Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thirteenth Post - Addiction

I am not an expert on addiction. Neither from personal experience nor education. Addiction has always been on my list as a 'disorder' to be referred. Well, never say never! It would appear that within the last year and more poignantly this past month, I've come face to face with young people and/or adults grappling with addiction. Some are in denial, some are ready for change, some are blaming others, some are stuck and almost all are in the midst of significant destruction. 
As stated in my opening I am not an addictions counsellor.  It would, however, seem that more and more of my clients are coming to me coping (or not coping)  with the impact of addiction. In an almost humorous twist, my 'out of work' world has been inundated with stories of recovery and treatment. At church - a Pastor resigns because of his addiction; at my husband's pastoral counselling class (which I audit), the guest speaker is teaching on addiction; the last two novels I've chosen to read strictly for recreation, have focused on addiction. Rachel's Holiday - would you think that by the title, it's about a girl in treatment?
Yes, God.....You have my attention!
There are many good resources available. I've added some new sites to my links box as well as below.
If you are a parent and you suspect your child is experimenting with alcohol and/or drugs, don't keep silent.  has some great suggestions to get a conversation going. is another website that you can share with your child. I suggest, if possible, you look at it with them.  If your child is moving along the spectrum of addiction and is willing may be a helpful site for them to explore on those days they are contemplating getting help.
This is a complex, societal as well as personal issue. There is no easy or quick fix. In a short month I've learned alot. I've been reminded of what I already knew and have discovered some great resources - people as well as books and websites.
Today is Sunday and I share one short anecdote before closing.
My husband loves to record the Gaither Gospel Hour on Saturday nights to watch as he begins his Sunday mornings. I rarely watch this with him, but I decided that this morning I would. And of course you know what came up...... another addiction story! The Crabb Family - the featured group - told the story of their father, who was an alcoholic. In a crisis of belief, and a moment of lucidness, the song 'Please Forgive Me' was born. That moment of surrender had a profound impact on the whole family. Out of humility, strength and courage were gained. In this family, surrender equalled victory!

If addiction has impacted you or your family, are you ready for change?

                        Please Forgive Me, sung by the Crabb Family

My sleep is gone, my heart is full of sorrow
I can't believe how much I've let you down
I dread the pain that waits for me tomorrow
When the sun reveals my broken dreams scattered on the ground

Please forgive me
I need your grace to make it through
All I have is you, I'm at your mercy
Lord, I'll serve you
Until my dying day
Help others find the way
At your mercy, please forgive me

I can't believe the god of earth and glory
Would take the time to care for one like me
But i read in the bible that old story
How he plead for my forgiveness while he was dying on a tree

Repeat chorus 2x

Freedom, Hope, Faith...Better is Possible

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Twelveth Post - Walnuts

When I bought my' new to me' home and property it came with a mature and nut bearing walnut tree. Sadly the post I wrote about walnuts was inadvertently deleted, by me. My bad! Rather that even trying to rewrite the post, I've replaced it with a picture post.

Here is my tree. Enjoy!

My reverend going after some walnuts.

Looking up through the leaves and branches to the sun.

Almost ready to drop

It is so much easier when they fall to the ground 
already out of the thick green husk.

Peeling off some of the husks

On guard

The walnuts fall all around the ivy (and everywhere else)

Oh dear!

One of the last roses of the season

At rest

Checking to see how many are left on the tree.

Now we're off to begin the shelling, roasting, storing and baking!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Eleventh Post - Perspective

It's old news that people see things differently. We all have our unique perspective of, well, of just about everything. Each of us are influenced by the impact of events on our lives. How often have you and your siblings reflected differently on your family of origin? How often do you and your spouse have "discussions" because of how each of you perceive circumstances/situations/past events?
There is an old, old story, about a Dad and Daughter who went on the same road trip year after year. One day Dad and Daughter were reflecting on the scenery they had passed on their journey. Dad
commented about a beautiful pond  that he had seen on the side of the roadway. Daughter shook her head and declared that there was absolutely no pond anywhere along the way. An argument ensued with neither Dad nor Daughter shifting their position. It wasn't until years later, when Daughter took the trip herself, and while now sitting in the drivers seat, saw the most beautiful pond on the left side of the highway. For all the years she was the passenger - sitting on the other side of the car, she never saw the beautiful sight her Dad had enjoyed. It took a shift in her perspective (not to mention seat) to be able to see what her Dad had seen all along.

How many disagreements could be resolved if we allowed for "where we're sitting in the car"?

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
— Ana├»s Nin

Dad and Daughter - same store - different perspective!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tenth Post - Control

I like to fantasize that I'm not controlling. In actuality I'm NOT controlling, I just like to be in control. I think there is a difference. I have no need to control what others do or feel. I can easily let you be you. BUT, I have this near obsessive need to absolutely know that I am in charge of all circumstances that involve and/or surround my life.
I missed a couple of days of work this week due to a silly and ill timed back injury. Something as simple as moving my sand tray (used for play therapy with my clients) strained a rib as well as intercostal muscle. That mindless action resulted in me being flat on my back for the better part of three days. Five days later the spasming has stopped and I can move about slowly and cautiously -  no quick movements.
Being bedridden had a way of making me relinquish control in many areas of my life. At first the pain took precedence and I gave little notice to anything that couldn't fit on the bed beside me. As the pain subsided, life's responsibilities came floating back into my little universe. The Universe of Carol. Thoughts, worries, to do lists now joined me on my bed. It got very crowded. And then it happened. I was overcome with fear, remorse, worry, and anger about circumstances - about life - that had dared to continue on while I was incapacitated. Then I was flooded with the need to fix mistakes, to do damage control, to undo things that were done in my absence. The scope of my discontent swirled around leaving me dizzy with a frantic sense of helplessness. My mind, emotions and body had gone into its default mode - PANIC!
Once again I was back at the start line. Once again, I was forced to press the reset button. And thankfully, my inner wisdom along with the gentle nudging of a loving husband - who coincidentally is taking a counselling course and is diligently practicing listening skills, congruence has been reestablished. I count it as success and growth that equilibrium can be restored in mere hours rather that the weeks and months it took decades ago.
What was the lesson? Life goes on without me. I can be sick and am not responsible for decisions and actions taken by others in my absence. I don't have to FIX what others have done because what others do is not necessarily wrong. I don't have to convince people that my way is the only right way and they'll be sorry if they take a different route. I can give people the opportunity to be in charge, to make decisions, to learn and grow. I can and am willing to let go! Even as I write this I can feel the relief flowing into my heart and over my soul and mind.

How do you let go of your need to control?

Peace restored