Photo Credit: Mikele Roselli-Cecconi

An Italian friend, whose brother is a recovering addict, wrote to me, “Perche ci hai insegnato ad abbracciarci senza stringerci,” which means that she and her family learned (from our book Stay Close, Stammi Vicino) how to walk with her brother and not for him; how to hug her brother but not squeeze him.

My reflection: Across the globe, addiction forces us to decide how best to help our loved one who is struggling with drugs or alcohol. I always wanted to make things better for my son, to make things easier. Often these attempts happened at the expense of my own and my family’s health. I would have sacrificed anything to stop the addiction for him. I couldn’t.

Today’s Promise to consider: It took me fourteen years to learn how to support my son without trying to take control of his recovery. Today, I will walk with my loved one, all the while recognizing and admitting that I cannot walk for him. I will give him space to direct his own program – in its victories and setbacks. I will stay close in hope, faith and prayer.


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5 years ago

Riding now to Family day with my daughter who is treatment. Impact letters in hand and I opened this in my email. We will be having a family talk and working on resetting some serious boundaries.
Tough love is hard, but sometimes is the only way.
The irony in that and that I needed this today is crazy.
No accidents!
Thank you for sharing.

Pat Nichols
5 years ago

Beat you Libby, it only took me twelve years!! Ha! What a long and emotional draining time not to mention the money! The thing is, I had to experience my own consequences due to my enabling before I was willing to seek another path. We all arrive in our time and in our own way. No blame or shame!