A friend and I were talking, and she said: I knew things weren’t good when my son’s emails dropped off my radar. My older son was honest with me and told me that his brother had taken a bad turn. I’m grateful to know the truth because honesty is the key to our recovery: my son’s, my family’s and mine. Without honesty, fear rules the day and I don’t know how to move. With honesty, even when the situation is bad, I know we can push through each setback together.
My reaction: My friend’s words resonate with me, and I’ve lived the same experience. Dr. MacAfee says that addiction needs a lie to live: Addicts need to maintain the lie in order to maintain their addiction. The Big Book of AA says that living a sober life, “demands rigorous honesty.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Honesty is essential in all relationships. Without it, we tread in the perilous waters of fiction and denial. I don’t have to expose every fact of my life and my family’s problems, but I refuse to live a lie.1845
This is so true. I made it thru all of my children’s addition because I told the truth! Sometimes that was the hardest thing to do! If someone asked I told them and sometimes it was not pretty but I see so many people hide behind all the lies….NOT MY CHILD! And most of them lost their child. And want to put the blame on my children…I so love the truth and honesty in my life…
Also I just want to say THANK YOU LIBBY! I love this blog.
I agree with you, Traci. I also love the truth and honesty in my life.
Dear Libby, I also refuse to live a lie. For, if one lives a lie, they will perish in the evils of denial. Addiction robbed my son of the feeling of truth and honesty in his life. He would have been elated to feel that warm, wonderful feeling in his heart.
I pray for all the addicts, every day.
I think the honesty is ESSENTIAL.
With this post, I also think “I don’t have to expose every fact of my life and my family’s problems” is REALLY helpful too.
I tell those I feel the need to tell or those I feel I can trust or those I think my experience with having a son with addiction will help.
It is not just my story to tell and I do not have my son’s permission to tell. But I will not live a lie either.
This can be humorous at times. Someone recently -who I think is more anxious for gossip than genuinely caring about me–( and you know the difference usually) asked :
How’s your son doing?
( She’s knows he’s had mental health issues and substance abuse issues over the years because I have been honest —at a general level. )
Oh, I said he’s not in a very good place right now.
She said, I’m sorry to hear that. Perhaps she was.
I feel that was honest.
I didn’t say actually the not very good place just happens to be prison for 20 months. And he’s was in active addiction when he went in and I’m on anti-depressants and am dealing with panic attacks when I think of him in his cell because he has bad claustrophobia. And how are your kids?
I hope you are all laughing ..a little!
I think sharing with others has to be done with discretion.
The big thing is to be honest with ourselves!
Yes, there is the reality of “shame” as well as fear and guilt we all have to deal with and look at.
But when we step back from ourselves and what we may or may have wnted for our childrne ( Safety happiness non addict lives) and understand again the “‘disease
” of addiction , well, that really goes away.
Shame and guilt ,depression let the demon of addiction win.
How to keep those things at bay?
As Jeff, say, we can always pray.
My therapist had me start to write a letter to myself with an attitude of the same unconditional love I give to others — — it has been one of the most liberating things I have ever done. Can we love ourselves as we love others ? Forgive ourselves as we forgive others?
Just another strategy –but if you have never tried to do it –try. Something HUGE is released. Guilt and shame and sorrow get smaller.
We are all on such a journey of learning what DEEP LOVING means.
Honesty in our reality frees us to love everyone.
Thanks for listening to me babble. xo Joy
Love to you.
I loved your “babbling” (lol) I appreciate the honesty you had as you wrote it. It is what every parent goes through and feels when their child is an addict. I went through all those conversations too, avoiding telling everyone that my son was in prison for 2 years. I hated it. So when I read your post, I was in your position years ago, so I reflected, I cried, and I laughed. I want to take you in my arms and hug you a million times.
Thank you for being here with us and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so honest and sincere.
My love to you.
My love to Libby for allowing me to meet you and talk with you.
I love to you, too Barbara. Libby has brought so many loving souls together.
Hello my friends on this Thursday evening of Staying Close!
Joy I loved your babbling too. And you made me think of all of those holiday letters you get with the list of all the wonderful things that are happening in a family. I used to cringe as I opened them, and sometimes I didn’t open them when I knew there would be a long letter of a years worth of accomplishments which would only make me feel bad.
Yes, some people you can truly be honest with and you know they will understand or sympathize and others are just interested in a gossip update.
Honestly for ourselves, at al anon meetings where it is safe to share, here on this blog and also with those we choose to share with.
And I keep you all in my prayers
My Dear Friends, I just received a call that my grandson (my son’s son) has died of a heroin overdose. He was only 20 years old and has left a wife and baby of nearly 1 year old.
As I grieve this loss, I ask that please pray for his family. They need the prayers. He will be buried next to my son (his father).
Addiction has won this round. Let’s pray that the next fight, whomever it shall be, will win.
Thank you for your prayers.
Dearest Barbara, I want to shout NO! from the tallest rooftop. No! This can’t have happened. I’m so sorry, deeply sorry, profoundly sorry. It’s not fair. Damn addiction. Your pain is unfathomable. There are no words.
You and your family are in our prayers. We will bombard the heavens. And we must continue to fight!
With total love and support,
Barbara I am so sorry for you. Words are inadequate to convey my condolences. There are no words . I am sending my prayers and truly will keep you and his family in my thoughts.
I just retuned from a friend’s home, sharing Libby’s book and blog with her. It was then that I read your latest message. I AM SO PROFOUNDLY SAD FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY…Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am sending you a big hug across the miles, hoping that in some way, you find comfort in knowing that all of us who. although have not felt the pain of losing a loved one to addiction, truly understand the depth of pain and emotional devastation addiction plays within the family. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.
Joy, Jane and Traci…I am with you in prayer. I am so grateful to Libby for providing this forum for us to ‘Stay Close’, support one another throughout these challenging times.
In love and prayer,
PS. Thanks for the laugh, Joy! I get it! We can not loose our sense of humor!
I am prayin for you and your family…so sad barb! God has a plan just let him lead you..
Thinking of you this morning Barbara. You have been on my mind since you posted your sad news. Hoping that as you are in all of our thoughts and prayers , you feel our love .
Thank you all for your undying support. It means so much to me. Your support helps me more than you’ll ever know. My eyes are swollen shut from crying. I just can’t believe that another young soul has been taken from us by the evil of addiction.
Jane, a special thanks to you, for thinking of me this morning. I do feel everyone’s love. That’s what will help me through today, and the next, and the next.
Thank you so much, everyone. God Bless you.
Without this forum, I wouldn’t be able to feel the love and support from all of these wonderful people who come here to share their lives with us. For that, I will be forever grateful.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
With lots of love,
My heart is so heavy…you have been on my mind non-stop. Please know that you and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers. I am with you in spirit and will continue to pray for you. We are all here for you, Barbara , in love and prayer.
When I read this Barbara – I yelled no out loud.
O dear Barbara. We love you so.
How much more are you asked to bear in this lifetime?
This is beyond any heart’s understanding.
I am in shock, you must be in a state beyond shock.
I wish I lived close by. I would hug you while you cried. I would pray with you.
Weeping for you and with you Barbara
O Dear Barbara —
May loving arms hold and lift you and your family, know you are held and kept in our hearts and prayers and we beam you all the healing light you need, the deep love of Christ and the never ending strength of Mary.
As Nanci says, we are here for you. We are.
Today the world is dark. I RAGE against this disease that hurts so many and has hurt a friend again in the worst way. RAGE. RAGE.Today my name is Rage not joy.
I am so so sorry for this loss Barbara.
You and your family have been and will continue to be in my prayers. We are with you, walking next to you, holding you and staying close. Your pain is immense. I’m so sorry. We love you.
My son is also in prison…there are days when the sadness and shame overwhelm me. Reading all of your posts helps me immensely. Thank you all so much for sharing.
Dear Lisa, We’re grateful that you’re here. Sadness and shame often overwhelm us. Stay strong and know that you are not alone.
Today is my grandson’s funeral. Today is his birthday. But, he is with God and the angels. He’s is the arms of Jesus.
Thank you all for your friendship, your prayers and your support. And, Libby, thank you for this forum. For without it, I wouldn’t feel the comfort from all these wonderful people who come here.
God Bless you all.
Barbara, I have been praying for you every day. I asked my husband to pray too. I just lit a candle for you, your son and grandson, your family–may it help ease even even for a flicker of a second the unbearable suffering of this day. I light it for all our children lost to the disease, including mine. Libby, you and this forum are the constant light in this world of darkness and sadness.
Barbara- your faith and strength inspire me as always. Yes, he is safe in the arms of Jesus. Rest now, too.
Barbara, We are with you. My heart breaks for you and I can’t even imagine your pain and suffering. Yes, your grandson is the the arms of Jesus.
I pray that the Lord touches you and your family with comfort. You are in our constant prayers and I wish there were something we could do to help ease your pain. Please know we love you and are here.
All my love and prayers,