Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three Steps in Three Years

A couple of days ago, the Dad and I received a call from the Son's work.  It was 6pm and the Son was supposed to be at work at 4pm.  He was a no show and they were worried about him.  He had been late for the last two days.  This is the kind of call we all worry about receiving. 

The Dad called one of his friends to see if he knew how to get in touch with him (his phone had run out of minutes).  He hadn't heard from him.  So the Dad decided to drive to the city to try to roust him in his apartment.  Of course our first thought, as many of you can easily guess was, "will we find him alive?"

I didn't go with the Dad.  I calmly said that I just didn't think I could go not knowing what we'd find.  He agreed.  He thought that I should stay home.  Five minutes later the Dad came through the door and said, "he's alive."  His friend managed to find him and he called....... drunk, but he called.

The snowball is starting to roll downhill fast.  And yet, it is sadness that I feel, instead of panic.  All day yesterday I started thinking about the way that I was feeling.  I started to wonder if my heart had grown hard.  The feelings are so different than they were before.  Yes, I am worried.  I know where this is headed.  I know that things will get radically worse before than have any chance of getting better.  But, still I'm not a nervous wreck.  I'm not pasting on a fake smile.  I am a little sad.  I am tired from the ups and downs of this disease.  But anxiety has mostly left the building.

Last night I was to choose the topic for our Al Anon meeting.  I wanted to talk about this most recent experience and so I was trying to get to the root of what had changed.  What had happened to make this frightening experience bearable?  And then I realized that for the first time, I had actually 'made the decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.'

Finally, I knew that this madness was out of my control.  Finally, I accepted that God was the only thing that could restore my sanity and finally I decided to allow God to handle this because He knows far better than me.  And, there is peace in this madness.  The anxiety is gone. 

I've been in Al Anon for three years.  There have been a number of times where I've thought that I "had" the first three steps.  But, really it took three years to really get it.  I realize that if I am not careful, I can go right back to insanity.  But for today I am grateful for a loving God who is at the helm.  I am grateful for rest while in His care.  I am grateful for my Al Anon family group. 

Praying always for you and your loved ones.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

May Be Good, May Be Bad....

There is this Chinese Proverb that I've heard many times.  The first time that I heard it was in a family intensive out patient session.  The story is an important one for families of addicts and alcoholics to understand and more importantly, to accept.  I find myself stressing less and instead looking to each thing that happens with curiosity.  "I wonder what I am to learn from that?"

The Son lost another person he knew from his first rehab.  It was the second person to die in three weeks.  The Dad has a coffee drinking buddy who lost his son to cirrhosis of the liver this week.  We went to the visitation last night and as this older Dad sat and received each of us his soft touch extended beyond taking our hands as he tried to encourage us that our son still had such great hope. 

I misplaced a couple of things of value right after the Son's last visit.  My mind instantly went "there".  I tore apart my closet and other places trying to find the items that I had misplaced.  I was sick.  Even though I knew in my heart that our last visit was the most real of any visit we'd had in a long time, I knew that I had to acknowledge that items were missing and he had been here at the same time. 

So, I accused him and he denied.  I told him that I didn't believe him.  He told me to keep looking for them.  Nothing new.  I was so conflicted, this time.  Our visit seemed so genuine.  And then, I found one item and then the next.  Did I blow it?  Will he open up to me again after what I did?  What am I to learn from all of this? 

Have I mentioned how much I hate this disease?  I'm giving it to God.  I don't know how to restore what I have broken.  I promptly admitted and apologized. But, I hurt his feelings at a time where he was showing vulnerability......exactly what I didn't want to do. 

Time will tell but in the mean time, I praying for Henry and all of you.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Without Condition

Within the last three weeks, the Son has lost two people that he knew from his first rehab experience.  It has been a very sobering experience for all of us.  The Son is very hurt.  Addicts have a really hard time dealing with pain.  He came to visit and things weren't going all that well between us.  The Dad wisely reminded me how difficult it is for an addict to handle pain.  "Pray for him and love him" he said. 

It was the message that I needed.  Fear had me panicking about the way he was behaving.  I was reacting.  But when I was reminded to pray and love, I started to see the Son as someone who was heart broken and afraid.  Instead of looking for what I considered as "right" behavior, I could see him.  I could see his hurt. 

I shut my mouth.  I just loved him.  I prayed for him to have the desire and courage to work towards his own health.  Then out of the blue he started reading one of the many books on recovery that are on our shelves.  He asked if he could take it home. 

Today, he opened up to me more than I EVER remember.  He shared his concerns and let go of some of the toxic feelings that he's so good at carrying around.  It was truly a miracle.  It was an unexpected gift.  And I believe that it all happened because this family is attempting to love the right way.

My mom died 15 years ago today.  I think she's praying for us.  Feeling thankful and praying for Henry and all of you.