Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We are all more than this

Faking it truly is exhausting, as Madyson said in a comment on another blog.  I keep trying to act 'as if'.  Because maybe, just maybe, they will stop acting like cranky two-year-olds and grow up and be financially responsible and think about the baby she is carrying and if they are using, stop, and certainly, both of them would stop drinking.  It could happen, right?

I've acted 'as if' ever since they got out of prison and for a long time, they acted as if they had a clue too.  Then they started just splintering right before our eyes.  It wasn't really apparent until after the wedding, but the tension, the arguments (discussions he called them, with a bit of a smile), the financial woes.... the cracks just started spreading as the hits of life kept coming, and then some.

I am trying to tell myself repeatedly that my happiness is not (or should not be) solely based on their sobriety, or their productiveness, or their ability to treat each other with kindness. 

Dammit, I am more than a MOTHER of one; I am ME, and I am a WIFE and I am a MOTHER to another, and I have FRIENDS that I can be a good friend to.  Without even going into the fact that I'm an employer, a business owner, etc, just that first set of things means that being the mother of my precious addict is only 20% of that first sentence.

Did that even make sense? 

But seriously, I need to start keeping the percentages a little more even.  I am so much more than someone involved in this particular heartbreaking issue.  For so long I have told her she is so much more than an addiction.  My list of positive adjectives for her goes on and on.  She is my precious, amazing daughter. 

I'm (sometimes) pretty amazing too.  I need to remember that.  There is more to my life than her success or failure with heroin, with alcohol, with her job, or with her baby. 

I am more than this.  My life is full of more than this.  I am trying to refocus my attention, and it is a slow process.  I am angry and tired.  I need to remind/convince myself that my fatigue should be the result of trying to squeeze in new adventures as I do cartwheels down the path into my sunset years..... I should not be exhausted because of repeated muscle strain from handwringing over her choices.  My head can know that, but my heart is awfully stubborn. 

I'm off to work on my cartwheels....  or at least, to listen to some music and paint a new birdhouse for my garden.  :)


  1. I can so relate to this I too find that I am happy when my son is happy, I am not talking about my recovering addicted son, he is doing well, but my younger son (22) has made some bad choices and is once again unemployed and depressed, and yes there has been some drug use (not currently just for today) but not even close to what I went through with his brother. I feel anxiety and sadness because he is depressed and I also feel such frustration that he really did this to himself. I am just trying by the grace of God to hand him over to Him, and to trust that he has a plan and will work this out and for me to stay out his way. It is draining, the financial drain is huge for me and I am so tired of it. Just for today I am trying to not focus on him and I will pray every time the thoughts come into my head. I saw this on facebook this AM:
    "You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to
    moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need." -Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

    I'm going to choose to lean on God today.

  2. I should tear this post out and put it on my bathroom mirror. There is much more to me and my life than her addiction!

    Joy, you have done all you can to help and now you have a responsibility to help yourself. It is so much easier to see when it applies to someone else. You can do this. You must do this. Our lives, our own lives are not to be wasted. Our lives are precious too.

  3. As hard as this is to say...be at the birth and ask that the baby be tested immediately for drugs and alcohol. Most hospitals do it automatically now, but not all. Even if no family member wishes to raise the baby (extremely hard job as I have been doing it now for 14 years), the impact of growing up in a home with an addict mother with mental illness who does not take her meds....well, its not good. As you know our youngest was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and then we found out she was pregnant. They live with us. While she is a good mother, it has taken A LOT of work on my part to teach her how to communicate with her daughter, make eye contact etc. Still 7 months later I am constantly monitoring the situation, like "sweetie, the baby sounds like she no longer wants to be in the bouncer....maybe you should take her out and play with her..." And of course, this while simultaneously raising her addict sister's children. The devastation to the children is unimaginable unless you live it. Giving birth is easy. Parenting takes commitment and education and patience, none of which addicts (current or past) are good at. Just my opinion, but having a baby thrown into the life of a POA changes the whole equation to something MUCH different. You will constantly worry about the welfare of this baby, and it WILL drive you crazy. So either be uber involved or never see them again. There is no halfway. I'm sorry. My words are harsh. But none of the other POA's have yet walked in my shoes. I remember the first days of 1/2 Pint's life when I had to constantly hold and rock her as she withdrew from both heroin and alcohol, both o which her mother used during whole pregnancy. That was before mandatory testing of newborns. It ain't pretty. And you no longer can live in what if land. Now, you live in ugly reality land.

  4. And you ARE amazing! The balance is very delicate, but one you are managing well. It will never be easy because we love our children no matter what, but it's so good you can find your happy. Me, too!

  5. New to your blog. It is a struggle for parents to not lose themselves when their children are struggling with substance abuse. I know I became totally focused on my child when she was in the midst of her addiction. That is great that you are finding your own happiness. I'm learning that to find my inner peace, I cannot focus 24/7 on what my children are doing. I will not say it's always easy, but a continual process for me!

  6. Hope all is well....was thinking about you.

  7. Wow, I just read this and it's spot on to the way I feel right now. Thanks you.