A mom wrote to me: My daughter’s addiction was without doubt the darkest time in my life. She was not dead, but she may as well have been; the loving, beautiful, tender-hearted girl I’d raised and loved was lost to me. Thanks to the Grace of God, Al-Anon, and more than a few very wise counselors, I was able to get out of her way and wait patiently and hopefully – often fearfully – for a change. Now in our eighth year of recovery, every morning feels a little like Easter to me. It’s vital for those of us who have experienced this special kind of rebirth, even for short periods of time, to serve as a witness of hope to others who are in that desperate and dark place.
My reflection: Rebirth, that time when our addicted loved ones come back to themselves and to us, can happen. Everyday, I give thanks that Jeff came home, most importantly to himself. Everyday, I am grateful that we have him for one more day. Everyday, I pray that he continues to make good choices.
Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction’s lair is filled with stories of both victory and of deep loss. I acknowledge there are no guarantees for sobriety, but I am grateful today for my son’s health. My sons and I celebrate all those who have found their way out of the grips of addiction. It’s a journey of courage and rebirth.
I would get so nervous during the times my son was attempting recovery. I would always look at him suspiciously and make sure his eyes weren’t dilated or his breath didn’t smell of alcohol. I would use my keen interrogation techniques to ask question to calm my suspicions and/or unveil a hidden plot I was sure he was forming.
I had not educated myself on addiction nor had I come to understand recovery. So, I focused on my own fear and apprehension – not on the precious moments with a son in recovery. I missed the very essence of life, an incredible mysterious and mystical gift from God. I left it unwrapped, sitting right there in plain view.
Learn from me, don’t allow the fear of relapse or the path of recovery your addicted child chooses to detract you from each and every blessed moment of the “gift” of recovery,even it last but one day. that one day is priceless, if you choose to make it so.
In prayer for my child and you and your child.
Your message is powerful. I learn from you.
My respect always,
Thank you Pat. You help me. My son came for a visit I found myself still today running to hide pills given to me for some dental surgery. I felt so ashamed in doing that. We had a wonderful visit. He took his girlfriend for a walk and proposed to her. They re so happy and we are for them He wanted us to share in the joy. This is hopeful story , but you know we can celebrate but truth— we do it with a yes but. .at he back of our mind. I pray for being glad in our hearts whenever we can without the yes ,but,,,, xppxpxpx
What an exquisite message. Whoever your respondent was, she touched my soul with her words. “The loving, beautiful, tender-hearted girl I’d raised and loved was lost to me.” And now found. I rejoice with her.
You, have a loving, beautiful heart. (I can just tell in your writings). And, it will be loving, beautiful heart that will bring your daughter back to you.
My hope and prayers are always with you.
With all my love,
I meant that your loving heart will bring your daughter’s spirit back to you. So sorry, I didn’t make that clear. You have been on my mind a lot.
God bless you,
Dear Barbara, Your heartfelt love and concern for all of us is inspiring. You think carefully and compassionately about your responses. Please know that we treasure you and your insights. Please never stop.
Pat, When Jeff read your comment, he said, “Only someone who has lived it could write that.” Your honesty inspires him, inspires us and inspires me.
Beryl, You and Barbara have suffered what no parent should ever suffer. The fact that you’re both here, continuing to give and help and guide us, is a gift of life.
Love to you all,
Your words are so true Pat. Whenever my daughter was here we would hide things, watch every movement she made, wonder what she was up to whenever out of our sight. I wish now I had cherished those moments instead of living in suspicion.
I would like to think I will act differently the next time I see her and I am working hard to make those changes but it does take a lot of time. At times I think I am still in shock this has happened.
Hopefully I will have another chance with my daughter and hopefully I will be in a much better place so I can enjoy the person she is.
Sue, Good comment – thanks. I’ve been thinking about Jeff. Even though he’s been living a sober life for seven years, I still slip back into old patterns of being: listening to every word he utters, looking deeply into his eyes and examining his movements. He hates this and knows what I’m doing. In fact, during a phone conversation as recently as last year, I said, “You sound tired.” His answer was quick and honest, “I know what you’re trying to say. If you’re going to analyze every word out of my mouth, I’ll have to quit calling you. I’m good today and I ask you to have faith in me. If you can’t, I understand that these are the chains of my addiction, but I can’t live like this.”
Thanks, Pat, for your comments. We are all learning, together.
God, I am so glad I am not alone and human and learning and that advice here guides me so often.My son ‘s life has changed in a big way- he goes to church, sees his doctor for his depression, he is making plans wisely for a future, he is working, he is “standing” in love, he is clean. I am on my knees grateful but seems I’m afraid to let go of being afraid. Or maybe I cannot fully acknowledge God’s great gift. It is so overpowering. The gift or recovery. I know they say addicts should stay our of relationships for awhile but I prayed for an angel to come into his life and love him and see him as I did. And she did. She met him before he spent a year in jail. She stood by him. She does not drink or smoke or do drugs. This Love is helping heal him. Her family loves him and takes them to their church. Love helps. God’s is in his life.
Pat is right. A mystical power. Miraculous.
Today, chatting with him on the phone, I stayed present to the joy of his essence and soul. His soul. His lovely soul– I’m just getting to know.
I am so glad that your son found sobriety, God and love. You are elated. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling.
God bless you both. My prayers are being answered.