A young woman wrote to me: Libby, something important struck me when I read this line you wrote last week – My child’s addiction is not against me. He is trapped in the disease and, although it doesn’t always look like it, he loathes the life he is living. If I replace “child” with “father,” this is the life lesson Jeff helped me learn. Whether he realizes it or not, it was one of the most impactful and life-altering realizations that helped me heal my relationship with my dad, when I started to look at his addiction as being trapped in a disease rather than a conscious choice of drugs over me/family.
My reflection: Addiction’s tentacles strangle all of us: children, brothers, sisters, parents, and loved ones. We, as a community, have an obligation to reach out our hands to all those impacted from the effects of this disease.
Today’s Promise to consider: Children of addicted parents, siblings of addicted children, and all those in pain because someone they love is addicted need our concerted support and understanding. As my friend wrote, “My father’s addiction is not against me. He is trapped in the disease and, although it doesn’t always look like it, he loathes the life he is living.” We need to take their suffering out of the shadows and into the light where it can be healed.3346
Very well said – thanks fir sharing these valuable reminders!
Thanks for reaching out, Nancy, and thanks for your compassionate response.
This is definitely something needed to hear, but…..how do you deal with the feelings, that though it’s a disease,and they are trapped, but refusing to seek help, how can one feel that drugs are not more important to them,than family? I am in constant turmoil, over this. So sometimes, can empathize ,and other times take it personally..How do I handle these feelings?
Gabriella, Good questions. I’m not a psychologist and never give advice, but I can tell you what helped me with my son who suffered a 14-year addiction. He told me, “Drugs started as a party and ended in a sandstorm.” No addict wants to end up where they end up. Drugs DO become more important to them than their family and even their own lives. Jeff also told me, “An addict isn’t afraid to die. An addict is afraid to go the next day without drugs.” I learned to ‘stay close’ which meant I told my son I loved him, but I stayed out of the chaos of his addiction. I quit giving him money and wouldn’t let allow him in the house when he was high (which was always). I had to surrender. My Al-Anon group helped me and supported me through it all. Hope this makes sense. Jeff and I made a video that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2O7fCRRx0I&feature=related His words are wise. My love to you. Libby