Addiction: Perhaps I’ve Been The One Fighting The Battles
A friend, whose husband is an alcoholic, wrote to me: I remember when you had breast cancer and what a struggle that was. I found it poignant when you wrote that just as you had to fight breast cancer in order to live, your son Jeff had to fight addiction in order to live. Well, that’s what I expect my husband to do. He’s better than someone who just lets life mow him over. Perhaps I’ve been the one fighting his battles. Every time he gets himself into a bad situation, he has left it up to me to fix it. Since I’m fairly resourceful, I’ve been fixing most of the problems he has created, but he needs to pick up his weaponry and fight, for himself and not for me.
My reflection: My friend had courage to write to me about her husband. It takes strength to share stories of the underbelly of our relationships, the stuff we don’t advertise on Facebook or want to tell our friends and family.
For many years I fought my son’s battles with addiction. When he got into trouble, I rushed to fix things. That’s what moms do, right? The problem was that I denied my son the opportunity to learn from the consequences of his behavior.
Today’s promise: At the end of my son’s 14 -year heroin addiction, I finally got out of the way. I remember vividly the day I surrendered. Jeff called and screamed at me to send him money or “anything negotiable.” Through my tears, I said, “If you don’t get help, you’re going to die. When I had breast cancer, I could have died. I had to choose to fight for my life. You have to fight, too. I can’t do it for you. Fight, son, fight. ”
When Jeff finally understood that he was the one who had to choose life, he started on the painstaking road to recovery. Making the decision to put down drugs and to live in the solution requires daily commitment and hard work.
We each have to face our demons. In the end, my son did just that.
Today, I’ll get out of the way so that my child can face the consequences of his addiction. I will allow him the dignity to confront his own challenges. I’ll pray that he chooses to save himself. There is only room for one in addiction .