By: Joanne Helm
On a very cold day this year, I came home from work, sat on my bed with tears in my eyes, and asked God: why me? Believe it or not a voice in my head boomed out: why not you Joanne?
Like many of you, I took my child’s mental illness, his self-medicating, his addiction, his lies, and his stealing, personally. I felt this was being done to me – to hurt me, perhaps to punish me. I remembered all of the usual indignation, disbelief and anger I went through his growing up years trying to see where I went wrong. I wondered how his sister turned out to be such a wonderful, kind, generous and hard-working young woman.
Then I read something from drug-free.org. It says:
“By choosing to rethink and reshape our language, we will allow people with an addiction to more easily regain their self-esteem and more comfortably seek treatment, allow lawmakers to allocate appropriate funding, allow doctors to deliver better treatment, allow insurers to increase coverage of evidence-based treatment and help the public understand this is a medical condition and should be treated as such.”
A light went on and I realized this isn’t being done to me. It isn’t about me the mother, or a father, sister, brother, spouse or grandparent. This is about a loved one having a serious health issue. Yes, we hurt, but it is their pain we are feeling. The point I’m trying to make is that our self-pity cannot help them. If we have done our best to get them the help they need and they refuse it, that doesn’t mean your God or your universe doesn’t love you or is punishing you.
Remember self-love and self-care at this time are paramount. You want to be around when your loved one recovers, healthier and healing from the long, tough journey they have been on. Then with a smile and a heart that is full of joy, you can say: “God or the Universe thank-you. We made it.”