MOTHER-TO-MOTHER: THE IMPORTANCE OF HOPE

351A mom, a friend I met a year ago, told me: I have much to tell you, but here’s the abbreviated version: My son is clean from heroin and all drugs for five months. He went to Europe to visit family over Christmas and to clean up. When he returned, he immediately picked up again. Within a week, he called and begged me to return and live abroad, afraid he was going to die here. I gave him my blessing. Today, he has five months behind him, working two jobs and saving his money. All this without my help. I know nothing is written in stone, but I know you must so rarely hear the good stories, the stories of hope.

My reaction: When I met this mom, her son was not good and was in-and-out of jail. I met her daughter, too, and the three of us discussed addiction as a family disease and how hope is one of the first things to be suffocated. When this happens, addiction wins the fight. We cannot let that happen.

Today’s Promise to consider: Hope is essential for parents of addicts. Through hope, we keep a connection with our loved ones, no matter how far they’ve fallen. Hope is fragile and it’s a choice, but it will be my choice.

 

 

 

 

 

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Penny
Penny
9 years ago

My favorite saying is where there is breath there is hope. Today my son is choosing sobriety over the scrambling, deceitful addition way of life. I have never given up hope, however, there have been time I have come very close. I can’t tell you how long he has been clean because I don’t count the days. I simply cherish each and every hour the chooses to turn his back on heroin. Hope is sometimes the only thing we have. Love and hugs to you all. Again, thank you Libby for all you do to give us who suffering with our addicts a little hope and peace.

Pat Nichols
9 years ago

I understand and do not disagree with the importance of hope.

However, I have another perspective. I am the father of a 37 year old chronically addicted “child” and over the course of my addiction journey with him I clung to my only means of survival, which was “hope.”

Unfortunately, I feel I used my “hope” in a destructive way. I would see the consequences of his actions and “hope” that this consequence would be the one that would change him. I would then intervene inappropriately to act on this “hope” and then my codependency tendencies would take over I would begin my path to helping him destroy himself.

I didn’t know I was in his way of recovery. I simply used my sense of “hope” to give myself justification for making myself feel better while, in fact, becoming a barrier to his recovery.

Zeenat
Zeenat
9 years ago

Didn’t understand the situation…where was he afraid to die? Where did he ask mother to return? Did he want her to return with him? Did she ….? What did she mean by giving her blessing?
Whatever the situation I love this blog, my heart stops every time I read … I pray, I weep I ask The Lord to be ever present and above all I send out prayers of love an compassion.
Nothing about our lives as parents is easy … Libby your work for us is such a gift…thank you!
I agree totally each hour of sobriety is a celebration and a joy….my Hope continues to be in the Good Shepherd and my eyes on His promises….I pray He gives all of us strength and peace.

Nanci
Nanci
9 years ago

Dearest Libby and Jeff…thank you so much for this reminder. I love what you said about ‘hope being fragile…that it is a choice.’ Your weekly meditations help so many of ‘us’ move forward in what often feels like a futile situation.
My hope is that we can all learn together how to ‘Stay Close’ without compromising our emotional/physical/and spiritual well-being (any further).
With love and prayer,
Nanci

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

We discussed hope at an Al Anon meeting recently. I have not had a strong feeling about hope for my addicted son one way or the other because I feel like that is somehow tied into expectations of him. I do however have hope for me, hope that I have learned how not to be engulfed by the disease and how to protect myself . I have learned that I have hope that I can love the person, hate the disease. I hope that he finds a strength in his higher power to lead him out of the boundaries of addiction. But I also do not spend a lot of time hoping because disappointment is too painful. I pray and am hopeful for the recovery of the rest of us.

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

Dear Barbara,
Thinking of you. Sending my thoughts of peace and love your way. May God comfort you in this difficult time.
Love,

Jane

JOY
JOY
9 years ago

Yes, we do need the hopeful stories and every day there are hundreds of addicts wh turn their life around. One day at a time. This week our community here has felt a lot of pain for Barbara in her loss. Yet it is Barbara, her faith that gives me hope in the face of this disease. Her generosity to us in being here despite the losses she have endured has gotten me through many a dark night. Her faith that her grandson is safe now. I so understand that. To me, Jane expressed it perfectly. There is such a fine line between hope and expectation. But here is the thing — rainy or sunny, cloudy or clear, the sky is always there- never ending — Hope is the sky. May all beings be free of sorrow prays the Dali Llama every day. That’s a good prayer. When you need HOPE– look up at the sky and every bird you see can be a prayer sent to free one person of sorrow.

My son’s parole officer comes to visit today to go over his mental health and addiction history. It’s a first for us—this visit— and we have had no contact from our son. After twice letting him come live with us after he broke the law to get drugs we are struggling== he wants to come back home again — but we know he needs long term treatment not us. Hopefully—hope FULL-Y — there is a program for him. I do not expect a cure, hope for a “cure”, I pray for his healing knowing his journey is out of my hands.

Love and prayers to all.

Hope is the antidote for this disease.

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

Dear all,

I learn from you. Thank you for your wisdom and love. Joy, your words are powerful, “Hope is the antidote to this disease.” I agree. As Penny wrote: Where there is life, there is hope. I understand Pat’s point that we can’t use hope in a destructive way. It can be hard to keep hope and to know how to differentiate between hope and expectation. Jane’s point is a good one – we can hold hope that our loved ones will find their strength and do the work that only they can do; we can hold hope for those of us who join hands here and work toward serenity and peace in the midst of this debilitating disease.

Barbara, We are with you! Your suffering is immense and, if we could ease your pain, we would. Please know we are all praying and bombarding the heavens for you and your family. Your faith gives me hope.

All my love to all of you,

L

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

Libby and all, thank you for your words of wisdom. My heart has been heavy for Barbara all week. Prayers for her and her family
Jane

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

To all my dear weekly friends, Thank you isn’t enough for all the prayers and comforting words. It’s been a rough, rough week. I don’t think I have any tears left. You all know the pain I feel. Sometimes, I think you might be the only ones who really understand the pain.

I am extremely grateful for all your prayers, warmth and most of all, true caring. I feel blessed to have you all in my life.

God Bless you all. My hope for today is to get into my kitchen and cook, cook and cook. It’s my passion and therapy.

I love you all very much,
Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

Dear Joy,

Thank you for your words of comfort. I noticed you mention Dali Llama (such a wise man). I’ve read many of his works and books. I was raised Catholic, but I love to read about other beliefs.

You say you’ve learned from me. I have learned much from you, my friend.

Good luck with the meeting with your son’s parole officer. My “hope” for you is that it is not too painful for you and your family. I pray it goes well.

With much love,
Barbara

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

In a way I was like Pat. Each time my son got deeper into trouble, I used hope as a way to justify why I continued to enable him. “I’m hoping that this time he’ll learn his lesson……” But then his life spiraled from bad to worse and I realized the hard way that there was nothing else I could do for him. He had to make this journey on his own. Now, as he serves time in federal prison, I Hope and Pray, for him to get through this difficult period of his life and I Hope and Pray that when he’s finally released he’ll be able to stay clean and move forward with his life. It’s a daily struggle to keep Hope alive but I work hard to keep it going….baby steps.

Zeenat
Zeenat
9 years ago

Dear Barbara

I am a stranger in reality but a sister and a fellow traveller … I am sending you huge hugs, beautiful flowers and the aroma of Gods presence in your home and in the midst of your pain….it is our pain..we are a community and know that our tears join yours…joy is peeping through the pain because we know nothing can separate us from the Joy of The Lord….I hope you are cooking up a storm…your son would want you to just as all our children would want us to pick up our broken lives and live on knowing that somehow God’s grace, mercy and strength along with a peace that surpasses all understanding, continues to cover us.
God be with you friend … Our peayers are with you.

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

Dear Barbara,

You are with me daily, in my prayers and thoughts. I pray – and hope – you know you are not alone. We all send you our love.

To all,

Your comments give me hope for our futures. We are strong and are learning together. My love to you all.

L

Cindy
Cindy
9 years ago

Just came to this site today as I sit here at work and think about my son. He has been clean for almost 90 days from heroin, yet I still live in fear of relapse(it wouldn’t be the first time). This post has given me a new perspective, however. Starting today, in this moment, I will live not in fear of my son relapsing, but in hope…hour by hour, in the present. Thank you Libby for this blog, and thank you for sharing your journey in the pages of your book. Praying for all of our addicted children and praying that all of us parents can find peace and live in hope…not fear.

Libby Cataldi
9 years ago

Dear Cindy,

Glad you’re here. Congrats to your son on 90 days – this is huge!! Jeff tells me even one day is an immense victory. Addiction robs us of so much joy. We’ll celebrate today because today your son is good!!!

Here’s to peace and hope! Love to you,

Libby