A young man in recovery told me, You can’t force sobriety on anybody. Cause Mum tried everything. She gave me money, didn’t give me money, made me go to rehab, didn’t make me go to rehab, drove four or five hours to pick me up, and then left me somewhere. No matter how many rehabs I’ve done or how many counselors or meetings I went to, I never got it until, one day, I was just sick of it and had enough. 

My reflection: Over fourteen years, I tried to force sobriety on my son in countless ways. I wept, yelled, bargained, and threatened. I would have sold my soul if that would have made the difference.

Today’s Promise: We can try to force our loved ones into sobriety, but with the majority of people coercion doesn’t work. People must be ready to change. It’s a deeply personal decision that can only be made by them. Today, I’ll encourage my loved one to attend an AA meeting or at least talk with someone in recovery. I’ve never seen coerced recovery work, but I have experienced the power of encouragement and ‘staying close.’

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2 years ago

I love hearing directly from a recovering person. It always gives me more insight into how my son might be thinking sometimes. And this article helps me in the way that I can sit back, take a breath, stay loving, but NOT give in to that urge to force. It’s a good reminder of something that has taken me over ten years to get into my thick skull. Thank you to the writer for that confirmation.

2 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

I now say “stay close, but out of the chaos”
In my head all the time, thanks to you! It helps so much. I hope you and Jeff both know that your 14 year endurance of Jeff’s addiction has evolved into something so big. And so positive. You will never even know the extent of the help, hope, wisdom, and knowledge you have given to me and to so many others.
You are both a gift.

Mary Ann Rosa
Mary Ann Rosa
1 year ago

Dear Libby: A few weeks ago I lost my second child, my only son, to an overdose. It wasn’t so much the drugs, but the things existing in his brain, bad things about himself, that killed him. Sobriety doesn’t come alone, it Carrie’s awful feelings that make them give up. Once again my heart is broken!