Dear Parents: A letter to Parents of an Addict, from a Parent of a Recovering One.
My heart breaks for any parent on the journey of their child’s addiction. For me and my husband, it was one of the most difficult journeys we have ever experienced. It was lonely, painful and at times, it seemed hopeless.
One day, I was reading an article about a mom who prayed for her addicted child for 15 years before she saw a changed life. I remember literally dropping my head to the table, and in tears, crying out to God that I couldn’t live like this for 15 years. But I did. Each day, God gave me the grace to make it through that day. God gave me a supportive prayer group that held me up when I felt that there was no hope.
A mother’s love is so strong. Yet trust is so very different than love. My love never wavered for my son, yet I got to the place where I could no longer trust him, and that was painful. Sometimes love had to say no; to set boundaries. His addiction not only affected him, but also the relationship he had with us, as parents, with his sisters, his grandparents and many of his friends. One by one, others removed themselves emotionally from him.
God’s grace prevailed and our son found his way into a faith-based, residential treatment center. There, he was restored physically, spiritually and emotionally. His recovery was still a difficult journey. Sometimes it felt like he was taking two steps forward and one backwards. But God is faithful.
It has been a few years now and our son is still in the process of restoring relationships with his sisters. He is building trust. He is making new friends, healthy friends. He has found a strong church and enjoys fellowship there. As parents, we are enjoying a new relationship with him and his young family. We have missed many years that we will never regain, but God is giving us new years and we are thankful for that.
To God be the glory.