Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Talked About You

Step 6: Defects. This was the topic of the Al-Anon meeting (for parents) I attended last night. It goes something like Were entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character.

I listened for a long time, hearing others speak of their stumbling blocks, shortcomings, assets-taken-to-an-extreme and how they grapple with them, face them, and repeatedly attempt to overcome or replace them. All the while I am thinking "this is good information, just what my son needs to hear..." but in the back of my mind I know: this insight is for my son's mother.

I looked for an opening; and near the end of the meeting I tentatively stepped up to meet the momentary silence:

"My name is Carolyn"

(hi Carolyn)

"My defect stands 6 foot 1 inches tall. He is 24 years old. He is handsome and charming and I love him with all that is in me" (unplanned cracking in my voice works its way inbetween my words)...

"I have turned him over to a higher power: he is in Rehab" (tears now leak into the scene).

I go on to explain how thankful I am that I am not chronically depressed, but have many good days, even feel happy and energetic at times. But then there are other days when my emotions drop so low, I "fall off the charts".

But I want to share something; I have made a breakthrough. I continued...

It was on one such day (when my son returned home from 2-years living in another state and we discovered that he was in a much worse state that we expected). I went online desperate for some help or encouragement.

I googled "mothers of addicts" and I found an incredible community: YOU. Within moments and within days I would find other moms that understand my pain. I didn't have to pretend "everything's fine" like I do in the rest of my life; wondering in whom can I confide? In this community of grieving mamas, the understanding, the encouragement, the wisdom, was tangible. I could be anonymous and yet connect on a deeper level more than I could with my closest friends. I called it "magic".

There is a similar magic in Al-Anon. I am discovering that nuggets of truth and wisdom can be found there. In a parent-focused meeting, it is especially rich.

So to you, my new online comrades,
....to all the mothers who take time to pour your heart out though a keyboard
....to the fathers who register their experiences and insights

Thank you. You have made a significant difference in this mama's journey through the wilderness.

-Carolyn (CC is a nickname)


  1. Carolyn, I love what you said here, "My defect stands 6 foot 1 inches tall. He is 24 years old. He is handsome and charming and I love him with all that is in me." I really relate to this because this is a perfect description of my own defect (with the only exception being that mine is almost 20). I'm happy that you are having some good days in the midst of of it all. The bad days make the better days that much more dear to us! I recently heard something that has stuck with me, "A mother is only as happy as her sadest child." How true! Keeping you and your son in my prayers!

  2. mine is almost 19, also handsome and charming...and all the rest that you said. I also say THANK GOD for all of the other parents that blog and how I've been helped by them.

  3. The truth is blogging has been the best treatment/therapy I have found for myself. For every one of you out there, you are worth a thousand therapists.

    Nothing like somone that has been there, done that for empathy, experience and knowledge.

  4. ps.: plus with blogging there is always someone there and no appointment required.

  5. Thank you for making a significant difference in my own journey through the wilderness. My defect stands about 5' 11" and is 24 years old, handsome, funny, and I love him with all that I am.

  6. Thank you for this post. My defect stands about 5'3" and is 29 years old, used to be beautiful, educated, smart, funny, and I miss her so much and I love her with all my heart.

  7. I am so glad that you posted about your work in recovery. Yes, it is about keeping the focus on myself. And when I forget that, I begin to lose myself. Time to get back to walking lock step with my Higher Power. Thanks so much.

  8. My name is Carolyn too.
    My defect is just under 5 feet tall. She is going to be 21 years old next week. She can be funny, charming, thoughtful and kind. She is beautiful. I love her but I have to let her go for my own sake if not hers.