marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

Hope For The New Year

From Hope for Today, April 20: “For me letting go is like a tree shedding its leaves in autumn. It must let go of them to produce even more beauty in the following spring and summer. Letting go of what I do not truly need—whether it be old thoughts, things, or behaviors—makes room for new growth in my life. Turn that problem over…Then begin to do something about your own life.” My sponsor told me to “loosen my grip.” How many of us white-knuckle it through life? Holding on to old ideas, old destructive habits—because it’s all we know, all we’re comfortable with? Like holding on to my need to save my daughter Angie from her drug addiction. The Serenity Prayer encourages me to let go, with grace, of the things that I cannot change. The disease of addiction is one of those things. So I’ve learned to let go. And I’ve found peace in my life—and gratitude for all that remains. Happy New Year, everyone! May we all find some wellness and joy in...

Gifts Of The Season

My very talented Vietnamese student cut out most of the letters for this poem I wrote several years ago, and shaped it into the shape of a tree:   The Christmas tree is a sight to see, All decorated up ornamentally. The bulbs all colored, the lights, all bright. I love to watch it late at night. The gathering of gifts and family I see As a child of five in my memory. And now the gifts have come back to me, Hanging here on this Christmas tree.   There aren’t enough branches on the tree for all the gifts in my life. How about you? I haven’t forgotten about my daughter Angie. But I’m happier when I count my blessings. Happy Holidays to all my dear...

Let God Do It…

Like most of us here, I raised my family with the best of intentions. I loved my kids to the moon—still do—but I also felt completely responsible for them. That’s understandable when they’re children and young adults. But at some point—and this place is different for all of us—we must relinquish our responsibility and allow our children to be responsible for themselves. This gets so complicated because mental health issues so often accompany active addiction. There is so much for our children to shoulder, and we want to help. This understanding is never more critical than when our adult children struggle with addiction. If we are hampered by guilt—a truly crippling emotion—we might allow ourselves to feel overly responsible. This in turn puts us at risk of becoming enablers. And that downward spiral will continue—until we break free of it. ”We didn’t cause it; we can’t control it; we can’t cure it.”...

Letting Go

Letting go…how do we do that? Whether our addict is fifteen or thirty-five, how do we let go of the fight to save them? I guess when I’m finally convinced that I can’t play God anymore. When I finally see that she’s not making a choice, but is in the grips of a cruel disease. When I accept all this, it’s easier for me to accept my powerlessness. When I’m finally convinced that I don’t have the power to cure a disease—not in my daughter…not in myself—then I can let go and let God. That realization is a painful one, but it also sets us free to live our lives as best we can. I have much in my life to be grateful for; I want to celebrate my blessings every day. And that includes Angie—because without her struggle I never would have taken such a close look at my life in an effort to live well. In spite of everything, I believe with all my heart that my daughter would want me...