As I sit here at my computer listening to Amy Grant’s new song, “Don’t try so hard,” and editing my chapter 14 and 15 of my book, Letting go of Shame, A mother’s Journey raising Addict Children, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be these children’s mother. I have heard people say when asked if they have been touched by the disease addiction they reply, “Unfortunately, I have.” I can only feel how fortunate I am to have been given the opportunity to love these incredible people.
My three children, Matt, Katie, Shawn are my joy. You, my children are my gifts. We have all lived through heartache and pain and have come around to love and respect.
YOU have given me the opportunity to grow as a woman, mom, wife and grandma. It is your presence in my life that has shown me God’s love and reminded me that we all have a journey to walk, alone and with others.
I never understood the lessons I would learn through each of you. You have given me chances to make mistakes and come around and make amends. You have taught me that saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. One has to back those words with action and stop making the same mistakes. Just because I gave you an apology doesn’t make it right unless I stop doing what I did in the first place to hurt you or cause you pain.
You helped me to be more compassionate and forgiving of myself and others. If you hadn’t have suffered from the disease of addiction I would never have known that it was truly a disease that you didn’t ask for or want. And when you told me you would quit using that you meant it at the time but the disease was more powerful than your promises.
You didn’t become an addict to embarrass me or your family. You didn’t choose this road. You were born with the disease and I had to learn through my own pain and suffering to let you find your own way to recovery, even if that meant you never found it.
I came to an understanding that you were God’s children and not mine. I was the one who gave birth to you but the road you were meant to travel was created long before you were born.
Living my life as your mother has brought me to my knees in such pain and agony that I had nowhere else to go but to the arms of God as I sought His help and guidance in how to let you go so you could live freely and with dignity the life He ordained especially for you.
As I come to a place of reflection, the only words that come to me are “Thank you.” Thank you for being the incredible people you are. Thank you for being authentic and real and for being open with your pain and sorrows. Thank you for trusting me enough to be truthful with me and allowing me the same freedom with you even if it hurts.
YOU, my precious children have changed my life.
YOU, my precious children have given me the freedom to be the woman God created me to be by giving me the chance to learn how to let you be the people you were meant to be.
I am blessed beyond measure to stand and say that I have no shame for having addict children. I am the most fortunate woman in the world. YOU have enriched my soul and I will never be the same.