"I want some more, Some more and then some." ~ "Tell Me More, And More, And Then Some" by Billy Holliday, Arthur Herzog & Danny MendelsohnRecovery for parents who watch as our children struggle with addiction is all about counterintuitivity. We do not seek the contrary for the sake of obstinance, simply to be different or contrary to past life practices. This is no time for knee-jerk reactions, the black/white mentality that keeps us from growing. We do not merely seek the different as a mad alternative to old behaviors. We are seeking more than just the different, the mere exact opposite of how we have traveled prior to beginning our journeys. The different, the opposite, may lead us down familiar pathways, those oft-travelled roads more often taken that society mandates. Obstinance is an angry alternative, a counterproductive pathway.
We are desperately searching for new behaviors and experiences that our learned, and unlearned natures tell us to avoid like a plague.
On our journeys counterinuitivity is not obstinance. We have learned that obstinance, leads to abstinence. We abstain from our feelings, our friends, our children and ourselves. We abstain from life. Obstinance focuses on feelings we do not wish to feel, behaviors we will jettison when we should be focusing on a life previously never experienced that lies directly ahead if we would simply seek it out. We are looking for a positive look at life, we are seeking for what we wish TO do and not, what NOT to do.
Our recovery requires we embark on journeys down roads not travelled, frightful pathways that society, our life mentors and even our "common sense" tell us are ill advised and perilous.
It is time for us to want more for ourselves, more time, more love, laughter, creativity, more peace. For so long we wished for this and more for our children. Then, at a crossroads with the help of countless seen and unseen angels, we began, sometimes covertly, to wish for this "more" to be bestowed upon us as well.
For too long we may have travelled the road with Addiction, mindlessly wandering hand in hand with the disease. To retain its vice grip on our children this is exactly what Addiction requires of us. Addiction craves that willing partner with our children who enables and protects.
Addiction is an occupying army that coerces collaborators to further its endgame. For too long, we have been the collaborators.
It is time we took the fight to the disease in the only way we can. We realize a direct assault is pointless. We can't fix this though God knows we've tried. We cannot control or cure the disease. Truly believing we did not cause the addiction, the first of many epiphanies we encounter along our recovery journeys, we often, incorrectly, think it possible that we could undo what has happened. Our (correct) abandonment of a direct causality between our behavior and the onset of addiction somehow provides a false bravado that we can simply fix this thing if we can only ride it out.
Our heads spinning, we have become our children's worst enemies and Addiction's closest ally.
This is what collaborators do. Collaborators lose themselves and give their lives and souls to the occupiers.
We cease to exist. We lose all self purpose.
It's time to want more, and then some, for ourselves.
Is this counterintuitive enough for you?
The counterintuitivity comes when we become just a little, then a little more, and then some more, selfish, about our needs, wants and dreams. We recapture our souls. We begin to look at our lives in the NOW, the immediate. We begin to live in the moment. We hit a bottom where we become horrified by what we have become. We have too long taken a journey of distractions, detours and back roads counter to our truest selves.
When we begin a new journey borne of self worth and self actualization, living OUR lives and not an existence dictated by the Addiction, amazing things can happen. We become militant champions of ourselves.
We are happy for the first time in a long while. Our horizons expand to possibilities long forgotten during our failed attempts to drive out, then mollify the disease. At first we feel guilty but soon we are witness to astonishing events. Left on its own, the Addiction can lose its grip on our children. Our sons and daughters, seeing us living fulfilled lives are left to face the consequences and anguish of the disease.
We are loving our children and hating the disease. We have no time for the Addiction. We have more time for ourselves. We are no longer collaborators. We are simply loving parents. We know we will be there, present for our children when they are ready.
We witness the miracle of the Addiction loosening its grip on our children. We know the difference between the Addiction loosening and losing its hold of the addicted and understand this is a life-long journey. We understand the Addiction will not go down without a fight yet know we cannot battle it on its own terms. What we can do is slowly destroy the bridges, railways and command posts that had linked our lives to the occupier. We can stop fixing, controlling, enabling and begin living our lives on OUR terms.
Start small, with little baby steps. The path can be dark, rocky and a little scary. It is certainly not a road we're accustomed to. Start by not reacting. Reacting takes us away from ourselves. Listen instead to ourselves and our put-on-hold dreams. Live life, don't obsess about it. Then, we can make this our mantra, our OM:
"I want more, some more and then some."
"Go to your bosom, knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know." ~ William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure [II.2.903-904]