VOICES OF FRIENDS: Part I

Jeff and his friend Reneé

A recovering addict wrote to me: In reading the responses of the parents of addicts on your blog, I am truly moved by the love, acceptance and understanding that you have. I was not fortunate enough to have parents that were understanding or willing to stand by me through the depths of my addiction and the struggle that I underwent to find my way alone was almost insurmountable. As a friend of Jeff’s, it makes me very happy to see that he, as well as others of your respective children, have had that support. Don’t ever give up, you have no idea how much we really do need you.

My response: I feel humbled when I read this young woman’s words: Don’t ever give up, you have no idea how much we really do need you. When Jeff was in active addiction, there were many times I wanted to walk away because I was filled with anger, hurt and deep grief. I’m grateful that I learned the concept Stay Close.

Today’s Promise to consider: I will stay close to my loved ones. I know that I can’t ‘fix’ them or change the situations in their lives, but I can stand by them with my emotional support and assure them that I will never quit believing.

 

 

 

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Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Libby, this week’s meditation is a difficult one for me. As I read your post, I reflected on the concept of “staying close”. I always ask myself if I wasn’t close enough with my support when my son was alive and in addiction. The anger and hurt was so deep, I was swallowed up by it. It drained every ounce of emotion from me and my husband. I’ve come to better understand this concept, because of you and this forum. Jeff’s friend is right. They need you, we need you and I need you.

Thanks for all you do for the cause of addiction. It’s so appreciated.

My love to you and everyone,

Barbara

TRACI
TRACI
10 years ago

MY DAUGHTER HAS A COURT DATE NEXT WEEK NOT SURE IF I SHOULD GO OR NOT? SHE IS IN HALF WAY HOUSE AND THEY WILL TAKE HER SHOULD I LET HER DO THIS ALONE OR NOT? I WANT TO STAY CLOSE SO WHAT TO DO?

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

In reading this week’s blog I am reading what I need to hear today. I walked out of my son’s life on Saturday after seeing evidence that he was definitely using again and I asked him not to call me again unless it was a call asking for help getting to detox. His response”You never really cared Mom” Said in anger, it hurt, but I know it was not true. I continued to drive away. 2 days later he called my husband asking for help to get to detox. He is there tonight. He is a very heavy user of opiates and I have doubts if he can do this, but I also have hope again. While he is breathing there is hope.

Barbara, your post is one I can relate to. They make it so absolutely hard to not be angry and short with them. They steal our hopes, serenity, money and dreams. We help and it makes them worse. They push us away, they isolate, they maniipulate us to get what they need and it is chaotic. They are sick as active users and they are not who we knew them from before. And yet as we remember who they were, and see glimpses of that person at times, we want to do anything we can to get that person back. It can never be as they are not the same, and we are forever changed as well.
A former addict said to me last week, “I didn’t get well until may parents totally stopped being interested with me. Then I only had myself left and I was scared.”

There is no one right way to do this stuff. So go with what you feel is right at that point in time, watch your boundaries, and trust your gut. Don’t walk on egg shells, because we cannot make them do anything. They do what they want when they want to do it. My humble opinion. Pray when there seems no other path as God is with us through good outcomes and bad. Barbara, hug yourself tonight, and I send one from me to you. You did the best you could with extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Jane

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Jane, I will forever keep your posting from this week. It touched my very soul. I felt your hug from wherever you are and it means so much to me. Thank you.

I love you and pray that this will be the last time your son has to detox. Opiate withdrawal is agony and I will pray for him today.

Dear Traci, Jane has good advice. I had many times in court and it’s so stressful. Prayer has been my saviour many many times. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I will pray for you and your daughter.

With love and respect,
Barbara

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Jane, Barbara and Traci,

Jane, I agree with you – there are no ‘right’ answers with addiction. We can only do what we think is best. I helped Jeff for fourteen years and in the end I realized that I did more harm than good. Once, someone asked Jeff, “If your mom had quit paying for things, might your addiction have had a shorter run?” He answered, “Addicts need money and I found it in a lot of places, but my mom made it a whole lot easier.” Father Martin says that we can ‘love to addict to death.’ I was told to stop helping, but I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know how to quit, even though it was detrimental to Jeff.

Addicts say and do whatever they need to do to get what they want. Jeff also told me, “I’m going to do what I’m going to do whether you are near me or not.” He was driven, driven by the next fix and he had no regard for his family. He said, “I never even thought of you. I love you, but you weren’t in my mind. All I thought about was my next fix.”

So they berate us, say they hate us, but where is truth? With addiction, there is no truth: Addiction lives in lies, betrayal and hurt.

Barbara, you did your best. There comes a time when THEY have to choose. They have to fight for their lives and we can’t do it for them. I’m so sorry.

With love to you all,

L

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Libby, I find resolve in your statement “they have to fight for their lives and we can’t do it for them”.

I needed to hear that today. Once again, thank you for all your hard work, your honesty, and your heart.

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Barbara,

I think of you often. The pain of losing your son is beyond my comprehension and I have no adequate words of love or comfort. I am so sorry. Why does one child live and another die? I don’t know, but it makes my very soul ache.

I send you my love and prayers. Thanks for being a role model for us of strength, truth and unconditional love. You are our inspiration.

Love to you,

L