1381585_10202140116127387_2060205373_nOne mother’s story:

It’s been a very rough week, but we’ve been down this road before – one too many times. We asked our son to move out. Two days ago he did. His disease is showing signs of progressing and it is damaging to others in this house. He is causing damage to my other son and I cannot stand by and watch this while he continues not to work a program we all feel he needs. We have given him so much support over the past decade and now it is time to say enough. I told him I loved him, but not the behaviors we have become aware of – a direct result of not truly working a program of RECOVERY. At twenty-eight, he needs to stand on his own. He needs to feel “The Gift of Desperation.” When nothing changes, nothing changes. That was the basis for our action. 

I doubt myself at times There are no easy answers with this disease. We need to back off, detach with love, and let him be the captain of whatever kind of ship he wants to sail. I am not adjusting my sails anymore. I have my life vest on and I will not sink.  He can choose his own course from this point.  I am not going to be his GPS or map. 

This disease forces us to make such difficult decisions, but I would be unable to do it without the support of my program of recovery. I always remember the saying not to deny an addict his pain. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Today’s Promise to Consider: This is one mother’s story. We join together to share our experience, strength and hope. We bring addiction out of the darkness and share our truths.







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10 years ago

Dear Libby,

Your blog continues to inspire me everyday. I thank you for that. I’ve read your book, dealt with my own struggles, and continue to keep fighting everyday. I wish much love to you and your family and just something that has stuck with me for a while now– You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there. There’s always hope. You just gotta look for it. xoxo


Pat Nichols
10 years ago

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” William Shedd

This quote is one of my favorites and seems to fit well with this mom’s post.

I remember when I finally made the decision to release my anchor and set sail. I weathered many storms and lost my way on a number of occasions but I eventually reached shore and began my new life. One of love and understanding for myself , as well as my son.

My wife was not ready to join me in recovery but I believed her enabling/codependency was dangerous so I made a bold decision and invited our counselor to drop by our home one evening. My wife was quite surprised; we gathered in our living room and the counselor looked at my wife and said, “You are killing your son.”

My wife looked at the counselor in shock. She was motionless, frozen by his words and then she cried out in anger, “How dare you tell me that.” She began crying uncontrollably and left the room.

Well, to make a very long story short, she looks back on that conversation and thanks God for the intervention because she now believes it saved her life, as well as our son’s.

By the way, I think if I had to do it over again I would use a different approach first. 🙂

10 years ago

This disease forces us to make very difficult decisions. Then, we doubt ourselves and make ourselves miserable.

The addict has to own his own disease and he must fight to overcome it. We can support him (her) and we can tell them that we love them and want them in our lives. But, we don’t want them in our lives if they are using.

It’s so difficult to find the common ground for which we (the parents) and the addict can come to terms. Terms for healing, terms for living.

I pray every day for the parents and the addicts. I pray they find that common ground, so they can be a whole family again.

Carri Sullivan
Carri Sullivan
10 years ago

Such a God shot this morning to find this parents share in my email. My son has been in a program for a year now and I was able to visit him for the first time. I was so nervous, excited, filled with emotion. Seeing him was wonderful yet the feelings I went away with took me my surprise. I was back to fear of the uncertainty of his future, guilt of what I could have done differently, sadness of the road he’s had to travel. This is his eighth, or ninety program, at least. He’s 29 years old. And it just doesn’t get any easier. I was able to call a friend from Alanon, have a good long cry and then pick myself up again. And then this total God shot of finding a Stay Close blog in my email giving me exactly what I need to live today. Thank you Libby for continuing to offer such a great resource.

10 years ago

My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely
right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply
how much time I had spent for this information!


Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dear Catherine,

Welcome. There is wisdom on these pages – hard-won wisdom from parents who have walked the walk. I learn here all the time.

With love,