Monday, July 25, 2011

Letting Go.....

One year ago today, I took my son to rehab and dropped him off.  As I drove down the drive, the arched sign said, "Let go and Let God".  One year later and I am still in need of that reminder many days.  It was a scary, surreal, out of body kind of day.  It was a day that changed who I am as a person and who we are as a family. That is not to say it was a bad change.  The problem was there.  The awareness of it hurt.  But, the need to change was great. 

So here we are one year later.  Recovery is a long arduous process.  And, when I speak of recovery, I am   referring to more than just my son.  My family is in recovery.  Last year we went through the shock and chaos of this new knowledge we were acquiring.  This year we work on becoming healthy individually and as a family. 

It is frightening to open your wounds for others to see.  It is humiliating to admit to mistakes.  But, it is all so necessary.  So today I let go again.  I let go of old habits, bad priorities, unimportant time wasters and I focus on each family member and on the family.  I let them each find their own way with love.  I keep my boundaries and I pray like the crazy.

My very best friend in the world is letting go today too.    Her son is leaving for the novitiate to become a Dominican priest.  This is a very different path than my son took, but our journeys are much the same.  You see, every good and perfect gift is from God and on loan.  There comes a point in time when you must, in faith, give back by letting go.

I am sorry for her sadness and fear of this unknown.  But, I expect that she will receive the same amazing graces for this difficult time, that I received during mine.  I know that she worries for him in this first most difficult year.  I know she worries about his brothers and sisters and  her husband. 

Today I am thankful for my best friend.  She has been there for me in so many ways.  I am thankful for her son and his willingness to say yes.  I am thankful that a year has past and that he is clean.  I ask for prayers for her and her family as they face this hard day.  I pray for her son during his first year.  I pray for her family as they adjust to this new way of life.  I pray for all of those who are letting go.  May they have the strength and faith to know that in God's hands it will be as it should.  And, I say a prayer for Henry.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Cat Can't Go Back in the Bag....

Addiction formally introduced itself to us this time (within 6 days) last year.  It had been there for quite a while, we just learned it's name.  A lot has happened since that time.  A lot of good; a lot of bad.  It is hard to hear things that you never want to learn.  It is hard to hear just how long recovery takes.  It's hard to accept that life can't be "Rockwellike".  But, it's not and it does. 

I remember going to my first AlAnon meeting and being both relieved and scared.  I was in a room with people who are dealing with addiction for the long haul.  That seemed so daunting.  But, they also gave me some incredible tools. 

Step one all by itself can move mountains.  Learning that God is the only one in control seems so obvious and yet I think few of us really believe it.  We don't understand the tentacles of control we all have and try to use.  When I finally started to understand this concept, it was a relief in a way. 

The 12 step program made me go in search of who I really am.  It allowed me to respect myself more as God's creation.  It made me less tolerant of status quo.

So, in honor of this milestone in my life, I move forward again to try to live in the best way possible by seeking counseling.  There is a little fear.  Like last year, it's difficult to face the hard stuff.  It's like getting on the scales after Christmas.  But, it is an effort to try to deal with this last part of my life in the most honest and healthy fashion possible.  I know so much more now.  I know now that when I get those intuitive twinges, it is dangerous to ignore them because you are afraid of what they mean.  It is always best to deal with things truthfully. 

Addiction has been my  wake up call.  It has made me do a lot of questioning in my life.  I now know that family is the reason I'm here.  I now know that my children (adult children now) are still the best gifts I've ever received.  I now know that I am willing to do whatever God wants me to do in order to follow His will.  I just don't know, practically speaking,  how to get there.  So, today, I go before an impartial person and ask for help and clarity.  I can't ever go back to living on the same path that brought me to this place. 

There are other options.  We just have to be willing to take them.  Despair isn't an option anymore.  It is wrong and suggests that I don't trust God to make this better.  My best friend gave me a kick in the backside and got me to look at those dangerous thoughts. 

Today I am thankful for surviving this most difficult year.  I am thankful that we aren't in the same place as last year.  I pray for clarity in following God's will.  I pray for the patience to remember to take my journey "one day at a time".  I pray for all of you affected by the disease of addiction.  I pray for my family's growth and I pray for Henry, as always.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I am about to hit the one year anniversary since my son went to rehab.  And, while things aren't perfect, they are wildly different.  He holds a good job and is in the apprenticeship program.  He wakes up at 3:30 am each morning by himself and gets ready for work.  He has purchased his own car and insurance.  Last year, I could not imagine anything like this ever happening.  But, it did.

Addiction is a by product of a person's inability to deal with life.  We all choose coping mechanisms.  Some, who are healthy, take things to God.  Others will eat or drink or choose a host of other "things " to lean on. 

I've spent the better part of a year trying to look at what led to choosing this dangerous path.  I think it has to do with brokenness.  We are all broken in one way or another. If our loved one is broken, the best gift that we can give them is to deal with our own brokenness.  Healing ourselves has a ripple affect.  This is taught in our twelve step program.

But, it's not an easy task to confront the problems which may go back generations.  Frailties of the past are written on the fibers of our being.  It is difficult to question and to try and change something so familiar.  But, living honestly demands the courage to confront.  The twelve step program teaches us to take care of ourselves.....we can model to our family healthy ways of living and being. 

This journey is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing.  It takes the courage to get out of our comfort zone.  It takes courage to look our demons in the eye.  But, in dealing with addiction, I've already looked the devil in the eye.  I won't give up the fight....we've come too far.  So even if I've grown weary from this fight, I've got to keep peeling back the layers.  My son is working hard.  I owe it to him to learn to live in a healthy positive fashion.  I owe it to myself and to the rest of my family.

Today, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for this awesome progress.  I am thankful for this insight and the courage to continue the fight.  I pray for so many blog friends to look inward and heal themselves so that they may find the faith of a mustard seed to allow God to heal their loved ones.  I pray for my son and my family to have the courage to keep peeling back those unhealthy layers to find the beauty of who God created them to be.  And,as always a prayer for the soul of Henry.