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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Positive and Grateful

OK, well life is hard, that we know. Life is challenging, oh yes it is! There are obstacles and barriers and sometimes everything seems to go wrong and nothing seems to go right. Some of us are in such a state very briefly in our lives and then we are back on track. For others, and yes myself included, it seems to be an ongoing struggle with one hardship after another.


Today I am thinking, enough with the problems, they are still there and they will be there tomorrow, but for now, enough already.

Let's focus on what is good and what is working and what is right. We all have things that we can be happy and grateful about, I am sure of it. Sometimes we have to look very hard before we see what is right before our eyes. I want everyone to think of three things they are grateful for, even if they are amidst ongoing issues and a slaughter of problems and turmoil.

My youngest daughter and I have been keeping a "Grateful Book" since mid January. Some nights I struggle to find three things that I am grateful for because it is more challenging to try to think of different reasons and not just put down the same stuff over and over again. My older daughter tried once and quickly gave up. According to her it made her more depressed to be faced with the challenge because it made her painfully aware that there was in fact nothing for her to be grateful for. Well, I am delighted that after a conversation with me and her her counsellor she is willing to have a go at writing downs things she is grateful for.


What am I grateful for? Well my list is varied and sometimes simplistic and sometimes more complex. Sometimes I am grateful that I provided a good meal for my daughters and myself. Sometimes I am grateful for things that give me joy in my life, such as music, food, friends, my sister, warmth etc. Sometimes I think I am grateful to have this blog (11, 480 views thank you everyone who is reading), I am grateful I am still sane and appreciate my ability to laugh, I am glad my son is alive, I am glad I am managing to maintain my health and that we have a home to live in with running water, heating and electricity. Of course I am grateful to be alive, but sometimes that is too much of a cliché because lets admit it, sometimes in our darkest days we are not actually grateful for that. I even come up with things like,  "I am grateful for my body and that I have all its parts and I can move with ease". There are things to be grateful for, yes there are, no matter how little or silly or superficial they may seem, we are definitely grateful for so many things and we must not loose sight of that.

Addiction is a horrendous disease that like no other disease, the person who is sick does not often want to be helped. Any other disease and we are running to the doctor and asking for help, for tests, for medication etc. I am suffering because my son is sick and his disease has left it's mark on the family. No one can give me a pill to cure it. No can can wave a magic wand and fix it all. As far as I know, no one has a time machine so that I can go back into time and change things for the better. What I can do is to stay positive and refocus my energies on making life better while realising that every day of my life has had an element of good in it.

So my son is not here living the life that I, as his mother, believe he should be living. That does not change the fact that I was and still am a very good mother. I gave so much love and nurture and good times to my son, and I know it is still inside him, somewhere.

I may not be living in the lap of luxury and instead experiencing great financial strains and worries, but I have never been homeless and I have always been able to feed my children and keep them safe and warm.

I may have had a very unhappy marriage and one that we probably both regret and, if honest, we would both admit that it was something that "just happened" and not as a result of a great love for each; however,  I know that at times in my life I have been loved and I have experienced love and passion, even if very briefly.

I may not have travelled as much and given my children all the holidays that I would have liked, but we do have some fantastic memories of some very good holidays and have been fortunate to see some beautiful places in the world.

I may not have created a successful career but I know that I am educated and have a good mind and a caring heart. I believe that I can turn this nightmare into a positive learning experience and reach out to others and offer support and empathy to other families out there who are torn apart from addiction. Also, I am sure that there is someone out there that will eventual be able to help my son when my son is ready..

I am VERY grateful for all of you who read my blog and comment and share your stories. I try to respond to all of you, but I am sometimes unable to as quickly as I would like. My blog means a lot to me not only because it is very cathartic for me and helps me express my situation and feelings in a safe environment, but it also gives me satisfaction that I believe it is doing some good. Also, as I have mentioned recently I started a Facebook Page offering support for families of addiction, and in just 3 weeks it has received 275 "likes". I am struck by how so many people need this support and really hope I can make a difference.

Thank you and remember to be grateful for something every day!