An Italian mother wrote to me. This is part of it: I cannot understand the words ‘hitting bottom.’ My son just came out of an alcoholic coma after we threw him out of our home. Fortunately, his life was saved, but he was not scared. We hoped that this would serve to scare him, but instead – nothing – it is only we who were scared. Like you wrote, “Addicts are not afraid to die. They are afraid to live a life without drugs.”
(She wrote: non riesco a capire cosa vuol dire toccare il fondo. Il mio figlio è finito in coma etilico dopo che noi genitori lo abbiamo buttato fuori casa, fortunatamente si è salvato ma comunque non si è spaventato. Noi speravamo che sarebbe potuto servire lo spavento ma invece niente….ci siamo spaventati solo noi…come dici tu…non hanno paura della morte ma di una vita senza droga.)
My reflection on the passage above: Alcoholics Anonymous says hitting bottom is ‘incomprehensible demoralization,” the dark before the dawn. As a mother, I could not change the arch of my son’s addiction or judge the moment of his abject demoralization, but I could get out of the way and allow him to be accountable for the consequences of his choices while I stayed close.
Today’s Promise to consider: I accept the fact that I cannot change anyone. I cannot control how far down my loved one falls. I will allow him to make his own discoveries, to feel fully the consequences of his addiction and pray he chooses a life of abstinence while I stay close.