A PENDANT: worn with love

A mom wrote to me: My son came home from treatment, began AA meetings, got a sponsor and reconnected with his addiction therapist; however, this sobriety was shorter than his past ones. I know that there is no approach that will remove the pain of this struggle, but I have optimism that I have found a new way to live life as a mom with an addicted child. 

I will face this next “round” with the new philosophy. I have attached a picture of the pendant I wear. My son’s initials are on the back. My pendant is a reminder to me each moment of where I need to be in my relationship with my son as he struggles with his addiction.  

My response: When I opened this mom’s email and saw the pendant, my eyes filled with tears of gratitude that our family’s struggle had opened a possibility, an alternative way of being, for another mom. When the recovering Italian alcoholic told me, Stagli Vicino: Stay Close to him, I understood, in a new way, my role as a mom with an addicted son.

Today’s Promise to consider: I will adopt this philosophy of staying close to those I love, not just with addiction, but in all cases. I can’t fix problems for others, but I can support them by staying close.

 

 

 

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Cathy | Treatment Talk
10 years ago

Hi Libby,

This post is so touching! I love your idea of staying close and I think of those words often when I interact with my own children. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Libby, I had tears in my eyes after I read this post. It was touching. I know how difficult it is to have a child who is an addict. It’s difficult to stay close when they’re in active addiction(almost impossible). But, when my son was in active addiction, I stayed close to him by telling him that I loved him unconditionally (and he always knew that). That didn’t mean I would give him money, etc.

Each of us must have our own positive philosophy to help us through each day, month, year….

As always, thank you for sharing. Thank you, once again, for continuing this forum. You and all the people who participate have helped me cope with the most devastating thing any mother could go through.

With much love,
Barbara

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Barbara,

I love you! You make us all better and your words stay with me, always. You are right – each of us needs to find a positive philosophy, a way to love the addict but to get out of the way. Dr. MacAfee told me, “Sure you love Jeff, but you’re loving him to death.” There are NO easy answers with addiction. Our children know we love them, but we know that we can’t fix them.

Your pain is the ultimate that any mother could go through. I thank YOU for staying close to us.

With love and respect,

Libby

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Cathy,

Together we have a chance of bringing addiction out of the shadows and into the light where it can be healed. Thanks to you!

Libby

Pat Nichols
10 years ago

I would also be mindful of that precious time where your child is attempting to stay clean. Perhaps he was recently released from jail or maybe he recently finished an inpatient program.

There is no way to be sure if they will stay in recovery so take extra care to value this time and enjoy each moment of their sobriety. If the worst does happen, you can look back and be at peace with yourself. Take lot’s of pictures, enjoy the love, the hugs, the smiles.

Please do not focus on your fears.

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

What a powerful statement, “Do not focus on your fears.” Pat, thanks! I needed to hear those words.

Love to you,

L

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Pat, your comments are so true! I liked what you said to savor every moment of their sobriety (when it happens) and if the worst happens, you can look back and be at peace with yourself. Those are powerful, positive, suggestions for any parent who has a child who is an addict.

I also agree with not to focus on your fears. It’s a vital learned thought process that is vital for the parent to survive this disease.

Deep respect,
Barbara

Teresa
Teresa
10 years ago

Do not focus on your fears. Another great philosophy to use as I move forward. Pictures during sobriety really are great! I framed a beautiful one of my son and my 10 year old grandson (his nephew)from his recent “sober” time. Addiction really does give you a great appreciation for those special moments that make life so beautiful.

Blessings to all
Teresa

Traci
Traci
10 years ago

After my son relapsed this last time, he felt like his sober time didn’t mean anything, but he was so wrong. It still means a tremendous amount. Besides, I believe that each stint in recovery provides a seed that will eventually take hold. I have a photograph of him performing a song at a recovery fest held in October 2010, and my dad made a dvd of his performance. The photo and the dvd capture the real Gary.
Thank you everyone for being here. 🙂

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Traci, I like what you said that each recovery plants a seed. My son was in and out of recovery all his life. I can attest that I believe he learned something each and every time he was in recovery.

Thank you for your insight.

Love,
Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Jane, if you happen to read this week’s meditation, I just want you to know that I’ve been thinking about you every day.

Love and prayers to you,

Barbara

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

I am so touched Barbara. I didn’t have energy to respond to any of the comments this week till now. It was one of those emotional rollercoasters-and you all have been there. To think, Barbara, who has been through the absolute worst, has the time to think about “me”. I am so touched by your generosity of spirit. Thank you for thinking of me.
This week was difficult. Family dysfunction at its worst, not best. My husband and son are like oil and water-neither one has a good program that they work. And there am I, backing out of the mess because I don’t want to be a middleman anymore and I try to just retain my own serenity. My husband has asked my son to find another place to live and gave him 30 days. I am ok with it because the 2 are toxic together
In thinking about the precious sober times, I do have good memories of those few times too. It was sweet.
Thanks all, But most especially, thank you Barbara. I will pray for you too.
Love,
Jane

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear All,

There is so much pain. Thank you all for reaching out a hand to help all of us. What a blessing it is to know that there are people praying for us and our families.

Barbara, Thanks for staying close to us. Jane is correct and I, too, am touched by your ‘generosity of spirit.’ My love to you.

Jane, Your sentence strikes home, “Family dysfunction as its worst.” I know that chaos and I’m sorry. Addiction destroys.

Love to all and thank you for sharing your strength.

Libby

Carri
Carri
10 years ago

My son showed up for his grandpa’s 80th birthday party today. This is huge as I know he’s using again yet he was able to show up because he knew I would accept him as he is and just be happy he was there. I’m not saying it was easy. It’s this “Staying Close” way of thinking and living that has helped me maintain a relationship with my son. Of course I wish things were different, but they’re not. He no longer asks me for money, but he does need my love and that I can give! Tonight I am grateful to have spent some time with him and will continue go pray that he finds the strength to get sober again.

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

Hello all
Trying to stay close which I am finding hard this weekend as my son moves his things out of our house after a very difficult week. He looks older and more aged, and sick because he is not taking care of himself. It’s amazingly sad to watch this disease progress as it does. So I’m doing some self care after being paralyzed with depression on the couch for 2 days. I went to the movies, went for a walk in the beautiful sunshine today and got a manicure. It was a pick me up after feeling so low. We must go on or else the disease consumes everyone in the family. God grant us all the serenity to accept what we cannot change and change what we can.I continue to pray that he finds the strength to live a life in recovery. May God help them all to do that, and keep those who have past in his loving embrace
Thoughts and prayers with all of you.
Love Jane

Teresa
Teresa
10 years ago

Dear Jane, I am so glad you are pulling yourself out of that place of dispair. When my heart is breaking over my son, it seems to take my very breath away.
God Bless, I will keep you in my prayers.
Teresa