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.