Like a Fever

Posted on January 10, 2011. Filed under: addiction, Parent of an Addict, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

I keep in touch with a writer friend of mine, Patti Digh, both through her blog (www.37days.com) and on her Facebook page.  Patti is a gifted and inspirational writer, as well as speaker, and travels all over the country to spread her message of living your best life.  She has a crazy schedule and lots of deadlines to meet – and yet, her posts over the last few days have been solely about her young daughter, Tess, whose high fever was of great concern.  After several days of fretting and posting Tess’ current temperature, treatments, and subsequent recovery, it occurred to me that when a child of ours is sick, in pain, or suffering in some way, that becomes our focus – and can easily consume us.  Whether it be the flu, or tonsillitis, or addiction – – – it’s all the same.  Everything else goes out the window.  We, as mothers, are concerned with only one thing –  doing what we can to help our child get well.  We feel helpless, and scared, and silently battle the big what If/worst-case scenario.  It’s always there – lurking just under the surface, no matter how much others tell us not to worry –  that everything will be fine.  A six year old’s high fever that may last a few hours or days, or an adult child’s heroin addiction – – – it’s all the same to a mother – the worry, the fear, the helplessness, the hard rock in the pit of your stomach.  I’ve heard it said that a mother can only be as happy as her least happy (vulnerable) child.  This is  often true, for me, although I battle against this adage in order to maintain some degree of personal happiness and joy.  I’m constantly working on my own recovery from the effects of my daughter’s disease – but what I suspect, is that there is no full recovery from motherhood.

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8 Responses to “Like a Fever”

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Ahh Peggy – you hit another nail on the head with this post. I have heard the saying about a mother only being as happy as her least happy child and now that I am a mother myself I can totally relate. Having a sister for a heroin addict has been incredibly hard because I’ve had to watch my own mothers suffering. Added to that I have worried about my parenting turning my children into addicts (I have calmed down on that particular point thank goodness!). But thank goodness that motherhood brings us so much joy too. My daughter fell asleep chattering of pink dragons and that makes all the worrying worthwhile. Nora x

What a great post, and very timely for me since Keven had a fever of 103 Wed. night (I was dying to drive to his rehab and take care of him – lol!).

But such a good point. Mother’s and their children have a bond like no other – their lives began inside us. You can’t get much more intimate or bonded than that.

I will never completely stop worrying about him, but now I try to worry in a more healthy way, you know what I mean?

Thanks for this!

Barbara – I need to catch up with what’s going on with Keven. Glad to know he’s in rehab. Where is he? I’ll check in on your blog to find out more. Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I, too, am trying to “worry” in a less obsessive and healthier way. Is that possible? P.

How insightful! And true. Never looked at it that way before. Although, I do find myself applying the things I have learned in Al-Anon and through this journey, to help me with all aspects of mothering, and life in general for that matter.
Love & hugs 🙂

It’s good to hear from you again.

I agree with you whole heartedly. I thought after my daughter was clean for a year, the worry would stop. Well, she has broken up with her boyfriend (he is not a drug user at all) because he told her he would not support her NA meetings etc. He thinks it is propaganda and he said he can help her through this. I guess she has come along way because she told him that was unacceptable. NA has gotten her through the last year and if he could not support her, well then, he has to go. Of course during this week, I was worried she was going to use because emotional stress( she is bipolar) is a trigger for her. She got through it and I am proud of her but yet again I worried and worried until I am sick again. How do we stop the worry? If anyone has any suggestions, please help. it seems that when I think it isnt happening it just creeps up on me. Guess that is the caretaker in me or the enabler. Not sure. Thanks for this post, it was what I was feeling this last week. Hugs to you.

Hi, Renee. As often as I go to Al-Anon, and try to not let my daughter’s disease and current state of recovery affect me so much, it’s just so hard. I’m happy to read that your daughhter has embraced a recovery program and set some boundaries for a boyfriend. THAT took courage, strength, and commitment. Good for her. And yet, with the daily stresses of life, I, too, worry that my own daughter is just one emotional upset away from relapse. I suppose that this is our lot as a mother – – – that we never really “let go”. For me, it’s definitely “one day at a time”, a very helpful, yet simple slogan, that helps me feel not so overwhelmed by everything that “could” go wrong. It helps me to share these fears and anxieties with other parents. Thanks so much for staying in touch. Peggy

You are a blessing in my life and your words always make me feel better. Thanks


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