We re-find our balance and lean back into contentment. 

I have two “beautiful boys:” two young adult sons who are in recovery from meth addiction, who’ve both literally lost everything then found it again. They’ve had severe mental health and legal issues for several years. This year, they got clear on who they want to be and how they want to feel. With better boundaries they are creating it.

What has helped them redefine themselves and walk on solid ground? Grace, conscious awareness, surrender, mindfulness, support, structure, medication, brave choices, boundaries, and re-finding their equilibrium. They merge these skills together remarkably, as they manage anxiety and regulate their emotions without the assistance of street drugs. It is no small feat.

They’re not walking alone. They each have a small team of loving, authentic people trekking alongside them as they repeatedly return to equanimity and I’m one of them, believing in them. Knowing how to lean on others for help is part of both rediscovering equilibrium and maintaining good boundaries. They’re learning how to turn to and rely upon healthier, more balanced people now, which seems to somehow remind them that they are healthier themselves and not isolated and alone, as they used to believe.

In the last three years even in the darkest times, I’ve worked hard on envisioning and creating what I want to feel when I talk with them. I want to maintain my equilibrium, because when I am genuinely brave, graceful, and strong during difficulties, I role model that for them. I want to feel open, curious, supportive, and solid. I want to feel and act like a loving mom, not a case manager. We’ve navigated through daunting issues and knowing how I want to feel daily in my life has guided me. I don’t want to nurture long-term anxiety, deep depression, hopelessness, or inner turmoil. If chaos arrives in their lives again, after I allow and feel the pain of it, I will come back into contentment. I want a foundation of equilibrium that is not based upon circumstances. That’s my path, and knowing how I want to feel then honoring my boundaries helps me stay on it.

Sticking to my boundaries, I stay present with them and remain my separate self. Boundaries contain my respect for myself and them. They have their own distinct experiences, and I see them as capable, independent young men.

Addiction is a family issue and occurs in a system. There are periodically big lows for all of us because of tough situations. Yet we are resilient, celebrate balance, and savor nice moments. Knowing what we want to feel and doing these things help us to work toward them, then maintain them.  Overall, I guard my contentment and authenticity, able to go through the fruitful darkness and still lean back into joy. I experience the fullness of life across a continuum. How? With better boundaries than before. And re-finding equilibrium.

Sculpture: Equilibrium, by Guilloume