A mother wrote to me: My son died of a heroin overdose. I need to start to forgive myself for all the mistakes I made. I try to understand why he couldn’t just stop what he was doing to himself. It isn’t as simple as people want to make it. I live with the pain of not being able to help my son when he needed it, but I get up everyday and try to live my life the best I know how. I still feel that I hide from so many people who can’t understand what it was like to live with a son I loved and couldn’t help before it was too late.
My reflection: My father was a drill sergeant in the Marines and he used to point his finger at me and command, “Tell Jeff to stop, godammit. Tell him to stop.” I wish it were that simple.
Today’s Promise to consider: I found it impossible to force my son to quit using. Through a fourteen-year addiction, I discovered no clear answers, but I learned that my loved one had to choose to change his life. And for myself, I learned to stay close, pray and forgive.
Hi Libby, this past week a 33 year old man with a wife and 2 children was found dead from an overdose. Such an insidious condition that makes a person put it ahead of everything else that is important and of value in life. Addiction is so devastating. In our state of Pennsylvania deaths to overdoses exceed auto fatalities. It has become epidemic and is common in people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50″s and older. Sadly, I know too many people touched by this insanity. Keep up your support, prayers for you, yours and all those touched by addiction.
I receive your emails and honestly I don’t open them every time. But I did today and God had me read today’s story. I needed it at the exact time I read it. I have a 23 yr old son and everyday is a struggle. I know the feeling of “hiding” from some people. I also think this is for our protection in many ways. Thank you for sharing
We, as parents, do not make mistakes! Even if you became the most perfect parent in the world and God allowed you to go back and correct all of your past perceived “mistakes” concerning your addicted child it would not have changed a thing. Addiction is too powerful and whatever changes you would have made addiction would have found a way around them. Addiction would continue it’s destructive course until it finally wears itself out. So, stay out of addictions way but as Libby said, stay close (read her book), pray and forgive.
Hi Libby I feel like when I am reading your book its me speaking. I cant take it I feel like a failure as a mom. I go to FA meetings but it honestly doesn’t help. Max will not admit he has a problem. We started him a lawn service business we gave him everything. he left us in CT holding the bag and ran to Denver now he is messaging my husband that he is going to be evicting and will be on the street.. I know we cant give him any more money and that he needs to get help. But it hurts and I am scared. My husband is reading your book now. God bless you and I admire your strength. Addiction is a disease but it sucks 🙁