Friday, March 16, 2012

Answers -- Cathy

I will answer all of the questions. So as not to make the post too long I am going to split them up and answers will follow on each day. I'm answering them in the order they were received. This is not a one time thing, if you have a question feel free to post and I will add it to the list.

Cathy ask: Recently you commented on Barbara's blog that when Alex was first in recovery you experienced "convoluted dark thinking" for a long time. I feel like I am in that place myself. My son has been in recovery for 3 months now but I can't seem to move forward. I tend to spend a lot of time reflecting/dwelling on the last several years of living in "crisis mode" 24/7. I'm in a pretty rough place. How did you move forward from that way of thinking? Thanks

A big part of getting over it is time. We build walls and had our shields at the ready to protect ourselves from that addiction monster. Every time I would see him or talk to him my thoughts would be of suspicion and anger. That’s a bad way to live for him and me. The key for me getting over it was dropping everything he had done wrong to me. I knew how much he owed me in cash for bail and everything else. I knew what he had stolen. I knew how he had torn things up. I knew how much he had hurt the ones I love. I was waiting for my apology and payback.

Finally, I realized as long as I held on to all of that hurt pain and anger I was not going to move forward, even though he was moving forward. When I was sure I wanted to get better I told my son I was proud of him, I believed in him and I wanted the past to be in the past. That’s how I was able to let go. I had to face my fear (my son) man to man. 

After all, I knew what he was capable of and if he went back to that place I had decided that I couldn’t travel that path with him in the same way I did before. So if I wasn’t going there again there was no use to continue living in that place. Besides you miss a lot of good when you are living in a bad place.  Here is a post I wrote last November about what I learned about how to be with Alex. It took me a long time to get to that point and even longer to be able to put it into words.

About those walls and shields we build to protect us from the bad; it was like I imagined that I built a huge stone castle and I was living within the walls. For self protection I put our addicted son outside those walls. But in time I had to learn that the same walls and shields built to protect myself kept me from the good too.


Barbara said...

Excellent thoughts here. I have gotten so much better at not projecting the future or reliving the past...but its hard and it takes time. Its not something that happens over night, it takes conscious effort and diligence and that in itself can cause resentment.

Cathy - how long has your son been using? I know exactly what you're saying here, I felt that way for such a long time, for years. Write me sometime!

Cathy said...

Ron, thank you for your response. Everything you say makes perfect sense. Every feeling you described is exactly what I'm feeling now. Intellectually, I know I need to move forward and start rebuilding my own life and let my son rebuild his.

Barbara-my son is 23 and he started in highschool with weed and alcohol. He went away to college and that is when things got really bad. His main drug of choice was cocaine and he has a serious alcohol addiction. In the past 15 months he has been in rehab 3 times with his longest time clean 5 months. Tomorrow he will be 3 months clean and sober. For right now he is on the right track, and I am just trying to pick up the pieces of my life and find some peace. Easier said than done!!

Syd said...

I don't think that it is possible to redo all the things in the past. But I can forgive and let the resentments go. Now those terrible times are a distant memory. I choose not to dwell there.