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Wednesday, October 28, 2015
For Parents of Addicts
I am friends with several mothers who have confided in me that their child fights the battle of addiction and have shared the anguish it causes them. These mothers are my former Sunday School teachers, bus drivers, neighbors, classmates, and a few internet friends. Among them are some of the most gentle, sweet, and sincere Christians I know. Interestingly enough, some of them know each other but do not know that they are facing the same battles. I won't break their confidence. It is their story to share or hold back as they feel is appropriate, but I often think that if they just knew their friend was facing the same struggle, how much help and comfort they might be to one another.
"When addiction grabs a child, it chokes a parent. I know the life-draining squeeze of its grip. I’ve never felt so incapable and helpless, so sad, so lonely. Such fear. My child has been stolen from me—stolen from himself—and I mourn Joey’s loss and suffering from a very lonely place.
There is no broad community empathy or support for the families of addicts. There is no rallying cry of solidarity, no pretty ribbon brigade, and none of the comfort that so often gets baked into meatloaf and muffins. Instead there are closed doors and mouths and minds and hearts.
I want addiction to be understood, not misrepresented, misjudged, and mishandled. Not hushed up or hidden away. Nasty things grow most freely in dark corners; the scourge of addiction needs to be dragged out into the light.