Not too much is going on in my life, but a few things happened that made me write this week.
I was commuting the other day (early) and ran across three people on a transit station bench. All were very different, yet were bound together in the commonalities of dirty clothes and addiction.
One was a man in his early 50s. A shattered life, hollow eyes, and an unshaven face stared at me as I passed. With him was a Latina woman (I’m guessing?) also disheveled in her addiction and between them sat a pretty young girl who was about 21 years old. A motley crew surrounded by their backpacks and engulfed in their illness. Addiction makes for some very unusual relationships.
The second event; another young woman died in my town this week. My daughter was in the house and I mentioned it to her to see if she knew the deceased. My daughter’s reaction was interesting. There was little or no emotion attached to her responses. It was as if the death of the young people in this country has become a “given” to her generation. I felt sad for my daughter. I felt sad for the family who had lost theirs.
Being a Parent of addict that tries to advocate and help others I tend to run across a fair amount of families facing addiction.
I mentored one family recently. Later, I heard that they were throwing their addict son (heroin) a going away party before he went to rehab. Beers,bud, and buddies…as if he was going off to the military or some Ivy League college.
And I thought I had seen it all. Oh what an ass I am to underestimate the pure stupidity of mankind…
To this family and their judgement…I can only say one thing
(House of CaRds) : That translation is for those living outside of beautiful Boston.
Those of us with kids in early recovery worry. We worry often. That is a pretty simple fact. Our brains race constantly “What if the weather causes a relapse? What if my precious-kins can not find a job? What if she has a fight with her boyfriend. What if the cah’ (car) does not start on some cold morning and they lose their recovery job?”
The advice that I was given on my parent journey was to effin fergitaboutit… ( forget about it or accept the things you cannot change!) We have to learn not to worry about the multiple influences that could crash “da hows-ah cahds”
Sure I worry about my son often. I pray often for him. Multiple times each day. Any parent that tells you they no longer worry is full of …ma noo ah!
Overtime I learned one thing from his multiple relapses “I am powerless.” I accept that cold reality (well most of the time, but sometimes I slip and go into save mode. ). It is a struggle for me at times.
I worry that some lil’ thing will crash his cahd (card) house of sobriety. It’s normal but one of the things I work on.
Like my son I am a work in progress. One day at a time.
A few people have contacted recently and mentioned “You don’t write as much as you used to.”
Thankfully my son is currently healthy and his biggest problems consist of car engine lights (S*it-box car) and the money issues that most of us face. He is not sleeping on the streets or stealing to feed his habit. I am content with his luxury problems… **
I was thinking the other day how all my excellent advice (insert a smirk here) was ignored by my son when he was active. Yet when someone that he met in some broken down sober home stated the same advice to him, it was GOSPEL.
His dismissal of my wisdom used to piss me off, but finally I was enlightened. Young addicts will only take recovery wisdom from others that have been there. “Mommy-speak” will be of no value to them. (That includes Dads that “Mommy-speak”) A parent might offer the most intelligent advice to their addict child and it probably will be ignored.
As a POA you need to become honest with yourself; “Has your child ever really followed any of your scholarly drug recovery advice?” The answer to that question is probably no. So I will ask another question “Is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results not the measure of insanity?” ( see folks I did pay attention at that Al Anon meeting)
How can I be angry my son for not listening to me. What real life experience did I really offer. Sure I blogged, wrote a book, and chaired parent meetings pretty consistently but it didn’t matter to him. The advice, when it came from the lips of someone who has walked the walk, carried far more value.
In reality all we can tell our kids is that we love them. They need to figure it out. They will figure it out based on their friends advise…not ours.
Peace and strength
** to those who have offered support over the years I thank you. My son is doing well . He is sober and is proof that there is hope. Recovery can happen, when we leave it up to them.
People and parents of addicts are so quick to judge our child’s recovery. Far too often addiction is chalked up to laziness or bad behavior. In my humble opinion, ACHIEVEMENT gap has 0% understanding of addiction.
I love Zoo Mass’s implied advice to “take a look in the mirror”. Anyone who has tried to stop smoking, diet, or sustain an extended period of exercise should think twice.