April 27, 2011

A Little Lonelier Journey

“While we cannot be responsible for the decisions of others, we are accountable for the choices we make following those decisions.” 

It is hard to believe that a little over two weeks ago I was celebrating the completion of the 100 Pedals commitment.  On that Sunday morning Brandon and I rode together for the last few miles of that ride and I enjoyed a tremendous sense of accomplishment.  Now, two weeks later as I have come down off the mountain, I am experiencing a repeat of the pain, loss and disappointment relating to Brandon’s addiction as I discovered that he cashed his first paycheck and used it for destructive purposes.  With that news, I tossed him and his stuff out the door and informed him that I cannot tolerate, accept or live with the decisions anymore.

Nothing is more puzzling, frustrating, or hurtful to me than to see someone make decisions like this.  He has been clean for nearly ninety days.  He has a job.  He has a good friend who has been by his side encouraging him to make good decisions.  He had access to a guitar last week for around three days and was able to celebrate and enjoy his music.  He was engaged in sharing quotes with me for these posts and would comment on the posts that most resonated with him.  He was doing many things quite well.  Then this – decisions that derail and destroy every addict’s recovery.

As I share this story, I was reminded of something I said to a friend last week when we were talking about their children.  As their son was struggling with changes in his family regarding an impending divorce, I said “your son can be upset and angry with you for your decision in your marriage; however, the choices he makes in response to that are his decisions and you are not accountable for them.”

I cannot control Brandon’s choices.  I have learned that already.  I have also learned that there is no logical explanation for any of the choices an addict, in recovery or not, makes.  What I am struggling with is the decisions I have made in response to his decisions.  Is there a way to coach, learn, love, and work through this?  Was and is the best answer to make a clear and definitive statement that his failures cannot be supported or accommodated anymore?  These are tough questions and there are hundreds of ideas with few clear and defining solutions.

This morning I am left to take the steps in my life to keep moving on in my journey.  I learned through 100 Pedals to stay focused and strong even when Brandon is not.  I would prefer he were here.  I would rather be celebrating another day with him.  However, he has made is choices and I have made my decisions.  In the scheme of things – life must and does go on.  It is just a little lonelier on today’s journey.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.