My Fear in His Early Recovery

It seems silly to be just as afraid when my son is in recovery as I was when he was using heroin. But I am. I know that he is doing well. I know that he is working a program of recovery and seems to be coming back to his old self every day. It is a joy to interact with this incredible young man that has been through so much and who is happy, grateful, appreciative and committed to his own recovery – on some days. That’s the problem.

It’s true that he is “happy, joyous and free” on some days, but on other days, he is surly, snappy and depressed. In 12-step programs, they call that being “restless, irritable and discontent,” and they tell me that everybody goes through it – especially in early recovery from drugs like heroin and cocaine. He can be lonely and discouraged as he faces the reality that most others his age are able to drink socially and over-indulge every now and again seemingly without consequence. As he demonstrates the willingness to follow recommendations to avoid those situations and people, he finds himself alone more than he wants and more than we want him to be too.

So my challenge, of course, is to keep telling him how proud I am of him and inviting him to share honestly with me when he is struggling with his addiction. But sometimes when he talks about those struggles – that loneliness and sadness, it just scares me to death. I begin to obsess all over again that he will go back out and start using all over again. It seems nearly impossible to stay focused on today and to stay focused on my own recovery and encourage him to do the same.

Today’s Reminder: Early recovery is hard – for my son AND for me. I will model for my son that I am working on my recovery by sharing my fears with another parent, by taking good care of myself, by looking for ways to have fun and find reasons to be grateful each day, and by sharing our positive experiences with other parents who are still hoping that their son or daughter will begin recovery.

You can listen to an audio of this devotional at our podcast A Dose of Hope.


You do not have to walk this path alone. Parenting Through Addiction offers courses to teach you about what YOU can do to help your child as they begin their own path to recovery. We also offer various membership options so you can connect with other parents who are on their own journey to find serenity in the face of their child’s addiction. To learn more click here!