Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There Will Be Another Crisis, I'm Skipping This One

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.


Tori said...

Writing has been the best thing for me too. Better than meetings or therapy. For me it is a place for me to let it all out and read what other people think but to do what I feel will be best for me.

Syd said...

I do the blog and keep a daily journal as well. Both have helped. I prefer reading blogs to the daily Al-Anon readers actually. I take care of myself these days and do my best not to participate in drama or crises.

Terri said...

I think the hardest thing for me to do is being selfish and taking care of myself first. My son's whole life I have been his caretaker. Turning that off is hard. I am learning from all of you how important it is to take care of me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I read your post tonight. I am currently dealing with a severely depressed parent and sibling, trying my best to provide support yet to stay 'afloat' myself. After experiencing much anxiety in making a decision to let my family members 'fend for themselves', I went out tonight to a movie with a girlfriend...I had to keep telling myself "It's okay to have some ME time...and some time when I don't feel I have to worry or counsel or suggest or...???? It was so reassuring to read that it's okay/important to be 'self-ish' and to be a caretaker to ourselves once in a while. Thanks.
Shelley in SK

BMelonsLemonade said...

Also, as an addict in recovery...you have to be selfish sometimes. You MUST take time for yourself to be healthy and balanced. Selfish walks on a fine line between healthy and unhealthy, and it essential that we all maintain balance, and walk that tight line...

PeaPod said...

I identify with the need to write. Getting my thoughts onto paper (or the screen in practice) helps to distil what's going on. Blogging has deepened my life.

William White the recovery advocate, researcher and historian talks about what writing means for him:

"The passion to write often comes to me when I feel powerless in the face of some injustice. Writing is my antidote to powerlessness. It counteracts my sense of helplessness when other areas of action are not possible. I've always experienced writing as a subversive act, as an act of resistance. I still believe in the power of the written word to inspire hope, heal individuals and transform the world..."

momwhisperer said...

I understand the peace thing. I catch myself feeling a little bit comfortable and maybe not even worrying and then of course my daughter's life comes crashing in. She is working tonight. 7pm to 7am.. she woke up around 2 with a headache and groggy. She kept closing her eyes and falling asleep.
I asked if she had taken anything.. she says no. she is taking methadone doses daily and that she would be sick if she did. she finally napped for about and hour and went to work. She seemed more alert.. but I still
worry.. it is that other shoe I keep waiting to drop. I want to believe.. but it is hard. I pray a lot!