A friend and I were taking, and she said, Parents of addicted children often suffer from feelings of regret, blame and guilt. These negative emotions don’t help anyone: neither us nor our children. As parents (and especially mothers) we need to find our voice. We tried to do the best we could for our children, and they became addicts in spite of that. I’m done accepting blame for what went wrong, for what didn’t happen or for what could have been done differently. If I made mistakes, it was with love in my heart. It’s now time for my children to take responsibility for their choices about how they want to live their lives.
My reaction: My friend’s words were inspiring to me. I acknowledge that we all handle the impact of our situations in a personal way, and I also acknowledge that I’m quick to take the impact, especially for my children. But I did the best I could and addiction happened anyhow.
Today’s Promise to consider: Blame and guilt aren’t the answers to life’s problems or addiction’s consequences. As parents, we try to do our best. As children, we need to pick up our crosses and carry them. We all have choices to make. Today, I’ll choose to move ahead with love and acceptance.
I think sometimes my hardest hurdle — is to accept that all my love and best efforts were not nor ever could be “preventative medicine” for the disease of addiction.
I was taught love conquers all things.
Maybe it does — but conquering does not mean curing.
And so yes, we move on, in love, knowing love can guide us in the face of all things. Faith.
Not anger or sadness, not blame or guilt. Love.
Thank you for this timely reflection Libby, I was starting to travel the road of guilt. This helped me -as always.
Joy Your post resonates with me. Love did not help prevent this disease in my house either. In fact I think the normal way I mother made it worse for this one son. What I could do for one certainly could not be done for the one affected by addiction. And it took me a while to learn that. Surely, detaching felt cold to me and foreign but it did help. Almost like we have to unlearn our usual patterns..
Guilt can be such a big part of addiction. My friend, who was visiting me, asked me if I still felt guilty. I said, “I don’t even want to answer that because, yes, I do. I know that if I were ‘healthy’ I wouldn’t, but the truth is I do.” She then told me that she was done feeling guilt and done listening to her son and her other children blame everyone else. When I talked with Dr. MacAfee he said, “Guilt is a normal feeling and each person handles the impact of her child’s addiction in a personal way. There is no one ‘right’ way to feel. You did the best you could do.”
Bottom line is that addiction is stronger than I am. All I can do for my children is stay close and continue to love them. They need to live their lives. I pray we all make good choices.
Love you all.
All the posts in this week’s meditations were heartfelt and I was humbled by each of them. Joy, I’m so glad you didn’t allow yourself to travel down the road of guilt.
Jane, I liked what you said “we have to unlearn our usual patterns”. What great insight that is. Guilt always gets me when I’m at my lowest. It sneaks in and steals the spirit from my soul. I have made a decision today. When the guilt tries to slip in, I will refuse to let it in.
Dear Libby, thank you and thank Dr. MacAfee for reminding us that guilt is a normal feeling. But, I wish there was an answer to rid the guilt once and for all.
Addiction is truly stronger than we are. Isn’t it. And, there’s nothing we can do about it. Our children need to learn on their own.
Dear Barbara, You are an inspiration to me. You have suffered the greatest loss of all, yet you continue to work toward health and share with us your journey.
When I asked Dr. MacAfee about guilt (I, too, continue to fight with it), he said that we each have to deal with the impact of addiction on a personal level. In other words, each person can only carry what he or she can. Some people are more capable at drawing the proverbial ‘line in the sand.’ That said, I, too, wish there were an answer once and for all.
Jeff once told me, “When I am stuck and don’t know what else to do, I pray.”
My love to you,
This weeks reflection came at the right time for me. Thank you all
Thanks, Paula, for being here. We hold hands and help each other. Love to you.
Thank you Jeff, for the advice “when you get stuck and don’t know what else to do….. pray”
I shall always remember that.
My dearest Barbara, I’ll tell Jeff. Our love to you.