I’m So Scared My Teeth Hurt
A mom wrote to me: It’s 3:00 a.m., and my daughter went out to drink and use. We’ve been at this a long time. She’s been in psychiatric hospitals and had therapists. She’s been in rehabs, sober living houses, halfway houses, detoxes, and more sober houses. For me, I’m in Al-Anon, have a sponsor, am taking antidepression medication, go to meetings, meditate, and have support. But I can’t take the pain of it. I pray and pray. Tonight, I called a prayer line and have put her in God’s hands, but I’m still scared.
I’m writing to you because I’m awake in the middle of the night, sad, and completely powerless. I’m in this limbo of not knowing if she’s safe or not. I’m losing hope while trying to keep hope and faith. I know there are no guarantees.
I never saw this for our family. I’m so tired of wondering what and where it all went wrong. Our family had so much fun when the kids were young.
This feeling is like letting go of the steering wheel with a semitruck coming head-on or letting go of her slipping hands as she’s falling off a bridge. God’s gotta have her, right? There’s nothing I can do. I’m just so sad.
It’s times like these I’m so scared my teeth hurt.
My reflection: I, too, tried countless ways to stop my son’s 14-year heroin addiction. I dragged him to therapists, forced him into treatment centers, paid his bills, and tracked him down whenever he couldn’t be found. Fear took over my life.
Today’s Promise to consider: There is only room for one in addiction, and I am not that person. It took me 14 years of watching my son chase his next high before I finally acknowledged that the power to stop him was outside my control. As sobering as it was, it was crucial for me to realize that no matter how much of myself I poured into his illness, the choice to stop was his alone.
Standing back is difficult, almost impossible at times, but I need to get out of the way and allow my addicted loved one to come to the solution on his terms. I surrender my will and pray. God is in charge, not me.
Today, I admit that I cannot control anyone other than myself. Today, I accept that my loved one has to make his own mistakes. Today, I will keep hope alive and continue to believe that he will come home, to himself and our family.