Friday, March 11, 2011

Preconceived Notions.....

My daughter has epilepsy.  She is well controlled, now.  In the beginning, it was such a frightening thing to think about.

 My husband and I saw her condition in two entirely different ways.  Neither was wrong or right, just different. My husband being (a bit) older, remembers when some of the older folks, thought those who suffered from seizures were mad.  This caused him to want to hide her problem as a means of protection.  I felt that everyone needed to know in case something happened.  I didn't think too much about what others thought. 

This same daughter had scoliosis.   I took her into the orthopaedic surgeon who began asking about her medical history.  I mentioned her epilepsy and he quickly corrected me by saying, "seizure disorder" in a very stern voice.  He later said that he didn't want my 12 yr old to feel bad about the use of the word epilepsy.  I said, "she didn't have any reason to until just now."

I am not suggesting that my husband, who loves our daughter with all his heart and the surgeon, one of the most caring individuals I've ever met, were out of line.  It is a decision to weigh; Do I protect from ignorance or do I promote honesty while  chancing bias?

The same thoughtful consideration goes into whether or not to go public about the addict/alcoholic in our lives.  It's not really my story but it does affect me.  It is a careful line to walk. I want to share some thoughts that I have on the subject.

When my husband  and I first learned of our son's addiction, we didn't tell a soul.  We wanted to protect him and quite honestly, we were scared, ashamed, embarrassed and prideful.  It didn't take very long for those pasted on smiles to feel as though they weighed 1,000 lbs.  and each person who asked about him required a phony story which began to grow old. 

Then we decided to tell those family and friends that we were really close to.  It was amazing.  The support and relief were so consoling.  We began receiving a healing balm of extra prayers.  And, others began to open up about the alcoholic or addict in their life. 

  I have ADD.  I can't tell you how hard I work at NOT interrupting.  A thought will pop into my mind and it takes the strength of elephants to stop it from popping out of my mouth.  There are so many folks that love to crack the ADD jokes.  I was even in a counselors office recently, who told me how many times I had interrupted her and that I talk too much. 

My point is this, we all have something.  And, we will most likely be judged for it and any other preconceived notion a person might have about us.  But, I think that shedding light on any problem is the first step to freedom.  Letting that secret out, strips it's power. 

For a long time I suspected my son had problems with drugs.  I felt that saying it out loud made it true.  Sticking my head in the sand, made it true.  Admitting it might have started a firestorm, but it was a firestorm to healing. 

However you wish to handle your story, at the very least, take it to our Lord in prayer.  He knows how tired you are and is willing to take on your yoke.  There is a lot of traffic on this blog and very few followers.  I suspect it is because this subject matter is so hard.  I write anonymously myself.  It is a means of saying out loud, to God, that I am here and I am taking on these problems.  It is a way of talking about the loneliness of this problem.  It is a way of talking about the fear of loss.  It is my way of being heard.  I encourage you to find a way of being heard. 

Today I pray for all who suffer from isolation because of addiction or alcohol;  that they will have the courage to take back their lives by turning on the light.  I pray for the addict and alcoholic, that they allow God to teach them the lessons that they need for today.  I pray that we all try to look beyond any preconceived notions we might have.  And, I pray for Henry.


Dad and Mom said...

I wrote an essay on this very subject quite a while ago. I agree, turning on the light is the first step of recovery for us all.

Here is a link to the essay I wrote:

coffeemom said...

This might well be one if my favorite posts if yours. Ever as you know so well I'm in total agreement w you. And tired if giving ANY extra power to these hard things in our lives So I say we do need to say the names out loud and steal the stigma away. No more whispers. Love you. M

sewso1962 said...

You know, I agree with you totally. Whether a family is fighting addiction, or something else, there is only pain that comes from our pride trying to hide the truth. Continue to be strong in our Lord and as always... we will continue to pray for Henry

Gena said...

I'm a firm believer in honesty. But what about those people in our lives who revel in the bad news? 2 very close to me light up like Christmas trees when I simply tell the truth about my life and the truth is not pretty. It makes me want to lie. What is the motivation behind this kind of reaction?

Mom of an Addict said...

sewso1962: thank you for your comments and most especially for the prayers.

Gena: I think that if someone is very close to you, they wouldn't "light up like a christmas tree" at the hard truths. When someone delights in your hardships, it can only be motivated by pride. Their self esteem must be low. Those folks delight in others hardships because in their minds they feel that it makes them look better. Pride is a dangerous thing. It can only take our focus off of what is important. Stick to the truth and pray for your friends.