Friday, January 30, 2009

Changing the Way You Think

This disease changes everything and everybody. In every conversation with my son eventually at some point he says, or something to the effect, "It's my life.........". Everyone involved with an addict knows their life becomes your life.

Changing the way you think. It is so easy to get caught up in their world. The machine gun changes of mood, the non-stop movement, trying to follow a train of thought. Try to keep up with someone that has a chemically altered state of being is not only challenging, it is exhausting. It takes more than one person. Every minute alone that you get you are stressed and waiting for the next exchange. 

Maintaining sanity in an insane situation takes effort and when you are struggling day to day you just struggle. Using logic to assess an illogical behavior is an exercise in futility. This is extremely frustrating to me and in truth frustration and me do not get along well. Frustration leads to anger and anger leads to taking it out on somebody. Luckily for me I have a very patient, understanding and loving bride. 

It is important I get back to living the way we use to live before this insidious addiction. I have always been a very goal oriented person. Short term, mid-term and long term goals were just a normal part of my life. Seems like I was always assessing where I was at in staying on track. Guess that makes me a control freak.

A bit of humor from rehab at Valley Hope. In one of the small group sessions a counselor was really grilling me. Guess she had me sized up pretty fast. Right in front of the group she said I know you,"You took that "control test" the first day. You scored 44, God scored 45 and you demanded to take the test again."               She's right, that's me.

In recovery, the mantra is one day at a time. Whatever works for the addict I am in favor of. That will not work for me.  I must get back to being my goal oriented self for my own health. One day at a time is what justifies me sitting on this couch in front of the idiot box. One day at a time is what facilitates this weight gain. One day at a time is what allows everyone else to control my life. One day at a time is what allows me to do whatever is needed and necessary at work and not what is exceptional. One day at a time is what allows me to let my hobbies and projects slide. 

I am aware.                 I must change.


kristi said...

Yeah, I guess I am a control freak too. Because I grew up with a heroin addict stepfather, and the next was an alcoholic...I tend to over obsess about things. My main goal for my children is NORMALCY.

indistinct said...

For me, "One day at a time" is about limiting the scope of my thinking. Of trying to be free of the obsession of what might happen tomorrow. Grabbing on to yesterday's fears, pushing them out into the future, doing this over and over again. Trying to stop that squirril cage in my head.

Helps me not to completely loose it with my addicted child. Helps me to stay sober.

It's not about giving up. It's not about becoming inactive.

For me, it's a life saving tool.

Unknown said...

the thing that kept me sane, if it worked at all??? was learning the three C's.

I didn't CAUSE it.
I cannot CONTROL it.
I cannot CURE it.

that led to

1. If you are hungry, I will meet you somewhere and buy you food which you will eat in front of me.

2. If you are homeless I will meet you somewhere and give you a ride to the homeless shelter.

well, actually, #1. was really you can no longer live in my home. you are using and that is both against my rules, and the law, and I will not expose your siblings or my hard earned income/home/etc to being seized if you are arrested here. (a REAL possibility).

Auburn~haired~artist said...

You have a way of expressing my thoughts and feelings so well. I am also a control freak, to some extent, I have learned to let go a bit and to be more forgiving of the world's (and my own) lack of perfection.

Since I asked my son to leave our house back in November, because he couldn't stay clean or sober, he has moved in with his girlfriend at her parent's house. So far, he has remained sober, and I was starting to feel hopeful. UNTIL, a few weeks ago, he called to tell me that his girlfriend is pregnant. He still has two DUIs hanging over his head.(one of which is a felony) The police have been by my house trying to serve him with "several" warrants. It's only a matter of time until he is picked up. I know from past experience that having him in jail doesn't make my life, nor my emotional state, a lot easier. (visits, keeping money on his books, the cost of phone calls, the insanity and frustration of our jail systems, dealing with his mental state, as well as my own, etc.) In less than 9 months, there will be a child/grand child to add to the my concern! I am terrified of what prison would do to him. Right now, it's just the calm before the storm . . .

Annette said...

I am also a control freak...which in my life translated to living a fear driven life. Fear of everything spinning out of my control. For me, "just for today" or "one day at a time" saved my sanity. Just for today... I can let go of my beautiful daughter and trust that she is in God's hands. Projecting much longer than the next 12-24 hours made it simply impossible for me to not jump right back into the driver's seat and try to manipulate and control the outcome. Just for today saved my life.

Unknown said...

you know what? you said "I am aware. I must change.


Laura said...

I think if there is any little control freak inside of you it emerges as your child becomes a drug addict. It is encouraged by well-meaning uninformed friends that say "you just need to . . . ." Teachers give up so you become more determined to turn the situation around. If there was a 12 step program for being a "control freak" the first step would be admitting you have no control over other people or their lives. All you can do is support the good decisions and follow throught with logical consequences for the bad ones. So much easier said that done when you love your child with all your heart and can't imagine standing over their casket. Maybe that is why my communications with my son are too much of me questioning him and not enough relaxed conversation reinforcing our love and support for his continued sobriety. Hang in there- you are in my thoughts and prayers

Foodiewife said...

OMG! Your blog mirrors my thoughts. I am thankful that I am beginning to find blogs of parents who are sharing my story. I am the mother of a drug addict. He is my 20 year old son who started using oxycontin and now to smoking heroin. I started my own blog April 2008, on the day that my son told me he had a problem. I never saw it coming.
I will keep up with your blog. I pray for parents, like us, every day. It is a struggle that no parent can understand-- until they live the horror themselves.

Athena said...

I have taken my own advice to my addicted daughter to heart: "If all of this energy spent on the addiction was spent on doing what is RIGHT instead, things would be a whole lot better a lot faster"

That's my power... I know I can't afford to invest any more into TRYING to save her from her addiction... It's stored up for when she comes to me and says she is ready. I love my daughter fiercely. I DO NOT love the addict. I miss her. But I can't accept her on her terms as an addict... I hope she doesn't die/I hope she returns to life. I love her THAT much.

It's hard to put all of the pieces together... I am raising my 6 month old grandson who is such a delight & a blessing - and who would not be here, I'm certain, if not for her addiction ... I cannot see the logic in this, I just know that life is happening, and I can only control myself and do my best to protect the innocent.

Yet... here I am blogging about my addicted daughter at 4 am. (smile)

Anonymous said...

Maintaining sanity in an insane situation takes effort <~ Oh yeah, I get that one. I learned a long time ago(with a very close bipolar/alcoholic friend) that you can't save anyone but yourself. ~Mary

Wait. What? said...

The last two sentences were perfect, you are aware, and you CAN change.

Hold on.

LBS said...

My son is 22 & an addict. He has been using since he was 16, been to treatment, kicked him out of the house to preserve the rest of the family & younger siblings, had a drug overdose & was on life support & in the hospital for three weeks & is still using & dealing. He went to college for two years & dropped out, is working & rarely stays in touch with us. We've told him we live him no matter what he does, but will not support his lifestyle. He still blames us for sending him away to treatment as a minor. We've done all we can for him, yet, I still fight the fear of "another dreaded phone call." we are Chrisitans & that is where we get our strength, but it is often hard in our community & with loving friends. I know how important it is to be very diligent in what we think about & dwell on or we would sink into depression. But, right now, I find myself struggling in my thought life when so many of our friends who are graduating from college & getting married. Some are very close friends so we've even given wedding showers for friends' children, & then, I find myself struggling, especially when I'm around so many people & there asking me how all my chldren are doing etc... Sometimes, I don't know what to say & I want to be sin ere & upbeat, but inside, my heart aches. Could some of you help me process this & my thinking? Thank you.