We have been walking on this journey for many years now and the one thing that I have learned......actually I have learned many many things, but the one thing I want to talk about today, is that there are all kinds of ways to do this journey.
I have wished more times than I count that there was a method, a list of steps to take, do this and this and then this will be the outcome. If you cut them off they will come running back. If you kick them out they will hit their bottom (if they don't die) and seek help on their own. If you love them well enough they will turn from their wicked ways. If you involve them in sports and are interested and engaged in their lives, if you are a supportive and present parent, they won't go down the path of drugs and self medicating to begin with.
We have done all of the above. ALL OF THE ABOVE. Plus some. What I have learned through this is that it really matters not what I do or don't do. My girl is going to get healthy when she is ready to do so. Maybe this time is it, maybe not. I have no way of knowing.
Another thing I have come to see is that there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to parent an addict. I suppose screaming profanities wouldn't be very healthy for anyone.....Lord knows the times I've done it it produced nothing good except guilt in me and shame in her and loads of anger in everyone else. The thing I do know is that all of us, each and every one of us, especially all of us here, who take the time and care enough to write out their thoughts in a blog, are doing the very best we can at any given moment.
Years ago, an old blogger friend who has long since left our blogging community, said to me (we spoke on the phone a lot at that time) during a time that our girl had called us to come and get her from some dire circumstances....she stayed with us for awhile and eventually it wasn't working, but I was terrified to return her to what we had just picked her up from... This dear sweet woman who had been through hell and back with her own child and was far tougher of a parent and woman than I could ever hope to be, said, "If you can't make her leave just because you can't do it...thats ok."
We have kicked her out for years at a time, we have shunned, we have loved fiercely and at the cost of much else, we have been angry, we have been hurt so deeply there are no words, we have been afraid, we have had our bodies react physically to circumstances and things we have seen. And we are still here. What WE did really didn't make a difference. The choices that we agonized over were not the beginning of sobriety for her or the seal of death on her fate. We aren't that powerful!
For today we are doing what we feel we have God's grace to do. When that grace lifts and we can't do it anymore, then we will stop. For today I think my girl is clean, she is here present with us, each day building in some small ways, her life. I am not a part of that, except to say "hey" at the end of my work day. Its not perfect, but its what we have for now. Its a hell of a lot better than where we have been, so for today I will be grateful for what we have. Even if it doesn't look like much, its something for her and I see that. Its a beginning. Each sober day off of heroin is a victory at this point. It can go either way for her.....and that is up to her. We will see what she does with it.
May God's grace be sufficient for us all... including our newly sober addicts who are finding their way through each day.
PS: At Ron's recommendation I just ordered the book Beyond Addiction: How science and kindness help people change.