"And I feel | Like I've been here before | Feel | Like I've been here before." ~ David Crosby, Déjà vuOh those feelings that emerge sometimes slowly like an approaching fog or suddenly like a cold winter breeze seemingly coming out of nowhere as the November seasonal change approaches. We know these feelings, these manifestations are telling us something and are often accompanied by physical indicators like muscle tightness, fatigue or even fever, sore throat or other complaints arriving when our resistance is compromised, or down.
What are the feelings telling us?
Sometimes as parents of addicts, parents of kids in recovery or even parents who have not walked our recovery walk, these feelings may signal old behaviors creeping up on our lives. We may be approaching dangerous pathways, risking revisiting sites abandoned long ago. Are we imagining, again, the worst for our children? Are we inserting ourselves into their lives again, even by presuming what we should be telling them so they will just get to that next step in their recovery?
Are we finding ourselves impatient with our children's progress? Do we find ourselves angry about the lingering "addict" behavior even as they heroically move through recovery?
What exactly are we feeling? Or are we once again, afraid to feel?
Then comes the neck stiffness, the cold we can't seem to shake or the inability to secure those elusive seven to eight hours of sleep we know we need. We stop taking care of ourselves. Even if we do not directly insert ourselves, control, enable or otherwise meddle in our children's affairs - there are endless possibilities - we can begin again to focus more on our babies than on ourselves.
It's déjà vu all over again. It's a tedious familiarity. It causes our bodies to rebel to snap us out of, hopefully, our old thinking and awaken our consciousness to again pursue what is right for us.
See these then not as symptoms or manifestations to be ignored or even as signposts to guide us along our journeys. As we enter into situations with our addicted sons or daughters, or our children who although in recovery exhibit the lingering effects of The Addiction, these déjà vu all over again moments are simple reminders that we've come too far to answer the call of our worst tendencies.
The Addiction may still be there, weakened, but not yet gone. Let's not give it any nourishment or encouragement for rebirth.
Take a breath, close your eyes, count to 10 - really!
Say "I love you" to yourself. Say it to your son, your daughter - those who have spiraled and those also who thankfully have not. Feel the tightness in the back of your neck subside, the blood rush leaving your face.
Open your eyes. You've released a burden before it overtakes your life, before it again becomes a way of living. You've stayed your course once again on your road to personal recovery,
"Just can't wait to get on the road again." ~ Willie Nelson
"It's déjà vu all over again." ~ Yogi Berra