Just Keep Breathing, then Pray, then Walk, then Notice

Sometimes it seems like that’s all I can do….just keep breathing. When I don’t know what’s going on with my son because he has stopped communicating with me, stopped asking me for money, stopped coming by to get things, there is a kind of fear that is totally different from the fear I used to feel when he would leave the house without saying where he was going or when he’d be back. Now the fear is compounded by days of not knowing instead of hours.

It is in times like these that I have to surround myself with other parents and with those who both understand the disease of addiction AND have hope for recovery. If I hang with those who understand it but have no hope, then I am just heartbroken. When I find myself with those who are hopeful, but who really don’t understand the power of the disease to turn my son into someone I really don’t even know, then I wonder if they think that my son is just weak or mean-spirited instead of sick with a disease that truly could be fatal for him.

But when I hang with those who have both — keen understanding and informed hope — then I don’t feel alone. They remind me to “just keep breathing, and reach out for support from us.” So I do. I have to consciously pay attention to my breath and remind myself that, as far as I know, my son is still breathing too. And as long as he is breathing, there is hope for recovery. I breathe, I pray, and I walk with intention to notice all the amazing things in this world. When I notice the beauty of nature, the miracle of jets flying high in the sky, the majestic hawk as it soars much closer to the Earth or the tiny human parts of an infant, I am reminded that there are miracles all around me. And if those miracles are so plentiful, then surely the miracle of recovery can be realized for our family too.

So sometimes it literally all starts with me telling myself, “Just breathe.”

Today’s Reminder:  I will reflect today on whether I need to follow my own advice to breathe, pray, walk and notice or if I need to share that advice with another parent who is struggling and paralyzed by the fear of not knowing. For when I breathe, pray, walk and notice, I find that my hope is restored by the experience of seeing the abundance of other miracles around me.  And whether I am the one reminding or the one sharing, I will be grateful for the experience of finding hope once again.

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!