Their Addiction ~ My Journey- “Who Failed?”

Misunderstood Parenting

Being a parent of a loved one battling addiction is complicated. Your desire to protect and solve is ingrained from all the years of raising kids. It’s what you know.

As they enter adulthood, you let go and watch them fly. Will the lessons you taught be applied? Many young adults manage the bumps of life in normal ways. They learn and move on.

However, there are those who appear to have ignored every childhood lesson you taught. With each bump, you cringe. Watching one choice after another lead down dangerous roads, you offer advice that is ignored.

For some parents, bailing them out of dire circumstances becomes habit. They’re too young for financial issues so you start paying bills to help them out. Water and electric are shut off, just pay it. Car payment is behind, you hand over money. Their phone is shut off, you pay it. They claim they are short this month or offer other excuses. You help out.

You may not be aware of the cause behind these struggles at the time. It could be years before you learn all the money went to pot, cocaine, heroine, or alcohol. It wasn’t a financial struggle, it was a financial choice.

While you are bailing them out of sticky situations, their substance use problems are reaching new heights. By the time you know the truth, you are dealing with full blown addiction.

The first thing you do is ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?”

You carry a guilt and shame for their choices. You call yourself a failure. Tears are a waterfall from swollen eyes. You become consumed with your loved one’s life. You loose sleep, weight, and hair. The stress impacts your body with aches, tension, and medical issues that make no sense.

Racing with unimaginable thoughts, your mind never stops. Every thought swirls in a negative world you didn’t create. Your soul suffers from the weight of a broken heart. Collapsing, your spirit moves away from God in shame.

After the initial shock comes the belief you can and must cure them. Believing you can ‘do something’, you continue to pay the bills. You might bail them out of jail and pay for attorneys. Knowing their substance use put them behind bars, you step in hoping they ‘learned their lesson.’ Then, they get arrested again. And again.

Watching the consequences is painful- loss of jobs, evictions, wrecked cars (sometimes your car), distance from family members.

One day, you wake up to a child you don’t know. A person who no longer lives outside of addiction. Your reflection screams at you, “What have you done?”

I’ve lived in this hell for 13 years. All those years, I thought I was helping my loved one, but I only helped the addiction. It escalated ten years ago. By then, there was a grandchild involved. I remember my first contact with the police- who laughed at me as though I was the problem. If only they could see the results today. I remember the first time I witnessed substance rage, assault, nodding out, theft, and overdose.

After years of living in the midst of an addiction I never had, I screamed, “Enough!”

A Parent’s Recovery

I threw in the towel. Burdened with deep sadness and anxiety, I walked out. With kids in their late 20’s, I chose to take my life back. The unrelenting guilt and fear were released. I left their life of addiction and began to heal. My recovery was about to begin.

My life is built on overcoming many obstacles. From childhood on, there was a quiet resilience leading me onward. God was always there. I trusted Him before I ever knew him. Yet, family addiction pulled me away. Overcome with shame, I did not know how to trust and hand it all over. I was a child hiding in the closet.

I failed God. He never failed me.

Grateful for the love and care of counselors and friends, I bathed myself in scripture. His word saved me. There were life lessons for survival right in the palm of my hand. I was lost in their addiction when I should have been lost in God’s embrace.

I’ve learned how to live again. I now understand being in the world and not of it. I grasp the concept and importance of holding my thoughts captive, and renewing them daily. I live in a peace that I cannot explain. As the Bible says, “ surpasses all understanding..” (Philippians 4:7) When tensions rise, I am still at peace. Gone are the heart palpitations and fears. I am free.

The Lord gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm.

You deserve peace.


selfcare #faith #treatment #addiction #sobriety #hope #recovery #detox #love #selflove

10 Replies to “Their Addiction ~ My Journey- “Who Failed?””

  1. My journey was a little different. I was the herion addict a slave to it. This time last year my husband was trying to get me help. He had become so depressed with all the hell I put him through. He took a some with me . He died in my arms. I have ptsd cause of it. I tried to kill myself twice after that . I realized he saved me. He was a hero. The fetenyol in the herion killed . Now I tell my story to anyone who listen. I was so addicted to it . I know if he hadn’t died. I wouldn’t have made it. July 29th I was clean 1 year. Mike was a firefighter/medic. He saved tons of people . He will always be my hero. Thank you for reading this. W

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve had to change the wording on Rock bottom- I don’t let them hit Rick bottom- that is the result of their choices. Saying “I let them” implies I had some sort of control- and we never had that control from the beginning. We watch them hit rock bottom when ask help is refused and it’s heart breaking. What I’ve learned is every bottom has a trap door. Praying as always!


  2. Dear Lisa…I love what you have shared. I am an addict but in recovery for over 12 years now. The gift to every addict is that we must rely on something greater than ourselves to help us daily…god.
    This power works the same for everyone when sought. Your pain drove you to your true place which is also with god.
    In the end – I think it’s all about god.
    I write daily about my life in recovery and one of my posts I address the loved ones. The moms dads..siblings and spouses. And if I could have said one was it’s not your fault.
    You know this and I can feel that. ❤️Very beautiful! Bless you on your recovery and discovery of you and god 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! God was always there, my pain drive into a deeper understanding of Him and the true love he has for me. It’s hard not to feel you did something wrong. In the case I did, I made my amends as well. No perfect people here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Lisa 🙏absolutely no perfect people here. But from the addict side of things…when I was caught up in the disease- no human on this earth had the power to make me start using or to stop using. I think it was all part of gods plan…god knew…that my route to him was through being an addict. Not everyone is on this path but it was mine.
        You are brave and wonderful to share what you have been through and what you go through and your solution ❤️🙏❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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