A dad of a recovering daughter wrote to me, Relapse is sometimes harder than the initial experience of discovering your child is an addict. The hope you build one day – one hour – at a time as she was in recovery disintegrates into grains of despair. This time around, both of you are a little wiser at the game. In all that wisdom, though, the pain, the hurt, never eases. You feel the individual grains of hope in your hands, and you find faith in them. They are tired, weak, but as long as these grains exist so does your hope. 

My reflection: Relapse was a steady thief during my son’s fourteen-year addiction. Just when I thought he had changed his life and shown great fortitude in making healthy choices, the floor fell out and down he went. Over and over, relapse slapped us in the face. 

Today’s Promise to consider: Hope finds its strength in the heart, not the brain. With addiction, the events often spell disaster, and I found that only love could combat my despair. My younger son once asked, “Momma, how will you end the story about Jeff?” I admitted, “I don’t know, Jer. It’s not my story to end.” His answer was clear, “But that’s the point. We don’t know what will happen to Jeff, but no one can ever take away our hope. You have to end the story in hope.”

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My son recently relapsed again. This time he is facing a prison sentence. It was the most devasting thing. My sister said you have to quit getting your hopes up each time. I said that is one thing I will never do. I can never give up hope.


Never give up hope. At times, we as their moms, are their only hope. Praying for your son, I’ve been in your shoes. The judge showed grace to my son a year ago and didn’t give him the sentence he deserved. He will soon be 2 years clean, one day at a time…

Pat Nichols

Great news Ann, my son just celebrated four years – a true miracle. What would be so encouraging is for several parents to write one chapter in a book entitled, “Hope For Our Addicted Children.” Each chapter could briefly explain the difficult road traveled but end with the recovery of the child etc. I would have sure bought it!

Pat Nichols

Relapse is a natural part of the disease process. Eventually I would expect relapse and I prepared myself for it. Always giving my son hope for the future. Letting him know he was loved, understood and forgiven. It was this constant message of hope and love from his family that “lodged” in his heart and soul. A message of hope that would one day ignite a true desire for long term recovery.


Hope is what we hold onto. No matter what


I have learned that healing is never ending and that when/if my son relapses I do not have to relapse into despair as I used to do. He still struggles so with mental health issues, is slowly withdrawing from methadone which probably saved his life at first but now faces real recovery living life clean and adressing his mental health issues. We are all fragile. But we hope on. We Stay Close.