A mom, whose son is in recovery, wrote to me: So much has changed and I am very grateful, but the challenges remain.  I finally feel the weight of my own need to become healthy and whole. I have the time and space to do all the things one imagines self-actualization requires, and yet this freedom to be myself is the greatest challenge of all.

My reaction: When Jeff was in active addiction, my life revolved around the chaos of his illness. Rarely a night went by that I didn’t awaken with him on my mind or I’d toss and turn fearing ‘the’ phone call. During those years, I lost myself.

Today’s Promise to consider: Jeff’s early years of recovery should have given me peace, yet I struggled to find myself – and define myself – away from the turbulence of his addiction. Dr. MacAfee, Jeff’s beloved addiction therapist, explained, “You’ve been vigilant a long time. Be patient with yourself.” With time and prayer, along with writing and my support group, life came back into focus and I began to reemerge.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

This is so true. After 22 years of battling addiction, my son has a year and a half clean. I thought I would be ok as long as he stayed clean, but I am not ok. I struggle with ptsd, insecurities, low self esteem, guilt, isolation, anger issues, and anxiety. I have been wondering lately why it is taking me so long to get better and feeling as if I am pemanently scarred and will never be able to function well within the circle of my friends who do not understand. Every day I am so grateful for his sobriety, but that is not enough to make me well. It is hard work. Prayer, self-care, and Al-Anon are my lifelines for joyful living. Thank you for the reminder to be patient with myself.

Karen Baar
Karen Baar
5 years ago

Thank you Libby and Kim. My son is 24 and in early days of recovery once again. You both put into words exactly what my struggle is like at this very moment. Kim, you listed it all.

Pat Nichols
5 years ago


Weakened by
loss of dreams.

Something human
removed from me.

My denial,
serenity denied.

Searching always,
for hope,

I gave up
and asked.

He answered;
Yes, it was Him.

Hope arrived
just in time.

5 years ago

We have been in this Recovery Road for two and a half years. I am still seeking a calm. During the Battle of active addiction I was help tremendously by mine nar anon group. I know it is still a struggle for my daughter. I am grateful everyday to be on this side of the journey but I still struggle with resentments for 15 years of addiction related torment. Family relationships are being mended. I wonder how many years it will take to find real Trust.

Pat Nichols
5 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

I spent 12 years in “addiction related torment.” My son spent an additional 9 years battling his addiction before he found long term recovery. I learned through my sponsor while working the Families Anonymous 12 step program to forgive. I had to educate myself fully on the disease; to accept it as a primary disease, a mental illness. In addition, drawing closer to the God of my understanding and learning to not only believe in Him but also to trust Him in all things. I also attending weekly meetings with my alcohol/drug counselor. This combination broke my codependency and set me free to find my own peace and serenity and live the life I was meant to live. I have no resentments toward my addicted son, only love, forgiveness and understanding. I have total trust in him now. However, fear that he might relapse will still occasionally appear but it no longer controls my thoughts, it appears and then it is gone. I pray for you, that you will also find this peace.