January 20, 2014

The Dashed Hopes of an Addict’s Parent

When I held my little miracle in my arms for the very first time, I rubbed my cheek on his fuzzy head and whispered, ‘Joey, my beautiful son, I will love and protect you for as long as I live.’ I didn’t know then that my baby would become an addict before becoming an adult, or that the addict taking his place would shred the meaning of those words to smithereens.” ~ Sandy Swenson, Finding Joy on Your Journey

ParentingThere are far too many stories of parents who suffer with the pain, fear, and loss of a child’s addiction.  While 100Pedals has become a wonderful personal gift in my quest to regain control and clarity in my life in the midst of the chaos of addiction, there is never a time where I am totally at peace because of the constant presence of the addictive experience.  No matter how wonderful my son’s life is at the time, I find myself wanting to celebrate his accomplishments and the wonderful progress he has made on his journey.

Interrupting that joy is the reality that it only takes one day of failed recovery that could trigger disaster — the call from jail, an arrest, a job loss, a trip to the ER.  So perilous is the celebration of recovery that I find myself preparing for the pain when there is no hint of that possibility.  Scarred by the past, aware of the possibilities, and prepared for the worst — what an awful way to live.

I continually learn to focus and find peace on what I can control and celebrate.  I am getting better at it.  I am becoming more accomplished for being pleased and proud at what my son has achieved over the past ninety days.  While that is my commitment, my focus, and my objective — putting the painful, dark and oft repeated past behind me is a continued effort.

I do the best I can with what I have and with who I am. But, I am still a dad with high hopes, aspirations, and much love for all his children.  It is hard to let go of the dark experiences as I become witness to one of them struggle to find peace, joy and happiness in their life.  It is almost impossible to let go and not feel for their pain at every destructive step.

I have been inspired by the raw, honest perspectives of a mom sharing her similar journey.  The struggle for joy in her journey reminds me that we are never alone in our battles — there is always somebody walking a similar path or willing to join us in the struggle.

If you are subscribing to these blogs for insight, inspiration, and guidance, I would encourage you to follow Sandy Swenson and her blog “Finding Joy on Your Journey.”  You will read a see more of her story in my writings as I receive so much from everything she shares and you will too!  Have a great week!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.