Walk it off

Walk it off

You know it.  You hear it incessantly.   Exercise is one of the best relievers of stress.  It’s something easy we can do for ourselves.

But what if you’re suffering the worst kind of stress – an obsession with someone you love who’s slowly killing himself – and thereby you, too – through drug or alcohol abuse?

Where does exercise of any kind fit in when all your energy is focused on fixing the loved one suffering from addiction?  With all that despair and determination to find a cure who has time or even wants to exercise?

When Jacob was actively using, one of the few ways I found any solace was in taking a long walk, alone.  The gym couldn’t offer the same comfort.  There I’d run into people I knew, too many from whom I was trying to hide my son’s addiction.  Even worse, their cheery hellos and questions about my family forced an awkward response. Oh, he’s okay.  Trying to adjust.  You know how boys are.

No, sometimes the kind of exercise that helps doesn’t come in the gym.  For me it was – and still is – a well-trod path along the seawall of the United States Naval Academy near where we live. Then, as now, both the sight of the Severn River and the young, uniformed midshipmen walking briskly to and from class lift my heart.

On these walks I’d stop to pray at an overlook.  My prayer was simple:  Please God, let my son make the right choices. 

It wasn’t until years later, not until I stopped obsessing over Jacob and trying to cure his addiction, that I realized:  this same prayer was meant for me as well.




6 Replies to “Walk it off”

    1. Thanks for sharing that Therese. Thanks for responding. You know I love hearing from you.

  1. Hey Lisa, come “Walk it off with your Hillman Hikers” friends tomorrow Presidents Day?

  2. Can tell you what I call “the perfect spot” where the land meets the water near my house that is a near and dear to my soul spot. Many conversations with HIM have taken pace there.