A mother wrote to me: My daughter struggled with addiction issues for over ten years. Today, she has risen from the ashes and is doing well. I still hold my breath a bit when I don’t hear from her regularly, but each time she reaches back out she is stronger than before. She has been fully sober for almost three years. I cannot say that the inner voice of fear doesn’t call to me, but most days, most hours, and most minutes, I rejoice with her and enjoy this beautiful time of sobriety.

My reaction: Fear is a powerful force. When my son was in active addiction, I lived in constant worry. When he changed his life and started to live in health, I thought the fear would go away, but it continued. 

Today’s Promise to consider: Trusting that our recovering loved one will stay well and not return to the chaos of addiction is difficult. Most of us have been deeply scarred by years of trauma. I once asked Dr. MacAfee, our beloved addiction therapist, when the fear would go away, and he said, “Your feelings are normal. You’ve been vigilant a long time. Be patient with yourself.”


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2 years ago


2 years ago

Dear Libby,

This letter spoke directly to me. My beautiful, strong & healthy daughter has been clean for 11 years. But when I don’t hear from her, I get these anxious feelings. Is she okay? Did I say something wrong? But then I don’t want to spread my anxiety to her so I breathe and tell myself we’re alright. We went through the tough time and we are alright.

And then I will get a text from her with a picture of her doing something fun or she tells me she’s going to a wedding or some other event. Says “I will call you soon.” And then she forgets, because she’s busy.

But the fear hasn’t gone away. I tell myself that there are parents out there that actually don’t care and they gave up, and I remind myself that I stayed close. And this is something for me to be proud of.