Friday, May 7, 2010

Reading Comments and Self Reflection

It seems like I sure opened a hornet’s nest with my last posting. I usually don’t get 26 comments to a posting but I am glad there was such good discussion and I hope everyone had a chance to go back and read all the comments.

I read everyone’s comments multiple times and see others having the same experience over and over and others that have moved past emotional attachment to their addicts. The question that begs an answer is;”What is right and what is wrong?” I don’t believe there is a hard fast rule in every situation. The variables are enormous in each family as to what is expected and how a person, the addict and the loved one can recover from a mistake of intentions.

I have also done some research on defining co-dependency. Those that know me personally would probably agree unanimously Dad does not in any way have a co-dependent personality. One of the best sites I found about defining and analyzing co-dependency is: . Most that know me intimately would side that Dad has more of an “independency” problem.

Can the actions of another person or loved anger me? Yes, but in 30 minutes I’m back to having lunch with them. Why would I do that? Is it because I need them? No it is because I respect them and love them. I had an experience as a child that I learned a lesson from that has carried into being an adult. When I was in junior high my best friend and I had a fight, we didn’t speak for 3 years. What was it about, who knows, who cares. All I know for sure was that nothing was ever the same between us again. What I learned was anger and grudges hurt only the person experiencing the emotion. Can I be angry at my son for what he did and still be over it just as quick? Yep, in a heartbeat and it’s the same with hurt feelings, and disappointments.

For me the magic formula doesn’t involve 12 step meetings or some higher power. My personality is such that independence and self reflection is my go to place. That’s a hard lesson to learn in dealing with an addicted child. I don’t advocate my methodology or that answer for any one individual because I am a strong believer in the “whatever works for you” method of recovery for both the addict and the loved ones of addicts.

My belief in surviving this experience is to work very hard in learning from the daily experience of parenting an addict. A wise man once told me he had a goal in life to make only new mistakes. It has been 25 years since that discussion. At first, as a 30 year old guy trying to grab the world by the tail I didn’t think much about that way of thinking. My thinking was to make no mistakes. Make no mistakes??? Yea, you know how long that lasted. Then the wisdom of that goal sunk in and I made it a personal long term goal; the day I die I hope to be still working to achieve that goal.

So I will make more mistakes, undoubtedly. Plus I will continue to write about them. This is for my benefit and maybe others will learn from the experience too. That is not being arrogant. My experience is that I learn from others too, I don’t have to make the mistake to learn a new lesson.


Cat said...

Learning from others is what has helped me through my husbands recovery as well as my sons current addiction and treatment... I take from these pages so much more wisdom than I have on my own and for me that is how I help myself.

Other people have been through this and maybe what they ahve done is not going to be what I will do, becuase it does not suit me, but overall their is wisdom in all of these pages and responses.

Addiction--Mom trying to Detach with Love said...

I also believe everyone's journey will be different, the path they take may not be the same, but we all travel the same main highway at some point with each other. The support I get from reading and writing in this blog community is priceless. Thank you for all the support you offer to us.

Gledwood said...

What is right and what is wrong?
Well you seem to be on the right path, to me.
The wrong thing to do is to get too involved in an addict's life (easier said than done when you're the parent!) but there's always a risk that if you keep offering a hand, then like the proverbial drowning man they will grab hold too desperately and pull you under too...

PS talking of huge wasps, did you know the Japanese word for a hornet is a su-zoom ~ very onomatapoeic (however you spell that)

Barbara said...

Very well said! I also believe there is no right or wrong way for every person. I wish it were that simple. I've learned a lot from you and all the other parents here. It helps tremendously to know we are not in this alone no matter what our method of dealing with it is.

Barbara said...

P.S. We had a speaker from MHA last night. Its a great organization!

Annette said...

I wish there was a definitive right and wrong way to do this and then the problems would be solved. Don't we all?! Addiction doesn't always follow the "norms." Some of our kids use chronically, some in spurts, some relapse but just pop right back up again. Some stop and never look back. That is theirs to figure out though. I like what Gledwood said...the wrong thing to do is to get too involved in an addict's life. When my daughter isn't living here that is much easier to do. I am actually pretty successful at minding my own business when her's isn't right in my face day after day. Right now she is working 2 jobs, commuting an hour one way to get there choosing to live in a safer, less tempting place. Thus the gas cards from me. She is trying. She doesn't ask us for anything. I offer the help....but not cash. I usually mail them without a word to her. But I always get a thank you note in the mail or a text or an email. I don't ask questions anymore. I let her tell me what she is comfortable telling me. I share what I can of my life with her. Me getting out of the way has probably been the best thing I could have ever done for the both of us.

laura said...

Thanks for the link. I agree everyone’s journey is unique. We all seem to find the best way to coup with the situation. It’s funny though how each hurdle may have a different outcome. Some times it’s easier to stand firm and say no. Other times you just want to give in to build some trust back. Other times it’s to show them “hey I’m still here for you”.

God Bless.

P.S Happy Mothers day to your wife.

A Mom' Serious Blunder said...

Happy Mother's Day to MOM! Hope you both have a lovely day!

Syd said...

Whatever helps a person to get on with living a life for themselves and not for others is a good thing. I spent too many years focused on what others were doing and not enough on what I wanted to do for me. Finally, I see that there is an emotional and spiritual well being that can be achieved to put my mind at ease even in the most difficult of situations.