Finally, I have a minute to talk about my trip. I got home at midnight Sunday and was thrown back into my full time life by Monday at 8am. lol
Going to the parent training was amazing. I realized that my recovery journey had taught me how to do this. I just took care of each step as it appeared in front of me and before I knew it, I was there, sitting in a class being taught by three brilliant young professional counselors and surrounded by a group of parents who knew exactly what my life these past 13 years have been filled with. I loved everyone I met....the thing with addiction is that it is a leveler. It didn't matter what any of us did for a living, or who we were outside of those rooms, the one thing that connected us all was addiction and the love we have for our kids. It was beautiful. It was beautiful to be understood and to understand anothers journey, to get it on the deepest level, the pain and fear and the joys.
I felt that all along the way God let me know He was with me. My taxi driver was a sweet young man who told me all about Illinois and the big city and the rural areas, and he spoke in passing of waiting to hear from God, what his next step should be in forging his path into adulthood.
"I am here."
A few days before the class all of the participants had sent out introductions and one sweet woman emailed me and we started talking. We met in the lobby of the hotel that first night and talked for over an hour. It was as if we had known each other our entire lives. Her husband was there with her and he drove us to and from our class both days. Such a wonderful couple. Such similar mom's hearts that we shared.
"I am here."
The class material (Beyond Addiction by Jeffrey Foote and The 20 minute Guide) was awesome....all about staying engaged in a kind and healthy manner with our addicted children vs. the tough love model. The communication skills I learned about were meant to create dialogue, open the door for connecting and providing hope and solutions. They will take PRACTICE! During our role playing exercises I would be speechless (I know.....shocking!) because I didn't know how to proceed using what we were being taught. I am told that eventually it will begin to come naturally. However, I have been using the tools and was able to share some with a long time mom friend who is in a bad situation with one of her kids and we could discuss and talk about how to connect with the child. The mom felt hopeful, had a plan and was ready to patiently implement it over time.
The icing on the cake of this trip was that another blogger here who has read me for several years contacted me and let me know that she lived about 45 minutes away from where I would be. I got to meet Lolly! We had the sweetest visit and I so appreciated her efforts to come and see me. What a kind and loving woman she is and what an absolute blessing it was to meet her in person. We talked about Syd and how he was one of the first blogs that the both of us found and then we both found each other. I just loved that through the most unexpected avenues we had found each other and then there we were, sitting in Illinois sharing dinner and talking about our lives!
Again, "I am here."
So many blessings and so many moments that were arranged and orchestrated in ways I never could have put together by myself. I am so grateful to have been a part of all of it! It feels like such an incredible honor that I will get to be available to other parents and let them know that they are not alone. So not alone. I am so grateful for the opportunity.
Bless us all as we comfort and encourage one another on this journey.....