Friday, December 24, 2010

In Process.....

Recovering from addiction is a journey.  We have been told many times that it is long journey.  It really isn't something that anyone really wants to hear.  In Al Anon, we learn that we also have a disease.  Our journey is also a long one.  This family disease is taking us all up and down the hills of recovery and around winding curves of understanding.  I say all of this to serve as a reminder that any one event that occurs is not the make or break event.  We are not (thankfully) a Lifetime movie where all is solved in 2 hours.  Our ending isn't one glamorous climactic ending. 

If we live our lives according to God's will, we may someday learn to stop looking for the "final" answer or the conclusion to the cliffhanger.  We may take the day or the moment and cherish it.  I have been praying really hard to know what to do next. 

I have had three people in the last few days pose the question to me, "what if he's not using?''  I have already totally subscribed to the theory that an addict will lie and lie.  So, I have ignored his telling me that he was clean.  Christmas is a hard time to be estranged from any loved one.  My husband and I were ready to trudge through this holiday without him, if it would be best for him.  Then, we received a visit from his 80 yr old grandfather, who is terribly hurt by all of this.  He has a hard time with our cutting him off.  This was very upsetting to our entire family.  We all want what's best for my son.  We all just have different ideas of how to do this.  This question of whether or not he was using started to nag at me a bit.  We had those mad because we didn't do enough and those mad because we did too much.  It makes your head swirl and makes you question.  I had to slow down and pray.  Then, out of the blue, I heard myself ask my husband if he wanted to go see my son to check on him, unannounced, so that we would truly see him as he is.  He too had been questioning, so he was all for going.

My heart began to pick up speed the closer we got.  I began to question myself.  I began to pray.  Am I doing this for only my sanity?  Will this set us back?  I prayed for guidance.  I prayed for a sign.  I prayed for my son.  We knocked and knocked on the door.  I didn't think he was home.  Then he came to the door.  He was instantly upset.  He said that he was getting over the loss of us and now here we were and it would be hard again.  Real stirred my heart but I was still unsure.  We took him to coffee and talked for about two hours.  It was awkward.  It is hard to trust.  But, he was taking care of himself.  He looked and sounded good, clean and sober.  He often got emotional.  He never asked for anything.  He was just hurt that we would cut him off.  But, I don't regret it.  Sometimes you must lose something to appreciate it. 

Do I think he has recovered?  I think he is in recovery.  I think that when he relapsed, he was in recovery.  He needed to see first hand that he could not do this.  Has he learned that lesson?  He thinks so but, maybe one day he will be strong and think he can do it and slip again.  Maybe not.  I don't know.  I think he is in process.  I think we are in process.   We are not defined by single events or moments in time, but by the sum of those moments and days and the direction we take.  No one can say we are good or bad.  No one, but God, knows the hearts of me or you or my son.  No one can say that this is good or bad.  It was for me a chance to check on him.  If he looked bad, I wanted another chance to fight for his life.  If he looked good, I wanted him to know we loved him so much.  I got to tell him.  I got to hug him.  I got to see that he still loved and missed us.  It was a gift.  I have still given him to God.  I still think he has a long journey.  But, I thank God for yesterday.  It was not the moment of surrender to go to rehab, he wasn't a dramatically totally turned around guy.  It was a step or two in a good direction.  I am thankful.  Merry Christmas to me. 

I want to leave you with this tale that was read to me at a family outpatient meeting.  I think it is important to remember the moral of this story in each of our lives and be grateful for all of the small victories, instead of holding out for the big finale.  Somehow I don't think our Lord writes for Hollywood.  His works are far better.  We just need the faith and patience to appreciate his works. 

A Chinese farmer has a stallion. One day the stallion runs away. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such bad luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
A few days later the stallion returns with three mares. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such good luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
The next week the farmer's son breaks his leg taming the wild mares. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such bad luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
A month later the Chinese army comes and demands all the young men soldier age. The farmer's son does not have to go because of his leg. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such good luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
And so it goes...

Today I am thankful for the son.  I am thankful for my son.  I am thankful for this small victory.  I am thankful that my son just got a full time job.  More lessons from the ultimate teacher.  I pray for your Christmas miracle.  I pray for each moment to be fully appreciated.  And, I pray for the soul of Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

AMEN, Jean! Amen! This was my favorite, spoken directly into my pitiful soul: "be grateful for all of the small victories, instead of holding out for the big finale." That's the story of my life, holding out for the big finale, and missing all the small, real, glorious victories. THIS was my message for Christmas. Thank you dear one.

Btw, not that I think it matters, but it's the right thing. To him, and others, who don't understand or contemplate God's ways, the "cut-off" seems so brutal. And it is. But only to bring the final victory, which is worth absolutely any price. The view is long, but it is love.

For Henry, for you and all of yours, my small, pathetic prayers.