Set Us All Free

by Sandy Swenson
November 11, 2019

Once upon a time I was very ashamed of my child’s addiction. I was ashamed of him for what he was doing, and I was ashamed of me for being a lousy enough mom to have caused it. I was afraid of what people would think of us, of what they would say. I was afraid of the looks and the whispers, so I kept quiet about what was happening in my family. I hid the shameful secret, dying a little bit inside every day.

Until the day I realized this approach was stupid.

Once I shed my shame—once I began to say out loud that my child suffers from the disease of addiction—people around me were, for the most part, warm and supportive. They were generous with their kind words, extra hugs, and efforts toward understanding. As for those who weren’t supportive, well that just wasn’t my problem. The truth set me free. The truth set us all free.

Once the truth was out in the light where it belonged, so, too, were life’s most golden friends and the conversation.

“I could talk until my mouth is dry and my lungs are empty, but I know that you will never be able to fully understand this pain unless you have to go through it yourself one day. And I sincerely hope that never happens.” ~Anonymous

Excerpt from Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers 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.

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