A major life change has occurred in my home this past weekend. Cliff left for Florida to start a new life with the woman he loves. They've known each other for only nine months or so, maybe a little longer, but have declared their love for each other and plan to make it a permanent promise. Having been through the trauma of divorce, and it is a trauma even in the most peaceful of ways, I pray that their declaration to each other is true and forever.
There was a time that Cliff was not living with me. When I bought my little house I sent him packing, so to speak. Not in a bad way, but it was simply time. Not too long after life threw a curve ball and the call came asking "would it be okay if I come and stay with you for just a short time till my friend S and I work out sharing a house? He's going to buy something and I'll be his roommate." Cliff was working at the time and had the best laid plans, and so I somewhat reluctantly said yes. I had just been in my little domicile for one year and longed for "my space" as we've come to love in this country. As you may have guessed, a few months rolled into many more and just recently became 3 years.
So, with a Toyota Camry packed to the gills, off they rode into the sunset in the direction of Florida and I'm alone again, naturally. =)
Before Cliff left I had to have "the talk". That's the part of recovery that continues to be revisited with many an addict and their family. Boundaries are set once again because deep down we fear getting caught up in the landlord relationship one more time. Cliff was ready to go out on his own, there's no doubt of that. But where the doubt comes in it seems, is in Cliff's ability to see past looming obstacles. Putting down one step at a time in order to achieve a hard earned goal still requires some guidance and encouragement along with a push and a hug. So, in a much calmer demeanor and forthright tone than in years gone by, I simply stated that I wished Cliff the very best that God has planned for him and that moving back home was not an option. The door will not swing back open, and please leave your key. There's a sadness in my soul that I have to say that so clearly, yet it's a freedom that has to be laid out for both of us. I'm too old to be my sons housemate and he should have the confidence to enjoy life as it's meant to be. So the door is ajar; it's open just enough to pay a visit but not open wide enough to let suitcases filled with life struggles that belong to another take up residence in my space.
I'm grateful once again for working it out with my Higher Power, my Creator, who has walked the walk with me to show me how to live a better life that brings unspeakable peace to my heart. My life is richer because of practicing the 12 Steps over and over.
That peace of mind is not mine to own. You can have it, too. Ask and seek. You'll find it.