Authentic Family

Since his early teens, my son’s substance abuse has consumed
our family.  It’s been a frightening, life altering and wild ride;
certainly not what I pictured on that January day in 1986. 
 
For years, I had a strategy of sidestepping the whole truth when 
addressing the reality of his situation.
 
“He’s out in Colorado”, I’d say, and gingerly change the subject 
before I’d have to answer more questions.
“He’s hanging in there”, I’d say, as if he was facing his first 
round of midterms instead of a court date for drug possession. 
“We’re looking forward to being together at Christmas”, 
I’d nod and force a smile when someone asked about our 
holiday plans.
Silently, I was praying that this year, our gathering wouldn’t 
be wrecked by drugs and drama.
 
My family and close friends knew what we were up against, 
but they were at a loss as to how to help. Each one was supportive 
in their own way, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
 
Many years of counseling helped me let go of the misguided notion 
that I had any control over my son’s reckless behavior.  
I was powerless over his addiction.
Once I accepted that powerlessness, I came to a more peaceful place.  
 
I‘m not a professional in the field of addiction, but I am an experienced 
mother of an addict.  By facing the shame and secrecy that keeps parents
isolated, I’ve dropped the perfect Christmas card portrait and embraced 
my authentic family, warts and all. 

The Enemy is Not Wise

Addiction is the enemy, not the person – And there’s no truth in the enemy within.

The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

 

The Enemy

                               Addiction is the enemy, not the person.

The Serenity Prayer
  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.