A mom wrote to me: Your story meant I was not alone. I loved my son even as I was terrified and, for so so long, I thought I could do something to fix him. When he was little and struggled so much, I always seemed to be able to make it better. But addiction is not like that. The hard part for me was not staying close, but staying out of the chaos. And because the chaos of this disease is crazy making for those who love a suffering child, it is so hard at times to not get sick oneself from worry and fear. Depressed. Worn down. Giving in and giving money– which could have killed him. Such a fine line at times to walk.
My reflection: I, too, thought I could heal my son, change his life, and make things better. I couldn’t.
Today’s Promise to consider: As parents, we often turn ourselves inside-out in an effort to ‘fix’ our suffering loved ones, until we realize that our help isn’t always helping. It took me fourteen years to accept that I couldn’t change my son’s destructive behavior. In time, I learned to stay close and continue to love him while I disengaged from the chaos of his addiction.4666