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  • Writer's pictureMary Streeter

Motherly Love: You Don't Have to Set Yourself on Fire to Keep Everyone Warm

Updated: Mar 25

For me, being in the messy middle of my healing journey has felt like being stuck on a roller coaster with no off ramp. It left me feeling exhausted in ways I could not explain. Although I no longer felt I was racing through each day, trying to stay in front of a perpetually rolling boulder that was ready to crush me if I slowed down. Although I was no longer waking up everyday with a sense of overwhelm or dread, not knowing what unseen catastrophe might occur that day. Although I had found my way forward from a state of grief, resentment and fear to living more in a state of appreciation, gratitude and hope.

It is true, so much healing had taken place and my resiliency toolkit felt abundant. My family and I had come so far on our healing journey.

I could live my days seemingly well, the outside world would see me as a mother that found a graceful way to walk beside her daughters struggle with addiction while raising her 4 children. Yes, the children are thriving and we have found our way to acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional love. To the extent that any of us can maintain this while continuing to navigate the journey. It is a practice, and we are a team that knows how to condition ourselves for the game.

While all of this is true, inside there was something else living in me. I can't even really explain how I felt. Incomplete maybe? Like all my pieces were here, but much like the pieces of a puzzle, they were not assembled in a way that matched the picture on the front of the box. As if the events of 10 years ago, when the tsunami of change hit my family, it had a left an unseen ripple in the fabric our my being, maybe in all of ours.

Despite healing all the visible wounds, there was something left in its wake that none of my therapists, friends, or colleagues working in the field of addiction talked about. Not to me anyway. Perhaps we are so focused on the person in struggle, we overlook the impact of "the struggle" on those holding space for them. It's a web that is woven of a fabric that is so intricate. The pattern so unique and obscure, that we get lost on the details of the design and forget about the person behind it, that artist that creates the masterpiece. Forget about the scaffolding, the infrastructure that had been built to protect and hold it together. Addiction and chronic disease is a family affair.

As mothers, we are those creatives putting together an incredible tapestry of art when we bring our children into the world. It begins at birth, or before. We will give of ourselves in unimaginable ways. It is a love that only we know and it holds the strongest bond. That heart strings people talk about, that is made from a material that exists in no other form. How do I know? How do you know? Because for some of us, it should be broken and non-existent due to the ways in which it has been tested. The strain that it has endured. And to me that has turned into the most beautiful gift I've know to be true. How did I find my way here? It has been an inside out journey of healing. One that has me feeling like myself again, dreaming of my life and all that is possible. Engaging in creative living and most importantly, aligned and healthy, embracing this mystery of life and not missing the drops of joy. My puzzle pieces have been assembled in a way that fits the truth of who I am now. It may not have that same picture on the box, in fact I have thrown out the box and just made my own masterpiece, that is ME. When I found myself battered and bruised in the messy middle of my life, I rose from that place. As if that hard place became the launching pad I needed to emerge into my wholeness, feeling vibrant, strong and wise.

It is also a shared healing journey, one that I wish for all mothers walking beside a difficult struggle of someone you love and care deeply about. We can be happy and hold hope for their healing; both can be true.

I know you are a warrior, I also know you deserve to steer your life's ship in the direction you desire. You deserve to see the light on the other side. To live in joy again, to have dreams and to live an aligned and abundant life.

I am a mother of a daughter that struggles with substance use disorder. I work with mothers of children or loved ones that struggle with addiction or chronic disease.

If you are at the point of your journey that you realize you can not save your person, or love them into wellness. If you are ready to heal and find your wholeness, to find the light inside and give it some movement. If you are ready to leave behind that which no longer needs to be held and call your energy back, to find your truth and align you life to that truth. If you want to be happy and healthy, I am here to guide you home. To you.

I offer whole-person, holistic healing of mind, body and soul. Reach out and we can chat about the details,

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