Every day I fight to hold on to the Lord. Living in the world’s mess, it takes intentional thought to remember where my peace comes from. There are times it does not exist. My mind is lost in the addiction of others no matter how hard I try. Having a child in distress is a living imprisonment of the soul. It hurts that deep.
Vacations have been held hostage for years. Six years ago, while waiting at the airport, my granddaughter’s school called me because no one showed up for her. Mom was passed out at home. Two years ago, while relocating my mother, I wasn’t even out of Colorado before my phone was blowing up- not one but two of my kids were causing friction. I would go home to one in treatment and the other flying away to treatment. And five months ago, while visiting my mom, the police called me because they had my daughter’s abandoned car, but could not reach her.
Needless to say, I fear time away. In the priceless moments of memory making, time has been sabotaged by drugs, alcohol, chaos, and the world. While I know the inner peace of God, these episodes overcome me at times. Perhaps one day it will all come easy, that time has not arrived yet.
When setting out on my current vacation, I debated whether or not to let my loved one know. However, the morning we were leaving, I received another crisis phone call. Her homeless partner overdosed the night before, and they found him in an elevator. Paramedics were able to revive him with Narcan, and they just got out of the hospital. Their hotel roommates would not let them back in, so she asked if I would help with a room.
Just like that, anxiety began.
For the third and final time, I paid for two nights at a hotel. There were promises to pay me back, and multiple thank you’s. With one reservation, I went from being publicly shamed on social media for abandoning my loved one, to being the best mom.
This is the routine of addiction. We move from one disaster to another. I’ve done everything to maintain boundaries I can live with, but my mind struggles to stay out of the drama. The fear of overdose is a daily battle. I await calls or visits from police. Lately, jail would be welcomed. It could mean life over death.
To tell or not to tell.
Here I am working to maintain my peace, my families peace, and a peaceful time for all. Vacations are meant for relaxation and stress-free memories. Do I tell my daughter we are on vacation or not?
Finally, I texted that we were heading to visit my mom, and hope to have a calm, fun vacation. I used a subtle tone to make a strong point. However, the damage was done before I even left work. I wish I could let go and leave it there.
Each day my mind drifts between lazy days by the lake and chaos back home. It’s a challenge to live in the moment while my precious loved one lives in homelessness. Choice or not- it’s heart wrenching. When she called last, she said she’s done with drugs and going to treatment. A hope and prayer that’s yet to be.
With all the unknowns in addiction, I keep going. We are living in joy. The weather has been gorgeous, the water inviting, and the days relaxing. (Other than driving and a migraine) We are together and active in a life we love. Our beautiful grandkids have been with us for four and a half years. We didn’t get to the empty nest before it was filled again. We’ve accepted our new life, and despite the unique circumstances, strive to be a normal family. We work to provide them the childhood they need and deserve.
Our time has been wonderful. I thank God today for the blessing of being together. I promise myself to keep my mind focused and free. I wrote this from my bed, staring out at the beauty of natural creation (and some not so natural)
Letting go proves to be an evolving challenge. I reach a new level often. Does anyone know how many levels there are? I must be an expert by now.
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If you live with a loved one in addiction, can you relate?