One of the first posts I read today was a piece about co-dependency which is how I define my lifestyle at times. I am the oldest child and only girl in a family where there were secrets kept on both sides that would later affect my life. The first big wakeup call was when I read Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More from Hazelden. I was in therapy at the time and beginning to understand that the world indeed was not against me but trying to help me unravel the mess I found myself in. I was married to an alcoholic who was a terrific person trying to kill his pain. He later became ten years sober prior to his death and served as a beacon for a lot of others in the darkness of rehab. I was also heavily co-dependent on my parents, even in my thirties, trying to be the good hostess/friend and fixer-of-things that my mother was. Daddy carried a lot of anger around from a childhood plagued by the poverty of the Great Depression. We saw it when he got frustrated enough to have a running Stafford fit. For the most part, he just let Mom deal with me because he didn't have a clue. I strove to please them even as an adult.
Pnoler's family was like trying to decipher a road map. Raised by a grandmother and step-grandfather for a check, he grew up thinking that his birth mother was his Sis. At 18 he was living with his Aunt Nez on Bell street where Clem also ended up....all in Granny's house. I remember vividly watching a 55 year old Clem die a slow and miserable death from alcoholism in the ICU of where I work. Same for m Uncle Bill at age 36. His addiction was not very well hidden, particularly following his divorce. The girls were little when he died. That was as pure a case of enabling that I've ever seen with hundreds of thousands of dollars going into a black hole that was meant to be shared equally between four heirs. My mother never quite got over losing her farm with the pecan trees.
In the workplace I was on fire as a younger woman, always trying to do the best and more for recognition as a professional. When our long time boss left I decided against applying for the job because I was beginning to realize just how hard it would be on a soul. He stayed in charge for a couple more years giving us all kinds of grief remotely until Bossfriend had earned her wings by hanging in there through the transition. She is a better co-dependent woman than me, just saying.
There is freedom in letting go of the past in that all hurts and grudges can be. if not forgotten at least understood and processed on a learning curve. You can't just ignore what's happened or is happening NOW ( denial! ). My grandmother denied the grip that alcoholism had over the fortune that Papa left and she told me late in life that " you might do the same thing if it were you." Indeed, Gaga. Indeed.
Having been involved in all points of entry for mental health care including but not limited to hospital, jail and rehab services AND the famous drug court in Dyersburg, I can honestly say that the resources are there for the ones who really want to change. There is a psych room in the ER with scratches where people have gone apeshit crazy trying to overdose and die. The plexiglass window at the jail is thick and unyielding. Meanwhile, our privatized system of treating drug abuse by funding outsourced prison management makes the legal system a rabbit hole for most.
I am not in denial about the harm that is caused by drugs and alcohol because I've lived it. That being said, I don't believe that regulation does anything more than empower Big Pharm with more Panama money. Particularly in the case of the cannabis industry ( yes, it's an industry now ) there is a lot of fight back from them because they have LOT to lose if opiates get less popular and they very well could. Cannabis is a healthy cure for chronic pain bypassing the hook that is opiate addiction. Crack and coke are relatively harmless when compared to heroin. If using a drug that is illegal is enforced, the whole system perpetuates itself. How many jail ministries can testify to that?
My friend had a pillow one time that was embroidered something like this : " You gotta wanna." and that's true for just about any aspect of life. Choosing not to be stuck in a lifestyle that's not healthy and peaceful is a powerful step toward recovery.
One day at a time ~