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
This is my first humble attempt at creating a youtube video with a bit of spiritual teaching and an original song. Surely we’ve all had questions for God. Please view gently – I’m just testing this out.
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.
The Twelve Days of Christmas – One Mom style, with many thanks
On the twelfth day of Christmas my children gave to me…
Twelve prayers answered,
Eleven years of therapy,
Ten gifts bought with their own money,
Nine brand new friends,
Eight college credits,
Seven hugs for Mama,
Six job applications,
Five straight good nights’ sleep!
Four of us in church,
Three siblings laughing,
Two new family members,
And the blessing of their sobriety!
I cannot believe that I get to spend this Christmas with all of my children! My boys are doing so well, my son’s girlfriend is also doing great and taking care of herself and my grand-baby-to-be… I have so much to be thankful for. So to you all – those who share a season of blessings and those who are in the midst of the darkness that addiction can bring – I send you my prayers and my love. Keep on living. You are not alone. We’re in this together. God bless!
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!
I suppose 4AM is “this morning” (even though it still feels like night). Either way, here I am writing prayers. I received a call an hour ago from Mike – my Ex – that he received a call that Al is in the hospital – possible overdose. So much for my cell-phone-detachment bragging rights. We’ve had about four months of clean living in our family and I’m grateful for that. And we’ve done this drill before. Maybe I can approach it with some sense of serenity.
Anyway, over these months I’ve been writing Scripture-based prayers for all of my children, and in support of Al, I’m posting a couple of his here:
Psalm 42:5 “God, sometimes Al is discouraged. Sometimes he is sad. I pray that you guide him so that he puts his trust in you. So that he knows that you are his Savior and his God!”
Psalm 25:4-5 “Dear Lord, show Al the right path. Point out the right road for him to follow. Lead Al by your truth and teach him; for you are the God who saves him. All day long, may he put his trust in You.”
I join in prayer for all of you and your children. I’m going to try to go back to sleep, since right now, the best thing I can do is stay rested and well. May God’s peace be with you all.
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!
Update: Al is hoping to be accepted into a sober living facility in either Kansas or Nebraska! He is choosing not to try to come here or go back to Colorado. If he accomplishes this, I will call it Check Mate and declare him a winner in this round. God opens the doors, but we each have to walk through onto new paths. And the boy is walking. Amen!
Al has only ten days left in rehab. At least that’s how it looks right now. So he is deciding what to do next. His counselor recommends that he not go back to his hometown since all his connections are there. He wants to come to a halfway house about an hour away from me. I don’t know what to say.
First, I said yes. Then, I talked to his counselor and raised some serious concerns about it. Could he go somewhere in Colorado that’s not near his friends? But after that conversation, I felt terrible stress in the pit of my stomach. It doesn’t feel right.
Maybe he could come here. An hour away. Far enough that, without a car, he can’t just pop over to the house. Close enough that I could pick him up and take him to church and to the house for Sunday dinner once a week. A place where his only acquaintences would be family and the people he meets in his program. It feels right to me but I don’t know if I’m trying to control or if I’m trying to aid recovery. Once again, I’m clueless. The people in my Alanon group listen to me and nod, but give no advice.
I’m calling his counselor today to talk about it again. I feel unrest in my spirit. I have prayed that God would let things fall in place in such a way as to direct him to where he needs to go. I guess that’s the real answer. Trust God. Let go. Trust God some more. I’ve never been good at chess – and life really is not a chess game. If it is, it’s God’s move.
Posted in Addict Child, Addiction, Faith, God, Heroin, Parent of addict, Recovering Child, Recovery, The Ongoing Story
Tagged Addiction, Heroin, Recovery, Rehab
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!
Posted in Addict Child, Addiction, addiction daughter, Healing, Heroin, Parent of addict, Parenting, Recovering Child, Siblings, Spiritual Growth, The Ongoing Story