Let Go and Love

A recovering addict wrote a message to me. This is part of it: I am twenty-three and also a recovering addict. And the one thing that I have is my mom’s love and support. Not a dollar for the attorneys, gas, cigarettes..nothing. When she started Al-Anon it helped save my life that much more. Parents have to let go and let God. I have seen many people die from this disease and, as sad as it may be, you have to help him help himself. Not just you helping – that gets us nowhere. I’ve been to rehabs and moved a hundred times. My advice to parents: Let go and love.

My personal reflection on the passage above offering my thoughts today: This young man says it all. He is honest and straightforward and his courage resonates throughout his words. His experience as an addict, watching his friends die and knowing that each addict must find his own way gives all parents a valuable perspective. He has let go of resentments, those feelings that drag people back into active addiction, and he is taking responsibility for himself. Thanks to him for sharing.

Today’s Promise for all of us to consider who love addicts: I’ll take this advice to heart: Let go and love. I’ll stay close to my child and I won’t abandon him, but I won’t enable his addiction. I’ll give my child love, compassion and support and the dignity to face the consequences of his choices.

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Nanci
Nanci
11 years ago

Thank you, Libby, for sharing this message. It is especially helpful for all of us mother’s who grapple with a son/daughter’s addiction. This topic is discussed frequently at Alanon meetings. I will share it today with others. Let go and love/detaching with love, requires patience, trust and the gentle reminder that it is progress…not perfection. Thank you, as always, for your unwavering support and weekly reflections.
The very best to you and your family.

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Thanks, Nanci, and thanks to the young person who wrote to me with this reflection. We can learn so much from recovering addicts. Dealing with addiction is so counterintuitive: We parents want to help, to rescue, but in the rescuing we get in the way of their consequences and their recovery.
We parents need to hold each other’s hands and learn together. My love to you and yours. L

Chad Hepler
11 years ago

I have told this same advice to many familys and in theory they were always in agreement. It simply makes sense not to enable an addict; that is until you are the one that actually has to make the decision to cut a loved one off. I have never had to be in that position and I fear that one day I will be…

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Dear Chad, You are so correct: In theory the advice makes sense, but when parents need to ‘let go’ of their child, it feels impossible. We parents are programmed to help, save and protect. When we see our children hurting, our first response is to move in and support him. Let go and love – important words when dealing with addiction.
Also thanks to you for your book, “Intervention: Anything But My Own Skin.” I’ve ordered it from Amazon and look forward to reading your story of addiction and recovery. Bravo to you for all you are doing to help others. Keep up the good work. With admiration, L