Life is often a series of patterns. It’s certainly the case for the lives of addicts and their loved ones. These patterns play out in the signs we observe within our young addicts and also in how we interact or with them. These also play out in the steps we take forward, then backward, then sideways. Addiction has taught me to anticipate and appreciate patterns.
We are observing the pattern of addiction again with our son, and the devastation it is causing in his life. Yesterday, he expressed bitterness toward our family. Today, we have not heard from him. Tomorrow, I previously promised to give him a ride to an arraignment hearing for the underage consumption charge he got in July.
Our young addict is experiencing the patterns of addiction. He is bitter because his choices have landed him jobless, homeless and penniless, again. He is withdrawn from us because he isn’t ready or willing to get treatment for his problems. He is dependent on us because he doesn’t have transportation for an important appearance.
We, too, have patterns of behavior including whether we are helping or enabling. We experience the feelings of addiction – concern, fear, worry, and hope. We continue to hope (and pray) that tomorrow will present a welcome change in the pattern. I cannot speculate what will happen when our son goes to court as he cannot pay the fine and we will not pay it for him. Will they offer him a payment plan? Will he be able follow through to make small payments? Will they tell him he needs an assessment and treatment? Will they give him community service? Will they put him in jail? I do not know the probability of any of these possibilities except that tomorrow will play out in a pattern we hope will soon change for the better.
Patterns become familiar even if they are uncomfortable or destructive, just like addiction. We are working hard to keep the parenting patterns that work and to let go of the parenting patterns that don’t work.
Yesterday was hard. Today has been easier. I hope Tomorrow will be better. That’s the pattern I hope will emerge this time.