Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 13

We just returned from visiting with our daughter, Julian’s mother, at her place of recovery, three hours away. She is on day 13 of a 30-day program, and she was given a pass to leave the facility with us for a few hours. It was a very rewarding visit. She is embracing the recovery process and enjoying the people and environment enough to stick with what must be a very difficult process. She recognizes and accepts now that 30 days is only the beginning, not the end-all cure. She shared with us several writings and “homework” assignments that she has been working on. I was amazed to see the words on the pages and I told her as much. They reflected a deeper thought process and a better understanding of what she is going through than I knew existed. Most astounding was the honesty! Addicts are among the greatest deceivers. Honesty has been sadly missing for a long time. The letters that touched me the most were those she wrote about “force,” about the ways in which she has forced her addiction into our lives and her son’s life. Up to now, she has persisted in the argument that we have taken her son from her and didn’t want her to be a mom. Addicts are adept at playing the victim. I suppose her belief was easier to live with than the truth, that she had abandoned her son in favor of drugs. Her view gave her freedom and permission to carry on with the “party.” The insights in her writings were a vast improvement over where we were a month ago! And the best part was seeing the joy that she is experiencing for the first time in a long while.

The core of the treatment is a 12-step program modeled after AA. As such, there were worksheets designed to facilitate dissection, introspection and ultimately understanding/belief in the 12 steps. She still has a ways to go, but there is progress. Reading a worksheet for Step 2 (which is something along the lines of “Come to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity”), she was asked to define such a “Power.” I think the purpose of this was really to allow people to define God on their own terms, but she wrote down “Julian” and “my parents” in her first draft of the worksheet. I laughed…poor Julian has the weight of the universe on his shoulders (actually, this isn’t funny when you think about the number of children of addicts who are forced to give up their childhood in order to “parent” their parents because they truly are more powerful than their parents…that makes me cry). Nevertheless, she managed to work her way through Step 2 and ultimately came to understand that the right answer was not Julian or her parents or even her boyfriend. When asked how or why they came to believe in a “higher Power,” she answered, “because God IS the higher Power.” Duh. ;-) So now, maybe Step 3 (“Make a decision to turn your will and your life over to that Power”), while clearly fundamental to everything else, will be easy.

We left encouraged. That is all we can ask for now.

Isn't she beautiful?

Happy times

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At 10:06 PM, August 31, 2009, Blogger Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Oh, Gwynne - what good news! I will be praying...and yes, she is BEAUTIFUL!

At 5:48 AM, September 02, 2009, Blogger Sisiggy said...


Really -- Yay!

At 7:17 AM, September 06, 2009, Blogger Bob-kat said...

That is good to hear :) She sounds like she is on the way to a better life at last and that can only be good, for her, Julian and yourself. She looks like a strong adn beautiful person so I wish her success :)


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