Jeff gave me a book for Christmas and this morning I read, If you are unable to take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else? How can you take care of the person you love? When you are here for yourself, when you have reestablished some basic order and peace within yourself, then you can take care of your son, your daughter, your partner, or your friend. But if you are not able to be here for yourself, it will not be possible for you to be here for them. That’s why you must come back to yourself.
(You are Here, Thich Nhat Hanh, pg. 58)
My reflection: When Jeff was in the throes of his addiction, I was not present for myself, nor was I present for anyone else – not Jeremy, not Tim, not my parents, not even Jeff. How could I be there for someone else when I was drowning in my own pain and confusion, and choking on my own anger and resentment. On the rare occasion that I did something for myself, I felt guilty.
Today’s Promise to consider: We, parents of addicted children, invariably lose ourselves in the endless string of negative consequences addiction brings with it. As a result, we are not present for ourselves, our struggling loved ones or our family members. Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that taking care of ourselves must be a priority so that we are able to take care of those around us. Today, I will do something kind for myself.2837