When Clean isn’t Enough…


For YEARS I have waited to say “My son is Clean!”  And I can say it now.  He is CLEAN!  And he has been for quite some time now. There is certainly something to celebrate in that.  Knowing that he is no longer putting a needle in his arm is a deep relief to me as his mother.  And I know there are many of you who will read this and be glad with me and maybe even get frustrated with the title today.  That I’m saying it isn’t enough. 

It’s not enough…

Nine long years of use, abuse, homelessness and the bad behaviors that come along with it now need to be unlearned, removed from his vernacular and chased away just as much as we pray they chase away the demons of abuse.  During those long years he became a master of manipulation and the king of blame.  And just like I had had enough of his addiction I’ve had enough of the manipulation and blame.  Both of which seem to rear their ugly head every now and again and each time they do I back away out of his life, just as I did when his drug abuse got out of control.

My son isn’t doing any 12 Step work, He’s not involved in a Sober Community, or has a mentor of any kind.  He sees a Counselor at the Clinic once a week, but I’m not so sure they are helping him process through the behavior piece.  This is why I say being Clean isn’t enough.   It needs to be a both/and deal.  One without the other will never do.  Staying Clean, but all the while living like the world still owes you and everyone but you is responsible for your lot in life will not move you forward.

Clean isn’t enough, but I keep praying that he will get to the place that he is willing to do the work necessary to let go of the rest. 


6 comments on “When Clean isn’t Enough…

  1. Joyce says:

    I can SO relate to your message. My son has been clean for over an year and a half. For that I am grateful, without a doubt. A lot of the behaviors that go with the addicted personality still remain. It is very upsetting hearing him lie and attempt to transfer blame. It hurts my heart.

    I don’t argue (for long) because the more he talks the deeper he gets into denial and anger. He tells whoppers that NOBODY could ever believe, especially me…his own mother.

    SO? What do we do?

    • susanjsilva says:

      I know what I do… I back away, if he’s pushing his manipulation on me and won’t take NO for an answer, I hang up the phone and don’t answer. I give him time to let him sit in his bad behavior. When he’s ready to apologize I listen, accept his apology and let him know I think he needs more help in that area. I tell him I love him, but I won’t accept his blame or quite frankly his crap… and then we wait… and pray… and wait some more to see if he will finally submit his life to the hard work of letting Go and Letting God fix what is so broken inside of them.

  2. Ann Richardson says:

    The only hope you have, is that your precious son is cleaned from the inside, with a new heart of repentance before God, and has a life that is truly new.This cleaning will be enough, and you will witness that change. God is faithful.

  3. treyw315 says:

    Reblogged this on Treyw315's Blog and commented:
    Great to see the other side!

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