NEVER QUIT BELIEVING

A mom wrote to me: I remember the words Jeff told to you, “Never quit believing Mom…….”  These words are what made me then and will again stay close to my son. I find peace in continuing to believe, and I’ll draw on personal strength and resolve. I’ll reach out to my support system because isolation is the enemy. 

My reaction: I, too, remember these words, and they became a guidepost for me. I wrote, “My son…was a chameleon, but I felt strongly that he would never lose the inner flame of his humanity. Maybe this was just a mother’s wishful thinking, but I held to this belief – and never quit believing. With all this said, I wondered if he would do the work necessary to place himself in sobriety and come home to his one, true self.” In the end, he did.

Today’s Promise to consider: When life gets too hard, too tough, and when the next step seems too heavy, I won’t give up. I’ll find my strength, reach out my hand to a brother or sister, trust God and keep believing.

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Clara Maggio
Clara Maggio
10 years ago

My son Marino has been a heroin addict for the past 7 years, and it has been a living nightmare. What got me through it is your book “Stay Close”, it helped me to understand & how to stay close & not enable. Next month he enters “Comunita Cenacolo” in St Augustine Florida the school of life.

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dear Clara,

Thanks for reaching out here. Comunita Cenacolo is a GREAT place!!!! I’m sorry for your pain and suffering, but happy for you all that Marino has chosen recovery. I pray for serenity. My love to you.

Libby

Hope
Hope
10 years ago

Llibby! A perfect way to start my day.

Believe.

Last week, I found a rock in my garden with Believe etched into it. I’d placed it there years ago. It was lost among the flowers and weeds. The tangled bits.

I took the rock out and placed it on the porch where my son goes out to have a cigarette.

Not too subtle mamma. Not that i’m still trying to rescue. (Ahem)

Here at what we are jokingly calling the Fort Knox Rehab Centre we call our home I’m trying to be hands off and let go,

Believe while letting him take his recovery in his own hands. (He is 31. It has been 16 years.)

He’s “considering” stopping. It’s been a month of two relapses and hard going. We asked him to leave. I was never ever in my life prepared to watch withdrawal and cannot not have him die beneath my roof.

This site has been a godsend and all who come here are my healers and teachers and spirit lifters.

I believe in the energy of this community.
I believe in the healing energy of a loving creator who is a mystery.

I do not know where my son will travel. He;s asked for another chance. We said yes.

Yesterday, he went to a meeting. I drove him. Afterwards we went shopping at a funky second hand store. He bought superhero costumes for his son. On the drive back, he talked about a turning point in his life when he gave up on himself. It was an honest sharing. He wasn’t blaming. It was hard just to listen — I wanted to explain, defend ,justify Tell him how we felt during that period of time. How it was for us. I shut up. .

I believe every addict trying to recover is a superhero.
Addicition the disease is THE VILLAiN.

I believe process of recovery for all of us is spriitual warfare and everyone reading this is a fighter.

Not a victim of a disease. Children of God, holding hands in one hell of a situation. The worst of nightmares for many of us.

We get better when we share.

I believe in angels sent who can help my child more than I can. His group leader. His doctor. Like the man up the road who keeps giving him jobs. Keeps him busy. Who knows without being told.

I still believe in Hope eternal.

And sparkly things like sunshine.

And laughter if we can find it -stay open to it— in the midst of our sorrows and challenges. It’s there. A miracle in itself.

I’m going to repeat “believe” to myself in Austin Powers voice when he says”behave.” It makes me laugh and liighten the load. Hope that’s okay Libby!

Love to you and gratitude.

Less is more, I know. Soon , HOPEFULLY — I’ll get there. For now, ,thank you for this space and forum and chance to vent .

Clara Maggio
Clara Maggio
10 years ago

Thank you Libby
It was through your guidance in “Stay Close” that enabled me to get through each day. I bought several copies of your book and have passed them along to some of my friends who are also struggling to understand their child’s addiction.
You truly are an inspiration

Teresa
Teresa
10 years ago

These weekly posts are such a gift. I, too, will always keep believing because of Jeff’s words.

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dear Hope,

Thanks for the message of hope and faith. So many thoughts ran through my head as I read your message.

– Dr. MacAfee says, “Addicts are saints in the making.” I’m sure he’s right. Anyone who has the strength to fight the demon of addiction has the spiritual fortitude to help others, to be a saint.

– A while ago, I started to conduct some informal qualitative research by asking recovering addicts, “What got you clean? What keeps you clean?” The resounding answer was, “The consequences of my addiction got too heavy. I couldn’t continue living that life, and I can’t go back to the consequences. It’s the consequences that got me clean and keep me clean.”

– The Big Book of AA says, “Recovery can only be achieved through rigorous honesty.” Your son was honest with you and this is the beginning.

– Dr. MacAfee also says, “A person who is suffering only wants to be heard.” He continued by saying that Jeff and Jeremy need me to hear their pain, their words. I don’t need to say a word (or as you did, you ‘shut up.’) I’ve done a lot of ‘shutting up,’ and I’ve learned that the more I listen, the more they talk. I think they talk to hear themselves. In fact, I had a long conversation with Jeff yesterday and listened for a long time. At the end, he said, “Thanks for listening, Mom. I really didn’t want advice and I’m glad you didn’t give it. I needed to work it out for myself, out loud with you. Really I already know what you think.”

My love to you. Thanks for sharing,

L

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dear Clara and Teresa,

Thanks for being here, for trusting us with your feelings and for holding our hands in hope.

Love to you,

L

Clara Maggio
Clara Maggio
10 years ago

Actually Libby all the thanks goes out to you for helping each & everyone of us by sharing your life through your book. I don’t think you realize just how many hearts you have touched, how many lives you saved…You helped me to understand Marino’s addiction, how to live through it without losing myself, how to love him without enabling but most of all your words showed me how to love my son through the darkest moments….So I thank you for lighting the path when there was only darkness <3

Hope
Hope
10 years ago

Clara thank you for expressing the gratitude for Libby I feel in my heart. You said it so perfectly. Gives me hope I can live through this without losing myself — right now the pain of loving him but watching where he is and worse– where he is headed- is unbearable. I continue to pray for him and all children and parents who know the pain of the disease. S

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Clara,

You are so right about Libby. She and the forum she created, has changed my life in many ways. Her courage and humility is so real and I appreciate her honesty.

Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Hope,

I feel your pain. I know how unbearable it is. Try to keep your spirits up and your mind and body busy. It may help ease some of the pain.

You and your son are my prayers every day.

Love to you,
Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Libby,

Even though addiction took my son from me, I never stopped believing in him. I had to believe that one day, maybe, he may stop using forever or I would have perished.

I appreciate this week’s meditation – Never stop believing. For, if we quit believing, we quit living the life all of us deserve – a good and healthy life.

Thank you for being here for all of us.

I love you.

Barbara

Katherine
Katherine
10 years ago

Dear Libby,

I too recommend your book to friends, family and others I meet with addicts in their family along with this site. It has helped me cope with my son’s addiction on those days where my believing has not come to a stop but needs to be refueled. You have done that and I can not thank you enough along with all those who comment here. I am here often, but it is hard for me to comment, the words don’t flow so well for me, but I can relate to much of what is said here. I like where you mentioned you have questioned recovering addicts about what it took for them to choose to get clean, I so like to hear those answers. I have asked that to some as well and them telling me in similar words about the consequences. It helps to hear this again–with my son homeless now and still active with his addiction and all the ugly that is attached to that. He is getting more tired of it all and is thinking about rehab again and taking care of his legal stuff—but it is like he is rocking back and forth thinking it is easier to stay like he is than to choose sobriety and facing legal matters.

Thank you again Libby, you are very helpful and kind.
Katherine

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Katherine,

I will pray that your son is (finally) tired of being sick and homeless and will search out the help he so desperately needs.

I have felt the pain you are in, and the helplessness you must feel, as a mother. I hope you find some comfort here.

With deep respect,
Barbara

Clara Maggio
Clara Maggio
10 years ago

Barbara & Hope
Thank you for your kind words, thoughts & prayers. It’s reading these posts that make me realize that I am not in this alone & it makes my heart ache when ever anyone loses a child to addiction. There is no real help for our children, I blame the system for putting them back out on the streets only to use again. Marino has been in & out of rehabs more times than I can count over the past 7 years and has just now agreed to long term treatment.
My thoughts & love with are with you…
Madge

Katherine
Katherine
10 years ago

Dear Barbara,

I find much comfort here with your words to me Barbara, and the comfort you have given to others. I am so sorry for the loss of your son, my heart goes out to you.

With much appreciation and peace be with you,
Kat

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear All,

We, together, are strong. We hold hands and believe and hope. Addiction wants to isolate us, but recovery needs the light of day.

Words come more easily to some of us than others, but our feelings are what matter. Writing gives our feelings a voice. Thanks for trusting us with your precious gifts of wisdom birthed from pain.

Barbara, you bring so much strength to us. I’m glad you’re here. You make us better.

Love to you,

L

penny
penny
10 years ago

This goes out to all of you I too am a mother of a heroin addict. We have been at this since 2004. Many times I have feared for my son’s life. This weekend was the first weekend in about 2 years that he has been clean and I thank God for that. Reading the comments above have made me realize I am not in this alone and I now have a place where I can go for shelter and encouragement. Thanks to you all and Libby thank you so much for your book.

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Dearest Penny,

Welcome and thanks for trusting us with your comments. You are not alone, and we are here for you. We have become a community of hope and compassion. We don’t have answers, but we do know the trauma of addiction and the hope of recovery.

Love to you,

Libby

Hope
Hope
10 years ago

Barbara, thank you so much for your prayers. I feel them. Penny, I am glad you found us here — a Godsend to so many of us. Hugs. Hope youdo one fun thing today. xo B

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Penny,

I too, am glad you found Libby’s forum. It’s a place where we can share our emotions, experiences, etc., and not ever be judged. I’ve learned so much from each and every parent here, who has lived through the chaos of addiction. I pray that your son will find his way out of it.

Sincerely and respectfully,
Barbara

penny
penny
10 years ago

Believing is getting more and more difficult. With each relapse and lie it gets more difficult. It seems as though one weekend in 2 years is all we are going to get for now. His birthday is Saturday, his daughter’s 2nd birthday is Monday, it is going to be very to pretend that things are ok because they are not. I am angry, hurt, disgusted and feel completely hopeless. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Why does he keep doing this to himself and to those who love him??? Why???He has the tools and contacts to help himself. Why in the world will he not do it??? Dear Lord please help me!!!

penny
penny
10 years ago

I know I am rambling here, but I am terrified! I am so scared my son is going to die and I can’t stop it! Sorry..I will quit now.

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Penny,

You are not alone in these feelings of fear, disgust, betrayal, hurt and anger. Addiction does this and addiction gloats over us when we collapse into all the craziness.

Jeff and I made this video for the Partnership for DrugFree America. You might find some comfort especially in his words. He said that things changed for him when, “my mother became suspiciously calm.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te-SqWuAZjA&feature=plcp

Love to you,

L

Penny
Penny
10 years ago

Dear Libby,
I watched the video and as usual you were so right. Jeff’s words did give me great comfort. I was just a little crazy the other day and didn’t know where else to go to express those feelings. The first place I thought about was your blog. I am just so grateful that I found it. Thank you so much Libby. Love to you all

Clara Maggio
Clara Maggio
10 years ago

Hope, I continually come back here to re-read your post from August 2nd…..
Your words, your strength, your wisdom & your love give me much comfort

Libby Cataldi
Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Clara, Your words bring me great joy. This is why we are all here — to help each other, to offer comfort and hope!! We are all learning together and reaching out a hand for one another. Love you!!!