Life Tracks – Helen Reddy… Grateful

Don't let your struggle define you.(1)

You can bend but never break me ’cause it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal. And I come back even stronger. Not a novice any longer. ‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul.

“I am grateful for my struggle.”

“Say it again,” she said.

“I am grateful for my struggle, ”  I said through my tears… and at that moment,  I truly meant it.

I am grateful for the way it has broken me wide open allowing me to see things from a depth that I didn’t have before. I am grateful that I know the darkness so that I can truly appreciate the light. And the light is so, so bright after the darkness. I am grateful for my lessons that have threatened to break me… but haven’t.

My son is an addict. There. I said it out loud. More people need to say these words without the fear of shame. There are so many of us affected by this deadly disease but no one wants to talk about it for fear of being judged. You must have been a bad parent to allow this to happen. Right? Wrong. Addiction is a disease that doesn’t discriminate – whether you come from dysfunction or harmony, it doesn’t matter. Unlike cancer or any other horrific disease,  we have to show our support by not helping… not in the usual sense of the word. This is counter-intuitive because as a mother, it is deeply instinctive to want to protect our children and to try to ease their pain. Addiction is the only disease where saying no is the antidote and turning away from the ailing is the only hope for a cure. It is a disease that magnifies the pain that the addict is so desperately trying to numb and all you can do is hope that they will finally hurt badly enough to want to help themselves… because helping themselves is the only way out.

Oh, oh, yes I am wise but it’s wisdom borne of pain. Yes, I’ve paid the price but look how much I’ve gained. If I have to, I can face anything. I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman.

So… yes, I am grateful for my struggle because it has made me stronger than I have ever been before. It takes a lot of strength to give up the need to control and to just trust. Trust that everything is as it should be even if it seems so. totally. messed. up. Just trust.

I will not let my struggle define me but I will allow the growth that has occurred as a result of it, to shine from me and through me, beautifully.

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