By Jennifer Miller
The term “tough love” is often used when dealing with loved ones who are battling addictions, and it is often “tough” to know when to detach and let them go. My youngest son has been in and out rehabs as a minor and, now, as an adult at 19, reached out to me for help in getting into a recovery program.
“There are no decisions; there is only interaction with what is in front of you. Decisions come because you have attachments, desires, and fears. The only thing that will help you is to let go…”
Michael Singer, from “The Untethered Soul”
Ultimately, letting them go will help them “save themselves”. Fixing and constantly rescuing will only enable. Letting go is the hardest thing a parent can do. But an honest request for help must be listened to. So I got him into a 30-day detox and recovery program and prayed that he would welcome sobriety.
I have learned to expect the unexpected with addicts, and, sure enough, after just a few days, his father arrived with a donut… The man has not been a part of his children’s lives for years, and now suddenly appears AFTER his son goes into recovery and brings him a donut.
I felt anger but knew I had to take the higher road. I used breath control to calm my mind and soothe the wound that reopened in my heart. As I bring food to my son later that week, I thought how humorous it would be to bring a dozen donuts. But healthy granola bars, fruit, nuts, toiletries, clothes and books will have to do.
An addicts journey is ultimately their own, but if burdens loved ones with its ups and downs and…craziness. I pray that I can remain strong for my family, and hopefully give others the courage to remain hopeful and make the right choices during times of struggle.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller