Their Addiction-My Journey,”A Letter to My Child in Addiction”

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My dearest child,

I made changes to how I chose to deal with your addiction because it became mine. I wanted to carry you up and out of this cycle of abuse- abuse on yourself, and magically fix it. The more addiction gained traction, the harder I fought. I accepted the challenge because I believed I was the secret weapon in your war.

I was wrong.

I hoped my words would change your thoughts. If I could convince you of your potential, ability, strength, and power, then you would embrace your worth and value. I thought if I spoke it to you loud and long enough, you would believe and find your confidence again.

I was wrong.

I believed if I offered a hand up, you would take my inch and run a positive mile. If I paid a bill or two, you would know I had your back. When I posted bail, I hoped you knew I didn’t judge your mistake. Whenever I helped care for your children, I believed it would lead to a humble change in your heart. When I provided a place to come home, I thought you would desire to get help for your addiction.

I was wrong.

The more I did, the less I helped solve any problem. The more a gave, the less I had to give. And the more I fought, the harder I fell. All my efforts led to less effort by you. I provided a soft landing for a hard fall. I never meant to interfere with the lessons you needed to learn, but I did.

I thought everything I tried was part of being a mom. I was wrong.

In this fight with addiction, I carried failure I didn’t own. I thought of your recovery most hours of the day. I wanted to be your energy, your faith, your joy, even your smile. As beautiful moments passed, I realized you never saw them happening. Your thoughts were far away. Still, I tried to connect your mind to my vision. Some things are impossible.

In the end, I let go.

I let go of trying to fix the situation. My efforts to be a life raft turned into an anchor holding you to the bottom while allowing you to float. I interfered with the hope of you swimming into your potential or possibly drifting into your unknown. Both scenarios were possible had I stayed out of the way.

I let go of fear. The heavy burden of truth casts deep awareness of finality. Addiction is a journey that lands in few places- treatment and recovery, jail, prison, or death. My fear moved me toward desperate intervention. I didn’t want to consider the worst case, so I fought for the best. My fight was futile.

I swung at invisible barriers, because they were not mine. No amount of anger, brawn, intelligence, or hope could run interference in your battle. Until you pick up your sword and fight, nothing will penetrate addiction’s walls. I thought I was on the inside with you, taking up for your wellness. In truth, I was on the outside swinging at air.

I had anxiety at the thought I abandoned you. I know now I abandoned addiction. This violent, aggressive beast does not consume me anymore. When I let go, I released the shackles that bound me for years. My mind is free most days. I won’t lie, moments of regression linger. I find myself back in the mental distress of addiction. Though I no longer plant myself there and draw up a battle plan. I learned there is no plan because it’s not my battle. Instead, I pray, and move forward.

I am still in your corner. I believe there is hope. One day you will look up, you will believe in hope again, too. Your future is more than addiction. Your identity is written deep in your soul and nothing you do can change that. Your purpose is not dismissed, it’s in waiting. It was predestined and cannot be changed by this world. When you are ready, it will be there.

The Bible says we all fall short of His glory. You think you’ve fallen too far, but God has dealt with human failure from the beginning. Your failure is no worse than mine. I don’t judge you for dealing with substance use. I don’t judge you for being where you are right now. I am sad and disheartened because I am a mother who loves her child. I wish my love was enough to fix it all.

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