Restoration – Part 4 – New Materials


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I have purposely let sometime pass from my last post before writing again.  I wanted to drive home the fact that…this takes time… Not one parent or loved one of an addict will all of a sudden have the answers or tools (materials) needed to heal or even to begin the process.  Many of us will come to realize we in fact suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  Seeing our loved one as they have succumb to an overdose, finding them living in a car or in a parking garage, or we have spent months and years hiding our purses, wallets, trying to protect their younger siblings.  One day we realize just how much trauma our hearts have been through and we will take the much needed and warranted time to start looking for help.

The rose colored glasses eventually fall off, and we will eventually reach for a pair of glasses that will help us deal with the realities before us and they will also help us gather the much needed materials we as loved one will need.  For me that list began with the “new tin” to patch the holes.  As I stated in my last post, the project vehicle (or my mother’s heart) once the rust had been completely cut away was left pretty desolate.  The new tin needed wouldn’t be just a couple of small patches; it would need whole fenders, doors, hoods and roofs.  That new tin was found literally in my faith.  I gathered it on my knees before God, crying out in desperation for help.  The wounds I had ran deep, and there was no self-help book or group that was going to get me through.  I needed the Great Physician.

He provided the new tin.  He would become the support and strength needed to get me to the next step.  There was nothing I could do to fill the holes; all the patches I had tried in the past didn’t last.  They we very temporal and had caused even greater overall damage.

If you are like me and have come to the place where your heart’s so full of damage from the years of living in this… just like our addicts, we need to come to the place of acknowledging that there is a Higher Power that we must turn to for strength and peace.  I urge you to begin in the same place.

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The Practice of Saying No…


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There is something very freeing about saying “No”.  There have been countless times I have given into my addicts requests.  Handed over money, taken him to court, driven him all over creation, bought him countless articles of clothing, sneakers etc. etc. etc.  I have cleaned up many of his financial messes, paid his fines, fees and bills.

To the New Parents to this mess of addiction… I’ve done it all.  I’ve enabled and taken care of my adult child.  But a time finally arrived (and it will for you too) when enough was enough.  When I opened my eyes to what enabling was, stared at it in the mirror and said… No more!

That was nearly 3 years ago.  And just like anything else we undertake it takes practice.  Saying NO isn’t always easy, but it will become easier every time you say it.  There have been times over the last three years that I have caved in and said yes, thinking it was the right thing to do.  Sometimes it was, and it helped my son take a few steps forward.  But more times than not, its wasn’t the right thing to do for him, or for me.

That’s why the title to this is “The Practice of saying No”… and Not “ I’ve got this saying ‘NO’ thing down pat”.   Never mind there are times that saying YES is the right thing to do.  Keeping myself in-check is what is important.  Knowing in my heart what enabling is and being willing to process the request  before I say either yes or NO is what is important.  Being the parent of an addict isn’t easy.  A parent will always struggle with wanting to rescue their child.  But once we start practicing saying No, and begin to see the fruit of it we will be able to say it more and more.

Don’t be afraid to practice saying No!

Whatever It Takes.


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For months I have prayed the words.  “Lord whatever it takes to turn my son’s life around”.   My personal version of the well-known verse from the Lord’s Prayer ‘Thy will be done”.  I have battled with my momma’s heart hoping, wanting to be part of the healing process, and vowing to stand alongside him to help show him the way.

All of which failed miserably.

God has clearly shown me I WON’T be the one or even one of the one’s who will help him.  I was perfectly ok with that abstractly.  It is my desire to see him living a sober life, moving forward, taking another good step each day, submitting his heart and life to God.  I say those things to myself, to him, and others all the time.

I will have to admit this morning when I saw his post on social media thanking another person, another “mother figure” in his life for guiding him, standing with him… all the things I vowed I would do as long as he stayed clean… it STUNG.  (Confession is good for the soul… and I am confessing).

And moments later I heard that still small voice in my heart say… “Whatever it takes… I AM using the WHATEVER… so Stand aside and let me.”

What I DID and DIDN’T DO


What I did
I did teach you to walk ~ But I didn’t teach you to walk all over others

I did teach you to eat with a spoon ~ But I didn’t teach you to use one to cook heroin

I did teach you how to dress yourself ~ But I didn’t teach you to dress to cover your track marks

I did teach you how to tie your shoe-laces ~ But I didn’t teach you how to use them as a tool in shooting up

I did teach you to stretch your muscles ~ But I didn’t teach you to use them to bully or intimidate

I did teach you how to ride a bike ~ But I didn’t teach you that one day it would be all that you have

I did teach you how to manipulate numbers, to add and subtract ~ But I didn’t teach you how manipulate others.

I did teach you that love is a gift ~ But I didn’t teach you to use it as a weapon to get what you want

I did teach you that the door is always open ~ But I didn’t teach you that one day we might have to shut it.

I did what all parents do… but I have to do what no parent wants to do.

Teach you that I have to shut the door.

If Only I’d Known…


I had the occasion to sit with a parent last night who made that above statement ~ “If only I’d known I’d be battling addiction with my child, I could have parented differently.”  That statement has stuck with me and I have turned it over and over in my head trying to find some validity to it as it applies to being the parent of an addict.

I know this woman well and she is a biological parent as well as parenting children by adopting them, Young Children that are adopted can come with a difficult history, as did the youngsters she has, and this has caused her to intentionally parent them in such a way as to help guide them past the set of baggage these sweet ones came with.  So on that level I can understand her statement of “If only I’d known”.

But that brings me to wrestling with it on another level.  Can I apply that logic to being the parent of an addict?   There are many out there that blame the parent for the child’s addictions and will offer such statements as

if you had just had dinner with them every night

if you had gotten them more involved in sports

if you had just told them to SAY NO to drugs

And there are many more.

It’s my hope that all parents, parent intentionally.  That we (all parents) do our best to raise up our children to be good adults, instilling values and morals along the way.  I know I’d be foolish if I thought that was 100% truth all the time.  There are parents who haven’t, and they are in the news time and time again.

It’s also my hope that out of all the insanity of this current addiction crisis that is sweeping our country, that parents will start to understand that we are NOT promised perfect kids.  That even the best intentioned parents can end up with a son or daughter who becomes addicted to drugs.   I think we as parents, should parent assuming the WORST can happen.  Being conscience of the times and demons that long to devour our children and act like parents.

So the day doesn’t come when we say… If Only I’d known …