A mom wrote to me: My son and I went to an AA meeting together, and I was delighted and proud that he allowed me to accompany him. His recovery is so important to me (maybe even more important to me than to him?), and I know he has relapsed several times. He’s not honest enough to tell me. I wish he were. I just sense that he has tripped along the way – just a feeling, that mother feeling.

My reflection: At the beginning of my son’s recovery, I wish I had understood more clearly that relapse happens and can happen often. I thought that when my son left treatment he was healed. Wrong. It was at those times that he needed more support than ever – and he needed honesty. Relapse isn’t about ‘catching’ the addict, but it is about everyone learning how to stay centered through life’s daily struggles.

Today’s Promise to consider: If I have the feeling my son has slipped, I pray that I’ll have the fortitude to talk compassionately with him as he battles for his life, again. Relapse is not moral failure; my son is an addict. Relapse, if handled well, can be one step closer to full recovery.



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I am the Mother of someone who suffers from substance use disorder. I myself, attend NarAnon, a 12 Step Meeting for family and friends of addicts. In the NarAnon program you too work a 12 Step Program. NarAnon arms you with tools to respond in a more loving healthy way to your addict. Some of these tools come directly from NarAnon literature and a vast amount of knowledge is gleaned from other folks attending the group meetings. Attendees share their experience, strength and hope with each other. The tools of NarAnon coupled with the wealth of information shared has definitely… Read more »