marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

Punching It Out

There are many stages to grief and loss. I’m grateful to be at a place of acceptance and peace now. But I didn’t always feel this way. Four years ago I was very, very angry, as is clear in this scene from my memoir (A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore): “’I hate you, Addiction! You are the curse of this century and I despise you. You’ve stolen my daughter and this is what I think of you: Kapow! Boom! Left jab to the right eye. Bleed, you b—– Angie may not have the strength to fight you, but I do. Here’s a right hook to your left eye. Keep bleeding, you s-o-b. This one’s for my dad. Ever since I can remember, you snatched him from my life. This one’s for Angie, you piece of sh–. Is this how you get off? Turning a beautiful, bright young woman into a vegetable? And this one’s for me, you giant succubus. Me, I won’t let you destroy. Me, I’m gonna save. So that my children and grandchildren will see that there is hope when struggling with Addiction. It doesn’t always have to win.’” And it hasn’t. One day at a time, I’m learning to save myself from addiction and all the devastation it has caused in my life…and for this I am very grateful. Life does go on, and the world still turns.          ...

“God, Grant Me The Serenity To Know The Difference…”

From Each Day A New Beginning, March 23: “’On occasion I realize it’s easier to say the Serenity Prayer and take that leap of faith than it is to continue doing what I’m doing.’ Most of our struggles, today as in the past, are attached to persons and situations we are trying forcibly to control. How righteous our attitudes generally are! And so imposing is our behavior that we are met with resistance, painful resistance. Our recourse is now and always to ‘accept those things we cannot change, and willingly change that which we can.’ Our personal struggles will end when we are fully committed to the Serenity Prayer. ‘The wisdom to know the difference is mine today.’” Oh yes, the wisdom to know the difference…how often our egos get in the way of living well. We want what we want when we want it! We want our addict to give up drugs and come back to the living. If only that choice were in our hands… But it’s not. Only addicts have the power to reach for their own recovery…and we have the power to reach for our own. That has been my choice for several years now, and I’m learning to be happy despite losing Angie to the living death of heroin addiction. A good friend told me that ego is what separates us from God and each other. Ego (Easing God Out) is often our enemy and keeps us from the serenity we so desperately long for. So I’ve learned to turn my pain over to God (Step Three), to “let go and let God,” and...

It’s The Hardest Thing…

Excerpt from my memoir, A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: “In her memoir, Carol Burnett shares some of her hard-won wisdom during her daughter, Carrie’s, early drug addiction: ‘You have to love them enough to let them hate you.'” Active drug addiction often changes the personality of our loved one. In my case, my daughter Angie became a total stranger, with a new set of values that served only her addiction. When I realized this and finally stopped enabling her, she cut me out of her life. I think Ms. Burnett’s words meant that we must not lower the bar with addicts, but rather hold fast to the boundaries we have put in place—both for our own benefit and for theirs—even though on the surface it may provoke much anger in them. Only in this way can they learn to be accountable for their own behavior, which would precede any chance of lasting recovery....

Humanity Is Changing The Face Of Addiction

A friend in Naranon shared this link with our group recently. I watched it and was so heartened to see how attitudes are changing across the country. This PBS special focused on a program in Seattle, WA. It is a practical and above all humane way to deal with addicts. The more we talk about alternative ways to treat addiction, the more likely there will be people to bring pressure to bear on government officials and on insurance companies. And the more likely our addicts will feel embraced with compassion and understanding instead of fear and judgment. Chasing Heroin...