With time to reflect I look back and think about my reactions to life parenting an active addict. As you all know each of us only have to change the names, our lives are the same. One crisis after another. Down time is nothing more than a pause to breathe before the next crisis.
In my way of thinking it was my role to react to each event. I'd worry that if we weren't in the middle of the crisis, the immediate crisis would cover all of us over and there would be no digging out of the mess. Like I said, does this sound familiar?
How do you take care of yourself? We all need downtime. I'm not talking about climbing aboard our lifeboats this time. I am talking about how do you process life when life is like a machine gun ready to cut you down at every move. It is not enough to work on ourselves when time allows. We have to take time purposely, selfishly regardless of the crisis of the moment.
I had to really work hard to figure out what worked for me. Each of us must figure out what is effective for us to maintain sanity in an insane world. What worked for me was writing. Writing organized my thoughts, affirmed my deliberations and my thoughts set my resolve in doing things that at times seemed contrary to my natural instincts as a father.
I heard these words from Darlene many times, "What are you doing on that damn blog now?!"
This blog was my therapy, my counselor and my meeting time all rolled into one. It was as if I was in an intense therapy session and each of you were in sitting in the room with me.
Living life as a parent of an addict I cannot stress how important it is to be selfish. Each of us MUST explore and find out what works for you. There is not a single answer that works for everyone. There is not a right or wrong because someone tells you this is how it is suppose to work. I'm not talking about dealing with addiction, I talking about how do you deal with yourself?
Go to a meeting, see a counselor or therapist, go to church or pray, deliberate, meditate, scream from the top of a mountain; just do something and do it regularly and it is most important to do it when it seems the crisis are never ending. It OK to skip a crisis, don't worry there will be another one real soon.
Most of the time I forgot to take care of myself, my inner self needed treatment as much as my son and if I didn't take that time I would surely become as sick as my son.
This is just a little reflection on my own actions over the past few years. The most important learning in our lives is the learning we have about ourselves.