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Archive for October, 2016

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.


HOPE THROUGH RELAPSE

Photo Credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

Photo Credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

A mother wrote to me: My son is an addict and is currently working on recovery, again. I’ve been down this road so many times before that it’s hard to be hopeful, but it’s impossible for me not to hope. During all the years we’ve battled this disease, I haven’t given up on him. I don’t know if that’s good or bad – it just is. Now that I’m older, I wonder if this is the way it’s going to be until I die.

My reflection: We must remain humble in the face of addiction because it is stronger than we are strong. Perhaps addiction’s most devastating effect is that it suffocates our optimism. As parents, we feel that we need to do something, but we don’t know what to do. We fear that the addiction will never end, and the truth is that it’s up to our children to choose sobriety.

Today’s Promise to consider: Relapse can serve as a deepening of our loved one’s resolve to get and stay sober. It highlights the magnitude of the problem and points to the imperative to work diligently at a program of recovery. As long as he attempts to remain abstinent, there is hope. Without hope, all is lost.


“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.


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