Let Go the Spin

Just when I think I’m never going to make it, hope raises its stubborn head in the form of a friend. Or two. Or five. The same peers who last week had me hanging my codependent head (I’d told about some of my crazy mom-of-an-addict behaviors) have all changed their minds. Instead of needing a good swift kick in my enabling rear end, maybe I need a hug. Maybe I’m really doing the best I can.
Friends who were disgusted with me for how I behave with my meth-addict son are sorry they said so. But here’s the thing. I don’t blame any of them if they still think I’m an idiot (I am, quite often). My own mother often gives me the impression she thinks I’m brain dead when it comes to dealing with my adult children, but if I get my feelings hurt and cry she backs off and says, “I know you’re doing your best.”
I wonder if I am, doing my best, that is. Or am I allowing a million excuses to keep the status quo? One thing I’ve learned: we dysfunc-fams are good at spinning any situation. We’re masters of taking a hair’s breadth of positive behavior from the addict in our lives and exaggerating it into a life-changing moment. He got up today and ate something? He must be on the road to recovery. He hasn’t been high in a week? God must be healing him.
We moms especially love to obsess and analyze and predict what our addict will do next. We’re desperate to prove to ourselves that God is doing something, anything. How can I trust a God who doesn’t heal, convict, or remove the pain for the addict or his loved ones, a God who stands there and appears to do exactly nothing?
I’m a bit resistant about twelve-step slogans, but Let go and let God makes sense. If I can ever stop helping, stop suggesting, stop rescuing, my son may have to face himself and his own consequences.
I resist because it’s so much easier to do something than to do nothing. God could zap my son and make him well. God could shut me up and tie my hands and prevent me from doing one more thing. But God often makes the most difficult choice of all. Instead of barging in and taking charge, God stands on the side lines of my life, hands in His pockets, humming a tune. Once in a while, God shakes his head at my stubborn bent to help. But He never gets disgusted at me for my folly. God stands there, modeling the best and absolutely hardest thing to do for a loved one: Stand there, keep your hands to yourself and let go the spin. Thanks, God, thanks, friends. Hope is standing still.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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