A mother wrote: When we learned seven months ago that our beautiful, nineteen year-old son was addicted to heroin, I remember praying and searching for other parents who would truly understand. All I really wanted was to talk with another parent – especially a mother – who could really understand the brokenness in that special bond between a son and mother. Al-Anon meetings helped, and our good God led me to a meeting made up mostly of parents of addicted children.
My reflection: Addiction suffocates us. We see that we are losing our child and we don’t know what to do. We want to command the addiction to go away, order it into the pit of the earth where it belongs. But we soon realize that we are powerless in the face of addiction. What to do?
After an Al-Anon meeting, I wrote, “I found a peace that has eluded me. I’m truly amazed that my soul quieted there, in the basement of a church. I heard such pain from others, and I listened intently to how they are struggling to survive. Maybe I can find strength and comfort in Al-Anon, and ultimately in myself.”
Today’s Promise: I will open my spirit and reach out a hand to other parents of addicted children. In our solidarity, we find strength. It takes courage to reach out, but I am not alone.
Yes, none of us are alone unless we choose to be so.
At my first parent support meeting the fear, depression and overwhelming sense of helplessness consumed me.
My pain of losing the child of my dreams to addiction broke me. I cried in front of other men! To add to all my pain was my humiliation of sharing my deepest emotions to complete strangers.
As I raised my head I felt others hands on my shoulders and one member began to pray, not just for me but for all parents who are being destroyed by addiction. I noticed others were wiping tears from their eyes.
The leader that night took my hand and held it tightly and looked into my eyes and said, with love and honesty, “You are not alone, keep coming back.”
After the meeting a father said to me, “I cried for the first time in my life at a meeting. There is nothing for you to feel ashamed about.”
I left that meeting with a true sense of feeling accepted and understood. This was my moment of clarity, it opened the door for my acceptance of God, the 12 steps and the peace and serenity that comes from working hard on myself and eventually being able to give back to others what was freely given to me.
May it be that way for each of you.
Thank you Pat. “my pain of losing the child of my dreams to addiction broke me. ” That line seared my heart. Yes, that pain broke me, too —but it has opened me too –to not be afraid to share when I feel I can. this month’s post is a good reminder. Right now, I understand my son’s struggle more than I ever have. He called to tell me how scared he was to leave jail. That is huge for him. To admit his fear. In so many ways, today, I feel so many prayers have been answered. I will see him soon. I cna hardly wait. I’ve missed him so. I will keep working 12 steps and maybe some day will be at peace as you are and able to offer comfort -the way you and Barbara and Jane and Libby do. My life lines of courage.
Hello Pat, Libby and Joy
Every word written this week resonates with me.
Yes I was also so broken. Painful, suffocating, paralyzing. Addiction is all of that. Al Anon is the remedy for me.
Losing a child of my dreams
Yes I lost my “golden boy”. I lost it all to his addiction. I still have my son, but it is different, very different, a new normal. The pain is still there although less now.
“I am truly amazed how my soul quieted in the basement of a church.”
Oh yes. Mine did too. I found a home there and I go back steadfast to be there for someone else who comes in as a newcomer.
Be well all. Joy, hang in there. It’s ok to be scared. Fear is courage that has said it’s prayers, a saying I heard in Al Anon. Reach out, share your feelings and stay in the moment.
Dear Pat, Jane and Joy,
There is so much compassion in your posts. I love to read them. The one thing that resonates with me is the positive attitude you all have. How important that is. Think positive and positive things will happen.
I lost the child of my dreams. It taught me to have compassion, humility, understanding and most of all, it taught me to help people who were going through the same thing.
Whether you lose a child to addiction, or you have a child with addiction, it breaks your heart and breaks you down. So, the only thing for you to do, is get up and fight. Fight for your peace and serenity.
My love and prayers are still with all of you. I pray for you every night. Take good care of yourselves. It’s so important.
The pain has definatly consumed me and left nothing but a shell. There are times I can barely think or feel, I simply function to get through the day.
“Fight for your peace and serenity”. Last night my youngest daughter left a letter on my bed telling me she understood I was having such a difficult time and it upset her to see me so unhappy.
Something struck me last night after reading that letter. I thought I had been keeping it together enough for my other two children, trying to keep the happy home. I have not fooled anyone nor have I helped them sort out their feelings either.
I need to start fighting for my serenity, for myself and also my children. How can they sort out their feelings about their sister if they are only worried about me. This is a family disease and I must not forget this.
I hope I can find enough strength in this realization to move forward.
I really liked what you said in your first sentence. “we are not alone unless we choose to be”. I really related to that because when my son died, I felt so alone. I was alone. I was alone for over a week and almost died myself. I realized that I needed to talk, to relate to someone, to get out of bed, to quit crying., etc. It was so difficult, too. As, I’m sure it was difficult for you to pick yourself up after losing the child of your dreams. I admire you.