Jeff, Jer - Stairs CroppedHenri Nouwen, a Dutch-born Catholic priest and theologian, wrote, There always remains a choice to be made between the creative power of love and life and the destructive power of hatred and death. I, too, must make that choice myself, again and again. Nobody else, not even God, will make that choice for me. (Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life) 

My reflection: When Jeff was in active addiction, I fought against it with every fiber of my being. When ugliness happened (as it often does with addiction), I responded with anger, hurt, resentment and outrage. In time, I learned that, as much as I wanted to, I could not control his addiction. I also learned that fighting ugliness with ugliness was destroying me, too. 

Today’s Promise to consider: Jeff told me, Every day we’re faced with decisions about how to approach the world around us – with grace and positivity or with ugliness and impatience. Life is challenging and so many circumstances are outside our control, but the way we respond is in our hands. Today I will live my life with grace and positivity. I will choose love and life.

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pat nichols
10 years ago

With permission from Libby I wanted to share something I feel is very beneficial to parents of addicted children (teens or adults).

It is a special FREE smart phone App that gives parents every known resource & options to help them in the process of recovery. Please download by searching, Parents Helping Parents Edmond (logo: red heart on white background). Yes, many of the resources/options are local but others are national.

I share this with you in the hope that you might be willing to create something similar in your city.

I would appreciate any comments you have on the App.

The post today it is a good reminder to me to ask that critical question, “Is this in my control?” or “Is the action I wish to take enabling or helping?”

These are tough questions and I learned to ask my fellow travelers in recovery to help me in sharing their experiences. I call this my idea my “Mastermind” group and I would email them the situation and my intended actions and wait for their replies. Wow, what an eye opener that was! In reading their replies I was able to pause and consider carefully the possible consequences of my intended actions. My goal was to bring my son’s recovery date closer not push it further off.

Prayers for all of us and our children.

10 years ago

I certainly can relate to this week’s meditation. When my son was in active addiction, I, too, would return his actions with ugliness and negativity. I learned the hard way, to not use negativity when it comes to dealing with your child’s addiction. It only caused my son to move farther and farther away from me.

Even though it’s too late to use positivity on my son, I try to use positivity in my daily life. It makes you feel so much better about everything.

Dear Pat, I don’t have a smartphone, but I’m sure the app which you are talking about is awesome. You’ve worked so hard on this, I just know it. I wish you good luck with it. I’m sure it will help many people. Your hard work will not go unnoticed. You will be honored for it, at the gates of heaven.

With love and respect.

10 years ago

There are days when I feel I have everything, with respect to me, under control. I feel good, I’m happy at work, I have periods when I’m actually laughing and I’m able to get things done. The good thing is that these feelings are coming along more and more now.

What I have to be careful of is how easy it is to fall back into the feeling of desperation. The feeling I should be looking for my daughter or trying, yet again, to help her get clean. I must remind myself a hundred times a day that this is beyond my control and the anxiety, anger, and frustration I display only isolate me from those around me. What a grip this disease has on all of us.

It has taken so much work to get to this stage and much more work to keep it going. Sometimes I feel tired thinking about that but reaching out for support at those times is helpful.

Pat, Thanks for posting Parents helping parents it’s a great site also. I would love to find something like this in Canada. It is so reassuring to know you are not alone when going through this.

I will continue to work on a positive attitude in the hopes that it will continue to ease some of my pain and maybe have a positive influence on my daughter.


10 years ago

Dear Sue,

It’s so difficult to stay out of the chaos of addiction. I understand how you must feel about your daughter. I was there for a long time. Whenever I felt the anxiety, anger and frustration, I would stop whatever I was doing and pray to God for help. It was so hard not to follow my son, call my son, etc., but my faith helped me tremendously.

My son chose to end his life with heroin. I chose to “Let go and Let God”. It’s difficult, but necessary for your own health. I’m so glad that you recognize that this disease is out of your control. Live the life that you deserve. God bless you.


Your positivity that you’re practicing will pay off. It’s the waiting that’s so difficult to bear. So, patience is imperative. Waiting, patience, and faith. It’s what helped me get through a lot of my son’s addiction. In the end, he chose to end his life from the horrible heroin addiction

10 years ago

I hear these words and believe them but I know how often fear stepped in to then turn me inside out with desperation, anger, depression. THE disease my son has/had made me see my own souls’ potholes ..pits, minefield’s, my personal flaws. These days, I realize I have so much energy to pay attention to myself and others now he is clean. Hard not to resent time lost weeping and scared. But I refuse bitterness. (She says bitterly) I still have to work to do ,much ,ongoing of course, I know that — hard at letting go of fear of relapse. Last night both my husband and I had a dream he was using again. He’s not. Old fears die hard. The habit of fear begone! I pray for all of us to forgive ourselves as much as our loved ones for our imperfection as we love loved loved the very best we could in the face of a terrible monster that swallows souls. We are human and here I see how much we are capable of love and generosity of spirit. Sue,Canada has no structured organization for support of parents of addicts as far as I know — if you find one let me know. Blessings to us all and everyone everywhere struggling with disease of addiction.