A mother wrote to me: My daughter has been in sober houses, psychiatry hospitals, jails, and detoxes. She’s attempted suicide. Like a merry-go-round, she’s been sober, until she wasn’t. I can’t make her do what she refuses to do. If I could climb into her body, I would. But I can’t. It’s her journey.

I always thought that if she was okay, I would have peace. Now, I realize that it’s not her job to bring me peace. That’s a tall order to put on my addicted child…and it’s not what she needs to do. Her peace must come from living in the solution. My peace must come from inside me, from my Higher Power.

My reflection: For the fourteen years of my son’s addiction, I ached for peace, the peace I thought I would surely find if he were sober. His addiction demanded center stage in my life, and the consequences of his actions overtook me at every turn. Whether it was detoxes, car crashes, or arrests, he was always on my mind and, when he wasn’t and I experienced moments of joy, I soon returned to my mental machinations about what would happen next.

Today’s Promise to consider: Our peace must come from within. It can’t be contingent on the rise and fall of our child’s addiction because, if it does, our serenity rests on the surface of a rolling sea. Additionally, it’s not our suffering loved ones’ responsibility to bring us peace. It’s their job to fight for their sobriety. Let us pray them home.


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Pat Nichols
4 years ago

Here is the truth for all parents of addicted children, the peace and serenity you seek is available at any time you are both “READY” and “WILLING.” Of course, that statement would also apply to our addicted children, so how does one put themselves in a position to be both ready and willing? When I asked posed this question to my alcohol/drug counselor he paused for a considerable amount of time then looked me right in the eyes, and said, “Pain!” The conversation that followed came down simply to how much pain am I willing tolerate before I choose a different path? How much can I take before I fall to my knees and “surrender” to the God of my understanding? When will I be ready and willing to follow a twelve step program with a sponsor, seek professional guidance and educate myself fully on the disease of addiction? The answer to these questions are different for everyone and I must stress there is no blame or shame regardless of the path you take. We are all individuals and must find our own way and in our own time. Prayers for us all! Thank you Libby.

4 years ago

Accepting a reality so full of pain feels impossible
feels peace can never be found
but if you let go of what dreams you had, now are over
if you never lose hope that sobriety, joy, can happen
if you learn to love them right where they are
yo will know a love and peace which passeth all understanding
peace does not mean a place of no pain
it means acceptance of what Is now…no matter how very very hard
it is freedom from resisting what is .

for me,,, hard won

3 years ago

Thank you for being there Libby. I find such a refuge in your company! Thank you to all who join in the discussions, I believe my Higher Power I choose to call God, brought me to people who understand.
God Bless
Laurie B