"Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their situation. But when they get angry they bring about change." ~ Malcom X, Malcom X SpeaksParents of children who have spiraled into addiction have a unique perspective on life. Parents outside our circles may attempt to empathize with our struggles but often lose patience with our seemingly endless plot lines of ours and our childrens' journeys. Even friends who have witnessed addiction within immediate or extended families, but not with progeny, cannot totally relate to our experience. We accept well-meaning smiles and encouragement knowing even the kindness our friends show us cannot mask the unspoken.
They just don't get it. If we could read the thought bubbles they would say, "Thank God that's not me."
But we get it. Nobody wishes the journey of the addict on their sons and daughters.
When we make connections with parents who do share stories like ours we realize we are not alone. Many journeys have not begun until these bonds have been embraced. It is comforting to have someone with us as we take those first few tentative steps to escape our self-made quagmires. Soon we identify our journey is moving us toward self awareness, self actualization and personal presence. The perception of the communal journey gives way to the realization that each pathway traveled by a parent of an addict is extremely personal. We have found the support of multitudes of brothers and sisters along our way who love us and appreciate our experience, strength and hope as we cherish theirs. The staggering experiences that once survived, made us stronger and gave us hope for our lives are ours and no one else's. We are alone, together, but alone all the same. This is the way it must be. We cannot rely on others to tell us how to keep moving along our pathways any more than our children can rely on us to show them how to move beyond the disease.
So there we are, progressing toward our destinies, amid those metaphorical pits, tree falls, cliffs, danger-laden rain forests, energy-sapping deserts and other distractions. All we want is to be whole, to live lives that are full and realized. So why aren't we getting anywhere? At some point, it can seem like we're going in circles, retracing our own footsteps.
All we want is to be happy. Is this to much to ask?
We get pissed. "Haven't we moved beyond anger as the go-to emotion to frustration?" we think to ourselves. We wonder if this is a reasonable response to the constant roadblocks and detours addiction in its many guises places upon our recovery paths.
This, traveller, is not just a reasonable response to The Addiction. If harnessed correctly and with the guidance of the Great Creator it I can be a healthy response.
Perhaps it's time to get militant about our recovery.
Similar to the way we were treated by the medical profession before taking ownership of our bodies and demanding to know what is going on "in there," recovery without a certain militancy can often fool us into thinking that everything is fine when it just may not be. Complacency about our recovery can leave us feeling unfulfilled and often exhausted. As we work harder and harder on our self improvement and progress along our pathways, if we are not careful and vigilant The Addiction will divert us through detours maddeningly similar to where we had been. We find ourselves in familiar situations and behaviors we thought were abandoned long ago. It is a spiral. We go in circles, we find ourselves in those accustomed surroundings until we stop and say, "Enough! Yes, I've come so far but I want more. And I know what I have to do!"
In a sudden surge of self awareness we dig deep and acknowledge shortcomings we have avoided or ignored. We realize we had bought into the playbook The Addiction wished us to follow, using our child's addiction as an excuse for stagnation. Complacency had moved us again to focus on our child's journey and not on ourselves. Those deep-seated character flaws took a back seat. We have endured and persevered. We may have been gentle with ourselves. We may have deserved this after enduring so much.
But recently we found we're not getting anywhere. We've plateaued. We're not improving.
We have nowhere else to turn but within.
These imperfections, these life patterns, often family conventions and norms have been with us for generations.
It is time we jettison, shed, exterminate and eradicate what is holding us back from within. The personal and solitary nature of our journey takes us full circle. We make changes, slowly and in a determined way and not for anyone but ourselves.
We become militant about our happiness. This visceral response to stagnation is the impetus that can propel us past our own self-defeating and destructive behaviors.
We become so self aware. We show up. We are at peace. We become a force true to the truest of our natures as human beings. Everything becomes clearer, gentler and more loving. We are self assured. We surprise people, most of all ourselves.
Those obstacles and diversions of the past seem scattered as if with a wave of our hands.
Militancy is a powerful life approach when applied for Good, and the Good that results will be felt throughout our small corner of the cosmos like ripples in a pond. Our worst demons confronted and our journeys resumed we emerge stronger. We are more comfortable with ourselves and our imperfections. We become a force for our own happiness and a beacon to those we care for.
When we look ahead we are once again amazed at what we see. Our pathway is much clearer now. Smile. It's time once again to move on with a renewed determination! With the Universe by our side and our focus revitalized we will become militant masters of our own destiny and happiness.
"For my ally is The Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you - here between you, me, the tree, the rock. everywhere. ~ Master Yoda