A mother wrote to me: Today I am struggling with Staying Close as I fear my son’s addiction is taking hold of him again. Part of me wants to say Stay Away and say, “I don’t want to be your mother anymore. I don’t want to deal with your addiction anymore.”
My personal reflection on the above passage: I know this feeling of wanting to run away from all the chaos that is addiction. I asked Dr. MacAfee, our addiction specialist, and he told me, “Of course, ‘I don’t want to be your mother’ is not the same as ‘I don’t want to deal with your addiction.’ Parents cannot obliterate relationships in hope that they’ll obliterate addiction. I know that parents want the pain to stop, but rejection of and disowning their child does not alleviate the pain.
“In addition, punishing the addict won’t help either. Good, solid and meaningful boundaries can help best. Every parent needs to say what she means and mean what she says.”
Today’s Promise to Consider: I will stay close to my loved one. I will tell him what I can and cannot do and I will mean it and follow through. I will respect my boundaries for his sake. I will stay close and pray that he chooses a different life.