A mom wrote to me: My son is new to recovery, and I’m wondering if I can ask him all the questions that I have? Sometime I feel like I can’t say how I have been hurt, or how I feel, or how his addiction has affected our family. I don’t’ want to drive him away or make him feel more ashamed than he already feels.

My reflection: When Jeff read a draft of Stay Close, his response was, “You stripped me naked in this book.” I said, “But why didn’t you stop? Why did you continue to hurt all of us?” His eyes filled with tears and he said, “You wrote an entire book about addiction and you still don’t understand. I never wanted to hurt you. I tried to keep you to the side and out of the way. You’re my mom and I love you, but I’m an addict, Mom. I’m an addict.”

Today’s Promise to consider: With my son, a recovering heroin addict, HOW I asked the question was more important than what and when I asked. He was already beaten-up by the addiction and felt guilt and shame, so I needed to be gentle. Today, when we talk about the stormy years of his addiction, I ask questions calmly, without judgment, and in love.


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Al Santiago
Al Santiago

I am a parent of an addict and alcoholic. My daughter has battled this disease for nearly 14 years. As her father, the journey has been tough. I do not know how long this ordeal will last. I am seeing the physical, emotional, and psychological impact, the addiction is having on my daughter and on me. Currently, she is in another rehab program, hearing the same information, hopefully, this time the planted seeds will take harvest.

Pat Nichols

Hi Al, I’m the father of a son in recovery from drugs. Our journey lasted over twenty years. I highly recommend Libby’s book ‘Stay Close.” What I found that worked best for me was educating myself “fully” on the disease of addiction, working with a properly credentialed and experienced alcohol drug counselor, working with a sponsor in a 12 step program ( and drawing closer to the God of my understanding. Recovery is a lifestyle change for not only the addicted child but the whole family. You and your daughter are on my daily prayer list. Blessings, Pat

Nanci J Morris
Nanci J Morris

Dear Libby and Jeff, Thank you for this meditation today. Libby, your ‘reflection’ brought tears to my eyes, instantaneously. When Jeff said, “You wrote an entire book about addiction and you still don’t understand” reminded me of (multiple) conversations I had with my son about this disease. I never understood why/how he continued to ‘do this to me.’ What I know now is that all of us are beaten up by this disease and it has no boundaries. Very scary, daunting and so very isolating. Al, I strongly recommend Libby’s book ‘Stay Close.’ A parent at an Alanon meeting several… Read more »