Once Charles started down the path of drug addiction, I struggled with the loss of normal but even more than that, I grieved those moments in life that are rewards for having raised a child.
Who doesn’t love it when a child accomplishes something that makes us feel proud? After all, it’s those highlight reels what still dominate the Facebook feed.
There were moments I can now look back on that make me smile but as the drugs took over my child, they became rarer events. Slowly, I had to adjust my expectations. With each police run in or failed drug test, our hope drained a little more and I went from thinking about college to wishing he’d learn to manage his mental illness and develop positive coping skills to just hoping he’d live.
There were so many times I salivated over a potential proud momma moment only to have it ripped out from underneath me leaving me feel as if I was soaring from the top of a trapeze and then crashing to the floor having missed the safety net.
In conversation, I often didn’t have that much to add about Charles and no one wanted to hear the ugly stuff.
What was I going to say? “Today, no police came to our door.”
When those devastating moments were first happening–the drug tests that showed opiate use or the arrests–the emotional crashes were epic. As I attended my support group and things got worse, I adjusted my own expectations, realizing I had to live for myself and my own accomplishments. Not his.
After he died and I got his music lyrics, I realized I did have proud momma moments to savor and share which will be included in my book. Little did I know, he was accomplishing things only I was not aware of them.
So I will end with this piece from “Helping,” from Families Anonymous.
“I will have no thought for the future actions of others, neither expecting them to be better or worse as time goes on, for in such expectations I am really trying to create or control. I will love and let be.
All people are always changing. If I try to judge them, I do so only on what I think I know of them, failing to realize that there is much I do not know. I will give others credit for attempts at progress and for having had many victories that are unknown.”