Love will not stop an addiction
A mother wrote to me: My son got arrested, and we hired a lawyer and bailed him out, but he kept using and stealing. He got arrested again and bailed himself out. We knew he was dying—his behavior was dangerous and reckless—so we asked the attorney to have the judge put him back in jail. We told our son we would not bail him out again. We explained that we loved him, but we could no longer let his addiction destroy our family. All the love in the world was not enough to make him stop.
My reflection: I once asked my son, who suffered a fourteen-year heroin addiction, “Why didn’t you stop? Couldn’t you see all the damage you were doing to our family?” He looked at me with eyes filled with tears and said, “I love you and never wanted to hurt you. I tried to keep you to the side and out of the addiction, but I’m an addict, Mom. I’m an addict.”
Today’s promise: Our addicted loved ones are trapped in their disease and, although it doesn’t always look like it, they loathe the life they are living. Today, we will not feel betrayed. We will not feel self-blame. We will continue to love them through it all, by staying close, but out of the chaos.