Thursday, June 19, 2008

How do I do it?

Recently, I was told by someone that they've been following my blog. That person remarked to me "how do you do it"?

How do I do it? Now there's a question that I can answer-- I am coping with the stress of raising a teenage son who has an addiction to oxycontin only because I have faith and trust in my Higher Power-- my God, my Lord-- Jesus.

I have not blogged many things about my life, for the simple reason that this blog is really meant to be my way of journaling my son's battle to resist the temptation of drug addiction. If I did share my life, it could be a soap opera. I have not forgotten the terror of witnessing the brutality of my father's anger problem being doled out to my mother, and my oldest brother. I have been thrown against walls, beaten with a thick leather belt and punched to the point that I wet my pants. I have experienced a lot of heartache and pain in relationships with men that did not work out. I have experienced being swindled out of money, a divorce that left me almost penniless.

I have struggled with the collateral damage from these experiences as a woman with a very low self-esteem and a lot of anger. The turning point in my life was when I realized that I still matter to God. It has taken a lot of years to understand how much I am loved by God and how much he wants to bless me. It has, also, taken many years to forgive myself for the things I've done to hurt other people. That epiphany came when I realized that God promises that he forgives our sins-- never to be remembered again. For that reason, I strive to have more compassion and forgiveness towards others.

In short, my faith in God has taken my mess and turned it into my message. As Christians, we are called upon to share the truth of the gospel, but that's easier said than done. I don't have the gift of evangelism as far as "preaching". Instead, I try to live my life as an example of how God changed my heart. It is my hope that if someone reads how I have found healing from my past, that I would inspire them.

Each day, I feel strength when I pray. I could write a whole chapter on how I've learned to pray FOR others-- and I try to lift up my prayers for those people who are struggling with addiction...and for their loved ones. I know that I have people reading this blog who are struggling along with me. I can get long-winded, so I will focus on an update about my son and how I'm doing.

As for B-- he continues to be "high maintenance". He is still unemployed and I have no idea just how much time he's devoting into finding a job. My gut feeling is that it's "not much".

On Monday, B discovered that he'd left his insulin in the trunk of his car, in sweltering heat. Naturally, the insulin was ruined. So, B had to race back to Salinas to the diabetes center for a prescription. Evidentially, B stopped at his dad's house on the way home (for gas money, most likely). His father suspected that B was using when he saw him on Monday. His father says that B was speaking a mile a minute and his eyes look dilated. I'm not sure how much credibility his suspicions have-- given that he didn't take any of the four week series of 4 hour classes that were offered at B's treatment center. He's never attended any kind of 12-step meetings. I'm not an expert, but I understand addiction a lot more than he does.

If B is using, I have no idea where he's getting the money for it. He's only getting enough money out of his trust fund to pay for one weekly tank of gas, and groceries. I told my son, directly, that his father was concerned. I told my son that I am concerned that he could relapse, but ultimately the burden of responsibility for his recovery is himself. He swears he's not using, but I cannot worry about what I have no control over. If he's going to use, then there is nothing anyone can do to stop him.

Yes, my son is high maintenance-- he does not seem to feel an urgency to get a job. I'm sticking with my deadline on financial help. I never know what each day will bring-- so far I've had to deal with his drunken first roommate taking rent and throwing him out, to his car accident. What's next?

So, how do I cope with all of this? Suffice it to say that I've been in the trenches of life's battle enough times that I'm pretty thick skinned. Every single day, I need to remind myself that God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us. I can either choose to spend each day with my own agenda, or I can talk to God in prayer-- ASKING Him to give me his Godly wisdom and that I would follow His will. I believe that our God is an omnipotent God and that there is nothing about my thoughts, my life and my future that he does not know.

I feel blessed, despite all that I've been through. I would not choose to become younger again if I had to regress in my life's experiences and wisdom. That's why it's painful for me to watch my son making choices that are not obedient to God's word.

But...that's another message. I can only say that my strength comes from God's promise and love for me-- and that is all that I need when I feel troubled and afraid.


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