Letting Him Fall

Just over thirty years ago I became a mother for the first time.  I can clearly remember the emotions of that moment, which included a fullness of love, warmth and an undying determination to protect this beautiful child of mine.   I was a relatively young mother, yet even in my inexperience  you could have never convinced me back then that I would one day purposely allow one of my own fall.


Not ever.


Since that first sweet baby girl, I have had three more beautiful children.  And with each one, those feelings have been the same; love, warmth and that undying determination to protect.


Yet here I am fighting against every fiber of that determination to protect.  To protect my son against the evils of addiction; the homelessness, sickness and brokenness that inevitably follow when one is addicted to drugs.  The love in this mother’s heart is crying out to catch him in mid-air.  Just as any parent would when they toss their child in the air.  Never would we dream of letting them fall, our intention is to catch them while they squeal and giggle.

The only thing is… I’m not the one who tossed him into the air.  Addiction has done this to him.  And it has tossed him to such a height that I could never safely catch him.  Never mind the winds of relapse that consist of stealing, lying, and violence that would make it impossible for me to catch him safely.  Those ingredients bring with them way too many consequences to those around me and to me as well. The absolute chaos it brings trying to find just the right place to get under him is exhausting and destructive to our family.


Letting him fall, and maybe even fall hard to the point of complete brokenness is not what I ever imagined I would have to do as a mother.  But I am learning that sometimes the hardest things are truly the most loving of choices.  Rescuing him as I have in the past has done nothing to promote his sobriety.  My catching him in the fall, only seems to perpetuate the use, abuse and addiction.  When we make it too comfortable for them, protecting them from the evils they must battle themselves, we do them a huge disservice.


Letting him fall, and letting that complete brokenness happen is the scariest best thing I can do for him.

Living in De’NILE (Denial)

The Nile River, considered to be one of the longest rivers of the world encompassing 4130 miles as it winds through parts of Africa and Egypt is rich in history.  Most of us have heard of Cleopatra and her struggles along the Nile.  Struggles in my opinion that lead ultimately to her death, whether you believe she took her own life or was killed by an outsider who put a cobra in the basket.  Denial of her problems in the leadership world ultimately took her life…

De’Nile is never a good place to live…

Denial from the Wikipedia:

Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction.

I found this definition to be eye opening.  That last sentence is actually part of the definition.

The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction.

That’s right folks; denial is part of the process, both for the addict and for us as loved ones of addicts. We both will jump into the river of denial and swim there for some time.  Addicts stay longer, it’s part an parcel of what happens to the brain as it becomes overwhelmed with constant drug use and abuse.  But us as parents/siblings etc it’s high time we get the heck out the river. 

In order for us to actually be on the helping end of their Recovery instead of the enabling end, we need to:

STOP denying the existence of addiction,

STOP denying that we have enabled,

STOP denying that ‘home isn’t a safe place’, and

STOP denying that we act in ways that if we were not in denial we would never act.  (see yesterdays post)

And I’m sure there is list of other areas in which we deny that we need to come to grips with as we face our own Recovery process.  In order to get a good grip on the reality of our loved ones addiction it takes climbing out of the river of De’Nile and living on the firm banks of reality. I pray we each do that and do what we can to support each other as we go through the process of getting rid of our sea legs and walking firmly on solid ground.

The Insanity Cycle

As the mother of an addict I know I’ve done some pretty foolish and maybe even dangerous things in the name of “saving my addict”.  Things that when I now stand back and look at what I’ve done or the places I’ve gone, I shudder in horror.

Like the time I took on a drug dealer on the phone, a dealer who had called me to tell me my son owed him $500.00 dollars and I best pay up… after some heated words, some of which included my telling him he was a poor business man for fronting a person without a job drugs he couldn’t pay for, and suggesting he would be better off working at McDonalds, said dealer went on to tell me he was coming to my home to take us all out… I said “well come on down, I’ll call the police and have them here before you can get here”….

I DO NOT in any way suggest that you do likewise.  The dealer never showed, (thank God) but I was pretty foolish.  I must admit this kind of (insane) behavior on my part continued.  My enabling insanity could have brought much wrath on my home, and more importantly my innocent family.  The cycle of such things went on for some time.  Until I finally realized I wasn’t helping my son (as he actually got a kick out of my taking on the dealers, fighting his battles.) Never mind there were a few times I had paid such dealers just to stop the phone calls.

When I had finally stopped such behavior, and was working hard at ending my enabling; a call had come about 9PM on October 31, 2008, it was my son telling me he had been kidnapped and if I didn’t bring him $500 immediately they would beat him.

I hung up the phone

and this time instead of running to his rescue I let fate take its course.  He had indeed been kidnapped; he had been zip-tied to a tree and beaten pretty badly.  At about 11PM a police officer called our home to tell us they found my son, as they had received a call from another friend of his who had also gotten a call. They took him to the hospital where he was stitched up and X-rayed from head to toe.  The men who did this to him all went to prison, one of which is still there today.

This lesson was a double edged sword for our family.  My son, traumatized by this event stopped using drugs for a while.  Fear can be a motivator to the addict.  I learned that I have to step back and let the consequences fall where they may as difficult as it was to see my son after this had happened to him and even feeling the guilt of not running to him and giving over yet another $500.  Rescuing my son could easily become a full time job, one that would just continue the insanity cycle, bankrupting our family and worse yet never stopping the addiction.  Only continue to feed it.

As difficult as it can be… do whatever it takes to STOP the INSANITY CYCLE.  Breaking the cycle can bring some tough consequences, but it can also bring about the route of change we so desire to happen.

From the heart of a young Woman in Recovery

I have been working on two different posts, but I think its very important to share this young woman’s blog today.  As I was reading it this morning I was thinking… I need to ask her if I can put her on my blog as a guest post.  And there at the bottom she links back to me…

I think as parents of addicts we need to hear from people like Melinda… it will give us a fresh perspective and help us on our own road to Recovery….

Please read…


The Faces of Addiction…

I am the mother of 4 amazing kids.  Three are now adults, and one just 9 and in the third grade.  As each of them was born I can vividly remember looking at their sweet faces wondering just what they would be when they grew up.

Don’t we all do that?

We wonder things like; will they become a Doctor, Teacher, Congressmen, will they cure cancer, build tall buildings or stop traffic.  Will they play baseball ,football or dance in the Nutcracker one day.  Attend College or enter the military?  Will they marry and give me a bunch of grandchildren one day.  But NEVER do we wonder…

Will you become a drug addict?

I know for a fact I never thought that.  And as a parent I did everything I could to prevent that.  I was a stay at home mom for 14 years and started back at work part time when my youngest of the now adult children was in 2nd grade.  At which time I put them in a private faith based school.  Thinking I was protecting them from a few of the evils that may lurk in the halls of public school.  I raised them in the Faith, each going to church for the first time at just a week old.  They grew up in Sunday school, learning about Loving God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.  Doing our best to give them a moral compass with which to walk one day on their own.

Two did… two are successful women; one has completed graduate school the other making her way through it.  Both have homes of their own, one married and did indeed bless me with a parcel of grandchildren.

So how can one of the three end up an addict?  How is it when we do all we can to raise a family with love, values, morals, dinner around the table as a family every evening, attending the baseball games, the concerts etc ect ect… can one of the children of your womb end up addicted to one of the worst street drugs out there… heroin.

Too often we think the face of addiction is that of someone else’s child, from some street in the inner city.  And they come only from broken, impoverished homes.  A home where no one cared, no one ate dinner together, children that wondered the streets till all hours of the night and no one called out their names that it was time for dinner or bed…

The truth be told; addiction hits indiscriminately.  It cross all economic boundaries, it is NO respecter of persons.  It cares not if you ate dinner with your children every night, tucked them into bed with night time prayers, and sent them to the best of schools…

Addiction cares not about the hopes you had as you looked into that sweet face, that small infant you bore.  Addiction can and does ravage the best of families.  It ravaged mine.  And we are battling back; fighting against it as best we know how.  Doing all we can to help remove the stigma that comes with addiction so that families will come out of the dark shadows and fight alongside us.

My hope is that if your family has been affected you will not be afraid to all you can to fight… will you join me.




GUEST POSTED AT  http://www.sobernation.com/the-faces-of-addiction%E2%80%A6/

At a Distance… Or Putting down my Pom~ Poms.


The work that is necessary for one to walk in Recovery is hard stuff, for both the addict and those of us family members of an addict.  I have tried being right there on the battle lines with my son.  Fighting the good fight with him; all the while trying to keep my own Recovery walk on the straight and narrow.  It seems the closer I am in the battle with him, the easier it becomes for me to slip back into my old patterns.  Patterns long established during the six years of his active use and abuse of drugs.  Patterns of enabling, and denial, as well as thinking if he is home he is safe.  I can easily be lulled back into that thinking.  Keeping my son close by, living in the battle with him is something I just cannot do.  I certainly didn’t slip all the back to where I was a few years ago, but slip I did. 


I’m afraid I can be too much of a cheerleader, one who gets so caught up in the cheer that I miss the play on the field.  When I step back from being the active cheerleader, emotionally charged by the game; I start to get a better view of the whole game in process.  I can see that the quarterback (my son) is about to get sacked by the defensive tackle that got through the weak offensive line.  And the offensive line is weak because he stopped reading the play book; he was no longer investing in the game/battle of Recovery, thus weakening the line of defense.


Our addicts need a good strong amount of recovery time under their belts; a walk that invests in the process.  Constantly looking for and avoiding the old pitfalls that were once their default.  Such as using drugs to cover the pain, avoid life, escape responsibility or just plan enjoy the high.  That old playbook has to be completely shredded, never cracked open again.  A new playbook has to be relied on, one that is filled with a new way to live; drug free.  One that tells them pain is part of life and there is a way to process it without having to numb out.  That there is much in life itself that will give you a natural high that a synthetic one is just a waste of money and life.


My son has yet to get past page 2 or 3 of that new playbook.  He owns one, he’s thumbed through it, thinks he might want to but has yet to shred the old.  I have come to a new place in my journey; one that has shown me I must put down the pom-poms, step back even further then I have so far to watch from a distance.  Matter of fact I have left the field all together, and will now be an observer from my home.   A place that is safe and chaos free, where I can turn down the volume, change the channel all together or even… turn off the tv.  


And I did just that.  I stopped answering his calls, unplugged my house phone and am staying at a distance… which in turn has forced him to re-enter the process; to get back into a Rehab, crack open the new play book and start the process of learning a new way to play.