Last year when The Partnership at Drug-Free kids brought me to New York to be a part of a new program I was honored and thrilled. Unfortunately, this year at work has not allowed me to be able to help my team. I feel I am not contributing but I am trying to do what I can. I did speak to a couple parents recently but I have not been able to take new assignments.
During training last year "self care" was stressed. It was emphasized about how stressful it is for parents living the life as a parent of and addict, as if we all didn't know. But time has an effect to dull the unpleasant memories to life's daily stress. They also stress how critical it was for us to practice self care because taking on coaching with parents can put us in an unhealthy place too. It's not just parents in the heat of battle that need to take care of themselves.
Thursday and Friday I had a chance to practice a little self care. Some may not see this as self care but for me it charges my batteries. Standing in front of a bunch of people talking about parenting an addict strikes terror in some but for me it is cathartic.
It's amazing to me how interested students are in my story. They listen intently, ask questions and share their own stories. One class actually applauded when I said my son has been clear and sober since July 2010. By the end of the talk I really believe some of them may be emotionally invested in our story.
The stories and tears students share after class when they want to talk breaks my heart. So many thank me with shaking voices. They pick up cards with my phone number and e-mail address. They know they are no longer alone and there is a hand for them to take if they need to talk.
Parents also attend and share with me after class
For me this is self care. Not to discount a tall cold iced drink on a beach watching waves lap at the sand isn't nice, but nothing turbo charges me like speaking to people and seeing their faces when they realize that they no longer have to be alone.
Wish I could find a paying gig like this, I'd work cheap.
Just a teaser for all of you out there wondering what I do in these classes. The video production class at the high school decided my talks should be a class project. During one class they had four cameras at different places in the room recording my talk along with a person taking stills with a DSLR. They are going to take all of the video and stills and try putting it together into a "professional" type video/presentation. I'm sure the students will do a great job and could do much better if they just had a better person speaking. lol When it is done I hope to share it with all that want to see.