We’re On a Path

The support that I receive from people who read my blog and tweets is simply amazing. I am always humbled when people who I’ve never met in real life take the time to read my blog and offer suggestions to me when I clearly need help. I am grateful beyond words for the support that pours in when I open my heart and share my struggles here.

I was very nervous about the meeting with my son’s principal today for a number of reasons. What was I going to do if things didn’t go well? What would we do if the school told us they were unwilling to help? (Since it is a private school they do not have the same legal obligations as a public school). What would we do if they told us that we were being unreasonable? What if my temper came out as if had last week with the guidance counselor?

I was living in the wreckage of my future all weekend and even up until the meeting. I did my best to carry on and have some fun this past weekend, but truthfully I harbored concerns that things would not go well today.

And so, I was pleasantly surprised when the meeting went well. We have a plan. We have a path forward with the school. I was able to express my concerns and my frustrations without losing my temper and most importantly I am fairly sure that the principal understood where I was coming from.

Tonight, rather than feeling dread, I feel relief and hope.

Hope goes a long way.

There were days in early sobriety when hope that things could get better was all I had to keep me from picking up a drink.

Tonight I was reminded of just how powerful hope can be as I watched a young woman celebrate a year of sobriety. I can remember how down-trodden she seemed when she first started coming around. I saw her struggle. She stumbled several times, but somehow she kept hope alive in her heart. And that hope kept her alive. Today she is a bright light in the rooms, smiling, laughing, and staying sober one day at a time.

I’m hopeful for brighter days ahead for my son and my family. I know they are coming. We just have to keep working toward them. The path may be long and winding. We may not always be able to see through the dense forest or past the horizon. But with a little hope and faith, I am confident we can reach our destination.

It’s Been a Struggle

The past few months have been a struggle for my son as well as for my wife and me. We have been working to address some challenges he faces with ADHD through medication for about six months. We have also been working with a therapist and attempting to work with his school during this time as well. Things have gone well with the therapy but the other fronts have been marginal at best.

I know from my own experience with antidepressants that finding the right medication and the right dose is a series of trials and errors. And we’ve had some real errors in this department with our son. We’ve watched as he’s tried various families of medications and witnessed rage, increased migraines, frustration, and stomach aches for six months. The boy has been through the ringer. There have been periods of relative success but we have not settled on a perfect solution.

We’ve struggled to find a great doctor. The first psychiatrist we worked with didn’t seem to have any ideas and frankly had the personality of snail snot. We bailed on her in January after we realized that she was about as confused as we were. We went to his pediatrician since we had no where else to turn and she attempted to help but When things didn’t improve she suggested another psychiatrist.

About a week ago we met with a new psychiatrist who seems to have better ideas and we believe we are on a path. I’ve dutifully kept the school up to date in all the changes, but to be honest, and without going into details, the response from the school has been less than stellar. We have a meeting with the principal today to discuss the situation and see if we can find a path forward.

My escape instinct has been strong too. I’ve had more than a few thoughts of escape. Thoughts of moving. Thoughts of taking a solo trip. Thoughts of obliterating my feelings. Thoughts turning in to the liquor store on the way home. Thoughts of that magical elixir and the sweet relief that it brings.

But I know that it won’t help. I know that escape is temporary and that my family needs me. And so, I keep doing the next right thing.

I keep going to meetings. I keep meditating. I keep talking to people who I trust. I keep tweeting with my #recoveryposse on Twitter. And I keep playing the tape forward and witnessing myself alone and depressed with a bottle. It’s not a pretty site and the pain is palpable when I take the initial thought to its final conclusion.

But I haven’t written here. That’s one thing that I have not been doing. It’s hard to write at this point. Partly because the pain is not mine alone. By not writing though, I have failed myself in a way. Writing has always been a way to work things out, to get to a better place.

And so, I’m writing. And I’m scared to publish. But I know that sharing my story (even if it’s not mine alone) is important. And I know that writing is how I share my story. But more importantly, writing is a part of my program for success. And if I’m not working my program, I’m not going to succeed in the long run.