I remember the horrors of holidays. It seems no matter the occasion Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays or anything that was special to our family our son while he was using found a way to bring heartache and sorrow to the occasion.
Why couldn't he just be OK for one day? Why do we have to have every holiday and special occasion ruined? These were the constants in our life.
Looking back it is easy to remember these events. A son showing up on Christmas Eve while we were walking out the door. Drug dealers delivering heroin to our home on Christmas Eve as casually as a pizza delivery person. Thanksgiving not being able to rouse him to join us for lunch. Going down to a prison located 125 miles away on Thanksgiving eve to pick him up after being released. Every holiday was an event.
The perspective of time and distance allows me to understand most all of our anguish and hurt was self imposed. We EXPECTED what was impossible to be delivered. My son was an addict. My son was addicted to drugs and I didn't understand addiction and what it meant.
My son suffered from the disease of addiction. He did what addicts do and all that is expected of an addict. He used drugs no matter what I wanted or expected. My heartache and anger was self imposed. I expected from him something he didn't have to give. At least not at that time.
If your loved one is suffering from addiction accept the reality of what IS and don't play a game with yourself of OUGHT to be able to be good for one day.
Secrets from a father about for surviving a holiday with an addicted loved one would include:
- Temper your holiday expectations.
- Accept what is given.
- Love with no return expectation.
- Do not expect something from someone that they do not have to give.
- Inside there is still a person. You loved them all their life, do not forget.
- Where there is life there is hope. Look around you and see the life.
Never stop believing. Tomorrow my son will be joining us with his family. Hugs will be shared. We will give thanks to all and each other. 6 years ago if anyone would have told me this day would come I would have thought they were crazy. Never stop believing in yourself or others.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.