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.

1 comment:

coffeemom said...

when life takes an unexpected left turn...I think grief is normal. Grieving that loss of what you expected for your children is normal. I think it's healthy. I think we are often told to "stop the pity partY" and move on....and there is a small something to that. But I don't think you can do that, moving on, until you move through the grief. But as you know, the thing w/ that it comes and goes and comes again. It's not only linear. So, it's a possible lifelong tussle. So I say, acknowledge the grief, the loss, recognize it, and then it won't OWN YOU.
It's a loss. It is. Pure and simple.

But. More. It's a gain. Because it was lost before you knew it and you didn't have the real him even close, you just thought you did. Now, it's real. And that's better. It's not airbrushed anymore, but that picture is so much more beautiful.

I know this barely makes sense....but it's as best as I can say it w/out more and better coffee this morning.