Tuesday, March 31, 2015

When Things Go Right

"When something goes right, oh, it's likely to lose me. It's apt to confuse me. It's such an unusual sight. I can't get used to something so right." ~ Paul Simon, Something So Right
Our journeys take us along pathways with uphills, downhills and wild rides both good and bad. It becomes easier when we travel pathways separate from our children who have brought us to recovery. Though separate on our chosen divergent roads we are, however, never separated.

They are after all our children, whom we love.

Whether or not our children are at home we are in receipt of constant communiques from their journeys.  The Addiction is an insidiously cunning foe regularly providing unsolicited updates concerning our children's front-line internal battles. Our response will vary depending on how far along our own journeys we've progressed. Notifications of current or pending doomsday scenarios can throw us off our game hurling us downhill into hedgerows or mired in our own swampy crap for a time. Or, we can utilize lessons learned along our long recovery road, ignore the beckonings of our children's addictions to join them in the spiral and make that slow, hard climb to the next plateau, the next steppe in our journey.

We are accustomed to bad news. We've begun to to live our lives expecting nothing from our addicts. We've repeatedly told ourselves the mantra, "Where there's life there's hope." We've learned to tell our children they will figure it out when the Addiction attempts to drag us down with it.

We've fired the projectionist and shuttered the projection room where those awful coming attractions of worst-case scenarios for our children played in our heads for what seemed an eternity.

We've begun to live our lives. We have become the embodiment of change that any soul can achieve if it wishes to be and relinquishes any and all expectations to a gentle universal force. We are a beacon, first to ourselves, then to our families and the children who brought us to this beautiful journey.

Let's face it, we've done all this with a background of negativity, accepting our children's lives to be nothing like we would have wished for them and nothing like they would have EVER wished for themselves. This is a hard road we travel as parents of addicts. It is a hard road we have embraced. And somehow, eventually, we become better for it - better parents, better spouses and partners, better human beings.

There may be a juncture in our travels when something astonishing occurs, something unforeseen. We become flummoxed and stunned by the occurrence. For this we are totally unprepared.

Things may just start to take as turn for the better for our children.

What the hell are we supposed to do with this?

Our first inclination may be to let our negative tendencies slip in and divert us from what we should be experiencing. We wonder how long this will last, this time. We wonder if we can trust the signs, the perceived unspoken or the verbalized - "I'm not using."

"I wonder if that projectionist would come to work for me again?"

When it's different, when the signs indicate apparent attitude changes, conversations that go beyond the lies the Addiction has told us of for too long and we begin to believe our children have begun a slow crawl out of their primordial soup we can simply … Breathe.

With no expectations we can simply savor the moment. We can experience each day's arrival and ending as the adventure the Universe meant for us. We will continue our journey taking in the positive newsreels sent from our children. We can enjoy each small victory knowing that our recovery may have played a part in our son's or daughter's awakening.

There will be epiphanies. As our children become less clouded by their addictions and more self aware they will begin to see the obstacles along their pathways the Addiction had previously kept so well hidden. Hopefully our children will experience the same cycles of frustration, action, victory, despair, exuberance, progress, regress and more difficult action we have come to know along our journeys as they finally allow themselves to embark along a new pathway.

We MUST continue to watch from afar, engaging them only with love and encouragement. It will be tempting to help them along, to tell them what to do based on our successes. Don't insult their intelligence. Remember, no one told us what to do when we first began our new lives, we simply felt the power of our fellow travelers and the Great Creator like a wind across our sails helping us along.

Climbing to our next hillside what we can do is gaze upon our children and with a joyful tear in our eye, BREATHE, smile and enjoy the moment.

… keep coming back

"If I had ever been here before I would probably know what to do. Don't you?" ~David Crosby, Deja vu 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Haiku For You

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity. prosperity would not be so welcome."                 ~ Anne Bradstreet
It's been a while since I've haiku'd. What better excuse than springtime to break out one of my favorite forms. Enjoy, have fun with these and relax, the Vernal Equinox is near! Can't you feel it? Look for the secret Parent Depot messages embedded within the 5-7-5 verses!

At five forty five
The Central Daylight Time zone
Will embrace a change

Have you noticed this
I feel Mother Earth turning
Tilting towards the Sun

What is that I hear?
The pop-pop of daffodils
Breaking barriers

I know it's spring, but
The clouds, the cold, still remain
Trust the change will come

Bird songs beautiful
Mixed with awakened squirrel scourge
The Good, with the Bad

A celestial cheer
To the Northern Hemisphere
Warm! Grow! Bloom! Become!

Welcome the springtime 
Embrace its immediate
The colors of life

We have persevered
Our Great Creator's reward
Winter's budge to spring

You get out there now
You've been waiting long enough
Your life beckoning

… keep coming  back

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Being Willing

"The hard, is what makes it great." ~ Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own
I often find myself mired in negativity though I've always thought of myself as one who trends to the bright side, the glass half full, a positive soul. I've always been one of those awful morning people to the deep despair of my family, none of whom share that seemingly recessive trait.

In a way, a positive outlook has been forced upon me.

Move, or die.

The journey I traverse has spanned almost a decade, though I have only known it, felt it, experienced it for half that time. It has been a wondrous, incredible blessing that reminds me daily that this journey is a gift that keeps on giving if I persevere. There have been victories achieved, new horizons approached, talents rekindled and joys accepted.  And then, there are times when my son's addiction seems to surround, hover and attack from all sides.

Because we love our children this can weigh heavily on us. We have all experienced negativity and doubt even as we progress boldly along our pathways to recovery.

Committed as we are to our improvement, to achieving a life we had perceived as unattainable and undeserved, we cannot help but catch glimpses of our children in the distance. We see our children stumbling, failing, continuing to travel those roads fraught with danger and setbacks, switchbacks and mudslides.

It's hard, but we have to remember …
"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard … is what makes it great."
When I lose sight of my own journey, when I doubt the wonder of my recovery, I stumble into my own negativity. I find myself taking the negativity into the most meaningless of decisions and observations. My vision becomes clouded. My answer to everything is "No," my desires, my horizons become limited. The accomplishments and journeys of others are silly, meaningless and unsophisticated. I become judgemental, lose sight of my journey and self. I fixate on everything but my now and my possibilities.

I find myself like so many of our politicians who seem to be against everything and for nothing, This as we know leads to business as usual. We diminish ourselves and lower our expectations. We have all diverted our journeys down this road. Everything seemed fine then boom, there we are, in the ditch of negativity or sliding down that fifty degree rocky hillside.

It's like the board game Chutes and Ladders without the ladders.

When this occurs we have choices. We can continue to plummet, to be smugly stuck, or we can make an active decision to pursue a course antithetical to our current pathway of negativity.

We can simply be willing.

We can incorporate words like OK, let's do it, and why not? into our vocabulary. This may require us to force ourselves into positivity, digging our heels deep into that rocky hillside to stop the slide back to the sludge of our childrens' addictions we have worked so hard to escape.

We can be open. We can open our hearts, again, to new possibilities, directions, adventures and thoughts. Most importantly and often the hardest, we can stop fixating on others, stop the judging, stop the comparisons and concentrate on that next small step in our own journey.

We can be inclusive, considerate and welcoming.

As we embrace willingness and leave negativity behind we may begin to grow a little, or a lot. We can certainly devote a lot more time and energy to our journey when we cease concentrating on the perceived shortfalls of others.

This is not meant as an invitation to accept everything as right for us as we resume our travels. We can be vigilant to filter out The Bad in our environs and recognize our own shortcomings. We've grown, we can sift The Good from The Bad, the beneficial from the dangerous and detrimental. We can eschew negativity and now trust we can recognize the signposts leading us away from our chosen pathways.

Strangely - and this is a long, strange and wonderful trip we're on - we will find as we become willing we become more resolute in our journey.

We can commit to ourselves a solution to negativity. We can say out loud, "I'm not going down that road. I've been there and that's not the direction I'm going!" We move on, back on pathways true to ourselves. Guided by the Universe to our next victorious plateau we will see previously unimaginable vistas and possibilities.

Being willing is simply, being. A willing soul, a willing presence is the enemy of fear, prejudice, distrust and hatred. A willing heart is the enemy of Addiction. A willing spirit is an adventurous spirit nurturing us to take leaps into the unknown and confident treks down roads less often taken.

And this my friends, can make all the difference.

… keep coming back
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - |  I took the one less travelled by  |  And that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken