Unlocking the key to this is the key to 12-Step recovery, because with it we become empowered to intelligently deal with the addiction of a loved one. In a letter to another parent I said, “ I love my daughter with all my heart and soul. But it’s been learning how to love and value myself that has elevated me from the reality I live with—“elevate,” as in rise above, detach from, avoid becoming enmeshed in and manipulated by the addict. Oh, it’s a sad, sorry catechism we mothers of addicts must learn in order to survive the addiction of a child.
But if we can create even a little bit of distance and objectivity from the problem that is consuming us, we might be gifted with some freedom: to look around us and appreciate (and allow ourselves to be distracted by)) other blessings in our lives, whether it’s a good job, good health, other healthy children, grandchildren, or a sunny day. Life goes on, relentlessly, with or without us. I choose to live well in the time I have left. My recovery has taught me that I deserve to.