It’s been a long, long few weeks. There has been one bit of nonsense after that other. So much so, that I don’t even really know where to begin. I guess at the beginning, however, I’m not even sure where that is! What I do know is that I was sick, out of work for almost three weeks. In those three weeks AC got poison oak on his face so he looks like Quasi Motto, but in the most handsome of ways of course. Our newest dog, Georgi, the one that basically had Malaria when we got her, choked on her supper one night so I had give her the Heimlich maneuver. That was a fun moment. Actually, scary fact: dogs can go pale while choking. I didn’t know that could happen. Jay J’s car broke down, and then AC car broke down and then AC was rear-ended badly by a woman watching her GPS, rendering the only car we had left kaputz. My poor, poor sons found me unconscious on my bedroom floor requiring them calling 911. They did a great job and I am fine, no worries. Also, they are traumatized.
We have had some good things happen like Cinderella graduated high school and the person that passed out at that was not me! Her aunt and I got a little rowdy pretty much embarrassing our entire families but I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now. AC has worked diligently getting my garden ready since I am really not able to do it myself. My basil is growing in fabulously, it makes the whole porch smell wonderful. My step-daughter got into college which she will start in the fall and Jay J ended the school year with strong grades. We celebrated Jay J’s 20th birthday which means I must have given birth to him at the age of 5 since I am not that old. I’m sure there is more shit in there but I can’t remember. So you see, things change all the time. Life moves fast and if you aren’t careful it can be missed. Except addiction. That never changes.
No matter the circumstance, or the situation, or moment addiction always IS. It is there, it is painful, it is nagging and it is just waiting somewhere to pop up. During all these things that are going on, addiction is still a huge part of my life. It may be silent, but it speaks volumes. Those volumes are different levels. When I was in the hospital room waiting for my test results, convinced I was dying of a brain tumor all I could think about was I didn’t live long enough to see her get clean. After saving Georgi from choking to death, Jared, Jay J, and SC were replaying the shocking events and laughing about how they all stood there watching her choke calling me, like I’m the dog whisperer or some shit, instead of doing it themselves and all I thought about was she missed this moment. At Cinderella’s graduation I thought about her graduation, and when her brother graduated and she sat in the stands with me holding my hand. I won’t continue because I’m pretty sure if you are reading this you are smart enough to figure out the pattern. It never goes away. Why do I do that? Why do I think about her during precious moments? Because she isn’t there.
At the moment, I know where she is. I know she thinks she is convincing me she is clean. I know that in her mind she believes I am as dumb as she wants me to be. But I’m not. I’m not mad at her, or angry, or really upset in anyway. I’m just….here. The lack of emotion speaks volumes. It has been an emotional rollercoaster. I think about how I was in the beginning and I am embarrassed for myself but I also feel badly for that self. I become angry for the idiot that didn’t see the signs coming, and wasn’t paying more attention. And, I cringe at the stupid, ridiculous levels I went to in an effort to keep her clean. The theme for the last four of the five we have been dealing with addiction is keep her clean. The last year I have had a come to Jesus meeting with myself to realize that I can’t keep her clean, get her clean, work her recovery, etcetera. Four years, endless tears, one golf club smashed to bits on an innocent maple tree, lost friends, many a court visit, and countless levels of shit later I get it. I get that I can’t do anything. That doesn’t mean I don’t need reminding. I still have to go to meetings, see a therapist, and talk it out AC when she asks for money and I have to say no. It never becomes easier. It is never a cake walk. There is not a magic month, year, or event that is going to be the finish line. Dead. The finish line is death. Mine or hers. And that speaks volumes.
I have had two people, two different people that do not know each other, tell me that I am an expert on this subject. Specifically being the parent of an addict. That surprised me. I guess I was measuring my own personal success on the success of my addict, so I had to have a good, long think. And I decided I am not an expert on addiction but an expert on addiction in my family. Every situation is unique. Drug addicts are different. Addiction isn’t. But the person inside are different. I have no idea the bottom line one person reached to make recovery become a priority vs my addict who wants the credit for being clean without doing the hard work. My addict would put a TV in a carriage at Walmart only to walk right out the door because she is a savage. In a bad way. While, another addict may be to afraid to do that so they steal jewelry from their gramma instead. My addict tells lies just like any other addict but the lies she tells she believes herself. Maybe another addict knows they are lying but does it anyway. My addict cannot, will not, or may never see the value she has, and the love of her family, or that she is worth every single thing she thinks she isn’t. My addict let’s others blame her for things outside anyone’s control. When a person is an addict, any person, not just mine, it sucks. But no one can make them stop. Just like no one can make them use. My addict believes her redemption is in her own death. While another addict might make something of themselves and value the life they have in honor of the people they lost.
And, just like two addicts aren’t the same, neither are two parents of an addict. It took me 4 years to get to the point that I can say no. I still feel like shit about it, and it makes me want to throw up milk duds I ate in the 3rd grade but I know it’s what I have to do. Another mother may have learned that sooner, or hasn’t learned at all yet. To them I would say it’s okay. There is no comforting a parent of an addict. There is no vacation, no break, no pause button or stop button. We don’t get to just take a moment to remove the boiling lava of crap burning in our gut because that isn’t how life works. To them I say, suck it up buttercup because the volume of shit we will take in this life time is unreal. And be nice to each other. We are all doing the best we can with what we were dealt. Don’t judge one parent for their short-comings because you just never know when the tables will turn. Put a hand out and help them when they are down. Remind them that at the end of the day they should see their own face in the mirror. At the end of that day, it’s really all we got.