She was 2 months clean, after experiencing several seizures due to xanax withdrawal that hospitalized her. I remember this moment so clearly. It was a Friday night, and my youngest daughter Brooke and I were going to work on a puzzle. One of those huge 5000 piece puzzles that make my brain fizzle but she loves them. We started to lay the pieces out, when my husband John came home and started to help us as well.
While we were sifting through, trying to find the corner pieces, Brittany walked in the door from a meeting. She set her purse down and I fully expected her to go to her bedroom and shut the door, isolating herself in her depression, from the family, as she had done so often.
But this time, she walked into the kitchen. A big smile on her face, grabbed a slice of pizza and started to pull out the puzzle pieces as well.
I remember practically not being able to breathe. The joy in my heart was so heavy, tears stinging my eyes, with thoughts that she may just be slowly coming back to us.
As I stood back and watched my family laugh, tease, engaging in such a simple evening of putting a puzzle together, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. You see, it had been YEARS since we had a moment like this. A moment of pure love, happiness, enjoying each other.
This moment I did not question her. I did not ask her how she was feeling, or what her goals were, or bring up past issues.
WE JUST LOVED.
I grabbed my phone and took this picture. This picture represents so much to me. Its a reminder to me to cherish the moments. The moments of clarity, the moments of clean time, the moments of true family love.
With addiction, as family members, we can get so caught up in the chaos, in the panic, the moments of fear, anxiety, and yes, anger as well.
We must live in in the moment. We must love them wherever they are in their journey and remove our own expectations of how WE feel they should recover. Their recovery should not be on our timeline.
I know she is still there, the real Brittany, that addiction seemed to mask. When these moments arise, it brings me to my knees thanking God that she is still here. Still fighting. Still alive.
With love and gratitude,