Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's Cold

A new year and it has arrived frigid. The temperature is in the single digits and will hardly rise any all day. The forecast is a solid week of this nonsense. What happened to all that global warming? If this is it we need to burn more coal! If the temperature stays like this all those poor polar bears at the north pole with melting ice can move into the vacant house down the street.

We all look so forward to the new year, it is the same here. New year, new beginning and a fresh start. However as we know it is just another day. An endless continuum of day to day to day. I guess that really is the best we can ever hope for no matter if you are sober, clean, in recovery or trying to maintain an active addiction. Sometimes it is good to reflect on that. Life is a struggle no matter the circumstances even with millions of years of evolution, all life and our species is still struggling to survive day after day. Puts everything in perspective when we look at the big picture, or does it highlight our real insignificance.

Our new year began with a closing of the old year. Fine food and close relatives. Our son sitting at the dinner table, taking part in conversation, showing the signs of the manners taught at a young age and filling all of us with a new hope for his well being. That was the first scene like that in many years. After all of the events in the past it is easy to appreciate the small things. 

I feel a lot of sympathy for my son in one way. He is known as a social animal. That was a description coined by one of his elementary school teachers and he has lived up to that moniker ever since. I know the social animal in him is lonely. I think that is his most difficult struggle but he is not one to complain. I have talked with him about his using and recovery and he says he is OK and that part is not that hard as long as he stays out of bad situations and away from bad people. I can tell he is longing for companionship from anyone his age that is not from his old group that still uses, this is good. I know new friendships will come but I hope we all have the patience.


Kim A. said...

The little things are not so little, to me, anymore. Those little glimpses are good any day, bu I am glad you had it on New Years!


Lou said...

I see the same things in my son. He really wants a girlfriend, but finding one when you are an ex felon, no car or license, no job, and live in a half way house...well, a girl who is not an addict herself really expects more from a man.

I know I can't help him with that, so I mind my own business.

Barbara aka Layla said...

My son is also very social and has very few "safe friends" left. I worry what that will be like for him. I hope all of them are able to make new friends soon.

Heather's Mom said...

I hope he has the patience to wait - new friends will come. It just takes time. When we moved to South Florida, it was 6 months before I made a friend. When we moved to Northern Florida (they call it "Central" but it is COLD here, so I call it NORTH!) it took 8 months.
Those months can be LONELY and with that can come depression. BUT the friends WILL come. And the sober friends he meets will actually be FRIENDS. I hope he has the resolve to wait for them as they will be a blessing.
He may have to go to "new" places to meet them.

Heather's Mom said...

p.s. I just saw the top of your post and was reminded - okay - it's not THAT cold here... stay warm!

Anonymous said...

Hello mom and dad. I have not stopped by in some time, but I'm glad to see things are looking up. Tentative and tenuous perhaps, but any positive direction is better than the alternative. I thought I might offer a little perspective regarding youth and recovery.

It is exceedingly difficult to recover from addiction no matter what the circumstances (and that includes addiction to anything, not just drugs). That difficulty, however, is magnified when one is as young as your son (or mine) is. My experience with 12-step recovery is that the average age is much older, although that situation is rapidly changing. Maybe it's because the drugs are so much more potent, or the newer incarnations have a much more addictive quality, or maybe it's a reduction in societal tolerance - I don't know, but the rooms are beginning to see many more addicts who have hit their bottom much earlier in life.

That said, it is still difficult when limited experience with active addiction is resting in the back of the young addict's mind, telling him or her, "next time it will be different." After chasing that lie for more than 25 years, I know it is not true, but I can't help but place myself in my own 21 year old shoes - I did not believe I had a problem and no one could convince me otherwise.

Time takes time. Your son will be able to fulfill his need of social interaction - to feed his "social animal", so to speak, if he sticks with it. I know that with a little more than five years clean, I have more friends now than I ever did. Many of them are in their 20s. They are almost all relatively new friends and they are also true friends. But it didn't happen over night, nor did it happen with any conscious effort on my part. I just stuck with it simply because I did not want to go to prison - that was it. The rest came to me. I just turned 47 and the past four of my five years clean have been nothing short of amazing, but that first year was a struggle and part of that was a feeling of isolation.

It also sounds as though you have taken a proactive role in his recovery. That is important not only for your son, but also and probably more directly for your own sanity. My parents have loved me the the same throughout my entire live, but there were times when I am sure they did not like me too much. Fortunately I have made amends to them not just by acknowledging my past indiscretions, but also by living my life free from addiction and as a successful member of society. I finally received my BA and I am halfway through my Master's degree - and a PhD. is looking like a possibility, but none of it did or will happen instantly.

Patience. time takes time.


Syd said...

I hope your son will make new friends that are sober. I believe that things can be good for him again.

MEM said...

My partner is in early recovery, and several of his support people/recovery buddies from AA and NA have become real friends. These are mostly folks who reached out to T, took the time to speak to him after a meeting. Now they hang out to do stuff besides recovery talk-- rec league basketball, playing music together, etc. It's been a real blesing.
I hope that something like that happens for your son.

Her Big Sad said...

Belated happy birthday wishes to you "Dad"!! I hope you had a great one!

I still have your saying about "I must learn to live in the world of what is and not in the world of what ought to be" pasted on my file cabinet, 18 inches from my eyeballs.... it helps!

Also, I shared the concrete sidewalk analogy with my oldest daughter the other day and she LOVED it.... she encouraged me to send it to my daughter in jail, and also the Boyfriend.... so I think I will!

Thank you for all that you share with us!