A mother wrote to me: Our healing process is a journey, too. I recognize that even if my son never fully recovers or works his life well, I have mine and I don’t want to waste it being sad all the time. I had to find a way to go on in my life and relearn how to feel joy again. It is a tempered happiness. There is always a remembrance of loss that I feel deep down, but it does not consume me like it used to.
My response to the above passage: Through Jeff’s addiction, I, too, learned that my happiness could not be dependent of the state on his life. I’ve realized that happiness is a choice and that living in a space of gratitude makes life better. As the mother above, I will not allow loss to consume me.
Today’s promise to consider: I will find serenity within myself. My happiness cannot be contingent on someone else’s choices. Even if I love him or her with all my heart, I will accept what I am unable to change. As the AA slogan says, “Happiness is appreciating what you have, not getting what you want.”