I have something I want to share. I feel uncomfortable sharing this information, but I am ready to face the situation. Here it goes: My 26-year-old daughter, Brenna, is an alcoholic. It’s hard for me to share this information because of my feelings of sadness and helplessness. I express my love to my daughter as much as I can. I hope that she will get treatment soon and recover. Her dad and I gave her a lot of treatment options. Now she needs to take the next step.
One is addicted…many are affected.
The whole family is affected by alcoholism. It’s a dark cloud, but there’s hope. Behind the dark cloud is a blue sky.
Buddhist monk, Ajahn Chah, says, “Whatever is pleasurable, delicious, exciting, good, is just that much; it has its limit, it is not as if it is anything outstanding.” The monk, obviously, did not have any children. Having a child is truly an outstanding experience. A mother and her child have a strong connection that lasts a lifetime.
When I look at my daughter, I see beauty. Even though she has a severe problem, I still see my beautiful child. It’s easy to judge someone, but as a spiritual person, I honor the spirit within.
I acknowledge that it’s very hard to see my daughter struggle with alcoholism. As a parent, I have so many emotions, dreams, wishes, and hopes for my child.
I want to see the blue sky.
(The photo below is a painting by my daughter, Brenna.)
What can we do when life becomes challenging?
- Talk to a friend or a counselor or join a support group.
- Understand the impermanence of everything. “Life is changing, it is a bundle of elements and energies which are always changing.” – Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda
- Meditate to become calm in all situations. Practice deep breathing.
- Use your energy to serve (volunteer or support something that is meaningful to you).
- Become a your own problem solver. Cultivate perseverance. Don’t give up.
- Remember “wisdom comes through understanding.” – Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda
- Remember you are not alone.
- Increase your self-care.
- Eat chocolate – at least that’s what I do. 🙂
- Time will heal our wounds.
- Find a sangha or a spiritual community. “Spiritual backing is absolutely necessary for man’s spiritual upliftment, leading to tranquility of mind and everlasting happiness.” – Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda’
When life is challenging, that is when I learn the most. Can I breathe into the discomfort? Can I be present? Can I allow the discomfort of the situation transform me?
There can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm. – Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda