Written to me by Suboxone Mom:
read all your reasons for not attending meetings. What stood out the most was that you were at those meetings for your son.
"Each woman is given as much time as she needs to talk. An hour later, I'd hear all about overeating (something I can relate to, but I'm there for my son) or someone's sexual molestation stories from childhood (which broke my heart)."Yesterday, I was (once again) blessed by an excellent message from our pastor. He is teaching a series on "Why Believe in the Bible-- with a little help from C.S. Lewis". I took lots of notes, because I'm so passionate about this particular issue. I feel that it is my duty-- as a Christian-- to study the Word. The more I read it, the more I find only Truth. But that's not what has inspired today's posting--
But the point of the meetings is for YOU to heal. We are supposed to work a program so that "WE" get better. We are not there to understand the addict, nor are we there to hear their stories. We are there to learn how to live our lives in spite of the addict......
Try going for you, not him. He has his own program, his own higher power. Your going to meetings will not get him better. It will heal you...eventually.
I picked up a brochure from Celebrate Recover on CODEPENDENCY. I read it, and I realized something very significant...
I AM A CODEPENDENT. I have a CODEPENDENT relationship with my son. As I read the compliance patterns, I could see a lot of myself in these:
What is Co-dependency?
These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly helpful to newcomers as they begin to understand Co-dependency and may aid those who have been in recovery a while to determine what traits still need attention and transformation.
* I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
* I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
* I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.
Low Self Esteem Patterns:
* I have difficulty making decisions.
* I judge everything I think, say, or do harshly, as never "good enough."
* I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
* I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
* I value other's approval of my thinking, feelings, and behaviors over my own.
* I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
* I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others' anger.
* I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
* I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
* I value others' opinions and feelings more than my own and am often afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
* I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
* I accept sex when I want love.
* I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
* I attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly" feel.
* I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
* I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
* I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
* I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
* I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.
Compliance Patterns (FROM Celebrate Recovery)
_____ I (not we) declared I was in complete control of my addiction/compulsion, that my life was fine and dandy - thank you very much.
_____ I feel guilty about others' feelings and behaviors.
_____ I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
_____ I am afraid of my anger, yet sometimes erupt in a rage.
_____ I worry how others may respond to my feelings, opinions and behavior.
_____ I have difficulty making decisions.
_____ I am afraid of being hurt and/or rejected by others.
_____ I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
_____ I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
_____ I am afraid to express differing opinions or feelings.
_____ I values others' opinions and feelings more than my own.
_____ I put other people's needs and desires before mine.
_____ I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise, or gifts.
_____ I judge everything I think, say or do harshly as never "good enough."
_____ I am a perfectionist.
_____ I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
_____ I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
_____ I do not perceive myself as a lovable and worthwhile person.
The statements that I strongly agree with I have highlited in red. Those that I "somewhat" agree with are in green.
I struggle, most, with saying :"no" to my son, when he is in trouble. I'm getting better, but I struggle:
I do NOT want to enable my son:
Enabling is defined as reacting to a person in such a way as to shield him or her from experiencing the full impact of the harmful consequences of behavior. Enabling behavior differs from helping in that it permits or allows the person to be irresponsible.It is so easy for me to recognize others who are enabling their addicts/loved ones. But, for me to self-evaluate where I am weak is another story-- it is hard for me to see my son struggle. I'm so much better at it, but I can still see where my instinct to protect my son is so strong!
* PROTECTION from natural consequences of behavior.
* KEEPING SECRETS about behavior from others in order to keep peace.
* MAKING EXCUSES for the behavior. (School, friends, legal authorities, work, other family members)
* BAILING OUT of trouble. (Debts, fixing tickets, paying lawyers, providing jobs)
* BLAMING OTHERS for the dependent person's behavior. (Friends, teachers, employers, family, SELF)
* SEEING THE PROBLEM AS THE RESULT OF SOMETHING ELSE. (Shyness, adolescence, loneliness, child, broken home)
* AVOIDING the chemically dependent person in order to keep the peace. (out-of-sight, out-of-mind)
* GIVING MONEY THAT IS UNDESERVED/UNEARNED.
* ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL. (Planning activities, choosing friends, getting jobs)
* MAKING THREATS that have no follow-through or consistency.
* TAKING CARE of the chemically dependent person. Doing what they should be expected to do for themselves.
I am going to try, my hardest, to return to Celebrate Recovery. Suboxone Mom, you are right. I need to do this for me. I have identified what it is I need to work on.
Please pray for me, that I'll make this a priority in my life.