A mom wrote to me: When my son was little and struggled so much, I always seemed to be able to make it better. But addiction is not like that. The hard part for me was not staying close, but staying out of the chaos. And because the chaos of this disease is crazy making, it is so hard at times to not get sick from worry and fear. Depressed. Worn down.
Loving your child while learning about self-preservation and boundaries is so very hard. It is not natural to put oneself before a child, no matter how old, but giving in and giving money could have killed my son. Such a fine line to walk. Stay close means LOVE first, but stay out of the chaos. Take care of yourself. I send deepest prayers.
My reflection: During my son’s fourteen-year heroin addiction, I struggled with the line between love and boundaries. When my son was in pain, of course I rushed in to help. It took me years to learn that my version of help wasn’t helping.
Today’s Promise to consider: The line between love and boundaries might be the most challenging part of addiction. We parents want to help; we want to make things better. The question is: Are we helping when we deny our children the need to face the consequences of their addiction? The answer to this question is individual. We each need to make these kinds of decisions for ourselves.4628
It is a fine line….you read a lot about self-care, but I liked the term self preservation! God Bless!!
Dear Cindy, I, too, like the term ‘self preservation.’ We can easily lose ourselves in the chaos of addiction.
I join you in continuing to work toward ‘self preservation’ in all things. My love and thanks.
My son once said to me, Mum it’s not your problem, it is mine. I told him as long as I was living, if I was 92 and he was still hurting himself, he’d still have me to deal with. I was not giving up hope. I pretended I was a bent over little old lady, saying: I love you, please love yourself. It was a hard moment but somehow humour found its way in. He laughed so hard and hugged me and said you will. won’t you?I said guaranteed I have so many letters telling us thank you for never giving up hope and always loving. And staying close. That is what stay close means. But he was right.It was his problem not mine. Yes Libby, such a hard lesson to learn for parents and like a tight rope walk at times. Finding our balance is hard and it feels very dangerous. Sometimes ,we do fall, too. Or fall short But we keep trying too. Never ever ever give up hope. Prayers sent to all who come here.
Dearest Joy, Your son was wise. He was right that it IS their problem, but our children’s problems bleed into our lives. You and he found humor – such a good way to deal with things. Sometimes, my first reaction is anger, and I’ve always regretted that response. You never gave up on your son, and you never faltered. Your love was his anchor. You’re right that finding our balance is hard and feels very dangerous. But we keep trying. We keep reaching out our hands to help others. I treasure you and your wisdom. Thanks for being here. My love to you.
i wish I had the option of having my Dr. just put me in a coma until my son found recovery! 🙂
I agree. It would have been easier. xo
Thank you for this reflection about love and boundaries. Valentine’s Day will mark the 2nd anniversary of my son, Kevin, accidental overdose. Over the previous 5 years leading up to that horrible day I worked so hard to establish boundaries that would keep me sane and at the same time keep my heart open to my son’s pain and struggle with addiction. By the grace of my Higher power, the week before Kevin died, we had a nice talk about how he was doing in school and his worries about not doing well on a test. I am so grateful our relationship had gotten back to the point where we could talk about “normal” things. I told him I loved him and he said “I love you too Mom”. That was it, one week later my child faced the consequences of his addition. In my heart of hearts I know there is nothing I could have done but gaining acceptance of what has happened is an everyday task. I did stay close in my own way, thank you for continually reminding me to do so.
My dearest Sue, I’m so sorry that you lost your precious Kevin. There is no greater pain than yours. You and he got to talk about ‘normal’ things, and he told you he loved you. He KNEW he was loved. I join you in gratitude that you stayed close in your own way. Thank you for your open and loving heart. I’ll stay close in love and prayer.
Sue, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son Kevin. We had no contact with my daughter for 1 1/2 years of her very long addiction. Her choice preferring no contact not ours. I always worried she would think she wasn’t loved by us anymore as she got sicker. She did find recovery and called when she was ready to seek help. She said to us after there was nothing you could have done to have saved me any sooner than I decided to seek help for myself.She also said she always knew she was loved no matter what. We lost a child 17 years ago to the flu. As her mom I will always feel the guilt of her passing. It’s what we do but I know in my heart if I could of done something different I would have. I know your Kevin knew he was loved and you did the very best you could have for him out of love. Rest your heart mom. We will see our children again.❤️❤️