Today’s post is Part 1 of an interview with the mother of an addict. I first shared it a few years ago, but felt impressed to share it again. The drug problem continues to grow all across the world. It is our hope and prayer that something she shared will help you on the journey with your child, even if you’re not dealing with addiction, I believe there is still something here for you.
- What signs of trouble did you first notice with your son? I saw emotional fluctuations: extreme highs and lows. He was much more easily angered and increasingly isolated. He wanted to spend as little time as possible with the family.
- Is there anything you wish you had done differently? Yes, I wish we would’ve confronted him sooner with what we observed and asked him to move out of our home earlier too. This was a scary thing to do, but in retrospect, he probably would have hit bottom sooner.
- Tell us a little about the journey with your child. Throughout high school our son was increasingly angry and hostile to us and his siblings. By his senior year, he dropped out of sports and was barely passing his classes. In his freshman year of college, he flunked classes both semesters and was expelled. The summer after that, he admitted he was addicted to pain killers. At that time we were moving to another state, so we invited him to come.
Our condition for him living with us was that he had to begin a recovery program and stay clean. Immediately, he got involved with NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and began to meet with a sponsor. He was clean for a little over a year, when he began dating a girl, but spending time with friends who were using. Eventually, he relapsed.
The next two years he fell deeper and deeper into his addiction. Although we recognized something was wrong, he continued to lie about his increasingly erratic behavior. Eventually, after a DUI, losing his job, and moving out of our home (at our request), he admitted to being a heroin addict.
We were beside ourselves with grief and fear. Although he wanted to stop, he couldn’t. His efforts failed. His using continued and he eventually overdosed. Thank God, he survived. After recovering, he agreed to enter residential rehab. During two intense weeks he decided to change the course of his life.
When he left the facility, he entered an outpatient intensive rehab program and began meeting with an addiction counselor. He set up accountability in every area of his life and began to make one good decision after another. Today he’s 5 years clean and celebrates life!
But he also knows that he’s always one bad decision away from landing right back where he was. So he surrounds himself with people who are clean and spends a lot of time with our family. It’s taken time, but he’s slowly regaining our trust. His long-term goal is to become an addiction counselor. He feels this will be the best use of the life that God graciously gave back to him.
- What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned? I learned that I am not in control. Not of my own life or my son’s. God, however, is trustworthy and is far more concerned with my son’s well-being than I am. There’s no miracle too great for Him to accomplish. His power is infinite!
- What has been hardest for you? How have you dealt with that? It’s hardest for me not to worry about what will happen tonight, tomorrow or down the line. It’s especially difficult at night. I deal with my worries by spending time in God’s word each day, renewing my mind, focusing on the here and now. The Holy Spirit allows me to maintain a grateful heart for what He’s done. I choose to give my fears to God and begin a conversation with Him who loves and knows my son better than me. Before I pray I tell myself, “You do not have to worry about this. This is not your worry.”
Next Monday, February 3rd, I’ll post Part 2 of our interview. I love this mom’s openness and authenticity. Until next week, may this Bible verse uplift your heavy heart:
For God will never give you a spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7 The Passion Translation).
God bless you with these 3 things, power, love and self-control, as you do your best to surrender your worries for your child to Him. As this mom says, He’s in control, He’s trustworthy and powerful and cares even more than you do.
Here are a few books you might like are: (all are listed on our website – if ordered that way we make a small percent which helps support our ministry)
Addict in the Family and Everything Changes by Beverly Conyers
Praying for Your Addicted Loved One by Sharron Cosby
I’m in this kind of fiery trial right now. Thank you for sharing, this blesses my heart, and please pray for me and my family.
We are so sorry, Diana. That’s deeply painful and frightening. I’m so glad this blog blesses you. Praying for your family right now. Father, please bring back Diana’s beloved child and deliver them from the bondage of addiction. Sustain this family. Direct their next steps. Give them wisdom, strength and divine comfort. Bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Is. 61:1-3). In Jesus’ name. Amen.
You gave me insight on how to move forward on decision my decision to what to do with my son. It was the confirmation I needed. Thank you for your honest responses.
We are so glad, Sylvia!
Thank you for your transparency in this interview. We are estranged from our 22 year old daughter who is 5 months married to a verbally/emotionally abusive 25 year old man who wants to be a pastor. He has required her to cut off communication from us, her 3 siblings, her grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles and many of her friends. We all used to be such a close family. They send venomous texts occasionally in response to our attempts to reconcile. They are telling terrible lies about us. It seems our daughter has lost herself and has become or does whatever he needs. We are pressing into God and try to remain hopeful through the heartbreak.
Theresa, we deeply appreciate your compliment about us being transparent in our interview.That was a goal we had going into it. We had to be real. So glad you feel we were! That’
I’m so sorry about the estrangement with your daughter. Her husband sounds like a very unhealthy person. That’s really sad how he’s succeeded in cutting her off from all of you who love her. We pray her eyes will be opened to see him for who he really is and feel strong enough to stand up for herself. If he becomes dangerous I pray she will find a way to escape and get help. Keep pressing into the Lord. As you do, I pray you’ll find your every need met by His sufficiency and grace.
“Surely, the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:11).
Thank you so much for sharing!! I am a grandPARENT and facing this. And MY biggest pain and worry was that I was afraid of where she “was.” Homeless as well as in life. I wanted to be in control!! After 3 days of anguish, constant fear and emotional crying I had to STOP IT. Thank you for guiding words to my daughter and I.
We’re so glad our blog helped. God bless you as you surrender your fears and worries to Him trusting Him with your loved ones. We all want to be in control so badly, but God is bigger and will take over when we can’t be there any more. No guarantees of the outcome, but He will be with you and will never stop trying to guide your daughter safely “home”.
Warmly in Christ, Dena