Their Addiction ~My Journey, “Don’t Die”

WARNING: I’m about to get real..

There is always this lingering possibility of death.

Overdose.
Suicide.
Murder.

These are the scenarios that many parents I’ve interacted with confronted. The loss of their precious child is a life changing experience they were never prepared to encounter.

While we can accept the possibility that addiction and evil might win, can we ever be prepared?

I am among the thousands of parents who gasp at the phone ringing late at night. We jump if the doorbell rings after dark. We go to bed praying they survive, and wake up hoping they made it through the night.

We seek peace in the choices we make, and yes, that includes the current ‘bad word’ in the industry- “boundaries” – we’ve decided to live by. (Criticizing boundaries is a new way to place guilt on already guilt-laden parents doing the best they can. There is NOTHING wrong with boundaries, rules, or expectations.)

Back to death…

In hoping to help her brother, my daughter once told me, “Take him to the graveyard and force him to pick his plot. Because it’s either death, jail, or treatment.”

Those are the options once substance use becomes addiction.

Addiction being- by my personal compiled definition- ‘a treatable, chronic condition by which the mind and brain are unable to switch off the chronic, persistent, and intense urge to engage in certain behaviors despite the negative consequences and substantial harm to their body.”

Addiction may have a genetic predisposition- but substance use itself, does not. Gambling or eating food can be an addiction just the same. And yes, they come with negative consequences and possible substantial harm as well.

However, people hate discussing the truth. Why? Every day a life ends as a direct result of substance use. It’s reality. People are dying! Secretly, sheltered behind closed doors, parents know this raw truth to their core.

We pray endless prayers in hopes God will turn his back on free-will and intervene. We pray for divine appointments in favor of getting our wayward loved ones to a hospital, detox, and treatment. We even pray for jail, because we would know where they are and if they are alive.

It is a tormenting world in the darkest experience we’ve endured. Going against every parenting instinct we know, we hold no power to fix anything. We aren’t pawns in the game, but bystanders on the sidelines. Our hearts break to the point of bitter numbness as we watch the progression of Satan’s deadly weapon.

But God.

By His grace and mercy, we live each day. I guarantee you parents everywhere question their existence when addiction controls their precious beloved. The damage to a parent in this journey is tremendous. Physical, mental, and emotional pain batters every person in the mix of destruction.

God holds the crying mother. He carries the weakened father. God alone comforts the siblings. He lifts the family members hurting for the addicted loved one and their immediate family. In this chaotic scene of turmoil, God remains. His peace flows through the confusion.

It’s that peace I cling to today. Fear is ebbing closer. Though I stand rebellious, God knows my mind and heart. Through the years of traveling in their addiction, He taught me resilience, perseverance, steadfastness, confidence, and hope. Not in recovery or change, but in Him. I will not waiver from my resounding faith.

Addiction won’t control me.

I cried the truth of death to God long ago. I laid out my fears and doubts. I handed them over and He gave me peace. Not peace that all will be okay, but peace in the presence that it won’t.

That’s a God who stays.

That’s a God who lives.

That’s a God who loves.

❤️ Lisa

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