Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Divorce is to Death as Addiction is to Cancer....

The Dad and I went to counseling today.  Our obvious topic was our son.  We discussed exactly what it was that was so hard.  For me, I have tremendous guilt that I didn't make my son unconditionally I loved him.  The Dad tends to follow the "we didn't cause it" path.

It also occurred to me that unlike cancer or any other disease, my son has all the power to choose health.  It's a little like divorce instead of death;  instead of dealing with the problems the couple chooses to part.  In dying, the couple has no choice.

 It's really irrelevant at this point.  Now is all that I have, today.  So, I've decided to focus on now.  I'm starting with goals.  I'm gonna work on my health by choosing to eat differently.  I'm gonna get fit by choosing to exercise.  I'm gonna try to find peace by choosing to implement a daily rosary into my schedule.

So today my prayer is one of thanksgiving for the opportunity to have counseling.  It is the one place where I am heard objectively.  I am thankful for all of the folks who have chosen to say a prayer for my family.  I pray for my son to be able to hear the voice of God.  And, I say a pray for Henry and all others who lost their fight with addiction.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It feels really weird to not know where one of your children are or how they are doing.  It feels counter intuitive to refuse them food and shelter.  It seems as if I'm living a "Sophie's Choice" kind of existence where all choices are devastating ones. 

Our family has had a lot of ups and downs.  We have so much to recover from.  It is a lonely place to be.  My parents have been gone for quite a while now.  I have brothers and sisters but they don't live in the same town.  I have friends but after a few ups and downs I hate to keep dragging them into the drama that is my life.  Even I'm tired of hearing about it.  My girls don't need the stress. 

So, I come to you guys.  You keep me from facing this hell alone and I am grateful.  You allow me, without judgement to vent or cry, complain or whine and give me words filled with encouragement and most importantly........I trust you.

You have no hidden agendas.  You aren't out to spread gossip.  You just care support and pray.  What a wonderful gift you all are.  In the beginning, it amazed me what a holy group that you all are.  Now, I come to expect it from those who have traveled the hard road.

You've taught me about gratitude lists, God boxes, the serious power of prayer, loving enough to do the unthinkable and you stand by those who travel this journey with you. 

If I could box you up and take you to church or to an awards banquet I would say, "look this is the perfect example.....their children are addicts or alcoholics, they have been to rehab, lived on the streets, jail or prison or both,  they don't fit into any educational or socio-economic box, they are of various religions or they only work the 12 steps but they know how to love, I mean love like Jesus teaches, more than any others out there.  They have been tested and retested.  They get it.  I hate being a part of your group and I love being a part of your group.

Today I am thankful for the support that I would not have without you.  I pray for the healing of my son and I pray that he allows God to help him heal.  I pray for all the sons and daughters out there on such a dangerous path.  And I say a prayer for Henry.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sadness with Hope

There is great sadness in my heart.  A boundary had been crossed.  Another time of giving my son to God.  But, knowing this time, that he really can't ever come home again and maintain sobriety.  It is time.  He is old enough.  But, it didn't happen in the natural order. 

It took almost $40.00 dollars worth of quarters to wash any shred of addiction from our laundry.  Bags and bags of trash are gone.  I want no reminders.  I've boxed up his things.  I must not have a shrine to what could have been.

And, now it is an abandonment to the Divine.  It is a time of fearing that like Mary, I too will have to watch my son go through the agony of suffering and death.  I'm still begging God.  And so far he has sent angels with healing words. 

One told me that in accepting that even if my child dies from this disease, God still has hold of him, still loves him and he was never really alone.  She also said that anything short of death means that there is still hope.  And, that we have to let go to receive what we need.  Healing balm.....

Today I am thankful for the love and kindness of you my blogging angels.  I am thankful for friends who allow me to drop in no matter what time.  I am thankful for a loving God and the prayers of others.  I firmly believe that it is through prayer that he has a chance to heal.  I pray for mercy for my boy.  I pray for healing and help from his guardian angel.  I pray for all of the sons and daughters who fight this disease and I say a prayer for my grandfather, Henry, who died with the bottle next to his chair.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Unrealistic Fear

There is a numbness that seems to come from muscle memory.  A dread of sending your addicted loved one off on his journey by  turning addiction away.  Telling Satan to take a hike, hoping that by the time the fight is over that not too much is lost.

There is a unrealistic fear that giving him back to God is somehow more dangerous than being cared for by his parents who selfishly hung on for themselves even though he was continuing to hurt himself.  Addiction is the now visible scars of brokeness.  It is the big fight between good and evil, with evil playing dirty.

I am afraid.  Even though God is always there for me, I am so afraid.   I think I am afraid because of all of the mistakes that I have made along the way. 

Today I say a prayer for strength and I ask God to help my unbelief.  I pray that my son can fight this disease.  I pray that he allows God to help him. and I say a prayer for Henry.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Next Step

A decision has been made that my son needs to stand on his own two feet.  He can do this and he needs to for himself as much as our family needs for him to.  It's a tough decision.  Sometimes my imagination causes my stomach to churn.  I get a sense of dread.

Today I went to see the girls at the jail for the last time before they graduate from the Homeward Bound program.  One girl who was tearfully telling me that there was no hope for her on the first day of class told me, with a twinkle in her eye, that she had 89 days left and that when she got out at midnight she on a Saturday she would be at church the next morning and an AA meeting that night.  She thinks she's got it this time.  Her hope was beautiful and contagious.

I pray that my son can find God in his journey.  But, it is his journey, and I am trying to get out of the way.  This will be a walk of faith.  It is a walk through the desert.  I just read this post and thought it was a good one for anyone who is dealing with a very difficult time.

Today I say a prayer of thanksgiving for all of those who have given words of encouragement.  I pray for courage and healing for those facing addiction.  And I say a prayer for Henry.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It Starts With A Feeling.

It starts with a feeling.  Something is just not quite right.  My body notices it first but the busy mind lags behind.  Then a swell of dread seems to rise up from the depths of my core, until I am forced to acknowledge old behaviors that I want nothing to do with.

I had three c-sections in 3 1/2 years and the healing of my abdomen seemed easier each time.  I mentioned this to my OB-GYN and he agreed that yes, scar tissue heals faster.  I guess that is why even though the dread and fatigue that creeps up doesn't send me to the fetal position, this time. 

It's time to deal with it.  Firmly and swiftly without panic and while continuing to try to live in the midst of it all.  It's what "we" do.  We do it because we've learned to let God direct this scary step in the lesson to be learned.  We've learned it's just too big.  We've learned that instead of living with dread we must turn and walk to the edge of the cliff and simply ............let go.

Today I am grateful for the fact that God is in control.  I am grateful for the courage He gives me.  I pray that God will heal our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, families and friends by freeing them from the chains of addiction.  And, I say a prayer for Henry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
I just got back from a little trip with a girlfriend and she brought this book which she'd just read and said that I had to read it.  It is one of the best.....better than best, books that I've ever read.  It's "firme".

Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest, wrote this book about his mission to rehabilitate ex gang members by giving them a job and loving them unconditionally.

Father Boyle or "G" as they call him, shares stories of hope where few others have ever thought that hope was available.  He gives a powerful illustration of unconditional love to the marginalized.

To the bulk of society, our sons and daughters are the marginalized.  Sometimes, it's hard to know how to love in the midst of fear and anger.  It's hard to remember to love when our loved ones won't do what we want them to.  We somehow think that loving someone when they do the things we don't approve of, it's like rewarding bad behavior.  Sometimes we think that loving someone makes us lose a boundary. 

We all have to decide how to approach our situations but this book has some really good ideas on how to keep that relationship and foster love.  I loved it.

Today, I pray for each of you in your journey, right where you are, and I hope that you will find the motivation to help you with your loved ones.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Field Trip Moms

Remember being one of the mom's or Dad's chaperoning a field trip?  Well, I kind of feel like that's what we (our little blogging community) are now. 

This is simply from my own point of view,  I was never terribly crazy about going on those things,  I went because they were excited and I felt that it was my way of supporting them but going because I'm just so thrilled to go not me.

Now, here we are and most of us don't want to be along for this ride but here we are, supporting recovery the best we can. 

I just came back from a little trip to the beach with a friend and had some time to sit and watch others.  I had time to still my mind and consider my life and the turns that it has taken.  I saw this guy on the beach.  I'm not sure what he was doing but he did look peaceful.  He sat this way for a really long time, content in just being. 

I'm trying my best to find ways of being grateful and content on this field trip.  There is a lot to learn.  Today is my son's 23rd birthday.  He was born on mother's day.  He's doing well and starting to understand the importance of his higher power. 

So, today I am grateful for this journey and the lessons it has taught.  I'm grateful to learn to be content where I am with what I've got.  I am thankful for the gifts of your stories and support.  I continue to pray for your sons and daughters journey of recovery and I say a prayer for Henry.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Many people associate mindfulness with many western religions but I am trying to learn it's practice within the framework of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, a Jesuit practice of prayer, meditation and contemplation.

Since dipping my toe into this pool of new ideas I have started to appreciate more.  I have learned to deal with little things that I might have ignored and allowed to begin stewing in me.  I think that I like this new way of being in each moment.

I'm heading out to California with my best friend (who is really more like family after all these years) and I can't wait to sit beside the sea and soak it all in while trying to hear the voice of God.  I really crave the quiet and working at the office is anything but quiet.  This will surely soothe my soul.

Today I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity for a vacation...even a small one.  I am thankful that I am learning new ways of appreciating, living and dealing with the events of my life.  I pray for my son, your sons and daughters and the soul of Henry, my grandpa.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I really like to imagine.  It's been a favored past time of mine since I was a little girl writing stories on my purple or green apple colored wide ruled paper,  in the seventies.  What if you could offer one or two pieces of advice to parents of say elementary to middle school aged kids that contained the perfect anti-drug?  How cool would that be? 

My choices would be:

1.  Learn to love unconditionally
2.  Establish clear boundaries.

What would yours be?  I'm just curious what those of us who have walked this journey would say.  We've all seen the anti drug campaigns.  But, maybe we'd have a better shot of knowing what works.  What do you think?  And I look forward to your ideas.

Today I say a prayer for healing for all those who face addiction and whose loved ones have.  I pray that someday we find the perfect anti drug.  And. I say a prayer for the soul of Henry.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
Take my hand and join us
And the world will live, will live as one"