This is part of a journal entry that I wrote four years ago: My heart aches for my second son. I wish I could have been stronger for him so that he could have shared with me his pain and confusion during the years of Jeff’s active addiction. Instead, I badgered Jeremy with questions about Jeff’s actions and drug use – so wrong. Jeremy needs to be able to trust that I am here for him.
My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: While I was stuck in the place of worry for my addicted son, I somehow lost the power to focus my energy on my younger son. My love for him never wavered and my heart was always with him. The problem was that my energy was sucked down with worry and concern. I felt exhausted and splintered into pieces. Jeremy needed support through the trauma.
Today’s promise to consider, for all of us who love addicts: I will be present for my non-addicted child. He deserves my best. I will listen to him today: I will listen to his concerns, hopes and joys. I will let him know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how important he is to me and how much he is loved.297
Thank you for sharing this passage. I just forwarded your message to my other two sons, who have been my rock through this chaos. You have given so much to others and have helped so many families by sharing your story. We are not perfect and my sense is that our sons know that, as parents, we are doing the best we can, minute by minute, hour by hour…one day at a time.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you, Nanci. We moms struggle to do our best, as you say – minute by minute, hour by hour. If we could fix all our children’s problems, we would. But we can’t, so we pray.
My love to you and yours,
Hi Libby, I have talked to you through eamil before but it’s been a while. My husband and I have been dealing with our son’s addiction for over 5 years now and it has been exhausting, mentally and emotionally. Your book helped me see that I didn’t have to do “tough love” and cut him out of our lives, that we could still be here for him as he fights to overcame this horrible disease. It still hurts my heart though to see my first born reduced to this as I had such high hopes, as I’m sure all parents do. Everytime I think he’s overcome it he relapses and falls right back in, which is where we are this week. Never in a million years would I have ever guessed we would be dealing with this, not our son. It has also effected how I look at our daughter who is 16, because I worry and think “is she hiding something?”, “does she look high?” and I’m suspicious alot of the time, which I know isn’t right. I need to treat her differently but having one child who is an addict does effect your perception in your dealings with the other. I keep praying for my son and his recovery and will never lose hope but boy does my heart hurt right now.
Addiction and relapse are exhausting, debilitating and painful for the entire family. We think that our sons will be well and then – boom – addiction takes them by the throat and they are off again. We become detectives with our other children, analyzing every word, every gesture and every yawn. It’s all so desperate. You are right that we become suspicious of everything and our heart breaks, over and over again.
I wish there were answers to this disease, but it’s a family disease and we are all affected. I had to learn to stay close to Jeff while allowing him to feel the consequences of his addiction. For Jeremy, I had to ask him to forgive me for the times I fell short in helping him.
Love and prayers,
Even though you may not have realized it at the time, Jeremy was well-loved and thought of constantly. He and Jeff are, and will always be, part of that big family we established long ago at Calverton. In a family we look after our own and Jeremy and Jeff have both achieved success and happiness. Your heart was broken during that awful time in your life, but your extended family kept the love and concern flowing. Love ya!
Thank you so much for this message. We were and are a bigger family and Jeff and Jeremy were fully cared for. Thanks for reminding me. Your love for Jeremy was always evident and he still considers you a second mom. Pretty lovely. Love to you and yours.
Thanks so much for this post.
My daughter was the first person I made amends to when working step 9.
She was the forgotten child.
I hate this disease.
Thanks for sharing this post. The forgotten child – we moms try our best to be all we can be for our children, but sometimes we fall short. Making amends heals our souls. Love to you.
Today is my son’s 19th birthday and he is spending it in jail. He violated his probation. He just doesn’t get it. He no longer can live at our house. Everyone has labeled me as the “Enabler” I don’t know how to love him and help him without being the enabler. I know that Prison is not to far away from his future.
I’m sorry, so very sorry. Your son’s 19th birthday and he is in jail. You write, “He doesn’t get it.” Jeff stayed on the streets and was in and out of jails until he decided to change his life. He had to get it, but it took almost death. As I heard Jeff tell some young kids in recovery, “Some of you will get it and stop, some of you will have to get as sick as I was and then you’ll stop, but some of you will never get it and you’ll die. You have to choose. No one can do it for you.”
Love you, Susan. Pray.