A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: My son is an alcoholic. My feelings of guilt, shame and helplessness for him are intensified because I, too, am a recovering addict. Even though my son was raised in an alcohol and drug-free home, addiction found him. I ache for him as his mother, but only another recovering addict knows the TERROR an active addict lives with. Sometimes I feel temporary peace that I confuse with wellness, but I live with the fear that chaos will find us. I don’t know what to do to stop our pain.
My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: How do we help our children? I don’t understand, not really, the terror, guilt or shame with which an addict lives. But my son has used the same words when describing his feelings about his addiction. He once told me, “An addict loathes himself and what he is doing to the people he loves.”
As parents, we want the pain to stop, but we are powerless against the addiction. Our children must make the choice of wellness for themselves. For parents to admit that we are powerless is humbling.
Today’s Promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I will remain humble in the face of addiction. I recognize that I am powerless to change my addicted love one: I am powerless to change anyone. But I will stay close.281