“Either you are working on your recovery or you are working on your relapse.”
Yes, I said this. I said it to my son. Frustrated by his commitment to self-manage a recovery program that lacks focus, hard work, and a high standard for continuous improvement and progress, I made the statement.
Someday he might understand there is more to recovery than merely the quest to be happy, to have a job, and to be clean. Don’t get me wrong. Those are awesome foundational objectives. They are a great place to start. But, the standard of care required to get there, stay there, and move forward from there is much higher than simply trying to exist there.
Life is about continuous improvement. It is about constantly striving to better yourself – learning, discovering, challenging, pushing, competing – doing something to continuously develop what you have been given and take it to newer heights, levels, and experiences.
There are times where the addicted mind is not all that different from the mind of others. There are a lot of people who are afraid, committed, determined to maintain the status quo of their existence. The prospect of change, improvement, risk and adventure is more than they can handle. Unfortunately, like many addicts, they get stuck in their life and find that it is empty and unfulfilled.
Watching my son take laps in this life of addiction and living the frustration of his being stuck is painful. Generally, I have become really good at removing myself from his life, unfortunately his recent relapse somehow has drawn me in and it really pisses me off.
This is that moment in time where I have to remind myself what I need to do to maintain a healthy separation from his addiction. Just like I shared with him, I am either focusing on my recovery or I am preparing for my relapse. I am not getting caught up in the drama, the bullshit, and the chaos of his choices. I have been there and I have worked far too hard to find harmony in my life free from his addictive garbage.
It is a difficult and unfortunate situation where parents have to learn to distance themselves from their child’s chaotic world. But, those that have learned to manage this effectively have discovered a life to be celebrated and have realized their child has to be empowered and responsible for their outcomes. We are not giving up, we do not stop loving, we are maintaining balance, focus, and strength by living the life we have been called to live. This is not a time for a personal relapse.