A mother wrote to me: My husband and I have bailed our son out of financial trouble for so long that we have nothing left. And it didn’t even help. I don’t know if we were trying to keep him from hitting rock bottom or trying to keep ourselves from hitting rock bottom. He was a brilliant, athletic, friendly, and respectful child, and we are a close supportive family. None of this makes sense.
My reflection: Every addiction story is filled with suffering, chaos, and trauma. At the end of my son’s fourteen-year heroin addiction, I, too, was depleted.
Today’s Promise to consider: We bail out our children, over and over again. When our addicted loved one calls desperate for help, money is often what they want. In the end, money is not the answer. In the end, the solution is in the person, who must make the decision to change his life. It is his decision to get well, to do what it takes to remain clean, and to choose a different way of living. Today, I will stay close, but not allow the addiction to deplete me.4321
Addiction has to be left alone in order for it to wear itself out. Sadly, we, as parents, must wear ourselves out with our enabling before we can find our own peace and serenity in recovery. The key to our children’s recovery is always giving them hope. Letting them know they are loved, forgiven and welcomed back into the family. Never give up and understand that this journey is all a necessary process, there is no blame or shame.
Dear Pat, Again, thanks for sharing your wisdom. I love your words that addiction has to wear itself out, just as we must wear ourselves out. It took me fourteen years to stop giving Jeff money and trying to ‘fix’ things. Yes, yes, yes — never give up, there is no blame and no shame. Addiction wants to suffocate us, and we can’t let it.