A dad wrote to me: We as parents want desperately to solve our children’s problems. After all, that’s what we have been trained to do since their birth. I think we fear the worst and don’t want to be held responsible, even if it’s only in our own minds. The blame we would place on ourselves would be unbearable. Then, after years of experience, we know that the decision to recover can only be decided by the addicted.
My reflection: The realization that I couldn’t save my son from addiction was the hardest lesson I had to learn, yet it was also the most essential for my well-being, and his. For years I was enmeshed in every twist and turn of my son’s sickness. This only enabled the addiction and kept me from being available to my family and myself.
Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction happens. Blame, shame, stigma, and silence do nothing to help our loved ones or us. Today, I’ll stay close, but out of the chaos. As much as I want to stop the trauma, there is only room for one in the addiction.