As Angie deteriorates I need some kind of program more than ever to help me cope, and it’s at this point in the memoir that I introduce my 12-Step recovery program. Throughout the book I point to how this program and its teachings have helped me to meet the challenges in my life and grow spiritually. But recovery has not been a straight or easy path for me.
From “Life Had Become Unmanageable:”
“Years later in one of my support groups in New Mexico, a friend shared how she had to lock everything up in her house. She’d lock the jewelry here, the silver there. She had a different key for every place, and one time she was so flummoxed by her son that she lost all the keys! We laughed together at that one, grateful that we still could laugh. This is what it comes to for many of us parents. We erect walls to protect ourselves, keeping the addicts out. And then, of course, we feel guilty about doing that.
They will work us, manipulate us, and use every tool in their arsenal to get what they want if they’re still using. Parents are so vulnerable, and they’re walking a fine line between helping their child recover, and enabling them to continue using. We learn eventually to sit frozen in inaction, to do nothing. We learn to let our addicts be accountable for their own actions, and hopefully learn from the consequences (eviction, jail, death). But it’s that last consequence that holds us hostage, keeps us doing for our addict all that he should be doing for himself. We say to ourselves, “As long as he’s alive, he can recover.” True, but when will we ever get rid of our God-like parental power, thinking that his recovery is all up to us?”