A mom of a son in recovery wrote to me: I’ve learned to be understanding and not angry. I’ve learned to be forgiving and not disappointed. I’ve learned to be loving and not frustrated. I’ve learned to be patient and not anxious. The disease of addiction has to run its course. Our children find recovery in their own way and in their own time.
My reflection: I didn’t want to learn anything from addiction. I hated it and just wanted it to go away. I spent most of my days being angry, disappointed, heartbroken, and anxious.
Today’s Promise to consider: Some of the things I’ve learned from my son’s fourteen years in the miasma of addiction and his fifteen years on the other side of it are: *Al-Anon, AA, and family groups work. There’s immense power in community. *Educating myself was crucial. The more I understood about the disease of addiction, the more skillful my responses became. *My son’s addiction was not mine to solve, but his. The choice of sobriety rested with him. *Stay Close, but out of the chaos became a road map for me and gave me some semblance of peace, while giving my son the space to find recovery in his own way and in his own time.4874
As they say in AA addiction is about isolation and recovery connection. After years of trying absolutely everything we have come to see that we cannot be our sons higher power. Learning to love him unconditionally is hard when the anger and desire to punish is so strong. We have come to see that we do not need to punish him-society will. It’s still hard to watch the child you raised tank their lives and realize there is nothing you can do but wait, maintain hope and try and not to have his bad days ruin your good ones. This is not selfish but essential
Thank you as always Libby I do appreciate your thoughts on this blog-
Dearest Anne, You are so right. Your words, “It’s still hard to watch the child you raised tank their lives and realize there is nothing you can do but wait, maintain hope and try and not to have his bad days ruin your good ones. This is not selfish but essential,” hit me hard. Yes, yes, yes. It’s heartwrenching for us to be so powerless. I join you in prayer. xo
Good Morning Libby, I am a faithful Thursday follower. Today’s message has once again, come at the right time. It’s reminding me to stay close but out of the chaos, which quite honestly is taking a lot of perseverance at the moment. The truth is, it’s so much easier to be understanding, forgiving, loving and patient when things are going well. It’s been at least 12 years, with the last 7 being a rollercoaster of pure hell. The 2 most recent incidents being my sons relapse at the time of my husband’s funeral back in April. It was the first time in all these years that we broke down and had to call the police. The next few months were a nightmare, not knowing if he was even alive. He was deemed “homeless” and some time in July ended up in the hospital, he reached out to me, he did all the leg work to get into a treatment facility which I then brought him to. From July until Christmas Eve, I felt I was starting to get my son back. He invited me to be part of his therapy sessions, he was coming to my home on the weekends to help with projects around the house, mending his relationships with his sisters etc. All of this blew up on Christmas Eve (the first Christmas without my husband)…his behaviors made me suspect to him using, I found paraphernalia, and as you can imagine, it wasn’t a good scene. I drove him an hour back to the program that he was in as he continued to be in total denial. The last leg of this story is…I found out that he left the program he was in and moved to a sober house the next town over. My daughter recieved a phone call yesterday from the sober house asking if she knew where my son was. Apparently left for “work” on Tuesday and didn’t come back that night. Yesterday I drove over an hour to go and pick up his belongings because they have an abandonment rule, and will toss everything.
This is where I get the most confused…did I step back into the chaos?! Or am I just staying close? My son has nothing to his name at the age of 32…homeless, no car, I’m assuming no job now since he is out on a run again. I feel guilty and responsible that I didn’t teach him the skills on how to be a responsible adult.
Apparently I need to re-read your book. I have searched high and low for a trauma councelor for myself and have not been successful.
Thank you for the work you do.
My dear Charlene, I understand. I understand the hurt, confusion, betrayal, guilt, sadness, and crushing pain. Addiction wants to suffocate us. You’ve done everything possible for your son. We could never have taught our sons the skills to be responsible enough once addiction took over their lives. Your son is alive under the drugs. There is a video on our website – the first video, halfway down – that Jeff and I made together. It might give you comfort and some direction. Jeff’s words are powerful. My love to you. I join you in prayer.
These words are spot on and right now so true. Our son just completed his IOPO 3 months and in sober living I pray and hope every day he continues doing what he must I am learning to trust the process. His journey not ours but our love is strong and we continue to support him Thank youLibby you are a god send
Dearest Lori, You are a Godsend to your son. God bless you all. I’ll join you in prayer and faith. xoxo