Friday, November 23, 2018

Good From Bad

Sometimes I want to step away from all of this addiction stuff. My son has been clear and sober since July 2010 so what can't I just give it up and move on? How do you move on from the most traumatic event in your life?

Honestly, not a day goes by that I don't think of those 7 years, not a day goes by that I don't recognize and appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones.

When I think of the horrors many times I force myself to think of the blessings. How, you might ask are their blessings in the life of parenting an addict?

Maybe I am fooling myself but I honestly believe that no matter of any circumstance of life experience, good can be found.

When I reflect I understand today I am a better person and father through this experience. My son's addiction forced me to slow down in my thinking. I had to deliberate much more on my life and his life. I had to be sure to not only show my love to others but to verbally express it too. That was something I didn't know how to do before. I had to learn not all of us are alike or capable of the same thing. I always assumed anyone could do anything if they just tried hard enough and worked hard enough.

I learned many people, myself included do not understand a chronic disease like addiction. Maybe that's why I continue to write on this blogs and share on many addiction Facebook pages even after eight years of relative peace. Someone help me, "relative peace", do you have a better description? Not sure that fits but my word skills aren't developed enough to turn the perfect phrase.

Yesterday and last night I spent a considerable amount of time on Thanksgiving evening commenting to people expressing their exasperation on Facebook pages concerning their loved one. This morning I think the only thing worse than sitting down and commenting on FB pages on Thanksgiving is being that person writing their of their fears and heartache. Pleading for help on Thanksgiving Day.

Some days I wonder why I don't just put all of this behind me. Deep inside I hope that I never put this all behind me.

Hope is a double edge sword sharpened like a razor on both sides. It cuts both ways so carefully use that sword for good. Put hope in yourself because that is the only place you can control the sword. I learned when when I placed that hope in others the sword always cut deeply.

Just a few random thoughts on a rainy day at the lake, Sincerely, Dad.  (Ron)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Beautiful Boy Movie

Today I gathered up enough guts to see the movie Beautiful Boy.

My history with this story goes back many, many years. I can still remember clear as day, we were at a Starbucks with friends for coffee and the book was a new release. Starbucks had it right at the register, something like a "book of the month" type display. As I got coffee I picked up the book and bought it too. At that time we were in the midst of our own struggle with our son addicted to drugs.

Immediately my wife and I began reading the book. Sometimes I became anxious because she was actively reading it and was anxious to get started. When she put it down I got my chance. Furiously began reading and after about 60 pages I put the book down. Darlene inquired why I stopped reading. The answer was simple to me. I didn't need to read this book I was living this life.

There was not room in my heart for another or more hurt. I already hurt enough.

I never finished the book.

Today Darlene and I went together to see the movie, Beautiful Boy. For those not familiar it is about the struggles of David and Nic Sheff. Nic became addicted to crystal meth and David was a struggling father.

The story is riveting, particularly if you have a loved one suffering with addiction.

Yes, the movie was hard to watch. There are tough scenes of Nic shooting up, the touching moments of love between David and Nic and the struggles of how a life and death struggle affects every single person loving a person struggling in life addicted to drugs.

Throughout the movie I re-lived the struggle of David. I was David, I am the father, I struggled every minute, awake and asleep searching for an answer. Every time I heard David whisper "everything" I heard myself whispering, "I believe in you."

One thing I noticed was how David used writing to cope with and understand what was happening. He and I shared this experience, my salvation in this struggle was also writing.

As I watched I kept waiting for that moment when the movie translated the deepest valley and worst hurt onto the silver screen. No matter how good the writing and acting I come to realize there is no way that level of pain and hurt can be realized on a movie screen. That level of pain and hurt loving an addict can only be in a heart.

Go see the movie.

I thought about what this movie has meant to me. I'm 62 years old, nearly 20 years of my life I have been in one of these phases, parent of and active addict, parent recovery and advocacy. That's nearly a third of my life I have devoted to the monster. A fellow blogger that is a fantastic read, Annette wrote a great essay about this very subject this week. (click on her name to be taken to her essay) She said it well. We are in different places right now but we both grew and learned together reading and counseling each other.

I don't know David and Nic Sheff personally, but I feel close. We shared an experience. At the end of the movie on the screen a written fact flashed in black and white, "Nic Sheff has been clear and sober for 8 years." My son has been clear and sober since July 2010, eight years.

Where there is life there is hope. Never, ever stop loving and never, ever stop believing.