A mother writes: I have three sons. The oldest is an addict, and the younger brothers don’t want anything to do with him. Sometimes it’s more than I can bear. Our family is on the verge of imploding as a result of the addiction. When addiction is present, everybody is out of control, everybody lives a joyless life and everyone is lost. I know my son must help himself, but while I wait and watch, I must say – I am in despair.
My reflection: Despair, out of control, lost: all words that describe a family dealing with addiction. Brother against brother, father against mother and everyone against the addiction as we are tossed into a ring of fire. What to do? Al-Anon and other family groups help us to know that we are not alone.
Today’s Promise to consider: I admit that I am powerless over this disease, but I also know that every member of my family is affected – and I must to be sensitive to their needs and fears. I will do my best to provide a strong role model for my family, I will learn about addiction, I will keep strong boundaries and communicate with honesty. Together we will find our way. I will stay close.2672
I live this way every day . . . It is so sad. I just wish I could make him want to get help, God knows I try. Then when I finally tell myself no more, I look at him, he’s my son, my baby . . . I cant give up
I’m there to! I also won’t ever turn loose!She is my daughter! She is My Baby!
My AS..feeling sad today..trying to stay strong..blocked calls from my son in prison..he is struggling..but trying to protect him..myself and family finances! Still feeling manipulated while he’s incarcerated..praying he’ll see the light!!
Here are my top four suggestions for parent(s) to reestablished their own peace and serenity.
1. Trust “fully” in the God of your understanding.
2. Educate yourself “fully” on the disease of addiction.
3. Work the 12 steps with a sponsor
4. Parent(s) works closely and continually with a alcohol/drug counselor.
I have not talk to one parent(s) who did these four suggestions who told me they didn’t work.
Just my personal experience.
My son has been an addict way to long and I thought surely that this “Ring of Fire” would have surely been destroyed in his life long ago. He is my baby and I love him so much and just want him to have a normal life. I dream of what his life could have been if only this demon had not captured him. What did I do wrong is always in the back of my mind. I am not glad that others are going through this but it is very helpful to be in a place that others know what you are facing.
I reiterate Pat’s suggestions
I have had addiction in my family , through my oldest son, for over ten years. It has been a rough road. The road was more bearable when I put tools in my toolbox, through Al Anon, education about addiction through good resources like Hazelden, Caron Foundation, AA etc. and good supports in place for myself through professional help.
It took work, prayer, boundaries, sometimes tough love, detachment and compassion amongst much more. It took time.
Read Libby’s book over and over again. Start working the Al Anon program
You will help yourself to recovery
Susie, it sounds like you are staying strong and I feel like I need to do the same.
My son is also incarcerated and I also feel manipulated, but at the same time compassion for what he is going through. I don’t want to worry about him or rescue him so I am thinking of asking him not to write to me anymore. (He has already lost his phone privileges.) It feels wrong to do that to my own son who has no freedom or contact with the world, but it feels good to be outside his Ring of Fire.
I don’t know what to do, but I do know that Pat’s suggestions make sense so I will start there.