Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Who's your higher power?

This morning, as I was saying my morning prayers, I admitted to God that I am paralyzed with frustration with my son.

B's situation is so complicated. I am faced with trying to sort his behavior and personalities into different piles. What part of his behavior is because of his drug use? His immaturity?

What I see in my son is that when he feels overwhelmed with his "to do" list, he shuts down. He runs in a direction where he can feel immediately gratification and relief from the stress of daily life. We all do this, but with him I see him ignoring the responsibilities that could lead to serious consequences.

Take his accident, for example. I observed that my son became the victim again. He had every excuse in the book as to why he could not be without a car. Public transportation wasn't an option, in his book. B loves to drive, so the thought of using a bus, walking or bicycling is a fate worse than death to him. So his excuse to spend $40.00 to play golf was that he needed stress relief. That's just another band aid, in my eyes.

How about applying for a job? It's not easy to do, but it is something that MUST be done. B isn't trying hard at all. He's relying in friends to give him job leads. I suggested that he buy a newspaper, every day. That went over like a lead balloon. So, he's still unemployed. Any job leads he's had, he's shot down because it doesn't pay enough. I don't agree with that, but I can say nothing. He won't listen.

Traffic tickets-- yesterday, I received THREE separate tickets because B had crossed through a fast track lane at a toll bridge, and he didn't pay the toll. Hello? There are laws, and I was fuming when the tickets were mailed to my address. He's been told that there are fines for not paying tolls-- but he did it once, twice and three times. How many more of these is he going to rack up before he realizes that he needs to set aside $4.00 every time he leaves Benicia. There's a toll bridge, and it's not going away! I'm paying them, out of his weekly allowance (which is coming to an end, per our agreement).

What I'm seeing in B is that his Higher Power is not spiritual. His higher power are distractions-- golf, rented DVD's, eating out, driving around to socialize with friends. Just like drugs, these are all things that cost money and the buzz doesn't last very long.

I was deeply troubled when I asked B if he had been going to meetings. His answer was "no". I asked him "why"? His answer was that he was just settling down from the accident.

Here is more Stinkin' Thinkin' at work. In a spiritual sense, the Enemy works just this way. He cleverly disguises temptation and keeps us busy and distracted so that we cannot focus on God-- so that we are led to think that "things" will bring us joy. If I had a better car... a better job...a bigger apartment... more clothes...a vacation.

Addicts are setting themselves up to fail when they lose sight that their Higher Power is the difference between having the strength to stay sober and clean. I see my son slipping into thinking he's safe-- he won't "use". His roommate hasn't been to a meeting in over a week, either. B says it's because he's been "busy". "Doing what?" is all I can wonder. Neither of them are working...

What keeps us busy? Do we focus our time and attention on our work? computers? shopping?
The danger in keeping us busy in things that are not important keeps us from focusing on our spiritual health.

I am opening myself up to temptation, when I do too many things in my life. I need to pare down my time to be sure that I have a daily time to pray, to mediate on God's word and to admit to God how I am feeling. Today, I'm disgusted with my son. That sounds harsh, but these are my true feelings. My love for him is no less today, than it was before I learned of his addiction.

But I am disgusted with his lies. I am so tired of hearing his excuses, and catching his lies.
The Enemy is nothing but a wicked and deceiving evil force, who lies to us so that we will succumb to the temptation of sin.

My son is in huge denial about life-- his addiction and that laws are made for a specific person. He does not see how much money he is costing his father. On one hand, B tells me how hard his father is struggling with his finances. On the other hand, B has no problem asking his dad to bail him out of hundreds of dollars in parking tickets and fines. His dad does it, and that disgusts me.

How much of this behavior-- this selfish, ungrateful behavior-- is part of teenage behavior?
I never had the option of my parents bailing me out of my own stupid behavior. My son always has his dad to fall back on. I feel pity for his dad. He loves his son, I do not doubt. But this problem goes back far too many years, that I fear my son may never be free of his codependent behavior with his dad.

I need to work on my own healing in this situation. I need to trust God to give me wisdom with this. I don't want to resort to anger or resentment. I need to find peace with this.

I pray, each and every day, for my son-- that he will not believe the lie that he is safe from not wanting to use. Life's pressures are enough to make any addict want to use. One hit of a joint, one pain pill... the lie can multiply and sneak up on them. And then, they are back to square one.

Dear Lord, I pray that my son will see how he is being deceived. I pray that he will find the healing that comes when we admit to you-- our God, our higher power, that we will only stumble and fall on our faces unless we admit that you are our strength.

In Jesus' Name,


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