A mother wrote to me: My son is still on the revolving road to recovery. He has been in detox three times, rehab – both inpatient and outpatient, in a sober house, involved in AA with a sponsor, and presently is trying the suboxone route with individual counseling. My heart is broken, but I will find my courage. The words stagli vicino will be my mantra of hope.
My reflection: Relapse happens and happened often to my son. I learned more about relapse when my son wrote about a friend, “I know that place. He was in pain, and it was too much. He used to kill it. Then he needs to keep using because the addiction has kicked in. An addict loses all sense of free will; you’re thrown back into the space of obsession, of always needing something more. I’m sure he’s scared and confused.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Relapse is frightening for all of us – us as well as our addicted loved one. The addict knows how to live in addiction, but abstinence requires skills that are foreign to him. Today, I will keep hope alive for his return to wellness. Today, I will stay close but out of the chaos.3729
I learned it was best for our family to have a relapse plan in place. In other words, if our son should relapse what is “OUR” plan? We could not allow the fear and disappointment to bring us down. We had to stay strong for ourselves as well as our son.
I totally agree, Pat. Dr. MacAfee always recommended the same. My problem wasn’t have a plan, but my problem was following through :(. Yes, we have to stay strong for ourselves and our sons.
Needed to hear this today. My son has been struggling since 2013. Another relapse. He is in detox today and will be there a while ( if he doesn’t leave). He has to want this but I’m praying for grace. I’m tired. Try to practice good self care but the last 3 days were rough. Hospital one night. He took just about everything under the sun . Thank goodness I have my faith and alanon friends.
I, too, am grateful that you have your faith and alanon friends. Stay strong. I know how excruciating continual relapses are. I join you in prayer and hope.
Excruciating is good word. I had never seen him get worse day by day like he did this time.
I agree with what you wrote above: HE has to want this. We’ll pray together that he stays in detox and chooses health.
Praying for you.
I have a close friend who has been drugging hard for the last month or so. I was not around. I hardly noticed him when i saw him after i returned. He asked me to call him when i was away…he sobbed on the phone telling me he was dying. I sent a generic email to his monitor asking him to call. I put it in Gods hands…and told God if he calls in next 20 minutes i will talk. Well he called ( i was assured anonnimity…and i told him my friend was being extorted by an ex- coworker…(he was) and in a bad situation and i was worried for his life….Well my friend was called by his monitor and now he is to lose his license….I feel so bad. My friend will not respond to me…or talk to me. I called to save his life..i truly believe his life was in danger….Did i betray my friend ? I am so heartbroken. His fsmily has basically given up on him…i have stood by his side for over two years..trying to give him encouragement and hope…and praying so hard for him.
I will nevet forgive myself…i miss his friendship. But if he died..i would never have forgiven myself either…..sooo sad.
Nothing is easy or clear with addiction. So many times, I was never sure what to do with my son. When he was in active addiction, he hated everything I did that didn’t align with what he wanted. Addiction is confounding and baffling. It makes no sense and all roads lead to confusion.
Your thought to leave it in God’s hands is a good one. With my son, I’ve found it best to Stay Close but out of the chaos. I couldn’t save him. HE had to save himself.
Take care of yourself. Al-Anon meetings were a salvation for me, and you might give them a try.
I join you in prayer.
TY for your reply..i am new to this as I befriended this man after he sent me a message that he was Lost. I prayed for him and then started spending time with him only to be brought into the chaos.
The ride has been bitter sweet. Addiction baffles me. And it is a heavy cross for those who carry it. God Bless you for all your support for those who are affected.
It happens that way. We want to help and think we can save someone from his own demise. My experience has taught me that only the addict can choose to change his life, and my son and many addicts agree.
Addiction baffles all of us, even the addict. Pray, stay out of the chaos, and attend an Al-Anon meeting.
I am one who knows that relapse is scary and can lead to death.But I come here because this was the place I learned to stay close but stay out of the chaos , to keep loving when loving response was hard, to go deeper in prayer because sometimes that is all you can do and now I can say, I watched a son travelling towards the light who knew how loved he was and who loved us so. He was 37 when he died and it is miracle we got to have him that long. It is scary and as much as I knew this might be the outcome, I could not imagine my life without my son. I still do not really know how to live each day. I have such happy recent memories, partly because we were on his side supporting recovery, so proud of him — not scared parents fearing the worst. We learned being present with what was- was the only way. No, it was not easy. And no we were not perfection. As Pat said, we had plans in place, we did follow through as best we could. Our son struggled so– was in active recovery long enough, 4 years, for us to see his bright happy shiny hopeful side. We are so grateful. Never give up hope or give up prayer. OR love. Especially love. I promise you, if the worst happens, those memories, that love and LOVE will sustain you in the darkest hours. The pain is not lessened, but the knowledge of our love and his is such comfort. I pray for every parent of a child in active addiction, in recovery , going through relapse — and every one of our children in the grips of this awful disease.
My dearest Joy, You have suffered the worst loss possible. I am deeply, deeply sorry. Through your pain, our words give such hope and light. Your son knew he was loved and he loved you right back, with all his heart. You did everything you could to help him, to love him, to save him. As you write, this knowledge sustains you in your darkest hours. Please know that you and your family are inside my heart forever. I join you in prayer, my friend, now and always. With love and unending respect. Libby