It’s Not Up to Me

via Patience — Prompts – The Daily Post

I feel a bit helpless, which makes me nervous and also makes me talk more than I normally would.  This is not always a positive experience for others.  I am not intentionally trying to annoy someone. I am just not sure what to do with myself.

I have to sit and remember that this is not up to me.  Detoxing or sobriety or what a person does with their life, it not my choice.  This is really difficult to swallow when you want so deeply for the person you love and care for to be better.  I cannot force them, lock them up, or make them do it because it is my desire.

Patience is certainly not my strong suit during this process.  If I could fast forward a week and have things the way I want them, well that would be perfect.  However, patience is always tested for us when it is something we want so bad.

Sometimes I wonder why does it have to be so hard when what I want is the right thing and best thing?  Why do I feel like my patience is tested so much?  When I think all is going well and I say something I don’t mean or I do something that is ridiculous why is it during the most important moments of my life?

I don’t have the patience I need to watch him detox.  I don’t have the patience I need to say the right things. I don’t have the patience I need to do the right things.  This is what goes through my brain daily.  But the truth is no amount of patience will make things any easier but it is not up to me.  I am not in charge of someone’s recovery.  I don’t want to be in charge. I just want to get through this and have a little bit of peace.  I don’t have patience within my own mind anymore…  I am just a mother fighting.  Fighting against heroin, fighting against stigma, fighting against myself to keep sane while praying, loving, accepting my son where he is.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen

The Friendly Fog

via Daily Prompt: Skewed

My point of view when it comes to recovery or substance use is much different than someone who is not living it every day.   As a mother, I have learned to educate myself on substance use disorder.  I wante to be aware of what can happen, what is happening and how I can cope with it as  a mother.  I want to have faith and believe in my child and love them where they are at.

The friendly fog… Well that is what I would call those who have a skewed point of view on things.  Friends, family, community members and others who want to give advice on how to handle things and share what their opinion is.  Well unless they really are educated on what substance use disorder is (a chronic neurological disorder according to the surgeron general) and want to be helpful instead of overly critical, I dont’ really want to hear what they have to say.

Not because I don’t care about them.  However, I do not need eveyrone deciding what is right for me and my family.  I have chosen to do a lot of research, seek a lot of advice from those who have experienced substance use disorder themselves or a loved one.  I know it is not easy and I don’t believe in the theory “it is their choice”.  Yes, of course the first time they use a substance, that is their choice.  Somewhere along the line it becomes survival mode.

They are no longer using for “fun” they are using because it is a means of survival.  The thought of withdrawing from whatever substance they are currently using is too much to bare. They have a skewed mind because the substance has damaged their brains.  This is something we must take into account.

It most certainly is hard to listen when things are skewed.  It is certainly hard to understand when our own point of view is skewed.  Most of all it is hard to accept truths when we are stuck in a belief system that blames people with substance use disorders or mental health issues for their diseases.  So stop telling others to go get “skewed” when we all need to make sure we know what we are talking about.

Let the Judgement Begin

I think about harm reduction all the time.  Narcan, clean needles, alcohol swabs, not using alone, needle exchanges, blood tests, regular doctors visits, clean skin and much more.  How can we make sure that those we love are practicing harm reduction?  We can help them ourselves if there is not a needle exchange.  We can point them in the right direction.  We can love them where they are at so they feel safe and comfortable coming to us if they need help.

You know what gets me?  I saw a meme on facebook about how expensive an Epi Pen is to help someone who is having an allergic reaction and how a “junkie who OD’d get narcan for free and it is wrong.  How the hell can giving a life saving medication to anyone be wrong? Regardless of the cost?

This really got me worked up.  Kids as young as 10 years old are using heroin and opiates where I live.  Do they not deserve to live just as much as someone who is having an allergic reaction is?  How can humans be so judgemental?  As far as I know there is only one judge and that is GOD and he offers grace and love to his children and that means EVERYONE.  He gave his one and only Son for each of us.

I went to this AWESOME training this past week.  The presenter talked about how everyone WANTS to and CAN recover with the right support.  It takes love, support, grace and a lot of patience to support someone in active substance use disorder trying to get well.  THEY CAN AND DO RECOVER!!  So…. harm reduction is vital during their active use times.

 

Crazy Cycle

Some days I feel like I am on the crazy cycle and I cannot get off no matter what I do.  I just right on my morning ride and then the cycle starts. It starts out a bit slow, but then the speed picks right up until I am exhausted.  This can happen day after day after day and sometimes more than I want.

This past week I felt like I was on the crazy cycle.  Not just at home but at work.  Many things happening back to back that kept me from being able to really relax and clear my mind.  Then I bring it home with me and cannot sleep at night.  I have a hard time getting to sleep when I am on the crazy cycle as my anxiety increases.

Addiction sure has a way of controling my life even though I am not the person actively using.  It seeps into each thought I have.   I don’t even intentionally have to be thinking of it.  I can be working and the next thing you know my mind wanders over wondering what my child is doing, are they safe, are they sober, are they alive.

The crazy cycle is something that happens in my mind that I cannot stop.  I have joined a support group with other family members who have loved ones suffering from addiction.  I am not sure if I should be pleased that I am not alone or if I should feel sad I am not alone in the crazy cyle.

How is it that so many people can be affected by addiction and be on the SAME crazy cycle? This amazes me.  Parents doing the very same thing I am across the country, in a different time zone and for a different person!!!  I hate the crazy cycle right now…..it frustrates me, exhausts me and makes me feel ashamed of myself.

Ashamed

Yep, I am very ashamed of myself.  I had thought that I was FREE to pass my judgements.  Judgements that I wasn’t even really aware I was passing until I had a problem within my own home.

I remember the year I went through chemotherapy (1999) and each time I rode in the car back from UofW from seeing the doctor we would take the same exit back up to my apartment in Seattle. I can visually see it as I type.  Head south, take the James street exit, go down and take a left either up Cherry or on James Street.

The same woman was there day in and day out. Very clean looking, had tanned skin and a purse on the ground by her feet with cash stuffed in it.  Yep…. and she was high.  So high somedays that she could barely stand there with her sign begging for money.

But that is not why I was judging her – did you read what I wrote that is etched in my memory? She was very clean, tan and looked just like me or you except she was HIGH.  Yep…. I was looking at her through the car windown judging her for begging for money while looking all clean and having a tan.  I was feeling like she was just out there to make the money needed to get her by to the next fix.

Well, those judgements were passed likely for many years without me even feeling it like I do now.  Why is that? Because, I am faced with this disease of addiction in my home, with my child, and it affects the very core of me.

I now can see that the disease is the driving force. That she was much like my child and didn’t have control of herself. The drug had taken over her mind. She likely was unable to go through a day without it.  Matter of fact, it was likely because she NEEDED it so badly just to have withdrawals.

I didn’t see this woman as someone with an illness that was sick. I saw her for something much different and I am ashamed of that today.  I have learned so much over the years and in the course of my lifetime. I have a different understanding now.  One that I might not have unless I had to deal with it myself.

I felt that it was important to put this out there so I can say it and finally own it and let it go.  I have a new understanding and new view of those struggling.  I am ashamed and sorry that I ever felt like I could and should judge another human being.   I hope to bring light to addiction and a new understanding and awareness in my community.  So that people like myself back in 1999 can have a true understanding of what addiciton is and how we can support those affected without pasing that judgement.

Black Balloon Day

Today is the day we bring awareness and remember those loast to an overdose.  So we hang black balloons outside of our homes.  I did this at 6:30am and took photos and posted them on social media with the hashtag #BlackBalloonDay.

Next year I will plan better in advance and let the local radio stations and the newspaper know what day is coming. Unfortunately I didn’t think of it until today.  I want to take a more positive role in the community and help bring much needed awareness to the growing epedemic of addiction.

Addiction is much like Satan.  There is no discrimination in who gets manipulated and suckered in.  Addiction and Satan….. one in the same.  Whispers in the ear, takes over your thoughts, makes you believe they are the best thing for you and for you to leave what you love and believe in for it.

As I hung my ballooon out I thought of my good friends nephew who lost his fight at 22 years of age less than two years ago.  Of another Mom who lost their son as well less than two years ago.  I look at my child and wonder if I am next to lose someone.  I look at the faces in the community, some that I know are using, some that I suspect could be and I wonder who loves them and if they are next to lose someone.

It is unfortunate that those suffering from addiction are treated with such disrespect, and ridicule.  At least those who wear it on their sleaves and are not hidden behind a suit, or a dress, or smock, or scrubs, or in a prestigious position that hide their addiction well.

#BlackBalloonDay is important and should be recognized and in my small community it is not.  I am one person with black balloons on her car and on her house.  I have not seen another one today at all. Kind of makes me want to go pass out black balloons at the local Walmart just so I am not alone.  However, on the other hand, I am proud to hang my black balloons.  So standing alone is OK by me.   For now…. as next year, I will plan big!

 

 

Activist

My youngest daughter told me she thinks I am an activist a few days ago.  I didn’t think so. I have never looked at myself like that at all. She said she was discussing this with my friend, who is a school teacher.  This brought a grin to my face. I love that my daughter is getting educated.
Now that I get to thinking about it, I may have some activist like behaviors.  I certainly have decided that in 2018 I will no longer be treated like I have the plague because someone I love suffers from addiction.  Matter of fact, I have decided that it is high time for our small community to become educated.
I decided to speak at our local Tribal Council meeting in February.  That was a bit hard. I was the last person lined up to speak and I had to wait almost a full two hours!! This gave me plenty of time to sweat and be nervous and replay what I wanted to say over and over.
Now, next week I am going to promote Black Balloon Day!! This is on March 6th.  I am so exicted to tie a black balloon on my house and on my vehicles!!  This is because  someone I love dearly is affected by addiction and to honor someone lost to an overdose.  So if you have someone you love affected by addiction, you can tie a black ballooon on your car or at your house.  Take a photo and use the hashtage #BlackBalloonDay on Facebook and Instagram to show your support.
I will be hosting another event or two to bring awareness in our community in 2018.  I will keep you posted.  Addiction is not a moral failing, it is a chronic neurological disorder.  I plan to keep bringing opportunities to educate others on this and to bring back love and compassion to those suffering and their families and anyone who needs it.
ac·tiv·ist
ˈaktivəst/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.