Jeff and Jer - Florence 2

Dr. MacAfee on the addict’s liberation, “Drug use traps the addict in a place of hopelessness. But when the lie of maintaining the addiction becomes more painful than the using, the addict faces himself and his use. It is this inescapable accountability that is both powerful and hopeful when he comes face-to-face with his reality. This incomprehensible demoralization is the dark before the dawn, the place where the addict chooses between life and death – the place where he can liberate himself.”

My reflection: When Dr. MacAfee and I discussed this topic, it was difficult for me because I relived our own family’s history of trauma, that time when Jeff was so sick he had to choose whether he would live or die. As his mother, I was powerless. I could do nothing. What a painful place to be! In the end, I surrendered, stayed close and prayed that Jeff would live. And I’m forever grateful that he did.

Today’s Promise to consider: Liberation for the addict comes when he says to himself, “I’m trapped and I’m never going to be able to use without dire consequences. I loathe what addiction has done to my life. I have no choice but to change.” Only the addict can free himself. I’ll pray.





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10 years ago

This post comes at a time for me when I too am feeling so powerless over my daughters addiction. The last time I saw her I was so sure it would be the last time and I havn’t heard from her in over 4 months.

You say as a mother you were powerless and could do nothing. That is exactly how I feel right now, powerless. I have recognized there is nothing I can do and yet the pain is always there. There are times I find myself accepting she is gone and that scares me.

Waiting for the addict to come to the realization that they need to make a change feels endless. Some days I not sure I have the strength. God forgive me for that.

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Dear Libby and Sue
I reflect on what you both write and relate to all. It is soooo painful. I remember the last time I drove my son to yet another place to live because his options were gone. This was a basement moldy apt. I was sick over it. He looked horrible and I was done. Enough chaos. I told him so. I remember feeling like that old show Sanford and son as the station wagon overflowed with his stuff and it was a chaotic move. It was my aha moment when I said this is it! As I told him I couldn’t do this one more time he said to m e, ” sure, go mom, you never really cared”. Oh my god. It was so far from the truth of how I had gone to the ends of the earth for him his whole life. I adored this boy! It was meant to be manipulative by his addict brain and I saw it for what it was and calmly left in my car. I told him to only call when he was ready for a drive to detox. I was done. I went home laid out on the couch and reflected. As I said, God gave me an AHA that day and it was my moment of clarity. His plea for a ride to detox came 2 days later. It has not been a straight arrow line to that place. It has been bumpy. But it keeps improving. I have no plans for his outcome, but I enjoyed seeing him last weekend…..he looked good. I love him, and I pray for his recovery to its full capacity. I pray for my own strength. God bless all of us in our journey. It is not easy

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I specifically remember his words. “I can’t live with the drug and I can’t live without it”. Trapped for sure

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Dear Sue and Jane,

I also can relate to your posts. It’s so painful to watch your daughter or son as an addict and it’s painful to let them go. I let my son go at age 26 after years and years of enabling, living with lies, hoping he would realize at 26, he was trapped.

Being trapped in addiction is being in hell. Getting out of the entrapment is hell, too. The addict HAS to want to get out of that trap. He/she is the only one who can do it. And, if they choose to stay trapped, it’s their decision.

It’s so important to not beat yourself up if your child chooses not get the help they need. It can’t be forced. But, it’s not your fault. Keep telling yourself that.

It’s important to keep yourself healthy in mind and body. To dwell on your child’s addiction is unhealthy and will keep you in your own hell.

Sue, I pray that your daughter finds her way out of the chaos and gets into recovery.

Jane, I pray that your son reaches his full capacity in his recovery. I admire your strength. You’re right, it’s not easy. I pray and I believe that God will stay with you during your journey.

Dear Libby,

Thank God that Jeff is liberated and out of his entrapment for now. I pray he continues to stay liberated.

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I understand and respect everyone’s post regarding our children being “trapped.” I too believe they are trapped but I had to move past that perspective.

My personal experiences with my son has given me a new perspective and insight into “his” life. This new awareness of “his” reality occurred once I “fully” grieved the loss of the child of “my” dreams. This lead to my honest “acceptance” which lead me back to the life I had left behind when my son’s addiction began. A life of peace and serenity. A life of joy, love and purpose. It is good to be back! Praise God.

I have learned that the fear I had for him was not the fear he had. He had no fear. I experience great emotional pain when I learned he was living on the streets, under a bridge. He felt no pain, emotional or physical. I cried when I learned he was in jail. He did not shed one tear. I felt overwhelming sadness when I saw how the addiction was destroying his opportunities for a career, a loving wife, children and discovering his purpose. He experienced no such sadness over such things.

This is my son’s life, not mine. I no longer pass judgement, as I have no right to judge him. I will allow him the dignity to experience his life in his way.

Perhaps this is too radical of a concept for other parents to accept but it is a understanding that keeps my codependency in check, keeps me sane and focused on my own recovery.

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Libby your phrase. What starts as a party ends as a prison is something I remember my son saying more than once. He would say, the party is long gone

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Dear Jane,

There are so many similarities with addiction and they still take me by surprise. Our sons both said the same thing, “The party is long gone.” We can learn much from them. God bless you for listening. It took me fourteen years to hear Jeff’s voice. I’m grateful that he chose to share. My love to you.


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