Some refuse to acknowledge love exists in detachment. Sweet one, if you believe releasing your loved one to their addiction is evil, inhumane, or loveless- you have no idea what this road looks like.
In the darkest of my moments, love held on to a situation I could not control. In my greatest fears, love held on as a magnet to consequences I did not deserve. Love bailed out, love turned a blind eye, love answered every phone call at every hour. Love vomited out of brokenness. Love collapsed with anxiety. Love took on abuse just to remain attached. Love thought and fought for healing and wholeness in a life choosing death and destruction.
One day, two years ago, love began a slow awakening. The reality that I was no savior began to hit hard. Disappearance after disappearance showed me defeat, anger, bitterness, and their detachment from me. I knew I was loved, but there was no respectful connection in addiction behavior.
I looked around and realized I was functioning for my family, but at a dead stop of living for me. I bounced between concepts and ideas of what being ‘mom’ resembled. It wasn’t a woman with four kids but focused on two. It was sleepless nights wondering if your child was alive. Being a mom has nothing to do with paying their adult bills. grocery bill, electricity or water bill, or car payment.
Granted, there are moms out there who thrive on being knights and shining armor to their kid’s circumstances. Their fulfillment came from mothering. Mine did not. My fulfillment came from a much higher place.
The best question I read was, “Where do I end and the other person begins?”
The unfamiliar place was haunting. Who am I? Where did I go? Why am I assisting an addiction I do not have? Finally, how do I get out?
I thought it would be easy to let go. I’d been letting God my whole life. In my recovery process I learned less about them and a lot about me. I carried guilt of failing God, my kids, in my role as a mother, wife, and my grandkids I’m now raising. I lacked the energy to keep up with life because it all went to addiction.
That is when detachment began. Realizing my love for my beautiful children never changed, I took a breath. Love is not paying their bills, bail money, providing them a home to use in, or handing over vehicles when they lose theirs. Love is not vomiting up your fears, or dropping tears all night long. It’s not turning away from hidden bottles and needles and finding their burnt spoons on the bathroom sink. Love is not visiting them in jail. These things were never my love, but it took ten years to learn that lesson.
Love is a deep connection that life and circumstance cannot change. Love is feeling all the feelings of brokenness but not reacting to them. Love permits us to release guilt and shame, and to hold onto hope and faith. Love says “I love you” and “No.” Love listens openly and honestly. It does not have a need to respond. Supporting through encouragement is love. Praying is love. Being ready with resources for detox, rehab, sober living, and grants is love.
As we build strong boundaries we will learn wisdom, communication, and find ourselves again. As long as we chase addiction, the devil laughs and keeps us too occupied to recover. Friends, He does this in every sin. He hates a heart that detaches from the world and clings to God.
Let today be the day you choose you. Accept the consequences of substance use. Free yourself from the dreadful thoughts. Seek help. Erect livable boundaries that build you up. Learn to communicate without the old ways interfering . You know, the ones that have failed. Love life again. Be free. You deserve this. You need this.