So I’ve been at this “parenting through addiction” stuff long enough that I really do understand that we’re in a marathon of a race here. I get it that we cannot rush our “tortoise” towards the finish line and that, if I try to sprint, I will tire out way too soon. I get all that. And yet, I’m just so sad.
I’m sad that our family time together isn’t easy. I’m sad that I don’t look forward to time with my son and that he dreads to see my name on his caller ID when I’m calling. I’m sad that I have needed to resort to using a lock box for my own medications and my valuables and that some of the things he has stolen can never be recovered.
But most of all, I’m sad that my son is sad and lost. I can see those expressions of defeat, disappointment in himself and shame when the dust settles from each crisis. I feel so sad when I watch him sleep sometimes because I know that it is one of the few ways that he can get safe relief from his own demons and not have to feel all the sadness and discomfort that he feels so much of the time that he is awake. Sometimes though, even his sleep is fitful, and I can tell that, even then, he is not comfortable or at peace.
I want him — and us! — to feel good emotions again and for those changes to emerge out of meaningful progress in recovery moments of light and freedom, and restful sleep. I want to feel less sad and more joy. I want to feel less fear and more hope. I want to be able to celebrate recovery milestones with my son and to know that we’re all getting healthier together.
Until then though, I too must find comfort in sleep, experience happiness in tiny joyful moments and stay connected with my tribe.
Today’s Reminder: We’re taught that “this too shall pass” and that sometimes the healthiest thing we can do is to sit with our discomfort with the knowledge that it will go away on its own as long as I don’t make it worse. So for now, when I feel that deep sadness, I will choose to notice it, honor it as a reflection of my humanity and my love for my son, and I will trust that it will pass. And then I will actively look for tiny miracles each day; create a cozy cocoon for myself in my bed each night; and hope for us both to get comfort in our sleep so we can try again tomorrow. And when my sadness overcomes me, I will call out to my tribe to carry me through.
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!