Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lowering expectations

I enjoyed the meeting last night. I didn't exactly get the nap that I'd planned but opted to get a little Christmas shopping done. Then it was off to the meeting. The topic was gratitude.

The person who brought the topic talked about being grateful that his son who is an addict and an alcoholic showed up for Thanksgiving. The son is in the process of wandering around the country by hopping freight trains. He showed up for Thanksgiving with a couple of friends who were described as "having enough metal pierced in their faces to look like a Cadillac grille". The son was sporting a stand up Mohawk. Evidently, no one had bathed in over a month.

The dad who led the meeting said that he was just grateful to have his son home. He did ask them if they wanted to shower and was grateful that they decided to do so. He was glad that his son and his friends had Thanksgiving at home, and were comfortable sharing the food with some elderly relatives who were conservative and born again.

And what the dad shared was that when his son left, he told his father that he loved him and appreciated being able to come home and bring his friends. He also said that he hadn't used in six months but was getting drunk every day. And the dad said that he was grateful that his son wasn't drugging. He said that he had learned to lower his expectations to the floor and just be grateful that his son was alive on that day, in spite of active alcoholism. He allowed that without the program, he would have had an entirely different reaction--maybe a bit like what's in the video.

It's good that we can be accepting and just be thankful for the fact that the people we love are alive. We may hate the disease but we still love the individual.


  1. yep. addicts can smell a control freak at 100 paces, and it COMPLETELY winds them up, so its much wiser just to 'be there' for them in (seemingly) non-interventionist way. So that way they know that when push comes to shove and they get sick and tired of being sick and tired, that they have an non judging ally. i have a close family member in a downward spiral, and I try only to befriend in the loosest sense. Just to get them to see I support them. and that I like them. Your friend sounds like a cool guy. Thanks for sharing. And for the funny vid!

  2. I wanna be like that father if I ever grow up.

    on another note ... you left a comment on my blog about ME not smoking for 11 days. LOL I linked the words "THIS GUY" to another gentleman's blog who I was referring to.
    I fortunately managed to stop smoking 14 months ago.

  3. Xmas shopping is always good. Yea, your friend sounds really cool, he remembers what it's like. I know in my active addiction, & alcoholism, I stayed away from people who I thot might judge me. I told you my sis said she's thinking of going to OA, didn't I? She came up with that on her own, no judging, or trying to control her, or her addiction. I accept her for who she is, & where she is at, & am so grateful to have her in my life. Without the program, I would be trying to 'save' her, not that I'm religious, but I did used to preach alot, I thot I knew what was best for my loved ones, & yet I was out of control. We don't make alot of sense when we're active in our disease.

  4. yes, some of those we love are still alive

    I am grateful my younger son, altho using, is still alive

    grateful too to have learned how to lower my expectations to accept what is instead of what I want it to be

  5. a step forward, is a step forward, right?! one thing at a time.

  6. I always have mixed feelings about lowering expectations. I guess I prefer to think of it as being openminded and grateful for what you have. Otherwise I think it feels a little like you are a doormat. I think that is my fear talking, though

  7. Dear Syd,

    I had to think about 'lowering expectations,' as I was one who had to learn the hard way to have NO EXPECTATIONS. This kept me from being frustrated, disappointed, and judgmental of what I had hoped another could provide that I expected - little or big! Shucks, it's wonderful to be surprised, and this childlike mechanism I find quite refreshing today. Keeps me outta others business, too. Love ya, Anonymous #1

  8. Perfect post for today at least for me.
    My son hasn't visited in 3 days...the last time he came I was very judgmental. It's difficult to change my ways. I can be so controlling. I feel if I don't say anything to him..that he might think I accept his ways and I don't.
    Yes...I'm glad he's alive...but I'm not glad he's using.

  9. is hard to let go of the control...


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