Grieving the Loss of Our Dreams

One of the hardest parts of parenting through addiction is imaging how “normal” everyone else’s family’s life looks – thanks to social media. I see pictures of common childhood and adolescent milestones, and I am reminded just how different our lives are than what I expected.


“First day of school” pictures bring up my sense of loss and grief to what I thought my kids’ lives would be like.   I grieve what should have been….or as I always dreamed it would be.


Neither of my kids had the traditional high school experience. Neither went to prom, played sports, or anything that I imagined their high school experience would be.


Instead, they both went away to rehab for 60+ days and then spent two years in aftercare with an enthusiastic sobriety program. They did experience similar activities such as dances, baseball games, and hang outs with 30 of their closest friends. It was different and frustrating at times….especially when prom season, graduation, and first days of school rolls around.


Both of my children are living, working, and making a future for themselves. Some days are better than others, and they still make bad choices. It was a journey to get us here, and they will continue to make their own way. I am grateful I was able to get them the help they needed and for them to get the tools they needed to fight addiction. In turn, I too was able to find the support and tools I needed to fight my addiction (aka…my kids).


Facebook and social media make it hard not to compare our lives with others. It brings feelings of low self-worth, self-hatred, and the huge unanswerable question of “What did I do wrong?”  This is my struggle, even today when the kids are doing well.


Only people who have walked this journey with you understand this. Thank goodness for Parent to Parent support groups. There we can share our fears, frustrations, hope, and victories. We have found a safe place to share our grief….our concerns. Giving voice to it and to all our pain and anger, makes those thoughts lose their power and hold on us.


Yes, today is hard, but reaching out to others who share my story helps me to focus on the journey our kids are walking now. I still grieve what should have been but I am grateful for where we all are….at this moment…today.


Today’s Reminder:  Be grateful for today!


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!