Everyone knows the old saying about life giving you lemonade.
Sometimes life is just a bit too sour to swallow and there’s no sugar nor water around. I mean, I end up swallowing the lemon juice, but I make a pucker-face afterwards. But occasionally life is just too sour. It’s not a sour-patch kid which is at first naughty but then nice. It’s just bitter and mean, like I might be when I get old enough to use that as an excuse.
I’ve been thinking a lot about having adult children who are addicts. Most people who’ve loved a substance-abuser will tell you Rule One: Addicts LIE! It can be over the most bizarre topic in the world, it can make no sense whatsoever, and it may even contradict what was said five minutes ago, but the untruth will be told frequently. I used to call my addicts out which, honestly, just made them better liars. I then took a position of listening and not arguing.
Here’s the sour part though: I can’t do it anymore. I’m tired of being on the receiving end of this dishonesty. I’m sick of it. I miss my children and I envision their younger selves’ hopes and dreams and it wears me out. I used to try to figure out the “grain of truth” in the 5 lb. bag of story, but forget it. I’m not interested in shopping at the Little Shop of Hoaxes anymore.
I can’t give back my children, and I wouldn’t anyway, so it’s not like these are lemons I can just return to the store. I can’t make a refreshing drink when there’s no sweetness to be found in the situation. So what am I going to do with this unwanted citrus of circumstance?
I’m not going to pick up the lemons, that’s what. Yep, I chose them, put them in my cart, and brought them home. But you know what? I don’t HAVE to use the lemons at all! I can chuck them out into the woods and let nature take its course. It doesn’t mean I won’t be sad – clearly I got the fruit for a reason. However, I don’t have to settle for something that can make me sick – and make the others in my household sick.
Those lemons may yet grow into a beautiful tree that produces good fruit. I don’t have to give up hope. I just don’t have to keep holding onto something that stings.