Photo credit: Ando Pndlian

A mom wrote to me, Even without the drug problem in my life, I have to let go of and accept that my son has to go on and have his own life. I have to let him make his own decisions and mistakes, but it’s hard to stay out of his way. I’m right in the heart of learning to “Let go and let God.”  Wanting to control is natural, but I know when I can finally surrender my life that it will take a big weight off my heart and I can begin to live a life of just loving everything and everybody around me.

My reflection: Much of what I learned through addiction can be applied to everyday life. When Jeff was drug sick, I wanted nothing more than to force him to stop. But I learned in Al-Anon, with professional help and through education that controlling an addiction is impossible. “Let go and let God” became my mantra.

Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I admit that I cannot control anyone other than myself. Today, I accept that my loved ones have to live their own lives and make their own mistakes. Standing back is difficult, almost impossible at times, but today I surrender my will and pray for their good decisions. God is in charge, not me.


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10 years ago

Amen….Let go and let God. It’s a mantra that I didn’t know until my son passed away from an overdose of heroin. When he was alive and drug sick, I put him out of my mind as far as I could. I couldn’t even think about him or surely I would lose my own mind.

When my son died, I had to let go and let God. I had to let God guide me through the death, the grief and the following days, months and years afterward he passed. If I didn’t believe God would (or could) help me, I would have perished.

I thank God every day of my remaining life for giving me the strength to move forward with my life. I had to pick myself up, with his help, because the rest of my family needed me whole.

I also have to thank Libby for starting this forum so I can continue to vent, grieve and share with all of you wonderful people – my friends of Thursday night (as Jane would say 🙂

Love to all of you.

PS – Dear Pat, I’m happy to hear that your son found sobriety. I will continue to pray for him.

pat nichols
10 years ago


As I read your post a sense of sadness came over me. I am sad for the loss of your son and the grief you must deal with daily. However, your post reminded me of my faith. Faith in a God that never leaves us and a God that we can trust our addicted children to regardless if they are here on earth or in Heaven.

If I were to lose my son to this disease you would be the first person I would contact for support. And I would need support.

During my own transformation of recovery I discovered who my God is. If there was ever a reason for me to say my son’s addiction was a gift this would be my first response as to why it was a gift.

When I would receive THE call from jail or THE call from my homeless son who was living under a bridge I would pause and ask God’s Spirit to dwell within me. I would pray, “God, I need you, speak for me, guide me, give me peace.” God, I would say, “Your will, not mine.”

I am free now from the hold my son’s addiction had on me. Yes, I still feel the sadness and regrets but they no longer control me.

“Let go, let God” is the bridge back to peace and serenity. A life that each of us deserves.

In prayer for all of us.

10 years ago

Hello Barbara, Pat, and Libby. Hello to all the parents reading this blog in their privacy. Let go and let God. Took time to let go of the reins that I though I had but my reins never really had control. That doesn’t mean we are inactive twiddling our thumbs. God gave us brains and ability. So I had to learn to do the footwork of what I could control. My behavior, my reactivity to the addict, my enabling ways, my focus. Al Anon taught me how to do this. Reading Libby’s book helped me relate to what another parent did, reading literature from Al anon and Hazeldon helped too. Educate yourself and get support. Let go of what you cannot control. If your child is still a minor, do what you have to do as a parent without enabling. Boundaries and limit setting. That is in our control. Outcomes are not in our control.

Ah, a concept that takes time to learn. As much as I tried to control, my son narrowly escaped death from an overdose. That event taught me just how much control I had. It also showed me how ever present God was in my life. He carried me through that most difficult time from the phone call, to the packing a bag to get myself across the country, to every moment of a 3 week period of uncertainty.
God is in control and he is crying with us, hugging us, and walking alongside us.
Barbara has experienced the ultimate nightmare and has the grace of God in every word she shares with us. Letting go is not easy, yet there comes a time when we are ready to do just that. We reach that point when we are ready and not a minute before.
Love jane

10 years ago

“Let go and let God’ is one of the messages from FA that has helped me the most, but was probably the most difficult for me to get. How does a person who does not think much about God, whose parents don’t believe in God, whose husband doesn’t believe in God and whose life hasn’t included church, prayer or religion for years, let God take over the care of her son?

Like you say Jane, it is a concept that takes time to learn. Realizing that I couldn’t handle the pain and insanity of living with an addict family member alone was the first step for me. Going to meetings, listening to others in the program, and opening my mind and heart were next. Reciting the Serenity Prayer whenever I was confronted by my son’s addiction helped too.

Since I have Let go and let God, my mental health and quality of life has improved tremendously. My son has not gotten recovery, but he is in jail suffering the consequences of his addiction and I am not running down to the jail every week with money, clothes, books and magazines. Or calling other inmates’ girlfriends for them so they will give my son “extra food”. Or putting $50 a week on a phone account so he can call home and tell me how hard it is for him to be there. That is what I did last year when he spent time in jail.

I am still worried and sad for him every day, but I am letting God handle it in the way he sees best.

Thank you to all of you, and to my sponsor who sent me Libby’s book and to this site.


10 years ago

Hugs to you Laura. Hang in there with all of us.

10 years ago

I recite “let go and let God” all the time when I feel the anxiety and need to do something taking hold. It may be something I say once a day or one hundred times a day but I always seem to go to it. This simple saying grounds me and helps calm me.
It was so hard at first but as I repeat it over and over again I am reminded that this thing is beyond me, “I can’t control it, I didn’t cause it and I can’t cure it”. At times I can barely understand it.
I can only pray that a higher power will guide my daughter and keep her safe and help us heal so we may all be able to find peace and serenity.