THE HURRICANE OF ADDICTION

A mom wrote: After nine months of sobriety my 32-year-old son has slipped again, this time deeper than ever into the darkness of his substance. His drug of choice? “Any drug.” 

He found his way to a local hospital just yesterday after months of smoking crack. He lost a good job, forgot he has a five-year-old son and was homeless and sleeping behind a convenience store in the winter. 

His addiction is like a hurricane sweeping through our lives, destroying and uprooting everything in its path. Over time I have learned that when the winds begin to blow, I board the windows of my mind and heart, disconnect the phones and hunker down for the storm to come. The wind builds and there is nowhere to hide. Each time I pray this will be the last, but it repeats, teases and taunts. I get a glimpse of blue sky only for it to be quickly replaced by black clouds again. 

“Please let me come home,” he says. 

“No,” I answer. 

“I just want to come home. Why won’t you let me come home?” 

Just as I love the rain and the softness of a warm breeze, I love my son. 

Just as I hate the torrential downpour, the gale-force wind and mindless destroyer, I hate the addiction that has taken my son.

Today’s Promise to Consider: Relapse suffocates hope and faith, but I know that the decision to stop using has to come from the addict directly. It is a personal choice, not a family choice. I can the hate the addiction, but I will love my son. I will continue to believe.

 

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Chrissy Huether
Chrissy Huether
10 years ago

My daughter, 18, has been in 3 rehabs – her drug of choice, Heroin. She is currently in a detention center – by Gods Good Grace – safe. Turmoil and self-destruction have to lead her to the belief that there is a God – and he is on her side, if she chooses the path that leads her there. What to do? A mother torn between “This just isn’t fair” to “Let Go and Let God” – nothing about this disease is easy – the worse thing, as a mother I think – is that I can remove myself – working my 12 steps – and recover – She, is the one that has to LIVE with it – and I pray that this is just all a bad memory one day – – – – she is young.

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dear Chrissy,

God bless you and your daughter. What strength you have and how much you’ve grown. We’ll keep working our steps and praying that our children continue to work theirs. D is in my prayers. Love to you!

L

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Yes, addiction is just like a destructive hurricane. How I can relate to the mother’s message in this week’s meditation. I’m sure we all can relate to it.

Dear Chrissy, I will pray for you and your daughter.

Libby, thank you so much for this week’s message. The addict must want to stop. It must be their decision. We can only pray they make the right choice and vow to stick with it.

Love to all of you,
Barbara

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

My dearest Barbara,

You are wise and we all benefit from your words. My love to you!

L

Pat Nichols
Pat Nichols
10 years ago

What I have come to learn is that the disease took little pieces of my son’s soul over innumerable addiction battles and with each battle a piece of me was lost also. And over the many years these battles changed him into someone I do not know. His voice is the voice of the disease, his actions are the actions of the disease. He has lost all intrinsic motivation and this is the most dangerous loss of all.

A counselor once told me that I would not change and find my own recovery until my fight with my son’s addiction became unbearable. That moment arrived one morning and I literally went to my knees and asked God to remove this pain from me. He did and that started my journey through grief and eventually lead me to the peace and serenity I so richly deserved.

My son is alive and I have complete faith that God has a plan for him. He is loved and we are here for him, we will “stay close.”

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dear Pat,

Your message touches me deeply. Thanks to you for sharing and helping us all. We will ‘stay close’ to you and together.

L

Carmen
Carmen
10 years ago

My heart goes out to this mom, my son is in a halfway house at the moment and doing well. He is only there because we decided if we didn’t get a court order to have him put away, we would have to be prepared to lose him. I love my child so desperately so that wasn’t an option and after losing his dad to addiction, that was my only choice. My heart and prayers are with all the moms fighting the same battle I am because giving up is just not an option for me, I love Ants my son too much.

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

My prayers every night are for all of our family members suffering with this cruel disease. You are all so strong and full of grace. God is with us and we will all find our peace in due time. I surrendered to the fact that I had no power over my son’s addiction the year after his overdose.He survived the overdose and has been to several rehabs since with continued relapse. I find it does not consume me the same way it used to. I realize there is nothing I can say or do that will hasten his surrender to this disease. There are things I can say and do that will hasten my recovery though.I am at the stage of acceptance and it is a more comfortable place to be. I have been through all of the pain of grief and loss and one must go through all of the stages in order to reach acceptance. One must feel the feelings and no one can rush it. Yes, I am sad that my son is not the son I planned on, but my only hope is that he is able to have a life without constant struggle and pain of this disease
Hugs to all of you
Jane

Sharon
Sharon
10 years ago

Only moms, dads, kiddos can truly understand this pain of the relapse. Please God help us with these loved ones, the pain hurts so much some times I would forget to breath. God is the only way to end the hurt and the Serenity Prayer always helps. Please God help our loved ones to choose sobriety.

Nanci
Nanci
10 years ago

Dearest Libby,
Thank you for sharing this powerful letter from a mother who was able to share her experience, strength and hope. Her words described (better than I have ever been able to articulate), the magnitude of this disease, the fear, destruction, and emotional pain associated with it.
Today, I have a program. Today, I must focus on myself. I am committed to finding ‘a way out and/or around’ this storm. It is the only thing I have control over. Sad, but very true.
We are not alone. Let’s hold each other’s hands and fight through this together.
Again, thank you, Libby for reaching out to us.
God Bless,
Nanci

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Carmen, Don’t give up – I agree. Where there is life, there is hope.

Dear Jane, Your words bring me comfort and hope. It took me forever to learn that I couldn’t control Jeff. When I finally found that place of surrender, things turned around. Thanks for sharing and staying close. This and your other entries bring us comfort.

Dear Sharon, The Serenity Prayer grounds me in my faith. Let’s join together in prayer.

Dear Nanci, Thanks for ‘staying close.’ Like Jane, I agree that we cannot control the addict, but we can affect our own behavior. It is sad that we cannot stop the hurricane that is addiction. I’ll join hands and fight together. Let’s keep each other in prayer.

With love and respect to all of you, I remain grateful that we have each other.

Libby

Glenda
Glenda
10 years ago

Wow, reading all of these comments has tears in my eyes because we all feel the same pain. I send your weekly emails to my dad so he can try to understand what we are dealing with. He didn’t truly understand and just thought we should “cut him off” and didn’t understand the stay close theory. His reply to this last email was this:

“Of all the ones I have read, this one is powerful and will stay with me.
Thanks,
Pa”

I felt the same way after reading that mother’s thoughts. As I type this our son just started methadone 3 days ago and our daughter is in a 28 day treatment program after being released from detox. She was mandated by the courts to go to detox and now we are praying that she heals in treatment. I still think how unfair it is that both of our children are drug addicts but I never lose faith and I keep praying for them to get well. It has been a nightmare of epic proportions and my husband and I are so very tired of living all of what comes with dealing with addicted children. We just want them to get better and be able to lead healthy and productive lives but we also worry what if that doesn’t happen?

Carri
Carri
10 years ago

My gut feeling tells me that my son has relapsed. I feel paralyzed with fear of what’s to come; kicked out of sober living, jail, overdose? I know how it works and I can’t get out of my own head with worry. I’m reading, praying, reaching out to others…yet I’m overwhelmed with sadness for him. How how can “act as if” I’m OK when my son is struggling? It’s so much easier said than done. I guess I’m having my own relapse. Its’ so helpful to read Libby’s wonderful thoughts and everyone’s comments. Thanks to everyone for your shares! XO

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Carri,

I’m sorry, very sorry. Your gut is probably correct. Our mother’s instincts know. Often, we ignore the signs until it’s too late, but we know in our belly.

I’m sure you are worried sick and overwhelmed with sadness. Yes, I think we relapse, too, and we have to ‘re-find’ our own strength. It is times like this that my Al-Anon group held me somewhat steady. I needed others to hold my hand and stand with me. We are here for you – you are not alone.

With Jeff and at the end, I finally surrendered. I quit fighting his fight and surrendered to all the pain. Not sure if this video will bring any comfort, but Jeff’s words are powerful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2O7fCRRx0I&feature=related

My love to you,

L