I have a hard time with perspective.
I can lose it very easily.
And, at the risk of telling on myself, I’m no picnic to be with when my perspective is thrown off.
Just ask my family.
Lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of coffee, lack of time for prayer, lack of coffee (that’s a big one) can quickly throw my perspective completely out of whack.
When that happens, I can co-sign onto a lot of dramatic statements and scenarios.
Not a good life strategy.
During the years my beloved son was in the throes of an addiction crisis occupying the first seat of a life- and- death- roller coaster existence with me in the second seat directly behind him, my lack of perspective was all consuming.
Everything in my life was so bent out of shape. It was like I was physically, mentally and spiritually crippled.
I lived in constant fear of getting the phone call. I didn’t get a full night’s sleep for about six years. My emotions ricocheted between deep sadness for my son’s circumstances and the loss of his presence in our family, and anger for the choices he made in the grip of this disease destroying his life and the rest of us because addiction is a disease of the family system.
There were times I just couldn’t access God in prayer or any place else.
I am blessed with an extensive, loving network of support of family and friends. But even with all their encouragement, I could not maintain a perspective that freed me from the one that said I would lose my son to addiction.
I wasted a lot of years living with that crippled perspective. I deeply regret that my fear about the well- being of my son added to the worry the other members of my family – my husband and three daughters – already felt about our family system illness.
If your perspective has been thrown off course by the storms of addiction, please take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Addiction robs every life it touches. The important thing is to lean into your own sense of resilience and seek help.
Recovery professionals, faith-based support, 12-step fellowships, trusted family members and friends, counselors, rehab professionals and family support teams are there to help you keep a perspective of hope for recovery for you and your family.
And please keep these Positive Perspective Builders close to your heart:
This too shall pass.
You have faced challenges before.
Care of self is healing.
Your positivity is pushback against negativity.
Gratitude is a light in the darkness.
Recovery is always possible.
How do you keep a perspective of hope in the midst of the family-system illness of addiction?
Who has helped you stay on course with a perspective of resilience?
Please share here. We can all be inspired by our collective experience, strength and hope.
Connect With Nancy
For information and guidance for help and resources for you or your loved one please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy is co-author of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message.