Doing What my School Teacher Said

So,

I am just doing what my school teacher said.

She led us all outisde on a warm spirng day and said,

close your eyes and listen…

what do you hear?

I believe we were studying the five senses at the time and so I closed my eyes and listened.

Decades later here I am, laying on my porch deck in the sunshine, closing my eyes and listening.

I hear the birds chirping, the wind gently breezing by, rustling the dry foliage…

I hear the backyard chicken clucking and a dog in the distance making a stance… for a moment I hear nothing

and just feel,

the sun tingling my winter-skin making me feel warm.

I feel connected to a bigger realm.

I hear:

I see you,

you are mine,

enjoy this day.

I began these writings nearly three years ago in response to my son’s death of an overdose and titled this site:

In the Battle – because,

well,

I felt like I had been in a raging battle as I fought hard to save my son into long lasting recovery.

I continued to daily battle trying to make sense of how to live my life without my son.

I knew my son lived a daily battle for most of his life, fighting to find reason, purpose, and peace in his life; since nine years old, he fought for ten years, and maybe even more if we count the silent years before that.

I know some reading right now are fighting hard too, whether you are yourself caught by addiction, or emotional turmoil’s, or illness of some sort of another – physically or mentally…

Or whether you are a mom, or dad, or sister, or brother, or grandma, or uncle, or friend watching your loved one suffer in the daily battle…

I write for you,

for me…

and I wonder if it matters…yet I continue on because somehow it grounds me in my battles to put thoughts to words on a screen.

Battles are a part of life – I don’t think anyone is battle-free.

In fact, I think most people are in a battle every single day – remember that when you decide how to treat others in word, or deed.

Today I think of a fellow-grieving mom – Sharon, you know who you are…

And I hope she is enduring the battle strong, although today no doubt makes her feel weak… as memories overwhelm her heart.

Aren’t we all yearning for connection to the bigger realm?

As my son struggled daily, I know he ached for understanding and to make reason out of all his pain…

…watching him, I know I did.

Another bird offers a new song and I am stirred to remain still and listen…

I lay on my deck knowing that this bigger realm is held and sustained by the Creator who knew all things before any part of this earthly life came to be. Humbled I lay, as if in His hands, and find calm in my heart.

I do not know the answers of why we each have the battles we have.

But I do know, I am seen, and I am His, and I am given the gift to enjoy this day if I choose.

Today, I do choose to enjoy.

I hope you can too dear warrior friend…

I urge you to take a moment to do as my school teacher said…

close your eyes and listen…

in the whirlwind of life, we as a people do not heed this very often – quiet can be scary, especially when you are thick in the battles.

close your eyes and listen…

I believe, you can hear more than the sounds of nature if you stay long enough and listen…

you will hear,

I see you,

you are mine,

enjoy this day.

It is my belief, that everyone on earth is a child of the Creator, whether they understand or acknowledge it, or not. And this Creator, God the Father, knows you, sees you, and loves you.

Bottom line:

In the Battle, you are not alone… God is with you.

The Battle belongs to HIM.

If you ever want to know more; contact me, I am more than happy to chat.

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Covid19: A Real Danger for People in Recovery

Covid19 is a real danger to those in Recovery.

I believe this and I am concerned. It’s not exactly what you may think. It’s not that I think that this group of people are at any more risk than me for catching this virus and reaping its havoc to our health. We are all on equal par for that and I hope we are all doing what we can to stay healthy.

The danger I am concerned about is this:

the level of fear and anxiety this pandemic incites

can create an emotional side-kick that has no mercy and would revel to boot someone right off the wagon.

Though circumstances were different, the emotional overload was similar. My son, in early recovery, fell to relapse after the emotions of dealing with a friends overdose death; it overwhelmed him with hard feelings. Emotions are hard and many use substances to numb feelings; this is a known fact. And this is my concern for those of you who are in recovery. This is my check-in with you all.

Don’t know me, that’s okay… consider me an messenger, sent by the Highest Power who reigns above all others.

I am not a person in recovery, so I cannot speak into your life as another one in recovery can. But, I am a momma who lost her son to an overdose, after relapsing. From here, I want to speak into your life.

I beg you to do two things.

ONE: Stay in community and keep your focus despite your fears and feelings. Keep your eyes on the prize; the prize is your life. Fears and negative feelings lose their power if you talk them out. Don’t stuff them. Don’t ignore them. Don’t give them power over you, causing you to give-in to your drug of choice – remember ALL substances lie. Walk away. Call your mentor. Call you mom or dad or someone you know who loves you. You cannot do this alone – you need to stay in community any way you can.

TWO: Seek the Highest of Powers, truly and for real. It’s not a what…. It’s a who. This who, the Highest of Powers is the living God: the One who created you and me, the One who makes the sun rise and moon shine everyday, the One who loves you and sacrificed Himself for you – His life for yours; this was His choice and His gift to you – no lie here. So take the gift – its free!

I urge you to make this choice to seek Him out. He will give you all the comfort and assurance you need to stay on the path of recovery, especially during these uncertain, stressful times we live in.  Walk into a virtual church service (most are closed right now). Get a Bible and read it like you read the AA/NA manual. Call a Pastor – call my Pastor.  And Pray – it’s just talking to God Himself, and most of all, know that He loves you.

My heart speaks truth and hope for you… therefore, I speak to you boldly.

I have dear friends in recovery. I desire each of them to stay and seek. Will you do the same?

 

 

My Sons’ Death was a Springboard: Part Two

PART TWO:  As, I said…my sons’ death was a springboard into the deeper understanding of three important things:

  1. The human condition,
  2. The power of relationship,
  3. The gift of a day

Today I share with you #2… Open my eyes, to see people as you see them….

Because of my son, Caleb, I am privy to see a lot of people in the realm of recovery, people affected by the pain of a loved one struggling with addiction, and those who mourn the loss of loved ones to overdose, and the more people I listen to and talk with, the more backstories I hear. When it all boils down … when I look past the backstories full of weeping pain and wounds and hurts… I see vulnerable children of God, whom He created in His image. I see people who need love and care and who have need to be wanted and feel like they have a reason to keep going… just like me… just like all of us; these are basic human needs.

This involves commitment to relationship. Relationships take time and effort and sacrifice, but we all need them and even more so because of our human condition. Relationship can be as simple as a good word spoken to encourage another, or as generous as an invitation to supper, or as deep as being there for someone when you are needed no matter the time of day or night. Croix, Evan, Mike, and others are family to us because we see them and they see us; each of us has needs that we mutually fulfill. I see these friends in recovery doing this for other friends too. Because of my sons’ past involvement in the recovery community, I feel drawn to be in relationship whenever I can, with whoever is put in my path, because in this way, I am the hands and feet of God. The power of relationship begins to heal brokenness; seeing the human condition, it seems clear to me, that I need to do something about it.

I choose to deepen my relationship with Jesus, the One with the nail holes in his hands… and I do what I do because of Him.

What will you do?

 

 

 

 

When the Person in Recovery is the Frog in the Pot

One year ago today, my son, Caleb realized he was the frog in the pot.

Apparently, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water, and set it on the stove and slowly turn up the heat, the frog will not try to jump out, it does not realize he is in danger, until the water is nearly boiling, then it’s too late, the frog is boiled to death and can’t jump to freedom.

One year ago today, after a time of contemplation at his accident site, my son, Caleb, realized he was in trouble; he felt the heat of the flame under the pot increasing; He had relapsed after five months of clean time. What began as medicinal use of weed during his last month of recovery, under the guise of keeping him from using his previous drugs of choice, in reality, led him directly back to old friends and old ways — and he knew it.

He knew he was in trouble; he wanted to change.

  • Earlier that day, Caleb met up with his brother and they made plans together to get back on track at the gym; previous to addiction, Caleb was an exceptional athlete.
  • Later that day, He met up with his friend from the Sober house and admitted his relapse, shared his feelings, and wept at his predicament – the water was getting hot and he was scared!
  • And yet, at 8:21 pm, he was frantically looking for his jar of weed.

A person in recovery, who is scared, is in a very precarious and potentially dangerous position. Emotions can be triggers for people in recovery – hard emotions can be the impetus for whole hearted change, or they can be the thing that drives them back to using cuz it hurts too much to make the change – fear, false confidence, and pain are a lethal mix; addictions’ claws grip deep and the power overwhelms. Helplessness and hopelessness are double whammy accomplices alongside addiction.

Deep inside, I knew my son had the heart desire to change his course and the ability to jump out of the pot… and I believe he thought he could too. Every person in recovery has a deep desire to be free of addiction and stay clean… no addict wants to be an addict.

Do you know someone in recovery who is relapsing and not listening, not acknowledging, or too afraid and is paralyzed in the moment and feeling the heat of the water increasing?

Stay close, if they will let you…

Do what you can to encourage them and take the time to meet them where they are at and do what you can to keep them out of the pot.

Are you in recovery?

Do whatever it takes to jump out of the pot – please!  Seek out a supportive family member or friend, go to a meeting… run, hike, bike, … take a long hot shower… eat spicy taco’s(!)… do anything to get out of the pot… just,

Don’t be the Frog in the Pot!

 

 

 

 

That Dreaded in-the-Middle-of-the-Night- Phone Call

Hello?

Mom, is dad there?

Hello?

Where are you?

Where is your car?

Who is bringing you home?

Are you okay?

Why are getting into a strangers car?

What time will he be here?

Should we get dressed?

Is he okay?

Did he say where he is?

Did he say anything about his car?

Is that them?

What happened to your head?

Does it hurt?

Do you know you have an egg on your head?

How did that happen?

What town were you in?

What intersection?

This street?

This way?

How many tow trucks are there?

Is this your son?

Is he alright?

Should we call the ambulance?

Where is his car?

Down there?

He came from which direction?

Missed this pole?

Then that pole too?

How fast was he going?

Airborne?

How did he live through that?

He shouldn’t have?

Angels?

What were you doing?

Why were you even in this town?

How did this happen?

I can’t believe he did this?

Who will follow the ambulance?

 

***

All parents dread the phone call in-the-middle-of-the-night.

That was the night we realized just how deep our son’s addiction was and how dangerous it was becoming. It was the night we hoped would have scared him out of his denial.

Sadly, it did not.

If you have questions and wonder if your son or daughter is using a substance, seek counsel at your local Recovery Center or police station’s D.A.R.T program; do not let stigma or shame or fear hold you back.