Remembering happier times

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nancy, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tonight's parent support group is addict appreciation day. We are to bring in a picture of our difficult child in happier times. This was a tough assignment as I looked through my years of pictures on CD. So many pictures remind me of bad memories. I can tell you exactly what was going on in difficult child's life at just about every occasion that we had pictures taken. Vacations ruined, birthdays and holidays that were anything but joyful, graduations that we didn't even think she would show up at, friends that we found out later brought alcohol over, high school football games that she caused drama at, sleepovers that were a cover-up for drinking and pot parties.

    I was able to find a picture from 2008 when she was playing summer softball and her team won the championship. husband was the manager and difficult child was a slugger and she even liked playing that year. It was the last year that she really put effort into playing. The years after that consisted of half hearted effort in between fooling around with guys behind the fence and planning their after game pot parties. husband continued to manage and coach as we tried to keep her involved in something she was good at but her addictions were interfering even then.

    But 2008 was a fun softball summer and the smile on her face in the picture I chose is genuine. I wish things could be that simple again and she could find pleasure in wholesome activities. Tonight's meeting will be tough, remembering the happier times but recognizing that those times will never be again.

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    No words - Big (((hugs))).

    I'll be thinking of you tonight...
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, sending you HUGS and kind thoughts from one mother's somewhat mangled heart to yours.................God bless you..........
  4. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Nancy. I. Can feel the pain in your post. Hugs to you as you take your journey tonight!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Nancy... Just lots and lots of hugs, sweetie.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Lots of hugs, I am in a similar place tonight-but only in my head. On vacation & remembering how difficult child loved being here and wondering how he could scorn the life he grew up loving. Melancholy sigh

    Hope tonight is healing for you
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh Nancy.... I am there with you. It hurts sometimes to remember those times. We live on a dead end circle street... we now have neighbors with two young children and they are now often out playing in the circle.. the other day the little boy was learning to skate board. I see them out there sitting at my dining room table. And I am so nostalgic for those better times with my difficult child... he used to play out there all the time. I could watch them play and it was safe and good. It just makes me so sad and nostalgic.... and I saw some kids in soccer uniforms recently and wondered if things would have been different if I had pushed my son harder to keep playing soccer... it probably wouldn't have made any difference but I go there in my head sometimes.

    And often I just have to push those thoughts away because they do me no good....

    Gosh it seems a lot of us are having hard times with our difficult children right now. Hugs to us all.

  8. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Nancy: I hope that the support group meeting was not too hard for you tonight. i am sending caring thoughts to you and your hurting heart. It really does seem like so many of us on this board are having a hard time with our difficult child's now. Thank goodness we have this community here...
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    AWW Nancy, I sure hope the meeting went ok. I imagine that was very difficult. HUGS to you.
  10. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    HUGE HUGS!! :(

    Same problem here. I look at pictures of difficult child and remember everything going on at the time. Since we had problems with her from the very beginning, most pictures bring back unhappy times.

    I get so many compliments on my family picture on Facebook and yet, it was the worst most miserable vacation we ever had due to difficult child's drug problem.
  11. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Sending good thoughts, Nancy. Several years ago, when difficult child was really struggling (just after his felony conviction), I emailed friends and family and asked them to send me a little letter or a picture or something that related to positive experiences they had with difficult child. The idea was to show him how much he is loved, and give him a tangible thing to shore him up when he didn't want to talk to us. Part of that was making a collage of pictures of him over time, and I noticed that as he got older, his pictures got angrier and angrier. He pretty much rejected the book, and never looked at it as far as I know. I still can't look at the pictures, because it reminds me that something was going wrong and I feel powerless to know what it was exactly or to have prevented it.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Aw Elsie that's sad. I'm sorry he didn't appreciate the book, the sentiment was really wonderful.

    I got through the meeting better than I expected. They do an addict appreciation day every six months so that we are reminded of good times with our difficult child's and have a chance to share good memories with others. Both myself and another family member said we had a difficult time with the assignment but we got through it and I only broke down at the end of my sharing.

    I was thinking that maybe this excercise is therapeutic, sort of a desensitizing effect. The more I do it, the more those pictures will just become pictures and some of the pain associated with them will go away.

  13. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Nancy, I think it has two purposes (they did something similar at my son's group home with the parents). One, it's for desensitization, like you said, to help process the grief and feel the feelings so you can get through them. It also seems to be to remind us that there's more to our kids than the problems they have. Honestly, I don't know that I could handle it right now, and I admire you for going through that and letting yourself feel.
  14. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I understand your feelings completely. I like to scrapbook. Was trying to find some joyful pictures from the last few years. Even if they looked joyful, I remembered the times and events-have not made a page for her since eight grade. I'm not sure I could handle the activity at this point either. Your brave and you're doing great.
  15. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Exhausted: I also love to scrapbook, and it has always been a wonderful way for me to put our family memories on paper. I have not been able to put any photos of my difficult child in a book for the past year, because I don't want to scrapbook memories of his drug use and problem after problem with him. I have many scrapbooks of my difficult child from his infancy through his childhood, and I really enjoy working on the books. It is sad that I am ending the scrapbooks of my son now, but this is just one more thing that his addiction has caused our family.

    Nancy: I'm so glad that your support group meeting was helpful to you. HUGS...
  16. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, I am glad that you went and that it was beneficial.