Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finding support - how do you do it? Can I help?

It's a "given" that my son's relapse (or, should I say continued use of drugs) is constantly on my mind. I cannot say that I'm not worried. But, I can find some comfort in feeling a sense of peace. My commute to work, each morning, is a special time for me--it is my time with God. I finally bought an iPod two years ago. Once I figured out how to download podcasts into my new gadget (and I am a gadget freak), I found that my commutes became my special time with the Lord. Each work day, I listen to Pastor Greg Laurie's podcast. My commute takes 40 minutes, so I listen to his daily message (20 minutes) and I pray out loud. By the way, the art of praying out loud has helped me to focus on actually TALKING to God! If you've never tried it, I can tell you that it takes the direction of your prayers to a more personal level. I don't care if driver's see me talking. With all the bluetooths that people are using, I figure that it's not so unusual anymore.

I digressed, again. That's how my thought processing work. Sorry.

My point is, that when I am immersed into hearing Pastor Greg Laurie's messages (and he is a great preacher), I get a double dose of peace. I get to see the beautiful ocean bay... the coast of California that is a mecca for tourism. I feel such gratitude that I am driving to my job (and that I have a job), and I cannot help but count my blessings. I feel the presence of the Lord in me-- and that is what gives me peace.

It saddens me when me when I see people who have collapsed around their troubles. I want, desperately, for them to know the kind of peace that my love and faith in Jesus has given me! I wish that I could find a way to share my testimony of how I came to be a believer 12 years ago. But, so many people's hearts are shut down-- they've been hardened by hypocritical Christians... judgmental Christians or churches that left them cold. I am still working on my 1 minute testimony, but it still needs a lot of honing.

Today, I am feeling like I can exhale. There is nothing earth shattering to report on B. He is at our house, his strep throat is healed. He has an intake appointment, today, to see about starting a drug outpatient program that is a year long.

I am staying focused on my job, and to take care of me. I don't want to wallow in self-pity and I certainly don't want to whine. If anything, I pray that God will show me how to use my personal experience with my son's addiction to help others. We need support groups. Way back in this blog, I mention my attending some Al-Anon meetings. I have nothing bad to say about this wonderful organization. It just didn't speak to my heart. I could not relate to alcohol, since my son doesn't drink. He uses opiates.

I have attended some church recovery support groups. I've met some lovely people and I've enjoyed beautiful worship music (I just love to sign off key and worship the Lord). I've sat through small group meetings-- in the AA format of "Hi, I'm Debby" "Hi, Debby", echo the folks in my support group. The rules are simple-- don't use last name, no cross talk and if we start to cry, no one is supposed to hand you a tissue or hug you. The theory is that we need to be allowed to cry and release our feelings. We also cannot talk to a specific person. We can only sit and listen to the person who is speaking.

This is not the best format for me-- because I'm not a whiner. Many times, the topics that I hear people sharing in group is the same broken record... week after week--and, often, I feel as though people who really need to talk and share are either too shy (I'm very observant of people) or someone else is monopolizing time by droning on and on... I have compassion for folks who are suffering from sex addiction, gambling addiction, food addiction and anger problem. But, I really desire to focus on drug addiction-- trying to better understand everything that I can.

There isn't a Nar-Anon in my area. I've looked, believe me. So, the next best thing is for me to start one, right? I know I could do it, but that's where I have a tendency to overdo things. I need to restrain myself.

My husband and I are seeing a licensed therapist whom we think is doing a pretty good job with us. She listens and she offers sensible advice. That's all I can ask for.

I attend a church that feels like my extended family. My pastor is a dynamic speaker and he teaches the Word. I learn something new, every time. I absolutely adore working at the high school ministry at my church. The Youth Pastor is wonderful. I enjoy my small group of freshman girls, and getting to know them. Twice a year, I am a leader for a 5-week small group called "Honest to God". It's pretty heavy. The questions are deep. We cry. We laugh. We hug. We connect.

THAT's the kind of support group that I need! I am a hugger, a weeper, an encourager. But, I'm not a whiner and I try not to complain. I can't say that I NEVER complain, but I try to stop myself when I become aware of it. My mother was the Queen of Complaining and Guilt!

The strength in me, that people sense, is that I am a very determined kind of woman. Sometimes, as I've expressed before, I am misunderstood. I am not deliberately controlling. But I need to feel in control of myself. I like to have a plan.

I suggest to many of you who are struggling with a situation similar to mine (someone you love is addicted to drugs)-- you do need to find some kind of support. Your friends or loved ones, who are NOT experience what you are can only bring you the support of love. My advice is that you seek information on drug addiction from professionals. I try to post links that have been helpful to me.

To those of you who have a loved one who HAS a loved one with addiction-- the best support that you can give them is to let them know that you care about them. Offering advice, if you have not done adequate research on addiction can risk making the parent feel guilty or inadequate. Just love on them, and pray for them!

Journal your thoughts! This blog is my journal. I could, with one click, make this blog private and close this to the public. I choose to share my story.

I have toyed with the idea of starting a forum... a group that is online. Feel free to email me.privately ( if you would want to do this. Maybe we can support one another in a more private arena. I am praying for parents of addicts and for the kids who are lost in their addiction.

My break is over and I need to get back to work.

May the peace of Christ be with you. I also wanted to share a scripture that is easy to find. Just dial 9-1-1, when you are in times of trouble.

PSALM 91:1

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]

2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

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