Free Payday Loans Online Free Payday Loans Online

Communication

“MY MOM FINALLY SAW ME AS HER SON AGAIN”

A young man in recovery wrote to me: About two weeks after my mom finished reading your book, she and I had an unbelievable conversation. She told me that reading the book was very difficult for her at times, but that your story and her own life were strikingly similar. I think the reason that it was difficult for her had everything to do with the fact that she has never sought any kind of help or support outside of a couple of her friends.

What made the conversation with her remarkable was the tone in her voice and the way she spoke. She seemed calm and when I said something funny, she laughed. I cannot tell you how long it has been, since my mother actually listened to my voice and listened to what I was saying. I mean truly listened. Libby, I believe that you are the first person my mother has been able to relate to when it comes to my addiction and all of the pain our relationship has endured. Something magical happened when she read your book. She finally saw me as her son again. Something in what you wrote allowed her to look me directly in the eyes and finally, after about fifteen years, be able to stop giving me one armed, sideways hugs, and instead wrap both arms around me. For that, I will be forever grateful.

Today’s Promise to consider: Parents have a huge influence on our recovering children, even when they are adults. All people want to ‘be seen’ by those they love, but for addicts that need is imperative. Bobby’s last line says it all, “Something in what you wrote allowed her to look me directly in the eyes and finally, after about fifteen years, be able to stop giving me one armed, sideways hugs, and instead wrap both arms around me.”

 


DENIAL AND ADDICTION

A mother writes: Our daughter, both strikingly beautiful and musically gifted, signed a recording contract with an International music company at the age of fifteen. I traveled with her extensively and never had an idea what was going on right in my presence. At seventeen, she graduated a year early as valedictorian of a private school catering to performers. Unbeknownst to us, she was already addicted to cocaine when she left for university on a full music scholarship. I blamed her stuffy nose on allergies, and she gladly accepted the air cleaner I bought for her dorm room. We only learned of her addiction after a suicide attempt.

My reflection: We don’t see the addiction as it unfolds right before our eyes. This seems impossible, yet it happens every day to even the most vigilant parents. We see the dilated pupils, hear the stuffy nose and wonder where our child’s spirit and humor have gone. We want to think the best of them. We want to believe us when they tell us, “Mom, I’m fine. Please don’t worry. All is OK.”

Today’s Promise to consider: We parents want the best for our children. When we realize that we’ve been in denial, we often blame ourselves and feel betrayed, stupid or tricked. We’re not alone. Today, I will face the truth with love and move forward, one day at a time.

 

 


WORDS ARE POWERFUL – BE MINDFUL OF WHAT WE SAY

Jeff wrote to me: There’s a principle in Buddhism called “right speech” which asks us to be mindful of the things we say, to not gossip or spread words that divide. It also reminds us that words can be carriers of peace and positivity. He continued with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, For A Future To Be Possible, “Our speech is powerful. It can be destructive and enlightening, idle gossip or compassionate communication. We are asked to be mindful and let our speech come from the heart.”

My reflection: I sadly remember the words I wrote in Stay Close:

“What was the most painful thing I’ve ever said to you?” I asked an older Jeff.

His answer was quick; he knew.

“When you and Dad picked me up from the police station after my arrest, you told me that you wished I weren’t your son.”

I was stunned into silence, rummaging through my brain trying to remember if I said those words. How could I have said those words?

“I’m sorry, Jeff; I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” What more was there to say? In anger, we parents say things we don’t mean, and our words pierce our children’s remembrance like a blade.

Today’s Promise to consider: Words are mighty. I’ve said things to both my sons that I wish I could erase. I’ve put thoughts into speech that have seemed to take on a life of their own and come true. Today, I will be mindful of what I say. My words will be positive and spoken from a compassionate heart.

 

 

 

 


“KEEP ON TELLING THEM YOU LOVE THEM AND MEAN IT.” 

DSC02457.JPGA mother wrote to me: I am working on the “loving with detachment” issue. I spend hours each day trying to look at where I went wrong as a parent or what I should have done differently. I’ve been to Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and private counseling, but the pain is always there. The best advice I ever received was from my pastor/counselor who told me to, “Keep on telling her you love her and mean it, because you’ll never regret those words.” 

My reflection: There is a Tibetan expression, “Even if the rope breaks nine times, we must splice it back together a tenth time. Even if ultimately we do fail, at least there will be no feelings of regret.”

Today’s Promise to consider: When my addicted love one is unlovable and certainly when he is at his worst, I will continue to tell him that I love him. I can’t fight his battles and I can’t change his life, but I can and will love the man who is under the drugs.

 

 


ADDICTION AND THE FAMILY’S SECURITY

jeff-bedroomAn Italian friend wrote to me: This disease of addiction does awful things to a family. I love my brother, but our situation is a mess, and I flip between gratitude that he is still alive and anger for all the chaos that continues. For our family, it inhibits our ability to plan for the future as we pay for medical treatments and try to build new relationships. Addiction even stifles dreams and personal ambitions because we decide, more or less consciously, that our priority is the healing of addicted loved ones.

My reflection: The family often gets mired in the addiction to the point where nothing else matters. I remember when Jeff was in his last treatment center where there was a young man, about 20 years of age, who had a sports scholarship to college. His dad was a Chemistry teacher and his mom taught third grade. They had taken a second mortgage on their home in order to afford the rehab center. Jeff later told me that when the young man returned to college, he relapsed.

Today’s Promise to consider: It’s easy for families to drown in the tidal waves of addiction. We parents must be vigilant so we don’t fall into this abyss and jeopardize the security of our family. Other members need us. It’s imperative that we learn how to stay close, without compromising our future.


WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

img_0325The poet Naomi Shihab Nye writes about the tender gravity of kindness:

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lied dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

My reflection: It’s easy to judge others, especially those who are addicts or alcoholics. There is plenty to disdain about their destructive behavior. Jeff once told me, “Society loathes addicts and addicts loathe themselves.” This sad dynamic needs to change. This poem reminds me that we are all human beings, interconnected, and we do our best to get through life.

Today’s Promise to consider: It is up to us, as individuals, to make room for the tender gift of kindness to all people. No one can make us feel kindly or compassionately toward another, but we all occupy this earth together. We hope that others show us kindness and compassion.

 


REHAB ISN’T ONLY FOR THE ADDICT

Photo Credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

Photo Credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

My son wrote about his first rehab center: The family sessions were valuable in that I started seeing you, my mother, as a person. Treatment lifted the backdrop of everyday life and allowed me to look at the drug use alone. You were afraid, and I could feel the gravity of that pain. You couldn’t fix my addictive patterns and your fear was evident. I began to understand that parents carry the full weight of their children’s hardships.

My reflection: The family sessions started honest conversations between my son and me. Jeff could see and feel my fear, and he knew that I wanted desperately to help him, to fix him. I, too, saw his fear and felt his pain. Together, we learned about each other and about addiction.

Today’s Promise to consider: Family sessions in rehabs taught me to listen deeply to my child and to work with him as we learned about addiction and its patterns. Today, honesty rules our conversations as my son and I continue to heal. Over time, he’s come to understand my pain, and I’ve begun to understand his.


“I’M NOT SURE WHAT RULES TO FOLLOW”

TM.3 (1)A mother wrote to me: Webster’s dictionary says, “Enabling: to make possible, practical, or easy.” How simple this sounds. Why would a parent want to make it easy for a child to destroy himself? My aunt said to me yesterday, ‘You need to have guidelines and discipline in your house.’ I just thought to myself: I would love to have that. I am a mom trying to raise three kids and one is an addict. I am not so sure what rules I am to follow.

My reflection: Dr. Terri Gorski says that society gives us no rules to follow with addiction. For me, I always ached to know the line between enabling and helping. The difference between the two seemed confusing and ambivalent. The hardest thing I’ve ever done as a mom was to get out of the way and allow my son to face the consequences of his addiction.

Today’s Promise to consider: We parents often want step-by-step instructions to help our child. The problem is that there are no silver bullet solutions to ensure our children will live a sober life. Today, I’ll step back and allow my son to contend with the results of his behavior, both good and bad. I will stay close, but out of the chaos of his addiction.


DREAMS ABOUT ADDICTION                            

tm-lightSeveral years ago, I wrote in my journal: Last night, I dreamed about one of my favorite uncles who was always kind to me as a child. But in my dream he had lost his nose because of cocaine use. I awakened in tears with the image of my addicted son holding me while I was asking him, “Is this what you want for our family?”

My reflection: Worry found me, even in my dreams. During the days, I was able to squash my emotions and generally ignore them. I went to work and did what I always did: I smiled and acted as though everything was OK. However, at night my fears found me. My dreams are just dreams, but they carry crucial messages that I need to honor.

Today’s Promise to consider: My dreams were signals that I needed to protect myself from the chaos of my son’s addiction. Over the years, I’ve learned to be grateful for the thoughts that visit me at night. They help me to visualize my fears and respect my frailties.


WORDS OF SUPPORT FROM A RECOVERING ADDICT

IMG_0222A recovering addict wrote to a friend, who had relapsed, I’m sorry you fell off the wagon. Get back in. Stop drinking and go to a meeting. Don’t show up drunk. You have to nip this in the bud because it will get worse. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days. I guarantee you that you’ll be in a much better state of mind. Ask someone to be your sponsor, someone who has time and who seems like they’re living the life you want. You’ll be surprised by how many friends you make in a short amount of time, the type of friends that will really be there for you when you need their help.

My reflection: There is help available to those suffering from addiction. AA isn’t the answer for everyone, but it is a program that has worked for millions of people. The 12 steps provide scaffolding for a way of living within a base of spirituality, and the AA community provides support from people who have walked the walk.

Today’s Promise to consider: I thought I could guide my son along his path to recovery, but no matter how hard I tried or how much I learned, I realized that I couldn’t be his ‘go to’ person. He found the help he needed from people who knew firsthand his suffering.


  • Translate

  • Weekly Meditations

    We'll send our meditations directly to your e-mail every week.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!
  • The AddIct's Mom

    Magnolia
  •  
     
     Libby Cataldi - Stay Close. All Rights Reserved. Site Disclaimer | Powered by WordPress | Admin