"People who believe they know everything are missing the Great Adventure." ~ Patrick BenjaminI hope we can agree on two simple tenets of our journeys:
We don't know anything, and there is no one way, one road to recovery.These have served me well, have helped to catapult me along my journey even when hopelessness challenged me. Realizing I have much to learn, still, after all the stumbles, wrong turns then emergences from the abyss, all the little failures and victories, keeps me grounded. The belief there are as many pathways to recovery as there are stars in the universe has taken me down many roads less travelled. I feel fortunate to be one of the many who each day SEEK and strive to be that complete human being - not always successfully. I have experienced so much of The Good to which I had been previously blind.
It has been and continues to be, for the most part, a grand wild ride!
There have been bumps in the road for me, as there have been with all of you.
I may have previously alluded to my strong belief that Al-Anon saved my life almost six years ago when I had been beaten by my son's addiction. (This is not a commercial for Al-Anon - remember, stars in the universe.)
Like Richard Gere's Zack Mayo in An Officer and A Gentleman I had "nowhere else to go."
Zack Mayo chose Officer Candidate School. I chose Al-Anon.
Google "Zack Mayo nowhere else to go" if you would like to catch a glimpse of how I felt having been defeated by The Addiction.My "somewhere else to go" was Al-Anon - yours may be different.
(I actually first was dragged to Al-Anon, grudgingly, not realizing I was beaten. A friend (angel) took one look at me one day and told me to "get (my) ass back there". For this I am forever grateful.)
Stars in the universe ...
Remember these, always.
It was July of 2015 I embarked on my great adventure of training for my first half marathon. Throwing myself wholeheartedly into the effort I trusted the college-degreed trainers at the running store to avoid the injuries which had sidelined me the past three years.
Tuesday evenings were scheduled for speed work sessions on whatever 400 meter track I could find. "Speed" is a relative term of course.
Tuesdays were also my sacred carve out for my Al-Anon Parent Group.
I chose the 13-week training trying not to abandon my lifeline. I stayed in touch, read readings, practiced what I had learned before staying true to my new pathway. Even so I missed my family of parents in our various stages of recovery journeys while I was becoming more certain I could finish the 13.1 miles. The speed work was working, fortifying muscle groups I would need for the long haul.
Soon, as if on cue from The Universe, my son who had brought me to this journey would have an epiphany.
Remember parents, there are no coincidences!
In the weeks following my successful completion of the half I had begun to notice an increasing pallor chiseling away at the chiseled good looks of my handsome young man.
One day during a visit to our home I had to ask, "Are you eating OK?"
"Yeah Dad," he returned." "Do I look bad?"
I did not respond other than to say I thought he looked thinner.
He said nothing. Absent was the normal bellicose demeanor my son would so often display when asked for any update on his status no matter how gentle or innocent the inquiry might be. He seemed ... resigned.
I returned to my Tuesday night meeting. It just seemed right. It was time.
A few weeks later our son informed us he "couldn't live like this anymore." He had progressed from pot to pills to heroin. My baby was beaten.
He had nowhere else to go and checked himself into a local outpatient treatment program.
The homecoming to my Tuesday parent meeting was not timed or a planned reaction to my son's epiphany. Nor was it a triumphant return to announce his first steps into recovery. My return was simply a feeling I had, an innate desire to "get my ass back there" to my chosen recovery zone. I was invited back by forces much more grand and mysterious than I could ever imagine. The stars in the universe had aligned, I chose mine and returned to that one place where I could rejuvenate, recharge and recoup.
Where these meetings will take me now I don't know. It's all part of my personal recovery journey.
And my son, almost seven months into his recovery is still choosing his star.
I know as little about where my journey pathways will take me as I do about my son's next steps. It is and will continue to be a joyous adventure complete with perils, failures and victories yet a wonderfully wild ride all the same.
"The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why." ~ Albert Einstein