The Opposite of Addiction is Connection


We hold our secrets close to our hearts when we can’t comprehend a situation foreign to us. We silently navigate the uncharted territory with no knowledge of the tools required. When you don’t understand, it’s hard to know where to begin, where to reach out for help.

This can’t be happening to me. Why is it happening to me, I don’t deserve this, are thoughts that first surface. We share our lives too much on social media, but for the most part it is a facade, a glorified exaggeration, an unrealistic view of who we truly are. When in truth we are all struggling with something deep beneath the surface. We are viewed by our “friends” as living life to the fullest. Perfectly posted filtered photographs present us to those who muse us from a distance, that we are living the dream, three words that are regularly used to mock the fact that we are NOT living the dream. Deep down we have underlying pain we suppress so no one sees our cracks, exposing our weakness and vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage” Brene Brown.

We sprinkle our social media with post that support the dark side, the reality of Mental Health, in hopes that someone will repost in support. We don’t know who is suffering but we do our part and share the heart felt meme.

We share to become more aware. Awareness and sharing of our struggles is how we become relatable to those who don’t have the strength to reach out and ask for help, you are not alone! No matter how difficult your struggle seems, when you acknowledge it and share, tomorrow comes with the rising sun and you begin another day a little lighter.

As we silence and suppress our pain we disassociate ourselves with those who deeply love us, they can’t help you fix what they don’t know. Again, you are not alone. We don’t want to burden them with our truth. No one has time. We think we can do it alone. We isolate ourselves knowing that if we let them look deep into our eyes, and show our truth, they will recognize the pain we desperately hide behind the window to our soul. The music that once made my eyes sparkle and dance has stopped, I can no longer hide the sadness in my heart. That is my truth, for now.

When you become a Mother, you fiercely protect your children with vengeance. You would annihilate the world with a push of a button without a thought to save your child. The love you feel is unlike any other. You would give your life for them to breathe another breath, even if it were just one more. Your life has a purpose and that is to love and support them in every way humanly possible. We nurture and love, as if it is the only way to allows our heart to beat another day.

We have become experts at covering up what is really going on, out of fear we will be judged. When in reality, everyone has something they are working through. When you face this fear, you will see others standing next to you, understanding, knowing the path you are on, because they too have been there. You are never alone. It is a path because of others who have blazed it before you, remember that!

I grew up with a family member who struggled with Alcohol and Drug addiction. I was able to deal with my feeling from a distance because I didn’t bring him into this world. I had no comprehension of the magnitude of pain his addiction caused my parents. They so bravely dealt with it as best they could and sheltered me from the pain and struggle that was happening in their hearts. My parents navigated his disease, that I am sure crippled them at times, not knowing what else they could possibly do. They loved and supported him and sought guidance to help them on their unfamiliar path. Even now, they look back and wonder what they could have done differently or better, 40 years later. I had such empathy for my parents in my teens, in my eyes they were the coolest parents anyone could ask for. I didn’t understand how he couldn’t see this as clearly as I did. I was truly blessed. I chose many times to be with them over my friends because my love for them was so strong. To this day, they are my guiding light in life, and are now helping me navigate the path I find myself on with my son. I chose a path that couldn’t have been further from the one my brother chose, perhaps subconsciously, because I didn’t think my parents deserved to go down that rocky road again. I wanted to be the music that made their eyes sparkle and dance once again. My extended family also had struggles with addiction, a silent slow killer of a happy family dynamic. That secret we keep to ourselves, to keep the peace, in truth it gives us anything but peace.

I remember in my 20’s, coming to terms with the fact that I may get a visit from the Police informing me that my brother had come to his demise and I prepared myself for the phone call or door knock, that he finally succumbed to his end here, and would leave us with a mess of emotions to clean up. My brother did survive, albeit with a tornado of pain left in a path of destruction. I now understand how my Mom feels, knowing he is alive is a comfort but not knowing why he struggled so, haunts her heart every day as it does mine. Why would anyone choose to struggle if they had the choice, and that is addiction. Like her I am at peace when my kids are safe, healthy and happy. I wish for her peace in her heart each day.

I was angry for years at my brother for not knowing what he was doing to our family, in my eyes he was oblivious to the pain he had caused us by the choices he made. I separated myself from him, giving him tough love when he chose to reach out to me. I couldn’t have him lead me down his path, it was too painful for me, and I needed to support my parents. I know now that he has his own demons and a heart filled with regret, that only he can try to come to terms with in his own way. I wish him peace in his heart as well. Was he too far down the path to make his way back? I think there comes a time when we all feel it easier to just settle with where we are. The alternate is a great deal of work. It is a painful reality that I am not ready to face with my own son. I am hopeful that what he is going through is just a bump in the road and that he will prevail.

I am still in denial as I write this. I just want to wake up and it all be a bad dream. For whatever reason life has dealt me these cards, so the challenge begins for me right here. I don’t want to believe my own flesh and blood could make me feel such heart stopping fear. Anxiety washes over me throughout the day when I think of him. I want to know he will survive, and believe in my heart he will but there are times I find it hard to trust in a higher power when so many don’t.

I hold it together for my daughter, as my parents did for me to lessen the impact it will have on her life. I want her to see the good, and have faith that life doesn’t have to be a battle but a journey exploring the never ending possibilities that life has to offer. I believe what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and that it is how you react or deal with what comes our way that matters, but when you are in it, it’s hard to see the light.

I no longer think why is this happening to me, it has not been about me since the day my kids were born. My heart will stop beating one day, and my hope is that I can rest easy and leave this world with certainty that I did my part in serving others and that my children found their purpose and some meaning to allow joy in their lives.

I find strength when I look into my daughters eyes and see a caring, compassionate soul who tries to balance her fear for and love towards her brother. I find strength in knowing my son is a brilliant young man who is struggling to overcome what is below the surface that only he can see. If and when he choses to expose it, he will stand among those who can not only relate but help him heal.

We have to get through it because the other option is too painful a place to visit, a place where many parents and loved ones go each day in this crisis we face with mental health and addiction. The loss of a son or daughter is unbearable in any situation, but to not understand their troubles makes it even worse, because as parents we are programmed to make things ok.

Until we share the reality that we are facing, we can not begin to heal. We need to stop suppressing our pain to start the healing process, whether it be your healing or your family members healing. We can’t allow it to consume us, and each person has to be accountable to do their part in the process for it to work.
We need to fearlessly walk with purpose down the path where struggle needs to meet grit. My question is does he have the grit he needs to overcome his struggle? Perhaps that is what he is learning today.

When I reflect back on my brother, I can’t help but think if he had sought out the help he needed to face his demons sooner, what kind of relationship might have been possible. I love him no matter what, he is my brother and I have learned over the years to accept him for who he is. I have no judgment, just the feeling of loss of what may have been. When I think of my son, I have hope that if he does the internal work to find the source of his need to self medicate he will be at peace and find a higher purpose with meaning in his life. With the love and support of your family, regardless of how hard you think this is, you can conquer anything.

Love conquers all.

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Intimacy…

Holding-hands3

Intimacy…the ultimate sexy! Being drawn to someone without control is a feeling that many of us only experience once in a lifetime. It’s a magical force between two who connect on a much deeper level. It’s not just about sexual chemistry, although that too can be very intimate. Pure intimate feelings come from a much deeper place. A touch of the hand while staring into the eyes of someone who sees right inside your soul is intimate. A feeling of belonging together formed from a bond of experiencing the other.

There are two types of intimacy; physical and emotional. Love is intertwined in both. There are also two types of love within intimacy; compassionate and passionate. Compassionate love involves diminished feeling of attachment to the other. It is authentic, committed with profound feelings of caring for the other. Passionate love is identified by infatuation, intense feelings of sexual longing, throes of ecstasy and feelings of exhilaration that fill the room when you are together. To have a combination of both physical and emotional intimacy with passionate love is what most of us are ultimately seeking.

It’s a look across a room filled with people to that one person who turns you inside out and back again. A gaze that is only meant for you. A moment suspended in time. They know exactly what you’re thinking. It’s the magic of an intimate connection.

When we open our heart and expose ourselves making it known we are vulnerable to the other we experience the most profound intimate moments. It can’t be controlled, even if you try. You can walk away physically but your mind won’t allow you to leave the room they’re in. It can be a scary step if you’re not ready to open yourself to its entirety. A risk that many will not allow their heart to explore.

When you fall intimately for another human being they live inside your mind. They change the physiology of your body. They stir your soul. You become enveloped by their energy. They surround you no matter how far their physical form is from yours. They stand next to you inhaling your presence. It’s a powerful sensation that can overwhelm the ordinary.

Intimacy is considered the product of a successful seduction…so sexy!

Tracy~

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Tugging Me Back


Some places from my past seem to insist on being revisited. I wonder if I’ve inadvertently leaked a little of my soul’s energy in these places and then can’t ignore the tug from that energy to return to the spot – just to breathe it into my essence again.

That’s how I felt about a small town I lived in when I was between the ages of 2 and 4 ½. Although I moved into three different houses in this particular town, I remember them all very well. So well, in fact, that when I was driving through there last weekend, I could easily find them on my own without any help or directions from anyone. The last time I was there was about 44 years ago (which is weird, cause I’m only 36!).

I don’t just have a faint memory of this town despite how very young I was when I lived there, no I remember many details – of the houses, the neighbours, the things I did back then, even thoughts I had.

My mom was with me on this last visit and I actually had to correct her on certain things.

“No she didn’t live beside us; she lived across the road from us in that house. Remember mom?”

To be fair, I did live there with my grandparents for some time before my mother joined us. She had been going to Business College out of town and would visit whenever she could until she graduated and then she and I lived on our own together. We started off right in town and then settled in a home just a few houses down from my grandparent’s house.

As we drove into town my mom said “There’s the Dairy Queen you and I would go to every Friday night. We would share an order of fries. Do you remember?”

“Yes I do remember, and then you would play your guitar for me when we got home.”

“You Are My Sunshine!” we both blurted out in unison.

She told me she still gets teary whenever she hears that song and I confessed to her that when I was a young woman if any guy called me Sunshine, I was his.  ¯\_(-)_/¯

I pointed to an area and said I was sure there used to be a park over there. Yes, it was true. Lots of memories were flooding back but I didn’t want to talk, I just wanted to have them all wash over me and take me back to another time. An innocent time.

Aside from the many clear memories I have of that town there is one moment waaaaay back that will always stay with me. I had climbed into one of the apple trees in our front yard and then relaxed my back against a slanted branch. I fit perfectly in the arms of that old tree and I felt completely protected. I watched clouds drift across the bluest of blue skies and I knew I was a part of it all; that I was connected to everything. Now that may sound like a pretty heavy thought to have at 3 years old, but is it? I bet we all knew it when we were very small but gradually forgot along the way.

I wanted to go back and lean against that apple tree once more; I wanted to feel safe and connected and brand new again.  Sadly, the tree had been removed long ago; my grandparents are gone now too but as I stood gazing at the place they’d all once been, I realized something. I may not feel brand new but I’m still safe and most importantly – my connection to them, to all of it, never ends. I breathed in deeply and then walked back to the car. I left feeling energized by the experience once again. My essence restored.

 

 

______________________

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In the Mind of a Hopeless Romantic~

TJ It’s like a record playing over and over in your head, the song you just can’t stop humming. It’s become so familiar that it is a part of who you are. It’s not just in my head, I feel it every time I think of him. I’ve been wrapped in his spell for as long as I can remember. I can’t find my way out, every time I try and I have tried, it just starts all over. My hopeless romantic mind will not let it go. When he does finally come for me, and he will, the world will spin out of control trying to balance the electrical force we will create when we do finally surrender to one another.

There I was, standing in a room filled with music, people and chatter. I was engaged in a conversation with a complete stranger who was standing so close I could feel his breath on my ear as each word danced from his mouth. He was warm and passionate. He was someone I could spent hours talking to, the conversation was effortless, flowing easily.

The Kiss in the CrowdAs we were exchanging words, I glanced across the room and there he was…just standing there looking at me. Instantly my entire body was wrapped in his energy. You could hear the sparks fly across the room between us. The chemistry was magical. My entire being was encircled by his. If I closed my eyes I think I might have been able to hear his heart beat. His stare was intoxicating, looking deep inside me. There was no need for words, the look on his face expressed his intentions crystal clear. The connection was unbreakable, everything disappeared, the people, the conversation, even the music. He walked directly towards me with such certainty. My heart couldn’t beat any faster than it was at that very moment.

romantic kissWhen he was standing close enough to touch I felt the strength in his arms scan my body moving upwards. As his strong hands cupped my jaw line, I closed my eyes slowly to focus on my next breath of air. When my eyes opened we connected once more just as he leaned in and opened his mouth slightly. I was completely enveloped in the moment.  I was taken to a place I thought only existed  in my mind. He was breathing from his chest, the closer his lips got to touching mine the faster our pulses raced until we were completely in sync. Our lips touched, mixing our chemistry creating a concoction neither of us had tasted before. We stood silent in the moment. I would remember this feeling for eternity.

Our lips slowly parted, both overwhelmed by passion, there was no going back. I opened my eyes to the voice of my complete stranger standing next to me “Tracy, dance with me”, grabbing my hand he lead me through the crowd to the dance floor. I smiled, still in the moment inside my hopelessly romantic mind. I paused and looked around the room one last time, then danced like no one was watching~

I was listening to Michael Bublé while running and loved the words to his song “Haven’t Met You  Yet”, then I saw the video and had to add it to my post, seems I am not the only one !

Tracy signiture

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