This time of year

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Ronni
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This time of year

Post by Ronni » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:23 am

About this time of year three years ago I remember coming here, looking for stories similar to my own with my addicted son. I wanted to read of other folks' struggles with their loved one, how difficult it was, what they were dealing with, strategies for just getting by and getting through the season without becoming completely apathetic, looking for ways that I might find some small bit of joy in an otherwise endlessly hopeless future.

If I am to be completely honest (and it embarrasses me now to think of it) it really pissed me off to read the good stories, the success stories, the ones where an addict was doing better, was enjoying the season with their loved ones, where things were better that year than they had been in years prior. It filled me with resentment to read those success stories because dammit why wasn't MY son doing that? What wasn't HE doing better, reaching for recovery, sober, not using? Why? WHY???

All those glimmers of hope...they hurt me. Hurt me in a way I can't easily describe, and again, it's embarrassing to relate this...but I can't be the only one this has happened to. I didn't want to read the success stories because they made me hope. And I didn't want to hope because my hopes had been dashed and crushed too many times before (my son has been an addict for a long, long time.) I used to hope, but had become so miserable about my son's potential recovery because of the countless disappointments, that it felt like I was punishing myself to hope again.

But I stuck around anyway, and worked through my resentments and anger, for a long while avoiding the uplifting stories while I did. And began to realize that my wellbeing was NOT tied to whether or not my son was doing well. That my resentments, my anger, though understandable, were misplaced. That these rooms were a place of hope FOR ME, completely regardless of what my son was doing. That was a mindblower, that *I* could have hope, be happy, enjoy life, even IF my son never sought recovery. What a learning process that was!!!

It's been an educational three years. I've learned so much, and am a better person for it. My son is in recovery now and has been for some time. I am so joyful for that, especially because I never expected it to happen...at his worst he was homeless and out of touch for months, and I honestly thought he was dead. Fast forward from that to last night when we went Christmas shopping together and presented his teenaged daughter with a cell phone as an early Christmas present, and her joy and excitement and gratitude to her Dad that he'd do that for her.

He may relapse tomorrow. I don't take even one day of his sobriety for granted. "Just for today" is not just a rote slogan for me, it's the way I live my life now, with no regrets. I'm a happy person, a feeling I never thought I would experience again, other than fleetingly. But I am not happy because my son is now in recovery ... I mean, I AM, of course! ;) But that's not the REASON I'm happy. I don't need for him to be in recovery for me to be happy....and I never thought THAT would happen!

I have hope again. I have happiness again. And yes, just for today I have a son who is sober. That may change tomorrow. But because my happiness, my hope, my joy isn't tied to whether or not he uses, I'll still have all that no matter what. And THAT is a gift beyond price!
My son's addiction is something that happened TO HIM. It is NOT something he did TO ME.

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SDIN2T
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Re: This time of year

Post by SDIN2T » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:32 am

Thank you for an absolutely wonderful share and giving me hope my wife and 2 sons may seek recovery some day.

:JR
And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life - JK Rowling

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Jade11
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Re: This time of year

Post by Jade11 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:48 am

Oh, you're not alone. I'm still new to this program. At my first F2F meeting, I was totally caught by surprise, hurt, somehow even disappointed to see the members SMILING and LAUGHING of all things. I mean... because living with an ALO what in the world is there to laugh about, right?! ;)
I still struggle with some of those feelings. But I am thankful this program exists. I'm gaining a new Awareness of how I feel and why. In baby steps I am working on myself and learning to live my life.
I'm glad to hear your son is in recovery JFT. The strength in YOUR recovery is so very inspiring to me. TYFS :)

Rhonda
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Re: This time of year

Post by Rhonda » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:09 pm

It's the opposite for me. I came here looking for hope and the good endings. I'm in a good place for the moment and it makes me depressed to read the ugly things happening to others and reminding me that my turn is coming too. I wanted to stay away from here and live in my bubble. But I know that's not being real. I love to hear the happy days, but need to hear the rest as well. I believe we all hear just what we need to hear when we need it, regardless of what we may think we need or want. I thank you all for your shares, all of them. Keep sharing, you don't know who needed to read just that post.

Rhonda

Claytonmomof2
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Re: This time of year

Post by Claytonmomof2 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:16 pm

I'm inspired by your posting!!
Nothing is impossible and what little hope I find, I cherish.
Thanks for sharing some hope...

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flash
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Re: This time of year

Post by flash » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:31 am

I love the complete honesty that always comes through in this program.
There aren't too many places where people are so open and honest, even if it is difficult to say.
Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story of your recovery Ronni.
Coming here and finding out it is all about us! Wow, I didn't even know what that meant.
Peeling the onion and learning new things about myself everyday.
Sometimes good things, sometimes bad. They are all a part of me. This time of year I tend to peel away even more.
Such an amazing journey we have been on together and my gratitude is overflowing.
Love ya,
Donna

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hopefulNE
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Re: This time of year

Post by hopefulNE » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:31 am

Ronni,
I was the opposite. My AD was new to recovery when arrived, and I lived for the "success" stories. They gave me hope that recovery was possible.
It took me a long tome to realize that my happiness was not dependent on whether or not my AD was doing well in her recovery. My life, my equanimity, my recovery is up to me.
I too enjoy every good moment, without any expectations. So true, it is always JFT, never taking a day of recovery for granted.
Glad you had some happy times with your son and granddaughter.
TYFS,
Pat
P.S. Happy Anniversary
"Keep Calm and Carry On" - British Ministry of Information, WWII

linda.f
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Re: This time of year

Post by linda.f » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:44 am

Great share and testimony.

It is so hard not to judge when we first come here.
Especially this time of year when we have all those
Hallmark commercials and social media posters putting
a face on what holidays are supposed to look like. It
can absolutely drain us if we let it.

Like you I spent many years in the spin cycle when the
holidays were approaching. Thank God for my program
and all the wonderful members that kept reeling me in
to sanity. Just to know it doesn't have to be perfect or
fit to anyone's standards or image. All I need to know is
I am trying in the best way I can to learn to live a better
way.
Live-love-laugh

Linda.f

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