Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Turning on the Good Radar

At times it is so hard to see the good. I have become so accustomed to look for the bad and be suspicious that most the effort my son exerts to becoming clean and working his way towards normal is missed.

I know it must be a struggle to overcome an addiction. I have to believe that we all would hate to give up something that we like, asking an addict to give up drugs seems easy to me but it must be a tremendous challenge. Guess that is why the "one day at a time" is so critical. I take for granted and make assumptions about what I believe he should be or what he should be doing. This only makes my life more stressful. I have to remember to reward accomplishment and not spend so time being critical of meaningless things just because they do not fit within my picture. My picture is not his picture. Meaningful change takes place over time, I've been looking for that switch to throw that changes everything for 5 years. There is no switch.

I have to become aware of the successes of his that I take for granted, and acknowledge them. I must put away my assumptions and temper my expectations. I will do this for a selfish reason, it will make my life better.

Last night he went out with a couple of his new friends. Now they are all over 21 years old. They went to a bar and my son did not drink. He came home early.

6 comments:

Annette said...

"My picture is not his picture." These are the kinds of things I have to remind myself of all of the time.

Going to a bar for a newly sober person is a slippery slope....but he saw that and came home! Huge progress!

I started going to OA meetings...overeaters anonymous. I actually went with a friend, but once there I saw how I eat for comfort all of the time. Changing those habits has been hard. It really gave me a glimpse into what it must be like for an addict to quit using. Not just the physical addiction, but the emotional addiction. The feeling of safety and comfort that indulging in your addiction gives...that is hard to give up. I realized that my daughter and I aren't all that different.

Gin said...

It is so hard to be patient. We are a society of instant gratification so we can't seem to comprehend that some things actually do take time. I know exactly how you feel. Hang in there!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

It sounds like he's doing really good. I know its so hard to get your hopes up, to relax for even a moment. I've only been dealing with this since October so I am still a newbie. Has your son tried Suboxone? I've heard its had a huge success rate used in conjunction with meetings, etc.

clean and crazy said...

well talking about it really helps. it worries me that he would go to a bar at such a young age in his recovery. i mean it is not just drugs to give up. addiction affects every aspect of my life and i have to be vigilant in my recovery, i haven't been to a bar in over 4 years, nor would i want to go. you are right to be cautious and careful what you say. it is hard and it sucks but he needs to be responsible for his recovery. that means being honest, open- minded and willing to do what ever it takes to stay clean. we went to every length to get high we need to go, especially newcomers, to any length for our recovery. because when we stop using narcotics our inner addict starts finding other things to get addicted to. to keep our minds off the solution. for me a big one today is over eating, but it can be anything i do compulsively to find something outside of myself to make me feel good inside. I know that it is difficult but it is so worth the benefits if he really gets involved with the program. many members have said that NA is like a lifeboat in a sea of chaos, when you are involved in service work you are in the middle of the lifeboat, and it is hard to fall off the boat if you are in the middle of it. see if he would be interested in being a meeting leader at his home group, does he have an NA sponsor if not he needs one and step work, step work, step work, that is when you will see some real change is when he starts real step work. how's that beautiful grandbaby doing? remember you have a life too

Sarah said...

It is weird, and so hard to understand, but asking us to quit drinking, at first, is liking asking someone normal to go on walking with one leg...

it's really hard.

TraceyBaby said...

So glad to hear this!