I got up and felt much better. The sun is shining and I am hoping to hit the gym. I do need to tend to my little plants outside, while the temperatures are still mild enough to keep them above ground. It is a mild autumn for certain. Not really complaining either.
Spent time this week talking with an old friend. She shared some of her struggles and I shared some of mine, along with stories of family drama long past that had brought us to the present. As the subject of my grandma and my mother came up, I found myself sad at times, but the usual anger and frustration was gone. In it’s place was a certain compassion and understanding for the time and place at which they found themselves and the challenges they faced.
My grandmother was born to parents that loved to party and have a good time, not necessarily parent and nurture children. My mother was born out of wedlock during the war years to someone who was desperate for love and comfort. In complete honesty, they did the best they could with the tools they had. They both behaved out of the emotional baggage they carried, with little healthy support from anyone to change or grow. In other words, they lived out their lives in survival mode, looking for the missing piece that would complete their lives.
We all run into people who are still living this way. This “missing piece” often ends up being the drug of choice, acting out in dysfunction, or other behaviors that cause harm in our lives. Before recovery, I thought survival mode WAS life. I spent so many years angry and frustrated by their behavior, thinking it was somehow all their fault I was such a mess. Even once I got into recovery, I was still angry, because my emotions had not caught up to the truth about what was mine to be responsible for and what wasn’t. Time takes time.
Recovery is the true “missing piece”. It gives us a tool-set to make our way through. We replace our defective coping skills that were damaging us and others with positive ones that build and strengthen us. Comparing my mother and grandmother’s tools to what I have is like trying to compare a rusty pick and shovel to a shiny roll-away with many drawers, being stocked all the time with new implements to help me along the way. There is just no comparison. At the end of the day, they did what they could with what they had. Now I am charged with doing each day what I can with what I have.
Grateful for friends, family, God and my recovery, without which none of this would be possible.
Have a great Friday my friends. Much love