“Eventually I got to a place where I admitted—no, I accepted—my powerlessness over her disease, though it was counterintuitive for me to do so. By accepting that I was powerless it still sometimes felt like I was giving up, like I didn’t care. Nothing could be further from the truth. But I had to walk over a lot of hot coals before I would know how much I loved Angie.
In time I became detached enough to look at her, feel nothing but compassion and love for her, and discuss things intellectually. It was no longer my personal mission to try to change my daughter into the person I wanted her to be. I was not Angie, and she was not me. We were separate people, and I no longer felt that her illness and/or what she chose to do about it reflected on me. This was tremendously freeing for me.
Or, as one parent writes in Sharing Experience, Strength and Hope: “Let go, or be dragged.”