“My newest concern was not if she was still on drugs. That was patently clear to us all. Now I feared that she would lose that leg, the one with the femoral artery she injected God knows what into when I left her alone in my condo in Virginia—the same artery that got infected again right after she moved to San Francisco. And now that same artery was infected again, threatening to break like a worn out rubber band. She really could lose her leg. And then what will become of her? Whereto, Persephone? A state hospital somewhere in California for the rest of what’s left of her life? Would this be the bottom we all pray for and fear at the same time—the one that convinces her that she must embrace recovery or die?
I live with this reality every day. Sometimes I look up and ask God for a sign, some way of knowing something. But this is why I’m learning to replace fear with faith. I’ve spent much of my life controlled and manipulated by fear, rarely feeling good enough, secure enough, valued enough to just be me. Fear so often clouds our good judgment, and faith releases us from too much responsibility, too much self-importance, and from our need to control. Over and over again in times of crisis in recent years I’ve accepted what is—without resistance anymore—and I’ve discovered for myself that faith and acceptance go hand in hand.
My behavior when I was in San Francisco six months ago is a good example of this. Expressing any anger to Angie—feeding the angry wolf—would have been an appalling waste of energy. I’ve known since she was in her first rehab in 2002 that she’s not a rebellious child in need of a spanking; she’s sick. She may or may not get well someday. But wherever her journey leads her it will be her journey to make. I can only love her and wish her God’s speed. I have absolute faith that life is unfolding as it is meant to. Having faith in anything—a rock, a friend, the God of our understanding—is a shared experience, ending our isolation.”