This is part of a journal entry that I wrote five years ago on Christmas, 2005. Merry Christmas, Lib. Childless: neither son is home. This is the first Christmas that we have not all been together. Jeff is in California in another recovery institution. Jer is in Florida and said he had to work, but I think he just didn’t want to come home to this mess.

How often can a heart break? Even after I say I won’t hope and I won’t care, hope and care seep into my bones and I think that maybe he’ll make it this time.

What is the Lord trying to teach me? Am I to let go? Realize I have no control? What is happening in my life? Dear Lord, I am sad and beaten down.

My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: Jeff was exactly where he needed to be: in recovery. Jeremy didn’t want to come home and I can understand. I wish I had been able to trust that my sons were making the best decisions for themselves. Even though I was miserable and broken, they were doing what they needed to do to survive.

Christmas of 2005 taught me that I had to let go and trust; it taught me that I could not control Jeff’s or Jeremy’s actions. Christmas 2005 proved to be a turning point in our lives. Christmas 2006 brought both boys home, healthy and happy to be together.

Today’s promise to consider, for all of us who love addicts: Today I’ll trust that we are all exactly where we are meant to be. I don’t need to understand why.

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13 years ago

Hi Libby…again, your personal reflection/promise for today is incredibly helpful. I just spoke to my son, still in recovery, (another Christmas without him) asking myself the same questions…in fact, I e-mailed his counselor and told him ‘I am tapped out…broken and beaten down.’ He replied, “I understand. Your son is where he needs to be.” I am so grateful for your reminder and for all the dedicated people who have helped our family through this miserable disease. G-d bless.

13 years ago

A lovely and inspiring entry!

I received this awhile ago. It’s attributed to Saint Theresa, but I doubt that it was written by her. Nevertheless, the sentiment is comforting:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you
are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite
possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

13 years ago

Hi Libby, Merry Christmas to you and your family! Our son left treatment because he said there were drugs even in there and people were offering them to him (he said when family or friends would visit they would bring stuff in for the people, how sad is this??) so he might as well just try himself on the outside. I told him that drugs will always be around him and that it’s up to him how to handle that. I know they say treatment is like quitting smoking, it takes many attempts so I’m okay with it. I think the first step was him booking himself in so I am still hopeful. Thank you so much for your inspirations and again have a wonderful Christmas with you sons and family.

Pat Nichols
13 years ago


This was a wonderful post. It is so true but so hard to accept sometimes. It is good to know we are not alone and that recovery is possible for anyone, regardless of the depth that the disease may take our loved one.

God is in control and I will trust Him.

13 years ago

I just finished your book! It was the best thing I have done in the 8 years of my Son’s addiction. I now don’t feel crazy that someone else has gone through what I have gone through. So for that alone thank you.

Also there is one quote from Jeff I live by and it is “often when we are angry, we say our truth, but then it’s said with ugliness and nothing is accomplished. If we could say the truth without anger, healing might be possible.” This was so me and my son. So thank you so helping me learn how to talk to him.

I will miss reading your book and try to drG it out as long as I could. Thank you for helping me be not a shamed of this sickness! I am not there yet but hope to be one day.