Category Archives: Healing

The Mourning Shall Rejoice

So my last post was a mournful one. Self-pity. Whaddya gonna do?

This post is rejoiceful!  My son, Dan, now 21 years old, completed his 1.5 year program in Recovery Court!  Yesterday they had a court hearing for all the Recovery Court people. And when it was Dan’s turn, lo and behold, he was greeted by: his current judge, his original judge, his parole officer, his counselor, his NarAnon sponsor, the people who worked in the jail when he was there, even the prosecuting attorney.  Even the judge’s clerk … and it was her day off.  They all came to congratulate Dan on a job well done and to give testimony, on the record, of what an inspiration it has been to watch him grow and heal.

I wish I could have been there. But his dad was there, which is good. I’m tearing up just writing it.

In this case, for my boy, “The System” worked.  The system I often railed against came through, partly because the program is a good one – a real example of the “it takes a village” philosophy.  So I hope that program continues to be supported.  But the program only works because of the people who run it.  They did their jobs with heart, and they — plus the hand of God — saved my son’s life.  And he has touched theirs as well.

I’ll write an official letter to someone there to express this, but I want to say it here: Thanks to all public officials who are in their positions for the right reasons, doing the best they can for everyday citizens.  Whatever I end up owing the IRS…it’s nothing compared to the gratitude I owe to all the people who walked beside my son at a time when I had to walk away.

God bless us all.

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Letting It All Out

I only have a few minutes, but I did want to write about this: I had a knock-down, drag-’em-out, screamfest with my daughter two nights ago.  I mean a cussing, yelling, door slamming, and crying kind of thing.

Finally, she opened up a bit. It hurt, but it was healthy. She told me, point blank, how I dropped the parenting-ball during the years when my boys were starting to party.  She said that me and her dad both turned a blind eye to what was happening in our own homes – and in doing so, we failed her as parents. And we failed the boys too.  She said that she raised herself during the years when it was worse.  And then she said, “So check it out, Mom — this is me leaving the nest!!”

In the end though – like the story of grief I posted a couple of days ago – when it was all said and heard and understood – things were a little better.  She gave me a real hug for the first time in a year. And we both agreed that if this type of interaction is necessary now and then for us to communicate honestly with each other about hard things, then it is. And we’ll get through it.

I’m sad for her, and for me, and for us.  We’ve all lost a lot.  And the truth is, she is right about what she’s saying.  But she also has things to learn … about forgiveness, and the choice of love, and how families can heal.  So we keep on walking.

One Mom Talking – signing off for today. Make it a good one!

Wherever You Go…

My daughter is still struggling with our move.  When we lived in Colorado, she had reasons why she wanted to leave that place and those circumstance.  Now that we are in South Carolina, she has reasons why she believes Colorado was better, or why South Carolina is not the best place, or whatever.  You get the idea.

I figure it’s time for her to learn something we all learn at some point or another: “Wherever you go, there you are.”  Perhaps addicts learn this more clearly than the rest of us.  Whether in our homes, motel rooms, or on the streets, they still are who they are.  And sometimes the only way for them to learn that is for us to take that hard stand and draw those firm boundaries. 

One blog friend has had to do this recently.  It’s painful to read the stories from those who are just getting to that point with their addicts.  I’m grateful to be past that right now; and yet clearly aware that I might end up there again someday.  Relapse is the unforgiven friend you hope never shows up on caller i.d.

One of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, says it this way: “Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”   Dr. Wayne Dyer reminds us: “Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place we must find.”

It’s all about the journey.  Wherever you go, there you are.  My daughter will learn in her own time; as we all do.  So be the blessing you want to see in the world.  I love you all – God bless!

One Mom Talking 2011

I’m making a new commitment to this blog for 2011.  It’s not a resolution exactly.  Let’s call it a “Plan of Good Intention.”  Here ‘s what you can expect from One Mom Talking over the coming months:

  • Signs and Symptoms of heroin (and other drug) use by young people
  • A parent’s plan of action (what to do once you know)
  • Keeping siblings safe
  • Hope for healing: A Spiritual Perspective
  • Rehab options (private and public)
  • Addiction and the Department of Corrections
  • Speaking Engagements (I might develop a presentation to take to schools and parent groups)
  • Getting us together (reponses to my initial survey showed that parents of addicts yearn for a chance to meet each other in an organized setting)

This year, you will be able to easily share your favorite OMT posts on facebook, twitter or by email (buttons should be easily visible with each post).   One Mom Talking will be on facebook soon as well.  Reaching in and reaching out.   God bless!

Every Day = New Years Day

Happy New Year, everyone.  I sincerely hope that 2011 brings healing, spiritual renewal, and a deep sense of serenity into your lives and the lives of those you love.

As much as I want to detest 2010 (as if a time period has meaning and character all its own), today I gratefully report that 2010 ends (and 2011 begins) with both of my boys in recovery.  I do feel deeply grateful.  I’d like to say that I feel Joyful — but that would be dishonest. 

My melancholy comes partly from needing more time to trust the recovery my sons have committed to, and partly from my own continued need to heal from the addiction that turned our family upside down … and moreso, my daughter’s need to heal, which she has yet to acknowledge.  We have an appointment for a mental health evaluation on January 4.  I am grateful for that.  I’ve been out of work since July and we have no insurance.  Luckily the county we are in has this program for high school students, and so we are getting hooked in. 

All this to say that this year, I take “New Years Day” with a grain of salt.  I’ve returned to Al Anon (which I didn’t do much of last year) and what I’m learning is that every day is New Years Day.  Every day is an opportunity to accomplish whatever we can, to be the best we can be, to encourage those we love, to start over if we’ve erred, to find gratitude, to love ourselves, to pray for a new start. 

During 2010, I spent a lot of time trying to decide who is sick and who is well and who is responsible for what … I’ve let that all go.  On this fun date of 1/1/11, for today, I’m not playing the blame game.  I’m not going to try to analyze my daughter.  I’m not going to try to analyze myself.  I’m going to tell all my children I love them, bake some corn bread, take down the Christmas decorations, and rest.  

One of my Al Anon friends gave me this prayer:  “God, bless [him, her, them] and change me.”   I’m going to stop being like Calvin in this comic, and admit my need for change.  This is my prayer today.

Every day is New Years Day.  Thanks for being here, everyone.  You true blessings in my life, whatever the date may be.

Rebirth

 This is a photo I took here in South Carolina.  My new home.  It is a symbol, though, of all rebirth for me and my family.  Especially for Dan.

The bigget news:  Dan gave his life to Christ after being ministered to in jail by a visiting Bible Study leader.  Now, he is out on probation living with his dad.  He’s been clean (except for one slip) since May.  But clean now for 28 days outside of jail, by his own choice and because – he will tell you – of the power of God that lives in him.  He reads the bible daily, goes to church, meets weekly with the pastor, and has met a group of students from a local college who meet for study and fellowship together.  PRAISE GOD!! 

I am not allowed to talk to Dan on the phone, or to visit him in person.  The restraining order set in place back in May is still in effect.  The judge won’t lift it until I am able to go to Colorado and meet with her in court.  I don’t know when that will happen.  But I am sure it will happen exactly when it’s supposed to.  In the meantime, Dan and I write letters to each other.  It’s a wonderful, underused way of communication.  He can tell me about his life, uninterrupted, and I can do the same.  We are getting to know each other in a way we might not have otherwise. 

He says, “Mom, I am growing up now.  And you have your own journey.  Do what you need to do.  I love you!”  What more could a mother ask for?

Grace

I really have so much to update and will not do that at this time.  It’s 6AM and I need to shower and go to work. 

I will tell you that I have been feeling guilty lately because I’m moving forward with my life and spend less and less time in “mother of addict” mode.  Does this mean I’m denying reality?  Don’t know.  Dan’s been in jail for months now.  I saw him Friday and he looks good.  I cried when I saw him.  He cried too…well, almost.  I saw tears in his eyes. 

Anyway, I had been feeling guilty about not visiting him enough, about actually going forward with the move (five weeks), about not trying to help him define his next step, etc.  And then in church yesterday, we saw this U2 video.  It settled my heart a bit.  Perhaps it will serve you as well.  God Bless!