"Language of Letting Go"

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"Language of Letting Go"

Unread postby NoMoreCodependant » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:47 pm

I've read through a lot of the posts on this board. They are all helpful and I wanted to post some of my own experiences, in case someone is just looking for some guidance or knowledge that they are not alone. Also, I think being a family member of someone who struggles with addiction can be one of the most painful and exhausting experiences of this life - it helps to know we are not alone in this struggle. Below is my story and some of the things that have helped me in my journey through loosing many friends to the tight grip of addiction. Most recently, my youngest sister of 23 has relapsed in which this struggle has reemerged in my life.

My introduction to addiction started young and by the time I had graduated high school in 2006 I had been to 4 funerals for overdoses. Some may say I simply frequented the wrong group of people, I say it is simply a matter of circumstance. I certainly never found myself in the same position but people around me were constantly finding their way to this darker side. My sister's addiction started early on, probably around her sophomore year of high school where her first documented cases of stealing money from my parents bank accounts and being brazen enough to me to admit what she had stolen the money for - drugs. I would keep her secret for years before disclosing it to my parents.
My sister is intelligent..book smart if you will - and not very wealthy in the area of "common sense". She was in her third year of studies to be an RN before things got entirely out of control. Her boyfriend had died of an OD. She was working in a hospital and developed a heavy addiction to Oxys. I don't know the all the details because I couldn't bring myself to know them all. Eventually she graduated to heroin because it was cheaper and quicker - losing her position in an esteemed nursing program. She has been in treatment facilities numerous times, crashed a total of 7 cars, and still was taken back time and time again by my parents. She has been arrested for possession and after community service her record was expunged.

In the most recent months, my sister has saught treatment of a psychologist, claimed to be hitting meetings, and has been in treatment with a doctor on a strict regiment of Subutex to help combat her addiction. In recent weeks we saw the same behaviors reemerge and when a girl came to my parents home claiming my sister stole a bottle of percocet from her, it was the last straw. My parents found her needles, stash, and made her leave the house. My sister is on her second go at Nursing School - which in my opinion might not be the best career path for her, but to each his own. It took me a long time to realize but I can't change her or control her.

In the midst of this 10-year battle, I too have had to face my own struggles. My ex-fiancee ended our engagement after revealing to me he had developed an opiate addiction during his new night job and seeking rehab. He did rehab and came out and "couldn't be with me anymore". It was certainly for the better. I tried to maintain a friendship and support him through his recovery and he continually relapsed and it was at this time I had to walk away totally from him, the life we had, the friends we shared, and a year later the city we lived in.

After all of this, I had to take a strong and long look in the mirror. What was I doing to myself? How did these situations find me? Why was I hurting so badly? I was surprised by the answers I found and the way which they revealed themselves to me. I identified myself as "co-dependent" (to learn more visit here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependence). I decided it was time for me to start taking care of myself and i did. I started going to Al-Anon meetings. This was the first step to my own recovery. They helped me so much as I found an outlet to express myself. There were other people facing the same things I was dealing with. Sooner than later, this wasn't enough and I would resort to my regular "Survival Mode Me" - distracting myself by keeping busy, making plans, pretending to be happy. On the inside I was alone and scared for the people I loved and lost. I looked up a psychologist in my area who specialized in dealing with family members of those addicted. She is in the PA area and helped me take control of my life.

She gave me a book of meditations by Melody Beattie that encouraged me to change my life by changing my perspective. The book is called
"The Language of Letting Go". It places much emphasis on the recovery process of someone emerging from Codependency.

One of my lessons for today is practicing gratitude for everything good and bad and I wanted to share my gratitude with you. I am grateful for the wonderful people that have guided me through my tough times. I am grateful to Al-Anon for giving me an outlet and a space to center myself and reconnect with the 12 steps. I am grateful to my psychologist for her guidance. I am grateful for my friends that have passed away, while they couldn't fight their own addictions, they have given me strength to face my own and reaffirm what is important in my life. I am grateful for all the people that have hurt me, for their blunders and missteps have given me strength and understanding - they are a force that pushes back at me and makes me learn how to fly in this world. I am grateful for my parents, who have done everything to give me and my sister the world and beyond, despite what we might have put them through. They are the strongest people I know, resilient yet so fragile in so many ways. I am grateful for the everyday things in my life: my job, my education, my dedication to being a better person.
I am grateful to my ex-fiancee for his addiction - the most trying time of my personal life was planning a wedding, investing money, to find out it was all for nothing. To loose everything after giving everything I had and, to what seemed like, not get anything back. Thousands of dollars lost, possessions stolen, carrying a household on my own shoulders for 3 years, caring for our finances and pets and perpetually taking care of him and cleaning up behind him after he forgot to pay a bill, or neglected to make a court date, or had his car towed etc. I am grateful for his brutal honesty in the end - he set me free to live a more beautiful life than I ever had with him. His mistakes hurt me more than anything in the world. He showed me what it was to love and think you know someone fully, only to find that you never knew them at all - an valuable lesson I will keep forever. I am grateful for our break-up and while I was sad for him in the end - I was grateful for his relapse. I was able to walk away and open my eyes to the beautiful, unconditional love that was waiting for me. I met my current partner, someone who was good friend through this mini disaster. I have been a part of the most balanced healthy partnership of my entire life and been accepted in a positive and progressive family environment by his parents and siblings - something that I have yearned for for as long as I can recall.
Most of all, I am grateful for my sister. For the life of me, I know I can't save her. Although my efforts to help her combat her addictions might not have been thoroughly exhausted, I gave as much as I could. I am grateful for the lessons my experiences with her have taught me, specifically how to detach with love...a concept that eluded me until recently. I will always love her, but I can't control her. I can't change her. I can't make her look at the world differently. It is not my duty to show her the pain she has inflicted on my family, let alone on herself. She doesn't want to see that right now. At times I thought she did see it, and who knows, maybe she did. But in any case, I am grateful, for all the pain she has made me and continues to make me endure. I am a stronger and better person for it. I have reaffirmed my faith due to her actions. I found a place to grow into myself. For all these things I am eternally grateful.

As I practice acting out the language of letting go, the results never cease to amaze me. There is something miraculous we can all gain from these situations. For each of us that endures sharing a relationship with an addict, has been taught the greatest of all strength. Be grateful for your strength. Keep Faith for your loved one. But also know when enough is enough, because if you don't take care of yourself, no one else will. Sure, there will be people who support you, back you up, make you feel better. But only you can take control of your life. I am 25 now and I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't taken control.

I will end by saying this is just my experience and my opinions. They may or may not help you. If anything please know that your not alone, no one has all the answers. If you ever needed to reach out to someone you can message me. I would love to lend an ear or eye.

"All the love I give to the world, if given back to be"
-"Love is letting go of fear" - Gerald G. Jampolsky
NoMoreCodependant
 

Re: "Language of Letting Go"

Unread postby Guest » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:28 am

Very inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to write. People who share their life with an addict also share pretty much the same story. I can see myself in yours. Keep sharing.
Guest
 

Re: "Language of Letting Go"

Unread postby HEART BROKEN..... » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:25 pm

I AM SO VERY SORRY TO HEAR ALL YOU WENT THROUGH IN YOUR YOUNG LIFE, BUT WOW YOU HAVE CAME OUT A STRONG YOUNG WOMAN! I AM OLDER AND MY DAUGHTER IS A LOT YOUNGER THEN YOUR SISTER WITH THE SAME LOVE OF THE DRUG. SHE IS TEARING OUR LIVES APART, BUT SHE LIVES ON THE STREETS IN THE SHORT 5 MONTHS ( THAT SEEM LIKE A LIFE TIME) SHE IS SOMEONE YOU JUST WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT'S HER. I DO ALL THE THINGS I SHOULDN'T DO. I GO LOOKING FOR HER WHICH I CALL THE BAD LANDS THEY ARE!!!!! SHE DOES THINGS THAT I CAN'T BELIEVE I FEEL LIKE I AM IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE!!!! WE ALL THINK WE CAN CHANGE THEM I AM STILL WORKING ON THAT! SCARED TO DEATH WHEN THE PHONE RINGS IF THERE WILL BE A KNOCK AT THE DOOR THE (GRIM REAPPER? ) READING YOUR EXPERIENCE GIVES ME HOPE KNOWING THAT I NEED TO WORK ON ME, AS A MOTHER IT IS NOT THE FIRST THING OR TWENTY FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND. THANK YOU AND I WISH YOU THE BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
HEART BROKEN.....
 


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