ADDICTION REMAINS MY MOST INFLUENTIAL TEACHER

Recently, I was faced with a family issue that had nothing to do with addiction, but had everything to do with what I had learned through my son’s fourteen-year struggle with heroin. All the suffering and confusion of those addicted years taught me – in the end – to keep my wits about me, to breathe, and to stay close. Problems can be opportunities for learning, and I learned in spades that answers aren’t as important as love and hope. 

My reflection: Before and during the early years of Jeff’s addiction, my typical response was frustration, blame and anger. It took me years to accept that I was powerless to control his behavior, but what I could manage was my response.

Today’s Promise to consider: We can learn many valuable lessons from any trauma. Through my son’s fourteen-year addiction, my biggest breakthrough arrived in two words: Stay Close. For me this meant to love Jeff unflinchingly, but stay out of the chaos of his life. Today, I use that mantra with all of my loved ones.

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KerryCarollyn FontanaAl SantiagoPat Nicholslibbycataldi Recent comment authors
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Karen Baar
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Karen Baar

Libby, I needed this today. My son is almost 5 months clean after many relapses. He turned 25 last week and got a job he is excited about. He really hit rock bottom this past summer and lost everything. My mom has been determined to pick him up for work and get him back home. I’m not so into “ helping”. This job is good for his self esteem and has future potential. The alanoner in me wants him to figure it out on his own. He could take a bus from the city and walk or ride his bike… Read more »

Pat Nichols
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My adult son’s recovery depended on him and him alone. For example, he was given a bicycle at a shelter he was staying at. He peddled his way to his AA meetings, his job etc. He rode his bike in the rain and snow. With each peddle his recovery became stronger. He knew his parents loved him and supported him in his recovery but he also learned he would not be able to maintain long term recovery by depending on others. Just my experience.

Al Santiago
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Al Santiago

What an accurate statement, “Staying close to your love one.” I am parent in his 15th year of my daughter’s addiction to a variety of drugs and alcohol. I am not in the chaos of her life. I lived daily the three “C’s.” I did not cause it, I cannot control it. I cannot cure it. My daughter is currently working through another relapse. My prayers are with her.

Carollyn Fontana
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Carollyn Fontana

Libby while my heart is full of joy and love for you and your son’s recovery it also feels sadness that my son did not survive his addiction. Every time I hear of continuing recovery it fills me with great hope for those who are still suffering. God bless.

Kerry
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Kerry

Thank you for sharing. I sure needed this today. Although I am not dealing with a child with addiction I am dealing with a husband with addiction. I love him but I cannot sit by and watch him throw his life away. He has chirrosis and is currently in the hospital for the Varices in his esophagus bleeding. This is his second hospital visit in 2 weeks for the same reason. I am just heart broken and lost but I can’t be part of his chaos. So thank you for taking the time and writing this. Your words have touched… Read more »