Updated: Jan 12
Above my head a white sign lit up with huge red letters. Words could not be spoken more true. I wish I would have seen this sign ten years ago. At least I could have started there. Instead of this sudden and painful, yet highly sensory shift that was happening in my body.
“NO HELP IS COMING”
Useless mantras enter the space around us, jumping into our ears and without recognizing how ridiculous they are are, we accept them as our truth. I wish no ill will to any human in their effort to give comfort. But I also believe that it is time for us all to think very deeply about some of the patterned phrases concerning addiction that we have all become accustomed to. How can you give a response of anything in the lunacy of it all.
“Let them hit their bottom.”
“Get out of the way of the elephant.”
Not one of these mantras is any more reasonable than the thoughts in my own head. One which actually has entertained grabbing my daughter and putting her into a farm house. Locked and chained to a bed to detox her and then keep her there until she’s nice and clean. Then I can let her go? No I am not kidding. I have carried ball bats around in my car looking for her during the first two years. Chased a drug dealer off of the street in front of my house in broad daylight. Hair wild, eyes wide, clutching a ball bat in both hands aiming to swing at the back tail light. This is a true story. Called police that I know, prosecuting attorneys that would hide when they saw me coming (you know who you are and I apologize). I have tried in every way to control something uncontrollable. Let the reckoning begin. A very unique hell of it’s own that many of us share. A very elite group of us Warriors that have learned that we all carry our very own bottle of insanity around. A few of us, that upon glancing toward an addict on a bucket with a homeless sign, feels an ache in their heart. We see someone’s child or father who has lost their way. The heartache and wreckage of a disconnected family somewhere in the world. I have said many times, I would not wish this on my worst enemy, not that I have any these days. I have zero desire to dispute in menial dramas when I have this beast hanging on my backside. I have wished suffering on evil people, but not this, oh not this. This is a horror story that does not end as November arrives, but that lives in every season, in many families, and in our entire country. Bringing us all to our knees. THIS is the truest epidemic of our time.
I whispered a comment in deep thought recently during lunch with a friend. It left my lips as i was gazing out the window. “I am so sick of being abused.” People in the throes of addiction are continuously abusive. Either through neglect or the destruction of their self. It is catastrophically painful to live through the progressive annihilation of a loved one. Endless and ongoing trauma that can keep you in high states of panic until you learn to disconnect. We are not designed to live in continuous terror, and the addict’s parent must learn at some point to begin to take care of their self on optimum levels, because simply put. There is no other way.
The world is created with such love and beauty. It is in direct opposition of the suffering caused through unconsciousness. And addiction is the darkest of the unconsciousness. Addiction takes everything.
In its inexplicable purity continuously allows for healing, although I have discovered that faith is not what I believed it to be in the past. I once believed that faith was a promise that everything ended well no matter what, like some magic potion. If you believe, all will be well. To ask the mountain to move and the mountain would move. And I walk this way these days. An uncompromising faith has become a part of me, and I see the world in all of its natural perfection. Grateful to have arrived here. Sometimes your destiny is hardwired deeply in a block somewhere, unearthed as your soul finally makes it's way to the practice. Faith is a process. To know that our spirit exists and is eternal, and on some level that there is a deeper meaning to our life experience. But on another level faith becomes difficult terrain for those of us in recovery. Wanting everyone to be well and to behave well and walk in this path, quizzically wondering why people choose to live for their distractions and addictions. And then I remember my very own dark night of the soul, and I realize again. We all must walk alone our way to the light.
My own story, as alike in the nature of addiction, is just as different to my daughter’s story. I realize that love is to let go and allow. Even if it is unthreading from a human that you love more than your own self. Maternal instincts are fierce on cellular levels. And addiction is even fiercer. Faith is something you lose at times during the horror. Every parent wishes for the safety and protection for their child. First and foremost. The loss of a life lived in conjunction to my child through something bigger than herself has been by far the most difficult challenge of my life. Paramount to my own addictive past. A hereditary disease no-one would want as their own and I, as her mother, gave to her as a birth right.
I would stand in front of a bullet for my children, but I remember a time when I could not stop drinking for them. A deeper realization to the undercurrent and power of our own wounds that must be examined through self study and practice, are the starting point of recovery. A glimmer of light occurs in the practice even before the last poison is ingested. What once was medicine has become poison to not only yourself but to all of those around you. Tarnished, dirty and stained, you appear on a threshold, and the light is pointing to the entrance. There is no more time. The whispers have become crashing glass.
A word to parents in the beginning of hell.
if you are able to take this advice in the first chapter. Or even the prologue. ALLOW their first hard consequence to go full circle. Do not pay for attorneys. Do not get involved. Do not buy new cars or pay to get license reinstated. Hind site has showed my ex husband and I. We both agree that we wish we would have allowed consequences in the beginning of our daughter’s disease. I promise. Your future self that lives in a hellish alter world will be thanking you in their dreams, if you dodge bullets that become bombs.
If your child continuously chooses their addiction after initial consequences, fasten your seatbelts. This is why it is utterly impossible for a parent to disconnect from their child when addiction is first realized. The terror is real. People who would never be invited to your barbecue is about to show up in your child’s life and there is nothing that you can do about it. Especially if your child is of age. How can a parent see a person who is giving their child drugs as a sacred being as well. We do not. There is a ferocious protection that comes forth and the entire dark world of drugs, our adversary. Unfathomable, at best. In full blown addiction, abuse and trauma become the new normal of the day. Letting go is the finally recourse when it is all that you have left. Most certainly the most difficult lesson for a people pleasing control freak like myself. I have become envious of placid people that peacefully allow. But have learned that most of them have patterned themselves differently through practice. A bouncing stone tends to get higher on a calm placid lake. So do our addict children, rising greater and greater to their addiction until you realize that there are no other people to call, or any other tricks up your sleeve. It doesn’t matter what you do anyway. My left has battled with my right in between action and complacency. And everything in between of course.
A Desperate Word to the Players
Please I beg you. Look in the mirror. I know you can do better. Would you give this poison to your mother, your child, your beloved? For one moment, take a deep breathe and be still. With any compassion that you can muster up. What is this worth to you. Cold hard cash? And what does it buy you? You are on a hamster wheel yourself. I promise you. You can do better. Be better. A light in the dark? That is something I can admire. For what is the gain in the muck? There is an underlying law and energy and if you listen quite deeply in the stillness, you can hear it. Be a part of this change. I understand that you have probably been raised in the muck youself. I do not doubt this in any way. But, please. Take your attention to the space in your heart and see if you can feel something. Without judgement or condemnation, this is all. You have more power in the realms than you know. The wealthy that gain from this suffering no longer win. Your neighbors and the wreckage no longer will be here for next generation. Why do I plead to you instead of the greedy uber wealthy who’s hands are only dirty under their white crispy CHANEL gloves? I have more Faith in you. Uncover your heart. Make that change.
No room for apathy.
We live in a dark age of technology accompanied by unconsciousness. As powerful as technology has been, we have gained nothing spiritually through it. Humanity is at a disconnect. From each other, but even more importantly, from our own self. If we look around we can see this. Our own higher ups have lost our respect by their own bad behaviors. Where are the heroes. The people that we can truly trust. I can think of a handful, maybe? I know there are more, but I mean leaders that are powerful enough to stand up and speak truths that dissolve the insanity, and courageous enough to do so without getting their own identifications and ego involved. And it seems that the people with the most wealth are behaving abhorrently, showing us even more so that abundance and money are two different things. I know a woman in a house that is 98 that has the most precious biodynamic garden that anyone could imagine. Accompanied by a tidy little cottage to dwell in. Winning! A lifetime of good work. I’ll take that!
We see the elite wealthy intermingling. Being nice to each other simply because, well, they are wealthy. And frankly it becomes obvious to many of us, that it doesn’t seem to matter if you are particularly kind in these groups. There are always exceptions of course. Such an imprisonment if you think about it. True freedom should be what we all strive for and be grateful everyday, and attracting authentic relationships based on loving kindness.
But as we can see freedom in our own lives, we can look around and see that society has lost many of its freedoms to our young. Our young generations are entrenched in the backlash of a drug infested community, too much technology, a loss of nature and a time in our world that has forced them to be more isolated than ever. I feel deeply them. If only they could know what it would be like to NOT know certain things. To experience growing up carefree and counterbalancing school work with time in nature. Protection. Simplicity.
A Societal Fail?
Why it is important for a society to see the pain and suffering and work toward eliminating a problem? How have we dropped the ball. I realize that change does not happen overnight but couldn’t it? If we can not eliminate the problem can we point or begin to take our gaze toward it? Drug cartels down to dealers. Money and greed. Breakdown of systems and structures. Why have we not looked to root cause. This seems to be the true way. Through healing. I tend to return to the philosophy of yoga. Yogananda prescribed only one medicine. Return to the practices. It has certainly worked for me, but what about my precious daughter. Whatever we resist persists. Criminalizing has never worked, and frankly, neither does supplying needles. Ferris wheels replace hamster wheels at every turn. Government and higher structures should begin to study alternative therapy holism as remedy instead of profit.
Loss of tribalism in humanity could be a part of the destruct of our loving villages. Culture sees the world in different classes, races, paygrades, systems and layers, as opposed to seeing each other as a human. Simply human. Working in alignment and connection instead of separation and disalignment. Knowing on deep levels that another person’s child or parent is just as much our own personal responsibility. Wouldn’t the world be easeful if everyone was on the same team?
The Chicken or the Egg?
Many questions have arisen from my daughter’s drug addiction. How did it all begin? Why wasn’t I paying attention to the early signs that she wasn’t well. She lived in high anxieties from toddlerhood and it was something new to me. She was so light, like air. Whimsical and imaginative. She could sing, write and her art was so creative that I was asked in her second grade if I helped her too much in her art project. I had not even touched it. I took her anxiety for the downside to these creative gifts that she had. I was right, but unfortunately too right as her anxiety catapulted itself intensely into her teens. As a young girl, she would hold her belly and talk about how it hurt for no reason, her eyes, fearful and disconnected, gazing out into the oblivion. We would make light of it, baffled as we were, and distract her into something else. Ice cream or a new toy because of our own unknowing. My remedy was to distract her with anything instead of allowing her to process this imbalance. I know now that we should encourage our children to push through those moments. Create a space for them to do so. We must go through this process so that we can learn coping skills. A divorce by her dad and I, and downright mean girl bullying put the finishing touches on the beginning of escapism. I have even questioned if early technology was minutely responsible or loud and distracted noise, television, a culture of “busyness.” As much work as I have done on myself ,becoming comfortable in stillnes, I can’t even watch cable tv these days. Commercials jar me out of peace and instantly into irritation. Childhood is delicate and we toss obstruction into every carefree moment. What is root cause? Is it because addiction runs deep into her blood on ancestral cellular levels. A curse that was given to her by me, sadly. Was it caused from my negligence due to my own growing disease of alcoholism and my own anxieties and unbalanced Vata. Or was it because it was offered up to her at her first job. That drugs were easier for her to get than candy. Because it has become the drug of her generation. The chicken or the egg. Do drugs come along when people are in pain or are drugs the root of people and their pain. Or is it all a lottery of fate or lack of luck in life, that you get addicted when your friends just experimented. Bottom line is addiction grows on addiction. It is a hamster wheel that catapults and builds momentum by nature, the only true cure; abstinence. True surrender.
I have learned in my sobriety that those of us that live in addiction hold no walls or boundaries. We become deeply close to our drinking partners, and we all have massive codependency issues. I have learned in the last few years from people who hold appropriate boundaries. I have learned a lot. It is wise to not let every soul into your yard. Walls are nice as long as they aren’t melted into a shield around your heart. We all deserve to be open and loving. But bottom line is, when a relationship is fastened together by addiction, it lacks true love and intimacy. The addiction itself must always steal the show. If one person in an addictive partnership gets clean, it becomes easy to see that the only true commonality of the relationship had become the alcohol or drug use.
When the obsession of our addiction has cleared, natural highs and subtle joy of a life well lived provides everything that a person could possibly need to be content. You begin to see your life like a garden. Every year becoming richer. More colorful and more abundant. That life isn’t about what you look like, or how much money you have. But how you FEEL. How well connected you are to the world. In this the world becomes so alive that you can align yourself deeply to an underlying rhythm.
Yoga and Healing
A little bit of narcissism in every rescuer. How much does our “helping” help? Not a damned bit. Realizing this becomes tantamount in our journey to addiction of our counterpart. We are all playing roles after all, aren’t we?
Local counselors are some of the truest heroes of addiction in our time. The non judgement and acceptance. The wisdom of understanding disease. Many of them are recovered themselves. I feel so at home in this company. My parties these days are speckled with people from the rooms. 2021 New Years Eve Party seemed more like a highly decorated meeting with games and great food. My own personal Mocktails of course. I feel heightened in this company, transcended in my life when I meet a fellow soul who has created a wreckage that only a cleansing can heal. For me it is the same in my Yoga class. That feeling of relief and gratitude feels just right. There are no words needed. You just know that you served yourself up some love. THIS is when the oneness becomes so real and precious that you change patterns and routines to show up. MORE. Without wanting, attachment and addiction. There is a holiness in this precious practice. Of being. It is the same with sobriety. No more dry knuckling or counting hours, but a simple surrender. I want this for my precious daughter. Light. I will continue to call to her in my dreams. Come home darling. Come home.
As difficult as it is to admit, and even harder to actually do, the truth is, underlying it all. Addiction sucks. But, on the other side, is courage, tenacity, understanding, compassion, and love for thy self. How many people in this world have these qualities. We are few and far between. I have experienced double rolls. I have lived on both sides of the spectrum. I am well aware that codependency is as powerful in addiction as any drug. As in every addiction, the end game for the codependent is always about letting go. By far, the toughest lesson anyone will ever face in dealing with your child. These experiences with her have broken me, destroyed me, rebuilt me, and allowed me to come to great realizations. I do believe that I have been forced to rise to the occasion in many ways. I am well aware now, that in this life, experiences, the worst ones, the most haunting and painful ones. Those experiences sometimes uncover your own shadow self. So that you can begin to light a candle in the dark corners of every part of your soul. To heal, transform, and bring to the light. Those make you realize things about yourself that you never realized before.
As a lifelong seeker of truth, trying to make sense of the nonsensical has brought me to possibility. Did Molli and I know each other in many lifetimes, as I have felt? Did we come down on this earth to learn and experience addiction so that we could learn and experience healing? As much as I hate to admit it, her addiction encouraged my own sobriety. I could no longer bear her addiction in the fog. I knew that one of us had to face the destruction. I tried to set a different standard for her. Sometimes I am taken back to the first moment she was placed in my arms and that feeling. I felt this oneness for the first time in my life that I could remember. The song “Tears in Heaven” played in the background on my little radio and I began to cry the hardest cry of my life. LOVE. Sometimes its so great, it hurts. As hardheaded as I am and as ferocious as my functioning alcoholism was, nothing other than her suffering could have truly released me from my own prison of addiction. She will eternally be my person.
The truth is, on the long and weary road of addiction. There is no help coming. But there is a light from within. That will heal youself and those around you. It grows large when you continuously feed it.
May we transcend addiction in my lifetime.
And bring true peace to our Earth home.
Tina Chabot e-RYT 500
Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist
Ayurvedic Wellness Coach
Ayurvedic Health Counselor