A mother wrote to me, ‘Letting go and letting God’ must have no strings attached, that is, any expectations of outcomes. Death is a very real outcome in our stories. I remember when a friend confronted me with this. Yes, it is terrifying, and I lived in fear and worry for many years, often reacting in unhealthy ways, trying to fix and control. When I realized nothing I did made my son’s situation any different and, in fact, often made things worse, I hit my bottom. I had to save myself. This did not mean I turned my back on my son. I talked with him often, but I stopped trying to determine if he was sober or if he was using. I realized that I was powerless over another human being, no matter what the situation.
My reflection: Although ‘Let go and let God’ was my mantra for years, I just couldn’t relinquish the thought that I could change my son. I was convinced that love was stronger than the pull of addiction.
Today’s Promise to consider: It’s natural that want to save our children. When they are suffering, we are quick to jump into the fire and rescue them. It took me fourteen years to admit that I was powerless over my son’s addiction. I fought the good fight, but in the end HE had to save himself. Today, I will stay close and love my child, but I will stay out of the chaos of his addiction.4297
Thank you for sharing. I am learning to let go of my son’s addiction. It is such a a challenge but knowing I am not alone and reading others posts is a tremendous help! Thank you to all ❤️❤️
Dear Dawn Marie, I understand and feel the same way. We are not alone. Other people’s stories, experiences, and compassion help us to learn. Stay close. xo
Thank you. I needed to hear this today. The work is in progress but to hear this helps me get through.
Dear Lorie, I join you in being a work in progress. We’re always learning. My love to you.
Thank you for this!!! I needed to hear this as I struggle daily with this. My heart breaks for my son
Dear Patricia, Yes, our hearts break for our children. We want to fix things and make their pain go away. I understand. I’ll stay close in love and prayer. xo
This hits home. I thought I was getting stronger until a bad crisis 3 weeks ago. He shouldn’t be with us, but he is, and I have hope again. But the crisis hit me hard. I can’t stop this terror. It’s so hard to let go when I keep thinking “what if this is the ONE time I rescue him, it is the one that works.” Not healthy I know. And the guilt when I realize I might be prolonging his addiction. Awful nightmare! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I’m glad I’m not alone. God bless you all. We moms just have to keep going…
Though I haven’t experienced any major crises with our son in the past 2 years or so, I’ve been in that dark place many times before. They say hindsight is 20/20, but before I hit my bottom, when I was insane with trying desperately to make his situation other than what it was, before I really embraced AlAnon, I would find myself in that place time and time again where my fear, and my ego, told me I HAD to do something to “help” or “fix”. There never is black or white, and I try not to fall back on the “should haves” regarding the past. I did the best I could with where I was in my journey. Now, with more years of practice of MY program under my belt, with a support group, sponsors, I feel prepared to face what may come my way. Of course there is PTSD, but i have so many resources at my fingertips, phone calls i can make, to hold me up if and when the road gets rocky. My faith in my Higher Power has strengthened beyond my imagination. I feel at peace and confident.
As we all know, our worlds can be rocked at any point in time. Such is life!! But I was so desperately sick and tired of being in that place of my disease, my addiction to my son, that I just had to let go…….and eventually through practice, learn to trust in my God.
Dear Mindy, Thank you for your beautifully wise comment. As I read your words, I thought, “Yes, I’ve been there. I understand.” I, too, found comfort and strength in Al-Anon. For the PTSD, I get that, too. I once asked Dr. MacAfee, my son’s addiction therapist, when the feelings of fear of relapse would end. He said, “You’ve been vigilant a long time. Be patient with yourself.” I found strength in his words, in the program, and in my God. My love to you. xo
Dear Laurie, I know that feeling of terror, of wanting to help, of being afraid to enable, and of praying that this time is THE time when my son will make the decision to change, really change. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with such anxiety that I didn’t know what to do, so I started writing in my journal where I ‘dumped’ all my feelings. I found this to be a great relief for me. My love to you. We’ll all stay close. xo
Thank you so much
Xoxo. Thanks for staying close.
The timing of this meditation was perfect! It seems that just when I think our son has turned a major corner, his addictive behavior returns. It’s as if he doesn’t want to leave that part of his life behind to claim what lies ahead. As a parent, it is very hard to watch your child self destruct!
Dear Kathy, That’s exactly what happens — they want to change, but they get sucked back into the addiction. My son once told me, “Society loathes addicts, and addicts loathe themselves.” Yes, it’s excruciating to watch our children self destruct while we are powerless. I’ll stay close in prayer.
My counselor once told me she has learned that parents of addicted children must try and fail numerous times to rescue their children before the change process can begin. There is no blame or shame with this process as it is necessary to regain our peace and serenity. As Libby and I have discovered it take many many years. Never give up on yourself or your child as a new beginning is coming. The latest figures from the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health indicate that among those who had an alcohol or drug problem, the remission rate was approximately 75 percent. 22.35 million Americans have recovered or in recovery so there no reason not to believe your child will not join this group.
Dear Pat, Thank you for your message filled with hope. There is no blame or shame – yes, yes, yes. We parents do our best, and it’s a learning process for us all. I’m still learning, and I learn much from you and our other contributors to the comment section. People do recover, and we have to hold on to hope. That is our life line … and there’s. xo
It took me 20 years to get out of God’s way in order for my son to be delivered from the evil of drugs he was living in. I was always thinking of ways to “help” him. One day it hit me, that there was nothing I could do. Only God and Tommy’s will would save him. I did step aside and after 20 years of addiction he allowed God in and is in recovery. He has been transformed! I had to “let go and let God”, I got out of the way.
Dear Joanne, God bless you and your son. You both suffered a long, long time, but he is good today. I, too, had to get out of the way and let God lead my son out of the wilderness. My love to you and Tommy.