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!