3 Tips on Digging out from the Storm

We have survived, shew. Winter Storm Jonas hit the East Coast with all fanfare and force that was forecasted. Some areas reported as much as 42” inches of snow, placing this storm in the history books. I spent much of the weekend watching the storm out of the window and following many of my friends on Social Media, keeping up with their various interactions with the snow. A few of them were pretty diligent to begin shoveling their porches and driveways as the storm was happening. I watched their efforts and commended them but decided that I enjoyed my warm house and not getting snow in my face, thinking I would wait until the storm passed to being my clean-up. I ventured out of the house on Sunday morning to start digging out. After a few moments I began to realize that if I had started like many of my friends had, I wouldn't have quite as much snow to remove.

As I proceeded outside with over two feet of snow and everything covered, it was really overwhelming to even figure out where to begin digging. I stepped back and looked at the entire whiteout that used to be my yard and driveway. I decided I would get my front porch and sidewalk done and just began to dig.

After digging for a while I was fortunate enough to have a friendly neighbor show up, offering to help and use his Bobcat to dig out my driveway. He saved me from a ton of work and fortunately we were able to return to normal by Monday morning.

I hope I’ve kept you engaged thus far telling of my experience with the winter storm. Probably not to exciting or different than anyone else but I want to draw a parallel here to recovery. I think my experience with Jonas has a few lessons that we can learn in dealing with a family member.

Don’t be a spectator to the storm

When you see the storm coming it’s time to spring into action. This principle is so key; especially if your loved one is still a Teen and they have begun to experiment with drugs. We have got to make a decision that we are willing to have the tough conversations. We are willing to make life awkward if that’s what has to happen. One thing we won't do is sit back and allow the mess to accumulate and do nothing.

If they are an adult and they don’t live with you it gets a little more difficult to address this. I chose to stay inside while it was snowing because I enjoyed being warm and didn’t want to contend with snow in my face while shoveling. Just like many parents make the decision not to confront their loved ones because they are afraid they might not come around any more. Sometimes we have to be willing to step right out in the middle of the snow and be willing to get cold to save ourselves grief later on.

Devise a Plan and Start

If you’ve waited and the problem has mushroomed into something much bigger than it initially was, you have to start somewhere. Often times we get so overwhelmed by the size of the problem we fall into what is called “paralysis of analysis.” This simply means we spend so much time calculating how we are going to fix the problem and we never begin. I had a huge driveway to clear out but rather than focusing on the enormous task ahead I decided to attack the problem in bite size pieces. Once I got the porch and sidewalk clear, it provided the needed motivation to carry on.

So much in our journey to Family Recovery hinges on having healthy boundaries. Honestly I could write on those week after week. But this plan might be as simple as telling another family member about your loved ones problem, calling your loved one and asking if they would be willing to pursue help. Regardless of what the first step is for you, it’s important that you take one.

Don’t be afraid to accept or enlist help

I was so relieved when my neighbor finally came by with his machine and dug us out. When he came by he multiplied the efforts that I was putting out. This is so true when we have a good friend in our corner. Friends provide strength and encouragement when we can’t see a clear end to the journey. Ultimately the goal is to see your loved one clean and living the life you always knew they could.

Your friends exist to give you the encouragement you need to continue to live a healthy life while you process the battle of your loved one. YOU MATTER!! So many are willing to sacrifice anything to see those closest to them made whole, but having a good friend stand with you can ensure that you don’t over do it or give something that you simply don’t have.

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