Few parents are ever prepared for the shocking revelation that their child is abusing drugs or addicted. The promise that we see in our children from the time they are born and begin to grow, to show their personality, or share their dreams and bring energy to the house is replaced with hurt, fear, despair, and loss. Like every other parent in this situation, I was no different…
“My son—my little boy—was in trouble…lost. It hurt me through every part of my being to know what he had been experiencing over the past few months. When I reflect back on that time and start sharing and connecting with the feelings I had then, the painful emotions easily return as though they had just happened yesterday. I cannot believe that someone who had lived his entire life in a safe, healthy, secure, and comfortable environment had fallen so far as to be living on the street behind a strip mall, next to a dumpster. That a life that was filled with so much promise was now linked to drug abuse, addiction, and jail. It was beyond the scope of anything I had experienced to that point.” ~ Behind the Dumpster – The Story of a Son’s Addiction, a Father’s Love, and a Bike Ride
I ended up dropping everything I was involved with and totally engaged in saving my son. I quickly discovered there was much more to his addiction, to any addiction, than simply making a commitment to rescue my son. Like most parents, I learned the most painful lesson of all, there is no cure and there is no opportunity for a recovery until the addict wants one. Even then, that road is hard, painful, long, and torturous.
It took me eighteen months to realize that my son had to first save himself. I had to find peace with his choices, decisions, and actions. I had to learn to accept that there are aspects of his life that were and are completely beyond my control. And, I had to learn to focus on my recovery from his addiction, to find peace in the storm, and to learn to accept that this once promising life would be forever changed.
When it comes to addiction, there is no going back. Recovery means that we pray our child discovers a path that allows him to recover from his addiction so he can begin to live his life free from his addiction from this point forward. However, we will never recover from what was lost, stolen, surrendered, or destroyed during the addictive phase, including our hopes, dreams and aspirations for their once promising future.
Find peace in the life your child has. If they are lost, find peace in the life you have. The hole in your heart may never heal and much of the pain may never go away. Despite the suffering, you have the opportunity to live and love and hope, but you cannot surrender your life to the loss or the addiction! It may have destroyed one life, it does not have the right or the power to destroy another!