This is a letter from an addict who didn’t make it.
She was somebody’s daughter – their pride and joy . . . a long time ago. She wrote this letter to her sister. The family included it in her obituary to shed light on addiction. They hope something in it will help someone else. It’s difficult to understand if we’ve never been in an addict’s shoes. We have no idea what it’s like for them.
I see five things here for parents of addicts to remember:
These comments were shared by Linda Dahl*, the mom of an addict, after her daughter’s relapse. Linda vulnerably shared insights she’s gained along the way. Even if your child doesn’t struggle with an addiction, I think there could be something beneficial here for you.
Mom: “So you have a choice now, you can give me the rest of the dope, I’ll drive you to a 12 step meeting where you get a temporary sponsor and agree to go to meetings every day you are here. Or you’ll have to find somewhere else to stay.
Because I can’t do this anymore.
Daughter: (brief silence, broken by weeping) “Okay.”
Mom: (also crying) “I’m so proud to have you for my daughter. You’re smart and funny and talented. This is a blip and I’ll support you every step of the way. Relapse happens, especially with young people. I know you’ve relapsed and I’m so very sorry. I know how hard you’ve worked to get well.”
Mom: “So let’s go get rid of the dope and find out when the meeting starts.”
Today’s blog was authored by Richard Larson. It was his response to the suicide death of rock star musician Chris Cornell who struggled with depression most of his life – secretly.
Depression…we talk about it more than those who came before us. We talk about it as a demon or a monster. It’s a dark shadow that shows itself at any point in time without warning. It surrounds us, isolates us, and quiets us.
Depression likes to blame things.
Thank you to Stacy Flury for today’s post. Stacy is a mom who writes from personal experience. There’s no better qualification than that. Her message is to parents of adolescents, but it applies to adult children, as well.
A common thread that unites many parents whose children are affected with mental illness is the unwillingness or refusal to take medication.
It is frustrating, scary and overwhelming. How can you help your teen when all they do is battle you? You beg, plead, bribe, or threaten in every way for them to take their medicine. None of it works.
So what works? There’s only one place to get that answer – from them.
Parents whose children have broken their hearts find it easy to end up in emotional bondage. It feels terrible. So many choices and struggles: alcohol, drugs, same-sex relationships, jail or prison, mental illness, self-injury, pornography, the list goes on and on. Do you want to be free again? I bet you want your life back. I did.
I made a discovery: I could be set free through the power of forgiveness. For me, it was part of the process of gaining back my life. Now that’s something to celebrate!
There is a way to be free. It’s found in these four steps to Emotional Freedom:
1) Forgive our child – for hurting us. We may be furious and resentful over how we’ve been treated. We don’t trust them, can’t believe them, don’t even know them anymore. We’re angry at what they’re doing to themselves, too. We must forgive even if they don’t ask us to. Jesus said, “forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).