I am at mom's house. It is good to see mom. She knows what is happening in my life. She gives me advice. She cools my jets. She doesn't make me feel guilty. She puts things in perspective. She takes no sides. She is a doctor in many ways, like all mothers can be.
But I must be clear - she listens - she listens more than she prescribes. She does not condemn my wife. She does not take sides. I am also careful not to blame my wife and I do not pummel her reputation. She remembers my father and his drinking. She remembers what it did to her.
So, my mother and I sit at the kitchen table talking, remembering . . . , it's too hard too remember. Not because the memory is a distant past, it is hard to remember because - it was a painful childhood, that is buried. It is covered with dirt. I had buried the past. But now I am forced to remember.
I stop the conversation and get try to keep the past buried and apply what we - mother/wife, and son/oldest son, have learned.
- First of all, you, son are in control of how you respond. Remember son, you are responsible. Not in the sense of alcoholism. But in the sense of response-able. You have the ability to respond. And it is your ability to respond that can add or lessen the moment. Remember, you are response-able. I remember this from Stephen Covey's books. It's in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People or in Principled Centered Leadership. She also states, "Yes this is easy for me to say, now that I am not in it. I know it is hard. No one will ever know what it is like to be in the house of an alcoholic and understand the impact on the people (family specifically) around it."
- Second, I remember, what she told me growing up. It was simple, it was these words; "You can become anything you want to become." I did not understand what they meant at the time. But she was prodding me, pushing me, to have a better life than the kids I hung around with.
- Third, "Who cares what other people think." I remember this one because of the peer pressure of children and growing up. We all were concerned what other people thought of us and whether we were going to be liked. I think as children and still as adults, we care sometimes way too much about what others are thinking about - and how they perceive us. I think this may even more true for children of alcoholics. "Who cares what other people think" is followed by, "You will probably never see these other kids again - so don't worry about what they think or what they do now." We are so concerned about what others think. I remember this saying, "Don't be concerned about what other people are thinking about you, because in reality, you actually may be more hurt when you learn how little they think about you."
I recall, the biggest saying, the most powerful verse, I have ever read. This is a summary law, that encapsulates all mom has told me. It is in the Bible. It is in the Koran. It is stated in all religions in one form or another. It is a universal truth. It is this:
.............................. "We become, what we think about most of the time."
This saying - this universal law - had a big effect on my life. It is this, you can control only one thing; your thoughts. And whatever you are thinking, most of the time, you become. Whatever you fill your head with, whatever the predominant thought is, you act and behave in a manner consistent with that thought or belief. So, if this is true, and it is, then the statement below is also true:
.................................. "Change your thinking and you change your life."
I hope this has helped you as it has helped me.
PS - My wife starts a treatment program today. It is outpatient.
PPS - I am not changing the moon out.