I think back years ago and remember all the questions I had about addiction. That was me, trying to make sense of something that is senseless. It's impossible to use logic to decipher the illogical. There are no answers that make sense. Of course, in reality I had the answers in my mind already I just wanted confirmation. I needed someone to tell me I was right. I craved the validation that my thinking was right on and not just as skewed as an addicts.
It took so long for me to understand the answers to all those questions didn't effect the outcomes one bit. Not for me or my son. That was me living in the world of what "ought to be" instead of living in the world of "what is".
So just what's it like? I used to spend hours, days, years trying to get into my sons mind. If I could just understand I could fix it.
Much deliberation allowed me to figure out the truth. What's it like? The real answer is with me. I control myself. There is no way I can control my son or his addiction. Even in prisons and jails people and addictions can only be controlled to a barely manageable level. Just how arrogant is it to think that me alone could exert that much control over my son.
It is possible to have a life even if madness surrounds you. Maybe it's not the life you may have planned but make do, if you have lemons make lemonade. I learned the answer to my questions involve loving yourself enough to be happy. When you do that you make yourself more lovable and better able to face the demon of an addicted loved one.
What's it really like today? Appreciation is the only word that I can think of that describes what I see. I appreciate the fact that I learned and grew from this terrible experience. Nothing is so bad that a person cannot grow and learn, it is just hard sometimes.
I see Alex being a Dad. He does what he believes is best, I appreciate his work, even when I differ in opinion. I see my son work, earn a living, pay bills, raise a family. I respect my son, I hope he does me too.
My wish is that my son has the same appreciation for his life of sobriety as I do for his efforts and my life today. But I know that his life and struggle is his to live in his way. He must manage in the best way he knows and I get to manage mine in the best way I know. That is the respect I hope we share but no longer tell him that is the way it is going to be just because I am Dad.
Does it sound like I am proud of my son? Darn right I am. But I learned a lesson somewhat late that I was always proud of him even when his disease was active. Alex has always been a person and my son but he was a person dealing with a disease that he fought and for today is under is control. Final words for all that have read this far, never stop believing.
ps.: Another mom writing about her son: Meth Addiction - A Mothers Perspective