Getting Emotionally Level
I was corresponding with a parent who had commented at my addiction journal. The reader mentioned how some days are more difficult than others when it comes to detaching and staying strong. My response email agreed that for all of us with addicted children, it is often an up and down battle.
The reader and I discussed how as parents we must work our recovery and try to stay off the emotional roller coaster that is tied to addiction. Recovery truly is work, and like work, there will be good and bad days. There are days when things go incredibly well, and days when things are incredibly bad.
The goal became for me to stay as emotionally level as possible. I work to never get too overjoyed when he is not using and not get too despondent when addiction days are not going well. This balancing effort truly helped me over the past few years as my son would relapse, put together some clean time, and then slip back to his drugs again.
The words are simple, yet the power of the message has helped millions.
I remember in the times of my son’s drugged insanity, I would not hear from him for days. I would awaken in the middle of the night, hyperventilating, and worried where his addiction had taken him. “Is my son dead, Is he alive?” Then the Serenity Prayer entered my world and it began to level my emotions. I began to detach from the drama. Yes I still loved my son, and wanted nothing but good things for him. The prayer helped me finally realize there was nothing I could do to control this chaos. The life my son had chosen was his life and that was between him and his higher power. I would work on me, thus I began to work on my own recovery.
I began to level my emotions. When the “shit hit the fan,” I would mantra my new prayer more often. When things were better, I would not make the new parents mistake of thinking he was cured. Level was my goal.
Am I perfectly level? Hell no, there are days when I worry about my son’s choices … is he attending enough meetings, hanging with the “right friends,” etc.
Useless thoughts, again it is all his choice. It is at those moments of my weakness I begin to pray a bit harder. This attempt at leveling is life long work. We work our recovery one day at time.