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