To the mothers who suffer as their children battle addiction, we walk with you.
No matter how young or grown, despite any challenges, and regardless of past or present disagreements – there is nothing in this world like a mother’s love for her child. While addiction is most visible on the person using the substance, most often, no one is more hurt by the disease than the family and loved ones. It is devastating to watch someone you love destroying their health, their career, their family, their wellbeing, their life. When that person is your own child – the son or daughter you raised; the child you once held in your hands – it can feel as though there is a hole in your heart. Having a child addicted to drugs or alcohol can feel like a life sentence for a crime you didn’t commit: Your hands are tied and you feel helpless. Sometimes, you may find yourself angry: as though you got the short end of the stick. Why you? Why your family? Why your child? There are so many families out there who enjoy health and happiness – but you? You are left with a broken family and a broken heart. If you find yourself as a mother suffering as your child battles addiction, know that you are not alone. We walk with you.
To the mothers who have a son or daughter in recovery, we rejoice with you.
To know the joy of recovery is to also carry the scars of the addiction. Your child has received some of the worst cards life can deal – and you have to. You’ve felt the pain, you’ve felt hopeless and helpless, you’ve felt anger and fear. But now on the other side, you are both stronger. You are breathing, you are growing and you are healing. Being the parent of a recovering son or daughter means carrying the past and putting it towards the positive: rebuilding relationships, watching your child grow in his or her recovery, discovering the best way to support him or her. Being the parent of a son or daughter recovering from addiction means taking things one day at a time. But for today, we can rejoice.
To the mothers who have found themselves addicted, we are here for you.
Being a mom can be the hardest job in the world. While there is great joy in motherhood, there is also great strain and selflessness. Mothers have the task of bringing new people into this world and raising them to be strong, productive members of society – with manners and passions and a good head on their shoulders. The pressures of motherhood, combined with other hardships and circumstances have left many moms using and addicted to substances. To the mothers who have found themselves addicted to drugs or alcohol – doing the best they can to hide it from their families: You are not alone. And you are not a bad mother. You have been dealing with things the best way you know how to deal – and in the process, you may have made mistakes. Those actions and behaviors don’t define you, and they don’t define your love for your child. To the mothers who struggle with addiction, know there is hope and healing for you and your children. We are here for you.
To the mothers who have laid their children to rest because of addiction, we grieve with you.
There is no greater pain than laying a child to rest. In nature, we expect our children to grow and out live us. We expect them to be our legacy. But even when we lose a child, the stigma and shame of addiction can keep us quiet. Many times, we feel we can’t express our pain in the same way as parents who have lost a son or daughter to things like cancer or a car wreck. Even in death, we hold it in! At the same time, we sometimes feel a sense of relief; knowing we no longer have to worry if his next hit was his last hit. Even though the ending wasn’t what we hoped and prayed for – It is done. Jealousy can creep into our hearts as we watch other mothers receive cards and flowers and go to brunch with their children. Jealousy can quickly reverse to guilt. Laying a son or daughter to rest after a battle with addiction weighs heavy on the heart in every way possible. For the mothers who mourn their greatest loss, we urge you to let yourself feel your emotions without the worry of stigma – and without guilt. Our hearts are with you – and we grieve with you.