Keeping Balance :)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hey there, everyone! Haven't been on here for a while, just wanted to touch base. I really like this quote by Albert Einstein, below. With minor exception, I'm feeling pretty balanced on moving ahead these days. A blip here and there, but the "blips" are shorter (due to gratitude) and the rebounds are faster and stronger (due to years of practice).

    Our son continues to make bad choices (really bad choices) and struggle. This may come to a turning point as he has his next scheduled Drug Court on Feb 9th (1 week from today). He's a mess with drugs, crime and burning bridges in the few genuine relationships he has. So much goodness inside him (at times), buried by so much mental health, drug addiction, criminal activity, and debt (financial and relationship). I spent years asking why this is.........noting that he is now nearly 26 years old. But a few years ago (maybe 3-4?), I just quit wondering and decided to ride the bike. As you all know, loving our VERY troubled children (as kids or adults) can be a risky, perilous ride.

    But for me, there came a day when I just had to choose life -- whether our son did or not. Years later, I still stand by that choice. Even moreso, actually.

    Life is always worth living and enjoying to the best of our ability (which is probably moreso than we realize)!

    I also conclude that my living with intentional gratitude and happiness whenever I can (and accepting the "blips" as just part of the "ride") helps ME, but it also helps EVERYONE I LOVE. We all learn what gratitude is together, this way.

    So, we haven't seen or heard our son's voice since last September. We have swapped brief private messages on Facebook. And when I say, "brief", I do mean BRIEF. Like 5-6 words sometimes. Usually, "Love you and miss you." Perfect? No. But it's enough.

    Why is it enough? Because: 1) We know he's alive, 2) We know it would be a mistake to try to engage him during these phases (we've tried......we learned).

    So, we wait for "possibilities to pivot". Drug Court next week is such a possibility. Either 1) He will show up (skeptical, but ya never know) or 2) He will not show up (and an arrest warrant is reissued). Either of these options is a "possibility to pivot". He may or may not. But it's a possibility. And that's a power that, ultimately, lies in his hands.

    Meanwhile, my husband and I consciously, intentionally seek our joy separate from our son. Each individual's happiness matters, in their own identity! So, we see friends often, we take little trips (this weekend to the coast), take big trips (fingers crossed for Thailand later this year!), enjoy football (despite the fact that we lost BIG TIME this season in our friendly football pool with other families.......where we must don The Apron of Shame and The Spatula of Suckatude and make dinner for 20-ish people during the Super Bowl party!), we see lots of movies (Revenant, Bridge of Spies, and The Finest Hours, recently), etc. You get the drift.

    There are ALWAYS ways to grow our happiness as individuals and as a couple (and with friends)........even when our son struggles. Meanwhile, we keep a prayer for him, subsist on 5-6 word messages, and wait for that "possibility of pivot". Hey, I should capitalize's a THING!

    Possibility of Pivot!

    I guess that Possibility of Pivot is something we all have -- even when we struggle. Hopefully we can all find ways to lift ourselves and each other when those possibilities arise!

    Thanks for listening. :D

    • Winner Winner x 8
    • Like Like x 3
    • List
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    What an awesome post!!

    Of course I'm sorry to hear your son is still not doing well (neither is mine) but you sound so good.

    A trip to Thailand sounds so exciting and exotic.

    It's good to hear from you HLM! Thanks for checking it :)

    Love the bicycle quote!!
  3. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Tanya M -- Thanks! We're all in this together and I always appreciate your words! :D
  4. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thanks HLM for sharing this quote...I love it and it is so true. Sorry your son is not doing better. I'm right there with you. My son goes to court on March. He may get prison time..but he has no one to blame but his self. There is consequences for breaking the law and using drugs.
  5. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    okie girl -- Our sons are definitely in sync (Feb & Mar court dates). Here's to their Possibilities to Pivot! Hopefully they will take the chance!
  6. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    Thank you. I love your positive attitude and your outlook. I love that you are "going to choose life even if he doesn't." What a beautiful way to look at it, and so empowering. It reminds me that it is ok for me to be happy and take advantage of the good things in my life and not feel guilty. I needed this today.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What a beautiful post, HeadlightsMom. Thank you.
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you HeadlightsMom, what a wonderful, inspiring post. Possibility of Pivot. Yes.
    There is always that possibility to change, for all of us.
    I am very glad that you are able to live your life with joy.
    It is something I am striving for.
    Life is too short.
    I think the best thing we can do for our d cs, is to live our lives to the fullest.
    You go girl, thanks so much for the share.
    Keep moving on.........
  9. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Thank you for sharing such upbeat vibes HeadlightsMom.
    My son also is in sync ... in jail now with court in March ... Possibilities to Pivot - a great mini mantra.
    I needed to hear this today also. Thanks.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I add my voice to the chorus: Possibility to pivot.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Headlights! I love love love your post, every single bit of it.

    I love Possibilities to Pivot. Every single hour we can turn and walk in a new direction. Us and them. It's never too late to start living in this very moment, living with gratitude for what we have, letting go and accepting life on life's terms, people on their own terms (however ugly) and turning the bright light of life and change on ourselves.

    You sound like you are doing all of this. What a journey this is! It's a journey to find ourselves, facilitated by our DCs and so many others (my alcoholic ex-husband now in recovery) along the way.

    Today, I thank them for helping ME find myself. I remember hearing that in Al-Anon one time---that you may one day thank your qualifier---and I said no way, no how, this walk is too painful...but you know, it's true.

    Keep posting here. You have a lot to share with others. Thank you for your post!

    Possibilities to Pivot! May we all recognize them today!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  12. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    First, thank you all so much for your kind words! It sure is hard work. Hardest thing I've ever done. And, for a time there, I thought it might strip me of all of the best of me. Turns out, it just rebuilt me better than I was before (suddenly, I hear the music from The Six Million Dollar Man in the background! LOL!) Sometimes, it still gets rubs me raw. But, you all know..........we survive. We learn, we grow, and, after enough time has passed..........WE PIVOT.

    This pivoting ability is transferable to all areas of life.

    Yesterday we learned a family member will not survive their bout with cancer. I was sad. I am sad, still. But it is all part of the process. So, I can make the choice, right now, TODAY, to PIVOT and make the most of what time we have left with this loved one. And we are.

    Again, thank you all for your kind words. And may all of your blessings abound and grow with every single PIVOT toward gratitude and opportunity.

    One time I turned to my husband and said, "Dang! How DID we survive this?" We both laughed and concluded, "We're pretty friggin' awesome, aren't we!" :D No arrogance in that......... just recognition of gratitude, opportunity, and.......uh.....sheer strength!

    We ALL have that strength..............and that's how we've made it this far and will continue to grow. Every time we CHOOSE to PIVOT.
  13. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    FYI -- I just re-read all of your posts. You are all strong, strong people.......stronger than you may realize. Some of your stories, I know a bit. Some I don't know at all (except for the blurbs here).

    But I see strength in each of you............ Strength, people.........STRENGTH!
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    HM, please keep posting---you have much humor, strength and courage to share.

    Yesterday, my sister went with my parents to a counselor to talk about my brother's alcoholism and what to do. Later my sister texted me to say that the session went well and they are getting ready to do an intervention and my parents have to do a couple of things first. She said there were some good insights in the session.

    I texted back, well good, I'm glad it went well.

    You know, HM, I hope something good comes from this, but whatever it may, it's their journey. It's my mom's journey and my dad's journey and my brother's journey (they all live in the same house).

    This is the New Me talking. The old me would have been all up in their business about this. Calling, asking, advising, jumping on a plane to be there.

    They haven't asked me to get involved, so it's none of my business.

    PIVOT!! I love the idea inherent in pivoting. I have choices. I can choose my reaction/nonreaction to anything/everything all day every day. I don't have to feel bad. I don't have to do anything. I don't have to say anything. I can decide what my role is. I have choices.

    Even when Difficult Child was in his depths, I was making progress learning this. Before, I allowed myself to be held captive by my feelings, all the time. All the time about everything. My feelings were paramount. My good sense was always riding in the back seat (sometimes in the trunk LOL) but my feelings were driving the bus.

    Now, today, when something bad happens, I am learning to feel my feelings....wait....accept my feelings...cry, pound the pillow, grieve, feel sad...wait....wait...let it all pass through me like a thunderstorm...sitting with it and recognizing it...and then...moving forward again, doing something kind for myself and with a clearer mind and heart, deciding what course to take.

    This is my new normal. I am so thankful for it. It works in all situations, family, friends, work, problems, good times, bad times.

    Feelings are wonderful but boy they can be so powerful and hard to manage and endure.

    My Difficult Child is doing so well today but there are still things that could be issues. He told me the other day he is going to get a credit card. Warning bells firing off in my head. I suggested that isn't a good idea. Three days later he talked about it again. He wants me to bless the idea. I didn't say anything that time. I have learned to say things one time...more times I am trying to manipulate and control the situation. He knows what I think---I told him already. that's enough. He's a 26yo man and if he wants to get a credit card, he will. And maybe he will manage it well. Who knows?

    Learning how to live my own live and let other people go has been the greatest gift. I am so much happier now and so much more peaceful.

    Who would ever have thought that the horror of five+ years with Difficult Child, and ex-husband before that for 10+ bad years, would result in such a happier me?

    I write this because it is possible to change. People can change if they want to and if they work for it. Our DCs can change, and we can change. But we have to want it so badly that we work hard for it. It doesn't come easily.

    So glad to hear from you! I am hoping and praying that many good things come your way.
  15. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Childofmine -- Your post, above, touches my heart. Re-read it a couple of times. I feel your strength! Way to PIVOT and do it well!

    "Not getting up in their business...." Boy, can I relate to that. I don't any more, either. The only thing I really pay attention to are PIVOTAL moments.......... For them and for us (my husband and me).

    I told a friend yesterday (who also has a Difficult Child) that I didn't stop "...getting up in our son's business" because I thought it was wise. Originally, I did it because I simply could no longer stand it (PIVOT). It was only later, after the smoke cleared, that I woke up one morning and thought, "Hey, that was a really wise idea! Wish I'd recognized that sooner!" LOL!

    Childofmine -- Thank you for your kind words........ You made my morning! :)
  16. JMom

    JMom Active Member

    I'm totally picturing you in basketball shorts, you know long, stripped ones, like the Harlem Globetrotters wear, pivoting. ...for some reason you have on a football helmet.

    Lol! I couldn't just have you out there looking all cool pivoting. I had to add a helmet for good measure to pay omage to our struggle.

    Hugs to you on your journey!
  17. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    JMom -- Haaaaa! You're killin' me here! Love it! FYI -- I did play on the school basketball team all the way through high school. I "pivoted" a lot! However, at 4'11" I also got run over a lot, so I think I could've used that helmet even way back then!


    JMom -- You're AWESOME! :) Here's your visual......... When pivots get crazy and turn our worlds upside down! Is that you hangin' on by your fingertips upside down? You've got Pivot Panache, JMom! S-C-O-R-E! :) Have a great day!

    And................ GO PANTHERS!