I remember living in those awful places of fear for my addicted daughter. I would walk around constantly with my phone in my hand. If I texted or called and she didn't answer right away, I would do it again and again and again and again, with each message becoming more and more frantic. Overnight I had become one of those lunatic phone stalkers! 30 messages saying things like, "Where are you?! Call me! If you don't call soon I'm sending the police over to do a welfare check (it had been 20 minutes after all!) I am so mad at you right now!!"
Recently "my girl" told me of a friend who does this to her. This is a peer, someone she met during one of her times in treatment. I asked if she mentioned that her mom goes to a program that helped her to not live in that crazy place anymore? She laughed. Fear and addiction seem to walk together hand in hand. For many of us. If a call isn't returned we immediately jump to, "They're dead! They're in jail, they're passed out and need emergency help, they're mad at us, they're ignoring us....on and on the imagined scenarios can go."
The truth of the matter is that MY fear issues began long before "my girl" was even a thought. As a little girl I learned very early on that when the liquor was flowing, when the voices were getting louder, trouble was usually right around the corner. I learned how to gauge moods, the feel of a room, an expression on an adult's face... and depending on what I saw or felt, the fear would rise up and choke me. And I would act accordingly. Even as a little girl I instinctively reacted to my fear by trying to control my environment. I was very good at it actually and for many years felt that my abilities to handle a crisis or a high emotion situation by controlling my environment and the people it was filled with, was something to be proud of!
Little did I know that eventually the very skills I had used to cope and navigate my whole life, would be stripped from me and I would be asked to let go and to trust and hope for an unknown future that would unfold before me in bits and pieces and that when I could stand aside and let it happen, the pieces would fit together as they were meant to, like the pieces of a puzzle and I would be ok. I would be more than ok. I would be at peace. I would feel safe, knowing that whatever the future held, or holds, for "my girl," or anyone else that I love and care for, including myself, it's out of my control. There is something very liberating in the idea of something being out of my control and *accepting* that as factual. Its settled. I can't change other people. I can't change future outcomes.
Once I came to a place, through years of fighting the process I might add, of accepting what is, I found calm, peace, and most of all I am not afraid anymore. I am not angry anymore. It is nothing short of a miracle, because I didn't see my life ever being rid of the turmoil of those emotions. Ever. No matter how hard I tried.
Don't let me mislead you.....I still have "fear triggers," but they are fewer and farther between than at any other time in my life. I have learned to *live* in a place of acceptance and gentleness with myself and others that helps me to live in the moment. These changes are gifts. They are not due to anything good in me. I didn't work my program good enough or hard enough. God just walked with me until I felt safe enough and strong enough to turn my cares over to Him and let Him handle them.
I was with *my girl* today driving around down in the city....we stopped at the methadone clinic for her dose, we got lunch, she was directing me from the map app on her phone and we were discussing how the directions made no sense but then we figured it out, and it occurred to me that this was just a normal mother/daughter day. (Ok, all except the methadone clinic visit! LOL) Her sobriety isn't perfect. Neither is mine from eating carbs and sugar. We take each other as we come and we keep moving forward.
Letting go of her gave her back to me in some very real and authentic ways. She isn't who I thought she would be. In some ways she is so much more. In other ways it is very painful to watch her fight her battles. But its what we have together for today. It all is a beautiful work of art that is being created and perfected with each day that we continue to walk it out, trusting that something bigger than us is in charge.
I'm always praying for us all......I know that some of my parent readers here have situations that are very volatile and letting go means no contact for a time. I have been there too. All I can tell you is that when I got out of the way of my daughter's process, things got better for me.
Love and prayers....