Please try to remember that if love was enough, all our children would be saved. Addiction is a powerful monster, so difficult to overcome. My prayer is for each of you to find strength through your journeys and for your sons and daughters to overcome…
This was the hardest lesson – that my love was not enough. As a parent, it is impossible to imagine that our love cannot guide or save our child from their addiction. Three years ago I came to that painful reality – there was not enough love in the world to save my son. He was going to do what he was going to do no matter how much I loved him.
That really hurt. It crushed me. It took me several months to get through that frustrating reality. I have so much to offer my son, but the one thing I have more than enough to give him was my love. It was and is not enough.
From that moment on, there are three things I make a commitment to in my life daily:
- I can only control what I can control. My son’s addiction is not one of those things. How I live and celebrate my life, how I take care of myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and how I give love, support, encouragement, and hope to others is within my control. That is where I focus my energy at the beginning of and all through every one of my days.
- I love my son unconditionally. I will always love my son. He is completely empowered to make his own choices – we all are. I cannot make those choices for him or even influence them anymore. He is free to choose what he chooses — he does not need to hear my opinion, criticism, admonishment, or judgement. If he asks for my advice, I offer it. I he asks for forgiveness, I give it. If he asks for my guidance, I am there for him. I cannot rescue, save, or enable him as he lives his life. Even when or if he wants to change his life, he must choose the path and follow it. I will be the first to cheer him on and coach him if he asks me. I can always and easily offer him is the gift of my unconditional love – it is a very powerful, reliable influence.
- I will never give up hope. Addiction takes over the mind and body in mysteriously powerful ways. It has a grip on a soul in a manner that is painful to watch. It destroys wonderful, talented, beautiful lives. Even though it has a grip on my son, I will never give up hope that he will embrace and maintain a path to recovery some day. Powerful, amazing, and unpredictable events occur in this world every single day. My son’s recovery can be one of those monumental events. I will always believe it is possible.
Love may not be enough to save my son. It is still a powerful weapon. I know my love for him is on his mind, even when he relapses. I will take that. Love and hope are the gifts we can always deliver and bring into our life daily. In the meantime, I focus my energies on being physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. These are the strengths I will need to guide others, possibly my son and including myself, through the challenges and adversities in life.