2 Christmas’ ago, I was sitting in rehab when my parents called to say they had bought plane tickets, reserved a last minute subpar Coconut Creek, Florida hotel, and were rearranging their holiday plans -all to spend a sanctioned 2 hours with me on Christmas Day.
While time has passed in waves since that year, I was standing here holiday shopping in New York City tonight when someone close to me called from that familiar rehab pay phone:
“Your parents just left,” he said- voice shaky when I answered. “Just wanted you to know.”
“Was it okay?” I asked nervously- wondering what they talked about; wondering if it was awkward; wondering if there were lectures (cause Lord, my Daddyo knows how to belt out the advice)
“They were perfect; I knew you’d be worrying though,” I could hear him smile. “We talked; played cards; ate lunch; your Mom said my face looks “full” again, whatever the hell that means.”
I snorted. “Of course she did.”
“They’re good people,” he said as I stood there holding my basic girl Starbucks latte. “Your parents- they’re kind Linds; they give a shit. They just want you to be happy; want me to be better; want us to be better.”
“I know,” I said.
But the truth is that I do know and never really think about it or appreciate- So a quick shout out to a mother and a father:
Some people are kind in nature; some people are kinder because life kicked them when they were down- and some people are kind because they made a choice to partner with someone they found kinder than themselves. My parents are all of the above.
Cheers to two people who were there when their daughter bottomed out, when she began to publicly write about the intimate parts of a family that prides itself on privacy (sorry mom), and for stepping up when someone close to her since became close to them.
Recovery is all about support- hands down. Without it I might’ve been alive still today- but really what kind of life would it have been?
Having a child with an addiction is an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy- admittedly there’s not a whole lot families can do when ultimately recovery comes from within. It comes from some little place inside you that decides to throw in the chips and give your life over to something higher than yourself. Higher than a drug- a scale- a drink- whatever it may be.
Many families don’t know how to deal with the repercussions of addiction- and quite frankly, neither do those that are actually suffering. They’re not meant to. We’re not meant to.
Parents raise their children to be productive, to be successful humans that can wade their way in the world without training wheels- and it is difficult when the realization hits that the child you thought you were creating didn’t transition the way you’d pictured holding them as a baby in your arms.
My family and I have most certainly not transitioned at ease either. The four of us, including my brother, are human- and my eating disorder has naturally changed (somewhat for the better) the communication we have between the four of us.
However, rigorous honesty- flaming self respect- and unwavering support; these are two people who exhibit all three and show me how to live it daily.
For that, I’m forever grateful- and forever lucky.
I have a mother and a father who continue to kiss, who continue to work at their relationship, who continue to love without consequence.
What an ideal and totally rare situation-