Sunday, March 4, 2012

the bitter fruit of hope

My therapist, the one I only went to twice before she totally pissed me off, said that what The Oldest says is not necessarily a lie. That when he says 'he's sorry' or 'he wishes he could do better' or 'he wants a different life' that he truly means it in that moment. And then in another moment the drugs are more important.

And, I understand that. We had a family conference with an addictions counselor, and he explained the battle between the limbic system and the cerebral cortex, and how survival will always trump reason in that battle, and that The Oldest's brain is now wired to equate survival with the drugs.

tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies
So I listen, and I remind myself not to believe anything he says, or - more to the point - not to cling so tightly to the expectation that what he says will result immediately in changed actions.

I remind myself that The Oldest is a drug addict and not to be trusted, but that he's still The Oldest and deserving of unlimited love. That his words are not a lie, but a truth that may not stand up to time.

The things he says are so much of what I want to hear. I want to believe them ... in the moment he says them they are not just an idea, but a future that makes all this okay. And yet, those are not the lies that get me into trouble. The lies that really mess with my head are the ones I tell myself.
  • Maybe there's some other explanation for where the booze/money/my mom's wedding rings went
  • Maybe he can just get better on his own
  • Maybe mom just misplaced her rings - she is getting forgetful
  • I'm sure the drugs he's doing aren't that bad
  • Maybe he really does like having a nowhere job and couch surfing with his friends
  • Surely this is more because of his dad's 'abandonment' anything I did or failed to do
The exhausting mental gymnastics give me a hope that is not born out of reality. I am learning, slowly, that my best hope lies in a deep connection to the truth of the matter. That The Oldest is a drug addict, and he sincerely wants a better life. That his issues are more complex than I understand. That I can only support his recovery, not make choices for him. That I can - and in fact must - be responsible for deepening my own relatedness to the truth.


  1. I remember the heartbreak I felt when I realized that the Drug Addict I loved, and still love, was more in love with his drug than his family, his job, his health - himself. It's like competing with someone (A Cold Hearted Bitch) who so fully outranks you that you want to give up right at the starting line.

  2. You have such a way with words. Thank you for always being my kindred spirit. XO