I’ve mentioned before that planting flowers and working in the yard is one of the hobbies I’ve developed that helps keep me sane and focused on myself rather than my teen.
This year I have been fascinated by how seemingly dead plants come back to life in the spring.
I’ve been watching them all closely in amazement about how one day they look dead with no leaves or signs of life and almost overnight they sprout beautiful buds and bright green leaves.
I even dragged my husband out to the back yard the other day to show him the plant in the picture I included with this post. The plant looks dead. It looks just like the annuals that won’t come back this year.
Yet in the picture you can clearly see there are beautiful leaves growing from the dead looking branches!
This morning I looked out the window into my back yard and noticed that some of my plants are going to come back bigger, stronger, and even more beautiful than they were last year!
Even though they go dormant through the long winter in order to survive, they are alive but not growing.
That is what the cycle of the plant’s life looks like and it has a purpose.
Life is still lurking in the plants core and roots, but the plant is conserving its energy and resources until the growing conditions improve.
Some of us go dormant because of our pain over our teen’s substance use.
We appear to be and feel lifeless.
We are so caught up in our teen’s substance use that we create unfavorable growing conditions for ourselves.
We withdraw from the world, do what we have to just to survive each day, and go dormant until we decide to create our own spring.
Coming out of that winter like state requires us to seek experiences that educate us about our teen’s substance use, our emotional health, and anything that helps us grow.
Otherwise we are just like the plant that is alive but not growing.
We have to seek out those experiences that create the life we want in order to thrive again no matter what our teens are doing.
Sometimes we look at our teens who are abusing substances and see those same bare branches with no leaves or signs of life.
We fear we will never see the version of them we remember and miss so much.
Our kids are in that dormant season too though.
There is still life in their roots.
Just because there isn’t a calendar that tells us when their spring is, doesn’t mean their spring will never come.
As long as there is life in their roots, there is always the chance that our kids can come out of their substance use and come back bigger, stronger, and better than ever.
Never give up hope.