Sunday Inspiration for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

havest thanksgiving holiday season“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of  life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” -

Melody Beattie

Sunday Inspiration

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

The Power of Gratitude – Focus on the Fullness of your Life

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
There are times that I can begin to let the challenges of my life become my total focus. Even though I know that living my life from a place of gratitude is where I find the peace and serenity, it is not always easy. I know that there are concerns and life cannot be totally stress free. But it is how I deal with these situations. Do I face them head on and look for the learning and silver linings? Do I see keep things in perspective or let them run rampant in my mind to a place that is not healthy? Sometimes I do well and other times I need to self-correct.

 

When I come from a place of gratitude it is like the quote from Melody Beattie above. I can turn chaos into order and I can turn confusion into clarity. Being grateful starts your day with a sense of calm and a place of serenity. I have to remind myself daily to be grateful. Sometimes I write down a list of what I am grateful for. You can also keep a journal and refer to it when you are feeling down or stressed. Keep the gratefulness in your heart and that will help to keep the peacefulness in your head!

Don’t Change my World — Change Me

My best friend is now grappling with setting healthy boundaries with her husband and her family.  Chemical dependency isn’t the issue; instead, she has felt herself increasingly pulled into the vortex of their mood disorders and discontent, their traffic violations and other boo-boos, and various other dramas.  She doesn’t even need to have an addict in the family to feel the discomfort of their pull.  Co-dependency doesn’t require drugs or alcohol—just an unhealthy addiction to curing another’s pain or solving their problems.

It is hard to set healthy boundaries.  As a “born fixer,” it has felt almost inhumane to walk away from someone who is struggling. Offering relief, fixing a problem is really core to who I am—it is part of my identity.  When facing my co-dependency with my addict son, I had to do some deep digging to figure out who I was, if not a savior and a saint.

When does trying to fix others go too far and cause more harm than good? Clearly, it is important to jump in when life and limb are at stake; at the same time, it is critical to “change the system” so life and limb don’t become chronically at risk. Once we got through our immediate crisis of detox and rehab, we forged an agreement about how we would move forward.  Among other things, it required that my son get counseling to help him vanquish the incessant call of drugs and alcohol from his head.  I also got counseling to learn how to vanquish my incessant rumination about his addition that played through my head like a broken record.

I’ve made progress on changing my “Fix it” mentality that had portrayed him as broken, and me as the solution. I am much better prepared to face each day, no matter what unfolds. Has my addict son changed?  As him, not me.  Have I changed?  Affirmative.

 

P.S. Check out Co-Dependent No More by Melody Beattie for help cutting the ties of co-dependency.