Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Just Trying to Understand.

I still watch Intervention. You know, the television show. You would think I've had enough of it, since I'm living it in the real world, but I don't watch it for the drama. I watch it to help me understand. Why would anybody choose the path of addiction? Why does my daughter?

The show always hones in on the negative things that happened in the addict's life as part of the reasons why they're an addict. Their parents divorced, their mom neglected them for drugs or alcohol, their father didn't tell them he loved them. I think they do this because viewers want to see a concrete reason why. We want to be able to say, "Well I didn't do that to my kids, and I taught them drugs are bad, so they're gonna be fine. They'll never do that."

I wanted to say that. I did say that, when my kids were younger. And I'm not saying I was the perfect parent and so there is no reason why my daughter should be an addict. I'm not a perfect parent. Not at all. I was naive and trusted my kids too much. I wasn't always consistent. I did some things right. I set a good example. I practiced what I preached. I set rules and consequences. But I made mistakes too. I just loved them and did the best I could, like most parents do.

I saw an episode this week about a girl addicted to meth. She lived on the streets because she would rather be homeless and have her drug than be clean and sleep in her bed at home. She shared the same name as my daughter. She was creative and artistic, just like my daughter. She shared some personal issues similar to my daughter's. It was eerie.

She didn't want help in the beginning either, but eventually accepted it and went to rehab.  After her treatment, they interviewed her. She said no matter what happened to her in her past, what she does now is on her, and nobody else. She looked like a different person. She was content. She was hopeful. It gave me hope and made me cry.

I've been reading some books on addiction that have helped me cope with it. The first one was "Don't Let Your Kids Kill You," written by Charles Rubin. An excellent book and for any parent of an addict, it's the first book about addiction they should read, in my opinion. It immediately addresses the big question every parent of an addict asks - What did I do wrong?

The reality is, in most cases, nothing. Most normal parents, who aren't addicts themselves, and didn't abuse their kids, did nothing specific wrong. They didn't do everything right - who does? But they didn't screw up their kid either.  Sure, parenting and environment greatly affect our kid's decisions, but they're hard-coded too. This quote from the book helped me to understand that:
"What many parents fail to realize is that children come out of the womb with a complete data base that's exclusively their own and which is fully operational by the time the child is in his or her teens. It is this, not the parent, which drives the child. It's true that parents have more influence on their children than any other people on earth-and may even be able to keep a kid off drugs. But that's only if the influence is in keeping with the child's own pre-programmed agenda, and only if that influence is strong enough to withstand the temptations presented to the child by other sources such a peers, TV, and society."
This makes sense to me. How else do you explain how some kids who come from the worst of homes, turn out to be wonderful, caring human beings who contribute to society, and others who come from the best of homes, grow to be anti-social, uncaring criminals?
"Each person fulfills his or her own destiny-whether it be good or bad-in his or her own time and unique way. As in anything else, when it comes to substance abuse, children are going to do what they're going to do. If they don't do it today, they'll do it tomorrow. Whatever the situation, it's the child who says yes or no to drugs-it's a choice. And that choice is ultimately, answerable by the child and by no one else. So are the consequences."
I don't think the author is saying a person is destined to be an addict or not be an addict, and I don't believe that. What he's saying is that when a teen is at a cross-roads, that crucial point when he has the opportunity to say yes or no to drugs, there are many factors that affect his decision at that moment. His parents, his genetics, his experiences, his peers, his self-worth - they will all play into his choice. But the choice is still his to make. Not his parent's, but his. Just like it was hers.

I recommend any parent of an addict to get this book. It's about 8 bucks for the kindle. You might even be able to find it at the library.

As much as this book helped me and as much as I want to feel absolved from blame for my daughter's problem, I realize I'm not absolved. I'm too much of an introspectionist (is that a word? I'm not sure), to think that. Maybe if I had worked harder at building my daughter's self-esteem, she would have had one less factor going against her when she had to make her decision to say yes or no to drugs. Maybe I should have pushed her to stay in soccer when she hated it, or to take a dance class, or art classes. Something else that would have given her a feeling of pride and accomplishment. But I didn't and it's too late to change that.

Right now I'm reading "Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop?" This book discusses the physical reasons for addiction, like a lack of dopamine in the body. It says addiction is a disease that needs medication and behavioral therapy to be treated successfully. There are so many why's and so many varied answers. The only power I have right now is to educate myself about what they are and try to understand which of them apply to my daughter and if any of them can help her.

But I know, none of it matters if she doesn't want help. While I was writing this, she called. Her car, which her and her boyfriend were living in, got towed. She wants money. I told her if she goes to some kind of rehab-any kind-we could help her. She said no.

It's her choice, but I don't understand it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Post With Post-Its!

In my world, Tuesdays are for Post-it notes. So here we go:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Postulate on a Post-It Note

I love writing a post on Post-Its, and I have no idea who is sponsoring this meme anymore, but I'm going to post it just the same. So here ya go:

Post-It Note Tuesday!

P.S. I wrote this post on Monday night which is why I refer to hating Monday's so much, even though today is Tuesday. It's ok to still hate Monday on a Tuesday. I hold a grudge.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Can We Just Get Some Fashion Trends for Normal Sized Women??

I'm not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination. Emphasis on "stretch" because these days, that's exactly what my clothes have to do to fit me. Thank goodness for spanx.

But back to what I was saying - I'm not a fahsionista, but I do love having a new outfit or two to wear to work.    And Spring is around the corner, so it might be time for trying on a zillion things, looking fat in all of them, and drowning my self-conscious sorrows in margaritas. a shopping trip.

And, as luck would have it, our newspaper today had a spread on the hottest Spring fashion trends for this year. Goody! What fun and stylish trend can I per up my wardrobe with this Spring? Let's see. Here are my choices:

The Peplum Skirt
Ok, really? This is fine for an Angelina-Jolie-sized-gal (well actually, Angelina would probably swim in these girl's clothes), but not for your average woman. Do designers have any idea what a normal, size 12 woman would looe like in a peplum skirt? Like a picnic table, that's what.

Bare Midriff
Again - really? The average woman with her muffin-top and stretch marks is not going to look good in this. I go to great pains to hide my midriff, and it doesn't want to be bared, not even in a swimsuit.

All White
In theory, this seems a lovely idea. White is crisp, clean, and cool. And if I were wearing an outfit for about 5 minutes, it's perfect. However, here's what those outfits would like after a day at the office:

Not to mention the obvious problem with an all white outfit on a size 12 woman - it makes us look fat. Think snowman. Unless it's a wedding dress, of course.

Mesh and Transparent Fabrics
Mesh?? What are we, at an 80's high school? Perforations are for coupons, not normal-sized women's bodies. And transparent fabric is pointless, unless it's lingerie. Isn't the point of clothing to hide our flaws? Yes, to hide every jiggly, cellulite infused, stretch-marked flaw, THAT is clothing's job. Transparent fabric should be FI-ER-DUH.

So, I ask you - Where are the styles that normal sized women can wear???

I have to say though, one fun trend for this Spring and Summer is color blocking. Wearing two or three solids together - one on top, one on bottom, maybe a belt or jacket in a third color. No rules on mixing what colors - anything goes, it seems. Here's some fun examples from
Isn't the turqoise and purple just divine?
I do loves me some fuschia! It's great paired with black.
But really, if the average size of women in America is a 14 - yes, that's 14!! Then why are designers still making clothes for only anorexic bodies? And why are these tiny little women the ones modeling all of the latest styles and trends? That's just messed up.

Until the world changes, I guess I'll pick a few trends I like and head on over to Ross or Kohl's and see if I can adapt them to my size 12 body. I've found this is easier to do after a couple margaritas. I'll let you know how it goes.