Keep Driving

via His Heart Beats

You never really think about what exactly drives you to get up and go daily. We just do it!  We learn to get up each day, use the bathroom, get dressed, eat breakfast, have coffee, brush teeth and go about whatever it is you are to be doing.  Then we come home each evening, have dinner, socialize if we want, go through the motions and head to bed.  Groundhogs Day comes and goes as one would expect as an adult.

When you are a toddler, you get up and giggle, play and learn the awe of wonder in each new thing you touch. You touch, chew, lick, try to eat everything you can just to have your senses learn about this new world you live in.

As you grow older and get into grade school you get up, smile, laugh, and learn how to socialize with your friends while learning how to read, write and all the fun things that come with elementary school.  Relay races, artwork for holidays, field day and summer break come and go.

Junior High school… well that is much different. The awkward stage where you are maturing, growing, and your hormones are all wacky and crazy and all over the place.  As a teen girl, I cried, I laughed and I freaked out all in a 5 minute time frame!  My hair was never right, my clothes were not right and changing was difficult!

High School, phew, finally I started feeling better about myself.  It was much nicer.  I enjoyed my classes, I had good friends, I felt better about myself and couldn’t wait to get the heck out on my own! Until I was that is!

Right now, I keep going through the daily grind.  Wake up, get kids up, shower, get ready for work, make sure kids are ready, head off to work/school and then come home and do dinner, activities, prayers, bedtime and restart it all over again.  I think about how I LOVE my life and how I LOVE my kids and how I want to continue to see their hearts beat and their lives thrive.  My DRIVE is my children, my husband and my  love for them and God.  Keep driving, that is what I tell myself each day.

Bite Your Tongue

via Daily Prompt: Slight

She walked past me and I could tell by the look in her eyes she wanted to say something.  I think I had surprised her by my presence when she got off the elevator.  I had know for years that she didn’t like me. Which is absolutely fine!  I hadn’t seen her in years and was honestly feeling a bit sad for her the last time.

Her face turned blotchy red, eyes squinted and her lips pursed together while she walked on by.  I just continued to mind my own business and decided that no matter what today she couldn’t slight me.

I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying “hey, how’s it going” in my typical early morning cheery voice. I love mornings, coffee and seeing people. Which in return, makes me smile more and cheerful to talk with them.

I enjoy seeing how those I care about are doing and listening to them talk about how their lives. Biting my tongue was hard, even if just seeing her, a woman who carries much anger and disdain on her shoulders wouldn’t be nice back.

Praying today brings us all peace, joy, and forgiveness. Forgiveness not just for others, but for ourselves. Our ability to forgive and love ourselves helps us love ourselves and others. This makes biting our tongues for the right reasons easier. Don’t slight others to make yourself feel better.

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.

Vigilant to be Awake

I remember the night I couldn’t sleep. Someone dropped him off and he seemed ok but as time went on it was clear he was messed up.

He sat on the couch and the nodding started. Then it turned into his mouth moving no words coming out. Graduating from that to trying so hard to stay awake but his eyes closed and he would lean way over side to side.

I was so scared. I had no idea what was going on. I tried my best to stay awake just to make sure he was ok. I googled every possible phrase to see how long it takes for an overdose after using and what the signs and symptoms are.

My Mom heart was aching, my eyes were burning, I was sooooo tired! But I was vigilant to not fall asleep just in case. Got the narcan out just to be safe.

Before me flashed every moment- from his birth, to getting RSV, to the first teeth, listening to me and his father sing silly songs to him, to him shaving his head to be like me when I had lost my hair during chemo therapy, to baseball, basketball, wrestling, Japanese Exchange student time, to first car, first girlfriend, prom, graduation and then…. here.

Thank you God for being here and listening to my every thought, hearing my prayers, comforting me when no one else can and for offering my son love and grace because he is YOUR child and you love him.

I wish I could never fall asleep and never miss a moment with him until he is in recovery. I am vigilant to be awake. However, I just cannot make it, my eyes burn, my body and mind are tired and I must sleep.

His Heart Beats

As long as his heart beats, I will stand with him. I am a Mom, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter and more. Most of all I am a precious child of God. So is he…. which sometimes I think people forget.

It is easy for people to tell me what they think I need to do or what they would do if they were me. It is easy for people to pass that judgement. What is NOT easy is to turn your back when someone you love is hurting.

As long as his heart beats, I will have HOPE.

As long as his heart beats, I will stand ready to HELP.

As long as his heart beats, I will continue to HEAR and listen to what God tells me to do with him.

As long as his heart beats, mine will REMAIN unbroken.

I can completely understand how people feel that they would act differently than my husband and I are. I was like that before now too. But please just know that we are making the right choices for our family and our situation even if it isn’t what would be right for you.

LOVE THEM WHERE THEY ARE and PLEASE LOVE ALL OF US TOO! 💜❤️

I Can Only Imagine

My husband and one of our daughters and I went to this movie tonight.  Wow, Wow, and Wow.  I haven’t shed that many tears in a long time at the movies.  This movie tugged at my heart strings and spoke to my core.  It brought me back to my own life experiences.  Having a family member being physically and emotionally abusive for the majority of my childhood.  I was so relieved when that person was no longer in the picture.  However, I was ambivalent about it for a very long time.

When the person who is abusing you is someone that you want to love and care for you it makes it all the bit harder to let go.  Forgiveness is not easy.  Even when you do forgive someone it is hard when they don’t acknowledge your pain.  This is why accepting Jesus was so very important for me.

I learned that despite the things I had experienced at the hands of this person, that I am worthy, loved and cared for no matter what. That I am loved by Our Heavenly Father and I am offerred grace and acceptance.  I don’t have to measure up to a certain standard because Jesus already died for my sins.  I also learned that I am OK to forgive someone without acknowledgement on their part – it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t hurt by them or the actions never happened.  This was hard for me to work through.

This also makes me think of my own child who is suffering from substance use disorder. Forgiving him and loving him where he is at because he deserves it no matter what he has done.  I know he has a desire to recover and he can.  I know he loves me and his family and his sisters and brother.  I know he wants to be loved back and to be accepted and to be OK.

I can only imagine ………

You can add the remainder of that sentance that completes what is in your heart.  Each of us has a dream and desires.  Never give up and never underestimate your potential.  No matter what anyone else says.

Detox Supply and Demand

Since we live on a small island with very few resources there is not a place to safely detox from substance use. You can get the emergency room but they won’t admit you. We do not have an urgent care, or another place to go for help. We have a small inpatient facility that cannot meet the growing needs of our community. Actually out state has less than 2 dozen detox beds. Which is quite concerning!

The wait list to get into a provider for an assessment is long. It could take up to 90 days. Then it could take weeks before you can get into a program.

If you need medication assisted therapy you are looking at a couple months before you can see a provider and then it depends on if they can take on new patients.

The struggle for families with someone in active substance use disorder is so frustrating and real. As we watch our loved one get turned away when they are ready for the help we get more discouraged. I cannot imagine the frustration of my loved one. He’s ready but cannot get any type of help at all.

All I keep thinking is DETOX is imperative! How is it that we have an epidemic and we cannot get help!! People are dying!! We need help!!

As a Mom this upsets me! Along with the stigma and poor treatment of those who need help. I hope to never watch my son get treated poorly because he has a disease – otherwise I’ll be recording if possible and doing something about it! Change is needed!! Detox is needed!! Treatment upon demand is needed (just like supply and demand in economics)!! There is a demand for help so increase the supply of it!!

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.

 

Always Say I Love You

You know, when I talk to my kids I always try to say I love you each day or at the end of all phone calls. There is nothing more important to me than letting them know.

However, often times you just don’t think about other people too. Your brother or sister or best friend. Until you get bitch slapped with some sad news about them or someone else you love.

So over the years I have made it a point to say it to a lot of my people – people who mean the world to me and that need to know I love them dearly.

Tonight I realized just how important that truly is. We go through life just getting through the hustle and bustle each day. Don’t put a lot of thought into others. I am glad that I tell people I love them. Even if I still get sad if something is wrong.

Lately I’ve put more thoughts into my addicted child and I thought heartbreak would come from a call about them. I was wrong. I got a big fat dose of reality and it made me realize I need to remember everyone else too.

Prayers needed for a special someone tonight ❤️ May our loving Heavenly Father protect her and keep her safe and heal her. 🙏🏼

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.