Sunday, July 10, 2011


Some of us have children now in recovery. Some are still watching the tumble and dealing with their struggle. Fortunately, here in our home we are in the first group.

After struggling for so many years it sometimes seems strange to not be dealing with the constant crisis and drama associated with addiction. However, the new normal presents its own challenges, just as life always has a way to keep each of us grounded. I guess the real question is, "What is normal?"

Even without the addiction crisis and drama it is important for me to stop at times and consciously think about what I am doing and what impact my actions have on others, personally and globally. 

What are you doing in your recovery? No matter if you child is active or clean, what are you doing to improve your life and what do you believe/hope is the effect on those that you touch?

-  We are re-introducing ourselves to our son and learning about him. Showing him despite all of everything in the past it is just that, past. Forgiven, but not forgotten. It moves no one forward to re-live past pains and experiences so those feelings are now put on a shelf. Acceptance is a lesson I have learned. Accept today for it's own joys. 

-  Give without expectation. Giving provides its own reward. Giving heals more inside of you than any medicine or therapy ever could.

-  Model behavior that is congruent with your own values and beliefs. I don't know what our son believes now or what he remembers about the life lessons he was taught as he was growing up. Actions speak much louder than words, I try not to miss opportunities to demonstrate in life how I want to live based upon my own values. This is most important for me, keeps me conscious of what I am doing or not doing in my life and the effect it has on others.

-  Express appreciation. We need to tell people thank you. Family, friends and acquaintances stood by us and held us up so many years. They should hear how much we appreciate them shouldering our load when we needed help. That includes every one of you out there reading or commenting on this blog. Thank You All.

These are just a few reflections on my recovery. I'd love to hear from anyone about things you do. 


Sherry said...

I think that Alex is doing well and will continue to because he has a loving father...You! My son didn't have a good relationship with his father and when he was in jail and his father stepped back into his life with love...that was a key component for his recovery.

Joji said...

I too am in the first group. It is early but it looks and feels good. My son is a recovering addict. This week I fell back into an old feeling and reaction as if he were still a user and it frustrated him. He may just be farther along in his recovery than me. As I sat there crying and in fear he was using he was on me like flies on you know what. Why are you doing this? Instead of sitting there crying do something...Drug test me don't just assume.I realized at that moment he was my teacher for that moment. So I did what he said and got the results I wanted. He was so kind about it later when I apologized. He said no need we were fine.
I am learning to treat people more kindly. I have always tried to but have realized sometimes my words about others have been not so gracious. You learn sometimes you must eat your words when you find out your own child is an addict. I pray I am forgiven.

Annette said...

I am in the second group. I live one day at a time. Right now I focus on and have been encouraging my daughter, who says she is sick of this life she has found herself in, to focus on the next right thing. To do what is in front of you that needs doing. Thats all I've got this morning.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

I am in the same group as you are. After months of not blogging, it's interesting timing that we both wrote posts reflecting on where we are today. Such great points that you make.
By the way, hubs and I had planned to come to Missouri this October..but, once again, have decided it's cheaper to fly his sister here to visit us in California. One day, we'll make it there. If you still plan to ride your bike down the coast of California, lunch is on us.


Lou said...

My recovery:

1.I'm not policing my son's recovery

2.Like you, the Dad and I are getting to know him as a new person

3.We work hard at communicating and respecting each other. It's not easy breaking destructive family patterns

4. All is unconditionally forgiven

5. We believe our son is alive through the grace of God, and each day I try to pay it forward

Great post, Dad, and we are so blessed!

Syd said...

What I have done is:

focus on me and quit obsessing over others. They will do what they will whether I worry or not.

Learn to have fun and have hobbies that are a passion

Mind my own business and listen to my inner voice.

Trust in a Higher Power that things will go according to a bigger picture than I have planned

Work with others and share with them my experience, strength and hope.

Recovery means a new attitude and a new way of relating to those around me. Thank goodness.

Barbara said...

This is not a good time for me to answer this question, but I will agree with what Sherry said about Alex (and many others I know from our blogs) have the benefit of a good father. I think for young men who do not have a positive relationship, or any relationship, with their fathers its just one more thing to add to their issues. Keven's dad rejected him years ago and it hurts to the core of his being (although he just says his dad is an asshole and that he hates him, he won't admit it hurts).

So to all your dad's out there that love your children and let them know it: you probably have no idea what an impact its making on their lives, but it is.

addiction journal said...

I say the Serenity Prayer and study the words...

I stay connected to those that are in a heatlhy place ( whether local support group or bloggers community )

I make sure I go back to the WAR zone once in a while to keep my "balance" so that I never forget the affliction my son is fighting..

The only day that matters in his recovery and mine

Thanks Ron for a good post..

Cathy | Treatment Talk said...

You make some great points. It is a family disease, and everyone plays a part. Writing, attending Al-Anon and reading inspirational books has helped me change my life because of this experience. So glad to hear that your son is doing well.

VJ said...

Great subject, post and responses.

I learned to train myself to use the "1st thought, 2nd thought" concept taught to me by my counselor. Before I spoke my 1st thought I would always paused and ask myself if that is the thought I should verbalize. If I decided it was not then what was my second thought. It was usually my second thought that always won out.

A Mom's Serious Blunder said...

I sometimes really wish my husband had a similar outlook to you. I feel like we would all be leading a much more emotionally healthy life. I would print out your blog and leave it out on his pillow if I actually thought he would read it. But what he would do is, roll his eyes and hand it back to me.

yaya said...

Our son has been clean and sober for 3+ years. In the beginning it was hard for me because I still didn't trust him. That took a couple of years. I told him I couldn't trust him and he was very understanding. Thank God I've gotten beyond that. Our relationship is wonderful.

Our daughter, after a 17 year addiction, is 4 months out of rehab (needless to say, not the first). Sorry to say I don't trust her for a minute. Our relationship was so damaged during those 17 years that I don't think it can be repaired. The only communication we have is about her children, which I took guardianship of two years ago.

While I forgive her, I've no desire to have a relationship. I am convinced that all those years of hard core addiction has affected her brain. She is no one I have any desire to be around.

I've left the fate of our relationship in the Lord's hands. I've prayed "give me the attitude you would have me have with her." Nothing, I feel nothing.

Maybe I detached so well, that it will take a long long time to feel anything again.

So recovery isn't always "wonderful". It doesn't always fix everything. Sure I'm glad she's not using and maybe with time she'll get her act together. But I'm not holding my breath.

I suspect we feel differently about our recovered addicts when children are involved. We can forgive them for anything they've done to us. But when we've seen the things they've done to their babies ... it's so very different.

Ron, I love your posts. And I am so glad that Alex is doing so well.

God Bless