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.”
Love back. xo
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.
Dear Sue, YES! Absolutely, Staying Close is something to be proud of. Your daughter is good today and has been healthy for 11 years. This is HUGE. God bless her and you. I join you in being patient with ourselves as we continue to love our children and to stay close. My love to you.