LETTING GO AND STAYING CLOSE

Nonna Libby and granddaughter Iysa

Nonna Libby and granddaughter Iysa

I don’t know the author, but these words were true for us: To “let go” does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else. To “let go” is not to cut myself off, but it’s the realization that I can’t control another. To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive. To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being. To ”let go” is not to be in the middle, arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies. To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept. To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them. To ”let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it. To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future. To “let go” is to fear less and to love more.

My reflection: At Al-Anon meetings, I often heard the words “let go” and “detach with love.” These words were confusing for me because I didn’t understand how to love my son, but also detach. When the recovering alcoholic at San Patrignano told me to, “Stay Close, but don’t give him money,” this idea clicked. I understood how to stay close and let go at the same time.

Today’s Promise to consider: Letting go doesn’t mean abandoning my loved one. Letting go means giving him the dignity of making his own choices and dealing with the consequences they bring – good and bad. Letting go means staying close, but out of the chaos of his addiction. I’ll do this, one day at a time.

 

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Barbara
7 years ago

i am dealing with this now and am confused. In letting go does that mean I shouldn’t look for a halfway house fort addict. She in a rehab now and told me she needs to continue her recovery but can make calls from in there to look. I know from the past I have to hurry up and help with solutions at the end and I want to be prepared.

Diana
Diana
7 years ago

First let me say I read your book and it really helped me get through my sons first go around with jail and substance abuse. He had a parole violation and is now in jail and has been for a month while waiting on a bed at a long term facility. After reading the blog post for today I feel like I have been doing the wrong thing by putting money on his account to buy food and make phone calls. At the same time I’m at ease knowing he is safe and not doing drugs.

pat nichols
pat nichols
7 years ago

Diana,

My experience with an addicted child in jail is this:

* I called the jail and talked to the supervisor who informed me what a reasonable amount to put on his account was and why.

* I put money on his account also for phone calls but he only could call “MY” number and I set boundaries on when I would accept the calls. If not, he would call numerous times throughout the day and night.

* I also sent him books he requested to read, if they were appropriate.

I was strong in my own recovery and was still working with a alcohol/drug counselor and a sponsor through Families Anonymous. So, I had a solid team that I contacted to keep me accountable in my own recovery. This was vital to me as addiction is very manipulative and cunning.

I wanted to stay connected to my son so I could send him the message that he was loved, forgiven and welcomed back into his family when he was willing to choose recovery. This, I believe, instilled hope in him and it was this hope that would eventually ignite long term recovery.

In addition, we, his family, would all gather together during his calls and pray with him and for him and for every parent of every addicted child. God does answers prayers.

On March 2nd I was invited by my son to accompany him to court where he will celebrate his graduation from drug court. He will have two years being clean and sober. A miracle from God! If you don’t believe in miracles you would if you knew my son and his addiction journey.

Libby’s book was an important part of my own recovery.

My continued prayers for every parent and their child.

Jane
Jane
7 years ago

Pat
Your journey does give hope and your words filled with wisdom

Barbara, I think helping find a halfway house for your daughter is ok, especially if she requested help, just let go of outcomes, and expectations. Keep working your recovery more!

Libby, your post today is helpful. Your granddaughter is getting so big! Beautiful picture
Jane

Sue
Sue
7 years ago

Pat, what an achievement! I am so happy for you and your son, truly a moment to cherish.

Letting go was so difficult for me to understand. I always felt that somehow I was turning my back on my daughter when she needed me the most. In theory it made sense but whenever she called for help or turned up the lines became blurred again.

I’m not sure but I think it was blind hope that I wanted to believe she was sincere in her requests and that she really wanted help to sort out the mess, after all how else would she ever recover from this chaos she has created without my help. I knew what I should and shouldn’t do and yet it was so difficult to “let go” in the moment.

I have had a lot of time to think about this lately and although I don’t know how I will respond when I hear from her again I hope I can hold onto the courage and strength I think I have now to respect her independence. I hope I can love and support her, which I do, but without getting in her way.

If there is one thing I have learned over the years its that my daughter has incredible courage, power and endurance. To have grown from the quiet shy little girl she use to be to a women who can master life under circumstances I can’t even imagine. I am in awe of her ability as strange as that sounds.

John
7 years ago

Thank you for the article. Letting go is the hardest thing to do but doing so gives such a sense of freedom. The addict/alcoholic is told to surrender upon joining a 12 step program of recovery. He is told to surrender his obsession for the drink or drug and to surrender his will over to a higher power, this is Letting Go. For the family, surrender is the relief that is so desperately needed. Relief of fear, sleepless nights, depleted bank accounts and broken hearts. I love how you included “detach with love”. We can let go, and we can do it as loving families. We can let go of the idea that it’s our fault or maybe something we could have prevented. When I work with parents I remind them it’s not their fault; That God has a plan for your son or daughter and God wants you to get on with you life too. #lettinggo
Bests, John @ life’s journey

Debbie
Debbie
7 years ago

I found this article to be so helpful. My son is addicted to heroin. We finally had to kick him out of the house last week. I just don’t understand. He spent two years in prison for drug related crimes. He came home in September. He shared with me that he continued his drug use while in prison. It seems our justice system is so flawed. He should have been in drug treatment. I guess I was naïve in thinking he was sober while serving time. I pray that he seeks professional help for his addiction before it’s too late. My heart aches.

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

Libby,
Each time I come here to read your blog, something strikes me personally.

I have only recently learned to completely let go; I no longer keep track of his meeting dates to see if he’s going, no longer try to stay in touch constantly & no longer spend my time wondering about my whether or not my son is in active addiction or recovery.

I let him know that just because he doesn’t hear from me, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see him or hear from him. His response was a simple “thank you, I love you.”

I’ve turned all that energy back on myself and I’ve been able to organize my life like it’s never been before. I’m focusing on my business and working to be the best I can be. It does feel good.

As far as my son goes, he’s been seeing a wonderful counselor, he joined a new recovery program just after Christmas that seems to be just the fit he needed. I pray this is the place he needs to be to finally find real recovery.

Thank you again for your constant words on inspiration! I hope everything in your life is going well!
Linda

Terry Willis
Terry Willis
7 years ago

Hi Everyone! I saw this website when the time I’ve been searching some blog site that has inspirational and motivating article. I read the story of you Nonna Libby and I want to say Thanks a lot for this because if caught my attention and also to those people here that shared their experiences and stories. I’m so amazed that more people like me experiencing this kind of life-changing. I am also parent of an addicted son which admitted at Better Hope Treatment Recovery. Please allow me to share my stories, Thank You. At first, I didn’t know what I should do when I notice that my son become addicted to some substance. I agree to what libbycataldi said that “gave advice and something happened to your daughter, it would be devastating” because all we need to do is to consult with the specialist and do more prayers in this matter. Like what I did, I do some consulting for many experts on this kind of addiction, and guest what? They gave a good answer to my questions. Unbelievable, right? But it’s all possible. Thanks for the time spend you guys to read my stories. I hope everyone can inspire.