Saturday, October 30, 2010

We are Family

My mother had six children.  She grew up during the depression.  She survived a tornado and a flood, each destroying the home that she was living in.  She lived during World War II. One of her children almost died as a baby, one lost an eye in an accident, two boys were sent off to Vietnam one was wounded, one daughter was diagnosed with a cyst in her brain and all of us drove her crazy from time to time.  Her favorite brother was killed in a tragic fire.  She worked very hard all through her life.  She battled diabetes for over half of it.  She was one strong woman.

I remember growing up thinking that I didn't think that I could withstand all of those very difficult times.  She was such a meek, quiet, kind hearted, loving woman.  She never really got too rattled.  She never really threw a fit.  I am sure you are wondering how I could possibly be her daughter.  Growing up I heard over and over the story of how she received the news that my brother had been wounded in Vietnam.  Apparently, she thought that an official only came in person to deliver news if there had been a death, so when a sheriff and a military figure drove down our driveway she ran outside took off her shoes and started throwing them at the officers yelling at them to get off of her property!!!  If you knew just how quiet my mother was, you would really appreciate that story.  She calmed down and profusely apologized when she realized that my brother was wounded, on his way to the states, and would be okay.

I have a cousin that is my age.  She and I spent a lot of time together growing up.  We used to take our scarves off and she would hold one end and I would hold the other across my driveway at Thanksgiving and we would charge admission to all of the relatives so that we could buy penny candy at the Kwik Pik across from our grandmother's house.  We got into all sorts of trouble fun.  She broke her leg on my skateboard that her father told her not to ride...which I encouraged her to ride.  We made up poetry for the "mean girls" that were calling her names.  We went to see Grease four times until her Dad put his foot down.  She was my maid of honor.  I was in her wedding.  Our boys were born three months apart.

Today, we share a lot more than that.  She has two children that fight a lifelong disease.  She and I worry about the scariest thing possible....the health of our children.  We have faced the one thing that no mom ever wants to face.  We have looked the devil in the eye.  We both know what it is like to be frightened to the core.  We both know what it is like to carry the burden of worry day in and day out.  We both want to hope and still struggle to do so from time to time.  We both get caught up in worry so much so that we loose track of the big picture.

That being said, we are BOTH fighters.  We are learning new ways of hanging on.  We are learning new ways to cope.  God is so generous when we really need Him.  When I started blogging, she was one of my most avid readers and still is.  She has understood all of the fears I have.  She has commented on how different and how much the same our situations are.  She has listened and checked on me and been there.  God in His goodness has brought us out of our busy lives back to help support each other.

The really marvelous thing is that not only do we share our fears, but we really can laugh and have a good time.  We both have said that we have seen the scariest thing.  Nothing else compares to the fear of your child being sick.  We're really not so scared of other things that typically would have scared us before.  We've both mentioned (however foolish) that if someone tried to car jack us or break into our houses we'd say "bring it on, buddy,  just try it....see where it takes you."  We're two mad moms who are just looking for a good reason to start swinging!!!  But, we honestly mean it!!

So here we are.  We're becoming our mothers.  But, for us that's a very good thing.  Our mothers were sisters.  They were so close.  They were sweet and funny and I loved watching them together.  I miss them both so much.  We are facing the hardships that they did that we never thought we could face.  Life can be so hard.  She asked today why God thought we were strong enough to take this.  I have to wonder myself.

I don't want to be in this situation.  I know she doesn't either.  But, at the same time, it is here in this scary place, that all of the "crap" is irrelevant.  It is here that what's important becomes crystal clear.  It is here that I really am trying day in and day out to listen for and follow God's will.  That is a gift.

Today I have many prayers of thanksgiving for the gift of family.  I am thankful for the examples of our mom's who fought hard and loved unconditionally and taught us to laugh.  I am thankful that this hardship has given us proper vision to see what is really important and learn to eliminate " the crap"...I am thankful for a loving God who provides support when we need it most.  I pray for my son to be healed, for good health for my cousins children, for those all around us who are living with the disease of addiction.  I pray for all of the souls including Henry who never got the help that they needed.  I ask all of these things in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Be Not Afraid

I read today that the words, "be not afraid"  appear in scriptures 366 times.  That is one for each day of the year including leap years.  Apparently, I am not the only one who needs reminding.  But, I do need reminding.....often.  I don't know why but I seem to be unable to let go without fear.  I can let go, I just feel so afraid.  I worry and fret about all of the things that could happen.  I imagine all sorts of bad things.  I am afraid to get my hopes up.  Today, I tried very hard to move beyond these feelings of fear.  So, I reached for some of my favorite books to look for answers.  The first book I looked at began with this scripture:  Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4: 6-7.

I guess that about says it all ....stay in prayer and keep your heart and mind on Christ.  I just keep looking down.  I wonder why it is so hard to keep looking up?  There is a saying that courage is fear that has said it's prayers.  I love that .  Prayer reminds us of God's presence and reminds us to rely on His strength and not our own.  St. John Vianney said that God commands you to pray, but forbids you to worry.  I am lacking in faith.  I keep listening to worries and statistics instead of possibilities and hopes. 

My son is looking for a job.  He is starting from the bottom.  But, he hasn't given up....thanks be to God.  He has a long way to go but today, he is doing okay.  I must shift the way I look at things.  I've really got to start being thankful for what I have.  I've got to really start looking at possibilities...through God.  I've got to earnestly start to pray with blinders on.  I've got to make a priority of living my life with all of this going on.  St. Jerome said that facing our fears and doing our duty in spite of them is an important way of taking up our cross; thus, we can reassure ourselves that in our efforts to be brave, we are actually serving Christ.

I have the power to make this whatever this is either produce something good and positive or negative and fearful.  I have the power to choose.  So, this is my new goal.  It's not all about me.  This affects my whole family.  I must let the light of Christ shine through even this hardship.  So, today that is my goal and my prayer.  I pray for paradigm shift.  I pray for strength.  I pray for Christ to help me to quiet the fears and nagging negative thoughts.  I pray for my son and always for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

PS  Mother Teresa was once asked for her business card.  She thought and thought and this is what she came up with.  Perhaps this will help me and you in our journeys...

The fruit of silence is prayer
The fruit of prayer is Faith
The fruit of faith is Love
The fruit of love is Service
The fruit of service is Peace 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stay the Course

I can see why one of the most popular sayings in AA and Al-Anon is One Day at a Time.  This is a one step forward two steps back kind of world we live in.  As I pray for direction, I can't help but get the feeling that I need to hold the boundary....stay the course. 

It is so difficult when you want so desperately to trust and yet you know you can't.  I keep looking for signs of the person I knew before addiction.  I miss that person.  I get my hopes up to see him again.  When I think I see a glimmer of him again, it would be easy to just relax a little.  But, I can't.  I have to stay vigilant and remind myself to hold fast to the boundary.

All of this vigilance causes emotional fatigue.  I want to just relax on the couch without worry creeping in to wake me.  I want to plan a Sunday dinner and have all my kids there eating and chatting and fighting over dessert.  I want so much that I may not have for a while.  I'm not giving up on my dreams, I'm just trying to remain patient until they come true.  I believe they will.  I just live in a fast food world where I want it now. 

Mother Teresa is my most favorite (soon to be) saint.  I just love her so much.  She was this no nonsense, plain spoken, straight forward, pushy,holy nun.  I've learned many things about truly living a life according to God's will through her writings.  Prayer was at the center of all that she did.  It must be at my center too.  She felt that God was requesting that she start this new order to go to the poorest of the poor.  She had to get permission from her superiors and when they didn't give her the answer right away, she continued to write and pray and did not give up.  What are the odds that an everyday sister would start a new order in a very poor country with no funding and eventually open a home for the dying, an orphanage and be known world wide?  She just kept her eye on who could do it.  She persisted.  She kept her faith. 

Today, I am looking to Mother Teresa and will try to follow her lead.  Prayer, perseverance and faith will help me to get my second wind.  I pray that my son will learn new healthy habits too.  I pray that he learns to be honest.  I pray that he become the man that God wants him to be.  I pray for the ability to stay the course and as always I pray for Henry. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Messes, Mistakes and Miracles

The days are so filled with worry.  I don't know how to lay it down.  It is like watching a movie and the foreboding music is playing and you just know that something bad is going to happen.  It is so hard to watch your child, whose mind and thoughts are compromised, make decisions that will be so hurtful to him and not be able to stop it.  Being forced to watch this take place is the hardest thing I can ever imagine doing.  I have no control.  I can only pray. 

So, pray I do.  I am so weary.  My husband is weary.  My girls are weary.  We are consumed with fear at the thought of the possible bad decisions he could be making.  How do we just all keep going, day in and day out,  with the enormous weight of worry from the insanity of addiction? 

In Al anon they teach us to take care of ourselves.  I am trying to do more and more of that but I am not sure that I will ever be able to totally let it go.  I can only hope.  I can only deal with one day at a time. 

When days become so difficult, I pray harder and try to do just one thing...say a load of laundry.  Then I try to do another.  Then, I think well maybe I could get this done.  Soon, in the midst of all of the overwhelming thoughts of possible catastrophes that could occur, on top of all that needs doing, in the midst of my desperately wanting to take to my bed, while in the fetal position, something gets done.  I have a little less to do on my list.  I survived that hour and I did it while accomplishing something. 

My son is on his own.  He is living in an apartment with two other fellas from rehab, who he says are clean.  I say, "he says" because with an addict, you really never know.  He is looking for a job.  He has no car.  We told him that if he used again, there would be no job and no car.  Not from us....ever again.  We mean it.  It is the hardest thing I've ever done.  This could be bad....this could be good.  He decides.  Really, he decided all along.  It's just that my husband and I cannot in good conscience make it easy or convenient for him.  We can't enable him.  This is growing up the hard way 101. I know he can do it.  But, will he?  It is all up to him.  I think that's how it needs to be.  I don't think he will ever get better any other way.  So, here we are waiting.  He tells us he is going to meetings.  He tells us that he is applying for jobs.  He tells us that he has an interview next Tuesday.  We will see.  I pray he is being truthful.  I just don't know.  He says all of the things he knows I want to hear.  This time I will let the proof be in the pudding.  I will wait for his actions to do the talking.  Good or bad, it is all up to him. 

Taking the difficult path isn't a cakewalk, but I don't want you to get the impression that we are living in hell.  Hell is separation from God.  God is with us.   There are little miracles everywhere.  I feel so many things being taken care of that normally I would be busy worrying about.  We are trying to make some major changes in our life.  We are hoping to sell our home and downsize.  We want a simpler life.  We want less to take care of and more time.  It seems that we will begin to work on one detail and while we are working so hard to face this difficult problem with our son, according to God's will,  the detail that we are working on gets taken care of in a fashion we could never imagine.  This has happened over and over.  This is the hand of God.  We are so blessed. 

Today I saw one of those church signs.  We were in the process of donating one of our horses to a therapeutic riding program.  While we weren't using her much, it was a little sad to see her go.  When my husband got a little blue about giving her up, I reminded him that there were too many sad things to consider and that we just needed to focus on changing one thing at a time in the hopes of having a better life down the road.  Then we both saw the sign.  It read, " God makes miracles out of messes and mistakes."  I think it was a sign from God.  You may think I'm a kook.  I'm okay with that. 

Today, I have a prayer of Thanksgiving for so many blessings from God.  I am thankful for friends as near as my street to as far as Israel, who are praying for us.  I am thankful for the comfort and peace that passes all understanding that comes only from God.  I pray for my girls and their healing and comfort.  I pray for my son, that he will learn to be truthful, work hard at his program and be the man God wishes him to be.  And, I pray for my Henry and yours.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am in the situation that can be so painful and frightening that it leaves me unsure of what my prayers should be.  God gives us all free will.  Can I pray for my son to want to go into treatment?  Can I pray for my son to not want to do bad or illegal things to support his habit?  Can I pray for my son to want to get better?  Do I only pray for God's will and the courage to follow that?  Can I pray for my desires?  Jesus asked for this cup to pass from Him but also said not my will but thine.  I guess this will be my prayer.

In one of my very confused fearful wakings, it came to me that I needed to treat this like Lamaze.  Lamaze is a way of having something to focus on and and a way to  breathe in order to relax during the very painful labor and delivery during childbirth.  I decided that my focal point would God's miracles.  This is an effort to increase my faith.  So, when I have a specifically panicky moment, I think, God had Moses part the sea....can you imagine the sea and the strength it has just parting for the Israelites to escape exile?  I imagine Jesus waking the dead?  I imagine two fish and two loaves of bread feeding that huge crowd.  I imagine water becoming wine.  I imagine myself walking on the water of this turbulent storm.  I imagine possibilities.  I imagine miracles.  I hope for miracles.  I hope.  

Now, I am still a nervous and frightened gal.  But, when the grip of fear starts to tighten it's noose around my breath, I go back to what God  can do.  Instead of fears, I see possibilities.  Instead of shutting down, I keep moving.  Instead of lack of direction, I find my way. 

I can only hope that after this long frightening laboriously difficult experience, there will be a new birth.  I hope that my first born will experience new life.  Life filled with faith and family and growth and service to others.  So, today, that is my prayer.  Please guide us through this process.  Please part the seas of addiction so that my son might escape.  Please heal his mind.  Please help him to walk one step at a time into a new life.  Please give us both the courage to not look down.  Please help all those affected with the disease of addiction.  Thank you for holding us close.  And, I pray for the soul of Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Falling....Into the Arms of God.

The rubber has met the road.  My son has relapsed and we had to enforce some boundaries.  He has no job or car now.  He was given the option of rehab which he didn't feel like he needed.  So, this is where I have handed my son over to God.  I didn't do it without a substantial amount of begging and pleading.  But, it was not to be.  I know that God takes care of all of our needs.  I'm just so afraid because the addicts mind doesn't belong to him anymore.  It belongs to the great need to use again.  I just don't like all of the places that great need can take him.  I read something that I need to remind myself over and over again, "Today, I can take comfort in knowing that I don't have the power to ruin God's plans."

I also read this quote, "Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task go to sleep in peace.  God is awake."  Victor Hugo

Today I pray for my faith to grow.  I pray for rest.  I pray for guidance.  I pray for my son and for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My God Has Not Forsaken Me

Boundaries are hard to enforce when you know that if they are crossed and you must stand behind the consequences you put in place that very dangerous things can occur.  But, with an addict, you must stand firm with the boundary or you are then an enabler.  My son relapsed and after much soul searching, my husband and I decided that providing transportation and a job to someone who is actively using, is helping to support that habit.  So, he was given a boundary that if he had a positive drug test, he would lose both of those things.

He was very angry at this information and that scared me, but I had to stick with it or this would not get better.  I know I must stick with this, but,  my fears can take me to some really awful places.  I felt emotionally and physically ill.  I live in a constant state of prayer...begging.  I started to feel like I was in hell and so all alone.  I was really understanding how Jesus said my God my God, why have thou forsaken me.

Then the phone rang and it was one of my fellow Al-anon members called to tell me that she just wanted to start building relationships with the members so she called to tell me that at work, she had established a boundary with a co-worker and had stuck with it.  I said that is great.  I had to establish a boundary with my son, at which point I burst into tears and told her all about our situation.  She confided in me that she had to kick her son out as long as he was using and told me that what she did to cope was to imagine that she was picking him up and placing him in God's hands.  That he was safe with God.  She also told me that her son was doing great now.  He is sober, working and had even received a promotion.  I told her that I thought that God had told her to call me and I thanked her for saying yes to that.

I cannot tell you the relief that brought me.  I decided later to call my son.  He couldn't talk but he was different and told me that he had gone to a meeting last night and was going to one today and he'd call me later.  Thanks be to God.  I did not expect that.  It was a gift.  I know the battle is still long, but I am so thankful for the gift of the lady who called and my son's telling me he was trying again.  It's so miraculous to me how God really communicates with us.  I wonder why I don't have stronger faith.  I am so thankful.

Today, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for those who say yes to God and reach out.  I am thankful that my son is trying to keep up the fight.  I am thankful for a most loving, present God who is taking care, great care, of my son and my family in such a very loving way.  I pray for strength to continue to hold this boundary, healing for my son.  And, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Source of Your Strength

The recovery process is one that you will either give up on or it will make you stronger.  It really all depends on where your strength lies.  The possibility of relapse is very real.  Many say that it is part of the recovery process.  I have been very intimidated at the thought of it.  Coming to terms with step one and realizing that I don't have any control over it have taken a lot of courage to accept.  When the very real scary monster in the room rears it's ugly head, how do I not fall into a puddle on the floor and not come apart? 

Well,  I have a very good answer for that.  I am letting God be my strength.  I don't have it.  Control doesn't give it to me.  My husband can't fix this.  No priest can fix this.  Turning to food or drink or substances certainly doNOT give anyone strength.  God does.  This is the big game of trust where I have to cross my arms across my chest and fall into the strength that only God provides. 

Today we met relapse.  A slip maybe.  A stumble perhaps.....but a relapse.  My son was very upset at the thought of hurting us.  I was up most of the night praying, praying.  Out of nowhere when he told me that he was worried about what it would do to me, I felt this incredible strength and told him to quit worrying about me, I am strong!!  And, at that moment and at this moment, I felt it.  God is at my back.   I know it and feel it.  " I am strong, you are not."  " I don't need to turn to pills or booze when I am stressed, you do."  My brain is healthy and clear, yours is not."  "Stop worrying about me and take care of you."  "Tell me the hard stuff, I can take it."  God has my back.  He has his back too.  He just isn't looking at the proper source for his strength. 

I don't know what will happen next.  I know it is out of my control.  I know my son will need to quit worrying about the unimportant things like being embarrassed and look at what is asking for help.  God is the number one go-to guy.  I can't convince him of this, but today I pray for it.  I ask you to pray for it.  I also pray for my son to learn and value honesty and hard work in his program, no matter how hard it gets.  I pray for God to continue to hold us all up with his massive strength.  I pray for healing.  I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Monday, October 11, 2010


Loss can be defined as the state of being deprived of or being without something we once had.  As I sit trying to still the whirring of my mind, I try to organize what I am feeling.  This past weekend, I fought every single urge I had to call or text or check on my son.  It was difficult.  But, I did it.  This morning I saw him and he was doing fine but clearly didn't like it when I asked questions about what he did over the weekend.  I can't seem to keep my mouth shut for the life of me.  Addicts have problems in early recovery being around the people, places and things that they were around while they were using.  My son was at home for much of his drug use.  He gets visibly anxious when he is at home and sometimes around us.  My behaviour of trying to control are reminders of his past. 

I decided yesterday, that part of my sadness was due to loss.  I have lost the ability for my son to comfortably come home, have dinner and sit on the couch and watch a movie.  I have lost the ability to count on him for holiday dinners, birthday's and family reunions.  My daughter came home from college and I fixed a big meal one night and I invited him to come.  He said he didn't know if he'd come but thanks anyway.  He did not come.  My daughter even said, " well, maybe he'll at least come for the holidays....I hope he will".

 It is a sobering thought to think that this disease has robbed us of so much.  It has robbed us of normal family vacations.  It has robbed us of normal brother/sister relationships.  It has robbed us of our sanity much of the time.  It has robbed him of his education.  It has robbed him of normal friendships.  It has caused guilt and shame to take the place of hopes and dreams. 

Al anon teaches so much.  We work the twelve steps alongside the alcoholic/addict.  It is so unbelievable to me how the disease is a family one.  Our symptoms seem to mirror theirs.  Step one says we admit that we are powerless over alcohol/drugs.  I have tried to admit but failed miserably because I wanted to avoid the pain of what could happen.  Many articles about recovery suggest that if an addict successfully completes step one then he has accepted that he can NEVER have this thing that brought comfort, pleasure and was an ever increasing part of their lives.  Because they can't have this they have to be willing to stop avoiding whatever pain brought them to this in the first place. 

A death of sorts occurs.  I have to die to old ideas and previous dreams and hopes.  He has to die to old ways of coping.  He has to die to old habits, the people, places and things.  We both have to let a part of our past die.  This can be good in someways but sad in others.  In the long run it is through the pruning of all of this dead unhealthy ways of life that allow the new healthy growth to take place.  But, pruning is painful.  The stages of dying are shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance.  We both will have to proceed through these stages in order to ADMIT our powerlessness.  We both feel a loss of sorts. 

Today, I am thankful for this understanding of our process.  I pray for the strength to accept the pain so that I can admit that I am truly powerless.  I pray for my son to understand as his mother could not for along time, that he can survive the pain.  I pray for healthy new growth.  I pray for all of you who travel this journey alongside us.  I pray for the soul of Henry, and I ask these things in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mind Your Own Business....

Back to step one.  As a former teacher, I know that if a test is failed, the lesson will need to be retaught.  So, this is where I find myself.  Step One:  We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/drugs---that our lives had become unmanageable.  Okay, I thought I knew, on a purely intellectual level, that I was powerless, but I'm not sure that I admitted it.  Admitting would require concrete action, on my part.  I can admit, when I feel like things are going well (my way) but when things get a little questionable, well that is another story. 

This past week has been a difficult one.  My son moved out into an apartment with two fellas from the halfway house.  Now, he is on his own, able to make his own decisions.  On top of that he didn't sleep well and started becoming anxious, irrational, and very unstable.  It brought a host of worries to me.  I instantly jerked back into old habits of worry advising, begging God to have it my way, etc. It was an intense week.  I really looked inward and honestly felt like I couldn't do it on my own.  My prayer was for God to help me let go.   That was all that I could do on my own. 

I had to literally force myself to let him go and not check on him, not call, not text and accept that if he did relapse, I  would stick with holding the line on the boundaries that I had put in place.  I would hold fast with the things that  I would not accept.  I had to shift my thinking back off of what I didn't want him to do to what I could do.  It didn't make me feel great, but, it was action that I could take.  It was what I could do to take care of me. 

Is it wrong for me as mom to take care of me?  Al-anon teaches us to do that very thing.  In Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, he even says , "On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia.  Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters to progress even more, and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you, that you may conduct yourselves properly toward outsiders and not depend on anyone."

My question is where is the line.  What is charity in action and what is getting in someone else's business?  It is a topic for much prayer.  I started a new book.  It is called, Reaching Out--The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, by Henri J. M. Nouwen.  This is a great book about learning to reach out to ourselves and who we really are first, then reaching out to our fellow man and then how we can better reach out to God.  I think that it is through really getting to know who I am, who God intended me to be, what he intended me to do, that I will be able to serve my fellow man and finally when I learn how to do that really live my life in union with God. 

I have to be alone with me to learn about me.  How can I really serve others or God, if I don't know who I am.  We live in a society where we are fearful of loneliness but it is here that we are quiet enough to get to the core of who we are.  I can't keep thinking about everyone else's problems and know who I am.  So, I am on a spiritual retreat with my new book and prayer.  I am trying to get still and quiet and learn that God can take care of ALL of my needs.  I am trying to be quiet enough to allow God's voice to be heard.  I am trying to be still long enough to feel God's loving calmness wash over my very anxiety riddled life.  I am trying to admit that I am powerless.  I am a work in progress.

Shortly after that, my son called and talked to me at length about all he'd been going through.  He was having a hard time with PAWS.  PAWS is an acronym for Post acute withdrawl symptoms.  These occur off and on for 6-10 months with more time in between each episode.  They can include anxiety,irrational behaviour, memory loss, feelings of stress, and a host of other things.  It was such a relief to hear that.  I googled the topic and found a great blog This gave great information regarding this part of recovery.  I copied the article and left it for my son. I hope this didn't cross a line.  I didn't say a word other than leaving a note to say that this information might be helpful. 

Today I pray for all of you affected by the disease of addiction.  I pray for all of you who think you can carry your families problems on your shoulders.  I pray for those of you who either don't know yourselves for who God made you to be or forgot who you were before you had a family.  I pray that you will become lonely with God and wait on him and his will.  Last but not least, I pray for Henry. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Admitting that I am Powerless.....

Warning.....being a mom is not for sissies!!  Being the mom of an addict is so very hard.  Especially for this very impatient, nervous, controlling, and fearful mom.  This has been the week of two steps back.  I have really really struggled with letting go.....again.  I thought I had let go...and while things seemed okay, for a time, I had.  The minute I felt unsure about my son's situation, I tried to jump back into old habits.  I started to call and text that would really influence him to stay strong.

 I wonder why it is so hard to let go of something that you have never had in the first place.  Why is it so hard to trust God?  I have always thought that I trusted God, and I think I do with everything but my children.  When it comes to them, it is a "where the rubber meets the road" reality where I simply believe deeply in my heart that if I actually say to God, here they are,  take over, that it will automatically open the way for only the things that I fear the most to happen.  I really feel like even though I know that God blesses me in so many ways, I am too frightened to say if the thing that scares me the most is to happen, let it.  In reality, if the thing that scares me the most were to happen, it would.  No if's and's or but's about it.  I canNot control if he uses again.  I canNot control if he makes good choices.  I canNot control if he were to go to jail or not.  I canNot even control if he were to die from overdose.  It was even difficult typing those sentences.  But, I can't.  I canNot control anything but what I choose to do. 

My son is out on his own and sober.  Sober is stressful.  Sober makes you FEEL.  Sober makes you aware that you have to work to pay the bills and sometimes there won't be enough.  Sober makes you realize that those that are your age are so much farther ahead of you.  Sober makes you realize that what you've done the last few years has left in it's wake, many many scars and messes to clean up.  Sober makes you feel the shame and guilt of your past.  Sober has made him anxious and afraid.  It makes him upset because even though he is sober for 77 days, and he knows the work that has gone into it, that others still don't always trust him.

Knowing how stressed he is, scares me.  But, I think he is stronger than I realize.  He is stronger than I am.  I know this because even though this is so hard for him, he wants to stay so very bad at this new apartment with two young men who are very very serious about sobriety.  They are so serious that they don't cut him any slack.  He wants to be successful and  trusted.  If sobriety didn't matter to him, then this wouldn't matter and he would be out of there.  His journey is so hard.  My journey is hard. 

Yesterday, I prayed and begged God to help me to let go.  I begged for courage.  I confessed my weakness and lack of faith and begged for help.  I begged for strength for my son.  We are in a valley and there will be more of them.  I hope I am capable of learning, because this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. 

Forgive me for talking big one day and cowering the next, my friends.  I am going to a meeting tonight.  I need it.  Today I pray for courage to let go....really let go.  I pray that my son keeps fighting the good fight.  I pray for forgiveness for my lack of faith.  I am thankful for the boys he rooms with.  I am thankful for all of you who support us with your prayers.  We feel them.  I am thankful beyond words for you.  And, as always I pray for Henry.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Oh you of little faith, why do you doubt?"

One step forward, two steps back.  I am so fearful of change.  I always expect it to be bad.  Why can't I just trust?  Why do I always assume that because from my very limited vantage point, I can't see a good outcome, that a good outcome isn't there.  My faith is still and I fear will always be in an infantile stage. 

Today, I went to mass, heavily burdened, worried and back to my old ways.  God in his goodness gave me just what I needed.  The readings were about the apostles asking Jesus to increase their faith. God doesn't really ask a lot of us.  We only need the faith of a mustard seed.  That's really not that much.  It's really a good thing.  When you compare my fear (lack of faith) with my faith, well it isn't a very balanced image.  The priest today said something that really seemed to help.  He said that if we take our eyes off of our weaknesses and place them in God's strengths, we can find hope.  That's what we all need.  Of course if I continue to look at my abilities, I will be fearful.  Why can't I remember to look at what God can do.  It's because I tried to take over control again.  I tried to snatch it right back again, and it took me ......two steps back. 

Peter and I have a lot in common.  We said to Jesus, if you command me to.......walk on water (in Peter's case) or give up control of my son ( in my case), I will.  Peter seeing the strong wind, and I seeing all of the problems that could occur, both began to sink and today, I cry out Lord, save me.  This is the time that I am reminded that I have little faith and need to pray for our Lord to help increase my faith and to help me use the faith that I have. 

My son has moved out of the half way house and into an apartment.  This is a next step.  Now, he has to make all of his decisions.  Good or bad, they are his.  There is all of this freedom.  It scares me to death.  When I recently told him my fears he said, "Mom I can't do anything about my history."  I don't think any of us can.  I think that all we have are the decisions we make today.  So, the decision I'm making today is to say, Lord, I give you my me to let go. 

Today, my prayer is for an increase of faith.  It is for God to silence my imagination and help me to hear the words that he has for me.  I pray for my son and for the disease he battles.  I pray that my son opens his heart and ears to the will of God and the courage to follow it.  I pray for all of those who aren't yet fighting this battle that they may have the courage to start.  And especially today, I pray for Henry.