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Behind Door #2

April 20, 2012 by Sharron Cosby

My home away from home, a five-star hotel in south Florida, boasted a beautiful balcony view and over-the-top in-room amenities. I experienced a glitch with registration, but the manager resolved the problem, and I made my way to my seventeenth floor room. By the time I reached my destination a visit to the toilet was in order.

I walked into the granite-countered bathroom, complete with garden tub and complimentary bathrobe. There were sliding doors above the bathtub that opened into the main living space. The sample bottles of sweet-smelling shampoos, lotions, and conditioners stood at attention like little soldiers.

There were two floor-to-ceiling opaque glass doors to my left, each one outfitted with bath and hand towels. “Wow, that’s some shower,” I thought.

I couldn’t find the toilet. I didn’t think it would be in the main living area, but, in Miami I guessed anything was possible. I stepped into the living area looking for another door hiding the toilet.

Because of the problems with check-in, I didn’t want to call the front desk and say, “Um, excuse me, I can’t find the toilet. Does my room have one?”

I went back in the bathroom area and stared at the opaque doors. I opened the one on my left and beheld the shower. My deductive powers kicked into high gear, and I figured the other door must lead to (oh, how I hoped it did) the toilet. I pulled on the handle and there it was—the toilet. What I needed was there all the time.

I know you’re wondering: What in the world does this have to do with addiction and recovery? Well, it speaks to the fact that not everything is as it appears. At first glance, it looked like I had a huge shower and no commode; lots of creature comforts, but no toilet. But what I needed was there, I simply had to open the right door.

It also is a reminder that resources are available, we just have to look for and access them—we have to open doors. A great starting place is the Internet.  Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meeting times and locations, addiction counselors, even churches with ministries for families in recovery, like Recovery Church, can be located through Google or other search engines. Information about various drugs and withdrawal symptoms can be obtained through the web. There are numerous blog sites specifically geared to parents with an addicted child like AddictsMom.com. Help is available in many areas if we take the initiative to look for it.

It’s scary walking into a strange hotel room with its unfamiliar light switches, doors and windows. But, as a traveler you have to take risks at opening the doors, looking in the drawers for what will make your stay comfortable and pleasurable.

The same is true for recovery. It’s a strange new world with unfamiliar jargon and behaviors, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Go ahead, open the door, a new life is waiting for you.

 

Gone Fishin’

April 13, 2012 by Sharron Cosby

 “Grab your pole and let’s go fishin’!”

My son has fond memories of fishing with his Uncle John. Our home in Alabama was built beside a seven-acre lake stocked with large-mouth bass, bream and catfish. They would spend afternoons walking around the lake looking for the right spot. It wasn’t all fun and games for my brother trying to rein in nine-year-old Josh while waiting for a fish to grab the bait. Josh often cared more about eating snacks than fishing!

Josh now shares his love of the sport with his son. Together they stand along the bank of a small neighborhood pond, teasing bream with bread-laden hooks. The fish bite, providing excitement for Cayden. Sometimes they don’t and all that is accomplished is they get rid of a bag of stale bread. Fish aren’t the only things threaded on the stringer; they are weaving memories of father-son times, memories that won’t be lost or stolen.

I’ve been told fishing is not about the catching, but the fishing—the process one goes through to bring in a mess of fish. Life lessons are dangled on the hook along with bread, kernels of corn or fat, juicy worms: patience, planning, and partnership.

Standing on a creek bank with a fishing pole isn’t a big deal for most people. But for Josh, it’s a really big deal. He’s living his dream of sharing a creek bank with his son, teaching him life lessons and the art of catching a fish—or not. There was a time when that didn’t seem possible because of his addiction. But, the promises I claimed over two years ago in Jeremiah 30 and 31 are unfolding before my eyes—one day at a time. Josh and his family are being restored.

Perhaps you have an addicted loved one in your life, maybe he or she was your fishing buddy, but alcohol and drugs got in the way and it’s only a memory—good or bad. I encourage you to not lose the memory, use it as a way to leverage a return to that time when relationships were better and safe. Don’t lay your pole aside.

The blue sky is speckled with white puffy clouds, a gentle breeze whispers through the live oak trees, and fish are waiting to be fed. Grab your pole and let’s go fishin’.

 

 

 

 

 

A Mother Ponders

April 6, 2012 by Sharron Cosby

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 NIV)

Mary tucked away the memories of Jesus’ birth, the shepherds’ visit, and the Wise Men’s gifts and thought about them from time to time. Her memory must have been on overload as she watched her precious son beaten beyond recognition after his mock trial. She probably remembered washing his little face after a hard day’s play; now, from a distance she could only long to soothe his pain and protect him for his oppressors. The horror she must have felt as she saw and heard spikes driven into the hands she once held as her son took his first steps. I imagine the pain and agony Mary experienced that day as she remembered his birth in the face of his death.

I think mothers of errant children often ponder the memories of their child’s birth and childhood when staring into the face of death. Not always physical death, but the death of the promise their little baby brought into the world. We hold our babies and dream of what they will become, what they will accomplish.

Our hearts are shattered into slivers as our children make poor choices and then experience the consequences. Our dreams fade as a mist in the heat of the morning sun. Choices that could have been avoided. Choices that bring sadness and yes, sometimes death. We wonder, “How could my child do that?” or “Why would my child do that?”

But, in the glare of seemingly unanswerable questions, there is always hope that our children will redirect toward a new path that leads to wholeness and life. As long as a breath remains in their bodies, a right choice can be made. Hope is often all we have left—hope that our child chooses wisely, that he seeks recovery, that he seeks new friends, on and on the list continues.

We long for the day when our addict says, “It is finished.” The day my son said, “Mom, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore,” was one of the happiest days of my life. But, as we know, that decision is just the beginning of a lifestyle that is never finished. Recovery is never over—it is appropriated one day at a time, day in and day out.

As you observe Good Friday and celebrate Easter, the Christian’s climax of God’s grace and restoration, allow the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead to infuse life into your family and resurrect your addicted loved one.

 

 

 

 

 

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