September 8, 2014

The cure and clarity in solitude

Now, I was making the same drive alone, with nothing but my thoughts, my emotions, my fears, and my pain. It was a very long, quiet, tearful ride home. I had a lot of time to think, reflect, hope, and dream. Road trips can be very beneficial at times; this was certainly one of those cases. ~ DC, “Behind the Dumpster”

Solitude - 100PedalsNever underestimate the power of escape. In the daily chaos of an addiction affected life, far too many parents completely immerse themselves into the issue until they have nothing left to offer or get completely lost on their journey. The obsession to fix, solve, love, understand, protect, save or survive can obsessively take over our lives.  We lose sleep, we shed or gain weight, we stress out, we shun friends and relationships, we hide our shame and our guilt, and we slowly, systematically destroy ourselves.  All in pursuit of something we have no control over – our child’s recovery.

When I captured this thought in my book, I was lamenting my drive from Detroit back to Phoenix.  The previous time I had made this trip it was with my youngest son, Brandon.  We drove from Detroit to Phoenix to move my business there. It was our best father-son road trip. We laughed, relaxed, enjoyed quality one-on-one time, and we made it an interesting adventure.  It was the high point of my relationship experiences with him.

On this next, particular road trip, I was alone. I had gone to Detroit to rescue my son. He had been arrested. He was homeless. He was seriously addicted to heroin. He needed his dad. I went there to help him, to see what I could do to move him to Phoenix and give him a new start. Unfortunately, he had some legal obligations that prevented me from taking him to Phoenix.  Instead, I watched him go back into jail to participate in a 30-day recovery program and I was left to return to Phoenix alone with nothing but my thoughts.

It is normal for life to present us with adversity and challenges. Those associated with a child’s addiction are incredibly more intense and difficult. Nothing can be fixed or improved by reacting to the problem. But, everything can be better managed when we respond to the  situation.  Accomplishing this requires we have made time to think, reflect and better understand what is going on.  Clarity, commitment, strength, and courage all come from being organized and introspective.

This where peace, quiet, solitude and reflection are so important. Event though the time alone was very powerful, I didn’t take full advantage of my long journey home from Detroit that day because I became so obsessed with fixing, solving, and understanding the problem that I did not step back far enough from it to discover better potential outcomes or responses.  I was still reacting to the situation.

Make time to be quiet, to escape, to find an internal peace in your mind, your body and your soul. Once you are quiet and relaxed, you will discover the answers to your most difficult and challenging questions. You will find the strength to carry on. You will discover the inspiration and the courage to have clear and constructive conversations with your child and others. You will find uncover great ideas.  You may not like them and that is your option.  However, the best ideas come when your energy is positive and clear and relaxed.  I cannot share this little piece of wisdom enough – make time every single day to be quiet, to escape and to discover – it will completely change your life.  Peace!

Looking for a safe, confidential, and convenient forum to interact and share with other parents dealing with addiction in their family? Every Tuesday, 100Pedals conduct the Parents’ Support Network – an open, confidential, online chat room for parents to share their stories, learn from each other, and offer hope, love, insight, and encouragement.  Please join us.  If you wish to learn more – click on this link.

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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.