Tag: boundaries

Alcohol, I’m Aware.

Ribbet collage
Late at night, when all is calm, and our house is taking a rest, I see your face in my mind.

My heart aches for who you might be, or who I know that you are, hidden underneath all of your scars, and beneath the pain that you carry on your shoulders.

You would hate to hear that I am your secret prayer warrior.

Sometimes I cry, warm tears.
I let them stream down my face, saturating my pillow.
I say nothing.
I just let it happen.
I feel it.
I let it go, and I go to sleep.

Other times I immediately switch to a happier mental channel.
I do my best to not wonder where you are, or where you are sleeping.

I try to avoid the flashes of good memories.
The one’s of you running around in pajama’s on Saturday mornings.

Mostly because they are overwhelmed so immediately and change to the you accidentally falling into a fire, or unknowingly walking into highway traffic, or living through totaling cars.

Then, it will change to the you that I used to catch a glimpse of every few months, the you who used to still hold out a tiny bit of hope.

For that one day stretch- that you, he can only make it for so long before he is coughing up blood.

You are completely lost in him.
And then, it all starts all over again.

Realistically, I understand that I deserve to accept love.
I know that I have a right to my own happiness.
I remind myself why It is necessary for me to live my life separate from you, and raise my boys somewhere where you, well…..aren’t.

I still have times where I struggle to allow myself to embrace my new life.
I struggle to humbly celebrate my own victories as an individual.

I feel like I am leaving you behind.

So I put it away.

I tuck you safely into my heart and place you into my prayers.
I continuously push you out of my mind and put you back to a place where you can’t hurt me.

I quiet the worry that tends to creep in by staying very close to my savior, who reminds me of the truth.

You are worthy of love and redemption, but it is up to you to accept God’s gift of grace.
You have to choose to change and one day,
I know that you will.
I believe that you will.

I wish that I could hope you back to life.

I want to hug you without fear for my safety.

I want to look at your face and see life in those eyes.

I want YOU to see who you really are.  

Until then, I will continue to keep my thoughts focused on what could be; what I believe could happen for you, or anyone else’s loved one who is slowly sinking, swallowing gulps of their own poison as each day passes.

Because hope is real.

Recovery is a real place where real people turn their lives around.

People just like you.
One day, I know you will know what I am talking about.

Until then, broski.

Bending The Boundaries



Ya’ll this week has been a little bit tough.

I think that when someone who you love struggles with addiction, chances are you struggle with codependency issues.

This has been the kind of week that I really have to be on point.
I know a lot of facts and formal knowledge about addiction, codependency, and the dangers of enabling.

I know that I can only love them and it is not my job to fix them.

I know all of this stuff and I have it filed away for weeks like these.
Maybe I should practice these principles every day like I do the ones for my own well-being in recovery, but admittedly, I don’t.

My mother and my brother still struggle with mental health and addiction issues.
It isn’t easy to keep them out of my life and to stay committed to the boundaries that I know work best for me.
Sometimes, I break my own rules because I miss them..or, I miss who I think that they could be.
I definitely bend my boundaries from time to time, and when I do, I hurt myself.

This week I chose to answer the phone when they called and I actually listened to their voice mails instead of deleting them.

Two things that I choose not to do most of the time, because it never fails:
When they call, rest assured, there is a very specific reason and a very specific need.

Presently, they’re sleeping with no electricity in the cold and are desperately needing a couple hundred dollars.
Apparently, cold air + doesn’t mix well with emphysema complications and you can’t mix & inject anabolic steroids in the dark when you are drinking vodka, and the arguing has been more out of control than usual.

That is a life that I know and one that I remember all too well.
I understand where they are coming from and I know it is very real to them.

But I also know that my ‘helping’ in any way won’t really be of any help.
At this point my helping doesn’t even make me feel good anymore.
I know the truth, and its hard to elude.
There aren’t any reasons left or any more excuses that I can make to help them anymore.

I compartmentalize these feelings because of love. 
Being strong and turning them away doesn’t come easy because of this love and not helping them certainly isn’t natural.

It is also not a socially acceptable thing to casually talk about with anyone, really.

So for me there is nothing else that I can do with the feelings that come from loving people who struggle with their own demons, and who lash out and hurt those around them.

All that I can do is tuck my love away, and hold out hope for eventual wellness.

I am not going to allow myself to do retreat and hide.
To me that is not the same thing as facing the very real, intense, and emotional situation.

My role reversal issues with my mother and my brother cannot be mended by pretending that they don’t exist.
They can only continue to change and become what they should be as long as I am identifying what I am feeling and actively sorting through the feelings.

-It has taken me a very long time to adjust to my new role in the family.
-I am not my mother’s guardian, I am her daughter.
-I am not my brother’s mother, I am his sister.

I am completely, one-hundred-percent powerless over their behavior.
I cannot help them or anyone else to change if they don’t want it for themselves. 

-They don’t ‘need’ me, not in the way that I would like them to.
-I was never helping, I was hurting.
-I wasn’t saving I was enabling.
-I accept and believe that it is okay to let go of my guilt and my sense of responsibility.

Years ago, phone calls like the ones I actually answered this week-
would have sent me into a tailspin.

I am doing a better job at sticking to my own rules and boundaries.

So, while this week has been markedly more strenuous for me-  (compared to a typical week)…..

I have not allowed it to consume me.

I sound insensitive but I have to be rational about it.

And realistically, I know that if it is this hard for me, they are hurting a million times more.

The only difference is, 

I can feel it.


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