keren-su-man-rowing-his-bamboo-boat-in-a-snow-storm-shaoxing-chinaOne mother’s story: The Chaos of Addiction

My sons are sober today and everyday I am grateful, but I remember well where my family was just four years ago. Both my sons were using heroin daily, the older one had just lost his job due to drug use and the younger one was on the verge of losing his. I was literally trying to keep everyone alive and out of jail. I had spent thousands of dollars on inpatient and outpatient treatments, hospitalizations, property damages, lawyers, therapists, “new starts,” apartments and cars.

At that time, our lives were never ending drug chaos. I was working full time and every day one or the other son was out of money, no gas to get to work or had left their uniform somewhere so they couldn’t go to work, not answering their phone which led me to believe they might have overdosed, lying all the time, screaming outbursts and calling me horrible names, pounding their fists on my car, trashing apartments with their drug buddies, getting arrested, pawn shops, creditors and lying some more.  

At one point, my older son went into a local facility to detox, but had someone bring heroin to the facility. The mental health counselor told my son flat out, “I have been treating junkies for many years and you can’t beat this on your own.” Hearing him use that word was horrifying, but it was exactly what both my sons had become. 

Life was one chaotic day after another. Looking back I don’t know how we survived. They both needed long-term treatment. When they were forced to face the consequences of their addiction, that’s what finally happened. I helped them find places to go, negotiate the paperwork and transportation and did whatever it took to get them there. Fortunately, they finally chose to change their lives. And they did. 

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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Pat Nichols
10 years ago

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

I remember when I finally made the decision to release my anchor and set sail for my own recovery from my destructive enabling behaviors. 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 post gives me hope that recovery is possible. I sometimes lose hope. I just took a real vacation and left reality of son’s addiction behind– in many ways. I lived in the moment and appreciated where I was. But…well… I prayed in every church I found myself in —-a lot of thme –and lit candles for everyone suffering from the disease of addiction, those of us learning to recover from the chaos of addiction and for Barbara and Jane and Pat and Libby and Jeff and all those here sharing their experiences and bringing addiction out of the darkness. My son ( in jail now six months) is in a program.That in itself is a miracle-he is off the streets, and getting some help. Today, I am so thankful for that. Isn’t it strange that what once seemed like “almost the worst that could happen ” to my son was not really—jial has given him sobriety and safety and people to talk to. As for me, I did stop crying finally and set some intentions for myself and today there is much to be hopeful for. I just hope any parent tonight who is crying or in fear can read the post above and hear the truth and feel some healing and open to joy, even if it is quiet tender joy like petting your cat or dog or listening to music. Dig deep. Hope on!
Thank you as always Libby.

10 years ago

Thank you for posting this Libby. It is always amazing to look back at what was and realize there has been progress. I can relate to what this mother experienced.

10 years ago

Thank God these boys found sobriety (with their mother’s tenacity). I pray every day for all the addicted children and their parents. It’s so difficult on the parents when their children are using. If the children only knew! But, we all pray they never go through it.

This is only one story that Libby published. There are millions more like it. I pray for them. I hope for them. I hope they find peace in their lives.

Thank you Libby, for posting yet another story of hopelessness that ends in peacefulness.

Thank God for the good ending to this story.

10 years ago

Dear Pat,

When I read your posting, I thought “You Go Pat!”. I know you think that you should have used a different approach, initially. But, if your wife is anything like me, I always hate the “slap in the face” (you know what I’m talking about) but, that’s how I need to learn. I’ve been married for almost 40 years and my husband has been using that kind of approach with me and I’m always hurt, shocked, etc., but, I never ever forget what I’m taught and what I learn from it.

I’m so glad to hear that your recovery journey is positive. I will pray for you and your wife. It’s a tough journey.

With warmest regards,

Pat Nichols
10 years ago


You are such a blessing to all of us.

Thank you for all your wisdom and the willingness to share.

Your prayers are needed and appreciated.

Your friend,


10 years ago

Dear Libby,

I am so humbled by your and Pat’s kind words. And, for that matter, Joy, thank you for the kind words you always say.

But, I do have to say this….Libby, you are the truest blessing to all of us. For without you, we wouldn’t have met each other, therefore, we wouldn’t have learned from each other.

This website has been a blessing to me. Thank you all for sharing your secrets and thank you for your trust. It means so much to me.