A recovering addict wrote to me: My husband and I are both recovering addicts. After two years of sobriety, he relapsed. I don’t know which side is harder – the addict in active addiction or the loved one of that addict. Knowing Jeffrey and I have both managed to let God bring us back to the world of recovery brings me hope. I know my husband’s journey is his, and I can’t and have no right to take it from him. You never know when God’s miracle happens, but it usually happens when we get out of the way and leave it up to Him.
My thoughts: This young woman knows both sides of addiction. As hard as this must be, she also knows the hope of recovery, her own and her loved one’s. Her words touch me, “I know his journey is his, and I can’t and have no right to take it from him.” We never know when God’s miracle happens, but for me I’ve learned that it happens when I get out of the chaos and find my serenity.
Today’s Promise to consider: Both sides of any problem are difficult: There is the perspective of the one who must make the journey and the perspective of the one who watches and loves. As a mom, I know only one side, mine. I can’t take away my loved one’s pain, but I can stay close with compassion and prayer.1372
As a mom, I only know only one side of the problem as well. Although after having conversations with my son, the addict, I know that neither side has an easy journey, each side suffering an entirely different torment. What I do know for sure is that he doesn’t want to continue on the journey following the road he is currently taking, but it is his journey to take and he must determine how to follow a different path in this journey of his. As much as I would like to “give him directions to a different path” I MUST stay out of the way while staying close and loving him. This is by far, the most difficult issue I have encountered in my life!!!! Thank you Libby for your book, which I am now reading for the second time as I get so much strength from your words. Love to you and yours.
How I remember when my son was in active addiction. I couldn’t stay out of the way. I was angry and my anger came out in my words to him. He would look at me and listen, but his brain didn’t comprehend. Now I know that I should have stayed out of the way of the chaos. I live with that guilt of not doing just that. I didn’t go to Al anon but I wish I would have. I could have learned many ways to deal with the active addict and also learned how to get peace for myself. I went to Phsycologists and Therapists for myself but none of them helped me like Al anon could have.
My dear Penny, I think you could get much help by going to an Al anon meeting. You would definitely benefit from the meetings if you will give them a chance. You could be my “presence” there and come back and teach me what you’ve learned.
My prayers go out to all the mothers and fathers who live with (or have) addicted children.
“Let Go and Let God”
As children bring their broken toys, with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God, because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried, ‘how can you be so slow?’
“My child,” He said, ‘What could I do? You never did let go.’
Such a touching story. I too am a mom of an addict and thru the rehabs & relapses it was always my first instinct to try and “fix” the situation. Maybe one of my talks would help. My son has relapsed several times and this last time I had to learn that this is his journey to make. I’ve had to back away for my own self care because I know I can’t fix him, only he can do that. I remain always hopeful that he will choose the right path and continue on it because he wants it for himself. I pray for all the families that face this terrible disease of addiction and have faith that God will keep them close in his heart as well as all that are affected.
I’ve recently spent a lot of time talking with recovering addicts and most of them say they are sober today because they don’t want to go back to the consequences of their addiction. Jeff told me that in AA they say that addicts need to remember both the highs and lows of addiction. They might think, “What a great night I had in DC, but that was also the night that I was arrested and my car was impounded.” By ‘helping’ Jeff for so many years, I made it easier for him to keep the addiction.
Learning, always learning. I agree with Barbara that Al-Anon is a great resource. The folks in Al-Anon helped me find serenity. Love to all.
Your meditations and the fellowship of Alanon have (hands down) helped me stay close to my loved (ones) with compassion, prayer and hope. I thank God for this blessing.
Thoughts and prayers to all,
We make things so complicated, and we do so sometimes to stay lost in that chaos..we know the chaos..we say we want peace, but we don’t know what to do with it when it comes. I’ve learned my sobriety is a simple theory, today i keep it simple and say “Today I’m sober because I like the consequences of sobriety more than I like the consequences of using”. When addicts come to this understanding, and more imporantly, accept that this is the truth..there is hope that they can stay clean and sober just for today.
Let go and let God
live and let live
Get out of the way
Keep the focus on you
Don’t deny an addict his pain
These are the themes I hear this week and I thank everyone for sharing.
So it has been a trying weekend. After I got my cry out I did something I have not done in a long time. I let go!!!! Oh my the relief I felt. I chose to be happy and refused to let anyone deprive me of the many little joys life has to offer. What a wonderful feeling!!!
Barbara, I have not figured out how to get relief with my work yet to be able to attend an Al-Anon meeting, but I did fish out my One Day At A Time In Al-Anon book. In reading the passages for the day, lots of “stuff” came flooding back. For now I will have to be content with reading. I will however survive this and eventually come to a solution that will get me out and to an Al-Anon meeting.
Penny, Congratulations! Addiction wants to strip us of our happiness, of enjoying the daily joys in life, but we need to fight against this. The better we are for ourselves, the better we are for those we love.
I went to an Al-Anon meeting at Trinity Church in Prince Frederick last Saturday night. It was a small but powerful meeting. Think about it?
Love to you!!!!
Libby, That would be a good idea, but I am on the Eastern Shore, and that would be quite a trek. LOL
I used to want for things to get back to “normal” even though I’ve never known myself what normal is. I gave up seeing things that way. It’s hard sometimes unless you are with like minded folks. A day at a time — a moment at a time. It is good to know we are not alone. Al-anon does that, and so does this site. I continue to draw strength from this site. Thank you all. Courage —-the root of courage comes from French word for heart. So —brave hearts, all of us. Tonight I pray to Higher Power/ Healing Spirit. God/Creator for all of us journeying in recovery. Back to work after a hard summer, i’m still HOPEFUL …hold on TO hope no matter how dark the dark….see thar wee crack of light that leaks from beneath the closed door and if you cannot see that –get a flashlight– and keep it shining directly in front of you ..
Love it Hope. Thanks
Dear Hope, Thanks for the reference to Brave Hearts. I agree. We, who loved addicts, must have brave hearts for it takes courage and strength to stay close and out of the way. Without hope, all is lost.
Love to all,