Know Regrets, No Regrets

I read a great article today, Parenting is prevention: raising resilient, drug-free children.  You should read it. It’s excellent, and it ruined my day.  It says things I already know like “parental involvement can deter alcohol, drug and tobacco use.”  My middle son is a recovering alcoholic, drug addict and just recently gave up smoking.  I thought I was a parent who was involved.  What gives?             Dollarphotoclub_76690257

“In fact,” this article you should read continues, “in 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University concluded that parents were the most important influence on a child’s decision to smoke, drink, or use drugs.” Ouch.               

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Be All Done

Little boy Teddy was frantic.  He had something in his eye.  At the emergency room they had him on his back while they flushed hosed water over his open eye.  “Be all done!” he shouted over and over again.  “Be all done!”    Stop man

Years later, Ted at age 20 had flunked out of college for the second time, was living in a room off campus without a job, friends or money.  He was doing drugs and drinking alcohol 22 hours of every day.  “Be all done,” I thought constantly.  “Be all done.”

When I traveled the hour to meet him at the coffeeshop I didn’t know why he seldom left his basement apartment, so depressed. I felt sick when he asked me to buy him another sandwich for later.  I hated not giving him money.  He looked pale and was silent. Be all done. …

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Each Otherness

Why is it that the that the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous maintained that the muscle and bones of their sobriety was one alcoholic helping another alcoholic?  Because, they told each other’s story as no well-intentioned physician, spouse or counselor could do.  The “I am different” alcoholic’s experience was confronted by the mirrored experience of another alcoholic. I am told that the identification of one to another is cathartic; different cast of characters but same obsession, self-loathing and desperation. The solution to the problem was better received from someone who had walked in those shoes. color puzzle ring

So it was with me as a daughter of an alcoholic and a mother of a drug addict.  My friends were the best, bar none, long- suffering with me and dishing out encouragement like it was their job.  …

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Edie

Days after we moved in our house, a  woman with gorgeous skin and gray-white curly hair showed up at our door.  She thrust at me a foil-wrapped loaf of pumpkin bread with nuts, and welcomed me to the neighborhood. People don’t do that very often anymore, especially if they live around the corner and two doors down. We became friends.IMG_0360 (3)

Edie invited me to the opera.  She adores opera, but her husband Frank equated it with what hell must be like and never went with her.  After an hour of The Barber of Seville I had to agree with Frank and although of course I did not say that , she got my vibe because now she invites me to plays.

She is old enough to be my mother, which works well for me because I ask her questions on how to handle various puzzling aspects of life, not because she is old, but because she is wise. Maybe a  little bit because she is old.  …

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System Overload

God gives us more than we can handle.  Heck, everyday life in a world filled with people is more than we can handle.  At least it is for me.elephants_web

When our son Ted hit the bottom of his addiction to alcohol and other drugs, my mother took her own plunge into issues of the elderly.  Refusing to let go of her condo, she got stuck in her bathtub one evening-to-morning and the question was called.  Off to assisted living, leaving behind a home of hoarding.  Five days later she had a stroke.  Weeks later she needed to be moved to a place with more care, resulting in Project Dismantle Living Quarters 2.0.  In the meantime she lost her dentures twice, had myriads of long — no, we’re talking LONG – dentist, doctor and hospital visits. I had to make medical decisions way beyond my skill set. Routinely she collapsed to the floor in the unstable antique bed…

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