Photo Credit: Davood Madadpoor

I talked with a dear friend, whose son is a recovering heroin addict, and I was moved by her words to her son. “I believe in you,” she told him, “Sure I’m afraid of what the future holds for you and our family, but I don’t want to breathe my fear into you. I want to give you hope.”

My reflection: There is a song lyric that I memorized years ago, “Fear can be catching worse than a cold.” Research indicates that emotions are ‘contagious,’ and that negative emotions transfer most easily. When my son was in active addiction, I’m sure he saw tension in my eyes more often than he saw peace or love.

Today’s Promise to consider: Our children can’t carry our anxieties, as well as their own. In early recovery, they face countless fears daily – how to get a job, how to pay rent, and how to go the next day without drugs. The last thing they need is to look in our eyes and see doubt. Today, I’ll not worry about tomorrow. I’ll pray, meditate, and find my serenity. Today, I’ll breathe hope into my son.

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6 years ago

Your posts are gentle and kind but my interactions with my addict are difficult. While I love her, worry about her and care about her future, I find it difficult to interact with her. She has used me, lied to me, manipulated me and exploited me beyond any possible comprehension. How can I not be fearful and anxious??? She’s sitting in jail right now and although she’s says she wants help the night before she got arrested she said she was not ready. She called 16 times from jail last night. I would not answer because she used all the money I put on the phone after I told her I would not be putting money on the phone every other day. Again no thought or consideration for me her mom who is the only person she has.

pat nichols
6 years ago
Reply to  Ann

I eventually came to realize that the only person I can change is myself. I learned to accept my child’s addiction as a primary disease, a mental illness. What my child needed most from me is patience, love and compassion. I found my own peace and serenity through working the 12 steps of Families Anonymous with a sponsor while seeking professional guidance by an alcohol/drug counselor. I educated myself fully on the disease of addiction. I began to make drawing closer to my God as a primary and daily activity which provided me the spiritual strength to endure during my own personal recovery. Once I stepped out of my son’s way he found his own way into recovery. My son spent over 20 yrs fighting his addiction but today he is clean and in recovery for over 4 yrs. There is hope! My son is a miracle and your child can be one also. Work hard on yourself!