Friday, August 30, 2013

The Judgement Seat

The Dad and I went to California on vacation.  There is nothing like the beach and poor cell signals to help you unplug and finally relax.  We had a much needed time to reconnect. 
     Our flight is close to four hours long and we always end up chatting with the passenger who occupies the third seat in our row, after all they practically sit in your lap for that length of time.  This time was no exception.  AL Anon and this addiction journey have really made me introspective.  I hear things differently now.
     The man who sat with us wore Levis, a crisp shirt and bow tie and a navy blazer.  He wore tortoise shell glasses which seemed to be a natural extension of his graying hair.  I asked about his trip and his job.  He did the same.  Those conversations naturally led to our families.  And some how, it always seems to end up with a discussion about addiction.
     Mr. Bow Tie was a Yale philosophy graduate.  And so when he said that his son was not really motivated in school but that he didn't do drugs or anything like that.....I knew that I would tell my story.  That might seem counter intuitive to some but for me, it was important to be nakedly honest.  I hate the stigma of addiction and so I'm not going to cower in it's presence.  Maybe that's wrong.  I don't know.
     Our talks continued.  His dad was a raging alcoholic.  There were definitely some scars there.  He also had a wife back home and a daughter who was a freshman in college.  He was meeting a college friend before his business meeting. 
     We talked a lot about addiction.  It seemed to interest him.  But when we got off the plane, he was arm in arm with the college a romantic embrace.  I was instantly irritated.  Who is he to turn his nose up at someone who suffers from addiction?  And then I realized, who am I to turn my nose up at his issues?  I am the pot......
     Sometimes I am a slow learner.  I think we are all a mess.  We just have to have to courage to look within, the courage to accept it and the courage to change.  Not such an easy task.  But, I'll keep trying.
In prayer for all of you and for our addicted loved ones.  And, most especially for Michael's family who lost him this week.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Moral Reconation Therapy

Last year I helped take an AlAnon meeting to our county jail.  This year I wanted to do something a little different, so I asked if I could facilitate a writing class.  The Homeward Bound coordinator said sure but he needed some other classes covered and asked if I was willing.

The class that he asked me to teach is called "How to Escape Your Prison".  It is a moral reconation therapy program.  I had never heard of it before and felt a bit intimidated taking on such a class without training.  But, here I am....muddling through.  I must say, I've learned so much already.  I just hope that I can teach it in a way that will be fruitfull. 

I am constantly surprised by the places I learn the most.  These are places that I never really wanted to go and yet now I look forward to being in Al Anon or hearing an open AA speaker meeting.  I can't wait till Thursday's at the jail. 

There is truth and life in those places.  I am so fortunate to have been brought to this place.  If any of you know about moral reconation therapy and have any advice for how to facilitate such a program, I am all ears.

Saying prayers for all of our addicted loved ones.....

Saturday, August 10, 2013

You Just Never Know

     A friend lost her adult son in a car accident this week.  He was a wonderful, loving, responsible young man.  He was hit head on by a semi truck because he was going the wrong way on the interstate.  No drugs or alcohol were involved.  He was probably overtired because of the number of hours he had worked. 
     This tragedy was so unexpected that it has rocked our parish and community.  In my world, this would be one of three possible outcomes for my son.  The idea of losing a son has been fretted and worried over in mental preparation for something that can't be mentally prepared for.  I've tried negotiating with God in an effort to save my son.  I've done a lot of work to accept the fact that he is only mine for a while and God could ask for his return at any given moment.
     But, this friend has the most beautiful faith that I've ever witnessed.  Our mutual friend went to offer comfort and prayers and as she was leaving, this beautiful boy's mother said, "Heaven must be thrilled to have gained such a wonderful soul as that of my baby......and I keep hoping it's a mistake."
I was humbled by her strength and grace. 
     You just never know.  We just never know.  If only I could learn to live each day....each minute as it was intended and learn to live in anticipation of God's next move instead of placing ignorant expectation upon it......
     Today I offer a prayer for the soul of Rick.  I pray for strength and comfort of his family.  I pray for each family out there who waits for the other shoe to drop.  I pray for our addicted loved ones and for Henry.