A mom wrote to me, As I type this, our son just started methadone treatment, and our daughter is in a 28-day treatment program after being released from detox. I have to admit that I think it’s unfair that both our children are drug addicts, but I never lose faith. I keep praying for them to get well. It has been a nightmare of epic proportions and my husband and I are so very tired of living all that comes with dealing with addicted children. We just want them to get better and be able to lead healthy and productive lives.
My reflection: This mom is correct that addiction is a nightmare of epic proportions. I remember well the depression, the ache, and the suffering that our family endured during Jeff’s illness. I remember praying to find the silver bullet that would cure my son and stop the addiction. Unfortunately, there isn’t one.
Today’s Promise to consider: We all need someone to believe in us. Living in the solution takes monumental faith, courage, and determination from us and our suffering loved ones. While they try to find their way home to themselves, they need to lean on someone else’s strength. Positivity is a super power – one we can transmit. My son once asked me, “Never quit believing, OK, Mom?” I answered, “I won’t quit believing. Never.”
Please let’s begin referring to our children as something other than “Addicts”. They are so much more than their addiction. If we are to truly believe them and lead with positivity, let’s begin by referring to them differently. “A loved one with substance use disorder”; “my child the musician who also suffers from addiction”; “my beautiful, creative daughter receiving treatment for her illness.” Respectfully submitted, a mom who lost her son in February to the disease of addiction. #hisnameisJon
Lori you put in words what I have been thinking for months ,I’m glad I’m not alone. My husband overdosed July 1st of last year (we were only married 6 months) and at his funeral I remember getting so angry that everyone kept repeating he was an addict ,he was an addict , but …
He was so much more than his disease. He was my soulmate , a son, a brother, an uncle. Funny , kind, generous , brave … so much more than the thing that seemed to run his life.
Dear Brittney, I’m deeply sorry that you lost your precious husband – funny, kind, generous, and brave. I honor with you: HIS NAME IS BRIAN.
My love and prayers.
I am so so so so very sorry for your loss. I hold you in my heart. I lost my son three years last week. He was in active recovery. His body gave out after years of damage. Please take care of you. I was in 2 years of trauma and shock and still fragile and tears shed so easily. Crying takes such energy. I do have more peace and acceptance of the unfolding of his life. But I work hard at that.Our sons have travelled on wards, are never ever far away. That is my belief system, mightn’t be yours.But it holds me. I say he is my son who passed ,who struggled all his life. Which is true. A son who struggled. With mental illness and addiction. With being in a world he never belonged in. Prayers for you Lori and and for Jon tonight. I will light candles. The pain will get softer, I promise. My mother who lost a son, my brother, told me that and she was right. Softer. Sadness there but not so piercing. There are days I am so deeply grateful for all he taught me and the deep love I received and still have. Jon still IS your son. Is. Always IS. Hugs from a mother who knows how dark the pit of grief.
Dear Lori, Your suffering is the most painful of all. You lost your son, and I’m deeply sorry. Today and everyday, I’ll remember HIS NAME IS JON.
My love to you.
Once I educated myself in the disease and worked the 12 steps with a sponsor I began to understand what my son was dealing with. I learned to maintain my boundaries while making sure he knew he was loved, forgiven and welcomed back in the family once he was able to accept long term recovery.
Thanks, Pat, for sharing your wisdom. Your son came home to himself and your family. God bless him, and you.
I have a vivid memory of my son sitting on the red couch in our living room. It was a few years ago during a chaotic time and my words were probably angry and frustrated. He quietly said “I’m not an addict…I’m Joseph.” I’m so sorry for your loss and grief. I’m truly with you in spirit today.
Dear Sue, Many times, I showed both anger and frustration with my son. After a 14-year heroin addiction, I was worn out. In time and with education, I became much more compassionate. It was then, with love, that my son found his way home.
God bless you and Joseph. I join you in prayer for all those who are suffering.
They are loved ones who struggle with disease of addiction or mental health issues or substance abuse problems, I agree labels like addict are hurtful coming from others but when my son said I am addicted …. he started on recovery. But always,they are ones we love. Always, love.
Dearest Joy, Your constant message is love, love, love. Thank you for keeping love in the forefront of every discussion. I talked with my son about the label of ‘addict,’ and he said very much what you wrote. He said, “When I finally admitted that I was an addict, I started recovering. I think that’s why in AA and NA meetings, we introduce ourselves as alcoholic or addict. The word has a negative connotation to people outside of the program, no doubt, but it’s a reminder to those of us on the inside that we need to do the work of sobriety every day, no matter how much clean time we have.”