March 25, 2013

Managing The Storms In Our Life

“While the choices and decisions of others hurt, confound, and destroy; the choices you make are what define where you are going and how you will get there.”

Handcuffed - 100PedalsI knew that something was seriously wrong as I watched the police walk up my stairs to the front door.  Brandon had just come over and was going to hang out for a while.  Immediately, I sensed they were here for him.  Since everything appeared to be headed in a better direction in his life, I was hoping that my fears would be calmed and that their visit had another purpose.

I was wrong.

They were here for him.  They identified him, handcuffed him, searched him, and led him away.  He didn’t say anything.  He didn’t try to give me any information.  One minute he was here and the next minute he was not.

Who knows where he is, what is going to happen next or how long he will be gone.

That was my Saturday night.  Certainly not the one I was looking forward to.

I had a very sleepless night.  I woke up often, slept little, and my mind raced.  Despite the fact that I am hurt, angry, worried, concerned, and disappointed, I am also finding my own peace in the midst of chaos.

I love each of my children more than anything.  I desire for them to celebrate the life they have and to discover the joy that exists within them to be who they are and love who they are.  But, my children, like your children, are human.  And, some people just seem destined to follow their own unique, challenging, scary, stupid, and inexplicable path.

Here is where I find my inner peace.  As much as Brandon’s path hurts, confounds, and confuses — it is his life.  While I am responsible to him for love, guidance, support, and advice — I cannot define, control, or change his choices.  This is his path and his journey.

As I sit here today, drinking my coffee, writing this article, and feeling his absence, I remind myself that who I am, where I am going, and what I have committed to live and do is not defined by, or can be interrupted by, the life Brandon has chosen to live.  He is on his very special, unique journey.  I am on mine.  He is loved more than any son can be loved.  That is all I can do, especially now.

Life interrupts our momentum with the biggest of hurts, distractions and challenges.  No one enjoys them, looks forward to them, or even asks for them.  They come anyway.  What you do, where you go, and how you live in the face of these adversities is measured by how effectively you stay on your path as you go through it.  Adversities can slow you and distract you — but, they also define you.  When the storm hits — be strong, stay focused, and keep moving.  Trust your path and you will get through it.  And, remind yourself to trust that others are on their very unique path, as well — their journey is not yours to define or manage.

This is how I am finding peace in a very dark place.  I hope you can and will too!

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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.