Their Addiction ~My Journey- The Double Life

Late last night, after everyone else was tucked in bed and dreaming, I was alone and thinking. Routine is my friend; it’s known and expected. My late evenings involve picking up the last messes of the day, finishing up a load of laundry, and maybe catching up on a recorded show. However, the one consistent part of my night is thinking.

Knowing I am warm, fed, and comfortable is rough. Many out there don’t have the luxury of warmth or food. Quiet solitude is often interrupted by debilitating dark thought patterns. Addiction has laughed at the distance between us and baits me. Usually, the focus of their choices keeps me awake long into the night.

By day, there are grandkids to raise, a home to manage, and an office to oversee. We are active with school and activities. My energy has shifted through the years, but from somewhere deep inside, I keep moving. We deserve to enjoy living.

Working and parenting were challenging the first time I did this, but being older has more significant challenges (I’m not that old, stress has taken a toll). Exhaustion is a regular occurrence. You can’t wake me; it’s an out-for-the-count kind of fatigue. The excessive tiredness started months ago when my loved one left the state. Worry and fear consumed me. I once again found myself living in an addiction I don’t have.

One of the worst parts of this nightmare is knowing the fragile line between life and death. It takes one high to die. As parents watching the tragedy unfold, we cannot control the consequences of chronic substance use. With love, care, and our parental nature, coming to terms with this truth is hard to swallow. Yet, to survive, it is necessary.

How do I manage life and the daily warfare of their addiction? Turning off the constant trepidation deep inside takes an intentional collision with my thoughts. I have to talk myself out of thinking about what jumps into my mind.

Satan would love to take control and condemn me to guilt, shame, fear, and pain. In those elements he thrives. Evil will stalk and haunt you to gain a win against God. I choose to walk out of the mental traps evil uses. It may take time to recognize his schemes, but the more I know God, the easier they are to recognize.

God meets me in recovery.

When the dark rolls around me, I press into who is in me. I turn to scripture and prayer. I seek Him in my fear and allow his gentle way of refocus and discipline to intervene and overcome the darkness with His light. I come face to face with God’s power. I am allowing a safe space to feel the moment’s emotions and come to a place of release.

By morning, my tears are gone. The sound of my chants awakens kids to rise and shine. Our daily routine begins. Once the bus pulls away, my thoughts turn to preparation for the day ahead. No one knows the war of my nights.

My double life. Battling the sorrow and grief of someone who still lives and beaming with positive energy as I move forward. I don’t pretend, and I’m not wearing a temporary mask with a drawn-on smile. I choose joy. I internally live with an attitude of gratitude for all I do have.

Life feels lost when addiction controls our children. But we don’t have to concede. Their chronic substance use is not our failure but comes from a place where we cannot intervene. We can’t take over their mind, but you have the authority to choose your thoughts and actions.

The pain exists. It will take time to learn to live outside the hurt, sorrow, and fear. There will be days you play tug of war with your emotions and feelings. Some moments may lay you out. Never doubt that you have the tools to manage what this dark world of addiction brings. Remember, it’s not your world; it’s theirs. You can choose to live and love without being in it.

You deserve peace and joy. Maybe nights will be a challenge, but you can be armored up and ready. You don’t have to fear the pain; you can’t allow yourself to park in the center of hurt and fear and stay there. The two extremes in this double life are unavoidable. I know I will experience both. There is no shame. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel both sides.

I refuse to be a broken parent. I choose to be a praying one. I pray and visualize a day of healing and recovery. A day when chronic substance use doesn’t control my loved one’s life, nor will it interrupt my joy. That day will come.

How do you move forward when your loved is imprisoned by their addiction? Have you allowed yourself to enter your recovery?

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