Thanksgiving Blessing for Young Addicts, their Families & Friends

Four years ago on Thanksgiving, Midwestern Mama began writing a column on addiction and parenting for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. It included  this Thanksgiving blessing:

Great Spirit,

In this season of Thanksgiving, my blessings are plenty and my hope is eternal. Bless the addicts, their families and friends, who pray they will know brighter days ahead.Days when passion, goodness, potential and wisdom will again guide their lives. Days when there is triumph over addiction. Days when the people we once knew return. Days when they believe we’re on their side and would help in any way we could.

Days when they will know they always have been and always will be loved.

Peace,

Midwestern Mama

©2015 Our Young Addicts            All Rights Reserved

Grateful – Today and Everyday

Lately, we’ve had very little drama, very little chaos in our family. For this, I am grateful. Very, very grateful. As the mom of a 20-something kid in recovery, I have every reason to be happy and appreciative for normal, everyday things – things that many might take for granted.

Part of accepting and moving forward in the darkest and most difficult of times required that I pause to recognize whatever positive I could – at times when it seemed somewhat impossible. I embraced the “attitude of gratitude” with all the energy and commitment that I could during the addiction days.

If you’re a parent dealing with a young person’s addiction, please know you are not alone. Reach out. There are plenty of us moms and dads who know what you’re going through. We are a community ready to share experiences, resources and hopes.

I am grateful for the Our Young Addicts community. Together, we are finding and sharing gratitude no matter the circumstances.

Check out our 30 Days of Gratitude on Twitter to see what I’m thankful for this year, and add your own days of gratitude. You’ll find these posts if you search for #Gratitude2015, and see what was there last year #Gratitude2014

On Thanksgiving Day, please check out the special blessing that I wrote at a time when things seems hopeless, at a time when being hopeful was the most important thing that I could do.

#OYACommunity

 

Gratitude – Then and Now

With November arriving soon, Midwestern Mama is pleased to bring back the ever-successful “30 Days of Gratitude” initiative. Look for daily Twitter posts starting Nov. 1. #Gratitude2015 #OYACommunity

When your kid is in active addiction and recovery seems like a slim, distant possibility, it’s hard to embrace gratitude. Yet, the “attitude of gratitude” is a life saver as many parents will tell you.

Addiction can be all consuming for parents, family members and friends. We get wrapped up in the horrors and fear that addiction brings to our lives. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming that we can’t see ANY of the good things – the things for which we are thankful.

At night, when I was wondering where my son was, what he was up to, how he was feeling, what would happen next … and more. Exhausted from worry, not to mention all the responsibilities that I shouldered during the daytime, my mind would race instead of being able to settle into much-needed rest.

During those times, I would shift my focus to think about all the good things that had happened that day. I would start with remembering the day from alarm clock to work, family time, and climbing into bed.

In reality, most of the things that I worried about with our young addict were beyond my control. In fact, some days I hadn’t even had contact with him. I could imagine what was going on (and, yes was mostly right), but I did not know for certain.

I had to learn to let go as best I could and be the best mom to our other children, the best wife and friend to my husband, the best co-worker at the office, the best teacher to my college students ,etc. By best, I don’t mean some unrealistic heroine, rather simply do the best that I could because these roles and facets of my life were important to me, and these were the very places where I could have a positive impact.

Each evening as I went to sleep during those long years of addiction, I would make the effort to think through the good things in life … and yes, say a prayer that these good things would soon apply to my young addict.

In November 2014, my son was nearly four months sober. These were some of the best days we’d experienced in a long time. In such a short time of sobriety, our family had come a long way toward recovery – his and ours. I decided that I would dedicate the month of November – Thanksgiving – to 30 Days of Gratitude on Twitter, Facebook and this blog.

The 30 Days of Gratitude (#Gratitude2014) was sensationally popular within the Our Young Addicts community, so I’m bringing it back for #Gratitude2015 and hope you will join us no matter where you may be on the spectrum of addiction and recovery. After all, there is always something for which we can be grateful.

I am eternally grateful for this community and look forward to sharing this year’s 30 Days of Gratitude with you!

Midwestern Mama