About a week ago, a couple of friends flew all the way from snowy NYC to visit Ryan and me here in Houston.
Let’s just say that the weekend was full of lots of food, laughs and several nights where I stayed up way past my usual bedtime.
Not only is it great to have friends around that break up your usual routine but it’s also nice to have a chance to catch up face to face.
Over coffee one morning, I asked my friend how her parents were doing and she said something that got me thinking. She said:
“The last time I saw them was the first time I realized that they’re getting older.”
Immediately, I knew what she meant. As we get older, the people around us do too and watching that transformation take place in someone that we love is scary.
It’s scary because it reminds us that one day the inevitable will happen and the people we care about the most will die.
But for friends, family and loved ones of addicts and alcoholics, we can be forced to worry about the death of a loved one on a painfully regular basis.
Every time the phone rings we worry that this may be the call. The one where we learn about that fatal overdose.
We are haunted by nightmares of having to identify a loved one’s body.
And we torture ourselves with obsessive thoughts about whether or not we’re doing enough to help.
Eventually we get sick of living in constant fear of an addicted loved one dying but we feel guilty for wanting relief.
So, what are we supposed to do?
I’ve been asking myself this question for years. And I’ve even written about how to handle this worry before on GUC – you can check out that post by clicking here.
But what I want to do today is try a new approach that I hope will shift your perspective and perhaps even lighten your emotional load.
I’ve trolled the Internet looking for ways that other people have transformed their grief, worry and fears into something useful and inspiring.
As much as I want to tell you that I have a magic solution that will take all of your worry away, I don’t. But what I can do is hopefully show you that there is a way through it. And that you can live with and maybe even transform these painful feelings and experiences into something beautiful.
A quick heads up here. The videos I selected do not speak directly to the fear of an addicted loved one dying however, they do relate to these fears in general. So please keep an open mind. You just might be pleasantly surprised with what you learn.
Video #4 is my absolute favorite. I really hope you’ll watch it.
Once you’ve finished reading and watching, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section. If you’re struggling with this fear of an addicted love one dying, share how you live with the fear. Or if any of the videos in today’s post inspired you, tell me which one and why.
Remember your voice, experiences and insights are vital to this community. And what you have to share is not only unique but it may be exactly what someone else needs to read. And that someone could be you.
Thank you for everything you bring each and every week to this community.
Until Next Tuesday.
#1 How To Make Stress Your Friend
Out of all the videos in today’s post, this one will probably challenge you the most. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests that there is a way that we can make friends with stress. That there’s scientific evidence to suggest that our bodies release specific hormones during stress that are meant to remind us that we can handle whatever we’re facing and that we don’t have to do it alone.
Now I know this is an odd take on stress given that we’re so used to hearing about the negative side effects of it. But I encourage you to watch this one with an open mind and see if you can’t use the information to transform the stress you experience over the idea of an addicted loved one dying.
#2 Before I Die I Want To…
In just under seven minutes, artist Candy Chang may not only have you crying but she may also inspire you to transform any painful and obsessive emotions you’re dealing with as they relate to grief.
In this video, Candy shares how she transformed the passing of a dear friend into a project that has inspired people all over the world. Even if you’re not dealing with the grief of losing an addicted love one, let this video inspire you to think of ways that you could transform your worry, anxiety and fears into something that could not only heal you but heal your family, your neighbors or even the world.
#3 The Gift Of Tough Times
What do you think would happen if you were able to take the stress, anxiety, worry and fear you experience over the thoughts of an addicted loved one dying and used those feelings as the keys to your personal transformation?
In this next video, personal development coach communication expert and comedian, Tara Igoe offers inspiration to do just that. She suggests that it’s our darkest moments and greatest sources of anxiety and stress that can transform our lives for the better.
#4 What Our Fears Can Teach Us
When she was a little girl living in California, Karen Thompson Walker feared what would happen if an earthquake rocked her house.
Her childhood fears of earthquakes and much more inspired Karen to discover that our fears are really just stories that we tell ourselves. And if we learn to listen to these fears we may be able to gain the gifts of wisdom, insight and truth.
Truly, this is my favorite video of all that I’ve shared in this post today. I not only hope that you’ll watch it but I hope that it will inspired you to look at your fears of an addicted loved one dying in a new way.