A Letter To My Addicted Adult Child.
My Dear Child,
I feel like I’m saying goodbye to you and in a way, I suppose I am. I will always love you. I want the very best for you, and I’m prepared to do the most unnatural thing a mother will ever do. My mind screams I’m abandoning you. Oh, I know you’re all grown up, but to me, you’ll always be my baby. Maybe that’s part of the problem. My nature is to protect you. I see you broken and despairing, and I am broken and despairing too. If you had cancer or heart disease, I would fight tooth and nail to get you the care you need. Strangely, this is me fighting. It’s the hardest fight I’ve ever fought. It would be far easier to stand at your hospital bed knowing that what I was doing was helping you. But there is no hospital bed. There is no cancer or heart disease. What there is – is an insidious little secret – one that has grown into a horrible, ugly beast. It is devouring you alive, and me, along with it. I’ve watched this monster grow. I pleaded with it, coddled it and even nurtured it. I’ve done everything I can think of to make this THING go away. But it only grows more powerful. So I am left to face the truth. You, my precious child, are an addict. An addict! Oh my God! I can barely say it. I feel sick. I HATE that word. And yet, it’s true. Why does the truth have to be so hard? Even harder, is what I still have to do. All my life I have watched over you, and now I have to set you free. Not because I want too but because I NEED to. Letting go might save your life. But the process may also end it. Other addicts and professionals tell me, you have a better chance of succeeding if I stop rescuing you. Almost always, this works. Believe me, ‘almost’ is nowhere near comforting enough. If I weren’t sure I was helping you to die, I would never choose this. But here I am, between a rock and a hard place. With no good choices, only hard and worse ones. Before I let you go, know this. I am here for you, always. I am here for YOU not for your disease, but my child that I know hides somewhere deep down inside the addict. Whether you get clean by intervention, or you growing weary of the consequences now that you’ll be dealing with them, or by divine intervention, this insanity will stop. If you think it’s hard quitting drugs my dear, you should try walking away from your child! I know we’ve both grown sick with this monster. You’re not the only one who needs help. I do too. I promise you I will do everything that is asked of me, even if I think I’m going to hate every minute of it. I’ll do it, because I know if I do, you might. I promise not to ask you to do anything that I won’t do. I would ask you to take care, but you will only smile and nod and carry on as before. The words would only make me feel better. They’re of no use to you. So instead, I shall give you to God. I’ll wrap you in your favorite baby blanket — the one you dragged behind you until it was nothing but rags. I pray we both have the strength to do the next right thing, even, when it feels so wrong.
Love always, your Mom.