Petrified Wood

by Sandy Swenson
January 27, 2020

I’ve heard people say—both addicts and their parents, once they made it through the hell of addiction—that they’re grateful for the journey. That they’re better people because of the fiery trail they were forced to walk.

 I hope to be grateful, too, someday, but I’m definitely not grateful yet—grateful might be an overzealous aspiration for someone whose child is still caught in addiction’s tight-fisted grip. Addiction has devastated me and my child—my whole family—and there’s no end in sight; I am, however, a better person because of it.

I’m more compassionate now. More patient. More tolerant and empathetic.  I’m less dramatic. Less judgmental. Less trivial. I’ve learned and grown in ways I never could have imagined–and didn’t really want.

Through the unwinding of time and elements, I’ve been completely changed, through-and-through, like a piece of petrified wood—from sapling to stone. I can never change back to the person I was before all hell broke loose. But that’s okay. I’m now solid and strong. I’m a weary, but wise, old relic.

“The present moment is all we ever have so we might as well work with it rather than struggling against it. We might as well make it our friend and teacher rather than our enemy.” ~Pema Chödrön

Excerpt from Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mother with Addicted Children by Sandy Swenson

Dandelion STRONG

“We may often feel fragile, but we are strong. And we are many.
We have the power to overpower the destruction that addiction spreads.”


Sandra Swenson is the author of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction (Central Recovery Press 2014), Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers with Addicted Children (Hazelden 2017), the Readings for Moms of Addicts app (Hazelden 2018), and her blog.

Sign up for our weekly MomPower newsletter!

Please share our story:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.