From Worry to Wonder
Loving a child who struggles with substance use is just hard! And sometimes you may not feel so loving because of it, it's ok! It's normal, it's human, and you can return to that loving feeling.
There are so many reasons this could happen. When we consider addiction and the effects of substances, it can get ugly, dark, dangerous, exhausting. We can be consumed with worry. Where is love then? And why isn't it saving my child?, we might ask.
We can learn new ways, try to use new tools and skills as best we can, be kind and patient and still there are times that it may seem a child continues to drift further away, become so symptomatic in mental and chemical imbalance, even violent that it seems impossible to influence or unadvisable to be too near. Love can still show up and we can reconnect to it.
In a perfect world, we'd be able to always meet our children as they are with un-conditional love, and the reality is that it's an imperfect world. We do and will place conditions on life itself. Please live. Please get better. Please, because when you don't, this worry is killing me. I want you to get better. I need you to heal. You should do something that helps you. Conditions. It's just part of our story. This too needs to be ok.
How when it gets really ugly, do we re-connect to love and that loving feeling? Because if you're like me, sometimes I easily can and sometimes it takes a whole lot of work to get it back. How does love win then? I wonder!
Here's HOW. I invite you to take the journey from worry to wonder now:
Step 1: Breathe into the present.
Step 2: Re-Connect with who you really are and how you want to feel - Love and Loving
Step 3: Live Love
Love will find you again and again and again, and you will find it. It has an energy, a power that is beyond our human capacity to truly grasp its enormous generosity. Our awareness and willingness, our intention to reconnect to Love when we feel disconnected can be one breath away (and then take a few more). From there, you can send your love out even if silently to your child whether they are in the same room, whether you know where they are or not, or how they are. Send it in honor and memory of the child that has and will always live in your heart, in honor of Love.
We need this kind of love, we need each other, we need you, you need you, your child and honoring their life needs you. We may not be able to save a life, and we can save a relationship with that life. It starts this way.
I wonder what is possible? When Love in its purest form resides within us and is shared from our heart to another's, what is possible? I wonder! How about you?
I'd love to hear about your journey from worry to wonder. Love wins here!
The horizon becomes so blurry as he sinks deeper into delusions, another bout of using, unrelenting destruction, a seeming in-ability or refusal to seek or accept help. Here it comes again, the unrelenting desire for him to heal, to choose life. Here it comes again, the unrelenting pain of arguing with the reality that his is not my ship to steer.
He sinks deeper and deeper into the dark, deep raging sea. It’s all I can do to not go down with him when it feels as if I’m drowning in a sea of bottomless grief – the kind of grief so deep it spontaneously drags me into the waves of sorrow and worry, anger, the desperation, pleading please, please, please make this stop and heal him.
It's so hard to watch as this ship he rides is tossed around in a raging sea, its bows cracking with each wave. It’s easy to believe it will sink entirely. Can I absolutely know that’s true? The mother ship watching the child’s, the not knowing, it is true I can not know it will sink, and I don’t want to either.
They go down and it’s all too easy to go right along with them, into our own raging seas. BUT … AND …
Despite the raging seas, notice how in truth something inside us just does not want to go down with the ship, refuses to drown. Notice how there is a force in and around you that keeps you reaching for life preservers, keeps trying to restore your breath, tread water, brings you to rest on any buoy that is available.
Self-preservation is automatic. It calls for us, this siren of the seas. It says “Breathe, tread water, swim, rest, do what you can to help you, to help this situation!” So we breathe, we cry, we moan for relief, we speak the pain, we sit with it, we drop to the floor, we stand back up and suddenly we’re walking again, being moved to something that might resemble walking out of the waves, even if for a respite of time. We reach for life preservers.
Though we may be in the same seas as our children, we each have our own ship to steer and navigate whatever waters we are in. In truth, we can not remain on their ship and we can’t steer it for them. In the midst of those seas, we are afloat, we have not drowned, some how we find ourselves navigating the raging seas, moved by the tide. The tide is in. The tide is out. It’s a force of its own, it will have its way.
It's not supposed to be feel good or be easy, how could it be? But that does not mean we can’t ride these waves even when they rage. And there are life preservers.
Ask yourself, seek the answers, and find them: What supports are available to you? What supports do you already have that are working for you? Notice the life preservers in your life. What life preservers whisper to you to seek out and grab hold of in order to ride the waves and get your head above water again? Notice how you’re not all the way under and you don’t stay under. Something moves you back up, treading water, lifted out of the waves, breathing even if gasping for air, breathing again, resting when able so you can continue on. Is it mother love? Is it love that finds you to mother yourself?
This love will find us everywhere, in any condition. It will whisper, it will keep calling us back to itself, and lift us, move us up and forward. It doesn’t promise easy, just that it loves all of us as is and will inspire. It is the ultimate life preserver.
It’s not going to be easy, and there are life preservers. I invite you to check out the ones listed here. Just click on any or all:
Love “Em Where They’re At ~ Harm Reduction Works
Monday @ 4pm Pacific - virtual meeting
A specialized HRW (Harm Reduction Works) group for anyone in a parenting role for someone who uses drugs and or alcohol. Everyone is welcome especially parents and guardians who aren’t sure what harm reduction is or whether it can help them.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 890 8359 7242
Love wins! It shows up. It shows up in so many ways. It shows up in you. It is you, and it will hold you and carry you as you ride these waves, and you may have to steer in different directions, patch up your ship and get in different waters. So sadly, we may see that some ships will crash, and some may sink. Don’t be one of them. Love will lift you again and again, and help you to navigate your course, your path whatever that may be, and however you may choose.
It’s not easy so let’s travel together.
Sending you love,
Weeds or Wishes ?