Letter from a Parent: My Son is An Addict
Subject: Dealing with an addict
My son is an addict. I am not sure if he is active or not however he is going through things right now and it is bringing me down. He does not live near me because he is very toxic to my health. I have to learn to let go and Let God, but today I seem so helpless. I am an active Al-Anon member with a sponsor. Any words of encouragement would be great for me right now.
Thanks for writing. It is so hard to have a loved one who is affected by using and its accompanying traumas.
I appreciate your path. It is not an easy one and I’m happy to send any encouragement that will be of help. First, I want to support your being in Alanon and having a sponsor. Working the 12 steps is a powerful way to gain inner insight and growth and I hope you will take the opportunity to work them deeply.
You mentioned that you have to learn to let go and Let God. What I have learned about this principle over the years is that letting go does not mean giving up or giving in. Your work in letting go is to let go of results, as those, indeed, are in a Higher Power’s hands and not in ours.
But along the way, it can be helpful to have a two pronged approach:
- On the one hand, focus on yourself and get your life back in the healthiest way possible. (including a focus on true self-care on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels)
- On the other hand, when you love someone, it can be very valuable to study and understand addiction and recovery (just as you might study diabetes if that was their malady) and learn new ways to communicate and relate to your loved one in the most encouraging ways possible. This encouragement can also involve finding people and organizations that can help your loved one, always knowing that it is their decision as to whether they will take advantage of the help you find for them.
The research actually shows (and forgive me if I am telling you things you already know), that when the family gets well (through inner work and learning new ways to relate to their loved one, each other and themselves), the afflicted loved one has a much greater chance of getting into and staying in recovery.
What I learned in the 12 step programs, and what I teach to my students, is that we as family members are powerless over results only, but at every moment we are either contributing to the addiction or the recovery. Learning how to contribute to the recovery is essential to a family member’s recovery.
I hope this has been helpful and encouraging! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to send you a handout or two to inspire you as you move forward with your important recovery work.
Many of my students and clients go to Alanon faithfully. This work just adds additional information, support and some interesting ideas for your consideration.
Thank you for writing to me.
You are not alone – I’m not alone – we are all in this together.
Recovery is key. Work your steps. Learn how to communicate in a loving way, and take care of yourself!
Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, MRLC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050