A mother wrote me an email message. This is part of it: I am in the beginning throes of dealing with my son’s addiction to heroin. I was sure our love, hope and determination would help him put this in his past, but I now realize that his addiction is in our life, forever. It scares me to death. He is in his third treatment center in less than a year. My husband and I are discouraged, broke and afraid, but we will never give up hope.
My reflection on the above passage: We have very little control over much in life and no place is this more true than with our loved ones’ addictions and illnesses. Addiction suffocates the family and we feel fear, anger, discouragement, confusion, betrayal and unrelenting heartbreak.
We were sure that our love, hope and determination could make a difference in their lives. In time, we find out that we are powerless over far more than we’re comfortable accepting.
Today’s promise to consider: I will trust my Higher Power to provide for me and to keep my hope alive. There is a Tibetan expression that, “even if the rope breaks nine times, we must splice it back together a tenth time. Even if ultimately we do fail, at least there will be no feelings of regret.”567
I am also there with my daughter, Danielle. She has been in 2 Treatment Centers in 2 years. She is 17 and is facing 4 theft Charges in court next week. I am 3 months into Al Anon, and am seeking help and answers to fix this.. I am learning, without Danielle being part of the solution, I cannot see one thru. It is disheartning and is tearing my family apart. I suppose my hope is that she will be found guilty, and she will be placed in a facility, and once again, attempt to recover. I was under the impression that this last time in REHAB would do the trick – I was wrong.
I’m so sorry. Addiction suffocates us and destroys lives – ours and theirs. Relapse happens often and I never understood this. Dr MacAfee says that each relapse is one step closer to sobriety. I never could ‘fix’ anything. Al-Anon helped me and I learned much in the halls. I prayed, “Let go and let God.” I didn’t know what else to do.
There is so much heartache with addiction. I’m sorry. Let’s keep each other and our children in prayer.
Love to you,
My hope for you is that this will be the last time you have to go to court. Hopefully, your daughter will finally realize that she needs help. Have faith, and don’t give up on her. I will pray for you and your daughter.
With love and prayers,
You are not alone. We have suffered the heartache of relapse, more treatment centers, slips, set backs, etc. Al Anon has helped me learn to “get out of the way” and to detach. All very hard stuff to do when the addict is your child. It is a progressive disease and it boggles my own mind to think of all the chaos my family has been through and the nightmares my son can’t seem to put an end to. It will end when he is ready for wellbeing and not 1 minute sooner. I have learned that nothing I do really matters except finding a way to still love him in spite of his disease. It suffocates us if we let it. We must find a way to go on living whether our children get well or not. I have been paralyzed at times by the sadness and despair over what is his life and what has infiltrated mine and ours. I feel the feelings of sadness and then find a way to move on and go about the business of living. Al Anon and therapy help me. Being honest about it helps me too. I pray for all of us and our children who are affected by this.
Dear Jane and Barbara, Lots of wisdom in what you write. Thanks for sharing and thanks for reaching out a hand to help all of us. My love to you.
Chrissy, my 16 year old son is an addict and has been in residential treatment for 9 months now. When we first learned of his drug use 18 months ago we thought we could just provide the help he needed and it would be fixed. I chuckle now but I even made the song “Fix You” by Coldplay, my theme song of sorts. Even though the lyrics to that song are VERY applicable to what we and our son are going through the Fix You part is not. I only wish it were that easy.
As a parent we are used to fixing things and taking care of everyone and making sure they have what they need. I feel impotent in this situation because I can’t make him want sobriety. I’m a bit of a control freak and coming to terms with the reality that I can’t control him and his behavior even though he’s a minor is heartbreaking. By going to Al Anon and other parent support groups I’m learning that it’s OK to make myself, my marriage and my other, 13 year old son a priority. Yes it’s has torn our family up but I refuse to let it tear us apart. I’m getting empowered by getting the support I need from other parents that have been there.
This is a lifelong process, there isn’t a fix and unless your daughter wants to be clean and sober the reality is that you can’t make her. Our son is hellbent on getting drugs and the reality is that no matter how much we micromanaged his life we couldn’t keep him from them. I’m praying for some maturity as he ages and the seeds are being planted.
Know that you aren’t alone in this, there are millions of other moms facing the same thing that we are. One day at a time.
I go from wanting to call the police when she is missing to letting her find a place to use and live. She has few friends now,,, her true friends are “tired of her Shinanigans” (that coming from on of her friends, a recovering Heriod Addict, who tried to help Danii,, and still would if she would let her) – I am torn because she is under age, and I am still responsible for her – so says the law, and my heart. I don’t know how I have made it this far,, when I thought it couldn’t get worse,, it did. I so appreciate everyone sharing their story,, it has helped very much. One day at a time,,,
We live in Upstate NY. I have 3 children. Our youngest, Vinny 21, is an addict. He has been in treatment many times. He started smoking pot at 15, moved to snorting Adderal, then to pain killers and God knows what else. Now since heroin is cheaper than Oxycotin 80s, he is shooting and snorting heroin. My wife and I are devastated over his addiction. We have spent thousands of our retirement trying to get him clean, not to mention what he has stolen from us. We have watched helplessly as he goes through is addiction cycles. His cold turkey shakes, sweating, and vomiting are tragic. It amazes me that anyone can be willing to put themselves through that agony time after time. But that is the nature of the beast. I am sure that this is all too familar to the people reading this blog. The stress is overwhelming most of the time and I cannot help but think it is causing my health issues. I went though a bout with cancer. As I was going into surgery my son promised me that he would get clean. I told him not to do it for me, but to do it for himself. I guess that was not enough of a reason. Unlike cancer, this disease is a disease of choice. It is a very selfish disease. Addicts do not care what they are doing to those that love them. They love the high more. This disease cannot be cured but it can be controlled. No one can do it for them. They need to apply the strength and desire that they use to get high to getting straight. There is no other answer. Vince is currently in outpatient treatment again. I pray that this time it will work. Anyway, thanks for letting me share. God Bless you all. Know you are not alone. This is an epidemic.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I find myself thinking of you and praying for your family. You wrote something that hit me, “When I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did.” Jeff used to say the same thing, “Just when I thought I hit my bottom, the bottom fell out and things got worse.” I think they say something like this in the Big Book, too.
You are right – one day at a time. Only you know what you can do and how much you can carry. Addiction is a confounding disease. Your daughter is still there under all the drugs. I pray she makes a choice to change her life. Stay Close provided us a good model: Stay close, but out of the way and don’t give her money. Jeff also said in response to a question about my help, ‘Addicts need money and I could have find it lots of way, but my mother made it a whole lot easier.”
We have a journey and we all make mistakes: the addict and the parent. I know I did.
Love to you,
My 26 year old son has been fighting his battle against drugs for 11 years now. Once again, he’s in recovery. If he doesn’t connect with a higher power this time, maybe he will next time? I will always be hopeful. The hardest thing for me to accept is that addiction is chronic relapsing disorder. Each time my son relapses, so do I to some degree. And through each experience, we both learn so much.
I’m driving an hour to see him tomorrow for mother’s day. I can be resentful that I have to go to him (he can’t drive) and that I will be paying for my mother’s day lunch. But, if I stay in gratitude that I get to spend time with him sober and that he’s still here on earth with me, I feel so much better.
Happy Mothers Day to all of the mothers on this blog, especially to you, Libby!
What a great reminder about resentment versus gratitude. Beautiful and true.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and all moms! Enjoy your drive and your son. Love to you.
Love and prayers to all the mother’s who continue to struggle with a loved one’s addiction. Although I have not given up hope on my son, I chose not to see him on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is about honoring your mother, and I feel I have been dishonored and disrespected repeatedly. I will never lose hope, but I now find myself more focused on striving for serenity and finding peace and joy in the context of all the chaos. Difficult but possible (thanks to all of you and the Alanon fellowship).
Libby, I was remiss in not thanking you for the beautiful picture of Jeff and his grandfather. It brought me great joy and, as always, hope for recovery.
Dear Nanci, Thanks for the good comment about Jeff and his grandfather. My dad was my hero and the photo brings me great joy, too. I’m glad you saw the beauty in it. Thanks. L
I am blessed for Libby, and this “Blog”!! There is some peace in knowing, that I am not alone in my frustration and heartache. With each story – I grow stronger – as a person and as mother and caregiver. Thanks to all of you! We are strangers, yet our bond is so very strong.
God Bless, I will keep all of you in my prayers each day!