Archives for June 2021

How do you help someone who doesn’t want help?

Talking, pleading, and anger didn’t work. Friends sent healing and did remote sessions. It made no difference. Months, and years passed. It was exhausting and futile trying to help someone who wasn’t looking for help. But there was still a pull, to make a difference and help.

My son did not want help, this was clear, but I could help myself. I changed my diet and worked part-time. This created space for me to study yoga philosophy, therapy, and healing. Slowly I began to discover myself – the real me, beyond my story and masks I showed the world. A deeply wounded little girl became known to me. I listened to the little one within and committed to help her. She was ready and welcomed my attention.

I realised that when I became stressed and anxious, I saw the world through her eyes and experiences. The language, behaviour and thinking were her responding. The rational adult part of me, with many years of life experience, disappeared. A young child was in control!!

Initially, I was unaware it was my wounded child running the show. Later I would realise after an unhealthy exchange or reaction that the little me had been upset. She is determined and can cause mayhem! This is not wrong or bad. It is a survival program playing out. Now we are close and often I hear or feel agitation building and soothe her. This avoids words or actions that are not helpful.

With time and attention, the little girl felt safer and heard. She is still around and always will be. Sometimes she is unsettled but more and more she shows me fun and loves playing.

Meanwhile my son noticed the changes. He phoned and asked for advice. He felt more comfortable around me. As I continued to work through my issues, there was less intensity, and stress when we saw each other.

I can’t help my addict son unless he asks for help, but I can help myself which lightens the load and changes my perspective.

 

 

#addiction #parent #help #support #addict #alanon #not_alanon #recovery #enabling

 

How to stop enabling

The last time my son came to stay was different. He had been living rough for some months and sounded desperate. I was fearful of falling into our co-dependent stressful ways and felt manipulated. Several years later I am so glad that I said yes.

This time I was 100% dedicated to doing all I could for my son, myself, and the situation. I felt deeply that it didn’t have to be enabling vs tough love. Luckily, I received support from my therapist/teacher. She backed my desire to find a middle way.

My understanding of addiction broadened to include the link to childhood trauma, absent parents, and transgenerational patterns. It was deeply humbling. There was something much bigger at play.

“In psychotherapy and mental health, enabling has a positive sense of empowering individuals, or a negative sense of encouraging dysfunctional behavior.”Wikipedia

I decided to enable in a positive way and work through all the issues that were coming up for me. Boundaries had been a challenge throughout my life. I made some decisions. He could stay for a while. My gift would be food, gym membership, food and counselling should he be willing. I tried to stay present and avoid judging and disempowering. Instead, I silently acknowledged that some days he needed to self-medicate. I would remind myself how concerned I had been about his whereabouts and welfare. Other times I would go for a walk.

My focus became accepting, neutral, or positive – Today he managed to get up. He is looking after his appearance etc. As I became kinder and more understanding he became more at ease with himself.

It was the start of a new chapter in our relationship. One that I value and treasure deeply. I take it day by day without expectation and look forward to speaking with or visiting him if/when it works for him.

 

#addiction #parent #help #support #addict #alanon #not_alanon #recovery #enabling

Coping With Conflicting Emotions

From teenage years, to 20’s and early 30’s the turmoil and uncertainty around my sons addiction continued. Not knowing and fearing the worst. Knowing – arrest, court, and visits from the police with the numbness and darkness that came with it.

There were many conflicting thoughts and emotions whirling around my head. I loved my son deeply, yet I was angry and frustrated. I wanted him to call and visit then was suspicious and guarded. The desire to support him evoked resentment when it wasn’t welcomed or valued as I thought it should be!

I was stuck in this loop for a long-time.

Change
‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’
(I have seen this quote attributed to many including Albert Einstein and Henry Ford)

I was taking good care of myself – yoga, nutrition, homeopathy, massage, and more. In times of calm, I could ground and centre. My world view encompassed a bigger picture. Yet old behaviours, thoughts and emotions appeared when a challenge inevitably happened. I found myself once more in a tsunami of drama and emotions.

Personal transformation, healing sessions and trainings helped me broaden my awareness. I healed enough to start looking at myself and unravelling my story. Over time my self-compassion and self-love increased. The pain of being stuck where I was became greater then the resistance to look at my story. I started to separate myself from the drama, and saw my situation, my son and the world differently.

My inner knowing was more prominent. I knew it had always been there but ignored it with in favour of my thoughts. Can you remember a time when you knew something and chose a different action? What happened? It was like that only I was paying attention now. A gentle wise woman was guiding me. I saw everything from a more positive and empowered view.

I would dip in and out of this new consciousness. Over time it became my predominant sense. But every now and again life comes along with a big tsunami. Sometimes I feel my old response wanting to play out. Other times I realise I got knocked into the sea and get myself out as soon as I can.

Connecting with your Inner Wisdom

The answers lie within. Beyond the mind and ego in the subconscious is an awareness and knowing which is untarnished by the ups and downs of life. There are many names, I will call it your Inner Wisdom. This continues to be my guide and saviour. It is always right. For me it comes as a quiet whisper and deep knowing. It may be different for you.

Here is a process to connect with your Inner Wisdom.

  • Choose an activity that takes you from thinking to feeling/sensing/knowing
    (journaling, doodling, drawing, painting, creating, relaxing, meditating, free dancing etc. Whatever works best for you. Try something different, you are not committed to it for ever.
  • Stay present with sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Insight may come instantly. It may seem nothing happens. Your job is to notice rather than judge.
  • Write or record your findings. You may be surprised when you look back in a few weeks or months.
  • Like most activities it is helpful to repeat several times. You might like to add it to your daily well-being practice, do it weekly or attend classes/workshops.

Ps If you have a topic, you would like me to include in a newsletter drop me an email.

 

 

#addiction #parent #help #support #addict #alanon #not_alanon #recovery