Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Facebook is the devil!

I was all set too have the sort of Easter that was before me. I started the morning off by walking 5.3 miles with some Alanon friends. It was a beautiful morning and I love those girls. I was making a cake, but had no real plans for dinner...it was just going to be "us." The dad, little one, my girl and me. I decided at the last minute to buy a ham on my way home and cook that for dinner.

I was busy accepting that this holiday was going to be "simple." We have no family in the area and Molly was working and big brother is the next state away and spent the day with his bosses family. My girl is busy accumulating "clean" hours to make it in the door of the rehab. This was our day....imperfect, not an Easter Lily in sight, but its what we had and to be honest, I did not have the energy to try to make it any bigger and better that what it was.

Then I looked at Facebook.

A dear friend posted pictures of her Easter....long tables outdoors, Easter Lily's placed all along them, food and smiling faces through out, extended family all around, a beautiful sunny day. It was a postcard Easter celebration. And I was ruined by it. Even before I knew what was happening, I was wrecked.

Let me be clear that I don't begrudge anyone, and especially not her, a happy family life. Somehow she was able to pull it all together and I wasn't. I failed. Not just at Easter, but at the years it took to create that yard full of people who love each other and enjoy each others company. I know this is not a perfect family, they have their stuff like we all do....but its different stuff than I have. Better stuff....from my perspective at least.

What I saw in those pictures was my plan. Back so many years ago when we began to create our family, THAT was what I had in my vision, in my heart. I was going to right the wrongs of my violent alcoholic family members, I was going to do it differently, I was going to be better, do better, and I have in a lot of ways.... but it apparently wasn't enough.

So I have been fighting my way through this awful low spot. Molly and I were able to talk about honesty and how we don't live in a place of denial. We tell it like it is when appropriate, even about our own ugly stuff. My wise girl said, "most people don't live there mom. They put on a happy face and present like everything is perfect because they are afraid to let anyone know the truth." We talked about how nice it would be if we COULD set all of the yuk aside and act like it wasn't happening and everything was perfect. She said, "I don't know if we are even capable of living in that kind of denial anymore." Once you have pulled your covers back its very hard, if not impossible to go backwards. To pull them back up and over and start shoving your secrets back under there. They seem to start bursting out the tops and the sides....like big boobs in a too small bra. We talked about how we need to accept people as they come to us and circumstances as they come to us, but be true to ourselves and NOT let any of it rob us of our joy.

I went to my meeting last night and we are reading "In All of our Affairs." It was such a good meeting. One friend spoke of a daily step 10 personal inventory, what is my part? We talked a lot about the loss of our dreams and expectations for how we thought things would be. Another friend spoke of hearing what other families are doing for fun, trips, get togethers, and she said, "Thats not us." We agreed...we are just trying to survive. So I am not alone.

I think this last time of sobriety was so nice that I let myself hope. I let myself go back to all of those dreams I have had for my family and thought maybe, just maybe this time.....

But no. The statistics for a heroin addict ever finding long lasting sobriety are not good. Something like 2%. BUT God is limitless....that is the only hope I have. God is limitless and bigger and better than a statistic. But I need to step back. I have let myself get into the middle of everything this time. Not physically, but in my head. I have hoped so hard this time and I am crushed that we are still here, still fighting this same battle. Still trying to go against nature....a mother letting go of her sickest child in hopes that they will find their way. I feel like, "God, only you could have thought that up!" My experience tells me that the times in the past when I have been able to let go of her, *I* have felt better. I have lived in a place of peace and serenity. She felt the loss of her family and sought help.

I'm worn out people...and maybe that is exactly where I am supposed to be. More of Him, less of me.
Pray for me please.


Birdie said...

Living with addiction is exhausting. Sometimes it feels a race to the grave, the addict or the family.

Annette, remember that picture was a second in time. It is like Martha Stewart. So lovely on the surface but inside a felony is going on. So often the beauty is a cover-up for the chaos. That second in time is not real. It is not real. Don't take any more consideration into than you would a commercial on television advertising wrinkle cream. Nobody looks like that! Nobody looks like the commercials and nobody looks like that one second shot in time.

Anonymous said...

I for one always feel like crap after looking at peoples perfect postings on facebook, so much so that I hardly ever do it anymore. I am also in a funk lately, my son has been sober for seven months now(the longest span of time in 10 or more years)and although I am thrilled I am also scared and kind of waiting for the relapse to happen. This is a really hard thing to be.....a POA. Hang in there, your strength will come back around, soon I hope. Praying for us all!!!

Patricia said...

Oh Annette, I know those Facebook stories. I had to stop looking at it at one point. I think Molly sounds very wise and you are truly tired. As I read your opening paragraphs I actually thought the day you had planned sounded really good - a quiet day of "just us" - it's what you may need now even if it doesn't seem enough. I will pray fro you and your girl. Thanks for lighting the way for so many of us. Patricia

Jaimie said...

Is that such a hard step to take, letting God take control. I constantly try to take control and and constantly knocked back down just realize I shouldn't be trying, He has a plan and it's better than mine. Hugs*

Hattie Heaton said...

Annette, this last weekend, I helped give a brunch for my nephew Saturday morning and later that evening went to a reception for another nephew who recently got married. Sunday we went to mass and then to a beautiful brunch. I have pictures from that weekend and I must say, they turned out quite nice. But, my sister was so angry with me because I helped give a brunch for our nephew because his father, our brother who is an alcoholic has been quite unkind to her kids. At mass my son showed up forty minutes late smelling like a brewery. My oldest daughter was so upset with us because she feels as if we live a lie. She is so tired of every holiday being a mess because he ruins it. Our pictures from the weekend were lovely. But, beyond the lovely spring blooms and warm sunshine which were the back drop for my family in their new spring outfits on their way to one of the most amazing brunch buffets that I have ever seen, we were a hot mess. I tell you all of this because Facebook capitalizes on what each person puts out there which in my humble opinion is but an illusion of happy or perfect or Norman Rockwellesque. I hope that you will take care of yourself, my friend. Do something nice for yourself. Celebrate the resurrection of our Lord in a way that will bring some peace to your heart. Look in instead of out. There is no way to actually see anything more than the surface.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I so relate to all you say. I have tried doing and planning those vacations, buying hotubs, going on day trips, just pretending. But it ended in disaster. The hot tub sits unused, the boat that was to bring us together away from drugs has been sold. I have finally excepted what won't be. Faking it for me is so unhealthy now., I feel worse. That's is why I love my support groups, we laugh at all we tried to do to feel normal, I swear when we die all,this pain is going to be so worth it, and I will bask in Gods glory knowing why. I feel better helping at the food bank, volunteering at the hospital, praying wih the little old ladies and going to bible study. I guess God has brought me to my knees where I belong. You are a wonderful mother, wife and christian and are right where God want you too! I would love to be your friend and think you would Bring out the best in me!

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

Sometimes we have to find a way to be happy when we don't get what we want. Even when once in a whil we do get what we want we spend every moment holding our breath waiting for it to be taken from us.

Addiction has beaten us all. It has showed us who is really in charge and our only defence is to take our own lives back and start living again.

One of my friends has a daughter that was addicted to crack until she was 40 but she has been clean now for 4 years. So there is hope.

P.S. Who cares about a postcard Easter. I spent the day in my pjs

amy said...

Me. You. Porch tea. Now that's a pretty picture.

Stupid Facebook. It's on the way out. Huff Post says so. ;)

I am praying with you. Be extra very nice to yourself now. More walks with loving friends. Your favorite song. Be like Anne Lamott and have a Tootsie Pop. Hug hug hug. Sending love and light. :)

amy said...

Me. You. Porch tea. Now that's a pretty picture.

Stupid Facebook. It's on the way out. Huff Post says so. ;)

I am praying with you. Be extra very nice to yourself now. More walks with loving friends. Your favorite song. Be like Anne Lamott and have a Tootsie Pop. Hug hug hug. Sending love and light. :)

messageinabottleblog said...

Comparison is the thief of joy, isn't it? That's my major hang-up still. I don't do the FB thing or Pinterest or any of that stuff other than Twitter. And yet I will still find ways (consciously and unconsciously) to derail my serenity by doing the compare and despair thing. I know it's not good for me, and it's all a lie. But I am learning to see it for what it is - I am still seeking some validation from the external, and not getting it all from within.

You had a line about "failing" to create an environment where people love each other and enjoy their company. Well, I don't know about you, but I certainly can't make people love one another or enjoy their company. i don't have that power. none of us do, so perhaps you're being a bit hard on yourself here? My mother went through the same thing when she realized that me and my younger brother just don't get along and probably never will. We don't speak. Or speak very little...and she felt guilty about it, that she failed. She didn't. We just don't dig each other, is all. Nothing to do with her - she was as loving as she could be.

Addiction sucks. I'm an alcoholic (coming up to three years sober), and I identify with that young man coming late reeking. I know the destruction because I have been that person. i don't know what it's like to live with someone who is an addict / alcoholic, but I imagine it ain't pretty. But what I like about what you say here is that it's in God's hands. We do the footwork, and the outcome is up to Him. More Him, less us, as you put it. Your faith will pull you through a lot. Don't waste energy on what we perceive as people living "better" lives. As one astute commenter said - there lives a felony underneath it all (I love that line).


mary christine said...

Annette, perhaps you did everything exactly right. If you do everything right, it doesn't mean everything will turn out "right." Maybe God gave you that child because you are the only one in the world who would know what to do with her. And once "that child" is in the family, the rest is probably going to be WAY weirder than the perfect families on fb.

My version of an ideal family would be just like the Waltons. And not the Wal-mart Waltons. I mean John-boy, Jim-Bob, etc. That is certainly not how life turned out for me. I don't have that genetic material. I came from a family of alcoholics and became one. I got sober, then my daughter became one, and then some. Some of my siblings are now dealing with grandchildren who are showing signs of the family disease. I believe it is genetic and we are wired that way. Even if we grew up in the perfect home.

There have been studies that show people feel bad about their lives after looking at facebook. I have unfriended most of my show-off friends.

Take care my friend. God loves you, just the way you are, and so do I.

Lolly said...

We're all so hard on ourselves aren't we?? Always wanting to do the right thing, the sane thing, only to find in the end that we think we did the wrong thing AGAIN....sigh. God's grace and peace to you my friend. Praying for you and your girl daily.

Bristolvol said...

You know, we laid our 21 year old to rest a week before Easter. It was so hard. Sometimes I feel so old and worn out, I could not care less how other people make themselves happy. I am doing the best I can and I have truly learned to roll with the flow. I enjoy FB, because I can stay in touch with dear friends and my kids, especially my son, who lives so far away. I have long stopped comparing myself to anyone else. It is hard enough to deal with all the mundane and exhausting stuff life throws at me. Everyone of us fights a battle and often we can't see what it is, but trust me, the fa├žade is just trying to hide that fact. Keeping you in my prayers, sweet friend.

Mrs. Dubose said...

Oh Annette, I have been thinking about you a lot these past few days. First from your comment on my blog and then from reading yours. I hear your pain and I understand it. You commented on my blog about your fear of letting go and mentioned that you couldn't imagine letting go like I did.

You know who else couldn't have imagined it? ME! I was so sad, so stuck, and in so much pain I could barely function. My blog was filled with so much pain I had to import the first year of it to another site. I read a lot of it today, the first time I had read it again in months and it hurt like heck to read it. I was truly paralyzed for years before I finally surrendered and realized I could do no more. If you would like to read my blog from the beginning, and see the progression of that pain, I could invite you to read it, even though it is now private. Email me if you want to read it.

You will see I was a complete mess.

I've come a long way and for me, I had to let go. I have learned the art of loving detachment and have embraced letting go, and letting God. The most critical thing I had to accept was that this letting go might not work, that she could die out there and that kept me paralyzed for almost a year, until I realized she was going to die anyway.

The blog post I wrote called The One in The Mirror was the most painful, honest post I wrote about fear, and blame and doubt. Again, just email me and I will access you to them.

It's all hard and everyone travels a different path. I am on your side as you travel yours.

Mrs. Dubose

Syd said...

Dear Annette, comparing to others is something that I don't do. I too have come to realize that what looks so great on the surface may not be so great in reality. I remember that everyone has short comings and issues. Life is filled with them. But I like that people have those brief moments of happiness that they want to share. I am glad for them because I know that not every day is like a postcard. It is raw and filled with angst a lot of the time. We are lucky to have a fellowship of people who care and share their real lives with us. So many don't have that.

Anonymous said...

Love your "boob metaphor" to explain denial!

Tori said...

I bet the food was terrible -

2% WOW! I have never heard that. That is depressing.

Hugs to you Annette.

From Skinny To Fat said...

You are not alone my friend. I too watched photo after photo of people appearing to have such a beautiful easter dinner while I sat here alone with my girls since Hubby was working and we had no one to spend it with.

It makes me sad as well. But then again, I think back to the years I did host marvelous dinners for extended family, and how much they drained me (the people, not the dinner).

This is not how I imagined my life either, but I have hope that at least one of my girls will hopefully someday host beautiful meals that I can help them with and I will be surrounded by their extended families :) Perhaps a pipe dream, but it is what keeps me going.