Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I am sober but now what??

My name is Lindsay and I am in long term recovery from a heroin addiction. I thought get getting sober was the hard part. I mean how could anything be more difficult that withdrawing from heroin on the floor of a jail cell right with haunting memories flooding your head. I couldn't walk or talk and felt like I had awoke from a terrible nightmare, however it was my life and I had made the choices that led me to the point of my life where I was being told when I could eat, sleep and use the restroom. How could this be? Oh, the fear and the anger and the absolute desperation and hatred I felt toward myself. Those agonizing hours and days and even the months seemed to go by so slow. I felt like I was on a tightrope creeping along and with one tiny error everything would go crashing and utter destruction and doom lay just beyond the horizon. How could anything more difficult? Well, what people seem to fail to talk about when we are first getting sober is that even though recovery is amazing (which it totally is and wonderful and great and beyond anything I could have literally imagined) it is life and life is full of ups and downs. I didn't use drugs and lose myself and everything of value and meaning in my life overnight and I certainly haven't gotten it back overnight either. Recovery has been a process, a process of healing and healing means discomfort. My daughter is quite the tomboy and always seems to have cuts and scrapes and bruises. When she gets a really nasty cut with particles of the road and dirt stuck in her tiny leg, although I know it will hurt and I absolutely hate hurting her, cleaning the wound is an absolute must. I would never put a bandaid over a wound without properly cleaning it and this is true for my life and journey in recovery. I always want the easier softer way and a quick fix and I constantly try to take my will back and tell Heavenly Father that Im ok and I just want the bandaid, but Heavenly Father knows better and knows that my wounds need washing and mending and cleaning. I sometimes hear people give feedback and encouragement to others when they are in a dark place and struggling and tell them that things will get better. I have a hard time with this because although they will get better and I have no doubt about that, many times things will get worse before they better. I feel like I have had more trials in my sobriety than I ever had in my addiction, however the blessings attached to enduring these trials are also so much more great. The life I have is by far better than anything I could have imagined. What I have learned is that the Lord wants to bless us with our righteous desires and according to our faith. You know, the righteous desires that no one else knows about. The desires and dreams that we have a hard time verbalizing because maybe we don't feel worthy or capable of having these things become a reality in our lives. These precious desires are the very make up and fabric of our spiritual selves. The Lord knows us and loves us so much that he wants us to be happy and cultivate these desires into attributes. Getting sober was hard but staying sober is much harder but with hard things come the fruits of amazing blessings. Today, I have a testimony that when all things seem to be falling apart that eventually the big picture will show on the screen and I will have an understand and love for everything in my life. It is truly darkest before the dawn and as I never give up or give in and take one step at a time, the Lord will strengthen and guide me and make me so much more than I am without him. He is our constant companion and this is His work for his purposes. I know that when everything seems dark and hopeless, that he must be working on something really freaking terrific today. He is a God of miracles just as he always has been and He stands before us with his had outstretched always.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I See You

I see you beautiful girl. I see your pain and your tear stained face and shaking hands as you clasp them in a desperate attempt to pray and ask for a miracle. I see you in the corner of the room and understand the depths of your despair, the ruptured fear that seems to consume every fiber of your being, the unchartered new territory of a plethora of emotions never experienced. I see you. I see the tears that so fearlessly fall from your face and never seem to stop or provide any relief from the pain that is all encompassing and hurts from your very core. You are not unnoticed. I see you as you try to fit in and feel completely out of place when you are surrounded by others. I see your inadequacy and feelings of never being enough and how its chains continue to try to hold you down from becoming the queen you are meant to be. I see your heartfelt prayers and pleas and I am here to say they are heard. Every thought and every word you have ever uttered has been recorded in the sacred books in heaven and heard by the Almighty himself. Every time your heart has been broke, every tear you have shed, every ounce of fear you have felt, every moment of heartache, loss and frustration that has crossed your path is not in vain. Remember that time when you felt like no one was watching or cared and that no one could possibly understand, I was there. I was there every time you were hurt, crossed, scared, angry or disappointed. I was there cheering you on. I was the one who never gave up on you. I was the one who was in your corner telling you to get up!!! I was there carefully watching and waiting patiently as you walked through all the gut wrenching experiences that led you to where you are today. I was the one who would whisper quietly in your ear that everything would be ok and try just one more time. I was the one who would without words let you know you are so very loved. I see you. I see who are, who you were and who you can become. I believe in you and in your journey. I see all of you. You can not hide from me, for I am you. I am here to tell you that I love you little girl and that you will be ok. When all seems lost and things seem to fall apart, remember who you are and where you came from. Call upon the powers of heaven to uplift, empower and protect you. Pray and sing songs of hallelujah every day of your spared and blessed life. Take courage in knowing your divinity and inspired path. The Lord has a perfect plan for you. He who knows and sees all, sees and loves you. You are not forgotten and if things seem dim now, have hope that things always look better and more clear after the storm. I see you beautiful girl. I see your worth and the intent of your heart and your desire to do and be more. I see your beauty and appreciate all of you. I see you.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Help!! My Child is an Addict!!!

Help!!! My child is an addict!! 

Throughout my personal experiences with addiction, education in substance abuse counseling and working in the substance use treatment field I have learned one thing... 

I know nothing!! 

Alma 26:12 says " Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

This is the good news though!! On our own, we know nothing but with and through the Lord, we can know all things and become one with Him. I want to introduce a word, CODEPENDENCY. I encourage you to read, study and learn what this word means and how it might possibly apply to your life and relationship with your children. We all have weaknesses and fall short from the glory of God. 

Ether 12:27 " And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then I will make weak things become strong unto them."

Codependency founded by the father of all lies and is his counterfeit for charity and the pure love of Christ. Codependency is subtle and sneaky because it shows up like love and a selfless desire to help others and isn't that what the Gospel teaches us? Satan loves this cunning attribute because it frustrates the Lord's work and takes away people's agency which is the very thing we fought to have before coming here. Don't misread what I am saying because although codependency may show up in your life or family's life, doesn't discredit the real love you have for one another. I believe codependency is at the root of every addiction, as well as it festers and shows up in the lives of the loved ones of the addicts. 

The best thing my parents ever did for me was stop helping me!!! I was a heroin addict and their justified fear was if they stopped giving me food or money for a roof over my head or money to pay my phone bill, they might not ever see or hear from me again. Wow. What a leap of blind faith they took to finally let go and trust the Lord that in his infinite mercy and grace would do what was in my best interest and most contributive to his overall plan and work. They will share that this process of recovery wasn't just mine but theirs as well. People make comments often and don't seem to understand that concept, however its true. They became new people through this process and learned to trust the Lord in a way they hadn't before. A parent's love for their child is so intense and pure and selfless and to get to the point where they were willing to put aside their desires and will which was to have a happy living and sober child and instead turn me over to care of the Lord is baffling. Of course they never stopped wanting these righteous desires, however they came to the point where they knew they could do nothing more and were powerless over me and my addiction and asked the Lord to take over. 

It got worse before it got better. All good things come to those that wait and endure and persist, however often our greatest blessings are preceded by some of the toughest and darkest trials. My parents letting go and not enabling me and allowing me to live on the street for a time was by far the best gift they have been able to give me in this life time. The pure love of Christ is not about us and our feelings and fears and is not smothering or manipulative, instead its trusting and nurturing and patient. UGGHH!!! The P word!!! PATIENCE!! I don't even like to mention this word for fear of being blessed with more opportunities to learn more of it! The Lord and me having been working on my patience for some time now. He apparently feels like its a good and necessary attribute for me to have in my life. I still don't love patience. Because patience to me now means something different than it has in the past. Patience used to mean not rushing my friend when she is running behind and we have a date planned. Today, patience means putting off the natural man and all of my desires even the righteous ones and waiting upon his timing...


The Lord wants us to be happy and to find joy in the journey. The only way I have discovered to experience real joy is to set aside my fears and have faith in the one who has conquered all and is my master and Lord. 

So.. to answer the original question, what to do when your child is an addict.
Reach out for help and take suggestions from the people the Lord has placed in your life and path that may have walked this journey before. Cast out all fear and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his intimate careful concern and participation in your life. My parents had to get to the place where they were ok with whatever the Lord had prepared and only then were they able to step out of the way and make room for the Lord to work miracles. And finally, ask the Lord in prayer what codependency is and how it applies to your life. Notice I didn't use the word "if". 

John 8:7 " He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

We all fall short and as you work on your own shortcomings and are honest and vulnerable you allow and invite your children to do the same. This is the work for the eternities that will have influence and impact for generations to come. 

In conclusion, I testify of the intricate and yet personal plan for each of us that the Lord has prepared since the beginning of time. His ways are higher than ours but as we trust him and learn of him his ways can become ours. I am grateful for my addiction and the trials I have been asked to pick up and bare, for they have proven to be the most direct path back to my Savior and my heart has been turned to his through these experiences. Parents, you have not caused your children's addiction and you certainly can not cure it, however you can contribute to their recovery by working your own. The everpresent power of the atonement is real and enables me to do and be so much more than I can on my own. As I recall sacred promises and scriptures and gospel principles throughout the day, I am blessed with added protection and discernment. Addiction is powerful and a scientifically proven medical disease that the Adversary takes pleasure in, however the One who has all power can and will turn this weakness and destruction within the family and home into a beautiful testimony that WILL cause affect for the betterment of others.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trials of Every Kind

"I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me". Alma 36:27 ( Book of Mormon)

This is my first post of my one and only and first time blog!! I was debating what to write about considering I want people to read this and an introduction only seems fitting, however I would not be honoring myself and my God. I want to first and foremost confess and proclaim the Lord's grace and mercy in my life and that he himself has been the one to save and change me. Its been a long road and addiction is just the beginning. The real journey began once I got sober. This last year has been one of the toughest for me to endure and not just endure but endure well. The Lord asks us to be patient and long suffering and endure well through all things inflicted upon us. I feel like Ive done everything except endure well this past year.  I am like a child at a candy store and I get impatient and demanding and feel like an ice cream bar is freaking well deserved due to my perceived excellent behavior for an exceptional amount of time. Ive been on long road trips with my children and they continue to bug and nag and question when we will get there. I do the same thing with my Heavenly Father, " When will I arrive???  When will I meet prince charming?? When will I have my dream job and dream car??? " The Lord must get very frustrated with me and yet he never reveals that to me. He continually shows up for me as patient and loving as ever like he has been doing this parenting thing for years and years!! Crazy. He seems to know exactly what I need when I need it and precisely how. I heard in a 12 step meeting once that he is a fourth watch God, meaning he shows up just in the nic of time and I understand and believe that. He wants us to learn to trust him and have faith rather than fear but ultimately if we are living righteously and progressing our thoughts should become his thoughts and his thoughts ours. I am working on trusting my intuition and taking action and leaving the results up to him. This lesson seems rather simple and yet it has been a difficult one for me. I am grateful the Lord has seen fit to save me from the gulf of misery and endless woe and that he sustains me one day at a time as I turn my life over to him. He is the light and the way and I have a testimony of his goodness and tender mercies and the atonement that enables me to be more than I am on a daily basis.