A mom wrote to me, I worked harder for my son’s recovery than he did, and I always came up empty. When I finally let go and allowed him to feel the dignity of his triumphs and pain of his failures, things changed. Just for today he chooses recovery. So do I.
My reflection: This mom’s words resonated strongly with me because for many years I, too, worked harder for my son’s recovery than he did. When he was living on the streets and brushing his teeth at the Seven Eleven, I thought, “He has hit his bottom,” so I rushed to get him into rehab. When he got arrested for the umpteenth time, I bailed him out and forced him into yet another treatment center. Nothing changed.
Today’s Promise to consider: As much as I wanted to save my son, to rescue him from the consequences of his addiction, and to pick him up when he fell, none of my attempts helped. In the end, HE had to make the choice to change his life, and I had to make mine. There was only room for one person in his addiction and that didn’t include me.4894
This totally resonated with me. As I look back at MYSELF, I can’t believe the things I did. The hours in every day I spent following, surveilling, giving money (and believing him about why he needed it), rushing to every call, and the list goes on. Every day, I was consumed with thoughts like, “0k, what can i do today to “help” him get sober.
But today, I’m a different person. I don’t know how I’ll be if it happens again, but I need to believe that it won’t be ME doing the hardest work. Yes, I worked harder than he did, but HE’s doing the work now!
Dear Laurie, Yes, I understand, and I was there, too. Your son is doing the work now, and this is GREAT news! I join with you in prayer for both our sons that they continue working their program. As they work theirs, we’ll work ours. Love to you. xo
My daughter is still active (I believe) she claims she’s not but we all know how that goes. She’s out of the state do I can’t see for myself. All I know is her constant requests for money lead me to believe she it still active. Now my new “hard work” is not to send her money for food, hotel medicine etc. I always try to keep her happy so she’ll realize she needs help. But I’ve come to realize I’m just prolonging the process, its just so hard.
Dear Trish, Yes, I understand, and I did the same thing. Dr. MacAfee, Jeff’s beloved addiction therapist, once told me that our children lie so they can keep the fiction of their life. If they tell us the truth, then they have to do something about it…and they’re not ready to change their life’s choices. My son told me that he chose recovery when, ‘the consequences of my addiction became too heavy to carry.’ Let’s continue to, ‘stay close, but out of the chaos.’ I join you in prayer and faith. xo
The realization that there is nothing we can do for our child and the propping up and enabling only prolong the process of hopefully finding recovery is indeed a harder more painful and scary process than anything we have done before. We wait…..
Dearest Anne, Yes, yes, yes. Knowing that we are powerless to change the trajectory of our children’s choices was the most painful and scary part for me, too. We can stay close, love them, and pray that they make the decision to accept help. My love to you.
Thank you for this reflection, I really needed to think about this today. I am approaching the 3rd anniversary of my son’s (Kevin) death of an accidental overdose on Valentine’s Day. I often wonder if I should have done more to help him. Like most moms, I worked so hard to get him into recovery, I thought about him night and day, living in a toxic combination of anger and fear which did neither of us any good. Thankfully, through the support of a local parent group, I worked hard at getting myself into recovery and realized the Kevin needed to make his own choices in life. It was so hard to watch him seemingly love drugs more than he loved me. I learned through you Libby, to always say I love you to him, because the fact is I did love him no matter what.was going on. Two weeks before Kevin died my heart filled with compassion for him, I finally got it, he wasn’t doing “this” to me, he was truly suffering with the disease of addiction. It gives me a little peace, knowing he is free from his struggles with drugs. My last words to him were “I love you” and he said “I love you to Mom”. I miss him so much and wish things had turned out differently.
I’m so sorry for your loss, it breaks my heart. MY son is struggling and its the hardest thing for me to not run to him..and help him. I tell him every day..I love you..u never know if that will be the last thing he heard. God bless you.
I’m so sorry
Dearest Sue, I’m deeply, deeply sorry. Your pain is the greatest suffering of all. Kevin knew you loved him. Your last words to him gave him comfort and peace. He knew he was loved…he knew he was LOVED. I’ll stay close to you in love and prayer.
As sick as my daughter was with her horrible drug addiction she says now she always knew she was loved. Your Kevin knew that also Sue. I happened to read the blog today and it’s the 3rd anniversary of your Kevin’s passing. Thinking of you as I know first hand the missing never ends.
Thank you Terry for taking the time to share with me what your daughter said about knowing she was loved. At the end of Kevin’s life, he really wasn’t himself as the drugs distorted his thinking so much. There was always a part of him that wanted to be with his family and have his life back, but he couldn’t make it back to us before fentanyl took him. Thanks for validating my feeling that the missing will never end. I hope we can both find some peace and acceptance in the future. One Day at a Time.