Sept. 6, 2017 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

To Love an Addict

When I held my baby in my arms for the very first time, I rubbed my cheek on his fuzzy head and whispered, “I will love and protect you for as long as I live.” I didn’t know then that my baby would become an addict before becoming an adult, or that the addict taking his place would shred the meaning of those words to smithereens.

Slowly, at first, came the arrests and overdoses and big fat lies. My sweet child was turning into a stranger, manipulating me, using me, and twisting my love into knots. I was befuddled by this scary new world that I didn’t even know I was in and that I knew nothing about. I thought I was just a regular mom stumbling through regular parenthood, but then I had to figure out how to be the mom of an addict. I had to figure out how to love my child without helping to hurt him, how to grieve the loss of my child—who’s still alive—without dying, and how to trade shame and blame for strength.

To be the parent of an addict is to be an ambassador of truth and understanding. No more shame. No more silence.

To love an addict is to run out of tears.


You are reading from the book:

Tending Dandelions by Sandra Swenson

Tending Dandelions © 2017 by Sandra Swenson

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