Dr. MacAfee told me: I was leading a group therapy session when I asked a young man, ‘What is your drug of choice?’ The boy thought carefully and responded, ‘more.’ His answer was not an attempt at humor. Instead, the group answered with a consensus of silence and affirmative head nods. No addict ever intends to end up where he’s really going. Substance and the hunger for more drive the addict.
My reflection: Dr. MacAfee’s words helped me to understand that addiction wasn’t about me, my parenting, our family or Jeff’s friends. Some of these issues might have contributed to why he tried drugs in the beginning, but they’re not the reason he became an addict.
Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I acknowledge that addiction is about the substance. It’s not about me or my family. Once the substance takes over an addict’s life, it’s about the chase for the drug. No one and nothing else matter.
Thank you for Today’s Promise. I have to keep telling myself this over and over. “Today, I acknowledge that addiction is about the substance. It’s not about me or my family. Once the substance takes over an addict’s life, it’s about the chase for the drug. No one and nothing else matter.” Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Addiction is always attempting to find a level of normalcy where it can be accepted. For example, it may stop it’s use of cocaine but abuse alcohol and/or pot therefore allowing itself to maintain a job, paying rent etc. However, addiction can never “control” itself; even addiction is in denial! Eventually addiction loses control and the insanity starts all over again. So, my point being, that until recovery takes over for the addicted child it really doesn’t matter if they are working, paying rent, attending school or whatever – it is only temporary. The problem is we get lured into this temporary sense of normalcy therefore allowing us to enable addiction thinking we are helping our addicted child “maintain” a better lifestyle. Having experience all this myself I was forced to my knees in total desperation and I asked God to take over and He did sending me into recovery through the Families Anonymous program. I learned to trust God which then freed me up to focus on the only human I could control which was ‘ME.” The reward was eventually knowing that through my own recovery I was moving my addicted child’s recovery closer in instead of continually pushing his recovery further and further out through my enabling and lack of education on the disease of addiction.
Continued prayers for all fo us and our children.
It is so true what you say Pat, I have been lured into that sense of normalcy so often or just the dream that I can help her regain her life which has always led to my enabling behavior. It is such a slippery slope.
Libby this post this week reminds me of all the times people would ask “what is her drug of choice?”. It always caught me by surprise and I never knew what to say because there never was just one. As her addiction progressed it was no longer about her preferred substance but whatever was available at the time that would help get her through. Its another aspect of addiction that most people do not understand.
I think my greatest fear these days is that as time goes by my daughter falls farther and farther into the world of addiction, the hunger for more, the lifestyle and the isolation. I am always torn between reaching out in the hopes that she knows we are always there for her and letting go so she can find her way.
There is such a fine line to recovery, for both of us.
I thank all three of you for these words –I no longer know what any kind of normal is.
I do know my boundaries are clearer than they ever were. I love my son but his recovery/journey is his.
I give guilt and the anxiety over to my understanding of God. Not always easily though.
I know I was an overprotective mother. An anxious mother. A loving mother. A very young mother. I did my best alone with two boys. BUT?
My very best could not prevent the disease of addiction . To me this is no longer failure, this reality just makes me humble : we do not always get the results we had hoped for despite trying our best.
Imagine a God looking down on earth — and weeping loving us so much and seeing us suffer. Knowing love alone is not always enough to CURE.
Thank you Libby for this post.
Sometimes for me, out in the world where people talk talk talk about their children and then ask me how mine are -I have learned to speak truth for me and not violate their privacy. Missing in action I said once and that was a conversation stopper.
Now when people say what are they doing ? I just say —they are doing okay and doing their own thing. They have taught me so much.
I no longer feel shame as if I did something wrong or didn’t do something. Libby’s book and this blog and all of you have helped me so much with emotions that are useless and drag me down.
When a wave of sadness or shame or anger or yes envy of parents who do not have addiction in their family ( and feeling that makes me feel ashamed and horrible) washes over me — I ask IS this useful? I answer NO! And let it go. I lean into the light as much as I can but face the reality of what is. I have bad days. And I keep praying for all of us. It is hard but good work of the soul and spirit. My son is doing well on methadone and living in light today. One day at a time.