I’m sharing this blog post from Don at “The Life Project” because I think you will connect with it. Don talks about our call love and be hospitable to others – yet addresses the need to protect ourselves as well. Sometimes, we have to open our doors and sometimes it’s okay to close them. I think we all know this struggle. Take a look by clicking on this link: Continue in Love.
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 the phone call I have to make. And yet I am hesitant.
Dan broke into my house again. What we think he does is, he comes in the house when i’m not home (but his younger siblings are) and he says he needs to quickly use the bathroom or make a phone call. When in that part of the house, he quickly unlocks a window. Then, when no one is home, he comes in the window. We could have sworn that everything was locked. But today, during a two-hour window when no one was home, Dan got in our house and stole his brother’s ipod touch — the gift I bought Al for all his hard work staying clean, going to school, and holding a steady job. THEN, Dan called a mutual friend and said, “Call Al and find out his password for his ipod.” We found out that you can’t pawn an I-Touch without the password to unlock it.
How did he get in? We were so confused. We had checked every window a couple of days before and none of us had opened any since. Then Al checked the bathroom. Despite the fact that his razor was on the window and several items looked undisturbed on the windowsill, the window was unlocked. That must have been his route. CRAP.
I cannot take it anymore. I have to report him. I have not wanted to. You might recall Dan is in a diversion program through the court because of a felony charge for giving heroin to his brother. So turning him in puts that charge on his record permanently. I know, I know that he has to face his own consequences. It is very hard, though, as a mom to set this all into play. I will. But I might do it tomorrow. I feel so scared for him. I wish it didn’t have to be me.
God bless you all and your families and your children. ~Kay
So my son’s life is his journey. In don’t know his purpose. I don’t know God’s plan for him — the details I mean. Here I am awake at almost 1AM. Can’t help it. Can’t sleep. He’s out there somewhere. But I’m praying to let it go. Because I don’t know his journey, his purpose, God’s plan. There are so many possibilities. Just as Jesus went to his death to give us life, so perhaps my son walks a death path to provide something that I cannot imagine … somehow. If he comes out of it, he might save others with his testimony. Or, among his drug-user friends, he might say something that turns someone else around. Or his example stops others from going to drugs. I have to find meaning in what feels meaningless. And only God can provide that.
I have so much to say and yet so little. My heart is breaking and I’m numb. I know what’s right and think that nothing is right. I miss my son and hope he stays away and I want him home. Yep. One big bundle of everything.
Tomorrow, I will take a walk in the sun and live fully. It’s the only real choice.
Some of you have been living with this already, I know. Last night Dan’s dad had to let him go to the streets. We discovered he has taken things from our homes to pawn to get drug money. We drew that boundary awhile ago — steal from us and you’re out. So he’s out. I guess I can be thankful the snow is gone and we’re having warm weather. Last time we kicked him out he lived in his car. But now he has no car…and no phone. So he’s out there somewhere. Takin’ it to the streets.
p.s. This Sunday, Easter Day, will be one year since that first phone call from the police — the first time I heard the word “heroin” in connection to my boy. Interesting timing.
Prayers to all. And much love. And God’s blessings in whatever form they need to take to let you know that we are not alone. XOXO
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Do you ever get tired of decisionmaking? Sheesh.
This is a heavy topic for me right now because I’m stuck in a state of indecision … because I feel like this particular decision holds heavy weight for many people. I expect the truth is that it holds heavy weight for me. I don’t have a clear perspective. I’m a recovering codependent — used to thinking that my decisions have the ability to keep things together…or break them apart not only for me, but for those close to me as well.
What’s this all about? A move. I want to move. We’re not talking two towns over or even to a neighboring state. I want to move almost 2000 miles from my current location back to where my mom and dad and sister and cousins and other friends live. I want to be on the coast, at the ocean’s edge. The place on this earth that my heart cries for. I want to move there with my daughter, who wants to be near the women in the family and who yearns for a new beginning after a couple of very difficult years. I want this.
I want to be near my mother as she ages but while she’s still vibrantly alive. I don’t want to wait until the doctor calls and suggests I come take care of my mother on her deathbed. I don’t want to wait for that.
And yet … my boys are 18 and 20 — not so independent yet. Especially Dan, who is doing great in recovery so far. Three weeks out of rehab and still clean. A job pending. Court appearances still to come. Al, 18, his life on solid ground for the first time in a long time. He could actually join in the move or not, but Dan has no choice because of court. He cannot move, probably for a year or two. He would have to stay back with this dad. And when I talked with him he said, “Don’t move away! I already have no friends…” (He can’t socialize with his old friends due to their partying and his addiction). “I can’t imagine you not being close by!”
And on top of that my job — where I finally have a boss who is teaching me and encouraging me and helping me to grow in our business and become more of the leader I want to be.
Here I am. Stuck. Trying to think of a way to make everybody happy and to move forward without any negative consequence. Or to stay put … again … so that I will not bear the responsibility of initiating potentially hurtful change. But in that, sacrificing my own yearning. And my mother’s. And my daughter’s.
Ah yes — awake at 4AM and singing, “Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am: Stuck in the middle with you.”
In your day-to-day life, do you tend to act or react? oh sure, we all do both. But those of us who tend toward codependency tend to spend much of our time reacting to the emotions and desires of others rather than choosing actions which stem from our own core selves — our own interests, life goals, and personal beliefs and desires.
Example: I want to move to another house. This house has bad memories for me at this point, plus my rent is higher than I will be able to afford soon due to an upcoming loss of alimony income. My boyfriend thinks this is a great idea. Time to downsize. So I am happy and start to move forward, taking a look at apartments and rental homes. Then my daughter speaks against it: “I’m not moving THERE! This is a terrible idea!” I start to question my decision. Then my middle son expresses enthusiasm. I start moving foward again, etc., etc.
Today in Alanon we talked about how we can learn not to take on other people’s emotions. I have realized recently how frequently I do that. It’s an interesting journey, this self-discovery and healing process.
It’s 5:00AM and I have been up for an hour. So I’m reading: “Codependent No More,” by Melody Beattie. If you are in the Codependent world, you know the name. I’m on chapter two, and it has me thinking.
The more I read about codependency (“A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”), the more I think of my ex husband. He is not at alcoholic nor is he a drug addict. But he does have some obsessive behaviors and he does require a certain level of … compliance … from the people close to him. I found being in a relationship with him more difficult than I could bear in part due to certain requirements of that relationship. At some point you just had to agree with him on things or he’d talk you in circles for hours until you did. And you had to go along with certain routines because breaking them would send him into a fury. After awhile, I learned to agree early on in the conversation, or to supress my own desires if they threatened to break the routine…this to avoid the inevitable hurtful outburst that would follow.
I was codependent in that relationship because I was changing my behavior in order to control his behavior. I get that. I see it in my children and I wonder how to address that with young people. Their dad loves them and doesn’t have a definable addiction that I’m aware of. And perhaps they are codependent in response to me. I wonder.
I’ve also begun thinking back to my father, who has always been a drinker, more and moreso as the years went on. But he was never mean. He would always get either silly or deep, and he’d always tell you how much he loved you and how guilty he felt for not being good enough. In response, I spent much time insisting that he hadn’t done anything to feel guilty for, telling him I loved him, and insisting to myself that I could love anyone despite their behaviors… codependency. It’s a vague concept that clearly is part of my makeup.
The book says that codependents have trouble acting on their own behalf because they spend most of their time reacting. I cannot count the times I have started projects or wanted to act on ideas, made brief projects, and ended them saying, “I just couldn’t carry it through. It’s so hard to keep my focus while (X and I are arguing…the kids are having problems…work is requiring…etc.)”
Just some early morning thoughts. Codependent no more. Sounds nice…