both of you.

RESPECTFULLY WISHING ALL OF US HEALING AND CLARITY- Cindy Gainer-Furst

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The Black Bag

The bag.

That blasted black bag.

It sits there in all its lonely glory, awaiting to be carried, slung, moved & re-arranged. Hoping for a final home that seems only a dream.

The bag has been drug around for months. Every holiday – in fact- for the last 10 months. Transplanted from it’s temporary base in a cold garage only to be reduced to the seat of a car, then many a cold tile hotel floor.

It’s contents of candy & shoes sit willingly and patiently awaiting their owner to adore them with greatfulness.

Doesn’t seem like much. But it makes this momma feel better. That is, if it’s ever delivered. I haven’t seen my boy for 10 months.

The future recipient of this bag, is a little boy who once spent days digging a moar- a canal really- to bypass the spring flooding that, in his mind, threatened his childhood home.

In reality, it was just mild spring run-off from the small fishing pond above our house.

He would rush through the back door of the house like a whirlwind, a muddy wind-of -whirl that is; looking for a treat or a drink or another tool to make his project more efficient. He would leave as fast as he came, leaving you perplexed but with a certain envy at his vigor and vivaciousness & curiosity at what drives them both.

The future recipient of this bag, once as a 23 year old hard-working construction foreman was driving home through a dark deep canyon over a rural mountain range. The work week of 60 hours was complete and he had a wad of cash in the front seat with him. He then rolled his huge $50k truck into a ravine where he had no service. He actually walked away from it without a scratch, up to the road where miraculously his electric personality drew in a morsel of service long enough to make a call to get help.

This would be the first of many appointments his guardian angels would make with him. And the first of many “wads of cash” that tumbled over the dark edge in his grasp.

This boy-turned-man-turned entrepreneur-turned-dad-turned substance use dependant; now owns no truck, no cash, no home and hasn’t seen his kids in over a year. The deals he once maneuvered with crane companies, inspectors, pipelines, & electricians are now replaced with deals for hits or points or whatever else will fulfill his audacious cravings that this monster has made him a slave of.

My little boy is lost.

I’m bringing him his favorite candy. The candy he always asks for when he detoxes or is clean. I want weight on him. I want the big brawny son I remember being proud of. I can’t even look at the pictures of him now. The ravages of drugs are not just some picture in a Don’t Do Drugs pamphlet. These ravages are visible front and center on the sunken-in skin and pale eyes of my beautiful first born son.

My strong, funny, determined warrior of a son.

My son who loves fully & completely. My son who feels deep shame. My son who is so embarrassed of the mess he made of his life that he stays locked in this self- determined prison. The ligitimity of his devotion to this disease is evidenced by the rough corrosive steel chains that bind him to the day to day depravity of that lifestyle.

Hence the black bag.

The bag that this mom hopes will breathe a wisp of life back into a boy who has lost his sense of everything good and healthy.

This cloth & leatherish vinyl bag, stitched together with my last threads of life strung with hope for my boy.

In it, some simple candy to remind him of the sheer taste of joy & pleasure of life outside of drugs.

A new pair of shoes for him to remember the privilege of a regular life and where those shoes can take him if only he leads the way to honor and
integrity again.

Also in the bag is a pair of gloves. New, stiff faux leather. The droopy finger spaces longing for human hands to fill up space and mold them to what they were designed to do. To remind him of his incredible talent. Of how his hands have not lost that talent and how they can make his dreams come true again.

I will find my boy. I dream of him running to the bag. His face full of adventure like that muddy little boy running in the house looking for treats.

My dream is he will accept the gifts offered as a hope that he is still worthy of a life of joy and respect again. That he will go back out into the world and take that shovel back. Take it and dig his way out of this darkness into the light of true joy and happiness.

Home Base

The Dream

“What exactly seems to be the problem????”

I could hear the words echo like a child’s faraway pleading…

“Why, God?? Why can you part an entire sea of water but you can’t seem to fix my “little” problem.”

I spouted the accusations into the air like a thick plume of smog…

I felt the searing pain and confusion deep in my heart.

Why wasn’t I worthy enough for God’s attention?

Why did others have these spiritual experiences, yet my little family is still fractured seemingly beyond repair with what my eldest son’s addiction had caused?

I had prayed. Oh, how I had prayed.
Oh, I’ve always been a believer that there was a power greater than myself who was directing this harrowing game of life. But I had never truly NEEDED there to be one as much as I had the last 2-3 years.

That was about the time I started the wrenching conundrum of wanting more than anything to believe that there is SOMEONE who is listening and can take a look at my problems and put them on the “to be solved list”.

On this particular day, I wasn’t feeling my list was even visible, let alone being checked off.

My son was still deep in addiction, with no signs of wanting help. He had legal warrants for his arrest for many felonies for possession while trying to feed the cravings of his disease. He had abandoned his family; including his kids, lost his million-dollar business & had zero possessions or money to his name.

I had been praying to my God, with some anger and disappointment, that no mountains were being moved on my behalf. I had inquired fervently why I wasn’t good enough to receive all the spiritual blessings that “others” seem to get, with a very quick disclaimer of “not that I’m not appreciative of everything I have sir. “
So I drifted off to sleep with the compromise of “ok then, please just show me, my son, in the future with his kids & a house & a real job again…”
By dang it, I had not been awake the next morning for more than 30 seconds when I realized that my God had done it.

My dream…..

I was in some sort of open mall. I was with his ex-wife and his kids. Suddenly I see my son out of the corner of my eye. He’s strolling down the center like nothing!
I freeze!  It had been a year at least since they had seen each other but more than that, I KNEW she would think that I set her up just for him to see his kids.
I panicked, as she hurried to block her kids from seeing him, but it was too late. I was trying to reassure her that I didn’t know he was here….but it didn’t matter, his beautiful Daughter had seen him. She yelled, “Daddy!”
He took her in his arms.

This moment.
This moment that every child of an addict must feel.
To be abandoned-no-more. To be loved and cared for by the most important people in their life.
To feel validated.
Important.
In that moment, the drugs, a disease, work, or whatever else the reason was told for the disappearance from their life, didn’t matter.

Life was complete.

All the dots were connected.
They could now color in the black and white picture of the happy family & turn the page……

I somehow disappeared in typical dream fashion…

Only to reappear in chapter 3 or so. Where I visualized them talking and the kids playing together.

Wow.

God had done it again…

Now I’m wondering what to ask for tonight….

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict

Bamboozled

You WANT so desperately to believe them…

You NEED to believe them….

Your SANITY and PEACE depend on believing them…
Not to mention your ability to get a good night’s sleep….
Just for tonight…

Until you are lying there and the realization Hits you….

You’ve been bamboozled again…
You’ve become addictions 550 million- possibly- billionth second-hand victim of the big lie of the day…or hour…

Your sweet child…
How many lessons on lying & doing what’s right did you try to instill in them?

At our house, we had files of “Family Home Evening” lessons. Lessons on life & integrity & honestly.

None of it seems to matter now…

Lost concepts in the wind…

Years of fixing nutritious meals, bandaging boo-boos, Dr’s visits, and volunteering for the “fluoride treatments” at school.

As the tears fall onto your cool sheets, you feel that familiar sense of dropping into the abyss of darkness.

The feeling of powerless & dread.

As you beg someone, somewhere, anyone, to save your sweet little family.

For the 💯time…

You realize that YOU can’t.

You can’t do this again.

Because tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow just MIGHT be THE DAY. The day he calls and says “What was that place you told me to call?

Mom, do you really think I could do this?”

And you have to be ready.

You can’t be tired.

You can’t have swollen eyes and scratched up arms or bitten nails.

You HAVE to be healthy and strong…

You have to be the one with hope…

You HAVE to be able to turn pain into gold…

To take every evil lie that was told to you and turn it back onto its master.

To not be victim #550 billion.

To empower yourself and others to rise above it…

To shine over all the darkness…

Reign Supreme…
Shine like a diamond under all the pressure….. 💥

But just for tonight…

I need sleep.

So I pull myself out of the dark place…

Even if tomorrow doesn’t work out….

I CAN be at peace tonight.
🌛🌜

Home Base

Staying in The Moment

At my job, we teach staying in the present as a coping skill.
The last few weeks and months seem to have a lot of minds busy with turbulence & unrest…

One of the things I’ve learned most about helping people in duress is to bring them back to the moment.

“Grounding” is the new term.

Since most or some forms of anxiety usually come from thinking about too many scenarios or problems you are having and feeling overwhelmed; it’s important to slow down those thoughts & ground yourself to the moment.

One great strategy I’ve found is to say:

“We don’t have to fix this all right now”.

And

“What is your body telling you that you need at this moment? “

Recently I was looking in my old journals and I found in one of my notebook ramblings from 2006- long before all my current job training-which had MY SIMPLE TRUTHS written at the top:

#1: I don’t have to fix everything right now

I think we instinctively know what we need at any given moment ….it’s just breaking down the barriers to reach that wisdom. Being quiet enough with our egos & fears & insecurities to allow peace in.

Which is really the whole premise to meditation.

I haven’t mastered meditation or even stuck with it long enough to master it, but yesterday I found Joe Dispenza’s motivational videos and I just might start again.

As a life longer “self improvement obsessive-er ( because I can’t say junkie) I never really stop looking for life hacks. But along the way of doing this, we can still get lost in the ” fixing”.

Whether it be fixing ourselves or someone else, or just a situation in crusts. There are moments in your life when you come to a cross roads and realize that you are losing yourself in the process.

Mine was seeing a picture pop up in memories from three years ago. I saw a vibrant, white teeth, soft, freshly colored – gray hair covered-styled hair, person who’s biggest problem seemed to be to make it on time to dance class at age 49.

Now, having fun seems far away from my mental health after being in survival mode for so long.

I’ve heard that desperation and pain are great motivators for change. For me, seeing a picture of myself caused me great distress in my need to change.

So, just for today, I will tell myself:

Yoυ don’т need тo ғιх everyтнιng rιgнт now, or  тoday, or even тoмorrow

Then ask my body, what is it you need right now?

Today, mine is saying freedom from this excess weight that has been used as a cushion to comfort me in times of great stress.

I’ve become a Hibernating 🐻 Bear on a Long voyage to Mars. ( Since I can’t say “trip”. But it’s time to come back to Earth.

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict

Does It Matter?

Guest blog shared by Laura Swank- author unknown

Is it a disease?
Or is it just a choice?
Does it even matter,
Since I can’t hear your voice?

Now the pressures off,
You don’t have to fight,
But when the day is done,
And I close my eyes at night…

What could you have been?
What could you have done?
Is what I think about,
When I think about my son.

Some call you a junkie.
I just don’t agree.
I see all these things in you,
That no one else can see.
Your art was just so beautiful.

Your lyrics, strong and true.
Why can’t they all see,
The things I see in you?

What you could have been,
What you could have done,
That’s what I dream about,
When I dream of you, my son.

So take it to the next life,
Your beauty will live on,
And I won’t let them forget you,
Even though your gone.

What could you have been?
What could you have done?
You did it, my beautiful boy,
Your love touched everyone…..

From parents who have lost…..- unknown author

In remembrance.
Home Base

What if They Never Get Better?

Guest blog- Ed Brazell
What if it does?

That is a question that families don’t really want to ask themselves. It’s usually a question asked out of frustration and after a long time of battling family addiction. Followed by: “I’ve done everything I know to do.”

Lately I have been thinking about this question and it is very troubling. For a fixer like me what does that really mean, I failed? I’m not one to accept defeat. There is a fix, I just haven’t gotten the right formula. That was always my answer. I always seemed to disregard the real answer because I never really accepted the premise of the question. My failure to accept reality that some never do get better causes me much heartache. I bring this up because of the many families that have been struggling for years with their love ones addiction.

I’ve asked this difficult question to a few family members. Only because they are completely overwhelmed, stressed out and at the end of their ropes. These family members are dealing with physical and mental breakdowns and need to release their love ones addiction back to them, instead of carrying it around on their shoulders. It’s a hard question for me to ask because I know by the time someone contacts me, there is a desperation and hopelessness that I do understand very well and they aren’t looking to hear someone to tell them to let go, they are looking for ‘the answer’.

I’m not talking about giving up on our love one or not helping them when they really need it. I’m talking about taking your life back and loving yourself again.

Put aside the anger, hurt, disappointment, guilt and past. Not for them, but for your well being. Negative emotions are hard to let go, but we need to find it ourselves to do so because it damages us more than anyone else. Don’t try to analyze addiction (or your love one). But try to understand ideas like we are powerless over our loved one’s addiction, that we can’t fix or change them. The truth is they can only do it themselves and the sooner we can see that the better our families will be.

Take time through this hard journey to take care of yourself. To Love yourself. This will make for a heather family, so when your love one does get better, the family will be in a better place and please remember even if they don’t get better, you can and do deserve a life of your own.

– Ed Brazell

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Breathe- Just Breathe

“Breathe, just breathe”.

That’s what I constantly hear myself saying these days.

In this political climate of the world today, it’s SO easy to find yourself in a sudden moment of anger, shock, and surprise at any and every new development.

It’s hard not to react and retort with a knee- jerk response. It’s hard to remember that you are no doubt going to waste your energy AND Not likely to change ANY minds.

Those of us in the business of momma hood find ourself in this predictament quite often.

“Pick your battles”

Is our war cry.

Those of us with a very loved one in active addiction live with this fear & panic daily.

As I stated in my Previous post on the pandemic, we are familiar with the daily shock without the “ahh”. 

It’s amazing what happens when another human being ever so conveniently decides to cross your way in a not so positive manner.

Even if it’s one of your own ….

One minute everything’s fine, the next, you’re at the top of the highest roller coaster heading down to the depths of who knows where.

We find ourselves plunged head- first into a world that we were only vaguely aware of before.

What to do?

Most people, especially the “anon” groups tell you to detach with love. Unfortunately alot of their stories that I hear, feel more like detach with coldness and aloofness.

It goes against every mother- cell of survival and caretaking imaginable. That’s why we hang on for so long.

Sometimes too long. Until we are deficient & lacking energy, focus and hope. The very things people look toward us for.

We are the healers, the lovers, the make-it-all better-ers. We stay up all night just to make sure our babies don’t choke if they have breathing problems.

Over the years we fervently buy creams, vitamins, educational toys to make sure they develop normally. We worry if they are lacking anything that might cause their stuff esteem to plummet.

Now our babies are out there doing all sorts of self harm and damage to their precious bodies. We can’t think about it without cringing and feeling a deep sense of .. Failure? Or is it just sadness?

Yet we are told over and over again, “Let go” “Give it to God”. “Live your life.”

So we resort to…..

Appearing to”let go..

Appealing to God to take it…

And Attempting to live our life.

Because if we do anything other than that, we are punished for caring.

Twenty or thirty years ago we would be punished for not caring, for not giving our family everything they need and providing for their safety and comfort. But the minute they turn 18, OR the minute they are labeled “an addict”; we are judged as co-dependant.

Robert Weiss, in his Book Prodependance, squelches that diagnosis saying that it’s not abnormal to care about someone when your family is in crisis, whether that crisis be cancer or addiction.

It’s a comforting book full of validation for us suffering Mom’s.

But just because it’s not abnormal to care, doesn’t mean it’s healthy either. If you find yourself lost, feeling powerless, depressed and struggling to relate to anything and anyone, then you have a problem OTHER than your addicted loved one.

That’s when you need to decide: “Is this vile creature that has hijacked your beautiful child, going to have two victims or just one?”

That’s the question of the day for this mom of a person with a substance use disorder……

Credit: Samantha Waters- Kauai, Hawaii

Just Breathe Edna’s Art

A Day in the life of the Mom of anAddict

The Casualties Of Addiction

ƛԼԼ ƖƝ ƬӇЄ ƊƛƳ ƠƑ ƛ ԼƖƑЄ

The little girl with the shy smile, came over to me, standing in the kitchen. Her sticky fingers grabbed my hands and led me to the dining room table where the family was singing Happy Birthday to her soon to be little sister.

She sat in the tall wooden chair and put my hands on top of it and said to stay there behind her.

The birthday girl’s Mom brought the My Little Pony cake in, as the familiar song rang out with happy smiles all around. 🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶

As I watched the plume of smoke rise up from the candles, I felt the tears stinging my eyes.

This was my little 6 year old granddaughter; who I managed to see a few times a year, despite living hours away.

These people were mostly her new family, of my youngest son as he forged into a new relationship and new life.

The previous life held my eldest son, the family business, and all my other happy kids and grandkids.

As the grey smoke disappeared into the abyss, my eyes clouded in tears as I thought of the irony of that smoke.

The sweetness of life swirled up in the yummy pink fluffy frosting. The colored candles of adventure dripping with melted wax. The lightness of the flame flickering, taunting. The flame is what separates the light from the darkness. When the flame extinguishes, the smoke does its dance….


And oh, did our smoke dance. Our family had now joined one of millions ripped apart with addiction, specifically opiods which not so quickly, dominoed into heroin.

We can argue all day long about who’s fault that was, but it’s clear that anyone who was remotely vulnerable to addiction had some intense marketing help.

Over 200,000 thousand Americans have been lost to the opiod epidemic crisis. The recent Sackler family lawsuit has brought to light some factors of this.