Well, shit. Here we are, a year later in a very similar place that we were in this time last year. I don’t find this ironic or coincidental at all. This is what addiction is all about; doing the same thing over and over, though, if we are honest, we don’t expect different results. No one does. Actually, that’s a lie, I do. I expect one of these times it will end with her dying. And that is a given. If you use, you die. It’s only a matter of when. With that in mind, I had been asked multiple times over the last few weeks if I was going to watch the special on HBO about addiction on Cape Cod. I was not going to watch it. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or not so I decided to DVR it in case I wanted to see it later. The truth is I have seen JoDee with a needle in her arm, I have found her overdosing, I have seen her high, lie, steal, beg and run away only come back clean when she is tired of the life. I was absolutely certain there was nothing I could learn from that program that I didn’t already know. So, why watch it? It’s like watching Intervention. I used to watch it to tell myself our life isn’t so bad. But then the more I watched it, the more it really resembled our own lives and that got depressing so I stopped. At 8:58 I was watching the end of Chopped. I waited for Ted to pull the cloche off the plate of the contestant being chopped, revealing the winner when I had an out-of-body experience. Suddenly I had no control over my hand and bam I flipped the channel to HBO.
I was not surprised by the program. It was everything I believed it would be, and it was everything I didn’t want to see. I was saddened by the loss of the two beautiful girls that had lost their battle with addiction. I could relate as I listen to the parents in the support group talk about finding money for rehab even when you know you shouldn’t, the co-dependency and enablement, and I could even hear JoDee’s voice in those of the addicts interviewed. Her story is their story is all addicts story. The same, but different. Addiction is a whole new paradox. One that you never ever want to go to but when you do you realize that forever, eternity and beyond, your life has changed. Whether you are the addict or the family member, life will never be the same. I also agreed when the woman said that parents of an addict is a whole separate struggle. A person can walk away from a lover/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/neighbor/sibling if they absolutely have too. But a parent is doing the exact opposite of what they have spent a life time doing-putting our arms out to catch our child when they fall. Kissing boo-boo’s and healing pains. Addiction is the only thing I can think of in which helping an addict is hurting them. Helping them is the exact opposite of what you must do, an impossible thing to do when your knee jerk reaction is to catch them when they fall. While I did not really learn anything I didn’t know, and instead, confirmed my worst fears, I certainly hope those that are not dealing with addiction on a daily basis learned something new. My hope is that the prejudices for those suffering from addiction will be lowered just a little bit, so they can get help without the stigma currently attached to it. Only time will tell.
Only time will tell what 2016 has in store for this family, too. It is not going to start off well, for that I am sure. But when you start low, there is only one place to go but up. JoDee is going to have to come home, sooner or later. She would prefer sooner, I would prefer later. Knowing I cannot keep up with this madness anymore, I can’t just step back. I can’t just try to withstand from doing for her, but I have to literally let go. There is a saying in NA to Let go and Let God. I’m not sure what I believe as far as God or a higher religion, but the sentiment is the same. I have to figuratively and literally let her go. And not be responsible for her. Please do not fool yourself into believing this will somehow grant me peace and serenity, it won’t. The pain for watching her suffer will be the same. Should she relapse again, I will be in agony watching from the side lines and when she tries to pick herself up, I won’t be there to brush her off. She will have to figure out how to do that on her own. I will still be her mother, and her pain will still be mine, and I will hate this fucking disease but I just can’t anymore. I can’t (fill in the blank).
That brings me to my New Year’s Resolution. I have listed them below:
This makes it extremely easy to see that I don’t give up on my resolutions. I am not pledging to lose weight, be organized, volunteer, stop swearing, or any of the other ridiculous resolutions I have made over the years but never stuck too. Especially the swearing resolution… that was just dumb. Resolutions usually last until mid-February if a person is lucky, which I am not. I am going to end this year in this year, and try not to take anything with me into next year.
I have a tradition of writing all the things I didn’t like about the previous year on an egg and smashing it against a tree in the woods on New Year’s Day. This year I am going to do that but with more practicality in choosing the things I write on that egg. I am not going to write the things that annoyed me or I was bothered by, or my own character flaws that really will never change. I am going to write the things I am ready to let go of, say good-bye too, and be willing to release once that egg leaves my hand. I am looking forward to that. I hope every one has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and that 2016 is all you wish for it to be.
Happy New Year’s ~