Painting – that is a great idea. Stay with it and enjoy the colour, self-expression – whatever it is that gives you real pleasure. I am not a painter, but I have friends who are creating beauty and finding their own space through this art-form. I like to write and have joined a little writing group; I also do some dancing, go to a poetry group and a French group (I studied French to degree level years ago and this group is allowing me and others of similar knowledge to brush up our sometimes ‘rusty’ language skills!). I don’t know what you have available to you in your home area, but getting really involved with people who share your interests can be a good way to ‘actively fill your mind’ with things other than the problems of addiction. Obviously, don’t overdo it! – you need to look after yourself, as you have not been well and you have a busier work-life than I have, I think. But do allow yourself to ‘get lost’ in something really enjoyable.
Who are the people that can make things better for you? – I can’t say who these people are in your life. Sometimes, they are people you know you can trust and talk to about difficulties, with the assurance of their acceptance and care. Sometimes, they may be people who are just good to be with – maybe you don’t confide in them about difficulties, but you feel better being in their company and sharing other positive things. It’s all worth thinking about anyway.
I like your description of children as ‘not yours’ (or ‘not ours’), but people to whom you give birth, bring up as well as you can in your circumstances, then ‘let go’. I have had to learn that gradually – not just because of my son with his addiction, but also with my daughter, whose work keeps her in other parts of the world, far away and sometimes out of touch. Well, I’m still learning …
with continuing good wishes,