Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hope for the Holidays-- and Every Day, One Day At A Time

Our family celebrates the Christmas holiday on Christmas Eve.  It's only one week away, and I can't seem to get into the Spirit of the holiday.  Being a Christian, I'm celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ-- God's gift to the World.     It's also a time of the year for those who are of other faiths, be it Hannukah, Kwaanza. Then there is the Secular Christmas of  Christmas being a holiday of shopping, baking, parties and family gatherings, Santa and Frosty the Snowman.

No matter what this time of year is to you, it can be a very difficult time of year, too.  For me, it's the time of year when I miss my mother. My Mutti would make a big deal out of Christmas.  I still carry those traditions of German cooking and music, to this day. It is the time of year when I realize how much our family has whittled down to just my two brothers, one niece and my son.  I have a scattering of cousins, but we just don't seem to keep in touch anymore. Most of my older relatives are now gone, from this Earth.

So, yes, sometimes I feel a sense of melancholy at this time of year.  I also find that I don't like what Christmas has become.  Like I said, I'm a Christian, and I'm sad to see that the "Christ" in Christmas has become politically incorrect.  I cringe when I hear "Happy Holidays".  I still smile, when sometime says that.  But I always say, "Merry Christmas".

No, I don't mean to start a politics vs. religious rant.  It's not what my blog is about.  This blog is about my story.  It's about my nearly four-year experience as the mother of a drug addict.

I haven't read my blog, in it's entirety in a very long while.  It's a little strange, knowing that my son is reading it now.  B has been reading the comments that are left, and he's been urging me to respond to them.  So, now my son's my writing agent?  Yes, son. I will.

Sometimes it's hard to respond, because the comments are written anonymously.  Sometimes, people email me, and ask that I respect their privacy.  I always do that.

I digress.  My inspiration to write, today, is that this morning I just can't muster the child-like anticipation that I once had, as I counted the days until Christmas.  My son, being in the restaurant business, will not be with our small family gathering on Christmas Eve. He's also working, all day, on Christmas Eve.  Sigh.

However, I can count a very special blessing in all of this.  My son is home.  He's got a job, and it's one that he really likes.  Right now, my #1 thing I am grateful for-- my son is free from methadone. Amen.

Right now, there are parents who have no idea where their addict son or daughter is.  The family has been torn apart, by addiction.  Or, there are families whose addicts are living in their home, but it has become a place that isn't a sanctuary.  Parents have to lock up their valuables, lest their addict steals it. Christmas gifts can't be placed, under the tree, for fear those will be pawned somewhere.

So, when that melancholy hits me, I have to pause and thank God for where my son is today.  I can hand him my credit card, to run an errand for me.  I don't have to worry that he'll abuse that kind of trust. I don't have to hide my wallet.  My camera and laptops are safe.

Most importantly, I have my son back.  There was a time, when I used to toss and turn at night. Just writing these words, makes the tears well up again.  I can recall a time, while my son wasn't living with us, that I dreaded phone calls late at night.  I can recall the terror in my heart, picking up the phone, and praying it wouldn't be the County Jail or Coroner.

When B told me he read my blog, he said that he  had forgotten some of the things he put me through-- until he spent a few hours reading my posts. I don't want to forget those times. Neither does my son.  He said, to me, that reading my blog is a good reminder why he never wants to back to those dark times.

Today, what I want to say to anyone who is reading this post--  if your loved one is not with you at this time, please know that I am truly sorry.  I think the greatest pain that any parent can feel, is the loss of their child.  Death is the ultimate pain, because it's so final.  Yet, knowing that your addict child is out there-- somewhere-- and you cannot contact them, or they won't contact you...  it is a very deep pain.  I have been praying for you, especially this week.

Support is our best friend, at a time like this.  Support can be found at Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.  It can be found in your own home, via the internet.  B has recently discovered that.  When B read my blog, he started clicking on my blogroll-- which led him to "Suboxone Talk".  He's been participating in his own addict forums, and he's very excited about it  He's been posting and finding support from addicts who have years of experience with suboxone therapy.  I'm watching B, as he's making informed decisions on how to correctly take his medications.  I'm seeing a more positive son, who is gaining weight again and wanting to take better care of his health.  B is understand, more clearly, how my own blog has helped me get through some really dark times.

I cannot tell you how many times I've had non-believers attack my Christian faith.  Know what?  I don't take offense anymore.  My faith is deeply rooted, because I have taken time to build a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I love to read and hear messages about the Word of God.  I'm not disillusioned about my son's addiction, and I don't blame God for things that have gone wrong in my life.  If anything, I found strength and courage by prayer and faith.

My story is not over.  If anything, it's just taken a new chapter.  B wants me to keep on blogging.   He wants me to share my story, to help those of you who feel discouraged.

I will interview my son.  But, today, I have Christmas chores to do. I'm baking my gifts.  I just can't understand why Christmas has become a financial spending spree.  Instead, I'm giving money to help those in need.  I don't care about receiving gifts, either.  Just being with my family is truly what matters to me.

On Christmas Eve, I'm headed to church. I will sing Christian Christmas Carols and be thankful that I'm still alive and well.  I will think of my deceased mother and father.  Most importantly, I will give thanks to God that I am forgiven for my sinful ways.

May each of you find peace and joy in your hearts. May the Christmas Season be a time of hope for you.   With my son, I celebrate his sobriety, one day at a time.  May each day become one of encouragement for you. One Day At A Time.


Bristolvol said...

Merry Christmas. I am truly happy and excited for you that you will have your son with you this Christmas and hopefully always. It's a true gift. Many blessings to you and your family.

Maija said...

Your post really struck a chord with me today. I miss my mom, too, and the excitement she always brought to Christmas. And your comment about home not being a sanctuary really resonated with me. With my son home, so early in his recovery and displaying hinkey behavior, I don't feel secure and safe at all. I hope that will change with time.
Enjoy your peace!!!
Merry merry Christmas!!!

Erin said...

Merry Christmas!

I really enjoyed this post, I can't wait to read the interview with your son.

There is a wonderful blog by Ann Voskamp "A Holy Experience." Her writings bring much comfort to my soul. Her book "One Thousand Gift" was absolutely wonderful. I think you would really enjoy her blog.

Kathy said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family. So happy your son is home and doing well. This is our first Christmas with out our son home. He moved to California in September and got a job and is going to meetings twice a week! He is still on suboxine and as far as I can tell he doing well (which is all I pray for everyday) I can hear it in his voice every time I talk to him that he is truly happy and staying clean. I miss him so badly but I know that he needed to get away from home and his so called friends in order to get better. Thank you for your blog it really does help. Wishing you a very blessed christmas.

Patti C. said...

My son has been in and out of treatment for years and this has been the first christmas we have all spent together. After his last treatment we went a different route and hired him a sober companion in Los Angeles. The results have been amazing. My son has almost 8 months sober, which is the longest clean time he has had in over a decade. We used a company called Footprintsofserenity, the sober companions they use are the first people in any program my son has ever related to. They not only showed him how to live and have fun sober but know so many people in the Los angeles area that they were able to help him find a group of sober friends that he has gotten so very close with. There is nothing better than seeing our son finally get his life together. if any of you are looking for help go to we highly recommend their services, especially if you have a son or daughter who has tried this before with little success. Have a great Holidays and a happy new year

Anonymous said...

I sincerealy enjoyed reading your post, I can certainly relate, as my 21 year old daughter is also injecting oppiates as well.
Hoping all goes well for you and your son, we all need lots of prayers, hopes and dreams.