Monday, May 3, 2010

Like Telling Water Not to be Wet

Let's get a little housekeeping admin out of the way.  I've decided on names for the main characters in this story.  My son, who is 18, will be referred to as The Kyd, or Kyd for short.  He is named after Kydoimos, the spirit of the din of battle, confusion, uproar, and hubbub.  Though this doesn't capture all that he is, particularly all of his positive attributes, it works for writing.

My daughter, who is 17, will be called Lexi for no particularly reason other than I heard the name recently, and I liked it.

Back to our story:

The first time I met someone who truly understood what I was going through with Kyd it was a recovering alcoholic.  Kyd had just come back from a month in detox and rehab after nearly killing himself by driving extremely intoxicated, but things were getting tense at home fast.  Kyd was attending AA and staying sober, but he was struggling with feelings of anger and depression.  It was at an AA meeting that he met Jes.  Jes was a young man in his early 20's who had already lived as fast and hard as a person can live in that short amount of life, but he had seen the light of sobriety and took the 12th step quite seriously.

Jes had started a sober house nearby and invited Kyd to come and live there.  I was nervous and relieved all at once.  I didn't know how to help Kyd, didn't know how to keep him sober or how to pull him back from the jaws of a mood swing that could come out of nowhere.  I had only just discovered how far back Kyd's alcohol and drug use had gone, and I was still reeling from trying to make sense of whether Kyd was "just an addict" or if he was self medicating mental illness.  Whatever the answer, I didn't have it, couldn't find my way to it, and was exhausted with the years of chaos we had already been through.

In a leap of faith and desperation I let Kyd go.  I drove him to the sober house and met Jes.  We talked a little on our own, and as I told him a little background he could see how worried I was.  I kept talking about how I knew I was supposed to "let go", and I was trying....and then he said, "Telling a mother not to worry is like telling water not to be wet."

"Yeah," I said quietly.


  1. It's so nice that you were able to receive some validation from Jes. It's true--from watching my own mother go through this, I think it's so much harder to let go of an addict who's your child (or even, in my own experience, an addict who's your flesh and blood) than it is to let go of an addict who's a partner.

  2. Margaux - Having had two addicted partners, and experiencing the difficulty of letting go of either of them can't even compare to "letting go" when it comes to your child. It goes against everything that is hard-wired into us as mothers. This is where meetings, and connecting to other mothers in recovery is so important.