30 Days of Gratitude 2016

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday and each year during November I take time to capture 30 days of Gratitude. When you’re in the throes of a loved one’s addiction, it can be difficult to muster up gratitude – yet it’s there, every day, if you look for it.

During my son’s addiction days, I would say a prayer of gratitude for those things I was thankful for in spite of the challenges, crises and chaos we were experiencing. It made a positive difference.

Now in recovery, we have even more things to be grateful for and it gives us a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come. Please join us as part of #Gratitude2016, and if you want some ideas, check out posts from 2014 and 2015.

#Gratitude2014

https://ouryoungaddicts.com/2014/11/

#Gratitude2015

https://ouryoungaddicts.com/2015/11/

With gratitude,

Midwestern Mama

©2016 Our Young Addicts   All Rights Reserved.

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

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

An Attitude of Gratitude

Our Young Addicts is celebrating Thanksgiving Month by posting 30 Days of Gratitude. Let us know what you’re thankful for. Midwestern Mama starts us off with the first three days of November.

It’s Thanksgiving month. By far and away, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – perhaps because it’s all about an attitude of gratitude celebrated with family and friends enjoying a delicious meal.

Three years ago, I penned my first column about being the parent of a young addict. I often go back to this column which reflects a difficult realization, but one that also is grounded in gratitude. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not sure if my son will be at our Thanksgiving table this year. And, I need him to be. He always helps make the cornbread stuffing.

“Mom! How could you even say something so ridiculous?” my son likely would respond with disbelief.

But it’s shaping up to be the hardest thing I’ve ever expressed to date. While I could never say he’s not welcome, it’s honest to say his drug addiction is not welcome. He is the son we have always loved, and will always love, but he is not the son we have always known.

There are actually several reasons why he might not be there – from the unthinkable (drug-related death or disappearance) to the hopeful (he’ll have admitted himself for drug treatment).

He’s on his own with his life choices these days. Notice, I didn’t say the choice to be addicted. He didn’t choose addiction; he is its victim and we are the witnesses.

As you know, my son is now more than 100 days sober and is sincerely making efforts to turn his life around. How far he has come! Gratefully, 2014 is a far different year than the ones that preceded the inaugural column. All the same this year has had its ups and downs with addiction and recovery, which inspired me to share 30 days of gratitude via Twitter @OurYoungAddicts this year. Join MidAtlantic Mom and me in sharing what you’re grateful for!

Day 1: I am grateful for my husband and our three children.

Day 2: I am grateful for my home, and even more grateful that my son is no longer choosing to be homeless.

Day 3: I am grateful for all the caring people we have met during our son’s addiction – counselors, parents, and more.

Midwestern Mama