A mother wrote to me: My son is in jail. He is only 18. I will not bail him out. I cry every night. He has not yet escalated to the harder drugs, but the criminal behavior is there. I hate that my son is in jail, hate that I cannot and will not bail him out, and hate what is coming down the road for him, but I know that this is the necessary action to be taken if he is to get on the road to recovery. I also know that he must be willing and we do not see that yet. I pray I’ve made the right decisions.

My reflection: Addiction gloats in our confusion and chaos. Do we bail out our children? Do we give them money to pay their bills? Do we cover the fee of yet another rehab center? There are no easy answers and we must make the decisions based on what we’ve learned, what professionals recommend, and what our hearts tell us.

Today’s Promise to consider: I accept that I don’t have all the answers about addiction, but today I will listen with an open heart to the help and advice of professionals, those in recovery, other parents, and my own good counsel. When I had breast cancer, I talked with three surgeons and each one offered differing recommendations. We each must make the decision that we think is best for our loved one and our family. I pray for wisdom.



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Pat Nichols
5 years ago

Very wise Libby! Our hearts override our minds when it comes to our children. That is only natural, it takes time to understand what is truly in their best interest, as well as ours. In addition, the word time is translated to pain. We, like our addicted children have to suffer the pain of addiction before we are willing to make appropriate changes. That’s OK, no blame or shame on any of us. It is simply the nature of addiction and our eventual healing. We are all on our own road to recovery and we will reach our recovery in our own way and in our own time, just like our addicted children.

5 years ago

So much I could say but nothing I know for certain.

There are no “must do’s’ or “must not do’s”

There certainly are no cookie cutter one size fits all answers.

We who love addicted ones really do learn to live in the moment and evaluate each situation.

Keep love first. Trust our guts. Pray.

As Libby says : send legions of angels every night.

Celebrate and support sobriety when/if it comes —no matter how short or long. Banish
fear of relapse even if you know it is often part of recovery. Handle relapse with forgivness because, really, they are in hell.

Love always.

Take care of ourselves. Keep gathering information. Find support.

Our son died at 37, after a lifetime of struggle with mental illness and addiction.

He died knowing he was completely loved by us. He died after four years of (mostly) sobriety.

the end, what we learned and came to know is accepting and loving him where he was– not what we wished he could be : healthy and safe — brought us such peace.

He loved us. We have good memories

This makes every day bearable.

Our son lived much longer than he might have had he not had our love and commitment to stay close.

We know that. HE told us that.

It is a fine line– a Divine line -perhaps– that we parents walk not knowing ever if what we do is the “right’ thing.

But never ever ever give up hope.

5 years ago
Reply to  Joy

My dear Joy,
All that you write is filled with hard-learned wisdom. You stayed close to your son through it all, and you know that he died knowing that he was loved. A Divine line that “we parents walk not knowing ever if what we do is the ‘right thing.'” I’ve walked that line, too, and stayed on my knees in prayer. Every day I pray that my son chooses well, but I know it’s his choice. Yes, yes, yes — celebrate and support sobriety!!! My love to you.

Carol Plutt
Carol Plutt
5 years ago

Thank you Libby. You always seem to say the things, I need to lighten my load, just a little. Tonight I made a decision to let my addict, son, sleep a couple of nights, in a motel. (that I paid for) His wife kicked him out, and got a restraining order. I understand why, I would have done the same thing. He comes and goes, uses for a week or two, comes home,
does good, gets anxious, does drugs. On and on. The restraining order, is a real threat, this time. They have a beautiful little 7 yr old daughter. He loves her more than life. I could see his drive to make, yet another decision, to stop. So I got him a room, to sleep it off. Right or wrong, I still, have to believe, sometimes. I will see tomorrow, if my heart was right, this time. I have learned so much, from your book. Staying close, and not being so angry, and pushy. A friend of my son’s, who has been in recovery for yrs, say” The decease we have, makes us very weak, when it comes to the insanity of the drugs we use. I, myself, am a sock person and know I’m just one step from using again.”