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Resiliency: The Art Of Bouncing Back!
"Everyone falls! The secret to being happy is to never forget that you have all the tools to rise back up! Your sadness may have overshadowed all your hope, but it's still there if you dig a little deeper!"
Adversity is a teaching tool. It's a place where you begin to understand and implement resiliency. You do not have to linger in a hellish, traumatic, experience forever. That too is part of the 'RISE' process. Admitting that you are there - lingering, wallowing, and making yourself believe that this is it - is the first step. Is that hard? Hell, yes, but you can do it if you really want something different, if you want to feel different, if you want your life back!
When you allow yourself to linger in a mosh pit, where only pain, anger, and emotional trauma exist, all that shared pain only serves to highlight your turmoil. Misery loves company, boy, does it ever, but, what if you did something different? What if you learned to refocus your energy on RISING instead of falling, instead of sinking deeper and deeper into your sorrow? When you refocus, that's when the change begins. That's when you will see that there are two sides to every coin. All you have to do is find the courage to flip the coin! That's when you can decide to think differently because thinking differently is the journey of rising and learning to bounce.
If you continuously settle for what you've got when what you've got makes you feel like you're dying and you just want to check out, or stay in bed languishing in the deadness you feel because you cannot fix a situation, because you forgot that all you need to do is fix you, rising becomes nearly impossible - until it's not! You need to get ready for the 'it's not' part.
When you reside in only the broken, shattered parts of your life, there is no place to go that won't cut you. All those broken, shattered little things keep you and all of your thoughts in a 'pain prison', and that's just wrong! I know it! You know it too!
As the parent of an addict, changing your life so it feels better, so you feel better, often leaves you with a mountain of emotional chaos, or what is more commonly known as, 'survivor guilt'. How can you possibly feel good about yourself when you have a child that may be dying right before your eyes? How can you just 'let them go' and not feel bad about it? How can you have a life when they don't?
The bottom line is: if you've chosen to only live in the bad, broken parts, then you too have become an addict and you need your own kind of rehab!
When we love ourselves as equally as we love our addicts, we are only creating a boundary, that's all, just a boundary. We are separating that ONE thing so it doesn't taint everything else in our lives that SHOULD feel good. It's not an act of selfishness - it's called resiliency. It's also called survival, and who of us doesn't want that?
Withdrawal pains from your addict often times brings on feeling of shame and guilt and a multitude of other emotionally damaging thoughts because we know that we will once again be judged as uncaring, horrible parents, just as we were judged for allowing our child to 'become' an addict. Holy shit, if I had a dime for every time I heard...'how could you let that happen?'...'what did you do wrong'...I'd be fucking rich right now! You see, those who have never walked through this journey can never know the resulting collateral damage, so, don't let yourself get too caught up in their words! They have NO IDEA what's it like to walk in our shoes. They don't see it as an illness, they see it as a big fucking failure on your part. As we all know, addiction will never get the same response as a 'real' disease. If you're child got cancer, they'd be on your doorstep with a fucking casserole on day one, but addiction, nada, nothing, zip, just a lot of grief! Here's the thing. YOU DON'T HAVE TO REACT TO ANY OF IT! You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. This is just what you're doing now. Getting yourself to a different place is just you folding in all your losing cards for a new hand that stands a better chance of winning. You're going to build a new life.You're going to become YOU before IT!
My moment of clarity came on the very day I got the call. I had been sitting on cloud nine waiting for her to come home from an out of state rehab. She had somehow found heroin somewhere between the rehab she was in and the airport she would be coming home from. She overdosed. She made it to the plane but her departure from the airport back here in Los Angeles was by ambulance. The stewardess that called us after searching through her phone for a mom or dad number, told me she could not wake her up and that she was barely breathing. We rushed to the airport hospital in silence.
Sitting beside her during the early morning hours where nothing good happens, watching the monitors spewing out life and death numbers, listening to bleeps and beeps and other incoming ambulances, I knew this was it for me. It was like someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'hey you, you need to get your life back'! I had plenty of time to think about that. If she died, it would all be over for us, but, if she lived and still could not find recovery, I was no longer willing to do anything but love the child behind the addiction. I would not let her drown my anymore. I knew I had to have a different life and so I did. I chose me. I fought like a fucking warrior to bring myself back to me, to the girl I was before fate knocked on our door, before the devil walked in and said, good morning, I'm taking your daughter on the trip of a lifetime. I said it out loud...NO MORE!
'NO MORE'! The two most powerful words in my tool kit!
So, for all of you who are on the same path, don't give up on yourself!
When you've done all you can, when you've given it your all, when you learn to say 'NO MORE', that's the beginning of your 'RISE' moment. It's your starting point. When you decide that you are worthy of being happy, no matter what, you will discover that the truth is - you have nothing left to lose and everything to gain because you are taking YOUR life back rather than be broken by something you cannot control. You're going to discover that there ARE many reasons to get out of bed again each day.
You're going to bounce back and love you again IF you choose to RISE!
Right now, I want you to get out a paper and pencil and write down how you want to feel, and once you're done, read that list over and over again until it sinks in that you can work towards feeling that way. Take each one of the things you listed and write down any or all of the actions it will take to get your to feel that way. This is the beginning of a blueprint, a plan, a way to reboot you! Don't listen to those tired old voices that tell you it's not possible. Those are brain tricks full of resistance. Tell them to fuck off, because anything is possible if you're a willing participant!