A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: Those of us who love our addicted children have felt pain, love, hope, and the helplessness that take over our lives. Our son is in a treatment aftercare right now and I feel hope, but the fear is always there. Even though he is now sober, we do not know how our story ends, and with the disease of addiction the story can change so quickly and dangerously. What could we have done to change our son’s fall into addiction?  What signs did we miss – or better still – could we have done anything to prevent this?

My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: This is the silver-bullet question: What could we have done to prevent the addiction? As parents, this is the question we ask over and over again. We are plagued with doubts, but nothing changes the fact that the addiction exists. Many medical folks call it a disease. My son has it. He’ll live with it for all of his life. I pray he continues to fight.

Today’s promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: There are some questions that have no answers. There are some ambiguities with which we must live. Maybe I could have done something differently to alter the course of this disease, but I’ll never know for sure. My son is addicted and I will learn how to stay close to him. I will accept that sometimes there are no answers.

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Nadine Hall
13 years ago

My daughter is addicted. I hold your hand today and each day, can you feel it? My higher power, God, has his hand squeezed with mine and I hold Him in my heart.
I don’t know how else to live each day. Even with my desire and effort to turn it all over to Him, I still have to fight to submit to letting go, over and over. I love that she says she will learn how to stay close. I must learn and relearn with each doubt….even without a doubt.

As I see the shining healthy face of my now grown daughter, beaming like a child as she tells me her achievement of EARNING her 7 SEVEN MONTH CHIP, I find I am very proud. I believe. I mean I BELIEVE IN HER!
I just have to make sure I let her siblings know how proud I am of them, as well.

13 years ago

Dear Nadine,

I feel so many things that you feel: Hope because he is good today and trust that I can get out of the way so that he can live each day with his God, his Higher Power.

I once complained to Dr. MacAfee, Jeff’s therapist, saying that I was afraid and wanted to be secure in tomorrow. He said, “Be patient with yourself. You’ve been vigilant a long time. Try to be compassionate with yourself and him.”

Seven months is seven months. Congratulations! For today, our children are good. I also agree that we have to let our other children know how proud we are of them. They live with the addiction, too. It’s a family disease.

With respect,