A recovering addict with fourteen years sobriety wrote to me: As an addict, I know that I had to reach a point where I made the decision that I could not go back to drugs. Sure there were times of temptation during those first few years, but sobriety is a decision only I could make can make.
Dear parents, as helpless and guilty as you might feel, it is the addict’s choice to use again. It is not because he or she doesn’t love you or because you have or haven’t done something. Don’t beat yourselves up! You are not alone and there IS hope!
My reaction: Thanks to this young woman, who gives voice to the addict’s side of the story. For me, I only knew my mother’s side until I really listened to what Jeff had to say. This young woman helps me to understand. She went on to write, I last saw Jeff in DC around Christmas of 1997. I could tell he was “having fun” but I had no clue just how “deep” he had gotten. Of course, I didn’t realize just how “deep” I had gotten into drugs, either. I guess no addict really does until she hits rock bottom!
Today’s Promise to consider: I have to admit that I am powerless to change other people. I have to admit that I have no control over other people’s actions, even my own children. What I can and will do is pray, teach, provide a strong role model and stay close.1346
This is a good topic as our parent information/support group just finish two new parent videos. These videos give great insight into what parents deal with but one video included the parents daughter (in recovery). She has some wonderful suggestion for parents.
I also think these videos are a great way to allow our extended family and friends to understand what we are dealing with. The parents speak about how hurtful it was to have family and friends “judge” them.
In prayer for all who suffer from this disease.
Thanks, Pat, for offering resources and support. I join you in prayer for all who suffer from this disease and all of us who love them.
Thank you Pat for the video resources. They will be good to share. It’s always good to hear the experience and advice from those in recovery. Thank you to the young woman who wrote.
Stay Close but stay out of the chaos of addiction. Every day, I understand a little bit more what that means and inch along figuring out how to do that. I realized I am grateful for many many things in my son. I am focusing onthe postives as much as I can.
. Thank you Libby and all. The resource is great!
No dope Hope
Prayers for us all.
The voices in recovery are so important for all of us. These voices hold the secrets to addiction.
I am so thankful to have heard Jeff’s voice, and continue to be grateful for Libby’s hard work and her compassionate voice.
Love to all,
Thank you for sharing the video. I saw this before, but each and every time I view it, I learn something.
Thank you, Ms. Libby 🙂 I am hoping that Jeff’s continued recovery along with mine and many others can provide hope to the parents who are battling the darkness and heartache right now.
You are such a Blessing to create this blog and sources of encouragement! Love to you!!!
***Parents – Keep praying for and loving your children… Even if it is from afar. As hard as it is…sometimes saying “NO” is the best way to show your children how much you love them.
In the midst of the turmoil that addiction brings – they WON’T understand it. All they care about is getting high. But it is the BEST thing you can do!!
I can liken it to my 5 year old son. If he asked me to play with his father’s guns or matches – OBVIOUSLY – I would tell him “NO!” But I know it doesn’t seem that clearcut when your teen/adult child is crying or begging for money for their next fix (or “food” or “rent” or whatever the excuse)…. but you need to say “NO”. You aren’t saying “NO” to loving THEM…you are saying “NO” to their addiction. You are protecting them and loving them! That was one of the best things my grandmother ever did for me. She told me “No”. And I’m the apple of her eye. Reading “STAY CLOSE”, I think that was the some of the best things Libby did… was to say “NO” to Jeff’s requests….
Love IS hard!!! 🙂
Tiffany, Thank you so much for your comments. I have found that I get so much strength when I hear a recovering addict giving advice to parents. Parenting is a very difficult job in and of itself, but when you add addiction to the mix, it becomes almost impossible. I have problems determining fact from fiction when it comes to my son, but when it comes from someone like you it suddenly becomes clear. Again, thank you Tiffany and I will pray for your continued recovery.
Dear Penny, Congrats on your son’s five days. I talked with Jeff this morning, and he said, “Do you know what an accomplishment this is? Five days to an addict are an eternity. I remember when I was sober for 24 hours and thinking “Wow, I made 24 hours.” Five days are BIG.”
Tiffany, You’re correct that saying ‘no’ to Jeff was critical, and I learned how to say ‘no’ in a loving way. This was an important part for me. I learned in Italy to ‘Stay Close,’ meaning to say, “Jeff, I love you and I’m always here for you. I’m your mother for always. But I won’t and can’t give you money. I won’t give you my credit card or anything negotiable. This isn’t about money; this is about you fighting your fight. Fight, my son. Fight.” Tiffany, as you said, you were the apple of your grandmother’s eye even when she said no. It’s all about how we say ‘no.’
Love to all,