07 Jan To All the Baby Birds | A Wife’s Wisdom
Special Edition: Read the words of Michelle H. about her powerful insights gained through her family’s journey with addiction. She is a successful business women, recovery advocate, radio talk-show host, mother of five, and a dear friend of mine. Enjoy!
“Three years ago, a counselor handed me a copy of “Courage to Change.” He asked how I felt about assisting Dave in his recovery from addiction. I was, of course, so willing to do anything and told him I would read any book and study whatever he suggested. I really thought I was going to learn some magical knowledge or skill that would support Dave in his sobriety. I was, I just could never have anticipated the package it would come in!
Several years and several recovery programs later, Dave and I are truly different people. Our family and marriage have endured the same storms you are facing now. Feelings of anger, betrayal, pride, judgement, resentment and tons of chaos. So, the big question everyone wants the answer to is “How can I help the addict in my life.” The answer is not what you want to hear, but it is what your soul is starving for. Gently and powerfully focus on your own healing and recovery. That is the answer. Do your own work and let go of the need to control another’s path. Let them have their experience and you concentrate your energy on your path, your mission, your healing, your weaknesses, and let those weaknesses become your strengths. You want the magic pill? It is love, forgiveness, and surrender.
I have looked over my journals of these difficult years and cannot hold back the tears. I easily see now what a gift this has been for my personal development. I would not wish this pain on my greatest enemy (PS I don’t have any enemies because I’m in recovery now;). However, there was no other way for me to have changed so much in such a short amount of time. I was literally brought to my knees. On June 8, 2015 I wrote:
I feel like a little baby bird, helpless, and fragile being held in the strong and gentle hands of God. I am not being placed safely back in my old nest, but rather lovingly carried up the mountain to the highest peak. While we walk, I’ve been given short reviews of lessons learned to prepare me for the summit. I begin to realize that the answers to my questions are getting easier, quicker, and becoming part of my nature. I almost don’t even need to ask the questions anymore because my soul intrinsically knows the answer. We are getting closer to the summit, I can see it now. I can feel the wind and the bright sunlight beating down on my face. I know it is time. This fragile, broken little bird has been prepared with careful thought and precision. I know that God will now set me free to soar as he knows I will. He knows how weak and flawed I am, but he also knows my heart. He knows that this little baby bird will fly when I am let go at the top of the mountain, and so do I.
I am sure that as you read this you think that there’s no way I could possibly understand how addiction has ravaged your life. When addiction became an unmanageable force in our lives, I was pregnant with our fourth baby. Our fifth (surprisingly;) followed one year later. We lost our successful business. My children had to transfer out of their private school and away from friends they loved. I had to go to work. We’ve dealt with the law, and all the other treats that accompany drug addiction. David has spent 9 months away from our home in treatment and sober living in the past 2 years at the Renaissance Ranch out of state. I have felt like a single mother. I know first-hand the pain of addiction. I also know how quickly and easily beauty can be restored if you choose it. Above all I know that the more I let go, the more I remembered how wonderful Dave really is. Prior to these years, I would have described him as a great man, a great father, and a great provider. I could see more easily that this addiction was not him, it was his pain manifesting itself. If you can see this truth in your loved one, you will be able to help them, yourself, and your children more powerfully. It really is all about compassion and forgiveness.
Pain and fear can ruin you, or rebuild you. The choice is always yours. There is guaranteed continuation of pain if you choose to blame and resent the addict in your life. There is simultaneously guaranteed peace and grace that follow the decision to forgive and the courage to mend your own character defects. The courage to focus inward will change your environment, your relationships with everyone, and above all, it will change your heart. Indeed, it will change your very nature. So, to the little baby birds of the world, I bring a gentle message: You’re already suffering from addiction…you may as well get the gift that it bares! Commit to your own transformation and lay claim on the greatest gift life will ever give you…wholeness.”
~ Michelle H.
If you or anyone you know is suffering with addiction and want help, please call Jason at 208-286-4274. You can also visit www.idahoaddictioncenters.com