Skepticism about My Son’s Recovery. It’s OK

Let’s Agree that Skepticism is Acceptable, Advisable.

 

Long, long before my son’s addiction, I was introduced to a book called The Four Agreements.  It spoke to me with its clear message about authenticity and fulfillment.  If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend picking up a copy or Googling some summaries online.  The author is don Miguel Ruiz.  It’s a book I frequently give as a gift to others – it’s great for college graduation, marriage, life transitions, hard times, you name it.

 

A few years later, the author came out with a sequel called The Fifth Agreement, and it is this agreement that I’ve been focused on of late.

 

Here’s a quick synopsis of the Agreements, which are based on ancient Toltec wisdom:

 

1)      Be Impeccable With Your Word.  The implication here is that words wield incredible power, so say what you mean and speak with integrity.  Words have the power to encourage, the power to destroy.  Your word is your reputation.  Do what you say.  We have a choice with the words we use, and those choices create our realities.  Use your words for the purpose of truth and love.

2)      Don’t Take Anything Personally.  Nobody does anything because of you; they are only projecting their own reality.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim who suffers needlessly.

3)      Don’t Make Assumptions.  So much of what we assume is wrong, so muster the courage to ask for clarification and validation.  Doing so will help you avoid all kinds of misunderstandings and drama.

4)      Always Do Your Best.  While your best will change from minute to minute, day to day, based on whatever is going on in your life … always do the best that you can.  When you do your best, you avoid self-judgment and regret because you can’t expect yourself to be better than your best.  This recognizes that your best will be different when you’re sick vs healthy, happy vs sad, busy vs relaxed, but in any given scenario you can ask yourself to do your best and then be satisfied that that was exactly as you could do.

5)      Be Skeptical (Learn to Listen).  This implies that by questioning the why and how, we can discern truth.  Often we believe things without exploring if something is actually true.

 

These agreements have transformed my approach to life, and were absolutely important guides when we began our son’s addiction journey.  These led me to becoming informed and involved in addiction matters.  These prompted me and guided me to family and self recovery options before our son was ever headed for his own treatment and recovery.  I draw upon these daily as I weather the inevitable ups and downs of life.

 

This journey always has me questioning things and coming to acceptance.  The five agreements are as essential as many of the things I’ve learned through Al-anon and its 12 steps.  There are many parallels.

 

Over the last few days, my mind has been going round and round about my son’s recovery program.  I feel very excluded, uninformed.  I want to be respectful of the space and time he needs, but I also want to participate to the extent it will be helpful.  I admittedly want to be assured that he’s interested and committed to recovery because I continue to witness and experience words and actions that indicate otherwise.  (Agreements 2, 3 and 5 come to mind.)

 

Based on my feelings, I know I need to put everything in the context of not taking it personally (agreement 2) that my son is not including me/us/the family.  I need to not assume that he is or isn’t committed to recovery, but to have the courage to ask and consider what’s truly going on (agreement 3).  And, I need to be skeptical, to use my doubts help discern truth.

 

A week or so ago, I said that my son’s actions would speak his truth whether he was using again and would go to the halfway house recovery program. He did.  I know for a fact there are some non-recovery behaviors happening, but I will apply the Agreements to help discern truth and find my own peace.

 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  The Serenity Prayer

 

Midwestern Mama

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Normal Teen-Age Behavior or Could it be Mental Health and Substance Abuse? One Mom’s Observations

Over the weekend, Mid Atlantic Mom (MAM) and I had a long overdue phone conversation.  Although we’ve never met face to face, we are quite close and we always amaze each other with parallel thinking on trending topics such as her post on mental health relative to suicide and substance abuse.

With my son in recovery, my attention is less geared toward the day-to-day things he’s doing as I’m letting go and letting him live his life.  Instead, my thoughts are divided between future and past.  I think about his future possibilities as he contemplates returning to college.  Similarly, I’m remembering the genesis of his drug use in high school and our concern about his mental health.

Our first inclination that something was going on had to do with changes we observed in our son’s behavior.  He was sleeping a lot, was irritable.  He had less and less interest in family and was gone more and more – often anywhere but where he said he was.  He would wake up in the night and go downstairs to play computer or video games, to talk with friends on Facebook.

In many ways, these seemed like normal teenage behavior.  Other parents said their kids did the same types of things.  But we knew it was something more.  Even he knew something wasn’t quite right but in his immaturity, he expressed outrage.

Finally we decided it was time for a visit to the doctor.  We wondered what was going on.  His physical health was fine.  The doctor didn’t screen for drugs or do a urine analysis.  We were surprised and asked if that might be a good idea.  The doctor simply said, “He’s a good kid.  It’s tough being a teen these days.  Maybe consider some family counseling.”

During family counseling, our charming and intelligent son said things were fine and claimed he didn’t use drugs.  The counselor didn’t really think he was depressed either, just going through teen-age-itis.  It was very frustrating because we knew in our gut something wasn’t right and felt the professionals were too cautious with their way-and-see attitudes

In time we discovered that our son was doing drugs, primarily pot.  A lot of pot.  Like getting high multiple times a day, every day.  Spending hundreds and then thousands of dollars.  That’s when we started testing him (Wal-green’s pee test – about $19 – well worth it, fast and accurate).  FYI: Marijuana stays in the system for 30 days or longer, while other drugs may only be present for a few days.

And in later years, he learned that he was depressed and having anxiety.  Pot was self-medicating, or so he thought, and so were opiates like Heroin and Oxycontin.

I’m taking a long time to get at a list of signs, but here’s a start of what we saw.  Please add to it with your experience.  In doing so, we can offer other parents and caring adults some valuable ideas and things to consider as young-adult addiction is often masked in adolescent behavior.

  • Changes in sleep patterns – more sleep, less sleep, interrupted sleep
  • Changes in friends – always hanging with different people
  • Changes in plans – never where he says he’s going to be, always has an excuse
  • Mileage on the car – more miles than it should be for where he said he was going
  • Fast-food receipts – for places outside of the neighborhood, at times he should have been at school or sports practice, in the middle of the night when spending the night at a friends
  • Lighters even though he didn’t smoke cigarettes (at the time)
  • Visine – to cover up red eyes
  • Cologne – to mask smells
  • Fabreeze – to mask smells
  • Dryer sheets – to smoke through
  • Tin foil – to smoke heroin (small rectangular pieces with burned black splotches on it)
  • Paper clips, unfolded with black tar on the end – to clean pipes
  • Broken ball-point pens – just the hollow tube for snorting
  • Punch cards for a local “head shop” where he bought rolling papers and other paraphernalia
  • Diminishing bank balances
  • Incorrect change when we gave him money e.g., $20 for a $12 purchase with only $5 in change
  • Leaving early and coming home late from work

For many of these there could be an explanation and our ace debater could talk us in circles to protect himself and guilt us about accusing him of something.  Such is the back and forth of a young adult user and his parents.

If you are concerned, even a tiny bit, act.  Act now.  Don’t wait.  Don’t worry about offending your kid.  Don’t worry about looking silly with professionals.  It’s so much easier to halt the disasters that mental illness and drug abuse bring by addressing it as early as possible.  We were never in denial, but always counseled to not be so quick to jump to conclusions.  In hind sight, I wish we’d pursued this even more vigilantly -especially before he turned 18, because that’s a turning point that changes the parental role forever.

Go forth and be strong, parents.  We believe in you and your young addicts.  There is a better life ahead.

Midwestern Mama

Coming soon – signs to look for

Tin foil. Fast-food receipts. Fabreeze. Paper clips. Often there are clues about our young addicts’ use that we may not even realize have anything to do with drugs or alcohol. In an upcoming post, Midwestern Mama will share some of the things she noticed when her son started using. Feel free to share your discoveries on the blog, on twitter @OurYoungAddicts or our brand new Facebook page.

T.G.I. (Almost) F.

It’s one of those weeks when anything and everything has happened.  In fact, it feels like it should be Friday instead of Thursday!  I’m looking forward to it being Friday evening, in particular, because my husband and I are going out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary (which is actually today).  We will hold hands, talk about all the wonders of the past 26 years, and dream of what the future brings. 

Neither of us anticipated having a child with addiction or mental illness issues.  While there is some family history, we really had few indicators relative to our son.  We still scratch our heads on when and why it happened.  I think parents always wonder and seek insights about these types of things.

Our anniversary also brings up an addiction memory — it was three years ago on our anniversary that our son landed in detox and the ER.  It was just a few days into his freshman year of college.  He drank too much, smoked to much weed and took pills.  He passed out in the snow in sub-zero temperatures.  We found out about this a few days later … on our anniversary. He’s lucky to have lived through this.  He’s still lucky to be alive. 

While we knew he was abusing drugs, we did not know if he was an addict.  That event made it clear that he was gripped by addiction.

We are blessed with a strong marriage that has weathered the impact of addiction to date, and one that I believe will endure no matter how our son’s journey continues to evolve.  It has not been easy, but I am forever grateful for an amazing partner.

In retrospect, our son’s addiction has required a commitment to communication, proving emotional support for each other, giving each other space as needed to process feelings, consensus on what to do, etc.  We have trusted each other to make the best decisions with the information at hand when there have been times that we couldn’t both be there (like three years ago when our son ran away from a treatment center in the mountains of Western Montana).  We have relied on each other to pick roles that suited us – one was the paperwork, process and financial person when it came to appointments and insurance; one was the resource finder, connector, note taker, journal keeper.  Together. 

More recently, we’ve been impacted as members of the Sandwich Generation – caring for our kids and our parents.  My mother in-law has had a number of medical situations and is currently recovering from surgery, so my husband has been dealing with that, and you know what I’ve been dealing with:)

At night, we hug and share our gratitude and hopes.  We might watch a TV show together or listen to music giving us a chance to let go of family situations and recharge for the next day. 

I’ve got client meetings and class tonight, client meetings tomorrow … and then, it’s time to go out with my husband and have a date night.  Thank Goodness It’s (Almost) Friday!

 

A Welcome Phone Call

Parents of  addicts  await and dread the phone call. Will it bring bad news, the unspeakable? Will it be the call for help?  I was surprised and pleased to receive a call from an unidentified number earlier this evening.  My son called to say he is at the new halfway house, he’s in.  I believe this means he passed the UA drug test; clean and sober is a requirement for admission.  He sounded much better than earlier in the day when we were trying to reach him and see if he would accept this Opportunity of a bed and funding to continue recovery programming.  Even though he has been with his user friends the past few days, It appears he hasn’t used.  He asked for his meds (hasn’t taken these since Tuesday) and a towel. No prob – will get there’s to him between work meetings.  High hopes! Thanks for hanging in there with me on the blog and twitter.

More to come, I am extremely sure of that:)

sleep well

Midwestern Mama

He is on his way. Will his UA be clean?

Quick update.  My son just called to confirm the address.  That’s positive.  When he gets there, they will give him a UA (urine analysis) drug test to confirm that he is clean and hasn’t used.  I hope, hope, hope he can do that.  He says he hasn’t used since before treatment, not even in the past few days of limbo.  I sure hope he’s telling the truth.

A Second Chance for Midwestern Mama’s Son

Addicts of all ages deserve a better, more fulfilling life.  I strongly believe that no one wakes up and decides he wants to be an addict.  If anything, it just happens.  Sure, it’s the results or consequence of choices, but those likely weren’t the original intentions.

From a parent’s perspective, I think it’s understandable – even reasonable – to ask, “What were you thinking?”  Frankly, the addict wasn’t thinking, wasn’t even capable of thinking.  Addiction got the better of them. 

Yet, as a parent, I still wonder why my young addict says and does the things he says and does.  More over, I grapple with why the words and actions rarely match up.  And then I remember that it’s part addiction, part mental illness (in my son’s case), partly a lack of perspective (as Mid Atlantic Mom wrote about), and partly age, partly the chemicals (substance and brain).  It’s many, many parts that add up all funky.

I can rationalize this.  I can understand it on a text book level.  I can even relate to it from an experiential perspective – after all, we’ve been witness to this for quite a few years.

Recognizing all this, I am again wondering what will happen next.  Nothing will surprise me, good or bad.  That’s just the reality of being the parent of a young addict.  However, nothing will stop me from hoping and praying that this is the day that he makes another small commitment to sobriety and recovery, and that in time his steps will be bigger and more confident.

About two hours ago, my son received a second chance at continuing his recovery program in a new halfway house, the one he originally said he preferred.  A bed became available.  Funding became available.  But we had to reach him and get a “yes” by 2 p.m.  By the grace of God, we did reach him and he did say, “yes.”

We were willing and ready to give him a ride right then and there.  He declined a ride from us.  He says his friends (users themselves) will give him a ride there and ensure he arrives by 4 p.m. today.  If not, the halfway house will have to give the bed and recovery opportunity to someone else … who really wants it.  

The halfway house and the funder have done their parts, nothing short of a small miracle.  Our son says, “yes.”  That’s a small miracle, too.  What will be a true miracle is if he actually shows up, on time and works the program.  You know what they say:  the program works when you work the program.  Words are one thing, but actions are what it’s all about when it comes to sobriety and recovery.

I am grateful that he has another opportunity.  (Since becoming an addict, this kid has had opportunity after opportunity.  He seems to attract them.  He also tends to waste them.)  

Today, right now, I am praying for all of you and the individual places you are on your journey.  You may be an addict.  You may be a parent, a teacher, clergy, family member, neighbor.  Whoever you are, I pray for you and am so glad you have joined Mid Atlantic Mom and me as part of our community of caring people who are concerned about the young addicts in our lives.

Will he show up at the new halfway house in the next 45 minutes?  As soon as I know, I will share with you.

Journey on ….

Midwestern Mama

 

Always hopeful, ever realistic

There have been few surprises on our son’s addiction journey.  That’s not to say we have been able to predict the future nor that we always have all the facts, however, it has followed patterns of other addicts and patterns that are uniquely his own.  We’ve just gotten pretty good at expecting the unexpected/expected.  With that, we’ve also become calmer and more accepting.  It’s just what our life is about.  We do our part, but cannot control the other things going on.

And do our part, we do.  My husband is a problem solver.  I am a connecter, a doer.  Together, we are in this together and whether we are directly trying to help our son or offering guidance, experience and a shoulder to others, we are compelled to do our part.

Before I tell you what I felt I needed to do this morning, let me fill you in on what transpired this weekend.  Since walking away from the halfway house on Wednesday evening, the family has not heard from my son.  By Friday, however, his older sister started posting on Facebook and friends pointed to a photo he had been tagged in.  She reached out to this person and introduced herself.  Meanwhile, I looked the person up on Instagram and found a photo of my son and some friends; they were using drugs and he was sitting there with them.  I do not know if he was using, but he was certainly around them and that’s hardly a good place for someone in recovery … if he is indeed in recovery.  I tried to hold back from entering the online exchange, but felt the urge to at least say we were concerned and hoped he would reach out to us.

So far, not contact with us, but he did call his sister from a friend’s phone late Saturday night.  Said he didn’t like the halfway house (after just a few hours of being there), planned to stay sober and would go to his first-choice halfway house when a bed became available in early February.  He even said, he had already talked to them about this. 

As always, this sounds good on the surface, but addicts are adept liars.  Hate to say it, but they are.  If he’s telling the truth, it still doesn’t align with his actions.

Meanwhile, here’s what else I was compelled to do and I believe it was my Higher Power’s will for me:  I called the “preferred” halfway house.  The intake director said he was glad I called because he needed to reach my son as a bed was opening up this week.  I updated him on the situation as he was not aware. But he said, this isn’t uncommon and if our son could provide a clean Urine Analysis, that he would go to bat to help him get the funding to admit to their program as soon as possible.  In other words, in spite of the poor choice and actions, my son my have another chance to continue his treatment recovery within a halfway program.

Now, we just need to reach our son and see if his word is good, if he truly wants to do it.  So far, we’ve not been able to find him, but his “friends” say they will let him know we have good news to share.

As much as I hope he will get back with the program and that everything will work out, I am ever realistic that it may just be him saying whatever he thinks we all want to hear.  Either way, he has a clear choice and his answer will be one of the first truths we’ve heard in a long, long time — even if it’s not what we would choose for him.  Only he knows which way he’ll choose.  It’s his choice. 

Midwestern Mama

 

Parents: Always Trust Your Gut

I call it my Mom Radar.  You might call it your gut or guidance from God.  Whatever it is, it’s that little voice that parents of young addicts must always listen to.  Over the past few days – from our Sunday session with our son and his counselor at treatment to arriving yesterday at the halfway house, I sensed something was amiss.  My husband sensed it too, all along, while I tried to maintain positive and see baby steps of progress.

My son called yesterday afternoon.  He sounded down and asked again when I’d have his new phone and new number for him, oh and could I please bring him his backpack too.  On the phone subject, he had gotten rid of his old SIM card, so getting a new one required me to go into the phone store and it was more convenient for me to do this later in the week.  (The reason for the new number and SIM card was so that old friends, dealers, users, etc. couldn’t reach him – it was to give him a fresh start.)  The backpack request really made me uneasy.  There was really no reason for it unless he was planning to bolt.  He’s done that before.  It’s his coping mechanism.

Either way, I said I’d get the phone and backpack to him over the weekend.

This morning, the phone rang.  It was the halfway house.  Bad news they said.  I knew what they would say next.  He’d left.  Evidently just slipped out after dinner last night and hadn’t come back.  Left his belongings.  They said he hadn’t really engaged in any conversations or participated in any of the group activities yesterday; he was really keeping to himself.  Pretty typical, actually.

From their perspective, this seemed like a thought out, well executed plan.  I believe it was too.

He can’t go back now — other than to get his things.  He would have to go back to treatment, start over.  That’s just how the rules and laws go.  Once a client leaves the halfway house, and probably uses drugs (relapse), they are not eligible for that level of care and must take the higher level care.

This all points to the deepness and seriousness of our son’s addiction.  We’ve never been in denial.  Never.  But we have been hopeful, and this time, he got further along the road to recovery than ever before.  (OK that’s my positivity coming through again.)

I am worried.  He does not have his meds with him.  The antidepressant should not be skipped or stopped cold turkey.  The naltrexone is ok to go off, however, it’s purpose is to block the effects of Herioin and opioids like Oxycontin, Vicoden, etc.  Without taking naltrexone, he can feel those effect.

Heroin has one of the highest risks of relapse.  Another scary statistic about heroin relapse is that when a person has gone without using (in my son’s case about 45 days now), their tolerance is lowered and so if they use again at the same level as before they will likely overdose.  Many initial Heroin relapses result in overdoses and often death.

OK, I’ve said it.

We want to find him.  We hope he is not suicidal.  We hope he is safe (relatively speaking).  We hope he will realize this wasn’t what he wanted to do.

I know he must be feeling low (or high – pun intended).  I know he is hurting.  I know he feels unsupported.  I am sorry he has these feelings – it’s not what a loving parent wants.

Just to be clear, let me reiterate:  Always trust your gut.

Midwestern Mama

 

 

Onward, Young Addict

This morning went as planned.  Actually, so did last evening.  Phew!

Amid the chaos of transition from treatment to the halfway house, I’m pleased with the general and genuine helpfulness of every participant.  My son was skeptical and a bit combative.  Some of his manipulative, emotionally charged language showed, but overall he was even tempered and collective patience of all participants paid off.

We were fortunate that his great aunt and great uncle live near the treatment program and were willing to have him stay the night at their house.  It was a neutral, if not positive, place for this period of limbo.  His great uncle then brought him to the halfway house this morning and I met them there.  So grateful for family.

I met the intake counselor and one of the techs.  It felt good to see the neighborhood and get a feel for the program.  The counselor gave me a copy of the client handbook, which outlines three phases moving from highly restrictive to moderate to ready for discharge.  It’s anywhere from 30 to 90 days of programming, and likely the recommendation of a sober house for continued aftercare.

This particular program is 12-step.  It does not thrill my son, who has issues with the “powerless” and “higher power” concepts.  (His treatment program was based on a modality called Health Realization.)  They seem accommodating, however, and I hope he will be too.  For the first five days, he must stay on premises and cannot have calls or visitors.  After that, there is more freedom along with structure and accountability.

He will continue taking an antidepressant and an opioid blocker (Naltrexone) to aid in his recovery.  He will be connected with a primary care, psychiatrist and therapist for continuing care in addition to the AA/NA and group work at the halfway house.

We hugged and said I love yous.  I told him we are proud of him, but he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess.”  He’s young.

Midwestern Mama

 

SNAFU in process, solution pending.

It’s another Midwestern winter day.  Snow.  Poor visibility.  Dangerous driving conditions.  I was gearing up for the 45-minute drive to pick up my son when the phone rang this morning.  It was the halfway house.

They were calling to apologize for a big goof up on their part.  The bed they thought was available for our son today is not available, and the treatment center already gave away his bed to a new client.  He’s without a bed tonight.

For myriad reasons, coming to our house is not a smart option.  Neither is a night in a shelter.  This is the proverbial pickle.  We are waiting for the treatment center and halfway house to find a solution. Understandably, our son is feeling and expressing feelings of frustration, fear, concern, anger, bitterness, resentment.  This is a real test for him.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone back about my day.  I’m at the office.  As the parent of a Young Addict, I am accustomed to these glitches.  If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  That’s addiction.  In the early days, this might have sent me off the deep end; instead, I am calm and confident.  I am letting go while being available to do my part.  I am trusting that the right thing will happen and from this experience, we will be gifted another blessing of strength and resiliency.

As I briefly review this post prior to publishing, I realize it is full of cliches.  I dislike cliches, but often these are the only thing that seem to accurately express addiction.  Oh well, I will let go of wrinkling my nose at cliches!

Wishing all of you the best today.  And if not the best of days, the best of dealing with the day.

Hugs,

Midwestern Mama

 

 

Ready or not, here I come

Tomorrow morning I will pick up my son at treatment. Due to complications with finding an available half way house, his 28 day treatment has lasted 42 days. I am great for the extra days. He is ready for a new routine. He would like to return to complete freedom but is far from ready. The half way house will provide transition. Ready or not, this is the next chapter. In an upcoming post I will share my impressions.

Waiting for What’s Next, Appreciating What’s Now

As our son wrapped up his 28-day treatment program, the recommended next phase was to go to a halfway house for additional recovery work.  His counselor recommended two and he seemed open to the idea.  There is quite a waiting list for halfway houses, so the idea was he’d take either option based on first availability.  Instead,  when the first one came through, he said he didn’t think it met his needs and wanted to wait for the second one.  Due to some processing glitches, he had to start the application and waiting process again, which has caused complications not the least of which is the program he wants doesn’t have availability until February 1 and his funding is tapped for where he is now.  He said he wanted to come home in the interim.  His counselor doesn’t recommend this nor do we think it’s a good idea.  Therefore, he’s in limbo, and I dare say it’s less about where he will actually go next as whether that place is closer to recovery or addiction.  (I am reminded that “the road to Recovery often goes through Relapse,” and that the days and months following treatment are influential.)

A new option now came available for Monday – good news! However, it seems like our son is balking at this.  Hmm.  A pattern?  A pattern.  We are set for a final family session Sunday afternoon at treatment with our son and his counselor.  We are curious and hopeful about what’s next.  We are also concerned and skeptical.  As always it comes down to his openess and willingness to embrace recovery.  We’ll have to make our own choices about how to accept this regardless of his decision.

Throughout our son’s addiction, I’ve sought several sources of support including Al-Anon, a therapist, online groups (the reason MidAtlantic Mom and I started Our Young Addicts, and how we originally connected), reading, writing, study, prayer, meditation and more.  I am grateful for the tools I have gained and am continuing to learn to use.  Instead of being as frustrated and overwhelmed as I could be, I am better able to accept and let go.

Today, I am appreciating many things about this current chapter with Our Young Addict.  He is in treatment.  He is warm and well fed.  He is not using.  We know where he is.  We know who he is with.  We know we didn’t cause this, can’t change this, can’t cure this.  I am appreciating having time to process my thoughts as I sit in front on the fire place in our home.  I am appreciating that the deep-freeze temps we’ve had have passed and that I could take our dog to the park.  I am appreciating some time alone at home while my husband and youngest son are at a sports tournament.  I am appreciating that my daughter and her fiance will come visit tomorrow.  I am appreciating that I have so much to appreciate!

Stay tuned.  I will update you on our son’s next steps and in the meantime, I will focus on Now instead of What’s Next.

Midwestern Mama

Practicing Patience

Parenthood has taught me – or offered many opportunities to learn – patience.  During my three pregnancies, I learned that timing was not up to me.  Each child arrived when they were good and ready … and not necessarily on the designated due date.   When they were infants, I learned that their needs came first and that the notion of feeding and diapering schedules was nothing but a myth put out by Dr. Spock.

Each of them learned different skills at different time – one was an early walker at 9 months, another didn’t walk until 13 months.  One learned to ride a two-wheel bike at age three, another was closer to 8 years old. It didn’t really matter because each learned to do what they needed to when they were ready.  As they learned, so did I.

I am reminded of these lessons in patience as we await next steps for our son’s treatment and recovery.  He officially wrapped up his treatment program last week, but he’s still there because there’s not yet an opening at any of the half-way house programs.  He’s ready to move on.

There’s very little I can do to move things along any quicker than they are.  It’s frustrating that the timeline isn’t what we’d like it to be, what we expected.  It’s a lesson in patience that the right place will come along at the right time.  It’s a lesson in patience to not know which place that will be.  It’s a lesson in patience to not jump in and try to see if there is anything I can do – it’s up to him and his counselor to work through the system, and I must let them.

This is an opportunity to practice patience, again.

Midwestern Mama