Monday, January 4, 2016
The shifting ground
What happens when our kids begin to get healthy? I have two close friends whose adult "kids" are in their first few months of recovery and both have expressed similar feelings. I remember from my girl's various times of recovery feeling very much the same.
We work so hard at learning how to parent our child who has veered off into the most unexpected of left turns. How to accept them and their choices that quite literally scare us shitless. We work at letting go, minding our own business, loving them where they are at, managing our fear and our need for control, we choose not to take things personally and react from our hurt feelings, some of us go to meetings each week, sometimes several times a week to learn how to be ok in this unfathomable situation....it is an inordinate amount of work to be even relatively healthy through out all of this. And just when we feel like we have figured out our stride, we have our momentum going and we have accepted that our happiness can not be dependent on how well our child is doing.....they seek out recovery.
Yayyyy! Praise all that is holy! Our prayers have been answered, its a dream come true, our joy is through the ceiling, our relief, palpable.
Then it sinks in.....our whole world, our whole identity, all that we have worked so hard to figure out, has just changed radically. Now what?! Who am I if I am not the parent of the kid who has spent months, if not years waffling the fence of life and death? How do I parent a young adult in recovery? What is my part? Do I even have a part? What can I do to be supportive without stepping over that invisible line and robbing them of the opportunity to figure out life on their own terms?
Often times, and the experiences of myself and my friends totally validate this as real.....this shifting ground is down right terrifying. What if we allow ourselves to feel some joy, some hope, on behalf our kids progress.....and what if it doesn't last? What if it does last? It all feels so eggshell fragile. The relationships, the recovery and the sobriety.
So what do we do? How do we navigate this new and happy and scary territory? I don't know anything for sure and Im not even there right now, but I have been in the past and I have a couple of precious momma's who are here today....but this is what I am thinking....
We keep taking care of ourselves. We keep minding our own business unless we are invited in and even then we think before we leap. Is our involvement a good fit for ourselves and what we are trying to accomplish in *our* own lives? We keep loving and accepting them where they are, because early recovery is hard work, and raw, and very challenging. We continue to step back and allow them the space to figure it out, to build relationships with their sponsors, mentors, therapists, and we allow them the dignity to forge out their own path of wholeness and health. We keep loving them unconditionally. We acknowledge yet again that we are not the answer to what ails them.
Our support and our love is all we have to offer them.....and even though, despite the Herculean strength contained in those emotions, there are still no guarantees. But we offer them anyway, because its instinctual to who we are. We remind ourselves that God has our children in His hands and God is limitless and can accomplish anything in any heart. Any amount of healing, any amount of restoration and redemption, any amount of putting back together what has been shattered. None of it is beyond His abilities. And if, through some series of events...our children don't make it either in recovery or this life, because that is ultimately the mother of all the fears that we live with....we can KNOW that God hung onto our children through each moment. They were never alone. They were enveloped in His perfect love every moment... they weren't alone. And neither are we.
So....we surrender to the process, the new process, we ride the waves and move with the motion and we let it take us where it will, trusting that a power greater than ourselves is in charge and is gently leading the way.... and we follow the best we can. When we get tripped up and lose sight of our guide, He stops and turns back to find us and gets us back on track again...much like the shepherd that I wrote about a few posts back. Even on the darkest days of this journey, there is hope and we are not alone. People do recover. It does happen. How will we choose to live that out? To recover ourselves?
Much love to all of us,