I Wish People Could Understand What Our Lives Are Like
A mom wrote to me: My son was a handsome, respectful, smart, athletic, and funny young man. Unfortunately, at fifteen, he made a bad choice to experiment with drugs. His life and ours were never the same. He tried to get clean. In fact, he was clean for forty days before he died. I have been blessed with wonderful people in my life, but I know the average person looks down on people who do drugs. I wish other people could understand what our lives are like.
My reflection: Even with the recent public outcry about addiction and deaths, society often considers the addict an abyss of moral failure. People often judge the family as noncaring, absent, abusive, or noncommunicative. Those of us who have addicted children know that this illness doesn’t discriminate.
A young man once told me, “I was raised on a farm in Kansas. My mom and dad were always home, and my entire family worked on the land. I came home from school every day for lunch, and we had dinner together every night. I was fully loved, and my family was wonderful. I’m a heroin addict.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Judgment comes swiftly when people hear that our children are suffering from drug abuse. Society might criticize us and hold us at fault, but these are the chains of addiction. Maybe it’s impossible for others to understand the crisis we parents face when addiction enters our home. Maybe it’s impossible for others to understand the toll it takes on the entire family and the countless efforts we make to stem the tide. I’ve come to realize that all I can do is educate myself, follow my heart, and pray for my child’s healing.
Today, let us find strength in our support group. Let us love our child without regard for others’ opinions. Even if others do not understand our challenges, we go forward, together, in faith and hope.