Heal Thyself

Ever since Al was in the hospital, I have been a mess.  I haven’t been sleeping well at all.  I’m nervous.  I cry easily.  I pray and pray and still I fret about him.  So I call him.  “Are you okay?”  “Are you going to meetings?”  “Do you understand that if you’re using, you have so much to lose?”  “Remember to pray and go to meetings, I’m worried about you!”

He says, “I know, Mom.”  “I know, Mom.”  “I am, Mom.” 

It’s just today that I realized … It’s not Al’s responsibility to calm me down and help me sleep and make me feel better.  And sure, maybe he is using.  And we know he needs to be going to meetings.  But what I just realized today is that I need to be going to meetings!  I need some counseling.  I am my own responsibility – not Al’s! 

So I called him and told him that he’s not reponsible for my feelings.  And he felt glad to hear it.  This is sure a ride, isn’t it folks?  I feel a little better already.  Now to research government-supported counseling programs for me

God bless you all!

Overdose Confirmed

Just to follow up on my last post – we have confirmation that Al OD’d. I believe it’s because he had not been using for almost five months; so when he did finally use, his body couldn’t handle it.  It was his first payday since he started working.  He got a hefty check (from his perspective), and he had worked 40 hours in three days, so he was overtired and stressed.  There you have the ingredients for a slip.  And yes, right now we’re all calling it a “slip.”  One use after five months does not a relapse make.  It all depends what happens from here.

Thanks for your support everyone!  God bless!

Prayers Tonight (this morning)

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.

Detaching … from the Cell Phone

The other day I went to the beach for a couple of hours.  Stopped at the store.  Went home.  Somewhere along the way I realized that I didn’t have my cell phone with me.  I realized it with a brief thought that came and went with no concern. 

Hallelujiah!  I have detached from my cell phone! 

When my boys were active in their addiction, I might as well have had that phone sewn onto my skin; I never let it leave my hands.  I was too worried I’d miss some all-important call.  Every call and every text seemed to carry life-and-death potential.  Of course I was exaggerating the urgency of it all, but clearly I wasn’t in control

Anyone else need a cell phone-ectomy?  Try it one day.  Tell it how much you care, and then leave it home.  Detaching with love.

The Circle Game

Anyone remember this song that Joni Mitchell sang?  “Years spin by and now the boy is twenty. though his dreams have lost some gradeur coming true…There’ll be new dreams – there’ll be better dreams, and plenty, before his last revolving year is through.”

Yes, the years are spinning by.  And I’m so grateful!  One boy is 19 and one boy is 21.  And while their dreams might have lost some grandeur compared to those earlier, more innocent years of their lives, they are dreaming still.  So grateful.

Since I’ve neglected this page for awhile, here’s an update:  Dan is a manager now with the food chain he’s been working for.  He works too many hours, and contemplates backing out of the job for that reason, but he’s not rushing his decision about it (which in itself is a major sign of maturity).  He looks so great and I wish I could post his picture here because he’s such a strong and handsome young man! 

Al is doing well too.  He’s out of his halfway house and he’s living with a girl.  I guess they’re not supposed to enter relationships so quickly (especially with someone else in recovery) but the two of them have made this decision.  They attend meetings together and he helps her family with various chores and child care, and they’re helping him find work in the town he’s settled into.  He’s very active in the recovery community and contacts me regularly.  So…while I still have those occasional nights when I wake up with a heart of worry about him, I think he’s doing well.

My daughter has friends now, and a car, and we’re going to visit colleges this summer!  Wow…my youngest has only one more year in high school.

I’m enjoying my nonprofit job, and getting along much better with my boss.  So gratitude is the attitude of the day.  And here’s the best thing:  “Addict” is not the first thing I think of when I think of my boys now.  I never thought this day would come.  I know that we could find ourselves back in that someday.  But right now, “there are new dreams, there are better dreams – and plenty…”  God bless you all.

That’s What Faith Can Do…

I love this song and thought I’d share it.  Perhaps someone needs God’s touch tonight …

Flowers for Mom

Today was a wonderful day.  The doorbell rang and there was the delivery man with a beautiful arrangement of flowers.  The card read, “We hope you like these flowers.  Thanks for being such a great mom.  We love you!!”  Signed by Dan and Al.  Oh yes I did cry!  The flowers are beautiful but the greatest gift is the note from the boys I thought I had lost.  Amen!

New Job, New Me

I started a new job this week at a local nonprofit organization.  I’ve done nonprofit work for a long time – fundraising, event planning, database management, donor relations, etc.  This job is as assistant to the executive director, and I hope it will grow to be something more, but…it’s not quite what I expected it to be.

I accepted the position at a low salary because that’s what today’s economy requires of me right now in my part of the world.  Fine.  I and my boss know that I am overqualified, which is okay too, as we discussed that I could grow from here into a more demanding position. 

What I didn’t expect was the level at which this man would attempt to micro-manage everything I do.  He watches over my shoulder as I open a file folder on my computer, open a document, alter the document, etc.  He reminds me to change the date on a letter, and just told me how to save a file in MSWord.  Um … I’ve been doing this for decades.

It’s a new job, and a new me.  In the past, I might have grinned and bared it until I couldn’t take it anymore, and then quit.  Not now.  I’ve learned some things as the mother of addicts.  I’ve learned about boundaries, thank goodness!  And about who I am and how much I’m capable of and how to speak up for myself. 

So tomorrow morning, my boss and I will have a chat.  He doesn’t know it yet, but we will.  I will be happy, polite, and even insert a bit of humor.  But I will also be firm and clear. 

I learned today that the person before me quit this job because she could not handle what she saw as condescension and insult from this man.  But I also heard she never confronted him about it.  And confrontation is too strong a word for me at this point.  We’ll just have that chat.  And we’ll see how it goes.

So today, I am grateful for this new job, and for the person I’ve become, in part because of what I’ve been through with my children over the past couple of years.  We learn to take the good and leave the rest.  God bless.

Mother’s Day 2011

This Blogger makes a very important point.   If your child is active in their addiction today, this might help you keep perspective:  Mother’s Day 2011.

A Mother’s Day Update

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!