fake it till you make it

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    This morning I was reading a devotion by Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who gets very specific about faith and life and struggle. He has helped me a lot on my journey of recovering from enabling.

    Here is what he said that struck me today:

    We don't think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking
    Lifestyle choices and changes finally convert people.

    I think the reason this idea has been profound for me is that I used to think that I had to "understand," "Know," "figure it out." I spent a lot of time studying addiction and alcoholism and trying to get my mind around it. Another method of trying to control the uncontrollable.

    Finally, when THAT didn't work either...along with trying to yell, scream, cry, reason with, measure out consequences, enable, fix, manage, stay one step ahead of, control, write contracts, snoop, search his room and his car, talk to, worry, talk about, agonize over....should I go on?...

    I started listening to other people who had been there before me. I didn't get it, still, for a long, long, long time, and my judgmental mind would find fault with what they said: well, that situation is different from mine, my son didn't do THAT drug, blah blah blah. My mind tried to discredit what I was hearing, but little by little, some rays of light started to seep through.

    I began spending time every single day in recovery literature and recovery meetings with Al-Anon. I bought all of the books. I got a sponsor. I did what she told me to do. I went to several meetings a week, and during really bad times, I went to a meeting every single day. I started writing a gratitude list (what, grateful? That seemed 100 percent counterintuitive at first, but I forced myself to do it anyway).

    Little by little I started to feel better. Even though my son was either in jail or homeless (revolving door) or getting arrested again.

    And at first, as I started to feel better, then I felt worse. I felt guilty. How could I be feeling better when his life was worse?

    Slowly, very slowly, I started to see things differently. But it was first my immersion in another way...a completely different way than what I had tried for years and years...the experience itself was my first teacher.

    I had to go and do something different first, even if it didn't make sense to me. Because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was sick of feeling desperate, exhausted and terrified. That was taking over my life, and NOTHING WAS CHANGING. I couldn't do one thing to save my own son. I was face to face with my own powerlessness for almost the very first time in my life. It was a powerlessness that never seemed to let up or end. Finally, I had to make friends with it. I had to look it in the full face, and claim it, and accept it. That was a very very good day for me, looking back, but it was also a very hard day.

    So I believe what Richard Rohr is saying here, is a paraphrase of something we say here frequently on this forum: Nothing changes if nothing changes.

    We can't make another person change. We don't have that power.

    So we have to change ourselves. And that is the pathway to peace.

    Warm hugs to each of you today, you Warriors.
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you COM, that was what I needed to read this morning. There is much more to navigating this journey than meets the eye, it is a whole new way of thinking and living. It is intense self work to change patterns of response, then a lot of internal work to rebuild and strengthen. One day, one step at a time. Thanks so much for sharing your journey and thoughts.
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  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Very nice and helpful quote! Thank you.

    I do know for a fact that I can't make my Difficult Child change. I suppose in a tiny way I can encourage her to make some positive changes, but whether or not anything sticks is up to her.
  4. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    thank you COM. After another bizarre encounter last night, I know I need to focus on me.
    this is me in every respect and I've done it for yrs. OK, now I've had enough education---I need to move on. I finally realize that I'm missing the life I could have for the sorry one I'm living.. What a waste! My son is an addict and mentally ill and homeless. Tears stream as I admit this. Gosh, that is so hard to write. But, today it's sunny and springtime and it doesn't fix the above if I miss it again in my despair. I'm going outside to dig in the dirt to try to make something beautiful. Trying to "live myself into a new way of thinking".
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  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You go girl! Sigh, garden work is so rejuvenating......have a wonderful, peace filled day.
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  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I can so identify with gardening.

    I can't wait til it warms up more in Chicago so I can DIG in the dirt. The smell of the earth just makes me so happy. I also anxiously await for all my tulips to bloom!

    My Difficult Child would always ask me what I was doing in the yard and he got used to the response "I'm looking at my flowers". LOL

    I planted some other bulbs too but the squirrels dug some of them up so I have no clue what actually survived the squirrels. I also have several beautiful blue hydrangeas bushes that are my pride and joy!! It's like a Spring Christmas every year!

    Someday when I retire I'd like to work for a florist or in a greenhouse. Heaven.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Next time, try laying a strip of chicken wire above the bulbs and beneath the dirt. It keeps squirrels from reaching the bulbs, but the bulbs will grow through the holes.
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  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    My Hoku just moved back home, I forgot how much I missed her, and was reminded when she came home with an assortment of flowers and began weaving a haku lei for a hula performance........flowers, heavenly, yes......

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  9. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thank you, COM. Your words hit home with me. What's interesting to me is that I know I need to move forward and sort of put J in his own little bubble, so as to insulate my world from his...but bubbles are fragile and so often when his bursts I feel I need to help him create a new one. Guess that's just the "mom" in me.

    I hope you have a terrific Wednesday.