Merry Christmas to everyone, and a tip for surviving the Holidays

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ScentofCedar, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Hello to everyone who helped me through my own tough times, and to everyone who came here after I stopped coming so often. For those still wondering whether we ever make it through to peace and sanity in our lives again ~ yes, we do. I did, and you will, too. Our son did stop using ~ on his own, and in his own time.

    Other than learning the skills of detaching (thank you, everyone!), we had absolutely nothing to do with his decision to turn his life around.

    That is an important lesson to learn.

    I wanted to write today to share something with you that helped me survive those holidays (or birthdays, or other special family events) when things were not so good for our family.

    So, here it is.

    Think of some special something you can do for yourself at the end of the dinner or the day or the visit ~ whatever the event is that you know is going to be chaotic (at best!) and a devastation, at worst. For me, that was making myself a cup of tea in a special china cup that had belonged to my Grandmother. I would sit alone in the quiet after the catastrophe, after everyone had left or gone to bed. It sounds so simple (and it is). But knowing that once the chaos had happened, I would be sitting quietly, drinking hot, sugary tea from my Grandmother's cup would help me to be stronger WHILE the chaos was happening...and would even signal my survival (to myself) once it was over.

    Wishing each of us the strength and compassion we need to see the holidays through.

  2. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    I think it's a very good idea to have some kind of treat that really comforts or pleases you to look forward to when you are in the eye of the storm. For me, it's buying luxury yarn (at discount) to knit beautiful scarves and hats for friends and family, or perusing my favorite online stores for custom scented bath salts, lotion or candles to enjoy when I'm stressed out.

    It sounds like you have experienced some very difficult stuff and come out stronger on the other side. Thank you for sharing your story. It's a real comfort to me to learn that your child stopped doing harmful stuff on their own. I'm at the point where I need to learn detachment skills from moms who have been there.
  3. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    You are so right! This is so important to learn. I had to learn that by "helping", even with my easy child son when he was going through a rough period, I was actually hindering.

    Thanks so much and so glad to hear about your son!

    Happy Holidays to you,
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Barbara, so very nice to "see" you. I'm so happy to hear that your son stopped using. And your idea to have a survival ritual is brilliant.

    Merry Christmas,
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to hear that your son has decided to turn his life around, and that you are doing well.
  6. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Barbara, how wonderful to "see" you. It has been such a long time. And what a great post to read. Wonderful that your son has stopped using. You must be feeling quite different about life today than you did a few years ago.

    Your posting emanated a sense of calmness and strength -- even serenity. What an inspiration to us all. I remember you going through the rough times and am very happy you posted to tell us that.


    Love, Esther
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It's a wonderful update. Glad to know that you are at peace.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    It's nice to see you, Barbara. :)

  9. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Recovering Doormat, knitting and scented candles sound wonderful ~really, wonderful. When I was going through the worst of this though, I was so into punishing myself for what I perceived to be my failure as a mother that I literally could not allow myself to consciously choose "me" time. (Not that I understood it then as clearly as I do now, looking back.) There was something about that cup having been my grandmother's ~ maybe that I knew she would love me, or at least, understand that I wished things were so much better ~ that as guilty as I felt at the way things were turning out, my intentions had been good ones?

    I don't know.

    But I could use that cup, and drink that tea, and take comfort there, and find respite.

    Sounds corny, I know. But I was hanging on by a thread, back then.

    I felt so guilty.

    For the longest time (until the parents on this site convinced me to see things differently) I
    refused to accept that our son's behaviors were connected to his drug use. I was a mom at home, and when everything fell apart, I blamed myself. Choosing to believe our child was using drugs because of something we had done wrong was the worst thing we could have done ~ both for him, and for us.

    Like everyone here on the site, we needed to learn that parenting a drug-addicted child requires the evolution of an entirely different set of parenting skills.

    Man, that was tough.

    I don't know that I would ever have realized that, or recovered my "self" without the other parents on this site.

    You are in a good, safe, place, recovering.


    J brain, you are exactly right. For a parent, the hardest thing is to do nothing to help. Learning how to respond to our son in a healthier way was almost impossible for me. (Remember, everyone, when Suz would run those little "tutorials" for me, so I could practice what I would say to our son, the next time he called!?!)

    Thank you, Suz.

    You changed two lives with those tutorials.

    And do you know that to this day, my son hates to hear, "Oh, I'm sorry that happened to you. What are you going to do?


    I don't think our son would have been able to stop using, had we continued to enable him. (Though we didn't see it that way at the time.)

    Even today, we need to remind ourselves to let him pull himself up on his own.

    And so far, he is.

    Trinity, Witz, Esther :), Fran and Suz, thank you.

    It IS wonderful to "see" everyone again.

    We have been through alot together.

  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE


    Then we were successful! :thumbsup:


    Barbara, I still refer to the tutorial thread so often that I added it to my signature so I'd have it handy. We can always use a tune up every once in awhile.

  11. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    I just read the detachment link at the bottom of your posts, Suz.

    That's a really good thing.

    I am going to copy that out and work through it.




  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Barbara ~ It's nice to hear from you! Now we need an update from SunnyFlorida and Coookie.

  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Barbara what a wonderful update!! I'm so glad you are all doing well. :D Glad you stopped by too!!

  14. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

  16. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Barbara - that is perfect! I miss you and I appreciate your comments - they uplift me:)
  17. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    barbara - that is perfect! thanks for saying that it helps me!
  18. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    thanks barbara - that is wonderful!
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    You are amazing Barbara. I came here tonight looking for some little snippet to get my head to settle, and this was it. I am so encouraged that you have finally found the peace you deserved. It gives hope for us all.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
  20. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Barbara---what a great update. I'm glad things have settled down and you are all doing well. It's great to get a positive update.