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Archive for November, 2010

GRATITUDE

A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: When I awake every morning and go to sleep every night I feel God’s presence in my life and in the life of my child. My son is good today, but I know it’s one day at a time. Dealing with addiction takes courage, humility and gratitude: courage to stay close and to love our child, humility to remember that the addiction is strong and can come back at any time (especially when we least expect it) and gratitude for our daily blessings.

My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: Gratitude is powerful. When my son was in active addiction, I remember being grateful that he was still alive. My prayer every morning was, “Dear Lord, thank you for keeping him alive today.” It’s hard to be grateful when our children are still out there on the streets, but gratitude is important, everyday.

My son is good today, and I know that it’s for today. Tomorrow is another choice. There is no finish line with addiction.

Today’s Promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I will remain humble in the face of addiction. For today, I will live in a space of gratitude.


EDUCATION

My son wrote this to me about his first rehab center (he was nineteen years old): Early seeds were definitely planted and my perception of drugs started to shift. It’s hard to escape your first time in treatment with a carefree regard for drugs intact. I began hearing words like “addiction” and “disease” in the same sentence as “friends” and “parties.” Counselors talked about cravings and they had clinical terms for the anxieties associated with my personal world of drugs. I was shocked that they knew so much and I was shocked that other people felt the same way that I did.

My personal reflection on the passage above offering my thoughts today: My son once told me that drugs started as a party and ended as a sandstorm. But by then it was too late and he couldn’t find his way out. Drugs are ubiquitous. Some kids try and stop, while others, like mine, start and don’t stop. We parents need to talk with our children about the choices with which they’ll be faced.

Today’s promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: Just as the addict has to learn about his addiction, so do I. I’ll learn in Al-Anon; I’ll read books and talk with professionals. I’ll learn so that I can better help my loved one and myself.


SURRENDER/POWERLESSNESS

A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: My son is an alcoholic. My feelings of guilt, shame and helplessness for him are intensified because I, too, am a recovering addict. Even though my son was raised in an alcohol and drug-free home, addiction found him. I ache for him as his mother, but only another recovering addict knows the TERROR an active addict lives with. Sometimes I feel temporary peace that I confuse with wellness, but I live with the fear that chaos will find us. I don’t know what to do to stop our pain.

My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: How do we help our children? I don’t understand, not really, the terror, guilt or shame with which an addict lives. But my son has used the same words when describing his feelings about his addiction. He once told me, “An addict loathes himself and what he is doing to the people he loves.”

As parents, we want the pain to stop, but we are powerless against the addiction. Our children must make the choice of wellness for themselves. For parents to admit that we are powerless is humbling.

Today’s Promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I will remain humble in the face of addiction. I recognize that I am powerless to change my addicted love one: I am powerless to change anyone. But I will stay close.


HOPE

A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: I’m giving up on prayer. I’m afraid. Recovery was going well, I thought, making meetings, new job he likes, nice girlfriend…I was beginning to trust and hope. In the last week, money taken from my purse, relapse, violation of probation. Now it’s back to court and maybe prison this time. I can’t do this again.

My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: Hope is fragile and fear is powerful. I wonder why fear seems to be stronger than hope? I don’t know, but I do know that there are times when I felt like giving up on prayer. Sometimes it’s easier to lose hope and faith than to keep feeling hopeful and being crushed. When the addiction rises up again and again and smacks us, knocking us to the ground, we hurt and don’t know what to do. It is then that we are in danger of giving up hope. But if we lose faith and hope, all is lost. We need to stay close to our children, but our children need to fight their own battles.

Today’s Promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I am only human and sometimes I feel as though I can’t go on. But I will. I will go on in hope.

We can’t be armor for our children. We can only be supporting troops. Irwin Shaw


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