HOLDING HANDS AGAINST FEAR

151116093730-01-paris-attack-reaction-1116-super-169-2A friend in Europe wrote to me, The atmosphere here is filled with both fear and anger after what happened in Paris. How can there be so much hatred in this world? We worry about who is next. My mother and father remember WWII and the fighting on our soil, the starvation and the prisoners of war. I never thought I’d live to see this day. I’ve never had to struggle this much to stay optimistic and compassionate.

My reflection: Fear is a natural human response, and I’m struggling with how to confront the atrocities that are occurring in our world. Anger, sorrow, anxiety, confusion and deep sympathy collide together as I search for the response that makes sense for me and mine. I remember well the fear that I felt in the face of addiction. Addiction wanted to terrorize me, and it did. Acting out of fear, I wasn’t any good to Jeff, myself or my family.

Today’s Promise: The ugliness of addiction wants to cripple me with fear. So does terrorism. Today, I say aloud that I won’t allow evil to submerge me in the miasma of chaos and dread. I won’t give fear this power over me. I stand in solidarity with humanity as we face the forces that terrorize us.

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pat nichols
pat nichols
6 years ago

There is something unique about the fear parents of addicted children experience. It really can’t be described. However, when I am around other parents of addicted children we don’t have to give a verbal definition, we instantly understand and the compassion we share cushions its impact. Fear never left me even when my child had several years of recovery.

My counselor and sponsor frequently reminded me that all my fears of the past never came true. Yes, that is true but I simply replaced those fears with new ones. Of course, they never came true either. It didn’t matter because fear was a part of my life. Fear was my obsession; it motivated and fuled my codependency. It drained all my energy and left me exhausted. This is the insanity we speak of in the family disease of addiction.

As I look back over the many years I dealt with my child’s addiction I give thanks to God who I eventually gave my full trust to. Trusting God allowed acceptance to become a part of my life and that acceptance gave me hope as I worked through my own recovery. A slow and tedious process but one that eventually allowed me to live with my fear. Fear no longer controlled me. With God’s Spirit I was given strength and guidance in working the Twelve Steps with a sponsor. My life was restored.

May it be so for all who suffer from this disease.

Nanci
Nanci
6 years ago

Thank you, Libby, for this incredible message. As we all struggle in our own fear, you consistently remind us how to ‘stay close’ in the chaos of adversity.
Love and blessings, Nanci

Karen
6 years ago

Fear is really controlling my life and has the ability to paralyze me from getting out of bed. I am the mother of 3 addicts in there mid to early 30’s. I am 60 yrs old next month and have 2 grandchildren. One is 2 and in foster care. My 5 yr old grandson is living with my middle daughter and her boyfriend of 11 years who he calls Daddy. My middle daughter has guardianship of my grandson. She has had him since she was 23 yrs old. She started having negative explosive behavior at her boyfriend drinking and smoking pot and taking xAnax. He finally broke up with her 2 weeks before they were going to adopt my grandson. My daughter was shocked and devastated and self destructive. I stayed with her for 6 months and took care of my grandson. It has been 2 yrs since the breakup and her ex has moved on with new girlfriend and my grandson lives with him 6 days a week. My daughter still smokes a lot of weed and now has a boyfriend living with her who has been clean from heroin for 2 yrs but relapsed on Percocet. My daughter to him to go to a program which he did and got the vivitrol shot. She got pregnant after 2 months of knowing him and got an abortion and an implant birth control in her arm. I wish I could afford an intervention because she has uncontrollable rage when confronted. She has a very good job supervisor of 3 emergency rooms. She is taking such a risk if she is ever drug tested and found out by her ex boyfriend that she smokes in front of my grandson. Her ex boyfriend wants to be on guardianship papers but she won’t let him. I fear losing my grandson to a foster home if she gets busted driving on pot. I trust her ex boyfriend and his parents are the safest and most caring and loving. Should I let go let God

pat nichols
pat nichols
6 years ago

Karen,

The time for each of us to “Let go, let God” is a personal decision. There is no single path that works for every parent. However, the very fact that you have asked ‘THE” question gives hope to a new life that is waiting for you. What I have found worked best is to be totally honest with myself and others. I reached out to an incredible recovery community. They have been waiting for me for a very long time 🙂

One thing I have found out to be true is I could not do this alone. I needed a parent support group and there are numerous ones available – from Al-Anon, Celebrate Recovery, Families Anonymous to others. Most of these support groups also have online forums and specific literature just for parents of addicted children. Join a support group and find a sponsor by your third meeting. At least that was what was recommended to me. I also began seeing a alcohol drug counselor who was very experienced and knowledgeable in codependency.

I found a church that understood addiction and supported my recovery. No shame or blame just compassionate parents supporting and praying for one another and their children. I learned how to develop a personal relationship with God and I began to trust God with my child. I opened up my Bibleand began reading my favorite scriptures then I place my hand on the Bible and cried out, “I am ready and willing God, please take this pain, this burden from me. I am yours. I beg for your forgiveness.” That was it, I felt His presence in my body, my heart and my soul. He set me free.

May it be so for all who suffer from this disease.

beryl s bissell
6 years ago

Your messages, Libby, and the responses from so many who share this cross are so moving.

P.S. I love this photo! What delight.