Tag Archives: addiction

Let’s All Thank the Bright and Shiny Stars for Starbucks Caramel Frappuccini

(That’s the plural of frappuccino.)

Before I ran down to Sbux and got one, I was writing a most boring blog post which you would have been subjected to. Instead, I got a burst of energy from that little green and white lady and now you will be subjected to a possibly boring blog post, but at least I don’t feel like the most boring person to have ever lived.

So, about Alanon. Last night, Greg and I attended a local meeting for the second time. It’s a small group but seems to be a group of long-standing. I STILL don’t really get Alanon yet, but I’ve been to fewer than 10 meetings at four separate locations.

Last night the leader opened it up to discussion about any topic we wanted. As I raised my hand and made a suggestion, I discovered really quickly as he interrupted me that it’s any topic that is an ALANON topic. My question was about co-dependency, which isn’t an Alanon topic. Guess I have to go to co-dependents anonymous for that. I find myself listening to people and thinking, “Oh, I don’t do that.” Which probably means, I definitely do.

I can see that this organization helps a lot of people. I don’t really understand how, though. It just seems like such a slo-o-o-o-w way to progress. And I can’t decide if I already decided a long time ago that “[I] admitted that [I] was powerless over drugs — that [his] addiction had become unmanageable” or if I’m missing something very, very basic. Maybe a bit of both? I do not blame myself for his choices. I do not feel responsible for them. Yet, I recognize that our family dynamics have impacted all of our children, and while not responsible for any of their choices, have contributed to each’s experience.

I suppose there are pretty big differences between having an alcoholic parent, compared to having an alcoholic spouse, compared to having an alcoholic child. And maybe I’m still deluded to imagine there’s much difference between alcoholism and drug addiction. At least with alcohol, the alcoholic isn’t breaking a law every time they buy it and drink it.

“Why Alanon” is a question I still haven’t answered, except that I know my husband is getting good stuff from the meetings. I’d like to just rewrite that Step 1 to say, “We admitted we were powerless over drugs, that our addiction had become unmanageable, but that doesn’t mean we are powerless in every way in our lives, and therefore we have great resources available to us, through a higher power and through our own intuition and wisdom.” Except I don’t think that most people even believe that. And anyway, the point of step 1 is to give up control, or trying to control, or believing that we can control an addiction. And as much as I would like to be able to influence my son not to use drugs, I really am powerless over his decisions.

So, for tonight, let’s just leave it at me feeling quite the approach-avoidance conflict about the 12-step program for myself.

Yesterday Me, Today Me, Tomorrow Me

I read an article this morning by Jason Smith on Medium.com. Medium is sort of a social media site where people post long-form articles about a variety of topics. Jason has a book coming out in July about his experiences as a drug addict. His writing is compelling. It is, of course, a topic I am interested in.

This morning, Jason posted an article about “Yesterday Me.” The article illustrates the contrast between Yesterday Me, Today Me, and Tomorrow Me. Oh, I could relate.

“Every morning I’d wake up with the same thought:

Fuck you, yesterday me.”

My Yesterday Me always has a “great” idea of how to deal with whatever it is I am faced with, maybe a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies in the house, maybe a desire to get pizza, a good sale on my favorite chips while I’m at the grocery, perhaps just something talking me easily out of exercising … again. At least, when Yesterday Me was Today Me, it was a great idea. Because Yesterday Me believed that Tomorrow Me would possess all the self-control, genuinely great ideas, and willpower needed that Yesterday Me (which was Today Me at the time) didn’t have.

Yesterday Me is not a popular person in my brain. She gets some significant grief every single day, pretty much first thing.

For instance, this morning, my first thought was, “Yesterday Me, you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself for that poor excuse for a blog post last night.” Jason’s article was about the addict’s mind. Does that mean I am addicted to something? Or are these conditions present in everyone to one degree or another? (NB: I seem to be unable to link to Jason’s Medium post. I will investigate and see if I can remedy that.)

I wonder what would happen if I were to focus only on Today Me. Blah blah blah. It’s a good idea. I just wonder who would want to read this drivel? Me wallowing around in my weakness. Ugh. Alright, well, let’s say no one wants to read it. I want to write it, and it’s my blog, so.

I realize that Yesterday Me, Today Me, and Tomorrow Me are all the same people, and yet we aren’t.

YM thinks I can figure things out tomorrow when everything slows down. (ha) TodM always thinks that TomM will be able to take care of this issue better than TodM can. Funny thing is, TodM always turns into the reviled YM, and TomM sees YM when looking back. What mind games these are!

I sure do like for my blog posts to have a happy little lesson at the end, or some evidence that I have learned something and now All Is Well.

What if there is no Tomorrow Me? What if the only Me who can do anything about anything is the Today Me? So, what if I try this? Tomorrow Me is Today Me. If I believe in Tomorrow Me to be able to make a good decision, how about if I just try trusting Today Me to make the same good decision. When I notice Tomorrow Me coming into my mind, I will ask what she would do in this situation and then Today Me will do it! And then Tomorrow Me will like Yesterday Me. Ok, it’s a plan.

T is for Today (part 2)

Here’s what I notice. Whenever I speak with my son about his addiction issues, I discover that pretty much every question I ask him is one that also applies to me. For instance.

What kind of person do you want to be? (What result do you want?) I guess I understand way too well how difficult it is to postpone gratification when the object of your gratification is within reach. It’s like my brain doesn’t work the same way while I’m being drawn to the object as it does after I have imbibed and now get to deal with the fallout and consequences. Sounds very familiar when you think about drugs. But it also applies to food. There must be something more compelling than the food item if I am to find a way through the immediate temptation.

As Tony Robbins teaches, there is a huge difference in the efficacy of push motivation vs pull motivation. Push motivation has to do with pushing ourselves away from something; implementing willpower; trying really hard not to do something. Pull motivation focuses on what we want; what we would like to experience or feel or be. Figuring out what result I want is the very best kind of pull motivation because that result draws me to itself.

As much as I believe this idea would be incredibly helpful for drug addicts, I also see how valuable it is for food addicts. And gambling addicts. And shopping addicts. I don’t know why rehab centers all over the world aren’t doing this already!

Once I figure out what result I want, the next step is to figure out why I want that result. It is truly the why that is the compelling piece. And the why must be articulated in positive terms. Not, “I’ll stop eating sugar because I don’t want to get sick.” It must be positive. “I will choose healthy foods that contribute to my overall feelings of health and wellness, as well as my actual health and wellness.” The more I can get in touch with what it’s like to feel heathy and well, the more pull motivation I have from that result.

So simple, yet so profound. As far as being the mother of a drug addict, I know that I want to be someone who is supportive, compassionate, honest, and loving. I want to be a person who asks wise questions which allow my son to find his own solutions, as I truly do believe he has the solutions within himself, even if he needs some support right now to find them. I want to be someone who is examining myself in relationship to how I parent, how I live and how I love. Always being willing to keep trying, and willing to try new things that maybe aren’t comfortable.

By the way, thank you to all of you who read my posts and especially to those who comment. I want to be a blogger who has an impact!