A dad wrote to me: I got so tired of the lies and the constant drama that our family had to endure. We parents care so much for our children that it’s really difficult to watch them self-destruct. I’m getting much better at realizing that I am in control of just one person: myself. I think prayer is the only answer.
My reflection: It’s incredibly difficult to admit that we can’t control the behavior of our addicted loved ones. My dad’s words rang in my ears, “Just tell him to stop.” It took me years of pain to realize that my best efforts couldn’t end the chaos of addiction in our family.
Today’s Promise to consider: Once at an Al-Anon meeting, the speaker held a hula-hoop over her head and then dropped it around her and onto the floor. She pointed to her feet and the space inside the hoop, “I can control only what’s inside this hoop.” It was a simple visual that resonated deeply with me. My son had his own hoop. I had mine. There’s only room for one in an addiction.4650
Yes! Yes! and Yes!
That was my hardest lesson to learn. I just couldn’t believe that my involvement in my son’s addiction wouldn’t prove to be successful at some point. Ten years of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result proved I was sadly mistaken. i was told by my counselor, members of my 12 step program and others that my actions were not helping. Did I listen? No! I refused to believe the truth. I was in denial. My son’s disease eventually broke me and I fell to my knees and surrendered to God. I learned to trust Him. I turned my son over to God and then I began to work on ME! I found a sponsor, educated myself fully on the disease and committed myself to follow my counselor’s advice. Eventually I was freed from my codependency and my peace and serenity was restored. My son’s addiction continued but his disease eventually wore itself out and he has now been in recovery for seven years. He is a joy to be around. He is proof that miracles do happen. Never give up!
Dear Pat, It was also my hardest lesson. I couldn’t fathom that addiction could have such a strong hold on my son. Nothing I did halted the chaos and destruction. When I finally surrendered, when I finally got out of the way, God and Jeff took over. Today, I live in a space of gratitude. I join you in the refrain, “Never give up.” Thanks, as always, for being here. xo