A mom wrote to me: During the holidays, everything seems worse. My son is a smart 22-year-old, quiet and sensitive drug-addicted man. I’m clawing out of my skin. He lies and steals. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Everybody tells me to kick him out, but how can I do that when he has nowhere to go. How guilty would I feel if he died on the street? Yet, when he continues to do drugs in our house with no regard for us, I can’t stand him.
My reflection: I remember being tormented by the continuing question, “What do I do now?” My son’s drug-addicted behavior in my home was intolerable, but the thought of kicking him out seemed impossible. During the holidays, decisions took on a new dimension: What do I do when family comes to visit? What do I say when people ask about him? How do I respond when people wish me Happy Holidays?
Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction is excruciating at every time of the year, but for me the holidays made everything worse. All the good cheer and sparkling lights were fine for others, but I was eager for the season to pass. During these times, it is imperative that I prioritize my emotional health by attending Al-Anon meetings, leaning on my support group and putting faith in my Higher Power.
All great suggestions for dealing with our addicted children during the holidays. However, Would you really want temporary emotional health or a life “FREE” from the hold that addiction has on you. The first step is developing a personal and trusting relationship with your God. The next step is finding a sponsor and working a recovery program as it was intended to be worked. Our recovery isn’t about simply attending meetings etc. but a life style change, a permanent transition into our recovery program. A commitment of recovery for life! Just my personal opinion, of course.
Its funny, my daughter has been clean for about 14 months now but as the holidays grow near I find I am anxious. Not about all the people coming for dinner, not about all the preparations I need to do, but about my daughter. The old dreams of her relapse are creeping in again denying my sleep. If she doesn’t respond to my text I fear the worst, I find I am looking at her again and searching for the signs.
I have no reason to be doing this so I can only assume the chaos of the season and past experience are dredging up old fears. Does this ever end?