Humility, Compassion, and Fireworks

Posted on April 11, 2010. Filed under: addiction, Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , , , , , |

As you may have read, I met with my heroin addict daughter, Hayley, last Tuesday, on her 31st birthday.  I hadn’t seen her for 7 months and was both dreading and yearning for this get together. Read the gripping (? :-)) details of our hour together and you’ll feel and understand why I think She’s Still In There.

The update of that meeting on Tuesday is that Hayley texted me later in the evening to tell me that she had re-charged her cell phone and wanted me to send her all family members’ cell phone numbers to enter in to her phone, which I did. This is one tiny step towards re-connecting with the family and the “normal” world. We’ll see what comes of it. I am comforted to know that today, I can text/communicate with my daughter if I need/want to.  This is progress over the past seven months. I am choosing to believe that the birthday money I gave her on Tuesday was used to buy cell phone minutes.

Today, Saturday, I ran in to my daughter’s second grade teacher,  “Linda”, who innocently asked, “How’s Hayley?”  Now, when I’m asked that question, I try to give an honest answer.  “Not good”, I said, followed up by a fairly detailed summary of my daughter’s past ten-year history of struggle and challenges.  For some reason, I felt comfortable telling Linda the sad, tragic reality of my daughter’s life – and not because Linda and I had some kind of personal connection 24 years ago.  After I finished telling Linda my/my daughter’s story, I asked her about her daughters.  They were both closer in age to my younger son, Brian – so I knew of them, even though they attended the ‘other’ community high school. Linda’s daughters were both adopted from China – and she proceeded to tell me about her older daughter, Amy, who had a child at age 19, lived at home with them (her parents) and baby/daughter for 4 years, then abruptly announced she was gay and moved to Seattle.  During this time of living at home, Amy had been diagnosed as being bi-polar.

After Amy moved three hours away with her granddaughter, to live in the ‘big’ city with a woman whom no one had ever met, Linda had two serious surgeries and lost her mother. Needless-to-say, it was an emotional and traumatic year.  I couldn’t help but feel that my own problems didn’t compare.

My daughter’s addiction and the circumstances of her life, allowed me to connect with her second grade teacher, Linda, and relate to her own story of tragedy, disappointment, and challenge. It was a humbling encounter, and reminded me to step out of my own troubles and reality in order to be open to the suffering of others.  The irony of this is that I am much more able to relate to others’ problems and family challenges because of my own daughter’s calamity.

Now – on a purely trivial note.  Some time on Wednesday, I passed the 10,000 mark for viewers to my blog.  Not that I’m keeping track, but I feel that I should commemorate this milestone in some way, and wish I could award a prize to that 10,000th “fan”.  The gift I would give would be that of peace/serenity. So – whoever you are, the 10,000th visitor to my blog – here it is – – – serenity, peace, and HOPE!

THANK YOU, dear friends, for your loyalty, wisdom, compassion, time, encouragement, and support over the past 7 1/2 months.  TRULY – I could not have endured the pain, uncertainty, fear, and anxiety of my daughter’s heroin addiction with out you.  I am humbled and touched by your own stories – and hope that I can give back to you, and other viewers, a fraction of what you’ve given to me.

My next post will be a review of programs #3 & 4 on TLC’s  “Addicted”.  I’m interested in your comments regarding this program, as well.  Stay tuned.


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8 Responses to “Humility, Compassion, and Fireworks”

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Peggy- I’m so grateful for your blog. It takes courage to put yourself out there for all to see (says she who doesn’t have a blog!) But I’ve learned so much about myself by communicating with everyone through the channel you created. It’s so precious to know we’re not alone.

Peggy, so glad she asked for #s. Encouraging. Congrats on the 10,000.
Barbara- would love to hear what you have to say about bipolar which my daughter is. Do you have a blog site? I wouldnt be dealing at all with the issues of my daughter’s heroin recovery without these blogs. Many thanks.

Peggy- Congrats on her asking for #s and the 10,000
Barbara- would love to hear what you have to say about bi-polar. Do you have a blog site?
These blogs are what is keeping me above water right now during my daughters heroin addiction recovery.

I would love for some suggestions about how to get my daughter reliably evaluated/diagnosed for mental illness/personality disorder. When I saw her a week ago, I told her that she was ‘sick’ – that she would need a year or more of treatment/supervision – and she agreed. THAT was a major step forward.

Hi Peggy,
I have been away but I am glad you were able to see Hayley for her birthday.
Someday we will talk about the serentiy prayer, there is something in there I think you will find helpful.

I am new to blogging and your blog, but congrats on the 10,000 milestone. Your blog is wonderful, insightful and has already helped me. I really like this most recent post about your encounter with the teacher. I agree, addiction has made ME a better, more compassionate person.

“The irony of this is that I am much more able to relate to others’ problems and family challenges because of my own daughter’s calamity.”
I can so relate to this as I have been noticing the same thing. Praise God for giving us the gift of compassion.
God bless.

I think it says a alot that Hayley asked for the family phone numbers!

I was going to write about Bi-Polar today. Not sure if I will or not.

Looking forward to your review of the shows.

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