Author Archives: kberman
Because I am a person who during two years of clinical depression thought about suicide, I now deeply believe that the decision to kill yourself could be averted by the right positive stimulus. In other words, in fifteen minutes, the person contemplating suicide might be able to make another decision. The act of suicide reminds us that there are those around us who are struggling with being able to cope with self-hatred so overwhelming that it truly feels like a stone along your neck. Letting go of these thoughts is my main coping skill. They are just thoughts. I feel no guilt for them but I quickly release them.
I think of Robert Frost’s poem, a man acquainted with negative emotions:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
One of my favorite, favorite writers in the field of addiction recovery is Syd whose blog I’m Just F.I.N.E.—Recovery in AlAnon, includes this excerpt from his entry entitled, “The view from the bridge”:
“It is warm today, nearly 75 F. It still feels like fall to me. But I will take it over the long days of cold weather that would permeate whatever I put on in Virginia. Yesterday at the marina was picture perfect–blue sky, light winds, warm temperatures. I watched the boats going past looking for the body of a young woman who jumped from the bridge over the weekend. Her body has not been found.”
”She was described as her room mates as cheerful, vivacious, beautiful, athletic, and from a loving family. Yet, for some reason, she decided to scramble over the barricade that separates the walkers and runners from the precipitous edge of the bridge and jump over 160 feet into the water below. A passerby said that she saw the young woman standing there, and she turned to smile. A smile of resignation? A smile of happiness at her decision? I don’t know, but I wonder what can be so awful at 20 years of age that makes you end your life.”
”The view from the top of that bridge is spectacular. The harbor is before you, the church steeples in the city, the masts of sailboats at the marina–all of it makes a breath taking panorama. Maybe she was so caught in pain that she didn’t really see. But somehow I hope that she did ultimately see all of it rushing by as she took that plunge. And maybe it made her feel peaceful for a split second.”
We don’t want to feel helpless, so we use fear, anger, addiction, or unbridled sexuality to block out our helpless feelings. The fact is that if we cannot openly face our feeling of helplessness, we cannot receive help. It is important that we accept our helplessness, taking it to God and allowing Him to be strong where we are weak. When we let Him be God, we receive continuous healing for our woundedness. But when we hide our pain, helplessness, and insecurity, we find ourselves at the mercy of our narcissistic, wounded false self with its insatiable craving for validation and anesthesia. David F. Allen, Shattering the Gods Withi
1. Journey of recovery…search for serenity: “Unconditional Love…”:
“H came for a visit. To protect her privacy I am not going into the details of her life at this point…I will say she is living in a complicated and complex situation. It is not what I planned for her, not what I envisioned… BUT, we had a great visit. lol”
“I think the reason for the good visit was that we both are able to, at this point, for today, meet each other where we are at with no expectations that we will change the other or win them over to our way of thinking. Once I was able to lay down my idea of how she *should* live her life and I could make my way toward a faith filled position of trusting my Higher Power to hang onto her and keep her in His palm, of acceptance of what is, I was able to see my girl again. Really see her. Ours lives simply are what they are.”
“I got really lost in her addiction. In the idea that one of *my* kids is an addict. I was shocked for a long time…years. I would ask myself, “How did we get here?” When I looked at her all I saw was “my daughter the addict.” It was like I had to look long and hard at the outcome of her young life…some weird form of facing my deepest fear. In doing that though, I lost sight of the little girl that I raised. I was so focused on seeing what was or is, that I forgot about the good stuff, the dry sense of humor that would unexpectedly crack us all up. Or the wise insights she would share even as a little girl that would leave us all shaking our heads and wondering how she got so smart.”
“As I have fearfully and timidly taken steps toward letting go of her and letting her choices be her’s along with the consequences of those choices, as I have watched her navigate her life on her terms….I have begun to see her again. To really see her, as an autonomous being…not an extension of myself. To hear her voice. To see her worth. I knew those things were there….but it was always with the exception of “when she is clean and sober, or when she is in recovery. The truth of the matter is that whether those things are taking place or not, she is still beautiful both inside and out, she still holds all the worth of any other human being.”
2. An Addict in our Son’s Bedroom: “Cautious Update”
“I am not a superstitious person but I almost hate to talk about how he is doing in fear of jinxing his progress. He has a job, don’t know how long it will last it is dependent upon the company’s production and orders. He spoke to his mom and I when we got home about budgeting, he brought up the subject. He has formulated a budget for his check, ON PAPER.”
“He ask us about going back to school. He has become aware both of his sisters are in school, his girlfriend is in school to become a nurse and 3 out of 4 first cousins are working on their BA or MA. He said to us,”Everyone is moving forward and leaving me behind, I don’t want to be left behind. What would it take for me to go back to school.” Our response was, “Son, if you want it bad enough you will figure that out and make it happen.”
“We have been taking him and his girlfriend out to dinner with us on Friday Date Night. It is really great to actually have conversations with him and her. We have noticed there is a sharpness in his wit returning and his voice does not have the druggie sound, you all know that that sound. He seems to enjoy being around family now. Mom and dad know it may take a little while before some in the family accepts him and we reminded him that it takes the two “P’s”, patience and persistence.”
3. Loving an Addict: Don’t Give Up Hope
“I felt compelled to write tonight, while crying. Maybe it is because the Stand Up 2 Cancer Show is on and it is touching my heart, but the tears are more likely tears of joy and relief. I just spoke to Bryan.”
“It was a wonderful call. We talked about how well he is doing and feeling. He talked about the fact that one-year clean is coming up soon (October 29) and he is excited about the thought of being off drugs for a year! We talked about the upcoming holidays and how we can get together and what my family is planning and he sounded excited that we are making a plan to be with him.”
“I know the day in and day out feelings that include:
1. What drama will my addict bring to my life today;
2. Will he survive another day;
3. Will he be arrested and if so, will I actually be relieved;
4. What has he stolen; will he ever take responsibility for his life;
5. What did I do wrong as a Mom;
6. Is it my fault?
7. Will we ever get our life back?”
“Regardless of what you are feeling tonight (and some of the above are simply not right…but we feel these things anyway (like 5 & 6 especially), don’t give up Hope! Please Please Please don’t give up Hope!”
“I’m crying tonight, because of the amazing joy I feel about my son and his life choices, a mere 10 months after his near death experience. Don’t give up Hope, because your son or daughter can get here to. Don’t give up hope, especially for yourself because you can feel better about your life, your family, and your beliefs regardless of what happens with your addict.”
“Don’t give up HOPE!”