A mother wrote: I bailed my son out and fixed it all. When I finally went to Families Anonymous and Nar-Anon, I realized I didn’t cause the addiction and I can’t change it – only he can do that. I realized that by enabling, I was doing him more harm than good.
He was arrested again and remained in jail for three weeks. No one to bail him out, he worked on his own with a public defender to get accepted into drug court in lieu of jail. He now goes to meetings, is drug tested and meets with the judge. I learned to let go with love.
My reaction: I have spoken with many young addicts across the country and they have told me, My addiction is not my parents’ fault. Drugs are more powerful than you can imagine. When I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I made the choice to change my life. When the consequences of my addiction got to be more than I could live with, I made the decision for myself.
Today’s Promise to consider: I will stay close to my child, but I will no longer be dragged under by addiction. I will give my loved one the dignity to make his own choices. I won’t abandon him, but I’ll wait for him to make the decision of health, not for me, but for himself.
I remember when I got to the point that I had no other choice but to “let go, let God.” I had become sicker than my addicted child.
I was no different than the young addicts that Libby mentioned. I also had to reach that moment of clarity in which, “I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I made the choice to change my life.”
The time for “the conversation” finally arrived and I let my son know that I would no longer be directly or indirectly involved with any situation that was related to the consequences he experienced due to his abuse of mind altering substances and/or his drug culture (mental, social, physical). And, as my Families Anonymous sponsor suggested, “Mean what you say but don’t say it meanly.”
I hung up the phone after defining my boundaries and knew that my son did receive the message that he was loved and supported in recovery. However, I knew that the evil of addiction believed I was simply bluffing.
There would be many challenges to come and I have not always stood 100% by my boundaries but with each slip (relapse) I became stronger. Eventually, my son’s addiction learned I could no longer be manipulated. I could now forgive myself and my son. I was finally free! Praise God!
My prayers to all my fellow travelers.
I like Pat, had reached that point a while back. That said, there were still many slips in my own recovery. I try to always ask myself where do I belong in this equation. That usually helps me to figure it out.. We keep getting the lessons until we learn them also
Have a good week everyone!
I’m humbled at how we as parents struggle with our children’s addiction. I read our words – yours and mine – and I feel our pain, trauma and despair. Then I think of one of the reasons Jeff helped to write Stay Close. He said something like, “We addicts have no idea of the pain we put our parents through. This book will help addicts as much as parents. We addicts are so locked up in our own selfishness and we’re busy chasing the next high. We don’t want to cause our family pain and we even try to keep them out of it, but addiction rules and wins.”
We each have choices to make. With love to all.
Addiction is so complicated. I enabled my son and I let go of my son. The enabling was easy. The letting go was so very difficult. And, what I want to say is this. When parents of addicted children “let go and let God”, it’s so important to have a support group (like Pat has – Families Anonymous). When I let my son go, I wasn’t in a support group. I was in therapy, but one on one. Even though I was in psychotherapy, it wasn’t enough to quell the quilt I had inside. In hindsight, I wish I had found a support group. I think it is imperative (even though I’ve never experienced it) to get into a support group like alanon, na, etc. I’ve learned that from this website. Thanks to you Libby and all who come here!
In prayer for all our children who are addicted and who aren’t. May the ones who aren’t, never experience the horror of addiction.
Last week i though my son was arrested and I was soo relieved in one way. Maybe hope for a methadone program in jail. You were all so there for me. I love you for that. Instead I found out that he is in hiding and there is a warrant and he will not turn himself in. I do not want to dwell on him . I
I am here for me right now
I want to talk about where I am right now. After sixteen years, i went to my doctor, told her details of my situation and accepted finally— some pills to get thru. I was not sleeping. I said to the doctor I felt so weak, The doctor said what- “weak — -you ? This is what medication is for legally – you will not get addicted I will prescribe that kind and not let you ever get dependent. But you are under such stress let;s deal with that. ” She was sooo un-judgemental. I’ve prayed, joined groups,meditated,come here, mustered on in my work in the face of all this evil, exercised, got and given healing prayer — anyhow.. i am here, taking a sleeping pill for the first time. Until he is arrested I cannot be at peace. I can try but it is a lie. He is holed up, anything could happen. But , i give that thought a five minute spot in my brain and then banish it. I guess I need right now someone who can tell me that taking pills myself temporarily is okay. Or really ,any feedback. Sixteen years is a long time to be strong. Sleeping at night helps me stay strong. In one way, I feel I have given in. i no longer want to fight. I just want to cope and find a way to minimize my own pain. Does that make me a hypocrite because I hate… I HATE ALLL DRUGS! I appreciate all feedback and love you all.
Thank you Libby, I almost got dragged under . Thank you.
I am on anti-depressants and will be for the rest of my life. They were a Godsend to me when my doctor put me on them after my son died. My doctor knew everything about my son. His drug abuse, his incarcerations, etc. Not only am I on anti-depressants, but I take sleeping pills when I need them.
These drugs will help you get through the turmoil you’re going through. Just because they are “drugs” doesn’t mean you’re an abuser of drugs. Take them if you need them to get through this. You’re under a doctor’s care, you’re son isn’t. Just food for thought!
Hang in there, Joy. And, if you need a little help from medicine, that’s just exactly what it is – medicine.
With the utmost love and respect,
Barbara, You are wise. I need to say it again: You are wise and I am grateful that you choose to share your wisdom with us.
Joy, We can carry only so much. My dad used to say, “No one can carry water on both shoulders.” If we try, something spills. In other words, there comes a time when we are burdened beyond human capacity to carry anymore. Sure, we pray, we dance, we write and we do anything possible to help, including sleep. Rest, Joy. You deserve it.
Dr. MacAfee’s words come to me, “Be patient with yourself. You’ve been vigilant a long time.”
Love to all.
Barbara, Libby, I am so very very very grateful. I needed to tell . I needed to share. I needed your wisdom. Thank you. Thanka you.