It's pretty simple, but wasn't easy. Responsibility. But within that single word came massive action I had to take in order to take responsibility. I spent my life running away from things. I would move from town to town once I destroyed my life enough, and my family always helped. They would be more than willing to "get me away from that town and those people."
I just needed a fresh start...over and over and over again. The family and I would always have big dreams about the new place and the new Jen that was bound to happen each and every time I fit whatever I could fit in my car and go to the next place. But dammit, everywhere I went, there I was.
And my family and I all contributed a lot of outside influences to my destruction. Sure, we know it was me, but if "this" hadn't happened or "that" hadn't happened, I wouldn't have done "these things" that got myself into dramatic chaotic situations.
Even going to rehab the first time, I don't think I fully took responsibility for my life. Sure, I started showing up for myself, I was honest with others, you could depend on me, I was a responsible member of society again, but I didn't REALLY take full responsibility over myself. So, eventually I started getting high again.
When I went back into rehab the second time, something changed in my mindset. My mom wanted me to leave everything behind and send me to the best rehab she could find so they would FINALLY "fix" me, and she could be done with my shit. But I knew, and I don't know how I knew, but I KNEW I needed to stay and face the destruction and chaos I had created. I CHOSE to stay and deal with things. I chose to stay and take responsibility for the life I had created.
O, my mom was pissed at first because I went against her and what she thought was right for me...I've never done that before.
But I knew deep down I was breaking a pattern I needed to break. She thought by staying, I was choosing to continue the destructive lifestyle. Neither one of us knew what the outcome would be. But as I look back on that moment for myself, I realize it was the first time in my life I had chosen to face my life. I chose to take responsibility for the things I had done, the people I had pissed off, the hurt I had caused and I chose to repair what I could and deal with the things I couldn't fix.
Here is the thing about our patterns, we can't often see them because they become a part of who we are. But it's important to try to find those patterns and break them.
After my moment of breaking a pattern, my mom broke some of her own with me. I wanted to take responsibility for my life, so she let me. When I would come to ask for money even though I was clean and had a job but was still bad with money, she told me no, I needed to figure it out on my own. And you know what, I DID.
There has been hundreds of patterns we have broken since that has kept both of us a lot healthier not only individually but within our relationship.
So, here is something you can do for yourself. This can be done by both the family member and even the person that is still using.
Get a pen and a piece of paper out, take 10 minutes for yourself to really think through this and write down 5 major patterns you have with your loved one that need to be broken.
When you are done with that, look at your list, and choose the one pattern that will change things the most if you choose to break it.
Now, commit to that pattern breaking for 30 days, no matter how they act at first. Yes, they will be mad, but commit to it for 30 days.
Here is my promise, I can't promise a specific outcome, but I CAN promise things will change if you truly commit. And things NEED to change. Let me know how it goes, I want to hear from you.
P.S. If you made this list and you notice a pattern of you writing down all the things THEY need to change and fix, well....I would go out on a limb and say that may be your biggest pattern to break for yourself. Many of us spend a lot of time looking at other people's stuff and what THEY should fix, and not enough time looking at our own. This is about your patterns, not theirs :-)
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