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.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

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 made my journey in this arena healthier, and has taught me about the responsibilities that are truly mine. It has also taught me that the only person I can control is me, period. Early in my journey with this disease, another attendee shared in a meeting “she did not believe we should require of a loved one something that we were not willing to do ourselves”, she was referring to attending meetings and working a program designed especially for the addicts loved ones. That meeting share has never left me. Over the years, I too have visited 12 Step Meetings with my loved one from time to time.
I have found the most beneficial meetings for a friend or loved one of an addict are the Speaker Meetings that Narcotics Anonymous and many fellowships hold. Speaker Meetings are Open to the public, and as important, the speakers tell their story of Recovery, so the outcome for those in attendance, is the sharing of the message of HOPE heard in their story shared. I have attended many other open meetings, but I feel my presence might hinder the vital sharing an addict might have laying heavily on there their heart, so I try to limit my attendance to Speaker Meetings. Thank you for your love and dedication to your son and his continued recovery, I wish you both well.