From Courage to Change, January 14:
“I learned in Alanon that I’m bound to fail to make someone else stop drinking because I am powerless over alcoholism. Others in the fellowship had failed as well, yet they seemed almost happy to admit it. In time, I understood: by letting go of this battle we were sure to lose, we became free.
Gradually, I learned that nothing I did or did not do would convince my loved one to get sober. I understood intellectually, but it took time before I believed it in my heart…Today I will take the path to personal freedom and serenity that begins when I surrender.”
My mother love doesn’t operate on an “intellectual” level. I behave on instinct, and it’s a natural instinct to want to save our children. I tried to save Angie—for years. I thought that NOT trying was giving up. And I would never give up on my child.
In time, I learned about the nature of addiction—what it was and what it wasn’t. It’s not a choice or a moral failure; it’s an illness, and I have no more power to cure her from that than from any other disease.
So, other than leading Angie to programs that might help her, I’ve let go. There’s nothing more I can do. I pray for her and hope she reaches for recovery from the illness that has separated her from her family. And I hope she comes back to us.
But life is short, and I want mine back. I’ve turned my attention to other people and things in my life. I count my blessings every day, and I’m grateful to be alive. There are lessons I’ve learned that only suffering teaches, and I join hands with all loved ones of addicts here. God Bless Us All!