☼ Every Step Forward Is A Step In The Right Direction

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I’ve learned how to Let Go of the things in my life I have no control over (and I even do what I’ve learned most of the time). If I answer the phone and hear Joey’s drunken mumbles, I ask him to call back when he’s sober. When images of my son shooting a needle into his arm and collapsing to the floor sneak in uninvited, I shove them into the part of my brain reserved for ‘things that don’t do anyone any good to think about.’ And, if he gets himself arrested I no longer get involved. I was a good student at all those Family Programs at all those addiction rehabs; I learned a lot from the parents and professionals who walked the hellish steps before me. I listened and I learned and (finally, finally) I Let Go with love.

But, how do I Let Go of a hole? Where Joey should be there’s a gaping hole in my life. A great big hole is what the addict left behind.

Well, Letting Go of a hole is impossible. Falling in the hole or filling it up are my only options, so I’m taking steps to fill it. Steps. Lot’s of them. Nothing as difficult as the 12 Steps Joey will hopefully take one day, but if I expect him to do some hard work for himself and the people who love him, then I need to expect the same from myself. I will walk my speedy miles, even on days when sitting with a bag of chips, feet on a tuffet, would be easier. I will fill the hole in my life with endorphins, not be buried under whatever is endorphin’s opposite.

As long as Joey is an addict, me and my hurt are going to have to learn how to live together; we’re going to do it by walking. They aren’t glass slippers, but my walking shoes are life-changers nonetheless.

(10K Turkey Trot in November. Oh ya.)

The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction  is available in bookstores and libraries.

8 thoughts on “☼ Every Step Forward Is A Step In The Right Direction

  1. Susan

    My son had been clean and sober (coke and drinks when he uses) for 10 month. Now out of the blue (oR not)…. He is using again. My heart is ripping out of my chest. He has been an addict for many years and these past 10 months brought us such hope and our trust was reborn.

    Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry. I know this pain. I wish I had words to give you comfort, but there are none; addiction is too destructive, too horrible. I’m sending warm hugs to you. You are not alone.

      Reply
  2. Sidda

    “When images of my son shooting a needle into his arm and collapsing to the floor sneak in uninvited, I shove them into the part of my brain reserved for ‘things that don’t do anyone any good to think about.”

    This is what consumes me and makes me physically and emotionally sick and very low functioning. When he is out on a run I can’t seem to stop those images from coming and fear that he is dead. Do you have any advice on getting to this place? I think my fears may be worse because my other son almost died of an overdose and I am scared to death that when my youngest is using that this is going to happen. It paralyzes me from going to work and taking care of myself.

    Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Thanks Cathy. Yes, we must take care of ourselves for so many reasons including setting a good example.

      Reply
  3. Gale

    Love to read you insight on addiction. I also have 2 sons, one a tropper and the other and addict. My heart hurts sooooo bad for him and myself. He is in jail again, at least he is there. When he gets out the same thing will happen to him. A horrible cycle. He cannot see it.

    Reply

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