A mother wrote to me: My son is homeless. I will not allow him to live at home as long as he is using. I asked him what his plan was and I explained that it was hard for me to tell him he couldn’t stay with me. Normally he would have yelled at me, slammed doors and walked out mad, but he didn’t this time. I saw something different in his face that made me think that he was finally seeing that his problem was bigger than he had thought. I pray he chooses a different life, but I know that he must choose.
My reflection: Dr. MacAfee wrote, Complaining, threatening, forcing and handwringing rarely, if ever, succeed. Instead, such approaches tend to drive the condition underground. Defensiveness must be lowered and communication must be clearer.
Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction is cloaked with heavy blankets of shame. Today, I will recommit to fostering an honest, compassionate environment with firm boundaries in place. I pray my child will choose to bring his addiction into the light where we can address it, for his life and for his health. Only he can make this choice.2679
Yesterday a coworker I don’t know very well opened up to me about her daughter and her recent struggles with heroin addiction and the issue of boundaries specfically. I told her to read your blog… I told her it always amazes me how no matter what I’m feeling that day, some how your words in the Thursday Meditation feel like they’re being spoken directly to me. Today I feel like they’re being spoken directly to my coworker. I hope she reads this morning! Passing your name on to those struggling always is my go-to way to offer quick help. Someone did it for me years ago and I am forever grateful! Thanks again!
“I will recommit to fostering an honest, compassionate environment with firm boundaries in place.” If you focus on the content of this one sentence it pretty well sums up how best we, as parents, can be the best supporter of our children and their recovery while securing our own peace and serenity. Wow! Just one sentence, that is impressive Libby!
Coming to the realization that the addict himself must choose a sober life is such a difficult thing to do. As parents I don’t think we are wired to sit back and watch our children suffer. We are supposed to be able to ease their pain, clarify confusion, comfort with love.
For many years I misunderstood my daughters moods and responses.
There was so much anger, aggression, blame toward us it was hard not to react without force or threats. Who was this stranger among us? With little information behind us we just did not understand what was happening to her.
Now I know that along with battling this demon she must have suffered such shame and loneliness which only contributed to her behavior. The thought of this always breaks my heart.
There is nothing to do know but wait and hope she chooses a sober life full of everything she deserves. While I wait I will continue to work on my understanding of this disease and to the best of my ability continue to work on myself, something that we as parents often fail miserably at, taking care of us.