Tag Archives: addict

Still struggling with the obituary


It’s been almost three and a half months and I still haven’t written Mother’s obituary. Why? Because I don’t yet know what to say. I’m struggling. What do I write? How do I write where someone pays attention? How can I make a difference? How can Mother’s death contribute to something greater than her addiction and the destruction the disease created? How can minds be opened and more compassion and empathy be offered to those who are fighting for their lives?

It’s important to be honest. The secrecy destroys and gives addiction power. But people are ignorant to addiction. They see it as a moral issue. They judge, discount lives, and say cruel things. People look at it as a life choice instead of a disease. They devalue a person’s life when they find out they are or were an addict. “I’m so sorry about your loss. How did they die?” And when you tell them, an overdose or drank themselves to death…the tone changes. Most of the empathy and compassion are gone. I’ve been fortunate and those close to me who were aware of the extent of the pain I’ve endured for most of my life and the things that were stolen from me…got it and offer compassion and empathy. But most people don’t get it. They discount what the addict and the addict’s family have suffered and survived. The stigma is real and heartbreaking in and of itself. There is a huge difference in the amount of support that occurs when a person dies from a car wreck, cancer or some other disease other than addiction. Addicts are treated more like lepers. They suffer and their family suffers for many lifetimes.

I’ve been guilty of seeing it as a moral issue too. I know better now. It is a chronic disease with relapses and remissions/recovery.

Mother deserves an obituary. It’s like the close of the final chapter of her life. The things I had to sit and helplessly watch or protect myself from by setting boundaries to save myself or prevent myself from going down the exact path still haunt me at times. Even though I know I did the best I could with what I had…I still can’t help but think… “What if I? …Why didn’t I? …I wish I would have…Did she feel loved enough? …did I tell her?”   I feel like I can do so much more for her in death than I could in life. Mother wanted to be something. She wanted to be loved. She wanted to be a good mother and a good wife. She was a nurse at one time until her addiction stole that from her too. She would tell everyone and anyone who would listen about her stories from working in the ER. Her addiction took most all of the sweetness from her life. She became and did things she never wanted to become or do. That’s what it does, it robs the addict and the family of a little sweetness each day, month, year and years. And for some like mother – they lose most everything…including themselves. I’m not ignorant…I know they have to want to help themselves and have to do the hard work. And I know the devastating pain they cause through their addiction. And for reasons I can’t explain some beat it and some don’t. No one sets out to become an addict…just like no one sets out to be in a car wreck or get diabetes or cancer.

Mother deserves an obituary and when I’m ready or when its time, the words will come.

The thing I continuously feel is what Glennon says – Life is brutiful…It is both brutal and beautiful.

Mother’s addiction showed me so much brutal but it also inadvertently taught me to always seek the beauty and sweetness.

Finding the sweet side of crazy!



Surviving Crazy -15 Schools in 9 Years


By the time I was in the eighth grade I had changed schools fifteen times. Thirteen different towns or cities. That’s like going to two different schools every year. There were actually only thirteen different schools because I attended two of those schools two times, in different grades…the best I can remember anyway. Confusing? I know!

Do you know how hard it is to be the new kid so often? It’s a wonder I even made it to high school let alone graduated….so many different teachers, school sizes, teaching styles, curriculums, students and schedules. That doesn’t even begin to address the dynamics, craziness and insecurities that were going on at home.

Not only did I move schools a lot. I lived with different people a lot. I don’t really ever remember it just being Mother and I. It was usually Mother, Mother’s mother and dad (Nanny and Papa) and I. But then when Mother would get a new husband (she was married five times) I would live with them for a short period of time. The first four anyway. I lived with my aunt, uncle and cousins too. There was a lot of shuffling of schools and homes going on.

I was always more worried about my mother than school. I worried if she was going to be messed up, be okay or if she and Nanny would be fighting again. That was pretty common. Nanny and Mother fought a lot. I mean really fought. Nanny always seemed to win. I remember in kindergarten or first grade as I got off the bus they were physically fighting on the front porch. They were shoving, slapping and pulling hair. Mother was crying. I was embarrassed. I’m sure all those kids on the bus saw. Oh well, I knew I wouldn’t be there long anyway. Mother told me to get in the car. We loaded up and went to stay with my uncle for a while. That was common. Mother and Nanny fought then we packed up and left. When things died down we would return to Nanny’s and Papa’s after a few days or weeks. I really don’t remember exactly. I have no idea how much school I missed. But I’m guessing seeing how I was never really anywhere for very long – I wasn’t missed too much.

I think Papa was probably my mother’s biggest enabler. But he was my everything. He made me feel loved and safe. He showed me how to work hard and always made me laugh. He also always had bubble gum and banana Laffy Taffy. He taught me to bottle feed calves, took me to sale barns and got me some pet goats. He took me to check his opossum and raccoon traps. He taught me how to garden. Papa was at one time a Police Chief. I was proud of my Papa. I was proud of my Nanny too. She had worked hard to become a registered nurse later in life while having seven kids. Nanny was always good to me. Although the way she and Mother fought always upset me. I felt like I was in the middle, like I had to pick a side. I didn’t want to pick a side. I loved them both. I hated the way they fought. I hated the way Mother cried and was hurt.

One time we were driving somewhere in a motor home – Mother, Nanny, my uncle and I. I was in elementary school. I was in the back sleeping when I woke up to someone crying. It was Mother. She was sitting beside me. I sat up and asked her what was wrong. She told me Nanny had hit her on the head with a flash light. I felt bad for Mother. I hugged her and I got a little mad at Nanny. Then I got all these knots in my tummy. I didn’t like it when they fought and they fought a lot. Papa and Mother never fought. He always rescued her and took care of her. I think it made Nanny mad. But Nanny was always good to me. She never fought with me like she did Mother. She took good care of me and always told me she loved me and I knew she did. I just wished she loved Mother too or at least showed her. I think Mother knew Papa loved her but I’m not sure she ever really felt like Nanny did. That makes my heart hurt. I think that was one of my Mother’s biggest struggles – her struggle with her own mother.

One time, I was in the car with Mother, her friend and her friend’s son who was about my age. We had pulled up to a Sonic and they ordered some food. Sonic had some neat landscaping and big rocks. The little boy I was with got out and loaded up one of those big rocks in the car. He liked that rock and wanted to take it home. I was scared. He was stealing. The Sonic people saw him and said something to us over the intercom and I can’t remember if that boy put that rock back or not. But it wasn’t long after we left, before there was a policeman behind us with his lights on. Mother’s friend was driving. She pulled over. I looked over at Mother and she was asleep. She was sleeping really well. I couldn’t figure out how she was asleep with all the commotion going on. There were empty beer cans covering the passenger floor. The policeman walked over to the driver’s window and asked some questions.  Mother’s friend was arguing with the policeman about some pills she had in a baggy and how they were hers and he had no right to look at them. She was yelling, cussing and wasn’t being very nice. I remember looking back at Mother and noticed a policeman had drug her out and she was lying on the ground. He was giving her mouth to mouth or something. But that doesn’t make much sense to me now. Mother’s friend was handcuffed and taken back to a police car. I don’t remember an ambulance or anything. I think it was a different policeman who came to talk to me. He was so nice. He asked me if I was hungry and I told him I was. He asked what I wanted and I remember saying something about macaroni and cheese. He told he was going to take me to a place where I could get some. I liked him. My Papa was a police chief and he was my favorite. I knew this guy would be nice too. He pulled up to a really big two story house and took me inside. He talked to some lady and then he told me they would take care of me for a while. I was so scared. There were lots of kids and lots and lots of bunk beds. I wanted my Papa.

The next thing I remember, that strange lady was waking me up in the middle of the night. She was telling me someone was there to get me. I went with her and there was my sweet Papa. He came to get me. He always took care of me. We loaded up in his little Toyota pickup. I asked him where Mother was. He said she was in jail and would be there for a while. I felt bad for her. I hated that house I had just been to and I hoped hers wasn’t like that. I think I saw my Papa with tears in his eyes.

More than 20 years later, I was in that same town with my boys. They were young and there was a baseball camp my oldest was attending. After the camp, I drove to Sonic to get us a drink – just me and my boys. As I pulled into that same Sonic from years before, I was flooded with overwhelming emotions and memories from my childhood event. It was the weirdest and scariest thing. I remained composed with my boys and thought about that memory for days and weeks.

For as far back as I can remember, I was always the adult when it came to Mother. I was the one who had to be responsible. I knew I couldn’t trust her to truly take care of me. I knew she wanted to but she just couldn’t. Like the time she moved us to the Virgin Islands. I’m not exactly sure what that was all about. I don’t even remember how old I was. I just remember we moved to the Virgin Islands – St. Thomas I believe. It was just Mother and I. She was supposed to find a job as a nurse. Mother was an L.P.N. at that time. I was scared and nervous. My Papa wasn’t with me. We stayed in a hotel and within a week, we were out of money and Mother had to have money wired to us to get home. I never felt safe with Mother. She didn’t make very good choices and I didn’t like it.

One of my favorite schools was very small. Kindergarten through twelfth grade were all at the same location. I bet there were only about a hundred and fifty kids in the whole school. It was a small town. Kids drug Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights. Remember those days? It was fun. I was too young and had no business doing it but I did. I loved that school and those people. I moved there in early spring. It was really close to my birthday. On my actual birthday, one of those sweet girls who was a year older than me found out it was my birthday and bought me some earrings from a small downtown shop. That small gesture meant so much to me. I still remember it and it warms my heart and makes me smile. Those girls included me. I played basketball and was a cheerleader. I was terrible because I had never done either before. But for the first time, I felt like I belonged somewhere. It made me feel like I was a part of something. I felt loved and like I finally fit in.

I believe this is around the time Mother went to the penitentiary and one of the more difficult times in my life. I had moved back in with my Nanny and Papa. It was just the three of us. I loved being with them. Nanny was loving but firm with high expectations. Papa was fun, hardworking and just loved people. Nanny was always very good to me. But I had heard her get after Papa and Mother a few times over my life and it scared me. If Nanny didn’t like you, she could be really mean. But she was always good to me and made me feel loved. I looked forward to every minute I spent with Papa. He made life fun. I felt joy, loved and safe with him. I think Mother’s choices and path really disappointed and angered Nanny and she couldn’t help but express it. And I think Nanny’s disappointment and anger only fueled Mother’s addiction. What a terrible web! Papa just loved Mother. Papa did love well. That’s the kind of love I wanted to show my boys. I wanted to show love like my Papa with my Nanny’s expectations.

That sweetness of fitting into the small school, having friends, feeling safe, secure and loved only lasted about a month before my world was turned upside down. Again. In the worst way. Papa had a stroke, lay in a coma for three months and then died while I was at Falls Creek. I was devastated. He was my everything. I was angry. I had had enough. I didn’t have my mother, father and now my Papa was gone. I rebelled and acted ugly. Really ugly. Then I moved in with my aunt again (who had always been like surrogate mother) her husband and my cousins (who were more like siblings).

I moved schools. Again. At the new school, there were only three grades, sixth through eighth and there were a lot of kids. I bet there were well over five hundred. And there were two more schools just like it in the same city. It was huge! I didn’t like the new school. It was too big. I cried every day. Can you imagine what the other kids thought? I remember they had assigned another girl to me to help show me around and make me feel more comfortable. I cried every day. Every day. I missed my Papa and that little school. I heard one of the other kids ask the girl who had been assigned to me “why is she crying?” The girl replied “I don’t know. She does it all the time.” Thankfully I only went to that school about three months or so it seems.

After that, I moved to what would become my final school. By then I was in the sixth grade. I loved this school. The people were nice. The teacher was nice and made me feel welcome. I had to move one more time in the seventh grade because my mother had gotten married again and I went to live with her for a very short time. I didn’t like that new husband. He was mean and beat my mother. He crushed her hand and she never regained full use of one of her fingers. I believe he is still in prison today.

Finally by the eighth grade, I got settled back in my final school the one I would graduate from. I was back living with my aunt, uncle and cousins. My aunt treated me like I was her own and my cousins treated me like I was their sister. I loved it. The people were nice. I developed lifelong friends who helped me, got me and loved me. I loved it so much I stayed. I decided to raise my boys in one school system, one town and much less chaos. I wanted them to be close to family too. I wanted to give them roots just like I had always wanted and now feel like I have.

I wanted to give them a much different path than what I had. I wanted to break devastating cycles. I wanted my boys to be one of the kids who I always felt had an advantage. I wanted them to have a much different life than what I had. I wanted them to have a mom and a dad who actively participate in their lives.  I wanted them to know we love them and they are safe with us. I wanted them to know joy!

I can see the kids who are like me. The ones my boys go to school with. I know the struggles. I know the devastations. I know the feelings of being scared, insecure, embarrassed and worried. I know the feelings of never measuring up to the other kids with the home life advantage. I know what it’s like to fight against all odds not to end up a statistic.

The fight is won by having loving people, teachers, coaches, friends, family and strangers SHOW and DO love. This old world is tough and can be really hard. We can make it a little easier by showing kindness and love. You may never really know what someone is going through or how your simple actions can impact them negatively or positively.

I am so thankful for all of those who have loved and do love me, pray for me, and show me a different and better way.   I know the ones who were behind the scenes praying for me played a huge part!  I am blessed!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Finding the sweet side of crazy!


It’s not about me



“Mother, I don’t understand! Why do you always pick your stupid drugs and alcohol over me? You have done it my entire life. Why do you keep doing it? It causes so much pain. I hate those stupid things! Don’t you love me? Why do you love the drugs more than you love me? If you didn’t you could stop. I need my mother! They stole you from me! Please stop! I can’t take it anymore. It’s killing me. Stop it”

I was in my early twenty’s talking to my mother on the phone. Early twenties. The other women I knew who were my mother’s age didn’t behave this way. They were grown up, responsible and helped guide their kids. I was at my wit’s end. I was always trying to guide my mother and get her to make better choices. I can’t remember the exact circumstances of this phone call because there were so many incidents. But the phone call sticks out in my mind. It wasn’t so much a conversation as it was me bombarding her with my disappointments, hurt and frustration. I was so mad at her. Maybe it was because I had received a phone call from the police after her neighbors had turned her in for rummaging through their medicine cabinet after she asked to use their bathroom. Or maybe it was after I had found out she had pawned a television my husband, Scott had loaned her. Or maybe it was after she stole a bunch of stuff from someone’s house and Scott and I had to return it on Christmas day. Then I had to listen to the lady tell me how horrible my mother was instead of her thinking about the bigger picture – a 20 year old girl just had to do the right thing on Christmas day and return a bunch of things her mother had stolen. It could have been a thousand different reasons. I don’t remember the exact reason for the phone call.

She could handle tough things better on the phone when she didn’t have to look at you. But it still wasn’t easy. It was excruciating for her. She didn’t say much. What could she say? Those words must have been terribly difficult and heartbreaking to hear from your daughter. I’m sure she was embarrassed and her sober kind, insecure, tenderhearted, timid self never would have behaved that way.  My mother hated confrontation. Unless she was drunk. And then she wanted to fight. She could get really mean. She wasn’t drunk when I asked her those hard questions. She was clean for the moment. I knew it was painful for her to hear but I had to ask. I had to express my feelings. I thought I could make her stop if she knew how much she was killing me. I don’t remember her answers. I remember her quietly and timidly trying to explain the impossible. She would start and then she would clam up like she always did. Almost as if she wanted to explain but didn’t have the courage or maybe she knew a person who wasn’t an addict would never really understand. Maybe there was no possible way she could explain how she was powerless to a substance and she was completely under its control. And honestly how could I ever understand. I hadn’t walked her walk and I thank God for that every day. She would tell me how thankful she was I hadn’t gone down the same dark path.

I’m sure over the years my questions, expectations, rules, boundaries, anger, looks, tones and obvious disappointments constantly made her feel judged and miserable. As if she didn’t have enough internal misery and guilt to deal with. I understand addiction pretty well. I have lived with it my entire life. I went to a couple of Alateen meetings but they weren’t really for me. I worked in a detox unit as a float pool nurse for several years. But mainly I have life experience. Lots of it. I hate addiction! I hate the destruction it causes. It’s not selective either. It wants everyone and anyone. It wants to destroy lives and cause as much destruction as possible. It wants to be passed down from generation to generation. Claiming everyone in its path. The more pain, the better.

As far back as I can remember mother was always using. She started around fourteen. It was just a little experimentation initially. Just sampling things and then it turned into so much more. It was how she dealt with things. It was her escape. That’s why I hated it so much. I wanted my mother to be strong and fight and quit being so weak. I wanted her to face things. Get some courage. Tell people what she really thought. I wanted my mother to love me and take care of me like other mothers. I wanted her to be at my school functions and events. I wanted her to pack my lunches, fix my hair and make sure my clothes were clean. I wanted her to take care of my basic needs and show me love all the time. I wanted to be first….before the drugs and alcohol. Instead, she struggled. A lot. She went to jail numerous times. She was messed up most of the time. She even spent time in the penitentiary. It was so hard to see my mother like that. She went to treatment several times and maintained sobriety for short periods. But I never had my mother. Not really. She had been stolen from me by a substance that was much stronger than I was.

I was naive back then. I didn’t understand the death grip it had on her. Her usage quickly escalated like a slow moving train working up speed slowly, then getting faster and faster and eventually traveling at an out of control high rate of speed…then crashing into the side of a mountain. It demolished most everything in its path….people, hopes, dreams, relationships, goals – everything!

I’m not exactly sure when my thinking actually changed…when I stopped taking her actions and choices personal. But somewhere along the way it changed. Maybe it was all the prayers that were being prayed for me or the stories my family told me to help me see my mother in a different light. Maybe it was the letter I got with a $10 check saying how sorry she was for pawning the television and she would send me a $10 check every month until I felt the debt was paid. She had very little money. That was who she truly was…a caring, kind, tenderhearted, broken soul.

Whatever it was, I am so thankful. Because after that, it wasn’t personal anymore. I understood mother never chose the drugs and alcohol over me. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME. It was about her and her issues. My hurt and pain no longer came from my mother’s mean words or awful selfish actions. Yes, she frustrated me and caused me great stress but most of my pain came from what she was missing, the pain she caused herself and the way she was living. I knew there was so much more to life. So much joy and love she was missing out on. That’s what made my heart hurt. That’s what made me cry myself to sleep at night. When I got to this place her hateful words didn’t have the sting or power. I forgave her as quickly as she spewed out her drunken venom. It was a much more peaceful place. I still cried a lot but it was for her pain not mine.

Instead of showing anger and resentment I tried to show empathy and love with healthy boundaries. I wasn’t perfect and failed a lot. But I knew it wasn’t about me. It had nothing to do with me. All of the fears about me not being good enough or something being wrong with me weren’t at the forefront of my mind. I was an innocent girl who had to watch the devastating destruction of my mother. It was painfully hard to watch and to feel but I knew it was nothing compared to what she was feeling. I had learned enough to know as long as she stayed messed up she didn’t have to deal with her own tough feelings. She could avoid the guilt temporarily. But as soon as she was clean she had to deal with all of the consequences, feelings of guilt and disappointment that had accumulated over the last forty plus years. I can’t even begin to imagine how painful it would be. I guess in some ways it was easier to stay messed up. It’s hard for me to deal with my own guilt sometimes. I can’t imagine trying to deal with a lifetime all at once.

I never really had my mother. She was sixty one when she died April 1, 2015. I was forty three.

It was never about me.

Finding the sweet side of crazy!





Savor the Sweet Stuff

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See this cutie? I got to spend the day with him yesterday. Just he and I. I loved every minute of it. Every single minute. He made me laugh – like always. He asked me to watch one of his favorite movies with him. So I did. I had some one on one time with him…doing what he wanted. You know, getting in his world. I love my time alone with my boys. It is precious and invaluable.

Every year since the boys started school they have gotten a “hooky day” for their birthday (sorry teachers). They get checked out of school and I take the day off. If they have an event or a test on their actual birthday and need to be at school, we just try to pick a different day for our “hooky day.” We go eat or go to a movie or whatever they want to do. We just spend the day together. It is their day and my time with them. It’s a time to escape from normal routines. When they were little, both boys got to enjoy each other’s hooky days. But at 16 and 20 it’s not so easy anymore.

Madden used his hooky day yesterday for his driving test instead of on his actual birthday. We got up at 5:00 a.m., drove to Shawnee because the lines are shorter there. He took his driving test and passed. My baby is now a licensed driver! Yay Mad!  Then we drove back home to eat at the restaurant he chose because it was his day. He didn’t really want to go to a movie this time. He wanted to go home so we could watch one of his favorite movies. So that’s what we did. We curled up on the couch and watched his movie. These are my most favorite days. I savor the time. Because this chapter will be closed all too soon.

Karen Kingsbury wrote a book about enjoying the lasts and it made an impact on me. As parents we tend to focus on the “firsts.” The first time they sleep through the night, roll over, sit up, walk, the first day of school, first dance, first game, etc. We don’t tend to focus so much on the “lasts.” Since skimming through her book several years ago (I’m going to read it soon), I’ve made an effort to anticipate the lasts so I can savor them.

So in August being mindful this was my last year of taking Madden to school for his first day, I savored it. I knew in my mind it was my last. Next year he will drive himself. I try to proactively prepare for any lasts. The ones I can pinpoint anyway. I want to pinpoint them so I can purposefully savor them by being in the moment, enjoying, listening, breathing it in, knowing it is special and being mindful it is a last. For me, when I focus on this approach – anticipating and savoring, it is a positive experience. Otherwise, I think I would feel gloom and doom and I would be spending my time dreading instead of savoring. I want to savor.

For the last 6 months, I have been Madden’s driving instructor. I’ve been preparing myself for the last time I would drop him off at school and the last time he would actually “need” me to take him somewhere. So when he needed more driving time and asked if I wanted to get a snow cone or ice cream at 8:00 p.m. when I was already in my pajamas…I of course jumped up threw on some clothes and away we went. Even when I was ready to crawl in my bed. I have loved every minute of it. My waist line has not. But I never know when it might be my last snow cone or ice cream so I want to savor that too.

I told Madden I would need some sort of transition period to prepare myself for this major change in my own life. My baby got his license! I asked him if I could go ahead and just take him to school like I have been for the rest of the year, just to allow me more time to adjust. He of course said…a big fat “NO.”

Last evening, I followed Madden out to his truck and watched as he got in, started his vehicle and drove off for the first time completely by himself. He stopped long enough for me to take a couple of pictures. I drive him crazy with my pictures. But he reluctantly agreed only because he knows it is important to me. Well that and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. He said, “Okay but I’m only taking four.” I said great and took about 15. He has just started a completely different chapter of his life. A whole new world. A world of more independence and responsibility. It’s also a completely new chapter for Scott and me. He is our youngest so now our days of driving our kids to and from school are over. And let me tell you – they flew by. When they are little, you think it will never end…you will forever be their taxi service. And then one day, just like that…it’s over. It literally flashes before your eyes. I am thankful for the many firsts and lasts I have been able to savor. Bittersweet!

It’s days like this I find myself thinking back to my mother and all of the sweet stuff she missed.  It makes me want to savor even more.

Finding the sweet side of crazy!






Algebra Changed my Life

I can’t do algebra. I don’t understand it. There are a bunch of X’s, Y’s, other letters and numbers. You have to figure out what they equal. And why? I never really cared what they equaled. It never made any sense to me. I would say “I don’t understand why we have to take algebra. I’m never going to use it.”

I occasionally skipped the class to run to Sonic and get a drink which certainly didn’t’ help me learn. I feel bad now because our teacher was so nice and I showed him my ugly side. I didn’t get it and I never saw the importance of it…until now!

You know what? I’m so glad I took algebra! It taught me a very valuable lesson. It taught me positives cancel out negatives. Did you know that?  And I use it every day of my life! So I did need algebra.

Madden assures me this isn’t exactly correct. But whatever! That’s what stuck with me and I like it. He can do algebra his way and I’ll do it mine. Besides it changed my life. Algebra changed my life. Who knew? I bet my algebra teacher would be proud I learned so much! Just think what else I could have learned if I would have given 100 percent.

A positive cancels out a negative. The negative is the ugliness and craziness in your life – the hurt, disappointment, anger, sadness, etc. If we allow the ugliness to stay or be more present than the positive then we become more like the ugliness and craziness. That’s why we need to focus on some positive so we can drown out that old ugly junk.

The positive is the sweet stuff. The byproduct of the ugly you have to dig for. For every negative you have to have a positive because the positive cancels out the negative just like algebra taught me.

Now, I know nothing can cancel out the pain of losing a love one. I have friends and family who have lost children. I can’t even begin to imagine the excruciating pain. So I’m not suggesting Algebra taught me how to erase or cancel out those feelings. They can’t be erased. They have to be lived through.

I’m really talking more about what we focus on. What we seek is what we will find. Norman Vincent Peale said…“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

For me, if I had continually thought about the pain and disappointment mother’s addiction caused in my life, I would be miserable. Instead I focused on the positive things that came out of it. Like the lessons I learned inadvertently.

If you have too many negatives you feel bad, angry, weighted down, disappointed and sad. You have to find the positives to cancel out those negatives. But I’m not okay with just balancing them out. I like to flood those negatives with a bunch of positives. Then I feel more joy and love in my heart.

So I focus on the positive sweet moments. Like Godwinks! I love Godwinks! I had two today. Yes, two! They give me great peace and joy!

I typed an email and after I sent it I went back to look at something and I noticed the word “I’ve” had changed to “mom.” Weird. That may not seem like it means too much. But those who really know me, know I have never referred to mother as “mom.” I just never did – we didn’t have that kind of a relationship. Mom is so intimate and to me signifies a deep mother daughter relationship. She was always Mother. But I thought about seeing that word and the fact it isn’t a word I ever type so why did it change “I’ve” to “mom? Then as I was reviewing some patient information, I went to check a date and the date was 2/26/15. Her birthdate! Right after the “mom” thing had just happened! Another Godwink! I believe she is letting me know she is okay. She’s happy in Heaven surrounded by loved ones. At peace. Surrounded by beauty. Maybe she feels like a “mom” up there. That makes my heart really joyful!

Yes, algebra changed my life! It has helped me live in the positive.

Now I say… “If you haven’t taken algebra, do it! It might change your life too!”

Finding the sweet in the crazy!