Poet Alexander Pope wrote in An Essay on Man (1732) that hope springs eternal. Is it true?
A mother wrote to me: I am the mother of two sons. The older one is fine, but my younger son is an addict currently working on recovery, again. I’ve been down this road so many times before that it’s hard to be hopeful, but it’s impossible for me not to hope. During all the years we’ve battled this disease, I haven’t given up on him. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It just is.
My reflection: We don’t know when our suffering loved one will start to live life in the solution. We pray that today is the day that our child takes control over his life, but relapse happens. How many relapses does it take? The answer is different for every family.
Today’s Promise to consider: I don’t know how long addiction will rein terror in the life of my loved one or my family, but I will continue to pray, to hope, and to seek the counsel of my support group. Even though parents will be sorely tested, it’s simply not in our nature to give up on our children. Where there is life, there is hope.4350
I came away from my weekly AlAnon meeting yesterday so grateful that I have this amazing group to lift me up and give me hope. Though our son is now working and self-sufficient, 15 plus years in the throes of opioid addiction in the rear view mirror, his behaviors often are those of a substance abuser. Not taking responsibility for his past, facing debts, bad credit, arrests. We did the best we could with what we had in our toolbox as parents to live the nightmare. But I do in hindsight see how terrified we were and how we re-acted out of fear. By trying to “help” we often made our lives and his worse. We lived and breathed his disease and ours, the disease of co-dependency. The 12 Steps are not for everyone, I realize. But without the acceptance of a power greater than ourselves, a god, God, our Higher Power, I never would be writing this today. It takes work and commitment. And surrender. But the strength and peace will emerge. As dear Libby so beautifully expresses in her book, this does not mean abandonment of our loved ones. But staying close and guiding with love.
My dearest Mindy, Your words are strong and powerful, and there is so much wisdom in what you write. AlAnon was my saving grace, too, and I am forever grateful. When I was at my lowest point, the people in the rooms were there for me without judgment or criticism. I, too, had to learn to, ‘Let go and let God.’ I just couldn’t carry by myself all that was happening, and I found solace in prayer. Yes, let’s stay close with guiding love. My love to you. Thanks for staying close to me all these years. <3
My original thoughts regarding counselors and support groups was that they were primarily for those who couldn’t figure out how to fix their child! Yes, the mind set of a very sick parent! It would take this codependent twelve long, painful and costly years before a new path was chosen. Lucky for me there were many other parents who had traveled the path of recovery before me. They were there, patiently waiting for me to enter “the room.” They were so kind, patient, loving and understanding. I eventually found a sponsor and began a one year journey in working The Twelve Steps. Each step changed me and brought me closer to God. I became a new person, a parent who was no longer angry and in constant fear. Then it was my turn, I waited patiently for new arrivals. Now it was I who was guiding others to a new life, one of peace and serenity.
My dearest Pat, Your message is inspiring and full of hope. I, too, followed your path of wasting years trying to ‘fix’ my son. Yes, it took me many long, painful, and costly years before I entered the rooms and found others who would be with me without judgment and with compassion. The Steps also helped me to admit that I was powerless (oh, how hard this was for me!) and that I couldn’t change my son. I learned to lean on God and to pray with belief. What a long journey you and I have walked. God bless you, Pat, for all you do to help others. Thank you for staying close.
Closer to God. Yes. That is the ongoing journey. And I think of all the Thursdays your words and sharing guided me and brought me closer to my son and to my God. Thank you.
Closer to God and closer to your son. You are an inspiration to us, to me. <3
This is so important to discuss. Especially now. Such chaos and fear.
Hope in the darkness, pray without ceasing. Love always.
The children we love and have to watch suffer are in the grips of disease with tentacles strangling our lives and families. And society. But I know from experience the person you knew before addiction is still underneath there saying I need you, please love me. Don’t give up on me. My son told me how saying no to him saved his life many times. Most importantly that he never felt he wasn’t loved. So as hard as it might be in the throes of active addition, I want to say please parents, just keep loving the soul, praying for the spirit, hoping for their life. I got to see my son as healthy as I had ever seen him as an adult before he died. Not from an opioid overdose.He was sick,his body gave out.
Thanks to Libby and this community ,especially Barbara who had lost a son and grandson to drug related deaths and was so honest in telling us what she regretted—- I changed how I viewed my own situation. My worst fear was his death. But what if he died and I had regrets like that? Barbara’s sharing, advice, her regrets were like a big slap of a wake up call to me I learned to navigate waves of relapse and recovery. Not perfectly but as best I could and better than I had. How to feel true compassion and not enabIe. I got really good at that! So I come here to say I have such good memories that outweigh the darkness. I cherish them. AND I am not sure I could ever cope with the loss if I did not have good memories.
Compassion is the ability to hold both pain and love in your heart. So relapses happen. Hope can dim. As truly hard as it is, if you react with love not anger, that will always be the best choice. I didn’t in the beginning of the disease, I tried to fix and find solutions. I cried and pleaded. I got angry. I had to distance when he was in active addiction but I never stopped loving or praying. And over the years as he worked so hard in his recovery and living still with mental illness, I saw a compassionate and wise and loving son. What is needed in each moment is love. That is what staying close means. Loving through it all. My love and debt and gratitude go forever to Libby, Jeff and Jeremy, you were the one whose voice echoed when you said never give up hope. I am thinking of all of you tonight. Stay healthy.
My precious Joy, My eyes filled with tears as I read your message. Barbara lives on through you. As I read your words, I realized what a deep and abiding influence she had on you, on me, and how much she taught us. She lost two loved ones, and she shared her love and her regrets openly with our community. What a blessing she was to us.
I love your definition of compassion: The ability to hold both pain and love in your heart. Yes, hope can dim, but love must stay strong. If the worst happens, we know that we stayed close in love.
Your message is filled with strength and wisdom. I’d like to use some of what you wrote in an upcoming entry. As always, I’ll write only, “A mother wrote to me…” Your words will touch many others.
My sons and I send our love to you, today and always. Thanks for staying close and for loving us. Let’s keep each other in our joint prayers and keep hope alive.
With love and respect,
Yes, please use, whatever, whenever. Barbara’s wlsdom and experience allowed me a perspective like none other because she, like you , shared from the heart and gave us unflinching truthsand led by example. She endured in midst of great suffering. And kept sharing. I am so grateful.
Barbara was an inspiration and, you’re right, she shared from her heart with unflinching truth. What a blessing you’ve offered to all of us – the clear example that we CAN and DO help each other. My love to you, Joy.
When my son was in active addiction…my mother always said to me, “Hope, when there is no hope”. I have repeated this over and over again through the years, and it has always brought me comfort. She also said, there is no sense to worrying…it doesn’t help anything, it doesn’t change anything, it just makes us miserable…give it all to God. Hope when there is no hope. Amen.
Hope when there is no hope. What a wise mother you had. She was right – there is no sense in worrying because it changes nothing. I’ll hold her words close, especially during these chaotic and troubling times. HOPE WHEN THERE IS NO HOPE. I’ll also teach this to my grandchild. My love and thanks.
That is so perfect mantra. What a wonderful mother.