A mother wrote to me: Our daughter, both strikingly beautiful and musically gifted, signed a recording contract with an International music company at the age of fifteen. I traveled with her extensively and never had an idea what was going on right in my presence. At seventeen, she graduated a year early as valedictorian of a private school catering to performers. Unbeknownst to us, she was already addicted to cocaine when she left for university on a full music scholarship. I blamed her stuffy nose on allergies, and she gladly accepted the air cleaner I bought for her dorm room. We only learned of her addiction after a suicide attempt.
My reflection: I have been asked a multitude of times, “When were aware that your son was abusing drugs?” When I answer that it took me many years to understand what was happening, people wonder how did I ‘miss’ all the clues? All I can say is that I wanted to believe he was OK.
Today’s Promise to consider: How is it possible that we miss an addiction that’s right before our very eyes? We see the dilated pupils, hear the stuffy nose, and wonder where our child’s spirit and humor have gone. For me and for a long time, I simply wanted to believe all was well with my son, and I lived in denial. When I finally acknowledged the addiction, I felt guilty and ashamed, which were unconstructive. It was only when I sought support in Al-Anon that I started to understand the insidiousness of this disease.4935