I live in a small coastal town near a small city in South Carolina. We are bound by the ocean to the east and rural areas to the west and south. There is one NarAnon group in the city and no others anywhere within reach – not for us and not for the smaller towns and cities in surrounding counties.
I work in a women’s recovery house and sometimes the parents call – especially the moms. Due to HIPAA, our privacy regulations are extensive and I usually cannot tell the parents any details about how their daughter is doing. I talked to one mom who was sobbing on the other end of the phone, “What do I do? Will it ever be better?” I was heartbroken.
I want to create a resource for parents but I don’t know how that looks yet. In the meantime, I’ve discovered a website called “In the Rooms.” I just joined and it looks great. You can attend a video NarAnon meeting, participate in meditation sessions, chat with other people and even get a sponsor. If you have never checked it out, I recommend that you do. And if you’re there, look for me, “One Mom Talking.”
Lastly, if you have suggestions about how to build a program or network for parents, especially in rural areas, please share!
Wishing you all a very blessed Easter.
I know it doesn’t feel blessed to many of you. Five years ago today, at this time (7:15AM), I was in a police station learning that my boys had been using heroin at a party. It’s amazing to me that Easter is the anniversary of this journey for me. No wonder I’ve been tense these past few days.
But now – I’m off to church. Know you are all in my prayers. Know that Love Wins – if not in this life, then in the Great Beyond. Easter is our reminder that there’s more to life than what we can see. And that death holds no power over the beautiful spirit of life in all of us. LOVE has already won. Amen.
I once read that the stone which covered the entry to Jesus’ tomb would have weighed 1-2 tons. Let’s be cautious – let’s err on the light side and imagine it was just under one ton. Let’s, for the sake of argument, say it only weighed 1,750 pounds.
One thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds.
The effect of addiction on me, on my children, on my whole family…
on your child, on you, on your whole family…
this is the weight of a stone that we cannot roll away in our own strength.
Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. 29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. 30
For my yoke is easy
and my burden is
Have you ever wished you could blossom into your beautiful life without first being planted into the cold, dark ground?
Have you ever wished you could blossom into your beautiful life without having to break through the shell that surrounds your heart?
Have you ever wished you could blossom into your beautiful life without having to feel the pain of the push up through the heavy soil? Without suffering? Without ever being so fully human?
Then, accompanied by the disciples,
Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives.
There he told them,
“Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,
“Father, if you are willing,
please take this cup of suffering away from me.
Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.
He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit
that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
You’ve heard of “peace and quiet.” I suggest we change the phrase to “peace and now.” Now is quiet – maybe not outside of us, but internally…spiritually. At the core of who we truly are, now is silent and cannot be altered.
Sounds too easy? It is and it’s not. I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now,” and I’m in a section toward the back of the book titled, “Give Up the Relationship with Yourself.” What? Isn’t our recovery about RECOVERING our own relationship with ourselves. It’s the same thing. Just roll with it for a minute and I’ll do my best to explain.
It’s this idea: “If you develop a sense of identity based on your [victimhood, loss, recovering-parenthood, etc.] you have escaped one trap only to fall into another.” (That’s a direct quote from the book except for the parens). This is because any identity other than your pure essence (some might say “God”) is frought with some earthly or ego-centered frailty at one point or another.
Here’s the peace in NOW: Right now I am this breathing body filled with the spirit of life. If, tomorrow, I experience a trauma and my mind/body experiences intense pain of some sort or another, at any given moment I am still this breathing body filled with the spirit of life. What I’m trying to get to is this question (which we’ve discussed before in a different context): How do you identify yourself? I’m thinking that the answer to this question begins any person’s true recovery.
I’m really just thinking through this “out loud” here on this screen. But I’m experiencing access to an always-accessible quiet of “Peace and Now” lately. And this time it’s not just because my boys are in full recovery – because one of them had a relapse recently. He had a relapse and I started to re-identify with my “parent-of-addict-filled-with-fear-and-worry” self again. But I was reading this book, and I find I’m changing a bit in my ability to … as A Course in Miracles says … “See things differently.”
Please know I’m not lecturing or making light of where you are, what you’ve been through, or what you’re feeling. I’m just sharing an idea that might help others as it’s helping me today. Right now. God bless you.
Posted in Addict Child, Addiction, Codependency, Healing, Hope, Parent of addict, Recovering Child, Recovery, Relapse, Spiritual Growth, Support Community, The Ongoing Story, Uncategorized, Women
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!
First things first: I want to wish all you Moms out there a wonderful, restful, peaceful, loving Mother’s Day! Even when I’m not showing up here on the Blogs, I keep you all in my prayers.
Update: Life has been busy, that’s for sure. And things are looking up these days for my family…
- DAN is doing GREAT! Last month I went to visit Colorado, saw the judge, got the restraining order lifted and, for the first time in eight months, got to spend time with Dan. I gave him so many hugs! He’s being promoted in his job and planning to apply to college for the fall. I know that an addict can slip at any time, but I’ve allowed myself to fully accept Dan’s recovery right now. He looks fantastic, has a great outlook on life, and is succeeding in all his programs. It’s amazing how a life can turn around in God’s hands. Amen.
- AL has 80 days clean! He is still looking for work, but he has also managed to stay in his sober living home and manage his life. He’s had some bumps in the road, but as far as I know they’ve not included using. I still worry about him a little … but each time we talk my worry lessens. It almost seems too good to be true that both boys are in recovery mode and staying there.
- LYNN is starting to open up. She asked me if she could go to church with me tomorrow — first time since we moved last July! I’m so happy. We’ve been getting along better. And she did really well on her ACT exam for college.
What else can I say? I’m working two jobs – which is a little nutsy – but I’m also getting back on my financial feet somewhat. I’m doing a 13-week program at my church “Financial Peace University.” It’s time to put that piece of my life in place. In the meantime, the warm weather is settling in here in South Carolina, and an hour on the beach today did a lot to calm my over-active brain. Now prayer and sleep, and a new day tomorrow.
God bless your Mother’s Day!