SIXTEEN YEARS LATER: WHERE THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE

photo-3_2 2A mom wrote: I am an ever-recovering mother of a recovering, healing addict. After sixteen years of using, tomorrow is my son’s one-year anniversary. Take heart, take heart. Never give up hope.

My reflection: There were many times I wanted to give up hope that Jeff would ever be well. I felt that if I could just cut his addiction out of my life that the suffocating agony would end. The pain of hoping that Jeff would turn his life around was just too excruciating. It took me years to realize that I had no control over the addiction and that chasing him around was folly. But I could never quit praying, believing and hoping that one day Jeff would return to himself and to us. And fourteen years later, he did.

Today’s Promise to consider: Stories of recovery are important whether our loved one is in active addiction or not. Jeff once asked me to never quit believing and I didn’t. For today, we’ll find the courage to continue to believe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2220
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Beryl Singleton Bissell

Thank you for these lovely meditations, Libby. I just rediscovered you, having read your book several years ago. My daughter had recently died and I was smiting my breast that I’d been unable to save her . . . I’d never given up hope but had taken a tough love stance and wondered whether it had forced her to make choices she’d not have had to make had I been less determined to let her hit bottom. This is so hard to acknowledge. She was shot the night she was going to return home to us. I saw her for the last time on 9/11/2001. It was a beautiful visit, filled with forgiveness and hope. She left to gather her things and never made it back.

pat nichols
pat nichols
8 years ago

Welcome to Libby’s blog Beryl. So very sorry for your loss.

Throughout my twenty-tow year battle with my son’s addiction I routinely gave up hope but hope would always return. In fact, I just met with Him this morning!

On April 20th, Easter, my son will celebrate one year being clean. This will be his first time to make it one full year. Yes, I am hopeful but I also have no expectations. If he relapses I will be sad for him but it will not defeat me, as it once did.

I have found that recovery for myself is very difficult. It requires such hard work on a daily basis but it is worth it.

I pray daily for everyone’s child and for their family, may we all find the peace and serenity we so richly deserve.

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Beryl,

So, so sorry for your loss. I also lost my son.

How wonderful that you had a lovely visit of forgiveness and hope, with your daughter before her death. I was not so fortunate, but I have letters and other communication that is very precious to me.

Welcome to Libby’s blog.

Dear Pat,

Congratulations to you and your son on his one year anniversary of sobriety. That is awesome!

May you all have a blessed Easter.

Thank you Libby, for another encouraging meditation. May we never ever give up hope.

All my love,
Barbara

Susan
Susan
8 years ago

I will be forever thankful that I found this site nearly two years ago…

May 1st, my son, Michael will celebrate 11 months clean. In June, we will celebrate his 12 months in recovery and his 28th birthday. It is truly a miracle that my son is alive… And now, living a good life.

2 years ago, on the eve of Michael’s 26th birthday, I did not know where he was or how he was and I was scared and alone… I came here, it helped. It helped that night and many times since. Thank you Libby… Thank you all.

Today my son’s life is amazing. He is lucky to be alive and he is grateful. Grateful and very happy… And, as he states, “strong in his recovery”. Michael’s actions, in his recovery, speak even more clearly than his words. I never could have imagined how different life could be, one year later. I am grateful, for so many things.

Along the way, and sometimes, in crazy-desperate ways, I found my own way to ‘Stay Close’ to Michael… Those two simple words alone meant ‘everything’ at times. Those two, and two more… “Stay Hopeful”. At times, when I felt like I could barely breath, I would come here, and be reminded to stay close and to stay hopeful. I was reminded to breathe. I was reminded that “Where there is life, there is hope.”

I can not imagine the pain of losing a child. Along the way, I nearly lost my child many times over. Michael and I are the lucky ones. My heart breaks for you, Barbara, your strength amazes me. My heart breaks for you too, Beryl. My son’s father was killed by an addict, 7 years ago. The pain will never go away.

Again, Thank YOU, ‘All’ for being here.

Susan

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

Hello Pat, Barabara, Beryl and Susan
My hope has waxed and waned over the years. In the beginning I hung on to hope like crazy and prayed for the outcome I wanted. Then after he relapsed many times and then overdosed badly, I felt afraid to hope, because the pain was too great when my hope seemed to get dashed. What I’ve learned is that hope is for me too and my recovery. I have hope that I can go on living in spite of this complex, horrible disease. I have hope that my son can recover. But he might not recover in the sense that I feel is recovery, he is not using, but on methadone replacement, and not in a 12 step. I don’t have the expectations anymore. Today he is better than he was in some respects but not better than he was in others like before this disease took hold. I am better and I try to keep the focus on me and what I can control. I pray for more strength and understanding of what my part in all of this is. How can I be more of a support without being an enabler. How can I encourage him to continue making progress when everything is such a struggle for him.
I do stay close in Libby’s terms. I do have some hope, although, I must say not as much as I used to have. This disease has put him in such a hole, it’s hard to dig out. But he is alive, and a loving God is in charge of him. I will place him in God’s care, and pray . As I pray for him, I pray for all of you too who are affected by this. God bless
Happy Easter to all who celebrate
Jane

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

Beryl
I am so very sorry for your loss.

Libby, reading your reflection struck a note with me this week. You say that “chasing him around was foley”.

The past number of weeks I have been trying to battle the desire to track my daughter down in an attempt to do, I’m not sure exactly what, but find her anyway.
Each day I go on facebook looking for any sign of her and I have contemplated contacting some of the names that appear in her friend list and ask if they know where she is.
I am proud to say that each day I look but realize before I post that this would be futile. I must let her come to terms with her addiction.

I too need to free myself of this addictive behavior before it drives me crazy and start living my life but it is so hard to do. Sometimes I am in control but other times this crazy me comes back and usually without warning. These behaviors truly take work.

I like what you said Jane about hanging on to hope and praying for the outcome you wanted. Letting go of those expectations we have for our loved one just does not seem natural but hanging on to them has been what’s let me down the most.

Pat, Congrats to you and your son on one year. These accomplishments do give me hope.

Sue

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Sue,

I read and re-read your posting. I can feel the desperation in your voice, to find your daughter. I was there once, and it will only destroy you, destroy your spirit.

I stopped looking and investigating where my son might have been. I knew that someday I would get that call. That call of him overdosing. And, I did get that call.

I put myself in a very bad place because of that phone call. I blamed myself, I constantly asked myself, what could I have done, could I have done anything to stop this? I prayed and prayed. The truth is/was, there was nothing I could have done to stop it. The truth was unbearable to bear, but isn’t it always?

I just want you to know that I understand how you feel. But, try not to think about your daughter 24/7. It will surely kill you. Pray that her guardian angel will bring her back to you and out of the chaos of drugs.

God bless you. You and your daughter are in my prayers.

Barbara

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

Thanks Barbara

It is so good to come here and express feelings that others can truly understand.

So often I question myself and worry that I have not done enough. Worry that she thinks I don’t care enough to look for her. I know deep down inside that this is not true but every once and a while I fall back into those pangs of guilt. I must stop.
All the words of wisdom and experiences posted here help me realize that I am not alone in how I feel. It gives me strength in times of doubt to carry on and work at my own health and well being without that guilt.

Thanks to everyone for being here to listen.

Sue

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Sue,

Guilt feelings are the hardest thing to overcome. Most of us put those guilt feelings on ourselves. I felt so guilty, so many times. I finally prayed and overcame them. It was the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do for myself. It’s not that you don’t love your daughter, you love her enough to allow her to feel her own feelings, guilt, drugs, etc., until she learns that drugs will only make her feelings worse. She will have to learn that when she is in a drug free mind of sobriety, will she realize that it’s all a mistake and an addiction.

I wish her and you love. I pray that God will help your daughter change her way of thinking, change her life from drugs to sobriety, where she can’t think clearly and move on with her life.

God Bless you. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

All my love,
Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Jeff,

I forgot to congratulate you on 16 years of sobriety! Congratulations my friend!

I love the picture in this week’s meditation. It reminds me of the boat that I was on when I visited my sister last year. It looks like the same boat we were on in Pittsburgh, Pa. How cool! I enjoyed it so much!

Thank you for the picture. You are such a handsome young man!

Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Sue,

Always remember, it’s NOT your fault. As Libby has always said, stay close, but out of the chaos.

Such good advice o live by!

Thank you Libby!

All my love to you and Jeff,
Barbara

JOY
JOY
8 years ago

I come here and weep with you in your losses and celebrate weeping with joy of stories of recovery and rebirth and pray for you in the long dark nights of wondering where our children are and if tomorrow they will be alive.

I cannot believe how much “space” has opened up in my own life in my son’s recovery. Space to reflect.I pray grateful prayers and still need this community. Last week he visited and I’d been to the dental surgeon for some repair work and had three pills to take after the apt. I found myself running to hide them before he came. I was so ashamed at myself – and glad he never knew – -am sure it would have hurt him but he is on parole and I wonder sometimes—yes, I’m afraid of what comes after. There you have it. Fear. It creeps in sideways like the ugly old enemy it is. Old habits ARE hard to break for everyone. Trust does not grow instantly back. We do our best. It is all we can do. I take heart, take heart. I am an ever-recovering mother of a recovering, healing addict. I will never give up hope. Or praying. And will never stop coming here. Love to you all.