Sunday, March 24, 2013

Back to Basics

My forest friends
I am struggling and have been for several weeks now. I am in one of those times where I have to get my bearings minute by minute. Sometimes I manage and sometimes I lose my way. I think I am coming to terms, yet again, that there are no quick fixes. That my life goes on regardless of how other people are living or feeling....whether they are happy or not, clean or life goes on. For some reason that thought makes me mad right now. I have had a lifetime filled with other people's mental illnesses and addictions. I was conceived into this life. I am tired of watching and letting go and being powerless to help or change those I love. I don't want to wait for God's timing anymore. (Can you hear the tantrum building? lol)

I am grateful for the comments I received on my last post. Especially Dawn's from All That Heaven Will Allow. She commented about this reading and then posted about it in its entirety...well worth your time to go over and read it. I used to read Oswald Chambers all the time. Maybe its time to get my old daily reader out again. I loved this line in particularly:

We cannot stay forever on the “mount of transfiguration,” basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.

I think the ups and downs of this journey are taking their toll. I am a mother, just a human mother. No matter how much Alanon or education on all of this that I fill my head with, I still hope. I see solutions, common sense solutions, and I think, "if you would only try. If you would only give up any claim to doing it your own way... you might feel better. It might work."

Unfortunately, those are not my directions to give. I have tried so many times and it hasn't worked. To keep repeating that action would be insanity. Each of us must walk our own journey, filled with the ups and downs that we insert ourselves into. Our experiences help to create in us the person that God will someday use to accomplish His plan. We must walk through our own individual "valley of the shadow of death" to be able to appreciate the beautiful life we have been given. To learn compassion and patience and reliance on a power greater than our own self. To learn surrender.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

I can't walk the walk for my kids, my husband, or anyone else and they can't walk it for me. We each have to walk through our own valley and develop our own faith, our own spiritual muscles and strength to rely on. When I try to tell my girl the way to go, the most effective and efficient path to my understanding....I rob her of the opportunity to build her own spiritual relationships, her own faith based life, and her own strong muscles.

I struggle with doing this compassionately. I seem to need strong defined lines....this is good behavior. That is not. This is productive, that is not. I struggle with watching the process. I am impatient for change...and the reality is that the change I am looking for, may never happen. I have to open myself up to the idea that the outcome may not look like anything I have expected. Maybe it will be even more beautiful. Or maybe not. We just don't know.

A mom in my class whose daughter is schizophrenic shared these thoughts the other night:

"My daughter is a different person than the person I gave birth to. She is always changing, as am I. Our children are beautiful. We brought them into the world, we wanted them and we have loved them and raised them doing the best we have known how to. Our daughter is still our girl and we will take care of her for as long as she needs us to."

A very different disease than we are dealing with, but I thought it was such a beautiful picture of all of the above concepts. Patience, compassion, surrender. I thought of what a relief it would be to hear in your time of illness that "we will take care of you until you don't need us to." No time limits, no pressure to hurry and get better, no ultimatums...
I don't know that I am able to offer that...I don't know if it is even the right thing to offer in our situation, but I know that I can love for today. I can be patient for today. I can trust for today that God see's us.

I am struggling to find the balance. God show me my part.



Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful post! I know it's so hard and the journey seems so long but God hears your anguish and I know he wants nothing more than to comfort you. Don't be afraid to let it go. He's got you and He won't let you fall.

Always praying,


Syd said...

I think that you hit on the answer when you wrote here about traveling your own path and letting others do the same. Also, not trying to make your daughter over in the image that you want. Valuable lessons.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. My daughter had one year clean after 5 years of using, she went to meetings,had a recovery counselor, kickboxing, a job, college 28 day tx and now she is in jail for drug related charges. Such sadness. I have my path and she has hers. I am finally accepting that all I can do is be here for here if she wants help and to remind her that we all love her and believe in her.

Anonymous said...

I have recently started reading your posts and I am so thankful for them all. An Alanon myself, I relate to everything you have written. Although our circumstances are much different, the emotions - good and not so good - are a bond we share that is so unique I am certain my Higher Power put you in my path. Just being able to recognize my own difficulties in your words helps me feel less isolated, less alone in my struggle. Everyone must follow their own path its true, I am glad yours brought you to the internet and touched me in a positive way.
Turning it over day by day,

Signe said...

I understand about letting go and detatching. I understand that each of us has our own path to travel. I understand that though we may feel as though we are on an island, from a bird's eye view, we are all connected. I look at interactions like visiting someone at their house. When friends come over or I go to their house, we talk, share, give examples, give advice, nurture, support. When I leave their house, I take all that we talked about with me and try to use what was said for the moment it was meant for. I look at this addiction experience the same way. If we are together, we're talking sometimes it comes up, sometimes it doesn't but if the moment is right, advice, support, nurturing, sharing takes place. Sometimes that comes in the form of just sitting quietly together. For me, I have decided to detach from the addiction. The addiction and my daughter are two seperate beings. I am praying you hear God's words for you, Annette.