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Life lessons from the pool

This is the conversation I just heard at the pool:

“Honey come get this dead spider out of the water, HURRY! OMG!!!! It’s alive!!! How can that be? Get it! Wait how is that even a thing?? How can it be ALIVE in the water? OMG it’s MORE than NOT dead! it’s booking it! Hurry! How Is that possible??”

To which the guy said:

Chill, Quit screeching.. You’re gonna be ok….”

You're gonna be ok. 

I tell myself this all the time. Do I believe it?

Spiders are a bit scary, I admit, but when facing more insurmountable problems in life, they are fiddlesticks. What used to scare me, I look at with a mild curiosity at the power it once held on me.

Remember that being afraid of something is not the same thing as having a specific phobia. In order to receive a diagnosis for a specific phobia, certain criteria must be met, including disruption to acts of daily living and a decrease in your quality of life due to the intensity of the fear.


“A decrease in quality of life, due to the intensity of fear..”


These days, my challenge is getting through the day without overwhelming fear taking over. Loving an addict is like seeing a spider 🕷️ every second of every day but you can’t swat at it. It’s as if you’re stuck in it’s tangled web trying to save yourself while it’s just doing it’s own thing to survive.

I think it’s important to not “breathe that fear onto them- like the lady at the pool breathed her fear onto everyone there.

There are many treatments for arachnophobia and other fears, including “Exposure Therapy”.

Basically flooding the brain- usually slowly- with thoughts of the thing you fear the most. We mommas already do our own exposure therapy. We live and breathe the possible outcomes every day. This is called ‘over thinking’ or ‘catastrophic thinking’

Here’s some tips to help with that, not necessarily geared toward substance use.

Another way is to learn to trust a higher power. Trust in something or someone that doesn’t have all the emotions attached to it, like we do.

As Libby Cataldi, one of my fellow mommas-in-hope, stated:

“It’s difficult for our suffering loved ones to carry our anxieties, as well as their own. When they are in the throes of their addiction, they are struggling with obsession, shame, and the chase of the drug. When they are in early recovery, they face countless fears daily – how to get a job, how to pay rent, and how to go the next day without drugs. Today, I’ll try to bolster my serenity and breathe hope into my loved one”.

Libby Cataldi
Breathe hope, not fear.

I’ve found that when I talk to my son in fear mode, it just creates defensiveness on his part. He’s a debater at heart, so imagine with such a monster of substance use added on, he wins the argument every time, EVEN if he’s wrong.

Proverbs 31 Ministries

We’ve all heard the saying, “Do you want to be right or be happy?”. With our addicted loved ones, it’s so easy to tell them what to do with their life so that WE can feel better. But that kind of compliance ( if we even get compliance) doesn’t last. Connections last…..

Keep the connection, lose the fear.
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Veering Off Course

I woke up today shrouded in worry & dread. Wishing for so many “things” that I want to happen-to me and those I love.

Things that would surely calm my riddled heart of chaos.
I sat on my patio & watched the planes go to and from the airport, with my daughters little chihuahua basking in the sun beside me, without a care in the world. I realized that although those planes LOOK like they’re moving in a straight line; it’s only because they are soooo close to their destination.

They are coming in for the landing, gliding on all their predetermined pathways and seemingly invisible data. Or taking off with high hopes and lots of turbo- high in the air, where they are tossed to and fro. Veering off course many times, but always coming back to center.

What if they were to give up in midair? Saying to hell with these clouds! I can’t see where I’m going anyway! Yet how often do we do that, just because we let the fear of not knowing determine our emotions and actions.

As my post from yesterday stated:

It’s ok to NOT KNOW. It’s ok to wonder. It’s ok to be curious and not have all the answers.

Just like the plane’s journey, my kids and my own journey are also riddled in clouds & uncertainty at times. The turbulence of daily life, spilled drinks, messes, hurt feelings.
Fear, confusion, hopelessness even.

I realized that most of the “things” I want are long term and out of my immediate (& ultimate) control. Such as having all my kids healthy and happy and living productive lives.

Sure I can do the foot work, hustling in all directions trying this way and that way to pull people and circumstances my way. Wanting immediate results, wanting Control! Wanting to ENSURE…. What?

Nothing is “ensurable”.

At some point I have to give it up to curiosity. To wonder. Try to find joy in the journey without regard to the many possible outcomes. And align myself into the highest vibration possible so I can accept those outcomes.

Turning a massive ship around can feel very daunting and discouraging as progress is slow and fraught with set backs and opposition. Trying to be grateful for any baby steps that help turn us in the right direction, however incremental they might be! We didn’t get ourselves in this mess over night and we can be certain it will take long and sustained effort to get us out of this mess, bringing a deeper understanding to the phrase “endure to the end”. Many say the way is too hard and give up. Truth is worth fighting for and even giving our lives for. Hang in there! Never give up or give in. Have faith, Work Hard, Stay True, Be Kind..and God will help us fight the battle!- Natalie Cline

“What to do when adversity strikes? There is only one thing to do. Stand steady and see it through. Stay steadfast, constant, and true. The real tragedy in the whirlwinds of life comes only when we allow them to blow us off our true course.”
David S. Baxter – Oct. Gen. Conf 2006

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The Prodigal Son

For the story visit: Journeys.dartmouth

I had a dream last night.

I was trapped inside my house with some loud and intimidating people outside trying to get in. My family was there and I kept “trying to convince them”:

“Please don’t go out, please stay inside where it’s safe”.

My pleas landed on seemingly deaf ears, as my two eldest sons kept telling me,

“It’s ok Mom, we can handle it”.

Both of these beautiful boys struggle with SUD: one is functioning well and happy- the other is what this entire blog is based on.

I tried to pull them away from the door, like a worried Mom of curious toddlers who are determined to toddle out into the street. My boys went out anyway. In my dreamlike state, I remember thinking, at least they are together; which sadly, hasn’t happened in a year.

As I woke up from this nightmare, the following story was playing on my phone:

As I listened to the story of the prodigal son, tears stung my eyes. I didn’t put it on there, I didn’t search for it. What I did do- is pray daily – several times a day, for my son to have a spiritual awakening OR for someone to come into his life that could reach him, since I can’t. I pray for my family to come back together, un- fractured, cracking jokes again.

This experience is similar to This dream I had awhile ago.

What is the massage?




Was this God’s way of telling me to BE STILL? God’s word spoken through a dream with my beautiful boys that I miss so dearly.

I suspect I need to stand down.

Allow for the work to be done.

"It's a relief to know I'm not in control anymore.......