941292_10151747144872869_1497866766_nA young man wrote to me, As a recovering addict, I know well that relapse happens. It took me many attempts to find sobriety. Each addict is unique in his or her own way, but for me I spent more than a decade avoiding the true problem – myself. Drugs filled the void inside me, an empty space of insecurity and anxiety (and sure a rebellious side when I was young). The road to recovery is a long one and the answer lies within the addict.

My reflection: This young man has courage: courage to face himself, courage to acknowledge his fears and courage to fight every day to live a sober life. As a parent when Jeff was in active addiction, I threatened, cajoled, pleaded and would have sold my soul for his recovery. But all my machinations were futile. My son had to find the answer inside himself, and for himself.

Today’s Promise to consider: Relapse happens. If it does, I will love my child and will remind myself that I don’t have the power to cure the addiction, fix it or make it go away. I will allow my child to find the answer inside himself.





0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
pat nichols
10 years ago

My son has relapsed numerous times and with each relapsed I looked at myself and wondered what I could have done to prevent it. I would even blame myself for the relapses.

His relapses drove me into enabling madness. An uncontrollable urge to try harder to fix him.

For example, I once spent weeks as my own private investigator; when I finally located the crack house he was living in I put together a plan to kidnap him. The planned failed of course. Don’t ever try something like this until you talk to me first. 🙂

My son became addicted I became addicted to my son!

Working the steps for myself and trusting God allowed me to do exactly what Libby said, ‘I will allow my child to find the answer inside himself.”

Every morning my wife and I pray for our child…………we also pray for your child.

Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Pat, I love what you write, “His relapses drove me into enabling madness.” I did the same thing – beating myself up thinking of all the ways I might have been able to avoid the relapses. My head spiraled into, “What if I had given him more money?” “What if I had allowed him to come home,” and the list went on.

In the end, I stayed close but out of his chaos. I quit giving money and I quit taking responsibility for his illness. I prayed and surrendered.

I join you and your wife in praying for all our children.

10 years ago

I am always surprised how easy it is to get caught up in the chaos of this disease. I think I have finally got things together and have accepted what I need to do and bam its back again.

The last time I saw my daughter I quickly moved into rescue mode even though I said over and over I wouldn’t do it. I was so sure this was the time she would make it, she was ready. I was wrong again and left shattered and depressed.

This has been such a long journey and I think finally with this last relapse I have come to realize that I need to “stay close” as you say yet remove myself from the chaos or it will kill me.

I pray each day that she finds the strength to make a change and come back to us.