For a time I worked in an outpatient program for seniors. It was a special honor to work with these individuals who were willing to share their experiences with each other and to reflect on what they learned across their life. Here are a few thoughts I culled from my time with them:
Ever have one of those periods when you have a desire to be better than you are but you seem to be missing a key piece of the instructions and you just can’t seem to get it?
You know you’ve done the work: journaling, talking to trusted people, going to church or support groups. But you’re just not getting it. And from your point of view it feels like it’s getting worse.
Then, the next thing you know, your mood, mind, and heart are flipped over in the ditch in the journey known as life.
In relationships affected by addiction, it’s common to crash. You keep moving toward them and their addiction moves them away. It’s easy—and dangerous—to be tripped up on the invisible ice that builds from being powerless over another’s life threatening compulsion.
Then, when we find ourselves in the ditch, we’re tempted to spin our wheels because at least that is doing something. Instead of moving us forward, though, it digs us in deeper. It’s frustrating, discouraging and daunting.
So, what to do? Where’s the tow truck? Call Triple A. Awareness. Acceptance. Action.
When your efforts to improve yourself seem to be getting you nowhere or you keep slipping back into old patterns despite your good intentions to stop, then the best thing you can do is sit there and do nothing.
Yes. As counter as that is to this create a to-do list, fill in your planner, complete a bullet journal culture, when it comes to relationships affected by the illness of addiction, sometimes the best thing to do is wait.
So, what’s happening while you’re meditating? Many, many powerful things are occurring.
- You will grow in awareness of yourself and how you have been affected by others’ actions.
- You will process what is happening and not what you want it to be.
- You can dig through your glove box and make sure you have proof of insurance and registration in case the police arrive before the tow truck.
And, then, once all your things are in order, then you will be prepared to move on.
Resentments will stop building and disappear.
Love and compassion for the person affected by an illness will begin to grow.
Addiction takes up a lot of room in a family’s life and sometimes members need their space from others to heal.
And, that’s okay. While you’re waiting for the Triple A tow truck to get you out of the ditch, you can use the time to look at life from a different perspective and rid yourself of things that are tripping you up.
After all, that’s what ditches are for.
For more information about addiction, visit www.thebeingplace.net