How are you parents?
I’m sending out a big VIRTUAL hug, and a reminder that we are ALL in different places along the journey of kids in addiction.
Some are at the beginning. For those way past this point, close your eyes and remember your thoughts, fears, emotions, and confusion. Maybe your kiddo is only a teenager- so young, yet, so defiant with a presumption of invincibility. I remember those days well!
Maybe your child is in their 20’s. They are past the point of certain ‘methods’ and your communication style is chosen daily- because you have NO freaking idea what’s coming from one day to the other. They’ve refused treatment, and are walking around trying to be the functionally high person they think you think they are; or stopped functioning and are doing life on their terms- no matter the consequences. You hold on as everyone says, “Let Go.”
By now, you’ve paid their bills, bought their groceries, paid off their car, maybe bailed them out of jail, and whatever other financial mess you find yourself cleaning up.
Maybe your kid has reached their 30’s. Nothing has changed. You have approached this from a different angle. You are heartbroken and imprisoned by your own tough love approach- but in my case, there are three grandchildren involved, I don’t say ‘tough love’.. I chose the ‘safe love’ method. They need protection that a full relationship with their mom cannot provide.
For some, the safe love is for their own heart and wellness- because the stress of their loved one’s addiction has caused true illness- heart disease, high blood pressure, mental illness due to-anxiety, drastic mood shifts, and mental sickness from the occasional life saved from overdose, right there in your living room or bathroom. Fluctuating weight loss and gain. Migraines, palpitations, insomnia, and sudden diabetic symptoms with no diabetes, like myself. The fatigue and malaise drive you to seek medical attention- just to be told you are fine.
Maybe your beloved child is in their 40’s, 50’s or even 60’s. You’ve spent your life fighting a battle that was never your’s. They’ve been to prison countless times, in and out of treatment and sober living. By now, they’ve been hospitalized for heart malfunction, liver damage, pancreatic attacks and more. There you were- by their side. Speechless because the words left long ago. Tearless because the well dried up years before.
We all gather here. In a place where we can SAFELY share from the place where we currently exist. We are tired. The tears ran out long ago, no matter the deep seeded pain in our heart. We’ve reached a place of finality- being done. Not giving up, but giving them up to our higher power in hopes we can muster enough strength to keep going.
Maybe you are the parent grieving the horrific loss of your child. Nothing we say will help, but we will say it anyway. You count the days, weeks, months, and years. You are living between knowing you tried everything and wondering if you did enough. Still, those of us back here have no words to ease your mind or pain. We can just exist right here with you, on the common ground where we all align in many different ways. We fear the outcome a grieving mother has experienced. But we know, as sure as our eyes will blink, it can happen to any of our kids.
So we gather here. To lend support, advice when asked, encouragement, hope, prayers, positive affirmation, and faith when faith seems fruitless and all hope feels lost.
I’m thinking of the thousands who come here and gather. Because wherever you are, I know there’s a piece of me you understand and I know when I need your virtual embrace, you willingly give me more of you than you give yourself. You are all amazing. And I thank you.
This was a heartfelt note to the parents who gather with me in an online support network, but wanted to send to any parents out there who need to hear it. I pray for all our kids.
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