A mom wrote to me: We’ve corresponded a few times over the course of a lot of years as my son wandered through the maze of his addiction and I followed along, hanging onto his shirt tail trying to keep him safe. Of course, that didn’t work. I know more about addiction now than I ever wanted to know. He’s five years clean this week. He’s living on his own, paying his bills, and working in the same job the whole time. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m filled with gratitude for today. He has thanked me for not giving up on him, even when it was almost impossible to stay close.
My reflection: I, too, hung onto my son’s shirt tail as I tried to keep him safe, and I, too, found that it didn’t work.
Today’s Promise to consider: When we are feeling battered by the consequences of addiction’s grasp on our children, it’s hard to stay close but out of the chaos. During my son’s fourteen-year addiction, I struggled tremendously with this concept. It wasn’t until I visited the Florence, Italy, office of San Patrignano that it started to make sense. A recovering man’s words hit me hard: “Love your son, don’t abandon him, but don’t give him money for anything – not his cell phone, not his car, nothing.” It was never easy to follow this advice, but I did. And, just as this mother, I stayed close, but with boundaries.