If you are reading these words, chances are you are the parent of a son or daughter enmeshed in addiction.
As I write these words, my youngest offspring is in denial about a relapse following a job loss in mid-August, after more than two years of sobriety. I know what it is to walk in your shoes.
My world was officially turned upside down when I realized that my child had become seriously addicted to alcohol. I began writing this book during the worst crisis of that knowing four years ago after I had begun attending an Al Anon family group that became transforming. With the help of the 12-Step program and a sponsor, I began to see how I needed to focus on myself, and patterns began to emerge in the process that I felt might be helpful to other parents.
The first half of this book — IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU — addresses those aspects of having an addicted child that are not generated by what we have done right or wrong parenting our children, and shed light on where we are with the choices our addicted daughters and sons have made. The second half of the book — EXCEPT WHEN IT IS — addresses how we can help ourselves as individuals to survive the upended landscape that has become our new normal.
I am not an expert, but a mother seasoned by some fifteen years watching a child I raised become sabotaged by the disease of addiction. I have lived with loss of hope, innocence, and possibility for my offspring and for myself. And I have seen these qualities rejuvenate when I stop trying to manage a condition I did not cause, cannot control, and certainly cannot cure, paying attention instead to what I need to live well.
I invite you here to share your journey with mine, so that all of us walking a treacherous path may begin to walk freely again, out of the way of choices our daughters and sons must make, and into our own light.