Thursday, June 25, 2009

To my son-- finding happiness and making good choices

For my son to think about:

You say that you hate your life and you aren't happy.

How can you change that? Do you get a second job? Collect friends and hang out?

Will money and a busy social life bring you happiness?

As your mom, who has struggled with a lot of unhappiness, heartbreak and disappointments in my life, please let me pass on what I have learned:

Happiness comes from within. It comes from learning to like yourself.

If you were your own friend, what you would say about yourself?

What kind of friend are you? Do you give or do you take?

Do you keep promises? Do you respect people's time? Do you show up on time, or do you keep them waiting? Do you sometimes not even bother to show up?

When people are talking to you, are you listening to what they have to say? Or, is your mind busy thinking about what you want to say next?

Count how many friends you think would be there in your deepest hour of need-- not for money, but when the chips are down. Would they drop what they're doing and be there for you?

Now count how many friends you have who know you are an addict. Do these friends offer drugs to you? Do they do drugs in front of you? If the answer is "yes"... are they really your true friend? Would a true friend tempt you, knowing that you are an addict?

Where is your life, spiritually? What fires you up, each morning? What do you strive for each morning? What is it that is the most important thing to you?

What to you spend the most time doing? Watching television? Reading? Meditating? Driving around?

Do you see opportunities to "serve"? Do you offer to help without expecting monetary compensation?

How much daily time do you spend, alone, with God? Just the two of you

How do you perceive money? Did you earn it, all by yourself. Or do you believe that God blesses you with money?

If a good friend was in financial need, would you give them money knowing that they probably couldn't pay it back? Would that bother you?

Do you believe that you cannot afford to give money to a charitable cause, because you cannot make ends meet?

Do you trust God when he says to give money for His work? Do you give begrudgingly, or do you feel you are honoring God by giving back?

Integrity-- do you speak truthfully? When you are being truthful to someone, do you stop and think first about what you are going to say? Is it hurtful? Is it helpful?

When someone gossips, do you listen? Do you agree? Do you feel that you need to add your own opinion about someone? Do you listen to what someone says about another person, and form the same opinion of them?

I have asked myself these questions, over the years. I've had to take an honest inventory of myself, and I didn't like my own answers.

As adults, we cannot help but to inherit a lot of our own parent's characteristics. Sometimes, it pains me to see some of your behavior mimicking my own. You learned this from me. You learned some of it from your father.

We have a choice to make, as adults. We can admit to ourselves what behaviors need to change. We must humble ourselves to those we love-- most importantly we must humble ourselves to God. Otherwise, we become hard-hearted and we think everybody else is at fault for our own troubles. We think like victims, and that breeds resentment and hatred. Can you admit to yourself, and to God, that you were wrong?

God knows us. He knows our every thought and action, even before we make them.

The only way that I can try to bury the person I no longer want to be, is to seek time with God on a daily basis. I need to find quiet time, and to meditate on God's Word. My time is in my car, each morning, as I drive to work. I listen to a daily devotion and then I talk out loud to God. I made a decision to attend church each Sunday, and to put myself out there to meet other people. I stopped expecting people to come to me...I came to them.

God isn't finished with me yet. Until he calls me home, with him, I have much to learn. Patience. Kindness. Selflessness. Forgiveness. I struggle with this, on a daily basis.

53 years later, I have slowly learned better habits. Financially, I'm learning to say "no" to my impulsive need to buy things. Spiritually, I pray each day and ask for God's wisdom. I try to resist gossip. If I slip into it, the Holy Spirit taps me on my shoulder and I feel guilty about it.

You have an extra burden that has been added to your life. You are addicted to drugs. It's illegal, it's dangerous and it holds you captive from being able to enjoy life.

Addiction has cleaned out your finances. Money has disappeared, been stolen and debts have suffocated any chance of your having peace in your life and your sleep.

Addiction has severed relationships in your life. Some of your friends don't want to hang out with you anymore, because they don't want to associate with a drug addict. You've had to sever friendships with those who are deeply lost into drug abuse.

Addiction has attracted so-called friends to you who have led you down the path of relapse. These so-called friends have taken money and drugs from you. They've sold you bogus drugs. They aren't your friends, and never were.

Addiction has taught you how to perfect the art of lying. You have lied to people who love you most, and only want to help you.

Addiction has affected your physical health and made you a slave to smoking cigarettes.

Fortunately, for you, you have a mom and a step dad who want to help you. We have opened up a home for you, with your own bedroom. You have all the creature comforts that you could never afford with the meager salary that you earn-- should you live on your own. We are happy to do this, because we love you and want to help you find and keep sobriety.

You are torn in two worlds-- a world that is open and waiting for you, with God at the center of it. It's a world with parents who are living a clean and sober and God-loving life. We are parents who love God, and can find compassion and forgiveness for the dishonest ways that addiction has led you to do.

You need to make a choice-- continue to work your own program (which hasn't worked at all) and find ways to try and fool us that you are not using drugs. In other words, you can continue to deny the truth that you are struggling with wanting to use drugs. The end result could be incarceration or death. But, first, you'd lose the privilege of living with us.

Think this out very carefully, my son. I can tell you, from my financial wisdom, that you are not capable of surviving on your own. You don't make enough money. You'd be driving your car without insurance, because you could not afford it. Should your car need repairs, you can't pay it. You wouldn't be able to feed yourself very well. You could not afford medical care, cable television, internet, clothing or a cellphone. After rent, you'd have barely $400.00 a month to cover the cost of living on your own.

Is that what you really want? Is your need to self-medicate with drugs what matters most to you right now? I realize that the answer is "no", you don't want to use drugs...but how bad do you want sobriety?

Or, you can make a choice to want to live a life of honesty with God, your loved ones and yourself. You need to accept that will be sacrifices that you will have to make-- romantic relationships, social events that cost money and "things" you'd like to buy will have to wait.

Your spiritual life should be where your eyes should be focused. Friends who are spiritually bankrupt will want to lead you away from the direction that God wants you to go. It will not be easy. If you choose to life your life to please God, you will be made fun of by those who don't believe in Him. You will be tempted, worse than ever before, to do things that are not pleasing to God.

Stay strong. Hang out with people who are Godly. Talk to God. Ask for God's help. Find Christ-Centered meetings for people in recovery.

In time, you will begin to shed your Old Self, and you will experience a peace that only comes from God.

I know, because that's how God changed me. Whenever I feel struggles in my life, I look up and I cry out to God.

He is with me now. He knows that I am worried, sick, about you-- my precious boy. Though I cannot completely stop worrying about you, I know that God is answering my prayers. He has been merciful to you. God heals my pain, and helps me to still laugh and find moments of joy and gratitude for where I am today.

I have learned to like myself. I hope that my friends and loved ones see me as a woman of integrity.

I'm not perfect, by any means. But, I know that I am in God's hands and I want to please Him. My faith is strong. If non-believers make fun of me, it doesn't weaken my Christian faith.

I pray that you will discover that true joy and happiness comes from within, from your heart. Forgive yourself, because God forgives those who ask of it from their hearts.

God is waiting for you to come to him with an open and honest heart. He is patient. He is kind.

I pray that for you, today and every day.



ChaiLatte said...

Hugs Debby, and we will get together soon. We both need it.
Much love to you,

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I adore your blog but my question to you is what will you think of your God if your son relapses and just decides to go on a all out rampage. Does that mean God stoped answereing your prayers? Why would God let my kid die of a overdose but let another kid get his or her life together and they prayed even harder then you. The big problem with opiate addiction is when he is doing well. When he does find that dream job and starts looking good from going to the gym and has a car money in the bank and the shit starts calling his name in his sleep. The problem with opiates is it's a brain disease. Unless he goes to meetings every day of his life or goes on suboxone or even methadone the chances of him relapses somewhere down the line in the next three years are extremely against him. I'm on suboxone now and will never get off. I know if I do I'm doomed. I just got a settlement from a car accident that should last a lifetime. Can you imagine I start useing again. I'll be dead. I love the way you write and your love for your son is so uncondiditional and I so hope he is going to be the few that makes it. God has no say in this. It's your soon that will be this by his wanting to not by any ones prayers hopes dreams. I really can't stand when people say "thanks to God I'm clean etc. I'm sure the million others said that at one time or another before they were found in a ally somewhere purple. I been shot ( twice) stabbed (3 times) homeless, prison (3 times) county jsil (15 times) and I use every time I felt better or got released. That's the insanity of addiction. I got sober because I was ready. Knowing that money was coming was my chance to enjoy life then to be constantly chaseing something that I had a love hate relationship with. I haven't been high in years because I was doing the shit just not to get sick. I'm sorry for rambling and do not mean to demean your faith in God but it irks me that people think he has a hand in this and I seen so much suffering to people who had such crazy faith in 'HIM" and they suffered beyond any words can describe. Mainly me

Anonymous said...

I hope that your son has your faith in God, but I cannot help but wonder, if he does not, do you sometimes make him feel as though it's hopeless without God? Not all people who aren't "Godly" are addicts; it is absolutely possible to be good, clean-living, honest, hardworking, trustworthy, yet not have a strong connection with God. It is also possible to beat an addiction without His help; it's not only faithful Christians who have (and beat) drug addictions.

I don't mean to belittle your faith in any way. I respect it; it obviously serves you well and helps you to be the best person and mother that you can be. But, if I were your child -- and didn't have your strong faith -- I might feel as though it were hopeless. If your son does not have your strength of faith in God, perhaps he might need to tackle his addiction from another angle (for himself, rather than for God) -- and be supported in that.

I believe that you are a strong and amazing woman, wife, and mother. I wish only to point out a possibly different viewpoint; in no way whatsoever do I want to demean your faith. I only question whether, if you tell your son that the only way he can beat his addiction is through faith, it might be handicapping him -- if his faith isn't as strong as yours.